Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Behaving irresponsibly

Abyss2hope at Alas a Blog has a good piece about definitions of rape, and what types of framing "empower" women versus simply blaming the victim. Seems like it would be a simple distinction, but recurringly otherwise -- when popular culture latches onto "she should have known better than to be drinking," we've lost sight of the implicit entitlement being assigned to the victimizer. The take-home is really this:
If we truly want to empower women we must stop making them responsible for other people’s actions directed at them and we must stop blaming them when their exploiters succeed at reaching their goal.

The full responsibility for rape must always be put on the rapist whether he uses a knife or manipulation to control the person he wants sex from. To call a rapist who uses tools other than brute force anything but a rapist is to disregard the harm done to that person’s victim.
It's worth reading the whole thing, especially if you haven't explored these questions much.

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