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Slate tells women how to stop getting raped

It’s easy. Women should stop drinking alcohol.

“I’m not saying a woman is responsible for being sexually victimized,” says Christopher Krebs, one of the authors of that study and others on campus sexual assault. “But when your judgment is compromised, your risk is elevated of having sexual violence perpetrated against you.”

Don’t you love the passivity of it all? You will have sexual violence perpetrated against you. By whom? Apparently some invisible malevolent spirit will home in on your inebriated self and commit crimes. There never seems to be a perpetrator present in these scenarios.

Next week, Slate will advise women to wear concealing clothing, eschew makeup, and well, just don’t bother to step outside your home. Because, after all, if the only agent in this story is you, and rapists are just vague hypothetical beings who simply respond to your cues, there’s no point in addressing them and it’s entirely up to you to defend yourself.

By the way, I hear that people who were in car accidents were voluntarily driving or riding in cars, and that people struck by objects falling off their roof were actually known to step outside their homes. Stop that.


Here’s another reply to that gormless Slate article.

Comments

  1. Anthony K says

    Okay, with all of this bullshit from Thunderf00t and the rest of the “We’re not saying it’s women’s fault; we’re just saying that they should take precautions” how does anyone not see that it’s pretty much the same as saying:

    “theist bloggers shouldn’t blog, because doing so increases their chances of having violence perpetrated against them.”

    Will the freeze peach crowd stand up and own that statement?

  2. Anthony K says

    Fuck.

    Atheist bloggers shouldn’t blog, because doing so increases their chances of having violence perpetrated against them.”

  3. Pteryxx says

    …argh, I had to go look at the source!

    — warning, the blaming is strong —

    As soon as the school year begins, so do reports of female students sexually assaulted by their male classmates. A common denominator in these cases is alcohol, often copious amounts, enough to render the young woman incapacitated. But a misplaced fear of blaming the victim has made it somehow unacceptable to warn inexperienced young women that when they get wasted, they are putting themselves in potential peril.

    …because sexual assault reports just drift down in the autumn like leaves bedecked with the refreshing dew of alcohol that collects in the vicinity of college campuses; so women (and only women) should carry umbrellas lest a sexual assault alight upon them.

    *politely goes aside to hurl*

  4. anuran says

    I spent ten years walking that tightrope. Women would come and pay us to learn self defense. We stressed that the crime was entirely the criminal’s fault and that the only real solution was in fundamental social change. But that didn’t answer their immediate question: “What can I do to reduce my risk of being assaulted?” In some future ideal world rape will be unthinkable, and they were all for working towards that eventual goal They quite understandably care about not personally getting raped in the meantime.

    Slate’s emphasis on women restricting and imprisoning themselves is typical rape-excusing bullshit. “Don’t go out. Hide. Don’t have fun. If you’re Good and Pure enough Bad Things won’t happen to you.” It puts the blame squarely on the victim, not the criminal, and it doesn’t even work.

    But there is a tiny grain of truth there. Anything that reduces your awareness, your ability to think clearly, or your capacity for effective intentional action makes you more vulnerable to hazards from drowning to predatory animals (two- or four-legged). Knowing your limits on alcohol and other drugs and sticking to them reduces that risk. If someone is putting pressure on you to exceed those limits it should be viewed as a danger sign; alcohol is by far the most common rape drug.

  5. kmk05 says

    Long time reader, first (or second) time commenting.

    Thank you so much for highlighting this article. I just read it (before heading here), and I was fuming. The comments are also agreeing with it! (I only read the first 30 or so, though). Why the hell is the onus on only women? What about reducing alcohol for everyone then?

    Plus, it just means the sober woman might not get raped. But what about others? Just… GAH.

  6. Jacob Schmidt says

    But a misplaced fear of blaming the victim has made it somehow unacceptable to warn inexperienced young women that when they get wasted, they are putting themselves in potential peril.

    Huh. Guess all those times I was told growing up, “be careful about who you drink with” never actually happened.

    I don’t understand this; I really don’t. I can see, if I stand on my head and close one eye, a wish to warn people about the dangers of drinking alcohol. It’s true. It’s kinda risky. Your judgment is impaired, and it becomes harder to take care of yourself. I might have woken up with hypothermia one cold night if a couple of friends hadn’t woken me up and walked me home.

    But there seems to be some need to tell women about it:

    “You shouldn’t drink that much.”

    “That advice is unhelpful and shifts responsibility; we should work against the culture that allows rape to happen, not merely telling women how to avoid it.”

    “WHY WON’T YOU LET ME HELP YOU! YOU FEMINAZI’S JUST DON’T WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS.”

    There’s this bizarre insistence that condescendingly lecturing women with the same message that they’ve been hearing since childhood will somehow be helpful, and that anything less than gratitude is abnegation of responsibility.

  7. kmk05 says

    I’m sorry, but I have to add:

    Lake says that it is unrealistic to expect colleges will ever be great at catching and punishing sexual predators; that’s simply not their core mission. Colleges are supposed to be places where young people learn to be responsible for themselves.

    They can’t be serious. It’s a crime. It’s illegal. What, ‘predators will be predators’? They’re already here, there’s no point?

  8. screechymonkey says

    The author of the Slate piece, Emily Yoffe, was clearly aware of the victim-blaming implications of the article — she spends half her time trying to insist that it isn’t what she’s doing. But it all sounds like another instance of “I’m not a racist/sexist/whatever, but…..”

    The other thing lurking in the background here is that Yoffe, who also writes the Dear Prudence advice column for Slate, is anti-alcohol in general. She’s very quick to accuse letter writers or their friends/families/partners of having a drinking problem; she seems to be of the mindset that a glass of wine or two is fine, but getting intoxicated, ever, under any conditions, is pathological. So I think it’s no accident that the focus of her piece was on telling women not to drink, as opposed to some of the other usual victim-blaming “advice” we see.

    Which is not meant to excuse her: two blind spots don’t cancel each other out. In fact, they’re reinforcing each other here. For Yoffe, telling young women not to drink because it might reduce their risk of being raped is a two-fer: she thinks they shouldn’t drink anyway, so she doesn’t recognize it as a significant restriction on women’s liberty to tell them they should just opt out of a normal part of life (especially college life). Of course, as the parody version PZ linked to shows, there’s also some sexism in directing the “don’t drink” advice at women instead of the men.

  9. Lyle says

    “I’m not saying a woman is responsible for being sexually victimized,”

    A.K.A. “I’m trying not to offensive by making a statement with an opposing implication before my following statements.”

    But there is a tiny grain of truth there. Anything that reduces your awareness, your ability to think clearly, or your capacity for effective intentional action makes you more vulnerable to hazards from drowning to predatory animals (two- or four-legged).

    True though this may be, there’s an unfortunate problem (which you’ve probably already considered. When a woman drinks to excess and then gets raped, the question of whether she was being pressured to drink more (particularly by somebody with malice aforethought) isn’t often explored. We in America are subject to a personal responsibility fetishism that frequently neglects to consider the effect of social pressure overriding the need for responsible behavior.

  10. Pteryxx says

    Knowing your limits on alcohol and other drugs and sticking to them reduces that risk. If someone is putting pressure on you to exceed those limits it should be viewed as a danger sign;

    “Men: stop pressuring women to drink, spiking their drinks, making games out of how much anyone can drink, making or pushing heavily flavored drinks to disguise the alcohol content, refilling their glasses without being asked, or obligating them to take drinks that you’ve provided or bought, or obligating them to drink AT ALL by implying they’re stuck up or prudes or sheltered if they don’t.”

    Someone had to say it. *shrug*

    One of the predators I encountered gave me a soda that I didn’t know had alcohol in it. I thought it must be some new diet formula that made it taste so nasty. Fortunately for me I’m so lacking in social skills that I went “Eww, I’m not drinking that” when by the rules I ought to have been polite and accepted whatever the host offered.

  11. awakeinmo says

    I’m finding it hard to get past the logic here. I have a right to drink as much as I want. You do not have the right to rape me. Why do we need qualifiers beyond that?

  12. Duncan Lundie says

    Are women actually being pressured into trying to drink as much as men by other women as the article suggests? Genuine question as someone not involved in the debate except by virtue of being alive.

  13. says

    @9: The part you quoted is indeed offensive.

    Gee, I would have thought that teaching the men on campus to be responsible with alcohol and to not commit crimes would be part of a really good part of helping them learn how to be responsible for themselves. They certainly feel free to give women lectures on how to behave in public settings. How is holding the men on campus responsible for crimes they commit NOT part of helping them take responsibility for themselves? By arguing that it isn’t the college’s role to address those things (and many colleges have campus PD that have jurisdiction, not city PD) it seems they are making an argument that men do not have to take responsibility for themselves.

    Wow, that was disgusting.

  14. Sven says

    There’s this bizarre insistence that condescendingly lecturing women with the same message that they’ve been hearing since childhood will somehow be helpful, and that anything less than gratitude is abnegation of responsibility.

    Pretty much this. Yes, it’s a given that cognitive impairment increases the danger of many things. Everybody knows it. Krebs repeating that obvious, established fact in the context of an article about rape is condescending, and crosses the line a bit. It’s not as egregious as telling women what-not-to-wear and where-not-to-go, but it’s in the same spirit.

    The grotesque strawman of “women should stop drinking alcohol” aside, PZ and Yoffe are right to be critical of Krebs’ attitude and remarks.

  15. kmk05 says

    @13, it happened to me too. I guess it must be a common tactic.

    @16, you put it in much better words that I ever could For me, this statement just does not compute.

  16. says

    “I’m not saying a woman is responsible for being sexually victimized,” says Christopher Krebs…

    …but if she drinks, she’ll be held responsible for being sexually victimized.

  17. crocodoc says

    Pedestrians should know there are drunk drivers. The best way not to get hit by one of them is not to stay sober, avoid streets and take some car dodging lessons. Why don’t those pedestrinazis see that this advice is only for their own protection? Telling drivers not to drink is typical pedestrinazi rethoric because not all drivers are drunk.

  18. Pteryxx says

    kmk05 #18, I’m sorry that someone tried it on you too.

    Yes, it’s a common tactic. During conversations surrounding the naming-of-names a couple of months ago, lots of commenters described broad tactics to get women drunker than the women intended or would notice, including collective tactics such as bartenders intentionally mixing stronger drinks for women so they’d be easier prey for any predator that came along, not for any personal benefit. Some frats keep special drink recipes specifically for softening the women up, usually with ingredients that disguise the alcohol taste.

  19. OptimalCynic says

    I finally figured it out. I used to think that things like this were true, so why all the fuss:

    I’m not saying a woman is responsible for being sexually victimized,” says Christopher Krebs, one of the authors of that study and others on campus sexual assault. “But when your judgment is compromised, your risk is elevated of having sexual violence perpetrated against you.”

    But I finally get it now. It might be true, but it’s also trite and irrelevant. It doesn’t pass the cost-benefit analysis test. Therefore we can respond “Yeah, so what? Why don’t you use the oxygen you just wasted saying that and spend it on something productive instead, like rape prevention aimed at the people who actually do the raping.”

  20. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    Jesusfuck!
    The single common denominator in every rape is a fucking rapist!

    When I was a tween I was not allowed to ride bikes with my friends (all boys) or run around the nearby woods with them, making bike trails, swinging on grape vines and building forts, because I might get raped….by them. One of the boys mother agreed that was a danger. No one ever suggested that the pack of presumed roving potential rapists stay home. I would find that to be true for the rest of my life.

    I went to work out of state one summer when I was 17. My uncle and dad told me not to go because I could be raped. I told them they had no idea how much sexual harassment I saw at school alone (which they never did one damn thing about). I went anyway. My father didn’t speak to me for over a yr.

    In college I could not use a public restroom without seeing a list of my responsibilities for avoiding rape posted in every stall. There was nothing of the sort posted in the men’s rooms.

    More recently, I told my neighbor I had taken my kids camping one weekend. He told me I shouldn’t do that unless I wanted to get raped. At the very least, he told me I should have a gun.

    There is literally no age when I am allowed any kind of independence or fun as a woman without being told I will “get myself raped”. Fuck that noise. I will not be a prisoner of misogynistic sexual terrorism.

    Make no mistake, that is exactly what this kind of “advice” is. It is not only victim blaming, it is actively terrorizing women in order to isolate and control them.

  21. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    “I’m not saying a woman is responsible for being sexually victimized”
    Sure and I’m not racist BUT….

  22. Pteryxx says

    caveat: and predators getting their targets drunk to make them easier to handle doesn’t apply only to targeted women and teen girls, though that’s where most of the social opprobrium lies. They’ll also use alcohol on men, boys, and little children if that’s who they’re after. In the soda incident I mentioned, I think I was nine or ten. The same tactic works on anyone of any gender, just with slightly different social pressures.

  23. anuran says

    12 Lyle: Alcohol impairs judgment and makes you more vulnerable. Being aware of that fact is not sexist. It does not excuse rape. Making personal decisions based on accurate information and deciding based on your level of acceptable risk is the essence of being an empowered adult, female or male.

  24. vaiyt says

    “Don’t go out. Hide. Don’t have fun. If you’re Good and Pure enough Bad Things won’t happen to you.”

    “And if Bad Things do happen to you, that means you weren’t Good and Pure enough.”

  25. anuran says

    #13 Pteryxx: Yeah. Exactly that. Being aware of what criminals do and knowing how to prevent their techniques from working doesn’t mean you condone the crime.

  26. says

    Colleges are supposed to be places where young people learn to be responsible for themselves.

    Yeah, but they’re also places where young people pay good money to go to learn whatever they come to learn, in an atmosphere free of threats, violence and other harmful pressures. That’s a fundamental purpose of colleges and universities, and anyne who forgets this fact is either an idiot, an anti-academic bigot, or a sociopath.

  27. vaiyt says

    @anuran

    Making personal decisions based on accurate information and deciding based on your level of acceptable risk is the essence of being an empowered adult, female or male.

    You’re assuming facts not in evidence. Accurate information is not always available and the “risk” associated with drinking alcohol doesn’t mean anything without the risk associated with the presence of a rapist.

  28. brucegee1962 says

    OK, the Slate article doesn’t put it particularly well. But there is a point here.

    This country does absolutely have a rape culture problem. Many many people have documented this, and I don’t think it’s arguable. There is way too much enabling and excusing of rape in our culture, and great need across society to attack all aspects of this culture.

    But the country ALSO has an alcohol problem — particularly on college campuses, but also stretching to high school. And the rape and the alcohol cultures are not entirely unrelated to one another.

    There is drinking to make social events more enjoyable. People sound more intelligent when their audience has been drinking, and the music is more exciting, and the lights are more colorful. But I’m speaking as a parent of two teenagers here — there’s a point that goes beyond that to reaching a point of impairment — trouble staying balanced, chance of passing out, and most importantly, seriously impaired judgment. I’ve told BOTH my son and my daughter — you don’t need to arrive at that point to have fun at a party. And if you DO want to experiment at getting to that point, you’d darn well better be around people you trust absolutely, not a bunch of random strangers, and you should have a mostly sober friend around to look after you. I’m talking about situations where, if you fell asleep wearing a $500 watch, you could be absolutely assured that when you woke up that watch would still be there.

    It’s important to get that message out to BOTH guys and girls. Because there are guys who make lousy decisions when drunk too, and might become rapists while drunk when they would never think of such a think while sober. (That doesn’t excuse their raping, of course, either in the eyes of the law or morality. But considering the consequences from making a decision that has the opportunity to ruin one’s life, I think there’s a reaason why young men should be as much or more careful of keeping their ability to make good decisions during a party as women should. If you think there’s the slightest chance that you might become a rapist while drunk, then DON’T DRINK AND SOCIALIZE.)

    And also because there are so many other poor decisions and dangers one can make while inebriated, from drinking so much you go into a coma and die, to taking a ride with someone who isn’t in any position to drive, to leaning too far backwards and falling off a frigging balcony. Heck, in the story everyone is talking about, the girl could have died even if no sexual assault had occurred, just because the guy who dropped her off didn’t bother to notice that she wasn’t in a good enough state to make it inside the house.

    So yes, let’s fight the rape culture — but let’s not dismiss the other factor in so many of these cases.

  29. says

    Y’know, I have a personal anecdote here. It’s not triggering, or I don’t think it will be, and I’ve got a fairly sensitive trigger-sensor, so hopefully I’m right.

    When I was in university, before I let the world know they’d been wrong in thinking I was a guy, I was driving home one night from working security at the door of an on-campus pub (all bartenders and security were provided from a central office, meaning standards for serving and security could be level for everyone), and as I came around a long bend on a road near campus I saw a young woman, probably five years or so younger than I; I went to university a few years later than most.

    She was staggering down the median, shoeless, one of her jean-legs half-rolled up, hair all kafuffled, and when I got close, clearly intoxicated enough to be a danger of falling into the road.

    So, I pulled up, thankfully still wearing my uniform shirt, and asked if she could use a ride home.

    I poured her into the back seat, put a seatbelt on her, and checked her wallet to find her local address. I did, and I took her home. The door at her house was hard to open; there was someone passed out on the other side of it. I finally got in, and then brought her in, and encountered their one sober friend, who’d been charged with making sure they all got back (six women living in one rental house). She’d been really worried (mind this is 1989, so no cellphones unless you were Donald Trump or Mulder/Scully, and they weren’t coming for three more years anyway) that she couldn’t track down the one I’d brought home, so she was very grateful that I had.

    Now here’s the tricky part: despite that she had been completely and utterly incapable of speech, so intoxicated she could hardly stand, and I know some of our recent visitors will find this baffling, she made it home, after meeting a strange “man” on the street, and she wasn’t raped by the time she got there.

    Imagine that. It’s almost like there’s some other factor that goes into making a rape happen than having women and alcohol in the same place. I wonder what it could be?

  30. vaiyt says

    Being aware of what criminals do and knowing how to prevent their techniques from working doesn’t mean you condone the crime.

    Deliberately foisting inaccurate prevention methods based on a fantasy of crime, which feeds into existing prejudices, might not be strictly condoning the crime but isn’t helping any.

  31. Pteryxx says

    anuran #27

    12 Lyle: Alcohol impairs judgment and makes you more vulnerable. Being aware of that fact is not sexist. It does not excuse rape. Making personal decisions based on accurate information and deciding based on your level of acceptable risk is the essence of being an empowered adult, female or male.

    That’d be nice, unfortunately that’s not how it works in practice. Peers, adults, police, judges, juries, generally believe alcohol = woman’s fault and they behave accordingly. Even if they SAY “alcohol doesn’t excuse rape” in practice it absolutely does.

    Studies have shown that in a large percentage of acquaintance rapes the rapist understands that he does not have consent and he uses alcohol to facilitate the rape. A study conducted by the Naval Health Research Center showed that men who committed multiple rapes knew that they didn’t have consent and they used substances to incapacitate their victims in order to complete the rape. And another study by David Lisak and Paul Miller came to similar conclusions: that men intend to rape and in a majority of the rapes, 80.8 percent, women were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    [...]

    Dr. Abbey explained the sexist double-standard of drinking:

    “Women who were drunk when raped are often viewed by others as partially responsible for what happened. Interviews with a group of college students showed that the male attacker was held less responsible for the rape when he was intoxicated than he was when he was reported as being sober. In contrast, the female victim was held more responsible when she was intoxicated than when she was reported as being sober. Thus, in terms of how others will perceive their behavior, the costs of intoxication are higher for college women than for college men.”

    Is Alcohol the New Short Skirt

    Even when force is clearly used, the mere presence
    of alcohol leads many students to assume the woman
    wanted sex. For example, Norris and Cubbins (1992) found
    that nondrinking college women and men were most likely
    to view a depiction of acquaintance rape as consensual when
    both members of the couple had been drinking alcohol.
    Norris and Kerr (1993) found that nondrinking college men
    who read a forced sex vignette indicated that they were
    more likely to behave like the man in the story when the
    man had been drinking alcohol than when he was sober.
    Finally, Bernat et al. (1998) asked college men to listen to
    a depiction of a date rape and evaluate at what point the
    man was clearly forcing sex. Men who had previously committed
    sexual assault and who thought the couple had been
    drinking alcohol required the highest degree of female resistance
    and male force to decide the man should stop. In
    combination, these studies suggest that when forced sex
    occurs after a couple has been drinking together, men, and
    sometimes women, are much less likely to recognize that
    the woman does not want to have sex. The results of these
    studies are not due to pharmacological effects of alcohol
    because sober individuals made these judgments. Instead,
    these studies suggest how strongly men equate drinking
    with a woman and having sex with her.

    PDF link to paper

  32. culuriel says

    As a longtime reader of Emily Yoffe, I’d like to state that I know she is no rape apologist or victim-blamer. Her advice column is pretty clear whose at fault if an inebriated woman is assaulted. And she has herself described instances of groping/assault against herself, and why she never spoke out. My huge problem with this article is that it hardly even glosses over the influence of alcohol over boys and young men. Guys think that drunk girls will be easier to have sex with- and they’re probably right. Hence, alcohol’s huge presence at parties.

  33. danoberste says

    Wow! I never realized what a misogynist my Mother was. That column sounds just like the advice she gave my sisters.

  34. drken says

    The most misandristic part of the patriarchy is the idea that men are not responsible for their actions when obtaining sex. As a result, a woman who is raped at a frat party after drinking too much is treated like somebody who hung out around a drainage ditch during a storm and got washed out to sea. There’s a “what did she expect to happen” attitude that conveniently forgets that men don’t have to deal with this sort of thing.

    Also, as somebody who spent his undergrad years in a fraternity, I’m a little concerned about this emphasis on frats and athletes when it comes to sexual assault and rape. I’m not saying the problem isn’t worse there, it’s just that independents seem to view frat misogyny in the same way northerners look at southern racism, as a way to ignore the problems in their own backyard. If you tell women to avoid fraternities and jock parties for their own safety, you’re just giving them a false sense of security elsewhere.

  35. kmk05 says

    @37, danoberste: Yes. It’s advice we all got. Which is what makes this article all the more galling.

  36. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    Bruce,
    Please just stop. Sexually torturing a woman is not at all like stealing a watch. Rape isn’t merely a “bad decision” a man makes when he’s drunk. I’ve been drunk more times than I can count and I have never once considered raping anyone. Yes, I can fall asleep naked in bed with certain friends or on the couch, or by the pool after a party and a night of all sorts of shenanigans and be safe. That does not mean that I am a great judge of character. It means that my friends just happen to not be rapists. I’ve also been in situations where I realized I was in danger from someone I had thought I could trust. Luckily in both of those situations, I was able to get away with only minimal unwanted groping. Telling your kids it is their job to know if other people are trustworthy is awful advice. They are not mind readers and rapists don’t go around broadcasting their intent. I know you mean well, but intent isn’t magic. What you are in fact telling your kids is that if someone rapes them, they should have known better. They should not have been near a rapist. You are preemptively blaming them should they be raped. In the meantime, your advice probably won’t make them any safer. A teen using their best judgement will still make stupid mistakes, as do we all. Telling them that people who are raped just weren’t careful or smart enough to avoid a rapist won’t make them any more likely to actually be able to spot and avoid a rapist. If anything, it may lead to the teen thinking they are too smart/tough/careful to be raped, because they think they know what to look out for and think they have the power to prevent themselves being raped. They don’t. The “it could never happen to me” mentality is a dangerous one. You’d do better to work on getting a Don’t Be That Guy campaign going in your area, if you want your kids to be safe.

  37. vaiyt says

    Imagine that. It’s almost like there’s some other factor that goes into making a rape happen than having women and alcohol in the same place. I wonder what it could be?

    Who knows. Maybe that area had a low density of Rape Waves.

  38. A. Noyd says

    kmk05 (#9)

    Lake says that it is unrealistic to expect colleges will ever be great at catching and punishing sexual predators; that’s simply not their core mission. Colleges are supposed to be places where young people learn to be responsible for themselves.

    (barbyau already said some of this, but…) Making rapists face consequences teaches them to be responsible for themselves. Making potential victims jump through hoops to avoid rape teaches them to be responsible for the behavior of sexual predators. So letting rapists get away with it and putting the blame on the victims teaches exactly the opposite of what this guy is saying colleges should teach.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    brucegee1962 (#32)

    It’s important to get that message out to BOTH guys and girls. Because there are guys who make lousy decisions when drunk too, and might become rapists while drunk when they would never think of such a think while sober.

    (Emphasis added.) I don’t think you realize this, but you’re drawing an equivalence here that suggests that getting raped is, at least in part, a lousy decision made by a drunk victim. When you’re drunk you’re still responsible for the things you do to others and things you do to yourself, but not the things that others do to you. The messages you’re talking about here aren’t the same at all.

  39. says

    So all we have to do is restrict ourselves and stop doing an activity that was hard-fought for for equality and that will end… reduce… er… wait, most rapes occur from people the survivor knows, many of them occurring in the home. And a damn many amount of stranger rape events and events outside the home occur with absolutely no alcohol at all.

    But this is the magic bullet, yup, once women stop participating in social spaces, hide out in their homes, wear only the most cloying of robes to avoid temptations and are prohibited from speaking about their experiences in public and have no other contact other than family and those chosen by the family, then women will be 100% safe.

    Oh, not from the actual rape itself. But the rest of us will be safe from having to hear about that nasty business and we can more easily ignore the overwhelming amount of people, men, women, and those outside or in-between the binary, who have been assaulted.

    The real stories, the real pain, the real tragedy our society perpetuates gleefully and with so many in full complicity in enforcing this diseased structure for no good reason other than guilt and inertia.

    And won’t that be so much cleaner than just letting women participate in full society like the human beings that they are and actually fucking giving a shit so that rapists no longer feel so fucking empowered, they feel safe assaulting people when surrounded by witnesses, because they trust that more people will side with them than their chosen victim?

    I mean, if we did something that actually addressed rape, then some menz might haz a sad and that would be so fucking tragic I might die.

    Ptoo. Fuck this endless carousel of bullshit from denialists.

    Also, my rape occurred when I was 100% sober. As was 1/2 of my partner’s rapes, my girlfriend’s rape and my partner’s girlfriend’s rape. I’ve been drunk in public since. Actually I think all of us have been drunk in public since. Shockingly that didn’t seem to automagically conjure rapists out of the aether to assault and abuse.

    Hey, maybe instead of wasting all this time on insulting victim-blaming “advice” we could teach people not to rape, teach what consent looks like, teach how to intervene when you see something, teach people to call out their friends when they support rape culture bullshit?

    Oh wait, sad bonerz, my bad.

  40. Pteryxx says

    If you tell women to avoid fraternities and jock parties alcohol strangers traveling working late wearing the wrong clothes rapists for their own safety, you’re just giving them a false sense of security elsewhere.

    Personally I’d guess rapes involving frats or sports teams get more attention because 1) group rapes make flashier news than partner-rapes or colleague-rapes, and 2) frats and sports teams reflexively defend the rapist as an easily identifiable and blamable small group, and again obvious group bias makes for flashier press. Oh, and 3) I’d bet that the mere describing of a situation of girl-at-team-party invokes more unconscious victim-blaming and perception of risk than woman-at-departmental-holiday-party would.

    I was raped in my own bed, by my own partner, while sober. My particular set of Clue cards just doesn’t attract the same broad-spectrum victim-blaming as others.

    Following up on Jackie #40:

    Telling your kids it is their job to know if other people are trustworthy is awful advice. They are not mind readers and rapists don’t go around broadcasting their intent. I know you mean well, but intent isn’t magic. What you are in fact telling your kids is that if someone rapes them, they should have known better. They should not have been near a rapist. You are preemptively blaming them should they be raped. In the meantime, your advice probably won’t make them any safer.

    Libby Anne highlighted an article the other day:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2013/10/talking-to-our-sons-and-daughters-about-rape.html

    To the Parents of U.S. Teenagers,

    (An open letter.)

    Remember that intimate conversation you had with your son? The one where you said, “I love you and I need you to know that no matter how a woman dresses or acts, it is not an invitation to cat call, taunt, harass or assault her”?

    Or when you told your son, “A woman’s virginity isn’t a prize and sleeping with a woman doesn’t earn you a point”?

    How about the heart-to-heart where you lovingly conferred the legal knowledge that “a woman doesn’t have to be fighting you and you don’t have to be pinning her down for it to be RAPE. Intoxication means she can’t legally consent, NOT that she’s an easy score.”

    [...]

    By contrast, here are some conversations you might have a better recollection of. I’ll give you a telling hint: they probably weren’t with your son.

    “Be careful with the way you act and the way you dress—it’s easy to get a bad reputation.”

    “That’s just the way boys are—you can’t give them any excuse to behave that way towards you.”

    “You need to be safe! When you dress that way, some people read it as an invitation.”

    “Never go out alone, never walk alone at night, never drink from an open beverage.”

  41. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    *Trigger warning*

    Bruce, a friend of mine was drugged by a friend she had known all of her life. They had literally gone to every grade together from kindergarten on. She didn’t drink, because she wanted to be safe. So, he slipped the Mickey in her soda. Her dad was a cop. She had taught self defense classes. The rules you think keep people safe, don’t.

  42. zenlike says

    culuriel @36:

    As a longtime reader of Emily Yoffe, I’d like to state that I know she is no rape apologist or victim-blamer.

    So why is she rape-apologising and victim-blaming in the source article?

    Let’s take this sentence:

    The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who, shall we say, don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.

    Small hint: just because she says she’s not victim-blaming does not automatically mean she isn’t in fact doing exactly that.

  43. David Marjanović says

    …because sexual assault reports just drift down in the autumn like leaves bedecked with the refreshing dew of alcohol that collects in the vicinity of college campuses; so women (and only women) should carry umbrellas lest a sexual assault alight upon them.

    Full of win.

    One of the predators I encountered gave me a soda that I didn’t know had alcohol in it. I thought it must be some new diet formula that made it taste so nasty. Fortunately for me I’m so lacking in social skills that I went “Eww, I’m not drinking that” when by the rules I ought to have been polite and accepted whatever the host offered.

    What, I’m supposed to buy people random stuff to drink and expect them to like it???

    Fuck politeness, then.

    Are women actually being pressured into trying to drink as much as men by other women as the article suggests?

    Peer pressure can turn anything into a competition, so it really wouldn’t surprise me.

    Gee, I would have thought that teaching the men on campus to be responsible with alcohol and to not commit crimes would be part of a really good part of helping them learn how to be responsible for themselves. They certainly feel free to give women lectures on how to behave in public settings. How is holding the men on campus responsible for crimes they commit NOT part of helping them take responsibility for themselves?

    I think it’s denial. Teaching the men on campus not to commit crimes would require admitting that there are actual or potential criminals on campus. Surely our students would never do such a thing! They’re the truest of Scotsmen! The rapists must come in from, uh, outside somewhere. Logically, we have no control over them whatsofuckingever.

    *puke*
    Tribalists.

    collective tactics such as bartenders intentionally mixing stronger drinks for women so they’d be easier prey for any predator that came along, not for any personal benefit

    The mind boggles.

    I went anyway. My father didn’t speak to me for over a yr.

    *puke*
    Christ, what an authoritarian!

  44. says

    @46 Jackie: Exactly. At the very best, the kind of “don’t let rape fall out of the sky and hit you” advice always given to women is a rape deflection effort, not a rape prevention.

    The idea is to build a shield of silly tropes, and hope that when the next rape drops from the clouds, it bounces off your Umbrella of Awesome Advice and lands on some other woman.

    And if that’s your idea of “best”, then you shouldn’t be talking about rape, you should be listening about rape.

  45. Freodin says

    Not getting drunk is certainly good advice. Yes, it helps prevent alcohol poisoning, it reduces your chances of making bad decisions, and it may reduce the chance of being raped.

    But it is also completely useless in the rape debate as long as the active part – the rapists – are not addressed. As long as these are ignored or excused, this problem will never be solved.

  46. danoberste says

    @39, kmk05: Now I’m conflicted. Should I go spit on her grave for giving my sisters such galling advice? or should I appreciate that she gave my sisters good advice? Because if it was good advice, given the world we find ourselves in, then we’d have to admit that Emily Yoffe’s column IS good advice.

    I’m not a religious person, but often consider for myself and advise others using the Serenity Prayer:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

    And the “things I cannot change” for me include the things I may be fighting like mad to change, but as a non-supernatural individual, haven’t eliminated as a problem in society.

    “The courage to change the things I can” are the things Ms Yoffe is addressing in this column. Even if you’re frustrated by the things in my proceeding paragraph.

    That this column doesn’t go on for 5,000 (or 50,000) more words to tackle the root cause of societies view toward women shouldn’t take away from the small objective Ms Yoffe tried to accomplish.

  47. A. Noyd says

    I know most of the regulars have seen this already, but Sunil at Nimurkta did an amazing post on victim blaming a few days ago. The “Moral Responsibility” section should be required reading for any conversation about victim blaming. It nicely breaks down how moral responsibility (what victim blamers are talking about) is different from causal determinism (what victim blamers like to pretend they’re talking about).

  48. Anthony K says

    I’m not a religious person, but often consider for myself and advise others using the Serenity Prayer:

    That is, quite possibly, one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen anyone post here.

    Tell me where your mother’s grave is so I can spit on it for her having raised such a complete fucking dolt as a son.

  49. Anthony K says

    Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. It’s probably not danoberste’s mother’s fault. Maybe his father’s, I don’t know.

  50. Pteryxx says

    danoberste #51: It was bad advice, given (I assume) with good intentions. No need to blame your mother years afterwards for something she likely didn’t know. Why do you think we’re making so much noise debunking the alcohol-rape-blame myth but to ensure more people don’t fall for it?

  51. says

    danoberste #51

    That this column doesn’t go on for 5,000 (or 50,000) more words to tackle the root cause of societies view toward women shouldn’t take away from the small objective Ms Yoffe tried to accomplish.

    Now, had Ms Yoffe written a piece telling young men that “drunk” does not equal “consent,” you might have a point. It would have addressed the same problem—the obvious connection between drink and rape—but would have singled out the important aspect. You know, that pesky thing we call “the cause.”

  52. Pteryxx says

    McDonough is on it:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/10/16/blaming_assault_on_womens_drinking_is_tired_dangerous_rape_apology/

    There is, of course, a lot to be said about Yoffe’s “this is not rape apologia” rape apologia, but let’s start with this: Our culture is not, and has never been, “reluctant” to tell women to stop doing things. In fact, people build entire careers around it.

    And yet this false idea, that women’s behavior is the real reason they are victimized — and that we live in a society that does a poor job of policing such behavior — is regularly used to blame sexual violence on the “problem” of young women today.

    Richard Cohen and the Concerned Women for American have both cited Miley Cyrus’ recent embrace of tongue-wagging and half-shirts as a reason that teenage football players rape unconscious 16-year-olds. A judge in Montana declared a 14-year-old rape victim “older than her chronological age” and said she was ”as much in control” of the crime committed against her as her 49-year-old rapist. A 14-year-old cheerleader in Missouri is allegedly raped and abandoned outside by her alleged rapist, wearing only a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt on a freezing morning, and Yoffe points to the girl’s consumption of a “big glass of clear liquid” as the real problem in need of addressing.

    This is the very definition of rape culture. And it is so completely tired.

  53. says

    Making personal decisions based on accurate information and deciding based on your level of acceptable risk is the essence of being an empowered adult, female or male.

    what part of “rape culture will make it so you don’t have anything even remotely close to accurate information” did you miss? Because examples of that are all over this thread.

    – – – – – – – –

    and the “things I cannot change” for me include the things I may be fighting like mad to change, but as a non-supernatural individual, haven’t eliminated as a problem in society.

    good thing there are enough people out there who do not follow this evil mantra. And yes, it is evil. In the “for evil to succeed…” sense. Considering things that are difficult to change as actually unchangeable is perpetuating the status quo.

    shouldn’t take away from the small objective Ms Yoffe tried to accomplish.

    the “objective” being the promotion of rape displacement and acceptance of an untenable status quo.

    – – – – – – –

    Imagine that. It’s almost like there’s some other factor that goes into making a rape happen than having women and alcohol in the same place. I wonder what it could be?

    QFT.

    If all these “avoid factors commonly present at rapes” advice columnists actually tried to warn people about the stuff correlated with rape, they’d tell women to never become acquainted with men, and never hang out with men within a mile of their own homes.
    Since that advice to prefer strangers in strange cities to trusted friends and known areas is against stereotypical rape narratives though, we don’t ever hear that.

  54. A. Noyd says

    danoberste (#51)

    or should I appreciate that she gave my sisters good advice? Because if it was good advice, given the world we find ourselves in, then we’d have to admit that Emily Yoffe’s column IS good advice.

    It’s fucking terrible advice. Know how we can tell? There is no reduction in rape incidence that can be attributed to the advice. Pretty much every woman who has been raped has gotten this advice. It doesn’t work. Not surprising, really, since it overlooks the actual cause of rape completely (rapists) and is based on a fantasy idea of how rape works. If anything, it increases rape because rapists hear this advice, too, and understand they’re being given a pre-made excuse for raping.

    “The courage to change the things I can” are the things Ms Yoffe is addressing in this column. Even if you’re frustrated by the things in my proceeding paragraph.

    What the fuck is the point of “changing” something if it has zero positive effect on the outcome, though? That’s not courageous, it’s just stupid, especially if the change is detrimental in other ways, like restricting one socially.

  55. jblumenfeld says

    So can we then agree that –

    1) Rapists rape, and no woman or man has successfully raped him or herself, no matter how much alcohol they’ve consumed,

    and 2) Binge drinking is a really bad idea, completely apart from any idiotic victim-blaming associated with it.

    Or can we not?

  56. says

    jblumenfeld

    Binge drinking is a really bad idea, completely apart from any idiotic victim-blaming associated with it.

    That’s a relatively minor aspect of the Slate article which also annoyed me. There are parts which could have formed the seed of a rather good piece on binge-drinking culture, had the author not decided to take the tired old victim-blaming route.

  57. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    David Marjanović,
    Actually, my dad was the least authoritarian of my three parents.

    This is Kentucky. Spare the rod and all that.

  58. says

    2 things from Dr. Phil, I know he’s a moron but even a broken clock is right twice a day. First- That boy couldn’t be dumber if he cut off his own head, and 2-If you say “BUT!!!” in the middle of a sentence you tell everyone to forget what you just said, what you really think is coming now. Saying “But” means you were just saying what you think everyone wants to hear and tells those people they were wrong to want to hear it because after the but you tell them how you know better. One more from Dr. Phil sums it up nicely, You couldn’t pour sand out of a boot with instructions on the heel.

  59. says

    drken @38

    The most misandristic part of the patriarchy is the idea that men are not responsible for their actions when obtaining sex.

    Yeah, there is always this. For all the misogynist hordes whine about “man-hating feminists” and all that, it’s the misogynists and misogynist defenders that really reveal their views of men as these infantile, yet ravenous beasts who just can’t help raping everything in sight when they get a whiff of someone metaboliing alcohol or the swish of a short skirt or the sight of a female who isn’t being actively defended by a registered male owner.

    And the sick part of it is that we’re supposed to a) not notice how extremely anti-male this is and b) just shrug our shoulders and accept this and assume the onus is then on women to engage in some magical combination of extra-moral behaviors to avoid the taint of sin leading these half-formed manimals to their scent.

    Um, no. If these rapists really were wild fucking animals who are genetically incapable of NOT RAPING people, then they need to be fucking locked away for the rest of their fucking lives or shot. You know, like we do any time a wild animal even thinks of getting vaguely close to a suburban development?

    The fact that people are so deliberately ignorant on this score reveals that the main point is to use rape as a means of enforcing an artificial sexual divide, enforcing “male activities” by using the threat of rape to essentially bully women into acting more “feminine” for “their own protection”. And these whiny fucks are really sad that it isn’t working anymore because too many people are aware that its all bullshit (and that’s definitely feminism’s fault).

    culuriel @36

    As a longtime reader of Emily Yoffe, I’d like to state that I know she is no rape apologist or victim-blamer.

    Countdown to the person defending the rape apologist engaging in rape apology themselves in 3…2…1..

    Guys think that drunk girls will be easier to have sex with- and they’re probably right. Hence, alcohol’s huge presence at parties.

    And there it is.

    Every single time.

    Hey, assorted rape apologists, misogynists, homophobes, racists, etc…

    Um, you’re not the first bigot to think of the concept of prefacing their bigotry with “I’m no bigot, but…” or “I don’t see any bigotry here, they are just saying the plain truth.” News flash, morons, bigots don’t usually own up to that shit unless there is overwhelming social support. Even the fucking Klan tried to pretend that their little midnight “justice campaigns” weren’t the result of a bigotry or an antipathy towards black people, but rather some defense of a common sense reality that everyone secretly agrees to.

    And every one has proven too fucking stupid to actually understand what bigotry is and looks like.

    So yeah, no fucking wonder you dipshits don’t see anything wrong in her posts, you’ve got the same fucking problem between keyboard and chair.

  60. jblumenfeld says

    Daz – good point. Also, one disconnect for me is the idea put forward in the article that people are afraid to tell women not to drink. Really? It seems like everybody from parents, friends, guidance counselors and ‘rape awareness’ instructors to on-line advice dispensers never miss an opportunity to make that point. I’m pretty sure women have heard that message by now.

    Why are people afraid to tell men that treating women like objects of conquest is wrong?

  61. says

    all the bullshit handwringing about whether advice about alcohol in general isn’t victim-blaming is completely fucking pointless here anyway, since the article is victim-blaming in the specific:

    1)she cites studies showing that rapists use the cover of alcohol and also trick and force their victims into drinking to incoherence, and she uses it to tell women not to get drunk, as if the part with the tricking and forcing didn’t exist or were somehow caused by women.
    2)she says that women who drink attract rapists, turning rape into something done by women, the action being the attracting.
    3)she makes this entire rant about changing binge-drinking culture as something that’s acceptable and should be made unacceptable even though doing so will be difficult, and at the same time proclaims rape-culture an unchangeable thing and that ” it is unrealistic to expect colleges will ever be great at catching and punishing sexual predators” because it’s not their core mission (even though stopping binge-drinking is also not the core mission of universities)
    4)she addresses women and tells them to moderate their drinking, but doesn’t address men; instead she says she hoped women drinking less would “trickle down” to men.
    5)she notes that “80 percent of campus sexual assaults involve alcohol”, but not that 100% of them involve men. she then claims that women should stay away from alcohol, both for their own good and for the good of guys (see above), rather than e.g. having girls-only drunk debauchery.
    6)she claims that teaching consent and teaching bystanders to intervene is less effective than teaching women to be responsible for their own and men’s drinking, evidence to the contrary.

    IOW, this entire article is about putting the responsibility for rape culture and binge drinking culture on the shoulders of women. There’s nothing about it that isn’t victim-blamey.

  62. says

    Are women actually being pressured into trying to drink as much as men by other women as the article suggests?

    the article is being a dumbass. the closest you get to the described phenomenon is the “one of the guys” survival strategy for women in traditionally masculine social settings. The solution is to make the settings egalitarian, not to ban women from a survival strategy, of course. but hey, that wouldn’t but the responsibility on women, so that’s no good.

  63. says

    jblumenfeld

    Also, one disconnect for me is the idea put forward in the article that people are afraid to tell women not to drink. Really?

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure that “afraid to” isn’t a synonym for “all too ready to.”

    Why are people afraid to tell men that treating women like objects of conquest is wrong?

    If women aren’t objects of conquest, then where does that leave the poor manly Alpha Male™ and his claim to conquesty manliness-by-scorecard?

  64. says

    Now, had Ms Yoffe written a piece telling young men that “drunk” does not equal “consent,” you might have a point. It would have addressed the same problem—the obvious connection between drink and rape—but would have singled out the important aspect. You know, that pesky thing we call “the cause.”

    not only did she not include any of that in the article, she actively relieves men of responsibility for their own drinking, putting the responsibility on women whose restraint should “trickle down” to men.

  65. smhll says

    Making potential victims jump through hoops to avoid rape teaches them to be responsible for the behavior of sexual predators.

    @43

    I’m glad you mentioned this. I read the Slate article this morning, and glanced at a couple of pages worth of comments. One female (I think) commenter talked about being assaulted when inebriated and feeling bad that she had gotten to the point that she “wasn’t able to control the situation.” Bingo. That’s the serious flaw in the idea. She’s never really in control of what other people do to her, at least not if they are stronger than she is.

  66. says

    I once got black-out drunk.
    I remember that I ouked all over myself.
    I remember that I insisted on taking a shower in which I couldn’T stand upright anymore.
    I got helped by a guy who also got me to bed.
    I did not get raped.
    Funny how it works.
    So, yes, people drink. They drink too much. Sometimes because they don’t know “their limit”. Sometimes because when they notice they have enough there’s still 3 drinks in their stomach. Sometimes because things have more alcohol that they expected.
    Unless it is abandoned completely there will always be some very drunk women around and as long as people talk about how that means you’Re just asking for rape, they are fair game for rapists.
    Because obviously, if they got raped while drunk it’s their fault, because the good girls stayed sober.

  67. says

    Giliell @72: Because obviously, if they got raped while drunk it’s their fault, because the good girls stayed sober.

    Yes. Where the “good girls”, or some very noticeable fraction of them, were then raped by someone who was always more likely to have done so, because he was someone they already knew.

  68. says

    and because this needs to be said, again, for some fucked up reason:

    1)teaching individuals ways to “not attract” rapists doesn’t reduce rape, it displaces it, because it doesn’t do shit to reduce rape culture and the prevalence of rapists in the mood to rape someone.

    2)if all individuals followed those “how not to attract a rapist” rules, the rapists would simply change strategies, and the number of rapes wouldn’t change. because alcohol doesn’t cause rape-culture, it cannot undo it; see also: Muslim countries.

  69. says

    oh, and

    3)the more you restrict the freedom of the demographic being targeted by rape, the more frequent rape will become. Because power differentials are a partial cause of rape culture, increasing them (by restricting the freedoms of one group in relation to another group) also promotes and strengthens rape culture.

  70. says

    There’s another aspect of “binge drinking” college culture that is being ignored in order to go full team apologetics.

    Binge drinking is caused by all the prudery in our society surrounding drinking. Making it a taboo that makes one an adult and avoiding any education about responsible drinking or that one can even drink without drinking to excess or that inebriation doesn’t have to be the point.

    When colleges actually accept that people will do substances as part of trying out the taboos and learning the limits of what has previously been no and teach people how not to injure themselves doing it, they have less deaths and medical issues related to overdose or alcohol poisoning.

    And in countries where kids are allowed to drink responsibly without it being this taboo adult thing, the binge culture almost completely disappears.

    So yeah, she doesn’t even actually care about binge culture, other than as a means of enforcing patriarchal expectations for women or as a tool to consider herself more “moral” than those who drink, because otherwise, she’d recognize her own advice is also counter-productive to that aim as well.

  71. says

    Jadehawk, I hope you are this awesome in various areas of your life, because it would make me sad to think that someone with so much pure weapons-grade awesomium-666* in their makeup would be using it all up on having to fight something so hideous. Not sad for you, sad that the world is such that spending one’s awesome on fighting rape culture is a net positive, and wondering how much better our cultural economy would be if we weren’t so intent on something grimly like the smashing-windows theory of success.

    I hope that came across as a compliment, because that’s how I meant it. I just hope you get a chance to enjoy how awesome you are in some context that feels positive to you and makes you happy. If that makes sense.

    * Awe, three letters for the Periodic Table because it’s just neutronically awesome; short half-life of strangely beneficial radiation.

  72. says

    Jadehawk @66

    Well definitely 99.9% at least (women can be assailants too, though in much lower numbers than men), but yeah, to this post so much.

    Though the blatantness does illustrate that there is literally no form of victim blaming or rape that won’t incur some douchebag brigade to come to its defense even if they have to ignore their lying eyes to do so.

    But what rape culture, right?

  73. says

    Also, one disconnect for me is the idea put forward in the article that people are afraid to tell women not to drink. Really?

    keep in mind that dominant bits of a culture are so normalized as to be invisible, while bits that go against it stick out and will consequently be remembered. And then the availability heuristic takes over.
    Example: there was research a while back that showed that when something like 1/3 of a class is female, the class will be seen as dominated by women.

    Meaning, women are told not to do shit all the fucking time, but that’s normal and therefore not noted and not remembered. Messages that actively try to prevent increasing power-differentials and instead promote consent-awareness and bystander-interventionism are deviant, and therefore remembered.

  74. says

    I only got so far in reading the comments, so apologies if this has already been addressed:

    @anuran #5

    But there is a tiny grain of truth there. Anything that reduces your awareness, your ability to think clearly, or your capacity for effective intentional action makes you more vulnerable to hazards from drowning to predatory animals (two- or four-legged) acting on predatory impulses, so men, if you have a problem behaving as a decent human being and respecting others when you imbibe, don’t drink. If you are just an asshole who has no respect for others’ autonomy even when you’re sober, don’t socialise with vulnerable intoxicated people.

    FIFY

  75. danoberste says

    @54 Antohny K: Would you say the advice:

    Don’t worry about things you can’t change, but work hard to change the things that you can.

    Would be “stupid” advice? It makes sense to offer advice in a recognizable and easy to remember form. That’s why people use quotes from literature and famous folks to make their points.

  76. says

    danoberste

    Don’t worry about things you can’t change, but work hard to change the things that you can.

    You think the idea that drunk = automatic consent is something which cannot be changed?

  77. Anthony K says

    @54 Antohny K: Would you say the advice:

    Don’t worry about things you can’t change, but work hard to change the things that you can.

    Would be “stupid” advice?

    Was there a fucking typo the first time when I clearly and unabiguously said it fucking was that rendered my comment difficult for you to read?

    If so, then let me make it clearer: yes, quite so, completely totally fucking stupid, and anybody not in a coma who hears it becomes actively dumber just for the listening. So, thanks for that.

    It makes sense to offer advice in a recognizable and easy to remember form. That’s why people use quotes from literature and famous folks to make their points.

    No, people use quote from famous people because they’re too fucking stupid to know that people who aren’t stupid know that the quoters are simply trying to mask their own stupidity.

    Several people have already pointed out what terribly stupid and toxic advice it is. What the fuck is wrong with you?

  78. says

    dan dear, when “things you can’t change” get defined as things that are complex and have complex social causes, and “things you can change” don’t actually make a difference, then the advice is actively harmful.
    And since that is how you defined those two things in this context, you have admitted to following (and apparently, dishing out) harmful advice.

  79. Anthony K says

    Here’s some recognizable and easy-to-remember advice for you, danoberste:

    “You’re fucking stupid. Shut the fuck up.”

    Now go ahead and write that on your hand if that’s too complex for you to grok.

  80. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Seems to me, that the most famous people were the ones who changed things that people said couldn’t be changed. And since, in the context of this thread, the people saying things can’t change are rape-apologists and victim-blamers, I’d say its shitty advice.

  81. says

    danoberste @81

    Well, sir, prostate cancer is a risk factor that affects a lot of men, but it is really impossible to really change that, so why bother focusing on that. What you can affect is how many rusty needles you push through your scrotum on a daily basis. I mean, really, what are you thinking getting prostate cancer if you’re not pushing an excess of 10 rusty needles through your scrotum on a daily basis?

    I mean, don’t want prostate cancer, push a rusty needle through your scrotum.

    Easy to remember and sound advice and really men are just being really difficult if they try and argue about this.

    Now, since empathy is alien to you fuckers, let me guide you through the rest of this analogy. Imagine in the world that this wasn’t one fucker online making a snarky point. Imagine this was the advice every damn day of your life. That women were able to have not-pushing-rusty-needles-through their genitals parties and people were looking strange at you for wanting to attend. A world where if you got cancer, everyone would circle around you and ask if there were needles in your scrotum right now and if there were then clearly there weren’t enough if you managed to have this happen to you.

    So yeah, all the advice for women to stop doing something all people get to do freely and which in no way would lessen the impact of rape instead of advice that actually would lessen the impact of rape (teaching people what consent looks like and reducing social acceptance of rape) and which is in fact counterproductive to the aim of reducing rape (by feeding rape apologist models that tell rapists that as long as they use alcohol as part of their assault, people will assume it was consensual or rather that it was “just punishment” for daring to be a woman participating in a randomly decided to be male activity (drinking/partying/going out of the house).

    So yeah, advice that actually harms the target audience, does absolutely nothing to improve the disease its supposed to solve, and may actually make it worse?

    Is really fucking terrible advice.

    I mean, fuck, we don’t stomach homeopaths telling people to take their bullshit to cure cancer, but somehow we accept this victim blaming anti-helpful bullshit in terms of rape.

    Also, not to beat a point into the ground, but there’s plenty of us rape victims who have been raped while 100% sober including a fuckton who were raped as kids. So fuck your noise.

    You’re not hyperintelligent Spock, you’re just an asshole who can’t even be lead to knowledge because you are deliberately an ignorant asshole.

  82. anuran says

    Pteryxx, please stop putting words in my mouth. I’m the one talking practicalities. What are the risks? How do you balance them against the rewards? What are the choices?

    In a perfect world there would be no rapists, no war, no hunger, no injustice, no accidents, no predators and No Bad Things. Sadly, the world is not that way. Real people aren’t content with saying “I will be a Good Person and work hard for justice and equality. And because I believe in them I will pretend the world is already that way and take no precautions at all. Because that would be giving Bad People permission to be bad.” They try to minimize their risk against the accidents and criminals and a flawed justice system.

    I lock my doors and windows. I lock my car. I have a fire extinguisher. I have medical insurance. I practice a variety of self-defense methods
    That doesn’t mean I believe a burglary is my fault.
    That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of grease fires.
    I’m not saying that I’m “asking for” disease.
    I’m not blaming myself if I get sexually assaulted.

    It means I want to make it difficult for the burglar. I want my house not to burn down. If I am sick I want to be treated for it.

    And I will not be sexually assaulted again. If it’s going to be a Bad Day for someone it will be a very bad day for the rapist.

  83. kmk05 says

    @51 danoberste:

    While other people have replied to you much better than I ever could (@55 Pteryxx, @56 Daz and @59 A.Noyd) I’m not bemoaning the fact that it’s useless advice but that apparently I still have to be told. Do people think women are children that have to be condescendingly scolded? Do you not think we already know?

    Doesn’t change the fact that I’ve never been drunk in my entire life because I’m terrified of what could happen. And you know the best thing? Predators don’t give a shit about that. They’ll find anything to use as a leverage.

  84. throwaway, gut-punched says

    Sorry about the one-liner, I’m still in Twit-mode.

    To condense why the fuck this “don’t do ____ and rape won’t happen” is bullshit: correlation is not causation. That old adage that those super-skeptics probably tried to trot out to win the day on some prayer-warrior forum applies to the crap that people like Thunderf00l try to use to support this whole bootstrappin’ personal ‘countability trope. Some universal application of that standard would be nice, asshole skeptics.

  85. says

    Also if rape culture just is, why the fuck are we expected to lie down and take it?

    Oh, noes, it’s unchangeable, guess, I’ll just go the rest of my life accepting that anyone may decide to rape me anywhere because their rape genes tell them to like a force of nature.

    Um, no. If rape were really this unstoppable force inherent in all men, then let’s grill up the barbeque and slaughter the menfolk for their meat. In this world, what is there to stop me ending the problem one dead dudebro at a time, Hothead Paisan style? Why would I, in the world you present?

    Luckily, that is not our world. Rape culture is not “ironclad”. It’s really fucking changeable. All we need to do is bash the heads of deliberately obstinate dudes into the reality that they can stop fucking raping and that we’re tired of politely tolerating it. That the entitlement culture with regards to sex and the bodies of those designated “lesser” stops now and that more and more of us are not going to take it.

    And you all will thrash and wail and cry that it’s not fair. But as we see, things are improving, the “inevitability” seems less inevitable, the change we want to see can be visualized and its within grasping.

    We all have the tools to fight with and bleed and suffer to drag forward this shitty world.

    Just because you want to stay at home because you like the fringe benefits doesn’t mean that the fight can’t be won.

  86. Onamission5 says

    I don’t know of many rape victims from any of my past or present friend circles IRL who’ve been sexually assaulted after being drugged at a bar or party or who are victims of any of the forms of stranger-danger rape to which all this oh so helpful “rape prevention” advice is tailored. Almost every single one was raped, while stone cold sober, by a friend, a friend’s friend or relative, a co-worker, a family member, or an authority figure like a teacher, doctor, therapist, pastor, or boss. I wonder what kind of advice the personal responsibility crowd would give us? Don’t go to your best friend’s sleepover party? Don’t go to your pastor’s office for counseling when your parents tell you to? Don’t stay after class to ask your teacher a question? Don’t be nine years old and sleeping in your own bed when your relatives come to visit on holiday? Don’t go on camping trips with friends you’ve known for years? Don’t have your hands full when your boss hands you your paycheck or he might stuff it into your pocket and grope your ass while doing so? Don’t fall asleep on the couch on a night your roommate’s boyfriend comes looking for a midnight booty call, can’t find her, so decides you’ll do in her place? Don’t marry someone who was charming and beloved by all your friends but turned out to be unwilling to take no for an answer pretty much the moment you said “I do?”

    Advice to not drink lest rapists do to you what rapists gonna do to someone else is beyond shitty. Not only is it not preventative but deflective, as other commenters have said above, it simply does not apply to the vast majority of sexual assaults and rapes.

    Like Giliell @72, I, too have been black out drunk at a party and gone unraped. I woke up fully clothed in the very same chair I’d passed out in the night before. In fact, from what I remember, having a sloppy drunk, barely 14 year old girl at their party made the hosts– older high school jock guys– quite uncomfortable, and they were visibly relieved when my sister came back to get me the next day. Imagine. I was only one of two girls there to begin with. The other one was my sister who left my drunk ass overnight with a bunch of guys I didn’t know (gee thanks, sis that was not awkward at all). I was falling down, pass out, slurring drunk at a party with no other girls in attendance, and every single one of the also quite drunk guys present managed to not rape me, not because I was or was not drunk, not because I was or was not alone, not because I was or was not somewhere I ought not to be, but because none of them decided to be rapists. I don’t even know for sure that they all saw me as a real person, I don’t know that none of them harbored misogynistic attitudes toward girls and women. All I know for sure is none of them, at that party, saw a vulnerable under aged girl and said “It’s rape time.”

    Bare minimum standard for human decency achieved.

  87. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Really, all this “don’t drink and you won’t get raped!” thing does is make sure some other drunk woman/girl is raped. Because it’s been made completely crystal clear that as long as she is drunk, you can rape freely. I don’t want my own safety, and to hell with everyone else’s. I’m not okay with the idea that the objective of “rape prevention” is that only “bad” women get raped more often (by elves or other invisible forces, of course, never by the one recurring factor in rape: RAPISTS.)

    Oh, and I especially love that alcoholic women are pretty much just rapebait writeoffs. I mean, it’s not like child sexual abuse and/or prior rapes are often a major reason women with addictions have addictions. Maybe they wore short diapers as toddlers or something.

  88. says

    I’m the one talking practicalities.

    lol. the “practicalities” of being made responsible for one’s drunkenness in the face of evidence that rapists manipulate the information necessary to make that decision?

    dumbass.

  89. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    The only redeeming thing about that Slate article for me was a suggested article I came across at the bottom of the page.

    Is Lesbian Sex “Real Sex”?

    That is truly an editor’s title. The article is actually pretty excellent.

  90. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    Oh, and I especially love that alcoholic women are pretty much just rapebait writeoffs. I mean, it’s not like child sexual abuse and/or prior rapes are often a major reason women with addictions have addictions. Maybe they wore short diapers as toddlers or something.

    ^This!

    Here’s an equally ludicrous idea for preventing rapes: Tell women to drink more and more often. Seriously, ladies if you don’t build up that tolerance, you’re just going to be that much easier to incapacitate and rape. Best get ta drink’n! Safety’s on the line!
    *spit*

  91. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Jadehawk, separatist lesbians in women-only communes can’t be raped?

    . . . Oh. I see.

  92. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    anuran,

    And I will not be sexually assaulted again. If it’s going to be a Bad Day for someone it will be a very bad day for the rapist.

    I hope you are correct, but if you are it isn’t because you’ve become unrapeble. It will be because you don’t encounter a rapist looking to rape you.

    You practice self defense? Cool. Will you be kicking ass and taking names when you’re 80? Because you will get old and the disabled, elderly and otherwise disadvantaged are often targets of sexual predators.

    You lock your doors? Great. I guess you know better than to be homeless. Thoise silly women are always getting raped. They should have thought about how impractical being homeless was before they lost everything.

    You lock your car? Great. Some women have to walk long ways to take public transit. How does your car analogy apply to them?

    Do you think you are careful and smart, so cannot be raped again, but other women who are still being raped are just stupid and careless? Because that is what you are suggesting.

    Also, rape isn’t like an accidental fire. It is like an arson. Just as you cannot prevent someone burning down your home on purpose, you cannot take enough precautions to live a rape-free life. You are not the one making the decision that there is going to be a rape/arson. They perpetrator is. I suppose you could wear asbestos underwear and sleep on a steel bench in a home made entirely of inflammable substances, but I bet you wouldn’t do that. Even if you did build an arson proof / rape proof fortress of solitude, the criminal would just burn/rape someone else. You may be making yourself feel better, but you are not stopping rapes.

  93. David Marjanović says

    And in countries where kids are allowed to drink responsibly without it being this taboo adult thing, the binge culture almost completely disappears.

    Really? It’s really bad in the UK (doesn’t it come from there?), and it’s close in much of the rest of Europe. Where I come from, drinking age is 16 for wine & beer, and 18 for everything else. …And university buildings don’t contain a single bed; all students live elsewhere in the city.

    Booze is seen as a normal part of adult life; all you need for binge-drinking is peer pressure from people who want to be seen as adults.

    Jadehawk, I hope you are this awesome in various areas of your life, because it would make me sad to think that someone with so much pure weapons-grade awesomium-666* in their makeup would be using it all up on having to fight something so hideous.

    :-) :-) :-) I approve of this description.

  94. David Marjanović says

    Jadehawk, separatist lesbians in women-only communes can’t be raped?

    Well, they can, but I really don’t think it’s very common.

  95. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    danoberste @81:

    Don’t worry about things you can’t change, but work hard to change the things that you can.

    What makes you think that men committing rape, that rapists making the decision to rape, cannot be changed?

    When I was in high school, there was a really, really big push to stop or reduce drunk driving. This was done through adverts on TV and radio, and focused not only on ‘don’t do it’, but on making it socially unacceptable. And I remember letters to the editor, radio personalities, teachers, you name ‘em, kept saying that it will never work, it’s too much a part of culture, it’s a rite of passage for young men. And yet, it worked. People still drink and drive, but the conviction rates are much higher, the penalties are much higher, and the social acceptability has decreased.

    Teaching boys and girls what rape is before they hit high school, teaching them that yes means yes and no means no, teaching the idea of informed consent, will have an impact. Many rapists do not even admit to themselves that what they do is rape (surveys have borne this out — as long as the word rape is not used, men admit to forcing women to have sex or taking advantage of someone who is incapacitated).

    anuran @89:

    I’m not blaming myself if I get sexually assaulted.

    Correct. You are not. However, if someone gets drunk and is assaulted, it does not really matter whether that survivor blames themselves or not — the police, the DA, the judge, the jury, friends, family, everyone, WILL blame that person because they got drunk. And the rapists say to themselves, “Well, no, that wasn’t rape. She was too drunk to say yes or no.”

    Does that make sense?

  96. Lyle says

    So, you’re equating getting raped while drunk to getting behind the wheel of a car while drunk?

    Yeah, I can see why nobody wants you around here.

  97. David Marjanović says

    — because it increases the risk of getting into a bad accident —

    That’s it exactly: rape isn’t an accident.

    …as dozens of people have pointed out in this very thread, which you clearly haven’t read. Take a look at the rules before you comment on a thread without having read it.

    Also, nice to see that because the article was written by a woman, Emily Yoffe, Poo Zed didn’t name her, much less call her a “rape apologist”.

    Why should PZ state the obvious?

  98. Terska says

    What should one teach their daughters then? No self defense? No admonitions about getting wasted? I teach my boys the same exact same things. Not just my girls. Drunk boys are often the victims of violence too. Angry football player beat up a geek violence. My first is going off to college next year and I am teaching him all I can about how to walk, fight, recognize danger and and how to flee. He is geeky like me but he is pretty big.

    One thing that could happen right now is for those that are not targets of sexual assaults in these situations to step up and make an effort to protect the girls that are in danger and defenseless from alcohol or rape drugs. It’s what we did when I was in college. Bystanders need to get involved. I knew several of girls that were the victims of attempted or actual rapes. Most of them knew their attacker and the creep had been drinking. One girl was perfectly sober but her ex was shit faced. He attacked her on her way home from class at night.

    My kids hate drunks and don’t feel comfortable around them. It’s a rational fear in my opinion. When I was a little kid I was attacked by a drunk at family party. He claimed he thought I was an intruder. I really thought I was going to die. Luckily a cousin heard my screams and went for help. It wasn’t even his house. He just wanted to kill me because he thought I was a 10 year old fairy that needed a lesson in being a real man.

    College for me was filled with attempted assaults by football players, angry ex boyfriends, homophobes and rednecks. I extricated myself from all of them because others intervened or or fleeing the scene when possible. I imagine it hasn’t changed in 30 years.

  99. screechymonkey says

    jblumenfeld@60:

    So can we then agree that –

    and 2) Binge drinking is a really bad idea, completely apart from any idiotic victim-blaming associated with it.

    Or can we not?

    No, though it’s probably getting off-topic for this thread. At least not given the common definitions I see for “binge drinking” whenever some newspaper story hyperventilates about an “epidemic” of binge drinking, i.e. four or more drinks for a man, three or more for a woman. Many a good and safe time has been had getting drunk and silly with friends.

    If you’re talking blackout, ought-to-be-taken-to-the-hospital-for-stomach-pumping drinking, then sure, I can agree with that.

  100. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    David Marjanović @102

    Well, they can, but I really don’t think it’s very common.

    That is pretty much the wink-nudge point that I was making in response to Jadehawk.

  101. says

    Let me get this straight –

    Prudie doesn’t think a woman is allowed to turn down a man’s request for a date unless she then stays home that particular evening. She also thinks a woman should lower her standards and date any guy who asks because they could one day be rich or something.

    She also doesn’t think a woman should drink.

    So, basically, women aren’t people to her.

  102. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    The lesbian-separatist commune line is interesting. It was just today when it suddenly hit me, some of the really messed up things done to me sexually in the past by women. And when I was assaulted by a dude in a public bathroom, and one of the above women asked what I expected in that short skirt.

    Ouch.

  103. says

    What should one teach their daughters then?

    The POINT is that we’re always only ever focused on “teaching our daughters” because heaven forfend we spend a moment or two explaining to our sons that being willing to have sex with someone without being ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that they have enthusiastic consent is, at the very least, risking raping someone.

    We should teach our daughters to become activists who change the world so that everyone understand that a lack of “no” is not the same thing as “yes.” Actually, we should teach that to our sons as well.

  104. David Marjanović says

    [Hi, harvardmba. Bye, harvardmba. --pzm]

    Ah, that makes sense!

    If you’re talking blackout, ought-to-be-taken-to-the-hospital-for-stomach-pumping drinking,

    For the record, that’s what I was talking about.

  105. congenital cynic says

    I haven’t read the comments in this thread, but here’s my thoughts.

    Men who would take advantage of a drunken woman – drunk to the point where she’s really not in control of herself, or worse still, unconscious – to have sex with her are seriously lacking.

    Primarily they lack respect for another person and seem to feel no compunction about violating her. Totally wrong. I was brought up to respect people’s boundaries, unless invited in. Taking advantage of people is wrong. Period. And recognizing when someone is out of control and stepping in and making sure they don’t hurt themselves is part of being an adult.

    Secondly, they lack taste. A woman who is trashed that badly on booze is not very interesting as a sex partner (but then these assholes who perpetrate these attacks are just in it for themselves). I always wanted my lovers to be fully engaged participants and really into the activity, and a totally drunken woman just isn’t very compelling as a sex partner. Hell, back in university I didn’t even feel inclined to shag my then girlfriend when she was that trashed (like after a beer garden), even if she was keen.

    The things men do to women and to each other constantly disappoint me. We need to raise better men. There’s a big project.

  106. says

    I haven’t read the comments in this thread, but here’s my thoughts.

    I didn’t actually read the rest of your comment, but here are my thoughts:

    It’s rude to jump into a conversation without checking to see if your thoughts are actually as original as you seem to think they are. It really doesn’t take that much time to read through what people have already said. And, when people find themselves having to debunk inaccurate information over and over and over again, they get irritated, and if you are posting something inaccurate that needs debunking, you’ll be contributing to that irritation.

    Don’t do that next time.

  107. says

    Aaaaand of course Congentical Cynic’s post minimizes rape by chalking it up to lack of taste.

    Rape isn’t “disappointing”. It’s misogynist sexual terrorism. It’s torture. It’s a crime.

  108. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Happiestsadist:

    And when I was assaulted by a dude in a public bathroom, and one of the above women asked what I expected in that short skirt.

    I’m very sorry for what happened to you.
    And I will never understand the “what did you expect” question. What answer other than “I expected not to get assaulted” was she even hoping to hear?

  109. John Horstman says

    @culuriel #36: Actually, Yoffe has a long history of victim-blaming, especially when the victim is drunk. See, for example, this, this, this, this, this, and this for examples (last 3 reference same Q/A). You can find more if you Google around – these are just from my first page of results searching “yoffe victim blaming” between Jan. 1. 2011 and Oct. 1 2013.

  110. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    I dunno, I guess I was expecting to maybe go to the bathroom, pee, wash my hands, touch up my lipstick and go back to dancing. I was expecting her to think I looked adorable and sexy (she picked out the skirt, and said I should buy it, now that I remember). I was not actually expecting a gay man and his friends to corner me and grope me. Admittedly, I did have one drink that night, and my skirt was short, so, my fault.

  111. says

    Hmm. Just posted elsewhere on this. Its “cultural”, even in movies, and other media, and also, well, it tends to work, so that often is the whole damn point of parties – to drink, to loosen up inhibitions, so as to find it easier to socialize, or even beyond that. And, that.. is a serious problem. As I put it, the very fact that this is what alcohol is used for makes it a ready weapon, to be used against a person, when rape or sexual assault happens. No one goes to parties just for the booze. They go there for all the rest, including possible sex, with the alcohol used as a facilitator for everything else. I have no damn clue how, or even if, you could fix that. But.. if I where a woman, at any sort of party, knowing this, I would have to recognize that so much as a single sip of any of it means I just handed, no matter my age, or the age of the other people there, some of them a knife, which they could stab me in the back with, *if* the worst happened. Because, everyone, including the potential jurors, unless they never went to a party when younger, remembers “why” the booze was there, and it was never **just for the booze** at a party. The defense lawyer damn sure won’t stop for a moment before indirectly “reminding” them of this, and more than half the idiots at any club/bar, and at least a few of the idiots at work, etc., will be thinking the same damn thing, because they still have, in their head, the idea that its booze – then clothes off – then sex.

    Personally, I come damn close to being a prohibitionist when it comes to the idea that you need alcohol at a party (and, it wouldn’t be a problem at, say, a business meeting, or convention, or other such place, if such gatherings didn’t, in the minds of some people = party). It causing too damn many problems, and until/unless a lot of really f-ing stupid assumptions, including the idea that being drunk, what ever the intent might have been **at the beginning** does not equate to having granted assent *after* you are in that state, change, I can’t say that, even as a guy I am willing to drink at such a party in some cases. If I was a women, I would probably be poring anything *at all* someone else handed me into the nearest potted plant. There is nothing they make imo for which it is worth trading a knife in my back, after possibly already being assaulted.

    And, yes, I am sure there are people out there that still have “social” parties, where the assumption isn’t that half the people there will be half nude by the end of it, but.. don’t tell that to the media, or a bloody large number of real people, never mind anyone at all that actually went to a college where they actually have a “spring break”, never mind the whole “Animal House” style fraternities and sororities, because.. well, lets just say there are enough web sites out there with certain sorts of material, to deny the idea that they are not a lot more like Animal House, in terms of parties, and certain other things, than they might claim to be…

    In any case, its not about whether someone should be allowed to do something, as much as the f-ing assumptions that exist if you do. And, as stupid as Slate is about it, drinking, sadly, is just one thing in a long list of, “Be careful about this, because assholes will use it against you, even if they don’t use it as an excuse to attack you.” Doesn’t mean, at all, stop, or never, etc., just… we need to fix one or both ends of the equation, with respect to the stupid assumptions being made. But, how do you do that, when, in this case at least, the default assumption when you combine party + alcohol is, “Some of the people, or most, of the people here are drinking to be more than merely social.”?

  112. mesh says

    @congenital cynic

    I really get the impression that you don’t understand what rape is. Rape isn’t sex, it’s the assault and violation of a human being. Rape is no more about the attractiveness of inebriated women than burglary is about unlocked windows giving boners. Opportunity, not attraction, is the key element here. Rape victims aren’t rapists’ sexual partners or lovers, they’re targets to be exploited.

  113. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    @congenital cynic:

    You really should have read the comments, including the helpful 101 information. Rape isn’t just in poor taste and bad sex for the rapist (what a horror, poor thing!). Rapists commit rape because they do not care about consent, and enjoy asserting their power over their victim.

  114. screechymonkey says

    I can only imagine the reactions if someone wrote an article giving men the same kind of “helpful crime prevention advice” on how to avoid false rape accusations.

  115. maddog1129 says

    I’m really surprised t hat we got to comment 104 before somebody corrected the “Serenity Prayer” person for failing to have the wisdom to know that “educating people not to be rapists” falls in the category of “things I should have the courage to change because I can” rather than something to accept serenely as something I can’t change.

  116. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    maddog1129:

    Sorry. I responded when I saw it. I was also cooking dinner at the time.

  117. Francisco Bacopa says

    Not sure we can teach the most rapey not to rape, but early education about consent might make there be fewer rapey guys. And other men might come to learn that they should not give any support to hay guy talking about sex that sounds even a little bit rapey. Creating an environment where men can hold each other to standards of consent is the best solution.

    I am convinced that rapey guys do not care about sexual pleasure. They do not even care about their own sexual pleasure. To them sexual activity is a way of satisfying their own desires which they see as degrading so they must degrade another to fit the script in their minds. And they also want peer approval for this. They often get it, and if one of their victims objects, they often have the backing of almost the entire community.

    Rape education should focus on knocking out peer support and community support. Reduce these and rape is reduced.

    Purity education promotes rape culture. Sex is inherently dirty. A woman who has had sex is a chewed up piece of gum, male desire is a dangerous force. Comprehensive sex education that stresses that its OK to have sex for various reasons at different times strengthens respect for consent.

  118. says

    Their problem isn’t rape, their problem is women reporting it.
    What we wear, how we act, who we’re with and where we’re at – all irrelevant.
    We’ve spent far too long being rewarded (or rather…less punished than other women) for passivity and making other people happy, reporting the one who hurt you is not how it’s “meant to go”. Good women are silent and complaint. A woman standing up for herself, well that’s just treason, or desertion and she’s an awful, awful person.

    Also, hold the phone, a person calling themselves “Congenital Cynic” is being told off for not being enthusiastic enough about enthusiastic consent. Okaaayy….

  119. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Amy Cocks @132L

    Their problem isn’t rape, their problem is women reporting it.

    So none of the problem is that, when a rape victim does report that a crime has been committed, the default setting for society — friends, family, police, courts — is to wonder what the victim did wrong to provoke the rape? Why were you drinking? Why did you dress that way? Why did you go to that bar? Walk down that street? Get into a car? What were you thinking? Not all of us report what happened. I still haven’t. Those who have are rarely supported and are often blamed.

  120. Ichthyic says

    Wanna avoid being killed by someone with a gun? Well, it’s easy you see. all you have to do is either live underwater and stay at least 10 feet away from everyone or thing that could possibly have a gun, or bury yourself alive in a coffin 6 feet underground!

    see? simple!

    what?

    why not just eliminate the gun?

    oh no, that’s way too complictedwhyyouwanttotakemygunyouwantmetohavenorightsyoucommunist!

    It’s the same thing with any privilege; you get generations used to the idea that “this is the way things are”, and then nobody can even imagine how things were before, all they can imagine is how to react to how things are NOW.

    that salon article was nothing more than the ignorant response of someone who grew up in a society that has had generation upon generation of male privilege. They don’t even consider dealing with the cause of the problem, they can only see how to react.

  121. scourge99 says

    Next week, Slate will tell us that we shouldn’t leave our keys in the ignition, or sign our checks before bringing them to the bank. Thats all just a bunch of VICTIM BLAMING. If i want to leave my keys in the ignition then i will. If someone steals my car then clearly its silly to blame me in any way! Blame the thieves who stole my car.

    Also, its clear that if Slate tells us we shouldn’t leave our keys in the ignition or sign our checks before going to the bank then what they really mean is that we shouldn’t drive cars or use checks! Isn’t it obvious!

    I should write an response article titled “Slate tells people to stop driving cars.”

  122. Ichthyic says

    Next week, Slate will tell us that we shouldn’t leave our keys in the ignition, or sign our checks before bringing them to the bank.

    five bucks says you can find an article on Slate already saying that.

  123. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    scourge99 @135:

    Next week, Slate will tell us that we shouldn’t leave our keys in the ignition, or sign our checks before bringing them to the bank. Thats all just a bunch of VICTIM BLAMING. If i want to leave my keys in the ignition then i will. If someone steals my car then clearly its silly to blame me in any way! Blame the thieves who stole my car.

    A person is not property. A person is not money. A person is not a possession. And in all of those situations, someone still must make a decision to break the law. Just as someone must make the decision to rape.

    =========

    And the apologist parade begins.

  124. vaiyt says

    @Terska

    What should one teach their daughters then?

    Why do you think it’s the daughters that need to be taught?

  125. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Scourge99: You, uh, know that a body isn’t a possession? Like, women can’t just not be women, leave their body at home when they’re going somewhere around…anyone.

    Also, people who steal cars are punished. Because even if the keys are in the ignition? The problem is the thief.

  126. vaiyt says

    If i want to leave my keys in the ignition then i will. If someone steals my car then clearly its silly to blame me in any way! Blame the thieves who stole my car.

    Will your loved ones, the police and society in general to think you’re lying when you report that your car’s been stolen? Will people scrutinize your actions in a court of law to find excuses to let the thieves get away with your car? Will you be the target of hate and harassment if you try to say that, hey, there are people who rob cars, maybe we should hold them responsible for their actions?
    .
    No, even if you’re careless with your possessions (which your body is not), people won’t blame you for getting robbed. The problem with rape runs much, much deeper.

  127. says

    scourge99 #135

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but do we not teach young people why it’s wrong to steal?

    Maybe I am wrong. Maybe, in your culture, lock-manufacturers are invited into schools on endless lecture tours, explaining how the only way to fight theft is to lock everything up, and no effort is ever given to teaching kids not to steal. Is this the case in your culture?

  128. Anthony K says

    Scourge99, shutting that stupid yap of yours will go a long way toward reducing the likelihood that someone’s gonna punch your fucking face in.

    If you find that advice distasteful, well, there’s a better analogy than your fuckheaded stolen car one.

  129. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    What should one teach their daughters then?

    That their actions and decisions are not the problem and that rape is never the victim’s fault? That they have the right to say yes or no and be respected for their choice. That their body belongs only to them? That she also needs to take “no” for an answer? That you are doing what you can to change society instead of trying to lock her away, restrict her liberties and fill her head with dehumanizing nonsense that never kept anyone safe in the first place?

  130. congenital cynic says

    @125 & 126
    You two have reading comprehension difficulties? Did you miss the part where I talked about “violation” of the person? And despite the fact that rape is about exploitation, abuse, power and a lack of consent, the thing that is carried out is a sexual act. You can’t talk that part away just by heaping on a lot of other labels (no matter how valid they are). And in addition to the bit about it being a violation of a person, which I mentioned, it’s also sick to find it a rush (or whatever those who do it feel) to engage in that act with a wasted female. It’s because it’s a sex act that it’s such an extreme violation.

    You two shriek like you have the market cornered on outrage. And I’d bet that different men behave that way for a spectrum of different and multi-faceted reasons, some of which might have sex-related thoughts, perverse though they would be. But I’ve never asked one. I’m betting that someone like Shermer views what he’s doing differently from, oh, let’s say, a Ted Bundy. But I’m sure you two have all the answers.

  131. Chie Satonaka says

    If someone steals my car then clearly its silly to blame me in any way! Blame the thieves who stole my car.

    And yet, there is absolutely no question that someone who takes a car in this manner is a thief, and that a crime has been committed.

  132. Anthony K says

    I wonder how many North American men are afraid of going to prison because they fear stepping into the prison shower, dropping the soap, and having some big, tough, lifer steal their car.

  133. Terska says

    @Jackie
    All those are all good lessons but not enough to reduce my kids chances of assault, sexual or otherwise. Proper sexual conduct education is only one tool that should be better used to prevent rape when more than one strategy is needed. None of those lessons can be practiced if one is too drunk to say no. My boys are feminists too. Perhaps the biggest feminists in their high school. My oldest is a very outspoken and is bullied for it. We are deep behind enemy lines in tea bagger land. Out of thirty kids in his government he is one of two that are not Republicans. Interestingly the girls are the most anti abortion rights in his class.
    It is unfair and naive to assume only boys need to learn proper sexual conduct. The girls in his class are just as merciless toward female sexual behavior as the tea bagger boys. All but one girl is against abortion even in to protect the live of the mother!

    By the way I also believe my kids have a right to not get shot too. I teach them to avoid guns and I don’t allow them in my house. It’s no guarantee but it reduces their chances of getting shot.

    In no way do I lock my kids away either. My youngest is a seventh grade girl that I allow to ride NY subways.

  134. anteprepro says

    Oh, so the analogies make an appearance. I’m just going to copy and paste a little screed I had in another thread. It was originally about burglary, but the same principle applies:

    Imagine a world where burglary was treated like rape is in our world. Imagine a world where victims of burglaries are accused of being careless or just accusing people of burglary to get attention. Where burglary victims are doubted and outright shamed for coming forward. Where only a fraction of burglars were brought to court, and even fewer ever even given a slap on the wrist for their crime. Where people pat each other on the back for their shiny objects and think that burglarized, like, totally count, dude. Where there are politicians making a distinction between “burglary” and legitimate burglary. Where inviting a person into your house is a sign that you are allowing them to enter your house on all other occasions. Where giving people gifts is a sign that people are forever to be forgiven if they get the wrong impression and just outright steal things from you. Where the main focus of combating the burglary epidemic is not by opposing the actual burglars and ensuring that they are discovered and punished, but by encouraging victims and potential victims to stop having such appealing property.

    So, yeah…

    Burglary/rape analogies: Because “Just World Bias” is a hell of a set of blinders.

  135. anteprepro says

    congenital cynic: Step away from the computer. It is obvious that you are lashing out because you feel like you were criticized unfairly. You will probably get more criticism for your latest post but you haven’t said anything too bad yet. Just step away, cool down, try to take the criticism in stride and if you must refute, try to do so gracefully. If you don’t take my advice, which is just advice and nothing more, you will likely become one of the most tragic kind of trolls: someone who technically agrees with what we are saying but gets their ego bruised and gets into a bitter shouting match about nothing in particular. Please do not let that happen to you.

  136. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    @congenitalcynic: So, you’re upset that people didn’t much care for your barging in, coming up with your own… idiosyncratic, shall we say, explanations for rape (there are links in this thread to educational material about sexual predators, perhaps you could read them, and be less of a dipshit.)? Because your bad analogy was terrible and offensive?

    And yeah, I do have a number of answers on the subject, having been raped and assaulted a goddamn lot of times and also sexual violence was a major component of my postsecondary studies. I can actually tell you a lot about the minds of people who do commit these rapes, from Shermer to Bundy, and there’s a lot of commonalities, especially in the areas of entitlement, and hatred and dehumanization of the victim (usually women, but not, of course, always.) Serial sexual offences in particular, which is the group that commits most rapes.

    Now instead of expressing horror at the inferior sex the rapist is having, and how illogical he is, you could maybe sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up and do some reading?

  137. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Okay, Terska, you say that teaching children to avoid risky behaviour is the only way to go.

    FIne.

    What was my risky behaviour? I was eight or nine years old. It lasted until I was ten. It was a scout leader. Yes, alcohol was involved, but not at the beginning. I knew I would not be believed as he was a leader of the community, a stake holder in the LDS church. He was not the only one. He involved me in some incredibly horrible behaviour, behaviour that is beyond the pale of acceptable. What risky behaviour should I have avoided?

    My sister was raped when she was a Park Ranger at a national park out west. Four French men showed up at her apartment at about 11:00om. They had followed her home from work to find out where she lived. She was raped repeatedly. They broke her jaw and her arm. What was the risky behaviour she should have avoided?

    When I was in high school, the younger sister of a friend of mine was raped. She was strong-armed off of a carnival midway in the mid-afternoon. No one who saw it happen said anything at the time. Her case did make it to court but, after the jury saw what that 12- or 13-year-old temptress was wearing, they jury found the defendant, a 20-something year old man, not guilty. What was her risky behaviour? Wearing some cool clothing on a hot summer day?

    What do all of these have in common? First, no amount of risk-avoidance would have prevented the rapes. Second, all of them had one, or more, rapist who decided that consent was not necessary.

    My rapist did not consider it rape. He considered it training so that I would know how to act as an adult. The man who raped my friend’s sister did not consider it rape — her dress showed that she wanted to fuck. I don’t know about my sister’s rapists.

    Teaching all children, boys and girls, that informed consent, without coercion or force, and with actual consent, is necessary. No, it will not stop all rapes. But that nine-year-old would have known to tell as many people as possible. Those bystanders who saw a young girl strong-armed off of the midway would have spoken up, asked questions.

    I feel for you and your family living in the bible belt. I spent middle school and high school in western Maryland. What you describe is the dream of right wing authoritarians — intentional ignorance, xenophobia, fear, conformity. And at your children’s school, at my school, at every school, concepts such as bodily autonomy, informed consent, and, yes, the ability of a boy or girl to say yes (in a legal situation, of course — not to an adult (depends on the laws in the state)) are anathema to those goals. But there are people who want this, who want ignorance, who want fear. They do not want children or women who say no. They do not want children or women who understand bodily autonomy. They view women and children as property, as possessions, as toys. And they do not want anyone kicking over their toy box.

    Does that make sense?

  138. Koshka says

    Terska,
    From your #109

    Bystanders need to get involved.

    For me, the article linked to discourages bystanders to get involved. It will give some people the impression that the drunk women decided to get drunk and it is her problem.
    The message in the article is continually being recycled.
    Where are the articles encouraging bystanders to make a difference?

  139. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    I have an idea. Let’s set up a society where alcohol is illegal, where women can only go out in public with male relatives, and only if they’re covered head to toe, where they can’t even be in a room in their own house with a man who’s not their relative, where they can’t drive, where men can have multiple wives in case one of them isn’t in the mood, and so on. I bet such a society wouldn’t suffer from rape, right?

  140. Dani Wells says

    I made a video where I talked about why so many men get a rage-on when people say ‘When you’re drunk, it’s rape” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SifsRt8kRwY

    I explained how many guys, the misogynist ones, get all upset when they’re confronted with the fact that you can’t get consent when a person is intoxicated but I purposely used the word drunk to create ambiguity.

    When the victim blaming starts with asshats like Thunderfart making that video, misogynist men come out of the woodwork to proclaim how women have to be pure and responsible by not drinking too much. The reason, I think, these particular guys do this, is because they are rapey and they know or have used alcohol to coerce women into sex (which is technically rape).

    These guys are always looking for a scenario in which some aspect of two people drinking is not rape. Wanting to find a grey area is a red flag for me. It means they are looking for women who are drinking to rape.

    The comments on my video displayed this very well. They went insane trying to tell me and other women to not drink so much b/c it’s just, you know, going to increase your chances of being raped.

    The victim blaming was rampant.

  141. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    Terska,

    It is unfair and naive to assume only boys need to learn proper sexual conduct.

    First of all, WTF? Exactly what about a woman’s “sexual conduct” causes her to be raped? WTF does the local girls’ views on abortion have to do with women getting raped by men? Yes, the vast majority of rapes are committed by men. But,somehow you need to make this about those evil women. Meanwhile did you miss that I said,

    “That she also needs to take “no” for an answer?”

    If girls who perpetrate rape culture are taught exactly the things I listed about their own bodily autonomy and what consent is then they wouldn’t blame other girls for getting raped, would they? I gave you a list of things that you could teach girls about rape and you’re going to pretend I didn’t? That’s typical of rape apologists and victim blamers.

    What else is there to say to her about her “sexual conduct” other than what I suggested?
    Also, fuck you very much for calling rape “sexual conduct”. It is an assault. It is not done as a part of sexual expression. It is not merely rude. It is physical violation for the purpose of harming someone else for the criminal’s own gratification.

    None of those lessons can be practiced if one is too drunk to say no.

    Too drunk to say “No” is too drunk to consent and any idiot can learn that, if you bother to teach it. It is not on the girl not to get drunk. It is on the rapist not to rape. Teach your sons that raping drunk girls isn’t good sport, not that it is a girls job not to drink. How is that hard for you to understand? Being passed out is not an invitation for rape. It will not damage boys to know this.

    As to your area; I live on the shiny brass buckle of the Bible Belt. You’ve got nothing to tell me about living in an area 50 yrs behind the times. You may be what passes for a progressive feminist in your area, but you are still taking part in rape culture by putting the onus not to be raped on the victim. So stop going on about what a good feminist you are and what shining examples of feminism your sons are while you push the same tired anti-woman, pro-rapist garbage that women have been told since forever. It does not work and it is not ethical or reasonable.

    By the way I also believe my kids have a right to not get shot too. I teach them to avoid guns and I don’t allow them in my house. It’s no guarantee but it reduces their chances of getting shot.

    Men are not guns. They are not unthinking machines built only to do harm. Men are not unfeeling weapons. They do not “misfire” accidentally and rape. They are people. Respect your sons enough to speak of them as such. Meanwhile, how exactly do you think you keep rapists out of your house or teach your kids to avoid rapists? They don’t wear signs and 60% of rapes happen in the home. Most rapists are trusted by their victims. To (probably mis) quote Being human, “If kiddie diddlers looked like kiddie diddler’s they’d never get to diddle kiddies”.

  142. says

    None of those lessons can be practiced if one is too drunk to say no.

    Being drunk IS saying no. Your assumption mirrors that of the rapist’s; namely that the absence of “no” constitutes presence of “yes.”

    Does it bother you that you think like a rapist?

  143. Jacob Schmidt says

    All those are all good lessons but not enough to reduce my kids chances of assault, sexual or otherwise.

    This is demonstrably false. The “don’t be that guy” campaign, for instance, has lead to decreased rates of sexual assault in Canada.

  144. anteprepro says

    By the way I also believe my kids have a right to not get shot too. I teach them to avoid guns and I don’t allow them in my house. It’s no guarantee but it reduces their chances of getting shot.

    Imagine a thread about a school shooting. Imagine you barge in with a lecture about personal responsibility and about how if the other parents just practiced your kind of gun safety, those kids would have been perfectly fine. Imagine that the school shooting in question was committed by a stranger who just wandered into the school. And imagine that you continue arguing about the Glorious Wonder of your method anyway. And that after you finally shut up, several other people come in, just as clueless, all bleating about the same exact “hey, if the parents just didn’t own any guns, then the kids wouldn’t have been shot” talking points. Repeat across several shooting threads until everyone actually reading what is going on starts bleeding from the eyes.

    I just trued up your analogy. You are welcome.

  145. says

    Gah! I know this stuff needs to be talked about, and so on, but it really feels like The Bad News Just Keeps Coming. And, of course, every single time there’s some idiot in the comments thread — more usually several idiots — making the same old arguments. Is there a blog about good gender news somewhere? The pictures of fuzzy kittens and so on just aren’t cutting it to keep me from wanting to bang my head against the wall (and/or people’s heads together) any more.

  146. mesh says

    @Congentical Cynic

    You two have reading comprehension difficulties?

    Hardly. I comprehended the idea that a drunken rape victim is simply an uninteresting sex partner well enough. Is it really that surprising that this should raise a few eyebrows?

    And despite the fact that rape is about exploitation, abuse, power and a lack of consent, the thing that is carried out is a sexual act. You can’t talk that part away just by heaping on a lot of other labels (no matter how valid they are)

    I did quite the opposite – I made an effort to remind you that rape isn’t merely a sexual act as though a rapist’s strategy to dominate a vulnerable target were equivalent to lovers eagerly participating in consensual sex.

    And in addition to the bit about it being a violation of a person, which I mentioned, it’s also sick to find it a rush (or whatever those who do it feel) to engage in that act with a wasted female. It’s because it’s a sex act that it’s such an extreme violation.

    But here’s the crucial distinction I was concerned you weren’t making – is it merely the sex act that gives them the rush?

    You two shriek like you have the market cornered on outrage.

    I assure you there was no shrieking nor outrage on my part. If you had bothered to read the thread before posting I’m sure you would have noticed the concern over misinformation and myth surrounding rape in our culture. It’s only prudent of us to ensure that the truth about the rape of drunken women is not muddled and cheapened by treating it as tasteless sex.

  147. samgardner says

    Maybe guys shouldn’t drink so they’re not tempted to rape, because guys must be more likely to rape if they’re inebriated.

  148. ck says

    It’s a bit of a pity. There’s probably a very good article waiting to be written about alcohol culture and rape culture, and how the two intersect and interact, but this isn’t it. I’m male, and I’ve noticed there is a ridiculous amount of pressure to drink even after I clearly (and repeatedly) state that I don’t drink. I imagine it’s worse for women, but the fact is that few will take a person’s wishes seriously about this, regardless of sex. I certainly don’t buy the excuse that the problem is “binge drinking” (however that gets defined).

    screechymonkey wrote:

    If you’re talking blackout, ought-to-be-taken-to-the-hospital-for-stomach-pumping drinking, then sure, I can agree with that.

    Blackouts and alcohol poisoning don’t necessarily happen at anywhere near the same point for all people. Some portion of the population seem to be predisposed to blackouts more than average.

  149. says

    You know one other point on the whole “thief/possession” analogy that doesn’t get addressed much?

    That all the “locking everything and training your every motion to greater and greater amounts of paranoia to avoid the possibility of being ‘negiligent'” is just security theater.

    When someone wants to steal your stuff, in the car or in your home, they’re more likely to break their way in usually through a window or something. If someone wants to steal something on your person, they’ll probably hold you up and make you give it to them or they’ll just snatch it out of your hands and run.

    All the paranoia is just to make the poor sucker at the center of it all feel like they have the illusion of control and protection (which is why suburban home defense becomes more and more byzantine to the point that you’re making your house the most deadly place to be (because of the various guns and automatic security mechanisms that you can forget at a crucial point or when you’re panicked) out of fear of the “other” intruding.

    Because while there might be a tiny amount of cases where someone wasn’t intending to steal something, but an opportuniy made them think about it, most thefts are either pre-planned or were going to spontaneously happen to the next person anyways. Because most people aren’t thieves and aren’t going to break laws just to become thieves because “hey, the opportunity is there”.

    So yeah, it’s definitely worth pointing out that rape doesn’t work the same way as theft. But on top of that, it’s worth pointing out that theft doesn’t even work the way their analogy thinks it does.

  150. says

    Ogvorbis @154

    *Safe Hugs*

    Thank you for that.

    Adding on to his comment to Terska @150:

    People actually using their words rather than trusting to a secret code language taught to the “girls” so they know “how to survive” would have prevented my rape. My mom and partner knew something was off about the pushy man who decided to intrude on my space at a conference and steal their seats in order to rape me. Early on, my partner at least knew it was rape and tried to signal me in a code I was never raised to know, that no one would have known to teach me at the time. I followed her lead and assumed that her actions meant that this was normal. That being raped was a normal thing.

    Additionally, people actually intervening, speaking up, reacting in some fucking way could have helped. My rape happened in a crowded room, surrounded by people. I didn’t even know how to process that something bad had happened to me because again, I differed to their seeming opinion that this was normal over my internal radar that something weird and not right was happening.

    One single person breaking the spell of the trauma response of freeze could have saved me.

    All the rest. The “standard litany” of protections were useless. Heck, I already never got drunk (my parents never created a drinking taboo and encouraged responsible drinking to taste so getting drunk as a college ritual never held my attention in any way). I already knew methods of self-defense (did wrestling in high school). And so on. But in the moment, it’s fight, flight, or freeze and women in general are going to be shuttled mostly into flight or freeze by habit.

    Coming out of it, it’s helped to have people who are willing to listen and not judge, who accept my weird triggers afterwards as things that don’t say anything about them. And it’s helped rejecting all those bullshit rules that were supposed to save me. I got drunk and topless, wandering the streets in the late evening of a downtown city recently and I didn’t get raped. I got a cold. I got fun. But I didn’t get raped.

    And that sort of experience should be universal and we can make it universal as long as we resist the urge to give shitty, useless advice that only seems correct because we’re all complicit in a system that uses the super high incidence of rape as a threat against women participating in society. Heck, as a threat against practically anyone, especially if they are viewed as less powerful.

    And it sucks, I ain’t denying that, that our only tool is this brick-by-brick dismantling of this hellish reality, but it’s what we have and it’s all we can really do other than fool ourselves that our children or ourselves will somehow be spared if we utter the right magic incantation and hide from the correct pattern of behaviors.

  151. nyarlathotep says

    I’d say more, but forming words is a pretty big goddamn effort at this level of disgust and rage, both stemming from the OP and certain comments here.

    I, as a man, have been drunk several times between the ages of 17 and 21 (my current age). Not a single time have I been raped. A handful of these times I even blacked out and know I have not been raped. I have one friend who has been drunk at least as many times between the ages of 17 and 21, and who is less than a month younger than I am. He has, on two separate occasions, when passed out or nearly so from alcohol been raped by a woman. Conversely, both of us, in addition to many of our friends, have been around women who were in varying degrees of intoxication, up to and including blacked out, and despite the presence of several other men (including us) were not raped.

    The single common denominator in all cases is a rapist. The only person ever responsible for a rape is the rapist. Gender and the influence of any intoxicating substance has nothing to do with rape. The only person who makes a rape happen, no matter what, is the rapist. No amount of lecturing about the dangers of alcohol or restricting people’s freedoms will be able to substitute for education on consent because, as I and other members of the Horde have endlessly stated, the only person that can make a rape happen is the rapist.

  152. nyarlathotep says

    I realize that my previous comment could use a trigger warning and apologize for not including it.

  153. says

    @#72
    I had that happen with my best friends mom one time. She got dropped off by her drinking buddies while I was babysitting her daughter. First thing she asks is if her kid is asleep, when I said yes the clothes went flying. She wanted a scrub down, she wanted a cigarette, she wanted to get rubbed “ALL” over, then she wanted to sleep. I did quite a feat of diplomacy that night getting her in to bed unmolested, and fully clothed, not that I didn’t seriously question my sanity for working so hard to deny her. The next day I heard her on the phone with one of those drinking buddies laughing about making me turn fifty shades of red.

  154. fourtytwo says

    You’ve got to hand it to us guys: we sure are good at telling women how not to get raped. You’re welcome. Now, if only we were as equally good at not actually raping in the first place.

  155. Louis says

    Things I Have Learned From The Internet:

    Rape is a magical thing that just happens to people.

    Especially sluts.

    Where slut is defined as “any woman who does anything I can think of that might possibly explain why a magical rape happened”.

    This is a singularly depressing thing to learn. I’m off to the pub.

    Louis

  156. Anri says

    So, let me see if I’ve got this straight, per apologists:

    “If you hadn’t been drinking, you might not have been raped.” = victim blaming.
    “If you don’t drink, you might not be raped.” = totes different, not-at-all-even-a-tiny-bit victim blaming.
    Um, sure, ok. World of difference there.

    To those defending the article: why is it acceptable to judge women’s actions pre-rape, but not post-rape?
    I’m quite serious here – why is drinking a precautionary failure in potentially being raped, but never in having been raped?

    To put it another way, how can it be a woman’s fault for drinking too much (whatever that means) only up to the point she is raped? What about the rape makes her mistake in drinking too much go away?
    If you can’t answer this, presumably you either must think that it’s as much of a failing to drink (more than you would have liked her to) after the rape as before – OR that there was no fault before, just the same as after.

  157. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    I have a simple test in cases like these.

    If we remove all alcohl from the face of the earth, would there still be rapes?
    If we rmove all rapists from the face of the erth, would there still be rape?

    What does that tell us about where the cause of rape lies?

  158. Maureen Brian says

    Just a couple of questions, Anri …

    * do you have evidence of correlation between level of intoxication and rape?

    * now can you prove causation?

    * do you imagine that the stories which make it into the papers (or the courts) are a true and fair sample of all the rapes which happen? or is there soething else going on?

    * and have you seen our new guidelines on the investigation and prosectution of sexual offences against youngsters, in which “rape myths” are identified and should be challenged? Here they are in a BBC report – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24555303

    Please not especially Myth No 2.

  159. kayden says

    Why is rape the only crime where the victims supposedly can fend off the crime? There is nothing a victim can do to avoid being raped. This kind of thinking explains why rapes often go unreported and even when reported, rapists who are charged often get off altogether.

  160. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory @ 169,

    There’s an old saying, “Locks are for honest people”.
    There is always a way in unless you live in Fort Knox.
    Lock your car, they’ll break the window.

  161. smhll says

    @177

    Fucking quote something. Don’t just paraphrase what you think somebody might have said. You are waay off.

  162. Pteryxx says

    The Vicar back at #165

    Is there a blog about good gender news somewhere? The pictures of fuzzy kittens and so on just aren’t cutting it to keep me from wanting to bang my head against the wall (and/or people’s heads together) any more.

    Replied to you in the Lounge here.

  163. David Marjanović says

    I’m male, and I’ve noticed there is a ridiculous amount of pressure to drink even after I clearly (and repeatedly) state that I don’t drink.

    Let me confirm this.

    Fortunately, I only ever hang out with scientists and Pharyngulites, so I get a lot less of this than normal people.

    Lock your car, they’ll break the window.

    That would look more suspicious, sound more suspicious, and probably take longer than just opening the unlocked door.

  164. nich says

    Somehow this article, which made Yahoo’s front page, seems relevant to the topic at hand. Apparently accosting female students in the middle of class and forcing them to listen to you serenade them with Your Body is a Wonderland is cute and newsworthy. But please, let’s get the ladies to stop drinking. The problem will totally go away.

    What a douche…

  165. says

    Lock your car, they’ll break the window.

    That would look more suspicious, sound more suspicious, and probably take longer than just opening the unlocked door.

    And, the equivalent situation in a rape case would *still* present odds of the guy getting off for it. To extend the metaphor a bit.. even if you where dead drunk, passed out a block away, after parking your car “next to” a chop shop, and leaving the door open, besides, the ass who hauled your car into the shop, and stripped it for parts would **still** get arrested for stealing your bloody car. The only thing likely to get some people actual jail time for rape is geographic location, a lack of “influential friends”, and a defense lawyer that doesn’t know the victim blaming play book well enough to con the jury into seeing all the things they “did wrong”, or “could have avoided”. And, as I just expressed in a petition to have someone higher up deal with this, since the local courts couldn’t give a damn, who is it that one 13 year old girl, a few years back, ended up on a sex offenders list, for pictures”of herself”, but these fuckers somehow don’t qualify for it, having taken video, during a rape? If the contradiction between two such cases isn’t grounds for the assholes getting “worse” than self photo taker… (and I think the whole idea that a teenager should get screwed for something like that in a day and age in which it is so damned easy for them to get the stupid idea of playing, “show me yours”, with a cell phone is just idiotic in and of itself, but.. to get off without even having the same law applied in this case, or worse, seriously?)

  166. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    samgardner @167:
    ::scratches head::
    Do wut..?

    I enjoy the consumption of alcohol at times. At no time have I wished to rape anyone, with or without alcohol.
    Alcohol doesn’t magically cause a guy to rape. If we remove all alcohol from the world, will there still be rapes*?

    *attribution to Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

  167. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    What is it with Rape Apologists and their awful vehicle analogies?

    You do not have to think hard to realize how quickly the analogy breaks down.
    From the jump one should realize that one’s body is not property to be locked up. Even *if* that were the case, the answer to rape would be lock your body…where exactly? Is there some magic locale where rape does not happen?

    Scourge99 @135: even if every woman was a black belt in karate, never consumed alcohol, stayed at home all day every day, or covered every inch of skin–rape would still happen.

    Rape is not caused by:
    How much clothing one is wearing.
    The physical location one is in.
    The time of day it is.
    The presence or absence of friends or family.
    How much or how little one consumes alcohol.
    The amount of flirting.
    Previously given consent.

    All of these rape prevention tips are given by people who know nothing about rape.
    They say things like: “She was drinking. Should not have done that. Therefore, she is partially or fully responsible.” or “She should not wear such revealing clothing.”

    -the former ignores the fact that rape is commited by someone else making the choice to rape. Rapists often target those who drink, but that is not a cause it is a deliberate predatory tactic. Plus, what about people who drink at home? What is cancelling out those rape waves?
    -the latter ignores the fact that women have been raped wearing lots of clothes or no clothes. As if clothing has no impact on rape.

    Personal anecdote:
    A frend of mine, J, once needed to stay the night at my house after a night of drinking. ISTR she wore a t-shirt and shorts. An intoxicated woman with exposed skin stayed at my house overnight and woke up the next day without having been raped.
    Why is that I wonder?

  168. says

    Croos-posting it from the Lounge, because it’s fuck relevant:

    This morning #1 told me that some of the boys at the after-school daycare* tell her that she has to pick 3 boys and then sleep with them!?!?!?!
    She’s in godsdamn 1st grade! She’s a whole whomping 6 years old. What is it, were the long-sleeved shirts with unicorns too revealing? Or should she have known better than to be at a daycare-facility at 3 in the afternoon?
    I’ll inform the teachers this afternoon and if that doesn’t stop I’ll get the little perverts’ asses and I double-dare anybody to tell me they’re just boys, harmless fun. As I see it, I’m doing them a favour by not excusing their sexual harassment at the whomping age of 9. Because they better learn that now.
    I also told #1 that she did the right thing in telling me, that it’s not OK, that she should immediately tell me if they do it again and especially that should they ask her to touch them she should shout NO and run to the teachers and tell them.
    I’ll need to have a longer talk about what “sleeping with a man” actually means, but with the talk we needed to have urgently we were already late.

    *German primary school is usually over at about 12:30. There are daycares attached to cover for the afternoon and school-breaks.

  169. Anri says

    Maureen Brian @ 179:

    My apologies, I may have been less than clear.
    I’m asking the rape apologists who seem unwilling to say “Well, what did she think would happen – she was drinking,” how that differs from their preferred refrain of “Well, what do you think will happen if you’re drinking”, save for timing.

    I’m saying that either women are contributing to their being raped by drinking – and we should therefore be able to say that both before and after a rape – or they aren’t, and we shouldn’t be able to say that either before or after a rape.
    I believe the latter, in case I have been less than clear.

    – – –

    smhll @ 182:

    Please let me know if you actually need me to quote where people have said that women shouldn’t get drunk as it can lead to them being raped. And then turned around and said they weren’t blaming the victims (usually in the opposite order, actually.)
    I mean, anyone who’d actually read the thread would have seen a number of instances of that. Anyone who’s even been involved in a discussion along these lines would have seen this trope hundreds of times.

    But, ok, I’m willing to believe you’re dense enough to have not actually noticed any of that in this thread. If you could just confirm that, I’ll scroll back through the thread and bring you some quotes.
    Let me know, ‘kay?
    Thanks.

  170. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    In college, I got blotto drunk more than once in public or at parties.

    I was never raped in college.

    Maybe, just maybe, this is because I had the good fortune to get blotto drunk in the company of non-rapists? Or, if there were any wannabe rapists about, they were deterred by a critical mass (a critical mass, of course, can be one person) of people who were opposed to the idea of wannabe rapists raping?

  171. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    David Marjanović,
    True.
    Still, that didn’t stop them from throwing a big chunk of limestone through my friend’s rear window in Nashville, TN and then stealing his stuff. Now, he doesn’t lock the doors. He says it’s cheaper to lose what little he keeps in the car than replacing another rear window.

    I still lock my doors but I don’t think of a pane of glass as much of a barrier.

  172. screechymonkey says

    I’m sure it will shock no one to learn that Yoffe has doubled down.

    The short version, for anyone who doesn’t want to take the clickbait: how dare you call me a rape apologist, I made the token “to be sure” disclaimers, you’re all distorting what I said, I’m a brave truth-teller fighting the forces of censorship, feminists lie to young women and tell them the law magically protects them from rape (!), and the lurkers support me in email.

  173. Pteryxx says

    Briefly reviewing the research studies discussed in Meet the Predators:

    Of the 120 rapists in the sample, 44 reported only one assault. The remaining 76 were repeat offenders. These 76 men, 63% of the rapists, committed 439 rapes or attempted rapes, an average of 5.8 each (median of 3, so there were some super-repeat offenders in this group). Just 4% of the men surveyed committed over 400 attempted or completed rapes.

    In other words, 439 out of 483 rapes and sexual assaults were caused by repeat rapists doing their thing with impunity. That’s 90.9% of the rapes.

    Of all 120 admitted rapists, only about 30% reported using force or threats, while the remainder raped intoxicated victims. This proportion was roughly the same between the 44 rapists who reported one assault and the 76 who reported multiple assaults.

    McWhorter’s findings on modus operandi also confirm the basic finding of Lisak & Miller’s earlier study: 61% of the reported attacks were intoxication-based, 23% were overt force alone, and 16% were both.

    So around 60-70% of rapes involve intoxication as the tactic; and as discussed and shown by many many examples, the intoxication level of the victim often has been increased by the predators or their enablers through various tricks and social pressures.

    Finally, in an entirely unsurprising finding, rapists who admitted assaulting strangers – ever – were less than a quarter of the rapist population. More than 90% targeted acquaintances some of the time, and about 75% said they only targeted acquaintances. Only 7% of all the self-reported rapists reported targeting only strangers.

    Repeat rapists acting with impunity: relevant in 91% of assaults. Rapists targeting people they know: relevant in 75-90% of assaults. Intoxication of victim as a tactic: relevant in 60-70% of assaults. Yet the main discussions about solving rape still focus on telling women not to drink, not to dress or interact or move around freely, and to be ready for violent self-defense while never relaxing their guard around all men, even those they consider friends. Instead of stopping the rapists.

    “One day the cat got into the dairy and twenty of them were at work moving all the milk out; no one thought of moving the cat.”

  174. Anri says

    smhll @ 196:

    No worries at all – and I apologize for going straight for the snark.

    I really shouldn’t post when I’m tired – it makes me even less coherent than usual.

  175. Pteryxx says

    The ongoing conversation yields some excellent, information-packed recent posts.

    From hoydenabouttown:

    as campaigns in Canada and Scotland have shown in recent years, there are information campaigns that actually do make a difference in lowering the rate of sexual assault on people who are drunk, and they do it by using messages targeting potential rapists rather than potential victims. Emphasising how sexually exploiting alchoholic incapacitation is a despicable act is the method, instead of shrugging at the status quo of it being some achievement that is OK for perpetrators to brag about: actively working against the Bystander/Facilitator effect that enables rapists to get away with “plausible deniability” about non-consensual sex when alcohol is involved.

    and Thomas at Yes Means Yes has the best title: Cockblocking Rapists Is A Moral Obligation; or, How To Stop Rape Right Now

    Offer Options

    If you think someone is acting like a rapist, sizing up a target — encouraging intoxication, testing boundaries — then one of their best tools they have is to limit the target’s options. The rapist wants to get the target isolated. But when “hey, let’s go be alone somewhere” isn’t working, it may be because the target already has a bad feeling. If the target needs something — a ride home, a place to sleep, that sort of thing — then they may be willing to overlook misgivings if the rapist is the one offering it. A rapist will always want to be the target’s only ride home, only place to stay, etc.

    It’s pretty easy to keep that from happening. If the drunkest person in the room has been left by their ride, and the person who has been pushing them to drink more is offering to take them home, they may not want to go, but they may not have a better option. Providing that option may be what gets your friend away from the potential rapist.

  176. Pteryxx says

    and from Soraya Chemaly in Salon, a massively researched summary of rape and entitlement.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/10/24/5_ways_sexual_assault_is_really_about_entitlement/

    Third, people arrive at college with ideas and experiences. According to a study [PDF link] released earlier this month, one in ten people between the ages of 14-21 have already committed an act of sexual violence. Boys are more likely to have been perpetrators, although the older girls get, the more likely they are to become perpetrators too. However, 80% of victims in the study were girls — 18% were boys and 5% were transgender youth. Three quarters of those admitting to using coercion or physical pressure targeted someone they knew or were in a relationship with. 15% said they used alcohol to do it.

    Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the study however was that these children felt no sense of responsibility for their actions. What does this have to do with entitlement? The likelihood of perpetrating sexual violence was not equal across all groups. The teenagers with the highest propensity to sexually assault a peer were white kids from higher-income families.

    Fourth, we cannot talk about sexual assault and broader violence in schools without discussing athletics, both before and during college. While male student athletes make up 3.3% of the U.S. college population, they are responsible for 19% percent of sexual assaults and 37% of domestic violence cases [PDF link] on college campuses. In the wake of the Steubenville rape case, but before so many others, like the more recent case in Maryville, The Nation’s Dave Zirin called for a serious questioning of “the connective tissue between jock culture and rape culture.” The core characteristics of high-status boys’ sports – violence, dominance, power, specialness and impunity – are married seamlessly to the marginalization and sexual objectification of girls and women as trophies and playthings. It is possible to cultivate a healthy sense of fraternity without the denigration and victimization of girls and LGBT youth, but that’s not what’s happening.