Posts tagged “victim”

Rape Culture Warriors

June 10, 2014   4:57 pm

Who would have thought that a beauty pageant would bring rape to the forefront of American conversation? Yet, this year’s Miss USA pageant has done just that, in two different aspects. As you may have already surmised, this post will deal with rape by name, but in the abstract. You have been warned.

Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada, with the "MISS USA" sash placed over her shoulder

First up is the winner, Nia Sanchez. She entered the competition as Miss Nevada, and it is her interview answer that’s getting the attention. She was asked about the spike in rapes on college campuses, and she replied:

“I believe that some colleges may potentially be afraid of having a bad reputation, and that would be a reason it could be swept under the rug, because they don’t want that to come out into the public. But I think more awareness is very important so women can learn how to protect themselves. Myself, as a fourth-degree black-belt, I learned from a young age you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself, and I think that is something we should start to implement for a lot of women.”

Now, you may be reading that thinking, “OK, where’s the controversy?” The backlash has been mostly from leftist feminists, with a common response being “Instead of telling women to defend themselves and victim-blaming, why don’t we tell men not to rape?”

Now, I’m going to set this off in a larger font, in bold, all-capital letters, so that if any of these lunkheads venture over here, it’ll stand out, and maybe they’ll get the point.

ADVOCATING SMART SELF-DEFENSE IS NOT VICTIM BLAMING!

See, you can tell men all you want not to rape, and the vast majority of them will get it. In actuality, the vast majority aren’t rapists to begin with, contrary the leftist feminist talking points. A large number of victims does not equate to a large number of perpetrators. So, by all means, educate. The men who grew up raping in video games or watching rape fantasy pornography may have their minds reoriented, and not become perpetrators.

That leaves us with the men who will not alter their behavior, and continue to think it’s OK for them to do that. Why in the world would you get onto someone for advocating that women learn how to defend themselves? I’ve been around a while, and this tip-toeing around the defense issue has done nothing but make the numbers of victims skyrocket. Punch, kick, shoot - whatever it takes, learn the skills to give yourself the greatest chance to not become a victim.

Let me take a quick minute to address the “victim blaming” charge. There are people who do this; however, there are people who would categorize what I’ve written above, particularly that last sentence, as victim blaming. Those people are just as useless as actual victim blamers. Yes, a woman should be able to do whatever she wants and maintain a reasonable expectation that no one will take from her what she has not offered. But, we don’t live in a “should” world, we live in an “is” world. An “after-action analysis” type of look at these events can yield information that could make this less likely. We have no trouble telling women to walk to their cars in pairs, and to park under a light, to avoid getting mugged. But, if we make that same situation as a smart way to reduce your risk for rape, now we’re victim blaming? Now, if you take that analysis and start saying, “Well, you knew you couldn’t hold your liquor, and you had 7 drinks” to imply that the woman had a hand in it, you’re venturing into victim blaming territory.

To take this thought one step further - let’s say that we can eliminate all rape in the next 15 years through education. Are they really arguing that it’s smart for women to leave themselves more vulnerable for the next 15 years? If so, I would put these leftist feminists into the “rape culture enablers” camp. A good self-defense class takes a couple of weeks to complete. If the men won’t get educated, let’s make sure they get hurt.

On a much more positive note, we have Valerie Gatto, Miss Pennsylvania. After the competition, she revealed that she was conceived during a rape. (See, Todd Akin? You moron…) That part isn’t good, but what is good is what happened after that. Her mother was going to give her up for adoption, but decided to keep her, and worked to raise her in a loving home. Now, she is using her platform to support those who have gone through similar situations. Who knows, maybe she can be the poster child for the people the “rape exception” abortion people want to keep from being able to draw breath.

Why I Won't Be Supporting Obama

May 9, 2008   6:15 pm

I know, that really surprises you regulars… But, via Hugh Hewitt, we have a perfect illustration with what I believe is wrong with Barack Obama. It is a mindset that permeates everything he is and does, and is brought to us courtesy of his wife Michelle, speaking on Friday ahead of this past week’s North Carolina primary election.

(Throughout these quotes, the emphasis is mine.)

But we’ve also learned something else this year, something that we’ve all sort of felt at some point in our life, that we’re still living in a nation, and in a time when the bar is set, I talk about this all the time, they set the bar. They say look, if you do these things, you can get to this bar, right? And then you work and you struggle, you do everything that they say, and you think you’re getting close to the bar and you’re working hard, and you’re sacrificing, and then you get to the bar, you’re right there, you’re reaching out for the bar, you think you have it, and then what happens? They move the bar. They raise it up. They shift it to the left and to the right. It’s always just quite out of reach.

This is a diatribe on victimhood. Look how many times the work “they” is used to refer to some external entity. The person she’s describing does not believe that they are responsible for their own happiness - this person is too busy being held down by “them” (what previous generations would call “the man”). Ironically, though, this is pretty much real life she’s disparaging here. How many people have saved up to buy something, only to find that they forgot the tax, or it’s suddenly more expensive. I experience this in my line of work all the time. “Build it to these requirements.” So I build it. “Oh, why did you do it that way?” Because that’s what the requirements said. “Oh, yeah - but what I meant was something else.”

And, who was it that said “Aim for the moon”? (No, not the “nuke the moon” folks over at IMAO…) Achievement is great, but it shouldn’t be an end in and of itself. Once you achieve your goals, you set new ones and begin pushing again. That’s the premise of the whole “SMART” goal-setting process. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely, for those who’ve never heard of that.) You break your big goal into specific, measurable, realistic goals (ex. “win in North Carolina”). It’s not moving the bar, it’s moving on to the next small goal.

And that’s a little bit of what Barack has been experiencing. The bar is constantly changing for this man. Raise the money? Not enough. Build an organization? Not enough. Win a whole bunch of states? Not the right states. You got to win certain states. So the bar has been shifting and moving in this race…

Well, raising money means nothing for the presidency - if it did, we’d have wrapped up the second term of President Forbes in 2004. So no, that’s not enough. If organization was key, Barack wouldn’t even get to run because President Dean would be going for his second term. So no, still not enough. Win a bunch of states? Well, if you win 3 states for 100 delegates, and your opponent wins 1 state for 150 delgates, then yes, you won the wrong states. You’re whining that running for President is tough? What did you expect, that raising enough money for a coronation would be enough?

…but the irony is, the sad irony is that that’s exactly what’s happening to most Americans in this country. The bar is shifting and moving on people all the time. And folks are struggling like never before, working harder than ever, believing that their hard work will lead to some reward, some payoff. But what they find is that they get there and the bar has changed, things are different, wasn’t enough. So you have to work even harder.

No, they’re not. This view of America is completely flawed. Yes, people are working hard. Yes, some are feeling the pinch of bad decisions or bad circumstances. It’s not that the bar has changed, it’s that real life has hit. The most important thing to realize in all this, though, is that when life happens, it’s not the job of the government to step in and “fix” it.

And see what happens when you live in a nation where the vast majority of Americans are struggling every day to reach an ever-shifting and moving bar, then what happens in that nation is that people do become isolated. They do live in a level of division, because see, when you’re that busy struggling all the time, which most people that you know and I know are, that you don’t have time to get to know your neighbor. You don’t have time to reach out and have conversations, to share stories. In fact, you feel very alone in your struggle, because you feel that somehow, it must be your fault that you’re struggling so hard. Everybody else must be doing okay. I must be doing something wrong, so you hide. You don’t realize that the struggles of that farmer in rural Iowa are the same as the struggles as a city worker in the south side of Chicago, because we don’t talk to each other.

In the immortal words of Toby Keith, “A little less talk, and a lot more action.” If you’re busting your butt to get ahead, you’re struggling, you don’t have a lot of time for conversations and story sharing. If you think that they’re valuable to helping you with your struggle, you make time for them. If you can attain your goals without touchy-feely stuff, then you probably don’t.

And, there’s a bit of smug self-centeredness in this description as well. I don’t believe that most people feel that they’re all that different from other people. Certainly not any of the people I know - in fact, it’s been my experience that the easiest common topic to discuss with people is child rearing. Everyone has a funny story from that, and most people’s experience is quite similar. You’re revealing a part of yourself that I don’t think you meant to reveal.

And when you live in a nation with a vast majority of Americans are struggling to reach an ever-shifting and moving bar, then naturally, people become cynical. They don’t believe that politics can do anything for them. So they fold their arms in disgust, and they say you know, I can’t be bothered voting, because it has never done anything for me before. So let me stay home, let me not bother. Naturally, we as a nation get cynical.

Politics can’t do anything for anyone! What people become cynical about is politicians who say one thing to get elected, then do another once in office. Why do you think our current President’s approval rating has been in the toilet for some time? He campaigned as a conservative, then moved to middle once elected. His base doesn’t like it because he’s betrayed them, and his opponents still don’t like him because he caused the country to get an education in electoral law in 2000. You don’t find much in the middle of the road other than roadkill.

And besides, isn’t “politician” the charge that got your husband all riled up? His pastor can say those horrendous things about our country, and he’s just an old man from a different generation - but as soon as he accused Barack of being a politician, that’s when he got disowned. (That’s the irony - Barack’s response to that essentially proved what Dr. Wright said!)

And when you live in a nation where people are struggling every day to reach an ever-shifting and moving bar, then what happens in that kind of nation is that people are afraid, because when your world’s not right, no matter how hard you work, then you become afraid of everyone and everything, because you don’t know who’s fault it is, why you can’t get a handle on life, why you can’t secure a better future for your kids.

I’m not afraid. Is it because I’m one of those folks who’s clinging to God and guns? :) I’m not too awfully worried about securing a better future for my kids. What I’m concerned with is teaching my kids how not to become victims; teaching them how to take responsibility for their actions; teaching them that if they want something done, they should do it; teaching them respect for other people; teaching them the difference between respecting the earth (which we learn as Cub Scouts) and worshiping it. Secure a better future for my kids? My ultimate goal is to feel that the future is secure because my kids are in it.

And the problem with fear is that it cuts us off. Fear is the worst enemy. It cuts us off from one another and our own families, and our communities, and it has certainly cut us off from the rest of the world. It’s like fear creates this veil of impossibility, and it is hanging over all of our heads, and we spend more time now in this nation talking about what we can’t do, what won’t work, what can’t change.

If people would quit trying to recycle failed socialistic programs and wealth-envy politics, we’d have a lot less to talk about. Many of us would love to talk about change, but it’s tough to talk with someone who won’t debate like an adult. An example of what won’t work is the current Social Security ponzi scheme. But, a few years ago, when an attempt was made to get our government out of the Social Security business, opponents screamed about how they’d be taking food out of grandma’s mouth. It’s the same with the minimum wage debate - the claim is made that you can’t support a family of four on minimum wage. First off, it is possible, if you live within your means (a foreign concept these days, I know - see collapse, mortgage, sub-prime); secondly, that’s not what minimum wage is designed for. On the other side, you’ve got a $7+ minimum wage, and we wonder why there’s a demand for $2/hour illegal labor. It’s not that there are jobs Americans won’t do, it’s that they, by law, can’t do them!

And one more example of the whole “arguing like adults” thing, blogress Cassy Fiano recently posted two pictures of Barack Obama’s celebration in North Carolina - one from the campaign itself, the other from Mary Katherine Ham, who was there covering it. The pictures illustrated that, though some creative photography, it appeared that the venue was full when it was, in fact, not. What was the number one liberal response to this heinous exposure of “politicianing”? You’re fat. (Language warning on that link.)

See, and the problem with that kind of thinking is that we passed that on to our children, because see, the thing I know as a mother is our children are watching everything we do and say, every explicit and implicit sign, they are watching us. And our fear is helping us to raise a nation of young doubters, young people who are insular and they’re timid. And they don’t try, because they already heard us tell them why they can’t succeed. See, and I don’t want that for my kids.

Then don’t live in a fear-induced paralysis! Get out there and take control of your destiny. Go to school, apply for that better job, update your resume, do what it takes. That’s the picture you want your kids to see. I’ll tell you what, you’re into real life here again - that is what’s happening to our kids. But don’t bemoan it, do something about it! There’s nothing that the President of the United States can do to tackle that kind of fear, and putting that responsibility on him is a big part of the problem.

You know, jobs like my father had those blue collar jobs where you got pensions, vacation, all that, they’re dwindling. They’re drying up. They’re disappearing, going overseas. And if you’re lucky enough to have a job, nine times out of ten, your salary’s not keeping up with the cost of living. Barack and I met with a family of railroad workers, union folks. They said for eight years, they hadn’t seen a pay increase. For eight years, zero pay increase. Eight years. No increase. Gas prices going up, food going up, rent, insurance, own a home, what’s going with the mortgages? That’s going up. It’s all going up, and salaries are staying stagnant. So no wonder that bar feels like it’s moving.

And why is that? See regulation, government, obscene. People who don’t understand free-market economics think that they can levy whatever requirement they want on business (usually some sort of wealth-distribution scheme), and that business owners are just going to eat that out of their profits. That’s not the way the real world works. This is part of the minimum wage debate too - if I employ 10 people at $5/hour, and I suddenly have to pay them $7/hour, that a $20/hour of overhead I’m going to incur. To fix that, I will either raise my prices to compensate, or let 3 of the people go. With the former, the buying power of the $7/hour wage is diminished, and with the latter, three of the folks lose all their buying power (moving the bar, no doubt). Why are these jobs going overseas? Because people there will work harder, for less money, and be grateful to have a job in the first place.

And I don’t know how single parents do it. There are millions of them all over this country. Let me tell you, single parents love their kids, too. But it is almost impossible to raise a family of any size on a single salary. So now you’ve got single parents who have to double and triple shift, taking on two, three jobs, working all the time, and feeling like they’re failing because that bar is moving, because how on Earth are you going to work as hard as you need to to pay the bills and be at parent/teacher conferences, and sit down and do homework when a kid has trouble? How are you going to manage all that? Well, folks are not, and they’re doing it suffering in silence, blaming themselves for the fact that they’re not working hard enough. Maybe something’s wrong.

Ooh boy - time for some insensitivity. I agree, something’s wrong. People in this country have lost their backbone to stand up and say that single parenthood is not the ideal child-rearing environment! This isn’t a knock on single parents per se, but most of the single parents I know would agree that it is not the ideal environment. But since no one will say that, and we’ve elevated our own self-centeredness to such an extent that people just get out of their marriages if they’re not happy instead of working on them, we get this. The people I feel sorry for in single-parent households are the kids. Men and women both bring different styles and aspects to the parenting table, and the presence of both has the best opportunity to produce a good result.

This also comes back to the whole “living within your means” thing. It doesn’t take three jobs to support a family - I’ve got three kids and a wife living on one enlisted military salary, and we get by just fine. No, we don’t have a new Toyota Sienna (much to my wife’s dismay), but we have what we need.

And [Barack] has spent every ounce of his time running over the decisions in his head - do I…when graduating from college, do I work on Wall Street? Make a lot of money, that’d be better for me, or do I go work in a community as an organizer? Well, what did Barack do? He became a community organizer, working in some of the toughest neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago, worked for years in neighborhoods where people had a reason to give up hope, because their jobs had been lost, steel mills shut down, living in brown fields left by those closed steel plants, unsafe streets, schools deteriorating, grandparents raising grandkids. Barack spent years working with churches, busing single mothers down to City Hall to help them find their voice, building the kind of operations on the ground just like he’s doing in this race, block by block, person by person. Now you tell me whether there’s anybody in this race who can claim to have made the same choice with their lives. You tell me, but I think that Barack Obama is the only person that can claim that kind of choice.

And, were he running for Humanitarian of the Year, this might be a good thing. But he’s not - he’s running for President of the United States of America. He wants to be the CEO of one of the largest economies on the planet, yet he has no experience in managing anything, even a non-profit. (If you’re on the ground, house to house and driving buses, you’re not managing.) People don’t just “get” to be CEO because they’re a nice person. They start in lower management, working out their inevitable neophyte mistakes and gaining experience as to what does and doesn’t work. Then they move up and prove their abilities at a higher level. Even then, things don’t always go smoothly. Carly Fiorina, the HP exec who “broke the glass ceiling,” was supposed to take HP to heights previously unknown. As it turns out, her ideas didn’t match up with what the market wanted, and she left a few years later, much more quietly than she arrived.

The job is President of the United States is a tough one, but it’s not the President of the World. Sometimes, what’s best for the USA is not what’s best for some other countries. I don’t want my President making decisions for the betterment of other countries to the detriment of this one. You may think that’s why we should all be opposed to the Iraq war, but that’s why I’m for it. I believe that instilling a representative form of government in that area of the country will help stabilize that region, which will in turn stabilize our nation. That way, we can have the time to deal with the people here that need attention.

So, there you have it - several reasons I’m not supporting Barack Obama.