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View Diary: "a woman is only valuable in so much as she is loved or valued by a man" (159 comments)

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  •  I don't think it's a central point (46+ / 0-)

    but for someone, particularly a male, to say "It was wrong for that woman to have been attacked because it could have been my sister or wife or mom," has a subtext of "She shouldn't have been attacked because she has value to me." The corollary is, "Well, gee, if I don't know her, then she has no real value. Carry on, rapists."

    I know most people don't go nearly that far, but the foundation of beating back the rape culture has to start with the bedrock provision that "Women are people. You don't rape them." (And the same goes for men.)

    •  I understand what you're saying. I just disagree. (10+ / 0-)

      I don't think the person responding is perpetuating any culture, whether it be guns, in the case of Newtown, or in this case, by telling a person to internalize the situation to make it more real. It's not the same as saying that it wouldn't matter if she didn't have a mother/father/etc.

      •  Portman came out for gay marriage for ALL... (6+ / 0-)

        ...because he finally understood that the issue affects someone he cares about.

        One can wish that he (and people in general) had enough universal empathy to recognize that need in strangers without first recognizing the need in someone they know.

        But if "I should care about things happening to strangers because they could happen to someone I know" moves someone to do the right thing, what's wrong with that argument?

        Note, saying "she could be your daughter or sister" does NOT imply that she's only valuable to MEN. Women have daughters & sisters, too.

      •  I agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
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        It's not a perfect rhetorical device, but to take that a step further and claim that it actually makes things worse is a reach.

        It's about internalizing to make the even more personal, not implying "value" to the woman that was raped.

        There could be other, and maybe better, ways to achieve the same effect, but that doesn't mean this rhetoric perpetuating rape culture or creating pre-requisites to a woman's value as a person.

        Our Fair City...a campy post-apocalyptic science fiction radio epic!

        by The BBQ Chicken Madness on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:07:11 AM PDT

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    •  There was a diary here recently (8+ / 0-)

      asking us all to consider how awful it is (and it is!) when someone's adult son is a drug addict and dies from an overdose. The diary was written to tug at the heartstrings of all parents and imagine the loss of their own child (although a 27 year old is not exactly a child).

      I did not consider that it portrayed the deceased as somehow less of a person because it described him as a son in relation to his parents.

    •  Right. (6+ / 0-)

      One thinks of the many cases when someone rapes a woman who is at the margins of society, not protected by either family or public institutions. The class position or status of that woman puts her outside the sphere of our concern. To say, "imagine that she is someone we care about" does nothing to recognize the inherent worth and humanity of that person, regardless of her social position.

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:04:15 AM PDT

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    •  You're missing the point. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, Black Max, filkertom, gustynpip

      People we don't know are assigned a lower priority/value than those we do know. We could pretend that we care equally about everyone everywhere, but the truth is that we place a higher value on the people with whom we have relationships.

      That's the point of the sister/daughter comments, to help us elevate the value of people we don't know or have no connection with  by tying them to the people in our own lives.

      You could argue that everyone is human, and that the intrinsic value (and how much we should care by default) should be very high, but with 6 billion+ people that's nigh impossible.

      •  What the author fails to understand (0+ / 0-)

        Is that yes, we are all human...we are also ALL someone's son/daughter/father/mother/sister/brother, etc.   It is naive for her to act like referring to someone as a daughter/mother/sister is somehow dehumanizing them because it treats them as property of men.  

        It is completley illogical for her to make the claim that being a daughter is someone seperate or different from being a human being.  They are one and the same and it is literally impossible to separate the two concepts.

    •  No, you are wrong. (3+ / 0-)
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      Black Max, gustynpip, sethtriggs

      The "imagine if" arguement isn't made for that reason and that logic isn't used at all.   The arguement is most likely made on people who try to blame the victim by saying, "well she was dressed poorly" or "she shouldn't have been so drunk" or "clearly she just makes bad choices" or any number of blame the victim excuses.

      The arguement is then made to those people to personalize it for them.  To make them see that just because THEY don't know the victim, doesn't mean that the treatment they received is ok.  It is meant to make those people understand their hypocrisy and ignorance in that IF something like that happened to thier own family, they would be horrified and devastated and outraged.  So logically, they should be equally outraged when it happens to anyone, whether they know the person personally or not.

      I think that it is probably more likely the case that men are going to blame the victim (i could be wrong) but there is clearly evidence that some women out there do to.  Is it misogynistic and sexist and encouraging "rape culture" to try and get those women to understand it on a more personal level as well?

      Sure, in a perfect world everyone would just automatically understand that you should treat others with respect and dignity and not as something less than human for your own amusement.  But unfortunately we don't live in that world.  IN reality, we accept this "less than human" thinking every single day.  We see it in racism, sexism, ageism.  We see it in how people treat the poor and homeless or the disabled or those with mental problems.  We see it in how politicians and media talk about/treat our own military as little more than personal GI Joe's in a sandbox....not to mention how much we dehumanize those in other countries we consider "enemies' or "evil" based on NOTHING more than what they can do for us and to benefit us.   Hell, and let's be honest.  Our entire capitalist/corporatist driven economy dehumanizes people all the time thinking of them as nothing more than customers whose sole goal is to spend money.

    •  But people aren't saying "It was wrong for that (1+ / 0-)
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      woman to have been attacked because it could have been my sister or wife or mom".  They're saying "think that this could have been your sister or wife or mom" in order to give them the emotional fodder needed for some people to grasp the outrage.  It's not Because the person was someone's sister, wife or mother that it's wrong and no one ever says that.  They say - think - this could have been . . .  Imagine how you would have felt.  Now feel that for this person.

      There's a huge difference between the two.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:01:43 PM PDT

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