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Dec 31 2012

An iron rod into the woman’s body

The Delhi rape-victim has been cremated. That’s the end of her.

[Prime Minister Manmohan] Singh said on Saturday that he was aware of the emotions the attack had stirred, adding that it was up to all Indians to ensure that the young woman’s death will not have been in vain.

What emotions would those be?

Let’s look again at what happened to her.

On the night of the attack, the woman and a male friend, who also has not been identified, were on a bus after watching a film when they were attacked by six men who raped her. The men beat the couple and inserted an iron rod into the woman’s body, resulting in severe organ damage. Both were then stripped and thrown off the bus, according to police.

Why? Why would they do that? Why wasn’t it enough to rape her, or to rape and beat her? Why did they also shove an iron bar up her vagina and beyond it with enough force to destroy 95% of her intestines?

The only obvious answer, I think, is hatred. Just hatred.

And that kind of thing scares me. Not personally, really. In spite of all the stupid lies the hate-campaigners keep recycling about me that I’m so stupid and scaredy and radfem that I see innocent emails from supporters as threats for no earthly reason (the prediction that I might be shot is never mentioned), I actually don’t spook easily. I never have. I’ve always wandered around on my own a lot, from childhood on, which wouldn’t be the case if I were personally afraid. It scares me generally. It scares me for women and for the state of the public discourse. It creeps me the fuck out that open boastful misogyny has become so popular and mainstream lately.

I think it’s strange that the vocal boastful misogynists don’t worry about this. I think it’s strange that they convince themselves, or pretend to, that shouting loudly and repeatedly that Woman X is a fucking bitch has nothing whatsoever to do with misogyny itself or with dispersing it ever more widely across the landscape. I think it’s strange that so many people think it’s good to foster a climate of ragey hatred.

72 comments

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  1. 1
    Abdul Alhazred

    Everyone seems to be missing the obvious solution.

    Women need to arm themselves.

    And women need to be told it’s OK to arm themselves.

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Bullshit. Rapists need to stop attacking women.

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    I mean talk about completely missing my point…

    It’s not about some kind of minimal physical safety in a world full of frothingly angry people who would shove an iron rod up you if the opportunity offered. It’s about not living in that kind of world.

  4. 4
    tylerdaniel

    “We don’t have a responsibility to stop releasing rabid tigers into city parks, you have a responsibility to learn how to defend yourself against rabid tigers!”

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Abdul Alhazred

    Bullshit. Rapists need to stop attacking women.

    Bullshit how? Merely by asserting they need to stop?

    It’s about deterrence.

    Arm enough women and the rapists will get the message.

  7. 7
    Abdul Alhazred

    Ask yourself why is man on man rape so much more common in prison that out.

  8. 8
    Anthony K

    Ask yourself why is man on man rape so much more common in prison that out.

    I’m sorry, something totally fucking stupid got in my eyes for a second.

    Are you contenting that if men in prison were armed, prison rape would be less common?

    Is that actually your claim?

  9. 9
    abbeycadabra

    Oh yes. Let’s just arm everyone!

    Enter the Gladiators. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B0CyOAO8y0

  10. 10
    Anthony K

    The US has 18.5 times the per capita rate of rape (on average) that Canada, for instance, does, and yet Canadians own less than half as many guns as Americans do, per capita.

    Seriously, that’s some serious dumbfuckery on your part, Abdul Alhazred, and you’ve previously set yourself a pretty high bar.

  11. 11
    Argle Bargle

    Arm enough women and the rapists will get the message.

    The corollary to this is that unarmed women are setting themselves up to be raped. As usual, the “suggestion” is ultimately victim blaming.

    Women aren’t responsible for rape, rapists are. We need to change the rape culture found throughout the world. We need to make rape as socially, as politically and as morally unacceptable as murder is.

  12. 12
    screechymonkey

    Why? Why would they do that? Why wasn’t it enough to rape her, or to rape and beat her? Why did they also shove an iron bar up her vagina and beyond it with enough force to destroy 95% of her intestines?

    Didn’t you hear? She was provocatively dressed. I mean, it’s only natural that when a man sees a bit of leg or cleavage, his thoughts turn to iron bars, and some of them just can’t help themselves, the poor dears.

  13. 13
    Valde

    And if she is covered, that is provocative by its very nature, because covering up the ‘merchandise’ only serves to tease men, no?

    /sarcasm

  14. 14
    Silentbob

    Y’know, just the other day Greta Christina said this:

    Every single time a discussion of rape happens, someone pipes us to ask, “What could the rape victim have done to avoid this?” The whole point of this post was that this is reprehensible. The whole point of this post was that examining a rape victim’s actions after their rape to question and scrutinize their choices and look at what they might have done better – as opposed to looking at how we can discourage and prevent potential rapists from committing rape – is reprehensible.

    And lo and behold – the first comment on this thread.
    What a coincidence.

  15. 15
    Shivar

    Ophelia, there truly is no level so low that you won’t gladly sink to it.

  16. 16
    cutee

    Way to make the story all about yourself, Ophelia.

  17. 17
    Pitchguest

    What else to do when recounting the horrible murder of a woman in India? Use it as a excuse to make it all about you.

    For shame, Benson. For shame.

  18. 18
    Pitchguest

    What to do when recounting the horrible rape and murder of a woman in India? Use your white, Western, middle-class privilege to make it all about YOU.

    For shame, Benson. For shame.

  19. 19
    Pitchguest

    That’s low even for you, Benson, making the story all about you. Someone needs to check her white, Western, middle-class privilege.

  20. 20
    skeptixx

    Are you seriously trying to draw a comparison between a brutal, fatal, physical attack and criticisms of your [fill in the blank, including skepticism] as a blogger???

    Get a grip. It really isn’t about you and your self-absorbed concerns.

    Not to mention that you seem to be revising history as you go:

    In spite of all the stupid lies the hate-campaigners keep recycling about me that I’m so stupid and scaredy and radfem that I see innocent emails from supporters as threats for no earthly reason (the prediction that I might be shot is never mentioned), I actually don’t spook easily.

    You don’t, hunh. “Certain people should be ‘shot’” ring a bell?
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/11/certain-people-eh/

    Alice did the reality check:

    Hey Ophelia – I looked at this, and it actually *is* a reference to vaccinations. She and other pro-vaxxers at TAM were signing a Jenny McCarthy poster. Check out the other pics in that album.

    And you replied:

    Vaccination. That didn’t even occur to me. Are these people making me a little paranoid? Looks that way.

    How about actually discussing what approaches might actually help achieve a goal of actually preventing rapes? And, pro tip, coddling your precious ego isn’t one of those approaches.

  21. 21
    SallyStrange

    Yeah, “Skeptixx,” shockingly enough, women often do see connections between physical attacks that are motivated by misogyny and verbal attacks that are motivated by misogyny. Haven’t you seen those domestic violence warning signs pamphlets in the Planned Parenthood bathrooms? They all emphasize how domestic violence isn’t just hitting and punching, it’s also tearing down the victim’s self-esteem, telling her she’s worthless, etc.

    Oh wait, you probably haven’t. There’s that pesky male privilege again!

    Get the fuck over it. Your outrage about Ophelia’s alleged giant ego is unconvincing.

  22. 22
    Duness

    Only Ophie could make the gang rape and death of another woman in a post about herself.

  23. 23
    SallyStrange

    As for what will actually help bring down rape rates? Well, according to research, the most successful rapists are repeat rapists who use drugs, alcohol, and threats of violence (rather than actual violence) to rape. They usually rape acquaintances too. Why? Because they are following the script that society has given about what constitutes, as Whoopi Goldberg put it, “rape-rape” as opposed the other kind of rape – the kind of rape that hardly ever results in a rape conviction because everyone, from the medical professionals to the cops to the judge to the jury, thinks that date rape isn’t really rape because the woman must have secretly been “asking for it.” That means no more victim blaming, like Abdul was doing here. You can help out by criticizing Abdul, who is actively working AGAINST decreasing rape rates, rather than attacking Ophelia, who is working FOR decreasing rape rates.

    That is, of course, assuming that your concern about the welfare of rape victims is genuine and not just a pose you’ve adopted to further your goal of attacking Ophelia Benson.

  24. 24
    SallyStrange

    Silly Ophelia! You should have known that it’s really all about Skeptixx and Duness and whoever else is going to come along with this pre-programmed complaint.

  25. 25
    cutee

    TRIGGER WARNING, though maybe not needed if one has already read the OP

    SallyStrange:

    OP said “that kind of thing scares me. Not personally, really…[long winded stream of words about how, even though she wasn't personally scared by "that kind of thing" (violent rape, presumably), she has been upset by some vague internet threats]“.

    TL;DR: Ophelia Benson USED (yes, I said it) the brutalizing of a rape victim to further enhance the opinion, in some people’s minds, that she is a victim of anything even approaching this.

    Nothing against OB, but this is sickening. ABsolutely disgusting to even mention her own (not even true in the end) problems with this woman’s or any other person who has been raped.

    Sick. Sick. Sick.

  26. 26
    skeptixx

    Your rapier intellect has skewered my arguments, Sally Strange! How could I ever have thought:

    1) That Ophelia’s post, purportedly about “An iron rod in the woman’s body”, being >50% about herself…would suggest self-absorption on her part?

    2) That quoting the portion of Ophelia’s post about the “prediction that [she] might be shot” then linking back to her prior post in which she expressed concern about what she saw as a threat that she (?) might be shot, and quoting the portion in which it was revealed that it was just a play on words in Harriet Hall’s signature on an anti-vaxx poster, which others also signed, after which Ophelia admitted that maybe she was a little paranoid….would be help show that, at least in that example, Ophelia did react in a “scaredy” fashion, directly contradicting her claim that it’s a “stupid lie” to use “scaredy” to describe her?

    3) That skeptics acting like skeptics – you know, actually investigating people’s claims, comparing statements from now with those from the recent past, calling out things like false equivalence…would be welcomed at a “freethought” site?

    4) That a regular poster at FtB such as yourself, presumably one who considers himself or herself to be a feminist (though in fact I do not know your history or self-description)…would, apparently simply because I’m critiquing Ophelia’s statements, assume I’m male?

    5) That working for the past 20 years in women’s health, as I have, which has in fact meant not only using the bathrooms there and not only reading the pamphlets but in fact choosing which ones we’ll post, oh and also screening women for risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) and treating women who have been victims of IPV…would teach me a darned thing about IPV? (Which the attack in India was not; that was stranger violence.)

    Silly me. I stand corrected (not).

  27. 27
    Stacy

    Ophelia Benson USED (yes, I said it) the brutalizing of a rape victim to further enhance the opinion, in some people’s minds, that she is a victim of anything even approaching this

    No she didn’t, shithead. Only somebody who can’t read for comprehension–e.g., a slimepitster–could get that from what Ophelia wrote.

    skeptixx, duness, et al–you are making this thread–which, for the reading impaired, is about rape culture, and how it impacts women in small as well as horrific ways–all about you and your campaign against Ophelia.

    You are disgusting people. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, but I suspect you’re incapable of shame, or of honest self-reflection to any degree whatsoever. Fuck off, and take teh stoopid with you, kthxbai.

  28. 28
    Sassafras

    Ophelia wrote five other blog posts about this rape victim, but if she writes one post where she mentions anything related to her, then of course she’s making the story all about her. What the fuck is wrong with you vultures?

    That Ophelia’s post, purportedly about “An iron rod in the woman’s body”

    I remember learning the difference between a title and an introductory paragraph in fourth grade.

  29. 29
    skeptixx

    Mmm, I think I’ve seen this pattern before: form a circle, ignore the substance of the comments you don’t like, and start flinging ad hominems. Tribalism for the win! :)

  30. 30
    John Morales

    [meta]

    skeptixx, you are a trolling troll, and I’ve seen your trollish narrative before, too.

    (bah)

  31. 31
    cutee

    Sasafras: Ophelia mentioned a threat that included a “prediction that I might get shot”. Someone upthread has researched this and pointed out that the “shot” referrenced to “vaccine” shot not “gun” shot. So I think it is encumbent upon a skeptical mind to ask why the fucking shit thsi has been included into a post about a woman being raped and killed with an iron bar?

    CAN YOU NOT SEE THE DISGUSTINGNESS OF EQUATING THESE? CAN YOU NOT? I’M SICK TO FUCK RIGHT NOW, AND SO TRIGGERED YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE.
    FUCK YOU OPHELIA.

  32. 32
    skeptixx

    Tell you what. Anyone who is seriously interested in trying to prevent rape, how ’bout taking a look at this 2011 summary from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (US): Rape Prevention and Risk Reduction: Review of the Research Literature for Practitioners (or another similar resource if you know of one), then go ahead and propose some practical approaches. You can use the writing skills you learned in 4th grade if that’s where you learned them, or you can bring subsequent education to bear if applicable.

    The studies mentioned in it are probably from the US & other western countries; if you can find any literature that might be more pertinent to India, please do present it.

    The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence may not know what they’re talking about, though; I don’t see that they list, among the measures shown to reduce the risk of rape, any of the following: avoidance of signing anti-vax posters with puns involving the word “shoot” in case someone might misinterpret it, or photoshopping people’s heads onto posters (which I’ve never done, but I understand some people have done, and I admit to occasionally having laughed at), or creating parody twitter accounts, or even skeptically questioning people’s claims.

  33. 33
    Sassafras

    Ophelia mentioned a threat that included a “prediction that I might get shot”. Someone upthread has researched this and pointed out that the “shot” referrenced to “vaccine” shot not “gun” shot.

    Actually, cutee, the prediction that she might get shot is NOT the same one as the vaccine misunderstanding that skeptixx “helpfully” brought up. She’s referring to when someone sent her “helpful” advice that if she went to TAM, she should be extra careful and get tight security because she might get shot (and definitely not referring to vaccines). So if you’re going to scold people about being skeptical maybe you should invest in a little deeper research than just accepting the first, most ridiculous assertion that a troll makes.

  34. 34
    Stacy

    In a half-assed effort to redeem hirself, skeptixx links to rape prevention sites.

    We can google, thanks. You’re still a piece of shit.

  35. 35
    skeptixx

    @Stacy #30 Hahaha. In a half-assed effort not to actually have to try to address the real-life problem, Stacy insults someone on-line.

    @Sassafras #29: That’s helpful. I had heard about that one but hadn’t previously seen that post. But seriously?? That’s a “prediction that [she] might get shot”?

    Did you see the line that actually referred to some risk of her being “shot” in these communications which purportedly were warning her to stay safe?

    I’m happy that PZ was not shot (gun or uppants camera) at GAC, but that gives me scant reassurance that you will *not* be shot either way in Las Vegas.

    “Prediction” is “a statement of what will happen in the future.” This is not a prediction. This seems like someone trying to get Ophelia freaked out with what frankly looks like either tongue-in-cheek warnings, or paranoid warnings from someone who overheard a few words and made assumptions about what it meant. And it worked; it freaked her out. She believed enough not to go to TAM, yet she elected not to tell the police?

    Yeah, I can see how that is analogous to a woman (and to a lesser degree her male friend) being savagely assaulted by strangers on a bus in India, and how it helps prevent situations like that from occurring in the future.

  36. 36
    Sassafras

    Skeptixx @31: Yes, that is a prediction, though non-specific, that she might get shot. You may not like that wording but it is what it is, and changing it to “a warning that she might get shot” or even “idle speculation that she might get shot” does not change the meaning of what was said beyond semantics.

    Yeah, I can see how that is analogous to a woman (and to a lesser degree her male friend) being savagely assaulted by strangers on a bus in India, and how it helps prevent situations like that from occurring in the future.

    Ophelia directly says that the situations are not analogous. She says right up there in the part that you and cutee are losing your shit over, that though the hatred directed at the rape victim scares her, it doesn’t scare her in a direct, personal way, but scares her for the state of the world:

    And that kind of thing scares me. Not personally, really. In spite of all the stupid lies the hate-campaigners keep recycling about me that I’m so stupid and scaredy and radfem that I see innocent emails from supporters as threats for no earthly reason (the prediction that I might be shot is never mentioned), I actually don’t spook easily. I never have. I’ve always wandered around on my own a lot, from childhood on, which wouldn’t be the case if I were personally afraid. It scares me generally. It scares me for women and for the state of the public discourse. It creeps me the fuck out that open boastful misogyny has become so popular and mainstream lately.

    Ophelia is directly saying that despite how people have tried to portray her, she does not feel like she is personally in the same danger as the rape victim was. She says it right there plain as day, and when you try to twist it around to mean the opposite, that is YOU using a rape victim’s death to serve your fucking pathetic grudge.

  37. 37
    bad Jim

    Funny. The slimesters complain that Ophelia thinks it’s all about her, which they know can’t be right, because it’s really all about them! No iron rod perforating a woman’s intestines could ever be as important as their most precious treasured grievances.

  38. 38
    Anthony K

    Tell you what. Anyone who is seriously interested in trying to prevent rape

    …would have posted those links in any of the previous threads Ophelia has written on this case.

    You’re the worst kind of scum-sucking remora, skeptixx.

    Slyme on back to the pit, where you irredeemable pieces of shit can congeal.

  39. 39
    skeptixx

    Mmm. Insults supplanting evidence-based arguments, or at least that’s what it looks like.

    I don’t usually frequent FtB, in part because it’s so painful to see supposed skeptics acting like this.

    But anyway, since we’re here, let’s recap a bit, shall we?

    Bad Jim #33: “No iron rod perforating a woman’s intestines could ever be as important as their most precious treasured grievances.”

    - I hope that makes you feel better to say & think, m’dear. If you’ve done some important work in women’s rights, women’s health, etc, I’d love to hear about it.

    Ophelia in opening post: “It creeps me the fuck out that open boastful misogyny has become so popular and mainstream lately. I think it’s strange that the vocal boastful misogynists don’t worry about this. … I think it’s strange that so many people think it’s good to foster a climate of ragey hatred.”

    - Oh, she’s not talking about her own experiences? My bad. It sure sounded like it. Whose experiences is she talking about, then? And her claim that “open boastful misogyny has become so popular and mainstream lately” – does she mean universally, or does she mean directed at herwomen she knows? Does she mean since Elevatorgate, or is she talking about a different time frame?

    Let’s move on. So, what do you all propose to reduce rape?

    Ophelia #2: “Rapists need to stop attacking women.”

    - Great idea. How do you propose taking steps to achieve that? Like, exactly what steps would you propose? What has been tried so far, and what evidence is there that it works?

    Rodney Nelson #11 “We need to change the rape culture found throughout the world. We need to make rape as socially, as politically and as morally unacceptable as murder is.”

    - Just an aside, the woman in India was raped and murdered (though the murder occurred as part of the rape; hard to know how she & her friend would have fared if rape were considered unacceptable by her attackers but other crimes were still on the table).

    - “Change the rape culture found throughout the world.” Presumably, one might go to the countries with the lowest per capita rates of rape to learn what the secrets to their success are, right? (Understanding that under-reporting seriously impacts the official rates of this crime.) So, you could try a site like this (hey, look! I can use Google!): Rapes (per capita) by country to find Egypt, Armenia, and Azerbaijan as the 3 with the lowest (reported) rates. Canada and Japan also have low rates.

    - Of course, to find out where your efforts could best be used, you’d want to look at the top of the list. Congo isn’t on this list but in 2012 was said to have the highest rate in the world. Lesotho is at the top here, followed distantly by New Zealand, Belgium, and Iceland. So you’ll want to pack your back & off you go to the Congo, Lesotho, New Zealand, Belgium, and Iceland, to start implementing the changes you think will work! (Whether or not you stop by Egypt, Armenia, and Azerbaijan on the way to take notes.)

    SallyStrange #19 As for what will actually help bring down rape rates? Well, according to research, the most successful rapists are repeat rapists who use drugs, alcohol, and threats of violence (rather than actual violence) to rape. They usually rape acquaintances too. Why? Because … everyone … thinks that date rape isn’t really rape because the woman must have secretly been “asking for it.” That means no more victim blaming, like Abdul was doing here. You can help out by criticizing Abdul*, who is actively working AGAINST decreasing rape rates, rather than attacking Ophelia, who is working FOR decreasing rape rates.

    *Abdul Alhazred #1 proposes arming women & repeats this in #6. (His prison rape bit was weird.)

    - All right, so we can help out by criticizing someone who is proposing deterrence by arming women. That’s the first practical step mentioned so far. Even if we extend it to criticizing everyone who proposes this step – presumably a relatively small number of people – how has that actually helped?

    - Oh, and we can stop making any critical comments about Ophelia’s posts, because that is counterproductive (and might end up raising rape rates? Hmm)

    What did that awful slimy troll skeptixx suggest in this thread, related to rape rates?
    #16 “How about actually discussing what approaches might actually help achieve a goal of actually preventing rapes?”

    - Well, we have an answer as above: attack Abdul! That’ll apparently feel useful, even if it does fuck-all to actually reduce anyone’s risk of rape.

    #28 “Anyone who is seriously interested in trying to prevent rape, how ’bout taking a look at this 2011 summary from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (US): Rape Prevention and Risk Reduction: Review of the Research Literature for Practitioners (or another similar resource if you know of one), then go ahead and propose some practical approaches. …if you can find any literature that might be more pertinent to India, please do present it.”

    *crickets*

    I don’t suppose anyone is interested in listing the 3 general approaches to rape prevention, and for extra credit describing the potential upsides and downsides of each, and what evidence there is to support the efficacy of each general approach?

  40. 40
    bad Jim

    “If you’ve done some important work” … like you’re doing spamming a comment thread? No, you’re right, that’s not the sort of thing I do. I’m not that self-righteous or lacking in self-awareness.

  41. 41
    skeptixx

    How would that make you self-righteous? Wouldn’t it be something to celebrate? I mean, isn’t the goal to actually help bring about changes in the world (understanding that most change occurs gradually, over years, through the efforts of many people)?

    Don’t worry, there’s probably still time. Perhaps there’s some volunteer work you could do that would help move society in this direction. If you’re male (as your ‘nym suggests), how about joining forces with a group like this one: http://www.mencanstoprape.org/ ? Maybe going into high schools to talk to adolescent males, help instill an understanding of rape culture and practical tips to combat the messages they get from society.

    Or, no less involved but on a more individual level, maybe being a Big Brother to a boy who might benefit from your positive influence.

  42. 42
    bad Jim

    Get a grip. It really isn’t about you.

    I don’t know why I bother to complain, since I’m not actually opposed to masturbation, whether physical or moral. Strumming yourself in moral indignation is arguably preferable to stroking the shaft of your favorite weapon. Nevertheless, I’m old enough to be confident that nurturing resentments and hoarding grievances is as unhealthy as it is ugly.

  43. 43
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    “It creeps me the fuck out that open boastful misogyny has become so popular and mainstream lately. I think it’s strange that the vocal boastful misogynists don’t worry about this. … I think it’s strange that so many people think it’s good to foster a climate of ragey hatred.”

    - Oh, she’s not talking about her own experiences? My bad. It sure sounded like it. Whose experiences is she talking about, then?

    Seriously? It could be so many people: Anita Sarkeesian, Julia Gillard, Penny Wong, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Rebecca Watson, Stephanie Zvan, Laurie Penny, Jane Caro, Linda Grant, Rachel Maddow, Amanda Todd, Jessica Ahlquist, Felicia Day…. and on and on and on and on and on.

  44. 44
    Ophelia Benson

    Wow, that’s a lot of slyme. I allowed 4 that were held for moderation, too, just for thoroughness. Comments 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25. 26, 29, 31, 32, 35. 39, 41 all from the slyme faction. Because I think everything is all about me. Makes sense!

  45. 45
    Ophelia Benson

    Sorry about the influx. You know how it is – misogyny is such a fun sport that there are always newcomers eager to shout and lie and rave.

  46. 46
    johnthedrunkard

    I WILL NOT FEED THE TROLLS!

    One unmentioned item in all the nutballery above. Where on earth did an ‘iron rod’ come from on an evening bus? One has to assume that the rapists had brought it with them.

    Now the poor little dears may not have specifically planned to commit murder by impaling. Maybe the only ‘needed’ the bar to protect their ‘feelings’ against offence. Or to participate in any riot they wished to start. Or maybe they had planned a quiet evening of vandalism or burglary before they were distracted by the irresistible need to commit lethal assault on a fellow passenger for the crime of being Visible while Female.

    Emotionally, the idea of the victim(s) summarily executing these pigs has a visceral appeal. But this does not really mean that women passengers should be handed iron bars along with their transfers. OF COURSE I personally wish for the law to take the fullest measure of revenge on these monsters. The way I feel at this moment, I would gladly pull the lever to drop them to the end of a rope for a brisk ‘Newgate Hormpipe.’

    But that would never have deterred them, nor will it deter the next gang. It really does come down to the reform of culture, to the establishment of a functional rule of law, to a culture that does not manufacture sociopathic misogynists on an industrial scale.

    How do we get there from here?

  47. 47
    Ophelia Benson

    Exactly. Giving everyone a gun is no help, executing the murderers is no help. I don’t want to pack heat. I want to live in a world where people don’t foment hatred of loathsome others – women, dalits, foreigners, natives, radfems, teh gayz.

  48. 48
    Aratina Cage

    Comments 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25. 26, 29, 31, 32, 35. 39, 41 all from the slyme faction.

    Uffda. Saw some of the influx of slimes as it started last night. They all seemed designed to elicit maximum anger; at least, that’s what they do to me.

  49. 49
    anon1152

    I know I shouldn’t get involved. But I wanted to try making one, extremely limited point: I think some people here have been a bit too hard on Abdul’s comment. Some people seem to believe that his suggestion is either completely stupid, or misogynistic. I don’t think so. And I’ll try to explain why.

    He may be wrong. I think he is. But the idea of arming a potential victim isn’t necessarily “victim blaming”. I think it’s a not-completely-unreasonable-initial-reaction to the problem.

    Consider an analogy: War. If side A and side B are fighting, and side B is poorly armed, and our sympathies lie with side B, would we sit back and say that side B deserves to lose? Or would we arm side B, and/or fight side A? A less abstract example: World War II. When Poland was invaded by Germany, did the allied forces sit back and blame Poland? No, not that I remember. They declared war on Germany. And even if Poland was well armed, and Germany launched a war of aggression, and lost, Germany would still have been blamed for starting a war of aggression. (I realize I just oversimplified WWII, but I hope my main point is clear).

    You might argue that violence against women isn’t the same as war, it’s a more complex issue. And you’d be right. My point is only that someone wanting to arm a potential victim does not necessarily blame the victim. The suggestion (arming potential victims) does not necessarily involve ill will, misogyny, or complete stupidity. It’s merely wrongheaded.

  50. 50
    SallyStrange

    Oh goodness, just shut up, anon.

  51. 51
    Ophelia Benson

    anon – did you bother to notice that Abdul’s comment had nothing whatever to do with the post? That it was in fact almost the opposite of the post? My point was about the unreasoned hatred behind shoving an iron rod up the woman. It was not about what she could have done to be safe.

  52. 52
    latsot

    I’m not sure I can imagine a more violent act than this.

  53. 53
    anon1152

    Well, you identify a problem and propose a solution, and he proposes a different solution…

    I agree with you that he missed your point.

    And some of his other comments sortof go off the rails. (Prison rape?).

    My point was only that his suggestion (arming women) is not, on the face of it, completely unreasonable or misogynistic or victim-blaming. It’s just a bad idea.

    I don’t disagree with the substance of the original post.

  54. 54
    anon1152

    Hi SallyStrange,

    I’ve just re-read the original post and the comments. I’ve done this more than once today. And you may be surprised to hear that, at least in general, I like [still present tense] your comments. Except the first response to me that simply told me to “shut up”. Or maybe that’s my favourite response. I’ve gotten so used to that sort of response. It’s almost comforting. Someday I’d like to see an argument explaining WHY I should shut up… preferably starting with an argument that responds to what I first said. Though I guess I know why I should shut up in general. There’s a reason why I only speak pseudonymously, late at night, on the internet. But I digress. Or… can I “digress”? I had no point to make anyway…

  55. 55
    brianpansky

    if it wasn’t misogynistic, he would have suggested limiting the freedoms of men. nor the implication that assaults on women have to first occur, then be fought off by the targets themselves in order for the problem to go away.

    if it was not victim blaming, in would not be on this damn post. it would not be “everyone” (that must be referring to men, right?/sarcasm) who is “missing the **obvious** solution”.

  56. 56
    brianpansky

    proofreading:

    *nor would there BE the implication…[if it wasn't misogynistic]

    *it would not be this damn post

  57. 57
    anon1152

    Hi Brian @ # 51,

    Thank you for responding directly to what I was saying. I should also thank Ophelia Benson for writing this post, which I think is important. Though I think the comments section has been (or become?)… uh.. messy. But that’s probably inevitable given the internet as it is today. But I digress.

    I don’t think that arming women is, on the face of it, an anti-woman idea.

    One might respond to you and say that arming women does, in a sense, “limit the freedoms of men”. Or at least it’s that, over time, (in this idealized scenario), as men become aware that women are armed, they will stop victimizing women, because they are deterred, because they will see women as potential [counter]attackers rather than as potential victims. That’s the theory anyway.

    I’ve said several times before that this desire to arm women (or all potential victims, or everyone) is a bad idea. But I don’t think that, in itself, it’s an anti-woman suggestion. And I think that people here have suggested (or outright stated) that it’s an anti-woman suggestion.

    Please note that I’m trying to talk about the suggestion itself, not the suggester. I want to try to judge statements rather than persons at the moment. This is (probably) my first comment thread on FtB. Though I’ve perused FtB for a while…

    I can see, especially after reading Rodney Nelson’s comment, that the arming-women suggestion might lead to the inference that women are at fault if they are not armed. I just think it’s an inference that does not necessarily follow logically, and that we can’t assume misogyny on the part of the suggester. The suggestion could could come from a male or female… and it would still be a bad (but understandable) idea.

  58. 58
    anon1152

    Oops. I meant to address Brian at # 55. I’m even worse at math than I thought. Sorry about that.

  59. 59
    ildi

    I was wondering, also, about the presence of an iron rod on the bus, and what the bus driver and other passengers were doing. From one news article:

    The girl and her friend were returning from the Saket mall after watching a film Life of Pi and had boarded the chartered bus at Munirka for Dwarka not knowing it was plying illegally. The minor among the accused had called for passengers telling them that it was going towards their destination.

    So, not a regular bus, illegally run charter bus, and sounds like hey were hunting for victims. Also,

    The six accused in the Delhi gang-rape case had allegedly tried to mow the girl down under the bus after dumping her in south-west Delhi but her male friend saved her from being crushed.

  60. 60
    Laurence

    So posting a personal reaction to a tragedy is making it all about you? I guess you learn something new everyday. That’s not even a minimally charitable interpretation much less a reasonable one.

  61. 61
    brianpansky

    @ anon post 57

    “Please note that I’m trying to talk about the suggestion itself, not the suggester.”

    saying that it is misogynistic and victim blaming *is* talking about the suggestion, no matter who the suggester is. that’s how both of these things work, and the person does not have to be a man. might want some different definitions for those two things.

    when “everyone” includes the victims and potential victims, and the solution is “obvious”, then that is in fact saying that the victim should have known to be armed. this isn’t just some inference. but the real victim blaming is just suggesting changes to the victim population, not the attacker population. the victim population is not the one in need of fixing.

    the problem with this “obvious” suggestion also relates to the large volume of solutions *not* being offered which don’t involve grafting combat preparation into women’s lives. (maybe this was already pointed out, you sort-of got it already)

    I hope you can see asymmetry in this “limiting of freedom” in which half the population must be armed and ready, and the other half can proceed as usual so long as they avoid doing things than the entire population would already currently be arrested for. this basically doesn’t limit the freedom of men at all.

  62. 62
    rosiebell

    So these are the Slymepitters? They do have problems reading, don’t they? Ophelia says that horrible attacks of that kind stem from hatred of women. Points to other instances of it closer to home. Says that she finds it frightening (and you can find things frightening without thinking they will affect you directly) – and so “it’s about her”.

    So in a parallel instance atheists suffer severe persecution – even execution – in somewhere like Iran. Mr Sceptic says that is terrible, how atheism is persecuted. Points out examples among American Conservatives and fundamentalists and says he’s finding this climate frightening. And somehow that is “all about him”.

  63. 63
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes these are the slymepitters, but no, I don’t think they have genuine problems reading, at least not of this magnitude. It’s simply what they do. They tell lies, and spread the lies as widely as they can, so that reasonable people will believe the lies, and the slymepitters’ enemies will be “kicked to the curb” as John Loftus so attractively said I should be.

  64. 64
    Anthony K

    And they all showed up at once, repeating the same talking points, as if their tribe had been given the signal to act from their great, controlling hivemind.

  65. 65
    anon1152

    Brian wrote: “when “everyone” includes the victims and potential victims, and the solution is “obvious”, then that is in fact saying that the victim should have known to be armed. this isn’t just some inference. but the real victim blaming is just suggesting changes to the victim population, not the attacker population. the victim population is not the one in need of fixing.”

    OK. I’m starting to see this as more than “just some inference”. I’m not quite there though. I’d say more but I’d just be repeating myself.

    I still think that calling on women to arm themselves isn’t a completely unreasonable argument, nor do I think it’s offered in bad faith. (I don’t, for example think that it involves “actively working AGAINST decreasing rape rates”).

    I’ll stop arguing though given that I don’t think that’s the way to stop rape. I was just trying to make a minor point, and obviously I’ve convinced no one.

  66. 66
    Ophelia Benson

    Not convincing is not a problem, but what you’re arguing is not what the post is about. That is a problem.

  67. 67
    anon1152

    Sorry. I’ll stop.

  68. 68
    SallyStrange

    I had no point to make anyway…

    How fucking brain damaged are you?

  69. 69
    anon1152

    I know this is [probably?] irrelevant too. At least I assume that how “brain damaged” I am is irrelevant. But I hate not responding to a question addressed to me.

    *

    How brain damaged am I? I don’t know. I might find out if you responded to the substance of anything I’ve said. brianpansky has responded to some extent, and my thoughts have changed ever-so-slightly as a result. You were the first person to respond to my first comment. My thoughts changed not-at-all. You said “just shut up”. That was it. In my response–in the comment that you’re referencing at comment 68–I was trying to respond to that. I did it badly. So perhaps that is [more?] evidence of brain damage.

    All I wanted to do was to speak to the first comment and the response it received. I’m told the topic is irrelevant. And it probably is. And I probably shouldn’t have spoken in the first place. If I had read in previous comments that the issue was irrelevant, I would have said nothing. But several people responded to the first comment, and to the first commenter’s responses, and I got caught up in the flow of comments and said something.

    And I’m sorry. This still isn’t about the horror of what happened, and why it happened.

  70. 70
    SallyStrange

    Rhetorical question was rhetorical. You even answered it yourself. You have nothing to say, yet you type anyway. Conclusion: you must be brain-damaged, such stupidity is not natural. You should have shut up the first time. But apparently you love the sight of the pixels you type.

  71. 71
    Ophelia Benson

    anon – I didn’t say it was irrelevant. I said it had nothing to do with this post. You’re insisting on going on and on about something that is not the subject of this post.

  72. 72
    maxdwolf

    @Sally Strange #70 – As someone who has had mentally impaired family members and who suffers from a couple disorders, I request with as much civility as I can manage right now that you cut that ableist shit the fuck out.

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