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Alcohol as justification for 'less sympathy' for rape victims

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
...is the view of Peter Hitchens, writing in todays Mail on Sunday.

You can read the article here;

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2008/08/how-the-left-ce.html#comments

I think a lot of people reading this would have been extremely upset by this, and that it is coming from a source whose practical understanding of these matters is highly suspect

NOTE:I thought I would post this just to get the debate going, but please forgive me if I wait until I've calmed down a little until I give a more precise reaction to this. There is enough unreasoned blustering on the internet (as the above article demonstrates) and I'd rather give something a bit more reasoned than what I would like to do to him at the moment...I can't remember the last time I was so incensed by an article).
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Peter Hitchens is an odious piece of shit who I wouldn't take seriously on anything tbh. I find it hard to believe that he came from the same parents as his brother tbh, because Christopher Hitchens is a brilliant thinker, with an independent mind, whereas Peter Hitchens is just a mouthpiece for the intolerant right wing. If you want a good laugh, you should watch him debate his brother, because I've never seen a more one-sided debate in my life. But this article is exactly the sort of shit you get when someone who doesn't have a clue is required to write an article every week. I don't really get the article, because it starts off being about rape, then goes on to Russia vs. Georgia.

    Anyway, Hitchens fails to see the obvious lack of logic between comparing rape (something which is wilfully inflicted upon someone) to stepping in front of a car (something which is an accident). Saying that women have some responsibility because they are drunk when they were a victim of rape is like saying that someone who is murdered has some responsibility if they were drunk. Both are crimes purposefully inflicted by a third party, and so have absolutely no comparison to an accident, where the third party isn't at fault. People may be more likely to become a target when drunk, because the rapist doesn't think that they will get caught, but that doesn't in any way make the responsible for it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was pissed off by this too. The man's a joke, but people read this rubbish.

    Firstly, he sets up a logical fallacy in only his second 'paragraph'.
    Hitchens wrote:
    Men who take advantage of women by raping them, drunk or sober, should be severely punished for this wicked, treacherous action, however stupid the victim may have been. But it does mean that a rape victim who was drunk deserves less sympathy.
    As you can see, that's a snide coward's way of calling rape victims who have been drinking "stupid" without directly saying it, and then concluding, from that subjective and highly questionable attribution of stupidity, that a "stupid" rape victim "deserves less sympathy". I'll just put his words in italics from now on.

    Simple, isn’t it? You can hate rape and want it punished, while still recognising that a woman who, say, goes back to a man’s home after several Bacardi Breezers was being a bit dim.
    Thanks for the fantasy example there, Hitch - a nice cosy one, the least ambiguous that he, at least, could think of, which allows a complete sidestepping of the realities of rape - e.g. that it's more often carried out by someone known to the victim; but how dim of them to step into their house, the blind-drunk sluts!

    Here's another chasm of logic:
    ...while rape itself increases – the inevitable result of the collapse of sexual morality.
    Here we go: so rape is about how morally depraved we (but not He, not the Great Hitchens, mind, just the rest of us) have become... almost sounds like more 'blame the victim' stuff!

    Of course she is culpable, just as she would be culpable if she crashed a car and injured someone while drunk, or stepped out into the traffic while drunk and was run over. Getting drunk is not something that happens to you. It is something you do.
    I truly can't believe people fail to wrap their heads around this. This is real stupidity. How does the analogy of crashing a car and injuring someone while drunk have any relevance at all to rape? It patently doesn't, and he's only used it in the hope that dumb people just skip right past it, nodding along "yep, yep" before they can go, "Hang on - the rape victim is the drunken driver in this scenario? Who is the rapist - the person they run over?!"

    He's got no ideas whatsoever, so he's brought out the most misogynistic hole-ridden offensive clichés in the "weren't things better when we could all hate women?" book. And just to convince himself further that he's in the Right, he has the courtesy to remind us that All the above is a statement of the blindingly obvious. Of course, Pete. That's the way to win arguments - say that it's blindingly obvious.

    But just in case you hadn't realised, from that sentence and all his leaps of logic, how blindingly obvious his correctness on the matter is, he's kindly shoehorned in as many of the buzzwords as possible to try to secure the support of the sort of readers he's comfortable with:

    hysterical ultra-feminist propaganda ... reverse a perfectly sensible decision ... it flows in tens of millions (£200million last year) from the taxpayers’ pockets ... almost total failure of the criminal justice system to prevent crime ... collapse of sexual morality ... acting responsibly ... feminist thought police ... Muslim countries ... Tory party into the arms of Leftism ... ... unreasoning storm of fury that will follow ...

    You guessed it: compensation for rape victims - a conspiracy of the 'Left'. I particularly like that last one: any reaction is an 'unreasoning storm of fury', even against his unreasoning storm of shit, because don't you see, it's blindingly obvious that he's right! He's the one qualified to talk about this sort of stuff; not any of those people who work with rape victims, or rape victims themselves (smell of vodka, most of them). It's just the PC brigade sticking their ultra-sensitive noses into his business!
  • SkiveSkive Posts: 15,283 Skive's The Limit
    ...is the view of Peter Hitchens, writing in todays Mail on Sunday.

    You can read the article here;

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2008/08/how-the-left-ce.html#comments

    I think a lot of people reading this would have been extremely upset by this, and that it is coming from a source whose practical understanding of these matters is highly suspect

    NOTE:I thought I would post this just to get the debate going, but please forgive me if I wait until I've calmed down a little until I give a more precise reaction to this. There is enough unreasoned blustering on the internet (as the above article demonstrates) and I'd rather give something a bit more reasoned than what I would like to do to him at the moment...I can't remember the last time I was so incensed by an article).

    It's undeniable that getting drunk increases the risk for women.

    This does not mean that if a woman is drunk and becomes a victim of a rape attack that she is in anyway accountable.

    There are a few reasons why compensation is lowered for victims of crime and one is provocation. I can't imagine any situation that provocation would be justified as a defence from a rapist.

    It's bullshit.
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Simple, isn’t it? You can hate rape and want it punished, while still recognising that a woman who, say, goes back to a man’s home after several Bacardi Breezers was being a bit dim.
    Thanks for the fantasy example there, Hitch - a nice cosy one, the least ambiguous that he, at least, could think of, which allows a complete sidestepping of the realities of rape - e.g. that it's more often carried out by someone known to the victim; but how dim of them to step into their house, the blind-drunk sluts!

    Is it just me, or has the Bacardi Breezer become the standard "I don't have a clue what I'm talking about" example of girls getting drunk? I can't say I've seen a Bacardi Breezer on sale anywhere for about 5 years. It's another one of those cliches you here from clueless right wingers, like "you can get drugs on any street corner." I'd love to see one of these people try to get drugs from any street corner.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd love to see one of these people try to get drugs from any street corner.

    I'm sure they would if they didn't assume everyone on a street corner is planning to knife them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hitchens is in fact that bastard son of Col. Blimp;

    800px-Colonel_Blimp_comic_strip%2C_November_2%2C_1935%2C_Evening_Standard.png
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When this debate comes up, I have repeatedly brought up the concept of personal responsibility. I believe that women who go out have a responsibility to themselves and to others not to get so incredibly drunk that they don't know what they're doing. I believe that men who go out must shoulder exactly the same responsibilities. Getting drunk to the stage where you simply have no idea what's going on DOES increase the risk of getting raped, no matter who you are. Now let's get one thing clear here - no one ever asks to be raped. But there are always ways in which you can protect yourself on a night out from people who may wish to do you harm.

    The central point Hitchens makes is utterly wrong. The concept that drunkenness means less sympathy is ludicrous. Sure, she was stupid to get that drunk in the first place, but it does not mean we should respond by saying "tough shit" to her. Not for the first time, I suspect that Hitchens wrote the first thing he could think of without thinking it through properly. However, one or two of his side points are essentially correct. For example, he claims that a lack of sexual morality will lead to an increase in rapes. This is next to impossible to prove, but I believe he is right. If a man who wishes to do harm to a woman believes that he can get away with raping a woman, he just might be tempted to do it. If there was a decent chance that the scumbag in question could be jailed for it, ideally for the rest of his worthless life, he just might think twice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    One point to remember - I've seen no evidence that rape cases that use alcohol as a defense actually involve a majority women so drunk they didn't know what was going on. It's equally possible the victim could be perfectly aware of what had happened and was simply drinking a few beers. The very fact that she'd been drinking at all would still be held against her.

    Instead articles like this set out to perpetuate a myth of rape being used to cover over drunken sexual mistakes. That isn't what is happening in this country and the Mail is essentially reinforcing the viewpoint used to allow some men to rape women.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    SG
    This is next to impossible to prove, but I believe he is right.

    In an area where discretion, compassion and careful understanding of the issues involved should be paramount, I would argue this is the time for evidence not appeals to belief.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If cases of male rape were suddenly to shoot up and thousands of young men who get pissed as fuck every weekend found themselves the victims of rape I suspect there would be massive outcry and limitless sympathy for the victims. But as things stand, women who commit the temerity of getting pissed must shoulder some of the blame. And if they wear miniskirts they're asking for it, obviously.

    Peter Hitchens is the dictionary definition of a cunt. For the most part he's just pathetically comical (whenever I get my hands on a copy of the HateMail on Sunday I go straight to his page and read it in fascinated horror), but sometimes the truly malign nature of this sorry excuse for a human being surfaces.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What an awful article from a nasty piece of work. I wonder if he'd feel the same if he got drunk and was raped by a man...

    Urg. The blood boils. But what can you expect from the Mail.

    The whole things a joke. Yes a woman may dress up to try and attract the attentions of men, but how he can say thats 'blame' for getting raped is beyond me. Is he suggesting that a woman should wear trousers and a neck high top? Also I notice that article has been used as an excuse for the Mail to use a picture of some pretty young women in so called 'suggestive' clothing...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    For example, he claims that a lack of sexual morality will lead to an increase in rapes. This is next to impossible to prove, but I believe he is right.

    What do you actually mean? The overwhelming majority of people still see having an affair as a bad thing, let alone rape.
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    If a man who wishes to do harm to a woman believes that he can get away with raping a woman, he just might be tempted to do it. If there was a decent chance that the scumbag in question could be jailed for it, ideally for the rest of his worthless life, he just might think twice.

    That has everything to do with the shamefully low conviction rate and little to do with a lack of sexual morality in society as a whole.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Posts: 16,688 Skive's The Limit
    Not read the whole thread, or the whole article, yet, but I believe the following phrase tells you all you need to know about the morals of the person who wrote it:
    rape itself increases ? the inevitable result of the collapse of sexual morality.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    what is heartening in all this however, is that most people here appear to have reacted in a thoughtful and considered way to this blustering Blimp and his 'moral' convictions.

    Also I'd like draw attention to non-bong-budda's comments about the shockingly low conviction rate. There are also issues of culture and 'honour' affecting some communities that drive down reporting and conviction rates.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with your comments on rape, but am about to go off topic

    Though I'm not sure what you've got against Blimp - especially since for a cartoon written in the 30's he's dead right about needing a bigger army, navy and conscription. After all it was the Colonel Blimps and their like who were the ones dying on the beaches on Dunkirk and in the air over Dover to give the country time to wake up...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    this isnt the thread to discuss this but think that all three of your points are wrong.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There is no 'collapse in sexual morality' in Britain, or similar nonsense Hitchens like to utter. This is a man who thinks the Tories are left wing (I kid you not) and for whom cohabitation is deeply immoral (let alone homosexuality, single mothers, casual sex etc etc).

    I would put it to him that it is quite possible there are in fact fewer rapes now than they used to be in the past, when sex outside marraged was considered not only an abherration but often a crime, and when an unmarried man who wanted to have sex would only have the option of prostitutes.

    Collapse in sexual morality my arse.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    I would put it to him that it is quite possible there are in fact fewer rapes now than they used to be in the past, when sex outside marraged was considered not only an abherration but often a crime, and when an unmarried man who wanted to have sex would only have the option of prostitutes.

    Collapse in sexual morality my arse.

    Don't forget all of those husband on wife rapes that didn't even count as a crime. :rolleyes:

    Sorry, but Hitchens is just too easy a target. Only Richard Littlejohn could have his arguments destroyed in less time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Agree with the sentiments in the thread, but I think somewhere in his ranting he does pick on a point I've wondered about. But it's the same with any other contentious issue. If you don't hold the popular viewpoint, you're wrong. It's not open for discussion, where say if we were talking about building a new pier in brighton, everyone can have a say.

    I believe in freedom of thoughts and freedom of speech. It's disheartening when people believe nonsense that rape victims are in fact victims because of the way they behave, but even more disheartening to know that such issues can't really be discussed because if you don't have the default viewpoint, you're wrong.

    The same goes with lots of contentious things, and it depends who you speak to as to what the default viewpoint is. My friend is an atheist, and her default viewpoint is similar to those of the spanish inquisition (except on religious types).

    I guess thats a bit of a diversion, but I need to play a bit of devil's advocate to stop the thread just being everyone agreeing to disagree with Hitchens. There is an issue and we should be able to discuss it. I can see where he is coming from, but I can also see he has drawn the wrong conclusions. Another point I think is ambigious is the question of false accusations, Jim said it's a myth which is fair enough but how do we know that to be the case? You can't even disagree with or question the statement though because it makes you look like you are downplaying how bad the situation is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Freedom of speech can only go hand in hand with people being able to express how they feel about what is being said. I don't think there's anything extreme or repressive in saying that if you were raped you shouldn't consider it partly your fault because you were drunk Shyboy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Freedom of speech can only go hand in hand with people being able to express how they feel about what is being said. I don't think there's anything extreme or repressive in saying that if you were raped you shouldn't consider it partly your fault because you were drunk Shyboy.

    I don't agree that the victims are "partly at fault" for being raped if they are drunk. But somewhere in the general mess of antiquated, spiteful, prudish bollocks that made up 95% of that Hitchens article, there is a point that is worth addressing.

    The issue that Hitchens was addressing was not about rape victims deserving "less sympathy" or being "partly to blame" when they are drunk. It is about state compensation being the same for a victim of a terrible crime who admits to being drunk as to somebody who is sober. Since the state's position is that people should be drinking moderately, and certainly not binge drinking, and that it is technically illegal to be drunk in a public place (I think?), surely its consistent that those victims that stick to The State's advice, and obey the law, should be awarded higher compensation than those who do not?

    People keep saying "if it were men who were being raped whilst drunk it would be a different story" but I don't see it that way at all. If I were blind drunk and was raped on a night out, I wouldn't feel entitled to as much taxpayer compensation afterwards as some bloke who was mowing his front lawn totally sober. Of course, if the rapist in either case were caught and proven guilty, I would expect the same sentence for both (life imrisonment without release, other than in truly exceptional circumstances).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As I understand it there was never any reductions in compensation for people who were mugged when drunk, people attacked when drunk, the family of people murdered when drunk, hit by drunk drivers when drunk.

    The only people who had their compensation reduced when drunk were, as far as everything I've been able to read, women who've been raped.

    The policy wasn't that people who ignore government guidelines on drinking should recieve less compensation - it was that women who were drunk contributed to their rape.

    As in the case mentioned in the media makes clear, the original position of the CICA was -

    "The evidence that we have shows that your excessive consumption of alcohol was a contributing factor in the incident."

    In the case in question the evidence implied that her drink had in fact been spiked. So in theory she was drugged, raped, and then told she played a part in what happened.

    And as the CICA now make clear, this was an aboherent decision that was against the standing policy of the government body itself. You may not feel you'd deserve as much compensation as someone else, but the government does and the CICA should have.
    A spokesman for the CICA said: "CICA's policy is not to make a reduction on a claim for compensation following rape on the basis of alcohol consumption.

    "The scheme was originally applied wrongly in this case, but this was corrected at review and the award was paid in full."

    CICA has reviewed staff instructions, operating procedures and structure to ensure greater consistency in decision-making, the spokesman said.

    He added: "We deal with around 60,000 cases each year. There may be times when an original decision is wrong.

    "This is why we have a review process to allow the applicant to challenge that decision.

    "As a final safeguard there is the opportunity to ask an independent appeals panel to look at the case afresh."

    Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said: "It is not our policy to reduce the level of award to a victim of rape due to alcohol consumption.

    "This stance supports our view that a victim of rape is not in any way culpable due to alcohol consumption.

    "It is never an individual's fault if he/she gets raped; regardless of how much he/she has drunk."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/rape-compensation-cut-for-drunk-victims-891816.html
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    As I understand it there was never any reductions in compensation for people who were mugged when drunk, people attacked when drunk, the family of people murdered when drunk, hit by drunk drivers when drunk.

    The only people who had their compensation reduced when drunk were, as far as everything I've been able to read, women who've been raped.

    The policy wasn't that people who ignore government guidelines on drinking should recieve less compensation - it was that women who were drunk contributed to their rape.

    As in the case mentioned in the media makes clear, the original position of the CICA was -

    "The evidence that we have shows that your excessive consumption of alcohol was a contributing factor in the incident."

    In the case in question the evidence implied that her drink had in fact been spiked. So in theory she was drugged, raped, and then told she played a part in what happened.

    And as the CICA now make clear, this was an aboherent decision that was against the standing policy of the government body itself. You may not feel you'd deserve as much compensation as someone else, but the government does and the CICA should have.



    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/rape-compensation-cut-for-drunk-victims-891816.html

    In which case, point conceded. Probably illustrates quite well how a position that is theoretically correct/consistent can be distorted by societal attitudes (of which Hitchens is a fair example) into gross perversions of state activity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What I find most nasty about this is that there is (I think) reasonable grounds to reduce some payouts if the person has been drinking (or taking drugs) to excess.

    If someone is passed out in the street and someone steals their wallet, they are I think partly responsible for it, unlike someone who has a knife waved in their face.

    Same as if someone is really drunk and stumbles into the road and gets knocked down.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm largely in a agreement with ShyBoy's sentiments on this topic. I think there's an interesting discussion to be had on the topic, but as it's such an emotional topic anyone who deviates from the standard position, whether to provide a theoretical counterpoint or as an actual opinion, is likely to get steam-rolled.

    For instance, i'd like to quiz Budda on why he thinks the victim should be partly culpable for the theft of their wallet if they're laying face down in the road, but not if they're raped? I understand the magnitude of the crime is far greater, but should the type of the crime affect how responsible someone is? It's a genuine question, not some loaded remark. I also have the feeling it's a silly question, but my hung-over brain can't grasp at why.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    For instance, i'd like to quiz Budda on why he thinks the victim should be partly culpable for the theft of their wallet if they're laying face down in the road, but not if they're raped? I understand the magnitude of the crime is far greater, but should the type of the crime affect how responsible someone is? It's a genuine question, not some loaded remark. I also have the feeling it's a silly question, but my hung-over brain can't grasp at why.

    I suppose to me its a bit like leaving your house left open, you dont deserve to be burgled, but your insurance will take a different view.

    I'm not saying that someone passed out in the street deserves to be robbed, but I do think the majority of people would have less sympathy, and what is this payment but a form of government sympathy?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think most people would agree that it's not a good idea to get so drunk you don't know what's happening to you, or you can't stop what's happenng, because that increases the risk of most types of crime, but you would not be any less of a victim if you were drunk. I can see why some people would think that using compensation would make it clear that if women are more likely to be raped when they're drunk they shouldn't get that drunk, but I also think this is completely the wrong message to send out. The emphasis should be on people not committing crimes, rather than people protecting themselves from crime. When I do go out I stay with friends, plan how I'm going to get back and don't drink too much, but being raped is still a possibility and I don't think I would be any more of a victim than someone who was drunk or walking home alone. I think most people have been drunk, worn a short skirt or walked when it's dark at some point in their lives and haven't caused any damage, whereas very few people have raped someone and all of the people who have have ruined someone's life. Getting very drunk might increase your risk of getting raped but it's something most people do at least once and is a relatively normal thing to do, whereas rape can happen to anyone and is a horific, completely abnormal act.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Of course being hammered is always going to increase your chances of being the victim of a crime.

    However there is something else, an underlying unpleasantness and a wider agenda about those who are so eager to talk about drunk rape victims. I mean, you don't hear them too often lecturing drunks who get robbed, or assaulted, or kicked half to death. It's always about rape isn't it. Always about women being raped. Why the obsession with that particular crime? Why are they so eager to speak about this but not other types of victim?

    IMO, many of those critics are simply driven by their sexism and/or misoginy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think most people would agree that it's not a good idea to get so drunk you don't know what's happening to you, or you can't stop what's happenng, because that increases the risk of most types of crime, but you would not be any less of a victim if you were drunk.

    Its not really about them being 'less of a victim', like I said in my example, getting so drunk you pass out in the street is a little like leaving your house open.

    But then having said that I have a massive aversion to that line of thinking being extrapolated to rape.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Of course being hammered is always going to increase your chances of being the victim of a crime.

    However there is something else, an underlying unpleasantness and a wider agenda about those who are so eager to talk about drunk rape victims. I mean, you don't hear them too often lecturing drunks who get robbed, or assaulted, or kicked half to death. It's always about rape isn't it. Always about women being raped. Why the obsession with that particular crime? Why are they so eager to speak about this but not other types of victim?

    IMO, many of those critics are simply driven by their sexism and/or misoginy.

    I disagree that's its misogyny / sexism. I think it's a reaction. I think its obvious that society is obsessed about these hidden threats at the moment. Rapists, peadophiles, terrorists. Often these come up as things which are discussed and I think thats why people react to them.

    I have seen far too many flippant accusations of misogyny because someone didn't have the same opinion as someone to the point where I think the term has really been devalued. In all the figures, the incidents of these 'hidden danger' crimes are falling, but the interpretation by the media and wider society is the opposite.

    Thats why people come up with ideas and they build up logical fallacies as someone put it. Observation: women are drinking more. (False) observation: women are being raped more. (False) conclusion: women who drink too much are causing more rapes than normal to take place.

    Having said that, drink is a factor in rape. I think that's been established before and we can put that to one side. Just the same as you are more likely to get mugged if you've been drinking, or whatever. But the scariest thing about rape, is it's not the 'sexual predator'. It's John down the road who thought... well god knows what he was thinking. I'm not by any means saying that all men are rapists, and that has been banded about before by others - thats preposterous. What I'm saying is just like anyone can be a victim, anyone can be an attacker, too.

    This has created some kind of paranoia culture (same with any arab looking guy being a potential terrorist, or any male who is anywhere remotely near children...) which I believe creates an air of suspicion against the 'likely' camps. Probably why some arab men feel defensive and say ill informed things about terrorism, probably why some men who work with children feel defensive, probably why men in general feel defensive about it.

    I know just in general discussion I've been made to feel defensive, one comment that got me on these boards several months ago was 'we should teach men not to rape'. Now if someone said that to you, a lot of the time it's hard not to react. In some cases people are very eloquent in their response, in others not so. And in doing so create comments that are wrongly labelled as misogyny. It's all just about trying to shift the blame.

    But we shouldnt be running around blaming each other, statistics indicate instants of sexual attacks are dropping (by 7% over the last 2 years). We are doing something right. It's just the politics of fear at work to create divisions in society. I mean, look at the peadophile issue - it has been used as supporting evidence as to why men have less parental rights. The media has us all whipped up in a paranoia frenzy which makes us argue over things like this when really we all believe the same thing.

    Rape is never acceptable. It is never excusable.
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