This was too long for a status message on Facebook.
A quick note on some of the stuff I’ve been reading lately (I got here by reading a book review, mind you. Damn linking.) I don’t believe that “women taking precautions to prevent being raped” equals a “prevaling rape-culture” or “victim blaming.” For the most part, all of those “precautions” I’ve read are common sense things (and we know common sense is lacking in this society) and are useful for simply attempting to avoid all sorts of bad things in general, not just rape. Y’know, not going to a car in a dark parking lot alone at night itsn’t just good for preventing rape but preventing car-jacking or an armed robbery.
I am a rape victim (most of you will know this) and while I do NOT condone victim blaiming (it is ALWAYS the perpetrator’s fault. ALWAYS) I don’t necessarily believe that knowledge of common sense Do’s and Do Not’s for women (because as much as I am an equalist I understand that biologically men and women are built very differently and that can carry with it certain advantages and disadvantages) means that a culture is “victim-blaming” women that may not have even been sexually assulted in their lives.
Sometimes, society is too politically correct for it’s own good.
EDIT: The book review I was reading was on thebooksmugglers.com and was about the YA novel “Sister Red.” The passage one reviewer read as “victim-blaming” I totally didn’t, though I do understand her point. Quickly, the novel is a gorey retelling of “Red Riding Hood” where the two sisters hunt down what are mostly werewolves (I haven’t read the book myself, though I am interested in it.) These particular werewolves like to hunt down pretty young women. One of the sisters calls the pretty girls standing outside a club “Dragonflies” and she destests how they dress and act to attract desireable attention. However, this is a world where most people DO NOT KNOW that these werewolves exist. Nor do they know that the wolves feed on attractive young women. She and the main male protagonist talk about how these girls look like they want to be eaten and if they knew better, they wouldn’t dress that way.
While you can extrapolated that to “well if you dress a certain way you’re asking to be raped,” if you take it IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STORY then it makes more sense. Listen, if I knew that werewolves existed and were feeding on attractive young women, then I might not show so much skin and shit either. While the way you dress in real life does not influence your chances of getting raped, IN THIS BOOK the way you dress DOES influence how tasty you look to a werewolf. And lemme tell you, if a woman KNEW that wearing a dress was going to get her brutally and painfully murdered by a wolf intent on eating her, she’d think twice about wearing that dress in public. IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STORY the comments and thoughts make perfect sense. They are not blaming the girls for dressing like that because the girls know it will affect their survival chances. They are remarking upon the fact that if they knew they were gonna be dinner, they might dress and act a bit differently.
You can read their review for yourself here.