Rape Article Offensive-Off

by Cara on October 9, 2007

in media, misogyny, patriarchy, rape and sexual assault, sexism, slut-shaming, violence against women and girls

And people wonder why I’m so pissed of all of the time.

I can’t decide which news article pissed me off more this morning. Please, help me decide. We’ve been over both of these problems before, but clearly they need to be revisited.

First up is this NY Times article:

Prosecutors plan to dismiss the case against a federal prosecutor who committed suicide in a Michigan prison after being accused of traveling there from Florida to have sex with a 5-year-old girl, the authorities said Monday.

No, I’m not pissed off either that the defendant killed himself (though that sucks) or that they are now dismissing the case (what the hell else are they going to do?). I’m pissed off at the implication that you can have sex with a five-year-old. Because you can’t. No, it’s not just wrong to have sex with a five-year-old. It’s impossible to have sex with a five-year-old. It is only possible to rape a five-year-old.

I know, difficult stuff, telling the difference between “sex” and “rape.” Both involve penis in a vagina (since gay people never have sex and straight people never have sex without intercourse, and of course it’s not really rape unless intercourse occurs because, duh, it wouldn’t really be sex!), right? What’s the difference?

Hmm, well according to the BBC, the difference is that rape happens because women drink.

Rape warning over binge drinking

Women in Northern Ireland are leaving themselves vulnerable to rape or serious sexual assault because of their binge drinking, according to a report.

. . . “This research confirms the findings of other studies in the UK, US and Australia – that alcohol is a major contributor to vulnerability to sexual assault in social situations and acquaintance rape,” Dr Hall said.

Uh, no, doctor, women drinking does not contribute to their vulnerability to rape. Being around a rapist increases women’s vulnerability to rape. You see, in college, I was drunk many times. I’ve been drunk in public, around both strangers and male friends and acquaintances. I’ve even been drunk and on a train– one time, by myself. Not black-out drunk or pass-out drunk, but definitely drunk. I was never raped. But if I had been raped, it wouldn’t have been because I made myself “vulnerable” by drinking. It would have been because there was a rapist around.

Here’s a better headline: Rapists in Northern Ireland prey on women who binge drink. And instead of the BBC calling it a “warning” to women, how about we “warn” men to not rape women — even when they’ve been drinking?

Oh, wait, that would blame men for rape. Damn. And I really thought that we were onto something, there.

So folks, which will it be? The implication that it’s possible for a man to “have sex” with a five-year-old girl, or the implication that women are raped because they’re drinking? They’re both oldies, and yet still so relevant to modern times (that’s the true sign of a classic). You be the judge.

UPDATE: My all time favorite troll-rebutalist Roy responds to Jack. Yup, it took a whole separate post. Check it out.

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{ 67 comments }

1 Mary Tracy9 October 9, 2007 at 9:54 am

I’ve already said it and I repeat it: it’s not that women “drink”, it’s the fact that they think everything is “peachy”. And it isn’t. If more women realized that there is a problem here, they would move their arses. But hey, assuming that “it’s all good” and then carry on drinking is much more fun.

On a side note, I don’t think anyone, men, woman, cat or dog should get drunk. But that’s my opinion.

2 Cara October 9, 2007 at 10:38 am

And I will repeat that blaming women for drinking really doesn’t do anybody any good, and reprimanding women when we should be reprimanding rapists is not only harmful and adding fuel to the fire of our rape apologist culture, it’s also a waste of time.

3 brandann October 9, 2007 at 12:08 pm

well both are so offensive i don’t see how you could decied. they both make me want to retch my coffee…

i guess women should just stop having any fun at all and spend all of our time locked in our homes so we can’t tempt the poor weak willed rapists…give me a break…

and HOLY SHIT! “sex” w/ a five year old!!! as a mother (of a five year old) i can’t even find words for how that pisses me the fuck off…

must…calm…down…

grr

4 Debs October 9, 2007 at 3:51 pm

I’ve noticed a few of these articles lately in the UK, about women drinking, or ‘binge-drinking’ and hence ‘tempting’ rapists. I remember one in particular that really got me seething, which was written by the victim herself and titled, “If I Hadn’t Been Drunk, I May Not Have Been Raped.”

Well, well done to the patriarchal media, they’ve just found another way of blaming the victim. It’s not because of what she was wearing this time, or that she led him on, no this time she was drunk, and so obvioulsy deserved to be raped.

To quote Andrea Dworkin, “It’s the perpetrator, stupid.” Men are the ones to blame for rape, and men are the ones who can stop it.

I understand Mary Tracy’s point. We do live in a culture where it’s unsafe for a woman to get blind drunk, as that just makes it easier for the rapist. However, it is the rapist who should be having his freedoms restricted, being judged by the media, being held accountable for his actions, not the woman.

5 bonnie October 9, 2007 at 9:22 pm

On a similar note, Time Out NY recently published something that I found very troubling. In a series of articles about sexual fantasies, one fantasy was a very honest first-person account of enacting a rape fantasy. I was fine that it was included in an article about extreme fantasies and found the article to mostly be tastefully done, except for one large problem – the writer referred to her fantasy as “consensual rape”. I think, as an editor, that someone might have stepped in and corrected this problem. I am not judging the fantasy – and the enacting of a fantasy that is done in a completely consensual way (even though I don’t personally relate to it or understand it) – but how many times do we need to go over the fact that rape is NEVER EVER EVER consensual. To put those words together is an oxymoron at best and a completely disgusting and insensitive and troubling misnomer that begs a distinction made for people who have been through a trauma that was in NO way their choice.

I was completely appalled and caught the NY times article as well. There seems to be an awful lot of confusion this week about what those words actually mean in reality.

ugh!

6 Cara October 9, 2007 at 9:50 pm

Hmm. Yeah. I imagine that she was trying to get across that it’s a fantasy about rape but it wouldn’t really be rape because she’s fantasizing about it and therefore is obviously internally consenting while outwardly non-consenting (of course in real life this would still be completely unacceptable unless both partners discussed the role playing before hand. But that’s why we’re calling it a fantasy). As that extremely long sentence demonstrates, that’s not exactly an easy idea to get across. But they could have done much better than “consensual rape.”

7 counter October 12, 2007 at 10:24 am

regarding the bbc article and the comments about it:
the article DID NOT blame the women for getting raped. it said that being drunk makes you more vulnerable to being raped. it is absolutely true. a woman should be able to drink as much a she wants without fear of someone raping and/or taking advantage of her, but in the real world, this is not the case. i should be able to walk down the ghetto in an armani suit waving $100 bills around without fear of getting mugged, but reality says it’s a bad idea. there’s no excuse for rape and the woman is NEVER to blame, this i wholeheartedly believe, but there are ways for women to decrease their chances of it, and that is what the article was trying to say. nothing in this article, or most other articles mentioned dealing with this same type of thing, say that because the woman drank or dressed a certain way, etc. that she deserved to be raped. they say that they say that because rapes do occur, a woman can do certain things to try to prevent it. there is no blaming of the woman no matter how much you try to twist it into that. also, we DO NOT live in a rapist apologist culture. i despise rapists, i think they should be castrated (slowly, with a butter knife), and i believe that it is always the rapists fault (some women rape too, by the way), and the victim never “asks for it” or deserves it, but this is not an rapist apologist culture. it is looked upon as one the the most terrible crimes, for many people, worse than murder.

8 Cara October 12, 2007 at 10:36 am

It is blaming the women when the only thing that is mentioned as a message of prevention is what women can do and not what men can do. Funny how men are to blame for almost all sexual assaults against women — particularly ones that might be set up in a bar, since women raped by women are usually in a relationship with said woman — and yet the words “men” and “man” are not mentioned a single time in the entire piece. By completely eliminating talking about men when we talk about rape, there is, by default, only one person left in the discussion to blame.

The idea is that women, based on their actions, can somehow change the actions of rapists. And that is just not true. If all women stopped binge drinking, rapists would find another way.

And if you don’t think that we live in a rape apologist culture, you must be living on a different planet from me, and have probably never actually spoken to a rape victim. It’s looked upon as one of the most horrible crimes . . . and yet men regularly make jokes about it, men regularly defend rape one every variety of blog and message board, rape victims are often called liars and are asked what they were wearing, and rapists are very, very rarely convicted.

Quite frankly, you haven’t got the first fucking clue what you’re talking about. And you really should before you comment on such a serious subject.

9 rich October 12, 2007 at 1:55 pm

I realize it’s your blog Cara, and you can say whatever you want, but Counter’s comments show he’s on the right side of the fence; the subtleties of the language in such articles are not picked up on by the majority of the population; plus, as a person who has an apparent hatred toward rapists and those who try to justify a rapist’s rationale, he could use a little slack (this is not equal to justifying his reasoning). I think it’s sometimes difficult for some who believe as counter does–and I wouldn’t be surprised if the people he surrounds himself with think in the same way as him–to imagine how ingrained the idea of an “apologist” culture actually is. If he thinks that way, then most right thinking people must, right? I guess I’m saying that if the goal ultimately is to spread a greater understanding of rape culture , it may be to your advantage not to berate someone so harshly who’s actually on your side, on our side.
“It’s looked upon as one of the most horrible crimes . . . and yet men regularly make jokes about it, men regularly defend rape one every variety of blog and message board, rape victims are often called liars and are asked what they were wearing, and rapists are very, very rarely convicted.”
That’s a solid explanation, and I think that’s all Counter needs to prompt re-examination of his thinking without alienating him.

10 Cara October 12, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Sigh. Rich, let me explain firstly that this post is currently, for whatever reason, a stumbleupon hit. And hey, don’t get me wrong, I love stumbleupon, it helps me out and I’m certainly not going to discourage anyone from clicking the thumbsup icon. But it is on a rape post. When a stumble hit is received on a rape post, as I have learned from experience, the influx of rape apologists who comment is tenfold the influx of pro-woman, anti-rape people who comment. Most of them, for the record, do not bother to come back.

Today, I have already deleted both a rape joke and a comment from someone who thinks that both yes, it is the responsibility of women to stop rape, and yes, it is okay to call rape and sex the same thing, even though the difference between the two is the same as “murder” and “death.”

I agree that counter holds views that are pretty mainstream. Which is why they are so infuriating. Have you ever heard the phrase “you don’t get a cookie or a tour guide?” If not, check it out. That is my personal and official policy. I have no trouble helping and teaching someone who expresses genuine interest. If counter said “I really don’t understand why you think we live in a rape apologist culture. Could you flesh that idea out a bit more?” (or something along those lines), it would have been annoying but I would have complied. Coming onto a feminist blog, on a post about rape and proudly, loudly proclaiming that “there is no rape apologist culture” does not get you the same basic level of respect, nor will it ever. I don’t find that to be “on our side,” regardless of the other opinions that he has expressed. I view it as him setting himself up as a Nice Guy(tm), which is actually a pretty common tactic to employ right before saying something really offensive and anti-feminist. And I stand by my assertion that if you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about on a subject as serious as rape, you should close your damn mouth or only open it to request more information.

So do I understand where you’re coming from? Yes. And hopefully you now understand better where I am coming from. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re any closer to agreeing on the matter, but there it is.

11 rich October 12, 2007 at 2:23 pm

I also see that he accused you of trying to twist the argument into your favor, which I disagree with, and I can see how that would tick you off. The article in Ireland in question is odd; the tone and language of the intro paragraph in bold face is inconsistent (and somewhat ignorant) with the rest of the article and its findings, which is a study in alcohol content and the questionability of consent under such impairment. Still, it is not Dr. Hall’s job to make social commentary on indicting men for raping women based on her findings. Just because the women were raped while drunk, does not mean men are more likely to rape women when they are drunk. While that defies common sense, at least my common sense, a scientist could never ethically make such a claim based on those findings, thus the language used is “vulnerability increases,” instead of “men have a greater tendency to commit rape when…” I agree though that whoever wrote the article itself used pretty shitty language.

12 rich October 12, 2007 at 2:30 pm

I just saw your other comment too, I gotcha. I ‘m a sure a blog like this gets a lot of flak, so I see where you’re coming from. I didn’t even know you can tell when someone gets to your page from a stumbleupon hit (which in fact, is how I got to find your blog). And asking for information is sometimes hard when you think you know something about the subject, so I can see how you have to sometimes shock them out of it. I think we’re on the same side, though I’m still gonna argue with you from time to time. There it is, keep up the good work.

13 Cara October 12, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Yup. Well, you can’t tell how individual people get to your blog without tracking an IP address, which is kind of weird and too time consuming. But I can tell where my last 100 visitors came from, and when 80% of them say that they took stumbleupon or a stumbleupon tracking site to this particular post, I just kind of make the assumption that anyone whose first comment happens to be on that post probably found me that way :)

14 Helen October 13, 2007 at 9:31 am

Women are told that they should not dress a certain way, or act a certain way in order not to get raped. This implies that men cannot “help themselves” when they see a scantily-clad women walking down the street. Telling women to avoid behaviors such as getting drunk, and walking around at night is dictating their behavior.
Just in the same way that it is impossible to have sex with a five year old because a five year old does not know what sex is.

15 Z Student in San Antonio, TX October 13, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Why is it that if certain groups of men (in this case the ones that think ‘consensual rape’ is a phrase that makes sense) who generally (and yes, I know this is a generalization, my apologies to the exceptions to the rule)show an attitude that men are superior to women – better strength, better intellect, better logic, (i.e. why they have better paid jobs and advance more quickly in the business world)…

Why do they place the blame for rape on the women?

If they are so superior (morally, physically, mentally) how come they instantly fall helpless to their urges the instant they see a bit of flesh or some sexy heels?

What kind of contradiction is this, where women should not drink, because they might get raped – since obviously a man does not have the mental control over his physical body to resist a morally reprehensible act?

A big contradiction.

So – maybe the next time one of these aforementioned “men” start asking ‘what were you wearing that night’, we should remember to bring up these few points of *gasp* LOGIC!

16 Dagny Landis October 13, 2007 at 12:31 pm

To quote Loretta Lynn, “us women don’t have a chance…”

Yeah. We’re screwed.

Thank you for posting this.

17 Jack October 14, 2007 at 10:17 am

Now, firstly, please elaborate on rape apologism. I read through the ‘no cookie’ guy’s page and I think it’s bullshit. People who believe the oppressed shouldn’t point our their problems to the oppressor are living in cloud cuckoo land. The vast majority of people do not just happen upon the best way of doing things. They wait until someone is so pissed off with them that they have to listen. So, please go on.

Now, back to the original article: I think you are quite right about the difference between ‘rape’ and ‘sex’. Using ‘sex’ in that case was a very, very poor choice. That is something I see a lot in the popular media. It undermines the seriousness of the article for the reader and undermines the credibility of the editor, who might actually be quite a morally sound individual, otherwise. The one of these that gets to me all the time is ‘security contractor’. That sounds like your mate who runs the door at the local nightclub. The appropriate word is ‘mercenary’. Everyone knows that mercenaries are ruthless fucks without a thread of moral fibre. This is a form of Newspeak and it makes in this case, rape, sound like an everyday occurrence, like cleaning your teeth.

The studies into the effects of alcohol are a very murky matter. Don’t start writing a reply yet! As cutter said, rape is never OK, and that BBC article in no way placed the blame on women. However, there are some things that you MUST realise, not just for the sake of this argument, but because it is indicative of human behaviour, drunk or sober, man or woman, rapist or anyone else. When someone gets pissed up at a club or bar and dresses in skimpy clothing, they are saying, “Hey, I want easy sex, for one night only.” That IS what that means. This is a matter of social relationships and these are norms that have been around for a long, long, long time and it applies to men just as much as women. If you don’t want easy sex, you dress down. Most people are turned on by the sight of a bit of extra skin on the right person. If we were all nudists, that would be different, but we are not.

There are plenty of people (the majority, would you believe it?), who do not see skimpy clothing and drunkenness as a ticket to rape. You make it sound like this is not the case. That is why I find (pending your reply), the rape apologist idea a little OTT. Seeing a load of scantily clad ladies drinking and laughing gives me urges. But I refrain from raping them because that would be utterly abhorrent in itself, not because it’s OK to be a rape apologist, but actual rape is just, you know, not for me… Do you see? Sorry, that was rather a clumsy phrasing.

I think that rape is belittled by its deeply personal consequences. I can’t bring any statistics to mind, but I remember reading some figures a while back and thinking that there were almost certainly several women I knew and know now, who have been raped. The likelihood is that I will never know that of them. But those unfortunates are in a unique position to strike a waking blow to the dismissive majority. The most powerful speakers on the sheer terror, negativity and wretchedness of war are those I have met who lived through the Second World War and those who have spent time in Palestine. I have never met a rape victim who has been willing to put down a dismissive comment about rape in public. This is thrown into sharp relief for me, because when I was a teenager, if something bad happened to my group of friends, we’d throw up our hands and shout “Rape!” Although I stopped doing it out of some small shame, I only thought about how cutting that could have been for any number of school staff and pupils when a friend told me of his sister’s rape under the influence of a spiked drink some years later. I can tell you that cry of “Rape!” was the first thing that popped into my head and when it did, my stomach churned with the deepest embarrassment for my unthinking stupidity. She was the first victim of rape I have been aware of that a knew personally and she is still the only one.

Like I said about the ‘no cookie’ dude, it IS the responsibility of the oppressed to speak out. Most men (because let’s face it gents, it’s so overwhelmingly men who commit rape), will never commit rape, but that does not make them devoid of responsibility – because they have neither the personal fear/experience, nor the second-hand emotional information from vocal rape victims, to make a concrete socio-political stand on it, it just might be that many men find it more acceptable or that they are pretty ambivalent about it. This cannot be allowed to continue, but I find it difficult to see how the situation can be improved when women are so divided by personal feelings of shame, or helplessness, or just not wanting to bring it up, that they are not combating ignorance of this issue.

The responsibility to improve on the numbers of women subject to rape, on the care victims receive afterwards AND on the conviction rate lies with women and most specifically with rape victims not out of some moral high-ground kind of thing, but because men in general, through thoughtlessness, common stupidity, gender socialisation and because nobody has bothered or been able to tell them, simply don’t know what they are talking about. That’s the crux of the matter and you even said it in one of your posts. If you just get annoyed with people who don’t get it, you can’t wait until they’re interested. Why would they be? They don’t know anyone who has been raped, or rather, nobody they know has let on that they’ve been raped.

Hopefully you’ll reply to this one. As a parting shot, I hope you will consider not calling yourself a feminist in future. I’d call myself a gender egalitarian if it didn’t make me sound like a raving political loon, but that’s what I am really.

18 Waleli October 14, 2007 at 10:33 am

For what its worth, I’ve been raped. I was not drunk…I was not dressed “provocatively”..I was not even placing myself in a darkened alley….the guy was someone i sort-of knew but…where /when/why does this give anyone the right , the assumption or the presumption to think they can rape and violate whoever they want /whenever/whereever and regardless of age????Even if ther eis a young 20 year old girl[same age as my own daughter] and she was wearing a bikini swimsuit at the public pool, that is not an advertisment…ther eis a line to be crossed here. Ther eis another rape that happens >date-rape! A girl, trusting this young man to go to the movies or someplace out for a date and he decides [against her will] thathe will force himslef on her…even to the point of violence[beat her up etc.] and then the audacity to say:she wanted it like that! What????

Another paradox with this is that often it is the rape victem herself that is made to feel like “they” are on trial in a courtroom.I do not get it and may never understand it at all.

Intimacy was intended to be a consensual and pleasant[hopefully love-based] physical act or expression of love….the girl/womn also wants to be close and intimate-not forced!

Then you have this thing about a 5 year old? Sex with children is not just “impossible” its sick! Who in their own right mind[maybe thats the clue-they have no mind] would want to have sedx with a small child?????? Children are so innocent and vulnerable aqnd so very …this angers me to no end. I absolutely cannot even begin to understand teh mind of a pediphile/predator/monster. And for the rest of that child’s life , they will have to deal with theose memories, forced onto them by a sick crazed lunatic.

Needless ot say I am rigth there with you! It was not long ago a law enforcement officier was arrested for having child pornography in his possession! Something has to stop this and now…these little ones do not deserve it..it is so so unthinkable.

Sorry I kept rambling, bu tI am very upset over these things. I was not a child when I was raped…but rape is rape and it should never happen -ever!

19 Cara October 14, 2007 at 10:51 am

No, Jack, I’m not responding to you because you’re more than a raving loon — you’re also a complete and utter ass.

When someone gets pissed up at a club or bar and dresses in skimpy clothing, they are saying, “Hey, I want easy sex, for one night only.” That IS what that means. This is a matter of social relationships and these are norms that have been around for a long, long, long time and it applies to men just as much as women. If you don’t want easy sex, you dress down. Most people are turned on by the sight of a bit of extra skin on the right person.

Fuck. You.

Do not ever comment here again. Ever.

And do you know why I call myself a feminist? Because fucking assholes like you call yourself “gender egalitarians.”

If anyone else would like to tear Jack a new asshole, please, go ahead.

20 Jack October 14, 2007 at 12:33 pm

Well, you’ve completely disregarded everything I’ve said and if you continue like that, you can have more than your fill of all the badly written articles and ‘patriarchy’, because you are part of the problem. You refuse to listen, and refuse to accept anything that might not apply to yourself. Until you recognise that other people see things differently from you, it is you who is being the arsehole. Your attitude is essentially the same as the ones which have kept women in the kitchen and the bedroom institutionally for hundreds/thousands of years. Grow up.

You have even failed to specify why you found my post so contentious. It’s pathetic.

21 Cara October 14, 2007 at 1:44 pm

Shorter Jack: life is rough when bitches don’t listen.

Did anyone else notice that I never denied that other people think differently, but only said I don’t accept people who blame women for being raped cause they dress like sluts and what else do hos expect? And, uh, since when is not taking the shit of men just because they have penises and think that they can say offensive things and yet still manage to change my silly little girl mind what’s keeping women in the kitchen? I was pretty sure that not taking this kind of shit is exactly what got us out.

Banned.

22 Gabriel Burgess October 17, 2007 at 9:11 pm

To some extent isn’t the article saying “be careful” rather than “it’s your fault”? I understand how someone can read a connotation into it, but was that necessarily the intention of the writer?

If I wrote an article saying that if you buy a guard dog and secure your valuables in a safe and install a security system, you are statistically less likely to be robbed, am I now a “burglary apologist”?

No, the obvious fact is that robbery is the fault of the robber, and just because I don’t say that expressly doesn’t mean I’m shifting responsibility. It should be assumed the reader already knows, right?

Rape is the full responsibility of the rapist, just as any crime is the full responsibility of the criminal. Does that mean people shouldn’t be informed on how to minimize their risks and protect themselves from bad people?

I’m not saying a women who gets raped while she’s drunk should feel in any way responsible for it happening, anymore than not locking my doors makes it partially my own fault if I get robbed. I shouldn’t have to. People should be honest and respect the rights of others.

I want to live in a world where women can feel safe around everybody, no matter what they are doing. Sadly, we live in a world where some people are dangerous. I don’t think women should be kept in the dark about what they can do to minimize risks.

If this kind of knowledge helps keep a woman from harm, is it a totally bad thing?

23 Cara October 17, 2007 at 9:40 pm

The difference is that locking your doors does not have a negative impact on your life. Being told which clothes you can and can’t wear has an impact. Being told whether or not you can go to a bar has an impact. Being told that you don’t have the same right a good time as everyone else because YOU ARE VULNERABLE just because you’re a woman has an impact.

Also, when your house is robbed, the first question everyone asks is not “did they keep their valuables in a safe?” And then if the victim didn’t, juries don’t regularly acquit the robber on those grounds. Or say that the victim must have “wanted it” because “everyone knows better than to not have their jewelery in a safe.” But when you’re raped, the first question is “was she drinking? what was she wearing?” And if she was drinking or wearing something low-cut, the rapist is acquitted because the woman must have “wanted it,” what else was she doing drinking and/or wearing that?

See the difference?

24 rich October 17, 2007 at 10:20 pm

I’m thinking some people do not place value on word choice as a method of influencing opinion, intentionally or not. Calling the Iraq War a war, an occupation, or a liberation are three ways of describing the same event, yet hold vastly different connotations. Saying “women leave themselves vulnerable to”, while not necessarily placing blame on women, certainly omits the offenders from the equation. Maybe one article with such language will not affect the mind of the average reader, but multiple articles, blogs, and commentaries that speak with such language will have an impact on how someone views the issue. The intention of the writer notwithstanding, words have a powerful force of their own; a journalist of all people should be highly aware of their use of terminology and their impact on readers’ thinking.

25 franklin's tower October 17, 2007 at 10:35 pm

while i’m not an IST of any ilk, I do agree that the way a woman presents herself is not the issue here. rape is an act of aggression, and anyone who does not understand that removing the aggressor from the equation doesn’t live in my reality. for that matter, i don’t wish to live in theirs.

regardless, i do think we have to agree that both women and men contribute to the objectification of women. removing women from that equation is also wrong…

26 Gabriel Burgess October 17, 2007 at 10:51 pm

My point is, there is nothing a woman can do to change the reality that rapists exist. But if she is informed, she is better equipped to decide what is right for her.

An article that says “Rapists are the cause of rape. If men weren’t raping, rape would not occur”, while true, is also completely unhelpful to women seeking to not get raped in the first place. Also, it’s kind of just stating the obvious, so it wouldn’t really make for much of an article.

The article in question is not saying women don’t have the right to get drunk, or go to bars. It’s just saying that statistically, if you get so drunk that you are physically and mentally impaired, you are more likely to get victimized. Women should be aware of that. I don’t think there is a such thing as “bad knowledge”. All knowledge is power.

If I go mountain climbing, I have a much higher chance of getting killed by a long fall. Is telling me that infringing on my right to do it?

I might very well decide that doing something I enjoy is worth the risk. But I should know about it, nonetheless.

27 rich October 17, 2007 at 11:03 pm

Again, the same point could be made without saying “women leave themselves more vulnerable to rape.” Even to say “women ARE more vulnerable to rape” is a step up; saying that they leave themselves vulnerable actively puts the burden on their shoulders. I hear what you’re saying, and I’m not disagreeing with you; the point of the article is to heighten awareness of potentially dangerous situations and is not blaming women explicitly. Like I said earlier though, language is subtle, and does have the ability to posit certain ideas between the lines. The intent of the article may be fine, but the language does in a certain way undermine its purpose. Whether or not you consider that nitpicking is up to you; personally, I’ve found journalism in general can be highly manipulative in word choice and sentence construction, and to me this is an example. As Cara said, if the same language is used repeatedly in a “bombarding” fashion, as often is the case with rape and how to supposedly avoid it, it will have an impact.

28 robert hogin October 17, 2007 at 11:35 pm

as a generality if you get really drunk, men or women, you do make yourself more “vulnerable” to violence. you are physically and mentally impaired and if in a situation/place where violence occurs you are ” more vulnerable”
this does not excuse anyone for comitting violence,just trying to give some advice to people ,since we do live in a violent world, to avoid it happening to you.

29 Cara October 18, 2007 at 9:34 am

Okay, the assumption here is that somehow this article is informing women. What, exactly, is it informing them of? Women don’t know about rape? They haven’t heard about it incessantly from their mothers, fathers, teachers, friends and television from the moment they started growing breasts? They don’t know that rapists tend to go for drunk women? Because they haven’t been told that incessantly from their mothers, fathers, teachers, friends and television?

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone tell me how I could “avoid” rape, I’d be able to sit around and blog all day without worrying about money. This article is not giving advice to anyone — it’s part of a huge, giant string of “warnings” that scare women into thinking that they are only a moment away from being attacked.

The article is NOT helpful. And who is to say that an article telling men how to avoid becoming rapists wouldn’t be helpful? By educating them about things like consent, how a lack of a no does not mean yes, how a lack of fighting you does not mean yes, and how being passed out or just about there is always a no. We’ve never tried it. Telling women what to do sure hasn’t changed rape rates. Maybe it’s time for a new tactic? Or are we still too afraid to actually hold men responsible for the rapes that they commit?

30 Sara October 18, 2007 at 10:51 am

Clearly, if women stopped drinking, there would be no rapes or rapist. Rapist are a direct result of watching women drink.

Obviously.

31 Rachel October 18, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Cara,
I think I love you a little bit.
Thank you for pointing out what seemed obvious to me, but apparently is not to most of the world. You have pretty eloquently addressed in this post what I can most often only stammer and curse about.

Rachel

32 Cara October 18, 2007 at 5:13 pm

Thanks, Rachel. Seeing the particularly high quantity of shitty and offensive comments on this post, it’s appreciated.

33 Jennifer October 19, 2007 at 9:16 pm

I think the thing that makes me most indignent about the rape/drinking articles is that it is another reminder that women in today’s society have to be afraid of normal things on a very normal basis.

Every girl has it drilled into her not to walk alone at night, dress provocatively, or drink. We are taught to hold our keys while walking through the parking lot so we can use them to stab someone who tries to attack us. We are supposed to be wary of any man that is slightly suspiscious-looking. We are constintantly reminded of the procariousness of our existence.

What is unsettling about these “women drinkers beware” articles and the entire attitude of our society is that women are instructed to live in fear. Most men are raised to take care of themselves, taught how to fight their way out of situations. I think men would have a major wake up call if they knew what all the women in a room were thinking; I’d bet that a least a third of them would be worried at some level for their safety.

What’s worst about this societal attitude is that it is deep-rooted and will be impossibly hard to change. A few blogs and web comments can’t change it. But maybe– hopefully– they can start the change. Because it’s damn well time that I should be able to walk by myself at night without fear.

34 Kevin November 6, 2007 at 12:55 am

I consider myself a feminist. This type of post that makes us look unreasonable, over-the-top, and angry. It confirms stereotypes from people who think feminists love to take things out of context and are looking for reasons to get angry whenever they can.

Yes, there is an obvious difference between consensual sex and rape. However, the word “sex” doesn’t necessarily imply consent, from a strictly semantic perspective. The reporter didn’t say “consentual sex”. If you’re trying to say that by using the word “sex” instead of “rape” means that the reporter thought the sex was consentual, that’s insane. He didn’t need to use the word “rape”; everybody knows what it is.

Saying that someone is more vulnerable to a crime when intoxicated doesn’t imply that the fault lies with them for any crime committed when in that state. Criminals are still prosecuted for crimes against the intoxicated. Yes, some people, unfortunately, think women are “asking for it” if they’re drunk, but that’s not what this article is about, at all. It’s correllating two data points, rape and intoxication. It’s not implying causation. Cum hoc non ergo propter hoc.

There are so many *real* injustices out there that are worth getting upset over — anger at things like this are just silly.

35 Cara November 6, 2007 at 8:58 am

Well that’s good to know. So every time you talk about sex with your friends, I’m assuming that you put the word “consensual” in front of it? Because otherwise, they might think that it’s rape?

I’m certainly not a linguist, but I do know how to reconstruct basic sentences. The word “with” in “have sex with” implies involvement from both parties. I can’t play tennis with someone if the other person refused to pick up a racket. And I can’t have sex with someone if they’re trying to make me stop, or laying there fearful and not participating, or if they’re five-years-old.

These people are journalists. They have English degrees. They understand basic sentence construction, too, they just don’t care enough to think about it. Nor do their editors.

Also, “feminists” are not men who come on feminists blogs ranting about how unreasonable women are when talking about experiences, like rape and social attitudes towards rape, that affect them primarily. A “feminist” man could indeed argue civilly about an issue, but they don’t go around telling women that they’re “silly” for being concerned about little old things like stupid rape.

If you would like to be a feminist some day, educate yourself. Because it is indeed disrespectful people like you that give men claiming to be feminists a bad name.

36 Shannon November 6, 2007 at 12:29 pm

As a rape victim, I know that some of our culture is very rape apologetic, and part of that is on my side, personally. I never brought the rape to court or anything like that and I am pretty sure it was because I loved the man that did it. Most rapes that happen to women are people they know, and maybe that is the problem. I was only told by one person in my life that my rapist was a horrible person and I should hate him, so even now sometimes I don’t hate him.
Rape is a touchy subject, especially with alcohol involved. A woman could help herself by not drinking so much, since alcohol definatly messes with your reflexes and senses. But if this man was planning on raping her, either a friend or stranger, it would probably happen regardless of how much alcohol was in her system. Media really needs to put both sides in every article, regardless if it is mainly about women or mainly about men. Men can help prevent rape too by helping women they know, reporting suspicious behaivors, etc. If newspapers don’t try to do this, then our rape apologist culture won’t change.
About the second article, our society hates the word rape and the newspaper probably thought using the word sex would have been better than rape. It really does send the wrong message about such a small girl. She probably doesn’t even know the word, never mind how the action is done. A simple fix would have been to use the word unconcentual, but you know people will think of rape, and god forbid the media makes them realize it is around. (That is very sarcastic.. I am not good at putting it into words all the time.)

37 Cara November 6, 2007 at 12:35 pm

Hi Shannon,

Let me be that second voice telling you that you have ever right to hate your rapist. Whether or not you do, of course, is up to you. But I hate him for you, and you have ever right to your feelings, regardless of what they are.

I also wanted to let you know, in case you didn’t, that women failing to report rape because they love their rapist, and continuing to see their rapist even when they don’t is very common behavior. We need to speak about that more.

In any case, thank you for sharing.

38 Kevin November 6, 2007 at 7:45 pm

Hi Cara,

I think this is more of a discussion about definitions. When the word “sex” is used, it’s not necessarily in the sense of emotional and physical intimacy and mutual enjoyment. I can’t speak for the author, but I find it highly unlikely that he was implying rape is THAT kind of sex; he was probably using it in its earthier sense: the physical sex act, i.e., doing something with one’s genitals. Indeed, people are described as “having sex with” inanimate objects; thus, “with” does not imply consent or even involvement from more than one party. “I am brushing with a toothbrush,” “I am driving with the top down” and “I am juggling with three bananas and a chainsaw” are all perfectly valid examples.

Obviously, women are not silly to worry about rape; it’s something everybody needs to worry about. I only advocate picking our battles. In any case, I intended no disrespect – I love your blog! Keep up the good work.

Best,
Kevin

39 Cara November 6, 2007 at 9:24 pm

Well I still disagree with you, Kevin, but I do appreciate that. Thanks.

40 Hugh November 7, 2007 at 12:05 am

Hi Cara sorry but I have trouble with your statement that we live in a rape apologist culture could you please flesh it out a bit with reference to non-anecdotal evidence.

It may be that we live in different cultures but even on the web I haven’t found many rape apologists.

41 boadicea November 7, 2007 at 5:54 am

Grrr, how come we have to keep explaining the rape culture to men?
1.The movie Superbad…a comedy right..a comedy about high school boys trying to get women drunk so they can be their “mistakes”…RAPE
2. the idea that women wear skimpy clothes to a bar cause they want to have sex. They may want to have sex..but its probably not with you.
3. when a prostitute is gang raped at gun point and the rapists get charged with “theft of services”
4. yes..if a virginal white girl leaving church on sunday morning is violently raped by a minority..that seems to be the only definition of rape men understand..

Rape is going to a bar and trolling for drunk women you can take advantage of

Rape is anytime a girl is under eighteen…no ifs, ands or buts…

Rape is when men have tickers counting down when a hot celebrity is turning eighteen (gross)

The rape culture is perpetrated EVERYTIME you say..well what was she doing there, how much did she drink? she shouldn’t have gone to his hotel room if she didn’t want it!!!

The rape culture is when a stripper accuses a celebrity and men say..well shes a stripper, shes probably making it up.

Got it??!!

42 Hugh November 7, 2007 at 6:52 am

No you see you’ve argumentatively answered my request for _non-anecdotal_ evidence with 2 anecdotes, 2 overviews and a definition.
I’m sorry if I sound angry or argumentative but I’m going to need a statistic or survey before I buy into the whole rape apologist culture thing.

Also you’re statement; “The rape culture is perpetrated EVERYTIME you say” really pisses me off cos that’s the last thing I’d ever say.

43 Hugh November 7, 2007 at 6:53 am

I asked for proof of rape culture not a definition of it.

44 Cara November 7, 2007 at 8:34 am

What the fuck do you want us to give you, Hugh? What kind of statistic are you looking for? We’re talking about culture and widely entrenched views. Do you need a study to show you that black people are discriminated against in America?

Oh wait. You probably do.

Here’s a study that shows 44% of men and 32% of women think that rape happens because men go so turned on (by slutty women, of course) that they can’t control themselves — not because there are men out there who are rapist assholes who think that they have the right to access to a woman’s body. Oh, the study also shows that rape cases that are brought to court are often acquitted because people think that the rape victim didn’t “act” right. The article also quotes the widely-accepted statistic that 70% of rapes are never reported. And by the way, of those that are reported, very few go to court, and of the rape cases that go to court, only 5% result in conviction (this study is out of Australia, and the conviction rate there is 10% — higher, so you’d imagine that people there have more progressive views towards rape victims, and this is still what happens).

Or is that still too “anecdotal” to you? Because you’re a man and therefore get to say that anytime a woman talks about her experience in life — even if she has thousands of women to back her up — she’s talking about “anecdotes.” Judges throwing out rape cases, even though they know the woman was raped but think that it was her fault is proof of a rape culture. You just don’t give a shit. Bodicea, I believe, was using the “you” pronoun hypothetically, but even if she wasn’t she’d still be right — by denying that these experiences count for anything, you are doing the same thing. So you’re the last person around here to say that he’s pissed off at the moment.

Oh yeah, you’ve made me mad. Congratu-fucking-lations. How brilliant of you — especially since you read the thread and therefore knew how to do it. Now go away.

45 Hugh November 7, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Thank you that’s actually exactly what I was looking for I don’t buy into anecdotes because I can find an anecdote to prove anything and its not like those women said here’s what happened to me and here’s all the women that back me up on it I’m forced to assume they’re not just a minority. I mean for example that 5% would give me plenty of anecdotes to back a non-rape-apologist society they would be just as emotional and real but the difference is I would be dead wrong, that’s why I don’t believe anecdotal evidence alone.

Look I apologize if I pissed you off but if experience (especially in all the worlds major scares) anecdotes don’t count for anything because their were anecdotes to back all them up. Also I deliberately chose words in my post that you had said earlier wouldn’t make you angry I refer you to.

“”I really don’t understand why you think we live in a rape apologist culture. Could you flesh that idea out a bit more?”"

And finally I don’t care if sh was using it hypothetically I was still pissed off and when somebody says something that angers you you still get pissed off because they were insensitive I know because I’m apologizing and explaining my actions to you right now. well believe it or not I really do take offense at that and I really am not a rape apologist. I’m just a skeptic, of everything and just because I don’t buy into the idea that we live in a culture dominated by rape-apologists doesn’t mean I am one (in fact me not living in a rape apologist society.

Look I didn’t come on here to piss you off and I didn’t write this post as a counter-argument I made you angry I’m sorry, I showed open skepticism on a senxsitive subject which was rude and I apologize. I was mainly trying to explain myself, if you want to post me back about it I’ll answer, otherwise I got what I needed and I’m out of here.

46 Cara November 7, 2007 at 3:27 pm

Your original comment isn’t what pissed me off, Hugh — your refusal to accept evidence that is right under your nose as actual evidence is what pissed me off. I’ve also fleshed out the idea plenty before you asked the question. I’m not going to answer the same exact question more than once on a single thread.

We’re not talking about one or two anecdotes here, we’re talking about a huge history. I have a blog full of “anecdotes” — reported, documented news stories. The comments are filled with actual “anecdotes” of rape survivors and their experiences. I have slews of articles on this blog that display rape apologism in print and without criticism. Do you reailze that any study is also a collection of anecdotes? If you poll women to find out how many have been raped, that’s anecdotal evidence. If you poll women to ask how many were re-victimized by assholes claiming that they weren’t really raped, and if they were that it was their fault, those are still anecdotes. Christ, look at this thread. If it isn’t filled with rape apologism (i.e. Jack), then I don’t know what is.

just because I don’t buy into the idea that we live in a culture dominated by rape-apologists doesn’t mean I am one

Yes. It does. Just like if you say “we don’t live in a racist culture,” you are apologising for the culture we have that is in fact racist. By saying it’s not racist, you’re claiming that the large-scale racism that exists is okay.

And so you are in fact a rape apologist — or, at least, an apologist for the rape apologists. It’s not a life sentence; you can in fact change it. And I hope that you do. Good luck with it.

47 Kevin November 7, 2007 at 3:46 pm

When people talk about rape apologism in culture, it doesn’t mean they’re saying that every man condones sexual crime. I think a more apt description would be to say that society is much more tolerant of rape than it should be.

It’s important to keep in mind that this is a cross-gender issue, as rape is perpetrated on both men and women (predominantly by men, but not exclusively). And of course, when we talk about changing social attitudes, the apologistic attitude of women, as the primary victims, is just as hurtful, if not arguably more, than men’s.

When we argue the case that social attitudes are inclined towards sex crime apologism, it’s important to be able to provide objective non-anecdotal evidence. Why? Because what’s obvious to you isn’t obvious to everybody else. If it was, then we wouldn’t be living in the culture that we’re trying to change. Just my appeal to rationality and critical thinking :)

48 Cara November 7, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Well again, I have no idea what “non-anecdotal evidence” would look like. Again, you can do all of the polls you want, but those are not only going to also be anecdotes, they’re also going to be less honest. Do you think that everyone who says in the privacy of their own home, or anonymously on a blog, that “well she was being a tease, what did she expect?” is going to admit so in a survey. Please. There are people who see absolutely nothing wrong with this view. There also people who see nothing wrong with it, but also know that it’s socially unacceptable. So do all the studies and polls you want — I am absolutely convinced that they will come back proving my point. I’m also absolutely convinced that the number of rape apologism you find in polls is only the tip of the iceberg.

There is an element of femae rape-apolgoism, as well. They are, however, the minorty, and their apologism comes from a very different place and acts in a very different way. I wouldn’t say that it’s more harmful, because women aren’t the ones who rape (yes, there are a small number of female rapists. they also almost always commit crimes against other women and/or children). It’s harmful in a different way, but I also think that it is generally a form of survival. And it really would take a whole separate post to get into.

49 Hugh November 7, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Look the difference between all the evidence I was given up till 3 posts ago was that up till then I was given maybe 100 examples of rape-apology, in a society of millions of people that isn’t enough but if a survey has more than say 200 000 people involved which it probably does then I can take that as evidence. And I know you fleshed it out before but without reference to statistics or anecdotes of an appreciable percentage of the population involved if you like.
Also as to me being a rape apologist please do not tell me how I think because I know I’m not one and I think I have a right to be annoyed at you telling me how I think. I mean its my mind. And I do by the way accept that we live in a rape apologist culture now that I’ve seen and as soon as you accept that I’m not part of it I’m off to different forums to spread the word and help our cause. And returning to your example that would only be true if I’d gone out surveyed the area, done a mathematical analysis, found clear evidence of racism but chose to ignore it. My only crime here is ignorance which probably stems from the fact that I live in a fairly progressive part of comparatively proggressive Australia and I don’t think we’ve ever had a rape here. If I’ve grown up my whole life in an area completely different from the rest of the world on this issue of course I’ll have some misconceptions about the outside world. But once again now that I have been divorced from those misconceptions I accept the concept of a rape apologist society and apologies for my earlier doubts.

PS: For the record Kevin’s a jackass.

50 Hugh November 7, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Oh sorry about that the conversation between you and Kevin didn’t show up when I posted that for some reason so its a little out of sync. Also good surveys are anonymous for just that reason.

51 Cara November 7, 2007 at 4:16 pm

I live in a fairly progressive part of comparatively proggressive Australia and I don’t think we’ve ever had a rape here.

I’m really trying not to laugh at that, because it’s in no way funny. But it’s also utterly absurd, and I feel like I only have the choice between laughing and tearing out my hair.

If you actually, really believe that, you truly are ignorant. Again 70% of women don’t report their rapes. And I promise you that women a woman is raped and she wants to tell someone, another man is not typically the one she goes to, unless she’s very, very close to him. Date rapes occur in huge number every single day, and since most date rape victims don’t have to go to the hospital because they’re not beaten up, you’d never, ever know. Hopefully what you mean is “I can’t remember a time when we had a reported rape in my immediate area.” That may be true. If you meant that there has actaully never been a rape in your town, I have no clue what to say to you except to go do a hell of a lot of research before you start “spreading the word.”

Also, you really don’t need my seal of approval for anything. And I’m not going to give it. But if you truly do believe that you are an enlightened individual who wants to spread the word about violence and injustice against women, you would certainly not be asking for a cookie first. Sorry, I don’t bake. If you want praise and a reward for acting like a decent human being, you better cook it up yourself.

And I still disagree with Kevin, but I fail to see how he’s the jackass here, of all people.

52 Kevin November 7, 2007 at 4:20 pm

Objective non-anecdotal evidence would look like any number of polls you could site which ask questions like “when women get raped, do you think it’s her fault?” This kind of evidence is a lot more compelling than a plea to “just look around you, it’s obvious.”

They are, however, the minorty, and their apologism comes from a very different place and acts in a very different way.

Uh oh.. this is starting to sound like women-rape-apologist apologism,

Best,
Kevin, the jackass

53 Cara November 7, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Uh oh.. this is starting to sound like women-rape-apologist apologism

Um, no. I actually can’t stand a female rape apologist. I’m merely saying that there is a vast difference between a male rape apologist, who basically wants to keep his options to rape with impunity open, and a female rape apologist who is actually just as much a victim of the patriarchy as the rest of us, and has internalized the misogyny as a method of survival. Women are generally rape apologist because they believe that rape will never happen to them, and if they keep behaving in “good” ways, they’re safe. It’s a lie, and it’s a shitty thing to believe. But I’m not going to pretend that it’s the same.

Women also apologize on a regular basis for their actual rapists. Are they rape apologists? No, they’re women who have been doubly victimized, both by their rapists and by the society that has told them all their lives that rape is their own fault.

54 Kevin November 7, 2007 at 4:36 pm

I don’t think we’ve ever had a rape here

Holy shit. Are you on drugs? And if not, maybe you should be.

55 Hugh November 7, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Kevin I live somewhere else and I was talking about their specifically.

56 Hugh November 7, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Oh sorry my bad Kevin I meant Jack not you.

57 Cara November 7, 2007 at 5:49 pm

We know, Hugh — you live in Australia. I actually lived there for 3 years. My husband lived there for 24 years. I can assure you that there’s rape there, even in your small progressive little town. Especially since (*gasp*) “progressives” can still be rapists.

58 Hugh November 7, 2007 at 6:03 pm

Yeah to all of you when I say that I mean that because of the lack of dark alleys and bars and multiple advanced security systems, CCTV cameras there has never been a single recorded instance of rape. I felt recorded was implied because I was talking about a source of misconception and you don’t get misconceptions from things that you don’t here about. Besides I do live in an area with very low crime rates and very paranoid people as you may have guessed so a vast number of rapes in my 10 km squared area seems really unlikely in conclusion think and look at context but mainly the thinking part.

Apologizing again Kevin I did not mean to call you a Jackass I meant Jack.

And by the way Cara for the record don’t flatter yourself I don’t care about your opinions cos well lets face it their wrong, I want evidence, so I love rapists. I’m seeing the link. Now I’m guessing you’re going to delete this because it impinges upon your fraction less lack of doubt which you think need to further your ideas, you know like all the other people who didn’t doubt themselves; Hitler for instance. Why did I bring that up because the arguments for eugenics were basically the same as the one you use here “its obvious” and how did that turn out, you gotta love politicized science.

Well apologizing to Kevin again. I’m now banned, deleted and happy. You could at least try to chase me off the forum, or were you.

Well I’m still on tour side but I gotta say I’d really rather that you weren’t.

Can’t wait for your comeback if it involves the word banned it’ll be like crack. I guess I’m off to spread the word.

59 Kevin November 7, 2007 at 6:16 pm

Here are some statistics from Australia:

Over half of the women surveyed (57%) had experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence over their lifetime.

More than a third of women (34%) had experienced this violence from a former or current partner, although violence from a former partner was more common, and more likely to result in women being injured and feeling that their lives were in danger.

12% of women reported experiencing sexual violence by an intimate partner (current or former) over their lifetimes, including instances of attempted (3%) and completed (6%) forced intercourse (i.e. rape).

Here’s my source (notice the .gov.au domain, indicating it’s a webpage maintained by the Australian Government):
http://www.aifs.gov.au/acssa/statistics.html#internatsurvey

60 Cara November 7, 2007 at 6:24 pm

OMG IT’S GODWIN’S LAW!!!

Who would have thunk?

Could someone please explain to me how looking at this comment: I do by the way accept that we live in a rape apologist culture now that I’ve seen and as soon as you accept that I’m not part of it I’m off to different forums to spread the word and help our cause and inferring that Hugh wants my approval is somehow flattering myself? I thought that it was reading.

Seriously, dude, you’re fucked in the head. If you keep commenting, yes, I will ban you, because there’s a difference between argument and vomiting all over someone’s blog. But you’re clearly an idiot and an insincere one at that. You just went from “oh, but I’m just trying to learn, I’m such a Nice Guy(tm)” to head spinning around in circles in 60 seconds flat. It’s impressive, but nothing to be proud of.

Why on earth, by the way, would I delete a comment that calls me a Nazi? It just makes me look more levelheaded and sane, even if I’m acting like a dick. Which I don’t think I was, but it’s not even relevant. Because I’m not the one invoking Godwin’s law. Because I’ve both been on the internet and thinking critically for more than 5 seconds.

61 Kevin November 7, 2007 at 6:30 pm

OMG IT’S GODWIN’S LAW!!!

ohhh snap. Hugh just got served.

62 Jenee November 7, 2007 at 6:37 pm

Unless people have those cameras in their homes, you would never know…

63 Kevin November 7, 2007 at 6:50 pm

Unless people have those cameras in their homes, you would never know…

Very true.

Hugh, you can’t afford to be this naive – as statistics show, bars and back-alleys don’t have much to do with rape. 12% of women experiencing sexual violence from an intimate partner – that works out to being over 245,000 Australian women sexually assaulted by the person closest to her. That’s not going to happen in an alley or anywhere near a CCTV camera.

64 Kiki September 1, 2008 at 10:41 pm

“it is absolutely true. a woman should be able to drink as much a she wants without fear of someone raping and/or taking advantage of her, but in the real world, this is not the case. i should be able to walk down the ghetto in an armani suit waving $100 bills around without fear of getting mugged, but reality says it’s a bad idea.”

Wow, most rape analogies never fail to disgust me. How the hell does someone equate walking around waving $100 bills in a bad neighborhood to being raped while you just so happen to be under the influence of alcohol? Oh yeah, my bad, because when you are drunk you are waving your slut flag around saying “rape me!”

65 Jennifer Kesler November 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm

I’m late to the party here, and most everything has been said, but this bit from the article also bugged me: “rape or serious sexual assault.”

What distinction does the editor think we’re making? My guess is they think rape only means forced coitus. Are we ever going to get past that thinking?

66 SunlessNick November 21, 2008 at 12:59 am

Okay, the assumption here is that somehow this article is informing women. What, exactly, is it informing them of? Women don’t know about rape? They haven’t heard about it incessantly from their mothers, fathers, teachers, friends and television from the moment they started growing breasts? <strong- Cara

I’m late too, but this is what jumped out at me. Articles like the BBC one – and any number of others (trigger warnings all, especially the last, whose fucking URL needs one) – purport to teach women about a subject in which they are guaranteed to be way ahead of the men writing the articles. Plus, the men who write such articles invariably seem to think that it’s some Great New Insight on their part.

67 J November 21, 2008 at 3:04 am

Again with the phoney and completely fabricated “statistics”…women in the U.S. are significantly more likely to be raped by someone they know in their own home. Period. In fact, two-thirds of all rape victims here are raped by people they know.

The myth of the scary monster of a stranger in a dark alley panting while he waits for a scantily clad lone woman to walk by needs to die, the sooner the better.

Why doesn’t the government, or journalists, if they *really* want to “help women lower their risk of being raped” pay for Public Service Announcements that inform women that they are far more likely to be raped by a friend or family member while stone cold sober than they are to be raped after a night out sloppy drunk?

Maybe they should advise against women even knowing any men, since knowing men seems to be, statistically, the most significant factor in a woman’s rape risk.

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