Unintended consequences of illogical solutions

Norah clings to her straw man:

Sometimes one person is completely at fault. You champions of personal responsibility should think about that.

Yes, sometimes one person is. However, this does not happen to be true in 100 percent of all rape and “date rape” situations. This would, no doubt, become very clear even to those with willfullly clogged synapses if insurance companies offered rape insurance. The risk premium on a clueless, 17 year-old runaway who moves in with a 40 year-old pimp just out of jail for the third time would be significantly higher than that of a married woman with children whose one night out a week is spent with her sewing circle at church.

Norah and Kim seem to be having a very difficult time grasping the concept of the zero-sum game, and how it does not apply to apportioning blame. In a zero-sum game, such as the U.S. Senate in its current, practical form, one party’s loss is the other’s gain. When a Democrat wins a seat, a Republican loses. And vice-versa. However, at the end of the day, all of the additions and subtractions add up to zero and there will be 100 Senators, regardless of the mix.

In the case of a clearly criminal rape – we’ll leave the ambiguous/mythical/sacrosanct world of “date rape” out of it for now – there is no zero sum game. Apportioning blame to the victim for her victimhood does not reduce the rapist’s responsibility. Convicted, the rapist of the runaway merits the same punishment and holds the same moral culpability as the rapist who jimmies the door of the sewing enthusiast’s car in the church parking lot, then hides in the back seat to ambush her upon her return.

But there can be no question that the runaway bears responsibility for putting herself in a dangerous situation. There is no reasonable expectation of safety in living homeless and jobless in an urban environment, of abandoning the security of a parental home in favor of shacking up with a criminal predator; there is such an expectation in meeting a group of your girlfriends in a public place. Does this mean that the runaway deserves her likely fate? In a moral, judgmental sense, no, she does not. In the practical sense of probability, she certainly does, because the consequences of her actions are so predictable.

In general, both men and women dislike thinking about unpleasant possibilities. This is normal, indeed, thinking constantly about the worst can literally drive you insane. And yet, it is necessary at times, especially for young women who offer an unfortunate combination of inexperience, foolishness and attractiveness to the male predatory class.

Survival does not revolve around guarantees, but probability. Sure, putting winter tires on the car and driving at a reasonable speed won’t guarantee that you won’t hit a patch of black ice and spin out, but they increase the chances that you won’t. In the same way, not getting totally blitzed at parties and bars, not walking alone after dark and not having sex won’t guarantee that a girl won’t be raped, but it significantly increases her chances of avoiding it.

The poverty of the fearful thinking of all too many women on this subject is illustrated beautifully by Kim, who suggests (surprise!) a government policy of forcing men to be accompanied by other men as an answer. In addition to demonstrating again the intrinsic fascism of the female mind, this would merely substitute gang rape for rape. She then suggests perhaps a curfew, forgetting that it is men who would have to enforce this. She has not yet advocated the prohibition of alcohol, but then, women already experimented with that grand idea.

As Nate rightly pointed out, the government with the power to “protect” irresponsible women in the ways suggested by Kim is a government with the power to round those women up and force them to serve as state prostitutes on behalf of their protectors. Given the pattern that has played out all through human history, given what is happening today in dozens of contries around the world, where do you think the probability lies?

Utopians always create dystopias; often they are worse than the society they were conceived to replace.

On a tangential note, I would be remiss if I failed to note DH’s hilarious – if gruesome – response to jhkim’s doubts about the protective qualities of the traditional male compared to the sensitive New Age one: “well, I’ve beaten a rapist to death with a steel bar, how about you?” This is unfortunate, because now Bane’s weeping about one-upped and will need to crack the skulls of at least three criminals with his manhood to restore the tattered remnants of his masculine self-esteem.

DH’s story is an important lesson. If you’re going to go, go 100 percent. That decision, to go or not, is the last thing you can afford to think about until it’s over. If the bad guy has a weapon or pretends to have a weapon, it’s trigger time. People are much harder to incapacitate than it looks on TV, so don’t screw around and hold back once it becomes necessary to act.