June 24, 2005

Bitch. Ph.D.: Somehow I missed these posts, but they're great

Bitch. Ph.D.: Somehow I missed these posts, but they're great: "Telling rape victims--including drunk 18yos in Aruba--that they ought not to be flashing the goodies reduces women to, well, to goodies to be flashed. Dude, if I get drunk off my ass and stumble down the street, I'm not flaunting 'goods' to be 'stolen.' I'm getting drunk and stumbling down the street. If you see it as anything else then bingo, baby: that's what we call rape culture."

Internet's being "amusing", so that's all you get for the time being.


MosBen said...

But as a practical matter, shouldn't drunken women probably *not* be flashing goodies about? I mean, I see the point in a hypothetical context, but knowing that there are sexist rape-culture men out there that *think*, however improperly of them, that the showing of goodies somehow correllates to their justification in forced sex, shouldn't women out on the town getting intoxicate try to regulate their behavior so that they can be safer in an unsafe world?

I mean, yeah, the blame is always and should always be on the rapists, but though nobody is justified in raping you in the dark alley no matter what you're wearing, shouldn't you avoid that alley anyway?

This is often my problem with people coming from Bitch Phd's perspective, I agree with them in principle, but it just doesn't seem that practical in application. I mean, I know that nobody ever asks to be raped, but knowing what's out there in the world there's still some behavior that I'd consider to be stupid for women to do.

Noumena said...

Well, how are you going to say that? "Yeah, rape is never justified, BUT STAY OUT OF DARK ALLEYS!" or "Yeah, walking down the dark alley alone wasn't the best idea, BUT RAPE IS NEVER JUSTIFIED!" ? The former is really just blaming the victim, now with new token nod at the idea that the rapist is actually responsible for his actions. The latter message is quite clear that the problem actually lies with the rapist, not the victim.

But anyway, the message really should be "RAPE IS NEVER JUSTIFIED", because rape isn't about attraction or arousal, it's a violent expression of power and domination through sex. What the victim was wearing or doing immediately prior to the rape is fundamentally irrelevant.

MosBen said...

Fundamentally irrelevant to you, but is it irrelevant to the rapist? I think the problem with these discussions is that the political point gets mixed in with the practical point. I mean, yeah, rape is never justified, and that should be the public message and the line we tow. At the same time, if I had a daughter you'd better believe I'd tell her to be careful about what she does because it might be just the thing that some sicko might be looking for as an opportunity to take advantage of her.

I mean, is this different from when students travel abroad and they are instructed to wear one of those document holders under their shirts? Sure, if they get stolen from a minor slacking in their diligence doesn't justify the act of stealing, but tips about the most effective conduct to avoid becoming a victim are certainly useful.

Noumena said...

I don't have statistics at hand, but rape is almost never a crime of opportunity, like pick-pocketing. FBI profilers have put together a taxonomy of rapists, and of the six types they identify, two rape for reasons of 'power', two rape for reasons of 'anger', and only one rapes because the opportunity presents itself. Furthermore, an Opportunistic rapist is re-classified if they become a serial rapist.

When I say fundamentally irrelevant, I meant for the rapist: while he might attack a young woman wearing skimpy clothes as part of a fantasy of 'punishing' her, or while he might attack *this* young woman who was throwing up in the alley as opposed to *that* one who was helped into a cab by her friends, the real reasons he did what he did lie with him, not with her.

If I had a daughter, I would tell her the same thing I'd tell a son: Violent criminals are looking for prey, people who are scared and uncertain. Look like you'll put up a fight, and don't give them the opportunity to see you as a helpless victim. If something does happen, keep calm.