The property line


Sarah Ditum startles and shocks by making a distinction between female genitalia and electronic equipment.

2. A laptop is a portable electronic device, a vagina is a body part
Does it whir? Does it make small clicking sounds? Can it be placed in a briefcase and carried around separately to its owner? That is a laptop. Is it a fibromuscular tubular tract located between a woman’s thighs? Vagina. Taking the former from a car would be an act of theft. Penetrating the latter without the woman’s consent would be a physical assault – and that’s true even if the woman has behaved in a way that makes it obvious that she has a vagina and sometimes uses it for fun! No one says to the victim of a beating: “Well, anyone could see you had teeth. You were just asking to have them broken with all the eating you do.”

Wull.

Ok.

But still. Don’t just go walking around wherever you want to. Or leave your laptop on the bus.

Comments

  1. smhll says

    I thought this part of the linked post rang true.

    When you carefully tuck your high-value portable property under the passenger seat (just kidding, smash-and-grabbers! That’s definitely not where my iPad is!), it’s because you don’t want potential thieves to know it’s there. But draping your vagina in a floor-length modesty frock is unlikely to persuade anyone that don’t have one, and therefore might not be worth violating.

  2. Hamilton Jacobi says

    I wonder how much Nick Ross would like it if his rapist were acquitted based on the following testimony:

    “Well, officer, I heard that bloke farting loud and clear. Anyone else would have tried to make like his shoes were squeaking, but he didn’t even look embarrassed about it. Everyone could tell he had an anus. So I just gave him what he was asking for.”

  3. Ysanne says

    What I find sorely lacking from this kind of article is also the obvious point that it still counts as theft to steal something that is not hidden and secured with three or more layers of barbed wire. Thieves do get prosecuted when they’re caught, and the fact that other people steal stuff too, and a locally varying crime rate does not count as an extenuating circumstance.
    “My client saw the bag beside the chair and knew that the owner had gone to the toilet, so when my client took the wallet from the bag it wasn’t theft, since the bag owner had clearly given permission to remove any valuables by leaving them out of sight” is not a line you’d hear in the defense of a thief. Or “Street X has a bad reputation, so my client had the right to assume that it was permissible for him to break into any car in that was parked there”.

  4. Eristae says

    I love that article and am sad that the comments are closed and as such I cannot go over there to express how much I loved it.

    But Ysanne said, too.

  5. says

    Totally in agreement with Ysanne. Victim blaming is shameful, period. A woman’s body does not equal a laptop, but leaving your laptop in plain view in your car doesn’t mean you deserve to get robbed either. Not even a little bit. “I’m sorry this happened to you, but” is a phrase that never needs uttering, unless what follows it has to do with catching the perpetrator. There is a time and place for conversations about safety, both personal and possession-related. That time is never, never, ever, ever, never, freaking ever “in response to a crime being committed and blaming its victim.”

  6. Omar Puhleez says

    “Behaving in a way that makes it obvious she has a vagina…”

    If a woman chooses to walk stark naked down a street, with ‘vagina’ or whatever on full display to all and sundry, she is still protected by law if nothing else, regardless of any other laws and conventions she may have disobeyed in the process.

    That is, provided the street is not in a barbarian town.

  7. Tris says

    Hmmm, I think we need to be careful here because the two situations aren’t entirely analogous and I think it could actually weaken the very valid case against victim blaming.

    If a friend or relative of mine left a laptop on the passenger seat of an unlocked car at night in an area if town well known for theft I certainly would tell them they’d been pretty stupid to do so if the laptop got stolen and I don’t think it would be unreasonable to say so.

    That’s not something we should or could ever do following the rape of a woman.

  8. leftwingfox says

    If a friend or relative of mine left a laptop on the passenger seat of an unlocked car at night in an area if town well known for theft I certainly would tell them they’d been pretty stupid to do so

    I disagree strongly with this. This was the same attitude which protected unscrupulous bankers, while placing the burden of punishment on those who were tricked into unsustainable mortgages.

    Suggesting common-sense precautions BEFORE the act are one thing. Calling people stupid after the fact for not following them is heartless at best, and justification of the crime at worst. It’s still victim blaming, it’s still wrong.

  9. Margaret says

    “But you are known to have loaned your laptop to a friend so obviously you can’t complain when I took it.”

  10. says

    Hmmm, I think we need to be careful here

    We really don’t need to be careful. Insulting someone who’s been robbed after the fact is cruel, no matter the level of security (or lack of security) involved.

    If a friend or relative of mine left a laptop on the passenger seat of an unlocked car at night in an area if town well known for theft I certainly would tell them they’d been pretty stupid to do so if the laptop got stolen and I don’t think it would be unreasonable to say so.

    And if a friend or relative of mine did that and got their laptop stolen, and someone else came in and compounded their suffering by insulting them on top of it, I’d call them an asshole. Victim blaming is never okay. There’s a time and a place for discussing security, and it isn’t after someone has been victimized, and it isn’t through insults.

  11. says

    There’s always a temptation to view people who could be victimized as responsible because they’re the ones we can actually reason with. You can’t appeal in advance to potential thieves or rapists because you don’t know who the thieves or rapists are, and you can’t get to all of them. But you can tell your friends and family about how to try and protect themselves against the thieves and the rapists. But there’s a difference between leveraging what you’re able to leverage as a matter of practicality, and placing the moral onus on the potential victim. The former is part of living in the real world. The latter is a perversion of common decency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>