Why Men Should Join SlutWalk

Los Angeles SlutWalk steering committee member and GMPM columnist Hugo Schwyzer argues that SlutWalk is for men, too.

The sluts are in the streets. From L.A. to London, Minneapolis to Melbourne, this has become “SlutWalk spring.” (Down under, I suppose it’s “SlutWalk Fall.”) SlutWalk began in Toronto, Canada, in response to a police officer’s remark that if women wanted to avoid being raped, they shouldn’t dress like sluts. That exercise in victim-blaming led Heather Jarvis, Sonya Barnett, and a handful of their friends to put together a small march and rally through the streets of Canada’s largest city on April 3.

Perhaps it was the controversy around the name, or perhaps it was the cause itself, but in the less than eight weeks since that first SlutWalk, the movement has become a global phenomenon with widespread press attention. Satellite SlutWalks have taken place or are in the planning stages on six continents. The Los Angeles SlutWalk happens on June 4; I’m proud to be on the steering committee for what we expect will be a major event.

There are many reasons why men should be involved with SlutWalk. The important ones have nothing to do with what the women marching might—or might not—be wearing. (There is no dress code for SlutWalk, and past marches have seen folks rally in everything from bathrobes to bikinis to Brooks Brothers suits.)

When that cop in Toronto made that unfortunate remark about women “dressing like sluts” being more likely to be raped, he was telling a partial truth. He wasn’t right about who gets sexually assaulted—there is no study that shows that women in miniskirts or tube tops are statistically at greater risk of rape than their more modestly-clad sisters. Rather, he was telling a truth about how our culture sees men. And that truth is based on one very great lie.

I’ve been doing work around gender and sexual violence for nearly 25 years. I developed my college’s first interdisciplinary course on “Men and Masculinity” a decade ago. And in all my years of teaching and activism, I’ve come to believe that there’s one lie that’s bigger than any other we tell about men: we cannot reconcile our arousal and our compassion. In other words, the lie says we can’t truly respect what we also desire.

More than a few men, if they’re honest with themselves, know that this isn’t true for them. As boyfriends and husbands, many straight guys discover that they can both lust after and be genuinely in love with the same woman at the same time. We learn (most of us) that the older boys in the locker room were wrong: a hard dick can have a conscience. But we often suspect we’re the only ones who can reconcile our libidos with our ethics.

And so out of fear what other men might do (or, perhaps, what we fear we might dream of doing ourselves) we urge our little sisters and our daughters to “cover up”, to avoid dressing “slutty” in order to ensure respect for men. Deep down, we know that the women we love are as vulnerable to rape in a mu-mu as in a miniskirt. Men rape as much out of rage as frustrated desire—and there is no outfit short of steel armor a woman can wear that will protect her from an obsessed stalker or a drunken frat boy filled with a sense of entitlement.

♦◊♦

I’m involved in organizing SlutWalk LA for many reasons. But I appreciate one assumption that the Toronto founders made in particular. Though what constitutes “slutty” clothing is obviously open to debate, SlutWalkers believe in men’s capacity to do two things at once: be aroused by what we see while honoring the humanity of the woman whose body attracts our eye. The most pernicious of all lies about men is that because of our makeup, lust and empathy can’t coexist within us. If you want kind and compassionate men who will respect women’s boundaries, the myth suggests, those women will have to conceal the parts of themselves that will turn men bestial and irresponsible.

There’s another lie SlutWalk refutes. It’s the one that says that men only need to “respect women who respect themselves.”

Too many of us still believe that “self-respect” for a woman means chastity and modesty. If she’s wearing revealing clothing, enjoys attention, and maybe even likes sex outside of a committed monogamous relationship, we call her a “slut”—and accuse her of not respecting herself. Perhaps she does respect herself, perhaps she doesn’t. (Promiscuity is not perfectly correlated with low self-esteem, despite what a lot of pop psychologists tell you.) But in the end, it doesn’t matter. Women aren’t commodities whose value is based on their own fluctuating sense of self-worth.

Common decency means respecting people because they’re people, not because of how we imagine they feel about themselves. So if a woman dresses in a way that we think invites sexual attention, or if she chooses multiple sexual partners, we’re not required to approve of her lifestyle or her fashion choices. But we are required to respect her right to move through public and private space unchallenged and unmolested. That’s not too much to ask for any man.

♦◊♦

When I was first publicly identified as an organizer of SlutWalk LA, someone sent me a tweet asking how I’d feel if my daughter turned out to be “a slut.” It’s not as offensive a question as it sounds. It was a reminder to me as a dad that I shouldn’t advocate for others what I wouldn’t want for my own child.

What I replied (in more than one 140 character tweet) was that my daughter was foremost in my mind when I committed to the SlutWalk campaign. I want a world where she is free to grow into a woman’s body without fear of being raped. I want her to have the freedom to express her sexuality safely and joyfully in whatever way she chooses, whenever she’s ready (and not a moment before). And I want her to grow up without shame about her own wanting and about her wanting to be wanted.

I want my daughter to grow up in a world in which all men are safe, responsible, reliable. We don’t have that world yet, of course. But the reason has nothing to do with biology: it has to do with our crushingly low expectations of men’s capacity to reconcile lust and humanity. In order for our daughters and little sisters and nieces to be safer, we must demand better of ourselves as men. And one way to start is to challenge the very roots of our thinking about sex, desire, and respect. That challenge is part of what SlutWalk is all about.

—Photo by troismarteaux/Flickr

About Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender studies at Pasadena City College since 1993, where he developed the college's first courses on Men and Masculinity and Beauty and Body Image. He serves as co-director of the Perfectly Unperfected Project, a campaign to transform young people's attitudes around body image and fashion. Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website

Comments

  1. I thank for the information.

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  2. Infidel Bri says:

    Lemme guess, a man wrote this right? Of course men who want some one night stand won’t call a woman at that time a slut…

    Dude, a woman shouldn’t have to debase herself to just get acceptance. I’d rather be seen as modest than a revolving door. It’s amazing how a guy will sleep with the naked whore before sleeping with the girl who chooses to have moral values.

  3. I found this text from facebook. Many of my friends had relinked it, posted it to their friends’ walls and recommended it.

    I think it’s one of the best entries on the subject I have ever read, and I will intend to recommend, relink and post it forward. Thank you very much for this!

  4. Harry d. Rhyss says:

    yeah….i actli undrstud d topic n every content of d article…n nw i think i realy hve 2 change my mind 4 evry gud lukin or vry frndly gal….ty guyz
    Dis is a vry intrsting topic…..
    I’l also make my sociology project on dis gr8ly gr8 topic…..

  5. Hugo, I love you. This: we cannot reconcile our arousal and our compassion. In other words, the lie says we can’t truly respect what we also desire – is a big fat lie you have nailed! Well done!

    There are so many women working on this issue & I love that you advocate for simple, direct compassion.

    Bravo!

  6. @Hugo
    “I want my daughter to grow up in a world in which all men are safe, responsible, reliable.”

    The childishness of the slut walk campaigns aside – do you want your son to grow up in a world in which all women can be safely, responsibly and reliably trusted never to point a false accusing finger?

    The consequences are life ruining and its frequency is hidden and lied about by the media and the intelligentsia.

  7. Hugo writes:-
    “I want my daughter to grow up in a world in which all men are safe, responsible, reliable.”

    The crass childishness of the ‘Slut Walk’ campaigns aside – do you want your son to grow up in a world in which all women can be safely, responsibly and reliably trusted never to point a false acccusing finger ?

    The consequences are life ruining and its frequency is hidden and lied about by the media and the intelligentsia.

  8. willowweed says:

    Thank you!

  9. I get it. I should feel free to leave my car unlocked with the windows down, keys in the ignition and cash on the seat and not be criticized or admonished by the police.

  10. Fantastic article. The point about men being able to have a boner and conscience is especially great.
    If women are expected to treat men as victims of their (male) biology and uncontrollable urges in the face of visual stimulation… and given that visual stimulation is tremendously subjective culturally and individually (ie – in some places and times, displaying a bare shoulder is considered suggestive), why are men allowed to walk around untethered at all? They should all be locked up. Ironically, blaming ‘sluts’ is actually about the false victimization of men.
    Rapists don’t care about what women are wearing – moralists do.

  11. This was one of the best pieces I have read on the issue of SLUTWALK and as to how shoud men take it, considering the phobia most men develop for a woman who is aware of her body. I am glad you have contextualised various points and given a personal example so as to prove that men think on such issues too and that they are definitely ready to accept women as human. Kudos!

  12. Wonderful article, thank you so much. Sexual assault is not just a women’s issue, it is a man’s issue, it is EVERYONE’s issue!

  13. Hi Hugo,

    I hope that men also learn to stop calling women sl*t, b*tch, and all the other misogynist and racist terms so many men across sexual orientation think are so cool that they’ll now call men the same things–which, as far as I can tell, does nothing at all to stop men from using them against women. What’s your experience with hearing the terms men call women? Any change over the years that you’ve noticed.

    To add to the conversation on Sl*twalk, I posted this:

    http://radicalprofeminist.blogspot.com/2011/05/sltwalk-another-point-of-view.html

    I would hope that women with lots of privilege would be accountable to those women who are most negatively affected by those terms–and the violence backing them up–should be in charge with when they are used “in feminism’s name”.

    All the women I know don’t like the tactic of “appropriation” of misogynist terms.

  14. I appreciate the points re: “the lie that says we can’t truly respect what we also desire.” However, re: why men rape (“Men rape as much out of rage as frustrated desire”), the root cause of rape is the rapist’s violent insistence on having power and control.

  15. what is a female issue doing in a mens site? we have had affermative action for 40 years which is sex discrimination anti male at its best , I wanted to march to support womans movement to stop violence against women but was told no only females allowed as “we ” males assult women.
    I am sick of my taxes going to every womans program ever devised , women in business , women represented in government , womans programs . all childrens government support monies to the ‘mother” as though Fathers have no say ? the divorce courts discriminating against males , taking their children , that term ” a male getting in touch with his feminine side ? meaning compassion, caring , love as though only females have that?? .and your “masculine side means agression!!! utter crap!
    the glass ceiling ? wtf?? only for high paid “clean” exec jobs ? what about” equality” on the dirty hard jobs men do ??? yes i am all for equal rubbish collectors, brick layers , sewage workers . truckies !! farmers, mechanics, plumbers , no it wont happen !! to hard lol

    • I can see what you’re saying, and I think it’s wrong to discriminate against a man and not let him become part of the solution to what may be considered a woman’s issue. I don’t really understand the logic behind that, and I can see where your frustration comes from. That being said, men are gaining more and more rights with their children, with men being afforded custody more often than before. I do think you have valid points, but honestly, you can’t blame everyone for bad experiences. Just because what is happening to you, and men in general, is wrong, that doesn’t detract from the fact that slut-shaming is still wrong.

      Also, women take dirty jobs too, and ones that are paid worse. While my mom couldn’t carry as much as my dad and therefore didn’t work in construction, she’s worked in factories and jobs where she (and many others, men included) faced much more disrespect than my dad ever did and fewer benefits for a fraction what he was paid. She has done some heavy lifting (for her) and been a painter, etc. She, like many others, has had crappy jobs that weren’t male-dominated. She currently works cleaning a lobby, and I know another woman who really cleaned cars and did landscaping. While that didn’t always involve laying bricks, they dealt/deal with a lot in the workforce as well. It’s not fair to detract from the hard work people put in just because it’s not what you generally consider a “dirty” job.

  16. AlekNovy says:

    Slut-shaming will end the exact same day that creep-shaming ends. Both are ways society uses to control the sexuality of members it deems “unworthy” of access to sex or social status.

    So, asking men to unilaterally fight for women’s liberation is literally arrogant. If women do not care about dismantling the creep label, men do not have a contractual obligation to help women shed the slut label.

    I would support a creep/slut-walk.

    Guys are told continually “If you were falsely accused of rape, sent to jail and ass-r**ed for 20 years – well its your fault, coz you were creepy looking”. If women attack you and harass and bully you, well dude, its your fault, you were creepy etc… etc…

  17. Chiagoush says:

    I think we need to change the way men see women period. If I wear a skin tight dress, it is not a non-verbal way of saying ,”have sex with me please!” And men need to understand that a woman dressing slutty is not a valid reason to sexually assault or rape her! How would men like it if every time they wear biker shorts outside, a women would rape them at gunpoint? It’s sickening! I cannot even wear a sun dress with out men trying to harass and assault me! And on another point, I think there is something wrong with a person who feels the need to have SO many sexual partners. Men have this problem more than women and I think there is something going on in men’s minds where they are lacking something!

    • AlekNovy says:

      If I wear a skin tight dress, it is not a non-verbal way of saying ,”have sex with me please!”

      Can you please tell that to my female friends who continually whines about how she can’t get laid. She keeps saying “AND THEN I PUT ON THIS SUPER TIGHT dress and was like all tight, AND NOBODY approached me for a one-night stand, ughhhhhhhh, guys are such idiots these days, i mean hello, why did I dress this way”.

      So here’s my solution for what you ask. THERE’S A VERY simple solution. From now on women should VERBALLY initiate sex themselves. Women who are interested in sex should approach and ask for sex themselves – that way men can just wait to know for sure a woman is interested, instead of guessing what a particular woman means by a particular action.

      P.S.

      You’re contradicting some of the slut-walk organizes. A few ofthem said stuff like “uggh, I have a right to go out just trying to get laid” – so… 😀 Get it?

      P.P.S

      Check out table1 here:
      http://aleknovy.com/2011/06/03/evil-assholic-men-misinterpret-womens-communication-on-purpose-can-anyone-genuinelly-read-womens-interest-and-disinterest/

      • wondering says:

        There is a whole lot of difference between dressing sexily and being open to approaches and dressing sexily and being raped. The difference is consent. Your friends are complaining not because they are not being raped but because they are not being approached in a friendly, interested, and nonthreatening manner.

        You are right that communication would solve that problem. If horny women felt more comfortable approaching men that they are interested in, they’d probably get laid more often. Of course, that is behaving in a way that women have been taught not to since birth, so it is really hard to get over – especially since there are social consequences for behaving that way. Because women aren’t supposed to ask – aren’t supposed to have to ask – and if you do, there must be something wrong with you. Fun fact, I’ve had men leave the club simply because I asked them to dance. Apparently “would you like to dance” is code for “I want to marry you, have 6 babies, divorce you messily, and take every penny you have in child support”. Or so I surmise.

        • AlekNovy says:

          Wondering-you seem like a nice person so I’ll assume what you did was not bad intentioned.

          You took my reply given in one context and applied it to another. The cOntext was what I quoted. It wasn’t consent or else. It was about “how dare men think I’m out looking to get laid”.

          Now, my personal solution is to never ever ever assume or guess anything. Never ever ever initiate sex or flirting first – but create an atmosphere where you make it easy for women to express interest first.

          Sure it will be hard for women some time-but guess what, welcome to the adult world, it’s not easy being the initiator. I go out of my way to praise and make life better for women who take their sex and love life in their hands. I make them proud and empowered if they do it-with anyone, not just me. You could say in doing the opposite of slut shaming. I’m doing my share of making the world a better place.

          So I think if men just give women more space to initiate and just make the women feel good for doing it-it’s gonna help out a lot.

  18. No thanks. I teach my kids to not dress like sluts (evidently it’s OK to use this word) or leave the car doors open, a wad of cash on the dashboard with the keys in the ignition and the car running in the mall parking lot. In neither case would they be causing a crime but they sure would be inviting one.

    • Personally, I don’t see much harm with simple freedom of expression. Sometimes I want to dress with less, that doesn’t change whether or not I hook up with a guy, I just like feeling like I look good, and whether people look or not, it makes me feel good to think that, at least to myself, I look good. It’s not a pleasure I enjoy often and I don’t the harm in doing so. When you go to the beach, it is okay to wear less than you usually do and in fact, it is encouraged since it is easier to swim, yet no one is trying to ban beaches. No one says that people go to the beach to get raped or people are inviting to get raped, but if the way you dress is correlated to the chances of getting raped, then people should steer clear or beaches. It honestly seems like a silly argument.

  19. Right on, Hugo Schwyzer!

  20. Never in my life have I ever heard anyone even come close to implying that “abuse against men isn’t as wrong as that against women” or that “Male victims don’t matter”. Never.

    There are many things you have never heard, but that does not make them any less true. These things happen, and I do not think the way to address them is to play the “I’ve never heard anything like that in my life” angle.

    Insulting and alienating everyone that identifies as feminist is not going to help you at all.

    I am certain that police officers feel insulted and alienated by feminist commentary about their treatment of female victims. Yet in many cases the police do treat victims of both sexes terribly. I do not think people should avoid mentioning a problem just because some people may get offended.

    Ironically, your comments are the same thing many people say to female victims who complain about victim-blaming.

    • A news-speak says:

      Given that abuse of women is constantly promoted as the be all, end all and worst sort abuse, I find it very hard to believe that someone hasn’t absorbed that message. I think that ts more likely that the message is so complete and present in the culture, that most people are unaware of it.

  21. Against news-speak says:

    For feminists and any other women that are presently trapped in rape culture.

    Here are two excerpts from piece of writing called
    “My name is Typhonblue and I am a survivor of rape hysteria.”
    on how to be free of rape hysteria.

    “Before I started to read about men’s rights I was, like every other woman, bound by rape hysteria. Men in my eyes bore their burden of guilt and I, in turn, bore my burden of fear.

    But I was lucky.

    I stumbled upon the men’s rights movement and saw things—statistics, studies—they pulled up from the depths of our society’s subconscious—things that would silently slip down into the deep if it weren’t for them.

    All the evidence I’ve seen against rape hysteria is not good enough for those who profit from keeping women in a prison of fear; but it’s good enough for me to question my obligation to stay.”

    “…A weight lifted from me in that moment; a weight I never knew I carried till it was gone.

    Before I had always seen my husband—and every other man—as either a good man or a bad man; but never innocent. His actions were always deliberate, if he did me harm he was a villain with the blackest heart; if he did me good, he was a knight-in-shining armor.

    After, he became innocent.

    “Patriarchal society limits women’s potential.”

    Women infected by rape hysteria will meet bad men, creepy men, evil men. And they’ll meet good men, real men, strong men.

    But they will never meet an innocent man.

    They are poorer for it…..”

    Rest here
    ht tp://www.avoiceformen.com/2011/05/27/my-name-is-typhonblue-and-i-am-a-survivor-of-rape-hysteria/#comments

  22. William says:

    – I’m not responsible for what other men do, if someone wants to judge my entire gender based on the actions of small group then i feel sorry for them.
    – I’m going to tell my daughter to avoid dressing “slutty” to not attract the attention of men who don’t have respect for woman wearing that clothing and don’t have any boundaries.
    You don’t think these men haven’t been chastised by woman before ? they don’t care.
    This doesn’t mean that these men will be deterred from doing something if she wears more appropriate clothing, it’s mean that LESS of these men will be drawn to her.
    – Men who rape will commit the crime no matter what a woman’s wearing
    – Men will never stop using the term “slut”.
    Alot of woman think that some men have stopped judging them harshly for her promiscuity, these men have just stopping using the term around woman for fear that they won’t have sex with them.
    – People do not have respect for people they deem are beneath them, how many of you would volunteer to be a garbage man? doorman? maid/butler?
    – People judge others all the time.

  23. I was raped and I don’t support SlutWalk.

    They’re not subverting the word ‘slut’ they’re reinforcing the sexual objectification of women – the slut or ‘temptress’ is a powerful cultural archetype, and always will be, which lawyers in particular use as a well-worn legal tactic that’s about money not human rights. Should they use it? Of course not! But an ideology doesn’t stop having negative social connotations or ramifications overnight just because people say it should.

    Misogyny is rampant in our culture and the pornification of women dominates popular media. It’s so deeply disappointing that young women have bought into their own objectification to the point whereby they’re willing to reinforce it and promote it because it’s been marketed as cool. I believe they’re naive to allow themselves to be photographed as ‘promiscuous’, too – it may not seem so empowering when their images are taken out of context later.

    Raising money for rape services or walking against rape would have been much more useful than fighting for their right to be a sex object. I’m pleased the sensationalism has stirred wider debate about victim blaming and I believe feminists can learn from their clever marketing techniques to communicate more valuable messages.

    But those who walk are not walking, or speaking, for me.

  24. This “SlutWalk” idea is just silly and is another example of feminism’s irrationality and entitlement mentality.

    They’re bunch of spoil little girls who believes that they should have “the right” to dress and/or act however they want to without any kind of reactions or consequences. It’s like believing that you should have “the right” to dress like a circus clown without getting laughed at.

    Telling people to be more responsible, take some precaution, and have some common sense is not “blaming the victim”.

    The fact that those women get their in twist over what that cop say further show just spoiled and coddled women are in out culture.

  25. Crushingly low expectations….now if I were a man, I’d hate to hear that. THAT alone is worth trying to become a better person over. I can’t imagine if I were part of a “species” and knew that that was the way part of the world viewed me. And yet I’m not saying you are not right. I don’t know how I feel about the walk, or the idea that clothes don’t matter – even understanding, as I do, that rape is an act of violence rather than sexual gratification – but I think that putting another “truth” out there for the world to ponder or analyze can be a good thing. Keep up the great dialogue, Hugo. Always a pleasure to read your effortless and strong writing.

  26. I’m curious as to why you felt the need to distinguish “straight men” in this article. I understand the pov that you’re writing from but think you miss the point of the Toronto walk’s message of diversity across a spectrum of gender identities and sexualities.

    I also question the logic of men becoming better people simply for the sake of female bodies and seems to reinforce that straight men are responsible for the safety of women’s bodies. Sexual assault exists across all spectrums of gender identity. The Toronto Slutwalk organizers ask that this be acknowledged in their statement.

    Cisgendered men, male-identified, trans men, and everyone else should be part of this movement to denounce their perceived hypersexuality, to denounce sexual assault committed by men and denounce sexual assault committed on men.

  27. This is a very cool piece. I have often wondered about this – isn’t it incredibly insulting to men, this idea that they just can’t help raping a woman if she’s wearing something revealing?

    I have two sons (so far) and they are growing up very much aware that they are responsible for their own actions.

    • Hanna

      Nobody suggested that men can’t help raping women in the first place. The police officer offered a very simple piece of logic.

      If you deliberately draw sexual attention to yourself, you increase your chances of attracting sexual attention that might be negative, the chances are 1 in 1000s or more.

      The feminist spin on that, is just that, spin.

      • No, he said the best thing you can do to avoid “getting raped” is to not dress “slutty.” Dress does not cause or encourage rape.

        • Right, and what that means is deliberately dressing to attract sexual attention has the effect of attracting sexual attention and the portability of negative sexual attention.

          Its 100% true.

          Feminism / the political left has an ideological position in which rape is about power and not sex, but thats b/s.

          Rape is about sex, for a very small % of dysfunctional men, who chances are were abused and molested by a woman in their childhood.

          But we are not supposed to talk about that.

          • Source it. The statistics don’t back you up.

            • DK

              I’m not sure what you are demanding sources for so I will give you these.

              Rate of sexual abuse by females in the backgrounds of rapists, sex offenders and sexually aggressive men – 59% (Petrovich and Templer, 1984), 66% (Groth, 1979) and 80% (Briere and Smiljanich, 1993).

              I can show you that the political organisers behind the SlutWalks are lying about rape having a low conviction rate and the police not taking rape claims seriously.

              Im being lazy and will plagerise a post that went up in /r/mensrights today

              “Just one of the problems you get from exaggerating an issue beyond all possible reality. I mean, sure there must be some police that have regressive attitudes towards victims.. the feminists did just manage to find one guy in Canada (!!!), but the percent of investigations brought to trial in rape cases is on par with other crimes (40% of rapes cleared by arrest1, 39% of murders2, 22% of thefts3 (not standardized)), so the best assumption is that they get the same consideration in most cases.
              Telling the public that the police wont believe rape victims is actually a sure fire recipe for increasing rape.
              ht tp://www.theforensicexaminer.com/archive/spring09/15/
              ht tp://latimesblogs.latimes.com/homicidereport/2007/12/which-cases-hav.html
              ht tp://www.nytreefarm.org/files/Timbertheftfinalreport%20_2_.pdf
              ht tp://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/hkahq/how_many_rape_victim_do_you_think_wont_go_to_the/And

              I can show more lies about rape by the feminist movement here… women rape men as often as visa versa.

              3% of men reported forced sex (of which 2.1% was forced vaginal sex… this is in fact men reporting victimization by women)
              22% of men reported verbal sexual coercion

              By comparison, in the same study it was found that:
              2.3% of women reported forced sex (don’t ignore the decimal point)
              25% of women reported verbal sexual coercion
              ht tp://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID45-PR45.pdf

              See also here
              h ttp://www.springerlink.com/content/t88035m5295g6751/

              And here
              ht tp://www.springerlink.com/content/t88035m5295g6751/

              And here is a paper on how feminism falsified the 2% of rape claims are false factoid

              “THE TRUTH BEHIND LEGAL DOMINANCE
              FEMINISM’S “TWO PERCENT FALSE
              RAPE CLAIM” FIGURE
              Edward Greer*
              I. INTRODUCTION
              For at least the last decade, Legal Dominance Feminism (LDF) 1has been the predominant voice on sexual abuse within legal academia.2 However, many of its empirical claims regarding the sexual
              abuse of women are erroneous….
              ht tp://ncfm.org/libraryfiles/Children/rape/greer.pdf

              And another two that go into feminisms lies about rape, and the high report rape.

              ht tp://www.ipt-forensics.com/journal/volume6/j6_2_4.htm
              ht tp://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_go1613/is_1_18/ai_n31607869/

              Feminism promotes dangerous rape myths and deliberate lies about rape and society, for political and financial gain. It exploits gullible and or vulnerable women through rape fear mongering.

          • Barb,

            Your urgings to dismiss the ‘lies’ and stereotypes promoted by ‘feminism/ the political left’ are hypocritical: you’re generalizing about feminism and feminists in order to stop generalizations…about other things?

    • Morrisfactor says:

      Hannah-

      “I have often wondered about this – isn’t it incredibly insulting to men, this idea that they just can’t help raping a woman if she’s wearing something revealing? ”

      Yes. It is very insulting and not true of 99.99 percent of males.

  28. If a person is deliberately drawing attention to themselves, be it sexual or otherwise, be they male and female, the law of averages tells us that we might eventually draw the wrong sort of attention from the wrong sort of person.

    I friend of mine did what is normal for women to do during the 90s for an extended period of time, some years, he wore woman’s leggings without underwear, which leaves nothing to the imagination. He drew plenty of attention to himself, and it wasn’t always good.

    These slut walks are an AstroTurf movement based on rape fearmongering, histrionics and logical fallacy and an excuse for professional feminist rabble rousers to promote their rape culture lies through megaphones to the gullible herd that turns up.

  29. Woot!! I love this article!!

    And thank you for pointing this out: “Too many of us still believe that “self-respect” for a woman means chastity and modesty”… Modesty is usually defined by OTHER people. And when you kowtow to other’s definitions, you are essentially lacking in self-esteem.

    I have found that if I dress in a way that reflects who I am and what I like, my confidence repels scumbags. I’ve been hit on by scumbags while wearing bulky turtleneck sweaters and baggy pants that revealed absolutely nothing. It really isn’t the clothes; it’s the scumbag at fault.

    Thanks, Hugo! Great article!

  30. Hugo — Thank you for this article. I shared it on my Facebook and it took off. A bunch of my friends who haven’t shown any interest in gender justice issues before have shared it and thanked me. It’s struck a nerve for sure. Thank you.

  31. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    This is the first Hugo article I’ve wholeheartedly agreed with. Go Hugo!

  32. I was particularly concerned about this statement:

    “…and there is no outfit short of steel armor a woman can wear that will protect her from an obsessed stalker or a drunken frat boy filled with a sense of entitlement.”

    Isn’t this the same exact sentiment that resulted in members of the Duke Faculty attempting to railroad their own lacrosse team in 2006 based on patently false accusations?

    For someone who argues that we need to stop spreading lies about men, Hugo doesn’t really seem to be doing his part to fight stereotypes.

  33. Why can’t men and women just love each other without all the unnecesary pain?

  34. Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant says:

    Look buddy, you’re wasting your time trying to talk to Hugo or engage in any kind of dialogue. He humors people on his blog, but in the end I’ve rarely met anyone so set in his opinions. (Occasionally he’ll reconsider if a woman disagrees with him, but that’s another issue entirely). I just like to have some fun with him.

  35. In all seriousness, has Hugo ever made a post that was received well here? I mean really, what is the point? If he just wants to talk about the evils of modern men, there are countless feminist sites where he can do just that. But again, this is the GOOD Men Project, not the Men-Who-Can-Be-Good-But-Right-Now-Are-Rapists-Or-Rapist-Enablers Project.

    • I don’t see anything that he was saying that claims all men have a responsibility to prevent rape. He’s saying that it’s in men’s best interest to support something like Slutwalk because the idea that men are uncontrollable sexual beasts is a stereotype that HURTS MEN.

      • Maybe it’s fatigue setting in Susan. I just perused some of the titles from this author:

        The Male self pleasure myth, Myth busting bisexual men, The top 5 myths about the penis, The myth of male inflexibility….and those are just in the titles…

        He does seem to have a penchant for setting up these “myths” to further evangelize proper human behavior to that sorry lot we call men.

        Maybe TGMP will give me a spot on this blog to take down the myth of the female “gold digger”, in which I will explain how all women can dispel this myth by getting a job and paying their own way through life. You’re on board with me dispelling that myth, right?

        His stuff is puerile, argumentative, facile, and frankly, booooring.

        • Elissa, I would love to see the myth of the female gold-digger dispelled. I’m so sick of running up against it. I am a single mom making my way along in a modest office job. I’ve never taken anything from a man that wasn’t freely given. Heck, even in my divorce I left him the house and most of the furniture, dishes, et cetera.

          Stereotypes SUCK.

      • Susan, you sound like you support good old fashioned chivalry.

        If all men have a responsibility to prevent male rape of females as you say, do you believe that all women have a responsibility to prevent child, domestic, sexual abuse and rape by women, or is it just men that you view as locked into the role of female protector and chaperon?

        • Huh?

          I’m not seeing where Susan said that all men have a responsibility to prevent male rape of females. In fact, she pointed out that “I don’t see anything that he was saying that claims all men have a responsibility to prevent rape.”

          Her point was very clear and succinct: stereotypes that men can’t control themselves are insulting and harmful to men.

        • Sorry Susan. I glanced over your post and misread it.

          The police officer never promoted the stereotype that men are uncontrollable sex beasts, the police officer was promoting the fact that if you are deliberately drawing sexual attention to yourself, it can increase you chances of attracting sexual attention of a negative kind. Its not a statement about men in general at all.

          Its a law of averages sort of proposition. These slut walkers believe that they have the right to be exempt from the sort of universal laws that govern everyone else.

          Perhaps we should criticize the political interests behind the slut walk for exploiting the foolish?

          • Except it doesn’t increase your chances of negative sexual attention. Sexual assault is about power, not provocative dress or sexual desire.

            • Ok, you are just an ideologue repeating feminist falsehoods as if they are fact without thinking.

              Dressing to draw attention to yourself, increases your chance of drawing attention to yourself. And sexual assault is about sex.

              Ask your movement to stop filling your head with nonsense.

              • How are men raped? How are old people raped? How are women in burqas raped? How are military personnel raped? How are children raped?

              • Barb,

                “Sexual assault is about sex.”

                I find this incredibly offensive, as someone who has friends who have experienced rape and who are still traumatized by it. Neither of them were dressed inappropriately or ‘asking for it’ (even by your blatantly-skewed standards). They’ll tell you that rape does not feel like ‘sex’. And no, the ‘evil’ feminist movement did not brainwash me into saying this. Sounds like YOUR head has been filled with nonsense. Seriously, get informed. Please. Your ignorant comments are embarrassing.

                • It is not offensive. Perhaps blunt, but not entirely incorrect. There are thousands of things you can do to a person to control and humiliate them. The vast majority of those things do not involve a sex act. Sexual assault does, so it is reasonable to assume that sex has something to do with it. Even studies that state that it is all about power still show that there is a sexual motivation at play. Whatever other factors that prompt the offender to act still manifest themselves as a sexual desire or sexual impulse. So to that extent it is about sex, otherwise the offender would choose a different act to control their victim.

                  As for rape feeling like sex, what do you mean by that? I have been sexually abused, both violently and gently. Outside of the most extreme instances of abuse, sex feels the same as the abuse. It is literally the same act, which is partially why I get triggered sometimes. The difference lies in the intent of the person committing the act and my consent to it.

  36. @ jacobtk – you’re missing the point, which is about context (and, if you’d taken the time to go to the SlutWalks main sites, you find out that it is, indeed, about male victims as well as female.

    “If a man walks out of the house in nothing but a thong, it effects people’s opinion of him.” A man in a thong – generally – is not considered a sexual object. If he’s built like Will Ferrell, the EFFECT is deiberately comedic. The way it AFFECTS people’s opinions is based on context. If he’s very well built and is posing in Playgirl, it’s a different story.

    “How we perceive nudity presents another issue. The more skin a person shows, the more likely others will take it as a sexual gesture. ” Around the pool at a family barbecue? At the beach? There are times when NOT showing skin is inappropriate.

    I applaud those men and women willing to stand up and say, THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR RAPE. Period Whether she’s dressed “provocatively” or wearing a maid’s uniform, or whether HE is in his Army-issue skvvies in the barracks.

    • Jacobtk says:

      Beverly,

      I have visited the Toronto site before. It is clearly about women. I wrote above, there is nothing wrong that, so there is no need to claim it is “for men, too” when it clearly is not. I think what Hugo meant is that it is “about” men in the sense that men rape women and therefore they have a collective responsibility to address sexual violence against women.

      Context matters, but it has a minimal effect on people’s perceptions. For example, the context of the Toronto march did not change the officer’s opinion of revealing clothing. How we dress affects people’s opinion of us. There are situations where a person is acceptably unclothed. However,we still perceive the nude body as primarily sexual. In order to change people’s reaction to women’s state of dress, we must address the former issues.

  37. Feminists seem to ignore that how people dress effects how others view them. If a man walks out of the house in nothing but a thong, it effects people’s opinion of him. If he walks out in a suit, the opinion changes. If he walks out in pajamas the opinion changes again. How we dress directly impacts what people think of us. Yes, this results from a culture-based perception, but it exists none the less.

    How we perceive nudity presents another issue. The more skin a person shows, the more likely others will take it as a sexual gesture.

    Likewise, people’s perception rape plays a role. Most people perceive rape as completely about sex, which prompts people to believe that if a person does not draw sexual attention to themselves they can avoid rape. Given that women and men commit for a variety of reasons, that advice proves rather useless advice. However, only a small group of men and women commit sexual violence, so the notion that all men who do not commit rape nevertheless bear responsibility for it also proves rather asinine.

    As for men urging women to cover up, that comes more from our cultural overprotection of females than out of legitimate. We view women as more vulnerable and stoke those fears, leading to the absurd advice society gives women. Ironically, the notion that men collectively bear a responsibility to prevent other men’s bad acts against females perpetuates that overprotection and leads to more absurd advice.

    On the last matter, Slutwalk would only be “for men, too” if it included male rape victims and their concerns. Since it does not male victims and, given feminists’ negative views of them, probably will not, the march is not “for” men. “About”, in the feminist sense, is the proper preposition.

    • Lindsey says:

      Just because an event doesn’t specifically call out other groups doesn’t mean that they don’t support them in feeling. If a men’s group gathered to protest the lack of social awareness regarding rape against men, I would support it 100%, even if they didn’t also mention rape against women. Supporting one cause doesn’t mean that you don’t support the other. If anything, I think that these meet-ups would be a good place to spread the word about other, related causes. While people are already talking about preventing rape and supporting victims, it would be a good time to expand the discussion.

      • Jacobtk says:

        Lindsey,

        My point is that Slutwalk is not “for men, too” as it does not address men’s issues. It is for women and there is nothing wrong with that per se. Any men who want to support the march already will, so there is no need for the “for men, too” bit.

        • When the police officer who inspired SlutWalk repeats the lie that we need to fixate on how women dress and provoke strange men, we silence those who do not fit in that narrow stereotype. When we SlutWalk and show the REAL face of rape, we give voice to those that are marginalized by the false perception of rape and rape victims. That includes men.

          • confused says:

            “When the police officer who inspired SlutWalk repeats the lie that we need to fixate on how women dress and provoke strange men, we silence those who do not fit in that narrow stereotype.”

            This sentence makes no sense, how do “we” silence those who do not believe that rape is caused by scantily clad people “prancing about” by “he” (the police officer), repeating something.

            Why is it my (our) social responsibility to remind people that “that guy’s wrong!” Especially when it seems likely that any male participating in the event would make themselves a target for feminists who claim that by their participation, they are “cheapening” an event designed for women to be “about men too”, as is often the case in many issues involving rape when discussed within feminists circles?

            • Vaudree says:

              Slutwalks are about men too because men not only have sisters, daughters, mothers and friends, they can also become victims of sexual assault and slut-shamed after. I don’t know who is promoting the idea that they are not about men too.

              It is not just daughters, I want my sons to grow up in a world in which all people are safe, responsible, reliable.

              • confused says:

                This does not address my comment at all. My point was people don’t claim that responding to comments made by women who advocate sexist ides such as “men cant cook” or “men need women to do XYZ domestic chores for them because they are otherwise domestically incompetent.” to be “the responsibility of women”. So why is it “the responsibility of men” to respond to some random cop’s opinion?

                He is entitled to his opinion and I’m entitled to think hes wrong, since when is it my JOB to prove my opinion is “right” over somebody else, especially when feminist women generally acknowledge that “most men are not oppressors of women, most people that oppress women just happen to be men”?

            • It is absurd of you to assume that Slutwalk does not include male survivors and victims. The Slutwalk in my city has expressed on many occasions the abuse of men. But something to reconsider is:
              Abuse towards men occurs mostly in the 6-16 year old range. Those stats are not only difficult to obtain, but really hard to talk about.
              While 1 in 3 women are likely to be assaulted, the number for men is an estimate of between 1 out of 8-12. It happens. Its just not as widespread as assault against women. That does not belittle it, though, it just doesn’t cross a lot of minds.
              Also keep in mind that an 90%+ of male-male sex assault is perpetrated by hetero-identified men, often who hold some power over their victims.
              The barriers of sex assault reporting on men are different than those against women. Men are often afraid to report out of fear of being labeled gay (homophobia strikes against) or immasculated.

              Slutwalk is for the men tired of being labeled as potential rapists. Its for men who have been through assault. Its for men who have partners who have been through it. Most importantly, its what YOU make of it. Stop complaining online and contribute. Make your voice heard.

              *The stats I referenced are Canadian, and I imagine I don’t need to remind you that they vary by region.

              Great conversations though, people.

              • Actually, the rate of sexual violence against males is 1 in 6. Most researchers consider this a low estimate because male victims are so hesitant to come forward. The researchers generally estimate the actual rate of sexual violence against male to be around 1 in 4, i.e. the same rate as sexual violence against women. Female commit approximately 40% of sexual violence against male victims. Those statistics are not difficult to obtain. You can find them on ht tp://www.jimhopper.com. Coincidently, the rate you listed from Canada about male victims is incorrect.

                As a male victim and an advocate for male victims I am well aware of the stigmas male victims face. I am also well aware of how condescending feminists are when they talk to people who speak out about how poorly feminists treat male victims. I did not need the reminder, but it does serve as an excellent demonstration of the crap I put up with when I speak publicly about sexual violence against males.

                Claiming that the event is about male victims when they are not even mentioned or featured is fairly disingenuous. Claiming that it is about men being tired of getting label as potential rapists is ironic and hypocritical because the event hinges on the notion that all or most men presume it is okay to rape women if they dress in revealing clothing.

                • Jacob:
                  I have yet to disagree with you on many things. I am happy that you’re an advocate for male survivors. However, the stats I have presented are for my region only. If they conflict with yours (and I like your 1/6 MUCH better) it is only for that reason. Mine are established by the local Assault Crisis center, whom are working hand-in-hand with my city’s Slutwalk.
                  I do want to point out to you that in my city our pamphlets, posters, and website all mention statistics of male victims/survivors. You sweeping generalization of feminists apparently does not apply.

                  But if you wanted to have it mentioned in your city you would approach the people running it and lend your voice and talents, like I did (I am on the organizing committee). If they refuse to hear you it is their loss, and I understand your situation. I just hope that one day you meet a “feminist” who changes your mind regarding your apparent resentment. I know I had to kiss a few frogs, so to speak. I don’t imagine that happening soon because from what I can see on this board you live in a world of harsh (and sometimes laughable) dichotomy where compromise is apparently a bad word.
                  Keep up your advocacy, what, or how, ever it may be.

                  • Actually, my “sweeping generalization of feminists” does apply. The Canadian study The Invisible Boy reported that a substantial number of rape centers in Canada refuse or do not provide services to male victims. If your center does provide those services, that is great, although I hope it does not include the typical anti-male sentiment many male victims face.

                    That said, your center’s statistics do not accurately represent the prevalence rate of sexual violence. Plenty of victims never go to or call crisis centers, particularly male victims since many crisis centers treat male victims as rapists or hang up on them. Peer-reviewed research is more reliable, although it still remains possible for statistics mislead people or get manipulated.

                    Resentment is the wrong word to describe my opinion of how feminists treat men. Disappointment is more accurate. I have no issue with compromise. It is simply that feminists and I disagree on the meaning of the word. I think it means mutual concessions and feminists seem to think it means something else. Regarding my city’s version of the march, given that male victims face different issues and lack adequate acknowledgment, I think we deserve better some back-of-the-bus status.

                    • Lindsey says:

                      Your cause is a very worthy one that many people would support. Never in my life have I ever heard anyone even come close to implying that “abuse against men isn’t as wrong as that against women” or that “Male victims don’t matter”. Never. Insulting and alienating everyone that identifies as feminist is not going to help you at all. Everyone needs to be part of supporting male victims – even women. Just because a person doesn’t believe that there is a feminist conspiracy against men doesn’t mean that he or she can’t be of great help to your cause.

              • JoeyM

                You said – “Also keep in mind that an 90%+ of male-male sex assault is perpetrated by hetero-identified men, often who hold some power over their victims.”

                Feminist lies about heterosexual men not only spread hatred, they create an abuse culture in which the victims of women, gay men and lesbian women are excluded and their abusers protected.

                Heterosexual women rape and sexually assault heterosexual men as often as vise versa.

                3% of men reported forced sex (of which 2.1% was forced vaginal sex… this is in fact men reporting victimization by women)
                22% of men reported verbal sexual coercion

                By comparison, in the same study it was found that:
                2.3% of women reported forced sex (don’t ignore the decimal point)
                25% of women reported verbal sexual coercion
                ht tp://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID45-PR45.pdf

                See also here
                h ttp://www.springerlink.com/content/t88035m5295g6751/

                And here
                ht tp://www.springerlink.com/content/t88035m5295g6751/

    • That Girl says:

      Can you maybe not present feminists as a hive mind. Seriously we all dont think a like and we all dont just support women. I am a feminist but i am also a supporter of mens rights because everyone deserves the right to sexual freedom and we all deserve to be rid of the awful and untrue stereotypes society endows us with.

    • “Feminists seem to ignore that how people dress effects how others view them.”

      I think our point is that it SHOULDN’T, or at least not in this way. How a woman dresses does not justify raping her, period.

      Sometimes, society acts on the basis of appearance in inappropriate ways. An easy example is racism. Stereotypes about people based on skin color or ethnic appearance may indeed affect how others view a particular person. The answer, though, is not to DEFEND this propensity in society, but rather for people to stop being frikkin ignorant.

      “As for men urging women to cover up, that comes more from our cultural overprotection of females than out of legitimate.”

      I think it more comes from society’s desire to control and blame women than from “overprotectiveness.” Interestingly, in your own comment, you say that clothing is important because it alters how the woman is perceived. Yet later, you say that “men’s” (I would rather say “society’s”) desire to control and dictate women’s clothing (with rape as a punishment should she step out of line) is not based on their perception of the woman, but rather on “overprotectiveness.”

      If you want to protect women, help erase the clothing-based justifications for rape. Don’t support them.

      • Hanna

        Nobody says that the way a woman is dressed justifies raping her.

        People suggest that of a person, any person is dressing to draw attention to themselves, in this case sexual attention, that they might inadvertently attract a negative sort of the attention that they are looking for.

        • Unfortunately this is not a true statement – dress does not influence sexual assault. When we fixate on this lie, we detract from recognizing and helping victims of rape and resort to policing women’s modesty.

      • I think our point is that it SHOULDN’T, or at least not in this way. How a woman dresses does not justify raping her, period.

        I did not say that it did. I wrote that how people dress affects people’s opinion of them. That is not an endorsement of it, just an acknowledgment that this is how our society operates. And to be honest, we do not seem inclined to change that. People like judging others based on what they wear.

        Interestingly, in your own comment, you say that clothing is important because it alters how the woman is perceived. Yet later, you say that “men’s” (I would rather say “society’s”) desire to control and dictate women’s clothing (with rape as a punishment should she step out of line) is not based on their perception of the woman, but rather on “overprotectiveness.”

        That is not what I wrote. I wrote, “As for men urging women to cover up, that comes more from our cultural overprotection of females than out of legitimate (fear).” The name-calling is the symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. For example, when someone calls me “gay” or a feminist calls me a “rapist” for speaking about my abuse, what motivates them is not homophobia and misandry per se. Rather it is the belief that males cannot be vulnerable or victims because males can always protect themselves. Similarly, the name-calling directed at female victims is an effect of our society’s views about nudity, women’s state of dress, and what causes sexual violence against women. Those are the issues one must address if one wishes to protect women.

    • Your bias is pretty obvious when you say that feminists hate male victims (wow that’s one hell of a sweeping generalization). I hope you don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

      • atlyss

        The feminist movement actively hides male victims and exaggerates female victim hood with its bogus research and factoids – “90% of rape victims are female” and so on.

        The feminist movement is hostile to male victims, if you post with feminists as an advocate for male victims and post accurate research, see how quickly you are attacked, abused, censored and banned from whatever feminist area you happen to be in.

        I do think that feminists are tolerant of male victims but only in the context of the lie that most victims are female and most abusers are male, beyond that there is hate.

  38. Lindsey says:

    Thanks for this article. I think that you’re absolutely spot-on. There are two things that have always bothered me that this article addresses:

    1) The myth that all men “deep down” are rapists doesn’t seem to anger most men. I’m not sure why this is. There are so many people that perpetuate this sense that all men want to rape women and the “good” men are just those who repress this urge the most successfully. They seem to confuse being attracted to people with wanting to rape them. There are so many men who have never felt compelled to inflict sexual violence on women – I’m not sure why they’re not more outspoken on this offensive stance.

    2) That men are allowed to treat women as badly as those women will let them – that men do not have any morals or decency of their own. This is absolutely incorrect. Men are perfectly capable of having their own standards about how people should be treated. And if they meet someone who is willing to do with less than those standards, it shouldn’t impact their behavior at all. Just because a woman doesn’t “respect herself” doesn’t give men the right to not respect her. There are plenty of good men who base their treatment of people on their own feeling of right and wrong – not on what they can get away with.

    • The myth that all men “deep down” are rapists doesn’t seem to anger most men.

      Based on what? I think most men would react negatively to anyone accusing of them of inherently being rapists. One need only read men’s responses to feminists to see how much that presumption angers them. However, most men are not going to spend their time denying being something they are not, particularly not to a group who will not believe them anyway.

      That men are allowed to treat women as badly as those women will let them – that men do not have any morals or decency of their own.

      Again, what is that based on? Most men treat women based on their own standards about how people should be treated. Perhaps some women want preferential treatment, but we cannot always get what we want.

      • “Based on what? ”

        Based on the fact that men (as well as women, of course) will repeat the old victim-blaming saws that if a woman dresses or acts “slutty” she is to blame for her own rape. That implies that men have no self-control and are inherently rapists. In many cultures this is openly stated as the reason why women must cover up; the Toronto cop’s statement was not far off from this.
        If we think men can control themselves, why should it matter at all what the woman wears?

        “Most men treat women based on their own standards about how people should be treated. Perhaps some women want preferential treatment, but we cannot always get what we want.”

        You sound really defensive about this – I’m kind of wondering what baggage you’re bringing to the table here. E.g., when did “preferential treatment” come into the question?

        The commenter never mentioned preferential treatment. Instead, the commenter’s point was obviously that men are capable of treating women with respect even if the woman might accept worse treatment. For instance, some women will put up with physical abuse; that doesn’t mean that men are allowed to or cannot resist doling out such abuse. Yet society tends to blame the victim here – if a woman doesn’t “respect herself,” the old saw goes, the man can’t respect her either. “Respecting herself” is (as the post states) code for “refrains from behavior I find too sexual.”

        The idea that men are incapable of according respect simply based on the fact that the woman is a fellow human being does men a disservice. My husband, for example, would never think of treating a woman (or a man) disrespectfully simply because the person might accept that treatment (or might not respect themselves.) This is because he is a decent human being.

        The bottom line is, men are perfectly capable of treating women well regardless of what the woman is wearing, her sexual activity, etc; consequently, there is no excuse at all for men to do otherwise. Anyone who suggests that men are incapable of controlling themselves if a woman doesn’t do XYZ is not exculpating men; they are insulting men.

        • Based on the fact that men (as well as women, of course) will repeat the old victim-blaming saws that if a woman dresses or acts “slutty” she is to blame for her own rape. That implies that men have no self-control and are inherently rapists.

          No, it implies that a woman’s state of dress entices rapists. The notion that women keep to cover up because their beauty incite men into lustful rages does imply men have no self-control, but it does not necessarily mean all men are rapists. While some cultures do make that assertion, our culture is not one of them.

          If we think men can control themselves, why should it matter at all what the woman wears?

          Probably because clothing is a manifestation of cultural norms and values, and people are pushed to obey those norms.

          You sound really defensive about this – I’m kind of wondering what baggage you’re bringing to the table here. E.g., when did “preferential treatment” come into the question?

          The implication was that men as a group mistreat women. This is not the case. Most men do have standards for how they treat people, and those standards are generally good and appear to be no different than the same standards women apply to men. So I do not see the issue unless the desire is for a different kind of treatment that is better than how women treat men.

          The idea that men are incapable of according respect simply based on the fact that the woman is a fellow human being does men a disservice.

          I think the idea that men do not afford women respect as fellow human beings does men a greater disservice. Yes, there are men who treat women poorly. There are also women who treat men poorly. Should I judge all women by the actions of a few? If not, why should men not receive the same good faith presumption?

        • David Johnston says:

          Hannah says – “You sound really defensive about this – I’m kind of wondering what baggage you’re bringing to the table here. ”
          Gee, Hannah, great debating technique. Why don’t you just call somebody a fool or potential rapist or a psychopath and get it off your chest?
          I’m sure your feminism makes you pure of any possible faults, shortcomings and foibles. Just a perfect human being.
          Yeah, right.
          And if you sound defensive, or aggressive in your reply to this, tough luck.
          Let’s all let computers debate humanity.
          They’ll have no emotions to muddy the debate.
          Yes, I’m a male, and therefore “defensive” , “aggressive” and “wrong”.

          • Ridiculing someone for making an ad hominem argument tends to look stupid when you make one yourself in your very next sentence, David.
            I wish more commenters actually took the time to learn what ‘feminism’ means before bandying the term about on this site.

            • I’d like to see more moderation of feminists who think slander, insinuation and personal attack is the way to go about debate.

    • Lindsey says:

      I think that you misunderstood what I was saying. I, personally, do not believe either of the number points that I made. It is just something that I’ve come up against that has bothered me. I mentioned them here because the article addresses them.

      1) The myth that all men are rapists is what lies behind the “don’t dress like a slut if you don’t want to be raped” attitude. It puts the responsibility on women not trigger something in men that some people perceive as being universal. The less you arouse men, the better, because some men can’t/wont hold themselves back like others can. I think that this is completely false and I’m assuming that a lot of men do, too. There are so many articles that blame rape victims for how they dress based on this assumption and I’ve always found that the most vocal opponents of this view are always women. It very well could be that men don’t oppose the “men are biologically predisposed to rape, so women should deal with it” argument because they just think that it’s too stupid to address. That’s a good point.

      2) This point was mentioned in response to the author’s assertion that “Women aren’t commodities whose value is based on their own fluctuating sense of self-worth.” Again, I was just rephrasing what he wrote. There are a lot of men who visit prostitutes that would never want their daughters to be prostitutes. How do you explain that? If a man feels that a particular treatment or regard is undesirable, shouldn’t that apply to everyone, not just those they personally care about? Again, there are plenty of men who don’t do anything offensive and I like this article because I think that it calls out and supports those men, regardless of whether they walk or not.

      • Jacobtk says:

        The myth that all men are rapists is what lies behind the “don’t dress like a slut if you don’t want to be raped” attitude. It puts the responsibility on women not trigger something in men that some people perceive as being universal.

        Some people might, but I think most people would take it to mean “some random guy might rape you if you dress like that”. Not every man. A man. Of course, one cannot know who that man will be, which means it could be any man, and if it is any man, all men become suspect. I think that is the logic that you are talking about.

        There are a lot of men who visit prostitutes that would never want their daughters to be prostitutes. How do you explain that?

        The same way I would explain the many women who use drugs but would never want their sons to be drug dealers: People are willing to use services that they would not want their children to do. Perhaps that desire should apply to everyone, but people tend to favor their children over everyone else.

        • I’m confused. You two seem to be making the same points. For two people in total agreement, this sounds a lot like an argument.

          • What I believe Jacobtk is trying to say is what the cop was saying before it was taken out of context and spin is that when you dress like a promiscuous woman IE: Slut you are attracting the lust and and attention of men. Since a lot of men are attracted to that style of dress you are of course attracting alot men. A small number of men are rapist who have conscious chosen to ignore a woman’s right to her own body. However they are still men and they are attracted to woman that dress in a sexually provocative manner. Therefore when you dress like a slut you are attracting all sorts of men including willful predators. Basically you are adding a target to your back for which most men will respect however factually as it stands some men won’t.

            And thus the Slutwalk misses the point of this cop’s remarks entirely and is just using this event as an excuse to shame most men into accept uncritically all forms of behaviors from women. While this article points out that men need to be reliable responsible and safe. I’m not in favor of something so unbalanced. Men are called pigs for sleeping with multiple women. Often they are accused of only appreciating women for their bodies and this is bad. But Hey we can’t criticize a woman for doing the same thing because she has the right for her sexuality to go unchallenged. I agree with Jacobtk at this point it seems to me that the slut walk wants to achieve power in favor of women.

        • Rebecca says:

          @ Jacob. You seem to be a bit confused about why rape occurs. Look at any government report into instances of rape and you will see that it is factually incorrect to say that clothing is a motivating factor when it comes to sexual assault.

          The idea that women are at danger from random men on the street who will be ‘provoked’ by their clothing is a MYTH. Pure and simple.

          Women are most likely to be raped by an intimate partner, family member or friend.

          So not only is the ‘advice’ given to women about clothing choices incredibly limiting, it also does nothing to prevent rape from occuring. The problem is that our society teaches people to ‘not get raped’ rather than to ‘not rape’.

          • Morrisfactor says:

            Rebecca-

            I believe you are mostly correct, but remind you that the notorious mass murderer TED BUNDY used to troll lakeside parks for victims, and they were often wearing bathing suits or skimpy outfits. So it may not always be a MYTH.

            But certainly statistics bear out your argument that women often know who rapes them, (though I doubt if the rapist is their “intimate partner or family member” very often.)

            • Rebecca says:

              These are the figures for Victoria, Australia, where I live. They are likely to be similar for the US.

              67% of sexual assaults occurred in private dwellings. (Australian Institute of Criminology Facts and Figures 2009).

              Most rape victims knew the offender in some way, with strangers accounting for just
              16 per cent (133) of those reported. Most commonly the assault involved acquaintances or people that the victim had met on the night (222 or 26.7 per cent), current or former partners (160 or 19.2 per cent), friends of the victim (8.3 per cent) or family members (7.9 per cent). (Study of Reported Rapes in Victoria 2000-2003).

              In the more general category of sexual assault, family members accounted for 32% of assaults. (Australian Institute of Criminology Facts and Figures 2009).

              Facts are fun!

          • Rebecca,

            Government reports do not list the offender’s motivation for committing assaults. Government reports list the rate of reporting to police departments, the rate that charges are filed, the rate that cases go to trial, and the rate of convictions. Some government-funded studies do list the offender’s motivation, and you are correct that clothing is not generally a motivating factor. However, I never said that it was. I stated that how a person dresses affects people’s opinion of them. That is a completely separate and different idea than wearing short skirts will get women raped.

          • Bull or society does both. When I grew up I heard a great deal about not raping and respecting a woman and that was just in public school. I really wish I was told that a woman has to meet the same level of respect so that way I could avoid being falsely accused of rape before my last relationship went volatile.

    • Stephen Booth says:

      Lindsey,

      Based on my experience and what I’ve observed the reason more men don’t get vocal opposing the claim that all men are rapists, just some are better at repressing their urges than others, is that very quickly they learn that when they do that just sets them up for accusations of being a rapist or defender of rapists. Then they are usually accused of blaming the victim. Rape is a very emotive subject and so, like most other emotive subjects, it’s very hard to have a reasoned and rational discussion. Add into that the quasi-religious factors, Madonna-Whore complex and the socio-legal baggage of the times when the victim’s prior sexual conduct could be presented as a defense and it all gets much worse.

      Your second point, the idea that men can treat women as badly as each woman will let them, is interesting. A major plank of most of ‘Western’ social and organisational systems is that anyone in a relative position of power (parent, boss, teacher, one of the ‘cool kids’ &c) can treat any person who is a relative position of lesser power as badly, within broad legal constraints. That is even a central tenet of every system of counselling I’ve ever come across (if you ever want to see what blaming the victim actually looks like then look at the counselling industry). Treating people as badly as they will let you is not intrinsically a gender thing, it’s a power thing. It’s just that historically men have tended to be in power over women more than women over men.

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