As I said, I could analyze Terrance Hayes’ poem “A Girl in the Woods,” for hours, but I just want to touch on the very first line. It begins, “Why wouldn’t she have wanted to be there?”
Exactly. None of us can predict the future. Everyone of us has found ourselves in situations that we know were not born of the very best decisions. Each of us has made mistakes. But no mistake, no error in judment, no poor choice warrants a punishment like rape. Sometimes it is comforting to point to a victims choices, but this is only because tragedy begs for logic. If we can place blame, then someone it is easier to comprehend. But that’s the point. This crime is not something that can or should be comprehended in a conceptual sense. And hopefully less of us ever have to understand this reality. But in the meantime, blame should remain where blame belongs. Solely on the shoulders of the perpetrators.