Please help me frame my argument wrt rape apologist

(78 Posts)
PacificDogwod Fri 16-Sep-16 16:31:14

I need help as I feel I've lost a debate today although I know I'm right, goddammit! grin

Ok, here goes:
Female co-worker and I were talking about sexual assault/rape and she came out with the old 'well, she was asking for it what with her short skirt/gaudy make-up/being out and alone at that time of night/teasing him with her provocative dancing' or whatever. Which I countered that that represents rape apology and that the guilt is always with the rapist, no matter what went before.

So she gave the example that is two men (or women, I suppose, 2 people of the same sex) get in to a fight and one punches/stabs the other any judge/court would take in to account whether they were provoked and that unreasonable or inflammatory action by the victim prior to the attack would be used to mitigate the guilt of the attacker (or at least result in a lesser sentence).

Now I know that sexual assault/rape has very little to do with sex and an awful lot with power/need to dominate/control and nobody no matter how short their skirt should ever have to be subjected to that kind of violence, but I struggle to not agree with the mitigation argument? confused

Help!! I know I won't be able to let this lie, and I do have until Monday to get things clear in my head.

titchy Fri 16-Sep-16 16:40:57

Because if A called B a 'fucking wanker', shoved him and threatened to kill his family and B retaliated then that mitigates B because A was being abusive in the first place.

If C is walking down the road in a short skirt and D rapes her that doesn't mitigate D because C has not done anything to provoke D.

If C is flirting with D and he rapes her that doesn't mitigate him either because again she has not done anything that indicates she's up for a bit of rape.

VestalVirgin Fri 16-Sep-16 16:46:45

Yeah, if two people get into a fight, then both of them are likely guilty of aggression.

Whereas a woman who wears a short skirt is being nice giving the man something beautiful to look at, and then he pays that back by committing an act of violence.

How is that in any way comparable? That's utter nonsense!

Arfarfanarf Fri 16-Sep-16 16:50:15

Her thinking is flawed, that's the problem. She believes that a woman can cause rape or by her choices and actions ensure rape is avoided. This is incorrect (and a good example of some sort of flawed 'protective' thinking. It won't happen to me because I won't do x, y or z). But a short skirt is not an act of provocation. Nor is dancing. Nor is chatting. Nor is walking down a street.

She has used an example that does not translate.

A better example would be man walking down a street, is jumped by two men who pull a knife on him and demand his wallet.

Was he responsible in part because he walked down the street? Was it partly his fault because he owned a wallet? Could it reasonably be argued that he was walking in a way that suggested he had a wallet and it was therefore a bit his fault? Maybe they'd seen him give a busker a quid, did that then show he deserved to be mugged?

She has taken a mutually combative situation and compared it to a situation where only one person is the aggressor and the other their victim.

She's not really very bright, frankly.

ChocChocPorridge Fri 16-Sep-16 16:53:21

Well, she's comparing not comparing like with like there for a start.

Wearing a mini skirt and flirting would be more like saying that a court would say there were mitigating circumstances because the bloke you hit was standing in a bar being grumpy - which of course they wouldn't

The two people getting in a punch up situation, well, if someone was provoked, but then one-sidedly beat someone up, then again, I don't think there would be any mitigating circumstances - and that's a more common rape scenario.

Then how about if a bloke got another bloke drunk so he could hit them? I think that actually, in that case, the first bloke would be judged more harshly no?

So that leaves two people getting touchy feelie, then the man not stopping when he's asked. Frankly, that would never get to court anyway - unlike a mutual punchup which might - because people don't consider just being raped to be as damaging as a punch to the face.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Fri 16-Sep-16 16:55:07

Well that analogy implies that a woman in a short skirt/or skimpy clothing is "asking for it" or provoking the man into raping her. To agree with this you have to disagree with the idea that women are free to dress how they like, and you have to agree that men see a pair of tits and are immediately whipped up into such a frenzy that they have to rape someone. If you think that men have even a slight bit of control over their actions then the analogy falls through.

Then in her analogy, both men are equal. Either one could start a fight, and either one could retaliate. But if a man rapes a woman, there are a lot of factors at play that mean that the woman is already in a vulnerable position (eg size, strength, centuries of oppression...) so it falls through there as well.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Fri 16-Sep-16 16:57:14

Oh crosspost with Arfarfanarf who has said what I was trying to say, but far more eloquently!

Kewcumber Fri 16-Sep-16 17:03:00

Better analogy is two men out drinking in a bar, Man A has shaved and put on some nice cologne and is wearing a pair of trousers that are a bit fitted around the bottom because he likes them. They go out to a bar and have a few drinks and Man A has one drink too many and is a little merry.

Man B takes the opportunity of Man A's weakened state to rape him when having a coffee in Man A's flat after giving him a lift home.

Is is partly Man A fault for provoking Man B or...
Is man B 100% to blame because he is a rapist?

Bitofacow Fri 16-Sep-16 17:04:08

A young man from a different culture explained to me....

" if the food is layed out in front of you, like a buffet and you are hungry then you will eat"

So I asked him if he would do this if it wasn't his house and the food didn't belong to him?

I then went away punched a wall.

RebelRogue Fri 16-Sep-16 17:07:06

1. You cannot provoke someone into raping you. You can encourage someone to have sex with you. Sex in not rape...ever
2. You cannot rape someone in retaliation for raping you
3. You cannot rape someone in self defence

Her comparison is stupid and based on this inane idea that seeing a bit of leg takes away a man's self control.

Batteriesallgone Fri 16-Sep-16 17:09:27

My thinking is a bit different.

A punch can be thrown without thinking. Anger strikes and you react. It's not right but it can happen in the heat of the moment.

On the other hand, you can't penetrate a woman without thinking. You need to remove clothes / push the knickers out the way / push her to the ground or against a wall / spread her legs. There are steps. One step - like a punch - can be done in anger / heat of the moment, but three, four? Not to mention the repeated thrusts of rape - you just can't argue that that many separate actions are a purely emotional response. There is time for the logical brain to process what is happening and intervene.

If you lose your temper, punch someone, they fall to the ground and die, that's manslaughter (I think). If you lose your temper, go downstairs, select a knife from the kitchen, go back upstairs, undress your victim, and then stab them - is that still manslaughter, done in the 'heat of the moment'? (I sincerely hope not).

RebelRogue Fri 16-Sep-16 17:09:33

What's with all these analogies though? Rape is rape..not burglary,not a fight or whatever other crime.
A woman's body is not a possession or object or fucking food that you might hide in a locked fridge when greedy greg comes by.

Kewcumber Fri 16-Sep-16 17:11:04

Yes the "well how she looked made me think it was OK to stick my penis in her" argument should make straight men very worried - because there are gay men wandering the streets with same biology/hormones/social conditioning... be careful wearing your shorts too short, Men, or someone who's gay might get the wrong idea and stick their penis in you.

If we mitigate a man who punched another because they were reviving verbal abuse, what are the implications of that? What does it say about men's rights to speak/be in public places? And about levels of 'wrongness' of the behaviour of the two men: society has decided that the verbal abuser is a bit wrong, the hitter more wrong. The verbal abuser would still be a bit wrong, even if there was no retaliation.

And if we say a man who rapes is mitigated by a woman looking nice, dancing, what are implications for women's freedom to occupy public space? And the different levels of assumed 'wrongness' of their behaviour generally?

This is the crux of it, I think. A man who verbally abuses another man is 'a bit wrong', society has decided. So that mitigates. A woman who is out in public space in possession of a female body that she moves about in time to some music, isn't doing anything wrong at all, society has decided. She also isn't doing anything wrong if she flirts, kisses, has oral sex by doesn't want PIV, has PIV but doesn't want anal. So because her behaviour isn't wrong, there's no mitigation against rape.

VestalVirgin Fri 16-Sep-16 17:22:22

Yes the "well how she looked made me think it was OK to stick my penis in her" argument should make straight men very worried - because there are gay men wandering the streets with same biology/hormones/social conditioning... be careful wearing your shorts too short, Men, or someone who's gay might get the wrong idea and stick their penis in you.

There's a reason misogynist men tend to be homophobes, too.

Crystal15 Fri 16-Sep-16 17:22:50

Your friends deluded and her opinion is disgusting. What a woman chooses to wear is her business. Not like you see all men suddenly attacking ladies at the beach for laying down relaxing in bikinis is it! The problem lies with the man and his total lack of boundaries.
I suggest you advise your friend to buy an all in one full body suit. She wouldn't want to be seen to be encouraging rapists dressed casually would she, after all many rapes happen with a woman dressed casually too!

That sort of attitude really infuriates me, I've never personally experienced rape but I believe there is no excuse.

*recieving (thanks auto cucumber)

Batteries points about one action versus a sequence of actions is also excellent.

MagikarpetRide Fri 16-Sep-16 17:27:37

I saw something recently but can't quite put it as eloquently by it went along the lines of:

If chicks who are into chicks can resist the urge to shove something into another chick without permission then maybe it's time to stop blaming the clothing

Not that the entire chick thing sounds great nor do I suppose women don't rape other women but I think on a general statistical point it wins out.

RebelRogue Fri 16-Sep-16 17:28:08

Oh and can your friend explain,if that's the case, why do muslim/other very religious women still get raped? They're covered up. Why do 70-80 year old grandmas get raped? Why do women in tracksuits get raped? Why do young girls and children get raped?
Rapists do not discriminate based on age,religion,race,even sex sometimes,what you wear or what you drink. They're progressive like that.

ImperialBlether Fri 16-Sep-16 17:36:49

So is your colleague denying rape ever exists? Surely she can't be doing that.

I think the analogy with the man in the pub is good, though I think it loses something if you say he's wearing cologne and tight trousers. You're just as likely to be raped without those things.

As for the man from another culture comparing women to a buffet - how would he like it if a man saw him in that way?

Bitofacow Fri 16-Sep-16 17:42:25

Imperial excellent response - I only wish I'd thought of itsmile

To men like that, I think women are so 'other' that it'd be a bit like a committed vegetarian asking to meat eater to imagine themselves as a chicken, tbh. sad

ErrolTheDragon Fri 16-Sep-16 17:51:06

That buffet analogy is gobsmackingly awful - so he sees women as mere meat to be consumed?

Comejointhemurder Fri 16-Sep-16 18:01:16

I'm not sure how you lost this debate.

We're talking about crimes. If someone stabs someone who has been winding them up; the court doesn't give a shit. YOU stabbed someone - you have committed that crime. It doesn't matter why you felt you did it - you did it. The defence may present that you were 'provoked' but we live in a society that has to draw a line and say certain behaviours are unacceptable and if you cause injury to another person you will be punished in accordance to sentencing guidelines.

The fight analogy has fuck all to with rape though and it's really annoying that are still so many twats out there who think that rape can ever be understandable, justified or invited. It can't ever be compared to other crimes in the overwhelming majority of cases.

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