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kenny

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Apparently an offender is sexually attacking women who are wearing skirts and dresses in Brooklyn, NY, and police are asking women there to not wear dresses.

I can see both sides.
On one hand women may be safer wearing pants so the police recommendation is a good thing.
On the other hand women should be free to dress how they want.

I cannot see how, as mentioned in the article, women wearing dresses could mean they share responsibility for the actions of criminals.

How do you feel about police suggesting women dress more conservatively?

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Brooklyn-Sex-Attacks-Skirts-Women-NYPD-130863828.html

SNIP

Women in a Brooklyn neighborhood on edge over a spate of sex attacks are being told by police that wearing skirts and dresses might not be a good idea.

The surprising message from the NYPD is not being taken well.

"I think that women should be able to wear whatever they want," said Theresa Troupson, a Park Slope resident. "I don't think that they should be held responsible in any way for the actions of criminals."

Lauren, who did not want her last name used, told the the Wall Street Journal that she was walking down the street in shorts and a t-shirt after leaving the gym on Monday when she was stopped by an officer who also stopped two other women in dresses.

Lauren said the officer asked them if they knew what was happening in the area, and asked them if they knew what the suspect looked for.

"He pointed at my outfit and said, 'Don't you think your shorts are a little short?'" she told the Journal. "He pointed at their dresses and said they were showing a lot of skin."

The officer also told them that "you're exactly the kind of girl this guy is targeting," according to Lauren.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the officers "are simply pointing out that as part of the pattern involving one or more men that the assailant(s) have targeted women wearing skirts."

A group called Safe Slope says the NYPD effort is "completely inappropriate."

"There have been reports that the women attacked were all wearing skirts," said Jessica Silk, a Safe Slope founder. "Unfortunately this might be a common link between the women that were attacked but the message shouldn't be that you shouldn't wear a skirt. The message should be that, 'Here are ways that you can protect yourself.'"
 

Gothgrrl

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I also can see both sides. I didn't read the full article, just what you posted. It does make sense to maybe wear pants if women wearing dresses/skirts are being targeted. But it was wrong of the officer tell that women she's showing a lot of skin. Could've been more tactful.
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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"He pointed at my outfit and said, 'Don't you think your shorts are a little short?'" she told the Journal. "He pointed at their dresses and said they were showing a lot of skin."

Something about the way it's worded reminds me way too strongly about religious police stopping women in Saudi Arabia for whatever violations of Shari'a. I know there is a valid reason for this case because of the sexual predator, but it still bothers me. Conflicted.
 

Lottie

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I haven't read the article in full yet but if it were suggested to me that an attacker was loose and his preferred target was women in skirts and dresses, then I don't think a temporary change of style is anything other than a sensible suggestion. If the officer doesn't carefully choose his words so as not to offend me then I am going to overlook that because he is trying to keep me safe!

If the attitude continues after the attacker is caught then that's different, but its worth remembering that police officers are not politicians and we should help them to do their job where we can.
 

Amys Bling

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I see both sides. If the attacker preferred women wearing purple would they be less offended at being told to avoid that??


Personally I would head the advice for my own safety. I do however think the way the officer delievered the message could have been better....
 

swingirl

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Uh oh! Next we'll need to wear burkas so we don't turn men sexually violent by showing some skin.

What they ought to do is use some mini-skirted decoys and catch the bastard.
 

kelpie

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I live in a society that is about 35% Muslim and some ladies choose to wear the full veil while others chose to pair a lacey hijab with a tank top. My stance is women can wear whatever they want (and they do here) but would I really want men leering at me in a short skirt? If I did I know they would stare and probably shout and that's not the kind of attention I want. Nothing excuses the attacker however appearance can make you at higher risk to be a victim of a crime..... like leaving your laptop in plain sight in an unlocked car. That absolutely doesn't mean it is the victim's fault it but rather that she's a more likely target.

So I really can see why some women go to the extreme end of conservative dress. There are times I've been tempted to "disappear" and do it myself. It instantly puts a barrier between you can the rest of the public so suddenly I'd no longer be the white woman that's so novel that everyone wants to touch me, talk to me, sell me something, ask me for money. It's kind of appealing, honestly.
 

yennyfire

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Amys Bling|1317462387|3030456 said:
I see both sides. If the attacker preferred women wearing purple would they be less offended at being told to avoid that??


Personally I would head the advice for my own safety. I do however think the way the officer delievered the message could have been better....
Exactly!
 

missy

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I remember reading an article (don't remember where or when) that interviewed rapists and the consensus was they target women who are easier to "get to" ie wearing skirts or dresses because there are less maneuvers they need to do to get what they want if you KWIM.

So while I understand that the law enforcement are only trying to help in this case it is just not practical because it is really just not this circumstance but more common in general for sexual attacks to occur involving women who wear skirts/dresses. How practical is this? I refuse to live my life in fear. You need to be smart and take precautions but I do not see this as a practical solution based on the above explanation as you would just have to never wear skirts and dresses again and I, for one, love wearing skirts and dresses.
 

missy

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swingirl|1317463285|3030459 said:
Uh oh! Next we'll need to wear burkas so we don't turn men sexually violent by showing some skin.

What they ought to do is use some mini-skirted decoys and catch the bastard.
Exactly!

We will probably see this on an episode of Law and Order SVU soon. ::)
 

ksinger

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And women wouldn't be raped nearly as much if they'd just never leave the house....
 

missy

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ksinger|1317479270|3030555 said:
And women wouldn't be raped nearly as much if they'd just never leave the house....
My point exactly. Where does it end? The police need to do their job and protect the public and we will take precautions as realistically as we can while still living our lives and enjoying our freedom.
 

Circe

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kenny|1317441453|3030346 said:
I cannot see how, as mentioned in the article, women wearing dresses could mean they share responsibility for the actions of criminals.
Contextually, it has a strong whiff of "Well, what was she wearing?" about it that sets my teeth on edge. I think the problem with a lot of these "practical" suggestions is that they imply that if a woman simply treads the straight-and-narrow - doesn't dress in a revealing fashion, drink to excess, walk through dark alleys at night - she'll be fine. Of course, the flip side is that it implies that it's perfectly all right to rape a woman who's had a beer while wearing a mini-skirt and taken a short-cut home ... and it's just plain dishonest, in the you can be a teetotaling 80-year old puttering around in your kitchen, and some guy can still break in and rape you (and you'll still have to face that same scrutiny). There was a recent case in NY where a guy came in through a lady's window in the middle of the day and raped her: news reports had local residents seriously asking, well, why hadn't she put bars on her windows? :rolleyes:

It just never ends.

There's an event in NY called Slutwalk (http://slutwalknyc.com/) going on today predicated on a similar situation: after a woman was raped in Canada, a local police chief took to the news to tell the ladies that if they just didn't dress so slutty, this stuff wouldn't happen! So, in protest, women all over the world have been dressing in their finest - miniskirts, jeans, three-piece suits, mu-mus, all the things a lady could conceivably be wearing during a rape - to demonstrate the illogic of the idea.

Also ... side-note: ever notice how the linguistics set things up to make things the fault of the victim? In news stories, it's frequently "She got raped," as opposed to "That man raped her." It's not like a weather system, people! It doesn't "just happen!" There's a perpetrator. So, bottom line, if the cops are walking around making helpful suggestions ... I'd much rather they addressed the men of the neighborhood to say, "Hey, you see a lady wearing a short skirt? Don't rape her. You see a lady being harassed? Step in and help her." And so on and so forth ....
 

MissStepcut

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Circe|1317487023|3030616 said:
Contextually, it has a strong whiff of "Well, what was she wearing?" about it that sets my teeth on edge. I think the problem with a lot of these "practical" suggestions is that they imply that if a woman simply treads the straight-and-narrow - doesn't dress in a revealing fashion, drink to excess, walk through dark alleys at night - she'll be fine. Of course, the flip side is that it implies that it's perfectly all right to rape a woman who's had a beer while wearing a mini-skirt and taken a short-cut home ... and it's just plain dishonest, in the you can be a teetotaling 80-year old puttering around in your kitchen, and some guy can still break in and rape you (and you'll still have to face that same scrutiny). There was a recent case in NY where a guy came in through a lady's window in the middle of the day and raped her: news reports had local residents seriously asking, well, why hadn't she put bars on her windows? :rolleyes:

It just never ends.

There's an event in NY called Slutwalk (http://slutwalknyc.com/) going on today predicated on a similar situation: after a woman was raped in Canada, a local police chief took to the news to tell the ladies that if they just didn't dress so slutty, this stuff wouldn't happen! So, in protest, women all over the world have been dressing in their finest - miniskirts, jeans, three-piece suits, mu-mus, all the things a lady could conceivably be wearing during a rape - to demonstrate the illogic of the idea.

Also ... side-note: ever notice how the linguistics set things up to make things the fault of the victim? In news stories, it's frequently "She got raped," as opposed to "That man raped her." It's not like a weather system, people! It doesn't "just happen!" There's a perpetrator. So, bottom line, if the cops are walking around making helpful suggestions ... I'd much rather they addressed the men of the neighborhood to say, "Hey, you see a lady wearing a short skirt? Don't rape her. You see a lady being harassed? Step in and help her." And so on and so forth ....
Circe, I could not disagree more about the bolded.

My law school regularly sends out reminders that no one should leave their laptops unattended within the law school. Does that imply that it's "perfectly alright" to steal an unattended laptop? Of course it doesn't. Suggesting someone guard against criminality doesn't imply endorsement of the criminality.

Being oversensitive to potential victim blaming seems like a good way to stop people from being reminded about how to conduct themselves safely.
 

Circe

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MissStepcut|1317492818|3030660 said:
Circe|1317487023|3030616 said:
Contextually, it has a strong whiff of "Well, what was she wearing?" about it that sets my teeth on edge. I think the problem with a lot of these "practical" suggestions is that they imply that if a woman simply treads the straight-and-narrow - doesn't dress in a revealing fashion, drink to excess, walk through dark alleys at night - she'll be fine. Of course, the flip side is that it implies that it's perfectly all right to rape a woman who's had a beer while wearing a mini-skirt and taken a short-cut home ... and it's just plain dishonest, in the you can be a teetotaling 80-year old puttering around in your kitchen, and some guy can still break in and rape you (and you'll still have to face that same scrutiny). There was a recent case in NY where a guy came in through a lady's window in the middle of the day and raped her: news reports had local residents seriously asking, well, why hadn't she put bars on her windows? :rolleyes:

It just never ends.

There's an event in NY called Slutwalk (http://slutwalknyc.com/) going on today predicated on a similar situation: after a woman was raped in Canada, a local police chief took to the news to tell the ladies that if they just didn't dress so slutty, this stuff wouldn't happen! So, in protest, women all over the world have been dressing in their finest - miniskirts, jeans, three-piece suits, mu-mus, all the things a lady could conceivably be wearing during a rape - to demonstrate the illogic of the idea.

Also ... side-note: ever notice how the linguistics set things up to make things the fault of the victim? In news stories, it's frequently "She got raped," as opposed to "That man raped her." It's not like a weather system, people! It doesn't "just happen!" There's a perpetrator. So, bottom line, if the cops are walking around making helpful suggestions ... I'd much rather they addressed the men of the neighborhood to say, "Hey, you see a lady wearing a short skirt? Don't rape her. You see a lady being harassed? Step in and help her." And so on and so forth ....
Circe, I could not disagree more about the bolded.

My law school regularly sends out reminders that no one should leave their laptops unattended within the law school. Does that imply that it's "perfectly alright" to steal an unattended laptop? Of course it doesn't. Suggesting someone guard against criminality doesn't imply endorsement of the criminality.

Being oversensitive to potential victim blaming seems like a good way to stop people from being reminded about how to conduct themselves safely.
And I wish it weren't the case, too - but leaving a laptop unattended and wearing shorts during a heatwave aren't quite on the same level, and I've yet to see anybody imply that the person who left their laptop unattended obviously wanted to have their laptop stolen, whereas that's kind of a time-honored tradition in rape prosecution. So, again, context.
 

Karl_K

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Wearing a 9mm would be a much better idea.
 

kenny

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Karl_K|1317500093|3030726 said:
Wearing a 9mm would be a much better idea.
Wouldn't that cover less than a miniskirt?
 

luv2sparkle

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If changing an outfit would give you even a measure of protection, it would be worth it.

If the guy was targeting a certain hair color, I would want to know that. Wouldn't you?
 

swingirl

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Not wearing the targeted outfit might give women an inaccurate sense of safety. And since we know that 80 year old women have been raped in their own homes, it's risky to think you are safer because you are not wearing a mini skirt.
 

iheartscience

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ksinger|1317479270|3030555 said:
And women wouldn't be raped nearly as much if they'd just never leave the house....
Exactly. The suggestion is absurd. Perhaps the police should, I don't know, DO THEIR JOB AND CATCH THE RAPIST. Here are some tips that should actually be disseminated to the general public:

How to Prevent Sexual Assault
1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.
2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!
3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!
4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!
6. Remember, people go to laundry rooms to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!
10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

And, ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you didn’t ask permission and then respect the answer the first time, you are committing a crime- no matter how “into it” others appear to be.
 

vsc

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Oh Kenny this is such a difficult question to answer!

I am on both sides of the fence.

One side of me is ENRAGED :angryfire: by even the merest suggestion that women should dress conservatively to avoid "trouble".
Not only does it imply that somehow it is the woman's fault...

But think a second. Say everyone switches to pants. The creep is still out there. Is he going to stop raping? No. So next will be people in whatever he deems easiest/more attractive, whether it be tight pants, sweat pants, or gym shorts. Does not solve the problem.

The other side of me is pragmatic.
As part of the population of women out there, if I can by any means avoid to be selected by a predator, I will do it. The same as I wouldn't be wearing nice jewelry when going to the wrong side of town.

I saw once on TV a true story of this 30 something father who went late on a weekend night to return a movie, in his fancy new BMW convertible. Some up-to-no-goods saw him driving with the top down and followed him home. When he refused to surrender the car keys, they shot and killed him.
My take on it was, he should have surrendered the damn keys. It was not worth his life.
My SO thought that it was reckless to take a showy car out at that time of day/week in the first place and attract attention to himself, and that he shouldn't have created the situation.

So how careful is too careful?

In the meanwhile I second the idea of a mini-skirted decoy to catch the creep instead of wasting time telling women what to wear.
 

diamondseeker2006

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luv2sparkle|1317516604|3030882 said:
If changing an outfit would give you even a measure of protection, it would be worth it.

If the guy was targeting a certain hair color, I would want to know that. Wouldn't you?
Absolutely!!!!!

If the rapist was targeting teenage girls with long black hair, I don't think my almost 16 year old daughter would be out walking that area alone, either! This is just common sense!
 

Circe

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thing2of2|1317520782|3030925 said:
ksinger|1317479270|3030555 said:
And women wouldn't be raped nearly as much if they'd just never leave the house....
Exactly. The suggestion is absurd. Perhaps the police should, I don't know, DO THEIR JOB AND CATCH THE RAPIST. Here are some tips that should actually be disseminated to the general public:

How to Prevent Sexual Assault
1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.
2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!
3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!
4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!
6. Remember, people go to laundry rooms to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!
10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

And, ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you didn’t ask permission and then respect the answer the first time, you are committing a crime- no matter how “into it” others appear to be.
::snicker::

Thing, I love you.

Here's a take on things from one of my favorite feminist websites:

The rapist is targeting women who are wearing skirts, so NYPD officers are warning women who are wearing… shorts. Sure. Also the rapist is targeting people who appear to have vaginas, so maybe people who appear to have vaginas should just leave their bodies at home. What’s wrong with that advice? I’m just looking out for you.

I don’t live in Park Slope, but I’m in an adjacent neighborhood, and for a while there were a string of muggings nearby. The mugger targeted men — most of whom were wearing pants with pockets, in which they kept their wallets and cell phones for easy access. And yet I didn’t hear of one police officer stopping a bepantsed man and “simply pointing out that as part of the pattern.” Weird. I’m sure that was just a departmental oversight.


- http://www.feministe.us/blog/archiv...se-so-stop-doing-that-im-just-trying-to-help/
 

Archerp

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This police statement is ridiculous. The first attempted rape in Park Slope was caught on tape and the woman was wearing pants. There was another attempted attack on a street in Staten Island earlier this week and that woman was also wearing pants. Wearing pants doesn't protect one from rape. It reminds me of that ignorant judge in Italy who said a woman couldn't have been raped because she was wearing tight jeans.
 

Black Jade

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This could all be solved if the policeman (and the department) didn't ever issue any warnings whatsover. Rapist in the area? Do not tell any women that he is there--they might be offended by how you phrase your warning. Catch him without being offensive by saying anything. And if you can't catch him, still don't say anything. After all, offending anybody whatsoever for whatever reason is the absolute worst crime in the world nowadays.

Don't ever dare suggest that any behavior on anyone's part might ever make ANYTHING more likely, not for any motive whatsoever. Because it can't be that you might possibly want to protect someone from a trauma. That you'd rather not see them step off that cliff over the ravine for lack of a sign posted. It must be that you are a terrible control freak and determined to control them and infringe on their rights. It is a great comfort, after all, to know that you were perfectly within your rights to go get drunk alone at that frat house with 20 boozed up guys you jsut met half an hour ago and that THEY were totally the problem, not you, when the, well let's not say inevitable, but likely happens. It's much better than feeling controlled and discriminated against by all the politically incorrect people that suggest that it might not be wise for a woman to walk around in dark places alone in the bad side of town in the middle of the night. And, after all, it has happened that women have been at home and gotten attacked during breakins. Since it has happened, we can totally equate the two behaviors and pretend that the one doesn't make problems more likely than the other. Because what we really want is not to be safe but to have someone to blame in case (God forbid, I am not wishing it on anyone) anything happens.

These rules now apply to everything--not just women's issues. Until I lost weight and got my diabetes under control (to the point that drs say I don't have it anymore), the drs. were all telling me that weight was not an issue in diabetics, it was all bad genetics. After I lost the weight, THEN they pop out with the statistic that 50% of the people who lose enough weight in the case of diabetes don't have the issue at all anymore, and 100% of them are able to take less medicine and have a better quality of life. When I ask why I wasn't told this before, they all said (we are talking about three different drs here), it's pointless to bring this up because people don't lose the weight, they jsut get insulted. the newspapers (and your child's sex education class) talk about the exponential rise of STDs to epidemic levels in just one generation as if this has nothing to do with any changes in behavior (other than not being educated enough in condom use). And of course the rise in criminal and dysfunctional behavior seen today in the black community is discussed as if it had nothing at all to do with a 70% illegitimacy rate and the fact that it's rare, for the first time in the history of the US, including under slavery and Jim Crow, for a black child to have a father in the home. Because it is politically incorrect to suggest that stable two parent households with a father (male) and mother (female) are show better results than the other hundreds of possible variations of people living under one roof, related or unrelated, who have children present. And there have been children who turned out well in spite of terribly dysfunctional situations and one can also find cases like that married mother who drowned all her kids while the husband was out at work, and of course if you can find one single exception to the rule, the whole rule is automatically proved invalid.

If an officer tells me, there is a guy in the neighborhood attacking women and we notice that most of the women were wearing dresses, I will say, thank you officer for the warning, I will be careful. If the officer tells me, there is a guy in the neighborhood attacking women and we notice that most of the victims were wearing dresses, you might not want to want that pair of shorts while this is going on, I will STILL say, thank you, officer for that warning and thank you for doing this highly dangerous and thankless job that helps keep me safe (I've lived where policemen do not venture and believe me, you do not want to be there). And I'm not so full of myself that I couldn't consider the possibility that my shorts might be inappropriate for the venue and the area and not too good to take a well meant hint. When I went to visit my mother in law in a conservative area of Brooklyn two years ago, she suggested that my (two inches above the knee) shorts were too short. Instead of blowing up at her, I looked around me in the street and saw that in fact no women in the area wore shorts at all, only capri pants and ankle length skirts and full cut blouses with at least short sleeves (no sleeveless). so my clothes, which are perfectly appropriate where I live, called unfortunate attention to me in her area. I took it as a kindness on her part to warn me and bought new clothes for the duration of the visit. When I went back home, I went back to my former wardrobe. I don't see how this affected my life in the long term at all, much less that it made me some major victim of societal attention who needed to begin screaming from the rooftops that this is the same attitude that puts women in burkhas (is it? that seems like quite a stretch) and why didn't she tell my husband about he dressed, and blah blah blah blah blah ad nauseam, showing how progressive I am, but making absolutely no sense.
 

Upgradable

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ksinger|1317479270|3030555 said:
And women wouldn't be raped nearly as much if they'd just never leave the house....
Now, where's that like button?
 

Gypsy

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Messages
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ksinger|1317479270|3030555 said:
And women wouldn't be raped nearly as much if they'd just never leave the house....
Totally. I think it's sensible in the short term to let the public know that there is a risk and what it is so they can make educated decisions themselves. But it needs to handled tactfully and all parties keep in mind that they are dealing to a sociopath-- that there is nothing wrong with women wearing skirts or what not in the real world and that in the short term you aren't dealing with the real world, your dealing with a sociopath's reality-- and while that's wrong until they guy is caught... you should realize that wearing a skirt might be risky. But ultimately that it's WRONG should be part of the message. I object to the way that cops handled it, too.

Also rape isn't about sex. It's about power. You would think cops would remember that.
 

Gypsy

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thing2of2|1317520782|3030925 said:
ksinger|1317479270|3030555 said:
And women wouldn't be raped nearly as much if they'd just never leave the house....
Exactly. The suggestion is absurd. Perhaps the police should, I don't know, DO THEIR JOB AND CATCH THE RAPIST. Here are some tips that should actually be disseminated to the general public:

How to Prevent Sexual Assault
1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.
2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!
3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!
4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!
6. Remember, people go to laundry rooms to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!
10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

And, ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you didn’t ask permission and then respect the answer the first time, you are committing a crime- no matter how “into it” others appear to be.
AWESOME!
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
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Black Jade|1317601145|3031622 said:
This could all be solved if the policeman (and the department) didn't ever issue any warnings whatsover. Rapist in the area? Do not tell any women that he is there--they might be offended by how you phrase your warning. Catch him without being offensive by saying anything. And if you can't catch him, still don't say anything. After all, offending anybody whatsoever for whatever reason is the absolute worst crime in the world nowadays.

Don't ever dare suggest that any behavior on anyone's part might ever make ANYTHING more likely, not for any motive whatsoever. Because it can't be that you might possibly want to protect someone from a trauma. That you'd rather not see them step off that cliff over the ravine for lack of a sign posted. It must be that you are a terrible control freak and determined to control them and infringe on their rights. It is a great comfort, after all, to know that you were perfectly within your rights to go get drunk alone at that frat house with 20 boozed up guys you jsut met half an hour ago and that THEY were totally the problem, not you, when the, well let's not say inevitable, but likely happens. It's much better than feeling controlled and discriminated against by all the politically incorrect people that suggest that it might not be wise for a woman to walk around in dark places alone in the bad side of town in the middle of the night. And, after all, it has happened that women have been at home and gotten attacked during breakins. Since it has happened, we can totally equate the two behaviors and pretend that the one doesn't make problems more likely than the other. Because what we really want is not to be safe but to have someone to blame in case (God forbid, I am not wishing it on anyone) anything happens.

These rules now apply to everything--not just women's issues. Until I lost weight and got my diabetes under control (to the point that drs say I don't have it anymore), the drs. were all telling me that weight was not an issue in diabetics, it was all bad genetics. After I lost the weight, THEN they pop out with the statistic that 50% of the people who lose enough weight in the case of diabetes don't have the issue at all anymore, and 100% of them are able to take less medicine and have a better quality of life. When I ask why I wasn't told this before, they all said (we are talking about three different drs here), it's pointless to bring this up because people don't lose the weight, they jsut get insulted. the newspapers (and your child's sex education class) talk about the exponential rise of STDs to epidemic levels in just one generation as if this has nothing to do with any changes in behavior (other than not being educated enough in condom use). And of course the rise in criminal and dysfunctional behavior seen today in the black community is discussed as if it had nothing at all to do with a 70% illegitimacy rate and the fact that it's rare, for the first time in the history of the US, including under slavery and Jim Crow, for a black child to have a father in the home. Because it is politically incorrect to suggest that stable two parent households with a father (male) and mother (female) are show better results than the other hundreds of possible variations of people living under one roof, related or unrelated, who have children present. And there have been children who turned out well in spite of terribly dysfunctional situations and one can also find cases like that married mother who drowned all her kids while the husband was out at work, and of course if you can find one single exception to the rule, the whole rule is automatically proved invalid.

If an officer tells me, there is a guy in the neighborhood attacking women and we notice that most of the women were wearing dresses, I will say, thank you officer for the warning, I will be careful. If the officer tells me, there is a guy in the neighborhood attacking women and we notice that most of the victims were wearing dresses, you might not want to want that pair of shorts while this is going on, I will STILL say, thank you, officer for that warning and thank you for doing this highly dangerous and thankless job that helps keep me safe (I've lived where policemen do not venture and believe me, you do not want to be there). And I'm not so full of myself that I couldn't consider the possibility that my shorts might be inappropriate for the venue and the area and not too good to take a well meant hint. When I went to visit my mother in law in a conservative area of Brooklyn two years ago, she suggested that my (two inches above the knee) shorts were too short. Instead of blowing up at her, I looked around me in the street and saw that in fact no women in the area wore shorts at all, only capri pants and ankle length skirts and full cut blouses with at least short sleeves (no sleeveless). so my clothes, which are perfectly appropriate where I live, called unfortunate attention to me in her area. I took it as a kindness on her part to warn me and bought new clothes for the duration of the visit. When I went back home, I went back to my former wardrobe. I don't see how this affected my life in the long term at all, much less that it made me some major victim of societal attention who needed to begin screaming from the rooftops that this is the same attitude that puts women in burkhas (is it? that seems like quite a stretch) and why didn't she tell my husband about he dressed, and blah blah blah blah blah ad nauseam, showing how progressive I am, but making absolutely no sense.
Thing is, the problem isn't that it huwts peoples wittle feewings. While I'd rather not belittle a rape survivor's experiences or bring up painful memories of being dismissed by the legal system, the ends justify the means, and if it would keep her - the entire class of "hers" - from having to experience anything similar again, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

But it won't.

What it will and does do is create a mentality where prosecutors think that asking "what was she wearing?" is enough to sway a jury into thinking "she wanted it" - and it does. What happens is that cops refuse to investigate cases where a witness fits their mental image of a slut, or, on occasion, break into her apartment and rape her themselves, because they know nobody will believe her (actual case of Officer Moreno this summer). What happens is that our celebrities make distinctions between "rape" and "rape-rape and our magazines create categories like "grey rape" and our senators decide that experiences like the below are necessary for a rape victim to be able to decide what she wants to do with her body afterwards:

A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

Thanks, Bill Napoli.

Would it be nice if there were practical suggestions that would keep women from being attacked? Sure! Not provoking men's savage urges with our short skirts and our revealing shorts, however, not realistically among them. It's the uselessness of it as much as the long-spanning social consequences that frustrate me.
 
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