TL;DR: It's not that simple.
So, this image. (I hate calling things such as this 'memes')
This image bothers me, for a couple of reasons. It's specious, sophistic, and casuistic in nature. I think that the intent of many of those who share its sentiments, and who share it on social media, are doing so in order to shut down discussion about the topics at hand, as well as to stop their own thinking. So I'm going to try to unpack this thing.
The first half of the image presents the assertion that rape is not the fault of the victim. Rape is not reckoned to be something that happens because of what a victim was wearing, or what they consumed, or how they behaved in a social setting. This is a fine assertion, one that I would find valid. The next assertion is that, since rape is not the fault of the victim, it must solely be the fault of the rapist. And that is where things start to go wrong. I'll come back to that.
The next half of the image takes previous pair of assertions and inverts them. Mass shootings are clearly the fault of criminals, therefore mass shootings are not the fault of the 'victims'. And the 'victims' in this case are not the actual human victims themselves, but social constructs. Therefore, the hidden argument goes, society is absolved of any culpability or responsibility in the matter.
It is 'true' in the purely rhetorical sense that a rapist is by definition responsible for rape, and a mass shooter is solely responsible for a mass shooting. Crime is caused by criminals, the reasoning goes, and criminals cause crime; so if what you want is less crime, you must only focus on eliminating criminals. It's a lovely tautology, but it's not useful. It only seems true until you think about it; which you won't if it appeals to your beliefs.
If we as individuals and communities are actually interested in reducing the number of rapes, and the number of mass shootings, we need to do better than things like this image. We have to peel back the layers and ask; why did a criminal behave in this way, and what can be done about it?
Rapists and mass shooters are not forged in a vacuum. They are not created at birth with a skein of fate woven around them that will one day lead them to do evil. It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a culture to shape a human life. And it takes a culture to turn that human being into a rapist, or a mass murderer. A rotten, sick, twisted culture that thrives in dark and terrible villages. A culture and community that tells the rapist or the mass murderer that what they are doing is acceptable.
I omitted 'Television' earlier in my discussion of the first half of the image. I did so because to absolve elements of cultural programming from accountability is NOT something that we should do. I am not saying there is any television program that explicitly states, 'Rape is awesome, you should totally go rape someone today! And maybe shoot up a school or a church or nightclub after!' But the media displays and contributes to shared cultural values, including some aberrant ones.
Every single item in the list on the second half of the presented image is an element of culture. These are shared aspects of our society. We desperately need to examine these constructs; laws, organizations, religions, what we will tolerate as being acceptable for individuals to possess and under what circumstances.
The culture of rape lies in deviant values and thoughts. It arises in the idea that a man's worth is determined by what he can take from a woman. It is created from the corrupt equivalence of sex and power. It is not shouted from rooftops. It is whispered in locker rooms and bars.
The culture of violence is similarly produced. Might makes right in the tainted mirror. If one has been belittled and frustrated and is desirous of righteous vengeance, it is only a small matter to extract it. To do so is laudable, heroic.
There is a clear overlap between the culture of rape and the culture of violence. An arms manufacturer once marketed their product with the tagline 'Get your man card back!' The implication being that if you do not have this object, you do not have the means to assert your will, and you are a weak and emasculated being.
By chance I today happened upon an article that perfectly illustrates the toxic masculinity that pervades both rape culture and violence: "Idaho teens threatens to 'kill all the girls' because they wouldn't send him any nudes."http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/idaho-teen-threatened-to-kill-all-the-girls-because-cheerleaders-wouldnt-send-him-any-freaking-nudes/
This individual absorbed the cultures he swam in. He took the teachings of his village and applied them as he saw fit.
He is one of many.
If the rest of us want to avoid the horrible consequences that come from the actions of individuals like him, we have got to change culture. We have to reform our laws and our hearts. Some of this change comes in the form of measures to keep dangerous objects away from disturbed minds. Much of this change is a long-term effort to discard values which are no longer sound (if they ever were). It will take all of us. And to start, we need to collectively think
better than we have been thinking and do
better than we have been doing.