A class on rape prevention held at the community center in Fairmont, Indiana, is rapidly gaining popularity among local women.
The class offers an in-depth guide for women, which includes clear steps that can be taken to avoid being raped. “We learn how not to dress provocatively, and how to imply that we don’t want to be raped through our words and behavior,” says Candace Amiccio, 22, a student in the class. “For instance, smiling too much might imply you want to be raped, whereas looking too angry might imply you deserve to be raped. Now that I’m aware of the vibe I’m giving off, I’m not going to end up like one of those dumb girls that gets raped.”
Student Julia Hadden notes, “I was so overconfident before I took this class. I’d walk to classes alone, hang out with guy friends one-on-one, all these behaviors that just scream ‘rape me!’” Students are also advised not to carry rape whistles or mace, as these objects suggest they are overly ready for rape, or that they’ve been raped in the past and therefore rape easily.
Instructor Michael Kearns, 54, says, “We tell these girls about the dangers of mixed signals. If you’re dating a bunch of jerks but then you won’t put out for a nice guy, the injustice of your behavior might drive the nice guy to desperate measures.”
The class addresses other possible grounds for rape, including giving a guy blue balls, staying at a bar until last call, imbibing alcohol, being in public alone, not locking your door, having slutty friends, coming from a broken family, being proud of one’s gender, acting too masculine, acting too feminine, speaking, and saying no to sex.
Nearby Ivy Tech Community College has even thought about offering course credits for women who take the class. “If more women were conscious of their effect on others and took responsibility for their actions, we might not have so many rapes on campus,” said Max Rogers, President of the school.
Asked if there’s any hope of a similar class being offered for men in the community, Kearns laughs and says, “It’d take one hell of a women to rape a man! Any woman strong enough to pull it off is probably a lesbian anyway. Nope, I don’t think that’s something we have to worry about.” However, Kearns says he is thinking about branching off to teach a class on avoiding assault and domestic abuse.