writing rengeek magpie mind

October 2014

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writing rengeek magpie mind

Hey, Harlan?

This is so not okay.

***

Comments

"Besides, women who "strike back," as you put it, at men who are physically assaulting them often risk upping the ante of male aggression even more,"

Incorrect.


Well, it's certainly true of sexual assaults by rapists--I was more than disappointed when I found out from a book by an expert on serial rapists that some will be deterred by violence from the intended victim, some will escalate their violence in response, and there is no way for an individual intended victim to know which type the rapist in question is. The difference has to do with why the person rapes and how confident he is.

Now, I don't classify what Ellison allegedly did as a sexual assault in this violent sense, though it does qualify in other ways. However, when violence is involved, yes, fighting back does impose the risk that you might get hurt worse. You might also get away. I think it's very important to look at this factually, not in terms of idiology.
That may be true, but if I'm going to be raped, and possibly murdered, I'm going to go down with a hell of a fight. Defensive wounds attract attension, and I'm going to make him work for it. And yes, I AM speaking as a woman who has been sexually victimized.

Comments like this seem to try to convince women, they should just roll over, and ALLOW themselves to be raped. I can't condone that.
Comments like this seem to try to convince women, they should just roll over, and ALLOW themselves to be raped. I can't condone that.

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but see, this is exactly why I stated that I thought topics like this should be discussed in terms of facts, not idiology.

If I had to summarize my idiological position, it would be that women should know as many facts as possible and make their own decisions.

You clearly have done so, and that's great. I, personally, incline towards another decision--although I can never know what I'd do until the moment, once I was physically under a rapist's physical control, I probably would rather be raped than risk escalating the violence. For one thing, I'm physically weak and out of shape, neither a good fighter nor a good runner, and I know that.

Certainly, I can make my decision and you can make yours without trying to convince all women--or even any other women--of anything.

I certainly would try nonphysical solutions, with which I know I'd have a better chance. For both physical and nonphysical solutions, as well as literal encouragement for those women who would want to fight, I highly recommend Her Wits About Her, a collection of true stories of women who successfully pevented violent rape.

Also, of course nonviolent sexual harrassment, which can escalate to violence but mostly doesn't, is not exactly the same issue.
As it happens, when you say that a particular behavior may increase the risk of you getting hurt, and it also may decrease that risk, it is incorrect to say that it increases that risk, or even simply that it often increases that risk, if you have no information about whether it increases the risk more often than it decreases the risk.

Either way, though, I'd be wary of extrapolating information about all rapists, and even moreso all gropers, from a book about serial rapists. Especially if it was mostly about the kind of serial rapists who get the most press, who are not the people who commit most rapes.
Do you know any sources about the motives of serial rapists vs. the motives of nonserial rapists? I do know, for instance, that the motives of one-time killers are very, very different from the motives of seral killers, but I'd not read anything about it one way or the other with rapists. Actually, the categories of rapist motivation (and which ones are accelerated vs. hindered by violence) are from Mark Douglas, and some quick research indicates it may have been all rapists, not just serial.

I already said I was commenting about something not necessarily even linked to the nonviolent act Ellison allegedly did. (Well, since he's apologized, maybe I can drop the "allegedly.") I just think that if violence is out there, and one is thinking of possible responses, one ought to know the facts.

Along this line, while you're right about "increase risk" in one sense, I'm right in about the term in another sense. I can see where some would be more concerned about overall chances, and others would be more concerned with the worst that could happen. I thought my comment could let either kind of person make a more informed decision.