Okay. That one post seemed to provoke a bit of a clusterfuck, and although one obnoxious dude was about 75% of it, he wasn't all of it. So here are some clarifications about why "I'm not blaming victims, but women should follow some common sense advice" is bullshit.
1. Preaching rape prevention at or about a rape victim is like telling a 9/11 widow "you know, he shouldn't have been on a plane that day." Thanks a ton, Reverse Nostradamus. Everyone is stunned by your brilliant ability to predict the past consequences of actions in the past. For an encore will you tell me the lottery numbers I should have picked last Wednesday?
2. Rape prevention tips are almost never effective against partners and friends. You can be as twitchy as you like on the sidewalk or in the parking lot, but there's a 65% chance (of reported rapes, so you can kinda imagine) that it's the person you come home and sleep next to that you have to worry about.
Anecdotally, all the victims of sexual violence that I know personally were victimized by someone they already knew, in their home or their attacker's. (And none of them have formally reported it, because of the perceived--probably real--impossibility of going to the police with a story about "I've had sex with this guy lots of times and I was in his house and he didn't leave any marks and I didn't call 911 but it was rape." All this Stranger Danger bullshit about avoiding parked vans and keeping your keys in your hand wouldn't have done shit for a single rape victim that I know.
3. Rape prevention tips tend to overlap suspiciously well with "be a proper little lady" tips. Gosh, dressing conservatively and not getting drunk and not being out on my own and not getting too close to strangers will protect me from rape! I'll buy my prairie dress and arrange a suitable male escort home from my 7PM prayer meeting at once!
Having freedom of movement and expression isn't worth getting raped, but frankly, it is worth a 0.0001% chance of getting raped. This tends to be discounted by people who drive on highways and take plane flights without a second thought.
4. These tips disproportionately come from guys who don't see any such restrictions applying to themselves. Sucks to be you, ladies, but I don't make the rules! ...I just enjoy declaring what they are.
5. The implication sometimes arises--in rape as with no other crime--that if the victim can be blamed, then it's no longer rape at all. A robbery victim who acted incredibly reckless and gullible may be called stupid, but they won't be accused of giving their money as a gift. But rape seems to be somehow diminished if the victim was taking an extraordinary risk of rape, as if "I'll take a shortcut through the park, even if I am still dressed for clubbing" was an equivalent thought to "I'd like to have sex with just anyone who comes along."
6. The resulting discussions invariably make rapists out to be some kind of inevitable force of nature. Rapers gonna rape, what can you do. The idea that anyone can be educated about or deterred from committing sexual violence is dismissed out of hand. The discussion of rape becomes all about the victim and her choices, and despite some "rape is bad, yo" lip service, the rapist's choices go unremarked upon until they disappear and some chick apparently raped herself.
To the response, "well, do you think rape is just totally random and can never ever be predicted, huh", I refer you up to my friend Reverse Nostradamus in point 1, since you two seem to share a talent for predicting rapes that already happened.
Yes, one could technically construct an actuarial table correlating certain behaviors with an increased risk of rape, but:
-No one's actually done this, to my knowledge, so Internet know-it-alls are just going with the "common sense" approach involving prairie dresses.
-Most of the differences would likely be tiny, and arguably not worth the cost to the potential victim's freedom and quality of life. (I.e., if you decide avoiding rape is worth a million dollars, but something only decreases your rape chances by 0.0001%, then if that something costs more than $1, it's not worth it. Yes, you voluntarily increased your rape chances, but infinitesimally, and rape is not the only variable in your life.)
-All those pesky rapes by friends and partners would skew the data so hard you'd think the riskiest behavior of all was sleeping in your own home.
7. "But" is the ultimate bullshit word in these discussions. You know how someone who's not "I'm not racist but" is about to spout some Klan talking points? Someone who's "I'm not blaming the victim, and the rapist is a horrible person, and in her case maybe there was nothing she could do, but" is hiding a whole lot of misogyny and rape-apologism and blame in their but.