Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rape Victims "Asking For It?" and Youtube Inanity

*I want to point out that some of the comments made in these videos may be triggering for some people.

I saw an interesting video when I logged onto youtube yesterday titled “Asking For It? NO!!!," and I don’t think anyone would be surprised at this point that it grabbed my attention. It turns out that the video was actually a response to a video posted by the youtube user Thoughtful Atheist regarding rape and whether or not a woman, who knowingly drinks and walks home in the dark, is partially responsible for putting herself in danger.

Prepare to be pissed the fuck off:

As expected, quite a few people found TA's video to be inflammatory and wrong on many different levels. It got to the point where TS even made the above video private to try and diffuse the situation. (At the time I first posted this blog post that was the case, but I've updated the post to include the video now that it's available to highlight TA's general attitude toward his "friend" that had been raped.) TA then made a new video in order to try and prove to the world he’s not a horrible human being. Watching it will give you a clearer view of his opinion, since he clears up some misconceptions he feels people have about his original video, but it’s not necessary to understand the problem with general his assertions. I just don't want to misrepresent his views.

First of all, I have to wonder why Thoughtful Atheist even made this video. I just can’t seem to find what the point is. Does he want to have a genuine conversation about how we can make women safer? Calling someone a slut and criticizing the victim in this situation doesn’t seem to be the best way to go about it. Does he want the world to collectively berate women for being raped? (I would argue they already do for the most part.) Even if a woman bears responsibility for not taking the “proper precautions” in the moments that lead up to being sexually assaulted, according to TA's personal standards of course, I still don’t see how that has any bearing on the decision of the rapist to commit the raping.

I can't be the only one who feels like TA didn't really have the well being of women in mind when he made these videos.

I wanted to include this responses, because the poster is so full of win:

As usual, this conversation once again conflates lack of precaution (in the eyes of Thoughtful Atheist in this case) with responsibility (or blame) for being violated. They are not the same thing and I think this is one of the unfortunate side effects of rape culture. We should be able to have an honest and open dialog about how to make women safer, but too often it turns into the thinly veiled victim blaming or slut shaming we see in Thoughtful Atheist's video.

I also don't like how this whole conversation hinges on the victim actions and victims decisions. While a lot of people point out that the "friend" Thoughtful Atheist talks about could have been raped whether she had been drinking or not, no one points out the fact that the rapists rape. (TA completely ignores the reality that 73% of rape victims know their rapists.)

I don’t know. The whole thing just seems murky and I think this is a good example of why some of us humorless feminists get defensive whenever someone wants to focus on the victims actions rather then the rapists. And that sucks because I think a lot of people who want to have these sorts of conversations are genuinely concerned.

I know I posted a lot of videos, but I want to leave you with this response since it’s the one that spoke to me the most:

Trivializing indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post, Alana. I didn't know about this. "Thoughtful" Atheist my ass -- that guy is so full of shit it's insane.


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