Friday, July 18, 2014

Locking your Door - About Asking What She Was Wearing

I can't come up with a good way to formulate an introductory question... let's try with;
When a woman is asked what she was wearing, the night she was raped, can that be equated with a house owner being asked if he locked the door the night his house was cleaned out?

Don't shoot me down, all questions are allowed to be asked! Now let's see.

Crazy people exist in all areas and groups of life. I'm fairly sure that if you looked closer at the group "fairly sensible people", you'd find some crazies there too. Thus, in the group "men", we're bound to find a decent amount of crazies. (We're using the term loosely here.) These crazies are likely to, when presented with means and opportunity, do things the rest of us find uncivilized, offensive, or outright inhuman, like rape or murder people, or steal everything not bolted down.

When a crime is committed, in our current society we assume "reasonable" precautions have been made by the injured party. Did you call the knife-wielding drunk guy an ugly ass motherfucker? Did you lock your doors and keep your pure gold ingots in a vault?

Ideally, we would all be prancing around in a conflict-free world, where the worst violence ever recorded is soccer players elbowing each other in the nose when the referee isn't looking. A place where people don't lock their doors, never wield knives or call each other anything, and can pole dance around the flag pole naked for all anyone cares. Surprisingly, we aren't.

Society is made from agreements, silent or outspoken. An agreement to not rob or murder each other, because it makes life better for everyone. I pay tax so that your mother can live somewhere when she gets old, because when my mother gets old, she'll need somewhere to live too. Some things are easy to check. Is person A paying tax? Yes, check. Some things are very difficult. Is person A hiding a 13yo child in their basement, taken from the next town over? Uhm, probably not, but who really knows? Has person A raped someone, will they, or would they if presented with an opportunity? Eeeehh.

So what does the law say. Person X lives in a neighborhood plagued by thefts and vandalism. They frequently leave their house unlocked and have no security systems. One day they return to all their possessions gone and their dog kicked to death. Law says it's still theft, and whatever else the law says about kicking other people's dogs to death. Although person X probably won't get their insurance, if they had any, the thieves and dog-kickers will, if caught, get their punishment regardless. Entering someone else's home and taking their things is still illegal, even if the door is unlocked. How about leaving your possessions in a public area? Person X takes their stereo system, puts it in the front yard, and goes inside to sleep. In the morning the stereo is gone. Say the thieves are caught. Will they still be convicted of theft? How about if the stereo system is left in a public parking lot?

The law may say this or that, but public opinion may say that the fool who left his door unlocked only has himself to blame. So the public blaming women for wearing this or that doesn't really surprise me, and maybe that's the price to be paid. Self-righteous masses are dumb as shit. The law however, is a different question. The law would still be obliged to help the dude get his things back and punish the thieves, and similarly, rapists must be pursued with the same prejudice regardless what anyone was wearing. Right?

I feel it could be argued that a person carries their private space with them, as in, a person's body is counted as their house or their apartment in terms of rights. In that sense, for rape, you can either argue that the stereo can never be in a public parking lot, or you can argue that if you go to a public parking lot at night dressed in... actually I don't know if it matter what you're dressed in, at a public parking lot at night, even a SWAT stamp on your back might not keep you safe. But I get sidetracked. If you stand there, in the dark, alone, is the stereo in your house or in the parking lot? That's where I feel the question lies. Do we put a certain degree of responsibility on regular citizens to avoid crime, and how does that apply to rape?

This post hasn't progressed any thinking, the entire space went just to explain the question, but honestly I just started thinking about it so there's a lot of thinking left to do.

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