Preamble: As I’m currently lurking in Threads Of Doom (TOD) elsewhere to invigorate my obstreperal lobe (because I enjoy seeing twerps swatted by cluebats) I’m also regularly encountering Nuggets of Awesome in the comments threads from folks posting substantive engagement with harmful ideas being presented by those lacking clue. Since TODs usually arise from heated stoushes regarding matters that upset many people, many readers avoid them, particularly when they get above 500 comments, and thus many of these really useful comments might be missed by most of the internet. This is my small effort to highlight some of these buried treasures.
This particular nugget comes from YATOD on Pharyngula, where PZ’s posting of a webcomic addressing rape culture led to a predictable influx of people repeating the usual victim-blaming rape myths as if they were commensense truths, leading to a predictably forceful pushback from the Pharyngulites, who do not let that crap stand.
One commentor insisted that she would teach her children to take “sensible precautions” to “stay safe” despite the many previous comments showing how those rape-myth precautions are mostly counterfactual to the way rapists actually behave, and amidst the various fully justified stoush responses Nepenthe decided to drop this nugget of awesome:
And lest I be merely raging, amaclean, here are some useful things you might teach your children.
1) Their bodies are their own and they don’t have to allow anyone to touch them for any reason if they don’t want to.
2) They are valuable people and don’t need anyone’s approval to retain that status, not even if that person claims to love them.
3) A romantic relationship is not necessary to be happy, to be a “complete person”, or any other bullshit generally sold about them. They are complete, whole, worthwhile people regardless of relationship status.
4) Relationship abusers are not creative, though they can be difficult to spot initially. They all pretty much do the same shit. Teach them what an abusive relationship looks like and what healthy ones look like. Television and movies give many excellent examples of abusive relationships, often in the guise of “romance”.
5) Abusers do not change and they do not love you, regardless of the stupid lies they tell. One should endeavor to extricate one’s self from an abusive relationship as soon as it is safe to do so.
These are the things that, had I learned them beforehand, might have helped me avoid that predator. Note how none of these “tips” involve what to wear, where to go, or how to act.
If readers would like to add their own favourite links addressing rape myths/culture in comments, I’d really like to see them. To get you started, here’s a link to the web-comic that started this particular stoushfest: Kate or Die on tumblr | Rape Culture and Bullies