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  1. #581
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    @Coriolis I like how @Lady X put it. It's as much of a cultural disease as homophobia and racism. We don't go around telling homosexuals to just stop acting so gay and maybe people won't hate you for it. We don't tell African Americans to stop acting so black. Sure, if these groups played less into stereotypes, they might be less likely to be victimized by people who hate them for their own messed up reasons, but should that be the focus?! I'm gonna go with a hell no.

    I'm not saying we ignore the victims. They need to be counselled for sure. But to help the problem, it's time to start getting to the bottom of the perpetrators' reasoning and actions.
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  2. #582
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    People definitely seem to be reading into my comments meaning that is not there. It seems very clear to me. I'm not sure how detached analysis gets interpreted as "blame the victim". If anything, I am trying to remove all value judgments (except against the criminal) to focus purely on cause and effect: what works, what doesn't, and why.


    What you describe is an ideal, not reality. Yes, women (and men) should be able to go anywhere, any time, presenting themselves as they wish. The fact is that right now, that is not the case. The question then becomes what to do about it, while we wait for your long-term solutions to be implemented and bring us closer to that ideal. You mentioned yourself that might take 50 years or more; a not unrealistic estimate.

    In this interim, women can pretend the ideal is already reality. They can go where they like, when they like, as they like. This is a good strategy, to a point - that point being that the risk of rape is still real and significant, and they need to remain mindful of that. This is the difference between being confident and pushing the envelope, and being foolhardy and not even bothering to calculate the risks. We consider risks and make provisions for them all the time. We buy insurance, get vaccines, keep an emergency kit in the car, and yes, lock our doors. Perhaps it is just easier to think objectively about these other hazards than about sexual assault. It is a very emotional topic, but getting emotional about it does not help to prevent it.


    Because ultimately the only person whose behavior one can control is one's own. It all depends on whether you are interested in developing a thorough understanding of rape as a tragic part of our culture, or a practical way to keep people from becoming victims. They are related, in that understanding why people rape is useeful, both in raising or rehabilitating people not to rape, and even in understanding better how to deal with an actual assault.
    I agree to a point.

    Meaning yes we should lock our doors, make people earn our trust etc but I certainly don't advocate a life lived in fear. I dont think women should be closed off or suffocate their fire. I don't think they need to dress like nuns and live in a fortress and they certainly don't need to attempt to turn themselves into men.

    And I think any ounce of shaming one for not doing so is just adding to the problem. It's trying to keep them down. Saying they don't have the right to be free and that they're asking for it. Which I'd hope we can all agree is disgusting.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
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  3. #583
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    We're discussing two different components.

    One is education towards changing what is the reality right now. Had anyone told someone living in the early part of the 20th century that women would be able to vote, own their own property, be able to support themselves economically, be able to leave an abusive situation or do jobs that were traditionally considered to only be men's, many wouldn't have believed it to be possible. There is definitely a need for those who will insist upon the ideal and work to make it come about.

    I also feel that education is a big part of bringing about change. As that education filters down to a personal, citizen level (friends calling one another on behaviour, not participating in activities or saying things that give permission for sexist attitudes to perpetuate, etc) change comes about. When I was a child, things like suspected physical abuse of a child, distasteful ethnic jokes or drinking and driving were considered to be not someone else's business to call someone out on. Education has changed that.

    In that sense, I agree that focussing on why people rape is extremely important to analyze, rather than on who gets raped. Criminals do not spring into being. By ignoring the root causes of societal problems people deal with until their logical outcomes come to fruition and only focussing on the symptoms, there will be no way to ever stem the tide of symptoms that abound.

    Opportunity reduction is the other component. Coriolis has brought it up, only because the focus has been mostly on education (which will take some time to accomplish) and in the meantime, people are suffering serious harm. She makes an excellent point that it is worth studying what variables at least contribute or take away from the likelihood of being a victim of this kind of crime. That doesn't mean that blame is being assigned to the victim if something happens to them. It just merely means that it is not 100% just chance.

    Coriolis is not advocating women dressing like nuns or living in fear. Clearly, dressing conservatively is not statistically a deterrent to rape, or else we would not see any rape in Muslim countries. She's saying that in a detached way, we need to examine what appears to be proven to reduce risk, based on real evidence! Think of it in this way - cancer is killing all kinds of people in our society. Some people will get cancer, no matter how much they try to stay healthy. On the other hand, studying the victims of cancer to look for commonalities in lifestyle/genetics/other factors seems like it may at least reduce the number of victims. Avoiding tanning beds, quitting smoking, reducing sugar intake, eating plenty of vegetables, paying attention to nutritional deficiencies and so on are proven ways of reducing risk. The person who gets cancer cannot be blamed for getting it, but they should have as much information available to them as possible so that they can reduce the likelihood for cancer to strike. Not paying attention to this seems to me the equivalent of saying, "But I like charred red meat, smoking and tanning". That is completely within your rights to do so, but with it you are accepting an increased possibility of getting cancer even if it is not 100% within your control whether cancer strikes or not.

    I'm not saying there is no element of chance, but I do think that potential victims do need to educate themselves and have scripted themselves for what kinds of words/behaviour they could use in the middle of a potentially dangerous situation. In my own life, I have reluctantly given out personally information when I was younger simply because someone asked and I was taken by surprise and unsure of how impolite it was okay to be by refusing them. As I've gotten older, I've learned to script myself for a wider variety of situtations, understanding that the further people act outside of the bounds of normal behaviour, the more it requires also acting out of the bounds of usual politeness. It is making your actions and words agree to make a clear, unambiguous verbal and non-verbal message.

    Potential victims must become aware of commonly used tactics of rapists (including of people who may be known to them). Interviews with rapists have uncovered what some people are most likely to look for in a unknown victim (unaware of surroundings, don't look like they'll fight back, wearing hairstyle or clothing that is easy to grab onto, etc.). Interviews also have revealed what has influenced rapists to choose the victims known to them as well, out of all of the potential people they may have chosen.

    Statistically, by looking at who most often are victims, there is information that can be of use to those who want to proactively try to protect themselves. As with a home security system, it is no guarantee, but it does lessen the amount of opportunity. I don't think this should bring about a false sense of security or smugness, as anyone could fall victim, given the right opportunity and circumstance. On the other hand, I believe we are doing people a disservice by not giving them all of the available information to work with.

  4. #584
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    Yeah and unfortunately so much of that also comes down to parenting IMO. I mean we have teenage girls who think they're expected to give blow jobs to dudes who ask in school?!? And they do it... Not because they're in love with the guy but because he's cool and they want him to like them and if she doesn't someone else will. We have fully grown women who were never taught self love so they go out in the world so eager for someone to show them that they go out with random dude that they don't know too well and drink too much and find themselves in a situation with some prick who expects her to put out. I mean hey he could've picked anyone but he chose her! He's entitled to the sex now after he spent the whole night telling her bs when he'd rather have been anywhere else.

    So not only do we need to teach men to respect women we need to teach women to respect themselves.

    Not that I even remotely believe only women who don't are victimized...I certainly don't feel that way but in the US I do believe women with lower self confidence are often more preyed upon.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  5. #585
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    to address your edit.

    I didn't say coriolis was saying that. I do believe she's speaking in a detached te problem solving way. I get it. I do it too. I mentioned those things because that's the message you hear in the media. The girl was asking for it. Look how she dresses. She was flirting with us. She did this. That's the message I was referencing. Not saying it was coming from her.

    I agree that everyday sexism is to blame. It's in the way our brains are being programmed. The answer is to undo that and in the meantime be aware of what predators look for and take precautions. I don't see another way.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  6. #586
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    This whole thing makes me wonder...has there ever been a study done on what actually counts and works as rape prevention strategies? I mean, have they ever really studied if clothes make a difference at all (except for in courts, where they are used against you by the defense)? What are the high risk situations wrt to rape that the victim *actually* has control over and to what extent do they protect you more?

    As @Coriolis stated, with burglary its pretty universally known that having a dog augments security, and having an expensive security system (and letting people know you have one) work as a nice deterrent. And that although you can go out of your way to outfit your place with every single security system out there, the more you add on, the less return you see on risk reduction. Is there something comparable for rape?
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  7. #587
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    I mean I feel like I've seen interviews or read articles on it and its what fidelia said. That women who seem meek or that they wouldn't fight back or unaware of their surroundings or had too much to drink is all alone. Etc and the other part of that is the men who think if she dresses like that or flirts like that then she's asking for sex. She's a bad girl and this is what she wants me to do. Her saying no is just a game. She wants me to make her do it.

    It's all of that I think. But sometimes it's just normal girl wearing sweat pants walking her dog early in the morning when no one is around.

    So what about her? She needs to learn how to use numchucks (sp) carry a gun? Mace? Take self defense classes? Not walk alone? What?
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  8. #588
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Our discussion breaks down along lines of theory and practice, and my personal interest in applying theory to practical situations has influenced my comments here. I am interested in the theory as well, and in a greater understanding of why people rape, but others seem to have that base covered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    So not only do we need to teach men to respect women we need to teach women to respect themselves.
    I could not agree more. This is what I mean by "rape culture" being part of an overall culture of raising girls without this inherent sense of self-respect, self-worth, and ultimately self-confidence. It's not enough to prevent rape, but without it, one is completely dependent on chance, or the protection of someone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    This whole thing makes me wonder...has there ever been a study done on what actually counts and works as rape prevention strategies? I mean, have they ever really studied if clothes make a difference at all (except for in courts, where they are used against you by the defense)? What are the high risk situations wrt to rape that the victim *actually* has control over and to what extent do they protect you more?
    As long as people who ask these questions are accused of victim-blaming, they may never be thoroughly studied.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    I didn't say coriolis was saying that. I do believe she's speaking in a detached te problem solving way. I get it. I do it too. I mentioned those things because that's the message you hear in the media. The girl was asking for it. Look how she dresses. She was flirting with us. She did this. That's the message I was referencing. Not saying it was coming from her.
    We should be telling rapists: it doesn't matter where she was, what she was wearing, or saying, or doing; you (the rapist) are to blame.

    We should also be telling women: yes, you can wear what you like and go where you like at any time, but understand your risk will be greater in certain situations, and be prepared for it. Plenty of people indulge in risky behavior for good reason. Many athletic pursuits fall into this category. They understand the risk, though, accept it because of the resulting benefits, and take suitable measures to manage it.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #589
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    It's not just that people who ask the questions are accused of victim-blaming, though. It's also that people who ask the questions may not realize they are giving rapists' defense attorneys and other, more casual apologists ammunition to use against victims, and contributing to the perception that not following the advice is asking to be violated. These are real, practical effects of the proliferation of "tips to avoid getting raped." And in this way, the proliferation of these tips IS contributing to victim-blaming, even if the tipsters don't consciously intend it.

    http://www.salon.com/2011/12/14/how_...aming_victims/

    Amanda Marcotte of the lefty-feminist blog Pandagon argues that the “proliferation of ‘tips’ on staying safe actually have the opposite affect in a pragmatic way.” That’s because these tips transform “in the police station and courtroom into a list of reasons to let the rapist off the hook,” she says. “I can’t really think of a tip that hasn’t been wielded by a defense attorney at some point in time to insinuate consent on the part of the victim, which inclines me to just oppose the whole art of scolding potential victims about their responsibility to prevent rape.”
    “The truth is, there’s no such thing as a ‘rape prevention tip’ for potential victims, because the only way to prevent being raped is to never be in the same space as a determined rapist, over which we often have no control, which is why most survivors have been raped in a familiar place by a person known to them,” she says. McEwan has written numerous times on her blog about being assaulted herself:

    I was sober; hardly scantily clad … I was wearing sweatpants and an oversized T-shirt; I was at home; my sexual history was, literally, nonexistent — I was a virgin; I struggled; I said no. There have been times since when I have been walking home, alone, after a few drinks, wearing something that might have shown a bit of leg or cleavage, and I wasn’t raped. The difference was not in what I was doing. The difference was the presence of a rapist.

  10. #590
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Thank you IVy!! Great post!!!!

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