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Author Topic: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists  (Read 11060 times)

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Offline Kythia

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #275 on: April 01, 2013, 07:04:54 PM »
Please illuminate me- give me some reading on how by acting like we have control we get control. Also how does that apply to the 62% of american women who were raped under the age of 18? You did not address that.

What?  For clarity, do you mean that or do you mean that of the american women who were raped, 62% of them were under 18 at the time?

Offline Maiz

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #276 on: April 01, 2013, 07:06:50 PM »
What?  For clarity, do you mean that or do you mean that of the american women who were raped, 62% of them were under 18 at the time?

How do children get control? If 62% of rape of American women happen when they are <18 years old, do children also act like they have control, and gain some control over whether or not they are raped?

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #277 on: April 01, 2013, 07:07:50 PM »
Hm.  why do you have the idea that practicing Situational Awareness has a cost?  It is free.  It  does not detract from planned effort devoted to organiztion for future change.
+3

xiaomei, one major trouble with the statistics you've been pointing to a couple times is that most likely they cannot pick up the many times when a situation that *could* have evolved into rape fizzles out because the intended victim was alert, made sure she was not perceived as dim, vague, unable to defend herself or sending out the signal "I really want to be treated like a slut". Her (or his) body language, alert movements, eyes and ways of speaking ensured it and nothing happened. That kind of fading-out or fending-off of a situation never makes it into statistics, because there's nothing much to ask about for the researcher, and within a week oir two both parties may even have forgotten that there was any stretch of time when rape was looming on the horizon between them.

Offline Kythia

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #278 on: April 01, 2013, 07:11:19 PM »
How do children get control? If 62% of rape of American women happen when they are <18 years old, do children also act like they have control, and gain some control over whether or not they are raped?

Well, you have actually answered my question.  But what I was trying to ask was whether you were claiming that 62 out of every American women would be raped before they were 18 - which is what you seemed to have actually written, or whether 62 out of every 100 American women who were raped were under 18 at the time. 

I wasn't talking about control at all.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #279 on: April 01, 2013, 07:11:49 PM »
Ephiral,

That marginal utility of .42 percent.  The techniques I speak of are standard crime avoidance techniques across the board.  Are there any studies that show personal security action equally ineffective against other crimes?
Not that I'm able to easily locate. I'm also not able to find solid numbers that indicate they help. However, this is irrelevant for two reasons.

1. We're talking about rape, here.

2. Even if we stipulate that situational awareness is perfectly effective 100% of the time, it does not stop, or even reduce, rape. It simply shifts the targets. I'd say we should talk less about it and more about things that actually reduce rape.

+3

xiaomei, one major trouble with the statistics you've been pointing to a couple times is that most likely they cannot pick up the many times when a situation that *could* have evolved into rape fizzles out because the intended victim was alert, made sure she was not perceived as dim, vague, unable to defend herself or sending out the signal "I really want to be treated like a slut". Her (or his) body language, alert movements, eyes and ways of speaking ensured it and nothing happened. That kind of fading-out or fending-off of a situation never makes it into statistics, because there's nothing much to ask about for the researcher, and within a week oir two both parties may even have forgotten that there was any stretch of time when rape was looming on the horizon between them.
...which is why you do it by taking a control group and a test group, and checking whether there was a difference in actual incidence of rape between the two over time. All of those "It faded out because she did the right things" cases? Show up there as a differential between the two. Which is... exactly what this study did.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #280 on: April 01, 2013, 07:13:56 PM »
xiaomei, if you seriously mean two out of three U.S. women were definitely raped before they turned 18 I'd like to see some solid statistics for that assertion. Also, what range of birth years are you talking of? Do you mean 62% (or more, because there must be some under-reporting) of all U.S. women alive today, or let's say 62% of all born between 1960 and 2005, or...?

Offline consortium11

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #281 on: April 01, 2013, 07:17:44 PM »
Also you're being too pedantic. I'm not arguing that men need to be victim blamed either. By comparing how men and how women are treated I'm trying to make a point to show how sexism plays a role in victim blaming.

But the point remains.

If men were subject to victim-blaming in the same way (and to the same level) as women were then any arguments about the sexism would be moot. Yet I think we'd both agree that would be worse then the situation right now.

Victim-blaming isn't wrong because it's sexist. It's wrong because it's wrong.

Unless we're going to go deep into intersectionality (and with the frequent use of terms such as "mansplaining" modern feminism of this type has issues with intersectionality) then victim-blaming in-and-of itself and sexism are different concepts and we dirty the pot by mixing the two. Women may suffer from it more severely then men do but as long as anyone suffers from it it's wrong.

Even if she doesn't condone it, notice the difference between saying it's bad behavior for boys to do and then to criticize young women for doing 'laddish' behavior? From her language its kind of clear that while she doesn't think anyone should do that type of behavior, when girls do it, there is an extra layer of badness because they are behaving like men.

And I disagree with her there; she's a product of her background and class and her views on such matters are outdated and somewhat patronising. That doesn't make her general advice bad though.

If you take just her comments alone, then yeah it's like oh she's just talking about sensible advice to not have a crime committed upon you.

But that ignores the connotation, the context, and the history of advice like that. You can't just isolate it and explain away why people see problems with it. The fact still stands that the "dont drink, dont go down dark alleys, dont dress like that, be wary of strangers" is overwelming used to victim blame rape victims, cause rapists to go free, and it also fails to address that it constructs a false reality where rape is committed by strangers outside the home. Until that changes, it's incomplete, harmful, and inaccurate advice to me.

But if what you say above is correct then you're directly contradicting what you said earlier:

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.

Lumley's advice (and this is the specific reason I brought it up) was  general advice about safety in life. It was not a discussion about rape or a discussion about how rape could be prevented; it was a discussion that (very) briefly (and incorrectly in my opinion) mentioned rape. Yet you are dismissing it as "incomplete, harmful and inaccurate" (and thus the implication is it should be ignored in its entirety).

Baby with bathwater.

The reason advice such as "dont drink, dont go down dark alleys, dont dress like that, be wary of strangers" is brought up in rape prevention threads by often-well meaning but uninformed people is that they think of rape in the "stranger danger" sense and in turn think of that as being little different from robberies and non-sexual assaults in the same circumstances. And that advice is good advice for helping to lower the chances of non-sexual assaults and robberies. It's circular reasoning to dismiss it from general safety advice because of its connotations to specific rape advice (where its at best misguided) when the very reason it's brought up as specific rape advice is because it's good general safety advice.

This "advice" derails conversations as well. Look at the case of the Steubenville rapists. Instead of focusing in on those boys' actions, people focus in on party culture and under age drinking. At best it ignores the rapists, and at worst it's used to say "well of course she got raped, she was drunk" or other forms of victim blaming. Instead of discussing the attitude/culture/behavior that made these young men rape, now it's a discussion on good/bad advice and risk reduction.

People are saying that the rapist has agency in the crime, and the victim doesn't, yet applying this advice and telling it to people so their chances of rape is lessened is creating this idea that victims can stop rape from happening to them (outside of self defense while the act is occurring). Also it makes what people discuss on what people can do to lessen their chances of rape instead of changing the mentality that it is okay to rape.

I don't disagree... I believe I've made these very points earlier in the thread. Advice of this sort, even when correct, deals with a tiny proportion of rape and sexual assault cases yet dominates the debate. That said, one of the reasons it dominates the debate is because people respond with outrage to it. When the Canadian policeman made his idiotic "don't dress like a slut" comments it was the slut walks didn't focus on changing culture... they focused on his comments and why they were wrong. The debate was defined by both sides as being essentially limited to a 'we can dress and act like we want' - 'but you increase your risk...' - 'you're blaming the victim' pattern, without branching out into the wider issues.

Offline Maiz

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #282 on: April 01, 2013, 07:18:53 PM »
xiaomei, if you seriously mean two out of three U.S. women were definitely raped before they turned 18 I'd like to see some solid statistics for that assertion. Also, what range of birth years are you talking of? Do you mean 62% (or more, because there must be some under-reporting) of all U.S. women alive today, or let's say 62% of all born between 1960 and 2005, or...?

I took the statistics from a link that HealerGirl herself posted, since she wanted to use those statistics to form her own argument. The page itself seems unreliable to me (there's no sources sited and it looks like something a student designed). Also maybe it was unclear, but it's 62% of US women who have been raped, not 62% of all US women.

Offline consortium11

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #283 on: April 01, 2013, 07:19:31 PM »
xiaomei, if you seriously mean two out of three U.S. women were definitely raped before they turned 18 I'd like to see some solid statistics for that assertion. Also, what range of birth years are you talking of? Do you mean 62% (or more, because there must be some under-reporting) of all U.S. women alive today, or let's say 62% of all born between 1960 and 2005, or...?

I think you're misreading what she said; my understanding of her point is that 62% of rapes happened to women when they were under 18 as opposed to 62% of women being raped when they were under 18.

Offline Healergirl

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #284 on: April 01, 2013, 07:20:08 PM »
Xiaomei,

You reject Situational awareness as a failure because women who still practice it are still rape.d

Well,no mater how effective reeducation is, there will still be people who commit rape.  How absolutist do you plan to go on this?  By your standard for Situational Awareness, your reeducation program will fail.


"Please illuminate me- give me some reading on how by acting like we have control we get control."

 The Black Civil Rights movement?  Blacks  took control of themselves to the point of demonstrating and organizing, that was certainly acting like they had some control of themselves.  It worked.  Eventually.  Sort of.  Not an absolute success, but a limited success.

"Also how does that apply to the 62% of american women who were raped under the age of 18? You did not address that."  A thorny subject indeed.  Children have much less Agency, in any society.  Shall we add a discussion of Family law to this thread?  I hav not directly addressed the question, i know, but again, do you want to expand this to cover Family Law?

Offline Shjade

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #285 on: April 01, 2013, 07:25:27 PM »
I question the authors of that study, Ephiral, I question their motivations.  I strongly suspect they are embracing victimhood as a path to power, a passive-aggressive path.
This is ridiculous.
Frankly, this entire conversation has been a little ridiculous for the last few pages.

Offline consortium11

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #286 on: April 01, 2013, 07:26:36 PM »
2. Even if we stipulate that situational awareness is perfectly effective 100% of the time, it does not stop, or even reduce, rape. It simply shifts the targets. I'd say we should talk less about it and more about things that actually reduce rape.

I'm slightly uncomfortable with this argument. It seems to indicate that if a potential rapist is unable to/prevented from raping his original "target" he will simply move on to the next one; he's decided he's going to rape someone that night and it doesn't matter who. That seems far too close to the whole stranger danger "men are lions, women are gazelles and the man is simply trying to find a wounded gazelle" position that I think we'd all agree is incorrect, patronising, insulting and missing the point.

Offline Maiz

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #287 on: April 01, 2013, 07:27:21 PM »
Xiaomei,

You reject Situational awareness as a failure because women who still practice it are still rape.d

Well,no mater how effective reeducation is, there will still be people who commit rape.  How absolutist do you plan to go on this?  By your standard for Situational Awareness, your reeducation program will fail.


"Please illuminate me- give me some reading on how by acting like we have control we get control."

 The Black Civil Rights movement?  Blacks  took control of themselves to the point of demonstrating and organizing, that was certainly acting like they had some control of themselves.  It worked.  Eventually.  Sort of.  Not an absolute success, but a limited success.

"Also how does that apply to the 62% of american women who were raped under the age of 18? You did not address that."  A thorny subject indeed.  Children have much less Agency, in any society.  Shall we add a discussion of Family law to this thread?  I hav not directly addressed the question, i know, but again, do you want to expand this to cover Family Law?

I reject situational awareness because: a. it dances around victim blaming, b. it's been proven to have very low effectiveness, and c. it does not often address that rapists are known to their victims.

You have a very simplified and incomplete understanding of the Civil Rights movement and I don't think it's right to conflate rape with the movement as a whole.

But lets look at something like lynching. Much like rape is an act of dominance and control, lynching was  also an act of dominance and control over black people in the US. How did lynching stop? By addressing not just the act of lynching, but the attitudes that caused lynching to happen (such as stereotypes of black men and mob law). It did not stop because black people had greater situational awareness- because they were already aware that if they did certain actions, if they were out at night, if they were in the wrong town, that they would get lynched.

Situational awareness had nothing to do with it. It was changing societal attitudes and then changing laws, work that people like Ida B Wells did for decades. Acting like they had control on their own lives made things worse since many lynchings happened to successful black men.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #288 on: April 01, 2013, 07:29:00 PM »
I'm slightly uncomfortable with this argument. It seems to indicate that if a potential rapist is unable to/prevented from raping his original "target" he will simply move on to the next one; he's decided he's going to rape someone that night and it doesn't matter who. That seems far too close to the whole stranger danger "men are lions, women are gazelles and the man is simply trying to find a wounded gazelle" position that I think we'd all agree is incorrect, patronising, insulting and missing the point.
...you may be right; I was drawing parallels in my head to other crimes that seem less solid than initially thought. I withdraw and concede the point. I do still think that there are much more effective ways to prevent rape, and the dialogue would be better focused there, though.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #289 on: April 01, 2013, 07:31:18 PM »

2. Even if we stipulate that situational awareness is perfectly effective 100% of the time, it does not stop, or even reduce, rape. It simply shifts the targets. I'd say we should talk less about it and more about things that actually reduce rape.

Disagree, it's not as if getting subjected to rape is near as epidemic a circumstance as, let's say, people who are on the lowest rungs of the labor market ladder losing their jobs or the children of trailer park people not going to college. Rape isn't that kind of global social fact where it really doesn't matter what anyone does individually, because ultimately just as many would be affected.

Quote
...which is why you do it by taking a control group and a test group, and checking whether there was a difference in actual incidence of rape between the two over time. All of those "It faded out because she did the right things" cases? Show up there as a differential between the two. Which is... exactly what this study did.

The kind of situational awareness Healergirl and me (or Joanna Lumley) are talking about isn't like jiu-jitsu or taekwondo, it's not something you have to learn in minute detail from instructors to be able to use it. Some of it becomes so ingrained that much of the time it's only half conscious effort. And many people know some of it, though they may not be keen to practice it, for some reasons. So that makes it difficult to find a control group that would not know about thjis kind of awareness, about reading your surroundings, keeping an eye open for movements, changes of attitude, sudden gazes, shifts in tone and talk around you. Many of us learnt some of it when we grew up, or some other bits from escaping a hairy situation half by chance and realizing later on what it was that switched the gears and helped us. It's hard to find a defined group that would be sure not to know anything of it and it's not something you always have to pay instructors to learn about.

And a control group, for statistical purposes, has to be demonstrably "clean" from the influence or agency that you're studying in the other group. Clean all hrough the test period.

Someone said before in this thread that xiaomei and you seem to think of this as something that must get paid and funded by a government agency and set out in classes. I kind of agree that seems to be your image, but it's mostly not that kind of stuff I'm talking of.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 07:40:24 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #290 on: April 01, 2013, 07:34:09 PM »
This is ridiculous.

Frankly, this entire conversation has been a little ridiculous for the last few pages.
It always ends that way whenever gender issues are discussed.  They're just too hot button for objective discussion.

Offline Shjade

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #291 on: April 01, 2013, 07:37:46 PM »
I've seen several gender-oriented discussions not devolve into what is essentially a very intellectual version of "DOES TOO," "DOES NOT." I don't think gender's the reason for this one going in that direction.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #292 on: April 01, 2013, 07:39:11 PM »
If you've got nothing to contribute to the discussion beyond asides about how irrational the participants are, take it to PMs.

Offline Healergirl

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #293 on: April 01, 2013, 07:42:30 PM »


Xiaomei,

Situational awareness will not eliminate risk, only reduce it.   And it is free and easy, once you get in the habit.

 Reeducatio. will not eliminate rape, but will reduce it.  Hugely.  But will not eliminate it.

I will be happy to argue about the Civil Rights movement with you - on another thread.  And yes, I am well aware I brought it up.

Shjade,

Internet arguments frequently take on a life of their own.  I don't expect to convince Xiaomei and Ephiral.   Any impact our statements have will be much greater on those not directly involved in the discussion - those involved have a significant envestment n their posiitons, or we would not be be bothered to take part in it.  I am clarifying in my own head why i think and believe as I do.  But the lurkers?  Speaking from personal experience, I have seldom been convinced to change my opinion in an online argument - but it has happened, and on more occasions my position has shifted a bit if not changed outright.

But as a lurker,Ii have been profoundly influenced by arguments I have read.  Not being a direct participant, I was dispassionate enough to recognize and accept points that others made that contradicted my opinion.

But in this case, i freely admit that my continued participation is strongly influenced by the fact that Someone Is Wrong On The Internet!

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #294 on: April 01, 2013, 07:44:56 PM »
The kind of situational awareness Healergirl and me (or Joanna Lumley) are talking about isn't like jiu-jitsu or taekwondo, it's not something you have to learn in minute detail from instructors to be able to use it. Some of it becomes so ingrained that much of the time it's only half conscious effort. And many people know some of it, though they may not be keen to practice it, for some reasons. So that makes it dificult to find a control group that would not know about thjis kind of awareness, about reading your surroundings, keeping an eye open fro movements, changes of attitude, sudden gazes, shifts in tone and talk around you. many of us learnt some of it when we grew up, or some other bits from escaping a hairy situation half by chance and realizing later on what switched the gears and helped us. It's hard to find a defined group that would be sure not to know anything of it and it's not something you always have to pay instructors to learn about.

Someone said before in this thread that xiaomei and you seem to think of this as something that must get paid and funded by a government agency and set out in classes. I kind of agree that seems to be your image, but it's mostly not that kind of stuff I'm talking of.
I'm not arguing that it has to be paid and funded, though I am arguing about effective resource distribution. The reason I'm insisting on this study is that it's the only actual data point we have. I'm not fond of it by any stretch, but I approach problems first and foremost by looking at what actually makes a difference in the real world.

If anybody has better data, please share it here; I, for one, would love to have actionable information. In the meantime, I'm pretty tired of having what seems like a pretty basic point - let's focus most of our energy on things that are relatively easily fixable and can make a huge difference - misinterpreted or ignored, so... I'm done for tonight, I think.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #295 on: April 01, 2013, 08:16:18 PM »
I'm not arguing that it has to be paid and funded, though I am arguing about effective resource distribution. The reason I'm insisting on this study is that it's the only actual data point we have. I'm not fond of it by any stretch, but I approach problems first and foremost by looking at what actually makes a difference in the real world.

If anybody has better data, please share it here; I, for one, would love to have actionable information. In the meantime, I'm pretty tired of having what seems like a pretty basic point - let's focus most of our energy on things that are relatively easily fixable and can make a huge difference - misinterpreted or ignored, so... I'm done for tonight, I think.


Frankly I think aiming to find solid statistics on the kind of awareness tactics and tacit watchfulness that Healergirl and I (and many others outside of this forum) are urging people to use, aiming to find that kind of good statistics for these questions would be as useless as trying to find it on the precise reasons people become prostitutes/sex workers, or what kind of people (profession, age, personalities) plan coup d'états (whether those were successful, failed or just idle projects). Statistics simply won't provide the kind of answers we're looking for here. Why not? Because the kind of awareness we're talking about is partly flowing together with common sense or about a general awareness of how crowds, parties, street life and relationships work, it's not felt to be a clear-cut unit that you have to learn in one place and you'll always feel you are using as a single tool. Those of us who do keep an eye on the flow of people in motion around us - I do it all the time if I'm walking or biking around town, or in a bar with a lot of people I don't know, and most people do it when driving a car too, watching the traffic - to us it's not something one is very conscious of doing, any more than you're highly conscious of how many years you've lived in your current town, what your best friends' phone numbers are - as sets of figures, divorced from those people - or of reading the subtitles in a film or tv series (if like me you're from a country where foreign movies and tv do not get overdubbed: I can assure you it becomes second nature and that you still hear the voices and words of the original audio). It just becomes so ingrained you're not conscious of the small efforts you're making. In part, it's silent knowledge, just like a nurse who is pressing and groping on a stomach at a first call may not be able to tell you exactly what things it is she is feeling for. Statistics are simply not part of the case Healergirl and I are making and I contest that you'd have to point to statistics for something like this.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 05:37:04 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Shjade

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #296 on: April 01, 2013, 08:21:02 PM »
If you've got nothing to contribute to the discussion beyond asides about how irrational the participants are, take it to PMs.

I take your point, but I don't think anyone's being irrational. They're simply, as Healergirl pointed out in different terms, seemingly unwilling to consider any alteration in their respective positions. Everyone's right, no one's wrong. I think Ephiral's consideration that something she'd said may not have been the best phrasing and subsequently withdrawing the point a little while ago was the closest thing to "progress" on that subject from anyone involved.

To be fair, both sides have a number of flaws in their position, so it's not hard to see why either would have difficulty shifting closer to their opposition.

On the one hand there's the folks suggesting that, given the epidemic of victim-blaming and ineffectiveness of self-awareness and defense with regard to reduction of rape frequency, the majority of efforts should be spent on educating rapists that their actions are wrong and unacceptable. This is supported by some studies that show efforts toward that goal have had positive results and has the bonus of avoiding the unendurable shame of victim-blaming. However, it doesn't seem to address the issue of rapists who are unrepentant for whatever reason: already educated on the subject and don't care; values differences leading them to disagree with authority; flawed genetics (catch-all for everything from psychosis to OCD that might result in compulsions or acting for reasons unrelated to morality); think they won't get caught; etc.

On the other there's the focus on either a median approach - educating both victims and possible rapists as above - or emphasizing victim awareness to avoid these hostile interactions. This has the benefit of having more global application (the same behaviors are typically good for safety in general), but it is more likely to open the door to victim-blaming, doesn't have much in the way of scientific evidence to back up any assertions as to its efficacy and (perhaps most damning) doesn't feel proactive: it can seem like efforts aren't being made to "do something" about rapists while expending efforts on victim-focused activities.

I suspect there's no set of hard, reliable numbers that are going to resolve the issue to either side's concrete satisfaction, which leaves the middle ground a mess of craters and scorched earth as people with an investment in the idea but no real answers to the problem try to give the impression of having the answer when, sadly, no one does. It's damn near impossible to get accurate numbers on this at all in the first place, much less measure comparisons in a before/after type test. If everyone in the world suddenly knew kung fu and incidents of rape dropped X% over the next week it could mean self-defense measures were effective, it could mean the philosophy of kung fu convinced more rapists that they shouldn't rape people, or it could mean it was such a cold and nasty week all around the world that more people simply stayed home sick thereby lowering crime rates across the board for entirely unrelated reasons.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #297 on: April 02, 2013, 12:14:55 AM »
I would not consider you my enemy by any stretch of the imagination or even really rating a strong dislike.  On matters of women and sexual assault your comments are inflammatory and persistently false, harking back to an older style that has allowed a pervasive culture of rape and exploitation of women to continue.  Do I believe that you personally view your actions or beliefs as doing so, certainly not.  I have no doubt that you are a nice man that does the best he can do.  I am saying though that your views and attitudes require reflection.  These are not in line with current understanding and research of rapists and rape victims.  Also these thoughts and attitudes are not in line with current theory for criminals.  Therefore your words cause unintended harm in the culture and understanding you convey and support.

My first point of contest here will be the assertion that rapists display certain behavioral traits and mannerisms that a woman can once more notice.  This is a disservice to both the rapist and the victim.  First off this does place responsibility at the feet of the woman to notice vague behavioral traits in someone close to them, watching for “warning” signs of a rapist.  Such a thought process serves many rapists because they do not fit this neat little image of a violent, tantrum throwing offender.  Women were often said to be lying because the man “was so nice” or “so gentle.”  Family men and highly regarded gentlemen were almost entirely excluded.  In fact, according to forensic typology, the majority of rapists fall under the title of “gentleman rapist” who are considered the least violent.  The number of rapists falling into this category is a staggering 81% where power reassurance is the goal of the attack.  Such attacks are conducted against acquaintances and known victims. 

The reason I do take offense to what is being said in regard to what behaviors are exhibited by a rapist is because this also dampens the situational awareness that many other ladies allude to in their posts.  Women are not born victims and so can reduce their risks and effect their environment.  The effect though is minimal overall, but as I’ve heard many times before being the 1% saved is all the difference for that person.  Mudding the water with false images of rapists as slavering men with short tempers only serves to put women at risk and give rapists more opportunity.  One thing taught to me in school in regard to this sort of danger is to never trust the partner of anyone, male or female.  Those closest at hand could be the ones doing the greatest harm and their outward temperament is no indication of what lies beneath.

As for the earlier reading of your reference to ownership, I did not misread or misquote you.  I do believe you misspoke or at least did at the time.  Nobody is questioning your morality, but I do question the part of this culture you exhibit in words and tone.  Often I see people say the rapist is to blame “but.”  As was said in Game of Thrones, anything said before the word “but” is to be discounted and this is a very true statement.  That is a general attitude of this culture and of the public in regard to rape.  The act of rape is vile and horrific, but if the woman had been a good girl then she would not have been raped.  As I mentioned this is turning the act of rape into a punitive act against someone seen as being outside the morale standards of their sex.  Anytime the word “but” is used in relation to the act of rape there is blame shifted to the woman for some offense of her behavior.

I will refer people to the previous study included earlier which made a point of studying self-defense teaching to women on a college campus.  One of the conclusions the researchers reached was in regard to the lack of effectiveness such training had on women already sexually assaulted.  The self-defense training had some success with women not already assaulted.  This seems to match the numbers supplied in this thread with such a large amount of women raped and/or assaulted before the age of 18.  A little thought does show the logic here as girls are just learning to date, learning the boundaries and exploring their own comfort zones.  Boys are also under a great deal of pressure at this time to show off, impress their friends and push their own boundaries.  That older men can find prey among women is the fault of our culture not addressing this issue. 

A lack of comprehensive sexual education at a younger age in this country lies at the source of this problem.  The rape needs to be stopped there.  Once someone has been hit, taking another hit becomes easier as the pain is more familiar.  Girls and boys both need to be included in this discussion of sexual discovery and also in the boundaries expected.  Rape highlights the inequality taught to us as a society because rape is about power.  81% of rapes are committed by people seeking to reassure themselves of their power, essentially slapping the weak in order to feel better about themselves.  Take a look once more at the noted effect of self-defense education in those college women.  College women, grown adults, felt a surge of self-assuredness and self-confidence, a greater degree of control over their surroundings and more empowered.  Imagine if we could give that gift to a child, give a 12 year old girl those tools to fight with when she needs them most or to a 12 year old boy so he does not feel threatened by another. 

As for the advice of that woman, she is a misogynist and offensive.  Her advice had nothing to do with the safety of women but instead with women doing as they are expected.  Do as I expect or be raped.  There needs to be no great conversation on this point.  All these tips and pointers given about where to walk, what to drink and how to dress have no served the women of India or the Middle East in reducing their incidents of rape.  In point of fact such countries have very strict rules regarding when women can be out in public, who they are able to travel alongside and the clothing that can be worn.  Following such advice as Lumely (sp?) these women would be the safest in the world from rape.  Yet these women are far from safe and indeed became more unsafe with these rules in place.  Such rules and behavior construct a patriarchy approach to women in a public space and patriarchy ultimately needs to the abuse and subjugation of women.

Rape will always be an issue in any society.  No place in the history of mankind has every eliminated the threat or presence of rape, just as none has ever eradicated other plagues on humanity such as poverty or crime.  This does not mean that steps cannot be taken to curb the pervasiveness of rape.  No matter the steps taken to prevent an act of crime occurring there is always a chance.  Innocents are shot down in the street, the meek are robbed clean in their homes and children are brutally attacked by loved ones.  There are steps to decrease risk certainly, but not to a great extent.  What matters is education, cultural change and the backing of a legal body.  So long as people continue to ignore a culture of rape in society and treat rape as a crime of individual circumstance and occurrence, then nothing will be done.

Anyway, my fire is beginning to fade here and I’m getting tired.  Seems as good a place as any to stop for the night.  For reference I leave you with information on rapist profiling.

http://harfordmedlegal.typepad.com/forensics_talk/2006/09/profiling_rapis.html

Offline Caehlim

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #298 on: April 02, 2013, 06:22:13 AM »
How much does it cost a person, to engage in that sort of constant wariness or to exercise caution in their day to day life?

I would never discourage anyone from taking an intelligent look at the risks in their life and trying to minimize them. However is it right to expect people to protect themselves from this sort of attack? Maybe a century ago, sure, but that's not the way of the modern world. We have institutions like the police and we should be able to expect them to protect people against this sort of thing.

I do think that rather than encouraging people to defend themselves, we need to find a way to structure society to protect everyone. I would agree that if for some reason our police are not taking these crimes seriously, prosecuting them properly or acting in a way to prevent them from occurring that this is a problem. Whether you define it using the phrase "rape culture" or not, it's a serious problem and one that we should address.

I personally don't think the CNN report was part of any rape culture. Telling potential rapists out there, "Look at these kids, they had everything and then threw it away by committing rape" strikes me as a damn good way of stopping other college kids from committing the same crime. I think we should show hundreds of crying rapists on TV saying "woe is me, I'm suffering because of my choices", address them with pity and then lock them away. Now that might reach some of the self-centered bastards out there who would commit such an offense against human decency. They won't care about the suffering of the victim, but their own potential suffering will catch their attention.

But people talking about rape culture are right, if for whatever reason these crimes are not getting addressed as they should it is a serious deficiency in our culture and one that we must address. I'm just not sure that I agree with their target this time.

Offline Healergirl

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #299 on: April 02, 2013, 06:55:00 AM »
Pumpkin Seeds,

Self defense?  As in personal combat skills?  In a fight between a typical man and a typical woman, the man is going to win.  A quickie self defense couse isn't going to change that appreciably.  Oh, it might help a woman escape from an intoxicated attacker, but that's about it.  If that was the scope of the self defense program, I am completely unsurprised it had minimal impact in the study statistics.

Caehlim,

The police will protect us?  Really?  If there is  a cop around when you need one, you are facing a very foolish  criminal indeed.

And as to the burden of paying attention to what goes on around us, I'm not calling for anything more than the level of attention you should be paying while driving a car.  I do not think this is unreasonable.  But then,Ii was a bartender for almost ten years,met thousands of people many of whom were not wrapped very tightly, dealt with drunks/near drunks who saw signals in my behavior that I wasn't sending, kept odd hours, often lived in less than secure parts of town.  Checking the backseat of my car before I open it, making sure my pets are behaving normally when I got home - especially if I am alone - are second nature to me.  And again, these are not rape-prevention behaviors specifically, they are crime-prevention behaviors.

For the record, I agree that reeducation is vital and I have said so before in this thread.  But that is a solution that will take years to implement  How do we protect ourselves from the wanna be rapists of today?

Some appear to believe that we as individual women can do nothing.  More than that, we should do nothing because it detracts from the long term solution - which will not be categorically effective, nothing is Real Life is ever more than greatly effective at best.

 Xiaomei wants a solution that will eliminate rape complete.  Well, so do I.

But we are not going to find one.

I believe we as individuals should do something, should pay attention to what is happening around us.  This has so so many positive impacts on daily life that go beyond the  specific benefit of  rape prevention.  For anything, for anyone who would exploit or harm us in any way, not limited to rapists.

Not doing anything just reinforces our feeling of helplessness, that we are acted upon, passive targets.