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October 02, 2006

Comments

SUZANNE

Here's the thing.

I, as a conservative woman, DO NOT AGREE that equality is elusive.

For the vast majority of women in this country, it has been achieved.

This agency, which operates supposedly operates to better my welfare, operates without any input from me

It used to be "father knows best". Now it's "feminists know best".

It is simply undemocratic for an agency or for a movement to claim to speak in my name or work on behalf of my welfare, without consulting what I want

THAT is the problem with SoW.

Mandos

Suzanne: what are the relative rape rates of males and females in terms of

1. Victimization
2. Perpetration

using the usual legal definition of rape?

lrC

In writing this post, you've laid bare the fallacy underpinning most of what you stand for: the assumption that you and your fellow travellers are equipped to measure utility and good on behalf of others.

Mandos

My entire post was relative to the goals of the organization whose existence is based on Canada's political commitments and hence demonstrates nothing of the sort.

Even if it weren't the case, it still implies nothing of the sort, unless you have an extremely relativized and impoverished notion of justice and liberty, which most "libertarians" actually seem to do. For instance, one of my measures of "utility and good" in regards to women is the rate of violent rape, with---obviously---the less, the better. In that way, yes, I can measure utility and good quite nicely, thanks.

lrC

Canada's political commitments are just statements of the preferences of what some people deem to be useful and good. There's nothing magical about those. Lobbyists and government colluding is as fundamentally distasteful as business interests colluding.

There's nothing impoverished about the libertarian view of justice and liberty. Justice and liberty become impoverished only when notions of "desert" and "freedom" are distorted or misdefined, and the interests of some people are arbitrarily traded off on behalf of others. Libertarians don't support rape, and are quite happy to imprison rapists to prevent them from pursuing their interests. That the sentiments of some people result in the release of rapists back into communities is not something you can lay at the feet of libertarians. You should take that up with the lobbyists who seek Canadian political commitments and public funding in support of "criminals' rights".

Mandos

This is a...libertarian? telling me how the rate of rape---which is usually acquaintance rape---should be controlled by incarcerating more people in more (expensive!) prisons, using, presumably, the very much most coercive tools of the state. Very interesting.

lrC

You should stop mischaracterizing what people write. When I write that rapists should be imprisoned, it doesn't imply that imprisonment of convicted rapists is the sole means of reducing rates of rape.

If you wish to contest the general social observation that sex offenders are prone to re-offend despite expensive and prolonged attempts at rehabilitation (which is itself difficult to enforce without the threat of incarceration or other punishment), do so. If you don't wish to contest those assumptions, then you'll have to either settle for restraining rapists (somehow) or accept the consequences as a given.

Libertarians don't object to state exercise of powers to safeguard fundamental freedoms. That's pretty much the sole excuse for the state that libertarians grant. Did you intend to make some sort of point with your laughably simple and improperly founded snark?

Mandos

"Libertarians don't object to state exercise of powers to safeguard fundamental freedoms. That's pretty much the sole excuse for the state that libertarians grant. Did you intend to make some sort of point with your laughably simple and improperly founded snark?"

Rapists have a high recidivism rate, but a good part of that is actually a reflection of the ubiquity of rape, including unreported rape. The point, in a nutshell, is that rape is best fought by dealing with the cultural and economic disadvantages that face women, because rape exists in a well-studied and well-understood socioeconomic feedback cycle with other forms of women's inequality. The magnitude and nature of the problem is such that jailing offenders---while a necessary stop-gap---can never be an efficient or effective solution to the liberty-limiting effects of women's disproportionate fear of men (disproportionate meaning that there's much less fear in men of women's violence). Among other things.

This problem cannot be encompassed within the social conservativism of SUZANNE nor the variety of libertarianism to which you appear to subscribe.

lrC

>This problem cannot be encompassed within...the variety of libertarianism to which you appear to subscribe.

The "status" problem is dealt with quite nicely by libertarianism, in that people must first respect personal freedoms before a more libertarian society is possible. While a significant fraction of people resist personal freedom and autonomy on the grounds of collectivist ideologies, both are degraded and disrespected. Libertarian social mores can't wholly remove temptations, but do increase conscious respect for all persons. Respect for persons is what is at the root of the solution to the rape problem as you describe it. So long as no-one pays serious attention to individual freedoms you're going to have a "socioeconomic" rape problem. If you inculcate in the population the idea that the interests of one person can be set aside trivially, people learn to see each other as means rather than ends (in a moral sense). That breeds contempt for the person, and ultimately reduces the inhibitions against taking what one wants from another - whether it be money or pleasure. To the extent you resist a culture which properly respects the inherent rights and dignity of the person, you're part of the problem you claim to want to solve.

Mandos

You believe that rape is about "taking pleasure." People as "means rather than ends." "Temptations." It runs counter to almost every sociological account of rape. This is pop criminology.

lrC

If you're uncomfortable with the examples (money and pleasure) just remove them: "That breeds contempt for the person, and ultimately reduces the inhibitions against taking what one wants from another." The point is that the rapist is taking something he wants from the victim (using the victim). One can discuss the details (is it for sex, stature, frustration, intimidation, anger, etc), but the "use" or exploitation of another person is what's at the root (whence my reference to treating another person as "means" - something to be used - rather than "ends" - morally autonomous and entitled to respect therefore).

Mandos

"The point is that the rapist is taking something he wants from the victim (using the victim)."

Not only *wants* (leaving aside whether even this is the correct way to characterize rape), but *is capable of "taking"*, because of the way in which society has offered him as a member of his class a greater chance to "take" it. And by "taking" it, he perpetuates those very conditions. No amount of moral instruction is going to change this dynamic---only material change in the well-being of women, and that by collectively adjusting for the causes of inequality, which is the only way that you break the cycle built on the opportunity to exploit.

lrC

What are the material changes in the well-being of women that you seek, then, and why do you expect each to build deterrence to potential rapists?

Mandos

Placing an external or systemic limit on economic inequality, for starters. The relationship between unchecked capitalism (as an outgrowth of patriarchal ideologies), disempowerment, and the creation of a culture of rape has been studied in great detail.

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