Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
Yay Megan- you're online and blogging as well. On this article- I would just say that all movements get a little hooky. However, (and the article didn't really discuss this point adequately), the issue of "blaming the victim" is important/interesting/worth mentioning? Now don't get me wrong- I'm not a huge fan of revealing attire. Must be my Catholic background. (Though I've moved to only frowning upon young children wearing innapropriate attire- young women rightfully can wear whatever they want). But sexual assault is never the victim's fault. (And not to get that whole controversy started again, but I take a very expansive definition of assault- one that matches the legal definition- which means that I have concerns over the atmosphere of Hamilton's social scene, including the role of fraternities). In this case, the cop who advised women to avoid dressing like sluts was clearly playing into the "blame-the-victim-game." So the cop was in the wrong, and feminists are right to criticize him and continue to push education efforts on this issue. So the question for me is whether their approach is acceptable to me? I think so. As long as they're combining it with education efforts, I don't have a problem them with being aggressive, leaving an impression, and garnering attention. I might not personally want to join in this kind of campaign, but I don't have a problem with other people doing it. Now, your comments speak to the questionable effectiveness of this approach. I sort of agree here, in that I think on this issue you need to have an influence when people are young. Feminists should be trying to influence young children and youth culture- and I don't think these groups are necessarily responsive to this kind of tactic.
Good to see MC and PL arguing respectfully again.
I had to re-write this because I think my other post was a little too anti-feminist.I agree that this cop's statement was ignorant and a blame the victim attitude towards rape is unacceptable. The fact that he said to avoid getting raped don't dress slutty shows his ignorance. There is no way for a woman to absolutely be sure she won't be raped because all types of women get raped, and it is always one hundred percent the man's fault. This comment and comments like "it wasn't rape rape" are disgusting. No means no. But can't we agree that there are risk factors to getting raped whether we like it or not? Getting really drunk, going home with people you don't know, being promiscuous, going to bad areas late at night, and possibly even dressing a certain way (don't really buy this one) may make a woman more at risk of being sexually assaulted. In a perfect world women could get as drunk as they wanted, go home with strangers, hook up with tons of dudes, walk dark alleys late at night, take hard drugs, and walk around naked without getting raped. But the fact is that there are disgusting people who will rape women and these factors put a woman more at risk. Do these behaviors justify rape? Absolutely not. Should people be able to teach young girls to avoid these behaviors without people going all feminist-crazy on their ass? Yes.And does society have a responsibility to respect and accept sexually promiscuous behavior? Is society really that immoral for looking down on the behavior of a woman who sleeps with a different guy every night of the behavior of a prostitute? What if it the sexually promiscuous behavior causes more harm to society than good? single parenthood, STD's, damaged self esteems, and increased sexual activity in young girls vs. the sexual empowerment that some women feel. Everyone is entitled to their own view so feminists shouldn't damn people who are not comfortable with promiscuous sexual behavior. Feminists these days are so contradictory in their messages it makes my head hurt: Women should be able to dress and look like sexual objects, but men must NEVER think about women as sexual objects. Men are terrible misogynists for using women for sexual pleasure and then never calling them back, but it is sexually empowering for women to have lots of meaningless sex. Women need to define themselves based on their sexual identities, but men must consider only a woman's brain and personality when judging her.
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