Just Goes To Show, You Can’t Win For Losing

The discussion below, as it always seems to when a young woman is raped or murdered, turned to the kinds of Monday-morning quarterbacking people do after the fact, which always has an undertone of she asked for it. The “What was she doing leaving her home in the first place” crowd has a million of ’em. And usually this kind of thing is employed to shame and control women and women’s sexuality (because of course, the armchair quarterbacks are strangely silent about the second-guessing when a man is murdered after a night out).

But up in Alaska, they’ve found a new use for the slut-shaming: use it as part of the argument over a proposed smoking ban!

In a letter to the Anchorage Daily News, Frank Dahl, chairman of the political action committee of the Anchorage Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant & Retailers Association, made the bizarre connection: “At a time when we are legitimately concerned with assaults against women, ask yourself, is it better to allow the continuation of smokers in a controlled bar atmosphere, or for women to go outside to smoke a cigarette to be the target of the sexual predators and violence we hear so much about?”

What’s more, an Op-Ed in the Anchorage Daily News notes that opponents of the ban say many female smokers would be so deterred by such a restriction that “instead of hanging out in the smoky safety of a bar, some women … may even stay home, where they may have an abusive husband or boyfriend who is more likely to beat them up.” Women aren’t safe at home or on the street, the argument goes, but they’re plenty safe in a bar. Let’s hear it for Alaskan women’s last safe haven: the smoky, booze-filled pub!

So, which is it? Don’t go to bars, don’t leave the house, or don’t stay home?

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49 comments for “Just Goes To Show, You Can’t Win For Losing

  1. Regina
    July 28, 2006 at 3:56 pm

    Okay, that’s ridiculous.

  2. ginmar
    July 28, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    At least the Taliban is honest. They just want women to cover up, stay home, and stay off the streets. Here in the West society wants to make women take on all the responsibilities—-we have to be slutty yet virtuous, sexy yet chaste, approachable, yet not too approachable, and men don’t have to do anything at all.

  3. Shankar Gupta
    July 28, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    …and men don’t have to do anything at all.

    Up until this clause, I was totally with you. What nonsense.

  4. July 28, 2006 at 4:25 pm

    great but still very ironic..

    So many times, I said Taleban is not the whole Islam and please let me know after you read my blog also..

    I feel pity for that..

  5. July 28, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    Politicians and people with agendas are heartless bastards who’ll take any chance to push their cause. “Fantastic! A tragedy that we can use!”

    This story is sort of similar to one about an old guy in the U.K. who left the bar to smoke, then fell and hit his head. His son said, more or less, that the ban on smoking was the cause of death. (I am not accusing his son of using his father’s death for gain. I think he’s sincere.)

  6. ginmar
    July 28, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Yeah, shankar, have you noticed how rapists get the community’s sympathy whiel the victims get slammed? Have you noticed pregnant single mothers are either sluts or lying sluts who just trap men? Any of that ring a bell? I could go on.

  7. July 28, 2006 at 5:03 pm

    Well, men do have to face conflicting social expectations, but the penalty for failure isn’t usually rape or being shamed.

    The penalty for failure can be difficult and significant, but it’s not a good idea to bring it up in comparison to what happened to this poor 18 year-old kid.

  8. ginmar
    July 28, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    Well, yeah, with her being dead and blamed and all.

  9. AJW308
    July 28, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    I live in Anchorage. Our Mayor is a Liberal Democrat. What else would you expect from one?

  10. Therapist1
    July 28, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    Pretty weird connection to be made, and Regina hit th enail on the head. This is just politics at its sleaziest and nothing more than that.

  11. AW
    July 28, 2006 at 7:09 pm

    “Yeah, shankar, have you noticed how rapists get the community’s sympathy whiel the victims get slammed? Have you noticed pregnant single mothers are either sluts or lying sluts who just trap men? Any of that ring a bell? I could go on. ”

    No. Doesn’t ring a bell in the slightest. Not everyone lives in the same circumstances as apparently you do. Your community is pretty shit isn’t it.


  12. ginmar
    July 28, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    Aw, troll. Go read Our Guys, Virgin Or Vamp, or any other books on rape. I’m not your fuckin’ mommy.

  13. July 28, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    Here’s an interesting link about one person’s opinion rape, and its male and female victims.

  14. AW
    July 28, 2006 at 8:51 pm

    Ah, so it’s trollish to point out that the opinions felt in one community do not reflect those of my community. You should have said.

    All I’m saying is that no-one that I know would think those things. No one I know would ever give any sympathy to any rapist, nor blame the victim. No one I know thinks that all single mothers are sluts, or lying sluts who try to trap a man. Especially not those who are single mothers, or who’s mother was. None of these ring a bell except as things that other shit people think. And people would be shut down, hard, if they expressed such stupid ideas.

    Is this impossible to believe? Do I live in heaven? No, lots of people think lots of stupid things. Just not those stupid things.

    Why are people so quick to call troll?


  15. AW
    July 28, 2006 at 8:56 pm

    Oh, and p.s. thanks for the reading advice, but really what possible relation to what I’ve said could books about rape be?
    All I said was what people around me believe, which I’m in a good position to know, you know, around them and all.
    The books certainly wouldn’t be investigations of my community, and thus, to my own point, about my own community, in respect to yours, they’re irrelevant. Why be so agressive you dickweed?


    p.p.s unless you took offence when I was rude about your community. My bad. I don’t take it back though, because anyone who shares the opinions you attribute to your society is shit.

  16. ginmar
    July 28, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    You’re an ignorant fuck and you don’t know shit. That’s why I told you to go read some books, moron. Your own personal opinions and experiences are irrelevant.

  17. zuzu
    July 28, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    p.p.s unless you took offence when I was rude about your community. My bad. I don’t take it back though, because anyone who shares the opinions you attribute to your society is shit.

    Well, it’s been fun, but you’re no longer welcome.

  18. kate
    July 28, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    So, which is it? Don’t go to bars, don’t leave the house, or don’t stay home?

    None of the above. Women should learn to do as they please and fight like holy hell together as a group when some shitbag wants to pretend to be so damned ‘concerned’ about them, knowing that such as nothing to do with her interests and everything to do with their own.

    When there are still women apologists running around waving their finger and playing the volunteer Patriarchy Patrol, then we’ll continue to have a hard time changing this social shit bath.

  19. July 28, 2006 at 9:30 pm
  20. zuzu
    July 28, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    AW, and all the other pseuds you’re using to try to get around the ban:

    Just give it up. You called someone shit for having an opinion different than yours. That goes beyond disagreement into ad hominem, and we don’t put up with that here.

    Your comments won’t be allowed through moderation, so just stop trying.

  21. July 28, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    It seems to me that it is arguing that women should have the ability to go wherever they feel safest. The issue here is not whether it is okay for a woman to be outside by herself, but whether it is right to force her to go outside if she wants to smoke.

    So, which is it? Don’t go to bars, don’t leave the house, or don’t stay home?

    Women should have the option of doing whichever they prefer.

  22. July 28, 2006 at 11:09 pm

    Actually, aw said that people are shit if they think give rapists sympathy, or slam victims, or think of pregnant single mothers as sluts or lying sluts who just trap men.

    That’s what he said. Because ginmar said that’s how society is, and he said that any society like that is shit, and it’s not like that where he lives. More or less.

    The ad hominem came when ginmar called aw a troll. Then it came again when ginmar said “You’re an ignorant fuck and you don’t know shit. That’s why I told you to go read some books, moron.”

    I’m not taking a side on aw’s opinion, but that’s what happened.

  23. July 29, 2006 at 3:46 am

    So, which is it? Don’t go to bars, don’t leave the house, or don’t stay home?

    Well, duh, don’t be born a woman. Next time make sure a sperm with a Y chromosome filters the egg. Oh yeah – you also have to end up not gay. Good luck with that.

    weeklyrob – denying that perpetrators of rape receive sympathy while victims are slut-shamed is downright ignorant at best. It’s hardly ginmar’s fault that she’s tired of explaining it over and over.

    Maybe people are fine with blaming the rapist in the case of stranger rape. But that’s a rare occurrence, and that’s the only occurrence of rape society as a whole feels comfortable with condemning. But take a look at the Duke case, or Kobe Bryant case, or hundreds of others and try to say that the victims aren’t shamed or worse.

    Maybe AW wasn’t intentionally trolling, but his ignorance is palpable, and should not be tolerated on a feminist blog. Do your homework before blurting your opinions.

  24. July 29, 2006 at 6:51 am

    Raznor: If Zuzu wants to ban someone for being ignorant, then that’s her business. If she wants to tolerate ginmar insulting someone, that’s her business, too. I’m not telling her, or ginmar, what to to do.

    But I am saying that aw didn’t come here spouting off ad hominems, which is what she or he was accused of, and that ginmar did, which she wasn’t accused of. That’s all.

  25. Claudia
    July 29, 2006 at 7:14 am

    weekly rob:

    This is a feminist blog.

    ginmar said;

    Yeah, shankar, have you noticed how rapists get the community’s sympathy whiel the victims get slammed? Have you noticed pregnant single mothers are either sluts or lying sluts who just trap men? Any of that ring a bell? I could go on.

    And AW answered;

    No. Doesn’t ring a bell in the slightest. Not everyone lives in the same circumstances as apparently you do. Your community is pretty shit isn’t it.

    So yes, I’m happy for ginmar (or anyone) to insult him. Was the point of the comment? That we’re all hysterical bitches who don’t know reality? Heard it before. Uninterested.

    Thanks ginmar and zuzu.

  26. July 29, 2006 at 8:06 am

    Claudia: I know what kind of blog it is. Thank you.

    I’m assuming that Zuzu simply misread the conversation, and I’m pointing it out to her. But I never said that anyone should or shouldn’t do anything, or that anyone was right or wrong to do anything, EXCEPT:

    It’s wrong to say that aw was the one using an ad hominem in that conversation. The only ad hominem was ginmar’s. Right, wrong, whatever. I’m not making a judgment. I’m stating a fact.

    Hell, I’m a feminist because I’m against injustice. Call the person out of touch, or an asshole. Ban her or him for being so. Whatever. Not my blog, not my rules.

    But it’s not because of an ad hominem or insult.

  27. Claudia
    July 29, 2006 at 8:18 am

    I understand the distinction you are making weeklyrob. Not that I think there’s much of a difference between calling one’s community shit or calling one personally shit. Still an insult.

    I know you know it’s a feminist blog, I really didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I put that line in to stress that on a feminist blog that comment was particularly unwelcome. Sorry that it came across differently.

    My main point was on a feminist site I don’t think statements questioning the reality of rape victim and single mother shaming are anywhere close to appropriate.

  28. July 29, 2006 at 8:32 am

    Ok. I accept that it was unwelcome, and I accept why it was. And I think we agree that I wasn’t saying otherwise.

    So we’re cool.

    One thing, though: I really don’t think that anyone would disagree that the community is shitty for blaming the victim and thinking of pregnant mothers as lying sluts.

    The part that was unwelcome was aw’s saying that her or his community didn’t do that, and questioning whether anyone’s really did. But that’s not an ad hominem.

    But we’re down to fine points now, and I guess I should quit here.

  29. ginmar
    July 29, 2006 at 8:37 am

    It’s been deocumented numberous times in numerous books, AW, so for what’s his face to come stomping in hereand claim that, essentially, I must have a shitty community, is another version of victim-blaming, wihch he–as a man—has never experienced. I find it really really telling that you’re not at all uncomfortable with his arrogance, his ignorance, and his attitude, but you do have a problem with me refusing to sit still, once again, for an asshole with an attitude and a dick. Was I not ladylike enough? Did I call a troll a troll? Oh, heavens, a man was insulted because he was an asshole.

    You know, this just perfectly illustrates privilege. Women get told to mind their manners and be polite otherwise nobody will isten to them. Men can expect to be utter and complete assholes and boors and other men will pipe up and say, “Okay, you know, he’s a jerk, but why don’t you listen to his point?”

  30. Claudia
    July 29, 2006 at 8:41 am

    Agreed. And you’re right about the shitty community.

  31. Claudia
    July 29, 2006 at 8:47 am

    my above was for robweekly, not ginmar.

    One clarification, why does calling troll becessarily constitute an ad hom? ‘Cos that’s the only ‘insult’ ginmar threw before she was called a dickweed.

  32. ginmar
    July 29, 2006 at 9:41 am

    Is it an insult if it’s true?

  33. July 29, 2006 at 9:44 am

    Ok, I guess I’m not quitting.

    ginmar: I don’t really know what you mean. Not only did I not say that you shouldn’t have insulted him (or her), but I said, over and over again that I wasn’t commenting on that, or making a judgment in any way.

    Not only did I not show any comfort with any arrogance, did I not say that you should listen to anyone’s point, did I not say that you should be polite, but I repeatedly said that I wasn’t commenting on any of that.

    Far from illustrating privilege, this exchange illustrates how easily someone (like me) can be attacked just for pointing out the way the exchange really happened.

    Zuzu quoted aw and said that because that quote was an ad hominem, aw was being banned. I said that’s not what happened. It wasn’t.

    Claudia: Somehow I had missed the dickweed comment. So every time I said that aw had NEVER done it, he (or she) had. My mistake.

    This means that my point about Zuzu misreading the exchange is kind of moot. I mean, she picked a quote that wasn’t an ad hominem, but she could have picked the other one. So, I withdraw.

    [Calling someone a troll is an ad hominem, because it specifically attacks the person rather than the argument that the person is making. But I totally agree that “dickweed” is an inappropriate response to that, and of the two, the only one that’s reasonable to ban someone for saying.]

  34. ginmar
    July 29, 2006 at 9:51 am

    You call calling a troll a troll an insult? Because this is a feminist site and when somebody claiming ignorance as their shield pops up and says they’ve never heard of victim blaming one has to conclude they’re either 12 or biding their time to derail the conversation. If they’re old enough to vote they’ve either heard of victim blaming and want to deny it happens. Either way, they’re not here in good faith.

    What’s his face’s attitude was assholish from the start, and he gave off the unmistakeable warning signs of impending trollhood. I called a troll a troll. And?

  35. July 29, 2006 at 10:01 am

    ginmar: I actually said that it’s an ad hominem, not an insult, and I explained why. Not that it matters.

    I also said, in an earlier comment, that as far as I’m concerned, you can call the person an asshole (or a troll) or whatever you want. I don’t care. It’s certainly ok with me if you take off the kid gloves.

    I won’t say what my point was, because I’ve said it before about 85 times, but it has nothing to do with blaming you in any way for anything.

    (I am starting to want to blame you for assuming that I’m saying things that I never said. But that’s the Internet for ya.)

  36. July 29, 2006 at 10:24 am

    I suppose there’s a sort of logic to the notion that in his society, victims are never blamed. Because naturally, if you’re blamed, you’re not a victim, you’re a slut. And who better to make the call on victim/slut than random people who weren’t there and know nothing about the case other than plaintiff/defendant?

    Mmmm. A steaming cup of Patriarchy on a lazy Saturday morning. I’m soaking in it!

  37. Claudia
    July 29, 2006 at 10:32 am

    i dunno, I think a little priviledge was illustrated.

    The statement AW made is one of the many woman-blaming comments I hear that make me feel ill, and I mean physically. AW came on a dismissed our experience, hell he dismissed reality. He had no argument, just dismissal. Just a shut up and stop whining.

    I guess I hear that shit a lot and it pisses me off.

    Seems to me ad homs are sometimes appropriate, AW didn’t have an argument that we need to waste space refuting.

  38. zuzu
    July 29, 2006 at 10:44 am

    weeklyrob, I’m really not interested in justifying my administrative decision to you.

    However, since you think that I misread the conversation, do go back and read the portion I actually quoted as the precipitating ad hom — as opposed to the portion you think was the precipitating ad hom — and perhaps you’ll see that you’re the one misreading things.

    But even had he not called ginmar, and by extension, the rest of us, shit (because he was a “both/and” kind of troll and insulted both the community AND an individual), it turns out that he had already been using multiple pseuds and made up even more to try to get around the ban.

    So the decision’s final, and I’d appreciate it if you just let it go.

  39. July 29, 2006 at 10:57 am

    Claudia: I never displayed the slightest sense of make privilege. All I’ve ever done is point out that the quote in question wasn’t an ad hom. That’s all. Period. You said that you agreed with me. I never said that AW deserved an answer or the time of day.

    Zuzu: I don’t want you to justify anything to me. I already said that I don’t care if you ban him for whatever reason you want. I’ve said (maybe several times) that it’s your blog and your rules. None of my business and I don’t care.

    I know you asked me to let it go, but you also asked me to go back and read the quote. It’s a bizarre discussion now, and completely moot, but if you care, you quoted: “anyone who shares the opinions you attribute to your society is shit.”

    The opinions ginmar had attributed to society were shaming the victim and calling single mothers sluts. AW said that anyone who shames the victim or calls single mothers sluts is shit.

  40. zuzu
    July 29, 2006 at 11:26 am

    For someone who doesn’t care, you’ve sure left a lot of comments about it.

    I read the comment very differently than you did, in context. In any event, AW essentially came in here, waved his dick around, told us that we didn’t know reality, insulted the community and the regular commenters, used multiple pseuds, and was generally annoying. Now you’re nitpicking about what made him a troll. You’re not seeing the privilege in a guy coming into a feminist forum and making those sorts of comments, and that’s what Claudia’s pointing out to you. Your privilege is that it’s not you he’s trying to shut up, so you don’t have to see that that’s what he was doing. Your multiple comments on this — as well as your insistence that I don’t have to justify the banning, even as you continue to make arguments that ask for a justification — show that you don’t see that he was trying to shut us up.

  41. July 29, 2006 at 11:49 am

    All I did was try to point out that, to use your expression, I read the comment in question differently from you.

    Since then, I’ve been more or less defending myself by explaining what I wasn’t saying, didn’t say, etc.

    I can see the futility of that, as you apparently assume I’m lying about justification, and blind about everything else.

    Privilege was first brought up when ginmar incorrectly said that I gave AW slack while attacking her. I never did either. It’s not an illustration of privilege that I read the one comment differently from how you read it.

    If someone says that Stalin kicked puppies, I should be able to say that he didn’t without everyone assuming that I love Stalin and that I claim that he never did anything wrong and that, since I never suffered the gulag, I can’t see what happened there.

    You’ll be happy to know that I’m off the thread. I’ll read your comments, of course, but I won’t respond.

  42. ginmar
    July 29, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    Wow, no pressure there, invoking Stalin. Instead, we’re talking about a pattern of behavior we’ve seen over and over again that we’re tired with. Evidently the commenter is the banned troll from yesterday, as well, trying to evade his ban. We have seen this kind of thing over and over and over and I don’t think I”m alone in wanting to cut this shit off at the knees when it starts because it follows such a predictable pattern. It’s insulting to feminists to have to deal with the same old slurs and tactics and denials over and over again, and we don’t waste time nailing the assholes that do it. I know I’m not alone in this. So?

  43. kate
    July 29, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks Rob for getting the hell off the thread, now that you’ve completely derailed it, but hell, its just women’s lives we’re talking about.

    No big deal.

  44. July 29, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    weekly rob – I’ve learned not to argue with ginmar. The thing is, she has an in-your-face writing style that puts people off. But I’ve found that when I’m uncomfortable with her comments, but then I stand back and think about what she said, by hell she’s right almost all the time, and the fact that I was uncomfortable about how she said it beats the point home even further. What you’re reacting to is her style, not her content. So I’d suggest take a step back, breathe, reread this thread and you’ll realize ginmar is right again.

    the thing is, when aw says “your community is shit” he’s not implying that he’s lucky and lives in a good community and expressing sympathy to poor ginmar for happening to live in a shitty community, he’s giving a snarky condescending comment that ginmar doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And it requires at best a willful ignorance and blinding by his male privelege. AW is a man coming into a feminist space. He has to do the work to attempt to understand the perspective of the women here, not the other way around. And if he refuses, then what can he possibly add to the conversation?

  45. July 29, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    Sheesh! Talk about the “Mean Girl” syndrome.

    This is an excerpt from “Facing the Schoolyard Bully”

    Girls tend to bully indirectly, by isolating their victims or assaulting them through teasing and verbal backstabbing. …Girls, on the other hand, value relationships, so girl bullies target relationships by spreading rumors, for example, to socially isolate the victim. In other words, they get ’em where it hurts.

  46. zuzu
    July 29, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    CoRev, talk about an example of indirect bullying.

    Spit it out: who are you calling a mean girl, and who is the bully you’re referencing?

    Boys are supposed to be so atomic-wedgie direct, after all.

  47. Rhiannon
    July 31, 2006 at 12:29 pm

    No where in the post did AW say if they were male or female. So I’d just like to know how everyone else seems to just “know” it.

  48. zuzu
    July 31, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    I can see his email address. Or, I should say, his email addresses, since he used several, as well as several different pseuds.

  49. July 31, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    By the way, AW left a post at my blog to defend himself. I responded to it here if anyone’s interested.

    Short version – AW may have had best intentions, but was still wrong.

Comments are closed.