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