I absolutely 100% support women asking “Why should I have to guard my drink? Why should I have to be scared of walking home at night? Why should I accept this?”
I have a couple of questions though, more about the original image, directed toward no one in particular. And anyone feel free to tell me I’ve totally lost the plot.
First, do you think there is a place for accurate information about predatory behavior? We’ve probably all seen that garbage column about “don’t wear a ponytail” and “you’re most likely to be raped in a parking garage,” and those aren’t anything but harmful. But like for example because of some school presentations and some prominently placed books in the middle school library I could tell you at a fairly young age some strategies that internet predators are likely to employ. Now that I’m older I could tell you even more such strategies, and I could also tell you some details about how they rationalize it to themselves.
Similarly, The Gift of Fear, while flawed, has also been helpful to me for identifying predatory strategies and escalation warning signs. Is there something that inherently normalizes rape culture in teaching people how predators behave and the most effective way to handle a stalker?
(One of the ways these kinds of conversations most often fail is in their failure to accurately describe what rape culture(s) look(s) like. Even feminists who are clear on the relative unlikelihood of being attacked by the “stranger in the bushes” vs. your own home will not mention the doctors, police, soldiers, and guards who are also the faces of rape culture. That’s one common way “advice to potential victims” fails.)
I also want to ask if you can teach people not to rape? How often in the history of rape has rape just been a result of a misunderstanding or the undereducation of the rapist? Versus how often has it been a deliberate act committed by someone who knew exactly what they were doing, who has probably done it before, and who is likely to go on to do it again? How would you teach someone like that not to rape? Do you believe that a predator can become a non-predator? Some of them? How long will that take? Who is willing to do that work for that long; i.e., who is willing to teach people not to rape?
Does this make any sense at all? I guess I’ve been confused by “teach people not to rape” for a while because to my understanding you usually have to wrest away the power to rape (either by changing social/bystander norms or by removing a particular predator from their potential victims) and you cannot in either case “teach” people not to rape, you have to force people not to rape.
What I do think should be taught is how rape happens and why and how we as survivors, as bystanders and as people have historically and can today work to end it, both on a micro level of individual interactions and on a macro level requiring such things as prison abolition. I do think people should be taught how to name and resist various manifestations of rape culture(s). None of that really falls under the heading “Don’t rape” though.
yeah, I am pretty much on the same page I think.
recently I was talking about this with a friend who’s in training to volunteer at a women’s crisis and general information phone line. part of their training is general information about rape culture and myths around sexual assault from a local sexual assault crisis centre. one of the women in the training group got really mad learning about the high rates of sexual assault in everywhere and asked what she could do to protect her children from this kind of abuse. The trainers explained that as a matter of policy they didn’t ever really talk about that side of the equation, that they preferred to focus on changing the behaviour of perpetrators. I was kind of floored by their distance from the messy complicated reality of this woman’s life, any life.
like, this is all well and good as a party line. obviously there is a strategic decision being made here to do whatever it takes to move public discourses away from victim-blaming. and I basically support that decision. but we need to differentiate between the message we want to emphasise and the conversations we are allowed to have. the fact is that there are some things that you can do or learn to protect people you love or yourself from sexual violence; stuff like bystander intervention tactics, spotting predatory behaviour, etc. they are not accessible to all people under all circumstances, they are not remotely infallible, and not doing them does not mean you are responsible for violence perpetrated upon you. but they exist, and if someone acknowledges that ultimate responsibility lies with perpetrators but still wants to do what they can to protect themselves then I don’t see what it achieves to fob them off and keep them ignorant. what are people supposed to do in the interim between now and the end of sexual violence in the feminist utopia, you know? I think it’s a valid question.
I would love to see the conversation about this grow. There’s a huge difference between victim blaming and equipping people with the knowledge and tools they needs to recognize predators and predatory environments, and how to deal with them if cutting them out of your life is not a possibility. There’s also a lot to be discussed about internalized attitudes that impede one’s ability to acknowledge and confront abusive behaviors, not only for oneself, but in regards to other people. We know most rape and violence does not leap out of alleys, but we need to follow that up with an exploration of why certain environments make assault more likely, and how we can protect one another from them. This does not include blaming victims, but it would necessarily include analyzing how we aid and abet predators of other people (e.g., Joe Paterno, Feministe). In fact, I believe a goal of a rape-free world if pretty much unachievable if we refuse to take responsibility for protecting others in a non-paternalistic manner. There is a reason rape culture encourages women to distrust and attack one another. Refusing to give people information they want so they can protect themselves and their families in favor of spouting platitudes like “it’s not your fault!” sounds like good social justice warrior thinking, but practically it is fairly useless.
I don’t know whether it is, but if it is:
So’s money, university degrees, punctuation, your ownership of your garden plants, the right to privacy, state borders, breakfast, taxonomy, electrons being negative, counting in base ten, pigs being food and humans not being food, maritial status, weekends…
That doesn’t mean all those things which more or less aren’t “natural” should cease to exist right now and it’s a crime to participate in them and perpetuate them. Most of those things are fairly useful. Some of them aren’t, but “not natural” isn’t the reason.
(most of the above examples very biased towards European/Western culture and I realize they’re not universal)
Spot on. I think at least 90% of the people on tumblr who have an opinion on whether or not gender and mental illness are social constructs have no clue what “social construct” actually means.
I think most of it actually comes from people who view social constructionism as threatening. People who actually know what a social construction is tend to not see it as an existential threat. There is a difference, though, between breakfast and gender. It’s important to talk about these things as social constructions because part of that construction is also a relationship to power and structures we’re supposed to be dismantling and I feel like leaving it at “owning a houseplant is a social construct too” leads us in a kind of reactionary/complacent direction. I mean, I think “woman” is a lot more of a material condition people are forced into than some internally meaningful (or even coherent) identity. With being trans and all “both sides” tell me I’m supposed to be invested in the latter but tbh I’m not. It’s just that the second-wavey “abolish gender through your refusal to comply” or the pomo “let’s fuck with gender until it reaches critical mass” strategies both seem kind of naive at this point. It’s a discourse, not a factory we can go on strike at and shut down.
TBH if you’re a social justice advocate and you bring up “Otherkins” every second post to mock them, I don’t really give two shits how ridiculous you think they are, your vitriol towards such a small segment of the population is wildly disproportionate to the impact they have or the amount of attention you should be paying to them, and makes it crystal clear that when presented with a population that it is acceptable to mock you will glut yourself on gleeful nastyness, and I no longer give a shit what you have to say.
Also, hating on asexuals just makes you look ignorant. I don’t know what dark matter bizarro world social justice failurejuice you’ve been swilling, but you don’t have a justification for being cruel to one of the least understood sexual minorities on the planet, no matter how much “mutual appreciation” you can suck out of other tinyhearted visionaries.
lol this dude follows me and has reblogged other stuff i’ve written. which might indicate he gives a shit about what i have to say despite claims to the contrary? i wonder why he hasn’t un-fucking-followed me yet for all my asexual hate?
asexual hatred yeahhhhhhh it’s like oxygen
i don’t know about anyone else but i have known about otherkin for maybe 4-5 years now and i personally didn’t give 2 shits about them until i saw “species dysphoria” and “human privilege” floating around tumblr a few months ago. i have a pretty high tolerance for all sorts of magical thinking up to the point where other not-similarly-deluded people are expected to, you know, do something with it.
HOPE THAT HELPS.
August 7, 1865
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee
Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin’s to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.