Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cop-outs which facilitate rape (part 2): why we need to stop talking about self control

In my last post I addressed a discussion I had been in regarding the picture below and addressed in part the idea that victim blaming facilitates rape. But that's not the only cop out represented here.

Which leads me to this old gem...

"certain people in this world do NOT have the self control needed to keep them from raping women who dress certain ways. Everyone (even guys) have to always be aware of their surroundings and even other people around them to stay safe".

If rapists did not have the "self control needed to keep them from raping women" it would be very easy to identify and get them out of society because they'd be raping everyone everywhere the minute their gonads start churning out enough hormones (note: the same argument works for robbery - replace the verb as appropriate).

This would just be a thing that everyone knew about, and there would be an expectation that occasionally you may have to tackle a random adolescent who suddenly hit that werewolf level of hormone saturation threshold and lost their ability to control themselves. 

Clearly they have some manner of self control as they are not arrested at twelve casually attempting to rape the nearest person they can overpower in the middle of times square, or in the front of their 10th grade classrooms, or at church, or at the dinner table.

When you lack self control that doesn't mean you get to still have self control when it's really quite convenient.

img source

They have enough self control to choose victims, choose encounter places, and keep from doing it where they are sure to get caught. So clearly they have enough self control to keep from raping people, hell they manage to keep from raping people nearly all the time!.

This attitude is an immense cop out.

What they lack, essentially, is respect. You don't rape someone because you think they are so sexy you just can't help it, you rape someone because you lack the respect for them as a fellow human being deserving of autonomy over their own body. The fact that you want to have sex with something is just plain more important to you than their desire to do,well, pretty much whatever they happen to be doing at the moment.

img source:

This is also why it is possible at all for female rapists to exist as males obviously do not corner the market on lack of respect for others.

If we focused less on teaching women that it's their fault for tempting the "tenuous self control" of rapists and more on the social attitudes which make it so easy to view women as objects existing for consumption first and *people* second perhaps there would be less of a problem (also more broadly, respect for other people as PEOPLE would be pretty awesome).

If nothing else there would be less tolerance of rape.

Some people will never have the requisite respect for others to lead a healthy life in society, but we certainly don't need to give them less stigmatized targets.