I can’t believe I’m tackling this topic again. I do realize that the whack-a-mole approach to fighting stupidity is, well, stupid (because, of course, you have to fight the culture of stupidity, not individual acts of stupidity). Still, allowing people to say dumb things and not answering them is just wrong. And now there’s another really dumb article on the issue of telling girls to lower their risk of rape by not getting drunk, this time by Soraya Chemaly , someone who certainly should know better, and I can’t keep silent.
So here I go.
But before I go on the attack, I suppose I’d better recite the anti-rape creed, lest I be accused by the thought police of thinking things that are wrong that I don’t believe. So: Rapists should be punished but the causes of rape go far beyond the actions of individual men. There is a whole culture of rape, and a system of tacit and even overt support for rapists and the mentality that says that rape is justifiable because women somehow bring it about or deserve it. ALL these forces need to be addressed if we’re to bring down the incidence of rape.
Women can and should work fight the forces that put them at risk of rape. But rape should NOT be seen as a problem of individual women, because even if women avoided all known risks rape would still occur.
There. Happy? Good, because that’s what I truly believe. And if I left out your favorite article of belief about rape, don’t assume I don’t agree with you. BE FAIR. Ask me if I don’t agree with you. And if I don’t, then you can feel free to argue with me in public.
But suppose I wrote a piece saying that if you suspect it might rain you should carry an umbrella if you don’t want to get wet. Would I be accused of blaming the victim for her getting wet?
Well, that’s kind of what Emily Yoffe was saying in the article I talked about last time. Of course Yoffe believes there are lots of reasons why women are raped; only a mean girl would assume Yoffe was so blind and stupid not to know that rape is never the woman’s fault.
It’s just that Yoffe was making one simple point. Yes, there’s a swirl of forces responsible for rape, starting with the individual rapists themselves, but what do you do about all this if you are one college-age girl?
Well, Yoffe says, there’s lots you can do. Lots of social action you can participate in.
But ONE thing you can do is not get drunk. Getting drunk makes you vulnerable to those terrible forces. So…don’t get drunk.
Doesn’t that all sound kinda…I don’t know…reasonable? But check out what Soraya says. Read the rest of this entry. »