Saturday, April 27, 2013

'Victim Blaming'

There have been a series of highly publicized high school rapes in the past several months (most notably Steubenville Ohio) where the girls were unconscious and raped by their male peers. There are so many different topics worthy of discussion from cases like this but I want to focus on only one: victim blaming.

Inevitably in these situations someone suggests that women should be taught the dangers of excessive alcohol intake and whomever makes that suggestion is accused of being a part of 'rape culture' and that they are 'blaming the victim'. Since no one wants to seem pro-rape people are able to successfully shout down what is an entirely reasonable and rational approach to tackling not only this issue but to several societal problems and that is the dangers of binge drinking.

Drinking to the point where you are borderline comatose is stupid. I feel like that point is incredibly obvious but it warrants repeating: drinking until you are unconscious is stupid. In and of itself has the potential for killing you just due to the effects of alcohol. In addition to that you are at an increased risk of being taken advantage of by other people.

For women this means that getting really drunk increases the chance that you'll be raped. It does not mean that she 'deserved it' or 'had it coming', but does anyone think that it is a good policy to get that drunk at a party? Would you teach your child that it is safe to get black out drunk at a party? Of course not. That isn't to let the criminals off the hook. The rapists in Stuebenville got what rapists deserve: prison.

But it isn't just women that pay a price for getting black out drunk. Nearly every year in Wisconsin a young college age male student goes out drinking with his buddies and then 'disappears' unfortunately he almost always washes up on shore 5-10 miles down river a few days later. Drunk men are also more likely to be the victim of assaults. A friend of mine in college was the last to leave the bar and didn't leave with the whole group, he had too much to drink and was targeted by two other men he was beaten and had his wallet and cell phone stolen. He didn't deserve to by assaulted but the police did give him the advice of "don't walk home alone drunk at 2am". I didn't bother to round up a women's studies proffesor to yell at the police office for 'victim blaming'.

Should we all tear down the signs in parking lots that state you should "Store your valuables out of sight"? After all isn't that blaming the victim who has his car broken into? Doesn't that only perpetuate 'petty theft culture'?

People do not deserve to be the victims of crime, but there are some simple things they can do to make that crime less likely.

No comments:

Post a Comment