Victim-Blaming Alcohol Ad Pulled in PA


Suddenly I want a t-shirt that says "Don't rape me, bro".
Thank you Cienna! I'm sure your myopic feminist dogma will keep girls safer than showing what can really happen when you pass out in a frat house.
So, I’m apparently not a feminist killjoy… here goes:

If I put my kids in their room for bed and left the window open and someone comes in the window and takes my kids, it wouldn’t be my fault. But why the hell would I take that risk? If I could take non-extraordinary steps to prevent my worst nightmare, wouldn’t I be short-sighted not to? Yes, someone could still break the window to get in, but at least I’m not making it easier for him.

I KNOW that it is never a woman’s fault for being raped. But if there were a few non-extraordinary steps she could take to at least attempt to prevent, why wouldn’t she? Ideally we’d have a society in which a woman would never have to fear of being raped but we don’t. So why is it bad to tell women to be smart?

And also telling men that if they rape someone, they will be castrated?
I am seriously ambivalent about these ads.

I mean, I take the point of all the people outraged by victim-blaming. It is true that, as a message, "Don't rape" is far underserved compared to "Don't get raped," and that isn't a healthy situation for women.

On the other hand, "Here's how to not get raped" can still be useful so long as rapists exist, and "Be smart about your situation before you relinquish control of yourself" is actually good, important advice.

These ads might be symptomatic of poorly adjusted social attitudes, granted, but I can't help but think the uproar is all out of proportion. Normally sensibly liberal people, the kind of people who are all in favor of needle exchanges, say, are losing their shit over this particular form of harm reduction.

Would it have been acceptable if, rather than pulling the ads, they had also run counterparts in which the scenario was a young guy who got drunk at a party, raped a girl, and ended up guilt-wracked and in prison? Is "Don't get raped" a tolerable message if "Don't rape" is also included?
@ 3, there are other ways to encourage people to take safety precautions without making a public statement that perpetuates (if even unwittingly) victim blaming. It might make more sense to use a billboard to shame rapists who use alcohol to hurt women.

Would it have been acceptable if, rather than pulling the ads, they had also run counterparts in which the scenario was a young guy who got drunk at a party, raped a girl, and ended up guilt-wracked and in prison? Is "Don't get raped" a tolerable message if "Don't rape" is also included?

I'd love to see an ad campaign like that. Has there ever been one?
@4, I'm not sure that the average guy is a six pack away from raping a girl. The shame rapists feel when sitting in the slammer I assume is because he got caught, and solely that reason.
that glasses idea sounds like a winner.
The fact is, women live in a world surrounded by rapists. You can think that's terrible, which it is, and you can even pretend that it's not true, but it is. And young women in particular are extremely likely to put themselves in situations where they are surrounded by potential rapists, because these potential rapists are also their potential mates, and there really isn't any way to tell the difference until it's too late.

So it does in fact make sense to tell these young women to watch out for themselves, especially if they are vulnerable young women exploring somewhat risky social situations for the first time (i.e., college students). Especially when those social situations involve many young people's first forays into unsupervised drinking. No one else is going to do it for them, and they need to learn that.

Yes, in a perfect world, young college-age men wouldn't be rapists or potential rapists. This isn't a perfect world. They are. Telling them not to be doesn't work, especially when the entire culture at most universities revolves around producing and coddling highly-trained 300-pound athletes. Learning how to protect yourself does, or at least increases your odds.

Remember too that learning how to drink in this country, especially for young women, usually involves episodes of total incapacitation. Total incapacitation around fundamentally untrustworthy, unregulated people, i.e., college-age men, is a bad, bad idea.

What women should be doing is learning how to manage their own lives instead of letting others manage them for them, how to fight, and how to watch out for each other.
I agree w/@3 and can't see how the ads are victim blaming. If you drink too much, you can get into trouble (not just rape; being mugged, assaulted, etc).

My friend and I got mugged walking home after a show. We got mugged because it was late at night and a not very safe neighborhood. We didn't *deserve* to get mugged because we walked thru an unsafe neighborhood late at night. But the *reason* we did get mugged is because we walked thru an unsafe neighborhood late at night. It's not "victim blaming" to point out the reason why something happened to you.

"Don't drink yourself into a black-out" is a public health message that transcends gender. There is no need to bring rape into the equation.

I also wonder what happened to the "no means no" message that seemed to be more prevalent in years past. It shouldn't be that difficult to make anti-rape ads that put the emphasis on the need for firm, unwavering consent and that remind guys of the (lega/criminal) consequences of rape.
@10 If the reason is something the victim did, then yes, it is.
Rapists don't need alcohol to exist, but it definitely helps.
Don't tell people to not walk around in Central Park at night, tell muggers not to mug.

For fuck sakes, there's a difference between blame and levels of reasonable caution.
Uuuuuuuugh. Especially weirded out since the overall design reminds me of vintage oughts Stranger covers...
Why do we tell people to take steps to avoid being victims of mugging, but we never make public service announcements telling criminals not to commit robbery? Why are we blaming the mugging victims?
@14 The difference is that most -all?- muggers do not know their victims. Most rape victims know their assailant personally. A lot of rape happens because guys are simply not aware that what they are doing is wrong.
@3 I think you're burying the lede here Allyn. Where can one obtain these amazing magical child abduction preventing windows?
Ah, so the years of ads cautioning gay men that sex while high increased the odds of getting HIV were victim-blaming?
I don't disagree with the ad with the fervor others might. I do think that Cienna makes a really good point that our society does not do enough to discourage abusive, predatory male behavior. Women are often sexually objectified by commercial advertising and then suggested that not being raped is totally up to them. Well, Fnarf and the other commenters are right that young women need to be educated about the risks of making themselves vulnerable in various situations. That’s an important point.

But young men need to learn not to condone sexually aggressive behaviors of their peers. Men also need to be reminded much more than they are that taking advantage of someone who is under the influence is indeed rape, wrong, and shameful.
@19, Not inherently. But someone could skew it that way with the right (or wrong) manipulations.
@14 THANK YOU. Well formulated information programs at colleges should/do draw attention to this fact; crime is generally not random, especially with regards to rape/sexual assault.

This is victim-blaming, pure and simple. If anyone here cannot grasp that obvious and insulting fact, I suggest you educate yourselves.

@3/10 You still define the issue: the rape of women, in terms of what the women should be doing, rather than any number of institutions, media outlets, etc. I don't blame you, or anyone, in particular. This is a social construct that must be dismantled and doing so will take time. But I urge you, the next time you hear of a rape or sexual assault in the news, interrogate your reaction. If your first thoughts involving the victim are something like:
1. What was she wearing?
2. Was she high/drunk?
3. Was she single?
4. How late was it/what neighborhood was she in?

Then it may be worth reexamining your own framework for understanding these heinous and oppressive acts. Because I would hope, in an egalitarian society, our first reaction might simply be:
1. Is she okay/what can we do to help?
But women are already taking measures to prevent themselves. But since the only time anyone will convict a rapist is if you are:
a: White, a virgin under 14, has never worn clothing which might be considered suggestive
b: if you are also brutally beaten in the process of being raped. And White.

I can be going about my day like any other person, even actively trying to prevent rape, and I can give you an example of how someone could justify my rape as being my fault.

The problem with ads like these are it gives rapists one more reason why it was ok to rape her. Well she was drunk, which everyone KNOWS puts you at risk for rape, so that means she must have been looking for sex. Not my fault, she was dressed like a slut!! She clearly wanted it. If she didn't want to get raped, she shouldn't have drank so much.

Messages like these reinforce rape culture. I know PLENTY of women who weren't drunk when they were raped. My sobriety does not ensure that some idiot brodudes won't get drunk and decide that I'm a target.

Yeh, I'm with those guys. Frickin' Tuba Man shouldn't have been out at a bus stop at night alone. Those cops that got gunned down? They shouldn't have been eatin' pie at the end of their coffee break without wearing body armor. And that guy at the gas station mini-mart down the street who got shot by the stupid teenager in the robbery? No way the teenager would have shot him down if he had had bullet proof glass around the checkout area like a bank. Some people would say Vega was to blame too because he had "electronics" showing and everybody knows that people with "electronics" are vulnerable.

Blip @11,12 Great comments

Hey, GUYS, if the guys are so unable to stop themselves from raping defenseless girls and women, why aren't their public service adds about how any man can turn out to be a rapist, so don't trust them?

I guess it's just the difference between where one wants to set the bar.

A vanishing small number of men who commit rape didn't know what they were doing was wrong, evidenced by the fact that most rapists are repeat offenders.
Oh, how we long for the day that a young co-ed could drink herself into a black-out with no fear of rape.

No we don't. Young women (or men for that matter) shouldnt be drinking to the point of blackout.

There is a difference, however, to a young man waking up to sharpie drawings on his face and a celebratory Youtube video or entry and a young woman waking up to stranger(s) jizz dripping from her pussy. Just saying.
@7, for one thing you really didn't answer my questions; but to address your point, maybe "the average guy" plus beer doesn't equal a rapist, but, well... I don't know how much time you've spent around young men lately, especially certain demographics of young men in which attitudes encourage aggressive confidence, sexism, and heavy drinking.

I spent some time in frat row over the last few years, visiting someone, and while a lot of the guys there were absolutely stand-up, I heard plenty of anger, casual misogyny, machismo, and libido to make me think there's a significant minority of these normal young guys who could pretty easily end up being rapists if the circumstances enabled it and their judgment was impaired.

I also saw enough incidents of theft, mayhem, and property damage committed by dumb-ass drunks to make me quite certain that a whole lot of people were absolutely not just impairing but entirely abnegating their judgment on a nightly basis.

I think a "Don't get drunk and rape" campaign might be a pretty good idea, actually.
@25 To refine that point, most rapists believe they won't suffer any negative consequences for their behavior.
@19 Uh, dude or dudette, sex while high doesn't increase the chance of getting HIV. Sex while high, however, can increase your chances of making a bad decision, like having sex without a condom. Increase your chances of making a decision and harming yourself. (Unless you are suggesting that being raped is equivalent to having sex without a condom...)

A real analogy to this rape public service message would be: don't get too high or you might get raped by someone with HIV who isn't wearing a condom. But that wasn't the service message.
No, Xenos, my reaction is never to ask “what was she wearing?” Usually my inner thoughts lie along the lines of “being male should be illegal” and wondering why castration is not a typical punishment for sex crimes.

Look, I want a world where women have true rights and freedoms; not only for myself and other women, but for my daughters and nieces. Women should be able to drink and not expect rape. But we live in a society where rape is not rare.

Yep, we need to make rape-prevention a man’s job. But in the meantime, we need to protect each other from rapists. And if educating young women about the types of behaviors that put them at a higher risk for abuse will help prevent even one rape, then that’s not a bad thing.

That, and castrating rapists.
@26 Yes, we do "long for the day that a young co-ed could drink herself into a black-out with no fear of rape."

You are suggesting pretty clearly here that women who drink themselves into a blackout deserve punishment for their failings. That is a different argument from the argument about where to set the bar for what is a reasonable amount of precaution.
Good, they were nasty and useless.
@ 27, my response to your comment @ 4, was short but your overall point was well taken. Like I said, I get where you and Fnarf are coming from, it’s realistic. I guess I don’t like to see alcohol scapegoated in every anti rape ad. Perhaps a shift away from blaming booze all the time might be an ad that shows a few frat looking guys pictured on a sex offender registry next to a blank photo reminding that unwanted sex is rape and that their photo could be in that ad as well. Or something that shows the humanity of the victims reminding that the girl at the party is someone's daughter, maybe someone's future wife or mother - she's her own person whose life will be forever altered by the harm hurt caused to her.

I too have spent a lot of time recently around young men, being one myself still involved with athletics. I see your observations too. And so yes, I agree that ads like the one posted make an important point but needs to be counter balanced for there to be a culture shift that doesn’t so heavily place the focus of bad decision making on the victim.
ganesh doesnt have enough arms for the number of j/o motions i want to give some of you guys.
You want to know what one statistic correlates with nearly every serious crime? (Well. Okay. Other than happening on planet earth.)?

Alcohol intoxication. The victim of a crime. The perpetrator of a crime; Somewhere in the commission of that crime there is somebody drunk. This is not a controversial fact.

Back in the day I taught self defense courses and worked pretty closely with LEO's. We taught several courses to participants who were mainly survivors of sexual assault. It was difficult to both give them real world tools and, considering that reality, not be insensitive. When concluded the courses were rated and the more factual and realistic the scenarios we used the higher (more effective) the participants rated the course.

I don't think this ad is that out of line except perhaps in tone and it's rather objectifying imagery. But in message it is pretty much right. Personal risk assessment is crucial to avoiding any kind of assault.

@31, no one is suggesting blame. No one is suggesting that anyone "deserves what they get". We are merely pointing out that some (though not all) tragedies are avoidable by taking precautions.

One of those precautions ought to be "stay the hell away from the football and basketball teams at all times" (because if you are raped by a football or basketball player you have no legal protection; they are allowed to do it). And "know where your sisters are".

The best "don't rape" or "don't have sex with unconscious girls" PSA in the world isn't going to protect you half as much as awareness of your surroundings is. Does it suck that you have to worry about this? Yes. Does that suck as much as being raped? No. Protect yourself.
I'd agree with Cienna's sentiment at the end of her post, except for one thing: if alcohol fueled rape is as rampant as the statistic says, and if the goal is to prevent rapes, then something a little more hard hitting than a beer glass demanding coherent thought on the part of drunk would-be male rapists is merited.
Thing is, often the woman is drunk AND they guy is drunk. And while drunk guys SHOULD know when consent has been given, they often don't. That's just reality. Is the goal here to prevent rape, or fuss over blame?
I think this ad does blame the victim some. And that's terrible. But it also is kinda shocking in a good way too. I'm on the fence.
Here's the thing about PSAs that seek to "educate" women about what they can do to "prevent" rape: those messages are RAMPANT in our society. I cannot remember a time when I have not been taught that I am a potential victim and I need to do XY and Z (and A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, KLMNOPQRSTUV) to keep myself safe. If you list out the things that you, as a woman, are told to do to "prevent" being a victim, it's paralyzing. So adding to that overwhelming list of life-limiting things you "should" do to prevent being a victim (never walk alone at night! never walk alone during the day! stay away from strange men! walk where there are other people! keep you keys in your hands sticking out between your fingers so you can gouge an attacker! and so on!) is not especially helpful.

Of course, I know this correlates with the same insistant pressure that men have gotten their whole lives that there are steps they need to take to make sure that they and their friends are not rapists.

According to the logic here, anything that advises women on how to protect themselves from rape is a form of victim blaming.

For example, Home Alive used to recommend that women take self-defense classes, but that implies women who don't know how to fight have it coming. Good thing they shut down, I guess.

And beer glasses that say "Don't Rape Me" imply that women without such a glass are fair game. Way to blame the victim, Cienna.
@36 Fnarf: womyn2me @26 was clearly suggesting that a woman blackout drunk deserves what happens as a result of her being more vulnerable.

I believe you are sincerely coming from a different perspective and that you would agree that vulnerable people should be safe from predators, but that you believe that since there are predators in the real world people should be educated to make themselves less vulnerable and take steps to make themselves less vulnerable.

The problem is where the line is. We don't tell the elderly not to leave their homes without body guards or blame them if they get robbed or run over because they are more vulnerable. Some people believe women should be seen in a similar light: that they shouldn't have to justify their right not to be victims. So the question is whether your perspective unfairly equates women drinking to an elderly person walking alone a night in a high crime area openly counting thousands of dollars in cash.

For heavens sakes. The problem most of us have with this is that women KNOW this. They've been told this - it's been hammered into most of us - from the time we were nubile, or even before. Exelizabeth is right. Where is the constant societal drumbeat against Bro Culture, against the men who choose to commit a horrid crime of violence? Where are all the PSAs telling frat guys that date rapists are losers, assholes? Where are the ads teaching men from a young age that clothing does not equal consent? shaming men who heckle, catcall, harass, stalk, and assault?
While the victim blaming is not good, I am more concerned that they choose a picture that absent the context would be kind of hot.

If, for some reason, someone was running an ad about how hot and fun date rape and drinking too much are they could use this exact same ad words and all. Hell even the website url has a pro-rape connotation since rape is all about control.
@42, I think I have made my views on Bro Culture extremely clear.

But, you know, when the giant testosterone-poisoned football player dopes your drink and rapes you unconscious in the ass in the mud outside the frat house, and people see you, but no one says anything, and the university marshals an entire army of lawyers and coaches and PR people and smarmy liars from the university president right on down to the supervisor of janitors to ensure that your case never goes anywhere, and the beloved top prosecutor in the county tells your mother, hey, you're lucky, she's still alive, but THIS IS FOOTBALL, and even to this day nobody wants to hear the story, and all of the people who made it possible are rich and successful in their careers, and the same shit goes on every day all over the country and they keep giving them more accolades and more money, you know that in the real world you're on your own. I hear you. But you have to protect yourself.

Because if the PSA was honest it would say "Look: he's going to get away with it. The sons of bitches always do."
I parked my car by Safeco field over a weekend with $2000 on the front seat in plain site and damn it, through NO fault of mine the window was broken and the money stolen.

It wasn't my fault in any way. I didn't steal the money. I didn't ask the person who did to steal it. It just happened, through no fault of mine at all. Anyone telling me I should have taken the money with me, or at least chucked it into the glovebox, is a victim blaming asshole!

(Obviously, this didn't happen. Because I'm an adult aware of my surroundings, I wouldn't do anything that stupid.)

But that's what this stupid argument sounds like to rational people. Yeah, guys who sexually assault women drunk or sober should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. ?Absolutely, rape is horrible and any social acceptance of it in the context of 'the crazy drunk girl who totally wanted it if she hadn't passed out, dude' should be curtailed. But seriously, this is designed to HELP women. How about imbibing some alchoholic beverage yourself, Madrid, and easing off a bit of the prickly defensive feminist schtick?
@45 The thing with all those comparisons people make is that those are not activities anyone would want to do. There is no particular reason to store money on your car seat. There are however many reasons why a women might want to go out and have a some drinks. Maybe even more than some drinks. A better comparison would be ads against theft that tell people to buy cheaper cars and not wear nice watches.

Well that and comparing women and their bodies to material objects is a bit in poor taste.
"Well that and comparing women and their bodies to material objects is a bit in poor taste. "

nd it's that kind of unwarranted deliberate misinterpretation of what others are saying that makes extremist feminists SO popular.

As for suppposedly having some innate right to get blind stupid drunk without any possible negative consequences, I don't know what planet you live on, but it ain't this one.
This ad is an excellent idea, in the context of a lot of other approaches. Every year there's a new crop of naive young girls who need to be educated about the dangers of mixing alcohol with horny young guys.
The majority of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.
The majority of rapes are committed at the victim's home or in the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative.
Women who wear burqas are raped.
Women who are in uniform are raped (at twice the rate at civilians in the States.)
Children are raped.
Old people are raped.
Men are raped.

Telling women not to get drunk alone does nothing to prevent the majority of rapes because it can only be stopped by stopping rapists, not by policing the actions of their victims.

A sexy ad warning women not to rape themselves-weird, gross, typical.
I like Fnarf's idea of encouraging young women not to drink with jocks and to look out for other women.
Maybe colleges could post pics of the football team with the caption, "If these guys rape you, you're fucked and we don't care. Dont't drink with jocks"
@46: Well said!
@47: You mad.
giffy pointed out that you compared women to material objects, which you DID by your analogy of the stolen money. Never in that post was it said that you are disrespecting women, but rather that your phrasing was potentially offensive and poorly chosen.
Nobody is claiming that we have a right to inebriation without consequences; we all know about hangovers. What giffy was saying is that there are good reasons one might get shitfaced, whereas there is no sane reason to leave two grand on your passenger seat.
Don't get your panties in a twist, Seattleblues.
@48, how about advising those horny young guys to, y'know, not rape?
And once again, a reminder to Fnarf and others: If you find yourself on the same side of an argument as Seattle Blues, you might want to rethink your position.

Except about dogs. Dang it, he's usually right about the responsibilities of dog owners.
Those who would call ads like this "victim blaming" are enabling rapists and should feel ashamed of themselves, if shame could somehow get past the smugness.
@51 You know I was going to respond to @47 like it was a real comment, then the room stopped spinning long enough for me to read the username and I realized that's your territory.

@54 For the sake of my sanity I'm going to file that under 'troll' and move on.

Anyone here looking to understand how our current understanding of rape (on full display here) is harmful and counterproductive should read some of the works of Jessica Valenti, especially "Yes Means Yes," she's witty, engaging, and informative.

@34 Five-Star fucking post!
I'd like to see dudes being taught to use the buddy system to make sure they don't rape anyone.

Also, are the legs in the ad under discussion meant to depict an adult female? They read teen/older adolescent to me.
@34: Try the Hekatonkheires.
I love this @50 : [C]olleges could post pics of the football team with the caption, "If these guys rape you, you're fucked and we don't care. Dont't drink with jocks"

Hold it: I am, really, saying that women over 21have the right to get falling over blackout drunk. And they have the right to get falling over blackout drunk and not be raped. And women must take the consequences of things that they themselves do, actions they take, like driving drunk, shooting someone, getting arrested and busting a high heel kicking out the backdoor window of a cop car, etc.

They really have that right. And many of you are saying clearly that that right should not be respected or legally protected in the same way it is for men. And, of course, it already isn't.
Look, dumbfuck. My point is not that women should be able to get blackout drunk in perfect safety. NO ONE SHOULD GET BLACK OUT DRUNK. Period. The Consequences for women can be horrible.
It isn't useful to talk about blame. If there are steps women can take to protect themselves, they should do them. It's no good to say "tell the men not to rape" if it means "tell the women they can't do anything to protect themselves, let the men control this issue." You can only control your own actions.

This happened to a friend of mine, it sucks. They guy did it to more than just her, and got away with it of course.
@59 Womyn2me: you just said it again. Did you mean to say it again or is your second sentence missing a "not" somewhere. I only harped on this again because others besides you said the same thing. Now I'm doing it again because you did it again, but I'm assuming you made a little slip there.
I'm confused...this ad fails to explain how to stop the frat boys who slapped my ass in the Trader Joe's parking lot last week??? Last I checked, that was a sexually-based assault, and while no where near rape, must have been my fault, right? Wait, I got it...while I had not consumed any yet, I had purchased beer with my groceries, therefore implying that I wanted to get drunk and screw the nearest dick(s). Also, I was alone in a parking garage...oh, and I was wearing those jeans that make my ass look good...yes, yes, I was sending every single signal in the book that I was down to fuck! Alcohol =/= to sexual interest in you; dress (of any kind, I have been harassed and assaulted wearing any manner of clothing) =/= to sexual interest in you; proximity to you (hanging out at your house, for example) =/= to sexual interest in you. A clear expression of sexual interest, such as "hey, I like you" or "why don't we have sex" = sexual interest in you. Moreover, letting you know that we have no sexual interest in you is NOT an invitation to just take what you want anyway, or make an attempt to publicly humiliate us. How hard is this...would you just walk into someone's house without a clear invitation? Then why is it okay to enter a woman's body without a clear invitation to do so?
What I think is really creepy about this ad is that it isn't just, "Don't drink too much; it increases your chances of getting raped," it's, "Don't let your friends drink too much; it increases their chances of getting raped." It's not even just blaming the victim, it's blaming the friends of the victim. That's not offensive so much as it's bizarre.
Why isn't there a companion ad saying "Becoming a Rapist; See what could happen when you and your friends drink too much."

There is far too much focus on victims of rape, as if rape were this natural phenomenon that just "happens" when a woman isn't on guard enough. Allyn @3 says, "I KNOW that it is never a woman’s fault for being raped. But if there were a few non-extraordinary steps she could take to at least attempt to prevent, why wouldn’t she?" This is a common, though well-meaning, misunderstanding. All we ever talk about is how women "get raped" or could take steps to prevent it, like it's getting a virus that one could avoid if only we washed our hands more. When we focus on the victims of rape, as though they're the victims of flood or earthquakes, we don't focus on the agency and actions of the people doing the raping. And it's understandable why we want to do this. It's not like it's just one evil guy assaulting thousands of women ever year. Most rapists and sexual predators are just average guys; they are our brothers and fathers and uncles and sons and husbands.

If, on an annual basis, 97,000 people between the ages of 18-25 are sexually assaulted, it means there's roughly the same number of people doing the assaulting. And if alcohol is fueling this behaviour and diminishing people's inhibitions such that they assault and rape others, then that's the behaviour and audience that ads like these should be targeting.
@64 et al.

No matter how many campaigns there are, no matter how many culture changes we make, no matter how many feel-good educational seminars you give...there are always going to be dickholes who are going to sexually assault a woman or a man. Period. Sure, you can argue about attempting to diminish those numbers through these hippy dippy methods, but it won't ever take the number down to zero. If that were the case, would we have murderers still? The vast majority of people know that murder is wrong, but there are some who still do it.

Having messages of prevention is even more important than having messages of prevention. When you see videos warning you not to walk to your car alone late night because there have been a rash of muggings, do you see that as victim blaming? When you see people telling other people to not fuck strangers all the time, or at least to always use a condom because you may end up fucking a Poz guy who is lying about his status to bareback you, do you see that as victim blaming? Why is it that the crimes of rape and sexual assault get special status as being worthy of "don't tell me how to live my life or else you're blaming the victim"? Why can't you tell a girl (or guy) anymore not to get completely blitzed with complete strangers without getting accused of victim blaming?

Yes, living in fear sucks. And, sorry that you're the target of a sex who is, generally, bigger stronger than you. That really sucks. Sorry about that. But, unfortunately, there are assholes out there, there will always be assholes out there. Rape and sexual assault isn't anything new. Unfortunately. But, having signs with a warning of "don't get blitzed if want to be able to ward off any potential rapists you may be drinking with" is not inherently victim blaming.
i'm digging the subthread here calling for a companion ad that implores men to not rape, and that suggests that they are losers if they do.
@65 What if the majority of robberies where committed by someone you knew and not a stranger coming in the dark? What would you recommend as a prevention tip then? Because that's what rape is like. Unless you are recommending that women never associate with men, none of these so called prevention tips do jack shit and just perpetuate society's idea that you can and you were foolish to not see the nasty predator for what he was. That is why it is victim blaming.
@65 Um...there ARE people who do steal from their friends, especially if they're drug addicts. Keep your valuables locked up and don't give the key to random people, and don't pass out when there are people you barely know in your house. Other sources of protection from robberies: bar your windows lock your doors, and don't leave your keys laying around.

I'm not saying that prevention tips are 100% effective. But neither is telling a rapist not to rape. Telling a girl not to go to a fraternity party because there are probably some assholes at the party waiting for you to black out so they can rape you is far more effective than telling guys not to rape. Telling anybody not to rape or murder is about as useful as telling underage kids not to fuck or drink. If a guy is truly inclined to rape, no amount of messaging will prevent him from assaulting somebody.

Giving out prevention tips is not victim blaming. In fact, calling prevention tips victim blaming is perpetuating a society of reckless non-accountability. And, it will lead to more women taking more risks putting themselves in shitty situations and having a higher risk of assault.

And, again, I'm not saying that prevention tips are 100% effective. I wish more women were open about their assaults, so we could judge people correctly. I once scored a temp summer job where the boss of the small group also assaulted a woman in my circle of friends. I got this job through that same circle of friends, and he worked his way into the group until the woman reluctantly informed us of his assault in which he broke her fucking arm. His ass was kicked to the curb so fast after that. This guy was in her previous circle of friends and she didnt file charges, but also cut off contact...that is until he wedged himself in this group. It was a completely sober at home one-on-one situation that no amount of rape-prevention tips or anti-rape messaging would have stopped. So, we can never prevent rape 100% of the time. But, you can protect yourself as much as possible by not incapacitating yourself or putting yourself in a shitty situation. Assault happens enough as it is.

Or, is risk reduction still victim blaming?
@68: Yes, in this case, "risk reduction" is still victim blaming, and here's why: rape is not a natural consequence of getting drunk and passing out at a frat party, no matter how much you'd like to cling to this idea that "rapists gonna rape". The alcohol that fuels the rape is the alcohol is the GUY'S system, not the girl's.
"Or, is risk reduction still victim blaming?"

Depending on how you go about it, yes. Absolutely. You can attempt to "risk reduce" and still come off snotty and paternalistic-shaming.
@ 65 Because, if you act like an idiot and get mugged or get HIV or get run over or get murdered by a serialkiller, people are going to think that you are an idiot, but no one is going to claim, that you must have wanted to get mugged.
If you get raped after acting in a way that some people find irresponsible, people are going to claim that you must have wanted the sex. Because 'everyone knows' that getting drunk at a frat party means a much higher risk at getting raped, so if a girl went to a frat party and get shitfaced, that must mean that she wanted to get raped. Right? That is why it is called victim blaming when we're talking about rape and not when where talking about other kinds of crime.
If they find the person who mugged you, you can be sure that he will be punished, even if he claims that you gave him your wallet freely. If they find the person who raped you, he can probably get out of it by claiming that the sex was consensual, as long as he did not beat you into a pulp.

Also, as 38 pointed out, women allready know this shit. It's not like there's a lack of 'advice' out there for women about how not to get raped. And if I should follow all of it, I should spend my life locked up in my apartment with all the windows nailed shut (they're climbing in your windows, remember), just sitting with a shotgun pointed at the door. I prefer to live my life, even if that means taking some risks.
@69 Just as robbery is not a natural consequence of walking alone late at night in a sketchy neighborhood. But, you would tell somebody they probably shouldn't walk around alone in the middle of a crime-ridden neighborhood, wouldn't you? You'd tell somebody that, if they're going to be walking in certain neighborhoods, they should probably walk in pairs, be aware of their surroundings, and watch out for assholes who will take advantage of their situation, right?

And, I'm not clinging to the idea that "rapists gonna rape." Because, really, they are. Sorry. It's true. You can't stop it. You can jail them afterwards. But, there are always going to be assaulting assholes, and new ones pop up every damned day. It's sad. But, true. And, the alcohol in the GIRL'S system (see, I can capitalize for emphasis too) makes her more VULNERABLE to an attacker, not the alcohol in the guy's system. Vulnerability should be reduced at all costs. And, whether that's by drinking in groups, or not blacking out, or learning some sort of martial art, it doesn't matter. The main goal is prevention. And, as much as you'd like to put the onus on everybody else to do good - treat your fellow man as you want to be treated, etc - that's just not going to happen. And, telling a woman to protect themselves is not blaming the victim. It's telling them to be wary and alert so that they can fight back.
@72: " And, telling a woman to protect themselves is not blaming the victim. "

As with all in life, it's not what you say but how you say it. The more you avoid this possibility, the more dense you come off as.
@73 Not NEARLY as dense as most of the shriekers on this damned post saying that there should never be any safety tips or warnings as all safety tips are "Blaming the Victim." And that women should never have to look out for themselves no matter what. Yes, it's the rapist's fault, but women shouldn't actively put themselves in shitty situations and hope for the best because, you know what, there may be a rapist around. And, there's enough of those assholes that do things when you're fully aware.

Tone schmone, all you bitchy women who think that warnings are always blaming the victim need to get your heads examined and realize that women protecting themselves is not an evil idea.
There are three problems with "risk-reduction" strategies that have been fragmentally addressed here, but I'll pull them all together, for the sake of saying it again.

The first of these problems is that "risk-reduction" strategies often amount to telling women that they can't live a normal life. It's probably a good idea to not get pass-out-level drunk ever, much less at a stranger's house or sketchy bar, but "risk-reduction" strategies go far beyond that. Going out alone is a standard prohibition women hear from a young age. I don't just mean going out and getting drunk alone, I mean waiting alone for a friend or date at a restaurant or bar; going to the grocery store alone at least at night, if not all the time; getting in a cab alone late at night; heck, even going out on a date alone if the dude isn't your long-term boyfriend. Okay, so what am I supposed to do if the DH is out of town and I need to go grocery shopping and that shopping involves parking in a parking garage and/or going after dark? What if I go out with my girlfriends...should I risk the cab or the public transit/walk alone to get home? None of my friends live with me, so, I guess I just shouldn't go out, since the cab, the subway, and the walk are all "putting myself in danger?" What if I fly home from travel late at night (that I probably shouldn't have done know what kind of RISK I'm putting myself at next month by traveling to Hong Kong ALONE?)...should the DH rent a car and pick me up at the far-flung airport, since it's so dangerous for me to get in a cab alone at that hour? Heck, should he take time off of work to join me because I shouldn't be traveling alone? The irony/double standard of this was driven home for me a few years ago when I was on travel with a couple of coworkers (men). Most of us had had enough after a few hours at the bar, and headed home, but one of my (male) coworkers had taken a shine to this lovely young lady at the bar, and so we left him there, but I went up and asked him to call me when he got back to the hotel. I woke up with a start a few hours later, realizing that he had never called. I checked my room messages and cell phone, and not so much as a text from him telling me he made it back okay, so I frantically started calling his room. On the third try, he picked up, thoroughly annoyed, and could not wrap his brain around why I was upset that he didn't check in. If you're a woman, you know why I expected him to check in and freaked when he didn't. Women are expected to do much more in much less dangerous situations. I once went on a group "date" with a friend who was meeting a guy for the first time. She wasn't into the dude, but he was a perfectly nice guy by all appearances. He offered to drive me the 12 blocks home (the alternative would have been walking, alone, at night, but in a good neighborhood), and since it was freezing fucking cold, I accepted. I had to call my friend to let her know I made it home, even though I wasn't drunk, he was traveling a route that I was familiar with, and we were driving along residential city streets with many stop signs and lights that I could have jumped out of the car at had I felt threatened.

Second, "risk-reduction" strategies don't apply to the most common types of rape/sexual assault. Stranger rape is exceedingly rare. Most rape and sexual assault is committed by people the victim knows, often very well. So, not only can we not drink with/around strangers, we can't drink with/around friends and acquaintances. Given the above prohibitions on female behavior, we also shouldn't do much of anything else around men we *know.* While my DH wouldn't rape anyone, much less me, I'm actually at a higher real risk having him pick me up at the airport than taking a cab, which I'm already apparently a moron for doing. And, traveling alone with a male colleague? We're going to be ALONE in far-flung hotels and rental cars for hours on end! So, I guess we just shouldn't associate with men? I know my one friend is joking/being a typical dad when he says that his (very young) girls aren't allowed to date until marriage, but that's about what "risk-reduction" boils down to.

Finally, "risk-reduction" doesn't work on the rare stranger rapists. Violent stranger rapists don't rape women because they're drunk or alone or dressed provocatively. They rape because they want to exert power over another human and/or a woman. It doesn't matter if you're wearing a burka in broad daylight or a mini-dress in a dark alley. If a stranger rapist decides they're going to rape you, they will find a way to try. Pulling you into a van in a parking lot, breaking into your home, etc. Stranger rapists are hard to stop, short of segregating men and women totally (like different continents totally), but fortunately rare. Like stranger child abductors, all we can do is punish the crime severely and watch out for each other. But the crime is very rare, fortunately, so we don't need to freak the fuck out trying to prevent it, just be observant and prepared to call 911 and/or intervene if you see something fishy.

So, because date/acquaintance rape is the most common problem, yes, addressing men helps. Yes means yes is the order of the day here. If she can't or won't enthusiastically accept your advances, back the fuck off. Don't be butthurt about it, and maybe try something more subtle when she's sober. Ladies: the only thing you need to do is embrace yourself. No more of this demure shit, okay? If men don't have to guess when you're down to bang, then there can be no more "misunderstandings." And when there is a question, it'll be on him to prove that you were 100% there with him, since that's the expected situation. If you combine women giving enthusiastic consent and men seeking that consent/not seeing women as objects, things will get better.
the entire "logic" behind "date rape" is ridiculous. being impaired supposedly nullifies consent in the case of intercourse....but not drunk driving, assault, or EVERY OTHER FORM OF DUMB BEHAVIOR HUMANS ENGAGE IN AFTER DRINKING TOO MUCH. every drink a person pours down their gullet is a decision they are making which they are individually responsible for. "Yes, i punched you in the face, but I had been drinking and therefore the decision I made to punch you in the face should be...A MULLIGAN?!!!???" That's fucking retarded. Take responsibility for yourself. I'm sure this will be countered with a tale of woe by some doe-eyed cornfed type who took their first trip to the city, drank one Bud Light and woke up being gangbanged by bums or whatever. Grow the fuck up.
@75 So, what you're saying is that the above sign is useless because it doesn't address a problem that women face? That makes sense. Drink to oblivion then! Problem solved.

In reality, I don't think that your manner of dress ever cries out "fuck me," and that there are plenty of useless tips out there. But, there are plenty of useful tips out there like "don't get fucking wasted" and "learn some self-defense."

For what it's worth, women aren't the only ones who get told not to go out alone at night. Men are also told not to put themselves into danger. Men are also told to watch themselves. But, you never hear them bitching about victim blaming. You hear warnings like "don't dress rich in poor neighborhoods," "don't walk around with your iPod out," "don't act gay in strange/rough neighborhoods," etc etc etc. That's not victim blaming, that's caution.

You women who call this victim blaming think you're special because you get told to be wary of everything. Guess what? MEN ARE TOO. IT'S CALLED COMMON SENSE. The only way you're special is that you're, in general, the weaker sex by size and strength. It's a woman's burden. If I went out at 2am and wandered into the ghettos of Detroit (like where the Detroit Eagle [RIP] was) alone and got mugged, I'd get sympathy along with "What the fuck were you doing in that part of town anyways?" Sorry to burst your little bubble of feeling put upon. It's the world. It's reality. And, women are not special in having to be burdened with caution.


That being said, you're right in that the more common types of rape are more along the lines of date rape...or worse, familial molestation. And, you're right, date rape would be more preventable if women were more direct instead of, regularly, depending on signals, and men had to pick up on signals for their green light.

But, this poster doesn't address that type of assault. It addresses an unwanted assault, probably by a stranger, and telling women not to drink to excess with complete strangers. [Sarcasm] But, you know...that's just blaming the victim, and nothing else. [/Sarcasm]
No, no, no, no, no.
Women should be "learning how to manage their own lives." You know, living in fear and never going anywhere just because they feel like it (like the boys get to) and most especially never, EVER, have a few drinks because if they do they might get raped and if that happens then IT'S THEIR FAULT, so they can never do that. If only women sufficiently control their own behavior, and their dress, and their language, and their movements, and their hair and makeup, and their companions, then rape will magically end and women won't get blamed for it and magical unicorns will have their periods for them.

You know, @49 was right. Women get raped who aren't drunk, who get raped who aren't wearing miniskirts or halter tops. Old women in nursing homes get raped. Developmentally disabled women get raped. Business executives get raped. Nuns get raped. It's NEVER about what they're doing, and ALWAYS about what the rapist is doing.
@78: Thank you Daddy Love.
@77: Why don't you cut the crap and just go ahead and change your screen name to TheMisogynist sweet pea. Your false equivalencies are beyond tiresome.
This is why I love bi chicks. They say shit like "there is no straight, only 'I haven't had enough to drink'", and nobody bats an eye.
@29 Oh, honey. I'm not the one doing false equivalencies. Though I love that you jumped right in the conversation with a thoroughly thoughtful contribution. Bra-vo. *golf clap*
@78 NONONONONO. If only we told men that raping women was bad. And wrong. And also told them that murder and robbing was wrong too. Then, all crime will stop and there will be peace and love in the world and sparkly fairies will come and nobody will ever cry again.
@82: you really want to go ten rounds with me. On this issue. Well I'm at work right now, but I promise that when I get home I'll see what I can do
@83 Another thoughtful contribution on this topic from such a responsible personable poster who, no doubt, was molested or raped even though she acted carefully and will probably regale us with her story on how she took every precaution but still ended up a victim (which is not what this issue is about). Or, maybe the story will be how she got drunk or drugged, passed out and woke up raped, but since it was all the rapist's fault (which it was), she feels that telling other women not to put themselves is akin to blaming them because she doesn't want to feel responsible for putting herself in harm's way...even if it does lead to more women putting themselves in harm's way too.

Either way, I'm eagerly awaiting your thoroughly thoughtful and deep commentary for round 3.
Scenario: You have two kids - four and twelve. They want some fruit from the store, but it's night and it's necessary they walk through a dangerous area (though, having no history of kidnapping in the area, still doesn't look too safe). You can walk with your kids to the store, to protect the two vulnerable children, or you can let them go alone. The latter, obviously. Kidnapping isn't a natural progression from kids being in an area by themselves, the majority of kidnaps are carried out by someone the family know, so it's very unlikely it's an issue in this scenario. If you chose the former, you'd be blaming the kids (by your logic) for being kidnapped. We should tell kidnappers not to kidnap.

@78 "Women should in fear and never going anywhere just because they feel like it (like the boys get to)"

Oh, get off your fucking high horse. Like the boys get to? I'm not sure what kind of carte blanche you think 'boys' get, but not every fucking man is strong, not every fucking man gets to live life exactly how he wants to. Very, very few do. Certainly, working towards that, when every human being on this earth can freely express themselves however they want, without fear of prejudice, but it isn't the world we live in. Right, before you go off on a "VICTIM-BLAMING! YOU'RE BLAMING THE VICTIM!", stop living in a fucking fantasy. Men, women and children are abused daily. ANYTHING to help reduce this should be considered. This isn't your fucking feminist class, this is encouraging people to be aware of their surroundings.

"It doesn't matter how pretty I am in jail. I *shouldn't* be cocked in the mouth.* Right, well, I'm sure they tell the warden that, but no matter how much they tell him - they keep getting cocked in the mouth.
@85 Actually, I'd be asking the parents of the kids what they were thinking as they're supposed to be protecting their kids. As an adult, you're supposed to take responsibility for yourself and protect yourself from danger.
@84: spa ptuee ghpu... Sorry. Had to take a moment to spit out all those words you stuffed in my mouth.

So yes, false equivalencies.

Walking to your car at the mall is not the same as "dress{ing} rich in poor neighborhoods".
Working out in the morning before work is not the same as "walk{ing} around with your iPod out".
Going for a run after work, or waiting for a bus, or going on a business trip, or having a drink with some one you think you know is not the same as "act{ing} gay in strange/rough neighborhoods" (and may I just add, WTF? regarding that little example of yours).
Going down the hall of your dorm to get water to make tea at 4 o'clock in the afternoon is not the same as "{going} out at 2am and wandered into the ghettos of Detroit".

All the examples I have just given you are things you take for granted. Things you could, or have, or will do, without giving it a second thought. There is no woman any where that has that same luxury.
So yeah. We got the memo about "Common Sense". We're told from the minute we can understand that it is our responsibility not to get ourselves raped. We are supposed to use "Common Sense" 24/7 365 in ways that you, as a man, arenever required to.
And that is what makes your false equivalencies so very, very tiresome.
@87 Spa ptuee Ghwee...sorry, i had to spit all the words you put into my mouth. False equivalencies indeed. Telling women not to dress scantily would be the equivalent to dressing rich in a poor neighborhood. Telling women not to act sleazy would be the equivalent to acting gay in shitty neighborhoods (and I say that because, as a gay man, I have been told that on numerous occasions....something you obviously take for granted). Don't walk around alone late at night would be the equivalent to...not walking around alone late at night in the ghettos of Detroit.

Do you think, I mean HONESTLY think, that men never have to be aware of the surroundings? Once again, honey, WOMEN ARE NOT SPECIAL. Men are also warned about walking to the car in the mall at 4 in the afternoon. Men are also told to be aware of their surroundings at all times. WOMEN ARE NOT SPECIAL. You may think you are. You may think that women are the only ones told how to act, how not to act, how to dress, etc. but, you're not. You may have to take extra precautions because, genetically, you're smaller and weaker than your attackers, and thus a more attractive target, but...women are not the only ones told to be wary. And, of you think you are, you have some major fucking screws loose in that head of yours.

And, seriously, sweetie, how the fuck did you make the leap from blackout drunk to walking around in the dorm in the middle of the day? That's just mentally fucked in your little head.

Next time, try a little harder. Use some logic. Maybe some common sense. Add in some thought and meaning, and your contributions won't be nearly as dumb as this one was. I mean a little effort is nice.
Ah you're gay. I did indeed take for granted that you were straight which was why I found that one example of yours so odd. Thank you for the clarification, it actually, I think, explains a lot about your attitude and position on this topic. One assumes, that as a gay man, you have experienced the same fear of random violence that women live with every day. You too, may have felt that clutch in your gut as you see a group of men walking toward you on the street at night. You too, may have had to calculate how to get out of some one's apartment in one piece when a date has gone horribly south. I can see how you might think that our experiences are similar, and they are. But the are not the same, for the very reasons you yourself cite.

In your day to day life, you do not live with the fear that any man you meet, at any time, and in every circumstance may rape you. Like I said, we got the memo, and we have to exercise "common sense" in ways and situations that even you as a member of a vulnerable population would and will never have to consider. It is just a fact. And a fucked up fact at that.

What I, and the other women who have posted here would like to see is the onus in these ads to be placed where it belongs: On the rapist. I want to see PSAs admonishing young men not get black out drunk to prevent them from raping women. I'd like to see them be told again, and again, at freshman orientations, to use the buddy system when they go out so that they don't rape some one. I'd like to see ads about rape that picture the faces of men, to high light that rapists aren't just some random force of nature that we just have to live with, but are that cute barista, or the guy at the dry cleaner, that they could be anybody with a dick, instead of ads, that if they changed the copy, could be for American Apparel.

I want a cultural shift, that holds accountable, not just legally, the people who rape other people. I want a world where when I get together with friends, and family, and look around the table, I can say not one woman there has been raped, rather than only one has not.
Logic would dictate, that since despite the constant exhortation of women to use "Common Sense" one in four of us is still getting raped, that perhaps the focus is on the wrong set of variables in that equation.
@89 Oh, even when I was a passable butch closet straight (through age 20 with most people, later with others), I would still get those warnings. And, really, I don't go around worried I'm going to get gaybashed, as I'm not femme enough to attract the attention of gaybashing assholes unless I'm walking hand-in-hand with a date. Rather, I think I'm going to get mugged, or shot...well, OK, not shot in Seattle, but in Detroit I am.

My being gay did not change the warnings of my formative years. My being human did. My being an adult of sufficient personal responsibility and protection did. I've got a male friend who was mugged less than a block from a party and stabbed...he was a straight male, walking late night alone in Detroit. I've got male friends attacked in Chicago as well as metro Detroit cities.

No male I know has ever taken for granted his own personal safety. Due to machismo, many, including me, act like it isn't a big deal, but if you listen to them, they have many of the same concerns.

Also, the culture I've seen does hold rapists accountable for raping, socially. Maybe in some more male-oriented cultures there needs to be more accountability, but rape actually is a weird always present thing. It comes from a generally male need to dominate, which is a factor many women like, taken to an unfortunate and dispicable extreme. And, they find it more easy and facile to dominate weaker things. Bullies generally pick on weaker people. Rapists generally assault somebody easily dominated. It is a crossed wire that you'll never get rid of. Sorry about that. It's reality.

So, yes, the memos should keep going at you women because I've seen a lot of you in some downright dangerous situations with no regard for your personal safety. Passed out, alone, in a frat house? Seen it. Drunkenly falling over some guy that youve just met with a look in his eye? Seen it. Walking around alone late night without being aware of your surroundings (obviates because my walking slightly faster surprises you)? Seen it. While I'm trustworthy, I take absolutely no offense at a woman adjusting her speed at my presence late night. In fact, I kind of think, "There's a smart girl." but, you know...that's my responsibility talking.
And, mind you, this is only to prevent stranger rape. The vast majority of rape and assault is not stranger but friends and family. The goal of risk prevention is not to prevent all rapes, but reduce the number of shitty situations women may find themselves in making them vulnerable to it by their own volition. Sadly, it's not going to help the child molester (who, last I heard, was culturally vilified in many situation), the handsy or rapey father or uncle, the family friend who backs you into a corner. These are not socially acceptable, last I checked. But, they're the majority of cases.

So, we warn women so they don't actively put themselves in situations that make them more vulnerable because Lord knows rapists take enough opportunities as it is. Why give them more? But, that's victim blaming still.
@91 Just another man telling us women how we live our lives and what we are doing wrong managing men's emotions from victimizing us. *yawn*

"Also, the culture I've seen does hold rapists accountable for raping, socially."

@91 I know it's a lot less fun than making stuff up, but here's an article in the NYT from today about the high incidence of rape against women:…

Here's just one (of a million) great articles on victim blaming in the form of unhelpful advice:…

Here's a piece from the NYT from two days ago on the victimization of rape victims and the absurdly low rates of prosecution/conviction:…

Now please, leave this subject to the experts and shut the fuck up.
@94 Your articles are shit.

The first article has a lot of fun with numbers jumping from 1.5 million annually down to 252k annually. "Anybody can make up statistics to prove a point. Forfty percent of the people know that." - Homer Simpson

Your Pandagon article is hilarious because it automatically goes for the miniskirt argument, a key favorite in the world of anti-warning, anti-personal-responsibility feminism. Then, it says that warning women is akin to saying "They're asking for it," which is a logical leap unto itself. In the case of not getting blackout drunk, this equates to "I don't care. I do what I want.". I love fantasy worlds where there is no crime ever. Let me know when we reach that point.

Your third article is the closest to being interesting, but it's all about persecution of rapists and such. It isn't about the cultural acceptance of rapists. But, unfortunately, we live in a world where facts are required to prove a case. If we weren't, anybody could point to anybody else and cry "he/she raped me" and the person would be prosecuted. When we grown ups are trying a case, you have to prove something and, as stated in the article itself, some of these cases rely on "he said/she said" testimony as opposed to provable evidenced murder where a corpse has appeared and somebody has obviously done it.

Think of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. With people accusing other people of being a witch and not having solid evidence of such. If I said you raped me, even if you hadn't touched me, according to the article I should just be believed. Which would be nice if nobody ever lied, but that world doesn't exist. Sorry that people suck and they lie. But, you know...the world is a shitty place.

Clear out what the new feminists have fucked into your head and look at the world from a less man-hating, woman-glorifying point of view and maybe balance your point of view with some reality. It's nice here. We have cookies.
Rapists are not an inchoate force like the weather. They are people capable of self control and rational thought. If that were not the case, and they were unable to control this "generally male need to dominate" they would be animals. Do you consider yourself an animal?

The fact that "rape actually is a weird always present thing" is not because men are animals or mindless forces of nature and thus we must get out the umbrella or accept getting wet. It is because we treat rape as if it were just that. We have decided that since man can't be expected not to rape that the burden must be born by the victims. And it is a burden that shapes every minute of my day, and every decision that I make, from where and when I shop for food, to the tights I wear, to whether or not I use my ipod when I'm working out, or accept an invitation for a drink, or a ride, or help after work on a project from a colleague. Every thing I do has to be weighed against the possibility that the men around me may rape me, and that if I get one of the million of "Common Sense" rules I am supposed to follow to prevent this wrong, I will be blamed for it. Because society shrugs it's shoulders and says rape is a weird and always present thing.
And so we have people like you accusing me in all caps of thinking I am special for wanting to be able to trust you, and wishing that I could do the things you take for granted. On the one hand you accuse us of "man hating" and on the other castigate us for not behaving as if you all could be rapists, and you don't even see the disconnect.
Oh, and when you can say that one in four men are falsely accused of rape, or sit at a table full of your friends and know that every single one of them has been falsely accused of rape, then you can get all up on your high horse about the burden of proof.

I don't want your cookies. I want you to hold yourselves accountable.
You're just hilarious. You want women to be held unaccountable for making themselves vulnerable while you expect men - ALL MEN, from the smart ones to the sociopathic ones to the base ones to the idiots - to obey the laws of respect. You know what? I DO TOO. You know what else? IT WON'T HAPPEN. I'm a misanthrope. I expect men to do the worst things, and women to do shitty things and put themselves in harm's way. But, I'm a mini-humanist. I think women could do the bare minimum to protect themselves. On the other hand, I fully think women sometimes actually try to push their safety limits just to see what they can get away with. And, women like to be held completely unaccountable for doing stupid things, such as getting wasted with strange men, or getting naked, high, and making out with a guy but expecting him not to think you want to fuck (true story), walking around late at night alone, etc etc. Listen, women. I hate seeing people get harmed. It's sad and distressing. And, you're free to do what you want. Its America. Its what makes humanity fun. But, really, there are limits to the idiocy you're allowed to do. Doing idiotic things will get you hurt. Sometimes by asshole men. And, I've said, time and again, men should be held responsible for their actions. BUT, women should be just as wary as men have to be. You're not fucking special.

Again, if you think muggings, robbery, and murder has not been cured...what makes you think rape ever will be? It's reality. We live in a shitty world. Despite your need for flowers and rainbows, people are idiots and assholes. Rapists should be prosecuted and tried in a court of law. They should be punished. And women should protect themselves so they reduce their chances of becoming another statistic.
It certainly won't happen with that attitude. I don't want rainbows. I don't want flowers. I want nothing more special than what you have; the right to go to the fitness room in my suburban condo without worrying that I will be raped. The right to walk to my suburban QFC after dark without worrying that I will be raped. The right to accept an offer to be walked home by some one I know, without getting choked unconscious and raped (true story).

I want you to hear me> I am not talking about walking alone in the bowels of Detroit, or getting shit faced, because that sort of behavior leading to rape is so vanishingly rare as to be the reddest of herrings. Think about it. One. In. Four. Women in the United States are raped in their lifetime. Do you honestly believe that all, of them got themselves raped because they refused to do what you consider the "bare minimum to protect themselves"? When day in and day out it is drilled into our heads that at any moment, any man might decide to rape us? The majority of rape victims are raped doing what you take for granted. Simple, every day activities. "Idiotic things" like their laundry. And even then, blamed.
God I wish I had your problems, worrying that some one might steal your stuff! The horror!

The world can indeed be a "shitty" place, but people like you do nothing to alleviate it.
It's obviously not that red of a herring if such a message gets people in an uproar. Read: original post.
Also, you've obviously been blindly or, at least, very selectively reading what I have been saying. I'll chalk that up to your being a complete idiot. Maybe I haven't been clear.

1) I'd like to walk to the local QFC at 2am without keeping my guard up as well, worried I'm gonna get mugged. Not gonna happen.

2) I've said that it's unfortunate women are raped. Especially when they are doing nothing to make themselves idiots. But, in this world, that's not gonna stop. So, why increase your chances by putting yourself in a vulnerable state? It's kind of like leaving your door wide open and leaving for the day.

Also, why do you keep changing the topic from keeping your guard up warnings to all other rape? Oh...maybe the subject of your walking home story WAS drunk off their ass when they got raped by some asshole and she now feels guilty when she sees warning signs like this. Or, maybe she was completely sober and thinks that signs like this cause people to she did something wrong and somehow deserved it. In either case, she didn't deserve it, nobody does. The asshole should have had charges pressed against him. And, these messages still have value, because if they cause one girl to second guess her acts, and prevent her from becoming a victim, then the message is worth it.

Or, maybe you think that's not true.