When the mathematics of probability is misogynistic

Tragically, a young woman was raped and murdered in Melbourne last week.

She was walking home from her work as a comedienne late on Tuesday night and was attacked by a stranger in a park.

The police officer leading the investigation, Superintendent David Clayton, made some comments at a press conference that have stirred up the professionally-offended.

The egregious comments were reported in the Grauniad, thus;

Clayton told reporters that because the park was an area of “high community activity” women needed to aware of who may be around them.

“So just make sure you have situational awareness, that you’re aware of your surroundings,” Clayton said. “If you’ve got a mobile phone carry it and if you’ve got any concerns, call police.”

The issue seems to be that the statements above somehow partially-exonerate the scum who raped and murdered her.

In the words of the State of Victoria’s Premier, Andrew Daniels, a man who generally gives the adjective “incompetent” a run for its money when trying to describe his capabilities;

…..Because women don’t need to change their behaviour. Men do.

All men, Andrew, or one man in particular; the one who grabbed Eurydice, forced himself on her and then killed her?

Putting it another way, if we wanted to prevent this type of crime in the future by trying to change male attitudes to women’s right to life and safety, would our resources be best spent on targeting particular men or all men in general? I suppose it depends on whether one believes all men are potential rapists and murderers or just a very small subset.

With regards to Superintendent Clayton’s comments, let’s reverse the meaning to see whether his original messages were 180 degrees incorrect;

because the park was an area of “high community activity” women neededdidn’t need to be aware of who may be around them.

“So just make sure you don’t need to have situational awareness, that you’re or be aware of your surroundings,” Clayton said. “If you’ve got a mobile phone don’t carry it and if you’ve got any concerns, don’t call police.”

If a police officer had made the revised statement above they’d be forced to resign before sunset, surely?

Bill’s Opinion

Most men you will meet consider rape or murder to be most heinous crimes and something completely abhorrent. These men do not need to change.

Sadly, there will always be a tiny minority of men who will commit rape and a small proportion of men and women who will commit murder.

If you are a lone individual walking across a park late at night, being aware of that fact of statistical distribution might just be the difference between you becoming the victim of a tragedy or getting home safely.

Is it right, is it fair? Of course not. It’s reality though and not “victim blaming”.

For a more comprehensive analysis of the lunacy of accusations of “victim blaming”, visit the Secular Detective.

2 Replies to “When the mathematics of probability is misogynistic”

  1. In the US, prostitution excluded, fifty thousand women a day (source: read it somewhere) meet strange men through amateur apps like Tinder, for sex. A small number of these women experience physical abuse against their wishes; of the order of one or two a month (source: read it at the same somewhere) experience rape. It sounds as if the average sexually adventurous woman has found through experience that men are safe. Admitted, this is anecdotal and the numbers might be out by a factor of scale, but the mere existence of this meat market indicates that women don’t think they are risking their lives every time they meet a strange man.

    1. Great point well made.

      I like Secular Detective’s point in this too; responsibility for safety isn’t a zero sum game. Just because a criminal is 100% responsible for breaking into my home, I can still be responsible for making it easy for him (or her – #notallcriminalsaremale).

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