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Old 11th August 2013, 12:28 PM   #4041
Lorentz
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
We're not talking about the situation of Shermer being married but still womanizing; we're talking about him being persistently familiar with a woman who was married (and not to him). Would you feel it okay to spend the night hitting on someone who isn't coming on to you, and who has a ring on their finger besides? Would you not consider that a little inappropriately presumptuous?
I'd consider that more than just a little inappropriate. Never mind the ring on their finger, to spend the night hitting on someone who isn't interested is rude bordering on sexual harassment. The ring makes it more so. Do you know that is what he was doing? It seems to me you're filling in a few additional damning details there than we actually know of, such as "all night" and "who isn't coming on to you".

However, I was not commenting on the specific situation, I was responding to
Quote:
What do you see guys who refuse to respect marriage boundaries as?
Which was rather a more general statement.
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Old 11th August 2013, 12:45 PM   #4042
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I have worked out the dilemma to my own satisfaction by separating the decision that determined risk, getting in a car, not wearing a seatbelt, leaving the fire on the stove under the pan of grease unattended, and yes, getting drunk at a party, from the blame for the assault.

You leave the stove on, your act caused the fire. You fail to use a seat belt, your act contributed to the injuries, but you didn't necessarily cause the accident. You do something stupid getting drunk, you made a decision that had risk. You did not cause the rape, you don't bear guilt for the actions of the other person.

Women should consider risk, but that doesn't give them any causal responsibility for the rape.

You don't have to agree, all number of victim blamers can't see the difference. This is how I've clarified the difference to my personal satisfaction.
I agree, my philosophy is simiilar and in the case of rape it works pretty unambiguously. We should be able to talk about risk, rational risk avoidance and irrational risk assessment without being perceived to blame the victim.

Of course if in a victim's drunken state she mumbles "oh yes" as he starts making out, that shifts the responsibility back onto herself, unless she later utters a "stop", or a "no". Do you agree?

And there are other less clear situations, such as person A driving under the influence, who then has accident in which person B was at fault for ignoring right of way, but the alcoholically increased reaction time of person A may have contributed. Can you assign "causal" responsibility there as easily?
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Old 11th August 2013, 01:50 PM   #4043
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Originally Posted by Lorentz View Post
I agree, my philosophy is simiilar and in the case of rape it works pretty unambiguously. We should be able to talk about risk, rational risk avoidance and irrational risk assessment without being perceived to blame the victim.

Of course if in a victim's drunken state she mumbles "oh yes" as he starts making out, that shifts the responsibility back onto herself, unless she later utters a "stop", or a "no". Do you agree?
This is where the extremist feminine view that any intoxicated female cannot consent and my feminist view that women are not incapable children part ways.

It may make morning regret difficult to sort out from assaulting an intoxicated person, but sorting it out is a different issue than whether the sex was consensual or not.

Originally Posted by Lorentz View Post
And there are other less clear situations, such as person A driving under the influence, who then has accident in which person B was at fault for ignoring right of way, but the alcoholically increased reaction time of person A may have contributed. Can you assign "causal" responsibility there as easily?
Blame is not always 100%; it can be divided and often is with vehicle accidents.

While there are of course, people too drunk to drive who are also incapable of knowing they are too drunk, thus they get in behind the wheel, there is still no one else whose actions made the person drive. Incapacitated or not, the drunk driver still causes the act.

There are so many examples where people do stupid things and we don't blame the victim. An old person who can't hang up on the high pressure sales person is not blamed for being a victim of the scam. A woman whose purse is grabbed might feel she was foolish to leave the bag unattended in the shopping cart, but we don't blame her for contributing to the theft. People have very little trouble dividing 'a stupid thing to do' from 'blame for the crime', except when it comes to sexual assault.
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Old 11th August 2013, 02:05 PM   #4044
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
People have very little trouble dividing 'a stupid thing to do' from 'blame for the crime', except when it comes to sexual assault.
I agree entirely, while still seeing possible justification for those who see any comment on the victim possibly taking risks as victim-blaming, as in some cultures slut-shaming is still alive and well and rapists are (allegedly, I haven't verified) still sometimes able to escape punishment by demonstrating promiscuity on the part of the victim. So in my view a certain amount of oversensitivity can be excused, even while I disagree.
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Old 11th August 2013, 02:27 PM   #4045
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post

Blame is not always 100%; it can be divided and often is with vehicle accidents.
I think rather than conceptualising it as sharing or dividing the blame it would be more accurate to state that each person has 100% responsibility for their own actions.

No matter how stupid, risky or whatever the victim behaves that doesn't lessen the culpability of a person who commits a crime against them.

On the other hand, deciding to indulge in risky behaviour seems to suggest an acceptance of the possible negative outcomes of that behaviour. 'Blame' is not the right word in that situation, not sure what is, even responsibility seems too strong.
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Old 11th August 2013, 02:34 PM   #4046
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Originally Posted by Lorentz View Post
I'd consider that more than just a little inappropriate. Never mind the ring on their finger, to spend the night hitting on someone who isn't interested is rude bordering on sexual harassment. The ring makes it more so. Do you know that is what he was doing? It seems to me you're filling in a few additional damning details there than we actually know of, such as "all night" and "who isn't coming on to you".
Well here's the original excerpt:

Quote:
I got my book signed, then at the post-speech party, Shermer chatted with me at great length while refilling my wine glass repeatedly. I lost count of how many drinks I had. He was flirting with me and I am non-confrontational and unwilling to be rude, so I just laughed it off. He made sure my wine glass stayed full.

And thatís the entirety of my story: Michael Shermer helped get me drunker than I normally get, and was a bit flirty. I canít recall the details because I was intoxicated. I donít remember how I left, but I am told that a friend took me away from the situation and home from the party. Note, Iíd never gotten drunk at any atheist event before; I was humiliated by having gotten so drunk and even more ashamed that my friends had to cart me off before anything happened to me.

But I had a bad taste in my mouth about Shermerís flirtatiousness, because Iím married, and I thought he was kind of a pig. I didnít even keep his signed book, I didnít want it near me.
Perhaps "all night" is ambiguous; but surely "at great length" and her wine glass being filled repeatedly until she was so intoxicated that she couldn't even remember leaving, suggests that we're talking about more than a single exchange or a 10-minute chat.

As for "who isn't coming onto you"; well yes we can say with a reasonable degree of confidence that she wasn't coming onto him, because she explicitly says she "laughed off" his advances, and considered the fact that he was flirting with her while she was married to be "pig"-like behavior and repulsive enough that she was compelled to discard his book, which she'd just gotten signed by him earlier that day.
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Old 11th August 2013, 02:37 PM   #4047
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
I think rather than conceptualising it as sharing or dividing the blame it would be more accurate to state that each person has 100% responsibility for their own actions.

No matter how stupid, risky or whatever the victim behaves that doesn't lessen the culpability of a person who commits a crime against them.

On the other hand, deciding to indulge in risky behaviour seems to suggest an acceptance of the possible negative outcomes of that behaviour. 'Blame' is not the right word in that situation, not sure what is, even responsibility seems too strong.
Can you say you apply no double standard to sexual assault when it comes to 'blame' and 'acceptance of the possible negative outcomes'? Think carefully and get back to me.

And while you're at it, do you put dressing suggestively in the same blame category as getting drunk at a party?
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Old 11th August 2013, 02:40 PM   #4048
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Originally Posted by Lorentz View Post
I agree entirely, while still seeing possible justification for those who see any comment on the victim possibly taking risks as victim-blaming, as in some cultures slut-shaming is still alive and well and rapists are (allegedly, I haven't verified) still sometimes able to escape punishment by demonstrating promiscuity on the part of the victim. So in my view a certain amount of oversensitivity can be excused, even while I disagree.
I do not.

First, anecdotally. I've been burglarized about a half dozen times in two States. On no occasion did the police fail to blame me for having been burglarized. In Tallahassee, there's one guy I knew who was burglarized, and his treatment by the police was so insulting that the next time he was burglarized and tied up he refused to let the first responders untie him until the cop in question arrived and saw him tied up. I've also been in some instances where I was physically attacked, once buy a guy who just decided to slap me and knocked one of my contact lenses out. I did not retaliate. The police, upon arrival, threatened me with arrest and let him go. I had some Schadenfreude when I later heard sirens when he had acted up again.

Second, from research. There was a classic experiment done on cognitive psychology during the 1950s where participants were told a story of someone making an error and getting into an accident on a scooter. Not only did the participants consistently assign blame, but the greater damage to the rider reported in the story (from a boo-boo to paralysis), the more they assigned blame.

Victim-blaming is basic human psychology. It is stupid to believe that it only exists for sexual assault and battery. I do not think that you are stupid. I especially do not think that Skeptic Ginger is stupid. I think, rather, that people only care about it when it affects a class of people with whom they identify and consider victims.

I'm six feet tall, with a large chest, and male, and can pass for white although I'm ethnically a Jew. Nobody is ever going to care about what happens to me, nor are they ever going to consider that the fact that they don't care indicates a bias of some sort. If anything, the more intelligent people are even less likely to do so, as they think their intelligence makes them all unbiased and totally rational.

Nor, of course, did anyone care when I was sexually battered. That's just unimportant. Oh, sure, presenting this may generate a lot of platitudes, such as "I'm sorry that this happened to you, but..." which I suppose people consider a substitute for empathy. Still, we don't have huge threads about that, unless they are about how the Southern Poverty Law Center was right to decide that any group that does care is a hate group.
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Old 11th August 2013, 02:40 PM   #4049
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Well here's the original excerpt:



Perhaps "all night" is ambiguous; but surely "at great length" and her wine glass being filled repeatedly until she was so intoxicated that she couldn't even remember leaving, suggests that we're talking about more than a single exchange or a 10-minute chat.

As for "who isn't coming onto you"; well yes we can say with a reasonable degree of confidence that she wasn't coming onto him, because she explicitly says she "laughed off" his advances, and considered the fact that he was flirting with her while she was married to be "pig"-like behavior and repulsive enough that she was compelled to discard his book, which she'd just gotten signed by him earlier that day.
She couldn't remember leaving, and she "laughed off" his advances. How was Shermer supposed to know she was repulsed by his behavior?
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Old 11th August 2013, 03:00 PM   #4050
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Can you say you apply no double standard to sexual assault when it comes to 'blame' and 'acceptance of the possible negative outcomes'? Think carefully and get back to me.
I am pretty sure I do. For example, on a couple of occasions I have had experiences of getting drunk and people taking advantage of that (non-sexually). In those cases, I think the people who did that are 100% to blame for what they did but I also accept that if I do stupid things like that then sometimes bad things are going to happen to me and I need to deal with that.

If you want another example, then I take your example and say I apply pretty much the same logic to the old lady not being able to say no to the pushy salesman. My views on cyber-bullying (which seems to be high profile where I am right now) are pretty much in line too. I'm not making a special case for sexual assault.

That doesn't make me to blame for the other person's choices however.

That doesn't seem all that controversial to me when I look at other risky examples. If I indulge in lots of unprotected sex and get an STD, if I juggle loaded guns and end up shot, if I invest in shares and lose all my money. Isn't that an inherent part of a 'risk decision'?

Quote:
And while you're at it, do you put dressing suggestively in the same blame category as getting drunk at a party?
Why reintroduce the word blame here? When I explicitly said its the wrong word? In any case, I guess it could be. I genuinely don't know what the increased risk is of dressing suggestively. I imagine its significantly less risky than getting really drunk. I'm only guessing though.

And it still wouldn't reduce the culpability in any way of someone who chose to commit a crime against them.

The alternative would seem to be to not acknowledge the possible negative outcomes of the decision - that doesn't seem like a 'risk decision' then. I'm not even sure what the correct term would be in that case.

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Old 11th August 2013, 04:11 PM   #4051
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
She couldn't remember leaving, and she "laughed off" his advances. How was Shermer supposed to know she was repulsed by his behavior?
Well that's almost certainly how Shermer would defend himself. But he certainly couldn't have thought he was successfully seducing her, if all his mack continually got him was a few awkward "I'm trying to be polite" chuckles.

It's part of the reason why being mannered and non-confrontational like that individual describes herself is so perilous; it puts you at a disadvantage in situations such as these. You try not to offend, and people like (allegedly) Shermer take it for approval. Ashley had the same problem in the situation she described. Every time the creep felt her up she got up and moved across the room; but since she didn't get all loud about it he just kept on trying. And in a way, it seems to be what Stollznow's alleging as well - she tried to politely ignore it at first and rather than getting the hint, he took it as an invitation to escalate and it just got steadily worse.

For people who imagine or promote themselves as having such intelligence, sometimes skeptics appear to be just painfully ignorant when it comes to the simplest social "hints". Or maybe it's just when their mental train is on a specific set of tracks that what should otherwise be fairly obvious body language suddenly becomes all ambiguous.

The sad thing is, what it all basically means is that the non-confrontational don't-want-to-offend folks are the ones who end up having to change their behavior to remedy the situation, rather than the people doing the imposing.
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Old 11th August 2013, 04:18 PM   #4052
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Originally Posted by epepke View Post
*respectfully snipped*

I'm six feet tall, with a large chest, and male, and can pass for white although I'm ethnically a Jew. Nobody is ever going to care about what happens to me, nor are they ever going to consider that the fact that they don't care indicates a bias of some sort. If anything, the more intelligent people are even less likely to do so, as they think their intelligence makes them all unbiased and totally rational.

Nor, of course, did anyone care when I was sexually battered. That's just unimportant. Oh, sure, presenting this may generate a lot of platitudes, such as "I'm sorry that this happened to you, but..." which I suppose people consider a substitute for empathy. Still, we don't have huge threads about that, unless they are about how the Southern Poverty Law Center was right to decide that any group that does care is a hate group.
Wait, am I reading this right? You were sexually battered and no one cared? Well, I care, though obviously this does nothing now.

I'm very sorry about that, epepke. You deserved better.
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Old 11th August 2013, 04:29 PM   #4053
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Originally Posted by Empress View Post
Wait, am I reading this right? You were sexually battered and no one cared? Well, I care, though obviously this does nothing now.

I'm very sorry about that, epepke. You deserved better.
The second sentence is correct. All the phone lines and counselors were hostile. The police? Hah. That hurt orders of magnitude more than the sexual battery itself.

But I did learn from it. I like learning, even when I learn ugly things. One of the things I learned is that all this crap about victim-blaming being reserved for women or for sexual battery of women (which is what they mean) is a load of rule violation, and those who trot it out do not deserve to be taken seriously about anything for the rest of their lives.
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Old 11th August 2013, 06:28 PM   #4054
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
I am pretty sure I do. For example, on a couple of occasions I have had experiences of getting drunk and people taking advantage of that (non-sexually). In those cases, I think the people who did that are 100% to blame for what they did but I also accept that if I do stupid things like that then sometimes bad things are going to happen to me and I need to deal with that.

If you want another example, then I take your example and say I apply pretty much the same logic to the old lady not being able to say no to the pushy salesman. My views on cyber-bullying (which seems to be high profile where I am right now) are pretty much in line too. I'm not making a special case for sexual assault.

That doesn't make me to blame for the other person's choices however.

That doesn't seem all that controversial to me when I look at other risky examples. If I indulge in lots of unprotected sex and get an STD, if I juggle loaded guns and end up shot, if I invest in shares and lose all my money. Isn't that an inherent part of a 'risk decision'?

Why reintroduce the word blame here? When I explicitly said its the wrong word? In any case, I guess it could be. I genuinely don't know what the increased risk is of dressing suggestively. I imagine its significantly less risky than getting really drunk. I'm only guessing though.

And it still wouldn't reduce the culpability in any way of someone who chose to commit a crime against them.

The alternative would seem to be to not acknowledge the possible negative outcomes of the decision - that doesn't seem like a 'risk decision' then. I'm not even sure what the correct term would be in that case.
Your statement was contradictory: "On the other hand, deciding to indulge in risky behaviour seems to suggest an acceptance of the possible negative outcomes of that behaviour. 'Blame' is not the right word in that situation, not sure what is, even responsibility seems too strong."

You say blame is not the right word while saying the person should accept the consequences because of their choices.

Perhaps you are missing my point because you seem to be grasping for the same one: separate risk behavior from guilt and blame for another's actions.

I'm having a hard time finding just where you disagree with this post.
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Old 11th August 2013, 06:58 PM   #4055
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Originally Posted by Rrose Selavy View Post
I think this belongs here....

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I AGREE

As she gets older that concern about making a scene will fade but so will these kinds of incidents. Nothing like a swift kick in the balls and a "get your hands off of me", with some loud expletives thrown in, would have solved the problem for all time.
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Old 12th August 2013, 12:29 AM   #4056
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Originally Posted by Badger3k View Post
Maybe someone just keeps buying drinks even after you want to be done, but drink out of some misguided sense of politeness, or you just want a few drinks but they buy strong ones without telling you, and as you get drunker they keep putting drinks in front of you. Drinks and smooth talking can get someone to do something they might not want to (or might regret later).
It's very easy to lose track and get much drunker than intended if someone is constantly topping off the glasses in a subtle way, especially when drinking beer or wine from a shared pitcher or bottle. One thinks they've only had a drink or two, but actually that's a bottomless glass in their hand. It's very easy to pull off without being noticed. It can even be misconstrued as polite behavior and/or generosity if one is caught, serving others before serving oneself.

There's also bottle switching, exchanging a full bottle of beer for a half-empty one when the person's not looking. This is extremely effective if the recipient is already partially in the bag. This can also be passed off as polite behavior if one is caught, bussing the table and grouping the empty bottles together in order to help the wait staff. I've bottle-switched in an entirely non-malicious way just to get rid of gratuitous drinks that I didn't want. Look, presto! Drank that beer you bought me, oh no, don't need any more tyvm. In hindsight I realize that this was a dangerous and foolish thing to do, but at the time I felt entitled to do it because I was the designated driver.
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Old 12th August 2013, 01:00 AM   #4057
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Originally Posted by Apology View Post
...

There's also bottle switching, exchanging a full bottle of beer for a half-empty one when the person's not looking. ....
Oh for pity's sake. The CT forum is that way ->
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Old 12th August 2013, 01:48 AM   #4058
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Oh for pity's sake. The CT forum is that way ->
clearly you didn't read the whole post in which I said I HAVE DONE THIS MYSELF. It's hardly a conspiracy theory when I'm openly admitting to having done this to other people.
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Old 12th August 2013, 02:24 AM   #4059
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Originally Posted by epepke View Post
I do not.

First, anecdotally. I've been burglarized about a half dozen times in two States. On no occasion did the police fail to blame me for having been burglarized. In Tallahassee, there's one guy I knew who was burglarized, and his treatment by the police was so insulting that the next time he was burglarized and tied up he refused to let the first responders untie him until the cop in question arrived and saw him tied up. I've also been in some instances where I was physically attacked, once buy a guy who just decided to slap me and knocked one of my contact lenses out. I did not retaliate. The police, upon arrival, threatened me with arrest and let him go. I had some Schadenfreude when I later heard sirens when he had acted up again.
I'm shocked. I've been burglarised three times, I've been robbed at gunpoint (not sure if the gun was real) once. In no case did I feel the police blamed me, although I certainly could have taken more measures to prevent those events.

Originally Posted by epepke View Post
Second, from research. There was a classic experiment done on cognitive psychology during the 1950s where participants were told a story of someone making an error and getting into an accident on a scooter. Not only did the participants consistently assign blame, but the greater damage to the rider reported in the story (from a boo-boo to paralysis), the more they assigned blame.

Victim-blaming is basic human psychology. It is stupid to believe that it only exists for sexual assault and battery. I do not think that you are stupid. I especially do not think that Skeptic Ginger is stupid. I think, rather, that people only care about it when it affects a class of people with whom they identify and consider victims.
Is it? You see, I've never witnessed it, nor heard anyone in my social or work environment even mention it. The first time I came across the concept was in the post-elevatorgate discussions. Also, in my life I've known two people well who have at one point been raped. In one case there was frustration about not being able to bring the perpetrator to justice. In neither case did they mention being blamed in any way for what happened.

I'm not saying my anecdotal evidence means it's not so, but t's entirely foreign to my experience.

Originally Posted by epepke View Post
I'm six feet tall, with a large chest, and male, and can pass for white although I'm ethnically a Jew. Nobody is ever going to care about what happens to me, nor are they ever going to consider that the fact that they don't care indicates a bias of some sort. If anything, the more intelligent people are even less likely to do so, as they think their intelligence makes them all unbiased and totally rational.
I've also noticed people caring less what happens to you if you're a competent white male. I do think that's a form of female privilege that's rarely explored: if you're female, people care more what happens to you, people even care about your feelings. Is caring about a guy's feelings even a thing, for someone not in a relationship with him?

As for bias, I'm glad I'm not so intelligent that I think I'm free of it.

Originally Posted by epepke View Post
Nor, of course, did anyone care when I was sexually battered. That's just unimportant. Oh, sure, presenting this may generate a lot of platitudes, such as "I'm sorry that this happened to you, but..." which I suppose people consider a substitute for empathy. Still, we don't have huge threads about that, unless they are about how the Southern Poverty Law Center was right to decide that any group that does care is a hate group.
I'm sorry that this happened to you, but that's a pretty empty phrase coming from me at this point.

I'm completely shocked that nobody cared you suffered sexual battery. I do not understand the reference to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Is this related to the general rejection of anything resembling Men's Rights movements?
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Old 12th August 2013, 02:28 AM   #4060
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You don't have to agree, all number of victim blamers can't see the difference.
Somehow I knew it would end up like that. You're so predictable.
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Old 12th August 2013, 02:31 AM   #4061
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Originally Posted by epepke View Post
The second sentence is correct. All the phone lines and counselors were hostile. The police? Hah. That hurt orders of magnitude more than the sexual battery itself.
Wow, that's sickening. Is that standard behaviour for paid public servants in the USA ?
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Old 12th August 2013, 02:32 AM   #4062
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Perhaps "all night" is ambiguous; but surely "at great length" and her wine glass being filled repeatedly until she was so intoxicated that she couldn't even remember leaving, suggests that we're talking about more than a single exchange or a 10-minute chat.
Agreed.

Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
As for "who isn't coming onto you"; well yes we can say with a reasonable degree of confidence that she wasn't coming onto him, because she explicitly says she "laughed off" his advances, and considered the fact that he was flirting with her while she was married to be "pig"-like behavior and repulsive enough that she was compelled to discard his book, which she'd just gotten signed by him earlier that day.
I agree she was - in her mind - not coming on to him. The phrasing however "laughing it off", suggests a woman with a blush on her cheeks from embarrassment laughing at his flirtations. That would be way easy to misinterpret as blushing and laughing because she's utterly charmed and attracted.

It could be the image I'm picturing is incorrect, but the phrasing does not suggest that she signaled to this man with high social status and possible delusions of sexual godhood, that she found his attentions objectionable. So that's where I think your interpretation and the likely interpretation based on "laughing it off", diverge significantly.

p.s. It could well be he's a sexual god, I have no way of knowing, so apologies if I misused 'delusions'. Anyone who has personal experience please feel free to correct me.
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Old 12th August 2013, 02:35 AM   #4063
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
The sad thing is, what it all basically means is that the non-confrontational don't-want-to-offend folks are the ones who end up having to change their behavior to remedy the situation, rather than the people doing the imposing.
This, very much so. Being politely non-confrontational is more often than not a really bad strategy. I much prefer being politely confrontational, I also strongly prefer it in others.
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Old 12th August 2013, 07:55 AM   #4064
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Wow, that's sickening. Is that standard behaviour for paid public servants in the USA ?
It certainly shouldn't be. IMO, every one of those people ought to be immediately fired.

Unfortunately, sex crimes, even today, tend to be seen as "male on female" crimes, although the laws were long ago overhauled to make them gender-neutral. When you turn the situation on its head and make the victim a male, I suspect many people jump to offensive conclusions. "A woman can't rape a man" or "He was consenting, but doesn't want anyone to find out he's secretly gay". This is nauseating, but judging by epepke's experience, we're not as progressive as I like to think we are. What happened to epepke should never occur. Full stop.
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Old 12th August 2013, 08:51 AM   #4065
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Originally Posted by Lorentz View Post
Is it? You see, I've never witnessed it, nor heard anyone in my social or work environment even mention it. The first time I came across the concept was in the post-elevatorgate discussions. Also, in my life I've known two people well who have at one point been raped. In one case there was frustration about not being able to bring the perpetrator to justice. In neither case did they mention being blamed in any way for what happened.
Your perceptions are consistent with each other, though, so I am not inclined to doubt you. There are regional and cultural differences in the professionalism of law enforcement and the like. Here in Cobb County, the police are highly courteous. In the adjacent Fulton county, they have rather the reputation. The last time I lived there, they were known for driving drunk, and one totaled his cruiser on a Denny's sign.

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I'm completely shocked that nobody cared you suffered sexual battery. I do not understand the reference to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Is this related to the general rejection of anything resembling Men's Rights movements?
Yes, that is the somewhat oblique reference. The equivalent during the 1980s was practically the only venue where I found people to talk to.
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Old 12th August 2013, 08:53 AM   #4066
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Wow, that's sickening. Is that standard behaviour for paid public servants in the USA ?
In some parts, yes, it is. It probably depends on where and when one lives. I do not have a color-coded map of the whole country.
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Old 12th August 2013, 09:00 AM   #4067
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Originally Posted by epepke View Post
Your perceptions are consistent with each other, though, so I am not inclined to doubt you. There are regional and cultural differences in the professionalism of law enforcement and the like. Here in Cobb County, the police are highly courteous. In the adjacent Fulton county, they have rather the reputation. The last time I lived there, they were known for driving drunk, and one totaled his cruiser on a Denny's sign.
My experiences were in the Netherlands, not North America.
And frankly, I've always had a very high opinion of the Dutch police, most definitely when compared to my experiences with French, Spanish and Belgian police.
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Old 12th August 2013, 11:16 AM   #4068
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Deleted, never mind.
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Old 12th August 2013, 11:19 AM   #4069
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Somehow I knew it would end up like that. You're so predictable.
You can't have it both ways.

You can't say the victim contributed to the rape by being intoxicated and pretend that isn't victim blaming.

I separated risk decisions from the rape blame. If you have a middle ground by all means articulate it.
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Old 12th August 2013, 11:35 AM   #4070
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Your statement was contradictory: "On the other hand, deciding to indulge in risky behaviour seems to suggest an acceptance of the possible negative outcomes of that behaviour. 'Blame' is not the right word in that situation, not sure what is, even responsibility seems too strong."

You say blame is not the right word while saying the person should accept the consequences because of their choices.

Perhaps you are missing my point because you seem to be grasping for the same one: separate risk behavior from guilt and blame for another's actions.

I'm having a hard time finding just where you disagree with this post.
Maybe I misunderstood you then. I seemed like you were saying someone who takes a risk bears no.... responsibility?.... for the outcome of that risk decision. Which seemed odd.

Anyway....its not really important to the topic of this thread.

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Old 12th August 2013, 12:18 PM   #4071
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Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles View Post
Maybe I misunderstood you then. I seemed like you were saying someone who takes a risk bears no.... responsibility?.... for the outcome of that risk decision. Which seemed odd.

Anyway....its not really important to the topic of this thread.
I would have (and have) phrased it that way. Taking a risk does not make you responsible for an outcome, especially when that outcome is the direct result of someone else's actions.

It's a bit of a semantic quibble, admittedly.
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Old 12th August 2013, 04:03 PM   #4072
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Originally Posted by Lorentz View Post
I would have (and have) phrased it that way. Taking a risk does not make you responsible for an outcome, especially when that outcome is the direct result of someone else's actions.

It's a bit of a semantic quibble, admittedly.
It's a philosophical approach, not a semantic quibble. It also illustrates the double standard we often have to take care to avoid when it comes to concluding some risk taking includes fault/guilt and other risk taking does not include fault/guilt.

It's wrong on a gut level to blame a rape victim because they wore revealing clothing. Depending on one's underlying moral premises some people would say that woman wasn't acting 'lady-like' and bears some of the blame.

Take it another step, do you blame the woman for going out to the bar? Talking to strangers? Getting drunk? Again, depending on one's underlying moral premises some people would say that woman wasn't acting 'lady-like' and bears some of the blame.

But it's still wrong on a gut level to blame the victim. Yet more people would start to say the woman's behavior contributed.

I've been out to bars in my younger days. I've hooked up with guys I met at parties, a couple of whom I even had a longer relationship with. It was normal behavior in my social circles at that time. I don't don't see any more risk there than walking to your car alone in a parking lot, where it so happens a fair amount of assaults occur.

Yet the moral aspect, 'not lady-like' seeps into the blame mentality and leaks into the "she took the risk" assessment. Who's more responsible, the woman who walked alone to her car in the parking lot or the woman who went out drinking? If you found out an equal number of women were raped in both the bar and the parking lot scenarios, would that change your opinion?

Hopefully people can see when they look at assigning blame/guilt to the two scenarios that there is something more than semantics that is involved in the perception of risk taking.

Sexual assault stats

Location: Commercial place/parking lot or garage 10-16% of assaults

Quote:
Over all three periods, between 41% and 48% of victims of sexual violence were undertaking activities at or around their homes at the time of the incident. In 2005-10, 12% of rape or sexual assault victimizations against females occurred while the victim was working, and 7% occurred while the victim was attending school. Another 29% of sexual violence occurred while the victim went to or from work or school, was out shopping, or was engaged in leisure activities away from the home.
The data is not perfect for what I'm looking for, but it doesn't appear justified to say the woman drinking at a bar or party is necessarily taking the most risk and therefore that is the difference in perception of blame.
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Old 12th August 2013, 08:40 PM   #4073
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Where the question comes in here in particular in this case is how is Shermer to blame for a choice to drink? Maybe he was. But I'm having trouble with the claim as it is stated.
Time to de-lurk for a moment. My apologies for dredging up a post which is a few days old already.

First, I firmly believe that - in the absence of drink-spiking or similar - you are the only person who can get you drunk. There is something to be said, however, about someone continually topping-up your drink, as PZ has specu-stated is Shermer's MO.

If you are trying to watch how much you are drinking, that can be made a lot more difficult if someone is refilling your glass continuously. Especially if this is without your knowledge. Double especially if you have already had a few (Wow! My glass is full? I mustn't have drunk as much as I thought I had).

My 2c.
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Old 12th August 2013, 09:06 PM   #4074
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Originally Posted by qarnos View Post
Time to de-lurk for a moment. My apologies for dredging up a post which is a few days old already.

First, I firmly believe that - in the absence of drink-spiking or similar - you are the only person who can get you drunk. There is something to be said, however, about someone continually topping-up your drink, as PZ has specu-stated is Shermer's MO.

If you are trying to watch how much you are drinking, that can be made a lot more difficult if someone is refilling your glass continuously. Especially if this is without your knowledge. Double especially if you have already had a few (Wow! My glass is full? I mustn't have drunk as much as I thought I had).

My 2c.
So according to your premise an innocent person was coerced to drink by an evil cunning rapist.

Sorry, I just can't see "victim" in that scenario.

Don't get me wrong, I do see victim in, rapist takes advantage of drunk female, just not in, he made me/tricked me into drinking.
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Old 12th August 2013, 09:32 PM   #4075
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So according to your premise an innocent person was coerced to drink by an evil cunning rapist.
Not at all. I also don't buy into the "I was coerced [into drinking]" statement. I'm offering a hypothetical which may have happened which, in the mind of the woman making the claim, became "I was coerced". Her actual complaint may be that she was mislead into becoming drunker than she intended.

EDIT: Actually, she didn't claim she was "coerced [into drinking]", only that she was "coerced into a position in which she could not consent". So her statement, in my mind, is consistent with the hypothetical.

Quote:
Sorry, I just can't see "victim" in that scenario.
I don't see an huge difference between the hypothetical I presented and drink-spiking. If someone has stated, for example, they are only having one more drink and you keep topping-up when their back is turned... what do you think about that? If you are already "nicely toasted", you may have difficulty in even noticing this is happening - caused by the same impairment which most people seem to agree makes you unable to consent.

Not saying that happened here, but it's an interesting question. So many shades of gray.
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Old 13th August 2013, 12:17 AM   #4076
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There is much speculation and hand-wringing over these accusations, but should there be? Really? Is Shermer's usual behavior so above reproach that we should scorn PZ for casting such aspersions? First, why would PZ do it? He has no known beef with Shermer. It seems to me that PZ is opening himself up to a whole lot of flak for no objective gain.

No, I do trust PZ more than Shermer and I'll tell you exactly and precisely why. When I attended TAM4 with my wife we spoke to Shermer and had him sign a book, before we departed he took my wife aside and briefly spoke in her ear. Only later, when we were in our room, did she tell me what Shermer said, that she was sexy and then suggested that the two of them slip away for drinks. He did that right in front of me...the husband he had just met... which to me suggests a narcissist for whom the usual rules of society just don't really matter.

To suggest that such a man might eventually do rape...? Not really such an extraordinary claim. We're not talking about Bigfoot here.

And no, there's no rape in my little tale...no crime...just a privileged turd using his position as a notable person in order to get laid, and from many years back. The reason I take such a dim view of him is obvious, but the victim accounts also have an unmistakable ring of truth to them IMHO. Shermer is a creep...I have no evidence that he's also a rapist...but I do know he's a creep firsthand.

I believe the victims.

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Old 13th August 2013, 01:43 AM   #4077
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Take it another step, do you blame the woman for going out to the bar? Talking to strangers? Getting drunk? Again, depending on one's underlying moral premises some people would say that woman wasn't acting 'lady-like' and bears some of the blame.
I do not blame someone for taking a risk that involves relying on other people not to behave badly. In fact, in my philosophy that's a good thing.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
But it's still wrong on a gut level to blame the victim. Yet more people would start to say the woman's behavior contributed.
Yes, prudery isn't dead yet, but how is that related from the philsophical point of view?

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Yet the moral aspect, 'not lady-like' seeps into the blame mentality and leaks into the "she took the risk" assessment. Who's more responsible, the woman who walked alone to her car in the parking lot or the woman who went out drinking? If you found out an equal number of women were raped in both the bar and the parking lot scenarios, would that change your opinion?
My first thought is that taking risks without upsides like walking through a deserted parking lot is worse than taking risks that do have upsides, like going out for drinks. I'm not sure where you're going with this, unless you think I'm likely to ever blame a woman for behaving "not-lady-like".

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Hopefully people can see when they look at assigning blame/guilt to the two scenarios that there is something more than semantics that is involved in the perception of risk taking.
Perceptions of risk taking are very much not semantics and it's an important and in my view, fascinating topic.

However with "semantic quibble" I meant how you define "responsibility". Whether having taking a risk that made it more likely, makes you partly "responsible" even when someone else is 100% responsible through their actions.

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Old 13th August 2013, 01:48 AM   #4078
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Originally Posted by rikzilla View Post
I believe the victimsaccusers.
Fixed.
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Old 13th August 2013, 06:59 AM   #4079
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You can't have it both ways.

You can't say the victim contributed to the rape by being intoxicated and pretend that isn't victim blaming.
Yes, that's why I said you're predictable. You read into my post things that weren't there. I simply corrected you in that getting drunk is not a condition, it's a decision. It doesn't make one responsible for what other people do to you when you're drunk, but it's smart risk management to be aware of the potential consequences. You seem to be trying to make it sound like the victim had no control over the 'condition', which is not quite true.
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Old 13th August 2013, 07:26 AM   #4080
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Originally Posted by rikzilla View Post
To suggest that such a man might eventually do rape...? Not really such an extraordinary claim. We're not talking about Bigfoot here.
I disagree. Rape is not only a rare but serious crime for which we require (usually) solid evidence. It is an extraordinary claim , in the sense of its rarity and the number of perpretor in our societies. Comparing it to big foot a cryptozoid is sorry stupid. You might as well say Shermer being a murderer is not an extraordinary claim. Heck you might as well state Shermer being a mass genocidial murderer is not an extraordinary claim by such high standard.

And asking a wife for a drink is not a premise for rape. A lot of swinger do that, and the couple I know which often go in the swinger club in my town, are certainly as normal and not rapist as they can be. You might not like the idea, but to state that such a man you see as a probable rapist... Well sorry but that's idiotic. Just because you do not like a practice does not mean that those who do it are more likely to rape than others.

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