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Tuesday, 4 March 2008
Double standard Bookmark and Share
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Heather MacDonald shows her true colours on the "Campus Rape Myth" when she writes, in a recent note:

Campus rape researchers and advocates...say that they believe that a whopping one-fifth to one-quarter of college women are raped by their fellow students. Virtually all of these alleged rapes could be avoided if the girls took certain steps: don’t get into bed with a guy when you are very drunk, don’t take off your clothes, don’t get involved in oral sex, and so on. Such advice is fully consistent with female empowerment. It recognizes that girls have the power to stop “campus rape.” It treats them as moral agents able to control their fates.

The glaring omission from this self-righteous little diatribe is the behaviour of men. Perhaps men should not go to bed with a girl when very drunk, take off their clothes and so forth. Then rapes wouldn't happen. But no, MacDonald thinks men should be able to carry on exactly as they please. They can't help themselves, poor dears.

MacDonald strikes me as another woman who, in Jane Austen's words, "seek to recommend themselves to the other sex by undervaluing their own". I could go on to say that the world is full of women like this, but I'd better not.

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Posted on 03/04/2008 2:14 PM by Mary Jackson
Comments
4 Mar 2008
Esmerelda Weatherwax

It is right to behave responsibly and not blame everybody else for your misfortunes, but others also have a responsibility to behave properly as well. its a mutual duty we owe to our fellow man - a sort of interdependence.



4 Mar 2008
American Daughter

The author of this blog post is using faulty logic.� The wise person who gave the original advice is correct.� My parents gave me similar warnings, and I passed them on to my daughter in turn.

No one is saying that men who date rape bear no responsibility for their actions.� The sage advice has nothing to do with the balance of power between men and women.

First, it addresses survival issues.� A horse, being chased by a pack of wolves, will not run into a blind canyon with no way out at the other end.� He will remain on open range, in hopes of outrunning the predators.� Every living creature, except perhaps humans, will use survival behaviors that offer the best chance for safe outcomes.� So no living creature should enter into a situation that offers no outlet if things go wrong.

Second, there is the matter of probabilities.� If you don't want to get hit by a drunk driver, best not to drive past a bar at closing time.� If you don't want to get hit by a truck, best not to run in front of it in the middle of the block.� If you don't want to get date raped, best not to take off your clothes.

Third, there is the matter of personal responsibility.� There is absolutely no reason to consume so much alcohol that one loses the ability to make sensible decisions and avoid dangerous situations, but most especially outside one's own home.

Finally, there is the glaring logical flaw in the blog poster's argument.� The men aren't the ones getting raped.� If the women are the ones who want to change the situation, then they are the ones whose behavior needs to change.� Of course it is wrong for the men to behave this way.� But the bottom line is -- do the women want to be raped, but know that they are in the right?

This is just another example of people behaving badly who then claim victimhood and try to lay the blame off on someone else.

4 Mar 2008
Send an emailEnoch
The fact that rapists are wrong and have a duty to behave responsibly doesn't alter the fact that a woman who staggers drunk through a dark alley at 2am is stupid and irresponsible. 

American Daughter is exactly right.

4 Mar 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson

So, men are like "packs of wolves" then? In other words, men are animals and not responsible for their behaviour, but just just acting according to their nature?

According to "American Daughter", women, not men, should "change their behaviour" because "men aren't the ones getting raped". So, people who get beaten up or robbed should change their behaviour, because their attackers "aren't the ones getting beaten up or robbed"?

Enoch, whose somewhat quaint ideas I have noticed before, is even worse. Why should a woman not walk around drunk at 2am if she wants? Why is it "irresponsible"? Is it irresponsible for a man to do the same? If he is beaten up, is that his fault? If a Jew walks around a "Muslim area" late at night in a skull cap and gets set upon by Muslim "youths" is that his fault?

Crimes of violence - and that is what rape is - are 100% the fault of the perpetrator.

Men, poor dears, can't help themselves, can they? Why are MacDonald and other woman-hating reactionaries not saying to both men and women "Don't get drunk, put yourself in these situations," etc?

Nowhere in MacDonald's article, or in�the last two�comments, is there any suggestion that men should change their behaviour. It is simply assumed that they can't.� That is what is despicable.



5 Mar 2008
Send an emailEnoch
So, people who get beaten up or robbed should change their behaviour, because their attackers "aren't the ones getting beaten up or robbed"?

If they put themselves in a position where they significantly increase the likelihood of being beaten up or robbed, then yes, they should indeed change their behavior.  If I choose to walk through a bad part of town and I get beaten and mugged, then my attacker is responsible for attacking me, but I too am responsible for putting myself in a place where I was likely to be attacked.  That I am "innocent" and "right" and "have the right to walk through dark alleys at 2am" does not in any way alter the fact that I was stupid and irresponsible to do so.

Why should a woman not walk around drunk at 2am if she wants? Why is it "irresponsible"? Is it irresponsible for a man to do the same? If he is beaten up, is that his fault? If a Jew walks around a "Muslim area" late at night in a skull cap and gets set upon by Muslim "youths" is that his fault?

Because that increases the chances of her being raped. It is manifestly irresponsible to act in a way that increases the chance of being raped. It is not as irresponsible for a man to do the same, because men are far less likely to be the targets of rapists.  (Hello,  Mary, men and women are not the same, have you not noticed this yet?)  If a Jew puts himself in a position that increases the chance of being beaten by Muslims, he is irresponsible to do so. That the Muslims are at fault for attacking him in no way diminishes the Jew's responsibility to reduce the chance of his being attacked insofar as he is able to do so.

Crimes of violence - and that is what rape is - are 100% the fault of the perpetrator.
Not all victims have precisely the same chance to become victims.  Some people increase the chance that they will become victims through their own stupid and irresponsible behavior.  Criminals deliberately seek out such people as their targets.  The victim of the rapist is always innocent, but not every rape victim was equally likely to be raped, and the ones that did not take steps to minimize the chances of being raped were stupid and irresponsible for all that they were innocent.

Men, poor dears, can't help themselves, can they? Why are MacDonald and other woman-hating reactionaries not saying to both men and women "Don't get drunk, put yourself in these situations," etc?

Again, men and women are not the same! It is simply absurd to pretend that they are. Therefore the advice not to get drunk and pass out in a stranger's bed does not have equal relevance to men and women.

Nowhere in MacDonald's article, or in the last two comments, is there any suggestion that men should change their behaviour. It is simply assumed that they can't.  That is what is despicable.

The suggestion that men "should" change their behavior is totally irrelevant as a guide to how women should themselves behave today.  In the world as it ought to be, according to Mary Fitzgerald, men will suddenly decide to stop committing crimes, and there will be no more rape, murder, robbery, barratry, mopery, or anything of that sort. Women will be able to pass out drunk in any man's bed without fear of molestation. Huzzah, the new Jerusalem will have arrived!  However, in the world as it actually is, men do commit rapes, and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to think that men are about to stop doing so, even though it is widely known that they should not do so.  Women thus need to take the existence of potential rapists into account when deciding how to act themselves.  It is absurd and even despicable to pretend otherwise.  Prate all you like about the need for men to change their behavior, we are not going to live in a world without rapists soon, if ever, and all the breathless indignation in the world is not going to change that fact.

5 Mar 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson

However, in the world as it actually is, men do commit rapes, and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to think that men are about to stop doing so

Don't let Heather MacDonald hear you say that. According to her, if the woman's drunk it isn't really rape at all.

What's with the "Mary Fitzgerald"? Did Hugh get me drunk and marry me?



5 Mar 2008
Esmerelda Weatherwax

So what about the case of the young woman who was raped and murdered recently. The man charged with her murder and rape gave as his defence at her trial that he did not murder her, he merely had sex with her dead body, which he happened upon.

Was that her fault for being irresponsibly dead in a public place?As it happens he was convicted of both rape and murder.

The young woman had been out with her boyfriend and he had seen her home but not to the door. She was killed in the drive of her house.

Enoch�s argument sounds remarkably like that of Sheik Hilali of Australia, he who likened women to uncovered meat�.�

5 Mar 2008
Send an emailEnoch
Mary Jackson has no locks on the doors to her house. If someone walks in and steals her stuff, it is 100% their fault. They should change their behavior. She has no responsibility whatsoever to protect her property or do anything to make such theft less likely.

She also leaves her car unlocked with the keys in it. If someone drives off with her car, it is 100% their fault. They should change their behavior. She has no responsibility whatsoever to protect her property or do anything to make such theft less likely.



5 Mar 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson

Mary Jackson has no locks on the doors to her house. If someone walks in and steals her stuff, it is 100% their fault. They should change their behavior. She has no responsibility whatsoever to protect her property or do anything to make such theft less likely.

Actually,  if someone walks in and steals my stuff, then yes, it is 100% their fault. And yes, 100%, they should change their behaviour. For insurance purposes only, I should have locks on my door. But if they walked in and walked away with my stuff, they are as guilty as if they broke into Fort Knox.

In Enoch's world, I would not only have locks on my door, but on my chastity belt. Anything else is just asking for it. Suppose a rapist broke in and I was wearing nothing but a contributory negigee.



5 Mar 2008
Send an emailEnoch
Some of my previous comment got deleted.  I will try to reconstruct.

According to her, if the woman's drunk it isn't really rape at all.

No, that is not what she said. She said that many of the women could avoid being raped if they changed their behavior, e.g., if they did not get drunk and get into bed with someone.  This is clearly true, and it is hard to see how anyone could possibly argue with this. Not hard to see why you are deliberately mischaracterizing her argument, unfortunately.

So what about the case of the young woman who was raped and murdered recently.

What about it?  It is essentially irrelevant.  One example of a woman who was raped even though she did not engage in risky behavior hardly demonstrates that risky behavior does not increase the chance of being raped, nor does it establish that women have no obligation to reduce their chances of being a victim by not engaging in risky behavior.  Yes, you might get raped no matter what you do, but does this mean you should act in such a way that common sense suggests would increase the chance of being raped?  Of course not!

Enoch’s argument sounds remarkably like that of Sheik Hilali of Australia, he who likened women to uncovered meat .

Only if your powers of reading comprehension and logical reasoning are weak.

Actually,  if someone walks in and steals my stuff, then yes, it is 100% their fault. And yes, 100%, they should change their behaviour. For insurance purposes only, I should have locks on my door. But if they walked in and walked away with my stuff, they are as guilty as if they broke into Fort Knox.

Yes, you got it!  They are guilty!  And people should not be burglars!  But there are burglars in the world, that is why we have locks!  We do not have locks "for insurance purposes only" (what a preposterous assertion) but to reduce the chances that we will be victims of burglary!  We change our behavior (we lock our doors) so that we will not be victims!  If you leave your house unlocked, they are guilty, but you are also stupid and irresponsible.

In Enoch's world, I would not only have locks on my door, but on my chastity belt. Anything else is just asking for it. Suppose a rapist broke in and I was wearing nothing but a contributory negigee.

Pshaw, I can't even take this nonsense seriously.  Even you should be able to see that there is a meaningful difference between certain types of behavior, and that everyone has a personal responsibility to avoid behaviors that increase the chances of them becoming a crime victim.  For example, if you're sitting in your house and you get raped, and if you are staggering drunk down an alley at 2am and you get raped, in the latter case you behaved stupidly and irresponsibly even though the rapist is equally guilty in both cases.

6 Mar 2008
Esmerelda Weatherwax

Enoch says:- It is manifestly irresponsible to act in a way that increases the chance of being raped. Some people increase the chance that they will become victims through their own stupid and irresponsible behavior.�

Victims of rape . . . that did not take steps to minimize the chances of being raped were stupid and irresponsible for all that they were innocent.

Sheik Hilali says, If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.It is said in the state of zina (adultery), the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time on the woman. Why? Because she possesses the weapon of enticement. . . . "If a woman who shows herself off, she is to blame ... but a man should be able to control himself . . . if a woman is "covered and respectful" she "demands respect from a man".

Sheik Hilali�s language is more colourful and emotive but their message is the same.

I�m sorry you don�t like the comparison Enoch and blame it on weak reasoning but the truth often hurts.

Enoch then says men are far less likely to be the targets of rapists.�

Less likely but not unlikely. Statistically they are more likely to be the targets of violent robbery, by men.

These figures from the US Department of Justice are not as recent as I wanted. However the best their website provided when I searched is

The 1994 rates per 1,000
people 12 years old and older were as follows:
������������������������������ Female���� Male
��� All crimes of violence������ 43������� 60
��� Rape and sexual assault������ 4�������� 0.2
��� Robbery���������������������� 4�������� 8����� 
����Assault��������������������� 35������� 51
������ Aggravated assault�������� 8������� 15���� 
�������Simple assault����������� 27������� 36
��� Homicide��������������������� 0.04����� 0.18

Thus, a higher number of US males were sexually assaulted than were murdered although the actual incidence of male rape is probably higher than the statistics suggest due to failure to report the assault formally.

And more chance of being assaulted or robbed.Men should obviously behave more responsibly and not put themselves in situations such as football matches or bars where an assault might occur.



6 Mar 2008
Send an emailMark Richardson

What do you get if you fail to warn women of potential harm? In a word, unworldliness.

In the British papers right now is a story of a 15 year old English girl who died in suspicious circumstances whilst on holiday in Goa.

Her mother left her in the care of a local tour guide, whilst the rest of the family went on a trip elsewhere.  The mother rejects the idea that this was unwise, as the tour guide they had recently met "Was like part of the family. I had been to see where he lived and meet his aunts."

The tour guide was, unbeknown to the mother, having sex with the daughter. On the night of her death the daughter was seen drinking heavily, to the point she had trouble standing. She left a bar with two men at 4 am. It's not sure if she drowned or was murdered.

The mother meanwhile is more concerned with telling her children the obvious, that it's wrong to murder, than to bring them up to be worldly wise: "I feel I have to show them that it is not right for people do this to each other."

I don't think Heather MacDonald is being self-righteous in giving younger women good advice about avoiding harm. She is helping such women to be more worldly, a quality we would surely want not only our daughters, but also our sons, to acquire.



6 Mar 2008
Simon Newman
"Perhaps men should not go to bed with a girl when very drunk"

Neither male nor female students (nor anyone else) should be going to bed with each other, especially with people they barely know, when very drunk.  Female students are the main losers from the hedonistic atmosphere on campus, but both males & females are perpetrators.


6 Mar 2008
Send an emailEnoch
Esmerelda, I suggest that you wiki "association fallacy":

Guilt by association can sometimes also be a type of ad hominem fallacy, if the argument attacks a person because of the similarity between the views of someone making an argument and other proponents of the argument.

This form of the argument is as follows:

A makes claim P.
Bs also make claim P.
Therefore, A is a B.
In this case, you argue that Enoch and Heather MacDonald make the claim that  women can reduce their chance of being raped by not engaging in sexually risky behavior, and Islamic loony Sheik Hilali also makes this claim, therefore Enoch and Heather MacDonald are just the same as this Islamic loony.  This is obviously a fallacy, and not merely because our arguments are not the same as the Sheikh's at all.  This is also little more than a feeble variation on the Reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy ("you're just the same as that Islamic loony!"), taking into account that your favorite hobgoblin on this site is not Hitler but Islamic loonies.

If you truly believe that there is no difference between my argument (also MacDonald's argument) - "don't pass out drunk in a stranger's bed, and don't wander through dark alleys at 2am" - and Sheikh Hilali's argument - "stay in your house and wear your hijab" - then you are pitiful indeed.  Yes, there is a reasonable intermediate position between the type of louche campus behavior MacDonald describes and the imposition of sharia law. We don't even have to go back to the (gasp!) horrors of the repressive 1950s. All that is required is, as MacDonald says, that women on campus exercise some prudence.  Counseling women to take some basic steps to ensure their personal safety does not put us on the slippery slope to sharia law, nor is it incompatible with women's freedom, nor does it exonerate men from guilt, nor does it mean men should not change their behavior. Frankly, I do not even believe that you and Mary actually put your absurd doctrines into effect, and neglect to take any basic steps to ensure your personal safety.

Less likely but not unlikely.

So?  How does this contradict anything I said?  Again you seek to introduce irrelevancies.

[Men have] more chance of being assaulted or robbed.  Men should obviously behave more responsibly and not put themselves in situations such as football matches or bars where an assault might occur.

Yes, you are right, absolutely they should! I make a point of avoiding situations and places where the likelihood of assault or robbery is high. This is basic common sense and the exercise of normal prudence.  If I were assaulted or robbed in broad daylight in the suburban supermarket parking lot, I would not feel stupid or irresponsible, but if I were assaulted or robbed staggering home drunk through a bad part of town, I would most certainly feel that I had behaved stupidly and irresponsibly.  I don't patronize nasty dives where a lot of fights break out, and I don't jog through the park after dark with my iPod on.  When I read about people being attacked in such circumstances, I wonder what the hell they were thinking.

6 Mar 2008
Simon Newman
Mary Jackson:
"Crimes of violence - and that is what rape is"

No, rape is sexual intercourse without  the consent of the  victim.   Very few of these date rapes unambiguously involve violence or the threat of violence.  Having sex with a woman unconscious through drink is legally rape.

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