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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tam-I-Am View Post
    But when society at large is imposing it's own risk assessments on women (and only women) and telling them that if they don't do x, y, and z, well then what else can they expect - even though we KNOW x, y, and z not only don't work - but they take the focus off the real problem.

    Why are we telling boys and men to modify THEIR behaviour to ensure that they don't rape? Why are our conversations not going "Be sure that you know you have consent before you have sex with a woman", and "A lack of 'no' doesn't mean yes. You need to ask". Why are we focusing SO MUCH on the behaviour of the people who have the least power to prevent rape, and not at all on the behaviour of the people who could stop it altogether?

    Aside from that - I notice that you didn't actually answer my question about how it is that you can go all the way to step three but not accept that that by logic means that you are engaged in step 4 in my verbal flow chart...and I am genuinely trying to understand that. Can you please consider having a go at trying to explain it to me? I'm not snarking or looking for holes to pick or trying to be argumentative. I am truly, genuinely at a loss and trying to understand.
    I think that last bit was directed at me, and no, sorry, I can't even begin to try to explain it. I'm too tired and watching s'thing on iview and I'm obviously not eloquent enough. All I will say is that you ARE saying, that I am saying, that a woman that doesn't take the same precautions as me, is somehow responsible for her rape. I am not saying this and I am really offended that you are suggesting it. I really would just love if you could accept that I take precautions, as ALL of us do, and that does not mean that I think people who don't take the same precautions as me somehow asked for it.

    I WILL be teaching my sons that no means no, and lack of no is NOT consent, just as I will teach my daughters that they may be able to minimise their risk of something happening by taking precautions.

    The bolded part- I guess thats the thing right there, I am NOT telling anyone else what they should do and blaming people for their rape, I am speaking for MYSELF and I will not apologise for that.

    I'd love to bring my kids up suggesting they don't need to minimise risk because all responsibility lies with the perpetrator, but like I said before- once its done, its done. I never want my kids to have to go through that because I have the ideal that all the responsibility for THEIR or MY safety lies with someone else. I just don't trust other people with my safety sadly.

    I dunno, its very sad that this is how it is, but realistically, this is it. We cannot, and I do not, trust people not to hurt me and my children and will do everything in my power to try and protect them. I recognise that I can't control how other people behave, but I can try my hardest to keep myself and my kids away from situations that I deem 'high risk'.

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  3. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorkingClassMum View Post
    Yes I will probably tell my daughter to consider her safety when out and about and at home too JUST AS MUCH as I will teach my son to consider HIS safety when out and about and at home and also teach BOTH kids to respect other people and BTW don't rape.

    Yep, and thats exactly what I have been saying all along, yet somehow my motives are being questioned, like I am advocating all women follow my personal risk assessment or they are 'asking for it'. Hmmmm.....

    And Tam- Step 3 is where I fall off your little cascade thingy of me victim-blaming. I choose to try to minimise my risk. What others do is up to them, I don't believe anyone has any more 'responsibility to minimise their risk of being raped' than a rapist has to 'not rape'. But for me and my family, just as WCM has admitted (and was thanked for, rather than attacked), I will choose to try and minimise the risk.

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    whoops double post!

  5. #54
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    I teach my child stranger danger, not to leave the house without me, not to open the door without me, not to be alone at any time until she has learnt self defense, and has more physical strength. Yet that does not mean that if she found herself alone, and someone did something horrible to her, that she would be to blame. I teach her to listen to her own body signals too, and tell me if something feels wrong. To not teach her that would be irresponsible of me given our past.

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  7. #55
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    I'm not attacking, Annabella. I'm sorry if you're interpreting it that way, but I'm not. Asking questions in a passive-aggressive way can certainly be attacking, but that's not what I'm doing. I'm asking questions because I genuinely just do.not.understand and I'm trying to.

    I had an epiphany about the way I'd been posting when I used the forums, about how negative I have been in some of those posts, and I understand that because of past history with some people that I am going to have to put up with a certain amount of suspicion regarding my motives. I accept responsibility for that, and in doing so state that I understand *why* you're reading what I've been writing as an attack - but assure you, categorically, that that's not what I'm doing.

    I also didn't thank WCM's to be passive-aggressive or as a statement about your posts or anyone else's. I'm sorry that it came across that way to you.

    And I do note that I have also said that *everybody* engages in their own risk assessment process and puts in place the measures that they think will make them feel safe or make them feel safer. That's not what I was questioning, or saying I thought was part of the victim-blaming process. It is the imposing of that risk assessment onto other people that is victim-blaming - which I now realise you're not doing. You've just given me the insight that I was lacking.

    I was interpreting your risk assessment as being something that you evaluated for other women too (ie that THEY shouldn't walk down dark streets, or go out after dark, or whatever), and thereby if they didn't do those things they were somehow responsible if they were raped.

    I'm sorry that I've been misunderstanding.

    Look, basically for me what it comes down to is this: I think these topics are so so important to discuss and put out in a public arena. Because of my own experiences, and the experiences that other women have shared with me in both a personal and a professional context, sometimes I've been terribly hurt by the things that people have said in these threads - and right or wrong (I know it was wrong, but didn't have the insight to recognise what was going on at the time) I have reacted with anger, frustration and aggression, and been entirely too negative. I'm trying very hard to change that dynamic. My emotional state is nobody else's responsibility but mine, so please don't for a second think I'm trying to fob it off onto anybody else, or my past actions...but I'm working on engaging in a different way. I am enjoying the calm, adult debates that I've been having in the past couple of days - even where I've disagreed, sometimes vehemently with another person's opinion. I'm not trying to denigrate you, put you down, embarrass you, or be passive-aggressive. I am genuinely trying to understand your point of view. So when I ask questions, could you please try to take me on face value? Or at least ask me if you think my intentions are questionable? And I'll make a promise to be honest when giving answers.

    I don't think we're on opposite sides of this issue. I think we're actually pretty closely aligned in our ideas about it - I think it's just the specifics of it that are different. And I don't need or want total agreement on every subject with every person I debate - but I do want to be able to understand their position. Sometimes because it challenges my position and makes me re-evaluate it, and sometimes because it reinforces my position because in that re-evaluation process I realise that I think I was right the first time. But it's seriously not malicious, or designed to hurt anybody else.

    And I'm genuinely sorry that I have said and done things in aggressive ways in the past that have left you feeling attacked. It wasn't right, or fair.

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    I know that it is not the victims fault if they get raped. It is a horrible horrible thing and one I have seen friends go through BUT and I hope I don't offend
    The town I grew up in had a high violence history
    I know that you should be able to walk through and alley or park etc but why would you risk it?

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    I don't feel you were passive-aggresive or that WCM was either. I just felt that all I was saying is that sadly, rapists DO rape and I don't see it stopping anytime soon. And that I was being told that by feeling this way I was somehow putting some responsibility onto the victim, which I acn assure you I'm not.

    The more we educate our sons, the more its discussed (esp things like lack of consent actually being the same as 'NO'), the better it is, and the more responsibility men will take for their actions (hopefully). But as it stands at the moment, me and my babies are too too precious to *not* be trying as hard as possible to avoid any situations where its likely to happen.

    I don't know your background, but rape and child sexual abuse are pretty rife in my world, and yes- the women are often indirectly blamed, which makes me sick. I've just seen/heard way too much and it is something that I am really really vigilant (paranoid???) about, mainly with my children. I 100% believe every single bit of responsibility lies with the horrible people that do this, but I have to try to keep my kids safe, and teach them how to keep themselves safe all the same.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to see where I am coming from, because I do actually agree with what you are saying, I just felt offended that you seemed to think I was projecting my personal ideas about risk and safety onto others, and the implications that this has.

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  12. #58
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    The point is the people are going to rape. No matter what they are told/taught it is going to happen regardless. I dont see how its wrong to be a little more cautious and hyper aware of your situation. No ones saying that if you aren't careful that its your fault you got raped, but theres nothing wrong with extra caution. Because the facts are that yes you SHOULD be able to expect that your body not be invaded, but its never going to happen. You're never going to have 100% safety.

    So while teaching our boys NOT to rape, I don't see a problem with also teaching our girls to be aware of their surroundings, listen to your instincts, if you can get out of there as fast as you can if you feel unsafe, but also that if something does happen it is in no way your fault. Blame lies solely with the raper not the rapee. We should be able to expect to not be invaded but its not going to happen. Humans are awful creatures at the best of times.

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  14. #59
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    The problem that I have with it, and the problem that I have always had with it is that "I'm not going to go there/do that/wear that because I evaluate it to be too dangerous" can so easily turn into "So no other woman should go there/do that/wear that because I evaluate it to be too dangerous" - and that's when problems start. That's when blame is cast on the people least deserving of it.

    I don't have any right to dictate to people what they teach their own children and that's not what I'm trying to do. I've simply been trying to point out that regardless if we mean it to be or not, making statements about perceived dangers in certain situations is only one small step away from saying "You got raped because you engaged in x risky behaviour" which DOES blame the victim.

    And I just think there's way too much focus on the victims. On their behaviour, their thoughts, their mode of dress.

    Women aren't out there raping themselves, but the way we as a society, the way our media, the way we as individuals quite often discuss rape, it's like they are. There is not enough discussion about rapists, and their movements, and thoughts. Nobody EVER thinks to suggest that rapists shouldn't go into public places - but everybody's happy to restrict women from doing so, you know?

    Everybody has the right to make their own risk evaluations. Nobody has the right to impose those risk evaluations on other people. That way lies victim blaming.

    And yes, I get now that that's not what you were doing, Annabella - but I thought you were. I'm sorry, and thank you for your patience in explaining it to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by share a book View Post
    I teach my child stranger danger, not to leave the house without me, not to open the door without me, not to be alone at any time until she has learnt self defense, and has more physical strength. Yet that does not mean that if she found herself alone, and someone did something horrible to her, that she would be to blame. I teach her to listen to her own body signals too, and tell me if something feels wrong. To not teach her that would be irresponsible of me given our past.
    I question the Wisdom of the StrangerDanger catch cry. What constitutes a stranger? Many women (maybe most) know their rapist. Most kids know their abuser. . I don't teach StrangerDanger after we had an extension done at home, because suddenly we were inviting all theses hither-to previous strangers into our home and my DD was confused. The people within my family who have been raped have only ever been raped by known and trusted people. This is one large area where locking the doors and not getting into strangers cars would not have save the people within my family. Yes, incidents do not make for facts and stats.. I honestly do believe that the constant flow of information that women are *responsible* to avoid being raped without the balanced education that men must stop being rapists is where the underlying message of victim blaming comes from. .This is pretty much how the conversation went a few years ago when a family friend was raped;"I went out wearing my short black skirt, I knew it was too short, Dad hates that skirt and mum says its inviting trouble. I did dance with him and I didn't really like him, maybe he thought I liked home, I did get drunk I knew that was stupid, he offered me a lift home I knew I shouldn't have accepted that but I thought he was being nice, he lives near me. I told him I was tired and going to bed, maybe he thought that was an offer, I didn't lock the door I know I should lock the door and when he came in I was too confused and frightens to say no in case he did something worse so I can't report it because I knew I shouldn't have gone out in a short skirt and got drunk. Please don't tell my parents as they'll think I was stupid in the first place".Ergo, one unreported rape, one victim blaming herself as that is the repeated message she's been given since she was little. She did not break the law the rapist did and she won't report it as she truely believes that it was her own fault. Btw the rapist was someone she knew through uni.
    Last edited by WorkingClassMum; 19-01-2012 at 07:48.

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