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Because "well, they were both drunk, so..." comes up so often in discussions about rape...

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Sometimes I think about that song, "Baby it's cold outside". It really has a very rapey, very "no means yes" messae, yet is widely acceptable. Aain, she is the gate keeper, and he is supposed to break down the gate...a legitimate pursuit apparently.

 

 

 

hahaha I love how you randomly brought up that song. It's so *nice* to sing. So pleasant to hear.

 

And the you hear it. And you're like naw, man. She said she's got to fracking go!

 

Oh man what is the other one. It's so FUN but it's awful...oh shoot stand by. It's like the girl is real young....It's a motown-era song... Oh shoot! It's on the tip of my tongue.

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I don't think it is adaquate to leave it at - this is the fault of the rapist.  This kind of scenario is common enough that some colleges have looked at simply banning these kinds of parties - they seem to be a problem in themselves.  I don't think it makes any sense to ignore scenarios that seem for some reason to be hotbeds of crime either they are situations that attract predators, make people especially vulnerable, or encourage people to make worse decisions than they would normally.  I suspect that in the case of frat parties, and similar types of scenarios (I've seen military parties with a very similar atmosphere,) all of those things are going on.  The situation makes people vulnerable and so that attracts real predators, and the nature of the situation (substance abuse, lots of sex, peer pressure) tend to mean people behave in ways they normally don't and it also tends to normalize that behavior.

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I just wonder at the mindset of some of these rapists.  Something is very wrong there.  I imagine it wouldn't be that difficult to find someone willing to have sex.  So that they are doing this crap takes on a whole crazy meaning in my mind.  Like they get some crappy thrill out of taking what they are not willingly given.

 

 

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Ravin, I am especially interested in your thoughts. What is the difference between victim blaming, and recognizing that the victim did in fact have some responsibility--in this imperfect world--to retain control of her judgment and functioning in order to keep herself safe? Is there a difference?

 

Do you know for a fact that she would have been able to keep herself safe if she had been sober? No, no you do not.  You assume too much. 

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The rapist wasn't a member of the fraternity, the victim wasn't even a Stanford student, and the rape did not happen inside the frat house. I'm not a fan of the whole "collective responsibility" concept that Stanford uses to punish Greek organizations when a single member misbehaves, but this tragedy doesn't even fall under that.

The drinking and party happened at a frat house and the frat was serving alcohol to minors. So I guess that's why frats get mentioned.

 

But wait? She wasn't a student at Stanford? Well, now I seriously don't care as much what happened.

Edited by Danestress

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I guess I would just say that at least I can still control my own driving, if I'm not drunk, and might have a better chance of avoiding said deranged semi driver. You're right that I wouldn't bear responsibility for getting mowed into, regardless, but I would have a greater chance of it not happening if I was not also impaired. Right? Or is that just obvious and not necessary (and/or too offensive) to say?

Not necessarily. Speed, direction, control all play a factor in an auto accident. You can't control any of that from the other driver. Most accidents don't involve an impaired driver. That doesn't mean they could have been avoided by the driver who was not at fault. I've been in an accident where I didn't even see the other car coming and they slammed into me at 60 mph. So, no. Sometimes you have no chance no matter what. 

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The ones that need to follow the rules are the rapists. Focus on them, and on teaching men what consent means. Leave the victims the hell alone. 

 

I couldn't agree with you more! 

 

Thank you for sharing your story. 

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hahaha I love how you randomly brought up that song. It's so *nice* to sing. So pleasant to hear.

 

And the you hear it. And you're like naw, man. She said she's got to fracking go!

 

Oh man what is the other one. It's so FUN but it's awful...oh shoot stand by. It's like the girl is real young....It's a motown-era song... Oh shoot! It's on the tip of my tongue.

 

I don't know - is it wrong to try and convince someone that something is a good idea?  Are people never really wanting to do one thing while they feel they ought to do another? 

 

There are a lot of songs about girls who are around 16 or so - we'd consider them way to young now to be the romantic object in a song, but it used to be really common, and girls not much older than that got married.  The one I find really creeps me out is by Rod Stewart, and doesn't actually mention an age - he just sounds so creepy.

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Sometimes I think about that song, "Baby it's cold outside". It really has a very rapey, very "no means yes" messae, yet is widely acceptable. Aain, she is the gate keeper, and he is supposed to break down the gate...a legitimate pursuit apparently.

 

Ugh..

 

Off topic, just thinking aloud about rape culture in America.

 

I just have to point out that given the history of the song, you have it a bit off.  It was a tongue-in-cheek bit written by a wife/husband to be performed for their close friends, with the designation of "mouse" and "wolf".  It grew from there.  Not a rape culture song.

 

More to the point would be Blurred Lines, and no, that song is not widely acceptable.  It was condemned from the moment it went on the radio.

 

I have a hard time figuring out what 'rape culture' is without also dissecting Christianity's role in it.

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I don't know - is it wrong to try and convince someone that something is a good idea?  .

 

"Are you rhetorically asking if it is always wrong to try to convince people to do things?" OKBud asked, rhetorically.

 

It was obvious OKBud knew Cabra Azul knew the answer to that willfully obtuse question was no. Nein. Negative.

 

It was also obvious to OKBud, though, that Bluegoat probably doesn't think it's copacetic to pressure people into being intimate with you when they are reticent to do so. She thought back....Blue Goat was a kind woman, who endeavored to be helpful to those in need, and interesting in casual conversation.

 

So OKBud wondered: why was Blue Goat asking that question at that time, in that context at all?

 

She hoped the Canadian would elucidate her meaning in a cohesive way. She remembered that Blue Goat had studied philosophy, though and wondered if her forum peer merely asked questions for the sake of asking them?

Edited by OKBud
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Just moving away from the issue of victim blaming...

 

I have deep problems with the idea that public shaming and sex offender registry status are good tools of punishment in general. Both have consequences and do stop people from getting jobs, finding housing, etc. etc. However, both are also deeply problematic - public shaming for all kinds of reasons but in this case because it implies that a court can cede its job to the internet mob or conversely that if a court does a poor job (or a good one but we disagree!) then the internet mob is a rightful way to achieve punishment - and the offender registry because it's so nebulous and arcane and lumps together crimes like consensual sex between 20 yos and their 17 yo partners, flashers, pedophiles, men who raped their wives and men who rufie random women all in one confusing morass - something the public increasingly knows and increasingly thinks the offender registry is meaningless, which might be just normalizing sex crimes. Knock knock, I'm your new neighbor and I'm required to inform you that I live here and committed a sex crime, but really, it was a no big deal sex crime. Ugh. I also wonder if taking these punishments into account allows us as the public - or juries or judges - to think a perpetrator has been punished without fulfilling their responsibility to incarcerate.

We don't get 'knock knock' . We get photos in the public school office with what they were convicted of. I've looked at the photos posted and it is usually a serious crime - rape involving a weapon and / or aggravated assault and / or involving a minor under the age of 12. I know that can't possibly be everyone convicted of a rape charge in my town of 50,000. So there must be a severity of crime attached to public disclosure.

 

I don't know about the Internet mob -- I've not seen that play out locally.

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We don't get 'knock knock' . We get photos in the public school office with what they were convicted of. I've looked at the photos posted and it is usually a serious crime - rape involving a weapon and / or aggravated assault and / or involving a minor under the age of 12. I know that can't possibly be everyone convicted of a rape charge in my town of 50,000. So there must be a severity of crime attached to public disclosure.

 

I don't know about the Internet mob -- I've not seen that play out locally.

 

My understanding is that depends based on communities.

 

We don't get them either, I just know they're required in some places and situations. And that, of course, the addresses are public record that anyone can access so my understanding is that a lot of people go harass people on the list. And, okay, it's hard to feel bad about that. But then... it's not justice. It's random people - some scared, some well-intentioned, some just looking for a "safe" outlet for aggression - going to destroy property or yell or even be violent. Justice should be better than that.

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My understanding is that depends based on communities.

 

We don't get them either, I just know they're required in some places and situations. And that, of course, the addresses are public record that anyone can access so my understanding is that a lot of people go harass people on the list. And, okay, it's hard to feel bad about that. But then... it's not justice. It's random people - some scared, some well-intentioned, some just looking for a "safe" outlet for aggression - going to destroy property or yell or even be violent. Justice should be better than that.

 

It should be in addition to that, imho.

 

It'd be awfully stupid to expect that the general local people won't have some feeling or thoughts to express if you're a danger to society.

 

But as it stands, "real but civilized" justice such as we wold like to see in the democratic West is rarely meted out.

 

So, in the meantime I think people take whatever they can get.

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Kind of funny / odd that the conversation is again how this will impact the man's future.

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This kind of scenario is common enough that some colleges have looked at simply banning these kinds of parties - they seem to be a problem in themselves.  I don't think it makes any sense to ignore scenarios that seem for some reason to be hotbeds of crime either they are situations that attract predators, make people especially vulnerable, or encourage people to make worse decisions than they would normally.  I suspect that in the case of frat parties, and similar types of scenarios (I've seen military parties with a very similar atmosphere,) all of those things are going on.  The situation makes people vulnerable and so that attracts real predators, and the nature of the situation (substance abuse, lots of sex, peer pressure) tend to mean people behave in ways they normally don't and it also tends to normalize that behavior.

 

I went to Stanford, and for the most part, the frat parties were not any worse an atmosphere than the dorm parties. The exception was the "athletes' frat" due to the previously mentioned issue of swimmers and water polo players. Girls were warned by their classmates to avoid that frat and my sorority refused to co-host events with them out of safety concerns for our members.

 

The administration knew about the problems and until very recently, placed a higher value on winning the Sears Cup & other athletic glory than on protecting women on campus (including their own students). :cursing: :thumbdown:

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Nm

Edited by Plum Crazy

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The drinking and party happened at a frat house and the frat was serving alcohol to minors. So I guess that's why frats get mentioned.

 

But wait? She wasn't a student at Stanford? Well, now I seriously don't care as much what happened.

 

Parties are supposed to be checking ID's at the door and turning away those without a Stanford student ID. The main reason for that is that Palo Alto High is literally right across the street from Stanford and teens from there often try to crash Stanford parties. But even if the woman was 23, she was not supposed to be there.

 

ETA: I met my DH because I got turned away from the first frat party I tried to get into that evening. Even though I had a Stanford ID, the guy at the door thought I looked too young and he told me, "Go back to Paly!" (Palo Alto High) My girlfriends and I went to my DH's frat and I ended up meeting him there.

Edited by Crimson Wife
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It is interesting that in a similar discussion about sex assault and victim bashing-and there was a lot of victim bashing - I asked how the bashers felt about a reverse sotuation in which a young mangets drunk and is raped by another man. The horror! How awful, how unconscionable, how tragic! No victim blaming just heinous anger at the villain. The women in the group minus myself and my sister had been victim bashers and fairly unsympathetic when the victim was female. When the victim was male, everything changed.

 

I would say that part and parcel of females not supporting females is deeply rooted in learned misogyny. I know my own religious roots in this regard are not pretty!

 

Sometimes I think about that song, "Baby it's cold outside". It really has a very rapey, very "no means yes" messae, yet is widely acceptable. Aain, she is the gate keeper, and he is supposed to break down the gate...a legitimate pursuit apparently.

 

Ugh..

 

Off topic, just thinking aloud about rape culture in America.

Absolutely not how I would feel about it. A victim is a victim regardless of gender and taking protective measures is just as important regardless of gender.

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Of course. I didn't say that he didn't have greater responsibility for the crime. He obviously did. That doesn't mean, however, that she had zero responsibility for doing what she knew would lead to impaired judgment.

You cannot be responsible AT ALL for a crime you did not commit. She did not assault herself, for gods sake...actually read what you just wrote and what it implies.

 

And, if she had done something unlawful, dangerous, etc. as a result of that impaired judgment (eg, drunk driving), then she would bear responsibility for her behavior as a result of the impaired judgment. What the criminal did was take advantage of her impaired state in order to commit his crime, behind a dumpster (which is clearly where every consenting woman wants to be fondled by a guy she met at a party <eye roll>).

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You cannot be responsible AT ALL for a crime you did not commit. She did not assault herself, for gods sake...actually read what you just wrote and what it implies.

 

And, if she had done something unlawful, dangerous, etc. as a result of that impaired judgment (eg, drunk driving), then she would bear responsibility for her behavior as a result of the impaired judgment. What the criminal did was take advantage of her impaired state in order to commit his crime, behind a dumpster (which is clearly where every consenting woman wants to be fondled by a guy she met at a party <eye roll>).

She didn't say she was responsible AT ALL for the crime. She said she was responsible for her impaired judgement.

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She didn't say she was responsible AT ALL for the crime. She said she was responsible for her impaired judgement.

 

 

Which has nothing to do with the crime, which is why some of us question it being brought up.

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OK but help me understand "blackouts."  I understand people can be having a "blackout" while still walking, talking, and often doing stuff they would never do while sober.  How does a drunk young stranger know whether it's a blackout or not?

 

I had a complex conversation with someone about finances one night (he wanted a loan for his daughter's college).  The next day he called me and said he didn't remember what was said; and he apologized for whatever it was.  Was that a blackout?  Because I never would have known he was in an "unable to consent" state.  (And I was not drinking.)

 

Not in this case, but I do think there are cases where a person gets the "wrong impression" from another person who is drunk.  I don't understand how a person is supposed to know exactly when the other person has gone from aware to "too drunk" - especially if both people are impaired.

 

Not in this case, but I do see a trend toward blaming the male in cases where two drunk people act drunkenly.  Why is it always the male's responsibility to stay sober and know when the other person is too drunk?  It's unrealistic as well as discriminatory.

 

I am really genuinely curious how a person knows if the other person who seems to consent is actually too drunk to consent.  Are there guidelines for people to tell their sons (other than keep your zipper up - which would be called "slut shaming" if we said it to a girl)?

Edited by SKL
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OK but help me understand "blackouts."  I understand people can be having a "blackout" while still walking, talking, and often doing stuff they would never do while sober.  How does a drunk young stranger know whether it's a blackout or not?

 

I had a complex conversation with someone about finances one night (he wanted a loan for his daughter's college).  The next day he called me and said he didn't remember what was said; and he apologized for whatever it was.  Was that a blackout?  Because I never would have known he was in an "unable to consent" state.  (And I was not drinking.)

 

Not in this case, but I do think there are cases where a person gets the "wrong impression" from another person who is drunk.  I don't understand how a person is supposed to know exactly when the other person has gone from aware to "too drunk" - especially if both people are impaired.

 

Not in this case, but I do see a trend toward blaming the male in cases where two drunk people act drunkenly.  Why is it always the male's responsibility to stay sober and know when the other person is too drunk?  It's unrealistic as well as discriminatory.

 

I am really genuinely curious how a person knows if the other person who seems to consent is actually too drunk to consent.  Are there guidelines for people to tell their sons (other than keep your zipper up - which would be called "slut shaming" if we said it to a girl)?

 

Someone that drunk would be unable to walk normally, their eyes would be glassy or half closed, they'd smell like a distillery, and would slur their words. Often they'd be giggling or overly emotional in some other way. 

 

Yes, that's harder to tell over the phone, but I've had someone call me drunk and it was pretty obvious. In the woman's case we are discussing she had called her boyfriend and he was very concerned because he could tell she was drunk..she was slurring her words to the point he couldn't understand her. 

 

Perhaps your friend wasn't drunk, but had taken Ambien? That medication is known to produce memory loss like a blackout, but they don't act weird at the time. My ex took it a few times and he seemed normal, and had full discussions, that he never remembered. Totally different than a drunk person. 

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Which has nothing to do with the crime, which is why some of us question it being brought up.

True the crime is a seperate issue, but she didn't say the victim was responsible for the crime.

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I just wonder at the mindset of some of these rapists.  Something is very wrong there.  I imagine it wouldn't be that difficult to find someone willing to have sex.  So that they are doing this crap takes on a whole crazy meaning in my mind.  Like they get some crappy thrill out of taking what they are not willingly given.

 

This is why motivation for rape is considered control not sex.  There was an NFL player in the news a couple of years ago highlighting the number of sexual assaults reported against him that were all unprosecuted and in separate jurisdictions.   It was thought he was drugging victims and raping them when they were unconscious.  He could have had his pick of willing partners.  What he wanted was an unconscious victim.  I don't remeber the player and I never heard any follow up.

 

*Edited to add: It was bugging me so I looked it up, Darren Sharper.  He was convicted and sentenced to 9 years.

Edited by Leav97
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She didn't say she was responsible AT ALL for the crime. She said she was responsible for her impaired judgement.

She wrote: "I didn't say that he didn't have greater responsibility for the crime. He obviously did." Him having "greater responsibility" implies that someone else bears a lesser responsibility for the crime. She's creating percentages of responsibility. Therefore, it must be the victim who bears some responsibility for the crime (unless we're blame-shifting to the Swedes now). I understand it was possibly sloppy writing, but this is a topic where sloppiness is particularly unacceptable.
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Just moving away from the issue of victim blaming...

 

I have deep problems with the idea that public shaming and sex offender registry status are good tools of punishment in general. Both have consequences and do stop people from getting jobs, finding housing, etc. etc. However, both are also deeply problematic - public shaming for all kinds of reasons but in this case because it implies that a court can cede its job to the internet mob or conversely that if a court does a poor job (or a good one but we disagree!) then the internet mob is a rightful way to achieve punishment - and the offender registry because it's so nebulous and arcane and lumps together crimes like consensual sex between 20 yos and their 17 yo partners, flashers, pedophiles, men who raped their wives and men who rufie random women all in one confusing morass - something the public increasingly knows and increasingly thinks the offender registry is meaningless, which might be just normalizing sex crimes. Knock knock, I'm your new neighbor and I'm required to inform you that I live here and committed a sex crime, but really, it was a no big deal sex crime. Ugh. I also wonder if taking these punishments into account allows us as the public - or juries or judges - to think a perpetrator has been punished without fulfilling their responsibility to incarcerate.

While the practical effect of sex offender registration can be punitive, such registries are not actually part of an offender's criminal sentence. Rather, they are public safety measures.

 

As such, the scope of them does overreach in a great many cases, as only a small subset of sex offenders are at a higher risk of recidivism than other types of criminal offenders. For the actual, high recidivism risk offenders, it may make some sense (but keeping them incarcerated or hospitalized wold make more). For others, who are as likely (or more likely) to get their heads screwed on straight and not reoffend, it is a burden to establishing a law abiding life and may be counterproductive to the intended purpose of preventing recidivism.

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OK but help me understand "blackouts."  I understand people can be having a "blackout" while still walking, talking, and often doing stuff they would never do while sober.  How does a drunk young stranger know whether it's a blackout or not?

 

I had a complex conversation with someone about finances one night (he wanted a loan for his daughter's college).  The next day he called me and said he didn't remember what was said; and he apologized for whatever it was.  Was that a blackout?  Because I never would have known he was in an "unable to consent" state.  (And I was not drinking.)

 

Not in this case, but I do think there are cases where a person gets the "wrong impression" from another person who is drunk.  I don't understand how a person is supposed to know exactly when the other person has gone from aware to "too drunk" - especially if both people are impaired.

 

Not in this case, but I do see a trend toward blaming the male in cases where two drunk people act drunkenly.  Why is it always the male's responsibility to stay sober and know when the other person is too drunk?  It's unrealistic as well as discriminatory.

 

I am really genuinely curious how a person knows if the other person who seems to consent is actually too drunk to consent.  Are there guidelines for people to tell their sons (other than keep your zipper up - which would be called "slut shaming" if we said it to a girl)?

 

The State of CA passed an affirmative consent law in 2014.

 

Anyone drugged, drunk, unconscious or asleep cannot, by definition, consent.

"Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent."

Consent and lack of consent can look the same. A gesture or comment might seem like nothing, but it might be the one chance a woman has to stop something she no longer feels comfortable doing. 

 

 

The Most Game-Changing Part of the Affirmative Consent Law

 

ETA: This article makes me wonder if that law is the only reason he was convicted at all. 

Edited by Plum Crazy

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How does a drunk young stranger know whether it's a imer person who seems to consent is actually too drunk to consent. Are there guidelines for people to tell their sons (other than keep your zipper up - which would be called "slut shaming" if we said it to a girl)?

I think these are reasonable questions. I tell my sons that if you like a woman enough to have sex with her, you tell her. Over lunch. In the light of day. And give her time to think about it and choose.

 

But in this case, there was no question. The woman was completely unconscious when police arrived shortly after the assault was interrupted. That was around 1 a.m. she remained unconscious until after 4 a.m.

Edited by Danestress
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This is why motivation for rape is considered control not sex.  There was an NFL player in the news a couple of years ago highlighting the number of sexual assaults reported against him that were all unprosecuted and in separate jurisdictions.   It was thought he was drugging victims and raping them when they were unconscious.  He could have had his pick of willing partners.  What he wanted was an unconscious victim.  I don't remeber the player and I never heard any follow up.

 

I've heard of that before and still have no comprehension... is it like necrophilia?  Because that's what it seems like.  

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True the crime is a seperate issue, but she didn't say the victim was responsible for the crime.

 

She implied it when she wrote the rapist had a "greater responsibility for the crime", which implies the victim had some level of responsibility. Combined with bringing up the victim's drinking that night, it is fairly clear that 2 + 2 = 4.

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I didn't know much about this case until this thread. You made me look into it:). I did notice that the rape charges were actually dropped before trial, and the young man was tried (and convicted) of 2 assaults and attempted rape.

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The State of CA passed an affirmative consent law in 2014.

 

 

The Most Game-Changing Part of the Affirmative Consent Law

 

ETA: This article makes me wonder if that law is the only reason he was convicted at all.

This law implies that two drunk/impaired people would never be having sex. In today's hook up culture, I find that sort of ludicrous.

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I think these are reasonable questions. I tell my sons that if you like a woman enough to have sex with her, you tell her. Over lunch. In the light of day. And give her time to think about it and choose.

 

But in this case, there was no question. The woman was completely unconscious when police arrived shortly after the assault was interrupted. That was around 1 a.m. she remained unconscious until after 4 a.m.

I agree there was no question in this case.

 

However, as to your first paragraph, I kinda doubt this is what's happening at most college parties. And I think men and women alike go to these parties to hook up without having to like anyone enough to bother with a relationship. And in order to loosen up for something like that, they drink. A lot.

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I've heard of that before and still have no comprehension... is it like necrophilia? Because that's what it seems like.

It is the adrenalin high. They have power over the other person, taking by force, and they like it. It isn't about simply having sex because there are any number of consentual parners who could be found. It is the thrill of taking by force.

 

Of course many rapists do want their victims fully awake because they get off on causing the pain, the fear, the torture.

 

Necrophilia is I think different from that, but I don't really know anything about it.

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I agree there was no question in this case.

 

However, as to your first paragraph, I kinda doubt this is what's happening at most college parties. And I think men and women alike go to these parties to hook up without having to like anyone enough to bother with a relationship. And in order to loosen up for something like that, they drink. A lot.

Of course. SKL asked about what to tell sons. I responded with what I have told my sons. Maybe it's not realistically what happens, but I think it's good advice. Have sex with people who want to have sex with you, and who are adult enough to acknowledge that by light of day.

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I can see how that would be. We have to try as best we can as parents to keep our kids safe, but at the same time confirm that the person who commits a crime is the one who is responsible for the crime, period.

 

Personally, I have become much more careful what I comment out loud about rape cases. It seems so convenient a time to bring up the discussion, to say, this or that is something you should be careful of. I may know in my own adult head, "OF COURSE the rapist is responsible..." but how does that play out to my young girl if when there is a rape case I use that particular time to point out the misjudgments of the woman? I confess I never thought of the connection. I do now. Mostly from threads of those here who have been brave enough to share their stories.

I think discussion on a public message board is very different than discussion with a girl who has been raped. I mean really would any of us tell a rape victim, you should have used better judgment? If that happens ( and I am sure it does ) then it IS victim blaming,, but it isn't an either or....we can denounce rape and also warn our children to protect themselves from predators.

 

Btw, my Xh very much DID shame and blame me for being a sleeping victim in my own bed and my own house for "being friendly" earlier in the evening. So I get that it happens..that doesn't change the very real necessity of warning our kids to be careful about predators.

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I think discussion on a public message board is very different than discussion with a girl who has been raped. I mean really would any of us tell a rape victim, you should have used better judgment? If that happens ( and I am sure it does ) then it IS victim blaming,, but it isn't an either or....we can denounce rape and also warn our children to protect themselves from predators.

 

 

 

It doesn't have to be with the girl who was raped.  Imagine this scenario...

 

Every time there is a report about a rape or a scene in a movie where a woman is attacked, mom takes the opportunity to say, "Did you see how she was dressed?  How short her skirt was?  If you dress like that you are sending a message you should be very careful of."  

 

Daughter goes out with friends for a night out, wearing clothes that seem appropriate to her for a party.  Maybe even a little bit short skirt.  Daughter is raped or attacked.  She starts second guessing herself, look at how I was dressed, is that why this happened?  I'm so stupid.  Why did I dress like that...   

 

Now, in addition to recovering from the trauma of rape, she is also blaming herself.  And if a guy, or a lawyer, or a mom, says, "What were you wearing?" like it was relevant, she is going to be even more ashamed and disgusted.

 

Do you see why the timing of those discussions could lead her to feel that the woman has more control over the situation than she actually does?  Or why this daughter might not even be comfortable telling her mother about what happened?  

 

The mom may well be thinking, of course I would never do that to my daughter who has just been raped.  But daughter has heard her do just that to all these "other" rape victims.  Why would she believe anything but that her every choice and misjudgment will be critiqued and analysed?

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I think discussion on a public message board is very different than discussion with a girl who has been raped. I mean really would any of us tell a rape victim, you should have used better judgment? If that happens ( and I am sure it does ) then it IS victim blaming,, but it isn't an either or....we can denounce rape and also warn our children to protect themselves from predators.

 

Btw, my Xh very much DID shame and blame me for being a sleeping victim in my own bed and my own house for "being friendly" earlier in the evening. So I get that it happens..that doesn't change the very real necessity of warning our kids to be careful about predators.

1. I'm so sorry for your experience. That is awful.

 

2. It happens directly to rape victims all.the.time. By people who I am sure are not intending to revictimise anyone - it is so ingrained. I'm not accusing you, just letting you know that it definitely happens.

 

3. You don't know who is listening now. You can't know that someone reading this may have been raped last night/week/year. It is very othering language and isolating. Rape or sexual assault doesn't happen to 'those' people, it happens to 1 in 4 of us women.

 

4. Conflating personal safety and responsibilities with 'that' girl who got raped when she did x,y,z is damaging, incorrect, perpetuating the stereotypes of victims and giving a false sense of security to girls.

 

5. Many victims feel enough shame and self blame to replace all the commentators. They don't need that sort of help.

 

6. Talking like this, focusing on the victim's mistakes, allows the criminals to minimize the behavior in their own minds, believe that other people think the behavior is not so bad. People say 'of course the rapist is the bad guy', but the bad guy gears 'everyone does/thinks this way, I'm not so bad'. It reinforces their sense of entitlement.

 

7. I will not teach my daughter to live in fear. I will teach her to behave with self respect for its own sake - not by threats to her safety. I will also teach her, in different conversations, that some people commit evil and that I will always support her. My boys get the same lessons.

 

 

Sorry, not all of that was directed at you Scarlett, I got a bit soap boxy there!

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It doesn't have to be with the girl who was raped. Imagine this scenario...

 

Every time there is a report about a rape or a scene in a movie where a woman is attacked, mom takes the opportunity to say, "Did you see how she was dressed? How short her skirt was? If you dress like that you are sending a message you should be very careful of."

 

Daughter goes out with friends for a night out, wearing clothes that seem appropriate to her for a party. Maybe even a little bit short skirt. Daughter is raped or attacked. She starts second guessing herself, look at how I was dressed, is that why this happened? I'm so stupid. Why did I dress like that...

 

Now, in addition to recovering from the trauma of rape, she is also blaming herself. And if a guy, or a lawyer, or a mom, says, "What were you wearing?" like it was relevant, she is going to be even more ashamed and disgusted.

 

Do you see why the timing of those discussions could lead her to feel that the woman has more control over the situation than she actually does? Or why this daughter might not even be comfortable telling her mother about what happened?

 

The mom may well be thinking, of course I would never do that to my daughter who has just been raped. But daughter has heard her do just that to all these "other" rape victims. Why would she believe anything but that her every choice and misjudgment will be critiqued and analysed?

I can't imagine it would go down like that for me talking to my child watching a movie. It would not SIMPLY be a discussion about protecting oneself. I would never have a conversation about a rape crime and ONLY discuss the ways one might have avoided the situation.

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1. I'm so sorry for your experience. That is awful.

 

2. It happens directly to rape victims all.the.time. By people who I am sure are not intending to revictimise anyone - it is so ingrained. I'm not accusing you, just letting you know that it definitely happens.

 

3. You don't know who is listening now. You can't know that someone reading this may have been raped last night/week/year. It is very othering language and isolating. Rape or sexual assault doesn't happen to 'those' people, it happens to 1 in 4 of us women.

 

4. Conflating personal safety and responsibilities with 'that' girl who got raped when she did x,y,z is damaging, incorrect, perpetuating the stereotypes of victims and giving a false sense of security to girls.

 

5. Many victims feel enough shame and self blame to replace all the commentators. They don't need that sort of help.

 

6. Talking like this, focusing on the victim's mistakes, allows the criminals to minimize the behavior in their own minds, believe that other people think the behavior is not so bad. People say 'of course the rapist is the bad guy', but the bad guy gears 'everyone does/thinks this way, I'm not so bad'. It reinforces their sense of entitlement.

 

7. I will not teach my daughter to live in fear. I will teach her to behave with self respect for its own sake - not by threats to her safety. I will also teach her, in different conversations, that some people commit evil and that I will always support her. My boys get the same lessons.

 

 

Sorry, not all of that was directed at you Scarlett, I got a bit soap boxy there!

I don't disagree with anything you said so I don't understand where the disconnect is. If anyone listens to me at any point they will hear me say, there are very bad people out there and we must do all we can to protect ourselves from them.

 

That is no where close to saying well she was asking for it.

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Let me tell you I was a 37 yo woman when my Xh tried to convince me I was at fault for being an almost victim so I KNOW it would be difficult for a girl of young age to resist that kind of faulty reasoning. However, that in no way is a reason to stop warning our kids that there are predators out there and pointing out ways to protect oneself and lesson ( not zero out) the risk of becoming a victim.

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Let me tell you I was a 37 yo woman when my Xh tried to convince me I was at fault for being an almost victim so I KNOW it would be difficult for a girl of young age to resist that kind of faulty reasoning. However, that in no way is a reason to stop warning our kids that there are predators out there and pointing out ways to protect oneself and lesson ( not zero out) the risk of becoming a victim.

 

The disconnect is that you're dealing in hypotheticals, and others are dealing in real-life, already-a-fact  trauma.

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The disconnect is that you're dealing in hypotheticals, and others are dealing in real-life, already-a-fact trauma.

Did you miss the part where I was a victim? I was very very close to being raped. So that is not a hypothetical. And yet I have no trouble knowing that I was not responsible for that. It also does not make me stop warning my kids about such predators.

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I agree that if any mom ever told her daughter "she deserved it" about any rape, that would be damaging.  I can't imagine a thinking person ever doing such a thing, though.

 

I could understand explaining how certain behaviors are risky and/or create potential misunderstandings.  If I don't tell her that, who will?  Or is it better to let her learn it through the school of hard knocks?

 

Another thing.  I think usually the whole point of rape is to shame a woman.  Women are likely to feel shame and regret regardless of what they have heard from their loved ones before hand.  When I was 12 and an old guy overpowered and fondled me as I fought o get away, I found several reasons to blame myself which nobody had ever suggested to me.  Of course in retrospect the guy would have no defense in court had I reported him.  But the brain is funny.  So why do we need to blame someone outside the situation for the feelings of shame?

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But what do you warn them? Don't be friendly? Don't have a drink in your own home and get into your own bed?

 

The statistics show that most sexual assaults occur by a person known to the victim, and that victims are mostly wearing jeans.

 

Warning about drinking too much because it hampers your ability to make decisions and leaves you more vulnerable is fine, I do that. Warning about drinking too much because look at that girl who got raped turns her real horror into our object lesson.

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But what do you warn them? Don't be friendly? Don't have a drink in your own home and get into your own bed?

 

The statistics show that most sexual assaults occur by a person known to the victim, and that victims are mostly wearing jeans.

 

Warning about drinking too much because it hampers your ability to make decisions and leaves you more vulnerable is fine, I do that. Warning about drinking too much because look at that girl who got raped turns her real horror into our object lesson.

 

Well citing actual real-life cases hits home more than "what if" hypotheticals - especially at that age when young people know all and parents know nothing.

 

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But you don't know the details and can't simply say that the rape could have been prevented by her behavior x... surely? Do you cite the actual statistical risks or do you only cite examples like this that confirm the biases? Do you warn them that likely a quarter of their peers will be victims, not just that one stereotypical girl with the short skirt?

Our language around this matters.

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