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Saturday, May 7, 2011

They Make A Good Point

Tramped out to drive her point home.
A series of protests have arisen over the careless remarks of one of Toronto's finest. Apparently the officer had been giving a talk to college students at York University on how to avoid rape and assault, and while doing so the officer offered the comment that women could help avoid getting themselves raped if they would avoid dressing like "sluts".

The protests, which have been come to be known as SlutWalks, have now crossed the international border and entered the home of the free and the brave.
"It was taking the blame off the rapist and on the victim," said Nicole Sullivan, 21, a student at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and an organizer of the SlutWalk planned Saturday in that city.
The idea of dressing cheaply and provocatively is something I am against, without question, but the greater evil here is the natural tendency for people to blame the victims for the crimes that befall them. Though such a dismissive attitude seemingly insulates the speaker from the fear of harm, it is a crime in itself which I find absolutely infuriating.

Kelly Osbourne
Aimee Osbourne




For me, I'm with the slutwalkers, heart and soul.

55 comments:

  1. Dudley Dowrong prefaced his remarks with "You know, I think we're beating around the bush here." I fear he will be making a visit to a Canuck PC re-education camp soon.

    Last week he advised people not to flash their wad of cash when out in public and to avoid dark alleys. How long before the "WadWalkers" and "AlleyWalkers" fill the streets in protest?

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  2. But surely - and I've never disagreed with you before so I'm treading carefully here - suggesting ways to minimise risk is not the same thing as apportioning blame to those who do otherwise?

    Some great tyrant - was it Genghis Khan? one of those chaps, anyway - used to boast that within his jurisdiction a woman could walk alone at midnight, naked and with a bag of gold, and be assured of coming to no harm. The point being that so complete and unopposed was his rule that no provocation imaginable could tempt violators of the law to risk his judicial wrath. The provocation remains, however: all that constrains it is the rational calculation of benefits to cost.
    That there are those who will not obey the law or adhere to any decent standards of attitude or behaviour is a sad fact of human nature. There has to come a point where provocation becomes so absurd - as in the bag of gold analogy - that anyone with half a brain would counsel against it. This is not to blame the victim, merely to behave rationally in an imperfect world.
    Of course it is terrible that we do not live in an ideal world in which sexually predatory behaviour is unknown. Of course it is terrible that we live in a western world in which popular culture stokes and inflames it. And of course it is wrong that we live under the control of an ideology that seeks only to compassionately understand criminally deviant activities and not robustly punish them, thus increasing (and greatly increasing, when taken in tandem with a decadent culture) its likelihood.
    But since we do not live in an ideal world in any of the above respects, I cannot see what is wrong with offering practical advice that a) actually does help achieve the ends cited (unlike so much other approved practical advice in the sexual arena), and b) has the incidental effect of helping to remind people that part of the problem is the general move away from modesty and restraint in all corners?

    If he had said that women who dress like sluts deserve all they get that would be something else, but on the evidence here he didn't.

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  3. If the officer were offering the advice that it is helpful to dress modestly, than I would agree, but when he begins to characterize the dress with a behavior, then he has made an error. If the wife asks "Honey, how do I look in this dress?" who among you are willing to respond "You look like a slut!"? Precious few of us have that kind of courage, and rightly so.

    Advancing along the same line of reasoning as the Toronto officer, the sons of Mohamed take such sage advice a bit further and say that any woman not properly shrouded is a whore, and though one might wish to rape her, the act would be for the purpose of subjugating her, and would not mean any intimacy or association between the two individuals.

    I disagree with that view.

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  4. "For me, I'm with the slutwalkers, heart and soul."

    Then you ought to rethink where you're standing. Telling so-called women who dress and/or behave like sluts that their behavior greatly increases their odds of being raped is not "blaming the victim" ... no matter how many stupid and infantile womyn claim it is.

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  5. It is very unfortunate -- for everyone involved -- that the officer allowed his personal distaste for provocative clothing, and the women who choose such wardrobes, to come through in his comments. The important message he attempted to convey was lost in the defensive response -- young people are particularly quick to take offense -- which is affecting many more young women than the ones present for the program.

    Had the officer kept the focus on the criminals, something along the lines of "Please be aware that sexual predators frequently target women in revealing clothing," -- just as he might remind anyone that muggers target people with visible jewelry -- the response might have been more self-reflection and less offense.

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  6. Really? It's *his* fault that women, in general, react like a hysterical mob when any man dares express an opinion about the behavior of women which hasn't been pre-approved (*) by the woman who owns him?

    (*) which pre-approval is dynamic, changing by social context, and even retroactively -- and it's his responsibility to know which approval is operative at the monent, or will be retroactively operative.

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  7. I happen to believe that information imparted in neutral terms is more likely to be accepted by the target audience than information couched in loaded, offensive, language.

    The point of the program was to share safety information, and included attempts to persuade members of the audience to change their preferred behaviors. That usually works better when the speaker refrains from insulting the audience.

    women, in general, react like a hysterical mob when any man dares express an opinion about the behavior of women which hasn't been pre-approved (*) by the woman who owns him

    Thanks so very much. I appreciate the "in general" caveat.

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  8. And now I'm definitely disqualified, aren't I?

    Sigh.

    ;)

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  9. "which pre-approval is dynamic, changing by social context, and even retroactively -- and it's his responsibility to know which approval is operative at the monent, or will be retroactively operative."

    Now that I love. Women... they are amazing!

    My word, I was afraid I had squashed all debate with a single, somewhat tenuous response. And despite direct entreaty, no word at all from HG. I'm sure she has bigger fish to fry as it were.

    A lot of my friends in blogolonia are taking my "slutwalks" and cuing up to attack the broader feminist movement, which largely has co-opted the movement, but as I march arm in arm with my slutwalk brothers and sisters, I am in agreement with a single, well defined point, and that is my objection to the notion that the victims behavior instigated the crime.

    You can walk past me with low cut jeans and a flimsy tube top, and you will not be raped. You can have wads of cash falling out of your pockets, and you will not be robbed. I am in charge of my actions, and I choose not to harm or violate my neighbor. Any criminal act that I do undertake is my responsibility, and mine alone.

    The officer's comment is a corollary of the notion that people are not responsible for their actions, and that is a cancerous idea that has gained broad acceptance in our culture.

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  10. "which pre-approval is dynamic, changing by social context, and even retroactively -- and it's his responsibility to know which approval is operative at the monent, or will be retroactively operative."

    Now that I love. Women... they are amazing!


    Gee. At least Ilion threw in the "in general" bit.

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  11. No, they're all amazing, incomprehesible, an ongoing source of frustration and keen interest... they're great stuff, to be sure.

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  12. Nochols,
    The officer didn't "blame the victim;" he stated the truth: the freely-chosen sluttish behavior of so many of today's "young ladies" greatly increases their odds of sexual assault and rape.

    The outrage is solely because a mere man dared to publicly express anything outher than adoration for the little snowflakes.

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  13. When he calls them a slut, not on the basis of his own intimate knowledge, but on the basis of what he sees them wearing, then he is equating the activity with the victim's dress. To paraphrase the officer of the Great North:

    "If you don't want to be raped, don't wear clothes that make it look you have sex with anyone who happens along. If you do wear clothes that look like you have sex with just about anyone, then you are inviting people to rape you.

    Excuse me? I think not.

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  14. Defending modesty by defending this guy is like defending the Fourth Amendment by arguing for suppression of evidence in a drug deal that turned into a mass murder.

    I'm sorry, James Nicholas, but that's just how I see it.

    This guy is dancing all over the line between blaming the victim and offering hackneyed advice that has an underlying grain of truth to it.

    First, men (sorry) shouldn't be telling women how to dress, especially older men telling younger women. I'm here to tell you, as a young-ish woman, that it goes over like a lead balloon.

    Second, as Cathy points out, this isn't about a police officer talking about what predators look for. This was just trite garbage. I remember being 16 and having a male self-defence instructor telling me to tuck my long hair into a coat when walking alone at night. It wasn't a, "Long-haired girls are asking for it" thing, because he immediately followed it up with, "Predators often grab long ponytails and braids to keep you from running away." Not what this dude was doing.

    That said, I think that slut walks are the totally wrong response to this. Yes, I understand them being upset, but I cannot wrap my head around WHY young progressive womyn feel that the solution to every problem is to take their clothes off.

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  15. So the SlutWalks themselves are debasing, and trivialize the very point that we slutwalkers have been marching for, that is the respect and consideration due a fellow human being. Yes, I see your point, and in truth my point of agreement with them was fairly narrow.

    Have fun on the DaTechGuy's radio show, and give our best to Little Miss Atilla. We'll all listen for that on Saturday!

    I suppose I should hang up my slutwalking shoes... but I have met a lot of really nice people!

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  16. Nicholas: "When he calls them a slut, not on the basis of his own intimate knowledge, but on the basis of what he sees them wearing, then he is equating the activity with the victim's dress.
    ...

    Excuse me? I think not.
    "

    Nichols, as with most every other opinion you have expressed in this thread, you are wrong. And not just a little bit wrong, but seriously, fundamentally, worldview-level wrong; as are most of your fellow commentators.

    The problem is that you all really are "liberals," you just don't realize it. You (plural) may recall that I'm forever trying to get you to understand that you need to free your minds of the leftist indoctrination in which we all have been marinated our entire lives? Well, your (plural) reactions to this typical "liberal" shitfit serve as a perfect illustration of my point.

    How do you imagine that you can stand against the "liberal" destruction of our societies when you allow your assumptions and worldview -- when you allow the very basis of the conclusions to which you can come -- to be dictated to you by leftism?

    A "liberal" (one who recognizes himself to be "liberal") is an unprincipled (*) leftist. That is, his core assumptions are leftist assumptions, but, unlike the leftist (who knows himself to be a leftist), a "liberal" doesn't (yet) accept all the places those leftist assumptions necessarily take him, and so he makes an unprincipled (*) exception to avoid (at least for now) some particular leftist conclusion he's not yet ready to embrace.

    In similar wise, most people who think themselves to be conservative (and that includes most who have commented in this thread) are really unprincipled (*) "liberals." Their basic core assumptions are set by the pervasive "liberalism" around us -- which means, ultimately, that they are set by leftism. The difference between you-all and the "liberals"-who-know-they-are-"liberals" is that you make vastly more unprincipled (*) exceptions to the conclusions which necessarily derive from the leftist assumptions with which you start.

    (*) this "unprincipled" is a reference to the fact that there is no inherent principle within the set of assumptions that can justify making the exception to a conclusion which derives from the set of assumptions.

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  17. Roxeanne de Luca: "First, men (sorry) shouldn't be telling women how to dress, especially older men telling younger women. ..."

    What a novel and interesting opinion/assertion. Or, to put it more directly, what bullshit is this? What female superiority bullshit is this?

    Every woman in the world reserves to herself to right to judge any man on any matter that crosses her mind -- not just the man whom she thinks she owns, but also that man over there whom some other woman thinks she owns.

    ===
    Who, prey (intentional misspelling) tell, has better standing to offer a young woman sound advice on how to dress and comport herself than a mature man (or woman) who has no designs on her?

    What, another ditzie-chick -- who sees you as a competitor (and as an excuse to act the slut if she can get you to do likewise) -- is going to give you sound advice? What, a hormonal man-boy (who hopes you are willing to play the slut) is going to give you sound advice? What, an older woman who is pissed that she's no longer young enough to dress and act like a tart without looking twice pathetic is going to offer you sound advice?

    ===
    Roxeanne de Luca: "... I'm here to tell you, as a young-ish woman, that it goes over like a lead balloon."

    What man worthy of being called "a man" cares what you, or any other woman, asserts on this matter? To put another way, what man who isn't PWed (and *no* woman respects a PWed "man") is going to let you, or all women, dictate his opinions and his right to have and express them?


    The casual reader may recall that I'd previously said that what this "liberal" and feminist hysteria is really about is outrage that a mere man dared to imagine himself the equal of women.


    Roxeanne de Luca: "This guy is dancing all over the line between blaming the victim and offering hackneyed advice that has an underlying grain of truth to it."

    Well, not quite. He is not "blaming the victim" -- that's just your (doubtless unrecognized) feminism and ungrounded belief in female superiroiry talking.

    What he said it true. How does characterizing it as "hackneyed" make the fact-of-the-matter go away?

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  18. Nicholas: "When he calls them a slut, not on the basis of his own intimate knowledge, but on the basis of what he sees them wearing, then he is equating the activity with the victim's dress. To paraphrase the officer of the Great North:

    "If you don't want to be raped, don't wear clothes that make it look you have sex with anyone who happens along. If you do wear clothes that look like you have sex with just about anyone, then you are inviting people to rape you."

    Excuse me? I think not.
    "

    There are so many other other things wrong with this that what I touched upon before. Non-exhaustively:

    1) He didn't call *anyone" a slut -- but, obviously, the sluts are taking offence, anyway.

    1b) he spoke in the subjunctive/hypothetical mode.

    2) What? No mere man has the right form an opinion about any woman -- for, are they not all precious little snow-flakes, who can do *anything* without consequence, and don't need no man tellin' 'em anythin' about anything (yet, still deman that men protect them from the messes they make of their lives)? -- based on how she freely and publicly chooses to present herself? but must, instead, know her in great or "intimate" detail? and then, still dare not have an opinion she does not welcome?

    3) To paraphrase the great comedian, Dave Chapelle: "If you don't want to be mistaken for a [slut], then don't wear the uniform."

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  19. Cathy: "... That usually works better when the speaker refrains from insulting the audience."

    Only a woman (or a PWed "liberal" man) who wishes to comport herself as a slut while simultaneously demanding that no one (least of all, a mere man) may judge her on her freely chosen behavior, would take insult at what he said.

    ONCE AGAIN, he didn't call *anyone* a slut. Though, obviously, great numbers of modern-day women realize that they are sluts. What he said is: "If you want to reduce your odds of becoming a sexual-assault statistic, then don't behave in the ways that sluttish women behave."


    Cathy: "The point of the program was to share safety information, and included attempts to persuade members of the audience to change their preferred behaviors. That usually works better when the speaker refrains from insulting the audience."

    Which is to say, obviously, many menbers of the audience *were* sluts.

    Or. to look at another way, the officer's "crime" was to bluntly told these precious little snow-flakes an unwelcome truth about reality (and, indirectly, and probably unintentionally, about themselves). Clearly, it would have been better had he stuck to the approved scripture, which teaches us that: "All persons lacking a vagina, are, by their very natures, rapists."


    Cathy: "Thanks so very much. I appreciate the "in general" caveat."

    Cathy: "Gee. At least Ilion threw in the "in general" bit."

    Even had I not explicitly stated it, it would have been implicit, by the very nature of what I said. Only someone *looking* for a reason to take offence would take offence.


    Cathy: "And now I'm definitely disqualified, aren't I?"

    To the extent that you're declining to reason properly.

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  20. Well, I was offended by his comment, Ilion, and I don't believe I should be properly considered a slut.

    So, I am considering this all from the preconceptions of a liberal (modern version). Well, I will consider it.

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  21. "... and I don't believe I should be properly considered a slut."

    I believe I offered at least one other possible category in which you might more comfortably view yourself.

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  22. Well, Ilion, the comment about being disqualified -- concluding with the all-important winky-face -- was meant to be a humorous acknowledgement that I had over-reacted.

    That's the only thing I'm going to address right now, because I'm in a good mood and feeling very pleased with myself for trimming most of the bushes today.

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  23. Ilion: I'm sorry, but I was operating under the assumption that he was expressing his opinion to young women in the hopes of changing their minds.

    It was not grounded on a false sense of female superiourity - just hard reality that young women (rightly) bristle when strange men talk to them about their clothing.

    But no matter that, Ilion - I'm going on DaTechguy's radio show on Saturday to talk about modesty. Listen in on WRCN, 10 am Eastern; then come back and insult me as some man-hating, womyn-empowering feminazi. I'll be frying up the crow for you to eat.

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  24. Oh, I had to attack this gem:

    Cathy: "The point of the program was to share safety information, and included attempts to persuade members of the audience to change their preferred behaviors. That usually works better when the speaker refrains from insulting the audience."

    Which is to say, obviously, many menbers of the audience *were* sluts.


    Ilion, I have always dressed very modestly. (In college, we joked about my "come f--- me khakis", because it was so obviously akin to joking about an atheist praying to Mary.) Yet I am rather taken aback by what this man is saying - and that is precisely because it offends my sense of modesty.

    Modesty is about more than dress. Some of it is about respecting the boundaries (especially sexual) of the people around you. Now, I happen to think that a world which expects young women to siddown and STFU when an older man who they do not know comments on their clothing, is deeply screwed up. It is, IMHO, akin to "sex ed" programmes in grammar schools that are designed to chip away at natural modesty and make people feel as if their squeamishness is the result of a personal flaw, not a very natural, very healthy defence mechanism.

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  25. Translation: old men aren't sexually attractive to young women, therefore they should STFU and just pay our bills.

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  26. Okay; look at it like this.
    Your kid's off to a birthday party and it's fancy dress. He's got a head scarf decorated with skulls, a patch over one eye, a moustache drawn on with burnt cork - the same burnt cork you've used to black out two of his front teeth - a mean-looking cutlass and a fake hook over one hand.
    Obviously, it would be insane to assume he actually was a pirate.
    But a plain statement of fact to say he looks like a pirate.

    Now, what if he wasn't going to a party? What if he's older - old enough to make his own clothing decisions - and he just likes going around dressed like that?
    Still absurd to assume he actually was a pirate. Still reasonable to say he looks like a pirate.
    And also absurd for him to take offence at being told he looks like a pirate.

    Now he's a fully grown adult. And he's not walking the streets but out on the high seas, in his own little ship. And it's not today, it's the late seventeen-hundreds.
    And still, he isn't actually a pirate. He's just dressed that way.

    But how unreasonable would it be to mistake him for one? And expect him to live with the consequences?

    I'm sorry, but I'm not sure why anyone would want to dress like a 'slut' (self-defined, judging by this walk thing they're going on) unless aspects of the slut lifestyle appeal. They may not go all the way into full-on slutdom, but wildly immodest dress is a stop on the same bus route, not an irrelevant red herring with no signifying relevance at all.

    The girl in your photo looks horrible. She looks like a slut. It would be reasonable to mistake her for a slut.
    Because we are good people, mistaking her for a slut would entail no consequences for her other than being mistaken for a slut by someone she doesn't know and will have no further association with.
    But because we are grown ups, we all know that we are living in a world that is full - since the abandonment of the social-conservative consensus, demonisation of sexual morality and abolition of stigma as a means of enforcing modesty and sobriety - of horrible people who read such signs as an invitation for them to do what the songs and the films and the tv shows all tell them to do - worship at the altar of selfish sexual gratification, don't think, don't reason, and always let instinct trump rational consideration. We know they are out there.
    We know that they are wrong to think and act as they do, and we know that we, ourselves, would not.
    But that does not make them go away.
    If being a slut carries obvious risks from such people, why on earth make it easy to be mistaken for one - ESPECIALLY if you are not?

    I'm sorry, but I still can't see anything in this man's comments other than commonensically good advice, tinged perhaps with just the smallest hint of old-fashioned morality. Which I'm okay with. Keeping people safe is more important than not offending them.

    Meanwhile, our hypothetical pirate has just had his ship sunk by the Royal Navy.
    How dare they? he is thinking to himself. Just because I look like a pirate, and go about the high seas acting like a pirate, and say "arr-haarr!" like a pirate...
    How DARE they take that to mean I am a pirate!

    He was about to organise a 'pirate walk', but by that time the water had risen to his neck, and time was getting short.
    And it is, you know.

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  27. And on a point of grammar, I'm sorry for beginning two paragraphs with "I'm sorry".

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  28. "Because we are good people, mistaking her for a slut would entail no consequences for her other than being mistaken for a slut by someone she doesn't know and will have no further association with."

    But, it's not exactly true that there are no furhter consequences:

    1) one consequence, as you go on to elucidate, is that the predators' attention is even more drawn to them ... and, this actually related to my second item;

    2) normal men are less likely to see these "liberated" (*) women as someone whom it is their duty, by mere fact of being a man, to protect; and the predators understand this at some level;

    (*) there is a curious intellectualy dishonesty in "women's liberation," and almost all modern-day women share it, whether or not they call themselves feminists: they simultaneously insist that they can do anything they wish (for, are they not even more capable than any man!?), and demand that all men at least give lip service to this amusing conceit, and further demand that a man, and all men, quietly (Don't you *dare* even cock an eyebrow, you man!) pick up the pieces and clean up the messes they invariably make, socially and personally. Most modern western women are little different in their mindsets than modern teens in rebellion against their parents; and, in both cases, the rebellion is mostly against the same thing: legitimate male authority.

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  29. ... as for the Mohammad-worshippers and their view that all non-body-bagged women are, ipso facto, whores:

    That's just another example of Moslem stupidity, as we all understand.

    Furthermore, while neither the slut nor the whore respects herself (*), the whore at least values herself enough to get paid for her easy virtue. The slut, on the other hand, is simply easy with her virtue and thenm irate no one respects her more than she respects herself.

    (*) and, humans being humans, if one will not respect oneself, then precious few other humans will, either.

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  30. "Concerning our hypothetical pirate: Don't wear the uniform."

    That was my point.

    "But, it's not exactly true that there are no further consequences:
    1) one consequence, as you go on to elucidate, is that the predators' attention is even more drawn to them..."

    Exactly: I meant no further consequences from me or people like me, or a world made up soley of men like me - again, that was my point.

    "normal men are less likely to see these "liberated" women as someone whom it is their duty, by mere fact of being a man, to protect; and the predators understand this at some level..."

    Well, I'm not less likely to, but I agree this is another risk being run - and for what? For the right to dress as something one is not, and to scream outrage when the obvious connection is made by someone who is trying to prevent a crime. Madness.

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  31. Cathy "Well, Ilion, the comment about being disqualified -- concluding with the all-important winky-face -- was meant to be a humorous acknowledgement that I had over-reacted."

    And I can certainly see how I was supposed to read that into the post, with or without the all-important winky-face.

    Cathy "That's the only thing I'm going to address right now, because I'm in a good mood and feeling very pleased with myself for trimming most of the bushes today."

    One might notice, were she so inclined, that the statement to which she appears to be objecting, while a mere nine words in length, is packed with qualifications and caveats.

    And that's all I'm going to address right now, because I'm in a good mood and feeling very pleased with myself for actually doing some blogging in the past couple of days.

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  32. @ Rox: "It is, IMHO, akin to "sex ed" programmes in grammar schools that are designed to chip away at natural modesty and make people feel as if their squeamishness is the result of a personal flaw, not a very natural, very healthy defence mechanism."

    That's a very good point that I had not considered. The entire "educational" program ends up pulling away protections that were natural, helpful, and would have been better left in place.

    @ Bedes: I may be mistaken, but it was my impression that the girl in the photo had purposely tarted herself up to fly it in the face of those that would presume to call her a slut. She is there to make a point. Now for all we know, she is a grade school teacher by trade and may dress more like Aimee Osbourne than her sister Kelly. But even then our presumptions as to how she is conducting her personal affairs may be greatly in error, as "Looking For Mr. Goodbar" pointed out.

    As to pirates and sluts, the fact that pirates may be fired upon without warning by the Royal Navy is a risk pirates must accept, an occupational hazard as it were. Thus, whether or not someone actually is a pirate, if they are flying the skull and cross bones from their main they must accept what comes their way. At no point, however, does a slutty girl agree to be raped, nor does someone wearing a slutty outfit (a moving target, to be sure) enter into some unspoken contract whereby she must accept whatever comes her way. To have this rotten idea conveyed by a member of the police, sworn to uphold the laws and protect the innocent, is extraordinarily disappointing.

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  33. Pirates don't agree to be blown out of the water, they make conscious and deliberate efforts to avoid just that fate. The possibility of being bring blown out of the water is simply one of the possible (and, sometimes, likely) natural consequences of piracy.

    In similar wise, "rape" (because, really, most of what we're actually talking about here is after-the-fact now-that-she-she-is-sober retroactive withdrawal of consent for the sexual activity in which she engaged the night before) is simply one of the possible (and, sometimes, likely) natural consequences of sluttishness.

    "I may be mistaken, but it was my impression that the girl in the photo ... Now for all we know ..."

    You're playing the "liberal" game of "You Can't Judge Me" But, of course, I can judge her ... and you. And you are failing badly.

    "At no point, however, does a slutty girl agree to be raped, nor does someone wearing a slutty outfit (a moving target, to be sure) enter into some unspoken contract whereby she must accept whatever comes her way. To have this rotten idea conveyed by a member of the police, sworn to uphold the laws and protect the innocent, is extraordinarily disappointing."

    This is, again, the "liberalism" in which you're been marinated, speaking. Non-exhaustively, you are:
    1) following/justifying the "liberal" script of non-judgmentalism (except, of course, when they are judgmental);
    2) following/justifying the "liberal" notion that there must be no consequences to one's actions (that, is, actions approved by "liberalism");
    3) following/justifying the "liberal" and feminist notion that women are superior to men (morally, socially, etc), and may in no wise be judged by men (unless it's a "liberal" man, and especially a conservative woman);
    3) following/justifying the "liberal" and feminist notion that while a "liberated" woman can "do anything she wants," it is nonetheless the responsibility of men to protect her from the utterly forseeable consequences (while everyone pretends that the supporting/protecting hand isn't there);
    4) following/justifying the "liberal" and feminist notion that one may not tell a "liberated" woman a main truth she does not wish to hear, that it is a moral outrage to do so;
    5) following/justifying the "liberal" notion that one does not need to take responsibility for one's own life, but that it is the responsibility of "society" to make the bad things go away ... even when one's freely chosen actions brought on the bad things;

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  34. [the WV for that last post was "undrese"]

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  35. "At no point, however, does a slutty girl agree to be raped, nor does someone wearing a slutty outfit (a moving target, to be sure) enter into some unspoken contract whereby she must accept whatever comes her way."

    As no point does a drunken floozy who has taken it into her head to teeter on the blacony railing in her stilleto heels enter into an unspoken contract to plunge to her death on the concrete below. And, yet, that is the natural, and all-but-inevitable, result of the behavior.

    "To have this rotten idea conveyed by a member of the police, sworn to uphold the laws and protect the innocent, is extraordinarily disappointing."

    The cop wasn't talking only about clothing, which is why I have continuously used the word 'behavior.' He was talking about certain behaviors (and attitudes) the "liberalism" has inculcated in young women. Some of those behaviours include: getting drunk with people you don't know ... which leads to engaging in sexual activity with people you don't know ... which leads to accusing 'Rape!' the next day (expecially if your beer-goggles hid from you the fact that he looks like a toad).

    Telling "liberated" women that there are unpleasant consequences which naturally follow from certain behaviors, and that if one does not want the consequences, one should avoid the behavior, is not a failure to "uphold the laws and protect the innocent" Nor is it "blaming the victim."

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  36. Can anybody give me a link or anything to something that actually reports what the Toronto officer said? Thanks...

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  37. Look, Bede's said "The girl in your photo looks horrible. She looks like a slut. It would be reasonable to mistake her for a slut", and I am saying that I believe she is dressed that way purposely. Bede's assumed this is her normal attire, I assumed it was not. One of us must be wrong. We can both be wrong, but we cannot both be right. The point being that I am careful not to presume in areas I do not know. I do not know the girl in "my" photo, I do not know what she normally wears everyday, nor do I know if she is a slut, and because I recognize that I do not know these things I attempt to clarify that I am making an assumption that may be incorrect, hopefully pointing out that he may be doing the same.

    So:
    1) I would not characterize this tact as non-judgmentalism. I would characterize it as an attempt at careful argument.
    2) I am not advancing the notion that there are no consequences to one's actions. Just that rape should never be considered a consequence to one's choice of clothing, and if rape occurs it is always the responsibility of the rapist and not the responsibility of the victim. Frankly, I am surprised that you would argue otherwise.
    3) I do not argue that women are superior to men. I argue that they are different to men, and probably are that way from birth, if not before.
    4) Surely calling someone a slut to their face, or even characterizing their clothing as sluttish to their face cannot be understood as anything other than an insult. I do not argue against freedom of speech. I am arguing for wisdom and discernment in one's choice of words.
    5) If someone is raped it is the rapist that is the criminal, not the woman raped. I am saying the rapist needs to be assigned full responsibilty, and I shall not brook any weak-kneed argument about how "It wasn't fair. That poor fellow was tempted, no I shall say provoked, provoked I say, by the chino capri's, black camisol and long wavy locks, made all the more ensnaring by the fact that THAT WOMAN kept brushing her hair back with her hand. I'm sorry, that is utterly useless with me.

    Let us put an end to defining and describing what we think one or another may be saying, or is saying because of a belief system that we believe they may be operating under, and cut to the chase:

    The police officer was attempting to give helpful advise for young people to avoid becoming victims of crime. If he had said "It is wise to dress modestly" I am fully in support of his words, as they are to the purpose. When he says "It is not wise to dress like a slut" (pejorative descriptor of repetitive devaluing personal choices) then he has not only insulted his audience (making for ineffective communication), but he has suggested that sluts deserve getting raped, and he is in error.

    Oh, here you go, Cath: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13320785

    ""You know, I think we're beating around the bush here," he reportedly told them. "I've been told I'm not supposed to say this - however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised."

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  38. "As to pirates and sluts, the fact that pirates may be fired upon without warning by the Royal Navy is a risk pirates must accept, an occupational hazard as it were..."

    So where do you draw the line?
    That's why I got to the pirate in incremental stages beginning with a kid at a fancy dress party. It would be ridiculous to take him for a risk to shipping and shoot him, not so ridiculous, but still potentially wrong, if he was an adult at sea...

    By your reasoning it would be okay to make an assumption about the pirate guy - or a muslim who suddenly leaps out of his airplane seat, loudly praises Allah and heads for the cockpit - but not to assume that a girl who deliberately dresses as if she is sexually available is sexually available. It may be an occupational hazard for the pirate, but it's still not something he wants or seeks.
    But I'm still not sure if you're saying it's wrong to assume or merely to act criminally on the assumption.

    I see it as a three stage point:
    1. Of course it is wrong to act criminally on the assumption, because it is wrong to act criminally a priori.
    2. It is NOT wrong to make any assumption based on empirical evidence. We do this a million times a day and would have died a million times if we did not.
    3. Given that there are people in the world who do not adhere to rule 1, it is not unreasonable to accept our own responsibility to behave sensibly on that understanding, even if it means curtailing our absolute right to do whatever we want whenever we want right now right here we're proud let's cheer (etc).

    What if she wanted to walk around naked? Should she take some responsibility then? (Note, please, that 'responsibility' is most definitely not the same thing as 'blame'.)
    She still wouldn't deserve to be subjected to an act that is unequivocally criminal. But at what point can she reasonably be expected to accept some measure of responsibility for herself?
    The notion that we are sealed individual units who can do whatever we want and expect the state or others to protect us from the responses of others is an utterly selfish one. We are incredibly lucky, and untypical, to have been born into a society that has a good code of ethics and enforces them by rule of law. In many if not most parts of the world the people are left to their own resources and rely on their own protection. We have courts who uphold laws and police officers who enforce them. It is grossly ungrateful to accept no personal responsibility whatsoever for our own safety. How any conservative could claim otherwise is beyond me.

    (continued...)

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  39. (continued...)

    I didn't say the girl in the photo was a slut. On the contrary, I was making the point you yourself made in rebuttal: that you can't tell - but she certainly looks as though she is. (I also said she looked horrible, and wondered why on earth anyone who wasn't a slut would WANT to look like one. This is a separate point, but it introduces the relevant one that the increased risk to her safety is not even in a good cause.)
    Nowhere have I said, or did the officer say, or (I think) did Ilion say that a girl who looks like a slut and isn't deserves to be raped, or even that a bona fide card-carrying slut deserves to unwillingly experience anything she does not desire to experience at any given moment.
    You keep coming back to the same assertion that offering the sensible advice that one should not dress like a slut in some way blames the victim, and I just can't see that. (If I could, I would agree with you.) To blame the victim would be to impose a more lenient sentence on a man who attacks a slutty girl than one who attacks a 'grade school teacher'. This would be unequivocally wrong because sexual assault is unequivocally criminal.
    But there is no moral hang-up in any other field about freely discussing practical measures to avoid risk. We don't visit wildlife reserves covered in raw meat. But we have just as much right to... Will you come march with me for my right to do that?
    When the 'rapper' 'Ice-T' (real girl's name: Tracy Marrow) released 'Cop Killer', if a deranged fan had gone out and killed some cops in deliberate homage, it would be wrong to 'blame' Tracy - ie: hold him personally accountable for the acts committed - but not, surely, to accord him some small measure of responsibility. This is a moral, rather than a criminal judgement.
    Until you can show me the quote where the officer says or implies that such girls deserve to get raped or even must accept some measure of blame then I refuse to condemn his good advice, or the tone of old-fashioned morality in which he (very slightly) couched it.
    And he's not asking them to stop eating, or stop celebrating Christmas, or only breathe once every ten minutes. To look like a slut is not a fundamental human right. It's a silly lifestyle choice.
    The message is, surely: grow up! We live in a horribly imperfect world where certain actions have certain UNFAIR consequences. We can reduce the risk in certain ways.
    And as Clint Eastwood said in that old 'just say no' advert, holding up a piece of rock cocaine, "if you gotta die for something, this sure as hell ain't it..."

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  40. As an aside, that girl in your picture is dressed as a character from Japanese Manga. Doing so is called "cosplay."

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  41. Oh, Darrell, thank you for that! :)

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  42. Well, we are largely in agreement, and you make some very fine points. The problem is that the term slut is pejorative for sexually promiscuous conduct, and the crime of rape is one of forced sexual intercourse. It is hard to find an equivalent, as there are few areas as intimate or emotionally charged. Certainly I am all for people taking responsibility for their actions, and clearly these sluts are grossly ungrateful accepting no personal responsibility whatsoever for their safety. Despicable. However, I would not characterize my argument as suggesting they accept no responsibility, only that when referring to their dress our officers are better served by recommending modesty, rather than suggesting they're slutting the joint up.

    Essentially, you are defending the police officer referring to young women as sluts, and find it to be a helpful descriptor. This may be putting a fine point on it, but sometimes a person just doesn't want a pejorative term flung their way, or in their general direction, or within a mile of their proximity.

    Perhaps taking a different analogy from the pirates would be helpful, for we have forgotten how violently horrible pirates really were. Supposing the officer were sent to address a group of young african-americans applying to graduate schools, and he was expected to convey to them that their behavior should reflect that they are responsible, serious people. It might cross this officer's mind to throw out that they don't want to act like some damn niggers. Why not? He is trying to help them advance their educational careers. Certainly no less an esteemed person as the honorable Robert Byrd, defender of the Constitution, used the term, and he went to some pains to explain to us all that there were white niggers and colored niggers. He felt the term to be useful. If our officer were to address his audience in this manner he would not be calling anyone in his audience niggers, he would just be telling them not to act that way. Would you then still insist in this argument that throwing out a descriptive pejorative term is the height of helpful discourse?

    Perhaps not.

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  43. Well, 'nigger' is at root a word with no purpose other than to belittle. Despite all that stuff - new to me - about Robert Byrd broadening the term - it is generally felt to be a simple synonym for 'black' with no wider meaning, just the additional component of disrespect.
    'Slut' refers not to a person's intrinsic self but to their behaviour. It means sexually promiscuous. Best not to dress as if you were sexually promiscuous if you are not, especially as it is demonstrably obvious that appearing to be sexually promiscuous increases your chances of receiving unwanted attention from scumbag males.
    If you would have been happy with everything the officer said had he only substituted the phrase 'sexually promiscuous' for the word 'slut' then we have been debating at cross purposes.
    Language sensitivity is something I try to not to get too embroiled in, as it all too often serves to obscure wider issues.

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  44. "Well, 'nigger' is at root a word with no purpose other than to belittle. ..."

    Actually, no. That came later.

    "Despite all that stuff - new to me - about Robert Byrd broadening the term ..."

    As the son of a Southerner, I can assure you that he isn't the originator of that "broadening," it is ubiquitous.


    "If you would have been happy with everything the officer said had he only substituted the phrase 'sexually promiscuous' for the word 'slut' then we have been debating at cross purposes."

    The term. 'sexually promiscuous,' while factually accurate and precise, is clinical and detached; it is non-judgmental. The term 'slut' is blunt and personal; it is judgmental (it's also frequently used when it is not accurately appropriate). The term 'slut' is also bloader than 'sexually promiscuous,' and thus less precise, for it covers a broader range of behaviors; that is, it is possible to accurately denote a person who is technically a virgin as a 'slut.'

    "Language sensitivity is something I try to not to get too embroiled in, as it all too often serves to obscure wider issues."

    What everyone is objecting to is the bluntness and the moral judgment inherent in using the term 'slut' to denote, well, sluts. That *IS* the issue; that is what all the caterwauling is about: moral judgments and the right to make and express them.

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  45. "Essentially, you are defending the police officer referring to young women as sluts, and find it to be a helpful descriptor.
    ...
    "

    He didn't call "young women" sluts, no more than he "blamed the victim" -- this is all "liberal" dishonesty, and you are willfully swallowing their lies.

    " ... This may be putting a fine point on it, but sometimes a person just doesn't want a pejorative term flung their way, or in their general direction, or within a mile of their proximity."

    To be blunt, and crude: WGAF. What people are hysterically objecting to is not just that the shoe fits, but that there even is a shoe. The officer didn't make the shoe, and he didn't put it on anyone's foot, nor did he suggest that anyone try it on for size; in fact, quite the opposite, for counseled against even picking up the shoe.

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  46. Gentlemen, gentlemen, I realize neither you nor the officer of the law accused anyone of being sluts, be it the girl in the photo or the officer's attentive audience at York University. But it is the language which we speaking of, a murky field of battle if ever there was one.

    My argument comes down to two points:
    1) I believe it is not helpful to use a pejorative term when addressing an audience, specifically the term 'slut' in addressing a group of young women. I will concede that the officer did not accuse the girls in the audience of being sluts, and I grant that he was making an honest attempt to help them avoid sexual assault. He still should have avoided using that term, as it was not helpful to reaching his ends.

    I think I have a strong case for this first point. The second point is far more tenuous:

    2) I believe the use of the term 'slut' in this context, that of avoiding sexual assault, betrays an underlying assumption on the officer's part that some behaviors invite sexual assault, and the victim is hardly someone to feel sorry for. She got the result of her behavior. This idea transfers the blame from the perpetrator and places it on the victim, and this I cannot accept.

    Admittedly, I cannot look into the soul of the officer and discern such things, and I could be wrong as to how I am reading his statement. It is merely my opinion.

    Thank you both for engaging in this discussion. You both made some excellent points and offered very difficult examples to respond to.

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  47. Gold star to the Venerable Bede. And a Gold star to Ilion. In fact, Gold stars all the way around!

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  48. Well, we are not quite through I see. For those that are willing to move on, forget it! An anonymous sympathizer would like to join the fray, but as the damn blogger can be finicky, she has e-mailed me her thoughts on all matters SlutWalking and otherwise, as follows:

    ........

    I think there's been a lot of "debating at cross purposes" -- partly because there are multiple issues being discussed -- and some debating of points that may have been assumptions or interpretations rather than facts.

    According to The Record, York has been the scene of violent sexual attacks, and has recently completed a safety audit. The BBC News reported that Police Constable Michael Sanguinetti had been giving a talk on health and safety to a group of students at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto when he made the now infamous remarks:

    "You know, I think we're beating around the bush here," he reportedly told them. "I've been told I'm not supposed to say this - however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.

    I believe that the officer was incorrect in both what he said and how he said it. 1) He indicated that a rapist's victim was partly responsible for the crime; 2) he chose an offensive manner in which to give what he believed to be safety advice; 3) he was factually incorrect about the assumption regarding clothing and rape.

    Point # 1

    James Nicholas started with his post saying that he was in agreement with the women who found the officer's comment to be in effect "blaming the victim." -- and he is certainly not alone in seeing the remark as "blaming the victim" -- the officer's superiors also addressed this point.

    Toronto police Chief Bill Blair:
    "If that type of, frankly, archaic thinking still exists among any of my officers, it highlights for me the need to continue to train my officers and sensitize them to the reality of victimization," he said.

    The comments attributed to the officer "place the blame upon victims, and that's not where the blame should ever be placed" he said.

    Point # 2

    In spite of having been told that he was "not supposed to say this" (we do not know by whom, or for which of multiple reasons), the officer went on to make his "avoid dressing like sluts" recommendation.

    I think we all agree that the term "slut" is pejorative, indicating sexual promiscuity and generally a negative judgement regarding moral standards. The officer's remark indicates that he thought the young women in his audience were, or were likely to be, dressed like sluts. This was insulting to the audience.

    I still believe he would have been found much less offensive if he had chosen a different way to present the information that rapists target women who are wearing revealing or provocative clothing (ie, eliminating the "blaming " as well as the insulting). Like, "Muggers target people who are dressed expensively," rather than, "You should avoid going slumming in order not to be robbed."

    (continued)

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  49. However --

    Point # 3

    He would still have been incorrect.

    I was surprised to learn that the "everybody knows" nature of his suggestion that provocatively-dressed women are targeted reflects a very common but very mistaken assumption.

    A number of publications reiterate the findings that clothing is not a significant factor in victim selection by rapists. One in particular differentiated between stranger rape -- in which it factored not at all -- and acquaintance rape, where is was a very small contributing factor. (I apologize for not being able to find it again in order to provide a link.)

    (A number of other factors are found to be related, such as consumption of alcohol or drugs as a factor in acquaintance, or date rape -- more on the part of the rapist than the victim!)
    THERE ARE good reasons to avoid "blaming the victim" and to challenge assumptions about dress and rape. For one thing, these discourage victims from reporting crimes to police, eliminating both assistance and justice they might otherwise receive, as well as preventing important information about criminal activity from being broadcast.

    And for another, it puts the community at increased risk when the assumption of the victims' partial blame leaves rapists under-prosecuted, and undeterred.

    Editorial Comment:
    And yet she still refuses to join arm in arm with me for the next SlutWalk event, scheduled June 11th for London, of all places.

    Bedes, this is your chance to get out there, jump in and be heard!

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  50. Nicholas, I am so disappointed in you over your continued refusal to think rationally about this.

    Can you not grasp that *all* you are doing is contributing to the (intentional on the part of "liberals") dissolution of the culture that you are going to need to be there to protect your own daughters?

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  51. Yes, well, we're not going to the mattresses on this one. And you will still have many an opportunity to improve my thinking.

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  52. June 11th? Let me check my diary...
    Damn. I'm washing my hair.

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  53. Curious how after point one and point two have been laid out, and options are provided to lessen his missteps, when you get to point three, regardless of what the guy did on the first two, he's still wrong. That sounds strangely familiar to me.

    I'm telling ya, guys, we're on the thin ice with this one.

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