Tuesday, May 10, 2011


There's an idiot of a senior police man in Toronto who, I'm pretty sure, didn't think through clearly exactly what he was saying. Telling women not to dress like sluts so as to reduce their risk of being raped is not constructive. There have been demonstrations in Canada objecting to these comments and there will be a corresponding one here in June. A couple of the message boards I frequent have commented on the demonstrations so far in Toronto and while some comments are positive a lot of it causes dismay. The basic argument that a lot of males are making on these things is that women have to bear some of the responsibility for rape if they are dressed in a certain manner or frequenting certain "bad" areas. And the idiocy of this argument is what dismays me. One of the marks of a mature person, male or female, in my most humble opinion, is that they take responsibility for their own actions. The action of walking down a street dressed in a certin manner is the responsibility of the person doing the walking. The action of any response to that is the responsibility of the person responding. In the case of rape, the action is the responsibility or the rapist. Provocation is not a defence, either the action was taken consciously,  in which case the rapist is fully responsible for making that decision and should be locked up or the action was semi/unconscious, in which case the rapist is not in sufficient control of their actions making them  a clear danger to society that should be locked up. At no point in time does the action of the rapist become the the responsibility of the victim. It maddens me that people are willing to accept the abdication of responsibility.

Maintaining that an action can be provoked implies that the person who claims they were provoked is weak, that they have insufficient control of themselves. It's a different order of magnitude but the same principle holds when men insist that women should wear burkas. Any claim that the temptation of looking at a woman must be removed is an admission of weakness and earns my disgust overlain with a light dusting of condescending pity.


  1. I love Slutwalk. I love this post.

  2. I'm glad. Writing about this sort of thing makes me nervous that I'm going to leave out a word somewhere and sod it all up.

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