On victim-blaming and control

It’s virtually a law of Internet discussion that any conversation about rape will turn into a debate about the need for women to keep themselves safe. The attitude that women have the responsibility to protect themselves from rape is, at the most generous reading, an uncritical acceptance of the idea that men cannot be prevented from raping. At its worst, it is yet another example of the way society makes women responsible for anything men dislike. And all the while, there is no acknowledgement that this is just the mechanism by which sexist men can benefit from rape without themselves committing it.

That women are sexual beyond the ways men wish them to be disturbs a certain kind of man. The fears that once kept female sexuality in check are gradually being eroded by social change and medical advances: fear of ostracism, fear of disease, fear of unwanted pregnancy. But fear of rape remains, and it can be a powerful weapon.

There was one piece of fall-out from the paratrooper incident that I didn’t mention. A family member learned that I’d gone back to the camp with a couple of men for sex. He had no reason to think anything non-consensual had happened, but he was horrified all the same. He told me that my behaviour was disgusting and that I should be ashamed of myself. Friends and other family members defended his attitude by pointing out what many people in the other thread pointed out – that I’d put myself at quite some risk.

That explanation failed to convince me. Disgust and shame are appropriate responses to moral wrongdoing, not foolhardy risk-taking. He was horrified that I’d allowed myself to be sexual in an unapproved way; the risk of rape was a justification, not his true motivation.

It shocks some people that I want sex and don’t want to submit to male authority. It shocks them even more that these two desires outweigh my fear of rape, so that I dare to gratify both by picking up paratroopers in a pub. The “prudent” suggestions for keeping myself safe always boil down to giving up sex (or at least, the kind of sex I’m interested in) or submitting to male authority.

These “solutions” might well have no effect on my risk of being raped. But even if they were guaranteed to protect me from all risk, they wouldn’t be worth it. I think I’d rather be raped than spend the rest of my life turning aside from what I wanted and settling for something less. I know I’d rather take risks than allow fear of rape to control my expression of my sexuality.

In my ideal world, men would not be tempted to commit rape. Sexual encounters would be handled with negotiation, not with one partner’s insistence on getting what he wants at the expense of another. Men would respect the desires of women to control what happens to their bodies, whether they’ve known each other for ten minutes or ten years.

And in my ideal world, the fear of rape could not be used as a justification for slut-shaming.

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262 Responses to On victim-blaming and control

  1. 201
    Charles says:

    Jes,

    Actually, I think what JayQ is trying to argue is that dealing with male violence against women requires dealing with male violence as male violence. That it is male violence that is the problem, which manifests as male violence against women, but that needs to be dealt with at the root.

    I think his position is partly right, partly mistaken, and partly beside the point.

    JayQ,

    I agree that male violence is the root problem, but I think that male attitudes towards women and towards sex are specific parts of the problem of male sexual violence towards women that need to be addressed directly as part of dealing with male violence.

    In any case, I think that male violence is an even broader problem than male sexual violence against women (which is still a very broad problem). The actual way that very broad problems get dealt with is piece by piece, so focusing on male sexual violence against women and the rape culture that supports it is one part of dealing with male violence.

    I agree that a response to male sexual violence against women that doesn’t place the responsibility pretty much entirely on male violence (and male sexual attitudes) is unlike to be effective or helpful (The ‘pretty much’ is because there is also the problem of women being taught to submit to male violence and male sexual attitudes, which also certainly needs to be dealt with, but is certainly not the central problem).

    However, I don’t think I am alone in agreeing on that, and I think that the problem you are having being understood comes from the fact that the mainstream feminist analysis of rape culture that you’ll find on this site does exactly that already, so when you say, ” I think you need to stop focusing on rape culture and focus on the violence culture of which the rape culture is apart,” I think you get read as saying to focus on the violence culture and ignore the rape culture that is part of it. I don’t think that is what you mean to be saying, but it is easy to read what you say that way.

  2. 202
    Charles says:

    Ginmar,

    You are totally misreading JayQ to an extraordinary degree.

    He doesn’t say anywhere that male on female violence is equaled by female on female violence. He never even comes close to implying it. Never.

    He says that male on male violence and male on female violence are two parts of male violence, and that you won’t be able to get rid of one without getting rid of the other. He places rape squarely as male violence, and nothing else. Perhaps he goes farther than most in doing so, and his analysis is weakened by a failure to look at the ways in which male sexual violence against women is tied into male sexuality as well as male violence, and that male sexuality also needs to change to undo male sexual violence against women, but your description of his position is just flat out wrong.

  3. 203
    Emma says:

    I’m sorry, but it still boils down (to me) to the simple idea that we want to protect one class of people and not another. This puts the protected class in the position of being officially recognized as weaker and needing protection.

    True fact: men are less likely to access primary healthcare in the UK. Women are more likely to find themselves at their GPs surgery because they are more likely to be there with their children. Women’s magazines also focus more on health issues than do men’s magazines.

    Therefore: men have less access to messages about wellness and male-specific health issues.

    Policy intervention: various programmes to take health advice to places where men are. For example, advice about testicular cancer on beermats in pubs.

    Do you think that such policies make men ‘weaker’ in and in need of ‘greater protection’ than women? Or are they just a pragmatic solution to a public health issue?

    I don’t understand why you can’t discern that one-size-fits-all policy-making in any area that you care to name just isn’t very effective.

  4. 204
    Emmetropia says:

    La Lubu wrote-

    In other words, you agree that by reporting a rape, and refusing to just suck it up and say in effect that rape is part and parcel of being female, that women are threatening group solidarity and the existing power structure

    Have I suggested anywhere, that I believe otherwise?

    I have no doubt that there are still many, many police departments, and DA’s, that are reluctant to investigate and prosecute both acquaintance and stranger rapes (although to my thinking the case you cite, would fall more into the stranger category.) I also know that there are reasonable, competent people out there who do want to help.

    I don’t believe that all of the cases stem from a belief that the woman was a “slut,” at least from the perspective of the DA. (I haven’t seen that term used so much since I was in high school, usually shouted by one girl to another. ) I think it’s a combination of factors. Ignorance, simple incompetence, political pressures, lack of evidence and the inherent difficulty of he said, she said cases.

    No DA is going to go forward with a case they don’t think they can win. Although doing so may be psychologically satisfying to the victim, losing is a definite disincentive to the DA’s office, and it’s expensive. But I have also found DA’s to be pretty reasonable people who want to do right thing.

    How have you used the case you cite, to change the system? If people want to change it, it does no good to simply blog. You have to get involved in local politics. Your group has to have members that has access to influential decision makers, and you have to know how to network. Don’t assume that a teacher or social worker has the skills necessary. You have to start with a woman on your city council or something similar, who has some experience and a good rolodex. Identify a community that has had success revamping their system — maybe has successfully gotten tighter sentencing guidelines — and find out from them, what worked. You have to pull together good, solid statistics and advance your position in a nonemotional way. Understand that elected officials operate out of self-interest.

  5. 205
    JayQ says:

    Policy intervention: various programmes to take health advice to places where men are. For example, advice about testicular cancer on beermats in pubs.

    Do you think that such policies make men ‘weaker’ in and in need of ‘greater protection’ than women? Or are they just a pragmatic solution to a public health issue?

    YES
    Men generally are weaker and in better need of protection when it comes to looking after basic health and wellness matters. I see this play out routinely in the form of wives that have to look out for the health of their husband because their husband is too stupid to admit that he may want to go to the doctor to check out that mole that has been growing for 6 months. I’m one of those guys. It DOES make me ‘in need of greater protection’. And when you give me the greater protection, it validates the opinion that I ‘need’ it. Doesn’t matter that the beermat messages work or don’t work. They still validate the idea that men aren’t capable of looking after themselves, so we have to spoon-feed them necessary information. I don’t think there should have been a policy intervention at all in that case… But that didn’t involve direct harm inflicted on someone else’s person.

  6. 206
    rose says:

    I was born in 1946 and I can tell you for a fact that Susan is a liar and a troll.

  7. 207
    mousehounde says:

    Doesn’t matter that the beermat messages work or don’t work. They still validate the idea that men aren’t capable of looking after themselves, so we have to spoon-feed them necessary information.

    JayQ, that’s just silly. Women’s magazines are full of breast cancer awareness ads. The gynecologist has them plastered on the walls. It’s getting information to people who need it in places they will see it. It has nothing to do with thinking people aren’t capable of looking after themselves. Men are not “weaker and in better need of protection when it comes to looking after basic health and wellness matters. ” That is a stereotype. Men don’t need women to take care of them. They are quite able to take care of themselves. That “you” feel the need of a mother figure to keep yourself healthy only says something about yourself, not men in general.

  8. 208
    Ampersand says:

    Rose, not everyone born in 1946 has had the same life.

    I wasn’t born in 1946. But I’ve had a few discussions with Susan.

    I think Susan can sometimes be stubborn. And I think Susan, like many people, sometimes has trouble correctly understanding what folks who disagree with her are saying.

    But I’ve never seen any reason to think that she’s a liar, let alone a troll. I respect her. And I wish that personal attacks like the one you just made, Rose, didn’t appear on this blog.

  9. 209
    ginmar says:

    Hey, Charles? Beam in eye and all that shit. This is a feminist website. We focus on violence by men against women. With regard to male on male violence, yeah, well, Jay Q can knock himself out. But after he fixes all those barfights and shit, an awful lot of wives, mothers, girlfriends, and children will be dead. What nobody seems to get is that men attacking other men are picking on equal opponents. They don’t need feminist help, aside from the whole damned gender thing,which seems to need pointing out over and over. Feminist. I don’t care what men do to each other. That’s your cause. But when men attack women and children, they’re committing an act of violence against people who are smaller than them—in some cases, much smaller.

    Fighting male violence? Yeah, that’s nice. Reminds me of people who try and argue that hate crimes are just crimes, period, what’s the big deal? It allows the specific evil acts of some to get buried under a general heading of ‘that’s awful but everything’s awful’ . I wonder if it’s a coincidence that the awful stuff is always perpetrated by the very people who are most interested in not looking at the most awful acts of all.

  10. 210
    Emma says:

    Doesn’t matter that the beermat messages work or don’t work.

    It does to the National Health Service [NHS] who would rather spend pennies on prevention and awareness-raising than tens of pounds on cancer treatment. It does to the men who aren’t going to die because someone found an effective way of conveying to them a message about their health that was important for them to hear. It does to the children who aren’t going to watch a parent suffer and die because of a health intervention appropriate to their circumstance and lifestyle.

    Similarly, it matters to the women who are raped, abused, and murdered by their intimate partners whether violence prevention and mitigation policy actually results in improved practice. As a man, it seems morally reprehensible for you to reject targeted domestic violence provision on the basis of some confused ideological point regardless of whether it works.

    There is no evidence to suggest that public policy that is not shaped and targeted to its beneficiaries is more effective than that which is shaped and targeted to its beneficiaries. The idea is absolute lunacy.

  11. 211
    Jenny K says:

    AB: thanks, it’s actually something I picked up here from previous threads on rape and sexuality

    Jake Q – the best way to break women of being reluctant to say “yes” is to accept our “no” (or silence – as AB points out) at face value. Women, like your partner, will speak up if you do what she says, but she didn’t actually say what she wanted. Eventually she will either learn to communicate like an grown-up or you will find an actual adult to play with. (this is also from previous threads)

    Likewise, as long as women know that culture sees our “no” as “maybe” – and interprets any “yes” (or even silence) as an absolute yes – then women will be more cautious about saying “yes”. We will say “no” sometimes when we really would rather not. Especially when this attitude is taken to the point that women are considered “stupid” or engaging in risky behaviour when, in certain situations, we don’tsay “no” – irregardless of what we want to say.

    That is, after all, what you are suggesting Nick does. That she should say “no” even if she wants to say “yes” (or isn’t sure) because she can’t expect others to understand that “yes” can come with conditions or that silence does not mean yes. Is it any wonder when her potential partners are confused about what “yes” and “no” mean? Do you not see how this is a self-fulfilling cycle?

    “This puts the protected class in the position of being officially recognized as weaker and needing protection. This puts them on a lower standing than the non-protected class”

    That’s bullshit. If the protections are based on actual facts (unlike the limited work hours that women and children could work in the early 1900′s*), especially if they are physical rather then mental, then this isn’t true unless you live in some feudal society where might makes right. Persons with disabilities get legal accomodations, but this does not put them on a lower legal standing. Some people consider them to have a lower social standing, but this would be true even without legal protection; the legal accomodations are used as justification for prejudice, but they are not the root cause of it.

    Even more to the point – as Emma said, targeting specific types of violence often just means realizing that not all problems can be solved the same way, it does not always mean special protections.

    Also, I don’t know if Charles is reading you right, but I agree with his point that one can’t really ignore the aspect of hyper masculinity that is is often inherent in male violence. Analyzing male on female violence as something seperate but related to male violence in general can actually help with that quite a bit. However, ignoring the gendered and cultural dynamic of most rapes is quite a hinderance to dealing with male violence in general, imho.

    “But it does mean that a significant portion of the society doesn’t always believe that rape is rape.”

    bean, word. My father was recently a jury member for a case in which the defendant was accused of rape, assault, and a bunch of other stuff. The jury found him guilty of almost everything, but aquitted him of rape on the grounds that she went to his house (after dark) – and pretty much nothing else. The fact that she had gone there for a completely different reason, a reason that was in fact related to the other charges, made no difference. She went to his house – at night – if she says she was looking for something other than sex, she must be lying.

    *no longer being able to say “turn of the century” for this time period is quite annoying, and the fact that I find it annoying makes me feel old.

  12. 212
    JayQ says:

    Jenny K

    I agree with everything in your post, with the exception of
    “That’s bullshit. If the protections are based on actual facts (unlike the limited work hours that women and children could work in the early 1900′s*), especially if they are physical rather then mental, then this isn’t true unless you live in some feudal society where might makes right.”

    That’s kind of at the root of what I’ve been trying to say. We do live in a society where might makes right.

    And I agree with what you said about women and reluctance to say ‘yes’. But I don’t think Nick did anything wrong- she said what her limits were, and the guys exceeded. That’s exactly what I’d want the woman to do. If she had not specifically said protection was required, I might be able to understand the guy’s frustration, but he would still be doing something just as bad.

    And I do think that Charles was reading my post correctly- there is still disagreement, but the responses helped me understand what the disagreements were, and I’m a little closer to the position of the blog in general now than I was.

    Ginmar – as far as this being a feminist site, and you don’t care about men- I understand. But an oversimplistic analogy is: You’re Spiderman(just because he was mentioned earlier), and you are standing on a ledge that two people just fell off of. The woman is falling in front of the man. You could probably save them both, but to do so, you have to shoot a web to the man, and get him out of the way. I have no problem with saving both- I would probably even cut corners on the man, maybe letting him slam into the wall instead of trying to cushion his stop, because the woman is closer to the ground. The impression I get from you is “fuck it- I don’t care if the man gets hurt” so you walk away and let both fall (or even take extra time to swing the guy to the side, but not attach the web line to the building, so he still falls, even if it means you will have more difficulty saving the woman). I assume from other posts I’ve read that this isn’t your true opinion, but it can appear that way.

    Cool – that’s the first superhero analogy I think I’ve ever used online.

  13. 213
    ginmar says:

    Yeah, JayQ, let’s deal with reality and how about you stuff the superhero metaphors? Fact is, men can help other men. Why should I? Very few men have doneanything but hinder women’s struggles if they’re not causing them. More men are willing to shout out women than are willing to lsiten.

    I notice you go with a stupid comic book scenario than deal with the real world. Here’s a quick course. Women get beaten by men every day. IF they try to leave, those men kill them and sometimes their kids, too. Sometimes women kill in self-defense, which, in contrast to men’s killings of women, are regarded as not crimes of passion. Women, of course, have no passion—i.e. “women don’t need or want sex.” Etc., etc.,

    For years feminists have struggled to keep women safe, in the face of brutality and opposition from men. Now there are men’s rights’ groups who claim that they’re being discriminated against in law by…other men. They claim that men are equally victimized by violence, especially by violence committed by women. These groups have sued women’s shelters to admit men. They could set up such shelters themselves for men:they do not. Instead they use the issue to change the subject on women’s sites and to bash feminists. They are constantly bitching about it and just as constantly they only bitch to women and they never life one fucking hand themselves.

    Btichin about it here isobscene. If you want to really put a representative sample of DV on that ledge, you’d have ten women and one man, and that man would be gay. Those women would have suffered miscarriages, broken bones, ruptures, cuts, bruises, sexual assaults,burns,punches—-and invisibility to guys like you, who come up with smarmy examples that take as a given the idea that there’s o ne male victim for every female victim. In addition to which, these women would have to flee for their lives with their clothes on theirbacks. They could count on only other women for sanctuary, because guys like you are too fucking busy being cute and smarmy.

    Go ahead with your comic books. It’s not a comic book to me. That it is to you is utterly disgusting.

  14. 214
    Jenny K says:

    “We do live in a society where might makes right.”

    No, we don’t. That’s what laws are for. If might made right, theft would only be crime if you had enough strength to take your property back yourself.

    Some people may believe that might makes right, but as I pointed out earlier, they think this because they think this, not because we acknowledge (legally or otherwise) that different people have different physical abilities. No-one thinks that people in wheelchairs are suddenly second-class citizens simply because we pass laws requiring ramps. In fact, quite the opposite; legally requiring access for everyone brings people in wheelchairs closer to full citizenship. Likewise, acknowledging that men’s fists are, on average, capable of doing more damage than women’s fists are does not make women second-class citizens in the eyes of anyone who did not think so to begin with. Creating violence prevention programs that acknowledge this helps to promote equality (not undermine it) by asserting that women should not be subject to disproportionate violence just because they are often more vulnerable.

  15. 215
    JayQ says:

    Likewise, acknowledging that men’s fists are, on average, capable of doing more damage than women’s fists are does not make women second-class citizens in the eyes of anyone who did not think so to begin with. Creating violence prevention programs that acknowledge this helps to promote equality (not undermine it) by asserting that women should not be subject to disproportionate violence just because they are often more vulnerable.

    I agree 100%. But isn’t it the people who already think women are second class citizens precisely the ones that are causing the problem? If they’re the only ones that get pissed off, isn’t that still pretty darn bad?

    I think we should have violence prevention programs that acknowledge the physical differences between men and women, and point out that just because one is more vulnerable does not mean that they should be a target. I don’t think that is against anything I have said. Remember, I specifically mentioned that I wasn’t for the men’s health policies because it didn’t involve direct physical harm to another person. I would venture to say that rape and abuse does. I am in full support of almost every policy or program I have seen mentioned here. I just think that if you want to change society, you have to change the bigger picture. I don’t think that trying to change one aspect of men’s behavior will be successful.

    “We do live in a society where might makes right.”

    No, we don’t. That’s what laws are for. If might made right, theft would only be crime if you had enough strength to take your property back yourself.

    I counter that with – If we don’t live in a society where might makes right, then why aren’t laws against rape effective? Isn’t it because the men have the power and the privilege(might)?
    Why do celebrities seldom go to jail for crimes normal people would? Isn’t it because they have the power and the privilege(might)?

  16. 216
    Dan L says:

    Cathy Young, who has linked to this entry, made a very cogent point.
    Reverse the situation: A single male goes into a bar, stays completely sober and picks up two drunk women in the armed forces, in this case women capable of compelling his behavior. They take him back to their camp and the three of them begin to engage in sexual acts. During the course of the encounter one of the women begins to do something with which he is not comfortable…whether it is related to safe sex or not is irrelevant, the issue is personal choice. At this point the man begins to worry, the women are physically capable of overpowering him, and drunk enough to be deaf to reason. Long story short, he leaves.

    Who is at fault here? Most people would say that the man is to blame. The man was sober and picked up two drunk women. In most cases that’s frowned upon, and in any case he might have chosen a wiser course (this is NOT saying that “he should have known better.”) The man put himself in a situation where he could not count on the rational behavior of his chosen partners. So who the HELL is surprised when his sex partners don’t act rationally? I think most feminists would tell the man to look in the mirror. He walked out when he realized that he was not going to have a satisfactory sexual encounter. Where is the substantive difference? Is it because men are, on average, physically stronger than women? My suggestion: go to the gym and have sex with weak men, or men who aren’t drunk. Is it because women wouldn’t do such things? That’s ridiculous, there are plenty of women who engage in dominance play during sex that could turn nasty when drunk. And, in this case, where is the problem? She thought she was going to have a night of enjoyable sex, she left when she realized that she wasn’t going to. Give me a damn break. Many people go into many nights hoping to have great sex, only to not have great sex. There was no rape, there was no male patriarchal domination or whatever the current buzzword is, it’s just Nick complaining because she didn’t get what she wanted. There are real rapes going on right this minute, where women are being used as sexual objects against their wills, and Nick is complaining because she didn’t get what she wanted and wants to call it rape.

  17. 217
    JayQ says:

    Ginmar-

    I’m not trying to protect men. I don’t want them to have access to women’s shelters. I don’t think they need (for the most part) to have men’s shelters either. I don’t know why you constantly think I’m saying that violence against women is somehow less bad than violence against men, or less common, or less severe, or less accepted. Just saying to concentrate on the general acceptance of violence and physical aggression is not the same as saying “there will be no recognition of the absurd theory that women are people.” I have no problems with specific public policy measures in place to protect and inform women. I just think that there should at the same time be public policy and law to protect both men and women. And if men need specific policy or law passed, then so be it(but I can’t think of any). I think that Men’s Right’s activists are largely just either stupid or they like to fight with women, although to my knowledge I’ve never met one, so I may be wrong.

    I don’t mean to upset you, as most of the differences in our argument don’t really affect what actions you take on a day to day basis. I think we would vote for most of the same laws and procedures(regarding these subjects). But at some point in the near future, our paths would have to part, and I think that the one you’re heading for isn’t as good for women as the one I’m heading for. And by ‘good for women’, I mean women becoming full members of society, with little or no male privilege left that they don’t share, and they only have to be as scared of violence as men are.

    Yes, the comic book analogy was meant to be a little cute. I apologize for not being so inflamed by rage that I can’t try to be civil. (not meant to be a slam on you or anybody else- I may find you a little unreasonable, but I think you’ve generally been civil)

    And if you want to change my example to yours, the analogy still stands. Some of your posts give the impression that you would rather attempt and fail to save only the women, than to successfully save all 10 women AND the one man. Again, I have read some of your other posts, and I don’t actually think that’s the way you look at the world, I just wanted to let you know that it may be the impression you’re giving. You can either not care, get mad at me for the suggestion, rejoice that I understand you at last, or think it through and decide whether I may have a point, or am just full of it. There are probably other things you can do with the thought, but there may be kids reading this.

  18. 218
    Jenny K says:

    Dan are you just selectively skipping over the whole part where one of the guys was physically trying to overpower Nick – and suggested to the other guy that they continue to ignore her objections?

    Yeah, it would be easy to act as if rape had not almost occurred if there was no (suggestion of) physical restraint because rape wouldn’t have almost occurred if there had been no (suggestion of) physical restraint. No one is pissed at the paratrooper because he changed his mind, we are pissed because he thought (even for a moment) that he had a right to make Nick’s mind up for her.

    Jay Q:

    “But isn’t it the people who already think women are second class citizens precisely the ones that are causing the problem?”

    No, if that’s what you think, then there is still a lot that we disagree about – unless of course you are arguing that everyone who gets pissed off at what we are saying sees women as second class citizens in some way (whether they think so or not), to which I’d partly agree. ;)

    “If they’re the only ones that get pissed off, isn’t that still pretty darn bad?”

    I’m confused, are you suggesting that feminists should shutup because we are pissing off the people that don’t like us to begin with? Isn’t that kinda like telling muckrakers they ought to settle down ’cause they are pissing off those in power?

    “If we don’t live in a society where might makes right, then why aren’t laws against rape effective? Isn’t it because the men have the power and the privilege(might)?”

    I don’t think of what you are talking about as being “might makes right” so much as acknowledging that while we strive for “might for right” we often fall short of this goal. We live under the assumption that might does not make right, that we use the might of the government for right; but in reality it doesn’t always work that way. That’s why will still strive to change things. That does not mean, however, that “might makes right” is the standard or the assumption that we operate under.

    Which brings me back to the idea that it’s “the people who already think women are second class citizens precisely the ones that are causing the problem.” This sounds like it ought to be true because one would almost have to think this way in order to do the types of things we are talking about. This is not true when one is talking about professed beliefs, however, because many abusers and rapists do not see what they do as rape or abuse in fact, quite often, neither does society.

    As just one of many immediate examples, on the original thread someone tried to argue that “but I think once you have consented to sex, and have been having sex, it is harder to claim rape if you start to say no during the process.” So, obviously there are still many men (and women) confused about the differences between silence, “no” “maybe” “yes” and “yes with conditions.” I’ve had several arguments with people about female sexuality where the underlying assumption proves to be that male and female sexuality are defined, or at least dominated, by male desire alone. Again, it’s hard to be clear on what simple words like “yes” and “no” mean when one party is assumed to have little or no desire to say yes without persuasion.

    In that sense everyone is causing the problem. My father’s fellow jurymembers are part of the problem. Anyone who tries to argue that “Playboy” is primarily an expression of female sexuality is part of the problem. All the people whose immediate response to Nick’s story was “well what did you expect?” are part of the problem.

    As I’ve said before, rape and abuse are unique in that the surest way to not get caught is not to stay anonymous, but to gain the support of others, both the victim and the general public. When our first response to attempted or actual rape is to ask the (potential) victim “what did you do?” or “how could you take that risk?” rather than “how are you?” or “how could he do that?” we are giving the rapist our support – or at least an easy way to gain it.

    That does not mean that we should never assess risk. However, most people work under the assumption that men are incapable of not being violent and that women don’t have anywhere near as much sexual desire as men. These, and other assumptions, affect our reactions to rape and casual sex. The reason people usually question the victims actions, especially immediately after the crime, is not because they want to assess risk, but because they are looking to shift the blame – either to make themselves feel safer or to feel better about their own actions or the actions and attitudes of those around them.

    “I am in full support of almost every policy or program I have seen mentioned here.”

    Then I’m a bit confused as to what you are taking exception to.

    “I just think that if you want to change society, you have to change the bigger picture. I don’t think that trying to change one aspect of men’s behavior will be successful.”

    No one is saying that male violence will be solved by looking at male on female violence alone, we’re just saying that you can’t solve male violence without addressing it’s gendered aspect. I think (as apparently do others) that even if all you do is look at male on female violence, you will still likely make an impact on that (although I don’t think as much of one as a comprehensive approach). I also think that concentrating on male on female violence by itself will still do as much or more to combat male violence in general than concentrating on everything but the role gender plays in male violence would, simply because I think definitions of masculinity play that large of a role in acceptance of male violence.

  19. 219
    Jesurgislac says:

    Dan L: There are real rapes going on right this minute, where women are being used as sexual objects against their wills, and Nick is complaining because she didn’t get what she wanted and wants to call it rape.

    You know, you were sounding halfway reasonable till then…

    Lying about what Nick said does not facilitate discussion. Nick explicitly said that she avoided being raped – physically and verbally resisting.

    Trying to argue that being screwed without a condom against your will (especially when you have laid down the rules in advance about condom-use) isn’t rape, it’s just another woman “not getting what she wanted” is obscene.

  20. 220
    ginmar says:

    JayQ, Jenny pretty much said it for me. If you don’t see by this point, it’s because you just don’t want to.

    I see Cathy Young is still taking examples out of context and then acting like context is nothing, and that changing gender has no effect on changing anything—-because of course you know female rapists are such a huge problem in this country. At this point, citing her pretty much demolishes your case.

  21. 221
    Brian says:

    Nick,

    I hold much doubt as to the veracity of your story. I don’t think it really happened; that a pregnant woman would do something so foolish as bring home two strange and drunk military men for a three-way. If it is true, do as you please in life, but don’t think you’ll find a sympathetic audience, with the exception of this bubble of yours, that finds your position a reasonable or sane one.

    I do hope that your child, once born, will be given more care than you give to yourself. Will you still be bringing home strangers like this for sexual romps as s/he sleeps in the next room? There are rapists, and there are child abusers. That’s not an ideal world, I know, but it’s the real world that we live in. I have two daughters, and I cringe at the thought they grow up to make decisions like the ones you make.

    Please take good care of your child. As adults, and as their parents, we owe our children our “prudent” decisions, even if it means we personally are having to “settle for less”.

  22. 222
    piny says:

    Indeed. It’s bad enough to take risks yourself, but risking the security of a fetus?! Monstrous! When pregnant women have sex, they’re molesting their unborn children.

    >>I have two daughters, and I cringe at the thought they grow up to make decisions like the ones you make.>>

    I hope they never come to you with a story sexual assault.

  23. 223
    Brian says:

    No, not monstrous, smart aleck……just stupid. It’s stupid enough to do in general, but she’s obviously concerned about her “fetus” that she didn’t drink alcohol, yet she’ll expose herself and her “fetus” to disease from strangers. condoms aren’t a sure-fire protection aganst that.

    If she’s foolish enough to put herself in danger (“it’s risky”), she may be foolish enough to do the same after her child is bron, right? After all, she says she does not want to sacrifice (“settle for less”), so why would she behave any differently with a child in the house?

    Walk outside at night and get assaulted, there is not one shred of blame that should be placed on the victim. Cruise a bar, sober, looking for guys willing to screw you for one night of fun, and getting not one but two drunk men over to your home……..there is definitely some contributory behavior happening there. And if you’re too blind to see it, then you’ll continue to leave yourself exposed to other such assaults. If that’s what Nick wants to do, then she should have at it. But don’t bring her child into the mess, born or unborn.

  24. 224
    carib says:

    Coming late to the party but here goes:

    Telling people to take safety precautions isn’t blaming the victim. Its an appeal to common sense.

    Locking your doors at night is common sense.
    Not leaving your car keys in the ignition is common sense.
    Not walking alone in dark , high crime areas at night is common sense.
    Not putting yourself in the control of two large, drunk, strange men who might force you to do what you don’t want to do is common sense-for men AND women.
    Is all this unfair to people who want to engage in those behaviors? Sure. That’s life. I find it unfair I wasn’t born wealthy also. I’ll get over it.

    Speaking as a former DA, I assure you that rapes ARE vigorously prosecuted and are taken seriously-at least in my city. Let it be noted that a large percentage of the prosecutors , judges, and police officers these days are, in fact, women and that juries are often majority women.
    Let it also be noted that consent is usually a he said/she said affair, and we have heard only one version of the event. The paratroopers’ version is likely to be a whole lot less flattering to Nick, and there would be two to her one, had it gotten that far.
    Finally , in our our system of laws, the defendant has the presumption of innocence. That means if its 50-50 which story is true, the defendant wins.
    Taking all that in consideration, Nick can do what she likes. But lets not pretend that in this world, it wasn’t risky.

  25. 225
    Jesurgislac says:

    Brian: Cruise a bar, sober, looking for guys willing to screw you for one night of fun, and getting not one but two drunk men over to your home……..there is definitely some contributory behavior happening there.

    Riiiiiiight. Because a woman who is looking for sex (as Nick explicitly was) is somehow providing “contributory behavior” to being raped.

  26. 226
    La Lubu says:

    Locking your doors at night is common sense.

    Why? Break-ins and home invasions in my neighborhood are the result of smashed windows. (So far, no one blames the victim here by saying that there should have been plywood over the windows—-who do we think we are, having windows?)

    Not leaving your car keys in the ignition is common sense.

    Why? I’ve never seen an unlocked, unoccupied parked car in Chicago, let alone one with the keys still in it, yet car theft abounds all the same.

    Look, those those actions probably do lower your risk factor by 1-2%. But the common view is that those precautions lower your risk by a huge factor, and it just isn’t so. So it is with precautions against rape. You can follow all the common advice to the best of your ability, yet still only lower your actual rape risk by 1-5%.

    What is the population of men, out of the general population, who engage in one night stands? Now, is that population of men, the ones willing to engage in one night stands, more likely to rape women than the general male population? I haven’t seen any statistics to that effect, and I’m skeptical that there is any difference in the willingness to rape in those populations of men.

    But, for those of you who say that Nick’s behavior was risky, or riskier than dating in general, to what do you attribute that belief? Do you believe that men in general are likely to rape women? That being classified as a “stranger” in the male mind makes a woman more likely to be classified as “ok to rape” in that same male mind? In other words, that the status of the woman in the mind of the male rapist is more important than what’s going on in the mind of the male rapist?

  27. 227
    Emmetropia says:

    Jenny K wrote-

    Dan are you just selectively skipping over the whole part where one of the guys was physically trying to overpower Nick – and suggested to the other guy that they continue to ignore her objections

    Nick wrote -

    I tried to reason with him, but found that I had to keep my hand over my crotch throughout the conversation to precent his attempt to penetrate me without wasting time on discussion…If he decided to force me physically, there was little I could do.

    Can you please tell me how keeping covering one’s crotch with your hand, while attempting to have a rational conversation, translates into physical overpowerment? Particularly when she indicates that he hadn’t yet tried to force her?

    I’ve fought off an attacker who had a knife to my throat and felt neither rational nor conversational. My only thought was escape.

    You are combining portions of Nick’s story, with parts of another posters’ story, in which SHE mentions that a second man made facial gestures in a way that suggested that they ignore HER OWN request.

  28. 228
    carib says:

    Alas, lulu, you haven’t researched the issue:

    Doors and Locks

    The first step is to “harden the target” or make your home more difficult to enter. Remember, the burglar will simply bypass your home if it requires too much effort or requires more skill and tools than they possess. Most burglars enter via the front, back, or garage doors. Experienced burglars know that the garage door is usually the weakest point of entry followed by the back door. The garage and back doors also provide the most cover. Burglars know to look inside your car for keys and other valuables so keep it locked, even when parked inside your garage.

    http://www.crimedoctor.com/home.htm

    The above site seems to think that locked doors help a lot.

    Other sites make clear that not leaving your keys in the car is the first sdtep to preventing auto theft. Again, its common sense! And the experts sem to think that taking precautions helps a great deal!

    Dunno how to answer your questions, but rapes have occurred and continue to ccur in every human society known to man. Its part of the human condition, just like robbery, burglary and theft are part of the human condition. We have to guard against these things and work to lessen them through education, , law enforcement, ansd taking personal responsibility for our actions. But there will never be a rape free society while there exists men who want to have sex with women who don’t want sex wih them.That’s always been and always will be.

  29. 229
    La Lubu says:

    Actually, I have researched the issue; that’s how I know that the break-ins in my neighborhood are “smash and enter”. Locked doors are a feelgood measure; it’ll convince the cops that yes, someone did break into your house, but it won’t deter thieves—the thieves plan on smashing your windows out. Alarms can help, but not with the experienced thief, who knows that he/she has several minutes to grab stuff and make a clean getaway before the cops arrive (alarms do a better job at scaring off juvenile offenders). People have the idea that these measures reduce their risk far more than they actually do. Movies and TV programs show burglars picking locks; real burglars rarely do. That’s the thing—too much image, not enough reality.

    And so it is with most rape prevention advice. Most such advice is impractical or impossible. Take the “avoid empty parking lots/parking garages after dark”. Wholly impractical for city-dwelling women who work for a living. Or “don’t use the laundry room in your apartment building after dark”. Huh. Where do you buy clothes that launder themselves while you’re at work? Or the perennial “get a dog”. Guess the dog takes itself out for a shit while you’re at work, too. Besides, the rapist is more likely to be someone the woman already knows. Out of all the rapes that took place last year, how many involved a stranger who broke into the victim’s car and hid in the back seat? Yet, “check the back seat” is still on practically every rape prevention checklist! And yes, police departments buy into rape myths too, and give out bogus advice along with practical advice.

  30. 230
    Jenny K says:

    “prevent his attempt to penetrate me without wasting time on discussion”

    Saying that this isn’t attempted rape is like saying that if someone tries to kiss me after I said not to, they aren’t actually trying to kiss me unless they grab my face and hold it still (or hold a gun to my head). The difference between Nick’s example and yours is the difference between someone trying to steal something in your front yard versus someone who mugged you or broke into your house. The latter examples both involve added violence and consequently are not only more likely to be worth the cost of going to the police to report it but also carry added penalties for the added crimes. However, all examples are still attempted crimes as well.

    You are right that I confused Samantha and Nick’s stories, though. my bad. I’d admit “pot meet kettle” as well if it wasn’t for the fact that Samantha’s example fit’s into Dan’s “reverse scenario” as well, and yet would still fall under conspiracy to commit a crime if rape had occurred. (I’m not quite sure on the legal lines drawn on “conspiracy to commit a crime” if one of the two parties declines and the crime isn’t commited, but I don’t see how the type of crime or gender of the people involved makes a difference.)

    carib – these types of measures aren’t exactly preventative though, they often just change who the victim is. Which is part of our point – measures to prevent crimes by making potential victims less vulnerable only work up to a certain point – over and above sometimes costing the potential victims more than they gain in decreased risk. Locking doors only decreases overall crime by a very small amount – for the most part thieves just choose something else to steal or take bigger risks for bigger gain. This can still work to law enforcements advantage as bigger risks means a greater possibility of getting caught (having to break in takes time and can attract attention, it also gives the thief more opportunities to mess up and leave clues).

    However, pressuring rapists to take bigger risks when it comes to getting caught doesn’t really work they way it works with thieves. The vast majority of rapes are aquaintance rapes where the question of “who” is pretty much never an issue. Even tracking down someone you picked up at a bar would be as easy as pie compared to figuring out who broke into your car.

    In most cases of theft, whether or not a crime occured is almost never an issue, but who commited the crime usually is. When it comes to most rape cases, it’s quite the opposite. “Who” is often not an issue – the big question is usually “did a crime occur?” Thus the same types of preventative measures that work for theft will not neccessarily work for rape. They can, however, work to the rapists advantage if society views claims of rape more or less skeptically – or adjusts how severe it considers the crime to be – according to nothing more than the (non-aggrevating) actions of the alleged victim.

  31. 231
    Brian says:

    Jesurgislac:

    Yes, it is contributory if you are not only looking for sex, but bring stranger men into your house. It’s risky behavior, as she admits it is. She an actress in this little drama, not a voyeur, hence the “participation”.

    Lulu:

    You wrote: What is the population of men, out of the general population, who engage in one night stands? Now, is that population of men, the ones willing to engage in one night stands, more likely to rape women than the general male population?

    How is this relevant? I have had one night stands, and they were potentially as risky for me as for the woman. Risky from a health standpoint, and from a personal safety standpoint. I have a friend who picked up two women here in Los angeles a few years ago, and they were preparing to screw, one of them pulled a pistol and put it to his head. Fortunately, he gave them his money and they split. The point is that it is risky behavior, the participants accept that risk, regardless of their sex, and they have to accept that fact that if they do not want to get put into such a situation again, maybe they should change their behavior in the future. If a guy rapes a woman under these circumstances, he should not get away without punishment, but if the victim does not change behavior(and there is little indication that Nick has any desire to change, even after her child is born), they would be properly considered insane.

  32. 232
    carib says:

    Lulu- some crime prevention advice is bad , but much it is pretty much common sense. Dark parking lots?Have someone walk you to your car.
    I ve never never heard of laundry rooms being a problem, but that’s what weekends are for! And dogs can be housebroken:-)

    The point is its unfair & inconvenient to have to take precautions but your solution-changing human nature so that no man, nowhere will want to rape-won’t happen.
    as for acquaintance rape, in a criminal justice system where the defendant has the presumption of innocence, he said /she said cases are always going to be problematical. Remember, if its 50-50, the defendant wins. That ‘s the law-and should continue to be the law, in my opinion .

  33. 233
    Sheelzebub says:

    How is this relevant? I have had one night stands, and they were potentially as risky for me as for the woman.

    And if the one-night stand did to you what one did to your friend, would you appreciate some snotty asshat telling you that they hope you show more regard for your daughters than you do for yourself? Would you appreciate questions over whether you’d still be bringing home strangers like this for sexual romps as your daughters sleep in the next room? There are robbers, and there are child abusers, after all.

    For all of the insistence that sure, guys take risks and gosh, we’d take them to task for those risks, I’m just not seeing it. I am seeing an awful lot of slut-baiting and general disgust at a woman acting the way men feel entitled to act.

  34. 234
    piny says:

    >>The point is its unfair & inconvenient to have to take precautions but your solution-changing human nature so that no man, nowhere will want to rape-won’t happen.>>

    This is a strawman. No feminist wants to create a utopia, merely to solve the social inequalities that make rape and sexual violence problems for women out of all proportion to their numbers. Violent misogyny is not “human nature.”

  35. 235
    Thomas says:

    I ve never never heard of laundry rooms being a problem, but that’s what weekends are for!

    Avoiding laundry rooms is one of the old nuggets of conventional wisdom about how to avoid rape. If you have not heard this, I suspect it is because you’re not a city dweller (just as I find it hard to believe that anyone in the New York area has never heard a complaint about the LIE.)

    Dark parking lots?Have someone walk you to your car.

    Which works only in those circumstances where there’s a man around to do that. Which also then puts her in the proximity of a man she may not know that well, with nobody else around, late, in a dark parking lot. And which may require her to ask folks for favors that she doesn’t want to owe anything to.

    Your own advice, carib, just leads to another morass of “dangerous situations” and victim-blaming.

    I don’t have to ask people to walk me to my train or wait on the platform with me. I’m a man. That’s a big advantage. I can (and did when I lived in an apartment building) do laundry in a deserted, isolated laundry room without fear. I’m a man. Lots of these little things put together are a system of male privilege that makes my life easier and makes me feel more free. The converse experience makes women’s lives harder and makes women less free. That’s what we’re on about. If you’re not interested in changing that, you are working for the patriarchy. If you’re trying to tell La Lubu that she should be taking more safety precautions, you’re just setting up the victim-blaming environment.

  36. 236
    Jenny K says:

    “in a criminal justice system where the defendant has the presumption of innocence, he said /she said cases are always going to be problematical.”

    If all we were talking about was a legal presumption of innocence, we wouldn’t have the the problems we have. Instead we also have a social presumption of guilt on the part of the victim that goes so far as to cause juries to dismiss the evidence at hand.

    If the rape case I brought up before isn’t a good enough example, how about the recent OC rape trial? Yes, the boys were finally found to be guilty – but it took two trails in what should have been a open and shut case. The privilege of the upper-class played a big role in it, but so did social attitudes about the proper place and behaviour of women – and how culpable rape victims are with regard to their own assault.

    Or how about La Lubu’s example of the neighbors who declined to even call the cops when she screamed for help? How do you think those people would act when part of a jury?

    You act as if in most he said/she said cases of rape the defendant simply claims that she said yes, when in actuality the all defense has to try and argue is that she didn’t say no, or that she said yes at some point so everything else is irrelevant. This can make prosecuting even clear cut cases of rape – like the OC trial – problematic.

    Oh, and Brian? It’s relevant because it means that engaging in one night stands is not necessarily any riskier for women then getting involved in long term relationships. It may be riskier with regards to theft, because the more we know someone the less likely we are to rob them (people generally rob within a comfort zone, but they rarely rob their best friends), but this same dynamic does not neccessarily hold true for abuse or rape.

    I’m lucky enough to have never been raped, but as I’ve said here before in previous discussions, all the violations that I have suffered have pretty much occured during the normal course of living my life. I can’t think of a single one that I could have prevented by following all this “well-meaning” advice. On the other hand, I have yet to come to any danger on the many occasions I’ve refused to follow such advice because of the restrictions they would place on my life. I’m not so naive to think that luck doesn’t have a big part to play in all this. I’m also not stupid enough to look at my experiences, and all the similar stories from other women, and all the stats and analysis that law enforcement puts out, and come to the conclusion that one night stands are the equivilant of not locking my car door.

  37. 237
    carib says:

    . Violent misogyny is not “human nature.”

    Unfortunately, it is. We can reduce it, but it will always be there. Again, men are ALWAYS going to want toi have sex with women who don’t want have sex with them and a few of those will force women. That’s not going away.

  38. 238
    Q Grrl says:

    If that were true Carib, women’s violent tendancies to kill those men would be more apparent. Think again.

  39. 239
    carib says:

    If all we were talking about was a legal presumption of innocence, we wouldn’t’t have the the problems we have. Instead we also have a social presumption of guilt on the part of the victim that goes so far as to cause juries to dismiss the evidence at hand.

    In my experience as a prosecutor , lots of juries convict lots of men of rape. The problem is that in some situations, its in fact difficult to judge consent. In those borderline cases, the guy will get the benefit of the doubt-and should, given our Constitution and system of justice. It should NEVER be easy to convict someone of rape. Sorry for all feminists who think that the accuser should be simply taken at their word.

    For example, everyone here took Nick at her word. I suspect the paratroopers version may be far different. If you were on the jury, you should not just automatically credit the testimony of the woman ( as I suspect many here would)

  40. 240
    carib says:

    QGRRL:

    If that were true Carib, women’s violent tendencies to kill those men would be more apparent. Think again.

    Ah but men and women really ARE different in some ways. Men are unquestionably more violent than women-which is why the number of men on men assaults dwarfs the number of rapes.

  41. 241
    Q Grrl says:

    Cough up the statistics please.

  42. 242
    Jenny K says:

    “its in fact difficult to judge consent”

    How is consent difficult to judge in the OC case?

    How does a jury concluding that a woman must have been looking for sex because she went to his house, not that she did not have sufficient proof of assault (they convicted on the non-sexual assault charge) equate to “innocent until proven guilty”?

    The juries don’t come out and say to the judge and lawyers that they found the alleged rapist innocent because they found her guilty, but that doesn’t mean that isn’t what they talk about behind closed doors.

    “Sorry for all feminists who think that the accuser should be simply taken at their word.”

    What part of “presumed innocent” was I taking issue with in your mind?

    “as I suspect many here would”

    yeah…that’s why all the feminists focused on Kobe being obviously guilty rather than the slut argument of the defense. /sarcasm

    We don’t have a chance to talk to the paratroopers so we are taking Nick at her word in an exercise in hypotheticals, not because we would automatically believe her if we were part of a jury. Seriously, how insulting are you trying to be? How many stereotypes are you intent on perpetuating?

  43. 243
    Tuomas says:

    Since we are talking about anecdotal evidence, I have some:
    – The number of times I have heard “When a man is accused of rape, people think he did it no matter the evidence”, or any variation of the same: Too many to count, dozens at least. (Then starts the whining about the “huge” number of false accusations. Right. And prisons are full of innocent people, just ask the prisoners ;) )
    -The number of times I have heard “When a man is accused of rape, I think he did it, no matter the evidence”, or any variation of the same: Zero. (Yes, never heard that one in my life.)

    I have to wonder who these “people” are? Do they belong to some secret society? Secret handshakes to identify others or something?

  44. 244
    Radfem says:

    Let it be noted that a large percentage of the prosecutors , judges, and police officers these days are, in fact, women and that juries are often majority women.

    On what planet? Nationwide, about 16% of all LE officers are female and in most agencies, it’s much less than that. And that is even more apparent in the detective rank, even in the sexual assault divisions. Most judges are still men, particularly in my area, in criminal courts. Most of our female judges seemed to be in juvenile or family courts. Most prosecutors are still men, though the number of female prosecutors is growing.

    As far as vigorous prosecution of sexual assault crimes? There’s some improvement for White women, very little if any for Women of color(who are often invisible victims in discussions of rape and other forms of sexual assault) and most of the vigorously prosecuted cases are “stranger” rapes. Still, the conviction rates are miniscule.

    Yes, plea bargains exist, in fact most crimes overall are disposed through plea bargains, but given the seriousness of rape as a violent crime, most of the sentences given out on the “lessor” offenses in plea bargains, are laughable at best. Often very little or no incarceration or jail time. Mostly formal probation and sex offender registration.

    Classism and racism also play roles in how rape crimes are treated. And who’s the perpetratuer, who’s the victim. Or whether there even is a victim at all.

    As far as jurors, they can be mostly male, mostly female.

    I guess some of Ms Young’s diciples wondered on over here.

    Brian’s just behaving as an asshat. It’s inevitable in any discussion of this type that a man is going to come and lecture women on how they can avoid causing their own rapes. Does he spend an equal amount of time lecturing men on how to not rape women? Oh, well, that’s probably the women’s job!

    Just b/c a woman’s decision might not be smart or might be very unwise, doesn’t mean that the men who commit rape aren’t 100 % responsible for what they do. They are the ones who make the decision to rape, whether it’s a stranger, an acquaintance, friend, significant other. If a woman’s doing something that might put her at risk, that does not negate the crime against her. Besides, women are victims of crime even when they are doing all the “right” things on the checklist that’s created and put out mostly by male individuals. The reason why this happens, is because rape is that the decision to rape is not in the women’s hands in theses cases, but in the rapist(s)’. So she can be doing anything. Walking down the street, going out with a guy or sleeping in her own home.

  45. 245
    Thomas says:

    “Sorry for all feminists who think that the accuser should be simply taken at their word.”

    Name one.

  46. 246
    Brian says:

    Sheelzebub wrote:

    “And if the one-night stand did to you what one did to your friend, would you appreciate some snotty asshat telling you that they hope you show more regard for your daughters than you do for yourself?”

    After I did what I did, and my friend did what he did, we did not go off and start a blog, rationalize our behavior on that blog, and close our post in saying that we deserve to be free from any authority telling us that we should behave otherwise.

    I had no daughters at the time of my one night stands, and my friend (who has a son who was alive when this incident happened to him) has never repeated his behavior since. He realized that it was a symptom of something he needed fixed for himself. He has never repeated it since. He got no acceptance from anyone for what he did, and he regrets it to this day.

    this sense that there is this universal acceptance of unacceptable behavior from me, while at the same time there’s a universal lack of acceptance of same in women, is simply delusional and wishful thinking; rationalization in support of unacceptable behavior.

  47. 247
    Brian says:

    Jenny wrote:

    “Oh, and Brian? It’s relevant because it means that engaging in one night stands is not necessarily any riskier for women then getting involved in long term relationships. ”

    This may be true, but apparently you don’t know, and neither do I, so it stands as a theory and nothing more. Is this your way of rationalizing one night stands, and eschewing long term relationships? Or as a prop to claim that there really was no risk to Nick’s behavior?

    I ask you: if you were Nick’s friend (maybe you are, for all I know), and you were babysitting her child and had just put that child down to sleep, and Nick came in with two drunk paratrooper strangers and asked you to leave……would you? Would you happily dart out of there, with the child asleep, and say “have a happy fuck!”.

  48. 248
    Thomas says:

    Brian, I have never maintained that finding two paratroopers for no-strings-attached sex is without risk, and I’m not sure anyone else has. What I said above was that, as methods of finding NSA sex partners goes, Nick’s was as good as any available where sie is.

    Also, I think you have made a continuous factual mistake: Nick didn’t bring these guys to hir home. Sie went back with them to their camp, in a tent. I believe I read somewhere that at another time, sie brought an entirely separate paratrooper to hir home, because neither of them had a condom.

    Many of us have also pointed out that it’s tough to have confidence in the conventional wisdom that strangers are dangerous — nobody has even attempted to demonstrate this empirically — though I don’t think one can conclude the converse either. Can you demonstrate empirically that strangers are more dangerous than acquaintances? Or must you rely for that proposition on theory?

    Finally, you assume that Nick’s behavior would not change after birth (presumably including your incorrect assumption that sie brought the two paratroopers home). I’m not sure that conclusion is correct, and I’m fairly sure if you asked, Nick would answer. Because I have some experience with sleeping babies, I suspect that Nick will be too sleep deprived and worn out to look for sex for a few months, and that after that Nick will look for a babysitter and getting laid somewhere that there is no sleeping baby to wake.

    The tone of your post prompts some questions: you believe Nick should simply forgo no strings attached sex, am I right? And independent of any risk, you believe Nick is morally obligated to do so, yes? You believe that Nick’s desire to have sex with two men at once is aberrant and that she ought not to have fulfilled it, am I correct?

  49. 249
    carib says:

    Jenny k.

    How is consent difficult to judge in the OC case?

    Citing single cases won’t help us. That’s not even the typical date rape case. Generally, things are murkier.

    yeah…that’s why all the feminists focused on Kobe being obviously guilty rather than the slut argument of the defense. /sarcasm

    Dunno what happened in the Kobe case, frankly. Seems that case kind of fell apart, and the victim decided to take the money.

    Seriously, how insulting are you trying to be? How many stereotypes are you intent on perpetuating?

    As many as I can ? :-)

    More seriously, I’m glad folks here are willing to give the accussed the benfit of the doubt and the presumption of innocence. That’s definitely not the tone of this thread!

  50. 250
    carib says:

    To QGrrl

    Q Grrl Writes:

    November 16th, 2005 at 2:12 pm

    Cough up the statistics please.

    http://www.fbi.gov/filelink.html?file=/ucr/cius_04/documents/CIUS_2004_Section2.pdf

    Among other things, there were 859,000- aggravated assults in 2004, versus 94,000 forcible rapes. the vast majoprity of those assaioults wqere men on men.

  51. 251
    Ampersand says:

    Carib, that appears to be a stastic for rapes reported to police. Since the vast majority of rapes are not reported to police, I don’t think your statistic is very meaningful.

  52. 252
    carib says:

    Radfem:

    Going by my personal experience, my DA was a woman, the head of the Sex Crimes unit was a a woman, and many of the prosecutors in my office were women.

    There were quite a few women judges.
    In the police department, I saw a good number of female cops( including a few female detectives).
    Now I was a big city prosecutor, so my experience may have been different from the norm. Dunno.
    My juries typically ahad lots of women on them
    I triedan attempted rape case, in which the defendant got 15 years. He was on probation at the time.
    i also remember a ” he said, she said” rape trial in which the guy , a first offender, was convicted and got 13 years.

    Those don’t seem like light sentences to me, and our jurisdiction had lighter sentencing judges than most!

  53. 253
    carib says:

    Ampersand Writes:

    November 16th, 2005 at 4:36 pm

    Carib, that appears to be a stastic for rapes reported to police. Since the vast majority of rapes are not reported to police, I don’t think your statistic is very meaningful.

    Hey, we can only count that we can count. Those are the best stats out there. If there are better stats, lets see them.
    In any case, its pretty clear that the vcast majority of violent crimes are men on men assaults, which was the point I was trining to make.

  54. 254
    Thomas says:

    “Dunno what happened in the Kobe case, frankly. Seems that case kind of fell apart, and the victim decided to take the money.”

    Afterwords, he issues an apology in which he conceded that he understood how she could have believed that the encouter was nonconsensual. However, there is not really an account of the events where she could believe that it wasn’t consensual and he could have reasonably believed otherwise.

    The case “kind of fell apart” because the “slut defense” worked, because she was getting death threats, because the courthouse staff kept “accidentally” posting confidential materials where the public could access them.

  55. 255
    La Lubu says:

    You wrote: What is the population of men, out of the general population, who engage in one night stands? Now, is that population of men, the ones willing to engage in one night stands, more likely to rape women than the general male population?

    How is this relevant?

    It’s relevant because a number of posters on this thread think that one night stands are inherently riskier than official dates. That would only be true if the population of men who engage in one night stands was statistically more likely to rape than the general male population. I’m saying that I don’t believe that to be true; that there is no difference in the level of rape being committed by the general male population, and the subset of the male population who engage in one night stands.

    Violent misogyny is not “human nature.”

    Unfortunately, it is. We can reduce it, but it will always be there. Again, men are ALWAYS going to want toi have sex with women who don’t want have sex with them and a few of those will force women. That’s not going away.

    Funny, because when the crime being discussed is theft, the general attitude is entirely different. No one believes that theft will ever be completely eradicated, but generally people are willing to change behaviors and tactics to help prevent theft. Not so with rape; rape is ghettoized as a “woman’s problem”, and the onus is on women to prevent themselves from being raped, rather than proactive tactics to prevent rapists from raping. For one thing, we know that men who have been convicted of rape in the past are far more likely to rape again in the future. Yet typically, we sentence rapists to either probation and time served, or to very short prison sentences—shorter than for any other violent crime. What’s up with that? Apparently, our society doesn’t really regard rape as a serious crime—otherwise, there’d be a serious prison sentence to go with it. Will long sentences deter other rapists? Maybe not—but they will take those proven to be a risk to society off the streets.

  56. 256
    Radfem says:

    Well, La Luba, we had a 15 year old girl who was gang raped here and her rapists received three months of sheriff work detail and two years probation. Long sentence isn’t it?

    There was a witness who saw part of it, and one of the rapists threatened her with violence if she testified about it. That tacked about three months work detail to his sentence. Incidently, he was on probation already in another county, but that did not affect his sentencing.

    People did protest, for all the good it did this young girl, who attempted suicide twice the first year after the rapes. The judge was really dandy too, making statements that if she’d been a nun or a virgin, it’d be different. She wasn’t the *right* kind of victim, and she was Black and I really don’t think our prosecutors out there consider Black women who’ve been raped as victims.

    This judge was not one of the two female judges out of our 25 total judges either.

    If you want to lengthen the sentence, usually there has to be either an enhancement or separate charge if a weapon especially a firearm was used. Or a gang enhancement. Either of those by itself may add ten years, which may be longer than the rape sentence without them added. One guy did get a 50 year sentence mostly on the weapons’ charges, and he was convicted for rape, even though he was the accomplice and not the actual rapist. Because of his rape conviction, the police, prosecutors, etc. are not really looking for the one who actually left his DNA inside his victim. Case closed.

  57. 257
    Nick Kiddle says:

    Because this thread is getting too long for someone who only has dial-up, and because I may need to go into hospital at any time, I’m declaring this thread closed.

    Please do not post any more comments here, and thank you to everyone who contributed to a productive discussion.

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