This one’s a comment by Kacyray that needs some addressing.
Avicenna, on your last post about this you stated your thesis – that “we don’t tell women not to take precautions. We specifically tell them to take precautions and to be worried.”
I posted a comment in which I specifically cited examples to the contrary. I also cited examples where those statements were supported and endorsed by FTBers.
No what you did was quote mine statements out of context and indeed post an article called Extraordinary Nonsense.
Where it says “Women do not have any responsibility to avoid rape” which is true. Except it doesn’t mean women shouldn’t take precautions. It just means that even if you do not take the precautions the rape is not your fault.
There is a difference between precautions and responsibility. Responsibility means that women don’t have any hard and fast rule where it’s their duty to avoid rape. It’s your responsibility to feed your pet dog, if you do not the blame of not feeding the dog goes on you. Women are not responsible for avoiding rape in the same way that murder victims are not responsible for avoiding murder.
At no point does Susan in her article say “That means no safety precautions”. That means go out solo and pass out drunk in strange places. No at every single point that means that IF… IF you go out solo and get raped, if you are wearing something saucy and get raped, if you are wearing a Burkha and get raped, if you didn’t have the body language of a strong and confident woman and got raped that it is not your fault.
I repeat, if a woman is lying stark naked on the road with a sign that says “fuck me” over her head and you as a man are incapable of not fucking her then I hang your head in shame. My dog won’t eat it’s food without the command even if it is hungry. I can balance a juicy piece of fried chicken on it’s nose and it won’t move unless I say “Eat”.
My dog has better control than the men you claim to represent. We men are better than this slavering beast. Now here is the difference. We recommend women take precautions. This doesn’t mean dress “appropriately” because we know clothes don’t affect rape as much as people think. We tell them to take precautions on dates. We try and make it easier for them to get help, we try and give them spaces to go if they feel threatened.
We need to give this to men and the MRA movement could be a force for that but unfortunately here it is trying to go “AHA! YOU ARE A RAPE APOLOGIST! WOOP WOOP WOOP!”
Perhaps you did not see the comment, but central to it was an important question: Are you prepared to repudiate the person who made these statements as well as any endorsements of those statements? (The comment was responded to a couple times by other commenters, but not one of them addressed the central question.)
What person? What statement? That Responsibility and Precautions are different? Sure, whatever floats your boat. I know that not all precautions are possible. The precautions aren’t universally possible. Think of them as seatbelts, they reduce the chance of casual rape by an unknown but frankly those are the minority of rapes. But it’s the few that women can possibly avoid by being harder targets and all these precautions do is make them harder targets in the hope that the rapist will give up and leave them be.
The rapist is not going to go home and repent just because a woman made it harder. It’s not going to change his mind, he is just going to keep trying.
Susan and me don’t have different viewpoints. I don’t think rape victims are responsible for their rapes. I think people can take precautions to avoid situations where casual rapists and the like take advantage.
It’s not my intent to spam with copy/paste, but I also don’t want you to have to go cross-referencing comments from different threads in order to know what I’m talking about. Therefore in the interest of courtesy, I’ll restate the comment here. You’ll probably have to check the original comment in order to see the links and the block-quoted text.
Hi. I cannot watch Thunderf00t’s video (yet), so I can’t comment on that, but I would like to take some time to comment on your blog post here.
The fun thing is we don’t tell women not to take precautions. We specifically tell them to take precautions and to be worried.
Let me start by acknowledging the ambiguity inherent in the word “we”… I can’t be sure who “we is”, but I’m assuming that you’re speaking of the “Royal We” – the A+/FTB/Skepchik contingent, including, but not limited to, Zvan, Benson, Carrier, Myers, et al.
Okay, sure. Why not.
I repeat. If you asked any of the people on this list whether women who go on a date should have a check in time to see if they are safe or use a night bus or watch their drink in bars or try to not get blackout drunk then you are daft.
We however think that if women do get in these situations and get raped then it’s not their fault.
(If I’m wrong on this, then everything I’m about to say doesn’t apply… and I have no idea who “we” is.)
This is the same “Royal We” who were very supportive of a young lady named Sarah Jones who had a momentary tiff with Al Stefanelli a few months back when some mentally unstable guy on Stefanelli’s Facebook page began making death threats toward Ms. Jones. (Al quickly took appropriate action by deleting the guy and apologizing to Ms. Jones).
Zvan specifically included Ms. Jones in the “Royal We” with her post entitled ”How Many Do We Lose”
So if this is the “we” you area speaking of… I’d like to direct you to something that you might find surprising.
We specifically tell them to take precautions and to be worried.
Okay… but the death threats have nothing to do with this.
I am sure Sarah will agree with me. Women will take precautions to keep safe but if they don’t they are not to blame. Because the precautions they take are above and beyond the call of sensible behaviour. I don’t have to worry about being gang raped on a train. I don’t have to worry about my date pulling a weapon on me or spiking my drink.
Women have to take massive measures to avoid situations that I do not have to.
But Sarah Jones said:
When you suggest that women take any sort of action to avoid rape, you shift the blame where it properly should be (ie, on the rapist) and transfer some of it to women. You’re implying that she is at least partially responsible for becoming the victim of a crime.
We are not suggesting to women to go out and be care free. We have never done that. We aren’t stupid.
But Sarah Jones said:
Women do not have any sort of responsibility to avoid rape. Rapists have a responsibility to avoid rape. Any other dynamic, ye who despise ‘buzzwords,’ is a manifestation of rape culture. That’s reality.
The gadfly known as oolon, who is up there with SallyStrange in terms of FTB commentariate notoriety, gave Ms. Jones’ post his full agreement!
Another great post… Absolutely agree, the traditional skeptics hate that its moving beyond bigfoot skepticism and into other areas like feminism / social justice. Hope you can keep up the awesome.
Staphanie Zvan was aware of Sarah Jones’ post, as it was explicitly mentioned in some dialogue she pasted into a subsequent post. Not only was Jones’ post mentioned, but the very topic we’re discussing here was described, so it’s difficult to imaging that Zvan was unaware of what Ms. Jones was endorsing. Zvan’s silence is a tacit endorsement of these ideas.
Steersman: Those different perspectives on “victim-blaming” are indeed a puzzle, like two completely different langauges or “incommensurable” concepts. You might “enjoy” reading several of the comments over on Sarah Jones’ site which question my analogous argument that people do have some responsibility to lock their homes and that that argument does not constitute “victim blaming”.
So what we have here is clear evidence that members of the Royal We absolutely do endorse the idea that women have no responsibility whatsoever to look out for their own well-being, as well as evidence that other members of the Royal We and their fan base are allied to this doctrine.
If Sarah Jones thinks the way you think then I am afraid that’s a rather lovely piece of wishful thinking. Women shouldn’t have to worry about being raped, they really shouldn’t have to. But unfortunately they live in a world where rape does exist. Now the majority of rapists are NOT going to be put off by these things since they are known to the victim but the casual date rapes and the like? These are going to be stopped.
These opportunistic rapes are reduced. But as I stated, these methods vary from event to event in efficacy.
If you think Sarah Jones does not support ideas such as the StaySafe app or night buses then I think you are wrong.
Now… at this point I’d like to commend you for your position – I think you’re spot-on with the position you’re taking – judiciousness, prudence, and the acceptance of responsibility along with activism aimed at increasing awareness of the injustice of violence and assault aimed at women is the right approach. It is a wise parent who teaches their boys not to rape and their girls to locks their doors at night.
I repeat. Women are not responsible for their own rapes. We cannot say to a woman walking home from a shift as a bartender that she had it coming because she was out late. These precautions are not universal, they are context sensitive in how they work and are not perfect responses.
Because not every woman can take all the actions needed to avoid rapes.
What if a young girl were to open a window to let some breeze in and get raped? Is she responsible then? See? You buy into the rapist prowling the streets testing for unlocked doors. Such rapists generally break and enter. Serial Rapists…. Most rapists however are the more casual sort. She was drunk, she clearly wanted it that sort of thing. None of those precautions affect those since most rapists are known to the victim in some way or used a drug such as GHB or indeed alcohol thus stopping the woman from responding in any way.
But I think you’re a bit misinformed if you think that the complete and total abdication of personal responsibility is not being endorsed by many feminists, including many that would be subsumed in the FBT/Skepchik faction. Sarah Jones is only one example.
So now I have a question… what is your position on the idea that Ms. Jones expressed in the blog post I linked to? What are your thoughts on statements such as “Women do not have any sort of responsibility to avoid rape.”? Are you prepared to repudiate that idea – and idea that was endorsed by at least one of the most fervent FTB gadfly’s, tactily endorsed by at least one of the FTB elite, and cheered on by dozens and dozens of commenters at Jones’ blog?
Because according to Sarah Jones, this post of yours – and you yourself – are a manifestation of rape culture.
(I can’t preview this so I hope the html tags aren’t screwed up.)
I repeat. Sarah Jones is not advocating that women don’t take any safety precautions like ride on the night bus or walk home in groups or watch their drinks carefully and not accept drinks from strangers (When I buy a lady a drink, I do so at the bar where she picks it up from the bartender.). She is simply saying that should you do so and get raped then it’s not your fault. Because the precautionary measures to avoid rape are so “retrospective”. Oh I didn’t accept a drink from a stranger but I ate a bar of birthday cake laced with GHB! Whoops! Oh I didn’t accept a drink from a stranger but he managed to slip something in when I wasn’t looking. I mean really? Is your eyes on your drink at all times? I mean we say “don’t get black out drunk” but I have drunk heavily in the past despite saying that because “it happens”. We don’t live in an ideal world where things move along set and hard paths.
I don’t think Jones thinks that women should not take any precautions for their own safety, I do think she (Like me) thinks that even if women take all the precautions, that this hypothetical woman can get raped and that some women cannot take all the precautions and that many precautions are rather hard to follow and effectively rule women out of a sensible situation.
You are most likely to be raped by a husband or a boyfriend. Don’t have any? No that’s mad! You are most likely to be raped by a date? No dates! Nope! Don’t drink, drunk girls get raped? Again? Nope! Don’t go out late? Don’t show leg? Don’t cover up? Don’t wear a burkha? Don’t wear an Astronaut suit?
See. The dialogue thinks that there is a statistical method by which you can avoid rape. That if you meet this venn diagram zen of safety actions then you will not get raped. But we know in reality that it’s impossible to achieve this. So instead we say “look, just be safe. Take these precautions. They sometimes help. If they don’t then it’s not your fault”.