Two different things have been troubling me in the same way this week.The first is the narrative coming from the Defence in the Joanna Yeates trial (outlined by the Independent here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/jo-yeates-killed-after-failed-kiss-2373211.html and Guardian here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/20/joanna-yeates-killer-speaks-crime) which suggests that Tabak, accused of her murder, 'simply misread' a social situation when – the Defence alleges – she invited him into her flat. An invitation the QC for the Defence describes as 'an unfortunate starting point'. Followed by a 'flirty' remark, it seems her fate was sealed. The Independent article prompted me to Tweet: "How many times do men need to be told? Simple courtesy is not a sexual invitation." The second is the Welsh police anti-rape campaign which makes victim-blaming its focus. The poster (which the force claims to be 'old' from 2009, but which appears to be still in use) is here: I responded to that poster appearing in circulation on Twitter by asking: Where's the poster that says "Rape. Don't be a rapist. Drunk women are not fair game." and was pleased to receive responses (from male and female tweeters) which included links to both these posters, which I think are great, and which I retweeted. Of course, the consequence of my tweets was, from some, a predictable response: "It's not all men you know" and a suggestion that the 'Teach your Son'…poster implied something pretty disgusting (possibly that violence against women is exclusively, as opposed to merely mainly, the fault of men; or possibly, that men are never subject to acts of domestic abuse, which isn't true either). So I'd like to be clear. I know that not all men are murderers and rapists. A tweet is 140 characters long. If my tweet contains that disclaimer every time I reference the violation of a woman, then I've used up 50 characters before I've said anything else. I also know that people of any gender or age can commit violent acts or be victims of such acts. 158 characters in total. So now I'm already onto my second tweet. There's a poster I see at the station which reminds me, and all other travellers on the rail network, that violence against rail staff is not acceptable. I have never yet complained that it doesn't contain a disclaimer to point out that not everyone assaults ticket collectors. I haven't complained about the one that asks me not to eat smelly food on the tube either. I know that it doesn't apply to me. I already don't do that. The Drink / Drive campaigns don't rile me either because I don't drink and drive. So why do some men get so cross about posters intended to send a supportive message to women that rape or or other violence against them are not the woman's fault, but the responsibility of the perpetrator, whose attitudes need to be changed. Does anyone seriously believe it is possible to tell a potential rapist or murder just by looking at them? (Those who do believe that perhaps spend their time working for tabloids and hounding people like Chris Jefferies) No one holds a database of misogynist sympathisers to whom we can present a targeted campaign. So what exactly is wrong with a simple, effective, general poster that conveys a message that the whole community should buy into? "Don't rape". "Respect women". Do they need to contain a disclaimer like "Misogyny levels can go down as well as up; other perpetrator and victim types are available?" Edmund Burke is often paraphrased as saying that "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". Good men – you significantly outnumber rapists and murders – so, please don't do nothing. We can and should be revolting against the idea that women can be treated as a target for assault if they have been drinking or if they invite a man into their home. All genders alike should refuse to accept a society in which women are required to constrain their behaviour just in case it will later be made out that they are somehow responsible for a man's unwillingness to control his own. Good men, if even for a nano-second, you find yourself thinking "well surely there are times when the signals aren't clear", please have a look at both of these websites: http://www.thisisnotaninvitationtorapeme.co.uk/ http://www.notever.co.uk/ …and then ask yourself if you feel clearer now about the fact that violence against women is NEVER acceptable. Good men – please support these campaigns, and refuse to accept a narrative which can suggest that a 'flirty' remark can be 'simply misread' in a way that leads to murder. Murderers and rapists – If you've read this far. Please stop murdering and raping. Thank you.