In Rape Culture, All Men Are Guilty Until Proven Innocent

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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. Hugo has left us, alas, and will have to seek another venue to showcase his gospel of shame and guilt. For myself, I will argue that while some women do commit sexual assault, women are by far the predominant victims of rape. However, contrary to what the militant wing of feminism preaches, the overwhelming majority of men are not inclined to rape, and furthermore, don’t think it is amusing either. Remember, ladies, all of us have mothers and grandmothers, and many of us have wives, girlfriends, platonic female friends, aunts, sisters, female cousins, daughters, and granddaughters. The notion, promulgated by militant feminists, that we are indifferent to, or amused by, rape is an ugly, emotionally inflammatory idea promulgated by individuals whom I judge to have serious issues. Bye, bye Hugo.

  2. It’s an understandable position for women to be weary… but at the same time, women seemingly constantly reward men for the exact type of behavior one would expect from predators, abusers, the “guilty” ones. One needs only to look at the frat/sorority scene (where it is most pronounced) to see that.

  3. Wirblewind says:

    Toysoldier linked a great article that talks about rape culture and victim blaming- or rather the myth concerning them: http://theonlinecitizen.com/2011/12/slutwalk-manufacturing-myths-about-%E2%80%98myths%E2%80%99/

  4. Thank god, I’m gay and don’t have to deal with women!

  5. Author: lela
    Comment:
    “So the only way for you to compare rape to car theft, is for the car theft victim to have done all the things that they “should have known better” than to do? Because the implication is that rape victims “should have known better” and are at fault for the crime. That’s victim blaming at its most basic.

    Most rapes do not occur because someone is stupid and goes wandering around “asking for it” in a neighborhood known for rape. Show me vetted stats that say rape victims get raped because “ask for it” with stupid, reckless behavior. Or stop perpetuating dangerous myths.

    Crime assessments say most rapes occur in a by a person known by the victim and in a home where the victim has a reasonable expectation for trust and safety. So your car theft anaology really should be more along the lines of the stolen car was locked in a locked garage of a home in a good neighborhood with the anti-theft device engaged and the keys secured in the locked, alarm-system-engaged house.”

    I knew a family where I grew up, they liked taking their boat out on the lake during the summer. Their parents had always tried to model safe, responsible boating. Unfortunately, sometimes, people just want to party. And what’s a party without drinking? And who wants to ruin their tan by wearing a life vest? Well, at the end of a long day of drinking, partying, and tanning were through, they were getting ready to come back in. Now, all of these partiers being buzzed were not making the best decisions. The first was bringing the boat into the docks way to fast, The second, and much, much, worse, were seeing a boat ahead of them. Blindsiding the boat ahead of them, capsized their own boat, while crushing the other to pieces. The violence of the collision threw all 11 passengers of both boats clear of the wreckage. Nearly all suffering concussions as well as other moderate to severe injuries. It was noted later, by local officials, that all of the boaters who had been wearing life vests and not drinking were eventually saved. The five boaters who had not worn life vests and had been drinking died from drowning nearly instantly.

    So now, every summer, local law enforcement makes a big public awareness campaign about wearing life jackets and not drinking while boating. Would this be considered victim blaming? To suggest that if any of these five young women would have lived if they hadn’t been drinking/partying on the boat? Also, if they had been wearing life vests, they would have likely survived this crash, is this victim blaming? Or perhaps the assertion that “just having a good time,” in this context amounted to, “risky behavior,” is that victim blaming? It was even more tragic because, in this case, it could have been easily prevented. I can’t tell you how many tragedies i’ve heard that all begin with the phrase, “So I was at this party…” or, I was drinking, or I was stoned, and then…

    A clear and simple truth, is that human beings, men and women both, make poor decisions while drunk, high, and stoned. Getting drunk or high, or stoned, is at the very least increasing the risk of making a decision you regret, like embarassing pictures. At worst intoxication leads to injury, incarceration, and death. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Voluntarily becoming intoxicating is deciding to increase the likelihood of all manor of unwanted outcomes. All people should accept responsibility for their own choices.

    Trying to reduce the number of rapes is !!!NOT!!! blaming the victim! Let me say that again for emphasis, Trying to reduce the number of rapes is !!!NOT!!! blaming the victim! According to FBI crime statistics, 30% of rapes are committed by a stranger, with 40% percent by acquaintance, and 30% by an “intimate”.

    Rapists do not respond to social pressure and clearly reject the law and the other persons rights. Rapists cannot be reformed, nor their behavior altered. Rapists, are bad men who prowl like sharks. Appetite and availability are the only mitigating factors for all predators. If there is even one women out their in the interwebs who is willing to take additional protective measures, than it is worth my comments.

    So what then is the point of all this awareness raising by victim advocates? You can’t shame non-rapists into being any less rapist, nor are we equiped to prevent rapists from raping. All we have are our laws, and our advice.

    I make this point because like most men, I’d rather fix the problem then wallow in my “victimhood!” There are definitely lots of risky behavior that is accossiated with being victimized. Using alcohol or drugs, attending clubs and parties where drugs and or alcohol is a feature and the other partiers are inebriated, stoned, or high, and of-course, being a member of a gang or party crew.

    The world is a risky and dangerous place. If you don’t beleive me, just look at nuture, or one of those discovery documentaries. There is a savage nature to this planet of ours. Even children come to understand it’s dangers early on. Why is it that feminsists all wish to counsel women to live in cavalier defiance of prudence? Life, health, and safety can all be snatched away from each of us at moments notice.

    • If drunk driving awareness programs focused on sober drivers keeping their cars well-maintained so they can better avoid getting injured by a drunk driver… rather than focusing on drunk people not drunk driving, then it would be victim blaming.

      Don’t drive drunk = Don’t rape
      Don’t get injured by a drunk driver = Don’t get raped

      See the difference?

      Now also just as another point which your post brings up and which rape culture glosses over, thus endangering all people: most rape victims are not drunk reckless women wandering around dangerous areas getting raped by strangers who were provoked by short shirts and promiscuous behavior. Most people who are raped, are raped by people they know and trust, in a place where they should be safe. And for most people that rape happens as a child. Should I repeat that for emphasis?

      These figures are from the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/SV-DataSheet-a.pdf):

      • 60.4% of female and 69.2% of male victims were first
      raped before age 18.
      • 25.5% of females were first raped before age 12, and
      34.9% were first raped between the ages of 12-17.
      • 41.0% of males were first raped before age 12, and
      27.9% were first raped between the ages of 12-17.
      • In the first rape experience of female victims, perpetra­
      tors were reported to be intimate partners (30.4%),
      family members (23.7%), and acquaintances (20%).
      • In the first rape experience of male victims, perpetrators
      were reported to be acquaintances (32.3%), family
      members (17.7%), friends (17.6%), and intimate
      partners (15.9%).

      So how is your public safety message of ‘don’t get drunk so you don’t get raped’ going to in any way help the largest percentage of rape victims? If your rape awareness program doesn’t actually address issues facing the largest percentage of rape victims… then it is time to stop buying into myths and refocus the message.

      Focusing on perpetrators is a much more effective public safety campaign. Educating teens and kids on positive sexual interactions (like talking to your partner about what your expectations and limits are, like not equating male promiscuity to manliness so boys feel pressured to ‘lose it’ asap and put themselves in risky situations, like not equating intercourse to love so young people think if they “love” someone they have to give into pressures for activities they aren’t ready for etc etc) and bringing sex out of the shadows of fear and shame (for example, boys shouldn’t be shamed for not having sex and girls shouldn’t be shamed for having sex, and no one should feel that they brought on activities they weren’t ready for and therefore ‘owe’ someone those activities), etc those are much more effective tools in reducing the number of rapes.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Let’s get something straight. Any sexual relations under the age of 18 is wrong. Consenting or not, it’s wrong. Teens are not emotionally mature enough to be able to make that choice. Your solution is “.talking to your partner about what your expectation s” We’ve become a permissive society and have turned sex into a recreational activity.
        We’ve been talking about education. It’s a joke because in my business, boys are not educated in this area. I work at a residential facility for make teens. In the past 13 years, I can’t count the number of times these boys have been sexually abused by older girls women. What’s sad is that these boys don’t even see themselves as being abused. To quote one teen I worked with “I bagged my first babe when I was 9 years old.” It was his 18 year old baby sitter. This boy was 16 when he was in treatment for drug abuse.
        This is the what we’re teaching boys? Most of the boys I work with are from single parent homes where moms are the head of the household. MANY of these boys know their mothers boyfriends as their so called role models.
        It’s funny how Hollywood sees smoking a cigarette as being bad on the silver screen but it’s nothing to show one night stands. Either remove the work “promiscuity” from the dictionary or let’s start calling a spade a spade.
        Let me give you a quick lesson into a formative adolescent brain. It’s called the “formative” years for a reason. As teens, we develop knowledge of pleasure through various activities in life. If ya didn’t know, the chemical is known as “dopamine.” Research shows that if an adolescent addict doesn’t replace his/her pleasures with using drugs with those without drug use, he/she will more then likely be an addict as an adult.
        In my 6 to 9 month program, we spend a lot of time working with these teens developing leisure activities without drug use. Many of them started using at ages as young as 7 years of age which means they had little to no childhood memories that didn’t include drug use. There are emotional ties to sex. Accordingly many of these teens that you would rather “educate” them as to how to have safe sex, reduce the risk of rape, are in fact being set up for problems later in life. Are you so foolish to not realize that the sexual culture that we live in is in direct correlation with the sexual addictions that exist today? That there isn’t a direct correlation with rape?
        Addict progress in their drug use. Many turn to crime such as robbery, armed robbery, drug sales, auto theft so as to get money to pay for their drugs. A kid that starts having sex at a young age will progress and ass their sexual addiction progresses, so will their ways to have sex. It’s how a formative mind works. This isn’t exclusive to boys, same applies to girls. Girls emotions when they are sexually active as a child equates sex with “love.”
        In 1960, when the word “promiscuity” meant something, the number of forced rape cases was 17,190. In 2010 the number of forced rape was 89,767. And by the way, the 5000 number that I mentioned in an earlier post was based upon “forcible” rape and did not include things like date rape.
        I would like to see the stats relating to rape that involves women who have active open sex lives and those who don’t.
        Maybe it’s time to start to pay attention to men and boys and allow them to the educational benefits. Let’s start educating our youth that sex is not a recreational activity. And STOP enabling them by educating them on “safe sex” and how to identify a potential perpetrator.

        • “And STOP enabling them by educating them on ‘safe sex’ and how to identify a potential perpetrator”.

          Yeah, right, Tom. Since “abstinence only” programs have proven to be such a spectacular success: http://www.openeducation.net/2009/01/05/abstinence-only-sex-education-statistics-final-nail-in-the-coffin/

          And refusing to teach safe sex, especially, will just do wonders for gay teenage males, for whom I am sure, ignorance is bliss.

          Actually, I am opposed to the forms of sex ed that focus only on “safe” pleasure, and the other extreme, sex ed that is, in fact, the total absence of sex ed apart from “don’t do it!”. A more sensible alternative should focus on what non-sexual needs are children and teens trying to meet through sex (unexpressed anger towards males or females, self-esteem, physical affection, peer acceptance, love), and make the children and teens both conscious of these needs, which they often think are merely sexual feelings, and how to have such needs met in a non-sexual manner.

        • J.G. te Molder says:

          In other countries, we do not consider teens to be completely pathetic and the age of consent is 16. In times gone by, if you didn’t have all the children you wanted in a marriage by the age of 15/16, there would be a damn good chance you did not get to raise your children to adulthood; which started at 12. Kids around ten were shipped off to a master craftsman to become his apprentice (or the father was the master) where they were taught a trade, and by the time they were 15, they were either a full-fledged partner in the business and expected to take over once the old master retired, or had left and started their own business somewhere else.

          And yet, these “teens”, and “children” were perfectly able to responsibly run a business like “adults” and raise their children to become responsible adults.

          This was not child abuse; it was simply the way the world worked. Without modern technology and medical science to make the world a far safer place, if you didn’t start your adult life by then, you would never have an adult life – well, except homeless and out in the streets, for men, girls probably still had prostitution to fall back on.

          The reason why our teens are not capable of responsible choices, is because we never taught them how to. We shield them from responsibility to a ridiculous extent, guarded, protected, “safe”. It’s telling that the countries that don’t have the ridiculous hangups about sex and nudity, where children are actually taught about it, and the consequences of certain sexual choices of sex, the amount of teen pregnancies and “relationships” between younger and older people are far less.

          In women, this is worse. Feminism teaches women that they can and should have everything they want. No, you cannot have everything you want. There’s only so much time in a day; not to mention the needs of other people to take into account. Sex positive feminists say that women should have the right to have sex with anyone they want, whenever they want. That sounds suspiciously like the right to rape to me, doesn’t it? The guy or girl doesn’t want to? Tough luck, it’s the woman’s desires that matter.

          Couple this with families catering to every whim of their girls, while shielding them from any and all consequences; and teaching them that men are expected to bleed for them, like here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gekyg7yy4Dc or the written version here, http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/systemic-gendered-violence/, divorce laws that heave a man’s hard work and money onto the woman when she decides she’s bored or he can’t continue deliver what she wants (Hulk Hogan’s wife who never the result is people, women more than men, acting like 6-year-olds without a sense of responsibility and never once considering their entitlements the childish bullshit it is.

          After all, feminists claim that a man (never a woman) a man not handing his money over to his spouse is Domestic Absue. Never mind what the woman asks it for, the financial situation of the couple their in or that the woman sits on her ass while the man works his butt off, never mind the economic crisis and future expenses that need to be paid; nope, a woman asks for money for new pointless clothes or an expensive hairdo, and the man says no, he’s abusing her. I wonder what would happen if one would claim a woman doing the same to the man it is also abuse?

          • Either you’re dense or you’re a troll. The right to have sex with whoever, whenever, is not about forcing a woman’s desire for sex on an unwilling man, it’s about being able to have sex with a willing man without being shamed for it. You have serious issues with women that I really hope you get checked out because none of the information you put forth is relevant or normal. It’s all, “Look at this one woman out of the entire population who did x which proves that all women do this.” You think it’s fun trolling, but you’re trolling yourself by making women who want to trust men, and believe that men can treat them with respect and have healthy, happy sexual relationships with them, feel that men just can’t get it, trusting men even less. So when your sex life suffers, you only have yourself and your actions to blame.

            • J.G. te Molder says:

              Oh, there we go, standard feminist shaming tactics: you have problems with women, you’re a misogynist! You won’t get laid if you continue to go against the feminist party line!

              No, sweetheart, I don’t problems with women, I have problems with feminists, regardless of their gender. And yes, feminists are not women, and women are not feminists.

              And about the not getting laid part: I don’t care! Pussy ain’t everything. Besides, I’m bisexual; if women don’t want me, I’ll enjoy the men across the street.

        • You’ve obviously glossed over the social stigma attached to rape in previous years as opposed to now. As difficult as it is to be heard when you’ve been raped and to prosecute rapists now, it was even more difficult back then. Your statistics are from before advances in technology that make it easier to identify a rapist. They’re from when women experienced even more shame and blame than they do now. When men were allowed to rape their wives without consequence. Of course the number of reported rapes were lower, doesn’t mean the number of actual rapes was lower.

          Not to mention there are way more people now in general than there were in 1960.

          You’re doing your gender absolutely no favors with your attitudes. Men who talk like you actually make me trust men less.

          • J.G. te Molder says:

            So, one post you was about society’s stigma, the next post you write the stigma is gone, well, except a few tiny problem cases here and there.

            Oh, then there’s a post that has nothing to do with rapes, and you answer with bullshit about rapes!

            Also notice, that the links are to a woman explaining you the bullshit about systemic violence against women.

    • “Rapists do not respond to social pressure and clearly reject the law and the other persons rights. Rapists cannot be reformed, nor their behavior altered. Rapists, are bad men who prowl like sharks. Appetite and availability are the only mitigating factors for all predators….
      So what then is the point of all this awareness raising by victim advocates? You can’t shame non-rapists into being any less rapist, nor are we equiped to prevent rapists from raping.”
      None of that is true either.

      The reality is that many rapists think they are non-rapists.

      Repeatedly in anonymous surveys, people will say they have not committed rape but then go on to admit to committing acts which are legally defined as rape as long as the word “rape” is not used in the description (http://www2.binghamton.edu/counseling/documents/RAPE_FACT_SHEET1.pdf). This is exactly where awareness campaigns and social pressure are effective tools in reducing rape.

      Believing that rapists are “bad men who prowl like sharks” and that rape happens in bad neighborhoods etc perpetuate myths that rapists also believe.

      • Wow, Lela, so you believe that the type of man who would carry a knife or gun to use to frighten and sexually assault a woman can, in fact, be reformed. It is interesting to know that unlike the majority of men in this forum who have daughters and sisters, you’d be perfectly okay with such a guy dating your child or sibling. After all you did just assert that it is not true that a rapist cannot be reformed, nor their behavior altered.

        So I guess you are not only advocating just the for victims of rape.

        • While Lela tries to figure a response to what I just said, which I admit, will take some work, I read Dr. Lisak’s paper and found his claims to be both credible, yet dishonest-by-omission. Which brings me to a disturbing and impolitic point that few men or women in this forum, most of whom are likely white, college-educated, and middle-class, want to broach, and neither does Dr. Lisak, which is that the overwhelming majority of rapists, both “detectable” and “undetectable” come from poor and minority, especially African-American communities. And that points at what the real issues are when it comes to rape.

          I am particularly struck by this passage: “Undetected rapists have repeatedly been found to harbor chronic, underlying feelings of anger and hostility toward women. They typically feel easily slighted by women, and carry grudges against them.” Hey! Wait a minute. According to what Lela and what other women in this forum argue, as well as Hugo, rape is merely the unbridled expression of male lust, the man’s libido, shall we say, in its purest forum, and thus something that needs to be contained and restrained (and shamed). But the expert that Lela herself refers to is saying that the underlying cause of rape is not that guys in general just let their sexual lust overtake them, but that SOME guys are angry towards women, and thus rape is not merely about sexual pleasure, but in fact a form of aggression. Elsewhere he mentions that most rapists were physically abused as children. By whom I wonder? Particularly in that many also come from fatherless homes. Lisak also mentions “sexually violent subcultures”, but without the courage to cite the most obvious, that is, African-American rap music in which committing rape is virtually expected of urban black male youth as the price of peer acceptance.

          Anyhow, personally, I do not view rape as something that is innate to male sexuality anymore than I regard eating disorders (overeating in particular) as innate to the human appetite. Both rape and overeating are perversions, not fulfillments, of natural human instincts, resulting from psychological and/or physical injuries done to the individual in his or her formative years. The research certainly bears that out. One would think, therefore, that if the Lelas of this world genuinely wanted to prevent rape, they’d work at educating poor, and especially poor-minority, mothers to raise their sons with respect and love, so as not to make them predisposed to take their anger out on women as these boys become men. But don’t expect that to happen soon, largely because the Lelas of the world would rather run a guilt-and-shame trip on all men, even if such will do little to actually stop women from getting raped. But it sure makes Lela look like a heroine, and who can deny the lady her dreams of glory?

          • Women interested in preventing rape could also support efforts to make conscious and validate the anger that boys, who have been abused by their mothers, have. My idea would be something along the lines of counseling with male mentors, perhaps a group workshop where boys could come together in a safe space and share their anger, frustration, and grief.

            But my experience with militant feminists is that they oppose males of any age expressing ANY anger towards ANY women, no matter if said expression is non-violent, and no matter if it is thoroughly justified.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            Great posts … like to ask, how do single moms educate their boys to respect women when these mothers have children without active dads in threir lives? What they teach them is ot’s okay to have4 sex, have kids and leave dad out of it.

            Do as I say not as I did???? Many of these mothers had kids when they themselves were teens. Many of them have kids from different fathers. Feminists don’t want men involved because they fear losing control.

  6. lela:
    “Repeatedly in anonymous surveys, people will say they have not committed rape but then go on to admit to committing acts which are legally defined as rape as long as the word “rape” is not used in the description (http://www2.binghamton.edu/counseling/documents/RAPE_FACT_SHEET1.pdf). This is exactly where awareness campaigns and social pressure are effective tools in reducing rape.”

    how dangerous and vile it is to lump all men into the same pile, this way! In addition, broadening the definition of rape is dangerous legally and morally. It clouds the issue to include typical male behavior that has nothing to do with rape or sexual assault.

    “Believing that rapists are “bad men who prowl like sharks” and that rape happens in bad neighborhoods etc perpetuate myths that rapists also believe.” it is sad and shameful and perhaps a little shadenfraude, the way you try to redefine all men as rapists this way. You clearly are dismissing the clinical, psychological, diagnostic, and rehabilitative work performed on rapists and sexual abusers of all stripes, specifically in regards to recitivism and resistance to all corrective protocols and intervention. Even castration has negligable effects on the rapists behavior. You are clearly guilty of perpetrating the lie that all men are rapists, which is disgusting but more importantly focuses law enforcement resources where they are not needed.

    Thanks for pointing out to me that I am a rapist though, I appreciate it. All of us really should be castrated, locked away, and then humanely euthanised! You should put me at the front of the list.

    Okay but lets also be more honest about this. If any of those other behaviors should be considered rape, then we should also consider it rape whenever a woman wears sexy clothes, teases, or leads a man on! Right! I am being sexually assaulted through my eyes! They need to pay for lying and manipulating me! right? If you want to call all men rapists, then I am going to call all women rapists too!

    congrats lela! you are a rapist!

    I agree with one of your points, rapists and molesters, both male and female are overwhelmingly the products of early childhood abuse, so ending the cycle of violence is critical. But sadly, this can only happen when victims speak out. It cannot happen when you continue to tar all men with the “rapist” label.

  7. Lela;
    On the ever widening definition of rape:

    “being pressured into sex,” “being talked into sex,” any other versions of not saying “no! Stop” without a weapon or actual threat of physical violence cannot be considered rape. If any adult woman does not have the will or moral character and integrity to stand up for herself and clearly articulate her boundaries, Then she isn’t strong enough to make her own sexual decisions. If you articulate the assertion that women are equal to men, and should be as free as men sexually, and should never suffer shame for sexual choices or decisions, then you must also accept that women accept all the consequences of their own choices.

    To assert that women should have freedom to act in their own interest, but penalize men for doing the same, then you are guilty of a nefarious hypocrisy. I refuse to treat women as children, as such beleive they are just as capable of asserting their own interests. We’ve seen this in politics and the home over the past fifty years especially. So how is it that such strong, powerful, self-reliant, and independent women aren’t strong enough to say no, clearly, when a man crosses one of her boundaries? Are we to take the idea of female weakness seriously in this world of Girl power and women’s rights, especially in light of womanhoods great strides in politics, business, and academy? How dare you treat women as such weak children! How dare you! Women are mature and civil, they are no fools, they are not weak! How dare you purport to suggest that a woman is incapable of standing up to any man if she wants to.

    If there is no violence or threat of violence, there is no rape. If a woman is unwilling to accept responsibility for asserting her own boundaries, then that’s her fault. He can’t be responsible for her silence especially if he is under the mistaken impression that she wants to have sex. You should be placing the onus on women to clearly articulate when they don’t want to have sex. If a woman behaves in a charming and receptive manner, and never objects at any step, and never acts in a way that suggests discomfort, how can he then later be thought to be guilty if she didn’t voice her objection? The simple reality then is that women are by nature cowards who refuse to accept responsibility for there own actions. This is why men should avoid interactions with women at all cost.

    So the question is, are men and women equal, or are they not?

    If typical male behaviors can be considered criminal, than so should female behaviors like flirting, teasing, wearing sexy, provocative, tight-fitting, revealing clothes, and generally being charming should also be considered sexual assault rape and harassment!

    So how equal do you wanna be? How equal do you beleive you are?

    • You’re misinterpreting what being talked into sex means. It means a woman did assert herself, did say no or at the very least express that she didn’t want to in other ways, and the man refuses to take no for an answer,. He manipulates her into feeling guilty for not wanting to, he says he’s going to break up with her, he tells her that she’s not normal, he tells her she’s a bitch, a prude, or otherwise verbally degrades her for her choices, he might even cry to play on her sympathies. Either that or he just keeps touching her, coaxing her, even though she said no, and she eventually can’t hold him off anymore. It’s even a common theme in men’s magazines that no means maybe, just keep trying to talk her into it, just keep kissing her and touching her, she really wants it.

      If men and women were currently on a level playing field you might have an argument, might, however, they are not. Even just the possibility that a man could get violent can be enough to make a woman cave in order to prevent violence or confrontation. Because men are generally physically stronger, they can’t ignore that unspoken power that they have as a non issue. You don’t need to tell a woman that you could just force her to have sex with you for her to know that.

      See, you can’t mistakenly believe that a woman wants to have sex unless you’re assuming that she wants to have sex without her express permission. So instead of blaming the victim for the rapist’s incorrect assumption, why not expect the man to ask for a clear yes or no, without any manipulative tactics attached? Is that really so much to ask? You’re trying to call women cowards who don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions while making dozens of excuses for why a man can’t just ask a woman’s permission and then accept it when she says no.

      As for that last paragraph, then I guess men should also be rapists for doing things like working out, wearing nice clothes, buying a woman a drink, showing off, and whatever else men do which might attract a woman. Stop trying to connect a to g.

      • J.G. te Molder says:

        Translation: Men are awesome, and women are pathetic, spineless, little children that must be protected from their own patheticness, and inability to stick to a position. Their choice to change their mind is not something that is her choice and she should take responsibility for her choice, no, she she’s just so totally pathetic that her choosing to change her mind much be seen as him raping her.

        After all, you never once said that when a woman doesn’t take a man’s no for an answer, while he’s say, writing an article on his computer and she keeps rubbing her body against his, whining and begging for sex, and he finally relents and let’s her on her lap, she’s the one who is equally raping him; so we must assume you are misogynist who thinks women are pathetic and need protection from themselves, while men need no such things. Making men either awesome, or evil demons.

        As opposed to “manipulation” I’m sure you are also advocating the banning all women’s methods of “manipulation”, right? So no more miniskirts, no push-up braws, no makeup, no dresses with cleavage, none of these sexual-attraction inducing contraption. After all, she she can simply ask in plain pants and no makeup and a cover shirt, “Do you want to have sex with me?” And a clear no or yes is all that is required from the men to send her packing or them having fun, right?

  8. Tom Brechlin
    Comment:
    “And although I still say the original numbers I reported are more accurate, I used YOUR numbers in my post. 5000 men a year for the past 10 years, you do the math. Tells ya how many men’s lives are ruined. This takes me back to the start of this thread and that is women are being trained to see all men as potential perpetrators” – well said Tom!

    Moreover, because of this legal and social landscape, Countless men have been pushed out of Education and many other industries that have regular contact with children which is having a deleterious effect on young men and boys as recent achievement statistics all bear out. We are condemning a whole generation of men to live their lives in shame and ignominy as the feminist, “all men are evil” mantra chants ever louder!

    As the rest of society buys into this meme to ever increasing degrees, we are establishing a male second class. But clearly, for any other group, ie race, this would be considered hate speech, but because it’s men, women are getting a free pass spreading this BS around.

    I for one, will not stand for it, the legal and social consequences are pernicious. Nor do I care to have my character continually assaulted through manipulative and deceptive use of statistics which clearly show, in reality that the overwhelming majority of men are not and never will be abusers or rapists in any measure!

  9. Am I the only who thinks that Hugo blurting something out as an angst-filled teenager and being responded to, and then decades later not having developed any deeper or more nuanced position on this particular subject is kind of pathetic?

  10. Rick S.
    Comment:
    ” “Having sex with someone who is intoxicated is LEGALLY rape”

    Holy cow, Migraine, that means that millions and millions of men and women have been raping each other for centuries.

    But in all seriousness, I am struck by Migraine’s refusal to distinguish between being passed-out drunk, and merely being tipsy. And it makes me wonder, which is truly worse: right-wing puritanism or left-wing puritanism.”

    i think the reason that women want the alcohol=rape standard is a little deceitful. They want to have the leverage over the bad boys they like to sleep with as the ultimate relationship ace in the hole. Everyone knows what her intentions were going into these encounters. It’s all part of her plan. Get into bed with a player, then if he doesn’t live up her expectations, or worse doesn’t call, and she feels all butt hurt about it for giving it up, she gets to play emotional unibomber with a rape accusation. It’s blackmail, or extortion, depending on the definition. She is baiting a trap with a cute little body, sexy dress, and that bottle of wine. Women don’t ever want to accept responsibility for their own actions. They figure that they should be able to “judge the performance,” with a guy and decide if it’s “rape,” after the fact based on how she feels about the encounter.

    I personally, do not want to be under any woman’s thumb that way. If I am out with a woman and she’s getting horny acting like she wants me to make a move, I simply tell her, “let’s wait till you sober up, you wouldn’t want to do something you regret later!” this nearly always causes no end to their frustration. Once in a while they get really ticked off, then I tell them, I just don’t want to be guilty of rape. This nearly always ends the date.

    I think all men should boycott all inebriated women for a month, just to see what kind of reaction we can provoke. Though I don’t think this idea will catch on. I really do think that if women start to pick up on the fact that they can’t get their rocks off without changing some asinine laws, they will get really motivated to change em. Either way whatever strategy they adopt, it requires that we play along. I for one refuse.

  11. Jess
    Yeah, I see this all the time. Men who don’t have much success with women for whatever reason deciding that women are evil and taking it out on them in the form of anti-feminism. They express sentiments which make it sound like they actually hate women and have no respect for them. They state all sorts of ridiculous “facts,” only further alienating women from men in general, making us feel like men cannot understand these issues so there isn’t hop for them. And then they call themselves good guys and wonder why they aren’t having success with women.

    They’re also normally expecting women who are “out of their league” to date them rather than acknowledging the women who are attracted to them, but aren’t hot enough for them. They romanticize the fantasy of the super model who wants an overweight, unkempt guy who loves video games instead of going for an overweight, unkempt girl who loves video games. How dare a woman seek out a man who takes care of himself and has similar interests when she takes cafe of herself. They’re all just evil!

    Anyways, I’m going off on a tangent, but I find the comments on this article to be frightening. The attitudes of most of these men don’t make me want to trust men any more than I already do, and back up my feelings about men who feel entitled to sex with women with or without her consent. I don’t get what they’re trying to do here, it seems they’re only hurting themselves.

    Jess
    “Yeah, I see this all the time. Men who don’t have much success with women for whatever reason deciding that women are evil and taking it out on them in the form of anti-feminism. They express sentiments which make it sound like they actually hate women and have no respect for them. They state all sorts of ridiculous “facts,” only further alienating women from men in general, making us feel like men cannot understand these issues so there isn’t hop for them. And then they call themselves good guys and wonder why they aren’t having success with women.”

    1) The irony of complaining about men casting women and more precisely, feminism in a negative light on a blog post saying, “All men are GUILTY until proven innocent?”

    2) I am not sure why any man’s relative success or failure with women has any relevance to this argument? Should we discount the opinions of fat and unattractive women too? Even if every man who posted on this site had low success rates with women they pursue, I fail to understand how that’s even relevant to the case, unless it’s just a cheap shot intended at intimidating him. It seems like you are not above trying to use public humiliation, intimidation, belittlement, dismissmal, and shame to make your point. So exactly what exactly am I missing or not getting about this point.

    3) There is apparant in your statements that you equate your feelings with some kind of morality, and that offending or hurting your feelings is equivalent to some form of evil. Human emotions are fickle and ephemoral at best, pernicious evil at worse. We have devoted the developement of a system of laws for the governance of western society for this very reasons. Passions run high, and clear thinking reason often gives way to our baser instincts.

    “They’re also normally expecting women who are “out of their league” to date them rather than acknowledging the women who are attracted to them, but aren’t hot enough for them. They romanticize the fantasy of the super model who wants an overweight, unkempt guy who loves video games instead of going for an overweight, unkempt girl who loves video games. How dare a woman seek out a man who takes care of himself and has similar interests when she takes cafe of herself. They’re all just evil!”

    4) again, not sure exactly what the point of this statement is. Though it sounds a lot like “BOYZ HAVE COOTIES, THEY’RE sOOO ICKY AND GROSS” Maybe I missed something.

    “Anyways, I’m going off on a tangent, but I find the comments on this article to be frightening. The attitudes of most of these men don’t make me want to trust men any more than I already do, and back up my feelings about men who feel entitled to sex with women with or without her consent. I don’t get what they’re trying to do here, it seems they’re only hurting themselves.”

    5) Owning your personal prejudice… At least you are able to admit that these are your own feelings. If you want to assume all men want to rape you, that most of us have evil intentions and are looking for any opportunity to take advantage of you, and that we’re all more or less the same, more power to yah. It’s not my job to convince you otherwise. Your bigotry is your business. As long as you don’t use this to attempt to justify bad law. Personally I don’t really care whether or not you ever learn to trust men, it doesn’t effect me in the least. I am more than satisfied with my friends and extended family, and all the love and awkward sex I receive from “homely women” that are “in my league!” The best way to learn to start trusting men is to stop swallowing everything your feminist sisters feed you. I could care less if you never leave your self afflicted isolation to the land of torment and fear.

    Jess:
    “You’re misinterpreting what being talked into sex means. It means a woman did assert herself, did say no or at the very least express that she didn’t want to in other ways, and the man refuses to take no for an answer,. He manipulates her into feeling guilty for not wanting to, he says he’s going to break up with her, he tells her that she’s not normal, he tells her she’s a bitch, a prude, or otherwise verbally degrades her for her choices, he might even cry to play on her sympathies. Either that or he just keeps touching her, coaxing her, even though she said no, and she eventually can’t hold him off anymore. It’s even a common theme in men’s magazines that no means maybe, just keep trying to talk her into it, just keep kissing her and touching her, she really wants it.”

    6) Apparrantly I have been misinformed. I have been listening to the, “don’t need men, equal to men, strong as a man, capable as a man,” meme for most of my life, so it seems a bit disengenuine to suggest that women who can accomplish so much, as supposedly so weak when it comes to men. I really do beleive women are well and truly my equal. So I guess I am really shocked to find out that all of you really are this weak? Shocked! That you can’t (or won’t) even stand up for yourelf? That you don’t know how or worse, don’t beleive that you’re supposed to? Sorry, I have been under the impression that woman are the the equals of men, better than, in many respects? What is so broken in women, that they can’t assert themselves when exposed to the child-ish forms of manipulation that you are describing. This would be a truly sad day for feminism if that’s the case. Unless this is just another attempt at emotional manipulation by women on men to accomplish some end through deceitful means. I’ll let you call it; either women are so weak that they cannot hope to ever call themselves equal to men, or, more likely, you accept that this is pure propaganda and emotional manipulation for political ends. A third option does exist. Women hate themselves for choices they make and don’t want to accept responsibility for them.

    7) I as a man have had to learn to stand up to and assert myself in situations where I am exposed to all of the above situations and more. If I can do it? Why can’t you? Why should I feel sorry for you if you agreed to do something you didn’t want to do? If you didn’t try to run away, if you didn’t yell and scream no!? If you didn’t pull out your cell and dial 911!? How is it his fault?! This is not rape. Women in and out of relationships use these same negotionating tactics all the time, though not always for sex. Women use this behavior and worse to one another.

    “If men and women were currently on a level playing field you might have an argument, might, however, they are not. Even just the possibility that a man could get violent can be enough to make a woman cave in order to prevent violence or confrontation. Because men are generally physically stronger, they can’t ignore that unspoken power that they have as a non issue. You don’t need to tell a woman that you could just force her to have sex with you for her to know that.”

    8) We can acknowledge this, but we should also put it into context. We must also acknowledge that any woman may also have a man arrested for touching her anywhere on her body, and call it assault or sexual assault or even battery. In reality, she only needs to, “claim,” he’s touched her inappropriately for him to be arrested. Regardless of the fact that eventually the investigation will likely prove his innocence, he will still have been arrested, booked, and spend severa nights to months in jail, not to mention the stigma he will face as a sexual offender. She can also have a man arrested for rape or attempted rape with nothing but her own words. That’s a hell of a lot of power to intimidate men. Even worse, a woman can cut off a man’s penis then throw it in a field, or grind it up in a garbage disposable and be universally praised by women. So I think it is women whom should be considered guilty until proven innocent, no? Oh, right, just isolated insidents? Sure…

    9) More context, a woman is more likely to get any form of cancer, die of heart disease, and die of a car accident than she is to be raped or sexually assaulted.

    “…why not expect the man to ask for a clear yes or no, without any manipulative tactics attached? Is that really so much to ask? You’re trying to call women cowards wdon’t want to accept responsibility for their actions while making dozens of excuses for why a man can’t just ask a woman’s permission and then accept it when she says no.”

    10) Rape is different than persuasion. Rape is different than seduction. Rape is ugly, evil, and violent which is taking by force and then destoying that which you will not give or surrender willingly, or freely. Persuation is an important tool development in civilized societies to enable individuals and groups the advantages and disadvantages of an idea or point of view. Persuasion has been effectively used for good and ill by men and women alike throughout history. Their is nothing evil or even noxious about seduction or persuasion. How dare you insinuate that these three uttley and completely distinctive things are somehow equivalent when it comes to sex.

    11) If a woman says no, then changes her mind, she can’t accuse him of raping her.

    12) why not expect that a woman is more than capable of making decisions as an adult and accepting responsibility for them and doesn’t need to be second guessed by other women? Why shouldn’t all men and women be free to negotiate their approach to sex on an individual basis. Why isn’t a woman capable of standing up for herself and resisting emotional manipulation? Why should a man be expected to act in her best interests when she herself isn’t capable of standing up for herself? I mean you do beleive in equality don’t you? Why do you keep insinuating that they aren’t capable of standing for herself and her personal boundaries?

    13) The real problem with your new standards is that you will be criminalizing normal as opposed to aberant behavior. Through out the animal kingdom, whenever there is sexual reproduction, there is a “mating dance” these biological scripts are hard-wired throughout each species and vary greatly between the species and the sexes. In nearly every case, the female is pursued and must actively resist the advnces of multiple suitors. The No sex can occur until the female lets down her guard. The males are biologically programmed for an unrelenting pursuit. These behaviors are consistent throughout humanity as well. It is shameful to associated normal, healthy, apporopriate male behavior with actual rape and it’s legally dangerous as well. Expanding the definition of rape will increase the incarceration rates to ridiculous levels. Additionally, the psychological torment of beleiving that normal healthy sexual behavior is dirty, wrong, criminal, and perverse leads to mental illness, depression, and suicide. If you, as a woman, want the freedom to own your body and your sexuality, then it’s unfortunately, up to you to defend it.

    14) “As for that last paragraph, then I guess men should also be rapists for doing things like working out, wearing nice clothes, buying a woman a drink, showing off, and whatever else men do which might attract a woman. Stop trying to connect a to g.”

    MODERATOR’S NOTE: This comment is in violation of our moderation policy because it is much too long. This is a warning. Further comments that are in violation will be removed. See complete commenting guidelines here.

    • So let me start by saying that I am addressing your post Rob, I am neither supporting nor going against Jess’.

      10) Honestly this whole idea of persuading women to have sex makes me pretty uncomfortable. Not because I have any problem with sex, in fact the opposite. This was typical back when sex was taboo, when women grew up being told they weren’t supposed to want sex, that it was dirty, a girl had to protect her modesty, etc. But then we had what some people like to call a sexual revolution. These days women are in tune with their bodies and sexuality much more so, and are not afraid to say that we enjoy and want sex without having to be ‘persuaded’. I’m not saying some women don’t behave like this, they do, but it is not the norm, and it is harmful (as I will explain below).

      7) A very basic lesson in logic would teach you that ‘I assert myself, I am a man, therefore all men assert themselves’ is pretty flawed. Not all men are assertive. Not all women are assertive.

      Let me describe to you a situation. So for some reason you’re alone with a guy. You don’t want to have sex with him; maybe you’re just kissing him, whatever. Then he tries to take things to the next level and you simply say no, maybe carrying on kissing or try to move away. He tries to ‘persuade’ you…carries on trying to unbutton your blouse…you say no again. Maybe this happen a couple more times. By now you’ve said no at least 4 times and are actively trying to move away…but he is quite persistent.

      Now you have two choices. 1 – you can have sex with him even though you’d rather be walking over hot coals. 2 – you can try to assert yourself, very firmly say no, shout, tell him that is he proceeds with what he is doing it will be rape, try to run, try to call the police.

      If you choose option 2 there is a risk that he is one of the few bad apples…I mean you’ve said no 4 times already and he hasn’t listened…it really seems like he doesn’t care whether you want it or not. Also we live in a society where rape jokes are ‘funny’ and women and constantly objectified. If you choose option 2 and it turns out he is willing to violently rape you then he will stop you from shouting, running, or calling the police and rape you. I’m not saying that most men would do this, and I imagine this would only happen a small proportion of the time. But there is a small chance. So, do you want to take that risk? Very possibly not. Rape is devastating. I personally want to avoid it at all costs. So sometimes women will be coerced into sex through fear of violence. And regardless of what we define this to be surely everyone can agree that this is something we don’t want happening. What man wants to have sex with a woman who is only going along with it because she is too afraid not to? No decent man in existence. And for a woman it is degrading and humiliating, but preferable to rape. Really are these the choices we should face?

      This is why I think the whole persuasion thing is so damaging. Yes probably most of the time this is how men are thinking about the encounters….and some women will too. But a lot of men and women don’t consider this normal behaviour. If I want to have sex with someone I will tell him. And if a man doesn’t listen to my initial protestations then I will become pretty scared. Why can’t we just err on the side of caution? If a women says ‘no’ (regardless of in what tone), a man should say ‘OK then, should I leave?’, if a woman then actually wants to have sex she will probably say ‘no, let’s go upstairs’ and if she doesn’t she will say ‘yes I think that would be best’. Everyone wins. (obviously these quotes are just silly examples…..but this is how the situation would ideally go).

      13) Please don’t liken men to animals, and don’t liken women to animals either. We are all capable of many more complex feeling, emotions and behaviours that animals.

      Also, it’s up to us to defend our bodies? Seriously? Rape is our fault now? What because we’re not strong enough? I wish I were strong enough to be able to fight a man off. But I’m not. And I can’t afford self-defence classes. Guess I deserve to be raped then right?

      Also generally I’m a bit confused by your definition of rape. If a woman says no and means it, then a man proceeds to have sex with her… that is rape. She doesn’t have to be screaming or struggling. Sometimes fear causes people to freeze. And mainly you’d be afraid that screaming or struggling would make him more violent.

      I’m not saying sex is bad. Sex is fantastic. No-one should be ashamed of sex. But if you rape or sexually assault someone then hell yes you should be ashamed.

      9) What statistics do you have on this? Do you refer to statistics on reported sexual assault and rape cases? Sexual assault and rape is under-reported, that is a fact. Sure I can’t speak for the whole country but I have been raped once and sexually assaulted by men I didn’t know in public at least 15 times (and that is a conservative estimate) and I didn’t report them (because it would be my word against theirs….and we all know how that plays out). I know most of my female friends have been sexually assaulted in some way. If a woman told me she had never been sexually assaulted I’d be genuinely surprised, and that is not an exaggeration (not shocked, just surprised…..and very very jealous). And I am NOT saying that all men do this. Of course not. But some do, and I guess they do it to a lot of women. Official statistics don’t reflect reality.

      • “Official statistics don’t reflect reality.” Jess you make so many good points above, but this one is the best and the one from which I’d like to begin my own rebuttal to Rob’s foolishness.

        I don’t care if the official statisticcs are 1 or 1 million women who get raped or sexually assaulted. What concerns me most about the majority of male response to this article, is their lack of concern for the greater issue. WOMEN ARE GETTING RAPED AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTED ALL OVER THE WORLD. Instead they decide that this article is about “men are evil” and launch into a non-sensical debate that re-victimizes the victims for which Hugo wrote this article.

        Gentleman (and I am using this term loosely), this article isn’t about you and your stupid egos. This article is about helping and supporting women who need it. The same women who birthed you and brought your lame, chauvanistic ass into this world. The same women who are your sisters your aunts, grandmothers,, your friends and possibly your wife (G-d forbid). Show some respect!

        Finally to re-iterate what Louise already says above and to address the argument that I see men bring up so often in this chain of comments. When in doubt, JUST ASK! So you’re on a date and you’re looking for signals from a woman that she’ is ready and willing to get busy, but you don’t know how to go about it and you don’t want to come off as some creepy pervert or worse end up in jail because she cries “rape”. Here’s an idea, JUST ASK! Don’t persuade, don’t seduce, don’t try to guilt, JUST ASK! You will get one of three responses and I will even explain what they mean. If she says yes, then that means all systems go and you should proceed to get naked. If she says no, then that means NO! Put on the brakes, dial back the sex-o-meter several notches, keep your damn clothes on and your hands to yourself.

        If she seems unsure, guess what? that means NO! repeat procedure for the no response.

        If she says no after she has already said yes and you’re already naked? guess what? that means NO!

        and when you’re not sure what the hell her response is, if you’re a smart guy, you’ll assume that that means NO! too.

        Does this seem unfair and like it puts alot of the onus on you to take responsibility for whether or not the woman you are dating cries rape later, absolutely it does! But guess what, life is unfair and there are women in this world who don’t know what the hell they want and will be wishy washy about it and that’s why it’s so important for men to spend more time thinking with the head on the shoulders and not the one in their pants. When in doubt, assume the answer is NO! or ask for clarification and until you get it, flashing greenlights and a marching band singing “Bring it on home”, err on the side of caution and walk away!

        As Louise mentions above, an assertive woman, a woman who’s got her head right on her shoulders will have no problems letting you know when she is open to sex and when she is most definitely NOT. if you are with a woman who doens’t embody this quality, then you don’t want to be in that situation anyway. and if you’re so horny that you can’t control yourself and don’t wait for a clear response to your question, than guess what, you got no one to blame but yourself for the consequences.

        Nuff said, good luck, be safe and stay out of trouble.

  12. I’m going to start off by being blunt: the premise of this article is rubbish.

    A few days before Christmas of 2011, I was physically assaulted – without provocation – by a drunk man in the street. He threw a drink in my face, pummeled me and shoved me into oncoming traffic (lucky for me ABS was invented, eh?). He also happened to be African.

    By the author’s logic, I should now be in — and should have every reason to — fear (of) Africans/blacks, or at least be fearful for my safety around them.

    Forgive me, and call me too trusting (or whatever you like), but screw that. I am not going to spend the rest of my days stealing wary glances at groups of African men and wondering when they’ll try to stab me (I live in an area of Melbourne (Aus) with a very high East African population, so I guess if I was going to do that I might as well stay indoors). I’m not going to start distrusting black work-mates or black strangers. If anything other than drunken – or possibly drugged – loutishness was at the foundation of my assault, it certainly wasn’t race. It is not up to other members of the African community to prove themselves to me because of the actions of one moronic individual who happens to hail from the same locale (or ethnic background, at least) as them. If I become paranoid around black people, THAT IS MY PROBLEM.

    The same applies here. It is not up to men (of the non-raping – i.e. majority – variety) to continually prove themselves to women, to protest their innocence to every female stranger they meet. If some women are terrified of men, then that is their problem (sounds harsh, but there it is). The affected woman may develop coping strategies or avoid situations that make her feel uncomfortable, but it is unfair and unreasonable to place the onus for her comfort on a complete stranger whom she has judged entirely on the basis of having a surplus of testosterone. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, screw that.

    • The problem with your comparison is that black men have not been systematically oppressing your gender/race and exercising power over you since, well, literally the dawn of the human race. In addition, I’m not sure about Australia, but in the US black men actually DO get stigmatized for violence, despite the fact that more white men commit (violent) crimes than black ones. So…your comparison isn’t apt.

      • I hope you aren’t implying that women in the west are “systematically oppressed” here in 2012. That would be ridiculous, right? Believe it or not, some people actually believe that even though there’s no evidence of it.

        • Yes. Women are systematically oppressed. Just because you, as a male, have not felt the effects of sexism DOES NOT MEAN IT DOES NOT EXIST

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            Proof? Just because someone, generally feminist, says they are oppressed doesn’t make it so. Modern feminism has been here for 30 years, no way you can tell me that women are systematically oppressed. Domestic violence call is made, in MOST cases the officers going to that call have already assumed that the man is the perp. At what age are women “required” to sign up for selective service? Oh wait!! They aren’t required! “Women and children first” on a sinking ship is still in place. Even the armed forces have lowered their expectations in boot camp….. c’mon, who are you kidding?

          • Only according to feminist theory, which only a small minority of women subscribe to. The vast majority of women are reasonable, see thIngs as they are in 2012, and aren’t stuck in 1950.

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              I wish I could agree with you about the small minority of women. Men bad women victims is continiously being fed to the public which is a small example of the reality of todays society. Marriage rates are also reflective as to how women think these days. Women are taught to believe that they don’t need a man … look at gender studies in universities. It’s bad and it’s getting worse.

          • BTW, an individual saying or doing something sexist and your theory of “systematic oppression”, as in some organized global conspiracy engaged in by all males to oppress all females are not only two very different things, but the latter is simply impossible and out of touch with reality.

      • “…despite the fact that more white men commit (violent) crimes than black ones.”

        Not proportionally, which is to say that there is a far higher percentage of black men, among the general population of black men, committing violent crimes — especially rape and murder — then white men among the general population of white men. And yes, a woman –white, black, hispanic, or of any other ethnicity — is about 100 times at higher risk of sexual assault from a black man than a white man.

        • Tom Brechlin says:

          Glad you said “proportionately” in that it brings to light a little known fact about women and child support. Yes, men overall owe more $ in child support then women but as we know, men get the short end in that arena. Truth is, women proportionately are more in arrears then men. Sorry, just had to add that.

      • Heisenberg says:

        His comparison is 100% apt because it is based on subjective experience. When we fear something, we don’t really take into account the macro-context. We experience things, interpret them, and then base future beliefs and actions on our interpretation. To say his comparison is not apt is to deny that his assault may have had as large an impact on him that a sexual assault would have on a woman.

        Women have the right to view us men as guilty until proven innocent because of their individual interpretation of the world around them. Just as anyone has the same right to view any demographic with suspicion based on their own subjectivity. I pity people who do this, because they may shut themselves off from worthwhile experiences, without ever really protecting themselves completely from harm.

      • @kyidyl: SRSLY? Schoma has stated clearly that despite her initial feelings of distrust towards black men after being raped by them, she has found the courage and the inner strength to overcome them and realize that being raped was not her fault, she had to find it in herself to heal and get on with her life. Sounds to me like Schoma truly is a strong woman. I have no doubt that being raped makes people feel very angry and powerless. But she chose not to be helpless nor succumb to prejudice. So what you’re saying is just politically correct piffle.

    • @ Schoma:

      I thought that was a very compelling reply to Hugo’s article. In my opinion, there is great wisdom and moving conviction in your logic. I agree with you, and I think you have illuminated an important implication of Hugo’s article. You’ve got me thinking.

    • Women are not assuming all men are rapists until proven otherwise, but self-preservation does demand a certain amount of caution in order to avoid bad situations. We are taught by our culture but a LOT of it comes from experience. When I was younger (late teens, early 20s) I was really friendly with random strangers. After MANY incidents with men I didn’t know taking my friendliness as an invitation and touching me, following me, refusing to leave me alone after my telling them to do so, calling me rude words, grabbing my arm so I couldn’t get away, or otherwise intimidating or disrespecting me, I became a lot less friendly to men I didn’t know. I stopped looking men in the eye on the street. If someone approaches me in a genuinely friendly way I’ll be nice to them, but I do have my guard up, because I don’t want to have to deal with that shit anymore. I don’t think that every man, or even every man who disrespected me, is a rapist, but the fact that they were immediately threatening me or trying to force me into an interaction showed me that they might be capable of more. This is NOT about a one-time incident, this is a lifetime of strangers leading me to distrust them. The fact that I am more wary of men walking down the street than women is based on a lifetime of experience where I have never had a woman try to follow me, grope my body, manipulate me into doing something with them. The fact is, I haven’t been made to feel threatened by very many women but have spent my whole life dealing with threatening behaviour from men.

      Making the analogy that if one man beats up another man, should he then assume all people of that race are violent? That is not proper analogy to this situation at all. To help you understand, it would be more like this: if all of your life, people of a certain race were constantly harassing you, following you, grabbing your body, trying to guilt you into doing things for them, if you knew that many of your friends had been assaulted, raped, stalked, molested, by people of that race, that several of them had their drinks spiked with drugs by people of that race, and none or almost none of them had experienced this from any other race, then you know what? yes, I think in that situation, it would be acceptable for you to be wary of people of that race until they’d shown that they weren’t like the hundreds that had disrespected or harmed you or your loved ones.

  13. To all the whiny men commenting.

    Boo Hoo. You have it SO hard

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      For the past 30 years, if a man said what you just did, they would be pegged as a chauvinist pig. Am I seeing a double standard here? And yes, we have it a lot harder then you would like to believe. Truth is no one whines more then women. Maybe if men whine more, the suicide rate for men wouldn;t be as high as it is. Yes, women “attempt” suicide more but men succeed far more then women.

  14. Schoma, I was thinking about your January 4 post when I was writing this. 

    Hugo, I found your article challenging- while I believe that you write from a deeply held sense of conviction and empathy. We must always try empathize, understand, and have a deeply abiding compassion for others. But beyond this, though, I found myself focusing on some of what I saw as the broader, more troubling implications of you article.

    Someone told me not too long ago ‘never accept double standards; though stereotypes may be accurate sometimes, it just doesn’t lend weight to stereotyping in general.’ Hugo’s article, (as I saw it) takes a position (right or wrong) that ‘safety’ (or rather, the perception of ‘safety’) is paramount over impartiality; that security trumps, that it MUST trump impartiality, and that the two are mutually exclusive. That is, it seems to be saying: It’s alright to use stereotypes, it’s alright (for one group) to use prejudice, because might keep them safer, and it might make them feel better, besides. As I write those words, I am struck by how similar this is to some of the debates in North America about the moral, ethical, legal, practical and security questions associated with racial and religious profiling. These are not simple, unidimensional questions. How much violence is the presumption of innocence worth? What is an acceptable level risk versus an acceptable level of liberty?    

    Hugo seems to be saying in the article that ‘This is why some women see all men as potential rapists, and, really, it’s ok that some women do that- because all men contribute to the formation of an individual woman’s subjective impression of men.’ There’s something (for me, anyway) deeply paradoxical there: On the one hand he seems to say, ‘don’t judge women who judge men collectively’ because these people are basing their reactions in accordance with their (subjective) realities, their individual life experiences and/or ‘objective’ possibilities.

    Individual realities are (in my mind, anyway) subjective, and, at least to a certain degree, arbitrary: In the end, how another person sees me and relates to me is up to them- it’s their psyche, and I’m just another random stimuli in it (This is getting more existential than I was hoping). That said, their actions and reactions to me inform and create my reality as well. I can choose to reciprocate mistrust and prejudice with corresponding mistrust and prejudice, or not. In the end, it’s arbitrary. ( I keep thinking of that line from the end of “No Country for Old Men” – when somebody says “The coin don’t have no say. It’s just you.”)

    We all have individual will and freedom of conscience: At certain level, psyche is sovereign. And while it is by no means collectively reasonable to expect someone who has been visited by evil to try to repay strangers with trust, I find it hard to deny that, whatever their choice, in the end, it’s beyond anyone else’s control. There is no collective will- and “collective influence” is, again, at the mercy of arbitrary and subjective individual choice.

    Hugo, In your conclusion you said: “Holding other men accountable, challenging sexist and objectifying language and behavior in yourself and in other males (whether or not women are around) is the single most effective thing men can do to change the culture of ‘guilty until proven innocent’” –  I don’t disagree with your general prescription there, but I strongly disagree with your rationale.

    I choose to reject sexism, coercion and violence- and because I choose to do so, I am morally and ethically compelled expect the same from others insofar as I am empowered to do so. I will not tacitly accept that behavior from other people which I reject for myself outright. But Hugo, I do not choose to do those things to assuage, as you put it, a sense of ‘not entirely undeserved’ collective guilt as a male. I do not consider that to be a valid rationale to do those things, even though I  believe they are the right things to do. You’re saying that men should do this, essentially, because then women will have less cause to hate and fear them. I say it’s pointless to base your actions solely on the hopes of appeasing the collective or the individual external expectations of others- how they perceive you is beyond your control, and moreover, you yourself said that it’s unreasonable to expect that it is- “No woman can walk down the street and as she passes a man, know with certainty that he isn’t a threat.”  

    There is a certain hollowness to the rationale in your conclusion. 
    Just do it because it’s the right thing to do. Haters are still going to hate, whether you do the right thing, the wrong thing, or nothing at all.    

    I choose to do what I do because I am morally and ethically compelled to do so by my (subjective) reality and my value judgments- but more than that, I choose to do it because I choose to do it. It’s not scientific, but it’s subjectively real.    

    I don’t think that this is what you wanted, but sir, you have offered a very reasoned and moral justification for bigotry. You are not going to change the culture of “guilty until proven innocent” by building on a foundation which proceeds from the fundamental premise that ‘guilty until proven innocent’ is acceptable- it just doesn’t work; it’s self-contradictory.

    • Heisenberg says:

      Wow. I posted a small response about five posts up. Then scrolled down to see yours. I completely agree with what you’ve written. Thanks for articulating it better than I did.

  15. Well said, Hugo!

  16. Eric M. says:

    Of course, everyone realizes that this “all men are rapists or potential rapists” argument/philosophy is considered by me and many women to be a steaming pile of misandry. Thankfully, the making of such arguments are no longer nearly as common around these parts.

    That said, last night, I (a healthy, robust black man) gave two young very attractive while female strangers a ride home from the grocery store. Turns out that were young French women who had just moved here from France for work and didn’t yet have a car. They were standing there with loads of groceries not sure what to do. Any women stop and ask them if they needed help? Nope. Just a black guy.

    I assumed that they just needed help getting their stuff to their car, but then they explained they were planning to walk, which was going to be impossible. So, a black man offers these two pretty young female strangers a ride. Their response? They looked at each other and asked if I wouldn’t mind. Then they happily accepted the ride, assuming that I was not a rapist or killer.

    I told them that in my community, if I hadn’t stopped to ask if they needed help, no doubt someone else absolutely would. I truly believe that. They explained to me that, in France, no one would bother to stop, which I found to be surprising. So, no, we’re not all rapists , and aren’t always assumed to be so by rational women.

  17. guilty until proven innocent,what a joke
    .and i’m glad this writer sees the foggyness of misplaced anger toward feminism…….for the responders who think shaking an abuser loose is easy-they don’t stop,u have to keep moving to live. you are either in denial of actual abuse statistics or choose to ignore them.50%of women killed by a stalker-stalker is an ex-boyfriend or husband.
    writer- you are definetely evolved in your response to your thoughts as a young man… Sexualization and rape are not about being attractive or young. it is a way for the perpretrator to kill what they find most loathsome in themselves, or some woman in their past who messed them up.
    u say :”frustrating to be viewed with suspicion merely because of one’s sex? Heck yes. (Is it frustrating to be viewed as a sexual object merely because one is young and female? Ask around.) Men ought to be angry that they need to “prove their harmlessness.” Indeed, they ought to be enraged! But our anger is rightly directed not at women who have been the victims (individually and collectively) of predatory males, but at those men who have “poisoned the well” for everyone else. Rather than demand that women “smile more” or “trust more” or “just know that I’m a good guy,” men need to channel their frustration at being “pre-judged” into a commitment to end what it is that causes women’s suspicion in the first place.–Well, men need to channel into: respecting women,that’s it. Easy right?
    ur ?- women’s “suspicion” :although men are it seems even more “suspicious” of why a woman wants them(money,sex,is the general consensus,eventual marriage,kids) what causes the suspicion is men’s general disrespect, abuse, and yes, rape and murder of all two and four legged creatures regardless of age,species, or sex. don’t worry about it tho,prisons r crowded&u’ll get off with an ankle bracelet if they actually take the time to catch ya.

  18. Hugo, clearly you do not check you facts before writing an article. Men are overwhelming more likely to be the victim of assault and violence, not women.

  19. Hugo, I’m very sorry about this, but it appears you were the victim of brainwashing at a very young and impressionable age. Take some comfort in knowing that it wasn’t your fault. Who knows, if I had taken Women’s Studies classes at 19 my mind might have been polluted in a similar way. It’s not too late though my friend, you can still pull out of it. We’ll be here waiting for you on the other side.

  20. Joey Joe Joe says:

    I wonder if Hugo accepts racial profiling as well.

  21. Cecil Westervelt says:

    Seriously, what a crap article. You’re arguing that if a man in Florida rapes a woman, I am therefore guilty by proxy, from the cradle to the grave. The overwhelming majority of men are not rapists, and would give their lives to prevent a stranger from being raped. Their reward for that? Being called a rapist by default. Silence is not tacit support or approval. In fact, you’ve presented nothing in terms of actual fact, your viewpoint is skewed beyond any reason, and your bias obvious. What’s worse, is that you actually produce this, in line with things known to be false, as a supporting argument for non fact as rebuttal to fact.
    You may be ok with being held up as guilty until proven female. That being the case, I strongly urge you to do the right thing and go turn yourself in for rape.

  22. Pallus Pallafox says:

    It sounds like Hugo is talking about self-preservation. We (women and men) lock our doors, especially at night, lock up the car, purchase security systems, carry pocket knives, carry pepper spray/mace, and even own guns. We do so under the assumption that, if we don’t, we are leaving ourselves open to harm. There is a pervasive prejudice that goes into the effort of self preservation, but it is the individual’s right to defend him or herself from a world that they feel is unsafe. Ideally we will never have to use violent means to protect ourselves, so often people will choose to walk on well-lit paths and walk in groups for the sake of security.
    It is unfortunate when a person’s efforts at self-preservation means that you will have a harder time finding a date, but that’s the only way that your target population is guaranteed some measure of safety. To that person, you getting a date is not as important as their life. Consider not smiling or making eye contact on the street to be the social equivalent to keeping the doors locked. Limitations on (social) entry have been preemptively put in place, for the sake of self preservation.
    Beating on the door that has locked you out is the wrong way to approach the situation. Looking out for your neighbors’ well-being and being vigilant about the community’s conduct towards one-another, however, might make the neighborhood’s atmosphere a little bit safer for everyone.
    Certainly most of us aren’t muggers, stereo thieves, or murderers, but we get locked out of other people’s property and lives regardless. But people lock up their houses and cars, and carry pepper spray regardless. In that regard, we are all guilty until proven innocent.
    Understand that we live in a society that still chastises women who are assaulted at night because they “shouldn’t have been out by themselves to begin with”. In such an unsupportive environment, the dating odds are against you. In the off-chance that you are a rapist and she does get assaulted, she might get blamed for it. Same goes with a man who gets mugged while taking a shortcut home from work. “He was an idiot for not walking on main street where it’s well-lit”. Victims of all demographics get blamed for the misconduct of others.
    It’s not fair for non-raping, non-mugging people to be prejudged as potential assaulters, but the individual and your target population have the right to personal security. In a world where about 1/4 women and 1/7 men have been the targets of successful and/or attempted sexual assaults, and where most of us know at least one person who has been assaulted, can we not have a little empathy when people get nervous around others? That’s a lot of flipping people who have been the victims of violence. Don’t take their anxiety so personally. Not everything is a personal affront to one’s character.

    • So are you ok with a white man fearing black men because a few black men beat him up?

      • If you’re in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, for whatever reason, and you decide not to walk around in the middle of the night, does anyone have the right to take that as a personal offense? Especially when, in the event of you being assaulted or robbed, you’ll hear “you shouldn’t have been out at night in a bad neighborhood! What the fuck did you think would happen?!”

    • Pallus Pallafox,

      I think you’re analogy is on target here. I’d add (probably covered already) that the the consequence of keeping your guard up might be an absence of a positive interaction vs the consequence of letting your guard down is disaster. Probabilities don’t really factor in since this is an emotional issue. Ubderstandably emotional.

      And speakinb of emotions, you’re right that the challenge is to “not take this so personally”, but that’s tough for many people to do. Men who respond particularly strongly to women’s indifference, whatever the reason for the indifference, are probably feeling like their options are scarce. That feeling in men, whether real or anxietyt driven, should have no bearing on how women behave, but it does make it tough to find the “don’t take it personal” switch. Everything seems personal when you fear that you’re running out of options.

  23. I kind of understand Schwyzer’s story here, but holding an entire gender guilty until proven innocent
    is pointless. Rapists and violent nutcases will always walk the Earth and their deeds may never be fully prevented. There won’t be a chance for the decent majority of men to be proven innocent and that is unfair.

    As a young woman I too have experienced that anxiety when a strange man walks briskly
    behind me in a dark street. But if I notice that the man is in fact a woman, the anxiety vanishes.
    How weird is that? Women too have assaulted, robbed and even assisted in acts of sexual violence.
    I should be scared of them too, but I’m not. I wasn’t taught to.

    Ever since I was a little girl, my mother has reminded me to stay away from strange *men*. I should never accept candy, drinks, lift or even respond to them. She was genuinely concerned of her children’s
    safety and wanted to be sure, so she taught us to fear all unfamiliar men. Decent advice, since
    small children don’t have the judgement and experience adults have.

    The problem is that the mantra never changed when we grew older. My mother now openly talked about the actual threat, sexual violence, but never told us that it’s more likely to be assaulted and raped by a family member than some random guy lurking in the park. I don’t think she even knew.
    She never tried to teach us how to recognize truly suspicious or harmful behavior,
    probably because she didn’t know how to and was too scared to let us trust men.
    But no one else taught us to recognize suspicious behavior either. It never even came up.

    so, all I had was the suspicion and anxiety when strange men approached or even seemed a possible threat. I know by experience that majority of men are quite nice and the studies and articles I’ve read supports the idea that only a minority of men randomly assault or rape people in the streets.
    But like Schwyzer told in his story, there’s no way knowing if that guy walking behind me is of the majority or of the minority. Still, the never ending suspicion is not only unfair to the decent guys,
    but it also burdens the women. No one wins.

    I have tried to unlearn some of the anxiety with the help of a personal alarm. When I have this
    “panic button” in my hand, I don’t fear unfamiliar men as much as I usually do. Obviously
    this won’t be enough help to clear the anxiety assaulted people have for strangers, but I’ve never
    been assaulted, so it works.
    It helps to know that I can distract the possible attacker with an ear splitting siren for a few seconds,
    and bolt away. I’m glad there hasn’t been a single time I have really needed the alarm,
    although I have encountered or even talked to the many Scary Strange Men my mother warned about.

    I’m still a fan of self preservation. I stay alert and keep the alarm with me always, because the violent asshole might cross my path one day.
    It’s perfectly reasonable to lock your doors, avoid dangerous, unlit areas, keep an eye on your drink,
    staying away from drunken aggressive people etc. I’m simply trying, little by little, to unlearn the
    idea that all unfamiliar men are dangerous, because it only builds more suspicion rather than creates safety.

    Sorry for the long post, btw.

  24. I really think you should be ashamed of yourself dude. You wrote an article justifying prejudice against other people. It doesn’t make you brave, informed or unique to say something like this, it just means you’re prejudiced, and what’s worse you’re prejudiced against your own sex.

    I agree with you about women being oppressed, but as a gay man, I actually still have laws against me. Not only can I not get married, but it’s still legal to discriminate against me when I apply for a job in many states, and of course there’s the social oppression in most areas of the country. (By the way, it’s also socially acceptable to beat me up because I’m a gay MAN not a gay woman.) And you write an article like this, where I should start looking after women who look at me with suspicion without knowing me, without ever talking to me? I guess I’m guilty too, since I have a penis.

    I guess since there’s so many people who are homophobic (INCLUDING WOMEN), by your logic I should look at everyone with suspicion and assume that everyone means me harm since I’ve been beat up for being gay. I guess if I saw you walking down the street, I should automatically judge you and assume you’re homophobic. And I’m also guessing that if you can posit self-interest as a reason for justifying this disgusting article, then it’s ok for me in my self-interest not to support women’s issues anymore since what you say is against my self-interest. Honestly dude, you are a sexist.

    And f you really believed in equality, you wouldn’t focus all of your energy on one particular group of people. Women are way down the list when it comes to oppression in my opinion, and I think an article like this polarizes the issue and drives a wedge of hostility between the two sexes rather than trying to bring them together. It’s never wise to do things the way you are doing them.

  25. If I walked alone in the middle of the night and met a woman and she scared of me of being a rapist, I would not be offended. Well I know I’m not a rapist, why would I be offended? If she scared, its her problem, not me. And I think its good for her to take a defensive stance. After all there are really bad people out there . I would be scared of thief and robbers and murderers too if I walking in the night alone. And its my problem, not others. If I have a daughter, I also would tell her to be careful of strangers if she walking in the middle of the night alone.

    Why would I take the offense if women scared of rapist? I’m not a rapist. This is my stance. Sorry, but you being scared is not really my problem. No offense.

  26. “Men who grumble about being “guilty until proven innocent” are demanding to be seen as individuals, separate from their perceived sex and the history that goes with it. That’s a tempting but unreasonable demand to make.”

    Asking to be treated as individuals is not an unreasonable demand. Stereotyping men as potential rapists is a sexist thing to do, and it is no different from negatively stereotyping any other such group. In some places, black people also face similar racist stereotyping, where people assume that just because someone is black, they are more likely to commit a crime. This is also apparent where police stop and search black people much more often than others. The discrimination is the same here, but the victim of the discrimination is a different group.

    “But our anger is rightly directed not at women who have been the victims (individually and collectively) of predatory males, but at those men who have “poisoned the well” for everyone else.”

    The anger is rightly directed at those that perpetuate sexism and racism. Criminals will get their fair share of anger, for they have committed a crime (or many crimes). But people are responsible for their own actions. If police stop and search me just because of my skin, I am not going to blame that on other black people. Similarly, if women assume that I am a bad person just because of my gender, that will be their (individual, not collective) fault, not that of other men.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] so, Hugo Schwyzer writes an article on that very thing today “In Rape Culture, All Men Are Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” I should be overjoyed. Hugo is saying that it is ok that I presume men are guilty until proven [...]

  2. [...] Twitter squabble when Tom Matlack pissed off the radfems by objecting to Schwyzer’s post In Rape Culture, All Men Are Guilty Until Proven Innocent, and then by daring to suggest [...]

  3. [...] of Young Men and Helped Make the U.S. Into a Selfish, Greedy Nation Nerds and Male Privilege In Rape Culture, All Men Are Guilty Until Proven Innocent Romney’s Truthiness (“when Romney declares that Obama has been apologizing for America, or [...]

  4. [...] morning I read an article by Hugo Shwyzer (of the Good Men Project) entitled “Men are Guilty until Proven Innocent in a Rape Culture”. The article, boiled down, suggested that in a culture where women have good reason to fear [...]

  5. [...] if all men were potential attackers. Happened to catch this opinion piece regarding that subject. In Rape Culture, All Men Are Guilty Until Proven Innocent by @hugoschwyzer I'm not sure I agree with him, but the comments? Just [...]

  6. [...] think what is misunderstood about Hugo’s message in In Rape Culture, All Men Are Guilty Until Proven Innocent, is that in recognizing the reality of a world in which women are (in general) physically weaker [...]

  7. [...] der Männer“ (Male Guilt) und Rape Culture. In einen Artikel mit dem Titel „In Rape Culture, All Men Are Guilty Until Proven Innocent“ stellt er seine Sicht zur Schuld der Männer an einer Vergewaltigung [...]

  8. [...] his position as a teacher to sleep with students, to mention but a few of the least awful reasons. This article, however, has truly convinced me that he is not only a shitty excuse for a teacher but a shitty [...]

  9. [...] with me, as he almost always does. All along I’ve been firmly entrenched with Hugo in the “Rape Culture Exists” camp, and Marcus has identified more with Tom. Because he’s a man and I’m a woman? Maybe. [...]

  10. [...] as Hugo Schwyzer pointed out here—which was one of the catalysts to huge controversy, men should be angry—not at feminists for describing rape culture, but at rape culture’s insistence on a vile [...]

  11. [...] Read more here. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a comment [...]

  12. [...] women as ‘complicit’ victims to the crime being inflicted upon them, but it also casts men as being unable to control their masculine urges. The West has a rape culture problem. One that has [...]

  13. […] emphasise women as ‘complicit’ victims to the crime being inflicted upon them, but it also casts men as being unable to control their masculine urges. The West has a rape culture problem. One that has […]

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