Social Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

What can be done to stop rape before it happens?

Asked by KNOWITALL (25238points) January 2nd, 2013

In the news there’s a horrid story about a 23 year old woman in India who died from wounds suffered during a gang-rape by six men.

Is there anything we can do to stop this? More education, tougher laws?

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179 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

What people want to happen in India is a cultural change that disrupts something like a gang rape in the first place. And also a cultural change were women are respected and gang rapes are shameful.

syz's avatar

As individuals, I doubt there’s much of anything that we, as individuals, can do about the rape culture in India.

However, in our own country, we can be outspoken proponents for change

KNOWITALL's avatar

This woman was raped by six men on a moving bus, and the internal injuries that caused her death were because they shoved a metal rod around, too.

Every human being knows this is wrong, against every law of God and man both, so if it still happens, what will stop it?

If a rape causes death, wouldn’t it be natural for the death penalty to be on the table, especially here in the US?

“The maximum sentence in the USA for rape is thus the death penalty if the victim is a child. If the victim is an adult, the offense can still be a captial offense with a maximum sentence of life without parole.”

Seek's avatar

@KNOWITALL Well, I’m anti-death penalty in all cases. Besides, the Colisseum-going Roman in me wants to see filthy rapists of all sorts sent to the lions and beaten half to death in the prison showers twice a week for the next 30 years.

Shippy's avatar

We should have “Remember Our Women” days where men wear a ribbon. Like we do for breast cancer or AIDS. Adverts should run, showing women as mothers, sisters, friends, daughters, children to remember who we are. We are so many things. And to remember those women who were abused. Not only in rape.

Also it takes a real man to speak up against the abuse of women.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Here are ten guaranteed ways to stop rape:

1. Don’t put drugs in anyone’s drinks.

2. Never open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

3. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone.

4. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, don’t rape them.

5. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to rape 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 raping people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake. If you encounter someone who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not rape them.

9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to rape someone, blow the whistle until someone comes to stop you. If you are worried you might rape “accidently” rape someone, you can hand it to the person you are with so that they can blow it if you do.

10. Always be honest with people. Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to rape. Consider telling them you plan to rape 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.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SavoirFaire I get your humor, but this subject is kind of taboo for that, sorry.

Shippy's avatar


The_Idler's avatar

@SavoirFaire is making the point that it is the potential rapist’s attitudes, decisions and behaviour that are the most important factors in determining whether rape occurs, simultaneously ridiculing the “preventative advice” given to possible victims, which often has the counter-productive potential to normalise victim-blaming.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

We need to cultivate a culture of valuing women as equal class citizens. There is no superior sex, we’re all people that should have the exact same rights and privileges. There’s also a lawless side to the culture, because they also beat the guy she was with and threw them both off the bus stripped.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Well, if daddies would stop joking about women as objects in front of their sons, I would think that would go a long way.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@KNOWITALL I made the same point as @syz in a different way. And if it helps, that list was originally created by a woman.

@WillWorkForChocolate Excellent point. The social roots of rape go very deep.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Agreed. I’m just not sure that the government stepping up is going to be enough to deter these idiots.

@SavoirFaire I see no humor in this subject at all, even from women.

cazzie's avatar

Teach men to NOT rape, is @SavoirFaire very basic message. Not meant to be funny. Meant to enlighten.

CWOTUS's avatar

Satire isn’t usually meant as humor, @KNOWITALL. And I know that @SavoirFaire wasn’t “making a joke”; that’s what satire looks like. You may want to look up and read Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal” for an excellent example of the style.

Part of the point of the satire is: What law was missing that the men on this bus (and perhaps other passengers as well, who allowed this atrocity to occur) were able to do what they did?

Is there a more specific law or better language than the broadly stated “Don’t rape” that will work better? I’m all for that, if you can point me in that direction. For now, @SavoirFaire‘s advice is actually pretty good.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Depending upon where you live, concealed carry permit holders may use their weapons to save the life of a victim of attempted murder, rape, or serious assault.

This woman stopped it by shooting the attempted rapist when he returned 3 days after beating and raping her in her home.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’m a woman and I still found it offensive. Can we not argue about finding the humor/ satire in rape for God’s sakes? My aunt was raped and got pregnant, I find a very serious subject so moving on.

Coloma's avatar

I hope those men are slowly hung to death. Grrr!
I don’t think we can prevent violent crimes, all we can do is be as aware as possible when out and about in this crazy world.

cazzie's avatar

I am a woman and have had relatives sexually assaulted and worse. I ‘get’ that @SavoirFaire ‘s comment is not meant to be funny, but is serious in the extreme. Read it with fresh eyes and see if you can see that what it is meant to mean is that the responsibility needs to be put on the men, not women ‘dressing more appropriately, or not going out at night or walking home alone’. That is crap. If I want to wear a miniskirt, I shouldn’t have to worry about being raped. Me and my female family members and friends SHOULD be able to walk home safely, like our male counterparts. Teach men not to rape. Teach men that women are not objects for abuse, exercise pieces for power and violence.

CWOTUS's avatar

No civilized person is going to disagree that it’s horrible, @KNOWITALL, but thinking that “we should pass a law!” when every law in the book pretty much presupposes “don’t rape, and while you’re at it, don’t murder” is pretty silly on its face, without the “ah, ha – that’s clever satire!” moment to leaven it.

No one in command of his faculties is going to think that rape is a humorous subject.

Men People should not rape. That’s axiomatic. There are enough laws already that say so quite explicitly. What new law is going to reinforce that? What law would have prevented that occurrence?

@LuckyGuy has a good answer, but it’s based in law outside of “don’t rape”.

ucme's avatar

Another teenage girl raped in India recently & her father commited suicide because his family had been dishonoured. It’s apparently rife in that country & has been for years, I think sweeping cultural changes need to be made asap, women are clearly defined as second class citizens over there & that must stop!

KNOWITALL's avatar

The Indian government is taking note, whether they’ll actually enforce anything or try to empower women is a whole other subject.

Does anyone know someone who has raped someone? Anyone in this forum a rapist? Because the rest of you cannot assume some rapist will read this and change their ways, we as a society of human beings, have to be very clear that we will no longer tolerate anything that puts our sisters down.

This, to me, includes viewing them only as sexual objects in Hollywood or music, etc… That’s actually what I meant when I asked this question, what can we do to change things?

@cazzie So you don’t think that women being viewed as sexual beings across the world is part of the problem? You also believe that women not taking appropriate precautions when out alone at night in a miniskirt is a smart thing?

It is crap that we have to be cognizant of where we are and what we’re doing, but we do. To ignore the facts of life is ignorant and dangerous.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@KNOWITALL I don’t think @cazzie is saying that women shouldn’t take precautions. What she’s saying is that it’s bullshit that women should HAVE to take those precautions, and that if dirty rapist men didn’t view all women as sexual objects, that we wouldn’t have to.

cutiepi92's avatar

@cazzie Yes, I also believe that the responsibility should fully be placed on men. However, I still think it’s stupid for a woman to walk home alone at night in a sexy outfit. Should she be able to? Yes, but at the same time I think people should not even try to put themselves in that situation. As @KNOWITALL said, we need to be cognizant of what we are doing and not be ignorant. It shouldn’t have to happen, but that’s the world we live in. I might to want to go running at 3 am in a sports bra and yoga pants and I damn well should be able to in an ideal world without the fear of being targeted. That doesn’t mean I’m stupid enough to do so because that still puts you in a dangerous situation. It’s the attacker’s fault, but still you must take precautions. It’s like leaving your car door open and your keys in the car and being mad when someone steals your car. It’s crap that we have to take precautions, but there are plenty of precautions that we must take in life. It will take a LONG time in any culture for women not to be seen as weaker or sexually. Does that suck? Yes, but that’s also the unfortunate reality. It’s hard to change a mindset like that over an entire country, not just an individual

ucme's avatar

I know what i’d do with the sick cowardly fucks who violated her body, beat her with an iron bar & threw her from a moving vehicle, leaving her for dead…a pair of pliers & a fucking blow torch!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@ucme Only if I get to help!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@cutiepi92 Thank you, I felt like I was being attacked for being against rape there for a minute, it was pretty strange.

@ucme See, how do we get all the guys in the Middle East to think like that?! That’s what my question is about, how do we instill pride and protectiveness in these freaks?

KNOWITALL's avatar

And I really don’t think women raping or having babies with 13 year old boys is cute either. All these people saying it’s okay for boys are getting irritating and not thinking about long-term consequences.

ucme's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Choose your weapon m’dear :¬)
@KNOWITALL It’s going to take generations of macho bullshit to be displaced.

Coloma's avatar

I agree 100% with @cutiepi92
Sure, in a perfect world a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants, but..there are boundaries and common sense and accountability as well.
Rape is an act of power, control and dominance much more so than true sexual arousal, however…if a woman is foolish enough to walk around looking like a stripper, insisting all the time that she has a “right” to parade her sexuality around in any environment, appropriate or not..well, sorry, that’s just plain stupid.
Dressing attractively and dressing like a hooker are two completely different things, and while I am not saying, in any way, shape or form, a woman ever “deserves” to be sexually assaulted, at the same time insisting that you should be able to dress extremely provocatively and not expect sexual attention is delusional.

Women KNOW damn well when they are looking to glean sexual attention by the way they dress.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@ucme Channel locks, my shovel, a spoon, and a hammer.

ucme's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I like your style, you did forget one thing though, we must leave a big sponge so the local cops can clean up what’s left of the bastards…in the interests of hygiene if nothing else.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@ucme You are correct. Whoops.

burntbonez's avatar

While your anger about rape is justified, @KNOWITALL, the crucial fact in this case is that it took place in India, and that the culture is very different there. If you want to address rape in India, you’ll need to understand the culture. You’ll need to understand that middle class, middle America knows nothing about what it is like in India, and has no clue about the traditional role of women there. You simply cannot imagine.

This is a country where if a young woman’s husband dies, she is still expected to throw herself on his funeral pyre and die with him. This is a country where there are honor killings. If a woman is accused of cheating on her husband, her husband’s family will get together an lynch her. This is a country where, in the countryside and sometimes in the cities, women are fully expected to be the servants of their husbands. They are worse—the property of their husbands.

In some Muslim areas, a woman can not be out alone, without her man in public. If a woman is out alone, she is assumed to be a prostitute. This is why the men raped that woman, most likely. She was alone and had no protector and so they assumed she was a dirty woman. A slut and a prostitute. Perhaps the men were drunk.

So if you want to do something about rape, you need to change that culture. You need to get rid of religious laws that make women the property of men, or in any way unequal to men. You need to change laws that don’t allow women to have property or money, so that they literally cannot take care of themselves because they can’t get bank accounts.

And while you are at it, you need to do this in all religious, not just Hindu and Muslim and Christianity. you need to make sure women have a right to birth control and abortion services. Because if a woman can not control her own body in any way, then it is the same as if she is controlled in all ways by men.

You need to do this, and you need to do it in a country you are unfamiliar with where the culture will be very strange to you and you will be unable to speak the language. It will be very difficult. Perhaps the best thing you can do is to send money to support women’s organizations in these countries. But as long as men feel entitled to women’s bodies, there will be rape after rape. Please educate yourself about this and take the steps required.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@burntbonez In my area, we have a very diversified population and I’ve studied many religions, and have many friends are from different cultures. I see this in my Vietnamese friends as well as Japanese and in my uber-religious friends too, it’s not just religious or cultural. They are extremely subservient so that apparently makes them vulnerable to attack, and then they won’t speak about it even if it gets the rapist out of their lives.

As far as the Indian woman who was raped, I understood she wasn’t alone and her male friend was thrown naked from the bus with her.

tups's avatar

First of all, rape is much of a taboo in society. It is not comfortable to talk about, therefore we don’t, because we want to feel good.
I think it is important to focus on the way too big amount of rape going on, even though it is not comfortable to talk about. Rape should never happen. It should be a something very strange and surprising if it did happen, unfortunately it is not news when rape happens.

Second of all, the penal system should be changed. Sometimes rapists only gets 2 years in jail, if they are even convicted. Economical criminels gets sometimes 20 years in jail. I think it is absolutely sick. Rape is a thousand times worse than economical criminality. Money is money, but rape is a persons life changed forever.

So I think we should focus more on rape and do something more drastic to fight against it as a society and I think it is important to make everybody understand, everywhere in the world, that it is completely unforgivable.

Seek's avatar

^ Economic criminals destroy lives too.

I’d compare it more to a drug possession charge. Five years for an ounce of weed? Bullshit.

Shippy's avatar

Well here goes, I’ll talk about it. I was not really in a position or any position @SavoirFaire mentioned. And not knocking that post at this point. But rather making a new point. And saying that briefly this is my story.

I went out with a group of friends at the age of 21. A trusted group, we had a real blast, we had fun, and one of my friends had brought along a guy. He seemed like a real sweetie.

Because I was having so much fun, when my lift left early my friend assured me that this sweet guy, her friend would give me a lift. So all was sorted.

He did, and when he walked me to the front door, to make sure I was safe, he pushed me into my apartment. By putting his palm on my face and shoving me back. I was taken off guard totally. This sweet friend, spent hours in my apartment that night, brutally attacking me. This is so hard to type. But I want people to know that yes, you can follow those rules, you can try. But really when it hits you it seems to come from nowhere.

Seek's avatar

@Shippy I’m so sorry you were forced to experience that. My heart goes out to you.

Sunny2's avatar

@Shippy Thank you for sharing that with us.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

That really is shocking to read @Shippy I am so sorry that happened to you. I am not a violent person but in circumstances such as somebody I know having been raped I just know I would make the guy suffer like he had never suffered before as I just cannot understand how a guy can do something like that.

Sunny2's avatar

I have to say that I believe there is NO subject that cannot be mocked in a humorous way. Rape, murder, decapitation, defenestration, take your pick. Black humor will always be around. You can avoid it all you want to, but it exists and always has. Scolding others who can see the humor in any situation is useless and unreasonable.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Sunny2 That doesn’t make it more palatable or funny to others who have been raped.
It’s called having manners and keeping it classy.

Seek's avatar

Satire is highbrow humour. It wasn’t slapstick, no one was bringing dead baby jokes into it. It’s satire, forcing people to look at reality from an unexpected angle.

And FWIW, it’s a personal pet-peeve when people take the liberty of being offended for a group to which they do not belong.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You don’t know me, Seek, don’t assume you know everything about me, k?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I have to agree with @Seek_Kolinahr on this one. I was a hair’s breadth away from being raped when I was 13, and only got away because I nailed him in the cajones hard enough to incapacitate him for a minute. Rapists disgust me. They physically disgust me. I still hate that man, even if he did join the army, get married, have a kid, and turn out to be a somewhat normal guy. I still fucking hate him and have nightmares about what happened.

And I still don’t have a problem with @SavoirFaire‘s post.

CWOTUS's avatar

Thanks, @Shippy. I’m sorry it happened.

My father was the mostly strong, silent type. Friendly, but stand-offish, and he hardly ever raised his voice except in real alarm (I mean like literal life-and-death alarm). He was always a man of his word, and when he said he would do a thing it was as good as done. But he wasn’t the strong, stupid type. If you wanted a discussion on philosophy, politics, economics, engineering, music, opera (not so much sports), then he would engage, and he always made sense, and he nearly always won arguments based on reason, preparation, facts and general knowledge. He built arguments out of steel and welded connections.

So, many of the things he said to me and around me have stuck with me, and will forever. I recall one evening in particular, speaking on this exact topic. I may have been about ten years old. He and I were at the kitchen table after dinner, and we were talking about life and death, as a matter of fact, and capital punishment, in terms of “would you still love me if I… ?” I brought up, as the worst thing I could imagine, “What if I killed someone?” the way a child might think of such things.

He happened to mention, and I recall the real steel in his voice as he said it, calmly, but with tremendous “intent” behind it, that “of course I would still love you”, and then he added a “but”. “But a rapist or a child molester should be put to death.” I recall very clearly the chill that I felt go down my spine at realizing the sort of cold fury my gentle father could contain as he said that to me, very quietly, but with deadly intent. I knew that I’d better not ever be one of those, whatever they were.

I was ten years old. I barely knew what SEX was, and had not an inkling of rape or child molestation. I had to look up rape in the dictionary, and “child molestation” took several more years to comprehend.

I get it now. I’ve had children of my own, and a wife that I loved and protected.

The only difference between my father and me on this topic is that I don’t trust the state to do the deed, or to prosecute the case correctly, or against the right individual. So I no longer believe in state sanctioned capital punishment. I would like to do that myself.

Seek's avatar

@CWOTUS Sounds like you had an awesome dad.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Not specific to India. We are just as screwed up here – What can you expect in a country with this fucked up and sexist government? I mean really.

ragingloli's avatar

We need to go back to the good old conservative days and keep women locked in the house.
Rape is caused by the liberal degenerates that let women walk out in the open unaccompanied by their husband/owner.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ragingloli Indeed. (on a serious note, most sexual violence is done by men women know and a lot by their husbands)

josie's avatar

The only way to stop it before it happens is to
a. Kill all the men
b. Kill all the women

Which is the most likely to happen in your lifetime?

All you can do is put away the people who refuse to restrain themselves so they do not bother you or me again. What is complicated about that?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie Look at my link in my comment. If you have a government that WON’T put people away, then you can’t depend on that.

josie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir No argument. You are correct.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t look at the failure of VAWA as particularly indicative of “softness on rape or violence against women”, @Simone_De_Beauvoir. What I see is “politics as it is played in this country”. I haven’t read the bill, but I understand (and surely so do you) how “can’t miss” legislation such as this often becomes a portmanteau for all kinds of other, totally unrelated, spending, power shifting and other actions which have nothing whatever to do with “violence against women”.

According to your link, the “House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans”. Whatever you think about the Republicans in the House (please spare us; I’m no great supporter, either), I can certainly understand why they may (as well as the Democrats also from time to time) refuse to support a bill which “seems to be” cut and dried and a slam dunk in favor of some popular project or another.

I’m sure that if a bill could be put in front of the house proclaiming “Macintosh apple” to be the National Pie, and if all that anyone in this country ever ate was Macintosh apples, and half the country grew the damn things, the legislation that might be sent to the President would cost $10 billion and consist of over 2000 pages and a new Cabinet Department.

I do support making bills conform to more or less what the title of the legislation is about. In that narrow way I do support the Republican blockage of the bill.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CWOTUS I agree that it’s ‘politics as usual.’ I also don’t look to politics as a way to solve any of these issues. Unfortunately, other people believe in politics as a good that will do good. If politics functioned, it would put away criminals that are rapists. That’s the idea I guess. Doesn’t really play out like ever, historically.

Still, if people believe in politics as they do, then they believe in these bills as a sign of ‘civilization.’ And if we accept this meaning, we are a terrible civilization.

Aethelwine's avatar

The story about the woman in India is awful. I don’t know what could have been done to stop what happened to her.

I do know what I could have done to stop the two times I was raped. The first was when I was 15. We didn’t have school that day and this guy I liked invited me over to his house. He had a mutual male friend with him and his parents weren’t home. They held me down and had their way with me while I cried and yelled for them to stop. I should have known better to not go to a boys house at that age without adult supervision. Stupid me. I didn’t listen to my mom.

The second time was when I was 20. I came home from a party on campus and went straight to my room and passed out. I was very drunk. I forgot to lock the front door when I got home. If I had locked the door this acquaintance of mine wouldn’t have been able to let himself in and get on top of me in my bed. There are things I could have done to change the situations I put myself in.

I can raise my sons to respect women. I can teach my daughter to be cautious. These are the things I can do to try and make a difference.

CWOTUS's avatar

Hmm. Politics isn’t going to “put anyone away”, @Simone_De_Beauvoir. That comes down to police, prosecutors and judges. Politics will make judgements that prosecuting some crimes (drug sales and use, for example) is more important than others. In that sense I would agree that we’ve totally got our priorities wrong.

Other than that, politics plays a part in providing – or not – funding for prisons, determining what are appropriate penalties for infractions in writing the laws, and making political judgments regarding prosecutions: evaluating the importance of prosecuting one offense over another.

In that sense, I’d say that we’re batting two-for-three. We certainly have the prison space, with the largest proportion of any nation’s population currently in lockup, and I think that our laws as written provide the right penalties. Our choice to concentrate so much prosecution on victimless crimes is completely wrong, though, in my opinion.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CWOTUS No, I know but it starts with bills and laws that get translated to the judicial branch. That’s the set-up. I know it fails on every level, obviously. I agree with your last paragraph entirely, as well.

Bellatrix's avatar

I have also been raped and I do not have any problem with @SavoirFaire‘s post.

wundayatta's avatar

Growing up, I tried to imagine raping a woman. I tried really hard, and I just couldn’t do it. It always seemed so wrong. So against everything that I think sex and love is about.

I have tried to imagine the mindset of a man who rapes. I know that some women think it’s this attitude of privilege that men are often raised with. But I actually think it is something else.

Even though men have power, I think the urge to rape comes from a deep anger with women for separating from men. I don’t think men understand what is going on inside them. All they know is they are missing something and it is totally unfair and they are isolated and alone and by god they will take their connection if they can’t get some woman to give it to them.

Actually, there are, no doubt, many reasons why men rape. This might only be one of them. But others, like rape as an act of war, are more well known. Rape as an act of male bonding is more well known.

I don’t think this idea that men are severely wounded on a spiritual level and that this leads to an incredible anger and that gives them whatever it takes to rape—I don’t know if this idea is very common.

If men are really lonely and anxious and separate, and this builds up over the years, and if they have been hurt by separation from important women in their lives, separated perhaps by the men in their lives, I can imagine a deep existential anger arising that possibly could lead to these actions against women.

If I am right, what can be done?

Well, how do you implement love in men’s lives? That’s really not so easy to do.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Damn, @Bellatrix. I didn’t know that. So sorry. If you know his whereabouts, I’d be happy to “shovel” him for you.

Bellatrix's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate, it happened a long time ago in a way not too disimilar to @Shippy‘s experience. I posted the detail about the situation on a rape thread quite a while ago. The point is if people actually followed the guidelines @SavoirFaire posted, rape would not occur. I say people because it isn’t just women who get raped.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I see. He will now go into my list of people I’d like to see get their shoelace stuck in a train track mere seconds before the train comes barreling through… Hehe.

ragingloli's avatar

Also, as a sidenote, why is this question not forced to be marked with “NSFW”? Is ‘porn’ more obscene than ‘rape’?

wundayatta's avatar

@ragingloli Rape is a serious topic and therefore safe for work. Porn is about sex, and therefore unsafe for work.

rooeytoo's avatar

Sexual assault #9 in the last month or so just took place in a suburb of Melbourne. They can’t seem to catch the guy even though they have 9 people describing a man of similar looks and ethnicity. So it doesn’t just happen in India. These women won’t be killed or thrown off a bus (hopefully) but they sure have lost a huge chunk of their lives.

They recently had a march here where men wore pink and gathered to stop violence to women. I don’t think that is going to stop a rapist. Rapists probably don’t go to marches like that. What is going to stop the average rape (not 6 on 1) is when women know self defence. I think self defence should be taught in all schools. And as I said before, I was never a fan of guns, but it is reaching the point where I am tempted to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon. I like to run early in the morning but I don’t because it is not safe. I was recently told in a similar question that I am fearful because of sensationalized news reporting, I think that is bull, I am not fearful, I am smart to avoid dangerous situations. I shouldn’t have to avoid early morning runs or dark streets but I do. Theoretically we are safer here because gun ownership is so controlled, but it didn’t help those 9 victims. The sad part is when the guy is caught, he will get a light sentence, serve a small portion of it and be out and about again.

Women have to start taking care of themselves, chivalry is dead if it ever was alive and stop expecting men to protect them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Thanks for all the comments. I know I got pretty emotional today and I apologize for my sensitivity in regards to this subject.

The list of 10 got to me because imagining a man stalking me or raping me, horrifies me and scares me quite frankly. Thanks again for the comments and participation, especially the ladies who opened up about their experiences. God bless.

rooeytoo's avatar

@KNOWITALL – and I feel you should be allowed to voice your opinion without being lambasted for having it. I don’t think you need to apologise at all. I think an apology is owed you by several for their condescending attitude towards your reaction. I am a reasonably intelligent human being and I had to study it a moment before I realised it was satirical.

By the by, I think expecting rape to stop by telling men not to rape is akin to telling murderers not to murder and mass killers not to mass kill. One of the 9 who were accosted here recently was a martial arts student and she gave the guy a thump or 2 before he gave up and ran off. Empower women is a more effective measure and just as no one walks in front of a car expecting it to stop because drivers know they shouldn’t hit people, women should not put themselves in harms way. The 10 satirical thoughts above should be read and heeded by women.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Thanks, it was hard to study it while battling my own fears.

Aethelwine's avatar

I agree with you @rooeytoo. Empowering women is the first step. It is something that will work for them now.

Seek's avatar

I wonder about something.

Americans are big on letting people know when they have been wronged. We have the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List to let the world know when a carpenter screws up our floor joists, and we’re more than happy to sue McDonalds because we don’t know that coffee is hot.

Why do so many rapes, then, go unreported? Why are people, men as well as women, ashamed to be the victim of a rape? or talk themselves into thinking that they deserved it, or it wasn’t really a rape, or whatever?

Why aren’t college girls spraypainting frat houses with “Jonny Carter’s a needle-dicked rapist!” in bright pink Day-glo?

Empower women all you want, but right along with that you need to shame the FUCK out of the actual guilty parties.

burntbonez's avatar

Not if you’ve been brought up to believe you led him on and really, it’s your fault.

Come on. We are ashamed to be sick, and that is clearly not our fault. Why is it hard to understand that women who are brought up to believe they should dress in a nun’s robe or else they are asking for it feel ashamed if they get raped? Women are not brought up to be empowered in our culture. Not most of them, anyway. They are ashamed if they get hurt or show weakness, even if it isn’t their fault.

And the male culture is so good at blaming them. What were you doing at that party? Why were you alone with that man? You should have known better. And you were dressed like what? Unbelievable! You should be ashamed of yourself!

Seek's avatar

That’s exactly my point.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr A woman who isn’t empowered isn’t going to have the balls to shame a guy if he rapes her.

Seek's avatar

I hate that expression. Why do we have to have balls in order to be courageous?

cazzie's avatar

I think the empowerment comes from positive reinforcement of the act of speaking out. People get millions in court cases for suing McDonalds and the lawyers get a big slice of that, so they are going to be as encouraging as HELL, but in rape cases, the girl or woman has somehow become ‘less virtuous’ and we are taught shame about that. Somehow, a young woman is ‘ruined’ (that is the exact word used, isn’t it?) through the act of forcible rape. Women are shamed for being victims of rape. Shamed because their ‘purity’ is gone. Shamed because they are told they obviously put themselves in harms way and were stupid. Until we STOP with the shaming of the women, we won’t see the numbers of reportings rise. Until we STOP blaming the girl, the boys will keep on sniggering.7

Balls ?? Right. Last I checked, a good kick to the balls would leave a man crippled over. I delivered a baby through my vagina. Which is tougher?

KNOWITALL's avatar

I can’t answer for anyone but myself. I didn’t even let my own self realize it had happened, let alone use the word rape, and I didn’t tell anyone because this guy was supposedly my friend. I rationalized, I made excuses, I felt ashamed – I knew my mom would kill him and his dad was my mom’s friend, they lived only a few blocks away.

It was very hard to talk to my husband about last night.

burntbonez's avatar

If a man is a man because he can bag a lot of girls, and a girl is a girl because she is pure, how can women ever find a way out of this trap?

Women—even liberated women still often think in terms of not being too easy. They don’t think about what they want sexually; they think about giving it up.

Unless women learn to be aggressors, sexually, and think about sex positively, as a good thing to have, not something to keep others from having, is there any other way of changing this social dynamic?

Aethelwine's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Yeah, it’s a stupid expression. But you know what I meant. right? I would hope you understood the meaning of what I meant and not the way I said it. i was in a hurry when I posted that and used a poor choice of words.

Seek's avatar

Does anyone realise we’re still coming back to “it’s the girl’s fault”? We can’t shame the aggressors because the women are ashamed.

Well, THOUSANDS of rapes are reported every year. If not to actual appropriate authorities, then to friends. Those friends should be the ones weilding spraypaint and helping their friends out. There should be bulletin boards in the library posting “Wanted for sexual assault” next to the convicted rapists. Facebook should be blown up with that guy who Cindy had to kick in the junk to get off of her, with a “stay away from him” warning.

While this doesn’t cure the past, any effort would help.

Do we need to get empowered? Sure, but more than that, we need to get ANGRY. We are being wronged. We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore. Sure we can talk a big game about getting shovels and pitchforks, but who’s actually WEILDING them?

I’m glad I’ve never been in this position myself, but damned if I’d keep silent about it. I’d be telling the first big, crazy Viking metalhead I know, and pass it on to all the others as well.

Among my crowd, the first time you try to touch a girl against her will, you are No. Longer. Welcome. First you get knocked out. Then your life is threatened. Seriously. The bars stop letting you in. The clubs stop letting your band play. Everyone shuns you. We don’t stand for that garbage, and thus, it doesn’t happen. Now, my circle is a small community, but we all look out for each other.

What do rape victims need? SUPPORT. Help. Someone to do something. Raise awareness. And most of all, quit making it a victim’s fault.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I’ve been raped. Twice. I was only 15 the first time. I know what it feels like to have people not believe you when you tell them you’ve been raped. That’s what happened to me. A person who hasn’t been raped has no clue how they will react when they are raped. I was fearful, sad, hurt, scared, ashamed and had no one to talk to. I wish I had friends like yours when it happened to me, but I didn’t. If we could all be so lucky. (I really need to leave this discussion. This is bringing back too many bad memories for me and my hands are shaking. This is not how I want to spend the eve of my birthday. I will stop following now.)

Seek's avatar

@jonsblond I’m sorry. I really am.

Bellatrix's avatar

There isn’t one fix-all way to stop rape. Yes women need to feel empowered to speak up when it happens to them. That means changing the way friends, parents, police officers and courts (and on and on) treat people who have been raped. It means communicating this attitudinal change to potential victims of rape before they are in that situation. That means education in our schools. We are still arguing about sex education generally – how are we going to get schools to start talking about rape?

We also need to educate our sons about what is and what is not appropriate behaviour and about their responsibility to stand up and speak out against violence towards women (and men) in any form – not just rape. That’s where @SavoirFaire‘s list comes in. There is no excuse. Just don’t do it.

These ideas really only apply to Western societies though. There are women being raped in other countries as part of war and because they are still treated as chattels. The original question related to rape in a very different culture and women (and men) are fighting to change that culture in places like India. We can support charities that help provide education to women and support those fighting for the right to be educated and treated as equals within our country.

It’s a big question to a huge problem that will require many different approaches to make any change. Rape is still quite an invisible crime because many of us don’t talk about it when it happens or after. We need to continue this conversation about rape and why it happens. If we allow it to remain hidden, we do protect those who carry out such crimes.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir said it so beautifully in another question, I will paraphrase I hope correctly, she said that you can report a robbery or theft and you don’t have to prove anything, they (society, cops etc) believe you. A woman reports a rape and you must practically be raped again in a hospital to prove that penetration occurred and that still proves nothing about rape, it only proves that you had sex.

I don’t know how to solve that because there are women who falsely accuse. And here in Australia (and @bellatrix, I am not criticizing your adopted country, just stating a fact so don’t accuse me of whining and tell me to leave please) we have women who throw themselves at footballers, cricketers, all sportsmen, get drunk, get sexually assaulted and then scream rape. I absolutely support the concept that either party can decide at any point that they have changed their minds and don’t want to have sex, but one must be realistic, if you jump off a cliff it is hard to change your mind when you are halfway down and if you are not trained in martial arts and are dealing with someone twice your size and weight, it can prove difficult to stop them once you are in their bedroom. ADULT females must take some responsibility for their own safety.

wundayatta's avatar

Proof of theft generally is required. Otherwise people could be saying they had losses they didn’t have all the time. They might also accuse people of theft who hadn’t done it. So I don’t think it is right to say you don’t have to prove a crime has been committed. And of course, you do have to prove a crime has been committed in a court of law if you hope to get a conviction.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I’m quite surprised that my post wound up with so much attention, so let me just state that @cazzie read my intentions perfectly when she noted that my list is not meant to be humorous in any way nor to make light of the subject. While it could be read as a satire on the (typically ineffectual) lists of safety tips women are sometimes given, my objective was to reiterate what others have said: we need to create a society in which the culpability for rape is assigned to the rapist rather than the victim.

Regardless, my sincere apologies to @KNOWITALL for any distress that I may have caused her. It was not my intent to do so, but I’m still sorry that I did.

@wundayatta Proof of theft is required in court, but no one has said otherwise. The point was that you don’t have to prove anything in order to get an investigation started when the accusation is theft. Rape, however, is not treated in the same way. Perhaps I should be careful before posting anything else that might get taken the wrong way, but here is a dialogue that I believe captures the phenomenon at issue.

SavoirFaire's avatar

P.S. for @cutiepi92 and @Coloma: Statistically speaking, the correlation between mode of dress and rape is quite the opposite of what you are assuming. Law professor Theresa Beiner has found that women who dress “provocatively” are in fact less likely to be sexually assaulted than women who dress “modestly.” Rapists tend to find “provocatively” dressed women intimidating, whereas “modestly” dressed women given them an impression of passivity (which they take to be a sign that they are easy victims). So if you really want to talk about mode of dress as a risk factor, your advice will have to be radically different than what you’ve offered above.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t usually require anyone to explain or defend my statements, however the ditty shared by @SavoirFaire does in a round about way, make my point.

I wonder how Theresa Beiner “found” or reached her theory of dress and passivity. Her style of dress is modest to say the least, does that make her passive? Or is she the exception to her own rule?

rooeytoo's avatar

I just came across this in facebook and thought I would add it

Through a rapist’s eyes! A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1] The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun! , braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

3] They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

4] The number one place women are abducted from / attacked at is grocery store parking lots.

5] Number two is office parking lots/garages.

6] Number three is public restrooms.

7] The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

8] If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9] These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.

10] Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.


1] If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: can’t believe it is so cold out here, we’re in for a bad winter. Now that you’ve seen their faces and could identify them in a line- up, you lose appeal as a target.

2] If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

4] If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and
armpit or in the upper inner thigh – HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin
and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.

5] After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a
particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it
is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and
make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our
instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of
trouble. Start causing trouble, and he’s out of there.

6] When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers
and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing
down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using
much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked

7] Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of
your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any
odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, and go with your instincts. You may feel
little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really
was trouble.


I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some, where you will go “hmm I must remember that” After reading, forward it to someone you care about, never hurts to be careful in
this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.

2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans: if a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit
(doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU CLOSE the DOORS, LEAVE.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

a. Be aware: look around your car as someone may be hiding at the passenger side, peek into your car, inside the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. (DO THIS TOO BEFORE RIDING A TAXI CAB).

b. If you! U are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

c. Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard /policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@rooeytoo Excellent post. Usually, the only place I fear being attacked is the movie theater parking lot, simply because its either me and my girlfriend or me and one of my daughters, and it’s usually dark when I go see movies. Before I exit the theater, I have my pepper spray in one hand and my giant knife in the other. I barely even make small talk and just stay totally alert and watch all around me until we make it to the car, then I immediately lock the doors when we’re in.

Seek's avatar



Shouting like mad at people in the street who happen to be walking in your direction, never allowed to sit in your own car… talk about living in senseless fear.

How’s this: You’re most likely to be raped by someone you know. So never be alone with anyone. Ever. Don’t go on dates, don’t have parties. Don’t go to parties. If you’re invited to a night out with a handsome man, shout “DON’T TOUCH ME!” and kick him in the junk.


Now, I do take reasonable precautions. When it’s dark outside, I park as close to the store as possible, and always under a street light. I don’t talk on the phone while walking from place to place – more to avoid not seeing a car or bicycle than anything.

But holy cow. What a huge list. Don’t go anywhere alone ever or you’ll be raped and skinned alive and left for dead. And get the GI Jane haircut, too.

CWOTUS's avatar

It may seem like overkill, @Seek_Kolinahr, and let’s hope that someday we can look back on that list of advice and shake our heads and, “Wow, can you remember when people actually had to live like that?”

Unfortunately, as criminals and predators get more vicious, even as most of society gets more comfortable with each other, it’s more likely that we (or our grandchildren) will live in a world where they shake their heads and rue, “Can you believe life was that easy ‘way back when’? What a simple world they lived in.” It’s true that violent crime statistics are in a long term downward trend (hooray!), but vicious, violent crime still happens all the time.

Several years ago my company began offering security tips to overseas travelers (most of us in this company, from time to time). A lot of the advice that we received from security professionals more or less mimics @rooeytoo‘s advice. In fact, one of the primary “take home messages” from our training was “move the ground”. That is, get off the spot that the predator has chosen to attack you on. That applies to your own parked car that you just entered (and which may have been set up as a trap, unknown to you, while you were away), avoiding stops in the road where you’re boxed in by traffic (we were given several ways to avoid that or to break out – literally, to break through traffic if it happens), and several other items on her list. The primary message there was: get off the kill spot that has been chosen for you. A one-hundred-foot movement may be enough to foil the entire attack. (Also, changing routines, driving patterns and times, parking locations, etc. When you aren’t predictable, then you’re much less of a target.)

The point is that you don’t have to act like a screaming madman (or madwoman) to modify your habits in ways that are more conducive to better security. In fact, except for the “breaking through traffic” advice (because it wrecks cars), I practice most of the advice I was given for the Middle East and Asia… right here in Connecticut. And I don’t look any different from any other driver (or pedestrian), but I’m also very unlikely to be taken unawares by an attacker, unless he’s a sniper.

Your advice was spot on, too, however.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@SavoirFaire Please don’t feel bad, it was my emotional state on this subject that caused the misunderstanding. I have denied and suppressed so long that I was ready to burst, and I was so angry about this Indian woman and her treatment and the lack of response by the others on the bus, it overwhelmed me.

In our very small town, we had a young girl that was having car problems, called her parents and boyfriend, and was abducted before they could get to her. This poor little girl (17 I believe) was driven into a rural area down I-44, tied to a tree and raped. She got mad and told the rapist that her dad would kill him, so he sodomized her and killed her. Our community has been on alert since then and we always stop to help women, no matter what. It’s a crazy world out there, and we have to pay attention for sure.

Thanks all.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – and here I thought it made some good points. Sorry you thought it was ridiculous. In the future would you like to go over my posts before I make them public? We could avoid ridiculousness that way.

tranquilsea's avatar

I loved @SavoirFaire‘s list. If every would-be rapist pulled that list out of their pocket when they saw an opportunity come up then problem solved.

I have two sons and I’ve been quite clear with them what is acceptable and what is rape. I’ve told them to be intolerant of joking about it too while out with their friends.

The focus has to be taken off of women and put on the men who rape. It is false that the women who dress provocatively are more likely to be raped. I was raped and I was hardly dressed provocatively. I had followed all the “rules” I could think about to keep myself safe but that was still not enough.

Seek's avatar

@rooeytoo That would ruin all the fun, wouldn’t it?

rooeytoo's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – I didn’t know we were having fun, I thought we were discussing a serious subject?????

Seek's avatar

Yeah, but I’m on the site because I enjoy debating and contesting with people. If I had to pre-approve every post, not only would that remove all the fun, but who would I argue with? Myself? I can do that without a whole lot of typing.

Shippy's avatar

^^Debating is great, contesting is OK, and even better when in good context and good spirit. Bad attitudes don’t solve anything. Particularly on sensitive subjects.

rooeytoo's avatar

I didn’t realize telling someone what they post is “ridiculous” was part of debating. I thought it was just rude. One should be able to debate, disagree, etc. without insulting, belittling, demeaning but it seems as if that is becoming a lost art. Recently on fluther, disagreement is becoming a sure way to get attacked.

Seek's avatar

If I attacked anything, it was a long list of absurd and demeaning suggestions you copypastaed from Facebook. If a “bad attitude” is being read into my words, you have the wrong context filter on. I am quite calm and completely serious in all of my posts.

Lists like the one you posted above thrust blame upon a victim. If they managed to get themselves raped, clearly there was something they could have done to prevent it, and it was their own lack of diligence that caused their misfortune. If only they had read the Facebook post their Auntie Edna had forwarded and not worn her hair in a ponytail! If only she had followed the email chain letter and asked the cashier at the gas station to walk her out to her car! If only she had flung herself at the good nature and mercy of men to protect her at all times, that wouldn’t have happened!

Frankly, I’d like to live in a world where I’m a free citizen allowed to move as I choose, without a constant bodyguard to prevent being attacked, and without being blamed if I am.

CWOTUS's avatar

I agree with you 100% that you should be able to live in a world where you can dress and act as you will, @Seek_Kolinahr, and not have to worry about being attacked by men or other beasts. I have long maintained that women should be able to walk naked in the streets – and believe me, I have tried hard to promote this idea, too! – without fear of molestation.

But we don’t live in that world yet. So @rooeytoo‘s advice and other advice like it to not wear restrictive clothing and shoes that prevent running and kicking, to be aware of surroundings and conditions, pay attention to people and potential traps in the environment, ask for help from time to time when it seems appropriate, etc., all makes good sense.

Why anyone would do things that defy common sense – in a world that isn’t filled with it to begin with – makes no sense to me. You can make all kinds of political and debating points without putting your safety at risk. Why defy good advice because it doesn’t fit your political agenda? It’s an agenda that I generally agree with, by the say, at least as far as this issue goes. But I wouldn’t put myself at personal risk over it.

Seek's avatar

@CWOTUS You could follow every single one of those rules and still be molested. And lose your personal freedom to boot. It’s like trying to be a good person by following the Bible – do you wear conservative clothing and look like a target, or skimpy clothing and be thought a whore? We’re talking about anticipating the actions of people who don’t think rationally. The rules only apply if you’re potentially raped by one of the particular brands of crazy that can be turned off by the action you’re portraying.

I’m not negating the common sense wisdom in the post: don’t help strangers into their cars, don’t take candy from clowns in white windowless vans, whatever. If there’s someone available to walk you to your car in the parking garage, great. I hate parking garages for just that reason: I’ve seen a lot of horror movies and they don’t feel safe. What I am speaking against is the insistence that we can somehow prevent crazy people from being crazy if we stop doing things that are attractive to crazy people.

Crazy people are crazy. They’re all attracted by something different, and we aren’t privy to what that is. You could be shot in the spine and raped because you have red hair and wear a yellow shirt, and the crazy person always wanted to bang a paralyzed Barbara Gordon from the “Dark Knight” comic book. Right off the top of my head. Wow, maybe I’m one of the weird ones.

And again, the vast majority of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows – not by Ted Bundy.

cazzie's avatar

*clap clap clap

CWOTUS's avatar

The only disagreement that I think we still have, @Seek_Kolinahr, is the confusion between “predators” and “crazy people”. I don’t necessarily think that all rapist are “crazy”, but they are predators. You want to make yourself less liable to attack from predators than their other prey.

Seek's avatar

Man, I don’t think I’m going to be able to cosplay Barbara Gordon after this. Damn.

Seek's avatar

Which predators? The ones who hate their mothers or the ones who hate prostitutes? The ones who hate bull-dykes or the ones who hate their high school sweethearts? What about the ones who are on PCP and pissed off at their girlfriends and just feel like beating someone? How do you anticipate being less attractive to all of these predators?

CWOTUS's avatar

Any of them. You don’t have to be as concerned with the motives of predators as their tactics of attack. That’s a whole ‘nother thought process, which was the aim of @rooeytoo‘s list of tips.

Motives be damned; prepare strategy for tactics.

Seek's avatar

It appears @rooeytoo ‘s list has a Snopes reading of false

“As comforting as it might be to believe there’s only one sort of baddie out there and if you understand his mind you can stay safe, that just idn’t the case. There’s no one set of right answers, and emails of this ilk potentially put us at even greater risk by suggesting that there is”

Also, the thing was written by some random guy who took a self-defense class taught by one David Portnoy, who claims to have trained Steven Segal and Jean-Claude Van-Damme (and we all know how many rapists those guys have had to fight off). However, then the Denver Post tried to write an article based on the list of tips, Portnoy demanded a $1000 interview fee.

From the Denver Post article: _“So many of us have gotten this e-mail,” said Kathie Kramer, public relations coordinator at the Denver Rape Assistance and Awareness Program (RAAP).
“It’s dangerous, because the message it puts out gives you the impression that by following this advice, you’re less likely to be raped. And that’s not the case.“_

Among the “Self-defense” e-mail tips disputed by rape-prevention teams, counselors and police:
– Most rapes occur “in early morning, between 5 and 8:30 a.m.”
Not true, says Burbach. “Mostly, the reported assaults occur in the evening hours to early morning” before dawn.
– Grocery store parking lots are where rape victims are most likely to be “abducted from/or/attack ed.”
RAAP spokesman Kramer and Burbach both questioned this.
“Statistics in studies I’ve found don’t support this idea about grocery stores or parking lots being especially unsafe,” Kramer said.
“It comes down to common sense. If you’re in a dark, isolated place, you’re a much easier target than if you’re at Cherry Creek Mall, with hundreds of people around you. You don’t want to be in a dark, isolated place.”
On the other hand, the “Self-defense” e-mail does include some useful information, Burbach says. The most helpful tips: Resist if an attacker tries to take you to another location, and yell if you’re attacked.
“But I would urge anyone who is truly interested in safety planning to contact RAAP, the Sexual Assault Inter-Agency Council and the Denver Police Victim’s Assistance Unit. They all offer more credible information…”
For more information about selfdefense and rape prevention, call RAAP at 303–329-9922.

Aethelwine's avatar


If anything @rooeytoo posted helps at least one person from getting raped, why is her post such a bad thing? If you don’t want to do a few things that could possibly keep you safe, fine. But others may find her post helpful.

Seek's avatar

As posted above, actual experts in the field suggest that the false sense of security and misinformation may lead to more people being hurt. That’s why.

rooeytoo's avatar

If I were a rude person, I would say that is ridiculous, false sense of security, pfffffffttttttttt!!! Most of those suggestions are common sense, I don’t care who wrote them. MOST make sense. And most will HELP to keep someone safe. I hate that I have to be careful and cautious and I have been ridiculed for seeming to be so, but that’s the way this world is. The criminals seem to have become the victims and we, I was going to say smack them on the wrist, but hey smacking is cruel, so we give them a mild lecture and turn them loose again.

Bottom line is if you think they are useless, don’t do them.

Seek's avatar

It’s good to know you read my posts before arguing back.

And yes, that was sarcasm.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have just one other thing to say. I lived for a lot of years in DC and NYC. There were areas of those cities where NO ONE, regardless of gender or skin color, would go at night. It had nothing to do with anything except personal safety and common sense. I use that same common sense, no use putting myself in a dangerous place even if it means sacrificing some personal freedom, better to be around to bitch about it in the morning.

And for heaven’s sake, I am not arguing, I am defending myself against accusations of ridiculousness!

Aethelflaed_II's avatar

What can be done to prevent rape? It’s a good question. For starters, a big component is education. Educating people on what constitutes rape and sexual assault (SA) is a HUGE part of it. What constitutes rape/SA, what constitutes consent – these are things not really taught to us. Sure, many of us get that day in health class where the teacher might say something about “no means no”, but it’s one day and not really repeated or formulated in a way that connects with people. And a lot of rapists don’t tend to see their actions as rape – they see it as “taking advantage” or “pressuring” or whatever, but not “rape”. Then there are those that do get that it’s rape, but have all sorts of ways to minimize what they’re doing. “Sure, it’s rape, but she was practically asking for it”, “I just misread the signals”, etc. This is part of why victim-blaming, like in the “help” for women that @rooeytoo posted, is so dangerous – it actively enables rapists to keep doing what they’re doing. They know that people want to look for what the victim did wrong, constantly seeking to turn the conversation that way, as if it were some unbearable itch to keep the focus solely on the rapists’ actions. They know that, despite rape shield laws, there are still many, many ways in which defense attorneys are allowed to victim-blame in the court, and that many a judge will let them, and that even if the defense attorney and the judge are not having any of this victim-blaming, the jury will. They know that police and DAs are more likely to throw out cases that don’t have a “perfect victim”, because hey, someone will be on the jury, spouting the kind of nonsense we’ve seen on this very thread. They know that people reporting rape to the police is low, and every victim-blaming statement makes it that much harder for rape victims to come forward, to stand up and report their rapist and stick with the process no matter how Second Rape-y it is.

Victim-blaming discourages victims from speaking out, from reporting. Who would want to report when the focus is always, at least a little bit, going to be on what they did wrong? Most rapists are serial rapists who are allowed to walk free because we don’t stand up to them. We don’t vigorously stand up to victim-blaming and create a culture in which victims feel safe reporting. We look for any possible excuse to let a rapist off the hook, acting like the real crime is his life being potentially ruined, not the victim’s life being ruined. We promote rape myths, like the idea that men are just so horny that they can’t control themselves (rape is actually about power and control, not sex), that stranger rape is the primary or only method of rape (70–90% of rapes are acquaintance rapes), that women who fall on the whore side of the virgin/whore dichotomy are the ones who get raped (no evidence actually supports this), and this idea that if women just took more precautions, rape would pretty much go away. But there’s a reason I (and everyone else who studies rape) say “myths” – because there’s actually no evidence supporting them. “Common sense” isn’t actually based in evidence. Women just staying home and not dressing certain ways is completely ineffective. The only effective method is putting rape entirely on the rapist.

I should point out – men and boys make up 10% of victims of sexual assault, but are by far the least likely to report, because so many people think it’s impossible for a man to be sexually assaulted, and that a male victim must be “not a real man”.

As to what can be done in India, there’s little we here can do. They have somewhat different cultural issues, different concerns, different discourses that would speak to them effectively. Luckily, there’s no shortage of protesters, people willing to speak out, so I think they can handle it. But what we can do here is an entirely different matter. We can lock up rapists when there’s evidence, instead of excusing it because the victim was drunk or wearing the wrong type of underwear. We can take a shutting-that-whole-thing-down stance towards victim-blaming. We can create an environment in which rapists are less able to rationalize and minimize their actions, and where victims feel safe coming forward. @Seek_Kolinahr‘s ostracism is a great way to make smaller communities safe, and something I implement in my own life as well. The “Men Can Stop Rape”: campaign has some really amazing tactics for men taking a stand against rape (“When Karl was harassing women on the street, I said “Stop being a jerk.” I’m the kind of guy who takes a stand. Where do you stand?”), and promoting healthy masculinity. We can educate people, especially young people, about what rape is, who does it, why victim-blaming is harmful, and how to recognize consent. We can be mindful of the fact that if there are more than 3 women in a conversation, and/or more than 9 men in a conversation, at least one of them is bound to be a survivor of sexual assault; when counting the number of lurkers in internet conversations, the number of survivors reading the words we write goes up quite a bit. We can stop looking for all the different ways to invalidate rape and rape victims, and promoting this idea of “legitimate rape”. We can promote active and enthusiastic consent.. We can refuse to be silent, to just be passive victims, to just take it. If this is something you’re passionate about, I’d encourage you to get volunteer; I’m sure your local rape crisis center would love another person who helps out on the hotline, or help doing outreach in grade schools. You (and everyone else) are also welcome to PM me if you want to talk about it in a safer space.

Bellatrix's avatar

Excellent post @Aethelflaed_II. Thank you. It’s very good to see you here too.

Aethelwine's avatar

I still do not understand why it is such a bad thing to take precautions. We can’t control what others do, but we CAN take precautions to help keep ourselves safe. Sorry, but we don’t live in a perfect world, and we never will.

I WAS a victim. It wasn’t my fault, BUT there are things I could have done that would have prevented being raped by people I knew. Locking a door. Not going to a boys house without adult supervision when I was too young to be there in the first place. If my mother had shown me what @rooeytoo posted, I may not have been raped. Show young boys @SavoirFaire‘s post, then show young girls @rooeytoo.‘s There will still be sick fucks out there who will ignore @SavoirFaire‘s post, at least @rooeytoo‘s post will give girls a chance to get away from those sick fucks.

CWOTUS's avatar

As much as I agree with everything you’ve said, @Aethelflaed_II, because that will help us to become more civilized overall, including – as well as, and even more important than rapists (and potential rapists) – police, parents, prosecutors, judges, juries and parents and friends.

But if you’re swimming in the ocean (to make a different analogy) it’s one thing to know that sharks are magnificent, complex organisms with a place in the ecology of the ocean, that they’ve lived as species for hundreds of millions of years and that they aren’t really evil, but they have a different agenda for their survival than we do. It’s another thing entirely – and a lot more important to most swimmers – to realize that “if I look like a seal, I might be a shark’s lunch”. If I’m swimming in the ocean, I think I’d rather know, for now, that I’d better not resemble a seal.

rooeytoo's avatar

Looking out for yourself is not victim blaming, it is good common sense.

This really is getting ridiculous, saying that teaching people how to look out for themselves is a bad thing. So I am guessing you all send your daughters and sons out at night and tell them to walk down the darkest streets alone because it is their right and tell them to sit their drinks on the counter and walk away because drugging drinks isn’t nice so no one is going to do it. Tell them anything you want, it’s your right. Personally I will be telling my granddaughters just the opposite and encouraging them to learn self defense as well.

Now I am tired of this ridiculousness so I am over and out.

Aethelflaed_II's avatar

@CWOTUS I think, on a fundamental level, you’re not getting my point; they’re not at all analogous. There is no “resembling” a potential rape target. Rapists chose their victims on who is the easiest victim, not on who they have a hard on for. The things that make someone most likely to be targeted are things like being underage (and thus less likely to be physically, emotionally, and legally capable of fighting back), being close to the rapist (see the acquaintance statistic – over a quarter of rapes are committed by the victim’s intimate partner), and being in their own home or the home of their loved one (where 6 out of 10 rapes take place.) But telling women (and men) to not be children*, not be disabled, not be elderly, never date, never marry, never have a father, an uncle, a clergy member or teacher, and try to be outside their homes sounds impossible, even though statistically it’d be what would really “help” women avoid rape the most. (And would obviously be impossible or technically possible but considered socially deviant.) But then we might have to admit that it’s only the rapist’s responsibility to not rape.

But given that you, CWOTUS, could be a victim of rape, tell me – what have you done to protect yourself against rape? Have you not gone to parties, to ensure that no one would assault you when you were past the point of consent? Have you used the buddy system? Have you put some clothes, looked in the mirror and thought “no, this makes me a target for sexual predators” and changed into something else? Because I’ve yet to know a woman yet who didn’t take some of those precautions at some point in her life. So unless that’s actually something you’ve thought about, you’re in no position to tell women how they should behave.

*Not kidding that rapists choose their targets based upon who’s an easy target. Tooons of child molesters aren’t pedophiles (meaning, have sexual desires for children), but rather want to rape and find children to be better victims than adults.

Seek's avatar


However, it is bad to list a lot of “precautions” that aren’t actually preventing anything and may put someone in further danger.

I mean, for what it’s worth, I can suggest burning a black candle for protection every morning before you leave the house. And every day you can come home and be thankful that your black candle kept away the rapists.

That will save you just about as much as avoiding parking lots and public bathrooms at 8:30 AM, as the list of “precautions” suggests.

The list was reviewed by experts and found lacking. They acknowledged the good points: Don’t go to deserted dark places alone, and such. But the specific “tips”: Don’t wear overalls (because your rapist might be a clothing designer with high-quality fabric shears in his back pocket, or, you know, capable of simply pulling the straps down) – that is ridiculous.

Please, please, PLEASE teach common sense wisdom to your daughters. But don’t end up under the impression that there is only one kind of bad guy, and by wearing the right clothes or doing your hair the right way you can avoid him. It does no one any favours.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr indeed. Of course people have to use common sense about their own safety but when those guidelines start to put the responsibility for preventing rape on the victim it becomes victim blaming. In the vast majority of cases, men rape women. That’s where the change has to happen. Not with women moderating what they wear, where they go, how they behave in case a man finds her behaviour/dress/location triggers his need to rape. Men are not incapable of managing their own lust and when we start to put the onus on women to stop rape, we provide excuses for men who behave this way. “Look what she was wearing! How could he resist!” Are men really that pathetic? I don’t believe so.

In addition, I don’t care how far into the sexual act a couple have gone, when a woman says ‘no’ it means no and the man should stop. If he chooses not to, he is guilty of rape. It is not the woman’s fault. She is guilty of nothing other than changing her mind. That is her right at any point. Changing her mind does not make her complicit in her own rape.

tranquilsea's avatar

I agree with you 1000% @Bellatrix. The problem with putting so much emphasis on what women wear or where they choose to walk is that it is spreading the complicity onto the victim. It also gives a false sense of security to believe that if I just wear “A” and only go to “B” then I’ll be safe.

The first time I was raped I had done everything I should have to make myself safe. My plans meant nothing, in the end. Ditto the second time. After having it happen twice I stopped dating and stopped going out. NO ONE goes out thinking that they’ll be raped.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

^^ Yep. My close call was when I was thirteen, so I wasn’t provocatively dressed, and I was in a family home, upstairs playing video games, and the sixteen year old started mauling me. With his mother right fucking downstairs. Precautions, my ass. I take precautions nowadays in the form of mace and a big ass knife. Fuck em if what I’m wearing gets em hot. Keep your cock in your pants and be a real man.

Not walking in a dark, isolated location is just common sense, as are a few other suggestions in rooeytoo’s post way up there. But the point is that too often it’s on women to avoid rape, instead of on men to just NOT be sex/power hungry douchenozzles.

Bellatrix's avatar

Apparently, according to the perpetrators’ lawyer it was the victims fault this young woman was raped and murdered. “Respectable” women don’t go out at night in India. She obviously didn’t read the rules women should follow how to avoid being raped. She went out at night to the cinema.

rooeytoo's avatar

If this is a common occurrence in India and that is the prevailing attitude, then riding a bus at night is risky business. So you can exercise your personal rights and tell your daughters they are liberated women and to do what they want, but if you know there is inherent danger in an action, then you are a damned fool to take the risk for the sake of your principles. It’s like would you rather be right or sorry. I don’t see it as victim blaming, it is self preservation and common sense.

But again, if think that foolish, damn the precautions and send your daughters out at night!

Aethelwine's avatar

^^ exactly. common sense

cazzie's avatar

Who is going to be the Rosa Parks of rape victims?

snapdragon24's avatar

@KNOWITALL, rape happens everywhere in the world…this story is one in many sadly. I myself have been victim of abuse and I didn’t see it coming. I call it ‘the art of raping’ – individuals, groups, even your bf or people we call friends can manipulate such acts; subtly OR ofcourse abruptly. I dont know which one is worse. @Savoirfaire, humorist or not, has important points. Being nice to strangers, travelling alone, drinking from a spiked glass, walking in shady areas etc. enhances the chance of a woman being in danger. Im very sorry for your aunt. Terrible. And all rapists must to die.

flo's avatar

Look into Seth Macfarlane et al’s idea of funny in his shows and his hosting job of the Acadamy Award, for example.
Here just one article. I’m not familiar with the site

”...but Charlize was mentioned in the ‘boob’ song was because her character in Monster was topless in a rape scene. Not cool!”

The violence against Rhianna’s was one of the jokes.

Shame on the The Acadamy, et al.

Seek's avatar

@flo She was topless in a lesbian sex scene, too.

Jaysus, it’s a song about boobies and the people who choose to allow billions of people to see theirs. It’s funny. Laugh.

Aethelwine's avatar

@flo I think what’s worse than a joke about Rihanna by Seth is Rihanna forgiving Chris Brown for beating her to a pulp. Shame on Rihanna. What kind of a role model is she for young women in abusive relationships?

ucme's avatar

I like tits :-)

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ragingloli's avatar

Go buy some beers then.

ucme's avatar

They’re in the fridge chillin as we speak type.

flo's avatar

“All we are saying is defend/hep the hateful.”
“All we are we saying is help the misogynists et al become successful”
Is that how the song goes?

@jonsblond That just doesn’t help your argument. Even if it is a horror for Rhianna to have gone back to him, two wrongs don’t make a right.

Aethelwine's avatar

I don’t think the joke was wrong, @flo. It was a joke. The joke didn’t give Rihanna a black eye.

flo's avatar

@jonsblond Okay, I’ll try and work hard at finding cruel jokes funny. That should make for a better world.

Aethelwine's avatar

Life is a little bit easier to live if you don’t take everything too seriously. Hope it works out for ya. :)

flo's avatar

The translation sounds like We should all act like sheeple @jonsblond

Aethelwine's avatar

Yeah. that’s far from what I am @flo.

cazzie's avatar

Saying you hate something and attacking comments about it is not the same as actually doing something to help victims or help prevent it from happening. @flo ‘s comments and example are typical of slacktivism. While it makes you feel superior and better about yourself to condemn what other people say and believe, you don’t really bother to understand the full complexities of the subject or do anything truly constructive.

flo's avatar

@cazzie So, when you are on a thread against guns…mass shootings, ...American health care system etc. you’re practicing Slactivism? Is it that “you don’t really bother to understand the full complexities of the subject or do anything truly constructive.”?

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ucme's avatar

Tits are awesome, me like those firm, pert ones with rosy red nipples…& I am unanimous in that.

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flo's avatar

@jonsblond don’t you want the ones who never read the post to see for themselves what my posted said exactly? Did it say I wish you were raped, or did it make the point was that rape jokes are cruel to people who were raped? If you want if facts are important to you, go ahead and correct @chyna where she removes the most important part of the statement.

Main topic is Seth M. on this thread. He makes rape jokes among other disguisting jokes. He is the wrong person to host the Oscars, is my whole thing.

(Edited to add)Re. ”...but I don’t believe comedians should be censored.”
Is it only comedians who make rape jokes who you wouldn’t want to be censored? How interesting if you’re okay with a post on Q&A site/crucial data being censored?

augustlan's avatar

@flo As you know, @jonsblond doesn’t have any say in whether a post is removed here. That is a moderator’s call, and we made it.

Aethelwine's avatar

I didn’t flag your comment @flo. Someone else did.

flo's avatar

I would never want whoever thinks is a friend to flag something in order to “help” me. That wouldn’t be a friend. @jonsblond. I would want all the facts to be right there.

Look at the dead seriousness of the OP, and look at @ucme‘s posts here for example.

Aethelwine's avatar

I really don’t care what you think @flo. I’m done here. I’ve better things to do.

augustlan's avatar

@flo Again, whether it was flagged, or by whom, doesn’t matter. Only a mod can remove something. We felt we should, so we did.

ucme's avatar

Err, WTF!?!

Seek's avatar

@flo might want to read the original question, which has absolutely nothing the fuck at all to do with Seth McFarlane, much less holds him as the main topic of the thread.

flo's avatar

Oops, Re. Main topic is Seth M. on this thread. to quote me above,
Not technically, I thought I was on this thread, as some of you who are also on that thread would probably have figured. But it is relevant, since rape is a joking matter to him.

chyna's avatar

@flo Ha! Your excuse for getting off the main topic of this thread is “Not technically, I thought I was on a different thread.” Just admit you made a mistake, don’t make excuses and move on.

flo's avatar

@chyna rape is not a joking matter. No excuses here.

Seek's avatar

So not only are you ranting pointlessly and preaching to the converted, but you can’t even keep track of what thread you’re pointlessly ranting on?

You started the rants. On both threads. Pay attention.

flo's avatar

So, from liking off base jokes liking rape jokes to becoming the converted. That is progress. Good.

ucme's avatar

up, yow pretty ladies around the world

rooeytoo's avatar

Over the weekend here an 18 year old girl walking home from a party in the middle of the night picked up and gang raped by 5 guys. Moral of the story, don’t walk home alone in the dark, even though you have the right and it should be safe for you! Unless of course you are packing an assault weapon or a baseball. This is a sad and hateful world. And of course in Australia we believe in short prison terms and rehabilitation so even if they catch them, they will end up with a short prison term, and then be out to do it all again. The hell with the victim, prisons aren’t nice places so we don’t want to keep people there too long!

Seek's avatar

I was actually referring to the other ladies with whom you were engaged in argument as ‘the converted’. My opinions remain unchanged. Jokes are funny.

cazzie's avatar

Some people don’t just need a sense-of-humour implant, but give them, please, free of charge as an extra bonus, the understanding of irony, sarcasm and historical context.

Cutting remarks and what appear to be jests to make very serious points of view heard has been around for eons. Dismiss them to your detriment. If you can’t learn from all forms of enlightened commentary, you will always live in a dimmed light. If you refuse to read what is written, or are so incredibly dim that you can not understand, don’t waste your time trying. Move along.

flo's avatar

@cazzie slactiviting are you? BTW, you disappeared on me a few psts above.

flo's avatar

@cazzie look at this:
Permalink above
And keep reading below that re. this “sense of humor” excuse. Only the victim is entitled joke about it.

cazzie's avatar

This thread is called ‘Stopping Rape before it happens’.. not ‘what do you think about this comment.. is it a bad joke or a very interesting comment’. When asked to comment about what I think, I comment. I think there is some serious lack of understanding by some on this entire thread and they are making a shitload of noise to make themselves feel good.

What I said was that the comment wasn’t making light of anything. It was dead-serious. If everyone who read that really understood what they were reading, they would not accuse the poster of posting a joke. It is not a joke. If you don’t understand that that was not meant as a joke, you are not understanding what you read.

flo's avatar

What is the definition of Permalink?
“Permalink” in this context, is the first post on the screen, i.e @KNOWITALL‘s post.

CWOTUS's avatar

The thread seems to have bogged a bit, so I thought maybe it was time for a new joke.

So was I right, or was I right?

rooeytoo's avatar

Just so amusing…...........

snapdragon24's avatar

Wow…@flo is not insensitive to rape jokes which is completely understandable…but I do feel this is all off topic. So lets take a deep breath and try this again!

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