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  1. #11
    Ginkgo
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    I think you're being fair. I sort of take my notion of responsibility for granted and I don't frequently question it because I'm comfortable with it basically being contingent upon a consistent connection between knowledge, intention and action.

    As a general rule, I think that most people are both guilty and victimized for one thing or another. The driver was responsible for leaving his keys on the hood of the car. By no means, does this justify the thief's actions, but in an incident such as this, emotion tends to skew judgment to the point where personal responsibilities aren't always appropriately differentiated. Both victim and perpetrator may shift the blame because they are so focused on their relationship to the whole series of events that - for instance - a burn victim may feel guilty for the death of someone who died in the fire simply on the basis that they survived. A thief may think that an establishment deserves to be stolen from on the basis that the establishment is corrupt. etc.

    It's almost like confusion comes hand in hand with attempting to implement your personal sense of justice when you refuse to appeal to a higher authority.

  2. #12
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Yes. Some of you have addressed the fundamental concept that drives me to think about this. There's too much focus on what people allegedly deserve. I'm starting to wonder if I've ever participated in a discussion where the concept of deserving was constructive.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  3. #13
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Instead of dancing around it, I'd like to address what I think you're alluding to here.

    I've talked to my daughter about this at length. (She's 13.) She knows that she NEVER, EVER deserves to be taken advantage of. Regardless of the circumstances, her consent will be required for sex, and if the unthinkable ever happens, she will not be blamed for the wrongdoing of another person.. Even if she walked down the street stark nude, it would still not be consent. She also knows that we will talk about consent with her brother at great length as he enters and goes through puberty, to prevent him from ever being confused about whether a situation means he is allowed to have sex with a girl.

    But I've also told her that I would be remiss if I didn't teach her some ways to protect herself e.g. staying in well-lit public areas, going out in groups, responsible drinking or preferably abstaining from drinking, never leaving any kind of drink unattended, don't worry about being the "nice girl" if you need to scream or hit or get away, etc. But if her judgment fails or she makes an exception and something happens, making an unwise decision is never going to be the focus of our response.

  4. #14
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    About deserving- I don't know why that became the focus, either, but it is. People will give a victim the second degree to make sure she didn't make any mistakes that could conceivably have led to her being assaulted. We talk about "deserving" because that's how it gets framed after the fact. It's to counteract the idea that she was "asking for it."

  5. #15
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    About deserving- I don't know why that became the focus, either, but it is. People will give a victim the second degree to make sure she didn't make any mistakes that could conceivably have led to her being assaulted. We talk about "deserving" because that's how it gets framed after the fact. It's to counteract the idea that she was "asking for it."
    See, that sort of strikes me as disarming a gunman with a hydrogen bomb.

    The argument that a woman is ever asking for it and thus deserves it is so flatly ridiculous that it is not hard to formulate a response which will show just how ridiculous it is to anyone who has not already ideologically committed themselves to that position. Attempting to remove the entire concept of culpability is a really unnecessary measure, and to me the idea is about as irrational as claiming that women ask for it.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #16
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I think you underestimate the impact of the "gunman."

  7. #17
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I think you underestimate the impact of the "gunman."
    Is there an amount of impact that would justify such a method?

    I advise against undermining bullshit with with an equally large amount of bullshit. The long-term effect is always too much of a cost.

    EDIT: By th way, what you said to your daughter is a part of why I find this important. The concept of zero culpability, taken to its logical conclusion, actually means you can't advise someone to protect themselves. To do so would be to acknowledge that their decisions could affect what is done to them.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  8. #18
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Is there an amount of impact that would justify such a method?

    I advise against undermining bullshit with with an equally large amount of bullshit. The long-term effect is always too much of a cost.
    I sincerely do not think it is bullshit to put my focus on the criminal after a sexual assault takes place, and to treat the victim only with compassion.

    I've already said that I do teach my daughter ways to protect herself. What I take issue with is the idea that we ought to teach young women how to avoid being sexually assaulted in such a way that implies that if they ever are, it's because they didn't protect themselves well enough and therefore their own fault because, well, men are just like that. Men are like that in part because we're not teaching young men the importance of consent. There are violent criminals who are just going to assault people, yes, but there are also guys who think as long as she doesn't verbally say "no" that it's totally a "yes." We have to teach our young men that they cannot proceed without affirmative consent.

    Before the fact, we do need to teach young women how to protect themselves. But after the fact, it doesn't do anybody any good to say "well, you should have done X/Y/Z and then maybe you wouldn't have gotten sexually assaulted." It happened- she's now traumatized, and that response only compounds the trauma.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    How about: does the thief deserve to go to jail? Do they deserve to be punished/isolated from society/intervened on?

    The theif deserves to have his liberties taken away because they're a danger to society. You can't hold someone against their will - unless they are a criminal and you are detaining them after you tackled them down and are waiting for police. That's behavior that is normally totally unacceptable. Unless they deserve it.

    I don't think you can pull deserve out of the equation.

    Just make sure the violator, not the victim, deserves it.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  10. #20
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I sincerely do not think it is bullshit to put my focus on the criminal after a sexual assault takes place, and to treat the victim only with compassion.
    Nor do I.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I've already said that I do teach my daughter ways to protect herself. What I take issue with is the idea that we ought to teach young women how to avoid being sexually assaulted in such a way that implies that if they ever are, it's because they didn't protect themselves well enough and therefore their own fault because, well, men are just like that. Men are like that in part because we're not teaching young men the importance of consent. There are violent criminals who are just going to assault people, yes, but there are also guys who think as long as she doesn't verbally say "no" that it's totally a "yes." We have to teach our young men that they cannot proceed without affirmative consent.

    Before the fact, we do need to teach young women how to protect themselves. But after the fact, it doesn't do anybody any good to say "well, you should have done X/Y/Z and then maybe you wouldn't have gotten sexually assaulted." It happened- she's now traumatized, and that response only compounds the trauma.
    And I'm not suggesting we do the bold part. Indeed, my point is that somehow observing cause and effect results in someone think that you advocate the bold part, which is weird and counter-productive.

    I am also saying that I agree with all the things you think we need to teach people, and the best way to do that is with a rational and true argument. Pretending there's no culpability is neither. I further add that it possiby also becomes an argument to disempower women. That is, the fact of needing to pretend that there is no culpability implies that in the case of culpability a woman really would have deserved it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    How about: does the thief deserve to go to jail? Do they deserve to be punished/isolated from society/intervened on?

    The theif deserves to have his liberties taken away because they're a danger to society. You can't hold someone against their will - unless they are a criminal and you are detaining them after you tackled them down and are waiting for police. That's behavior that is normally totally unacceptable. Unless they deserve it.

    I don't think you can pull deserve out of the equation.

    Just make sure the violator, not the victim, deserves it.
    Actually, I do oppose that. It is better to get to the ultimate point. We are putting the thief in jail because he is a danger to society and jail will restrict him in a safe way. When a sentence becomes a matter of what the criminal deserves, the sentence tends to become self-serving. The point becomes that X is just supposed to happen to a person who does Y, regardless of utility.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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