What About Being Responsible?

responsibility2There’s a weekend host on a local radio talk show that I really hate, she’s extremely annoying and frankly, a little too liberal to be on the conservative station she’s on.  She tends to say some incredibly stupid things too.  A couple of days ago, she was talking about the absurdity of men thinking that a woman who is dressed seductively or who is drinking heavily is somehow consenting to have sex with them and I absolutely agree with her as far as that goes.  However, she doesn’t turn it around and expect that a woman ought to take responsibility for her dress, for her actions or for her behavior.  That, I think, is a problem.  Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon problem.

I’ll be the first one to say that there is nothing that a woman can do that makes her “deserve” being raped, molested or anything else, any more than there is anything any human being can do to “deserve” being robbed, abused or murdered.  That said though, there are certainly things that an individual can do that makes it more likely that something will happen to them.  In the case of rape, there are many things that the woman should not do, and situations in which she should not do them, simply because it is irresponsible to do them.

It’s no different than walking around in a bad neighborhood at night with money hanging out of your pockets.  No, you don’t “deserve” to be mugged or stabbed or shot, but the actions you are taking greatly increase the possibility that you will be.

This is something that I’ve talked about at length before and unfortunately, probably will have to again.  Having the right to do something doesn’t free one from the responsibility for the consequences that may  come from it.  That  doesn’t mean that you’re the only one responsible, it doesn’t mean that you are the sole cause of the consequences, but you must share in the blame to a certain degree.

You want an example?  There are always stories in the news about some girl who went to a party, got drunk and out of control, then she got raped.  Absolutely and without question, you go after the guys who raped her, that’s a given, but why does nobody ever ask the question, would this have happened if she hadn’t been there drunk off her ass?  When do we start saying “while you shouldn’t have been raped, your actions ultimately helped the situation along to it’s unfortunate conclusions”?  Feminists refuse to ask these questions and the second anyone brings it up, they start flinging around words like “misogynist” and “rape-enabler”.  The one thing they never acknowledge, mostly because of their liberal roots, is that every party has some measure of this little thing we call personal responsibility for being in the situation in which they find themselves.

One of the reasons we practice personal responsibility is because it helps keep us out of danger.  It’s why we teach kids to look both ways before running out into the street, we don’t tell them to just rush out there without looking and if they’re hit by a car, they’re a victim.  We are all responsible for taking a certain measure of care and thinking of the potential ramifications of our actions.  It’s not a guarantee of safety by any means but it certainly does increase our chances.  If a woman goes out hitchhiking and gets into a stranger’s car and something bad happens to her, she really has no case for screaming “it’s not my fault!”  Sure it is.  It’s also the fault of the person who did something bad to you.  But you know, you should have known better.

The same thing is true of dignity and respect.  These tend to be very important concepts to a lot of liberals, but they don’t seem to understand how they work.  I’m here to help.  Respect is something that you earn.  Nobody has to respect you if you don’t act in a respectful manner and earn it.  Liberals often act like because a woman (or a man, I’m not being sexist) has the ability to do a thing, that everyone owes it to them to ride them around on their shoulders and hold a parade celebrating their freedom.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  You may very well have the ability to do whatever it is that you want to do, but along with the right to do it comes the responsibility to reap the rewards, both positive and negative, of having done it.  There are so many liberals who think that their actions are completely free of any and all consequences and it’s just not true.

Take the case a couple of weeks ago of Amina Tyler, the girl in Tunisia who posted topless pictures of herself with feminist messages.  In a country like America, that would be fine, but in a highly Muslim country like Tunisia, what the hell was she thinking?  Now she’s terrified because she’s getting threats, what the hell did she think was going to happen?  How dumb do you have to be to think that you can do something that is not only wholly illegal in the country that you live in, but is also an abomination by local standards, and not realize it’s a bad thing to do?  Now I don’t think she should be beaten or killed or anything like that, I don’t support that kind of response, but if she broke the law, she ought to go to jail for what she did.  Whether or not you like the law, you are still responsible for  your actions.  Don’t come crying to me when you do something dumb, then you want to be rescued from having any negative consequences come of your stupidity.

You know, back about 250 years ago, our Founding Fathers did something that was absolutely against the law of the land, they declared independence from British rule.  They founded a new nation and they understood the consequences of their actions.  They fought a war to become free.  They were willing to die to protect the country they had created.  So why are so many people today willing to do a thing which they know will have massive negative consequences, yet are totally unwilling to suffer any of the potential negative side effects?

If you’re going to dress provocatively, expect people to react to it.  That’s the whole reason for dressing that way!  If you don’t want that kind of attention, don’t bring it on yourself.  If  you’re going to do something illegal, expect to be prosecuted for your actions.  Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.  If you’re going to purposely piss off the Muslims, and Tyler can’t claim ignorance for what she did, then expect a lot of negative consequences.  I’m not saying you deserve to die, but I’m saying you had a large part in bringing whatever happens on yourself.

If you can’t stand the heat, stop lighting yourself on fire.

4 thoughts on “What About Being Responsible?”

  1. In regards to the woman who gets drunk and then raped, she is clearly partly at fault there. As you pointed out, she doesn't deserve to get raped, and we absolutely find and punish the guy who raped her. But to ignore the fact that she did act irresponsibly and put herself in danger seems foolish. I think the analogy of getting robbed is really apt, if someone doesn't lock their doors and they get robbed, you aren't going to say the robber did nothing wrong, but you are going to tell the victim to start locking his doors all the time, and you might suggest an alarm system.

    What I find really interesting here though, is how corrupted this conversation has becomes. In writing my response, part of my brain is worried that someone might read what I write and interpret it as if I support the rapist. That I'm shifting focus from the rapist to the victim and laying the blame of the incident 100% on her. Why is the default assumption that anyone who talks about preventative measures a woman can take to prevent rape must be preparing to assign no blame to the rapist? I understand that there are people who do that, but assuming someone is going in that direction is a problem too. As soon as someone says "she deserved to be raped" you should take that asshole to task, but jumping the gun on that all the time really screws up rational conversation on the topic.

    My recent post Why Is Abraham Considered a Hero?

    1. Exactly. This is one thing that comes up from the radical feminists all the time, the idea that the woman can never be held even remotely responsible for the things that happen to her. She could be walking down the street, completely naked with a sign that says "RAPE ME!" taped to her back and it's not her fault at all. That's not to say she deserves to be raped, but the idea that people are not responsible for what happens to them, regardless of their actions, is ridiculous. Certainly we wouldn't support the rapist, but rational people have to understand that actions can and do have unintended consequences and pretending otherwise is stupid.

    1. I'm not attacking liberals for the heck of it, I seriously disagree with the majority of things that they want, and more importantly, why they want them. That is probably more important than what they want to accomplish because it speaks to their ideology and ultimate goals. If you want to defend a liberal perspective, by all means do so, but do so rationally, with evidence and explaining why you think it ought to be so.

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