Saturday, November 09, 2013

I must be a dinosaur too

The current backlash against the 'rape culture'  personified by Roast Busters, dictates, insists,  the 'victim' has no culpability.
I don't accept that and here's why.

Because if I accept that I must tell my 15 year-old she can get herself into any situation of vulnerability, go to someone's house where there will be a bunch of boys or even one boy, drink alcohol, do whatever happens with the loss of inhibitions that causes, and she is totally blameless.

Sorry. I'm not giving her that message.

If I did I wouldn't be protecting her.

Only she can take responsibility for avoiding unwanted events outside of my knowledge or control.

The attitude that she is blameless might be emotionally useful after the event.

But that's too late.

(Published with the consent of my 15 year-old).


Mark Hubbard said...

I think you're wise to teach your daughter that Lindsay. There are two sides to this surely: acknowledging the reality of culture as it stands now, which is dreadful. But, after a rape has occurred, a woman bears no culpability by what she was wearing, etc. it turns only on consent. Thus the police should not have asked the 13 year old what she was wearing: the only important factor was the 'men' involved were adults, and a 13 year old can never give consent.

reed said...

There is an important distinction between being foolish and being culpable (or partly to blame).

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I hadn't mentioned clothing.

I've not read the reports about how the police treated the 13 year-old from her perpsective. But questions about clothing may merely have formed part of formal, normal, procedure. DNA material on clothing would be gathered as evidence. She may have misinterpreted the questioning as judgement. I don't know. But if you were falsely accused you would want that procedure followed.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

"There is an important distinction between being foolish and being culpable (or partly to blame)."

Is there? Surely they can co-exist. If they don't then nobody has responsibility for poor judgement.

Young people should be treated with more sympathy and leniency but I'm still not prepared to entirely absolve someone from responsibility because they were foolish.

On the clothing issue, and from my observations, I don't think Judith Collins is far off the mark:

Anonymous said...

Your post represents your usual high standards. When it comes to distinguishing between the respective responsibilities in this matter, please do not absolve parents. I do not suggest their blameworthiness is greater than the participants. If a young girl finds herself in a position where she is vulnerable to rape, then oughtn't she, as your daughter has, been the recipient of earlier parental guidance? I know that it is virtually impossible to keep a steady watch on teenage children, but all one can do is routinely dispense advice.