Causality

I got into an argument online because I, apparently, had an unpopular stance on an issue related to rape. Yes I know – don’t ever touch that issue, ever ever. But I’m me – and you know I can’t resist a good debate.

This was the image that started it all. But in case you can’t see the image, it says this:

Men should be offended when someone claims women should prevent rape
by not wearing certain things
or not going certain places
or not acting a certain way.

That line of thinking presumes that you are incapable of control. That you are so base and uncivilised that it takes extraordinary effort for you to walk down the street without raping someone

That you require a certain dress code be maintained, that certain behaviours be employed so that maybe today, just maybe, you won’t rape someone.

It presumes that your natural state is [that of a] rapist.

Now to me, I agree with most of what it says; that men do need to control their “urges.” But what I wasn’t a fan of was how it suddenly went much further and claimed that one who believes that women should dress/act appropriately would have a natural inclination of being a rapist.

Because here the deal: I do think that women shouldn’t act and dress like sluts (or go to dubious places) – I do think that not doing that shit can go a long way. I wouldn’t say it would guarantee your safety, but it would certainly be better than giving predators more reason to focus on you.

Does thinking all that, that those types of actions/decisions can and do contribute to being victimized, make me a rapist? According to my non-existent criminal record, it seems that my unpopular stance, thank God, hasn’t turned me into one 1 I’ll still try to get a psych evaluation to be sure hehehe. Yet this image tells me that I should be offended just by thinking that way. That all accountability falls squarely on the guy – and the women would be absolutely absolved from any decision/action they have made that could’ve contributed to the issue.

In short, the “conclusion” of the image was specious.

But to qualify my “stance,” I have to admit I was more concerned with the “sexual harrassment” aspect of this whole thing – because now we also have women that can cry “sexual harrasment” (and even rape in some cases) after the fact – or sometimes even doing it as a form of entrapment/revenge in extreme cases. The point I was trying to say is that for the most part, men, even the most well-meaning ones, usually operate on the signals that women give them.

And to interject some humor into the whole thing, I simply applied the same logic of drawing conclusions based on observable things. My response was as follows:

By that logic, can we also assume that IF a woman prefers to act and dress “those ways” – that her “natural state” would be, quite frankly, a classless slut 🙂

But yes, either way, you shouldn’t try to RAPE even the classless sluts 🙂

It was an attempt to just put some humor into my disagreement – you know, to just soften the blow of going against the grain. I was solely focusing on the “natural state” of people based on their actions (as the argument was deriving its logic from) – I didn’t even bother expressing my opinion on whether or not I thought that women who did act that way “deserved” what they got (which I’ll be addressing later in this post)

Rather than acknowledging that such prejudice goes both ways, some people choose to go ballistic instead! Thank God I had thick skin and actually found some amusement in people popping a vein and just blindly flying off their handle without trying to understand the reasoning behind my statement.

Something was obviously lost in translation; people didn’t notice that I was merely hinting at how unfair it would be to simply “peg” a guy for what he prefers (that women shouldn’t dress/act slutty) and that if one would expect the right to such prejudice, – then people like me should also reserve the right to the apply the same prejudice in return.

And quite frankly, I thought my argument made more sense. Cuz think about it: considering the first postulate; we have jumped from the preference of women acting/dressing a certain way – to the possibility that those who prefer such behavior would be closet rapists. Why such a conclusion? Well, the image did lay the reasoning out – so sure, I can get behind that logic – somehow.

But for me to accept such a daring assumption, I don’t see why one should reject a similar [daring] assumption from the other side: That a woman acting and dressing slutty – could, in fact, be a slut. Why such a conclusion? Gee, I wonder – perhaps it was that whole bit about her dressing and acting like one.

The fact is, my assumption, whether right or wrong, still had a more valid basis to draw conclusions from – at least more than what that image was suggesting.

So I cannot, for the life of me, understand why people would easily accept the first argument hook line and sinker – and yet cry foul at the second. Does playing the whole ‘rape’ card suddenly give them some sort of immunity from prejudice and a free pass in applying it (prejudice)?

Qualifications

If I were to admit a fault in my reasoning, it would be this: That I didn’t qualify enough the difference between putting oneself in a precarious situation and deserving it. I think that people assumed that my argument suggested that women deserved to be raped just because I had the audacity to say that their decisions on wardrobe, behaviour, and choice of places contributed to that unfortunate event. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To put things in perspective, let me use a parallelism. Instead of the word “rape” let’s use the word “mug.” And please, spare me from the “how could you demote something as serious as rape to something like a mugging” arguments – because first of all, fuck you – a mugging isn’t pleasant at all – and you can also be both mentally and physically violated during a mugging – in fact, you can also die in such an encounter. Or would you rather I say “kidnapping”? perhaps that would get more sympathy – since kidnappings would probably be second (and pretty close) to rape as far as trauma is concerned.

In any case, this is my blog, and my post, so yes I’m fucking going to put all of them on the same level for arguments sake – if you have a problem with that then boo fucking hoo.

So where was I, ah yes, a mugging. So in the Philippines we have “dangerous” places like Recto or Quiapo. Now let me ask anyone familiar with these places as to how they go about visiting them? We all have our answers right? And I bet good money they’re mostly the same: Dress down, try to blend in, and avoid dangerous looking places and people, bring protection if possible (I personally bring a knife with me, in case anyone’s interested to know).

So let’s say, just for the sake of argument, you had to go to Quiapo (or Recto) for whatever reason – and instead of doing any of the precautions previously mentioned, you decided to stick to your guns; believing that what you wear, where you go, how you act shouldn’t really matter. And you then proceed to go into the belly of the beast dressed to the nines, at night, wandering aimlessly, acting all cocky and shit.

And let’s say you do get mugged (not surprisingly, I’m sure you’ll agree). Can you honestly tell me that your decisions didn’t contribute to that unfortunate event at all? Gimme a fucking break!

And heres the thing that the people seem to not get – which I have to make abundantly clear: Did you deserve to get mugged? OF COURSE NOT! Absolutely nobody deserves to be wronged in any way, shape, or form – wether it be a mugging, or a rape, or a kidnapping or even pick-pocketing – nobody deserves to be wronged – PERIOD.

Have I made that clear? Let me say it again just to be sure. NOBODY DESERVES TO BE WRONGED IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.

Now having said that, if you’re going to ask me if there was something you could’ve done to decrease the likelihood of getting yourself in trouble – then my answer would be ABSO-FUCKIN’-LUTELY. And what would those be? Ummm, dressing down, blending in, avoiding dangerous places. Pretty much the same advice I would give any pretty woman who would ask me what they could do stay safe from predators. 2 Obviously contrary to the meme And yet, thinking that way – in the context of rape – apparently makes someone like me a closet rapist. Go figure.

Pandering

The typical reaction (though only done by one person) was amusing. It was amusing because he reminded me of Rudy Giuliani during one of the past republican presidential debates.

What happened was that Ron Paul was implying that one of the reasons why the US is a major terrorist target is because of how it tends to meddle in middle eastern politics.

It was a valid claim. And yet Guiliani decided to pander and claim that Paul was implying that the US invited the attacks – and essentially deserved it. Again, how far from the truth can one be?

Apart from the terrorists themselves, nobody was claiming that the US deserved 9/11! It’s utterly annoying that a simple acknowledgment of a possible “factor” that could’ve contributed to the attack was immediately construed as a destructive argument, when if taken constructively, and heeded, would have a greater chance of avoiding similar situations in the future.

Sufficed to say he (Guiliani) got an applause – even if what Ron Paul said made perfect sense. And that’s how I felt when this guy proceeded to disparage me publicly. I just decided to be the bigger man and not throw names back like he did.

Prison Scenario

There was one person who did share some insight on the whole thing. And I thought I’d mention his point because it is worth thinking about – before I proceed to point out how inapplicable it is to the reality of the “outside” world.

He mentioned that having worked in a prison system for a while – that the primary motivator of rapists isn’t exactly based on “signals” being sent. He raised this point because I was arguing that it would help if women didn’t send the wrong signals in the first place. I appreciated his insight because it was, in fact, true; in the prison context, it really isn’t about signals, it’s all about power/domination.

He said, to further drive his point home, that I myself would’ve been “prime rape material” to the inmates. And you know what? I totally believe him. I have no doubt that I’d make a nice clean tasty treat for those [butt]fuckers.

BUT! I’m not getting raped (not to my knowledge at least) Why? Because I’m not in prison. And you know why I’m not in prison? Because I don’t fucking do shit that can get me into prison! So as far as not acting a certain way, and not going to certain places goes – I’d say, contrary to what the meme says, it’s a very legitimate claim.

Also, even if it was the case that signals aren’t needed to prompt a predator to “pounce” – there still is a very real issue of preference.

Why do I specifically make good rape material over the other existing inmates? Or what made the guy even say that I would make good rape material given the pictures he had seen? Does being innocent/helpless factor in? Is it because I’m relatively clean compared to the others (nobody wants a dirty ass to fuck) being a newbie and all? And why me, a man, when they aren’t gay? (or are they?)

Well just like with sailors, and some priests, I think it’s simply because of the pool of victims they could choose from. It just so happens that the prison I’ll likely be thrown into will be an all-male prison. I would be willing to bet that if you put a pretty lady in there (unprotected of course), she’d be first to go. If you would put a guy that’s cleaner and better looking than I am, then he’d be first to go. Now if you had 10 ladies, who’s more likely to get raped? Well the answer is all of them obviously – but you know what I’m trying to say. Whatever the case may be, signal or no – preference will still be present.

And the existence of this “preference” is a very important thing to consider – because it says there are things that contribute to you (or me) being preferred over others. And coming full circle to the whole rape issue – if you act slutty, and dress slutty. Sure even if we stipulate that you aren’t sending any signals directly – can you honestly say that you didn’t just make yourself at the very least more appealing to the eyes of a predator as compared to say, that nun wearing a habit by the corner?

So I’m sorry, it’s a hard and inconvenient truth, but the fact is that what women wear and how women act can aggravate their situation – and I think that any advice suggesting they act/dress less slutty is sound advice – and instead of saying that people who think that way are closet rapists, why don’t they just take the advice and be safer.

Conclusion

To finish this post, I’ll address the actual post now. None of the humor I tried to do initially (which failed miserably) This time I’ll reply as sincerely and as direct as possible.

Men should be offended when someone claims women should prevent rape
by not wearing certain things
or not going certain places
or not acting a certain way.

That line of thinking presumes that you are incapable of control. That you are so base and uncivilised that it takes extraordinary effort for you to walk down the street without raping someone.

I do think that women should not act, dress, and go certain ways/places. I will obviously not push for it – as I also believe a woman should have the right to do, wear, and go whatever/wherever she wants.

Still, I prefer what I prefer. I prefer it not because I cannot control myself (as the meme would suggest). I’m the least of their problems.

Their problems are with the people who, unlike me, cannot control themselves – and make no mistake; they [obviously] are out there. 3 Else we wouldn’t need to even be having this conversation And I bet those reasons do contribute to their “preference” in a sea of possible victims at the very least – and a shiny beacon at its worst.

That’s why I have such a stance. Now it’s up to the women if they’ll heed such advice, ignore it, or be offended by it. At the end of the day they’re the ones in danger, not me.

Notes   [ + ]

1. I’ll still try to get a psych evaluation to be sure hehehe
2. Obviously contrary to the meme
3. Else we wouldn’t need to even be having this conversation

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