Politics & Media
Jun 27, 2016, 10:04AM

Feminist Focus Increases Victimization

New York Times article falsely implies society can eliminate sociopaths. 

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Laura Niemi and Liane Young discuss victim-blaming in their Sunday New York Times article, "Who Blames the Victim." In the first paragraph they summarize the argument in a binary terms. Some will blame a person who took a late-night walk in the park and got mugged for their recklessness, while others will extend sympathy. If someone is raped by an acquaintance after binge-drinking, some will say they brought it on by their actions, while others will empathize.

The writers are academics who’ve recently completed a series of studies aimed at identifying personal traits affecting which side of the victim fence one falls on. They found that those valuing loyalty, obedience and purity (which they term "binding values") tend to blame the victim, while those concerned with fairness and caring (individualizing values) are more likely to be empathetic. The difference is one of moral perspective. Fairness and equality versus clan loyalty and cohesion. In other words, liberal versus conservative.

Niemi and Young write that their findings show that those with binding values have a tendency to moralize. They often deplore the impure act of premarital sex or the disloyal act of burning a flag. Some believe in honor killings, the writers claim, though I'm not aware of this as a current phenomenon in the U.S. The authors conclude that society would be better served by focusing more on the perpetrators than the victims. "Why did he think he had a license to rape?" we should ask, not "Imagine what she must be going through?"

There are far too many Brock Turners (the Stanford swimmer/sex offender) out there, but focusing on why they think they have license to commit felonies will accomplish very little. Turner is most likely a sociopath. There have been credible reports that he was texting photos of his victim as he assaulted her. I don't care how drunk you are; only depraved people behave like this. No amount of societal reflection will ever reform his type, although this runs against the grain of the progressive philosophy that society can be shaped to reflect particular ideals.

Feminists and progressives espousing "individualizing values" feel they can fix the Brock Turners of the world by raising social awareness. They're working on it, but have no advice to offer women who'd like to avoid being sexually assaulted in the meantime. Implicitly, the message is that no modification of any behavior is necessary, but post-assault, no victim-blaming will be tolerated. The problem with policing victim-blaming is that it prevents any discussion of practical steps women can take to avoid sexual assault.

In her 2005 book, The Sociopath Next Door, Martha Stout warned that four percent of the population are sociopaths, mostly men. Basic math reveals that there's a good chance that there will be at least one sociopath at every frat party. They're not easy to spot because they look like this. The sociopath lacks empathy. He can hurt you badly and feel no remorse. This person probably also enjoys manipulating and exploiting people, and knows that drunk women are vulnerable. If you're a woman who regularly gets very drunk at frat parties, you're constantly making yourself a target for such predators.

As feminists only take action after the fact, here’s some advice to women. If you wish to radically decrease your chances of assault, avoid repeatedly making yourself vulnerable to sociopaths. Skipping the "pre-gaming" before the party could be one of several useful tactics aimed at cutting back on alcohol intake. This isn’t much of a sacrifice of your freedom. Wait until the feminists have eliminated the potential of these attacks before returning to your old, Dionysian ways.

Offering such advice makes me—and parents for that matter—a victim-blamer, but at least it’s a plan. Having a plan gives one a feeling of control—it's always a plus in life. The left has become reliant on labeling people to cheaply squash debate. Nobody wants to be known as a victim-blamer, so they shut up.

Brexit proponents who had legitimate concerns about EU immigration and other policies didn't want to be called racists, so we saw centrists shutting up too and just moving to the right. Even a fair share of leftists voted to leave the EU. When you shut down debate, your fundamentally dishonest approach often backfires and ends up facilitating the result you wish to avoid. Nothing feminists are currently doing is reducing sexual assaults, including the unconstitutional kangaroo courts that the federal government is now requiring on American campuses that will just lead to colleges getting sued over and over, but at least feminists can content themselves with having "individualizing values."

  • I've tried to make this case. Problem is the presumption that blame is a zero-sum issue. Like the traffic cop, changing his view that the other guy was sixty percent at fault instead of seventy percent means you are now forty percent at fault instead of thirty. Got to be a hundred percent. You'd think this is a simple concept. But if you try to say that if you don't go where there are likely to be rapists, you aren't likely to be raped is considered victim-blaming and reducing the culpability of the perp. It's hard to believe anybody actually believes this, but a good many shout down anyone mentioning it. Is it possible that potential-victim-warning might reduce the number of rapes to a level which is not politically useful?

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  • This is article is insulting and shows you have little understanding about sexual assault, which is overwhelmingly committed by people that the victim knows personally-- not some sociopath lurking in the shadows. Brock Turner is not a sociopath. He's an entitled jock that thought he could rape an unconscious woman without consequences. Telling women to skip the "pre-gaming" as a tactic for not being assaulted is asinine and ridiculous. These kinds of assumptions and beliefs are what allow sexual assault to happen, because you perpetuate the notion that it's the woman's fault for drinking, dressing a certain way, being at the wrong place/wrong time or a number of other factors. The only person to blame for assault is the person who committed it. Period.

  • Wow, I just read the comment above too. You honestly believe people fight against "victim-warning"-- which is a term I'm guessing you just made up-- so that they can continue to politicize violence against women? I swear, this website is full of half-baked neo-con libertarian men who jack each other off about how you're all so superior.

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  • You stated your opinion that Turner is not a sociopath. That is not useful without telling us how you've arrived at your diagnosis. Also, I outlined what my plan is. Please let me know your plan is so I can make a comparison. I hope yours is better, honestly. Talk of blame is, obviously, not a plan, so please don't bother going down that road again. Please be specific about your plan too, and include measures to reduce SA in the short term.

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  • Ah yes, let me develop my ten point plan to eliminate sexual assault so I can publish it in the comments section of Splice Today. That's a classic and cheap way to invalidate criticism against your own poorly thought out stance on victim blaming. I'll give you one tip though-- don't blame victims for being assaulted. It's really as simple as that. Guess who else thought the woman was at fault? The guy you label as a sociopath.

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  • The problem with this whole victim blaming concept is that it absolves women of any responsibility for their putting themselves in dangerous situations. I would tell both male and female children of mine that frat parties have a higher incidence of crime than the library. Is that victim blaming? What if I make the same factual statement after my son was raped at a frat party? Of course he is not to blame for anothers action but, I'd expect him to not put himself in a dangerous position. Is it victim blaming to say that someone who swam with sharks should have been aware of the risks? No, of course not. So once again, why is it victim blaming for saying someone should not get intoxicated while around other intoxicated idiots? Seems like an obvious statement of fact to me.

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  • Arguing against victim blaming is not an argument against situational awareness. The problem is that you normalize sexual assault when you say after the fact that someone is at fault for being at a party or drinking, because it allows assholes like Brock Turner to think they can get always with it. Also the comparison to swimming with sharks is stupid, it's a fucking shark and not a 20-something frat bro who is capable of discerning right from wrong. Everyone is capable of getting drunk without raping someone. Stop blaming it on alcohol or women

  • That is precisely the point I am making. I'm not blaming the victim for putting her/himself in a dangerous position. Any individual can do want they want as long as it does not harm others is my motto. And, No one deserves to be the victim of crime. However, acknowledging the simple fact that some environments are inherently more dangerous than others is just that. Recognizing fact over ignorance. If you think humans are not animals and subject to their baser instincts, especially while intoxicated, I suggest you review grade school biology rather than blame those who are merely trying to raise awareness and acknowledge the truth of the human condition. Good, bad, and ugly.

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  • I asked you to support your opinion that Turner, contrary to evidence, is not a sociopath. You offer nothing. I asked you for some actual preventative measures, and you offer nothing once again. I think we are done here, because you have no actual ideas, as opposed to just parroting clichés.At least I have a plan, flawed as it may be, which is more than you can offer. I know you'll be there after the fact to prevent victim-blaming though. Same old story.

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  • One last point, why do you want to encourage binge drinking since your position is, the victim should be able to expect, that if they are so inebriated that they lose consciousness, no harm will come to them? would you really suggest to your daughter that becoming so intoxicated that she passes out, will carry no repercussions and that if they do, she is totally blameless? If so, I'm very sorry that your daughter has such a delusional mother, and pray that she does not come to harm despite her lunatic mothers ranting.

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  • I'm a guy, but okay. You don't understand that a vast percentage of assault is caused by people the victim knows personally in a space where they feel safe. That's my last comment, I'm done

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  • I lied, one more set of questions. According to a mean and average of quick stats, a woman is at 20% risk (or lower around 10%) of sexual assault while attending a 4 year college with fraternities. A man in a medium security prison has the slightly higher risk with a much higher incidence of "violent" sexual assault (23%-26%). Why not focus on prisoners, who have a higher rate of victim hood, as your goto example. Or do they "deserve" to be raped?

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