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Petitioning Mary Kassian and the staff of CBMW and TrueWoman

Retract and apologize for "Five Problems with the Slutwalk Marches"

On April 16, 2012, the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood published a blog post by Mary Kassian entitled "Five Problems with the Slutwalk Marches" ( http://www.cbmw.org/Blog ) This was a reprint of Kassian's April 10th blog post for the TrueWoman blog ( http://www.truewoman.com/?id=2058 ).The article, which can be accessed by thousands of women on TrueWoman's popular site, is deeply offensive to women and actively blames women for their own rapes, in addition to perpetuating many myths about sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

The article compares dressing immodestly in public to leaving the keys in a parked car and encourages women to practice "risk management" to prevent rapes. The result is a deeply objectifying argument that transforms women into property that can be stolen and implies that assault victims are simply not doing their part to prevent their own rapes.

A full list of the article's gross inaccuracies can be found below. We demand that CBMW and TrueWoman retract these posts and make a full apology to their readership immediately.
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"Telling a girl to be careful about the way she dresses, where she goes, and how she behaves is about risk management, not victim blaming. Risk management is an important consideration in many areas of life. For instance, earlier this week a local hockey player left his car unlocked and key in the ignition when he jumped on the team bus for an out-of-town game. He's lucky his car wasn't stolen. "

This paragraph reveals the author's ignorance about rape, and the fact that she is buying into many cultural myths about sexual assault that your blog surely does not want to reinforce. Research has shown that men are NOT likely to rape women based on their dress or that man's sexual desire for that woman; rather, rape is primarily a crime of violence, not a crime of passion, and is no more or less likely to occur because of a woman's attractiveness or "slutiness". See, for example, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3210146 . If rape is not caused or motivated by a woman's dress or behavior, then to suggest that women can "manage their risk" of being raped by being more "modest" is false, and encourages misinformation among young women. Further, it encourages women to see themselves as being responsible for being raped, rather than to place full blame on the perpetrator, who made a choice to commit an act of violence.

Furthermore, the author claims the following: " Women can be bad too. Female to male domestic violence is statistically just as prevalent as male to female. And the feminist argument that women act this way because of the patriarchal system is simply not true. " But she never actually supports the claim that patriarchy or culturally-enforced ideas of male sexual entitlement don't have anything to do with rape. She simply declares this "untrue," with no support, and moves on. Frankly, this is poor argumentation, but she offends further by claiming that "female to male domestic violence" is as prevalent as male to female DV, a claim she supports by citing Wikipedia. However, for more credible sources, such as studies by the FBI, Centers for Disease Control, and Bureau of Justice Statistics have revealed the opposite: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/intimate/victims.cfm . Men are far more likely to be perpetrators of intimate partner violence than women, plain and simple. And frankly, even without these statistics, logic prevails when we have this conversation; the amount of physical damage that a man can do to a woman far outweighs that which a woman can do to a man.

The problems with this article go beyond bad writing and misinformation. There is such a vast wealth of resources and information out there concerning the causes and prevention of sexual violence that to write this post based on myths, misconceptions, and shaky impressions was just lazy. Further, the lack of research in this article reveals a disrespect to survivors of rape. It reinforces uninformed myths about the causes of rape and blames women for being survivors of this violent crime. To publish this kind of writing discredits these sites immensely, and speaks ill of the quality of the writers they endorse. This blog post needs to be retracted immediately, with full apology from its author, and replaced with a writing that gives due respect and compassion to survivors of rape and intimate partner violence.

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  • Mary Kassian and the staff of CBMW and TrueWoman


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