Today I held my first workshop at the DIY feminist festival in Manchester. For the subject I chose rape myths. When asked, the group discussed what rape myths are and provided a variety of excellent examples. One that they neglected to mention however, is the myth that you can tell a rapist through their appearance and that you can tell who is a real victim through what they look and act like.
I asked the group to draw a stereotypical rapist and then what they think a real rapist actually looks like. I gave them the option to do the same thing with the stereotypical view of a victim. The results were interesting, as well as having a good laugh at our drawings we discovered that a few different people drew very similar things.
The victim stereotype was repeatedly drawn as:
The rapist stereotype was repeatedly drawn as:
-Angry and evil looking (knives and fangs)
-Jumping from a bush or alley way
These are really excellent observations of stereotypes we are all passively fed all the time. Everyone drew similar things, which shows it’s a shared stereotype that is widespread. The ‘realistic’ drawings showed a real understanding of the type of people who really do commit rape - the complete opposite of the stereotype.
Thank you to the ladies who came to the workshop for letting me post their drawings - they’re all really good and you all had some interesting and well informed things to say.