Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG
I'm not saying anyone should be able to tell a person how to dress. What I am saying is that people should be smart enough to make decisions based on the reality around them. The way a person dresses does not make a person a rapist...but if a person is triggered to rape by a specific stimulus I think it behooves us to avoid that stimulus.
Although it's too late, and I'm too drunk to respond to this whole thread in the length it deserves (maybe I will tomorrow), you miss a crucial and all too frequently missed point. The "us" you are speaking of doesn't actually include you and I. The "us" is women. That is what makes your line of argument support an inherently unjust system, the system we currently have in place. The "people" who should be able to make decisions based on the "reality" around them are women. We don't have to worry about this in this case. That is the difference between helmets and short skirts (although there are many others as well). Sexual assault and victim blaming are (almost completely) a gendered issue. The "reality" is that men (NOT all men, and NOT even most men.. but the huge majority of rapists are men) rape women (NOT only women, but mostly), and that rather than examining the culture that supports/condones this, and rather than telling men to stop raping women, we tell women to "make decisions based on the reality around them," to understand that it's not safe for them in certain situations and that they should 'protect' themselves. Personally, I don't enjoy living in a world where I can dress however I want, drink whatever and however much I want, walk wherever I want when I want, and talk to whomever I want whenever I want without the fear that I may be raped while women cannot. This, to me, is unjust, and telling women that "it behooves" them to "avoid the stimulus" perpetuates this injustice. (Statistics show that what a women wears, her age, her body type, etc, bares no relevance to whether or not she will be raped. There is no identifiable "stimulus" for them to avoid, besides being born a woman in a world where men are taught that they are entitled to the bodies of women.)
I hope this doesn't come across as a personal attack. I don't know you at all, and I don't want this to be a comment on your character in the least (simply for being on this board I imagine that you are mightily more respectable than many of the men I meet). I believe that men, all men, have a duty to really question our role in issues around sexualized violence, and to speak up whenever we see/hear things that contribute to a culture that condones this violence, and that blames women for bringing it on themselves. This is why I went on this drunken rant.