Following an article in one of the local newspapers about a 15-year old Boy who allegedly attempted to rape a 16-year old girl who was walking home late one night. Suffice to say, this resulted in a conversation between me and some colleges at work (seven of us in total).
We all know what Rape is, so I needn't go into that exactly. What I'm here to discuss is the events (specific circumstances) that can lead up to rape, and to who the blame / fault lies.
Using the news article as a basis, I'll match that to the typical Friday or Saturday night. People go out, usually starting at a Pub or two, eventually ending up in a Nightclub until 2 or 3 the following morning. Approximately half of these people are Women, and again, roughly half of these Women are dressed in clothing that would attract attention (both desired and unwanted).
Now comes the question, quite simply: If a girl wearing a miniskirt and low-cut top (between the ages of 18 and 28 (though age isn't really an issue for the subject in hand)) goes out on the town and drinks irresponsibly, inevitably deciding at some point during the night to walk home alone (rather than get a taxi or walk with friends) would it be fair to say that she is part at fault if she were raped?
Notice I didn't say she'd be part to blame, only that she'd be part at fault. The way I see it is if you're stupid enough to walk home drunk, alone, at night, wearing as little clothing as possible you can't really expect not to get attacked or raped.
Would it be the girls fault? No. It's always going to be the attacker that is to blame, but I wouldn't have much sympathy for the girl in question simply because of her stupid decisions. It would (as I see it) be her own undoing that leads to her eventual attack.
I should indicate here that her attire isn't specific to the case, I merely use the miniskirt and low-cut top to establish more an observational point (girls that wear less clothing are going to attract more attention).
Out of the six colleges and myself, five of us pretty much agreed with the opinion I'm sharing here, the other two were pretty much set on the opinion that the girl was simply a victim of circumstance and not in any wrong, but I'm eager to see what everyone thinks here.
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
If I recall, girls that wear less clothing tend to be seen as more confident - which rapists tend to avoid.
Walking home alone, intoxicated, unable to defend yourself, late at night,... however, has never been a particularly smart move. Most of those things aren't particularly smart to do in isolation. And I completely agree that people are partially responsible for what happens when they engage in predictably high risk behaviours and the risk materialises.
Just as I have no sympathy for soldiers who sign up to go to war and then get shot, or people who drive like complete nutters and then come a cropper, I have no great sympathy for people who choose to go off by themselves late at night without any reason to believe they can handle themselves if things go south.... They knew the risks and decided that the benefits were worth taking those risks to gain.
You pays your money and takes your choice....
10th September 2007
Alakazam;5592013Using the news article as a basis, I'll match that to the typical Friday or Saturday night. People go out, usually starting at a Pub or two, eventually ending up in a Nightclub until 2 or 3 the following morning.
........I've apparently never had a true Friday or Saturday night. Honestly, people do this on a regular basis? And it's colleague, btw =p
But anyway, I pretty much agree with what Nem said, I don't feel either way about things like that. Obviously the rapist shouldn't get off scot-free, but the victim probably shouldn't have been walking home alone and at night.
"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.
7th December 2003
From what I read (I mean studies and not some hearsay) clothing is not really a relevant factor.
The way I see it "she asked for it with her slutty clothing" is more of a knee-jerk reaction by sexusts who tend to triviliaze rape.
Walking home alone and drunk at night is not a great idea though.
HERE WE GO AGAIN... nah. =p I think that a victim of crime is always in some sense responsible for creating the situation in which the crime was possible. Very few crimes are literally unavoidable in the way that the victim's behaviour doesn't lead to the situation some way. What has to be avoided is "blaming" the victim in a way that implies the perpetrator is less than wholly responsible for the actions they took in that situation.
I doubt cheap clothing has much to do with the risk of being assaulted, it may increase the attention, but as already pointed out, it also makes people look less attractive as victims. As for walking home, exercise is good and taxis are extremely expensive, so I don't see why not if you stay alert. If the safety of the city is questionable, that's at fault, not someone making a good choice regarding their transportation.
Of course there are means to lower your risk to be attacked, but ideally society should be so safe that rape only were a significant risk indoors, where most rapes already take place.
computernerd;5592030........I've apparently never had a true Friday or Saturday night. Honestly, people do this on a regular basis?
The girl displayed poor decision by putting herself in the situation that made the attack possible but that does not make her responsible. Maybe she got separated from friends, maybe one had her wallet with her cab fare, maybe she only lived a few blocks away.
Just south of Indianapolis where I live a small petite blonde female College student went bar hopping with friends and decided to walk home alone. No one has seen her since.
This incident could have ended far worse than rape.
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
Anlushac11;5592132The girl displayed poor decision by putting herself in the situation that made the attack possible but that does not make her responsible. Maybe she got separated from friends, maybe one had her wallet with her cab fare, maybe she only lived a few blocks away.
While the rapist is far more responsible than she is, responsibility isn't a yes or no thing - where one yes answer renders everyone else completely blameless.
If I put a gun in the hand of a maniac, I'm responsible if he goes around shooting people. If I get in a car with a drunk driver and he crashes I'm largely responsible for what happens to me. If your decision contributes to the situation that makes you, at least in part, responsible. That's just what responsibility means - you knowingly had a causal relationship to the event.
Her decision made it possible. Therefore...
Whether it made sense for her to walk home; whether her predicted gains justified the increased risk of rape; is neither here nor there. You're not only responsible when things go your way, or when a gamble makes sense for you to take.
I didn't make it!
I tend to agree with the general censuses that seems to be forming here. If you place yourself in a dangerous situation, you bear some of the responsibility.
The clothing is irrelevant, I think we can all agree on that. But if you're walking home along, drunk, late at night, you are definitely partially to blame. Use some common sense. We live in a society with bad people, and thus we need to take measures to ensure to ensure that we don't get hurt. Taking a cab home from the club instead of stumbling home drunk at 3:00 AM is one such measure. If you fail to take precautionary measures you might just suffer the consequences of your poor choices, and thus you are partially to blame.
While the rapist is obviously to blame for committing the act, you are too for creating the situation in which he can commit that act.