The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

Questions

My Twitter feed exploded last night, imploring me to hear what a National backbencher had had to say about Slutwalk. I have transcribed it here, in case you don’t want to watch the triggering. (If you do, it’s here on “chapter 2″.)

Quinn: “They’re there when I am on my way to the swimming pool at 6 in the morning.”

Wallace: “Do you think there’s something to this idea that they kind of ask for it, just in a little way. Because I know that the viewers watching this will be saying that”

Quinn: “I think there’s a real issue with young ladies getting drunk.”

Wallace: “So that’s the real issue?”

Quinn: “I can tell you, in Courtenay Place at 2 or 3 in the morning…”

Wallace: “…So it’s about the drunken behaviour, it’s not about what they are wearing?”

Quinn: “No, it’s about drink and behavior.”

Wallace: “Heather Roy, what do you think about this, Slutwalk Aotearoa.”

Roy: “I think alcohol is certainly a contributing factor, but it’s not just young women that are getting drunk, there’s plenty of young men.”

Trevor Mallard: I just want to…can I….it can never be an excuse to rape a women because of what she wears or what she’s had to drink. That is just wrong.”

[It continues, but that is the gist...]

Paul Quinn has since half-heartedly apologised on Twitter, saying

sorry I did not hear what she had said So my answer was totally out of context & know that short skirts are not provocation

But I still have some questions.

  • Ok, shorts skirts aren’t a provocation. But drunkenness is? So, if she’s a drunken whore, then it’s OK? Then she deserves what is coming to her? Then raping her isn’t a crime that the rapist should take full responsibility for?
  • What kind of behavior did you mean? If I talk to a man in a bar, should I be aware I might be inviting rape? What if I dance with him. For the record, I could give a dude a blowjob in a bar bathroom, and if he then forced himself on me, it wouldn’t be my fault. Get it?
  • Just out of interest, if I am walking down Courtenay Place on my way to work at 6am – which I do, occasionally – does that mean I deserve to be attacked too? I mean, I won’t be drunk, but I’ll be around drunk people.
  • If a taxi driver gets assaulted by a passenger, at 5am, is that their fault too? I mean, they are putting themselves at risk! What if they’re in a dark alley at the time? Shouldn’t they take some responsibility for being stabbed?
  • If you get mugged on your way to the pool one day, will it be partly your fault? I mean, you’re virtually flaunting your wealth and privilege, what with being able to go to the pool at all. I bet you wear a watch too. If it gets stolen, is that your own fault?
  • Do you know anything about rape culture and victim blaming?
  • Would you like to say these words along with me? It is NEVER a rape-victim’s fault that they were attacked. The responsibility lies with the criminal, and the criminal alone. Clothes, behaviour, what they’ve had to drink, their sexual past, proclivities, and promises are no fucking excuse, and don’t come into it at all.
  • Will you be marching with us on the 25th?

And Trevor Mallard…thank you. Just, thank you.

[just a warning. Some of the comments on this post became extremely triggering, so tread carefully. We're sorry.]

73 responses to “Questions

  1. Emma May 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Heh, bless you, I was trying to work out what to write about this, because I think Quinn fits nicely into the “not even wrong” category – in that his statements weren’t even coherent enough to argue against.

    He said there’s an issue with drinking. At no point did he say what the issue WAS. He just wasn’t coherent enough. And anyway, of course he “thinks” (usual caveats) drinking is an “issue” when it comes to rape. ALAC and The Listener told him so. “Everyone knows” that.

  2. tallulahspankhead May 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Like I say “it’s about drink and behaviour”.

    Yeah, what behaviour? What about it is about drink? Where can I buy The Definitive Paul Quinn Guide to Not Getting Raped?

  3. Moz May 26, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I missed it, what did Mr Mallard say?

    • tallulahspankhead May 26, 2011 at 3:11 pm

      It’s at teh bottom of the transcript, but: “I just want to…can I….it can never be an excuse to rape a women because of what she wears or what she’s had to drink. That is just wrong.”

      • Moz May 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm

        Sorry, reading comprehension failure. But yes, well said that man.

        I do wonder what Mr Quinn thought he was going to be asked about in this context – the price of fish? Far better if he said “I spoke thoughtlessly and I’m sorry”. But he doesn’t seem to be capable of that.

        • tallulahspankhead May 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm

          Oh, but he couldn’t hear.

          • Hugh May 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm

            It’s because as a conservative politician he’s bought into the whole “We have a binge drinking problem in this country, oh noes” argument, which is sadly quite common even outside self-proclaimed conservative circles. He may have thought that was what he was being asked to pontificate on. But even if that’s genuinely what he thought and he really would have answered totally differently if he’d thought he was being asked about rape, you can’t on the one hand say rape is always the rapist’s fault and on the other hand moralise about people being drunk in public at 3AM.

  4. La Ranita May 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    What about those women out jogging in short shorts at 6am? With their legs all out their and their boobs bouncing!

  5. La Ranita May 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    *their legs all out THERE. Crap.

  6. Moz May 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    With respect, “Do you know anything about rape culture and victim blaming?” is not a great question. It’s inviting “yes, and I’m damn good at it too”.

    I’ve seen the mugging analogy done as a sketch in a Law Revue at Canturbury University about 1990. It seemed to go over the heads of many of them.

  7. danylmc May 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I guess I’m just massively pro-rape culture as well, since whenever I see a young drunk girl staggering around blind-drunk in the middle of the night I also think she’s made poor choices and is incredibly vulnerable. That doesn’t mean she deserves to be raped, or is responsible if she is, or that she doesn’t have the moral and legal right to put herself in that situation – just that it is, empirically and statistically, a really dangerous situation to be in and the intelligent response to dangerous situations is to avoid them and to encourage young people to do the same.

    • Emma May 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      Empircally, statistically, the person most likely to be on the receiving end of stranger violence on the street while they’re drunk is a MAN. Empircally, statistically, the most dangerous place for a woman to be, in terms of sexual and physical violence, is at home.

      Why is this so hard to grasp?

    • LadyNews May 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

      When you see a woman in a workplace full of men or with a male superior, or a woman walking to her car alone after work, or a child who lives in a home with a male relative, or a woman getting into a taxi, do you also think these women have made poor choices? Because rapists rape in a huge variety of different situations, not exclusively when the woman is drunk and out on the town, and I was wondering exactly what life choices I need to be making to guarantee I wont be judged on my poor choices. Isolation chamber?

      • Emma May 27, 2011 at 11:22 am

        And this is the thing. 90% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. They’re our partners, our friends, our family members, our workmates – those are rapists, most of the time, not inhuman strangers or gang members. Given that usually-avoided truth, there is nowhere we can be safe. Nowhere.

        • LadyNews May 27, 2011 at 11:29 am

          Precisely. But having a boyfriend or husband isn’t a “poor choice”. Having a father isn’t a “poor choice”. Having a male boss isn’t a “poor choice” (although I’m sure if you’re ever alone with him and something happens then you’ll be told you made a poor choice…sigh). So this idea that it’s ok to say a drunk woman is making poor choices but we don’t judge the above choices (husband, father, etc) just highlights the fact that people still strongly believe that being drunk/out late is the crucial factor in the rape situation. So, still blaming the drunk sluts. Anyone who thinks saying “oh, I’m not blaming her but it is irresponsible behaviour”is somehow the “good guy” way of phrasing it is kidding themself.

          • tallulahspankhead May 27, 2011 at 11:38 am

            “Having a male boss isn’t a “poor choice” (although I’m sure if you’re ever alone with him and something happens then you’ll be told you made a poor choice…sigh).”

            Or that you provoked him into it, what with the flirting and the dress your wore to work, and the way you bought presents for his wife on his behalf. You were so nice he couldn’t control himself! (true story)

          • Isabel May 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm

            Having a husband/boyfriend may not be considered a risky choice in and of itself but I have, far too many times, heard of women in abusive relationships being castigated for not seeing a man for the creep he was before he assaulted her.

  8. Deborah May 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    That’s great from Trevor Mallard. So much better than John Key’s and Phil Goff’s ball scratching.

  9. danylmc May 26, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Empircally, statistically, the person most likely to be on the receiving end of stranger violence on the street while they’re drunk is a MAN.

    Very true. So what? Do you agree it would be absurd for guys to go on ‘pisshead marches’, where they protested for their right to stumble around blind drunk without fear of violence?

    Empircally, statistically, the most dangerous place for a woman to be, in terms of sexual and physical violence, is at home.

    That’s certainly one of the catch-cries of third-wave feminism – is it actually true? Are you literally safer drunk and alone late at night than you are at home? I’m guessing the answer is a massive ‘no’. It’s true that a terrible number of women live in high risk situations where they are subject to sexual violence within the home – but their choices are severely restricted, whereas the decision to be drunk and alone in a city late at night is generally not a situation that circumstance has forced upon you.

    • tallulahspankhead May 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      “Do you agree it would be absurd for guys to go on ‘pisshead marches”

      No. That’s not the point of slutwalk at all. If you’re going to comment on the march, go and find something out about it, and then come back. And do us the favour of not making the comparison between drunk young men, and the message that if a woman gets raped, and she happened to be drunk, it is partly her own fault. They are not the same thing. The messages sent to women around drinking are completely different than those for men.

      While you’re at it, how about you don’t come onto a feminist blog and make disparaging comments about “third wave feminists”. We’re not making the statistics up, but nor are we going to do your research for you.

      As for “being drunk and alone in a city”….it might not be a situation forced on me, though I can think of several scenarios where it might be, but that’s NOT THE FUCKING POINT. If I happen to be drunk and someone rapes me, it’s still not my fault. It is the fault of the rapist. For god’s sake, how many times do we have to say it?

      • S2Smith June 23, 2012 at 7:29 am

        For the millionth time, no one said it was your fault. Get that. Understand it. It wouldn’t be my fault if I left my car keys on the roof of my car in a bad neighborhood – but it would be a bad choice contributed to the car theft.

    • Hugh May 26, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      Danyl, for somebody who so frequently castigates politicians you don’t like for not relying on evidence-based policy, you sure are willing to rely on your own “guesses” when confronted with evidence that ruins your preconceptions.

      (And personally I’d actually rather like to see a pisshead march, although ideally it would be a unisex thing).

    • Isabel May 27, 2011 at 12:25 am

      I totally support the right of men to stagger around drunk without having acts of violence perpetrated upon them exactly as I support the right of anyone to exist in any state without having acts of violence perpetrated upon them.

      • Steve E May 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm

        Actually, no-one has a right to walk down the street without being assaulted by another member of the public – if there was such a right, the slutwalkers might have a point. Furthermore, the police do not, as a rule, have a duty to protect individual citizens; if you are an adult then the primary responsibility for your safety lies with none other than yourself. I suspect that this is the point that the Canadian policeman who inadvertently started this whole thing was trying to make.

        • tallulahspankhead May 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm

          I may not have the inalienable right to walk down the street without someone assaulting me, though I’d dispute that. But the corollary is not that someone had the right to assault me. That would be against the law.

          What right I most definitely do have is the right to dress as I please and engage in consensual sex with whomever I please. And those choices do not make me fair game.

          But thank you for proving my point for me. It took longer than I expected.

          • Steve E May 31, 2011 at 3:16 pm

            “I may not have the inalienable right to walk down the street without someone assaulting me, though I’d dispute that.”

            Of course I stand to be corrected; please indicate to me where in the NZ legislation it is stated that you have that right… or am I conversing with the Prime Minister?

            “That would be against the law.” No shit sherlock

            “But the corollary is not that someone had the right to assault me…” Never said it was. The corollary, such as it might be, is that you have the “right” to take responsibility for your own safety.

            “What right I most definitely do have is the right to dress as I please and engage in consensual sex with whomever I please.” Well sure (taking into account public indecency laws, of course), so is that what the slutwalks are really about? Sluts’ rights to be a slut? Nothing to do with women’s safety?

            “And those choices do not make me fair game.” Refer to my previous sarcasm.

            “thank you” You’re welcome :-)

        • Hugh May 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm

          Actually, no-one has a right to walk down the street without being assaulted by another member of the public… Furthermore, the police do not, as a rule, have a duty to protect individual citizens;

          Quoted for humour.

  10. danylmc May 27, 2011 at 5:38 am

    While you’re at it, how about you don’t come onto a feminist blog and make disparaging comments about “third wave feminists”. We’re not making the statistics up, but nor are we going to do your research for you.

    Here’s the logical fallacy you guys are committing here. You know that the majority of rapes are committed by people known to the victim – therefore, you argue, women are safer on their own away from their friends and family. By analogy, the majority of sky-diving accidents happen to people wearing parachutes, so you’re safer jumping out of a plane without one. Do you even believe your own argument?

    As for “being drunk and alone in a city”….it might not be a situation forced on me, though I can think of several scenarios where it might be, but that’s NOT THE FUCKING POINT. If I happen to be drunk and someone rapes me, it’s still not my fault. It is the fault of the rapist. For god’s sake, how many times do we have to say it?

    I guess you have to say it every time you post something, since it seems to be the only point you have to make and I made exactly that same point, very clearly, in my original post. But the assignment of blame doesn’t mitigate the role of choice and situational danger around sexual assault.

    • tallulahspankhead May 27, 2011 at 6:56 am

      I think when people say we are safer with strangers, they are being ironic. It’s a joke. Because sometimes we get so fed up with having this argument over and over again that we have to make jokes that we would crawl into a corner and cry for days. I know I am getting pretty close to it right now.

      And your analogy is bullshit. I’m not even going to address it.

      You may have made the point in your first post, but you clearly don’t believe it. Otherwise you wouldn’t still be spouting crap about “situational danger”. Let me spell it out for you, in very simple terms. And this is the last time I am going to do it.

      The only “situational danger” that is involved in a sexual assault is being in a situation where there is a rapist. Rape is not a “consequence” of anything other than being in the vicinity of a rapist. It has NOTHING to do with being drunk, slutty, available, prudish, buttoned-up, or even a woman. Your attitude is offensive. It not only perpetuates the culture we live with every day, but it does a disservice to the very many men who are able to find themselves around a pissed, scantily clad, woman and not rape her. Of course people should take responsiblity for keeping themselves safe. Most do, and it doesn’t stop rape happening. Because the only person “responsible” for a rape is THE FUCKING RAPIST.

  11. danylmc May 27, 2011 at 5:46 am

    I totally support the right of men to stagger around drunk without having acts of violence perpetrated upon them exactly as I support the right of anyone to exist in any state without having acts of violence perpetrated upon them.

    But peoples’ legal rights aren’t in question here. The reality is that there’s a percentage of the population that doesn’t recognise those rights, and so there are sometimes practical consequences of exercising your right to stumble around the city drunk.

    • Danielle May 27, 2011 at 6:13 am

      This… Pavlovian compulsion people have to say “but OMG drunk ladies put themselves in harm’s way and we’re just CONCERNED and it’s COMMON SENSE y’all” during discussions like this? It doesn’t prove what you think it’s proving. Quite the opposite, in fact.

  12. danylmc May 27, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Keep repeating my OWN arguments back to me IN CAPS. It’s very PERSUASIVE.

    Here’s the web site for the <a href="http://www.rapecrisis.org.nz&quot; title="Rape Crisis Centre". If you look at their safety information you'll see they make a REALLY big deal about safety around drugs and alcohol and 'sticking with your friends' as strategies for keeping safe.

    Now, this could be because the Rape Crisis Centre wants to 'propagate rape culture' and have a 'blame the victim' mentality. Or it could be that they see rape as an actual crime that happens to real people in the real world, instead of an abstract concept to be ironic about on the internet, so they offer practical advice to mitigate it and that advice revolves around reducing risk factors for rape, instead of repeating slogans from the 1980s.

    • tallulahspankhead May 27, 2011 at 8:19 am

      Again, I would point out that I am repeating your arguments back to you because I don’t believe you actually buy them.

      As I said, of course people should attempt to keep themselves safe. That was never my point with this post. I’m not asking people to abdicate responsibility for their well-being. I’m asking people to take responsibility for a hideous crime. And to stop making snide comments that “there is an issue around drunkenness and short skirts” as if that were self-evident. Ideally, we’d all go out and have fun, without getting trolleyed and ending up losing our friends and having to find a taxi. But that still wouldn’t stop rape happening. Because being passed out in a dark alley wearing a miniskirt, while probably not wise, isn’t what it takes for a rape to happen. Rapists rape.

      We have to stop putting the onus on victims to keep themselves safe, dress right, behave properly, and put the onus on criminals to stop raping people. Because in the majority of cases, victims aren’t drunken slappers.

      And with that, I’m done. Feel free to keep on trolling if you like, but I’m not playing this game any more. #notaflounce

  13. danylmc May 27, 2011 at 8:44 am

    stop making snide comments that “there is an issue around drunkenness and short skirts” as if that were self-evident.

    But if you look at the transcript posted above, Quinn explicitly rejected the suggestion that short skirts (or whatever) are a contributing factor, even though Wallace, bless him, gave him the opportunity to say that they were:

    Wallace: “…So it’s about the drunken behaviour, it’s not about what they are wearing?”

    Quinn: “No, it’s about drink and behavior.”

    We have to stop putting the onus on victims to keep themselves safe, dress right, behave properly, and put the onus on criminals to stop raping people.

    But that’s just a trivial observation about crime in general. We also have to put the onus on murderers to stop murdering people. And when the day comes when there are no more murders, or rapes, then people can disregard risk factors for those crimes.

    • Moz May 27, 2011 at 9:16 am

      But that’s just a trivial observation about crime in general…. And when the day comes when there are no more murders, or rapes, then people can disregard risk factors for those crimes.

      The difference is that it’s quite rare for respected public figures to stand up and say that the crime is the fault of the victim.

      If Mr Quinn got a savage kicking at the hands of those drunken idiots he walks through on a regular basis I doubt anyone would blame him for it on the basis that he knew there was a risk and decided to take his chances, and therefore the drunken idiots were merely responding to an irresistable temptation and are not at fault. But in this case he clearly thinks that if one of those women gets raped it’s not the fault of the rapist, and he’s not shy about saying so.

      I’m not inclined to give him any benefit of the doubt here. He is a professional public speaker who lives and dies by his ability to make cogent arguments on the fly. That’s a basic qualification for an MP sent out to talk in public.

  14. Pingback: Gordon Campbell » Blog Archive » Gordon Campbell on Paul Quinn’s rape comments, and health

    • tallulahspankhead May 27, 2011 at 10:22 am

      Gordon Campbell makes a great point that I mean to address in this post, actually.

      Wallace, dear, I love you, but don’t play devil’s advocate like that. Just because the “viewers” might be thinking it, doesn’t mean you should give it voice.

      And FWIW, Quinn’s non-apology pisses me off even more. If you didn’t hear the question, then just goddamn say that. Don’t go off on a riff about “drunken young ladies”. Clarify what you’re talking about. Or own your stupid, misogynist, statements.

  15. Pingback: Rape, Blame and Safety | Kiwiblog

  16. Bob R May 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    ***For the record, I could give a dude a blowjob in a bar bathroom, and if he then forced himself on me, it wouldn’t be my fault. Get it?***

    No, but you need to understand there is a crucial difference between acknowledging a cause and blaming the victim. It’s just a question of recognising factors that increase the likelihood of s8xual assault.

    • Emma May 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      Good of you to admit that you don’t get it, Bob. Because you’re describing a woman having had a couple of drinks as a “cause” of rape. And that… actually, I’m not going to comment on, I think it speaks for itself.

  17. Danyl Mclauchlan May 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Good of you to admit that you don’t get it, Bob. Because you’re describing a woman having had a couple of drinks as a “cause” of rape.

    Here’s where I think you get confused Emma. Can you quote an excerpt from Bob’s post which could even be misread as making that claim? All he does is mention alcohol as a risk factor – as does every researcher into the epidemiology of rape and, like I mentioned earlier, the Rape Crisis Centre.

    So I guess you better call the Rape Crisis Centre up and set them straight on that and tell them how it really is. I’m sure they’re desperate for you to tell them that they’re stupid and don’t know anything but you can’t be bothered explaining it all to them.

    • Moz May 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Danyl, it’s the first word in his post: “Get it?”… “No”.

      Look, I don’t think anyone here is ignorant of the various factors that make rape more likely. They’re just focussed on the big one: being around rapists, and how saying “don’t do that” is impractical.

      Your arguing that other factors are really, really important as well and have to be acknowleged before you’re willing to talk about anything else makes you special. And not in a positive way.

    • Emma May 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Where he says “cause”, which he goes on to admit he shouldn’t have said, because it means what I said it means. Carry on being patronising though, dear, you don’t appear to need us for it.

  18. Bob R May 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    ***Emma May 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm
    Good of you to admit that you don’t get it, Bob. Because you’re describing a woman having had a couple of drinks as a “cause” of rape.***

    Well, I didn’t say that actually. And, you’re not seeing the difference between identifying risk factors and saying someone is morally culpable. Think about it again.

    • Moz May 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Bob, your point sounds to me like “I’m not actually blaming the victim, I’m just saying that the victim is partly responsible for putting herself at risk”.

      Is that a fair summary?

      • Bob R May 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

        ***“I’m not actually blaming the victim, I’m just saying that the victim is partly responsible for putting herself at risk”.***

        @ Moz,

        I’m saying that the assailant is 100% responsible, legally and morally and ethically and theologically and whatever other ways you can be responsible. However, there are rapists & violent people. So it makes sense to consider ways to minimise the risk of being assaulted.

        • tallulahspankhead May 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm

          What I don’t understand is why you want women to live in a world where every man is a potential rapist. Because that’s what you’re doing by putting the onus on us to “keep ourselves safe”. Why are we teaching people to ‘not do risky things’ and not teaching people to, you know, _not assault people_.

          And you do a giant disservice to the rest o your gender. The ones who _can_ see a drunk woman and not rape her.

          But with that, let’s stop feeding the trolls. We’re not getting anywhere.

          • Bob R May 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm

            ***Why are we teaching people to ‘not do risky things’ and not teaching people to, you know, not _not assault people_. ***

            People are taught not to assault people. It is a criminal offence.

            Everyone knows this. And that message should continue to be reinforced.

            My point is that unfortunately, criminals are a fact of life.

    • tallulahspankhead May 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      I think the part where we’re ‘confused’ where you said that behavior is a “cause” of rape. Again. For the millionth time, the only cause of rape is a rapist.

      Perhaps you might like to think about this. I’ve never been sexually assaulted. Through incredibly good luck rather than good management, because I’ve certainly been in plenty of those ‘risky’ situations. And your comments have made me want to crawl under my desk and hide and cry. Can you imagine what it’s like, how incredibly soul-destroying it would be, for a victim to read them? To be told there was something you could have done to prevent your attack? That something you did caused it? Because it’s not true. Nothing a rape victim ever does _causes_ it. A rapist causes it.

    • Emma May 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Think about it again? Seriously? You want me to think some more about the three sexual assaults I’ve been on the receiving end of, none of which I was drunk for?

      And yeah, you did say that. But thanks for the extra triggering, my personal safety is obviously a bigger issue for you than it is for me. If only I’d Thought About It!

      • tallulahspankhead May 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm

        Now I actually _am_ crying. I wish I could hug you. Or get you horribly drunk and behave badly with you.

  19. Bob R May 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    @ Emma,

    Again, just to clarify. If someone steals a car they are 100% culpable. My point is that the car owner can take steps to mitigate the risks of that happening by locking the car.

    Of course if someone gets r8ped it in the situations you describe the culpability lies 100% with the perpetrator. But as with the car scenario, there are potential robbers/rapists out there. That’s reality. So it makes sense to look at possible risk factors.

    • Craig Ranapia May 30, 2011 at 11:04 am

      Again, just to clarify. If someone steals a car they are 100% culpable. My point is that the car owner can take steps to mitigate the risks of that happening by locking the car.

      Just to clarify, that’s still a fucking stupid analogy. Let’s at least trot out a precise automotive analogy here — men shouldn’t own late model cars (or high end sports cars of any vintage) because that’s just being provocative. You may also want to see if you can return that IPod and new laptop for store credit, because you’re just gagging to be mugged. Right?

      • Bob R May 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm

        ***Let’s at least trot out a precise automotive analogy here — men shouldn’t own late model cars (or high end sports cars of any vintage) because that’s just being provocative. You may also want to see if you can return that IPod and new laptop for store credit, because you’re just gagging to be mugged. Right?***

        Err, no. Refer to my comments below about moral and legal responsibility.

        Using your sports car analogy, you can probably accept that people steal cars. And that the risks vary across environments. So you may chose to avoid parking your sports car in a street/neighbourhood with a high crime rate. Similarly, a women may be more careful about walking around at night in Cairo than in Wellington.

  20. Bob R May 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    @ tallulahspankhead,

    I agree, I shouldn’t have used the word “cause” as that implies some responsiblity.

    • tallulahspankhead May 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

      Then why did you? And why do you keep going on about “risk”, as though that were any different?

      • Bob R May 27, 2011 at 5:47 pm

        ***And why do you keep going on about “risk”, as though that were any different?***

        The difference is that the perpetrator of a crime carries 100% moral and legal responsibility. The victim isn’t morally or legally responsible for being assaulted.

        Now, ideally there would be no criminals. My point is that there are criminals and it makes sense to consider effective strategies to avoid them. For instance, not going down a dark alley holding a large amount of cash.

        • LadyNews May 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

          The thing about these “risk factors” is that to actually avoid all “risk factors” associated with rape, women would literally not be able to exist in the world because rape happens in so many situations that it wouldn’t be as easy as never drinking or going out at night. Women wouldn’t be able to work in jobs where there are other people, or take public transport, or even be in their own homes. So if we as potential victims have to act in a way to minimize “risk factors”, we would have to vaporize into thin air, or live in an impenetrable panic room with zero outside contact ever. That’s why calling drunkeness a risk factor is shitty- if we’re talking about situations where women are vulnerable, everything is a risk factor. How do we look at that and mitigate that risk?

          • Bob R May 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm

            ***How do we look at that and mitigate that risk?***

            Well, sure. I mean going out the door for work or school is a risk – you could get run over by truck. People have to balance risk everyday. That doesn’t mean you can’t sensibly identify some possible risk factors in what you do on a probabilistic basis.

            I think most people would reasonably decide that the risk/reward of getting drunk is in favour of getting drunk. Anyway, I’m off.

            ciao

  21. Jackie Clark May 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I find this discussion curiously oldfashioned on the part of commenters who speak of the risks of women getting drunk, of going out at night time and so on. These are the same discussions that were being had in the 80′s, and women alone at night were considered fair game. From a very young age, I was taught that the onus was on me to prevent being attacked by strangers – as young as 7, when I walked a dark street of Takapuna to Brownies, my mother advised me on self defence mechanisms (which consisted of swearing very vulgarly, and very loudly, then running to the nearest house that looked occupied). And from then on, I was aware that if I was approached the onus was on me. So much so that when I was about 8, and a dirty old man flashed me and my friend at the beach, I knew that laughing was my best defence. Whilst all of those skills that were drummed into me were to come in handy over the years – attempted sexual assaults, attempted rapes, and so on, the story isn’t new – never once did anyone suggest that the onus might be on the people who had malintent towards me, and to other women who crossed their paths. I am sick of it. So frustrated that it is 2011, and yet it is still not ever considered that the onus is not on girls and women. Self defence classes are still being taught – once again very useful, but why oh why have we not addressed the perpetrators in an effective enough manner that this shit is still happening? Of course I am in no doubt that it would be an ideal world in which all of us had only good intent towards others. So deep was my inculcation that I too find myself thinking from time to time that there is risky behaviour that one should try to avoid – walking alone late at night, and so on. I have to stop, and check myself on those occasions, and remind myself that I was part of the problem. That although we all marched to reclaim the night, in those days, we still took on the message that if something happened to us, we had done something wrong. As Emma and others have so correctly pointed out, sexual assault happens to people regardless of what they are wearing, what time of day it is, how old they are. It is too easy to point out behaviours that appear “risky”, too easy to blame people for walking home late at night, far too easy to tell young women that they should wear sensible shoes so they can run away from an attacker. Far, far too easy to say “Look, we won’t eliminate the risks, you’ll have to do it for yourself”. Knowing how to protect yourself is important, but I don’t believe that it is acceptable to not address those who are responsible for the violence, and rape, and abuse that they inflict.

  22. DeusEx May 28, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    For any crime, the perpetrator of that crime is at fault, both morally and legally.
    - I think everyone can agree with this.
    Rape is seen as one of the most serious of crimes by society, and thus the perpetrators have a great deal of ‘fault’ or guilt.
    Society recognises this with the high sentences for rape and the social castigation experienced by those convicted of rape.
    The suggestion that people who have been raped in any way deserve it, or are in any way at fault, is reprehensible as are those who suggest it.
    Any crime has risk factors which increase the likelihood of that happening to you. Some of these factors, such as gender or race are things which people have no control over.
    Others are thing such as location, or actions such as leaving a car unlocked, walking down the street, or carrying a large amount of cash are things we do have control over.
    By avoiding activities which raise the risk of being the victim of crime we can lower the chance of being victimized.
    Some of these activities bring more benefit for ourselves than risk. Crossing the road brings with it a risk of being hit by a hit-and-run driver yet the risk is still worth it for most people for the utility gained by crossing the road.
    It is in societies best interest- economically, morally, and socially – to lower the exposure of its citizens to crime.
    One way of doing this is to encourage those citizens to avoid or mitigate avoidable risk factors – by locking ones car, or bringing a friend when one goes out to get drunk.
    Society is also beholden to lower risks through other methods – a justice system, castigation of those who commit crimes and looking out for each other.
    The suggestion that people should not place themselves in a situation wherein their exposure to crime increases in no way suggests that they would be legally, or morally guilty of those crimes. It does however, suggest a casual relationship in the ‘but if’ sense. – if one had not left ones car unlocked in south auckland then one’s car would not have been stolen. We should minimise these causal factors, bearing in mind that utility can outway risk and the precise values differ based on the person, by encouraging people not to put themselves at risk.

    Gender doesn’t really come into this, people of any gender (or none), should be aware of how to minimise their exposure to crime, and how to remain safe if they become, or could become, a victim.

    • Orlando June 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      You can’t choose to leave your vagina at home. You can’t effectively disguise that you’re carrying one. It doesn’t impinge on a man’s freedom in any real way for him to park on a lit street, it does for a woman if she can’t go to a bar or a party or a work function. Which is beside the point anyway, because whatever the circumstances of the rape, people will come up with *some* reason why whatever the woman was doing was an unreasonable risk.

      High sentences for rape? A couple of years ago in the UK a guy got 80 hours of community service for raping a 13-year-old. His victim said “I know people who’ve got more for stealing a moped.”

      Social castigation of those convicted of rape? So strong is the public instinct that the victim is the one to blame that hardly anyone is ever convicted of rape, even when there are witnesses, even when it’s filmed, even when the guy gets up on the witness stand and admits he held down a woman in a choke hold after she told him to stop, because he was hurting her.

      Rape is seen as one of the most serious of crimes by society – except that there is always some reason why *this* particular rape wasn’t “real” rape. A rape that people are willing to call what it is almost never happens.

      This is rape culture. This is what Slutwalk is protesting against.

  23. Craig Ranapia May 30, 2011 at 11:45 am

    And Trevor Mallard…thank you. Just, thank you.

    I (reluctantly) agree – shame he promptly had to blow it by (presumably) signing off on this piece of crap Maia at The Hand Mirror called out (TRGGER WARNING FOR LINK, and one commenter is KIWIBOG VILE).

    http://thehandmirror.blogspot.com/2011/05/lets-not-tell-rape-jokes.html

    So, there’s never any justification for raping a woman but sexual assault of a man by another man is funny?

  24. James May 31, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Yes…..in a specific humour context away from the original event.

    Not my rule…its just is it seems…as are most things that we humans initially regard with righteous horror.However after time passes and with degrees of separation from the actors concerned even things like 9/11 and child molestation have spawned humour about them.

    Again…not my rule so please don’t shoot this messenger.

    • Craig Ranapia May 31, 2011 at 11:16 pm

      James:

      If I stuck my finger up the arse of the general secretary of the Labour Party (who signed off on that load of shit) without his consent, I don’t think he’d be seeing the lighter side. Not in any context. Ever.

  25. James May 31, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I would agree….and that’s probably because its in the context of a personally traumatic event to HIM. But the world contains other people for whom it is not and the will find humour in it as they are detached from THAT specific event… that’s just humanity and life in general….it may suck but that’s tough.

  26. Pingback: The 37th Down Under Feminist Carnival « Boganette

  27. Deborah June 2, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Oh look! Jill wrote a post, especially for Danyl et al: Why wearing mini-skirts is a feminist issue.

  28. Pingback: The Thirty-Seventh Down Under Feminists Carnival, Collated by Boganette | Down Under Feminists' Carnival

  29. Pingback: Rich enough for policy? « LudditeJourno

  30. Pingback: Consent at the Ivy Bar « LudditeJourno

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