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The Oil and Water Paradigm

The Oil and Water Paradigm - The Oil and Water Paradigm Ive...

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The Oil and Water Paradigm I’ve taught a paradigm for years to my students which has helped them to distinguish the two core issues in the case of rape: first, we live in a dangerous world which requires women to be vigilant in defending and protecting themselves; and second, it is never the victim’s fault. I call this the “Oil and Water Paradigm.” In Figures: 2, 3, and 4 below, you see two exclusive and unmixable sides of the same issue. Here’s the metaphor in a nutshell; no matter how hard you try, the fundamental structure of oil and water make them impossible to ever mix. Think of your bottle of Italian salad dressing. You shake it vigorously and have to quickly pour it on your salad before it separates again. Oil repels water. In this paradigm, I use oil and water as metaphors for understanding these ideas that should not be mixed (because they really don’t mix). In Figure 2, you see the self-defense component of the dangerous society we live in today. Women have to protect themselves from attacks. True, most men would never attack a woman. But, women can’t discern which men are safe and which are not, simply because rapists are very predatory and deceptive. Don’t get me wrong women are quite capable of living under these dangerous circumstances, but morally shouldn’t have to. I heard a friend of mine say, “It’s just sad that one-half of the population (women) has to live in fear of the other half (men), because some of the other half might attack them.” In the US, about 3 out of 4 rape victims knew their assailant before the attack.
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