Friday, July 13, 2012

Do black folks have trust issues?


I was watching Dates from Hell on @DiscoveryID the other night. Wednesday nights are their "Love Gone Wrong" episodes with Who the Bleep Did I Marry followed by this new Dates from Hell. These are stories where a woman goes out on a date and ends up fighting/running for her life. Grim. Puts my BougieTales of Dating Woe in proper perspective. But anywho... 

The premiere episode Wednesday night was about (in a nutshell) a woman who was vacationing in Rome. On her last night there, she and her friend were at a cafe. The cafe owner introduces them to Marco. Marco was an artist and they visited his studio. Marco invited them out to drinks and they declined. The woman changed her mind and went to meet him without her friend. She and Marco chatted about art, sipped wine, he was charming. He bought her flowers and complimented her. Shortly thereafter he told her about the wonderful view of Rome from the balcony in his apartment. She agreed to go take a look. 

At this point in the story I tweeted that I did not understand a single woman in a foreign country going to a strange man's apartment alone. I'm sorry. I can't fathom the circumstance under which I would ever, ever do that. As you might suspect, the story turned batshit crazy. Marco went uberPsycho literally trying to rape and kill the woman. She had to fling herself off the sixth story balcony and jump across rooftops to escape. She did escape, badly hurt and badly shaken up but a survivor. She is now a victims' advocate.

She also tweeted me to tell me that I shouldn't "victim blame- a woman has a right to trust that she won't be attacked by an animal."

True but um... Okay - first, I don't victim blame. For instance, do I blame Trayvon for wearing a hoodie? No. I agree that sometimes people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong evil people crossing their paths. HOWEVER - I do think there are precautions that one should take to avoid the potential for these situations at all costs. She did not appreciate my point of view and directed me to her website for some educational reading. 

From here a firestorm of a debate raged on Twitter - many of the chocolate sisterhood said we just don't get down like that. Marco would have had to drag me to his apartment kicking and screaming to see the view unless I had someone with me, a cell phone in hand and an idea where the closest Polizia station was located. And event hen I may not have gone. Then again, my father was the type to say: "Ain't nothing open after midnight but liquor stores and legs. Act like a lady and be home on time." I was 30 years old and he was still telling me to "act like a lady." Le sigh. I've been brought up to believe that preventative precaution is the way to go in most social situations. [Translated: Men are frequently grab-assy, don't get caught out there] 

Many of the non-black women said it wouldn't be that big of a deal to them. Since the cafe owner introduced Marco, they would assume he was a nice guy and feel comfortable with him. Hmm. I'm not saying black women don't get attacked. I'm saying most of the black folks I know run from danger even if there's only a slight whiff of it. We tend to assume someone is up to no damn good until they've proven otherwise. Is it just me?

There's stuff I just don't do. I don't walk to my car alone at night. I don't jog alone at night. I don't get drunk without a designated driver/watcher/exit strategy. I never go on a date with someone new without letting folks know where I'm going to be and who I'm going to be with. If I'm alone in an elevator with someone I get a hinky vibe from, I get off and wait for the next one. I don't ride in strange people's cars. If I'm at a house I've never been to, I check for the exits. Lookie here, I don't play. I don't know if that's a female thing, a lessons learned thing or a black thing. 

Not to make light of the situation but it's kind of like those jokes about horror movies. The black audience is looking at Suzy walking into the dark forest in the rain (in high heels and a minidress)  like, "Don't. Do. It!" or "Girl betta you than me" and the rest of the audience is surprised when Suzy gets chainsawed to death. 

Someone asked me - Do black people just always think trouble is coming? Do you ever just trust that people are what they say they are?

To which I answered: Sometimes and rarely. From our historical reference, trouble/danger/shenaniganism does appear to pop up announced and wreak epic havoc impacting us generationally. Culturally, we are taught to keep one good eye on folks in case they flip out. I don't know if this is true for all cultures. BougieMom says, "You can't avoid trouble but you don't have to open the front door and invite it in for dinner either." 

What say you, BougieLand? Is this a "black thing"? Is there some sort of cultural divide in the way the races perceive danger? Have black folks been okey-doked one two many times (Slavery, Jim Crow, 2004 Presidential Election) to be totally trusting of anyone's motives? [A friend of mine and I were talking about this and he said, "You know we just one Tea Party President away from getting shipped back to Africa.] Oh. My. Is that what we think? Please discuss...

181 comments:

Jubi The Great said...

Just a theory - perhaps Black women are more cautious/security minded because so many of us have experienced sexual assault at some point in our lives. After that first experience of victimization, you will never put yourself in that situation again, if you can at all help it. The story about the woman in Rome immediately gave me red flags, but I think that's also because I"m a survivor & I'm looking at it from a survivor mentality. So many Black women have experienced sexual assault, or know someone who has, & take those experiences with them as they go through their days.

Overall Black folks seem to be less-trusting, whether its of Pookie the reformed crackhead or of Dwight Mann at work who claims our jobs are secure.  We don't have the luxury of naivete like those in the majority.

thinklikeRiley said...

Fool me once...
Hell yeah we got trust issues. 
Do black people just always think trouble is coming? Yeah cuz it is. 
Do you ever just trust that people are what they say they are? No cuz dey ain't.

Ace of Rambles said...

YEP....all of that.

Ol girl in Rome was CRAZY.

Vroshell said...

We are inherently designed to be cautious as a people! I mean our track record for trusting people hasn't been the greatest! Any new person I meet is dangerous and or crazy untill proven otherwise.

MeetCharlieL said...

BougieDad was bout it bout it - Liquor stores and legs? *saves it for a t-shirt*
Chick on that TV show was naive.
In general, that naivete is a luxury few of us can afford. Shit happens. Often to people who look like us. That's just facts. 

keishabrown said...

FIRST of all.. this chick.. sigh.

Listen, there is a difference between victim blaming and PREVENTION. this COULD have been prevented.  she knows EXACTLY why she went there WITHOUT her friend. if they had been in pairs, this might have been PREVENTED. 

You don't get to have the same expectations that you aren't going to be attacked when you go to a stranger's house in a country you aren't a citizen of. You should make that assumption FIRST. ugh. would she have done this at home? and made the same assumption? PROBABLY NOT. i'm THE first to advocate that women are not the cause of their sexual assualts, BUT i stand by the fact that prevention is key. 

We're not saying she shouldn't have been out for a walk. I'm saying don't go the house of a man you dont know. Isn't that common sense? 

I'm glad you used the movie reference - maybe a lifetime of always dying first when danger is afoot has us on level orange all the time. (or at least most of it). I'm not a man (obviously), but black men have to engage their spidey sense in certain neighbourhoods, around the authorities etc.. - other cultures (with the exception of hispanic in arizona and muslims) do not face this. 

Im heated...woosah...

Grace said...

Watching your ass is just good common sense no matter what race you belong to. True, black folks are known for not being the first ones to try some daredevilly bullshiggity but in this case - isn't everyone taught not to trust strangers?
Girlie didn't know that cafe owner from BooBoo the fool so how is he a good reference? It's not victim blaming to say - stop and think about what you're doing before you do it.

Michele said...

Sure we have the right to trust that we won't get attacked but why put yourself in a situation that could lead to an attack?  If I leave my purse on the front seat of my empty car I have the right to trust that no one will bust the windows out to take it.  But I shouldn't be surprised when it happens.  Come on, it's about common sense and self-preservation not victim blame.  "The view from my apartment balcony"?  Oh please. 

Ricki W. said...

I haven't read any other comments, but I think a lot of this comes from the circumstances under which our people have had to live.  Their very existence called for preventive measures from cradle to grave. 

FreeBlackMan said...

No one else is gonna say it? I will. Girlie was looking for some holiday cocoa and it went bad on her. Assuming that nothing bad is going to happen to you is the epitome of some white entitlement thinking we don't know nothing about.

Hell yeah we cautious. As we should be.

ClayJones said...

When you come from a background where your people were killed for looking at the wrong person the wrong way, you tend to infuse that caution into the next generation. Black people in America are risk takers when they've assessed the risk and find it to be acceptable. This is our story. 

Our story isn't everyone else's so to that degree - yeah, we have trust issues. And I think we're okay with that.

As for this nonsense right here? C'mon. Really? Okay then. True dude was an animal but all of this drama was avoidable. Good for her fighting back and getting away. Bet the next time someone invites her to see the view, she'll just buy the postcard. 

Pure Choco said...

In college, the group of girls I hung out with was multi-cultural and we joked about things being "what white people do"  vs "what black people do" - though we joked about it, some of it was real talk. Example - club parking lot. Car backfired, the two white girls are wondering what the sound was, the 2 black girls have already run for the car, got in and started the engine. True story.

Jason P said...

There's no such phenomenon as Driving While White. 
That is all. 

Trey Charles said...

To answer the title question - Probably but we come by them honestly. 

Trey Charles said...

*drops a fiddy in the plate*

Trey Charles said...

Pastor Clay preaching today.

Angela said...

That whole "privileged viewpoint" is a luxury few Black people have ever enjoyed. I once had a surprising argument with a male and female friend about a scenario where a female went to a bar with people she didn't know and got so drunk she passed out. I commented that if something had happened to her some of the blame would belong squarely on her shoulders. I truly was amazed by the response from the people I was talking to. The woman actually compared HAVING to go grocery shopping at night to that situation (in defense of being in a potentially dangerous situation). I'm always willing to discuss anyting, but I don't really argue or debate. If I know I'm right, I say what I have to say and I'm done. Life is all about choices. 

Angela said...

And I'm sorry, was the cafe owner a close personal friend of hers and therefore she could trust the introduction to mean that this person has a sterling character and at the very least you won't have to jump out a window to get away from him?! SMH

CaliGirlED said...

"Bet the next time someone invites her to see the view, she'll just buy the postcard."...*just lays down right here ____*

MochaMuffin said...

In the preview online, the cafe owner even made a joke "What, do you think he's going to rape you?" My red flag alarm would have been ringing loud and clear. 

MochaMuffin said...

I got enough struggles, I don't go looking for additional.

CaliGirlED said...

"Marco invited them out to drinks and they declined. The woman changed her mind and went to meet him without her friend."....And we're not supposed to side-eye this shiggity??? Oh ok!

Do Black folks have trust issues? Yes we do! And as the saying goes, "We got it honest"! (If you've never heard this saying, you are not really Black!) Bwahahahaha!!! J/K

Mo said...

It  has to be  a black thing to always think trouble is coming. My neighbor before she moved was my running mate (white lady), and this lady wanted  us to run at this trail park by my  complex. I was like hell to. the. nawl.  Their are crazing folks grabbing  women even during broad daylight in those trail parks. Across from that park  is  a senior living center and some fool raped  the same senior twice. No ma'am.

What that lady tried in Italy I would NEVER try it, not because I'm black, but because I have common sense. Maybe she read "Eat, Pray & Love" and tried to pull what that lady in that book did.

This post reminded of a scene in Collateral, Jada Pinkett's character was being chased by Tom Cruise's xter and chic was running in high heels. I was yelling at her, "chic remove those damn shoes." Who does that?

This.right.here “"Ain't nothing open after midnight but liquor stores and legs. Act like a lady and be home on time."   What did  Chris Rock say about withdrawing money from the atm after midnight…………> up  to no good.

Bailey said...

Common sense should be universal.

Bailey said...

+1

AnnettePearl said...

Monsters exist but you don't have to put yourself in their path.
Similar thought - We once had a debate on whether black parents are more strict than white parents because of our history. I think so.

blackprofessor said...

Ain't nothing open after midnight but legs. - LOL, my mama used to say 10 PM.

We tend to assume someone is up to no damn good until they've proven otherwise. - This is the gospel truth.  You are not the only one who feels this way as I side eye everyone - adults, children, strange pets, etc.

I think this also includes the feeling that something might be happening and one needs to leave their current place.  I was at the beach a few days ago with some friends. Some thunderstorms were on the horizon and the lifeguard blew the whistle and started packing up his stuff.  When I saw him getting ready to leave, I started packing up my stuff and heading to the car. My friends were like "What are you doing?" I had to tell them "When the lifeguard leaves, I leave.  I don't know why he's leaving and I don't care but I am leaving with him."  We found out later that the beach patrol was worried about lightning and water spouts, which are tornadoes over the water.    

CaliGirlED said...

Like I said in Twittville, Marco and the owner probably had a "routine". Hell for all she know, the owner was waiting for Marco to get his and then it would be his turn. Or the "owner" (how she know he was really the owner) and Marco switched roles and sometimes Marco was the one making the introductions and referrals. Too much??? Yeah ok, go read some police reports!

Whitney Eiland said...

I do, can't speak for all of us.  It's the way we were raised, that simple.  You said it yourself, my ex co-workers that were white were just as trusting.  We would all go out for happy hour, we would all leave together, and it was always a couple of women that would stay and actually told their story the next day at work.  WTH?  Just last night at Quiktrip I parked next to a man who left the keys in his ignition and windows open.  Yeah, it wasn't the nicest vehicle, but come on!  And yes, he was white.

CaliGirlED said...

"When the lifeguard leaves, I leave."....This should be a golden rule!

NY2VA said...

It has been my experience that white folks live in "should" and black folks live in "is".  It has been my observation that white folks tend to govern themselves with the expectation that the ideal outcome is what will occur.  That is why they are outraged when bad things happen.  They don't expect bad $hit to happen to them.  Black folks, however, have never historically had that privilege.  We have always been folks who have hoped for the best but prepared for the worst.  We know that $hit can go bad at any given moment and we govern ourselves accordingly.  We meet a nice man and we hope that he is a nice person, but we also know that he could be bat$hit crazy, so we govern ourselves accordingly.  Those of us who are really smart tend to have a flow chart mentality, whereby we have contingency in case the outcome is not ideal.  Our parents raised us that way.  Hell, I still have emergency quarters in my car in case I need to use a pay phone.  I don't even know where to find a pay phone.  

Bottom line, we understand the concept of worse case scenario as a realistic outcome.  Them, not so much.

GrownAzzMan said...

First of all, props to Bougie dad for this nugget, 
"Ain't nothing open after midnight but liquor stores and legs. Act like a lady and be home on time." Good advice for women everywhere.

I agree with you. I live by the male version of some of the rules you spoke of. Don't got to the ATM at night. Make sure you keep gas so you don't have to stop in a sketchy area etc. I often valet park just so I won't be the brotha cauugh out there when the hour is late and the crowd is thinning. Did I mention that I am 6'3" 240 and can scrap a little?I think this is something that most black folks have ingrained, like what to do when the po-po stop you. WE have not had the luxury of a ladi da attitude because often trouble is lurking.

I always say 'they may get me but they won't surprise me'.

GrownAzzMan said...

Riley said what I said in a lot fewer words

GrownAzzMan said...

"Girlie didn't know that cafe owner from BooBoo the fool so how is he a good reference?"

Exactly! How do you trust someone you don't know to refer someone that they may not know that well either?

WDDDA?

GrownAzzMan said...

"Assuming that nothing bad is going to happen to you is the epitome of some white entitlement thinking we don't know nothing about."

^^^This!

Mr. Skyywalker said...

We - as a people - don't tend to play what you call baldhead barefoot reindeer games. We've been too focused on basic survival round here. Other races haven't worried abut survival in centuries so they do feel that same "sumthin sumthin just ain't right" vibe?

Don't get me wrong, I feel bad that she went through this and glad that she survived.

GrownAzzMan said...

*prepares for altar call*

NY2VA said...

This is TOTALLY plausible.  I know shady cats.  We all know shady cats and we know that they don't lurk about looking shady.  They look normal.  This is exactly the kind of scheme that normal looking shady dudes run on "green" a$$ WOMEN. 

NY2VA said...

Church.

GrownAzzMan said...

That's good common sense right there.

GrownAzzMan said...

"baldhead barefoot reindeer games"

I hadn't heard this one for a while. Made me laugh all over again.

Lecie said...

Heck yeah we have trust issues! I have a whole laundry list of reasons why I'm permanently skeptical.

1. Slavery and all its aftermath. Knowing that some (a lot) of white folks really ARE out to get you kinda has that effect.
2. Personal experience with sexual harassment. Never been assaulted thank God, but it makes me super careful with men I don't know well.
2. If I turn up missing, there's a 95% chance I won't end up on the local news & radio reports. (Cue MJ "They Don't Really Care About Us")
3. Money can fix a whole lot of problems, but black folks usually don't have enough to make trouble go away.
4. I don't have any old family friends on the police force or in the courthouse to pull strings for me.
5. Trayvon Martin, Rodney King, MLK, Malcolm X...
6.Tea Partiers & even some mainstream Repubs. They're aleady trying to get the Voting Rights Act repealed. I'm getting my passport ASAP because if they even mention repealing the Civil Rights Act, I'm going to Europe!

I could go on. But unfortunately, blind trust just doesn't tend to work out for us.

CaliGirlED said...

"Hell, I still have emergency quarters in my car in case I need to use a
pay phone.  I don't even know where to find a pay phone."...THIS right here!!!

Sol_dier said...

Victim blaming?. How ridiculous.
She went to his house! Not a cafe, not a bar, not a restaurant, not even a local food shack. She went to his house. Would she do that in NYC?, in her local town?Here's my story: Tired of the rat race, I hopped on a plane to a foreign city. Whilst strolling along a bazaar I bumped into a prince, got invited to the palace and we lived happily ever after...  oh wait! that's not real? its a disney fantasy?<--- disney may you die 1000 deaths.There's a combo of 'ish' at work here : disneyitis, superiority complex, reckless abandon and good old stupidity'.Some people go vacationing and lose their damn minds, whilst back at home: Black folk getting killed for wearing a hoodie with a bag of skittles & for sitting on a stoop minding your own biz. #whatlifeisthis where GROWN ass folks  NEED to be told, to avoid being alone at night, in a strangers house, in a strange land Jesu Christi. Please save these folks from themselves. oh and please keep them from making programs about basic ish.

CaliGirlED said...

 GAM's size is definitely intimidating and he takes precautions. Y'all better listen carefully! Don't EVER think you can't get got! Blackology!

Only1DivaC said...

This everything right now! I can clearly hear my Daddy's voice along with his you got $40 cash just in case you need to catch a cab. LOL!!!

SingLikeSassy said...

I am sorry that happened to that lady, but she does need to take some
responsibility for her actions. Maybe she doesn't want to. Maybe
her point is we should all be able to do what we want to do with no fear
for our personal safety. And yes, we should, but that's the world we want. In the world we actually LIVE IN there are crazy people
in it, too, and there's no reason to put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.  

I am never going to a strange man's place, not in America where I speak
the language and no the hell not in a foreign country where I am
unfamiliar with the territory. Does that guarantee I'll never be raped
or attacked? No, but it does guarantee I will never be raped or attacked
in a strange man's place that I went to voluntarily. 

And this is especially interesting because my non-brown friends are often doing things I would NEVER do (walking alone down dark streets on purpose while intoxicated and so on) and when I clutch my pearls they say I'm an old lady. HOWEVER, all of them to the person have been mugged, robbed at gunpoint, one was thrown in a bush and almost raped etc. while walking along down dark streets on purpose while intoxicated. I'll stay paranoid. And alive.

SingLikeSassy said...

P.S. My Grandma says ain't nothing open after midnight but jailhouses and legs. LOL

Sol_dier said...

he knows EXACTLY why she went there WITHOUT her friend.
I see where you are coming from and I'm ashamed to say this same thing fleetingly crossed my mind. 
Then I thought, maybe to continue some ridiculous romantic illusion?. If she wanted to the whole 9 yards, she would have obliged. She didn't want it. Or maybe she changed her mind. She is entitled to that.

But she is also entitled to engage common sense, and not willingly put yourself in the a most precarious situation that she could easily have avoided. 

lol, and I'm equally just as heated as you on this, like seriously.. where was this woman's head!

SingLikeSassy said...

I want to double, triple, quadruple everything you said up there and more. That "oh it will be OK" mentality is a benefit of white privilege. I wish I could be that carefree, but since I want to live, I'll stay skeptical .

Only1DivaC said...

This everything right now! I can clearly hear my Daddy's voice along with his you got $40 cash just in case you need to catch a cab. LOL!!!

Sol_dier said...

Bet the next time someone invites her to see the view, she'll just buy the postcard.  

I wouldn't be surprised if it happens again, and she says...'well, I presumed that since I made a TV show about it, no one would dare do that to me again.... #nofaith #privilegeCanBlindFolks

Sol_dier said...

I'm just wondering why the cafe owner is now suddenly responsible for her sense of judgement?.

Brneyed1 said...

This, all day.

SingLikeSassy said...

 See what I'm saying? Cause when I read the story I thought all this too!!! Sheeeiiitttt. I watch Law & Order and the first thing they say is RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES.

SingLikeSassy said...

Bet the next time someone invites her to see the view, she'll just buy the postcard.  <--Welp, there it is right there. 

SingLikeSassy said...

 Cause dude could have sent her a mobile pic of the view.

OneChele said...

The "going out purse" = ID, lipstick, charged cell phone, $40 cash in case I need to flee. That's just basic lifery 101. 

CaliGirlED said...

"RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES"...They're NOT understanding!!!

MsJamie14 said...

Since there is never a shortage of chocolate in the world, I'm never in a position to make decisions just because I want my cocoa stirred. So that being said, anytime I'm presented with a proposition like Marco's my question is "what's the rush?'

If any guy balks at wanting to slow it down, then that's all I need to know. If you were REALLY trying to get to know me for me, then you'd be okay with going on my timetable. What da hell is so important that I gotta the view from your balcony immediately? Let me guess: there's some buildings, some lights, some trees, maybe the moon and some damn stars. Later dude.

ASmith said...

I say yes to cultural.  I've always noticed how SO unaware of their surroundings my white friends are.  From walking down a street to skipping off with a stranger, they just don't pay attention.  Meanwhile, my mama made it clear from early on that I was to avoid being off in something sketchy at all costs or if I didn't get 'napped and killed, she'd kill me.

Also.  If someone does something stupid that gets them in trouble, it is not victim-blaming to say so.

♏*Shelly Says So* ♏ said...

No way I'd have considered going to see the view. I don't even let men pick me up on the 1st date. They don't need to know where I live unless they are vetted a little bit.

SingLikeSassy said...

When I'm traveling internationally, I put my cards and stuff in my bra like a 80-year-old woman. I figure if you can get my money from next to my boob then I am probably dead or unconscious.

ASmith said...

My praise clap is loud and my praise stomp is strong.  Church.  Tabernacle.  Mosque.  Synagogue.

They always kill me with how upset they get when mess goes awry like this idea that mess goes awry is SOOOO foreign.  I've had to learn that for them it is.

I always wanna see the good in people, but if you appear odd to me, I'ma need to see the good in you from afar.

SingLikeSassy said...

I can see all that on my phone if you send me a pic 

LikeLena said...

Right? How about I'll meet you there for date one and two. How about I need to know who your people are cuz folks are cray cray out here? And yes, I'm taking a picture of you with my phone so I can identify you later if need be. 

I grew up on L&O and CSI. And my parents don't play. 

GrownAzzMan said...

"Whilst strolling along a bazaar I bumped into a prince, got invited to the palace and we lived happily ever after...  oh wait! that's not real?"

Problem is too may folks are about that fairy tale life. 

mojitochica said...

There is a cultural divide in the way the races perceive danger.  Whites think they are immune or think someone will always come to their aid, and everyone else knows the real deal.  This woman failed the adult version of stranger danger - don't go off willy nilly with folks you don't know or barely know.

Folks have been watching too many movies about fabulous one night stands with strangers.  They need to quit confusing fantasy with reality and save the one night stands for folks you know well.

That chick is on a privilege thing, specifically a white privilege thing
and quite likely a class privilege thing too.  I bet she sees
missing white woman syndrome as missing women syndrome, while failing to
realize all those missing women just happen to be white. ..

Diana said...

Haha! Yesss! A month or so ago in my women's Bible Study class, when I made a comment about white women jogging in the park alone, in the dark, all the older ladies over 50 right on cue said, "mmmhmmm! That's that privilege! That the world will be what you want it to be just because you deem it so." We've never had that luxury.

LikeLena said...

This was supposed to be a response to @Shelly

Andrea M said...

Stealing "Basic Lifery 101*

Andrea M said...

There are rules for Holiday Cocoa. aka - The Groove Like Stella Rules -
1) Know first name, last night, place of employment or habitation of potential partner
2) Get a pic
3) Tell a friend where you are at all times
4) Your hotel room, never a place he picks
5) Protection (more than just a condom)

That's it. Go on out there and get some Euro swirl time. O__o
IJS

Sol_dier said...

Where I'm from.. if this happened to you, the only TV show being made would be of people ridiculing you and possibly your parents disowning you. (hyperbole, but you get my drift).

I come from a place where, when a tragedy occurs some of the first questions asked are: 'who sent you there'?, what were they doing there?, is that a reasonable place for you to be? what were you looking for? why did you go there?, whats wrong with you?, have you no common sense?.

Then, they would possibly examine your injuries whilst smacking or poking  you on the back of the head. 
Then your parents would call a conference to discuss where they went wrong and which boarding school to send you stubborn, non danger aware self to.

Yes boarding school, cos grown folk doing doesn't even register AT ALL

SingLikeSassy said...

And let's keep it real, some of the same people who would skip off to this strange ass white man's house expecting some George Clooney-ish hook up story to write about on their blog later, would not do that if a black man was asking. So they know better.

CaliGirlED said...

The question is about her sense of judgement of the cafe owner. She did not know him either, so why was his referral credible?

SassyNOLA said...

Is this a "black thing"? – I think for blacks, that
common sense stretches across socio-economic boundaries. It’s definitely
apparent in Latinos and some Asians as well, depending on where they grew up.
Street smarts are generally held by those “from the streets.” Black people
benefit from that because they’re usually only one-generation away and/or still
have family in areas where stupidity may get you killed.


Is there some sort of cultural divide in the way the races
perceive danger? – Yes, but this is again based on where and how many black
people (or family) grew up. Prominent researchers in juvenile justice gave up
the ghost of comparing white juvenile offenders to blacks. They concluded that
the worst conditions white children grew up in were considered moderate for
black children, while the worst conditions black children grew up in weren’t
experienced by any other race. Black people just don’t have as many degrees of
separation from these conditions or people who’ve experienced them.


Now, about victim blaming. Y’all do realize that you are in fact
blaming the victim, right? Like, you’re explicitly doing so. For those of you
who weren’t aware, now you know and knowing’s half the battle. For the rest of
you… I don’t get it. What exactly is your definition of victim blaming? Do you
resent being judged for victim blaming because you think it’s legitimate here? If
you don’t think you’re victim blaming right now, that must mean that you sort
folks into “good” victims and “bad” victims – it’s the only way the denial of victim
blaming would make sense. This woman was stupid and naïve, so it’s not victim
blaming in this instance. And for women who are out past certain times or
alone, it’s not because they should have known better. And for those wearing
certain things, you should have dressed and acted like a lady. Etc.


I also think this lady is nuts; whether she had been raped or not,
hearing that she’d gone up to a stranger’s apartment (whether woman or man)
alone, I would have judged the hell out of her. But I would have aware that I
was judging her. It’s not like I would judge her, make a bunch of comments
judging her, and then be like “judging? What? She’s stupid.” Her being stupid doesn’t
negate my judging her. And the intelligence of her choices doesn’t negate that
you are in fact victim blaming. Everyone’s bold enough to carry the mantle of “telling
it like it is” and “being real” and “yeah, I said it!” – be bold and claim that
victim blaming. And don’t resent the fact that people place you in the
appropriate category. It is what it is. You’re doing what you’re doing. Just
like it’s not a pretty world where you can expect the best in dangerous situations;
it’s also not a pretty world of grey when it comes to sexual assault and victim
blaming. There are no shades. Once you start sorting folks into categories
deserving of sympathy, support, no judgment, etc., you ARE participating in victim
blaming. And many folks will then consider you a part of the problem and a perpetuator
of rape culture. I think most people are balking at that implication which is
why they’re running from the apt title of “victim blamer.” I say, either wear
the title proudly or don’t do it. 

CaliGirlED said...

 *lays down*

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

If I go missing, my mum's not going to get two tv movies, a speaking gig, and a show hosting position out of my disappearance. I'm just saying. So I will err on the side of caution, the side that side-eyes the idea of going to a flipping stranger's house 'just because'.

CaliGirlED said...

"Let me guess: there's some buildings, some lights, some trees, maybe the moon and some damn stars."....Every great view contains these, or the sunset over the ocean! Every.single.one.

GuessImJay said...

First, you kinda wrote a book.
Second, there's a difference between saying "It's her fault she was attacked" (which is victim blaming) and saying , "Maybe there's a way to prevent this from happening" (which is a takeaway or a lesson learned) <-- Shades of grey.
No one is saying she doesn't deserve sympathy or outrage or support.
Just one guy's opinion.

Sol_dier said...

erm sassy... A black man in a foreign land doesn't really have to ask. The sex tourism business is blooming.
Foreign blacks = indulge in the fantasy guilt free, no hang-ups. (Tanzania, Jamaica, Kenya especially with the Masai, Zanzibar e.t.c.) 

CaliGirlED said...

As someone made reference to in Twittville, regarding doing something stupid that gets you into stupid trouble, I say "But for the grace of God!!!" I have cussed my own-damn-self out for some of the shiggity I involved myself in!

Sol_dier said...

I got you, lol. We are kinda saying the same thing. 
Like why is she abdicating responsibility for judging who to go off with on the shoulders of some strange cafe owner she doesn't even know.When does she get to be a responsible adult?

SingLikeSassy said...

Oh, I stand corrected then, cause I'm never trying to hook up with strangers at home or abroad, so I had no idea.

TrulyPC said...

Trust is built not given.  THE END

sherants said...

This may have already been said but the reality (I believe) is that the majority of women are NOT sexually assaulted or raped by strangers.   They are assaulted or raped by someone they know.  What precautions should they be taking in those circumstances?  There's a looming cultural issue of hatred/hostility towards women.  Exhibit A: Street harassment - if I can't walk 2 blocks without getting chased (EVERY DAMN DAY) by some a-hole on the street, there's a serious problem IMO.   And victim blaming falls right into that.  Of course I'm not saying throw caution to the wind - I'm just saying it's not that simple.  This line from Shonge's poem always hits home:

Women relinquish all personal rights
In the presence of a man
Who apparently cd be considered a rapist
Especially if he has been considered a friend
...
Then the stranger 
We always thot it wd be
Who never showed up

AppleBerryMIA said...

It's not even about Rome Woman. It's about the different way that people perceive circumstances. Many studies have shown that different races and different economic backgrounds have very diverse reactions and responses to danger. During a boat crash of the coast of Grece a few years ago, one set of passengers refused to leavign the sinking ship positive that someone would come and save them, another set had alredy swum over to some rocks and started trapping the life rafts together to float to shore.

Te lesson is to learn to prepare for all circumstances good bad or indifferent.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

Another thing I would not do, that I see in shows and movies all the time, is carrying strangers back to their place for one night stands. Forget that! I'll check us into a room or something. If  I just want to get off, you don't need to know where I live.

AppleBerryMIA said...

I meant to add and learn to recognize when something might go from bad to good.

Monica said...

Views and balconies, and strangers, oh my! Ain't no way I'd have found myself in some strange mans residence 2 seconds after meeting him. That's some poor risk management right there.

JaymeC said...

The truth is there are monsters everywhere. And yes, even without placing oneself in a situation that may not be as "safe" as you'd like - bad things can still happen.

I hope along with being a victim's advocate, this woman is also talking about preventative techniques, self-awareness and self defense. As someone said below, a lot of attacke come from people you know. So learning how to protect yourself and get out in one piece is just as important in learning how to avoid the situation AND learning to celebrate survival.

JaymeC said...

See my comment above.

JaymeC said...

Good points, see my comment above.

Sol_dier said...

Y’all do realize that you are in fact blaming the victim, right?

Unequivocally not! I don't care if she was naked begging to be taken and decided, for whatever reason (just as the spoon is about to be placed in the cocoa) NO. She didn't want to do it. Her choice deserves to be respected. NO means NO It doesn't mean that I won't comment on her stupidity and naiveté

There are people out there who will never respect your 'NO'. They are regular people like you and me, who think there are some imaginary 'points of no return' and they deserve to have you.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

 So many Criminal Intent and L&O/L&O:SVU plots have had that same premise, and folks can't catch a clue.

Penny said...

Not a smart move by the lady, although I am sorry for what happened to her.  Not sure if this lady was also from Italy (or didn't speak Italian) but if not, she also ignored some other "basic lifer 101 rules" that you need to be especially careful  in a country where you don't speak the language.  Also, in many places around the world, if you are a visitor from someplace else, you are the one perceived to be in the wrong-no matter the circumstances.

Nancy Grace moment waiting to happen.

AppleBerryMIA said...

I love Dr Jayme. Welcome back.

sherants said...

In this context "Maybe there's a way to prevent this from happening" is a politically correct way of saying "It's her fault she was attacked".  Yes, there is a way to prevent this from happening - the man should not have raped the woman.  There's too much conversation about "preventative" measures that the woman should take and not nearly enough that tells/teaches men not to rape and to respect women.  The fact that women are told to be so vigilant about self-protection is very sad to me.  

Sol_dier said...

You also know a big factor in that statistic? - accessibility

Look, I've been street harassed since I was 11/12. I know I should have the right to walk where I want, when I want, that the law should protect me and punish those who attempt to intimidate me or harass me.

But when do I want that to happen?, after the trauma of being abused and insulted? Nah. I've done that, stood up for my rights only to have the people who were supposed to protect me, turn tail and defend my assailant because yeah.... I dunno.

Look, if you think you have rights, I'll tell you now, you are fooling yourself. What most people have are strategies to defend themselves. 
I've been that naive person, expecting other people to do the right thing. Never again.

sherants said...

Oh and "a takeaway or a lesson learned"?  Seriously.  This is the lesson a woman must learn from being raped or attacked?  Please re-read that and think about it. 

GrownAzzMan said...

Truth.Spoken.Here.

SingLikeSassy said...

I'm wondering if a man had gone to some strange woman's apartment in a foreign country and been attacked what the responses would be.

Chree Carr said...

I watched this show, and too many other ID shows to know that 'stranger danger' is not just for kids.  Just because we're adults and are more aware (or not) of our surroundings doesn't mean we're guaranteed safety.

I have noticed that some white women talk about vacation flings (especially with European men), which is not something I normally hear from black women.  I think when given the opportunity some of these women throw caution to the wind for a story to tell their girlfriends.  However, what good is a story if you don't live to tell it?

All women should be more cautious and trust that intuition we were blessed with because it rarely steers us wrong.

sherants said...

Listen I'm not naive either and I'm not out here putting myself in harm's way expecting other people or the law to step in and protect me.  And I would never advise anyone to do so either.  That's not the point of my post.  [And I don't know what you mean about the big factor in that statistic being accessibility. ] My point (maybe it wasn't clear)  is simply that: when we have these discussions lets be careful about the message we're sending to victims and perpetrators of this sort of crimes.  

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

 Actually...that did happen in Germany. Twice, with the same off-kilter woman. I maintain my Side-Eye Strangers stance either way.

motown_skater said...

 I don't know why he's leaving and I don't care but I am leaving with him <<<<-------i am drawing a blank, but there is a comedian who has a joke about black folk walking away from trouble while others walk right into it being nosey and get knocked up side the head (kings of comedy maybe)....between remembering the joke and picturing "you" packing and talking i got a good laugh.....

Chree Carr said...

This is mostly true, but I do have one black friend who decided to 'look around' when a frat party turned into a drive by.  When I have to put myself in danger to pull you down for cover we're going to have problems.  She never did that again.

SassyNOLA said...

I agree there's a difference between saying those two things, but my point is that victim blaming is more about timing than content. If you're saying "there's a way to prevent this from happening" in response to someone's story of being raped, it is victim blaming. If you're saying take these precautionary steps to avoid danger in another context, it's not. How the concept of "victim blaming" is operationalized allows no shades of grey. I think I said that in my original post, but like you said, it's a book and I'm not reviewing it. My point is simply that folks are victim blaming. Just curious as to why so many were denying it -- a) not understanding how victim blaming is operationalized (definition is action) b) feeling uncomfortable with that label. It seems like it's a conflation of the two. 

JaymeC said...

Again, it's that culture thing. We assume that a man can take of himself so we would not perceive him to be in any danger when we all know there's plenty unbalanced women out there just as dangerous as Marco.

PatriciaW said...

Nope, would never have done.  I think back now on my girlfriends and I, when we were young and single...and slightly dumb/naive, going to Caribbean islands and separately from the group on the arms of a dark, handsome hunk.  Cell phones weren't prevalent back in the 1980s so we definitely were putting ourselves at risk.  Like I said slightly dumb/naive.  But never anyone's apartment/hotel room/otherwise private place.  And we always had a time to be back so that if something happened and the separated party didn't show, folks knew to start sounding sirens and calling out the troops right away.

Black folks seem to have an sense of survival that others don't always exhibit.  Partly innate and partly  because we're definitely socialized that way.  We are taught to have our guard up from an early age.  Must be nice to experience the world with a complete freedom of spirit that doesn't always see bad things waiting to happen lurking around every corner.

SingLikeSassy said...

Well, I'm wondering if our saying "sorry this happened to him -- and it shouldn't have happened to him --  but let's acknowledge that he should have been a little more cautious" would be victim blaming. This is an honest question.

Chree Carr said...

 Exactly!  It's same as when you see a big group of people running, you run with them and ask questions later. 

SingLikeSassy said...

The men who rape women are not going to be "taught" not to rape women.

SingLikeSassy said...

Let's talk about this: we should focus on teaching men not to rape women.

Am I the only one who thinks rapists are batshitcray? What man doesn't know rape is wrong?

bashowell said...

I always watch these shows like "Are these people for real?"  Black folks always seem to view safety differently. I wish I would go somewhere w/somebody by myself and I don't know them.  Yes there are circumstances where bad stuff happens that you have no control over.  I've been held up w/a gun just walking to the bus stop, which was unavoidable but for something I CAN control?  No.  Everyone and everybody gets the side eye.

Sol_dier said...

Accessibility: 
The victims are within easy reach, their routines are known, they know them.

Message to perpetrators : You are dead wrong, to blame for violating someone else's body and sense of security. A naked woman in your bed who says NO, has the right to do so. (but you know that already, don't ya?, thats why you tried to take advantage anyway

Message to Victim: That man had NO right to your body or anything you were not willing to give. There are people who will not listen to your NO. You must be cautious and guard yourself against these people by not doing dumb ish, like going off ALONE at NIGHT in a strange land, to a strange man's house to stare at some views from his balcony. Those 'stranger danger' lessons are for everyone. Men. women. children & pets. 

SassyNOLA said...

"No one is saying she doesn't deserve sympathy or outrage or support." There was no outrage or support expressed in these comments which is neither here nor there since the original post isn't really about this. My point is that if the woman had been raped because someone had broken into her well-secured apartment or by someone she knew well who had overpowered her, less people would be dispensing advice about how to avoid that because the entire onus would be on the rapist. We'd find no blame with the victim because we'd consider her rape unavoidable- she's a good victim who did everything right and didn't contribute to her rape in any way. The reason folks are responding to this with "have more common sense" is because they do think the victim is to blame in some way for what happened because she put herself in a vulnerable position (comments have specifically said "some of the blame is on her"). Again, the concept of "victim blaming" allows for no shades of grey. It suggests that rape is always 100% avoidable by the rapist ONLY. It doesn't negate the need for safety precautions and common sense, but it does say that putting those in any response to rape or violence against women is victim blaming. Like I said in my original post, I had the same thoughts about the victim not taking precautionary measures, but I'm also aware that in voicing those thoughts, I am participating in victim blaming. Just wondering about other folks' reactions: ignorance of what victim blaming is versus emotional reaction to seeing themselves as victim blamers. 

Sol_dier said...

My response: 
You don't know her, Stop going off to strange women's apt in a strange land. get to know them first, let the locals see you with her. Or check into a hotel, sign the register.. make sure the receptionist sees you, can possibly confirm that she was not being coerced & was a WILLING participant.

As a man the danger you face is 2 fold, you can be abused and can be accused of abusing. 

ShawnSoze said...

How did your exploration of cultural difference turn into a platform for assault victim blaming?
Someone always takes it there!

I'm going to stick to your question - yes, a lot of black people are superlatively sensitive to danger. I am an ass-coverer by nature and nuture. First to hit the eject button on a situation whenit starts sliding south. I actually left one of my friends (a white guy) at a club because he wanted to stick around to see what was happening when a fight broke out. WDDDA? (I did go back for him btw) But as we say, curiousity killed the cat and I don't have nine lives.

*drops mic*

SassyNOLA said...

Agreed for the rapist in this story (probably a born predator). But brain research suggests that some predators are born while others are made. Those who rape strangers are most likely born with that propensity. But some others who date/acquaintance rape are made/have propensity activated by whatever culture they've grown up in. They get ideas about when it's okay to rape someone (e.g., she's drunk but she'd prob consent so no harm, she came up to my apt- she knew what was going to happen) and who is okay to rape (e.g., she's just a ho - who is she to deny me). 

sherants said...

Exactly SassyNOLA.  And since the majority of rapes are by acquaintances, YES there is a way to reduce these crimes and teach men not to rape women.  There is a way to address these horrible values and ideas that men have about women.  One of them is by taking care not to blame the victims and being informed.

CaliGirlED said...

 Shawn my cousins and I were leaving a concert and folks started running, we followed suit. A couple of blocks later we stopped and asked each other what were we running from. Not one of us knew!

sherants said...

Oh and one way to stay informed is to read The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

CorettaJG said...

BougieMom says, "You can't avoid trouble but you don't have to open the front door and invite it in for dinner either."  

This is me all day. And yet... last night I got home late and found myself taking my poor dog on a quick walk outside after midnight.  That's craziness. I took a phone, keys w/weaponry, etc. But when I got back to the house, I said to myself again that was craziness, you know better than that.

People can go against their better judgment.  I was invited on a "personal tour" of Ochos Rios on my last trip to Jamaica with my sisters, and even with them being invited to come along, they were like, "Chile please!" while I was slightly considering how to make it work as a group activity.

I know better, sometimes I don't do better and I'm a sister.  Some people are more trusting. Some more willing to assume good until they see bad.  But that can get you "got."

Being a proud Tuskegee University grad, the idea of the Tuskegee Experiement is real history to me.  Black folks have a lot of reasons not to trust. 

As they say in  my line of work, "Trust but verify."

Monica said...

 I had the same experience at a festival years ago. Looked to my right and asked, "Why we running?" The girl said, "I don't know but I'm not sticking around to find out."

And not a single one of us got "got" that day.

FullBloom said...

I traveled in Europe back in the late 80’s when I was in the Army.  I made sure that I was not out walking around base late at night alone and always had cab fare home from the club regardless of the group I was with.   I didn’t leave the club with strangers nor did they come with me home.   Even now; I keep cash on me at all times in case of an emergency.  I don’t allow strangers to even get in my space.  If I don’t know you, then chances are you are not getting too close to me.  Blacks are raised to be cautious because of our history.  That cautiousness keeps us from jogging or walking in secluded areas alone.  It also keeps us from stopping our cars and giving serial killers rides, answering our doors at midnight, or other things we see on from a Criminal Minds or L&O episode.   

Sol_dier said...

Sassy, There are no bogey men in my world. Rapists are regular people who are asserting control over someone else by refusing to accept the lack of consent. Rape after all is an assertion of control & privilege (amongst other things)

There are many men and women who don't know rape is wrong and that's because they shift the definition of rape. 
There are people who draw an imaginary boundary i.e. she flirted with him so she wanted it, or prostitutes can be raped, she stirred cocoa with him before, she was cocoa agressive with others, she participated in a multi cocoa session so that means she was available to anyone. She was naked in my bed, so it wasn't rape. 

We need to teach men and woman that NO means no. There is no boundary. You can be at the point of entry, and you will still have to stop immediately.

I've ended friendships with people who suggested to me that a man cannot stop, if a woman comes on to him and then changes her mind its her fault. That's BS right there and that suggests to me that either they've been in that situation or if they were they would definitely ignore protestations and go ahead.

We teach men, women and children that No means No and there are absolutely NO exceptions to that.

CaliGirlED said...

WOW!!! Who left the damn gate open? Where's  Trey Charles ???

CorettaJG said...

One other thing, I did find that  a lot of the rape victims I worked with as a prosecutor had been abused in some way before.

Some of the psychologists explained them as not having the "warning" lights going off in situations that other women did, thus making them more likely to be in circumstances where they are targeted/abused again. 

It was a theory.  But I do know that an overwhelming number of victims I worked with had been victimized before.
 
One final thing.  There is sometimes a real push in the victim advocate community to never cast any responsibility of any kind on a victim.  Which makes sense in that they are absolutely not responsible for the attack, the man who did it is responsible.

Reality is though, jurors (especially women jurors) often hold the victim to a very high level on things they think they should or should not have done.  As you know, the victim is often the one on trial since the accused can exercise his right to remain silent. (But don't get me started on those complaining witnesses who claim rape because they had a few drinks & aren't sure what happened or their friend told them they must have been raped, or they don't want a "reputation" or to lose their husband/boyfriend, that's a whole other story in my particular line of work, I'm assuming we're talking genuine victims here like the woman in the tv show) 

I do believe a person can help reduce the opportunities of criminals by doing what Bougie Mom says. 

Women shouldn't have to have all these precautions just to stay safe and men should be taught by other men that the responsiblity not to be a criminal is on them.  However, in the interim, don't give someone the opportunity to get you in a tough place if you can help it.

CorettaJG said...

Sassy,

There is a frightening recorded study out there where men on large college campuses are asked to describe, on camera, what they are doing with women and they basically describe "date raping" them. 

But they don't see it as rape.

Plying her with alcohol, slipping her something to make her more relaxed, cajoling, convincing, manhandling, demanding, holding arms/wrists/legs, or sleeping with a motionless passed out body.  And they would never call it rape.  It's a lot of "she wanted it" kind of stuff.

IT.IS. FRIGHTENING.

Men better start teaching their fellow men and their sons.  It's easy to catch a case.

ShawnSoze said...

No - this is the lesson that the rest of us can learn form her near miss.

SassyNOLA said...

Ya know, I read that book and I kind of hated it. The message about trusting your intuition was really on point, but it was something I already did and could have been put on a bumper sticker. Culturally, I wasn't raised to apologize for my feelings or acting on them while I think other groups of women are; so this is probably a better book for white women.  Becker's book just made me paranoid even thought he explicitly says not to go crazy; I was just labeling everybody and their grandmother as violent psychopaths. HA! I do think the message of the book to trust your intuition is a good companion to "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell -- he's able to relay complex brain functions and research in a really accessible way. So trust your intuition because it makes sense and will protect you... AND this is supported by brain research that demonstrates your subconscious mind processes information better and more quickly than your conscious mind can grasp. So that "feeling" is most likely a message from your subconscious brain - trust it more than your ideas about being proper and polite. 

CorettaJG said...

Except the sad thing is, often these cases never get reported.  She's left dealing with the aftermath and he thinks he "just had sex" that night.

CorettaJG said...

"The majority of women are NOT sexually assaulted or raped by strangers.   They are assaulted or raped by someone they know."  TRUTH

Sol_dier said...

Can't remember what thread it was, but I recall you saying speaking about this before. 
Wise words. and yep its frightening how the boundary keeps shifting. 
'She wanted it, it was too late for me to change my mind...we were both drunk, she was drunk,high'.
She can't say yes, means she is saying no.

And to the guys who keep saying, but her mouth was saying no but her body was saying yes - that means NO.

If a woman keeps doing that, then see what happens when every time she does it you stop immediately and leave, or go drink ur cocoa alone. bet you either stop messing with her or she makes herself very clear if she really wants to stir cocoa.

SingLikeSassy said...

If she had gone to his house and nothing had happened, I'm pretty sure the same people here saying she should be more cautious would be saying she should be more cautious, but because she was attacked we aren't supposed to say that out loud. Sigh.

Why can't we teach men not to rape AND teach women to be safe and smart? Must it be one or the other?

Roselyn said...

I don't know if I'd call it a trust issue. Society is structured so that Black people are more vulnerable to the negatives of life. Whether it be violence, reduced access to social services, police brutality, or property crime you name it and we are more likely- on average, not true in all times/places/for all Black people- to experience it. So, Black parents have to socialize their kids to deal with with this reality. On the one hand you want to teach your kids that this isn't because of something negative about them that makes them "deserve" it, and on the other hand you can't let them leave home thinking just because they don't deserve it doesn't mean bad things won't happen to them and you try to prepare them accordingly.  Hyper-vigilance is a very common strategy that Black parents teach their kids to deal with the realities of racism/sexism. So is a focus on social justice and transformation through education, collective action, and individual effort. 
Patricia Hill Collins calls this kind of both/and parenting technique visionary pragmatism in her book Black Feminist Thought.

I get the woman's point about it not being the victim's fault that someone else decides they will not respect her decision not o have sex with them. She is correct. Yes, it's unfair that the onus for protecting ourselves is placed primarily on (Black) women's shoulders. Yes, sexual assault should be seen as a societal problem that others need also to address. Yes ,we should not have to be afraid that people we know- or don't- are going to use our positions of vulnerability against us in order to assault us. I wholeheartedly agree with all of the above. As Black women though, the number of things about our lives that are unfair or should or should not be are too numerous to count. We have to live with the truth that our agency/power is constrained by an unjust system everyday. That means us figuring out how to survive in the here and now, work to change it for ourselves and our kids, and try to stay sane/emotionally healthy in the process- and way too often we're told sacrifice the last one for the first two anyway. 

If you are used to wandering the world without needing to worry  about systematic inequality clipping your wings like many middle to upper-middle class whites are, it's probably jarring to come up against a moment when your structural privilege- that you may be unaware of- can't protect you from the negatives of life that you've never had to even think about before. I'll be in the corner crying you a river. No, the woman didn't deserve her attack, but there is a reason why she felt safe doing whatever when we're talking about our strategies for staying safe when we go abroad (or to the end of the block).

SingLikeSassy said...

Hm. I've recommended the "Gift of Fear" to several people. I'll pick up "Blink."

sherants said...

Oops -I was actually thinking of another book. I thought the book below was very informative about the real causes of violence against women and how it's primarily about the values the perpetrators hold.  And it has suggestions about what can be done to combat these terrible values.
Why does he do that? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

CaliGirlED said...

Whether she walked away unscathed or had an earth shattering cup of cocoa, she should NOT have gone, PERIOD!!!

I agree why must it be one or the other? My only answer to that is that there are evil crazy deranged people in this world and preventative measures are always better when dealing with them.

C Nelson said...

 Yes. As long as you don't CALL it rape, men are perfectly happy to tell you about all the times they bully, intimidate, manipulate, and straight-out coerce sex from unwilling or insensible women. This has a great deal to do with the fact that what we *are* teaching our boys is that getting sex, however you have to, is all right -- and that even if you cross some lines getting there, it's okay, we'll look for every excuse under the sun to make it not your fault because the woman you did it to should have known better than to trust you. Simultaneously, any woman who says that men are not always trustworthy or that trust is a thing that shouldn't be automatically given to men because you can't tell who is going to turn out to be a rapist will be accused of misandry and hysteria, often insulted in ways that treat rape as a compliment ("you're too ugly to have to worry about rape") and often much nastier things as well.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

"If she had gone to his house and nothing had happened, I'm pretty sure
the same people here saying she should be more cautious would be saying
she should be more cautious..."


And we actually did have that conversation before. Remember Chele's post about how two young women were airing out their business in the store, and one mentioned going over some dude's house for brownies yet ending up in bed with him. A lot of us were like, "*record scratch* Wayment. She met some guy, and just skipped off with him to his house? WDDDA?!".

"Why can't we teach men not to rape AND teach women to be safe and smart? Must it be one or the other?"
I agree. Even if I woke up tomorrow, and all men and boys finally got that rape is dead-ass wrong no matter what, I still wouldn't leave my personal safety in someone else's hands.

Angela said...

Likewise! We all do stupid things. I personally have had many nonthinking moments. However, the point is that while I am totally in agreement with the fact that anyone who commits a crime needs to be punished (even if it was my poor judgment that helped make the crime possible), but I still need to own up my role in the situation and try to do better in future. 

blackprofessor said...

Sassy, we are here!! Let me add that I keep my passport in my underwear in addition to cards/money in my bra. 

GrownAzzMan said...

Cedric The Entertainer in Kings of Comedy. I stole me handle from an earlier part of that same bit.

Mo said...

 Great points. Your comment reminds of  a post that appeared on SBM that provoked outrage, well the author was way out of line with his post.  I think @onechele touched on it here.

GrownAzzMan said...

Probably not a story a man would tell. If he did my response would be the same.

GrownAzzMan said...

"As a man the danger you face is 2 fold, you can be abused and can be accused of abusing."
^^^ This all day"A lotta real G's doing time 'cause a groupie did the truth and told a lie..."--Tupac

GrownAzzMan said...

We should teach men not to rape. We should teach respect for another persons life,property, person and sexuality. While we are teaching those things we should also teach how to avoid becoming the victim of those who have not learned or will not learn the lesson.

GrownAzzMan said...

You may not know why you ran but you were safe, healthy and able to ask the question.

C Nelson said...

I can see how she wouldn't consider this man a stranger; he was introduced to her by someone she already knew, liked, and trusted, and thus was already inside her boundaries -- an immediate pass to "acquaintance" status.  I wouldn't go back to a stranger's place, but I've invited people I hadn't met in person before into mine, including my husband. We've spent hours and hours talking every day for more than a year, you're not a stranger to me. (Other people would disagree.)

What irritates me, though, is that there is no way to win, as a woman. The only thing that really determines whether or not we are safe from rape is the presence or absence of a rapist. It's not about whether we wear ponytails, or shorts, or drink a beer we didn't see opened in front of us, or went with someone we sort of liked to someplace private, or broke any other of those myriad "good girl" rules. It's about whether the person with us at that moment is the kind of creep who thinks he's entitled to sex from us even if we don't want to give it to him.  And much as I'd like it if all creeps of that kind came with warning signs tattooed on their foreheads ... they don't. She extended her trust, and he abused it. Probably neither the first nor the last time he's done so, either, since that kind of thing tends to be a pattern. If she *hadn't* trusted him, she risked offending not just him, but the person who introduced them. When you're away from home and don't know that many people to start with, ticking off someone who's been friendly can seem like a bigger deal than if you were at home with lots of other people you could spend time with.

Personally, I think it's time for the Golda Meir solution -- to keep women safe from men who rape, instead of giving women all these bogus rules that the rapists and rape apologists just turn around and use as excuses, pin some rules on the men for a change.  Hard to meet a male rapist late in the evening if the men, not the women, are expected to be off the streets after dark, right?

CaliGirlED said...

 *fist bump* GAM I see you bobbin your head and er'rythang!

Felicia Shelton said...

A very long time ago when my cousin Mary and I were first allowed to hangout at night with our friends, well, we were invited to a house party. Everything was going great until it became a bit too loud and crowded. Oh, the neighbors called the police. Next thing you know, the host (a bit thuggish ruggish for my taste, but hey, these were my cousin's friends) said "there's too much in and out, the neighbors are complaining, so we're going to lock the doors. If you want to leave, you have to leave now". My cousin and grabbed our purses and exited stage left! My first and last house party. 'You gotta' know when to hold em' and when to fold em'. Know when to walk away, know when to run!' Ok? Ok.

Brenda said...

I wouldn't necessarily call it a trust thing, more like just being overly cautious because of all the reasons you listed above and more. I've been in plenty situations where I'm with a white girlfriend and I have to explain to them why going home with a guy they just met at a club or why not letting a stranger into our house is NOT okay. And everytime they're looking at me like, Huh? Great post! 

Trey Charles said...

I'm way over there---------- ------------------>
In da cut. With some Twizzlers and a Sprite.

Trey Charles said...

For real tho?
*takes notes*

C Nelson said...

 I think it goes beyond "no means no" to "ONLY yes means yes." If she's not clearly enthusiastic and able to articulate an unimpaired yes, leave her alone until she is. If sex with reluctant people truly turns you on, you might want to see your friendly neighborhood psychologist about why that is and how to go about fixing it. There's a reason  that people generally consider a "dead lay" to be a bad thing.

CaliGirlED said...

This guy was trying to kill a big red wasp last night. I got up and moved toward the door. All I know is he missed and all the guys started running. *in my Forrest Gump voice* I was running!...Shooooot anytime I see some grown, young, strapping men run from an insect, I'm outta there!!! The wasp flew out of the room. When we went back in I asked, "Why did y'all run?" LOL!!! Apparently those things aren't to be messed with.

SingLikeSassy said...

 Hey! *waves*

aishao1122 said...

Ok.. I just don't understand these young women who are surprised after shyt happens umm you did all things wrong and don't expect anything to happen?? Personally I think it's a white woman thing, if you look at the list of women who missing after leaving with random dudes they just met five mins ago at a party, you have to wonder where the heck her friends were??  I was on the train recently and literally watched this young woman make herself into a easy target I even posted it on FB, she just met him on the bar car and he purchased a drink for her, she then told him she lived alone, that she didn't have family in the area and that she worked late; and she was LOUD about it on the train into NYC, look sweetheart even if he isn't a rapist/killer what about the other men on the train?? can you vouch for them too?? 


You really can't blame the victim you have the right to walk, talk or wear whatever you want, but as you said, being aware and smart should go hand in hand with that. My Grandmere always "Chile, God takes care of two people: children and fools... and you ain't either one, so only you can take care of you" she wasn't saying God doesn't look out for all of us, but He takes care of those special cases and helps out those who help themselves, don't make yourself an easy victim and you are less likely to become one.

I wrote about my ex last time, he was/is *once a Marine always a Marine* a Marine and he always couched me never to form an easily traced pattern, if you like to run, don't run at the same time or the same route everyday, alternate, find different places to go, it makes it harder for people to stalk you if you don't have the same routine all the time. 

La said...

I would never EVER even CONSIDER victim blaming. Nor do I think you would. Unfortunately, logical follow up conversations about how we can keep ourselves safe when faced with danger after a real life event inevitably leads to someone accusing someone of it. Meh.

That being said, I think by the very nature of what it means to be a minority in this country, we are taught from an early age to be cautious. Maybe overly so to an extreme that other races don't have to consider. But I think we could be here all day telling stories about black and brown people that lost their lives in "extreme" circumstances.

Personally, I would never do this. Not in my city and MOST CERTAINLY NOT in another country. I don't assume a stranger introducing me to another stranger is a reputable reference. I don't assume I can fight my way out of anything. I don't assume everyone has the best intentions for me or my well being. Vacation or no,  I just don't have the luxury of assuming.

aishao1122 said...

You from the Caribbean?? Sounds like questions my Gran would ask

aishao1122 said...

of Dwight Mann << Dead I'm so stealing this. LOL

Brenda Kay said...

"Trust no one" is not just an often used line of dialogue from a cult TV series...

NtrlGAGirl said...

"Assuming that nothing bad is going to happen to you is the epitome of some white entitlement thinking we don't know nothing about"

^^This right here. I am so glad that I only had to read through a few comments before I got to someone saying this.  And to accuse someone who points out taking precautions as key and necessary of "victim blaming" is more of the same.  

NtrlGAGirl said...

Black people rarely if ever have the same luxury of entitlement as white people--so, yeah we're culturally distrustful of man or beast. Ever notice how white people will walk up & pet a dog they don't know? They say: "Go ahead! Pet him--he doesn't bite". We say: "Nah. That's your dog. He doesn't bite YOU!"

Oh and yep, "a woman has a right to trust that she won't be attacked by an animal", BUT when you willingly put your head in the lions mouth, expect that mutha to bite down. If he doesn't, THAT'S the surprise.

NtrlGAGirl said...

"This woman failed the adult version of stranger danger - don't go off willy nilly with folks you don't know or barely know."   <------------Exactly!

And this advice is not gender or crime specific.  I tell my sons this because it's not just about women or rape!  I've got a 19 y/o SON staying in France for 3 months & he got the same list that I'd give my daughter, beginning with:  Don't go off with people you don't know.  Don't go off by yourself.  If you go out, don't put your drink down & come back to it. Pay attention to your gut & intuition...on and on. I don't want my DAUGHTER or SONS raped, robbed, murdered, mugged, fasely accused, etc. If it either are victimized, it's certainly not their fault, as surely as it WAS NOT this woman's fault that the perpetrator in this episode was an animal, but I want them to know to do their best to take precautions and protect themselves.

Melissa Danielle said...

I am going to remember your daddy's mantra. My mama always says, when you want a drink, you go to the bar. When you want sex, you go to the bedroom. This story adds fuel to the stereotype that American women are easy, that we're all looking for affairs when we're going abroad. 

This also sounds just like the time I posted to my Facebook wall suggesting women invest in self-defense classes because a woman should not have to be raped under threat of a box cutter. Somewhere, from the ground floor up six flights of stairs to the roof, fear, anger, and adrenaline rising, you will not get me to a roof without a fight. I'll take a few bruises and some stitches. 

Melissa said...

Also, normative whiteness/white privilege allows for women like the one in the TV show to feel comfortable traveling anywhere and being anyplace without the fear of violence. Bad things don't happen to (good) white people. 

Shantel said...

Black women have trust issues yes more specifically with men who dont look like us ie white men. But let's not sit here and pretend that black women don't get caught out there is hard situations some times worse than Keri's situation. Let's not pretend like black women don't go home with men or that black women don't hop in strangers cars. I have been in vacations and have observed friends go off with men they have met that day and my friends are fairly conservative so let's back the hell off of this woman who risked life and limb to keep that creep from raping and lets all hope and pray that if we are faced with the same situation we would have the balls the courage and the strength to do the same. Smh at the entire topic.

happinessisme said...

Honestly, I'm not so sure about that...most white women I know love the brotha's. ..

happinessisme said...

Yeah, I think there was a bit of victim blaming going on. But hey, that's society and the culture that we live in. We could type til we're blue in the face and it would still be the same. Had she not have gone to his apartment and the same thing might have occured people would be asking a different set of questions. "Why were you walking around late at night?" " Why were you wearing such a short skirt?" "Why did you go to a foreign country without knowing the language?" 'Why did you get separated from your friends?" It's always going to be on the woman no matter what. No one ever ask a man why didn't he show some restraint? EVER. 
But I will say that a lot of white people I know tend to have this wide eyed wonder about them. For example, I have a friend who got her winter coat stolen at the gym cause it wasn't locked up. She didn't feel like she needed a lot. Then she got 20 dollars stolen from her at work at her retail job after I gave her a padlock to use. She was all flabbergasted that someone would steal. It's like, boo, you live in NYC. This ain't mayberry! I was on another website and this woman wrote about being a teacher and stepping IN THE MIDDLE of a fight between two big arse teenage boys.  She said, "Stop, I'm a teacher." They looked her dead in the face and went to town on her arse! Now, I'm not saying that the dudes should have hit her, but they already displayed that they didn't give an F! If you can't fight, then why on god's green earth would you step in between to young, big, buck teenagers. They probably got cool points just for doing that. She said she thought she was protecting them. I voiced that it was stupid for her to do that and that she learned a lesson. The comments lit up! The nice white people did not like that at all! They do live in a different world and aren't used to fighting or having to survive. People of color are. It's a cultural and class thing more so but white people do tend to live a more sheltered life so I guess that's how the cookie crumbled. Now I do know some gangsta white people but they are like that because of the environment that they lived in. 

rozb said...

While no one should walk around on high alert constantly, you should still exercise common sense and pay attention to your body's cues about danger - nature prepares us this way. It is not victim blaming, just more or less wondering what made her less cautious in a foreign country.

Even when my ship went to foreign ports, I stayed in a group, never went back to a drink if I took my eyes off it, and I did not go off with strangers. Women are not respected in the same way in other places (What RozB?, Say it ain't so!) and our lives and what we perceive as our value means nothing to a man who feels we are beneath them any way.

Sorry, but some women watch too many of these movies about women traveling alone to foreign countries, sipping wine, eating bread and cheese with a romantic (insert nationality here) man who compliments you endlessly, then gently but passionately makes love to you, giving you a tale to tell your girlfriends. Just like a whole bunch of women thought Pretty Woman was so romantic when it boiled down to a story about a hooker who happened to hook a guy with money for a couple of weeks. The reality gets pushed aside and sometimes folks make stupid decisions. Did she deserve to be attacked? Hell no! But that does not absolve her from taking responsibility for her own safety and protection. At the very least, her friend would have been devastated if this man would have been successful in taking her out.

#TeamOneChele on this one...

rozb said...

I plan to always act to be able to fight and live another day! I don't know of any black folks who act like a bunch of meerkats standing up trying to see what's going on. We are usually duck-walking to the nearest exit,keeping low, and zig-zagging the entire way...

Marioned said...

"Ain't nothing open after midnight but liquor stores and legs."LOL!!!! I thought I had heard it all!!!! I love it.

I think if you live a sheltered life you tend to be a bit trusting.  It is not necessarily a color thing.  I know alot of naive black folks.    At my son  saw a homeless man for the first time and felt so bad he gave him ALL his Christmas money.   I did not realize it until we had driven away!!! Around 10 or so ,  I remember going into the city and he was walking around and it just struck me that he was not street smart at all.  He had spent the last 1o years not being exposed, sheltered and mostly spending his time  in a low crime suburb.  His Dad and I went into major education mode and of course he lost his innocence along the way.   Now at 17 he is very aware and still a giving kid.

Angela said...

To all the people reading this blog who have been victimized or know someone who has been victimized, I am sincerely sorry that you have experienced such trauma. I hope that you are able to get whatever help, love and caring that you need for as long as you need it. In the world we live in there will always be people who are more than willing to blame the victim. One commenter suggested that perhaps people are not aware of the parameters of victim blaming and therefore don't realize that's what they are doing. I've never personally researched it, but I would think the definition would involve blaming the victim for the ATTACKER'S actions. That's definitely not fair or right. In the world we live in there also seems to be more and more people who would like to completely eliminate the concept of personal responsibility.  (I'm speaking generally.) That's not fair or right either. SOMETIMES we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. SOMETIMES we have made a contribution to the situation. Does that make being attacked justified? Not at all!!!! However, being able to identify how one's actions MAY have made (or could make in future) a bad outcome LESS LIKELY is extremely important. Is that something that needs to be pointed out to a victim immediately following an attack? NO! However, by the time your story airs in a tv special, I'm thinking, yeah, you might have wanted to do some self evaluation.

I want people who commit rape and other heinous crimes to be severely punished--even if they've had troubled childhoods. Does that mean I have no compassion for any horrors they have suffered through that made them into such beings? Not at all. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable for what they do.I understand that some women who make these choices have a different mind set resulting from abuse. I get it. I really do. I have a great deal of compassion for them as well. Life is just that much harder. But in this story, the woman thinks "a woman has a right to trust that she won't be attacked by an animal." Really? Who says? The only legitimate expectation we can have of others (again, generally speaking) is that they will be exactly what they are--sometimes a human being; other times not so much. Animals have been known to take human form.I wish that all men viewed women who unadvisedly placed their trust in them simply as opportunities to be chivalrous.  But they don't.I wish that all women could place their trust all willy nilly and not suffer any consequences. But they can't.Okay?

savagebeauty said...

Thank you Shantel. I utterly agree. As a women's self defense pro, and as one who grew up with street cred and in developing countries, let me first say: I don't dismiss the truth that certain experiences, upbringings, mindsets heighten female intuition and perception of potential thuggery and "fuckery" -- and that all women need to learn and alert to potential behavioral clues (when detectable) and draw some hard lines. It's something I call "jungle consciousness"- and it's central to my women's self defense teaching and paradigm.

That said, the BIGGER truth and moral in Keri's story of outrageous bravery and "best" use of fight and flight reflexes, not to mention outstanding presence of mind, not allowing Marco to "break her down" and taking and executing decisive action in The Moment of Truth when every nanosecond counts, and additional internal and physical actions that I could go on and on about here... the point is this: MEN LIKE Marco are VERY GOOD LIARS AND DECEIVERS--they've majored in deception and slipping under women's radar. In this light, K's story could in fact be any woman's nightmare and this goes to why women (in my opinion) MUST be trained in emergency and aggressive "last resort" self defense strategies. Because it COULD be you or me or a sister.

You /I/ others may have strict boundaries and would NEVER EVER have gone with him to his apt - great! Smart. But don't anyone think for a moment that it couldn't happen to "me" meaning any of us. Instead of Marco in Rome, maybe it's that nice fella from YOUR church- who you trust. Or the new upright man who moved into your hood and he's been kind and protective of your kids. And one day he and you are alone, and his true predatory stripes come out and he goes off on you, expecting favors. Rapes you. Or maybe he's your minister or other known-to-you entity..

My point is that THEY lie and deceive and majored in this and "it" can happen to the smartest among us and because all it takes is ONE MOMENT OF weakness which we all suffer from time to time.

We should cease all forms of victim blaming, be it subtle or overt. (Risk reduction, YES! Smart protective measures and skills, YES! Responsibility for personal safety, YES.) But Keri was violently attacked by a predator who has likely done this before and she had the balls and smart to prosecute in Italian courts and may have saved many women's lives and integrity.

I applaud her heroism and raw guts and as said, I could write a book about all that she did right once it all went wrong. Including how quickly she summoned her fighting spirit and arrived at a bottom line decision - which is a MUST DO step, deciding NOW: "What is non-negotiable? What is uncompromising? What do I hold sacred? And from that deep spiritual resolve, taking decisive action. These are all part of the internal events that take place and factor in living or being killed; being raped or not.

(Disclaimer: I know much more because I was the self defense expert sprinkled in; I assure you that lots of material addressed in interviews never made it into the final show as per their discretion and the show's dramatic editorial mission...)

I'll close with this. Violence and sexual violence against women is pandemic, world wide-- and even when women do all the "RIGHT" things we can still be victimtized. Men do this because they can.

Let's stop focusing on what SHE (the woman) did/ Why did she go with him? What was she wearing? Doing? Thinking? - Again, heighten our knowledge and senses yes but also move the conversation onto the vile actions of the predators / abusers/ rapists.

I propose that we stand together as women regardless of background or race or ethnicity. Because in this war on women, we're one very big hood: Woman hood.

CreoleSoul said...

Reading about that story, the situation gave me hella red flags too.  Even as a man I 'm not comfy with a situation like that if I'm abroad.  I'm barely comfortable about it if it were to occur here.  Strange "strange" needs to be approached carefully IMO...you don't know someone from Adam, so why even put yourself in a situation w/ someone who hasn't been vouched for by someone you know?

But that's just me. I don't trust people I don't know as a rule and that's my default.  Earn that shit and then we can talk.

rikyrah said...

this entire post and thread had me cracking up. reading the post, it's like you grew up in my house, and I was listening to my parents...LOL

QueenDBW said...

PREACH!!!

QueenDBW said...

^^^This is GOSPEL!!!!

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