Can we say that “All Men are Potential Rapists” until we prove them not to be?
Are all men rapists? On what basis do we draw up a conclusion?
This statement has been pushed by many feminists and some men in the wake of the numerous rape stories that have hit the news.
It immediately turned out to be a full-blown gender war with many men and women calling the above statement a very dangerous stereotype.
Rape is a very sensitive issue that plagues our society due to the wickedness of humans but the statement “all men are potential rapists” is not only fallacious but very triggering.
When women rape do we say “all women are potential rapists”? When they enable rapists do we say “all women are potential rape enablers” or “every woman is a potential prostitute” or “every woman is a potential gold digger”.
With the insecurity issues ravaging North-Eastern Nigeria, do we say “all Muslims are potential terrorists”? or “all Igbos are greedy”? or imagine this ideology “all Nigerians are scammers”.
All of these statements and many more are based on ignorance and paranoia. Indeed men need to do better to curb the rape culture but when we generalise based on the evil actions of some then we are ignorant bigots.
For someone who has been a rape victim, had a near rape experience or has followed these awful stories, it is wise to be cautious, wary and probably paranoid but it is wrong to assume that every man is a potential rapist.
Some men agreed with this narrative of calling every man a potential rapist and even claimed that they were ashamed of their gender. Well, I say that is a wrong feeling. When we hear stories of mothers enabling their young daughter’s molesters or girls setting up their friends to be raped, we never ever hear any woman come out to say that we are ashamed of our gender instead we rightly condemn the evil actions.
Imagine as a mother to both a male and female child and thinking that your son is a potential rapist, would you separate him from his sister or rather teach him to respect others and the law of consent?
Imagine if every female child felt your son is a potential rapist and began to isolate him until proven otherwise. How does a person even prove that they are not a rapist? A person could be the sweetest and kindest person for years and one day show their true colours. It is not like rapists carry a tag on their heads that announces them.
If all men are potential rapists then we are saying that our loving fathers, brothers, husbands, male friends and male children are potential rapists. Our unborn sons, grandsons and descendants are all potential rapists until proven otherwise.