Please, Christians, keep making these guys the frontmen for youth outreach »« Avoid the racket

But of course there is no such thing as rape culture

This just makes me sad. It’s a line of underwear for women under development to prevent rape, a kind of voluntary chastity belt. Women should do what they feel necessary to stop rape, but it’s too bad that we live in a world where some find they have to lock their vaginas behind armor to feel safe.

I’m sure the makers are trying to make it as comfortable as possible, but it’s still a case where we’re expecting the potential victims to jump through hoops to prevent a crime, while the criminals get no onus placed upon them. So clearly what we’ve got do do is mandate that all men wear a Stephenson Spermatic Truss or a Jugum Penis or some other cunning instrument of torture to prevent rape. That would wake people up to the absurdity of using genital gadgets to end a problem of behavior and attitude.

bear trap for the penis

Comments

  1. says

    That is SO creepy.
    Really, apart from the problem Carlie just mentioned, this thing would make me remember that probably someone is out there to rape me every moment I’m wearing it, because how could you forget about it if you have to unlock your pantie every time you pee?
    Also, the moment the wannabe-rapist gives up a considerable amount of damage has already been done. It doesn’t actually keep you safe, it just somewhat reduces the damage.

  2. Anri says

    So, do we think this might finally make an impression on the “I’m totes not blaming the victim but if there’s something she could have done to make it less probable…” crowd?

    Forlorn hope, I suppose.

  3. says

    And this fucking misses the point entirely cause goddamit the majority of rapes are not random sexual assaults but from people you already know!

    Do they want women to have to wear this armor all the fucking time? I appreciate the idea behind it, but seriously, this just reinforces the trope that rapists are scary guys in the bushes.

  4. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Given the remarkable and depressing number of people who have come out as survivors of childhood assault here on Pharyngula, I hope (dread?) that it comes in lots of sizes. And for all genders.

    that is depressed snark, by the way, not a serious suggestion.

  5. Millicent says

    [content note: rape, violence]

    I can imagine a predator getting really angry at being thwarted, and doing the victim a great deal of harm. But that’s not the main concern, anyway, because as Kevin says, most assaults are done by a person the victim knows. This crap just reinforces the “rape is when a stranger jumps out of the bushes” narrative.

  6. mariel141 says

    It’s sad, yeah, but so is the fact that we need to lock our houses and cars, and put passwords on our bank accounts, and keep an armed police force and justice system…

    There’s nothing wrong with taking precautions against the evil, shitty people who inhabit the world. I applaud the women (and probably men) who are developing these garments. I hope they will be affordable for those that need them most.

  7. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    And I just watched the first minute of the video and now I feel sick. The whole fucking thing is saying ‘now you can go out and ignore all of the handy-dandy rape prevention tips that do nothing anyway.’ So is this going to be the next hoop for rape survivors to jump through? I have this horrrible vision of a defense attorney asking if the survivor was wearing armoured underwear and, if she wasn’t, doesn’t that mean she was asking for it? I feel sick. Again.

  8. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    And rape apologist by comment 8. Amazing.

    mariel141:

    A majority of rapes are committed by people the person knows. A

    Sorry. I have to retreat. Icant do this right now. Sorry.

  9. Chie Satonaka says

    Woke up this morning and read the local news as my coffee brewed, like I do every morning. First I see a story about a woman who was sexually assaulted by a guy she’d met and been socializing with at a bar. And the comment thread is filled with assholes claiming that she was “stupid” to trust someone she’d just met — as if 90% of them hadn’t met someone the exact same way themselves at some point in their lives. Then I see a story about some poly sci douchenozzle’s letter to the editor titled “Rape Culture Does Not Exist.”

    http://badgerherald.com/oped/2013/11/04/rape-culture-does-not-exist/

    The MRM has already swarmed the comment thread, of course.

    Then I see this anti-rape wear being promoted on Tumblr as a good thing, and finally, I see PZ talking some sense about the whole thing.

    But there is no such thing as rape culture.

    Also, the author of that letter to the editor has an interesting internet history: http://jezebel.com/university-of-wisconsin-bro-laments-crazy-feminist-bitc-1041022345

  10. Millicent says

    [content note: rape]
    I’m trying to figure out, just what, exactly, might be the circumstances where a person would wear this ridiculous garment? When I was raped, the situation was such that I might’ve even had consensual sex with the rapist (that was absolutely not his interest; he wanted to rape someone) if things had gone down differently. Should I have been wearing the magic underwear anyway? So many questions!

  11. frugaltoque says

    Sad as it is, seven comments before the rape apologetics starts is actually progress …

  12. Millicent says

    Ooh, I see a genius has arrived! Tell me, mariel141 @8 , should I have been wearing magic underwear when I went to a party? Even though I kinda wanted to get laid? Was it my fault that the guy I ended up isolated with just wanted to hold me down and make me scared and assault me? I bet magic underwear would’ve helped, huh? Too bad it didn’t exist back in 1987, but it’s probably my fault that I didn’t wait to get raped until magic underwear had been invented, right?

  13. says

    Watch the video. Check out the website.

    You’ll see that the garments are NOT for everyday use.

    Men will never stop raping women. The use of these garments and some good self-defense courses are not a bad idea for anyone who could find themselves in a place that’s dodgy.

  14. frugaltoque says

    Also, I can’t watch the video since I’m at work, but does this thing require a key or a combination? Either way, wouldn’t you have to have that key or combo with you? Couldn’t the rapist threaten you in order to obtain it?
    And yes, Millicent, you’d have to wear this all the time or (tsk, tsk) that’s what happens when you don’t wear your Underwear of Rape Prevention +2. You’ll probably have to wear it to bed, even, to protect from abusive parents, siblings and the boyfriends of roommates who might sneak in while everyone else at the party is drunk or sleeping off a hangover.

  15. mariel141 says

    @Ogovorbis & Others

    Oh really? I’d like to wear armor to protect me from evil bastards who want to hurt me… and that puts me on -their- side? Why don’t you think about your gut-reactions before you type, and perhaps avoid insulting people in the process?

    Also, where exactly in the video does it say ‘THIS UNDERWEAR DOESN’T WORK AGAINST PEOPLE A PERSON KNOWS’. Last I checked, date rape was a huge problem, and they use examples of bars, dates, and parties as places where a woman might want a little more protection. Presumably, your guy friend with a pack of roofies and less than noble intentions would be just as foiled as the stereotypical ‘attacker in the bushes’… actually probably more so.

    And pardon the fuck out of me for thinking that preventing SOME rapes is a good thing. Are these garments an end to sexual assault and rape culture? Of course not. But you’re the ones giving a bunch of women crap for trying to protect themselves in a culture that won’t, and then calling me the villain. Well done. *slow clap*

  16. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    janiceintoronto:

    You’ll see that the garments are NOT for everyday use.

    Right. Because every woman, child and man knows when and where they are going to be raped and can thus be prepared.

    Men will never stop raping women. The use of these garments and some good self-defense courses are not a bad idea for anyone who could find themselves in a place that’s dodgy.

    Which means that no place is safe since there are men everywhere. Lets see, I was raped at a stock tank in the middle of the high desert in Arizona, in a community center, in a campground, in my rapist’s bedroom and living room and dining room and his daughter’s bedroom, in a car, you name it, he did it. For two years. Almost every day that I went to scouts.

    What is a ‘dodgy situation’? There are people here, of all genders, who are survivors. And I cannot think of a single survivor who has related his or her history here that would have been saved by this modern chastity belt.

  17. mariel141 says

    @Millicent:
    To your questions in order: No. No. No. Possibly. And no.

    Now pardon me while I spit out all the words you just shoved in my mouth.

  18. Jacob Schmidt says

    But you’re the ones giving a bunch of women crap for trying to protect themselves in a culture that won’t, and then calling me the villain. Well done. *slow clap*

    You’re not actually that stupid, are you?

  19. Millicent says

    Nope, telling potential victims that they should protect themselves from the inevitability of rape (out there in those “dodgy” situations, like a “first date, night clubbing, evening run, or in another country,” [straight out of the video]) is victim blaming. Fuck that.

  20. says

    @Mariel141:

    It’s another box in the “was she adequately protecting herself from rape” checklist that is required for every fucking rape conviction ever. It’s also reinforcing the assault by stranger, when the majority of rapes occur with close acquaintances.

  21. pwillow1 says

    So is their next product going to be some sort of hood or oral device? I hate having to point out that victims are often penetrated orally.

  22. mariel141 says

    The messages I’m getting from the commenters here:

    “Trying to protect yourself is wrong because it will make people think that being assaulted was the victim’s fault.”

    “This item doesn’t prevent every kind of rape ever, so it must be useless.”

    Wow, we’re all just so pro-woman here!

  23. Millicent says

    You clearly need to do a whole lot more reading about rape, mariel141. Mostly you’re just coming off as very, very ignorant.

  24. Chie Satonaka says

    Men will never stop raping women.

    So instead of doing anything to change a culture that shields and provides cover for rapists, I should just wear my magic underwear and let someone else besides me get raped. Rape prevention tactics that focus on the behaviors and choices of the victims do not stop rape from happening — they deflect rape to other victims. And of course, any rapist who finds himself thwarted by such garments would never choose to beat the woman instead.

  25. Jacob Schmidt says

    “Trying to protect yourself is wrong because it will make people think that being assaulted was the victim’s fault.”

    So that’s a yes, than?

  26. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    mariel141:

    All of these rape prevention gadgets and precautions do not prevent rape. And all of them make it less likely a rape will be reported or investigated or prosecuted.

    When I was in school, my friend’s little sister was raped. She was strong-armed off of a carnival midway and raped. She was 12 or 13 years old. She reported the rape. She went to the hospital and went through the whole hellish exam. The police investigated and arrested a 22-year old man. He was charged and brought to trial. Despite all of the physical evidence and witnesses (who saw here being dragged off the midway (but still did nothing!)), he was found not guilty because she was wearing summer clothes which exposed lots of skin. So she was blamed by the jury for what happened.

    Now we have this magic underwear. And if you have it and don’t wear it at the precise time a man makes the decision to commit rape, will that be another chance for rape culture to say that if she had the magic underwear and didn’t wear it while jogging at noon, then she must have wanted to be raped?

  27. says

    @mariel141:

    Go read some Feminism 101 links – try to find victim blaming.

    This is another notch in the victim blaming belt – “she wasn’t wearing magic undies so she is somewhat to blame for her assault” is another thing in the vein of “she didn’t fight back” or “she was wearing the wrong clothes” or such other things.

    It’ll purely and simply enable further victim blaming.

    I do somewhat applaud the idea behind them – offer a bit more protection in certain situations (being drugged or drinking too heavily.) But it’s just another pill against a symptom. The cause is parents and teachers not teaching consent.

    It’s the lack of sexual education and the making taboo of sexuality that prevents people from saying they were assaulted.

    It’s a culture that almost embraces rapists and gives purity checklists to the raped.

  28. carlie says

    TW violence

    A knife might not be able to get through the underwear, but it sure as hell can get through the skin of someone being “persuaded” to unlock the magic combination.

  29. says

    You’ll see that the garments are NOT for everyday use.

    So they’re only for use in situations where a woman EXPECTS to be assaulted? That pretty much proves the whole thing is a bad joke. If a woman expects to be assaulted, there’s more effective measures she can take, like changing her route, going with a friend, carrying pepper-spray or a gun, etc.

    Also, it looks to me like these “armor-undies” can still be pulled off, which means they’re not even that good at protecting the ONE BODY PART they’re supposed to protect.

    All in all, this is only slightly less silly than the skimpy armor worn by hot female warriors in bad movies, TV shows, comic books, games, etc. If people like mariel141 want to wear such “protection,” that’s a perfectly valid decision for them to make — but it’s bullshit, and they may end up paying for an ad campaign that will, in all likelihood, be used to bash rape victims and cash in on fear.

    The problem here, mariel, is not what you choose to wear; it’s the attitude you choose to feed with your spending choices. No one is saying you shouldn’t take reasonable precautions to protect yourself; we’re just saying this particular option is not a reasonable precaution.

  30. says

    mariel141
    I understand you.
    I really do. Because at one time I thought like you. I thought that if I would just do the right things, I could be safe. My daughters could be safe. See, I would be in control and I would do it right.
    And to understand that this isn’t working, that these are not the realities of rape and that, quite honestly, I had actually already done a lot of the “wrong things” and had survived them remarkably un-raped, and that all of that was not due to me being some supergenius as opposed to the poor lesser women who got raped, well, that was a shock.
    These undies will no more keep any woman safe than a burqa does. The only thing they do is to put more onus on the woman.
    You were raped? Why didn’t you wear magic undies? Of course you must have wanted it or you would have protected yourself!
    You were raped while wearing magic undies? Well, you must obviously have consented, you were not raped!

  31. tashaturner says

    Note: rape & child molestation warning

    Do you think moms would by lots of these for their 3-year old and above kids to wear 24×7 so our dads, brothers, uncles, cousins, grandfathers, friends, teachers, church people, and more would not rape us even though they don’t believe they know anyone that would hurt us that way? I know my mom wouldn’t so it would not have protected me from my predator.

    That would have been the only way to prevent the sexual abuse/rapes by dad I experienced from 3-13+. The date rape at 19 (I can’t imagine wearing AR underwear while waitressing, & the date was last minute). The corporate party at 30 where I was drugged (really who would expect to be drugged at a company party where they know everyone?).

  32. says

    So, let’s see…

    I’m not allowed to go to bars, nightclubs, conventions, or parties.
    I’m not allowed to imbibe any alcohol or anything else that may alter my mental state.
    I’m not allowed to talk to men.
    I’m not allowed to work a ‘man’s job’.
    I’m not allowed to go out at night.
    I’m not allowed to go out without a trusted male escort.
    I’m not allowed to be ‘too feminine’.
    I’m not allowed to ‘not be feminine enough’.
    I’m not allowed to wear clothing comfortable for summer weather or swimming.
    I’m not allowed to go anyplace men gather.

    Additionally
    I must take self defense courses that usually teach useless tips
    I must be armed with either a tazer, pepper spray, or mace at all times (even when they are illegal)

    However –
    I must not be ‘rude’ to any man by ignoring or discouraging him
    I must not ‘friend zone’ any man by not being sexually available for him
    I’m not allowed to ask to be left alone

    And now I also have to wear pretty damn uncomfortable looking underpants?

    Anything to avoid treating me like a human being, right?

  33. says

    Also, and I do hate to do this, what about the male victims of sexual assault?

    And what about the victims of sexual assault who aren’t a perfect size 2? Those things aren’t going to work for me, I’ve got hips.

    Out of curiosity, are the makers of these oh so wonderful protection tools familiar with these particular items? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scissors I hear you can buy them over the counter just about anywhere.

  34. says

    And what the fuck is that square of diagonal stripes over the wearer’s crotch? It sucks as a fashion statement, so I’m guessing it’s the “cut-resistant” part. And that would make this whole idea an even worse joke, since a would-be rapist would know what part of the armor-undies to cut AROUND.

  35. frugaltoque says

    “Men will never stop raping women.”

    Not with that attitude, they won’t. But maybe, with a slightly different attitude, we might actually get around to stopping attempts at rape. Maybe if we applied effort to blaming the perpetrators instead of the victims, we might reduce perpetration.

    It’s kind of like how birth control is the best way to prevent abortions, teaching boys to respect girls from a young age is a good way to prevent rapes later in life. Or so I’ve heard.

  36. says

    Short version for the clueless: Rape is never the victim’s fault. It is the fault of the rapist. It doesn’t matter what the victim did or didn’t do, it only matters what the rapist did, because rape is a deliberate choice. Why is that so hard to get?

  37. says

    So to those who see these garments causing victim blaming, what’s your brilliant idea to protect ones self from rape? Hiding in a closet?

    Let’s hear your ideas, since you seem to think preventing rape with garments is bad.

    I’m talking about real, usable ideas, not just opinions or wiseass remarks.

    I’m listening…

  38. says

    I want to know how this prevents someone from holding you down or forcing physical contact. Because I’m sure there are plenty of rapes that are ‘you can’t leave until we do this’ physical force shit that either end with rape or blows being exchanged.

    This screams “unintended consequences”

    a) existence makes rapes harder to convict bc people expect it as a reasonable precaution in bad (ie black) parts of town
    b) use of it increases fatalities and injuries bc if you have a violent rapist do you really think this wills top them? Someone with a knife? no now it’s just goes from having cloths ripped off to “take of the cloths or I kill you” which will THEN make the rape nigh impossible to convict because lawyers will ask why she took off her rape prevention armor if she didn’t want to have sex

    No offense to engineers but this is clearly an engineer’s solution with no actual understanding of what the problem is

  39. says

    So to those who see these garments causing victim blaming, what’s your brilliant idea to protect ones self from rape? Hiding in a closet?

    Let’s hear your ideas, since you seem to think preventing rape with garments is bad.

    I’m talking about real, usable ideas, not just opinions or wiseass remarks.

    I’m listening…,

    This is roughly the equivalent to a perpetual energy device shyster angrily demanding what OUR solution to global warming is

    Believe it or not you can see the obvious flaw in a plan without necessarily having a solution yourself.

  40. carlie says

    So to those who see these garments causing victim blaming, what’s your brilliant idea to protect ones self from rape?

    That’s the scary part, the part that people who loudly scream “but you can protect yourself!” want so badly to not have to think about, the part that all of these “how not to be raped” campgaigns carefully avoid:

    You can’t. You can’t protect yourself. There is nothing you can do to be sure that you will never be raped. The only correlation that has ever held up in any stats gathering is the presence of alcohol, but it isn’t clear whether it’s alcohol being drunk by the victim or by the rapist, and even that is a loose correlation with only a minority of rapes.

    You. Can’t. Protect. Yourself. Rape happens to people at every age from birth to old-age death, in every circumstance from strangers to the closest relatives, in places from dangerous bars to church pastor’s offices. The only way to stop rape from happening is to stop rape from being socially acceptable, to remove the cultural tropes that say a guy isn’t a man unless he’s had sex, to get rid of everything that says men must be strong and forceful and, at the very least, above women enough to be able to push them around. And lo and behold, when you put the pressure on men not to rape, it works. It works really well. That’s what we’re advocating.

  41. peptron says

    @ janiceintoronto:
    I’m with you on that one. Anybody not wearing a bulletproof vest is just asking to be shot. However, somebody who DOES wear a bulletproof vest is just asking to be drowned. But somebody that DOES wear a bulletproof vest and an oxygen tank + mask is just asking to be shot in the head. On the other hand, somebody wearing a bulletproof helmet on top of all that is just asking to be screened as a terrorist and have the army surround whatever location he finds himself in. But then, he’d just be asking for it. To Gitmo with him! This is what we do with the ennemies of FREEDOM!

    @carlie:
    I really think that a lot of the victim blaming has roots in trying to convince oneself that a certain thing cannot happen to oneself. Like rape. So they try to invent reasons that make the victim more likely to be a victim than they themselves would. Rather than accepting that it really comes down to bad luck.

    The real solution of course is to stop rape. And to do that one has to look at why rape happens at all. Somebody doesn’t wake up one morning and out of the blue decides to go rape. There is a backstory to that. Somebody really shouldn’t “want” to rape, and the goal is to find why somebody would want to do that, rather than say, go and look for help for their emotional problems. The list is of course long, and requires to change society a lot. I’m sure that rape would be curbed quite a bit by just changing the view that talking about your emotional problems “is for pussies”. Then, there is the rest of the list, like victim blaming, not knowing about consent, associating sex with shame, etc.

  42. says

    Men will never stop raping women.

    Implicit corollary: it’s useless to try stopping them. Wrong. We can reduce the rate, at least, to something below epidemic levels.

    The use of these garments and some good self-defense courses are not a bad idea for anyone who could find themselves in a place that’s dodgy.

    Fuck the bitches who live in those dodgy places. They can get raped all the livelong day. They should’ve known better than to get born to a family that lived in a dodgy place.

  43. says

    Men will never stop raping women.

    Implicit corollary: it’s useless to try stopping them. Wrong. We can at least start by reducing the rate of rape to something below epidemic levels.

    The use of these garments and some good self-defense courses are not a bad idea for anyone who could find themselves in a place that’s dodgy.

    Right, and to hell with the women and girls who were foolish enough to get born in those dodgy places.

  44. Sven says

    It’s a sad state of affairs when we live in a society where these things are being produced and marketed. No one should ever be made to feel that unsafe.

  45. says

    [TW: rape]
    I can’t figure out how these garments are supposed to help.

    I mean, I’ve watched the video. I get the mechanics of how it prevents penetration for a certain range of female body types.

    But I can’t help but think “so what?”. For me, personally, the penetration was just the little cherry on the top of the rape-sundae. I’m not sure it would have been much better if he’d just hot-dogged me till he came. This underwear wouldn’t have stopped him from pressing my face into the pillow or ignoring me when I said “no”. He’d already decided that since he knew I was “into that kind of stuff” so when I told him that night that I was bone-tired from a 14 hour shift and wasn’t up for play right away, it just meant he had to “make me”.

    So pardon me, but I look at this and just ask…so the fuck what? Can any of you mariels and janiceintorontos tell me how the fuck this thing is supposed to actually *do* anything?

  46. says

    @SallyStrange:

    Right, and to hell with the women and girls who were foolish enough to get born in those dodgy places

    Or to the women and girls who can’t afford / fit in the garments. Or to the women and girls who are too frail or otherwise unable to defend themselves.

  47. carlie says

    There’s also a non-insignificant contingent of people who would tell someone buying these that she’s a misandrist who doesn’t trust any men and that’s OFFENSIVE and INSULTING to them as men, and who does she think she is, anyway, thinking anyone would want to rape her?

  48. Sven says

    @49 Ingdigo Jump

    …this is clearly an engineer’s solution with no actual understanding of what the problem is.

    This. This exactly. It’s an honest but poorly-thought-out “solution” arrived at by taking a superficial look at a major problem.

  49. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    janiceintoronto @ 48

    So to those who see these garments causing victim blaming, what’s your brilliant idea to protect ones self from rape? Hiding in a closet?

    Let’s hear your ideas, since you seem to think preventing rape with garments is bad.

    I’m talking about real, usable ideas, not just opinions or wiseass remarks.

    I’m listening…

    I know what you’re trying to say. It’s coming off terribly wrong.

    These garments have significant problems, as have been pointed out by others. They can’t be used by everyone and they don’t address the actual problems of rape, like the culture and the inculcation into that culture of, well, everybody. They can’t be used all the time. And rape (or vaginal penetration during an assault, which is all these would stop) is most likely to happen when a person is not wearing these or, more to the point, to a person in a situation outside of the times when a garment like this would typically be worn by the person who would wear such a thing in the first place (ie. not the person who’s being raped by their spouse or a family member or a friend).

    We live in a culture where rape is enabled and it isn’t taken very seriously by justice systems, so, yes, despite education campaigns and all the hard work to cast a light upon rape culture and try to eliminate it, there are rapists out there.

    These garments can work to stop some small subset of vagina-havers from being penetrated vaginally during an assault. But that’s it. There’s nothing wrong, in and of itself, in wearing one of these garments. But they’re not going to prevent rape. Rape does not equal vaginal penetration. And the harm which is inflicted upon the victim by the time an assailant might get to vaginal penetration isn’t going to be lessened by underwear that is very, very difficult to remove. And, even then, the person may have been raped anyhow, because rape isn’t defined by vaginal penetration.

    The key here, however, is that there is, quite literally, nothing a person can do to prevent themselves getting raped. Just ask any victim. I’m pretty sure none of them has developed a time machine.

  50. says

    @janiceintoronto:

    There is no way for women to protect themselves from rape aside from hiding in a closet. Every possible action someone mentions as a “way to prevent rape” doesn’t work in many cases. For every woman who takes an action and stops a rape, another woman exists who did the same action but didn’t manage to stop it.

    Women shouldn’t have to protect themselves. Society should fight the cause of the rape culture and should fight the abuse in the system that coddles rapists and puts the onus of prevention on the victim.

  51. freemage says

    And guess what? Those lovely MRAs who keep saying women should take responsibility for not being raped? Yeah, they’ve shown up in the comments over there and… they are panning the idea because it suggests that some men might actually commit rape. Just remember, women–in the eyes of MRAs, anything that suggests you have the right to not consent (even something as completely worthless as this absurdity) is misandry.

  52. freemage says

    janiceintoronto and Mariel141: In addition to the other factors people have already pointed out, note that by the time a rapist wannabe is actually in a position to discover the effects of these, he’s committed. For every rapist who says, “Well, I guess I should just call it a night,” you’re very likely to have another who will opt to escalate, using a further threat of bodily harm to get them to remove the garment, or, if denied that (because she left the key at home, or whatever), just outright taking out their frustrations on the victim with fists, feet or a weapon. Like many alleged ‘rape-prevention’ methods, this one is a one-size-fits-all approach to a complex situation with a huge number of variables.

  53. Artor says

    Ooh! Ooh! I know! The magic undies just don’t go far enough to be effective. I’m going to invent the Ultimate Anti-Rape Garment™! It will be a chainmail burqa that padlocks in place, and is covered in razor blades and mace capsules on the outside. It also emits a smell of rancid body odor and plays Pat Boone songs at all times. Problem solved!

  54. Pteryxx says

    — TW for rape tactics —

    …this is clearly an engineer’s solution with no actual understanding of what the problem is.

    ^ This. Not only is it pointless, and insulting, and has all sorts of body-shaming, ableist, and financial assumptions baked right in… the designers don’t know a damn thing about actual rape.

    Because the wearer has to take it off to pee.

    From the rapists’ point of view this is already a solved problem. Just keep pushing drinks and salty foods on the target, and eventually they’ll need to put themselves in a nearby, isolated, private location while taking their garments off. And then the rapist can use the handy excuse that the clothes weren’t torn off or cut off, therefore not-rape; as if they needed even more handy ready-made excuses. Several of us here have first-hand experience with this tactic. Even more of us have experience with consensual sex or petting turning into rape; or just plain being threatened or beaten if that doesn’t work. Since plain old pants have never even slowed the plague of rapists getting at the bodies of people they know – women, children, relatives, men, targets of any gender or shape or orientation – why expect it of super-pants? May as well build a reinforced iron door in the middle of an open field.

  55. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    janiceintoronto @ 16

    The use of these garments and some good self-defense courses are not a bad idea for anyone who could find themselves in a place that’s dodgy.

    People of color–especially Indian/First Nations women/girls and women/girls who are mixed race–are among those at the greatest risk of rape. Since their very race is apparently “dodgy”, what do you suggest? Children of any race, gender or background are especially at risk. Those who suffer from mental illness are, too. Low socioeconomic status? Huge risk. Oh, and then there are the corrective/vengeful assaults on those who are LGBTQ+. So as someone whose very existence is apparently “dodgy”, you’ll pardon me for not applauding for the magical underpants intended for upper middle class white cis women as a talisman when they imagine they’re going into a high-risk situation and completely fail to realize their biggest risk is in their own home.

    TW: rape

    .

    .

    .

    I was choked and had a penis forced into my mouth by a man I had met under innocuous (No bars or parties involved! I was stone-cold sober! I even told him I had no interest in men!) circumstances. Do you think magical underpants on my head would have helped? I was also raped in my own bed, by a very cute, charming geek who had been a friend for years and spent his weekends crashing on my couch and playing WoW with me. Maybe I should have worn magical underpants around the house? Oh, except I was unconscious at the time, so even if I was I imagine he could have figured out how to remove them while I was passed out. Or done a number of other things to me. Hell, maybe he did and I can’t remember them!

    A rapist doesn’t just flip up a cis woman’s skirt, find her panties too difficult to remove and call it a night. There are other ways to violate someone and many other types of people who are violated. There is no way to be safe except to not have a rapist around.

  56. Pteryxx says

    Do you think magical underpants on my head would have helped?

    TMM, I wasn’t expecting to *laugh* in THIS thread. +threadwon

  57. peptron says

    @ Pteryxx #67:
    Wow, I admit I hadn’t thought of that. I was going to say that the only context I can see the iron panties function is to deter unconscious/drunken rape. But then… as you said… before the person passes out, they got to go to the washroom at some point. Now, I cannot think of ANY context in which it would deter rape.

  58. tashaturner says

    I would have found these more attractive if they had a hole which allowed me to cut the rapist pee-pee off. Something like that I could get behind. Unfortunately I suspect there would be legal issues.

    Avoiding being in a room with rapists is kinda hard since they look like normal people. Avoiding places where rapists might be requires living in a panic room by age 3. I don’t think that option is practical nor do I think parents who rape… Or sane parents would provide such a room and frankly living ones life in a room never interacting with humans to avoid rapist is extreme and absurd.

    This is why boys and men need to be taught crystal clear consent, bystanders need to step in and stop rape and abuse, we as a society need to make rape unacceptable just like murder and theft. Nothing else will greatly decrease the numbers of rapes. No we can’t totally eradicate it. But we haven’t given up on enforcing murder laws just because we can’t totally stop all murders. That would be crazy talk.

  59. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Happy to have given a chuckle, Pteryxx. I have a terrible sense of gallows humor at times.

    After further reflection, I’ve got to agree with carlie up at #1 and take it a step further. I don’t see how these could truly be kept in place without cutting off circulation by having them dig into your flesh deep enough. If a pair of jeans with a belt can be forced down someone’s hips without opening them–and I can assure you, they can–how the hell are those panties going to be kept on? All it’s going to take is one violent tug.

  60. zenlike says

    freemage, what you said in #64.

    Except I would change one thing:

    Like many alleged ‘rape-prevention’ methods, this one is a one-size-fits-allnone approach to a complex situation with a huge number of variables.

    Really, I can not conceive of one situation in which this contraption would actually help, and not in fact worsen the situation. And in the ‘rapists hiding behind the bushes’ scenario (you know the ‘really real’ rape (blegh)), this actually elevates the chance of being outright killed.

  61. Pteryxx says

    peptron #70, thank you. I hesitated a long time over whether to spell it out, but I hoped someone out there would have a *click* moment.

    tashaturner #71, not just men, but everyone needs to understand Crystal-Clear Consent, both their partners’ freely given consent and their own. (Also penises aren’t necessary for rape, or for sex, or even for maleness, though mainstream culture sure does conflate them.)

  62. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    … though mainstream culture sure does conflate inflate them.

    We all know what mainstream culture’s penis ego-boosting is really about.

  63. tashaturner says

    Note: possible rape warning

    Pteryxx #74 you are correct on CCC.

    Since the AR Undies are aimed at keeping penises out of vaginas I was simply stating what would make their undies more attractive & useful to me thinking back on situations where wearing the undies with the cutting devise would have given me satisfaction or prevented my rapist from finishing the act and me time to get help & proof of attack including DNA as how else would I have that particular appendage in my undies… Well I guess I could be a man hating woman and led the guy on but why would I then call 911/cops on myself?

  64. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Hit me with a cluebat if this is minimizing, but you’ve already pointed out the worst negatives about this.

    Now, for the other ways in which this is stupid: it’s supposed to protect me even if I’m drunk or drugged. Unfortunately, it won’t protect me from pissing myself when drunk and unable to remember the unlock key.
    Hell, I’d forget the combination when sober.

    Back to rape: I watched the video, but I see nothing preventing the rapist from cutting around the skeletal structure and then pulling the garment, cutting woman’s circulation off a bit (what, you were expecting consideration?), to get to her vulva.

  65. Gregory Greenwood says

    These ‘magical armoured superpants’ really are only marginally less ridiculous than someone watching Teeth and deciding that the obvious solution to the scourge of rape is to create befanged, genetically engineered attack-vaginas.

    This garment may have been created with the genuine intent of helping, but as has often been noted before intent is not magic. The problems with this whole idea are manifold:-

    Armouring one small area of the body will do little to help if the threat of violence is present.

    You can’t wear the garment at all times, and rapists will soon work out when it is most likely that it will not be in use.

    It is entirely useless in situations of acquaintance rape where you don’t expect there to be any danger, particularly where there is a pre-existing sexual relationship.

    It plays into the highly toxic trope that the only ‘legitimate rape’ is stranger rape, and amplifies the racist baggage that comes with the whole notion that special care must be taken in ‘bad’ neighbourhoods that just so happen to almost always be majority ethnic minority communities.

    There are many forms of rape and sexual assault that don’t involve vaginal penetration at all.

    On a related note, it will hardly be of much use to male victims of rape.

    And most important of all it will (as has been noted by many other commenters) play very easily into victim blaming, patriarchal rape culture:-

    If the garment is not worn people will say the victim did not take proper precautions and so was ‘asking for it’.

    If it is worn but the victim is forced, manipulated or otherwise coerced into removing it, then the assumption will be that she must have consented and so ‘wanted it really’.

    If the device works, but the victim is raped in other ways, then the attack will be dismissed as not ‘full’ or ‘completed’ rape, and so a lesser offence deseving of a lesser punishment (or no punishment at all).

    If the device simply fails to work then it is likely that the victim will be blamed for failing to adjust it properly.

    And of course, as noted by Carlie @ 58 and Freemage @ 63, any woman who doesn’t own such a device will be accused of being reckless or a ‘slut’ who can hardly complain when the ‘inevitable’ happens, while simultaneously any woman who does own one will be decried as a paranoid, ‘misandrist feminazi’ fixated on the idea that all men are born as subhuman rapists, and told that she shouldn’t ‘flatter herself’ that anyone would want to rape her.

    I really don’t see this device as doing anything to offer practical help at all. It can fail in its intended purpose in a dazzling profusion of different ways, and it is only really effective when used as a stick that misogynists can beat rape survivors with.

    Ingdigo Jump was right on the money @ 49 – this garment was created as an engineering solution to a fundamentally social problem rooted in toxic, misogynistic attitudes, societal structures and power dynamics. It is at the most basic level the wrong way to approach the entire issue.

  66. says

    Unemotional security analysis:

    Avenues of attack against this:
    1. “Open the shorts or I’ll kill/hurt you.”
    2. Cut through webbing material (not the straps at legs/waist).

    Item is not in production, cannot be tested to determine if it meets its stated goal(s).

    This may frustrate an attacker, but a determined individual will not stop. I believe this product provides a false sense of security with no actual security.

    I’m all for women protecting themselves and would encourage self-defense classes.

    More should be done to correct rape culture, that much should be clear to everyone.

  67. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @everyone, but in re: mariel141 & janiceintoronto

    I think a point that needs to be made is that

    our rapists take away our power and agency.

    When we do things that put the power to stop rape in our hands as victims/survivors, we are indirectly blaming victims for not doing similar things and setting up defenses for rapists a la, if ze didn’t want it, why not take the logical step of locking up their erogenous (to me) zones? [spits taste of rapists' words out of mouth]

    But while this is a logical consequence of putting the power to prevent rape in the hands of potential/ victims, it can be very hard to see past the desire to get our fucking power back.

    I don’t endorse the strategy embraced by mariel141 and janiceintoronto, but I wish that we would take a bit more time to explain why we would call victim-blaming the tactics that actual victims see as recovery/empowering.

    It is absolutely true that something can be both empowering for victims/survivors and victim blaming at the same time.

    Again, I’m not calling for anyone to hold back any arguments, certainly not that the garments are of limited utility, that false security is a bad thing for a number of reasons, nor that covering ourselves can be used against us as certainly and horribly as uncovering ourselves.

    But as a victim advocate, I find my heart hurting for the lack of appreciation for the desperate need to reclaim power it sometimes seems is present in our regulars’ responses to the complicated dynamic of recovery-based victim blaming.

  68. Pteryxx says

    By the way, what’s to prevent this underwear being used as the latest INvoluntary chastity device? Why wouldn’t abusive guardians force their daughters to wear one before they go out the front door, or abusive partners order their “property” to put one on before they’re allowed to go shopping or to work?

    Heck, if these iron panties went mainstream, I could foresee drunken party rapists buying these to put them ON an unconscious woman.

  69. frugaltoque says

    I think it comes from your premise: “our rapists take away our power and agency. ”

    Yes, they do.

    They take it away by raping people. They also take it away by making people afraid.

    They also take it away by forcing people to: not wear ponytails; not wear skirts; not go out at night; not go out unescorted; wear armour-panties; carry mace; carry a gun; travel in groups …

    Rape, I have been told by reliable sources, is more about power than sex. The more focus you put on the victim’s behaviour, the more power you’re taking from victims and potential victims (i.e. everyone) and giving to rapists.

  70. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    I think we are all missing the elephant in the room. These magick undies are fundamentally designed to do one thing and one thing only extremely well… Make a fuckton of money off the fearful, the stupid and the credulous and laugh all the way to the bank. Unintended consequences be damned. The level of cynicism involved in the creation and manufacture of this product is far beyond understanding.

  71. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @frugaltoque, 84:

    I hope you understand that I agree with you. The facts that you cite, however, don’t change the fact that it is a very normal reaction of victims/survivors to grasp for magic underwear, or anti-rape make-up tips, or “safe” jogging routes, or whatever.

    Intent isn’t magic, and I’m not proposing that we not take down arguments. However the motivation of a person reveals something about how to reach them in our education efforts. While sometimes I don’t give a crap about prioritizing effective education efforts via compassion over our ability to express outrage and provide an effective takedown for lurkers: my compassion for some folks is limited substantially by their behaviors. But here the joint prioritization of compassion and effective education doesn’t feel misplaced.

    My goal here, if it needs be said, is not to control the behavior of any other Horde member. Nor will I engage in a prolonged tut-tutting campaign against those who feel the need to rant and/or provide merciless takedowns of victim blaming.

    but if people weren’t really conscious of the dynamic which leads survivors to engage in victim blaming through an intellectual transfer of power to stop rape to the (potential) victim, then I want people to be aware of that dynamic when they make their word and argument choices.

    This is just one aspect of survivor-centered anti-rape/assault education.

  72. Chie Satonaka says

    TW: Sexual Assault

    News is breaking of a gang-rape “club” of teenage boys in Australia who target underage girls, get them drunk, and then rape them. They take photos of their crimes and post them on social media to “name and shame” their victims, some of whom are as young as 13. Police have known about the group for two years but claim there is “nothing they can do.”

    But there is no such thing as rape culture.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11151474

  73. roro80 says

    @82 Really interesting, valid point. Particularly this resonated:

    It is absolutely true that something can be both empowering for victims/survivors and victim blaming at the same time.

    TW illness and death.

    It brings up thoughts in my mind of a cancer survivor group I worked with where they talk a lot about the power of positive thinking or even the power of prayer. Perhaps even more analogous are the woo treatments. For many, it really helps people get through the day, even if there’s not evidence that it does anything at all for the person’s medical condition. As you say, it helps people feel like they are taking back some power, even gaming a system set up against them, being “exceptional”. But at times it can become a kind of bludgeon, in the same way all the victim-focused rape-“prevention” advice does — if you’re still dying, you aren’t thinking positively enough, or praying hard enough, or cleansing the bad juju, or going to the right homeopathic whomever, or putting enough faith in god.

  74. carlie says

    The worst thing that placebo actions can take is that they take the focus and effort off of actions that do actually help. Every bit of resources thrown into “here’s how to not get raped” materials is resource taken away from “don’t rape people” campaigns.

  75. says

    Yeah, saw this one via another blog and first thought was to try to ask the people that came up with it, “Are you not missing the damn point?” After some thought on the matter, I also have to ask, “So… You are only worried about the ‘true rapes’ that some conservatives talk about, where it was violent, and sudden, not all those ‘illegitimate rapes’ where the women was – knocked out, drugged, or initially willing to take her clothes off in the first place, before things got shitty?” Yeah, waiting for the AI driven, force field, version, that uses predictive algorithms to determine if things got out of control, and can flush date rape drugs out of a persons system. What? You don’t make those? Well, what the hell good are these things then?

    Oh, and… still missing the fraking point of who is responsible, and therefor needs to change their behavior.

  76. rexlittle says

    And rape apologist by comment 8. Amazing.

    Before I opened the comment thread, I said to myself, “Let’s see how soon someone calls ‘rape apologist’ or ‘rape culture denier’ on a comment that clearly isn’t.” And the winner is. . . Ogvorbis @11.

  77. frugaltoque says

    @Crip Dyke 88
    I am very sympathetic to the idea that a rape victim will want to grab a hold of something to take back some authority over her or his own body. That makes a lot of sense.

    But are we empowering such people by giving them armoured underwear and the like? Especially when we know that such things don’t actually work?

    I wouldn’t judge a rape or abuse victim’s way of dealing with their ordeals, just as I wouldn’t judge how other people grieve the death of the a loved one. But neither would I want to encourage a victim to develop a sense of power based on delusion – especially when it appears that lecturing people on “what you can do to prevent this happening again” sounds a lot like “what you should have been doing to prevent it the first time.”

  78. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @frugal toque:

    we’re on the same page. Really. I’m just talking about employing a more compassionate set of tactics when addressing a mariel141 than when addressing some other folk.

    I own completely that this is in part a tone argument, and bash me if you like for making one, but we are on the same page on the substance. I do not endorse leaving unopposed the idea that magic underwear is a social good.

  79. chigau (違う) says

    rexlittle #93
    Well called!
    Your prize is to close the tab and go somewhere else!

  80. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @rexlittle:

    whatever you do, don’t for a second think that I’m on your side here.

    Just as being a rapist doesn’t make one an inhuman monster, it merely indicates someone who has chosen to rape, being a rape apologist is not a status one gains by being inhumanly awful to rape victims: it merely indicates someone who has chosen to make an argument that deflects responsibility from rapists and often though not always onto victims as a result.

    Og is both a victim of rape AND correct that placing the onus of prevention on victims carries the logical implication that completed penetration cannot be rape as it was the penetrated person’s responsibility and within the penetrated person’s power to prevent unwanted penetration: thus all penetration is wanted penetration.

    Your comment does nothing to increase compassion for victims/survivors, educate bystanders, or stop rapists. As such, your contributions are more useless than F.

  81. lochaber says

    Aside from the rape culture angle, I’m sorta skeptical towards their cut-resistant ‘demonstrations’.

    They don’t show the same scissors/knife cutting anything before/after, they just show someone making infomercial-style failed attempts.

    I’ve often seen various kevlar/aramid fiber/etc. materials promoted as being ‘cut resistant’, but if you have a sharp knife, you can still cut them.

    Granted, maybe I’m missing something, I just watched the muted vid.

    And then there are the issues with just forcing them down (likely to abrade/harm the wearer, but then again, I doubt the rapist is overly concerned about their well-being), waiting until they are already removed (if it’s a planned attack, might as well plan around obstacles), or just brute-forcing the lock mechanism.

    But, yeah all kinds of discomfort about this product being the ‘solution’ to rape, as if rape is just something that happens, ignoring that it’s always something done by one (or more…) person against another.

  82. Rey Fox says

    A rapist doesn’t just flip up a cis woman’s skirt, find her panties too difficult to remove and call it a night.

    Pretty much the exact thought I had when I saw these on my Facebook feed last night.

  83. zenlike says

    The terrible thing here is of course someone accusing another poster of being a rape culture apologist. That’s the most important thing here to focus on.

    Sigh.

    Anyone actually remember rexlittle posting something that doesn’t show him to be a giant doucheweasel?

  84. lakitha tolbert says

    @81: I didn’t expect to be laughing during this thread but “genetically engineered attack vaginas” is an hilarious thought. (I’ll do you one better: The Removable Vagina, but I think Wanda Sykes may already have covered that idea.)

  85. says

    Rexlittle is just trying to do the rape culture equivalent of playing the “playing the race card” card.

    Yes, Rex. Congratulations on noticing that there is terminology specific to this subject. Now run along.

  86. Juliana Ewing says

    Clearly, the solution is to make rapists wear them and not tell them the combination. After all, WWGD? (What Would Golda Do?)

    /snark

  87. says

    The elastics are locked through a kind of “clock” combination. Set the “hands” to the right positions and then you can undo the elastic.

    So this really is Chastity Belt 2.0. Remind me again how well version 1.0 worked?

  88. rexlittle says

    “Giant doucheweasel” – I like that. If someone could link to a picture of a giant doucheweasel (no, a picture of my face doesn’t count) and tell me how to put that picture in the little box next to my name at the top of a comment, it’ll be there next time I stop by.

  89. says

    @42

    Obviously, the elastic can be cut, or they wouldn’t be able to make the damn things.

    Also, I have several sets of scissors. 1 set cuts bone. 1 set cuts metal. 1 set is super-sharp and cuts multiple layers of cloth as though they were a single layer of tissue paper.

  90. says

    @48

    How do you avoid drunk drivers?

    Do you armor plate your car or never drive? Or do you work to prevent people from getting behind the wheel while drunk?

  91. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @lakitha:

    Despite military co-optation of the Vagina: Autonomous-Attack, Genetically-engineered weapon platform, it has still found great popularity with MtF trans women everywhere:

    Why yes, I have a VAG.

    Why do you ask?

  92. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    rexlittle:

    Yes, shit like this magic underwear is blaming the victim. Did you even bother to read any of the comments showing that all of society asks a rape survivor, explicitly or implicitly, whether or not she did enough to prevent the rape and if she did not, such as wearing skimpy clothes on a hot summer day, then she asked for it. If a woman has a pair of these magic panties and is not wearing them (because predicting where or when you will get raped is, to put mildly, an imperfect science), the immediate question will be, why not, with the implication that she didn’t wear them because she wanted sex with whoever.

    Please read up on what is meant by rape apologia and victim blaming. I think you will find that I used the term correctly and that you are an asshole.

    —————

    Crip Dyke @111

    Vagina: Autonomous-Attack, Genetically-engineered weapon platform

    Vagina dentata,
    What a wonderful phrase.
    Vagina dentata,
    Ain’t no passing phase.
    Its a rapist free,
    Philosophy.
    Vagina dentata!

  93. knowknot says

    rape

    The link from comment #12 are darkness visible in at least two ways. First, a comparison of the twitter feeds to the article offers an excellent (if somewhat incompetently executed) example of the “strive to appear reasonable in public” behavior of so many hate oriented groups, taking it so far as to add a nod to compassion at the end with “Let’s focus on those that truly need our help…” Second, Hookstead manages to stuff a maximum number of canards and accusations in a minimum of space. It’s very nearly textbook material.

    Regarding the text, the following bits are quite amazing:

    “…everybody needs to understand (…) that bad people exist. This is the reason for murder, rape, child abuse, domestic abuse and all sorts of crimes. It is the reality of the world. Crime is not unique to the United States, and if you put a spotlight on rape, you don’t understand the real issue.”

    An excellent move. Gives the appearance that his opponents care ONLY about the issue in question. As if by addressing child abuse means you are automatically letting murder off the hook. And what would be “the real issue” here? What is the origin of all “evils?” I can only imagine Satan or original sin here. Which is handy, because it takes any response that proposes less than purification of the human mind, a judicious application of some “final solution” or the extinction of the human race off the table.

    “How come none of the latter is attributed to any sort of culture, but the former is a sign of a rape culture? If music and movies speak of and depict murder, then do we have a culture that accepts and promotes murder as well? Of course we don’t.”

    Um… if the music and movies “speak of and depict murder,” and if they arise out of some form of “culture,” then POOF! There’s the culture, looming large! Not that the prior paragraph includes “Switch to the next rap song and you’ll likely hear about shooting people, selling drugs or the degradation of the black community,” just so we know where most of our not-a-culture definitely doesn’t come from. A nice job of distancing oneself from a problem that doesn’t exist.

    “You’ll often hear very uneducated people make statements like, ‘If people taught their sons not to rape women then we wouldn’t have a problem.’ There are a couple of problems with this statement.
    First, it’s incredibly ignorant. Anybody who’s ever watched the news knows that rape is illegal, and yet the above paints the picture that our society is failing to educate young men on rape. Secondly, it implies that education can prevent true acts of evil. We teach kids not to murder and rob, but people still do it. Once again, you can’t always stop criminals.”

    “Very uneducated,” “incredibly ignorant” and the previous “fringe in reality” are perhaps the major cracks in the facade of reasonableness, but more important is the idea that passing a law and broadcasting it as news is all the education you’ll ever need. Plus the idea that education (enculturation, really) is powerless against “true” acts of evil. Note the term “true” there. Apart from slipping in a reference to false accusation, we are perhaps offered hope that education can alleviate “false” acts of evil. In itself that might be a good start. And if one were to entertain the idea that the concept of evil is in some sense merely a distancing tactic, it might be somewhat better than a good start. And who in the hell suggested that the purpose of rape prevention was the creation of Utopia in the first place?

    “… many men are assaulted and raped as well. Then why aren’t we teaching our daughters not rape?”

    Someone else is going to have to step in here, because, um… anyway, it’s just so swell I had to include it. But just for good measure and for the sake of my own reasonableness I will say “girls, stop that.”
    Seriously, I will attest to the fact that I, being male, have to spend A LOT less time fearing for my sexual autonomy than any woman, anywhere does, ever. Now if I were in prison, or certain other select locales, it might be different. The point is that my mind and actions are not bound up by external forces to anything like an equivalent degree. How a person can even MENTION actions a woman “should have or should not have taken” and not get this mystifies me beyond recovery.

    “It is unfortunate that some women feel the need to exploit anything that may be rape for publicity. (…) Why are women so desperate to demonize men that they’ll lie about being raped?”

    Nothing but to the point.

    “For example, I’ve heard many women tell me they regretted having sex with somebody, and that if anybody asked them they’d just lie and say they were too drunk to remember. It’s people like them that are huge problems.”

    Who in the hell is he hanging out with? “MANY women?”
    And how exactly does the idea that someone lying, apparently in a simple conversation, in which no accusation of rape appears to be made, damn the experience of victims of violence? Would saying that you hadn’t been beaten by the neighborhood bully somehow weaken your heavenly claim to have later been killed by him. (Or her. More reasonableness.)
    Probable metaphor fail there (help?), but this may be the most direct bit… in essence it seems to mean that the b**ches are just setting themselves up.

    “Let’s focus on those that truly need our help, and let’s stop evil people when we can.”

    And then, there’s that. At this point I’m not sure who’s left pure enough to deserve help, and given the overall cast I’m not sure what criteria are to be used in determining who the “evil people” actually are (except that they are devoid of culture), but it’s nice that we want to stop them, after the fact. Because then we can broadcast it, just for fun.

  94. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Ogvorbis, 113

    so…much…wrong…

    can’t…stop…laughing…

  95. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I decline to castigate, but I do request that you repost it with appropriate blockquoting: I’m having a bit of a time deciphering it.

  96. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Crip Dyke @115:

    Which part? The part addressed to rexlittle, or the Pumba and Timon part?

  97. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Ogvorbis, 118

    Timon/Pumba.

    I have still not seen LK, so my 5yo’s voice is in my head singing this.

  98. mariel141 says

    @Gilleal, Millicent, Kevin & others:

    Let’s clarify a few things about me here, since most of your statements are based on accusing me of positions or opinions I do not hold. I believe that the blame for rape lies 100% with the attacker. I don’t think that women should have to wear/do/carry/avoid anything to prevent themselves from being raped. I am against rape culture, vocally in my day-to-day interactions, and online. I read a great deal of feminist literature and several feminist blogs. I am VERY against victim blaming, and I am continually disgusted and enraged by the way our justice system mishandles sexual assault cases.

    I also find it pretty damn hypocritical that one of the main complaints leveled at this product is that it’s ‘another way to blame the victim’.

    We all agree that it’s wrong to blame a woman (or man or child) for being raped. But it seems like a substantial number of the commentators here think it’s just fine to blame a woman who is trying to protect herself for someone else’s rapist getting away with it. How dare these women try to come up with a comfortable and innovative way to protect themselves! Don’t they know it will just force ignorant sexist people to blame other women for being assaulted?

    Or maybe we should extend ‘not blaming people for the vile behaviors of others’ to, y’know, everyone.

    Now, it does remain to be seen whether this product would even work, since it’s just a prototype. And of course it can’t prevent sexual assault–by the time a guy has his hands on your underwear, you’ve already been assaulted. But there are definitely some (SOME! Not all!) situations where these garments could be very effective, and there’s no reason women shouldn’t be able to use them if they want to, nor any reason for others to accuse them of ‘promoting’ rape culture if they do.

  99. says

    But it seems like a substantial number of the commentators here think it’s just fine to blame a woman who is trying to protect herself for someone else’s rapist getting away with it.

    It doesn’t seem like that at all. What are you reading? Not this thread.

  100. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    mariel141 @ 120

    But it seems like a substantial number of the commentators here think it’s just fine to blame a woman who is trying to protect herself for someone else’s rapist getting away with it. How dare these women try to come up with a comfortable and innovative way to protect themselves! Don’t they know it will just force ignorant sexist people to blame other women for being assaulted?

    It is a magical talisman. All it can do is make it slightly harder to gain access to a vagina. Access to a vagina is not necessary for rape to occur, as has been said many times here.

    Be that as it may, if a magical talisman makes a person feel better in the face of the horrors and uncertainties of sexual predation, then they should do whatever they need to do to feel better. As unhelpful as I think it is, I wouldn’t mock someone for praying for a dying loved one. It might not do a damn bit of good, but it’s making them feel better in a situation they’re powerless in.

    On the other hand, I would get quite irate if someone was selling prayers for other people’s dying loved ones. Do you see the difference? One person doing some harmless–and ineffective–activity to try to comfort hirself = hir own business and I hope it helps hir. Multiple people trying to make money off of a product that preys on people’s fears and will do absolutely no good = shitty.

    If this product would make you feel better, then I hope you can get some and find some comfort there. Truly, I do. If this is something that would make you feel better, then I want you to feel better. But that doesn’t mean I support people playing off of those fears and the myths of rape for the sake of selling lies to people.

  101. says

    Either way wearing this is going to be a fucking gift to the defense

    Defense 1) How could it be rape if she was wearing that? Clearly there was consent and she regrets it
    Defense 2) We can’t trust her judgement on whether it was rape or not! This is a misunderstanding! She’s hysterical! Look she was so paranoid about rape she wore this ridiculous garment! She saw rape everywhere. This was all a misunderstanding

  102. rexlittle says

    most of your statements are based on accusing me of positions or opinions I do not hold.

    That’s what they do here, Mariel. Like I said above, before I first opened this thread there was no question in my mind if I’d see that, only when.

  103. says

    these chastity belts are for “dodgy situations” like being out of the country?

    I guess I should have been wearing these continuously for the last 11 years; or for the last 24 years, depending on your definition of abroad.

  104. chris61 says

    I’m all for women taking measures to reduce their chances of rape but I can’t imagine a single circumstance in which wearing this underwear would do that. It seems to me that it would likely just piss an attacker off and make them more likely to inflict physical harm. Personally I’d rather have a canister of pepper spray.

  105. says

    Either way wearing this is going to be a fucking gift to the defense

    Defense 1) How could it be rape if she was wearing that? Clearly there was consent and she regrets it
    Defense 2) We can’t trust her judgement on whether it was rape or not! This is a misunderstanding! She’s hysterical! Look she was so paranoid about rape she wore this ridiculous garment! She saw rape everywhere. This was all a misunderstanding

    QFT
    I wouldn’t put it past people to even say both things at the same time.

  106. says

    most of your statements are based on accusing me of positions or opinions I do not hold.

    That’s what they do here, Mariel.

    You know what people who are too cowardly or unintelligent to coherently defend their own positions do? Claim to have been misrepresented without ever explaining what their real position was, and how it differs from the representation.

    In other words, fuck off, rexlittle.

  107. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Ing @ 124:

    And to add a third possible one: See, she owned one of these but she wasn’t wearing it so obviously the sex was consensual.

  108. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    @Chie #90
    Just a little point that I understand that it can be hard for the northern hemisphere people to grasp. New Zealand and Australia are two different countries. But yes. Rape culture.

    And of course even if the magic undies did work in some cases they would not stop rape. They would just change who the victim was.

  109. noodle says

    I’m a little late to the thread and maybe nobody is reading it any more. But, if anyone is still around, I could use some (slightly OT) advice.

    After reading through all of the comments and tragic stories, I get the sense that some of the ladies on this thread view nearly every guy as a potential attacker. This is heartbreaking and dehumanizing. Is there anything that I can do to remove the stigma? I ask because in my profession I am around young women a lot. I work very hard to put them at ease, yet still wonder if they will view me with suspicion no matter what I say or do. Based on the comments on this thread, I wouldn’t blame them if they did.

    Is there a solution? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  110. carlie says

    noodle – what a great question to ask, seriously. No, you cannot remove the stigma, because the risk of a women misidentifying the rapist is so high compared to making a few false positives. But for a larger overview of the topic, try reading these. (note: there are a lot of comments. A LOT. Try just the posts first, then go back and dive into the comments)

    Schrodinger’s rapist: a guide to approaching strange women without being maced

    Shuffling feet: a black man’s view on Schroedinger’s rapist

    Shuffling feet: a follow-up

  111. Pteryxx says

    Is there anything that I can do to remove the stigma? I ask because in my profession I am around young women a lot. I work very hard to put them at ease, yet still wonder if they will view me with suspicion no matter what I say or do.

    noodle: are you really asking how to put them at ease specifically around you?

    (not sarcastic, just very tired of this)

  112. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke:
    I get what you’re saying.
    Rape victims have been denied their agency… their power… through that horrific act. Some of them may-understandably-seek to empower themselves in some way. One of those ways might be to seek something, be it knowledge, skills, or “rape resistant clothing”, *something* they do for themselves that allows them to feel re-empowered.
    We ought to keep this in mind in threads like this.

    Or, put another way
    Some victims of rape may want to purchase rape resistant clothes as a way to regain their agency.
    This is not victim blaming.

    Other people telling a rape victim they should have worn rape resistant clothing IS victim blaming.

    With that in mind, I am going to reread mariel141’s initial comment in this thread.

    ****
    mariel141:
    You received the reception you did bc of your opening statements. You compared property crime to sexual assault.
    These two things are not alike.
    Why?
    People are not cars, homes, or valuables. We are not ‘things’ that can be locked to protect against rape. Rape does not always entail PIV penetration (oral or anal rape exists too). Also, not every victim of rape has a vagina. Even if that were the case, how do you lock yourself up so that no one can rape you? Do you have the answer to that?

    You have to take into account the various ways rape can happen and recognize that–to the extent that they desire–all humans deserve to be active in their lives (i.e. being social, having a job, going to school). So whatever your answer is lock them in a closet for their entire life is not on the table.

    I will save you the trouble. There is nothing that one can do to avoid being raped.
    —Rapists are everywhere: home, work, school, church, the mall, the beach…rape happens everywhere. There is no place one can go to be safe from rape.
    —Rapists are fathers, uncles, coworkers, boyfriends, girlfriends, and yeah, sometimes they are strangers. Rapists do not wear neon signs, so who is safe to be around?
    —Although rapists employ predatory tactics frequently, the presence or absence of alcohol, GHB or any mind altering substance does not stop rape from occuring. People who get shitfaced drunk have never been raped, while 3 year olds have been.
    —Rapists have targeted women fully or partially clothed, as well as naked.

    See a common theme?
    Yeah, it is a scary thought:
    Rape happens because a rapist chooses to rape.

    Now, knowing all that, your second paragraph continues to show why your reception got the deserved response.
    As I mentioned above, if victims seek to regain their agency by purchasing these rape resistant clothes, there is nothing wrong with that. It can be beneficial to them.
    However, to market a product that claims to be rape proof or resistant perpetuates the extremely harmful idea that someone other than a rapist can stop rape from happening.

    Again, scary thought time: you cannot. Perhaps a woman can avoid getting raped, but more than likely, someone else will get raped. Our (the community here) goal is to reduce (eliminate would be great) the incidence of rape. Which means reducing the number of rapists.

    How can that be done when clothing manufacturers are telling women “buy our product, avoid rape!”

  113. Al Dente says

    mariel41 @8

    There’s nothing wrong with taking precautions against the evil, shitty people who inhabit the world. I applaud the women (and probably men) who are developing these garments. I hope they will be affordable for those that need them most.

    Here mariel is saying that if a woman takes precautions she will lower the likelihood of getting raped. So if she doesn’t take precautions, she’ll have a higher possibility of getting raped. How is this not victim blaming? The video is saying “wear our magic underwear and you won’t get raped” with the connotation of “don’t wear our underwear and you will get raped.”

  114. frugaltoque says

    @noodle 133 (This may as well be answered as a legitimate question.)

    Always accept a “no”, no matter what the circumstances. Whether it’s “May I buy you a drink?”, “Join us for lunch?” or *anything*. If a woman indicates discomfort or brushes you off, do *not* attempt to change her “no” into a “yes.” That’s a red flag. Do not attempt to make “accidental” physical contact. Even if a particular woman has been socialized to ignore that or let it go, she will always feel uncomfortable around you for having done that. Give her the same space you would give to a male colleague.

    Aretha Franklin only ever asked for respect. It was Cyndi Lauper who wanted fun. These women about whose feelings you seem honestly concerned will feel safe with you when they know that you respect them. Generally speaking. Probably. Women aren’t identical. Your results may vary.

  115. noodle says

    @ Carlie. Thanks, but this is the basic lesson. My concern is more about woman that I already know, like my female students (which adds an imbalance of power that further complicates things). I probably should have clarified that, but it’s getting late, and reading through this thread has made me tired (and depressed for humanity).

    @ Pteryxx. No, this is not about me. This is about my female students not living in fear. This is about normal humans having normal human relationships without seeing each other as predators. I thought the ladies of Pharyngula might have some advice since many of them have experience in academic environments and could share their own experiences.

    Maybe I’m just doing a bad job of articulating my question. Good night all.

  116. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Every guy -is- a potential attacker. The key word is potential*. People tend to forget what that word means.
    Every woman is also a potential attacker, but probability, statistics and past experience lead us (women who have been and/or do not want to be victims of sexual assault) to view (cis) men as being more of a potential danger. Because they are potentially more dangerous to women, statistically, experientially and mathematically speaking.
    Schroedinger’s rapist is an inherently logical concept. It doesn’t really help prevent rape more than the standard “rape prevention tips”, but it’s logical.

    The difference between the Schroedinger’s rapist concept and “rape prevention” tips is that the tips function only to give the illusion of control – usually to other people – over a situation that, in the vast majority of cases, cannot be controlled. Rape prevention tips serve to give third parties the illusion that they will not experience rape if they “do the right thing”; putting the onus on the victim is a denialist behaviour. In fact, it’s a denial of reality in two ways: It denies the reality that the rapist, not the victim is responsible for the rape, and it denies that the victim could have done nothing to prevent being raped.

    “Could have done nothing to prevent it? That’s awfully dismissive of the fact that women can be strong and take control of their own lives! You call yourself a feminist?”
    Yes, yes I do. Firstly, notice the wording – control of their own lives. Rape isn’t something that just happens, it’s something that someone chooses to do -to- you. Controlling one’s own life does not include controlling the decisions made by other people to hurt you. Secondly, expecting all women to be able to fight off an attacker is a terribly right-wing libertarian bootstraps attitude, isn’t it? “You wouldn’t be in this mess if you’d just worked harder!”. Right. Because we’re all just martial arts masters in potentia, we just need to work harder! All whilst being supermums and supercareerladies and supermodels too, right? Of course women can be strong. It’s also possible for women to be not very good at being “strong”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, and it doesn’t mean they weren’t trying.

    Damned authoritarian mindset – it just screws everything up, doesn’t it?

    *For anyone hung up on Schroedinger’s rapist and the “potential attacker” thing, remember that potential is nothing without the inclusion of probability. All men are potential rapists. All humans are potential sandwiches. All babies are potential adults. All dogs are potentially nobel laureates. Each statement is potentially true, with a different probability of being true. It happens that a man is more likely to be a rapist than a sandwich, and far more likely again to have at one point been a baby. It’s still going to be highly unlikely that any nobel laureate you may happen across is a dog.

  117. Anri says

    mariel141 @ a number of clueless comments:

    I think I can show you why this sort of thing is in fact, victim-blaming behavior.

    If wearing these things is the right thing to do, not wearing them then becomes what?
    If wearing these things means a women is sensibly protecting herself, not wearing them becomes what?
    If wearing these things is taking a perfectly reasonable precaution, not wearing them becomes what?

    The only way to stop men raping women… is for men to stop raping women.
    Treating men raping women as inevitable prevents this. Every person who says “well, men gonna rape!” is giving legitimacy to every rapist.
    It’s telling them well, they mighta been naughty boys, but boys will be boys, amirite?

    Men don’t actually have to rape. Why tell them they do?

  118. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Uh, that was longer than intended.

    ****
    Noodle:
    Thirding carlie and pteryxx on that one.
    Also, I found it helpful to take myself out of the picture.

    I understand the desire to help.
    Unfortunately, there is no magic cure all. Your students are all different, so anything you say might affect them in a variety of ways. If I can give some advice:

    CHANGING THE CULTURE:

    There are certain things in our culture that make sexual assault more possible. By speaking out and educating ourselves and others, we can help to decrease the number of sexual assaults.

    Become knowledgeable about the issue and share your knowledge with others.
    Volunteer for RAINN or your local rape crisis center and help educate your community about preventing sexual violence.

    http://www.rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-prevention/men-can-help

    Tony Tale
    I normally post these anecdotes in the Lounge, but this is relevant here.
    I have no vehicle at the moment, work quite a bit, and have limited internet access. As such, my level of involvement in any type of activism is limited. I realized earlier this year that I can do something on an individual level: do my part to change the culture.

    I work at a restaurant, as a manager and bartender. Restaurants, like anywhere else, have employees who engage in the same types of sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, or ableism as our wider culture. I have had numerous chances to discuss with employees manyconcepts related to those topics. As I do not want to be overly preachy at work, I have limited such discussions to opportunities where a subject has come up (for instance, when people were talking about the Discovery Channels megalodon hoax, that was an organic moment for me to discuss skepticism).

    Last night, I overheard a conversation between two employees, B (woman) and T (guy). They have been friends for years and have a close friendship. They were talking about something sexual when he mentioned ‘anal raping’ her.
    All in fun, of course.
    Except thats not fun.
    Now, we were still open and I was uncertain how best to move forward. I decided since time was a factor, to express my opinion on the subject, especially since there were two other servers around.
    They saw my revulsion at the word rape and I told them that rape is never funny. It is not a laughing matter.
    I made sure to do one thing I think is absolutely important when discussing rape: define it. Explicitly.
    So I told them that rape is Non-Consensual Sex. It can be vaginal, anal or oral. It can happen to women and men. Sure enough, one woman, C, expressed shock at that. I told her it is true. That it doesn’t happen as often as men raping women, it is no less vile and dehumanizing. I shared with them how important informed consent is. That if you do not give consent and someone has sex with you, it is rape. I also made a point of mentioning that you cannot give informed consent if your judgement is impaired.
    That got some eyebrows raised.
    I added that yes, if you are drunk, you cannot legally give consent to sex. Both C and B responded that that being the case, they had been raped.
    From there, they went on to clean up. C and I continued chatting for a little longer and I told her about several rape statistics:
    -1 in 6 women American women will be raped in the course of their lives. She initially made the same error I did, thinking that if you count all the women in a room, every sixth has been raped (I gently corrected her).
    -1 in 33 American men have been raped
    -Rapists are the only ones who can stop rape
    C was horrified at those numbers. We chatted a little longer, but the conversation drifted from rape. I did mention that I was a feminist and she thanked me.

    My point with the above (aimed at noodle specifically) is that one of the things I CAN do is try to share what I have learned. To speak up about rape. To educate where possible.
    I did not do so to put the women around me at ease. Rather, I did so bc culturally, we have to change the discourse about rape.
    (I could be wrong, but my gut says that expressing disgust with rape, knowing rape statistics, and being willing to discuss such allows the women -and men- around me to make judgements about me. I like to think they would be positive assessments.)

  119. Pteryxx says

    noodle #140: then I probably came across harsher than I should have, for which I apologize. I was trying to show how there’s a big difference between “how can I do my part to make other people’s lives less crappy” and “how can I not get seen as the scary dude” even though the conversations about it tend to blur the distinction.

    It’s not going to be simple to solve, because befriending/mentoring in and of itself creates vulnerabilities that can be exploited. (See: Bora.) But basically if you are already doing all you can as an individual to respect boundaries, deal in equality, and vet yourself for unconscious sexism, then good on you; but as carlie said above, that’s not going to be enough, because the environment women have to deal with is just too toxic for them to drop their guard. Therefore, you’d next have to help change the environment. That might mean pushing your workplace to adopt anti-harassment policies with teeth, making some training workshops happen, getting speakers, ensuring female students have protective networks already in place that they can turn to… it depends on your workplace and your position. Eventually it would mean changing the whole workplace ecosystem from neutral (or hostile) to supportive, probably over a span of years or decades. No one person could do that alone; but one person might be able to start the process.

    Next I suggest reading here:

    http://scientopia.org/blogs/drugmonkey/2013/10/18/no-this-doesnt-mean-you-need-to-avoid-your-female-colleagues-like-the-plague/

    and following up with the wider conversations about mentoring and addressing students’ vulnerabilities that arose from the discussion about Bora and the #ripplesofdoubt hashtag. Here’re a couple more places to start:

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-with-moxie/2013/10/28/a-few-words-on-diversity/

    Scicurious’s diversity blog series, such as: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/scicurious-brain/2013/10/17/guest-post-5-accommodasians-dont-make-waves/

    and the Power of Harassment series: https://medium.com/the-power-of-harassment

  120. knowknot says

    #125 Rex Little, Beautiful Glowing Giant Douchweasel of the Heavens

    That’s what they do here, Mariel. Like I said above, before I first opened this thread there was no question in my mind if I’d see that, only when.
    Working through the possible meanings here…
    1) “I hate being here, and I am certain no one here will ever listen to reason; but my mission is to enlighten others, no matter how it painful and/or aggravating and/or the amount of time I waste attempting to do so.”
    2) “(Insert offended parties name), I am here solely to comfort you in your hour of need among idiots, and save you from their stupidity.”
    3) “This place sucks, and it’s fun to kick the cow pies.”
    4) “This place is vile, and I hope to sow discontent, with the long term goal of disruption.”
    5) “This topic matters to me, and, havIng a suspicion I might actually have undeveloped psychic powers, had to verify my sense that stupidity was imminent.”
    6) “I knew this was a subject in which there would be an instinctive response to some comment or other, that it would be less than instructive, and wanted to edge it along the path to oblivion before someone could do otherwise.”
    7) “I’m just basically screwing around, man.”

  121. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Monitor note:
    Please remember to use html tags:

    Use the HTML tags listed below the comment box. In particular, use “blockquote” when quoting someone.

    <blockquote>”quoted words”</blockquote>
    <strong> bold </strong>
    <em> italics </em>

  122. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @knownot – is the format above helpful?

  123. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I haven’t said “chigau” yet.

    D’oh!

  124. knowknot says

    Crip Dyke & chigau, thank you, and sorry for the repeated error. I don’t like the look or the loss of organization either, and in any case the posting rules are OK by me.
    And yes, I THOUGHT I’d got it properly as you’ve demonstrated that time; all I can figure is that I tipped the slash and was too distracted to notice. I’m just all stoked to get it right next time.. BLBLBLBLBZZZZ

  125. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    Cool, my profile changes got applied to earlier comments retroactively. I didn’t think that would happen. I thank FtB tech support for explaining how to make the changes.

    Knowknot: it’s a combination of #2 (leaving out the word “solely” and the snark), #3 (second half only, this place doesn’t suck) and #7. Maybe some #6, if I’m parsing it correctly.

    Since I made a point of noting that I anticipated certain comments, I’ll also mention that as soon as I saw noodle @133, I anticipated a certain kind of response–and I was dead wrong. Tony’s reply @143, in particular, deserves to be permalinked for anyone else who asks a similar question in the future.

  126. vaiyt says

    Men will never stop raping women.

    Well, that settles it. We should just stop trying to prevent crime altogether, because short of Minority Report-like policies we will never prevent someone from taking the decision to hurt another. Do you people stop to read what you’re fucking typing?

  127. knowknot says

    #153
    A decent response, and I thank you.
    – It IS fun to kick cow pies, virtually everyone does it (though styles differ) and I think the majority of us (us being, in this case, humans) do it, and the majority of us do it even in situations in which it is at best randomizing to do so, and at worst counter productive. So even if I think it was counter productive in this case (which I do), it would be unreasonable to be excessively uppity about it. Partly because this kind of pie is often what there is to kick here. The problem is that the question is one of intent, which in this case seemed somewhat opaque, and the fact that it would be useful to know whether you were kicking the “attitude in the response” pie, or the “concern regarding rape is feminist bullshit” pie. Because they leave different stains.
    – Not sure there was really much snark in #2, though there was a sense of “righteousness.” Of which I have been guilty. And which tends to accompany such actions in a public forum.
    – #6 is a concern though, if we are parsing it the same way. I’d intended “edge along the path to oblivion before someone could domotherwise” to mean “cause it to go up in flames before someone could attempt a more reasonable and direct response, assuming the possibility of clarification.” But I now see that it could be taken to mean “cause that particular wobble in the coversation to disappear.” If you meant the first, then that’s more like kicking the pie toward someone’s face. And I’m not sure I can see how the latter was what you were after.
    – In any case, your comment re Tony’s reply @143 is dead meaningful, and makes your actual, real world intentions much more clear, and for me, in this context, much more compassionate.
    – All of which is to say, thanks for responding. Didn’t expect it, certainly not in such a direct form.

  128. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Rex Little:

    Being willing to admit you were wrong could be a good sign. It indicates you have some degree of humility.
    I’d love it if you reread my #137 and then reread mariel141’s #8, bc that is a bigger slice of humble pie for you to eat.

  129. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Rex Little:
    Re noodle’s #133…have you given thought to why he did not get the response you anticipated? For my part, his #133 could have elicited a response in either direction, but his #140 is what convinced me to respond as I did.

  130. noodle says

    @ Pterryxx #135. “then I probably came across harsher than I should have, for which I apologize.”

    No worries. One thing I’ve noticed after lurking here for awhile is that people tend to rip on each other without looking for clarification of meaning. So, I appreciate that you asked. I, for one, should probably not be asking provocative questions when it’s past my bedtime.

    As for the specific advice given by several of you — thanks. I’m doing nearly all of it already. So, maybe my students aren’t as scared as I thought. That’s a happy thought for the morning.

  131. says

    Before I opened the comment thread, I said to myself, “Let’s see how soon someone calls ‘rape apologist’ or ‘rape culture denier’ on a comment that clearly isn’t.”

    If you actually wanted to bring light to the masses, you could have elucidated why you thought it was so clear that Mariel114’s comment wasn’t an example of rape apologism. Your smug opacity definitely made it seem like you yourself are just another trolling asshole who doesn’t give a flying fuck about the global epidemic of sexual assault or its victims.

    I’m still not convinced that that isn’t exactly what you are.

  132. mariel141 says

    Anri @ a simple comparison:

    Cops wear bullet proof vests to avoid being shot in the chest, yes?

    If wearing a bullet proof vest is the right thing to do, not wearing it becomes what?
    If wearing a bullet proof vest means a cop is sensibly protecting himself or herself, not wearing one becomes what?
    If wearing a bullet proof vest is taking a perfectly reasonable precaution, not wearing it becomes what?

    The only way to stop criminals from shooting cops… is for criminals to stop shooting cops.
    Treating criminals shooting cops as inevitable prevents this. Every person who says “well, criminals gonna shoot the police!” is giving legitimacy to every shooter.
    It’s telling them well, they mighta been naughty boys, but boys will be boys, amirite?

    Criminals don’t actually have to shoot cops. Why tell them they do?

    Though you’ve really missed the point of my post, which is that if some people take on the attitude you describe, that is NOT the fault of the women who are trying to think of ways to protect themselves! That is something wrong with those people, not the inventors or the product, and you (and all others making this argument) are assigning blame as wrongfully as the sexist idiots that you describe.

    I also disagree with your statement, “The only way to stop men raping women… is for men to stop raping women”, because as a woman that says to me, you can’t stop men raping women. Only men can decide when rape stops, by doing the stopping. You can try to appeal to their humanity and change the culture, but you don’t actually have any power over it.

    So, yeah. I think I’m gonna stick with the underwear-inventors on this one.

  133. says

    I also disagree with your statement, “The only way to stop men raping women… is for men to stop raping women”, because as a woman that says to me, you can’t stop men raping women. Only men can decide when rape stops, by doing the stopping. You can try to appeal to their humanity and change the culture, but you don’t actually have any power over it.

    Welcome to life. Most things are out of our control

  134. sqlrob says

    mariel141 @ 160:

    It is a cops job to deal with criminals. Is it a woman’s job to deal with rapists?

  135. says

    @Mariel

    So are you just going to ignore all the feasibility problems with this stupid invention and just defend it because it promotes the idea of a strong woman controlling her reality?

  136. says

    You know in other countries while cops do wear gear they also seem to like the idea of not letting random people have guns. Ie. stopping people from shooting cops.

    In some places cops walk around without a gun of their own. You’re example is not that hot

  137. opposablethumbs says

    … not to mention the fact that of course any really good cop wears full body armour all the time – at the beach, going out for the evening, at home, in bed … I mean, it’s not like they actually have a professional activity, for which they are (normally) paid and trained and equipped at their employer’s expense, with time off-duty, with (usually) armed back-up when they go looking for armed criminals …

    yeah, being born female or being a child or in some cases being a man is exactly like choosing to be a professional police officer. Don’t know why I didn’t see that before.

    What mariel141 doesn’t seem to (want to) see is that nobody here would criticise a woman (or child or man) for taking any action they choose to protect themselves. On the contrary, most people here know what that is like first hand. But we most emphatically would criticise those who seek to make money out of urging women to restrict their lives even more than we already do, while not lifting a finger or breathing a word against rape culture. Nobody is suggesting that you personally should not wear whatever you like and live your life in whatever way you personally prefer; this is about the broader point of reducing the cultural acceptance of predatory sexual behaviour that gives rapists a fucktonne of protective camouflage. Seriously, eliminating toxic notions surrounding consent (all the shitty macho points-scoring crap) will not reduce rapes to absolute zero, but it is how to reduce the incidence of rape and provide better protection for survivors.

  138. Pteryxx says

    Also, when somebody shoots at a cop, the shooter generally doesn’t have a ~90% chance of getting away with it without being so much as reported or charged.

  139. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    Tony:

    Re noodle’s #133…have you given thought to why he did not get the response you anticipated? For my part, his #133 could have elicited a response in either direction, but his #140 is what convinced me to respond as I did.

    He got your response (and other good ones) because Pteryxx asked him to clarify his intent, and he did. I had expected that instead of asking, someone would assume he meant “how can I not get seen as the scary dude?” and rip him a new one. That expectation was based on my memory of a thread awhile back where the conversation went like that. But I just went back and looked through that thread, and my memory was wrong; in that case, the initial triggering comment made it clear that it was about him.

  140. says

    Cops didn’t used to wear so much tactical gear. It’s kinda part of the paramilitarization of our police forces nationwide, which is part of the disturbing mission creep that we’ve let go on. Criminals don’t just shoot police because they’re criminals and that’s how they do. Asserting that is dangerously short sighted.

    We could probably do a lot more to reduce the amount of cops getting shot and killed by overhauling our gun laws and our drug laws.

    So Mariel is making the same mistake as before, she’s focusing on one facet of the problem (cops wearing bullet proof vests) while handwaving the complicated, nuanced reasons why the cops currently wear those bulletproof vests.

    Mariel, you seem more interested in maintaining the status quo and offering a fetish to the people in danger (bullet proof vests or “anti-rape” underwear…though you still have yet to answer my question as to how the underwear is supposed to even work) rather than focus on effecting the societal change necessary to reduce the danger of getting shot or raped in the first place.

  141. Pteryxx says

    Rex Little #169:

    He got your response (and other good ones) because Pteryxx asked him to clarify his intent, and he did. I had expected that instead of asking, someone would assume he meant “how can I not get seen as the scary dude?” and rip him a new one.

    Carlie did respond supportively right before my #135 questioning noodle’s intent even posted. Just goes to show not everyone reacts the same way to the same words, even when we’re speaking to identical concerns. (And not incidentally, that the mere act of questioning someone’s intent has a very high insultingness value – which means the subordinates under consideration aren’t likely to try it.)

    That’s still the point I wanted to make, though: without some practice and paying careful attention, being the guy who asks “how can I not scare the women” can be read either way, and often is going to be read differently depending on whether the person doing the reading unconsciously cleaves to the wary-women viewpoint or to the naive-nice-guy viewpoint. Note that the predators we’re all concerned about imitate the naive-nice-guy voice as a tactic. (which is why I cited Bora’s harassment as an example.) So, one way us outsiders can signal supportiveness is by being aware of one’s approach when asking that initial question. Make explicit from the start that it’s not about us. Most people who go “but how can I…” don’t even realize they’re doing it.

  142. knowknot says

    (Please understand, and I say this with NO false humility WHATSOEVER, that I may be missing the point here… which IS the point, really.)

    – One difference between cops/vests and women/steelpants is that a cop can take off the gear, including the vest, and be transform into a civilian. A woman can take of the überundies, but the rest of the gear remains pretty much intact. Also, cops sign up for the job. Women, not so much. Plus cops tend to be defensively armed.
    – I get the feeling that this is one of those equivalences that has complications I am unable to grok. I’m very often surprised when someone more educated or just sharper than I pops out with a “but, see, the fact that the tiger is bigger than the kitty actually makes a difference in a Starbucks” kind of thing. (I’m pretty sure I’ve been almost that dense.)
    – But then, do these differences matter in terms of the central question. Which is… um… what? I think I’ve kinda forgotten.
    – It appears that some of us see the issue as “prevention is reasonable,” possibly adding “any level of prevention necessary for effectiveness, as dictated by current circumstances is reasonable and warranted,” and possibly further adding “either long term change is not likely and will not alleviate the problem for current victims, or it is possible but LONG TERM and therefore will (also) not alleviate the problem for current victims.”
    – The outside take on these views appears hold that the above implies denial of the possibility of societal change, and/or refusal to engage in pursuing change. Which may or may not be a valid point, and regardless of validity may or may not be true for those holding these view.
    – It appears that others of us see the issue as “these things won’t be effective / are a misguided concept / are a scam / and are therefore silly” “the availability of certain levels of prevention necessarily creates the expectation of same, which in turn causes their absence to be viewed as negligence.”
    – The outside take on these views appears to hold that they disregard personal choice (whether they do or don’t), that they attribute unreasonable moral weight to a simple product that at an absolute minimum does not harm or denigrate anyone other than the buyer (psychological effects to the buyer taken to be out of scope), or that successful use in any small number of cases (ASSUMING the absence of greater harm in other cases) is reason enough for acceptance.
    – So there seems to me to be such a variety of arguments going on in various combinations here that we’re all talking past or around each other, jumping the gun without clarifying what’s being said (intent being out of scope, unfortunately), and perhaps creating our own strawmen.
    – All that said, I can’t help but wonder if widespread acceptance of these things might lead to mostly to a slight increase in sales of wire cutters, regrets at not having worn them to Thanksgiving dinner or at/around the beach (don’t start), and increased injury (the mere possibility questioning whether or not the latter is preferable to vaginal rape makes me nauseous and morbid).

  143. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    knowknot:
    hmm, it is likely that in arguments many of us talk past each other. I do not think this is the case here.
    As opposablethumbs mentioned, we (those of us who do notbelieve these rape resistant shorts are a good idea) do not begrudge a woman buying these for herself.
    The issue is with the approach taken by the manufacturer, as PZ explained in the OP. We live in a culture that blames women for their own rapes, and puts the onus for prevention on women. This, despite the evidence that shows there is no one thing that can prevent rape.

    I think where mariel141 diverges from many of us is at the intersection of
    women seeking to empower themselves and reduce their chance of rape
    and
    company creates so-called rape prevention shorts

    And *that* illuminates something else for me.

    The approaches to the problem of rape in this thread take on two forms (by and large):

    -these rape prevention shorts are a good idea. Those women that have them will be less likely to raped.

    -women are free to do whatever they feel with keep them safe from rape. These shorts are not a good idea bc:
    a. not every woman will own them or know they exist
    b. they do not account for male victims, nor are they made for small children
    c. it is not known how effective they actually are at preventing rape. Unlike other rape prevention strategies, there is no data on the effectiveness of these things. It may be wise to exercise some degree of skepticism.
    d. the manufacturers have not accounted for other ways a victim can be raped. Is the rapist expected to throw his hands up in frustration and walk away? He won’t go for the mouth or get violent?
    e. the creator of these shorts failed to do ample research. If they are supposed to be worn in high risk areas…hold up! Where are these areas? Remember, stranger rape does not occur with the frequency many people think. What about rapes at home, church, or the supermarket? Oh gee, I guess rape statistics were not checked before coming up with these embodiments of false hope.

    and

    f. Given the limited use of the shorts, it is apparent that the creator has swallowed the Rape Culture Kool Aid. This is evident in several ways:
    1-rape is inevitable. If you go to This Bad Place X, you will get raped. But not if you wear our product. I mean FFS, we still have no idea if the damn things are protection from vaginal rape. Is there an advanced version for the mouth and ass?

    2- Men are just going to rape.
    FUCK. THAT. NOISE. .
    The creator of the shorts ignores the role rapists play in rape.
    Why?
    (non smartass answer) They were genuinely unaware of rape statistics and victim blaming. They drank a lot of the Rape Culture Kool Aid bc they react to rape the same way far too many others do: what can women do to reduce their chances of getting raped*? Rather, the ones doing the rape continue to ignored when solutions are discussed.

    *another epiphany- When speaking about reducing the problem of rape, I and many others, are referring to the overall incidence of rape.
    I support women in whatever way they choose to stay safe, while recognizing that efforts must be made to deal with those who do the raping. I recognize that these rape prevention shorts and other strategies will probably work only in a limited number of cases–and if any of the advice does work, I am thrilled–and simply cannot be applied on a large enough scale to reduce sexual assaults. I also think the rape prevention advice will simply shift a rape from one person to another. That is not something I want.

    (this last point is another area mariel141’s approach differs. Despite no data on how effective the shorts are, in the face of easy to acquire stats on sexual assault, and the successful campaigns targeting men, xe continues to support a product of limited utility).

  144. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Rape is not a force of nature. It is not something that “just happens” to women.

    It is something that rapists decide to do.

    Getting women to change our behavior in order to not be raped is counter-productive.

  145. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony!, 176

    Is there an advanced version for the mouth and ass?

    Yeah, I’ve been waiting for someone to bring this up. I didn’t want to broach the subject b/c ….well, b/c.

    But now that someone’s mentioned it, I’m sure Pat Robertson would be happy to give some free publicity to a steel cover to be locked over women’s mouths.

  146. Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^= says

    I spent ten years as a rural taxi driver in South East England. Most of my work was very late at night; most of my customers were men; most of the time they were drunk. I frequently found myself, the driver, the only sober, female-bodied person in the vehicle with up to eight drunken passengers.

    I was never raped at work.

    It was nothing I did, or didn’t do, that kept me safe; it was the fact that I never picked up a rapist (or, at least, one who happened to feel like raping on that occasion). That is a hard thing to accept, I know. We all like to think that whatever happens to us is always under our control, but it isn’t. Not if someone else decides to target us.

    Funnily enough, the reason I became a taxi driver in the first place was because I was providing a solution to another, at the time apparently intractable, societal problem alluded to above: drink-driving. I was always hearing people complaining that they had no choice but to drink and drive if they were to have any kind of normal social life, because there was no public transport in the evenings (and it only served the bigger villages anyway) and no local taxi driver was prepared to work all night (there were very few, and they had lucrative school contracts and airport runs). This view was normal and acceptable throughout all strata of society.

    But after studies had shown that all the re-inforcement of vehicles, safety testing, mandatory seat-belts and airbags etc., although they did reduce the damage to victims, made very little difference to the incidence of accidents, and that alcohol was the biggest single contributory factor, people in authority stopped throwing up their hands and actually decided to do something about drink driving.

    There were television advertising campaigns, increased fines, a greater presence of police with breathalysers and random vehicle searches. By the time I retired, drink-driving had changed from being an acceptable and common behaviour to become an aberration. Instead of cheering on their drunken friends as they had just a few years earlier, people would take away their car-keys and call a cab.

    It is possible to change minds about what constitutes acceptable social behaviour, and it can be done in less than half a generation.

    All it takes is a willingness to stop trying solely to make things safer for the victims and target the behaviour of the perpetrators. And to do that, you have to educate people; because the problem behaviour is often seen as only different in degree, not kind, from behaviour that people think is normal and things they themselves do.

    The criminals hide behind the people who think their behaviour is normal, when normal behaviour is too close to criminal behaviour.

    The people who drove home so blind drunk that it took them half an hour to get the key in the ignition, were being protected by people indignant that they might lose their license if they drove home after two glasses of wine even though they’d been driving for years without an accident! They weren’t very drunk, but too tipsy to notice how seriously over the limit their friends were. Targetting the behaviour of the tipsy to show how close they were skirting to danger, made the majority change their ways. People stopped driving if they were even slightly over the limit, thus exposing the seriously inebriated for the danger they were.

    Rapists target people who they think won’t report and/or won’t be believed if they do. They hide in plain sight among people that not only accept but praise a lot of the behaviours they use, but wouldn’t dream, themselves, of stepping over the line into raping someone.

    It is the latter who are being targetted by the “Don’t be that person” education, because moving acceptable behaviour a long way from behaviour that is leading up to raping someone, will expose that behaviour.

    It works.

    When people stop thinking that they need to be drunk to have a good time, when they understand how alcohol impairs judgement, when they stop accepting deaths on the road due to alcohol as ‘just one of those things’, then they notice when someone is too drunk to drive and will stop them. People stop believing the excuse “But I only had a couple…” (an excuse they may well have used, truthfully, themselves once upon a time). Society becomes self-policing about drink-driving.

    When people understand the concept of Crystal Clear Consent, when they understand that someone under the influence is incapable of consent, when they think of sex as a mutually satisfying encounter between enthusiastic and willing partners, then it becomes obvious when someone is being targetted by a rapist, and people will step in to intervene and protect them.

    I don’t know if we’ll ever get rid of rapists completely, any more than we can never have murderers or thieves. But we can reduce their numbers when we target them for change, rather than talking about ‘rape’, ‘murder’ and ‘theft’ as disembodied concepts, and try to change the behaviours of victims and potential victims.

  147. opposablethumbs says

    There were television advertising campaigns, increased fines, a greater presence of police with breathalysers and random vehicle searches. By the time I retired, drink-driving had changed from being an acceptable and common behaviour to become an aberration. Instead of cheering on their drunken friends as they had just a few years earlier, people would take away their car-keys and call a cab.

    It is possible to change minds about what constitutes acceptable social behaviour, and it can be done in less than half a generation.

    QFT. Actually I’d like to quote practically the whole comment. This is very much what it’s about, and it’s really not such an impossible concept to grasp … wonder why so many people – women as well as men – don’t want to get this?

  148. opposablethumbs says

    … and that reminds me; I don’t tend to go to Ally Fogg’s heteronormative patriarchy for men, but he’s got one recent post that raises a similar point: http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/10/28/policy-on-ending-sexual-violence-a-thought-experiment/

    He points out how proactive the UK govt. has been in tackling knife crime compared to the attitude to tackling rape. Knife crime is treated as something the criminals do, that can be reduced by focusing efforts on changing the behaviour of the perpetrator. How odd that rape is treated like some kind of force of nature, and that efforts are focused on changing the behaviour of the victim.

    I have not read the comments, and have no idea how bad they may be.

  149. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Tigger:
    :::standing ovation:::

    ****
    If these rape preventing underwear (oops, not shorts, as I was calling them) were presented as part of a dual campaign to empower women while targeting rapists or calling attention to predatory behavior this product might have gotten a better reception. Although even with that, the underwear should not be treated as a one size fits all rape prevention undergarment. I

  150. knowknot says

    Thank you, Tony.

    #179
    another :::standing ovation::: for Tigger

    Targetting the behaviour of the tipsy to show how close they were skirting to danger, made the majority change their ways.

    From now on, this will be the basis of my standard response to any variety of “what the hell do you mean, societal change?”

    In fact, substitute “cultural” for “societal,” take a wee step back, and we may derive “rape culture.” Maybe.

    “Clarity,” said Tigger, “is what Tiggers like best.” (NOT the Disney version)

  151. Anri says

    mariel141 @ 160:

    (Hey, before we begin, can I at least ask that if I answer your points that you might actually answer mine? Just asking…)

    Anri @ a simple comparison:

    Cops wear bullet proof vests to avoid being shot in the chest, yes?

    In a few places, yes. Not all that many, really. But do go on.

    If wearing a bullet proof vest is the right thing to do, not wearing it becomes what?
    If wearing a bullet proof vest means a cop is sensibly protecting himself or herself, not wearing one becomes what?
    If wearing a bullet proof vest is taking a perfectly reasonable precaution, not wearing it becomes what?

    Personally, I am of the opinion that militarized police forces are a bad thing, and that body armor tends to enforce the “cops vs. everyone else – thin blue line” mentality that produces terribly bad results all across society. So, I disagree with your initial premise, that police habitually wearing body armor is a good thing, and your analogy falls at the first hurdle.

    The only way to stop criminals from shooting cops… is for criminals to stop shooting cops.
    Treating criminals shooting cops as inevitable prevents this. Every person who says “well, criminals gonna shoot the police!” is giving legitimacy to every shooter.
    It’s telling them well, they mighta been naughty boys, but boys will be boys, amirite?

    Um, yes, yes it does.
    If police claim that they have to wear body armor when walking into black low-income urban neighborhoods, because everyone knows that gang members are ruthless soulless murderers, and they just can’t help it, then that legitimizes every single gang murder.

    Criminals don’t actually have to shoot cops. Why tell them they do?

    They don’t. And you shouldn’t tell them that they must. Thus, habitually wearing body armor as a ‘sensible precaution’ to an ‘inevitable situation’ is foolish.
    Which is, you know, the point I’m trying to make.

    But do go on…

    Though you’ve really missed the point of my post, which is that if some people take on the attitude you describe, that is NOT the fault of the women who are trying to think of ways to protect themselves! That is something wrong with those people, not the inventors or the product, and you (and all others making this argument) are assigning blame as wrongfully as the sexist idiots that you describe.

    Well, as you haven’t successfully addressed my points, I’m going to continue to believe in what I said, and continue to see this as preemptive victim-blaming.

    I also disagree with your statement, “The only way to stop men raping women… is for men to stop raping women”, because as a woman that says to me, you can’t stop men raping women. Only men can decide when rape stops, by doing the stopping. You can try to appeal to their humanity and change the culture, but you don’t actually have any power over it.

    So, yeah. I think I’m gonna stick with the underwear-inventors on this one.

    So, you just missed, I suppose, all of the posts in this thread – and all of the links to other threads, and all of the references to the dozens of other threads in which rape has been discussed – in which women, many of whom have actually been raped, describe how they were unable to anticipate or defend themselves from rape?
    The single constant of rape is a rapist.
    Not a woman who failed to do… something, anything, whatever. Women have done all kinds of things to prevent rape and it hasn’t worked. When rapists stop raping, there won’t be any more rape. Until rapists stop raping, there will still be rape, and all the armored undies in the world won’t prevent that. They will only shift a few rapes from some women to other women.
    If that’s your idea of a solution, feel free to go right straight to hell.

  152. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    mariel141:
    Also, this view you have, “men won’t stop raping”—what is this based on?
    In this very thread, there is a link to the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign, which worked.
    In this thread there are men, such as myself, who are not rapists.

    If campaigns can be waged to persuade men not to be rapists…
    If some men are capable of understanding consent and respecting the rights of others…

    why do you think men won’t stop raping?

    Also, I second Anri, above. Handing out these rape preventing undies–which won’t stop anal or oral rape, nor male on male rape–will save one victim at the expense of another. Thats shitty thinking.

  153. says

    Handing out these rape preventing undies–which won’t stop anal or oral rape, nor male on male rape–will save one victim at the expense of another. Thats shitty thinking.

    In fairness to mariel, there’s nothing “shitty” about an individual taking individual measures to reduce the likelihood of being harmed (as long as we’re honest about it and admit we can’t reduce that likelihood to zero). The only problem here is that this particular measure is unreasonable and very unlikely to actually work if a wearer is assaulted (see #109 in particular). As another commenter said, it’s an engineer’s answer to a non-engineering problem. It’s also a scam attempting to capitalize on fear.

    I, for one, have no problem with people taking REASONABLE protective measures, like travelling with others, being aware of surroundings, avoiding certain places when possible, maybe carrying pepper-spray, teaching their kids to be “street-wise,” etc.; as long as everyone understands that that is not the whole solution to the problem of crime, and we all still have a duty to act collectively as well as individually.

  154. says

    …wonder why so many people – women as well as men – don’t want to get this?

    I suspect that most people do get it, but we tend, in our day-to-day actions, to feel powerless and not really competent to do anything more than short-term reactions to protect ourselves by whatever means we see advertized. And this normal tendency toward atomization has been exacerbated of late by Tories, Republicans and other right-wingers doing everything they can to undermine collective remedies and attack the very basic concept of cooperation for the common good.

  155. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says


    …wonder why so many people – women as well as men – don’t want to get this?

    Easy.

    If rape is a force of nature like the rain, then women just need to get rape-umbrellas.

    If rape is a thing that happens to women who break the rules, then women just need to follow the rules and they won’t be raped.

    The truth (that there’s effectively nothing that a woman can do or not do that will prevent her from being raped) is uncomfortable.

  156. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    mariel141:

    You have expressed, multiple times, your view that men will always rape.

    I am a man. I am also a rape survivor. My rapist, very specifically, groomed me to be like him. One of the things he used to say to us was, “There are two kinds of people — men and children. Children exist to give men pleasure. That’s it. If they don’t give pleasure, a man takes it. I am teaching you what it is like to be a child so that, when you grow up, you will choose to be a man.”

    But I didn’t become him. I am not a rapist. I made a conscious choice to not be him.

    Am I unique?

  157. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    Since I can’t possibly spread any more hatred and discontent than I already have. (famous last words. . .)

    Crip Dyke @83 (and others who said the same thing, not quite as clearly):

    When we do things that put the power to stop rape in our hands as victims/survivors, we are indirectly blaming victims for not doing similar things and setting up defenses for rapists

    The idea that blaming the victim exonerates the perpetrator is purely a rape culture trope. It doesn’t get applied to any other crime I can think of. It’s dumb of me to leave the door to my house unlocked, but nobody denies that the guy who walks in and steals my valuables is a burglar. It’s dumb of me to leave the keys in my car while in the grocery store, but nobody denies that the guy who gets in and drives it to the nearest chop shop is a car thief. It’s dumb of me to walk through a Crip neighborhood wearing Blood colors, but nobody denies that the gangbanger who shoots me dead is a murderer.

    Only a rapist becomes a non-rapist if his victim took a risk which (in someone else’s opinion) was less than well-calculated.

    To me, the way to counter this idea is to call bullshit on it, loudly and often. Saying what I quoted above is giving in to it. This is of course my opinion, and I’m sure most of you here disagree. But we disagree on tactics, not goals.

    We need a catchphrase, along the lines of “Blaming the victim doesn’t excuse the victimizer.” (Way too bland; if someone here agrees with me and can punch it up, great!)

    Esteleth @191 (and others):

    there’s effectively nothing that a woman can do or not do that will prevent her from being raped

    From the article linked by Carlie @174:

    Rapists typically carefully select their victims

    I agree with this, don’t you? Doesn’t it follow that if someone learns what rapists typically select for, (s)he can take actions which reduce the chance of being selected? Of course nothing will reduce the risk to zero, but nobody claims that anything does that (at least, nobody who should be taken seriously).

    (By the way, an assertion I see here a lot is of the form “X isn’t 100% effective, therefore X is completely useless.” I trust the fallacy is obvious.)

    Tony @188, and others:

    Handing out these rape preventing undies–which won’t stop anal or oral rape, nor male on male rape–will save one victim at the expense of another. Thats shitty thinking.

    (For the sake of this argument, let’s pretend that the things might actually work as intended once in awhile. Or substitute something that does.)

    A stranger-jumping-out-of-the-bushes rapist will probably move on to another victim if foiled by the first, but won’t a lot of them do that even if they succeed? Correct me if I’m wrong–you know a lot more about the subject than I do–but I’m under the impression that most rapists don’t stop after one victim, unless that’s when they get caught and put away. And I’m DEFINITELY not under the impression that that happens often. Raping one victim might require him to wait awhile before raping another, but not if his weapon of choice is something other than an erect penis.

    As for date rapists, how many of them have another date lined up later that night in case the first one turns out to be successfully resistant?

    Ogvorbis @192:

    mariel141:

    You have expressed, multiple times, your view that men will always rape.

    Could you point to one of those times? I might have missed something in a thread this long, but the closest I could find in Mariel’s comments was “Only men can decide when rape stops, by doing the stopping”, which doesn’t convey anything like that meaning to me.

    If Mariel did say “men will always rape”, I’d be inclined to think she meant that there will always be some men who rape. I’d also disagree, but only because someday the human race will be extinct.

    SallyStrange @159:

    you could have elucidated why you thought it was so clear that Mariel114′s comment wasn’t an example of rape apologism.

    Better late than never. . .

    Mariel’s original comment (@8) indicated agreement with tactics of which you disapprove, but had no trace of intent to blame the victim or in any other way promote rape culture. If you use a definition of “rape apologist” which lumps the writer of that sort of comment in with those who deliberately promote rape culture, I reject that usage. The word “apologist” implies intent.

    If you want a substitute which conveys your disagreement without falsely imputing intent, I suggest “rape culture useful idiot.” (Mariel, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re not offended, but from their point of view that’s what you and I are.)

  158. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    rexlittle:

    Sorry. She alluded to it, but did not use those words. My bad. As usual.

  159. says

    Doesn’t it follow that if someone learns what rapists typically select for, (s)he can take actions which reduce the chance of being selected?

    Except that the things that rapists select for are, in descending order of importance:

    1. Does she already know me and trust me?
    2. Is she from a demographic that is less likely to be believed if they report for whatever reason?

    The biggest predictors of vulnerability are things nobody has any control over.

  160. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    Ogvorbis, you weren’t the only one who attributed that to her. I just chose your words to blockquote.

  161. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    SallyStrange@195:

    Point taken, but unless those two are the only predictors, there’s still room for risk reduction at the margins. Of course, every such action has a cost, and each person should balance cost vs. benefit as best (s)he can when deciding what to do.

    Point 1, of course, doesn’t apply to stranger rape; presumably the stranger has a different set of selection factors. Even if that’s the only kind of rape you can reduce your risk of, isn’t that better than nothing?

    Getting back to acquaintances, I wonder if there are ways one can evaluate, in advance, how much they should be trusted. I’m purely speculating here, but could a trained profiler, after spending some time watching and talking to a man, estimate the probability that he’d someday rape? And if so, could a lay(wo)man learn enough of those techniques to do likewise?

  162. Pteryxx says

    Rex Little:

    I agree with this, don’t you? Doesn’t it follow that if someone learns what rapists typically select for, (s)he can take actions which reduce the chance of being selected?

    SallyStrange called the heart of it.

    Except that the things that rapists select for are, in descending order of importance:

    1. Does she already know me and trust me?
    2. Is she from a demographic that is less likely to be believed if they report for whatever reason?

    The biggest predictors of vulnerability are things nobody has any control over.

    QFT.

    Following up on that, because I don’t know any better than to engage Rex Little, I’ll address the passing mention in carlie’s linked article that “rapists carefully select their victims”.

    First off, that doesn’t really help, because when rapists do select their victims, they aren’t all selecting for the same characteristics. The few that select by appearance all have their own preferences for age, build, hair color, someone who looks like their wife or boss or whatever. There’s no victim-y “look” to be avoided – that’s a myth.

    Second off, the notion that rapists carefully select victims at all is probably outdated. David Lisak addresses this in a summary linked from the ThinkProgress article above.

    Understanding the Predatory Nature of Sexual Violence

    There is increasing attention being paid to another prominent
    phenomenon associated with sex offending: the tendency of these offenders to be
    non-specialists; to offend against different age groups and different “classes” of
    victims. Historically, sex offenders have been grouped into categories dictated by their apparent choice of victim: rapists, who attack adults; child molesters, who attack children; incest offenders, who attack children within their own family.
    These categorizations have rested on the assumption that these choices of victims were stable, even fixed characteristics of the offenders. However, the labeling of an offender as either a rapist, a child molester, or an incest offender has typically been based on nothing more than what the offender was convicted of.

    The reality turns out to be far murkier. There is now substantial evidence for considerable “crossover” among these categories. So much so, in fact, that it is
    questionable whether it is advisable to apply specific victim-category labels to an
    offender. Multiple studies have now documented that between 33% and 66% of
    rapists have also sexually attacked children; that up to 82% of child molesters
    have also sexually attacked adults; and that between 50% and 66% of incest
    offenders have also sexually attacked children outside their families.
    16-17, 20-21

    What rapists do is refine their grooming capabilities with practice. They get better at exploiting the systems, grooming the communities, and refining the excuses that ensure their victims probably won’t ever speak up, much less report them or get them charged. And odds are they’ll get away with it and be that much more practiced the next time.

    When we’re looking at statistics like 25% of female college students getting raped during their attendance, how great a failure rate do you think the rapists really have? A lot of women at the stereotypical frat parties probably go home unmolested simply because the predators in the crowd were already occupied with that month’s target.

    responding to #198:

    Point 1, of course, doesn’t apply to stranger rape; presumably the stranger has a different set of selection factors. Even if that’s the only kind of rape you can reduce your risk of, isn’t that better than nothing?

    There’s a reason rape and attempted rape get put together in certain stats. Once a stranger’s grabbed you, isolated you, threatened you and gotten you helpless, possibly sexually violated you in other ways, is it going to make a lot of difference if your underwear (iron or not) stays on? (Not to mention the option of forcing you to remove them, or just cutting or pulling them off.) The attacker isn’t going to have some sort of iron-panty X-ray vision and only bother people without them while leaving the wearers alone. It just depends on whether vaginal or anal penetration, specifically, are important enough to the wearer who’s already being assaulted. For people who believe loss of virginity means they’re ruined for life, that might make sense.

    Getting back to acquaintances, I wonder if there are ways one can evaluate, in advance, how much they should be trusted. I’m purely speculating here, but could a trained profiler, after spending some time watching and talking to a man, estimate the probability that he’d someday rape? And if so, could a lay(wo)man learn enough of those techniques to do likewise?

    *sigh*

    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    Listen. The women you know will tell you when the men they thought they could trust assaulted them; if and only if they know you won’t stonewall, deny, blame or judge. Let them tell you that they got drunk, and woke up with your buddy on top of them. Listen. Don’t defend that guy. That guy is more likely than not a recidivist. He has probably done it before. He will probably do it again.

    Change the culture. To rape again and again, these men need silence. They need to know that the right combination of factors — alcohol and sex shame, mostly — will keep their victims quiet. Otherwise, they would be identified earlier and have a harder time finding victims. The women in your life need to be able to talk frankly about sexual assault. They need to be able to tell you, and they need to know that they can tell you, and not be stonewalled, denied, blamed or judged.

    Listen. The men in your lives will tell you what they do. As long as the R word doesn’t get attached, rapists do self-report. The guy who says he sees a woman too drunk to know where she is as an opportunity is not joking. He’s telling you how he sees it. The guy who says, “bros before hos”, is asking you to make a pact.

    As we’re rapidly learning in the skeptic community, a lot of the guys who have said ragingly sexist things and refused to learn better, have in fact turned out to be predators or enablers of one sort or another. Not every obtuse misogynist (or clueless boundary-crosser) turns out to be a rapist, of course, but it does tend to correlate. Before anyone publicly challenged them on questions of sexism, they were well thought of in this community. (For instance.)

    However, most predators groom their communities to think well of them and excuse their behavior, while they continue to prey on anyone new enough or isolated enough to have not made connections with the underground network of women warning each other. That’s made easier by the background level of unthinking sexism that gives them cover and keeps bystanders too ignorant to intervene. Hence the last several years of public discussion and consciousness-raising.

    Now if you’re trying to identify the likely rapists in a crowd before their first rape or sexual assault, you’re too late. Most rapists began in high school, some in middle school or earlier, and from the limited research up to now, the single greatest factor by far that predicts whether someone will rape is whether they’ve raped before.

  163. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Rex, 193

    First let me rephrase something I said badly:

    When we do things that put the power to stop rape in our hands as victims/survivors, we are indirectly blaming victims for not doing similar things and setting up defenses for rapists

    should be

    When we promote things that put the power to stop rape in our hands as victims/survivors, we are indirectly promoting the blaming of victims for not doing similar things and setting up defenses for rapists

    I shouldn’t have been talking about private choices, but about public promotion/advocacy of choices. You say we should call bullshit on that dynamic (remember in the same #83 that you quote, I say that the conversion of this promotion into actual victim blaming results in “rapists’ words” that I then spit out.

    I think it’s clear that I do call bullshit on this, as I was doing in the very #83 from which you pull the quote above.

    I am not complacent about this, but I do think that while it’s not inevitable that taking steps to reduce individual risk results in the social phenomenon of victim blaming, it is true that **in the most shared context for readers of this blog, as residents in urbanized, English-dominant nations and participants in those nations’ cultures** this is exactly what happens. The manufacturers of this underwear are engaged in a project that places responsibility for preventing rape on victims, and not merely because of the manufacture (if it happens) of the underwear, but because of how they talk about it.

    ======================

    I wasn’t going to do this, b/c I wanted to keep the focus on the topic of victim blaming, but also I feel the need to say that some of us here have said that this will prevent no rapes, that rapists will simply choose different victims or force the removal of the underwear, if they operate at all.

    While I think that there are few rapes which would be literally prevented by this, some rapes are rapes of opportunity and some of those are not violent rapes where threatening the victim will be effective.

    It’s unclear to me how many rapes might actually be prevented, but I can see a rape of opportunity at a frat/party house, where after a party only one person is considered a potential victim by the would-be rapist AND the only type of sexual assault this person is willing to perform is the penetration of a vagina. The would-be rapist sees that person as a potential victim in part because of being passed out. The would-be rapist attempts to remove the unconscious person’s clothes and is dissuaded by the locking mechanism. It is necessary that only one person is considered a potential victim, because otherwise, the potential rapist just goes on to someone else.

    It’s hard to see how it would stop a violent attack. It’s hard to see how it would stop acquaintance rapes. I just don’t know how this would truly prevent any of those, but it’s still possible it might.

    Mariel’s idea that these would be common for persons at high-risk of rape is a tad ridiculous, as prisoners, sex workers, trans*people, and children would be unlikely to wear and/or benefit from them. But let’s say that the manufacturer’s campaign is very effective at getting the underwear in the hands of some pool of potential rape victims. It seems likely that this would quickly lead to counter-measures developed by rapists.

    The point of this ramble is that it probably wouldn’t prevent **zero** rapes. Likely a finite number would be prevented. But the number of rapes prevented per pair sold is going to be very, very low, and a great many assaults on owners of these undies are going to succeed.

    Given that, and given that ***in the context that we’re in*** promotion of this product & its company will add to the din of insistence that rape victims save themselves or they carry (maybe as little as 1/2) the blame, I am ridiculously annoyed with this company and wish it no good will at all.

  164. says

    Rex has added nothing of value to this conversation. It saddens me because he seems like he’s actually not a giant doucheweasel but has been conned into acting like one on the subject of rape. I dunno. I really think we’d all be better off, rape victims especially, if people who think like Rex–who redirect their focus unerringly to attempting to alter the behavior of the rapists’ targets rather than the rapists–would just shut the fuck up.

  165. says

    Seroiusly, Rex. If you took your own viewpoint seriously, you would have to argue for women not getting into relationships with men, ever. And for rigorously segregating adult men from children.

  166. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Right, so add “and also being trained analytical psychologists” to the list of things women are supposed to be in my #141.

    Chalk up another thing we all need to go do along with those martial arts lessons and stuff. Still, more reasonable than targeting the actual cause of the problem, right? /sarcasm

  167. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    Seroiusly, Rex. If you took your own viewpoint seriously, you would have to argue for women not getting into relationships with men, ever. And for rigorously segregating adult men from children.

    Only if I thought the risk, in each instance, was greater than the potential benefits given up. Reread the second sentence of the first paragraph @198.

    people who think like Rex–who redirect their focus unerringly to attempting to alter the behavior of the rapists’ targets rather than the rapists

    This brings up another fallacy I see repeated here, which is illustrated by the use of “rather than” instead of “as well as” in the above quote. I won’t belabor the point; it’s late and I’m tired.

    See paragraph 3 of my reply @193 to Crip Dyke. I think taking away the get-out-of-jail-free card rapists get for blaming the victim would alter their behavior some.

  168. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Rex:
    in what way is that a fallacy?
    Especially when the point would not change much.
    Rape is the fault of the rapist.
    Rape is never the fault of the victim.
    Asking anyone to change their behavior to avoid getting raped (or reduce their chances) is putting responsibility on them.

    Why is it so hard for Rape Culture apologists like you to grasp?
    Rapes happen in any location.
    Rapes happen at any time of day.
    Rapes happen with or without alcohol being consumed by the victim.
    Rapes happen when victims are aware of their environment and when they are not.
    Rapes happen no matter if a victim is alone or with company.
    Rapes happen whether a victim does or does not flirt.

    Rapes happen bc rapists rape!
    Since no alteration in behavior of potential victims will reduce the overall number of rapes, the solution is not to ask them to change their behavior.
    The solution lies in educating people–especially our youth-about issues of bodily autonomy, consent. It lies in people speaking up and shattering the myths of rape. It lies in people believing rape victims. It lies in authorities treating rape as the serious crime it is.*

    *not an exhaustive list.

  169. says

    Pteryxx

    I’ll address the passing mention in carlie’s linked article that “rapists carefully select their victims”.

    Oh, I think that rapists very carefully DO select their victims. It’s only that the criteria are not those people ever think about.
    It’s not the look or dress or cup-size. The dominant criterion seems to be: Whom can I rape and get away with it?
    That’s why the more boxes you tick on the oppression scale*, the more likely you’re going to be a victim of rape. Poor, disabled, POC, mentally ill, addict, drunk, sex worker, trans*.

    *With the exception of children, whom I wouldn’t put into the “oppressed class” category as such but who have indeed many things in common with marginalised people, especially that they lack power and are very dependent.

  170. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke @200:
    As I have been saying the underwear would not prevent rapes, I must apologize. You are likely correct about them protecting from limited numbers of rape.

    ****

    Of course a potential victim would need to be wearing them in the first place. Which they are going to do in those “high risk areas” the manufacturer spoke of. Oh, wait…

    More than 50% of all rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occured within 1 mile of their home or at their home.
    4 in 10 take place at the victim’s home.
    2 in 10 take place at the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative.
    1 in 12 take place in a parking garage.

    http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-offenders

    (Yes, there be snark. No, it is not directed at the one who doth rock, aka Crip Dyke)

  171. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Rex – If I read you charitably, you’re saying approximately that since the reduction in rape could possibly be non-zero, then promoting these prevention devices/tips is a good thing, and we’re all saying it’s a bad thing, and that’s a fallacy.

    The reason behind it being a bad thing is not anything to do with whether or not the tips and devices have a chance of succeeding, it’s to do with the attitudes that the devices and tips promote in wider society. If you report being raped, instead of asking about the behaviour of the perpetrator and what happened, you will almost invariably be asked what -you- were doing. If you were doing anything that could be considered to be against “rape prevention” advice, you will likely be told you weren’t taking precautions and probably wanted or deserved it. Even if you had one drink, or were just walking home from work at night like you normally do, or if you were out alone, or if you were at a friend’s house… etc.
    Look at that list – are any of those behaviours considered criminal?

    On one hand, we have someone doing normal, legal and unharmful things. That’s the victim. On the other, we have someone who has chosen to criminally violate that person. Why in the everloving sweet merciful heck do people ask the victim if they were out at night, or drinking, or alone, or wearing skimpy clothing – as if those somehow make it ok for the rapist to have violated them? It’s a criminal act to touch anyone in a sexual manner without their consent, even if they’re naked and pole dancing on a street corner. Technically, the dancer would be doing something illegal then, and they’d be liable to be arrested for public indecency – but it’s still not ok to rape them. Rape is a crime, not a punishment.

    Rape prevention tips serve almost entirely to reinforce the fallacy that victims are to blame for their own rapes somehow. We don’t need to add another string to that bow with “why weren’t you wearing anti-rape undies? You must have wanted to have sex!”

    If anyone wants to take any kind of precaution that they believe might reduce their chances of being raped, then we heartily endorse them doing so. I dare say nobody here would disagree with that, some might question the validity of the belief in their efficacy but none would begrudge them trying, even if it was only a rape placebo.

  172. says

    Pteryxx

    There’s a reason rape and attempted rape get put together in certain stats. Once a stranger’s grabbed you, isolated you, threatened you and gotten you helpless, possibly sexually violated you in other ways, is it going to make a lot of difference if your underwear (iron or not) stays on? (Not to mention the option of forcing you to remove them, or just cutting or pulling them off.)

    It just struck me, it’s pussy-magic, isn’t it?
    As long as no dick is stuck up a pussy, everything is OK.
    The hurt, the damage, the trauma, the bazillion other ways to rape a woman, they are not important. But that pussy, that is important. Not because of the woman who is attached to it, but because of the potential or actual male “owner” of that pussy.
    Because of the view that rape is about sex and not a violent crime against another person.
    I can pretty much imagine that should such a pair of undies actually prevent a rapist from accessing that pussy the woman would be told how lucky she was and the whole affair would be turned from a very traumatizing event that just happened to her into a victory, no matter what the victim’s actual feelings and views are.

  173. Anri says

    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- @ 209:

    Yes, this, so much this.

    This piece of clothing appears as a solution only to those that believe rape is about orifices rather than people.

  174. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Rexlittle, the way that rapists choose their victims follows a one-step checklist:

    (1) Is this someone I can get away with raping?

    That’s pretty much it.

    Now, how does a rapist get away with raping?

    They choose women who are seen as inferior to them by society.

    They choose women of color. They choose sex workers. They choose “slutty” women. They choose women who are dressed in a “slutty” way. They choose women who are drunk or are on drugs. They get women drunk/high/stoned by giving them alcohol/drugs. They choose trans women and unfeminine cis women. They choose their partners or ex-partners. They choose children, elderly women, disabled women, and others who are incapable of physically fighting and who are especially vulnerable to intimidation.

    Repeat all of the above for rapists who target men, with added dollops of “men cannot be raped” and “gay men are perverts and thus are always asking for it.”

    Rapists use the myths about rape and the racist, sexist, and classist criminal justice system (cops & courts) to their advantage.

    When we say that there isn’t anything a woman can do to prevent herself from being raped, it is because we are aware of the aforementioned pattern.

    The most an individual woman can do, really, is to deflect a rapist from herself. Frequently, that means that he’ll just decide he picked the wrong target and choose a better one. Or, he’ll just try again later.

  175. says

    This brings up another fallacy I see repeated here, which is illustrated by the use of “rather than” instead of “as well as” in the above quote.

    Over and over again, you change the subject back to what the targets of rapists can do. Over and over again. What are we supposed to think? What are your priorities? You never demonstrate, only claim, that you’re remotely interested in addressing the root causes. You consistently show, through your actions and the direction of your attention, that you are MORE interested in looking at the symptoms.

    So it’s not a fallacy. Fucking asshole.

  176. A. Noyd says

    Giliell (#209)

    It just struck me, it’s pussy-magic, isn’t it?
    As long as no dick is stuck up a pussy, everything is OK.

    Because of the view that rape is about sex and not a violent crime against another person.

    Yeah, someone actually said exactly that in all seriousness over on the Rawstory article about these panties: “If you can stop the penetration that leaves women feeling violated isn’t that in itself a win ?”

    Even when people are against rape, they still have trouble conceiving of how rape works from the point of view of the victim rather than the rapist.

  177. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I’ve never been raped, so I cannot comment directly. But it is, in general, my understanding that the physical penetration is the icing on the cake of the assault.

    The violation is being treated like an object, that you have no right to dictate what happens to you.

  178. ChasCPeterson says

    I have little to offer this conversation, and I’m well aware that anything I tried to offer would be poorly received. But I have three comments so here they are, offered as food for thought for those who still think.
    1) Nuance. Even a high-emotion topic such as rape is poorly served by recitation of dogma and doctrine. It would be OK to analyze different rapes, you know, differently.
    2) Perfect solution fallacy
    3) Even if mordant humor was intended, wow, these are extremely poorly chosen words:
    “the penetration was just the little cherry on the top of the rape-sundae.”
    “the physical penetration is the icing on the cake of the assault.”

  179. says

    Thank you, Chas, your empty patronizing tone lectures are duly noted. As is your total failure to add any substance of your own, or even to specify which of our comments you think are wrong or insufficiently “nuanced.”

  180. Ogvorbis: Broken, failing, hurting. says

    It would be OK to analyze different rapes, you know, differently.

    And they are. We do. But when a rape is reported, what the victim was doing, was wearing (including whether or not the victim was wearing the proper chastity belt), was drinking, where they were walking, running, sleeping, the actual differences among rapes, tend to be used by family, friends, police, courts, and society in general as ways to show the victim that it really was the victims fault because they were in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing, wearing the wrong thing, were drinking, were walking, running or sleeping in the wrong place.

    Thanks, though. I would never have thought that any rape, anywhere, could have been different than what I went through. I’d never have even considered that without your input.

  181. says

    Giant douchweasel #198

    Point taken, but unless those two are the only predictors, there’s still room for risk reduction at the margins.

    Not quite. The third would be selecting for demographics less likely to report in the first place (vs less likely to beleived, although there’s a lot of overlap), due to (usually quite reasonable) fear/distrust of said authorites.

    Point 1, of course, doesn’t apply to stranger rape; presumably the stranger has a different set of selection factors.

    Why would you presume that, dipshit? If (1) isn’t a factor, move on to (2) and (3)\

    Chas 215
    Since you admit you have nothing to add, why did you post at all? Do you have some motivation other than being an asshole?

  182. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Chas, #215:

    1) Nuance. Even a high-emotion topic such as rape is poorly served by recitation of dogma and doctrine. It would be OK to analyze different rapes, you know, differently.

    Which is why Tony brought up what is legally forced sodomy, but which in common parlance is rape, and which is not prevented by these underwear.

    Which is why quite a number of people, not least Og, brought up rapes that rely on trust and not violence.

    Which is why a number of people have brought up rapes of men and trans*folk.

    Which is why I went out of my way to gentry remonstrate those who said that these will prevent *no* rapes. With a large enough number of pairs of underwear, undoubtedly a rape or two will be prevented. What is the cost/benefit ratio for preventing these rapes, including the costs of – given our victim blaming climate – increasing the number of avenues rapists have to claim consent.

    Cost/benefit should be easy for these engineers, right?

    2) Perfect solution fallacy

    Which is the subject of most of the back-and-forth with Rex and Mariel. Both have raised this as an issue. Others have either said that it’s not a matter of an imperfect solution, it’s a matter of no solution (which was addressed by me under “nuance” above) or that it’s costs exceed its benefits. Curiously, the start-up manufacturer has no quantified benefits it can claim at all.

    3) Even if mordant humor was intended, wow, these are extremely poorly chosen words:
    “the penetration was just the little cherry on the top of the rape-sundae.”
    “the physical penetration is the icing on the cake of the assault.”

    Okay, yeah. Let’s just critique victims for describing the relative aspects and causes of harm contained within their experiences of rape. I’m sure that if rape victims just learned to express themselves better, the world would get better in a hurry.

    Also, there’s a focus group of John Loftus and NSC over in that corner over there: better hurry or you’ll miss it.

    =========

    So, what have you added to the thread?

    Gosh I think you did add one thing: telling rape victims not to describe their experiences the way that feels right and relevant to them.

    Good show!

  183. says

    In the interest of accuracy: Esteleth, who is one of the people who used the phrases that Chas objected to, is not a rape victim. I am not sure who the other person Chas was quoting is.

  184. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    apologies, then. I remembered one of them speaking from experience. I’d forgotten the other wasn’t.

  185. Anri says

    ChasCPeterson @ 215:

    I have little to offer this conversation,

    Whew! Ah, good.

    and I’m well aware that anything I tried to offer would be poorly received.

    Only as badly as they were thought out.
    So, yeah, in your case, on average, pretty bad.

    But</blockq I have three comments so here they are, offered as food for thought for those who still think.
    1) Nuance. Even a high-emotion topic such as rape is poorly served by recitation of dogma and doctrine. It would be OK to analyze different rapes, you know, differently.
    2) Perfect solution fallacy
    3) Even if mordant humor was intended, wow, these are extremely poorly chosen words:
    “the penetration was just the little cherry on the top of the rape-sundae.”
    “the physical penetration is the icing on the cake of the assault.”

  186. Anri says

    Drat, post fail. I hit some strange typo combo that posted what I was still working on.

    In any case, leave it to Chas to combine arrogant passive-aggressive shaming and clueless fail so succinctly.

    But here we go:
    1) What do you see as requiring nuance? What dogma do you see being recited?
    2) Condemning things that seem likely to aid and abet rape apologists (by assisting victim-blaming) actually have nothing whatsoever to do with the perfect solution fallacy.
    3) Candidly, I don’t have a strong opinion on this – so, imma do the smart thing when I know I have nothing useful to say on a topic and keep my mouth shut about it.

    Let me apologize in advance to Chas is that fails to meet his no doubt lofty criteria for thinking.

  187. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I have little to offer

    should have just stopped right there.

    offered as food for thought for those who still think.

    IOW, “women don’t do thinky”

    So, you only post in threads discussing rape just to insult those who’ve been through it.