Monday Morning Quarterback

“Wherever you come near the human race there’s layers and layers of nonsense.” -Thorton Wilder

I know I’m super-late to the drama-Bahamas on this one, but I still feel the need to stick my two cents in.

Brit wrote a piece about being assaulted in a nightclub and someone named Taylor felt the need to write an entire piece in response. Taylor tells Britni to “take personal responsibility for [her] own actions.” According to Taylor, “…if [her] body is being groped, used, assaulted, grabbed, handled or otherwise touched without [her] permission as often as [she says], it would seem that [she is] doing something to provoke it.”

The background to this story is that Brit was dancing with a guy at a club who developed an erection. She became uncomfortable with this and walked away. After that, the guy “came up behind me and full on tried to penetrate me under my dress.”

The title of Taylor’s post is “So Yeah, It’s Your Body. But Are You Sending The Wrong Message?” I infer from that that Taylor thinks that Brit was “sending the wrong message” to this guy and that the guy’s actions were in response to this message.

Let’s rewind back to the night. Britni is dancing with a guy. He develops an erection. She leaves. Taylor, in the comments of the post, says “If one truly wants to avoid certain things, they take the necessary steps to keep them from happening.”

What steps? Are you suggesting that this wouldn’t have happened if Brit have pushed the guy away and said “Get the fuck off me!” ? Perhaps. Or maybe the guy would have shot her. Who knows?

Instead, for whatever reason, Brit avoids confrontation and walks away. Now, you seem to be saying that the guy had some indication Brit was still interested; that this guy’s behavior was justified by something that Brit did. I tend to assume that if someone just walks away from me, they aren’t interested, but perhaps you see the world differently. What rights are you implying Brit granted him by dancing with him and then walking away? Because he has touched her once, he’s allowed to touch her again? Because they danced before, it’s reasonable for him to assume that he can wrap his arms around her? And where do these conferred rights end? He’s only allowed to touch her in the club that night? What about the next night? Or the street in front of the club? Or the diner a few blocks away?

Taylor goes on to say that “No woman deserves to be treated like a whore, however is she happens to be wearing the uniform…” What’s the whore uniform, Taylor? Women get raped in Saudi Arabia, where they are required to where an abaya. Do you considered them to be “wearing the uniform?”

What you’re saying is that if I wear a short skirt out, I deserve to be treated differently than if I’m wearing guy’s cargo shorts. I shouldn’t be treated with the same level of human respect and decency because I’ve chosen to wear something that reveals some thigh or cleavage or, hell, ankle?

It is people like you, Taylor, who make the world a more difficult place for both men and women to live in. You’re leaving us with rules that are vague and wide open to interpretation. You’re suggesting humans, to properly interact, have an understanding of each other’s behavior that would require mind-reading abilities. How the fuck is Brit, or I, or any other person on the face of this planet supposed to know how any said individual will react to our behavior?

AAG wrote what, I think, is the best response to all this victim-bashing.

“People who don’t want themselves or their loved ones to be assaulted feel great comfort in handing out those tips because they give the illusion of control. “You should never have gone to his house!” they say, or “You should have said ‘NO’ more firmly,” but what they really mean is that they hope that those strategies will work for them if they should be so unfortunate as to be assaulted.”

And I think she’s right. I don’t think Taylor thinks Brit “deserved” what she got. I think he, and many others, want to believe that if they do XY and Z, they (or their sisters, mothers, girlfriends, etc.) won’t get assaulted.

You can play Monday morning quarterback all you want, but the only blame to be laid when ANYONE is assaulted is at the feet of the perpetrator.

3 Comments

  1. Rules for preventing sexual assault

    1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

    2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

    3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

    4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

    5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

    6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

    7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

    8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

    9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

    10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

  2. Taylor

    Not once did I say Britni or anyone else for that matter was to blame for the actions of someone else. Nor did I imply anyone needed to be a mind reader.

    My message if anyone cared to actually see it, is simply that one do well to give some thought to how others perceive their actions. Take the time to think about how you appear to others.

    Did the guy set out to intentionally assault her? Did he see what he did as assault? We may never know. However, a little bit of caution on her part may have avoided the situation.

    It’s a well known fact that Britni is an attention seeking, sometimes drunken sometimes promiscuous young woman. It’s really easy see where some of her behaviors could be misinterpreted by some one, especially someone under the influence of alcohol. Had Britni been mindful of that she MAY have avoided the situation.

    Of course…that’s just not her style is it?

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