[Content note: sexual assault]
Anytime someone speaks up about victim blaming and the expectation that women drastically limit their own lives in order to prevent themselves from being raped, someone will appear like clockwork to go, “Yeah, well, shouldn’t people lock their homes so they don’t get robbed?”
I am not an authority on what people should and should not do (besides not rape people), but I would argue that sexual assault has vanishingly little in common with robbery, and preventing sexual assault is not at all like locking your front door.
All analogies are imperfect by definition; if they were perfect, they would not be analogies anymore, but rather comparisons between two nearly or practically identical things. You can always find spots in which analogies fail.
But the sexual assault-robbery analogy fails on so many levels that I believe it to be useless for any sort of explanatory function.
None of this is to say which is “worse.” I’ll leave those pointless exercises to Richard Dawkins. I would personally imagine that most people who have experienced both found sexual assault to be “worse,” but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are sufficiently different that an analogy between them doesn’t really make any sense and is usually only used to silence people who speak out about sexual assault and victim blaming.
So, here’s how sexual assault is not at all like robbery.