Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blaming the Victim

I've been seeing quite a few debates recently about "victim blaming" as it pertains to incidents of rape.  It seems like there is a pretty hard line drawn in this debate, where there is one side saying that you can't assign any blame at all to a young woman who drank to the point of passing out in public and was raped, and the other side that makes pretty good points about the fact that "passed out" and "blacked out" are two different things, and that a super-drunk girl going along with it that wakes up in the morning, regrets what she's done, and cries "rape" was probably participating in this sex act with a guy who was just as drunk as she was, so why does HE bear all the responsibility when she regrets it?  

It has lead to a place where there is no middle ground, and the "don't blame the victim" group is missing out on one very important thing: 

rapists gonna rape.  There is nothing wrong with teaching our young women to beware of the fact that there are bad men out there who will take advantage of them if given the chance, and that they should be smart enough to not participate in helping their rapist.  Instead, they want to have classes teaching rapists how not to rape (as if rapists don't already know that raping is bad) and in the process, treat every man on Earth as if he's a rapist.  

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. 

But what they are missing is that no one is "blaming" the victim when they ask her to simply show some common sense and self-awareness.  Even 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 her 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….   

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Security in a Free State

Good discussion over at Tam’s place about risk vs. reward in having a security state. 

The prevailing conclusion there was that you cannot prevent, or defend against, the occasional terrorist attack/bombing in a free society.  I agree. 

However, I wanted to add an addendum, (or a caveat, if you will) that says that you can’t really prevent this stuff, even in a totally closed and NOT free society, either. 

Nazi occupied France was under the occupation of the freaking Nazis – there was never a more closed, repressed, unfree society, and yet these attacks occurred all the time.  Iraq and Afghanistan during our recent incursions were under marshal law, and yet these attacks occurred daily.  Northern Ireland during British occupation was under marshal law, and yet during that period of time, I recall hearing about these attacks happening quite regularly.

Then, TJIC, the old stand-by of damn fine logic and cutting analysis, made the following point:

<i>You can't defend against it (terrorism – ed) in a slave society either.

The murder rate in jails - where guns and knives is (sic) forbidden - is higher than in the worst neighborhoods.</i>

The point is made, then.  To try and protect against these things is folly.  The risk of being blown up in a terrorist attack is 4 times lower than the risk of being struck by lightning, and yet we don’t have a TSA, NSA wiretapping, travel being seen as a priviledge rather than a right, the US PATRIOT Act, gun control, the BATF, two unending and massively expensive wars, and all the other forms of “security” that we’ve created, in full or in part, to protect against lightning strike, do we, even despite the risk being four times greater?  Terrorism is a false menace, with the intent and design to affect political change using fear and coercion.  They are playing us like marionettes, because we are doing exactly what they want us to do in response to their actions.

Knowing that, who do you consider to be winning the War on Terror? 

Personally, I think we’re losing, because we are allowing our government to defeat us FOR the terrorists, by proxy. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Overpopulation - Revisited

I made this comment in response to a comment on my “Overpopulation” post a few weeks back. 

I read this article by David Wong today at Cracked, and the last point he made followed mine to a tee. 

When people talk about overpopulation and what should be done, they aren’t talking about their family, their friends, or even their country.  They are picturing another group of people; a group who they’ve dehumanized in some way to make it okay to discuss reducing, or even eliminating them, in order to “fix” this problem.  Here it is, reposted:

1.               Achim WolfSeptember 25, 2013 at 2:41 AM
Ladies and Gentlemen, Scientists warn of a rapid collapse of the Earth's ecosystem. The ecological balance is under threat: climate change, population growth and environmental degradation could lead even in this century an irreversible collapse of the global ecosystem. --> The cardinal reason is the sudden development of human population that threatens to devour all our resources. Since 21 August there is therefore a petition at for the introduction of global birth-controls, also in HINDI! If you want to support this or publish it on your website, here is the link: Please continue to spread the link or the petition as possible to all interested people, organisations etc. Thank you and best regards
Achim Wolf, Germany

2.                 GooberSeptember 30, 2013 at 9:22 AMAchim:
It is very easy to say that “other people” should stop overpopulating the Earth. Super, super easy. It’s a little less easy to include yourself in that determination, isn’t it? 
And by “other people” we are very politely not saying what we really mean – “brown people.” Brown people who you’ve determined that we’d be better off without – who you’ve determined that for the good of the folks already here (read, YOU) shouldn’t have the chance to exist. 
I rarely see white folk from developed western nations talking about population control from their own perspective. For instance – do you have kids, Achim? 
What are YOU doing to fix the problem? 
What is your proposed solution? 
This issue is very charged, because the solutions to the problem start to sound pretty genocidal and pretty racist once you wash away the polite patina which guys like you use to obscure the actual goal. 
You don’t want YOUR family to be put under population restrictions. You see no reason why YOU shouldn’t be allowed to go on living and consuming. You just want to make sure that there aren’t any other folks that aren’t you and yours competing for the same resources. You just want to keep those brown folk in their place, don’t you, Achim? 
If you were truly so worried about overpopulation, you’d actually be doing something. If saving mother Earth was so goddamned important to you, you’d have killed yourself long ago. But YOU keep going on living, don’t you, Achim? YOU keep using those resources, and schlepping on down to the beach on weekends in your car or on the train, using up those resources, don’t you, Achim? The only thing worrying you about the whole mess is the fact that some day, in the future, you’re afraid that you won’t be able to schlep on down to the beach anymore, because some uppity brown dude in India used all your energy. 
If you’re so goddamned afraid that the Earth is overpopulating, then do us a favor and kill yourself. Deny YOUR family the right to reproduce. Tell YOUR nephews, nieces, brothers, sisters and children that they aren’t going to be able to fulfill their biological imperative and have kids of their own. But you don’t do that, do you Achim? Nope, your entire effort is focused on places like India and Africa, isn’t it? On places where brutal, hand to mouth existence dictates that people MUST have more children in order to survive. You don’t want to reduce the population of Germany, do you? Until you do, I don’t believe for a second that you’re worried in the slightest about the Earth. I think that you’re just worried about having to compete with them brown folk. Until then, do me the favor of staying your racist ass off my blog.</b>