The Two Faces of Rape

Introduction

I got involved in a very heated debate on Facebook not very long ago, involving the thesis that women get raped because society condones the crime and counsels women on how to avoid it, rather than telling men that it’s wrong to do it.  It got heated enough that I was accused of being complicit with rapes because I disputed the thesis (I hew to the Oleg Volk school of rape prevention — i.e., in an imperfect world where one human in thirty is unfortunately a psychopath, an empowered, well-armed women best discourages a social predator by blowing his brains out).  Naturally, I was mortally offended, deeply hurt, and made myself look like an *ass* by retorting with a heartily-felt f-bomb.

Long after, and still STEAMING mad, I finally calmed down enough to say “self, why are you so mortally offended that in spite of your better interests, you let your amygdala hijack your forebrain and f-bomb all over somebody’s Facebook thread?

Real-life dialogue from my past —

Scene:  Budapest, in a student dorm.
Actors:  Me, and a very kind, sweet, also rather confused and conflicted young lady whose name will be withheld.
Action:  Blend of Thai and very borderline erotic massage (I was weak as a kitten at the time from a debilitating illness and having to use my posture/bodyweight to work deep tissue stuff that nowadays, having mostly recovered, I could simply lean in and use shoulder and back strength.)

Her:  “this is getting me turned on…” ::slight pause:: “you’re making me hot…”
Me:  “that’s okay, don’t worry about it.”
Her:  “but…I don’t want to have sex with you.”
Me:  “so don’t.”
Her:  ::look of profound shock::
Me:  “Well, it’s pretty simple.  If you don’t want to have sex with me, great.  Don’t.  We’ll finish up here and go for coffee.  It’s a non-issue.”

[This being Budapest, that meant “kavé,” or stupid-strong espresso.  You don’t “get kavé” if you’re trying to seduce somebody.]
Her:  ::initial incredulity gradually replaced with relaxation as she realizes I’m backing the words up with “non-action” ::

Over the course of my single years, I had several conversations that went along those lines, with ladies who were happy to fool around, but not comfortable pulling the trigger on making a sexy relationship into an openly sexual one.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t make mistakes, or that I didn’t accidentally hurt some people.  Like most men, I was clueless about how women worked for a long time.  But in every case like this, no matter how turned on each one of us got, since I knew the lady didn’t want to be my lover, I kept the brakes applied.  (This may surprise some people who know me.  I once played DnD at a friend’s place, and Friend 1 said, meaning to describe the character that I was running, that “[Happycrow’s] a lascivious gypsy.”  Not missing a beat, Friend 2 responded “great, what’s his character?”)  In the end, I think the reason I got so steamed is that I take rape very, very seriously, being of the school where I tend to view the appropriate response to rape being to tear off the man’s testicles, set him on fire, and then, a little while later, hang him.  I can’t even stomach prison-rape jokes.

Seriously:  there’s nothing even slightly funny about people being sentenced to stay in a little metal box, often for victimless “crimes,” (mala prohibita, or things that are only “wrong” because somebody has decided to make them illegal), then to be forcibly sodomized for years or even decades without any hope or help.  That’s Dante’s Inferno territory here on earth.  If rape is horrific, imagine knowing you have to suffer it for decades, and that nobody’s ever, ever going to step in to protect you…

There are Two Faces of Rape: His and Hers

His
It should be pretty simple to say: “Men, don’t rape.”  But statistics bear out that there’s still a huge problem, with a lot of women suffering serious harm.

  1. Don’t be a social predator.  If you’re a sociopath, recognize that there are special places where your utter lack of human empathy is a tremendous asset, and where you’ll be very well-compensated for taking advantage of that fact AND avoid the unpleasantness associated with prison time, etcetera (statistically speaking you’re likely to be successful in the short term, and then caught and put away in the long run — and let’s face it.  “Sniper,” “Investment Banker,” and “Trauma Surgeon” all look a lot better on a resume than “serial rapist.”)
  2. A woman dressing for sex or sexiness is not “asking for it.”  And even when a woman’s dressing in a way that really IS asking for it, chance are, she’s not asking for it FROM YOU  (In other words, if she’s dressing like a bombshell to “motivate” her fiancé, you don’t have a voice in that conversation).
  3. If a woman says any variation of “stop” at any time, including in the middle of intercourse, you stop.  You don’t slow down, you don’t pause.  You get your body off of hers until both of you know what’s going on.  That may mean you go home frustrated as hell.  Tough shit.  Take a long shower — you’re a man, not a goat, and have, or ought to have, enough self-control to avoid victimizing someone.
  4. That applies even in the case of somebody who’s explicitly playing head games with you — in fact, it applies doubly to those circumstances, because women who will play head games with sex are not quality people, and not only do you need to get away from said women, your life will be much happier if you get away from them permanently.
  5. Alcohol does not excuse you from controlling yourself — and the prisons are full of people who thought they could drop a six-pack and be legally entitled to do whatever criminal action they wanted to get away with.  The District Attorney, who is politically motivated to put your ass away permanently if there’s even a whiff of suspicion that you might make the news, begs to differ.
  6. Don’t take advantage.  Don’t take advantage for two reasons.  First, you are, or should be, a better man than than to cause someone distress in a situation that should simply be awesome and good.  Second, for those men who aren’t better than that, there are legal repercussions — “taking advantage” isn’t rape, but a lot of women equate the two directly, and if you’re the kind of schmuck who pushes it, you’re a lot more likely to find yourself up on charges where your actual crime (of being a first-class jerk) is going to get you a reputation for being a social predator (aka, the kind of person most men would happily kill on sight without a shred of remorse if they thought they could get away with it — and some have gotten away with it).
  7. The court of opinion is not only stacked against you — it can destroy you.  Many colleges will find you guilty on a “preponderance of evidence” standard that has nothing whatsoever to do with your actual guilt or innocence.  Don’t put yourself in harm’s way, even if you’re legally in the right — being charged can ruin you for life.
  8. Point Blank:  Sex is important, and sex is exciting — if your partner isn’t not only “involved,” but obviously enthusiastic, something has gone seriously wrong.  Find out what.  Do Not Pass Go, Do not collect $200.  Find out what’s wrong:  she may be having sex in spite of not really wanting to (for any number of reasons ranging from the moronic to the tragic), and that can mess a woman up for years.

Hers
A lot of women get in trouble for “asking for it”-type situations, and suffer a lot of extra pain because they confuse “you made a lot of bad decisions” with “we agree that you should have been raped.”  (And, to be clear, there is a tiny minority of complete assholes who do spoil it for everyone else….by definition, both criminals and people who are only not criminals because they’re too afraid of the cops to act out the twisted shit in their heads, are nasty people.)  While not all encounters with social predators can be avoided (and that sucks for all crime victims, not just women), making good decisions will help to spare you a lot of heartache.

  1. “Asking for it” refers to not minimizing risks, or to taking stupid risks.  Yes, you should be able to walk around in nothing or almost nothing, wherever you want, and not fear any untoward consequences whatsoever.  And I should be able to walk around the “bombed-out” sections of Richmond, East Saint Louis, South Chicago, or Anacostia at night without suffering a very high probability of getting the everloving shit kicked out of me simply because I happened to be there.  We don’t live in a perfect world:  be realistic about the world you live in.  (Why do a lot of folks look askance at clubs?  Because a lot of predatory shit-heads hang out in clubs, that’s why)
  2. Some monsters walk on two legs:  3-4% of the human population is made up of psychopaths.  That is, one out of every twenty five-to-thirty people is incapable of feeling guilt for their actions, and feels absolutely no psychological difference between ordering a hamburger and shoving a Bowie knife into your eye.  These are people who can literally disembowel babies, and not only not feel guilt, but not feel anything.  Rape, algebra homework, genocide:  it’s all the same to these people.  The APA says that a somewhat-higher percentage of these people happen to be male.  Be careful: there are a lot of good men out there, but there are also some very, very bad ones, and the bad ones are usually much, much better liars — sociopaths and psychopaths frequently fool the professionals.  If you meet a man who’s “so slick he can slide uphill,” who’s awesome and amazing and always, always says exactly the right thing — step back and ponder that for a minute.  “So smooth you don’t even realize it until later” is a warning sign.
  3. Alcohol does not excuse a man raping you.  But at the same time, alcohol doesn’t mean you get a free pass on your behavior, either.  You do not lose your ability to give consent simply because you’ve chosen to drink and/or to get drunk — the sad truth is that a lot of women drink in order to give themselves permission to have sex.  One survey in England (not exactly a Saudi-like bastion of sexual repression) that came out not too long ago suggested that a significant percentage of married women had never had sex, even with their husbands, while actually sober.  Men know that lots of women drink to give themselves permission to screw, and many men will assume that if you’re drinking and dressed in a sexy way, that it’s perfectly reasonable to put 2 and 2 together and get 4.  Don’t set yourself up for future emotional anguish if you don’t trust yourself when you’re drinking.  Have a drinking buddy you can trust, and if you don’t want to get laid, make sure the guys you’re drinking with know that.  It’s not rape if you get really drunk and get laid,  but then regret the hell out of that the next morning, no matter how horrible you feel afterwards.  Sorry — that’s about as politically incorrect as it gets.  But you’re just as responsible for your actions as men are for theirs.  (And if you use that as an excuse to take it out  on the man by filing a false rape charge, you are officially A Bad Person.)
  4. And a world in which women aren’t required to be responsible for their actions just like men are, drunk or not, is no world you want to live in….unless you like being treated like a legal permachild the way 17th and 18th-century women were.  Your mothers and grandmothers fought like hell to get out of that world and into a world of legal equality.  You should honor their achievements.
  5. Just because you were drinking or because you said “yes” doesn’t mean you can no longer say “no,” either.  Stand your ground, and don’t be afraid to prosecute — or to scream for help if necessary if you’re too impaired to get away.  (On the other hand, men who use date-rape drugs on you, even if the assault doesn’t succeed, should always, always, always be reported to the police.  If the bastard tried it on you, guaranteed he’s either succeeded or is setting up to succeed on somebody else.  The answer to roofies isn’t self-doubt, but hard time in prison for the people who put women through that hell).
  6. Just because a guy has his pants off, doesn’t mean you’re no longer entitled to say no.  You can say “no” any time you want, including ninety-percent through intercourse while both your eyes are bugging out, for any reason whatsoever.  Yes, this can and likely will result in sexual frustration, confusion, and possibly even hurt feelings for the guy involved, just as it would for you if the guy suddenly bailed out and wanted nothing to do with you under the same circumstances.  That’s unavoidable, and hopefully you’ll both be very gentle and understanding with each other….but you still retain the absolutely inviolable right to say “no,” “stop,” “wait,” or any variation on that theme, at any time.  Anyone who says otherwise should never be allowed to take their pants off in your presence.
  7. There is no faster way to make a man hate all women, and to reflexively treat all every woman he meets like crap for the rest of his life than to subject him to a false rape accusation.  Accusing someone of rape is every bit as serious as committing rape in the first place.  And if you’re offended by that, substitute the word “murder” and see if you don’t get why.  There is also no faster way to cause some men to doubt a victimized woman’s valid rape accusation than to bring a rape charge for a false or spurious reason.  If you “cry wolf” and try to use a false criminal accusation as a weapon to hurt somebody, you deserve to do hard time in prison.
  8. Sadly, some men hurt women because they’re just as clueless about sex and relationships as you are, and they don’t understand how women work at all.  That sucks, and it happens surprisingly often — men and women are different.  It’s also one of the reasons why, prudish and old-fashioned as it sounds, survey after survey finds that women who wait until they’re in a committed relationship to have sex tend to be much happier than those who aren’t.  Men benefit from real relationships too, but being less emotionally sensitive, are less likely to suffer psychologically from a bad fling.  A pickup gone bad lingers and never gets resolved — in a real relationship, both parties are still around to work it out.  The Sexual Revolution was important — women have a lot more options and can make a lot more choices — but when you make those choices, make sure they’re choices you can not only live with, but look back on with a smile rather than a giant bucket of regrets.

And finally, for both men and women…  “Society says this, Society says that.” Forget “Society” — it’s a weak weasel-word that tries to turn “culture” into an aggregate, composite person who doesn’t actually exist.  A real adult woman sets her own standards and lives by them, and a real man, by definition, isn’t cowed into conformity by peer pressure.  If you can’t stand on your own feet, and make your own calls, while making sure that those calls are for the better good of both you AND your partner, then you’re probably not emotionally mature enough to be engaging in sex in the first place without suffering for it emotionally, or causing somebody else to suffer, possibly for a very long time.  And just like any “cycle of abuse,” those people tend to make the people around them suffer, too. “Every mind is a world” — don’t turn yours, or somebody else’s, into a permanent hell because you were too immature to make good choices and back them up by walking the walk.

(Edit:  Comments have been locked because of repeatedly-demonstrated inability of numerous commenters to maintain basic civility, and attempts to circumvent bans with false login information.  Sorry, folks — I’m cool with folks disagreeing with me, and I don’t even particularly mind people going off the deep end and, in scholarly terms, “doing violence to the text” because they they’re too self-righteous to accept the reality of any other context but their own.  But there are limits, and when I’m forced to play moderator simply to keep egregious abuse off the blog, it’s “okay, out of the pool” time.)

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92 Comments

  1. D

     /  June 23, 2012

    That is the most outstanding post on a blog I’ve ever seen! Good job, and very well thought out.

  2. I could not, in any way, shape or form have said any of that better myself.

    Kudos!

  3. Bravo. Excellent and thank you.

  4. Earlymodernmom

     /  June 23, 2012

    As a woman who was raped, I endorse your blog post 100%. I WISH I’d heard this kind of straight talk as a young woman. I came to understand the need to take responsibility for myself as I struggled to overcome what happened to me. I see this message as very empowering.

  5. person

     /  June 23, 2012

    This needs to be published somewhere bigger.

  6. Laura

     /  June 24, 2012

    Just one brief comment. While I agree that drinking is NOT an excuse for anyone, everyone should be aware that as soon as someone is intoxicated, they can no longer legally give consent (at least in the United States) and it would still be considered as rape.

    • There is a large murky area involved here in terms of what constitutes “sufficiently intoxicated than they cannot properly give consent,” and the definitions are not gender-equalized: if a man and a woman are both smashed and have sex, there’s a good chance the man will wind up a felon and the woman never be charged. THAT SAID….it’s cold comfort for the woman, who could have done her part to avoid suffering all of that had she made more careful choices a couple of steps further up the decision-chain. On the male side, c.f. “don’t take advantage.”

  7. I ran across this blog and posted it to my Facebook page. There are a lot of folks forwarding it out on theirs. Well written, well articulated .. now if I can just get people to understand I didn’t write it and they should be giving credit to the mysterious happycrow

  8. Arsepolitico

     /  June 25, 2012

    “And a world in which women aren’t required to be responsible for their actions just like men are”
    Uh. No. Women are still held responsible for the choices of men, see section entitled “Hers,” above.
    This is whole section aimed at women is incredibly arrogant and I suggest you shut up and listen. You have a serious empathy and knowledge shortage. No one in that position should ever presume to advise victims or potential victims of trauma from a “neutral,” 3rd person point of view. Maybe you should drop in on some group therapy for rape, abuse, and sexual assault and sexual harassment victims, and keep your mouth closed and open your ears.
    Or at least do some research on Narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths that go beyond how many men are or arent card-carrying members of the club. You might learn how obnoxiously condescending and arrogany your entire address is.

    • What article did you read, Arsepolitico? Because it wasn’t the same article I read. Or Jennifer read. Or Earlymodernmom read.

    • BigWhiteDog

       /  June 25, 2012

      Wow, either you were reading something else or you missed the point entirely.

  9. Wacky

     /  June 26, 2012

    Way to be a condescending rear end. You simply tooted your nose in the air and talked as if you had a solution. New Flash: victim blaming is NOT a solution. Try again.

    • Dear Wacky:

      I’m sorry that’s how you chose to interpret the post. There is a tremendous difference between blaming the victim and empowering someone to make choices which will minimize their risks in advance.
      NOBODY deserves to be raped. Or mugged, or murdered. But saying that a person is well-served by making choices ahead of time that minimize those risks is not the same thing as saying “you deserved to be victimized.”

      The latter is blaming the victim. The former is ARMING a person with tools which can help them avoid the situation in the first place.

      It’s a complex and ugly situation, no doubt.

      All the best,

      Happycrow.

  10. Aimée

     /  June 26, 2012

    Hello there HappyCrow, I’m not sure if you are the Jordan that posted this to SlutWalk Toronto, but I think you need to see the comments there written by myself and others, and an article written by The Best Defense Programme in response to you:

    Facebook thread: http://www.facebook.com/SlutWalkToronto/posts/375364695861440

    The Face of the Rape Apologist: http://thebestdefenseprogram.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/oh-spit/

    Your post is nothing but rape myths and victim blaming peddled out as “advice” – it is nothing new. Please take a look through the comments and the linked article, thanks.

    • Sorry if this was delayed before posting — because you embedded links, it went into my moderation queue.

      There seems to be a certain contingent which is ideologically disposed to throw around labels rather than to read carefully and consider dispassionately — I’m not sure WHY I’d want to go hang out in a place where vicious slanders like “rape apologist” are casually tossed about, but if you’re a reader who absolutely can’t sand what’s written here and would like to score points by beating me up, here’s some folks who are apparently of like mind.

      • Aimée

         /  June 26, 2012

        “Victim-blaming is real. Nobody has to say, “You deserved to get raped” in those words in order for victim-blaming to be real. “She shouldn’t have dressed like that/been there/acted that way, it’s no wonder she got raped!” is victim-blaming. So is spreading mythology about false accusations, denying the authenticity of the victim, or boiling rape down to biological imperatives. So is the “advice” given to women on how to keep themselves safe that just doesn’t work for beans.”

        Perhaps you, as an author, would like to look into the debates and why your piece is rape apology and victim blaming. Perhaps you should do your research.

      • “She shouldn’t have dressed like that/been there/acted that way, it’s no wonder she got raped!” is victim-blaming.”

        You’re right. But if you were to have read a bit more carefully, you’ll notice that I not only never said that, but specifically took pains to distance myself from that position.
        We’re dealing with a broken world and that there are ways to avoid risks. If I walk around Anacostia at 3 .m., I don’t deserve to get shot and mugged, either. That doesn’t mean that someone is evil for pointing out that I could have made better decisions a couple of steps up the line and not fallen into a predator’s crosshairs. To tell someone that AFTER they’ve suffered the crime is tactless at best (talk about adding insult to injury!) — to counsel somone on reducing their risks ahead of time, however, is something notably different.

        However, there IS something counterfactual which I will rebut. I’m sorry to break it to you, but false rape accusations DO occur. They are wrong both because they try to use the legal system to ruin someone for life, and because they cause people to be more skeptical of legitimate accusations. A particularly egregious example in the U.S. (which may have escaped your attention, since you’re a Brit, but which was front-page news over here for months) can be found by googling “Duke Lacrosse Rape Case.”

        Sorry, but the real world is complicated. Simply being (justifiably) angry isn’t going to fix anything. If complex problems are to be solved, people have to be willing to deal with the world as it IS, not with the world as they wish it were.

  11. You know, given the choice between the opinion of a woman who was actually raped, and a woman who apparently doesn’t feel it’s a woman’s duty to protect herself and accuses a man who says as much as being a rape apologist — yeah, I’m gonna go with the former.

    Rule #1 of not being raped: Don’t allow yourself to be a victim.

    • Aimée

       /  June 26, 2012

      Congrats – you found the cure to rape. Don’t “allow” it. Oh wow.

      • See, Aimee, this is indicative of so many of your replies. Instead of saying “Erin, you are mistaken, and here are the reasons why,” instead you reply with sarcasm and implied eye-rolling. This does not engender within me a desire to have a dialog with you.

        Similarly, you could have replied to Happycrow’s post with a polite “You seem to be mistaken on some key issues, please allow me to enlighten you.” But you didn’t. Instead, you called him a rape-apologist and linked to a post where you further insulted him.

        Helpful hint: If you want to educate someone, do not begin by screaming “YOU ARE STUPID AND PREJUDICED!” at them. That tends to make folks dismiss you as a hysterical harridan.

    • Liberate Zealot

       /  June 26, 2012

      And how does one allow them self to be a victim? Is it attending college (statistics are slightly above average re: rape at colleges), or being a woman of color, or trans or a child? Or actually being inside a house? Jeans are the most common clothing that victims wear, might want to avoid those too. Honestly, naked on the street amongst strangers is actually the safest space (statistically speaking) to be.

  12. Liberate Zealot

     /  June 26, 2012

    Well I see a lot of people have never read Dr. Lisak’s or any credible research on the actions of rapists. I’ll link them for you. But heads up, they manipulate and engineer situations and people that make it easy for them to get away with rape. And if they target you, there is very little you can do to protect yourself.
    Furthermore, they see their actions as normal and something everyone does, but doesn’t talk about. So teaching the rape is wrong, and what real consent looks like actually would help address rape. Especially since there are a lot more rapists than psychopaths or sociopaths.
    http://www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?14+Duke+J.+Gender+L.+&+Pol%27y+125#B139
    http://www.mysati.com/Downloads/NJEP_The%20Undetected_Rapist.pdf

    • (Nota bene, Comments containing links will face delayed approval in order to protect from spam — if I’m not online, don’t assume a comment has been rejected simply b/c it cuts against what I’ve posted)

    • Couldn’t reply immediately (I was busy satisfying my cracklike addiction to food and shelter at work), but didn’t mean to give the impression that I was ignoring you.

      Having been seduced, manipulated, and otherwise horribly victimized by just such a person for several years running, I wish I could disagree with you. Unfortunately, since there were no chemicals involved but merely psychological manipulation, there’s nothing that can be done for it (rape is a crime: you can’t even sue for somebody “engineering your consent” by psychological manipulation/seducing you). Part of my comment regarding folks who are exceptionally persuasive was intended to lean that direction, but I’m not a pro psychologist who can make deep comments, and unless directly raised, didn’t want to throw the victim card myself. I am told that there are folks who are seriously high-skilled enough at the psychology game to spot these folks coming and defuse them. Sad to say, I’m not one of those guys. I’m okay in a fight, but a professional killer from Los Zetas would turn me into a smear, too: there are some dangers where the only thing you can really do is try your damndest to “stay out of the way” and avoid situations where a “serious predator” can pick you out as a victim. Wish it weren’t so, but we don’t live in a perfect world.

      Marc MacYoung describes this in his writings on the “victim interview.” He knows more about self-defense than I ever will and runs No-Nonsense Self-Defense if anybody’s interested. (and it’s immensely flattering that he commented here, actually)

      • Liberate Zealot

         /  June 26, 2012

        Way to ignore the point that serious predators can be anyone. They don’t have warning signs. Often they find areas to hide in among people that mask their own predatory behavior. And they manipulate situations so that people can’t get away. Staying away from rapists (who are teachers, priests, parents, friends, and partners of their victims) is impossible, especially when we talk about the societal, not individual level. Which is why we need to focus on their actions, not the actions of their victims.

        Focusing anti-rape awareness and advocacy on the (potential) victims will never stop rape (often on the individual, and definitely on the societal level) because they are not the ones choosing to victimize others. They have no control over the actions of rapists, victims cannot keep rapists from raping. Only rapists can stop rape, since they are the ones that chose to rape. Refusing to make this fact the focus of anti-rape campaigns and conversations only helps rapists.

      • The same logic applies to murderers. Are “anti-murder” campaigns really helping to reduce violence? Eh, I dunno; I’m not an activist. Maybe there’s some dude out there who saw a slutwalk or some other anti-rape campaign and thought “gee, maybe I SHOULD stop being a narcisistic predatory piece of shit.” If so, great!.

        The world is full of bad people — but the world’s also full of clueless gits who either accidentally put themselves in harm’s way (my roofie example was based on a real-life experience that happened at a club, for instance, where the victim fortunately escaped rape, but still wasn’t sure whether to prosecute), or else cluelessly victimize women. Are you honestly going to say I’m *helping rapists* by saying “ladies, watch where and with whom you drink” or “dude, here’s some ways dudes really eff up women’s lives, don’t be one of them?”

        Because, dude. If that actually makes sense in the world you live in….

      • ” victims will never stop rape ….”

        Side note:
        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=rapist+shot+by+victim
        The continual assertion I keep seeing that women are helpless victims who can do nothing to minimize their risks or to defend themselves in the face of a predator is pretty pathetic. No wonder you’re all so angry!

      • rbhu7

         /  June 26, 2012

        Murder victims are not blamed for being victims. No one ever told Stephen Lawrence it was his fault for walking down a street and being black, as one example.

        The biggest myth is that rape is a crime like mugging, where the victim rarely knows the attacker. If you trust someone, you can immediately put yourself in any position of becoming a victim, from minor theft to murder. You cannot not trust anyone.

        Focus should be on making men be able to understand consent, and that even if a woman gets drunk in your presence, and even if you buy her drinks and she excepts, it doesn’t mean she is now automatically obliged to pull her knickers down for your pleasure, even if she doesn’t want to. She owes you nothing.

        You know what, you make yourself sound like a man who can’t control himself, and think all men cannot control themselves.

        In essence: “Don’t get drunk in my presence, or wear a short skirt, or walk home alone, because if I see you, I may not be able to control my penis and may have to force myself upon you – and if you don’t scream “NO” loud enough, i’ll take that as consent, but remember the way you acted/dressed/situation you put yourself in means it is your fault, not mine even though I am the rapist – I am just a simple man who cannot control his sexual urges”

        This is how you sound. Take a bow.

        Alternatively, you could teach the potential rapist not to rape and how to read consent. Not all men are lead by their genitals; and we shouldn’t be afraid to admit that, and we should recognise it more.

      • Aimée

         /  June 26, 2012

        “The same logic applies to murderers. Are “anti-murder” campaigns really helping to reduce violence? Eh, I dunno; I’m not an activist. Maybe there’s some dude out there who saw a slutwalk or some other anti-rape campaign and thought “gee, maybe I SHOULD stop being a narcisistic predatory piece of shit.” If so, great!.”

        SlutWalk is a campaign to raise awareness of victim blaming, slut shaming – and how this puts more onus on the survivors of rape than on those who actually rape. Its aim is to open up dialogue about enthuastic consent, to get rid of rape myths (such as it’s always a stranger in a bush or that clothes “attract” trouble) etc. If you’re asking how these kind of movements (SlutWalk and others) reduce violence? Studies show we often nurture violence in communities, by not speaking and having healthy discussions on consent, sexuality etc. We as people have no idea how to say yes or no to many things – and seems many people power trip off it. Creating a space for open and honest communication in the framework of society is incredibly important – one that doesn’t blame or shame in the process.

        There’s also the other angle that most rapists are repeat offenders – so if we cultivate a culture where survivors feel supported to go through the court process (rather than victim blamed) and where juries aren’t fed rape myths – we’ll convict more rapists. Therefore less rape!

        There’s a terrible conviction rate in most countries when people report (In the UK the CPS drop most cases before even getting to the court process) and so, they get off. That and people are scared to report because they know the shame and blame will often be put onto them. This is why SlutWalk can actually help that, too. Its main purpose is to battle victim blaming which is tied with slut shaming… but in the process, when you challenge rape myths and get the facts out about rape, it will also sway the whole police/CPS/court process AND get people to report more.

        “The world is full of bad people — but the world’s also full of clueless gits who either accidentally put themselves in harm’s way (my roofie example was based on a real-life experience that happened at a club, for instance, where the victim fortunately escaped rape, but still wasn’t sure whether to prosecute), or else cluelessly victimize women. Are you honestly going to say I’m *helping rapists* by saying “ladies, watch where and with whom you drink” or “dude, here’s some ways dudes really eff up women’s lives, don’t be one of them?””

        Do you honestly, reallty think telling women “watch where and with whom you drink” is a new tactic that is actually going to stop rape? If it were that simple as telling women “don’t go here, and don’t trust that person, and be careful with that” worked, do you not think we’d see sexual assaults reduce by now? Because you’re hardly the first person to tell women this – Women are told 24/7 what they should avoid/who to not talk to/what to not accept/to get licensed taxi’s etc. This is not new news to any of us – and it’s hammered in from an early age already.

        What this misses is the 85% of rape that happens by someone known to the survivor. That person they thought they could trust, so they got them to walk them home that night. That friend they thought they could drink around. That partner they thought they could trust. That family member or family friend who they were supposed to be safe around. To really address rape – you have to look at rape culture. You have to look at whole host of social structures which feed into the problem, you have to look at education systems and common held beliefs of society and change attitudes from the ground up.

        If it were honestly as simple as telling women to carry guns or to avoid drinking around certain people – well, you would have just cured rape. Studies have shown, as well as intentioned as such advice might be, it simply doesn’t reduce rates of rape.

      • Liberate Zealot

         /  June 26, 2012

        Your roofie example was someone taking advantage of another person by slipping a roofie in their drink. Even that one wasn’t about the bad choices of your friend, but about a predator taking advantage of their environment to target a victim. Luckily it didn’t work. That night, I’m sure it did others, on some other women. Which is why monitoring the behavior of potential victims isn’t enough. I want to stop rape, not shift the rapist’s victimization onto another person.

  13. Aimée

     /  June 26, 2012

    HappyCrow,

    I cannot appear to reply to your comment in response to mine, so I’ll do it here. Indeed, being angry will not help. You know what will help, though? Looking at structural violence and sexism, the objectification rather than celebration of sexuality within society, education systems which don’t have healthy and open dialogue on issues of consent, relationships and abuse are good places to start so we can start to pave our way to a consent culture.

    I actually already went over all the things I found problematic with your post and the whole “avoid bad neighbours” thing before, but I’m going to copy/paste it.

    1) Rape is not caused by walking through a bad neighbourhood. 85% of rape happens by someone known to the survivor – a friend, partner, ex etc. This whole “they’re in the bushes late at night!” is largely a myth. Please stop buying into it. What about the people that LIVE in these “bad neighbours”?

    2) This posts writes “Asking for it” refers to not minimizing risks, or to taking stupid risks. ” – what risks are we talking about here, Jordan? Never having friends? Never trusting someone? Tell me, oh master of knowledge, what risks you include in this statement?

    3) Ah, yes, the classic “look for warning signs” because SO many rapists come with flashing red neon signs on their foreheads? Yeah, they don’t. Although I advocate warning signs and lists of abusive behaviour patterns, abusers are very good at going undetected and quite often, if the relationship is an abusive one – cutting peoples way off to get out of it. Protip: You want to help women “avoid” rape? Stop talking down to them – realise that you “telling women to look for warning signs” has been done by about a million dudebros before you – and you’re NOT HELPING. If anything it adds into the myth that rapists are always “the baddies” and this detectable. This means when someone reports a rape by someone that the community regards as a “good” person – the survivor is often not believed.

    4) Just say no? Is that what this part boils down to?! “Just because you were drinking or because you said “yes” doesn’t mean you can no longer say “no,” either. Stand your ground, and don’t be afraid to prosecute — or to scream for help if necessary if you’re too impaired to get away.” – Because man oh man, you freaking need to do research. One of the most common psychological AND phisological effects of rape is to freeze. This happens to both women and men. The body does not know how to cope – so it simply freezes. Another of course is to fight, but often this can escalate into more danger. There is no RIGHT way to respond to rape – so please stop the BS “stand your ground” crap. Survivors do not need you to police how they react to violence.

    5) “You do not lose your ability to give consent simply because you’ve chosen to drink and/or to get drunk ” – You can’t actually legally consent to sex while under the influence. A bit like you can’t operate heavy machinary. There are resources on the internet for how to tackle the drinking/sex thing – many writers advocate having an open and honest conversation with someone BEFORE drinking so all people involved know the boundaries. However if someone is quite obviously drunk – we need to be raising awareness that this means their judgement is impaired – and perhaps having sex with someone when their judgement is impared isn’t exactly the best – it’s taking advantage. This goes for men and women. Taking advantage of someone in this state is rape.

    There’s a lot of “just say no” and “just avoid this” crap in this article, which takes NO account of social power structures or societal ones. None. This is a huge problem with the entire article, you need to research and look up the term rape culture, look at oppressive power structures, and look up articles on consent culture and the one from the good men project titled ““Don’t Get Raped” vs. “Don’t Rape”: An Inquiry”.

    “And finally, for both men and women… “Society says this, Society says that.” Forget “Society” – it’s a weak weasel-word that tries to turn “culture” into an aggregate, composite person who doesn’t actually exist. ” – SO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH THIS OHMYGOD. You think you live in a bloody vaccum?!

    Lastly: Yes, false rape claims happen. They are at a no higher rate than for any crime (did you read the article linked by the best defense programme? It speaks of exactly this).

    • Now see, this is much better. You explain in what ways you believe Happycrow to be mistaken and give examples.

      Sadly, you completely undermine your position in the penultimate paragraph by, again, resorting to yelling and name-calling.

      • Aimée

         /  June 26, 2012

        When all else fails – tell someone you can’t debate with them because they don’t engender within you the desire to respond eh? Tone arguments are fail – thanks for addressing 0% of my comment.

      • I don’t have anything against Aimee’s approach, actually (though I do take umbrage at being slandered, and will ban anyone who engages in that sort of behavior here on the site); I just think she’s causing herself a lot of unnecessary stress by reading what she thinks I’ve written, rather than what I actually have. While I greatly appreciate your courtesy in rising to my defense here, it’s not really necessary: I have my big-boy pants on, and am not going to get ruffled over being misunderstood. Life’s just too short for that business.

    • Liberate Zealot

       /  June 26, 2012

      Furthermore, the whole you can say “no” adter saying “yes”, or suggesting victims needed to say a more clear no in general ignores the realities of rape. Rapists know they don’t have consent. They just don’t care. The engineer the situation so they can get away with ignoring the know (or in cases of alcohol, so the victim doesn’t even have the ability to say no).

  14. rbhu7

     /  June 26, 2012

    Erin, if you or happycrow feel the victim of name calling, sarcastic putdowns or aggression via a keyboard, perhaps you should’ve take steps “further up the line” to prevent yourself from being that victim. I mean, you either brought it on yourself, or you’re lying about it. Which is it?

    “Don’t allow yourself to be a victim” indeed. Does that fit the bill for every victim of every crime?

  15. LOL. I am under no obligation to address any such thing, as this isn’t my blog and I won’t speak for its owner. I’m just pointing out that screaming YOU ARE A STUPID MAN WHO IS A RAPE APOLOGIST is incredibly annoying.

    You know why so many people hate Christians? It’s because they’ve been exposed to the holier-than-thou types. Saying “REPENT OR BE DAMNED, WANTON SINNERS” is more likely to make people *not* listen to the message of hope, forgiveness and redemption and write off the entire faith as a collection of people who like to accuse others from their high horse.

    Does that sound familiar at all? It should, because you’re doing the exact same thing. Or, to put it another way, wouldn’t you ignore anything I had to say — no matter how relevant my thesis or how well I defended it — if I prefaced it by saying “Listen up, you retarded cunt” ?

    • Whoops, right after I posted that I saw Happycrow’s request that I stop defending him. Sorry about that, HC, it hadn’t shown up in my email stream.

      As per the moderator’s request, I am stepping out of the argument.

    • Aimée

       /  June 26, 2012

      Ah, I see, did I ever call him a rape apologist? Did I call him stupid? No. Actually, I wrote that his piece was full of victim blaming, rape myths and rape apology. Also, despite what you may read into my words about being “holier-than-thou” – I only commented here in the hopes to engage HappyCrow in what I think are huge glaring flaws in this piece. I care about rape survivors so I am for educating people who buy into rape myths.

      You are under no obligation to address my points indeed – which is why I find it so odd you decided to address it just to tell me you don’t approve of my tone.

  16. rbhu7

     /  June 26, 2012

    I’ll be honest here, its toss up between “Rule #1 of not being raped: Don’t allow yourself to be a victim.” & “Listen up, you retarded cunt” which one I find the most stupid of comments, and which one is worth replying to.

    I just think preaching to victims of rape, or potential victims of rape by telling them to avoid being victims is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

    And once more you didn’t answer my question, does this “avoid being a victim” apply to all victims of all crimes?
    Perhaps Stephen Lawrence should’ve painted himself white before leaving his house, or all those jews should switched religions in 1933. Or again, is it just rape victims.

    • Again, at the moderator’s request, I am staying out of further arguments on his blog. If you (or Aimee, for that matter) want to take this up in private, by all means please do so; my email address is at the top of my gravatar profile.

      • Erin, please — argue all you want, I merely meant to say that the abuse angle isn’t a big deal. (sincerest apologies, I was playing hookey during my last few minutes at work and expressed myself poorly).

      • Thanks, but it’s better this way. No sense in muddying up your place when we can quietly take it outside to be sorted in private.

        And if they choose not to email me, that’s fine, too; it will only prove to me that they’re more interested in public controversy than in actual dialog.

    • Matthew Butch

       /  June 27, 2012

      I like how you equate something that can’t be changed (race) or hard to change (religion) with something that can be- making sure potential victims are aware and prepared.

      Yes, sometimes it is hard to avoid being raped- someone gets you in a bad situation where nobody could see it coming. But not every situation is like that. Almost always there are warning signs. Its called situation awareness.

      In the self-defense world, its called situational awareness. Sure I should be able to go where ever I want without worry. But that’s not the real world. I know I should stay away from areas of high crime. I know to always be watching other people, just in case. I’ve actually stopped somebody from robbing me and my girlfriend because I saw him coming- and he knew I was watching him. Most people are unaware.

      Nobody here is “blaming” the victim or apologizing for rape. What they are saying is that sometime it can be avoided- and just because a person wasn’t aware that it could have been (because nobody ever told them to be), doesn’t mean its their fault.

      But if the point is to stop and prevent rape, taking some responsibility is just one of the many ways. It doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive with other education.

      Its far more ridiculous to tell potential victims or rape (or any crime really) that there is nothing you can do to prevent it, except proselytize about it.

      • rbhu7

         /  June 27, 2012

        Matthew, I’ll just say read the links provided – over 80% of rape victims knew their attacker well pervious to the rape.

        I was once mugged as a teenager – but it is totally different, mugging is about robbing gaining something from nothing – rape is about power – big difference.
        I know, to not get mugged, to avoid certain areas, to watch out for people etc etc. Rapes don’t happen like that, vast majority happen in the victims home, or home of someone close, the rapist doesn’t appear out of nowhere. Furthermore, in court, a mugging victim will not be cross examined over what they were wearing, were they alone, why they were there etc.

        This whole blog is blaming the victim.

      • Ha! I knew you’d say something about it being in “public”. Coming from the woman who has her own blog et al.

        Ad hominem. Also, irrelevant, as I don’t have a political blog. My blog is about my hobbies and interests.

      • Matthew Butch

         /  June 28, 2012

        “Matthew, I’ll just say read the links provided – over 80% of rape victims knew their attacker well pervious to the rape.”

        That doesn’t change my point- in fact it re-enforces it. The 80% should understand that and see the warning signs. The 20% should know the warning signs.

        “I was once mugged as a teenager – but it is totally different, mugging is about robbing gaining something from nothing – rape is about power – big difference.”

        But in the end, both are a crime, and both have warning signs.

        “I know, to not get mugged, to avoid certain areas, to watch out for people etc etc. Rapes don’t happen like that, vast majority happen in the victims home, or home of someone close, the rapist doesn’t appear out of nowhere. Furthermore, in court, a mugging victim will not be cross examined over what they were wearing, were they alone, why they were there etc.”

        And the point of this post is to argue that even though they know their raper- there are warning signs.

        I don’t understand why its a problem to point out that some things can be prevented. Its like a logical disconnect that only focuses on emotions, not facts.

        “This whole blog is blaming the victim.”

        And you’re whole point is to ignore the point.

      • rbhu7

         /  June 27, 2012

        Erin, I think you replied to the wrong bit… but alas. I find it strange someone would want to continue a debate that began in public in private with someone they have no connection with whatsoever. Seems a little odd, thats all. And wouldn’t interests include personal beliefs such as ones expressed here? Doesn’t make it political, just more personal, i reckon. It wasn’t a dig at your blog btw, sorry if it sounded like that.

      • My apologies, trying to find the proper nested reply can be a pain at times. But you still understood who it was for.

        As for why I offered to continue in private: For one, I misinterpreted the moderator’s comment as a “Knock it off, Erin.” Being unwilling to just back away entirely, I thought the proper course of action to be to take the conversation elsewhere. Besides, on private email I can share certain things which I would be hesitant to reveal in a public forum.

        I try very, very hard to keep my blog as free of politics as I can– which, I confess, is difficult at times seeing as how I am a gun enthusiast. But there is, at least to my mind, a difference between “Wow, shooting guns is cool, look at how well I did on the range!” and talking about gun politics all the time. I just try to talk about things which I think are cool.

  17. I’d like to take a moment to state, for the record, that neither Aimee, nor rbhu7, nor Literate Zealot have taken me up on my offer to continue this debate over private email.

    Draw your own conclusions as to why that might be.

    • rbhu7

       /  June 27, 2012

      Sorry, but why should I give you my private email when the moderator has made it perfectly clear you can reply on here?

      Stop backtracking out of the debate.

      • Why? Because it points to the strength of your conviction. You’re not interested in debate, you’re only interested in being right IN PUBLIC. Which is why you are so opposed to women being proactive in their defense and instead blame an entire gender for a crime that only a fraction of them engage in.

        You seem to think that every single is a rapist just waiting to happen, and that women — ignorant, defenseless, delicate flowers we — are unable to make character judgments, or realize that situations are sketchy, or that we really shouldn’t be alone with a guy. Or that we, heaven forfend, should actually pull a gun or a knife or a can of pepper spray and end the assault ourselves.

        But no, that would be empowering and would require us to possess personal responsibility for ourselves. Instead, we should live in fear that every single man could potentially rape us, and therefore the only solution is to indoctrinate an entire gender into self-hate while simultaneously telling another gender that they are helpless.

        Well, screw you and your weak argument. I can take care of myself without hurling epithets and alienating allies — and that’s EXACTLY what you and Aimee and others are doing.

        You take issue with what Happycrow said. Okay, I get that. I even agree with some of your points. But the fact remains that he is a man who is trying to help. Even if he is utterly misguided, he is still, morally and intellectually and emotionally, ON YOUR SIDE. The proper action to take when one realizes an ally is mistaken about certain things is to politely say “Hey, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but I feel you’re mistaken about a few key points. Can I talk to you about that?” and then have a productive exchange of ideas.

        What one does NOT do is write a sneering post titled “The Face of the Rape Apologist” and then call that person all sorts of names — and yes, if you link to his blog and deconstruct his argument inside your personal echo chamber you are, indeed, calling him a rape apologist. Because what you have done in that case is say, “Stupid man! You cannot understand rape if you are a woman! You are wrong for wanting to help! You are wrong for having said politically incorrect things! WE DO NOT WANT YOUR HELP!”

        Which is really odd to me, because one would think that having allies of both sexes in the war against rape would be a good thing. But instead, you have sent the very clear message that “Unless you agree with us 100%, you are part of the problem and should remain quiet.”

        I’ll say that again, just to make sure you understand me.

        You — Aimee, rbhu7, Literate Zealot, et al — have told this man that you would prefer he say NOTHING about rape prevention than to have him say incorrect things even if his heart is in the right place.

        Really? That’s the message you want to enforce? I seem to recall that rapists thrive on secrecy, and depend on their victims not to say anything and not press charges. I would think you would be positively gleeful at the notion that someone, anyone, was talking about it and encouraging women to be safe.

        But no. That’s not what you want. Because he is not 100% in agreement with you, he must be against you (and therefore an apologist). You disagree with his politics, and therefore you want to silence him — which is exactly the same kind of tactic that rapists use on their victims.

        Yes, you read that correctly. I am accusing YOU of enabling rapists. YOU encourage them with your victim mentality. YOU encourage them with your philosophy of “all men are monsters”. YOU encourage them by continually pressing the belief that all women are helpless before men, and that — ironically — it is only men who can save us through “Don’t be a bad person, mmkay?” education.

        YOU are the problem. And you make me sick.

      • rbhu7

         /  June 27, 2012

        Ha! I knew you’d say something about it being in “public”. Coming from the woman who has her own blog et al. No, I don’t see why I should converse over private email, with someone I don’t know for the benefit of you.

        I don’t give out my email unless it is work related, or friends. You’re neither, sorry if that deflates your ego a bit.

      • rbhu7

         /  June 27, 2012

        Far from thinking women are defenceless little flowers or whatever, thats gender roles and I object to them. Women are as capable as men. Telling a woman to fight back during a rape is not helpful – have you actually read the links? Many women freeze in an attack, the body does not know how to react. Did you know that a lot of rape victims (both male & female) experiences orgasms during the rape? I suppose you think that it means they enjoyed it. The body/mind goes into a mode where it does not know what happening & acts automatically.

        “Stupid man! You cannot understand rape if you are a woman! You are wrong for wanting to help! You are wrong for having said politically incorrect things! WE DO NOT WANT YOUR HELP!”

        Did you mean “if you are not a woman”? But as men can be raped too, that is systematically incorrect. Certainly not every man is a rapist waiting to happen. As I AM A MAN myself (awaits “mangina” quip) I know that is not true. But teaching the boundaries of what is consent & what isn’t to men would be far more helpful then teaching women that is up to them to prevent being a victim. Prevent the attacker, and there is no victim, geddit?
        What would happen if, say, a woman goes out for a couple of drinks with a male friend, they talk, flirt a bit, he walks her home, she goes inside, but he forces his way in and rapes her. Her body freezes in the attack and he carries on regardless… By the notion of this blog, it would be party her fault for A). being friends with him in the first place, despite NEVER showing any signs of aggression or sexual aggression before B). Drinking alcohol B). Flirting C). Allowing him to walk her home D). Not fighting back due to her body freezing in fear.
        You would partly blame her for allowing herself to be raped. You would take some of the blame away from the rapist, and pile it on the victim.
        Also, telling a woman to pull a gun on someone etc might be empowering to a comic book hero, but here on planet Earth, you run into a whole world of other issues, namely that weapon being turned against the defendant. If men were taught (and we aren’t) about boundaries and consent from an early age, the idea of living in fear, which no one should, can be eliminated. Most rapes are done by people close to the victim already.

        The reason for the opposition to this blog, is the fact is perpetuates rape myths, and it blames the victims for putting themselves at risk, when the “risks” you talk of are everyday or normal events – dates, flirting, friendships, trust, clothing, drinking, being out, going out on your own etc. Unless you stayed holed up in a lead lined shelter, it is your myths that actually enforce fear – don’t do this, don’t do that etc etc.

        “Yes, you read that correctly. I am accusing YOU of enabling rapists. YOU encourage them with your victim mentality. YOU encourage them with your philosophy of “all men are monsters”. YOU encourage them by continually pressing the belief that all women are helpless before men, and that — ironically — it is only men who can save us through “Don’t be a bad person, mmkay?” education.”

        This doesn’t make sense at all. Enabling rapists? No enabling rapist is what you and Happycrow are doing – by partially blaming the rape victim for being a victim, you take away some of the blame of the rapist (“Oh he’s just a man lead by his penis, she lead him on, she wore a short skirt, she flirted with him, she drank ALCOHOL!”) and put it on the victim. That, is enabling a rapist.

        All men are monsters. No, I am not, my friends are not, my family are not – we are open & talk about these issues frequently. In fact, the one thing that annoys us men the most, is the idea we cannot control ourselves; and because gender roles dictate that men should be “red blooded males” we therefore are unable to comprehend boundaries and consent when we fancy someone. ridiculous, NOT all men are like this.

        Women, don’t need men to save them, far from it. But women should be able to do what they want, just like us men can do, without the fear of looking out for rapists left right & centre. Women, like men, should be allowed to drink, to trust new people of both sexes, to go out on their own, to dance (badly too!), to flirt, to chat, to get drunk, lose their friends in a nightclub and walk home/taxi back home on their own, wear what they want when they want WITHOUT the fear of being raped, which, this blog suggest are things that could potentially be blamed for making HERELF a victim.

        Anyway, I have one question, just one question for you to answer, please. I’ve asked it before, but you didn’t reply… here goes:

        Does this “avoid being a victim” apply to all victims of all crimes?
        Perhaps Stephen Lawrence should’ve painted himself white before leaving his house, or all those jews should switched religions in 1933. Or again, is it just rape victims?

      • I’m going to answer this as simply as I can: The ability to perceive and avoid a situation does not shift responsibility of the act from the perpetrator to the viewer.

        Example: if I can see the car running the red light, then it is good that I put on the brakes to avoid a collision. However, if I do not, because I expect the other driver to be obeying the law, it is not my fault if I get hit.

        And yet, we are still taught defensive driving, are we not? Don’t we wear seatbelts in case of accident? The same goes for being aware of one’s environment and carefully judging the character and motivations of those with whom we associate.

        So, to be clear:
        1) If you are paying attention to your actions and environment and the people with whom you associate, you will avoid many, though not all, crimes.
        2) Stephen Lawrence “painting himself white” is reducto ad absurdam as well as an inconsistent comparison. We are not talking about race crimes, we are talking about rape.
        3) Another inconsistent comparison — we are not talking about religious persecution. And yet, many Jews (including my father’s family) survived the Holocaust, by virtue of paying attention and getting the heck out of Germany. Again, *situational awareness.* This does not mean that the Jews who stayed behind were at fault (see first paragraph), but they certainly did themselves no favors.

      • rbhu7

         /  June 27, 2012

        “but they [jews] certainly did themselves no favors.” WOW. Just WOW. I have heard it all now.

        Thanks for answering my point, it is only rape victims that can be blamed for being victims, not race crimes, although the Jews should have seen it coming. Silly Jews. All 9 million of them.

        Again, you clearly haven’t done your research into rape crimes, as MOST are by people the victims already know very well. Furthermore, attacks don’t happen in dodgy areas, they can happen anywhere, at anytime… and this doesn’t touch on the idea of consent – at what point does the woman, in your eyes, lose the chance to say “no” or “stop”? Because lets face it, if they’re half undressed in bed, and he forces himself upon her, but she says “no”, by your reckoning, she is partly to blame for being there in the first place. Now what if, as statistics overwhelmingly show, she knew her assailant well, perhaps a b/f or husband – should she have prevented having a relationship with him or marrying him? Because again, that would be her fault.

        We wear seatbelts to prevent serious injury in an accident. Comparing RTA prevention to rape is absurd. If you see a driver go through a red light, of course you brake, but if that driver hits you, by your opinions on rape, it would partly be your fault for:
        A). Being in the car
        B). Driving on that particular road
        C). Not getting out of the way in time

        Furthermore, thats IF you can see the driver go through a red light, rape victims don’t see a rapist coming – they don’t come up and say “hey, I want to rape someone tonight, fancy being a victim?”. You seem to think rape happens only down dark alleyways with strangers in the worst areas with high crime rate.

      • Thanks for answering my point, it is only rape victims that can be blamed for being victims, not race crimes, although the Jews should have seen it coming. Silly Jews. All 9 million of them.

        I said no such thing about blaming rape victims. You’re just desperate to twist my words to suit your agenda, aren’t you?

      • rbhu7

         /  June 27, 2012

        “I said no such thing about blaming rape victims. You’re just desperate to twist my words to suit your agenda, aren’t you?”

        By suggesting rape victims could’ve taken steps to prevent the rape, then yes, you have blamed the rape victim. Just like: “but they [jews] certainly did themselves no favors.” is partially blaming the Jews for the holocaust, even if you say till you’re blue in the face, “but I’m not blaming the jews.”

        Twist your words? No, you’ve done that all by yourself.

      • Bwahahahahahah. So you’re saying that there are only two choices here:

        1) Say that the victim could have prevented the crime, and therefore any crime perpetuated anyway is the fault of the victim,
        or
        2) Say that the victim is powerless to prevent anything, therefore consigning her to a lifetime of victim-hood.

        Is that really what you’re saying? There are ONLY these two choices? Because if so, we’re done here. I suggest you go study the Fallacy of the False Cause in your off time.

    • Aimée

       /  June 27, 2012

      lol @ Erin saying we’re only interested in “public controversy” – I don’t even know what this blog is/who it’s run by, why would I want to create “public controversy” on it, or indeed e-mail someone who hasn’t debated any of my points, only tried to police my tone?

      I have made two rather long comments on here in regards to this debate – neither of which yet have been addressed by either yourself Erin, or by HappyCrow. There’s no reason to move this to a private place when my points are still up and waiting to be addressed here.

      For the record:
      1) “instead blame an entire gender” – Wrong, no one said this. Also people of all genders are survivors of rape.
      2) “Which is why you are so opposed to women being proactive in their defense” – Wrong, no one said this. One of the links posted is actually a self defense link, by the way. We’re just not interested in rape myths.

      I do take issue with this: “Even if he is utterly misguided, he is still, morally and intellectually and emotionally, ON YOUR SIDE.” – It is him being UTTERLY MISGUIDED (in your words) that we are debating. That’s exactly it. I’ve even addressed above in a comment that maybe his writing is well intentioned, but intention doesn’t make it not harmful…. “Studies have shown, as well as intentioned as such advice might be, it simply doesn’t reduce rates of rape.”

      What gets me is the core of your comment is summed up in one sentense: “You — Aimee, rbhu7, Literate Zealot, et al — have told this man that you would prefer he say NOTHING about rape prevention than to have him say incorrect things even if his heart is in the right place.” – well OF COURSE. If he can’t say CORRECT things about rape prevention, then he’s spreading rape myths which are harmful in a number of ways. Yes, I would rather people educate themselves on rape and the statistics and prevention before trying to educate others. Is that too much to ask?

      Great, his hearts in the right place… probably so was the police officer who started SlutWalk with his misguided “prevention advise”. No one is debating your friends heart, we are debating that his “prevention advice” is harmful. That’s it.

      • See, you say it yourself: you would rather he remain quiet than try to help. Can’t you see the harm this does your cause? Or do you not care?

        It seems all you want to do is stamp your feet and call anyone who dares disagree with you a ape apologist. And yet… here I am disagreeing with you, and you have yet to call me such. Is it because I’m female?

        Again, the blatant sexism on parade here is staggering.

      • rbhu7

         /  June 27, 2012

        Wow, accusations of sexism now. That is scraping the barrel.

        Are you saying she thinks a male cannot respond to rape because he is not a female? In which case then, in turn, you believe that only females can be raped – which is wrong and more sexist, if I can can loosely use that word here, than anything Aimee has said.

        And yes, even with the best intentions, if something is inherently wrong it shouldn’t be said at all. People usually have an opinion, do their research first, then adjust those opinions or change them to make sure they are correct before sprawling them out over the internet.

        For example, if someone told me to prevent racism I should paint myself white at certain times, and he said it with the best intentions – I think I’d still be pretty insulted, and furthermore it is wrong. I shouldn’t have to change my colour to prevent being a victim of racism. Same as a woman shouldn’t have to change her life/watch out everyday to prevent being a victim of rape.

      • Are you saying she thinks a male cannot respond to rape because he is not a female?

        That does seem to be the prevailing consensus, yes.

        In which case then, in turn, you believe that only females can be raped

        I do not believe I said that. I certainly did not intend to say. If I did end up saying that, then I apologize and retract that specific statement.

      • rbhu7

         /  June 27, 2012

        Well, I am a male, have spoken here about rape & victims, and have not had any ‘sexism’ directed toward me. If she were sexist, then even a male agreeing with her on a subject she thinks only females can comment on would upset her. But it doesn’t, because she isn’t, and I’ve seen no sexism whatsoever. The reason we agree with each other is not because of his gender, but because of his inaccuracies.

        You didn’t say it directly, but in a turnabout way, that is what seemed to be suggested.

    • Aimée

       /  June 27, 2012

      A final point on being “well intentioned” as it keeps coming up – If HappyCrow is indeed well intentioned then he’ll listen to our concerns and our debates and care about the fact he’s not helping.

      If he chooses to ignore, it’s his prerogative (and means he probably isn’t so well intentioned), but being well intentioned when you’re still spread incorrect information isn’t helpful – which is why we’re here, debating.

  18. Aimée

     /  June 27, 2012

    @ Erin:

    “See, you say it yourself: you would rather he remain quiet than try to help” – If people are spreading false, incorrect, victim blaming “information”? Yes, of course I would rather someone remain quiet than try to educate people about something they don’t know about. The last thing we need is more incorrect and false information out there, which is exactly why I originally commented here with links: I wanted HappyCrow to see the debates and counter-points so he could learn rather than spread false information.

    It’s interesting you’re so focused on gender, Erin. The piece entitled the face of a rape apologist? It is written by a male self defense instructer. Good try though, next irrelevent attack please?

    • I am focused on gender because gender is of interest to me.

      But I will admit you are correct about one thing: I assumed the author of that blog post was female. There is no name attributed to it that I can see (if I’m wrong, please show me where it’s listed) and when I checked the “about us” tab and then went to “instructors”, I found that 2 out of the 3 were female. I figured I had a 66% chance to be right. Since I don’t see a name attributed to it, I’m not yet willing to admit I am wrong, but I will confess to making a (calculated) assumption.

      • Aimée

         /  June 27, 2012

        At least you can admit you made a wrong assumption. I wish we could get over the “you’re only saying this because he’s a man” thing, if that were true, I wouldn’t be agreeing with the best defense programme or rbhu7. His gender or his personality is not being debated here – his “prevention” advice is.

      • No, I said I made AN assumption, not an incorrect one. Show me who wrote that article, because I sure can’t see a name on it.

      • Theawinde

         /  June 27, 2012

        I know Gaz personally. He’s a man.

      • I’m not disputing that Gaz is a man. I’m asking, plainly, who was the author of that article, because I still don’t see a name attached to it.

      • thebestdefenseprogram

         /  June 27, 2012

        “Actually, Erin, if you read through what Happy Crow has said those words are far more representative of his stance. Don’t trust anyone, don’t drink, don’t be alone (nobody is assaulted when alone, by the way; there must be at least one other person there), and you’re ignorant because you can’t tell the difference between rape and a little non-consensual sex.

        You have also
        a) willfully misread everything which was written here in order to score points
        b) publicly and viciously slandered me as a “rape apologist.”

        You are therefore banned. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

      • Thank you for clearing that up. I was clearly in error as to who wrote the article. I apologize for that and for its resulting assumptions.

        And try as I might, I still don’t see the “Don’t trust anyone” argument you say HC is making. Yes, he could have been clearer on a lot of his points, but I just don’t get it.

        I can see the problem you have with his statement of “It’s not rape if you get really drunk and get laid” because, if the woman is drunk and the man is not, she’s being taken advantage of. If they’re both drunk? Then I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not.

        I am CERTAIN I will be accused of victim-blaming again, but I keep coming back to this one fact: the only person I can depend upon to always be there in a crisis is myself.

        Does this mean I should never go out? No, but it means if I am in a situation where I could be surrounded, isolated or overpowered, I should have a buddy with me. Does this mean I should never get drunk? No, it means I should do it in a safe place or with someone I trust.

        In short, my own brain is a good crime preventer. But no, it’s not my fault if I do those things and still get raped. And it’s not my fault if I don’t do those things and still get raped. It’s the fault of the *rapist* that I get raped.

        But it is certainly my responsibility not to make it easy for him.

      • Aimée

         /  June 27, 2012

        Brilliant, HappyCrow – not only have you not actually responded to peoples points (oh wait, you did respond to mine, by telling me it was a misunderstanding and I was causing myself “unnecessary stress” rather than actually addressing a single thing I’ve said) and now you’ve banned one of the most insightful commentaries on everything that is wrong with this post. I guess when you can’t “win”, ban or gaslight them, eh?

        If your post was ever “well intentioned” as Erin seemed to believe, you’ve just proved that you’re not (btw you can’t publically slander someone when you don’t even know their name, but awesome thing to hide behind).

  19. thebestdefenseprogram

     /  June 27, 2012

    (deleted by owner)

    • Hi, thanks for weighing in. I won’t presume to speak for Happycrow, so any address to your points should be up to him and not me.

      I just want to know two things. One, are you the person who wrote that article? And two, which instructor are you?

    • thebestdefenseprogram

       /  June 27, 2012

      (deleted by owner)

      • rbhu7

         /  June 27, 2012

        (rbhu7 has failed the basic standards of civilized discourse and is now banned)

  20. Theawinde

     /  June 27, 2012

    I’m very bothered by this as someone who was assaulted by someone they knew.

    Aimee is absolutely 100% correct. Just because she didn’t say it in the nicest possible way to you, doesn’t mean she isn’t correct. In fact David Lisak’s studies on the subject have proven that the advice you’ve professed here has not worked.

    Survivors aren’t a monolith, we come from different backgrounds and may feel separately about what happened to us. I however do not appreciate someone who is not a survivor telling survivors what to do in response to being sexually assaulted. I froze, according to your advice, my response was wrong.

    Survivors don’t need you to spread these myths or continue the victim blaming culture we live in. We do enough of that ourselves, how many of us have looked for any possible thing we could have done differently to have avoided our assaults. We really don’t need you to tell us what we could have done differently, or what people can do in the situation. That. Does. Not. Help.

    There’s this…air of what the “right” victim would do, but there is no right victims, there’s no wrong victims. There should be no survivors at all.

    I believe the answer is education, public awareness campaigns, comprehensive sex education in schools that also educate on respecting boundaries and consent.

    This may not have been your intention, but this entire post has this air of condescension, and it didn’t hit home from me more than this part”

    “Scene: Budapest, in a student dorm.
    Actors: Me, and a very kind, sweet, also rather confused and conflicted young lady whose name will be withheld.
    Action: Blend of Thai and very borderline erotic massage (I was weak as a kitten at the time from a debilitating illness and having to use my posture/bodyweight to work deep tissue stuff that nowadays, having mostly recovered, I could simply lean in and use shoulder and back strength.)

    Her: “this is getting me turned on…” ::slight pause:: “you’re making me hot…”
    Me: “that’s okay, don’t worry about it.”
    Her: “but…I don’t want to have sex with you.”
    Me: “so don’t.”
    Her: ::look of profound shock::
    Me: “Well, it’s pretty simple. If you don’t want to have sex with me, great. Don’t. We’ll finish up here and go for coffee. It’s a non-issue.”

    [This being Budapest, that meant “kavé,” or stupid-strong espresso. You don’t “get kavé” if you’re trying to seduce somebody.]
    Her: ::initial incredulity gradually replaced with relaxation as she realizes I’m backing the words up with “non-action” ::”

    I don’t know why you happen to find it so shocking that she is SURPRISED her boundaries are being respected by her male counterpart. As women our boundaries are constantly invaded and there are a ton of cultural messages telling us to accept coercive advances from men. This is true all over the world, and the way you word this, and the way that you communicate this with her like it’s common sense is profoundly insulting.

    We do live in a rape culture that minimizes the importance of consent.

    I know this isn’t particularly coherent or well worded, but that’s probably because I found this very triggering and upsetting. So take it for what it is.

    • Theawinde

       /  June 27, 2012

      I also wanted to leave some links that I really think you should look at, I’ve always found them informative and really helpful when we’re considering this narrative.

      Melissa McEwan’s “Rape Culture: 101” Post
      http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

      The shakesville website also has a “rape culture” tag if you’re looking for examples

      Thomas Macalay Millar’s “Meet the Preditors” which cites two very important studies about predators. Data that was clearly not acknowledged or consulted in this post.
      http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

      You should definitely check out the yes means yes book edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti which is a collection of essays about rape culture, and the subsequent blog this particular title comes from, which whole subject matter deals with rape culture.

      Fugitivus’ “Another post about rape” (You should read all of them, they’re amazing)
      http://fugitivus.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/another-post-about-rape-3/

      I know as you mentioned that this will get put in the spam filter, but these people express everything so eloquently, much better than I can in this state.

      Also, many people like myself in the anti-rape movement have spent a lot of time reading this kind of advise. Gaz is one of the only people running a self defense program that keeps survivors in mind. You are called a rape apologist because you are using their talking points. I certainly didn’t feel like you were on my side in this post.

      • Two rejoinders before I sign off.
        1. Slander is slander. A person who has demonstrated that he or she cannot argue like an adult, without resorting to vicious name-calling, is welcome to play elsewhere. My blog, my rules.
        2. Fundamental to “rape culture” theory is that those engaged in it have a deep and abiding disregard for women’s welfare. There is absolutely no way one can read the “Men” side of this blog post, which directly advocates precisely the opposite stance, and assume such an attitude on my part.

        You’re therefore either functionally illiterate, a troll, or a postmodernist.

        As the Germans say, “those who can read, have an advantage.” I take no responsibility for, nor am interested in defending, arguing, or even addressing, decontextualized and deconstructed versions of my words which say different things than I actually typed. Deconstructed narratives may be your cup of tea: I’m about as subtle as a flame-loaded trebuchet, and disdain Derrida’s children.

        All the best,
        Happycrow

      • Theawinde

         /  June 27, 2012

        “2. Fundamental to “rape culture” theory is that those engaged in it have a deep and abiding disregard for women’s welfare.”

        I would like a citation for this please, where is your data supporting this? People here have made it very clear that this advice you listed for women doesn’t work, and have provided data to support it. I see you must not have acknowledged any of David Lisak’s research that has been linked here a few times. Data that does not support your advice.

        The point is that we already know the precautions to take, however, removing the risk does not remove the threat. No matter what we do to protect ourselves from rape (and trust us women, we do a lot to protect ourselves) the threat of rape will always be there for us. And if a woman gets raped because she didn’t follow all the rules proves just that.

        The thing about rapists is that THEY RAPE PEOPLE.

        You keep insisting that your way is the right way, but have provided no data or studies to support this, while we have provided data to counter this. Show me the data that your typical advice has actually caused a reduction of sexual assaults and rapes?

  21. First of all, I would like to acknowledge Theawinde’s comment, as it seems that the host here is neglecting to do so. I am so sorry to hear about your experience, I agree that this is a very triggering post, and I hope that you have managed to find some peace and healing from that experience.

    I have been following this thread with increasing dismay, and have finally found it necessary to offer some feedback, since you felt it necessary to ban the Best Defense Program because of their most-likely-painful, but accurate post. (And please note: when in writing it is libel, not slander)

    Happycrow, I don’t know what your intentions were with this post, but I will attempt to give you the benefit of the doubt and try to believe that you were genuinely trying to be helpful.

    However, I must question what qualifies you to do so? What background and education do you have to tell me (as a heterosexual, cis-female) how to behave and take care of myself?

    I wonder this because it is patently obvious that you are in fact not clear on what the definition of a rape apologist is. I am sorry to say that this post is the exemplification of that concept. Telling *women* how to act, how to regulate their drinking and sexuality, lecturing us on false rape claims – all of that is the very essence of what perpetuates rape culture. Perhaps because you believe yourself to be genuinely well-intentioned, you didn’t realize that this was the result of this post. Unfortunately it was – I am not a survivor like many others who have commented here, but I have to say – this post left me feeling like sh*t. How would a person who experienced a traumatic event feel? Well, we know – Theawinde acknowledged how upsetting and triggering it was.

    And comments about false rape claims? Ugh – I would equate this to Erin’s comment about reducto ad absurdum. Why does it always come down to some male (often MRA) accusing women of this? It is such a tiny fraction of women who do this, yet for some reason it keeps getting harped on. Are we supposed to live our lives constantly battling against a fractional number of outliers?

    Fact: most women are raped wearing sweats, jeans – nothing that could be considered “provocative” (though I find that word to be problematic – what is “provocative”? how tight? how much cleavage has to be showing? how short the skirt?). Most women are raped by someone they know – acquaintance rape, date rape, spousal rape, molestation. And most women are raped in a space they thought was safe – often their home. So again, harping on stranger in the bushes rape, is focussing on the minority of cases.

    And finally: a person gets raped for one reason and one reason only. A rapist was in the room. To imply that she somehow provoked it is insulting to all men. I wonder Happycrow – have you never seen a woman who has aroused you but who was uninterested? Did you rape her as a result? No. Because that’s not how rape works. It’s about power. And all the advice in the world about how a women *should* behave is not going to change the fact that a rapist doesn’t care whether there is consent, what she’s wearing, or where they are. They have simply decided to rape – because they can. And to imply that he simply “misunderstood” her lack of consent is at best naive, and in reality the kind of attitude that perpetuates rape culture.

    And that is why you have been accused of being a rape apologist. Whether it was your intention or not, your post contributed to the discourse that contributes to that attitude in our society.

    • Theawinde

       /  June 27, 2012

      This is absolutely correct, I couldn’t have said it better.

    • WinnipegPrincess,

      While I accept and appreciate the sincerity, I reject the arguments.
      1. Men and women have been expressing their opinions and giving each other advice before time began. I don’t need to justify either having an opinion or expressing one; neither does anyone need a justification for disagreeing with a given set of advice. “Your mileage may vary” is a cliche for very good reason, and to assert that somebody should not feel free to venture an opinion is odious at best and at worst, considered in some circles to constitute a form of violence in and of itself.

      2. The entire “contributes to the discourse” take is predicated on misreading and misstating what was written. Could someone misconstrue something said here out of context to support a harmful, odious, and evil point of view? Sure, he could. But that makes him the asshole, not me. There’s a lot of blather going on about how I’m supposedly ordering women around and saying “you gotta do this,” etc. Eh, no. Again, these are misreadings of what is a reasonably clear text. If folks say “hey, you know, you could have phrased that better,” that’s a lot different from saying “hey everybody, look, a villain!”

      3. I haven’t been answering said misreadings because they’re a well-known rhetorical trap, which attempts to put the defendant in the position of having to prove a negative. Those sorts of rhetorical bombs aren’t being responded to because they’re not being made in good faith in the first place. They’re rhetorical points to assert “I’m right and you’re wrong” until I shut up, and are frankly pretty juvenile. Adults recognize that reasonable people can disagree even on important and heated issues. It’d make more sense to me to say “hrm, I don’t value that opinion,” change the channel, and motor on, but that’s their call. So long as they remain civil they’re welcome to misread what they want, as long as they want. Their rhetorical slights and/or poor reading comprehension skills, however, in no way constitutes a responsibility on my part to dignify it with a response.

  22. Aimée

     /  June 27, 2012

    “Two rejoinders before I sign off” – and not a single point was answered/debated that day!

    HappyCrow is obviously not interested in learning, growing, or debating! I think it’s telling that his only comments to peoples responses, criticisms and links has been to accuse them of “public slander”, to tell them they’re “stressed”, “angry”, “functionally illiterate, a troll, or a postmodernist.” When you’ve got no debates left, you attack peoples emotions/personalities rather than their debates. It says a lot.

    • Theawinde

       /  June 27, 2012

      This is also really problematic because I mentioned this was triggering and upsetting to me as a survivor. I made it clear that his advice upset me, and part of his response was to attack me for being upset and call me names. This is especially after I pointed out that his advice WOULD NOT HAVE WORKED FOR ME IN MY SITUATION! There’s not one bit of his advice for women up there that would have helped me, and he refused to take the time to acknowledge this or show any empathy towards me as a survivor.

      So yeah, that’s pretty classic behavior of a rape apologist.

  23. “6. Just because a guy has his pants off, doesn’t mean you’re no longer entitled to say no. You can say “no” any time you want, including ninety-percent through intercourse while both your eyes are bugging out, for any reason whatsoever. Yes, this can and likely will result in sexual frustration, confusion, and possibly even hurt feelings for the guy involved, just as it would for you if the guy suddenly bailed out and wanted nothing to do with you under the same circumstances. That’s unavoidable, and hopefully you’ll both be very gentle and understanding with each other….but you still retain the absolutely inviolable right to say “no,” “stop,” “wait,” or any variation on that theme, at any time. Anyone who says otherwise should never be allowed to take their pants off in your presence.”

    This would have helped me. No one told me that I could still say no at this point. No one. I didn’t learn until much later in later in life that I was worth defending. I really, honestly thought, that once things had gotten that intense, that the biological ball was rolling and couldn’t be stopped.
    I have no way of knowing where HappyCrow is coming from, but I do know where I am coming from as a survivor myself. Yeah, I knew my rapist. I was sober and naive.

    “Real-life dialogue from my past –

    Scene: Budapest, in a student dorm.
    Actors: Me, and a very kind, sweet, also rather confused and conflicted young lady whose name will be withheld.
    Action: Blend of Thai and very borderline erotic massage (I was weak as a kitten at the time from a debilitating illness and having to use my posture/bodyweight to work deep tissue stuff that nowadays, having mostly recovered, I could simply lean in and use shoulder and back strength.)

    Her: “this is getting me turned on…” ::slight pause:: “you’re making me hot…”
    Me: “that’s okay, don’t worry about it.”
    Her: “but…I don’t want to have sex with you.”
    Me: “so don’t.”
    Her: ::look of profound shock::
    Me: “Well, it’s pretty simple. If you don’t want to have sex with me, great. Don’t. We’ll finish up here and go for coffee. It’s a non-issue.”

    [This being Budapest, that meant “kavé,” or stupid-strong espresso. You don’t “get kavé” if you’re trying to seduce somebody.]
    Her: ::initial incredulity gradually replaced with relaxation as she realizes I’m backing the words up with “non-action” ::”

    I am so sorry, Theawinde, that this was triggering for you. We shouldn’t live in a world where we would be surprised that some man isn’t going to take advantage. Personally, I found it comforting that there are men out there that won’t. I am grateful that HappyCrow showed the woman in Budapest that she was empowered to decide for herself.

    Yes, I could have prevented my own rape. It was still NOT MY FAULT. The two are not exclusive.
    I should not have been involved with an older and emotionally manipulative man. I should have been educated in advance. I should have been warned. I don’t take HappyCrow’s advice as making any kind of excuse for what was done to me. Rather, I wish I’d learned before.
    This does not move any guilt away from my rapist. He shouldn’t have picked a young, naive girl to get involved with. He was a predator that I wish someone had told me how to avoid.

    Yes, there should be better education for potential rapists. Absolutely. That does not eliminate the need to educate potential victims on avoidance. We as a society do a pretty crappy job of painting the picture an accurate of consent. There are rapists out there that honestly believe they’ve done nothing wrong. This is a problem that needs to be fixed. But it’s not an either or scenario. You can both educate potential rapists and victims on what real consent looks like and empower potential victims to defend themselves. I froze because I hadn’t learned there was another option. I didn’t know what else to do. No one ever told me that I was allowed to cram my elbow into his rib-cage and tell him to get the hell out of my house.
    Women need to know that we have value. We are worth respecting and defending. And we are allowed to respect and defend ourselves when necessary. If we could rid the world of monsters, we wouldn’t need to talk about defense. Instead, we live in a fallen world. You will never educate the monster into being a decent human being.

    • Jennifer,

      I’m very sorry you had to go through that. I’m heard from a lot of women (mostly privately) who simply didn’t know or realize that they were allowed to say “stop.” It’s heartbreaking to read, let alone having to live through it. It’s part of why I spent so much effort advocating what you could call “listening skills” among the guys. The monsters can’t be helped; they simply need to be put down or locked away. But if more women know they’re empowered to stand up for themselves, and more men recognize their moral (if not legal) obligation to stand up for the women in their lives who don’t realize they can do it for themselves, a lot fewer people might suffer.

  1. Good article on rape prevention | VolkStudio Blog
  2. The face of the rape apologist | thebestdefenseprogram
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