Skip to main content

View Diary: High School Rape in a small American city (71 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  We teach our children (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indianobserver

    to cross the street safely.  We teach them to swim safely.  We teach them to avoid being injured with electricity.  We teach them not to leave things lying around so that nobody trips and falls.  We teach people to safely operate machinery.  We teach them to drive safely.  

    Since when is teaching your daughter to keep herself as safe as she can, a negative approach?


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:33:41 PM PST

    •  Ok, I'll tackle this one. First, if you're sincere (18+ / 0-)

      and not trolling, the best site I can recommend is Yes Means Yes. It will do a better job of explaining this than I can in an Internet comment.

      There are a number of issues with teaching so-called rape prevention tips to girls, and they're too intertwined for me to be able to rank which I think is worse. So this will be a random order. #1) it promotes a misconception that rape is the responsibility of the victim to prevent by behaving in an appropriate fashion--problematic given the amount of victim blaming that routinely occurs and extra double problematic when (as is often the case) talks to girls are not accompanied by talks to boys #2) it teaches girls to live in a culture of fear by thinking of themselves as potential rape victims (if you are male or a woman who is unaffected by this, you may think I'm exaggerating but I'm not) #3) the things people generally teach as common sense ways of keeping safe are either geared towards the rare case of stranger rape (in which case, they can be taught to both genders as general crime avoidance tips since there's nothing unique to women or rape about them), are based on misconceptions about causes of rape (e.g. the idea that certain types of dress lead to rape), or are completely impractical in the real world. I've never heard a suggestion of how a woman can keep herself safe from date/acquaintance rape that doesn't boil down to "don't ever let down your guard or have anything unplanned for happen to cause your guard to be let down." #4) it shifts attention and emphasis from the problem being rapists choosing to rape and onto the idea of the problem being victims behaving stupidly. In addition to supporting a victim blaming rape culture that generally lets date rapists walk scot free, #4 also adds to the survivor's emotional burden by supporting self-blame.

      Also, note that all of your examples are of people interacting with inanimate objects. There are (mostly) predictable rules about how to cross the street, how to swim safely, how to interact with electricity because these are not sentient beings that act against us. Better examples would be something like "we teach our children not to be bullied; we teach them not to be assaulted; we teach them not to get mugged." Except you can't say that because it's not true. When other people are involved in crimes, we teach them not to DO things to people. We don't teach them not to be DONE to.

    •  It is a positive approach but should be (7+ / 0-)

      accompanied by teaching one's son that if he sees a woman in a vulnerable situation, he should not submit to male group dynamics and rather help get her out of that situation.

    •  I'm sorry that it seems as if I am saying that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, Massconfusion

      I had no such intention. Teaching our children to protect themselves in amny number of situations is incredibly important and responsible parenting.

      All I was trying to say is that it seems we ought to be teaching our kids proper moral behavior and respect for their fellow human beings at the same time.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:42:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site