Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?
#13
(25-Jun-2010, 01:33 PM)uglyhunk Wrote: Just to clarify, I never even implied Arabs as the bechmark.

Of course not, uglyhunk. Sorry if I gave the impression that you did.

Quote:In fact world is more beautiful with liberated women all around Happydance

Amen to that. Yes
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#14
Aiyyo, too much of philosophy here. I am by no means a philosophy geek and sometimes I deliberately keep away because it sends my head spinning if I think too much. I find figuring out the solutions for coupled differential equations much easier :P . Especially without the relevant basics that are essential to understand these philosophical concepts. Ajita, I read your reply, I am reading it again to try to understand the niceties involved. smile .
Murthy

"Credulity kills" -- Carl Sagan
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#15
I feel a little sick after reading this whole post. But maybe I'm just a little sensitive about people trying to rationalize these kinds of things.
Ajita, I love you for the points you made. I think the thread fell off the tracks a little because I honestly do not see the need for anyone to ask me why I dress the way I dress. But just to answer the question posted earlier; I like to dress sexy sometimes. Because it makes me feel sexy. And other than that it is none of anyones business. I'm not a stupid girl and even though I try my best to take care of myself, I know that there are predators all over, so I keep people close and never go to strange places alone. If you think rape can be prevented my being more modestly dressed, then none of you guys have ever been sexually harassed. I was once harassed on the street while being clothed in jeans and a t-shirt. But never was I once harassed when wearing something "skimpy" when among like-minded people.
And the whole wearing shorts for an interview argument made me laugh. Being dressed up overly casual in a serious work environment puts you in a negative light as it is a projection of your work ethic. It has nothing to do with sexuality or any sort of morality. But please, give me a break. How does what a woman wear even effect you? Can someone explain??
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#16
Here's a good video that arrived in my news feed today, a nice reply to the some of the concern-troll-y rape apologetics on this thread. http://www.postbourgie.com/2010/07/02/not-ever/
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#17
(03-Jul-2010, 08:42 AM)unsorted Wrote: Here's a good video that arrived in my news feed today, a nice reply to the some of the concern-troll-y rape apologetics on this thread. http://www.postbourgie.com/2010/07/02/not-ever/

YES!!!!!!!
Thank you.

And I would like to add something else. Would you get a feminine gay man to stop acting "fruity" because you are uncomfortable with it? Would you tell a heavily pierced/tattooed person to "cover it up" because you can't stop staring? You wouldn't. Because it really is none of your business.
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#18
By now, it's a well-documented fact that 'Rape' is used as a weapon of war. Which means, it has got absolutely nothing to do with women's dressing or the lack of it. It has got everything to do with positioning a community's/ family's honour firmly between her legs. This sort of 'honour' has more to do with commodification of a woman's body, one that does not belong to the person but to the one she is married to and into. Remember in our communities, rape is not a word, it's an entire expression: 'izzat loot liya' - "To loot one's honour".

So, what does this have to do with our 'normal' rapes, you may ask.

In this framework, the fact that women are opening their mouths to speak up, walking on the roads, studying (oh my!), working (blasphemy!) is enough to justify rape against them. All that can be categorized as 'slutty' behaviour. Be under no illusion that rape has anything to do with a woman's 'sexiness.' Please do not even give that much of credibility to a brain so messed up with patriarchy and feudal systems, that it can actually distinguish 'signals of sexiness'. Pure hogwash.

Rape has everything to do with power. Oppressive power. Brutal power. And in the end, an extremely misplaced hollow sense of power. Let's not dress this argument with women's dresses. Please.


As a side thought, what about the lungis that men wear? or those next to nothing tight shorts with god-knows-what squished up. Does all that qualify as provocative behaviour by men? Enough to chop off their balls?
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#19
(22-Jun-2010, 12:32 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: Please share your thoughts on this idea that women who are raped are somehow "asking for it" by being skimpily clothed and behaving in ways that arouse men. Also, how should this subject be addressed in society?

Ajita,
Even though you made your question very explicit in the subject line, it feels like a loaded question to me. What is your goal here? Is it that "you want society to change such that women are free (and safe) to dress as they want"?
Lets say rape magically disappears tomorrow onwards, and people no longer even think about it. However, due to other "troubles" such as eve-teasing, society may still want women to dress conservatively. So, the real issue is not just rape, but all the troubles. I will be happy to debate this, possibly as another thread.

However, if the focus is on rape (which is the high end of sexual crimes), how likely is it that a member of this progressive forum going to blame it on skimpy dressing? One would try to understand why men rape in the first place, and then fix the blame. Like I quoted in a previous post about a scientific study, "promiscuous men tend to rape". There's actually a pretty nice writeup at the below site, based on evolutionary principles (yeah.. the controversial evolutionary psychology, but I will take evolution science over social science in this case).
http://iranscope.ghandchi.com/Anthology/Women/rape.htm

Summary being
"
Many social theorists view rape not only as an ugly crime but as a symptom of an unhealthy society, in which men fear and disrespect women. In 1975 the feminist writer Susan Brownmiller asserted that rape is motivated not by lust but by the urge to control and dominate. In the twenty-five years since, Brownmiller's view has become mainstream. All men feel sexual desire, the theory goes, but not all men rape. Rape is viewed as an unnatural behavior that has nothing to do with sex, and one that has no corollary in the animal world
...
We want to challenge the dearly held idea that rape is not about sex. We realize that our approach and our frankness will rankle some social scientists, including some serious and well-intentioned rape investigators. But many facts point to the conclusion that rape is, in its very essence, a sexual act. Furthermore, we argue, rape has evolved over millennia of human history, along with courtship, sexual attraction and other behaviors related to the production of offspring.
...
Rape can be understood as a third kind of sexual strategy: one more way to gain access to females. There are several mechanisms by which such a strategy could function. For example, men might resort to rape when they are socially disenfranchised, and thus unable to gain access to women through looks, wealth or status. Alternatively, men could have evolved to practice rape when the costs seem low -- when, for instance, a woman is alone and unprotected (and thus retaliation seems unlikely)
"
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
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#20
(06-Jul-2010, 10:32 AM)astrokid.nj Wrote: There's actually a pretty nice writeup at the below site, based on evolutionary principles (yeah.. the controversial evolutionary psychology, but I will take evolution science over social science in this case).
http://iranscope.ghandchi.com/Anthology/Women/rape.htm

You continue to make the category error.

I am well aware of the evolutionary reasons for why rape evolved, as I stated before in my reply to vvjoshi. But evolutionary biology is irrelevant as far as the moral premise is concerned. In order to address the issue properly, one needs the applied perspective that includes the moral premise. This is the area of "social science". The dichotomy of "evolution science over social science" is misplaced. It is a very important dichotomy, in the right circumstances. In the case in question, unless you clearly state that you are addressing the causes of rape and not the moral question that is the actual subject here, evolutionary psychology is irrelevant.

Now, you pointed to this part:
Quote:"Please share your thoughts on this idea that women who are raped are somehow "asking for it" by being skimpily clothed and behaving in ways that arouse men. Also, how should this subject be addressed in society?"

The key is this : Are women "asking for it"? The question posed requires "social science". The one thing that we can all agree on now is that the wrong way to address the questions that was posed in society is to bring up how women dress.

If the question had been:
Quote:"Please share your thoughts on why men rape and how society can prevent them from raping. Also, how should this subject be addressed in society?"

Then the evolutionary biology would be directly relevant. In the case in question, the moral premise must be made clear. The facts are extremely relevant as far as understanding the psychology of rape is concerned, but completely irrelevant as far as the moral premise of the question that was posed is concerned.

In the part that you highlighted "Also, how should this subject be addressed in society?", the "subject" is still the the same. Are women "asking for it"? How would we address this in society? Certainly not by talking about evolutionary psychology and the evolutionary reasons for why women dress the way they do, that's for sure. You are mistaking the "subject" to be something else- something that you prefer thinking about- the natural science part. That part, as I have made clear is extremely relevant to understanding rape, but is irrelevant as far as the "subject" is concerned. I am in no way saying that we should not discuss the natural science part, even if it is irrelevant to the "subject" under discussion. All I am saying is that it should be made explicitly clear that you are no longer addressing the "subject". It should be made clear that whatever you are discussing (the hard science), the "subject" itself is answered using "social science".
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#21
(06-Jul-2010, 11:38 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: [quote='egotwist' pid='1359' dateline='1278351378']
[color=#800000] By now, it's a well-documented fact that 'Rape' is used as a weapon of war. Which means, it has got absolutely nothing to do with women's dressing or the lack of it. It has got everything to do with positioning a community's/ family's honour firmly between her legs. This sort of 'honour' has more to do with commodification of a woman's body, one that does not belong to the person but to the one she is married to and into. Remember in our communities, rape is not a word, it's an entire expression: 'izzat loot liya' - "To loot one's honour".

Now you are talking about the causes of rape, not whether women who raped are "asking for it" by dressing like sluts. These are different questions, as I have taken pains to point out.

I have seen others (predominantly my female friends, but from some males as well) try and paint rape as not being about sex but rather about power. I think this is a misguided effort. The subject cannot be addressed without taking into consideration the evolutionary psychology of rape.

Edit: The above statement was not made in reference to egotwist's post, but to another person online. I am at fault for stressing too much on the evolutionary aspects of rape and seemingly dismissing the psychological aspects. In fact, I definitely agree that from the psychology perspective rape is about power. It's important to see that there are many factors and ways of looking at the issue.

EP helps us dig deeper than the sociological reasons for such behavioral phenomena. Sure, 'honor' rape is about commodification of the woman's body, but the reason why women are considered a commodity so is because of sex. SEX, from the biological perspective, as a means of passing on one's genes. Not sex as an emotional and loving act. Women have been raped throughout the history of our species, and before that as primate ancestors, because rape has been a major way to increase the reproductive fitness of a group/individual. There is a very good reason for why men have always wanted to bring women from other populations into their own. It is a way of increasing genetic variation within the population. There are two ways of doing this. One involves force and the other involves enticement. Both involve considering women as commodities. It is just a product of biology.

In "modern" times, we have a more complex culture that has evolved around the primal motivation to spread our genes, thus incorporating concepts such as 'honor' and arguments such as 'she's dressed like a slut, so that's what she gets' to justify rape. Our culture has also incorporated concepts such as dowry and 'moving to her husband's house' towards justifying another form of commodification- the form that involves enticement, not force.

Quote:In this framework, the fact that women are opening their mouths to speak up, walking on the roads, studying (oh my!), working (blasphemy!) is enough to justify rape against them. All that can be categorized as 'slutty' behaviour. Be under no illusion that rape has anything to do with a woman's 'sexiness.' Please do not even give that much of credibility to a brain so messed up with patriarchy and feudal systems, that it can actually distinguish 'signals of sexiness'. Pure hogwash.

'Sexiness' is a subjective idea. 'Sex' is not. Rape certainly has a lot to do with sex, from the biological point of view. The patriarchy and feudal systems have all evolved under the influence of the biological means of attaining sexual reproduction. Sex is completely relevant here.

Edit: Here again I am only talking about the evolutionary history perspective, not the psychological perspective. Of course, the psychological point of view that egotwist is was talking about can be very useful in understanding and managing rape-related behaviors. The difference between these two perspectives is that one can determine and perhaps "treat" genetic causes and the other can help navigate through the myriad cultural ones.

Just to reiterate the point that has been made throughout this thread, it is important to keep in mind that the causes of rape, which, as I mentioned above, this particular post is not about, must not be confused with moral ideas on the subject of rape. It must also be mentioned that understanding the evolutionary (and neurological) perspective is extremely important if we are to find solutions to the problem of rape. In the long term, many evolutionary traits that were advantageous as primitive adaptive tools must be discarded because of moral reasons. In order to do this, it is essential that we not cover up the biological reasons for behavioral phenomena by focusing on sociological explanations that fail to access the real causal factors involved.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#22
NO! Women who get raped are not asking for it. Women are not responsible for men's actions.

Rape, a sexual crime, is a crime just as murder is.

A. I would club 'Rape' and 'dis'honour'able' killings in one category for discussion purpose here.

Both the above crimes are committed by men who see women as 'objects' and 'pieces of property' with no mind of their own.
Secondly, these crimes are committed because the men can 'get away' with them.
The law enforcers are also mostly men with the same mind-set.

Would any sane person say that just because there's a social and cultural ban in some communities against same-gotra marriages, those who defy the norms deserve to be murdered?
There is no moral justification for rape either. It doesn't matter what a man's cultural background is. He can keep his boorish thoughts to himself and learn to respect individual human rights, though it may be news to him that women are human beings too.

Someone please tell me what is the masculine form of the word "slut". We really need to think of the way we keep perpetuating sexist terminology.

B. Women's clothing, be it a burkha or a bikini, is a matter of another topic.
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#23
(06-Jul-2010, 05:01 PM)Swati Wrote: There is no moral justification for rape either. It doesn't matter what a man's cultural background is. He can keep his boorish thoughts to himself and learn to respect individual human rights, though it may be news to him that women are human beings too.

I agree, Swati. In fact, that has been the point we've tried to establish through this entire thread.

Quote:Someone please tell me what is the masculine form of the word "slut". We really need to think of the way we keep perpetuating sexist terminology.

When this thread was created, I was responding to a comment on facebook, and this thread was posted on facebook with a disclaimer that the title is reflective of that comment. The point is that this thread has indeed seen much debate. It is an extremely important topic and has for a long time not gotten the attention it deserves. So, I hope that after the initial shock of the title, there is some good that comes off this.

The title is meant to evoke a clear NO response. It does not perpetuate sexist terminology. It shows us how such terminology is terribly misguided, which should be obvious on reading the posts. I implore you to take the usage in perspective. The use of the word slut in the context of setting the moral imperative in cases of rape, depicting that no such justification can be permissible, has the effect of showing how such language is misguided. This is the opposite of perpetuating it. It has the effect of making us conscious of how such language/behavior is perpetuated/justified.

This part that follows is not in response to anyone in particular:

The statistics on rape are clear. One in six women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. We all know women who have been raped. Over 60% of rapes are unreported. Yet there is absolutely no discussion on this subject. In a community of freethinkers such as ours, we must be able to discuss such subjects without confusing the moral and factual elements involved.

In the reactions on this thread it has become very clear to me that most of us are unable to separate the moral premises from the facts. Until we do this, we will continue to misunderstand such subjects. I must make one thing clear to some of those who have had bad reactions to this thread. As uncomfortable as such subjects are, we cannot avoid discussing them. I will do everything in my power to bring these topics out into the open. I do not care if it makes people uncomfortable. There is too much at stake.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#24
On reading the reactions on this thread it has become very clear to me that most of us are unable to separate the moral premises from the facts. Until we do this, we will continue to misunderstand such subjects. I must make one thing clear to some of those who have had bad reactions to this thread. As uncomfortable as such subjects are, we cannot avoid discussing them. I will do everything in my power to bring these topics out into the open. There is too much at stake for us to ignore the subject.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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