Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rape Double Vision

I've blogged about rape double vision indirectly before, but a segment on Good Morning America titled Are We Teaching Kids to Fear Men? about a billboard and PSA in Virginia for Stop It Now! raised the issue again.

The campaign shows a man's hand around a girl's wrist and gives their hotline number 1-888-prevent for anyone who sees an interaction which doesn't look right. The segment raised the issue about whether the ad campaign would create an atmosphere of paranoia about men who according to the segment make up 97% of those who sexually abuse children. The problem is that sex-offender paranoia is here now and many who get a vibe, correctly or incorrectly, may not know any appropriate responses.

Calling a toll free number when a troubling interaction is innocent is much better than when a concerned father responds by breaking into a neighbor's house and fatally stabbing that man. Calling a toll free number when a troubling interaction is criminal is much better than when concerned adults dismiss their observations and fail to get help for a real crime victim.

There is definite double vision in the backlash against awareness campaigns from people who will talk about being willing to kill men who molest children. What's more threatening to innocent men, a hotline staffed by experts or vigilantes?

This ad campaign is also aimed at those who aren't victims or potential victims which goes directly against what many people demand. It is victims and potential victims who are supposed to be on alert. The rest of us should be allowed to ignore this problem.

Many people who have a problem with this ad campaign because they think it reinforces stereotypes don't have a problem reinforcing the stereotype that those who fight sexual violence are anti-man.

This is the most normalized example of rape double vision.

Now on to some of the most extreme examples of rape double vision. I'm not going to link to the offending bloggers since the most extreme examples are either overtly or covertly racist. You can find examples far too easily.

Vision #1: Us. Men are getting railroaded by the system whenever anyone makes an allegation of a sex crime and the system needs to change so men stop getting railroaded.

This vision says that those who talk about sexual violence are screaming nutcases and that innocent men are being thrown in jail heedless of their due process rights. This vision says that it is better for rape victims to see their rapists set free than it is to see even a single innocent man brought up on rape charges.

Vision #2: Them. There are a variety of people classed as them, but the most acceptable them to focus on now is immigrants. Specifically illegal aliens or those who might be illegal, who are getting off too easily by the system whenever anyone makes an allegation of a sex crime and the system needs to change so these monsters start getting railroaded.

You can recognize these people when they rail against the liberals who are protecting perverts in one breath and then rail against feminists who say rape is common (even among us) in the next breath.

Those who scream "women lie about rape" and "innocent until proven guilty" suddenly have a lump in their throat when the defendant is "one of those people" or they suddenly believe the crime statistics they like to mock when they find a way to use those statistics to prove how dangerous certain groups of men really are.

What is consistent in both of these visions is a disregard for thorough investigations which respect the legal rights of all involved. In the first vision, rape victim's rights are immaterial, in the second, it is foreign defendants whose rights are immaterial.

In the first vision future victims of serial sex offenders are on their own unless and until the defendant is convicted. In the second vision all future victims must be protected from those who haven't been convicted of any crime.

When a feminist expresses frustration at a rapist walking free, she is clearly a man hater according to those with rape double vision. When someone with rape double vision expresses frustration at a rapist walking free, he or she expects everyone to accept that they are clearly only concerned about public safety.

The benefit to rape double vision is you don't have to see the full scope of the problem. For many having a distorted vision is more comfortable and comforting. When someone quotes the rape statistics from RAINN and says that 1 in 6 American women are victims of sexual assault, double vision gives people a way to not think about what that really means.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:18 AM   0 comments links to this post

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