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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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255 Responses

  1. JBL55
    JBL55 October 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm |

    The title of this post might be better expressed as “Stop telling women NOT to get drunk,” but I get your point as well as the point of the linked article. We don’t blame the victims of robbery for “tempting” thieves, and rapists are never ever justified in their crimes.

    However, let’s remember that it is foolish to make oneself needlessly vulnerable. We might not blame a guy when his pocket is picked, but if he was carelessly flashing a wad of cash or negligent in making sure his wallet was carefully stowed, we will have a lot less sympathy.

    There are scumbags lurking around every corner, and while drunk women neither ask to be raped nor should be made responsible for the criminal behavior of others, they need to maintain awareness of the scumbag factor and take appropriate precautions.

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable October 31, 2013 at 12:33 pm |

      We might not blame a guy when his pocket is picked, but if he was carelessly flashing a wad of cash or negligent in making sure his wallet was carefully stowed, we will have a lot less sympathy.

      …What did you just analogize here? Because you sound like a scumbag.

      1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help October 31, 2013 at 8:54 pm |

        Keeping that vagina stowed away properly is tricky. It’s always trying to fall out of my wallet.

    2. Ally S
      Ally S October 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm |

      We might not blame a guy when his pocket is picked, but if he was carelessly flashing a wad of cash or negligent in making sure his wallet was carefully stowed, we will have a lot less sympathy.

      Uh, actually, you don’t speak for me and many others. I would not have less sympathy for that kind of theft victim.

      Your comment is extremely appalling, and frankly the worst thing I have read this morning. On a feminist blog of all places. FFS

    3. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 31, 2013 at 12:47 pm |

      Well, as long as women don’t carelessly flash their vaginas at men, I guess we don’t have to worry about men raping them, then?

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve October 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm |

        Well, as long as women don’t carelessly flash their vaginas at men, I guess we don’t have to worry about men raping them, then?

        That happens to me all the time and I’ve still never raped anyone.

        1. Thomas MacAulay Millar
          Thomas MacAulay Millar October 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

          Indeed. As a het man, let me state the radical truth that I am a moral agent, responsible for my own conduct, and capable of controlling my urges.

          Rapists don’t lack control. They lack accountability.

    4. Karak
      Karak October 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm |

      I’m going to make an anology here:

      When you go around talking and flashing your opinions, someone just might beat you insensate. You really need to be aware that casually socializing with others results in terrible beatings, and be more aware of what you say, because that happens sometimes.

      Being raped is not having money stolen from you. It is a physical attack. It is a beating.

      1. JBL55
        JBL55 October 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm |

        I am keenly aware of what rape is.

        And there are many places in this world where stating one’s opinion openly and honestly can actually get one beaten, thrown into a cell with neither name nor number, or even killed.

        That is why people living in those places must be very careful about what they say and how they say it.

        We know this to be true, we know the need to be careful doesn’t justify their attackers, and we know there is always work to be done to make sure the social structure that enables them is repaired and corrected.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan October 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

          So where’s your endless stream of articles telling those people to STFU and kowtow to their oppressive state/neighbors/religion? Or do only women get that treatment?

        2. Thomas MacAulay Millar
          Thomas MacAulay Millar October 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |

          We all know that people in certain demographics can get beat up by cops for anything, or nothing. In the broader culture, people even snicker and victim-blame when it happens. But I have _never_ever_ seen someone show up on a feminist or progressive blog arguing that, the real world being what it is, we need to tell people in those groups to be careful about being in places where cops might find them.

          What you are saying is a close analog to telling black trans women that they shouldn’t walk alone at night because cops might beat them, rape them, or arrest them for prostitution based on no evidence but trans status and the time of day. But you would never say that. YOU WOULD NEVER say that (or, admit you would and I’ll call for a g*riffe and we’ll be rid of you.)

          So how the hell do you think you can show up here and say, “hey, the world being what it is, the potential victims need to be realistic about whether they can exercise their basic human rights”?!

        3. JBL55
          JBL55 October 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm |

          Bagelsan, I don’t know what tangent you’ve gone off on. I do know that fully reading a reply before responding makes for a lot less confusion. If you had done that, you might not have imagined I was an apologist for oppressive regimes.

        4. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan November 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm |

          Yes, but you are an apologist for rapists. So go ahead and give yourself a high-five for not oppressing most men, I guess? 9_9

    5. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve October 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm |

      We might not blame a guy when his pocket is picked, but if he was carelessly flashing a wad of cash or negligent in making sure his wallet was carefully stowed, we will have a lot less sympathy.

      Fine, where are all the articles warning men not to flash their cash around?

      1. JBL55
        JBL55 October 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve October 31, 2013 at 3:58 pm |

          There are plenty of them, from insurance compaanies to travel agencies to whatever — here are just a handful:

          http://www.allstate.com/resources/Allstate/attachments/tools-and-resources/helpful-steps-to-protect-yourself.pdf

          http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/theft.htm

          http://www.abus.com/eng/Guide/Theft-protection

          You said:

          We might not blame a guy when his pocket is picked, but if he was carelessly flashing a wad of cash or negligent in making sure his wallet was carefully stowed, we will have a lot less sympathy.

          I said:

          Fine, where are all the articles warning men not to flash their cash around?

          Need I point out with overmuch emphasis the exact respect in which your list of links fails you?

        2. Willemina
          Willemina November 1, 2013 at 1:38 am |

          First off, conflation of property crimes with violent crimes is inane, might as well just trot out the good person with a gun line. Second, determination of the assailant and the apathy of by-standers trumps “protection”

      2. Rhoanna
        Rhoanna October 31, 2013 at 1:27 pm |

        Similar articles about theft do exist (e.g. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/06/27/mta-warning-straphangers-to-safeguard-your-stuff-in-new-subway-campaign/), although they aren’t necessarily gendered. But even so the discourse around theft isn’t anything like that around rape.

        1. Andie
          Andie October 31, 2013 at 4:17 pm |

          Exactly. How not-to-get-robbed advice is almost never specifically aimed at men (and chances are if men are used as examples it’s a result of the men-as-default trope) and most of all… Even if someone gets robbed as a result of flashing a wad of cash, no one denies they got fucking robbed!

        2. EG
          EG October 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm |

          If I recall the Rachel Sacks correctly, the suggestion that waving around evidence of conspicuous over-consumption was reasonable provocation to mild rudeness appalled a not-insignificant portion of commenters, though not me.

          But somehow it’s reasonable to tell women not to get drunk lest some asshole rape them?

          Sure. When I see PSAs telling shoppers at high-end stores to leave their bags and brand-name items at home, lest they provoke the masses into beating them to death in an outpouring of rage against the 1%, I’ll buy that.

    6. Andie
      Andie October 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

      Oh, for the love of Gord. Can people not even come up with an original disgusting analogy, instead of trotting out this tired cash-wad-flashing strawperson as equivalent to a woman having a few drinks.

      Going out somewhere, be it a club, a pub or the living room of a friend, is not on the same level as “flashing around a wad of cash.” To say that, you are basically saying that expecting to be able to be social in a manner that a huge portion of the population (at least in North America) engages, that women are putting such an ostentatious show of nerve that they should expect to be victimized.

      By existing. In a social context.

      It is not a good idea for Anyone of any gender to get drunk to the point of oblivion. But it is women, by and large, who are consistently socially sanctioned with the threat of sexual violence for drinking, and told that if we are victimized, we basically brought it on ourselves for daring to think we can exist in the same social context as men.

      1. Amelia the lurker
        Amelia the lurker November 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm |

        This, this, this, this, THIS.

    7. Tyris
      Tyris November 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm |

      We don’t have anything useful to add to most of the counterarguments that have already been made, but there is one tidbit left over:

      We don’t blame the victims of robbery for “tempting” thieves

      This is very definitely a thing that does happen. In most of our nearest carparks there are signs reading “Leave it on show – expect it to go!”

  2. Sparger
    Sparger October 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm |

    Why can’t we admit there are scumbags out there looking for the drunk girl?

    1. EG
      EG October 31, 2013 at 2:01 pm |

      We can and we do. I simply reject “Ladies, don’t ever get drunk” as an acceptable solution.

      1. JBL55
        JBL55 October 31, 2013 at 2:35 pm |

        As do I.

      2. Marie
        Marie October 31, 2013 at 8:22 pm |

        Agreed.

    2. Andie
      Andie October 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm |

      We do. But the narrative needs to be changed from “Don’t get drunk, don’t you know that’s how you get raped?” (because no, that’s not “how you get raped” sez the numerous people who have been raped while NOT drunk) to “Don’t have sex with drunk people, don’t you know that’s rape?”

      Of course telling rapists not to rape isn’t going to stop (most) rapists.
      The idea is to make society a less easy place for rapists to operate. Instead of flogging the dead horse of “Don’t get drunk, you’ll get raped” we need society as a whole to stand up and go “I don’t give a flying fuck *how* drunk that person was, you don’t get to take advantage and if you do, you will pay for it, whether it be through social ostracism or jail time, you will pay for it.

      Right now, rapists rape because there is little incentive NOT to.

  3. EG
    EG October 31, 2013 at 2:03 pm |

    We know that many rapists test out their victims by violating their boundaries in other, smaller ways first. Where are all the articles telling women to assert control over their boundaries, if we’re so keen on helping women protect themselves?

    1. Thomas MacAulay Millar
      Thomas MacAulay Millar October 31, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      1. Thomas MacAulay Millar
        Thomas MacAulay Millar October 31, 2013 at 2:25 pm |

        Though that’s more about bystanders facilitating boundaries than potential targets expressing them. Harriet J’s classic about boundaries and rape is here.

      2. TimmyTwinkles
        TimmyTwinkles October 31, 2013 at 2:28 pm |

        I dug your article. I know this isn’t really the Feministe commentariat vibe, but I’ve beaten the shit out of a would-be date rapist in the past and though I’m 31 and quite the respectable gent i will again for 2 cents. Guys need to do their part; not saying physically necessary, but i believe we have a large obligation to self-police ourselves. Rape affects us all.

        1. Thomas MacAulay Millar
          Thomas MacAulay Millar October 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm |

          There are times when I believe that is the appropriate response. Violent retribution isn’t a structural solution, so I don’t say much about it. But in certain circumstances it is the right thing to do.

        2. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer October 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm |

          @ Timmy and Thomas

          Putting aside the ethical questions surrounding vigilantism, from a realistic standpoint I suspect that (in the west, in the vast majority of cases) beating the shit out of would-be rapists is something only a class-privileged white male could get away with.

        3. EG
          EG October 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm |

          I suspect that depends on who the would-be rapist is.

          But even so, all the more reason for those who can get away with it to do so.

        4. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer October 31, 2013 at 5:26 pm |

          @ EG

          Agreed, but I do remember physically standing up for myself at one point in my youth. It very nearly destroyed my future, and it still had demonstrable socio-economic consequences.

          That sort of outcome tends to go unmentioned by vigilante fantasists.

        5. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles October 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm |

          Reasonable point. I would never advocate generally that someone do what i did, though I have to concur with EG and Thomas that if its a viable recourse, hard for me to say don’t do it. I don’t regret it for a second, though sure it was a somewhat risky thing for me to do even with my class privilege.

        6. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer October 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm |

          Right. To be clear, my concern is not for the rapists, nor am I trying to admonish anyone for taking justice into their own hands (I know I said “ethical questions surrounding vigilantism”, but I didn’t mean to imply that vigilantism is never okay. Clearly it can be). My concern was for people who may not be able to get away with doing what you did, but who won’t realize as much until after the fact.

      3. EG
        EG October 31, 2013 at 2:37 pm |

        Awesome! I meant in pop culture, though, as opposed to the “don’t get drunk” bullshit. If we really cared about women protecting themselves, that’s the kind of article we’d see. But our culture doesn’t; it just cares about policing women.

  4. Marie
    Marie October 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm |

    Women should never be blamed for rape. That said, taking precautions is the mature, common-sense thing to do. When drunk, a person’s perceptions are compromised; drinking alcohol can impair judgment.

    I will now confess something pretty scary: last year, when I was walking home from a nightclub, very drunk, a young guy in a car offered me a lift. Although I’ve always been well aware of the potential dangers of hitchhiking, I was so intoxicated, my thinking was quite hazy – so I got in. About two blocks down the road, my thinking cleared up somewhat, so I asked him to let me out. I must be one of the luckiest ladies around, because he said, “Sure”, pulled over to the curb, and allowed me to open the door and get out. One year later, I still feel a flash of fear when I think of what might have happened to me if this young man had sinister intentions.

    Taking a common-sense approach to personal safety is not a form of victim-blaming, it’s not a form of hysterics, it’s not a form of infantizing women: I can’t imagine why it would be a bad idea to protect yourself.

    1. EG
      EG October 31, 2013 at 3:34 pm |

      You know what? When I was a teenager, I got drunk and passed out in the bathroom of the bar. The bartender found me at the end of night and gave me a lift home and did not rape me.

      And that doesn’t mean that I’m one of the luckiest young women around. It means that he wasn’t a rapist, like, in my opinion, most men. The idea that being raped would be the logical or expected end to either your story or mine is part of what enables rapists–it suggests that most or all men are predators. And I just don’t think that’s true.

      1. Marie
        Marie October 31, 2013 at 4:02 pm |

        Whooooosh! Either you missed my point, or perhaps I need to clarify what I wrote: The point is, drinking impairs judgment, so people who are drunk aren’t capable of making sound decisions, e.g., getting into a stranger’s car, which can be potentially dangerous for all hitchhikers, male and female alike.

        Unless a hitchhiker has magical, mystical powers of ESP, one never knows a stranger’s true intentions. How many of us are mind readers?

        Have you ever heard of Russian Roulette? Taking chances with strangers can be a form of Russian Roulette: maybe you’ll survive the encounter intact, maybe not. But why take chances with your physical safety? After all, self-preservation is the first law of nature.

        Incidentally, I neither stated nor implied that all men are predators, and I certainly don’t believe that.

        1. EG
          EG October 31, 2013 at 4:19 pm |

          Oh, I got the point you were making. It just wasn’t the one you thought you were making.

          Tell me, how many people do you know who aren’t aware that drinking impairs their judgment? Why is it that so many people seem to think that the ladies are ignorant of this fact and so need constant reminding?

        2. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles October 31, 2013 at 4:21 pm |

          But everyone knows strangers can be bad, life is risky, etc. NOT A HELPFUL OBSERVATION IN THE RAPE DIALOGUE. Any hint of “life is risky, watch out for strangers, etc” in this context suggests the victim should have/could have done something different. And thats bullshit.

        3. Marie
          Marie November 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm |

          @ TimmyTwinkles: I understand your point regarding safety tips, which is what I myself was attempting to point out in this thread, and I never meant it in a condescending sort of way; I suppose I was a bit taken aback by the paranoia of some folks in this thread who chose to interpret my well-meant remarks as victim-blaming.

        4. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca November 4, 2013 at 7:40 pm |

          With due respect, most females are at a lot more at risk of rape being raised by their father, or going on dates with their boyfriend, or living with their husband than they are getting into the car of a stranger. I also think women are more likely to apply sound judgment to a situation with a stranger and how dangerous that stranger is than to a situation with someone who they are close to, who may be abusive, who may have succeeded in brainwashing them into thinking he is the “good guy.” The idea that women getting drunk or associating with strangers are “risk factors” for women is simply a way to enforce socially normative behavior in women. The real risk factors for women are being in a family, having any interaction with men (95% of all rapists), going to church (learning narratives that encourage them to passively accept their subjugation), watching television and movies (see church), or basically being alive in a patriarchal society. These behaviors are less to avoid, however, than drinking and partying down. More importantly, these are behaviors that women supposedly SHOULD do to be feminine, proper, moral, American females. Rape advice for women is just another excuse to psychologically terrorize women and get them to comply with patriarchal norms that benefit men (especially cis, straight, rich white men).

      2. Marie
        Marie October 31, 2013 at 6:49 pm |

        @ EG: Oh, so you can read my mind? You actually presume to know what others are thinking? Wow. (And for the record, I don’t think women need to be constantly reminded of the potential dangers of intoxication.)

        @TimmyTwinkles: I agree that just because life can be risky is no reason to blame women who are raped.

        It strikes me as kind of odd that some people out there think taking precautions with one’s personal safety is a form of victim-blaming.

        1. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles October 31, 2013 at 11:16 pm |

          I guess my point would be, giving safety tips one on one to daughter, sister, friend, etc? Totally appropriate in my book. I did it with my sister and I will do it for my future daughter. But my problem is when the personal safety talk enters the public dialogue. Too often, per the title of Jill’s post, it gives cover to rapists. I think EG and Mac in particular have done a really good job in this thread of pointing out: most women aren’t naive and unware! They already know there are risks associated with certain behaviors. So at best, in these types of dialogues, i think the personal safety/risk mitigation stuff comes off as kind of patronizing. At worst, victim-blaming and fodder for vile rape apologists. My 2 cents.

        2. EG
          EG October 31, 2013 at 11:42 pm |

          Oh, so you can read my mind?

          Nope. I read your words. And you may not have wanted to make the point you did, but you sure as hell did.

          (And for the record, I don’t think women need to be constantly reminded of the potential dangers of intoxication.)

          Then why do you advocate doing it?

      3. Marie
        Marie November 1, 2013 at 3:22 am |

        @ EG: My “point”? And what point was that? You seem to read your own meanings into what other people write, predicated on your seemingly slanted world view, rather than accepting what someone writes at face value. My only “point” was that a certain circumspection when out and about on the city streets is essential for personal safety.

        ———————————————————————————————–

        “(And for the record, I don’t think women need to be constantly reminded of the potential dangers of intoxication.)”

        “Then why do you advocate doing it?”

        I didn’t advocate anything – I merely stressed the importance of self-protection when out and about on the city streets.

        1. EG
          EG November 1, 2013 at 9:48 am |

          The point implied by your statement that you must have been “one of the luckiest ladies around” that some dude didn’t rape you when you drunkenly accepted a lift home.

          Words have meanings, explicit and implicit. Your lack of awareness of the implications of the ones you choose doesn’t mean those implications don’t exist.

          You also said that “That said, taking precautions is the mature, common-sense thing to do. When drunk, a person’s perceptions are compromised; drinking alcohol can impair judgment.”

          Do you think that statement is not a superfluous reminder? Why are you under the impression that women need to be told this?

          I merely stressed the importance of self-protection when out and about on the city streets.

          Really? What are the concrete steps you’ve stressed, again? Because all I’m seeing is the admonition that alcohol impairs judgment.

          Now the first woman I knew who was raped while she was drunk was raped when some asshole pushed his way into the building behind her and pulled out a gun. I guess she had the bad judgment to walk four blocks home with a friend at sunrise. Then there was the woman just last year in the city who took a taxi home; she was so drunk that the taxi driver called the cops to help her. Instead, they raped her, and despite overwhelming evidence, were acquitted because, as one juror said, “none of this would’ve happened if she hadn’t been so drunk.” I guess she had the poor judgment to have taken a taxi.

          Do tell me, what do you advocate for self-protection?

        2. EG
          EG November 1, 2013 at 10:38 am |

          So just to recap:

          1) Friend walks home four blocks in company of another friend: is raped by a stranger with a gun.

          2) Woman takes taxi home: is raped by two cops called by a concerned stranger.

          3) At 18, EG drunkenly accepts a ride home from a total stranger. Is fine except for the worst hangover of her entire life, also boots that smell of vomit for weeks afterward.

          4) Marie drunkenly accepts a ride home from a total stranger. Asks to be let out two blocks later, and is fine.

          So…what is it you’re claiming about women’s impaired judgment again? That it has anything whatsoever to do with rape?

        3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help November 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm |

          “(And for the record, I don’t think women need to be constantly reminded of the potential dangers of intoxication.)”

          “Then why do you advocate doing it?”

          I didn’t advocate anything – I merely stressed the importance of self-protection when out and about on the city streets.

          OFFS Marie, you’ve spent this entire thread trotting out the same old, same old advice to women to modify their behaviour, the stuff we’ve all heard a thousand times. You’re totally ignoring and snarking at everyone pointing out the problems with this, then doing a rinse and repeat.

      4. Marie
        Marie November 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm |

        @ EG: This is just more of your pedantic over-intellectualizing and over-analyzing. There are no hidden, cryptic meanings in what I’ve been writing: just common-sense stuff, about being cautious when dealing with people out on the streets, either drunk or sober. And yes, sometimes impaired judgment from being drunk can lead to getting raped – just as easily as situations when a woman is sober can lead to her getting raped. And either scenario, it’s never the woman’s fault.

        1. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles November 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm |

          eh, i don’t find EG pedantic in the least, must take issue with that.

        2. EG
          EG November 1, 2013 at 6:15 pm |

          This is just more of your pedantic over-intellectualizing and over-analyzing.

          So, Goldilocks, Skytracer is too “obtuse” and should use google to look up “altruistic,” but now I’m over-intellectualizing? I guess you’re just right, then, huh? How fortunate for you, smart, but not too smart (I was brought up to value intelligence and erudition–you can google the word if you don’t know it). I’m terribly sorry I’m incapable of de-intellectualizing myself in order to sink to your level. I try and try, but stupidity is just not my forte.

          This is the kind of silliness people spout when they can’t actually refute the analysis in question. It has nothing to do with cryptic or hidden meanings; it has to do with the meanings that are there in your words. If you are so inept with words that you can’t understand the meanings and implications of the words you choose, don’t inflict yours on the unsuspecting public.

          I don’t mind “pedantic.” I’ll even cop to it. So what? That doesn’t actually address the content of what I said.

          sometimes impaired judgment from being drunk can lead to getting raped – just as easily as situations when a woman is sober can lead to her getting raped.

          Do you understand basic logic? If impaired judgment from being drunk leads to getting raped “just as easily,” not more easily, as sobriety, then drunkenness is not a relevant risk-factor for rape. Something is only a relevant risk-factor if it increases a person’s chances of being raped.

          I’ve rolled those dice more times than I can count, and not once has my impaired judgment led to getting raped. Whereas the women I’ve known who’ve been raped didn’t make any questionable judgment calls that led to the rape.

        3. Disemvoweled: Marie
          Disemvoweled: Marie November 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm |

          Bt thr my cm tm whn ths dc y rll my trn gnst y, .., snk ys. nthr gmblng nlgy whch sd rlr n ths thrd s Rssn Rltt. Why gmbl wth n’s physcl sfty?

        4. EG
          EG November 1, 2013 at 8:25 pm |

          Well, Goldilocks, since you’ve decided to ignore the basic logical problem with your assumption–that impaired judgment on the part of drunken young women leads to rape

          (the logical problem being, of course, that you yourself said that drunkenness is “just as” risky as sobriety–and thus I’m rolling dice either way–and have yet to produce any evidence demonstrating that a) impaired judgment on the part of drunken young women leads to rape or b) telling young women not to drink is an effective way of addressing this problem)

          I’ll just note that although you claim that you’re not trying to police women’s behavior, here you are asking why a woman would “gamble with one’s physical safety” by drinking. Don’t pretend your oh-so-helpful common-sense observations aren’t about controlling what women do. Women drink for the same reasons men drink. Evidence suggests that they’re pretty compelling.

        5. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help November 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm |

          Common sense my arse. You’re making this entirely about women’s behaviour, even when you use your own experience as an example. If the guy who gave you a lift had been a rapist, he’d have tried to rape you regardless of whether you were drunk or sober. He wasn’t, so he didn’t. HIS choice; HIS behaviour; HIS agency in not being a rapist. It was. not. contingent. on you being drunk or sober, and if you describe that way, you’re still assigning blame to yourself even if you think you aren’t. You’re making yourself, and by implication other women, responsible for men’s behaviour.

          Do you seriously think we don’t hear that every fucking day?

          Also, look up concepts like “implications” and “reading between the lines” and stuff like that before you get huffy about people seeing things in your words.

    2. Hugh
      Hugh October 31, 2013 at 5:14 pm |

      “Women should never be blamed for rape.”

      …I think you mean “women should never be blamed for their own rape”, right?

      If a woman rapes someone, then yes, she should be blamed for it.

      1. TimmyTwinkles
        TimmyTwinkles October 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm |

        Good job Hugh, really needed you to shed some light on that. Valuable contribution.

        1. Hugh
          Hugh November 1, 2013 at 2:27 am |

          I take it you don’t actually disagree, you just feel this is a derail? I’m sorry, but the “only men rape” thing is a pretty bloody persistent myth, and I don’t feel the need to apologise for confronting it.

        2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help November 1, 2013 at 4:20 am |

          Hugh, this post is about a message conveyed to women about preventing their own rapes. It is not about men being told anything, whether not to be rapists or implicitly blaming male victims for the crimes against them.

          Please don’t turn this into a “what about teh menz” issue.

        3. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles November 1, 2013 at 10:22 am |

          What Kitteh said

      2. Marie
        Marie November 1, 2013 at 3:23 am |

        @ Hugh: Sit down, please. You’re embarrassing yourself.

        1. Willemina
          Willemina November 1, 2013 at 4:08 am |

          Pot, kettle, kettle, pot. At least kettle has a salient (if deraily) point in this.

        2. Marie
          Marie November 1, 2013 at 1:55 pm |

          @ Willemina: Actually, my dear, you are as embarrassing as Hugh. And there is nothing salient, i.e., important or relevant about either of you. Do sit down, sweetheart.

        3. Hugh
          Hugh November 1, 2013 at 5:04 am |

          Fair enough

    3. PM
      PM November 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm |

      Marie,

      thinking about the rapes and could-have-been-rapes that have been shared in this thread, what would more stereotypical “don’t get raped” ads done in any of them? Women already have them thrown in their faces. Would more ads like that have done anything to make you not get in that car with that guy? E.G. asked “What are the concrete steps you’ve stressed, again? Because all I’m seeing is the admonition that alcohol impairs judgment. ”

      What concrete steps involving more of the ho-hum, Emily Yoffe-type advice should society be taking? Because from where I’m sitting, we need to go after rapists. Period.

      1. Marie
        Marie November 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm |

        “…we need to go after rapists. Period.” Agreed. Perhaps I was expressing the opinion that, to me, it seems irrational to accuse me of victim-blaming when I opined that women need to be cautious when going out for the evening – drunk or sober. Who knows – maybe it’s a cultural thing, or a difference in the way you and I were brought up – I don’t know.

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help November 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm |

          Do you tell young men to be careful in the evening and not get drunk? After all, look at all the young men who get attacked, or do the attacking; look at the deaths from drunk young men being king-hit, or doing it. I don’t see you telling the perpertrators of drunken crime to stop drinking, to be careful, or anything else. I don’t see you admonishing men to change their behaviour at all. No, it’s all about women being hemmed in, being cautious, being limited in ways you’d never DREAM of suggesting to men. Have you no idea how toxic that really is?

  5. Lorraine
    Lorraine October 31, 2013 at 2:32 pm |

    Of course Women should be able to do exactly what they want, where they want and when they want without fear of assault. Women should be able to pass out drunk in the street and not be attacked. And in a PERFECT world it would be perfectly safe to do so. But alas we do not live in a perfect world. Of course the rapist is to blame, no matter what the circumstances. But in this violent, nasty world that we live in, we have to understand one thing. As Women, if we get really drunk and pass out, there is a possibility that someone will see this as too good an opportunity to miss.

    1. EG
      EG October 31, 2013 at 3:35 pm |

      But in this violent, nasty world that we live in, we have to understand one thing. As Women, if we get really drunk and pass out, there is a possibility that someone will see this as too good an opportunity to miss.

      What makes you think that women don’t already know that?

      1. Computer Soldier Porygon
        Computer Soldier Porygon November 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

        Wait, what? This is brand new information!

        1. Marie
          Marie November 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm |

          Ah, how clever your witticisms, my dear.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune November 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm |

          You know, Marie, you’re kind of just being a douche all over the thread. Could you stop?

        3. Marie
          Marie November 1, 2013 at 5:39 pm |

          You know, a lot of others in this thread are being douches with their bullying and their paranoia. It would be great if they would stop.

          The only point I was trying to make is that it’s not victim-blaming to express concern over women’s safety. Telling a rapist to stop raping women won’t work, any more than telling someone not to murder will prevent that person from killing.

        4. Leah
          Leah November 2, 2013 at 1:49 am |

          Telling rapists not to commit this crime usually won’t work

          But telling women something we already know because we’ve been beaten over the head with it since we were born – “alcohol can impair your judgement” – will totally work, right? Seriously, this is like walking up to your friends at a bonfire and making a big show of telling them that fire is hot. Well, golly. Thank you captain obvious, that’s not infantalizing at all!

          Additionally, rapists target drunk women, because women who are intoxicated are easier to physically overpower. Being drunk lessens a person’s physical strength and coordination and slows down a person’s reaction time.

          Being asleep can also slow down a person’s reaction time, and a woman is far more likely to be sexually assaulted by the person she shares a bed with than by the random dude walking down the street at night after the bars close. Perhaps we should warn young women to never sleep with their romantic partners? I mean, we’re basing our admonishments on statistical probability, right? What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t warn my fellow ladies! I’M JUST CONCERNED, Y’ALL.

          Or, since you admitted that drunkeness can be just as risky as sobriety re: likelihood of rape, maybe we should be telling women to drink more and be sober less!

          Ah, how clever your witticisms, my dear.

          And can we all cut it the fuck out with the “sweeties” and “dears” etc. please? It’s reductively gendered.

        5. Marie
          Marie November 2, 2013 at 3:12 am |

          [COMMENT CONTENT HAS BEEN DELETED. Marie, your status quo contrarianism is becoming tedious. Your comments will no longer be published on this thread. You can, if you wish, see if anybody wants to engage with your arguments about what is and what is not useful advice over on the #spillover thread. ~ mods]

        6. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune November 1, 2013 at 5:40 pm |

          You know, a lot of others in this thread are being douches with their bullying and their paranoia. It would be great if they would stop.

          So, because others are douches, you feel almost compelled to be. And it’s all their fault, because if they didn’t douche at you, you wouldn’t want to be douchey to them. They were practically asking for it, amirite?

        7. Marie
          Marie November 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm |

          Actually, yes.

        8. EG
          EG November 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm |

          Telling a rapist to stop raping women won’t work, any more than telling someone not to murder will prevent that person from killing.

          Whereas telling women not to drink is super-effective at preventing rape, and not at all unnecessary and infantilizing! Good point, Marie.

        9. Marie
          Marie November 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm |

          *sigh* *head-to-desk*

          Expressing concern for someone’s well-being is not infantalizing.

          The [ableism redacted ~mods] in this thread is really too much to take.

        10. tigtog
          tigtog November 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm | *

          The [ableism redacted ~mods] in this thread is really too much to take.

          Then you won’t mind stepping out of this thread then, will you? At this point in time you’re just derailing by making this thread All About Marie’s Obvious Commonsense™, and derailing a thread to make it all about you is a breach of the comments policy. Quit it now.

        11. Marie
          Marie November 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm |

          I’m not making this thread “all about me”; it’s not my intention to do so – that’s you’re unfortunate misinterpretation. At no time have I tried to derail anything. You are certainly entitled to your opinion that common sense about personal safety is “infantalizing”, just as I’m entitled to my opinion that it’s not “infantalizing”. People aren’t meant to be in lock-step in their opinions about everything; that’s not realistic.

        12. tigtog
          tigtog November 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm | *

          Marie, this is a moderator note. I am not making any interpretation of your intention or what you are trying to do. I am noting the effect that your comments are having.

          Welcome to the pre-moderation filter.

        13. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl November 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm |

          “Telling a rapist to stop raping women won’t work, any more than telling someone not to murder will prevent that person from killing.”

          Please tell me you’re being facetious with this comment, please?

          Because if this actually follows in your mind as a logically and reasonably thought out real live fact, I don’t even know what to say to you. Seriously, how ridiculous. Why even bother with dumb stuff like laws and a criminal justice system then, we don’t need stuff like laws to stop people from doing bad stuff!

          For crying out loud…

        14. Disemvoweled: Marie
          Disemvoweled: Marie November 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm |

          t’s clld bng rlstc. Tllng rpst r mrdrr t stp cmmttng ths crms wn’t wrk, bcs ths ppl r scpths wh dn’t cr bt thr ppl. Thrgh thy yrs, lrnd bt crmnl bhvr frm my ncl, wh ws n lw nfrcmnt, nd frm lng-trm byfrnd f mn, wh ws ls cp. Ths tw mn n my lf hd mny, mny yrs f p-cls-nd-prsnl xprnc wth crmnls f ll srts – vlnt, scpthc typs wth n rmrs fr th crms thy cmmttd. nd whl my ncl nd my thn-byfrnd rrstd sm flks wh gnnly wntd t stp thr crmnl ctns, th vst mjrty f thr rrsts wr ncpbl f bng rhblttd – hbtl ffndrs, wth hgh rt f rcdvsm, wh wr nwllng t b rhblttd, ncldng rpsts.

          Prvnttv msrs mght wrk fr chldrn – s mntnd rlr, myb mndtry clsss fr chldrn t lrn rspct fr grls nd wmn.

        15. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune November 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm |

          @Marie

          Wow, you seriously have no sense of irony, do you…

        16. Disemvoweled: Marie
          Disemvoweled: Marie November 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm |

          @ mcvtyktsn: Ww, n fct d hv sns f rny. chs t gnr yr flsh nlgy.

        17. Marie
          Marie November 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm |

          [MODERATOR NOTE: When a comment of yours has been disemvoweled by a moderator, that does not mean you are welcome to repeat your comment in slightly different wording. Don't do that again. Comment content has been redacted.]

        18. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon November 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm |

          Ah, how clever your witticisms, my dear.

          How powerful your general assholery.

        19. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon November 2, 2013 at 10:28 pm |

          Ah, how clever your witticisms, my dear.

          Man, a second ago I just read this bit and left an annoyed comment, and then I came back and noticed the rest of this little subthread. Seems really bizarre and I don’t really understand why Marie decided to douche out on me. I’ve made like, what, two whole comments on this post? I’m just, like, baffled by this entire thread.

      2. SkyTracer
        SkyTracer November 2, 2013 at 11:58 pm |

        Seems really bizarre and I don’t really understand why Marie decided to douche out on me.

        She was probably getting defensive because the implication of Jill’s post is that she’s been enabling rapists, and she projected a lot of her apparent psychology onto us (c.f. the irony that Willemina and macavitykitsune noted).

        She also made a blog post* describing us (using language I usually see from anti-feminists and “I’m not like those other feminists” feminists) as low-IQ cyber-bullies.

        I’d like to believe she’s a dedicated troll, but I don’t. My experience has been that such behavior is typical for someone who’s defensive and averse to analytical argument.

        *She linked her blog in her username. The mods have since removed the links.

        1. Leah
          Leah November 3, 2013 at 12:21 am |

          Well how the hell are we ever going to learn our lesson if they removed the link to her (surely very logical and indisputable) takedown?!

          Guess I’ll never know the hidden meaning of the word “infantalizing”. Or the conspiracy to keep the real definition out of webster. ;(

        2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help November 3, 2013 at 1:35 am |

          We’ll just have to wallow in our low-IQ iggerance, Leah. Tragic, innit?

        3. Willemina
          Willemina November 3, 2013 at 2:15 am |

          Her blog is linked through her gravatar, as they can be. Lot of black silk, sepia photographs and vampire stuff over there just to give a general overview. Short on text, long on pictures.

          “Sleazy” wouldn’t be the adjective I’d use for Feministe though. Raucous or pugilistic on a bad day maybe.

        4. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer November 3, 2013 at 4:15 am |

          Her blog is linked through her gravatar, as they can be…

          Oh yeah, that’s how I found it. I guess the mods didn’t actually delete anything; I just have the memory of a low-IQ person. I still remember how dictionaries work, at least.

        5. EG
          EG November 3, 2013 at 7:39 am |

          Wait, I feel left out! She accused me of over-intellectualizing and over-analyzing! Am I a high-IQ cyber-bully?

          I like the implication that it’s important to be smart, but not too smart.

        6. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help November 3, 2013 at 7:40 am |

          ::snicker::

        7. Tyris
          Tyris November 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm |

          “Sleazy” wouldn’t be the adjective I’d use for Feministe though. Raucous or pugilistic on a bad day maybe.

          But mostly, “beige.”

    2. Thomas MacAulay Millar
      Thomas MacAulay Millar October 31, 2013 at 3:53 pm |

      Everything in your first two sentences is correct. Everything after that shows that you lack the courage even to pay consistent lip service to the things you said in your first two sentences.

    3. Marie
      Marie October 31, 2013 at 8:20 pm |

      Agreed. Sadly, that’s all too true.

  6. JBL55
    JBL55 October 31, 2013 at 2:43 pm |

    Since I am not a frequent visitor to this site, I am a nearly unknown quantity and it’s not surprising my words were misconstrued.

    I will say a few things I believe to my very bones as clearly as I can: rapists deserve no cover, no excuses, and no justifications. Never. Ever.

    It is not enough for a woman to say “no” for a man to not pursue sex with her: she must say “yes” for him to know she wants to proceed. Men need to know this. Boys need to be taught it. Society needs to stop blaming women for the stupidity and cruelty of their rapists.

    And women should watch their backs by minimizing times of potential vulnerability. This can be as simple as being aware of their surroundings, not going off alone with someone they don’t know, not overestimating their abilities, and not deluding themselves that everyone around them has only the best of intentions and motivations.

    I will not be participating further in this discussion, as I am about to leave on a week-long trip and plan to spend a lot more time with the loved ones I’ll be visiting than on the internet.

    1. Thomas MacAulay Millar
      Thomas MacAulay Millar October 31, 2013 at 2:57 pm |

      There are no words you can say along with “and women should be more careful not to be in situations where they could be raped” that will be okay. You need to understand that the not-okay part of what you said cannot be made okay be context. It’s just not okay.

      1. JBL55
        JBL55 October 31, 2013 at 3:53 pm |

        You need to understand that misrepresenting what I wrote is not okay.

        There is no difference between what I said here about minimizing one’s vulnerability and the “how to identify a potential rapist” advice you provide on your blog.

        And now I really do need to go. Thanks for the reminder that I should turn off the follow-up notifications!

        1. Thomas MacAulay Millar
          Thomas MacAulay Millar October 31, 2013 at 3:59 pm |

          You need to understand that based on what you’ve said I don’t care what you think. I’m responding only nominally to you. My audience is the lurkers. (And I don’t need them to like me or even think I’m reasonable, for complex reasons I’m not inclined to explain.)

    2. EG
      EG October 31, 2013 at 3:19 pm |

      This can be as simple as being aware of their surroundings, not going off alone with someone they don’t know,

      So…a woman doesn’t get to make out with somebody she’s just met; she doesn’t get to have one-night stands; she doesn’t get to spend time alone with a blind date. Great. More policing of unladylike behavior.

      not overestimating their abilities,

      I’d love to know how many rapes you imagine can be attributed to a woman “overestimating” her abilities.

      and not deluding themselves that everyone around them has only the best of intentions and motivations.

      THIS IS THE CONDESCENDING AND PATRONIZING BULLSHIT I REFER TO ABOVE.

      Guess what, genius? Women are aware of rape. We know that men rape us. Many of us have been raped. Many of us know people who have been raped. Very few women over the age of 10 are walking around all “the world is so beautiful and wonderful and full of only goodness.” Don’t fucking infantilize us.

      Why do you feel the need to construct women as empty-headed children to whom it just hasn’t occurred to take precautions? Believe me, most of us are already taking all the precautions we feel are reasonable while still being able to live full lives. Give us the fucking credit of being reasonable adults whose judgment is no worse than anybody else’s.

      1. JBL55
        JBL55 October 31, 2013 at 3:54 pm |

        I’d love to know how many rapes you imagine can be attributed to a woman “overestimating” her abilities.

        One. Mine.

        1. EG
          EG October 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm |

          If that’s how you want to construct the rape that you experienced, that’s your prerogative. But when you start generalizing that notion to the world, I’m going to call it out as the misogynistic bullshit it is. The problem with this world is not that too many women are over-confident.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 31, 2013 at 6:44 pm |

          Well, speak for yourself, then. If you want to say you were raped because you’re stupid and arrogant, you go right ahead, and I won’t argue. Don’t presume to tell other women how smart, “bitchy” or insert adjective here they were being.

      2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help October 31, 2013 at 9:05 pm |

        This can be as simple as being aware of their surroundings, not going off alone with someone they don’t know,

        So…a woman doesn’t get to make out with somebody she’s just met; she doesn’t get to have one-night stands; she doesn’t get to spend time alone with a blind date. Great. More policing of unladylike behavior.

        Not to mention that the vast majority of rapes are carried out by someone known to the victim. Intimate partners, so-called friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances.

      3. Bagelsan
        Bagelsan November 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm |

        “not overestimating their abilities,”

        I’d love to know how many rapes you imagine can be attributed to a woman “overestimating” her abilities.

        Perhaps the average woman believes she can leap over tall buildings in a single bound to escape a date rapist? Or punch through solid concrete and get away from an abuser? Or maybe it’s women who believe women are teleporting empaths who can detect the slightest whiff of evil in a potential attacker and can then whoosh away through dimensions to GTFO?

        Because listening to the popular narrative, it seems to be largely men and rape-apologists who believe those things, not female victims. And frankly, sans superpowers, I don’t think “overestimating their abilities” is a huge downfall with women. But hey, at least hubris (not alcohol) leading to rape is kind of novel, in an old-school Ancient-Greek-tragic-play way. :p

    3. Marie
      Marie October 31, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

      @ JBL55: No worries. Your comments were highly intelligent and constructive. Some of the participants in this thread are simply going off on their sanctimonious, holier-than-thou tangents; that’s their problem, not yours.

  7. Disemvoweled: TJ
    Disemvoweled: TJ October 31, 2013 at 3:14 pm |

    lt f ppl wth lt f tm t rd nd cmmnt n blgs.

    mst sy “Jll” s vry prlfc nd bsy wmn. knw lt f JDs wh wld b vry hrd prssd t b s prdctv.

    My vw, JDs s whl r wrshprs f Vldmrt.

    Bth XX nd XY’s hv n nfrttly lrg % wh ls r frm th drksd. Ths f s frm th lght mst b vr vglnt nd nlghtn ths wh my nt hv th xprnc dlng wth th frcs f drknss. My dghtr s frshmn t stt nvrsty nd hs pldgd t srrty nd s vry wr f th dlty f lf, bth lght nd drknss c-xstng tgthr. Knwng nt ll frt gys r drknss s strt, nt lvng yr drnk nttndd s ls bng vr vglnt. Knwng th 11th cmmndmnt s prmnt f ll, “Ths lf’s HRD mn, bt t’s HRDR f y’r stpd!”

    vr Vglnt.

    1. TimmyTwinkles
      TimmyTwinkles October 31, 2013 at 3:19 pm |

      hmmm, thanks for that?

    2. TimmyTwinkles
      TimmyTwinkles October 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm |

      And ive got a JD, they’re really not too special

    3. Thomas MacAulay Millar
      Thomas MacAulay Millar October 31, 2013 at 3:51 pm |

      Giraffe. We have a troll.

      [thanks for mentioning a giraffe alert ~ mods]

    4. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 31, 2013 at 6:42 pm |

      I’m confused. What’s a JD? o_O

      As for the “worshippers of Voldemort”… well, Bellatrix Lestrange is a more terrifying villain than Riddle ever was, IMO. I’d consider it a compliment, if she wasn’t racist as all fuck. ;)

      1. SkyTracer
        SkyTracer October 31, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      2. EG
        EG October 31, 2013 at 6:52 pm |

        It’s the name for the degree lawyers get…doctor of jurisprudence, I think.

      3. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune October 31, 2013 at 9:14 pm |

        Got it, thanks!

  8. Thomas MacAulay Millar
    Thomas MacAulay Millar October 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm |

    I am struck by the similarities between two pathetic and counterproductive modes of thinking.

    (1) People who are anti-choice, anti-contraception and for abstinence-only education insist that if they just say that having sex outside marriage is bad, if they just say it differently, better, louder, in a different context — then it will finally work, and women and girls will stop having abortions, stop having unwanted pregnancies, stop having sex outside of marriage.

    (2) Here, and everywhere, we have people who think that if they just tell women that going out, having fun, drinking alcohol, kissing stangers is dangerous, if they just say it differently, better, louder, in a different context — then it will finally work, and women and girls will stop going out, having fun, drinking alcohol, kissing strangers.

    And folks in the feminist blogosphere are almost uniform in rejecting the first — because it’s so obviously fallacious, because it won’t work, and because the effect, and probably the intention, is not really to reduce unwanted pregnancy but to control women’s behavior, and that’s not an acceptable result and it’s not an acceptable goal.

    But here on this blog and on this thread, we have people who should know better backing the second argument, even though it is so obviously fallacious, and it won’t work, and the effect and probably the intention is not really to reduce rape but to control women’s behavior.

    1. Marie
      Marie October 31, 2013 at 7:02 pm |

      Ummm, no one here is telling women not to go out, have some drinks, have a good time – I’m certainly not. Expressing concern for someone’s safety is not synonymous with being either controlling or a wet blanket. When people tell me to be careful when I go out at night, I certainly don’t get insulted by that; in fact, I appreciate other people’s concern for my well-being. I suppose it’s because I was brought up by my parents that we should all have each others’ backs.

      1. EG
        EG October 31, 2013 at 7:09 pm |

        The advice being given here is not “be careful when you go out.” It’s “in order to avoid rape, you need to not get drunk.” The first is superfluous, the second, bullshit.

        1. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer October 31, 2013 at 7:41 pm |

          The first is superfluous, the second, bullshit.

          And it’s virtually impossible to have a discussion that places the blame for rape — the responsibility not to rape — solely on rapists. At that point, superfluous (almost omnipresent, really) advice starts to look less like advice and more like the placement of an onus on someone who is literally incapable of meeting it because rape victims — by definition — can’t cause rape. The will to rape is the cause of rape. The will to rape turns alcohol, trust, fear, etc. into weapons for rapists. Victims have nothing to do with the equation. That’s why a victim is a victim and not a perpetrator.

          I suppose it’s because I was brought up by my parents that we should all have each others’ backs.

          For real though, that made me giggle.

        2. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer October 31, 2013 at 7:43 pm |

          I quoted you, EG, but that was really more of a reply to Marie. Sorry for the misplaced threading.

        3. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer October 31, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

          For fuck’s sake brain, that wasn’t “more of a reply” to Marie; it was wholly a reply to Marie. I just used EG’s comment as a springboard.

        4. EG
          EG October 31, 2013 at 7:50 pm |

          Don’t worry, it was totally clear to me!

        5. Marie
          Marie October 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm |

          @ SkyTracer: For real, though, your obtuse comments made me giggle.

      2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help October 31, 2013 at 9:21 pm |

        The whole problem with aiming this advice at women is that it ignores the agent in rape – the rapist. It ignores that the rapist is not a natural disaster, an accident, or anything that just happens. It’s a person, usually a man, who has CHOSEN TO RAPE SOMEONE. I for one do not believe that rapists would never rape again if women were forever sober, modestly dressed, and never talked to strangers.

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help October 31, 2013 at 9:23 pm |

          Hmm, totally ninjaed by SkyTracer! Never mind, it evidently needs to be said quite a lot to some people.

        2. Marie
          Marie October 31, 2013 at 10:51 pm |

          True.

      3. Miriam
        Miriam October 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm |

        There’s nothing wrong with telling people of any gender identity that getting blackout drunk is a bad idea. It is a bad idea for many reasons, including embarrassing oneself, injuring oneself, feeling sick the next day, being vulnerable in a public place, and yes, being more vulnerable to harm of all kinds including sexual assault.

        What is problematic and condescending is assuming women, and uniquely women, are unaware of the potential problems caused by getting drunk and will be helped by being told not to do it. People continue to drink to excess despite all warnings for a variety of reasons. Some people do it because they are engaging in deliberately risky behavior for whatever reason; some people do it because it is such socially normative behavior for their circles that they don’t know how not to; some people do it because they like moderate drinking and make a misjudgment call about how much is too much; some people do it because they’re in a safe environment (such as their own house or a close friend’s) surrounded by people they know and believe that the people they know won’t harm them should they become vulnerable.

        The best thing we can do to have each other’s backs and support each other is to help our friends get safely to bed should they need help. We should provide rides; we should hold back hair; we should help people drink water and change clothes; and we should definitely intervene if we see someone (male, female, or genderqueer) isolating (or assaulting!) a vulnerable person.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune October 31, 2013 at 10:22 pm |

          YES.

        2. Safiya Outlines
          Safiya Outlines November 1, 2013 at 8:36 am |

          Exactly. Want to talk about problem drinking, let’s talk about problem drinking.

          I would say the biggest delusion some people seem to have after drinking is that it’s perfectly fine to drive, it appears we still need to talk about that and other foolish and dangerous actions people do under the influence of alcohol.

          But being raped isn’t a foolish action someone does, it’s a violation someone knowingly does to you and that is why rape has no place in a discussion about drunken behaviour.

      4. Rhoda
        Rhoda November 1, 2013 at 8:18 am |

        Expressing concerns for people’s safety?
        I think you need to trust women to know what is best for their own safety. I know someone whose friends expressed concern when she wanted to walk home after a party. Then the person who gave her a lift tried to sexually assault her.

        I refuse to be afraid to walk home by myself in the dark. I would say the only way expressing concern can be helpful is if it is bringing up specific details. For example, informing someone that there was a mugging on that street last week, or that guy groped someone at the last party. Cultivating a general atmosphere of fear is not going to be helpful to anyone.

      5. Becky
        Becky November 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm |

        Marie – I don’t understand how telling someone: “Don’t get too drunk tonight or you might get raped” is having someone’s back in any kind of meaningful way. My sister and I were raised to have each other’s back too. She’s had my back by taking me by the arm and leading me away from a guy who was trying to get me to come home with him when I was way, way too drunk to consent. This probably saved me from being raped. Her telling me: “Be careful and don’t get too drunk!” certainly would not have. I’ve had her back by taking a guy aside and telling him she was too drunk and he’d better not try anything, and by staying up and watching to make sure he didn’t. I totally agree we should have each other’s backs when it comes to rape and to vulnerable situations like being drunk. I don’t agree that telling women not to get drunk counts as having their back.

    2. Marie
      Marie October 31, 2013 at 7:53 pm |

      @ Skytracer: For real, though, your obtuseness made me giggle.

      1. SkyTracer
        SkyTracer October 31, 2013 at 8:20 pm |

        Oh, burn.

        I’ll readily admit to being poorly educated and an amateurish writer. I just wish you’d aim your distaste for stupidity toward the sort of people who think disabled kids don’t deserve to be enrolled in school.

        1. Marie
          Marie October 31, 2013 at 10:42 pm |

          The word “obtuse” means dense, as in slow in comprehension, which seems to be accurate in your case; your ridicule of my altruistic upbringing tends to prove this. (Just google the word “altruistic” if you’re not sure what it means.) Whatever distaste I feel towards stupidity has to do with people who weirdly and illogically conflate concern for the physical safety and well-being of women with either condescension or a desire to control.

        2. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer October 31, 2013 at 11:14 pm |

          Yeah, I know what obtuse means. I also know what altruistic means, and I know how to use Google.

          your ridicule of my altruistic upbringing

          conflate concern for the physical safety and well-being of women with either condescension or a desire to control.

          I did none of those things.

        3. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer November 1, 2013 at 1:23 am |

          Okay, I want a mulligan on my last comment.

          I “giggled” because I thought that part of your comment read like a parody of a posh moral guardian. I was not ridiculing the idea of an altruistic upbringing. I was amused by the act of arguing from the claimed moral authority of one’s upbringing.

          I agree that women should have access to information about how rapists operate, and naturally women will use that information for self-preservation. Ultimately, however, I think the most effective way to prevent rape is to get through to would-be rapists before they develop the will to rape. That doesn’t happen enough. People will make token comments to the effect that rapists are responsible for rape, but somehow they also can’t be expected not to rape because they’re subhuman animals. At that point, it’s right back to tips aimed toward the victim, and those tips don’t work half the time. What I and others want is for “don’t rape” to be the thesis of rape prevention. The thesis we have instead is “don’t get raped”, and feminist spaces that want to shift to the alternate thesis get sidetracked by commenters who think (mistakenly) that women are being deprived of information about the motives and tools of rapists.

          I don’t know how to state my perspective more clearly, and I don’t feel like being called an idiot again.

        4. Marie
          Marie November 1, 2013 at 3:46 am |

          @ SkyTracer: re: “claimed moral authority of one’s upbringing” – that’s your interpretation; you might want to stop reading cryptic meanings into what other people write. I neither implied nor stated any sense of moral authority; all I was doing was explaining a bit of my background as a child – and not in a boastful way. I do try to be tactful, but on the other hand, I refuse to walk on eggshells when either speaking or writing.

          ————————————————————————————–

          “Ultimately, however, I think the most effective way to prevent rape is to get through to would-be rapists before they develop the will to rape.” Way too simplistic. In the first place, how does one go about determining whether or not some guy is a “would-be rapist”? How can one tell just by looking at someone if he’s a sex offender? In the second place, there are as many motivations to rape as there are sex offenders. There’s no one single reason. There are classifications of anger rape, power rape, and so on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_sexual_violence#Psychological_factors: “The research on convicted rapists has found several important motivational factors in the sexual aggression of males. Those motivational factors repeatedly implicated are having anger at women and having the need to control or dominate them.”

          It might be helpful to have children attend mandatory classes in school focused on treating girls and women with respect; it would be a start, anyway.

        5. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer November 1, 2013 at 5:35 am |

          In the first place, how does one go about determining whether or not some guy is a “would-be rapist”? How can one tell just by looking at someone if he’s a sex offender?

          One doesn’t need to identify rapists to get a message through to them.

          In the second place, there are as many motivations to rape as there are sex offenders. There’s no one single reason.

          That the choice to rape may arise from variant pathologies or different cultural attitudes does not challenge my assertion that the choice to rape is the cause of rape.

          It might be helpful to have children attend mandatory classes in school focused on treating girls and women with respect; it would be a start, anyway.

          It’s almost like that’s the sort of thing I had in mind.

          that’s your interpretation; you might want to stop reading cryptic meanings into what other people write…

          Was it my informal phrasing, my use of the word “giggle”, or my linking to TVTropes that made you think I took your comment too seriously? You’re the one who read my jocular aside as an affront to your upbringing.

          I do try to be tactful, but on the other hand, I refuse to walk on eggshells when either speaking or writing.

          Do you think it’s tactful to jump from a premise like “this person is disabled and poorly educated” to a conclusion like “this person doesn’t know common English vocabulary, nor do they know that Google can be used to look up the definitions of words”? If yes, then you may want to buy some boots and stomp all over those eggshells, because they’re in your way.

        6. theLaplaceDemon
          theLaplaceDemon November 1, 2013 at 8:40 am |

          (Just google the word “altruistic” if you’re not sure what it means.)

          Can we not be assholes about vocabulary, please? The conflation of vocabulary size with intelligence is kinda classist.

        7. Marie
          Marie November 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm |

          @ SkyTracer: “One doesn’t need to identify rapists to get a message through to them.” Wrong, because rapists are sociopaths – meaning they have no sense of right v. wrong, good vs. evil. Sex offenders, like all other sociopaths, lack a conscience; they simply don’t give a damn about other people: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_Psychopathy_Checklist

        8. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll November 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm |

          Marie- wrong. I’ll let someone else walk you through why.

        9. SkyTracer
          SkyTracer November 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm |

          The conflation of vocabulary size with intelligence is kinda classist.

          Eh, I don’t think she was conflating vocabulary size with intelligence. She was conflating “disabled and poorly educated” with “incompetent and wholly uneducated”. I thought it was run-of-the-mill condescension, but maybe I’m just too obtuse to recognize classism.

        10. Ally S
          Ally S November 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm |

          From Marie’s recent link:

          The PCL-R is sometimes used to assess risk of sexual (re)offending, with mixed results.[38]

          It’s funny when your own source goes against what you’re trying to say.

        11. Ally S
          Ally S November 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm |

          [Content note: attempted rape]

          Also, my dad is very much capable of empathy and has a working conscience – it’s just that abusing people works in his favor. He has done some very altruistic things even though he also tried to rape my mom on several occasions.

        12. theLaplaceDemon
          theLaplaceDemon November 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm |

          Eh, I don’t think she was conflating vocabulary size with intelligence. She was conflating “disabled and poorly educated” with “incompetent and wholly uneducated”. I thought it was run-of-the-mill condescension, but maybe I’m just too obtuse to recognize classism.

          I could have misread it (no pun intended). I am certainly no expert.

      2. Marie
        Marie November 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm |

        @ Ally S: It’s funny when you take a quote from a link in a lame attempt to be witty.

        @pheenobarbidoll: I’ll let someone else walk you through an explanation of your sad little attempt at condescension, dear.

        1. Ally S
          Ally S November 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm |

          It wasn’t just an attempt to be witty; that was merely something I did on the side. My response also served an actual purpose – to show you that your citation doesn’t support what you’re saying. If you’re going to respond to me, perhaps you should consider addressing my point rather than focusing on something as insignificant as an attempt to be witty.

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll November 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm |

          Oh I’m well aware of it, cupcake, I even dialed it down for you. But it was indeed intentional. You’re still wrong. Maybe you’ll figure it out, but someone else will be the one to teach you. I expect payment when I tutor the ignorant.

  9. Tony
    Tony October 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm |

    At the risk over oversimplifying I sort of see this issue as a matter of tactics vs. strategy. The practical advice I give to my daughter before she goes off to college to minimize the risk to herself falls in the category of the former. I’m hoping it’ll help her avoid specific victimizations (this would be analogous to winning battles). But in the larger societal sense, my tactical advice to my daughter is a matter of deflection because the problem is not what she does or doesn’t do, the problem is the environment that she lives in. The societal discourse around rape on the other hand is a matter of strategy. It seeks to directly attack the problem as it is, which is that my daughter shouldn’t have to trade off between convenience, life and freedom and minimizing the risks to herself. As such the audience is not just potential victims but everyone (in a role sense, as I realize everyone is a potential victim) in all of our roles, such as potential bystanders or interveners, parents or mentors, friends or enablers, jurists and prosecutors, citizens, teachers, activists, volunteers, donors, voters, role models and even (as Mac pointed out in another thread) as potential perpetrators. It’s a much larger more complicated and in a lot of ways more nuanced task; this is the structural issue. But when we reduce the problem to telling women “don’t get drunk” it not only is totally unrealistic (as people will seek to live life regardless– and our drinking culture being what it is this involves drinking) it’s not even engaging in this larger fight.

  10. Lauren
    Lauren October 31, 2013 at 6:19 pm |

    As someone who was raped as a child, it never escapes me that alcohol had nothing to do with my rape and yet I was raped anyway. What kind of social negligence does a child commit to be responsible for her rape?

    Alcohol is a red herring.

    1. TimmyTwinkles
      TimmyTwinkles October 31, 2013 at 6:31 pm |

      Hear hear!

    2. Andie
      Andie October 31, 2013 at 7:21 pm |

      When it’s a child, the social negligence accusations sometimes end up on the parents mother:

      “Why would you trust your child with strangers/public daycare/relatives.. If you don’t want your child molested, you must not let them out of your sight EVAR”

      (Beside the point, but goes towards societal tendency to blame anyone BUT rapists)

      1. Past my expiration date
        Past my expiration date October 31, 2013 at 9:21 pm |

        When it’s a child, the social negligence accusations sometimes end up on the parents mother:

        Sometimes? When doesn’t it end up on the parents mother?

        1. thinksnake
          thinksnake November 2, 2013 at 8:49 am |

          When it ends up on the child

  11. shfree
    shfree October 31, 2013 at 9:31 pm |

    I think the most important tool for a woman to prevent her own rape is to learn how to spot a predator, and how to trust her own instincts as opposed to obeying the fucked up socialization most American women have been indoctrinated in. And then she can make her own decisions as to the steps she chooses to take to keep herself safe. I know the fear of rape never stopped me from getting hammered or making out with random strangers. However, I never accepted a drink from some random dude at a bar when I was clearly drunk, because to me, that was predatory behavior, as I would see him as someone who wanted to make sure I stayed drunk. And that is an easy tool, one that I was even able to use when I was, in fact, mega super drunk. So really, the focus shouldn’t be on MY behavior, but the behavior of others.

    As an aside, when I went through security training at the clinic, the security director said that if a man (her words) is really, truly determined to hurt you, he will, no matter how much self defense training we might have had. (Our instructions were to try to deescalate any tensions and focus on getting away should we actually get attacked) While it might seem defeatist and sexist as fuck, it also absolves us from blame should we fail to stop an attacker. Because it should never, ever be our fault if someone else hurts us. The best we can do is deflect or mitigate the harm an individual might do, and we can’t actually do any of that unless we actually encounter the potential attacker/rapist. So why the fuck should we let a person that only maybe exists prevent us from going about our lives?

    1. ldouglas
      ldouglas October 31, 2013 at 10:08 pm |

      As an aside, when I went through security training at the clinic, the security director said that if a man (her words) is really, truly determined to hurt you, he will, no matter how much self defense training we might have had.

      It’s worth noting that, gender issues aside, 99% of self defense training is worse than useless- it’s actively dangerous by way of false confidence. Unless you’re literally wearing gloves and getting hit in the face, you’re not prepared for a fight. I think this is really good advice.

      1. Miranda
        Miranda October 31, 2013 at 11:47 pm |

        It’s worth noting that, gender issues aside, 99% of self defense training is worse than useless- it’s actively dangerous by way of false confidence. Unless you’re literally wearing gloves and getting hit in the face, you’re not prepared for a fight.

        Urghh, I…don’t….know if I agree with you. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, and I have a lot of complex feelings on it.

        I agree that self-defense training is often horrendous, but I’m not sure that one needs to “literally wear gloves and get hit in the face” (I assume you are referring to “alive” training) in order to be able to derive SOME benefit out of it, and I don’t agree that “any form of self-defense training that is not alive” is necessarily harmful.

        Are you a guy? For a lot of women, just getting over the psychological hurdle that prevents one from being able to punch or kick or resist is a big step. A lot of women are afraid of sparring or “alive” training for bullshit cultural reasons. But saying, “No, it is actively hurting you unless you do the uber manly serious sparring bzns” basically cuts out a lot of women who might feel comfortable practicing how to hit a pad but not necessarily rolling around on the mat with someone. And “learning how to hit a pad,” at least to me, seems better than nothing.

        it’s actively dangerous by way of false confidence.

        You know, I always see (almost always) men or the like “I’m tougher than all you other lady wimps” women martial artists going on about this false confidence thing. But I feel like I’ve only actually seen genuinely dangerous false confidence among adherents of cultic martial arts schools and among men with superman fantasies that the self-defense training inadvertently feeds. I’ve never met a woman who has acquired some kind of “dangerous false-confidence” from a few seminars.

        Also, I want to point out that if anyone is really hell bent on hurting you…zie probably will succeed. There’s nothing gendered about that claim. All the Krava Maga in the world isn’t going to defend against a (properly wielded) knife or gun.

        1. Miranda
          Miranda October 31, 2013 at 11:49 pm |

          *krav

        2. ldouglas
          ldouglas November 1, 2013 at 1:25 am |

          I agree that self-defense training is often horrendous, but I’m not sure that one needs to “literally wear gloves and get hit in the face” (I assume you are referring to “alive” training) in order to be able to derive SOME benefit out of it, and I don’t agree that “any form of self-defense training that is not alive” is necessarily harmful.

          Perhaps ‘wear gloves and get in the face’ was overly literal; what I really mean is practice that involves, as a bare minimum, active resistance. That might take the form of BJJ, or wrestling- it doesn’t have to include striking- but it is absolutely necessary. There are two reasons for this. First, active resistance creates unpredictability; it prevents simply learning rote choreography. Second, training that doesn’t include active resistance doesn’t create the adrenaline dump a real fight does.

          This is part of the reason why teaching people any more complex than an elbow to the face is a pretty terrible idea, self-defense wise. All those complicated joint locks go straight out the window when the fight-or-flight reflex triggers.

          For a lot of women, just getting over the psychological hurdle that prevents one from being able to punch or kick or resist is a big step. A lot of women are afraid of sparring or “alive” training for bullshit cultural reasons.

          And having them hit a bag does absolutely nothing to help overcome that conditioning. You can’t teach people self-defense without getting them comfortable with hitting another human being. Trying isn’t just pointless, it’s irresponsible.

          But saying, “No, it is actively hurting you unless you do the uber manly serious sparring bzns” basically cuts out a lot of women who might feel comfortable practicing how to hit a pad but not necessarily rolling around on the mat with someone. And “learning how to hit a pad,” at least to me, seems better than nothing.

          OK, first of all, there’s nothing ‘manly’ about sparring. Second, those women aren’t learning to defend themselves.

          Look, I’m not opposed to punching bags. I mean, they’re an integral part of training to fight. But people have this idea that self-defense involves learning moves. You do this when you get grabbed from behind, you do this when someone grabs your wrist, you do this when someone throws a punch. None of those things are self-defense (none of them are particular useful moves to know, either, but that’s not my point).

          Self defense is not getting hurt. It is running away. It is avoiding dangerous situations. And it is winning a fight you can’t avoid, which has nothing to do with learning moves. It has a lot to do with being able to deliberately hurt another human being. And it has a lot to do with being able to be punched in the face and keep moving.

          Also, I want to point out that if anyone is really hell bent on hurting you…zie probably will succeed. There’s nothing gendered about that claim. All the Krava Maga in the world isn’t going to defend against a (properly wielded) knife or gun.

          This is absolutely true. And anyone who teaches people self-defense techniques that involve beating assailants wielding knives/guns is almost certainly selling snake oil.

        3. ldouglas
          ldouglas November 1, 2013 at 1:28 am |

          Maybe this should go to spillover?

        4. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles November 1, 2013 at 1:37 am |

          As someone who has been in a few sticky sitches over the years and seen a lot more, ldouglas is pretty dead on. Ultimately self-defense for the layperson is exactly what it says: defending your person, whether that be calling for help, running away, elbow to face/knee groin, short right to jaw, etc. “Moves” just don’t play out IRL, unless you’ve seriously trained MMA style or undergone extensive military-style h2h.

        5. EG
          EG November 1, 2013 at 1:58 am |

          elbow to face/knee groin, short right to jaw,

          Ok, but these are moves, and they have to be taught. You’re not born knowing how knee someone in the balls effectively; you’re not born knowing that if someone’s close enough to be choking you they’re close enough for you to gouge their eyeballs out (provided you’re both adults). And women are certainly not socialized to do those things. So I do think that some level of teaching is absolutely worthwhile.

          And that said, as a veteran of numerous self-defense classes, I’ve never run across one where you didn’t do sparring with a partner and hitting someone who was padded in some way.

          I did discover, though, that I’m double-jointed enough in my shoulders that some move that was supposed to make it impossible for me to continue holding someone’s arms was no big deal at all. Which I guess is useful info.

        6. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help November 1, 2013 at 2:07 am |

          What also needs to be mentioned is that an attacker automatically has the advantage over the person they’re attacking. The element of surprise (and I’m including attacks by someone known, not just stranger attacks) is part of it, and the likelihood that the person attacked will freeze is another.

          There’s also the matter of not just having to overcome our socialisation against hurting, or even resisting, men, and the fear of getting hurt ourselves; there needs to be a willingness to disable the attacker. To make sure he can’t get up and go on doing what he wants. How many of us can get to that mental stage? I know I’d like to do that to a man attacking me – hell, I’d like to do a lot worse, tbh – but could I, in that situation, even if I had the physical ability? Probably not, though fear of simply not knowing how and not having the ability would itself be a huge inhibitor.

          Oh, and kicking in the balls isn’t the instant stop it’s made out to be. Some guys don’t react that fast to the pain, and some aren’t that badly hurt by it at all.

        7. ldouglas
          ldouglas November 1, 2013 at 2:10 am |

          Ok, but these are moves, and they have to be taught. You’re not born knowing how knee someone in the balls effectively; you’re not born knowing that if someone’s close enough to be choking you they’re close enough for you to gouge their eyeballs out (provided you’re both adults). And women are certainly not socialized to do those things. So I do think that some level of teaching is absolutely worthwhile.

          The distinction I’m making is between gross and fine motor movements. A lot of self defense classes focus on the latter, with a preference for ‘how to escape X hold.’

          blockquote>I did discover, though, that I’m double-jointed enough in my shoulders that some move that was supposed to make it impossible for me to continue holding someone’s arms was no big deal at all. Which I guess is useful info.

          This is the type of thing I’m talking about.

          And that said, as a veteran of numerous self-defense classes, I’ve never run across one where you didn’t do sparring with a partner and hitting someone who was padded in some way.

          Were the people both trying to hit each other? In a free-form, non-choreographed manner, in which the objective was to win? Because that is, in my experience, rare.

        8. Miranda
          Miranda November 1, 2013 at 8:04 am |

          Perhaps ‘wear gloves and get in the face’ was overly literal; what I really mean is practice that involves, as a bare minimum, active resistance. That might take the form of BJJ, or wrestling- it doesn’t have to include striking- but it is absolutely necessary. There are two reasons for this. First, active resistance creates unpredictability; it prevents simply learning rote choreography. Second, training that doesn’t include active resistance doesn’t create the adrenaline dump a real fight does.

          This is part of the reason why teaching people any more complex than an elbow to the face is a pretty terrible idea, self-defense wise. All those complicated joint locks go straight out the window when the fight-or-flight reflex triggers

          Thanks for ‘splaining alive training to me, bro. (I have no idea whether you are a guy, but you are coming off as the “elitist martial arts bro who hates women’s self defense because it’s not violent enough” dude I always feeling like I’m running into.) Really, I had no idea what it was until you pointed it out. Definitely the fact that I pushed back against your elitist vision of what all self-defense training should entail is because I’m not informed enough, not because I’ve been around enough shitty martial arts (I’ve seen it allll) and enough decent combat training type stuff to be able to create an informed opinion about it.

          OK, first of all, there’s nothing ‘manly’ about sparring. Second, those women aren’t learning to defend themselves.

          There isn’t anything manly about sparring, essentially. But I see it gendered that way. In schools that I’ve been in that are sparring optional–and don’t give me shit about this, yes, I disagree “sparring optional” is a problem, please see the above reference to all the shitty (and abusive) MAs I’ve been around–the ladies often sit it out. Or, women in my experience are often far more apprehensive about it. Are you a martial artist/do combat sparts? Have you literally NEVER run into the phenomena of people–men or women–being more apprehensive about fighting a woman or a woman fighting, or never noticed that women on a whole are much more apprehensive about fighting in general? Because then it’s either because you’re a guy who trains with only men, because you don’t actually have experience with combat sorts, or because you found the magical fairytale land of equality martial arts training, in which case, please, let me go there.

          Look, I’m not opposed to punching bags. I mean, they’re an integral part of training to fight. But people have this idea that self-defense involves learning moves. You do this when you get grabbed from behind, you do this when someone grabs your wrist, you do this when someone throws a punch. None of those things are self-defense (none of them are particular useful moves to know, either, but that’s not my point).

          Blah blah blah, all I hear is “the goal of all training is to win a fight.” No, it’s not. If learning to hit bags for a woman helps build her confidence (and I don’t mean “makes her think she’s a killing machine,” just makes her feel better about her body), gets her used to the idea what getting/being hit feels like, and might increase her use of physical resistance if that’s what she really needs, then great. I’m happy with it.

          Hey, you’re not going to find me saying that self-defense seminars are effective, in terms of teaching the s00per secret street lethal deadly fighting moves that work 100% of the time. I’m trying to point out that they’re not NECESSARILY

          useless

          , and they’re definitely not AUTOMATICALLY dangerous, and I’m sick and tired of hearing that they are from stuck-up martial arts bros.

          As someone who has been in a few sticky sitches over the years and seen a lot more, ldouglas is pretty dead on. Ultimately self-defense for the layperson is exactly what it says: defending your person, whether that be calling for help, running away, elbow to face/knee groin, short right to jaw, etc.

          Because the only self-defense programs out there exclusively teach the sooper dooper 36 step aikido wrist look. Do you actually not think that there aren’t self-defense programs out there that focus on situational awareness, running away, and things like “kick ‘em in the groin”?

          (Also, I like how you assume that I have never been in any sticky sitches or “seen a lot.” Thanks, bro. Thanks.)

        9. Miranda
          Miranda November 1, 2013 at 8:12 am |

          And having them hit a bag does absolutely nothing to help overcome that conditioning. You can’t teach people self-defense without getting them comfortable with hitting another human being. Trying isn’t just pointless, it’s irresponsible.

          I disagree. I have a longer comment that tripped up the mod so it’s not appearing. Suffice it to say that I am annoyed you are ‘splaining to me, because I do understand the concept of sparring and resistance training better than you seem to think I do.

          And I think this point is idiotic. No, it’s never going to be the same as hitting another person, but many people aren’t ready for that yet, and IN MY EXPERIENCE, young women actually do benefit–even if it’s only psychologically–from having experience in which they can punch and hit things, even inanimate things. I don’t think it’s “dangerous” or “irresponsible.” “100% street-lethal effective”? No far from it, but I’ve never known a woman to take more risks than she usually would after going through one of these programs, and I doubt that she would stand and fight if given a chance to run. Like I said, the ONLY TIME I have seen people develop a genuinely dangerous over-confidence seems to be among (a) cultic martial arts schools, and (b) men who already had superman/entitlement problems to begin with.

        10. Miranda
          Miranda November 1, 2013 at 8:24 am |

          There’s also the matter of not just having to overcome our socialisation against hurting, or even resisting, men, and the fear of getting hurt ourselves; there needs to be a willingness to disable the attacker.

          I keep getting stuck in mod. Maybe this one will go through. What happened to the notion that rapists are not necessarily super violent killing machines looking to overwhelm their victims with sheer force? What happened to the average college aged rapist who relies on rape culture and “ambiguous” bs consent signals? Am I the only one in existence who has known an attacker to back off after he gets the impression that there will be ANY physical resistance? And if the dude in question is banking on the “but it was ambiguous consent” defense, punching him in the face–even if it wouldn’t be enough to stop him with sheer force–is going to disrupt his fantasy pretty fast. I’m not trying to blame anyone who didn’t punch her assailant. I’m just pointing out that, really, it IS possible to get something out of feeling capable of hitting another human being without becoming world’s MMA champion.

          (Mods: should this go to spill-over?)

        11. tigtog
          tigtog November 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm | *

          Miranda, thanks for asking. Yes, I think the self-defence/martial-arts discussion should move to #spillover at this point.

        12. Miranda
          Miranda November 1, 2013 at 8:32 am |

          Oh, and kicking in the balls isn’t the instant stop it’s made out to be. Some guys don’t react that fast to the pain, and some aren’t that badly hurt by it at all.

          This is true, but I will tell you that in the vast majority–maybe all–of the cases in which I’ve accidentally kicked a guy there, both in and out of free sparring, he has more often than not dropped to the floor. Seems like good odds to me, especially since I personally am worried most about “cowardly white rich frat guy,” not, like, serial killers.

          Maybe I just spar men with sensitive man-parts, or maybe I kick harder than most. Probably. Because, you know, you can build that up. By kicking targets.

        13. EG
          EG November 1, 2013 at 9:31 am |

          Oh, and kicking in the balls isn’t the instant stop it’s made out to be. Some guys don’t react that fast to the pain, and some aren’t that badly hurt by it at all.

          Worked for a friend of mine in college when some dude tried to drag her off the street into an alley. He dropped to the ground in agony and she ran away. And guess what, all? She herself said that she was able to stay calm and, instead of following her first instinct, which was to pull away, come in close before he was expecting it and smash his balls thanks to the self-defense class she’d taken the previous semester. She made a point of going back and thanking the instructor.

          It was the same class with that escape move you so disparage, ldouglas.

          I’ll take “learning how to do something that can badly hurt many dudes” over “not bothering because it won’t hurt all of them” any day.

          Were the people both trying to hit each other? In a free-form, non-choreographed manner, in which the objective was to win?

          On the first day? No. After there had been enough classes for the students to have learned how to throw a punch, how to block one, and where to aim? Yes. Because you do actually have to learn those “moves” before you do anything else.

        14. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl November 1, 2013 at 9:51 am |

          “And having them hit a bag does absolutely nothing to help overcome that conditioning…OK, first of all, there’s nothing ‘manly’ about sparring. Second, those women aren’t learning to defend themselves.”

          Ldouglas, I know you don’t intend your comments to come off so….mansplainy here, but they do. Bear with me please, because I’m still on my first cup of coffee for the day and I don’t know how articulate I’m going to be, but I’m going to give it a go.

          Having grown up in the Midwest as a girl, I can tell you that the societal conditioning I and my cohorts received to be “ladylike” was a whole lot more than learning to hold our knees together while sitting and to let guys do the pursuing in dating. That conditioning was not just that physical fighting was off limits because of our sex, but that any sort of physical aggression was off limits. There were strictly delineated categories of what was for boys and what was for girls, and fighting of any kind was most definitely for boys, or “manly” and thus not something that girls were ever, ever supposed to even consider something they should or could do.

          And just in case someone wants to wander into this and tell me that I must be anciently old and that this sort of societal conditioning no longer happens, I will laugh and invite them to come to my kids school playground and witness this exact sort of stuff still very much in action. Not only am I not that old, but I still see, daily, parents of girls trying to instill this conditioning into their daughters, their neighbors’ daughters and even teachers into their girl students.

          So I can absolutely see how plenty of women need to get and give themselves permission to even be aggressive enough to do so much as punch a punching bag. Never mind the permission to believe they may be sufficiently aggressive to physically fight off an attacker.

        15. Miranda
          Miranda November 1, 2013 at 9:58 am |

          I had a more ragey version of what Lolagirl and EG said but it got stuck in mod. So, seconding them.

        16. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles November 1, 2013 at 10:25 am |

          Lolagirl, I don’t think you’re old, i’m in the south and i still see this sort of conditioning. Definitely remains a very real thing.

        17. ldouglas
          ldouglas November 1, 2013 at 10:54 am |

          Ldouglas, I know you don’t intend your comments to come off so….mansplainy here, but they do. Bear with me please, because I’m still on my first cup of coffee for the day and I don’t know how articulate I’m going to be, but I’m going to give it a go.

          …not a man, Miranda.

        18. ldouglas
          ldouglas November 1, 2013 at 10:54 am |

          Sorry, I meant Lolagirl.

        19. ldouglas
          ldouglas November 1, 2013 at 10:56 am |

          Having grown up in the Midwest as a girl, I can tell you that the societal conditioning I and my cohorts received to be “ladylike” was a whole lot more than learning to hold our knees together while sitting and to let guys do the pursuing in dating.

          Finally- did you read my post? I explicitly acknowledged what you’re saying here, but I’m arguing that responsibile self-defense needs to teach people to overcome that conditioning, as opposed to pretending you can learn to defend yourself while leaving it in place.

        20. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl November 1, 2013 at 11:05 am |

          Sorry about the misgendering.

          I did read you posts, which is why I quoted what you wrote in one of your posts?

          But I didn’t read you to be saying what you think you were apparently saying, and Miranda and EG have both also indicated that they read your posts similarly. So instead of getting defensive, how about you take a step back for a second and realize that maybe it isn’t simply the rest if us misconstruing or mischaracterizing what you wrote.

          I specifically pulled out your comments and quoted them to show where I was coming from in my response for that very reason. Because they come off as dismissing what societal conditioning does to women’s understanding and perceptions of what they are physically capable of, as well as what they have the societal permission to do, or not do, if it involves any sort of physical aggression or violence.

      2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help November 1, 2013 at 9:49 am |

        Okay, obviously I need to clarify about the kick to the balls: I’m not saying “don’t do it because it might not work,” though that’s obviously how it read! I just wanted to point out that it isn’t 100% effective, because that never does seem to get mentioned. My bad for not being clearer.

        Since this part of the thread is talking specifically about fighting and self-defence classes and the people who are setting out to hurt you, I think it’s about that subset, not necessarily about rapists in general (acquaintance rapists), and I’m referring to other conversations where the willingness to hurt has been brought up.

        On the mod thing – I’ve been getting that too, at least when I’ve had blockquotes. I wonder if WP is being wiggy again?

        1. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles November 1, 2013 at 10:18 am |

          I guess it’s not 100% effective, but a blow to the groin is pretty darn close to 100% in temporarily disabling a male, or at least causing serious harm. That or an eye gouge are still 2 of anyone’s best bets in a life or death. Nothing’s 100%, but the blow to the groin is pretty damn effective.

          To EG: yeah those are moves, point taken. I was thining more of combinations and such, but you’re right even simple moves need to be taught (and not just to girls, to men too. Plenty of men don’t know what side of the arm to hit someone with)

        2. Miranda
          Miranda November 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm |

          I guess it’s not 100% effective, but a blow to the groin is pretty darn close to 100% in temporarily disabling a male, or at least causing serious harm. That or an eye gouge are still 2 of anyone’s best bets in a life or death. Nothing’s 100%, but the blow to the groin is pretty damn effective.

          You’re being really ‘splainy here, again. Both I and The Kitteh already said what you’ve said above, but you felt the need to weigh in, AGAIN. Do you seriously think you are telling me anything I didn’t know? Just because you’re a man, apparently take pride in beating up rapists, and have been in a few scuffles does not mean you should go around pontificating street fighting wisdom to women, just assuming that obviously you would be the expert in the room.

          and not just to girls, to men too.

          Also, it’s bad practice to refer to men as men but women as girls. Shit like that just confirms my hunch that you are being a ‘splainy asshole.

        3. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve November 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm |

          I guess it’s not 100% effective, but a blow to the groin is pretty darn close to 100% in temporarily disabling a male, or at least causing serious harm. That or an eye gouge are still 2 of anyone’s best bets in a life or death. Nothing’s 100%, but the blow to the groin is pretty damn effective.

          …and some men will just respond to a glance of disapproval!

      3. ldouglas
        ldouglas November 1, 2013 at 11:53 am |

        OK, I get that there was something unclear about what I wrote- and I apologize for sounding defensive- but I don’t see how what I wrote above is unclear:

        And having them hit a bag does absolutely nothing to help overcome that conditioning. You can’t teach people self-defense without getting them comfortable with hitting another human being. Trying isn’t just pointless, it’s irresponsible.

        That, to me, says pretty explicitly that part of teaching self-defense to women requires helping them get past the conditioning we’re talking about.

        1. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl November 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm |

          Fair enough, but I still disagree. Or maybe we don’t necessarily disagree, but are kind of talking past each other.

          Lots of women need to start out small, that is giving themselves permission to do something like hitting a bag. That starting small is a necessary precursor to getting to the point where they can then move up to using their own physicality to defend themselves against an assault. But trying to dump those women straight into instruction as to how to strike blows against another person is too much, given all the societal programming they already have stuck in their brains about not being aggressive or physical with others.

          Does that make more sense?

        2. ldouglas
          ldouglas November 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm |

          Lots of women need to start out small, that is giving themselves permission to do something like hitting a bag. That starting small is a necessary precursor to getting to the point where they can then move up to using their own physicality to defend themselves against an assault. But trying to dump those women straight into instruction as to how to strike blows against another person is too much, given all the societal programming they already have stuck in their brains about not being aggressive or physical with others.

          I absolutely am on board with this. My only point is a lot of self-defense classes never move past the hitting-a-bag or joint locks on a compliant partner stage, which is a problem; I definitely am not advocating tossing day-one students into a cage and chanting TWO WOMEN ENTER, ONE WOMAN LEAVES.

          I think we’re on the same, or sameish, page then?

        3. tigtog
          tigtog November 2, 2013 at 2:58 am | *

          Can everybody who is still not on the same or sameish page as ldouglas here, please take further dissent to #spillover?

        4. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles November 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm |

          Awesome thunderdome ref!!! Tina Turner’s finest moment

  12. Bloix
    Bloix October 31, 2013 at 10:57 pm |

    … says Jill, who works for a liquor company. Not that there’s anything wrong with what you do, but a little disclosure (like “my job entails encouraging young women to drink my employer’s alcohol products”) might be in order when you write about women and drinking.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune October 31, 2013 at 11:01 pm |

      …and what liquor company are all the people agreeing with her working for?

      1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        The Kittehs' Unpaid Help October 31, 2013 at 11:03 pm |

        Including those of us who don’t drink and don’t like drunkenness one little bit?

      2. TimmyTwinkles
        TimmyTwinkles October 31, 2013 at 11:08 pm |

        haha well-said

      3. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve November 1, 2013 at 12:03 am |

        …and what liquor company are all the people agreeing with her working for?

        Well I don’t technically work for them, but, in a way, I pay the salaries of several of the employees of Bombay Gin.

    2. Thomas MacAulay Millar
      Thomas MacAulay Millar November 1, 2013 at 11:46 am |

      I’m a teetotaler.

      1. TimmyTwinkles
        TimmyTwinkles November 1, 2013 at 11:52 am |

        Recovering alcoholic here.

    3. Computer Soldier Porygon
      Computer Soldier Porygon November 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm |

      I know all the frat parties I’ve ever been to were all like ‘let’s do shots! of vermouth!’

      1. TimmyTwinkles
        TimmyTwinkles November 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm |

        Yeah i was into drinking like a fifth of vermouth a day, let’s just say sugar intake was not the least of my worries.

  13. Sharon M
    Sharon M November 1, 2013 at 1:23 am |

    However, let’s remember that it is foolish to make oneself needlessly vulnerable. We might not blame a guy when his pocket is picked, but if he was carelessly flashing a wad of cash or negligent in making sure his wallet was carefully stowed, we will have a lot less sympathy.

    (CN rape)

    I’m tired of this shit. Do I wish drinking wasn’t glamorized in our culture? Yes. Should people drink till they pass out?

    No, in an ideal world they wouldn’t and if I could do my twenties over, I wouldn’t have binged drank as I did.

    Does this give me permission to assault them if they’re passed out?

    This happened to a male friend of mine. He’d passed out and woke up to “Some nasty old woman. Glasses on a chain old” giving him a blow job.

    He freaked out, pushed her off and threw up. He was too ashamed to tell anyone but me, let alone report it to the police.

    He was asking for it though amiright? WAS HE ASKING FOR IT?

    By the way because of our fucked up, rape culture society, men are afraid to report rape to the police, kind of for the same reason women are.

  14. Miriam
    Miriam November 1, 2013 at 1:25 am |

    Another problem for me with the “you shouldn’t drink to excess” line of warning that I haven’t seen pointed out explicitly yet is that it really seems like an updated version of stranger rape, mildly adjusted for the fact that too many people now understand that the majority of rapes aren’t stranger rape.

    To unpack, the idea behind “don’t drink too much” seems to be that if women drink too much, they’ll lose their caution and ability to protect themselves. This seems like something that works for an imagined scenario of a big chaotic party with a lot of strangers and no friends, where getting passed out or staggering drunk leaves a woman vulnerable to someone she would otherwise mistrust. And just as stranger rape’s statistical rarity does not negate the fact that sometimes someone does essentially jump out of bushes, I’m sure this is a situation that really happens.

    However, this is not the situation that caused the overwhelming majority of my friends to be raped (the one exception was actually a female-on-male rape). Everyone I know who was raped was raped by someone they considered a friend-of-a-friend, a close friend, or a significant other. Alcohol and parties were sometimes involved, but they were involved because these WERE the people trusted. And of the major rape cases that went public this summer/fall, alcohol was involved in every single one of them but Savannah Dietrich was assaulted in her own home by people she knew; Rehtaeh Parsons was at a party of a close friend’s house where she knew she could (and did) stay overnight if she needed to; the Steubenville Jane Doe was at parties of her high school cohort; Daisy Coleman was in the home of and assaulted by her brother’s teammate, who was someone she knew well enough to exchange texts with.

    Alcohol wasn’t involved because the girls didn’t know drinking could lead to problems. Heck, in all of the above cases, it was out and out illegal for the survivors (and assailants!) to be drinking. But the girls were in surroundings that they thought were safe, surrounded by people who were not strangers. The rapes happened because their classmates and friends betrayed a trust.

    I don’t know what the statistical breakdown is of types of rapes, if the data for that exists. However, I am extremely skeptical that so many happen at parties where alcohol is a bigger factor than trust. And personally, I refuse to live in a world where we consider it a reasonable, smart precaution for girls and women to consider that people they know may choose to rape/sexually assault them instead of bringing them to a bed or leaving them in their bed to sleep off the drinking.

  15. Hrovitnir
    Hrovitnir November 1, 2013 at 2:51 am |

    Why exactly does is consistently escape the notice of I-think-genuinely well meaning people who march straight into these conversations with “but we need to give advice” that the point is that that is the very kneejerk reaction that protects rapists?

    Teaching women (and men!) that it’s OK to say no, it’s OK to make a fuss, it’s OK to want to have sex and therefore to not want to do x, y or z – these are things that are worth teaching. Telling your children not to get in cars with strangers, really make it a rule – this stuff is good.

    The general public instantly, instantly, every time, acting like women don’t know that getting drunk makes them vulnerable, is exactly why rapists target drunk women. Not just because they’re physically incapacitated, not just because they’re more suggestible.

    Rapists target drunk women because they know the reaction to a drunk woman getting raped is to question what she was doing.

    So how can you not see it’s a problem to add to that? Really? Young men and women do stupid shit. Get passed out drunk, get naked and play rough games. Because it’s fun, and lots of people like doing that. You cannot stop your kids from doing this shit, only make sure they are confident in themselves to avoid as much peer pressure as possible.

    This conversation is doing my fucking head in, but just wanted to bold that bit because I know people are well meaning but I am so sick of this conversation. Please actually listen. No one is advocating telling young women that there is no such thing as rape and no one will take advantage of them being drunk.

    1. TimmyTwinkles
      TimmyTwinkles November 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm |

      Rapists target drunk women because they know the reaction to a drunk woman getting raped is to question what she was doing.

      Very, very salient point.Well-said.

    2. Marie
      Marie November 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm |

      Additionally, rapists target drunk women, because women who are intoxicated are easier to physically overpower. Being drunk lessens a person’s physical strength and coordination and slows down a person’s reaction time.

      1. king ten butts
        king ten butts November 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm |

        except an equal number of rapists are reported to be drunk/buzzed/whatever, making your point entirely moot and all the more victim-blamey. yay, marie. keep it up.

        1. Disemvoweled: Marie
          Disemvoweled: Marie November 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm |

          Jst bcs rpst hmslf mght b ndr th nflnc f lchl dsn’t cncl t th fct tht n ntxctd wmn s stll t physcl dsdvntg. Hw s tht vctm-blmng?

      2. Hrovitnir
        Hrovitnir November 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm |

        Are you deliberately half-reading people’s comments?

        Not just because they’re physically incapacitated, not just because they’re more suggestible.

        Rapists target drunk women because they know the reaction to a drunk woman getting raped is to question what she was doing.

        Ie: no shit being drunk makes you vulnerable, but the point of this conversation is that focusing exclusively (or predominately) on what the victims are doing is making rape easy for rapists.

  16. BroadBlogs
    BroadBlogs November 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm |

    We blame women for being raped, saying they should have known better.

    I’ve also heard some people letting rapists off the hook for being drunk: he was drunk, he didn’t really know what he was doing.

    The only consistency is supporting the powerful — here, the more socially powerful gender.

  17. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet November 2, 2013 at 11:24 am |

    Jesus, this thread.

    Some people apparently just can’t resist an opportunity to tell women what to do, can they?

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help November 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm |

      Bingo.

  18. Oubli
    Oubli November 3, 2013 at 1:10 am |

    I’ll go out and drink and get drunk if I want to and now I’ll be able to protect my self by wearing http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ar-wear-confidence-protection-that-can-be-worn Anti Rape clothing line.

    No really this exists and I’m a bit sickened that there is a need for this. At first I thought it was parody or a joke but after clicking around their site, they have actually made an anti-rape clothing line.

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help November 3, 2013 at 1:30 am |

      Good gods. So apparently oral rape isn’t a thing, and neither is someone forcing the victim to remove her own clothing. ::rolls eyes::

  19. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan November 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm |

    I don’t remember the exact wording, but my college had a little flyer thing on the dining hall tables that essentially said “Don’t get drunk! You’ll be at a higher risk of throwing up, falling down stairs, breaking something, and getting raped!”

    Huh, I thought, one of these things is not like the others… And this was at a women’s college, no less, where they really ought to have known better. It’s like “getting raped” happens in a vacuum with no actual rapist involved. -_-

  20. Amelia the lurker
    Amelia the lurker November 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm |

    Another flaw in this line of “there will always be predators, so do what you can to protect yourself!” line of reasoning is the emphasis on “yourself.” It basically counts on other women NOT taking those “precautions,” because if EVERYONE suddenly stopped drinking, rapists wouldn’t just throw up their hands and say, “Oh noes, women are all sober now, we can’t possibly rape them!”; they’d just change their MO. And then we’d have to up the ante to never leaving the house.

    It’s like that joke about two guys being chased by a bear. One of them puts on a pair of running shoes, and the other says, “What are you doing? Do you think that’s going to help? That bear is much too fast!” And the first guy says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear; I just have to outrun YOU!”

    Staying sober is not about foiling all rapists, all the time. It is about hoping the rapist picks someone else who is drunk.

    1. TimmyTwinkles
      TimmyTwinkles November 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm |

      Really good points. Lurk less, post more.

      1. Amelia the lurker
        Amelia the lurker November 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm |

        I must admit I read that point about “hoping the rapist picks someone else” somewhere, it wasn’t my original thought; but I can’t remember where…

        And my dad was actually the one who connected it to the bear joke when I talked about the concept.

    2. a lawyer
      a lawyer November 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm |

      if EVERYONE suddenly stopped drinking, rapists wouldn’t just throw up their hands and say, “Oh noes, women are all sober now, we can’t possibly rape them!”; they’d just change their MO

      This. Is. NOT. TRUE. Believing it to be true (presumably in furtherance of the argument) requires a willful suspension of knowledge with respect to criminals, and/or an incredibly level of exceptionalism when it comes to rapists.

      Bad people of ALL TYPES (not just rapists and not just criminals!) come in a wide range.

      There are folks who will steal an unattended purse, folks who will do a snatch and run, folks who will break into unattended houses, and armed bank robbers.

      There are folks who are violent in groups; who are violent when provoked; who go out looking to start a fight; all the way up to folks who just go out “looking to shoot someone.”

      There are folks who will post racist comments anonymously on the Internet; who will laugh at them in a mixed race group; who will shout them out the car window as they drive by a POC; all the way up to the full blown KKK members.

      And… there are rapists who will rape an unconscious person; rapists who will rape a minimally conscious and relatively defenseless person; and so on up the scale to the (fortunately rare) rapists who are willing rape a sober and defensive person at gunpoint.

      The lower level ones are more common. The lower level ones are simpler to stop. Stopping them will reduce a relatively large number of relatively “stoppable” rapes.

      That’s because most people aren’t driven enough to vastly escalate the negative characteristics their behavior. Most petty thieves DON’T go buy a handgun and rob a bank if you make it harder to steal; instead, they do something else. Most violent people DON’T get personally violent if you figure out a way to stop violent mobs; the fact that they would join a mob doesn’t mean that they have the motivation to take solo action. Most low level racists DON’T respond to basic curbs on behavior by vastly escalating their racism; if you ban the n-word they just stop using it instead of joining the KKK.

      Same with rapists. Someone who will rape an unconscious girl is relatively unlikely to violently restrain a conscious, defensive, one.

      1. PrettyAmiable
        PrettyAmiable November 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm |

        There is literally nothing you posted here that contradicts her point, which is

        Staying sober is not about foiling all rapists, all the time. It is about hoping the rapist picks someone else who is drunk.

        But whatever. Please feel free to continue your asshole tirade that pretty much amounts to women need to limit their ability to do shit men can do if they don’t want to get raped. I am so unbelievably sick of your posts.

        1. Miranda
          Miranda November 4, 2013 at 10:12 pm |

          I am so unbelievably sick of your posts.

          Yeah they tend to be mansplaincentral.

        2. Annaleigh
          Annaleigh November 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm |

          A-fricking men. I’m sick of it too.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune November 5, 2013 at 12:20 am |

        so speculate

        wow

        very mansplain

        such thinkity

        wow

        1. Ally S
          Ally S November 5, 2013 at 3:00 am |

          LOL

          This response wins the thread.

  21. Alexandra
    Alexandra November 6, 2013 at 10:45 am |

    The one and only time I passed out drunk at a party in front of a male friend, do you know what he did?

    Got me a glass of water and talked with me until I was sober enough to rejoin the party.

    Anything sexual would have been a shock and a gross violation, not to mention completely out of character for him. Men are totally capable of being decent to their female friends, jesus.

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