Two lovely girls are dead by suicide, and we need to talk about how the world has changed.

Rehtaeh Parsons, 17 years old.

rheteah

Audrie Pott, 15 years old.

audrie

These two girls took their own lives after pictures of boys sexually assaulting them were plastered across the entire context of their social worlds.  They could not live with the shame. The loss of these girls is an undeniable tragedy, and if we are going to avoid more of these fatalities, we need to talk about how the world has changed, and how we can protect all our children in this new world order.

new

This won’t be an easy conversation to have, and I am extremely reluctant to add to the pain the families of these girls are going through, but I feel like the cultural conversation surrounding these deaths is leaving out a few important things.

First, I’d like to put the loss of the girls into a specific context:  youth suicide.  Rehtaeh lived in the province of Nova Scotia in Canada.  The overall suicide rate in Nova Scotia in 2004 was 9 per 100 000, slightly below the national average (p.29).

The overwhelming majority of people who took their own lives were men: 84% (p.32).

Age adjusted rates appear to show the same ratio for youth suicides, defined as between 15 and 19 years of age:  90% young men (p.33).

http://www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/publications/Suicide_Report.pdf

bridge

The loss of every single one of those people is obviously a tragedy and something we wish we could prevent.  But there is something worth noting in the media hysteria that surrounds young women who take their lives that just doesn’t happen when the victims are male, despite the fact that most victims of suicide ARE male.

tomb

Here is the story of Adam Cashen, just one of the boys who took his own life in Nova Scotia in 2009.  It’s heart-breaking to read, and notable for being an uncommonly told story.  Culturally, we simply don’t react to men taking their lives the way we do to women.

http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/adams-fall/Content?oid=962276

Part of the media reaction can be accounted for by the circumstances surrounding the loss of these girls:  both Audrie and Rehtaeh were raped, had photos taken of the assault and those photos were circulated widely within their social circles.

texting

There are two things worth discussing here:  what were the specific circumstances that led to the assault, and why did the pictures get so widely distributed?

Let’s talk about the latter first:  why were those pictures posted and reposted, tweeted and retweeted?

rt

In the Daily Mail, Rehtaeh’s mother says “She was a friend the day before and the next day she’s a slut? And they’ve know her their whole life?”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2307587/Rehtaeh-Parsons-mother-reveals-utter-humiliation-drove-angel-suicide.html

Why would Rehtaeh’s friends, people whom she has known her whole life, turn on her like that?  It seems obvious to me: they’re terrified.  Absolutely, utterly terrified that something similar could happen to them. Rejecting Rehtaeh was a simple defense mechanism against the fear of becoming a victim themselves.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201110/the-essential-guide-defense-mechanisms

And that leads directly to the hardest part of the conversation:  if the only way Rehtaeh’s friends could think of to protect themselves was to scorn her, we need to offer some new defense mechanisms.

This is where I will get screamed at for victim-blaming, but I’m going to go ahead and talk about this anyways.  Without a doubt, what happened to Rehtaeh and Audrie was criminal.  There is no question that they were incapable of giving consent, and they were assaulted.  Why is there no question?  Well, first of all, there are photos of the assaults. But mostly?

drunk

Because they were both blind drunk.

Rehtaeh had been drinking straight vodka and smoking pot.  Audrie had been drinking Gatorade mixed with hard liquor.

They both ended up passed out.

Both were at the homes of people they didn’t know particularly well, with no adult supervision.

house

And both those girls ran into the wrong people.  Let’s not pretend, either, that it’s only ever boys who will take advantage of young women who are vulnerable thanks to isolation and drunkenness.  Yesterday’s post is a testament to the fact that putting yourself in dangerous situations with little girl psychopaths can have some pretty horrific outcomes, too.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/04/11/traffickers-offer-up-underage-teenage-prostitutes-the-johns-refuse-and-take-the-girls-home-this-is-black-mens-fault-obviously/

sBINES

The very simple fact is that the world has changed:  the kinds of situations that happened to Rehtaeh and Audrie have happened to countless other girls over the course of time, too.  This isn’t something new. The Rape of the Sabines was written somewhere around 750 BCE, and it’s the same old story:  a big party, the ladies get trashed and then carried off and raped.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rape_of_the_Sabine_Women

What HAS changed is the aftermath.  A girl can no longer wake up after an experience like that and resolve that she will NEVER be drinking that much vodka with boys she doesn’t know again.  Lesson learned.

hangover

Now there is evidence.  A trail of photographs and texts, tweets and Facebook updates that reveal her judgement and assault to the whole world for verdict.  She cannot keep her shame to herself.  She must share it with everyone.

It doesn’t help to demand that texting pictures of naked minors be illegal.  IT’S ALREADY ILLEGAL!  So is drinking alcohol under a certain age, and smoking pot.  That doesn’t stop teenagers from doing it.

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/04/rehtaeh_parsons_rape_case_why_do_these_keep_happening.html

It also doesn’t help to teach boys not to rape.  The vast majority of them NEVER WILL.  Treating all boys as potential rapists in need of training is demeaning and insulting and engages some of the grossest stereotypes about boys and men:  ones we would never accept about any other social group.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/03/12/zerlina-maxwell-says-we-need-to-teach-men-not-to-be-sexually-aggressive-all-the-other-women-say-fuck-that/

handcuff

You can’t teach criminals not to be criminals:  they DON’T CARE what the laws are or what’s allowed in regular society.  That’s WHY they’re criminals.

What we CAN do is teach our sons and daughters not to put themselves into vulnerable, dangerous situations in the first place.  We don’t seem to have a problem culturally in telling travelers how to avoid getting mugged in unfamiliar places far from home.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/01/16/dont-want-to-get-robbed-on-holidays-dont-dress-as-a-tourist-and-some-other-advice/

walk

Nor do we have any problem conducting research into how the way you walk makes you more or less likely to be victimized.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/04/09/journal_of_interpersonal_violence_study_suggests_attackers_choose_victims.html

street

We’re perfectly comfortable teaching our kids “basic street sense” like avoid dark alleys, stick with people you know and trust, and tell your parents where you will be.

http://www.streetsmartkidz.ca/maineditorials/safetyfipsforgradeschoolers.html

But for some reason, our cultural hackles go up when it comes to teaching our teenagers how to avoid situations that will make it very difficult, if not impossible, to fend off a rapist, should they happen to run in to one.

This isn’t about fearing or mistrusting all boys, because ALL BOYS ARE NOT RAPISTS.

Reality check:  some of them are.

Another reality check:  some girls are rapists, too. 

http://judgybitch.com/2013/04/09/four-fat-chicks-walk-into-a-bar-looking-for-a-good-time/

No one deserves to be raped.  Or mugged.  Or punched in the face.  Or robbed.  Or to get hit by a car.  It’s infantile to suggest that offering precautions to avoid those things is equivalent to suggesting someone “deserved” whatever it is they got.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/02/15/just-because-im-drunk-doesnt-mean-you-can-hit-me-with-a-car/

talk

We need to be having incredibly frank and open discussions with both our sons and daughters about the fact that they CAN be sexually assaulted, and that a single camera phone present at the time of the assault could very well ruin their lives as they know them.  There is nothing controversial about acknowledging that bad people exist, and if we want our kids to be able to avoid those people, we are going to need to equip them with some updated street sense.

Never get drunk with people you don’t know well

Always travel with your friends

Have a pact with your parents AND your friends that if you get pass out drunk, someone will call your mom or dad to come and get you

Don’t go to house parties if you don’t know the people very well

If you ever see pictures of someone being assaulted, tell your parents.  Do not RT, ever!

Those are just the basics.  I still have a few years before I will have to confront the new reality of teenage sexuality and social media and the ubiquity of camera phones, but you can be certain I will be teaching both my daughters and my son how the new world works.

And how they can be hurt.

And how they can avoid that.

If Rehtaeh and Audrie have anything to teach us, it’s this:  we can’t put off this conversation any longer.

It’s a matter of life and death.

angel

And we don’t need one single more devastated Dad, weeping over his beautiful angel.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/glen-canning/rehtaeh-parsons-was-my-daughter_b_3056888.html

Lots of love,

JB

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  • http://wdodman.wordpress.com Reggie

    So bitchy and so judgy. I think I’m in love!

    Yet when you tell your children “Don’t take candy from strangers” “Don’t talk to strangers” “Don’t go with anyone unless they give you the code word (orange tiger)”, etc you are not blaming all those children who were abducted for doing the wrong thing. Why can’t we just teach abductors not to abduct?

    Rape is the only crime that society is not allowed to teach people to avoid. You’d almost think they have a vested interest in the crime of rape … oh, wait!

    • http://wdodman.wordpress.com Reggie

      And 1st!

    • Kai

      Something about the r-word causes most women to lose every last of the little shred of logic they possessed in the first place, and they cannot listen to any sort of reason. Any comparisons like that just get a “how dare you compare rape to ___! Rape is the worst crime possible and it’s incomparable!!!!”

      • Z

        For SOME victims, rape may be the worst crime possible, depending on all the circumstances… rape is usually NOT the worst crime possible. That would be murder.

    • Z

      Dude, thanks! Now everybody knows the code word!

      @JB great post, handled with class! It’s true a conversation needs to happen and it’s not “teach boys how not to rape and teach other teens not to send picture texts.” Yeah… THAT’LL work.

  • Amicus Curiae

    I usually agree with what you are saying, and for the most part do with this one as well, however, when you say Rehtaeh was raped we don’t know that. I am not saying she wasn’t necessarily. All we know is what the mother says she was told by Rehtaeh. We don’t know all the things that were said nor do we know what Rehtaeh held back. As for the fact that there are pictures, we don’t know what they depict, when they were taken, what level of intoxication Rehtaeh was experiencing when they were taken. What if the pictures were taken when she wasn’t drunk and did consent to them? We don’t know what her participation level in the alleged acts was at the various stages of intoxication. Yes in Canada intoxication vitiates consent. However and for sake of argument as we don’t know, if she is intoxicated and giving enthusiastic consent and the boys are also intoxicated where does the blame fall? If the boys were also intoxicated then they couldn’t consent either, this gets back to the old problem of drunken married people raping each other because neither can really consent. But as men typically initiate they get the blame.

    I agree the conversation you are trying to start needs to happen, but we don’t know what happened. I might have missed it but other than all her friends turning on her I don’t see any stories explaining the cause of this. Your theory may be correct that it was defensive, but that’s not the only possible explanation. It could be that she choose to engage in various sexual acts and did not foresee the consequences that her friends would not support her behaviour.

    • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

      Agreed. But out of consideration for her parents, I am accepting their version uncritically.

      But I understand everything you are saying.

    • http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/gratefuldead/lostsailor.html LostSailor

      According to one of longer Daily Mail stories, Rehtaeh told her mother that one part of the night that she remembers vaguely was vomiting out a window while they were having sex with her after doing vodka shots and smoking pot. The article claims that one of photos circulated showed just that. By legal definition, that’s rape.

      Could she have possibly been a willing participant to start? Sure, I guess it’s possible. But at least in my experience, tossing cookies drunk is usually pretty drunk.

      But the real take-away is that in this day of social media, the evidence circulates instantly and once online, it’s forever. While education might help some, her schoolmates clearly didn’t think it was rape. I’d bet that they saw pictures of her having sex with four older boys and reacted with the type of venom that only teenagers can muster. By all accounts it wasn’t the rape that drove Rehtaeh to suicide but the unrelenting and vile harassment. That’s what takes the bigger toll and that’s what parents need to inculcate deep in their children’s heads: Don’t do anything or put yourself in a position where thing could happen that you wouldn’t want seen splashed all over Facebook and Twitter. Everyone has a camera in their phone these day and it will get out.

      It’s not that this is different than what happened in the past, it just happens faster, spreads wider, and is permanent. We’ve all heard of the not-so-apocryphal tale of the cheerleader who “does” the front line of the football team (actually happened at my high school, though it was the back field). Even before social media, word would get around and the reaction would be devastating. In college I knew a freshman girl who was induced by some upperclassmen to join in a hazing of an unwilling freshman guy, shaving his genitals and fellating him while the others watched and cat-called. The kid reported it and dropped out, the upperclassmen were expelled and the girl withdrew for a semester but came back the following year. There wasn’t any harassment of her, but everyone on campus knew about it and it was always on her mind (I got to know her through a mentoring program). She transferred after a semester back. If that happened today, the tale would follow her to any other school she went to.

    • http://karamazov1989.wordpress.com The Karamazov Idea

      I concur completely. The fact that her entire community shunned her after the incident is quite telling. Also, the police saw the photo evidence and concluded it would not warrant a conviction (again, telling). An instance happened when I was in college where one girl went down on a friend at a party. The girl turned out to have a boyfriend who found out. She claimed it was non-consensual. The boyfriend bought it, but around the entire college, this girl’s name was mud (well, except for the local womyn’s center).

      People do stupid things to themselves when they’re young, intoxicated, hormonal, and want to be approved of, liked, and accepted. The shame of realization that sobriety and pictures of a consenting you that you don’t remember having a train run on you at a party is extreme, especially when there are other witnesses. The only way to make all of it disappear is to level an accusation.

      Also, the suicide, for those who read closely, might not have as much to do with the previous instance as we’ve been led to believe. The girl had been diagnosed even prior to the drunken rave she attended with depression, anxiety and other things. She hanged herself a full two years after the incident after moving to another town and starting over. She was apparently clinically unwell.

      We must remember it is her mother drawing the connection between the alleged rape and the suicide, and her interests and motivations have a lot of complex and raw emotions behind them. Everybody looks for somebody to blame when an unexpected death occurs. The three boys were an easy target.

      Things like this are terrible, but we have to keep perspective if we’re to learn anything from any of it. Part of that is jurisprudence and reserving our judgment until all the facts have emerged.

  • http://wdodman.wordpress.com Reggie

    My daughter has been legal since the age of 14 (Canada). Our government changed the age to 16 the year she turned 16. She’ll be 22 this year so I’ve been going grey for the past eight years. I looked her right in the eye and repeated the exact words of Const. Michael Sanguinetti “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” Of course, I added that she should never be alone with a guy. My wife (who has pepper spray) knows that the best thing she could have with her when she goes out at night is another person, especially a man and more specifically ME!

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2011/02/18/cop_apologizes_for_sluts_remark_at_law_school.html

  • Alex

    you would think the jezzies would be shoving this in everyone’s face every time this happened in order to protect girls and whatnot, cause they care about them right?

  • Remo

    Feminism has told men in no uncertain terms that we are not to protect women and that we are only capable of harming them. So if you are a dad and you demand your daughter not go to some party or not dress seductively when she is only 14 you will be told that you are stifling her and perhaps you should see a state therapist to work on your abusive traits. Men have no power over the women in their lives regardless of the relationship. It wasn’t that long ago when women were not permitted to walk around in thongs and stilleto heels at get raging drunk at underage parties but that was deemed patriarchal abuse so now we just sit in the corner and watch the girls stumble along through life. Yes women at one time were under the care of their fathers until she found a husband and this caused less rape, less drug use, less underage pregnancy, etc. But of course we can’t roll back the clock to those bad bad bad old days of not having young girls kill themselves so we might as well just accept that these things happen.

  • http://wdodman.wordpress.com Reggie

    Sorry for the spam but I had another thought:

    This case is the best argument for rape culture I have ever seen. The ReTweeting of the pictures was egregious. I’ve been arguing against “rape culture” for a long time but I may have been wrong.

    • zykos

      Reposting pictures has nothing to do with “rape culture”.

      I don’t know if it’s because I’m still relatively young and I remember clearly what it was like to be a teenager, but to me the behavior of all these kids who participated is clear. It’s nothing more than the group forming instinct and fitness testing of the weak. Teenagers desperately need a sense of belonging, that’s how gangs form, that’s how you get jocks sticking together on one side and geeks on the other, popular girls tormenting unpopular girls. By retweeting the picture of a girl who’s been shamed, a teenager reproduces the behavior of his/her group, validating themselves as part of that group, while the rejection of an individual from the group only strengthens their own claim to being part of that group. Adults do exactly the same thing when they shame someone: “look at me everyone, I am so much like you and so unlike him/her. Let me stay part of the group”.

    • Exfernal

      I can see here an instance similar to “missing white woman syndrome” (Wikipedia and TvTropes explanations), which can be dubbed tentatively a “raped pretty girl syndrome”. Perhaps some statistical comparison could be made to regain emotional distance.

      • Exfernal

        Somehow, the link to TvTropes article has gone missing.
        And “here” meaning the blog post we have been commenting now.

    • Ayurvedic Yogi

      Today’s online “rape culture” is an extension of porn culture.

      But Americans luuuuuuurve their “freedom of speech” in the name of porn, right?

  • http://notboutthing.blogspot.com Goober

    I’ve said for years that part of the irredeemable shame created by these incidents is the fact that the victim knows that they participated in their own assault and humiliation. When you aren’t a 100% pure victim it tends to place blame on you for your situation regardless of whether society “blames the victim” or not. You blame yourself because you know that you are at least partially to blame. Truth is truth no matter what the “don’t blame the victim” rhetoricians might wish for.

    These girls probably felt that shame. Its too bad that instead of telling them “its partially your fault but that’s okay because everybody makes mistakes” we tell them that they are 100% blameless when they know that isn’t true.

    Also, I always wonder where everyone else is when these things happen? Why did no one step in to stop it?

    • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

      That’s what’s so heartbreaking about Rehtaeh. What if it wasn’t assault but willing participation? That would go a long way towards explaining the lack of response from the police and the reaction from her peers.

      By avoiding talking about responsibility, we crippled her ability to cope and recover and move on.

      It’s making me cry. That poor girl. Either way, raped or willing, that poor girl.

    • zykos

      There are two components of shame: personal shame and public shame. When one falls victim to a criminal, they almost unequivocally experience a sense of shame. If you’ve ever been robbed, scammed, set up or assaulted, you will feel a sense of shame. It’s a natural reaction for a person who has a sense of responsibility. We think we should have been clever enough, cautious enough to avoid our victimization. But people around us will feel shame for us only some of the time, and pity and compassion other times. They are objective observers and have a better feeling for when the person put themselves in a dangerous situation and was reckless, and when the incident was really unavoidable.

      We are told to never blame the victim, but I think humans are perfectly capable of distinguishing incidents when the victim shares part of the blame and when they don’t, given enough information about the circumstances. The fact that these girls’ peers felt like shaming them tells me that, as far as they were concerned, they really thought this was the result of stupid behavior. Do we really think that the reaction would have been the same if these girls were forcibly raped by their boyfriend and the pictures were posted online? I seriously doubt it.

  • http://lalibertinesalon.wordpress.com/ aspasialibertine

    You can’t teach criminals not to be criminals: they DON’T CARE what the laws are or what’s allowed in regular society. That’s WHY they’re criminals.

    This. All day long, this. It’s why I don’t understand the mentality of people who promote victim-culture when they say, “It shouldn’t be my responsibility to protect myself”, in so many words. As though their principles create some protective shield that will make violent psychopaths turn tail and run.

    But I also notice this sort of dangerously naive mentality from people who have never lived in more stereotypical “urban” environments. I know I wouldn’t be responsible for my own rape or assault or other violent action against my person, but I sure as shit know that laws and “common decency” isn’t what stops criminals. If someone wants to hurt you, they will do everything in their power to do so.

    • Ayurvedic Yogi

      “You can’t teach criminals not to be criminals: they DON’T CARE what the laws are or what’s allowed in regular society. That’s WHY they’re criminals.”

      “This. All day long, this.”

      See, “this” is where it gets complicated. Are rapists neurologically wired to rape or do neurologically normal people also rape?

      We have 2 arguments here; that “only rapists rape, most men are not rapists so most men are not raping, its not a male thing like the feminists claim” and then we’ve got comments suggesting that women should dress in a way that prevents men from being aroused and getting aggressive due to that arousal, so which is it?

      If the overwhelming majority of men cannot rape because they are normal men who are not neurologically wired to commit such a crime, then there really is no need to dress or act a certain way because the chances of coming in contact with such a rare, neurologically wired for rape man, is statistically extremely small.

      If on the other hand rape is something that most if not all men are capable of, well then…. that opens a whole other can of worms.

  • http://loveashley.net Ashley

    The truth is, this could have happened had the girls been sober. Suggesting that they shouldn’t have put themselves in the position of being vulnerable by drinking isn’t going to do much in preventing crime.

    • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

      This could have happened to them sober? Not likely.

      And Ashley, think about what you are saying. You are telling girls like Audrie and Rehtaeh that these things can happen when you’re sober, so go ahead and drink all you want. How much you have had to drink will have no bearing on your ability to defend yourself and it won’t affect your judgement and it won’t encourage rapists to see you as a more vulnerable target.

      You are contributing to a point of view, based on ideology and not fact, that is quite literally killing the young girls who are foolish enough to believe you.

      If that doesn’t make you feel a bit sick, you are in need of some serious deprogramming. No ideology in the world should be worth more to you than the lives of these girls.

      • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

        yahoo@yahoo

        I’m not going to post that, because the girl is dead. If she were alive and making accusations, I would be all over it. But she’s not. All we can do now is let the family grieve.

      • http://loveashley.net Ashley

        I’m not saying they should drink all they want and be careless and reckless, but you’re saying, “Don’t do this so you won’t get raped,”….you don’t think that is ideology?

        • sqt

          But that is what you said earlier by saying that not drinking “won’t do much” to prevent this kind of crime.

          And I don’t recall hearing about the rapes of the girls who remained sober at these parties.

        • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

          Carrying your cash in a wallet band under your clothing won’t guarantee that you won’t get robbed, but it reduces the risk considerably.

          There are few risks that can be reduced to zero.

          Not getting black out drunk at the home of someone you barely know with no adult supervision will likewise reduce your risk of becoming the victim of rape.

          Will it reduce it to zero?

          Of course not.

          But it WILL reduce the risk. Rather considerably.

          http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh25-1/43-51.htm

          Refusing to acknowledge or even contemplate the idea that young girls can and SHOULD take some responsibility for their own safety is an ideological position.

        • Mark

          It is true that one can get assaulted or raped when sober. It is also true that one can be murdered by a stranger in one’s own living room even after locking the door.

          But, that is the exception. Seriously, you cannot deny that when terrible things happen to people, usually somebody’s been drinking or doing drugs.

          It absolutely amazes me how defensive people are of their drinking habits. Truth is, alcohol makes you stupid, irresponsible, and even amoral. Alcohol abuse causes so many deaths per year in this country, it is ridiculous, positively ridiculous, that warning of its negative effects gets people so indignant.

          I’m tempted to say what nobody else my age will ever say: underage drinking is bad. Kids and teenagers are stupid even when sober. It is positively shameful the laissez faire attitude people take toward teenage drinking. They say “they’re going to do it anyway, so why not let them.” Fine then. But when someone’s kids end up dead, or in prison or the hospital, they’ve no right to complain. May as well just say the same thing, ‘it was gonna happen anyway,’ right?

          It’s tragedy what happened to the two girls. I wonder what the home situation was of the boys who assaulted them. Were their fathers around?

          • betame

            Drinking to excess is a very risky behavior, both for the drinker and others. Drunk driving isn’t the only harmful behavior that drunk people engage in. Go through police reports and insurance reports anywhere, and I’d expect a large percentage of the incidents include drunkenness as a factor.

            It’s a question of social equity: Who should carry the risk of drinking to excess?

            For most questions, the answer is the person who is best situated to regulate the drinking carries the risk: the excessive drinker. But on the question of consent for sex, the risk has been entirely transferred from excessively drinking women to men (drunk or sober), which only encourages risky drinking to excess by women … and, tragically, girls.

        • betame

          It’s called risk assessment, which is a real-world application, not ideology.

    • Z

      Sorry, but avoiding parties like this with no parental supervision, traveling in packs of friends who have your back, not dressing like a slut, and not getting drunk have a DIRECT impact on your odds of being victimized. just because you COULD stay home in your pajamas watching old movies and some big guy COULD break in through your window and throw you down and rape you… your statistical risk of that is MUCH less than you’re statistical risk in the other scenario.

      It’s like the difference in your statistical risk in a meteor landing on your head and killing you versus dying in a car wreck.

      • http://loveashley.net Ashley

        Do you hear yourself? We need to do something about the criminals, not the victims.

        • Z

          Again, you seem to have no concept of the fact that you can hold criminals fully responsible for their actions while lowering crime rates through safety education. Are you offended when someone tells you to lock your doors or lock your car? Are you offended when someone tells a man not to flash money or gang signs in dark alleys? This is just hypocrisy on your part.

          • sqt

            It’s like banging your head against a brick wall isn’t it?

          • Kai

            Told you back at the first comment…
            As soon as you say ‘rape’, all the very simple logic women understand in relation to all other crime flies out the window.

          • Z

            It’s only because feminism has been so effective at recasting women as these oppressed victims. The oppression narrative is intended to make women feel helpless rage. It’s impossible to see things rationally when you feel so vulnerable/exposed/threatened by imaginary monsters in your closet.

          • Z

            Kind of, except that I don’t have a headache, just a few eye rolls and chuckles with Mr. Z (who agrees that men cannot just wander around dark alleys either and no smart man would ask for trouble for no good reason.)

        • Mark

          Actually, we need to do something about both, and they’re not mutually exclusive. And nobody’s suggesting ‘doing something’ about victims, but rather suggesting that people should be informed about how to minimize being a victim.

          But by all means, if not being victimized isn’t important to you, and you don’t care too much what happens, remain uninformed, behave however you’d like, no matter what the likely consequences. But do so at your own risk. Because unless we institute a totalitarian society encroaching every facet of our lives, we will never have a society completely free of criminal.

  • Just Saying

    People need to take accountability for their own actions – in reading this article both of these women took actions that were complicit in what happened to them. If you drink yourself to oblivion, or get so high you don’t know what you are doing, YOU did that. And what happens to you is your fault too. It is as simple as that – if I get drunk and kill someone because a friend put me in my car, it isn’t their fault – it’s MINE. These girls couldn’t own their actions because we say that women aren’t responsible for anything they do, say, or cause. Women are never to blame for their stupidity. That is Bullsh*t – they were adult enough to get high as a kite or drunk, they get to live with the consequences.

    Yeah – I believe women are just as much to blame for their actions as men. No difference – they got drunk and got fucked. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time to them, later they regretted it – well, welcome to life. Sometimes you make good decisions sometimes bad ones – they made bad ones and because we don’t teach women to own their actions, they committed suicide – well, I say good riddance. They were going to fuck up majorly – so it’s better they are out of the gene pool. I blame their parents, and the feminist society for their suicide – not anyone else. They both took the actions that terminated their lives – no one else, they are to blame – PERIOD, end of story.

    Rake me over the coals all you want – but there are consequences to your actions. If you wave 100 dollar bills around, and later are robbed, you were an idiot and were taught a lesson – if you survive. These women were idiots, and had a harsh lesson handed to them – it is as simple as that.

    • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

      I agree with everything except this:

      The punishment was too harsh

      They didn’t deserve the death penalty, even if it was self-imposed.

      If we could talk honestly about these kinds of situations and how to make better choices in the future, we would be focusing on the future and that alone might’ve been enough to save these girls.

      It starts with owning your own choices and feminist clap-trap about rape culture is deadset against that.

      It’s literally killing people.

      • Mark

        Sadly, constructive discourse on these situations doesn’t sell papers (or rather, garner hits, I should say); anger, blame, and indignation do.

        Now cue the onslaught claims from jezebel et al. of systemic gendered violence being the cause of all this, as opposed to the mere ‘isolated incidents’ of women inducing men to kill themselves; or worse, the ‘straight-jacket of masculinity.’

        Oh, and would it be too exploitative of me to use this opportunity to iterate by own claim that this shows that twitter is stupid?

  • http://nydotuesdaydivisionbstats.wordpress.com LostSailor

    I agree that parents bear a great deal of the onus on educating their kids to avoid situations where they’re putting themselves in danger. And while it may seem insensitive to draw on the example of a grieving father, Glen Canning’s heartbreaking statement about his daughter’s death is illustrative.

    He writes: Sometimes her heart was too big, sometimes it scared me. They say parents need to teach their children. Instead, it was Rehtaeh who was my teacher….I tried my best to save my daughter’s life. I believe that in my heart….We were a team. We were best pals. We often sat on my couch and laughed until we could hardly speak….The life I had with my daughter was a rare thing. It was wonderful, it consumed me. I was defined by it

    I may get slammed for this, but I’m sorry, no, he didn’t try his best to save his daughter’s life. All the efforts he describes toward that end were dealing with the aftermath. I have no doubt that Canning loved his daughter immensely and would have given his life for her. But he failed her nonetheless. Because she was a big-hearted girl and in danger of trusting a little too much. They were a team, best pals laughing together on the couch and she was his teacher. But what she needed was not a best pal, but a father. A father to teach his daughter in no uncertain terms that being big-hearted is a good trait, but there are bad actors out there who will be looking to take advantage of it. That not all her friends will always have her best interests at heart and she needs to temper trust with caution. A father to provide her with the good sense and mental weapons to protect herself when he was not around. And unfortunately, he failed.

    Not only that, but from the articles I’ve read, he was divorced from her mother, living in a different town, and traveled a lot for work. And was apparently aware that his 15 year old daughter was drinking and smoking pot and took no action.

    • Z

      No, I agree. This “buddy parenting” crap is getting annoying, and the fallout from it is… well… this kind of crap.

      • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

        “I’m not your friend and I don’t care if you like me. Do it now.”

        Said very frequently at my house.

        • Z

          Irony is… in these home situations, the kid normally likes the parent as an adult. As a teenager particularly I couldn’t stand my parents, particularly my mom. Now we’re really close friends and I appreciate the things she did to keep me safe.

      • Mark

        Indeed. Teachers and professors give their students the same “I’m your pal, not your teacher” bullshit these days. Nobody wants to be an “authority figure” and I think feminism had a lot to do with the rise of that attitude.

        One’s parents are not likely impeccable human beings, but that only means they are supposed to have many years of mistakes to have learned from and with which to teach their kids not to repeat them. If a parent is learning more from their child than their child is from their parent, then I think either the kid is a savant or the parent is an idiot. And idiot parents are, I think, a lot more common than child savants.

        • Ayurvedic Yogi

          “Nor do we have any problem conducting research into how the way you walk makes you more or less likely to be victimized.

          http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/04/09/journal_of_interpersonal_violence_study_suggests_attackers_choose_victim

          I’ve heard men complain that women who walk in the least likely to be victimized way were walking in an “unfeminine” manner”.

          “This isn’t about fearing or mistrusting all boys, because ALL BOYS ARE NOT RAPISTS.
          Reality check: some of them are.”

          The question is how many and who are they?

          Are they neurologically normal or abnormal? I think some scientific study of the brains of rapists needs to be conducted. If neurologically normal men are committing rapes, then rape cannot be or will not remain an uncommon occurance in any society.

    • Ayurvedic Yogi

      Lost Sailor, don’t know where you’re writing from but in the US and UK (I’ve lived in both places) these style of “buddy parenting” is the mainstream cultural norm.

      Its why I have packed up and relocated to a place with a predominate population of Asian minorities, despite not being Asian myself. I do not want to raise my children in mainstream Anglo or mainstream Anglo American culture.

  • betame

    Thoughts:

    Going solely on news accounts, the Parsons and Pott circumstances seem distinguishable in that Parsons was conscious, aware (how aware is disputed), and may have indicated consent, while Pott was unconscious and could not have indicated consent.

    The sex acts are distinct from the ‘cyber-bullying’.

    Parsons, despite her innocent appearance in the photos, seems to have had a history of ‘wild’ (drinking and drugs) and/or promiscuous behavior. She may have had foreknowledge of what to expect that day, but not the follow-up social media outing. Pott did not.

    Parsons’s father not living with her and her mom and with a different family name indicate an unstable family life. Which is to say, there may have been other factors in her suicide.

    The legal standard of informed consent would make more sense if consent given while knowingly impaired (chose to get drunk/high vs roofied) is presumed informed consent. That would warn teens, or anyone, to regulate their behavior while they’re sober rather than believe the legal informed consent standard will protect them from mistreatment while they are drunk or high.

    Teenagers, even the good ones, are crazy and extra-sensitive to social pressures. Back in my day, teenage boys bragged about sex and teenage girls were ruthless social arbiters. Teens today don’t seem all that different in those regards, but the unrestrained social media has added a dangerous element to an inherently unstable balance.

    I want to admonish both girls for getting drunk and high at age 15, except my generation wasn’t more disciplined about overindulging. I can admonish, though, knowingly getting drunk in a risky environment (mixed house party rather than slumber party at home) without adequate safety contingencies. 15 year olds who will knowingly place themselves at risk by getting drunk/high in a risky setting are smart enough to develop safety plans beforehand. They should be held responsible for doing so.

    Would it have helped the girls regulate their own behavior in the peer settings if they had boyfriends and held themselves accountable to that?

    • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

      No matter how awful or complicit she was, it still hurts my heart that she’s dead.

      • betame

        I rather Parsons’s suicide attempt failed, too. (Her mom’s statement that she doesn’t believe her daughter intended to commit suicide is another hint that Parsons was prone to unhealthy behavior.)

        But I also rather the authorities distinguish the sex acts, which don’t seem to be the direct motivation for the suicides, from the social media, which do seem to be the direct motivation for the suicides in both cases. Which isn’t to say the sex acts aren’t criminal – the sex act with Pott seems like a clear case of rape. But in the Parsons case, there apparently was a criminal investigation that declined to prosecute. I object to the notion that, in reaction to Parsons’s suicide due to cyber-bullying, despite no (reported) indication of new evidence or a flawed investigation, the boys in the Parsons case should be re-investigated for rape. If they’re criminally or civilly liable in some way for the social media, then that’s where the law should go.

        I support addressing the wider social-cultural problem to which the suicides have drawn attention. I support just punishments. I don’t support a witch hunt.

  • http://gravatar.com/realityforever realityforever

    I am really confused here. I didn’t know young women even had any shame, self respect or dignity any more. (???) I sure haven’t seen any evidence of it for at least 20 years. Morals, ethics and accountability are ‘abuse’ and ‘oppressive’ to women- that’s what they tell us! Any time you even so much as criticize a female at all it’s automatically regarded as hate speech.

    Maybe that’s why they took their own lives.. because shame or pride is something they had never encountered before in our educational systems or society and the shock was simply too great.

    • betame

      Peer pressure is as powerful as ever. It’s state of nature stuff.

    • Goober

      In short, “danger kids these days: why, back in MY day we were perfect in every way!”

      You realize what you sound like and also how wrong you are, right?

      • Z

        Though I agree with you that there was unlikely to have ever been an “idealized society” there actually ARE sliding scales of crap, and it’s not just a few rare old fogies who think society has taken a definite turn for the worst.

        Sort of like…. how awful communism in Russia was… wasn’t just the imagination of people with bad memories and nostalgia.

  • http://loveashley.net Ashley

    It’s really sad that here we have a list of things that victims can supposedly do to reduce their risks of being violated, none of which will promise that, just maybe reduce the risk. Then, no one has said anything about what can be done about criminals because I supposed criminals will just be criminals. Oh well. I shall lock myself in my room this Friday evening and cover up warm so no one sees my body and wants to rape me.

    • Alex

      telling criminals to not be criminals doesn’t work, haven’t you picked up on that? when you can’t trust people to not violate you, your space, or safety in general, you must take on that responsibility yourself.

      • http://loveashley.net Ashley

        It’s not hopeless. There could be more focus on mental health of criminals as do a large number of them, if not most, will have some kind of chemical imbalance. And by criminals I’m talking about more serious crime.

        And a few people are jumping on the idea that I’m trying to insinuate that people shouldn’t have to take certain measures to protect themselves because that is not my intention to say that either. But telling girls to not drink and not dress like a slut to reduce their risk of rape is just absurd. We might as well say don’t ever leave the house. Protect yourself, but keep it reasonable. We have thousands upon thousands of girls that have been raped or attacked while sober and fully clothed. There comes a point where we have to say enough with taking shit from these people.

        • Alex

          i’m very much in favor of telling women in general to not dress as a slut since it’s easier to get through small amounts of fabric, which can increase how much they get targeted. it stacks with being drunk, as you generally can’t bust out your black belt when you can’t stand. so a lot it involves how you dress and what you ingest, and telling them to dress in something more modest and not get drunk off their asses alone is pretty reasonable. quick tip: probably more like to get someone for like a one-night stand or something when you keep some of it in, possibly. not too sure so don’t quote me. and those that get raped sober and fully clothed tend to be facing serial rapists or someone pretty damn close to one, who tend plan things out so it’s more successful i believe (around here is where i could just be talking out of my ass, will have to look this up before work i guess). otherwise, the only thing to do is some awareness raising stuff, laws, and last stop jail.

        • Mark

          “But telling girls to not drink and not dress like a slut to reduce their risk of rape is just absurd.”
          what on earth is unreasonable about either of those suggestions? Especially for underage girls, it’s unreasonable not to make those suggestions!

          “We have thousands upon thousands of girls that have been raped or attacked while sober and fully clothed.”

          And thousands of people have died in car accidents to no fault of their own. Is that a reason for every one to say to hell with it to all those traffic regulations ’cause they’re obviously not working? No, that’s bullshit. Traffic laws do work; following them reduces your risk of an accident. But some risk always remains. no one tells to not even bother getting in your car. Just not to do stupid things while driving and to follow the traffic laws.

          As for your solution, it strikes me as untenable. The recidivism rate for sex offenses is actually only 5.3 percent, meaning most sex offenses are one-time occurrences for the perpetrators; that is, they are not mostly chronic offenders.

          For rape specifically, recidivism is higher, but I’m pretty sure most offenses that result in conviction are first rape convictions. Only serial offenders would be effected by whatever forced medication scheme you’re thinking of.

        • Z

          Telling a girl not to get drunk (different than drinking ANY alcohol), and not dressing like a slut is equivalent to telling them never to leave the house? really? Because not being allowed to be slutty and vulnerable is so oppressive?

          • http://loveashley.net Ashley

            There is absolutely no rationality in telling a woman to dress a certain way so she won’t provoke a rapist. In the case of humoring you, we could then get into the very subjective idea of what constitutes as dressing like a slut.

            My point is, where do we draw the line? I will draw the line here.

          • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

            And the dead girls keep piling up on the other side of it.

          • Z

            Right. Because men are not visually stimulated and criminal rapist/type men are not visually stimulated, either. Considering the fact Mark mentioned above that most rape is a “one time occurrence” and not a serial rape problem, obviously there are certain factors that helps a criminal-type male follow his hormones and rationalize his choices to force himself on a woman. Gee, MAYBE some of her behavior and vulnerability might have something to do with it.

            Again, this does not make it “her fault”. I can’t believe you keep pulling that from this discussion. Do you leave your keys in your car in dangerous neighborhoods? If you don’t, why would you get drunk and flash your cleavage without a buddy system in place? Defies logic.

            Sure, there is such a thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time and doing everything right, but again, you seem to have no clue as to how either the male brain or the criminal brain is wired. The male criminal brain… sorry to say… IS affected by drunkenness and sluttiness. But go ahead and mark your calendar for the next slut walk so you can defy reality and carry some mind-bogglingly stupid sign like “a dress is not a yes”.

            And I think we all know what dressing like a slut means, and it’s different in different contexts. Sexually provocative clothing is quite different from classy clothing. Every girl’s mother should teach her the difference, but it seems clear most don’t anymore. Also, there is a time and place to be sexy, dark alleys or bars without any backup, or teen parties without parental supervision might not be the place.

          • http://loveashley.net Ashley

            It’s not the same, but it is based on the same principal.

            And um are we talking about being slutty or dressing slutty? There’s a difference.

          • Z

            The difference isn’t that great when it comes to the things you are signaling to men. Both “being slutty” and dressing slutty indicate sexual availability. It is a call to men: “Right here, boys… sexually available, ready for some action.”

            Some men take you at the word of your message.

          • Ayurvedic Yogi

            Z, “The difference isn’t that great when it comes to the things you are signaling to men. Both “being slutty” and dressing slutty indicate sexual availability. It is a call to men: “Right here, boys… sexually available, ready for some action.”

            Some men take you at the word of your message.”

            I think you’re going down a slippery slope with this. If only an incredible slim % of men rape, those who are neurologically damaged or “wired for rape”, then they are going to rape women regardless of what they wear, as we see they do – no matter the age, 9 or 90, burqa or bikini clad, women are getting raped.

            If on the other hand neurologically normal men are capable of rape and are triggered by “signals” like “slutty dress” – well that’s a whole other ball of wax to be examined.

            So far it seems we just don’t know if normal men rape or not.

            I haven’t seen any studies on this, have you?

          • Z

            Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m not saying it’s OKAY to rape. I’m not saying “She was dressed slutty so she asked for it.” I’m saying you cannot advertise a car and then say “psyche!” when someone offers to buy it. Or, I guess you can, but it just pisses people off.

            Do you WANT to piss of criminal people who have no real moral compass in place to stop them? Look, GOOD, decent men are not going to rape anybody no matter how they are dressed or what they are drinking or what dark alleys are they hopscotching down. But we are not talking about the “good men”. We’re saying… look… there is a criminal element out there with very low impulse control. This small percentage of men are just as visually stimulated as all other men. They see you advertising, they’re buying whether you change your mind or not.

            As for what women are wearing or not wearing being a deciding factor. In some cases it IS. It’s about increased vulnerability. A rapist sees an opportunity in a dark alley and no, you don’t have to be dressed like a stripper, but for STRANGER rape in the vast vast vast majority of cases SOMETHING dangerous has to be going on.

            And please let’s stop this nonsense about baby rape and granny rape. While these things happen, they are RARE. The vast majority of all rapes both stranger and date/acquaintance happen to attractive women in their childbearing years. Because rape is not a “political statement men make to oppress women”. (Well, except for POW situations.)

            No, YOU don’t know if normal men rape or not. I know that they don’t. Rape by its very definition is aberrant behavior… i.e. NOT normal.

          • Mark

            For some comic relief, I think Dave Chappelle has some more input on the topic:

            “Just because I’m dressed this way does not mean I’m a police officer.” lol.

        • http://www.judgybitch.com princesspixiepointless

          Ashley, now you’ve made a decent point, “There could be more focus on mental health of criminals as do a large number of them”, yes Mental Health and criminal behaviour have serious links, it is an area of health that is sadly still not a priority when it comes to health care but has such a serious impact on society.

          As a person, you have to be smart, street smart. I think there has come a point where people have to say enough with taking shit from these people”, there have been several awareness campaigns regarding women’s aesthetics and level of dress and sexual assault. The problem with that is that it puts the entire ownness of rape and sexual assault as just a man vs woman problem or makes it a feminist issue. Rape is a global issue.

          So your attempt at creating a polemic argument that women bear no responsibility for their own safety is precisely what propagates false ideologies that rape is solely owned by women and that rape culture exists.

        • betame

          “But telling girls to not drink and not dress like a slut to reduce their risk of rape is just absurd. We might as well say don’t ever leave the house.”

          You’re wrong.

          The admonishments here presume girls leaving the safety and protection of their homes. The message here to girls is IF you leave the safety and protection of your home, THEN do not drink to excess and dress like a slut – ESPECIALLY do not drink to excess and dress like a slut in a setting, such as a party with drunk horny boys, that is extraordinarily risky for a girl who drinks to excess and dresses like a slut, where by her choice of behavior and appearance she knowingly signals her sexual availability to drunk horny boys in close proximity. If a girl insists on taking those risks, then she should at least employ safety measures in the situation that will mitigate the risks.

          But these girls don’t want to mitigate the risk. For them, their fun is from the risk, and like the song says, girls just wanna have fun.

          The girls weren’t magically transformed into drunk and slutty, then involuntarily teleported into risky situations. They deliberately made a series of choices that placed themselves at risk. It’s a risk they welcomed, if not invited, for the fun of it.

          • http://loveashley.net Ashley

            I was talking about the idea of what could possibly reduce risk. Not leaving your house would be a good one, according to the same principal.

          • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

            Yes. But not the only one.

          • betame

            Your intent is reductio ad absurdum but that requires an accurate distillation, which can then be stretched to its logical zenith for argument’s sake. But because you misdiagnosed the premise, you fell into its evil cousin, strawman fallacy, instead. (That and your assertion that JB and commenters are absolving the boys in both cases of their possible trangressions.)

            Girls’ *social* conduct – which includes ‘leaving your house’ – is the premise for JB’s points and other comments here, which renders your counter-argument a strawman at inception.

            For your argument to be valid requires that getting drunk, behaving/dressing slutty, and partying hard with horny drunk boys is the sum of girls’ socialization or the binary alternative to ‘leaving your house’. But that’s not true. There is a broad range of alternative social behaviors and activities that girls can choose that are less risky than Pott and Parsons’s choices.

            The issue is how girls should mitigate risks while socializing outside the safety and protection of their homes and families, particularly in the circumstances that detail the sex acts and subsequent social media in the Pott and Parsons cases.

          • Z

            So you think going to the park in the afternoon, shopping for groceries, hanging out with friends at an art museum or cafe all carry the SAME risk of rape as walking down dark alleys, getting falling down drunk at parties and bars without any backup, and dressing super slutty while doing all that?

            Once I saw a girl in a comments section talk about her rape and how there was nothing she could have done to prevent that from happening… then she proceeded to tell us that she was living alone in a bad neighborhood that she’d been counseled against moving into, she was walking down a dark unlit road in this area late at night when she admitted she could have called a cab to pick her up. She also had earbuds in her ears.

            But… as she reiterated… there was nothing she could have done to prevent that. UM… yeah.

            Sometimes I see arguments like yours and I think of that girl. I think being a victim of rape like that must be SO painful emotionally that you almost HAVE to insist that there was nothing you could have done to mitigate risk, even if you obviously did such horrifyingly stupid things that it makes the rest of us cringe.

            See, she wasn’t drunk and she was wearing a sweatshirt at the time, so apparently being in a dangerous area, alone, late at night, with earbuds in her ears wasn’t anything she could have “prevented”.

          • Z

            Oh and to add, though I feel very very bad for any woman who has experienced a horrific experience like this… when they actively go out and LIE about it (even if they are also lying to themselves) they are putting other girls and women at risk by spreading the misinformation that there is “nothing you can do” to reduce your risk of rape. It’s just like getting your name pulled out of a hat. BS. No it isn’t. No matter what one has suffered at the hands of another, they have a social responsibility not to tell lies that comfort them while putting others at risk of their same fate.

          • http://loveashley.net Ashley

            You are looking at this from the perspective of “This is something you need to prevent and something you can control” rather than something that happens to you, and that’s so fucked. Sorry but it’s really ate up.

          • Z

            Okay… so then I assume you leave your car doors unlocked, hang out in gang territory and flash money, don’t lock your door at your house, make sure total strangers wherever you go know you are carrying a ton of cash, etc?

            And yeah, I kind of think rape is something I’d like to prevent. Sure, there is the VERY slim chance I could do everything right and still get raped, but that chance is MUCH smaller than if I’m making myself actively vulnerable.

            I hope that whatever your ideology, in PRACTICE you do the stuff necessary to protect yourself. For your own sake.

          • Z

            That’s a good point… the “thrill of the risk”. I think a lot of girls do kind of get off on the cocktail of sexual power and “risk” and “danger”, but they get in over their heads and then something bad happens. It doesn’t help that we now live in a hook-up culture that condones this behavior to some degree so long as it is “consensual”. Back when a girl still cared about her reputation and it affected her marriage prospects (something else she cared about), the “thrill of the risk” wouldn’t have been worth the consequences. And the consequences were high even without rape happening.

    • Mark

      First, you’re exaggerating. It is neither a long list, nor a demanding one. And it will (not may, will) significantly reduce the chances of being victimized to virtually zero. Basically, don’t get drunk or stoned with strangers, frivolously wander through terrible neighborhoods late at night alone, and maybe a couple other sensible tips. Basically, don’t be incredibly stupid is what it comes down to. Seriously, what is it about being utterly careless and willfully ignorant of the world that people like so much that they’ll defend that state of being to the death it seems?

      Secondly, it isn’t sad. It’s the way the world is and always has been an always will be. There is always at any moment a nonzero probability that a plethora of terrible things will happen to you, from getting murdered, your house caving in, getting mauled by rabid dogs, whatever. And with damn near every risk you face as a human being, the most effective way to minimize the risk is to mind your own behavior, because it’s the one thing you have power over.

      Seriously, your post is melodramatic. Plenty of people are figuring out new policies to reduce crime rates, in law enforcement, in legislatures, just look it up if you’re feeling incredulous; feminists of course are only exacerbating the issue by turning a blind eye to female abuse of male children and gratuitously encouraging single-parent households (the two primary determining factors in the development of rapists), but that’s another issue. That doesn’t change the fact that there will always be some criminals left. Deal with it. That’s what everyone else does. That’s what men generally do. We get murdered at several times the rate women do; and yet, somehow, the male population is not in a constant state of panic attack.

      • Alex

        i posit that if men were in such a constant state of panic as mentioned, nothing would get done. EVER

        • Mark

          Of course, especially considering how it’s men who engage in most of the risky behavior, including the risky behavior that is necessary for society to function. Accidental injuries (including workplace injuries) are the fifth leading cause of the death in the US, and the leading cause for people under 45. Not surprisingly, males dominate that category, lucky us.

          Perhaps it’s because men are generally exposed to greater risk of bodily harm that we are generally more desensitized to it than most women seem to be.

    • Z

      Yes, and reduced risk is a “better” situation than increased risk. Why is this difficult? Would you rather be proud, do what you want, ignore all advice, be a rape statistic and then talk about how it wasn’t your fault? Of course it wouldn’t be your fault, but you still have to be a VICTIM for that. Is it really better to be so wrapped up in your ideology of “fairness” that you don’t care about your own personal safety? My safety comes WAY before what’s “fair”. Fair is for preschool.

    • betame

      The comments here are within the scope of the particular circumstances for the 2 particular victims in JB’s post. The 2 victims, who by accounts were socially aware, knowingly engaged in particular risky behaviors in a risky setting, apparently without a safety plan. Unfortunately, that kind of risky behavior and poor judgement is not uncommon among young women, and in their cases, the risk manifested.

      The only way to “promise” minimal risk is for young women to place themselves, or be placed involuntarily, in conditions of minimal risk. Neither Pott nor Parsons placed themselves in conditions of minimal risk.

      But less risk means less fun. It occurs to me that a social alternative that offers minimal risk is pleasant, sober, courteous dates and relationships with ‘nice guy’ betas.

      With “criminal”, do you mean the sex acts or the social media?

      If you mean the sex acts, the Pott case, where she was unconscious, seems like a clear case of rape and the boys should be prosecuted as such. However, it’s not clear from accounts that the sex acts with Parsons were crimes – immoral, perhaps, but not obviously illegal.

      If you mean the social media, then I agree that the comments haven’t focused on the possible crimes that might fit the initial photo-taking, and subsequent photo distributions and mean comments in social media, ie, cyber-bullying.

      • Z

        I don’t really get why getting drunk with strangers is supposed to be “fun”, but then I’m not a teenaged girl, either. I can think of a ton of things to do both alone and with others that are fun but don’t significantly increase my risk for rape.

        Mr. Z and I were just talking about this. I’ve never personally been drunk. I don’t have some moral issue with it, I just don’t see the point. He said: “Think of what you’re missing out on!”

        I said, “Rape, apparently.”

        Maybe not a nice thing to say, but the frequency with which these F’d up sexual situations happen involving some girl being drunk sort of takes the shine off of “drunk”.

        Now, obviously I would feel safe to get drunk with Mr. Z but… I just personally don’t have some big driving compulsion to get drunk. I guess because most of the things I want to do, I can do without “lowering my inhibitions” first. And headaches aren’t that appealing to me. Now being pleasantly buzzed is a different story.

        Also… there are some “nice guy alphas” out there. Let’s not assume it’s only beta males that can be kind. My experience is quite the opposite.

        • betame

          Okay. Restated with ‘beta’ dropped:
          It occurs to me that a social alternative that offers minimal risk is pleasant, sober, courteous dates and relationships with nice guys.

          Rather than do that or something else safer socially, Parsons and Pott chose the risks of partying hard with bad boys instead. In Parsons’s case, it’s not clear that the sex was a risk at all, but the social media was.

          • Z

            :) I think also that there is a difference in an alpha and an alpha asshole. Alphas who are kind and IMO actual alphas (i.e. real leaders), tend to not announce themselves in over-the-top ways. Alpha assholes, on the other hand, the “bad boy”, do. I think a lot of girls/women are powerfully attracted to alpha males but they get them confused with alpha assholes because they don’t get the “strong silent type”, or why he is strong. Or why he is silent. To them he’s a pushover, but he isn’t. They haven’t taken the time to understand him because there’s a guy pushing his weight around over there and he “looks like” an alpha. I’m not even sure alpha assholes are alpha in any real sense of the word, but they sure do find a lot of women to fall for their crap.

            I don’t think women want men who ‘treat them like shit’. I think many women want alpha types, or at least men more alpha than them, and they just don’t know how to find them or what to really look for. I made that error with my first husband. I got it right with the second one.

    • http://nydotuesdaydivisionbstats.wordpress.com LostSailor

      Ashley, you’re falling into a common binary argument that is really an attempt to avoid facing reality and responsibility. It’s not a matter of “go out and fear rape” or “stay at home with the covers over your head.”

      Risk always exists along a spectrum. If you want to go out drinking wearing a low-cut blouse and mini-skirt, by all means. But have a plan that will reduce your risk by going with trusted friends to places you know. That’s less risky. If you go out drinking in that outfit alone to places and with people you don’t know, you’re increasing your risk. That should be easy to understand.

      You’re looking for “promises” that you’ll always be safe not matter what you do or how you act. Unfortunately, that’s a feminist fairytale land of “Should.” In the land of Should, everything’s safe and perfect. In the real world, criminals will be criminals, and you can only “do” something with them after they’re caught. And douchey people will be douchey people.

      If you can’t understand simple issues of risk mitigation and harm reduction, perhaps you would be better off hiding at home under the covers, cowering in the dark…

      • Z

        No, because then a big scary guy will randomly crash through her window and rape her and then she would be raped AND not having any fun in her life. /sarcasm

  • http://estimatedeyes.wordpress.com Ripple Earthdevil

    While reading the post and comments I was thinking, “What kind of bizarre name is Rehtaeh and how the hell do you pronounce it”? Then it struck me, it’s Heather backwards, duh. So whether this is her legal name or if name is really Heather, something’s off here.

  • Rmaxd

    So these girls were your average, alchoholic, drug taking sleeping around chicks …

    The problem is women hold sleeping around like sluts & whores as some sort of retarded empowerment …

    No .. it gets women killed, or women waste their years sleeping around with thugs, like retards, like the two girls … theyre not really girls, theyre basically trashy club chicks …

    Any woman with a vagina can reproduce, the fact these women hold hook up culture as feminism, PROVES how useless womens movements are as a whole

    Imbeciles, the whole freaking lot of them …

    • Z

      LMAO @ retarded empowerment.

      And the second they reach 30, they will say: “Where have all the good men gone?” Where indeed.

    • Ayurvedic Yogi

      “Any woman with a vagina can reproduce, the fact these women hold hook up culture as feminism, PROVES how useless womens movements are as a whole”

      Plenty of feminists are against hookup culture, the sexualization and objectification of girls and women, as well as porn. In fact Feminists took a lot of heat at one point in their opposition to porn and they still do.

      And those feminists who are against all of the above are usually called prudes and sour grapes. There are no dearth of comments about their looks, sexual orientation, ability or inability to “get a man”, etc.

      • Z

        Plenty of feminists may be against it, but they don’t know their feminist history if they don’t realize feminism STARTED IT. The sexual revolution was ALL about feminism. And women’s rights to do whatever the hell they wanted to do sexually “just like a man”. If they don’t like the current hook-up culture, where where did they think it was going to lead? This is just another case of crying about situations their movement instigated in the first place.

        Also, hook-up culture is supposed to be about women using men as much or more than men use women (according the the logic of girls/women engaged in the Hook-up culture. I recommend the book: “Unhooked” on this subject.) So, given that NOBODY is sexualizing and objectifying these girls but themselves, they just can’t have it both ways. You can’t be all “sexually liberated” with no strings AND insist you’re being sexualized and objectified. That’s nonsense.

        If the overwhelming majority of feminists were not extremely unfortunate looking, no one would have been forced to draw those parallels. If this bothers them, they need to start putting hot feminists on the podium.

  • Rmaxd

    “Rape is a global issue. ”

    Rape ISNT a global issue …

    Rape is a family issue … unless you have fully functioning families to protect you, you will get raped

    Even though its statistically unlikely

    As most men refuse to rape anyone

    The main reason feminism states rape culture, is to cover up the rape of men & their families by government & syphoning funds to criminal womens lib movements

    • Ayurvedic Yogi

      “Even though its statistically unlikely

      As most men refuse to rape anyone”

      Are rapists neurologically abnormal and unable to control themselves, like serial killers?

      If so, then I can believe that rape is statistically unlikely, just like serial killing is.

  • Dillon

    Society does not want the potential rape victims to change their behaviour because if they did it will be a net loss to society.

    The way it works is that:

    A) The boys were supposed to attempt to buy sex with her by spending money on her. Instead they stole.

    B) The girls were supposed to sell themselves to the highest current bidder. Instead she got too drunk and failed to guard the goods.

    Society would like to punish both the victim and rapist. Rapist is punished by jailtime and careless victim/slut is punished by social shaming. Only it went too far in this case.

    Society wants women to continue being the best prostitutes they can be. Displaying your goods is an important part of that. Stealing is not allowed.

  • Sherlock
  • http://www.facebook.com/roccim Marlo Rocci

    I will point out two things:

    I’ve not seen any evidence pointing to the conclusion that the existence of “rape photos” increases the chances of teen suicide. It just increases press coverage.

    I’ve also never heard of an instance where a girl who took nude photos of herself and sent them to her boyfriend ever got arrested for producing child pornography (it’s always the boyfriend who gets arrested and she turns state’s evidence (so much for your girlfriend’s loyalty)).

    Until we start cracking down on the culture of teen sexting, which means arresting the girls who commit it, the practice will continue and it won’t matter if the photos were consensual or rape photos. The internet is a nudity sucking beast that will absorb all porn greedily without remorse. The best way to reduce the number of rape photos on the net is to send a clear message that all underaged sexting photos are illegal no matter the gender of the person sexting.

    The problem is that I expect this may go the wrong way. I read a report where England was discussing lowering the age of consent for porn to 16 partly because keeping it at 18 meant arresting teenage sexters. Once the specter of arresting girls was raised, the law, it seems, needs to give way.

  • http://nb.gravatar.com/emmatheemo Emma the Emo

    Alcohol is so damn bad for everyone. About a year ago, an 18 year old man here raped an old 90-something woman, and killed her, all while in a blackout. While he denied it and remembered nothing, and in general didn’t believe he could do it, there was too much evidence against him. Her blood on his sofa, his DNA in her apartment… I think in the end, he didn’t appeal the sentence he got.
    Alcohol will not only increase risk of being victimized, but it will also increase the risk you will do something stupid, even horrible.

    Most of the time, being so drunk around strangers won’t do anything, but bad things happen often enough for it to be a bad idea. Driving too fast without a safety belt won’t kill you most of the time, either.

    Question: do you think everyone focuses too much on women’s behavior, and not enough on the men’s, despite how badly alcohol affects BOTH?

    • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

      The men face criminal charges for their behaviour.

      I’d call that a pretty tight focus.

      The women can’t even be admonished to smarten up a bit.

      • http://nb.gravatar.com/emmatheemo Emma the Emo

        True. I want to rephrase the question though. Feminists often complain that we tell women rules of precaution all the time, but don’t offer the same to men. Feminism is mainstream now, and they focus on men more than women’s behavior now. But what was in the past? I feel their behavior, while wrong, seems to be an overreaction to the past, when men’s behavior was less focused on than women’s. So now they overfocus on what men are doing wrong, and shield women from any advice, because they think women are already receiving it from everyone else. That is what they say. Do you think that’s how it is?

        Both things, being raped and being put in jail, are pretty bad. What my question was, is everyone else (but the feminists) giving women too much anti-rape advice, but not enough anti-jail advice to men?

        And if latter is correct, it could mean many things. One suggestion that came to me was that no one cares about men, so they get no advice. While women get tons.

        • Ayurvedic Yogi

          “What my question was, is everyone else (but the feminists) giving women too much anti-rape advice, but not enough anti-jail advice to men? ”

          Well, I’ve seen mens’ blogs that rip into programs that are designed to keep men from committing crimes and going to jail or suffering from other legal complications like sexual harasement lawsuits. All of these “sensitivity programs” that men are protesting are actually designed to keep them free citizens, yet they see them as impinging on their freedom.

          • http://nb.gravatar.com/emmatheemo Emma the Emo

            Nah, that stuff (teaching men how to be good little manginas who give, and ask for nothing) is a part of feminist indoctrination, and not what I meant. There is helpful anti-rape and anti-jail advice, and there is just ideology.

            By anti-jail advice, I mean things like “don’t get a blackout, you can do something bad and go to jail” or “don’t run your mouth at cops”, or “don’t hang out with shady people, you can end up in jail by association”. In a feminist environment, “don’t flirt with your adult students” is also pretty reasonable, as long as you don’t justify it by “it’s an inexusable abuse of power” or something like that. And this seems good: http://www.rooshv.com/how-to-avoid-a-false-rape-accusation

    • betame

      I commented on the destructive effect of alcohol and drunkenness earlier, but the game-changer that is alcohol is worth piggybacking on Emma’s point.

      A drunk person – generally – places himself or herself and other people in danger. Placing 2 drunk people together is more dangerous. Placing drunk people together in a risky activity is a recipe for disaster. Add that we’re talking about drunk teenagers heightens the risk, although drunk adults aren’t better off.

      The only reliable way to mitigate drunken risks is for the drinker to preemptively make safe decisions or put in place adequate safety measures while he or she is still sober. That’s the drinker’s responsibility. Teenagers who are responsible enough to babysit small children unsupervised have enough faculty to be responsible for their own drunkenness.

      Look at it as a drunk driving analogy. You wouldn’t advise a sober teen to get in a car with a drunk driver, with the exception that the sober teen takes over as the designated driver. But even in that case, the sober teen is advised to take care the drunk peer won’t drunkenly interfere with the driving. You definitely wouldn’t advise a drunk teen to share a car with a drunk driver, especially when the drunk teen might induce the drunk driver to do something dangerous abover just driving drunk.

      In this analogy, the party is the vehicle and sex is driving. The teen girl gets into the vehicle as the drunk passenger. The boy is the drunk driver.

      In that vehicle, girls are expected to signal sexual receptiveness to induce the boy to pursue sex while boys are expected to respond to the signals by pursuing sex, ie, drive the vehicle. With slutty dress and behaviors, intimate proximity in the sexually charged party atmosphere, and drunkenness lowering inhibitions and impairing judgment on all sides, the vehicle is fueled and engine ignited: drunk girls are signaling for sex generally, if not specifically, and the drunk boys are responding to the drunk girls’ signals by pursuing sex – driving. Sex is normal and we all know that attractive women don’t need to say anything to sexually excite men. Which isn’t consent by itself, except in this case, they’re all drunk and the sex (driving) has been stripped of its normal safety measures by the drunkenness.

      Summary: Don’t be a drunk driver. But also don’t be a passenger with a drunk driver. Don’t be a drunk passenger with a drunk driver. And don’t be a drunk passenger sending encouraging signals, intentional or not, to a drunk driver to drive dangerously.

  • Ayurvedic Yogi

    “Without a doubt, what happened to Rehtaeh and Audrie was criminal. There is no question that they were incapable of giving consent, and they were assaulted. Why is there no question? Well, first of all, there are photos of the assaults. But mostly?
    Because they were both blind drunk.

    Rehtaeh had been drinking straight vodka and smoking pot. Audrie had been drinking Gatorade mixed with hard liquor.

    They both ended up passed out.

    Both were at the homes of people they didn’t know particularly well, with no adult supervision.”

    This is exactly the same situation with the Steubenville case yet you came to a different conclusion with that. Why?

    Anyway, this is why, despite not being Asian myself, I have moved to a predominantly Asian populated neighborhood and raise my kids with Asian values and take them to the Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist temples every chance I get.

    Parents in these communities are very serious about raising kids properly with a strong focus on family values, respect, academics and overall “nerdiness” that prevents them from getting caught up in American mainstream culture which I find to be extremely degraded.

    • http://judgybitch.wordpress.com judgybitch

      The difference here is that the girls are dead.

      And if you look carefully, you’ll see I AM NOT coming to a different conclusion. I’m coming to the exact same one.

      The girls are complicit in what happened and if we are not going to talk about that, we will continue to see the exact same results.

      • Ayurvedic Yogi

        Judgy Bitch, I have to take issue with you here on one point which I brought up before in under the relevant blog article. You said you will have your husband show your son the “good” porn sites when he comes of age because you are of the opinion that your son being exposed to porn cannot be avoided and therefore he might as well get exposed in his own home by his own dad.

        These teen assaults and their twittering and online uploading of the evidence (not in an attempt to get caught but an attempt to “brag” about one’s exploits) is nothing but an extension of porn culture.

        Knowing this, why would you teach your kids that porn is anything but bad and something that should be avoided for their own good and for the good of civilization?

        Rather than expose your kids to what you perceive as “good” porn (is there really any such thing in an industry that preys upon the vulnerable as a general rule?) why not engage in some deconstruction with them and show them what the industry is really based upon?

        • http://nb.gravatar.com/emmatheemo Emma the Emo

          Why can’t one view good porn, without having anything to do with teens who take pictures of assaults? I’ve seen a lot of porn, but never came across any rape videos. Why throw away the good with the bad?
          Having said that, porn is too good for sexual condition of the man, so I wouldn’t recommend getting into it.

          • Z

            Agreed. A good many of these women (and men) are there because they want to be (particularly in the higher-quality porn), and they are paid WELL for what they do. These grown adults who are choosing to be porn stars do not need somebody else patronizing them and “protecting them” from stuff they chose to do. Certainly there are many situations where women are lured into porn, where they are blackmailed, abused, forced, whatever. But… your average mainstream porn star just does not fit that demographic. She’s a business person.

          • http://nb.gravatar.com/emmatheemo Emma the Emo

            uh… “NOT too good for the sexual condition of the man”. Silly typo.

        • Mark

          First of all, I can’t say I disagree with one point of yours. If my dad had ever tried to show me porn, as ‘JudgyBitch’ suggested, that would have really weirded me out. That seems to me a pretty creepy thing for a father to do.

          But your characterization of the industry as preying on the vulnerable seems questionable. Most of the women who go into that industry do not do so out of necessity; they do it to make money. They make the choice. It may be a bad choice, but their the one’s to blame for their own bad choices, not everyone else.

          What the industry is based on is the same thing every industry is based on: the provision of a service or product that satisfies the consumers’ desire, in this case, sexual desire; it cannot really be said to exploit its employees any more than an agricultural company exploits its farm-workers to sell food, or a factory exploits its workers to sell cars.

          If you think that porn is more degrading than farm-work or factory work, well then that might explain why many pornographic actresses get paid so much more than factory workers or farmers. The actresses obviously calculated the trade-off, and decided that the money was worth the degradations.

          Now, here’s what bothers be. Why isn’t there as much concern over all the male workers who risk not merely sexual degradation, but severe physical injury or death or psychological trauma at their own jobs, all just for money. Why is that called a fair trade; we readily allow men to put a price on their own lives; but then with porn, no price is high enough for a woman’s dignity even if she’s the one who wants to sell it. Why the double-standard?

          • Ayurvedic Yogi

            “But your characterization of the industry as preying on the vulnerable seems questionable.”

            — You’ve got to be joking. The porn industry, like much of the wider sex industry, is composed of broken people who join it in a last ditch effort to support themselves. Many of those involved come from broken homes, broken relationships, backgrounds of neglect and abuse as well as financial difficulty. That’s just speaking for those who enter it.

            Once entered they are subjected to the incredible vulnerability of STDs because appearantly consumers of porn don’t want to see condoms (!?) and profit, not health, is the bottom line!

            “Most of the women who go into that industry do not do so out of necessity; they do it to make money.”

            — 1. Money IS a necessity.

            2. Why are you speaking only of women? Men make up a large number of porn actors too.

            “They make the choice. It may be a bad choice, but their the one’s to blame for their own bad choices, not everyone else.”

            — Again, they made a choice that the industry’s players know vulnerable people are apt to make (most likely because they’ve once been in a similar vulnerable position themselves). That’s why they are targeted with hawk like precision.

            “What the industry is based on is the same thing every industry is based on: the provision of a service or product that satisfies the consumers’ desire”

            — And yet according to you the consumers are not to blame for the demand at all.

            ” in this case, sexual desire; it cannot really be said to exploit its employees any more than an agricultural company exploits its farm-workers to sell food, or a factory exploits its workers to sell cars.”

            — Not only are the employees exploited, the consumers are as well.

            This goes much deeper than just surface level pseudo-analysis.

            “Now, here’s what bothers be. Why isn’t there as much concern over all the male workers”

            — That’s exactly what I asked YOU above!

            Ironic isn’t it that you wrote several paragraphs about “women” and “actresses” when my original comment was completely gender neutral?

            “…..male workers who risk not merely sexual degradation, but severe physical injury or death or psychological trauma at their own jobs, all just for money.”

            — But you just acted that people who act in porn are not degraded, now you are declaring they are?

            “Why is that called a fair trade; we readily allow men to put a price on their own lives; but then with porn, no price is high enough for a woman’s dignity even if she’s the one who wants to sell it.

            Why the double-standard?”

            — No double standard from me mate. You are the one switching gears back and forth.

            My opinion about porn has remained unchanged for years: Its a degrading and exploitative industry for everyone – consumer and producer, male and female alike.

            FULL STOP.

  • Ayurvedic Yogi

    I posted this in the wrong space and I’m reposting it here because I think its worthy of investigation and discussion.

    “Nor do we have any problem conducting research into how the way you walk makes you more or less likely to be victimized.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/04/09/journal_of_interpersonal_violence_study_suggests_attackers_choose_victim”

    I’ve heard men complain that women who walk in the least likely to be victimized way were walking in an “unfeminine” manner”.

    “This isn’t about fearing or mistrusting all boys, because ALL BOYS ARE NOT RAPISTS.
    Reality check: some of them are.”

    The question is how many and who are they?

    Are they neurologically normal or abnormal? I think some scientific study of the brains of rapists needs to be conducted. If neurologically normal men are committing rapes, then rape cannot be or will not remain an uncommon occurance in any society.

  • http://nb.gravatar.com/emmatheemo Emma the Emo

    Slightly off topic, but kind of relevant. I want to avoid the false equivalence of “giving women advice on how to avoid rape” and “giving men advice on how to avoid being a rapist because his sexual partner regrets it”.

    Here in Oslo, one cop woman told the papers that she wants to “warn” young men against having sex with women who have been drinking any alcohol at all that day. She said she wanted them to take responsibility, and refuse to take the chance that the girl really means “yes”. If is not anti-jail advice. This is the equivalent of a rapist telling a woman “If you dress like a slut I’ll rape you, and you’re responsible and will deserve it”. The anti-rape advice is usually not given to women by rapists, and rapists don’t sit so openly in power.

    But well-meaning people telling men how to survive feminist countries is another thing.

    • Ayurvedic Yogi

      “Here in Oslo, one cop woman told the papers that she wants to “warn” young men against having sex with women who have been drinking any alcohol at all that day. She said she wanted them to take responsibility, and refuse to take the chance that the girl really means “yes”.”

      I agree with that. Whether or not she worded it as “I want to keep you from going to jail”. And even whether or not that is her intention, the advice is good and is to be heeded.

      As a man I would never take the risk. Sex simply isn’t worth it.

      • Mark

        Do you think similar advice should be told to women? Or are women supposed to be allowed to be careless about their own rights as well as others? The cop’s statement not errant in itself, but in its sole direction at men. Responsibility must not be solely the domain of men.

        • Ayurvedic Yogi

          I would think that even averagely intelligent human beings of either gender would welcome advice that is going to keep them free.

      • http://nb.gravatar.com/emmatheemo Emma the Emo

        This woman is a direct enforcer of fake rape laws. Coming out of her mouth, the advice is not well-meaning, it’s perverse.

  • Luke
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