An open letter to Doug Wilson

Sarah Moon's original article can be found here.

Doug Wilson's rebuttal (which this post rebuts) can be found here.

Dear Mr. Wilson,

It's a frequent complaint of mine that conservatives such as yourself have trouble dealing with shades of grey. But no longer. Your rebuttal of Sarah Moon's post shows that conservatives can understand shades of grey when it benefits them.  

Your argument seems logical at first glance. I have two daughters, and when they're old enough, i'd be very happy if they took some kind of self defense course. If someone ever attempted to rape them, I'd like them not only to avoid that fate, but to come home with a scalp or similar suitable trophy from their would be attacker.  There are many other reasonable precautions that women can take to protect themselves; Dianna Anderson (also a feminist like Sarah) details some of them here.

Everyone, in fact, must take steps to protect themselves from criminals.  I myself am a man, so I have the privilege of never taking precautions against rape.  But I lock my doors every night before going to bed. I put my laptop in the trunk of my car where it's not visible. I choose passwords that are difficult to guess.  These are reasonable precautions.

Now, you say that a woman who gets drunk a frat party and is raped must take some of the responsibility for what happens to her.  Again, logical at first glance. She's made a poor choice, to be sure.  Who hasn't?  There are times I forget to lock my doors, times I leave my laptop in the front seat, and to be honest, I have 3 different passwords that I re-use among dozens of websites.

But if we're being honest, every crime requires a poor decision on the part of the victim.

The woman wearing what you describe as "slutwear"?  Sheesh, cover up!  Don't you know men can't control themselves?

The skinny guy flashing money?  He should have been less flashy. 

The elderly woman who is the victim of fraud?  She shouldn't have been so trusting.

What about Jesus?  Allegedly he knew he was going to be crucified and went to Jerusalem anyway. Surely he bears some of the responsibility for what happened to him.

Let's look at the "slutwear" example in a bit more depth, shall we?  Could you define this term?  If, in a country where woman wear burqas in public, a woman is raped while wearing a t-shirt and jeans, was she wearing "slutwear"?

What about an American woman who isn't showing any skin per se, but is wearing clothes that accentuate her curves?  Does this count? 

A bikini at the beach? A one piece bathing suit at the beach? I need details (and woman do too, if they're going to take responsibility for themselves!)

Really, any victim of a crime must take some measure of responsibility for what happened to them, right?  Let's go back to my example of locking my doors at night.

The front door of my house has a standard deadbolt lock on it. It'll deter amateur thieves, but someone determined to get into my house can still do so with a bit of effort.  If they do, do I bear responsibility for not buying a better lock?

What about a woman who goes to a party, consumes a responsible amount of alcohol, but has something slipped into her drink while she goes to the bathroom?  Isn't she still responsible?  Shouldn't she know better than to leave her drink unattended?

Let's go back to your "skinny guy" example. As a skinny guy, this hits close to home.

Let's say I'm mugged but I haven't been flashing my money.  Do I need to take responsibility for not being in better shape? For not carrying a gun?

I know full well that there are criminals who would love to take my money. Buff criminals.

And yet: no gym membership. No protein shakes. 

Clearly, I'm asking for it (Only in, as you put it, "the broadest metaphorical sense", of course.)

What if I do flash my money? How much money is acceptable to flash? At what point does simply paying for my drink become "flashing my money"? Do I need to always pass cash in a closed fist?

How about - stay with me here - we just show some grace for victims?

Sure, educate them if they need to be educated. But something tells me that most victims of crimes don't need any education.

The crime was most likely education enough. 

Heretic Husband

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