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  #951  
Old 09-05-2019, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
Do you think taking drinks from strangers and getting drunk at parties carries no additional risk?
Again, though, you've shifted the goalposts away from the previous examples of "walking out of your gym in gym clothes" and "walking home across campus by yourself" to more extreme examples such as getting drunk.

The contention is not that women shouldn't try to stay safe. The contention is that in such discussions the well is always being poisoned by people trying to draw analogies between ordinary reasonable behavior on the part of women, and outright irresponsible behavior such as leaving an unlocked car full of fancy packages with the keys in the ignition.
  #952  
Old 09-05-2019, 05:00 PM
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What kind of parties are we talking about? Getting drunk with my 50 year old girlfriends on a few bottles of wine party or my 20 year old getting drunk at a frat party. How about a few drinks at a vendor cocktail party at a work conference. The first shouldn't be risky at all. The second they already knows not to do and is told not to do as frequently as you see "don't leave valuables in your car" signs - through signs throughout the dorms, through orientation lectures an RA meetings. The third is the grown up version of a frat party, but a grown adult woman should be able to socialize and have a few drinks with coworkers without having to worry about rape.

But even if they ignore all that advice and get drunk at a frat party, they should still have the expectation they will not be raped. Because raping someone is wrong, because the community standard should be "hey, we watch out for each other while drinking"
  #953  
Old 09-05-2019, 05:07 PM
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Again, though, you've shifted the goalposts away from the previous examples of "walking out of your gym in gym clothes" and "walking home across campus by yourself" to more extreme examples such as getting drunk.

The contention is not that women shouldn't try to stay safe. The contention is that in such discussions the well is always being poisoned by people trying to draw analogies between ordinary reasonable behavior on the part of women, and outright irresponsible behavior such as leaving an unlocked car full of fancy packages with the keys in the ignition.
Back to the original goalposts, do you think these situations carry the same risks:

- Walking out of the gym at night with your face buried in a bright phone screen
- Walking out of the gym with your head high looking around
- Walking out of the gym with minimal clothing
- Walking out of the gym wearing street clothes

I think my words are being twisted around to imply that I don't think women should be able to do whatever they want. They absolutely should. The same with everyone. But I see different behaviors as having different risks. Just based on size and strength alone, women seem like they'd be generally more at risk to be attacked since they would be easier to overpower. That's a tragic situation, but it's the world we live in. Unfortunately, that would imply that women should be more vigilant than men. Until we get to the point where criminals don't exist or they select victims at random, we live in a world where criminals will attack people they think they can overpower. A robber looking to snag a gym bag is likely going to pick a distracted person who is unlikely to be able to fight back. A guy looking at a phone is less at a risk than a woman looking at a phone by the basic fact that the guy will likely be a stronger opponent than the woman is. It doesn't mean the woman deserves to be robbed.

Last edited by filmore; 09-05-2019 at 05:08 PM.
  #954  
Old 09-05-2019, 05:17 PM
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But I see different behaviors as having different risks.
That's perfectly reasonable. The problem with your response crops up when you try to draw analogies between reasonable, ordinary behavior on the part of women---which includes behavior like looking at your phone or wearing gym clothes when you step out of a gym---with exceptionally reckless and risky behavior like leaving an unlocked car full of fancy packages with the keys in the ignition.

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Originally Posted by filmore
A robber looking to snag a gym bag is likely going to pick a distracted person who is unlikely to be able to fight back. A guy looking at a phone is less at a risk than a woman looking at a phone by the basic fact that the guy will likely be a stronger opponent than the woman is.
By which reasoning, we should also make a point of singling out elderly and short men to constantly warn them that they need to be extra vigilant because of their comparative weakness as an opponent.

I have no problem with women or anybody else trying to minimize their risks. But I object to attempts, even well-meaning ones, to pathologize women's (and only women's) everyday ordinary behavior by treating it as exceptionally and irresponsibly risky.

Last edited by Kimstu; 09-05-2019 at 05:17 PM.
  #955  
Old 09-05-2019, 05:36 PM
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filmore, for someone who says we need to talk about both changing victim behavior and changing perpetrator behavior, you sure do talk a lot about what victims need to do.

Have you considered taking all the energy you're spending telling women what to do, and instead focusing that on changing some male behaviors? Trust me, women won't suddenly start engaging in lots of risky behavior because some man stopped telling them not to.
  #956  
Old 09-05-2019, 06:20 PM
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I don’t like these comparisons to robbery, a women in a vulnerable situation is not the same as a package in an unlocked car. It would be more apt to compare it to mugging, which is also a violent assault.

While there are things you could do to reduce your risk of being mugged, it’s largely considered a crime of opportunity and it’s victims are generally understood to be just unlucky, not unwise or somehow “asking for it”.

You can be old and frail and drunk as lord, wandering through the sketchiest neighborhood in town with your bling and bankroll on full display and you’ll be fine unless you encounter a mugger. Because even though you have made yourself incredibly vulnerable, normal people aren’t tempted to physically assault vulnerable people in the way that they might be tempted to take cash from a dropped wallet they found on the street.

And rape, even the rape of a vulnerable person that can’t fight back, is a violent physical assault, not some sort of impulse driven thievery. It doesn’t much matter whether the guy jumped you on the street or took you back to his apartment after a date.
  #957  
Old 09-05-2019, 07:25 PM
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I don’t like these comparisons to robbery, a women in a vulnerable situation is not the same as a package in an unlocked car. It would be more apt to compare it to mugging, which is also a violent assault.
If you needed a sex crime analogy to car prowling, it would be taking upskirt photos or peeping through a window to see a woman undress. No violence but still a criminal violation of your space and privacy, as well as an example of sick, deviant behavior.
  #958  
Old 09-05-2019, 07:58 PM
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Back to the original goalposts, do you think these situations carry the same risks:

- Walking out of the gym at night with your face buried in a bright phone screen
- Walking out of the gym with your head high looking around
- Walking out of the gym with minimal clothing
- Walking out of the gym wearing street clothes

.
Cite, please, that people walking out of the gym wearing gym clothes are more likely to be raped than people walking out of the gym wearing "street clothes".

(I'm not even sure what "street clothes" means. I see people, male and female and probably other, on the street all the time wearing clothes that don't cover any more than gym clothes do.)

-- I suspect that walking anywhere with your face buried in your phone significantly increases the risk of walking into a light pole, walking into another person, falling over something, and/or being hit by a car. Why pick on women specifically and rape specifically, instead of just advising humans in general to look where they're going?
  #959  
Old 09-05-2019, 09:45 PM
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While there are things you could do to reduce your risk of being mugged, it’s largely considered a crime of opportunity and it’s victims are generally understood to be just unlucky, not unwise or somehow “asking for it”.
Would you say there are things that people can do to reduce their risk of being sexually assaulted?
  #960  
Old 09-05-2019, 09:57 PM
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Would you say there are things that people can do to reduce their risk of being sexually assaulted?
Burkas and male escorts in public!!

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 09-05-2019 at 10:00 PM.
  #961  
Old 09-05-2019, 10:10 PM
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Burkas and male escorts in public!!
I suspect that male escorts in public would actually reduce a person's risk of being sexually assaulted. I suspect that female escorts in public would also do the same thing. Do you disagree?
  #962  
Old 09-05-2019, 10:23 PM
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I suspect that male escorts in public would actually reduce a person's risk of being sexually assaulted. I suspect that female escorts in public would also do the same thing. Do you disagree?
Not at all! Implement the policy, forthwith. Have yet to hear where you stand on burkas. From what I hear, they're very popular in countries that also like to keep women safe by requiring escorts.
  #963  
Old 09-05-2019, 10:32 PM
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Would you say there are things that people can do to reduce their risk of being sexually assaulted?
Sure. But isn't it at least as important to identify the things people can do to reduce their risk of sexually assaulting someone? Maybe we should have curfews and chaperones for men, instead of constantly focusing on how we need to encourage restricting the actions of women.
  #964  
Old 09-05-2019, 10:54 PM
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The issue with traditional “rape prevention” tips is that they don’t actually prevent rape. Rapists continue to rape. If the victim they chose is not suitable, they find someone else.

I prefer “risk reduction” because some things I can do may lower MY risk, but there is really only one way to prevent rape - stop the rapist from raping. This means looking at the offender instead of how a potential victim
Can adjust their behaviour. There are a few ways, for example, not objectifying women in the media and amongst each other. I am not saying everyone that tells a sexist joke is a rapist, but if there is someone in your circle that is already thinking this way, that comment may now validate and show them “everyone thinks that way”.

Another way is to make sure that everyone is informed about consent - only yes means yes, and it is the responsibility of the one instigating the sexual activity to make sure they have consent.

Finally, de-stigmatize sexual assault. One thing the Me Too movement is showing is that the vast majority of women (and many men) have a “story”.
  #965  
Old 09-05-2019, 11:03 PM
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I suspect that male escorts in public would actually reduce a person's risk of being sexually assaulted.
Not if the escorts are rapists.
  #966  
Old 09-05-2019, 11:44 PM
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The issue with traditional “rape prevention” tips is that they don’t actually prevent rape. Rapists continue to rape. If the victim they chose is not suitable, they find someone else.
Just to be clear here, when you say "not suitable" = "not raped"?
  #967  
Old 09-06-2019, 07:31 AM
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Would you say there are things that people can do to reduce their risk of being sexually assaulted?
I think I did say that. But there is still a large element of bad luck and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because you’re not going to get raped unless you cross paths with a rapist. It’s not like normal guys assault women just because they’ve done something to make themselves vulnerable.
  #968  
Old 09-06-2019, 09:52 AM
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Just to be clear here, when you say "not suitable" = "not raped"?
Yes.

So I may be able to learn techniques/do things to reduce my personal risk**, I haven't stopped rape, I have maybe just have made myself just inconvenient enough that the rapist will have to find another target.

** And even then, not generally, since most techniques have to do with stranger rape, which is far less likely than rape by someone you know.

After all, not much good is the "Don't put your hair in a ponytail which is easy to grab" if the person that rapes me was the man that took me on a date that night and not some deviant in a park.

The other issue with traditional "rape prevention" technique is that since they DON'T work to prevent rape - again because the vast majority are not getting jumped in an alley, or someone unknown targeting you - they feed into the idea that "If only I had yelled "FIRE" or covered my drink, this would not have happened."

Rape is NOT the victim's fault.

The fault of a crime rests solely on the shoulders of the person committing the crime, and trying to reason it out in "what could the victim have done differently to prevent being a victim" is cruel and futile - the only way to prevent rape is to stop people from raping.

Period.
  #969  
Old 09-06-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
Back to the original goalposts, do you think these situations carry the same risks:

- Walking out of the gym at night with your face buried in a bright phone screen
- Walking out of the gym with your head high looking around
- Walking out of the gym with minimal clothing
- Walking out of the gym wearing street clothes
I'm don't know that their is any evidence that minimal clothing makes a difference. None. It's like Korean Fan Death. It seems "obvious", but there's never been any indication that it makes any difference, and some evidence that it doesn't. So raising a half the population to believe that they are in danger when they aren't does nothing except limit women's freedoms.

For the other, the question isn't whether it increases risk--it raises risk for men and women in an absolute sense. The question is rather if it increases risk a meaningful amount for women and not for men. I mean, if it moves your odds of being assaults from 1 in a million to 2 in a million, it's pretty trivial.

You are making the assumption that the shift in risk is still within "reasonable tolerance" for men but the shift in risk for women moves it into the "foolish" range. Why does that seem self-evident to you?

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Just based on size and strength alone, women seem like they'd be generally more at risk to be attacked since they would be easier to overpower. That's a tragic situation, but it's the world we live in.
But WHY is this a tragedy we are powerless to do anything about?

You are suggesting that women need to live their lives like men do in very, very high crime areas, like a gang-ridden inner city. I don't know where you live, but presumably it's not a gang-ridden inner city. If it started to become like that--if your neighbors all told you that you should never jog alone after dark, that if a stranger approaches you, you should be rude and walk quickly away, that you should never answer your door if you don't expect someone--you'd move. You'd demand better police protection. If the entire country was getting like that, it would be a God Damn National Crisis. But for the whole world to be like a gang-ridden inner city for women is apparently just fucking inevitable and nothing can be done.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:05 AM
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Poysyn, right on both counts. Reducing my risk just moves the risk to an easier target. A rapist is hunting....if this isn't a good target, move to the next target.

And most rapes are "date rapes" - in order to have prevented my rape, I would have had to not been doing my job - since I was raped while alone with my boss while doing my job. Don't go up to a guy's apartment, or let a guy into yours unless you know you want to have sex with him is rather limiting during courtship, its good safety advice - its lousy "get a second or third date advice since the perfectly nice guy you are with who isn't a rapist (but you don't know that) thinks you think he's a rapist (whiv=ch you don't, but he MIGHT be and better safe than sorry) or just standoffish.

I should be able to wear workout clothes if what I'm doing is going on a date that involves riding bikes in the park, or going for a run, or heading to the beach, or playing tennis.
  #971  
Old 09-06-2019, 10:14 AM
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Also, to be perfectly clear: I don't actually think women NEED to live their lives as if they live in a gang-ridden inner city. I walk after dark. I don't check the back seat of my car before I get in it. I travel alone. I look at my phone at the park while my son plays. And I don't think I am engaging in behavior that is foolish. But I am told that I am. I am told--by you, among others--that I am engaging in risky behavior, that I am unwise. I am told that if I get mugged or raped while I am doing these things it's "not my fault" but I was foolish to live my life that way--doing very normal things that even a 14 year old boy could do and no one would consider risky--and that while again, "it's not my fault", I still should accept that it's just how the world is.

It's an incredibly toxic narrative that doesn't seem to do much to reduce rape by DOES have the effect of dramatically limiting my ability to function, not to mention my personal freedoms.

Last edited by Manda JO; 09-06-2019 at 10:19 AM.
  #972  
Old 09-06-2019, 10:30 AM
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Reducing my risk just moves the risk to an easier target. A rapist is hunting....if this isn't a good target, move to the next target.
I get the impression that some people are thinking (with I have no idea how much if any justification) of rape as a crime of opportunity: the rapist didn't go out looking for someone to rape, but an opportunity just happened to prevent itself. As if someone who hadn't been looking to steal a car happened to see a nice-looking car with the keys left in the ignition.
  #973  
Old 09-06-2019, 10:56 AM
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I get the impression that some people are thinking (with I have no idea how much if any justification) of rape as a crime of opportunity: the rapist didn't go out looking for someone to rape, but an opportunity just happened to prevent itself. As if someone who hadn't been looking to steal a car happened to see a nice-looking car with the keys left in the ignition.
I get the impression that some people think that rape is caused by men being so overcome by the sight of some bit of a female body (including bits that they see all the time) that they become unable to control their sexual impulses and just have to rape the person. But if they didn't happen to see anybody in gym clothes (or whatever), then they wouldn't rape anybody.

I think this is both untrue, and insulting to men.
  #974  
Old 09-06-2019, 11:13 AM
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I get the impression that some people think that rape is caused by men being so overcome by the sight of some bit of a female body (including bits that they see all the time) that they become unable to control their sexual impulses and just have to rape the person. But if they didn't happen to see anybody in gym clothes (or whatever), then they wouldn't rape anybody.

I think this is both untrue, and insulting to men.
This is so often overlooked - that apparently men are so incredibly ruled by lust that the sight of me in yoga pants will have them overcome and like a dog in heat, they will absolutely mount and ravish me...

Ridiculous. It is caused by someone (usually but not always a man) that sees someone else as an object to be possessed or taken, and used. Rape is the tool, but power and control is the root.
  #975  
Old 09-06-2019, 11:15 AM
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I get the impression that some people are thinking (with I have no idea how much if any justification) of rape as a crime of opportunity: the rapist didn't go out looking for someone to rape, but an opportunity just happened to prevent itself. As if someone who hadn't been looking to steal a car happened to see a nice-looking car with the keys left in the ignition.
I think that sometimes it is a crime of opportunity, but rapists go out looking for the opportunities - whether they are stranger rapists or date rapists. If you can't roofie my drink, perhaps the next woman. If my door is locked, try the next house. If I don't go up to your place with you, maybe the next woman will (and maybe sex will be willing, or maybe your are one of those assholes that think coming up means consent and will just rape her for being a tease and justify it to yourself saying "if she didn't want it, she wouldn't have come in").

But I don't think that most people, seeing a nice car with the keys in the ignition, would take it. And most people, seeing a woman jogging by herself at 10pm at night, don't rape her. Even when the opportunity presents itself. Even if its a really nice car or a really hot woman.

But here is where the analogy really breaks down. People aren't saying "don't leave your keys in the ignition" to women. They are saying "don't drive your car to the grocery store, leave it parked in a secure garage. Never give the key to a service guy who might copy it. In fact, don't get a nice car at all, its just a temptation for it to be stolen - if you need to drive at all, buy a used Yaris, no one wants to steal a Yaris. but consider not owning a car and just having a trusted friend drive you everywhere."
  #976  
Old 09-06-2019, 11:25 AM
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I don’t like these comparisons to robbery, a women in a vulnerable situation is not the same as a package in an unlocked car. It would be more apt to compare it to mugging, which is also a violent assault.

While there are things you could do to reduce your risk of being mugged, it’s largely considered a crime of opportunity and it’s victims are generally understood to be just unlucky, not unwise or somehow “asking for it”.

You can be old and frail and drunk as lord, wandering through the sketchiest neighborhood in town with your bling and bankroll on full display and you’ll be fine unless you encounter a mugger. Because even though you have made yourself incredibly vulnerable, normal people aren’t tempted to physically assault vulnerable people in the way that they might be tempted to take cash from a dropped wallet they found on the street.

And rape, even the rape of a vulnerable person that can’t fight back, is a violent physical assault, not some sort of impulse driven thievery. It doesn’t much matter whether the guy jumped you on the street or took you back to his apartment after a date.
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I think I did say that. But there is still a large element of bad luck and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because you’re not going to get raped unless you cross paths with a rapist. It’s not like normal guys assault women just because they’ve done something to make themselves vulnerable.
Thank you.

I have to say that it's not only women who are raped who get blamed. When my car was broken into and a suitcase stolen, the New Yorkers all blamed me for leaving a car full of stuff in sight. (And everyone other than the New Yorkers blamed the guy who broke into my car, not me.)

I'm not sure what we learn from this. Maybe it's "normal" to blame victims that we think of as more vulnerable than ourselves?
  #977  
Old 09-06-2019, 11:52 AM
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I'm not sure what we learn from this. Maybe it's "normal" to blame victims that we think of as more vulnerable than ourselves?
I think it gives us a (false) sense of confidence that it can't be us, because we would never have done [x], even when [x] is irrelevant, or there are other things we do that are as risky.

Last edited by Manda JO; 09-06-2019 at 11:53 AM.
  #978  
Old 09-09-2019, 03:43 PM
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Thank you.

I have to say that it's not only women who are raped who get blamed. When my car was broken into and a suitcase stolen, the New Yorkers all blamed me for leaving a car full of stuff in sight. (And everyone other than the New Yorkers blamed the guy who broke into my car, not me.)

I'm not sure what we learn from this. Maybe it's "normal" to blame victims that we think of as more vulnerable than ourselves?
What we can learn from this is that there are different perspectives on crime, maybe life. The New Yorkers' perspective on what happened is that crime is a prevalent natural hazard, with standard practices to guard against it that should be exercised. A percentage of the population are criminals, and you modify your behavior to allow for that.
  #979  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:39 PM
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What we can learn from this is that there are different perspectives on crime, maybe life. The New Yorkers' perspective on what happened is that crime is a prevalent natural hazard, with standard practices to guard against it that should be exercised. A percentage of the population are criminals, and you modify your behavior to allow for that.
"It's an invitation to steal." My father said this to me 1,000 times. If you have ten cars with laptops in them, and one is sitting propped up on the front seat, IF there's a thief around, you already know which laptop is stolen. Same reason why we ask the neighbors to take in the paper and mail for us while we're away. So it doesn't appear that there's an undefended home with valuable items inside for the possible thief to take advantage.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:54 PM
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Right, but me taking a hit to my professional reputation and career prospects by never working so late that I have to walk to my car in the dark is NOT comparable to a person feeling like they should shove a laptop under a seat.
  #981  
Old 09-09-2019, 05:02 PM
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Right, but me taking a hit to my professional reputation and career prospects by never working so late that I have to walk to my car in the dark is NOT comparable to a person feeling like they should shove a laptop under a seat.
No, I wasn't comparing the two. But if your professional rep is impacted by working in a dangerous area, all people say is, "You should try working somewhere else." Ugh. I hate that answer. Therein lies the problem. Cleaning up the area or at least adding building security should be discussed. Not "try something else." Hope maybe your company can add security and be escorted to your vehicle.
  #982  
Old 09-09-2019, 05:42 PM
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If the parking lot's unsafe to walk through after dark, it's also unsafe for men to walk through after dark, and everybody should be escorted to their vehicles.

ETA: And agreeing strongly with Manda JO that putting a laptop out of sight is not equivalent to being expected to keep one's body out of sight. Again, it's possible to go all sorts of places and do all sorts of things without a laptop, and/or while hiding the laptop entirely. It's not possible to go anywhere or do anything without one's body; and covering oneself with cloth doesn't fool anybody into thinking there's no body there -- even if they choose to pretend that there's nobody there.

Last edited by thorny locust; 09-09-2019 at 05:45 PM.
  #983  
Old 09-09-2019, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Locrian View Post
No, I wasn't comparing the two. But if your professional rep is impacted by working in a dangerous area, all people say is, "You should try working somewhere else." Ugh. I hate that answer. Therein lies the problem. Cleaning up the area or at least adding building security should be discussed. Not "try something else." Hope maybe your company can add security and be escorted to your vehicle.
There is literally no where a woman can work that if she walks to her car after dark, some helpful asshole--usually in her own family, possibly male or female--will click their tongue and ask if that's really a good idea and has she thought about the risk and is there someone who could walk her out. It doesn't matter if it's objectively safe or not. Women taking any risks with their physical safety are bombarded with cautionary tales and expressions of concern. These escalate whenever there IS an attack, however unlikely or non-analogous it is. This is the damage done by these "I'm not saying it's your fault, but you should be careful" lectures. They attack core fundamental freedoms. And they come from women as well as men, because this is "rape culture": women carry the burden of limiting themselves and being hyper-aware and most women just accept it. Of course women don't have the same freedom of movement and association as a 15-year old boy. That's the way the world is.
  #984  
Old 09-09-2019, 11:34 PM
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There is literally no where a woman can work that if she walks to her car after dark, some helpful asshole--usually in her own family, possibly male or female--will click their tongue and ask if that's really a good idea and has she thought about the risk and is there someone who could walk her out. It doesn't matter if it's objectively safe or not. Women taking any risks with their physical safety are bombarded with cautionary tales and expressions of concern. These escalate whenever there IS an attack, however unlikely or non-analogous it is. This is the damage done by these "I'm not saying it's your fault, but you should be careful" lectures. They attack core fundamental freedoms. And they come from women as well as men, because this is "rape culture": women carry the burden of limiting themselves and being hyper-aware and most women just accept it. Of course women don't have the same freedom of movement and association as a 15-year old boy. That's the way the world is.
Word. And it is very deeply ingrained in our culture. I distinctly recall the "Central Park Jogger" case, where a young woman was jogging ALONE in Central Park and the overwhelming response of people at that time (1989) was that she shouldn't have been jogging alone. Typical 'blaming the victim' mentality. She was not found until 1:30am (unconscious) but police believe she was attacked around 9pm. If a man had been jogging at 9pm in Central Park and was attacked, I wonder how many people would find fault with him for jogging alone at 9pm.

I recently took the Harvard Bias test (called Project Implicit, if memory serves), as part of a class I am taking, and learned that because of how deeply ingrained in our culture that these biases are, that women have unfair biases against other women and black people have unfair biases against other black people, etc. The biases are very deeply ingrained in all aspects of society.
  #985  
Old 09-10-2019, 05:53 AM
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Ooh, I DESPISE the suggestions that I shouldn't walk places after dark. Because, you know, bad people suddenly materialize when the sun goes down.

My commute involves a short walk along well-lit streets that lots of other people use. Hundreds of women (and men) walk that route to commute every day. I've never heard of an incident. It's a safe thing to do. And yet... I've had people quiz me about how can I DO that, aren't I afraid?
  #986  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:39 AM
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I'm working night shift now, and I have to walk home from the bus stop. People are amazed that I'm willing to walk down the steps off the highway, into the industrial area that is dark at night, across the field, the street and the parking lot, through the hole in the locked fence to get to the "safe" area, and then five blocks to my house. So far, the only out-of-the-ordinary things I've spotted were deer grazing in the field, and people lighting up the steps to help me walk down.

I have a legal right to walk on any street any time of the day or night.
  #987  
Old 09-10-2019, 12:00 PM
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I think it gives us a (false) sense of confidence that it can't be us, because we would never have done [x], even when [x] is irrelevant, or there are other things we do that are as risky.
It's called the "just world" hypothesis. We like to believe that something we do can prevent us from being victimized, because the idea that we can do "everything right" and still get sexually assaulted is scary as hell.

Even if it is true.
  #988  
Old 09-10-2019, 12:03 PM
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Thank you.

I have to say that it's not only women who are raped who get blamed. When my car was broken into and a suitcase stolen, the New Yorkers all blamed me for leaving a car full of stuff in sight. (And everyone other than the New Yorkers blamed the guy who broke into my car, not me.)

I'm not sure what we learn from this. Maybe it's "normal" to blame victims that we think of as more vulnerable than ourselves?
The problem is, what if you were personally the equivalent of a car with a suitcase/laptop visible? That is what many of us (mostly women) are taught from a young age - we are prey. All the time. This does not mean men are not sexually assaulted, because they are, absolutely. The only difference is that men rarely grow up with the feeling that they are being hunted. Unfortunately, that is what traditional "rape prevention" is about - make yourself less attractive to attack, and you will be "safe".
  #989  
Old 09-10-2019, 12:10 PM
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I have a legal right to walk on any street any time of the day or night.
Saying that is like a red flag to a bull to these types. They will come in and say "Of course you have the legal right, but I have the legal right to leave a laptop on a car seat. But I shouldn't do it, and it's not blaming the victim to tell people that. In the same way, when I tell you that you shouldn't take any job that requires you to be out after dark without an escort, I don't deny you have the legal right, I am just pushing you to accept this completely disproportionate and unreasonable limitation on your personal freedom because just-in-case. And if you object, you're just a silly child who can't accept the totally immutable way of the world."
  #990  
Old 09-10-2019, 12:45 PM
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Saying that is like a red flag to a bull to these types. They will come in and say "Of course you have the legal right, but I have the legal right to leave a laptop on a car seat. But I shouldn't do it, and it's not blaming the victim to tell people that. In the same way, when I tell you that you shouldn't take any job that requires you to be out after dark without an escort, I don't deny you have the legal right, I am just pushing you to accept this completely disproportionate and unreasonable limitation on your personal freedom because just-in-case. And if you object, you're just a silly child who can't accept the totally immutable way of the world."
I have a sense that you feel I'm a misogynistic troll, but I sincerely am not comprehending how mentioning precautions relative to risk is somehow verboten. I see it more as taking appropriate precautions depending on the level of risk. There are some places where you can leave a laptop in an unlocked car and nothing will happen, and other places where it will get stolen in 5 minutes even if it's in a locked trunk. As such, it seems prudent to take more precautions in the area where there is higher risk. I sincerely don't understand why saying something like that would be seen as offensive.

How would you like for something like drink spiking to be addressed? It happens to both men and women, although it's 4x more likely to happen to women and women have more negative consequences. There are lots of PSAs about ways to avoid having your drink spiked, such as not leaving your drink unattended. It seems like those kinds of recommendations would fit the criteria for victim blaming, but I personally don't it that way. Those recommendations seems like reasonable precautions according to the risk.
  #991  
Old 09-10-2019, 01:52 PM
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I have a sense that you feel I'm a misogynistic troll, but I sincerely am not comprehending how mentioning precautions relative to risk is somehow verboten. I see it more as taking appropriate precautions depending on the level of risk. There are some places where you can leave a laptop in an unlocked car and nothing will happen, and other places where it will get stolen in 5 minutes even if it's in a locked trunk. As such, it seems prudent to take more precautions in the area where there is higher risk. I sincerely don't understand why saying something like that would be seen as offensive.

How would you like for something like drink spiking to be addressed? It happens to both men and women, although it's 4x more likely to happen to women and women have more negative consequences. There are lots of PSAs about ways to avoid having your drink spiked, such as not leaving your drink unattended. It seems like those kinds of recommendations would fit the criteria for victim blaming, but I personally don't it that way. Those recommendations seems like reasonable precautions according to the risk.
Because one of two things are generally true:

The relative and absolute risks are highly exaggerated in order to make women afraid to participate in routine activities, like working late, leaving the gym in clothes that were acceptable inside, travelling for business alone or with male co-workers, driving alone between cities, walking outside after dark, drinking moderately, accepting a ride home from a male co-worker when my car has broken down, etc. By pushing the narrative that it's "legal but unwise" for me to do these things, society severely limits my freedom because of my gender.

The relative risks are high enough and the disparities great enough between men and women that it really IS true that it's reasonable and prudent for a woman not to participate in the ordinary activities of daily life. In which case, it should be taken seriously and dealt with--if we, as a society, wouldn't let a suburban neighborhood get so dangerous that a 14-year old boy couldn't safely walk home after dark after baseball practice, why are we content with letting it be too dangerous for his mom to walk the same path?

I will concede--have always conceded--that drinking to excess in an uncontrolled environment is always a bad idea for anyone and an especially bad idea for women. But that's one small area that honestly doesn't affect daily life much.

My question back to you: why do you think ANY risk increase for me is reason for me to substantially limit my freedoms, when presumably you also engage in risky activities, like walking around after dark without an escort? The dark increases your risk, as well--maybe not as much as mine, but since we don't know the relative risk at all, why are you quick to assume it's safe enough for you but too risky to chance for me?
  #992  
Old 09-10-2019, 02:07 PM
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filmore, where's your actual evidence that wearing gym clothes increases anybody's risk? Have you got a study or six to back that up?

And if not, then why, precisely, do you think that wearing clothes that indicate probable better physical fitness and therefore better ability to fight back would increase risk? If it's not that you think that men who would otherwise not be rapists are uncontrollably overcome by the sight of some bit of women's bodies, then what reason do you have for thinking that?

And look: if everybody, of any gender, just stayed home everyone would be at far less risk of being hit by a car. Why do you suppose it is that very few people advise men to stay home to avoid being hit by cars?
  #993  
Old 09-10-2019, 03:39 PM
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I will concede--have always conceded--that drinking to excess in an uncontrolled environment is always a bad idea for anyone and an especially bad idea for women. But that's one small area that honestly doesn't affect daily life much.
I would appreciate if you could expand on the drink spiking a bit more. It might have nothing to do with alcohol. Some of the drugs used are odorless and tasteless and can be added to water and the victim would never know. The designated driver drinking soda could have their drink spiked.

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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
My question back to you: why do you think ANY risk increase for me is reason for me to substantially limit my freedoms, when presumably you also engage in risky activities, like walking around after dark without an escort? The dark increases your risk, as well--maybe not as much as mine, but since we don't know the relative risk at all, why are you quick to assume it's safe enough for you but too risky to chance for me?
First off, I'll admit I don't have any stats about whether revealing gym clothes matter or not. Maybe we can just forget that and focus on waking to the car in the dark looking at a bright phone and wearing earbuds. I didn't mean to imply that a woman needed an escort or couldn't walk in the dark. But it's my impression that a woman is at a greater risk in certain situations, and as such, she can reduce her risk in those situations by taking extra precautions. For the example of walking to the car, it's my assumption that a man has a lesser risk for assault, so he can be a little sloppier about being aware without a proportional increase in risk. I would guess the risk of assault would be ranked like this highest to lowest:

- Woman looking at phone wearing earbuds
- Woman looking at phone
- Woman looking around to be aware of anyone nearby
- Man looking at phone wearing earbuds
...

A woman can still walk to her car in a dark parking lot, but she may need to take more precautions than a man to be a similar risk level. And the reality is, the risk at any one particular time is very low. Over someone's lifetime the risk may be high, but the risk of it happening on any given night is very tiny. As such, it may be necessary to take precautions most of the time to avoid that one time when something happens.
  #994  
Old 09-10-2019, 03:58 PM
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I would appreciate if you could expand on the drink spiking a bit more. It might have nothing to do with alcohol. Some of the drugs used are odorless and tasteless and can be added to water and the victim would never know. The designated driver drinking soda could have their drink spiked.
I honestly have no idea what the actual, practical risks are of drinking in public. I'm long past the age where it's relevant. If it's really so risky for a woman to turn her back on a drink in public, well, I think that should be treated as a crime spree, not an inevitable fact. Imagine an area where it's so common for men to have their drink tampered with by muggers looking to target them later that there are PSAs about how dangerous it was to turn your back on a drink. We wouldn't tolerate that. The bar would soon run out of customers, as people fled for safer places. If it really is that dangerous, why do we tolerate it.

Quote:
First off, I'll admit I don't have any stats about whether revealing gym clothes matter or not. Maybe we can just forget that and focus on waking to the car in the dark looking at a bright phone and wearing earbuds. I didn't mean to imply that a woman needed an escort or couldn't walk in the dark. But it's my impression that a woman is at a greater risk in certain situations, and as such, she can reduce her risk in those situations by taking extra precautions. For the example of walking to the car, it's my assumption that a man has a lesser risk for assault, so he can be a little sloppier about being aware without a proportional increase in risk. I would guess the risk of assault would be ranked like this highest to lowest:

- Woman looking at phone wearing earbuds
- Woman looking at phone
- Woman looking around to be aware of anyone nearby
- Man looking at phone wearing earbuds
...

A woman can still walk to her car in a dark parking lot, but she may need to take more precautions than a man to be a similar risk level. And the reality is, the risk at any one particular time is very low. Over someone's lifetime the risk may be high, but the risk of it happening on any given night is very tiny. As such, it may be necessary to take precautions most of the time to avoid that one time when something happens.
So you have no fucking idea what the relative or absolute risks are, but you are quick to decide where the line is. With literally no data about how likely ANYONE in those scenarios are to be attacked, you've decided the woman is taking a foolish risk and the man is taking reasonable precautions. Well, the people that tell me not to walk after dark, not to travel alone or with a male co-worker, not to get in an elevator with a single man . . .all those people ALSO don't have any data. It's just easier to tell me to limit my life--with the implication that anything that happens is the result of my carelessness, my unwillingness to "take precautions".

Do you not see any problem with that?
  #995  
Old 09-10-2019, 04:21 PM
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When I was in 8th grade, attending a U.S. middle school, my health studies class was divided into small groups to perform little safety skits that we designed. My group (all girls) went with the message "Don't try to hitch rides or ride with a stranger. Or you'll be raped, then dead, then in a ditch." We had a little pantomime. We covered our crotches when we said raped, put our hands around our own throats for murdered, and then slumped partway over to indicate we were bodies in a ditch.

It was met with laughter and treated very casually. The teacher thought it was simple but a good lesson. Looking back, by 8th grade my classmates and I had already absorbed the information that we were prey and what could happen to us, to the point that we discussed it openly and as a matter of fact.

Balancing freedom with safety is something everyone has to do. I don't think "women aren't getting the message to stay safe" is really a huge problem leading to assault. I've made decisions that I realized in retrospect were risky, but the only times I've experienced actual harassment, I wasn't doing anything I'd consider even slightly dangerous or outside of the 'good girls' safety zone. There were no skits or discussions in my classes about not raping people, though. The fact that our "sex education" in high school was also seriously neutered down to basic biological facts ("how is babby formed") makes me feel that there is definitely room for improvement on education outside of teaching women how to avoid rape by seeming less... rape-able.

Last edited by Trafalgar Laura; 09-10-2019 at 04:25 PM. Reason: Ice Bear, edit bear
  #996  
Old 09-10-2019, 05:09 PM
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I honestly have no idea what the actual, practical risks are of drinking in public. I'm long past the age where it's relevant. If it's really so risky for a woman to turn her back on a drink in public, well, I think that should be treated as a crime spree, not an inevitable fact. Imagine an area where it's so common for men to have their drink tampered with by muggers looking to target them later that there are PSAs about how dangerous it was to turn your back on a drink. We wouldn't tolerate that. The bar would soon run out of customers, as people fled for safer places. If it really is that dangerous, why do we tolerate it.
I would still be interested in how you think the situation should be handled. According to that report, about 8% of students reported they had their drinks spiked. It's not like 8% of people in a bar have spiked drinks per night. The current focus seems to be on informing people of the risks and advising them to not leave their drink unattended. It seems that might be considered victim blaming, since the potential victim is being advised to alter their behavior to avoid the risk.


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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
So you have no fucking idea what the relative or absolute risks are, but you are quick to decide where the line is. With literally no data about how likely ANYONE in those scenarios are to be attacked, you've decided the woman is taking a foolish risk and the man is taking reasonable precautions. Well, the people that tell me not to walk after dark, not to travel alone or with a male co-worker, not to get in an elevator with a single man . . .all those people ALSO don't have any data. It's just easier to tell me to limit my life--with the implication that anything that happens is the result of my carelessness, my unwillingness to "take precautions".

Do you not see any problem with that?
Feel free to rearrange them if you think the risk profiles are different. You're right that I don't have any data. I'm just basing it on personal experience. In your opinion, how would you rank those actions based on risk?

I think it's a problem that women have a much greater risk of assault than men. However, I don't see it as a problem to acknowledge that risk and discuss ways of minimizing that increased risk.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:29 PM
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I would still be interested in how you think the situation should be handled. According to that report, about 8% of students reported they had their drinks spiked. It's not like 8% of people in a bar have spiked drinks per night. The current focus seems to be on informing people of the risks and advising them to not leave their drink unattended. It seems that might be considered victim blaming, since the potential victim is being advised to alter their behavior to avoid the risk.
Is anything at all being done to reduce the men spiking drinks? If not, then yeah, I'd call that victim blaming.

If 1 in 8 men on a campus were mugged by the time they graduated, would you consider that acceptable?

Quote:
Feel free to rearrange them if you think the risk profiles are different. You're right that I don't have any data. I'm just basing it on personal experience. In your opinion, how would you rank those actions based on risk?
Stripped of context, I can't possibly have an opinion. I don't know. You don't know either. But you've decided that the risk is bad enough for women that they need to take precautions but not so bad for men that they need do. What "personal experience" makes this clear to you? Because I don't think it's personal experience. I think it's just a "common sense" idea you've adopted from a generally chauvinistic culture, and that you don't resist because it doesn't cost you anything.

Quote:
I think it's a problem that women have a much greater risk of assault than men. However, I don't see it as a problem to acknowledge that risk and discuss ways of minimizing that increased risk.
Children have a much greater risk of Tiger attack than adults. That's common sense. How much more? Who can say? But since they are at a much greater risk, we probably shouldn't let them walk home from school.

More seriously, if we don't know what the risk IS, or how much greater it is for women than men, how can we possibly have a conversation about minimizing it?

Do you think I am foolish for:
  • Driving across country by myself?
  • Working late enough that I have to walk into a dark parking lot by myself?
  • Walking or jogging in my neighborhood after dark?
  • Travelling with a male co-worker I don't know well?
  • Driving through a "bad" area of the city by myself on my way to work?
  • Taking public transportation by myself?
  #998  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:36 PM
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Do you think I am foolish for:
  • Driving across country by myself?
  • Working late enough that I have to walk into a dark parking lot by myself?
  • Walking or jogging in my neighborhood after dark?
  • Travelling with a male co-worker I don't know well?
  • Driving through a "bad" area of the city by myself on my way to work?
  • Taking public transportation by myself?
I don’t think any of those things is inherently so risky that they need to be avoided and I don’t think anyone is foolish for doing them. However, there are situations where a person ( male or female ) should be extra attentive and maintain a keen awareness of their surroundings.

Which is actually a good habit and good advice for about anyone. Sometimes I will see people unlock the door and come into my apartment building, and some one will come right in behind them without using a key, and they’re so deep in their phones that they don’t notice. Which is sort of scary, especially since so many assaults seem to be that kind of “push in” crime.

Myself, I check behind me before I unlock the door, and if there is anyone I don’t know close enough to “push in”, I don’t open the door. Even if that means I walk back out to the street. This kind of caution does not impact my life as a free single adult at all. I frequently walk 2 miles home from the karaoke bar at 3AM, in NYC. Because I find it refreshing at that time. And I don’t feel I’m being overly risky, because I’m aware of who’s around me at all times, and I do things like keep the volume low if I’m wearing earbuds,

And I don’t think wearing gym clothes or other revealing outfits increases anyone’s chances of sexual assault at all. I think it is a misconception because a lot of sexual assault (and other assault and even murder) victims are prostitutes. And prostitutes tend to be provocatively dressed. But they are victimized because they are easy targets for criminals because they get into cars when strange men, not because they wear mini-skirts and tube tops.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 09-10-2019 at 08:37 PM.
  #999  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:07 PM
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I think it's a problem that women have a much greater risk of assault than men. However, I don't see it as a problem to acknowledge that risk
Cite, please?

Here's one:

Quote:
In 2017, the number of male and female violent crime victims was about even, with about 1,551,030 male victims and 1,555,310 female victims.
Here's another: Total of victims of violent crime, 2014: male, 1,497,420; female, 1,451,110. 2015: male, 1,227,870; female, 1,422,800. 2016: male 1,514,130; female, 1,368,190. 2017: male, 1,551,030; female, 1,555,300.


Here's another: from Canada; total cases of violent crimes upon women: 1,155 per 100,000 population; upon men: 1,150.

Now women are more likely to be sexually assaulted than men, yes. But it's just plain not true that women are significantly more likely, in general, to be assaulted than men.

So why are you advising women, and not men, to go around looking over their shoulders?

(And, while we're at it: while going around staring into a phone may increase risk for people of any genders -- though, as I pointed out upthread, it increases risk of walking into traffic or lightpoles or other people, probably a good bit more than it increases risk of being assaulted -- going around looking anxiously over one's shoulder makes a person look unsure of themselves and frightened, which quite possibly increases the risk of being assaulted, whether for one's body or one's wallet or just for being on the wrong street.)

Last edited by thorny locust; 09-10-2019 at 09:08 PM. Reason: typo
  #1000  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:24 PM
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Now women are more likely to be sexually assaulted than men, yes. But it's just plain not true that women are significantly more likely, in general, to be assaulted than men.

So why are you advising women, and not men, to go around looking over their shoulders?
That's an interesting stat. Thanks for finding that. However, it could be that different genders are at different risks for assault in different situations. For example, maybe men get in more bar fights, so men need to be more cautious in bars. I did find some stats about parking lot risks:
Code:
Total in parking lots or garages 	        7.3%
  	Commercial parking lot/garage 	        2.0
  	Noncommercial parking lot/garage        3.9
  	Apartment/townhouse parking lot/garage  1.4
They don't have the stats broken out by gender. My feeling is still that women are more at risk in parking lots than men. I'll continue looking to see if I can find any details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
going around looking anxiously over one's shoulder makes a person look unsure of themselves and frightened, which quite possibly increases the risk of being assaulted, whether for one's body or one's wallet or just for being on the wrong street.)
CITE!!! j/k
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