First off, I would like to say this is a very interesting topic, but I debate its effectiveness.
Now in regards to this first article. I find it entertaining, and I imagine some could find it quite comforting. But I really don't think it is viable as a means to really 'prevent rape'. The benefits I see with it is in youth, trying to imprint on them early on that they should not rape, but this may not be the best sheet to use as it seems to be geared mainly towards adults, judging from the vernacular and style. This leads me to say that the this sheet may have cost more to print then it will be worth. Because the odds of you, and by this I mean anybody, giving this to a person (an adult) who was going to commit rape and this document actually working to the point where he (or she) does not perpetrate the rape are quite slim.
I can further understand the idea that 'it can't hurt' and I agree that is probably the case; however, I think time can be better spent elsewhere than shooting bottles in the dark at 200 paces.
This part of the document is really the only section that would have the most positive effect.
In case you arenít sure how to avoid raping, here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself:
♦ How do you define consent? Have you ever talked about consent with your partner(s) or friends?
♦ Do you think it is the other personís responsibility to say something if they arenít into what youíre doing? How might someone express that what is happening is not OK? Do you think it is possible to misinterpret silence for consent? Do you think silence is consent?
♦ Do you check in as things progress or do you assume the original consent means everything is OK? If someone consents to one thing, do you assume everything else is OK or do you ask before taking things to a different level? Do you think consent can be withdrawn after its been given?
♦ Do you pursue someone sexually even after they have said they just want to be friends? Do you assume that if someone is affectionate they are probably sexually interested in you? Are you clear about your own intentions?
♦ Have you ever tried to talk someone into doing something they showed hesitancy about?
♦ If someone is promiscuous, do you think its less important to get consent?
♦ Do you ever try to get yourself into situations that give you an excuse for touching someone you think would say no if you asked? (i.e., Dancing, getting drunk around them, falling asleep next to them.)
♦ Do you ever feel obligated to have sex? Do you ever feel obligated to initiate sex? Do you ever try and make bargains? (i.e., If you let me______, Iíll do ______for you?)
♦ Do you feel like being in a relationship with someone means that they have an obligation to have sex with you? What if they want to abstain from sex? Do you whine or threaten if youíre not having the amount of sex or kind of sex that you want?
♦ Do you think itís OK to initiate something sexual with someone whoís sleeping? What if the person is your partner?
♦ Have you been sexual with people when you were drunk or when they were drunk? Do you seek consent the same way when you are drunk as when youíre sober?
♦ Do you initiate conversations about safe sex and birth control applicably? Do you think saying something as vague as Ive been tested recently is enough?
♦ Do you think if a person has a body that can get pregnant, itís up to that person to provide birth control? Do you complain or refuse safe sex or the type of birth control your partner wants to use because it reduces your pleasure?
♦ Do you think only men abuse? Do you think that in a relationship between people of the same gender, only the one who is more manly abuses?
And not the kind of positive effect you seem to be envisioning. I think it will maybe make a few men (primarily) think about their perception of rape and lead them to not (by your definition, not that I disagree with it in any way) commit rape. But it may also, suffer scoffing and ridicule causing certain individuals to commit rape anyways, but they would have most likely gone ahead with this act regardless of this or any other document.
Moving on to the following comments and replies:
My point is, letting people think that saying 'don't rape' is enough is going to lull people into a false sense of security, which could wind up leading to more rape. Instead, teach everyone, male and female, how to avoid putting themselves in a position where such a terrible thing could happen. Teach them that they have to be aware of their surroundings. Teach them when consent is truly consent (ex: If one partner is really intoxicated, they cannot give consent. Make that crystal clear to both genders and to continue acting beyond this point does in fact constitute rape.).
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement in concept, but the execution of such a strategy is quite difficult, because it is entirely up to the people you talk to, to accept and learn what it is that you are teaching. and it is my opinion that the people bent on committing rape will do so. Much like the article, I think whatever tactic you employ it is likely to reach only the minority of rapists. Because going by the statistics presented, rape is often committed by people generally close to and supposedly caring for the victim. Going solely on this, it is unlikely that whatever information you present to them (the rapists) will change their perception of the 'rightness' of raping someone. However, like I said before you can change the perception of rape and thereby perhaps stop a few.
Rapists shouldnít rape, burglars shouldn't steal, arsonists shouldn't burn things, etc....all of that is true. But the reality is that some people are vicious and evil assholes who don't care what society says and don't care about hurting others to get what they want. This has been true since the dawn of humanity and will continue to be true until the last human dies. The professor's message while flippant, dismissive, and short-sighted, like the cop who's off-hand comment started the SlutWalks, ultimately did have the right intention. They were trying to say that prevention will go a long way to stopping crime against your person. 'don't wear a ponytailĎ, ídonít go in a parking lot', 'don't wear provocative clothing', etc. are completely stupid, short-sighted, and flippant suggestions though. It should have been more like 'when partying, go out with at least one friendĎ, íknow how much you can drink and control yourselfĎ, íif someone propositions and you're not interested than you have to tell them "No" as firmly and emphatically as you can'. This is really what people need to hear.
Firstly, rape is a unique crime, it is different from larceny or arson, because it is a person on person conflict it is more similar in my mind to murder. And I think it should be publicized as just as serious an offence. [THIS IS NOT TO SAY that one cannot
recover after being raped and live a happy life, but simply showing the degree of severity]
Again I agree with the first part, the people likely of committing rape will probably be unaffected by whatever it is you say to them. And as such rather than reasoning with the wolves, it is better to try and get the people in the woods to learn how to avoid being hunted by wolves. (sorry if that metaphor lost or offended anyone). But I do think it is very wrong to but the onus on women to stop men from raping them. And I think that is generally not the line taken. People simply publicize the information surrounding precautions they believe women should take, because the concept of 'Don't Rape' seems like common sense and not worth promoting.
It's also a case of saying that no woman should feel scared because of her sex. A woman should be able to feel as safe as a man, no matter what the situation, and she should have the same respect as a man.
In the same vein, men who've been raped should not be made to feel less of a man because of it.
To sum up it is not their fault.
+1, really very well said. But the point trying to be made is what can you do to protect yourself. Because saying... 'he should know not to rape me' is very naive and in a perfect world would be viable but not in this one.
My own little bonus statistics to throw into the pot.
56% of young men (ages 15-27) said that they would rape a woman, IF they knew they would get away with it.
Which brings me to my final point. As a document to prevent rape you shouldn't include the statistics showing that very few rapists are imprisoned, or even caught, because it is likely to encourage a young man (I do not know the statistics for women) to perpetrate rape.
And those are just my two cents...
[Be warned cents 3 through 99 may follow shortly]