This article from Slate talks about the association between getting very drunk and increasing ones vulnerability to sexual predators. I encourage those interested in the topic of keeping people safe to read it, it's filled with good advise.
As are most discussions these days related to gender issues, the response to the article has been divisive. The title is very provocative and that likely accounts for most of the dismissive remarks. It's unfortunate that such an important topic wasn't given a more suitable title.
The discussion around this article is one of "victim blaming" versus "self protection." As a parent of children in their 20's, my first response was to get the link to them and continue discussions on how they can minimize personal risk. Talks we have had for years.
If you also see this type of advise as victim blaming, here are some ideas to consider:
Is it victim blaming to encourage people to take self defense classes? It's not their fault if someone attacks them.
Is it victim blaming to remind people of the importance of using a condom when having sex? It's not their fault if someone gives them AIDS.
Is it victim blaming to keep your infant and children out of smoke filled rooms? It's not your fault if someone is smoking.
Is it victim blaming to educate teens to choose friends knowing those people will influence behavior? It's not their fault if their peers do drugs.
Is it victim blaming to tell someone they should leave an abusive relationship? It's not their fault they are beaten.
If those are not examples of victim blaming, why is it wrong to warn people intoxication could make them vulnerable to sexual predators?
There are numerous examples of how responsible people minimize personal risk. That's wisdom, not an admission of guilt.
If the tech community cares about safe conferences and "in real life" activities, helping people understand behaviors that increase ones vulnerability is a key to preventing harm and a sign of a caring community.
- http://Molajo.orgFree Software Project, 2010 - present
- University of Nebraska–LincolnAccounting
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