Every now and then, I get a spam email at work, usually followed by a warning from IT to not open the email and just delete it. The email is a “phishing” attack meant to trick me into divulging critical personal data. I do not recall ever hearing a Leftist complain that such warnings are “identity theft culture” and we should instead teach identity thieves to not steal people’s identity. Yet we hear this all the time when any authority figure advises women on how to protect themselves from sexual predators.
Look. I get it. We do legitimately have a problem with idiots who think rape victims are “asking for it” when they are attacked, even when there is nothing they could have done to protect themselves. We have a legitimate problem with not taking victims seriously. Those attitudes are wrong and need to be eliminated. But the reality is that we will never live in Utopia. There will always be evil men (and women) who prey on others. Simply telling rapists not to rape will not work because some people are evil. So given that evil is real and will never be destroyed until Jesus Christ returns, we need to recognize that we live in a world where evil exists and help protect people from that evil.
Therefore, we need to have a balance. We need to teach our boys and young men to respect and honor women, and to never take advantage of them sexually. We need to make it very clear that forcing anyone into a sexual act is wrong in absolute terms and will never be tolerated. But sending that message does not and should not preclude educating women about how to protect themselves, especially when there is a specific threat – such as increased use of drugs like Rohypnol. The other side of the coin that educating women about how to protect themselves in no way prevents anyone from “telling rapists not to rape.”
There is no question that rape is a thorny subject. We need to be careful that advising women about self-preservation does not devolve into victim-blaming. (I am absolutely sure that Claremont University had no intention of victim-blaming.) But we should not be so Politically Correct that we are paralyzed from taking wise and prudent steps to warn about sexual predators and help women protect themselves from those predators. We all have the same goal here, so forming a circular firing squad is counterproductive and foolish.