Recently, the internet has been agog with rape stories. Women are speaking and calling out perpetrators and this trend has sparked controversies. Some people are on the front row of the unsubstantial social media queue demanding justice in the form of hashtags, another quarter is merely there to follow the story heaving sighs of relief that they have never been victims, whilst the remaining quarter has settled to be defenders of the accused – rape apologists.

These rape apologists are mostly men or scarcely women who are not parents or are parents but not to a girl child. They neither understand what it feels like to be a woman nor know how dicey it is raising a girl child, hence their hasty justification of rape with a bias logic. What is the future of humanity if the people we call the leaders of tomorrow are in the comment section of rape stories questioning victims on what they wore to attract rape or why it took them so long to speak up?

Although this article is not to authenticate any rape story, we must learn that our actions do affect other people, and until we have facts to buttress our point, it is safer to remain silent. In the case of rape, only the victim and perpetrator have the facts; the rest of us have opinions that should not count.

Opinions are not facts.

For an issue as sensitive as rape, you need not carelessly speak for controversy or recognition’s sake. Maturity is realizing how many things do not require your opinion. Plato had said that opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance, so while you hop to different comment sections asking, “What did she wear?” “Why was she out at that time?” “Did she say stop?” “Did she try to fight?” “Did she not enjoy it” “Why is she just speaking up now?”, Odds are, you are displaying an irrevocable level of ignorance and conscientious stupidity. These sorts of questions only fuel the urge by others to carry out this dastardly deed.

It is totally okay not to have an opinion. It is possible to tell yourself that you do not know enough about a topic to debate on it. The world is the way it is today not because people do evil per se, but because there’s always a crowd of people with “opinions” to justify, undermine, and support evil acts. To change the world as we clamor for, we need to first change our thoughts, perception, and actions. Try being informed rather than opinionated. You never know who your baseless opinions would affect. You never know how many more assault victims are afraid to speak because people with “opinions” could invalidate their stories.

Don’t be a rape apologist, or before you settle to be one, think about yourself, or your sister or the daughters you will have tomorrow –or already have. If they become victims by chance, will you be livid if society asked why they didn’t walk around with pepper spray?

If we must walk the path of humanity, we need to be considerate of the emotional situations of people and show support especially when they are negatively affected. Rape is barbaric and should under no circumstance be justified. And, instead of making excuses for rapists, let us encourage parents and society to instill the right morals and discipline on the young so that they can master the subtle art of self-control.

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