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.

HighJinx Fri 25-Jan-13 11:22:18

I'm not talking about Joanna Lumley btw, just generally.

I used to believe that women who went out wearing skimpy outfits were 'asking for trouble'. Even after I was raped. I don't know where this view came from but it's only as I've grown older and started to challenge assumptions that I've realise how wrong I was, much to my shame.

Perhaps people who think this just don't really think about the full implications?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 25-Jan-13 11:25:50

LRD I think it's because saying someone is a rape apologist is in some way perceived to be saying they are pro-rape, rather than that they do not understand the dynamics and true picture of rape.

PrincessFiorimonde Fri 25-Jan-13 11:26:21

I meant to add that I think MooncupGoddess made a very good observation about sexual assault and perceived 'shame'. I'd like to think this should be blindingly obvious, not least in terms of unreported rapes/sexual assaults, but in my opinion this point can't be made often enough.

PrincessFiorimonde Fri 25-Jan-13 11:28:17

I'm sorry if that post acted as a trigger to anyone.

I think it is a natural response to want to explain rape and to want to know how to protect against it. Then that gets mixed up with the fact it happens so much, and the fact that we're living in a society that has messed-up ideas about men, women and sex. Lots of people think rape will never go away and is a sort of permanent evil, which dehumanizes it and makes it harder to see it as an action that a person decides to do.

It is relatively recent that we even got to thinking about rape as a crime against a woman, not against her husband or her father. I think we just have such a lot of progress to make.

Do you not find that if anything goes wrong, you do naturally wonder what you could have done to stop it? Even when you know it's not your fault? IMO with rape those natural feelings get taken and twisted so that people believe them. sad

Sorry, that was a big cross post.

princess - well, I wouldn't mean it like that. I wouldn't even want to talk to someone who was 'pro-rape'. But I expect you're right that's how people have come to see it.

HighJinx Fri 25-Jan-13 11:37:23

Do you not find that if anything goes wrong, you do naturally wonder what you could have done to stop it? Even when you know it's not your fault? IMO with rape those natural feelings get taken and twisted so that people believe them.

Yes I could definitely see this. sad

PavlovtheCat Fri 25-Jan-13 11:38:02

I know someone who got drunk and was rasped. She was not being sick in the gutter, she was a grunge dresser so not 'provocative' she was with other people, male and female who drunk together, shortly before one of that party offered to walk her home, and then raped her. So this assumption that woman are acting inappropriately and placing themselves in danger is bollox. Unless, men can go out and behave as they please and women should just stay indoors and not go out, ever. This attitude suggests that it is a 'certain' type of woman who is raped. A rapist seeks someone who is vulnerable. So yes, might be a drunk woman, or a woman walking alone in a secluded area, or a woman who trusts that person. It is NEVER the fault of a woman for daring to live a life is she gets raped. It's the predatory male who seeks power and control. Rape is rarely about Sex. It's about power, control and sexual power is the ultimate in this. So clothing etc is irrelevant.

Sorry, long, probably makes no sense. Attitudes like JL will continue to perpetuate this blaming culture.

PavlovtheCat Fri 25-Jan-13 11:43:21

I mean, if woman stopped wearing 'silly' dresses and drinking alcohol, stayed in at night, will these sexual predictors go away? Will they say 'oh these woman no longer 'make me' want to rape them, I shall have a wank instead and confirm to society positively now' .

No they will rape women in black sacks and baggy trousers in the day time instead.

PrincessFiorimonde Fri 25-Jan-13 11:43:30

JoyfulPuddleJumper - I'm so sorry to hear of your experience.

I think, however, you are quite right that this is what many of us were taught - dress modestly, act with decorum, stay out of dingy alleys, be home early and no harm will come to you. I don't know if young women today are still given the same advice - Joanna Lumley's words (as reported) suggest they are, which is very depressing.

And I see Pavlovthe Cat makes much the same point.

(PS LRD I think you meant to refer to The DoctrineofSnatch's good point about rape apologists, rather than anything I said.)

princess - I'm so sorry, you're right.

Hobbitation Fri 25-Jan-13 11:45:55

When my daughters get to the age when they start going out with friends in the evening, I will certainly advise them how to try and look after themselves when they are out long before then. I did a few slightly less than sensible things when I was younger but was generally pretty streetwise and if I did allow myself to get drunk I was always with people who cared enough to make sure I/we got home safely.

But I totally agree there is so much victim blaming, people's attitudes to rape are disgusting and depressing. And offensive to men as well as women. Assuming men can't control themselves and are potential rapists. As with the majority of men it definitely isn't true!

PrincessFiorimonde Fri 25-Jan-13 11:57:35

There was a similar thread a while back where someone posted (much more eloquently than I can paraphrase) that when she was younger she went out a lot, got pissed a lot, fell over a lot, ended up in many strange places, etc., etc. - but she was never raped. Because she never encountered a rapist.

Seems to me that that is the point.

JustAHolyFool Fri 25-Jan-13 11:57:36

Pavlov I think you explain it really well.

Sad to see that there's still so many people who think that getting drunk and dressing up is an invitation to rape.

AmandaPayne Fri 25-Jan-13 11:59:06

Hhhm, I struggle with this one.

I agree that "don't go out and get so drunk you are incapable of getting yourself home" is good advice. Don't go out in tiny clothes in the middle of winter with no coat is good advice - primarily because you can get so cold it is actually dangerous. Both those pieces of advice could apply to either sex (though admittedly men are more likely to go out in just a t-shirt rather than anything actively teensy).

The 'women should prevent rape' not 'men should not rape' message is appalling.

I struggle because it is hard to tell from what is said whether Lumley's words have been twisted a bit. The quotations are very woven in. However, I'd have thought she would have come out and rebutted it if she felt misrepresented.

OneMoreChap Fri 25-Jan-13 12:00:45

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 25-Jan-13 10:43:31

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.

You would indeed be coming across as racist.

What about my Nigerian mate 30 odd years ago who took me to a club in Manchester. He said "OMC, mate, never come here on your own. You stick out too much, and you'll be mugged." No, it wasn't my svelte good looks, my provocative tight jeans, just it was an unsafe place for a young white boy to be who didn't know people.

He wasn't being racist, just telling me how to lessen my chances of a mugging. As it happens, I got dipped buying draw about 2 months later, so it didn't make me safe. Robbers rob; but you do what you can to lessen the likelihood.

FloatyBeatie Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:07

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

But that is not the equivalent of what Lumley said. She didn't say women have to be more careful than men, and she didn't say that they have to take responsibility for their vulnerability to rape.

AmandaPayne Fri 25-Jan-13 12:05:34

OMC - I know you weren't addressing me, but I think the problem is basically that there is so much focus on women protecting their personal safety and so little about men not attacking. The vast majority of public education and pronouncement about rape seems to be 'make sure he rapes someone more vulnerable' and that's what gets people's backs up. If there was a true focus on lessening male violence in public conversation, and less victim blaming in rape (including in bloody court) then those messages could be seen neutrally. As it is, they carry a heavy subtext.

Onemore - yes, and this is precisely the point we're all trying to make when we observe that it'd be good if more attention were directed to warning young men of the dangers they face.

This is not about 'lessening the likelihood', it's about how to get the message out to the people who need to hear it.

Rapists need to hear 'don't rape'.

But OMC the only way to avoid being raped is to not encounter a rapist.

Women who are drunk are at risk of being raped. So are women who are sober. Women who wear mini skirts. Women in burkhas. Straight women. Gay women. Women in dark alleys, on high streets, in friends houses.

To me it's the same as the lottery. If your numbers come up one week the odds of them being drawn the next week are actually the same, despite the popular perception that it's far less likely. Popular perception is that you are more likely to be raped if you are drunk but actually it's the same risk as if you are sober - because the chance of meeting a rapist is the same

floaty - her whole focus is one women. It is quite clear.

kim147 Fri 25-Jan-13 12:12:06

Personally, going out and losing control of yourself is not sensible. For anyone. I can only remember two times when I was so drunk I was totally unaware of what I was doing.

Once I woke up in my bed in a hotel on a Greek island. Had no memory of how I got there or the night before. All my money, cards were scattered on the floor outside my door. That scared me.

This one really scares me - I was walking back over a train track and for some reason, I touched it. It was not live or else I would not be here now. I was so drunk I had no sense of what I was doing.

Since then, I have never got as drunk as too not be aware of my surroundings. Yet I see so many people legless on a weekend - York is notorius as a stag destination.

Alcohol makes you do stuff. Obviously. It puts anyone in a vulnerable position - men and women. No one should blame someone if they were drunk and got raped. I just think getting so legless that you lose control of yourself is a bad idea - but one that seems acceptable culturally in this country.

FloatyBeatie Fri 25-Jan-13 12:12:22

She said : "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."

I say to my sons "don’t be sick in the gutter at midnight with a Sunderland football shirt on and with no money to get a taxi home, because somebody will take advantage of you, either they’ll pick a fight with you, or they’ll knock you on the head or they’ll rob you." I'm not being an apologist for violent criminals or thieves. And of course it is the violent criminals and theives who bear responsibility for the attacks that I am warning my sons against.

I know there is much victim blaming around rape, of course there is. I just think that people are being a bit blinkered about the perfect legitimacy of certain sorts of comments. And I think that this snowballs because of the particular sort of dynamics of internet outrage and word-poliocing that goes on, which increasingly I'm feeling really fed up about because it ruins so many conversations.

helpyourself Fri 25-Jan-13 12:13:07

LRD '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 have no compunction advising my DDs friends against going to certain areas because they're black. And my black colleagues often state that their teenage sons are much more likely to get stopped and searched than my kids.
Lumley's advice is crap though- *rapists rape*- it's not some alchemy whisked up by a combination of dress, time of day and inebriation hmm

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