Every now and again I derive a small measure of validation for my practice of spending much of my waking hours listening to as many news podcasts as I can consume at double-speed. By listening to so many reports, I increase my chances of stumbling across some insight that had previously escaped me.
To wit, a discussion about the Boston upskirting verdict that led one of the commentators to say: "We tell women how not to get raped. We don't tell men or other predatory behaviors not to rape."
Similar sentiments have come up in the past, including a few months ago in a 'Slate' article by Emily Yoffe about young womyn and binge drinking. As often happens, people were indignantly protesting, asking the same question that Kendall does--why counsel womyn on how to avoid rape instead of telling men not to rape.
Well, the answer, which should be obvious (but has escaped me many times), is unequivocal...
Because a person intent on satisfying strong personal desires by harming another is less likely to be deterred by a prohibition than a potential victim is likely to be inspired to heed precautionary warnings.
To illustrate, visualize 1000 men, all with a powerful, deeply-rooted sexual urge, and little or no ethical compass to prevent them from harming another. Tell each one of them--"you must not rape." Then measure how many of them are actually deterred by the prohibition.
Then visualize 1000 womyn, all with a significant, socially-inculcated fear of being assaulted, and tell them, "if you become drunk tonight, there is a 50% chance that you will be raped." Measure how many of them cut back on their drinking.
My prediction, which I would love to see tested scientifically, is that more womyn will be deterred from intoxication than men will be deterred from attempting rape.
So there is the very simple answer to that oft-asked question, of "why counsel the womyn but not the men". Because if you have only so much energy to expend, counseling the womyn will lead to a lower incidence of assault than counseling the men.
It goes without saying that we should do both. We should tell men not to be predators, and we should tell womyn how to protect themselves, but what we should absolutely do is put an end, forever, to any protestations against counseling potential victims on how to protect themselves with this fallacious reasoning that we should be counseling potential predators instead.
Because predators, in all probability, DO NOT LISTEN to prohibitions. Predators will be predators regardless of what we tell them. If you realize that, you see how irrational Kendall's statements above are.