Quicklink: NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione pushes rape myths

If you’re drunk and get raped, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself, says NSW Police Commissioner.



Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, law & order

Tags: , ,

9 replies

  1. Another guy to put on my “do not ever get drunk around this person” list. This is getting to be a long list.

  2. It seems police are in victim blaming pushback mode all over developed countries, maybe in response (perhaps subconsciously) to Slutwalks? We’ve had police in Brooklyn, New York stopping women on the streets, telling them that their outfits were too dangerous to wear. We’ve had police in Chicago, Illinois telling women simply not to walk in a certain area alone after dark. All of a sudden it’s 1957 all over again.

  3. That’s a smart thought, the possibility that this is backlash: inherently conservative institutions reacting against being told You’re Doing It Wrong.
    As for our dude, this is just fractally wrong; wrongity wrong at every single point, no matter which bit you look at. To be expected when it’s that dodgey mate of your mate pontificating down at the pub, horrifying when it’s someone with authority giving a public statement. He hasn’t bothered to inform himself or to rationally think through his take on the facts, which is a bloody terrifying thing to see in a police commissioner, no matter what the topic at hand.

  4. Grr. Of course the trolls are out over at News With Nipples – he’s just being ‘sensible’ you know! No one’s safe when shitfaced drunk! You women are trying to RUIN Scipione who is AWESOME! And you’d tell women not to defend themselves because rapists should just not EXIST! Such fun.

  5. Yeah, of course. Because the only people involved in making decisions about rape are the people getting raped. Gods above!
    Excuse me, I’ll be over here beating my head against a wall until I feel better. This may take a couple of days.

  6. The thing that gets to me is the way sex is depicted as something that is capable of being planned in advance. This (in addition to blaming rape on pop culture, women’s drunkenness and failure to implement things like ‘buddy systems’) also serves misogynistic ends.
    What if woman A tells woman B that she plans on having sex tonight, and woman B doesn’t as readily question woman A leaving the pub with another individual, as she assumes it was consensual given her friend explicitly said she was intending on having sex? What if women going around telling others about their intent to have sex makes some people more complacent with regards to women’s safety?
    If a woman doesn’t know what she is going to get up to when she goes out tonight, does that mean she is more ‘culpable’ than the imagined woman who is able to know her future actions with something akin to certainty? The implications from Scipione’s comments seems to be yes.
    Additionally, what if I, as a woman, don’t want to tell other individuals that I plan on having sex when I go out? Shouldn’t I be able to keep particular information to myself? Or again, will keeping this information to myself make me more ‘culpable’ if I were to be raped?
    And how well will others react to women who state they plan on having sex, given that we live in a largely misogynistic, sex-negative culture were women are told they are not meant to have sex, unless they have certain attributes and certain conditions are met? I mean seriously, Scipione’s response to the idea that women tell others about when they plan on having sex is: ‘it sounds crude and at first you think: “Too much detail”’! To me he seems to be actively disavowing the existence of a ubiquitous slut shaming culture, and the fact that it may well be hard for many women to talk about their sexual experiences ( and/or the ones they plan on having).
    ‘Suggest to women that if you’re going to go out and you’re planning on having sex tonight, tell a girlfriend. If you’re not, tell a girlfriend’. For me the idea that you can state your actions prior to entering into relations with others is is problematic for a number of reasons. One is the way it disparages changeability ( I think most people are pretty familiar with the way women are stereotyped as never being able to make up their minds, and the cultural construction of this as being a bad thing). Another (related) reason is the way it configures sex in a contractarian framework, where ‘the body’ is contracted out ( the assumption is that the two individuals meet each other on ‘equal footing’), and the woman must not change her mind over the duration of the contract. To me Scipione’s suggestion seems to be promoting the idea that we limit more and more social relationships to a contractual framework, and the people who don’t want to work within this system or challenge it are configured as being responsible for their own rape or that of others.
    “He hasn’t bothered to inform himself or to rationally think through his take on the facts, which is a bloody terrifying thing to see in a police commissioner, no matter what the topic at hand”
    The thing is he may well know exactly what he is doing; assuming his misogyny is unintended or boils down to ignorance is giving him the benefit of the doubt, which I don’t think he necessarily deserves ( particularly given the larger push back against SlutWalk).

  7. doubleantandre #4

    Grr. Of course the trolls are out over at News With Nipples – he’s just being ‘sensible’ you know! No one’s safe when shitfaced drunk! You women are trying to RUIN Scipione who is AWESOME! And you’d tell women not to defend themselves because rapists should just not EXIST! Such fun.

    I’ve just caught up with the last few days worth of comments, and the old “if women were just more frank about sexual negotiations then there wouldn’t be so many misunderstandings” line was trotted out, so I dropped the relevant Mythcommunication link.
    Mythcommunication: It’s Not That They Don’t Understand, They Just Don’t Like The Answer

    People issue rejections in softened language, and people hear rejections in softened language, and the notion that anything but a clear “no” can’t be understood is just nonsense. First, the notion that rape results from miscommunication is just wrong. Rape results from a refusal to heed, rather than an inability to understand, a rejection.

    Repeating what I said there: so the question becomes: why exactly is it that sexual negotiations are set apart as requiring this uncommon level of frankness compared to every other social negotiation, before an unwillingness expressed with the usual polite circumlocutions will be respected?
    Why can’t the common level of just-not-wanting-to-upset-people conventional unwillingness formulations be respected in sexual negotiations as they generally are otherwise?

  8. @tigtog – glad to see your comments. There are a couple of people on there who just comment to hear the sound of their voices contradicting the silly women – it’s tiring and starts to become bloody boring – the arrogance is breathtaking and I’m so very sick of people who valorise sobriety holding it up as a ‘virtue’ as if this is a fact – you think it’s a virtue – whoopty-fucking-do. I think not being a prick is a virtue, clearly they don’t! Exhausting, exhausting week.

  9. @tigtog, the other strand of the “communication problem” furphy is that the attacker is routinely excused on the grounds that the victim was putting out signs of availability or willingness, so somehow these people can read a “yes” perfectly clearly in body language and non-verbal signals, and yet are mysteriously incapable of reading a “no” delivered the same way.

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