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Old 05-10-2011, 08:06 AM   #31
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My mom and I had a discussion about this recently, all the things my sister and I do as young women that are just second nature for us but look like "paranoia" to my dad. I don't even live in a bad or even iffy neighborhood and prefer to take my dog (who is protection trained/competition) with me if I'm going to the corner store. Walk with purpose, always have your keys out as you leave the store/restaurant, take note of those around you, make cops show you their badge and call it in to double check (had some predators impersonating cops), etc....those things are just drilled into us such that it becomes second nature. I do not consider myself a paranoid or particularly vulnerable person (at least I don't *feel* that way). I am not comfortable with guns and mace or pepper spray can literally backfire into your own face so if it really is my responsibility to keep myself safe from sexual predators then such predators are free to meet with my dog I never like to totally write off the other sex but this is one of those things where nothing a man can say about it really matters to me, they will never understand. It's not their fault, but that's just how it is.

I really has nothing to do with how you dress. All young women deal with this crap; all of us think about it. I dress very conservatively because of my job and my hobbies. They do not require or permit skimpy shorts or revealing tops. I don't have time to party or go clubbing, so I don't really fall into that group that is so often blamed even when they are victims, and yet I've still had to file a police report about someone's inappropriate behavior toward me.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:33 AM   #32
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Uh, no. Women in no way contribute to the problem of being sexually harassed or assaulted. That's the point. Blame lies 100% on the perpetrator. The over sexualization of women in the media and society in general is an entirely different debate and has no place in this discussion.


I'm so sorry you still say that to yourself, about being out after 10, and that's the whole point. Why the hell should you? That kind of thing has been ingrained in us-and when you have a police officer saying that, it's just so depressing. That's why the SlutWalks exist-and people in the world who don't get it, well maybe they should stop to think about it.

The point is that you can take all the safety precautions you can possibly take and it can still happen to you, you can be dressed in anything and it can still happen to you. Sexualization of young girls and women has nothing to do with rape-rape would still happen even if that didn't exist. Women aren't creating rape in some sort of vacuum because of how they dress and how they act. Rape is a violent act carried out via a sex act. It's up to the rapist to control his behavior- not up to the girls and young women, or any women, to just "stop enticing him with those slutty little outfits".
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:35 AM   #33
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BUT you can lock the door, have an alarm system and do all the right things and still get your house broken into. And I think that's the point. This is NOT a "it takes two to tango" type of situation the majority of the time. I think the point of this walk is to say that it shouldn't matter what I wear. I could wear a turtleneck or a bikini, neither of which is an invitation.
I don't disagree at all. I'm just talking about addressing some of the underlying issues that come into play. And since men are the problem, there are bigger social issues in terms of sexuality and sexualization that I feel aren't being discussed.

I took part in various Take Back the Night marches while still on campus, out of support for friends of mine who wanted to make their voices heard. It occurred to me while we were walking that, as empowering and ennobling as it no doubt was for the women who participated, at the end of the day we were still marching around the campus -- a relatively secure and safe area. We avoided the neighborhoods three blocks away, which were truly dangerous, and where women were suffering every day and night from domestic abuse and violent streets. No one was "taking back the night" there, where the threat was greatest.

It didn't make me question the significance of the night, but rather its effectiveness.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:40 AM   #34
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I don't disagree at all. I'm just talking about addressing some of the underlying issues that come into play. And since men are the problem, there are bigger social issues in terms of sexuality and sexualization that I feel aren't being discussed.
Ok, let's talk about the underlying issues. Do we really feel like skin is the underlying issue?

Will burkas help the situation?

Will a different dress code reduce the rapes that occur in Africa?

I think the mere suggestion that dress may be part of the issue IS part of the underlying issue. What are we going to do about those beaches here in the states?
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:45 AM   #35
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I think the mere suggestion that dress may be part of the issue IS part of the underlying issue.

This
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:59 PM   #36
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I was attacked by a man with clearly one purpose in mind. To this day, I still find myself saying "It was after 10 at night, I shouldn't have been out at that time of night by myself." It seems so automatic to self-blame and turn the focus inward. It's all very backwards.

first, i am very, very sorry for what happened to you. and i mean this question honestly and in good faith.

if i walk down the street and take out my iPhone, flip through it, open my wallet and count my money, and then dangle my laptop computer bag over my arm all while listening to my headphones, is it all that surprising that someone might target me for a robbery?

one of my best friends was doing something similar -- walking casually down the street at night while talking on the phone, groceries in one hand -- and someone came up to her and put a gun in her back and took her money. now, no one is blaming the victim for being robbed, but there are things that people can do to reduce their likelihood for being targeted by a criminal. back when i had a car, if i parked it in certain neighborhoods, i'd make sure there was nothing at all visible, and i'd sometimes even leave it unlocked to prevent someone from breaking a window if they wanted to get into the car. and i still had my car broken into because i left a few dollars in change on the passenger seat. i blamed myself for that. there are things called street smarts, and while we shouldn't have to have them, we are better off having them (like Lies wrote) than becoming a victim.

we tell people not to steal their entire lives, but people still steal. i do my best to make sure they won't be stealing from me.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:19 PM   #37
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^ Thanks, Irvine. I was trying to think of a tactful way to put that. And it's not that I'm taking one side or another, just putting the idea out there. My example was that a good friend of mine left her gucci purse on the front seat of her car overnight. The car was parked on the road and when she returned to it the next morning, the window had been smashed and her purse was gone. My immediate reaction was "well, you were stupid to leave your purse in the car, in full view of anyone passing by." I don't think that was an unreasonable response. Would you agree? Does this differ to the topic at hand? Again, I'm not leaning one way or the other. Just putting the idea out there for discussion. I mean, when we tell people not to do certain things to attract trouble, we aren't talking about reasonable, law abiding citizens. We're talking about headcases who are just looking for an opportunity. It's still the thief's fault for stealing the purse. If I had been walking by and saw it, I wouldn't have thought to break the window and take it. I'd like to think that would be the same for most people. But there are assholes out there that we all need to protect ourselves from. Again, this isn't meant to offend anyone. Just for discussion's sake
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:21 PM   #38
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* will wear turtlenecks and baggy pants to prevent being a victim*
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:24 PM   #39
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right. it's hard to talk about this.

i think it's a different impulse that drives someone to, say, grope a woman on an escalator than it is that drives someone to rob you. you could say that one is little more than an impulse that could very easily be controlled, especially if it is done by a friend or acquaintance, and that the motivation one has for robbery are quite different and likely driven more by economic needs (i.e., money for drugs) than a sense of entitlement to a woman's body.

i mean these questions/thoughts sincerely.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:25 PM   #40
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* will wear turtlenecks and baggy pants to prevent being a victim*


is anyone saying that?

or is someone saying, "if i don't want to get mugged, maybe i shouldn't count my money on the street alone at night."

and, then, is this an applicable situation at all to sexual assault? which i don't know if it is. i'm trying to think through the situation.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:36 PM   #41
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I think it's quite a bit different for a victim to ask herself over and over "what could I have done differently? Should I not have done that? Should I have done x instead of y?" and someone else telling her "You shouldn't have done that."
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #42
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I suppose it's because nobody would ever fight for their 'right to leave a purse on a car seat over night'. Or their right to count money on the street at night. It's much more trivial and less personal than the way we dress. Not to mention the crime is far less a personal violation than harassment or worse.
And I feel the need to say this again because it's such a touchy subject, but I'm not blaming the victim. 100 men walk past the same girl in one night and maybe one harasses her. It's that guy's fault. 99 others were able to control themselves, he should be able to do the same
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:15 PM   #43
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Ok, let's talk about the underlying issues. Do we really feel like skin is the underlying issue?
I wonder if in, a culture where flesh is used to sell cars, makeup, and food, if there is a casualness that creates an atmosphere for certain men to feel like "it's no big deal" to harass a woman on the street, or worse. One wonders if this atmosphere ennobles men who are already prone to harassment to go to the next level -- because hey, what's the big deal? There's an inherent narcissism to unchecked sexual gratification that is more than a little troubling. Much good has come from the sexual revolution, but the negative underbelly is a belief that gratification is a valuable end unto itself that, without some restraint, can become abusive.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:19 PM   #44
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thinking about it some more ... i think the robbery example is quite distinct from, say, going on a date with someone, he tries to force himself on you, and then blames you for wearing something that he thinks meant you were easy or wanted quick sex. that is absolutely a different situation than someone on the street seeing your iPhone and bashing you over the head for it.

hmmm ...
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:23 PM   #45
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I don't understand the direction of the thread. Robbery is robbery. Apples and oranges to sexual assault. If you don't want something to get robbed, then you hide that thing. So how does that carry over....chastity belts? Besides the fact that rape and sexual assault are usually driven by power and rage, not sexual desires. I can concede that if you dress a certain way in certain areas of town you might be more susceptible to tactless men cat-calling you, but again, that's not the same as sexual assault or rape...
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