On the Moral Necessity of Judging Books by the Cover

Allow me to begin this brief meditation by urging everyone to calm down. Okay, I grant this intro may have worked some people up all by itself.

Let’s begin again, shall we? There is nothing here that should be a cause for alarm, but given the times in which we live, there will likely be alarm anyway. A ruckus, in other words, but no good reason for it.

I tell you what. I will just state the thesis at the outset, and provide my reasoning after the fact. Most efficient use of everyone’s time. Best for all concerned. Those who want to leave in a huff may do so now. In short, with regard to people, I want to argue for the moral necessity of judging a book by its cover.

We are a generation marinated in visual entertainment. This has resulted a generation of folks who are extraordinarily street smart—provided, of course, there is a bag of popcorn on their lap. Once they are back out on the sidewalk, blinking in the daylight, they are as clueless—when it comes to the consequences of all storytelling signals—as that bag of popcorn. In brief, they are street smart provided they aren’t anywhere near the street.

This is because they have taken the entertainment part out of the theater with them—people’s initial reactions—but they want to have their movie-shaped sensibilities to be absolutely consequence-free as far as any real results in the real world are concerned.

So if someone “does x,” or “wears y,” and people react to him the way everyone reacts to that same set of signals in the movies, then the problem is read as the bigotry of the person who reacted in that way. The problem could never be how that person is casting, costuming, and directing his very own real time movie. We have been so thoroughly catechized by this blinkering process that we don’t even think about it anymore. A daily demand is placed upon us to “read this that way,” but we are absolutely prohibited from “reading this that same way” outside the theater.

Three examples. Suppose a director wanted his character to dash down the subway steps late at night to be confronted with three dangerous looking characters, leaning against the wall of the platform. Could he do that in three seconds? Yes, why yes, he could. Suppose a director wanted his character to be revealed as a high end courtesan. Could he do that in three seconds? Again, yes. Suppose a director wanted to show us a brooding husband, capable of violence against his wife at any moment. Yes, and that would only take seconds as well. I am talking about communicating these things by means of slender indicators, marks that by no means rise to the level of courtroom proof, but which in every way rise to the level of storytelling identification. Jurors should not consider such things sufficient, but readers and viewers must.

But we are suckers for misdirection. If the three thugs in the subway are black, say, and are telegraphed as trouble by means of low-slung jeans and hoodies, and a nervous real life person picks up his pace to get past them, he is thereby condemned as a racial bigot. How dare he react to their skin that way? How does he know they are not accounting majors at CUNY? But we are actively suppressing our knowledge that this misidentification happened because of the cloth, not the skin. The same exact effect could have been accomplished with white skin and motorcycle gang regalia.

The issue is the kind of signal that was deliberately sent by the thugs who were directing and starring in their own movie. In a movie, the signal is sent and received by all—by the other characters in the movie, and everyone with a bag of popcorn. Everybody gets it because everybody is allowed to get it. But in real life, the signal is sent, and mild reactions are enjoyed (being kind of the point), while any real time hard consequences in such reactions are upbraided as unmitigated prejudice.

But the way we dress is communication. What we are doing is communicating, and then insulting as a bigot anybody who is stupid enough to believe what we just said.

One time I was visiting with a young man about his tats and spiky hair and such, and I asked him what he would think if he walked by three ladies from the church all done up like that. His reply was right out of the Cool Kids’ Catechism. “I guess I really don’t care what people think of me.” So then I asked him this. Suppose we got you a haircut, a buttoned-up shirt, a tie and jacket, and walked you by those very same ladies. You are no doubt correct in thinking that their impression now would be something like what a sharp looking young man he is. The guy I was talking to was no slouch, and he kind of smiled and said, “I guess I do care what people think of me.”

Exactly so. The consternation we create for ourselves is found in the fact that we send signals that demand a simultaneous reaction/non-reaction. The right to reinvent yourself has been steered into that bizarre place where everybody has a divine right to communicate A and not A to everybody else, all at the same time. It is like dress-like-a-gangster-day in junior high—where everybody can gasp oooo! but then nobody gets sent to the principal’s office for the plastic gun.

If someone gets sent to the principal’s office, it is because of all the entrenched bigotries we still have to contend with. Nobody around here is woke at all.

Back to the high end hooker. Could a capable director make that statement with no other materials to work with than a ritzy hotel lobby, a platinum wig, heels, and earrings that sparkle like a disco ball? Such that any movie-goer who didn’t get the point was an idiot? Yeah. Now when a woman casts herself in that role, and decks herself out in that same way—and I would like to flag my upcoming emphasis for any of my readers who struggle in this area—this does not make her a hooker. But it does mean that—if the world were just—she loses all ground of possible offense if some poor chump in the lobby makes the faux pas of his life. If she was not selling, why was she advertising?

She insists, with furious indignation, that she was not advertising. She was simply waiting in the lobby for her ride. But she was dressed exactly like 100 women in the movies we have seen who were advertising. Why was the chump not allowed to draw this conclusion? Well, let me ask you. Was there popcorn in his lap? There wasn’t now, was there?

Now work with me here, because I would like to run ahead just a few steps. Nothing justifies rape. Absolutely nothing. I would like to take a moment to make this additional important point, which is that nothing justifies rape. In case people have not grasped how strongly I feel about this, I would like to insist that nothing justifies rape.

To use an offbeat analogy, it is also true that nothing justifies holding up a taco stand and shooting the clerk. Robbery is robbery, and murder is murder, and should always be treated as such. But it is possible to hold this position while also maintaining that a taco stand ought not to advertise that they are selling sushi when they are in fact not selling sushi at all. And if that was the fact that made the shooter mad in the first place, it still doesn’t matter because nothing justifies shooting the taco guy, etc. So that principle is clear?

A chaste but foolish young woman does not deserve to be assaulted. Of course not. But she does deserve to hear an admonition from her favorite aunt. She does need to hear a caution from her husband. She does need to have a couple of embarrassing situations from which she might gather some wisdom. And the fact that we are being deliberately shaped and catechized into our incoherence by our entertainment habits can be seen in this simple fact. If someone maintains that a foolishly dressed woman deserves anything at all, even if only mild embarrassment when her aunt talks to her, this is represented as being tantamount to the claim that getting raped would be nothing but her just deserts. Which is crazy.

The problem I am addressing here is the incoherence of an entire generation that wants to be something or someone else, at their leisure, at their will, while never having to pay any kind of cost for being that something or someone else. It is all part of our generation’s revolt against maturity. We think that an entire civilization can flourish while stuck in junior high, all of us pretending to be gangsters and molls.

Extra credit kudos option for those comment: The foregoing post contains a five-word phrase that in saner times would be entirely inoffensive, but in these, our loony times, will not be inoffensive at all. I put in there on purpose. A special attaboy will be awarded to the first one who identifies it.

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axisoflogos
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axisoflogos

“…chaste but foolish young woman…” because of the implication through using the “but” word that being chaste necessarily implies wisdom.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

*Winner*

Lance Roberts
Guest

Being chaste may not imply wisdom, but it raises the percentage chance that wisdom resides with that person who is obeying God.

John Stoos
Member

I would nominate, “all done up like that”

adad0
Member

This just in:

“Ignorance is still ignorance, even when “sleep woking.” ; – )

Greg Laughlin
Guest
Greg Laughlin

“Dress-like-a-gangster-day”

Amy
Guest
Amy

I’m voting for “A caution from her husband” — because how dare he voice an opinion on what she wears?

meg
Guest
meg

I’m with Amy!

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I agree. Which is pretty silly because any good wife will caution her husband about his crazier wardrobe impulses. “Honey, I wouldn’t wear the Bart Simpson tie to the job interview–how about the blue and gray striped one?”

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

And let’s remember that her pastor is, more likely than not, going to support her in that sentiment.

insanitybytes22
Member

One should take note of the fact that telling people to calm down right at the start works about as well as trying to baptize a cat, but I’m sure Wilson is already aware of that.

adad0
Member

Calm down Memi! ; – )

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Every year my parish has a blessing of the animals, and I don’t take my cats because they are not cool with meeting dogs, snakes, and parrots. So, when the choir came to my house for a party, I asked the priest to bless my Siamese. Father sprinkled her with holy water and she bit him. After making noises that suggested all the devils of hell had been unleashed.

adad0
Member

In the imortal words of Bill Murray in “Ghost Busters”, warning of impending damnation:

“Dogs and cats,……living together!”

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

And so, to carry Wilson’s point out to the point where I will most certainly be labeled as something I am most certainly not, did ANYONE blame the cat?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Absolutely. Sashaying around all dressed in furs, she was certainly misleading the priest as to her intentions!

adad0
Member

Somehow I just foiund this thing about a dog. ; – )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3VLqLLWxbQ

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

“Hello, this is your captain speaking. There is absolutely no cause for alarm.”

https://youtu.be/xJSey8HRUhU

insanitybytes22
Member

Hilarious! Now see, this is why they wouldn’t let me become a pilot. :)

insanitybytes22
Member

“I am talking about communicating these things by means of slender indicators”

Okay, I am going to have to complain about excessive fat shaming here. Seriously, “slender” indicators? Followed up by lots of buttered popcorn and finally concluding with “just desserts?” This is like an appalling smorgasbord, an entire salad bar of offense just waiting to be had.

Ian Miller
Member

This comment wins.

Jesse Van Der Molen
Guest
Jesse Van Der Molen

There are no emoticons in here. I’m paralyzed trying to figure out if you’re serious or not.

Jesse Van Der Molen
Guest
Jesse Van Der Molen

Are you saying how a woman dresses justifies rape?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

No, he said that nothing justifies rape.

He said that if you are a woman dressed like a hooker and you hang out in the kind of hotel lobby in which hookers get together with johns, it is possible that a john might mistake you for a hooker and initiate a conversation.

Jesse Van Der Molen
Guest
Jesse Van Der Molen

Of course.

Anonyme
Guest
Anonyme

He said that nothing justifies rape in a couple of lines, but the rest of his article shows he absolutely blames women.

nathantuggy
Member

Poe’s Law is in full force, folks.

James Vaijda
Guest
James Vaijda

“Now work with me here, because I would like to run ahead just a few steps. Nothing justifies rape. Absolutely nothing. I would like to take a moment to make this additional important point, which is that nothing justifies rape. In case people have not grasped how strongly I feel about this, I would like to insist that nothing justifies rape.”

Paragraph 16

Jesse Van Der Molen
Guest
Jesse Van Der Molen

Of course. That is why I made the joke. People will always jump to the worst interpretation of what Wilson says, no matter how clear he is on things.

Dave W
Guest
Dave W

Please pay attention to what you read.

Jesse Van Der Molen
Guest
Jesse Van Der Molen

Please learn to take a joke. :)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I don’t know how often you read this blog, but if you spent much time here, you would notice that Doug can count on people misunderstanding what he says. I didn’t think you were joking because it is absolutely ordinary for Doug to be explicitly clear about something like this and then be criticized for saying the opposite. This really is a good example of Poe’s Law!

Jesse Van Der Molen
Guest
Jesse Van Der Molen

I read everything Doug writes. I even assign his stuff for my writing classes because he’s so good. But I don’t care for the comment section much. I wrote this comment the way Doug writes, playing off his humor. Folks need to lighten up here.

Clay Crouch
Guest
Clay Crouch

Assigning Mr. Wilson’s stuff for your writing class: folks, that’s how you tell a joke! A+.

Jesse Van Der Molen
Guest
Jesse Van Der Molen

For all of Wilson’s use of humor and satire in his writing, you’d think people here would be better at picking up on a joke.

adad0
Member

J’, after a blog comment joke, use one of these. ” ; – ) “

Jesse Van Der Molen
Guest
Jesse Van Der Molen

Maybe. I figured the clarity and emphasis of Doug’s four-fold repetition would clue folks in to the sarcasm.

adad0
Member

Nope, ; – ) !

Since Wilson haters can reach a pretty comic level of misunderstanding, the “normal” people around here might mistake a jesting misunderstanding for a real one.

It’s almost like judging pulp fiction by its’ cover! ; – )

Ilíon
Member

Perhaps you should have written something more like, “So, are you saying …?” or, “So, what I’m hearing is that …”

Ian Miller
Member

Wisdom, A!

bethyada
Member

I got it. And I thought it was funny.

(To be fair. Many respond to Wilson like this but in all seriousness. )

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

For all of Wilson’s use of humor and satire in his writing, you’d think people here would be better at picking up on a joke.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell these days.

https://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/no-goddess-can-ever-save-us.html#comment-3179175915

jsm
Guest
jsm

I too have been surprised at the lack of reading comprehension of some of Doug’s fans on this blog. I love his writing and agree with him about 95% of the time. If you voice disagreement, you can watch the failures in reading comprehension abound. Your post was obviously a joke.

insanitybytes22
Member

Most of them really are a humorless bunch, forever cluck clucking in disapproval, desperately hoping a victim shows up so they can launch an attack.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Kind and gentle as always, ME. If most of us are so detestable, why are you here?

jsm
Guest
jsm

Now that you are with us I am sure they are no longer desperately hoping a victim shows up.

insanitybytes22
Member

That’s almost funny. Keep working on it, you’re getting closer.

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

Just remember your /sarc tag and everything will be fine.

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

“Now work with me here”

John
Member

I am on this blog way too much. It has reached the point where I feel a stronger connection with many commentators than I do with the people in my church. So I’m asking for prayers as right now my asthma is a “7” with an “8” being “you should be in the hospital.”

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I do too, and I feel guilty sometimes. Especially when I want to tell the actual people in my life just to respond to blog posts, and if they say anything interesting, I’ll respond! Sending prayers.

adad0
Member

G’, The Church Universal is pretty big, and all of God’s people are in it! Prayers to you!

Ian Miller
Member

Interesting point – I’m not quite active enough in comments to feel that way, but I do feel quite connected to many of you brothers and sisters. Much prayer for your lungs and body.

jsm
Guest
jsm
Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

I think you’re on to something here, Wilson. Why is it that a bag of popcorn in one’s lap causes an almost complete and total abdication of moral wisdom? How else could we explain what happens to our wives and daughters when they watch “Pretty Woman?”
(This is not a sexist comment. What happens to men when they watch this particular film does not need the presence of popcorn to explain it.)

Spotdog
Guest
Spotdog

low-slung jeans and hoodies? Who knows, it doesn’t take much these days to get someone wound up.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Wow, so racist. I literally can’t even.

mintap
Guest
mintap

When should we challenge the signals of (secular) entertainment culture? Can’t we deconstruct, redeem, or transform them at times?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Mr. Wilson, have your young black friends ever informed you that their choice of clothing is often quite immaterial to the reactions they get from a lot of the people walking by them? Quite often (not always, but quite often) black skin alone is enough to get you judged if you find yourself on the wrong street, in the wrong store, or too close to the wrong authority in this country. I know countless personal examples, but can start listing public ones if you don’t believe me.

JP Stewart
Member

Since we’re talking about anecdotal evidence…

I grew up in the Deep South and knew firsthand of about 10-15 violent racial incidents. Guess what? Every one was black-on-white. Since then, it’s gotten much worse. Often cases of people being “judged” or “feeling racial tensions” are highly subjective. Assaults are not. I know a lot of people who are judgmental and cranky around everyone they encounter.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, White Genocide, no to interracial marriage, Black people are better off when they are subservient to White people, we’ve heard it already.

JP Stewart
Member

I’m not sure if you’ve had too much to drink or were trying to win the “non sequitur of the night” there. But that comment was quite absurd and had nothing to do with what I wrote.

fp
Guest
fp

Hey Jonathan, here’s a quote for you:

There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to
walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about
robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved….

I suppose the person who said this really had it in for blacks, huh?

JP Stewart
Member

Since he doesn’t want to venture a guess, I’ll say Jessie Jackson. I believe he said something like that in the late 80s/early 90s.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I can’t see the person who you are replying to, I am only seeing “This user is blocked”.

As far as I remember, I’ve only blocked one person on disqus, ever, and they had to repeatedly engage in extremely insulting, ill-willed behavior before I finally decided that it was better for my soul to simply not see such mean-spirited rhetoric directed towards me anymore.

As I still read you, and ashv, and Timothy, and Barnabas and 40 Acres before they got banned, you can assume my tolerance level is not particularly low.

JP Stewart
Member

My views and the now-banned 40 Acres are very different. My wife isn’t even Caucasian. I can only assume you meant “bias” instead of “tolerance” in your last sentence. But hey, we’re all just a bunch of intolerant white guys to you, and it’s okay to stereotype as long as you’re on the PC side of the fence, right?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

My views and the now-banned 40 Acres are very different. My wife isn’t even Caucasian. I can only assume you meant “bias” instead of “tolerance” in your last sentence. But hey, we’re all just a bunch of intolerant white guys to you, and it’s okay to stereotype as long as you’re on the PC side of the fence, right? No clue what you are saying. I said that my tolerance for insults and ill-willed behavior towards me is not particularly low, thus I still read you, and ashv, and Timothy, even though you all have tended to insult me rather… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

I’ve not been banned from this blog, I merely reconsidered the utility of time spent going round and round with cat ladies and liars like yourself.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Good to know. I apologize for assuming it – I had previously said, “may have been banned”, but it had gone on long enough that it seemed to be real. You had stated in the past that you thought you would get banned if you said certain things about race, and I figured it had finally happened. Did you delete your own comments though or did someone else delete them? Because a number of them clearly got deleted at the same time you stopped commenting, which gave the appearance that you may have been banned. Especially since 40 disappeared at… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

There are people who don’t like cat ladies? I am shattered, but better a cat lady than a liar, I suppose.

Did you enjoy Switzerland, and did you find their flag a big plus?

JP Stewart
Member

I’ll give you some credit: not many others can spew out 4 paragraphs of self- congratulatory tripe like that…and still not say much of anything. I’m guessing you have a gov’t “job” that gives you ample time for such?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

nope. Another bad assumption on your part.

And great deflection from how ridiculously you had just trolled yourself. Is that your only response to realizing that you had accidentally stereotyped yourself while falsely accusing me of stereotyping you?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And you and Barnabas are doing a fantastic tag-team job of proving that you both like to express insults and ill-will towards me. Which was the only thing I ever said you had in common. YOU were the one who decided to make it about your race, and then claim that I was the one who was stereotyping.

fp
Guest
fp

Wow, good to know I’m the one Jonathan blocked. In a way, I feel honored that Jonathan considered my comments to him so vile, so soul-crushing, so deplorable, that he had to seek out a safe space. If I’ve offended just one snowflake then I’ll consider it “mission accomplished”.

I just opened up my profile; feel free to check out the eeee-ville that is my comment history to get a better idea of what prompted Jonathan to protect his fragile psyche by hitting the dreaded “block user” button.

fp
Guest
fp

Correctomundo. Which just goes to show that whites aren’t the only ones who judge based on skin color alone.

mastodon176
Guest
mastodon176

Anyone who chooses to treat someone poorly because of their skin color is in the wrong. But if a young black dude chooses to dress as a gangster then he should not be shocked when people react to him as a gangster. No amount of liberal hand-wringing is going to change this.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

mastodon, can you personally tell me how you differentiate “dress as a gangster” from other clothing popular among urban youth?

bethyada
Member

On stereotypes.

We do not usually presume people making other generalisations – say, about the weather in Madrid or the taste of oranges – are doing something bad and inaccurate. Despite this point, the notion of generalisations about people as inherently bad and inaccurate has long been baked into the science without any proof. It is almost impossible to conduct social scientific research on stereotypes without running into the scholarly emphasis on their inaccuracy.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Off topic. The Snowflake is online registering for her Birthright trip to Israel this summer, and I am already hyper-ventilating! Helicopter Mum is going to have Bibi and the Mossad on speed-dial! When I was a kid, my Jewish friends went to Israel every summer and worked on the kibbutzim. Some even joined the IDF. Now these kids get a totally free trip to Israel that caters to their special interests–the Snowflake will do a drama trip. Drama is the word for it!

Stephen Baker
Guest
Stephen Baker
mastodon176
Guest
mastodon176

“How dare he react to their skin that way? How does he know they are not accounting majors at CUNY? But we are actively suppressing our knowledge that this misidentification happened because of the cloth, not the skin.” Great point. If I’m walking down the street and see a black dude decked out in ghetto-fabulous attire, I’m gonna keep my guard up. If I see a black dude in a polo, jeans that aren’t circus-tent sized, and a baseball cap, I probably won’t even notice – consciously, at least. That’s how fast your brain analyzes these things and determines whether… Read more »

mastodon176
Guest
mastodon176

“Now work with me here, because I would like to run ahead just a few steps. Nothing justifies rape. Absolutely nothing. I would like to take a moment to make this additional important point, which is that nothing justifies rape. In case people have not grasped how strongly I feel about this, I would like to insist that nothing justifies rape.” I usually try to avoid double-commenting. Sorry! Anyway, I wouldn’t even waste this much text on these denials, Doc Wilson. The kind of people who will assume you are excusing rape are the same people who will never be… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

Clothing choices don’t justify rape, but they justify some set of other things. One wonders how far this goes. Not rape, but maybe a little groping? What about some verbal abuse? Really, I don’t know what you’re trying to salvage here. The issue with clothing choices and rape is not that there’s totally a connection but you’re not supposed to notice, but rather that there is just no connection. “Stranger in a dark alley” rapes are a vanishingly small fraction of total rapes committed, and I’d wager about 0 of those had anything to do with the attire of either… Read more »

Jane
Member

How about, they justify concluding that the person who chose that clothing, chose it for some reason other than walking through a clothing store with their eyes closed, getting home, and discovering that they had nothing but that to wear? Concluding that the clothing says something about the person who chose the clothing, rather than oddly pretending that what you wear has nothing to do with your preferences and the way you want people to perceive you? Those reasons may be totally innocent, or may be the result of a mostly innocent error of judgment, but what they are not,… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

I guess I don’t understand what the crisis is. What does Wilson want to do that he can’t do? What is stopping him or anyone else?

Jane
Member

He is free to do what he wants, but being a pastor, he’s concerned that people not believe stupid things, like, “You can’t ever make any judgments about a person based on how they choose to outwardly present themselves.” So he explains why that’s a stupid thing to believe. Believing things like that isn’t just stupid in some score-keeping intellectual sense, it will lead people into doing stupid things, both with regard to how they perceive others, and how they allow themselves to be perceived. I am surprised that after all your years of commenting here, you don’t get that… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

But…no one actually believes that, so I’m not sure where to go with this.

Jane
Member

So when people say you can’t judge others by how they choose to dress, we’re to take your word that they don’t mean what they’re saying, over their actual words? Because you can’t possibly be claiming you’ve never heard people say that, can you?

insanitybytes22
Member

“Stranger in a dark alley” rapes are a vanishingly small fraction of total rapes committed, and I’d wager about 0 of those had anything to do with the attire of either party.” Well, here’s something to ponder. How you dress says something about how you feel about yourself, where you perceive your worth and value to be, what kind of choices you are going to make. So, a big part of rape prevention includes having an awareness of your surroundings and your clothing and behavior are a part of your surroundings. So things like date rape are more likely to… Read more »

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

The principle in play here is “Don’t wear the uniform if you don’t want to be mistaken for someone who does the job.”

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

I read somewhere that within the first few seconds of encountering any new person we’ve already made up our minds about two things: can he hurt me and does he want to. We evaluate his ability and disposition instantly and are very good at it. We take in everything that we can see and hear and spit out the two labels. Once we’ve formed an impression we tend to ignore contrary evidence so it becomes very difficult to change our minds. This works pretty well, at least partly because people who are not good at it are more likely to… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Can you try to find and cite the sources for those specific claims? I’ve read a little bit on some of the studies in that area, and I was aware of the following. a) Yes, we tend to make up our mind on certain things about appearances quite quickly. b) I’m under the impression we’ve been found to make flash judgments on all sorts of things, not just “can he hurt me and does he want to”, but a great variety of other stuff too. c) Whether we’re particularly good at it is quite debatable. From what I remember a… Read more »

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

I think it’s in the early chapters of the book I linked to and I think the author cites research. I only have the audio version so you’ll have to track it down yourself.

> subconsciously adopting [commercially motivated] stereotypes

Doesn’t matter. The point is that the stereotypes constitute a language that we can’t avoid using.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Gavin de Becker makes similar points in his book “The Gift of Fear.” He says that we have been directed by evolutionary forces to have a strong sense of fear in any situation which might be dangerous, and that we weaken ourselves by denying our intuitions. We tell ourselves “That man would never hurt me and I am just being silly” when our intuition is screaming RUN.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Turn this around. If a young Black man is walking down the street and finds himself suddenly surrounded by men wearing Confederate flag tee-shirts, is he being ridiculous and racist to feel alarmed? Is he jumping to conclusions fostered by media stereotypes?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Unless he is at a Trump rally and Trump is actively egging on such men to engage in violence against the Black man, then I do believe it unlikely that he is about to be in physical danger.* Unless by “suddenly surrounded”, you mean that they literally rushed up and surrounded him. But in that case there would be little he could do by then, and the situation would bear little resemblance to the case study anyway. If a young black man is walking down the street and a group of men of whatever color wearing whatever tee-shirts suddenly rush… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

You know that I am no Trump supporter. But where did he specifically urge his supporters to commit race-based acts of violence?

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Guest
fp

That would be when he urged his supporters to “argue with neighbors, get in their face”, “bring a gun to a knife fight”, and to “punch back twice as hard.”

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I googled that just now, and Snopes broke the news to me! I never heard that!

JP Stewart
Member

You realize he’s talking about Obama, right? And what have we actually seen? Trump supporters being attacked (often with weapons and pepper spray); women and elderly people on the ground in pain. All in Jonathan’s wonderful, peaceful state of California, where every white person is safe!

He continually brings up a minor incident (assault-wise) at a Trump rally, yet doesn’t bother mentioning thugs in masks and black clothes who continually vandalize and assault others. He filters the world like most others on the Left…though he has a fit when this is brought up.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I didn’t know it was Obama until I googled it. I didn’t think it was Trump–not because I have all that great an opinion of Trump, to be truthful, but because I was sure I would have heard about that if he had said it. I don’t think it is an okay thing to say. You would be amazed at the vehemence most urban Californians feel towards Trump. I have not seen anything like this before. People defending the attackers should remember that there will probably be a Dem president again one day, and they are setting a horrible precedent… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Apparently, neither did Tamron Hall. She certainly didn’t believe it when Chachi informed her of the president’s violent rhetoric:

http://www.snopes.com/bringing-a-gun-to-a-knife-fight/

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m not sure why you worded what you are saying the way you did. But this is some of what specifically happened at Trump rallies: August 2015: When two Trump supporters in Boston attack a 58-year-old homeless Hispanic man, breaking his nose and urinating on him, they justified their actions to police with “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.” Trump’s first response was not condemn the attacks or support the presence of Latino-Americans in this country, but instead states, “I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate.” Later in a separate… Read more »

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

I remember the one where Trump told his security guards, several times, to throw out a protester and to “take his coat” because it was 10 degrees below outside. No idea if they did this criminal action or not.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yep. It was in Vermont on January 7th, extremely cold outside: Republican front-runner Donald Trump directed security to kick out Bernie Sanders supporters from his Vermont rally and to confiscate their coats. “Throw them out into the cold,” Trump ordered security, as protesters shouted “Bernie! Bernie!” during his rally Thursday night in Burlington, Vt. “Don’t give them their coats,” Trump added. “No coats! Confiscate their coats.” The Sanders supporters had planned to infiltrate the Trump rally, but many were thwarted as Trump security screened attendees and ejected those who didn’t declare allegiance to the billionaire. But about half an hour… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Jonathan:

Unless he is at a Trump rally and Trump is actively egging on such men to engage in violence against the Black man…

Jillybean:

You know that I am no Trump supporter. But where did he specifically urge his supporters to commit race-based acts of violence?

Jonathan:

I’m not sure why you worded what you are saying the way you did.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And, in a good follow-up, White supremicists who assaulted an African-American woman at a Trump rally in Kentucky are defending themselves with the argument that they were acting on Trump’s orders. Trump claims he has immunity from the lawsuit because he’s president, a ridiculous and clearly false claim that goes against obvious and recent precedent (Clinton v. Jones). He also claims that his calls to assault the protesters were protected by free speech (that claim has already been rejected by the federal judge involved), that he didn’t intend for the men to use force (also already rejected), that he was… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Now, this is also the same Trump who falsely claimed that Black people are responsible for over 80% of White homicides. You not only have to question how ignorant he is to produce such a ridiculous and obviously false stat, but WHY he would decide to tweet such a claim during the campaign. What possible motivation was there for Trump to blame nearly all murders of White people on Black people? (The actual real figure is 15%.) This is the same Trump who repeatedly called for the death penalty against the Central Park Five, and repeatedly condemned and lambasted them… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And another reason I love your example is because of the potential to turn it around once again.

Do you think that Black preachers bring up such scenarios like the one you just did in the course of teaching their congregations the moral necessity of judging books by their cover? If not, why not?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I don’t know. But I am sure that Black parents warn their children about the kinds of White people they should be wary around. For me, people whose tee-shirts proclaim racist beliefs would be high on the list.

Bike bubba
Guest

Regarding judging by appearance, I am reminded of Judah’s being tricked by Tamar, and also the word picture God uses in Leviticus 18 to describe illicit heterosexual sex acts; “uncover nakedness.” There are certain kinds of coverings and uncoverings that have meanings, and we’re foolish to ignore them. And at the same time, God holds us accountable when we respond to these cues. Starlets of impeccable beauty but mediocre ability have been using these cues to make a living for millenia, and it is my responsibility at the same time not to write their paychecks. Is this so complicated?

John
Guest
John

The inherent contradiction in modern philosophies surrounding this issue aren’t surprising, but they sure are blatant.

People want to both “express” themselves in whatever way they feel appropriate, while also not having their expression be perceived by the outside world.

JP Stewart
Member

Given some of the responses here, someone with MS-13 tattoos all over their face wearing gang banger garb should be judged no differently than someone wearing khakis and knit shirt. It’s amazing how much Kool-Aid some of our progressive friends have imbibed.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

It’s asking for the impossible. We all respond to the subtle cues that warn us of danger. “Friend or foe” is the thing we have to decide about everybody who comes near us, and how people dress is part of the process.

Everybody knows this. No defense lawyer sends his client to court wearing a hoodie.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

mkt – have you ever met a person with MS-13 tattoos who had repented, believed in Christ, and turned their life around? Do you know how long it takes to remove those tattoos? And do you find any meaning in Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:37-42, James 4:11-12, and so on? Not that you have to find the same meaning as I do, but your use of “should be judged” is a strange phrasing. I assume that if you were conversing with Jesus or Paul or James after they had used one of those statements decrying judgement, you would use a different… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Jonathan, perhaps you have a street presence, or an incredibly effective guardian angel, that shields you from danger. But I find it amazing that you lived in Los Angeles and never had to worry about street crime. I have said several times in this discussion that my fears on the street are not driven by race. But I know a lot of people, including myself, who have been victimized by crime. In my 30 years in one LA neighborhood, I have been mugged once, had a break-in while I was home and confronted the intruder, been aware of other break-ins,… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

First off, in 30 years of living in what you have previously described as a very gang-infested neighborhood in LA, and taking out all of of the incidents that were only crimes against property but where no one was bodily threatened, all the incidents that were not crimes against strangers, and even putting aside for a moment that you pulled in quite a large group of people to come up with our examples, how many actual examples of stranger violence against one’s person did you actually just list? Am I correct to only count two total incidents over 30 years… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Well, I certainly didn’t take the time to list every incident. I have felt seriously personally threatened several times. But, I have the feeling that if I told you I had been caught in the crossfire from the North Hollywood bank shootout, you would dismiss it as nothing to make a fuss about. You are not taking into account the fact that each frightening episode traumatizes the victim to some extent. My friends think I am as tough as nails, but even I took quite a while to get over the shock of encountering a robber in my basement. Do… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m sorry if I’ve come off in such a way that you’ve felt I was insensitive to your feelings. I’m bad enough at that in stretches when talking to people in real life; I’m absolutely terrible at it over the internet. I’m the kind of person who gets really focused on “this is right” or “this is wrong”, and I can tend to ignore feelings so much in the course of pushing for “this is right” that I really lose the trust of the person I’m talking to. I know that, and I’m sorry for that, and I wish I… Read more »

Jane
Member

I wonder how long the list of repentant, tattooed gang-bangers who have turned their lives around yet still dress like gang-bangers and hang around dark corners at night projecting an aggressive presence, actually is? While it’s bad to make snap judgments about anyone that will actually affect their futures based on superficial characteristics, I really can’t see how modeling my general reactions to people based on the remote possibility that the facially tattooed, glaring guy with his hoodie up and his boxers showing is actually out there in order to witness to his old homies, is either wise or necessary… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If by “repentent” you mean “have stopped gang-banging or committing crimes and don’t want to be involved in that life anymore” and if by “still dress like gang-bangers” you mean “still dress like normal urban men but don’t wear gang clothing or colors” and by “hang around dark corners at night projecting an aggressive presence” you mean “hang out in their own communities projecting the same general looks as men across the nation”, then the numbers are in the hundreds of thousands. The vast majority of gang bangers give up gang-banging when they get out of their youth. Of the… Read more »

Jane
Member

I didn’t realize that urban men who wear belts, keep their underwear covered, and dress according to some urban casual style OTHER than the extreme versions of hip-hop culture were not “normal.”

It sounds like you’re saying there is only one cultural mode of dress for young, urban black men. It’s not what I see. And I’m not talking about expecting young urban men in the 2010s to look like Carlton Banks.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, I did not say that. There are certainly multiple ways to dress like young urban men. I did not at any point claim there is only one. Which and how many of those various styles will be interpreted as “gangster” or “thug” often depends on the eye of the beholder. For instance, here are some pictures of some repentant former gang-bangers who have turned their lives around: http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wunc/files/201602/thanksgiving_day_2012_at_homeboy_industries.jpg http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/Homeboy1.jpg?1329388808 Now, I doubt that they all “always” dress that way, because they may have worn particular clothes for a posed photo and wear other clothes in other circumstances. And with… Read more »

Jane
Member

The fact that some people somewhere would think the people in those pictures look like gangbangers is beside the point. I’m not talking about loose fitting t-shirts and jeans accompanied by big happy smiles, for goodness’ sakes. You know what I’m talking about, and pretending that white people who identify certain looks as thug-associated are all a bunch of bigots who think that anybody who doesn’t look like they walked out Banana Republic is a thug, is way more uncharitable than noticing that thinking that people who deliberately project themselves with the thug look, may or may not be thugs,… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, actual young people typically only put on the smiley show for the cameras. This is just as true for white girls in the suburbs as it is for black men in the city. In fact, suburban teenagers may even have perfected the “I don’t care about you or the world and you will not drag a pleasant smile out of me under any conditions” look. That still, unsurprisingly, doesn’t lead anyone to describe them as “thugs”. Yes, there are some small percentage of urban youth who intend to project harmful intent. We are not talking about them. We are… Read more »

katiehippie
Guest
katiehippie

Doug should have stopped after this sentence. “I would like to insist that nothing justifies rape.”

And he watches too many movies. Movies aren’t real life. And rape is not about how sexy someone looks.

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

I once knew of a 92 year old coma patient who was raped by her caregiver. I don’t think “too sexy” or “too flirty” was ever a part of the issue.

Jane
Member

And no one here has said anything remotely suggesting that it was, or implied in any way that it was. “Making yourself vulnerable could lead to a bad outcome” doesn’t imply “if you had a bad outcome, you did something wrong” at the most BASIC logical level.

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

What do you mean by “making yourself vulnerable could lead to a bad outcome”?

insanitybytes22
Member

The reason why we work so hard to protect the weak and vulnerable is because being weak and vulnerable makes it more likely that you will be preyed upon in the world.

Being weak and vulnerable often leads to bad outcomes, hence the need for extra protection.

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

So, being a child often leads to bad outcomes because children are weak and vulnerable?

Jane
Member

Yes. How that can that possibly be a question?

Again, you refuse to separate concepts of moral guilt vs. cause and effect.

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

I think every one of us can understand that the moral guilt of a sexual assault is upon the one who perpetrates the violence. What I am seeing is a bunch of people saying women shouldn’t do this or that behavior because it increases the chances they’ll be raped. I don’t think that necessarily is good advice. For one, no one seems to have statistics on what behaviors might get you raped. Don’t get into a car with a stranger? Am I safer on the side of the road? Don’t go to a hotel with a man you just met… Read more »

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

What I am seeing is a bunch of people saying women shouldn’t do this or that behavior because it increases the chances they’ll be raped Well, yes. Duh. Who in their right mind would voluntarily do things that are statistically likely to increase their chances of getting raped? Who with any compassion would not tell people that there are ways to reduce one’s chances of getting raped? (Statistical caveat, for those with reading comprehension: reduced chances =/=prevention) For example: (and this applies to both men and women): Don’t get drunk, especially around strangers or near strangers. Best case, some jerk… Read more »

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

Who in their right mind would voluntarily do things that are statistically likely to increase their chances of getting raped? Who in their right mind would voluntarily do things that are statistically likely to increase their chance of cancer? Um, most of us. We play the percentages. We smoke, we eat meat, we don’t eat 7-10 serving of fruits and vegetables per day, we work in offices sitting all day, we don’t wear daily sunscreen, we drink more than one alcoholic drink at a time. We play percentages all the time. Every time we get in a car, we’re accepting… Read more »

Jane
Member

“Don’t get drunk in public is a good idea. Don’t get drunk is a good
idea. Neither will protect you from getting raped. If the rapist
relies on getting women drunk and they won’t drink, then the rapist will
find another way to get control of their victim.”

Far more plausibly, he will go after the woman who doesn’t heed such good advice. Because “all women” will never cease entirely doing foolish things, but any given woman can choose to.

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

And, of course, drinking in public is foolish. You probably never do that.

Jane
Member

I can say I never drink in public in the company of people I don’t know well, no. And I almost never do it at all — drinks are expensive at restaurants and bars.

So drinking in public without anyone you trust around you, is probably, in fact, something everyone should always avoid.

Anyway, I’m not sure how we got from “not getting drunk” to “never drinking.”

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Getting drunk in public is foolish. It’s also potentially messy, humiliating, and dangerous. Among well-bred people, it’s also incredibly unclassy.

In my youth, I drank in bars, and I let strangers buy me drinks. I went with my girlfriends, nobody got drunk, and we made a point of all leaving together. If we met men we liked, we exchanged phone numbers. How did these sensible precautions limit our freedom?

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

Scared to go home with a guy? Yet that’s rarely how rapes happen. You wouldn’t know that from the standard advice given.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

How do you know that? It seems to me that, rape being a vastly under-reported crime as we know, it would be impossible to know how many rapes occur under those circumstances. Yes, I would always have been unwilling to go home (or any other secluded place) with a man I had just met. Part of that was caution. If I have just met someone, what can I know about him? Does he have herpes or something worse? Will I be able to get rid of him if I don’t like him? Is he a potential stalker? Does his roommate… Read more »

Jane
Member

“Putting resources into catching and prosecuting rapists is more important and more effective.”

Compared to staying in and not getting drunk at a bar with no friends around, catching and prosecuting a rapist is completely useless to his first victim.

Jane
Member

For the most part, the things we do, like eating things that are bad for us, are trade-offs between things we value. But there’s no positive value to getting drunk in public places. None whatsoever. In fact, it’s bad all by itself. Sort of like smoking — I don’t get how that’s a useful counter-example because most people agree people shouldn’t smoke, should use sunscreen, and shouldn’t drink more than a couple of alcoholic drinks at a time. If it is not objectionable to tell people not to smoke, drive too fast, or eat lousy diets, why is it objectionable… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Because the real issue isn’t what women might do to manage risk. The real issue is that nobody is allowed to give advice which might tend in the slightest degree to restrict a woman’s sexual freedom.

So, it’s fine for me to say, “Jane, don’t eat that GMO corn or you will die in agony thirty years from now.” But Lord help me if I dare to say, “Jane, please don’t go to the hotsheet motel with that man you just met with the creepy-looking Ted Bundy eyes.”

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

There’s plenty of positive value to getting drunk in bars, to eating crappy foods, to smoking, and to skipping sunscreen – in the short term, they feel good.

But my point is also that the old advice on rape prevention has no evidence to back up its efficacy. Using sunscreen does, eating well does, avoiding smoking and even avoiding binge drinking does on health. All of those things are evidence backed recommendations. The recommendations for avoiding rape aren’t evidence based.

Jane
Member

It doesn’t really matter to me whether it’s evidence based that not getting drunk in public prevents rape. It’s a sin every single time someone does it, unless it’s done by accident, or someone tricks you into it, or you’re in a circumstance where you’re injured or in need of surgery and there’s no other safe anesthetic or analgesic around. Not putting on sunscreen on a given day is not a sin, though not doing it consistently could be a sin of poor stewardship. Eating any given food at a given time unless it is something that is specifically risky… Read more »

FeatherBlade
Guest
FeatherBlade

Please refer to my statistical caveat above that reduced chance does not equal prevention.

It does not therefore follow (since wise behavior will not absolutely prevent rape) that foolish behavior is good or acceptable.

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

Foolish? What’s foolish? Eating sweets? Bad for teeth, bad for waistline, bad for diabetes? It’s a risk most people find worth it. That doesn’t mean those people are foolish. Going to a bar and getting drunk might increase your chance of being raped, although I’m not positive about that, but many people find the risk level acceptable. That was my point. There is a risk of getting raped at home that may be greater than the risk of getting raped going out. No one calls staying home foolish. We, as a society, take one or two possible risk factors, don’t… Read more »

Jane
Member

So then you would actually argue that getting drunk does not contribute to a woman’s being raped, in situations where she does, in fact, get drunk and made bad choices about with whom and under what conditions to interact with men? Because that argument is the only way that what you’re saying is even coherent. Are you really arguing that the woman who does not allow herself to lose cognitive control is every bit as much at risk as the woman who deliberately gets herself into a state where she’s capable of forgetting what good decisions and bad decisions are?… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Yes, many rapes happen at home. If you think your husband is likely to be a rapist, you should definitely kick him out. You seem to be suggesting that a quiet night at home with your husband (whom you married because, presumably, you know, love, and trust him) is as likely to end in rape as your getting drunk in a bar and going to a hotel room with a stranger. You seem to think that staying at home alone with windows and doors locked, is as risky as picking up a stranger at a truck stop and thinking all… Read more »

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

What if I sell you a program to filter out scams in your email? You trust my program. And when you get an email saying you won the British lottery, you trust it because it got by my program.

This is part of the problem. A false sense of security. The other part is every time you call this “common sense” or not doing this “foolish”, you are judging the rape victims. I’m hesitant to take that stance with no evidence.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I understand your point, but I would not trust any computer filter to eliminate all risk. Similarly, I would not assume that the tightest security imaginable could prevent something bad from happening to me. But it could make it much less likely. There is a logical problem here. You are saying that by taking obvious precautions against rape (such as deciding not to get dead drunk at frat parties, or deciding not to invite total strangers into your hotel room), you are creating a false sense of security that will increase your danger. How? Taking precautions in these areas will… Read more »

Jane
Member

You are safer at home if you exercise judgment, just like you are safer at a bar if you exercise judgment. At home, the judgment involves not inviting men into your home whom you don’t find trustworthy. Will some women nevertheless get raped by men who appear trustworthy? Yes. But not as many as when women exercise no judgment about the matter, which DOES happen. At the bar, the judgment involves not leaving with strangers, not leaving without trustworthy friends, not drinking beyond your capacity to exercise judgment, etc. The idea that responsible behavior does not reduce your risk of… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Because I have a RIGHT to be safe with strangers. I have a RIGHT to take risks yet never face any danger. It is hard to begin to argue with so illogical a position.

The girls who got into cars with Ted Bundy had a right not to be murdered. We all agree that murderers should be caught and locked up, preferably forever. In the meantime, as we wait for that day, is it smart to get into a car with someone who might be Ted Bundy?

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

You may believe that following the traditional advice on how to avoid rape works, but there is literally no proof of that. It’s been said so often, it’s now blasphemy to question it, but it’s completely unsupported by research.

lndighost
Member

How can there be proof of having avoided anything? What kind of research could possibly be carried out to determine whether a person would have been raped if they had acted otherwise? This is a question you can’t really apply the scientific method to.

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

You can research whether policies decrease the numbers of rape.

insanitybytes22
Member

“So, being a child often leads to bad outcomes because children are weak and vulnerable?”

Isn’t that why God gave children parents and communities to look out for them?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Yes, absolutely. Children are at the mercy of parents who may be sexual abusers, batterers, or merely incredibly negligent. They are at the mercy of siblings who might mistreat them, lascivious uncles who go under the radar because they are plausible, sexually predatory teachers who have never been caught, friends’ parents who expose them to dangers unforeseen even by careful moms and dads, and youth workers at church. That is even before they ever encounter a predatory stranger. Most children will get through their childhoods without encountering these things, although the number of family/friend-based assaults on children is terrifying. But… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

There are things I am legally free to do which, because they make me vulnerable, could lead to a bad outcome for me. There is no way to make it safe for me to get into a car with a stranger. There’s no way I can go to a man’s hotel room or apartment and be absolutely sure of my safety. I can’t walk down a deserted street at midnight and be certain that I won’t be attacked. I can’t leave my purse on a bus bench and be sure that no one will steal it. My doing these things… Read more »

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

You fail to notice that 44% of rapes happen at home, so staying home is dangerous, statistically speaking. You are basing what’s safe and what’s unsafe on your gut feeling about things. For instance, in college I was, and many of my friends were, in lots of boys’ dorm rooms, apartments, and frat houses, and only very rarely felt less than safe and I never heard of anyone who was raped that way. So, my experience is that going home with a guy is generally safe. I’ve also known 5 women attacked while walking from a dorm to class, so… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I don’t know if you meant to or if that was another one of the remarkable ironic coincidences that have been piling up around my comments today, but your comment about the number of stranger crimes you are familiar with on that college campus dovetails well with my previous statement that someone living on a college campus could probably come up with an anecdotal list of “stranger crimes” as long or longer than someone who had been living in a gang-infested neighborhood in LA.

Jane
Member

What is the point you think that makes? College campuses would be another place in which we would hope people would exercise judgment and caution about the other people there. It doesn’t have to be either college campuses or gang-infested urban neighborhoods.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It was referencing an argument Being beat up by random strangers who just happen to be walking through the neighborhood isn’t a significant danger for this blogging audience, because those random strangers are humans, and humans don’t act that way towards each other very often. (Barring the occasional ultra-polarized scenario – say, Philadelphia, Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement – where the mere color of a person’s skin could put one in danger the second they walked into the wrong neighborhood.) We don’t live in times of such violence – we don’t live in very violent times at all. I… Read more »

Jane
Member

“My point being that these are the sort of scenarios that Pastor Wilson keeps falling back on over and over, to taint the people he wants to taint and keep free from condemnation the people he wants to keep free from condemnation.” Well, okay, as long as we’re clear that it’s all about imputing motives to Wilson based on your preconception of his meaning, rather than dealing with the substance of his words. The reason I asked that is that I don’t buy your premise that he’s being selective in the way that, and for the reasons that, you seem… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“My point being that these are the sort of scenarios that Pastor Wilson keeps falling back on over and over, to taint the people he wants to taint and keep free from condemnation the people he wants to keep free from condemnation.”

He seems to have managed to condemn just about everyone in this post. The brooding husband, the high end courtesan, victims, taco eaters, people getting their just desserts…

To mix metaphors here, he’s not puffing on those dog whistles ,he’s actually having a sacred cow BBQ.

JP Stewart
Member

” I have never been to a place in America where a White person was in danger merely by being White, or merely by being a person, and happening to be walking down the street except in the sphere of urban legends.” You must live a really sheltered life then. All that really says is that your personal experience has no bearing on this conversation. And as I said in my original comment, I know of 10-15 incidents where whites were assaulted based on their skin color. This was all between the 1970s-1990s. One of my family members was among… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Let’s start with your last accusation. I am the one who has consistently referred to the Bible and to Biblical principles in our conversations. As far back as I can remember, you have NEVER done so. You have NEVER used either the teachings or the actions of Jesus to support your campaign against Black people. When I have brought up teachings of Christ in this very conversation, and challenged you with them like I did yesterday, you completely ignore them in favor of quoting your favor race-baiting right-wing conspiracy site. I know where I learned to follow God on this… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Which is why every college campus I have ever heard of provides escorts and rides to girls who request them. But a girl who gets dead drunk at a frat party is at the mercy of any predator who comes along. Maybe there will be decent kids who get her back to her dorm room safely. And maybe she will encounter a Brock Turner.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Given that not all risk can be managed, there are still things women can do to lower their personal risk. Talking to a stranger is quite different from getting into a car with one. A friendly drink in a bar does not have to end with a woman finding herself in a hotel room with a man who won’t take no for an answer. I agree with you that dress is unimportant. I tend to believe that for many rapists, as with houses, the issue is location, location, location. When I was young in the sixties, I used to hitch… Read more »

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

I suggest that society would be better served if we were skeptical about this truthy advice, and instead we actually study interventions that decrease rape.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

What are these interventions? On whom are they being tested? Convicted rapists who have every reason to appear to be profiting from therapy? Or are you referring to the affirmative consent standard?

Annerdr
Guest
Annerdr

Things that have some research behind them include teaching women how to fight, teaching women how to be assertive, teaching everyone what consent is and what it is not, actively prioritizing the investigation and prosecution of rape, etc.

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

Alternately we could teach women to carry and use weapons so that rapists can be identified by the numbers of stab-wounds their victim inflicted on them.

Which is my preferred method of rape prevention.

Spokannie
Guest
Spokannie

I think the phrase is “nothing but her just desserts”. If that’s it I get an AttaGIRL by the way! ;)

Canuck Sheepherder
Guest
Canuck Sheepherder

My guess is “the moral necessity of judging”

Anonyme
Guest
Anonyme

Modest dress didn’t stop “Pastor”* Wilson from molesting his young parishioners, did it?
* sarcasm quotes because no decent pastor would be this horrible.
You may insist that you don’t think these women don’t deserve rape, Dougie, but your entire post clearly says that was just a line and you do indeed blame women for getting rape based on how they dress.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Anonyme, your comment is completely false, without fact and completely without merit.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If she thinks that Pastor Wilson molested children, she has a moral duty to file a police report. With dates, acts, witnesses, and names–including her own. Otherwise she is breaking the ninth commandment in a particularly spectacular manner.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Jilly, Anonyme and others who spread false information here and elsewhere on the web are not concerned with the truth, any of the Ten Commandments and especially not the Ninth Commandment.

Julia Childress
Guest
Julia Childress

The entire men-rape-because-of-the-way-women-dress argument is built on sand. A woman’s appearance has virtually nothing to do with the reason she becomes a victim. Think about it. If appearance were important in rape, why wouldn’t you caution young women against trying to look attractive at all? I mean, who wants to rape someone old or unattractive? It turns out, that plenty of rapists do just that. Nearly one third of all rape victims are 35 and older. Oh, and by the way, at least 10% of all rape victims are male. Rape is a crime of opportunity and power. Everyone should… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

I take it you haven’t lived in the Middle East at any time or in Europe the past year.

Julia Childress
Guest
Julia Childress

Can you explain?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Julia, in the Middle East, boys, girls and immodestly dressed women or unescorted women are available for use by any man. We would call it rape, child abuse and so on, however, the culture in the Middle East considers it normal cultural behavior. That is a broad brush statement but covers the basics.

The so called refugees in central Europe have not assimilated western ideals and culture but instead continue to use their cultural norms to grope, sexually assault, or rape women and children.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Julia, I think we forget sometimes that our current thinking about rape is relatively new, and is not necessarily shared by the rest of the world. In some Mexican states, for example, it was not possible, until recently, for a girl who had not previously been a virgin to file rape charges. Even now, the number of successful prosecutions is tiny, and there are no rape shield laws. How a woman dresses and how she comports herself are still very relevant. I don’t think one’s dress leads to rape in our society, and I don’t think Wilson was saying that.… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I agree with many of your claims (though I doubt everyone over 35 is unattractive). But the example of nursing homes proves your point.

However, that rape will occur when dressed well or when victim not attractive (because vulnerable) does not logically imply that dress is entirely unimportant. For any event there can be a multitude of factors that are relevant.

(your solutions are helpful and go a way towards addressing the problem).

Julia Childress
Guest
Julia Childress

I didn’t intend to imply that women over 35 are unattractive. I quoted that statistic to support the idea that men don’t just rape irresistible sweet young things, but they also rape women who could be the same age as their wives, mothers and grandmothers. Attractiveness is not what motivates men to rape. Some combination of power, control and opportunity is the motivation for rape.

Jane
Member

Attractiveness is not necessary for men to rape does not logically equal attractiveness never motivates men to choose a specific target for rape. Anyway, the point wasn’t attractiveness, but presenting oneself as available through widely understood social cues.

Darlene Dufton Griffith
Guest
Darlene Dufton Griffith

“Nothing justifies rape…Nothing justifies rape…Did you hear me?” says Doug. “Nothing justifies rape!”

Ah…..Me thinks the man protesteth too much.

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

And if he’d been less emphatic you’d be accusing him of insufficient emphasis of the point.

Never, ever satisfied if you think it’ll get you his head.