Wednesday, May 15, 2013

talking round the problem

Since I no longer read the Standard due to its propensity to raise my blood pressure to dangerous levels, I missed the gem of a quote by Hong Kong's Security Chief, Lai Tung-Kwok until this evening when I was having a glass of grape beverage at my local.  Several of my friends were discussing the uproar that was caused abroad and whether the local mindset if different.  The conversation then went on to how one of my friends (a man) thought that there was an overreaction over what he considered to be practical advice.  I point out that the comment came from a man because I've had similar conversations before and it always is a man who makes the inevitable comparison to being drunk and mugged or leaving valuables in your car and having it broken into.  Opportunistic crimes.

Let's for a moment pretend that rapists are motivated by the same logic as muggers and thieves, and that they are seeking some sort of benefit over their victims rather than the more sinister and less logical reason.  If this was solely a crime of opportunity, then my friend's point makes some sense because we get warned about how to avoid making ourselves victims.  So if women weren't so drunk and unable to notice danger or if they weren't so attractive and caused the rapist to need sexual gratification then they could avoid being raped.

According to this logic, did you know that the leading cause of pedophilia was sexy eight year olds?

Yes, there have been a spate of cases where young women got very drunk and opportunistic predators took advantage, but the fact, according to the Journal of American College Health. Vol. 39, is that 79% of rape victims are not intoxicated.  But do you know who was intoxicated?  In 55% of cases, it was the rapist.  Mr. Lai would be addressing the problem better by advising men to stop getting drunk because they might be tempted to rape.

Every so often I read a horrible case of a random person who was assaulted outside a bar or standing on the street by a drunk thug.  No one stands around discussing how that blue shirt he was wearing or poor choice to stand next to the door led to his attack, even though it may have indeed led to the attack.  We correctly focus on the criminal and despair over the generation of yobs and thugs that are being produced, and how to correct it.

I have yet to hear a discussion on sexual violence that doesn't gravitate toward how we women can protect ourselves - useless advice for the majority of rape victims anyway.  When are we going to start talking about the problem with the generations of people who think its okay to humiliate and dominate others.  Because I bet we would have much more success at rape prevention if we had fewer rapists, not fewer victims.


Anonymous said...

Alcohol consumption increases cases of rape, but it also increases, substantially in my experience, cases of consensual sexual activity. Net benefit to society as a whole from alcohol consumption? I'm not sure, but it I think it's on the side of the booze.

And the man's point was indisputable: if women don't drink there will be fewer rapes. This is true. If men don't drink there will also be fewer rapes. If no-one drank there would be a lot fewer rapes.

But there would also be a lot more unhappy people.

If only life were as simple as you would like it to be...

architart said...

I wish life could be that simple, too. But I stand by my point that we are spending almost all of our focus on women and prevention and very little on changing behaviors in people who commit or condone rape.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'm sorry to be a pedant, but "fewer rapists" and "fewer victims" :-)

architart said...

Thank you. It's one of my known grammar mistakes.