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Author Topic: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists  (Read 11088 times)

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Offline consortium11

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #200 on: March 31, 2013, 07:42:31 PM »
Notice how no one tells men not to wear tight clothing or flirt or drink or walk down a dark street because they might be raped.

But men are told not to drink (to excess) or walk down a dark street (especially alone)... not for rape perhaps but to avoid robberies, thefts and assaults. They may not be told as loudly as women (a sad hangover of the idea that women need protecting while men are strong protectors) but they are still told.

That's my issue with some of the "rape culture" styled critiques on offer; they throw the baby out with the bathwater. Advice of the type you say when applied specifically to rape is scaremongering, ineffective and pretty offensive. But in terms of general advice to keep yourself safe is it bad advice? Is it the sort of advice that people should be discouraged from saying?

These are all US based.

http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/SOO.PDF
http://www.rvap.org/_docs/pdf_documents/sexual%20assault%20statistics.pdf
http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims

Some of this data is older but I don't think it has changed much.

I'm not sure if this is relevant to these examples but there is one thing to consider when assessing rape statistics.

In certain jurisdictions it is legally very difficult for a woman to be convicted of rape. To use the UK as an example, the offence of rape requires the victims mouth, vagina or anus to be penetrated by a penis. Therefore an individual woman cannot legally rape someone; the rare examples where they force a man to penetrate them don't have the victim being penetrated and they lack a penis to do the penetration themselves (and artificial methods don't count). In practical terms this makes no difference; the legal reasoning and sentencing for serious sexual assault are identical but in terms of looking at statistics it slightly distorts them; a woman (or at least, anyone lacking a penis) can only be convicted of rape due to joint enterprise or other such doctrines.

I doubt it makes any real difference to the figures (and certainly doesn't change the overall picture they present) but it is somewhat worthy of consideration.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #201 on: March 31, 2013, 07:44:46 PM »
I did read the part where you said it is not my intent, but you seem to imply that it still leads to victim blaming.  I truly believe that simply telling our kids to be safe, is not victim blaming.  Whether I have a son or a daughter, I am going to tell them that it's not a good idea to get blackout drunk, or to prowl around in the middle of the night in risky areas.  Once again, the focus of this advice is not exclusively on rapes.  It is purely a safe thing to do to avoid thefts, muggings, taunts, etc also.

As far as supporting victims (whether male or female), and increasing the likelihood that they report their crimes - I think the stigma of reporting has more to do with the "cultural perception" of victims as being tramps, etc, as terrible and wrong that stereotype is.  I don't think it has to do with people simply teaching safety to kids.

Where we need to be focusing our energy on is in eliminating this notion that rape victims are tramps.  Don't confuse that stereotype with someone simply giving safety advice to their kids.
It isn't victim-blaming, but it enables it - because anybody with any inclination to victim-blaming can always find one more step the victim could have taken. Shifting focus from victims' actions to victim-blaming itself will cause much more reduction of harm for the same exertion of effort. This is not in dispute. Your reluctance to do so, and defense of a strong focus on victims' actions, makes me... disinclined to believe that you're actually concerned at all with minimizing harm.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #202 on: March 31, 2013, 07:56:58 PM »
It isn't victim-blaming, but it enables it - because anybody with any inclination to victim-blaming can always find one more step the victim could have taken. Shifting focus from victims' actions to victim-blaming itself will cause much more reduction of harm for the same exertion of effort. This is not in dispute. Your reluctance to do so, and defense of a strong focus on victims' actions, makes me... disinclined to believe that you're actually concerned at all with minimizing harm.

Why would you think that I don't want to minimize harm?  Rape is a terrible thing, and by no means am I saying we should ignore it.

I do realize I am focusing on prevention, rather than on the rapists themselves.  I say this, because I often struggle to find proven methods that we can reduce the incidence of rape - just like law enforcement struggles to find proven methods to reduce the incidence of murder.  All that we are seeing now is a listing of the problems (high amounts of rape jokes, culture of violence against women etc etc).  But what proven techniques can we use to transform "would-be" rapists to not committing these heinous acts?  I can think of prevention/education in high school, but I am having trouble coming up with other ideas.  Do you have any input?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 07:58:06 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #203 on: March 31, 2013, 08:00:53 PM »
Why would you think that I don't want to minimize harm?  Rape is a terrible thing, and by no means am I saying we should ignore it.

I do realize I am focusing on prevention, rather than on the rapists themselves.  I say this, because I often struggle to find proven methods that we can reduce the incidence of rape - just like law enforcement struggles to find proven methods to reduce the incidence of murder.  All that we are seeing now is a listing of the problems (high amounts of rape jokes, culture of violence against women etc etc).  But what proven techniques can we use to transform "would-be" rapists to not committing these heinous acts?  I can think of prevention/education in high school, but I am having trouble coming up with other ideas.  Do you have any input?
Sure. Reject and repudiate victim-blaming and things that lead to it. Shame those who blame the victim. Basically shut down discourse that pretty much always leads to "...and that's why she was asking for it." Make it socially unacceptable to utter such things, and you'll see a lot more reduction than if every woman follows your checklist perfectly. Make even an effort in this direction, and you will cause more reduction for the same amount of effort than you ever would by pushing "prevention methods" of extremely dubious utility.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #204 on: March 31, 2013, 08:04:15 PM »
Sure. Reject and repudiate victim-blaming and things that lead to it. Shame those who blame the victim. Basically shut down discourse that pretty much always leads to "...and that's why she was asking for it." Make it socially unacceptable to utter such things, and you'll see a lot more reduction than if every woman follows your checklist perfectly. Make even an effort in this direction, and you will cause more reduction for the same amount of effort than you ever would by pushing "prevention methods" of extremely dubious utility.

And I would agree with everything you said, Ephiral.  I think the only place we disagree is that I would still tell my kids (whether male or female), that they should avoid doing risky things such as drinking excessively (which I think most parents would agree with me on).  I think the fundamental difference we have is that I think giving advice to kids is not at all "victim-blaming."  Victim blaming is a real phenomenon, and it is a terrible thing, but simply giving advice is not an example of it.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #205 on: March 31, 2013, 08:07:20 PM »
I'm not sure if this is relevant to these examples but there is one thing to consider when assessing rape statistics.

In certain jurisdictions it is legally very difficult for a woman to be convicted of rape. To use the UK as an example, the offence of rape requires the victims mouth, vagina or anus to be penetrated by a penis. Therefore an individual woman cannot legally rape someone; the rare examples where they force a man to penetrate them don't have the victim being penetrated and they lack a penis to do the penetration themselves (and artificial methods don't count). In practical terms this makes no difference; the legal reasoning and sentencing for serious sexual assault are identical but in terms of looking at statistics it slightly distorts them; a woman (or at least, anyone lacking a penis) can only be convicted of rape due to joint enterprise or other such doctrines.

I doubt it makes any real difference to the figures (and certainly doesn't change the overall picture they present) but it is somewhat worthy of consideration.

Actually, this is a very valid point.  And how many of those male rapes treated as assaults and not actual rapes?

One question, I was once told that sexual assaults are actually classified differently than a rape, is this true?  I have no idea.

Offline Oniya

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #206 on: March 31, 2013, 08:09:07 PM »
So much input. 

First off, education - as you mentioned - but it has to go deeper.

Just as an experiment, I want you to do one of two things:  Look at the commercials you see on an average night of TV watching.  Keep track of how many use males to sell the product, and how many use females.  Make an extra column for when the female's body is more of the focus than the part above the shoulders.

If you don't watch TV, go to your nearest department store, and look in three sections:  Boys clothes, girls clothes, and toys. In the clothing section, look at the slogans on the t-shirts, hoodies, and even underwear.  Look at the styles of clothing being put out there for the 16 and under crowd. In the toy section, look at the female images in the toy section, and how many toys show boys and girls playing together.  Look at how many toys are marketed 'for girls' with nothing more than a pink-washing - because of course a bright yellow slide or swimming pool just won't do.

If we want to stop men and women from being damn-near separate tribes, we've got to stop treating them like they are.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #207 on: March 31, 2013, 08:11:32 PM »
So much input. 

First off, education - as you mentioned - but it has to go deeper.

Just as an experiment, I want you to do one of two things:  Look at the commercials you see on an average night of TV watching.  Keep track of how many use males to sell the product, and how many use females.  Make an extra column for when the female's body is more of the focus than the part above the shoulders.

If you don't watch TV, go to your nearest department store, and look in three sections:  Boys clothes, girls clothes, and toys. In the clothing section, look at the slogans on the t-shirts, hoodies, and even underwear.  Look at the styles of clothing being put out there for the 16 and under crowd. In the toy section, look at the female images in the toy section, and how many toys show boys and girls playing together.  Look at how many toys are marketed 'for girls' with nothing more than a pink-washing - because of course a bright yellow slide or swimming pool just won't do.

If we want to stop men and women from being damn-near separate tribes, we've got to stop treating them like they are.

But at what point do we know if what boys and girls like?  How much of it is forced on them, and how much is it natural inclination?

And why has this become a gender issue instead of focusing on these two little monsters?

Offline Maiz

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #208 on: March 31, 2013, 08:12:50 PM »
But men are told not to drink (to excess) or walk down a dark street (especially alone)... not for rape perhaps but to avoid robberies, thefts and assaults. They may not be told as loudly as women (a sad hangover of the idea that women need protecting while men are strong protectors) but they are still told.

As some have already pointed out, even if men are told things like that it has no effect on the response to if they are robbed or assaulted. If a man walks down an alley wearing a suit made of clothing no one says "you were asking for it" or "well what did you think would happen". The theft is still prosecuted, and more importantly they aren't blamed for being mugged/robbed/whatever.

That's my issue with some of the "rape culture" styled critiques on offer; they throw the baby out with the bathwater. Advice of the type you say when applied specifically to rape is scaremongering, ineffective and pretty offensive. But in terms of general advice to keep yourself safe is it bad advice? Is it the sort of advice that people should be discouraged from saying?

Most of what I have read on rape culture does not discourage people from saying walking down a dark street or whatever in general safety about life. It discourages that kind of "advice" in discussions of rape because it is so ridiculous and ineffective, etc.

Why would you think that I don't want to minimize harm?  Rape is a terrible thing, and by no means am I saying we should ignore it.

I do realize I am focusing on prevention, rather than on the rapists themselves.  I say this, because I often struggle to find proven methods that we can reduce the incidence of rape - just like law enforcement struggles to find proven methods to reduce the incidence of murder.  All that we are seeing now is a listing of the problems (high amounts of rape jokes, etc etc).  But what proven techniques can we use to transform "would-be" rapists to not committing these heinous acts?  I can think of prevention/education in high school, but I am having trouble coming up with other ideas.  Do you have any input?

There aren't a lot of proven methods because there has been such a focus on victims/potential victims. Someone linked earlier a campaign that seemed to have some effect. Educating on what rape is, dispelling myths behind rape, teaching body integrity/respecting boundaries at young ages, etc would help I think.

ValthazarElite, instead of telling your kids to avoid risky things, I think maybe telling them what rape is, what consent is, what coercion is, amongst other things would have a bigger hand in stopping rape.

And soooooo many people have pointed out how giving out this advice enables victim blaming. Because if you tell someone that they can reduce their risk, you're implying that if they didn't follow your advice they were asking for trouble or at risk for rape. This fundamentally ignores how rape works. Rape is overwelmingly perpetrated by close acquaintances/family/friends, not on dark roads. So how do you reduce your risk of rape when if you're going to be raped there's a high chance it's by someone you know and trust?

Offline consortium11

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #209 on: March 31, 2013, 08:13:59 PM »
Actually, this is a very valid point.  And how many of those male rapes treated as assaults and not actual rapes?

One question, I was once told that sexual assaults are actually classified differently than a rape, is this true?  I have no idea.

Having now glanced through the links provided they use the term "rape and sexual assault" so they wouldn't fall foul of the issue outlined above. With regards to whether sexual assaults/rapes on men are mis/under-reported I honestly don't know... I imagine the shame of reporting being raped is considerable for a man... but then the exact same thing can be said for women who have suffered as well.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #210 on: March 31, 2013, 08:16:08 PM »
And I would agree with everything you said, Ephiral.  I think the only place we disagree is that I would still tell my kids (whether male or female), that they should avoid doing risky things such as drinking excessively (which I think most parents would agree with me on).  I think the fundamental difference we have is that I think giving advice to kids is not at all "victim-blaming."  Victim blaming is a real phenomenon, and it is a terrible thing, but simply giving advice is not an example of it.
So... yet again, why have you focused so much energy in this thread on victims' actions, and none on victim-blaming, if your goal is to minimize harm?

Offering advice is not victim-blaming. I have stated this. Stop misrepresenting my position. What I've said is that this advice gives those who do blame the victim a list of things to point to and say "You didn't do X; it's your fault", and the extreme focus placed on victims' actions enables them by making this culturally acceptable. Safety advice is not victim-blaming, but is often one of the pillars supporting it. (And when said advice includes things like "Don't dress or act provocatively" - which has happened in this thread - it's not actually safety advice at all. It's victim-blaming, given a thin veneer of respectability by looking like safety advice. There is zero evidence for and lots against this being an actual preventative measure.)

Offline Valthazar

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #211 on: March 31, 2013, 08:17:31 PM »
Oniya, those are all valid points - I am not disputing any of this, and I would agree with treating men and women the same.  I'm simply saying, other than emphasizing these existing problems, and the sexism and culture of violence against women, what empirical things can we actually do proactively to focus on the perpetrators and reduce the incidence of rape? 

We cannot command/order businesses to change their marketing practices (they are doing that because it gets them the maximal profit, for whatever reason).  The reason why women appear more often in commercials in sexual ways is because that is working out optimally for the company as far as selling their product.  It may not be morally just in our perspective, but how would we go about changing this culture?

Offering advice is not victim-blaming. I have stated this. Stop misrepresenting my position. What I've said is that this advice gives those who do blame the victim a list of things to point to and say "You didn't do X; it's your fault"

So just because I give the advice, I still get the fault for people who choose to actually later go and blame the victim for said advice?  The blame for victim blaming should be on those actually doing the blaming - like you have clearly indicated.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 08:20:51 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #212 on: March 31, 2013, 08:25:55 PM »
So just because I give the advice, I still get the fault for people who choose to actually later go and blame the victim for said advice?  The blame for victim blaming should be on those actually doing the blaming - like you have clearly indicated.
No, you get a nod as yet another contributor to a culture that supports victim-blaming. Which is beside the point, really. Fine, let's stipulate that these advice checklists are perfectly fine and don't contribute in any way to a negative culture. I don't think that's true, but for the purposes of this next bit I'll concede the point.

They still do almost no good. Any and all energy invested in them would be far better invested in opposing victim-blaming. So, for the third time: Why is all of your energy focused on prevention measures, and none on victim-blame issues, if you want to minimize harm?

Offline Maiz

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #213 on: March 31, 2013, 08:29:13 PM »
We cannot command/order businesses to change their marketing practices (they are doing that because it gets them the maximal profit, for whatever reason).  The reason why women appear more often in commercials in sexual ways is because that is working out optimally for the company as far as selling their product.  It may not be morally just in our perspective, but how would we go about changing this culture?

Except we can boycott, write letters, start campaigns to stop businesses to change their marketing practices. It happens often and it should continue to happen. Profit should not outweigh the health of people. Profit should not magically make it okay to objectify women and sexualize girls, nor construct dangerous forms of masculinity for men and boys.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #214 on: March 31, 2013, 08:32:37 PM »
Ephiral, if you are so insistent on saying I am "contributing to victim-blaming" there is nothing I can do, because this is now no longer a discussion - but merely an accusation.  I am simply referring to the collective whole of the role of a parent in educating their son or daughter to be safe.  For example, "make sure you strap your bag around your opposite shoulder, so it is less likely to be stolen."  You could say that I am "contributing to victim-blaming" since someone can use that advice once someone's bag is stolen by saying, "Oops, it's your fault!  you didn't strap your bag around the opposite shoulder."  But that is that blamer's fault for humiliating the person, and stigmatizing them.

Please don't misconstrue what I am saying here.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 08:34:00 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #215 on: March 31, 2013, 08:34:21 PM »
Ephiral, if you are so insistent on saying I am "contributing to victim-blaming" there is nothing I can do, because this is now no longer a discussion - but merely an accusation.  I am simply referring to the collective whole of the role of a parent in educating their son or daughter to be safe.  For example, "make sure you strap your bag around your opposite shoulder, so it is less likely to be stolen."  You could say that I am "contributing to victim-blaming" since someone can use that advice once someone's bag is stolen by saying, "Oops, it's your fault!  you didn't strap your bag around the opposite shoulder."  But that is that blamer's fault.

Please don't misconstrue what I am saying here.
As I said, I'm willing to let that point go to get at the real question. Which you've ignored three times now. If you're seeking to minimize harm, why are you directing your energies in the one direction least likely to accomplish this goal?

Offline Oniya

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #216 on: March 31, 2013, 08:36:26 PM »
But at what point do we know if what boys and girls like?  How much of it is forced on them, and how much is it natural inclination?

And why has this become a gender issue instead of focusing on these two little monsters?

Kids don't become monsters in a vacuum.  They hear things, they see things (like those commercials) - they're bought things by well-intentioned, slightly off-color uncles and aunts, or even parents.  And take a look at some of those t-shirt slogans.  I have to thumb through these things looking for plain white or navy collared shirts.  Girls are told to be 'sexy'.  Boys are told that they are studs.  Before they've discovered what the hell a penis or vagina is used for.  (The 'onesies' I've seen...)  And people look and say 'How cute!  Daddy's Little Wingman!  Where did you get that?'



Part of the mense rea of the rapist is that the victim (male or female[/i]) is an object.  They aren't 'like that kid I used to play with.'  They aren't 'that person who lives down the road.'  The victim is something that the rapist wants, right now, and damn the torpedoes.  Making boys 'those people[/i]' or girls, or trans*, helps to make that leap just a little easier.  Not one of us.  That's the arty kid.  That's the goth kid.  That's the girl who stood at the wall through the whole dance.  That's prey.

If you're dealing with a true sociopath, of course - not much chance of education working there, unless it's to instill the likelihood of getting caught.

We cannot command/order businesses to change their marketing practices (they are doing that because it gets them the maximal profit, for whatever reason).  The reason why women appear more often in commercials in sexual ways is because that is working out optimally for the company as far as selling their product.  It may not be morally just in our perspective, but how would we go about changing this culture?

We call them on it.  Like this lady.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #217 on: March 31, 2013, 08:41:44 PM »
As I said, I'm willing to let that point go to get at the real question. Which you've ignored three times now. If you're seeking to minimize harm, why are you directing your energies in the one direction least likely to accomplish this goal?

Again, I have repeatedly answered that question.  I am trying to go beyond a mere listing of the problems, and trying to examine potential solutions.

If you scroll up, you'll see how my past two posts were regarding focusing on the perpetrators.  We can talk all we want about the problems ailing our society - such as, rape culture, violence against women, sexism in our culture, rape jokes, victim shaming etc etc.  This is all true, and I certainly agree these are problems in our society - but they are just that:  Problems.

What we needs are real action plans for how we will go about transforming this culture.  I liked xiaomei's ideas about campaigns and boycotts, but unless that can occur on a mass-scale, it will make little difference.  Like Oniya responded and agreed with me, education will play a major role in transforming this culture of "would-be" rapists.  The reality is that unless companies see that their profits are taking a major hit, they will not change their marketing plans.

Offline Maiz

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #218 on: March 31, 2013, 08:50:21 PM »
So why did you keep saying you will teach your hypothetical children to avoid risks instead of transforming the culture? It's very hard to do wide scale campaigns and things, but if people start in the areas that they live in, in the lives they have an effect on, then change can begin to happen.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #219 on: March 31, 2013, 08:51:12 PM »
...which brings us back to "Reject and repudiate anything that leads to victim-blaming." Be vocal about it, about how unacceptable it is, about how it harms people. Boycott, march, raise general awareness - and shut down the sort of people who say things like "Oh, she shouldn't have had so much to drink." Basically, do the exact same things that have worked for every social justice movement for the last century. (Feminism included - just because the battle's far from over doesn't mean impressive strides haven't happened.)

It sounds like we're more or less working from the same book at this point, if not quite on the same page. This... makes me kind of hopeful, actually. Thanks for addressing my concerns, even if it took some time to get there.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #220 on: March 31, 2013, 08:56:59 PM »
...which brings us back to "Reject and repudiate anything that leads to victim-blaming." Be vocal about it, about how unacceptable it is, about how it harms people. Boycott, march, raise general awareness - and shut down the sort of people who say things like "Oh, she shouldn't have had so much to drink." Basically, do the exact same things that have worked for every social justice movement for the last century. (Feminism included - just because the battle's far from over doesn't mean impressive strides haven't happened.)

It sounds like we're more or less working from the same book at this point, if not quite on the same page. This... makes me kind of hopeful, actually. Thanks for addressing my concerns, even if it took some time to get there.

I do agree that victim blaming is a real phenomenon, and you are right, ending that ideology is part of the solution.  But we should be careful how we define what victim blaming is.  I don't think anyone here will deny that having a good support system, and a parent/guardian to turn to for advice/support is critical as part of the solution.  That is clearly not victim blaming, and that was the only point I was trying to make.

Thanks for a civil discussion.

So why did you keep saying you will teach your hypothetical children to avoid risks instead of transforming the culture? It's very hard to do wide scale campaigns and things, but if people start in the areas that they live in, in the lives they have an effect on, then change can begin to happen.

Please see my previous post.

Offline Caeli

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #221 on: March 31, 2013, 08:58:09 PM »
We cannot command/order businesses to change their marketing practices (they are doing that because it gets them the maximal profit, for whatever reason).  The reason why women appear more often in commercials in sexual ways is because that is working out optimally for the company as far as selling their product.  It may not be morally just in our perspective, but how would we go about changing this culture?

As Oniya said in her post, we call them out. Bloggers, social activists, local community groups - anybody can make the change. Standing by and saying, "Well, maybe that's just how things are," isn't the answer.

Films like Miss Representation and consumers who don't agree with the messages in popular media and in our products can take to social media (#notbuyingit) or rally together to show businesses that misrepresentations of gender and extreme sexual objectification to sell their products is Not Okay. By simply accepting it as something that can't be changed, we are perpetuating the stereotypes, behaviors, and culture that allows this attitude to continue. Refuse to buy their products. Convince business owners to change their vendors. Spread the word. Write letters, or make phone calls indicating that you will not patronize a particular business for that reason.

The change will always begin small. "Mass-scale" transformation isn't something that just comes about out of nowhere. These days, it is easier and easier to make change a grassroots, large-scale movement. It can all start with a film screening, or a conference/workshop in a local school or school district.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 08:59:55 PM by Caeli »

Offline Maiz

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #222 on: March 31, 2013, 09:02:54 PM »
As Oniya said in her post, we call them out. Bloggers, social activists, local community groups - anybody can make the change. Standing by and saying, "Well, maybe that's just how things are," isn't the answer.

Films like Miss Representation and consumers who don't agree with the messages in popular media and in our products can take to social media (#notbuyingit) or rally together to show businesses that misrepresentations of gender and extreme sexual objectification to sell their products is Not Okay. By simply accepting it as something that can't be changed, we are perpetuating the stereotypes, behaviors, and culture that allows this attitude to continue.

The change will always begin small. "Mass-scale" transformation isn't something that just comes about out of nowhere. These days, it is easier and easier to make change a grassroots, large-scale movement. It can all start with a film screening, or a conference/workshop in a local school or school district.

I agree with you, and I'd like to add the Killing Us Softly series, Codes of Gender, and This Film Has Not Been Rated as other films that combat harmful representation.

Offline consortium11

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #223 on: March 31, 2013, 10:14:04 PM »
As some have already pointed out, even if men are told things like that it has no effect on the response to if they are robbed or assaulted. If a man walks down an alley wearing a suit made of clothing no one says "you were asking for it" or "well what did you think would happen". The theft is still prosecuted, and more importantly they aren't blamed for being mugged/robbed/whatever.

But they do. Not as loudly as the victim-blaming in rape cases but you do have examples of men being blamed for what happened to them by going to the wrong place at the wrong time, for "asking for it", for whatever other term you want to introduce. You do get men getting blamed for getting so drunk they couldn't think clearly and something bad happened to them. It simply makes less noise then when a victim is blamed in a sexual assault case.

The way victims get blamed in sexual assault cases is woeful enough to stand as an argument on its own. It doesn't need to be strengthened by making it relative and understating what it's relative to.

Think about the argument you're making. Would it make victim-blaming any better if it applied completely equally to men and women, to non-sexual assaults and theft the same way it does to sexual assaults and rape? Would it be an improvement if male victims of non-sexual assaults were blamed the same way for what happened to them?

Or is it actually a positive that in at least one area we don't blame the victim... or at least, not as loudly?

Most of what I have read on rape culture does not discourage people from saying walking down a dark street or whatever in general safety about life. It discourages that kind of "advice" in discussions of rape because it is so ridiculous and ineffective, etc.

I'll give a simple example.

British celebrity Joanna Lumley, as part of a wider interview said

Quote
She says: “Don’t look like trash, don’t get drunk, don’t be sick down your front, don’t break your heels and stagger about in the wrong clothes at midnight. This is bad. It’s not me being a snob about it. It's not me being an old woman talking to young women, its just standard practice for how our species should behave. Don’t behave badly.

“I promise you it is better to look after yourself properly, which means behave properly, be polite, be on time, dress properly – I don’t mean dully – but don’t be sick in the gutter at midnight in a silly dress with no money to get a taxi home, because somebody will take advantage of you, either they’ll rape you, or they’ll knock you on the head or they’ll rob you.”

Cue hysteria

Let's look at what she was actually saying in context. She wasn't giving advice on how to avoid being raped at all. She wasn't specifically talking about rape at all. She was bemoaning what she saw as "laddy" acts by women and she listed some possible consequences that could befall someone. I think her use of the phrase "will take advantage..." as opposed to "may take advantage..." but other then that is it terrible advice? Isn't it good advice... for all genders... in general?

Yet what do you think the comments focused on?

Do you think those that objected to her words on rape separated out the risk of getting robbed or non-sexually assaulted and sexual assault, mentioned why she was wrong to mention "silly" dresses but said that she had a point on the non-sexual offence?

Here's a clue... they didn't.

They threw out all of her advice as being part of the "rape culture" either by name or implication, said she was completely wrong and that she was issuing bad advise.

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #224 on: March 31, 2013, 10:21:24 PM »
consortium11, great post.  I think you have nicely presented many of the perspectives I was also trying to make in this discussion.