In this post, Marc MacYoung talks about the importance of knowing the rules in your environment. And how when it comes to personal safety, your “rights” are secondary. – Erik Kondo
You do remember I worked for many years as a bouncer in strip clubs? Then there were the showers at RenFaire. Then my partying days. (Hell a photo of me with a naked woman on my lap opening a beer in the Little Black Book of Violence taught me never to respond to the request for an ‘action shot’ with such a joke.) My prudishness is in a shoebox somewhere in the storage room. To give you perspective on size, it shares the box with several other Victorian era ideals.
I’ve always found the argument that rape is caused by how a woman dresses to be a deliberate strawman argument. An excuse to go off the deep end about sexism, oppression and trying to dominate women. I grew up in a barrio and let me tell you the chiquitas… ohhhh they were hot and they dressed the part. And they could do so safely.
Because where I’m from rape was a killing offense.
I’m not talking government sanctioned protection. I’m talking if you raped a woman, get out of town because family and friends would be out to kill. Now mind you this could cause a blood feud with the deceased’s family or one of her family members going down on a murder rap. Having said this if there was questionable behavior on her part, well they may just break your legs. Oh and BTW, this murder or mass jumping would be sanctioned by the whole family — including the matriarch.
There are many elephant in the room about this subject. But let’s just pick one for the moment. And that is what are the other factors that went into the situation — including WHO is the woman connected to? Are her people strong enough to make messing with her a bad idea? We’re not talking a woman being ‘property’ we’re talking her being an active part of a network that provides for the individual. One of the services the group provides is protection for both her and others of the group.
I keep on telling people you CAN go into different places and do certain things… but there are rules. And if you want to be safe, then you gawddamn better follow them. They are not the rules of society, they are the rules of the environment. Overwhelmingly we understand these rules exist — even if we argue fiercely over them.
Where problems tend to start is when an individual decides (usually for selfish reasons) that the rules don’t apply to him or her. As in “I can do what I want and nobody can stop me.”
I have a lot of experience with the last attitude — and usually the people who are successful with it have lots and lots of violence to back it up. (Which made my life interesting.) Having said that, there are checks and balances with violence-based selfishness. Like someone shooting you in the face for example. After a while people who figure violence gives them carte blanche… well let’s just say they figure out there are limits (often the hard way).
What I am finding problematic are people who believe their ‘rights’ are their carte blanche and that they don’t need to have violence to back it up. Nor do they need a social network. Nor do they need common sense. Rules are for others to follow – especially all the rules about hands off.
Simply put these people are lunch for those willing to use violence — especially when they actively go into the predator’s territory. Practically speaking predators are rare, but the world is full of people who will kill you for pissing them off. Do NOT — as many do — confuse the two
I have a saying “High risk behavior is fun” It is this fun that attracts the young. I’m not going deny that and quite frankly me saying “Don’t do it” is flat-out hypocritical (I’m still banned from Hell, because not only did I raise it but I propped a rock under it)
There is however a huge problem right now in that individuals — lacking the social networks to protect them — are going into high risk situations believing it is their ‘right’ to do so. As it is considered a right, they’re going without understanding
1) that just because the rules are different, that doesn’t mean there are no rules
2) that the goal they’re focusing on with their behaviors is not the only possible outcome
3) that excitement and violence are in close proximity to each other
4) that hostility, aggression and verbal violence (that work great back home) come in different forms in this place — and are reacted to differently here
5) that they must know when it’s time to stop/leave/change course/shift gears and most of all when the fun-time is over.
6) that if they do this violence is possible. And if they engage in certain behaviors, it’s probable.
Wanna know what’s really sad? When I tell people how to function in these environments, I’m told I’m victim blaming or interfering with women’s rights by agenda junkies. Because a woman should have the right to walk naked into a biker bar.
See that may sound great from an ideological perspective. But I have the first hand experience of how a woman can be safe and naked in a biker bar.