The Sexist

Advice on How Not to Advise Women Not to Get Raped

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Aaron P. Taylor, a blogger who claimed his 15 minutes of Internet fame by penning a manifesto entitled, “Advice 4 Women: How to NOT Get a ‘Deserved Raping.'" The post advised women on behavior they ought to avoid if they'd like to prevent men from wanting to rape them. Helpful, no? And yet, some readers of the blog of Aaron P. Taylor found this advice offensive.

Others came to Taylor's defense. And they're still coming. Earlier this week, a commenter on this blog, calling him or herself "Rational Reader," posted this response to my Taylor post (relive Rational Reader's other comments on this blog here and here and here):

Being able to emotionally detach one’s self from an issue and look at it analytically is such a wonderful ability. Unfortunately, it also seems to be one that the majority of commentators here do not possess, or at least are unwilling to utilize. . . . Saying that Aaron here advocates for, apologizes for, enables, excuses, condones, or blames the victim for rape is *logically* no different than saying a locksmith giving free advice on the best type of locks is an advocate, apologist, enabler, etc. of burglary. The only difference between the two is *emotional* and hence irrelevant.

I understand that Aaron P. Taylor and his supporters are trying to help women not get raped. Great! But guys: If those same women perceive you to be a condescending rape apologist, they may not be terribly receptive to your advice. Let's look at how you might better communicate your valuable anti-rape tips to the ladies, shall we?

1. Do not advise women on how not to get raped.

2. If you insist, try not to use rapist tactics in your rape advice manual. Let's be real: In giving women advice on avoiding rape, Aaron P. Taylor and Rational Reader aren't attempting to help women. Their goal is to exert a mental power over them in place of a physical one. Taylor wrote his missive after being denied by a woman in a club; Rational Reader pens five-paragraph essays in the comment fields of blogs he disagrees with. Taylor and his supporters don't disturb me because I think they're rapists, or that they support rapists; I don't think those things. They disturb me because they use the very same tactics that rapists use to control women. And that makes me upset because I—like so many other women—know that the most damaging effects of sexual assault are the psychological ones.

I may not know Aaron P. Taylor or Rational Reader, but I've known guys like them. They are smart. You are dumb. They are right. You are wrong. They are rational. You are an emotional. Rapists use these tactics, too, to make you believe that it is your fault. That you should have known better. That you liked it. That you're crazy. That it didn't even happen.

3. Understand the enormity of your task. Giving a woman advice on how to not get raped is not like giving advice on how to best fortify your door from outside intruders. Giving a woman advice on how to not get raped is like saying, "Accidents in the home are a leading cause of death. If I were you, I'd stay out of homes as much as possible." It's like saying, "The majority of murders are committed by someone known to the victim. Have you ever considered severing ties with all other human beings? Move quickly."

In other words, it's not helpful. Women can be raped at any time, for any reason—or for no reason at all. They’re raped by men they’ve known for years and strangers they’ve never spoken to. They’re raped by men they’ve denied sex to, and men with whom they’ve had sex many times before. Telling women how rape can be avoided by not dressing in revealing clothing or not dancing close to a man is not only condescending—it's inadequate to the point of triviality.

4. Educate yourself on rape and its victims. You'd assume that Aaron P. Taylor, Rational Reader, and other rape advisers know a lot about how rapes occur, who the victims are, and how they're reported. Just in case, though, here's some info. One in six women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. It's likely that your mother, sister, daughter, friend, or girlfriend is a victim of rape. In fact, it's likely that many of the very women reading your advice on how not to get raped have already been raped. But these statistics on rape and sexual assault are nothing if not woefully inaccurate, because being assaulted is so embarrassing, so confusing, so damaging, and so shameful, that many women never even talk about it. One reason for the underreporting of rapes is the psychological damage inflicted by the rapist.

So while your goal is merely to assert blog argument dominance, consider that you might also be causing a victim of sexual assault to relive the mental anguish of being violated and then discredited by a man on the subject of her own rape experience. This may render her uninterested in what you have to say. Victims of rape are familiar with having their ideas, experiences, feelings and positions on rape pushed aside or argued away. So when you reduce rape to a game that you must win—a rational argument that seeks to carefully discredit a woman's position on rape—just know that she may have heard those kinds of arguments before. From her rapist.

  • Erin C

    I could not agree more.

  • http://www.justacouplequestions.blogspot.com Chris

    I completely agree.

  • Rational Reader

    Amanda, I couldn't speak to Aaron's motives, but I can assure you that my goal isn't "merely to assert blog argument dominance." My goal in this, as in any non-trivial discussion, is to uncover the truth. In your orignial article, you so wildly misrepresented Aaron's positions that by doing so, you obscured the truth - of not the truth about rape, then certainly the truth about Aaron.

    Here is an unfortunate fact. Nobody, except to a limited degree the person experiencing them, has any control over what emotions a person experiences. Emotions can be reactions to the acts or words of others, but those others cannot know what emotions, if any, and to what degree, will result from their acts or words. Given this, no just ethic can hold anyone responsible for causing an unfortunate emotional response in another, anymore than it could hold anyone responsible for the weather. Thus, while my arguments might remind you of your rapist, aside from in no way diminishing the validity of my arguments, this unfortunate fact is nobody's fault. Well, except your rapist. But if simply reading my arguments causes you to re-live the trauma of your rape, while that is unfortunate, I'm not going to apologize, as I can see no way in which I bear responsibility for that unfortunate fact. (If, on the other hand, you can present a convinving argument that I do bear such responsibility, you'll have my apology, in any reasonable form that you'd want it.)

    I want to ask something of you. Rather than viewing me as an adversary, would you try viewing me as an ally in dismantling Aaron's position in the *right* way, without mischaracterization or faulty logic?

    In my usual role of playing "Devil's Advocate" I often find myself in situations like this one, supporting an idea I either don't agree with or don't care about. (The truth isn't what we want it to be, so if we want the truth we sometimes have to embrace ideas we dislike.) I took up writing these arguments, because I saw Aaron's statements being mischaracterized, and wanted to address that. I find his position slightly distasteful, but I can find no logical fault with it. Because I do find it to be distasteful, I'd personally like to find a logical fault in it, so I can discard it. So please, point that flaw out.

    I posted something similar, earlier this afternoon, in the comments of your first article on this matter, in response to a comment Erin C had made. I'll copy and paste it here, because the same sentiment still applies:

    "...would you be so kind as to point out specifically how I have “rationalize[d] rape victims being somehow responsible for the act forced upon them,” or contradicted the statement “Rapists make a decision to rape, rape victims do not choose rape.”

    I’m not just being obtuse. Part of honest argument is knowing when the opposition has won - and if the positions you’ve accused me of having do, in fact, follow logically from what I’ve already stated, then I’d have to say that you won - those aren’t my positions, and so I’d have to jettison any other positions from which they are invariably derived."

  • Christy

    How are you helping anyone if you're saying we "deserve" it. That's the key word. Take it out of the title of the post and maybe we'd be less inclined to feel defensive from word one of your post.

  • Leah

    Hey - Rational Reader -- Newsflash: This isn't logic class. No one cares if you can use the vocabulary words that you practiced for your midterm in a complete sentence. You don't sound smart. You sound ignorant and out of touch.

    The fact that you are making an analogy between rape (a violent crime) and burglary (a property crime) completely obscures the social context in which rape occurs. Aaron's blog (and your defense of his blog) occur in a context in which victim-blaming is so rampant in rape cases that the U.S. had to adopt "rape shield laws" that prohibit the cross-examination of rape victims in U.S. courtrooms. These laws typically prohibit courtroom questioning about a victim's prior sexual history and the manner in which he or she was dressed at the time of the rape. Rape is the ONLY crime in which there are statutory protections designed for victims in the United States because rape is the only crime in which victims have been systematically forced to prove their innocence.

    Rape shield laws are imperfect and incomplete and they do not protect victims in many cases, yet their mere existence illustrates the fact that victim blaming in rape cases is a rampant, vicious problem. So, for you to suggest that it is illogical to oppose the perpetuation of the myth that rape is the victim's fault in a culture where victim-blaming is such a pervasive problem is insulting, absurd and illogical in and of itself. Next time you are making an analogy between the victim-blaming that occurs in rape cases and in burglary incidents, consider this question: Have you ever heard of burglary victims paying the police department to process physical evidence (for instance, dusting for finger prints)? Then why do so many rape victims have to pay for rape kits?

  • Beck

    Fifty Ways Prevent Yourself from Being a Rapist:

    1. Do not think you have the right to rape a woman.

    2. Do not rape a woman. Do not rape a man.

    3. Learn what rape is.

    4. Rape is forcing someone to have sex with you when they do not want to.

    5. Most rapes are committed by men who know the women they are raping. If the woman you are forcing to have sex with you happens to be your girlfriend, your neighbor, your cousin, your sister, or your wife, it is still RAPE.

    6. When someone says no to you, that means you have no right to force yourself on them.

    7. When someone pushes you away, or otherwise inclinates, verbally or with physical movement that they do not want to have sex with you, and you force yourself on them, that is rape.

    8. If you see a woman in a parking lot, don't rape her.

    9. If you see a woman walking alone at night, don't rape her.

    10. If you see a woman in a short skirt, don't rape her.

    11, If you see a woman with long hair, don't rape her.

    12. If you see a woman walking down a dark street at 4 AM, naked, don't rape her.

    13. If you see a woman who is not carrying pepper spray for self protection, does not know karate, does not have a gun, and is not even holding an umbrella to ward you off, still don't rape her.

    14. If you see a woman who has a sign on her head that says "I Want Sex", you don't have the right to force sex upon her.

    15. If you're at a party, and a girl is drunk, and she wants you to kiss her and touch her but then she wants you stop, STOP.

    16. If you're on a date with someone and they want to go so far, but then stop, you STOP. If you don't stop, it is called rape.

    17. Rape is a crime, whether you go to prison for it or not, whether it is reported or not, whether you're convicted, or whether anyone believes the woman you rape, or whether you get a goddamn medal of honor for all the rapes you got away with committing, IT'S A CRIME and it's a crime against humanity, which has more to do with your conscience and morals and the rights of women to live as human beings on this planet without having to be in fear their bodies will be violated, than it laws and prison sentences. If you are a rapist, you have violated a person's right to simply live. News Flash - you do not have the right to do that. Neither does any other man or woman you know.

    18. Rape is about power. It is not about sex. Do something else with your misogyny than rape a woman. Try, say, reading a book. Or committing suicide to rid you from the planet so we will have one less rapist walking around.

    20. Men are the people who can stop rape. Not women. For proof of this fact, look at statistics on rape for a second. It happens every minute of every day, and it is usually not ever reported so statistics on it are always underestimates. Women have been trying to prevent themselves from being raped for a few centuries. IT HASN'T WORKED YET.

    21. Rapists destroy lives in a way that murderers do not. If you rape a person, you are as inhumane as a murderer.

    22. Before you decide to rape someone, go to visit an emergency room one night, and ask the nurse on duty at the triage, how many raped women have been there that evening. Then ask about the rape kits they did on the women, the DNA evidence they collected. Then spend a few years of your life talking with women who were raped and see how it has affected them every single day of their lives. You might reconsider rape after that, if you're actually human. If you're not human, please kill yourself before you rape someone.

    23. Note that you are living in a patriarchal society which is the only reason why committing rape will occur to you as something you have a right to do in the first place. Note that, despite this fact, you STILL DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO RAPE ANYONE EVER.

    24. Know that a few million human beings on this planet right now want you dead, if you're a rapist, because we're sick and tired of you walking around, and our self protectoin mechainsms haven't worked, and you're not about to be a real popular guy if anyone finds out you are a rapist, unless, you are hanging around other rapists.

    25. Know that whether anyone ever finds out you committed a rape or not, you are still a replusive, weak, pathetic, disgusting, grotesque, inhumane, repulsive, worthless, twisted individual if you rape someone, and this fact will remain true, and you will remain guilty forever, whether she tells anybody or not. And you can be the one to live with that; if you have a conscience.

    26. If you don't have a conscience, go murder yourself instead of raping a woman.

    27. Read Ms. Magazine instead of Playboy

    28. Stay away from pornography. Most rapists love it. That should be a danger sign.

    29. Cut your hands off. You won't be able to use them. That will help matters.

    30. Cut your penis off. Or ask me to do it for you; I'll be happy to, if you're considering committing a rape.

    31. Stay away from women.

    32. Stay away from little girls.

    33. Stay away from boys.

    34. Stay away from the human race.

    35. You are not the superior sex, never will be, never were, never are. Women are equal to you, and sometimes women will be smarter than you. This is called life. Deal with it.

    36. Sometimes women will not like you. That is our right. See above.

    37. Sometimes women will rebuff your advances. In other words, we don't always want to have sex with you. Note, no one has any duty to have sex with anyone, ever. You are no exception.

    38. Sometimes women will think you are stupid, will make fun of you, will not treat you well, will fire you from a job, will laugh at you, will refuse to go out with you. Just like men can do these things, so can women. This does not mean you have a right to commit rape.

    39. If a woman has sex with you one day and doesn't want to have sex with you the next, that is her right. You do not have the right to rape her.

    40. If a woman has sex with you and one hour later does not want to have sex with you again, that is her right. You do not have the right to rape her.

    41. If a woman has sex all the time, with lots of men, and you think she is a slut for it, you still don't have the right to rape her. Women have the right to have sex with who they choose, when they choose, wherever they choose if it is consentual. Just like men.

    42. No woman has ever, will ever or does ever ASK to be raped. No woman LIKES being raped. No woman INVITES you to rape her. No woman has EVER ASKED FOR IT. Try to remember that.

    43. You don't have a right to rape your wife, your daughter, your granddaughter, your best friend, your girlfriend, a girl you met at the grocery store, your boss, your coworker, your student, your professor, your niece, your next door neighbor, a woman you do not know, or ANYONE ELSE. Ever. Period. End of Story.

    44. Do not forward around emails to people telling them what women should do to prevent themselves from being raped. Women have never, and will never be able to stop the phenomena of rape, even as women do a good job of trying to, because we are not the ones with penises. Very simple. You are the only person who can prevent you from raping me or any other woman. You. Not me. You. Not any woman. You. You must stop you from being a rapist. It is YOUR job. Take responsibility for it for a change. I'm tired of giving out the 1-800-656-HOPE number to women who have been raped. I WANT TO GIVE OUT A HOTLINE TO YOU. 1-800-STOP IT NOW
    But that hotline does not exist.

    45. Go build a crisis center to stop yourself and every other man you know from becoming a rapist. Get funding for it, which will require a lot of work on a daily basis. Hire counselors. Hold group therapy and individual therapy sessions. Try, again, to get funding for it because it will be difficult to do so. Women have been doing this for decades. They're called rape crisis centers and we have too many of them. They should not have to exist at all.

    46. When you converse with your male friends, be sure to warn them to NOT RAPE ANYONE if they are going out late at night, or if they are going out with a new girl, or if they are doing anything at all where rape might be an issue of concern. Women do this all the time, warning their friends to be careful, warning their daughters, their sisters, their mothers to be careful, to watch out, to lock their doors, to keep their doors locked, to carry pepper spray. We have all sorts of advice we give each other based on our very rational fear of rape. Why don't you try giving every man you now advice on how to prevent rape?

    47. If you know someone who is a rapist, do something about it. Do not ignore, tolerate, pretend you don't know or don't care, or congratulate him. DO SOMETHING about it, such as, telling him he is the scum of the earth, reporting him to the police, beating him up, or put up a billboard with his picture, his name and the word Rapist in bright red letters on his front lawn.

    48. If you're a rapist, go to therapy for a few years, perhaps the rest of your life, spend some time in a psychiatric hospital, perhaps dozens of times, perhaps years, and try to figure out how to live with yourself and what you did, which is exactly what many women who are raped by people such as you must do.

    49. Donate money to RAINN, since you haven't succeeded in stopping rape from happening yet, so we still need these sexual assault centers, and maybe you should try being the person who donates money to them, rather than the people who were raped. http://www.rainn.org 1-800-656-HOPE. Or donate money to your local sexual assault crisis center. Or donate money to one of the women you know who has been raped so she can go to therapy, because statistically, there is little chance that you do not know several rape "survivors".

    50. SEND THIS TO EVERY MAN YOU KNOW. And when you get the next email telling every woman on the planet what to do to prevent herself from being raped, and it says, "forward it to every woman you know", don't do it. For an example, see the message below and consider how ridiculous it is that women should have to live in a world where we write, read, and send each other these kind of messages, and know that it is not fair, and wonder for a minute, why you never got a message like this before addressed to men.

  • Rational Reader

    Leah, I could say that, given the gender of the majority of respondents to my comments, it is no surprise that nobody is impressed by logic - but then, I know from personal experience that, despite there being thus far no evidence of a valid counter-claim expressed in these comments, not ALL women are disdainful of logic.

    The fact of the matter is that, as much as you wish it to be otherwise, "social context" has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of an argument. Thus, while I'm not going to address the issue of my comments being insulting, as only the reader and never the writer has any power over whether a given comment could be construed as insulting (i.e. if you don't wish to be insulted, all you need to do is not care), your accusations of absurdity and illogicality are baseless. (An accusation of absurdity is a logical argument, as when one says that a statement is absurd, the literal meaning is that the statement contains a contradiction, thus constituting a logical argument.)

    Logic isn't different for boys and girls. It doesn't discriminate with regards to gender. The same rules which apply to any argument any man has ever made, apply to your arguments as well. This means that if you wish to characterize an opposing argument as illogical, you need to point out the fallacy (unlike natural science, in logic you CAN prove a negative).

    All analogies are inductive arguments, and hence imperfect. By bringing up "social context" you're attempting to weaken the relation between the two situations which I claim to be analogous. This could very well be a winning strategy on your part, were it not for the fact that "blaming the victim" is only related to my analogy insofar as I demonstrated it to be ridiculous in BOTH cases. If I were arguing for blaming the victim of rape, you'd be dead-on. The fact that a rape victim might misinterpret my arguments as blaming the victim, however, does not mean that my arguments do in fact constitute blaming the victim.

    All this aside, I want to ask a question of you. When you hear a tale of some male convicted of a heinous crime, let's say a child molester, being raped in prison, do you ever think to yourself that he deserves it? That it is merely part of his punishment? In essence, do you blame the victim? And even if you don't personally, do you feel as violently opposed to those who do as you do to someone who blames a female victim of rape?

    As for me, I have and will continue to donate to Just Detention International, aka Stop Prisoner Rape, so you can see where I stand on that issue. (FYI, I've also donated to rape crisis centers.) How firm are YOUR convictions?

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist Amanda Hess

    Hey, thanks Erin, Chris, Rational Reader, Beck, and Leah for weighing in on this. Obviously, there's a lot of interesting discussion that remains on this topic. What do you think are the major divisions between the different camps here? What do we really disagree on that we'd like to resolve?

  • Erin C

    I don't think that rape might be avoided by some "an advisement regarding a method of securing your premises - that is to say, your bodies." Rational Reader obviously does.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/columns/showandtell/ Amanda Hess

    My main disagreement with Rational Reader, and the subject of my post, isn't that he supports rape or even wishes to downplay its importance. It's that he is condescendingly attempting to establish dominance over every other woman expressing her viewpoint on this issue. It's that he's crowned himself the only rational person in the conversation---and has even asked me why I haven't employed his impressive thinky skills to make my own argument for me. Here's why, Rational Reader: I can think for myself.

    I don't have time to respond to every one of his arguments, but thankfully, he's beginning to unravel them for all of us. To Rational Reader, "“social context” has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of an argument." And yet, he caps his argument by stating that he "will continue to donate to Just Detention International, aka Stop Prisoner Rape, so you can see where I stand on that issue.(FYI, I’ve also donated to rape crisis centers."

    Not only are his assumptions wrong, his tone condescending, and his form obsessive---his argument isn't particularly logical, either.

  • david

    Though Mr. Taylor's comments reveal a sort of paternalistic misogyny, that's rather common from "southern gentlemen," and that he demonstrates a sort of insensitivity and tactlessness is common from young commontaters. Let's not act surprised... A simple condemnation is enough.

    That said, he was reacting to a woman saying "I wouldn't do that if I were you," to his attempt to kiss after a heated dance session. I wonder if he considered that she may have herpes, mono, strep, HIV w/ sores, molluscum, or coxsackievirus before stomping off in anger presuming her statement rude and/or indicative of interpersonal recklessness that could draw hostility from dangerous persons.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/columns/showandtell/ Amanda Hess

    Fair point!

  • http://www.myspace.com/bella_strega Evo

    Thanks for staying on top of this story, Amanda. Sorry I am so late. Beck, I think you and I should work on taking over the world, asap.

  • http://molluscumcontagiosumvirus.info molluscum

    Well yeah, sometimes it's just the males who need to not to be a rapist :D

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  • missdk

    "All this aside, I want to ask a question of you. When you hear a tale of some male convicted of a heinous crime, let’s say a child molester, being raped in prison, do you ever think to yourself that he deserves it? That it is merely part of his punishment? In essence, do you blame the victim? And even if you don’t personally, do you feel as violently opposed to those who do as you do to someone who blames a female victim of rape?"

    *head desk*

  • jfc1

    I don't see the big difference between what you're complaining about and what you're doing.

    First and foremost: no one is forcing anyone to read these blogs. So stop complaining about who might read them and what they might think, as a result. Assume at least that they are reading of their own volition. Second, why assume that they have been raped just because a lot of women have been raped...or even if they have, that they won't find anything useful in that article? Third, should rape not be mentioned anywhere because some women have been raped, or because some women find the subject distaseful or upsetting?

  • rara avis

    @ Rational Reader:

    You say your "goal in this, as in any non-trivial discussion, is to uncover the truth." That assumes that truth is objective, which it's not. Truth is always subjective (except in the case of some hard science, which, while not really subjective, is still at least arguable). It's not possible to uncover the 'truth' because truth, as you mean it, doesn't exist.

    You also say "Nobody, except to a limited degree the person experiencing them, has any control over what emotions a person experiences. Emotions can be reactions to the acts or words of others, but those others cannot know what emotions, if any, and to what degree, will result from their acts or words."

    That's just plain silly. While there are some situations where a person's emotional reaction to your words or actions are wildly unexpected, most of the time it's pretty easy to predict reactions. For example, if I tap someone on the shoulder, then pull back and sucker punch them, I can be reasonably sure that they will react with some combination of anger, aggression and incredulity. If, on the other hand, I tap someone on the shoulder and show them a picture of a kitten sleeping in a shoe in a ray of sunlight, I can be reasonably sure that they will react with some combination of affection, happiness and humour. Now, it's always possible that the person I punch will like it and thank me, or that the person I show the picture to will have a mortal fear of kittens and run screaming from the room, but these reaction are much less likely. As for the notion of control, if I don't want to anger someone, I won't punch them, and if I don't want to give someone a warm fuzzy feeling, I won't show them pictures of kittens.

    This isn't to say that I have complete control of the emotions of others. But I, like any other human being, have the ability to influence the emotions of others. This is what's commonly known as charisma. Some people have more than others, but everyone's got it. There's a reason people take about politicians and religious leaders and other public figures winning both the hearts and minds of the people listening to them. They win the mind using logic, and the heart using charisma (ie. with emotion).

  • A Man who disagrees with Irrational Reader

    (Ir)Rational Reader I am a man.I do not agree with you.So your point that only women here disagreeing with you is out of question now.I find your way of speaking so telling of what type of person you are.Your use of thinky speak ( I want to thank whoever used that term, it made me chuckle) does not make you sound intelligent even though you try ever so hard.The thought behind the words are where the power lies.Therefor you are powerless here.What you say is far from logical,well maybe logical to you but not logical in the real sense of the word.Insane people think its logical that they see things that arent there because that's what they see.Everyone around them can tell them there's nothing there but they wont believe it.That is what makes them insane.Take a hint from those around you.It will make you a better person.

  • Holly

    Geez, I can see now what people were saying about "Rational Reader" just being a wordy know it all. Its more important to him to be right and sound like a pretentious douche than to be humane. Hey genius why don't you take it to a blog of your own, since you seem so intent on spewing out self important convoluted bs? You can have everyone who agrees with you flock to it and then you can feel like A Big Man.

    If you *really* want to help women take measures to "prevent" (and I use that word lightly, as women get raped for any or no reason at any time) rape, give them advice on how to watch out for themselves. Don't accept open drinks, always go out with girlfriends you trust, don't use drugs or alcohol around people you don't know or trust. Will it "prevent" a rape? No. Not necessarily. But is it safe-r behavior that still has some benefit? Yes. Call it advice on how to not get in a situation you don't know how to get out of. Just because rape is never a woman's fault doesn't mean there aren't some safer behaviors we can adapt to.

    But don't tell women that this could have all been avoided if they just follow these handy steps. That is disrespectful. Going back to the analogy of other crimes, would you tell someone who'd just been robbed "Hey, well, you shouldn't have such nice stuff!" No, you wouldn't.

    And to jfc1:

    "Why assume that they have been raped just because a lot of women have been raped" What is a lot to you? A sixth of the population of women? And that's only the statistic we know. With the unreported assaults it could be as high as a fourth or more. So, she's assuming that many women reading this have been assaulted because MANY HAVE douchebag!

    And she didn't ask people to stop talking about rape because someone women have been raped or find the subject upsetting. It was a plea for decency and food for thought. You sound like a chauvanist with a bone to pick but with only half a brain to find it with.

  • http://www,myspace.com/sarasponda sponda

    Man, womyn, gender neutral - none of it makes a difference. No one has the right to assert themselves physically or mentally onto another person.

    Rational reader, just because you think you know what is right, in no way gves you authority over another person to tell them so, especially a womyn.

    The problem with rape is that some men (and womyn) try asserting their dominance and ownership over another individual. Aside from being irrational, this only perpetuates the 'master & Slave' mentality. So unless you're Neitzche, don't even think, for one second, you have the right of ownership over someone else. I don't care if they're your family, your partner, your friend, or the drunk person at a party asking for sexual favors.
    ((especially the drunk person at a party asking for sexual favors - in that state they are no way cpabale of making consentual decisions))

    no one deserves anything, good or bad for them, unless they themselves have given consent.

    consent
    consent
    consent!

    is that so hard to understand?

    The moment we start to dehumanize eachother we become alienated and our morals go out the door. YOU are NOT the only one who matters.

    gosh, I could rant on and on and on for hours over this and still feel like I'm talking in circles.

  • Hm

    Hate crimes: they're terrible.

    But you know, I bet African Americans could protect themselves if they stopped dressing and acting so damn black. Lose the fro, pull up their pants, stop speaking all that ebonics.

    I mean, they don't deserve it, but it's false advertising when they walk down the street at night blasting their hip-hop. It's like they're ASKING for it. White people just can't resist.

    Ha.

  • K from Atlanta

    You know... I'd like to point out here that as a lifestyle female submissive, even in Dom/sub relationships, our upholding of RESPECT and CONSENT still holds strong. Even those of use who consider ourselves "slaves" to our dominant receive respect and protection from our masters, and rape.. well... that certainly doesn't fit into the realm of being respectful.

    As a woman who has been raped previously, I absolutely resent the sentiments made by Rational Reader and Aaron.

    Am I to believe that as a 12 year old girl, in jeans and a fake leather jacket, on my way to a babysitting job, that I was to wear something less revealing? That I should not have been skipping down the street whistling the theme to the snorks?

    Am I to believe that later in life, when I was bound up and drugged for 5 days, that I should not have been eating dinner with my boyfriend at the time? That I should have worn something less sexy than my McDonalds work clothes? At age 18, we all know how appealing those clothes were. Was I supposed to have fought him, in my drugged state after god only knows how many dosings of WHAT he injected into my thigh?

    And now at 25, am I REALLY surprised that the emergency room jsut told me I was dehyrated, and didn't perform a rape kit because I had no insurance and no money, and told me to be on my way? Am I surprised that my martial arts training, that my being in shape, carrying a knife at all times, having pepper spray on my keys did me no good?

    Sadly, no. There is no logic here, no rationality to be had. There is no argument that you can make. No rape is deserved. I denied my boyfriend sex, so I got drugged and raped for 5 days. According to you two, this was a deserved raping. for the record, I'd like to call shens. Thats the biggest load of malarky I've ever heard.

    The day that you experience a rape yourself... THEN... and only then, can you tell me truly how you think I'd be best off to avoid it. After you've had your pride stripped, been violated, injured, and humiliated.. Then after all of that, I'd love to hear your opinion. Until then, shut the fuck up.

  • Meme

    Okay, as a woman who's been raped (by someone she was dating for 6 years no less), I do agree that we women do purposely, on accident... place ourselves in situations where rape can be avoided.

    Telling a rapist that raping is wrong, and he "has no right to do so" or that they should listen to a woman who is saying "no", is the same thing as telling an Autistic child, to not be autistic. Or telling someone with downs syndrome not to be retarded, or telling someone with paranoia, not to be paranoid. Rapist have a mental illness, which some people do not seem to "get". I'm not condoning rapist, but let me explain some logic to you.
    When dealing with people who are a little "off" in the head, we take precautions. We make sure we don't "set them off" in anyway, right? The same precautions should be taken when possibly dealing with a rapist. But since we don't know the face of a rapist, we have to be careful in how we present ourselves out in the open, or take action when someone we thought was family or a loved one does something like that to us.

    When you're out in public, don't be stupid! Stop wearing easy to remove, or very little clothing. If you've ever watched a documentary on Rapist, you would know that they go for those wearing very little, or things that are easy to remove. There is no reason for you to be wearing skimpy, next to nothing clothing, you're not going to pick up the man of your dreams on the streets by dressing sexually. All you're doing is triggering a mental illness.

    If you feel the need to party and drink, don't be stupid about it! If you go to a party, all by yourself or with so-called friends, and get completely wasted like an ass, and you get raped... who's fault do you really think that is? It's both! You could have prevented it, but instead you have this mindset that a rapist is completely normal minded and will stop just because you say "no". It doesn't work like that!

    I'm tired of women thinking that they're just so strong and can be superman wherever they go, and instead of taking precautions, they just do whatever.
    You're not fucking superwoman, even men have to take precautions against what the world bares. Everyone has to take precautions.

    You don't leave your car unlocked in a public place, because someone could get in your car and take something, right?
    Or do you think you should be able to leave your car unlocked and everyone is just rainbows and fruits and wouldn't even think of getting into your car??

  • rape is funny

    What, is so wrong with rape?

  • Lindsay

    @Meme: I'm very sorry that you were raped. I can't imagine how horrible it must have been, and I'm really truly sorry.

    But rapists aren't just "off in the head", it's no where near autism, or bipolar-ism, or schizophrenia, it's not a psychological illness that renders them blameless for their crimes.

    People who rape were brought up in a culture that says that "If you have the power, you can get away with whatever you want." That's why women, who are seen as powerless, as defendless, as illogical, emotional, flippy floppy in their wants and needs are so easily targeted and then left to deal with what happened to them because rape apologists say that she asked for it, that she wasn't clear in her intentions, that she didn't use the standard precautions like you described, Meme, so then she must have been expecting and wanting it, right!?

    So don't you see that when you tell a woman that she is responsible for whether or not she gets raped, and those who rape can't be held responsible for what they did because it's something they can't control, then that gets us NOWHERE. Rapes will keep occurring until you tell young children, young men and woman, that people who rape are WRONG, and people who are raped are INNOCENT.

  • deadeyesxoi

    Rational Reader: You consistently claim that you're argument is correct because it is valid. I contend that it is not sound. You are operating on premises that are not necessarily true, but allows you to draw a conclusion that does not contradict your premises. You invite others to point to a contradiction, but of course you know that you've been consistent and a direct contradiction within the bounds of your own argument is not possible. However, as the adage goes, two wrongs do not make a right. Your contenders are arguing that your premises, when applied to reality, are false, and therefore, your conclusion is false as well. Hence, while you have a valid argument, it is definitely unsound.

    Also, I couldn't help but notice that you're trying to use a generic brand of objectivism to support yourself. I gather you believe in the objective truth being third person accessible (publically available); detached, unbiased, unemotional; representative of what is "really real;" and existing independently of humanity. If this is the case, I think that are you woefully mistaken, and I urge you to educate yourself a little more thoroughly because your method of arguing is (ironically) unreasonable. This is because you effectively divorce yourself from reality, in a sense plugging your ears, shutting your eyes and screaming to drown out the sound of anything else but your own "detached" thoughts. Start with Kant, then work your way through to Wittgenstein and Searle. While they don't sufficiently address problems such as these, they will give you a more substantial, less excruciatingly stupid version of objectivism that actually makes sense to humans.

  • http://www.runningtiger.com Sibok Dave

    I too Meme, am sorry to learn of your rape. You make a number of valid points about taking steps to keep ones' self safe and you are correct. And I haven't yet read everyones'comments as yet, and will, but I wish to add that there is nothing a woman can do that in any way justifies being raped. Nothing. But the predators exist and their victims are younger and younger. I'd urge women everywhere to take a rape avoidance course: learn about the predators, learn about the potential for defusing, and learn a couple of physical techniques that work 100% of the time.

  • http://www.catchaclue.net me

    Are you mad because your fat?

  • ha.

    You know, women aren't the only victims of rape, you know...
    Guys have been raped, too, by women. *gasp!* Who'd have thought?
    Therefore, Beck, you shouldn't direct your 50 tips to men only, because men aren't the only offenders.
    Majority or not, they're still not the only offenders.

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  • http://blueprintds.com web design

    18. Rape is about power. It is not about sex. Do something else with your misogyny than rape a woman. Try, say, reading a book. Or committing suicide to rid you from the planet so we will have one less rapist walking around.

    Nicely done, but how about instead of offing themselves they get treatment instead?

  • Lisa

    Rational Reader,
    Did you know that you are just as likely to get raped if you are wearing a pants suit then if you are dressed like a hoe? Many rapes occur because the man is angry at the woman for in one way or another claiming herself to be sexually on par with him. This can mean her dancing around, looking like she has some sort of a right to be attractive, but also her walking around like she isn't interested in sex at all. And saying to a woman, do not wear makeup or dance up on men is like saying to her, do not pursue sexual relationships in public. She has a right to have fun, and maybe look for someone when she is in a club, someone who thinks she is sexy and likes to dance with her. But whatever occurs during that time may make her consider, 'this is not the man I want to sleep with tonight'. Does that mean she deserves to be raped by him?

  • Shala

    http://www.thetalentshow.org/2005/06/17/i-am-not-my-cock/

    Somebody posted this link in a response to Aaron's original article. It is, utterly, awesome.

  • http://myspace.com/latentfaggot saveourskyline

    any time i read the words "rape apologist" in a feminist blogpost, i generally stop reading. this smug kind of feminism basically brands anybody who talks about rape and owns a penis a rape apologist unless he's groveling and apologizing for being born with a certain set of chromosomes. instead of reading yet another fuming, snarky blogpost about how insensitive men are, telling them how to discuss rape prevention (her answer: don't, because then you're a rape apologist), i'd rather hope that someone writes a treatise to women like this, telling them how to be taken seriously in the real world, and how to stop hiding behind their own femilingo and sense of indignation. yeah, i know; i'm a horrible person.

  • Shala

    Hey saveourskyline (kevin), I saw your posts on

    http://thecurvature.com/2007/10/09/rape-article-offensive-off/

    You're obviously intelligent and value gender equality, but you shouldn't label women concerned with pointing out rape apologists the way you have. I'm surprised that with all the points made on Cara's blog you're still arguing against it.
    No, we (I at least) don't expect you to apologize for owning a penis. We just also don't want you to excuse the behavior of rapists by pointing out what the woman did to "deserve it."
    Like Cara said on her posts, where are all the resources educating men on how not to rape? Why is ALL the burden of prevention placed on the potential victim? Why must all women all the time view themselves as potential victims?
    And, please, don't compare rape (a violent crime) to property crimes like burglary. A lot of people use this analogy. A more correct one--and I can't remember where I found this--compared it to trying to tell a black person how not to get a white person to attack him for being black. I think its appropriate; rape is like a hate crime against women.
    So yeah, we can be a little sensitive about people telling us how not to get raped. It sort of says that if I get raped on a sunny day wearing a chastity belt and carrying num-chucks, then *and only then* I can say that it wasn't my fault.
    And what about women in the Middle East? They completely cover themselves so that a man won't be tempted... and yet rape and violence against women are rampant there. Obviously women dressing so as not to "provoke a rape" doesn't help. It just begins the slow stripping away of our rights as people 0+

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  • C. Steinman

    Does this person not realize that rape is an act of anger/hatred towards women?! It is NOT a sexual act?!

  • Hill

    There is one and only one condition/ situation that leads to someone (male or female) being raped and that is the presence of a rapist. A woman walks down the street late at night, drunk, and wearing sexy clothing. She doesn't get raped. A similar woman does the same thing the next night. She gets raped. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE is that is the second situation there was a rapist present. THAT'S IT FOLKS.

  • Hill

    Rape is never that fault of the victim, EVER! I don't care how old or young you were; I don't care if you are male, female, or transgender; I don't care if you are/were gay, straight, bisexual or otherwise; I don't care what racial or ethnic background you are from; I don't care what racial or ethnic background the rapist was from; I don't care if you invited your rapist into your room/home (stranger or not); I don't care where you were; I don't care what you were doing; I don't care if you were drunk or on drugs; I don't care if you were dating your rapist or having sex with them in the past or present; I don't care if you flirted, seduced, and/or got naked before it happened; I don’t care if you consented then changed your mind; I don't care how or if the rapist coerced or forced you; I don't care if you wouldn't or couldn't fight back...

    NOTHING ANYONE EVER DOES OR DOESN'T DO MEANS THEY WERE ASKING TO BE RAPED OR THEY DESERVE IT OR THEY ARE TO BLAME. Period, end of sentence, no exceptions.

  • SnarleyJoe

    Aww, go one, just one exception?

    Please?

  • Jim

    > Does this person not realize that rape is an act of anger/hatred towards women?! It is NOT a sexual act?!

    This is fiction, a lie propagated because it's easier to hate monsters who enjoy hurting people than it is to hate pathetic losers who can't get sex any other way. If you disagree, please provide evidence to back up your highly counter-intuitive assertion.

  • Kldran

    "Nobody, except to a limited degree the person experiencing them, has any control over what emotions a person experiences." - Rational Reader

    Really? I'd been under the foolish impression that I had the power to make children cry. How enlightening.

  • Loyce

    Thank you for writing this. It gives me hope for the future of the conversation that currently surrounds and stigmatizes rape and its victims.

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  • Victor

    Valentine Rodinov appears to be thanking someone for their post, and states that it draws/gathers all the points together.

    Interesting.

  • Sabo

    Thanks for the lessons on how to creatively discredit anyone who agrees or disagrees with someone else you don't support. Here is another opportunity for the mud slingers.

    Fact; The choice to attack or rape is a perpetrator's individual choice, not the victim's. Therefore, those victimized by these unstable individuals can not be blamed.

    Rape and attacks on women are not, and will never be, 100% preventable, because there are, and have always been, weird, unstable, fear filled people with unmanageable hate within them sprinkled across all human societies.

    BUT, does that mean that teaching awareness techniques for identifying these people, target environments and possible trigger mechanisms for this type of heinous human behavior be banned because it may trigger unwanted emotions and memories? Most women who have suffered this unforgivable outrage seek advice from professionals including specialists in the self defense field. Our pre-thirties populous is at the highest risk, and since youth is often synonymous with ignorance (lack of knowledge) schools and teachers are necessary.

    I, for one, have taught women's self defense and prevention awareness techniques for over 27 years because it is needed in this disintegrating culture of ours. Honor, character and integrity are worthy attributes for all of us to acquire and just might lower these sad numbers. Still Teaching ....Sabo

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