Friday, October 31, 2008

Aaron Taylor Digs A Deeper Hole Defending Deserved Rape

Aaron P. Taylor's post Uncommonsense: My one time rebuttal to my deserved rape article: idealism vs reality highlights how entrenched his dangerous ideas really are.

He positions those who disagree with him as being out of touch with reality when most of us who disagree with him are more in touch with the reality of rape than he is or ever will be. We understand the reality from the wrong end of the danger his smug advice supports.

Some of us, like myself, would be described by him or others as being the victim of a "deserved" rape and/or have been at the hospital with other women Taylor says "deserved" rape as they endure the process of going through a forensic exam while knowing that the chances that their rapist will be charged is small because prosecutors understand how victim blaming can cause jurors to disregard the evidence of rape and instead judge the case based on the woman's behavior prior to her rape.

If a woman who knows her rapist sees her rapist charged she is likely to pray that nobody who thinks like Taylor will be able hide his or her bias during jury selection.

Most of us have also listened to rapists parrot Taylor's opinion of women's actions minus the scare quotes. We've seen those rapists escape justice because of victim blaming or the assumption that the behavior Taylor describes is legal consent or should be treated as such to spare all those "confused" men who mistakenly "rape" without thinking of themselves as rapists.

Taylor's opinion is often used as the foundation for transforming a report of a "deserved" rape into a false rape report. Those rapists who don't escape justice are often championed by "moral" and "intelligent" people as men who were unfairly convicted or unfairly sentenced when all they did was make a natural "mistake."

Taylor's decision to declare himself intelligent on this subject doesn't make it true.

Explaining that he doesn't hate women and would never himself commit a "deserved" rape means that he is so dumb on this subject that doesn't begin to understand the cause of the backlash.

His judgment of those who left angry comments on his blog as being uncivil and therefore declaring those people inferior to himself demonstrates how dangerously ignorant he is of the violent reality he makes light of in his original "deserved" rape post.

Taylor doesn't know or care how his words hurt those who have been raped physically and then verbally assaulted for their alleged failure to take personal responsibility for their own rapes and how that hurt can come out as anger or rage.

He sees himself as intelligent and rational and those who disagree with him as stupid and irrational. He needs to do this to avoid coming to grips with the harm his "intelligence" and his "rationality" on the subject of rape inflicted on others.

His "deserved" rape post was not civil, it was cold-blooded. His rebuttal is just as cold-blooded.

If he truly wanted to reduce rape then he would have focused his "intelligent" post on changing the behavior of men who respond to the behavior of the women Taylor highlighted. Instead he only gives those rapists a mild disclaimer before he goes on to directly support those rapist's rationalizations.

If he's genuinely trying to reduce the rate of sexual assaults that's one of the dumbest ways to go about it.

Taylor provides an analogy of almost renting an apartment in a bad neighborhood which he tries to link to his rape "prevention" advice. But the analogy doesn't work since he didn't warn women about the danger of going to places where rapists are likely to hang out looking for potential victims. In his analogy Taylor doesn't talk about how he was given advice on how to avoid a "deserved" mugging or a "deserved" assault or a "deserved" murder.

If his rape "prevention" is sound crime prevention then community members who live in dangerous areas who stay and work to make their neighborhoods safe are stupid. Further, the solution to concentrations of violent crime is to move and declare high-crime areas the undisputed "property" of the violent. You go there and you "deserve" to be murdered.

Taylor's "reality" is to surrender to the all-powerful violent criminals. Reducing crime through genuine prevention is for him hopeless idealism.

Under Taylor's model the only realistic prevention which focuses on the potentially violent would have to be 1) avoidance, 2) incarceration.

What the article was simply saying was, there are women out there who ARE doing those things PURPOSEFULLY, and, while they, too, don’t deserved to get raped, they DO need to be aware of how their actions can play a part in it happening.
But maybe everybody who disagreed with me is right. Maybe I’m giving women too much credit.

Maybe I’m wrong for thinking that a woman might actually be SMART and INTELLIGENT enough to take responsibility for her actions, or realize that, while men SHOULD be smart enough back off when she says no, not all men are going to do so after she’s been giving them signals all night that indicate she’ll kiss or have sex with them.

Taylor is effectively claiming that these women did in fact purposely consent through their signals and when the man acts on what he sees as purposeful consent that this women is cruelly revoking consent. The reality is that nothing was promised to Taylor by those women's actions. Nothing.

Taylor didn't take what he believes was promised to him, but he understands those who do take by force what they believe was promised to them.

His position on rape makes as much sense as actively supporting all the rationalizations for road rage while giving the disclaimer that you would never run another car off the road or shoot a driver who cut you off, but you understand why someone else would do so.

So you drivers out there who don't commit road rage, remember -- using Taylor's logic -- it is your responsibility to prevent road rage in others. If you don't, you are partially responsible for the violence committed against you.

Taylor claims to be intelligent but he seems incapable of knowing there is difference between reality and his perceptions. Those women's negative reactions to a kiss or a grab should be a wake up call to him that his perceptions were wrong, but he is too deeply entrenched in his perceptions that he was given purposeful consent to let reality intrude. If it did then he would have to admit that he is less intelligent in this area than he assumes himself to be.

That his friends perceptions matched his own doesn't magically make those perceptions a reality. Yet Taylor writes as if the group of people he is with has a homogeneous perceptions about another person that this group-think is proof that their perception about that person is correct.

The easiest way to debunk this idea is to point out that we find this group-think in hate groups and cults.

If he thinks that a woman consented then by God, she consented. Anyone who says differently is stupid -- including the women who he perceived as consenting.

I find his post dangerous exactly because I am intelligent when it comes to rape. At 15 when I was raped by my boyfriend I was stupid enough to think non-violent people who talked like Taylor actually knew what they were talking about and because of them I wrongfully took responsibility for my boyfriend's sexual violence.

But when I was finally in a place where I could examine that relationship, I saw that none of the responsibility for my rape was mine. The Taylor's of the world got it dead wrong. My boyfriend made a rational choice both times he raped me and he made rational choices which set me up to have the maximum amount of guilt for his rational decision to rape me.

Warnings like Taylor's about girls' need to be responsible allowed my boyfriend to dodge responsibility and allowed him to not think of his decision to force himself on me as rape.

The hypothetical rapist who would respond to disappointed expectations with stalking and rape would also be making rational choices. That's why we talk about rationalizations for rape rather than describing most rapists as born monsters. The cause of that hypothetical rape would be the rationalizations of the rapist not the woman's actions or the rapist's lack of intelligence.

The only role the victim's actions play is when that rapist believes it is okay to rape or when the rapist can tell himself that someone who has not consented did in fact consent and has no right to revoke consent.

Taylor thinks he knows where this dangerous set point is but there is no universal set point for rapists. What exists are socially accepted set points where non-violent people start making excuses for the inexcusable behavior of rapists.

His smoking and cancer analogy apply to him, not women who are raped. He is filling the air with the toxic smoke of victim blaming and that secondary smoke is what harms those Taylor describes as being a victim of "deserved" rape.

Taylor wants women who are raped after flirting to take responsibility for rape while he himself dodges his responsibility for contributing to those rapes and for the unjust accusations he has made or supported which most rape victims are forced to deal with.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:09 PM   4 comments links to this post


At October 31, 2008 4:42 PM, Anonymous Harriet Jacobs said...

People who are, in all other aspects of their life, able to read body language and non-verbal communication with ease "suddenly" "become" blind, deaf, and dumb when it comes to a woman they want to have sex with.

The scenario he initially described with the woman he thought ought to be raped (and the OP is really nothing but a thinly veiled revenge scenario) is an example of some of the clearest non-verbal communication you could ever ask for.

Girl: I want to dance with you!
Taylor: Awesome!
Taylor: Do you want to make out?
Girl: No! Do you want to dance some more?
Taylor: Angrily!

The conversation was completely clear. He just didn't like the answer. Oh, sure, perhaps both of them could have clarified their intentions verbally, but that would have led to a conversation that I'm sure Taylor would have rather avoided, headed as it is toward a celibate wasteland:

Girl: Hi! Did you want to dance?
Taylor: All right! I'm gonna have sex with you!
Girl: Um, forget it.
Taylor: I'd rape you if I wasn't so nice!
Internet: Holy shit, get some popcorn.

Despite this glaring post-facto evidence of the massive holes in his charm and personality, he thought he *deserved* a more positive response than that.

And rather than admit that he thinks he deserves sex (sounds kind of crass and, I don't know, wrong that way), he salves his ego by writing a letter to the Internet about how he hopes that girl gets raped, and he pretty much wishes he had done it. Except he didn't. Because he's so "nice."

This is more or less the equivalent of a guy who gets chewed out by his boss, and later describes the incident to his friends as, "I was totally about to kick his ass, that fucker deserved it, I was all, yeah, fuck you, fucker, and he was like whoa." The difference being that he would be arrested and convicted for assaulting his boss, whereas he stands a pretty good chance of getting away with raping a woman. Which is *maybe* why women haven't appreciated his comments.

In conclusion: Way to go, Taylor. You're having an internet meltdown because a girl turned you down at a club.

At October 31, 2008 5:07 PM, Anonymous Jenny said...

I think he is sexually frustrated. He probably is having difficulty getting laid. Most likely because he is an asshole.

At November 02, 2008 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy crap he is an idiot.

At November 04, 2008 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there is a bit of hypocrisy in Aaron Taylor's attitude. He seems to believe women should be good. Men should not.

I am not saying all women behave promiscuously. I believe, if a woman does behave promiscuously, if a man believes wrongly that a woman is behaving promiscuously, he should back off. I may be old fashioned but I believe sex should happen for something more than a casual hookup.

Aaron Taylor seems to believe that if a man believes he should get some simply because he wants some, it is the sole responsibility of a woman not to let that happen.


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