July 13, 2012

"Not wearing hoodies or not wearing skirts isn’t going to change anything."

Key sentence in a column by Petula Dvorak titled "Blog post about sexual assault in D.C. unleashes torrent of women’s stories."

72 comments:

YoungHegelian said...

Many years ago, when I was a younger man in DC, such things would have never happened to a young woman at Dupont Circle!

A young man, yes.

And, of course, the Washington Post, as racially craven as it always is, never, ever, mentions that it's young black & latino men who are carrying out these assaults. The latinos are especially bad, and seem to have an irresistible attraction to groping something blond.

Emil Blatz said...

The guy did all that while still on the bicycle? Alas, coordination like that, applied to the proper purposes, would have landed him a spot on the table tennis squad of the Olympic team!

edutcher said...

She'd probably have done better to call 911 ASAP.

On the street, you're in a war zone.

And you act like it.

You keep your eyes open, avoid possible ambush sites, and always watch the people around you.

(I negotiated West Philly for several years)

Shanna said...

And many of us don’t think it’s a crime. We don’t call police. We just take it.

Because it's not worth the hassle. Waste time griping about it, file a report, so the police can do nothing? Why bother?

I'm still impressed that guy managed all that from a bike. Maybe she just reported him because she naturally developed a healthy loathing for DC cyclists.

YoungHegelian said...

@edutcher,

3:00 PM at Dupont Circle is not an urban war zone. It's about as sedate as modern urban living can be.

The problem stems from 1)lunkheaded males as per my post above 2) many, many targets of opportunity. DC now is just filled to the brim with young women. It has one of the most lopsided gender ratios of any major city in the country (i.e. many more women than men).

Moose said...

Sorry - I've NEVER ever seen this happen, nor have I ever heard from any woman I know that it has.

I would think stuff like this happens, but not as often as we are lead to believe they happen. I think Gorman is just pissed she couldn't catch the guy.

Pogo said...

"A man pulled up behind me on his bicycle and reached up my skirt. He put his finger into my vagina through my underwear. He laughed and biked away."

In Texas, a woman can defend herself from a sexual assault with a gun.

Not in DC.

And reporting it does nothing. Hard to know if they even keep a tally or, like in Milwaukee and the UK, "misclassify" them so things seem safer on paper.

So why bother calling 911?

A The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38 would have been more useful, and it's very concealable.

But not in DC, because the city is owned by Democrats who don't give a shit about women.

Ann Althouse said...

Can anyone suggest a good technique for fighting back against a cyclist who touches you the wrong way?

He's up on a bike. That's kind of vulnerable. Must be a self-defense technique that would crash him.

Paul said...

Pogo,

D.C. is owned by LIBERALS, not necessarily Democrats (but a heck of alot of them ARE Democrats.) Note NYC's mayor IS a Republican... super liberal.

The really big trouble is D.C. as become a police state and alot of the politicians there don't care.

Oh, and I'd prefer a S&W Centennial, but that is just me!

edutcher said...

Young, you make my point.

No place is really safe and women need to understand that

chuck said...

Carry a cane and stick it through the spokes. Sword canes optional.

Pogo said...

A bullet, Althouse.
Or a blade.
Both are good techniques, but the victim herself said she had no time to react, so a physical response alone is inadequate.

rcocean said...

"The police, to their credit, sent her call to 911, and five police cars showed up."

Sex always draws a crowd.

rcocean said...

Sexually molesting a woman while riding a bicycle -on a sidewalk- and without even stopping.

That's amazing - horrible - but amazing.

And nice to know he had a BB cap on. Was he white, brown, or purple? That might be nice to know too.

Pogo said...

Mustn't profile, rcocean.

Geoff Matthews said...

Five police cars to investigate a sexual assault, where the lady wasn't seriously injured, and the perp was long gone?
Isn't that a bit overkill?

Pogo said...

This is what happens when you raise an entire generation of unmanly men. Fatherlessness amplifies their patholgies. Some turn into barbarians.

Lacking manly virtues, and no curb on their appetites, they turn to evils large and small.

Oso Negro said...

More evidence that Washington, D.C. is not a place decent people would wish to live. What kind of men will tolerate such a level of rudeness in their city?

Oso Negro said...
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Michael said...

A walking stick in the spokes works. A hard push to the handlebars works. A well swung purse works. A 22 caliber bullet works. A well placed rock works. But chasing can work as well, especially in an urban setting where the biker might slam into another object as he speeds away.

bagoh20 said...

I suggest a boomerang.

If this doesn't demonstrate how different men and women are at a very basic level, then nothing will.

Can you imagine women running around doing this to men for a sexual thrill. And they wouldn't even get in trouble for it, yet they still don't.

Women can't really fathom the animal nature of male sexuality. In fact, it's worse than animal. Despite that, most men keep it in check. Frankly ladies, it's amazing. You have no idea what a lions den you walk though every day, only made safe by men's self control, and threat of jail.

If I was a woman, I'd wear a holster with two sidearms and carry and assault rifle at all times.

I don't know how women do it walking around knowing that half the people you pass could easily overpower you, a good number want to for sex, money or worse motivations.

I don't know what's more impressive: the self control of so many men or the courage and trust of women, but it takes a lot of both for us to live side by side.

bagoh20 said...

One blessing of getting older is having that insane sex drive taper off to a level where you only think about it 80% of the time. It's an incredible relief.

rhhardin said...

Bicycles are pretty hard to topple unless you interfere with steering.

Normal riding is constant recovery of balance already.

I'd think you'd want the guy to speed away anyway.

rhhardin said...

Aristotle said of loss of libido with advanced age, that it's like being unchained from a maniac.

rhhardin said...

Japan is said to have women's subway cars.

Just about everything is weirder in Japan.

Marshal said...

"bagoh20 said...
One blessing of getting older is having that insane sex drive taper off to a level where you only think about it 80% of the time. It's an incredible relief."

I used to work with a guy who was looking forward to becoming old and impotent. I don't think that's going to work for me. I rather suspect it's going to make me more irritable than a lack beyong a certain length does now.

On the bright side Obamacare will probably kill me before that happens, so I've got that going for me.

acm said...

Moose said...

Sorry - I've NEVER ever seen this happen, nor have I ever heard from any woman I know that it has.

_____________

Of course it hasn't happened in front of you. If you were walking down the street with your sister or your girlfriend or just close enough to react to some other woman, a stranger, being assaulted, you'd move to protect her and creeps know that. And I imagine if you directly asked the women you know if anyone had ever grabbed them on the street or rubbed against them on the bus or something similar, you'd get a different answer than you're expecting, as it's not something that just comes up in conversation a lot. People don't like talking about unpleasant experiences, especially when doing so upsets the other person to no good end. I had something similar happen to me (dude was not on a bicycle, though that's weird) and I didn't mention it to either of my two brothers, my fifteen male cousins or any of the male friends I had at the time...why would I? One brother was too little for that info at the time and it never came up in conversation since, the other brother would've probably put his fist through a wall that night and then never let me out of his sight again (I did seriously think of calling him when I got home, upset, because we were close but decided against it) and how exactly would it come up in the sort of conversations you have with cousins, co-workers and friends? Of course, it may be true that the women you know have never been assaulted. If you live in an area where it's harder to be anonymous, it's harder for these crimes of opportunity to happen, so if your sisters, girlfriend/wife, and female friends grew up in such places, they may never have had that happen. Or if y'all are from a car-centric place and the women you know have never relied on walking or public transit for much of their lives, same thing (though I suppose it happens in parking lots, too).

Regarding the comments about guns...a gun wouldn't have helped, here. She was taken by surprise and the assault was over quickly. By the time she would've been able to get out her gun, he was riding away. Not even in Texas can you shoot a guy running away.

Shanna said...

Japan is said to have women's subway cars.

Probably not a bad idea, remembering one instance being very pressed up against some guy in a subway car... uncomfortable but there was no where for either of us to go.

D.C. is owned by LIBERALS, not necessarily Democrats (but a heck of alot of them ARE Democrats.)

Are you kidding, Paul? DC is 70/80% Democrat. You are splitting hairs, here.

Marshal said...

acm,

All true.

There seem to be certain places where it becomes part of the culture. Not a dominant part, but enough. Subculture I guess.

"Not even in Texas can you shoot a guy running away."

Nowhere should you risk killing a bystander shooting at a moving target. A call to action by someone in the escape route would be the only option.

Marshal said...

DC is run by leftists, not liberals. Those that aren't Democrats reject the party because it isn't far enough left.

Pogo said...

".....a gun wouldn't have helped, here."

So, has she no defense?
None at all?
Wonderful.

So, Petula and Liz, might as well just learn to enjoy it.

bagoh20 said...

A female friend of mine had a stalker one time. He never made physical contact or even spoke to her, but she would catch him watching her near her apartment. One day she looked out the window and saw him next to her car. Later, when she went to her car there was a note that said, and I quote: "I want to spred you leg."

When she told my elderly Mom the story, Mom said: "Well, you really only need to spread one."

There was also a lovely gift of male DNA on the door handle. Aren't we precious?

The next time she saw him she started yelling at him and chasing him, and he never returned.
~

About a year later, this same girl and a female friend were at a nightclub, and shared some conversation with an attractive young man there. Eventually the two women left together. As they were getting in their car to leave, the guy they were talking to came running out with his pants down and dove in the window of their car right onto their laps, and proceeded to pleasure himself right on top of them as they screamed and tried to get out. He did reach a happy ending before they finally pushed him out.

I don't know why it happened to this same girl twice. She was attractive, but not in any way a knock out. She was kind of plain and never wore make up or dressed suggestively.

I can't explain why guys would do such a thing, but I'm glad they ain't after me. There should be a culling of the herd.

JAL said...

Oh and "the hoodie?"

Purely gratuitous Trayvon reference.

Proportionately what are the number of people (guys) wearing hoodies who are sexually assaulted?

Oh. No, wait. Guys wearing hoodies are felt up every day. No I mean they are shot every day.

No?

Purely gratuitous, inappropriate and inaccurate Trayon reference.

Writer needs to update her knowledge base of the Martin shooting and stop perpetuating the myth.

JAL said...

Shall we have a poll? How many female posters on the have been groped in public?

bagoh20 said...
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bagoh20 said...

As a preteen boy, I was groped a number of times. Once in Atlantic city when I went into a dressing room to try on a bathing suit, the sales guy there came in and put his hand right into the front of the suit and, and then walked out. Even though I was pretty young, I understood what happened. Still, I bought the suit. As I remember, such a thing was more matter-of-fact back then (60's). It was wrong, but it was more of a "he's a freak" reaction where you felt a little sorry for him. Today sympathy is not part of the equation, and it's seen as purely predatory and evil, unless you're a coach at PSU.

Oso Negro said...

Not even in Texas can you shoot a guy running away.

Umm...who told you that? Google "Joe Horn" and "Pasadena" and get back to me.

Pogo said...

I completely escaped, yet my best friend's little brother was molested by a priest where I was an altar boy.

The young man attempted suicide many times over the years as a result.

Carnifex said...

Like Pogo I was unmolested as an alter boy. Took years of therapy to get over the rejection.(bad joke, I know).

We've got an abuse victim living with us now. Her ex was strangling her, throwing her outside on the ground naked, etc...police wouldn't touch it. small town, asses daddy is connected etc.

She's been a neighbor for years, so we moved her in till she can get back on her feet.(ass actually was dumb enough to threaten ME to my wife on the phone...she literally laffed out loud at him. God I love my wife) So we got her up in a half of a room(with a entry lock for her state of mind, a billy bat, and a m1 carbine). Anyway, she gets on line a lot on facebook, and is telling her story on facebook, and guys she had "friend"ed for years are hitting on her! Jesus! What is wrong with people?

And yes, shooting someone who just violated you is a good response. Buy a gun, not from a dealer, practice with it, kill the bastard, clean the gun, drop it, and walk away.

you've done civilization a service, protected future victims, and saved the municipality several thousands of dollars of trial expenditure...who's the good citizen? You are! Yes you are!

leslyn said...
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leslyn said...

"bagoh20,

I don't know why it happened to this same girl twice.

It hasn't occurred to you that you're looking at this like a photographic negative. The question is, why has it happened to her only twice?

leslyn said...
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leslyn said...

Moose,

"I would think stuff like this happens, but not as often as we are lead to believe they happen."

You're a happy ignorant.

leslyn said...

Geoff Matthews said... Five police cars to investigate a sexual assault, where the lady wasn't seriously injured, and the perp was long gone? Isn't that a bit overkill?

What would you like to suggest as the minimum appropriate number to respond in order to avoid "overkill?" Interesting word choice, BTW.

bagoh20 said...

"The question is, why has it happened to her only twice?"

That's part of my amazement. I'm always blown away by both how obscene the male mind is and also how well men control it. I doubt that a woman can understand the extent of this. If you did, you'd be simultaneously terrified and impressed.

The episodes I described above - as gross as they are - are relatively harmless, but still I doubt many women have had either happen even once, let alone twice.

I'm even disgusted when I think back to what my own mind conjured up when I was overdosing on testosterone. Thank God nature sends you to rehab in your 40's. I was about to execute myself for the good of mankind.

leslyn said...

"The episodes I described above -as gross as they are -are relatively harmless, but still I doubt many women have had either happen even once, let alone twice."

You doubt that women have had stalking AND a weird sexual assault happen to them?
To be sure, bagoh20, men are not as well-controlled as you think they are.

Your friend has a long life and many nasty experiences ahead of her. And not because she went to the wrong place or looked the wrong way. Just because she is.

bagoh20 said...

"To be sure, bagoh20, men are not as well-controlled as you think they are."

You prove my point. As I said, women have no idea. You think there is just a certain percentage of men who are sick and have to deal with this, but pretty much they all do. Virtually every single man has a natural innate desire to take complete control of you and with no regard for you whatsoever, but only a very very small percentage ever do anything like that. It's a miracle it not Caligula 24/7.

leslyn said...
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Jim S. said...

I don't think this qualifies as an assault, but: When I was an undergraduate I went into the main library bathroom and took a stall. Someone came in after me and took the stall next to me. No big deal. Then I heard a soft "slap slap slap slap." I looked down and after a few seconds I realized that I see the guy's knees right next to the wall separating the stalls. The guy in the next stall was kneeling next to the partition. Before I could really react, a hand reached under the partition and made a particular motion indicating that he wanted me to assume the same position. I froze for several seconds, then stood up, pulled up my pants, and walked out. It really freaked me out.

I mentioned it to my dad later and he laughed. "Yeah that happened to me once in a gas station bathroom. I stomped on the [censored]'s hand and broke it."

Rusty said...

A stick in the spokes, Althouse.Works every time.
Carry one of those collapsable spring batons in you purse.
Oh and when you connect, don't stop. Go berserker on him.

Shite said...

"
And yes, shooting someone who just violated you is a good response. Buy a gun, not from a dealer, practice with it, kill the bastard, clean the gun, drop it, and walk away.

you've done civilization a service, protected future victims, and saved the municipality several thousands of dollars of trial expenditure...who's the good citizen? You are! Yes you are!"

Obama has discovered just this technique - killing rather than capturing saves money, but more importantly eliminates the embarassing problem of additional prisoners at Gitmo.

Kelly said...

Only place I've ever been groped was at a festival in Germany. I took my four year old daughter on a log ride. I got into a boat with a man and two young girls. I thought they were together. At first the man got behind one of the young girls, than he switched and got behind me. As the ride took off he pulled himself tightly against me and began to grind and grope. I slapped and elbowed. It was perfect really, not like I could get away without injuring myself. We struggled, finally reached the bottom of a hill where my big husband was standing. I all but stood up and was frantically pointing to the man behind me.

The guy backed off and when we reached the end he disappeared into the crowd. I was so angry and humiliated, but you know what? I'm glad it was me and not one of the young girls I'm sure he was after before I came along.

Jay said...

Ann Althouse said...
Can anyone suggest a good technique for fighting back against a cyclist who touches you the wrong way?


Yes.
Kick the bike as hard as possible to knock the cyclist off balance. When he dismounts or falls, start scratching his face and screaming "rapist" at the top of your lungs.

Unknown said...

There's an old saying that goes "An armed society is a polite society". Folks that are dismissing the use of handgun in this situation are missing the larger point. In a society where CITIZENS have the right to self defense, creeps like this are risking their lives when the assault people. As a result, they move on to places like DC, where they know the SERFS are defenseless and dependent on the police, who can not possibly be all places all the time.

CITIZENS also tend have a different mindset than SERFS. For example, CITIZENS - used to taking care of themselves and their community - are much more likely to come to the aid of their fellow CITIZENS. As a result, Mr. Bike Groping A**hole is much more likely to get his ass beat.

Don't think this is true? I'd bet dime to a dollar that you can find a hundred stories like this from gun banning, lefty big cities like DC, Chicago, NYC, LA, etc. but very few from big cities in free states where citizens have the right to self defense and aren't totally dependent on the state for basic personal safety.

leslyn said...

This last suggestion was the only one that made sense. The others--nice to think of, but there was no TIME. Even for this suggestion--when it happens fast and you're shocked--you may miss the opportunity.

I've experienced stalkers, assaults, and the sneaky setups of sexual predators. I dress modestly. I don't throw myself at men. I've learned about the signs of predators. And I'm brave. In an unrelated incident, a daredevil guy told me, "I wish I had your [physical and mental] courage."

All of which is to say, it's not like TV when it happens to you. I believe for the vast majority of women, once past the shock, we quickly and sensibly take stock and figure out how to get out of it while staying alive and making sure he doesn't come back--for revenge.

Many times that means he gets away before we can call police. Not the best outcome, but better than being dead, injured or still vulnerable to unexpected revenge attack. Or, you could call the police, but you cannot prove what happened even when there was a crowd around. I believe in calling the police. Sometimes doing what you have to do to get out and stay safe doesn't make that a viable option.

That's inexpressibly awful. Once I blacked out. Once, a grown woman, I called for my mother. Sometimes there is no one there to help you.

I'll never tell a woman she "should" have done something else. Neither will the good martial arts instructors. I don't stand in her shoes. She's doing the best she can at the time. If she came out alive, she did the right thing.

Learning how not to think of oneself as a victim brings great empowerment to a woman. Some men don't like it. Some men here will call you a FemiNazi or worse.

Too fucking bad for them.

leslyn said...
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leslyn said...
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leslyn said...
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acm said...

@Unknown, my story is from San Antonio, Texas, pretty much the definition of a large city in a free state. It's not even as liberal or scuzzy as, say, Houston. We have plenty of guns, and I do, actually, feel safer from many crimes because of it. But guns simply can't protect you from *all* crimes. The run-up-and-grab-ass or ride-by-and-stick-hand-up-skirt type assaults rely on the fact that the victim is taken by surprise and can't react until he's already fleeing, when shooting would be illegal (yes, say Joe Horn all you want---he narrowly missed prosecution because the robber was actually in his yard, running across it, which meant he was covered by Castle Doctrine, and because of PR reasons), unlikely to actually hit (how many average people are that good at hitting a moving target) and out of proportion. I feel that my experience was awful and traumatic, but I'd have a hard time killing someone, especially someone who was so young (he couldn't have been older than 25, I don't think) over it. Even if I'd felt he deserved the death penalty for assaulting me that way, my hands were shaking too badly to fire a gun, hell, I couldn't even *scream* right away. It's honestly a little like advocating the use of a gun to thwart purse-snatchers. Dang, granny, you shoulda shot that mo fo!

Now, if I'd been where there was another man around to react, and *he* was armed that might be a little more of a deterrent to the creep. But, really, having a man nearby at all is often enough deterrent. Creeps attack when people are vulnerable. Of course, though, when a man does come upon a woman being assaulted, I imagine he generally turns his attention to making sure the woman is alright before trying to catch the assailant, so, there we are again.

It is harsh and mean to say "guess Liz and Petula better learn to enjoy it" but, really...creeps exist. We try to catch them when possible, but, yeah, women do accept that we walk through risky situations. We try to mitigate that risk, of course, but unless we all never venture outside even at 3:00 in the afternoon, the threat never goes totally away, and there's nothing wrong with accepting that. There is something wrong with all the post-assault-quarterbacking "she shoulda put a stick through his spokes!" and the like. Yes, it would've been great if she'd been able to knock him down and detain him long enough for the police to get there, but that's a bit much to expect from the victim. Victims often freeze, and they shouldn't be constantly told how they should've actually acted like trained soldiers or superheros.

Erika said...

There are lots of creeps who can't control their appetites in society. Doesn't make it OK, but it's not never going to happen, either. I'm glad to at least live in a place where that kind of behavior is universally condemned. Most places in the world, it isn't. Try making an issue of a groping like this in Italy, or Japan, or Saudi Arabia.

leslyn said...
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Oso Negro said...

Leslyn - Wherever the points are kept for righteous indignation at perceived racism, I am sure your score has increased. Perhaps YoungHegelian was relying on anecdotal evidence which is contradictory to yours. Or perhaps he was relying on information from the FBI crime statistics, which would heavily support his supposition.

leslyn said...
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leslyn said...

Oso Negro:
Did those crime statistics identify the race of the perpetrator and the victim in each individual case? And where do I find them?

Oso Negro said...

Leslyn - The FBI maintains an extensive database of Uniform Crime Reports. It is impressive in the amount of information available. You can find things like incident rate of rape of black women by white men, etc. Remember of course, that it is a compendium of national statistics - therefore individual experiences (such as your positive one with black men) will of course deviate from the aggregate statistics.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr/

Oso Negro said...

Leslyn - Here is a DOJ victimization report from 2005. I am sure there is something more recent, but I could find this quickly. Check Table 42 to for some perspective on the relative frequency of inter-racial sexual assault.

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cvus05.pdf

Nichevo said...

Crickets, eh, leslyn? Cat got your tongue?

Did you feel you could make ignorant statements because nobody had troubled to collect the data.that would deflate such platitudes?

I'm sure ISO breathlessly awaits your response. Which will, I am sure, be "sorry, you were right and I was wrong."

Actually then pigs would fly and the world would end, so stick to your guns there, dolly.

Nichevo said...

Sorry ISO//Oso.

leslyn said...

Oso Negro,

Thanks for the sources. I am working from a smart phone this weekend, and the pdfs won't download for some reason. (Not very smart, that.)
I am interested in seeingvthem and plan to do so Monday, although this post will probably be in the AA archives by then. I'll post a note anyway.

Do you have a conclusion as to race-based sexual assaults, and if so, does it correlate with general arrest percentages?

As is obvious, it's been my impression that violent crime generally follows a same-race pattern.

Nichevo,

It's Saturday. I don't spend all day here, boyo.

Oso Negro said...
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Oso Negro said...

Leslyn - I do not have any conclusion. The data suggests that black women who are assaulted are overwhelming assaulted by black men. White women who are assaulted are mostly assaulted by white men, but often by black men. In the 2005 data set, Table 42 does not distinguish Hispanic, but includes them in the white category. In Washington, D.C., the last census data said 50.7 % black, 34.8% non-hispanic white. One might infer from the census numbers plus the victim data that a woman of any race wandering the streets of Washington might be more likely to be assaulted by a black man. But again, no inference may be drawn about the next black you meet on the street nor your individual experience.

leslyn said...

Yes. Thank you for being so patient with your information.