Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Man's Statement Shows How Date Rapists Can Rationalize Lowering Their Standards Of Behavior

From the WSJ: Lipstick Jungle by Ashley Samelson:

A few weeks ago, I helped my 18-year-old sister move into her freshman dorm at Hillsdale College in Michigan. I was anxious for her -- I worried that the female culture at her school would be similar to that at my own alma mater, Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

As a reserved evangelical from Colorado Springs, Colo., I was shocked by a lot of things at Tufts when I entered in the fall of 2003. What shocked me more than anything, however, was the way women treated other women. [...]

Meanwhile, college men are watching and taking notes. A male friend who attended the University of Michigan wrote to me in an email last month: "I, perhaps unconsciously, observe women to try and determine how they want to be treated. When I see girls at a party who seemingly have no self-control, I'll admit that it's really tough to visualize them as 'ladies.' It's as if they, solely through their own actions, have lowered my expectations, lowered my standards of behavior." (emphasis mine)

This man's email to Samelson, director of development at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, contains a telling and disturbing admission -- which Samelson only misses because of her eager acceptance of women bashing.

Her women bashing is all the more notable due to her stated disdain for the way women treat women. She does the very thing she disdains, but in a different way which seemingly makes the very thing she hates into something we are all supposed to admire as a positive example of womanly decorum. She tells glowingly of a pact by women at a conservative college to not gossip about other college women but her article has no substance outside of gossip which negatively stereotypes most other college women and which blames them for the actions of men.

Samelson proves that she is at heart exactly what she hates in other women.

I don't belief Tufts University corrupted her, I believe her disdain for most other women pre-dated her college attendance. She's a self-described Christian with zero compassion for women who don't behave exactly as she would have them behave. Not very Christlike.

Women who coerce other women into drinking should be held accountable for their actions and viewed negatively according to Samelson, but she clearly buys her University of Michigan alumn friend's rationalizations. She can find no fault with the behavior of men because all those women mistreated by men are solely responsible for the men's behavior.

This friend of Samelson's would clearly never rape a woman he views as a lady (like Samelson) but his standard of behavior erodes the moment he looks at a woman and decides she is not a lady. The flaw in his logic and in Samelson's is that his real standard of behavior cannot be accurately measured at it's highest level. The accurate measure of his behavior and the accurate measure of his ethics is his behavior at it's lowest level.

This is a, "How much can I get away with by blaming the woman for my actions?" mentality.

He wants to be seen as no more responsible for his behavior than a TV is when a woman uses a remote control device. Yet I doubt that he sat as still as a TV when women turned him on.

Since he admits that he lowers his standard of behavior based on his judgmental perception of the women around him, he can justify having no self-control toward women he instantly judges as having no self-control.

This man's admission -- a man who likely self-identifies as Christian -- allows us to understand exactly how men who think of themselves as moral can justify rape. It also explains why so many people who claim to have the highest morals side with so many rapists when their rape victims aren't viewed by these people as being perfect ladies.

That Samelson holds this man up as an example of morality tells me why she can't understand what feminists are talking about when they discuss the dangerous and disrespectful way so many men treat women on college campuses.

Her friend's view of sexual standards gives us nice Christian rapists and her view of his standards gives us nice Christian rape denialists.

What's as dangerous as this disdain for women at most colleges is Samelson's referral to Christian colleges as safe places for women. The percentage of college men who agree with Samelson's friend is likely to be much higher at colleges which uphold traditional marriage and family roles.

Who knows what certain Christian men will perceive as proving that a particular college woman isn't a lady which therefore makes her solely responsible for his actions?

If a Christian college woman is raped by a Christian college man, an official at her Christian college may very well pass judgment on the rape victim's morals despite a lack of evidence that the report of rape was false. Thanks to Samelson, I now understand why for some officials a rape report is seen as an admission of pre-marital sex. And it explains why so many people see rape investigations as a waste of time. From the report itself those people have found the rape victim guilty even if forcible rape occurred.

This explains why in Northern Ireland almost half of the students surveyed blamed the rape victim if she flirted prior to being raped.

It also explains why so many people claim that statistics based on surveys of girls and women are bogus. If all the rapes where these people can find a way to make the victim solely responsible for the actions of the rapist are tossed out, the number of rapist caused rapes becomes rare.

Hat tip: SAFER

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:05 AM   4 comments links to this post


At September 30, 2008 12:19 PM, Anonymous Mara said...

I believe that another factor causing men to decide which women are ladies and which are not is if the woman is of a low socioeconomic class. I believe that some men of high socioeconomic status are raised believing that poor women are less than human and their purpose is to be men's prey whereas women of their same class are begrudgingly human because they have to associate with them in daily life so they can't degrade them too much. Of course this is not true of everyone just a very generalized theory after having met a couple of very spoiled misogynist upper crust brats. I noticed that their treatment of women they perceived as well to do was much different than their treatment of those they perceived as "white trash," etc.

At September 30, 2008 9:14 PM, OpenID thegunchick said...

Disturbing...and positively disgusting... But, I'm afraid, not all that surprising. It's just another variant of the blame the victim mentality that has always been a plague to rape survivors.

At October 01, 2008 9:19 PM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

Usually your assessement is incredibly perceptive and I really enjoy reading, but your interpretation of the article you linked to is a little inaccurate.

The author never once blamed any victim for being raped. She only pointed out that females are encouraging other females to binge drink and engage in degradating sex acts which they regret later.

Yes, women do need to take responsibility for binge drinking, and yes, women do need to take responsibility for encouraging other women to act the fool.

Drinking to excess is not consent to be raped, and the author never claimed that it was. I also do not perceive her descriptions as "gossip" any more than your descriptions are.

What I am noticing is that many liberals are reacting with abject hatred toward christians, regardless of how benign the behavior. I'm not religious but I certainly can see that the author's descriptions of "wall art" is a lot more pro-woman at the christian colleges than anywhere else I've been lately.

Oh, and the male she quoted never blamed any victim for being raped either, but I doubt if he gives fine china to a pig -- that is all he really said.

I think you read more into this one than was really there.

At October 01, 2008 10:49 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

m Andrea, first I'm a Christian so I'm not reacting with hatred toward Christians. But I do hate it when others use Christianity as an excuse to justify un-Christlike behavior or attitudes.

Samelson praised her friend specifically for holding what I know to be a dangerous, rape-enabling attitude. This is a more intellectual and indirect version of, "some women are asking for it" This friend's statement was a warning to college women. ("Meanwhile, college men are watching and taking notes.")

Date rape was not mentioned specifically and I wouldn't have expected it to be mentioned since Samelson's friend's lowered standard of behavior would never be defined by him or by Samelson as real rape.

Rape by a man like this would be seen as consensual since those non-ladies control his behavior. Notice that in that man's lowered standard of behavior that there is no mention of those women at the party seeing him or even talking to him. Yet they control his standard of behavior.

There was no genuine concern by Samelson about the women she went to college with and she showed no interest in helping those who were struggling with alcohol abuse or those who were being coerced by other women into drinking more than they wanted to. All she showed was blanket disdain for women at non-Christian colleges as a way to bash feminism.

Her only mention of college men's behavior was to highlight an attitude which I recognize as belonging to date rapists. I don't know if her friend ever crossed the line from thinking like a date rapist to being a date rapist or not, but he has the rationalization down pat.

If he came across a woman passed out at that party, his assessment of her character would help him rationalize that her decision to drink to excess is what controls his behavior. If he raped her, he wouldn't be a rapist since it was her, not him, who lowered his standard of behavior.

In the DeAnza case where 3 women interrupted the gang rape of an unconscious girl who had vomit on her face, one of the men in that room said, "She did this to herself" or something very similar. That statement is rooted in the same type of assessment which was praised by Samelson.

Samelson's friend's statement is not the same as someone saying that men adjust their behavior based on what is mutually acceptable.

There is nothing mutual about this man's lowered standard of behavior.


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