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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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67 Responses

  1. twf
    twf January 2, 2007 at 9:45 pm |

    The other stat that’s ignored all the time is that rapists are more likely to be drunk than their victims. This site says it’s 55% for rapists, 53% for victims, while this one claims 75% of males and 55% of females “involved in date rape” had been drinking or using drugs before the assault.

    So men, if you don’t want to be a rapist, don’t drink.

  2. twf
    twf January 2, 2007 at 9:47 pm |

    Oh, and I’ve been raped, sober, at home, by a man I knew, to whom my roommate had given a key to my apartment. It’s possible he was drunk or high, but I don’t know. Not going out drinking doesn’t prevent rape.

  3. norbizness
    norbizness January 2, 2007 at 9:55 pm |

    Not to detract from the underlying horror, rape apologeia, and horrible “safety” advice of the article, but the exact same discussion (going out and getting murdered) is occurring with respect to successful black athletes after the recent drive-by shooting of a Denver Broncos player at a nightclub New Year’s party… at least judging from the sports press. Not the easy availability of firearms or the machismo culture that promotes disproportionate responses to slight provocations; I’m sure there’s an analogy in there somewhere.

    From a legal point of view, as I mentioned in Amanda’s thread, there are laws being proposed in Britain (and elsewhere in Europe, I suppose), that make consent impossible to obtain from a partner who is sufficiently inebriated, which could be tackling a subset of sexual assaults from the other end.

  4. Tanya
    Tanya January 2, 2007 at 10:07 pm |

    This is the kind of shit you expect from a Concerned Woman for America or a Feminist for Life. I feel a bit betrayed. Thanks forl the glorious smackdown.

  5. Karolena
    Karolena January 2, 2007 at 10:16 pm |

    My new little project is trying to totally eliminate the passive form, “to be raped.” Many ideas/sentences can be syntactically changed to place the focus back where it belongs. For example (not that I even agree with the substance here): why shouldn’t

    “for women, it means an increased risk of harassment, or even rape”

    be written as

    “For men, it means an increased opportunity to harass, or even rape.”

  6. Isis
    Isis January 3, 2007 at 12:02 am |

    I interpreted Funk’s article way differently than many of the posters here.

    I went to Penn State in from ’89-’91 (then transfered b/c I hated it), and supposedly–because of the misogynistic troll frat culture and rapid alcohol consumption–1 and 3 women there was date raped. This is the stat they used to tell us every year at orientation, the stat the RAs used to tell us. And I heard enough stories, both from women who had avoided/fought off attacks and from those who had survived them, to believe that such a stat was plenty plausible. I also heard horrifying stories from appauled guys who had pulled frat boys off young women, or had had things happen to sisters and friends.

    So I don’t see Funk’s article as trying to blame the victim, or telling women to stay home. I interpreted it as saying: A lot of people who have not gained their bar saavy yet are being taken advantage of for profit; keep your eyes open, sisters!

    She is not talking about 25 or 40-year-old women, she is talking about underage girls. It’s not about being puritanical about sex, or puritanical about alcohol. It is, as I see it, being realistic about a culture that exists around bars in our misogynistic culture. Some people have grown up learning street smarts, and some have yet to learn them by the time they are pub crawling. So where is all the defensiveness coming from? If you are one of the ones WITH street smarts, the Sisterhood thing to do is PASS THEM ON! –not to denigrate those who didn’t grow up with a switchblade in their pockets, and not to denigrate those sisters who recognize their own feelings of vulnerability. HOW, pray tell, is that feminism?????? IF YOU ARE SO TOUGH, GO TEACH SELF DEFENSE CLASSES TO OTHER WOMEN! That would be the empowered/empowering thing to do.

    At 35 I expect I am coming off as the condescending Big Sister here, but I am so vein-bulging frustrated to see what has been happening around me the past 5 or 6 years in popular culture. Sometimes I feel like my generation has really done you wrong by NOT extending our hands as big sisters. I never witnessed such cruelty and cat fight-ness among the women I grew up with who identified as feminists. We were in it together and supporting one another, even when it meant respectfully disagreeing sometimes and offering constructive suggestions.

    I am glad I grew up in the 70s and 80s. I would hate to be navigating the shallowness, obnoxiousness and viciousness that is out there now. Oh there was plenty of all three back in the old days of 3×5 floppies, but no one was trying to mask it as “empowerment” and call it “feminism.” It all makes me really sad. Is this what so many of generations of women fought for?
    It makes me want to give up on humanity all together and spend the rest of my life meditating in a cave.

  7. belledame222
    belledame222 January 3, 2007 at 12:07 am |

    “and we walked uphill in the snow, both ways, in comfortable shoes…”

    yes, i grew up in the 70′s & 80′s too. no shallowness and viciousness then! nope nope no

  8. norbizness
    norbizness January 3, 2007 at 12:09 am |

    Come on, people use to wear coke-spoon pendants back then. I’ve seen Carlito’s Way.

  9. belledame222
    belledame222 January 3, 2007 at 12:10 am |

    ..i mean, dude, for one thing: i’m 33. you’re 35. the late 70′s and early 80′s probably didn’t have much internecine feminist warfare for me either; but y’know, i’m not sure that that was so much Sisterly comradehood as, Mom came down to yell at us if the fighting got too out of hand. i mean, yes, the Strawberry Shortcake Dolls wars were probably resolved a -bit- more easily than the Sex Wars. just notin’.

  10. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 3, 2007 at 12:51 am |

    After all, two thirds of sexual assault survivors were attacked by someone they knew — 40% of those attackers were a friend or acquaintance, and 28% an intimate partner. Seven percent were relatives.

    Not to go OT, but did anyone bring this up during the whole trans/bathroom thing? It seems in the same vein as this. The whole constant fear of strangers attacking you when most sexual violence is likely to come from those you know.

    I would expand on this further but the baby just crawled away with my glasses.

  11. mythago
    mythago January 3, 2007 at 12:56 am |

    I am glad I grew up in the 70s and 80s.

    Yes, you missed that whole homophobic “Lavender Menace” thing. But you just go on pretending that those were the Feminist Good Olde Days, and telling the young’uns how nobody wore tight skirts back in your time.

  12. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 3, 2007 at 1:02 am |

    I am glad I grew up in the 70s and 80s. I would hate to be navigating the shallowness, obnoxiousness and viciousness that is out there now.

    Aren’t the seventies referred to as the Me Decade?

  13. raging red
    raging red January 3, 2007 at 1:10 am |

    I am glad I grew up in the 70s and 80s. I would hate to be navigating the shallowness, obnoxiousness and viciousness that is out there now.

    Hey lady — zuzu’s the only one around here who’s allowed to write “get offa my lawn!” screeds. Respect your elders!

  14. Jeff Fecke
    Jeff Fecke January 3, 2007 at 1:16 am |

    If you are one of the ones WITH street smarts, the Sisterhood thing to do is PASS THEM ON!

    This has nothing to do with street smarts. I’m a guy and I’ve learned a few things, and I’ll pass them along to my daughter–better to stay with friends if you’re in an area you don’t know, a key held between the ring and middle fingers makes a handy weapon, don’t get drunk unless you have at least one friend you trust to keep you sane–the same advice I usually followed (and sometimes didn’t) when I was younger, the same advice she’ll probably usually follow (and sometimes won’t) when she goes to college in a decade-and-a-half.

    This isn’t about any of those things (which I see as gender-neutral, common-sense kind of things). This is about whether women should go out or not.

    The whole point of this article is summed in one sentence: “young people ‘who go out at night remain at risk until they get back home.’” And not young people–because men aren’t mentioned (though they are, of course, just at risk for different things). It’s young women that are at risk should they dare to leave their homes and venture out into the latter-day Gomorrah that is America in the 21st century. If they do, then they should know that they could end up raped and murdered.

    And if you know a course of action could leave you raped and murdered, are you not in some way responsible if you take that course of action? If you leave your home, isn’t that rape partly your fault?

    Yes, it’s insane.

    I have a friend–a male friend, FWIW. He went out one night in college with another friend to a bar in a sketchy area. They were mugged at gunpoint. Nobody pointed fingers, or told him he was asking for it.

    Had he been a woman, and been raped, I don’t know as the same thing would have been said.

    And yes, all of this ignores that partner rape is more likely than stranger assault, just as your child is infinitely more likely to be harmed by someone you know than someone you don’t. We externalize threats to avoid dealing with them, and so that we can pass on our belief that if I lock my daughter up for her entire life, she can never be harmed–and that those girls who are harmed were doing something wrong, and I can teach my daughter to do something different, and she’ll always be safe.

    The world isn’t safe. And it isn’t inexorably dangerous, either. And I know I’d rather my daughter, when grown up, live her life unafraid and free and yes, at risk, than live her life terrorized and “safe” in the confines of her home.

  15. Donna Darko
    Donna Darko January 3, 2007 at 1:19 am |

    73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger – 38% of perpetrators were a friend or acquaintance of the victim, 28% were an intimate and 7% were another relative.

    73% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by a non-stranger, Ms. Funk et. al. Since men are more likely to be beaten and killed outside the home by other men and since women who are raped outside the home are raped by men 99% of the time, men should stay home and stay pretty.

    The RAINN link shows rape/sexual assault has steadily declined since 1973. There was five times less rape/sexual assault in 2003 than in 1973 yet articles like these suggest the environment is riskier than ever for women and girls. No logic whatsoever.

  16. Isis
    Isis January 3, 2007 at 1:39 am |

    I am not saying the 70s/80s were the good old days in all ways, and I am not waxing nostalgic that we “and we walked uphill in the snow, both ways, in comfortable shoes.” (? I am not THAT old!) –though I am quick to wax nostalgic about Laura Ingalls running free and catching frogs and wanting to be a “Lady Scientist,” if you want to put that in the same box.

    Rather, I am questioning that there is anything “feminist” about being cruel, nasty, hostile, and unduly acerbic to one another. It was never part of my experience with feminists or feminism; it was 100% contrary to it.

    I am saying that the feminists I knew were about supporting one another and helping each other develop as writers, artists, thinkers… constructively, even when we disagreed. This did not mean saccharine sweetness. This did not mean backing down from our own positions. Sometimes this calls for being critical and holding each other’s feet to the fire, so to speak. But I don’t think women are going to get anywhere new by shark tooth shredding the very people who are trying to work towards the same goals. Keep disagreeing, keep churning, but—

    I think it was Audrey Lorde who said, “Let us not become that which we hate.” How many people here are in support of wars and militarism, but act warlike and militaristic to each other? I don’t think it is productive, I don’t think it moves feminism forward. I think it corrodes it.

    As feminists we want men to treat us well, we want the world to treat us with equality and respect. –at least that is what *I* understand feminism to be. Seems to me we can start by treating each other that way. You know, “Be the change you want to see,” or whatever the famous Ghandi quote is? I think it is the most powerful place you can begin.

    I also read a great quote from bell hooks the other day: “When my students say they want to change the world, I espouse inward to outward movement. If you feel you can’t do shit about your own reality, how can you really think you can change the world? And guess what? When you are fucked-up and you lead the revolution, you are probably going to get a pretty fucked-up revolution.”

    I wrote it in my sketch book so I would not forget it. I thought it was pretty wise. My New Year’s resolution.

  17. Roxanne
    Roxanne January 3, 2007 at 2:46 am |

    Ah, the 70s and 80s.

    The reason why so many people in the 90s sought colonic irrigations can be summed up in three little letters: EST.

  18. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost January 3, 2007 at 3:27 am |

    My new little project is trying to totally eliminate the passive form, “to be raped.” Many ideas/sentences can be syntactically changed to place the focus back where it belongs.

    That’s a great idea. The results are terrifyingly illustrative.

  19. Alon Levy
    Alon Levy January 3, 2007 at 5:56 am |

    Donna beat me to dashing the myth of the golden age of the 70s…

    If she had done some very basic research, she would have discovered that home is often more dangerous than being out at a bar.

    If you want precise numbers, go here and look at table 61. In 2005, 36% of rapes in the US were at the victim’s home, and 24% were at the home of a friend, relative, or neighbor. The 5-year average, which is more accurate in this case, was 50% in total, give or take.

  20. JackGoff
    JackGoff January 3, 2007 at 9:33 am |

    Aren’t the seventies referred to as the Me Decade?

    I think that was the Eighties, but then again, I was all of 7 by the end of that decade.

  21. Lesley
    Lesley January 3, 2007 at 9:37 am |

    Ha! Well, as I’ll be 43 in just under two months and, therefore, grew up in the 60s and 70s, perhaps I can be the appeal to authority figure!

    No, but seriously, Isis, I think you are over-simplifying things and remembering them through the lens of childhood. My mother and her friends were all feminists, and I can assure you that not one of them would have had any compunction in laying waste to a woman who wrote the kind of article Liz Funk did. An article that, yet again, discusses how doing certain things increases a woman’s risk of being raped, not one that discusses how men commit most of the rapes. An article that says flat out that women are sacrificing dignity for attention, as if anything they are doing sacrifices their dignity. How precisely does Liz Funk believe these women are sacrificing their dignity? By drinking? By dancing? By staying out late?

    My mother and her friends would recognize this as exactly the kind of sexist BS that women continually get handed. Because the problem isn’t what the women are doing, it’s what the men are doing. But we do not continually get to read article after article excoriating the behavior of men. Where’s the article about how college men who go out and get drunk are more likely to rape than college men who do not? This article doesn’t even mention it. If Liz Funk were regularly writing those kinds of articles, maybe you could give this one a pass. But she isn’t. She’s regularly writing these kinds of articles, the kinds that focus on women’s behavior, not on men’s.

    About the only difference I can think of is that it’s unlikely that a woman who wrote this kind of article in the 1970s would refer to herself as a feminist.

  22. Lesley
    Lesley January 3, 2007 at 9:38 am |

    I think that was the Eighties, but then again, I was all of 7 by the end of that decade.

    No, it was the 70s.

    Youngsters these days. :D

  23. Reclusive Leftist » Blog Archive  » Number One Cause of Rape: Rapists

    [...] mensenews.org. And please note that the problem is Ms. Funk, who according to Amanda and Jill has a history of being a tad iffy on basic feminist understandin [...]

  24. zuzu
    zuzu January 3, 2007 at 10:09 am | *

    The 70s had Studio 54.

    I mean, if you want to talk about club life and lack of dignity.

  25. Roxanne
    Roxanne January 3, 2007 at 10:11 am |

    It was most definitely the 70s.

    I’m okay, you’re okay.

  26. belledame222
    belledame222 January 3, 2007 at 10:49 am |

    all else aside, can I just say: so, i have been perusing the Liz Funk articles.

    They pay her for this?

  27. belledame222
    belledame222 January 3, 2007 at 10:49 am |

    because, she writes like an emu, and it’s sort of depressing me even before i can really look at the content.

  28. little light
    little light January 3, 2007 at 11:01 am |

    I am really, really enjoying the imagery of a cranky mascara’d emu typing out silly columns with its feet, I feel compelled to note.

    …y’damn kids, with your be-bop music and your pie-tin-throwing games.

  29. johanna
    johanna January 3, 2007 at 11:13 am |

    I’m sorry, I just got to the part where she cited Gary F’in Miller.

    WTF? Seriously? She cited Gary Miller to support a thesis other than “Gary Miller is a dink” and she wants me to buy it??

    okay, reading the rest of Jill’s post and the comments now.

  30. Matan
    Matan January 3, 2007 at 12:08 pm |

    After reading three quarters of the way through the comments, I suddenly went, “Wait, Liz Funk?!?! I know Liz Funk! It can’t be her barfing out this bile! But how many women named Liz Funk can there possibly be?”

    Thank god, when I looked at her blog, it was not the Liz Funk I knew, who was one of the most intelligent, feminist people in my class in high school.

    And what Jeff Fecke said.

  31. jennie
    jennie January 3, 2007 at 12:13 pm |

    Okay, I’m thirty-two, I went to university during “No means no!” (1992–96, to be precise, for my undergrad) I had the campus tours that focussed on evaluating all the places where a woman might be in danger, I had a mother who send me pepper spray and screamers and other anti-rape devices.

    And because I’d been carefully primed to believe the world was a dangerous place, I did what they told me. For about a semester, until I got tired of waiting for WalkHome, tired of relying on my boyfriend to walk me home from the library, deeply annoyed with the restrictions on my mobility imposed by people who wanted to keep me safe. Restrictions, I might add, that my boyfriend didn’t have placed on his mobility.

    So I started walking home alone from the library and night classes, reasoning that the campus safety people had gone to great lengths to create useful safety features on campus (blue lights with emergency callboxes, etc.), and that in town, people wandered about alone after dark all the time without coming to grave harm. I cultivated my sense of safety, didn’t bother taking self-defense, and walked home with friends when it was convenient to do so. I walked other people home, when they asked, too.

    And I was fine. Not because of any special merit or smarts or bravery or whathaveyou on my part, but because it just so happens that the risks I take are just not that risky, and I’ve never chanced across the dangerous stranger.

    When I look back at the well-intentioned people who provided those orientation sessions, I don’t think that they were trying to constrain my activities. They weren’t trying to create a climate of fear. They were part of a setting that provided WalkHome services and BlueLights and wanted to address the problem of women not feeling safe on campus. The same people promulgated “No means No!” and provided workshops for guys on how to be sensitive to women on campus—how not to be rapists. The people who taught me to see threats everywhere were also working to eliminate the threats. Somehow, though, the message that seems to have stuck with a lot of people, women and men, was the message that we, women, need to “take responsibility” for our own safety by curtailing our actions, and that somehow “not taking responsibility” causes rape.

    Which is utter bollocks, as Jill et al very correctly remind us.

    When my boyfriend was mugged, nobody asked him what he was wearing or why he was where he was or what he did to attract the mugger’s attention. People understood that the mugger was to blame (and maybe society was to blame for creating criminogenic conditions, but, meh, I think that’s a different discussion). We don’t get that with violent sexual attacks against women. We still have the victim-blaming the slut-shaming the “She shouldn’t have been at that party/wearing that dress/quite that drunk.”

    Eventually I started to notice the similarities between the safety lectures and the stories we tell little girls about how Wolves and Strangers lurk in the Woods to eat anyone who strays from the path. It’s a pervasive mythology, and we get fed it from an early age. And it’s true, Wolves do lurk. Because society has created wolves, rather than insisting that men (mostly) take responsiblity for their relationships and stop raping women, whatever the women wear, wherever they party, however drunk they are.

  32. belledame222
    belledame222 January 3, 2007 at 12:37 pm |

    jennie: okay, that’s brilliantly put. yes.

    And it’s true, Wolves do lurk. Because society has created wolves,

    and still, yet, you need other concrete responses. which is where we seem to keep getting hung up.

  33. shannon
    shannon January 3, 2007 at 12:49 pm |

    In the late 80s, the omg, how come you get the really nice my little ponies war raged. In 2002-2006, my college years, uh…we wore t shirts that said be a man, cockblock skecthy guys and once I got a ride from one of those guys in golf carts who were doing campus safety patrol. Anyway, you can be raped even if you aren’t out drinking and dancing, so complaining that young women nowadays are dancing at clubs isn’t effective rape prevention

  34. Caro
    Caro January 3, 2007 at 1:25 pm |

    Every time I hear some rape-apologist bring up Jennifer Moore, it breaks my heart. First of all, it’s just so typical of the way we blame women for their own victimization just because they were living their lives and doing the same things men do all the time (whereas, as pointed out above, men aren’t usually blamed for being victims of their own murders, muggings, beatings, etc).
    But another problem for me is that a good friend of mine was a high school teacher of Jennifer’s and cared a lot about her. I know that it would hurt her so much to hear someone blaming Jennifer for this horrible thing that was done to her. When people publicly blame female rape and/or murder victims for their own crimes, does it ever even cross their minds what a hurtful and cruel thing that is to do to the victims and those that care about them?

  35. Caro
    Caro January 3, 2007 at 1:27 pm |

    Oh, and not to mention the ridiculous idea that, in this culture that condones the objectification and violation of women, there is any way for a woman to rape-proof herself by being a “good girl.” Ugh.

  36. jennie
    jennie January 3, 2007 at 2:09 pm |

    Thanks Belledame,

    Part of where I think we get hung up in the concrete responses is in that tension between “rape-proofing” (WalkHome, self-defense, pepper spray, safe zones in subway stations, sensible advice to watch what you drink, whom you hang out with, etc.) young women. Well-intentioned, feminist-friendly people see these as ways that women can stay safe in a hostile world, and still go to the library, take the bus at night, etc.

    But they’re stopgap measures, and I think we lose sight of this. In coming up with techniques to stay safe, people stop there, rather than tackling the bigger, more troublesome problem of creating a society that views women as equals, deserving of the same agency, mobility, and safety as men.

    Because it’s a lot easier to tell girls to “take responsibility” than it is to, for example, fix all the chattel laws that make it okay for a man to rape a woman if he’s already penetrated her with her consent, or to rape his spouse. It’s easier to tell a girl to cover up than it is, apparently, to teach boys and girls about meaningful consent. It’s a lot easier to provide blue lights than it is to fix the economic disparity that keeps women in abusive relationships.

    So, because the revolution is big and hard and hasn’t happened yet, people (and I am, most emphatically, not pointing any fingers at anyone here) get attached to the stopgaps as if they were the solution, and it becomes a truism that a woman who doesn’t “take responsibility” and perform all the careful safety stuff we’re all taught is “to blame.”

    And because the stopgaps play to the prevalent ideology, the one that’s supported by all the stories we all grew up with, they’re way more palatable than the solutions.

    It’s all very circular, and frustrating.

  37. RKMK
    RKMK January 3, 2007 at 2:14 pm |

    jennie – my university had the BlueLight system and WalkHome (those specific names) as well – don’t suppose you went to Queen’s? (Home of the Infamous “No Means Tie Me Up” debacle of 1989.)

    Thankfully, things have since improved: during my undergrad, I volunteered as a “Dating BASICS” counsellor for residences at Queen’s (a program where residence dons could invite a team to come in and educate their floor about issues of boundaries and consent, and was a pretty fucking fabulous program that refused to buy into any kind of victim blaming whatsoever). During our training, we read a copy of a mock trial where a man who was mugged was defending himself on the stand under the intense scrutiny of the defense attorney: “Haven’t you donated to charity before? How could my client know that you weren’t offering your wallet to him, then? Weren’t you just in the store flashing your wallet and all the money inside? Weren’t you just asking to be mugged?”

    It was a goddamn brilliant piece of writing, but unfortunately we didn’t get to keep copies of it, so I couldn’t a) scan and upload it myself, or b) even get the title of it so I could search to see if it was already online somewhere. I really regret that, because every time I run across victim blaming, I want to link to that sucker SO BADLY. It’s such a ridiculous thing – the only crime where we systematically blame women for men’s inability to control themselves and/or respect other people’s rights.

  38. jennie
    jennie January 3, 2007 at 2:19 pm |

    I forgot, that we also need to correctly identify our wolves. We need to stop insisting that wolves are there, in the woods, lurking to trap young innocent maidens who stray from the path. The wolves are far more likely to have infiltrated Gramma’s house, and our own homes, disguised as kindly woodsmen, friendly fratboys, or other seemingly innocuous characters.

  39. belledame222
    belledame222 January 3, 2007 at 2:19 pm |

    well, i think that where the Personal is Political comes in handy is in, yes, education; and yes, it has to be more than “stay on the path and don’t talk to strangers,” for women. It has to involve more sophisticated understandings of telling friend from foe; of respecting boundaries (one’s own and others); and it definitely has to include talking to men as well.

    and yes, obviously there are important more macro battles to be fought as well: in the courts, in legislation, in various institutions.

    my thing here is, i see the “blame rapists for rape: 100%” as necessary but not sufficient, and i do think that that is another place where people/discussions can get “stuck.” Because, again, it’s most applicable -after- the fact; i find it less useful as a deterrent. I mean it’s part of it, yes, people need to understand oh, such and such means “rape,” better not do it then (that would be the “boundaries” education). But, one, I think the shaming approach can be over-used, especially toward people who -haven’t done it;- and, two, a minority but still very relevant part of the population simply can’t or won’t be shamed into doing the right thing. Which is where the “protect yourself” comes in handy; when communication fails.

  40. belledame222
    belledame222 January 3, 2007 at 2:20 pm |

    slippage, was responding to 40.

  41. jennie
    jennie January 3, 2007 at 2:35 pm |

    RKMK, if you were there at the time, you may well have come into my res.

    Belledame, I think you’re right that “blame rapists 100%” is not sufficient. I don’t think there’s any one answer, and I do think that the understandings all around need to be more sophisticated. I do, however, think that we need, as a society, to ditch the notion that rape can ever be excused or mitigated by extenuating circumstances.

    I think the “real consent manifesto” plays a part in this: changing the understanding of the nature of sexual relations, so that everyone gets that sex (whichever permutation) is just more fun all the way around if everyone involved in consenting enthusiastically, wholeheartedly, and from a position of equality (“No means no” isn’t enough. It’s a start, but it’s not enough. It doesn’t address power inequities, socialization that tells young women that they should never say “no,” or that saying “no” means that nobody will love them, ever; it’s a slogan, and it’s catchy, but it doesn’t really address the weirdnesses that surround people’s notions of sex.) I think de-tangling sex from possession/dominance plays a role here. And I do think that it’s a reality that women, in particular, need to know how to take care of themselves.

    There’s just a difference between “Here are some ways to take care of yourself,” and “If you don’t do these things and bad things happen, you have nobody to blame but yourself.”

  42. ACS
    ACS January 3, 2007 at 2:51 pm |

    RKMK: We use the same piece in our curriculum. I have an ancient photocopied version of it, with no indication of where it came from. If you like, I can recopy it and send it to you.

    My email is o p h i t e at gmail dot com.

    – ACS

  43. matt
    matt January 3, 2007 at 3:29 pm |

    I think I figured it out. They both listen to Dane Cook.

  44. RKMK
    RKMK January 3, 2007 at 3:35 pm |

    RKMK, if you were there at the time, you may well have come into my res.

    No, I wasn’t there at that time – 2000-2005, and Dating BASICS specifically started in the 2003-2004 year; it wasn’t the first program of its kind (PEPSID was it’s predecessor, and I think there’s a different program in place now. However, that 1989 debacle has haunted Queen’s for years; when I was researching schools in 1999, Maclean’s was still mentioning it 10 years later, and there’s still the occasional mention in the Journal. More than 15 years later it’s still a black mark on the school’s history, and I think the damage to the school’s reputation has made it incredibly sensitive to adequate consent education – especially since the entering students are now often 17/18 years old, and even more likely to be uninformed about what actually constitutes “consent” and/or “rape.”

    I think the “real consent manifesto” plays a part in this: changing the understanding of the nature of sexual relations, so that everyone gets that sex (whichever permutation) is just more fun all the way around if everyone involved in consenting enthusiastically, wholeheartedly, and from a position of equality (”No means no” isn’t enough. It’s a start, but it’s not enough. It doesn’t address power inequities, socialization that tells young women that they should never say “no,” or that saying “no” means that nobody will love them, ever; it’s a slogan, and it’s catchy, but it doesn’t really address the weirdnesses that surround people’s notions of sex.) I think de-tangling sex from possession/dominance plays a role here. And I do think that it’s a reality that women, in particular, need to know how to take care of themselves.

    There’s just a difference between “Here are some ways to take care of yourself,” and “If you don’t do these things and bad things happen, you have nobody to blame but yourself.”

    I can’t believe I’m dorky enough to be saying this, but… word.

    ACS – I may just take you up on that. :)

  45. jennie
    jennie January 3, 2007 at 4:30 pm |

    RKMK,

    It amazes me to think that the school’s reputation still suffers as a result of that. I mean, yes, the Incident definitely showed the world something very scary about Queen’s and about the sort of person who attended the University. But, wow. The people who were there than have kids who are researching universities.

    As an aside, and one that’s really relevant, I was 17 when I started at Queen’s, and I wasn’t unusual. I keep hearing how “students are starting university younger now,” but really, a lot of us were no older than today’s frosh (lots of people fast-tracked, lots of other people were from provinces with 4-year high-school diplomas). So I’m not sure that everyone really is all that much younger. It’s just a quibble.

    And now I feel old. Very very old.

    Even back in my day (*please be noting the tongue firmly in the cheek*), I heard a lot more about consent education at Queen’s than I ever did at U of T, where I went next, and than I did at my high-school sex-ed classes (and my high-school was pretty feminist-heavy).

  46. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 3, 2007 at 4:56 pm |

    It’s not a choice of either blaming the victim/blaming the rapist. It’s the idea that this is actually a rape culture–a culture that accepts that women are expected to take extra steps to prevent rape, and then blames them if they get raped, is a culture where women are not as free as men. Women are not as free to move as men, we are not as free to experiment as men, and we are not as free to be as social as men. (And then, frustratingly enough, we are on occasion criticized for not being adventurous enough, or too suspicious/cold.) Not when we have to constantly worry about “gawd is this guy going to slip me something is it okay if I ask him up it’s late out and even though I’d really like to take a walk I can’t” because you could be raped, RAPED! and then it’s all your fault. Or maybe it’s not really your fault, but we’ll just make you feel like it is since we’ll go on about what YOU could have done differently, instead of looking at WHY it’s acceptable for women to be raped and their freedom of movement curtailed.

    Not to mention, these helpful hints don’t mean jack squat to a woman who’s working the graveyard shift because the differential is what allows her to make rent and feed the kiddos, or the stripper in the club down the street from me who finds that this job is the best bet for keeping her and her kids fed and clothed, or the retail/service worker who has to close up and walk down a dark parking lot at night. I mean, yeah–your average graveyard shift worker and Wal-Mart worker might not be going to nightclubs, your average stripper (if she works in a decent club) has bouncers who’ll keep the patrons in line but they’re all likely to be in situations where they are vulnerable–situations that anyone would warn you against–and it’s out of necessity.

    One thing about this “advice” that gets right up my nose is how classist it is. You’d think the way these folks go on and on that rape only happened to cute, middle-class White college girls who are vacationing in Aruba or dancing in a club.

    We can’t deny this is part of a system. Keep the “good” girls at home–the White, middle-class girls, that is. Keep them at home under threat of rape. Everyone else, well, they don’t matter anyway, even though they do get raped, and assaulted, and harassed.

    For me, it isn’t so much about shaming men into not raping, it’s getting people to understand that the fear of rape is wielded like a weapon to keep women in line and to punish them for stepping out of line. And it’s used to further demonize/degrade poor and working-class women who simply aren’t afforded a place in this line.

  47. jennie
    jennie January 3, 2007 at 5:27 pm |

    Sheelzebub:

    For me, it isn’t so much about shaming men into not raping, it’s getting people to understand that the fear of rape is wielded like a weapon to keep women in line and to punish them for stepping out of line. And it’s used to further demonize/degrade poor and working-class women who simply aren’t afforded a place in this line.

    YES! Nobody offered me a WalkHome service when I was working at a call centre until eleven o’clock at night. (Okay, I’m now arguably part of the middle class, and at university I was too, but it was fascinating, then, that during the school year, I was this delicate flower that needed WalkHome and BlueLight and protection, but when I was at home, during the summer, earning the money to go to school, I was expected to manage worse risks—the call center I worked at was in an industrial park, with poor bus service, the grocery store I worked at was at the other end of a long parking lot, far from the bus stop or the road—and nobody (other than my mom) really thought twice about it.)

    I was still the same person, of course, and I don’t think the risks were any greater on campus than at my jobs, but the perception was very different, and yeah, it’s tied into class, among other things.

  48. Tyra
    Tyra January 3, 2007 at 7:02 pm |

    Is this what you are looking for by any chance?

    “The Rape” of Mr. Smith
    By: Anonymous

    The law discriminates against rape victims in a manner which would not be tolerated by victims of any other crime. In the following example, a holdup victim is asked questions similar in form to those usually asked a victim of rape.

    “Mr. Smith, you were held up at gunpoint on the corner of 16th and Locust?”
    “Yes.”
    “Did you struggle with the robber?”
    “No.”
    “Why not?”
    “He was armed.”
    “Then you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than to resist?”
    “Yes.”
    “Did you scream? Cry out?”
    “No. I was afraid.”
    “I see. Have you ever been held up before?”
    “No.”
    “Have you ever given money away?”
    “Yes, of course–”
    “And did you do so willingly?”
    “What are you getting at?”
    “Well, let’s put it like this, Mr. Smith. You’ve given away money in the past–in fact, you have quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure that you weren’t contriving to have your money taken from you by force?”
    “Listen, if I wanted–”
    “Never mind. What time did this holdup take place, Mr. Smith?”
    “About 11 p.m.”
    “You were out on the streets at 11 p.m.? Doing what?”
    “Just walking.”
    “Just walking? You know it’s dangerous being out on the street that late at night. Weren’t you aware that you could have been held up?”
    “I hadn’t thought about it.”
    “What were you wearing at the time, Mr. Smith?”
    “Let’s see. A suit. Yes, a suit.”
    “An expensive suit?”
    “Well–yes.”
    “In other words, Mr. Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn’t that so? I mean, if we didn’t know better, Mr. Smith, we might even think you were asking for this to happen, mightn’t we?”
    “Look, can’t we talkin about the past history of the guy who did this to me?”
    “I’m afraid not, Mr. Smith. I don’t think you would want to violate his rights, now, would you?”

  49. Shaming Adult Women is the New Feminism at  Faux Real Tho!

    [...] #8217;m pretty sure that whatever goes on in there is the bitches’ fault.” See more complete commentary pretty much everywhere. [...]

  50. Feministe » The Rape of Mr. Smith
    Feministe » The Rape of Mr. Smith January 3, 2007 at 8:23 pm |

    [...] just discovered — but it’s fantastic, go check it out) in the comments of the Feminist Rape Apologists post: The law discriminates against rape vic [...]

  51. r4d20
    r4d20 January 3, 2007 at 11:41 pm |

    telling men to not rape and kill women.

    Sadly, the kind of guys who rape and kill women don’t really listen to that kind of advice.

    Seriously, is there a single rapist/murderer who mourned “If only someone had told me it was wrong….”

  52. Lindsay Beyestein
    Lindsay Beyestein January 4, 2007 at 12:20 am |

    The Rape of Mr. Smith is brilliant.

    I didn’t know who Liz Funk was when I read the article, so I interpreted it as a screed against exploitative club owners who create nuisances with ridiculous illegal drink specials for underage girls.

    Quoting Gary Miller set off my alarm bells, but I felt her actual point was relatively benign.

    Club owners are luring underage girls to their clubs and deliberately getting them wasted. There’s a difference between offering $2 PBRs to legal female customers and letting 18-year-olds drink free all night.

    In most bars Ladies Night is a harmless little perk for ladies. Some of the drink specials that New York club owners offer are a public nuisance and a safety hazard for underage girls. New York is having problems with underage clubbers passing out on the street, puking in public places, and generally disrupting neighborhoods because club owners deliberately contrive to get them as drunk as possible–to the point of massively subsidizing their consumption.

    Establishments should not serve severely intoxicated patrons. It’s illegal, it’s dangerous, and it’s a calculated marketing ploy to amuse rich male patrons.

  53. mythago
    mythago January 4, 2007 at 1:55 pm |

    You can’t really have it both ways. If the point of drink specials is to bring in more female customers so that you will get more male customers, that applies to 21-and-over females as well as 18-year-olds. Are you really saying that there are clubs that give free drinks to 18-to-20 year-old girls, but require 21-year-olds to pay half price?

    Clubs aren’t supposed to be serving alcohol to anyone under 21, last I heard.

  54. Lindsay Beyestein
    Lindsay Beyestein January 4, 2007 at 3:50 pm |

    I think you can have it both ways. Don’t admit anyone underage, offer drink specials that are reasonable (e.g., half-price beer, rather than unlimited free tequila shots), and cut off all obviously drunk people. Problem solved.

  55. Roy
    Roy January 4, 2007 at 5:22 pm |

    …I’d be willing to bet* that there are more than a few men who knowingly forced or coerced a woman into sex but didn’t define it as rape. They may recognize that it wasn’t the nicest thing to do, but they probably don’t put themselves in the category of “rapist.” They probably don’t view their action as being as bad as jumping out of the bushes and raping a stranger.

    Do they mourn “If only someone had told me it was wrong…”? Maybe not in those exact words, but I think the sentiment — that they didn’t recognize how wrong it was — has certainly been there. Even sadder, for many of these men, they never even get to the point of recognizing it was wrong at all.

    I absolutely think that’s true. I think you can actually see that sometimes when guys are first getting involved in feminism- taking classes, for example. Over the course of the class, you can see some of the men taking stock of their own relationships and the ways that they’ve treated women. Even if they haven’t raped anyone, there are definitely moments where someone realizes “Oh. My. God. I did that?”
    So, yeah. Absolutely.

  56. What You Should Read Since I’m Cleaning House and Desktop at  Faux Real Tho!

    [...] of T: Whose Life? Whose Will? and Mary’s Baby; Heather’s, Maybe Feministe: “Feminist” Rape Apologists and The Pitfalls of One-Size-Fi [...]

  57. mythago
    mythago January 4, 2007 at 10:41 pm |

    I think you can have it both ways. Don’t admit anyone underage, offer drink specials that are reasonable (e.g., half-price beer, rather than unlimited free tequila shots), and cut off all obviously drunk people. Problem solved.

    Uh, to be clearer, YOU can’t have it both ways. You were arguing that clubs deliberately entice underage drinkers to get wasted, yet when the drink-special enticement draws in women of legal drinking age, it’s a ‘harmless perk’ for ‘ladies’.

    Honestly, I truly don’t get all the support for Ladies’ Night. It’s like listening to a bunch of I’m-not-a-feminist-but arguments about how one shouldn’t have to give up the man picking up the whole check on dates.

  58. Suz
    Suz January 5, 2007 at 11:27 am |

    I am glad I grew up in the 70s and 80s

    I’m from that time period, too. I remember reading in a magazine (I think it was Sassy ) a survey where a large percentage of guys interviewed (don’t remember the actual number but it was way more than half) said they were entitled to sex on a date if they spent more than $15 on the girl.

    I view that moment as when I started to be a feminist. And it sure as hell shaped all my dating experiences.

  59. hippie
    hippie January 5, 2007 at 3:21 pm |

    It’s so frustrating – with ‘friends’ like these, who needs patriarchy?!

    Rapists cause rape. How hard is it for them to grasp that?!

  60. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl January 6, 2007 at 4:49 pm |

    Getting back to what Mythago was saying, I don’t have any problem with the idea of banning Ladies’ Night. I think it would be difficult to enforce, given that bar and club owners have a financial incentive to do things like Ladies’ Night. But I doubt even a well-enforced ban would make much difference to rape rates. Cheap booze isn’t the key factor in acquaintance rape. Rapists are.

  61. Denise Tzumli
    Denise Tzumli January 6, 2007 at 7:05 pm |

    It’s worth going to the Women’s eNews home page and having a look at their

    Mission Statement:

    Women’s eNews is the definitive source of substantive news–unavailable anywhere else–covering issues of particular concern to women and providing women’s perspectives on public policy. It enhances women’s ability to define their own lives and to participate fully in every sector of human endeavor.

    A current article they are running ‘Eve-Teasing’ Makes India’s Streets Mean for Women
    http://womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/2991/context/ourdailylives
    is a feminist article because it defends women’s right to be in public spaces free from harassment.
    The article written by Liz Funk would be at home in any Murdoch rag, and many women’s magazines.
    The public purse should not be used to publish such trash.

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