Radio station asks whether young women and girls are "doing enough" to prevent date rape
A radio station in Newfoundland wanted to know whether women and young girls were "doing enough" to ensure that they don't get raped.
Responding to rising sexual assaults linked to date-rape drugs in downtown St.John's, Newfoundland, a local radio news station asked listeners this 'Question of the Day': "Do you believe that women and young girls do enough to ensure that they don't become victims of the "date rape drugs"?
Respondents could answer with "Yes," "No," and "Not Sure."
"Man. That's a hard one! I'm going to try really hard not to get drugged by a sexual predator when I go out tonight, but how will I know if I've tried hard enough? Maybe I shouldn't leave my house at all! That'll show those sneaky rapists!" wrote Jezebel's Katie J.M. Baker.
Even more pissed off than Baker were the station's listeners. Shortly after the question was posted, VOCM pulled down its question and published an apology:
The VOCM News Question of the Day on the topic of the Date Rape Drug was, in hindsight, worded in an insensitive manner and has since been removed from our website. It was not the intention of the author of the question to attach blame to females or imply in any way that those who are most often victimized by the use of date rape drugs should change their movements and patterns.
The Question of the Day is one component of our website meant to appeal to the masses, and occasionally we may appear to be insensitive. VOCM assures we make every effort to address each topic raised in our Question of the Day in a sensitive and appropriate manner.
VOCM apologizes to anyone who was offended by today's question.
However, VOCM didn't get off so easily. A Twitter conversation continued in response to VOCM's retraction, highlighting the station's complicity in "slut shaming" -- blaming women for attracting sexual assault or violence because of the way they dress, behave, or, as the question suggests, failure to "do enough" to protect themselves.
"The fact that you thought this was a good question to pose in the 1st place is the most disturbing factor in all of this!!!" tweeted Natasha Hudson
"I agree with Natasha. Women shouldn't have to prevent rape, women should be able to walk without fear. Rapists need to stop raping," responded Amy G. (@lab_mommy).
The Vancouver Observer received no response to its calls or emailed questions regarding VOCM's decision to publish, and then retract the question.