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Old October 27th, 2014, 3:47 pm
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Join Date: 28th December 2007
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Opinions

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
Well right, and while I want to believe there's not much room to say that a victim is to blame for taking inadequate precautions, in many other areas of life (that is, other than sex crimes, say), it really isn't uncommon or outrageous to label someone a fool for it. Just like traffic jams, rain, and stock market crashes, criminal acts are things people should probably learn to expect from time to time.
Label someone a fool, yes. Let the criminal off, blaming the victim, no. Nobody ever says a thief should have a reduced sentence because he stole from an unlocked car. Sex offenders do get reduced sentences, or more disturbing, public support, when there is some way to pass off blame on the victim.

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I think we get so caught up in arguing about where blame belongs that we ignore the reality that a lot of crimes can be prevented in the first place by doing exactly what you mentioned--preparing security measures for your property, providing for personal defense, and generally being mindful of risks. Failing to do so doesn't mitigate the guilt of a criminal, but it does peg you as naive.
I agree, it certainly does not mitigate the guilt of a criminal. However, in sex crimes, the actions of the victim -wearing a short skirt, for example, is used to mitigate the assailant's guilt, to give him a reduced sentence, to say she was "asking for it". Because a short skirt, apparently, is open consent to any and all.
Whereas my opinion is that if someone is such a frothing at the mouth wild animal that they can't restrain themselves from assaulting a woman because they see a bit of thigh, then that person is not fit to be out in public.

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That is an interesting question... to what extent male celebrities are celebrated as sex objects I'm not certain. As a hetero male, I only really find Ryan Gosling, Henry Cavill, Matt Bomer, and OK I should probably stop.
To the extent that no male celebrities had their nude photos stolen.

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Ultimately it may boil down to two things: First, our (American) society's squeamishness about male nudity in general, as expressed in television and film. For every shot of a man fully nude on screen in mainstream works, there are probably hours and hours (and hours) of footage of nude women. Why is that exactly? It's not even the disparity between the sexes itself that seems odd to me, it's the almost implausible dearth of men stripping down on film that's strange. We don't have much of an appetite for gentleman parts.
Who is "we"? I think that seems to be taking the straight man's perspective as representative of society in general. What about straight women? Gay men? Bisexuals?

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Considering how widespread these recent images became, clearly it wasn't only scumbags who were viewing them.
Or, perhaps people need to broaden their definition of scumbags in this context. It's not just the creepy guy lurking around in the trenchcoat or the fortysomething guy living in his mother's basement. I think people need to be aware that those who commit sex crimes are not just one narrow category. They are also people who have jobs, friends, families. They might have a pint after work with their friends, they support sports teams, they walk their dog. They live normal lives in other aspects. IMO, this narrow definition of who views these photos reflects the narrow definition of who commits sex crimes. Which means that people will refuse to believe victims when the accused is someone who seems "normal".

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
Bad analogy.
Better to compare an open window. Not illegal to turn and glance.
Taking a photo is not turning and glancing. I will stick with my analogy -the person who leaves the car open is foolish, but that doesn't mean that you can steal whatever you want without facing consequences.

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
I don't think you can compare any of the things mentioned above to sex crimes, though. Those things can happen to anyone, sex crimes on the other hand are a result of the inequalities between men and women and the idea that women should always be available to please men. That's not the same as theft for example or other crimes which are also caused by societal factors but not by structural inequality and sexism.
I agree that one cannot compare sex crimes and other crimes. My initial comparison was in the reaction, in the treatment of the victim. My comparison, maybe poorly worded, was about the victim-blaming that goes on and is used to excuse sex offenders. Something that is not used to excuse other types of offenders.

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Even if all the women were to take precautions and for example never go out after dark- well, okay, but what about the fact that women are more likely to be asaulted and murdered by men they know than by strangers?
That's also a big problem, because people don't like to admit that people they know, people who live normal lives, have friends, families,relationships, hobbies etc, can be sex offenders. Which leads to victim blaming or an insistence that the victim is lying.


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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
And the idea that women should always be available to men is also perpetuated by women. The various sex-strikes are predicated on the belief that women have sex only to please men rather than for themselves.
I agree that there are women who think that other women should be available to men -the "give him a chance" types. Some women crave male approval. Some women put male happiness above female happiness, even put male happiness above female rights. Is that something that comes from society? It's a vicious circle.
However, it cannot be ignored that there are also men who seem to see women as objects for their pleasure. Sex offenders. Men who go on killing sprees because women turned them down.

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Oh definitely. There are plenty of women out there who objectify themselves, objectify other women, or engage in victim-blaming. Anyone can be sexist, it's a problem we have as a society not a problem that only men or only women have.
Sometimes I wonder if women engage in victim-blaming partly to feel more safe themselves. If a woman can kid herself that another woman was raped because she was drunk or flirting or wearing a short skirt, and not because the rapist was a disgusting individual with zero respect for the victim's rights, then she can delude herself that she is completely safe as long as she takes certain precautions.

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
It's not always clear what motivates behavior, even to the people involved.
How true. Sigh.


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