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Monday Midday Links: Seal Team 6 Trademarked by Disney

Just a few days after the killing of Osama Bin Laden carried out by a special operations group that the press has called SEAL Team 6, Disney applied for and received a trademark for SEAL TEAM 6. The trademark is to be used in conjunction with “toys, games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles; hand-held units for playing electronic games other than those adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor; Christmas stockings; Christmas tree ornaments and decorations; snow globes; entertainment and education services; clothing, footwear and headwear.  (Link first via CBS News)

There was a mark granted to a person in Hong Kong for Navy Seals Team that has since been abandoned attached to PLASTIC TOYS, NAMELY, ACTION FIGURES and ACCESSORIES THEREFORE, TOY GUNS, CARS and TRUCKS, MOTORCYCLES, WATER GUNS and Men, stylized, including men depicted in caricature form and  Astronauts (men); Frogmen; Men, other, including frogmen, men wearing space suits and men wearing monocles; Monocles (men wearing) and Dart boards; Targets without crosshairs or alignment guides.

There is also a current mark granted for PADI SEAL TEAM for :Educational services, namely conducting classes, seminars, and workshops in the field of aquatics, diving with self contained breathing apparatus, snorkeling, safety, and oceanography, substantially directed toward youth programs; entertainment in the nature of free diving, diving with self contained breathing apparatus, and snorkeling exhibitions substantially directed toward youth programs.”

And MetroGames US trademarked “Team 6″ in reference to “Entertainment services, namely, providing on-line computer games”

The Disney mark doesn’t specifically address books but rather “entertainment services” but my guess is that publishers, who are notoriously risk averse, won’t be anxious to naming a series of books “Team 6″ in the future.

****

There is a fascinating debate that took place over at the Guardian on the issue of whether women should watch what they wear or whether what they wear can incite sexual violence.  This was touched on by Robin’s piece a couple of weeks ago about sex and the rape fantasy.

Unless, for example, we subject the entire argument to a reversal of logic. Instead of the argument above, let’s try this one: If we had no inequality between men and women, we would not see sexual submission or dominance as symbolic of that inequity. But because we do have so much inequity, it’s easy to see sexual behavior and sexual desire through that same lens. However, isn’t it possible that these two things are completely separate? That we can enjoy equity in the boardroom and power plays in the bedroom?

Woman have to watch what they wear, is the argument of some, because men are so weak that they believe that anyone wearing a short skirt and having imbibed too much liquor must also want to have sex, even if they say no.

Julie Bindel: That’s a terribly sad indictment of masculinity today. Why aren’t we telling men: stop raping women? Rather than women celebrating this misogynistic term “sluttiness”. What is different about what the Canadian police officer said and what police officers have said through time immemorial when killers and serial rapists are on the loose, which is: “Women, don’t go out on your own at night, stay indoors.” They don’t say to men: “There’s a curfew on you.” The curfew is on us. What’s different from what the chief constable of West Yorkshire said during the Yorkshire Ripper reign to this Canadian police officer? Men are the ones harming women.

and

Vicky Simister: I do think women have become objectified, but that is a separate point. Society does not say don’t rape, it says don’t get raped. Everywhere you look, the onus is on the woman to not experience harassment, and there’s very little to say, actually we condemn rape. Only 6.5% of all rape cases end in conviction. That shows this attitude is extremely dangerous. The fact that Shaista can cover it up and get respect is great for her as an individual, but for a gender I think it’s terrible.

In contrast:

Jo-Anne Nadler: I’m really interested in what Brix said, she was playing a role, but that role sends out a particular message. You were wearing the uniform of the street walker, and therefore you made yourself vulnerable to being misinterpreted. While I found the way the policeman expressed himself completely inappropriate, and women should not be held responsible for an attack on them, I do wonder about a lot of the fashion now, with young girls particularly dressing very provocatively, and perhaps they don’t realise the subliminal message they send out. So there is an interpretation of what the policeman said, more sympathetic to his view, which is that actually women can be making themselves vulnerable, particularly young girls. Our very sexualised society puts pressure on young girls to dress that way. If they gave it more thought, they wouldn’t feel comfortable with what they were saying about themselves.

Anyway, it’s a fascinating discussion.

****

I know that there are quite a few authors who think these numbers won’t mean anything until they are above the 50% mark and those authors would be wrong because reach of an author’s book is only one factor.

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/sarahw/status/65520017495691264"]

Another sign that consumers are moving away from physical media? DVD sales have dropped 40% in the last year.

*****

Will romance books featuring hockey heroes ignore the state of the game?  Very few of the hockey romances today deal with the issue of concussions.

In fact, in both recent release from Rachel Gibson, Any Man of Mine, and Deirdre Martin, Icebreaker, featuring an “enforcer” type of character. In Icebreaker, the hero is actually being charged with assault for a particularly tough hit.  Although Martin’s book, Penalty Box, does have a hero is forced out of the game at the height of his career because of concussions.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, the league’s biggest name, missed the finals months of the 2010-11 season after he sustained a concussion in January.

Earlier this year, the devastating effects of repeated head trauma were highlighted by a post-mortem examination on the brain of Bob Probert, one of hockey’s most famous brawlers.

The results showed Probert suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative disease similar to Alzheimer’s that is thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head.

*****

Speaking of sports in romances, there are a couple of romance authors writing about bull riders in the PBR circuit.  Chad Ochocinco, a flamboyant wide receiver in the NFL, agreed to ride a bull upon the challenge of the COO of the Professional Bull Riders.

Ochocinco basically got bucked off in the chute which he says is “embarrassing” but helped to do what the PBR folks hoped it would – bring to the attention of a wider audience that bull riders are real athletes.  The goal is to stay on for eight seconds.  Cat Johnson and Lorelie James write about the PBR circuit but my favorite author who writes about cowboys and rodeos would be Anne MacAllister.  Her older Silhouette Desires are being digitized but not my favorite which is The Eight Second Wedding.

*****

I loved this article about the supposed slate of a family of Android devices Amazon is purportedly cooking up, everything from a smartphone to an iPad rival.  It took Bezos a while to come up with a decent looking design for the Kindle so I am recoiling a bit with horror at what these tablet devices might look like.

*****

Here is an interesting (albeit a bit degrading) article on romance readers as the driving force behind ebooks today.  Harlequin is an innovator in the digital book field and last quarter contributed 50% of Torstar’s operating profit. What is it about romance books that makes ordinary journalists try to emulate a passage in the article itself?  As I said previously, the rise of digital publishing makes reach not as important.  Jenna Petersen notes in the article

“I can charge a lot less to the reader and actually make more money per book,” notes Petersen, who also writes the Passionate Pen, a romance industry blog. Where a typical contract would return 60 cents in author royalties on the sale of a $7.99 novel, Petersen explains, she nets $2 of every $2.99 online sale through Amazon. “So I sell a third as many books and make the same amount of money.”

Petersen is trying to put out a title a month.  This urge to churn out content makes me queasy as a reader. Are we getting anything of quality these days?  Another epublisher will be putting out three books a day soon. 3 a day, 7 days a week.

*****

Finally, I am going to use this space to gripe about something today. I am really REALLY sick and tired of the scene where the heroine is looking at a sunset or a landscape and says “beautiful” and then the hero repeats the word and instead of looking at the sunset, he is looking at her.  The first ten times I read this passage, I might have liked it but now I hate it. It’s lazy and trite and the next time I read it, I am going to delete the passage from the book.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

40 Comments

  1. becca
    May 16, 2011 @ 10:13:51

  2. Susan Helene Gottfried
    May 16, 2011 @ 10:29:25

    Not particularly relevant, but sort of… there’s talk that the weekend’s death of New York Ranger Derek Boogaard was related to the concussion he suffered five months ago. No one is saying it officially, but I’ve sure heard a lot of speculation among fans, and the media is acknowledging the speculation.

    So… yeah. I’d love to see fiction addressing this issue. I’d do it myself if I weren’t so backlogged. Could be interesting to speculate what might happen to Sid if he can’t play anymore. But… I can’t go there. I love my Sid the Kid.

  3. Kathleen Dienne
    May 16, 2011 @ 10:43:59

    “Are we getting anything of quality these days?”

    Well… you’re writing one of the top review sites online. You’d know the answer better than I would ;)

    As for one a month – it really depends on the writer and what she’s writing. If she’s trying to do an 80K book each time, she needs to be writing 2600 words of new material every day, seven days a week, and spend her afternoons editing new material.

    If she’s trying to put up a 20K word novella every month? She could write a thousand words a day Monday through Friday, devote a couple hours in the afternoon editing older material, and have weekends off and a nice nap every day.

    I’d still be in awe in the latter case, as I have not yet had twelve really good novella ideas, total :)

  4. Gwynnyd
    May 16, 2011 @ 10:45:19

    So… Disney is going to take the Navy to court for breeching Disney’s copyright the next time the Navy orders some uniform patches for Seal Team 6? That copyrighting is wrong on so many levels.

  5. Jane
    May 16, 2011 @ 10:47:44

    @becca: I did. I don’t know if that means that there are new digi only pubs who are working with NetGalley bc as of now, it is only Avon, Carina, and Red Sage, as far as I know.

    @Gwynnyd: There is no SEAL Team 6. There are teams 1-5, 7-12. In any event, of course not. The more that the Navy does with the SEALs, the better off Disney is.

  6. Jeannie Lin
    May 16, 2011 @ 10:51:29

    I similarly felt that the Globe and Mail article held good information, but was just degrading in tone. Will journalists figure out that opening an article by making fun of romance cliches is, well, cliched? The initial characterization of Donna Hayes, an important executive in Harlequin Enterprises, as a fluttery romance heroine facing a masculine, corporate figure was downright insulting. And the initial use of the word “cheap” to describe romance novels adds the connotation of the books being low-valued versus low-priced and inexpensive, which the article later goes on to discuss.

    I don’t go out of my way to be offended by romance snark, but I thought twice out RT’ing this article because of my initial reactions. Please journalists — use your words a little better. They are your bread and butter, after all. And stop sounding like every other article about romance out there and thinking that it’s somehow clever when you do it.

  7. Gretchen Galway
    May 16, 2011 @ 10:52:47

    When I saw your promise of a rant, I hoped it would be about Disney’s trademarking deal. But I think I heard your quiet disgust between the lines.

  8. Jane
    May 16, 2011 @ 10:56:03

    @Gretchen Galway: Part of me is disgusted and part of me is happy. The IP system is in real need of reform. Every time someone yells for stricter IP rights, particularly when it is a content creator, I’m struck dumb. Stricter IP rights helps corporations, not individual content creators.

    I think the Disney TM’ing Seal Team 6 is a symptom of a very sick system. Hopefully things like this will alert people, particularly content creators, of what dangers exist with stricter IP rights. Pretty soon copyrighting an idea will no longer be verboten. We’ll all be reading pirated material then because all the legitimate work will be packaged deals from corporations like Disney and Time Warner.

  9. Robin/Janet
    May 16, 2011 @ 10:57:35

    I don’t think I’ve read enough of those scenes you rant about at the end there, but my current rant involves the proliferation of internal narration on the part of Romance protagonists. I noticed it acutely in the last two Rachel Gibson novels — it seemed like the protags were writing freaking novels in their head and relating them in long-hand to the reader. I don’t know about anyone else, but I just don’t think in full paragraphs, let alone string many of them together to run a coherent narrative of my life in my head, especially while I’m engaged in doing something else.

    I’m not sure whether or not this would be classified as “lazy storytelling,” but it reminds me of the reason I stopped reading Brockmann, namely the LONG internal monologues one or both protags would be having right before a kiss or other act of intimacy. Hello, who can even think at that point, let alone tell a whole story about some significant past event some imagined reader needs to understand?

  10. Gretchen Galway
    May 16, 2011 @ 11:05:27

    @Jane:

    That’s a good point. I hope you’re right. My husband is an open-source software geek and is always playing devil’s advocate about IP issues. It would be appropriate for Disney to be the one to go so far over the top that there’s finally some backlash. (If I had created Winnie the Pooh, I’d be first in line to spank their bum – I’d rather my work were in the public domain than part of Disney corp forever.)

  11. Mireya
    May 16, 2011 @ 11:39:55

    Sheesh, they trademark everything this days, don’t they. I find it disturbing on several levels.

    As to allowing small girls to dress like sexy adults, personally, I find it sick. Let the children be children. They will have to deal with over-sexualization of everything soon enough. And this applies to plastic surgery as well, btw. Did you read the news mentioning a beautician mother who sees nothing wrong with injecting botox on her 8 year old? Of course, now social services is looking into it. No further comment.

    Regarding the mass production of ebooks, that is exactly what made me stop reading books by Ellora’s Cave, with very few exceptions. They turned into a “book factory” not a publisher. I will not read books by any epublisher that operates that way. I got tired of feeling like I was wasting money, so for now over 5 years, I have been sticking to my tested and trued authors that are still being published there. I apply this to any other epublisher that operates in similar fashion, and I will not touch any new epub that begins that way. In my personal experience, when a publisher operates like a “factory” the quality suffers, and I work hard to earn a salary, to waste it on DNF books. If that means I will read less, so be it. I feel quite strongly about this. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that these factory-like epubs will not invest or will not have the resources to invest in real editors. EC got away with it, but EC had already established their brand name, and that is exactly what they banked on, they have an established “brand” so they didn’t feel they needed to bother to improve the editing and that they could handle a ridiculous amount of output. The loss of a few readers didn’t impact them, because of their established “brand” status. Am not too sure other, less known epubs will succeed as to that respect if they turn into factory-like operations.

  12. Black Velvet
    May 16, 2011 @ 11:41:10

    I think the next time a sunset scene plays out it should be the guy looking out and saying beautiful and the woman should be looking down at his package and say repeat the same phrase, that would be a good update to a tired and overdone scene.

  13. MaryK
    May 16, 2011 @ 11:43:50

    Huh. Do a lot of “Navy Seals Team” members wear monocles?

    Some of those DVD sales are probably going to Blu-ray. I’ve noticed an irritating trend of studios putting the two disc, extra features version out only in Blu-ray. >:(

    I just read an article about the concussion disease last week or so. A famous retired football player committed suicide, recently I think, because of it. He shot himself in the chest and left a note donating his brain to a group that studies the disease.

  14. SH
    May 16, 2011 @ 12:02:22

    Seeing things like what Disney did drives me insane.

    One similar incident that drives Australians crazy is the American company that stole Ugg boots. ‘Ugg Australia’ is NOT an Australian company, and yet now they’re the only people legally allowed to use the term. I also read an article a year or two ago about American companies doing similar things to products originating in Italy.
    It makes me furious when people say France shouldn’t get so strict about Champagne and other terms, because the alternative is having huge American corporations telling the rest of the world what they can and cannot call their own products.

  15. Lauren
    May 16, 2011 @ 12:19:56

    The mini-rant about the beautiful scenery/heroine scene made me laugh. I just reread Mary Balogh’s “Lord Carew’s Bride” and there’s exactly such a scene in that otherwise sweet romance. I like @Black Velvet’s suggestion for changing it up!

  16. SuperWendy
    May 16, 2011 @ 12:22:52

    This urge to churn out content makes me queasy as a reader.

    I’m glad I’m not alone in this boat.

    The Chad Ochocinco bull-riding story makes me happy. I don’t know why – it just does. Chad’s mouth does annoy, but then he does stuff like this and it’s hard not to like the guy.

    Re: Concussions in hockey – pretty much why I avoid all sports romances. Period. It’s a rare, rare author who can write about this world and make me believe they’ve actually done some homework. Chalk it up to me following entirely too many sports – either on my own, or by proxy thanks to My Man.

  17. Nadia Lee
    May 16, 2011 @ 12:34:04

    Petersen is trying to put out a title a month. This urge to churn out content makes me queasy as a reader.

    According to the article: “Petersen is currently self-publishing a new title every month, drawing mainly on previously rejected manuscripts…” So I don’t think she’s writing / revising one book a month.

  18. Annabel
    May 16, 2011 @ 12:38:47

    @Robin

    Oh YES on the internal italicized monologue that seems to be taking over romance novels these days. I noticed it in Sarah MacLean’s second “9 rules” book and I almost had to put down the book at one point, it got so distracting and annoying.

    I’ve been guilty of doing it too and I think it’s effective in limited amounts and at the right time. But sometimes I just want to hear the hero and heroine speak to each other and interact without all the internal monologue one-liners coming like stop signs in between. When it’s going on in every scene, it’s definitely too much.

    As for the sunset thing… I think at this point even having a h/h looking at a sunset together in the first place is too trite, lol.

  19. joanne
    May 16, 2011 @ 13:03:08

    Disney had a chance to make a difference in the world by donating the profits from this Trademark to the veterans that need help post-deployment. As it stands I hope people will turn away from any and all of the merchandise.

  20. Jaclyn
    May 16, 2011 @ 13:22:36

    Regarding the percentage of publishers’ sales that are attributed to ebooks (tweet quote from @SarahW) these numbers are significant because the COGS for print and e are different, the ROI is different, the B2B (pub to bookstore/pub to library) sales & distribution workflow for ebooks is different than print, there are new B2C opportunities that requires investment and planning, and ebooks require new or altered production workflows. When it’s just a few percent of total business if it doesn’t work well that’s not good but it has less significant impact on expenses and revenue. When it’s 22% of biz? It’s a BFD across the entire publishing organization.

    Another thing to think about–the 18% or 22% of business that is coming from ebooks does not necessarily translate into growth of overall business. It’s possible it could mean a reduction of total revenue. Depends on how much of the 22% is because digital is *replacing* print (print probably has more favorable selling price and distribution terms), versus how much is additional revenue on top of the existing print revenue.

    About the sunset scene, I’ll admit the first time I read one of these it was sweet. Now? I’m indifferent, it’s a ‘been there, read that’ moment. I wonder which is worse: indifference or loathing?

  21. Jane
    May 16, 2011 @ 14:20:17

    @Jaclyn – I actually think ebook sales are under-represented because only, what?, 16 publishers report ebook sales? And I doubt that there is much revenue adding from ebook sales. If anything, the idea that there is a growth in ebooks and a decline in revenue not made up for in growth of ebooks should be even more disconcerting to the authors are maintain that 70% of the market must be “e” before it’s transformational.

  22. Jaclyn
    May 16, 2011 @ 14:48:00

    @Jane, I suspect this is not significant growth, but rather a realignment of revenues. If it is growth, it will only be for the very short term. I personally think print will decline and digital will rise, but not in at the same rate–that is, pubs might see a loss of net revenue before they see a rise from digital growth. Of course this is all educated speculation–I’m not looking at any trend data that proves my hunch. I’d happily be proven wrong on the loss before gains point, but it would be foolish to plan based on the best case scenario.

    I don’t understand the 50-70% to make it transformational point of view. Why so high? Seems like at that point all the transforming will be done and we’ll just be riding the wave.

    Digital, regardless of percentage of revenue, is already significantly disrupting publisher workflows, and staff are developing new expertise and skills. This directly effects authors today because it directly effects the people they work with to publish their books today. There’s no waiting period for transformation–it’s taking place right now and has been for some time.

  23. Ridley
    May 16, 2011 @ 14:57:54

    RIP Boogeyman. Hell of a fighter, that kid.

    As for concussions in my sports romance: meh. Concussions are to sports romance what substance abuse, depression and spousal abuse are to law enforcement or military themed romances – a real problem in real life but spoils the fantasy.

    Even in real life I don’t want to think about them. I want to imagine Shawn Thornton and Patrice Bergeron lead happy, healthy lives post-NHL. How can I watch and enjoy hockey if I am to assume a Probert-like end for my favorite players?

  24. Moriah Jovan
    May 16, 2011 @ 16:17:40

    @nadialee

    I have about five under-the-bed manuscripts I’ve thought about revising and publishing, but it would take me a lot longer than a month to do one.

  25. Lynn S.
    May 16, 2011 @ 16:37:31

    @Robin/Janet: Long internal monologues right before the clinch mess with the time space continuum but who knows, maybe Einstein was a closet romance novelist. My favorite annoyance is the first person retelling of a story in what appears to be one incredibly long speech. I recently read In Pale Battalions, loved the book, but had to laugh at the thought of this epic relating of events with no meals, potty breaks, or sleep; come on, at least a glass of water please.

    Deleting trite passages from a book. If that isn’t one of the joys of a DRM free ebook, I don’t know what is.

  26. Merrian
    May 16, 2011 @ 17:03:09

    @Susan Helene Gottfried:

    Andrea Speed writes a great m/m series published by Dreamspinner with a Shifter hero, Roan who is like no other shifter you have imagined – shifting is the result of a virus and people have hard lives and die young after they are infected. But my link to this discussion is that Roan has a whole hockey team as friends much to his surprise. So you see not just the occasional game but the training and in the latest story Scott, the team captain has been hospitalised with concussion. I first read these stories on fictionpress where Andrea writes as ‘notmanos’ so I am not sure if Dreamspinner is up to this book yet.

  27. Kate Pearce
    May 16, 2011 @ 18:28:44

    I love books about the PBR, (actually I love everything about the PBR,) and try and read everything that comes out. When I wrote my PBR type romances for Virgin Cheek a few years ago, I contacted the PBR folks to find out about injuries to bull riders and they were very helpful, which helped me get the details right for my out of luck bull rider meets orthopedic surgeon romance. The only issue I have with real life bull riders is that they tend to be pretty short like jockeys. :(

  28. Jane
    May 16, 2011 @ 19:59:01

    @Kate Pearce & @Ridley – man, reality ruins everything.

  29. Hillary
    May 16, 2011 @ 20:10:44

    I read the Guardian article and feel that Shaista said it best…”rape is about power”. But this blogger has a really interesting approach to fashion that is based largely on the politics of how women dress, not for themselves, but for how others perceive them. And she’s usually pretty funny too :) http://www.manrepeller.com/

  30. Keishon
    May 16, 2011 @ 20:16:43

    I am really REALLY sick and tired of the scene where the heroine is looking at a sunset or a landscape and says “beautiful” and then the hero repeats the word and instead of looking at the sunset, he is looking at her. The first ten times I read this passage, I might have liked it but now I hate it. It’s lazy and trite and the next time I read it, I am going to delete the passage from the book.

    Wow. I’ve been away from romance too long I guess as that scene doesn’t bother me. You ought to do a post on the most used phrases/scenes in romance. I’d be curious to read what other scenes readers are sick of reading. I’m sure I had a list at one time but my memory.. (fail).

  31. willaful
    May 16, 2011 @ 23:54:41

    I haven’t run into that cliche, but my husband does a very cute version of it. He’ll say, “that’s beautiful” and then look at me and say, “the view is nice, too.”

    For some reason, repetition of this never bothers me. :-)

  32. Kaetrin
    May 17, 2011 @ 04:52:46

    Julie Bindel: That’s a terribly sad indictment of masculinity today. Why aren’t we telling men: stop raping women? Rather than women celebrating this misogynistic term “sluttiness”. What is different about what the Canadian police officer said and what police officers have said through time immemorial when killers and serial rapists are on the loose, which is: “Women, don’t go out on your own at night, stay indoors.” They don’t say to men: “There’s a curfew on you.” The curfew is on us. What’s different from what the chief constable of West Yorkshire said during the Yorkshire Ripper reign to this Canadian police officer? Men are the ones harming women.

    I read the above this morning and I’ve been thinking about it all day. At first read, I thought it made a lot of sense but the more I thought about it, the more I changed my mind. Absolutely rape is wrong. While different, so is robbery. But sending a message to lock your doors or install a good security alarm is not, I think, approval of robbery, any more than telling a woman (or a man for that matter) that it is unsafe to walk down dark alleys at night and it would be better not to do that. If there were an escaped weirdo on the loose weilding a weapon, I’m sure the authorities would be doing all they could to catch him/her but at the same time, sending a message for residents in the area to stay indoors and locked up tight. There was just something about Ms. Bindel’s argument that, I felt, missed the point. Again, I’ll say that rape is wrong, but I don’t actually believe that teaching someone safe behaviour is condoning the bad behaviour – I think they are two separate issues. FWIW I think we should be doing better at telling men not to rape, but teaching people how to be safe in the meantime is still a good thing I think.

  33. FD
    May 17, 2011 @ 06:24:17

    @Kaetrin:
    Yes, except there really isn’t any way you can definitively be safe, and telling us, or our daughters that is not doing them any favours – all it adds is a great heaping pile of blame to the trauma that rape victims suffer.

  34. DS
    May 17, 2011 @ 07:46:22

    @Kaetrin: I was rather thinking your way, then I thought about the likelihood that someone would be raped by a stranger rather than an acquaintance or family member– 28% vs 62% according to one source I’ve read. However, I am positive that acquaintance/date rape/incest is under reported.

    On further consideration I doubt if what a woman wears has a lot of affect on whether or not she is sexually assaulted although I know this has been used as an excuse by rapists. I think that the thriller cliche where the woman unknowingly has her assailant in the house with her is a metaphor for where the statistical danger may lie.

  35. LG
    May 17, 2011 @ 08:11:39

    @Kaetrin: Hm. I walk to and from work. I have for the past three years and nothing has ever happened. In fact, I rarely come across any other people, probably because 1) people seem to prefer to drive, even when their destination is less than a mile away and 2) people have an amazing amount of fear.

    I think the fear relates to this discussion. It’s not the kind of fear that gets your heart pumping and induces a fight-or-flight reaction, more the kind of fear that makes you not do things you might otherwise do. I am still told by people that I shouldn’t be walking to and from work, because it’s “dangerous.” I might be mugged. I might get stabbed. I might be raped. Never mind that driving a car has its own dangers – in my small town, I hear more about deaths and serious injuries due to car accidents that I do about muggings, rapes, and stabbings, and yet people are shocked at the idea that I do such a “dangerous” activity as my 25-minute round-trip walk to and from work. I am really, really tired of everyone trying to make me be more afraid than is really necessary.

    There is no way you can ever be safe. You are potentially in danger from something, ever minute of every day. And yet there is an amazing amount of focus on the danger people are in from other people. When it comes to women, it’s even worse – we’re supposed to fear every man we walk by. Yes, I could be mugged, stabbed, raped, etc. during my walks, but why is it that I’m supposed to fear all of that more than getting hit by someone who ran a red light?

  36. Kerry Allen
    May 17, 2011 @ 08:37:50

    @LG: Do you dive into the intersection without breaking stride, or do you look at the traffic and adjust your behavior accordingly?

  37. LG
    May 17, 2011 @ 08:43:35

    @Kerry Allen: Of course I look at traffic – there’s a difference between that and not doing the activity entirely out of a generalized fear of what people, men in particular, might do to me because I am a woman. There are a lot of people who treat that generalized fear as something that is just as valid as, say, the fear of getting hit if you dive blindly into traffic. That’s what bothers me.

  38. Kaetrin
    May 17, 2011 @ 19:54:35

    Perhaps I didn’t express myself very well. I agree there is no way you can be definitively safe. If a robber REALLY wants to get into your house, he/she will, not matter how good your security. That doesn’t mean however, one cannot do things to be safer. I don’t see a corollary to teaching/advising people recommended safe behaviours and condoning a crime however. I think the two things are quite separate. I’m all for catching the bad guys and educating people about how to respect one another etc but we’re not living in a crime free utopia and to me, that means it’s a good idea to consider one’s own situation and safety and make, as much as it is possible to do so, sensible safe decisions to make it less likely (in so far as it is possible to be done – in some circumstances, I don’t think it is possible but there are many where there are) to be a victim of crime. I wasn’t really commenting about what clothes a woman wears and whether a short skirt invites rape (I don’t believe it does BTW) – I was responding to Ms. Bindel’s comment about women being told to stay indoors instead of men having a curfew and then using that to suggest that the authorities are therefore soft on crime. I just think the two things are different issues, that’s all.

    I’m NOT saying that anyone asks to be raped by their behaviour or their clothing etc.

  39. Jane
    May 18, 2011 @ 11:06:57

  40. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Linkity ah-choo!
    May 20, 2011 @ 19:09:51

    [...] news and more: Dear Author and [...]

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