Belkira the Tulip wrote:
The problem is that saying we need to start "educating women on how to avoid putting themselves into situations where they may be easily victimized" sounds an awful lot like "she was asking for it." And I don't think many people who have their car burglarized feel guilty and ashamed and hesitant to go to the police about it, so suggesting that a woman might have brought being raped on herself seems... well, more than a little counterproductive.
I'm sure there's a way to educate someone on the dangers of life without suggesting they brought those dangers on themselves. Suggesting it's somehow the victims fault is counter-productive at best. The blame should never be shifted off a perpetrator of a crime, but that doesn't mean you deny people information that could keep them from becoming a victim.
This. I'm not talking about what you wear or where you go. I'm talking about making smart choices when in social settings. Most date rape scenarios follow a pattern where the woman says "yes" about a half dozen times to different things before she ends out alone in a bedroom half undressed with the guy she then says "no" to. Even ignoring the question of what was actually said or done when it was just the two of them, we can correctly say that there were numerous things she could have done to avoid getting into that situation in the first place.
I also happen to believe that pushing the "press charges after the fact" side of the issue sends mixed messages. You're essentially teaching young women that they *should* expect to be perfectly safe even if they are passed out drunk, half dressed, in the bedroom of a guy she just met a couple hours ago and has been dirty dancing with. Sure. In a perfect world, we should expect every guy to be a perfect gentleman in any and all situations. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world.
We should be teaching young women to assume that they are *not* safe in that situation, and that they should take every precaution to not end out there. We should be teaching young women to make their own sexual choices on their own terms, and to not ever adopt a "wait and see how I feel later" approach. The guys who victimize women look for that. They know that they can take advantage of that and get that woman to take one step after another until she ends out somewhere she never wanted to be in the first place. And no amount of teaching women to press charges after the fact prevents this, and in the overwhelming number of cases, it doesn't help after the fact either.
I'll also disagree with the idea that people aren't embarrassed about other forms of crime. Date rape (aside from the obvious difference) is very similar to people who are scammed. Most people are very embarrassed when they get taken by a scam artist and often don't come forward in those cases either. It's the same sort of methodology as well. The scam artist looks for an easy mark. This is someone who seems willing to take that first step, then a second, then a third, etc, without stopping to think where it's all leading. People get scammed because they don't set a firm stopping point ahead of time. They don't say "At no point am I going to hand this person any cash". And for that reason, when the scammer asks them to hand them cash, they do it. Similarly, date rape victims didn't put a firm stopping point in their mind. They didn't start the evening saying "At no point am I going to kiss a guy", or "At no point am I going to take anyone home, or let them take me to their place", or even "I will only have 3 drinks this evening".
In the overwhelming majority of date rape cases, the woman involved said "yes" many times before saying "no". Perhaps instead of just teaching people that "no means no", we should teach people when they should be saying no?