• Fri, Mar 4 2011

What Happens When You Victim-Blame for Crimes Other Than Rape?

It appears that up in Canada, victim-blaming in rape cases is just as popular a sport as it is everywhere else in the world. CNN reports that during the trial of a man who threw a woman into the middle of a dirt road and sexually assaulted her, a Canadian judge said that the attack may have been caused by the victim wearing heels, make-up and a tube top with no bra, and that “sex was in the air” after she had met her attacker at a bar. Because of all that, after finding her rapist guilty, he sentenced him to two years of house arrest, and no jail time.

Rather than give voice to the overwhelming rage I now feel, though, I’m going to try something a little different instead. I’m going to try to rationally, calmly and objectively apply the same logic that’s often used to blame rape victims to other crimes, and see if maybe there’s just some logic that I’m missing! Just for the sake of argument, I’m going to make the victims male:

  1. Home Robbery: He shouldn’t have decorated his house so attractively — he had nice electronics, expensive furniture and a Persian rug, and he gave the impression that he wanted it stolen by having a window.
  2. Physical Assault: Let’s look at his history — at the age of 13, he hit his brother. How do we know he’s not lying about throwing the first punch before he was brutally attacked by a group of strangers?
  3. Mugging: He was leading the mugger on by having a hole in his jeans through which his wallet was visible.
  4. Online fraud: What did he expect for having so much money in his bank accounts, and taking the risk of using an online banking system?
  5. Murder: The victim was sending his assailant mixed signals all night — in the end, the murderer thought his victim wanted to die.

I don’t know — maybe it’s just me, but in crimes other than rape, these just sound so absurd. What do you think?

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  • Colleen

    It is completely absurd, I agree.

    The judge in this case has been removed from presiding over any “cases of a sexual nature” while he is investigated. And another sexual assault victim has come forward with her experience in front of this judge, which resulted in a similar outcome (a minor who was the victim of her mother’s man).

    I really hope that this judge will be permanently removed from the bench. It is difficult enough as it is for victims to come forward, but if you have people in the judicial system with this type of attitude, they are going to be even less willing to share their stories.

    To add another layer of WTF to this, there is another judge in the same city who apparently has been completely removed from all cases while being investigated for something that occurred outside the courtroom, not having to do with any cases before her, and the situation happened before being appointed as a judge. This judge is female, and the situation involves part of her private sexual life. She gets removed completely from cases because of her private life, and yet this male judge can still preside over cases. The sexism in this is rampant.

    Why is it that females continually suffer and are labelled as sluts for expressing any part of their sexuality? Why is it that when they are victims of assault, it is somehow their fault? Why do their private bedroom activities get pulled into the public spotlight to belittle their accomplishments and make them look less competent to do their jobs?

    Disgusting, all the way around.

    • Hayley

      Agreed, and thanks for posting the follow up.

    • Susan Lorraine Knox

      In my family, we were taught that we must be responsible for our own sexual hormones, and that when we had an excess of sexual energies, not to impose them on other people, but to respect their right to their own bodies and to go to the bathroom and shut the door and take care of our selves (part of good health, like brushing your teeth) and not to come out until we could behave in a responsible, civilized manner. I was lucky that both my parents were well educated and they understood that rape is a violent crime. Some people still think masterbation is a sin. What lunacy! Education is the key to the problem. All law officials need to understand the simple fact that men are responsible for their own reactions to whatever they sense.

    • djbon2112

      “Why is it that when they are victims of assault, it is somehow their fault?”

      Your other questions are perfectly valid, but I have to answer this one for you: Because a woman has the power to revoke consent AFTER THE FACT by claiming rape, especially if alcohol was involved. A man does not have that power. Like it or not, sometimes women use a rape charge as revenge for whatever. And when that happens, we have to take a step back and think “Can we really always trust someone on their word, simply because of their gender?” I don’t think we can. Every case, every detail, needs to be scrutinized, even if that means telling the world that you “dressed like a slut”.

    • LilithXIV

      @djbon2112: “Because a woman has the power to revoke consent AFTER THE FACT by claiming rape, especially if alcohol was involved. A man does not have that power. Like it or not, sometimes women use a rape charge as revenge for whatever.”

      This is a myth, a victim-blaming one. It’s purpose is to frame women as inherently manipulative and scheming deceivers who ‘trick men’ into rape charges. It makes no actual sense either, since most rape cases involve tearing a part the victims usually and smearing them with accusations how slutty they were and don’t even get convictions. Why would women voluntarily put themselves through that and try to ‘frame’ men with such a flimsy and hopelessly unreliable method? That one would use it casually and for ‘whatever’ makes me think even more that this has no back-up. It doesn’t make sense. Not to mention, how do you know she even gave consent in the first place? Our entire society seems to sure be murky on what consent in means and we seem to go off ‘special signals’ a whole damn lot.

      “Can we really always trust someone on their word, simply because of their gender?” I don’t think we can. Every case, every detail, needs to be scrutinized, even if that means telling the world that you “dressed like a slut”.

      And here you show that you are just a victim-blamer. It does not matter how a woman was dressed, she was raped because of how she was dressed. She was raped because the rapist chose to rape her, because the rapist chose to treat her like a public property sex object. Her clothing choice is completely irrelevant. This kind of victim-blaming behavior does nothing but enable rapists by excusing their actions and serves as a evasion of addressing the actual issues.

    • salome

      Given that the allegations wrt her private sexual life amount to her raping her former client, I can’t disagree with her being removed. Get rid of him, make sure SHE gets a fair trial (and her accuser does too).

  • kjon

    Hmmm ‘sex was in the air’, huh? How in God’s name is that legit? They really are coming up with some doozies to justify a horrifying act against women.
    No means NO. I hope karma serves up a nice dose of justice to the judge & the assailant!

  • Jaya

    Toronto’s pretty outraged at blame-the-victim resurgence. April 3 = http://www.slutwalktoronto.com/
    A cop said that, to avoid sexual assault, York University students shouldn’t dress like sluts.

  • Paige

    If it was turned around and the Judge was the one raped by a man, would it be the same? The Judge brought it on himself because he was wearing a tight shirt.
    Oh, and the little children who are raped brought it on themselves too, because they’re so darn cute, their sick fuck rapist couldn’t resist. Because it was the kids fault. Its everyones fault but their own. Thats whats so wrong with the world today.

  • Erin

    Those analogies are perfect. Better than what I could have come up with (a long paragraph of expletives)

  • kalafraja

    In defense of Canada, I’d like to point out that municipal, provincial and federal governments and representatives have spoken out against this judge and his ridiculous statements. He won’t have his job for long, and any other judge that might have thought such things were appropriate will quickly learn that this isn’t the case.

  • K

    Fantastic examples! I’d love it if you’d change the last line though, so that instead of saying “…but in crimes other than rape, these just sound so absurd” to something more like “..in crimes other than rape, these arguments sound just AS absurd.” No one can make excuses about something as concrete as that! :)

  • T

    Lets add another example.
    HATE CRIME: Someone dresses up in a t-shirt with a Nazi symbol on the front, walks to a bar, gives some dirty looks to a few non-white people, says some racist things and then leaves the bar and gets the crap kicked out of him by some angry people. Would it be so absurd for a cop to tell him “Well if you didn’t wear the Nazi outfit you probably wouldn’t have gotten beaten up” Now isn’t he just expressing himself. Isn’t his clothes provoking an emotional response? And when you provoke emotional responses in people there is a danger of someone crossing the line.
    Isn’t dressing “slutty” just a woman expressing her “sexuality” and provoking an emotional response in people. Is it wrong to warn women of the risks in doing this? This is not blaming them for being raped, but making them aware of the risks. Any time we provoke emotional responses in people, whether that is hate (nazi shirt) or lust (tube top/mini skirt) there will be some who might take things too far. Its a danger of basic human behavior. Add booze or drugs into the mix and the danger increases. Is it so absurd to warn people about these risks? Isn’t that our law officials jobs? To warn people of the risks of our society?
    Please understand I am playing devil’s advocate with this topic and am using an exaggerated example to make my point . I am a firm believer in No Means No. No matter what the woman is wearing or may have said at the bar, if she says no than that means no.

    • R

      No, women dressed like “sluts” is not the same as a man with a Nazi symbol on his t-shirt. The Nazi symbol is a very clear and unambiguous symbol of hatred that everyone can understand – the man wearing the shirt, the onlookers at the bar, the people who beat the man up and the police officer. But whether a woman is dressed in a provocative way or not is open to interpretation. In any case, a woman apparently expressing her sexuality is not doing so with the intention to make a man behave violently towards her (ie. rape her). And she shouldn’t be at risk of violence however she chooses to express her sexuality, regardless of whether a man has had an “emotional response” to her clothes.

    • LJ

      I think it’s taking things a little too far to compare the “hate crime” of someone beating up a Nazi or Nazi poser to someone raping a woman. Or indeed to hate crimes against other groups (gays etc)… To knowingly put on attire associated with a group of people who attempted, in the most horrific way, to rid the world of entire groups of people…. is not the same as wearing a rainbow on your shirt or having black skin or wearing a short skirt and some eyeshadow.

    • DM

      Yes, it would be absurd. You could be goose-stepping down the street in full Nazi regalia and it’s still inexcusable for somebody to lay hands on you. Being an offensive asshole is not illegal – assault is. Very simple. The onus is on people to keep themselves from breaking the law, not to keep OTHER PEOPLE from breaking the law, therefore neither the person in the Nazi shirt nor the woman in the short skirt hold any responsibility for what laws someone else chooses to break.

  • d

    just to be clear – the woman who is dressed in a tube top and daisy dukes and the guy in the nazi shirt are EQUAL – neither ASKED nor DESERVED to be assaulted …

  • Tanya

    Well-played.

  • Lululawschool

    I have another one!!! “I’m sorry sir….I don’t believe that you bicycle was stolen….I think you actually gave it away”…:(

  • Ethel

    My parents both completed highschool and my father had 3 years of university. They knew enough about individual rights and responsibilities to teach us at home that when we had an excess of hormones, to go to a private place and take care of ourselves, and not come come back into the presense of others until we could behave in an intelligent, civilized manner. It was a health issue, like brushing your teeth. We were not allowed to impose our sexual needs on other people. I was lucky to be raised by well educated adults. I believe education is the key to the problem and everyone needs to be told the modern scientific facts of life and how to take good care of himself.

    • Anna Hilda

      Masturbation: the answer to rape. Because rapists never masturbate and masturbators never rape, all we have to do is turn all rapists into masturbators, and, boom, problem solved! Ethel, your parents are the cleverest people who ever lived. If they don’t win the Nobel Peace Prize for their Unified Theory of Rape Prevention, then, truly, there is no justice.

  • Damian

    Your examples are absurd yes, but I am not convinced the victim blaming that goes on in ALL rape cases are equally absurd.

    • Duh.

      Then you aren’t very smart. Nobody is ever responsible for someone else’s actions, and rape is the only crime in which we, as a culture, will tell a perpetrator it really wasn’t their fault since they obviously couldn’t help themselves.

  • Helen

    We know victim blaming is wrong, because when Muslims do it we howl with outrage about how backwards their religion is and how they should go back where they came from if they don’t share our values of equality. But when white judges and police officers say it…

    • Anna Hilda

      Helen, one of these scenarios is not like the others. Let’s see if you’re smart enough to figure it out.

      A) A Muslim woman falls pregnant after being raped. Her father and brothers kill her for bringing dishonor to the family.

      B) A Muslim girl is raped. When her family reports the rape, she is accused of adultery and publicly stoned to death.

      C) A woman is raped in Canada. The judge presiding over the trial gives the rapist a lenient sentence because he believes the rapist misread the woman’s appearance and demeanor as inviting sex.

      I’m not saying I agree with the judge in the last scenario, but I am saying your argument is made of straw.

  • flyingsquirrel

    You get damn near every other crime category. From the police, and others, you constantly hear suggestions to reduce crime and accidents, such as:

    - Have your laptops and other electronic devices imprinted with some unique identifier
    - Have home security systems in your house
    - Drive defensively (to avoid traffic accidents)
    - Reduce speed in bad weather (and yes, cops DO blame the victims, when some dumbfuck speeds on the highway in rainy weather and crashes)
    - Do not talk to strangers (for kids)
    And on and on it goes. Yet one cop dares suggest a way to reduce (reduce, for the understanding impaired, and don’t confuse it with the word eliminate) the possibility of getting raped; and everybody goes nuts.

    Thought experiment: If I go up to a black gangster in Detroit, 2 in the morning, and call him a “lazy ni**er”; and he shoots my dumb ass; whose fault is this?

    • mai

      They didn’t suggest a way to reduce the possibility of rape. They gave him a lowered sentence because there was “sex in the air”. If someone breaks into your house and gets caught, they are going to get sentenced just the same even if you didn’t have a security system in your house. If your laptop gets stolen it’s still crime, dammit!

      And I really really really hate the theft analogy anyway, because rape is not like theft. Wearing a skirt does NOT equal leaving the keys to the door. Why is this so effing hard to understand.

    • salome

      http://www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?14+Duke+J.+Gender+L.+&+Pol%27y+125#B139

      That’s right…dressing like a “slut” DOES NOT increase the risk of being raped. In fact, it seems to REDUCE the risk. The fact that clothing is used by JUDGES to reduce sentencing is victim-blame.

      My vulva and vulva adjacsent regions have a unique identifier…ME. And people who have their electronics stolen are, for the most part, absent for the duration of the crime. Do you suggest that women should lock their niggly bits in a vault whenever they leave the house? It is a completely different dynamic. People who CONSTANTLY compare rape to other crimes are NOT PAYING ATTENTION. Our bodies are not things, they are our bodies. The only vaguely comparable crimes are murder and assault.

      A short skirt is NOT bullying. A short skirt is NOT abuse. A short skirt is NOT going out of one’s way to be obnoxious or racist or behaving with any other social malfeasance. Men should be far more offended than women by this attitude because it suggests that all men are incapable of self-control.

      And, for the record, in 95% of child sexual assaults, the perpetrator is NOT a stranger.

  • djbon2112

    I hate to be the devil’s advocate here, but the problem is A MAN HAS NO DEFENCE TO A RAPE CHARGE! If a woman says I raped her, what can I say? “No, I didn’t do it”? Then we get labelled as trying to cover ourselves. Rape is very often he-said-she-said, ESPECIALLY if it’s a case of consensual-sex-becomes-rape-because-she-changed-her-mind-later, and for decades the cultural norm has been to unquestioningly believe the woman. Well, there are some women out there who will accuse a man of rape to get what they want. They’ll drag him through court, destroy his life and family, and possibly put him in prison. You know what? Maybe we shouldn’t always believe the woman in a he-said-she-said situation JUST BECAUSE SHE’S A WOMAN. Everyone lies. Everyone has an agenda of their own. And if a bunch of women want to go around screaming “rape” every time they regret sex the next day, well then what do you want the rest of us to do? To continue to believe the victim at all costs? There’s a story about that, called “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”…

    • Telly

      LOL FOREVER! You need to do some research.

      First off, rape conviction rates are extremely low (15 of 16 rapists will never spend a day in jail [National Center for Policy Analysis. Crime and Punishment in America. 1999.])

      Secondly, the rate of false reporting is higher for AUTO THEFT than for rape. (The Portland, Oregon police department examined 431
      complaints of completed or attempted sexual assault in 1990, and found that 1.6% were determined to be false, in comparison to a rate of 2.6% of false reports for stolen vehicles. [Violence Against Women, Volume 14, Number 3, March 2008.])

      Thirdly, you can’t get a conviction on he-said/she-said, there does actually need to be evidence. I can’t speak for Canada as I am not Canadian, but in the United States there is a policy of “innocent until proven guilty.”

      Fourthly, if you really believe that people just believe rape victims (who, by the way, are NOT always women) then clearly you don’t live in the United States or Canada, you must live in some magical, mythical land where 14.8% of women aren’t raped in their lifetimes, 2.8% aren’t victims of attempted rape in their lifetimes[Tjaden, P. & Thoennes, N. (2000). Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of
      Violence Against Women (NCJ 183781). National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Washington, DC], and 12.0% of men aren’t admitted rapists [Rapaport & Burkhart, 1984] because rapists actually are punished and put in jail.

      Devil’s advocate? Try getting some data to back up your assertions and think about what you’re saying here. Either you’re against rape, or you’re not. Either you advocate for victims of rape, or you advocate for rapists. Not taking a side is the same as condoning rape in almost every case, because the rapist sitting next to you takes your silence as tacit permission. The first words out of your mouth should always be “rape is a terrible crime and no one should ever commit it, ever, and there is no way I will ever support a rapist.” But all I hear from you is “oh poor guy who was falsely accused! We sure don’t have anything like ‘innocent until proven guilty’! Damn those bitches and their demands for bodily autonomy!”

    • 2unyoozhuel

      There is something called Evidence that is used as well. Such as witnesses, and a rape kit that can determine if it was rape based on the areas of vaginal tearing.

  • LilithXIV

    -sigh- Don’t even get convictions often* She was not raped because of how she was dressed*

    Damn Typos.

    • HK

      Anna Hilda, a life for a life? Hmm I guess that means that all convicted rapists should be raped as their punishment. In fact why don’t we all just abandon our current judicial system and go running back to Hammurabi’s Code? Not everything is cut and dry, black and white and you don’t have to kill someone to take their life away, some crimes (those, like rape) will alter the way you think, the way you view the world and the way you live your life every day for the rest of it.

  • Sally

    If men were raped with the same frequency that women are, the death penalty would be a mandatory sentence for the crime, judges would have no ‘discretion,’ juries would be directed to find the accused guilty, the media would be unequivocal in condemnation, and there would be lynch mobs outside every court.

    • Anna Hilda

      Sally, your comment betrays both paranoia and an embarrassing lack of historical perspective. Rapists of women have, at different times and in different places, been executed, by vigilantes or the state. However, most Western societies have decided that the death penalty should be used only for murder–if at all. A life for a life. The ultimate punishment for the ultimate crime. Are you really suggesting that we should re-expand the use of the death penalty, or was your post just a cheap shot at men?

      By the way, at least in the United States, men are something like four times more likely than women to be murdered. Is the death penalty a mandatory sentence for the crime? Do judges have no ‘discretion’? Are juries directed to find the accused guilty? Is the media unequivocal in condemnation? Are there lynch mobs outside every court? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

    • Kali Ravel

      The rates are almost the same in the US. 1 in 20 women, and 1 in 33 men. 5% to 3%.

  • Sally

    @djbon2112
    “However we dress
    Wherever we go
    ‘Yes’ means ‘yes’
    And ‘no’ means ‘no.’”

    Simple enough?

  • dgfdgjhdjhdfjlfhja

    can i just point out the obvious?

    it’s one thing to say “you were raped because you were looking sexy.”. that implies guilt, which most people would agree is wrong.

    it’s another thing to say “you were raped because you made a bad decision, namely getting into a car with a drunk stranger while looking incredibly sexy.”. that doesn’t imply guilt, it implies bad judgment.

    i don’t think that the bad judgment inherent in that kind of behaviour negates the guilt of the rapist. the rapist should not receive a weaker sentence; no means no and rape is rape. so, the rapist was bad and should be punished…

    ….but that doesn’t stop the assault that already occurred. the data is pretty clear about the failure of negative incentives in reducing crime.

    the way to reduce crime is to get women to stop making bad decisions. i’ll bet you this woman will never get into a car with a stranger she met at the bar again. she shouldn’t have ever done that in the first place.

    we’ve been trying the modify-men’s-behaviour approach for a while and it doesn’t work. so, we need women to modify their behaviour.

    that’s not fair, that’s life.

    • Nic

      She didn’t get into a car with the person she was walking down the street.

    • salome

      “We’ve been trying the modify-men’s-behaviour approach for a whileand it doesn’t work.”

      WHEN did we try that? ’cause I must have missed it. It has ALWAYS been women’s behaviour that we modify or condemn. Don’t look too sexy, don’t drink, don’t forget to keep your eyes on your drink the whole time (even though you’re not supposed to be drinking), don’t talk to strangers, don’t take rides home, don’t go out alone, don’t walk home from work alone, don’t forget to lock every door and window even when it’s 35 C outside and you don’t have AC, don’t raise your voice, don’t be too aggressive, don’t draw attention to yourself, don’t have sex with anyone, blah blah blah…and if we DO any one of these “don’ts” it’s OUR OWN FAULT when we get raped. When have we ever, as a society, said don’t rape (until now)?

    • gmm

      Women don’t get raped because of bad decisions they make. The rapist made the bad and criminal decision to assualt her. END OF STORY. The scenarios you described are not even the typical of ones where women are assaulted. Women get assaulted by men they know and trust, in situations any normal person wouldn’t think they were in any danger. Not many women get into cars with complete strangers while drunk. But it would still be the rapists fault in that scenario, not the woman’s.

      Why can’t men modify their behavior? Do you think all men will commit rape if they could get away with it? That’s insulting and sexist to men.

      Victims have been through enough trauma without people like you with no heart or conscience adding to it.

    • gaitchison

      I don’t think we have! We tell our daughters not to walk alone or wear short skirts….do we have the don’t rape talk with our sons? Nope. The media just sexually objectifys females and normalizes the boys will be boys so are blameless culture. Its all bullshit

  • El

    @djbon2112: I don’t know why I am even answering an obvious mysoginistic troll, but just to be clear – if alcohol was involved, whatever consent a woman might have given, doesn’t count, because her judgement were impaired! There is a reason why people shouldn’t drive while drunk, and why withdrawing consent afterwards is perfectly valid – because the sober party should have known better than to use the situation to their advantage. And guess what, idiot? If the man is the drunk one and the woman is the sober one, it means she raped him and he has the power to revoke his dubious to begin with consent.

    • Anna Hilda

      El, your drunk driving analogy sucks. You know why? Because if you drive drunk you don’t get let off the hook because your judgment was impaired. Indeed, you get in trouble because you did something to impair your judgment before getting behind the wheel.

      I think rape is a terrible and inexcusable crime, but I don’t think that any sex in which alcohol is involved is ipso facto rape. I don’t know about you, but I know women who drink precisely to lower their inhibitions and get laid (not for nothing do some people call booze “liquid courage”). Are they all being raped and don’t know it?

  • Sally

    @ Anna Hilda

    “…I know women who drink precisely to lower their inhibitions and get laid (not for nothing do some people call booze “liquid courage”). Are they all being raped and don’t know it?”

    I feel sad for such women, Anna Hilda.

    I feel *disgusted* at a society where such a subterfuge is necessary as an excuse for women, and acceptable as an excuse for men.

    And, in answer to your next question, I have never had a sexual encounter where I wasn’t in control of my faculties – if I had, I might be tempted to call it ‘rape.’

    • Anna Hilda

      I feel sad for such women, too, Sally, but I don’t consider them rape victims.

    • gaitchison

      Why not. If sex is forced and they don’t want it…..

  • Mickella

    My favourite quote of all times:

    “If I told them that my house was broken into not one person would question me, blame me or say that I am lying, but when I say that my body was broken into people automatically feel that they have the right to judge me, doubt me, and blame me.” by Panayiota Bertzikis Coast Guard rape survivor and Founder of Military Rape Crisis Center.

    http://speier.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9:rapes-of-women-in-military-a-national-disgrace&catid=13:op-eds&Itemid=17

  • Heather

    Tax evasion! Seriously, I’m pretty sure that the government IS asking to get ripped off. Look at how they dangle their low taxes in the faces of the wealthy… they WANT the poor and middle-class to try and hide their own incomes as well. They’re kind of asking for it.

  • Crystal

    I think I’ve heard victim blaming for robbery, identity-theft type stuff. Other than the murder charge, I could imagine someone (stupid) saying all of these. Of course, I don’t advocate rape victim blaming, I just think that victim blaming is not all that rare.

  • hw

    reading these comments really make me feel many have no understanding of what they are talking about. rape is no close to steeling, cheating, murdering…it s an ongoing murder where the victim is brought back rhen murdered then back then..it regenerates itself every moment..those emotions during the rape stick and live inside with every breath they refresh like injecting an incurable virus or some kind of terible bacteria. the crime is not finish after the injection but it just started and become more horible with the time while other crimes can be healed with time and a victim at least can speak up and feel some compassion from others, but rape usually seel the mouth and build a thick wall to isolate the person even from the closest and the dearest..for fear that they will find out it s not yet over but worse is if it s a secret and so many are silent, they are the majority, especially if it s people who we know, if it s first contact with man, or extended over a period of time then degree of sufering is exponential accordingly…and for those who speculate on cases that goes to the court,..i say, think of the message your sending to the silent majority, when the very few who wants a bit of releif they are exposed to your tongue finding every default exposed yet or not…there is no reason for rape at all even if the wommen is wearring a burka she can be the subject of rape, or you ll say she atrated the wild curiousity..those who are silent they die every moment inside alone and can t even tel themselves what happened, not even say this word: rape in there own mind, tthey have to deny it so can look ok and not cause devastation to the life of the dear and loved ones, so how can they even say it outloud let alone to be questioned and expose their intimacy publicly?!! think again!!

  • Nova

    I don’t see why can’t we compare theft or hate crimes to raping? Raping is many times worse than any theft, but in many examples the idea is the same.

    Even if you leave your cardoor open and it gets stolen, it is very unlikely that the judge will say to the thief that “Oh, it was open? Well, in that case, you can go, just don’t do it again.” No, (s)he most likely will say “What does it matter that it was open, it was not yours so you should not have taken it. You will have the punishment.”

    Why is it different in rape? Even if the door is open, the area is bad and you know you take a huge risk by drinking alone in a strange bar and flirting with men, wearing nothing, nobody should have the right to do as they please with you.

    And in hate crimes, even if you wear anything, provoke with words, but do not hit or start the physical fight, it is not accetable to assault them (and even if they did, you have to remain in selfdefence). They may think that the other person provoked them some, but the one that hit will still get the punishment, most likely without any lightement in the punishment.

    And while we are at it, how is sexyness judged? It is a revealing top and short skirt? What about in men? I have seen many men walking around without a shirt in shorst only in hot summer weather, that’s lot less than most women wear. If someone would rape them, do you think the judge would say that the sex was in the air? I doub not.

  • Erin

    I bought that Mustang right after I graduated college. I spent years fine-tuning everything in it. I painted it, really tricked it out. That was a beautiful car. I even took it to a car show, once. Parked it on the grass, went over and said hey to some of the other car owners. Someone brought a keg, and we were getting a little bit drunk, and I bragged about it a little bit. “She’s a really great ride, I’ve had her for years. Never shared her with anyone, either. Couple of friends wanted to take her for a spin, but I don’t want to get any dings on that baby.” and then Billy, Billy sitting next to me-I don’t know his last name, he just said he was Billy-Billy took my keys, and I told him not to, and I tried to fight him for them, but he’d had his eye on my car all night long, he said, and tricking it out and driving it down in the middle of all these other sweet cars was just teasing him. See, Billy didn’t have a car of his own-he had a couple friends that would loan him their ride, but he didn’t have one of his very own, and he yelled about how unfair it was, and how I had mine all shined up, and then he stole it. I went to the police, but they said that dangling a nice car in front of Billy like that was provoking him, that everyone knew Billy was bitter about not having a car. They said that when I drove it to the car show…the car show, of all places, and in a park, there were people around! that I was just asking for it to be stolen by a perfect stranger, by some man who grabbed the keys and didn’t listen to me. So my souped-up mustang, something I’ve loved for years, spent so much attention on, is gone, just like that.

    I’m female. I like dressing up. I like feeling female, when I want to-for everyday stuff, I’ll wear a baggy t-shirt, but if I’m going out to have a drink or two, I might dress up a little, because I like dressing up, because it’s fun. I’m a girly-girl. Dresses and skirts are comfy and cute, and I like looking in a mirror and being happy with what I see. Should I have covered my Mustang in mud, before I went to the car show? But all the other cars out there, plenty of other women who dress up, and all those cars are shined up. No, I shouldn’t have had a drink. I wouldn’t have been sitting next to Billy if I wasn’t having a drink, Billy wouldn’t have seen my keys and grabbed them, wouldn’t have grabbed my arm and pulled me to his car, telling me how much fun we’d have. I should have known that Billy didn’t have a girlfriend, that Billy was a guy that liked to be in charge, that all Billy had was a couple of cars that he borrowed sometimes, and returned them banged up and covered in dust. I should have locked myself in my house, locked the garage door over that cherry-red mustang and never let it see the light of day. The only person I can let anywhere near it is me. I should have painted it puke-green with orange stripes and let it rust before I took it anywhere. I shouldn’t have gone to a place with dozens of other people and parked my car and relaxed, I should have been scanning everyone’s face to see if they wanted to steal that beautiful baby of mine. Nobody is worth trusting. Life is hardly worth living, without someone to trust. I should just wreck the car now, and save Billy the trouble. But a car can be gotten back. Rape is irreversible.

    • Meeee

      I really like this.

  • Biff

    @djbon2112: “Because a woman has the power to revoke consent AFTER THE FACT by claiming rape, especially if alcohol was involved. A man does not have that power. Like it or not, sometimes women use a rape charge as revenge for whatever.”

    The issue of “consent” does explain why “blame the victim” is used in rape cases. If I break into someone’s house and steal their stuff, I can’t claim the owner gave me consent. But why should I go to jail for rape if my lawyer can twist things around so the jury (or judge) believes I thought she gave consent? If I’m the kind of guy who thinks “no” means “try harder”, or that “no” isn’t an option if I’m horny, I will have no problem using this kind of defense. Hopefully, I’ll get my case tried by a moron who believes women are “asking for it” by virtue of having vaginas.

  • M

    By that logic, a woman could talk to a man that perceived her conversation as “flirtation” rather than her intended small talk and be found responsible for her rape, a woman could glance at a man and he could perceive it as a seductive gaze and she could be held responsible for her rape, a woman could wear a Burqa that a man found sexy because of the mystery of what lay underneath it and be found responsible for her rape. The argument is a slippery slope. When men use these arguments, they dehumanize themselves. We as humans are mammalian animals, but we have the ability to use our minds and use logic. We have the ability to see the difference between what is right and what is wrong. When a woman says: “Please stop,” “Don’t hurt me,” “I don’t want to have sex with you,” or just plain “NO!” OR if a woman is asleep, passed-out, or in some other state of consciousness where she cannot give consent; we, as human beings, should be able to think: “She can’t tell me if she wants to have sex.” OR “She said she didn’t want to have sex.” Which would, oridinarily, lead a rational human being to the conclusion that having sex is not something that should happen in that instance. If an individual chooses to ignore the aforementioned situations and proceed with the sex then that is Rape and any attempts to justify it afterward are inherently illogical and wrong. The only common denominators of all rapes are the fact that a man wants sex and the woman has an oriface he wants to use which she doesn’t want him to use. It’s selfish, it’s wrong, and extremely harmful to the victim in every instance. When men do this and use poor arguments to attempt to point the finger and lay blame on the victim, they do a their own sex a diservice an dehumanize them, reducing them to animals without the ability to think and act for themselves as a rational human being. By their arguments, a woman can do nothing to prevent rape from occurring, any man could be overcome by lust and instinct, which would mean that all men are criminals waiting to happen. Perhaps we should tell them to avoid women at all costs to ensure that they never rape anyone, because they may never know when lust may takeover their brains? That’s just silly.

  • Meeee

    Rape culture also has the idea that if a woman gives consent to one sex act, or has had sex with her boyfriend before, then she’s open game to any subsequent sex acts.

    So here’s another good one:

    Home Break-in/Robbery (e.g. when the owners are away on vacation): well, he was selling goods door-to-door last week and the owners invited him in! Thus, they were giving consent for him to always come in.

  • HW

    the religion states to punish the rapist , not the raped , severe punishement as harming one human is equal to harming all humans but corrupted man do not apply religion rules, they use their own corrupted sick intentioned and paint them with religion.. one should do own research ..

    • Me again

      Wow. Now that’s a twisted take on religion. Religion is one of the reasons why there is so much hate (and rape) in this world.

  • Sally

    @ salome: “It has ALWAYS been women’s behaviour that we modify or condemn … and if we DO any one of these “don’ts” it’s OUR OWN FAULT when we get raped.”

    Rapturous applause!

    @ M: “By that logic, … That’s just silly.”

    More rapturous applause!

    @ salome: “Men should be far more offended than women by this attitude because it suggests that all men are incapable of self-control.”
    @ M: “When men do this and use poor arguments to attempt to point the finger and lay blame on the victim, they do a their own sex a diservice an dehumanize them, reducing them to animals without the ability to think and act for themselves as a rational human being.”

    I have been saying this for longer than I care to remember — perhaps with more of us saying it, more people will begin to take notice, more lawyers will stop using it as a defence, more god-bothering clerics will realise how moronic their invisible friend is for using such idiotic ‘reasoning’ and more *men* will “have the balls” to be ashamed of trying to use such an argument to escape the consequences of their actions.

    @djbon2112: “Because a woman has the power to revoke consent AFTER THE FACT by claiming rape, especially if alcohol was involved. A man does not have that power. Like it or not, sometimes women use a rape charge as revenge for whatever.”

    Only in the perfervid imaginations of sad little boys — and from there in novels, in movies and on TV!

    @Meeee: “Rape culture also has the idea that if a woman gives consent to one sex act, or has had sex with her boyfriend before, then she’s open game to any subsequent sex acts.”

    Exactly, ‘cos, to express it in terms that our free enterprise culture adores, “once she’s been opened for business, any customer may enter.”

    @Anna Hilda “C) A woman is raped in Canada. The judge presiding over the trial gives the rapist a lenient sentence because he believes the rapist misread the woman’s appearance and demeanor as inviting sex.”

    This is arrant nonsense. In my single days, I used to ‘frock up’ and go out to bars with the possibility in mind of hooking up— but I still had (and still have) the absolute *right* to refuse to speak to, sit with, dance with, become intimate with or otherwise have anything to do with any particular person, and — even if I engage in *any* of these behaviours —no person has the *right* to assume that I am available, unless I have given *explicit* consent at every stage of the proceedings.
    And, before you even think it, a person’s buying me a drink (or even ‘drinks’) does not give them a ‘right of access’ to my body.

    @ Anna Hilda: “I feel sad for such women, too, Sally, but I don’t consider them rape victims.”

    See Telly’s statistics and M’s comment previously referenced. I would say that if a woman claims that she was raped, then she was raped (“Buyer’s remorse” is an excuse that *men* use to cover their guilt).

  • Erin

    It just finally occurred to me to recommend The Mockingbirds, by Daisy Whitney, to everyone here. It’s an excellent piece of young adult fiction that everyone, young, old or in between, could definitely learn something from.

  • MH

    Honestly, I feel like the author did not try to understand the judge’s logic. I feel like the judge just wanted to remind her that if you start allowing girls to sue people for everything they don’t like in their affairs, courts will be filled with girls complaining about their boyfriends not being loyal to them on the grounds that they were sexually abusing them.

    • Sally

      And you and the good judge are obviously happy to provide excuses to justify rape.

    • Meeee

      Thanks for reinforcing rape culture

      For your education: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    • gaitchison

      One in five women experience sexual assault in the UK and only 3% report it becomes of genuineness like you

  • hw

    Thank you Meee for the reply..the link you provided actually spots and exposes many of the malice used by rapists and their supporters to be in the “feel good about your crime” area… http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

    • Meeee

      definitely! There’s a brilliant paragraph (about the tenth or so down) specifically about victim-blaming and sexually assaulted women. I think everybody needs to be educated about rape culture, how it operates, and how people like MH reinforce it.

  • IAmNoOne

    I found this after a search for “victim blaming” and “identity theft”. Thank you!!!! Every attitude (and I do mean on the official levels as well as the friendly) I’ve encountered since becoming the victim of ID theft has centered on “what I did wrong”. As if I don’t realize my own mistakes!

    The fact is, I did no more wrong than what we used to hear about with rape victims (as you illustrate above). I wasn’t “asking for it”, the measures of carelessness on my part don’t make the person who stole almost $20k from my account NOT A THIEF, either. Had I left my car door unlocked and had my car robbed or stolen outright, it would’ve also meant I’d been foolish. It wouldn’t have meant that the thief wasn’t also guilty. This, however, was exactly what I encountered with both Bank of America and the local police. A concerted effort to see what I had done wrong ending in nothing being done (AT ALL! Not even a police report!) and (false!) accusations that I must’ve just “given my PIN # to” this person. Even after said person hacked me and got a different account number.

    Oh, it’s egregious. But thanks for letting me have my say. It’s just so much “Just World Hypothesis” wrapped up in tons of victim blaming and lack of justice. It’s sick.