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Everyday misogyny

It’s good to see Julia Gillard setting the leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, straight about sexism and misogyny. It’s good to see her listing the sexist and misogynist things he’s said and done – such as standing in front of the houses of Parliament next to a sign saying “ditch the witch” and one describing her as “a man’s bitch.”

“The leader of the opposition says that people who hold sexist views and are misogynists are not appropriate for high office,” she continued. “Well, I hope the leader of the opposition is writing out his resignation because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he needs a mirror.”

“I was offended too by the sexism, by the misogyny, of the leader of the opposition catcalling across this table … [such as] ‘If the prime minister wants to, politically speaking, make an honest woman of herself’ – something that would never have been said to any man sitting in this chair.

“I was offended by those things. Misogyny. Sexism. Every day from the leader of the opposition,” she said.

The anger in parliament follows a fortnight of debate about the tone of politics in Australia after the country’s best known radio talkshow host said Gillard’s recently deceased father had “died of shame” because his daughter stood in parliament and told lies.

Alan Jones’s comments during a Sydney University Liberal Club dinner triggered outrage. A number of companies which sponsored or advertised on his show withdrew their support. On Monday, the station suspended all advertising on his show.

In calling for Slipper to be sacked, Abbott echoed Jones’s remarks, saying Gillard should be ashamed of herself. “Every day the prime minister stands in this parliament to defend this speaker will be another day of shame for … a government that should already have died of shame,” said the opposition leader.

A furious Gillard hit back again, saying: “The government is not dying of shame. My father did not  die of shame. What the leader of the opposition should be ashamed of is his performance in this parliament and the sexism he brings with it.”

It’s good to see her hitting back, but it’s pathetic that she has to. It’s pathetic.

Comments

  1. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Yes to everything you said, O.

    But grrrrrrrr. . . this is NOT about the “tone” of debate in politics, media. It’s about the fucking substantive content.

  2. briane says

    Sadly, a lot of male commentators and not a few female commentators tone trolled and looked for dodges as to how the PM was somehow wrong in standing up for herself. But it appears that on social media and non mainstream comment, that Gillard has overwhelming support, and lots of people are saying enough is enough, that women shouldn’t put up with this and the PM’s speech is a water shed moment for women.
    I hope so. I’m sick of the low level everyday shit that blokey Australia thinks is what women deserve.
    A girl was recently raped and murdered walking home in inner Melbourne, and the media commentators fell over theme selves to exculpate Australian society, and subtly blame her for being so silly, naive, asking for it, because she somehow was guilty by doing what she’d done many times before in supposedly safe Melbourne. Made my blood boil. She’s been adjudged guilty of walking while being female before her body was found.

  3. bvganfematheist says

    Yes, definitely and absolutely. Ms Gillard has frustrated me over so many issues although admittedly in many ways her hands are tied due to holding a minority government. But Abbott has had that coming for so long. It has been so frustrating to see him constantly getting away with his sexist and disrespectful attitude over and over and the PM just did it so well. Unfortunately, all the good press about this seems to be coming from overseas. The local papers have posted more misogynist drivel in response and somehow implied that the whole thing indicates that Ms GIllard is sexist and she was accused several times yesterday of playing ‘the gender card’…. She’s also my local member and *this* is the MP I knew and loved before she took the top job. It was great to see her come out :)

    I’ve written to the PM in the past in despair of her policies, most especially on marriage equality and our abhorrent treatment of asylum seekers. Two days ago though I wrote her to thank her for standing up for herself and for all women. And decent men.

  4. ianmacdougall says

    briane,

    “A girl [?] was recently raped and murdered walking home in inner Melbourne, and the media commentators fell over theme selves to exculpate Australian society, and subtly blame her for being so silly, naive, asking for it, because she somehow was guilty by doing what she’d done many times before in supposedly safe Melbourne.”

    Media commentators aside, I don’t think ‘society’ is to blame, or needs ‘exculpating’.

    Society consists of millions of individuals, aggregated in different ways. People should be free to walk the streets at whatever hour without danger. But some don’t agree, and some of those in disagreement believe that a single woman late at night is fair game – for them.

    Which means, particularly for women following the Jill Meagher case, a case for changing perspectives, including staying indoors at night; minimising time alone on the streets, particularly at night; learning self-defence.

  5. ImaginesABeach says

    ianmacdougall – what is the difference between Saudi Arabia telling women they cannot go out alone and be safe and you telling women they cannot go out alone and be safe? I’m just asking the question…

  6. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    ianmacdougall,

    This isn’t the topic so I’ll restrain myself to telling you that you should reread that last paragraph of yours, then read up some feminism 101 and about rape culture, then reread that paragraph of yours again, and think about it for a bit.

    On topic: Gillard rocked that speech.

  7. ianmacdougall says

    @ 5, 6, 7:

    If you read what I wrote, nowhere do I say that I approve of this situation of danger. I don’t. “People should be free to walk the streets at whatever hour without danger.” Full bloody stop.

    But danger is the reality. So how is it best dealt with?

    Or is asking that question taboo?

  8. Rodney Nelson says

    But danger is the reality. So how is it best dealt with?

    By changing the culture which blames women for being raped rather than men for being rapists.

  9. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    *sigh*

    ianmacdougall,

    I tried to link to pharyngula wiki in the above post, but FTB apparently doesn’t allow those links. I’ll try with something else.

    http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    Hit Ctrl+F on your keyboard and search for words

    Rape culture is tasking victims with the burden of rape prevention.

    Maybe take a minute to think about that sentence.
    Following links to further reading in that paragraph won’t hurt you either.

    This is all off topic, so I’m not going to get into detailed elaborations. I am giving you means to educate yourself.

    (Being nice is hard work. I really really didn’t want to be nice about this. *deep breath*)

  10. briane says

    Apologies for the derail, but the case of Abbott’s everyday misogynism, the events surrounding the murder of the woman* recently in Melbourne, even if we can write the rape and murder off as just ‘opportunistic’, as if the murderer flew in from outer space and was influenced by his cultural milleu, seem to me more than coincidence, but expressions of Australian cultural attitudes to women.

    *i said girl, because she was more than ten years younger than I. In hindsight, I was just buying into the media frame that she was young, naive for being out at night and as it was an opportunistic act we are all exhonerated. Women should stay at home at night and should shut the fuck up and appreciate cat calls and the compliment that is bestowed by the request to ‘show us your tits’.

  11. ianmacdougall says

    RN: “By changing the culture which blames women for being raped rather than men for being rapists.”

    “…the culture which blames women for being raped rather than men for being rapists.”

    Is that really ‘the culture’? Are rapists really greeted with public sympathy? ‘She lured him into doing it.’ Etc?

    Do victims get ‘blamed’ for being raped? Or do people talk about their priorities? On their decision that the (known) risk was worth taking?

    Jesus Christ. There are plenty of places I choose to avoid late at night.

    It’s a real world out there. Not an ideal one.

  12. says

    I hope so. I’m sick of the low level everyday shit that blokey Australia thinks is what women deserve.

    That’s exactly why I’m vaguely surprised Gillard said what she said. We (in the US) don’t have quite the equivalent of blokey Australia, I think, yet I also don’t think a major US pol would ever utter the word “misogyny.”

  13. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Oh well, this thread is already hopelessly derailed anyway…

    I googled Jill Meagher’s case. She took a five-minute walk from wherever she had been to her home. Apparently too long for a woman to be out without a minder, hmmm, ianmacdougall?

  14. ianmacdougall says

    @ # 10

    “Rape culture is tasking victims with the burden of rape prevention.”

    Is that so? A bit like saying ‘Fire culture is tasking householders with the burden of fire prevention.’

  15. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Do victims get ‘blamed’ for being raped?

    Is this a genuine case of a man who was raised by wolves?

  16. says

    On the Meagher case: the man who raped and murdered her had accosted several women in the area before. And, of course, police had laughed it off in those few cases that were actually reported.

    There’s a lot of feminist stuff all coming together in Australian media at the moment. The Alan Jones affair is also a big part of this. (Go look for “Destroy the Joint” as well as the “died of shame” comment.)

  17. mandrellian says

    16

    @ # 10

    “Rape culture is tasking victims with the burden of rape prevention.”

    Is that so? A bit like saying ‘Fire culture is tasking householders with the burden of fire prevention.’

    But householders do carry that burden – in fact in some places it’s illegal not to have a functional smoke detector in your home and in nearly all businesses/workplaces it’s illegal not to have a fire extinguishing system or at least proper exits.

    But the very important difference is this: fires can, and often do, start by accident. They don’t stalk piles of combustible material, jump on them and then discard the ashes on a roadside.

  18. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Ian, you really are being treated far more kindly than you deserve on this topic. Please, please, please, please read those links. Seriously.

  19. says

    Ian, asking if victims get blamed for rape really is rather clueless. Yes of course they do; a lot!

    Even a child gets blamed. There was that girl gang-raped in Texas (I think it was Texas) awhile ago. Lots of blame: she dressed too old for her age, her mother shouldn’t have let her go wandering around that neighborhood, blah blah blah. I posted about it.

  20. says

    No prob, G in S. There’s a trick to embedding non-YouTube vids and I haven’t learned it yet.

    The Texas gang-rape – yes -

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/08/in-2-gang-rape-cases-communities-blame-11-year-old-victims/

    “Authorities in Texas have arrested more than a dozen suspects in the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl. There is outrage and there is anger — but much of it is being directed at the victim. Something similar has also happened in Michigan, where another 11-year-old was gang raped.”

    Yes, Ian, people really do blame the victims.

  21. Nepenthe says

    Wow, everyone in this thread deserves strawberry cake with fresh whipped cream for their forbearance, except for Ian, who ought be glad he’s not holding his mental intestines in his hands.

    And this video of the PM made my morning. I loved the part where she was like “if he want’s to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia…” and, like, 10 people were all “look in a mirror”.

  22. says

    To be specific, the sign referred to PM Gillard as “Bob Brown’s bitch”. Bob Brown was the leader of the Greens Party at the time, whom Gillard’s government needed to negotiate with to form a minority government. The sign, along with Ditch the Witch, was held by a protestor at an anti-carbon tax rally. The Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, attended that rally and later defended the sign as harmless.

  23. AsqJames says

    ianmacdougall:

    “Rape culture is tasking victims with the burden of rape prevention.”

    Is that so? A bit like saying ‘Fire culture is tasking householders with the burden of fire prevention.’

    Well that’s a really bad analogy, but if you don’t mind I’ll use it as a jumping off point for trying to explain my understanding of the rape culture you seem not to accept exists.

    When done right fire has many useful purposes (for heating your home, lighting, destroying rubbish, cooking, etc). As does sex (recreation, expression of love, procreation, aerobic exercise, etc).

    On the other hand, arson is the illegal act of starting a fire which harms the property or person of another. And rape is the illegal act of forcing sex on someone without their consent.

    If someone burns down their own house through carelessness or stupidity, our sympathy is often tempered by a feeling that they were at least partly culpable. Yet we (as a culture) still think houses burning down is generally a bad thing, so we have fire safety campaigns which encourage/require people to install smoke detectors, or get their gas installations serviced, or their chimney’s swept, or not to smoke in bed, or any of a dozen other things.

    And I think most would agree that’s OK. It’s not a bad thing.

    What we don’t have is people arguing that because arsonists exist, householders should take measures to ensure they are not a victim of arson. And when someone is the victim of arson, we don’t say they shouldn’t have had a letter box through which a petrol soaked rag could be thrust, or they should have been better prepared and able to put the fire out before it took hold, or that they were asking for it by living in an old wooden house and why didn’t they move to a solid brick building with a sprinkler system.

    I don’t think most would see that attitude as OK. It would be a bad thing.

    And yet we do have have people on the internet, in bars and in the mass media opining that if victims of rape and sexual assault had only dressed less sexily, or been in a different area, or learned a martial art, or been accompanied by a male relative it never would have happened.

    Arson is a crime and rape is a crime. We have a culture which places culpability for one entirely on the shoulders of the criminal, yet splits (or in some cases inverts) the culpability for the other.

    And I don’t think that’s OK. I think that’s a problem and I hope you agree.

    To deal with a problem, it’s often useful, as a first step, to identify and label it. The problem I have described is part of what has been identified and labeled as “rape culture”.

    When you ask questions like “Is that really ‘the culture’? Are rapists really greeted with public sympathy?” Well actually, the answer is yes, sometimes they are, and that’s a part of “rape culture” too. But it’s not all of it. It’s not always what is being referred to.

    That’s why people are trying patiently to get you to go and read up on what is meant, because you appear to be of the belief that “rape culture” is solely and wholly the widespread approval of, or maybe even the advocation of, rape. While there are (large) pockets of slime where rape is approved of, or advocated for, those pockets exist in a wider culture that is less condemnatory and more equivocal than some of us believe should be the case.

  24. says

    @Ianmcdougall — “Do victims get ‘blamed’ for being raped?”

    My mum — MY OWN MOTHER — told me, regarding my abuser, that I “should have come to [my parents] for help” like it’s just that easy to escape an abuser. My. Own. MOTHER! Played the “why didn’t you just leave” card!

    Victims are blamed and shamed for being abused. If we report it, we’re subject to having our entire lives examined to find something — anything — to discredit us. We are blamed for it — what were you wearing? Why were you at THAT location so late at night? Are you sure you didn’t lead him on? You must have liked it, why else would you stay? You need to stop making him angry. Oh, just pack up and leave, then. I know this because I lived it.

  25. emily isalwaysright says

    It’s one thing to say “rape culture exists” and quite another to say “rape culture causes rape” or “an end of rape culture will spell the end for rape”.

    I think Ian has a point.

    I agree wholeheartedly that rape culture exists and that it should be challenged and hopefully ended. It is nothing short of psychological abuse.

    But I think that without rape culture, there will still be rapists, just as we don’t have a pedophilia culture but there are still pedophiles.

    And just as we can help children be aware of pedophilia and to take steps to lessen the chances of it happening to them and educate them in escape tactics, women can be aware of rapists and takes steps to lessen the chance of it happening to them, and be educated in escape tactics, even if/when rape culture is defeated.

    PS. I don’t care whether people are “nice” to me: all I care about is good reasoning.

  26. LeftSidePositive says

    Frankly I think we probably DO have a pedophilia culture. For one thing, it’s part of the larger rape culture, but on top of that, didn’t you hear Bill O’Reilly saying an abused boy must have liked it? Didn’t you hear that Catholic apologist say the boys were coming on to the priests that raped them? What about Joe Paterno doing fuck all when he knew Sandusky was raping boys? What about the Boy Scouts refusing to turn pedophiles over to police?

    By the way, most of those steps that women are supposed to take to lessen the chance of rape happening to them DON’T FUCKING WORK, so for fuck’s sake, stop acting like it’s common sense, and stop acting like the negative impact on my freedom is worth the very dubious claim that this shit will actually help, instead of just concern trolling, social control, and perpetuating that stupid fucking myth that rapists tend to be strangers in the bushes.

  27. julian says

    But I think that without rape culture, there will still be rapists, just as we don’t have a pedophilia culture but there are still pedophiles.

    I don’t disagree.

    My issue is that rape culture goes beyond the normalization of rape and stigmatization of rape survivors. It also confuses, muddies and outright dismisses rape outside of very narrow definitions. Things like date rape or spouse on spouse rape is often dismissed as not counting.

    And just as we can help children be aware of pedophilia and to take steps to lessen the chances of it happening to them and educate them in escape tactics, women can be aware of rapists and takes steps to lessen the chance of it happening to them, and be educated in escape tactics, even if/when rape culture is defeated.

    This sounds nice in theory but, because rape is often done in intimate settings and by people with experience victimizing others, what practical advise can be given? Pedophilia and kidnapping are other issues, for the most part,in that the highest risk is posed by strangers at public spaces.

    To be entirely honest besides trying to foster and create an environment, or at least ready access to such a place, that will be supportive and nonjudgmental, I don’t see what would have a noticeable impact.

    Which isn’t to say I disapprove of anyone taking safety steps themselves or passing on their knowledge to others.

  28. ianmacdougall says

    Everyone please note that I have drafted a lengthy comment (in Word, then Notepad) which consistently fails to post.

    Well, I did my best.

  29. LeftSidePositive says

    Ian, you have no need for a lengthy comment. The only acceptable thing to say at this point is, “Oh, I’m sorry, I was being a fucking shithead who blithely assumed people should be fine with curtailing the activities of their lives with little to no actual improvement on their safety. I have actually read what I should have read in the first place and now I’ve learned that my worldview is fucked up and all my protestations of being nice and concerned don’t fucking change the fact that I’ve been a victim-blaming asshole who doesn’t quite get that the expectation that women are not quite as able to move about freely makes a society ipso facto unequal, and I will more critically examine my biases from now on.”

    That’s only 111 words; I don’t see how you’d need a word processor for that.

    Think really hard: if you’re typing anything longer, there’s a damn good chance you’re engaging in self-rationalization and excuse-making, and the extra 600 words won’t change the fact that it’s fucking bullshit, not to mention we’ve heard it all before.

  30. LeftSidePositive says

    Julian, actually the vast majority of child rapes and molestation are perpetrated by relatives or friends-of-the-family or other trusted figures. Strangers account for only 7% of assaults.

  31. ianmacdougall says

    Apparently some commenters here have taken me as asking ‘does any person any time anywhere blame a victim for being raped?’

    To which the answer of course is ‘yes’. Saudi Arabia I suggest has a ‘rape culture’. (See comment #5.)
    But that is a perhaps inadvertent misreading of what I actually posted at #13 and thereafter.

    I put it to you that we in Australia do not live in a ‘rape culture’ where unescorted women are seen as legitimate and fair game by the majority of men and by the law. We no more live in a ‘rape culture’ than we live in a ‘mugging culture’.

    From the Melissa McEwan link I have been urged to read:

    ‘Rape culture is encouraging women to take self-defense as though that is the only solution [sic] required to preventing rape. Rape culture is admonishing women to “learn common sense” or “be more responsible” or “be aware of barroom risks” or “avoid these places” or “don’t dress this way,” and failing to admonish men to not rape.’

    http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    With which, with all however small due respect, I disagree. I regard that as nonsense, however fashionable it may be in ultrafeminist circles, such as those clearly inhabited by its author.

    The giant Mauritian pigeon known as the dodo went extinct because it was both flightless and defenceless. 19th C sailors raiding its island home found its meat far easier to procure than that of say, the crocodile as found elsewhere. The croc can defend itself quite well. This is one of the reasons I recommend self-defence classes to all, but particularly to young women. (I know a little bit about martial art.)

    In 2000 in Sydney, some young Lebanese men were given heavy sentences as a result of what was clearly a clash of cultures. An Islamic ‘rape culture’ clashed with mainstream Australia’s anti-rape culture. (If the latter was not the case, the sentences handed out are a bit hard to explain. They caused anguish and incredulity in Muslim circles, but were greeted with cheers and pretty near universal approval from both men and women in mainstream circles.)

    SEE QUOTE IN NEXT POST

  32. ianmacdougall says

    About six attempts to post the second half of my response to comments above. No sucess.

    Tried everything.

  33. LeftSidePositive says

    Wow, Ian, even I underestimated the degree to which your lengthy reply would be tired self-rationalizing excuse-making, and yes, your behavior is absolutely indicative of an insensitive, privilege-blind, fucking shithead. Do you really want to be that guy?!

    Look, dude, we’ve heard this shit before. You aren’t handing us heretofore unrecognized brilliance. This is the same ignorant bullshit the reading materials were written to counter, and just declaring it to be “nonsense” and “ultrafeminist” isn’t an argument. And “Australia isn’t as bad as somewhere else!” isn’t an argument. You’re pulling a fucking “Dear Muslima” and the terms of use of this blog do not permit me to suggest what you would be better served in doing with it. Also, only a fucking idiotic douche would think that because a society did one thing right with respect to rape it prevents it from possibly having other major systemic problems about how it handles rape.

    Seriously, think for a while before you keep trying to defend yourself, because your position is indefensible and you’re being an ass.

  34. says

    Back on the topic of Gillard (I hope):

    Josh in Comment #1 highlights the nub of this week’s political argument.

    How is such adversarial rhetoric still permissible –nay expected– in the Australian workplace known as federal parliament?

    The taking sides approach to whether Abbott’s stereotyping (sexism) qualifies him as embodying hatred (misogynist) is to really miss the point. Yes we ought to berate those orators who’re systematically causing women discomfort. Case closed.

    But… ought Aussies stay this relaxed about what our politicians are saying to each other at work (on our behalf) which we know would likely be cause for dismissal if said as employees of any other professional workplace?

  35. mandrellian says

    blamer @ 45, this kind of verbal joust is standard operating procedure for the Australian Parliament.

    One quibble: members may not address each other directly while the House is in session; they must address the Speaker of the House. So, technically, they’re not saying these things to each other, but about each other. You might hear phrases like “Madam Speaker, the Honorable Member for Balmain has his head so far up his posterior on this issue that I’m surprised he can’t read over his own shoulder.”

    Also, this would’ve been during Question Time, which takes up a very small proportion of Parliament business and during which quite a bit of leeway is accorded the members with regard to rhetoric. QT provides members the opportunity to ask questions (with and without notice) of each other (via the Speaker) and it’s mostly pretty tedious, but on occasion it turns into a chance for members to let off a bit of steam.

    QT hasn’t been this personal lately, for the record – in fact, some are saying Question Time hasn’t been this lively since our former PM Keating (notorious and fondly remembered in some quarters for his creative insults) was around twenty years ago! The very fact that it has become so personal is the primary reason you’re hearing about it now.

  36. mildlymagnificent says

    Well, I don’t mind the _usual_ level of rough and tumble in our parliament. We’d never have had any of Keating’s absolute purlers without vigorous interchanges, “all tip and no iceberg” (about Peter Costello) is a personal favourite alongside the unforgettable
    “The answer is, mate, because I want to do you slowly. There has to be a bit of sport in this for all of us. In the psychological battle stakes, we are stripped down and ready to go. I want to see those ashen-faced performances; I want more of them. … I want to see you squirm … trying to rip away the Australian values which we built in our society for over a century.” http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Paul_Keating

    But Anne Summers analyses it in terms of Gillard’s minority government driving Abbott to try and force the govt to an early election – and he’s failed, because that’s no longer an option. Senate election schedules now mean he has to wait. But aggressively going for any visible throat means that he really has let his worst instincts come to the fore.
    http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/anne-summers-political-persecution-julia-gillard/

    I’ve never liked the man. But now I seriously doubt his political judgement. Any sensible leader who’d used the “died of shame” expression in the past as Abbott has done a few times should have known it was dead in the water once the Jones speech became public. But he manage to use it in that debate. Whatever he might think of Gillard’s speech, he has to acknowledge he was leading with his chin on that one.

  37. says

    “Rape culture is tasking victims with the burden of rape prevention.”

    Is that so? A bit like saying ‘Fire culture is tasking householders with the burden of fire prevention.’

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Fire has no agency. It cannot be responsible for preventing itself because it is not a person.

    “Rapist”, on the other hand, is not a word that describes a chemical reaction that simply happens under the correct conditions. A rapist is a person and does not simply happen to rape. A rapist makes a decision to rape for which the rapist, and solely the rapist, is responsible.

    One is not remotely like the other, and the failure of logic is truly astonishing.

  38. ianmacdougall says

    @ #48 “A rapist makes a decision to rape for which the rapist, and solely the rapist, is responsible.”

    Agreed. I have never said otherwise. But what we have been talking about is what victims, and potential victims can do to remain safe, given that they cannot control a would-be rapist’s behaviour.

    ‘Change the culture’ is not much use to a woman wanting to go out for an enjoyable time: early, late, accompanied or alone.

    This whole interesting controversy began with briane @ #2 saying:

    “A girl was recently raped and murdered walking home in inner Melbourne, and the media commentators fell over theme selves to exculpate Australian society, and subtly blame her for being so silly, naive, asking for it, because she somehow was guilty by doing what she’d done many times before in supposedly safe Melbourne. Made my blood boil. She’s been adjudged guilty of walking while being female before her body was found.”

    BTW: @ #19: “On the Meagher case: THE MAN [my emphasis - IM] who raped and murdered her had accosted several women in the area before. And, of course, police had laughed it off in those few cases that were actually reported.”

    Actally, A MAN has been arrested and is awaiting trial, with the presumption of innocence, as for any accused in a criminal trial.

    Apparently some commenters here have taken me as asking ‘does any person any time anywhere blame a victim for being raped?’

    To which the answer of course is ‘yes’. Saudi Arabia I suggest has a ‘rape culture’. (See comment #5.)

    But that is a perhaps inadvertent misreading of what I actually posted at #13 and thereafter.

    I put it to you that we in Australia do not live in a ‘rape culture’ where unescorted women are seen as legitimate and fair game by the majority of men and by the law. We no more live in a ‘rape culture’ than we live in a ‘mugging culture’.

    From the Melissa McEwan link I have been urged to read:

    ‘Rape culture is encouraging women to take self-defense as though that is the only solution [sic] required to preventing rape. Rape culture is admonishing women to “learn common sense” or “be more responsible” or “be aware of barroom risks” or “avoid these places” or “don’t dress this way,” and failing to admonish men to not rape.’

    http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    With which, with all however small due respect, I disagree. I regard that as nonsense, however fashionable it may be in ultrafeminist circles, such as those clearly inhabited by its author.

    The giant Mauritian pigeon known as the dodo went extinct because it was both flightless and defenceless. 19th C sailors raiding its island home found its meat far easier to procure than that of say, the crocodile as found elsewhere. The croc can defend itself quite well. This is one of the reasons I recommend self-defence classes to all, but particularly to young women. (I know a little bit about martial art.)

    In 2000 in Sydney, some young Lebanese men were given heavy sentences as a result of what was clearly a clash of cultures. An Islamic ‘rape culture’ clashed with mainstream Australia’s anti-rape culture. (If the latter was not the case, the sentences handed out are a bit hard to explain. They caused anguish and incredulity in Muslim circles, but were greeted with cheers and pretty near universal approval from both men and women in mainstream circles.)

    QUOTE BEGINS

    Bilal Skaf, the leader of a Lebanese gang which perpetrated racially motivated pack-rapes on Australian teenage girls in Sydney in 2000, was last week sentenced to a further term of imprisonment. Added to the the 28 years he is serving for other pack-rapes, his maximum term is 38 years.

    His younger brother and accomplice Mohammed was sentenced to 15 years jail. With other sentences he will serve a maximum of 26 years.

    To show their disdain for Australian culture and Australian females, gangs of Lebanese Muslims carried out violent, racist pack-rapes on young Australian girls around Sydney in 2000. Over 50 young girls were pack-raped during this rampage.

    Bilal Skaf, the leader of one gang organised the pack rape of a sixteen-year-old girl known as Miss D near a soccer field in the Sydney suburb of Gosling on the night of August 12, 2000. Fourteen Lebanese youths pack- raped Miss D that night.

    Nine of the men were brought to trial. Skaf made history when he was sentenced to 55 years jail. He appealed, and the conviction was overturned on a technicality. On April 18 this year a jury finds the brothers guilty for the second time.

    Justice Michael Finnane who presided over the Skafs’ trial, described the assaults, in August 2000, as “one of the greatest outrages in criminal terms that has been perpetrated on the community in Sydney … militarily organised gang rape involving 14 young men”.

    “What this trial showed was that he was the leader of the pack, a liar, a bully, a coward, callous and mean,” Finnane said of Bilal Skaf. “He is in truth a menace to any civilised society”.

    Apart from the Skaf brothers, those sentenced on October 11, 2002 following the original trial were:

    Belal Hajeid, aged 20, sentenced to 23 years
    Mahmoud Chami, 20, sentenced to 18 years
    Tayyab Sheikh, 18, sentenced to 15 years
    Mohammed Sanoussi, 18, sentenced to 21 1/4 years
    Mahmoud Sanoussi, 17, sentenced to 11 1/4 years
    ‘H’, 19, sentenced to 25 years
    Mohamed Ghanem, 19, sentenced to 40 years

    http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=179626

    These rapes and the mainstream outrage they produced, fed the mainstream anti-Muslim indignation that fed into the Cronulla riots of 2005. Again, violent behaviour towards female and male surfers by Lebanese Muslim males was the trigger.

  39. briane says

    Ian, my post was that our society says something like: ‘women need to learn martial arts, not walk alone late/early/alone, etc’. These are true, some of the time at least for pragmatic reasons, but society doesn’t then turn around and say: ‘OK, right now, we have a culture that tolerates a situation where a man can stagger home drunk any time of the day (I’ve done it so many times, and never once thought I might be raped), whereas a woman can’t, what shall we change about our culture so remedy this?’
    No. Society, and the media commentators I heard on the radio who were only reflecting society, were saying that this could all have been avoided if she’d walked back to the pub, accepted an offer from a workmate to accompany her home, yelled when the guy was talking to her, ran out onto the road, or whatnot. That was it. End of cautionary tale. It was her fault for not accepting women are likely to be raped and guys not. Yes doing those things may have altered the outcome, but why the hell should a woman have to take all these precautions on a busy city street when a guy doesn’t? Why the inequality? That’s something we can change. That needs to be looked at, and it starts with causal misogyny and calling out bullies like Abbot and guys who think it’s OK to treat girls as objects.

  40. briane says

    My comment may have implied that the woman murdered was drunk. I don’t think that was the case. I meant to contrast the idea that I can walk home drunk at 3am through places like Brunswick where the woman was without fear of being raped. I know I did it, I was pissed as at my brother’s wedding in Sydney road and staggered all over the place back in the day. Whereas a lady who has been our for a quiet drink, and walking 700m to her home, something she’d done many a time, was at fault somehow for not taking precautions that I’d never take.

  41. ianmacdougall says

    briane:

    “… Yes doing those things may have altered the outcome, but why the hell should a woman have to take all these precautions on a busy city street when a guy doesn’t? Why the inequality?…”

    The inequality arises through no fault of the woman, or even of ‘society’ however defined. It arises from the simple fact that rapists are a small but influential minority, and that most of them out there are interested in attacking women, not men.

    The way some commenters here have carried on today, I should be excused if I assumed they thought it was all my fault.

    “… That’s something we can change. That needs to be looked at, and it starts with causal misogyny and calling out bullies like Abbot and guys who think it’s OK to treat girls as objects.”

    No argument there. I wouldn’t vote for Abbott in a fit. But changing an ocker culture is a much longer term project, and has mmany conceivable starting points. Calling out Abbott (which Gillard did brilliantly) is just one.

    IMHO

  42. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    ianmacdougall,

    There’s one more thing about these “you should be more cautious” types that annoys me… Do you think women are stupid? Do you think we’re all airheads who have no idea that walking down a dark empty street could potentially be dangerous?
    We do try to protect ourselves, and when you give this condescending advice, you are presuming that we don’t. A step or two further and there you have victim blaming. “But you shouldn’t have walked down the dark empty street alone if you didn’t want to be raped!”.
    We don’t always have a choice about the street we have to walk through. We aren’t all physically fit to fight. But we should, if we don’t want to get raped, it’s just common sense, right?. So how different is this from blaming women for not protecting themselves . We already are aware of the dangers, thank you very much.

    Did you read this?

    I googled Jill Meagher’s case. She took a five-minute walk from wherever she had been to her home. Apparently too long for a woman to be out without a minder, hmmm, ianmacdougall?

    It was a five-minute walk. I guess she should have just stayed inside if she didn’t want to be under guard at all times.

    How about those examples people gave? Most of the rapes actually aren’t “jumped out of the bushes at the back of an empty alley”. And there were plenty of examples of victim blaming. But no, none of that makes a rape culture because according to you rape culture is only one where a woman can randomly be taken from a full street and raped in front of a hundred people. Everything else, we shouldn’t complain about. It’s not culture. Just individuals. Guess what? With your comments in this thread, you are contributing to the rape culture.

    Actally, A MAN has been arrested and is awaiting trial, with the presumption of innocence, as for any accused in a criminal trial.

    You notice that this isn’t a courtroom?

  43. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    Which means, particularly for women following the Jill Meagher case, a case for changing perspectives, including staying indoors at night; minimising time alone on the streets, particularly at night; learning self-defence

    Wow, so you have advice for any potential victims of rape and murder.
    Where’s your advice for the potential perpetrators?
    Have you heard of victim blaming?
    Every woman should be able to engage in society every bit as much as a man. They should never have to deal with one iota of the BS they have to. Unfortunately, millions of women do have to deal with rape and murder. It’s not their fault. They don’t need to adjust themselves. The damned rapists and murderers need to adjust themselves.
    Society needs to stop telling women to adjust their habits and start aggressively pursuing the scumbags who engage in the hateful misogynistic behavior. It’s their fault. Not the woman’s.

  44. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    AsqJames@32:
    That was amazing.
    The way you worked that analogy was pitch perfect.
    Anyone should be able to understand victim blaming if they read your comment.
    Seriously, my hat is off to you.

  45. emily isalwaysright says

    Dear LSP and Beatrice:

    Ian has been commenting at B&W for years – for as long as I have known about it which is back in the Jeremy Stangroom days. His comments are consistently interesting and articulate.

    Your responses to him on this thread are fucking ridiculous. Take a big dose of philosophical humility and try reading charitably instead of screeching pointlessly.

    Best wishes,
    Emily

    PS. Sorry Ian, I know you can stick up for yourself, but I am sick of people trying to throw emotional weight around while ignoring nuance. Which is why I’ve stopped lurking.

    PPS. Actually my non-lurking could also have something to do with the overwhelming amount of essays I have due…

  46. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    ian:

    With which, with all however small due respect, I disagree. I regard that as nonsense, however fashionable it may be in ultrafeminist circles, such as those clearly inhabited by its author.

    Are you a woman?
    If not, then it’s disrespectful to disregard the opinions of women. You don’t have the same perspective on rape culture that women have. You don’t have to live your life worrying about the possibility that you could be attacked just for walking to your car. Or wearing something nice. Or making eye contact. Or having a drink. You can disagree all you like.
    You are still wrong.

    You may have read the Shakesville link, but you didn’t comprehend it. You’re still thinking about things in the context of being a man. In a society where men are not raped anywhere near the degree to which women do. A man in a society where men do not have to fear being raped like many women do. You’re a man in a society who is free to engage in the activities of his day without having to worry about so many of the things women do.
    So when a woman tells you about her experiences, or when you read up on the experiences of women, don’t disregard them in favor of your experiences.

  47. ianmacdougall says

    Beatrice:

    In Australia, when matters are sub-judice, it can prejudice a trial if there is public comment favouring a verdict one way or the other, but particulalry if there are media pronouncements of guilt. So yes, this is not a court, nor should it be. You missed totally the point I was making. My fault, I admit. I should have been more perceptive to the possibility that someone like you would be lurking behind the arras, ready to pounce on the rodent you thought was there.

    Then read briane’s post at #2:

    “A girl [sic] was recently raped and murdered walking home in inner Melbourne, and the media commentators fell over theme selves to exculpate Australian society, and subtly blame her for being so silly, naive, asking for it, because she somehow was guilty by doing what she’d done many times before in supposedly safe Melbourne. Made my blood boil. She’s been adjudged guilty of walking while being female before her body was found.”

    One can blame sexism, ‘rape culture’, ‘society’ etc till the cows come home, but that has little bearing on the question ‘what is the best measure a woman can take in the reality of today to protect herself against sexual molestation or rape, whether by a family member in the home or stranger in public, or whatever and wherever?’

    OK. If you are happy with ‘change the culture’ etc, and don’t like my shorter-time-perspective suggestions, then go for it.

    Whatever floats your boat.

  48. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Rape culture is encouraging women to take self-defense as though that is the only solution [sic] required to preventing rape. Rape culture is admonishing women to “learn common sense” or “be more responsible” or “be aware of barroom risks” or “avoid these places” or “don’t dress this way,” and failing to admonish men to not rape.

    With which, with all however small due respect, I disagree. I regard that as nonsense, however fashionable it may be in ultrafeminist circles, such as those clearly inhabited by its author.

    Oh, fuck you, you condescending ass!
    ultrafeminist? Are all these women who have been telling you the same thing here also ultrafeminists? Whatever that is. You are the one talking nonsense. As has been explained to you in detail in numerous posts.

    This is one of the reasons I recommend self-defence classes to all, but particularly to young women. (I know a little bit about martial art.)

    Oh, you know a little bit about martial arts?
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/09/23/another-familiar-story/comment-page-1/#comment-462043

    There’s this, from Amphiox at that link:

    This is not to say that force should be off the table, only that when you choose force you must accept that you are choosing the possibility of lethality. There is no level of force simultaneously low enough to guarantee non lethality and high enough to guarantee deterrence.

    But I’m sure your vast knowledge will allow you to proclaim this nonsensical.

    There’s also that we can’t all afford fancy classes. A lot of working women don’t have time for classes. Not everyone is physically capable.
    How much more burden do you want to put on women?

  49. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    ianmacdougall:

    Agreed. I have never said otherwise. But what we have been talking about is what victims, and potential victims can do to remain safe, given that they cannot control a would-be rapist’s behaviour.

    When you tell a woman they should adjust their behavior so that they don’t get raped, you’re placing some degree of responsibility on them.
    That’s victim blaming.
    That’s wrong.
    Moreover, the arrogance you display is astounding. Do you honestly think no woman anywhere has thought of these solutions you offer?
    You also have made the mistake of thinking your solutions have any merit. Just because you *think* they do doesn’t make it so. A quick google search would turn up any number of sources to contradict your assertions. You have an opinion about this topic that is not informed by actual facts.

    Here’s some more reading you should do (It may look long, but it’s only 6 pages of material. I hope you choose to read the whole PDF, not just this excerpt. For comprehension. Throw out what you think you know of this subject). I just read this myself and there was information in there I wasn’t aware of (such as victim blaming in homicide cases). Here’s an excerpt:

    Violent acts are always choices that individuals make. Yet, it is the people who
    are harmed by violent acts that often receive negative responses from their loved
    ones, as well as from various social institutions. Why is it that some victims and
    survivors of violent crime get blamed for what has happened to them through no
    fault of their own? Crime victims are often scrutinized as to who they were with,
    what they were wearing, or what they might have done to cause the violence
    committed against them. The scrutiny should befall violence itself — we must
    speak out against those who choose to use violence as a means to an end.
    What is Victim Blaming?
    Victim blaming is a devaluing act that occurs when the victim(s) of a crime or an
    accident is held responsible — in whole or in part — for the crimes that have been
    committed against them.1 This blame can appear in the form of negative social
    responses from legal, medical, and mental health professionals2, as well as from
    the media and immediate family members and other acquaintances.
    Some victims of crime receive more sympathy from society than others. Often,
    the responses toward crime victims are based on the misunderstanding of others.
    This misunderstanding may lead them to believe that the victim deserved what
    happened to them, or that they are individuals with low self-esteem who seek
    out violence. As a result, it can be very difficult for victims to cope when they are
    blamed for what has happened to them.
    Why Do People Blame Victims?
    There are a number of reasons why people choose to blame victims for the
    crimes that have happened to them. These reasons stem from misconceptions
    about victims, perpetrators, and the nature of violent acts. Victims are sometimes
    wrongfully portrayed as passive individuals who seek out and submit to the
    violence they endure. Offenders are seen as hapless individuals who are
    compelled to act violently by forces they cannot control. The most popular reasons
    for blaming victims include belief in a just world, attribution error, and invulnerability
    theory:

    http://crcvc.ca/docs/victim_blaming.pdf

  50. emily isalwaysright says

    Julian, I agree with pretty much everything you said.

    I agree that rape can be mitigated, and that cultural change is necessary toward that end. But I still think there are things I can do to lessen personal risk, and just because I say there are some things I can do to take less risks for myself is NOT to say that I am to blame if I do get raped. I also think that rape, like murder, will never be eradicated.

    “but, because rape is often done in intimate settings and by people with experience victimizing others, what practical advise can be given?”

    Well, I have kids. I try to give them information without scaring them, and I try to make sure they know they can ALWAYS talk to me or an adult they can trust. I try to imbue a sense of self-worth and self-respect, and I try to raise them to be assertive and aware of their rights. I try to encourage them to listen to their intuitions about people and situations: if someone or something makes you uncomfortable, listen to that feeling.

    I also engage in debate on online forums and irl against misogyny and other attitudes which contribute to rape culture. I don’t know what else I could do.

  51. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    emily:

    Ian has been commenting at B&W for years – for as long as I have known about it which is back in the Jeremy Stangroom days. His comments are consistently interesting and articulate.

    Your responses to him on this thread are fucking ridiculous. Take a big dose of philosophical humility and try reading charitably instead of screeching pointlessly

    How long Ian has been commenting here is irrelevant.
    He has made assumptions about rape culture that are flat out wrong.
    He’s engaged in victim blaming.
    He’s given condescending advice to women as if they’ve never heard it before.
    He’s woefully misinformed.
    The responses of Beatrice and LeftSidePositive are completely on the mark.
    If you’re going to support Ian, I have to ask how much research you’ve done on the subject. The information is out there. Educate yourself.
    Ian is wrong. So are you.

  52. emily isalwaysright says

    “When you tell a woman they should adjust their behavior so that they don’t get raped, you’re placing some degree of responsibility on them.
    That’s victim blaming.
    That’s wrong.”

    I am a woman. I adjust my behaviour to make myself less vulnerable whenever I think it necessary. This is sensible behaviour, not victim-blaming. It does not make me responsible if I get raped. I am not going to martyr myself to challenge rape culture.

  53. emily isalwaysright says

    “He’s engaged in victim blaming.
    He’s given condescending advice to women as if they’ve never heard it before.”

    No he hasn’t. You’ve (willfully?) interpreted him with extreme uncharitability. Hypervigilance and confirmation bias on your parts, imho.

    My point about the length of time that he has been commenting is to testify that he is capable of reasoned argument and worth the benefit of the doubt. LSP is so far off the mark about him that it’s farcical.

    He was wrong that victims don’t ever get blamed, though. But he’s right that here in Australia, they don’t usually get blamed.

    But if you’ve already decided that “taking personal steps to decrease rape risks” = “victim-blaming” then you’ve loaded the debate unfairly.

  54. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    You missed totally the point I was making. My fault, I admit. I should have been more perceptive to the possibility that someone like you would be lurking behind the arras, ready to pounce on the rodent you thought was there.

    So what was the point?

  55. briane says

    I really did a good job of derailing, apologies. In for a penny, in for a pound…

    I think, and if I’m wrong on this, call me out, that Ian and Emily might be arguing a different point thamn the rest of us. To a certain extent at least.

    I’m thinking of the difference between normative and descriptive.

    It’s something akin to descriptive to say that it’s wise to choose where you are at night, what you’re wearing, to basically take in your surroundings and modifiy your behaviour given those circumstances. You can’t be assaulted if you’re not there. This is what I think Ian and Emily are saying. Which as comments atest, women already do, after all, they’re not looking to be assaulted or disrespected.

    But I don’t think they are saying it as a normative or prescriptive solution. They aren’t saying ‘girls, don’t go out, don’t dress in less than a burka, and don’t go without a male companion and learn Karate until you’re 10th dan’ or you’re to blame. They’re more saying, descriptively, this is the society we live in now, and so these might be appropriate responses. Which many comments have pointed out is exactly what women do, something men don’t need to worry about, at least not in the same proportion.

    But we need to change society so woman have the same freedom and equality as men. We’re not as bad as Saudi Arabia, but we’re not a equal society for both sexes, or gays, or disabled. Not by a long shot. So, women will take precautions pragmatically, but we can’t just put a rape, murder, groping, insulting language, disrespect, etc, down to a bad apple or apples or women in the wrong place at the wrong time or asking for it.

    It’s society. We permit things, or what is in effect equal, turn a blind eye to these things. We look for reasons why something bad happened, what did the victim do? Why was she in that place? We do this it turns the culpability onto the victim. We blame individuals, both perpetrator and victim, because then the blame stops with them, and we’re not involved, we’re exhonerated. But someone raised and enculturated men who do minor or major acts against women and they and the men didn’t drop in from outer space. They got messages from society, either from family, friends, aquaintances or other means like media.

    Erm, bit of a rant there. Probably didn’t make much sense.

  56. ianmacdougall says

    emily,

    Many thanks for your support in this matter. I have obviously pressed a few buttons too many around the place, initiating all sorts of robotic responses from the politically correct. (I hope that does not make them even worse – I mean more correct – I mean worse.)

    But I am not inflexible. Henceforth, I shall advise all my male friends and relatives as strongly as I can never to become rapists. I will also, for good maesure, repeat that mantra daily to myself.

    My women friends and relatives I will advise to not take any preventive measures at all. They should have the right to go unmolested wherever they please, and should take back the night. Don’t endorse victim-blaming by learning self-defence or any of that dubious crap! If they already know any SD techniques, they should forget them all. If enough of them do so, molestation and attacks will stop. Of that I am sure.

    Those who do not heed this new advice will be setting themselves up to blame themselves through unnecessary prudence. Or worse, making it easier for others to blame them.

    As for myself, I will cease leaving openings for others to blame me if I get mugged or otherwise attacked. I will urge all and sundry to both not engage in muggings, and prevent muggings by others. Perhaps a T-shirt would be appropriate: ‘IF I GET MUGGED, SOCIETY IS 100% TO BLAME!’ That should slow the muggers down.

    Oh, and also, I will stop tucking my wallet down the front of my underpants. To keep doing so would be to keep blaming myself, when we all know who should be taking the blame.

  57. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Seriously, that’s what you get from my posts? I give up.

  58. Forbidden Snowflake says

    I adjust my behaviour to make myself less vulnerable whenever I think it necessary. This is sensible behaviour, not victim-blaming.

    Holy non-sequitour! Nobody claimed that you engage in victim-blaming by taking your own favored precautions (effective or otherwise). But people who declare (retroactively or otherwise) taking precautions (effective or otherwise) to be the duty of PEOPLE OTHER THAN THEMSELVES if those people wish to avoid rape, do engage in victim blaming. Especially (but not exclusively) when the so-called precautions are a burden that the victim-blaming party doesn’t and isn’t expected to carry.

  59. ianmacdougall says

    Again, to set the record straight after all the selective quotation:

    “Do victims get ‘blamed’ for being raped? Or do people talk about their priorities? On their decision that the (known) risk was worth taking?”

    Well, those who still want to might give an answer to the actual question.

    Beatrice @ #65: My point @ #49 was simply that this is not a court, and the matter is sub-judice.

    The term ‘a man was arrested’ rather than ‘the man was arrested’ is routinely used by journalists to avoid prejudicing cases.

    Sorry. I thought that was common knowledge.

  60. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    Beatrice:
    Wow.
    Just wow.
    Every single thing anyone tried to explain to him…every link to studies…and he *still* doesn’t get it. Nor does emily.
    Neither one of them cites anything to support their positions, yet I’m hypervigilant.
    Emily can you please explain to me how I’m engaging in confirmation bias? I didn’t go looking for only evidence to support my position.

    Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one’s beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one’s beliefs.
    http://www.skepdic.com/confirmbias.html

    I’m open to the possibility that somehow I engaged in confirmation bias. However, I don’t believe that I have. Ian’s position is that of victim blaming. Thus I did a google search for victim blaming. Victim Blaming is well documented and factual. I cannot understand how providing citations that explain the concept is confirming my bias. What information have I ignored, not looked for or undervalued that would contradict my belief? Do you have access to well documented, non anecdotal evidence that would support the misapplication of victim blaming in Ian’s situation?

  61. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    ianmacdougall ,

    There are a lot of comments in this thread with a lot of explanations of how and where you are wrong. You haven’t accepted any bit of evidence you were given, you have ignored parts that don’t agree with your erroneous interpretation of my words (notice the whole #53 of which you ignored everything but the last sentence), you ignored what others said and made comment #67 which is so full of bullshit, willful ignorance and misinterpretation I don’t even know where to begin.

    I’m done commenting in this thread, because I feel anything further from me at this point is probably going to violate some of Ophelia’s rules or expectations she has for her commenters.

  62. Forbidden Snowflake says

    I have obviously pressed a few buttons too many around the place, initiating all sorts of robotic responses from the politically correct.

    Oh, yes. You are not displaying your own biases here; you are merely talking truth to the femistasi echo-chamber.
    However, I do think that you accidentally stumbled onto a winning strategy, with the following minor corrections:

    But I am not inflexible. Henceforth, I shall advise all my male friends and relatives as strongly as I can never to become rapists. I will also, for good maesure, repeat that mantra daily to myself.

    Come on, you can do better than that. Don’t just parrot “don’t be a rapist” at them; talk to them about all of the ways to avoid being a rapist. Remind them, in person or via facebook status, that the lack of “no” isn’t the same as “yes”; that consent must be ongoing, and not merely given at one point; that consent to a handjob is not consent to a blowjob; that consent to fuck with a condom is not consent to fuck without one; that using liqueur to weaken the resistance of someone who doesn’t or probably wouldn’t consent while sober is a date-rapey behavior; that being drunk is no more of an excuse for committing sexual assault than it is for drunk driving; and, finally, advise them to follow your lead and spread these rape-prevention tips forward rather than waste their time advising women on ways to restrict their own freedom in order to live rape-free.
    Warning: don’t be surprised if you discover a dissenter or two to the above rules among your acquaintances.

    My women friends and relatives I will advise to not take any preventive measures at all.

    I think that to truly reverse your behavior, you would need to start assuming that women aren’t idiots and that they actually know the individual cost/benefit ratio of the platitudes you call “preventive measures” as well as or better than you do.

  63. briane says

    But I am not inflexible. Henceforth, I shall advise all my male friends and relatives as strongly as I can never to become rapists. I will also, for good maesure, repeat that mantra daily to myself.

    OK, Ian, I was wrong. You just don’t give a shit. You are getting on fine in life, and fuck anybody who suggests that you might have to do something other than do what you’re doing, so that they could get along somewhat better in life.

  64. briane says

    I’m a bit angry now. I just read another media commentator say Gillard was a hypocrite for supporting Slipper’s misogyny, when the reason the labor party and independants supported Slipper keeping his place was because, as Ian respects so strongly, Slipper’s case is sub-judice. If the Australian parliament sacked Slipper for being guilty, then it has cast judgement on a case before the courts. And though we love our Kangaroos (sometimes, a lot just think they’re big rats), we ought not love Kangaroo courts, especially with the imprimatur of the Federal Parliament. That was the reason Labor supported Slipper. The opposition tried to use the parliament as a courtroom to judge the Speaker, Slipper, and the Government said no, and Gillard pointed out quite nicely to the opposition leader that she didn’t need a lesson on misogyny from him. She knew why she was supporting Slipper. Not because it was politically expedient.

    /end rant.

  65. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I have obviously pressed a few buttons too many around the place, initiating all sorts of robotic responses from the politically correct.

    Translation: Bitches are stupid and hysterical.

    But I am not inflexible. Henceforth, I shall advise all my male friends and relatives as strongly as I can never to become rapists. I will also, for good maesure, repeat that mantra daily to myself.

    Well, the nuance is perfectly clear here. Bitches are hysterical. It’s ridiculous to tell men not to rape. No, our time is much better spent repeating useless “advice” on what restrictions need be put on women’s behavior, rather than doing anything to actually prevent/reduce incidents of rape.

    As for myself, I will cease leaving openings for others to blame me if I get mugged or otherwise attacked. I will urge all and sundry to both not engage in muggings, and prevent muggings by others. Perhaps a T-shirt would be appropriate: ‘IF I GET MUGGED, SOCIETY IS 100% TO BLAME!’ That should slow the muggers down.

    Oh, and also, I will stop tucking my wallet down the front of my underpants. To keep doing so would be to keep blaming myself, when we all know who should be taking the blame.

    Translation: Because you’re all stupid and hysterical girls Imma just gonna ignore everything you said and attack this stale old broken strawman I found at the bottom of the barrell, because I just can’t stop digging.

    P.S. bitches are stupid and hysterical and it’s all their fault if they get raped because they didn’t take my totally awesome, even thought it does fuck-all to prevent rape, “advice”.

    Why is Emily defending this misogynistic asshole?

  66. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Why is Emily defending this misogynistic asshole?

    1. Because he’s been commenting here for a long time, which somehow means he can’t possibly be acting sexist.
    2. Because Emily herself takes precautions to try and avoid being raped, which for some reason does not support the claim that Ian’s advice is obvious and not helpful.
    3. Because several commenters have spontaneously and simultaneously decided to read comment #4 uncharitably, even though it was left by a long-time reasonable commenter (see point 1).
    4. Because reacting fiercely to harmful clichee things said by a long-time reasonable commenter shows a lack of philosophical humility, while a man giving women useless and restrictive rape prevention tips isn’t showing a lack of philosophical humility.

  67. Fin says

    I think the point Emily was making was that steps to prevent rape need to be encouraged. It is not the fault of the victim should they get raped – any more than it is the fault of someone who assiduously attends to road rules and traffic for getting run over.

    The victims who get raped with or without employing self-protection are all equally blameless. To return to the traffic analogy, there are pedestrians who pay attention to traffic, and those who do not, but when either of them gets hit by a car, they are definitively blameless (it is the driver who has the duty of care in this situation, regardless of what pedestrians do). However, pragmatically, those who pay attention to traffic are less likely to get run over.

    The important component that is missing here is “duty of care”. Rape culture is not just about excusing those who rape, nor encouraging those who rape, it is also about the bystanders who effect rape neither one way nor the other. I have a duty of care to my fellow humans to make sure as much as in my power, that they do not get raped – and so does everyone else.

    Namely, rapists exist – it’s a horrible part of human nature, but there it is, there are horrible people out there – and it’s the responsibility of all of us to prevent rape, protect against it and concern ourselves with the wellbeing of our fellow humans.

    So, if we return again, to the concept of the “unprepared” rape victim, we have to ask, what makes them unprepared? Is it the fact that they haven’t taken self-defense classes, or don’t carry mace, or whatever? Or is it more likely the case that the rest of us – not the rapist, not the rapist’s excusers or encouragers – the rest of us who consider ourselves to be the “good people”, have let that person down?

    This is what “rape culture” means to me – it means a failure on our part, the broader society, to protect those who are in danger of being raped. Part of this is everyone having self-defence knowledge – not because it can save yourself (although it’s good for that, too), but because it could potentially save someone else.

    Thus, there is a dual crime here. Fault does lie with two parties: The rapist, and the society that – if not supporting them – passively allows them to exist. The elimination of rape culture – that passivity which allows these despicable bastards to perform their malignant deeds – will remove fault from one of those parties. It will not eliminate the rapist, however, but it will stop them being such a cancerous element of our society.

  68. Forbidden Snowflake says

    I don’t think traffic is a good analogy, Fin. Regardless of what the law says, a pedestrian can create a situation in which a driver is physically unable to avoid hitting them, and nobody goes for a drive hoping to hit a pedestrian or two, or believing that their desire not to stop overrides the pedestrians need to stay alive.
    I agree with you regarding the responsibility those of us who aren’t rapists carry. Avoiding victim-blaming tropes and not dispensing advice which doesn’t work is part of that responsibility.

  69. ismenia says

    What is frustrating about all this ‘helpful’ advice is that we women are told it all our lives. We have police officers come into school to give us basic safety tips. Most women observe them. I don’t walk home from the station at night because there’s one stretch of road that is empty and poorly lit. The problem is that every time a woman is raped people will find reasons to blame her and often victims blame themselves.

    Also, the advice isn’t always helpful. Some friends of mine at school were terrifed of being hassled by men. They wouldn’t walk down a certain street because men in cars would beep or shout things. Often they were excessively vigilant. However, when we were eighteen one of these girls was raped. It wasn’t the stranger in the dark alley she had feared, it was an acquaintance in a bar. They were talking outside and he pushed her up against a wall and raped her. She blamed herself even when another woman made a complaint and the guy was found to have lots of rape porn in his home. She did report it to the police but couldn’t face pressing charges.

    Not long after that my sister was raped by a boy she thought was a friend. She was just sixteen but plenty of people did blame her and although the policewoman who dealt with the case encouraged her to press charges she couldn’t face it either. As someone with a law degree, I can’t blame her because victims are often made to feel that they are on trial.

    ianmcdougall, this is why your comments make people so angry. I agree that everyone needs to know basic safety and better advice on how predators operate would be very useful. However, we are already made to live in fear (I felt quite upset yesterday when I guy in the street was hassling me and was extremely shaky for the whole evening when a random guy walked up to me and put his arm around me in a public place recently) and it really doesn’t help when we are told to up that fear and see victims blamed. Because I frequently wonder whether I could face bringing a rapist to court if I was attacked and I really don’t know the answer.

  70. Have a balloon says

    The thing that makes me rage here, is not that women get given advice on how to keep safe. It’s that the advice DOESN’T WORK.

    “Don’t dress in revealing clothing” – great, until you consider all the women who get raped wearing tracksuits, or pyjamas, or burkas.

    “Don’t walk home alone” – fine, until you consider all the women who get raped by taxi drivers, or bus drivers, or friends who walk them home.

    “Don’t drink” – ok, until you remember all the women who get raped when they’re stone cold sober, or who get raped because someone spiked their non-alcoholic drink.

    “Don’t go off with strangers” – brilliant, until you remember all the women who get raped by people they know, and trust, and love, and are married to.

    “Take self defence classes” – fantastic, until you remember all the women who punish themselves with guilt every day because they froze up during their rape, because they were threatened with a weapon, because they were incapacitated some other way.

    And for all the rubbish rape analogies along the lines of “we lock our houses so they don’t get burgled, we have fire alarms so they don’t catch fire” let me ask you this:

    If 60% of burglaries and arson attacks were committed by people who lived in the house with you; if 32% of burglaries and arson attacks were committed by someone who had a key to your house because you trusted them, or by someone who you’d invited in for a visit, then tell me, honestly:

    How much of a difference would locking the door make?

    Since women get raped in all manner of situations, and ages, and states of consciousness, there’s not really a lot of effective advice that we can follow to keep ourselves safe. Oh, except one: it turns out that the majority of rapists (by a LONG way) are all men. So, women, if you want to avoid getting raped, avoid all men!

    Oh, except we’re not allowed to assume all men are rapists, either.

  71. Have a balloon says

    For clarification: I don’t assume all men are rapists, I just wanted to point out the stupid double-standard.

  72. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Have a balloon:

    And for all the rubbish rape analogies along the lines of “we lock our houses so they don’t get burgled, we have fire alarms so they don’t catch fire” let me ask you this:

    If 60% of burglaries and arson attacks were committed by people who lived in the house with you; if 32% of burglaries and arson attacks were committed by someone who had a key to your house because you trusted them, or by someone who you’d invited in for a visit, then tell me, honestly:

    How much of a difference would locking the door make?

    That’s a good point. Another point is that what is considered to be reasonable precautions against burglary is merely “locking our houses”, not “never leaving our houses at night because burglars might get in under the cover of darkness”. Locking the fucking door is easy. To compare locking the door to the self-imposed curfew these advisors think women should live with is to ignore the “cost” side of the equation.

  73. callitrichid says

    ian, please see the following tumblr and maybe you can understand that telling someone not to go out at night to prevent from being raped is not the perfect end-all solution. A list of ways to prevent yourself from being raped (men, women, and children alike).

    http://victimblaming.tumblr.com/

  74. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    yes, Select, women can be just as misogynistic as men. Why are you pretending this is news?

  75. Select says

    I’m not pretending it’s news; I was just surprised to learn they’d been designed by a women.

    One would expect to see such things in a rundown, remote texas bar, but in an upscale restaurant?

    I’d have though that people frequenting such expensive eateries would have more brains.

  76. Jaclyn says

    I am getting really annoyed by all the people suggesting self-defense. I used to think like you do. I’m a small woman. I took martial arts classes for a few years to learn how to protect myself. But then, I had to have a second spinal surgery and learned that I have permanent nerve tethering and damage and now am limited quite a bit in what I can physically do. I can no longer do the martial arts that I loved. I can’t defend myself. Nor can many physically disabled people, or mentally disabled people. This is not a reasonable precaution that everyone should learn, because guess what? There are many people who are not capable. What now?

    All that aside, if you are assaulted and that person had no intention of brutalizing you or killing you, fighting back is a surefire method to change that. Why do we suggest people just give a mugger their wallet? Because they might kill you if you try to fight. Unless you have a reasonable expectation that you can win a fight (aka you are a large man with extensive training) it doesn’t at all make sense. And even if you are a large man with extensive training, that doesn’t help you all that much if a person has a gun.

    If you are a small woman pinned by a large man, unless you are a jiu jitsu wizard, (even then maybe not) you are not getting out of that. I know that from many years of sparring and taking it to the floor. There’s only so much that pressure points and leverage points can get you. Base strength level is a high determinant as to whether you can even get yourself into a position to manipulate those things.

    So, since I am a disabled woman living in this world, I should not leave my home? I shouldn’t have taken that night class I took this Spring while I worked, so that I could get ahead in my degree? This is your practical advice? It’s practical that I should modify my behaviour so much, inconvenience and slow down my life so much, because I might get assaulted if I don’t take steps a, b, and c? That’s the world I’m living in so I should just accept that and do that?

  77. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Backtracking on my flounce.
    Er, sorry?
    But it’s relevant because we were talking about Meagher here and her case was supposed to encourage women not to go out at night and always have a chaperone or at least a black belt.

    One of the entries at the tumblr callitrichid gave in #87 is about Jill Meagher (Don’t Walk Home When There’s A Creep Out There That The Police Have Done Nothing About), talking about victim blaming and linking to a Jezebel article about the case (Who Could Have Prevented the Murder of Jill Meagher? (Hint: Not Jill Meagher)).

  78. callitrichid says

    also Ian, you said,

    “I put it to you that we in Australia do not live in a ‘rape culture’ where unescorted women are seen as legitimate and fair game by the majority of men and by the law. We no more live in a ‘rape culture’ than we live in a ‘mugging culture’.

    Can you please provide a reference to an article in which a man was mugged and the overwhelming response is, “You shouldn’t have been doing whatever it was you were doing!” ?

    Beatrice pointed out the link on the tumblr site about Meagher, but another post that is relevant in the context of your argument (which, if I’m understanding correctly, is that you can prevent being raped by taking certain precautions, one of which includes not walking-alone-at-night-while-being-female?) is the following:

    http://victimblaming.tumblr.com/post/31436363764/dont-take-a-walk-in-the-park-in-broad-daylight

  79. ianmacdougall says

    Some years back, when was 17, I had just got my driving licence and thought I was a pretty good driver, I came very close to being killed or at least seriously injured in an accident. I lost control of the car (my father’s) on a sandy bend in a dirt road on which with hindsight I was travelling way too fast.

    I have been a defensive driver ever since, and have only had one (minor slow speed) accident. On the advice of a taxi driver of long experience, when I drive I regard every other user of the road as a total fool who should not be relied on to do the right thing. I also blame myself in advance for any accident I get into. If it happens it will show that I was not defensive enough.

    So far, it has worked.

    At a later stage of my life, when I was about 25, I got into an altercation with a drunk. The details do not matter, IMHO, except that the bloke soon enough decided that he and I should have a full-on fight. Fortunately, he allowed himself to be honourably prevented from any further action by the intercession of his wife: as this sort of character sometimes does. I was in no way at fault in this case, but those details don’t matter.

    I only found out later that he made his living as a professional wrestler. But I did not need that knowledge to start me on my next move. The very next day, I enrolled in a beginner’s martial art course, and spent the following 27 years in regular training.

    Am I the better for it? You bet.

    Will it guarantee that I will never be beaten? No. But IMHO it lessens the chances considerably.

    Despite all this, I also managed to have my pocket picked while asleep after one too many drinks, with rather serious consequences shortly after. It could have been a lot worse physically and financially. But I drew some lessons out of that.

    We live in a real world, and there is no way to unreal it. But if we don’t defend ourselves actively or passively, the whole world will finish up being run by Hitlers. At present, only some of it is.

    I think Jesus Christ was right in his advice to not respond to abuse with more abuse. On this thread, I have tried to observe that, with mixed results and responses.

  80. LeftSidePositive says

    Thank you, Ian. After all, we women were not all aware prior to your brilliant explanation that we live in the real world, and it has also never occurred to us to defend ourselves or lessen our risk. It’s totally not about us rationally objecting to the adverse effect that those “risk prevention” strategies have on our lives and limiting our opportunities, nor about the abandonment and condescension from those who should support us when we are victimized, not to mention the fact that these strategies don’t actually work–it’s just that it never occurred to us to be responsible for our personal safety.

    Also, careless fools on the road are exactly like all those people who stumble into women and accidentally rape them because they lost control of their penis on a sandy bend in a dirt road.

    And taking self-defense classes and never having occasion to test them out in an altercation with a violent assailant totally qualifies you to say that martial arts is a useful tool to prevent rape. And women seeking structural changes to how our society makes excuses for rapists are actually totally passive and insist that women never defend themselves, because women apparently don’t have self-preservation instincts that you rational men do. Oh, and being criticized on the internet for being an ignorant, condescending, mansplainer is “abuse.”

    Oh, Glory Be! How much I’ve learned from Ian MacDougall!

  81. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Cool story, bro.

    I’m so glad we all wasted time explaining things to you.

  82. Forbidden Snowflake says

    I think Jesus Christ was right in his advice to not respond to abuse with more abuse. On this thread, I have tried to observe that, with mixed results and responses.

    I guess Jesus’s Internet Abuse Prevention Tips are about as realistic as Ian Macdougall’s Rape Prevention Tips. Would you like to try mine instead? Can you guess what the first one is?

  83. callitrichid says

    lol have a balloon! Great example!

    Ian, I am still interested to see even a single recent reference in which there is concerted victim-blaming in response to a man being mugged when walking alone at night.

  84. callistacat says

    Hi ianmacdougall,

    I worked as a rape crisis advocate for a local hospital and rape crisis center in California some years ago.

    One case I’ll never forget: a woman who was sexually assaulted at her DOCTOR’S OFFICE during her appointment.

    Would you like to know what happened?

    Her mom and sister blamed HER for it. She just went to the doctor for an appointment *and was sexually assaulted by her DOCTOR,* and her own family said she brought it on herself. (She became suicidal afterwards and called me to tell me she was going to go down to the Dr.’s office and shoot him, then herself.)

    I could tell you a lot more, but none of the cases I worked on involved a woman or girl walking home by herself in some dodgy area. All perps were someone known to the victim and in some position of trust and authority.

  85. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    Ian:
    I have a question for you.
    The advice you offer-Have you done any research to determine if your advice is feasible?

    You’ve had women in this thread tell you that they’re not able to engage in martial arts.
    You’ve had women explain that fighting back can cause harm to the victim and/or the attacker.
    You’ve had women say that the very advice you give doesn’t work.

    Yet you still stand by your comments. You still believe that women should take heed of your advice. Even after you’ve been corrected about how UNhelpful your advice is, you still think women should listen.
    Why?
    What evidence do you have that your advice would actually work? You’ve had people provide links to evidence to support their position, yet you’ve not done the same.
    Why?
    If you have this opinion, it is reasonable to believe you arrived at your position based upon evidence. So where is your evidence? If you don’t have any, then your opinion is an uninformed one, with no basis in reality beyond your wishful thinking.

    Contrary to what some would believe, the length of time you’ve been posting here has no bearing on the strength or weakness of your arguments.
    As it stands, your argument is extraordinarily weak. You have not supported your position with any facts. Would you care to do so?

  86. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    callistacat @101:
    Damn. How did things turn out for the woman?

  87. Snoof says

    The problem is that every time a woman is raped people will find reasons to blame her

    This.

    It’s the Just World Fallacy all over again. It doesn’t matter how many precautions a woman takes, if she gets raped, someone will find something she did “wrong” and claim if she’d done that, it never would’ve happened.

  88. callistacat says

    @Tony

    Because she was a danger to herself and others, I was mandated to report it to the authorities. I had the staff at the Crisis Center there to help me out while I was on the phone with her, it was my first suicide/potential homicide call. The police came to her house and took her to the hospital and she was put on 72-hour suicide watch. She called me back and told me I had betrayed her and she hated me and didn’t want to speak to me again. And that she only had a BB gun not a real gun (which she didn’t mention before). They got her into counseling but I was obviously off the case after that.

    I just can’t tell you how many women I’ve seen blamed by their friends and/or their families. It’s unreal. And none of these women and children were walking home at night alone in a bad area and none of them were attacked by some stranger in a ski mask hiding in the bushes. They were blamed for the crime of trusting a friend, a neighbor, a family member, or a close aquaintance.

  89. Stacy says

    Henceforth, I shall advise all my male friends and relatives as strongly as I can never to become rapists.

    I bet you think none of them have ever raped anybody.

    Guess what? Odds are you’re wrong.

    http://www.uic.edu/depts/owa/sa_rape_support.html

    Ian, only a small percentage of rapes are committed by sociopaths lurking in dark alleys and behind bushes.

    Women have been given rape prevention tips for decades.

    It’s time to put the onus for rape prevention on the potential rapists.

    http://www.oneinfourusa.org/attachments/References/LaVoy.pdf

  90. Emily Isalwaysright says

    Forbidden Snowflake:

    I am not “defending a misogynistic asshole.”

    I’m saying that instantly jumping down Ian’s throat and calling him a misogynistic asshole is, well, rather fucking stupid in light of what he has actually said.

    I happen to agree with him about his survivalist point and I’m not a “misogynistic asshole.” I’m a fucking loudmouthed feminist who is constantly getting into fights with people who ARE being misogynist.

    I’m getting really annoyed by all this bullshit debate-loading that some people are engaging in here. It’s like arguing with Western Islamists: they see the world as having only two teams, and if you disagree with them over some things then YOU’RE A FUCKING RACIST COLONIALIST PIG WHO SHOULD BE SHOUTED AT AND CALLED NAMES.

    At least after all the abuse I have copped from actual misogynist assholes and aggressive Islamists I now have a thick skin and do not give a fuck what you call me. The more people resort to name-calling instead of point-making, the more I think they don’t really have anything useful to say.

  91. Have a balloon says

    Ian I have some questions for you.

    1. What is your opinion on the concept of Schrodinger’s Rapist? Do you think that this is a good state of affairs? How do you react to being treated as ‘potentially a rapist because I don’t know for certain that you’re not’?

    2. You have talked a lot about taking precautions but I would like for you to be more specific. Let’s say I am 19 years old, I am at university, I rent a house with three other housemates: one woman and two men. I don’t own a car. I would like to reduce my risk of being raped. How do I go about this? Can you give me a predicted success rate so that I can carry out a cost-benefit analysis?

    3. Same question as (2), but now I am male.

    4. Same question as (2), but now I am 12 years old and I live at home with my parents.

    Emily: I am sorry that you feel that we don’t have anything useful to say. I personally would quite like to hear Ian’s suggestions for how I can try to avoid being raped. I would really very much like to avoid being raped, so if he has some effective tips I would love to hear them. Unfortunately all the advice that I have heard so far doesn’t work very well. If I follow that advice, I have to severely curtail my behaviour, and I still can’t much reduce my likelihood of being raped. That makes me unhappy.

    Also, I think people have started resorting to name-calling because they have tried point-making but Ian hasn’t really responded to any of the points except to talk about defensive driving.

  92. says

    Emily: Ian may not be a “misogynistic asshole,” but if his last comment is any indication, he’s about as clueless as a lot of the misogynist assholes who show up here. What he fails to appreciate — despite YEARS of debate on this very topic — is that a woman is expected to take (and/or blamed for not taking) far more outrageous and self-limiting protective measures than a man could take even if he wanted to. If Ian gets beaten up by a biker or drunk, he may be blamed for being obnoxious or getting too many drinks in the wrong kind of pub; but he probably will NOT be blamed for wanting it, dressing too provocatively, looking too handsome, acting too friendly/standoffish, being a “feminazi,” or wearing clothes that are too easy to pull off him. And that’s just a sample of the things rape victims are blamed for doing/not doing that made them responsible for their rape.

    Oh, and if a biker forcibly enters his HOME and beats him up there, there will probably be no victim-blaming at all. Women who get raped in their own homes can’t count on that.

    So all in all, “misogynist asshole” may be a bit of a stretch — but he shows the insistent cluelessness one finds in lots of misogynist assholes.

  93. says

    I would like to reduce my risk of being raped. How do I go about this? Can you give me a predicted success rate so that I can carry out a cost-benefit analysis?

    That’s beside the point — whatever you do, one failure will prove, in the MRAs’ eyes, that you didn’t do enough.

    Look, I don’t think anyone is really saying women shouldn’t take reasonable precautions to stay out of trouble. What some of us are saying, is that rape victims get retroactively blamed for not taking measures that no sane adult would consider “reasonable,” and that no man would want to take himself because they would all add up to not having a life.

  94. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Raging Bee,

    Agreeing with you. Another point I like to stress is that we already heard most of this advice. We are already aware of the dangers. Giving suggestions like they are news and something our lady brainz haven’t thought off is, frankly, insulting.

  95. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I’m saying that instantly jumping down Ian’s throat and calling him a misogynistic asshole is, well, rather fucking stupid in light of what he has actually said.

    So, you’re defending someone who’s posts are indistinguishable from that of a misogynistic, dismissive, clueless, ignorant asshole. His posts are victim-blaming, over and over again. He’s ignored that which he can’t refute and that which proves him wrong. Exactly what is “fucking stupid” about disagreeing with him, again?

    I happen to agree with him about his survivalist point and I’m not a “misogynistic asshole.” I’m a fucking loudmouthed feminist who is constantly getting into fights with people who ARE being misogynist.

    Uh-huh. You’re a “fucking loudmouthed feminist” AGREEING with the dude ignoring everything actual victims are saying, ignoring statistics easily and quickly proving him wrong, and continually arguing with fucking strawmen. Who the fuck here said no one should ever take any preventative measures ever? Yet, that’s what this douchecake keeps insisting.

    Unconvincing, to say the least.

    I’m getting really annoyed by all this bullshit debate-loading that some people are engaging in here. It’s like arguing with Western Islamists: they see the world as having only two teams, and if you disagree with them over some things then YOU’RE A FUCKING RACIST COLONIALIST PIG WHO SHOULD BE SHOUTED AT AND CALLED NAMES.

    So, asking someone to back up his claims, and getting annoyed with him when he does nothing but ignore, lie, dismiss and distort is just like being in the Taliban. And you’re claiming to be annoyed with hyperbole in debate? LOLOL

    At least after all the abuse I have copped from actual misogynist assholes and aggressive Islamists I now have a thick skin and do not give a fuck what you call me. The more people resort to name-calling instead of point-making, the more I think they don’t really have anything useful to say.

    Well, sure. Name calling is proof you have nothing to say – becuase context doesn’t exist and there’s certainly no problem with misogynstic trolls infesting every fucking thread about rape – nosiree! but defending misogynistic victim-blaming rape apologetics for incredibly stupid reasons is totally contributing something useful.

    LOL belly laughs abound.

  96. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Emily, your last comment was thick on the outrage but thin on the specifics of things said to counter Ian that you actually disagree with. Frankly, it sounds like you are having a knee-jerk reaction to seeing a commenter you like getting called names.
    You haven’t given a coherent answer to anything I said in #69 and #79.

  97. ianmacdougall says

    I have been offline for a few days.

    @ # 93: The cops may ‘blame’ a mugging victim for not being cautious enough. Likewise someone whose house burns down. How many people think that way is unknowable. But the mugging victim has the law on his/her side, as does the rape victim, within the limits set by presumption of innocence. The reason why so many people get away with it is that it comes down in many cases to his word against hers.

    But that does not a ‘rape culture’ make.

    I know of no Islamic society where the fact that a woman was unescorted by a male relative is not a defence at law against a charge of rape; or where a woman’s word is equal to a man’s in evidence. That IMHO is a genuine ‘rape culture’.

    What can happen when someone raised in an Islamic society applies that society’s mores in a country like Australia is shown by the widely acclaimed 55 year sentence given to rape gang leader Bilal Skaf a few years back. (See url below.)

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/06/20/1213770887588.html

  98. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    The reason why so many people get away with it is that it comes down in many cases to his word against hers.

    You write this and you don’t see the problem with this?
    YOU don’t see a problem with a society where a raped woman is very rarely believed when she accuses a man of rape.
    “his word against hers” and it somehow usually comes down to “bitch lied” and “she regrets it now so she wants to ruin his life to save her reputation” and “she likes it rough” and “she was dead drunk, but she consented every time before” and “I didn’t hear her say no”.

    Don’t you think there is something seriously wrong with a society where a traumatized woman is being questioned about her sexual preferences or what she wore because that is considered acceptable evidence in this case of “his word against hers”?!

    No, a rape victim does not have law on her side. The rapist has law on his side.

    DO you seriously live on a different planet or have some of us been too gentle with you and you are actually a fucking misogynist rape apologist?

    Because it takes some serious vileness to say

    The reason why so many people get away with it is that it comes down in many cases to his word against hers.

    with a straight face.

    You are fucking piece of shit. Im starting to think you aren’t actually naive or stupid, but an actual malicious piece of shit.

  99. ianmacdougall says

    Emily: Thank you for your perceptions and supportive comments in this matter.

    Do I have all the answers that will guarantee the end of rape? No.

    I repeat the FULL TEXT of my post @ #13:

    “Is that really ‘the culture’? Are rapists really greeted with public sympathy? ‘She lured him into doing it.’ Etc?

    “Do victims get ‘blamed’ for being raped? Or do people talk about their priorities? On their decision that the (known) risk was worth taking?”

    Asking those questions, and recommending that people take evasive action and self-defence classes, apparently makes me a ‘misogynist’ in the eyes of many posting here; to whome I frankly can’t be bothered replying. I could blog till my fingers fell off, for all the good it would do. There are none so blind as they who will not see, nor so stubborn as those whose religion gets questioned or parallel agenda gets side-tracked.

    Does self-defence work? Not always. It merely increases the probability of success. A ten year old boy I encountered a few years ago was out walking from A to B when he was grabbed by a man intent on whatever. The boy used what he had been taught to that date to break the man’s grip and run away.

    Very good.

    Note that it can’t be learnt from books. Only through actual training.

  100. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Muslims. Of course.
    And then people wonder why I get annoyed when Muslims get introduced into every freaking conversation where they don’t belong as the Big Bad.
    Because they are a distraction.
    We are supposed to swallow every shit our own culture serves us, because Muslims!

    Also, look up “Dear Muslima”.

  101. ianmacdougall says

    Beatrice @ #115:

    Your rant is noted.

    Apart from victim statements given to the police, courts and lawyers to my knowledge look for corroborating evidence (DNA swabs etc).

    Where none can be found, ‘his word against hers’, ‘her word against hers’, or ‘his word against his’ means that presumption of innocence will probably result in an aquittal. The nature of the crime and/or the sex of the victim does not change this.

  102. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Ian,

    Again, you have been given tons of evidence disproving your ignorant claims, but you ignore everything in order to keep your sheltered little convictions.
    And you seem proud of that. All that’s missing is “You can’t change my mind. neener neener”

    Yeah, I’m upset. Har har. Can you think of why a woman might be upset when you write shit like that!?

  103. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    WMDKitty,

    But it was his word against hers. And since she can’t talk it was his word. Case cleared.

    Ian,

    DNA swabs… I’m going to die laughing.

  104. ianmacdougall says

    @ # 119:

    ‘Tell me again how rape victims “aren’t blamed”…’

    First, did I say they weren’t? (See # 116)

    Second: the test will be the public reaction out there in the streets and suburbs. To the extent they agree with the court, you have a ‘rape culture’ in Conn.

    As Dr Johnson said, “the law, sir, is an ass.” Well, some of the time.

  105. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    You noticed how all my bitches lie examples included man’s admittance that there was sex but not rape?

    Yeah, DNA swabs will help you with that. (we don’t live in a CSI episode)

  106. says

    @Beatrice — Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

    The part that is really grinding my fucking gears about all this — “all this” encompassing both this entire conversation and the case I posted about — is that yet again, YET AGAIN, women (especially disabled women) are being sacrificed on the altar of “personal responsibility”, like it’s somehow OUR job to “not get raped”.

    The cops I dealt with (on several occasions) regarding my abuser? Dismissed me as “hysterical”, and, in non-specific terms, told me that I “shouldn’t provoke him”. I didn’t bother reporting the rapes — after all, I was already in a relationship with him, and he’d successfully portrayed me (to the cops) as a “crazy”. I wasn’t willing to go yet more rounds with dismissive patriarchal police officers, just to deal with a(n) (in)justice system that would put ME on trial.

    And as I said above — though my parents don’t know the full extent of what I suffered, they do know that he was abusive towards me — my own mom even blames me for it. They don’t know just how much that hurts.

  107. says

    Yeah, ian, you have blamed victims. You’ve blamed us by offering “advice” like “don’t go out at night”.

    It is clear to me that you either aren’t reading or aren’t comprehending what the rest of us have said to you.

    Read again — VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS ARE BLAMED AND SHAMED. Not only by John and Jane Random Citizen, but by the authorities, by our friends, by our families, by the fucking courts. If we didn’t cry out or fight back for ANY reason, we are asked, “why not?” If we do, half the time we end up charged with assault for defending ourselves. (Yeah, that happened to me. I defended myself against my abuser, and I was told that I could not press charges because *I* would be arrested.)

    Go step on a LEGO.

  108. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    WMDKitty,

    I’m so sorry for everything you’ve gone through. I can’t imagine how upsetting reading these denials of rape culture must be to you, if my heart rate has gone through the roof (and I’ve lived a fairly sheltered life).

    I’m sorry you’re hurting.
    *hugs* if you want them

  109. says

    Thank you, Beatrice.

    I’m frustrated and angry and sad that this ongoing … thing … is even necessary. Unfortunately, so long as there are rapists and abusers, so long as there are people who blame the victims/survivors, so long as the courts put US on trial, there will be a need to explain rape culture and victim blaming and how “the system” only really works FOR the rapists and abusers.

    I’m going to bed now, as I’m thisclose to snapping and going full-Cartman on this guy.

  110. ianmacdougall says

    ‘Rape Culture 101’ by Melissa McEwan at http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html is a lengthy piece. McEwan defines by example over the course of about 2,500 words. One such definition:

    “Rape culture is encouraging women to take self-defense as though that is the only solution required to preventing rape. Rape culture is admonishing women to ‘learn common sense’ or ‘be more responsible’ or ‘be aware of barroom risks’ or ‘avoid these places’ or ‘don’t dress this way,’ and failing to admonish men to not rape.”

    I have here encouraged women (and anyone who wishes to be ready for an attack) to learn self-defence. I would be surprised if anyone who knew much about it would say that “that is the only solution required to preventing rape.” I certainly do not. But in the street or in the home, under attack by a stranger or a long-term apparent friend, some SD skill is better than no SD skill, and a lot is better than some.

    I was urged by commenters here on B&W (a site whose motto, incidentally, is ‘fighting fashionable nonsense’) to read the McEwan piece. I read it. I regard it as a curate’s egg: good in parts, though largely nonsense. But it is apparently also fashionable in the quarters represented by some commenters on this thread. So let us call it FCN for short: fashionable curate’s nonsense.

    Australia has a surfing culture, where large numbers of people endorse the values and lifestyle common among surfers. I suppose similar mass-participation activities might be baseball in the US, and soccer in Europe. So we could speak of ‘surfing culture’ , ‘baseball culture’ ‘soccer culture’ and so on as analogues of ‘rape culture’. After reading McEwan, I would say the analogies are valid.

    There is a problem, however. In all the countries mentioned, rape is illegal while the sports are not. It is impossible to conceive of something practiced, played, followed and endorsed by so many people as soccer is in Europe being illegal there for long.

    But rape is. Rape is illegal. Rape is illegal in a so-called ‘rape culture’.

    Some may also believe that the idea of ‘rape culture’, however fashionable, is not nonsense if applied to your typical western society. I don’t, but do believe it has validity when applied to most if not all Islamic societies. I have given my reasons above.

    So I conclude and believe that the idea of ‘rape culture’ is pure codswallop. I will continue to do so until someone can refute the case I have just made.

    A footnote though: Following the European soccer riots of a few years back, I had it put to me half seriously that soccer should be banned. Outlawed. Made illegal. Just as in the case, say, of rape.

    An idea not to be lightly dismissed.

  111. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    All the evidence shown in comments?
    Nah, just silly feminists following fashionable nonsense.

  112. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Well, now I know that drug culture doesn’t exist. Because drugs are formally illegal, and apparently a formally illegal activity cannot be ingrained in culture, even if it’s commonly practiced (under lax law enforcement) and has traditions, beliefs and myths surrounding it. Because practice+beliefs are apparently not what ‘culture’ fucking IS.
    Ian, the cognitive dissonance must be strong in you if you think that you made a solid argument in #128.

  113. ianmacdougall says

    Rape is illegal.
    Rape is practiced by a small minority. Even in households.
    Rape in public is down to a smaller minority still.
    The majority abhor rape and rapists. That is why rapists are curtailed by the law in non-Muslim countries. The situation in Muslim countries is different.
    The small minority of public rapists make life difficult for the majority of women.
    The small minorities who practice private and public rape do not impose a ‘rape culture’ on the whole society.
    Recommendation of evasive strategies is not ‘victim blaming’.

  114. Forbidden Snowflake says

    The majority abhor rape and rapists.

    The majority abhor their own mental representations of rape and rapists, which in many cases have little to do with reality. When presented with a rape scenario from real life, in which the victim isn’t Snow White, the rapist isn’t Stranger Danger, and the violence isn’t as brutal as in the imagined scenario, it often turns out that yes, we totally abhor rape, only this obviously isn’t Really Rape (see also: “rape-rape”, “legitimate rape”).
    Say, Ian, did you try my recommendations from comment #74? What kind of responses did you get?

  115. callistacat says

    Ian says: “So I conclude and believe that the idea of ‘rape culture’ is pure codswallop.”

    You’re full of shit. I don’t, for a minute, believe you actually think this is true.

    Four of my friends were raped that I know of. One friends’s mom told her if she was stupid enough to go to a neighbor’s house it was her fault. Didn’t even call the fucking police. She was EIGHT years old at the time. She laughed at her own child when she said she was assaulted by a grown man who lived on the same fucking block. Didn’t tell her daughter she abhored what happened to her. That guy is free.

    My other friends, same shit. Best friend said it was her fault for being in the same house with a male friend (“what did you expect?) Another confided in a school counselor, who told her “people make too big a deal about sex.” That was her answer to a teenager telling her “I was raped.” Not abhorrent. It was just sex, dear. Get over it. No cops were called.

    These people didn’t say they think they weren’t raped. Or there’s no proof. They said yes, you were raped. But you are a slut or stupid or did something to provoke him so you DESERVED IT. It’s your punishment.

    Then my experience as a Rape Crisis Advocate. See the story above about a women going to a routine appointment with her physician, then being sexually assaulted by that physician. And the fact that her sister and mother said it was her fault. Again, not that it didn’t happpen, but that it happend and it was HER FAULT. They weren’t abhored that their daughter/sister was raped.
    As an RCA I’ve seen victims blamed *all the time* for being raped. By people who should have had their back, their own mothers, friends, cops, neighbors, immediate family, extended family. And I live in the U.S.A.

    Ian proclaims:
    “The majority abhor rape and rapists.”

    Nope. No they don’t. Sorry to burst your superior priviliged little bubble.

    She was asking for it, she deserved it, she provoked it. The majority believe this.

    Now please just go to hell.

  116. Nepenthe says

    Rape is practiced by a small minority. Even in households.
    Rape in public is down to a smaller minority still.

    Just curious, could you give us some numbers? How small is this “small minority” 1 in a million? 1 in a thousand? 1 in a hundred? 1 in ten?

    I mean, what are the odds that one of your friends, one of the good guys you pat on the back and shoot the shit with, rapes women in his spare time?

  117. Nepenthe says

    But the mugging victim has the law on his/her side, as does the rape victim

    Several of the times I was raped it was perfectly legal because the state in which I was raped does not consider withdrawal of consent during an act legitimate. (i.e., If one party says “Stop, you’re hurting me” the other party is under no legal obligation to comply.)

    But I guess I should feel good knowing that the law is on my side.

  118. Forbidden Snowflake says

    This might be the time to express my deepest sympathies to everyone who shared painful personal stories on this thread.

  119. callistacat says

    Salman Rushdie actually signed that? So Muhammad the Prophet does it = evil. A movie director = rally ’round the rapist.

  120. callistacat says

    My dad was mugged. Police came and took it seriously, didn’t say he might be lying, didn’t blame him or second guess his actions. Didn’t tell him to behave differently next time so it won’t happen again. Neither did I or anyone else in the family. It would have never even occured to me.

  121. Tony •Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze• says

    ian:

    Rape is illegal.
    Rape is practiced by a small minority. Even in households.
    Rape in public is down to a smaller minority still.
    The majority abhor rape and rapists. That is why rapists are curtailed by the law in non-Muslim countries. The situation in Muslim countries is different.
    The small minority of public rapists make life difficult for the majority of women.
    The small minorities who practice private and public rape do not impose a ‘rape culture’ on the whole society.
    Recommendation of evasive strategies is not ‘victim blaming’

    You’re not very good at presenting facts to support your opinion.
    Are we supposed to take your word that all of the above is true? At face value?
    That’s no different than someone saying there’s a guy in the clouds that will send us to heaven if we believe in him enough–and we believe that person.
    You’ve had many people provide citations to back up their claims. These citations provide the evidence that supports their position.
    You have NOT done so.
    Until you do so, your opinions are just that: opinions.
    As such, they aren’t worth much (especially in light of the facts that have been presented, which show you’re as wrong as it gets).

  122. ButchKitties says

    I was a juror for rape trial once. The defendant’s original sworn testimony was that he’d never had sex with the victim, a story that only changed once the DNA from the rape kit came back a match to him. Then he remembered having consensual sex. It was so consensual that at one point the victim tried to run away, but he caught up to her at the door, which he slammed on her head and then her hand to keep her from leaving. We had photos of the injuries as well as testimony from the nurse practitioner who had treated her the night of the rape.

    It was still a struggle to convict. One of the jurors had “questions”. It took hours of pressing to get this juror to articulate what those questions were before admitting that she thought the victim might have consented to get the defendant to stop harassing her-”maybe she thought she should just get it over with”-as if that scenario wasn’t also rape. It was only by going over and over the injury report that we got the guilty verdict.

    If the victim had been to scared or otherwise unable to attempt to escape, her rapist would have walked. As it is, he’ll spend less time in prison than she spent waiting for the trial.

    I was raped when I was twenty. I never reported it. I thought that the trial would make me regret not reporting it, especially if we convicted. Instead, I walked out of that courtroom with the opposite reaction. I was unable to try to escape. I didn’t have the obvious injuries that it took to convince the holdout juror. A trial would have been a second victimization with no benefit to me.

    But yeah, there’s no such thing as rape culture, and the law is unambiguously on our side.

  123. callistacat says

    I’m so sorry ButchKitties and all the women here who’ve shared being an assault survivor on this thread. Nobody should ever have to go through that.

    I just can’t understand how Ian can read *actual survivors’ experiences* and then proclaim that there is no such thing as rape culture.

    I live in Utah and the Elizabeth Smart case showed the glaring difference when women and girls are actually believed and get support. Elizabeth had unconditional support not only from her entire family, her community, but the whole state. She wanted to testify, she wanted her abuser to see her and know that he didn’t destroy her. The local news covering the trial never once second guessed anything she had done or insinuated she did something to provoke what happened to her. They called her a hero and an incredibly brave young woman to be able to face her attacker in court. And she was.

    Of course her case was helped by the fact that she was abducted by a stranger while sleeping in her own home and was a virgin, and the man who assaulted her was someone who could possibly make the Mormon Church look bad if they didn’t distance themselves from him. If her attacker had been her fiance or friend or one of the pillars of the community, I’m sure the outcome would have been very different.

    But imagine if all victims were supported and believed the way Elizabeth was.

  124. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    So, now we’ve arrived at “rape culture doesn’t exist”? LOL wow. WHAT an ally this douchebucket it. Where’s his defender now?

  125. ianmacdougall says

    My apologies to all. I have been having modem problems and have not been able to access the Net. I am posting this from my local library.

    The even-tempered and courteous contributions made by Beatrice, WMDKitty and others who disagree with me in this discussion have caused me to have a better perspective on the whole question of ‘rape culture’.

    You are right, WMDKitty. Sporting cultures cannot be made analogies of ‘rape culture’. This is because sporting cultures exist, and ‘rape culture’ does not.

    It is not ‘rape culture’ to warn women against walking alone on the streets at night, be concerned when they do it, and/or suggest they learn basic self-defence, any more than it is ‘mugging culture’, ‘bagsnatch culture’, ‘kidnap culture’, or ‘murder culture’ to do the same thing.

    I put it to you that the closest analogy is with the drug culture that does exist; on at least three levels: illicit drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

    The latter two are circumscribed rather heavily by the law, although they enjoy a certain level of mass support, goodwill and patronage. Illicit drugs are produced, sold and consumed outside of legality. No doubt the producers, pushers and clients meet in various ways to trade and compare notes. But large numbers of people, myself included, counsel all to have nothing to do with the drugs, or with those in the trade.

    I frankly fail to see how warning people this way could be interpreted as making me a supporter of the drug culture, which definitely does exist.

    Rape is in some ways about sexual gratification, and in other ways about power. The rapist is a kind of authoritarian who gets his kick out of forcing another to submit to his will. It is all about triumph of the will. (Where have I heard that phrase before?) But to my knowledge, comparatively few rapists associate with fellow rapists the way drug users do with fellow users, though of course gangs of rapists are out there. (Google Bilal Skaf.)

    Rape is a crime where I come from, though sometimes hard to prove in the confines of the rules of evidence. Sentences given by courts to rapists are all too often seen by victims as too lenient, and for my part, I all too often agree.

    I think that the court should set a maximum length of sentence, being as generous as possible with the rapist’s time. Then each of his victims should be given veto power over the decision of any parole board. That is, given power over the rapist analogous to the power he exercised over the victim. He should only be released when the maximum is served, or when the last of his victims gives his or her approval, whichever comes first. In other words, the verdict of his victims (ie time to let him go) would have to be unanimous.

  126. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Say, Ian, did you try my recommendation from comment #74 yet? What kind of responses did you get?

  127. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Yeah, I know, all that evidence and stuff is just boring. Keep ignoring it.

    It’s a good way you have to excuse your bullshit. It’s pretty certain that saying thins about rape that you do will upset women, when they get upset say that you don’t have to listen to anything they say because they were rude to you.

  128. Tony •Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze• says

    ian:

    This is because sporting cultures exist, and ‘rape culture’ does not.

    How many damned times are you going to ignore the evidence you’ve been presented?
    Once more, with feeling. This time I’ll even give you an excerpt:

    Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.

    Rape Culture affects every woman. The rape of one woman is a degradation, terror, and limitation to all women. Most women and girls limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not. That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape. This cycle of fear is the legacy of Rape Culture.

    Examples of Rape Culture:

    Blaming the victim (“She asked for it!”)
    Trivializing sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”)
    Sexually explicit jokes
    Tolerance of sexual harassment
    Inflating false rape report statistics
    Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history
    Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television
    Defining “manhood” as dominant and sexually aggressive
    Defining “womanhood” as submissive and sexually passive
    Pressure on men to “score”
    Pressure on women to not appear “cold”
    Assuming only promiscuous women get raped
    Assuming that men don’t get raped or that only “weak” men get raped
    Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
    Teaching women to avoid getting raped instead of teaching men not to rape
    http://www.marshall.edu/wpmu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/

    EMPHASIS IS MINE.

    Maybe *this* will get through to your thick skull that giving women advice on how to avoid getting raped *is* part of rape culture and is victim blaming.
    FFS.
    Go educate yourself.
    You can’t deny the existence of something if you don’t even know what that something is.

  129. callistacat says

    “The even-tempered and courteous contributions made by Beatrice, WMDKitty and others who disagree with me in this discussion have caused me to have a better perspective on the whole question of ‘rape culture’.”

    Of course, if I gave you all that first hand experience nicely and sweetly, with an ‘even temper,’ you would have changed your perspective on the rape culture question.

    Ian, why do people feel the need to lecture women over and over about going out late at night? Do you think we don’t know this already? Do you think that we haven’t been lectured a milllion times about how the world is a dangerous place for women? And told that if we don’t head that warning we are asking to be raped? Again, going out late at night isn’t the likeliest place a woman will be sexually assaulted.

    You completely ignore case after case of people not finding rape abhorrent. I worked as a Rape Crisis Advocate, do you think I don’t know what I’m talking about? Or is it that I was not being sufficiently sweet and demure about it?

  130. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Hoping that Emily will notice this in Recent Comments and have a look:

    I don’t want to derail the other thread, but this comment by emily isalwaysright made me think of the train wreck here.

    Emily, see this comment made by Ian?

    With which, with all however small due respect, I disagree. I regard that as nonsense, however fashionable it may be in ultrafeminist circles, such as those clearly inhabited by its author.

    I hope you notice the parallel.

  131. Ian MacDougall says

    I am still having Internet access difficulties, but let us recapitulate this thread a bit.

    Briane @ #2: “A girl was recently raped and murdered walking home in inner Melbourne, and the media commentators fell over themselves to exculpate Australian society, and subtly blame her for being so silly, naive, asking for it, because she somehow was guilty by doing what she’d done many times before in supposedly safe Melbourne. Made my blood boil. She’s been adjudged guilty of walking while being female before her body was found.”

    Myself (ianmacdougall): @ #4: “A girl [?] was recently raped and murdered walking home in inner Melbourne, and the media commentators fell over theme selves to exculpate Australian society, and subtly blame her for being so silly, naive, asking for it, because she somehow was guilty by doing what she’d done many times before in supposedly safe Melbourne.”

    “Media commentators aside, I don’t think ‘society’ is to blame, or needs ‘exculpating’.

    “Society consists of millions of individuals, aggregated in different ways. People should be free to walk the streets at whatever hour without danger. But some don’t agree, and some of those in disagreement believe that a single woman late at night is fair game – for them.

    “Which means, particularly for women following the Jill Meagher case, a case for changing perspectives, including staying indoors at night; minimising time alone on the streets, particularly at night; learning self-defence.”

    ImaginesABeach @ #5: “ianmacdougall – what is the difference between Saudi Arabia telling women they cannot go out alone and be safe and you telling women they cannot go out alone and be safe? I’m just asking the question…”

    mandrellian @ #6 (without the slightest trace of condescension): “ImaginesABeach, I’m also charitably searching for ianmacdougall’s point…”

    Beatrice, the anti-imperialist and anti-racist ‘Islamophobiaphobic’ leftist @ #7: “ianmacdougall, This isn’t the topic so I’ll restrain myself to telling you that you should reread that last paragraph of yours, then read up some feminism 101 and about rape culture, then reread that paragraph of yours again, and think about it for a bit.”

    Myself (ianmacdougall) @ #8: “@ 5, 6, 7: If you read what I wrote, nowhere do I say that I approve of this situation of danger. I don’t. “People should be free to walk the streets at whatever hour without danger.” Full bloody stop.

    But danger is the reality. So how is it best dealt with?

    Or is asking that question taboo?

    Rodney Nelson @ #9: “But danger is the reality. So how is it best dealt with?

    “By changing the culture which blames women for being raped rather than men for being rapists.”

    Beatrice, the anti-imperialist and anti-racist ‘Islamophobiaphobic’ leftist @ #10:

    “http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    “…Rape culture is tasking victims with the burden of rape prevention.

    “Maybe take a minute to think about that sentence.

    Following links to further reading in that paragraph won’t hurt you either.

    This is all off topic, so I’m not going to get into detailed elaborations. I am giving you means to educate yourself.”

    This actually started with an attempt on my part ot educate myself, by having the damn gall to ask a question, and not a merely rhetorical one either. But by that time we were airborne.

    But to return to the question asked by ImaginesABeach @ #5: “ianmacdougall – what is the difference between Saudi Arabia telling women they cannot go out alone and be safe and you telling women they cannot go out alone and be safe? I’m just asking the question…”

    Yes ImaginesABeach, I’ll tell you what I think the answer to that rather good question is, although I take it from the way you frame it that you don’t believe there is any significant difference at all. Because the Saudis give it as a rather unsubtle categorical imperative: ‘thou shalt not go out alone, and if you do, we think you should not be safe. And God does not think you should be either.’

    I say on the other hand ‘If you want to go out alone, you should be able to handle the real (and deplorable) risk involved. As you wish to walk the streets alone, you should be ready for an attack by some bastard intent on whatever; without hanging round interminably waiting for Rodney Nelson’s change in “the culture which blames women for being raped rather than men for being rapists,” and also for rapists to stop raping.

    I do not approve of, condone, support, cheer on, or encourage rapists in any way. But to read the succession of comments which follows from Beatrice @ #10, the reader could be forgiven for believing I am the champion of all rapists, if not a practicing and enthusiastic rapist myself.

    If you want to cross the street, first look both ways for traffic. Then move directly across. If you can’t, or are disinclined to do so, don’t even try it. That is where ‘society’, ‘the law’, ‘collision culture’ etc leaves off, and individual responsibility takes over. Deplore it if you wish to, but that’s the way it is. Otherwise play the politically correct game, it which there is equation between (a) ‘individuals must never be held ultimately responsible for their own safety’ and (b) ‘to say otherwise is victim blaming’.

  132. Lyanna says

    Wow, Ian. Just wow. Your comment is a big pile of unnecessary quotes and verbiage, and the only parts that come from you yourself are such utter rubbish. Smugly and condescendingly expressed rubbish, to boot.

    If you want to cross the street, first look both ways for traffic. Then move directly across. If you can’t, or are disinclined to do so, don’t even try it. That is where ‘society’, ‘the law’, ‘collision culture’ etc leaves off, and individual responsibility takes over. Deplore it if you wish to, but that’s the way it is. Otherwise play the politically correct game, it which there is equation between (a) ‘individuals must never be held ultimately responsible for their own safety’ and (b) ‘to say otherwise is victim blaming’.

    There’s nothing “politically correct” about holding rapists culpable. The politically correct position is yours: to wring your hands about women going out late at night, and talk about “personal responsibility” (meaning: a constricted life for prospective victims).

    The radical, disruptive position is to blame first the rapist, and then (secondarily) those who would make excuses for him. Including you. Every time you focus on the woman’s behavior, rather than the rapist’s, you are indeed championing rapists, and you are also championing women’s subjection. Take some personal responsibility for your own rhetoric. If a woman can’t go out alone, at night or in “dangerous” areas, she’s barred from many forms of fun. She’s barred from the pleasure of solitary walks. She’s barred from many forms of employment, including emergency-room physician or nurse, lawyer representing criminals who get taken to night court, cab driver, and bartender. She is barred from many forms of adventure. If women have to change their lives to accommodate rapists, that’s not equality. That’s prioritizing rapists over women. It is the equivalent of letting the terrorists win. It’s as pusillanimous and vile as taking “don’t build skyscrapers” as the lesson from 9/11.

    Telling women “don’t do X or you’ll be raped” also tells rapists “pick a victim who does X and you’ll get the fun of blaming the victim after her violation, in addition to the fun of violating her.” So yeah, you’re not only championing rapists. You’re making yourself their accomplice.

    Here’s a thought experiment for you, Ian: let’s say women started responding with violence to any man who says what you just said. “Don’t go out alone!” ::kick:: “Don’t go out late at night!” ::punch:: “Don’t wear short skirts!” ::tase::

    In that case, would you be irresponsible for saying what you just did? At least, if you said it in a face-to-face encounter with a woman?

    If not, why not? After all, you knew the risk.

    If so, then you’re just making a rule that the most violent, brutish group of people gets to control social norms. Rapists get to control the social norms governing their victims. Women who respond violently to expressions of misogynist opinions get to control the social norms of men like you.

    This does not appear to be the recipe for a civilized society. Or for any society.

  133. Forbidden Snowflake says

    If you want to cross the street, first look both ways for traffic. Then move directly across. If you can’t, or are disinclined to do so, don’t even try it. That is where ‘society’, ‘the law’, ‘collision culture’ etc leaves off, and individual responsibility takes over. Deplore it if you wish to, but that’s the way it is.

    So, a rape victim is like someone who ran into traffic without looking, and a rapist is like a driver who hits a pedestrian because he didn’t see him or didn’t hit the brakes soon enough?
    Why does your analogy put a blameless, or at least non-malicious, party in place of the rapist? Why do you think this is a valid analogy to make?
    Also, why is your recommendation to avoid getting hit by a car is merely to look both ways, and not to never venture onto a road altogether? That would be more consistent with your advice regarding rape prevention.
    God, you’re such a dishonest piece of shit.

  134. Forbidden Snowflake says

    There’s nothing “politically correct” about holding rapists culpable. The politically correct position is yours: to wring your hands about women going out late at night, and talk about “personal responsibility” (meaning: a constricted life for prospective victims).

    That is an important point, and thank you for making it. Indeed, it’s so tiresome to hear a dude paint himself as a brave dissenter for parroting centuries-old “accepted wisdom”.

  135. says

    I am still having Internet access difficulties, but let us recapitulate this thread a bit.

    Briane @ #2: “A girl was recently raped and murdered walking home in inner Melbourne, and the media commentators fell over themselves to exculpate Australian society, and subtly blame her for being so silly, naive, asking for it, because she somehow was guilty by doing what she’d done many times before in supposedly safe Melbourne. Made my blood boil. She’s been adjudged guilty of walking while being female before her body was found.”

    Myself (ianmacdougall): @ #4: “A girl [?] was recently raped and murdered walking home in inner Melbourne, and the media commentators fell over theme selves to exculpate Australian society, and subtly blame her for being so silly, naive, asking for it, because she somehow was guilty by doing what she’d done many times before in supposedly safe Melbourne.”

    “Media commentators aside, I don’t think ‘society’ is to blame, or needs ‘exculpating’.

    “Society consists of millions of individuals, aggregated in different ways. People should be free to walk the streets at whatever hour without danger. But some don’t agree, and some of those in disagreement believe that a single woman late at night is fair game – for them.

    “Which means, particularly for women following the Jill Meagher case, a case for changing perspectives, including staying indoors at night; minimising time alone on the streets, particularly at night; learning self-defence.”

    ImaginesABeach @ #5: “ianmacdougall – what is the difference between Saudi Arabia telling women they cannot go out alone and be safe and you telling women they cannot go out alone and be safe? I’m just asking the question…”

    mandrellian @ #6 (without the slightest trace of condescension): “ImaginesABeach, I’m also charitably searching for ianmacdougall’s point…”

    Beatrice, the anti-imperialist and anti-racist ‘Islamophobiaphobic’ leftist @ #7: “ianmacdougall, This isn’t the topic so I’ll restrain myself to telling you that you should reread that last paragraph of yours, then read up some feminism 101 and about rape culture, then reread that paragraph of yours again, and think about it for a bit.”

    Myself (ianmacdougall) @ #8: “@ 5, 6, 7: If you read what I wrote, nowhere do I say that I approve of this situation of danger. I don’t. “People should be free to walk the streets at whatever hour without danger.” Full bloody stop.

    But danger is the reality. So how is it best dealt with?

    Or is asking that question taboo?

    Rodney Nelson @ #9: “But danger is the reality. So how is it best dealt with?

    “By changing the culture which blames women for being raped rather than men for being rapists.”

    Beatrice, the anti-imperialist and anti-racist ‘Islamophobiaphobic’ leftist @ #10:

    “http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    “…Rape culture is tasking victims with the burden of rape prevention.

    “Maybe take a minute to think about that sentence.
    Following links to further reading in that paragraph won’t hurt you either.

    This is all off topic, so I’m not going to get into detailed elaborations. I am giving you means to educate yourself.”

    This actually started with an attempt on my part ot educate myself, by having the damn gall to ask a question, and not a merely rhetorical one either. But by that time we were airborne.

    But to return to the question asked by ImaginesABeach @ #5: “ianmacdougall – what is the difference between Saudi Arabia telling women they cannot go out alone and be safe and you telling women they cannot go out alone and be safe? I’m just asking the question…”

    Yes ImaginesABeach, I’ll tell you what I think the answer to that rather good question is, although I take it from the way you frame it that you don’t believe there is any significant difference at all. Because the Saudis give it as a rather unsubtle categorical imperative: ‘thou shalt not go out alone, and if you do, we think you should not be safe. And God does not think you should be either.’

    I say on the other hand ‘If you want to go out alone, you should be able to handle the real (and deplorable) risk involved. As you wish to walk the streets alone, you should be ready for an attack by some bastard intent on whatever; without hanging round interminably waiting for Rodney Nelson’s change in “the culture which blames women for being raped rather than men for being rapists,” and also for rapists to stop raping.

    I do not approve of, condone, support, cheer on, or encourage rapists in any way. But to read the succession of comments which follows from Beatrice @ #10, the reader could be forgiven for believing I am the champion of all rapists, if not a practicing and enthusiastic rapist myself.

    If you want to cross the street, first look both ways for traffic. Then move directly across. If you can’t, or are disinclined to do so, don’t even try it. That is where ‘society’, ‘the law’, ‘collision culture’ etc leaves off, and individual responsibility takes over. Deplore it if you wish to, but that’s the way it is. Otherwise play the politically correct game, it which there is equation between (a) ‘individuals must never be held ultimately responsible for their own safety’ and (b) ‘to say otherwise is victim blaming’.

  136. says

    *smfh*

    Well, if he ends up getting mugged at knife-point, or beaten near to death, we can just sit here and fling his words right back at him — he should have been more careful, shouldn’t have provoked them, etc…

    ‘Course, he *still* won’t get why his “advice” is both horrible and wrong.

  137. callistacat says

    Ian says: “I say on the other hand ‘If you want to go out alone, you should be able to handle the real (and deplorable) risk involved. As you wish to walk the streets alone, you should be ready for an attack by some bastard intent on whatever;”

    And little girls who wish to go to school should be ready to handle getting shot or have acid thrown in their faces by some bastard. You should go to Pakistan and explain personal responsibility to those girls. It’s a man’s world, don’t you forget it.

  138. says

    Callistacat: “And little girls who wish to go to school should be ready to handle getting shot or have acid thrown in their faces by some bastard. You should go to Pakistan and explain personal responsibility to those girls. It’s a man’s world, don’t you forget it.”

    Jesus H. Christ. That takes the cake.

    So now I am in favour of little girls having to deal with acid attacks and gunmen on the streets!?

    I would better use my time in explaining parental responsibility to their parents. It’s the adults responsible for those kids who require them to face the danger in the streets, and don’t you forget it.

  139. callistacat says

    I didn’t say you were in favor of it. But yes, do tell the parents how they neglected their parental responsibilities and that’s why their daughter is in the hospital fighting for her life. She should have stayed home like a good girl. That’s the important take away from this.

    The thing you keep avoiding is that most women aren’t raped by a stranger when walking alone at night. Most women are raped by someone they trust, in a place they felt safe.

  140. callistacat says

    But no, you’re right. It’s EXACTLY like crossing the street and not looking both ways, silly me.

  141. says

    Callistecat: “The thing you keep avoiding is that most women aren’t raped by a stranger when walking alone at night. Most women are raped by someone they trust, in a place they felt safe.”

    I have no reason to believe that not to be the case. But the main theme of this thread arose from Briane’s comment @ #2, in which she cited the recent case of the rape and murder of Jill Meagher in Brunswick, Melbourne.

    The rest of your rant is an exercise in trying to shoot the messenger. Though you appear to believe to the contrary, I have no ready and guaranteed solution for most of the world’s ills.

    Don’t you forget it.

  142. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Wow.
    I’ve given up on this and only now remembered to take a look again.

    I see all efforts were futile, but thank you Lyanna, Forbidden Snowflake, WMDKitty and callistacat for trying.

  143. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Ian McDougall—you are disgusting. You deserve every bit of invective and outrage thrown at you on this thread. I only hope you shut your electronic trap long enough to reflect on your ignorant position and understand what these women have been trying to get through your thick head.

  144. says

    Josh,

    Precisely why am I “disgusting”? No generalisations please. Be specific.

    I admit that I have not read all the links I have been directed to by the theoreticians of ‘rape culture’. I did however, read the lengthy link below, which is from Melissa McEwan, the leading authority and apparent high priestess of the culture behind the doctrine of that same ‘culture’.

    Apparently anyone who does not fall in with the quasireligious groupthink of most of the posters on this thread qualifies in your view as ‘disgusting’. I have little doubt that many of them think I am in favour of rape and of innocent children being assaulted on their way to school.

    All I did was ask what I consider to be a perfectly reasonable question right back at the start of the thread. Then go on to question the nature of the ‘culture’. That was enough to shift the theologians into mediaeval attack mode.

    http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

  145. says

    Ian – by the way, briane isn’t a she. The name is Brian E. It took me a long time to figure that out myself, especially because he used to sign in as Brian and because of my fellow FT blogger at Biodork, Brianne.

    Anyway – you said this.

    People should be free to walk the streets at whatever hour without danger. But some don’t agree, and some of those in disagreement believe that a single woman late at night is fair game – for them.

    Which means, particularly for women following the Jill Meagher case, a case for changing perspectives, including staying indoors at night; minimising time alone on the streets, particularly at night; learning self-defence.

    Can you really not see the problem with making “a case” for women staying indoors at night? Can you really not see how stifling and confining and freedom-removing that “case” would be?

    Sometimes men get mugged. Would you nod in agreement if people started making a case for men staying indoors at night?

  146. says

    WMDKitty: “Because, Ian, you continually place the responsibility for not getting raped on the VICTIMS, rather than the RAPISTS.”

    No rapist will ever take on responsibility for the safety of his victims. Nor will any woman ever feel safe as long as there is a single rapist in her family, social circle or city. The Boston Strangler and London’s Jack the Ripper both proved that. Of course the rapist is 1000% morally responsible for his assault, and should be likewise legally.

    But you cannot put the responsibility for evading the rapist, or for preventing the rapist succeeding, on the rapist.

    What I have been castigated for by the anointed, enlightened and righteous on this thread is for refusing to endorse the idea that as long as there is one rapist out there stalking wherever and whoever, we must by definition be living in a ‘rape culture’.

    Ophelia: Greetings.

    ‘Can you really not see the problem with making “a case” for women staying indoors at night? Can you really not see how stifling and confining and freedom-removing that “case” would be?’

    It is not the advocacy or argument that removes the freedom. It is the rapist out there. I could repeat till my blogging fingers fell off what I have said before: anyone should be free to walk the streets at any hour of the clock, with or without company as they do so.

    There is a choice involved, and an assessment of risk. One can reduce the risk considerably IMHO by even a small bit of self-defence training. (Incidentally, in my time I have trained on the dojo mat with some particularly adept women, and of a great variety of weights and builds, and it would be God alone who could help a rapist if he was so foolish as to ever attack one of them.)

    But for advocating self-defence training I am ipso facto part of the ‘rape culture’: at least in the view of a lot of the theologians around here.

  147. says

    Ian,

    Ah but I notice you didn’t answer my question.

    No, really: advocacy and argument do help to remove freedom.

    “Responsibility” is the wrong word. It’s not irresponsible for women to go outdoors at night.

    And yes you’ve repeatedly said anyone should be free to walk the streets at any hour, but the first time you said it you also immediately said “Which means, particularly for women following the Jill Meagher case, a case for changing perspectives, including staying indoors at night.” The two are in tension, so it’s not fair to get annoyed with people who take you seriously on the second claim.

    The stuff about theology and the misreading of what’s meant by rape culture don’t help either. I think you think you’re replying to postmodernist bullshit, but you’re not. (I’ve even known one or two postmodernists who do postmodernism without bullshitting.)

  148. says

    Ophelia: The two are in ‘tension’ but not contradiction.

    I think it’s a bit unfair for commenters here to argue that this somehow makes me part of the ‘rape culture’ problem. And ‘reponsibility was WMDKitty’s word originally. Not mine.

    In your penultimate post you said: “Sometimes men get mugged. Would you nod in agreement if people started making a case for men staying indoors at night?”

    There are plenty of places I stay away from at night, and would only (reluctantly) go to alone if appropriately armed. Rape attacks on women appear to be on the rise in Australian cities right now, and so are knife attacks on men. I sometimes think that we are headed back to the situation in Shakespeare’s time, when any sensible man wore a sword and learned how to use it.

    If one goes out alone, one is either oblivious of any risk involved, or has decided that the risk is worth taking.

    But pointing out a reality does not necessitate being in favour of it. There are a helluva a lot of messengers being shot at around here, and most of them are me.

  149. says

    Ian,

    Ah well that clarifies. Mind you, avoiding certain areas is not the same as deciding to stay indoors at night, but I won’t quibble.

    Well you know that’s true of everything – if one does ___, one is either oblivious of any risk involved, or has decided that the risk is worth taking. There is some risk to everything. Statistically, getting in a car is very risky, but we do it (those of us who do).

    I wasn’t aware of the increase in knife attacks on men in Australia, but I’m betting the incidence of knife attacks is much lower than that of car crashes. Humans are notoriously bad at estimating risks.

  150. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Hey, Ian, how about you answer me for once? You’ve ignored pretty much every comment I’ve made.

    I have little doubt that many of them think I am in favour of rape and of innocent children being assaulted on their way to school.

    Well, since you’re so sincerely concerned and totally would do anything to prevent rape: did you do what I advised you to do in comment #74?
    If so, how did it go?
    If not, why not, and what should I conclude from it about your commitment to rape prevention?

    No rapist will ever take on responsibility for the safety of his victims. Nor will any woman ever feel safe as long as there is a single rapist in her family, social circle or city.

    Are people in your world divided neatly into rapists, who are unstoppable rape-machines, and non-rapists? Are there no potential rapists? Are there no rapists who don’t believe what they do to be rape? Are nobody’s actions informed by the surrounding culture?

  151. says

    Snowflake: ‘Come on, you can do better than that. Don’t just parrot “don’t be a rapist” at them; talk to them about all of the ways to avoid being a rapist. Remind them, in person or via facebook status, that the lack of “no” isn’t the same as “yes”; that consent must be ongoing, and not merely given at one point;… [etc]‘

    I don’t do facebook or other ‘social media’, nor do I keep company with any people likely to date rape or engage in the other activities you mention. But that comment of mine which clearly got up your nose was an attempt to show how close after the starting line the advocacy of not raping is likely to run into trouble. I mean, how many times a day, week etc do you advocate non-rape in your social circles? (This does not imply BTW that I am in favour of rape, though some militants around here will probably draw that conclusion.)

    However, if my attempt at subtle humour went over your head, or in your case fell flat on its face, please accept my sincere apologies. No, make that condolences.

  152. Forbidden Snowflake says

    I don’t do facebook or other ‘social media’, nor do I keep company with any people likely to date rape or engage in the other activities you mention.

    How on Earth would you know that? Do you believe rapists have a scarlet ‘R’ on their foreheads or something?

    But that comment of mine which clearly got up your nose was an attempt to show how close after the starting line the advocacy of not raping is likely to run into trouble.

    …by drawing a stupid strawman caricature of what such advocacy looks like. I replied with a more realistic suggestion, and now you’re frantically coming up with totally serious and convincing reasons for why you can’t take that trivial step to combat rape, reasons that for some reason totally don’t apply when you feel the need to mansplain to women about how their lives are not restricted enough.
    I mean, you know what makes much less sense than saying “don’t be a rapist”? Saying “don’t be a rape victim”, which is all you’re really doing here.

    I mean, how many times a day, week etc do you advocate non-rape in your social circles?

    I don’t have a schedule, but I don’t stay silent when the opportunity and the need come up. You know, like you wrote comment #4 because you saw the need and the opportunity to lecture women with your useless advice.

    (This does not imply BTW that I am in favour of rape, though some militants around here will probably draw that conclusion.)

    “Dogmatic”! “Militant”! “Groupthink”! You sound like a creationist on an atheist forum, FFS. Really, that may be considered effective demagoguery wherever it is you come from, but here it just makes you look pathetic.
    I don’t think you’re in favor of rape. Just not enough against it to listen to what survivors and victim advocates say to you if it goes against your preexisting beliefs.

    However, if my attempt at subtle humour went over your head, or in your case fell flat on its face, please accept my sincere apologies.

    It didn’t go over my head, but rather fell flat. I just tried to pick it up and make something useful out of it. You assumed I just didn’t understand your “subtle” humor and need to be explained, which is perfectly in line with your behavior throughout this thread.

    No, make that condolences.

    Go fuck yourself.

  153. Nepenthe says

    nor do I keep company with any people likely to date rape or engage in the other activities you mention.

    How do you know this?

  154. says

    ‘“Dogmatic”! “Militant”! “Groupthink”! You sound like a creationist on an atheist forum….’

    There is clearly a ‘rape culture’ party line adhered to by the majority of commenters on this thread, and I have outraged them all by crossing it. That appears to me as the reality.

    IMHO shooting at messengers like me is no effective substitute for individuals taking action to protect themselves.

  155. LeftSidePositive says

    We have provided abundant examples of rape culture, including the experiences of people who have worked on rape crisis hotlines and the numerous ways in which rape charges are stonewalled before they can even be filed or are acquiteed, which you have just flatly denied. It’s not that you’ve violated a “party line,” it’s that you’re arguing from assertion and willful ignorance.

    You’ve also ignored the fact that we’ve told you OVER AND OVER again that WE ALREADY DO protect ourselves to the best of our ability, keeping in mind that we also have to live our lives. You are not telling us a single fucking thing of which we aren’t already aware, and we are further telling you of all the ways it fails.

  156. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Forbidden Snowflake,

    You win this lovely chastity belt. Don’t forget to wear it always if you want to protect yourself from rape!

  157. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Squee! This is the bestest bingo prize ever, auntie Beatrice.

    Hey, did you see Nepenthe and I have both asked Ian how does he know he’s friends are unlikely to rape, and he preferred to accuse us once more of persecuting him with our dogmatic party line rather than answer. I wonder how many of us will have to repeat the question how many times before he can’t ignore it anymore.

  158. says

    Beatrice, Leftside, Snowflake & Co:

    You all appear to me to assume that I have lived a life free from the effects of sexual assault, and know nobody who has been a victim of that. To the contrary, it has happened to two members of my own family. However, no further details will be supplied.

    Urging all and sundry to ‘change the culture’ has to be 100% effective if it is to work. But then, as the saying goes, if you can’t change others’ behaviour, change your own. I maintain that Melissa McEwan and her followers are dead wrong on the issue of self-defence and preventive personal behaviour, and are creating a smokescreen of their own; ultimately self-defeating.

    As long as we have this ‘rape culture’ bullshit hanging around, we will have a lot of declamation, hand-wringing and shooting at messengers, but bugger-all else. Certainly nothing of any value.

  159. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Of course he knows no one he associates with would commit rape, he wouldn’t associate with someone who could be(come) a rapist in the first place, right?

    Hint: this kind of circular thinking is not uncommon and is something many rapists can rely on when accused of rape. Their friends and community will protect them because it would otherwise be too uncomfortable for them to acknowledge they have had a rapist (or someone capable of rape) in their midst without realizing it. Easier to just claim their friend couldn’t have done it because “he’s not like that”.

    But don’t take my word for it, I’m just a craaaaazzzy feminist who buys the rape culture nonsense and repeats the party line.

  160. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    I would like to repeat this part

    You’ve also ignored the fact that we’ve told you OVER AND OVER again that WE ALREADY DO protect ourselves to the best of our ability, keeping in mind that we also have to live our lives. You are not telling us a single fucking thing of which we aren’t already aware, and we are further telling you of all the ways it fails.

    since it’s also one that Ian loves to ignore.

  161. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Urging all and sundry to ‘change the culture’ has to be 100% effective if it is to work.

    However, telling women not to leave their homes and to learn self-defense is great advice even if it’s only relevant to <10% of rape cases, only sometimes effective even in those cases, and can only be followed by few women.
    Because Ian is consistent like that.

  162. LeftSidePositive says

    Ian: Melissa McEwan reported her rape when she was in school, and the administrators responded by LOCKING HER IN A ROOM WITH HER RAPIST until they “worked out their differences” where he proceeded to threaten her. NOW do you want to fucking tell us that rape culture isn’t a thing? Do you want to respond to ANY of the information listed on this thread about what happens to women when they try to get their social circle and the legal system to take their rapes seriously? Do you want to respond to the fact that women are at risk of being threatened with assault if they fight back against a groper or one of the people (like their boss or coworker!) whom you assume doesn’t look like a rapist? Do you want to address the fact that we ALREADY do not prance around dark alleys at 2am if we can help it?

    By the way, changing the culture DOES NOT have to be 100% effective to work. If rapes were taken even slightly more seriously–if the thousands of backlogged rape kits were tested, for instance, vastly more rapists would be off the streets, and at least they couldn’t rape a second time (and most rapists commit multiple rapes). If people understood that girls have a right to go to a frat party and not get raped, a potential rapist would at least have to be wary that his frat brothers wouldn’t use “well, what did she expect?!” to gloss over his actions and he’d face a higher likelihood of consequences for his behavior. All of these would dramatically reduce the incidence of rape, and wouldn’t have to be perfectly effective to greatly improve women’s lives and statistical likelihood of safety. If we could just get rapes down to the lifetime incidence of muggings or murders, I’d be happy.

  163. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Beatrice:

    I would like to repeat this part

    You’ve also ignored the fact that we’ve told you OVER AND OVER again that WE ALREADY DO protect ourselves to the best of our ability, keeping in mind that we also have to live our lives.

    I would like to state for the record that this point was made at least three times* in this discussion before the comment you quoted, and went completely unanswered by Ian.

    *Data collected by Ctrl+F-ing “already”

  164. Forbidden Snowflake says

    One of the most useful analogies I’ve ever heard in this context was this:

    Two campers are walking through the forest when they suddenly encounter a grizzly bear.

    The bear rears up on his hind legs and lets out a terrifying roar.

    Both campers are frozen in their tracks.

    The first camper whispers, “I’m sure glad I wore my running shoes today.”

    “It doesn’t matter what kind of shoes you’re wearing, you’re not gonna outrun that bear,” replies the second.

    “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun YOU,” he answers.

    Suppose I followed Ian’s advice, stopped leaving the house after 6 p.m. and learned how to fight from the ghost of Bruce Lee himself. Great! I have outran the woman who comes home at 1 a.m. from waiting tables, the woman who can’t learn to fight because of her bad back and a bunch of other ones. Is it better for me? Sure. But let’s not forget that at the end of the day, Ian’s advice has prevented exactly zero rapes.

  165. Nepenthe says

    @Forbidden Snowflake 178

    Oh, I know. I think we’ve all heard that one before. I just wanted to hear him say it. Preferably out loud, where he can hear/read just how stupid it is.

    and 190

    Oh, but those women probably deserved it. Clearly when the man who raped me took advantage of my disability to overpower me, it indicated that I should have taken steps to avoid him, like not living with him and sleeping in his bed. At least that’s what my friends and family have told me.

    Besides, none of his friends think he’s a rapist.

    None of these statements/events are examples of rape culture.

    *goes to scrub self with bleach, metaphorically*

  166. julian says

    Could someone link me or point me o Melissa McEwan’s views on protecting yourself from sexual assault? Has she written about it in depth?

  167. says

    According to the coventional wisdom that appears to be operating here, as long as we have one rapist out there practicing his craft in whatever way and circumstances, we will be living in a ‘rape culture’; just as we are presently living in a ‘mugging culture’, ‘theft culture’, ‘scam culture’… you name it.

    One of my principal objections to the ‘rape culture is the problem’ line is that it is so bloody disempowering for the potential victims. Apart from avoidance behaviour, even a small amount of good self-defence training increases one’s power enormously. But all sorts of reasons why that course is to be avoided are scratched about for here. It’s a puzzle.

    But, if ‘rape culture’s the problem’ is what floats your boat, then go for it. But don’t try to tell me that a woman of whatever age getting locked in a room with her rapist somehow refutes what I have been saying.

    I do not assume that my own reality is anyone else’s reality, even if others do not accord me the same favour. But at the same time, I am not God Almighty, free to alter the world as he chooses to.

  168. LeftSidePositive says

    According to the coventional wisdom that appears to be operating here, as long as we have one rapist out there practicing his craft in whatever way and circumstances, we will be living in a ‘rape culture’; just as we are presently living in a ‘mugging culture’, ‘theft culture’, ‘scam culture’… you name it.

    Have you been fucking listening AT ALL, you wanking jackass!?!?! This is NOT AT ALL what rape culture means, and you are a fucking disingenuous moron for blabbing on like this and blatantly ignoring all the education the women on this thread have tried to get through your thick fucking skull. Rape culture is about the excuses OTHER PEOPLE make for rapists. Rape culture is about the chronic apathy of society and law enforcement. Rape culture is about micromanaging women’s lives from EVERYBODY and treating getting raped as a natural consequence of going out and having a good time. Rape culture is about lots of people–NOT ONLY rapists themselves–saying women deserve to be raped if they’re sexual, or that they’re “asking for it,” etc. If this is what you think “appears to be operating here” you are clearly so pigheaded and willfully ignorant that you have blatantly misinterpreted what we’re saying, ignored what contradicts your stupid, simplistic understanding of our lives, and failed to understand basic English in all of our posts and our education materials about what the fuck rape culture actually means. Fucking asshat!

    One of my principal objections to the ‘rape culture is the problem’ line is that it is so bloody disempowering for the potential victims.

    DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE talk over every damn woman on this thread, belittle our experiences, ignore our activism, ignore heaps of social science research on rape, rapists, and rape victims, and think you can fucking tell us what should be empowering for women.

    Apart from avoidance behaviour, even a small amount of good self-defence training increases one’s power enormously.

    Provide some evidence or shut the fuck up, asshole. And, while your at it, why don’t you respond to all the ways people have already shown you that self-defense is not an option for them due to physical or mental disability, or just unexpected circumstances?

    But all sorts of reasons why that course is to be avoided are scratched about for here. It’s a puzzle.

    NO ONE IS FUCKING SAYING THAT, YOU FILTHY, E. COLI O175:H7-LACED STINKING ASSHOLE. We have ALREADY FUCKING SAID that we take reasonable precautions to protect ourselves. We are in no way opposed to people choosing to try to learn self-defense, and we have NEVER said that this is to be “avoided,” you lying fucking shithead. We have pointed out that this course of action is not open to everybody, what harm the EXPECTATION (not “option,” not “choice,” but “expectation”) that women give up their full participation in the world around them does, and we have discussed how it is inadequate on a society-wide level.

    But, if ‘rape culture’s the problem’ is what floats your boat, then go for it. But don’t try to tell me that a woman of whatever age getting locked in a room with her rapist somehow refutes what I have been saying.

    Great job being fucking dismissive of someone being abused by the system, shithead. And, did it occur to you that she was raped by someone she knew and trusted–avoiding going out alone would not have helped her. Not only that, but she was A CHILD when this happened, and how do you expect her to have had the means to drive herself to self-defense classes? How old do you think a girl should be before her entire extracurricular activities are consumed with the responsibility of not getting raped? Moreover, did you not notice that the whole administration of the school was on HIS SIDE? How much good would it have done to resort to physical violence in self-defense if she would be arrested, suspended, or expelled for fighting back? It’s not just the rapist, you motherfucking idiot, it’s all the people who enabled that rapist! It’s all the people who made it impossible for her to seek justice. It’s all the people who showed her SHE would be the one getting punished if she stood up for herself. It’s the fact that HE, the RAPIST, was not expelled nor put in jail, and therefore had the opportunity to rape her again (and maybe others, who knows?).

  169. Brownian says

    Ian, if you’re not even going to try to understand what people are talking about, then shut the fuck up. Nobody is interested in your useless advice.

    (I mean, really, self-defence? Are your really so in love with yourself that you honestly think that’s helpful, as in, there is a single fucking person on this planet over the age of eight that doesn’t know the existence of self-defence and martial arts? Are you honestly that fucking clueless?

    Seriously, shut the fuck up dude.)

  170. Rodney Nelson says

    Ian MacDougall #194

    According to the coventional [sic] wisdom that appears to be operating here…[rest of comments ignored for reasons which will be obvious]

    Ian, you really need to work on your reading comprehension. Your idea of the “co[n]ventional wisdom” doesn’t match what anyone else has said. Perhaps you should read more and comment less. Or else you can continue to show you’re a clueless, mansplaining, victim-blaming, rape-apologist dudebro (and I’m being polite to you).

  171. Forbidden Snowflake says

    According to the coventional wisdom that appears to be operating here

    Oh, pumpkin, you don’t need to think up new ways to say “groupthink” anymore. I already got bingo.
    Run along, now.

  172. says

    Julian @ 104: “Could someone link me or point me o Melissa McEwan’s views on protecting yourself from sexual assault? Has she written about it in depth?”

    McEwan says at http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    “Rape culture is telling girls and women to be careful about what you wear, how you wear it, how you carry yourself, where you walk, when you walk there, with whom you walk, whom you trust, what you do, where you do it, with whom you do it, what you drink, how much you drink, whether you make eye contact, if you’re alone, if you’re with a stranger, if you’re in a group, if you’re in a group of strangers, if it’s dark, if the area is unfamiliar, if you’re carrying something, how you carry it, what kind of shoes you’re wearing in case you have to run, what kind of purse you carry, what jewelry you wear, what time it is, what street it is, what environment it is, how many people you sleep with, what kind of people you sleep with, who your friends are, to whom you give your number, who’s around when the delivery guy comes, to get an apartment where you can see who’s at the door before they can see you, to check before you open the door to the delivery guy, to own a dog or a dog-sound-making machine, to get a roommate,

    to take self-defense,

    to always be alert always pay attention always watch your back always be aware of your surroundings and never let your guard down for a moment lest you be sexually assaulted and if you are and didn’t follow all the rules it’s your fault.”

    [line break not in original]

    I think that gives one an idea of McEwan’s estimation of ‘self-defence’, though I stress that I have not read any of her other thoughts on the matter.

    Some years ago my wife was on a visit to the US and got bitten by a dog. She sought medical treatment immediately on the assumption that the animal was rabid. Guilty till proven innocent was good precautionary thinking on her part, IMHO.

    This evening, on leaving after a visit to friends, I was given the routine advice ‘drive safely’. I always do, to the best of my ability, but the advice never goes astray however many times given and received. In McEwan’s view, if she is consistent, my advisers were purveyors of what might be called ‘prang culture’. McEwan’s litany is an invitation to the reader to see all such advice as a form of victim blaming and therefore to be shunned and condemned. Also therefore, to be regarded as repulsive and unreasonable.

    Where McEwan says: “…never let your guard down for a moment lest you be sexually assaulted and if you are and didn’t follow all the rules it’s your fault….” She is only partly right. It is never the ‘fault’ of the person who is attacked for being attacked, unless that person chooses to see it that way. The fault and culpability always lies with the attacker, though getting the police and courts to agree is not always straight-forward.

    But high-level students of self-defence in my experience are always on guard. Always. They assume that an attack could come at any moment, and from anywhere and anyone. And they can do this while being at ease and relaxed. It goes with the territory.

  173. LeftSidePositive says

    http://www.snopes.com/crime/prevent/rape.asp

    And really, can we ban Ian already?

    1) He is adding nothing to the discussion.

    2) He has done an extremely superficial job of educating himself on important topics, and still pretends to be a knowledgeable voice.

    3) He has repeatedly and utterly failed to address known weaknesses of his “advice” and instead is repeating his thesis over and over again.

    4) He is showing an extraordinary degree of disrespect to survivors by trivializing the blaming and obstacles to justice they face.

    5) He responds to substantive critique by whining “group think” and “ultrafeminist” and “militant” while providing no coherent evidence in support of his position.

    6) He is repeatedly strawmanning arguments of the rest of the commentariat and continues to do so after his errors have been corrected well past the point of his plausibly having an honest misunderstanding.

    This is not a person who is arguing in good faith or who is even open to any level of education or self-reflection. Anything in this conversation that a newbie observer could have needed to be educated about has long since been explained, and now it’s just putting an extraordinary burden on the rest of the commenters here to stand up to Ian’s repetitive, self-absorbed, un-sourced, denialist bullshit.

  174. LeftSidePositive says

    But do we really want to deal with Ian anywhere else?! This kind of bad reasoning and lack of basic human decency is not something people can generally limit to one topic. Anyway, your blog, your choice, but just for the record that’s what I would do.

  175. says

    When I get home. This dopy little notebook won’t let me.

    Meanwhile, Ian, I wish you’d let it drop. Imagine a friend of yours is legally crossing the street in a crosswalk and with the light, and a driver suddenly stamps on the gas pedal and smashes into her. Would you think it appropriate to tell her every time you saw her after that, “walk safely”?

    I hope not. At any rate, please let it drop. I’ll close the thread when I’m home.

  176. LeftSidePositive says

    Imagine a friend of yours is legally crossing the street in a crosswalk and with the light, and a driver suddenly stamps on the gas pedal and smashes into her. Would you think it appropriate to tell her every time you saw her after that, “walk safely”?

    Yeah, this. I was on vacation in DC a while back, and a couple of times some drivers would rev their engines at pedestrians. Generally one can figure basic Newtonian mechanics as to whether or not it’s safe to cross a street, but the display of intentionality in this situation was totally unnerving!

  177. says

    LSP: Before Ophelia closes the thread down (in an act of censorship that would frankly surprise me, having just read her and Stangroom’s excellent ‘Why Tuth Matters’) I did accept somebody’s invitation a long way back to read Melissa McEwan’s 2,475 word online piece. I know its length because I cut and pasted it into word for detailed consideration when offline.

    Regrettably, and though I have tried so very hard, my response to it has clearly missed out on your approval.

    Thank you anyway for your lucid and temperate contributions to this thread, to which I have given hours of struggling thought; particularly @ #195, where you took the trouble to highlight your more intellectually deep and difficult passages with BLOCK CAPS, thereby making it easier for me to focus my admittedly imited powers of concentration and reason onto them.

  178. LeftSidePositive says

    If you’re trying to make the case that you’re worth having around, a tone argument is seriously not the way to do it.

    Oh, and did you not notice that in addition to block caps I conclusively and exhaustively showed you how and why everything you said in your previous post was wrong? I would sure as hell prefer you address that, rather than clutching your pearls because I capitalized a few things (hey, nothing else had gotten through your thick skull, so it was worth a try!)

    And there have been several other direct questions you’ve avoided, preferring to repeat your easily-debunked simplistic misconceptions rather than honestly engage with what people are telling you. The fact that you read one piece and understood it only at the most embarrassingly simplistic level and have repeatedly misrepresented it here does not constitute a demonstration of good faith–it’s either dishonesty or mind-blowing incompetence.

    And another thing: I listed in some detail why you are simply not worth listening to, and not worth taking up space in otherwise interesting comment threads. Removing you from the conversation is no more “censorship” than removing the bots that say “FREE NIKES AND GUCCI PURSES BUY ONLINE BEST RUSSIAN SHOP!!!!” because you are both contributing roughly equal intellectual content to the discussion.

  179. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Julian @ 104: “Could someone link me or point me o Melissa McEwan’s views on protecting yourself from sexual assault? Has she written about it in depth?”

    McEwan says at http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    “Rape culture is telling girls and women to be careful about [...long laundry list...], to take self-defense, [...] lest you be sexually assaulted and if you are and didn’t follow all the rules it’s your fault.”

    I think that gives one an idea of McEwan’s estimation of ‘self-defence’

    No, that gives one an idea of McEwan estimation of pompous assholes lecturing women about ‘self-defence’ as their god-given duty. An actual estimation of self-defense would be a matter of facts and evidence, rather than asserting from intuition like you do.

  180. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    Ian,

    This is not censorship, it’s Ophelia doing you a favour.

  181. says

    LSP @ #208:

    ‘And another thing: I listed in some detail why you are simply not worth listening to, and not worth taking up space in otherwise interesting comment threads. Removing you from the conversation is no more “censorship” than removing the bots that say “FREE NIKES AND GUCCI PURSES BUY ONLINE BEST RUSSIAN SHOP!!!!” because you are both contributing roughly equal intellectual content to the discussion.’

    Well of course, what else has any censor ever said, than that he or she is protecting readers and site visitors from error, time-wasters and misleaders?

    You could have had a big career in Stalin’s Russia, or Torquemada’s Spain.

  182. LeftSidePositive says

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, you sound as self-righteous and intellectually vapid as a Thunderf00t defender!

    And why don’t you drop all the overblown rhetoric about Stalin and Torquemada and address the substantive critiques of your mindless stances, rather than just throwing yourself a martyr party when someone dares point out your argument has been refuted long ago and it hasn’t evolved or even considered the refutations we’ve presented the last, I dunno, eighteen times you’ve commented?! No, we are under no obligation to listen to you repeat your bullshit. You are long past the point of being worth listening to, but you are simply too self-important and willfully ignorant to take responsibility for being intellectually honest.

  183. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Well of course, what else has any censor ever said, than that he or she is protecting readers and site visitors from error, time-wasters and misleaders?

    Ian, since you’re obviously not a misleader or a time-waster, tell me, how do you know your friends aren’t rapists?*

    *fourth time you’re asked this question since you’ve stated “nor do I keep company with any people likely to date rape or engage in the other activities you mention” way back in #175. For someone who isn’t a time-waster, you sure waste a lot of everyone’s time.

  184. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Oh look, Ian ignored my #209, in which I argue that he misrepresented McEwan. But no, he’s no time-waster or misleader.

  185. says

    The most substantive critique of my position I have been able to find is Melissa McEwan’s source document referred to above.

    Rather than race all over the Net at every odd commenter’s suggestion, I have stayed with that. In my comment at #200 dealing with aspects of McEwan’s position, I was specific and as constructive as I thought possible: in response to a question from a commenter other than your universal self, LeftSideStalinist.

    You on the other hand have dealt in generalisations, not specifics, in abuse rather than courtesy, and have called for me to be given the heave-ho. Like any other control freak, you present your attempts to shut up my disagreement with yourself as for the general good.

    Cack-handed authoritarians like yourself were never attracted to B&W back in the good old days. I fear it is a sign of the times.

    God help us. (That’s my prayer for today.)

  186. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Also, since Ian is not a time-waster or a misleader, but is merely falsely accused of being such by censorious ultrafeminist Stalinist theologians*, he can surely provide evidence for his claim that

    Apart from avoidance behaviour, even a small amount of good self-defence training increases one’s power enormously.

    He’s been asked for it multiple times by now, but so far his only evidence has been an anecdote in #116, but that doesn’t really account for failures or the risk that fighting back will only enrage the attacker, and anyway, Ian himself doesn’t accept anecdotes as evidence.
    Go on, Ian, quantify “small amount” and “enormously” and present evidence. You’re not just misleading people with your claims or wasting their time, are you?

    *a mashup of some of the things Ian has called people here so far, because he doesn’t stoop to insults

  187. says

    Snowflake,

    Many years ago I used to keep company with a lot of yob footballers, some of whom from their frequently misogynist talk I would nominate as likely candidates to engage in date-rape. As I said and you quoted “nor do I keep company with any people likely to date rape or engage in the other activities you mention.”

    Likely, that is. I could be surprised. There could be the odd Dr Jekyll amongst them. I can’t say for sure.

    I did not misrepresent McEwan; I quoted her.

    From what I can gather, your ‘argument’ that I misrepresented McEwan was:

    “No, that gives one an idea of McEwan estimation of pompous assholes lecturing women about ‘self-defence’ as their god-given duty. An actual estimation of self-defense would be a matter of facts and evidence, rather than asserting from intuition like you do.”

    But it was facts and evidence. My own 27 years of life-experience as a martial-arts student. Not ‘intuition’. Need I say more?

  188. LeftSidePositive says

    Hey, motherfucker, you’ve got a lot of fucking nerve telling us we’re being general when you’ve ignored multiple direct challenges to your arguments. Off the top of my head, a few points you’ve failed to address:

    1) You are wrong about McEwan’s position (as has already been explained to you!). She is not saying taking self-defense classes is bad, she is saying that pompous men telling women they should feel obligated to take self-defense classes is bad.

    2) Provide evidence that self-defense classes actually reduce the incidence of sexual assault. You’ve been asked to do this multiple times and you haven’t.

    3) Address the concern that fighting back has the risk of increasing the level of violence a victim experiences in certain situations.

    4) Address the fact that self-defense classes are not physically possible for all women.

    5) You have failed to address the fact that the “common sense” tips you recommend would curtail my freedom to the point that I could not do my job or have any type of social life.

    6) You have failed to listen to the MULTIPLE times we have all told you OVER AND FUCKING OVER that we already know all your prevention ideas, and we already to them to the best of our ability and feasibility in any given situation, but we can’t live like that all the time, and everyone will always be around to point out one more thing we shouldn’t have done.

    7) You have repeatedly ignored our showing you that just because we criticize the cultural expectations that we take on the burden of defending ourselves (and you’ve failed to ignore the societal shifting of this burden through social acceptance of date rapists and police and crime lab negligence), DOES NOT MEAN that we do not continue to protect ourselves, as it is practically one of our very limited options in this unjust society.

    8) You are wrong to believe that “rape culture” exists any time one rapist is out there. It refers to the pattern of behavior that our entire culture engages in to excuse rapists, to fail to bring rapists to justice, and to blame women for being raped.

    9) You have failed to address our stated position that increased police attention to sexual harassment and assault would get rapists off the street sooner, and social condemnation of “date” rapists would show them their peer group will not fall for their usual excuses.

    10) How do you know none of your friends are rapists?

    11) You have failed to acknowledge–REPEATEDLY–that rape is not a mindless consequence of the laws of physics…indeed, you continually insist on making driving metaphors, where the danger of crossing the street or changing lanes is that someone physically cannot stop hurting your, NOT that they use your presence or perceived behavior as an excuse to intentionally hurt you. This has been explained to you multiple times.

    Oh, and by the way, you miserable fucking dumbshit: date rapists are not just yob footballers. Not all date rapists engage in overtly misogynistic behavior in public or with friends. In fact, many of them cultivate a “nice guy” persona specifically to gain the trust of others–both potential victims and defenders/enablers. I can’t BELIEVE you don’t realize that. The fact that you only just barely gave an “I can’t say for sure” when we had to remind you OVER and OVER again about your inability to read people’s criminal proclivities just by looking at them should show you how utterly stupid it is for you to preen about not associating with people “likely” to date rape. It also shows that this doesn’t get you out of a responsibility to talk about the nuances of consent where people in general often willfully or ignorantly misunderstand it or act entitled to women’s bodies, or conveniently reinterpret behavior, all of which enables rape culture, and in which people of all socioeconomic strata and all types of personal manner can engage to rationalize rape and other sexual assault. Yes, even among your friends.

    And another thing: your anecdotes about your own martial arts training are absolutely fucking worthless. Not only do they have all the inherent limitations of anecdotes, but you also have never actually had any experience using your martial arts training in the real world. You’ve just shown how it gives you an ego-trip and makes you feel better. That’s not an argument for public health or safety. That’s just “Ian MacDougall happens to like martial arts.” That’s it. You’ve provided absolutely NOTHING by which we can assess any efficacy in the real world.

  189. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Cack-handed authoritarians like yourself were never attracted to B&W back in the good old days. I fear it is a sign of the times.

    Go fuck yourself silly, Ian.

    Back in the good old days we were blissfully unaware of how many people we hung around with were, in fact, soaking in their privilege so deeply they were about to dissolve. It’s been unpleasant to see the ignorant and belligerently-defensive-of-this-ignorance gooey inside underneath the candy shell.

    Your attitude and your aggressive reactionary bullshit is the problem. Not B and W.

  190. Nepenthe says

    Many years ago I used to keep company with a lot of yob footballers, some of whom from their frequently misogynist talk I would nominate as likely candidates to engage in date-rape. As I said and you quoted “nor do I keep company with any people likely to date rape or engage in the other activities you mention.”

    Brilliant. Thank you. Finally you’ve answered the question. (Do please note that neither I nor Forbidden Snowflake are LeftSidePositive. If you have difficulty telling lady ‘nyms apart, you can tell by the little pictures.)

    So, something between 5 and 15 percent of men are rapists. (Start with Lisak 2002 and work your way back.) What percent of men are “yob footballers”? And what percent of “yob footballers” are rapists?

    For the record, I have known 5 men I’d definitely peg as rapists. None of them are or were “yob footballers” or the American equivalent. I’d peg them as rapists because they either raped me, raped someone I knew, or assaulted someone I knew.

    Is this a class thing, your assumption about who rapes? The old idea that rape is a crime of the brutish masses that sophisticated and intellectual gents like us never engage in?

  191. Forbidden Snowflake says

    But it was facts and evidence. My own 27 years of life-experience as a martial-arts student. Not ‘intuition’. Need I say more?

    Wait… You think your anecdotes are data because you have many of them? Epic skepticism fail.

  192. says

    In subsequent comments, provided Ophelia does not act on her stated intention of closing this thread, I will address as many of the points made by you my fellow commenters from #219 onwards. However, I would like to use this one to make a general comment.

    This site operates under the umbrella association called Freethought Blogs. Free thought is free thought, not just some convenient label chosen as a brand name, like the Apple logo on somebody’s computer.

    To put my own personal history into perspective for you all, my mother was a pre-Friedan feminist, who had found her own way to feminism way back in the 1930s, before I was born. So I got feminism with my mother’s milk. My father’s mother was a feminist also, and she did time in Holloway Gaol for her activities circa 1906 agitating in the London streets for female suffrage. My father was with her there as a prenatal child. So he came from a strongly feminst household: one of the features that my mother found attractive in him.

    So I agree (say 99%) with your expressed opinions here. I deplore sexism and male violence of any kind directed against women. If I happen to see it happening in any way I get very angry, very quickly, and incline to intervene, always on the woman’s side.

    Where I have philosophical reservations is on the minor point (I know, I know: for some of you it is the all-important everything) as to whether it is useful or not to say that the society I live in has a ‘rape culture’, however defined. I don’t think it is useful, but remain willing to be persuaded otherwise.

    But this might as well be Pakistan, and I might as well have said that the word of a woman should be of equal value to a man’s in a Sharia court, and be facing a crowd of hostile imams and Islamic scholars accusing me of gross heresy.

    Back at #8 (my second comment on this thread) I said: “If you read what I wrote, nowhere do I say that I approve of this situation of danger. I don’t. ‘People should be free to walk the streets at whatever hour without danger.’ Full bloody stop.

    “But danger is the reality. So how is it best dealt with?

    “Or is asking that question taboo?”

    That whipped all you heresy hunters and witch-burners into action, and here at the fag end of this thread, you are still at it.

    ‘Freethought Blogs’! Perhaps it should be renamed ‘Mediaeval Mind Cement’.

  193. Forbidden Snowflake says

    This thread is seriously coming to the point where every odd comment is someone listing points Ian has failed to address and every even comment is Ian crying persecution. I really don’t see any way for progress to be made.

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