(THIS ARTICLE IS MACHINE TRANSLATED by Google from Norwegian)
In your comment in Aften, you write that "unfortunately the biggest responsibility for avoiding being raped on the street must be taken by women themselves." Do you really think that a rape is the victim's responsibility? – No. It is not the victim's fault, a rape is solely the fault of the perpetrator. But in their own interest, women should take the greatest responsibility for avoiding exposure to rape, as women themselves have the most effective methods of preventing rape. One could wish that it was different, but the practical reality is that the most effective way to avoid being raped is to take some precautions yourself.
You want women to "stop walking alone through the city at night", to "spend money on a taxi home", "make sure to accompany someone, or (…) go home early enough that there is still people's life in the streets." So are there women in Oslo who must restrict their freedom of movement for fear of avoiding assault rapes? – Yes, unfortunately this is the consequence.
If we are to take this logic quite far, is it possible to ask whether the Guantanamo detainees are responsible for the torture they are subjected to, because those bearded Muslim men were so stupid as to stay in Afghanistan at any given time? – I simply do not want to answer such a pointed question. I see that this comment has created engagement, I have received a lot of feedback and see that many disagree with me, but also that many agree. I do not quite understand that this text should be so provocative.
Are you not passing on guilt and responsibility from the assailant to the vulnerable woman? – No, not if you read the text. I understand that the title alone with the slightly provocative drawing (the drawing shows city councilor Erling Lae in police uniform supporting a clearly intoxicated woman on her way home from the Christmas table, editor's note) makes it possible for over-
fladian readers to add such content to the commentary, but there is nothing in the text itself that blames the rape on women. On the contrary, this is a comment written in the care of women. The commentary seeks to provide input, ideas and advice on how women can most effectively protect themselves from the risk of rape.
It is a well-known feminist claim that this type of argumentation contributes to guilt, shame and fear in women – both in those who are victims and in those who feel like potential victims. Do you see that this can also be the consequence of your own comment? – I believe that the fear that women feel lies in the very situation that you live and move in a society where there are rapists and potential rapists. That fear is unlikely to be exacerbated by a comment like mine. My topic was not who is to blame for the rapes or what society can do to influence, develop or facilitate that fewer men can develop into rapists. My topic was how women themselves can defend themselves against rape. I think it's a shame that some young feminists today, perhaps including yourself, do not want to discuss this with what women themselves can do to protect themselves. When I wrote a comment about how women themselves control the most effective measures against assault rapes, some people think that this is the only thing I think about the complex. The complex around rape is complex and is of course about much more.
What do you really want to achieve with this comment? Do you not think women in Oslo are already scared enough that they have considered whether they will follow these precautions? – Unfortunately, it does not seem as if everyone is willing to do it. On the reactions, both some of the comments that were in the comments field on aftenposten.no and on a blog that I read this weekend, it may seem that some young women of almost principled feminist attitude under the slogan "take the night back", do not think practically and realistic about what is in their own interest.
There are probably already reasonably few women walking alone along the Akerselva at night? – But unfortunately there are many who do it anyway. Of the assault rapes and attempted rapes that took place over the New Year weekend, all took place against women who walked the streets alone between one and three o'clock at night. There are many young women who do it, I see it myself when I go home with friends, take a taxi or go home with my husband.
One attempted rape during the New Year weekend took place on Rådhusplassen. One last summer happened in Kristian Kvarts gate. Both places are well-lit places where there are usually a lot of people. Furthermore, is it not the case that these precautions will have little bearing on the actual rape statistics? The vast majority of rapes are committed, as you also write, by people with whom the woman knows and has contact. Why then is this where we should insert the shock? – No, I do not mean that this is where we should "insert the shock". These are the fewest rapes, the biggest problem is what goes on between people who are acquainted with each other. The problem is how many men misinterpret and ignore signals, or commit deliberate rapes. I completely agree that this is where the biggest problem related to rape lies, but my comment is related to a very current situation with several rapes and attempted rapes in Oslo in recent days.
I've always read you as a feminist. Is this a feminist comment, do you think?
- Yes, I absolutely mean that, because it is a realistic feminist comment, that women in this area must also take responsibility for their own lives. A feminist does not just leave it to the state, the municipality or the police to take responsibility. A true feminist takes responsibility for her own safety.