Discussion on rape prevention (split from discussion on dialogue agenda)

by Michael Nugent on March 20, 2013

This discussion arose in the comments on the post about the dialogue agenda, and I have moved it here to allow it to continue without disrupting the discussion of the agenda.

Here are the comments that were posted so far on the other post:

Metalogic42

I also agree with Renee #8. Once again, in your previous post, I tried to get the “other side” to discuss the issues we disagree on – things like patriarchy, rape culture, etc. No success. Despite what the “other side” might think about me, and the slymepit in general, I do care a lot about social justice issues.

The difference as far as I can tell is that they take a deontological approach (“tell men not to rape, don’t blame the victim”) vs. my consequentialist approach (“what’s the most effective way to actually lower the incidence of rape?”).

Doubtthat

So, in the twenty-first century people weren’t receptive to your nuanced views on rape?

Metalogic42

I don’t have nuanced views on rape. Rape is wrong. I do, however, have nuanced views on rape *prevention*.

John C Welch

Now, at no point is Metalogic saying “yay, RAPE!” Nor is he excusing it. He’s showing an example of the difference in the way he sees Skepchick et al approaching the problem vs. his approach.

Neither approach is inherently good nor bad, they are simply different ways of getting to the same goal: Less Rape.

Dan L

Weird. I said a bunch of stuff about patriarchy, rape culture, etc. on the last thread and you didn’t respond to any of it.

Metalogic42

Dan L

See comments #163, 169, 176, 187, and 202 over on the previous thread.

But, if you want to discuss after all, let’s have Michael Nugent make that other thread he mentioned earlier and discuss it. You can have the first move, and point to your previous comments which I haven’t addressed.

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{ 379 comments… read them below or add one }

1 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I’ll add this from Remick:

As to Skepticism, I have found that Feminists are no different than anyone else in the world. “I want everyone to be skeptical about positions with which I disagree”. Well, what about the positions you do agree with? Do you get that being part of a Skepticism movement means all of your beliefs, solutions, ideals, narratives, and goals are going to be put through the ringer in terms of being challenged in every which way. That is part of Skepticism.

Feel free to introduce an idea you associate with feminism and use skepticism to dismiss it.

Since I’m in the position of waiting to hear the rape prevention ideas and evidence that feminists aren’t skeptical, the parties making the positive claims have to go first.

2 Eu March 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Rape prevention? Is this also in reference to things such as “teach men not to rape”? I’d love to discuss that… besides the obvious fact that it is sexist and a great example of why on-male sex crimes (as well as domestic) are underreported or are reported and don’t get taken seriously.. people can so casually deliberately say “men” totally forgetting that both sexes rape, coerce, take advantage of, etc..

On to why it won’t work (on top of being child abuse and damaging to self esteem. Children are more sensitive, and even an adult would be affected in a world like that)… they see the outrage rape provokes and people are already saying *do not* rape, do not rob, do not do all of these things… abusing children won’t really help.

It’s like trying to tell muggers not to mug or teaching people not to rob places. It’s not victim blaming to give people tips like “Lock your doors” or “get alarms for extra security” or “Karate will help with self defense.” It isn’t about whose fault it is, its about reducing the number of victims… what HAPPENS TO THE VICTIMS is more important than imagined offensiveness of helping people out. Some people would rather tell people not to follow any safety advice than actually help people not get victmized by criminals.

Would I rather complain to someone that advising me to get an alarm to help in protection from intruders or carry mace around with me to help me get away from attackers is “victim blaming” and not try to reduce the chance of this happening or would I rather go ahead do it… what’s more important, offense from twisting things or the crimes?

I would much rather buy locks and mace than go “PEOPLE, DONT ROB ME OR ATTACK ME.” I can’t control them.

3 Metalogic42 March 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Thanks, Michael. In keeping with the last comment you’ve reposted, I’ll give Dan L (or anyone else) 24 hours to put forward a case for a deontological approach to rape prevention, or to respond otherwise.

4 Eu March 20, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Bottom line: Is it possible that victimization is just the fault of the aggressor, and yet having things like alarms, locks, mace, etc is better than NOT having them? And that doing these things for people and telling people to do them is not *victim blaming*, but making things even a little better? (what are the police for? Of course it doesn’t always work but it’s better than not having them. Same with the alarm that triggers the police and all of the above things.) ?

YES. A thousand times YES. End of story.

5 Eu March 20, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Deontological, Metalogic? I forget what that means.. is it related to duty oriented morals?

6 Maureen Brian March 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm

The difference as far as I can tell is that they take a deontological approach (“tell men not to rape, don’t blame the victim”) vs. my consequentialist approach (“what’s the most effective way to actually lower the incidence of rape?”).

says metalogic42.

I would certainly agree that “what is the most effective way to lower the incidence of rape?” is the more important question. The shorthand note about telling men not to rape comes directly from several decades and hundred of people addressing exactly that important question.

Why is it so difficult to recognise work already done on a subject? Why must every conversation on rape begin back at the kindergarten level? Why, in the wake of the Steubenville convictions, are blogs and blog commenters having to explain what rape is to any number of both regulars and passers-by.

I think we can be forgiven if we sometimes wonder whether this whole stunt has not just been some vast delaying tactic.

I certainly hope it’s not but on bad days I wonder.

7 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm

@3

I believe the burden lies on you to explain what you’re talking about.

For example, placing the burden of rape prevention on the aggressor and educating the perpetrator has shown empirical success. Arguing in favor of educating men (who, regardless of the gender of the victim are the perpetrators in the vast majority of sexual assault crimes) is a consequentialist position as the results of a Canadian campaign show:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/dont-be-that-guy-ad-campaign-cuts-vancouver-sex-assaults-by-10-per-cent-in-2011/article1359241/

8 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm

@4

First, everyone is aware of that advice. Find me a woman anywhere who hasn’t had that information beaten into them.

The question, for folks getting all sanctimonious about “skepticism,” is whether you can identify actual empirical evidence that telling women to behave a certain way reduces sexual assaults.

I really don’t care about your common sense approach to the issue. You need to prove the following with EVIDENCE.

9 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:13 pm

It’s pretty simple.

1. Telling a woman to dress more modestly:
a) restricts that woman’s freedom of choice
b) implicitly acknowledges that mode of dress is an excuse for rape
2. Telling a woman to avoid certain parts of town:
a) restricts that woman’s freedom of choice
b) implicitly acknowledges that time and venue can be excuses for rape
3. Telling a woman she did not take the correct actions to prevent her from being raped:
a) will often cause the woman to believe it was her fault she was raped
b) implicitly absolves the rapist of some degree of responsibility for the rape

While acknowledging that advice like this can decrease the number of rapes it comes at a cost, and I think a very serious cost: women are forced into a position of trading liberty for security AND rapists and abusers have their litany of excuses bolstered by the fact that it is commonly accepted that women should trade their liberty for security.

Furthermore, this advice doesn’t actually seem to work that well (hence “can” and not “will” in previous paragraph). It’s been given for decades if not longer. And yet modestly dressed people are still quite often raped in their own homes. In fact, the statistics seem to show that the sorts of stranger rape that might be “prevented” by modest clothing and staying in crowds is really fucking rare in the first place.

On the other hand it’s quite obvious to me that making cultural norms like “men shouldn’t rape” abundantly clear does work.

The other problem with the “consequentialist” approach — and this is the problem you’ve likely run into — is that people who are focused on helping the victim see that it’s not their fault are going to take offense at arguments that imply that it is the victims fault. This is also a “consequentialist” approach, but one aimed at rehabilitating victims of rape rather than preventing rape. Perhaps you are simply presenting your brilliant ideas on preventing rape in an inappropriate venue.

10 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:14 pm

The question, for folks getting all sanctimonious about “skepticism,” is whether you can identify actual empirical evidence that telling women to behave a certain way reduces sexual assaults.

Yes, not sure I’m the one who was supposed to “start things off” given I’m not the one trying to prove anyone WRONG WRONG WRONG.

11 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm

besides the obvious fact that it is sexist and a great example of why on-male sex crimes (as well as domestic) are underreported or are reported and don’t get taken seriously

1) Male victims are almost always assaulted by male perpetrators. With rare exception, the problem of sexual assault is a problem of male offenders. This is just a statistical reality:

99% of people who rape are men.
Greenfeld, L.A. Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice. 1997.

Females are also the vast majority of the victims, again, just a statistical reality:

9 out of 10 rape victims were female in 2003.
2003 National Crime Victimization Survey. U.S. Dept. of Justice. 2003.

2) There is no organization working on reducing sexual assault that ignores male victims. Feminist groups were among the first to start working on sexual assault problems in the prison system, and they are still do the most effective work.

You will not find a feminist organization who denies the problem of underreporting, especially among male victims. It is therefore baffling that you bring that up as though feminists have ignored the problem.

You cheapen the problem by trying to use it as a weapon to attack people engaging with this serious problem.

3) As everyone should know, “73% of female victims of rape knew their attacker (Catalano, Shannan. Criminal Victimization, 2005. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Dept. of Justice. 2006.)”

So, to use your tired, trite analogy, a car alarm doesn’t do you much good when the person who robs your ass is a friend that you’ve voluntarily allowed to enter the vehicle.

I have yet to see anything remotely interesting produced here.

12 kntk March 20, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Lets go from the neo-feminist perspective. Which seems to be that any attempt to reduce rape by talking to young women is pointless. What we should be doing is telling men not to rape.

Well, thanks but I wasn’t planning to become a rapist, and i’m fairly sure that actual rapists don’t give a shit about your well-meaning advice.

13 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm

doubtthat, when talking to me please never refer to women as the only rape victims, or the discussion will cease. :) It erases men that are victims of abuse to act as if they aren’t even there, and it’s disrespectful on top of obviously being sexist in more than one way.

And actually I’m sure there are a lot of women who haven’t had any sort of advice told to them constantly (assuming that’s what beaten into means.)

Going by common sense, advice like that in general would work. I’m sure there are examples of times someone came “close” and survived or successfully dodged an attack.

However… where are all the examples of placing the ‘burden’ of rape prevention on rapists helping? Don’t pretend that that actually works. Instead of caring about anything that would actually potential victims out there’s this “well thats blaming the victim!” spewl…
Facts are facts.

I approve of campaigns (such as the public service announcement) that talk about force in relationships… nothing you can really tell someone to help themselves with there besides “don’t date” which isn’t reasonable.

This is what I’m on about: Campaigns of this style, aimed at the aggressor. I timed it s because that is where it is clear that the campaign is aimed against the aggressor:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzDr18UYO18&feature=player_detailpage#t=53s

And this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIX9oREk8Fw&feature=player_detailpage#t=40s

Great two videos although I’m wondering if they have any gay, lesbian, or woman – man forced abuse.

And in this honest, sex-neutral video about *awareness*, is a great point that people keep forgetting (mainly people contributing to the reason): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saAVcrI49nM&feature=player_detailpage#t=53s

14 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:28 pm

kntk@12:

That’s exactly the sort of comment that makes me so skeptical regarding the possibility of a fruitful dialog.

15 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm

@doubtthat, please read this Google drive document since Nugent’s moderating system keeps blocking me. (Just turn it off…). This is the last I have to say to you on the subject, I don’t wish to converse with your kind in particular on this and this explains why:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yhq_BFSylUHQqxz-qorVFUW6vizo6I8JO5C3iHJyaYo/edit

Pay special attention to the links I put in, basically the only campaign that I accept would help in sexual abuse.

16 kntk March 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm

That’s exactly the sort of comment that makes me so skeptical regarding the possibility of a fruitful dialog.

That’s fascinating, but until you actually try I guess you’ll never know.

17 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Eu, that also makes me skeptical about the possibility of a fruitful dialog. You don’t seem the least bit willing to engage with doubtthat’s arguments.

18 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Dan L, a comment saying that sexist bullshit like “hey boys, when you grow up… and you will continue to be told this as a man, (btw we’re just going to ignore male rape victims for now, who read shit like this and feel even MORE discouraged) don’t rape” doesn’t work?

If someone is dead set on saying that such abuse like that would work on people who want to rape, then of course dialogue wouldn’t work.

YOUR dialogue is what convinces me that dialogue won’t actually work.

Least sensible people can do is make sure what they have said is heard, though. A “Okay, boy, but you heard it here first.” sort of thing.

I say, again:

Bottom line: Is it possible that victimization is just the fault of the aggressor, and yet having things like alarms, locks, mace, etc is better than NOT having them? And that doing these things for people and telling people to do them is not *victim blaming*, but making things even a little better? (what are the police for? Of course it doesn’t always work but it’s better than not having them. Same with the alarm that triggers the police and all of the above things.) ?

YES. A thousand times YES. End of story.

19 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm

ktnk@15:

I’ve already made an extended argument for my position. You made a two-line reply stuffed so full of straw that I assumed the comment must be four-dimensional to accommodate it all.

Until you actually make an argument I can only assume you’re trolling.

20 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:36 pm

YOUR dialogue is what convinces me that dialogue won’t actually work.

YES. A thousand times YES. End of story.

Do you see how these two statements contradict each other? You are the one being unreasonable. You are the one who is unwilling to accept the other side’s arguments. You are the one saying “end of story.” You are the one closing down any possibility of dialog.

21 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Dan L are you fucking kidding me? Did you read the document? I addressed what she said, but only once. I just really detest people who ignore male victims of rape while passionately convicting people who rape women and only women. Excuse me if I don’t want to talk with such people.

If you don’t approve, but think it’s ridiculous of me to not want to talk to her, and that also makes you think dialogue wouldn’t work, what would that say? That perhaps you think most people who agree with her are also sexist in their ways? Then YEAH, I agree, the dialogue wont work, not with me anyway because I would not converse with them.

If you do approve then you’re as bad as her.

I think conversing with someone who’s like that won’t be so fruitful, yeah, but I can leave my 2 cents on the counter. Perhaps I am wrong? But I won’t put myself through the anger of hearing sexist rhetoric to do it. I’m sure someone else can.

22 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm

@Eu:

Your comment @18 seems incoherent to me. I can’t find an argument in there. Make an argument if you’re going to accuse me of being the one preventing dialog.

23 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Excuse me if I don’t want to talk with such people.

Why can’t you excuse FtB for not wanting to talk to you in this case?

Eu, I’m not sure you’re really capable of having a sincere, earnest discussion about this. You’re certainly showing no signs of it. State your argument or stop pretending you’re trying to be reasonable.

24 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I didn’t accuse you of literally preventing dialogue. I said your dialogue is what convinces me that dialogue will not work.

When you say “psh, this is why it wont work” due to the PURPOSE IN THE FIRST PLACE OF IT – people who disagree with each other talking, it’s rather counter productive, isn’t it? If people say it’s pointless before it gets started *because* the other side has the opinion that the campaign wont work, then, yeah, it WONT.

But why would there need to be dialogue if we agreed?

25 kntk March 20, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Alright, going through the wisdom of Dan L.

1. Telling a woman to dress more modestly:
a) restricts that woman’s freedom of choice
b) implicitly acknowledges that mode of dress is an excuse for rape

It’s not a pronouncement nor an order. Freedom of choice is intact. It in no way acknowledges that mode of dress is an excuse for rape.

In the same way that advice from the police to put locks on your house is in no way an endorsement of burglary. Or saying that it’s an excuse for the burglar.

26 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Eu

doubtthat, when talking to me please never refer to women as the only rape victims, or the discussion will cease.

Did you actually read anything I wrote? Seriously? For you to say that you couldn’t have actually tried to understand any point.

However… where are all the examples of placing the ‘burden’ of rape prevention on rapists helping?

Again, read. I linked to an example, you know, provided evidence, unlike you.

Pay special attention to the links I put in, basically the only campaign that I accept would help in sexual abuse.

Do you not understand the concept of evidence? You know, people can study these things, they have studied these things, and they’ve published such things. It’s amazing, I know.

I would challenge anyone to read through the interaction we just had and come to the conclusion that you give any fuck’s about skepticism. You just babbled without empirical support, strangely accused me of saying things that I didn’t say, and asked for evidence that I provided.

MR. NUGENT: Please explain to me how I am supposed to deal with Eu at this point. I am sincerely curious to learn how I should proceed.

27 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:43 pm

I want to paste the clever PSAs for others too…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzDr18UYO18&feature=player_detailpage#t=53s <— this
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIX9oREk8Fw&feature=player_detailpage#t=40s <—this

I know that these would make a difference with some people because someone who used to do this (they were in a relationship in which they were abusive to each other..nonetheless neither should have abused the other) showed them to me and he said that it made him feel ashamed about what he used to do to his ex.

If it were to look like it would actually make a difference people would approve. This other crap does not though.

28 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:44 pm

In the same way that advice from the police to put locks on your house is in no way an endorsement of burglary. Or saying that it’s an excuse for the burglar.

Do you have any evidence that this advice will reduce sexual assaults? That’s the focus of the thread.

This silly analogy has now been posted twice, and no one has explained how that will stop the 73% of rapes perpetrated by aggressors known to the victim, many of which were intimate partners or family members.

29 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm

ktnk@25:

Alright, going through the wisdom of Dan L.

Stuff like this only reinforces my impression that you’re not engaging in good faith.

It’s not a pronouncement nor an order. Freedom of choice is intact. It in no way acknowledges that mode of dress is an excuse for rape.

I assert that it does so implicitly. It obviously does not do so explicitly.

Are you seriously going to argue there is no tendency for rapists to be excused on the basis that they were “asking for it” in our culture?

30 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Eu:

When you say “psh, this is why it wont work” due to the PURPOSE IN THE FIRST PLACE OF IT – people who disagree with each other talking, it’s rather counter productive, isn’t it? If people say it’s pointless before it gets started *because* the other side has the opinion that the campaign wont work, then, yeah, it WONT.

The burden is on YOU to produce evidence that your ideas do work.

Why is this so hard for a self-identified skeptic to understand? Do you think you just came up with this idea right now? That it has never been considered before and therefore never studied?

31 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I want to paste the clever PSAs for others too…
http://tinyurl.com/firstPSA <— this
and
http://tinyurl.com/SecondPSA<—this

I had to make them tinyURLs because Nugent's moderation system blocks YouTube.

Dare ya to say that wouldn't make a difference.
On top of it clearly having potential, I know that these, with a psychological approach, would make a difference with some people because someone who used to do this (they were in a relationship in which they were abusive to each other..nonetheless neither should have abused the other) showed them to me and he said that it made him feel ashamed about what he used to do to his ex.

If it were to look like it would actually make a difference people would approve. This other crap does not though.

32 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm

@Eu:

When you say “psh, this is why it wont work” due to the PURPOSE IN THE FIRST PLACE OF IT – people who disagree with each other talking, it’s rather counter productive, isn’t it? If people say it’s pointless before it gets started *because* the other side has the opinion that the campaign wont work, then, yeah, it WONT.

No, when you dismiss the other person’s opinion without justification, offer your opinion instead, and then finish by saying “END OF STORY” you are the one preventing dialog and it is entirely fair for me to point this out.

33 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I want to paste the clever PSAs for others too…
too bad I can’t. Nugent’s system is blocking the links.
Go to tinyurl and then firstPSA as the addition after the slash, and then secondPSA.

Dare ya to say that wouldn’t make a difference.
On top of it clearly having potential, I know that these, with a psychological approach, would make a difference with some people because someone who used to do this (they were in a relationship in which they were abusive to each other..nonetheless neither should have abused the other) showed them to me and he said that it made him feel ashamed about what he used to do to his ex.

If it were to look like it would actually make a difference people would approve. This other crap does not though.

34 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:47 pm

For those of you who think that modest dress will make one bit of difference, how do you explain sexual assault in nations that place women in burkas? How do you explain India, where sexual assault is an epidemic and large numbers of women dress very modestly?

35 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I will also add, that if you’re concerned that male victims aren’t considered (they are), does that same advice apply to them? Should men dress differently to avoid sexual assault? Why or why not?

36 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm

@Eu:

I’m not in a position to be able to watch youtube videos right now. If you have arguments to make you should just make them.

37 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm

@33 Eu

What does the word “empiricism” mean to you and do you think it’s at all relevant to being a skeptic?

38 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm

@doubtthat

I don’t think you will get very many replies considering the topic of rape prevention has been brought up multiple times in the side opposing you and none of them are all “Omg, slutty dressing causes rape.”

But for people that are like that (I’ve seen it before.. Michael Savage anyone?) I will definitely take note of that! I never thought of saying that. Some of the ultimate proof.

39 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Also, please provide evidence for claims like “this crap will not work”.

40 Kes March 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I hope at least some of the people here are familiar with Thomas McCauley Miller’s work on the Yes Means Yes blog. His two posts, “Meet the Predators” and “They Just Don’t Like The Answer” are really great, *evidence-based*, insights into the thought-processes of serial rapists and the cultural mores they knowingly use to both cloak their assaults with ambiguity (“She came on to me! And was drunk!”) and convince their victims that they won’t be believed if they do report.

Meet the Predators: http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

Mythcommunications: http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/mythcommunication-its-not-that-they-dont-understand-they-just-dont-like-the-answer/

I bring these posts up because they illustrate beautifully how current North American cultural ideas about promiscuous women and “hazy” sexual boundaries create an environment where these predators thrive. This is why I believe it is extremely important to call out and recognize for what it is even “casual” misogyny, because those attitudes, which everyone is joking about, feed directly into this mindset of women as consumable sexual goods.

41 kntk March 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I assert that it does so implicitly. It obviously does not do so explicitly.

Oh, it does so implicitly. By which you mean that you’ve ascribed a particular motive to an action that actually wasn’t stated. Hey, you know best..

Are you seriously going to argue there is no tendency for rapists to be excused on the basis that they were “asking for it” in our culture?

Really, find me the last time that a rapist got excused on the basis that the victim was wearing a short skirt.

42 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm

doubtthat I’m not quite sure what it means other than “asbolute.” If you’re accusing me of saying things to be absolute I don’t see how I’m being absolute and the other side saying advice doesn’t work isn’t being absolute. Won’t work. Take it to mean that it is not worth the damage you’d do to children and adults and the further damage you’d do to male victims if it were to get popular with that… “idea.” It’s clear you don’t give a crap, though.

43 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm

ktnk@40:

How do you explain the low incidence of rape reporting?

44 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm

@Eu 38

You can go read comment 25 by kntk and notice that the he/she is comparing advising women to dress more modestly to putting locks on one’s house.

45 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Incidentally, this kind of argumentation is exactly what I mean by “bad faith”. You are not trying to see the sense in what I am saying, only trying to tear holes in it.

You are being skeptical of my arguments in exactly the same way a YEC is skeptical of evolution, in other words.

46 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm

@42 Eu

No, it does not mean absolute, not even close.

I think we’ve found the source of the problem. Try googling the word.

47 Eu March 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Dan L I cannot provide evidence of future tense that I haven’t already provided. Society already condemns crime and yet simply condemning it isn’t enough.

So no, it is not worth the abuse you’d do to children and adults with it, nor is it worth how it would make it even harder for male victims to feel like they can speak out and report if it becomes even more popular for the idea that just men rape to go viral.

Have some empathy, sit in their shoes. The society is already like that… what if in addition to that, you sat in classrooms where people had speakers come in and talk about *men* not raping. You’re already keeping the fact you were abused inside as a boy or a man, and then a bunch of sexist shitheads come along and erase you right before your eyes, ignoring the possibility of your existence, your abuse, with their rhetoric and deliberate way of phrasing things.

Fucking thing about that. If you think that’s okay, if you have anything to say in *defense* of that, fuck you and any sexist buddies you’ve got.

48 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:57 pm

@41 kntk

Really, find me the last time that a rapist got excused on the basis that the victim was wearing a short skirt.

Do you inhabit the same planet that I do?

How about, “a couple of days ago”:

Author/blogger Michael Crook, who additionally claims that “rape doesn’t exist,” won the race for most-likely-to-be-poorly-executed satire, at least until he took to his Twitter feed to demand that the survivor be “held accountable”, tell women that “skimpy clothing is pretty much implied consent” and encourage every woman to not “dress like a whore if you don’t want to be treated like one.”

49 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:57 pm
50 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

And if you meant, “when was the last time a rapist was acquitted,” then you’re demanding something ridiculous. The scorn and humiliation directed at rape victims manifests in the lack of reporting, not in actual exonerations.

51 kntk March 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

If you don’t agree with Dan you’re arguing in bad faith. It’s impossible that you actually disagree with him, because who would? Rapists probably.

52 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm

@ktnk:

Maybe you’re right. I had to go all the way back to Feb 2011 to find a clear example.

53 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 8:01 pm

If you don’t agree with Dan you’re arguing in bad faith. It’s impossible that you actually disagree with him, because who would? Rapists probably.

No, if you sarcastically refer to someone’s argument as “wisdom” to imply that the argument is so weak or trivial so as not to demand any of your time and attention that is arguing in bad faith. And that is exactly what you’re doing.

54 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 8:02 pm

@51 ktnk

You’ve provided nothing in the way of rational argument. I cannot agree with you because you’ve provided nothing of substance.

At some point you need to provide some evidence of…something.

55 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm

At any rate, the idea that a provocatively-dressed woman is an invitation to rape is pretty freakin’ sexist — to men. I don’t see any evidence that dressing modestly prevents rape being presented but suggesting it does insults men by suggesting they have no control over their behavior. And it invites all sorts of potential for abuse already brought into this situation.

If ktnk doesn’t want to acknowledge the reality of any of this that is certainly his prerogative but I think it makes it pretty clear he’s not really interested in discussing the issue so much as pushing his opinion on everyone else.

56 kntk March 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Tell men not to rape, then. That’s the answer?

57 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 8:10 pm

@56 kntk

It’s part of the answer. It also works, as the link I already provided indicates.

Notice that the Stubenville rapists said repeatedly, “I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong.”

Let’s assume they aren’t lying, does that not indicate to you that there is a lack of education? Perhaps teaching them about alcohol and consent could have made a difference?

I can tell you that yelling at women to wear sweatpants isn’t going to get the job done.

58 Eu March 20, 2013 at 8:12 pm

kntk

Don’t forget to point out how that erases male victims. Don’t forget. That’s a very important piece to apart from the fact that sensible people don’t think it will work.

And some sensible people are rapists. Think about it.

59 Kes March 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm

The clothing-based-rape argument thinking leads to things like burquas and mandatory male escorts. It distorts human sexuality to the point that *as a matter of course* ALL desire is assumed to be male and ALL sexual appeal is a assumed to be female, which is simply. Not. The Case.

The clothing-based-rape argument also assumes that all rapes are perpetrated upon women who use clothes and make-up to communicate sexual availability or at least interest, and re-enforces the CRAP idea that a women who is open to a specific kind of sexual activity with a specific man (or even, non-specific man or men) is somehow consenting to ALL sexual activity with ALL men at ALL times. The old, sexist, “A slut will sleep with anyone, a bitch will sleep with anyone but you”, because you, yes YOU, are entitled to that sex. Because that sex is yours, not hers. Because your sexual desires are real and important, whereas hers are all a blind to “trap a man” into a sexless marriage, which is what all women really want, right?

From this we get the twisted idea that there can be no rape in marriage, and that a second sexual encounter with the same man in the same evening couldn’t *possibly* be rape *cough*Assange*cough*.

Don’t “tell men not to rape”. Raise all children to respect the bodily autonomy of others, to learn to abrogate their own desires if those desires conflict with someone else’s peace of mind. Teach them that no one *owes* them a fuck, that sex should be mutually fulfilling and enthusiastically consented to. Teach them responsible STI and pregnancy prevention. Teach them about each others’ reproductive systems, teach them to respect their bodies and those of their lovers, and teach them that sex is not the end-all-be-all of their teenage lives and to set their own timeline for sexual intimacy, not anyone else’s.

Too bad no schools seem to be interested in teaching even basic sex ed, let alone a comprehensive course on human sexuality and relationships. Maybe I live too much in my own head, but I think a curriculum like what I’ve outlined above taught at even middle school would greatly contribute to healthy sexual lives in adults.

60 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm

@56:

That’s, of course, the pejorative short-hand version that critics use when they want to make the idea seem trivial and stupid rather than address the idea on its real merits. In other words, it’s more bad-faith argumentation.

The real idea here is this:
1. Define rape clearly.
2. Make this definition clear to as many people as possible, preferably everyone.
3. Promote awareness of this definition and of the MO of rapists as currently understood to help people understand the behaviors they need to look out for.
4. Don’t accept ignorance of the definition of rape as an excuse when someone commits a rape (because any real-life rapist would make exactly such an excuse).

When you make the question clear you prevent situations in which people make excuses to give into their baser desires. People don’t like to think of themselves as rapists and most rapists don’t seem to acknowledge that that’s what they are. Making it clear what constitutes a “rapist” will — at least in my opinion — prevent a lot of people from taking actions that they would otherwise excuse as “not rape”.

61 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 8:17 pm

@Eu:

When it comes to male victims can’t you at least make a good faith assumption that when female feminists fail to mention male victims it’s because they’ve probably had a lot more experience dealing with female victims’ accounts than with male victims for a wide variety of reasons, none of them having to do with wanting to “erase males” or minimize the concerns about male rape?

I’ve been trying to use gender-neutral language but if I slip up I’d appreciate a little bit of leeway.

62 kntk March 20, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Don’t forget to point out how that erases male victims. Don’t forget. That’s a very important piece to apart from the fact that sensible people don’t think it will work.

And some sensible people are rapists. Think about it.

When men rape other men it’s because they know exactly what they’re doing. When men rape women, it’s because they’re confused as to how bad it is and simply need more information.

63 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm

When men rape other men it’s because they know exactly what they’re doing. When men rape women, it’s because they’re confused as to how bad it is and simply need more information.

Yeah, see, you don’t want to engage on this issue, you just want to make cheap shots. Why would I want to try to discuss this issue with you at this point?

For the record, this is pretty obviously a straw man but I think you’re already well aware of that.

64 Metalogic42 March 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Ok, several people have started discussing, so I’ll respond:

Maureen Brian #6:
“The shorthand note about telling men not to rape comes directly from several decades and hundred of people addressing exactly that important question.”

I think the very first question we have to ask is, “why do people rape in the first place?”. I’ll grant that “telling men not to rape” is somewhat effective, but since it’s probably safe to assume that different rapists have different reasons for raping, this isn’t going to work all the time, and probably not even most of the time. We need to combat *all* motivators of rape, and for that we need multiple solutions.

“Why, in the wake of the Steubenville convictions, are blogs and blog commenters having to explain what rape is to any number of both regulars and passers-by.”

I’m not seeing a large contingent of people failing to understand what rape (and also sexual assault) consists of. At least, not as a general concept; different places in the world may have slightly different legal precedents regarding rape, but that’s neither here nor there.

—–
Doubtthat #7:
“For example, placing the burden of rape prevention on the aggressor and educating the perpetrator has shown empirical success.”

The link you provided also mentions more effective investigation and enforcement of laws, and that minor offenses can lead to more serious ones. This is a multifaceted approach that I’m in favor of. More on this later.

—–
Dan L. #9:
Yes, *telling* women to do or not do certain things doesn’t help. But making them aware of the effects their behaviors might have on potential rapists does. I could say, “don’t shout in someone’s face if they’re pointing a gun at you”, and that would imply that if they do, it’s their fault for getting shot. But if I say, “People who point guns at others are often extremely tense; and loud noises or sudden movements might cause then to make a snap decision to fire their weapon” – that’s simply a fact, and is a much better thing to say.

Similarly, I could say, “People inclined to rape might sometimes be looking for an excuse to initiate sexual activity; and sending mixed signals instead of clearly saying “no” might cause them to mistakingly think that sexual activity is wanted, causing the situation to escalate”.

We should also educate everyone about the intricacies and subtleties of interpersonal relationships.

“Yes, not sure I’m the one who was supposed to “start things off” given I’m not the one trying to prove anyone WRONG WRONG WRONG.”

I was only giving you the first say because you said that you’ve previously made points which I have not responded to, so I wanted to give you the chance to restate.

—–
Anyway, here are some possible motivations/causes for rape (not an exhaustive list, and please note that none of these justify rape):

1) The rapist is angry at the victim over some real or imagined slight and wants to “punish” her.
2) The rapist is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and unable to determine whether the victim is consenting or not.
3) The rapist finds the victim extremely attractive, and has extremely poor self-control.
4) The rapist misinterprets verbal or nonverbal cues and falsely believes the victim is consenting.
5) The rapist believes, for religious reasons, that whether the victim consents is irrelevant.
6) The rapist is a mentally ill sadist and derives pleasure from the suffering of the victim.

“Telling men not to rape” may reduce the rate of rape in some of these categories, but not all of them (especially number 5), which is why a much more complex approach is needed, one which includes educating women about why different people might rape, and how to recognize when they’re at risk. In the case of number six, a clear “no” may even make a rape more likely to occur.

Finally, I’d like to point out that we’ve already been telling men not to rape (at least in the western world) for years and years – via the law. Rape is illegal, and yet it persists after so long.

65 Metalogic42 March 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Wow, this thread exploded with activity o_O

66 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm

When men rape other men it’s because they know exactly what they’re doing. When men rape women, it’s because they’re confused as to how bad it is and simply need more information.

Now, this whole thread started because folks were AGHAST that they would be banned from comment threads just for sharing reasonable, well-thought out critiques of rape culture and rape prevention. This was proof that it was IMPOSSIBLE to have a rational conversation with those bastards over at FtB who demand group-think.

You guys are fucking embarrassing yourselves. I know this is Michael Nugent’s blog and he requested civility, and believe me, I’m trying, but the lot of you are making incoherent, irrational, factless, unresearched, trite, old, tired, obvious arguments that have been heard a million times and destroyed a million times. There is no critique, here, just reiteration of crappy arguments. Not a single one of you has even tried to link empirical evidence of any kind whatsoever.

What have we gained by indulging your “discussion?” Absolutely nothing save annoyance.

People were upset in the last thread for my snarky dismissal of your ideas based on their description. I assert here that I anticipated this nonsense perfectly.

67 kntk March 20, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Yeah, see, you don’t want to engage on this issue, you just want to make cheap shots. Why would I want to try to discuss this issue with you at this point?

Right… you’ve done a stellar job in discussing the issue so far. What’s the matter, don’t like it when somebody responds in kind?

So:

1. Define rape clearly.

Because apparently the legal systems of western nations haven’t already clearly defined rape.

2. Make this definition clear to as many people as possible, preferably everyone.

The population is obviously ignorant of this definition, particularly the ones who wish to rape people.

3. Promote awareness of this definition and of the MO of rapists as currently understood to help people understand the behaviors they need to look out for.

There’s a point 4, but it’s just “more awareness”. When exactly will it get through to you rapists are very aware about the definition of rape and they simply don’t seem to care?

68 Edward Gemmer March 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm

A place to discuss controversial issues without banning for unpopular opinions? Go Ireland!

1. A multipronged approach is important. Stop thinking about it in terms of victim blaming or putting the responsibility on one group or the other. Think about it in terms of what you would tell a tween or teen about life. Sex is important, yet we rarely talk about it in healthy ways.

2. The idea of enthusiastic consent is a good one. However, it gets caught up in the idea that’s it’s all about rape. It’s not. Many people (especially inexperienced women) have a very poor sexual experience and ask questions – was this rape or just a bad sexual experience? Who knows? The goal isn’t to just avoid rape. It’s not to change sex for everyone in the world because we want to catch rapists. The goal is to have positive, healthy sexual experiences. Enthusiastic consent works towards this purpose. Be vocal. Set boundaries. Don’t do things you aren’t comfortable with. Drugs and alcohol impact your ability to do these things and your ability to detect these things.

3. Teach young people the actual definition of rape. If there was one lesson from the Steubenville case, it was that those kids didn’t do anything because they didn’t realize an actual crime was occurring. The Steubenville defendants may not have realized that inserting fingers in a drunk girl or fondling her or having her fondle you are all sex crimes.

4. Educate people about crime. The rape studies mentioned above clearly show there is a small percentage of men who rape seem pretty comfortable with that. I don’t know that educating them will accomplish much – our efforts at rehabilitating criminals have shown that some people just like to break the law. However, you can educate people (especially females) that people who are more impulsive and more violent are more likely to ignore the things you say. The links above seem to conclude that men need to patrol this. I don’t understand that. Women (and gay men) are more likely to be in intimate settings alone with their potential rapist. Be judicious on who those people are.

69 Kes March 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm

The laws on rape are extremely limited, and have only recently begun to be challenged and expanded. The FBI’s definition of rape was changed only a few years ago to include the words “victim” rather than “woman”, and include forcible penetration by some object other than a male penis. Marital Rape was legally impossible in many states right up until the 1990s. A recent conviction in California was overturned on appeal because the rapist tricked a semi-sleeping woman into thinking he was her boyfriend when he wasn’t, because technically, under CA law then (and now!) you can’t “Rape by Deception” anyone but a married woman.

Among the first known anti-rape laws, those found in the Old Testament, rape is seen as a crime against the father or husband of the woman in question, not against the woman herself. And again, rape is pretty much only a crime against a married woman. An unmarried woman whose been tainted by penis can become magically untainted by marrying said penis, according to Leviticus.

The law reflects things societies want to prevent. If they pass laws against sheep fucking, you can safely assume a) people are fucking sheep and b) someone in power decided it should be discouraged. It is only within the last thirty years that laws have been changed to define rape as unwanted sexual penetration done to a victim, rather than a property crime against the men who “own” that particular woman (and her vagina).

70 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm

The link you provided also mentions more effective investigation and enforcement of laws, and that minor offenses can lead to more serious ones. This is a multifaceted approach that I’m in favor of. More on this later.

Sure. At no point was it argued that it was the “only” useful approach.

which includes educating women about why different people might rape, and how to recognize when they’re at risk.

As I have now said about 50 times in this thread alone, where is your evidence? Have we abandoned empiricism?

I will also point out the Catch-22 that creates (I’m not saying you personally hold these views, but you will recognize them, I’m sure):

Educate women on who will rape them (well, statistically that means they need to be wary of their family members and those closest to them). So they educate themselves, they start looking for warning signs, then: HOW DARE YOU TREAT US AS POTENTIAL RAPISTS! That’s sexist, not all men rape.

Don’t pay attention to men and treat them with suspicion-you failed to prevent your rape; treat men with suspicion to avoid rape-you’re a sexist who is treating men poorly.

As for the rest, it’s just theoretical musing that 1) has been discussed for many years and 2) claims for which evidence is available but you’ve provided none.

That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

71 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 8:37 pm

“Telling men not to rape” may reduce the rate of rape in some of these categories, but not all of them (especially number 5), which is why a much more complex approach is needed, one which includes educating women about why different people might rape, and how to recognize when they’re at risk. In the case of number six, a clear “no” may even make a rape more likely to occur.

A sentiment with which no one disagrees. Why do you think feminists talk so much about the MO of rapists? Or weren’t you aware? They do that all the time!

Your list of possible motivations misses one important one that probably accounts for a large proportion of rape: the rapist does not realize that their intended actions constitute rape, or they are able/willing to rationalize as much. For that one and every item on your list besides (maybe) 1, 5, and 6 the “deontological” approach makes plenty sense.

For the others we have to ask if your approach (telling women to dress modestly) would actually have any effect. Obviously, this is a little bit context-dependent but I don’t think it would. You seem to have highlighted motivations to which there are no solutions. Since no one is claiming any approach can entirely eliminate rape this is not an argument for the “consequentialist approach”.

Yes, *telling* women to do or not do certain things doesn’t help. But making them aware of the effects their behaviors might have on potential rapists does.

Again, what could we tell women that would help? And where is the evidence that it would help? What are the specific behaviors you have in mind? And let’s bear in mind that this is of course a trade off — the advice you give will be diminishing quality of life to prevent a potential large diminishment in quality of life, sort of like insurance. We have to make sure the premiums are affordable and that the whole package is worth it.

Finally, I’d like to point out that we’ve already been telling men not to rape (at least in the western world) for years and years – via the law. Rape is illegal, and yet it persists after so long.

Same with murder. People still murder four thousand years after the ten commandments (back when rape wasn’t even a concept). But certain factors seem to decrease the rate. Again, no one is claiming to be able to magically eliminate rape so this is a bit of a non sequitir.

72 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Right… you’ve done a stellar job in discussing the issue so far. What’s the matter, don’t like it when somebody responds in kind?

Why would I want to discuss the matter with you at this point? You’ve shown every sign of being a troll and none of wanting to seriously discuss the issue.

If I’m missing a serious argument you’re making perhaps you should make it more explicit and without so much snark.

73 Metalogic42 March 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm

doubtthat #70:
“Educate women on who will rape them (well, statistically that means they need to be wary of their family members and those closest to them). So they educate themselves, they start looking for warning signs, then: HOW DARE YOU TREAT US AS POTENTIAL RAPISTS! That’s sexist, not all men rape.”

I’m not advocating Schroedinger’s Rapist. I’m advocating education about the warning signs of sexual abuse, just as we educate about the warning signs of physical abuse. Education is more than “statistically, anyone could be a rapist!!!”

“As I have now said about 50 times in this thread alone, where is your evidence? Have we abandoned empiricism?”

We don’t need citations and studies to know that different people have different motivations for the same action; it’s common knowledge. We also don’t need them to know that different motivations require different approaches to a solution; again, common knowledge.

“Sure. At no point was it argued that it was the “only” useful approach.”

Then perhaps the “tell men not to rape” shorthand should be rephrased, because it’s quite misleading. How about, “put psychology and sociology classes in schools”?

74 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I would just like to point out to MetaLogic and anyone else who came here to discuss in good faith that shit-stirrers like ktnk are probably a large part of, say, Pharyngula’s blanket ban on ‘pitters. Can you see how he’s poisoning the well here?

75 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm

We don’t need citations and studies to know that different people have different motivations for the same action; it’s common knowledge. We also don’t need them to know that different motivations require different approaches to a solution; again, common knowledge.

Considering how often ‘pitters insist that patriarchy theory/rape culture arguments are “evidence free” I think you owe the question of empirical evidence a little more consideration than this.

76 Metalogic42 March 20, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Dan L #74:

Real quick, before I get to your longer comment responding to mine –
1) Is ktnk a pitter? His name isn’t familiar to me outside of here.
2) If he is, blanket bans still aren’t a good idea if other pitters have useful things to say.

But I do agree that he’s not arguing in good faith. That’s entirely on him and no one else, though.

77 Kes March 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Regarding healthy sex ed, it should also include deprogramming about sexual guilt and shame. Sexual desires, masturbation and fantasies, should be presented as natural expressions of human sexuality that should be explored safely and privately, not as something to be ashamed of. It took me until my twenties to rid myself of the Catholic sex-shame I’d been instilled with, and I’m not even Catholic! De-mystify and de-stigmatize sex for teenagers and they’ll be less likely to pursue it illicitly and unsafely. And they’ll be more likely to grow up into adults who can communicate their sexual needs and boundaries, rather than clinging to that RomCom bullshit that their perfect partner will “just know” what they want and need.

Non-penetrative sex acts should also be taught as a safer expression of sexuality if birth control is unavailable. Penis-in-vagina-until-male-climax needs to be de-emphasized as the “gold standard” sex act, and it also needs to be emphasized that ALL genital contact is sexual activity and can cause disease transmission. Show of hands, who was taught about UTIs in sex ed? And that it can result from fingering? I sure as shit wasn’t, and it would have changed my entire adolescence. How many people know herpes simplex can be transmitted orally-genitally? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Now I’m getting myself all pissed off about sex ed in the US…

78 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm

@Metalogic42

I’m not advocating Schroedinger’s Rapist. I’m advocating education about the warning signs of sexual abuse, just as we educate about the warning signs of physical abuse. Education is more than “statistically, anyone could be a rapist!!!”

The difference is basically nonexistent. How is a woman supposed to tell which stranger or loose acquaintance is a potential rapist? For every instance of, “we should have known all along,” there’s a countervailing, “what the hell? I never saw that coming.”

When you place the burden on the victim to prevent the assault, you’re asking them to start observing all people they encounter to determine if those warning signs are present. This is almost indistinguishable from “Schroedinger’s Rapist.”

We don’t need citations and studies to know that different people have different motivations for the same action; it’s common knowledge. We also don’t need them to know that different motivations require different approaches to a solution; again, common knowledge.

Huh? Yes, you really need citations for all of that, but you really, really need it to show that your proposed solutions have any efficacy at all.

The days of Freud ruminating on the vexing mysteries of the human mind and proposing treatments based on his impressions are long gone.

Then perhaps the “tell men not to rape” shorthand should be rephrased, because it’s quite misleading. How about, “put psychology and sociology classes in schools”?

You’re ignoring the context that gave birth to the phrase. It originated in response to the endless suggestions given to women (many of them present here as some sort of bad idea archeological experiment) to prevent their rapes. No, don’t teach women to avoid rape, teach men not to rape.

If you have any evidence showing the efficacy of the first clause, now would be the time to share it.

79 Metalogic42 March 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Dan L #71:
“A sentiment with which no one disagrees.”

I think we’re starting to come to a consensus here (woot!). While I still don’t like the phrasing of “tell men not to rape”, a multifaceted approach which includes education about the nature of consent is something I can completely get behind. I admit, though, that I haven’t seen much talk about the MO of rapists from feminists; and from what I have seen, some of it is wrong (i.e. “rape is always about power and never about sex”).

” For that one and every item on your list besides (maybe) 1, 5, and 6 the “deontological” approach makes plenty sense.”

I labeled that approach the deontological one because I’ve often seen feminists and social justice advocates (especially! on the A+ forums) talk about how anything other than “tell men not to rape” (meant by them not as shorthand, but literally) is victim blaming. Thus, I get the impression they don’t care about the consequences.

“For the others we have to ask if your approach (telling women to dress modestly) would actually have any effect. Obviously, this is a little bit context-dependent but I don’t think it would.”

In most cases, dressing modestly would have little to no effect. But in number 3, “The rapist finds the victim extremely attractive, and has extremely poor self-control.” I think it would have a moderate effect. Of course, as you said, we have to weigh this against the consequences of women who desire to feel attractive in general.

” You seem to have highlighted motivations to which there are no solutions. ”

Here are some possible solutions:
1) Make anger management therapy more readily available for people with problems controlling themselves.
2) More education about the effects of drugs and alcohol. On a side note, the rapists in the recent Studeville (spelling?) case were IIRC underage drinking. I don’t know if it would have happened regardless, but it certainly didn’t help.
3) I’m not sure about how to fix poor impulse control, besides recommending therapy in a general sense.
4) Interpersonal communications classes.
5) This one is pretty obvious to us atheists, religion has to go. Or at least the damaging aspects of it.
6) Such people need severe psychological help.

80 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I think it delayed in posting because of the links, but everyone wanting to discuss this seriously should go back and check out Kes @40.

81 doubtthat March 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm

In most cases, dressing modestly would have little to no effect. But in number 3, “The rapist finds the victim extremely attractive, and has extremely poor self-control.” I think it would have a moderate effect. Of course, as you said, we have to weigh this against the consequences of women who desire to feel attractive in general.

I will take you at your word that you want to have a rational discussion about this. Can you provide any evidence of any sort that indicates the attractiveness of the woman, the clothes they wear, or any similar factor has an effect on the likeliness of that woman to be raped or assaulted?

My frustration level is rising as this discussion progresses with the group who necessitated the creation of this thread by complaining that they were not allowed to disagree rationally. Now you have your chance, you are arguing based purely on speculation. You’re just making things up.

Perhaps we have a different definition of “rational” and yours does not include the empirical verification of claims. This would be a rather radical approach for a skeptic to take, but you’ve already said as much.

If you cannot support any of your claims, why should I pay attention to what you say?

82 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm

While I still don’t like the phrasing of “tell men not to rape”, a multifaceted approach which includes education about the nature of consent is something I can completely get behind. I admit, though, that I haven’t seen much talk about the MO of rapists from feminists; and from what I have seen, some of it is wrong (i.e. “rape is always about power and never about sex”).

I don’t think it is usually phrased as “tell men not to rape” except perhaps by critics who are trying to poo-poo the idea as ktnk has done here. I also think that if you haven’t seen feminist communities discussing the MO of rapists you simply haven’t been playing close attention. Finally, “rape is always about power and never about sex” is an exaggeration of a proposition that is actually supported by research (and helps to explain why rape is only infrequently accompanied by ejaculation): it is usually about power and not sex.

I labeled that approach the deontological one because I’ve often seen feminists and social justice advocates (especially! on the A+ forums) talk about how anything other than “tell men not to rape” (meant by them not as shorthand, but literally) is victim blaming. Thus, I get the impression they don’t care about the consequences.

That’s a pretty uncharitable interpretation especially given — as I have already noted — that feminists already do discuss stuff you want to discuss such as the MOs of rapists. You’re mad at them for not discussing something they actually are discussing. OK…

In terms of “no solutions” I meant 1, 5, and 6. More specifically:

1) The rapist is angry at the victim over some real or imagined slight and wants to “punish” her.

You cannot eliminate violence as a result of anger, even with anger management classes.

5) The rapist believes, for religious reasons, that whether the victim consents is irrelevant.

Ignore the religion part. If the rapist does not believe the victim’s consent is relevant then you cannot prevent that person from raping. The religion part is irrelevant.

6) The rapist is a mentally ill sadist and derives pleasure from the suffering of the victim.

You cannot eliminate mental illness.

This was meant as a response to the several times you noted the “deontological” response can’t eliminate rape. I was pointing out that no approach can eliminate rape and so saying so is a non sequitir in the context of a comparison between two different approaches.

83 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 9:41 pm

1) Is ktnk a pitter? His name isn’t familiar to me outside of here.
2) If he is, blanket bans still aren’t a good idea if other pitters have useful things to say.

I don’t know whether he’s a pitter. I don’t spend any time at the pit. Almost all my experience with pitters has been in these threads on Nugent’s blog the last two days. But I think that if you look over these last few threads at Nugent’s paying extra close attention to how ‘pitters talk about feminism, patriarchy theory, accusations of sexism, etc. you could see why I would get the impression that ktnk’s attitude is largely consonant with those of most other ‘pitters.

I’m sure there are plenty of white supremacists who are smart and interesting people who have lots of great stuff they say. Nonetheless, I know that they probably don’t have anything to say about race that I would find “great”. So I wouldn’t want to talk to a white supremacist about race.

Similarly, if I get the impression that ‘pitters are just about uniformly dismissive and intolerant of ideas about feminism, patriarchy theory, etc. don’t you think it would be sensible of me not to want to discuss such issues with ‘pitters? It doesn’t mean that no ‘pitters have good points to make. Hell, a white supremacist really could have some good thoughts on the concept of race. Who knows? But as far as time- and effort-saving heuristics go isn’t this one pretty reasonable?

I mean, if you came up with a great joke about ethnic stereotypes would you think to yourself “FtB would be a great place to try this out?” Or would you maybe go to the ‘pit instead? And wouldn’t you have good reasons for making that decision?

84 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Hmm, hopefully I didn’t poison the well by comparing ‘pitters to white supremacists. That was an unfortunate comparison and I apologize — I certainly did not mean to draw any moral equivalence between the two groups. I simply wanted to make the “time-saving heuristic” point.

Otherwise, I’m not sure where we stand on this particular issue. I get the feeling MetaLogic is not actually in nearly so much disagreement with feminism or patriarchy theory as he thinks (thought?). Both agree that it’s important to understand the motivations and methods of actual rapists. Both agree that it’s the perpetrator who is morally culpable. Perhaps the difference is only in terms of tactics? Or is it simply a complete misunderstanding?

85 kntk March 20, 2013 at 11:33 pm

I don’t think it is usually phrased as “tell men not to rape” except perhaps by critics who are trying to poo-poo the idea as ktnk has done here

Oh yeah, not like that’s the exact phrase that’s been used thousands of times now by FTB bloggers and the commentariat. No sir. Not at all.

Your argument that it’s more nuanced position than that has so far amounted to a mere rephrasing of it, we should raise awareness within the male population that rape is wrong. Or something.

86 AndrewV69 March 20, 2013 at 11:42 pm

@Dan L. 384
Whatever, I am a SP and I do not care (others might). Carry on.

87 Dan L. March 20, 2013 at 11:44 pm

@ktnk:

Hence “usually”. Again, I see no reason whatsoever to bother engaging you on the topic. Give me a reason and maybe I will.

88 kntk March 21, 2013 at 12:02 am

That’s the usual phrase and general position. You think it’s something different apparently?

Yeah…

89 magicthighs March 21, 2013 at 12:31 am

“Really, find me the last time that a rapist got excused on the basis that the victim was wearing a short skirt.”

What, you mean something like this?
http://www.brandonsun.com/breaking-news/rape-victim-inviting-so-no-jail–rape-victim-inviting-so-no-jail-116801578.html

90 magicthighs March 21, 2013 at 12:35 am

I see Dan L posted the exact same story. I should have refreshed the page before posting.

91 kntk March 21, 2013 at 12:43 am

Yeah I saw it. Same guy got taken off cases of a sexual nature and put before a canadian federal review. Which presumably told him what an awesome job he did.

Did someone mention something about outliers on one of the other threads?

92 AndrewV69 March 21, 2013 at 12:52 am

@Dan L. #82

why rape is only infrequently accompanied by ejaculation): it is usually about power and not sex.

Links to papers on that?

Here are mine (1st one is supportive, the 2nd. not so much)

Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender
_http://books.google.ca/books?id=hUCUg02fqCgC&pg=PA89&lpg=PA89&dq=rape+ejaculation&source=bl&ots=6eMbXhwXP1&sig=s8w1BFxcSQPt0YspaU-WXGC9Ljg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=11NKUenHJ431iQLY74CIAw&ved=0CDIQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=rape%20ejaculation&f=false

A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion
_http://books.google.ca/books?id=xH6v-nB6EegC&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75&dq=rape+ejaculation&source=bl&ots=Q2LPlxny8e&sig=WHqUbjQvmP-f8yuW9qnsoeftYXY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XFJKUZXEO-fyiQKJkoCgAg&ved=0CEoQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=rape%20ejaculation&f=false

93 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 1:20 am

Well there you go. You’re better informed than I am. Is it at least a defensible statement?

94 Kim Rippere March 21, 2013 at 1:43 am

@doubtthat . . . I’d love to get in touch with you.

95 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 2:10 am

Of course, Kes and Maureen Brian made much better arguments than I did but everyone ignored them except doubtthat.

Actually I thought doubtthat’s arguments were also better than mine but she wasn’t completely ignored.

96 Kim Rippere March 21, 2013 at 3:14 am

“The “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign is a public service rape prevention campaign launched in Edmonton in 2010, and adopted by other cities in Canada, which took the radical step of aiming its message, not at potential rape victims, but at potential rapists. It took the radical step of educating potential rapists about what rape actually is. It recognized the role that alcohol commonly plays in rape — and it educates potential rapists that having sex with someone who doesn’t consent, or who is too drunk to consent, or who is passed out and therefore unable to consent, is rape.

The campaign didn’t target the stereotypical media image of rapists, the drooling psychopaths springing on suspects in a dark alley with a knife. It targeted ordinary folks, frat boys and partiers and bar-hoppers and folks who just like to toss a few back now and then… who have been brought up in a culture that teaches that drunkenness equals consent. It was influenced by a study out of the U.K. showing that 48 percent of men ages 18 to 25 did not consider it rape if the women was too drunk to know it was happening. And it teaches them that no: drunkenness does not equal consent, being stoned does not equal consent, being passed out does not equal consent. It had slogans like, “Just because she isn’t saying no… doesn’t mean she’s saying yes.” “Just because you help her home… doesn’t mean you get to help yourself.” “Just because she’s drunk doesn’t mean she wants to f**k.” It had slogans on every poster saying, “Sex without consent = sexual assault.”

And the campaign has been so successful, the number of reported sexual assaults in Vancouver fell by 10 per cent.”

Taken from Greta Christina’s Blog: http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/01/08/rape-prevention-aimed-at-rapists-does-work/

Campaign: http://www.savedmonton.com/about-our-campaigns.html

97 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 4:35 am

@Kim Rippere

I suppose I could send you an email. I sort of want to stay anonymous in the world of internet commenting for professional reasons (I practice law in an area where being an atheist could lower the confidence my clients have in my abilities…and hurt business).

98 Kim Rippere March 21, 2013 at 4:47 am

@doubtthat. I completely understand. I don’t want you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Do you have an anon twitter account or email account? A way to stay private, yet be in communication with people?

In any case, you are awesome! Last night I asked if anyone knew your twitter name so I could follow you. A few were chatting on twitter tonight about you.

As for the attorney part, your logical argument style is apparent and well honed. I managed attorneys for 20 years. 😉

99 AndrewV69 March 21, 2013 at 5:13 am

@Dan L. #93

Well there you go. You’re better informed than I am. Is it at least a defensible statement?

I would qualify it with “there appears to be a substantial” or “significant” but I would not say the “majority” or “all” either. I would want more numbers and more studies before I could be confident on being more specific than that.

However,

There are several views on the subject. You appear to be aware of the Feminist one that “rape is about power”, but you can see that Psychology, and Evolutionary Psychology have their own views and there is also a Criminology perspective.

I would like to recommend this paper for your consideration, mainly because it sets out what the different views are and then discusses them. I do not think you can go wrong reading it:

CRIMINOLOGY: THE SEARCH FOR RAPISTS’ “REAL” MOTIVES
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/jclc/backissues/v101/n1/1011_171.Bryden_&_Grier.pdf

Page 196 (page 26 of 108 on the pdf)

Theories about rapists’ motives are now in a state of confusion. The
gradual rise of evolutionary psychology over the past several decades has
produced intense disputes between some of the advocates of evolutionary
concepts, who allege that rapists’ principal motives are sexual, and
feminists who reject that characterization. We will discuss this controversy
later in the Article.

100 Metalogic42 March 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Ok, finally catching up…

Doubtthat #81:
Many of the claims I’m making, especially concerning my point number 3, are a priori reasonable. Let me ask you this: do you disagree that *some* rapes happen because a rapist finds the victim extremely attractive and has poor self-control? If not, do you disagree that a less attractive victim will make this person less likely to rape?

—–
Dan L #82:
I agree that we can’t eliminate rape completely. However, we can, with a lot of hard work, reduce it to a few outlier cases.

—–
Dan L #83:
I also agree that it’s not worthwhile to talk to white supremicists about race. But I don’t agree that it’s not worthwhile to talk to white supremicists about *anything*. If I had a blog, and a white supremicist made an insightful comment about, let’s say, which skydiving equipment is the safest, I’d let it stand. What PZ is doing is analogous to banning white supremicists on sight, even when their comments are not about race, and are relevant and insightful. That’s not something I can get behind.

I also don’t see how pitters are dismissive and intolerant of feminism etc. Not only do many of us identify as feminists (or in a broader sense, humanists), as you’ve seen, we want these discussions.

—–
Dan L #84:
I see no well-poisoning, at least not from you, but I do see it from some of the bloggers at FTB, which has always been one of the main complaints from those at the pit.

If you’ve never been to the pit before, I’d like you to head over there, just for a few minutes. You don’t have to read anything – just look at our avatars. You’ll notice that many include a fedora. This is a running gag that started when Al Stefanelli left FTB. PZ posted a “tribute” to Al consisting of implying that a friend of his, Reap Paden, is a racist. Then a few commenters started ripping on fedoras and those who wear them. “Racist Hat” is now a meme.

The point is this: disagreements about feminism aside, the *real* gripe many of us have is that we’re painted as “part of the problem” when we have different ideas about how to deal with rape.

But I hope you’ve decided in light of the discussion over the past few days that there’s at least some of us who aren’t part of the problem. I don’t know about you, but I feel like this has been overall productive.

101 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I would qualify it with “there appears to be a substantial” or “significant” but I would not say the “majority” or “all” either. I would want more numbers and more studies before I could be confident on being more specific than that.

This doesn’t answer my question of whether you think it is a defensible statement.

What I’m getting at is the MetaLogic is already exaggerating the prevalence and impact of this statement. I don’t really think it has much of either. But it is apparently a point of contention and I don’t really see any good reason why this should be so.

I don’t think it’s a very important point in the first place. Is it really the hill you guys want to plant your flag on? Or is it OK for some people to disagree with you on this point? That’s what I’m wondering.

102 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

MetaLogic@100:

PZ posted a “tribute” to Al consisting of implying that a friend of his, Reap Paden, is a racist.

Actually, he posted a video by They Might Be Giants entitled “My Racist Friend.” While I understand how that could be taken to indicate that Reap is a racist I think Myers was only referencing the general theme of the song and applying it to Reap’s perceived sexism or misogyny rather than racism.

This is a small part of why I’m less optimistic that this has been productive than you are. I think you guys are very quick to see bad behavior on the FtB side and you’re often right. But not always. I think sometimes people on your side dismiss legitimate grievances on the FtB side as illegitimate just as they do to you — but you don’t seem to be willing to acknowledge any symmetry to the situation at all.

I really get the sense that the only acceptable outcome for most ‘pitters is for everyone at FtB to unilaterally admit they are wrong.

The point is this: disagreements about feminism aside, the *real* gripe many of us have is that we’re painted as “part of the problem” when we have different ideas about how to deal with rape.

While I understand this, I still feel you’re failing to come to terms with the “real gripe” on the other side. Furthermore, I get the sense that a lot of people on the ‘pit side simply aren’t willing to compromise or agree to disagree about the feminism side. Again, it has often seemed to me in these discussions that the only acceptable outcome for the ‘pit side is for everyone at FtB to unilaterally admit they’re wrong about this stuff.

But I hope you’ve decided in light of the discussion over the past few days that there’s at least some of us who aren’t part of the problem. I don’t know about you, but I feel like this has been overall productive.

I’ve concluded essentially the opposite, depending on what you mean about “part of the problem.” The “problem” from my perspective is that the situation is at a complete impasse. Neither side is willing to budge an inch to try to understand why the other side feels the way it does. Everyone who insists people at FtB must listen to their brilliant skeptical takedowns of “gender feminism” is part of that problem. Everyone who fails to recognize that people at FtB might have some good reasons for thinking the ‘pit community isn’t arguing in good faith is part of that problem.

This thread is a great indicator of what I’m talking about. You claimed to want to discuss rape prevention so here we are…failing to discuss rape prevention. You have not engaged with any of the most serious and knowledgeable arguments on this thread and neither has anyone else on the ‘pit side.

Furthermore several people showed up just to stir shit. You admitted at one point that this was the case but you said it’s all on those people. You didn’t call out that behavior and you don’t seem to recognize how frustrating it is from my perspective to try to have a serious conversation with you while I’m simultaneously being trolled. This right here should be a big hint as to why some people at FtB feel the way they do about the ‘pit community. You seem to be completely oblivious to it.

I also don’t see how pitters are dismissive and intolerant of feminism etc. Not only do many of us identify as feminists (or in a broader sense, humanists), as you’ve seen, we want these discussions.

This doesn’t seem to me to be exactly the case. You want to win these discussions. You want people who disagree with you on feminism to simply admit they’re wrong and accept what you have to say as more valid. You don’t see how pitters are dismissive and intolerant? Go back the last few days and read Jack’s posts, Eu’s posts. Really anyone’s posts. While they may not be dismissive of feminism in general they’re quite dismissive of particular ideas about feminism and those are exactly the ideas that people on the FtB side are tired of having dismissed.

Look at our conversation here. I point out that you really have no suggestions that aren’t already being acted upon by feminists. You respond to this by arguing about minutiae. doubtthat requests that you support your position by bringing actual evidence into the discussion as doubtthat, Kes, and Maureen Brian have all done in this thread. Not only do you fail to do so but you fail to engage with the evidence they offer.

While you’ve been civil throughout I do not think you’re offering an example of good faith argumentation here. From my perspective this thread has been a complete failure. And it’s been very instructive in terms of the likelihood of reconciliation between the “two sides”.

103 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm

MetaLogic@100:

Response in moderation. Short version: I don’t feel this has been productive and while I think the “FtB side is in the wrong on a lot of points, I don’t think you and others on the ‘pit side are really as fair-minded as you think you are.

104 AndrewV69 March 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm

@Dan L. #100

This doesn’t answer my question of whether you think it is a defensible statement.

I would like to see some qualifers. You said in #82:

Finally, “rape is always about power and never about sex” is an exaggeration of a proposition that is actually supported by research (and helps to explain why rape is only infrequently accompanied by ejaculation): it is usually about power and not sex.

I think this is how I would have put it:

Finally, “rape is always about power and never about sex” is an exaggeration of a proposition that is actually supported by research (and helps to explain why rape is also frequently accompanied by premature ejaculation and impotence): it is quite often about power and not sex, but not always and not enough to say it is always.

Next:

I don’t think it’s a very important point in the first place. Is it really the hill you guys want to plant your flag on? Or is it OK for some people to disagree with you on this point? That’s what I’m wondering.

I will agreed at this point it is a distraction from the topic of prevention. Also for the record I am a SP and a MRA if you are wondering what “camp” I am in.

105 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm

@100

I’m making, especially concerning my point number 3, are a priori reasonable.

That just does not matter AT ALL in this discussion. What you have is a reasonable hypothesis, that’s all. Now you need to test it. If you don’t test it, it is utterly fucking useless from a policy standpoint.

And, given that your ideas are old and tired and have been tested literally thousands of times across just about every culture on Earth, one wonders why you act as though this discussion needs to take place in the realm of the forms.

Find some evidence or stop talking. You aren’t being reasonable, you aren’t making good arguments, you’re just avoiding doing the necessary work to cling to your armchair nonsense.

It’s especially insulting that you adopt this approach then claim that the “other side” does not accept “reasonable” objections. You have just proven that you have no reasonable objections.

do you disagree that *some* rapes happen because a rapist finds the victim extremely attractive and has poor self-control? If not, do you disagree that a less attractive victim will make this person less likely to rape?

You cannot shift this burden on to me. YOU need to prove that victim appearance and behavior can significantly effect rape the likelihood of being raped. Is it hypothetically plausible? Sure, but it’s equally hypothetically plausible that appearance is just an excuse rapists use to justify their crime, and that they would have committed the exact same act in the exact same way if all variables were held constant save the victim’s appearance.

This is why you need to actually study the fucking issue. All you’ve given us is lazy JAQing off. Do the work or abandon the notion that you’re a skeptic.

106 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Also for the record I am a SP and a MRA if you are wondering what “camp” I am in.

No, you’ve already made that abundantly obvious.

I would like to see some qualifers.

Mmm?

I think this is how I would have put it:

So my opinion is unacceptable until you get to re-word it for me?

I will agreed at this point it is a distraction from the topic of prevention.

No one on the ‘pit side here is trying to have a serious conversation about prevention. If you think you are you are deluding yourself.

107 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

@98 Kim Rippere

I appreciate the kind words. It often feels like these discussions take place between the two or three people masochistic enough to keep reading each others’ posts, so I’m glad to hear that at least a few people are following.

I haven’t been in private practice all that long, so I haven’t really considered how to balance my atheism with my ethical and professional obligations. It’s not as though I pretend to be religious to obtain business, and the attorneys and judges I work with are more or less aware that I have no religious affiliation.

I’m primarily worried that a google search with my name undertaken by prospective clients would yield…well, all the stuff I say, which I will defend, but I don’t think, say, a Catholic needing a divorce would be all that excited to call my number after reading some rant about the Church I left on someone’s blog. As a secondary concern, I do worry that a given client would lose confidence in my representation along those grounds, though that’s more of a natural problem that can set in for any number of reasons.

I’m politically active in the area with groups that are hardly the majority, but I think there would be an extra edge when religion becomes the focus. I try to keep the issue completely separate from any work I do.

I read through your link, and I’m 100% supportive of your efforts, and would love to be more of a participant in meat space in the future, but I do need to consider those professional and ethical obligations. I’ll send you an e-mail in a bit, and thanks again.

108 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm

No one on the ‘pit side here is trying to have a serious conversation about prevention. If you think you are you are deluding yourself.

Not true. I am. I’m not that interested in physically appearance. Go to any college bar and tell me girls are afraid to wear skimpy outfits. If they were getting raped on a regular basis due to this, they probably wouldn’t be doing that.

One part that we don’t really think enough about is the attraction part. Take the Steubenville case – the victim was clearly attracted to the football player who treated her like garbage. What does that tell us about rape culture? People bemoan sports and this and that, but the bottom line is that the same factors that made those guys more likely to rape are the same ones that led the girl to wanting to be with them IMO. How do we deal with that? Can it be dealt with?

109 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm

@108 Edward Gemmer

What if we do consider the attraction part (which…I’m not sure why you think this is being ignored, what do you think the stat that 73% of rapes are committed by known acquaintances, intimate partners, and family members means?)?

How does that change anything that’s been said here about rape prevention? How is it a critique of the feminist position?

110 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm

@Edward Gemmer:

Not true. I am.

Please read my 102 now that it’s out of moderation.

What does that tell us about rape culture? People bemoan sports and this and that, but the bottom line is that the same factors that made those guys more likely to rape are the same ones that led the girl to wanting to be with them IMO. How do we deal with that? Can it be dealt with?

Do you think it’s at all possible that the people engaged in the types of feminism you bemoan are already talking about that? That perhaps they already have things to say about that that you dismiss entirely because from your perspective their entire way of thinking has no validity at all?

You’re not engaging with the actual arguments made by the “gender feminist” side here. That suggests to me that you’re not really trying to have a serious conversation about this.

111 Metalogic42 March 21, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Dan L #102:
“While I understand how that could be taken to indicate that Reap is a racist I think Myers was only referencing the general theme of the song and applying it to Reap’s perceived sexism or misogyny rather than racism.”

Ok, that’s a fair point and that could be the case as well. But, what do you think of this comment by karpad: ” Al has proven himself a racist, misogynist douchebag. He did so in less than 3 blog posts.

Sorry to have so offended you and your fedora…” (source: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/10/12/for-al/comment-page-1/#comment-470741)

” I think sometimes people on your side dismiss legitimate grievances on the FtB side as illegitimate just as they do to you — but you don’t seem to be willing to acknowledge any symmetry to the situation at all.”

We’ve acknowledged such symmetry in the past, and even called it out ourselves. One example is noblehawk2’s posting on the pit of Ophelia Benson’s head onto the nude body of an elderly woman. Many people on the pit were opposed to this. And anytime someone on the FTB side thinks they have a legitimate grievance, they’re welcome to tell us about it.

“I really get the sense that the only acceptable outcome for most ‘pitters is for everyone at FtB to unilaterally admit they are wrong.”

Not at all. I may even be wrong in the stuff I’m saying here about rape; that’s not the point. The point is that it should be discussed openly, as we’re doing here. I’ll even agree to disagree with you here, if that’s what you want.

“You claimed to want to discuss rape prevention so here we are…failing to discuss rape prevention. You have not engaged with any of the most serious and knowledgeable arguments on this thread and neither has anyone else on the ‘pit side.”

We both have several posts here discussing rape prevention. I’ve not responded to every post because that would take far too much time, and I want to mostly keep the discussion between me and you, because that’s how the conversation started; and it’s also the case that I was away for several hours yesterday and many, many posts were made during that time. This isn’t to say that no one else is allowed to participate – I’ve also responded to doubtthat. If there’s a specific post you think I should respond to and haven’t, let me know which one and I will.

“Furthermore several people showed up just to stir shit. You admitted at one point that this was the case but you said it’s all on those people. You didn’t call out that behavior and you don’t seem to recognize how frustrating it is from my perspective to try to have a serious conversation with you while I’m simultaneously being trolled.”

It *is* all on those people. I’m only responsible for my own behavior, and I’m under no obligation to call out trolls. If you go back through the past few threads here, you’ll notice that I’ve not made a single response to “Eu” (who is, btw, banned from the slymepit – something which very rarely happens). This is intentional. I want absolutely nothing to do with her.

” From my perspective this thread has been a complete failure.”

I just can’t agree, and maybe that points to different goals. If my suggestions are already being acted on by feminists, well then that’s great, seriously. But if discussions like this never happen, then how am I supposed to know that? Being banned on sight only keeps me in the dark. Regardless of whether it turns out I’m right or wrong, I want more discussions like this. I want to be able to make points, ask questions, etc.

—–
Doubtthat #105:

I think you’re completely missing the point of what I said. I never claimed any specific percentage of rapes are motivated by #3, just that it’s a possible motivator. I then offered a possible solution.

“You cannot shift this burden on to me.”

Asking you what you think isn’t shifting anything.

” Sure, but it’s equally hypothetically plausible that appearance is just an excuse rapists use to justify their crime, and that they would have committed the exact same act in the exact same way if all variables were held constant save the victim’s appearance.”

This is correct. How do we possibly determine who’s right? All we have is the reports from the rapists themselves; we can’t read their minds. The only way I can think of to evidence this for sure either way is to set up a study in which rapists in the #3 category are placed in rooms with potential victims with and without revealing clothing. But that would be profoundly unethical. So what do you propose?

112 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Do you think it’s at all possible that the people engaged in the types of feminism you bemoan are already talking about that?

This is the danger people face when venturing into subjects that they haven’t bothered to study, save reading a quick blurb at Jezebel and becoming irate.

NOTHING has been provided in this thread that hasn’t been discussed by feminists and other anti-sexual assault groups since…forever.

I hope people can see why showing up at a blog and saying, “Why haven’t you feminists considered X?” With “X” being something they’ve spent a long time discussing and studying (especially when you show up babbling about a priori notions–Evidence? We don’t need no stinking evidence? Our man-brains can see the truth via divine revelation), will be met with angry comments, snark, and rapid bans.

113 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm

How does that change anything that’s been said here about rape prevention?

I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking.

Do you think it’s at all possible that the people engaged in the types of feminism you bemoan are already talking about that?

Sure. Anything is possible.

That perhaps they already have things to say about that that you dismiss entirely because from your perspective their entire way of thinking has no validity at all?

Whoa. Since when did I dismiss anyone, much less an “entire way of thinking?”

You’re not engaging with the actual arguments made by the “gender feminist” side here. That suggests to me that you’re not really trying to have a serious conversation about this.

I don’t need to engage with any kind of feminists. The thread title is “Discussion on rape prevention.” This is part of that discussion. In my experience, too much about crime is that “criminals are bad” and “victims are good” and that is as far as it ever gets. It puts people into roles that really aren’t that natural or correct. Our criminal justice system seems built on this idea, but it’s unclear if it has any actual affect on crime, especially crimes of passion like rape.

114 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm

MetaLogic@111:

Ok, that’s a fair point and that could be the case as well. But, what do you think of this comment by karpad

It’s stupid and I disagree with it.

We’ve acknowledged such symmetry in the past, and even called it out ourselves.

When you say “we” who are you referring to? Most of the people I’ve talked to here are not willing to admit as much.

We both have several posts here discussing rape prevention. I’ve not responded to every post because that would take far too much time, and I want to mostly keep the discussion between me and you, because that’s how the conversation started; and it’s also the case that I was away for several hours yesterday and many, many posts were made during that time. This isn’t to say that no one else is allowed to participate – I’ve also responded to doubtthat. If there’s a specific post you think I should respond to and haven’t, let me know which one and I will.

I’ve already mentioned which comments I think you should respond to. Maureen Brian and everything by Kes.

Furthermore, while you’ve responded to doubtthat your responses have been very disappointing. You don’t seem willing to engage with doubtthat’s actual arguments. Or mine, for that matter. As I said, I feel you’ve ignored the substance of the discussion and focused on minuitiae.

It *is* all on those people. I’m only responsible for my own behavior, and I’m under no obligation to call out trolls. If you go back through the past few threads here, you’ll notice that I’ve not made a single response to “Eu” (who is, btw, banned from the slymepit – something which very rarely happens). This is intentional. I want absolutely nothing to do with her.

At the same time, can you understand why I would feel frustrated and put upon when I try to have a serious conversation with you while I’m simultaneously getting trolled? Do you feel anyone was trolling you in this thread? Are you able to acknowledge the disparity between your experience and mine as a result of this fact?

I just can’t agree, and maybe that points to different goals. If my suggestions are already being acted on by feminists, well then that’s great, seriously. But if discussions like this never happen, then how am I supposed to know that? Being banned on sight only keeps me in the dark. Regardless of whether it turns out I’m right or wrong, I want more discussions like this. I want to be able to make points, ask questions, etc.

It’s been productive for me personally as I better understand your view. But I don’t think it’s been productive with the goal of moving the issue forward because I think you still haven’t given me any impression you’re willing to engage with arguments on the other side of this issue. For reasons already stated it is you who have given me this impression with your own behavior.

The only reason you’re “in the dark” is because you haven’t engaged with the opinions on the other side. Being banned doesn’t mean you’re not able to read what they’re writing. Furthermore, several people — as already noted — brought the relevant material into this very thread and you ignored it.

You haven’t really made any points or asked any interesting questions that I can see. What specifically do you think was productive about this conversation?

115 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm

NOTHING has been provided in this thread that hasn’t been discussed by feminists and other anti-sexual assault groups since…forever.

LOL. False.

116 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Edward Gemmer:

Whoa. Since when did I dismiss anyone, much less an “entire way of thinking?”

You do talk as if no one on the “gender feminism” side has already rebutted or discussed the points you make at 68 and at the bottom of 108. You act as if you’re having all these brilliant thoughts that no one has ever had before.

And many people on the ‘pit side are extremely dismissive of these points of view. Sorry for lumping you in with them as you have not explicitly said the same sorts of things in this thread.

Nonetheless, your failure to engage with the arguments made by the people you “disagree with” suggests that you do not have that much respect for their point of view. To me at least.

117 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Gemmer@115:

LOL. False.

Specific example please?

118 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm

You do talk as if no one on the “gender feminism” side has already rebutted or discussed the points you make at 68 and at the bottom of 108. You act as if you’re having all these brilliant thoughts that no one has ever had before.

How am I acting like this? Everything everyone has said on here, Pharyngula, the Slymepit, and everywhere else has probably been said in a better way somewhere else. What am I supposed to do – never speak because I might say something someone else has said at some point in their life?

Nonetheless, your failure to engage with the arguments made by the people you “disagree with” suggests that you do not have that much respect for their point of view. To me at least.

Hey, I love engaging and disagreeing – but I haven’t seen anyone actually disagree with me; just criticizing my originality.

Another point I would make: I hate the expanded notion of victim blaming. While it is insensitive and silly to try and hold the victim responsible for what the Steubenville defendants did, this notion of “never blame the victim” has taken on a life of its own, so much so that many ideas are never said or discussed for fear of “victim-blaming.”

119 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Specific example please?

Ask him. He’s the one making the claim that these groups have had these ideas since the beginning of time.

120 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

@Edward Gemmer:

How am I acting like this? Everything everyone has said on here, Pharyngula, the Slymepit, and everywhere else has probably been said in a better way somewhere else. What am I supposed to do – never speak because I might say something someone else has said at some point in their life?

If you really want to have a serious discussion about this then give specific examples of why doubtthat’s assertion was false. “LOL false” contradicts the statement above where you don’t deny all your points may have been discussed before and that you simply haven’t researched them.

Another point I would make: I hate the expanded notion of victim blaming. While it is insensitive and silly to try and hold the victim responsible for what the Steubenville defendants did, this notion of “never blame the victim” has taken on a life of its own, so much so that many ideas are never said or discussed for fear of “victim-blaming.”

So under what circumstances do you think it’s reasonable to blame the victim?

121 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Ask him. He’s the one making the claim that these groups have had these ideas since the beginning of time.

And you’re the one saying that’s not true. So provide the counterexample that proves it’s not true.

122 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm

@119 Edward Gemmer

Nice try. Which idea do you think is unique? Give me an idea you think hasn’t been considered by feminists and anti-assault activists and I’ll be willing to bet I can provide a discussion of such.

123 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm

So under what circumstances do you think it’s reasonable to blame the victim?

When it’s the victim’s fault. for example, the Steubenville defendants are now imprisoned against their consent, a victim of society’s ban on rape. Do you feel we shouldn’t blame them for their predicament?

If you really want to have a serious discussion about this then give specific examples of why doubtthat’s assertion was false.

Ok. Since this is a big FtB/Slymepit fest, one place I was banned from was the Crommunist Manifesto, for discussing and advocating all of these same things. I even provided a link towards things I felt were good ideas, which was the following:

http://www.gender-focus.com/2012/11/09/weve-got-to-talk-about-enthusiastic-consent/

I got all sorts of grief that these ideas were actually victim-blaming and we have been doing them forever and I was just a stupid sorry man and father. But no one actually gave me a link where these things had been discussed, presumably because there was on. I don’t know, because proving a negative can be hard to do and I wasn’t blessed with an omniscient knowledge of the universe.

124 SallyStrange March 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Edward Gemmer: one single example of an idea that has not been discussed by feminists and anti-rape activists would suffice to disprove the statement you claim is false. ONE example.

Can you provide such an example? If not, it is reasonable to conclude that you are wrong in claiming that the statement was false.

125 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Which idea do you think is unique? Give me an idea you think hasn’t been considered by feminists and anti-assault activists and I’ll be willing to bet I can provide a discussion of such.

I’m not saying any of them are unique. I’m saying that based on my research and understanding, these are the ideas that are most important to consider. The fact that someone somewhere argued for it or against it at some point in time seems pretty silly to me. These ideas aren’t new to me, they may be new to the people reading and discussing them. I’m very curious, which is why I’m posting and asking questions and giving ideas. If there is some good resource that addresses these things convincingly, please present it.

126 SallyStrange March 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm

So under what circumstances do you think it’s reasonable to blame the victim?

When it’s the victim’s fault. for example, the Steubenville defendants are now imprisoned against their consent, a victim of society’s ban on rape. Do you feel we shouldn’t blame them for their predicament?

This sort of dishonest rewriting of the content of the discussion is the sort of thing that gets people banned, not your allegedly brilliant, under-appreciated suggestions for reducing the incidence of rape. Rapists are not victims, unless you are deliberately and unreasonably changing the definition of “victim” so that you can paint “victim-blaming” as occasionally reasonable.

127 Maureen Brian March 21, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Try not to be so coy, Edward Gemmer. We were hoping to have a serious discussion.

Example:

The paper which AndrewV69 links @ 99 refers to the work of a number of feminists including bell hooks. It discusses at length the work of Brownmiller whose important studies on rape, in particular prison rape, were done in the 1970s.

It was she who moved the idea that, whatever the individual motivations, power dynamics and power disparity play a major part in the how, why, when of rape from the realm of anecdote and social observation to as close as the social sciences get to hard fact.

Forty-year-old academic work on that scale and which has not been refuted should not have to ask permission to be used as a working hypothesis in a discussion such as this.

128 SallyStrange March 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm

I’m not saying any of them are unique.

I think you’re not reading for comprehension. When you wrote this:


NOTHING has been provided in this thread that hasn’t been discussed by feminists and other anti-sexual assault groups since…forever.

LOL. False.

That is exactly what you were claiming. Which is it? Either it’s false that there’s nothing new that’s being offered here, in which case the second quote from you is accurate, or it’s true that nothing new is being offered here, in which the first quote from you is accurate.

Both of your statements cannot be true at the same time… unless you do something similar to one of the words in those statements as you just did to the word “victim.”

129 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Can you provide such an example? If not, it is reasonable to conclude that you are wrong in claiming that the statement was false.

Seeing that it would be difficult for me to catalog what every feminist has ever thought about the issue, I must concede it would be impractical for me to try and prove this claim.

130 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Both of your statements cannot be true at the same time

Ok. Who cares? to try and prevent the conversation from going in a Clinton-esque what do words mean direction, let me rephrase. I am sometimes frustrated with claims that to prevent rape, efforts that prevent rape that might include the victim often get thrown out due to the idea that they are victim-blaming. Amanda Marcotte recently had a tweet about it being difficult to address ways to prevent rape that aren’t considered victim blaming. I agree.

131 Maureen Brian March 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Gemmer,

Can you produce a single piece of evidence that any one of these folktales about skirt length, location or whatever has any correlation at all with rape happening or rape being prevented?

132 Kes March 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I was *really hoping* that someone on the “if you get raped in a short skirt, well…” side would engage with… ANYthing I wrote. Guess it was too dense for you guys. No one even *attempted* to engage the Lisak/Miller studies that were highlighted on Yes Means Yes (post 40), which I feel are 101 material for anyone talking about preventing rape, and far more substantiated than anything I wrote off-the-cuff about my impressions on how to change Rape Culture.

Instead there’s just been a lot of sniping about the way some posters said things, or how little other posters understand the problem. Yes, we KNOW you are bleeding ignorant about this topic. That’s why I, at least, am here. But rather than engage ANY concrete ideas, you’d like to moan about the level of discourse. You’re the one(s) dragging it down.

133 Kes March 21, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Speaking of things Amanda Marcotte said on Twitter: http://www.salon.com/2013/03/21/how_to_save_a_teenage_rapist/

134 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm

@129 Edward Gemmer

Seeing that it would be difficult for me to catalog what every feminist has ever thought about the issue, I must concede it would be impractical for me to try and prove this claim.

See, this is why I get annoyed to the point I become mean and snarky. This is such a slimy way of acknowledging that you were wrong, “how could I possibly be expected to read EVERY feminist EVERYWHERE? Geez.”

Look, when I read something like Maureen Brian’s post at 127, I am reminded that I am nothing approaching a scholar on this topic. She clearly has a very detailed knowledge of the history of this debate, and can provide weighty analysis pretty casually.

I say this because I have a cursory understanding of this material, and that is sufficient to recognize that what we’re dealing with in this thread is trite, rehashed material.

If you had read ANY work on this subject (not ALL), you would not be saying the things you are saying. If it frustrates me, imagine how people like Maureen and Sally feel. It’s such an elementary debate, and then you folks run off and say, “Look, it’s all dogmatic feminism, you can’t have a rational disagreement.”

Well, there’s a certain amount of truth to that: we can’t have a rational disagreement, but the responsibility for that weakness has been misallocated.

135 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm

@Edward Gemmer:

When it’s the victim’s fault. for example, the Steubenville defendants are now imprisoned against their consent, a victim of society’s ban on rape. Do you feel we shouldn’t blame them for their predicament?

Oh, come OFF it! Do you think that’s really the same usage of the word “victim” as in the other case? Be serious here.

Ok. Since this is a big FtB/Slymepit fest, one place I was banned from was the Crommunist Manifesto, for discussing and advocating all of these same things

No. doubtthat asserted that no one in this thread has said anything new or interesting about this. You said that assertion is false. Find an example from this thread to prove the assertion is false. Otherwise you haven’t done so.

Remember, we were discussing whether this particular conversation is going anywhere. Not whether you had a great idea once and everyone called you a jerk because of it.

136 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm

@Kes

I think your post at 40 was buried due to the moderation software. You’re right in saying any discussion should begin there.

137 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Also, Gemmer, the fact that they didn’t want to talk to you about these ideas at Crommunist Manifesto is in no way an argument that those ideas haven’t already been discussed extensively within feminism. Your “argument” really is a complete non-sequitir.

That’s why I asked for a specific example of a great idea you have that has not been discussed within feminism. It’s a simple game: you give an idea and the other commenters here try to find where it’s been discussed already. There’s no other reasonable way to resolve the question.

138 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Can you produce a single piece of evidence that any one of these folktales about skirt length, location or whatever has any correlation at all with rape happening or rape being prevented?

I’m not aware of any of these, which was why I said earlier I’m not that concerned with skimpy outfits. I wholeheartedly approve of skimpy outfits.

No one even *attempted* to engage the Lisak/Miller studies that were highlighted on Yes Means Yes

Not true. In my first post I referenced them, though not by name. They have valuable information, but my main problem is that the conclusion in the link provided is that men should be more cognizant. While being more educated is great, this seems like better information for women. If we know repeat date rapists have certain traits and use certain methods, aren’t women in the best position to recognize these people and their methods and not get drunk with them or invite them back to their homes?

If you had read ANY work on this subject (not ALL), you would not be saying the things you are saying.

What would I not be saying?

Oh, come OFF it! Do you think that’s really the same usage of the word “victim” as in the other case? Be serious here.

Victim is a word. It has a definition. From Google: “A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.” Clearly, the defendants are harmed (if you consider being locked up against your will harm) and clearly, it is by an action. They are victims.

And just so you know I’m not being cute. I represent criminals. They are often awful, miserable people. They are often also victims of other actions, not just being incarcerated by the state, but abuse or neglect by their parents and society. The reason I hate the offender/victim dichotomy is because many people occupy both positions.

Remember, we were discussing whether this particular conversation is going anywhere. Not whether you had a great idea once and everyone called you a jerk because of it.

I thought we were talking about rape prevention. Who gives a shit what some other group talked about somewhere else at some other time. Either give me an example or link so I can see what you are talking about, or move on. I’m genuinely interested in the conversation.

139 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

@Edward Gemmer

What would I not be saying?

Stuff like this:

Not true. In my first post I referenced them, though not by name. They have valuable information, but my main problem is that the conclusion in the link provided is that men should be more cognizant. While being more educated is great, this seems like better information for women. If we know repeat date rapists have certain traits and use certain methods, aren’t women in the best position to recognize these people and their methods and not get drunk with them or invite them back to their homes?

This is not a new idea. There is empirical evidence available for this theory of yours, have you bothered to look for it?

140 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm

That’s why I asked for a specific example of a great idea you have that has not been discussed within feminism.

I consider myself a feminist, so by definition anything I talk about has been discussed within feminism. But clearly not all feminists agree with me, or each other, or value or talk about the same things. This is resembling those computer nerd conversations where someone says “I like Apple” and someone else says “You know they just copied off of Xerox.” Who cares?

141 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm

This is not a new idea. There is empirical evidence available for this theory of yours, have you bothered to look for it?

I’m trying to read your mind and…..I failed. Please provide a link.

142 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Victim is a word. It has a definition. From Google: “A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.” Clearly, the defendants are harmed (if you consider being locked up against your will harm) and clearly, it is by an action. They are victims.

So a “victim” is any person harmed by an “action”? Do you see how that’s making the context so vague that it’s impossible to have any kind of discussion?

Can we narrow down the concept of “victim” a little so that we can actually have a discussion? Or are you going to insist that when I stub my toe on a misplaced cobblestone that I am a “victim” of the paver who misplaced the stone?

And just so you know I’m not being cute. I represent criminals. They are often awful, miserable people. They are often also victims of other actions, not just being incarcerated by the state, but abuse or neglect by their parents and society. The reason I hate the offender/victim dichotomy is because many people occupy both positions.

All the more reason to be against victim-blaming it seems to me.

I thought we were talking about rape prevention. Who gives a shit what some other group talked about somewhere else at some other time. Either give me an example or link so I can see what you are talking about, or move on. I’m genuinely interested in the conversation.

No, Gemmer. doubtthat asserted that no one in this thread has given any original ideas. You said that was false. Now either demonstrate that doubtthat’s assertion was false or admit that you were wrong.

143 Kes March 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm

You still insist on putting responsibility to “not get raped” on the victims. You still insist that women should “recognize the traits” of predators. This still smacks of a hoof-and-mouth approach to rape prevention: if there were no rape victims (no women drinking in bars wearing short skirts, based on the advice usually given to women to “not get raped”), then there would be no rape.

Which is why rape is lowest of all in countries where women are held in purdah, unallowed in public without related male escorts, and encouraged or forced to cover their bodies completely. Oh wait, that’s not even remotely the case.

I strongly believe in Rape Culture, and I also believe that the only way to reduce rape is to restructure the culture that normalizes it and sympathizes with the rapists, not the raped. Or believes that people “get” themselves raped, and therefore are undeserving of pity. And if we can go from Stonewall riots to same-sex marriage in 9 states and DC in less than half a century, we can change Rape Culture with education and actual enforcement of existing laws. So I truly believe.

144 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm

That’s why I asked for a specific example of a great idea you have that has not been discussed within feminism.

I feel the point I was making is so obvious in context that you have to be trying to misunderstand what I said. Is this not the case? What is it you think I was trying to say?

145 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Gemmer, I’m not sure if you can understand why but try to understand:

your behavior in this discussion is exactly why no one wants to discuss your brilliant feminist ideas with you. It’s been explained very clearly to you why this is and what’s wrong with your behavior and you’re still doing it.

That makes me think you simply don’t understand why people don’t want to talk to you about this and that your insistence on it is (without doing a little bit of research on the topic first) is a huge part of the problem here.

146 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm

@Edward Gemmer

I’m trying to read your mind and…..I failed. Please provide a link.

Again, we’re right back to the fundamental issue of what it means to have a “rational conversation.”

If you don’t know how to substantiate your claims with empirical evidence, I don’t know how to help you. This is not something a skeptic should be unfamiliar with.

147 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I consider myself a feminist, so by definition anything I talk about has been discussed within feminism.

Haha, what?

I, Albert Einstein am I scientist, so clearly my Theory of Relativity is nothing new, and, by definition, has already been discussed in science.

148 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm

So a “victim” is any person harmed by an “action”?

Yes! That is what a victim is.

Do you see how that’s making the context so vague that it’s impossible to have any kind of discussion?

No. The Steubenville defendants, for example, were not rape victims. But te fact that they did something quite wrong doesn’t mean they can never be victims of something else themselves. When we are talking about victims, we are by definition saying someone was harmed by something. It is the extra attributes we assign to them that really don’t have a basis in reality. Victims aren’t by definition good people.

Can we narrow down the concept of “victim” a little so that we can actually have a discussion?

Narrow it to what? I think the definition is fine. The issue I’m having is that some victims are not at all responsible for what happens to them, while some are very responsible. For example, some people live in a flood plain. Occasionally, they are victims of a flood. There seems to be a cause/effect relationship here. What I’m saying has practical effect – it is victim blaming to say the Steubenville defendants caused their own predicament. That’s why victim blaming is sometimes very justified. Where I draw the line is holding people responsible for others’ actions that they shouldn’t reasonably foresee.

149 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Gemmer@147:

So you agree that if I stub my toe on a loose paving stone that I am a “victim” of the paver?

Do you really think this is a reasonable starting point for a discussion about victim blaming? What would you say if I told you I disagreed?

150 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Edward Gemmar:

Can you please explain how anything you’ve said in the last 40 comments could be said to be engaging with “gender feminist” arguments about rape prevention?

151 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Yes! That is what a victim is.

Again, this is why frustration levels rise.

Victim can mean someone at the receiving end of a vague action, or it can mean:

“A person who is tricked or duped: “the victim of a hoax”.”

That would be the sense in which the young lady who was horribly assaulted was a “victim” and the rapists were not. The legal system (for the most part, and certainly in this case) does not “trick” people into prison. They have due process rights that were obeyed.

All your doing is engaging in a very trivial sort of equivocation.

152 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm

*you’re*

153 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Victims aren’t by definition good people.

Don’t strawman me, bro. Fact is, usually people tried and convicted of a crime aren’t considered “victims” of the criminal justice system. There are, of course, exceptions — almost exclusively in cases where people thought the trial or conviction were unfair and that the criminal justice system was perverted and corrupted.

So I don’t think yours was a reasonable use of the term “victim”. I think you’re lawyering to get out of admitting you’re wrong. I think that’s also what you’re doing in regard to “LOL false”. That is not good-faith argumentation.

154 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

You still insist on putting responsibility to “not get raped” on the victims.

I’m not putting the responsibility on anyone. Say you have a daughter and she brings home a guy who kicks the dog, cusses you out, and then checks in with his parole officer. Is it “victim-blaming” to suggest that she shouldn’t date him? Or do you tell her everything is great and if he mistreats her then that’s his problem, not hers?

And if we can go from Stonewall riots to same-sex marriage in 9 states and DC in less than half a century, we can change Rape Culture with education and actual enforcement of existing laws. So I truly believe.

Believe in what you want. I see a culture which punishes crime to draconian levels and still has high crime rates. We imprison people at a mindboggling rate, yet people still break the law. Hmmm.

155 Kes March 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm

*throws up hands*

http://www.gabbysplayhouse.com/webcomics/suspects/

*retreats behind Gabby Schulz cartoon*

156 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Believe in what you want. I see a culture which punishes crime to draconian levels and still has high crime rates. We imprison people at a mindboggling rate, yet people still break the law. Hmmm.

People still break the law, of course they do. Again, as I’ve already gone over with metalogic in this thread crime cannot be eliminated. Period. Therefore this is not a valid criticism of any approach.

How about crime rates? We have high rates of drug crime and draconian drug laws. Are our laws against theft and murder “draconian”? Have those laws changed in recent times? Has there been any change in crime rates?

Those are the relevant questions. “We have harsh laws and there’s still crime” just isn’t a substantive argument.

157 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 7:05 pm

So you agree that if I stub my toe on a loose paving stone that I am a “victim” of the paver?

Sure.

Do you really think this is a reasonable starting point for a discussion about victim blaming? What would you say if I told you I disagreed?

I do. If you disagree, please explain.

Can you please explain how anything you’ve said in the last 40 comments could be said to be engaging with “gender feminist” arguments about rape prevention?

What are the gender feminist arguments about rape prevention?

Victim can mean someone at the receiving end of a vague action, or it can mean:

“A person who is tricked or duped: “the victim of a hoax”.”

That would be the sense in which the young lady who was horribly assaulted was a “victim” and the rapists were not. The legal system (for the most part, and certainly in this case) does not “trick” people into prison. They have due process rights that were obeyed.

I don’t see how the Steubenville vicitim was the victim of a hoax. she was the victim of a rape. What I am saying is calling someone a victim only says they were harmed in some way. That’s what being a victim means. It doesn’t mean anything more than that. If you want to say “don’t blame the victim” then you should be prepared to defend that even in instances where it is clearly the victim’s fault. Otherwise, don’t worship the mantra of “don’t blame the victim.”

158 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 7:09 pm

How about crime rates? We have high rates of drug crime and draconian drug laws. Are our laws against theft and murder “draconian”? Have those laws changed in recent times? Has there been any change in crime rates?

There really doesn’t seem to be any correlation between our punishment laws and crime rates. That’s why I tend to object to draconian laws about crime, especially about crimes that are based on passion and difficult to prove, crimes like rape.

159 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I don’t see how the Steubenville vicitim was the victim of a hoax. she was the victim of a rape.

Alright, this is getting old fast. She was taken advantage of. As long as due process was observed in the trial, the same cannot be said of the rapists. Thus, pretending like they’re “victims” in the same sense is incorrect.

This has become a really, really dumb interaction.

What I am saying is calling someone a victim only says they were harmed in some way.

No, it doesn’t. Since we have to go down this road, instead of pretending like the little google quick definition is dispositive (always a sign that we’re having an interesting conversation when we’re reading the fucking dictionary to understand words we all understand), let’s see what a source with more detail says:

“one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment.”

This would be the definition that we’re using, an obvious analogy to the concept of being taken advantage of inherent in being duped, but more specific since we’ve entered the totally useless, completely obvious, but ridiculously nit-picky part of the conversation.

160 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm

*throws up hands*

I just hit my limit as well.

Incredible…

161 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm

This would be the definition that we’re using, an obvious analogy to the concept of being taken advantage of inherent in being duped, but more specific since we’ve entered the totally useless, completely obvious, but ridiculously nit-picky part of the conversation.

Ok. so tell me how a prison sentence isn’t oppressive? Maybe that’s why people go to prison – they just like it so much.

I just hit my limit as well.

Incredible…

Yeah, me too. Please, tell me again that despite my words saying I don’t care about what size skirt someone wears, you’ve somehow read that I hate short skirts and that I should defend that position.

162 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

The strange insanity of all of this is keeping me going.

Ok. so tell me how a prison sentence isn’t oppressive? Maybe that’s why people go to prison – they just like it so much.

Look, we’re dealing with comprehension issues so fundamental that (redacted for civility).

Inherent in the idea of “oppression” is an unjust act. No one argues that the Nazis were oppressed when they were defeated in WWI. LOOK, LOOK, DEFINITION TIME, oppressed:

“Keep (someone) in subservience and hardship, esp. by the unjust exercise of authority.

To rape is unjust; to be punished for raping is not unjust.

Surely you understand this and are just backed into a corner and trying to salvage your dignity by refusing to surrender.

163 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Surely you understand this and are just backed into a corner and trying to salvage your dignity by refusing to surrender.

I’m not the one scouring the internet to try and change the definition of words into what I think they should mean.

164 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Haha, that is exactly what you’re doing.

Poor, sad, oppressed John Wayne Gacy, being victimized by being convicted.

If that honestly makes sense to you…

165 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm

If that honestly makes sense to you…

Did you study torts? All jurisdictions have some sort of analysis into what responsibility the “victim” (read:plaintiff) has in their own harm. Wherever you draw the line in how you use your words, we are talking about the same thing – not every “victim” has the same amount of culpability in what happens to them.

166 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Edward

I do think it is a little by the by to discuss a “victim of his own stupidity/mendacity” when the context of the preceding conversation is clearly “victim of a crime”. This does seem to me to be somewhat counterproductive pedantry on your part.

That said I do think there is a point to be made about prudence on behalf of potential targets as part of a discussion on reducing crime. If I leave a car unlocked with the keys in the ignition I am still a victim of theft, and the thief is still a thief, but my behaviour, if changed, may also help in the reduction of stolen cars.

This isn’t to say anything about clothing – which I see as a red herring from both sides wherever it comes up – but a better understanding of intoxication and isolation can help reduce sex crimes and I agree that that is necessarily seen by some people as “blaming the victim” (because most people offering such advice still think the perpetrator is a perpetrator) rather than “advising on prudence”.

167 Eu March 21, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Okay, so if I’m getting this right, Edward said he doesn’t care what anyone wears (I saw that) and then doubtthat in some kind of extreme paranoia against everybody or mind reading delusion kept insisting he does despite the fact that nothing he has said or done implies it?

168 Eu March 21, 2013 at 8:34 pm

If so, I don’t understand why it would be so hard to believe that someone doesn’t give a crap about what someone wears or the lack of clothes they have on as if it’s extremely popular to have conservative views now.

169 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm

There really doesn’t seem to be any correlation between our punishment laws and crime rates. That’s why I tend to object to draconian laws about crime, especially about crimes that are based on passion and difficult to prove, crimes like rape.

On what do you base this assessment? If it’s simply the assumption of a null hypothesis then say so. If you have some evidence for it bring it.

What are the gender feminist arguments about rape prevention?

They’ve been stated multiple times here in this thread. You have not engaged with them. If you can’t see that I don’t see how I can help you any further.

I do. If you disagree, please explain.

I already did. It is too vague.

170 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I don’t see that clothes really have much to do with it. Sure, I suppose if you wear eight layers of sweatpants you will be less likely to be raped, but the whole going out and looking sexy thing is usually for the purpose of attracting mates. The main problem with date rape or acquaintance rape is that certain men view really drunk women as fair game for sex. On the other hand, lots and lots of men and women like to drink before sex. Finding a bright line rule here is difficult.

171 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Edward Gemmer, your behavior in this thread is absolutely why no one wants to try to talk to you about these issues — not because you have “dissenting views” but because you don’t seem to be really able to engage with other people’s arguments instead of talking about whatever it is you want to talk about.

It’s incredibly frustrating. I know I have no desire to try to discuss these issues with you any further. You don’t seem to have any original ideas on this subject and when challenged to provide them you make excuses why you shouldn’t have to.

I suspect this is a large part of the standoff here. If you can’t understand why people have gotten frustrated with you and decided to stop arguing with you then you’re probably just not going to understand the “gender feminist” point of view and you should stop trying to force yourself into conversations with them.

172 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm

It seems pretty clear to me. Girls (and boys) should know to be clear about denying consent when they are reluctant and boys (and girls) should be clear about obtaining it before they engage in something that could be construed as assault.

It might remain a sticky wicket in the minority of cases where someone is too intoxicated to know what they’re saying. There may be an instance where someone seems lucid but is effectively blacked-out. I think the current vagaries might be the best that can be done in such cases.

For the most part though, if reluctant parties say no and eager parties wait for a yes that seems to solve most of the problems.

173 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Last post aimed at Ed rather than Dan.

174 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 9:00 pm

As for Dan, I get you, but does it not cut both ways? People on the other side of this particular fence do pretend – for example – that advice on prudence is necessarily blaming the victim when that isn’t the case in the majority of cases.

175 A Hermit March 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm

advice on prudence is necessarily blaming the victim when that isn’t the case in the majority of cases.

Thing is, to someone who has been raped telling htem what THEY should have doen differently looks an awful lot like victim blaming.

Prudence is all well and good (I used to teach a self defense class, I’m all for prudence) but after the fact it’s probably less than helpful to talk about it.

The point is, it’s never a lack of prudence on the victim’s part that actually causes rape; it’s the rapist’s decision to rape somebody.

That’s the part of the equation we have to focus on changing.

176 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Okay, so if I’m getting this right, Edward said he doesn’t care what anyone wears (I saw that) and then doubtthat in some kind of extreme paranoia against everybody or mind reading delusion kept insisting he does despite the fact that nothing he has said or done implies it?

The hell are you talking about? That’s not even remotely what we’re discussing.

I just…unreal. I don’t think I’m using big words or complicated syntax.

My dispute with Gemmer is entirely based on his bizarre attempt to equivocate over the word “victim.” Please cite the part where I accused him of anything regarding skirt length.

177 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Dave Allen@174:

As for Dan, I get you, but does it not cut both ways? People on the other side of this particular fence do pretend – for example – that advice on prudence is necessarily blaming the victim when that isn’t the case in the majority of cases.

That may not be the intent but when you are trying to discuss these issues in places that are trying to provide safe space among people who’ve already done a lot of thinking, reading, and writing about these issues you might reasonably (in my opinion) say that people who aren’t already familiar with the issues should not make comments that could be taken to be victim blaming.

There is no http “READMIND” request. People cannot tell your intent simply from what you write — especially if you’re not particularly informed on a subject and are thus likely to phrase things awkwardly or ask questions that have well-understood answers within the community you’re breaching them in (the latter can be taken to be trolling even when it’s not).

I think the problems are really more like:
A) You and other ‘pitters seriously overestimate the usefulness of your advice.
B) You and other ‘pitters have trouble telling when it’s an appropriate place and time to breach certain subjects.
C) Some ‘pitters (Edward Gemmer for example) don’t seem to be willing to do research before trying to engage in discussion even when this is explicitly requested and the materials in question are directly presented.

As for whether this is true in the “majority of cases” I don’t think there’s anyway to discern that. You simply don’t spend enough time at Pharyngula (neither do I) to determine whether they deal with more trolls than sincere seekers of debate or vice versa.

I also keep trying to point out that often people think they’re “sincere seekers of debate” when they’re really just trying to push their point of view and refuse to engage with that of anyone else. That’s the impression I have of Edward Gemmer and a few others I’ve talked to in the last few days. So just because a majority of people swear they just want an open honest debate on the issue does not mean that’s going to be true, or at least true from someone else’s point of view.

178 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Dave Allen, I am once again in moderation.

179 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm

“Thing is, to someone who has been raped telling htem what THEY should have doen differently looks an awful lot like victim blaming.”

But they are not the only people involved in the conversation. In many cases they might be cursing their own actions anyway – despite people monitoring what they say or not. In regard to representative cases most people – no matter how bad they take their own circumstance – are able to see both their own place in the circumstance and how that relates and differs to culpability for a crime.

So if the conversation is “how do we make the victims feel better”? That is an existential matter. Some may prefer not to hear any sort of post-facto advice (though they would seem callous in their turn to deny it to others). Others may like to say themselves stuff like “well the perpetrator is a vile criminal and I hope to see him sternly punished, but I could have done various things to protect myself had my engagement with the circumstances been different”.

More to the point though “how do we make victims feel better” is a different subject to “how do we reduce sexual assault”? After all the most sensitive of victims may prefer never to hear the subject come up, and granting them their wish as a categorical imperative would be nothing but counterproductive.

180 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Also, I don’t think “advice” is the same thing as “telling people”. Obligation isn’t inherent to advice.

181 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm

@178 Dave Allen

Step 1: Provide any evidence of any kind supporting the notion that victim appearance or behavior effects the likelihood of being raped.

Step 2: Then, and only then, do we decide whether those steps should be taken.

For example, hypothetically one could prove that locking women in rooms by themselves and not allowing any visitors reduces the likelihood that they will be assaulted. You would have empirical evidence that the policy is efficacious, but we would all be able to see why it’s not a proper policy solution.

Everyone here wants to start spouting gibberish about step 2 before the first step has been established. Why should I care about what anyone says on this topic – whether we can reduce sexual assault by educating victims – unless you have some evidence that this works in any way?

182 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 9:32 pm

But they are not the only people involved in the conversation. In many cases they might be cursing their own actions anyway – despite people monitoring what they say or not.

And that is exactly the point. ‘pitters often choose inappropriate venues to try to push their views. Then they get made when the hosts of those venues try to protect the people in the conversation who might be cursing their own actions and are therefore vulnerable.

The ‘pit is not a place for people who are vulnerable this way. Can you accept that other places try to be and are not necessarily appropriate to ‘pit-style discourse?

In regard to representative cases most people – no matter how bad they take their own circumstance – are able to see both their own place in the circumstance and how that relates and differs to culpability for a crime.

I’m not actually sure this is true at all. I just don’t think it’s much of an issue for discussions of crimes other than rape. I’ve known at least one person commit a pretty egregious act of vandalism (this is a guy in his 50’s or 60’s) and let someone else take the fall for it — a retired person who lost several sources of revenue as a result. This person did not accept culpability for a crime that they pretty obviously committed and there was no way they could honestly deny committing it.

More to the point though “how do we make victims feel better” is a different subject to “how do we reduce sexual assault”? After all the most sensitive of victims may prefer never to hear the subject come up, and granting them their wish as a categorical imperative would be nothing but counterproductive.

Even better, you could try to distinguish appropriate venues to discuss your ideas for rape prevention as opposed to appropriate venues for the comforting/reassurance/rehabilitation of victims.

183 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm

“Step 1: Provide any evidence of any kind supporting the notion that victim appearance or behavior effects the likelihood of being raped.”

Firstly I would like to note my frustration at being asked to support a notion I have explicitly set myself against, ie: that appearance is relevant. I don’t think it is, I said so, I am now seemingly asked to defend a notion I have sided against.

Given that any empirical study on the matter is mired in controversy for the mere fact that it is empirical study on the matter I’m not really going to bother going down this road. I could recommend works citing forensic psychology and we both know objections would be raised on ideological grounds and emotional baggage as much as if not more than cold appraisal. I could say – for example – that I think there’s a lot to consider about “A Natural History of Rape” (a book I have not read BTW – this is just for purpose of example) and you surely recognise that resulting appraisal of my recommendation would not come from the cold facts examined, but quibbles over interpretation, methodology, perceived motivation for writing the work or citing the work and so on.

Anecdotal evidence abounds of course. So it would be easy to provide evidence, as you know. You also know it would be lacking in taste and further fodder for “oh so you think it’s her fault for getting too drunk to complain or resist” as opposed to “you think it would have been prudent for her to eschew catatonia”.

This is a problem with citing social science at all – given that it is all a matter of competing/co-existing/corroborating perspectives.

Given that any policy based on social science can always be quibbled about due to the nature of social science I advocate for what I advocate in post #172. To repeat:

“It seems pretty clear to me. Girls (and boys) should know to be clear about denying consent when they are reluctant and boys (and girls) should be clear about obtaining it before they engage in something that could be construed as assault.”

Which says nothing about people’s clothes, does it?

184 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Given that any empirical study on the matter is mired in controversy for the mere fact that it is empirical study on the matter I’m not really going to bother going down this road. I could recommend works citing forensic psychology and we both know objections would be raised on ideological grounds and emotional baggage as much as if not more than cold appraisal. I could say – for example – that I think there’s a lot to consider about “A Natural History of Rape” (a book I have not read BTW – this is just for purpose of example) and you surely recognise that resulting appraisal of my recommendation would not come from the cold facts examined, but quibbles over interpretation, methodology, perceived motivation for writing the work or citing the work and so on.

Then whence all the ‘pitter demands for evidence for “gender feminist” ideas if you’re just going to reject it all on ideological grounds?

How can you have a discussion when you reject all the other person’s premises and refuse to listen to them?

How can you say ‘pitters are looking for reconciliation and open debate when they won’t give any credibility to the opinions on the other side?

185 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Also, 177 is a response to you Dave Allen that has been stuck in moderation.

186 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Dan

“And that is exactly the point. ‘pitters often choose inappropriate venues to try to push their views. Then they get made when the hosts of those venues try to protect the people in the conversation who might be cursing their own actions and are therefore vulnerable.”

I see advocacy for the Slymepit as tangential to the conversation at hand.

“The ‘pit is not a place for people who are vulnerable this way. Can you accept that other places try to be and are not necessarily appropriate to ‘pit-style discourse?”

Sure. Can you see that dancing round the subject in somewhat tortured style so as not to trigger the most sensitive might get in the way of reaching dividend?

The ‘pit serves a purpose in being an area where you don’t have to watch what you say. Obscenity is the price you pay for that. Those who don’t like obscenity are obviously advised not to read threads on the ‘pit.

“I’m not actually sure this is true at all. I just don’t think it’s much of an issue for discussions of crimes other than rape. I’ve known at least one person commit a pretty egregious act of vandalism (this is a guy in his 50′s or 60′s) and let someone else take the fall for it — a retired person who lost several sources of revenue as a result. This person did not accept culpability for a crime that they pretty obviously committed and there was no way they could honestly deny committing it.”

Well, you talk about the perpetrator here. As to whether a perpetrator can accept moral culpability is another existential matter – some people are just too sociopathic/psychopathic to care.

Borderline cases may be caught with education – which I advocate along the lines I mentioned in my last post – but I think it PollyAnnaish to assume that works in each and every case.

“Even better, you could try to distinguish appropriate venues to discuss your ideas for rape prevention as opposed to appropriate venues for the comforting/reassurance/rehabilitation of victims.”

Well, I am posting on a thread entitled “Discussion on rape prevention”.

So unless you think it’s a bad idea to discuss the topic of rape prevention on a thread entitled “Discussion of rape prevention” perhaps you might consider the likelihood of my knowing how to suck an egg.

I don’t just blurt this stuff out to kids on the street.

187 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Sure. Can you see that dancing round the subject in somewhat tortured style so as not to trigger the most sensitive might get in the way of reaching dividend?

The ‘pit serves a purpose in being an area where you don’t have to watch what you say. Obscenity is the price you pay for that. Those who don’t like obscenity are obviously advised not to read threads on the ‘pit.

All of which fails to address my question, which is whether you can recognize that certain venues are inappropriate to certain forms of discourse.

Well, you talk about the perpetrator here. As to whether a perpetrator can accept moral culpability is another existential matter – some people are just too sociopathic/psychopathic to care.

Borderline cases may be caught with education – which I advocate along the lines I mentioned in my last post – but I think it PollyAnnaish to assume that works in each and every case.

My point is just that people’s attitudes towards their own culpability aren’t as simple and cut-and-dried as you suggest. I think it’s a very complicated and fraught concept at every level from abstract philosophical right down to literally stealing candy from a baby.

And the point of expressing this is that if you can’t accept that I think the issue is more complex than you do then it will be difficult to find common ground.

Well, I am posting on a thread entitled “Discussion on rape prevention”.

So unless you think it’s a bad idea to discuss the topic of rape prevention on a thread entitled “Discussion of rape prevention” perhaps you might consider the likelihood of my knowing how to suck an egg.

I don’t just blurt this stuff out to kids on the street.

Perhaps you should take better care not to read too much into my intentions. I’m not criticizing you for making such arguments here. I’m criticizing some people on the ‘pit side for trying to make such arguments in venues which are not appropriate for them — even after they’ve been notified of that much!

188 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm

By the way, as far as I’m concerned the “discussion on rape prevention” has already been a complete failure. Right now I’m picking through the pieces and trying to figure out why.

189 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm

And you can go ahead and suck an egg if you’re going to start taking things personally now. I’ve laughed off a lot of bullshit to try to get “the ‘pit point of view”. A little patience on your side might be warranted as well.

190 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 10:08 pm

“Then whence all the ‘pitter demands for evidence for “gender feminist” ideas if you’re just going to reject it all on ideological grounds?”

Dunno. I’m not all that bothered about advocating for a generalised opinion of internet forumites.

“How can you have a discussion when you reject all the other person’s premises and refuse to listen to them?”

Search me. Is this something I am typically guilty of? If it isn’t I cannot advocate for those who do.

“How can you say ‘pitters are looking for reconciliation and open debate when they won’t give any credibility to the opinions on the other side?”

I don’t say such. The most I have said, and will say again, is that some on the other side of the debate are just as hidebound. I am pessimistic as to the healing of any rift at it’s extremes. This area strikes me as a more interesting compromise to the FtB/SP division.

Perhaps someone should set up a new forum?

I have posted about a dozen times on the site, I don’t really regard it as part of my identity. I have more posts on the A+ forum though I am now banned and so can no longer participate. I’ve no interest in advocating for anyone but myself. If that makes me a pitter then I hope you see your generalisation isn’t correct in my individual case. If it does not then please stop asking me about a group of people with their own agency.

191 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Search me. Is this something I am typically guilty of? If it isn’t I cannot advocate for those who do.

In fact, you just did this a few moments ago:

Given that any empirical study on the matter is mired in controversy for the mere fact that it is empirical study on the matter I’m not really going to bother going down this road. I could recommend works citing forensic psychology and we both know objections would be raised on ideological grounds and emotional baggage as much as if not more than cold appraisal. I could say – for example – that I think there’s a lot to consider about “A Natural History of Rape” (a book I have not read BTW – this is just for purpose of example) and you surely recognise that resulting appraisal of my recommendation would not come from the cold facts examined, but quibbles over interpretation, methodology, perceived motivation for writing the work or citing the work and so on.

183. You said it. Own it.

I don’t say such. The most I have said, and will say again, is that some on the other side of the debate are just as hidebound. I am pessimistic as to the healing of any rift at it’s extremes. This area strikes me as a more interesting compromise to the FtB/SP division.

Since you are categorically rejecting all evidence that could be brought to bear on such questions I don’t see how “this area” could be used for any form of compromise. As I said, this discussion seems to me an abject failure.

192 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm

If you’re going to say shit like this:

The most I have said, and will say again, is that some on the other side of the debate are just as hidebound.

Then I think it is inconsistent to say stuff like this:

If it does not then please stop asking me about a group of people with their own agency.

193 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Please address 177 if you would like to continue discussing.

194 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Dan

“All of which fails to address my question, which is whether you can recognize that certain venues are inappropriate to certain forms of discourse.”

I did address it. My answer was “Sure”.

“My point is just that people’s attitudes towards their own culpability aren’t as simple and cut-and-dried as you suggest.”

My suggestion *was* that culpability wasn’t cut and dried, so we are in agreement it would seem.

“I’m criticizing some people on the ‘pit side for trying to make such arguments in venues which are not appropriate for them — even after they’ve been notified of that much!”

I don’t care. I think the philosophical differences between ‘pit and FtB have been done to death on other threads.

Would it be OK if we just ignore the ‘Pit for the purposes of this conversation?

195 Edward Gemmer March 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm

On what do you base this assessment? If it’s simply the assumption of a null hypothesis then say so. If you have some evidence for it bring it.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/2007/01/the_irrational_18yearold_criminal.html

196 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Gemmer@195:

I didn’t say “prison definitely deters crime”. I asked whether you had any evidence that sentencing affects crime rates. That’s not “harsher sentencing causes lower crime rates” but any of a wide range of possibilities, such as “lower sentencing along with probation and community service requirements lowers crime rate” or “harsher sentences paradoxically increase crime rate.” You said sentencing doesn’t affect crime rate at all, and this article simply doesn’t qualify.

Besides that, I cannot determine from a single Slate profile on a particular criminal justice researcher how well-supported this person’s research is or how much it is consistent with the field’s current consensus on the subject. It provides some evidence for a claim (not the one you actually made) but it certainly doesn’t establish that claim as true or even likely.

I will take it for what it is worth, but it doesn’t address the question that was asked: is there any way that sentencing affects crime rates?

197 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 10:20 pm

@Dave Allen

Firstly I would like to note my frustration at being asked to support a notion I have explicitly set myself against, ie: that appearance is relevant. I don’t think it is, I said so, I am now seemingly asked to defend a notion I have sided against.

Right, that’s my fault, your position is much more frivolous:

Others may like to say themselves stuff like “well the perpetrator is a vile criminal and I hope to see him sternly punished, but I could have done various things to protect myself had my engagement with the circumstances been different”

So you’re not saying that victims could have behaved differently thereby avoiding the assault, you’re saying that some of them might think that, so…what?

You’re just being coy, say your point. In response to this:

Thing is, to someone who has been raped telling htem what THEY should have doen differently looks an awful lot like victim blaming.

You said this:

More to the point though “how do we make victims feel better” is a different subject to “how do we reduce sexual assault”?

That reads to me as asserting that even though it may hurt victims’ feelings to tell them that they behaved in a way that contributed to their rape or assault, it might actually reduce sexual assault.

Feel free to clarify, what is your position? If you don’t think that educating victims on behaviors they can take to avoid assault, then there is no conflict between victims’ feelings and the means of preventing rape. The fact that you think such a conflict exists indicates to me that you would need to tell victims’ or women in general some bit of advice that could really hurt their feelings.

198 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Dan

“183. You said it. Own it.”

OK. That is not – to my mind – an example of me rejecting another person’s premise (it wasn’t a premise, it was a request) and refusing to listen to them (as I explained my reasons with regard to what they had written).

In fact with regard to that particular strand of conversation it was doubtthat who was rejecting my premises and refusing to listen to me, as he/she specified that I answer for things I had already disavowed (the claim that I need to somehow defend the notion that women’s clothing make a difference).

“Since you are categorically rejecting all evidence that could be brought to bear on such questions I don’t see how “this area” could be used for any form of compromise. As I said, this discussion seems to me an abject failure.”

I have rejected nothing that could count as evidence. I have queried assertions and refused requests I do not see as productive.

“Then I think it is inconsistent to say stuff like this:”

I don’t think so. I advocate for neither side, I see neither side as blameless. I don’t see the ‘pit’s belligerence as altogether unprovoked. I like neither side’s tendencies to bellicosity. However, I am not banned from the ‘pit and can start my own threads there, which does make it a better venue for me than A+ or FtB.

“Please address 177 if you would like to continue discussing.”

Will do so next post.

199 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 10:27 pm

@Dave Allen

Given that any empirical study on the matter is mired in controversy for the mere fact that it is empirical study on the matter I’m not really going to bother going down this road. I could recommend works citing forensic psychology and we both know objections would be raised on ideological grounds and emotional baggage as much as if not more than cold appraisal. I could say – for example – that I think there’s a lot to consider about “A Natural History of Rape” (a book I have not read BTW – this is just for purpose of example) and you surely recognise that resulting appraisal of my recommendation would not come from the cold facts examined, but quibbles over interpretation, methodology, perceived motivation for writing the work or citing the work and so on.

I just don’t know how you folks can claim to be skeptics when you reason this way. There’s “controversy” in the empirical studies, therefore I’m just going to go ahead and make some shit up based on anecdote or whatever pops into my head.

There may controversy in the studies (what kind, though, that’s sort of important–there’s “controversy” in global warming science – how bad will it be? mostly – but to pretend like there are NO conclusions based on that debate is obviously stupid), but the answer is more empiricism, not less. I would be curious for you to provide an example of a debate in science that was resolved by abandoning science.

It seems pretty clear to me. Girls (and boys) should know to be clear about denying consent when they are reluctant and boys (and girls) should be clear about obtaining it before they engage in something that could be construed as assault.

I have no significant problem with that. The implication of an equivalency is slightly troubling, but if we’re just talking about education, that’s not all that objectionable…which is why I didn’t object to it, ever.

200 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:29 pm

@Dave Allen:

It seems to me as though you are dodging around my actual arguments. Here, again, is the initial question you asked me:

As for Dan, I get you, but does it not cut both ways? People on the other side of this particular fence do pretend – for example – that advice on prudence is necessarily blaming the victim when that isn’t the case in the majority of cases.

I had several points in reply:
A) the advice is probably not as good as you think it is
B) many people who want to have these discussions appear unwilling to engage with work already done on this subject
c) there are venues in which such discussions are inappropriate.

Now note, when you say “doesn’t it cut both ways” it seems to me you’re talking about the FtB way versus the ‘pit way. So no, I don’t think we can leave the ‘pit out of this. You’re asking me — as far as I can tell, and correct me if I’m wrong — why people on the ‘pit can’t discuss “rape prevention measures” that come across as victim blaming when that’s not their intention.

I have told you that it’s because they go into venues where such discourse is not invited and they insist on making all their terrible, uninformed arguments. You asked the question and I am trying to answer it. Why are you deciding to take offense at the fact that I am answering a question you asked me?

My suggestion *was* that culpability wasn’t cut and dried, so we are in agreement it would seem.

No, actually you said this:

In regard to representative cases most people – no matter how bad they take their own circumstance – are able to see both their own place in the circumstance and how that relates and differs to culpability for a crime.

Which seems to me to be saying “actually it’s not that hard to figure out if something is your fault or not,” which is exactly the opposite of “culpability is complicated”.

Would it be OK if we just ignore the ‘Pit for the purposes of this conversation?

Sure. You just have to stop asking questions that require me to talk about it.

201 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm

“That may not be the intent but when you are trying to discuss these issues in places that are trying to provide safe space among people who’ve already done a lot of thinking, reading, and writing about these issues you might reasonably (in my opinion) say that people who aren’t already familiar with the issues should not make comments that could be taken to be victim blaming.”

Well, to repeat – is this such a place?

I am not doing this on – for example – Atheism+.

” A) You and other ‘pitters seriously overestimate the usefulness of your advice.”

Well, again I don’t really regard myself as having forged an identity with a forum on which I have had little interaction. I have posted on FtB and A+ just as much if not more.

” B) You and other ‘pitters have trouble telling when it’s an appropriate place and time to breach certain subjects.”

I don’t care about other people, but where have I done so?

” C) Some ‘pitters (Edward Gemmer for example) don’t seem to be willing to do research before trying to engage in discussion even when this is explicitly requested and the materials in question are directly presented.”

I believe I have been critical of the individual in question on this very thread. Also “some” members of any group I care to think about are lazy in terms of research.

“As for whether this is true in the “majority of cases” I don’t think there’s anyway to discern that. You simply don’t spend enough time at Pharyngula (neither do I) to determine whether they deal with more trolls than sincere seekers of debate or vice versa.”

I read every post on pharyngula. I rarely bother with the comments, but I have a fairly decent knowledge of it in general.

“I also keep trying to point out that often people think they’re “sincere seekers of debate” when they’re really just trying to push their point of view and refuse to engage with that of anyone else. That’s the impression I have of Edward Gemmer and a few others I’ve talked to in the last few days. So just because a majority of people swear they just want an open honest debate on the issue does not mean that’s going to be true, or at least true from someone else’s point of view.”

Yes – I agree. I said he was indulging in “counterproductive pedantry” for this very reason.

202 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Dan – have answered 177 – it is in moderation. In short it’s much of the same – I don’t see myself as standing for the ‘pit more than A+ or FtB.

203 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I have rejected nothing that could count as evidence. I have queried assertions and refused requests I do not see as productive.

Dave Allen, doubtthat asked you for evidence to support your view.

Yes, she got your view wrong. But in that case it would have been productive to correct that by stating your actual view. What do you think is a good rape prevention measure? What sort of advice do you think is useful to give potential victims? And what sort of evidence do you have that such advice is actually efficacious?

The meat of your response was not to tell doubtthat that she had gotten your view wrong. It was to explain that it doesn’t matter whether you bring in any evidence because any and all evidence on this subject can be rejected for ideological reasons. What is the point of saying this if not to make the point that evidence is irrelevant from your point of view? How else could I interpret this? Did you mean that only “gender feminist” evidence is based on ideology and so only evidence for that position can be rejected out of hand on the basis of ideology? I don’t see how it’s relevant to be asked for evidence and respond “It doesn’t matter because any evidence can just be rejected on an ideological basis”. How does that move the conversation forward?

In fact with regard to that particular strand of conversation it was doubtthat who was rejecting my premises and refusing to listen to me, as he/she specified that I answer for things I had already disavowed (the claim that I need to somehow defend the notion that women’s clothing make a difference).

Which premises of yours did doubtthat ignore? I didn’t see you state any premises. Which arguments of yours did doubtthat refuse to address?

204 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Dave, you asked a question that seemed to me to be about the ‘pit vs. FtB. What other interpretation of that question would you like me to use?

205 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 10:44 pm

“I just don’t know how you folks can claim to be skeptics when you reason this way. There’s “controversy” in the empirical studies, therefore I’m just going to go ahead and make some shit up based on anecdote or whatever pops into my head.”

You have asked me to provide you evidence – I have explained why doing so will likely get us nowhere given what I infer of our divergent ideological perspectives. I don’t think either perspective is based in empiricism. As far as I know rates of rape have been dropping in the west for some time. My thought is that the best way to drop it further is more of the same, which is advice on prudence and the publication and conviction of rape as a serious offense.

“There may controversy in the studies (what kind, though, that’s sort of important–there’s “controversy” in global warming science – how bad will it be? mostly – but to pretend like there are NO conclusions based on that debate is obviously stupid), but the answer is more empiricism, not less. I would be curious for you to provide an example of a debate in science that was resolved by abandoning science.”

We aren’t doing science. We are gossiping on an internet forum about a subject over which we have nothing but the most picayune influence. If science is the answer then do what forensic psychologists suggest, given the limits of economics, within a framework of varied perspectives on both psychology and economics (that seem to continually trump each other).

“I have no significant problem with that. The implication of an equivalency is slightly troubling, but if we’re just talking about education, that’s not all that objectionable…which is why I didn’t object to it, ever.”

There no implication of equivalency in regards to anything other than what I believe works to reduce crime.

You may infer moral equivalency (if that’s what you mean), I certainly don’t imply it.

206 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Well, to repeat – is this such a place?

No. And I’ve never said it was, implied it was, or treated it like it was. So you can stop asking me this as if it’s something I’ve claimed or even implied. It is not. It seems like a diversion.

Well, again I don’t really regard myself as having forged an identity with a forum on which I have had little interaction. I have posted on FtB and A+ just as much if not more.

Point stands regardless. You seem to be arguing for the principle that one should be able to make arguments that victims take certain precautions (though you are seriously reticent about what those precautions should be). I am telling you that such advice should be justified by demonstrating some reason to believe it is efficacious in the first place. You don’t seem willing to do so.

I don’t care about other people, but where have I done so?

I was assuming based on your initial comment to me that you were specifically arguing for the ‘pitter’s rights to insert themselves into other people’s conversations about rape prevention. Perhaps you haven’t, but can you agree that it is reasonable to exclude this “precautionary advice for potential victims” from certain venues to protect people who may be emotionally vulnerable and take it the wrong way?

I believe I have been critical of the individual in question on this very thread. Also “some” members of any group I care to think about are lazy in terms of research.

I note that despite you being critical of Gemmer you haven’t really done too much to exceed his efforts in actually engaging with the material in question. In fact, when it was requested you do so you made a long-winded excuse about how since evidence on this subject can be dismissed for ideological reasons and therefore any such evidence was irrelevant.

I read every post on pharyngula. I rarely bother with the comments, but I have a fairly decent knowledge of it in general.

If you don’t read the comments then you still don’t know exactly what I said you don’t know, which is whether the number of trolls outnumbers the number of honest dissenters in the comments (which was rather clear from the context).

207 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:47 pm

You have asked me to provide you evidence – I have explained why doing so will likely get us nowhere given what I infer of our divergent ideological perspectives.

And then you repeatedly denied saying anything like this.

Dave Allen, I think it’s time for you to get specific about what advice you’d like to give and why you think it would be useful. What specifically is this “advice on prudence” you think will work so well?

208 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm

What sort of advice do you think is useful to give potential victims? And what sort of evidence do you have that such advice is actually efficacious?

Yes, this draws out the little game that’s being played.

I am not expecting much in the way of directness from Mr. Allen. If the extent of the argument is that people should be educated about consent, why would anyone risk “hurting victims’ feelings.”

Unless, of course, he’s saying that the lack of clear consent given by women is the reason the rape occurred. For which there is a great deal of evidence to the contrary that I will gladly distribute should this be the position.

If not, feel free to explain.

209 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:50 pm

For which there is a great deal of evidence to the contrary that I will gladly distribute should this be the position.

but don’t you see? That evidence is worthless because you believe it only for ideological reasons.

210 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 10:52 pm

I mean, it’s just a complete argument against the very notion of a scientific approach to problems. It’s some post-modern gibberish that isn’t unique, but is sort of stunning for, once again, the people that are most prone to becoming sanctimonious when explaining that Rad-Fems are just dogmatists.

211 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Dan

“What do you think is a good rape prevention measure? What sort of advice do you think is useful to give potential victims? And what sort of evidence do you have that such advice is actually efficacious?”

Good questions free of any preconceived notion of my intent or position. This differs from the sort of thing I think doubtthat produces, and I welcome you for it.

I would start with far more rigorous Personal and Social Education as an obligation of state and private schools (no current idea of how to oblige homeschoolers – will think more). This would be aimed at 13 year olds (I think younger may produce too much backlash – would see how it goes for a year or so). My position on content would be as described above. No means no as the best form of advertising your reluctance and yes means yes as the best way to ensure you are avoiding a crime. The more obvious get-out clauses (such as quibbles over coerced consent) could also be examined. The legal definitions of sexual assault made clear and exploration of individual moral scruples. It would seem sensible to discuss whether or not advice on prudence really is “blaming the victim” (as a certain reading of the feminist perspective asserts) or whether there is no more blame in it that advice such as “look after your purse – pickpockets work in this area” seems to engender. This could be left as an existential issue pending actual research.

Advice for potential victims? I think people need to be aware that there are downsides to being alone and intoxicated. Be brave in denying consent. How to get help. Legal recourse.

Evidence? I’m afraid I’ll have to refer you to my earlier quibbles about the vaguery of social science.

212 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:55 pm

doubtthat@210:

Yes. While I think the ‘pitters have some legitimate grievances and criticisms I think there is a huge lack of self-awareness (on both sides, actually) about the fact that many of those grievances and criticisms actually do apply to both sides.

I don’t mean to make a false equivalence if that’s what you think I’m doing. I’m just trying to acknowledge that there really is at least some of it on both sides.

213 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 10:56 pm

“Point stands regardless. You seem to be arguing for the principle that one should be able to make arguments that victims take certain precautions (though you are seriously reticent about what those precautions should be). ”

I have been consistent. Being isolated and intoxicated leaves one vulnerable.

214 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Good questions free of any preconceived notion of my intent or position. This differs from the sort of thing I think doubtthat produces, and I welcome you for it.

As you pointed out, the thread is called “Discussion on rape prevention.” No one at any time tried to prevent you from stating your position on rape prevention. Do not now try to pretend that they were.

215 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 10:58 pm

“Perhaps you haven’t, but can you agree that it is reasonable to exclude this “precautionary advice for potential victims” from certain venues to protect people who may be emotionally vulnerable and take it the wrong way?”

No strong opinion on the matter. I neither advocate wrapping people in cotton wool or brutalising them. I don’t mind A+ – for example – as a safe space and I think malicious trolling is … malicious.

216 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Evidence? I’m afraid I’ll have to refer you to my earlier quibbles about the vaguery of social science.

I think that’s the position of the abstinence-only folks, as well.

217 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

I have been consistent. Being isolated and intoxicated leaves one vulnerable.

I haven’t seen you state that yet.

This is correct and it’s absolutely covered by “gender feminist” discussions of the subject. If you think this is some brilliant new idea then you’re simply wrong.

However, suppose a young woman screws up and ends up in such a situation and is then raped. Or suppose she doesn’t screw up but her “buddy” she designated so that she wouldn’t be isolated gets too drunk and fails at her job.

In such cases would you agree that it’s not helpful to say to the person “Tsk, tsk, you should not have been isolated and intoxicated?” That doing so will probably come across and be internalized as victim blaming?

218 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

“As you pointed out, the thread is called “Discussion on rape prevention.” No one at any time tried to prevent you from stating your position on rape prevention.”

Which I have not done, I just draw comparison between your attitude and that of doubtthat, who clearly frames everything within the context of some foregone conclusion istm.

For example:

“Yes, this draws out the little game that’s being played.”

Which I just see no real reason for other than to shut down debate.

219 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 11:07 pm

I asked:

“How can you have a discussion when you reject all the other person’s premises and refuse to listen to them?”

You answered:

Search me. Is this something I am typically guilty of? If it isn’t I cannot advocate for those who do.

Later:

I have rejected nothing that could count as evidence. I have queried assertions and refused requests I do not see as productive.

Evidence? I’m afraid I’ll have to refer you to my earlier quibbles about the vaguery of social science.

Yes, this is something you are apparently typically guilty of.

I’m not so sure you’re as dissimilar from Edward Gemmer as you would like to think.

220 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Which I just see no real reason for other than to shut down debate.

What debate? What argument do you have that stands contrary to any position of “feminism” or any of the posters here?

It’s taken you all this time to say:

Being isolated and intoxicated leaves one vulnerable.

What effect do you think this would have on the 73% of rapes committed by friends, intimate partners and families? Should women refuse to drink even around the people they know best?

Assuming you can find anyone who is unaware of that advice, what makes you think that would prevent a single rape (not saying it wouldn’t, just curious why you think that’s a valuable insight)?

221 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Which I just see no real reason for other than to shut down debate.

I see no reasons for a lot of things you have done in this discussion besides shut down debate. Nonetheless, I have gritted my teeth, made an assumption of good-faith, and tried to engage with you. My impression is that doubtthat is trying to do so as well.

My personal opinion on you is that you’re making the assumption of good-faith very difficult.

222 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm

“I haven’t seen you state that yet.”

I brought it up ion my first post here #166 and have mentioned it at least twice since.

“This is correct and it’s absolutely covered by “gender feminist” discussions of the subject. If you think this is some brilliant new idea then you’re simply wrong. ”

I’m unaware that – on being asked my opinion on something – I necessarily break new ground. That would be post-modernist for the sole reason of being post-modernist.

“However, suppose a young woman screws up and ends up in such a situation and is then raped. Or suppose she doesn’t screw up but her “buddy” she designated so that she wouldn’t be isolated gets too drunk and fails at her job.

In such cases would you agree that it’s not helpful to say to the person “Tsk, tsk, you should not have been isolated and intoxicated?” That doing so will probably come across and be internalized as victim blaming?”

Personally I’d leave post-facto analysis to trained counsellors. My advice is merely offered in answer to queries such as:

“What sort of advice do you think is useful to give potential victims?”

Strikes me as moving the goalposts.

Post-fact advice is not the same as talk of potentialities. I defer to the experts on that matter. As I said above, the post-fact circumstance is surely an existential matter anyway.

And of course saying “tsk tsk” carries an implication of blame. This is why I have avoided saying “tsk” – or anything that could fairly be said to be equivalent – in my posts.

223 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm

“My personal opinion on you is that you’re making the assumption of good-faith very difficult.”

Sure, people with different ideologies often find it hard to trust each other. I can claim to have answered much of what you have put to me in sincerity. This is because you strike me as sincere. I still think you misrepresent me, but I think that’s a likely result of diverging philosophical perspective. So for my part there’s no malice, the frustration is just of communicating across a divide, I think.

224 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 11:16 pm

I brought it up ion my first post here #166 and have mentioned it at least twice since.

Yes, I read your comments out of order. One of those “two” I read first was the last one, and the other preceded it by a few minutes.

I must have missed your first comment…perhaps not addressed to me in the first place?

I’m unaware that – on being asked my opinion on something – I necessarily break new ground. That would be post-modernist for the sole reason of being post-modernist.

This sentence is actually incoherent. Nonetheless I get some sense of what you’re saying. The problem here is that to “debate” feminism you actually have to make a point that is contradicted by feminism. You haven’t.

Strikes me as moving the goalposts.

Post-fact advice is not the same as talk of potentialities. I defer to the experts on that matter. As I said above, the post-fact circumstance is surely an existential matter anyway.

And of course saying “tsk tsk” carries an implication of blame. This is why I have avoided saying “tsk” – or anything that could fairly be said to be equivalent – in my posts.

It’s not moving the goalposts. I stated that the sentiment as advice before-the-fact is not in the least controversial among feminists — there’s no disagreement over it. So no debate.

But you seem curious about why there’s so much anxiety about victim-blaming so I am trying to explain to you how this same sentiment when expressed in certain venues or contexts could be taken to be victim blaming. Do you understand this? Am I wasting my time trying to discuss this with you?

225 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Sure, people with different ideologies often find it hard to trust each other. I can claim to have answered much of what you have put to me in sincerity. This is because you strike me as sincere. I still think you misrepresent me, but I think that’s a likely result of diverging philosophical perspective. So for my part there’s no malice, the frustration is just of communicating across a divide, I think.

It’s not that I distrust you. It’s that your conduct in this conversation has been — from my point of view — evasive and lawyerly, very much like trying to “discuss” with Mr. Gemmer. In other words, you do not strike me as sincere.

Where have I misrepresented you?

226 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm

“Yes, this is something you are apparently typically guilty of.”

Again, what premise was rejected out of hand? I don’t even think a premise was forwarded (“what evidence have you?” is not a premise).

Furthermore I provided proofing as to why I rejected the query, which wasn’t a premise.

227 doubtthat March 21, 2013 at 11:21 pm

@223 Dave Allen

You said this:

That said I do think there is a point to be made about prudence on behalf of potential targets as part of a discussion on reducing crime. If I leave a car unlocked with the keys in the ignition I am still a victim of theft, and the thief is still a thief, but my behaviour, if changed, may also help in the reduction of stolen cars.

You have provided exactly zero evidence to support this claim. What prudence? Don’t drink alone? Ok, will that actually stop a single rape, as I asked before?

Not to mention that, once again, locking your car does very little to prevent thievery from people you’ve voluntarily allowed inside. Rape is primarily a crime breeching that sort of trust, making the advice mostly useless. What fraction of the 27% of rapes not covered by acquaintances would be deterred by telling people (who have already been told a thousand times) not to get drunk by yourself in vulnerable situations?

Does this happen or is it only a myth people use to excuse rape?

228 Dan L. March 21, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Do you know what a premise is, Dave?

It is a factually assertion.

Do you know what evidence is?

Factual assertions.

One can use evidence as one’s premises. If another then rejects that evidence they have also rejected the person’s premises. Clear? Simple?

229 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm

“It’s not that I distrust you. It’s that your conduct in this conversation has been — from my point of view — evasive and lawyerly, very much like trying to “discuss” with Mr. Gemmer. In other words, you do not strike me as sincere. ”

I feel I have a right to what I intend with the language I use – especially if it matches common definitions. So if this is another reference to me rejecting premises, I state again that they have not been made in the examples you forward.

Now fine – this is pedantic, but it not just correct in technicality, but in spirit.

That is, I feel, different to Ed, who I agree did seem to muddle things unnecessarily by drawing equivalence between “victim of crime” and “victim of own misbehaviour”.

“Where have I misrepresented you?”

Well, for example when you say: In such cases would you agree that it’s not helpful to say to the person “Tsk, tsk, you should not have been isolated and intoxicated?”

I do feel it is a somewhat two-steps-back type of thing, given that I have taken repeated pains to distance myself from “prudence as advice” = “blame”.

But – to anticipate – fair enough, we both impugn at times. I would rather return to topic. How would you answer the three questions you put to me?

230 Dave Allen March 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm

“Do you know what a premise is, Dave?

It is a factually assertion.”

No, its only an assertion. It’s a logical assertion. I don’t think facts and logic are the same thing (though they clearly correlate).

“Do you know what evidence is?

Factual assertions.”

But in the realm of social science – which forensic psychology is, the same data sets can be interpreted by at least 4 different perspectives. The subjective, the inherently biological, the socio-cultural and the cognitive. Therefore whilst the data might provide facts, what those facts relate to in practice might be far more complex.

As far as I am aware, for example, the “Don’t be that guy” campaign was tested in some areas that saw a drop in rapes, and others that saw a rise.

Evidence: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/story/2012/01/27/edmonton-sexual-assault-numbers.html

But what use is it? Can we trust the paper not to forward an agenda? Did an increase in raving in the area undo the good of the campaign? Was the campaign effective at all?

Confounding variables confound in psychology and sociology.

“One can use evidence as one’s premises. If another then rejects that evidence they have also rejected the person’s premises. Clear? Simple?”

Not at all. Firstly, in regard to the query I didn’t directly answer, neither premise nor evidence were cited. Moreover the best sociology and psychology can be is quasi-scientific – even in a laboratory experiment. I mean no slur on the fields – I like them – but they are problematic in illuminating cause in 100% manner.

231 Sally Strange March 21, 2013 at 11:51 pm

So… basically, there are no takers from the ranks of those who purport to provide a useful critique of “gender feminism” on the subject of rape prevention?

Good to know.

232 Edward Gemmer March 22, 2013 at 12:29 am

I will take it for what it is worth, but it doesn’t address the question that was asked: is there any way that sentencing affects crime rates?

Short answer: I don’t know. Long answer: No one knows. There is an entire field (criminology) more or less devoted to the subject.

A) You and other ‘pitters seriously overestimate the usefulness of your advice.

Newsflash: everyone overestimates the usefulness of their advice. Who cares? This is a discussion – people talk. It may be utter bullshit, but it’s a useful way to learn things. You seem to engage enough to say “you guys don’t know what you are talking about,” but I keep asking for whatever references or links or whatever that has all these wonderful ideas but I get a lot of nothing.

For example, we get this mantra of “tell men not to rape.” It’s the flavor of the month. And it’s good idea, because it addresses something we don’t do as a society, IMO, which is help younger people understand sexual relationships. But this approach need not be confined simply to telling men not to rape. Most people don’t rape and aren’t raped, and it’s good advice for them, too.

B) You and other ‘pitters have trouble telling when it’s an appropriate place and time to breach certain subjects.”

Well, call me crazy, but a thread called “discussion about preventing rape” seems like a good place to discuss preventing rape.

“I also keep trying to point out that often people think they’re “sincere seekers of debate” when they’re really just trying to push their point of view and refuse to engage with that of anyone else. That’s the impression I have of Edward Gemmer and a few others I’ve talked to in the last few days.

Well, I keep politely asking what it is that I’m not engaging in. I read and respond to the links provided. I had already read the reports about the self-report studies on rape, which were interesting, but I did not come to the same conclusion that you did. This does not mean that I am not engaging. But I am still quite curious. What gender feminist discussions are out there that I can read?

That is, I feel, different to Ed, who I agree did seem to muddle things unnecessarily by drawing equivalence between “victim of crime” and “victim of own misbehaviour”.

Is it muddled? Victim has a definition. It isn’t popular to call people in prison “victims,” but it is correct from their point of view. Regardless, arguing about word choice really misses the entire point – in any situation, there are various levels of culpability we can assign to the victim for their harm, ranging from say, 0% if say an asteroid hits the earth, to %100, say shooting up a school building. I don’t care what words you’d like to use – my point is that we get mired in trying to avoid victim-blaming as it’s own separate cause that must be avoided at all costs. We tend to make the victim completely helpless and the offender totally responsible because that’s easy, and at heart we are lazy people.

Still, this may not be the best approach to things. People can be responsible for what they actually do and can control, so tailoring our approach to this reality seems like a good idea. This applies to men and women, offenders and victims, and everything in between. Instead of having massive efforts to pile on Steubenville rapists, maybe we should take lessons. The number one thing that I got out of it was that nobody involved seemed to think it was rape. That is a little tragic, because it seems that with a slightly better education program, the entire episode could have been avoided.

233 Sally Strange March 22, 2013 at 12:44 am

If nobody in Steubenville knew it was rape, how did we get recorded video commentary to the effect that, “She is so raped right now”?

234 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 12:46 am

No, its only an assertion. It’s a logical assertion. I don’t think facts and logic are the same thing (though they clearly correlate).

The canonical example of a logical syllogism:
A: Socrates is a man.
B: All men are mortal.
Thus: Socrates is mortal.

A and B are the premises. It seems to me that both are assertions of fact. Could you explain to me how they’re not?

Of course, part of the problem is that I’ve never heard the term “logical assertion” before. Could you define it for me?

But in the realm of social science – which forensic psychology is, the same data sets can be interpreted by at least 4 different perspectives. The subjective, the inherently biological, the socio-cultural and the cognitive. Therefore whilst the data might provide facts, what those facts relate to in practice might be far more complex.

Ah, but a “factual assertion” is not a “fact”. So one may take a set of factual assertions from a body of research — say, “A Natural History of Rape”, and use those factual assertions as one’s premises.

In fact, that is how arguments in all subjects are usually undertaken. Including science. One takes a factual assertion such as “the gravitational force between two bodies is proportional to the product of the masses of the bodies divided by the square of the distance between the bodies” and then uses that as a premise to derive conclusions such as “the acceleration due to earth’s gravity at the surface of the earth is approximately 9.8 meters per square second”.

Important note: the factual assertion I used as a premise in the argument above is not actually a fact. There is plenty of evidence that Newton’s theory of gravity is false. (But obviously still useful as an approximation.)

As far as I am aware, for example, the “Don’t be that guy” campaign was tested in some areas that saw a drop in rapes, and others that saw a rise.

But what use is it? Can we trust the paper not to forward an agenda? Did an increase in raving in the area undo the good of the campaign? Was the campaign effective at all?

First of all, conflicting evidence is the norm in natural science as well.

But I’d really like to talk about whether it’s possible that science could be subject to some of the same problems you mention about the social sciences? Have you heard of a fellow named Halton Arp? Do you know what he argues? From what I understand, he was denied telescope time at the observatory he worked at and the publication of his papers was prevented. His work is studying studying the redshift of distant objects, especially quasars. He claims his observations directly challenge the big bang theory.

Now does Halton Arp have an agenda? Maybe he’s trying to be Galileo or something? Possibly. But after looking at some of the evidence he provides and reading some other astronomers agree that his arguments are completely legitimate I wonder if it isn’t possible that maybe someone else or even other people might have had an agenda and Arp is really an honest researcher trying to publicize what are quite probably really important anomalous results.

Anomalous results aren’t rare in science. They’re the norm. Conflicting evidence is the norm. Agendas aren’t unheard of — according to Kuhn they’re essential.

Moreover the best sociology and psychology can be is quasi-scientific – even in a laboratory experiment. I mean no slur on the fields – I like them – but they are problematic in illuminating cause in 100% manner.

Please justify the first statement of this paragraph with at least some kind of argument — in light of what I have just demonstrated about physical science.

The rest of this is actually rather inconsistent with something you said earlier:

Personally I’d leave post-facto analysis to trained counsellors.

I defer to the experts on that matter.

Who are the experts? What material do they study? Why would you defer to “experts” whose credentials are based on knowledge that is “quasi-scientific”?

Just a little bit ago I pointed out that agendas can override facts in the physical sciences. Now we’re talking about psychology…you want to talk about agendas? WEIRD. Pathologizing non-conformity. The pharmaceutical industry. A lot of shrinks sleep with their patients — obviously a bit of an ethical violation.

But let’s just accept their expertise uncritically and totally throw out all the research done for decades in fields like sociology, criminal justice, economics, and — oh yeah — psychology because they’re all quasi-scientific.

235 Sally Strange March 22, 2013 at 12:59 am

Not to say that I don’t agree that further education on the subject isn’t important. I mean, basically the same thing happened to me when I was 19, except nobody took pictures and I woke up in the middle of it, and it took me years to call it “sexual assault” (my boyfriend at the time called it “cheating”) and more years to call it “rape”.

I’m just saying, there is some awareness that this was sexual assault. And definitely the rapists and their victim knew that it was very, very wrong. They just didn’t know that it was technically termed “rape.”

236 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 1:02 am

Took me a while but I think I found the questions you meant:

What do you think is a good rape prevention measure?

Paying attention to the behavior and language of people in your social circle to make sure people are respecting boundaries. If people aren’t respecting boundaries try to talk to them about it. If they’re not willing to talk about it then it depends on the context but I think one really good measure would be to warn other people. The drawback is that this can potentially ruin a person’s reputation unfairly — one always has to make this tradeoff at some level.

One of the important points is to be willing to deal with it. It seems like a lot of people — particularly friends of the person of interest — are disposed towards denying or excusing the behaviors. (That’s part of what the concept of “rape culture” is all about.) If someone I thought was a potential rapist wouldn’t talk to me I would talk to that person’s friends and try to get them to talk to the person of interest. If they couldn’t or wouldn’t and the behaviors persisted I might risk ruining the person’s reputation unfairly to make sure others are safe.

What sort of advice do you think is useful to give potential victims?

If you’re meeting someone new and you try to set boundaries several times and they keep crossing those boundaries try to get away and tell someone.

And what sort of evidence do you have that such advice is actually efficacious?

Common sense and life experience, bro. Didn’t you hear evidence is for quasi-scientists?

237 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 1:03 am

Well, call me crazy, but a thread called “discussion about preventing rape” seems like a good place to discuss preventing rape.

If that’s what you were doing I wouldn’t have had a problem.

238 Sally Strange March 22, 2013 at 1:04 am

Also, excellent comment there, Dan L. addressing the inconsistencies in Dave Allen’s dismissal of social sciences. It’s a theme among those who resist social justice activism. Basically it boils down to “Social sciences are complex and it’s hard to design good experiments, so nothing in social science is valid and we may as well not try.”

The proper approach is, “Social sciences are complex and it’s hard to design good experiments, so we should be judicious in finding what’s valid and we should try even harder.”

Unless Dave is trying to assert that the accumulation of more knowledge about how people behave/think/emote is NOT a useful goal for a skeptic.

239 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 1:05 am

Addenda:

If you’re meeting someone new and you try to set boundaries several times and they keep crossing those boundaries try to get away and tell someone.

Not just someone new. Anyone.

Also, for my answer to the first question, not inviting the person of interest to events unless they’re willing to talk about it.

240 A Hermit March 22, 2013 at 1:25 am

More to the point though “how do we make victims feel better” is a different subject to “how do we reduce sexual assault”?

Well yes, that is the point. And focusing on the victims behaviour isn’t going to do anything to reduce rape as long we have a culture that doesn’t take rape seriously. Most women are acutely aware of the danger, so if we are serious about reducing rape we have to look at the perpetrators and think of ways o change THEIR behaviour.

It;s not just about reducing rape, by the way; it’ about creating a culture where women are as free as men to dress as they please and go where they please and have a drink once in a while without having to be afraid that such simple acts will be used an excuse to violate them.

241 Edward Gemmer March 22, 2013 at 2:11 am

It;s not just about reducing rape, by the way; it’ about creating a culture where women are as free as men to dress as they please and go where they please and have a drink once in a while without having to be afraid that such simple acts will be used an excuse to violate them.

Is that really an accurate assessment? I haven’t viewed the statistics, but my sense is that drinking, partying, wearing sexy outfits, and sex is staying even or rising among the young and female set. I walked on a local campus a few months ago and was amazed at the lack of clothes anyone was wearing. I’m not objecting to that at all, just pointing out that this notion that our college age women are somehow acting like cloistered nuns to avoid a constant fear of rape seems inaccurate. Which is a good thing – people aren’t living in fear. However, probably some better work could be done to help prepare people for what is going to happen. Sex and relationships are this huge, important, wondrous thing, and we leave most of our education about it to movies and songs.

242 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 2:18 am

Gemmer@241:

You make a good point about education about sex and relationships and your question seems in good faith so I will try to answer it.

A Hermit nowhere in the quoted statement either said or implied that woman are walking around “like cloistered nuns”. He was saying women should be able to walk around as you describe without…well, I’ll just let A Hermit say it again:

having to be afraid that such simple acts will be used an excuse to violate them.

The simple fact that when a woman is raped in such a situation a lot of people inevitably say “She probably wanted it when she was drunk and woke up with regrets” or “dressed like that she was asking for it” or “why wasn’t she with someone she trusted?” or “Well, she shouldn’t have gotten drunk” instead of taking seriously the fact that the woman’s bodily autonomy was violated and a crime was committed against her person.

I would have tried to use gender neutral language if the conversation wasn’t already in terms of a woman’s experience.

243 rocko2466 March 22, 2013 at 4:22 am

At #96, Greta’s article was wholly misleading.

We have no reason to believe the Edmonton campaign was a genuine success (i.e. reducing risk or occurrence of rape).

I responded to it here: http://unsolicitedcomment.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/a-response-to-greta-christina/

I apologise if Nugent doesn’t wish us to link out, so summarise here:

1. Greta relies on correlation = causation (despite saying that she did not).

2. The 9.8% drop in Vancouver was in sexual assault (not rapes). Greta equivocates from at one point saying “A rape prevention campaign targeted at potential rapists rather than potential victims was launched… and the number of reported sexual assaults fell by 10 per cent” to “And it still had the apparent result of reducing the rate of rape by 10%.” Rape and sexual assault are very different things. Sexual assault is a much broader term (i.e. sexual assault to rape is like sport is to football).

3. Greta also said that the “Edmonton police were so convinced of the campaign’s effectiveness…“. That may well be, but it could be inferred (as she hadn’t said anywhere what the results in Edmonton were) that the Edmonton statistics were just as promising (leaving aside matters of causation versus correlation). The rapes were actually UP in Edmonton. (http://www.theunexpectedtnt.com/2012/01/partial-success-dont-be-that-guy.html) It seems the Edmonton Police considered it a success as far as awareness goes because is was widely disseminated (by people such as Greta).

While we want rape-prevention-campaigns to be aimed at rapists and succeed, it doesn’t really look like they would succeed. It is the victim, not the perpetrator, who has a real interest in changing behaviour to avoid the crime.

I’ve been accused of supporting rape because of views like this. I think rape is horrible and should be prevented, but just like we lock our houses when we go out, safety precautions are a better method than just putting “criminals, stop committing crimes!” posters up.

244 AndrewV69 March 22, 2013 at 4:46 am

Success: Don’t Be That Guy Campaign
http://www.theunexpectedtnt.com/2012/01/partial-success-dont-be-that-guy.html

The success in Vancouver is welcoming news. However, yesterday it was reported that rapes in Edmonton had risen year over year. In 2010, there were 600 rapes reported, compared with 687 in 2011. According to Karen Smith of the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, there are at least two reasons for this: victims are now less reluctant to report assaults and young people have greater access to drugs and alcohol. The spokesperson added that the number of reports on a weekend at the Centre is about 15, but when there’s a rave or an all night dance party, the number can go as high as 40.

245 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 4:58 am

I’ve been accused of supporting rape because of views like this. I think rape is horrible and should be prevented, but just like we lock our houses when we go out, safety precautions are a better method than just putting “criminals, stop committing crimes!” posters up.

Hey Rocko. You want to actually spell out what your suggestions are and offer any evidence that they work?

You’d be the first so far.

246 rocko2466 March 22, 2013 at 6:18 am

Dan L.,

The answer would be correlation equals causation again. I won’t be doing that.

But I think it stands to reason that if the potential victim of a crime is given enough information about safety precautions, if steps are taken as a society to increase safety in high-risk areas (such as clubbing precincts) and so on, then the risk of the crime occurring will be lower.

I think we’ve been doing it right already.

It’s always going to happen though. Just like theft, you can only go so far. Theft will continue to occur, but hopefully we can take precautions against it occurring and prosecute the offenders.

247 Maureen Brian March 22, 2013 at 7:23 am

Not good enough, rocko2466!

You are attempting to redefine the problem to fit the advice you were going to give anyway – whether or not that advice has any known efficacy.

Now, tell us what advice you are going to give to the 90 year old women and men who are raped, those raped by work colleagues when they are fully dressed, be it in business suit or overalls, to those who are raped as they travel on public transport, to the babies and children who are also raped.

You are too late to return to the ancient and discredited notion that rape only happens to silly young women who wander about college campuses half-cut and in spaghetti-strap tops.

The truth is out. Now, what are you going to say to the other 70-odd percent of those who will end up as rape victims if we don’t stop treating this as some sort of game of semantics?

Don’t tell me nothing can be done. If, though, you want nothing done then at least be honest about that fact.

248 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 11:41 am

“The canonical example of a logical syllogism:
A: Socrates is a man.
B: All men are mortal.
Thus: Socrates is mortal.

A and B are the premises. It seems to me that both are assertions of fact. Could you explain to me how they’re not?”

They are. Not all premises are of this quality, and the premise you state I have ignored is not even a premise.

“Of course, part of the problem is that I’ve never heard the term “logical assertion” before. Could you define it for me?”

In science you always have the induction problem. To take a premise such as one of Kalaam’s that “all things have a cause” – this seems logical within the framework of stuff we can observe in day to day reality. We now can be confident that the premise is somewhat faulty because there are exceptions on the relative scale. The premise is logical to a degree, but isn’t factual.

A premise isn’t factual in and of itself – to suggest so would be an argument from authority. A premise is an assertion of varying persuasiveness based on its quality. Just because I don’t object to “all men are mortal” it doesn’t mean that all other premises benefit from reflected glory.

“In fact, that is how arguments in all subjects are usually undertaken. Including science. One takes a factual assertion such as “the gravitational force between two bodies is proportional to the product of the masses of the bodies divided by the square of the distance between the bodies” and then uses that as a premise to derive conclusions such as “the acceleration due to earth’s gravity at the surface of the earth is approximately 9.8 meters per square second”.”

Doesn’t sound much like the scientific method to me – I’d say you winnow away error by trying to falsify tentative propositions.

“Please justify the first statement of this paragraph with at least some kind of argument — in light of what I have just demonstrated about physical science.”

I don’t see how your remarks about natural science mean much – if it’s given that we agree that science need not lead one to the correct conclusion then we do so. However the reason why social sciences are openly deemed quasi-scientific in the main is that it is realised that confounding variable abound, even in the laboratory, to a degree they don’t in natural science to the best of our knowledge.

“Who are the experts? What material do they study? Why would you defer to “experts” whose credentials are based on knowledge that is “quasi-scientific”?”

That the best we can do is flawed does not stop it being the best we can do. Better someone sit down with Carl Rogers to thrash out their psyche than sit down with me. This does not mean I think Carl Rogers is perfect.

“Just a little bit ago I pointed out that agendas can override facts in the physical sciences. Now we’re talking about psychology…you want to talk about agendas? WEIRD. Pathologizing non-conformity. The pharmaceutical industry. A lot of shrinks sleep with their patients — obviously a bit of an ethical violation. ”

All things that can be improved on without being garbage. Take WEIRD for example. No doubt WIERD studies set one on a path to examining a phenomena as well as elucidating the behavioural tendencies of the population in question. To throw out a WEIRD study would be to ditch the baby with the bathwater. To hold it up as fact would be to ignore the bathwater. What one can do, of course, is cede the existence of likely baby and bathwater and then argue as to the import of either depending on the quality of the study in question.

“But let’s just accept their expertise uncritically and totally throw out all the research done for decades in fields like sociology, criminal justice, economics, and — oh yeah — psychology because they’re all quasi-scientific.”

The expertise of counsellors is largely informed by such fields in this day and age. I don’t defer to them as ultimate authorities, you asked me what I would do in terms of consoling victims and I would defer to an expert in the matter. This does not mean I think experts are flawless. they are just likely to be less flawed than me. I feel that a subject’s impression of the impact of what happened to them is an existential matter that no single approach could deal with anyway.

249 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 11:53 am

“Also, excellent comment there, Dan L. addressing the inconsistencies in Dave Allen’s dismissal of social sciences. It’s a theme among those who resist social justice activism. Basically it boils down to “Social sciences are complex and it’s hard to design good experiments, so nothing in social science is valid and we may as well not try.” ”

Not my attitude at all. I will elucidate for you.

I was asked various questions about how I would deal or not deal with the phenomena under discussion. I have provided a number of answers, some of which I openly admit are influenced by psychology and feminism. I do not identify as a feminist. I would identify as a psychologist. To say I feel psychology is useless would be a strawman.

Nor do I advise not trying – I have specified what I would personally “try” in regards to reducing the rate of rapes and educating both likely/potential perpetrators and victims to this end.

“The proper approach is, “Social sciences are complex and it’s hard to design good experiments, so we should be judicious in finding what’s valid and we should try even harder.””

Agreed. My only bone of contention would be that it is not unreasonable to query a particular perspective vis a vis activism that relies on a judgement of social science and does not cede the limitations.

For example, where I seem to differ with some is on the assertion that prudence helps reduce crime.

Now responses to this are not couched in science – but in an ideological eschewal of anything that might be seen as blaming the victim, a stance that seems to me more of a moral than scientific one, and which may be counterproductive to the goal of reducing rape.

My points in regard to the limits of social science come purely as a result of people suggesting I could make my case by citing evidence. In this sort of forum any such evidence is effectively worthless.

“Unless Dave is trying to assert that the accumulation of more knowledge about how people behave/think/emote is NOT a useful goal for a skeptic.”

I would say its down to the epistemological framework under which such knowledge is garnered. Certainly the sorts of things that get cited in forum debates don’t strike me as impressive. Hence I would rather cede to the advice of counsellors when it comes to counselling, and forensic psychologists in the matter of crime reduction.

Not because they or their fields are infallible – they are not – but because they are qualified to know how to make the most of the baby and the least of the bathwater.

250 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

“And focusing on the victims behaviour isn’t going to do anything to reduce rape as long we have a culture that doesn’t take rape seriously. ”

Again, this seems to me to be a moral judgement rather than a factual one. Clearly there are things people can do within such a culture – the bear is that they should not have to do them.

So I agree in spirit, but not technicality. The discussion is on rape prevention, so we can suggest all manner of stuff without appending further notions of justice to it for the purposes of determining what works.

Now, on commenting further it obviously becomes an issue – a curfew would work, but would clearly be highly unjust, right?

Now, given that I have said what I thought might work within a framework of my own background (I am a resident of Belfast fwiw) that is mostly aimed at educating people on the cusp of adolescence. I still think prudence is necessary as a topic of discussion, just as it is with avoiding crimes like assault and theft. I dismiss the notion that in doing so I advocate for a culture of tolerance towards rapists any more than tolerance of thieves or violent thugs.

Now if you want to comment on that please do, but I would prefer you engage with my stated position rather than a general worry or impression. If advice on prudence does not work it should be clear, and if advice on prudence in regards to rape informs a culture of rape then why is it the only such advice that seems to do so?

As we both know some people do hector victims for failing to follow advice. In this case I would say the problem is not the advice, but the hectoring. We can turn to hectorers and condemn them for being counterproductive without foregoing advice.

251 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm

“While we want rape-prevention-campaigns to be aimed at rapists and succeed, it doesn’t really look like they would succeed. It is the victim, not the perpetrator, who has a real interest in changing behaviour to avoid the crime.”

I’d say social change in general may be more important than either – peer group pressure being a big, if not the biggest, influencing factor on behaviour.

I don’t doubt that “Don’t be that guy” has some sort of positive influence on the discussion as a gestalt, but the point is it doesn’t prove – in and of itself – the notion that advice on prudence does not work and what effect it has is a matter of some interpretation.

I tend to think poster campaigns aimed at partygoers tend to be of fairly low impact, I would rather see the effort aimed at kids on the cusp of adolescence. That said, it certainly sparked conversation and therefore cannot be a bad thing, I’m just astonished that people who think any sort of short-term change in local behaviour means something beyond “more research needed”.

252 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 12:19 pm

“Now, tell us what advice you are going to give to the 90 year old women and men who are raped, those raped by work colleagues when they are fully dressed, be it in business suit or overalls, to those who are raped as they travel on public transport, to the babies and children who are also raped.”

Well, as we boil down to smaller and smaller demographics the position becomes one of increasingly existential nature. No one avenue of advice is going to work for all victims or perpetrators.

However, just because one notion of advice (“getting paralytic can leave you vulnerable”) doesn’t apply to everyone (“I am a teetotaller”) it does not mean it is useless information. Now you may say “don’t get paralytic” is such a tautological bore it need not be said, that is fine in this sort of conversation where adults are cognizant of all the popular touchstones. However, as part of a discussion on the issues aimed at educating future generations is it worthless?

253 Maureen Brian March 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Dave Allen,

I don’t want to nitpick but apart from being unjust your curfew would work only against stranger rapes committed during the hours of darkness – not enough to make much of a difference to the overall total.

I’m totally with you on education but education is only any use if it is based on facts, not folklore. We facepalm at people in the US who make pronouncements about the workings the human reproductive system based on no facts at all yet I understand – I am not close enough to discuss all this with my relatives in NI – that resistance to good sex education is coming from the churches, which you would have thought had an interest in moral behaviour.

If I had memorised every piece of advice which purported to be about how to prevent rape I would never have been able to earn a living, travel to meetings in the course of that, be a school governor or a Trades Union rep or care for a terminally ill partner. I would also have been bored out of my head.

I’m not going to discuss being raped with you but let me relate two incidents.

1. I’m about 11 and sent by my mother to a neighbour a few doors away with a pair of shoes to be mended. I notice that he is leering at me and before I can back out of his workshop he has grabbed me by the crotch and is trying to wrestle me to the floor. I lashed out and got away. I may well have knocked him to the floor. I’m not clear about that at this distance.

2. A colleague and I are in our 20s, renting a bedsitter in Balham from a landlord who lives on the premises. The landlord pops in to our room as he usually did once a week or so to check that all is well. His friend whom we had seen about the place came into the room and when the landlord left he did not. Instead he sat on my bed and put his hand inside my knickers. Once I got away from him I went to the police, he now has a conviction for indecent assault and the minute I got back from the court the two of us were evicted from our lodgings.

Two incidents which I hope you can see could very well have turned into rapes. Had I been worried about finding the right piece of advice in the Girls’ Big Book of How Not to Get Raped or had I been led to believe that I could be in some way responsible for criminal acts committed against me, I might well have frozen. I would certainly have lost that moment, that split second when I was able to take forceful action to defend myself.

That is why we women, to whom such events happen regularly, have little patience with unevidenced advice on what we should do or should have done. At very most, such advice might displace rape – the serial date rapist might not be able to rape me but the woman in the next booth or in the same bar the next evening would get it instead.

That is no sort of victory. Nor does it do anything to educate either those who rape or those who excuse rape.

254 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 1:24 pm

“I don’t want to nitpick but apart from being unjust your curfew would work only against stranger rapes committed during the hours of darkness – not enough to make much of a difference to the overall total.”

What works once works.

Now the collateral cost is obviously too much in this case. I would oppose any notion of curfew. However I mustn’t let my moral opposition cloud my recognition of a fact.

Too often in these conversations people have to spend enormous time navigating potential moral quibbles in order to state a fact.

“I’m totally with you on education but education is only any use if it is based on facts, not folklore.”

Agreed.

“We facepalm at people in the US who make pronouncements about the workings the human reproductive system based on no facts at all yet I understand – I am not close enough to discuss all this with my relatives in NI – that resistance to good sex education is coming from the churches, which you would have thought had an interest in moral behaviour.”

Well, no, I wouldn’t think that.

Breaking the power of the church over such issues is a worthy goal.

“If I had memorised every piece of advice which purported to be about how to prevent rape I would never have been able to earn a living, travel to meetings in the course of that, be a school governor or a Trades Union rep or care for a terminally ill partner. I would also have been bored out of my head.”

Two problems with this.

Imagine a potential perpetrator saying the same about advice aimed his (or her) direction. Would “too boring to bother with/I’m too busy for this” strike you as a good excuse for not listening to advice on not to rape.

Secondly – OK, it is an undeniable fact that there is too much info out there. In the context of what we are tending to agree on – school curricula dedicated to the subject – is it not sensible to assume that the most obvious stuff gets highlighted (I advocate the notion that no means no is the best way to flag reluctance and people need to be brave about that, and that yes means yes is the best way to garner consent, and people need to cede that as a sensible standard to begin with).

Now, we can add all manner of baroque exception and mitigating circumstance to this. I suggest a class involving the standard as basics, and then a look at some different perspectives (nothing too controversial) as “food for thought”.

“Two incidents which I hope you can see could very well have turned into rapes. Had I been worried about finding the right piece of advice in the Girls’ Big Book of How Not to Get Raped or had I been led to believe that I could be in some way responsible for criminal acts committed against me, I might well have frozen. I would certainly have lost that moment, that split second when I was able to take forceful action to defend myself.”

Well, I sympathise with your experience and agree we would live in a better world were such things not to happen.

However, I somewhat resent the notion that I advocate for a “Big Book of How not to Get Raped”. I think it’s sensible to tell girls, within the framework of a quick lesson around the age of 13, to do much as you did – whether you did it instinctually or as the result of thinking it through academically. Being firm about denying consent and brave and so on.

Will that always work? No. Will it make things worse? Once in a while, yes. That can be discussed too.

To compare it to advice on common assault. It seems correct to me to let people know that if someone behaves aggressively to them they are more likely to avoid escalation and possible criminal activity if they remain calm and reasonable.

This is not to deny that sometimes remaining calm does not work, it’s just best practice.

“At very most, such advice might displace rape – the serial date rapist might not be able to rape me but the woman in the next booth or in the same bar the next evening would get it instead.”

If she were operating to similar standards? Why? A frustrated attempt is a frustrated attempt.

“That is no sort of victory. Nor does it do anything to educate either those who rape or those who excuse rape.”

Of course not, which is why I wouldn’t advocate such advice as a be all and end all. I do not disagree that the priority should be defining the crime and educating people on the definition. Tackling issues of consent as a bald matter and so on.

However, even if I were to cede that advice on prudence is so low on the priority radar as to be de facto irrelevant – I would still oppose the notion that it does not work.

As I said to a Hermit – yes I get that hectoring victims is unseemly. We can condemn those who do so without hobbling our ability to advise someone.

255 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm

It strikes me that in regard to the teaching of this stuff at school age a bigger problem than church interference may be the notion that it is best for parents to tackle “the birds and the bees” rather than the state or community.

So if anyone has thoughts on that I would like to hear them.

256 Maureen Brian March 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Dave Allen,

I’m not going to do the work for you – I’m trying to finish the piping on a set of cushion covers – but may I suggest that you inform yourself by

* finding out who does get raped and in what circumstances – by age, socio-economic status, location – and by whom: there’s plenty of info out there

* find out who does the raping and how they justify their behaviour to themselves – a couple of good studies very recently, one with university students, the other with mid-teens, both in the UK

* check out the very best of sex education in the rest of the United Kingdom – yes, it is patchy – where you’ll find it all beginning way before 13 and the older teens role-playing and examining both the ethics and how it would feel to be the person on the other end of that “transaction”

* and, please, think again about lumping the elderly into “smaller and smaller demographics” – I’m 70 and that doesn’t go down too well – besides, the sexual assault of the elderly both in their homes and in long-stay hospitals is a centuries old tradition. Don’t avoid it, address it!

You’ve clearly got a good brain, Dave, but it seems to have its heel caught in some very old tracks.

257 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm

“* finding out who does get raped and in what circumstances – by age, socio-economic status, location – and by whom: there’s plenty of info out there”

I take it that you assume the same as doubtthat – that I am somehow ignorant of the fact that most rapes happen within an established relationship of some sort.

I am not. The core piece of advice I am keen to see accepted as standard – no means no as a standard of refusal and yes means yes as a standard of a green light – would apply in a lot of such cases. Now you may state extant examples where such things have not been clear. I concede. There are perpetrators who do all sorts of coercion in order to stay within some letter of the law, there are people who may cede consent under all sorts of false impressions and trickery. But on the whole I am talking about what it is acceptable to teach the next generation as standard.

“* find out who does the raping and how they justify their behaviour to themselves – a couple of good studies very recently, one with university students, the other with mid-teens, both in the UK”

So where does my notion of what be taught as standard deviate from this? My issue with self-justification is that sometimes it does rely on existing ambiguities in either the personal or social sphere – I cannot anticipate every possible game played by every possible participant. Seeing as my most prevalent desire is to see a comprehensive education as to what the law says and what to do to keep within it – which is knowing you have refused consent when reluctant and knowing you have gained it when eager.

What is it about that notion – which has been the core of my argument since my first post on this thread – that runs counter to your understanding of the phenomena?

“* check out the very best of sex education in the rest of the United Kingdom – yes, it is patchy – where you’ll find it all beginning way before 13 and the older teens role-playing and examining both the ethics and how it would feel to be the person on the other end of that “transaction””

Any age is ultimately going to be arbitrary. My preference for the onset of adolescence is partly utilitarian (I just don’t think targeting younger kids within the framework of comprehensive schooling will fly with “the public” – that’s a shame but I have to suggest what I think is likely and effective in the knowledge that there isn’t going to be any 100% effective tactic).

Now my hope – which may be a naïve one – would be that if parents became comfortable with issues pertaining to sex and violence being discussed en masse at 13 the age may be brought down. I had peers who engaged in sexual activity at 9 years old – so I know it happens. What I fear is that pressure for sex ed of this nature aimed at 9 year olds would fail due to the anticipated backlash.

“* and, please, think again about lumping the elderly into “smaller and smaller demographics” – I’m 70 and that doesn’t go down too well – besides, the sexual assault of the elderly both in their homes and in long-stay hospitals is a centuries old tradition. Don’t avoid it, address it!”

Again, my priority would be to address adolescents. This is not because I deny the existence of sexual predation amongst/by other demographics. However, asked where I would start in terms of best bang for buck in reducing rape the answer must be schools.

In part this is down to the most likely group to commit or fall victim to sexual offenders. Now I will admit to being largely ignorant of care home abuses, so I concede I know little about how to tackle it in its particulars. If the framework of educating the young didn’t begin to have an effect on the care system by the time those young people began to work there I would certainly cede that it was coming short in some measure.

However, educating the young is not mutually exclusive with other drives to improve the situation. I happen to think in terms for bang for buck it ought to take priority – but I’m not some cold economist and I’d take other notions on board too.

“You’ve clearly got a good brain, Dave, but it seems to have its heel caught in some very old tracks.”

Well, ta, I suppose. This particular back and forth strikes me as fair. I’d welcome more of it from you personally.

258 Maureen Brian March 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Look, I’m busy but let’s try a shorter notion on you.

Can we bring up every woman – from childhood – to be as stroppy, articulate and bloody-minded as I now am? That would stop some rapes.

Mind you, some people would have to make their own sandwiches.

(I’ll talk to you again at some stage, I hope.)

259 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I think it’s worth recalling why this discussion was started. Posters were lamenting the fact that feminists were so intensely dogmatic that they were even casting out well meaning allies over reasonable differences. Recall the original statement:

The difference as far as I can tell is that they take a deontological approach (“tell men not to rape, don’t blame the victim”) vs. my consequentialist approach (“what’s the most effective way to actually lower the incidence of rape?”).

First, this is an obvious misuse of the terms “deontology” and “consequentialist.” A deontic assessment of morality means judging the ethical nature of an action based on an adherence to the rules, whatever the consequences may be. This was Kant’s position and he famously argued that you should never tell a lie even if it seemed obviously beneficial.

Consequentialists, obviously, determine the moral quality of an action by its effect on the world. A lie to save someone incredible pain could be a good act.

Now, if the poster is criticizing feminists for being deontic with regard to rape, there will probably need to be some explanation of ways in which raping someone will result in an overall benefit to society or lessening of pain.

Notice that having a deontic morality structure is perfectly consistent with developing empirically verifiable solutions. One could think the violation of rape is wrong without reference to the harm caused, and still advocate for evidence-based solutions to rape prevention. But whatever, the poster didn’t understand those words.

But here we are, a couple hundred comments later and (1) the conversation has continued despite a total lack of actual reasoned effort on the part of the critics; it’s just a rambling set of armchair musings combined with the silly excuse that evidence is hard to come by so we should ignore it completely and (2) I have yet to see a position offered that is actually contrary to a generalized understanding of the issues surrounding rape by feminists and anti-sexual assault groups.

The only specific recommendation we’ve received is that women (notice that the critics left men out of the equation on this bit of advice, an important point for the trolls who act as though feminists ignore male victims) should be educated that drinking and being vulnerable isn’t a good idea.

Is there anything else? What are the suggestions being ignored by feminists that (1) have any evidence supporting their efficacy and (2) aren’t already being enacted?

260 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm

“Can we bring up every woman – from childhood – to be as stroppy, articulate and bloody-minded as I now am? That would stop some rapes.”

I think people’s capacities for confident resistance varies, but that should not stop us from pointing out the benefit of confident resistance.

This does not necessarily imply we let those who are less capable fall between the cracks.

“Mind you, some people would have to make their own sandwiches.”

If only there were some way to get sexist bores to take a home economics course. With more education they too could learn how to place edible substance between two pieces of bread.

261 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm

@Dave Allen

The core piece of advice I am keen to see accepted as standard – no means no as a standard of refusal and yes means yes as a standard of a green light – would apply in a lot of such cases.

1) I don’t think anyone has a problem with offering that advice or including it in some generalized sex class.

2) It’s efficacy, however, has not been established, and

3) It’s based on a pernicious rape myth that rapes happen due to misunderstandings. This is certainly what rapists would like people to believe, but it just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. When rapists are asked about their actions avoiding the term “rape,” they’re often quite proud of themselves:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124272157

The Steubenville rapists tried that as well, “I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong.” This is, of course, bullshit, proven in no small part by the hilarious tweets they and observers sent out as the assault was taking place indicating very clearly that the girl was “so raped.”

So, it seems to me that you’re just offering musings on the topic, most of which aren’t necessarily wrong, but they are based on harmful myths and exactly zero of them are supported by evidence of any kind.

Again, I ask, what do you have to offer that isn’t already being offered? It’s not as though you have to have something, I don’t have anything unique to say, I’m just parroting the work of others, but I’m also not positioning myself as a critic. What is your criticism?

262 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 3:40 pm

@Dave Allen:

They are. Not all premises are of this quality, and the premise you state I have ignored is not even a premise.

Please give me an example of premises which are not assertions of fact.

What I am trying to impress upon you is that I seem to know more about logic, epistemology, and argumentation than you do so maybe you should stop trying to lawyer your way out of supporting the factual claims you make.

In science you always have the induction problem. To take a premise such as one of Kalaam’s that “all things have a cause” – this seems logical within the framework of stuff we can observe in day to day reality. We now can be confident that the premise is somewhat faulty because there are exceptions on the relative scale. The premise is logical to a degree, but isn’t factual.

It’s not factual, but you seem to have completely missed the bit where I explained that factual assertions do not have to be factual. “All things have a cause” is an assertion of fact — whether or not it is actually a fact. If it is not an assertion of fact explain to me how it is not.

A premise isn’t factual in and of itself – to suggest so would be an argument from authority. A premise is an assertion of varying persuasiveness based on its quality. Just because I don’t object to “all men are mortal” it doesn’t mean that all other premises benefit from reflected glory.

Again, if you think I was saying premises or factual assertions must be facts then you simply did not read my comment as I argued quite the opposite.

Doesn’t sound much like the scientific method to me – I’d say you winnow away error by trying to falsify tentative propositions.

But how do you “winnow away error by trying to falsify tentative propositions”? For that matter, how do you justify the “tentative propositions”? By using logical argumentation exactly as I described!

I don’t see how your remarks about natural science mean much – if it’s given that we agree that science need not lead one to the correct conclusion then we do so. However the reason why social sciences are openly deemed quasi-scientific in the main is that it is realised that confounding variable abound, even in the laboratory, to a degree they don’t in natural science to the best of our knowledge.

1. If you do not see why my remarks about natural science mean much it is probably because you are not engaging with my argument but trying to lawyer yourself out of having to admit you are wrong.
2. Justify the assertion that “social sciences are openly deemed quasi-scientific in the main”. I do not believe this is true. I believe this is a fringe position.
3. I have also argued that confounding variables confound in the physical sciences. You don’t think you should have to address that; well, then, why should I have to address any of your arguments about anything?

That the best we can do is flawed does not stop it being the best we can do. Better someone sit down with Carl Rogers to thrash out their psyche than sit down with me. This does not mean I think Carl Rogers is perfect.

The expertise of counsellors is largely informed by such fields in this day and age. I don’t defer to them as ultimate authorities, you asked me what I would do in terms of consoling victims and I would defer to an expert in the matter. This does not mean I think experts are flawless. they are just likely to be less flawed than me. I feel that a subject’s impression of the impact of what happened to them is an existential matter that no single approach could deal with anyway.

Wow, how incredibly disingenuous of you.

263 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm

“1) I don’t think anyone has a problem with offering that advice or including it in some generalized sex class.

2) It’s efficacy, however, has not been established, and…”

Why do you think the West – as a general rule – tends to take this sort of matter more seriously than – as a general rule – the developed world?

I would say the only answer unlikely to generate controversy would be a more public discourse as to what rape entails. I think the best sort of public discourse is a good education.

“3) It’s based on a pernicious rape myth that rapes happen due to misunderstandings. ”

No – that’s not what I base it on.

However, where such a standard to be adopted it would mean that people such as the Steubenville rapists would have no recourse to plausible deniability – even in the absence of the camera footage you mention.

Whilst the trope of “sometimes no means yes” or “but she didn’t say no” exists the danger inherent in genuine or not-genuine-but-claimed-as-genuine misunderstanding is likely to continue, at least as the debate is framed in two important groups.

1) Those who belittle rape as a problem.
2) Those who aren’t alive to the debate (which may be a very large number).

“I’m just parroting the work of others, but I’m also not positioning myself as a critic. What is your criticism?”

My criticisms have been couched to particular stuff some people have said and with the proofing I am willing to give. As I said to Dan, I’m not aware that any requirement of originality exists. As I also said earlier evidence is problematic when discussing a social problem due to the varying ways different perspectives interpret all but the most damning evidence.

Case in point: To you the Steubenville case makes a mockery of the notion that it is useful to teach no means no as clear refusal, and yes means yes as sign that consent is offered. Now as far as I am aware the boys did not obtain a yes, therefore by the metric I support they clearly committed a crime. So it seems this case is evidence for both our positions.

Moreover, were my standard the accepted one, it would leave commentators like Michael Crook under no illusion that his position runs counter to the standard.

Now there are obvious matters where consent is obtained through menace or trickery, so exceptions to the rule will certainly exist. That’s a matter for further debate once it be accepted that the rule is a good one outside of a mitigating circumstance.

264 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 3:43 pm

“Wow, how incredibly disingenuous of you.”

Can we leave it now Dan? Cheers.

265 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 3:43 pm

@Dave Allen:

I’m sorry. I’m having a lot of trouble trying to pretend you’re engaging in good faith at this point.

266 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm

@Dave Allen:

Can you stop crying about how no one wants to discuss your ridiculous, uninformed opinions on rape prevention?

267 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm

“I’m sorry. I’m having a lot of trouble trying to pretend you’re engaging in good faith at this point.”

Fair enough. For my part it seems Maureen and doubtthat are now involved in the sort of discourse I personally find productive, so there’s no point you and I continuing to engage in a conversation neither or us seem to be getting much out of.

268 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm

@David Allen:

But Maureen Brian is actually asking you to take a look at the evidence on this stuff — which is exactly what you’ve been telling me is not productive!

How is it a terrible and nonsensical imposition when I say you should and “productive when Maureen Brian says it?

269 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I hope to continue to talk to Maureen about what she thinks of what I said if and when she makes further comment.

270 Edward Gemmer March 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm

One issue are the conclusions we are supposed to gain from the evidence presented. One meme is “tell men not to rape, don’t talk about victims.” However, the evidence suggests that many (not all) rapes are done by people who know it is rape and don’t care. Therefore, telling them not to rape seems like a waste of words. Here, the best strategy seems aimed at women in detecting rapists.

That said, most guys don’t want to consider themselves rapists, so clearly education on rape, consent, and the like would have a positive effect on them.

One issue I have doted on is that we give kids advice on pretty much everything under the sun. However, when it comes to sexual relationships, we mostly let them figure out for themselves, then act shocked and surprised when they come to the conclusions that they do. Talking about sex, joking about sex, thoughts about sex – they are all discouraged in public, then we wonder why men and women have trouble talking about it in private.

271 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm

No – that’s not what I base it on.

That’s not what you intend to base it on, but that is what it’s based on. If you think education about consent will stop a rape, you think that some number rapes occur due to mistake.

I will admit that due to the law of large numbers, this has probably happened, but it isn’t the or even a significant issue with regard to rape prevention.

Case in point: To you the Steubenville case makes a mockery of the notion that it is useful to teach no means no as clear refusal, and yes means yes as sign that consent is offered. Now as far as I am aware the boys did not obtain a yes, therefore by the metric I support they clearly committed a crime. So it seems this case is evidence for both our positions.

No, it doesn’t prove that. That isn’t evidence, that’s you imagining a counterfactual. There is no way to determine whether the victim clearly saying “no” at some point in the evening would have made any difference.

In fact, as long as we’re just making shit up, it’s entirely possible she did say “no” earlier in the evening, but the assailants just kept feeding her drinks, waiting for her to consume more alcohol, and timed their assault for a point in which she was unable to give consent.

Under that scenario, or just the scenario where they intentionally waited until she had no idea what was happening (which is what actually happened), your advice would be totally useless.

Now there are obvious matters where consent is obtained through menace or trickery, so exceptions to the rule will certainly exist.

That isn’t the exception. That’s what rapists do.

272 Edward Gemmer March 22, 2013 at 4:17 pm

But here we are, a couple hundred comments later and (1) the conversation has continued despite a total lack of actual reasoned effort on the part of the critics; it’s just a rambling set of armchair musings combined with the silly excuse that evidence is hard to come by so we should ignore it completely and (2) I have yet to see a position offered that is actually contrary to a generalized understanding of the issues surrounding rape by feminists and anti-sexual assault groups.

This makes no sense at all. Sorry, but you seem to be complaining that people aren’t criticizing feminists groups enough? That’s silly.

Feminists groups, anti-rape groups, etc., have had lots and lots of ideas. Where things have been difficult is getting people to buy into these ideas. One issue is that presenting these issues is difficult without demonizing people. For example, “yes means yes” is certainly an interesting and attractive idea, but it can be marketed as changing how everyone in the world should have sex so we can catch a few more rapists. Then we wonder why people mock it.

273 Edward Gemmer March 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm

That isn’t the exception. That’s what rapists do.

Hence, the conclusion that telling them to stop is unlikely to be effective.

274 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Edward Gemmer:

However, the evidence suggests that many (not all) rapes are done by people who know it is rape and don’t care. Therefore, telling them not to rape seems like a waste of words. Here, the best strategy seems aimed at women in detecting rapists.

What evidence suggests this?

275 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm

“That’s not what you intend to base it on, but that is what it’s based on. If you think education about consent will stop a rape, you think that some number rapes occur due to mistake.

I will admit that due to the law of large numbers, this has probably happened, but it isn’t the or even a significant issue with regard to rape prevention.”

I hope we both agree that there is a certain cultural milieu surrounding the notion that “sometimes a girls says no but she means yes” or “well she didn’t actually say the word no” and so on.

This is probably justification rather than confusion on behalf of many – however where it absolutely explicit as a social standard the justification would diminish as well as the genuine mistakes (which I do not disagree with you on – they are probably in the minority).

“Under that scenario, or just the scenario where they intentionally waited until she had no idea what was happening (which is what actually happened), your advice would be totally useless.”

An aspect of it would, in that she would not have been able to refuse consent. However I also advise that those wanting to engage in sexual activity abide by yes means yes.

“No means no” isn’t a philosophical truism – it’s just what you need to know yourself that you have been clear about refusing consent (as a possible victim) and that you are not engaging in rape (as a possible perpetrator).

But as we both know, and as Steubenville illustrates – you aren’t capable of saying anything at times, which is why obtaining consent is imperative on behalf of those who want sex.

“That isn’t the exception. That’s what rapists do.”

Which is why bog standard clarity as to what does and does not amount to consent is required As A Start. If we cannot agree that no means no yes means yes is a good starting point then hoping to agree on more complex cases is unlikely to be fruitful.

276 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Edward Gemmer@272:

For example, “yes means yes” is certainly an interesting and attractive idea, but it can be marketed as changing how everyone in the world should have sex so we can catch a few more rapists. Then we wonder why people mock it.

Do you think the people mocking the idea might be motivated by an agenda? Maybe rapists who don’t want to think they’re rapists want to think the idea is ridiculous?

Maybe the best solution to that would be trying to get the idea spread anyway in spite of the best efforts of the rapists?

This complaint is especially strange given how frequently you repeat how we need to start educating kids about sex and relationships. Wouldn’t this constitute “changing how everyone in the world should have sex” as well? And yet you don’t seem to think this criticism applies to your idea. Why not?

277 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 4:33 pm

If we cannot agree that no means no yes means yes is a good starting point then hoping to agree on more complex cases is unlikely to be fruitful.

Who the fuck disagreed with that?

278 Edward Gemmer March 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

What evidence suggests this?

The links provided – I know you read them about the research showing that many rapes are done by people repeatedly. As doubtthat says, it isn’t just “misunderstandings,” it’s people who know what they are doing is wrong and don’t care. It is a small minority of men who do this, just like it is a small minority of men who repeatedly commit a lot of crimes. The “telling them to stop” meme relies on the assumption that people care about what others have to say – since they don’t care about words like “stop” and “no,” why would they care about that?

279 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm

@273 Edward Gemmer

Part of the problem is that (1) people are hypersensitive and immediately defensive of the notion of “rape culture,” so (2) they read “teach men not to rape,” in the most literal, trivial way possible.

Steubenville should forever blow up the notion that there’s no such thing as rape culture. Why, for example, do you think that the rapists believed they could publicize their assault to the world and suffer no consequence? They believed everyone in their peer group would think it was funny and that the adults would defend them.

In that context, teaching men not to rape certainly applies to the rapists, but it also applies to the bystanders and enablers. Would education have stopped those two kids from doing what they did? Maybe, maybe not, but the tropes that state “the victim was dressed provocatively,” “she shouldn’t have gotten drunk,” all promote the notion that she was responsible. Teaching men not to rape is the means of battling that trend.

Given your understanding of the world, why did everyone just stand by as the assault took place or, worse, make jokes about it and publicize the event over social media?

280 Edward Gemmer March 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Do you think the people mocking the idea might be motivated by an agenda?

Sure. They don’t want to change the way they have sex to accommodate some other person who they don’t know and don’t care about.

Maybe rapists who don’t want to think they’re rapists want to think the idea is ridiculous?

This would be another example os shaming people into agreeing with you. There is no evidence nor does it even make sense that someone who doesn’t agree with “yes means yes” means they are a rapist. It’s an offensive viewpoint, which is probably one reason “yes means yes” hasn’t really caught on. Instead of framing it in terms of “agree with this or you’re a rapist,” frame it in terms that make people actually like the idea.

Wouldn’t this constitute “changing how everyone in the world should have sex” as well? And yet you don’t seem to think this criticism applies to your idea. Why not?

It definitely applies to my statement. However, instead of immediately demonizing everyone who disagrees and insinuating they are rapists, IMO a better approach would be to listen to the complaints, understand them, and tailor the message in a way that is attractive.

281 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 4:42 pm

It is a small minority of men who do this

That link indicates that 1 in 16 men voluntarily admitted to raping women. I don’t know how you’re defining “small minority,” but that’s not nearly small enough for my taste.

282 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

“Who the fuck disagreed with that?”

Doubtthat seems to based on comments such as:

2) It’s efficacy, however, has not been established, and

3) It’s based on a pernicious rape myth that rapes happen due to misunderstandings.

283 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Which is why bog standard clarity as to what does and does not amount to consent is required As A Start. If we cannot agree that no means no yes means yes is a good starting point then hoping to agree on more complex cases is unlikely to be fruitful.

As Dan said, no one has argued against this position. Here are the points that have been raised about this issue:

1) It is something everyone agrees with and already teaches. The education could be improved, we all agree, but in the context of a thread begun for folks to explain where they think feminists get rape prevention wrong (go read the original post again), it is baffling that you keep repeating something that everyone agrees with – ideas that were developed and promoted by feminists, by the way.

2) The efficacy of such advice is questionable. That doesn’t mean it should be undertaken because it has no downside (save the contribution to the notion that the lack of clarity on the part of the victim is responsible for rapes). So, again, in the context of “feminists have gotten stuff wrong and aren’t reasonable,” such advice would need to be backed up with some serious evidence to support that suggestion.

Now, I understand that you may not be advancing the anti-feminist position that gave rise to this thread, but then you just keep writing about things we agree with as though there is an argument, which makes your position odd, to say the least. Who are you arguing against?

284 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Edward Gemmar@278:

The links provided – I know you read them about the research showing that many rapes are done by people repeatedly. As doubtthat says, it isn’t just “misunderstandings,” it’s people who know what they are doing is wrong and don’t care.

Actually, it doesn’t follow that just because people repeatedly do something that they know it’s wrong and just don’t care. There’s a whole spectrum of other possibilities, most importantly:
1) Some people might not realize that what they’re doing constitute rape and that’s why they keep doing it. “No means yes, yes means anal.” This is what rape culture is all about. It’s why people say things like “I don’t think there’s really any such thing as rape” and it’s why people try to make arguments like “Well it’s not a rape if we’re both really drunk, right”? Telling men what rape is and not to rape might actually have some effect on such people.
2) Some people might realize what they’re doing is wrong but rationalize it to themselves. Human beings are exceptionally good at rationalizing things. People do terrible things and convince themselves they’re totally in the right. Finding examples of this is trivial. However, if you make it very clear what rape is and tell people not to rape such people may very well have a more difficult time rationalizing their behavior and their behavior may very well improve as a consequence.

Can you admit there may be a great many cases where “telling men not to rape” (used as a short-hand, of course) actually would help?

It is a small minority of men who do this, just like it is a small minority of men who repeatedly commit a lot of crimes. The “telling them to stop” meme relies on the assumption that people care about what others have to say – since they don’t care about words like “stop” and “no,” why would they care about that?

For the reasons mentioned above. Rape culture is real, man, I can testify from first-hand experience. If you’re told over and over again that no doesn’t necessarily mean no, that women like to play hard to get, that saying they’re not playing hard to get is just more playing hard to get…combine that with the already-mentioned human capacity for rationalization and you get bad results.

“Tell men not to rape” is all about making it harder to rationalize this kind of behavior. But if you don’t want to understand anything about human nature I can’t force you to.

285 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm

This would be another example os shaming people into agreeing with you. There is no evidence nor does it even make sense that someone who doesn’t agree with “yes means yes” means they are a rapist. It’s an offensive viewpoint, which is probably one reason “yes means yes” hasn’t really caught on. Instead of framing it in terms of “agree with this or you’re a rapist,” frame it in terms that make people actually like the idea.

That’s pretty uncharitable. I said “rapists dislike it” not “only rapists dislike it.” You want to try again taking my actual wording into account?

It definitely applies to my statement. However, instead of immediately demonizing everyone who disagrees and insinuating they are rapists, IMO a better approach would be to listen to the complaints, understand them, and tailor the message in a way that is attractive.

Did I actually do any of that? No. That was your perception.

Now consider the possibility that your previous experiences of being “demonized” for just offering “suggestions” is also a result of similar misunderstanding, partially on your part.

286 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm

“Who are you arguing against?”

Beats me.

The thread is for the general discussion of what can and can’t be done to prevent rape. I accept the context of it’s inception – but I’m neither particularly keen to identify as pro or anti a position I see as multifaceted. Therefore I say what I say free from identification as either a feminist or someone who is opposed to feminism. I see feminism as a collection of articles which impress me to varying degrees. I’m not ideologically driven – I’m more utilitarian, a bit pinko, with green edges.

Therefore I would appreciate it if someone argued with my argument rather than my perceived position on a grander scale.

If I am going to say “I think things need to start with no means no and yes means yes” and you agree – then agree. If you say something like “it’s not clearly efficacious” or “it’s based on pernicious myth” then I am left with the impression you don’t agree.

That something is taught in general does not mean it is taught as I specified, there is presumably an attached notion of what age group might be suitable, what curricula, what to do about people who aren’t in the school system and so on.

Now by all means continue to suspect me of some kind of counterproductive intent if you wish. I suspect we agree on more than we disagree on, fwiw. However it would certainly save a lot of time if I say something you accept that we agree and move on. That I don’t identify as a feminist does not mean I seek to subvert or stake claim to an idea that derives from feminism. Nor are ideas derived from feminism necessarily exclusive to it.

287 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 5:16 pm

@Dave Allen:

So what is there to discuss?

You have nothing to add to existing discussions and you’re unwilling to do any research to find anything to add. You’re unwilling to concede any credibility to the idea that social science research can be evidence-based.

It seems to me that based on your position it’s totally fair to barge into a discussion on rape prevention with the suggestion:
“I think if all women wore clown shoes it would prevent a lot of rape.”
Now, the idea may seem absurd. But how can we determine it is actually false? Any evidence we could adduce against it is probably subject to interpretation under some anti-clown shoes agenda. Those anti-clown shoes scum, demonizing their opponents and stifling dissent!

Your position, it seems to me, justifies the use of any arbitrary proposition as “rape prevention advice.” “Cook an egg for three minutes. You can’t prove it won’t prevent rape!”

What is there to even discuss from this perspective?

288 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm

If I am going to say “I think things need to start with no means no and yes means yes” and you agree – then agree. If you say something like “it’s not clearly efficacious” or “it’s based on pernicious myth” then I am left with the impression you don’t agree.

Please. I mean exactly what I said:

1) It’s advice that no one says shouldn’t be taught. In fact, it is taught, but we can always improve.
2) The efficacy has not been proven, so if you want to base your position around this idea, recognize it’s just a nice-seeming notion, not something that has sturdy verification behind it.
3) Recognize that it very much does support a pernicious rape myth, so in teaching it one must be careful to clarify.

It’s not a binary choice: agree with me in total or disagree with me in total.

289 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 5:24 pm

doubtthat@288:

It’s not a binary choice: agree with me in total or disagree with me in total.

I feel I have yet to argue with anyone here who understands this.

290 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 5:29 pm

@Edward Gemmer:

Also, I answered my own questions a while back about what would constitute effective rape prevention measures. My answer focused on paying attention in your own social circles and communities and making sure no one is violating other people’s boundaries over and over again. And do you know what my idea to do was if such a person was identified:

Talk to them. “Tell them not to rape”. Explain to them that it’s not OK to keep violating people’s boundaries.

Can you explain what’s wrong with this idea?

291 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

“So what is there to discuss?”

Look, if you don’t want to discuss stuff with me stop discussing stuff with me. I really won’t mind.

I would like to continue talking to Maureen and Doubtthat if they want to go on with the sort of debate we have been having recently, so I am open to more discussion.

But it bemuses me as to why you apparently find me some sort of constant unproductive participant – to whom you then direct all manner of inquiry, even after I’ve suggested we cut our losses and drop it.

So I’ll say it again – we don’t seem to get much from talking to one another – can we stop?

Now by all means continue – I won’t impinge on your freedom – but I probably won’t reply unless your posts start to contain something other than angry impugning.

292 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Oh, actually, that brings to bear the real question on this matter:

Do you guys think rapists are born rapists? That they’re inherently rapists? Or do you think they perhaps become rapists because of their life experiences?

If you think people are born either rapists or not rapists and do not change at all after that then you’re right: “tell people not to rape” makes no sense at all.

But I don’t think that. I think that people can be prevented from becoming rapists if they’re told not to rape. Maybe people who are already rapists cannot be changed back (but I think that’s arguable, see above) but people who are not yet there can very well be influenced by “telling people not to rape”.

Is that not worthwhile?

293 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Now by all means continue – I won’t impinge on your freedom – but I probably won’t reply unless your posts start to contain something other than angry impugning.

That wasn’t angry impugning. That was a very critique of your position.

If you cannot accept that your position is untenable then go ahead. Keep “discussing”.

294 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm

“1) It’s advice that no one says shouldn’t be taught. In fact, it is taught, but we can always improve.”

Taught to what degree of comprehensivity? For example I asked earlier about ideas on how to reach home-schoolers.

“2) The efficacy has not been proven, so if you want to base your position around this idea, recognize it’s just a nice-seeming notion, not something that has sturdy verification behind it.”

Given that there is no control group who has been guarded against the idea in totality this is the sort of thing that is impossible to falsify without some sort of unethical social engineering.

So whilst I can’t disagree with the difficulty in providing evidential support it seems totally ludicrous to me to suggest that it does not help reduce crime to explain what constitutes the crime.

As proofing, rather than hard evidence, we can look at the fact that in India the cultural standards are somewhat more in line with notions that consent is implied in behaviour rather than given or denied verbally.

” 3) Recognize that it very much does support a pernicious rape myth, so in teaching it one must be careful to clarify.”

Well if that’s what you mean we are in agreement.

However, what you did say was “it’s based on a pernicious myth” – to which I still object. If what you mean is that it can form the basis of a myth under fallacious understanding that is fine. However I guard against the fortification of fallacy through suppression of the source material in preference to elucidating the fallacy itself.

Which you probably do too.

295 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I don’t think I explained this well before, and I see how I left open the defeatist position that rapers are gonna rape.

With regard to “teach men not to rape” and Steubenville:

1) I do not think informing the rapists about consent would have made any difference. In fact, I think they understood consent, which is why they took such pains to elude any chance it could be declined.

2) This does not mean, however, that teaching them not to rape would have been completely ineffectual — like telling Gacy that murder isn’t cool.

3) I say this because another feature manifest in the way the Steubenville crime occurred was the total lack of concern for making their actions public. They clearly thought that this drunk girl was property they could treat however they wished, and a good percentage of their peers and adults in the town seem to agree.

4) So, I will modify my prior claim by saying first, that education about alcohol and consent could have made some difference. There is the implication that all they needed to do was get this girl drunk, and anything goes. Of course, that’s just a hypothetical.

5) The real efficacy of “teach men not to rape” comes from attacking directly the culture surrounding the event that made so many people think the crime was so funny.

As an example, you wouldn’t presume to solve the problem of lynchings in the South between the end of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement by teaching the victims to be less black or not antagonize white people. That problem is solved by directly attacking the culture that legitimizes that behavior, “teach the South not to lynch.”

296 Verbose Stoic March 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Hello,

Well, I haven’t had the time to follow all of the comments or even reply before now, but I have a few minutes and wouldn’t mind making a few comments here, less specifically on prevention and more on how the feminist worldview is somewhat clouding the issue and is not entirely accurate.

First, I’d like to reference Kes’ comment and links at 40. In the first link, one of the key take-aways is that the percentage of men who actually rape is actually quite low. The article estimates it at 6%, although that might be underreported. And that most of those who did were multiple rapists. What this raises, though, is an issue around us being in a “rape culture” and about the solution of “tell men not to rape”, because it seems that most men, if this study is to be believed, already don’t rape, and since most of those who do are repeat offenders we likely run into a case where they simply don’t care. If the culture was so attached to rape, it would seem that more would rape. And note that the study is done without actually saying “Do you rape?”, but by tracking obvious and clear cases, which should limit at least some of the misreporting. If men still don’t report those actions even if they do them, it seems that they recognize that it is rape and it is wrong, and don’t want to be associated with that. In a “rape culture”, we’d hardly expect that.

The Stubenville case that was brought up recently doesn’t work to refute that, because these guys did think that people would laugh, and while some did a lot of people simply thought them idiots for actually posting that as if it was okay.

Now, the article does point out that a lot of the rapes were intoxication rapes, estimating that 70% of them were that sort. This could indicate that we need more education on that sort of rape. But the presumption that that would be because of some kind of “rape culture” and not because of our culture’s relationship to alcohol is specious. And I think that common feminist arguments contribute to this, because in that article the intoxication cases were pretty much centered on cases where they literally could not consent — passed out or oblivious — while a lot of feminist argument takes it further than that. For example, fairly recently Rebecca Watson argued that the limit would be if someone was stumbling or staggering, which is simply them being intoxicated at all. While some would deny it, most people accept that if someone is unconscious that’s likely rape, but the extended version includes the standard “Got blitzed out of my mind and woke up beside someone and can’t remember what happened”, which generally ISN’T considered such a case. In fact, I recall a song — whose title and singer I can’t remember, other than that it was a woman — with the “It’s the Sunday morning after, and baby who the hell are you?” associated with other lines like getting a tatoo and getting her tongue pierced. We don’t consider this sort of thing “rape”, and it also runs into an issue where two people go out to a party, both get plastered, end up in bed together, and can’t remember how that happened the next day. Who raped whom, there?

This also runs afoul of the new push, at least here, to consider people responsible for their actions even if drunk. If you are too drunk to remember the night before, but get in a car and kill someone, you’re still responsible. And there’s a growing acceptance, at least here, that if someone is drunk and rapes someone they are still guilty. The feminist push for a stronger “drunkenness is not consent” angle runs right into this, and does make people think that feminists want women treated as helpless, unable to give consent if they’ve had a drink. This, then, works against even some of the passed out cases, as the accusation is that she got drunk, had sex, doesn’t remember what happened, regrets doing it, and is now calling it rape … no matter how inaccurate that is.

Not that, at least here, cases where the woman is explicitly drugged seem to have less of this sort of thing than cases with alcohol. It seems to me that cases with the “date rape” drug are generally treated more seriously, as long as it can be proven that a drug was used.

The same thing seems to apply to campaigns that say that an explicit “Yes” is required for consent, because I have seen arguments that claim that women should not be expected to say “No” or make it obvious. The second article talks about this, but asserts that in general we can tell if someone means “No” even if they don’t say it. The problem is that there are a significant number of people who don’t have the social skills — for various reasons — to tell, even in those cases. If the percentage was higher, this wouldn’t be a concern, but with it being so low and the number of one-time offenders being low, this can come up in a surprisingly large number of cases, and putting the onus on the other person to be able to read your reactions no matter what the circumstances works against the notion of personal responsibility. Why shouldn’t you be able to make it clear when you say “No”? So a campaign that encouraged people to be completely up front about their consent and to deny consent explicitly would make fewer cases where it might be ambiguous, and allow more people to think about rape as being an explicit violation.

I also think the “rape is about power, not sex” is problematic. The stats show that the majority of rape victims are in the age range of maximum attractiveness (I think I saw 16 – 40 or something like that). There are a significant number of outliers, but there’s also a significant number of male outliers who find people in those ranges attractive. When there used to be actual stores that sold pornography, you could find magazines dedicated to pictures of older women, so clearly enough men found them attractive enough to make that be a reasonable market. So the evidence is that most rapes probably are about sex, and not about power. Sure, some of them are about power, no question, but most of them seem not to be, and pitching that it is about power causes confusions from the people who say that they didn’t want power but simply wanted sex, the people who wanted a sex doll and didn’t think of the other person as a person at all. If rape is about power, then they aren’t rapists. That’s wrong.

As a thought experiment, if rape is about power then if rape didn’t give men power over women, we would expect rapes to decrease. So imagine that women considered being raped flattery and were disappointed if it didn’t happen to them. Does anyone think that the number of rapes would decrease instead of increase? If you don’t think that the number of rapes would decrease, then you probably don’t think that rape is really about power most of the time.

I apologize for the length of this comment.

297 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm

However, what you did say was “it’s based on a pernicious myth” – to which I still object. If what you mean is that it can form the basis of a myth under fallacious understanding that is fine. However I guard against the fortification of fallacy through suppression of the source material in preference to elucidating the fallacy itself.

Look, this has become such a trivial, semantic argument, that I don’t really care how it works out.

It is my contention that in order to think educating people on consent will prevent rape, you are operating under the assumption that some rapes are committed due to confusion on the part of the rapist. There is very little evidence to suggest that this is the case in a statistically relevant way.

Now, did the advice create the myth, or did the myth create the advice? Chicken-egg; there’s an answer, but I’m not sure it matters all that much.

All that is required is that the advice and the myth are closely related requiring special care that teaching the advice doesn’t exacerbate the myth and the damage it causes.

298 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm

VS@296:

Please address my arguments at:
284
290
292

and doubtthat’s at:
295

299 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 6:33 pm

VS:

But the presumption that that would be because of some kind of “rape culture” and not because of our culture’s relationship to alcohol is specious.

I’m very willing to discuss this but not if you’re going to dismiss the concept of “rape culture” outright. I’ve experienced it myself so it’s not reasonable to expect me to simply accept that it’s an invalid concept. You have to be willing to accept you might be wrong about some of this stuff.

300 Verbose Stoic March 22, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Dan L.,

I think my comment did cover them off. The key argument is that the total percentage is small from Kes’ stats, so that makes there being a rape culture dubious, at least one worthy of the name. The idea that women play hard to get is a potential problem, but some women seem to or, at least, hold it up as THEIR ideal (see, for example, “The Rules”). To call that “rape culture” ignores that it’s a different and broader cultural artifact, like is the case for alcohol. I addressed them posting it publically by noting that a lot of people thought them idiots for doing so, and it got them convicted. There’s certainly benefit in reworking these problematic notions, but you have to do it outside of the simple focus on rape. For example, reworking the idea that women play hard to get has to include telling women to stop playing hard to get as a strategy. And the comment about them being born really has no relevance to my comment as far as I can see, so you probably should make a specific point if you care about that one.

Note: I’ll have to fade into the woodwork for a while. I’ll try to pick this up later.

301 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm

The idea that women play hard to get is a potential problem, but some women seem to or, at least, hold it up as THEIR ideal (see, for example, “The Rules”)…

For example, reworking the idea that women play hard to get has to include telling women to stop playing hard to get as a strategy.

This is instructive. Now, at 300 posts, we’re still dealing with nonsense like this. Would it wise to treat VS as a beautiful little snowflake, unique in every way, or should I save myself the pain of 100+ more comments by pointing out that someone making this assertion in 21st century with all the data and access to knowledge we have available could just be ignored?

The number of idiotic myths bundled in that paragraph are just astonishing. The Rules? The fucking Rules? You want to be taken seriously and you’re using that as evidence that women play “hard to get?”

No, not this one. I can tell when effort is going to be wasted.

302 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm

VS@300:

No, you have failed to address pretty much any of the arguments in question.

To call that “rape culture” ignores that it’s a different and broader cultural artifact, like is the case for alcohol.

No, it doesn’t. You simply do not understand how the term “rape culture” is being used. It is not mutually exclusive to “drinking culture” — there is heavy overlap. It is not mutually exclusive to the “hard to get” meme — that meme is explicitly an aspect of rape culture as the term rape culture is used.

Perhaps you need to define what you mean by “rape culture” to move forward.

Regardless, you have not addressed the following regarding “tell men not to rape”:
1. People who repeatedly rape don’t necessarily know what they’re doing is rape.
2. People who repeatedly rape may rationalize what they’re doing as “not rape”.
3. People are not born rapists; they become rapists through their life experiences. We can “tell men not to rape” before they become rapists.

Address those arguments, clarify what you think “rape culture” means, and we might be able to have a conversation about this.

303 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 6:48 pm

To clarify how the term “rape culture” is used:

I don’t think anyone would find it the least bit controversial to talk about “sports culture”. One could object, if one were a pedantic asshole, that sports are really a part of the broader culture, not a culture unto itself. Ah, but that is ridiculous hair-splitting. The usage of the term “culture” here is quite clear from context. Cultures have subcultures, and subcultures have subcultures, but those subcultures are all in some sense cultures unto themselves. I can talk about “European culture” and I can talk about “Spanish culture” and even though Spanish culture is a subset of European culture I don’t think too many people would have trouble with these concepts.

Somehow when you highlight a particular set of cultural assumptions and norms that provide cover for rapists and call that “rape culture” that’s unacceptable, though. I don’t understand why.

304 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm

VS, there is so much wrong with your comment (296) that I agree with doubtthat that it is not a very good starting point for a conversation about this. You need to be willing to accept that you’re not an expert on this despite the five minutes you spent researching it online.

305 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm

And the comment about them being born really has no relevance to my comment as far as I can see, so you probably should make a specific point if you care about that one.

Oh, this is really too much.

I was quite explicit. You teach people not to rape before they become rapists and then (it seems to me) there’s a decent chance they won’t become rapists. It seems to me that this would be a great reason to “tell people not to rape”.

You are arguing that “tell people not to rape” is not an effective strategy. I am pointing out a situation in which it seems to me it could very plausibly be an effective strategy. How is that not relevant to your comment?

306 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Doubtthat

“It is my contention that in order to think educating people on consent will prevent rape, you are operating under the assumption that some rapes are committed due to confusion on the part of the rapist. There is very little evidence to suggest that this is the case in a statistically relevant way.”

We risk going in circles somewhat. I assert that there isn’t a controversy in regards that the issue of consent lies at the heart of rape and that illustrating a standard is therefore useful.

This does not imply that it be denied that technical breaching of the standard not constitute a crime too.

Now you are engaged in an argument with a man who thinks it’s an issue as to whether or not a girl plays hard to get.

An issue that would not be such a sticky wicket if it was made clear that – as a legal categorical imperative – one takes a no for what it is, and a yes for what it is.

I do not deny that only a minority of rapists operate under conditions of genuine confusion – I agreed with this earlier – why not rule them out as a consequence if something like this would help?

Moreover it just clears up a big grey area.

But by all means continue to argue with me as to whether or not clear consent matters whilst also arguing with VS about what a man should do in the face of hard to get.

Because what I think a man should do in the case of hard to get is say “OK, I’ll take no for an answer then”. And if the girl was only teasing she can clarify.

307 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 7:10 pm

And note that the study is done without actually saying “Do you rape?”, but by tracking obvious and clear cases, which should limit at least some of the misreporting. If men still don’t report those actions even if they do them, it seems that they recognize that it is rape and it is wrong, and don’t want to be associated with that. In a “rape culture”, we’d hardly expect that.

No, actually the evidence suggests just the opposite of that. Which you’d know if you’d bother to research the matter instead of spewing your uninformed opinion.

308 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 7:17 pm

@Dave Allen

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as intent on finding disagreement as you.

I will assume that I wasn’t clear in my post: I personally see the advice on consent being the result of a wide-spread myth, but I don’t care. I don’t think the causal story is all that important.

If we agree that care needs to be taken to not indulge that myth while teaching about consent, I could really care less about how we got there. I’m not disagreeing with you, unless you really think it’s important to decide which came first, the myth or the prevention advice.

309 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm

“If we agree that care needs to be taken to not indulge that myth while teaching about consent, I could really care less about how we got there. I’m not disagreeing with you, unless you really think it’s important to decide which came first, the myth or the prevention advice.”

As far as I see it mythology is irrelevant insofar as teaching people about the technicalities of the crime unless it’s brought up as part of the discussion. The teachers involved could be advised to know that someone might go:

“But Teach, I once heard of a boy who met a girl and she was like ‘no’ but then he later learned she woudda wanted him to go forward and would have given out if he’d just persisted a bit, so its like he missed his chance innit?”

And the teacher could go:

“Yeah, but by sticking with this standard the boy in question knew he wasn’t engaging in crime and merely missed the opportunity to get his rocks off as opposed to hassling another girl who actually meant ‘no’ to the point of harassment or rape and making himself a criminal pariah.”

And another student could go:

“I once knew this girl, right, and she was kissing this boy she liked, right, and he said ‘djerwanna’? And she was like ‘mmmm’ and he went ahead and she ended up really upset and hurt cause she didn’t really wanna. But he was all like ‘I fort you said yeah, right’?

And the teacher could go:

“Well that’s terrible, obviously he should have made sure she was properly willing by getting clear consent, but had she been unambiguous in refusal he may not have pressed on and even if he did she would be better placed in any subsequent legal proceedings.”

310 doubtthat March 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm

As far as I see it mythology is irrelevant insofar as teaching people about the technicalities of the crime unless it’s brought up as part of the discussion.

There’s no reason to be coy about. Teach about consent, teach about the rape myth, explain why it’s wrong, explain how the two can be conflated.

I’m not sure why we need stealth education measures.

311 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm

“Teach about consent, teach about the rape myth, explain why it’s wrong, explain how the two can be conflated.”

Fair enough, by all means make the debunking of common excuses and fallacies curricular. I don’t object to that.

312 Verbose Stoic March 22, 2013 at 9:44 pm

doubtthat,

The number of idiotic myths bundled in that paragraph are just astonishing. The Rules? The fucking Rules? You want to be taken seriously and you’re using that as evidence that women play “hard to get?”

No, not this one. I can tell when effort is going to be wasted.

Before you get so dismissive, you should probably try to figure out what the argument actually is. See, the argument is that a non-insignificant number of women do see “play hard to get” as a valid or even the best strategy for attracting men. “The Rules” was, by all accounts, a popular book. I don’t know the specific sales figures, but it spawned a number of books and has its defenders. Sure, you can argue that feminists decried it, but the fact is that some women, at least, think it describes a good strategy. And I can add in all of the various romantic novels and movies that follow the tried-and-true idea of the man overcoming initial resistance, which are aimed primarily at women. I am not saying that this is GOOD; quite the opposite, in fact. But I am saying that this is a fact, and that therefore in reaction to a push to not act as if a woman is playing hard to get that you might get a reasonable answer of “But at least some women do”. So you’d need the push on both sides. And that’s all I’m saying.

Dan L.,

Somehow when you highlight a particular set of cultural assumptions and norms that provide cover for rapists and call that “rape culture” that’s unacceptable, though. I don’t understand why.

Because if you look at terms like “sports culture” and “European culture” and “Spanish culture” and the like, they seem to be a unified whole, something that isn’t just a bunch of other cultural attitudes that happen to impact, say, how people in sports act or how Spanish people act, which is often quite explicit. In other words, it tends to build towards an identity, or some kind of explicit grouping. I don’t think that’s the case at all for what is called the “rape culture”, which is why I’m skeptical that we actually have one. Now, to be clear, I do think that we have cultural attitudes that contribute to rapes, and I think that we might even have a number of cultural attitudes that are directly aimed at issues around rapes, but that we don’t have any kind of unified culture that can be called a “rape culture”. And I also think it quite important to identify which of the cultural attitudes are aimed explicitly at rape and which are not, as I argue the alcohol case is the latter, not the former; it’s not an attitude that we hold because of its relation to rape, but that it has an impact on attitudes towards rape because it happens to relate to one aspect of it but is aimed at something else, which is overall responsibility when you’re intoxicated and also the importance of alcohol and drunkenness to “having fun”.

But if you’re willing to actually make an argument, I’m willing to listen and see if I might be wrong.

You are arguing that “tell people not to rape” is not an effective strategy. I am pointing out a situation in which it seems to me it could very plausibly be an effective strategy. How is that not relevant to your comment?

No, I’m actually saying that it seems that, for the most part, we pretty much already do that, using the stats from Kes’ article — and the one you then cited — that estimated that it is 6% of the men interviewed that would actually commit rape. Most men seem to know not to rape even when you don’t call it rape, if those stats are to be trusted. And they are not mine, made up to defend my point, but are the ones of people who are, ostensibly, trying to support your position.

No, actually the evidence suggests just the opposite of that. Which you’d know if you’d bother to research the matter instead of spewing your uninformed opinion.

From your own source, which I was talking about in my first paragraph:

So without quibbling over the precise statutory definition, this equates to rape or attempted rape. 120 men admitted to raping to attempting to rape. This is actually a relatively slim proportion of the survey population — just over 6% — and might be an underreport, though for part of the sample, the survey team did interviews to confirm the self-reports, which tends to show if there is an undercount in the self-reports, and found the responses consistent.

So, it’s 6%, which is a small number, and might be an underreport, but seems not to be, which was my first point. The point you’re replying to here is my commenting that even if it was an underreport, that suggests that these men know very well what rape is even when you don’t call it rape and are deliberately avoiding being associated with anything that looks like rape. This would suggest that men, in general, don’t think rape a good or acceptable thing, which is what I was after there. Perhaps you should try to read more of my arguments before leaping to telling me to do research. That would let you avoid giving me references that I talked about (although I admit I didn’t link it, which could give rise to some confusions).

313 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 10:48 pm

“So you’d need the push on both sides.”

Well, not necessarily.

Now I don’t mean to suggest that you are wrong in regards to what is fair or productive, but if the message got through to those who want sex that “yes means yes” then people who play games along the lines of those you mention would have to stop. Were those who played hard to get games or “I like to be forced” games met with insouciant “OK then, bye” type responses in general then they would have to either stop the games or do without the sort of interaction they presumably wish for.

Now would this work in practice? I doubt it. However as the general basic standard of how not to rape yes means yes works without considering ambiguous game playing.

Even if you sympathise with people who pursue a likely game of hard to get – presumably you cede that they fail to cover themselves against a plausible accusation of impropriety should they fail to gain clear consent, and at worst they may be making an excuse for an opportunistic act of sexual predation.

314 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 10:50 pm

As a correction, “I doubt it” is too pessimistic. I think there will always be ambiguous territory. You can eat into it by being explicit about what it takes to be explicit, IMO.

315 Verbose Stoic March 22, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Now I don’t mean to suggest that you are wrong in regards to what is fair or productive, but if the message got through to those who want sex that “yes means yes” then people who play games along the lines of those you mention would have to stop. Were those who played hard to get games or “I like to be forced” games met with insouciant “OK then, bye” type responses in general then they would have to either stop the games or do without the sort of interaction they presumably wish for.

The problem is that if you set out as an advertising or intellectual/moral message that you should only take “yes means yes”, but people notice that being persistent will in fact actually get sex — and, generally, with partners who are happy with the persistence — then your message will be dismissed as not reflecting reality. This sort of argument is what fuels PUAs, especially in groups or on board with people who are shy and aren’t successful at getting sex; they stand on saying that how society says you should act is not, in fact, the way that actually works.

But if you make it so that men should accept that women don’t play hard to get and so that most women DON’T play hard to get, then you sidestep all of that.

316 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 11:09 pm

@VS:

Last reply unless you can try to help me find some common ground. I really dislike your style of argumentation. You never seem willing to concede anything even if it’s fairly reasonable. It gives me the impression that you just want to be right instead of discuss the issues.

By the way, I asked you to define how you’re using the term “rape culture” and you didn’t. Poor form. If you’re going to tell me my usage is wrong without even understanding what my usage is then it’s incumbent upon you to explain on what basis you’re doing that.

Because if you look at terms like “sports culture” and “European culture” and “Spanish culture” and the like, they seem to be a unified whole, something that isn’t just a bunch of other cultural attitudes that happen to impact, say, how people in sports act or how Spanish people act, which is often quite explicit.

1. That is simply not true. “Sports culture” is in no way a unified whole. Some people just watch the games; some people like watching analysis on espn. Some people like football and baseball, some people just like one or the other. Some people wear sports jerseys and others don’t. Some people tailgate and others don’t. There is no one way such “people act”. Some sports fans are nebbishy stats nerds and some are beer-swilling good ol’ boys. People in sports have very diverse views. In the last few months some NFL players have written editorials supporting gay marriage, others have written against it.

Cultures are never unified wholes. Let’s consider Spanish culture. Are the cultures of Madrid and Barcelona identical? Or do the cities have distinct cultural elements? Maybe this is simpler with “American culture.” Boston and New York are both American cities but with very different cultures.
2. Even if this wasn’t true this would not prevent me from using the term “rape culture” to designate something real and worth discussing. You might argue that this is misleading compared to other uses of the word “culture” — I don’t agree, given my argument in (1) — but ultimately if I’m willing to clarify what I mean I don’t see why this should be a huge problem. Philosophers do this all the time. Scientists do this all the time.

In other words, it tends to build towards an identity, or some kind of explicit grouping. I don’t think that’s the case at all for what is called the “rape culture”, which is why I’m skeptical that we actually have one.

Again, I have personally witnessed such a culture so “I’m skeptical that we actually have one” is fucking meaningless to me. It does build towards an identity: a very specific interpretation of masculinity. Apparently you did not realize this. That is a good reason to stop, take a step back, and let the person who thinks the term actually has a valid meaning to explain instead of expressing your baseless “skepticism” about it. That’s how real, honest, discussion works. You don’t tell me my ideas are invalid before you know what they are. You find out what they are first.

Now, to be clear, I do think that we have cultural attitudes that contribute to rapes, and I think that we might even have a number of cultural attitudes that are directly aimed at issues around rapes, but that we don’t have any kind of unified culture that can be called a “rape culture”.

And again, this is only because you are disposed towards lecturing instead of listening. And again, cultures aren’t “unified” in the first place. There is “punk rock culture” — but some punk rockers are some of the most ardent social justice advocates there are, other punk rockers are political nihilists, and still other punk rockers are virulent racists. These groups of punk rockers are not unified but they share a great deal of culture between them and that shared culture may safely be called “punk rock culture” without any confusion.

And I also think it quite important to identify which of the cultural attitudes are aimed explicitly at rape and which are not, as I argue the alcohol case is the latter, not the former; it’s not an attitude that we hold because of its relation to rape, but that it has an impact on attitudes towards rape because it happens to relate to one aspect of it but is aimed at something else, which is overall responsibility when you’re intoxicated and also the importance of alcohol and drunkenness to “having fun”.

Again, an issue only because you want to tell me how it is rather than understand my perspective on it. First of all, I’d like to point out that just as in all my other examples in which I’ve demonstrated that cultures are rarely “unified wholes”, drinking culture is not a unified whole. Some people like to get cocktails at nice bars that don’t let you in if you’re wearing jeans. Some people like to slam PBR at Irish pubs. Some people like to drink to relax with friends after work, some people like to drink while they go out and dance and try to get laid.

So there’s a particular aspect of drinking culture that’s sometimes called “hookup culture” and it’s particularly prominent on college campuses. This is an aspect of drinking culture that is also an aspect of rape culture.

By the way, the fact of overlap between cultures also puts the lie to the “cultures are unified whole” claim you keep making but not justifying. Red Sox hats are simultaneously part of sports culture, Red Sox culture, and Boston city culture.

Can you accept that you seem to have a monumentally poor understanding of what the word “culture” means and the general ontological structure of “cultures”? Or, if your ego won’t let you do that, can you at least admit that I can use the term “rape culture” to refer to a particular concept as long as I qualify it properly (even if you don’t accept that it’s analogous to other “culture” terms)?

If not I will probably not want to discuss this issue with you any further.

317 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 11:14 pm

No, I’m actually saying that it seems that, for the most part, we pretty much already do that, using the stats from Kes’ article — and the one you then cited — that estimated that it is 6% of the men interviewed that would actually commit rape. Most men seem to know not to rape even when you don’t call it rape, if those stats are to be trusted. And they are not mine, made up to defend my point, but are the ones of people who are, ostensibly, trying to support your position.

You seem to be deliberately misunderstanding my argument.

Once again, you have argued that “tell people not to rape” is not a good strategy. Your reasoning:
1. Only a very small percentage of men rape.
2. Rapists don’t seem to care if people don’t tell them to rape.

This reasoning is flawed because it doesn’t take into account how people become part of the six percent. We know that in other cultures the percentage is not six percent: there is not something in human nature which makes six percent of all men intrinsically rapists. Culture seems to influence the rate at which men become rapists.

The idea here is that by “telling people not to rape” we change the culture and change the percentage of men who become rapists in the first place. If it’s already a small percentage, great! No reason not to make it smaller though, right? (For the record, I don’t think one out of every twenty men is a small percentage.) Most men don’t need to be told? Great! Is it going to hurt them to hear it again anyway?

But the key point here is that if we tell more people not to rape it’s quite possible that fewer people will become rapists in the first place — hence preventing rape! So you see, my argument makes sense. Please stop deliberately misunderstanding it and address it directly.

318 Dan L. March 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm

So, it’s 6%, which is a small number, and might be an underreport, but seems not to be, which was my first point. The point you’re replying to here is my commenting that even if it was an underreport, that suggests that these men know very well what rape is even when you don’t call it rape and are deliberately avoiding being associated with anything that looks like rape.

No, you have (rather predictably) missed my point.

As the article mentions, previous self-report studies on rape got very low report rates relative to this one. Apparently even people who rape don’t want to admit to being rapists.

In this study, they did not use the term “rape” and got a much higher report rate.

What this suggests to me as a matter of elementary logic is that more men are willing to admit to actions that constitute rape than are willing to admit to rape itself. This suggests to me that these men rape but do not like to think of themselves as rapists. That would seem to be the complete opposite of the conclusion you drew; I don’t understand how you can overlook this factor, though.

319 Dave Allen March 22, 2013 at 11:23 pm

“The problem is that if you set out as an advertising or intellectual/moral message that you should only take “yes means yes”, but people notice that being persistent will in fact actually get sex — and, generally, with partners who are happy with the persistence — then your message will be dismissed as not reflecting reality.”

Only because people quibble over the nature of what the argument is. It is no a philosophical truism, it’s not a matter of legal definition as far as I understand the law as it currently operates.

It is advice.

Now if you’re going to say that people enter grey areas because it is rewarding and exciting to take risks I am not going to disagree, the point is that if you stay safe you stay safe. If a potential sexual partner is pursued to the point where you lack the plausible deniability that you have engaged in criminal activity then you are vulnerable to the charge.

“This sort of argument is what fuels PUAs, especially in groups or on board with people who are shy and aren’t successful at getting sex; they stand on saying that how society says you should act is not, in fact, the way that actually works.”

Their obsession for notches in bedposts should not trump a default notion of what it is to remain explicitly inside the law. It is not counter to reality to point out that to play with ambiguity is to leave yourself open to a plausible accusation or a genuine charge of an act of sexual aggression – even if you were being well meaning and “getting all the right signals” according to some suave lothario’s guidebook?

“But if you make it so that men should accept that women don’t play hard to get and so that most women DON’T play hard to get, then you sidestep all of that.”

That isn’t my position. I am aware that some people may play with ambiguity for all manner of reasons. Yes, to deny that would be a matter of denying reality, but to state that it somehow need be priority info somehow running counter to the suggested baseline of YesMeansYesNoMeansNo only works if you regard YMYNMN as some sort of truism pertaining to more than good advice. Best practice.

320 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 12:52 am

@VS:

I’m sorry about all the accusations of bad faith. I was cranky and I’m calmer now.

Here’s what I mean by “rape culture”: I already mentioned that I think it encourages people to identify with a particular interpretation of masculinity. That is much too simple.* As I’ve explained, I think cultures are really complex, man! I really don’t think you can dismiss the idea entirely just by saying arguing that cultures are unified wholes and make people act the same way. I don’t think that does the concept any justice at all. Here’s the Merriam-Webster’s definition of “culture” I think is relevant:

a : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time “popular culture” “southern culture”
c : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization “a corporate culture focused on the bottom line”
d : the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic “studying the effect of computers on print culture” “changing the culture of materialism will take time — Peggy O’Mara”

Note that these sub-definitions aren’t mutually exclusive. Red Sox fandom definitely falls into (a), (b) and (d) simultaneously. “Rape culture” is meant mostly in the sense of (d) but it involves elements of all three of the other definitions (in my opinion of course).

Here’s what I mean by “tell people not to rape”: If I’m at a party and I see that someone has been violating people’s boundaries I would feel it incumbent upon me to do something about it. If it was someone I knew I would talk to them about it. I would ask what was up with that. I would tell them it’s not cool. And if I didn’t know the person I would try to find someone who did to do the same.

Often this is very hard to do. It can be very hard to tell friends especially that they’re acting terribly, especially if they’re particularly charismatic or influential people. I can think of examples in my own life. People deny it, people defend it, people are non-confrontational and don’t want to rock the boat. Incidentally this is where rape culture comes in. “Bros before hos” — have you heard that one? Loyalty to friends before women.

But friends listen to friends. I believe that people tend to adopt the cultural values of their immediate milieu — not all at once and not always, obviously. But if friends make it clear to friends that certain behaviors are not acceptable then just maybe some of those friends will listen. “Tell people not to rape.”

321 doubtthat March 23, 2013 at 6:53 am

See, the argument is that a non-insignificant number of women do see “play hard to get” as a valid or even the best strategy for attracting men. “The Rules” was, by all accounts, a popular book. I don’t know the specific sales figures, but it spawned a number of books and has its defenders. Sure, you can argue that feminists decried it, but the fact is that some women, at least, think it describes a good strategy

Dan can be the one that is nice to you.

Let’s say you were the sort of person that bothered to research a subject before flinging shit against the wall and you could actually prove (1) what the fuck “playing hard to get” means and (2) how often it actually occurs, you would still be in the position of trying to explain why women resisting the advances of men contributes to rape and sexual assault.

I’ll give it you, that’s a novel approach. It’s a perverse sort of creativity. Now a woman is not only responsible for her rape if she looks to good, drinks too much, and is too flirty (asking for it), but now she has to be concerned that denying the advances of men will invite rape, because…something in VC’s brain seems to thing that makes sense.

If you are a man, how do you distinguish between a woman playing “hard to get” and a woman who honestly just doesn’t want to deal with you? You can’t, so this entire bullshit notion is washed away with the simple point that “no means no.”

“Well, she did say ‘no,’ but there was a stupid book that was sort of popular several decades ago, so I’m just going to go ahead and pull out my dingus to see what happens.”

I thought the previous folks were bad (they were), but holy motherfucking Jesus balls, that’s the silliest thing I’ve read in a while.

322 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 9:34 am

Dave Allen,

Advice has to work in order for it to be taken as advice, which means it has to reflect how things work.

Let me summarize the situation from my perspective to demonstrate where I think the problem comes in:

Let’s say that you tell someone to always take “No means no” and not be persistent at all because it reduces their risk of being charged with rape. So, they do this and don’t have success getting sex. They then notice someone who is successful, and that person says that they don’t take “No means no” as an answer and can be very persistent, and that women seem to like it and that they’ve never had anyone charge them with rape at all doing that. At this point, the advice starts to look like it doesn’t reflect reality, even if the law does say that “No means no”. So, then, further imagine that they go out and try to be more persistent, and happen to hit a woman who does mean that who charges them with rape. Then, to their mind, it looks like it’s arbitrary; women will accept persistence from men they like and charge men they don’t like with rape. And then they get bitter over that and end up hating women.

If this sounds familiar, it should; I’ve seen a similar progression in a ton of shy men reacting to incredibly bad advice about how they should act in order to attract people, and seen the PUAs, as I said, make that exact same argument that what women SAY they want is not, in fact, what they want. All that’s missing from those cases is, in general, the rape charge.

So, then, as you say if you can teach men not to be persistent, women who play hard to get should lose. But that only works as long as there aren’t men who try to be persistent. We need it to be the case that not only do women who try to play hard to get fail, but men who try to play on the idea that women who play hard to get also fail. If not, then you run right into the situation I’m talking about, where it looks like ignoring your advice is successful and likely more successful than following it, at which point no one will follow it.

Note that this also depends on who is following what advice. If the most desirable men and women follow the “play hard to get” advice, then over time most people will follow that advice as well, and the culture and the law will be totally out of sync.

323 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

doubtthat,

The biggest problem with not being nice is when you end up aggressively attacking someone for points and arguments they didn’t actually make and don’t support. Your comment pretty much does that in spades.

Now, I didn’t actually talk about “playing hard to get” in my initial post. I did talk about this link from Kes’ comment:

http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/mythcommunication-its-not-that-they-dont-understand-they-just-dont-like-the-answer/

Just to point out that with the very small number of men who do engage in that obvious rape behaviour from the first link there is a number of men who have a harder time seeing those vague rejections as rejections. I’m one of them; if a woman, for example, tells me that she’s too busy to go out with me right now but might later, I tend to actually believe that she’s telling the truth. Go figure. This is, in fact, a trait of certain conditions based around social anxiety and a lack of social skills (and I think would include autism). However, I strongly support clear but polite rejections. The best rejection I ever had was a woman who said “No … but thanks, though!”. So, I strongly support “No means no”, but insist that this has two sides: women have to clearly say “No”, men have to take a clear “No” as an answer, and we can wrangle over how clear is a clear “No”.

So, if I didn’t talk about playing hard to get in my original post, where did it come from? Well, from Dan L. telling me to read certain comments, and this part from 284:

For the reasons mentioned above. Rape culture is real, man, I can testify from first-hand experience. If you’re told over and over again that no doesn’t necessarily mean no, that women like to play hard to get, that saying they’re not playing hard to get is just more playing hard to get…combine that with the already-mentioned human capacity for rationalization and you get bad results.

To which my reply was, essentially, that for a not insignificant number of women, no doesn’t necessariily mean no, and women do play hard to get. And I used actually evidence from the culture to indicate that, yeah, this happens. Your simple dismissals of it in no way constitute evidence that my rather weak claim is false, and don’t even defend against a stronger claim that this is a cultural norm. And I never argued that there aren’t women who don’t play hard to get, so it doesn’t even work against that.

So, I agree that “No should mean no”, but as I said in a comment that is now in moderation but will likely pop up soon, if for a lot of women it doesn’t then men who want to have success with women will ignore it to have success with those women. Thus, you need to both teach women to stop playing hard to get and men to stop thinking that women play hard to get as a strategy.

324 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 10:14 am

As a clarifying aside, here’s how I’d tell women to stop playing hard to get (we already have many ideas for telling men to respect “No means no”):

If you play hard to get, you are basically saying that you prefer the man who ignores you telling them that you aren’t interested to the man who accepts and respects your wishes. Don’t you think it rather stupid to prefer a man who doesn’t care about what you want over the man who does? Shouldn’t the latter be the man you really want to date?

It kinda relates to the old trick some women pulled of trying to discourage men from hitting on them by wearing a wedding ring, who would then wonder why they ended up meeting jerks. The answer is that the only men who would hit on them were men who were jerks and didn’t care that she was married, while all the legitimate nice guys would see the ring and think “Oh, I’d better not”. Surely it’s the latter sort of man that women should WANT hitting on them, no?

325 Maureen Brian March 23, 2013 at 10:27 am

Do you not see, Verbose Stoic, that thinking such as yours puts women in an invidious position?

Apart from the fact that many of us are brought up to find ways of saying no which do not hurt anyone’s feelings there are instances where the fear of worse if they say “no” loud and clear is not unreasonable. Here’s an example – http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/rape-and-violence-against-women-crisis?page=2 – quoted on Ophelia Benson’s blog just yesterday.

So, yes, women have to get better at saying clearly what they want and don’t want. Just look what that did for Adria Richards, by the way!

But men have to put in some real work at recognising an autonomous human being when they meet one and developing their social skills beyond those of a hormone-addled 13 year old.

Those who have genuine difficulties with empathy and reading social signals should ask for help. It would be given gladly. The ones who simply can’t be arsed, though, should give up on the cowardly trick of hiding behind the genuine problems of those on the autism spectrum.

326 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

So, yes, women have to get better at saying clearly what they want and don’t want. Just look what that did for Adria Richards, by the way!

But men have to put in some real work at recognising an autonomous human being when they meet one and developing their social skills beyond those of a hormone-addled 13 year old.

I agree completely, and in fact never argued otherwise. In reference to the article, there will indeed be men who will take even a polite “No” really, really badly and will react with anger and possibly violence. I like to call these men by the very technical name of “Jerks”. I don’t support that and think that if you take a polite rejection with anger — as opposed to mere disappointment — that you’re wrong and should work on that. Reacting with violence is simply so much worse than that; I can’t see any possible case where that would be justified.

So, I’m not sure what your point is. I suppose you can argue that because they don’t know what men are going to react violently that it puts them in a position of having to choose between having sex when they don’t want it or risking a violent reaction, but I think we can agree that the only solution to that is to teach men to indeed stop doing that. I’m on board … as long as we also teach women to reject clearly and politely, because I don’t want to see expressing rejection clearly used as an excuse to abuse and belittle the person asking.

Those who have genuine difficulties with empathy and reading social signals should ask for help. It would be given gladly. The ones who simply can’t be arsed, though, should give up on the cowardly trick of hiding behind the genuine problems of those on the autism spectrum.

I’ve seen the help given. It’s usually utter crap. This is not due to the people not wanting to help, but due to the fact that people don’t, in fact, learn empathy or to read social signals. They pick it up naturally. Trying to teach something that comes naturally to you to someone to whom it doesn’t doesn’t work very well, and usually ends up with you teaching rules that sound good on paper but don’t map to how anyone actually acts in the world. One of my biggest complaints about some of the harassment policies is that someone who is weak in social skills is likely to try to follow them as written … and discover that no one actually acts that way. That doesn’t help anything.

Thus, you can get people who are really trying to get help and follow it who still screw up, so it’s not as easy to tell who can and can’t be arsed. That’s why I want to move away from the more vague and intuitive notions that not everyone can grasp intuitively and towards ones that are abundantly clear.

327 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

Dan L.,

I don’t think we’re that far apart on culture. For the most part, my big gripe with the “rape culture” term is that it’s always talked about as something that is negative and that we should oppose. So, then, I wouldn’t list it as just a set of cultural artifacts that relate to rape itself, whether directly or indirectly, because that would include all of the ones that make us think that rape is a serious thing, which would belie it being seen as a negative. But if you take it as something stronger, then you have to list it either as some sort of cohesive subculture itself — like punk rock culture — or argue that our entire culture is aimed at minimizing rape, at least. And that is what I’m skeptical about. Do we have cultural artifacts that can lead to rape being minimized? Absolutely. Do we have cultural artifacts that are aimed at minimzing rape? I’m open to argument about that; there likely are some, at least in some subcultures. Do we have some kind of cohesive culture that minimizes rape? That I’m skeptical about.

Although, really, that’s not really an important point. It’s mostly an aside for me, because whether we want to talk about “rape culture” or not doesn’t matter as long as we identify where the cultural artifact comes from so that we can deal with it. And that was my main point about alcohol, and my main point to you about “playing hard to get”. We have cultural attitudes towards alcohol, which basically suggest that going out and getting drunk and doing stupid things — even if you can’t remember them the next morning — is perfectly reasonable. And it might even be fun. So when someone says that a woman got drunk and sex happened — which could be rape or not, just to be clear — and then charged him with rape there is an immediate push-back that the main reason for that is that she regretted consenting, not that she couldn’t consent, whether it’s true or not. That weakens the case. Add in, as I said, that the feminist line has been to push it back from “Is unconscious or clearly has no idea what’s going on” to “Is drunk”, and you run into a big clash between that idea and the common ideas about alcohol, that going out, getting drunk, and doing wild things — including sex — is fun and good party behaviour. Add to that that particularly with drunk driving we are changing in many cultures to saying that you are completely responsible for what you do while drunk, it’s only natural that that applies to giving consent to sex.

That’s why I compared it to the “date rape” drug. In those cases, it seems to me that we accept that it was rape a lot more than we accept it in the drunk cases, even if it was the case that the woman had passed out (although that can be argued). And, to me, it seems to be the case that that is indeed because of our cultural attitudes towards alcohol, and not our cultural attitudes towards rape. At which point, I find it odd to lump that in with “rape culture”; it strikes me as being the same as saying that applauding a goal instead of whistling is part of “sports culture” when the way to express appreciation in the general culture is to applaud, or that concerts are part of punk rock culture. Yeah, you probably can try to technically argue it, but doing so probably isn’t going to help you much if you’re trying to change that behaviour; you need to understand, at least, the real root and breadth of the behaviour or else you’ll keep running into the brick wall of what the overall culture — that is really the culture that is causing the behaviour — thinks.

Now, I’m willing to be convinced that I’m wrong, but I need to be convinced that I’m wrong. So, well, convince me [grin].

328 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 11:51 am

And another clarifying point:

I think that having sex with someone who is too drunk to know what is going on is clearly rape and clearly wrong. And yet in the “Meet the Predators” article 70% of the instances were those sorts of cases. So it’s reasonable to think that there’s some work that needs to be done there. My main point there was that the typical feminist analysis of the issue wasn’t helping the problem, and might have been hurting it, for many reasons not the least of which being that it didn’t seem that they were in touch with the cultural attitudes towards alcohol that would contribute to this.

329 Dave Allen March 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

VS

Right, so you anticipate this by asking people if they want to risk perpetrating a serious crime in order to get a few extra notches on their bedpost.

Now when someone says “yes” the conversation is obviously going to have to change into a more subjective examination of what that individual’s priorities in life are.

However, seeing as most people ‘get it’ to some degree it seems nonsensical to quibble about it being a level of basic understanding suitable to telling people how best to avoid the crime.

The fact that exceptions exist means little as to the wisdom of the advice as a suitable standard.

I don’t think anyone’s going to deny that a girl has never said no whilst intending to consent at some point down the line. That is not the issue. The fact is that if you take no for an answer you know you have done nothing wrong.

So it’s not, from my PoV, a truism or legal definition. It is simply how to know you are explicitly in the clear.

330 Dave Allen March 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm

“Those who have genuine difficulties with empathy and reading social signals should ask for help. It would be given gladly. The ones who simply can’t be arsed, though, should give up on the cowardly trick of hiding behind the genuine problems of those on the autism spectrum.”

But seeing as autism is a spectrum we can expect most people to be somewhat autistic in regards to some trait or other. This is especially so in the case of men who are more likely to exhibit an autistic trait than women. Moreover we can expect some who avoid the logic on offer to be somewhat psychopathic, and therefore good (on average) at reading social skills but poor (on average) at empathy.

So whilst I disagree with VS that lecturing on the eschewal of game playing necessarily be part of the equation, and I certainly think yes means yes no means no be understood first as a matter of priority, patterns of mental behaviour do need to be understood.

So I don’t think there’s any point denying that equivocating on consent is part of the problem – clearly it is and people would benefit from making their intentions explicit when it comes down to the crunch. The issue I have with VS isn’t that he is lying about the phenomena, but that he thinks it provides a counter to a common sense maxim (YMYNMN).

331 Maureen Brian March 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Dave,

Just because it’s a spectrum doesn’t mean everyone has to be on it! There is also a debate on – which I’m not qualified to join – about whether autism is really so much more common in boys or whether it’s different social expectations that mean women are diagnosed less often or later in life.

If you listen to people who are very definitely autistic they will tell you that they had to learn to read social clues and facial expressions and that sometimes it took different people and different methods, sometimes over years, until something “clicked.”

I had to manage a man with very severe autism for a couple of years – no prior warning, no training, my boss took Simon on as a favour to
his parents and I just had to manage him. There was the odd hitch but he learned how to fit in most of the time, I learned which odd behaviours to ignore and when it was the right moment to take him aside and to say very calmly but with no possible ambiguity, “You will not do that here.”

Do you know what he found hardest? Travelling home on the bus – I was sometimes on the same one – when it was busy and people were talking up and down the length of the bus, no-one was talking to him to keep his attention focused and, sometimes, the signal overload was just too much.

There is no comparison between someone like that, struggling to make sense of the world and get things right, and someone making back-of-the-envelope calculations as to what he might get away with this time.

It is an abuse even to suggest that there is.

332 Dave Allen March 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm

“Just because it’s a spectrum doesn’t mean everyone has to be on it!”

Yes, it does. That’s what a spectrum means. You measure from 0-100.

Now as to where most people are – they will hardly measure or measure to a degree we could effectively dismiss as trivial, but everyone will have a score, even if the mean, median and mode scores will be small.

Now just because you measure on the scale it doesn’t mean you’d be well described as autistic. It just means you exhibit some degree of behaviour associated with the condition – a bit shy perhaps, or a bit obsessive. Now as to where the line is – that is a matter of some debate.

“There is also a debate on – which I’m not qualified to join – about whether autism is really so much more common in boys or whether it’s different social expectations that mean women are diagnosed less often or later in life.”

The current medical consensus is that it is about four times as prevalent in males than females, this is thought to be down to a number of the polygenic factors influencing autistic traits being found on the X-chromosome. I cite “Autism in the 21st Century” by Ilone Roth, which is the recommended text in UK universities on the subject: ‘Autistic conditions are at least four times as common in males than females. The ratio for Asperger syndrome is even higher at 10:1.’

“If you listen to people who are very definitely autistic they will tell you that they had to learn to read social clues and facial expressions and that sometimes it took different people and different methods, sometimes over years, until something “clicked.””

Some of them will, some of them won’t be able to tell me anything at all, some of them won’t have this particular issue.

“There is no comparison between someone like that, struggling to make sense of the world and get things right, and someone making back-of-the-envelope calculations as to what he might get away with this time.

It is an abuse even to suggest that there is.”

I don’t see sympathy for the afflicted being universal to, or exclusive from – a in-depth discussion on sexual impropriety.

333 Dave Allen March 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Bit clumsy there, not 0-100, but from nothing to full, if you see what I mean.

334 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Now, I’m willing to be convinced that I’m wrong, but I need to be convinced that I’m wrong. So, well, convince me [grin].

I’m not sure why the onus is on me to convince you. I don’t think you’ve made a very convincing case against the use of the term “rape culture” yet and as I’ve already pointed out — even if you have that still doesn’t prevent the use of the term “rape culture” for the sake of argument even if it’s inconsistent with other “culture” terms. I have already said all this explicitly.

Furthermore, I have already demonstrated that the term “rape culture” is consistent with other uses of the terms “culture”. You have not showed that I am wrong about this.

Here is your attempt, but it is weak, vague, and hand-wavy and most importantly does not connect with any of my arguments so far. You do not address the definition of culture I brought into the argument to support my position. If you do not do that then I do not see how you’ve made any kind of argument that I am wrong about this.

For the most part, my big gripe with the “rape culture” term is that it’s always talked about as something that is negative and that we should oppose. So, then, I wouldn’t list it as just a set of cultural artifacts that relate to rape itself, whether directly or indirectly, because that would include all of the ones that make us think that rape is a serious thing, which would belie it being seen as a negative.

But I have never claimed that “rape culture” is “just a set of cultural artifacts that relate to rape itself.” I have claimed something rather different.

But if you take it as something stronger, then you have to list it either as some sort of cohesive subculture itself — like punk rock culture — or argue that our entire culture is aimed at minimizing rape, at least. And that is what I’m skeptical about.

Why do I have to do that? “Punk rock culture”, as I have already argued, is not a cohesive subculture — where is your argument that it is? (For the record, I’ve been part of punk rock culture since high school so I’m really eager to hear you deconstruct this for me. I think it will be hilarious.)

But even if you could show that punk rock culture is cohesive you would still have to deal with examples from my definition such as “print culture” — is “print culture” a unified whole? How about “tech culture”? “Scientific culture”? “Geek culture”? These are all commonly used and comprehensible terms. I don’t see how my use of “rape culture” is significantly different from these. If you don’t agree you’re going to have to make a much better argument as to why.

Do we have cultural artifacts that can lead to rape being minimized? Absolutely. Do we have cultural artifacts that are aimed at minimzing rape? I’m open to argument about that; there likely are some, at least in some subcultures. Do we have some kind of cohesive culture that minimizes rape? That I’m skeptical about.

“Cohesive culture” is really a problem here. I don’t think cultures necessarily have to be “cohesive” to be described as “cultures” — you evidently think they do but I have provided myriad counterexamples and you have not directly addressed any of them. You have not made any serious arguments for your claims here. You just keep telling me how “skeptical” you are. Great, that’s not an argument.

From my perspective, some cultures are diffuse and some cultures are cohesive. Amish culture is particularly cohesive; geek culture is particularly diffuse. (Even Amish culture isn’t entirely cohesive though, see the recent troubles of some Amish cutting off the beards of others.) “Rape culture” is a rather diffuse culture but I don’t think any more so than “tech culture” or “geek culture”.

The note that some cultures are more and some less cohesive is an important one for you to deal with. If you think what I’m describing as “rape culture” is too diffuse to be described as a “culture” then you need to establish how we can determine the “lower bound for cohesion” for a phenomenon to constitute as “culture.”

This seems absurd to me. You could just accept for the sake of argument that there is something that I mean by “rape culture” and work from there — you can ask questions if you need clarification about what I mean. I haven’t gone into specifics yet because I get the sense that if I try to you’ll either dismiss it entirely or nitpick it line by line instead of reading it in the whole to try to get a sense of what I’m trying to say.

But whatever, if you insist that “rape culture” is not a reasonable term then it is incumbent upon you to make a real argument as to why since I have done all the hard work of establishing the meaning of “culture” in this thread and you have done nothing to establish that “rape culture” does not qualify. (Except to express your skepticism that it does.)

335 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm

@Dave Allen:

Yes, it does. That’s what a spectrum means. You measure from 0-100.

This is very silly, Dave. One might be able to mount a highly contestable argument that everyone is on the autism spectrum. I don’t think that’s a useful way to think of it but if you insist on doing so I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily invalid (just not useful in any way).

But it’s pretty clear that the category of “smells” do not belong to the “electromagnetic spectrum”, right? Just because you have a spectrum does not mean that everything in the universe is on that spectrum.

336 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Dan L.,

Please address this part of my comment:

Although, really, that’s not really an important point. It’s mostly an aside for me, because whether we want to talk about “rape culture” or not doesn’t matter as long as we identify where the cultural artifact comes from so that we can deal with it. And that was my main point about alcohol, and my main point to you about “playing hard to get”.

And the stuff that follows. Your comment here is going on and on and on about things that I’ve already said aren’t important and aren’t what my main focus is or has ever been.

337 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I don’t think we’re that far apart on culture.

This confuses me by the way. I argued that punk rock culture is not cohesive and then you used “punk rock culture is cohesive” as a premise of one of your “arguments” which makes me believe we’re actually still pretty far on culture.

It also makes me wonder if you read my argument for comprehension.

338 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Dan L.,

Oh, and on re-reading my comment, let me just say how I was using “rape culture” in my initial comment: The idea that Western culture, for example, overall promotes a culture that thinks rape is acceptable and tries to protect or apologize for rape. My arguments, you will note, point out that if it was the case more men would rape and would feel less uncomfortable about associating themselves with the term or behaviours or rape. I have already made the appropriate disclaimers. Discuss, if you wish.

339 Dave Allen March 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm

“But it’s pretty clear that the category of “smells” do not belong to the “electromagnetic spectrum”, right?”

The neurotypical is not delineated from the autistic as smell is delineated from electromagnetism.

340 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

The idea that Western culture, for example, overall promotes a culture that thinks rape is acceptable and tries to protect or apologize for rape. My arguments, you will note, point out that if it was the case more men would rape and would feel less uncomfortable about associating themselves with the term or behaviours or rape. I have already made the appropriate disclaimers. Discuss, if you wish.

Sure. I don’t see how your arguments establish this at all.

How have you determined that the current level of rape in our society is inconsistent with the premise that our culture apologizes for rape? You seem to be arguing that the rate at which rape occurs in our culture is inconsistent with the premise that our culture apologizes for rape but you have not established this.

Bear in mind that here I believe some cultures more effectively apologize for rape than others. I think the rate is higher in other cultures because those cultures more effectively apologize for rape than does ours. That does not mean that our culture does not apologize for rape at all, just that it does so less than some other cultures.

I think if our culture was less focused on and effective at apologizing for rape it would occur at an even lower rate in our culture than it otherwise does. You’ve noted the 6% — you keep dismissing this as a “low percentage” but note that this is approximately one out of every eighteen men. This means that statistically it’s fairly likely that on a day that you bump into 100 different American males that five or six of them might well have been rapists. That, to me, is not a low percentage in context.

So if you’re going to stick to this point please establish how this 6% number is too low to be consistent with the premise that our culture apologizes for rape. This premise does not imply that all men should rape — obviously! — and does not seem to suggest any particular percentage so I simply do not understand how you have established this.

341 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm

@Dave Allen:

The neurotypical is not delineated from the autistic as smell is delineated from electromagnetism.

Never claimed it was, just pointed out that spectra by definition are not necessarily usefully inclusive. One may usefully talk about an autism spectrum where all human beings are on it and one may usefully talk about an autism spectrum which includes only people with symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. This seems to me merely a semantic point with nothing important at stake.

Another way to look at it: are all humans on the penis size spectrum? I can see an argument where they are.

342 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm

@VS:

Here is a sense in which our culture apologizes for rape: much of the news coverage of Steubenville focused on how difficult this conviction will make life for the perpetrators. This seems to me to implicitly suggest that the young lady “ruined their lives” by reporting them and that she should not have done so.

Here is another example. Take special note of how the school officials treated the young woman’s story when she first approached them.

I can bring plenty more examples to bear if you’d like to keep denying that our culture apologizes for rape.

343 doubtthat March 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm

VS

Goddamn. No, I’m going to continue to be mean as long as you continue to say stupid things like:

I’m one of them; if a woman, for example, tells me that she’s too busy to go out with me right now but might later, I tend to actually believe that she’s telling the truth. Go figure.

Get from there to rape. Try it, leave a bread crumb trail so we can waltz down this twisted path of incoherent nonsense after you.

You brought up the Rules. You brought up “playing hard to get,” which, by the way, doesn’t mean saying “no” in intimate moments hoping that the man will just blow through the lack of consent.

But look, you’re just an example of a larger trend that’s going on in this thread: you’re just fucking babbling and making shit up as you go. Can you provide data that even a single rape or assault occurred because a woman played “hard to get?”

If you play hard to get, you are basically saying that you prefer the man who ignores you telling them that you aren’t interested to the man who accepts and respects your wishes. Don’t you think it rather stupid to prefer a man who doesn’t care about what you want over the man who does? Shouldn’t the latter be the man you really want to date?

This is unbelievable nonsense. First, that’s not at all what “playing hard to get,” means. The notion is that by not appearing “easy,” a woman stands a better chance of finding a mate who will respect her. The entire point is to separate the men likely to have a quick physical relationship and then ignore them from someone who will stick around.

So your understanding of the stupid idea is wrong, then you have the notion that you’re in a position to tell women what’s good for them.

You are exhibiting all the classical “Nice Guy Traits.”

My arguments, you will note, point out that if it was the case more men would rape and would feel less uncomfortable about associating themselves with the term or behaviours or rape.

Yeah, it’s not like we didn’t just a case like that a couple of weeks ago.

You are pig ignorant and content to continually spew nonsense without doing any actual work to educate yourself on the subject. I do not consider your attitude one of serious skepticism on this topic.

344 doubtthat March 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm

VS

To which my reply was, essentially, that for a not insignificant number of women, no doesn’t necessariily mean no, and women do play hard to get. And I used actually evidence from the culture to indicate that, yeah, this happens.

As a technical point, no, you didn’t. That isn’t evidence of anything, but the issue is not whether playing “hard to get” exists, it’s whether (1) that phrase has much of any meaning with regard to sexual consent and (2) whether it has any effect at all on rape.

Rapists use the notion of “women playing hard to get” as an excuse for their rape: “How was I supposed to know she was serious? You know those women, always saying no when they mean yes.”

Is this a statistically relevant point? Is this something worth considering? It’s once again based on the ridiculous rape myth that sexual assaults are accidental. You’ve now been give several actual studies – that’s evidence, not – there was a semi-popular book that existed several decades ago – that show that idea to be incorrect, yet you keep rolling.

Find me some evidence that rapes occur because of mistakes or acknowledge that you’re just talking out of your ass.

345 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm

@VS:

And the stuff that follows. Your comment here is going on and on and on about things that I’ve already said aren’t important and aren’t what my main focus is or has ever been.

You aren’t really in a position to make demands like this. First of all, you don’t think “what I’m going on about” is important, but I do. How do we resolve that difficulty? Second of all, I’ve offered plenty of arguments that you’ve completely ignored and I don’t understand why, if you’re going to dismiss my arguments on no basis whatsoever, I should be obligated to deal with every detail of yours.

Nonetheless, in the spirit of good-faith discussion I will address the points in question.

Although, really, that’s not really an important point. It’s mostly an aside for me, because whether we want to talk about “rape culture” or not doesn’t matter as long as we identify where the cultural artifact comes from so that we can deal with it.

This bit is self-contradictory. You’re arguing that “rape culture” does not have certain qualities, is not a certain way whereas I’m arguing it has those qualities and is that way. Therefore it seems to me that if we’re trying to identify the source of relevant cultural artifacts that the two of us are going to have very different views on this. This seems important to me.

Furthermore, I do see the utility of delineating a certain pattern of social organization called “rape culture” just for the sake of talking about it. I don’t agree that it doesn’t matter as long as we can still talk about the source of particular cultural artifacts because I think we also need to talk about how those artifacts interact within rape culture itself. I don’t think talking about the cultural artifacts in isolation provides a complete picture.

And that was my main point about alcohol, and my main point to you about “playing hard to get”. We have cultural attitudes towards alcohol, which basically suggest that going out and getting drunk and doing stupid things — even if you can’t remember them the next morning — is perfectly reasonable. And it might even be fun. So when someone says that a woman got drunk and sex happened — which could be rape or not, just to be clear — and then charged him with rape there is an immediate push-back that the main reason for that is that she regretted consenting, not that she couldn’t consent, whether it’s true or not. That weakens the case.

Do you really think these two facts are completely independent of each other? The fact that binge drinking is encouraged in youth culture (there’s another non-cohesive but coherent “culture term” for you) and the fact that it creates ambiguities about consent? I think they are not independent of each other and that is exactly why it’s important to be able to talk about “rape culture” as a unifying concept.

Add in, as I said, that the feminist line has been to push it back from “Is unconscious or clearly has no idea what’s going on” to “Is drunk”, and you run into a big clash between that idea and the common ideas about alcohol, that going out, getting drunk, and doing wild things — including sex — is fun and good party behaviour. Add to that that particularly with drunk driving we are changing in many cultures to saying that you are completely responsible for what you do while drunk, it’s only natural that that applies to giving consent to sex.

First of all I’m not entirely sure of the relevance of this to your overall argument. Feminist ideas run contrary to the culture? That is the whole point of feminist ideas: they’re intended to challenge the prevailing culture! I don’t buy the second sentence; was there any point in history in which a drunken murderer would be excused from culpability on the basis that he or she was drunk at the time? I don’t think this is an important point but I do think you’re wrong about it.

That’s why I compared it to the “date rape” drug. In those cases, it seems to me that we accept that it was rape a lot more than we accept it in the drunk cases, even if it was the case that the woman had passed out (although that can be argued). And, to me, it seems to be the case that that is indeed because of our cultural attitudes towards alcohol, and not our cultural attitudes towards rape.

And I am arguing that these attitudes cannot be discretely separated into “attitudes towards alcohol” and “attitudes towards rape”. I don’t think that’s how attitudes work and I don’t think that’s how culture works.

At which point, I find it odd to lump that in with “rape culture”; it strikes me as being the same as saying that applauding a goal instead of whistling is part of “sports culture” when the way to express appreciation in the general culture is to applaud, or that concerts are part of punk rock culture. Yeah, you probably can try to technically argue it, but doing so probably isn’t going to help you much if you’re trying to change that behaviour;

In fact, I have already made that argument and although you use the term “technically” to downplay the importance of it I think it is nonetheless important. As I’ve already pointed out many times cultures overlap. There is no contradiction to saying applauding a goal is part of sports culture and to saying applauding a great feat is part of the wider culture — because sports culture is a subset of the broader culture. The fact that applauding a great feat is not exclusive to sports culture is not, in fact, a counterargument to the fact that there is such a thing as sports culture so I do not see how it applies as a counterargument to rape culture.

you need to understand, at least, the real root and breadth of the behaviour or else you’ll keep running into the brick wall of what the overall culture — that is really the culture that is causing the behaviour — thinks.

And once again, there is no brick wall because those of us using the term “rape culture” realize 100% that rape culture is part of the overall culture, and that neither one is “really causing the behavior”. This is completely consistent with the many other usages of the term “culture” I have already highlighted as undermining your position.

346 doubtthat March 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I admire your patience, Dan.

347 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm

@doubtthat:

I highly recommend you do not get into an argument with VS about “playing hard to get”. I think you’ll just end up frustrated by trying to engage with him on this issue. I don’t really want to state my reasons for thinking so but don’t think it will be productive.

348 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm

doubtthat@346:

I admire yours as well. I understand that you may have lost it a few times in the last few days but I have as well, especially on this thread dealing with Edward Gemmer, Dave Allen, and initially Verbose Stoic. (In recognition of this fact, sorry Edward Gemmer and Dave Allen — I already apologized to VS.) But I think you’ve done a really great job of sticking with it under some really frustrating conditions.

349 doubtthat March 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Fair enough.

I think, if anything, it’s fair to conclude that the notion of feminism as anti-skepticism has not remotely been proven, despite many, many words attempting to show such.

I feel satisfied with the outcome and am impressed with how you’ve broken down a wide range of meandering…statements (“arguments” seemed too generous).

350 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm

(“arguments” seemed too generous).

I quite agree with this. While VS certainly seems to have a lot to say very little of it seems concerned with actually establishing any foundation of credibility for anything he says. Very low content to word ratio. Unless you count “I’m skeptical” and “That’s not important” as arguments.

I’m wordy but I like to think I’m wordy in service of supporting my assertions.

351 Dave Allen March 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

“Never claimed it was, just pointed out that spectra by definition are not necessarily usefully inclusive. One may usefully talk about an autism spectrum where all human beings are on it and one may usefully talk about an autism spectrum which includes only people with symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. This seems to me merely a semantic point with nothing important at stake.

Another way to look at it: are all humans on the penis size spectrum? I can see an argument where they are.”

OK, clearly there is little use thinking in terms of continuum in regards to certain phenomena. I tend to view mental disparity in rather Laingian terms. This does boil down to semantic quibbling yes.

So I would rephrase my objection to Maureen’s point as more along these lines: Seeing as VS is talking about autistic traits (shyness and so on) rather than autism as it is understood as a pathology the potential catchment size of the population under discussion is large.

352 Dave Allen March 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Correction: Seeing as VS is talking about autistic traits (shyness and so on) rather than just autism as it is understood as a pathology the potential catchment size of the population under discussion is large.

353 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Dave Allen@352:

Ah, I see. Expressed that way I think you have a good point. I haven’t read VS’s arguments in this regard because I’ve been focused on his replies to me but if you’re representing him fairly I think what he’s doing is actually hugely problematic and I think that Maureen is absolutely right to argue against it.

There is someone I’ve known well all my life who is enrolled in a graduate program in clinical psychology. I mentioned to this person one day that I thought I might be on the autism spectrum. He made an incredulous face and said something to the effect of: “No, I mean I know that you’re introverted but you respond to people with completely normal emotional affect. There’s nothing about you that would put you on the spectrum as far as I’m concerned.” And went on to give me examples of behaviors that would cause him to do so.

I’m an introvert and I’ve been shy for most of my life — less so now because it’s something I’ve worked on. So I think I’m within the set of people you claim VS is talking about. But from the opinion of at least one trained clinician I am not on the spectrum. I think phrasings that suggest these behaviors are inherently tied to autism spectrum disorders simplify and mislead.

So I like your current phrasing but I do think it’s important not to conflate all sorts of shyness and social awkwardness with cognitive disorders.

354 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Dan L.,

Ah, I see. Expressed that way I think you have a good point. I haven’t read VS’s arguments in this regard because I’ve been focused on his replies to me but if you’re representing him fairly I think what he’s doing is actually hugely problematic and I think that Maureen is absolutely right to argue against it.

My comment is more that there are a number of ways for someone to get in a state where they have poor social skills such that they won’t recognize the implicit rejections as stated in the second article in Kes’ comment. Autism is one. Shyness/introversion might be another, in at least some cases. I never conflated the two.

355 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

VS@354:

I see. I apologize for saying so, then, but I do think it’s always good to emphasize that behaviors can have many causes and not to pathologize the behavior itself. “In at least some cases” troubles me a little because it seems like you might be downplaying the fact that the vast majority of shy, socially awkward behaviors are not the result of (probably) congenital disorders such as autism. Everyone is shy or socially awkward in some situations. Some more or less so than others. A small minority have ASDs.

356 Dave Allen March 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Dan

That isn’t what he did. He mentioned it as the other way around, that mental disorders exist as part of sets:

“Just to point out that with the very small number of men who do engage in that obvious rape behaviour from the first link there is a number of men who have a harder time seeing those vague rejections as rejections. I’m one of them; if a woman, for example, tells me that she’s too busy to go out with me right now but might later, I tend to actually believe that she’s telling the truth. Go figure. This is, in fact, a trait of certain conditions based around social anxiety and a lack of social skills (and I think would include autism). However, I strongly support clear but polite rejections. The best rejection I ever had was a woman who said “No … but thanks, though!”. So, I strongly support “No means no”, but insist that this has two sides: women have to clearly say “No”, men have to take a clear “No” as an answer, and we can wrangle over how clear is a clear “No”.”

It is undeniable that the general category of those possessing lack of social skills includes many who would be deemed autistic. His phraseology here does not imply that all those lacking social skills necessarily be deemed such, or even partly so.

It is not – on the face of it – a bad argument. In fact it stresses the same thing we all seem to agree on, that explicit refusal is good advice.

Now I realise in other places VS’ justifications have been debateable, but I don’t see this as in and of itself.

I personally introduced the quibbles about autism as a continuum and so on. Not VS afaict. He seems more to be talking about complicating factors surrounding social ineptitude with autism as an example – not the totality – of such.

357 Dave Allen March 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Ah well, I’m clearly late to the party.

358 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Dan L.,

“In at least some cases” troubles me a little because it seems like you might be downplaying the fact that the vast majority of shy, socially awkward behaviors are not the result of (probably) congenital disorders such as autism.

I attached that phrase specifically to “shyness/introversion”, as a way of saying that in some cases shyness and introversion can lead to impaired social skills. I wasn’t linking the two there, and was in fact treating them as separate cases.

As a separate note, I am exceptionally busy at the moment, which is why I want to focus more on the specific points I was trying to make. I see some potential for discussions over that in what you’ve said, but don’t want to get caught up in the details of rape culture when, to be honest, if it’s a rape culture as you define it — and I’m actually quite unclear about that, BTW, but didn’t want to turn this into a discussion over that — or not is something that I don’t want to argue for (or argue you out of) but just don’t accept at the moment. Would you be averse to my focusing, even through restating, on the things I was meaning to highlight in my first long comment with the caveat that if you think that the “rape culture” notion is important to that you can bring that back in in reference to specific points and how it impacts them?

Honestly, seeing how this thread developed if I had to do it all over again I would never have used the term “rape culture”; specifics over that aren’t really relevant to my arguments for what feminism argues wrt rape and how it might be inaccurate and problematic.

359 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm

By way of contrast 1 in 88 children have been identified with ASDs. That’s slightly more than 1% as opposed to the 6% of men who are rapists. It’s incredibly important to note that this is not to suggest that there’s any significant overlap. I’m unaware of any evidence either way on this matter but I actually highly doubt that there is a lot of overlap — I’d actually be willing to wager that fewer than 6% of those with ASDs are rapists.

360 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Dan L.,

By way of contrast 1 in 88 children have been identified with ASDs. That’s slightly more than 1% as opposed to the 6% of men who are rapists. It’s incredibly important to note that this is not to suggest that there’s any significant overlap. I’m unaware of any evidence either way on this matter but I actually highly doubt that there is a lot of overlap — I’d actually be willing to wager that fewer than 6% of those with ASDs are rapists.

My specific point there was not about that, but was essentially about the article claiming that because in general people can tell rejections from comments that are not direct rejections or explicit “Nos” that we didn’t need to push for explicit “Nos”. Or, at least that was my interpretation of it. That led to the discussions around if we need to have explicit “Nos”, and my discussion with Dave Allen over whether we need to eliminate women playing hard to get if we push for men only taking explicit “Yeses” as an answer. I say we do, because since a not insignificant number of people have problems not due to malice but due to their level of social skills interpreting vague rejections, we should strongly encourage explicit “Nos”. For my part, I would want it to be two-way: men always take “No” for an answer, women always say “No” when they mean no. But that’s something that we can debate, if you disagree.

361 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm

@VS:

— and I’m actually quite unclear about that, BTW, but didn’t want to turn this into a discussion over that — or not is something that I don’t want to argue for (or argue you out of) but just don’t accept at the moment.

1. I have already explained that I have been unclear about what I mean by “rape culture” because I’ve been concerned that you would simply dismiss the concept or nitpick my explanation line by line without trying to understand what I was saying in the aggregate.
2. I actually believe that if you can’t accept the concept of rape culture at least for the sake of discussion it will be difficult to find common ground on which to build a discussion.

Would you be averse to my focusing, even through restating, on the things I was meaning to highlight in my first long comment with the caveat that if you think that the “rape culture” notion is important to that you can bring that back in in reference to specific points and how it impacts them?

Would you mind (succinctly) stating the things you were trying to highlight? I can’t necessarily read your mind as to what you were “meaning” and as I’ve already said I thought that comment was so problematic so as not to serve as any kind of starting point for discussion. Also, I believe I have already brought into play some examples of how rape culture is relevant to your points. One example was the fact that I don’t think the fact that youth culture encourages binge drinking and the fact that inebriation confounds consent are independent of each other. Binge drinking is part of rape culture (which doesn’t mean it isn’t also part of drinking culture; as I’ve shown in many examples cultural traits aren’t exclusive like this).

Honestly, seeing how this thread developed if I had to do it all over again I would never have used the term “rape culture”; specifics over that aren’t really relevant to my arguments for what feminism argues wrt rape and how it might be inaccurate and problematic.

I’ve tried to explain several times that rape culture is absolutely relevant to your “arguments for what feminism argues wrt rape and how it might be inaccurate and problematic.” For example, my comment at 320 gives what I think is a perfectly lucid and defensible use of the term “tell people not to rape” that you have completely ignored. Also, my example above concerning binge drinking and ambiguity around consent. Furthermore, I have been trying to build common ground for discussion by explaining to you how I am using terms. You have been the one bogging the discussion down by dismiss the concept of “rape culture” using an entirely semantic argument which, as I’ve already pointed out, is not even reasonable in the case that you’re right that it’s inconsistent with the definition of “culture” I have brought into the discussion. However, you so far have not even justified your semantic objections to the term “rape culture”.

Please, by all means, list your specific grievances with feminist thought. But if my answers involve the use of the concept of rape culture please don’t dismiss them out of hand. If I believe the concept is important to discussion of the concept then I think you should at least hear me out as to how.

362 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm

VS@360:

That led to the discussions around if we need to have explicit “Nos”, and my discussion with Dave Allen over whether we need to eliminate women playing hard to get if we push for men only taking explicit “Yeses” as an answer. I say we do, because since a not insignificant number of people have problems not due to malice but due to their level of social skills interpreting vague rejections, we should strongly encourage explicit “Nos”.

“Eliminate women playing hard to get” is a really creepy way to phrase this, VS, and although I think you make a good point that kind of thing can really get people’s emotions up. Please be more careful about how you phrase stuff like this. How about “discourage women from playing hard to get”? Is that reasonable?

For my part, I would want it to be two-way: men always take “No” for an answer, women always say “No” when they mean no. But that’s something that we can debate, if you disagree.

I don’t disagree at all. I think that “playing hard to get” and “the thrill of the hunt” are aspects of rape culture and I think that a lot of people in feminism and a lot of people who identify as feminist as well as myself think it would be a great idea to either discourage these cultural themes or at the very least interpret them in healthier ways.

363 Verbose Stoic March 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Dan L.,

My intention was to do a more succint highlight comment. I have no idea when I’ll do that. And the rephrasing is fine. I do want to comment on this:

I don’t disagree at all. I think that “playing hard to get” and “the thrill of the hunt” are aspects of rape culture and I think that a lot of people in feminism and a lot of people who identify as feminist as well as myself think it would be a great idea to either discourage these cultural themes or at the very least interpret them in healthier ways.

I want to eliminate both as well. So we agree on that, at least, and that’s what’s important to me. The only issue for debate here would likely be that I think we’d need to focus on cultural attitudes towards dating and that if we change that then the issues specifically with rape and consent should change as well.

364 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

@VS:

I want to eliminate both as well. So we agree on that, at least, and that’s what’s important to me.

I’m not sure I want to “eliminate” both. This is a really weird word to use for me because I am very anti-authoritarian. One sense in which the word “eliminate” is used is in the sense of “terminate” or “execute” which brings in what I consider to be a really sinister connotation. That’s not such a big deal but when you talk about eliminating a certain behavior that smacks to me of authoritarian control of people’s behavior. I don’t think it’s realistic to talk about “eliminating” voluntarily and widespread cultural behaviors unless you’re talking about authoritarian control. I want to discourage it or reinterpret it. I want people to voluntarily change their behaviors to be better and more fair to each other. I don’t want to “eliminate” anything.

I don’t mean to drag the discussion into the weeds here but I think a big part of the problem between the ‘pit and FtB is actually rhetorical stuff like this — you can really get someone’s emotions up by using a phrase that might be interpreted in a way you don’t exactly mean. If you’re a stoic I would think you’d want to take care with your rhetoric.

The only issue for debate here would likely be that I think we’d need to focus on cultural attitudes towards dating and that if we change that then the issues specifically with rape and consent should change as well.

Well, all of my arguments about the nature of culture have been in service to the argument that rape culture is not just about dating but that it partly is. (Although I’m not entirely sure how you’re using “dating” here. I suspect you don’t have much experience with subcultures in which there is a lot of polyamory, group sex, and kink.) So I’ve already debated extensively against the idea that it’s enough to change cultural towards dating. However, I do agree that changing cultural attitudes towards dating is desirable so there’s not much to debate in that respect.

One example of how dating attitudes isn’t enough is the fact that the idea that wives should sexually oblige their husbands on demand is still very widespread. Yes, spousal rape is now illegal, but that has happened quite recently and in no small part because of activism and lobbying — it doesn’t mean that this aspect of rape culture has been eliminated.

I also want to point out that I’ve given specific examples of how our culture encourages rape to contest your assertion otherwise. I also mounted what I think was a pretty good support of my belief that you have not actually justified that assertion otherwise in the first place. You have not addressed this but it does seem relevant to your overall argument, no?

365 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm

it doesn’t mean that this aspect of rape culture has been eliminated.

I must add on pain of hypocrisy that it probably cannot be eliminated but that we can discourage it and encourage healthier interpretations of the duties that spouses owe to each other.

366 Edward Gemmer March 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I think that “playing hard to get” and “the thrill of the hunt” are aspects of rape culture

I don’t know about all that. You might as well say men having penises is an aspect of rape culture.

367 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Edward Gemmer@366:

I disagree; I think you’re not considering the variety of possible male attitudes towards sexuality. Consider the fact that some percentage of men are sexually submissive. Obviously, having a penis is not identical to being into “the thrill of the hunt”.

However, I do see where you’re coming from and that’s why I allowed for “reinterpret” as well as “discourage”. I think we can think of terms like “hunt” and “conquest” in healthier ways even if we find the metaphors appealing in some way. A lot of men think a “conquest” is a degrading sex act with an inebriated partner. I’d like to find better ways to think about “conquest”. Maybe it doesn’t have to be explicitly sexual at all — the original ideal of romantic love was purely chaste after all.

You might have missed it so here it is again: sorry for losing my temper with you the other day.

368 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm

@VS,

I’ve saved you the effort of culling your points from your original post. As you’ll see, your claim that I haven’t addressed any of them is patently false.

Now, I’m willing to be convinced that I’m wrong, but I need to be convinced that I’m wrong. So, well, convince me [grin].

I see some potential for discussions over that in what you’ve said, but don’t want to get caught up in the details of rape culture when, to be honest, if it’s a rape culture as you define it — and I’m actually quite unclear about that, BTW, but didn’t want to turn this into a discussion over that — or not is something that I don’t want to argue for (or argue you out of) but just don’t accept at the moment.

Do you see how these statements seem to contradict each other? If not, pay attention to number (2) below.

You’ve claimed that I have not addressed the points you wished to discuss in your initial email. Here are your points as I read them:

1. “Tell men not to rape” is not good advice because of statistics on the low incidence of rapists in the male population and because, you assert rapists don’t care if you tell them not to rape.

My response: I provided an interpretation of the phrase “tell men not to rape” and you never bothered to address it at all. Furthermore, I argued:
a) the incidence of rapists in the male population is not actually low
b) that the evidence at hand actually suggests that men who do rape do not like to call it rape — implying that calling it rape (“tell people not to rape”) might actually have an effect on how they view their behavior
c) that rapists are not inherently rapists but become rapists through life experiences — implying that to “tell people not to rape” might be the sort of life experience that prevents people from becoming rapists in at least some circumstances

You have not addressed any of this.

2.

But the presumption that that would be because of some kind of “rape culture” and not because of our culture’s relationship to alcohol is specious. And I think that common feminist arguments contribute to this, because in that article the intoxication cases were pretty much centered on cases where they literally could not consent — passed out or oblivious — while a lot of feminist argument takes it further than that.

My response: So, despite your more recent insistences here you were indeed trying to argue that “the feminist worldview” (as if there were exactly one feminist worldview) is wrong because “rape culture” is “specious”. Therefore your claims that my arguments are “not important” to your initial arguments is clearly false. Everything I’ve written that you’ve dismissed as irrelevant was in fact responding to one of your initial points.

3.

This also runs afoul of the new push, at least here, to consider people responsible for their actions even if drunk. If you are too drunk to remember the night before, but get in a car and kill someone, you’re still responsible. And there’s a growing acceptance, at least here, that if someone is drunk and rapes someone they are still guilty.

My response: I don’t think this is true. How is this a “new push”? I acknowledge that there may be isolated cases in which people are absolved of deaths by drunk driving because they were drunk — but do you think that’s just? Again, I don’t think there’s ever been a point in history at which a person who gets drunk and kills someone was not held culpable for the murder.

4.

The same thing seems to apply to campaigns that say that an explicit “Yes” is required for consent, because I have seen arguments that claim that women should not be expected to say “No” or make it obvious. The second article talks about this, but asserts that in general we can tell if someone means “No” even if they don’t say it

My response: I don’t see why they have to be mutually exclusive in the first place. “No” should be taken as “no” but I don’t see any reason not to encourage people not to seek a “yes”. No, “social awkwardness” is not a reason to do that. Social awkwardness is actually a bigger reason to look for “yes”. I say this as a formerly social awkward person who has become significantly less socially awkward as a result of considering the very ideas you’re rejecting on a completely spurious basis. Although a polite and firm “no” is obviously very nice you are not owed a polite and firm “no” and you should at least try to get better at understanding of human interaction. You’re also not taking into account conflicting messages women receive on this subject from the broader culture, which is another element of rape culture. But the bottom-line: “no means no” campaigns are not mutually exclusive to “yes means yes” campaigns so why not both?

5.

I also think the “rape is about power, not sex” is problematic. The stats show that the majority of rape victims are in the age range of maximum attractiveness (I think I saw 16 – 40 or something like that).

My response: The second sentence does not actually demonstrate that rape is about sex and not power; it constitutes weak evidence that rape is about sex and not power. There could very well be a reason why rapists prefer to overpower attractive women compared to unattractive women. However, this is something of a straw man. As already reviewed in this thread, the claim is more like “Usually rape is about power, not sex” and it’s based on research. It is a defensible statement. Until you actually rebut the evidence for the statement your argument isn’t worth very much. But this also isn’t exactly “feminist dogma” so I don’t think it’s very important to your case. It’s just not a big part of the “feminist worldview” as you put it. (Perhaps the worldview of some feminists but that’s not the same thing.) Your thought experiment is stupid and insulting to women. I realize it’s not so intentionally but if you’re going to challenge an evidence-based claim use evidence and not thought experiments and try not to use thought experiments that are reminiscent of misogynistic cultural attitudes like “all women really want to be raped”.

369 Edward Gemmer March 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I think we can think of terms like “hunt” and “conquest” in healthier ways even if we find the metaphors appealing in some way.

I agree. In general, a more open and honest atmosphere about sexual relationships would be helpful. Most boys and men can be pretty clueless, and experience is really the only method to get better at dating and sex. However, besides cursory information about how babies are made, our education on things like sex, dating, and booze is pretty limited. Given that it is one of the more challenging parts of life, and nearly everyone experiences these things, this seems like a good place to start.

You might have missed it so here it is again: sorry for losing my temper with you the other day.

Hey, I appreciate it. We all get frustrated. I think some of these “problems” in the online community are rooted in the fact that people get frustrated, and then it is extremely easy to either walk away or exclude the other person or just think up new insults. So kudos to you for being patient even when dealing with wordy lawyers like me. I represent criminals for a living, so making crazy arguments loosely based in reality is pretty much the norm for me 😉

370 Dan L. March 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm

EG@369:

I very much agree with both your points. As far as “loosely based in reality goes,” upon reflection I think you probably had a point somewhere in the fact that definitions of “victim” can be pretty vague and it would make sense to clarify it. I think I just got frustrated by the fact that your example was so far out of the context that we were clearly discussing. However I understand that reductio arguments can be useful so I do think I overreacted.

In addition to the fact that I think you’re exactly right that people get frustrated and then start hurling insults or walk away instead of sorting things out I’d like to call attention to something else I’ve tried to point out in VS’s replies a few times because I do think it’s a big part of the wider problem.

Specifically, I’d like to use the example of VS’s “thought experiment” about “women who want to be raped”. I understand what he was trying to argue with this thought experiment but at the same time the way he constructed it could very easily be taken to be very insulting to women and reminiscent of misogynistic stereotypes about women. Another example was his strange use of the word “eliminate”.

These sorts of uses of language can get people very emotional even when they’re intended completely innocently and if you’re trying to convince someone of something I think it makes a lot of sense to worry about the potential emotional impact of what you’re saying. Strong emotions like anger and frustration can make it very difficult for people to step back and really examine arguments.

This plays into something being discussed a lot at Pharyngula the last few days: playing devil’s advocate. I love arguing and I love playing devil’s advocate but doing so can be incredibly hurtful to other people if what you’re arguing the flip-side of upsets people in the venue. I get the feeling much of the ‘pit likes to play devil’s advocate as well but I also feel not all of them appreciate that there are more and less appropriate times and places for it.

I think this is why a lot of you guys have been (unfairly) accused of misogyny and sexism — you use language that seems fine to you but gets interpreted differently than how you’re expecting, or you play devil’s advocate to people who don’t want to play that game. They get frustrated and upset and start hurling insults. Then everything goes to shit.

So consider giving FtB people room to disagree with you and room to discuss their own ideas amongst each other without having to include yourself in every discussion about something you disagree with. (“You” here isn’t supposed to be you specifically, Edward.) Encourage them to debate their ideas with you but don’t force debate on them. That would be one step I think the ‘pit side could take to defuse some of the hostility in both directions because I think a lot of the name-calling would stop as well in that case.

371 Dave Allen March 23, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Well, at the risk of turning a conversation that was about the attitudes of the two online communities (such as they are) which was turned into a conversation about rape back into the conversation about two online communities…

Similarly to YMYNMN are we not quibbling over two attitudes or sets of advice that are often seen as dichotomous when they are not, in other words:

One is always best off avoiding language for the sake of injury when trying to communicate with people, especially on a topic that is likely to raise tensions by its nature anyhow. Escalation is a likely consequence.

Contrasted with….

Someone’s rudeness getting to you? Ignore them. Let it go. Life is too short.

Now of course we can cite exception, complication and ambiguity. Sometimes a little rudery can help drive a point home. Sometimes it can cross a line into the criminal.

372 Verbose Stoic March 24, 2013 at 10:12 am

Dan L.,

I think I’ll still have to qualify some of my positions, but we can start again with this. Note, however, that I DID want to point out some cases where feminist … let’s say philosophy … is, to my mind, informing the argument more than the facts and is problematic, because that’s what people were asking for that I thought wasn’t provided. I also want to note that from the beginning I did not mean to imply that I had absolute proof, and you will note that I said repeatedly that points and things were debatable.

1. “Tell men not to rape” is not good advice because of statistics on the low incidence of rapists in the male population and because, you assert rapists don’t care if you tell them not to rape.

My point was not that it was not good advice, but that that line implies that, in general, society isn’t doing a good job of that. If 94% of men don’t engage in that behaviour, then it seems like we’re doing a pretty GOOD job of that, in general. To use an analogy, if you examined the school system of a country and found that 94% of the students learned the material well enough to pass, you surely wouldn’t say that they were doing a poor job of educating students, but that they were doing a good job. On the second point, it is quite reasonable that out of that 6% there are a significant number of men who know that it’s rape and still do it, which is also supported by previous studies that showed that some men admitted to raping even when it was called rape, and so the number of men who don’t get from our society that these things are rape and they are bad is likely to be even lower. As an example, I find it hard to believe that the 30% of respondents who say they explicitly use force don’t think that’s rape, or at least that the majority of them don’t know that, which led to the point about the OTHER 70%. Anyway, you can posit reasons why some of the men who don’t do those behaviours don’t know that it’s rape and so abstain for other reasons, but even if we go up to, say, 20% of men being ill-informed that would still be a pretty good rate of education.

So, onto your specific objections:

a) the incidence of rapists in the male population is not actually low
b) that the evidence at hand actually suggests that men who do rape do not like to call it rape — implying that calling it rape (“tell people not to rape”) might actually have an effect on how they view their behavior
c) that rapists are not inherently rapists but become rapists through life experiences — implying that to “tell people not to rape” might be the sort of life experience that prevents people from becoming rapists in at least some circumstances

On a), to return to my analogy we would also comment that the fact that 1 in 18 students don’t learn the material is a bad thing, and try to fix it. But we still wouldn’t call it a general failing of the school system, and we’d have to accept the possibility that some of them simply can never grasp it, and that we have to deal with that. By the same token, we accept that for all other crimes no matter how much we educate people some people will do it anyway, and tell people how to reduce their risk of being a victim, which is what a lot of people have been railing against when the “Tell men not to rape” line is brought up. That being said, a decent argument is that we are telling women the wrong things to do to reduce their risk.

b) is irrelevant, because I was using the study that didn’t, in fact, call it rape explicitly, and noted that in my comments.

c) is irrelevant because my comment is not that it’s useless, but that it seems like we already do that, judging by how 94% of men already seem to get that. You can argue that we might have to do it in different ways for those men, and I won’t argue that, but that’s generally not what “Tell men not to rape” implies.

BTW, it is a bit unfair to call me out for not addressing this, as this was one of the points I was going to address but didn’t want to get into a debate with you asking I answer the “rape culture” questions again, as happened in other comments.

On 2), the contradiction you note is not one, because you are using comments made before I said and realized that, basically, at least in talking to you mentioning rape culture only confused the main issues. I still DO have issues with the term, but as I said it’s not the main thrust of purpose of my points.

My response: I don’t think this is true. How is this a “new push”? I acknowledge that there may be isolated cases in which people are absolved of deaths by drunk driving because they were drunk — but do you think that’s just? Again, I don’t think there’s ever been a point in history at which a person who gets drunk and kills someone was not held culpable for the murder.

In Canada, at least, there has been a shift from it being the case where driving drunk and killing someone was a mitigating circumstance and could lead to a reduced sentence — ie you were only charge with drunk driving and not any kind of vehicular homicide — to it being the case that if it is proven that you were intoxicated iti s AUTOMATICALLY vehicular homicide. That’s a radical shift. Note that neither of us is presenting evidence for murder, but then I don’t think I ever argued that case (my main examples were drunk driving and rape).

My response: I don’t see why they have to be mutually exclusive in the first place. “No” should be taken as “no” but I don’t see any reason not to encourage people not to seek a “yes”

We are in agreement here. My point here is that the feminist arguments have been to say that you cannot or should not expect women to give a clear “No”, for various reasons (including intimidation). I disagree with that. Where you and I would disagree is that I think that the legal standard should rely on either a) a clear “No” or b) a clear threat so that the victim could be reasonably expected to think that saying “No” wouldn’t do anything. Going for an explicit “Yes”, to me, is a good social attitude but should not form the basis of the law, at least in part because of mistaken articles like the one I cited that argued that the vague “Nos” are clear to everyone. They aren’t.

My response: The second sentence does not actually demonstrate that rape is about sex and not power; it constitutes weak evidence that rape is about sex and not power. There could very well be a reason why rapists prefer to overpower attractive women compared to unattractive women.

If your only response is “There might be a reason that we haven’t thought about for this admittedly puzzling conclusion”, certainly sticking to an idea that rape is even usually primarily about power would count as a bit dogmatic, no? And there are all sorts of other things we can look at to cast some doubt on the conclusion. For example, is it the case that women who have power are raped more than women who don’t have power? If someone is trying to get power, and particularly power over someone where they can’t get power over them any other way, it seems to me that you’d see more women in power being raped, but as far as I know there’s no correlation there at all, or if there is it’s the other way: vulnerable ie powerless women are raped more often. I don’t have the numbers, so this is debatable, but it is something to think about. And you’d also expect men who have power to rape less, but again there’s no correlation there, or if there is it’s the other way as powerful men use their power to get sex and rape women and get away with it. Note also that one common counter argument is that women of all ages get raped, to which my reply was that if you look at what men find attractive you will find that it spans all ages for at least some men, and so that argument is perfectly consistent with “rape is usually primarily about sex”. All of these are reasons to look a bit askew at that statement, and are based on empirical observations, or things we can observe and look at.

Until you actually rebut the evidence for the statement your argument isn’t worth very much.

As people in this thread have pointed out, there is research that suggests the opposite as well, weakening the argument, and if you followed the thread you would have seen, for example, the discussion of the other theories. I can indeed point out that the research may not be reliable as it relies on the testimony of people who are not necessarily reliable witnesses, but we’d need to start looking at specific cases, which presumably you could provide me. But the problem here is that you are treating it like me claiming to be able to prove that the claim is wrong absolutely. I’m trying to cast doubt on it, and sticking to it as an absolute even when it can be doubted is, I’m afraid, dogmatic.

Your thought experiment is stupid and insulting to women.

At which point, you feel perfectly comfortable ignoring the point that it was aiming to make, which was that if the “rape is usually about power” line was true, then that would indeed be one way to reduce dramatically the number of rapes, but anyone who thinks about it for 5 seconds realizes that not only would it not do so, it would greatly increase them. If you do think that, then, the question should be “Why, then, would I think it would increase?” One reason is that it’s not primarily about power, but about sex. There may be others.

And note that it seems to me that one of the main reasons for the popularity of that statement is that it fits neatly into patriarchal theory of men oppressing women and the common radical feminist argument that rape is one way for men to keep their power over women. If rape turns out to be more “disinterested”, more men simply not thinking of women as people at all when they rape and caring not one whit about their feelings, that doesn’t fit as well into that line (but does fit into an “objectification” line).

373 Edward Gemmer March 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

I think I just got frustrated by the fact that your example was so far out of the context that we were clearly discussing.

It was, but I do try and stand up for criminals. Not only is it my job, but also, it is something that interests me as a liberal. People go on about that wheel o privilege, but in any society, the least privileged people are the ones in prison. This is a group completely ignored by the atheist community, especially the social justice atheist community, so I try to speak up for them. But I understand it’s not going to be popular.

So consider giving FtB people room to disagree with you and room to discuss their own ideas amongst each other without having to include yourself in every discussion about something you disagree with.

I can kind of agree. However, my disappointment with Pharyngula is you can’t get any debate going. So many insults and talk about offense and privilege and other stuff that anything of value quickly gets in the weeds. One constant theme is that when person X says something, people jump in and talk not about what he/she said, but about all these other things that he could have meant and also what those things mean about Person’s X character. This isn’t debate, this is just people defending themselves for being a person with an opinion.

So, one proposed value, that I feel we learned from the civil rights movement – “don’t make bullshit assumptions about people.” Critique?

374 Verbose Stoic March 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

doubtthat,

343

Get from there to rape. Try it, leave a bread crumb trail so we can waltz down this twisted path of incoherent nonsense after you.

It was a response to this article that was listed in Kes’ comment:

http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/mythcommunication-its-not-that-they-dont-understand-they-just-dont-like-the-answer/

The article argued this, quoted from a study showing how people interpret refusals:

Drawing on the conversation analytic literature, and on our own data, we claim that both men and women have a sophisticated ability to convey and to comprehend refusals, including refusals which do not include the word ‘no’, and we suggest that male claims not to have ‘understood’ refusals which conform to culturally normative patterns can only be heard as self-interested justifications for coercive behaviour.

It also used these specific examples:

Example 3

Mark: We were wondering if you wanted to come over Saturday, f ’r dinner.

(0.4)

Jane: Well (.) .hh it’d be great but we promised Carol already.

(Potter and Wetherell, 1987: 86)

Example 4

A: Uh if you’d care to come and visit a little while this

morning I’ll give you a cup of coffee.

B: hehh Well that’s awfully sweet of you, I don’t think I can

make it this morning. .hh uhm I’m running an ad in the

paper and-and uh I have to stay near the phone.

(Atkinson and Drew, 1979: 58)

These are precisely the sort of examples that I say, in general, I don’t or at least didn’t get as being rejections, and that I know a fair number of people will poor social skills don’t get. Therefore, using this as evidence that people would or should understand the rejections without having to say “No” explicitly isn’t that strong an argument. Yes, some will take advantage of this, so I don’t deny that it happens, but to go from there to an idea that because women don’t like to say “No” they shouldn’t have to is far too far.

Now, if you want to challenge the blog “YesmeansYes”‘s interpretation of this relating to rape, or that article, feel free … but you won’t be arguing with ME if you do, because the claims are not mine: I am in fact accepting their claims and analyzing them as if the studies and evidence are true, and as if the relevance to rape is accepted and proven.

You brought up the Rules. You brought up “playing hard to get,”

I brought up “The Rules”, as evidence that some women, at least, did play hard to get. I did NOT bring up “playing hard to get”, as I have already pointed out to you. Dan L. did. It is not mentioned in my initial comment, and is only mentioned in a reply to Dan L. after he told me to review other comments, one of which mentioned it.

Can you provide data that even a single rape or assault occurred because a woman played “hard to get?”

Interestingly, you seem to question the relevance of talking about “playing hard to get” here, and yet in the next comment prove its relevance:

Rapists use the notion of “women playing hard to get” as an excuse for their rape: “How was I supposed to know she was serious? You know those women, always saying no when they mean yes.”

If this is based on a misunderstanding of what playing hard to get is, then one way to remove that excuse is to clarify that. Another is to remove the notion of women playing hard to get by women, in fact, not playing hard to get. And, again, it was not me that tied it into this discussion in the first place.

First, that’s not at all what “playing hard to get,” means. The notion is that by not appearing “easy,” a woman stands a better chance of finding a mate who will respect her. The entire point is to separate the men likely to have a quick physical relationship and then ignore them from someone who will stick around.

And how is that done? By doing things that demonstrate a lack of interest in the hopes that the man will persist. To my mind, there is a continuum here, and while not wanting to look “easy” is part of it there is another spectrum that tries to use this to generate interest by seeming unattainable and tying into the whole “You want what you can’t easily have” idea in people. We can, of course, debate what “playing hard to get” really means, but you’d have to do more than merely assert it while calling me stupid.

Yeah, it’s not like we didn’t just a case like that a couple of weeks ago.

Since I’m talking about overall numbers and not asserting that no men do, citing one specific case in no way impacts my argument.

Is this a statistically relevant point? Is this something worth considering? It’s once again based on the ridiculous rape myth that sexual assaults are accidental. You’ve now been give several actual studies – that’s evidence, not – there was a semi-popular book that existed several decades ago – that show that idea to be incorrect, yet you keep rolling.

So, you don’t think that men using this as an excuse for rape that people might believe because they point out that women sometimes do say “No” when they mean “Yes” DOESN’T impact how we view rape? I never claimed that people really raped because of this, but claimed that it impacted how we viewed it, and how that’s an impediment to getting people to accept as a maxim — or even piece of good advice — to always take “No” as a “No”. You seem to be attacking an argument that I never made. Now, if something I said could be best interpreted as that, point it out and I’ll apologize for not being clear.

Find me some evidence that rapes occur because of mistakes or acknowledge that you’re just talking out of your ass.

You don’t find it odd that you are using basically the same words to accuse me of thinking that rapes occur because of mistakes that Dan L. used to accuse me of claiming that all rapes were cases where the men involved knew that they were committing rape and didn’t care?

Show me where I claim that rapes occur because of mistakes and we can talk about it, because I never claimed that.

375 WootheReaper March 25, 2013 at 3:36 pm

One thing I noticed that keeps happening is people lying about extremely low (2-3%) rape conviction rates. If there truly was a 2-3% conviction rate I wouldn’t be reporting either. Hmm. I wonder how many victims read that, were afraid of facing all that and stressing for nothing, and did not report the abuse.

Counter the spread of conviction myths… they hurt rape victims, and the people spreading these myths could only care about making society look like a super dystopia – they don’t care that when people read that they’re just upping the number of unreported rapes. Or maybe that’s their goal. Some people are like that, who knows.

Anyway, yes, that’s another thing to add to the list – make sure people are responsible with their bullshit statistics.

And if you’re the one doing this type of crap, you don’t belong in a discussion about rape prevention.

376 WootheReaper March 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm

One thing I noticed that keeps happening is people spreading myths such as extremely low (2-3%) rape conviction rates. If there truly was a 2-3% conviction rate I wouldn’t be reporting either. Hmm. I wonder how many victims read that, were afraid of facing all that and stressing for nothing, and did not report the abuse.

Counter the spread of conviction myths… they hurt rape victims, and the people spreading these myths could only care about making society look like a super dystopia – they don’t care that when people read that they’re just upping the number of unreported rapes. Or maybe that’s their goal. Some people are like that, who knows.

Anyway, yes, that’s another thing to add to the list – make sure people are responsible with their bullshit statistics.

And if you’re the one doing this type of crap, you don’t belong in a discussion about rape prevention. You belong in some group on how to psychologically terrorize people more efficiently. A planner like Helter Skelter (of course, that was for racism and murder though, but it’s still manipulative – pulling the strings from the shadows)

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