Friday, October 18, 2013

Tab Clearing...


Jennifer said...

Well damn. There goes my idea for an advice column.
And I've just lost entirely too much time to that.

tailwind said...

"Take my advice, I'm not using it."

Keith said...

In regards to the top story of the third link is encouraging people to carry a weapon and keep situationally aware to help prevent them from being the victim of a crime blaming the victim? Im so confused.

LabRat said...

The "blaming the victim" part is the bit where, in the midst of an article about the binge drinking campus culture that contributes to rape among other things, the entire focus is on how to get women to stop drinking, with the only mention of the possibility that the men might somehow be involved being a brief line about how maybe if we can get women not to, their self-control might "trickle down" to the men.

It ain't the idea that exercising self-control (or carrying and protecting yourself) is a good idea that leads to lower risk of being raped (or succumbing to alcohol poisoning, or being run down in the street, or having really awful pictures appear on Facebook) that's a problem, it's the idea that the guys in the equation are a hazard akin to the cars and liver damage rather than individuals who should damn well be exercising self-control as well.

ecurb said...

Problem is, some of the "guys in the equation" are a hazard akin to, say, members of a pride of lions.

It's all well and good to train each individual lion not to lay down with a lamb who's too drunk to sign a consent form, but if you miss even one the lamb still isn't safe in the den.

And we can't even pretend that it's possible to make some groups of males safe to be around: a toga party thrown by finance & pre-law frat boys is going to be a sketchy sinkhole of sociopathy no matter how many awareness seminars you send everyone to.

Keith said...

Thanks for the explanation Lab Rat. I have been told at other places on the internet that suggesting that people take any preventative measures themselves is blaming the victim and won't work anyway because most rape is acquaintance rape and no one is ready to defend themselves from someone they know.

I do suppose the article could have been more balanced but I suspect that the author only wanted to focous on a single part of a larger story that they thought was not being given enough attention. I do have to admit that I am at a bit of a loss as to how to get would be rapers not to rape. Because of the fact that I have never thought rape was ok I tend to see them less as people and more as targets. This caused me to not fully grasp the scope of the problem for some time and other than putting them in a box or a cell I really don't have any ideas.

LabRat said...

ecurb: That's why lions and other wild animals are in zoos and people who interact with them in the wild are armed and not questioned by a grand jury afterward. If someone demonstrates they can't be convinced not to behave like a wild animal, we don't let them be part of civilization. The end point of the argument you're making is either

a)Lock up all the men


b)It's generally not safe to go outside, therefore you shouldn't.

"We can't stop all dudes from raping, therefore it's pointless to expect any form of civilized behavior from men and women must treat them like wild animals because they cannot possibly be held accountable for their actions" isn't any more logical than "we can't stop all potential criminals from murdering, therefore we must treat everyone like a murderer and not expect anyone not to kill when they're annoyed".

Keith: A number of the studies cited in the article were, ironically, about how the major way most rapists get away with raping is the social cover they get. We're never going to end rape any more than we'll end murder or theft, but we might be able to stop treating it like a youthful indiscretion young men dabble in like recreational pot.

Jennifer said...

"We're never going to end rape any more than we'll end murder or theft, but we might be able to stop treating it like a youthful indiscretion young men dabble in like recreational pot."
This. A thousand times this.
Yes, it is important to protect oneself from a potential rapist, but it would be pretty freakin' darn awesome if it could be recognized that each an every man is an autonomous human being rather than a rapist waiting for the right opportunity. Men and women, even the young ones, are capable of choosing between right and wrong.

Ed said...

A neighbor who was a machinist made a very nice polished stainless nameplate for our front doorway with my father's name that said "Edward XXXXX". Problem was, his name is "Edmund". My father loved it, refused the offer to get it corrected and proudly mounted it under the mailbox at the doorway. Whenever someone unknown knocked on the front door and asked for "Edward", the standard straight-faced response was "Edward is not available now".

As for the misnomer of "Marko Kloos", people are adding the the end of his last name to his first name.

ecurb said...


I don't think that's the logical conclusion of my argument at all.
Reducing the number of sketchy slimeballs in circulation is great. But unless you can guarantee that you'll encounter exactly zero of them in any situation, it's unwise to rely on that method entirely.

The logical conclusion of my argument is "crime prevention is helpful, but ultimately each person chooses whom to associate with, and in what manner. Some choices--especially those relating to drug use--can put you in dangerous situations with dangerous people".

Conversely, the standard self-reductio ad absurdum one hears from that sort is "a woman should be safe if she staggers into a biker bar drunk and naked, and not shamed for doing so."
Such a scenario requires total social control over the attitudes and behaviours of every single person in society. That would be a nightmare even if it were possible.

LabRat said...

ecurb: I don't think you're actually arguing with me. I haven't disputed that getting trashed is risky behavior for a whole bunch of reasons that include being victimized by a predator, nor have I argued that "seriously, don't rape, and having sex with someone too out of it or young or otherwise impaired is rape-rape, not a gray area" will prevent all rape or make binge drinking safe for anyone.

What I've actually argued is that in a situation in which men and women are engaging in risky behavior, it's completely absurd to treat the men like natural disasters or acts of god and women like the only people with agency. It's a pretty shitty view of men as well as being a blame-the-victim thing.

Or, from another angle: finance and pre-law frat boys partying may act like sociopaths, but how many of them still would if doing so had as severe and straightforward consequences for them as stealing another student's car or rolling them for their wallet? If there would be any different outcome, are they really akin to wild animals?

ecurb said...

The severe and straightforward consequences for those crimes are possible because they result in clear, physical evidence that a crime has been committed.
In other cases, arbitrary limits or requirements are set to make enforcement feasible (BAC limits, carry permits, etc.).

I would love to see the set of laws and regulations social reformers come up with that give them enough oversight and control to allow "severe and straightforward consequences" for actions that happen behind closed doors and include no witnesses.

Of course, it would be a lot easier to control the general population's behaviour if we just picked some "ideal offenders" and made an example out of them. Evidence doesn't really matter, since such scum are guilty of oppression and perpetuating rape culture just by existing.
Perhaps a lacrosse team?

LabRat said...

I chose those two examples- car theft and assault- specifically because false reports of both are actually more common than false reports (as in an accusation was made, and then an investigation determined the charge to be false, not "charges were dropped or not brought") of rape. And yet no one feels the need to haul out the two-by-fours to start nailing themselves or anyone else to the cross over the very idea that someone could be lying.

And yet, "she was drunk" is such a common defense in court that prosecutors tend to quickly drop charges, even with a direct confession.

Theft and assault often have no witnesses, and assault in particular is often "grey" in terms of who started it. And yet strangely we as a society seem to suffer no acute discomfort with prosecuting them, even if the victim was drunk, even if the perpetrator was drunk. We even sometimes find the defendant not guilty.

Evidence doesn't really matter, since such scum are guilty of oppression and perpetuating rape culture just by existing.

Sort of an interesting statement given that I wasn't the one who compared young men to wild animals.

Tam said...

I love how the Duke case always gets dragged out as the exemplar, almost as though a more recent or closer-to-home example weren't available.

What's a four letter word that starts with "R" and ends with "are"? ;)

ecurb said...

The public discourse that built up during the Duke case was eye-opening, and it remains the exemplar for a very good reason. Abusing criminal law to crusade against symbols of social evil is a bad habit to get into, and I don't see any evidence that the people involved learned that lesson, or that it caused anyone to re-examine their ideological biases.

"I wasn't the one who compared young men to wild animals" is a bit disingenuous, like an anti-gunner claiming that you carry because you think that all people are murders who'd pry the fillings from your teeth at the first opportunity.
I think we both know there is a small minority of people with self-control or anger issues that make animal metaphors appropriate to explain their behaviour.

What you linked is a fantastic example of small town corruption, which often lets children of influential people get away with horrible crimes. That's a serious failure of our justice system, and I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that I find the status quo ideal.

Finally, I am not suggesting that there is an epidemic of false reporting of rape, and have no idea where you got the idea that I was. Aren't we only discussing the appropriate methods of proving people guilty? Have you gotten the impression that I'm some frothing at the mouth activist ranting about evil feminazi conspiracies?

I know I'm not being very constructive, or offering a solution of my own. As a conservative all I can really do is serve up the usual pedantic explanation of Why We Can't Have Nice Things (without the side dish of But It's Ok Because Jesus Loves You).

I agree that it would be lovely to have perfect ultimate justice, and to be able to fix every one of our social issues. But undergrad at a liberal arts college has made me a little nervous of the wild-eyed revolutionaries who promise us these things if we give them enough power to carry out their social engineering.
Surely you can understand my reluctance to trust these people, many of whom also consider our beliefs and lifestyles "Problematic" and in need of fixing?

Kristophr said...


You can make that woman who gets drunk in a biker bar safe.

The Romans did it. A naked virgin could walk from one end of the empire with an amphora of gold, and have both her gold and virginity intact.

The problem here isn't unwise female drinking.

The problem is a shortage of crucified rapists.

ecurb said...

Case in point. It's easy to promise CHANGE when one sees it as so vital that no possible consequence should be considered important.

Try googling "anti-PiV" to get a sampling of some of the more delightfully crazy things I heard from that sort in college.

Critter said...

Oh, as to pheromones: they are important to deer as well. The bright fellows who invented Tinks figured it out long ago. :)

Maureen Williams said...

Delurking to thank you,Tam,for getting LabRat out of her secure location! Welcome back LabRat!

LabRat said...

Thing is, I haven't been advocating for perfect ultimate justice or even for behaving as though we've achieved it. What I'm actually arguing for is for social attitudes and prosecutions in line with other kinds of assault. Not crucifying every accused rapist.

I linked the Maryville case because it's a really inarguable example, seeing as how they already had a direct confession that he'd gone ahead and raped someone who was too intoxicated to resist effectively but was saying "no" very clearly, but "well, she was drunk" is an *incredibly* common rape defense- as is "well she was dressed like a slut".

"I wasn't the one who compared young men to wild animals" is a bit disingenuous, like an anti-gunner claiming that you carry because you think that all people are murders who'd pry the fillings from your teeth at the first opportunity.
I think we both know there is a small minority of people with self-control or anger issues that make animal metaphors appropriate to explain their behaviour.

Sure. And much like a wild animal, we lock those people up, or they should be locked up. The exact scenario under discussion- young woman gets raped by young man at event involving alcohol- is weird precisely BECAUSE of how profoundly unlikely it is that her assailant will be arrested, let alone punished. I was pointing out that the original article was fucked up because in the entire discussion of the dangers of binge drinking and the risk of rape for young women who partake, the ONLY mention of the men involved in the rape was a suggestion that maybe if women cut back it might "trickle down". That's profoundly strange in comparison to how other risks, and crimes, are handled and regarded.

Finally, I am not suggesting that there is an epidemic of false reporting of rape, and have no idea where you got the idea that I was. Aren't we only discussing the appropriate methods of proving people guilty? Have you gotten the impression that I'm some frothing at the mouth activist ranting about evil feminazi conspiracies?

Kinda, yeah. At least I did when you responded to my suggestion that the young men you described as behaving "like sociopaths" might alter their behavior if that crime was treated the same way others are. For some reason up and coming lawyers and captains of industry really don't steal cars and assault as a rule, and by "some reason" I pretty much mean "because no one's going to step up to excuse them for it if they do".

Sure, if you can understand why I'm a little wary of guys who seem to want rape treated as a thing that "just happens" with young men- right up until the suggestion is made that maybe they should be "just punished" for it. Yes, I get that you're not that guy, much as I hope you get that I'm not really a wild-eyed social justice crusader either.

Let me ask you how you feel about a less loaded issue: drunk driving. We're not free of drunk drivers, and the rate of drunk driving fatalities goes down very slowly if at all from year to year now, but sometime in the late 1970s drunk driving became something that was much more harshly punished and carried much more societal disapproval than it had in previous decades. And the rate of fatal alchol-related crashes is about half what it was before that happened. There are still crusaders pushing for more and harsher, but they're fringe and not accomplishing very much.

Brad K. said...

Looking at history, from one perspective, peace is ephemeral.

You are either the top dog, and the rest to mess with you; you have just got the crap kicked out of you, and the kick-er chooses to leave you alone, for a bit. You don't happen to live near enough to any scraps going on to get noticed.

rape is just one aspect of ways that those that choose to engage in scrapping wale away at others. There are other crimes, assaults, intimidations that cause emotional and physical harm. rape happens to be a visible, event-driven form of injury. Not to belittle running someone over with a car, stabbing, shooting, beating, etc., because these destroy lives and communities, and intimidate and injure indirectly as well.

We can choose to live apart from those scrapping for whatever reason, if we can. Or we can choose to be a nastier scrapper than any we happen to encounter. We can also choose to hope that once whupped, the whup-er chooses to leave us in peace.

Making good choices about who we associate with, where we choose to live, work, and how we play, are important.

Don't depend on laws for safety/peace. Laws are society's retribution, after someone is hurt. They don't do crap about preventing hurt; bullies, thugs, and ignoramuses don't work that way.

Goober said...


Rapists gonna rape. It has nothing to do with gender or male vs female.

Women who are smart understand that rapists exist and take steps to not make the rapists job too damn easy.

Women who are foolish do not.

"Blame the victim"?

No. Its the rapists fault.

Bit it doesn't hurt to have the conversation with young women that similar to crossing at a crosswalk without looking first, getting drunk and defenseless in public is stupid and risky.

You get hit by a car by stepping into traffic without looking, sure, its the motorists fault, butit doesn't change the fact that you're the idiot in the icu now. The fact that it isn't your fault doesn't mean that you couldn't have prevented it by using a bit of common sense.

Tam said...


Your post unintentionally illustrates another problem: Society thinks that rapists are Bad People who Jump Out Of The Bushes and yell "Ooga Booga!" with a knife (or even intentionally drop roofies in someone's drink.)

The guy who gets the acquaintance he invited to the keg party so drunk she can't say "No" (or "yes" or much of anything else)? That's just happy college fun times and kids are gonna be kids...

Tam said...

...actually, that needs expansion...

The guy in the latter example doesn't necessarily consider what he's doing to be rape. He's probably not even a bad guy; he's just not really been properly socialized to understand The Rules.

Although if he took time to really ponder it, he'd probably grasp the idea that people often object to having things stuck in their various orifices without clear and conscious consent.

Brad K. said...


Mike Shepherd (Moscoe) wrote in one of his Kris Longknife (SF) books, "A girl's character is proven by the dates she walks home from". Not the dates she rides to the end.

Tony Danza put it in the movie "She's Out of Control", "The first sex should be wonderful" -- sober, no sneaking, with someone you trust and respect and that your friends and family trust and respect. At least, that would change the odds a bit, for some people.

Tam said...

Brad K.,

Why is all this advice being given to The Girl? We're not discussing masturbation, after all.

Goober said...

Not really. At least not in my opinion. A guy who has sex with an incapacitated girl is a rapist. No ability to consent is the same as there not giving consent at all.

It's rape. Or as whooopi Goldberg would say "rape-rape".

I wasn't trying to paint it as anything else, intentionally or not.

Rapists gonna rape, just like motorists gonna text and drive. It isn't too much to ask pedestrians to look both ways even though they have the right of way, so it shouldn't be too much to ask young women to apply some common sense in the way they comport themselves in high risk situations.

You can be 100% in the right, completely blameless in every way, and still end up raped. If something could have been done to prevent that, don't you think we owe it to young women to make sure they understand?

Guy gets rin over in a crosswalk takes little solace in knowing he was in the right as he suffers in the icy, you know?

Goober said...

You give the advice to the girl because giving it to the rapist accomplished nothing. He's a rapist- do you really think telling him to stop raping is going to change his stripes?

Telling rapists not to rape is ineffective, and telling the remainder of men not to rape is insulting.

You teach young women to be self aware and smart about their actions, and you make a difference.

Goober said...

Yes he does. He's just hamster rationalizing his way out of accepting that he is a scumbag, just like all scumbags do.

Goober said...

Is he planning to stop now that he's been made aware that what he's doing is wrong?


Well stars and garters, maybe he knows he's a rapist and is gonna keep on raping ...

Goober said...

By way of explaining why I’ve taken such an interest in this issue:

When I was in college I was forced to take no less than a dozen classes teaching me how not to rape a woman, as if that is something that I needed to be trained to do just by nature of being a man. As if “rapist” is the natural state of manhood, and that there needed to be training and re-education in order to make sure that we understood that physically assaulting someone by placing your body parts inside of their body parts without their permission is wrong.

It was the most degrading, insulting experience that I ever had to endure; I was fucking FURIOUS, because I knew that if such a thing were ever foisted on women just because they are women, there would have been an uproar of epic proportions, and there would have been hell to pay. Someone’s head would have rolled at that university.

Yet to assume that all men are rapists that need to be retrained is perfectly fine.

As a man, I would never, ever get drunk to the point of incapacitation in a public setting. Ever. It is just stupid to expect total strangers to take care of you when you pass out. If I’d ever done so, I would have fully expected to wake up with a half shaved head and sharpie marker tattoos, so I never did it. Ever.

A woman who passes out drunk in a group of total strangers has far more to fear than a sharpie tattoo and a bad haircut, and yet we’re stumbling over ourselves in our efforts to NOT point that out, and make whatever bad thing happens to them as a result completely unassociated with their bad choices.

This is not victim blaming. Rapists don’t get a pass from me. I would personally brutalize any man that I caught in the act of raping a woman, including non-consent encounters caused by incapacitation. But I think we are being deliberately obtuse, and risking our young women’s health and well-being by continuing to teach them that everyone else, including complete strangers who may very well be rapists, should be more responsible for their well-being than they are, themselves. It’s absolutely fucking stupid beyond words, and its all in an attempt to make sure that we place no blame, whatsoever, on the young woman.

So let’s make sure to not place blame on her, just like no one would blame me for my half-shaved head and sharpie tats, right?

Oh, wait, they would blame me at least in part, for that. Huh….

Tam said...


"You give the advice to the girl..."

I was responding to Brad's post there, which is in a COMPLETELY different tenor to the rest of the discussion, here.

Brad K. said...

# Tam,

I hadn't thought much about whether I was addressing women, or a woman. Just something that no one, guy or gal, seem to know.