Monday, February 04, 2008

Pattern Of Calling Victims Stupid Puts Lives In Danger

This Chicago Tribune story about a woman scared of a good Samaritan who stopped his snowplow because he saw that her stalled Honda had smoke and flames coming from the engine was written over a month ago but it relates directly to all of the lectures given to women not to be stupid. Demetrius Duplessis startled the driver because she was talking to her father on her cell phone and he yanked her door open before she could reflexively lock her doors.

This action is what many women have drilled into them repeatedly by people "helping" them prevent becoming a rape victim. Those lectures which are ineffective substitutes for real rape prevention can cause women to see danger in people whose intentions are the opposite of a rapists when there is no actual sign that a rape or abduction is in progress.

When people blame the victim for being raped by someone offering help to a stranded driver, they do double damage. They give rapists justification so they can tell themselves that their victims asked for it and they give women a false sense of constant danger that itself can be dangerous or even deadly.

We must keep the blame for rape where it belongs while respecting women's fear or lack of fear.

Those who rant about the vast number of women who lie about rape either from malicious intent or because they supposedly see rapists everywhere falsely cause some men to fear helping women like this one whose car was on fire and that paranoia isn't good for men or for women. This ranting allows real rapists to pretend -- sometimes successfully -- that they were the victim of a lying woman.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:06 AM   0 comments links to this post


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