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Most of my blog posts make at least some attempt at humor, and I’m never sure whether to be delighted or astonished when readers find them amusing. This isn’t going to be one of those posts.

When each of my four children left home, my husband advised them to attend all classes and visit their professors during office hours. I told them to put their clothes on hangers if they didn’t want to iron them and wear flip-flops if they were using unfamiliar showers.

I realized my parental failure after reading Emily Yoffe’s article, The Best Rape Prevention: Tell College Women to Stop Getting So Wasted. Apparently Ms. Yoffe’s approach is for the victim to either take responsibility for preventing the crime, or accept the blame for the consequences. Based on her parenting advice, I should have told my kids the following:

  1. You shouldn’t let anyone breathe around you. If you end up with pneumonia, you only have yourself to blame.
  2. Never cross the street in a marked crosswalk, on a clear day, with the light. If an ass-chippy plows you down in the convertible her daddy gave her to celebrate getting through her first semester without flunking out, it’s your own damn fault for not jumping out of her way.
  3. Don’t take your eyes off of the iPad that was your high school graduation present, and which held several years of your stories and drawings, because you’re just tempting someone to help themselves to it.
  4. Are you crazy? Why would you try to protect that girl from the drunken, knife-wielding oxygen-waster? You’re just asking for him to come after you next.

Wait… Huh?

I guess I should call my kids back and explain that not only are they personally responsible for the items 1-4 above, but this also explains why half of their preceding generation of relatives is missing. That generation’s parents should have explained that if their children insisted on being born Jews, they would have nobody but themselves to blame if they ended up on the receiving end of the holocaust.

I’m happy to say that Wronging Rights, one of the web’s more effective (and humorous) human rights blogs, disagrees with Ms. Yoffe’s theory. And I’m even happier to say that the Wronging Rights post was written by one of those kids we sent off to buy hangers and attend class. It’s a brilliant piece by my daughter Amanda, and I hope you’ll take a look. 


A Field Guide to the North American Responsibility Troll

I would like to thank Emily Yoffe for her article The Best Rape Prevention: Tell College Women to Stop Getting So Wasted, in which she spends more than 2,700 words explaining young women’s “responsibility” when it comes to preventing their own rapes. Not because I like it – it’s infuriating – but because it serves as a perfect example of a particularly insidious form of concern trolling. Let’s call this sub-species of troll, who criticizes women’s behavior in the guise of being concerned for their well-being, a “responsibility troll.”

The responsibility troll has a problem: he or she has a lot of thoughts about the way Women Ought to Behave, but knows that it’s socially unacceptable to insist directly on double standards for men and women. Luckily, however, our society is totally fine with restricting women’s lives if it’s for their own good (or, sometimes, for their children’s). Problem solved!… [click here for MORE]

From Women Under Siege Project [http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org/blog/entry/a-crime-upon-a-crime-rape-victim-blaming-and-stigma]

From Women Under Siege Project [http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org/blog/entry/a-crime-upon-a-crime-rape-victim-blaming-and-stigma]