Don’t get raped

One type of game I’ve always enjoyed is the RTS, or real-time strategy — games such as Command & Conquer, StarCraft and the like where you are given a base or starting area with some starting provisions, and you need to destroy your enemy, who also has a base and provisions.

When I first started out playing these games, my “strategy” was typically to build up as large a force as I could and send them against the enemy. Basically flood them with my forces and hope the deed could be done. In the beginning levels of a game, that strategy could work, if you developed a large enough force. But beyond that, the strategy would fail every time. It didn’t take long for me to learn that such a strategy was not viable.

To be successful in the game in the long term, I needed to not only create a viable offense, but have a viable defense. When a threat exists, you have to defend against it while building up the ability to attack it. I needed to attack the enemy while also defending myself, because my enemy will attack me.

Which is why I find it odd that our government doesn’t want to do this.

Recently Zerlina Maxwell discussed with Salon magazine the possibility of teaching men to not rape:

As Maxwell, a rape survivor herself, told Salon on Friday, “I don’t think we need to be telling a rape survivor that statistics are not on your side. That’s insensitive.” But where she drew outrage was in her suggestion to Hannity that “I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there.” She told Hannity, “You’re talking about this as if it’s some faceless, nameless criminal, when a lot of times it’s someone you know and trust,” adding, “If you train men not to grow up to become rapists, you prevent rape.”

While the long-term solution is apparently viable, it doesn’t do anything with regard to the here and now. Rapists exist. I don’t think there will ever be a time where they will not exist. While most rapes are perpetrated by people the victim knows, possibly also trusts, there is still the minority of rapes that occur randomly. Random victimization will always be a problem.

Every day someone, somewhere will become a victim of some crime. That is reality. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.

So yes, we do need to be telling women about rape and what they can do to not be a victim. To borrow on the Internet meme, we need to teach women how to not get raped, and we need to teach men to not rape. But even then, random victimization will still be a problem.

But the largest issue with regard to rape is underreporting. We need to be teaching women that sexual assaults need to be reported. After all, the problem of underreporting clouds the determination of whether any particular efforts are truly working.

While building an offense, one must be prepared for when your enemy attacks. And the best defense to a potential rape, allowing the best chance to ward off an attacker or escape a situation that could escalate into a rape, is a firearm. It provides >99% chance of warding off or escaping such a situation. Contrary to Evie Hudak, the statistics are on the side of Amanda Collins.

We need to teach both “don’t get raped” and “don’t rape”. You don’t teach “don’t rape” instead of “don’t get raped”. You have to teach both. You have to build up a defense while also preparing an offense.

But even if you try to teach men “don’t rape”, the lesson won’t absorb into some. Ignoring the fact that some don’t need to be taught this at all, what we know is that because some won’t absorb the lesson of “don’t rape”, there will always be rapists and there will always be rapes. We will never be able to get crime down to 0. The question, then, is what to do.

Because the threat of crime victimization will always exist, potential victims need to understand the threat and guard against it. You don’t know when or if you will be someone’s target, and you cannot always trust that someone will restrain themselves merely because you tell them to.

This goes to the greater lesson: while society tries to tackle the greater problems of violence and crime, individuals need a means to guard themselves against those who would commit crimes and perpetrate violence. And, again, a firearm and the training to deploy and use it at the right time is the best defense against a potential criminal. That should be common sense.

After all, if you go walking through a dark alley at night, and someone appears out of the shadows, merely telling that person to leave you alone will hardly ever cut it against a guy looking for a power trip.