Joanna Lumley says don't go out and get drunk...

(199 Posts)
JustAHolyFool Thu 24-Jan-13 23:47:48

...to avoid being raped.

Daily Mail link, but it's all over twitter too.

link

Don't read the comments unless you fancy some RAAAAAGE.

PrincessFiorimonde Fri 25-Jan-13 10:36:03

Floaty, I'd advise anyone not to get so drunk that they might fall and hurt themselves, lose their keys and their taxi fare, etc.

But the key thing about being raped is actually encountering a rapist, whether a stranger or (far more likely) someone you know.

A rapist is no respecter of a woman's state of sobriety - or of her clothing, her age, etc.

FloatyBeatie Fri 25-Jan-13 10:37:18

And the same is true of any other crime.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 25-Jan-13 10:39:31

LRD that is an uncomfortable but excellent point.

FloatyBeatie Fri 25-Jan-13 10:39:47

... sorry, that was elliptic. I mean I would be furious with my sons for becoming so drunk that they are vulnerable to crime (as well as other hazards). Why should I be less furious with girls because they face the additional hazard of rape?

floaty - saying to your son and daughter 'don't go out and get completely drunk, with no money to get home, at risk of violence and robbery' is sound.

It's also not what people are referring to as rape apology.

Partly because it doesn't mention rape, partly because it's advice to both your son and your daughter.

It's not what Lumley was saying. If you notice, she's very specific that this is a female problem, and that it's partly to do with women being 'laddish', acting like men, with the implication that women can't do the same things as men. She says girls look like 'trash' and she makes it clear she's talking about them taking responsibility for not getting themselves raped.

floaty - I don't know if this makes sense. But imagine I'm talking to my brothers' mates. So I say, now, all of you have a good time out, don't get too pissed, look after each other.

Then I turn to Bill who is black and I say:

'And you need to be especially careful, Bill, you've got to take responsibility for your vulernability to racist insults, because you're black.'

I would come across as stunningly racist, wouldn't I? Because it's not his fault some people are racists, and it's difficult to know what he could do to stop them being racists.

Then after that, you factor in that women are most likely to be raped by someone close to them, in their own homes. And here you've been saying 'be careful not to get raped'. It is going to be very hard for someone not to feel they somehow 'did something' to 'get themselves' raped. That's my worry.

I think putting out general warnings 'don't get drunk, don't get separated from the group, be sensible' to young men and women is totally sound and I wish there were more of it.

PrincessFiorimonde Fri 25-Jan-13 10:44:10

I made my previous post before your last couple of posts, Floaty. I don't know if awareness of public drunkenness is an age thing. I'm 52 and often got drunk in public 30 years ago (not proud of it). You may have a point about binge drinking and capitalism. But I really don't think that has any bearing on rape.

LRD is putting it much better than I am.

FloatyBeatie Fri 25-Jan-13 10:45:16

That isn't how I read her. "Laddish" is the name of a drinking culture that I decry among men as well as women. It doesn't just mean "being like a man." "Trash" is a bad word to use but it doesn't seem to me to alter the advice she is giving. If men aren't told these things as much as women then they should be -- I wonder if (as well as being a product of sexism) it is also a product of a depressing acceptance that men will just go out, get pissed, get beaten up or killed.

FloatyBeatie Fri 25-Jan-13 10:50:25

Oh, also, re the word "trash", I think this is an instance of the way that ill-chosen words get seized on and used as an opportunity to read against the sense of a speaker to find a way of squeezing her words into a opportunity for the performance of certain tropes of right-thinking -- like what happened to Suzanne Moore with her Brazilian transsexual remark. I am pretty certain that Lumley cares about women and is not a defender of rapists, but what the hell, lets accuse her of that and then we can all feel good.

Mmm. Fair enough. To me, 'laddish' does refer to men. It's a drinking culture where women are criticized for being like blokes. I'm not wild about it either, though, so not too interested in defending it.

But the main point is - men aren't told these things. There's no 'if' - we know they're not. I think it is terrible. And you're dead right it's sexism, IMO.

In presenting young women as vulnerable to rape, JL is doing a double disservice IMO: she's implying women are responsible instead of blaming their rapists (I'm sure she does blame rapists and would be shocked to realize how she comes across), and she's also giving the message that it's only women who need to worry on a night out, when it's men as well.

Floaty she seems to be referring specifically to women:

In particular, she criticises “laddish” young women who drink so much they end up being “sick in the gutter” and put themselves at risk of being “robbed or raped”.

She says: “Don’t look like trash, don’t get drunk, don’t be sick down your front, don’t break your heels and stagger about in the wrong clothes at midnight.

LRD's race analogy is a sound one and explains things far better than I could manage.

floaty - fair enough, 'trash' doesn't bother you. It bothers me. I do not think this is because I am bent on misinterpreting her and it's a bit rude to claim that, I think.

It would be lovely to live in a happy world where people with good intentions always managed to do and say good things. And I get where you're coming from in saying Lumley has good intentions. I'm certain she does.

I'm just not convinced what she's doing is a good idea.

MooncupGoddess Fri 25-Jan-13 10:54:56

Believe me... men are not told these things anything like as much as women. Indeed, I am really struggling to think of an occasion when men have been publicly warned about the dangers of getting drunk and putting themselves in a vulnerable position (although young men are at much higher risk of violent crime than young women). Whereas women are publicly warned ALL THE TIME.

Of course JL is right that it's silly to get horribly drunk and lose any sense of personal safety, but it's very striking that these Dreadful Warnings are always directed at women. Partly I think that's because we have a culture of Telling Women What To Do (cf how to please your man, how to run your life, how to look after your baby etc) with threats of Dreadful Consequences if women do the Wrong Thing.

And also I think it's because of anxieties around rape/sexual assault, not just because it's a horrible experience but because it is seen as a shameful experience that degrades the woman who suffers it in a way that being violently mugged (also a horrible experience) doesn't.

OwlLady Fri 25-Jan-13 10:59:43

Apart from anything, getting blind drunk in a public place leaves anyone vulnerable, male or female. I have a friend who has LD's and a bit of a drink problem and two men befriended him in the pub and then offered to walk him home and then beat and robbed him. Being male didn't protect him from the abuse that can follow if you make yourself vulnerable through drinking too much, but that is the only part of what has been published I agree with. I think it's most probably quite difficult for the older generation to understand what is fun about some of the scenes we are shown on the news too, of Hull city centre on a Saturday night and the like.

I think it's natural she's identifying with women, because she's a woman, and she's feeling bad for what she's seeing. It could be she's worried about 'the shame' as you say, mooncup, but I think she's also just thinking 'oh god, I hope I never looked like that'. Because you do.

It's just I disagree with how she's then decided to respond to that feeling.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 25-Jan-13 11:03:16

And thanks for posting that spectacularly crass rape analogy, Charlizee, and thereby alerting me not to engage with you on any other threads.

MooncupGoddess Fri 25-Jan-13 11:07:35

Well yes, she probably does direct her advice to women because she identifies more with them... but then, men (like the Canadian police officer who inspired Slutwalk) direct their advice to women too. Where are the people who direct their advice to men, hmm?

drwitch Fri 25-Jan-13 11:07:46

i took charlizees remarks to be ironic

Indeed.

Oh, sorry, 'indeed' was to mooncup.

While I wouldn't dream of speaking for another sister woman, I'd say charlizees remarks are consistent with others on other threads.

OwlLady Fri 25-Jan-13 11:12:29

charlize's comment was a quote off the daily mail website, it's in speech marks

PrincessFiorimonde Fri 25-Jan-13 11:16:27

I too am sure that Joanna Lumley's intentions were good. But I do think that what she said (or, perhaps, what she is reported as having said) does carry the underlying message of 'Women: dress modestly and behave with decorum, and then nothing bad will happen to you'. Which we all know is just not true.

HighJinx Fri 25-Jan-13 11:17:33

I agree that drinking until you drop is not good for anyone.

However for me any sense in Joanna Lumley's comments is lost after this:

but don’t be sick in the gutter at midnight in a silly dress with no money to get a taxi home, because somebody will take advantage of you, either they’ll rape you, or they’ll knock you on the head or they’ll rob you

There is an implied "and it will be your fault" tacked on the end that is completely unacceptable to me.

That's a good point though, that it's quite possible her words got twisted, because the way they're quoted is pretty heavily woven in with the journalist's paraphrases.

Still, the road to hell, etc. etc.

I do think it is bizarre that observing someone is a 'rape apologist' seems recently to have become almost unsayable, as if it's almost as bad as calling someone a rapist.

HighJinx Fri 25-Jan-13 11:21:45

Why are so many people rape apologists though?

Is it because it makes people feel safer to think that their own behaviour can protect them from rape?

So if you stay out of dingy alleys and don't go out after 6pm you'll be OK?

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