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Old 10-03-2011, 01:43 PM   #196
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OK well lets run with your fetish theme then. Rapists are sociopaths who get off on their fetishes. How and why does that inform how women should or shouldn't dress? Should we cover our feet to avoid someone with a foot fetish? Wear a turtleneck to avoid a strangler? Then why are women in burkas still raped? If a dude gets off slashing the throats of blondes then I could dance around naked and he wouldn't want to have sex with me. To expect that women act and dress in certain ways to avoid sociopath rapists to me is like saying everyone might as well become recluses because if you step outside you might get struck by lightning... Why are women assaulted, well in some cases because they fit the profile of that rapists fetish, not because the guy is just out for sex and would bang anyone that offered. But then there is gang rape, war rape, etc.... I mean if rape was just about wanting to have sex there are a lot easier less risky ways of accomplishing that....
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:54 PM   #197
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Oh, I see. I wasn't implying any of that. Therein lies our misunderstanding.
If you mean rape isn't about a guy walking down the street, seeing a sexy woman, and getting so horny that he just has to have sex with her, then I agree with you.

I think a key point that we're both failing to mention is premeditation. A rapist goes out with the intent of raping a woman. It's not like they're tempted into it on an otherwise normal night
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:21 PM   #198
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I think a key point that we're both failing to mention is premeditation. A rapist goes out with the intent of raping a woman. It's not like they're tempted into it on an otherwise normal night

I agree but am amazed how many people seem to think that a guy taking advantage of someone who is drunk or drugged at a party is not a "rapist" but some other sort of opportunist. That's what I think we're getting at here. IMO rape is rape. If someone does not or cannot give consent than it is rape regardless of whether she passed out at a frat party or was minding her own business wearing a snowsuit. I don't know if premeditation matters, it doesn't to me personally and I'm not sure how that factors in as far as the crime of rape (but I am interested to know so I will check my MI legislature book later). I was asking my husband about this last night because I want a guy's perspective, whether he thinks (or he thinks other guys think) that date rape or raping someone at a party is different.
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:21 PM   #199
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But that's not necessarily correct. I had this talk with my husband last night. People and it seems guys in particular (ones that are not rapists) seem to view rape as being about sex and it's not. They want to attribute the rape or the "attraction" to some sexual aspect of how the victim is dressed or acts and I just don't believe that is correct unless there is some data to back it up.
No, I said if all else is equal, and the rapist has a choice between a vulnerable covered woman and a vulnerable sluttly dressed woman, wouldn't he choose the slutty dressed one? Unless he's gay, like the one described above, I'm sure he gets attracted to women just like other guys do, outside of his raping life. Therefore, if he is presented with a choice, and if all else is equal, why would he not go for looks?

But I get the greater point of this whole thing, that it really is a power thing, and that not dressing sexy is going to do nearly nothing to protect you. I get it that it's about confidence, self-defense, making sure you're not alone in a bad area, etc.
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:50 PM   #200
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No, I said if all else is equal, and the rapist has a choice between a vulnerable covered woman and a vulnerable sluttly dressed woman, wouldn't he choose the slutty dressed one? Unless he's gay, like the one described above, I'm sure he gets attracted to women just like other guys do, outside of his raping life. Therefore, if he is presented with a choice, and if all else is equal, why would he not go for looks?
I think you're setting up unrealistic and thus irrelevant conditions
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #201
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No, I said if all else is equal, and the rapist has a choice between a vulnerable covered woman and a vulnerable sluttly dressed woman, wouldn't he choose the slutty dressed one?
Totally depends on his motivations. Didn't Ted Bundy scoff at Gary Ridgway (the Green River killer) for killing prostitutes and runaways? I know that is the extreme of the extreme but still.

I think the key word in your post is vulnerable. It doesn't matter how one is dressed. I think even if we are to say that a woman could accept some responsibility for not being a target, IMO it has little if anything to do with how one is dressed or looks but the level of vulnerability that a predator can sense.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:30 PM   #202
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But just to play devil's advocate here for a second (or maybe not. I'm not 100% sure where I stand on this particular incident), does that not reveal the woman's subjectivity in how she feels about what she's wearing rather than a faux pas on the officer's part?
There's always going to be a subjective component to how people hear officers' inquiries, warnings and advice (and as far as it goes, any perception that the scenario in question is 'just like' wearing a U2 jacket would itself be subjective). Good community-oriented policing takes known social and cultural factors that might predictably influence such interactions into account--we most often hear this concept associated with race relations, but it also has applications for gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity and other factors. And those differential perceptions are directly informed by firsthand negative experiences common to members of that community--they can't just be chalked up to ideological conditioning, or a collective inability to think rationally. If an officer were working in a neighborhood with a large gay community which has recently seen several beatings of men perceived as gay, I certainly hope s/he'd see the problem in walking up to men s/he perceives as 'dressed really gay' and 'advising' them that their appearance could get them beaten up. That's not meant as a precise analogy--it's vaguer of course, and also gay men, unlike women, have the option of 'passing' in threatening situations, for better and for worse--but there are some similarities there.

I do understand and appreciate that you're coming from a standpoint of sincere concern for women's safety. But from a woman's point of view, arguments that for example 'this is just about one specific case,' 'it's just one particular clothing item,' etc. can sound both unrealistically abstract and frustratingly afforded. There are multiple reasons for that. Most women have experienced firsthand that merely being female will unpredictably turn you into a sitting duck at times, no matter how you dress or act. Most women have experienced firsthand that many men will resort to 'slut'-scorning (or its flipside, 'frigid' swipes) to maintain the upper hand in certain social situations, recognizing that this is an effective way to put women in their place. Many women, myself included, have experienced both being sexually assaulted by a stranger and being beaten up (or some similar violent crime) on separate occasions, and as a result are keenly aware that sexual assaults are a kind of hate crime, one that humiliates you as a human being in a way 'random' muggings don't, and are intended to do so by the textbook serial sexual assailant (hence the sensitivity to any apparent insinuation that sexual assailants are merely super-horny guys with poor impulse control, and their victims looked so hot they just couldn't help themselves). Even something as seemingly remote as the way your parents and especially your father reacted when you first started wearing 'sexy' clothing as an adolescent for dates, school dances and so on--parents often unintentionally come across as perceiving a woman's body to be 'more obscene' (dirtier) than a man's--even that can play a role. All those factors and more can inform how a woman hears someone (and especially a man, and especially a male authority figure) who suggests to her that her 'revealing' clothing might increase her likelihood of getting sexually assaulted. It should be incumbent on police officers to be aware of this social backdrop, with women potentially at risk as well as with women who've just been assaulted, and to not just stand there going, "Well why can't she be reasonable [i.e. think just like me] about this."

Finally, though it's a bit of a digression from the above, the Brooklyn assailant(s) hasn't been caught yet, so the fact is none of these officers actually know how and why he's selected the victims he has so far. Maybe it's just coincidence that most/all(?) the victims so far were wearing skirts--after all, the reported assaults (11 to date) mostly/all(?) happened late on weekend nights during the warmer months, when high numbers of women out and about do tend to be dressed 'up'. Or maybe, given that he reportedly also targets petite women who are preoccupied with unlocking their doors, he's simply looking for whoever's the easiest target available that time of night--after all, it's also easier to overpower a woman in a tight skirt and heels than one in sweats and sneakers. Or, maybe their assumptions really are precisely on-target and for this particular serial assailant, delicate-looking women wearing very feminine clothing happen to match his obsessive composite stereotype of all the women whom he believes taunt and demean him with their perceived indifference, so b--ch, now I'll show you who's really in charge. It could be any or all of those things, they really don't know. Again, it's really beside the point of the above, but one more reason not to lapse into hackneyed stereotypes of why men sexually assault women.
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Why don't all men have foot fetishes? You said yourself that some men need to strangle someone to get it up. What do you think that compulsion is? What do you think they're doing with it after they get it up? Somewhere along the line in their life, physical violence became associated with sexual gratification. They need one to achieve the other.
I'm not personally qualified to judge, but from the modest amount of reading I've done on psychological profiles of serial rapists, I suspect most mental health professionals would object pretty strenuously to analogizing the compulsive aspect of serial rapists' behavior to 'fetishes.' It's not just that these men experience sexual gratification from rape, though they certainly do (not at all necessarily exclusively, however--it's not unusual for them to have girlfriends, visit prostitutes etc.); it's also that they typically have profound, longstanding feelings of resentment, rage, and aggrievement towards women in general, and experience rape as a satisfying act of 'revenge.' (Often, in particular, there's a belief that women are continuously taunting and deriding them, mockingly flaunting their unobtainability to make them feel emasculated.) Obviously that's pathologically antisocial, and not just because sex-as-'revenge' rules out consensuality. Whereas all that is not true of someone with a foot fetish. I suppose you could say it's somewhat true of pedophiles (since you also mentioned that), insofar as their sexual interest in children, when acted upon, is also profoundly incompatible with basic due regard for the rights of others. But pedophiles, at least in my limited understanding, don't typically consciously desire to harm/avenge themselves on children per se.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:10 PM   #203
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I think you're setting up unrealistic and thus irrelevant conditions
I'm simplifying for the sake of discussion. It's not unrealistic that in a range of vulnerable women, some may dress sexier than others.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:17 PM   #204
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I think even if we are to say that a woman could accept some responsibility for not being a target, IMO it has little if anything to do with how one is dressed or looks but the level of vulnerability that a predator can sense.
That's my point exactly. It has little to do with it. The main aspect is the vulnerability issue. The only point I was trying to make is that if I were a heterosexual rapist, It would be nice to be attracted to the women I rape. But looks would be the last preference, vulnerability would probably be the first. See what I'm saying?

Again, I agree that there are much better precautionary measures that you can take. And covering yourself up won't make a difference if you're the only woman around.

Anyway, I'd just like to say that if I saw a sexy looking woman, I would never in a million years complain about it.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:56 PM   #205
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And covering yourself up won't make a difference if you're the only woman around.
??
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:00 PM   #206
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??
?

I'm agreeing with you by saying that covering yourself up in clothes makes no difference if you're vulnerable and alone.
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:51 PM   #207
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I were a heterosexual rapist, It would be nice to be attracted to the women I rape.
errrrrr
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:53 PM   #208
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There's always going to be a subjective component to how people hear officers' inquiries, warnings and advice (and as far as it goes, any perception that the scenario in question is 'just like' wearing a U2 jacket would itself be subjective). Good community-oriented policing takes known social and cultural factors that might predictably influence such interactions into account--we most often hear this concept associated with race relations, but it also has applications for gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity and other factors. And those differential perceptions are directly informed by firsthand negative experiences common to members of that community--they can't just be chalked up to ideological conditioning, or a collective inability to think rationally. If an officer were working in a neighborhood with a large gay community which has recently seen several beatings of men perceived as gay, I certainly hope s/he'd see the problem in walking up to men s/he perceives as 'dressed really gay' and 'advising' them that their appearance could get them beaten up. That's not meant as a precise analogy--it's vaguer of course, and also gay men, unlike women, have the option of 'passing' in threatening situations, for better and for worse--but there are some similarities there.

I do understand and appreciate that you're coming from a standpoint of sincere concern for women's safety. But from a woman's point of view, arguments that for example 'this is just about one specific case,' 'it's just one particular clothing item,' etc. can sound both unrealistically abstract and frustratingly afforded. There are multiple reasons for that. Most women have experienced firsthand that merely being female will unpredictably turn you into a sitting duck at times, no matter how you dress or act. Most women have experienced firsthand that many men will resort to 'slut'-scorning (or its flipside, 'frigid' swipes) to maintain the upper hand in certain social situations, recognizing that this is an effective way to put women in their place. Many women, myself included, have experienced both being sexually assaulted by a stranger and being beaten up (or some similar violent crime) on separate occasions, and as a result are keenly aware that sexual assaults are a kind of hate crime, one that humiliates you as a human being in a way 'random' muggings don't, and are intended to do so by the textbook serial sexual assailant (hence the sensitivity to any apparent insinuation that sexual assailants are merely super-horny guys with poor impulse control, and their victims looked so hot they just couldn't help themselves). Even something as seemingly remote as the way your parents and especially your father reacted when you first started wearing 'sexy' clothing as an adolescent for dates, school dances and so on--parents often unintentionally come across as perceiving a woman's body to be 'more obscene' (dirtier) than a man's--even that can play a role. All those factors and more can inform how a woman hears someone (and especially a man, and especially a male authority figure) who suggests to her that her 'revealing' clothing might increase her likelihood of getting sexually assaulted. It should be incumbent on police officers to be aware of this social backdrop, with women potentially at risk as well as with women who've just been assaulted, and to not just stand there going, "Well why can't she be reasonable [i.e. think just like me] about this."

Finally, though it's a bit of a digression from the above, the Brooklyn assailant(s) hasn't been caught yet, so the fact is none of these officers actually know how and why he's selected the victims he has so far. Maybe it's just coincidence that most/all(?) the victims so far were wearing skirts--after all, the reported assaults (11 to date) mostly/all(?) happened late on weekend nights during the warmer months, when high numbers of women out and about do tend to be dressed 'up'. Or maybe, given that he reportedly also targets petite women who are preoccupied with unlocking their doors, he's simply looking for whoever's the easiest target available that time of night--after all, it's also easier to overpower a woman in a tight skirt and heels than one in sweats and sneakers. Or, maybe their assumptions really are precisely on-target and for this particular serial assailant, delicate-looking women wearing very feminine clothing happen to match his obsessive composite stereotype of all the women whom he believes taunt and demean him with their perceived indifference, so b--ch, now I'll show you who's really in charge. It could be any or all of those things, they really don't know. Again, it's really beside the point of the above, but one more reason not to lapse into hackneyed stereotypes of why men sexually assault women.

I'm not personally qualified to judge, but from the modest amount of reading I've done on psychological profiles of serial rapists, I suspect most mental health professionals would object pretty strenuously to analogizing the compulsive aspect of serial rapists' behavior to 'fetishes.' It's not just that these men experience sexual gratification from rape, though they certainly do (not at all necessarily exclusively, however--it's not unusual for them to have girlfriends, visit prostitutes etc.); it's also that they typically have profound, longstanding feelings of resentment, rage, and aggrievement towards women in general, and experience rape as a satisfying act of 'revenge.' (Often, in particular, there's a belief that women are continuously taunting and deriding them, mockingly flaunting their unobtainability to make them feel emasculated.) Obviously that's pathologically antisocial, and not just because sex-as-'revenge' rules out consensuality. Whereas all that is not true of someone with a foot fetish. I suppose you could say it's somewhat true of pedophiles (since you also mentioned that), insofar as their sexual interest in children, when acted upon, is also profoundly incompatible with basic due regard for the rights of others. But pedophiles, at least in my limited understanding, don't typically consciously desire to harm/avenge themselves on children per se.

I hope this doesn't come off as a cop out, because I feel bad making such a short response to such a long and well thought out post, but I find it hard to argue with pretty much everything you've said. Great post, yolland
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:58 PM   #209
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I agree but am amazed how many people seem to think that a guy taking advantage of someone who is drunk or drugged at a party is not a "rapist" but some other sort of opportunist. That's what I think we're getting at here. IMO rape is rape. If someone does not or cannot give consent than it is rape regardless of whether she passed out at a frat party or was minding her own business wearing a snowsuit. I don't know if premeditation matters, it doesn't to me personally and I'm not sure how that factors in as far as the crime of rape (but I am interested to know so I will check my MI legislature book later). I was asking my husband about this last night because I want a guy's perspective, whether he thinks (or he thinks other guys think) that date rape or raping someone at a party is different.
I think the two kinds of rapists you mentioned are different in that, perhaps the party rapist might not ever have the urge to go out at night and rape a random woman walking down the street (so maybe a psychological or methodological difference), but ultimately the differences are irrelevant. As you said, rape is rape and I don't think the victim would take much comfort in being victimized by one or the other
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:37 PM   #210
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If you need to be handled with kid gloves in order to not get upset, then maybe that's a good idea.
Er no, that's not why I got upset. Condescending comment not necessary either.

Gee you had me at mutt walk. Kid gloves off.
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