Letters to the Editor

Preventing HPV

January 30, 2007


To the editor:

I was fairly disappointed in the coverage given to the HPV bill in the Journal-World on Jan. 26. The article in question never mentions that the vast majority of HPV transmissions occur during premarital sex, and that waiting to have sex until marriage is the surest means of prevention.

I find it hard to understand why we so openly criticize some harmful behavior (smoking, for example) and not others (premarital/ promiscuous sex, in this case).

The comment about date rape was especially harmful, insofar as it attempts to convey the idea that all girls are at risk of date rape, and therefore all girls need this vaccine.

Well, all girls are not at the same risk for date rape; those who are wise enough not to put themselves in dangerous situations (drinking and being alone with a man, perhaps) don't get raped nearly as often.

The article in question failed to address the issue of choice versus risk, but the bottom line is that making smart choices is the best way to avoid contracting HPV. By failing to assert that very basic point, the article endorsed the current social dogma which allows risky behavior to go unquestioned while we expect vaccines to fix all the subsequent problems. No wonder a disease like HPV is such a pressing issue in the first place.

Thomas Knutzen,



Kelly Powell 10 years ago

the dreaded swab test....dear lord that is a painful and embarrassing procedure....but completely necessary....back in my hard core drinking days i was susceptible to urinary tract infections and even though i had not had sex in a loooong while, i had to get these.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 1 month ago

I will point out once again (same answer, different topic) that waiting until marriage to have sex doesn't protect you from getting any type of STD.

Good thing for you, Thomas, that you can only pass along HPV to women, huh? Men apparently don't have the same consequences from it. Society is also fortunate that you remained a virgin until marriage, isn't it? (Yeah, right...)

Whoever told you that rape only occurs if a girl is drunk and alone with a man?

How misguided can you be?

deec 10 years, 1 month ago

ALL women are at risk for rape. They can be raped by the funny uncle. They can be raped on regular ordinary dates. Or walking home from school.

Jamesaust 10 years, 1 month ago

This is the Culture of Life? Cancer is better than sex?

Hey, sorry, nice virgin girl. It must suck to have made such a "bad choice" as to marry that boy you thought was a virgin (he said he was, even had his signed pledge card offering up his virginity for Jesus). Too bad the shameless liar gave you that case of HPV. At least, it wasn't AIDS.

Sorry too, Mrs. Mom, that your husband is such a two-timing playboy and passed on that "bad bug." But the wedding vows did specifically say: "in sickness and in health, until death do us part" leaving the kids with the adulterous groom and his girlfriend, Wanda.

Not so sorry for those hussies though. Got what they deserved. God has a plan after all. What did you expect the consequences of defying his will would be?

And rape? How dare a woman leave her home without being guarded by her husband, father, brother, or son? Especially if she wasn't wearing her burqa!

Its an important strategy in pushing the Culture of Life to punish those who stray, even if only to frighten the rest of the flock in submission.

temperance 10 years, 1 month ago

There are so many things wrong with this letter that it's hard to know where to begin. The idea that some women expose themselves to date rape more than others is particularly offensive. The truly depressing thing is that this letter writer isn't an octogenarian who was raised in sexual Victorianism, but he's only 24 years old. To see these cultural myths about rape reproduced in a new generation is really really sad. I almost pity this guy, but I'm going to save my pity for his wife Amy.

Jamesaust Yeah, it's funny how the "culture of life" operates. Glenn Greenwald makes an interesting comparison here: http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2007/01/just-evolution-in-action.html

crono 10 years, 1 month ago

What next? Will the government force me to brush my teeth, floss, clean my house, exercise 30 minutes 3 times a week, remove transfats from my diet, and not talk on the cell phone while driving? Oh wait... they've tried a couple of those already...

It is enough that the vaccine is available for those who choose to use it. No need for the government to ram it down our throats.

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

How can you get offended by the idea that some women are more at risk for date rape than others? Some women don't even date. I bet it's pretty unlikely that they get raped by someone they are on a date with.

It has also always been my impression that date rape usually happens where people are drinking a lot. Then, when she starts acting funny or passes out - nobody questions it. Therefore, not going to bars would make that less likely.

Why is it so absurd that someone would wait until marriage to have sex? It shows respect for your spouse and makes a person (especially women) at significantly lower risk for Pregnancy, Depression, and a whole host of STD's.

valgrlku 10 years, 1 month ago

No matter how much we fear or oppose governmental interference in our lives, vaccines provide a public service to ALL.

Would the opponents of Gardasil have the same argument against varricella, rubella, meningitis or other required vaccines?? I don't think so.

When a virus or disease reaches epidemic levels, it is for the public good that vaccines to prevent them are required. Please get your heads out of the sand and realize that STDs are at epidemic levels in this country - anything we can do to prevent them should be seriously considered.

Would the opponents of Gardasil make an argument that only immoral or "unclean" individuals contract meningitis or chicken pox and that those required vaccines are unneccesary??

How nice of some men to oppose the HPV vaccine - you won't ever have to worry about dying from cervical cancer!!

Confrontation 10 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

Althea -

That's not the same thing. Most of the time people pledge to remain a virgin at church camp at a very young age. It's easy to do then. I was 12 years old when I went to church camp. I really hadn't hit puberty yet and had zero opportunity alone with a girl. It was much easier then than it was 6 or 8 years later. And everyone that went to that camp pledged. Right or wrong - that's how it happened. I think that's a useless statistic. I'd imagine that religion isn't as much of an influence to remain a virgin until marriage as some think it is.

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

I'm not opposing the vaccine. Meicines have a bad track record - look at Vioxx or any of those kinds of drugs. Look at the debate about vacines with mercury in them. I don't believe this has been on the market very long.

Further, most vaccines that are mandated are for very bad, highly infectious diseases. HPV is only passed through sexual contact.

Why does this have to be mandated? THe girl, when at the age of consent, can go to a doctor and have it given without permission of their parents.

Valgrlku - Yes. I am a man. So what? I have two daughters. Do you somehow think that this is not a hard decision for me? You are very wrong. This is a hard decision. It's no different than the parents that give their kids condoms and tell them to be safe when the have sex. I'd prefer that my kids wait until marriage, but safe sex is very obviously better than unsafe sex. So what do I do? Should I tell my kids that it's OK do something that I don't condone just so that they are safe when they do it?

valgrlku 10 years, 1 month ago

I find it bizarre that some of you need to link this vaccine to unwed sex. Newsflash - PEOPLE HAVE SEX - underage, homosexual, unwed, wedded, etc. I love the Puritanisitic values that some of you exhort, but the REALITY is quite different.

A doctor recently told me that 90% - yes, 90%- of the appointments made are to diagnose or treat HPV. Most of the patients are shocked to learn of their status, and HPV testing is now part of the routine pap exam (as are clamydia and ghonnorhea, just so you know).

To address availability - yes, one can simply go to the doctor and request the vaccine, however, if one doesn't have insurance, it is extremely costly (and I have been told some insurance companies will not cover the cost - sort of like how some insurance companies won't cover the cost of birth control but WILL cover Viagra - Do I see a trend here??).

If the vaccine is mandated, the hope is that the cost will be drastically reduced and that EVERYONE will be able to afford it (as with other required vaccines - there is some support that MEN should be vaccinated as well). Don't we all want our fellow citizens to be healthy and informed ?

Don't make the issue about sex or (im)morality, make it about health and saving lives. Would the same opponenets have this argument against an HIV vaccine should one ever be available??

mom_of_three 10 years, 1 month ago

To say that date/acquaintance rape is linked to drinking is absurd. Date rape can occur after track practice while you are waiting for a ride, at your home while you are doing homework with a friend, or in a car after a dinner and a movie. Alcohol wasn't involved in any of these circumstances and yet it happened. Were people putting themselves in dangerous situations? no. If there is a vaccine which can keep my child from getting a potential fatal disease, then I am all for it.
You can somewhat control what your children do, say and act from teaching by example. But you can't control what everyone else does.

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

mom_of_three -

Doing a google search for "date rape" gives this page as the top result.


Here's a quote from that page. It's funny they made that link as well as me. I didn't say it never happened any toher time, just that it was commonly involved with drinking.

Alcohol and Drugs Alcohol is often involved in date rapes. Drinking can loosen inhibitions, dull common sense, and - for some people - allow aggressive tendencies to surface.

Drugs may also play a role. You may have heard about "date rape" drugs like rohypnol ("roofies"), gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and ketamine. Drugs like these can easily be mixed in drinks to make a person black out and forget things that happen. Both girls and guys who have been given these drugs report feeling paralyzed, having blurred vision, and lack of memory.

Mixing these drugs with alcohol is highly dangerous and can kill.

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

Agnostick -

I didn't say that my daughter will not get the vaccine. She probably will. I didn't realize it was given at age two though. My oldest is about the same age as yours. I probably won't tell her anything, just that it's a shot. She wouldn't understand more than that anyway.

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

valgrlku -

NOT everyone has sex. There are plenty of people that have only had relations with the person they married. And I am not aware that this virus can be spread any way but sexually.

Laura Watkins 10 years, 1 month ago

"Well, all girls are not at the same risk for date rape; those who are wise enough not to put themselves in dangerous situations (drinking and being alone with a man, perhaps) don't get raped nearly as often."

Wow, that is probably one of the MOST ignorant statements I've read in a long time.

pelliott 10 years, 1 month ago

You can't get much jerkier than this guy. Abstinance and faith excludes the advisability of medical help to prevent cancer. That attitude insults and degrades the states of redemption and faith. Raped girls are to blame for being raped because they weren't careful. Crime against women and children can be prevented by them being careful and if they happen to get it then they must have asked for it or been dressed wrong. The raped girls are responsible, not the rapist.. Guess you would feel okay about raping anyone you could catch alone., their fault, right, not yours. Or if someone should have sex and develop the cancer a long painful death is almost as good as stoning them or beheading them, keeps your hands cleaner. Encouraging death to women if they don't meet your criteria for decency is even more evil than raping them, rape victims can suvive, even testify against the monsters. Testimony about you would have to be placed on their stones.

Jackalope 10 years, 1 month ago

Knutzen wrote: ". . .making smart choices is the best way to avoid contracting HPV."

Smart choices are what all parents should seek to instill in their children. But, children are children and often make mistakes. Even older children. Should parents simply look the other way and say "to bad you have to die, but it was your choice?" While parents have a obligation to teach children smart choices, parents also are expected to take every step they can to prevent deadly results from mistakes of childhood and the deadly mistakes of others that infect their children. Even older children. What kind of parent would simply look the other way and simply say "the wages of sin are death?" If that is what a parent wants their child to experience, what ever happened to the concept of forgiveness of sins. Any parent that states that their children will never, never make a mistake is at best a complete fool. Any parent that states that their children, while exercising smart choices, cannot possibly be infected is at best a complete fool. Any parent who would elect to place their child's life at risk when it is so easily avoided are at best guilty of child abuse if not homicide .

deec 10 years, 1 month ago

Date rape drugs mix into soft drinks, too.

crono 10 years, 1 month ago

We could also argue that it is in the "public good" that we brush our teeth, floss, clean the house, exercise 30 minutes 3 times a week, remove transfats from our diet, and not talk on the cell phone while driving. Because the "public good" could be a reason for so many government actions, it isn't a good reason alone to do much of anything.

This boils down to government control versus individual choice. The vast majority (not ALL, but MOST) of HPV cases occur because of lifestyle choice. If you don't want to get the disease, you have several options: barrier protection, abstinence, and the vaccine. As of yet, I see no reason why parents, girls, and women should have their individual liberty revoked for this reason.

Jama Crady Maxfield 10 years, 1 month ago

There is no way to test men for HPV, and it is ridiculously easy to catch. NOT simply through intercourse. The majority of people never know they have it. Secondly, there are many different strands, so there is no ONE HPV virus that everyone is catching. Statistics show that 80% of women between the ages of 18-35 have some strand. That means 80% of men carry it as well. This letter to the editor states so many ridiculous ideas that it isn't worth arguing over. But.....everyone should be worried about this disease. Regardless of sexual beliefs, etc.....it can happen to ANYONE.

werekoala 10 years, 1 month ago

"I see no reason why parents, girls, and women should have their individual liberty revoked for this reason."

Put simply, we require vaccination against any common illness for which a vaccine exists, so giving 8 instead of 7 vaccinations in early childhood can hardly be the insult to our liberties that you facetiously claim.

There is no reason to oppose mandatory vaccination other than a lingering feeling that the little sluts deserve to pay for their behaviors with death.

Look, if this was about a disease transmitted by hand contact, or coughing, or dancing, there would be no question of mandatory vaccinations. It's only because of that terrifying looming figure of S-E-X, and all our conflicted feelings about that subject, that this even becomes an issue.

Tell you what- I'll remove my support if you can PROVE to me that the man who marries my daughter waited until marriage. Otherwise, by failing to require all women to have this vaccine, I'm exposing her to an increased likelihood of encountering it, and of its mutation into a form not blocked by the vaccine.

Confrontation 10 years, 1 month ago

I am definitely in favor of a government mandate. If it were up to some of these idiot parents, their daughters would be chained in the basement until their wedding day. Of course, their sons are just so sweet and innocent. Bring on the Big Government! These kids need to be protected from their idiot parents.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 1 month ago

Thomas, as one of millions of women who have friends who have contracted HPV without actually having sex, you are wrong. Obviously, you have not ever had to have a pap smear or really learn about this virus, because men are generally asymptomatic when they carry the virus. You can contract the HPV from hang to genital contact, even hand to hand contact if someone touches themselves, then touches your hand and you touch yourself.

At any rate, is it peferable to allow the millions of women at risk for cervical cancer to simply suffer that? You won't have to worry about yourself as you don't have a cervix, so really men would not suffer if this vaccine isn't given to kids who may become sexually active. However, women and girls would. With the staggering rates of HPV in this country, we could potentially have an entire generation of women at risk for a preventable cancer. That would be a pretty sad "moral" lesson for this country's women and girls.

I have a friend whose mother and father were both virgins when they married and are both ministers. They have never had intercourse with anyone else. Yet, her mom was diagnosed with HPV on her 40th birthday.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 1 month ago

Posted by imastinker (anonymous) on January 30, 2007 at 8:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

How can you get offended by the idea that some women are more at risk for date rape than others? Some women don't even date. I bet it's pretty unlikely that they get raped by someone they are on a date with.

It has also always been my impression that date rape usually happens where people are drinking a lot. Then, when she starts acting funny or passes out - nobody questions it. Therefore, not going to bars would make that less likely.

Why is it so absurd that someone would wait until marriage to have sex? It shows respect for your spouse and makes a person (especially women) at significantly lower risk for Pregnancy, Depression, and a whole host of STD's.

Wow, there are so many things wrong with this, I don't even know where to begin. The term "date rape" is actually a misnomer. The proper term is acquaintance rape, as the majority of women who are raped are raped by an acquaintance (i.e. classmate, friend of a friend, coworker). The majority of these acquaintance attacks are NOT on dates.
Secondly, who are you to say that the majority of these attacks happen when someone is drinking to excess?
Finally, even all these withstanding, it sounds to me like you are saying it's up to women to stop rape, when in fact that majority of rapes are committed by men. That's like saying it's up to convenience stores to stop armed robbery because the criminals really play no part. Don't you know convenience stores get robbed all the time? Guess it's your fault if you get robbed and shot, because YOU didn't take the precautions to make sure someone would not commit a crime against you.

This is a hollow argument made regarding rape and STD's in an attempt to support your viewpoint that people should be abstinent until marriage.

liveandlove 10 years, 1 month ago

There are some pretty misguided people on here. Let me share some facts with you:

*HPV is the only known cause of cervical cancer. Yes cancer! If you can prevent a form of cancer from a simple vaccine then why wouldn't you? I bet of there was a shot that prevented men from getting testicular cancer it could be available no questions asked, no bills needed.

*There are hundreds of types/strands of HPV. Right now there is no test to show which type you have.

*Most case of HPV are misdiagnosed as just a bacterial infection. Women are given pills to treat it and have no idea that they actually have HPV. Like mentioned before the HPV test (to see if it's present in your body) is available at regular paps so hopefully women will quite being misdiagnosed. Also, and most women don't know this, but if a pap comes back as "abnormal" it means that a form HPV is present.

*THERE IS NO HPV TEST FOR MEN. The only way men would know is if they have a strand that has outward symptoms, like warts. Or if they have a partner that's open, honest and shares that she has been diagnosed with it. Unfortunately, both men and women too often are too scared to share these things. They feel embarrassed, dirty, and like they will be judged.

*HPV is extremely common! 80% of all women by the time they are 50 will have SOME FORM of HPV. That's HUGE! Those women are at risk for this potentially deadly cancer. Why keep a vaccine from them?

*HPV can be spread even through "safe sex". If the infected person has outward symptoms (like warts, even though most of the hundreds of type of HPV have NO outward symptoms) a condom won't necessarily protect them.

*HPV can lay dormant in a person for years! (Sometimes even 10 years plus) It can suddenly appear in a monogamous relationship, even a monogamous marriage. There's no known reason as to what draws it out of it's dormant stage. Just because a person is diagnosed with HPV does not mean there was someone being unfaithful.

Knowledge is power! Please take the time to learn about something before you ramble out nonsense. Like the commercials say "tell someone!"

Laura 10 years, 1 month ago

Imastinker: "Date rape" is merely another term for "acquaintance rape." I cannot believe you would be so literal minded to believe that date rape must happen on an actual date. Using your logic, girls and women should not even attend coed social gatherings as that is merely putting yourself out there to be potentially raped. Take it from a rape survivor: there are very few fool-proof ways of living. Putting the onus, even a little, on rape victims is over the top.

werekoala 10 years, 1 month ago

75x55: "if I'm a young woman who takes things like moral behavior, chastity and abstinance seriously, have a black belt . . ., and am not genetically pre-disposed to cervical cancer risk via HPV"

Well, you certainly paint a realistic picture, don't you? From a study published in this paper a few months back, about 95% of women DO have sex before marriage. Hence, this could only apply to 5% of women.

And from http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/commercialschools.html, the estimate is that only 5% of martial arts students achieve a black belt.

And I'd call it generous, at best, to say that even 5% of women (or men, for that matter) have seriously pursued martial arts.

Hence, you're talking about a 5% of a 5% of a 5% - 0.0125% of the population. I think there are more Klingon speakers than that.

My point though, is that this is a bogus argument - to even begin it, you have to postulate some extreme rarity. And the dirty little secret is - if surprised, ANYONE can be taken advantage of.

Plus, this whole black belt thing kinda sounds like your blaming all the rape victims for not being more skilled at self-defense.

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

I never said that people don't get raped other times than at a bar. I certianly don't think that it's the womans fault, and I don't believe I ever implied that.

I do however think that women can do things to make themselves less likely to be raped. They can travel in groups late at night and not hang out places alone. They can not wear excessively revealing clothing that calls a lot of attention to themselves and their sexuality. They can watch their drinks and not leave a drink unattended. They can rekey locks after moving in.

It is never a womans fault. But women have a responsibility to do what they can to make themselves less likely to occur to them. It would be like if I were to leave my keys in my truck and say that it's never my fault if I am robbed. That's true, but it's an important enough matter that I should do what I can to minimize risk, because it can happen to anyone.

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

More things women can to to lower risk:

When moving into a new home or apartment make sure the locks are replaced or rekeyed. It is recommended that a 1" deadbolt lock us used. It is also recommended that if there is no door viewer to have one put in. "DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR UNLESS YOU KNOW WHO IS THERE."

Keep doors locked at all times.

Never open the door after a knock. Require the person to give their name. In the case of service persons ask for proper I.D. and refuse entrance if you feel uneasy.

If you feel threatened yell or scream to attract attention.

Never admit you are alone.

If you are living alone use only you Last Name and First Initial on your mail box. You may also want to make a name up and put it on your mailbox to give the appearance of a roommate.

All entrances and garages should be well-lit.

Keep one light on inside the house at night.

Hang up on any obscene phone calls.

On the Street safety tips.

Do not walk alone.

Always stay in well lighted areas.

Do not take short cuts where you would be in a deserted area.

Walk near the curb and avoid passing close to shrubbery, dark doorways and other places of concealment.

Do not hitchhike.

If someone in a car ask for assistance do not get close to the car.

If a car approaches you and you feel threatened, scream and run in the direction opposite of the one the car is going.

If you feel you are being followed go to the nearest open business, police department, fire department, or any area where other people will be. Call the Police from there.

If you carry a purse, hold it close to your body.

Have your key ready to enter your residence or car.

Driving safety tips.

Never pick up hitchhikers.

Always keep your car doors locked.

When parking at night, select a place that will be well-lit when returning to the car.

Look in back seat and floor board before entering your car.

When approaching your car in a parking lot look all around the area for anything that does not look right. If you see anything that looks suspicious near your car keep going and call the Police as soon as possible. If you can get in your car safely, lock the doors and go somewhere and contact the Police about your suspicions.

Keep gas above 1/4 tank.

When ever possible travel on well lighted streets.

If you are ever being followed go to the nearest police department, fire department, or open business. If vehicle pulls in behind you and you do not know the individual blow the car horn to attract attention. DO NOT GET OUT OF CAR UNTIL YOU ARE SAFE.

If your car is being repaired leave only the car keys with the repair shop.

If you are having car problems and can not raise the hood, stay in the car and wait for help. If someone stops to help, roll down the window just enough to talk to them and ask them to call a relative, friend, garage or the police for you.

werekoala 10 years, 1 month ago


"--- then I must necessarily be forced to be immunized with a relatively new drug and it's potential side-effects because of OTHER individual's risky choices and behaviors?"

In a word, yes. Because despite the best intentions, people make mistakes, people change their minds, people get taken advantage of, and people unknowingly transmit serious diseases to each other.

The least we can do as adults is to work to ensure that they don't die from these mistakes, any more than we would let a teen die of his injuries if he got in an accident while driving drunk.

It's not like this drug hasn't been tested - it 's been through multiple FDA approvals with social conservatives hounding it seeking any reason to deny approval - and they've failed to find one. And the minute you can point to a credible danger or side effect, I'd be willing to entertain this as a possible objection. But right now you're objecting to potentially life-saving treatment on the grounds that there might be boogeymen under the stairs.

And ultimately, no one lives in isolation. If you were the hypothetical woman in your post, pure until marriage - ARE YOU WILLING TO BET YOUR LIFE THAT YOUR HUSBAND WAS?

Are you willing to bet your kids' lives that they will be?

werekoala 10 years, 1 month ago


"So, you're now willing to admit that those "sinful" behaviors that others commit do not fall under the umbrella of:

'can't legislate morality' 'keep your laws off my body' 'keep your laws out of my bedroom' 'don't oppress mutually consenting adults' et. al."

I really don't understand what you're getting at here. Your right to do as you wish ends when you use that right to endanger others. I don't believe you have the right to walk around and infect others with typhoid or smallpox. And now that HPV is becoming preventable, I'd say you're losing the right to be infected with it.

Is that what you're arguing? Some insane libertarian ideal that everyone has the right to walk around infected with the bubonic plague?

It's not about sex, sexuality, immorality, or consenting adults -- it's about public health. Hell, if HPV were transmitted by gymnastics or roller skating, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

werekoala 10 years, 1 month ago

75x55: "Topic and point nicely avoided."

I wasn't avoiding it, I was responding to each part separately for clarity.

You were saying something along the lines of 'why should 'good' kids get vaccinated for the misdeeds of the 'bad' kids?'

I was pointing out that one of the many reasons this question was nonsense was the ridiculous lengths you had to go to in order to invent a candidate for someone who never had to worry about contracting HPV.

Maybe you're right, and about one-hundredth of one percent of the population doesn't ever have to worry about HPV, the other 99.99% of folks do.

Far from avoiding the issue - that's one of the main problems. Folks like you think that if they could just squeeze their eyes shut hard enough and jab their fingers far enough into their ears, the entire problem would go away. They think "oh, MY kids are different!" until they're proven sadly wrong, 20 years down the road.

I'd rather we not put kids at risk for our own pride and discomfort about adolescent sexuality. You think it will only happen to 'bad kids' or "sluts' or 'women who are just asking to get raped' - my point is that you really don't have that luxury of assurance when gambling with the lives of our children.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 1 month ago

Posted by imastinker (anonymous) on January 30, 2007 at 2:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I never said that people don't get raped other times than at a bar. I certianly don't think that it's the womans fault, and I don't believe I ever implied that.

I do however think that women can do things to make themselves less likely to be raped. They can travel in groups late at night and not hang out places alone. They can not wear excessively revealing clothing that calls a lot of attention to themselves and their sexuality. They can watch their drinks and not leave a drink unattended. They can rekey locks after moving in.

I think that's exactly what your posts are implying....It does not matter what a woman wears, it is not up to her to stop rape in this culture. Who deems something revealing? Who deems that this "calls attention" to women's sexuality? Even if that is the case, Who says rape is about sex or sexuality? It's not.
Clearly, you are just making yourself out to be ignorant about rape. Say what you will, but please, don't sit there and say you are not implying women are at fault for being attacked then implicitly say that in your next sentence.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and Thomas Knutzen, shame on YOU for implying that women and girls are at fault for their own rapes. To you, aparently, only "bad girls" who drink or are alone with men are raped, or at least they comprise the majority. I wonder what you would say if your own "good girl" daughter (were you to have one) were raped....I am guessing your oppinion might change. That's the thing....when a population of people who don't generally have to concern themselves with being raped (95% of rapes are women being assaulted by men) start to make judgements about what it "takes" to "get raped", it is implicitly or explicitly telling potential rapists, "go ahead, people are gonna say that it may be her fault anyway...."

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

Why do you think everyone else is implying that women are at fault for getting raped? That is absurd!

It's no different than saying that locking my doors at night makes me less likely to get robbed or that I am less likely to die in a car accident if I wear my seat belt or that I am less likely to have a house fire if I clean my chimney every year.

Do any of these things prevent the bad thing from happening? NO. Do these make me at fualt if they happen to me? NO. Should I do these things as a general practiced to help lower the odds of bad things happening to me? YES!

Why is it that I can do a search on the topic and have no trouble finding a website that discusses rape and mentions things women can do to help prevent rape? As a matter of fact, I already posted one above. Type "date rape" into google and click on a website. These are done by all kinds of organizations and all mention this. So it's not just me.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 1 month ago

Stinker, the difference is that NONE of those sites (and believe me as I used to volunteer for Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center) say that these things will prevent you from being raped nor do they say that you should succumb to the idea that women are responsible for preventing rape, just making themselves as safe as possible. These sites simply tell you that these things make EVERY person safer. Your implication is entirely different.

Check on those websites and see if you will EVER see the following, for example: "They can not wear excessively revealing clothing that calls a lot of attention to themselves and their sexuality."

Next time I see a dude with tight pants on, does that give me the right to grab his package because he was drawing attention to his, ahem, sexuality? I'm not asking if a man would enjoy that, just if that would be right....

Until men get to the point where they tell other men rape and violence are not acceptable, all women seem to be able to do is try and make themselves safer. Meanwhile, men generally live their lives unhindered by the idea that they need to watch what they wear, who they are with, what they drink and where they are at or they might just "get themselves raped" (laughable, like getting yourself some french fries or getting crabs....)

werekoala 10 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I've gotta say, I'm a dude, and I've been very attracted by certain girls, and certain outfits a girl may wear. Never has it occurred to me to rape them out of desire.

What is more scarey to me is the way we do courtship in this country -- I think it lends itself to misinterpretation. The introduction of alcohol to a still-nascent relationship that hasn't quite worked itself out whether the two parties want to be lovers or not tends to blur lines and confuse boundaries for both parties. When I was in that scene, I tried to make sure I had clearly and explicity defined my partner's personal boundaries, and respected them. But let's face it, while that's the PC ideal, not the actual human experience. No one spells out a contract, or explicitly defines is/her terms in the heat of the moment - as a guy you just have to be really sensitive to the first subtle sign that she's uncomfortable.

I will say that while the ideas about changing locks, being safe around strangers, etc are good advice for people in general, they do come off as condescending -- most of that list won't really protect anyone from a determined assailant, and suggest that failure to do them is somehow "asking for trouble".

Crispian Paul 10 years, 1 month ago

I think it's safe to say that any person who has something terrible happen TO them can say they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Werekoala for that and the kudos...

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

Crispian - I can see where telling a person after she is raped these tips could be condescending - but that's not what we are doing. We are talking about lowering risk. And yes - everyone is at risk.

I get the impression that you see me and all other men as some sort of pig just waiting to rape some poor woman. Then, we all go laugh about it afterwards. This could not be further from the truth. I am particularly offended by the statment that I need to tell other men that rape is not acceptable. I have only known one person that has ever raped anyone. I had no idea until he was arrested that he was doing this. I can positively tell you that the treatment that he got from everyone he knows is anything but accepting.

We don't need to watch what we wear because generally men are not nearly at much risk for rape. Further, men's clothing is much less suggestive than womens.

My comment about clothing seems to have really hit a nerve. No - you won't see it on any list - probably because people get offended when told things like that. That said - it is true. It is a bad idea for an adult woman to go out in suggestive clothing for the same reason your dad wouldn't let you in High School. It changes people's (mens) perception of a woman to see her like that. It calls attention to a woman and her sexuality in a bad way. Most men that see a woman dressed in a tiny skirt and tight blouse won't even consider raping her, but one predisposed to doing that might giver her more consideration than the girl standing next to her wearing sweat pants. Is this right or fair? NO - but it's the way things work.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 1 month ago

Stinker, I love how you want to turn this into a "Crispian is just a man hater" discussion. Believe me, I have willingly dated men and like them, so that's not it....I am simply being realistic about what women face vs. men. The reason your comment about clothing and really all your other comments "hit a nerve" is that this is the same logic that many people use to continue to deny that this is really the problem it truly is. Women should not have to worry about what they wear. And really, your thinking is actually counterintuitive because most men who have raped say that they are looking for victims who appear to be quiet, less self-confident, etc, so I would think that the woman in the short skirt may be LESS appealing to a potential attacker.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 1 month ago

Stinker, the point about men telling other men that rape is not OK is not directed at you or for you to offended by. However, it is realistic to assume that men know women think rape is unnacceptable. It's not so realistic that men know other men think that too. In addition, adults, like children, are particularly affected by their peers oppinions, so you as the peer of other men, can play a big role in this. Were anyone to be offended, it should be me for you turning this valid and stimulating argument into an issue of whether or not I think men are pigs (which I actually don't, contrary to popular oppinion).

Jackalope 10 years, 1 month ago

Stinker has come full circle: "Do any of these things prevent the bad thing from happening? NO. Do these make me at fualt if they happen to me? NO. Should I do these things as a general practiced to help lower the odds of bad things happening to me? YES!"

If that is the case. support the vaccinations and do something for your love ones to lower the odds of a deadly bad thing happening.

werekoala 10 years, 1 month ago


Actually, from what I understand, rapists tend to be one of two types - the first is non-selective, ie, the first person who is available to be raped will be. In that case, the clothing really doesn't matter.

the second type is highly selective - they want a certain body type, hair color/length, facial type, race, etc. Again, the clothes don't matter.

Stranger rape is really not about sex- it's about control. Your persistence in insisting that somehow dressing in a way you disapprove of is "asking for it" is disingenuous at best - it's not true, and if you knew anything about the psychology of rape, you'd know that.

And that's what Crispian is objecting to - your inclusion of the clothing, coupled with some of the other gems on your list, proves that deep down, you still think that rape is something that happens to people who are "asking for it."

You're really one step from the Taliban with this, or any other society that has historically blamed women for men's aggression - you want women to cover up, and never be able to be alone or unescorted, just like in sharia.


"men's clothing is much less suggestive than womens."

Heh. That's not because men are more virtuous than women, it's because women tend to care far less for exposed skin than men do.


"I am particularly offended by the statment that I need to tell other men that rape is not acceptable"

Well, you sure don't have a problem telling women how not to act like sluts. Oh, I'm sorry, you meant "how to be safe", didn't you?

werekoala 10 years, 1 month ago

"Is this a line you use in bars?"

No, I prefer: "You remind me so much of my mother!"

True story - almost got my ass kicked for telling that to a stripper who wouldn't leave me alone.

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

I never was against the vaccinations. I'm just against government intrusions. I think the vaccinations are good - but people need to make decisions like that for themselves. The government is very good at telling us what is good for us, and I don't like that. I am against the seat belt law too - and motorcycle helmet laws. Of course these are a good idea and for the public good - but people driving age can make their own decisions.

The only time that government intrusions are allowable is when it is highly dangerous for the public and absolutely needs to be done. Like small pox. The other time government intrusion is allowable is if a person's behavior endangers that of others. I realize this case is a fine line, but you can prevent yourself from infections, so this is not endangering others - just yoruself.

Jackalope 10 years, 1 month ago

Preventing the spread of a deadly disease such as HPV cervical cancer is not in the public good? What is your argument?!

werekoala 10 years, 1 month ago

Because it involves S-E-X! And if people would all just behave exactly the way he wants them to behave, he wouldn't have to think about such a dirty and disgusting subject.

Just the same way that if girls didn't dress so slutty, h wouldn't feel tingles in his no-no-place! How dare they entice him!

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

Werekoala -

I had no idea that rape is about control. This does not make sense to me, as date rape isn't controlling anyone. They are nearly immobile right? I can see how picking the weak member of the group would appeal to this type of person though. It just seems counterintuitive to me is all.

Men's clothing has nothing to do with virtue. It may have to do with skin showing, but I think part of it is just that guys have ugly bodies. Girls even think a buff guy in a speedo is disgusting. Or that guy that wears short shorts. I've never heard a woman sing a song about short shorts.

imastinker 10 years, 1 month ago

I can see this is going nowhere. You two aren't changing mind and I'm not changing yours. I've got better things to do.

See ya!

mom_of_three 10 years, 1 month ago

Alcohol may often be involved in date rape, but on other sites, it is listed as a drug.

Jackalope 10 years, 1 month ago

I finally figured it out. Stinker yanking everybody's chain. Nobody could otherwise be so unaware of the reality that we all have to live in. Let's all save our nickels so we can play this jukebox another day.

hottruckinmama 10 years ago

leave it to man to write this. if this were a shot to prevent men from getting some kind of cancer you can bet money we wouldn't even be having this augument. because it would be okay. i hate to see any more "required" vaccines. i think it should be not required but highly recommened.

Linda Endicott 10 years ago

You had no idea that rape was all about control?

I sincerely hope you were kidding, Stinker. If you weren't, it's frightening that there's someone out there who is soooo misguided.

Unfortunately, you probably aren't alone.

imastinker 10 years ago

I'm not yanking everyone's chain. So you guys can make fun of me all you want.

Don't call me names though. Why should I feel stupid for not knowing anythign about rape? It makes sense to me that it could be about sex. I actually did look it up on several sites, and they all agreed with you - but it still doesn't make sense to me. But you guys don't have to make fun of me for this. You just educated someone else about rape.

I guess it seems easier to express control over someone by beating them, and the consequences are much less. It just doesn't make sense to me.

werekoala 10 years ago

"but it still doesn't make sense to me. . ."

Put it this way - necrophiliacs aside, most people would rather take to bed a lively but homely 5 than a drop-dead gorgeous corpse that was a 10.

Thus, folks who would rather have sex with an unwilling or unconscious subject CAN'T be doing it for sexual gratification alone - there must be something else to motivate them to take the risk and go to the trouble. That something else is control - either out of fear of rejection, or more often, a sexual thrill from the feeling of control.

If you can't empathize, you should feel glad. Most guys aren't determined rapists, so it's understandable you can only relate it to the sexuality that you do know - one based on attraction. It's just that when you perpetuate the myth that rape is based on a woman's attractiveness, it also perpetuates social attitudes that dismiss it as somehow something a woman has brought upon herself in the same way she brings normal male attentions.

But I'm sorry if anything I've said has offended you, sometimes passions run hot in debate, and I'm glad it sounds as though your eyes have been opened to the true psychology of rape.

lori 10 years ago


I would like to see some documentation on your points, especially your first four ones. Your others I agree with, but the first four are false.

There are several ways to determine which viral subtype one has; serum or direct sample specimen--the direct sample specimen is the most common; even just a scraping of the area collects enough cells to determine viral subtype. Men can be tested for HPV in the office, no problem.

I also have never seen any study or article on the misdiagnosis of HPV as a bacterial infection. I'd like to see something to back that up. HPV and bacterial infections don't cause similar symptoms typically. It is difficult to diagnose HPV when there is a bacterial infection present, the inflammatory response masks other cellular abnormalities.

I am not supportive of this vaccine being mandated. I support having it offered along with other routine vaccinations -- there is a booster due around age 11-12 for dT, it could be initiated then -- but I am not supportive of mandating it. I will be discussing it with my daughter and her physician and have it given based on her individual health risks and needs -- not based on whether or not it is mandated by the state of Kansas government.

lori 10 years ago

Ooops, error in my post, I don't think there is a serum test, only cytological test for HPV. Sorry, I was having a mental lapse!

deec 10 years ago

If you truly want to learn about rape, read Susan Brownmiller's book from the late '60s or '70s.

Laura 10 years ago

Stinker: I think you are being mistreated here and I, for one, appreciate the time and effort you took to post the safety tips. Who is too smart or too old for safety tips? I wish someone had been more protective and helpful to me when I was a girl and needed to learn these things. Would it have prevented my rape? No, it would not have, but still...I think your heart is pure and it's not so strange for people to not know that rape is about control. There are so many mixed messages in the media, especially television and movies, with respect to sexuality and control.

But with respect to skimpy outfits or overtly sexually appealing women, I would say to those who think this is a factor: don't forget that very old women are raped all the time. And very young women, too, for that matter. I have read a case about an 18-month-old girl who was raped by her father's poker buddies and she trailed a bloody diaper as she looked for help.

imastinker 10 years ago

I agree scenebooster - I didn't reply because I don't even know how. My oldest daughter is approx. that age.

Laura 10 years ago

I read the case during law school while doing research on rape in Kansas and it so sickened me, I have never forgotten about it even though law school was 20 years ago.

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