The one thing here that I object to is this:
Rape is a crime of power, control, and extreme violence where sex is usedIt's not about how strong you are or how weak you are. Everyone has a weakness that can be exploited. None of us are safe. Why? Because the people who do these things study how to get past normal defenses. You are more likely to be raped by someone you know than by a stranger. Afterwards, there are always people who say "but they were so NICE!"
as a weapon against someone weaker. It is not sex. (Emphasis mine.)
A stranger selecting a victim to be raped might choose a physically weaker person. A sociopath would choose anyone, then drug them to weakness. Trust is a weakness. Kindness is a weakness. Wanting to think well of other human beings is a weakness.
Trust is also completely necessary for adult human relationships, all of them.
It's not about weakness, it's about criminal betrayal of trust.
If you have been raped, or know someone who has, you know it's not about what the person did or could have done or that they shouldn't have trusted the nice gentleman/lady. It's about someone choosing to do a criminally abusive act towards another human being.
These criminals have a completely different values system - when it comes to the target. It doesn't make them insane. It makes them unable to empathize - with their target. (They empathize fine with the people included in their personal circles.) It makes them capable of acts that their target is most likely NOT capable of even comprehending based on a different system of values, and therefore makes the target have incredible difficulty defending against said actions.
When guns are regulated, only law-abiding citizens who take the steps needed for self-defense or hunting, will have regulated guns. Criminals will still have guns for killing people. Regular people who think that the police will defend them, will not have guns. The criminals with black market guns will kill the unprotected target equally easily.
Normal human society allows this lack of empathy towards "the other" no matter what that other is. If you're perceived as being "different" from someone, you can be a target of dis-empathetic hate crime.
Without the ability to dehumanize others, we would be unable to find soldiers for armies. Without the ability to close off empathy to people outside "our" circles, whether those be family, religion, culture... we would be unable to defend ourselves from those who have placed US in the outsider's circle and wish to do US harm.
So the scary part is, these criminals are completely normal. They are NOT insane. Turning off empathy is a NORMAL human response. What's abnormal is people like me who prefer to treat others with respect and obtain real consent, even when doing activities that most would not think of much less consent to having done to them.
Rape is a hate crime. It has nothing to do with the person being raped. Just like the citizens and children of a country being invaded did nothing to deserve the crimes against them by invading armies based on political power games. It's the same thing.
The criminal acts outside of the rules of society towards the target victim. The victim is not weak for being unprotected against a criminal. We are ALL unprotected against criminals, because our society does not place a great value on self-defense.
That women in particular have less options for learning safety and self-defense is not their (our) fault. But we can do something about that. Lets encourage our daughters to take martial arts in addition to figure skating or ballet or sports. If you can't afford it? At least get a dvd and get their hunger for knowledge started. LET THEM FIGHT OTHER KIDS, instead of neutering their ability to defend. Lets have early dialogue on personal safety that's not just about distrusting strangers but about how to evaluate how much trust someone you KNOW is worthy of receiving from you.
It's that important.
Making yourself a harder target to hit, doesn't make you not a target. You can't eliminate all your weaknesses, especially not to criminals. You can just make some fights not worth it for them.
What a thing to be thinking about on a Sunday morning huh.