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I have no idea who the female blogger "The Belle Jar" is. Five minutes ago was my first exposure to her. Her diary from March 18 -- which may have already been diaried here -- hit me so hard that I had to share it. She is writing about the aftermath of the Steubenville rape trial, where the rapists were given three short years (minus time served, even) and the media wept big greasy tears over How Their Futures Were Cut Short. But that's not what TBJ is writing about. She's talking about how people are using the meme of "that could be your daughter, wife, sister, mom who was brutalized, so show some sympathy" to try to get people on track. Laudable. I've said it, and you may well have, also. But here's the hammer-in-the-head quote. I'll give you a bit more below the fold, then you can read her entire post for yourself. This meme is actually harmful. Why?

What you are actually doing is perpetuating rape culture by advancing the idea that a woman is only valuable in so much as she is loved or valued by a man.

Yes. Yes. Exactly. It doesn't matter if she could or couldn't be someone in your family, or a valued friend.

Framing the issue this way for rape apologists can seem useful. I totally get that. It feels like you’re humanizing the victim and making the event more relatable, more sympathetic to the person you’re arguing with.

You know what, though? Saying these things is not helpful; in fact, it’s not even helping to humanize the victim. What you are actually doing is perpetuating rape culture by advancing the idea that a woman is only valuable in so much as she is loved or valued by a man.

The Steubenville rape victim was certainly someone’s daughter. She may have been someone’s sister. Someday she might even be someone’s wife. But these are not the reasons why raping her was wrong. This rape, and any rape, was wrong because women are people. Women are people, rape is wrong, and no one should ever be raped. End of story.

I'm a semi-professional writer, and I stand back in awe when someone hits it so perfectly. TBJ framed it perfectly, simply, with anger and passion and outrage and love. Go read her post for yourself and give her some hits, maybe a comment or two. And let her know that here on DK, she is admired.

Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 6:57 AM PT: Thanks for the rec, folks. TBJ deserves it.

Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 7:15 AM PT: Some good discussion going on in the comments, and that, as it should, is sparking some thought in the casaba melon that sits on my shoulders. I understand that the meme "show some sympathy because that could have been someone you cared about" has value and is not inherently bad. It does, indeed, reach some people in a way that they may not have been reached before. I don't think it's necessarily "bad" or "wrong" to use. But I still think the crux of TBJ's argument is solid. Some people are just not altruistic/humane enough to understand why they should care about someone who isn't part of their "tribe." I get that, and I get that you use whatever means necessary to reach out to them. I also think that you have to combine the two arguments to ensure that they at least hear the thought that everyone has value, regardless of personal connection or not, and raping/hurting someone is intrinsically wrong. I don't disparage anyone using the "that could be your daughter" meme, and I don't think TBJ does, either.

Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:13 AM PT: Very sadly, and very interestingly, this same debate is playing itself out in the comments of the Litchfield County Register-Citizen, where two football players raped a 13-year old girl.

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  •  Tips for TBJ, I'm just the messenger (207+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Radiowalla, ek hornbeck, DavidMS, second gen, a gilas girl, TheMomCat, allensl, Youffraita, myboo, begone, Gemina13, Colorado is the Shiznit, Safina, Themistoclea, yoduuuh do or do not, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, Lonely Texan, Cassandra Waites, citylights, Mortifyd, tonyahky, Miniaussiefan, Steven D, Clem Yeobright, GwenM, terabytes, Lilyvt, Powered Grace, sngmama, Voiceless, Stein, wintergreen8694, onionjim, bluedust, badscience, Kristina40, SaraBeth, rubyclaire, antimony, boadicea, One Pissed Off Liberal, Texknight, FlyingToaster, leeleedee, motherlu, ChemBob, marleycat, petesmom, deha, Cinnamon, Rogneid, merrywidow, pb3550, Chi, arizonablue, TheFatLadySings, cama2008, nzanne, JoanMar, Raggedy Ann, BlueInARedState, anodnhajo, Ice Blue, bewareofme, glorificus, Leftcandid, dinazina, The Pollster, surfbird007, NYC Sophia, DRo, Onomastic, Smoh, LSmith, ban48, Joieau, raincrow, karmsy, AdamSelene, litoralis, annominous, celdd, pixxer, Penny Century, Its a New Day, geordie, slowbutsure, Deward Hastings, oortdust, jazzizbest, Future Gazer, Matilda, edsbrooklyn, zerelda, Horace Boothroyd III, bekosiluvu, J Rae, MartyM, gerard w, Oye Sancho, SueM1121, marina, Hawksana, onceasgt, Sirenus, edwardssl, Terri, lotlizard, LefseBlue, murasaki, Mayfly, Carol in San Antonio, MA Liberal, gulfgal98, RockyMtnLib, Steveningen, Shippo1776, No one gets out alive, NYWheeler, Torta, EclecticCrafter, cv lurking gf, mali muso, Pandoras Box, ClapClapSnap, MNGlasnant, Shockwave, most peculiar mama, Glacial Erratic, CJB, maybeeso in michigan, Vita Brevis, Shotput8, Noisy Democrat, middleagedhousewife, Nance, asterkitty, enufisenuf, Jay C, Debby, seefleur, Brooke In Seattle, martydd, MRA NY, NBBooks, Alexandra Lynch, TheDuckManCometh, MJ via Chicago, TokenLiberal, kevinpdx, Mistral Wind, radical simplicity, RUNDOWN, avsp, bleeding blue, Yasuragi, mamamorgaine, FindingMyVoice, Dodgerdog1, Mr Bojangles, suzq, oakborn, WFBMM, mod2lib, nice marmot, FogCityJohn, JBL55, maggiejean, leonard145b, hazzcon, MichaelPH, Gowrie Gal, Denise Oliver Velez, 2thanks, LaFeminista, schnecke21, renaissance grrrl, Eyesbright, Sun Tzu, filkertom, thomask, bluesheep, Penny GC, Joy of Fishes, SherriG, MidwestTreeHugger, Greenfinches, livingthedream, trillian, FutureNow, Alice Venturi, DanceShaman, Chaddiwicker, sethtriggs, cyncynical, wader, mofembot, BlueOak, raptavio, Lujane, 417els, Anne was here, Just Bob, KenBee, splashy, Oh Mary Oh

    If you're reading this, you may well be wondering just why this is significant. It's dead obvious, right? Well, to you and me and others, it may well be. But it hasn't struck a lot of people.

    I'd like to see that old "that could be your sister, so shaddup your face" bit retired, and replaced with a simple "Rape is wrong. Women are people. Hurting people is wrong." I understand why people make the equivalence, and so does the blogger, but we need to move past it. Women are NOT only valuable inasmuch as men value them. They have intrinsic value. So do we all.

    •  Thank you very much for this (22+ / 0-)

      Crux of the matter is abuse of anyone such as women is possible because that person or category is seen assess than human. Women are people and hurting people is wrong. Indeed.

      "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

      by Chi on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:56:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While I think the point is worth thinking about, (12+ / 0-)

      and it's certainly sparked a discussion, I also think she's dead wrong.

      The phrase "she could be your wife, etc..." is a general statement, and could just as easily be addressed to a woman as a man. Imagine telling the two douchegirls who are under arrest for threatening the victim with death that the victim could be their sister. The logic of the statement still holds.

      Its intent is to humanize, not to make of a woman an appendage to a man. Though there's undeniably way too much of the latter going on in society, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who might interpret the statement as such.

      •  Many people treat their sisters like crap too. (10+ / 0-)

        And their wives.

      •  When is it necessary to say about a male victim... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... that "he could be your father, husband, brother, son?"

        IIRC when President Obama said that if he had a son, that son might look a lot like Trayvon Martin, it struck a nerve with people who accused him of injecting race into the case, probably because they preferred to see Trayvon as less than human.

        But that is an exception.  Most of the time we don't hear any appeal to one's personal sympathies when the victim is a man.

        Indeed, if one watched only CNN, one might be forgiven for thinking the rapists were the victims, as the newscasters were more concerned with the fates of the boys who committed the crimes than they were with the one against whom the crimes were committed.

        IOW your judgment of "dead wrong" is hyperbolic at best, especially if you also think "the point is worth thinking about."

        "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

        by JBL55 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:02:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Men have a harder time with this. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's above my pay grade to suggest whether it's a cultural thing or simply the way men's brains are wired, but it's harder for men to identify with female characters/celebrities in media.

          The "It could be your (relative)" is an effective reframing to point out that they ARE people and not just "others." Consider Rob Portman's stance on gay marriage.

          If you're after genuine cultural change, I don't have a good answer for how to change that as a thing, but working within the context of our current culture I have to say that identifying a victim as a possible family member may be the best way to make them not just a victim but a person as well.

    •  Who gives a fuck about people? (12+ / 0-)

      Anonymous, nebulous people get hurt/raped/killed all the time.

      A guy I went to school with, Adam, was killed over the weekend in a farming accident. You didn't know him, and trying to attach any significance to his life (anonymous to you) is almost impossible, regardless of his intrinsic value.

      Attach his relations to other people (as a brother, husband, and father) and suddenly the incident is has more meaning, because you can immediately identify with those relationships.

      Yes, people have intrinsic value. Trying to make that relevant requires something more.

      •  Excuse me? (21+ / 0-)

        I don't need to know about this man's friends or family to think it sad that he died.

        And the whole point of the diary is one that even you recognize. Each individual human being has intrinsic value

        I don't need to know that that parents and relatives suffered at Newtown. If this had happened at an orphanage, it would still sicken and infuriate me that children were killed.

        If the girl that was raped was an orphan ward of the state, it would still infuriate me that she was so abused.

        That's the whole point. People should matter. Even if they have no friends, no relatives, no one to mourn them. They matter.

        Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

        by Sirenus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:06:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. (7+ / 0-)
          That's the whole point. People should matter. Even if they have no friends, no relatives, no one to mourn them. They matter.

          "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

          by MRA NY on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:18:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. People should matter. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ginabroom, gustynpip

            The brother/sister, mother/father, son/daughter angle is a tool to connect people that are unrelated to us to the relationships that we value. Its bringing things closer to home.

            It has nothing to do with the seriousness of the event (a rape is a rape, regardless of who it happens to), and everything to do with raising the emotional connection we have to the event by substituting the people we value greatly in our own lives for the anonymous people in the news.

            In other words, the absolute magnitude of the event never changes, but the relative magnitude greatly depends on our connection to the people involved. Using our own relationships is a very good way of increasing the relative magnitude of distant events.

            Perhaps it is a human failing that we can't attach the same weight to tragedies that occur in the lives of others vs. our own lives, but it is very much human nature and IMHO, a very important tool that keeps us from being overwhelmed by the amount of terrible things that happen all the time.

        •  Be Honest (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gustynpip, sethtriggs

          Do you really FEEL sad? Of course, intellectually we know it is sad but nobody can possible feel sad over every sad event that they learn about or nobody would have the emotional fortitude to continue to go on.

          Depending on who we are and our life experiences some events will hit us hard emotionally even though the people involved are not personally not known to us. In order for those events to get beyond the protective part of us that says "not me, couldn't happen, too painful to think about" you have to get the person to link it with an idea, person, place or event that is really important to us.

          The problem is that too many people don't think that a women who is sexually used when she is unable to give consent is sad. They think she consented to it when she allowed herself to be put into this situation. It really comes down to seeing a women as an object available to anyone's use. The same kind of thinking that says well nobody noticed that twenty on the floor so of course I'm going to pocket it leads some men to think well that women is just lying there unable to protest so of course I'm going to take advantage of that.

          •  This. The problem is that so many people do (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            indeed believe that a woman who is unable to defend herself against unwanted sexual advances has no right to be free of those sexual advances.  Once she's in a position of being unable to say no, she's open game to anyone who might decide they want to do something to or with her.  At that point, she's no longer a human being.  That attitude is extremely prevalent and is what's behind a lot of the "poor boys" meme.  They don't want to admit it openly, so they just ramble on about how these poor boys are going to suffer for treating her like an inanimate object - which to their minds is exactly what she was.

            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

            by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:56:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I felt sick to my stomach. Literally. (0+ / 0-)

            You didn't?  

            There's this little thing called empathy. If more people had it, the world would be much, much better, no?

            I don't need to think about the family of the person who lost the $20 bill. All I have to do is think of what that person is going to feel when they find they're short of money.

            The homeless man on the street? I don't have to relate his misery to myself in some way. I just have to know that he is miserable, alone and sick....and that's enough.  

            Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

            by Sirenus on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 03:31:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Saying that is not saying that orphans don't (0+ / 0-)

          matter and I don't think you believe that it does.  What it's trying to do is to put a person in that position just short of the idea of it happening to them.  Partly because most people are incapable of imagining themselves in a very bad situation and partly because many people get more upset when something bad happens to someone they care about than when it happens to them.  It's to create empathy with the victim, not to dehumanize them.  In fact, that's why orphans receive so much sympathy.  People envision their own children without parents and their hearts go out.  It's a very natural reaction and does not and is not intended to dehumanize anyone.  It's simply an effort to encourage people to get closer to the emotional aspect of a situation.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:52:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not disputing that this is how people are. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm just saying that it's not how people should be.

            I'm tired of the idea that we must "relate" somehow to another human being to consider them of worth.

            Think about it. So often, people are considered fair game because "He's not one of us. She's not like us. They're foreigners, of a different race, a different religion, the other gender. It's okay to hate, hurt or ignore them."

            This is the basis of all bigotry, all intolerance, all cruelty. This insane idea that someone who is not "just like me" is therefore not quite human.

            We need to get over this.

            Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

            by Sirenus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:15:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It only works (11+ / 0-)

      with the underlying assumption that women are human beings to begin with.

      I once asked my boyfriend why he put a girl in his car to prevent a guy from taking her home from the party. She said "No" to "Do you want to go home with him?" The guy wanting to take her home kept wanting to grab her arm and take her home. He actually got her out of my bf's car and it wasn't like she could put up a fight because she was too far gone with the alcohol.

      Here's what he said to me and it wasn't "I have a sister." it was "Because it's wrong to hurt anyone for fun and pleasure. I am totally against it."

      I had a more cynical view of parties back in high school... I thought they were just avenues to get the girls drunk so they ended up going home with guys that could take them home. I never went to one so I suppose that could be an effect of "rape culture" on me.

      I logged in... just to T/R you/the poster. So bad of me. so bad.

      Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

      by Future Gazer on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:56:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rape is assault (0+ / 0-)

      With the possibility of murder thrown in.

      That's the bottom line, and it's wrong just because assault and murder are wrong.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 12:32:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting name for a blog. (17+ / 0-)

    I wonder if she gives a nod to Sylvia Plath.

    I better go see.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:41:11 PM PDT

  •  I don't see it that way, and I don't think it has (28+ / 0-)

    anything to do with gender. I interpret it as a way of saying that we're all interconnected. It forces one to think that it could just as easily have been someone we know. I don't see it as dehumanizing at all.

    •  I don't think it's a central point (46+ / 0-)

      but for someone, particularly a male, to say "It was wrong for that woman to have been attacked because it could have been my sister or wife or mom," has a subtext of "She shouldn't have been attacked because she has value to me." The corollary is, "Well, gee, if I don't know her, then she has no real value. Carry on, rapists."

      I know most people don't go nearly that far, but the foundation of beating back the rape culture has to start with the bedrock provision that "Women are people. You don't rape them." (And the same goes for men.)

      •  I understand what you're saying. I just disagree. (10+ / 0-)

        I don't think the person responding is perpetuating any culture, whether it be guns, in the case of Newtown, or in this case, by telling a person to internalize the situation to make it more real. It's not the same as saying that it wouldn't matter if she didn't have a mother/father/etc.

        •  Portman came out for gay marriage for ALL... (6+ / 0-)

          ...because he finally understood that the issue affects someone he cares about.

          One can wish that he (and people in general) had enough universal empathy to recognize that need in strangers without first recognizing the need in someone they know.

          But if "I should care about things happening to strangers because they could happen to someone I know" moves someone to do the right thing, what's wrong with that argument?

          Note, saying "she could be your daughter or sister" does NOT imply that she's only valuable to MEN. Women have daughters & sisters, too.

        •  I agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's not a perfect rhetorical device, but to take that a step further and claim that it actually makes things worse is a reach.

          It's about internalizing to make the even more personal, not implying "value" to the woman that was raped.

          There could be other, and maybe better, ways to achieve the same effect, but that doesn't mean this rhetoric perpetuating rape culture or creating pre-requisites to a woman's value as a person.

          Our Fair City...a campy post-apocalyptic science fiction radio epic!

          by The BBQ Chicken Madness on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:07:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There was a diary here recently (8+ / 0-)

        asking us all to consider how awful it is (and it is!) when someone's adult son is a drug addict and dies from an overdose. The diary was written to tug at the heartstrings of all parents and imagine the loss of their own child (although a 27 year old is not exactly a child).

        I did not consider that it portrayed the deceased as somehow less of a person because it described him as a son in relation to his parents.

      •  Right. (6+ / 0-)

        One thinks of the many cases when someone rapes a woman who is at the margins of society, not protected by either family or public institutions. The class position or status of that woman puts her outside the sphere of our concern. To say, "imagine that she is someone we care about" does nothing to recognize the inherent worth and humanity of that person, regardless of her social position.

        Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

        by Dale on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:04:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're missing the point. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Onomastic, Black Max, filkertom, gustynpip

        People we don't know are assigned a lower priority/value than those we do know. We could pretend that we care equally about everyone everywhere, but the truth is that we place a higher value on the people with whom we have relationships.

        That's the point of the sister/daughter comments, to help us elevate the value of people we don't know or have no connection with  by tying them to the people in our own lives.

        You could argue that everyone is human, and that the intrinsic value (and how much we should care by default) should be very high, but with 6 billion+ people that's nigh impossible.

        •  What the author fails to understand (0+ / 0-)

          Is that yes, we are all human...we are also ALL someone's son/daughter/father/mother/sister/brother, etc.   It is naive for her to act like referring to someone as a daughter/mother/sister is somehow dehumanizing them because it treats them as property of men.  

          It is completley illogical for her to make the claim that being a daughter is someone seperate or different from being a human being.  They are one and the same and it is literally impossible to separate the two concepts.

      •  No, you are wrong. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Black Max, gustynpip, sethtriggs

        The "imagine if" arguement isn't made for that reason and that logic isn't used at all.   The arguement is most likely made on people who try to blame the victim by saying, "well she was dressed poorly" or "she shouldn't have been so drunk" or "clearly she just makes bad choices" or any number of blame the victim excuses.

        The arguement is then made to those people to personalize it for them.  To make them see that just because THEY don't know the victim, doesn't mean that the treatment they received is ok.  It is meant to make those people understand their hypocrisy and ignorance in that IF something like that happened to thier own family, they would be horrified and devastated and outraged.  So logically, they should be equally outraged when it happens to anyone, whether they know the person personally or not.

        I think that it is probably more likely the case that men are going to blame the victim (i could be wrong) but there is clearly evidence that some women out there do to.  Is it misogynistic and sexist and encouraging "rape culture" to try and get those women to understand it on a more personal level as well?

        Sure, in a perfect world everyone would just automatically understand that you should treat others with respect and dignity and not as something less than human for your own amusement.  But unfortunately we don't live in that world.  IN reality, we accept this "less than human" thinking every single day.  We see it in racism, sexism, ageism.  We see it in how people treat the poor and homeless or the disabled or those with mental problems.  We see it in how politicians and media talk about/treat our own military as little more than personal GI Joe's in a sandbox....not to mention how much we dehumanize those in other countries we consider "enemies' or "evil" based on NOTHING more than what they can do for us and to benefit us.   Hell, and let's be honest.  Our entire capitalist/corporatist driven economy dehumanizes people all the time thinking of them as nothing more than customers whose sole goal is to spend money.

      •  But people aren't saying "It was wrong for that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        woman to have been attacked because it could have been my sister or wife or mom".  They're saying "think that this could have been your sister or wife or mom" in order to give them the emotional fodder needed for some people to grasp the outrage.  It's not Because the person was someone's sister, wife or mother that it's wrong and no one ever says that.  They say - think - this could have been . . .  Imagine how you would have felt.  Now feel that for this person.

        There's a huge difference between the two.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:01:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Or, it could simply acknowledge the essentially (9+ / 0-)

      childish POV in which we're interconnected only insofar as we're related by blood or marriage. The others are still only "others."

    •  both/and (6+ / 0-)

      I think it is humanizing, generally, to express family/etc relationships, and I have also seen this exact concept used in a subtly but palpably sexist way -- signalling that the audience being addressed consists entirely of men.

      An actual business article I recently read (very ironically, about the lack of women in VC-funded entrepreneurial tech) which said (close paraphrase:) "just think -- the people missing opportunities due to these attitudes could be your sister, daughter, or wife!" at which point in the article I was sort of gobsmacked, because it was clear that the author was clearly not saying "this could be you" -- which was already  patently obvious to me (a female reader) way before that point in the article. Facepalm! Just cringeworthy.

  •  It amazes me. (23+ / 0-)

    (My eyes are up here) the casual misogyny that persists.

    Disney's teen comedies are remarkably open to dating people of color, but yet their female characters conform to the worst stereotypes.

  •  This is a useful -- (26+ / 0-)

    if difficult -- discussion.

    thanks for starting it up this way, and providing the links.


    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 08:55:46 PM PDT

  •  If someone is unconcerened about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gustynpip, bekosiluvu

    a guy getting raped and is told that it could have been his son , brother , father , do the same ideas apply ?
    Is it saying the male rape victim is only valuable in so much as he is loved or valued by a ...

    If a guy doesn't care about a woman getting raped
    and I ask him if he would also be unconcerned if it was his family member who was the victim ?

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

    by indycam on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:07:27 PM PDT

    •  If I'm reading your post correctly, (7+ / 0-)

      that's pretty much the point. Doesn't matter who was attacked, the "wrongness" is the same.

      •  The problem.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The problem is that like it or not, there are plenty of people who don't care or simply don't think about the "wrongness" of something unless you can make that personal connection.  People are hypocrits all the time.  Hell, even here on Dkos there is no shortage of hypocrisy on a daily basis.  How many here criticized and were outraged at Bush and Cheney for certain actions/policies that they now defend/excuse/rationalize because Obama does the exact same thing?  

    •  Yes it does! (8+ / 0-)

      It is wrong to use violence on another human being we need to recognize each others right to exist without abuse whether they are someone we know and love or not, male or female, etc.

      That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

      by stevie avebury on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:41:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And yet (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Penny GC

        We live in a culture or war and just shrug and accept it.  We live in a culture that believes the rich have a right to suck as much money into their own pockets as possible, but nobody else has a right to living wages, jobs, etc.  Hell, just look at our own economy, propped up on profit from exploiting over seas slave labour.  Our entire way of life is supported WHOLLY because we are willing to dehumanize people in other countries for our own gain and profit.  

        I absolutely agree with your point that we need to recognize others right to exist without abuse...but in reality, this isn't a problem exclusive to rape.  We turn a blind eye to this sort of dehumanizing violence on a daily basis.

    •  PA only becamed concerned abt campus rape (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaraJones, a2nite

      cover-ups when it affected boys.  And it stopped there.

      "We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.” -Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

      by bekosiluvu on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:18:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Asdf (8+ / 0-)


    Isn't a daughter also loved by her mother?
    Isn't a sister also loved by her sister(s)?
    Isn't a wife also loved by her wife, at least in 9 states?

    Doesn't the argument being made here serve as an example of what it tries to argue against?

    Just asking.

  •  See "Portman, Rob" (15+ / 0-)

    Portman flipped on the issue of gay marriage, because a member of his own tribe turned out to be gay.

    So advocates speaking to society on women's rights issues, needing to flip some conservative moderates, promote the concept that someone in their own tribe is being hurt by a policy.

    It's the only way you can reach people who see government as being of tribe not law. Show them that their own tribe is being hurt, then maybe a few % of them will back off a harmful policy and maybe we can all take another step forward.

    No issue ever advances by one and only one united approach. Some must be extreme, some must pander, some must manipulate.

    Sexual orientation rights are in the midst of making enormous leaps forward, to no small degree because of the way these issues are being personalized. It's cause to try to advance gender issues at a similar speed these days.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:25:57 PM PDT

    •  I see your point and it's a good one (11+ / 0-)

      but I would counter with "Cheney, Dick." He "accepted" gays solely because his daughter was publicly known to be a lesbian. I don't think he did one single thing to advance the cause of gay rights, and I don't think he thought any more of gays than he did before his daughter made the announcement.

      Some of the idiots will make the connection, and that's a good thing as far as it goes. As EJ says above, "baby steps." But the idea that "women are people, we don't hurt people, rape hurts people" has to be hammered into the public consciousness.

      •  Because different people have different (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Black Max, stevej, suzq

        reactions and the concept doesn't work for all doesn't mean it's either that it's a worthless concept or that it holds some dark underlying intent.

        There are few of us who aren't more deeply impressed by the danger of something if we think of it happening to one we care deeply about.  We're more worried about any unsafe situation if we think it might be our loved one who is injured or killed by it.  Trying to get people to see it as something that can happen to someone they care deeply about is not impersonalizing the woman, but is instead an attempt to personalize her.  

        I give credit to the author for having a thought process that sees things from a different perspective than is the norm, for obviously caring deeply and wanting women to be valued for themselves.  However, I personally think this one was too convoluted and simply doesn't make sense when critiqued.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:42:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cheney is a bad example. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bartcopfan, Black Max, gustynpip

        Cheney "accepted" gays because of his own daughter but while in office he refused to speak out against his own parties strong, bigoted anti-gay stance.  He stood idly by, watchign as other gays were dehumanized and had their rights taken away because he knew as a rich, powerful, connected man his own gay duaghter would likely not be impacted by his parties behaviour.

        Hell, remember the VP debate when the democrats flat out said to his face, "You are advocating bills that take away rights from gays, but you have a gay daughter" and the right, including Cheney AND his daughter, reacted with outrage.  they were angry and outraged that Cheney's duaghter would be dragged into the debate and called it a cheap shot to distract from the clear and obvious hypocrisy.

        I think that is absolutely horrible and something that Cheney should be criticized for.  It is one thing for people with no stakes in the game to do/say something stupid, and another thing completely when those who DO have stakes in the game stand idly and silenty by allowing others to be harmed because they aren't in the same position of wealth/power.  

        •  That's pretty much what I was saying. (0+ / 0-)

          Cheney "accepted" that his daughter was gay, because it was HIS daughter that was involved. He showed absolutely no acceptance towards anyone else and did nada to advance the cause of gay rights.

          He stood idly by, watchign as other gays were dehumanized and had their rights taken away because he knew as a rich, powerful, connected man his own gay duaghter would likely not be impacted by his parties behaviour.
          That's exactly right.
    •  "It's the only way you can reach someone." (6+ / 0-)

      No. It's the way we "usually" reach someone.

      But it shouldn't have to be.  

      "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."

      John Donne.

      "A human being was hurt."

      That should be all we need to know. We should work to make it all we need to know.

      Because so often, when people are sick or hurt or suffering, even when it's our collective fault,  we walk past...because the bell is not tolling for us or ours.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:15:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Teaching altruism (4+ / 0-)

        is probably the most difficult of tasks. Yet it has to be done.

        I'm not against using the "that could be your daughter" meme to evoke some empathy and connection, but it's a means to an end. The goal is to see everyone as having intrinsic worth. Whether the person injured or brutalized could have been your daughter or not is irrelevant. But I understand that some people have to use the personal connection bit as a stepping stone.

        •  When I was very small and exactly at the (5+ / 0-)

          most imprintable in terms of moral development, my father said to me, "There is only one sin - to be consciously cruel to another person."

          I swear I am not making that up. And boom! I'm an altruist, irredeemably inculcated with empathy and compassion for the rest of my life.

          I'm saying that teaching altruism doesn't have to be all that difficult, because it can be defined as simply as my father defined it for me.

          “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

          by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:34:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You were somehow "primed" for (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gustynpip, Penny GC

            the lesson, and your dad said just the right thing to you at just the right time.

            My wife was raised by alcoholics and psychopaths who would have gleefully murdered the entire neighborhood for their amusement, yet somehow her innate altruism triumphed.

            I've had students raised by wonderful parents who turned out to be cruel little narcissists.

            For some, it doesn't have to be taught at all, for others, it is an extremely difficult lesson to impart.

      •  let not the perfect be the enemy of the good (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        suzq, Black Max

        I hear you, I honestly, really do, but I'll take a tiny success now over a huge success later, any day.

    •  Portman makes the opposite point (0+ / 0-)

      People like him can't imagine that it might be their own daughter/sister/mother.  It doesn't matter to them until it actually IS their own mother/sister/daughter.

      So using this argument on them is worthless anyway.  Perhaps even more useless than the argument "What if your brother/son was gay?"  Even if a person like Portman or these neocon rape apologists might imagine some sympathy for a gay son, when it comes to women being raped, it will never be their women, because they think this never happens to good women.

  •  "A man can be happy with any woman...." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not
    A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.
    -Oscar Wilde

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 10:21:45 PM PDT

    •  This is a fear of many men. I know of no historic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, marina

      record where a woman gives up power for a man if she ever achieves its.  But there are many stories of men giving up power for the women they love.

      The idea that Jesus kissed Mary Magdelene on the mouth is considered to be blasphemy with no thinking about it.  

      The catholic church held a trial of intellectuals to debate whether or not women were human and not just dysfunctional men and therefore without souls.

      •  The Augustinian, Imperfect Copy of a Copy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Penny GC, yoduuuh do or do not

        Makes me throw up in my mouth a little each time.

      •  But how many women have ever reached (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaraJones, Penny GC

        a level of power that there would have been an historical record of it if she gave up such power for a man?  I submit the number of women who ever reached that level has been so few and that is the reason for there being no such record.

        I believe we can all give many anecdotal examples of women giving up things of great importance to them for a man.  

        Overwhelming love is not something either sex has a market on.  And love that deep is scary for either men or women, because there's definitely an aspect of loss of self control in it.  Men thinking they're the only ones capable of it is itself a form of misogyny.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:49:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you very much (10+ / 0-)

    for posting this.

    I was tempted to diary something vaguely similar, not long ago, after Vice President Joe Biden said this, actually at the signing ceremony for the Violence Against Women Act:

    So when Congress passed this law that the President will sign today, they just didn’t renew what I consider a sacred commitment to protect our mothers, our daughters, our sisters...They strengthened that commitment.
    I was really surprised to hear  anything so tone-deaf coming from Biden, with its clear implications that 1) everybody to whom he is speaking is male, and 2) the safety of women is basically a chivalrous resposibility on the part of stronger sex. How Victorian!

    At the time, I decided to say nothing, figuring I would just spawn complaints of whinging ingratitude, rather than reaching anybody with what might be a too-subtle point.

    Now Belle Jar has said it well and in a context where anybody ought to get it. Thanks to her and thanks again to you.


    •  Women also have (10+ / 0-)

      mothers, daughter, and sisters.

      I don't know, it's interesting to think about, but I think the whole idea of saying "imagine that X is someone you know and care about" (on any issue) is an attempt to get people to feel some kind of empathy for humans in general that they haven't been able to do without some prodding.

      I agree with other posters that people should be able to accomplish this kind of imagination (and empathy) without someone in their family being directly affected by whatever  the issue is. But one of the ways to reach that point is to imagine the humanity of people one doesn't know and personalize it in some way that makes it relatable.

      Basically, I'm in favor of whatever works to get people to increase their concern for other people, and to think about consequences, be it around things like rape, or about the effect of govt policies or racism, homophobia, whatever is blocking the understanding.

  •  Disgusting hypocrisy (13+ / 0-)

    The media wanted to flay Jerry Sandusky alive and demanded the heads of Joe Paterno the legendary football coach, Graham Spanier president of a legendary football school, as well as the athletic director of said school, and anyone else connected to this crime. But when the victim is a girl, their hearts go out to the perps whose football careers are now cut short.

    So it goes: guy being raped tumps football which trumps girl being raped.

    Excuse me while I go wash the taste of vomit out of my mouth.

    A working man robs a bank and it's a federal manhunt. A banker robs a working man and gets a bailout.

    by Grassroots Mom on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:22:18 AM PDT

  •  this is an example of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, LaraJones

    pretty much anything can be made out to be offensive to someone. Even something as innocuous as that meme.

    •  The point is it's not as innocuous as it seems (15+ / 0-)

      and people are blind to it.  But as a single woman with no kids, I know exactly what she is on about.

      I am invisible in this society and have no value, and believe me, I am made to know it by how women are talked about and portrayed every day.

      Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

      by kismet on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:06:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even by progressives. (6+ / 0-)

        Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

        by kismet on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:06:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your comment comes the closest to making (5+ / 0-)

        sense of any that I've read here agreeing with the position of the diarist.

        I don't believe anyone using that phrase is attempting to suggest that a woman has importance only as to their relationship to men; rather they're simply trying to personalize a situation to create a bit more empathy.  And even to your point, I was going to point out that single people in general, past a certain age, are invisible in our society.  However, it's not quite the same, is it?  It's still assumed that men, even if they don't have wives or children, have or had a career that lent importance to their lives, whereas that assumption doesn't exist for women - or there's an assumption that a career isn't sufficient to lend importance to a woman's life.

        But I wouldn't let it bother you too much.  For humans, relationships are incredibly important and we're all placed into boxes based upon those relationships or lack of them.  And we all place others into those boxes based upon our own personal experience.  When others don't see those relationships, they don't know what box to put you into, and so they feel uncomfortable and prefer to just overlook you.  The one thing I learned by being one of those single people for 15 years is that whether other people can find the right box for me is pretty unimportant as long as I've found the right box for myself.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:00:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Day to day (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Black Max, gustynpip, Penny GC

          I don't really think about it too much, I just go on living.

          But what bothers me is how aggressively people deny or minimize this issue.  This is what makes me think that we're farther from the tipping point on full inclusion of women than we are on some other historically contentious civil rights barriers.

          Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

          by kismet on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:34:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Philosophically (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Black Max, gustynpip, Penny GC

            America privileges the rugged individual. Men are seen as individuals and as actors.

            Although men do have relationships, we don't define them by relationships.  If you take it to the extreme, think about cultures where the woman's name is erased not only by her husband's name but by her son's (some Islamic/Hindu cultures) her son's, she loses her first name too and is referred too only as X's mother.

            So that is the extreme of relational defining and erasing the woman...we're not comfortable with that, but we are comfortable with less extreme rhetoric that's on the same spectrum.

            Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

            by kismet on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:37:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm glad you commented, because I wanted to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Black Max

            apologize.  After I hit post, I realized my last sentence was kind of patronizing.  Kind of minimized the "set apart" feeling one has always being the "odd man out", with the majority of people just not being comfortable around you.

            I was fortunate in that I have a glitch in my brain and am not very socially observant, so didn't recognize how "unacceptable" I was considered until I finally married and felt the difference in people's reactions and perceptions of me.  I was dumbfounded by the difference in my social interactions - with the very same people I'd known and interacted with before.  It's quite bizarre.  the best advice I can give is to try and find other singles you feel comfortable with.  And that gets more difficult as you get older and there are fewer of them and your interests get more defined.  What we do know is that society is not going to change for us, so we have to figure out a way to deal with all the difficulties involved.

            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

            by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:09:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sending it to all (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, Black Max, glorificus, Penny GC

    my friends - men and women alike.  Men especially - they need to get on board that we are people!

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:00:04 AM PDT

  •  This is why it bugs me (17+ / 0-)

    when the President consistently refers to women as our "daughters, mothers, wives"

    I am someone's daughter, but soon enough he will only be a memory.

    I will never be someone's mother.

    I most likely will never be someone's wife.

    So where am I in that world view? Nowhere. I mean, fortunately I know that I will be, locally, by good people that I actually know, valued for being someone's teacher/mentor, for being someone's friend, for being a great colleague and being somewhat selfless in advancing the institution I work for, or whatever. But the overall dialogue of our society does not value me for those things.

    When a man kills a woman that is his wife/girlfriend/ex, the story is always all about him. The media never wonders what she might have been feeling or what the world is missing out on now that she's dead. Unless there were children killed along with her there is rarely an awareness of human potential unfairly cut off when a woman's life is ended.

    Now that we've reached the tipping point on social acceptance of gay marriage, I hope we can spend the next few years working towards the tipping point on social acceptance of women's humanity and agency. I think even people who think they believe in equal rights, even progressives, are sometimes blind to how they minimize women or render them invisible.

    Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

    by kismet on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:03:04 AM PDT

    •  Agree, and it is subtle yet persistent (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max, mali muso, Penny GC

      It is subtle but persistent that we value, empower, respect, and attribute positive qualities and importance to men. And sexism is more cell-deep than even racism.

      There is a palpable pressure of enforced humiliation that we as women are subject to. Both genders participate in this arrangement in a variety of ways.

      But we know things can be different and better because it varies profoundly by region and subculture and attitudes can change over time.

      While the last couple decades have been pretty stagnant in terms of advancement of women, the last couple years have seen the political discourse go from meh to very ugly quite quickly and shockingly.

    •  Agreed, and more (0+ / 0-)

      The President (and nearly everyone else), is always talking in terms of American families, and proceeding from that statement directly to children, policies about children, effects of policies on "families" (that really have all to do with children).

      Well, I'm in a family, but I have no children.  You'd never know it to hear them talk.  It often makes me feel like I don't count.

      I have 1957 on the phone, and they'd like their assumptions back.

  •  That is a very sad comment (5+ / 0-)

    That a women is only valuable if she is loved by a man. How do I say it nicely. What a load of crap! Anyone who believes that needs to take a good long hard look at themselves in the mirror what you see looking back at you is an idiot! All people have value no matter who or what they are and they have that value all by themselves without  the help of another person. Of course it great if someone loves you but to say that is the only way you have value is wrong. I look around this nation and I wonder what went wrong. Women rights have been going the other way ever since the rise of  the right-wing nuts in the GOP. These Republican men must be among the most childish, immature and insecure men in the world. If you think the only way you can be a man is by demeaning women then do the rest of us men a favor get help, and until you have been cured do not hold public office!

  •  That was indeed an excellent and well-written (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, marina, Black Max

    piece. Thanks for pointing it out.

    I don't completely accept the premise, however. First of all, the line it could have been your daughter is aimed at mothers as much as fathers. It isn't only men who are holding up ridiculously low moral standards for athletes. Secondly, people are self-referential by nature. They make judgements based on their own experiences. I have evolved in my thinking over the years about marriage equality as more of my gay friends have come out and have explained its importance to me. And also, as I've been in a good marriage and now understand why it might be important to anyone.

    So there's my self-referential reason why self-reference is important in changing social norms.

    That being said, yes of course this young woman is a human being and should not be raped. And yes, there is something to the argument that some people will conclude its okay to rape bag ladies and foster children because they aren't claimed by a specific man. And those people are nasty individuals and predators who should be incarcerated for their offenses.

    And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah! -Leonard Cohen .................@laurenreichelt

    by TheFatLadySings on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:07:32 AM PDT

    •  The idea that it could just as easily mean mothers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max, Penny GC

      as fathers is not equivalent. I have never, ever had to explain to a woman why a rape was as terrible as it was. But I have had to explain this many times to men. It's not equivalent at all.

      And as much as we like to blame mothers for a child's upbringing, the father's treatment of the mother (and his treatment of his daughters versus his sons) has the heavier impact when it comes to how his sons treat the opposite sex. Parents know that kids learn from what we do, not what we say. A father can preach respect for 18 years straight and still turn out rapists if he treats their mother and their sisters like second-class citizens.

      I absolutely believe that part of the pain and suffering and rage of rape is experienced secondarily by the loved ones of the victim. But this really has nothing to do with how bad rape is or how we as human beings should feel empathy for another human being.

      While it's a step above "rape is an offense against her father/husband who owns her," the idea that we should feel bad for women because of others can only be a step on the pathway to full maturity, where people are able to empathize with others by virtue of common humanity and not be stuck on "Me Gog! Not my tribe!"

      Okay, I do get hammered for being blunt. I get really blunt when I'm passionate, and I'm passionate about the issue of rape and about the intrinsic value and full humanity of women.

      I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

      by LaraJones on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:09:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ha. You didn't know my mother. Her reaction (0+ / 0-)

        was "but that was so many years ago, what does it matter?"

        I fully agree that it's much more difficult for men to grasp the emotional impact of rape on a woman because it's something that's beyond their potential experiences, for the most part.  That doesn't make them bad, though, and it doesn't mean they don't care.  It's just how humans are wired.  We're more concerned with ourselves than with anyone else.  And we're more concerned with those we care most about than with those we don't know.  So making it as personal as possible is the most effective way of getting them as close to understanding as it's possible to get.  And that's all that phrase is intended to do - make it as personal as possible to someone it hasn't actually happened to.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:14:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The meme has value, and I'll explain. (6+ / 0-)

    Men are narcissistic creatures, more so than women in my clinical experience. Narcissists have a great tendency to be dismissive of other's feelings in deference to their own. But even narcissists tend to develop relationships with "idealized self-objects", i.e. certain other people to whom they value over and above others in their environment, such as spouses and children. These people are allowed into their circle of narcissistic self-regard.

    It is lamentable how prevalent narcissism is not only in this culture, but humanity at large. But no amount of social change is going to get rid of narcissism as a phenomenon--that's wishful thinking to the extreme, one step above world peace. The only way you can get through to sexist/narcissistic lunkheads on this issue is through such memes--to get them to imagine that this unfortunate young lady was somebody they loved. And we NEED to use such exercises in order to change people's hearts, including the lunkheads--if only one instance at a time.  

    In my work as a psychiatrist I find every reason to be cynical about humanity--because it's amazing how stubbornly resistant people can be to making changes in their attitudes or lifestyle, even when it is painfully obvious how much their happiness depends on it. But there are also moments when people surprise me, and go through a transformative period of personal growth when I least expect it, even when I've long since given up on them. We use these memes because they work, because they break through people's resistance. Because a sexist/narcissistic asshole of a man can't imagine actually being a woman, but they can usually think of one they adore. It might be the beginning of more substantive change. We don't know until it happens.

    We cannot give up on the lunkheads--but neither can we wish them away. We can only try to make them think about things a different way, the best we can. Belle Jar is right in lamenting the state of the world--but this meme is a tool that can be used to change it, one soul at a time.

    •  The "Portmanization" effect? (6+ / 0-)

      The only way a narcissist like Portman can see the damage his own beliefs cause is when they occur in his own house, in front of his own nose.  It has to be that close up to be seen.

    •  This would make for an (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max

      excellent stand alone post/diary.

    •  I think the meme ultimately fails in a lot of case (0+ / 0-)

      because some people really can't imagine something like that happening to their wife, daughter, mother.  And asking them to is just an invitation for them to blame the victim.  Anytime something horrid happens to someone outside our immediate universe it is pretty common to enumerate all the ways in which that very thing couldn't or wouldn't have happened to our loved one.  Finding some way to differentiate the victim is a self defense mechanism.

      Most people have heard it or thought it at some tragedy..."My daughter doesn't hang with that crowd (so she is safe from that happening to her).  My son would take the keys away from his drunk buddy, not get in the car with him (so he is safe from that ever happening to him). So and so was attacked late at night at her office, well that's why when I am working late I....(so I am safe from that every happening to me).  Bob, the couch potato, just died of a massive coronoary?  Well, that's why I'm glad Jim runs three times a week.  Bob, the fitness freak just died of a massive coronary? Well, that's why I'm glad Jim doesn't overdo it on the exercise. Susie has cancer? I wonder if it has anything to do with all those crazy diets she was always on?"  And so on...

      It takes a lot of courage to look someone else's horror in the face and say it could have been me.

      If you want something other than the obvious to happen; you've got to do something other than the obvious. Douglas Adams

      by trillian on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:48:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I advocate TBJ's pov, but if it takes both (4+ / 0-)

    I say whatever works.


    by raincrow on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:24:17 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for bringing this to our attention (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    I went over to the blog and commented. I'm glad to see that she is mostly getting positive comments. I hope that doesn't change, as it seems from the comments that this blog is being reblogged in different places.

  •  Disagree strongly. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loquatrix, stevej, suzq, stegro, gustynpip

    The argument "the rape victim could have been your daughter, etc." is meant to humanize the victim, not to diminish her.  It's a way of getting a listener to think of the victim as more of a person, as more valuable, than just some poor unfortunate we hear about on the news, but have no connection to.  We feel wrongness more acutely when we are connected to it, and that's what this argument aims to do--connect listeners to the victim.

    As an example, notice how Rob Portman changed his stance on same-sex marriage when his son came out.

    What this argument does not do is what the article tries to argue it does: base the value of the victim on how much someone else--a male--values them.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:28:09 AM PDT

    •  Well, Rob Portman had the same son 4 years (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max

      ago, it was only when the issue was shoved in his face he changed his stance. Dick Cheney's daughter has been out for years, didn't apparently affect Portman's view.

      So, until massive quantities of Republican daughters and wives become lesbians or have unwanted pregnancies progress is stalled?

      *Are we humans or are we dancers?* Annie Lennox (thx Words In Action & OPOL)

      by glorificus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:48:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The point is that (5+ / 0-)

      needing to humanize a victim after a rape signifies that there is already an empathy gap. That gap is the problem.

      I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

      by LaraJones on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:11:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There will always be an empathy gap. About (0+ / 0-)

        every misfortune that can happen.  And that's as it has to be.  If we all had empathy about every misfortune, we'd be unable to function.  We Must pick and choose which to care about.  Those that are unable to do that all too often end up taking their own lives over all the pain and suffering that exists in the world.  

        And since the gap exists, the questions becomes, what is the most effective method of narrowing it?  Making it more personal to people is the most effective way.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:17:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  People are people (6+ / 0-)

    None of us are an island.  We do not exist without our connection to others.  

    Pointing out those connections doesn't devalue a victim (or a person) in any way, shape, or form.  It highlights the victim's membership in the tribe - and highlights the atrocity of someone attacking a member of our tribe, an act even more atrocious when the attacker is also a member of our tribe.

    Rape victims are connected not just to men, but to all the women in their lives.  What The Belle Jar is dismissing, discounting, and minimizing are the victim's relationships to her mother, her sisters, her daughters, her grandmothers, her aunts, her female friends, her female cousins, her female co-workers, her female neighbors. Those relationships are meaningful, powerful, and important.

    I would argue that to claim our personhood is detached from any and all connections with others is to make us into objects.

    It is our relationships with other people that gives us (male and female) our status as people. It is in our relationships that we are humanized, and become persons in our own rights.

    Claiming relationship is one of the most important ways in which we support a victim, rally against the crime, and advocate for changes in laws that provide freedoms and protections.

    I appreciate that people want to make those connections.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:33:44 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this interesting piece and discussion. (5+ / 0-)

    I think we can do both, use the "how would you feel if it was your sister, daughter or wife?" approach, and state what should be the obvious fact, above above all else, she is first and foremost a human being and deserving of all consideration and rights.

    Does a woman eating dinner alone or going to a play alone not count?

    Does an elderly woman without any family not count?

    Does a child in the foster system, not count?

    Can't we be full human beings first, before we're defined as belonging to someone?

    Frankly, I'm rather surprised at the either or response to the piece.

    The author raises important points worthy of discussion.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Onomastic on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:52:19 AM PDT

  •  Heh. My friend's aunt writes that blog. (6+ / 0-)

    I just saw it via my friend on Facebook.

    Small world.

    Our Fair City...a campy post-apocalyptic science fiction radio epic!

    by The BBQ Chicken Madness on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:54:16 AM PDT

  •  The rape apologists (7+ / 0-)

    put forward a lot of energy in de-personalizing the survivor of the rape - skank, slut, whore, bitch etc. were all pejoratives used by males and females alike in their tweets and comments about this case. They rarely used the more simple identifier of "girl" or "young woman". The whole motive in labeling her in this manner was to invoke a subtext of "some women deserve to be raped" as a defense.

    For that reason, I don't think that reminding people that every single person in the world is someone's son or daughter (we know at least that will always be true) is necessarily a bad thing. I completely understand the point being made, but unfortunately, merely being part of the same human species doesn't resonate enough for many.

    I find myself making the "sons, daughters, wives, husbands" argument to myself when I ponder the imponderable about why Republicans don't want the uninsured to have healthcare; I am constantly wondering if they don't have a son, daughter, wife, husband, sister, brother, 2nd cousin twice removed or what have you, whose life is threatened by the lack of affordable healthcare. Therefore, I wouldn't say that using personalization to strengthen a position is limited to gender specific situations.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:58:05 AM PDT

  •  Libertarians Should Be Up In Arms (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max, stevej, LaraJones, Penny GC

    Rape is taking away a person's freedoms.  Yep, not only is it immoral and a crime, it is a crime of humanity.  You have got it right.  That is why I believe that tea baggers and the so called moral authority of the GOP have it so wrong when it comes to women's rights.  Taking a woman's right to decide for herself for her body, her own health decisions is a crime of humanity and taking away the rights of an individual is I thought something libertarians are against.  

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:58:09 AM PDT

  •  I think some of you are missing the point. (9+ / 0-)

    Yes, it tends to "humanize" someone to mention relatives or friends that may be affected.

    But I'm with the diarist. We shouldn't have to do that.

    If a person is homeless with no relatives, no friends, does that lessen an attack against him? Can we shrug and pass by?

    No human being deserves to be marginalized.  None.

    As for women, they are so often treated like less than human that I think this pertains especially to them. Just as it pertained to those who were, by law,  3/5s of a human being when this country was young.

    Every human being deserves to be treated decently. Simply because they are a human being. A human being.  That should be all the criteria needed.

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:00:05 AM PDT

    •  Yes, it should be, but often it isn't. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max, Onomastic, bartcopfan

      No living being, human or animal should be tortured, but somehow we as a nation have acquiesced that in some situations it's acceptable.

      All of human history can be seen as a struggle of almost any group against another group they perceive as the "other". The very first step in demonizing "the other" is always depersonalization. Often the other is denied even human status and is called "vermin" a "pestilence", etc.

      All I'm saying is that an appeal to common humanity hasn't worked so far and I don't see any signs of it working anytime soon, although I'm in complete agreement with you that it should be the ONLY argument against any form of cruelty, whether it be murder, rape, war, torture, slavery, economic injustice, social injustice . . .

      The closest I think we have come so far is when "I'd Like To Buy The World a Coke" was actually made unironically in  the Make Peace Not War and Love Your Neighbor hippy years before Gordon Gekko became the man to emulate.


      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:22:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  that's a really weird leap (0+ / 0-)

    why is daughter, wife, mother, sister limited to men? it applies equally to women.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:11:57 AM PDT

  •  No, it's just appealing to their sense of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CS in AZ, gustynpip

    human empathy.  Trying to bring it close to home for someone who doesn't seem to think rape is that big of a deal.  

    It's a shame any man has to be encouraged or cajoled in this way, but I don't think it has anything to do with saying "A woman is only valued insofar as a man recognises her value."  It's just an attempt to entreat an uncomprehending man to grasp why rape is bad.

  •  It's been about what "kind" of woman you are (4+ / 0-)

    The girl in question was said to be very drunk. I've even read that she was one who did this before (being drunk at a jock party). Perhaps she was a hanger-on to the "in" crowd, the jocks and cheerleaders. Many kids are. Everyone wants to be accepted, and some go farther than others in that regard.
    But she wasn't the girlfriend of the quarterback. She wasn't the head cheerleader. Those girls would probably never be attacked because, you know, they're somehow better than the girl who was attacked.
    It's also possible the girl who was raped was slipped a drug at some point, leading me to think the attack was certainly premeditated - get her so drunk and wasted that they could "use" her.
    Now before folks get angry with me, I do not believe ANY girl, woman, or child should ever be raped. But we have this idea that some women deserve it - she's a whore, a slut, a "loose" woman.
    Which speaks to this diary - her value as a woman was in proportion to the "kind" of woman she was. To those kids, she was worthy of being raped.
    Just because a kid goes to a party and drinks doesn't make rape somehow OK. Other kids there were drinking too, and one wonders who supplied the booze? Who OK'd these parties with booze and drugs? Was there NO adult supervision?
    And where were the other girls at the party? The girl who was violated wasn't the only female at the party. They obviously saw what was going on. Why didn't one of them step in and help her, or tell the guys, NO, you can't go there. Nope. nothing. Why didn't THEY value their sister enough to protect her?
    We have to stop the idea (can we ever?) that some women deserve being raped. It's gone on for far too long that the victim is always to blame.
    With as many strides as women have made forward, we still deal with rampant sexism. We need to value EVERY woman and say NO to their violation.
    I hope and pray that the young woman hurt will be able to move forward at some time and realize SHE wasn't at fault. But society isn't going to make it easy.

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:33:11 AM PDT

    •  Precisely, and well said. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Penny GC, MA Liberal

      I think the goal of the "that could be your daughter" meme to generate empathy and connection in this instance falls short and distracts the conversation away from the more salient point you bring up. The meme should be "she did not deserve that."  Period.  

    •  In regard to why other girls didn't help (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MA Liberal

      her - I've heard that her friend did try to prevent her from going with the boys, but she insisted on going.  Don't know whether it's true or not.  And I believe that when the rapes occurred, there were no other girls present.  I can, though, imagine other girls not stepping forward because they were afraid they'd become the victim instead.  That kind of situation can be very intimidating and frightening.

      What I find mind boggling is the fact that other girls are now harassing and threatening her.  How horrifying.  I suspect it's because they do indeed realize this could have been them, and they need to be deflecting blame onto her so they can still feel some semblance of safety themselves.  I believe that's why it was so acceptable to women to blame women for rape for so long.  If we can pin the blame on the woman, all we have to do is not be like her, and it won't happen to us.  

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:25:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately, humans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, Black Max, gustynpip

    are so selfish and self centered, sometimes the only way to get them to think differently about an issue is to personalize an issue, and I think making people think about their relatives helps in some instances.

    After all, when we talk about soc sec or medicare, we point out how it benefits the opponents' relatives, and the opponent [or maybe the 'unenlightened' may be a better word, except for the condescension] will start to think differently.

    So, while I agree with the diarist's point, I still think personalization is useful.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:04:48 AM PDT

  •  "What if it was you?" (11+ / 0-)

    I wonder why people don't ask men that question. "If you got wasted with your friends, would that mean it was OK for them  to stick their fingers up your a**, make you perform fellatio, take nude pictures of you, urinate on you, and brag about it on the internet?" I wonder what the response would be if people cut to the chase and asked men to imagine themselves as victims.

    I expect that some men would immediately see the point. And that others would protest that "that's not the same thing" -- because it's different for women. Because doing this kind of thing to women is somehow more natural. If some men did have that reaction, I think it would prove the point that women aren't fully seen as people, and that we live in a rape culture.

    Please visit:

    by Noisy Democrat on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:06:23 AM PDT

    •  +1 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noisy Democrat, gustynpip, Oh Mary Oh

      This is what I was going to comment -- it's not that women can't have sisters or wives or friends, it's that the framing very clearly sets up that it must be someone other than the listener and not they themselves.  Which, when talking about rape, means that there is a gender division; women are already envisioning themselves in that position, on average, so the language means "we're not talking to you".  

      And, besides, in a language that likes contrast and binaries, if you have a bunch of female not-you words, the contrast is a male-you -- no, it's not explicit, but it is there.

      •  I suspect that's what the writer was trying to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noisy Democrat

        say, but didn't quite grasp the problem herself.  Perhaps we need to work on making men see this as something that could happen to them.  I suspect more than one of them has been horribly humiliated when drunk out of their minds, and they could actually envision people who aren't friends taking things this far.  Except, their minds would probably go blank at that point because the horror of the idea would be too much for them to deal with.

        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:28:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I dont disagree but have a number of problems. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I get her point.  When I heard about the Steubenville incident, I didn't think it was abhorrent because I was thinking "what if that happened to my family member".  I thought it was disgusting and reprehensible because I couldn't understand what kind of person (or persons...or TOWN) would treat another person this way.  It was basically torture for their own amusement that they thought was okay because the victim couldn't defend herself.   Absolutely f-ing sickening.

    Where I disagree is in the idea that the original author somehow thinks being a person is SEPARATE from being a sister/mother/daughter.  The impression is definitely given that anyone who looks at the victim, or tries to make people more aware of the problem (and rest assured, there are plenty of blame the victim people out there) are actually dehumanizing all women.  She flat out says that in her article...using the "imagine if" arguement means you only value women as possessions of men and therefore are part of the rape culture.  She literally says that...anyone who uses that arguement is part of the rape problem.  And that is just offensive and insulting.

  •  Newtown. (5+ / 0-)

    I have to bring it up.  I am the mother of two sons.  Newtown sickened me to the depths of my being because I know, intimately, how much my little guys trust and need the adults around them.  

    Penn State...the same thing.  And because of cases like Penn State, the activities my sons engage in get the utmost scrutiny and involvement from my husband and me.  

    Of course, no child should starve or be abused, but because I have children, I have a deeper understanding of the level of depravity, desparation or total abdication of parental authority that must occur for this to happen.

    "Imagine if it were your own son..." is shorthand for all of that.

    It goes beyond simple empathy and touches on a more fuller understanding of the mechanics of the situation.

  •  This logic only works if the people you... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    are trying to convince are 100% Homo sapien! Most of the ones I've seen disrespecting this girl belong somewhere between any of the four-legged species of the animal kingdom and Java Man.

    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

    by WFBMM on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:33:03 AM PDT

  •  Along not dissimilar lines ... (5+ / 0-)

    I worked in the late 1980s at the IT center of a company that made the decision to move our jobs halfway across the country.  

    Nearly all of us made the decision to stay where we were and accept the financial offer of two weeks pay for every year of service.  We then set about the dual tasks of preparing our work for migration while embarking on a job search.

    At the time I was a childless widow, and everyone else on my team was married with children at home.

    Several of the people on my team remarked that this was much harder on them than it was on me, as they had families to support and I had no one to think about except myself.

    I told them that at least they had someone else in the household who could work, someone with whom they could share their burdens and worries.  I, on the other hand, was completely on my own with nobody else to help out either financially or emotionally.

    None of them had ever thought of it that way before, and a few actually apologized.  

    There are times when people really don't get it.  They think only of themselves and how things affect them personally, and it takes a careful explanation of how the lives of others are just as complex and important in their own ways to them as their own lives are to themselves.

    On the one hand, I agree that people who don't get it should have their consciousness raised by whatever means necessary; i.e. "she could be your wife, mother, etc."

    On the other hand, women are so often defined by (and thus reduced to) their relationship to others that it is refreshing to see such a succinct reminder that a woman's life is valuable all by itself, regardless of who loves her and/or is nurtured by her ... especially when that woman has neither spouse nor offspring.

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:52:55 AM PDT

  •  People used a similar track for Newtown (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max, gustynpip

    The attempt is to find something the other person would empathize with.  In this case, since the victim was a girl, of course people are going to use "daughter, wife, sister."  In Newtown, it was "your child."  

    It's also why we always talk about having all Congresspeople have to have a child in the military.  How do you get these people to understand what someone else is going through?

    I don't want to diminish what she said, but it doesn't quite apply in this case.

    "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

    by anonevent on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:01:40 AM PDT

  •  Seems like a leap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas

    Sometimes, commentators or bloggers are so desperate for a "smart take" that they take something simple and twist it into a logic and emotion pretzel so elaborate that the food network starts auditioning hosts for a show about it.

    People are asked to do this exact same thing when we talk about war casualties - imagine it's your son, father, dad, etc. It is a very valuable exercise that allows people to access feelings that would otherwise be insulated by abstractness.

    So To make this particular response out as some patronizing affront to women is bathing in rubbish, bordering on nonsense and flirting with obnoxious.

    •  I have to agree with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the point of the blog post was a stretch, a long one. A horrible crime is committed on an anonymous person, by humanizing the blank face we open up and feel more about it.

      It's a simple way to bring people into the story. We go it all the time in IGTNT to allow people to feel and understand the loss rather than assign a number or a statistic. It's not about gender.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:45:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Invitation to House of LIGHTS (0+ / 0-)

    (Loving Inspiration, Giving Hope To Survivors)

    A place for survivors of physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse, assaults, and bullying.

    A place for the people who support them.

    A quiet place for all voices to be heard.

    A safe place where we can learn to educate, support, and protect our children and each other.

    If you would like to join House of LIGHTS, please let us know.

    The core of the House of LIGHTS is our frank, supportive, and private group discussions. Once you join, we will send you an invitation to participate in the group kosmail ("Editor" status), but you must check your DK messages regularly. (DK4 groupmails do not announce themselves in your Welcome Back box.)

    [Trigger Warning] If you have been raped and have never talked about it, we encourage you to call the RAINN Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE. (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network.)

  •  And while we're on the subject of human value: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe

    Exactly how much media coverage would this rape case ever have gotten, and how much sympathy would the survivor have received...if she wasn't a WHITE girl?

    Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

    by gardnerhill on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:51:26 AM PDT

  •  I think it's like Rob Portman (0+ / 0-)

    and his turnaround on DOMA and marriage equality -- things like rape hit more when they hit close to home. So a statement like that (and it doesn't necessarily apply to only men -- look at the women and girls who've been supporting the perps, including the two girls arrested for death threats) just says, "Put yourself in the shoes of the victim's family and friends -- how would you feel?"

    There's a difference between considering an abstract subject and looking at it through the eyes of humanity.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:47:53 AM PDT

  •  Women, should not be raped.... (0+ / 0-)

    Men should not be raped
    Children should not be raped
    Old people should not be raped
    Gay people should not be raped
    Drunk people should not be raped
    Promiscuous people should not be raped
    Convicted criminals should not be raped

    "rape is wrong, and no one should ever be raped. "
  •  I get what she's saying (0+ / 0-)

    I just don't know if it's actually, you know, true.

    The appearance of her statement paints rape apologists as being all male. That just ain't so. The people arrested for threatening Jane Doe in Steubenville after the conviction were girls, after all. Examined in the light that everyone needs a little education as to who has value, that part of her statement is untrue and needlessly inflammatory.

    Paragraph 3 is right on, though. The better frame...


    This rape, and any rape, was wrong because women are people. Women are people, rape is wrong, and no one should ever be raped. End of story.
  •  Here's part of the reason (0+ / 0-)

    why people say "What if it was your wife/mother/daughter/sister?"

    The monkeysphere is a psychological concept, in that we as humans naturally care more about people within our 'monkeysphere' than people outside it. It's a biological fact. So this is an effective tool to increase empathy.

    The problem is that yes, it DOES have the effect of reinforcing, at least by not challenging, the notion that it only matters if the woman is someone you care about.

    So how do we leverage the Monkeysphere without perpetuating the undesired paradigm?

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:27:48 PM PDT

  •  What you do to the least among you (0+ / 0-)

    you do to me.  It's part of the supposed religious values our society is supposed to have.  I read a sentence in the newspaper report that blamed the victim - what's a 13 year old girl doing hanging around 18 year boys.  My question is what the hell are 18 year old adult men doing hanging with a 13 minor girl?  I don't think it was for the intellectual conversation.  Boys should be taught that forcing anyone to do anything against their will is wrong, period.  Bullying, assault, rape, etc.  It's all about power and force.  But it's this culture of exploitation of the weak that we have to stop.  I hate the idea that this kind of aberrant behavior is excused as boys will be boys.  Most boys don't do this.

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