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Perception of rape

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960487.  Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:19 pm Reply with quote

Apparently not.

And I now fear that capital punishment will be inevitable for these culprits, because the government will want the world (that is by now very much aware of how archaic Indian attitude towards women is and the government is very much aware of that, too) to know that the times they are a-changing.
But a few rolling heads won't change things one iota, of course.

960495.  Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:18 pm Reply with quote

The Indian justice system is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't, really.

Let us suppose for the moment that the people charged with this crime are in fact the people who did this horrid thing, and are duly convicted of the crime. Either India decides not to execute them (in which case some will argue that India still has a medieval attitude to women) or it does execute them (in which cases others will argue that it has a medieval attitude to capital punishment).

Then again, let us suppose that they are not the people who actually committed the crime. Hard luck, because they're going to be found guilty of it all the same.

What's more, it has been usual in India for the wheels of justice to turn even more slowly than they do in Britain (partly because Indian society traditionally did move rather slowly, and partly because there aren't enough judges). And even in Britain, rape cases usually take some months to come to court - quite simply, it takes that long to prepare the case.

Yet this trial is to start next week, and the persons charged will have to conduct their own defences because the All India Bar Association has directed all of its members that they are not to do that thing. Sadly, none of this inspires confidence that the legal process will be everything that it might be.

960553.  Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:48 am Reply with quote

I do find this idea of lawyers being barred (ho ho) from defending the persons charged to be deeply dispiriting.

Indeed, it is to Norway's eternal credit that they gave Anders Brevik a full trial despite him being so obviously and self-declaredly guilty. It is never easy to apply a comparable metric for the heinousness of any given crime, but I think it is fair to say that his ranks higher even that the one we are discussing here.

And I do think that if there are people that would suggest that India has a medieval attitude to women if they decline to execute the men, then those people themselves have a medieval attitude to justice.

960569.  Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:54 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
I do find this idea of lawyers being barred from defending the persons charged to be deeply dispiriting.

Likewise. It has since emerged that, while members of the Indian Bar will not be permitted to defend these people, the accused will be able to use a court-appointed "barefoot advocate".

These are people who are not qualified lawyers, but who have a reasonable practical knowledge of the legal system and are keen to represent those that professional lawyers can't or won't help. If the word "bobwilson" crossed your mind while reading that sentence, well so it crossed mine while writing it - and a Bobinder Wilson is the sort of thing that these guys will get.

Not ideal by a long stretch, but better than nothing.

960575.  Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:28 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:

Not ideal by a long stretch, but better than nothing.

Well it depends whether the "stetch" in question is a figure of speech or a vernacular term for the sentence (be it a "stretch" in jail or a "stretch" of the thoratic vertabrae resulting from gravitationally-induced stress applied betwixt skull and torso).

But I have to say I'm mystified by the indian bar action. I was under the impression that the indian legal system was closely modelled (in procedural terms) on the English one. English baristers aren't allowed to pick & choose cases - they must take the next in line regardless of subject or merit. OK, I know they get around this by using their clerks as a filter, and that's why the clerks are so well paid, but the wholesale boycotting action of the type described here would be illegal here so I'm surprised it's legal over there.


960615.  Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:47 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Bobinder Wilson

Oh, I so want to see that name pop up in the trial now...

960648.  Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:20 pm Reply with quote

Watch this space.

Oceans Edge
960792.  Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:01 pm Reply with quote

Still kinda fuzzy headed from a nasty cold, and tired, and fruit cake for breakfast (don't ask).. so it pains me a little to jump into this argument but I'm gonna try and say something to some of the comments here re: the Rebecca Watson / Richard Dawkins thing anyway.

I don't really care who made the comments, being a preeminent writer on a number of unrelated subjects doesn't preclude Dawkins from being an ass. That he is well known makes him a target for being called out on a subject that there happens to be a lot of asses about. And all the blogs and comments out there really aren't about Dawkins at all, but the millions of asses and asinine comments out there that we he said represents.

I won't quote all the articles and blog posts written about the incident and Dawkin's comments, only that I pretty much agree with them all. However, I did find the one on 'Privilege" particularly interesting.

The whole subject and a LOT of the comments seem to hold a double standard for women that is damned near impossible to live up to. I recall there being an thread around these parts some months ago (and I really am too tired to look it up) about an anti-rape poster campaign that got pulled because it was perceived to be blaming the victim. The argument being made at the time was "Look girls it's not blaming the victim to tell you you have to be careful about your circumstances and always be aware that if you got the goods on display someone might take the wrong idea. Lock up the car if you don't want it stolen"

In other words we should always be thinking about our potentiality as victims and "if we don't take responsibility for our own safety, we shouldn't expect others to."

And then along comes Rebecca:
Rebecca Watson wrote:
Um, just a word to wise here, guys, uh, donít do that. You know, I donít really know how else to explain how this makes me incredibly uncomfortable, but Iíll just sort of lay it out that I was a single woman, you know, in a foreign country, at 4:00 am, in a hotel elevator, with you, just you, andódonít invite me back to your hotel room right after I finish talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner.

In my viewpoint, she's only done exactly what we keep telling women they should do. She was thinking about her potentiality as a victim. Dawkins and others like him, and even some of the comments here sneer at her for being whiny and afraid. But honestly guys (and gals) you don't get to have it both ways - you don't get to say it's our fault for not being constantly vigilant about the potential threat of a situation like being alone in an elevator at 4am with a stranger making an advance (no matter how innocuous an advance it might have been it WAS an advance) and then laugh at us for feeling threatened by it!

So, we're supposed to view every situation every man, every drink in a pub as a potential rape situation and guard ourselves accordingly, but we're not supposed to be upset by the poor geek who didn't know better than to bother us in a situation where we might feel potentially threatened and trapped, because geeeeeeeeeez he only wanted to get to know us better.

Someone want to explain to me how exactly I'm supposed to modify my behavior as a woman so men won't have to modify theirs, because I'm getting mighty confused.

960829.  Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:16 pm Reply with quote

As I said before, I don't think it's wrong for her to have felt threatened, and I've got no problem with her mentioning the incident and explaining why she felt threatened, my problem is that she seemed to be blaming this guy and claiming he should not have asked her for coffee.

Oceans Edge
960839.  Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:39 pm Reply with quote

But that is EXACTLY the point - he *should*not* have asked her - he SHOULD have modified his behavior to respect the fact that under those circumstances a large percentage of women WILL feel threatened. Because that's exactly what we've been told we should be.

If you understand why she'd feel threatened in those circumstances, and still excuse his behavior - by conclusion you're saying it's OK for him to be threatening ... why? because he didn't really mean it to be threatening? You don't know that. I don't know that. The only person who knows his motivations is HIM. If your behavior no matter how innocuous in other circumstances can be perceived by a large sector as threatening in those circumstances - you are being threatening. What you mean by an action is meaningless, it's the action itself that counts.

I take umbrage at the idea that its 'OK' for her to feel threatened, but not OK for her to say "don't threaten me"

960840.  Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:12 pm Reply with quote

But, O-E, another woman in the same circumstances might not have felt threatened. You cannot expect a man to assume that every woman may by definition feel threatened whatever he does.
If she is that insecure, she should not have got into that elevator alone and ask for somebody to accompany her to her door.

960847.  Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:39 pm Reply with quote

I think you're slightly missing OE's point, 'yorz. The only people being asked to modify their behaviour are women. Why aren't men being asked to modify theirs?

You make the point that another woman might not have felt threatened in the same circumstance. You could equally argue that not all men are potential rapists, so that women don't need to be on their guard and aware of their potential as victims. But we don't say that, do we? So if we ask women to be on their guard, why don't we ask men to be aware that many men are perceived by women as potential rapists, especially in circumstances such as being trapped in close proximity in a space that can't be moved away from, and ask them to respect that concern?

960848.  Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:53 pm Reply with quote

Butbut - why can't the woman be proactive and say, "Sorry - I feel encroached if you get in the lift with me; could you please the next one?". Why does man have to assume that a woman may well see him as a potential rapists when perhaps she doesn't? And what's wrong with my example of her asking somebody to accompany her to her door?
Why can't a woman who feels insecure/threatened act upon that feeling, in stead of make men in general question what they consider entirely unconfrontational and non-discourteous behaviour?

Oceans Edge
960849.  Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:03 pm Reply with quote

so ... now I can't go anywhere unless I hvae an escort? (yes, I know that's not what you meant - but it does sort of defeat the purpose of our independence if we need an escort). While no not EVERY woman is going to percieve the man as threatening - I'd hazzard that the vast majority of women in the same situation are going to be in a very much heightened state of alert for a threat - and thus the potential for being percieved as threatening is all the greater. Yes, men SHOULD understand and respect that. And I don't think its ever recommended to openly challenge what is a percieved threat - alone and faced with a situation that has the potential to turn threatening I know I'm not going to get up in the face of that potential threat. Oh wait ,... I know I know! I should have taken karate classes so no man could ever hurt me and I don't need to be afraid - and here I am old and fat - again it's my fault to being attacked / threatened. Nope, not buying into it.

I can only reitterate what Jenny neatly summed up regards my point. All your arguments center around women modifying their behavior in order to manage what society is telling us is the constant threat and dangers that surround us - if we need to modify our behavior to recognize all the potential arenas of threat shouldn't men also be expected to recognize those same potential arenas of threat and modify their behavior in response to being percieved as a potential threat?

Why is it only women should modify their behavior?

Last edited by Oceans Edge on Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

960850.  Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:08 pm Reply with quote

OK - I am trying to picture this. A man should not get into an elevator when there's already a woman alone in there (after 21.00 hrs or not at all?).
A man entering a corridor in a hotel should not proceed to his room when there is already an unaccompanied woman walking to hers - he has to wait until she has gone inside.
I really am struggling.


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