Why is it taboo to discuss the responsibility of victims?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by wynn, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    since you missed it the first time

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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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  5. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    no sam not you, wynn
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member


    Fantastic. I love it
  8. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Yeah...I agree with Arthur on something...

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    THE END IS NEAR!!!!!
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    That's what they do in the hard-core Islamic countries. They take it to an extreme, blame the rape on the woman, and punish her. From what I've read, they seem to accept it as an immutable fact of human nature that all men are repressed, oversexed pigs who will rape any woman they can get their hands on, so of course it must be the woman's duty to either remain cloistered or always be protected by a male family member.

    Of course most of us would be repressed oversexed pigs if we lived in a culture where we can't have sex outside of marriage, even with a willing partner, and where many men will never have enough status and money for some other man to let him marry his daughter. But even then, I wonder how many of us would actually commit rape?

    But back on topic, we in the West are so outraged by this "blame the victim" mentality that we overreact and refuse to ever apportion even the tiniest bit of blame to a rape victim.

    I understand. I don't want women to start dressing more conservatively, behaving less provocatively, and traveling less freely, because a few drunken guys can't control themselves. I would much rather toss those guys in the slammer, for giving us all a bad name. They're an embarrassment to our gender.

    BTW, has anyone noticed whether Muslim men who emigrate to the West commit more rapes than we do? I don't think those guys are any more repressed and oversexed than we are. They're just victims of their culture like the women.
  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Oh come now. You can't dictate mores to another society. Tsk tsk.
  11. Pineal Banned Banned

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  12. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member


    So, tell us chimpkin, is "doing something supremely foolish" right or wrong?
    To wit, should the victim do the same supremely foolish thing again under identical circumstances?

    Here's the reality of life:
    • Criminal responsibility applies to the perpetrator.
    • Mature adult responsibility applies to everyone, including the victim.
    In law, the lack of mature adult responsibility is called "negligence" (carelessness involving inaction) or "recklessness" (carelessness involving action). The term "a reasonable and prudent person" is splattered throughout American law concerning responsibility and negligence and recklessness. When you say that someone did "something supremely foolish", you are saying that they did something without due care — something that "a reasonable and prudent person" would not choose to do — that is, to act negligently or recklessly.
  13. Bells Staff Member

    You mean like leave the house or remain in the company of males when it comes to rape?

    The majority of women are raped by men they know. So if we were to use your logic, women should never ever be in the company of men. Just in case. They should also never leave the house, but remain in a locked house with barred windows and very large attack dogs patrolling the yard.

    Because if women really wish to be "reasonable and prudent", that is what in effect they should be doing.

    Of course, to make this easier and simple, men can simply not rape (same goes for women to simply not rape). But it seems having that kind of expectation may be too much to ask for and so, it falls on the woman to apparently not be reckless and to be prudent and not put herself in a position where she can be raped. Which means not leaving the house, never being in the company of any male (including the males in her family), etc. Just in case.

    Negligence is usally when someone does something wrong. It seems that when it comes to rape, the woman can never do anything right because if a woman expects or desires to live her life like a normal human being and not like a prisoner in her own home and remain completely alone all of her life, then according to some, she is somewhat reckless and not being "prudent" and is thus complicit in her own sexual assault..
  14. Pineal Banned Banned

    And girls are most likely to be raped by male family members. So a good start at preventing rape would be isolating male family members from their daughters and sisters.
  15. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    That standard applies when someone else is harmed by your actions or lack thereof. That standard is applied to a perpetrator of negligence, say a landlord who lets a tenant fall through a chronically-unfixed staircase...or to the perpetrator of reckless behavior, for instance- a joyriding teen who slams her car into another car running a light.

    Those standards do not apply when you are assaulted, robbed, ripped off, scammed, etc.

    Pardon for the long C&P, but I thought this item, which bells linked but is all over the 'net, needed to be inthread:

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Essentially what you are saying is that any woman who dares to wear something "sexy" in public might as well just hang a sign around her neck saying "Come and get me, men! You're free to rape me if you want!"

    Am I right?

    Because they feel - irrationally - that they were partly responsible. That they could have done something to stop the crime from happening.

    Why are you so keen to blame the victims of rape?

    What kind of less-than-noble intention regarding sex do you think your average 4-year-old girl might have, wynn?


    Negligence is a civil action. Rape is a criminal offence. Nobody contributes to their own rape. Nobody wants to be raped or asks to be raped.

    To take an analogy, suppose that for whatever reason you decide to leave your car unlocked while it is parked in a "bad" area. Suppose it is stolen. The perpetrator is caught and arrested and put on trial.

    Do you think it would be reasonable for the thief to get a reduced sentence, say, because you left your car unlocked? i.e. your "contributory negligence" somehow caused the theft?

    Some kind of evidence or citation of the source of this bizarre claim would be good. Otherwise, it looks a lot like racism.
  17. Bells Staff Member


    You really must get with the program.

    Women have to take all precautions and well, do everything necessary to blend into the environment and never ever bring attention to themselves, never be seen if they have to venture from the house. Because, well, men should not be made to not rape women. It is that simple. But the Japanese are on the ball.

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    To ward off criminals, fashion designer Aya Tsukioka has conjured up some neat transforming clothes/accessories to deceive potential muggers. Whether there would be time to get your kit out in an attack is probably something we would not want to test out, but the concept makes for one kick-ass gallery; check it out below:

    Examples include a skirt that transforms the wearer into a nondescript vending machine (yes, seriously) and the unfortunately titled Manhole Bag, which converts a lady's handbag into what appears to be a sewer cover with the contents kept safe inside.

    That's right ladies.. If a man is about to rape you, confuse him and turn yourself into a vending machine! Failure to do so means you are complicit in your rape and share responsibility in being raped.
  18. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

    Bells, I never advocated anything you have said here about me. You're taking this to the extreme and putting words/logic in my mouth. Why don't you add "chastity belts" to your list of imaginary logic? And speaking of very large attack dogs, I worked in underwriting in America for Allianz who must refuse you homeowners' insurance if you had even one, small, aggressive dog.

    No Bells, my post apparently did not register with you. Negligence does not refer to when "someone does something wrong", it refers to when "someone fails to do something right" — fails to act responsibly — and the "something right" is "being reasonable and prudent". I have studied law, and I am published in law, and I know what I'm talking about.


    So chimpkin, before we get into your latest post, is "doing something supremely foolish" right or wrong?
    To wit, should the victim do the same "supremely foolish" thing again under identical circumstances?

    And seriously, if you practice what you preach, you should call your insurance company and find out if they insure your property for loss if you leave your car (or home) unlocked and unattended.

    In some parts of the civilized world, negligence toward securing one's car has become a crime! From Allianz in Australia:
    Legally, the standards for recklessness and negligence also apply when you are harmed. Here's an example from Maryland:

    Here's another example from Nevada:
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    No. This is an analysis far too simplistic.

    If a person is truly innocent, they do not feel guilty, ashamed, nor hate themselves.

    The only issue is what exactly are they innocent of, and what exactly they feel ashamed about or guilty for.

    Let us take the example with the black man who gets assaulted, and who afterwards feels guilty, ashamed, or hates himself.

    If he concludes "I was assaulted because I am black," then the shame and guilt he feels about being assaulted are possibly actually the shame, guilt, self-hatred that he already feels for being black.
    The assault just, very painfully, emphasizes the guilt, shame or self-hatred that the person already feels.

    Further, many people believe "I am in control of what happens to me."
    For years, this kind of reasoning has been promoted by the popular culture and the self-help movement too.

    And yet reality teaches us that this is not so.

    The shame, guilt and self-hatred that a victim - any victim - feels after the crime has been committed, possibly pertains to exactly this mistaken belief that they should have been able to prevent it.

    The difficulty with hardship and violence is that when they happen, it is difficult to think clearly and act wisely.

    So when under durress, people sometimes, possibly often, wrongly connect what exactly is about what exactly.
    This is true about victims as well as observers.

    But I am not.
    Can't you see that?

    Probably none about sex, but possibly some not so useful ones as far as interactions with people are concerned.

    For example, children sometimes still think it is not so wrong to go with a stranger who offers candy.
    A belief that can have devastating consequences when acted upon.

    I have emphasized several times that the issue is not legal or penal responsibility of the victim!

    The fact is that even if the law apprehends and sentences the perpetrator, this does not automatically make the pain go away for the victim.

    In order for the victim to recover, they have to find ways to think and act about the experienced violence that allows them to move on with their lives.

    This is especially clear when we consider that the law may not be able to punish the perpetrator.
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I think this applies on the legal, practical level, but also on the philosophical/psychological level.

    For example, it is irresponsible to walk around hating oneself or other people.

    This hate may provoke other people to attack one; but more importantly, it will certainly make it much more difficult for oneself to cope with the assault afterwards.

    All traditional religions advocate an attitude of goodwill and harmlessness toward oneself and others.
    And they do so for good reason!
  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I suppose the taboo around discussing the responsibility of victims is due to people not willing to or being overchallenged by analyzing their own intentions and actions.
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    There's a saying -

    Your name is not the name people call you,
    your name is the one you respond to.

    If you are black and someone assaults you, claiming "Die, nigger!" are you under an obligation to believe that the reason they assaulted you is because you are black, and that it therefore follows that if you weren't black, you wouldn't be assaulted?

    No, you are under no such obligation.

    You are free to interpret the assault in many ways.

    You do not have the accept that the motivation for the assault was whatever the perpetrator claims it was, or what the media claims, or whatever the first thought coming to your mind says.

    You have the responsibility and the choice to find a wise explanation for what happened.
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I would feel guilty in the first case, and have.

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