Rape Culture: Men, Women, and Power

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About Soraya Chemaly

Soraya Chemaly is a feminist satire writer and media critic. She is also regular contributor to the Huffington Post on issues of gender and media. Email: [email protected] twitter: @schemaly

Comments

  1. “Only men can stop rape.”

    Uh, no Soraya. The woman who drugged, raped and blackmailed me into silence bloody well fucking can stop rape and I hold her accountable to doing so. She is, after all, a disgusting rapist.

    The fact that you do not speaks volumes about your compassion toward rape survivors as living, breathing human beings vs. pawns to be used in a socio-political argument.

    Good grief.

  2. By the way, the “only men can stop rape” meme has been debunked by me here:

    http://jameslandrith.com/content/view/3847/79/

    Anyone who truly cares about ending sexual violence will not engage in the erasure or minimization of ANY survivor for ANY reason. I’m really tired of seeing this type of garbage here. I thought things were changing?

    • “Anyone who truly cares about ending sexual violence will not engage in the erasure or minimization of ANY survivor for ANY reason. I’m really tired of seeing this type of garbage here. I thought things were changing?”

      James – you have convinced even me!

      Die Hard Equality, Meddling Rational Archivist – 30 years in the field! There is an issue here that goes beyond Equality and needs Affirmative Action!

    • PS James

      “On any given day you can, if you chose, participate in an entertaining and informative pop culture rape happening.”

      I choose NO! I don’t do pop culture – I deal in the reality of people who have been raped! How dare the OP dismiss so many people in that way!

      I hope the OP realises just how much it took to make me look at what is going on and say “No More”!

      I’m beyond Fury at what I have seen!

      Pop Culture? If she even spent ten minutes with a Rape Victim – who you hope will become a Rape Survivor – it has nothing to do with Pop Culture and using that Rhetoric is beyond contempt!

      That mentality is so dismissive and abusive… enough is enough!

      Every time I go back to that piece of dross above I get more Furious! I have looked for good – but it’s no good!

      Gove me the red pill!

  3. “Rape culture is a term which originated in women’s studies and feminist theory, describing a culture in which rape and sexual violence against women are COMMON”

    Um……er……what? What exactly is meant by “common”? The use of that term is so vague that it could be interpreted to mean just about anything the authors of the wikipedia article, or any feminist for that matter, want it to mean.

    “and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or tolerate sexual violence against women”

    Interesting so why are there laws at all against rape? It makes no sense. Rape is okay supposedly according to our culture but not okay according to our laws which are a reflection of what people in our culture, collectively, have deemed to be wrong. That’s a circle I’d like to see squared.

  4. Great! Another “men are responsible for rape” article by a professional feminist s**t stirrer. This one takes a different approach though. She doesn’t say the usual “All men are rapist” . She claims “all men are condensending and compliciant in rape”. She drags out all the long debunked stats along with cherry picking a few tidbits from other stats . Then she claims “Only men can stop rape!” To this I ask HOW! As a father of 3 women . a brother to 2 sisters, DON”T YOU THINK I WOULD LIKE TO SEE RAPE ERADICATED FROM SOCEITY!!! I would just love to see one of these”Rad Fems” say something constructive just once in my lifetime!

  5. “Do you really doubt the idea of rape culture?”

    Rape culture is nore more or less real than [most any other crime] culture. The feminists who insist on discussing rape all day every day are the only ones who claim or imply that all men are responsible for rape in one way or another. It seems they are desperate to link all males to rape by any means necessary.

  6. We’ve read the stats and tweaked the numbers but bottom line – what is more important ending rape or debating who is hurt by it or experiences it more, who suffers more, more worthy of being believed – given sympathy, compassion or understanding, respect, dignity and compassion?

    All the time spent saying one victim of more of victim or more often a victim takes time away from helping all victims and ending rape where ever possible.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      I may quote you on that SweetSue.

    • Well, agreed but the problem is that nobody can agree on the exact source of the problem. It’s as if you had a cold and along comes someone to tell you there pet theory ( I use the term not in the scientific sense) as to why you have one and vaguely how to cure it. If that person is wrong, then the cure proffered will be of no help and at worst you may die or at the least suffer longer than necessary. Same goes for the issue of rape. Feminists offer up rape theory (again I use that term theory not in the scientific sense) as sort of a unifying theory of rape but there are problems which people here have pointed out over and over again. If rape culture theory is wrong then any solution that is derived from it will most likely fail and those that don’t will be more due to chance than the “theory” itself.

  7. Another feminist acting to maintain an unjust monopoly and to enable further discrimination and injustice against those deemed lesser or non victims. This author is patently unqualified to write anything about sexual abuse and should actually be ignored.

    Meanwhile in my country and yours feminist services funded by the taxpayer respond to desperate calls from victims with laughter and accusations of dishonesty. Feminist politicians disallow men and boys to be asked about abuse and force removal of questions regarding female perpetrators from government studies. These are the real feminists in action. Mongrels all. Intent on ensuring no male victim or victim of female perpetrator can get help or justice and mocking and degrading them if they try.

    Feminists have no answers apart from hurting victims. They ALWAYS act to exclude. This article is nothing more than another act of feminist exclusion. One of many.

  8. This paragraph has me shaking my head

    “A lot of the debate over rape culture theory that I’ve read here hinges on its being filtered through the lens of individual stories instead of the other way round. As a result it ends up being misrepresented as an individual man-bad/perpetrator, woman-good/victim argument. The problem of rape is not a problem of individual men and women. It’s a culture that we live with—a systemization of harm that we are immersed in. Rape, regardless of whom it happens to, is horrible and violent and dehumanizing. Only men can stop rape. ”

    first sentence

    “A lot of the debate over rape culture theory that I’ve read here hinges on its being filtered through the lens of individual stories instead of the other way round.”

    You need to have the lens of rape culture theory to understand individual stories?
    is that what she is saying?

    Is this just another way of saying you have to believe in jesus and accept him as your savior to truly understand the bible?

    I am looking at that paragraph and it scares me….
    Is there some hidden meaning im missing or is this just another faith based argument?

    “As a result it ends up being misrepresented as an individual man-bad/perpetrator, woman-good/victim argument.”

    As opposed to?
    All men bad all women good?
    what is the correct argument that you are implying?

    ” The problem of rape is not a problem of individual men and women. It’s a culture that we live with—a systemization of harm that we are immersed in. ”

    the matrix argument?

    and finally
    “Rape, regardless of whom it happens to, is horrible and violent and dehumanizing. Only men can stop rape. ”

    wtf?
    So after looking at individual rape stories through the lens of rape culture theory all men are perp women are victims that is why only men can stop rape?

    • If you have a paranoid outlook you will find evidence to support your paranoia humans are great at finding patterns even in randomness. If your only proof of rape culture is to look at the world through the lens of rape culture theory and use that compromised view to prove rape culture is real is just a circular argument.

      If you view the world with those old 3d glasses guess what? the whole world looks blue and red.

      • “If you view the world with those old 3d glasses guess what? the whole world looks blue and red.”

        Even more interesting is that the brain will also compensate and start to tell the wearer that the tinted colours are normal and it’s the normal view of the world. The brain displays great plasticity and an ability to normalise both perceptions and behaviours with adaptation to either remove or mitigate the effects.

        I find it fascinating That Rape Culture is such a big issue – it’s spoken of as all pervasive – It controls peoples lives and all that they do, and yet:

        1) The US Government will not use the term, even when reporting on such things as rape.
        2) If you look for Academic papers and studies that explain, articulate or examine “rape culture”, they don’t exist
        3) Rape Culture defenders can’t tell you who coined the term, where it comes from and who is the academic, thinker, theorist who developed The Model and named it.
        4) The term is used as a Concrete Concept and structure but only addresses Female Rape By Male Perpetrators and Rape of any victim by any perpetrator
        5) The term is self referential and self defending so once it is accepted as a concrete reality even none sexualised and none aggressive behaviour is made into and perceived as sexual aggression, ( eg an unknown male smiling at the woman is exhibiting antisocial rape culture related behaviour).
        6) Rape Culture requires modification of behaviour, information, thinking and emotions an known pattern of Mind and Thought control.
        7) All people who are not accepting of Rape Culture or who question it’s foundations and use are attacked and this failure to buy into the model, is a self referential self supporting factor that is linked to emotional control and not rational processing.
        8) The Rape Culture believer becomes more strongly wed to the modifications of behaviour, information, thinking and emotions the more they defend the Model and the more it is questioned.
        9) when asked to explain the mechanisms of Rape Culture the believer is unable to articulate mechanisms but does refer to limited activities such as telling jokes about rape – and yet finds it also socially acceptable to joke about rape in certain situations such as “Don’t Drop the Soap” and Prison Rape.
        10) When you point out points 1 to 9 above, you are called a Rapist, rape apologist, women hater, unreconstructed male, and multiple other insulting language forms are also applied.

        Most fascinating was a study I was looking at. It used young college women as test subjects. They were split into two groups.

        Group one were presented with a written scenario of engaging with a man in asocial situation and asked to score their feelings for security, danger, risk etc.

        Group two were presented with a written scenario of watching another woman with a man in a social situation and asked to score their feelings for that woman’s security, danger, risk etc.

        Group one scored the factors as low – Group two scored that factors as high.

        The Study concluded that this was strong evidence that female students lacked training and instruction on personal security and all Colleges and Universities had to increase rape and sexual violence awareness.

        There was a total disregard that women are able to judge their own security in any given situation and act appropriately. It was seen that only external agents could see the danger and all women had to be protected from it. That’s Rape Culture – the Disenfranchisement of women by women!

        The study was subject to much criticism – especially given that Group One were tested a week before a On campus Campaign supporting rape culture, and group two were tested a week after.

        When you look at matters and consider “Decision-making and behavioral biases” a number of models are apparent – Anchoring, Attentional bias, Backfire effect, Bandwagon effect, Bias blind spot, Choice-supportive bias, Confirmation bias, Congruence bias, Contrast effect,…. and the list goes on.

        Most interesting is “defensive attribution hypothesis” which fits the use of Rape Culture on two fronts.

        First – the seminal work was in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s and was a Hot Topic in social sciences, psychology and academia, the same time as the Rape Culture Model emerged. Second it identifies that individuals will use the experiences of others as a self referential, and so the more serious an event, even when in no way connected to the individual, the more the subject will use the event and perceived outcome to judge their own experience and world view and with that act to prevent the same experience.

        Interestingly – the same bias is the primary one in regards to sexual assault blame attributions, where men are seen as less likely to blame the man and women are more likely to support the woman.

        They act as flip sides of the same coin, so once the Rape Culture model is embedded the biases associated with it are self referential and as the defence is based upon the same bias inverted it becomes self supporting and self referential.

  9. Rape is a crime. Rape literally means “having sexual intercourse without the consent other party by using violence to intoxication.” Person of either sex who indulges in such act is a criminal and deserves to be punished harshly. As for the rape culture, it exists only as much as other crime cultures like burglary culture, robbery culture, DUI culture, murder culture etc exist. Rape is a crime that suits the feminist ideological meme “men are oppressing women” Men can prevent rape only as much they can prevent auto-theft, robbery, forgery and murder. It is the job of law enforcement to prevent crime and others are in any way responsible for it.

  10. My question: Why is rape the only crime where victim blaming is not allowed?

    Example: A couple of weeks ago I saw a story with accompanying video of a man telling a group of crazy looking guys to turn down their music, their response was to beat him up. The writer of the article said that while he wasn’t wrong to tell them to turn down their music he should’ve known better than to tell a group of guys with that certain demeanor to turn down their music.

    Hello victim blaming!!! So if a woman decides to take a jog at midnight in the most dangerous part of town while wearing a nightie should be absolved of any criticism if she gets raped why shouldn’t it be the same for getting beaten up or mugged or getting your car stolen? If I leave my very expensive car in the bad part of town at night with the doors open and the keys in the ignition and somebody steals it and the police have the nerve to call me a idiot for doing that is that victim blaming?

    • “So if a woman decides to take a jog at midnight in the most dangerous part of town while wearing a nightie . . .? ”

      Most women would never do that.

      ” If I leave my very expensive car in the bad part of town at night with the doors open and the keys in the ignition . . .”

      Most people would never do that.

      Why not? Because of victim blaming, or common sense?

      Reasonable people without an agenda say common sense.

    • Problem is because strangerbased rape is relatively few in number compared to known-person rape, so telling women to be careful in public doesn’t really help. Also clothing has no link to rape, people get raped in all sorts of clothing, so no point telling them what to wear.

      The emphasis is on putting the blame on the attacker, not the victim. You’d have to tell them to not go near another person in order to avoid rape and that won’t work…If you want to say becareful at night in areas that aren’t well lit and there aren’t many people around as a general rule that’s ok due to being alone and opportunity for the criminal to rob, attack, etc without as much chance of being caught. But why go blaming the victim after it’s happened?

      Is it the fault of any victim of violent crime? We live in a civilized society and we should be safe, but the blame is solely on the attacker. I can understand people saying it’s stupid to go slap an animal, but humans are expected to behave in our society and have much better reasoning and intelligence than pretty much every other animal. Why shouldn’t we victim blame? because it’s an asshole thing to do.

      • “Is it the fault of any victim of violent crime? We live in a civilized society and we should be safe, but the blame is solely on the attacker.”

        Absolutely correct, the blame is solely on the attacker. But by introducing terms like “rape culture” they are putting blame on every male. All men are responsible if a woman gets raped. We wish to eradicate rape, but feminists are turning it into a culture.

  11. If some feminists write about rape culture in a way that minimizes the reality of male rape victimization by dishonest usage of stats, is that proof rape culture exists and the very people advocating against it are actually causing part of it?

    • I think that depends on their idea of rape culture. If they are only looking out for the well being of people raped by males in their rape culture theory then no they wouldn’t because their theory doesn’t consider the well being of those raped by females in the first place.

      Kinda like how some of them are with sexism. They start off by selectively redefining sexism as being male against female only and work on only male against female sexism. And presto-chango-magico all of a sudden female against male sexism doesn’t exist therefore its not a part of the overall sexism that they are dealing with.

      In short its real easy to say, “I’m not against that.” when you’ve defined “that” out of existence from get go.

      On the other hand the ones that speak of rape culture and actually do account for those raped by females I would say that no they are not causing the rape culture they are advocating against.

  12. Peter Houlihan says:

    How I felt reading this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCCXTVmSbgw

    Where to even start? Should I bother considering that this will be buried on page 5 of rebuttles. Oh well, point by point I guess.

    “Do you really doubt the idea of rape culture?” Yes.

    “On any given day you can, if you chose, participate in an entertaining and informative pop culture rape happening.”

    No, on any given day I can joke about rape and possibly even play video games about rape (I don’t). The fact that this is considered alot *less* acceptable than joking about murder, playing violent and murderous video games and using phrases that include the word murder (Work is really killing me at the moment) shows how rape is the most *reviled* crime out there, not the most condoned. If I tell a joke involving someone being killed noone accuses me of making light of murder.

    “These examples are rape culture manifest. If you are not sure what rape culture looks like, this is it: sexual violence—overwhelmingly against girls and women—tolerated, excused and normalized through attitudes, norms, practices, and media.”

    As we being to examine sexual violence against men we are increasingly finding that sexual violence against women is only overwhelmingly against girls and women when it is defined in such a way that only sexual violence against girls and women counts. Rape is not tolerated, excused or normalised in any meaningful or widespread way through attitudes, norms practices or media. As above its one of the most reviled crimes a person can commit (provided that they’re male). We joke, play games about, watch films containing and read books about murder and other violent crimes all the time. Why is this never labelled “murder culture”? Rape culture theory would be alot more credible if it applied its logic to all crimes, instead of ones traditionally considered only to happen to women.

    “It is hard to get people to acknowledge the startling reality of rape or to even imagine a world where rape isn’t happening at the rate of once every two minutes in the course of a regular day in the US. There are lots of ways that we talk about rape that perpetuate myths or diffuse the reality of what is an overwhelmingly gendered crime, the threat and reality of which vastly disproportionately affects women.”

    About 45 murders are committed each day in the US, a crime which disproportionately affects men. I don’t claim that this is because the murderers out there heard a joke about killing someone or saw a film depicting someone being killed. I also don’t claim that murder is a man’s issue.

    “That does NOT mean that all men are rapists. The only people who think all men are rapists are, well, rapists. ”

    Rapists, quite a few feminists, the justice system, social workers and many other institutions of society consider men to be basicly rapists. I’m glad to hear you think otherwise.

    “I’m also not saying that women don’t rape and sexually abuse children. Sexual assault of children, girls and boys, are part of rape culture, which is defined by its cultivation of specific, violent, male sexual aggression. ”

    Do you realise that those two sentences are completely contradictory? First you claim that you accept the reality of female abusers, then you claim that this is part of a phenomenon caused only by *male* sexual aggression. Are you suggesting that women only rape because they’ve been victimised by men? Or that women only rape when they become manlike in their sexual attitudes? How hard is it for you to accept that women can be and are abusive without tacking it to masculinity somehow?

    “Saying that sexual violence affects girls and women disproportionately does not mean that boys’ and men’s experiences of assault and rape are in any way less relevant or horrific.”

    Glad to hear you think so, but pretending they almost never happen is just as damaging.

    “In statistical terms, however, right now, while data on female sexual assault is hard to gather and verify for reasons listed below,”

    You admit that data on female sexual assault is hard to gather and verify, and then fall back on statistics that are almost certainly warped by this fact.

    “it’s exactly like pointing out that some men get breast cancer every time the subject of women’s breast cancer fatalities comes up.”

    It would be exactly the same, if any of the following were true:
    -If we lived in a culture where breast cancer was legally defined as something that only happened to women
    -If studies examining breast cancer routinely ignored, covered up, denied or were structured not to find male instances of breast cancer
    -If male breast cancer was almost never taken seriously, whether in the context of humour or not.
    -If studies examining breast cancer that *did* examine male breast cancer were increasingly finding that men suffer from breast cancer at a similar rate to women.
    -If there was a massive cultural bias encouraging male victims of breast cancer to suffer in silence and cover up their illness for fear of being ridiculed on the basis that men don’t suffer from breast cancer.
    Other than those minor differences, perfect analogy.

    “According to the CDC study, in the US, between 1% and 2% of men have been raped or experienced an attempted rape, often by an intimate partner, almost always male, (many when they were younger than 11) compared to 20% of women.
 That 1-2% is a total – not just those where there may be female perpetrators.”

    You’ve just pointed out that these statistics are flawed, so I feel free to disregard them.

    “It’s because a) our culture doesn’t like admitting male weakness, b) it is rarely reported and/or c) it is actually comparatively rare. Interestingly, the breakdown for multiple offender crimes is different: 59% male, 12.9% female and 22.9% male/female combined.”

    A and B are a self fulfilling prophecy of C. Whats your point? You’ve already admitted, twice now, that these statistics are almost certainly wrong. Why do you go on citing them?

    “Our news media has been filled, sadly, in recent years by stories of boys being raped by priests, coaches and other trusted adults. But these reports, which highlight the vulnerability of boys, is disproportionate considering female rape as part of a pandemic spectrum of sexual violence against girls and women, which typically begins at adolescence and, unlike the abuse of boys, does not taper down after adolescence.”

    No, its drawing attention to systematic widespread abuse that was largely considered by society not to exist. Also, if you haven’t seen the widespread coverage of female rape in the news I don’t know what rock you’ve been hiding under on which planet. Rape, of men or women, is one of the most reported crimes out there. I suppose DSK doesn’t count?

    “This isn’t dismissing boys’ abuse or adult male victimization,”

    Yes it is, you’re saying it doesn’t really happen all that often.

    “only pointing out a bias in coverage that incorporates typical approaches to “debunking” rape realities and perpetuating rape myths.”

    What myths? Be specific. Are you angry that newscasters aren’t reporting that rape jokes cause rape?

    “The exact same culture that supports rape myths and apologies related to victim blaming, defining consent, accusing women of lying”

    Sometimes victims do foolish things, this is not victim blaming, its information about how to take care of yourself. Consent needs to be defined. Some women do lie about rape.

    “contribute to the difficulty of getting accurate information about boys being victimized. Here are some ways that the rape experiences of boys and men are specifically denied, ignored and hidden”

    No they don’t. What contributes to the difficulty in examining male victimisation is the insistance that it doesn’t happen, especially not at the hands of women. The reporting of scandals such as Penn State and Clerical sex abuse has been instrumental in changing attitudes in this regard. You, on the other hand, seem to see reporting of such events and debunking of such myths only as a minimisation of the experience of your own group. In the words of protesters outside rape trials world wide “shame on you.”

    “—not by feminism—but by sexism, misogyny and the application of heteronormative standards:”

    Yes, by some feminists and some feminist theory, but you’re right that this is sexist. I find it bewildering that you consider the victimisation of men and boys to constitute misogyny. I have to ask, do you have any idea what that word means? Again, you’re speaking out against heteronormative standards with one breath and then speaking in favour of them with the next. The idea that only females are really victimised sexually on any kind of scale, and only males victimise on any kind of scale, is heteronormative. Its practically a defining feature of heteronormativity.

    “Traditionally, and I use that word very specifically, rape has been considered part of a natural order, in other words, the normal consequence of how men and women are built. In this scenario, women are passive, weak and often temptresses; men are physically strong, violently sexual and unable to help themselves when provoked. This definition of sexuality, which by the way is an essential component of abstinence-only “sex ed,” is narrow and results in a restrictive, forcible, male-on-female definition of rape. It certainly doesn’t allow for boys to be victims, certainly not at the hands of women or even of adult men. As Advocates for Youths points out: “Male victimization is particularly hard to estimate due to beliefs that only girls can be abused; that sex between older women and boys is desirable; that male victimization of boys indicates lack of masculinity and/or acquiescence by the child.” Gender stereotypes in the employ of sexism and misogyny are to blame for that. Not feminists fighting against rape culture.”

    Rape has never been considered part of the natural order, in fact “unnatural” is a word I’ve heard used to describe it quite often. Again, the idea that men can’t be victims and women can’t be rapists is sexism, but how you’ve come to the conclusion that its misogynistic is beyond me. Would it kill you to use the word “misandry”? Other than that, excellent point, except that the rest of the article is dedicated to denying it.

    “Sexual assault of children by women is underreported because patriarchal, cultures don’t like admitting that women can be sexually motivated or use sex to wield power in aggressive and monstrous ways.”

    The term “Patriarchy” is mired in this world view. Patriarchy paints a picture of absolute male power and female frailty. If you acknowlege female power and the ability of females to be victimisers then why on earth would you use a term that only refers to male power?

    “That would mean admitting that some women are more “like men,” not the champions of a higher morality, not weaker, not all naturally more “nurturing.” That’s a lot of subversive information if you want to highlight how vulnerable and dependent women are. In addition, in the same environments, boys grow up knowing that to be weak or powerless in particularly when the aggressor is female is a big no-no.”

    I absolutely agree with this excerpt, its a major problem in cultures still reliant on traditional gender roles. Its also a major problem with the vast majority of feminist dialogues, including, it would seem, your own.

    “Lastly, 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 definition of male sexuality that has violence at its core and that makes suspicion of all man the only rational approach to safety.”

    Ok, firstly, many proponents of rape culture, Hugo Schwyzer included, insist on exactly that vile definition of male sexuality. You’ve just made an excellent argument against his, and your, articles.

    “It’s hard to step back from the horror of rape, particularly the rape of children, to consider the larger context in which it happens, especially in a forum dedicated to the primacy of individual stories and experiences.”

    Theres plenty of general articles on here.

    “Male-on-female rape is part of a larger system of violence and oppression—this is a fundamental aspect of rape theory. Boys and men don’t have to think about being the victims of rape on a regular basis. (And comparing being mugged to an underlying perpetual awareness of vulnerability to rape is just sloppy and inaccurate in terms of scope or effect.)”

    Men don’t think about being victims because they’re trained not to, even in situations where they’re more likely to be victimised. I personally know (female) rape victims who *have* compared their experiences to being assaulted, would you like to tell them that they’re being sloppy and inncaccurate.

    “Rape—the threat of it, the frequency of it, the gendered reality of it—is one of a long list of ways that women are controlled in private and public spaces.”

    No, society isn’t making rape jokes to control you. Sorry, but this is a perfect example of the conspiracy theory thinking you spoke against above.

    “Men don’t alter the cadence of their days—their commutes, hobbies, jogging paths, sleeping habits, parking routines, dog walking, working hours—because they have to consider being raped. Women, not even consciously, incorporate their protective responses and defenses into everything they do.”
    As above, men are trained not to value their own safety as much as women. In reality men have alot more than women to fear from a dark alleyway, they fact that they don’t consider their own vulnerability as much as women is not evidence that they aren’t vulnerable, or that women are being controlled by some shadowy network of rapists.

    “Girls learn that they have to do that in their first introduction to gender based inequities after a childhood of hearing that boys and girls are equal. Raising the specter of women raping boys implies a false equivalence and doesn’t help us understand and change a culture where rape—the power, the crime, the threat, and the jokes—is acceptable.”

    No, girls are brought up to protect themselves from violence after a childhood of hearing that boys shouldn’t hit girls (but not the reverse). Repeating the specter of women raping boys is an attempt to help a group of victims you seem determined to ignore. I’d like to hear you tell a man whose been falsely accused of rape that rape is considered acceptable, you might be pleased to find that its the least acceptable crime out there.

    “A lot of the debate over rape culture theory that I’ve read here hinges on its being filtered through the lens of individual stories instead of the other way round. As a result it ends up being misrepresented as an individual man-bad/perpetrator, woman-good/victim argument.”

    I agree, but this coming from someone who sees the victimisation of men as evidence of misogyny and female rapists as being somehow a result of male sexual aggression makes it a very hollow sentence indeed.

    “The problem of rape is not a problem of individual men and women. It’s a culture that we live with—a systemization of harm that we are immersed in. Rape, regardless of whom it happens to, is horrible and violent and dehumanizing.”

    No, we live in a culture that almost universally abhors rape. The fact that we joke about it it is not evidence that its considered acceptable, we joke about almost everything. I want you to take this moment to think about every joke you’ve ever told. Did you condone all those things? Do you really think that those jokes you’ve told are part of a culture normalising those things? I’m glad you think rape is just as much a problem for male victims as it is for female, thats the first step. All you have to do now is admit that it happens.

    “Only men can stop rape.”

    What??? You have several paragraphs above deploring how female rapists aren’t recognised. If you recognise them how on earth do you think it is somehow a man’s fault when they rape, or a man’s responsibility to stop them? Only rapists can stop rape, male or female, I’m a man and I have never raped anyone.

    “Organizations like My Strength, Men Can Stop Rape, Advocates for Youth and others are working hard to do that. Books like the The Guys Guide to Feminism, with its illustrated rules of consent, is another good start. To me, good men and women are people who say this has to end. They stop deflecting, trivializing and joking about it and then do something to change it.”

    I’m sure they’re working very hard, but if they intend to stop rape by eradicating rape jokes they’re wasting their precious time. The reality is that as long as we have humans, we will always have rape, just as we will always have murder, assault, theft and every other crime out there. Stopping people from making jokes or video games won’t have any impact. Rapists, male or female, are twisted and mentally ill individuals, often with a background of abuse themselves, whether at the hands of a male or female abuser. They did not decide to do what they did on the basis that they heard a joke and thought it was ok.

    We don’t have a rape culture against women. Most human societies treat rape (when its committed by a man) in the harshest manner possible. Even those (men) falsely accused and even aquitted of rape charges are victimised by association throughout their lives. Rape perpetrated by women, on the other hand, is definitely ignored by society, covered up, buried and dismissed. How does it feel to be a part of rape culture Sorya?

    • Peter

      Well argued and presented, but I believe little chance of any rational or structured response.

      I have been doing a metta analysis of responses elsewhere when the author has written. If the response praises and agrees they get acknowledged, if they disagree they are ignored.

      It’s quite deliberate and shows an inability to consider or address criticism. It shows a closed mind which by definition is a prison.

      “Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise.”
      THOMAS JEFFERSON

      Those who don’t exercise end up enfeebled!

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        Well said.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        To be honest, I wasn’t sure I expected one. I just had to add my voice.

        • Peter – I do believe in raising one’s voice when appropriate!

          However, there are none so deaf as will not hear!

          I do find it comical that after all the Schywyzergate and Twitter gate and the platitudes about how men have to accept women’s anger, it seems that we will soon have to read about just accepting contempt as well! C’est La Vie!

        • Half the reason I engage in comments is about improving my horrible writing skills.

          • Lisa Hickey says:

            That’s an awesome reason, truly leta. I became a much better writer when I started commenting a lot.

  13. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I don’t believe that older women having sex with younger men is “monstrous.” Actually, the idea of an older man initiating a young woman isn’t either, but I think we’re some distance away from that one– because of the notion that it’s always exploitative.

    • How is one form exploitative and the other isn’t?

      I just don’t get it. Power dynamics? That would imply every male and every boy has power over a woman.

      Rape Culture?

      Somebody please give me a straight answer because I’m tearing my hair out here.

      • Maybe he has such a low opinion of women (ie misogyny) he must find it hard to believe that women can do harm or have any power at all?

        You know women are so weak and pathetic they can’t have an affect on anything?
        As soon as you internalize the view that women are equal to men the idea of women having no agency and not being able to do anything wrong seems sexist. What happens when society changes and the only people left who think women are weak are feminists?

        I can’t give a straight answer though

        • Henry Vandenburgh says:

          Do you mean me by “he?” In a supportive society, this whole notion of age inappropriate sex would go away (past puberty, that is.) The Twin Oaks Commune has no problem with age differences, for example. I’m not particularly misogynist, but I am sex-positive. I was responding originally to the author’s idea that older woman – younger man sex is “monstrous.” I think victim-algebra has run its course. Support agency by everyone.

          • Peter Houlihan says:

            I dunno, I think theres alot to be said for giving adolescants a safe space to explore their sexuality before becoming “fair game”

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              Peter, I don’t think anyone should be “game.” It’s almost a better idea (this is cynical, I’ll admit) to expose younger women to men at least mature enough not to treat them like ____. But, sure, many younger people will prefer someone their own age– and that’s great. Adolescence is an artificial stage that doesn’t exist in all societies.

          • I meant no offense and hope you don’t take it that way. It was just a train of thought i had.

          • But the notion of age inappropriate sex hasn’t gone away, Henry. It illustrates an extreme double standard.

            Older men who have relationships with young women are labeled perverts.

            Younger men who have relationships with older women are seen as lucky and a real man.

            • MorgainePendragon says:

              “Older men who have relationships with young women are labeled perverts.”

              I don’t see this interfering at all in the numbers of May-December romances and marriages. It’s still much more the “norm” than younger men-older women.

              “Younger men who have relationships with older women are seen as lucky and a real man.”

              But how are the older WOMEN perceived? You’re comparing apples with fruit bats.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        As I read that he was saying that not every instance of a young person having sex with an older person is exploitative, but I agree that it was very hard to read.

        • The problem Peter is that we say not every young person having sex with an older person is exploitative only when applying it to boys and older women.

          Wheras the other way around, older men with younger women, they’re treated like molesters and perverts.

    • What do you mean by “older” and “younger”?

  14. I have to say that I have become increasing “infuriated” by recent posts – and I have grown overly tired of the “Overwhelming” Trope.

    The Numbers (Quantitative Argument) over Quality (suffering) argument is at times just too abusive to bear.

    I have said that I have a long standing history of AIDS/HIV activism – and in relation to that back at the start in the 1980′s the same arguments got trotted out from governments and businesses. It reminded me of a film called “And The Band Played On” – reference the band on the Titanic who played as the ship sank.

    In the film one of the characters got so angry over the messing about he blew his top during a meeting ( it happened in real life ) and shammed many to stop the messing about. There is a clip of it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5vJa1LnSEY

    As he said “How many dead Haemophiliacs do you need? How many people have to die to make it cost efficient for you people to do something about it? 100? 1000? Give is a number so we won’t annoy you again until the amount of money you are spending on Law Suits makes it more profitable to save people than to kill them.”

    Quantity? Quality?

    I think it’s time to just rebut all future Quantitative Argument with the Phrase – “And The Band Played On” with a link to that clip – then people can explain how it makes them feel to be treated as a Quantitative Number and not a Quality Human Being.

    It was found to be disgusting and it became Morally Reprehensible when it was AIDS/HIV – and yet it is seen as acceptable for that same argument and all the related insinuations that Because More Women Get raped that the rape of a man is QUALITATIVELY less. Men who have been sexually abused by men or women are routinely treated as QUALITATIVELY less.

    I have heard it said that Men do not get raped and murdered as the QUALITATIVE poker was played – and yet I have been the person who has been there dealing with the aftermath of both the rape and murder of a man!

    So from now on – any person who dismiss the QUALITATIVE experience of men and argues QUANTATIVE as ms Soraya Chemaly has – they will be reminded of what it is Like “As The Band Plays On”, and just how antisocial, rude and abusive such conduct was in the 1980′s – and they will be asked if they wish to change their attitude and return!

    Should they not – the only answer has to be “And The band Played On” – Women and Children First!

    When the Titanic sank there were too few life boats and too few seats. What is the excuse today?

    Tell us what to do so that we don’t annoy you – and give us the QUALITATIVE barrier that even one man has to exceed so that he is not a number but a Human Being!

    • Julie Gillis says:

      Thank you for this Media Hound.

      • Don’t worry – Wikipedia is having to update it’s entries and will be obliged to until such time as they are accurate.

        If people want references they can have them – but I will bloody well make sure they are accurate so they can’t be used to abuse even once more!

        If people want to know about “Rape Culture™” then they can at least give credit to the people who coined the phrase – and “Prisoners Against Rape” the men of Lorton Prison who were the focus and reason for the “term” being created in the 1975 film “Rape Culture”.

        • It fascinates me to no end that people like Soraya are using the phrase “rape culture” to invalidate and minimize (and sometimes mock) the experiences of male rape survivors, yet the terminology was created specifically to help those behind bars.

          This speaks volumes about those engaged in such. They’ve stolen the concept and completely erased the victims and survivors it was meant to help.

          Ugh.

          Double Ugh.

          Triple Ugh.

          • Don’t worry James – the wiki page has been changed three time today to deal with the errors and now they have to go back to basics as it’s all internally contradictory.

            They have to either make it all gender neutral else produce a full and valid history of change or mark it all as disputed. Sort of makes all of The OP’s premise starting with a rhetorical question linked to a quackery reference – well mute!

            You should also look at me Gravatar web link! … and YouTube is paying the movies!

            Some are still scratching their heads as to whether “Rape Culture™” is a term or a concept!

            The Concept could end up gender neutral and the term … well, just a lesser issue.

            • The Bad Man says:

              Good luck, I’m going to watch this wiki battle. From previous experience, I’m not optimistic.

            • Oh I am Optimistic!

              If the editors don’t act on the evidence and sources provided I will.

              If they then object – it will go all the way. I’m no expert in Wiki layout – but I am when it comes to getting the wording right!

              Have you seen the latest source?

              “Rape Culture – Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology

              Joyce Williams

              Extract – Rape culture is a concept of unknown origin and of uncertain definition; yet it has made its way into everyday vocabulary and is assumed to be commonly understood.

              The award-winning documentary film Rape Culture made by Margaret Lazarus in 1975 takes credit for first defining the concept. ”
              http://www.blackwellreference.com/public/tocnode?id=g9781405124331_yr2011_chunk_g978140512433124_ss1-19

              Now who were the central Protagonists of the film? “Prisoners Against Rape” – Male Prisoners, Lorton Prison Virginia. Why have they been made to vanish from history?

              Because they were Men?
              Because they were Prisoners?
              Because they were Addressing Rape In Prison?
              Or – Because they were Men Of Colour?

              Maybe it’s all of the above?

    • Tell us what to do so that we don’t annoy you – and give us the QUALITATIVE barrier that even one man has to exceed so that he is not a number but a Human Being!
      this is so damn powerful MH. excellent point, excellent point

    • “Rape culture is a term which originated in women’s studies and feminist theory, ”

      Shocker.

  15. Soraya,

    I have to say that I find your use of the terminology “disproportionate” when referring to living, breathing rape survivors as quite disgusting. So, more men and boys need to be raped for their traumas to matter seems to be the point. You don’t speak for all rape survivors and you certainly don’t speak for me as a rape survivor. You do not have my permission to minimize, downgrade or otherwise alienate ANY SURVIVORS.

    Let me make it clear since you seem not to understand. THERE IS NO PROPER PROPORTION FOR ANYONE TO GET RAPED.

    As rape is an abomination and utter attack on person’s self-sovereignty and security, any time a person is raped it is COMPLETELY OUT OF PROPORTION as there is no reasonable proportion for anyone to be raped.

    The fact that I need to spell this out demonstrates an empathy fail on an epic scale on your part.

    Really?

    • Your preaching to the deaf!

      Soraya only responds to people who say nice things about her! Anyone who contradicts her or points out error or even basic lack of humanity gets ignored. The only rational way to deal with such people is remove the sources of ignorance and error!

      • The cynic in me expects her to write another article deploring the “MRA’S” dismissing her article, deflecting the horrors of how many women suffer to shift focus to the “few” men who suffer and a pile of other antagonistic garbage that a few feminist bloggers seem to enjoy doing.

        I haven’t seen her reply to many comments here, only one I think, and it makes me wonder if she really cares or is just trying to hit-n-run slam women’s suffering in our face on a site about men. We get it, women suffer from rape, but stop ignoring so many men pointing out valid stats and biases, address them, talk about it, work together with men to help lower or end rape. Regardless of what some think, women do NOT own victimization of rape and these countless articles similar to this one really do feel like they want to be the top victim and anything else is heresy. It’s extremely offensive, and shocking to see such blatant hypocrisy (minimizing the reality of rape after saying this is a rape culture tactic) and bias (read every comment here and you’ll see).

        • Archy – you only have to look elsewhere and see how this OP was cobbled together with spinets from other blogs. There was little consideration of audience or content. And no consideration for comment either. That’s three C’s.

          If there is a response it will have to require some writing and thinking and not just Ctrl C and Ctrl V, and it would need to be three A’s. Attitude, Attribution and Audience.

          I doubt there will be a response and if there is it will probably as poorly considered as so much else! … and you thought you were Cynical? P^)

  16. Sick to death of the censorship here. If you want a feminist echo chamber the least you could do is be honest about it.

    A week ago I was considering submitting a story about sexual abuse and it’s disastrous impact on three generations of one extended family. The writing is done. The trust is gone.

    • Ginkgo (Jim) says:

      Gwallan, we’ll post it at Genderattic. Come see us there and we’ll work out the technical stuff

    • David Byron says:

      What do you mean? You submitted an article?
      If you didn’t bother to submit who’s fault is it there’s no anti-feminist articles?

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      What censorship are you talking about gwallan? We do not allow direct attacks on authors or other commenters. Most comments get held for moderation, especially if they have trigger words. But as far as I can tell, almost all of yours go through.

    • I also had written an article relate to rape culture, slut walk etc and was wondering whether I should submit it or not, this article of Soraya made me so angry that I decided to submit it immediately. Keeping quiet was not an option. As they say “don’t get mad, get even.”

      • Rapses – I submitted an article on the Origins and History of “Rape Culture™” 2 weeks ago – Long before this OP appeared.

        Having waited and having been asked repeatedly by commenters here to submit articles dealing with the issue and having received only an automated response for the GMP submission engine – well I was not longer willing to stand by.

        http://goodmenproject.com/gender-sexuality/rape-culture-men-women-power/comment-page-1/#comment-91087

        You can also just click on me Profile link and You can read the article and all related materials at a blog not so far from you!

        Anyone who I see Dismissing Male Rape or abusing Rape Culture™ again will be sent to do their home work first!

        I have also been so enraged I now have made it a personal mission to have the Wikipedia entry corrected and made 100% accurate and neutral – and I have already been told I’m impertinent for doing that. It got changed 3 times just yesterday and it’s now internally contradictory and so needs to be redrafted – AGAIN!

        “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
        George Bernard Shaw

        … and some wonder why I have publicly stated I have been obliged to shift form a Centrist Equality Stance to a view that “”Affirmative Action”", something I actually disagree with, is now the only option and for me a Moral Obligation!

        Never Never Pee Off An Unreasonable Man!

        • @MediaHound

          Keep up the good work. I wish I could help you in this matter.

          • Rapses – you can just keep an eye on the Wiki page, and if you find any other pages that are less than accurate and neutral let us know.

            I’m not interested in inciting riots and discord, but I will not stand by where such matters as a highly inaccurate, misleading and systemically biased source I can address is being used to manipulate and abuse people.

            It’s that 100% man of principle thing, where there is no part time option.

  17. The Bad Man says:

    First line with a link to wiki (LOL) and a feminist writer on a men’s site. I stopped reading.

  18. Nothing like starting the week with a bang. Here are my responses to comments throughout, which I’ve summarized into the following areas:
    1. Statistics…I’m not abusing statistics or being dishonest about them. I’m using readily available numbers from large scale studies while admitting their limitations due to definitions. In addition, I stated clearly that changes in definitions and culture will make the recognition of male victimization easier and better understood. I did take issue, which I addressed in earlier comments, with the use of very small sample size studies referenced in comments.
    2. The issue of qualitative versus quantitative. My point was not that individual male rapes are qualitatively “different” That’s absurd. However, one of my main points it that individual stories of abuse and rape should be seen in context and the context for rape is often one of power. Rape of women around the world is a tool of widespread gender oppression. Related to this is the issue of “disproportionality” – which I mentioned as a reference to media bias NOT rape.
    3. MRA’s – this is the first mention of MRAs that I have ever made – comments brought that issues up.
    4. Audience – Lisa and I reviewed four drafts of this post, which was uploaded on the same day as another that I made in another forum. Contrary to commenter below, this point was most explicitly written and rewritten with this forum and audience in mind.
    5. Arguing about rape culture. Yes, I did cite Wikipedia because, quite frankly it is a good summary. However, here are some books I have read and sources that might be useful for anyone interested in where this viewpoint comes from.

    Rape Culture 101: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html (sorry, you will have to read an overtly progressive feminist blog)
    Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Sociology:
    http://www.blackwellreference.com/public/tocnodeid=g9781405124331_yr2011_chunk_g978140512433124_ss1-19
    Yes Means Yes: (book and blog) http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/this-is-what-rape-culture-looks-like/
    Transforming a Rape Culture (37 men’s and women’s stories) and an excellent overview of rape culture, race, gender, sexuality and power
    Susan Brownmiller’s, Men Women and Rape, is also an important source despite it’s racial issues.

    After reading through the comments I am again struck by the lack of a common language that seems to aggravate conversation. By common language, I mean a fundamental framework and understanding of key topics and issues. For example, “patriarchy.” There is an implication that this term is somehow a feminist fantasy, created to oppress men instead of what it undeniably is, namely, a system of government or societal organization in which men have power and women are largely excluded from having power.

    • Patriarchy the term is not a feminist fantasy, they took the term and built fantasies and lies around it.

      And Shakeville is a propaganda site, they tell bare faced lies about abuse.

      They are so intellectually dishonest they define rape culture as not acknowledging victims, and talk about abuse as if it were gendered, in other words, shaksville promote rape culture, as do you and mist feminists.

      Its not that people don’t understand, its that they do.

    • Soraya, you erased the existence of male victims of female abuse with this statement:

      “But these reports, which highlight the vulnerability of boys, is disproportionate considering female rape as part of a pandemic spectrum of sexual violence against girls and women”

      How can I ever listen to your reasonings when you throw those boy victims under a bus without considering the fact that these boys, and male victims in general, suffer enough stigmitization in their life that they don’t need someone like you yet again contributing to their erasure?

      And MediaHound just debunked your rape culture useage. The fact you continue to apply it anyway is another reason why I won’t listen to your reasonings.

      • Eagle

        “And MediaHound just debunked your rape culture useage.”

        Actually I can’t take credit. The more I delve and the more I research, the more I find people both men and women who have been there well ahead of me. It just seems that “Rape Culture” is so poorly defined that as a Meme, it just gets adapted to ignore rational reality.

        I keep finding incidents of academics being quoted and cited as accepting the Noun “Rape Culture” and then corrections having to be made as the person cited will not use the term and they are not happy. It seems that academics across many fields from psychology to sociology and even law are not willing to be linked to the term because it is so badly defined, used in ways that breach basic academic rigour and there is no base Citation or Cited Theory or Frames of Reference in which to make sense of it and check its usage and abuses!

        The explosion on a US Centric basis in the last 12 months has been linked to Slutwalk – and the misuse is more to do with Marketing Hype than anything else.

        And if the Reified Term – Concept – Theory – Model – that is “Rape Culture” is so endemic and epidemic for so many decades, why will the US Government Not Us It?

        Conspiracy Theorists Ignite!

        • @MediaHound

          Why do feminists want to make rape a culture?

          • Well Culture has three recognised meanings;

            1) Excellence of taste in the fine arts and humanities, also known as high culture
            2) An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning
            3) The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization, or group

            It seems that some are attempting to use 3 but it’s getting mixed up with 2 – and then you have SlutWalk which is actually attempting to be 1.

            … and of course it should always be remembered that if you claim a culture it’s higher than an abstract concept which you can’t define, provide citation for and keep on ignoring.

            Also claiming a culture is a known Fallacy – Reification or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness. It means you take an abstract, no matter how poorly defined, and then present it as absolute reality, which you then refuse to consider flawed or even an incomplete reality.

            Thinking about it – that sounds like high performance art – so maybe it is all about seeking funding from the National Arts Endowment? P^)

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Would you say that rape and sexual assault are real issues for men? Would you say that violence against humans, sexual violence can be and often is endemic in times of war, prisons, and systems where classes of people are highly divided?

              I would. I’d say above all we live in a culture where violence is nearly celebrated and sexual pleasure is downplayed. Sexuality is often highlighted, but not in terms of peacable relations, but conquest, kabuki porn, and who’s on top in the games people play.

              Rape winds up in a nexus there. I’d like to see less of it. I don’t want to create a culture, but change the one that’s there to begin with.

            • Julie

              “Would you say that rape and sexual assault are real issues for men?”

              Define issue?

              I have had to deal with the aftermath of Sexual Assault against men – and it’s one hell of an issue. It covers all age ranges. I have dealt with a 3 year old at one end of the spectrum – and a 93 year old at the other end. The three year old was abused by a family member – the 93 year old by a carer who also had sadomasochistic tendencies! That Carer – she was a right character – abused every Client (male or female) she was sent to, by the agency she was employed by, and believed she could do as she liked because it was her word against the victim – and the victims feared loosing care and dignity more than being abused daily!

              There you are – elder and frail – living alone – and you are in the bath for the first time in a week – and Ms Care from S&M Care Services inserts things in places they should not go and – and your options are? Scream blue murder and get left in the bath with no way out – probable death due to hypothermia – or do you allow it and make sure you end up dry clothed and sitting in a chair – and then once Ms S&M care services has gone you sit and think and worry – and refuse to bathe for six months – until someone notices the issue?

              Or do you mean the issue with the real events being dismissed, marginalised, ignored – and people not being given credibility for the real effect it has on their life? A man who after 40 years decides to tell someone that they were sexually abused and raped for 10 years during their childhood – and the only reason they are speaking now is that the abuser/rapist died last week – and he even went to the funeral to make sure the “Bar Steward” was dead – and so for the first time in 40 years they do not fear speaking out and what the abuser would do as a result?

              Or maybe you mean do men have issues with it being assumed that they are Sexual Abusers and Rapists – and even fear taking their kids swimming just in case when they are helping their child (male or female) change clothing that someone will scream “Kiddy Fiddler”?

              Real issues – and that is just your first line – and that is a potted version of issues too!

              Do you have space at that desk?

              I think I would benefit from a Good Head Banging session too!

              Sometimes even the tablets are not enough! http://www.fukitol.com/

            • Julie Gillis says:

              You do not have to convince me of abuse. I have also worked with the elderly (calling CPS on more occasions than I can count). Abuse? I believe. I believe its part of a culture that allows for violence. Or, if culture is not something biological, which I’d hate to believe (that abusive behavior is just coded into our DNA).

              I do have issues with men having issues about sexual abuse since it’s clear that they suffer from it and, yes, some do perpetrate it. This is the problem. All humans do. We can either assume all of us are guilty first, or assume none of us are, or try to find ways to identify perpetrators that doesn’t demonize everyone.

              To try to find ways to encourage victims to speak out, without creating a victim culture.

              My desk right now is huge, bang away and let’s have a pint.

            • Just read a comment on huffy post that has so much ignorance it makes me want to bang the stupid out of my head right now. How strong is that desk?
              First step to removing the demonization is showing the true level of male suffering, and female perpetration to remove the stereotype of male abuser, female victim ALWAYS.

              When people can remove that gender stereotype and see a man as a human first, a woman as a human first, before thinking Oh men, have alll the powerrr, men are majority of rapists! etc and actually see a human, someone who can be a victim, a perpetrator, an ally, an enemy…

              Comments can be so extremely frustrating, lucky I have a new game to play (SWTOR) to escape the stupidity for a while. Yay

            • What occurs more often, rape or violent assault, especially of males?

              What is feature more on TV and movies, rape or violent assault of males?

              What are more movies themed on, rape or violent assault of males?

              What is more likely to be framed as a joke in the media? A women being raped by a man or a man being violently attacked by a woman?

              Who are more popular, even considered heros, rapists or people who are known to be expert at violent assault, especially of males?

              What is more celebrated in our culture, rape or violence, especially of male victims? (note there is no term called or movement decrying “violence against men”, despite men being victims far more often).

              Considering these realities, why do feminists claim that there is a “rape culture” but not a “violence against males” culture?

            • Julie Gillis says:

              I would argue that there is a culture of violence period. Human on human, with humans apparently using politics to further violence in all directions. At this point I would not be able to tell you which stats were true, which were false, and which were just being manipulated for someone’s purpose, MRA or Feminist.

              That’s what I would argue.

            • “I would argue that there is a culture of violence period.”

              It’s clear that violence affects far more people than does rape, both men and women, but especially men.

              So, why don’t feminists claim that there is a “violence culture” or “violence against males culture”, both of which occur far more frequently than rape and has had a far bigger impact on the humanity?

            • Julie Gillis says:

              I suspect many of them do. I do. They can believe in both, or assume the existence of both. I don’t see why this always has to be a “One Ring To Rule Them All” kind of deal. Most feminism I’ve experienced is social justice based, looking to even playing fields all over the place, not a zero sum game. The women and men I know who consider themselves feminist (and I mean know personally) seek equal rights across a wide intersection of cultures/isms/whathaveyou.

              I myself can only do so much, and you don’t have to believe a word I say Eric, but that’s my stance.

            • “I suspect many of them do. I do.”

              If that is true, why are there literally thousands of comments by feminists and articles on this site alone using the term “rape culture” but zero on “violence against men culture” or even “violence culture?”

              Why is that?

              If feminism were not zero sum-based movement, feminists would not have used the term “rape culture” thousands of times but “violence against men culture” and “violence culture” zero times. This article, others like it, and the thousands of comments are evidence of what the feminist movement is about.

              “I myself can only do so much, and you don’t have to believe a word I say Eric”

              Julie, I know you can do only so much. That is true of us all. However, I can only believe that for which there is evidence.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Well, here is my piece. I’m not a national mouthpiece for feminism, but I am a feminist, so take a look.
              http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/heresy-rape-statistics-and-getting-away-from-the-poles/

            • Soraya mentioned a “16Days of Awareness campaign this year focused on reducing militarism” which is a good start. Another would be for people to still enjoy their wargames etc but to grow empathy for the reality of the situation. I can enjoy killing in a game, because I know it’s fiction, as soon as it turns real I get concerned. We need to ensure our kids aren’t exposed to hate speech, eg against muslims after 9/11, or American citizens in many countries that hate them.

              Cultures of violence, fear, hate exist all around the globe and they do have a portion of rape in them, what I see talked about in rape culture sounds to me like part of a larger culture of violence. I think it’d be best to expand the view and tackle it all at once. Does rape happen alone or is it rape + dv for instance, is it a “tool” in a large arsenal of control, hatred, etc?

            • Julie,

              I didn’t have time to read it all but it is an improvement over this and all the other “rape culture” articles, for a certainty – and the countless other rape articles that feminists have been posted here. So, thank you for that. You keep h

              I’m sure you mean well. However, I haven’t seen evidence that social justice for all is even attempted by a movement that is itself polarized, where the focus is on a single demographic, with little to no concern for any others. Feminism is not the only example of this but it certainly is one.

            • David Byron says:

              No violence is very much being reduced all over the place. It’s acceptable when used against only a shrinking pool of people including men and foreigners and especially foreign men.

            • Julie Gillis says:
            • Is this funny – and how does it fit in the “Rape Culture™” world?

              http://youtu.be/w7pNiELcZsg

            • This is even better 130,927,905 views on YouTube.

              How does this fir into the “Rape Culture™” world?

              http://youtu.be/EVBsypHzF3U

            • David Byron says:

              You better not be dissing LadyGaga! :)

            • David – I’m just wondering how here video should be viewed in light of -

              “describing a culture in which rape and sexual violence against women are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or tolerate sexual violence against women.”

              I am surprised that there has been less outcry and such high viewing figures. Then you also have to consider Gaga and her Drag King motife where she is repeatedly seen “Acting Out” macho and groping and fondling women – and them laughing for the Camera. Such odd dissonance.

            • Julie – I know you get it – I wrote it in the hope that some others who need to hear the message may just read it!

              Pint? I need some frat types with a tube – a funnel – and a full keg! P^)

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Whiskey. Now.

            • I see rape just as another crime. Arrest the accused, give him/her a fair trial and punish him/her. Nobody is responsible for the crime except the criminal.

            • @ MediaHound

              I was never even remotely involved in sexual violence. Does that make me an uncultured man in feminist jargon??? Should I feel ashamed for that??

          • Julie Gillis says:

            I think I need to hit my head against a desk for a few minutes. We don’t. I don’t. Good lord.

            • @Julie

              I have one question haunting my mind as to what qualifies you to call yourself feminist??
              There are several people who call themselves feminists take different stance on different issues and when feminism is attacked loudly cry out not all feminists are like that. It is really confusing.No rhetoric please. Try to keep it under 30 words.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Do you mean because I don’t act like a feminist or because I defend them? I’m suspicious of your question at this point. What are you confused about

              I’ll use as many words as I want.

              I have considered myself a feminist because I believe women are equal human beings to men, because I believe men are also treated like shit under the current system of western masculinity we have going on, and because I think we could work on things together so that men and women could both benefit from getting out from under some old systems that treat people in general badly. Because I believe in a model of collaboration rather than one up/one down.

              I wish Soraya would post the verbiage from an email she sent me once. It was pretty awesome and sketched out to show how men are affected.

              My biggest problem today, right now, with the history of feminism? Is that they put the word “fem” in there. Maybe if they’d started, so many years ago with “humanist” instead, we’d not be arguing about how the current culture damages and is toxic to men as well as women. But maybe not.

            • “I have considered myself a feminist because I believe women are equal human beings to men”

              Most people agree, but are not feminists, including me.

              “because I believe men are also treated like shit under the current system of western masculinity we have going on,”

              I’m masculine and live in the west. The system is and cannot meet the needs of everyone; however, masculinity (men) is not to blame. That view is one of the reasons most women steer clear of feminism.

              “because I think we could work on things together so that men and women could both benefit from getting out from under some old systems that treat people in general badly.”

              Which is one of the reasons I and many others are not feminists. There’s no “working together.” If that were the reality, the majority of women would be feminists, instead of the majority of women wanting nothing to do with the feminist movement. Most women and most men find it polarizing. Many of the articles and comments here show that to be true.

              “Because I believe in a model of collaboration rather than one up/one down.” Good for you, but that is not consistent with the movement overall.

              “My biggest problem today, right now, with the history of feminism? Is that they put the word “fem” in there.

              Of course “fem” is there. Feminism is a women’s rights / women’s advancement movement, period. It achieved equal legal rights for women, which is a good thing. From the beginning to date feminism is for and about women’s interests; nothing positive to do with or say about men.

              Not meant to be a personal criticism or attack; just the way it is, as I (and the majority of women) see it.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              I know your positions Eric M. I’m still suspicious of Rapses questions. He knows my positions already.

            • @ Julie – Rapses loves to ask questions – he hates answering them!

              He does have bizarre ways! P^)

            • Correction:

              The system is broken and cannot meet the needs of everyone; however, masculinity (men) is not to blame.

            • @ Julie
              You are suspecting me for what?

            • Julie Gillis says:

              I answered your question, what were you confused about?

            • The definition of feminism in Wikipedia is “Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal political economic and social rights for women.” Everybody wants all the rights, but what about the duties that are necessary to sustain those rights. Feminists want rights without responsibility though affirmative actions and biased laws.

            • @Rapses – are you seriously quoting Wikipedi as an authoritative source to prove what Feminism is?

              Any idiot can edit it ! I can so easily add to it and have it read “And all feminists are made form Blue Cheese and Worship Danny Devito as an Idol make from chocolate”.

              Any credibility you have has just vanished – you really need to get some better sources with some Rigour and Quality – because your views lack both, and you damaged yourself – no-one did it for you!

              Nice Own Goal – Better Luck Next Time!

              Try this Link http://www.blackwellreference.com/public/tocnode?id=g9780631233176_chunk_g97814051025449_ss1-5

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Rapses,
              It was a Gotcha question. You ask my my opinion then come back with your own beliefs. You and I cannot discuss things. Our world views (and if you are the same Rapses that I’ve seen at The Spearhead) appear diametrically opposite. On things like LGBT issues, family definitions, women’s issues, even I’m guessing men’s issues, it is as if we come from different planets.

            • @ Rapses “Try to keep it under 30 words”?

              Nice attempt at control there rapses – so you want to control the questions – and control the definitions and then control how many words people have to respond?

              Is there anything you don’t want to have control over? P^)

            • @ Rapses

              I have one question haunting my mind as to what qualifies you to keep asking questions of people over and over, and avoid answering questions posed to you ??

              So No More Haunting. Why Do You Do it?

            • @MediaHound
              “Rapses loves to ask questions – he hates answering them!”
              Yes, I love asking questions to get opinion of other people. I do not hate answering them. If you have any questions for me, please feel free to ask them. I would reply them point by point. I certainly have some bizarre ways and trust me you are neither first nor last person to point it out.
              “Are you seriously quoting Wikipedia as an authoritative source to prove what Feminism is?”
              Well the quotation from Wikipedia was just a passing reference to make a broad outline of the term “feminism” as it is generally presented to be. I do not rely much on single source, but it seemed more or less okay with the general understanding of the term. Even the definition given on the Blackwell online reference link (provided by you) does not differ much in the sense of what feminism is with the Wikipedia definition. Maybe you have problem with my quoting Wikipedia but the definition still stands on its own.
              “Any credibility you have has just vanished”
              As anonymous commenters we do not have any credibility at all, in certain opinion pieces even authors are not credible. We just present our opinions and arguments supported by evidence and citations. It is up to the people who are reading our comments to make up their own mind about our credibility. You are assuming the role of both prosecutor and judge; perhaps you have internalized the idea of presumption of male guilt. BTW, my field of work is mathematics and I am only an armchair philosopher and sociologist. But I am well aware and concerned about the developments in the society at large. “Much ado about nothing.”

              “Nice attempt at control there rapses – so you want to control the questions – and control the definitions and then control how many words people have to respond”
              You seem to be not noticing the chain of events here. I asked Julie what in her opinion is a feminist. Why she thinks herself as a feminist? I wished for a straight point to point answer without any rhetoric. So I requested her to keep it under 30 words. Many scientific laws are stated in much under 30 words e.g. laws of motion, Archimedes principle etc. Her response as you can see is like beating around bush. Eric M. refuted her stand in an excellent way and I completely agree with him.
              I presented her a definition quoting from Wikipedia to which I personally agree and my objections. She could have agreed or disagreed and accepted or refuted my objections. She can choose to do whatever she likes. How can I control anybody her? Well I want to control the whole universe, but I do not have that choice.
              “Why Do You Do it?”
              I am a very curious person who easily gets intellectual diarrhoea when fed false assumptions and unpalatable assertions.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              You asked me why I was a feminist! In my own words not rhetoric. Because I believe that women are equal to men and because I want to strive for laws, policies and so forth that support both men and women as equals. As for my responsibility? I vote, I pay taxes, I participate, I listen, I work for my living, I pay bills, I participate equally as a parent. I’ve not been given extra chances (so far as I know) to get into college or jobs. No one let me take the tests more than once cause I was a silly little girl or something. My SAT, stood. My college apps in the 80′s they weren’t affirmative actioning white girls in the south I can tell you that.

              I don’t know why any of that is “beating around the bush” as you put it. You don’t like feminism, we get it.

            • @Julie and MediaHound
              I admit that my question was an intellectual ambush. I am a movie buff and let me explain my position with an analogy from a famous movie:
              “In Bruce Lee’s movie “Enter the Dragon,” the last fight scene is between Bruce Lee and the villain Han. The villain hides himself room full of mirrors where he sees many reflections of the villain and is confused. The villain knows his position but he does not know villain’s position to attack. He tries unsuccessfully to pin down Han but he cannot do it because he cannot differentiate between reflections and reality. Ultimately he breaks all the mirrors revealing the real thing (villain) and finishes him off.”
              Now, in the case of arguing against feminism, when you call out feminists for something for outrageous comments and assertions, they loudly claim that it is not the real feminism (reflections). I want to break all these mirrors to reveal whether her feminism in real or reflection. IMHO, feminism is the evil that hides behind multiple illusions. It is real danger to the society. I want to take her a stand and defend her position without hiding behind illusions.

            • @Julie

              It is rather tricky situation. Let me use another analogy: I want to exorcise the evil spirit of feminism from the mind of feminists. It was in good faith, but sometimes, ends justify means.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      I want to back Soraya up on point number 4, and a few other points. Soraya and I did talk about this post a lot before it ran. Our goal is to help solve these big, difficult to talk about issues together. To make social and cultural changes in which human beings can live lives without fear of sexual assault and abuse. To stop using sex as a weapon by anyone.

      We listen to men here, on GMP, we listen to their stories and we listen to how men think about the issues of importance. We also ask a small number of women (about 20%) to write for us about issues that affect men, and sometimes those issues also affect women. Anyone who has a problem with the way we are doing that, please take it up with me by email: lisa at goodmenproject dot com. But in the meantime, the way we can move towards a mutual understanding of the issues related to men is to find some commonality of language and actually listen to the other side as well.

      • I’m not sure the patriarchy is ever going to be a commonality of language, there are valid arguments for and against it and it really won’t fly without acceptance of female privilege. We also need to understand the aspect of power differs by culture, what goes on in Afghanistan and what goes on in Australia for instance are probably wildly different. It might help to indicate which culture we’re talking about, as I find the cultures worldwide greatly vary. There is violence I’ve received from women without others batting an eyelid that would probably get them belted up badly in other cultures.

        If we are to get a common language and understanding, we have to actually study the bad men face, the bad women face, the good men face and the good women face. Sexual abuse is a complex problem, there are no easy solutions and it will probably never be eradicated 100% but we can try damn hard at doing that but it has to be done with a very clear starting point of an unbiased definition of rape. You cannot compare rape rates between men and women by the current definition, it leaves out victims and inaccurately portrays women more worse off than men in numbers.

        As a side note I sent a potential story and author to use your way via email, let me know what you think. :)

      • Lisa – I agree with most of your sentiments!

        However – when an OP uses references that are so widely disputed and known to be highly contentious is such a laissez-faire manner – and even opens with a laissez-faire rhetorical question – which they then supposedly go on to answer with laissez-faire – I’m sorry, but It does not matter who writes or who edits It “Stinks”!

        I wonder why the US Government wont use the term “Rape Culture” in a single publication?

        35 Plus years and even the US Government will not use it?

        Heaven sake – they even mention the Higgs Bosson and Super String Theory and yet “Rape Culture” is not mentioned because there is no rational or structured explanation that makes sense or has any original academic citation that can be checked. It’s that – or presidents from NIxon to Obama have all been in on the biggest Patriarchal Presidential Conspiracy ever – in the oppression of women – and that makes even Area 51 and little green men look like an absolute certainty, which should be opened for Tourist Dollars as a matter of emergency.

        It’s not there for a reason!

        Why has Rape Culture suddenly exploded in to common usage and why Can’t supposed experts even say where the hell it has come from?

        Those Questions have been rather prominent round here for some months – I know because I have been asking them – and as a “Meddling Rational Archivist” looking for and even finding the answers. And I have not been laissez-faire about it either! I make sure the sources are cited – quoted and – and even illuminated and contrasted one against the other. And this site is littered with the very Question “What Is Rape Culture and where did it come from”?

        Dialogue is a two sided affair – and being laissez-faire and grossly inattentive from the first line of an OP indicates that there is no dialogue only monologue – and the history of that is already well known as are the criticisms. Maybe writers should be encouraged to consider the resources here – and even look at the information being provided and sourced? Then they can write about what they disagree with – and that would save everyone a great deal of time!

        In future I do believe that OP’s on certain subjects should appear with an simultaneous counter point – else all that exists is one writer, who can’t be bothered with facts and reality, being given a stage – and when you have writers who have a laissez-faire position on their own rectitude, it just damages the credibility of this whole project. We’ve seen that already! People have stayed about to address it and support the core values and ideals – and then this!

        Maybe the piece should have been headed “TRIGGER WARNING” – male abuse survivors note – your existence and humanity is not respected in this piece! Women And Children First – it’s a numbers game!

        “And The Band Played On!” http://youtu.be/g5vJa1LnSEY

        As the video shows “Terms Of Reference Have Value” – and so does a Noun!

        • Lisa Hickey says:

          Hey MediaHound,
          You know I am always thankful for your attention to detail and careful questions, especially around language. We are running some additional posts around this issue, thanks!

          • Lisa – I would actually prefer Soraya Chemaly to address my specific concerns in the following post.

            http://goodmenproject.com/gender-sexuality/rape-culture-men-women-power/comment-page-3/#comment-91590

            As editor you have one responsibility – but as the author Soraya Chemaly does have quite another from a “Privileged” position.

            To cite one source that is known to be riddled with inaccuracy and bias and then defend it by deferring to a higher quality source – it is totally unacceptable. It is reprehensible and to be met with Unbridled Opprobrium – and as you have acknowledged, I choose my words with care and an very quick to pick up less than valid usage!

            You did not do defend misuse of references as Editor – She did as OP. You have no culpability in the misconduct that is beyond Infuriating!

            You may have guessed that myself and others are unhappy. Under the very clear circumstances, nothing other than dialogue concerning the errors that have been perpetrated should be acceptable – and the person who has to be in that dialogue is not you. Else – all the posts concerning how Dialogue and respect for others points of view are so important have been sham.

            It’s That Good Man Thing – and that being a Person Of Honour and Accountability is a 100% of the time thing – with no part time option!

            Maybe that has to be the standard of having people contribute as OPs – so that they don’t run away when their errors cause so much distress, anguish, dispute and damage! They consider why, and act both responsibly and respectfully – and even Promptly!

            Even – “Oh you have a point, I’m busy but will get back to you,” would be a Valid Response! … with valid and on point communication at their Earliest Convenience.

      • Lisa,

        It’s pretty hard to find any commonality with a person who tells victims of rape by women that “Only men can stop rape. She either explicitly dismiss and denies what happened to me or she at best denies that the woman who did rape me could have refrained from doing that. Surely it’s understandable that I find her assurances that she thinks all rape is horrible sounds hollow and insincere in light of that. And statements like “specter of women raping men” just cements the impression that this is no person who have any empathy for male victims because while she at times seem to acknowledge them she is just as quick to remove that acknowledgement and replace it with active erasure.

        I asked her in a comment if she could tell me how I or any other man could’ve stopped that women from starting to have intercourse with me while I was asleep or why that woman couldn’t herself refrain from doing so. I suspect I won’t be getting any answers because it’s an untenable position. She is smart enough to know that, but didn’t manage to muster enough empathy to refrain from writing that only men can stop rape.

        I hope people involved in editing this piece take a moment to reflect on how and why they let that particular sentence (Only men can stop rape) slip through. Do you have a blind spot?

        • Lisa Hickey says:

          Hi Tamen — your points are good. I take responsibility for letting that line go through. I don’t have a blind spot because I think it is true, I have a blind spot because what we are trying to do here is create a community site where all voices can be heard — but organized in a way to fit under that umbrella of “what does it mean to be a good man in the 21st century?” This is a huge initiative and we don’t have the resources to edit every sentence of every piece.

          What we would like is for people to understand that it is real people — OUR community — writing these posts. They are trying to respect the rest of the community as best they can. We are asking the commenting community to do the same. Understand that someone says something as an individual because we think that issue is worth talking about. As publishers and editors, we try to frame those issues as best as we can, so they make sense within our core mission. So in this case, I did have long phone conversations with Soraya to get to a piece that explained what was meant by rape culture. Obviously, that sentence was a hot button, and I apologize for the implication that Good Men Project itself thinks that is true.

          We are not like a traditional media company where everything comes from the voice of the organization itself — but we are also not a strictly “user generated site” (like YouTube or Reddit) — where the ALL the content is 100% community driven. We strive to be the best combination of both — issues that our community finds important around the issues of “What does it mean to be a good man in this day and age?” Obviously, that idea can be talked about from multiple angles. That is our goal.

          I empathize with what happened to you, and GMP does not want to minimize or marginalize any of those experiences, although I can see how that sentence would imply that. Again, apologies for that.

          • Hi Lisa.
            I am heartened to see a response to the point from you. You made your stance regarding that sentence unequivocally clear. Thank you for that.

            I made the comment because you did say you talked with the author about the article prior to publication and although I understand that the views put forth by the authors are not necessarily the same as any of the editor’s view I thought that an editorial process implies that you in some way can and do influence the article’s final form. I assumed that if you saw that sentence you would think it was problematic and that it would be an issue brought up during that editorial process. I also understand that things which goes against everything one is taught to believe can go by unnoticed. The litmus test is how one reacts when it is pointed out – hence the comment about the blind spot.

            My experience with editorial processes constrains itself to writing a software system for facilitating the workflow for that process in a national medical journal. I see that my knowledge of that process might have influenced my understanding of how your editorial process works.

            Are you saying that you don’t discuss and suggests changes to contentious parts of the published articles during the editorial process?

            • Lisa Hickey says:

              Tamen, thanks for asking. When we first started The Good Men Project, we set ourselves up like a traditional magazine — we had an Editor-in-Chief who oversaw everything, and who managed a team of editors underneath him. We got most of our content for free, but also paid for a few pieces that were written by journalists, edited and fact-checked according to strict editorial guidelines such as those used at the NYTimes and other mass media companies. That model, while it worked to get consistently well-written, thoughtful content out there, was unsustainable as a business model. We were putting time (and therefore $’s) into every piece that we simply could not gain back through advertising revenue. (currently our main source of revenue). In fact, the amount that it cost us to produce one piece of content that way was between 10 and 20 times the amount we could make in revenue.

              So last June, we switched to an “Evangelist” model. We don’t pay for any content, and we have myself and one managing editor. We post 6-10 pieces of content a day. We deal with 5,000 comments a month. We have 368 contributor evangelists in this model, and in return for writing for us for free, we give them help with stories ideas, writing tips, ideas to grow their own social media platform and a network of engaged people who share their values. We get 1.2 pageviews a month. We need to deal with the press (like CNN) who asks for opinions and stories. We need to deal with technology issues, advertising issues and make sure we make enough money to survive. And we need to edit.

              All of that is done with 2 full-time employees — me, and Ryan, our managing editor. Tom is a very trusted advisor, great content contributor, founder and strategic thinker. But he is not involved in the day-to-day on any of this. So that falls upon me, as publisher, to make sure all of the above gets done. Every day.

              For our contributors — we look for people who agree with our vision of “sparking an international discussion about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century.” It is the phrase “Good Man” which is interesting. That phrase itself has two binaries — “Good” (which implies vs. bad) and “Men” (which implies vs. women).

              The fact that “Good Man” is a double binary leads us down the path of having very provocative conversations around issues that are often polarizing. Combine that with the fact that we don’t have a paid editorial staff, and sometimes words get missed. Sometimes those words are inflammatory words. But the alternative would be to have a much much much slower conversation because we simply couldn’t post as much content. And then the small amount of money we do make would be even smaller. And there would be a good chance we couldn’t survive.

              Any thoughts on how we could do things better are always welcome.

        • Tamen

          The usage and contrasting of content also acts to marginalise:

          “And, of course, there is Penn State. Wonder how adults shield child rapists and perfectly nice boys play rape games? These examples are rape culture manifest. If you are not sure what rape culture looks like, this is it: sexual violence—overwhelmingly against girls and women—tolerated, excused and normalized through attitudes, norms, practices, and media.”

          So first it’s Penn State and Male Rape of Children is Rape Culture made Manifest – and in the next sentence the “Overwhelming Trope” is used to just dismiss it and marginalise. It’s also the “It’s an exceptional case at Penn State Trope” – and “Oh it’s just one institution with failings Trope” and even “It was just a few boys Trope”.

          Pity it wasn’t mentioned that the most likely place for a child to be raped is The Home. It seems that Media just distorts reality – and presentation goes out the window.

          There is no “Rational” reason for the “Overwhelming Trope” to be there other than to induce and emphasise bias and to marginalise!

          Combine that with the “Crime Is Overwhelmingly Gender Based” just makes it worse! Which Crime is overwhelmingly gender based – Murder? Gun Crime? Actually None Sexual Child Abuse is gender based when you look at the figures – and it is NOT the male gender at issue. “Child Abuse Culture” gets no mention and the victims there are both ale and female.

          That the CDC have so recently published ( their much delayed for political reasons ) a report which is the first Government Based National survey which shows that such Gender Myths have to be re-evaluated in their entirety, just gets missed.

          This is comical:

          “Rape, regardless of whom it happens to, is horrible and violent and dehumanizing. Only men can stop rape.”

          Shouldn’t that read “Rape under any circumstances, regardless of who the perpetrator is and the sex or age of the victim, is horrible and violent and dehumanizing. Only “WE” can stop rape.”

          To say anything else is to deny the Reality and Totality of Rape – and yet it opens with that abusive rhetorical question “Do you really doubt the idea of rape culture?”.

          What idea – a Narrow minded self serving world view – or REALITY? Even on a Global Scale.

          Victim Blaming – Trivialising victims experiences, directly or indirectly. Victim blaming occurs when the victim(s) of a crime, an accident, or any type of abusive maltreatment are held entirely or partially responsible for the transgressions committed against them. Blaming the victim has traditionally emerged especially in racist and sexist forms.

          Well this piece did a hell of a lot of Trivialising which was both Blatantly Direct and Subversively Indirect.

          Anyone who either directly or indirectly dismisses any single rape survivor of any age or sex/gender is acting as a rape apologist and manifesting the worst aspects of the concept of “Rape Culture”.

          Do you really doubt the idea of rape culture? No – Not really – This piece just proves how it is made manifest in so many ways by people who really should know better!

        • I have to agree with Tamen, her saying “Only men can stop rape” really made me wonder about bigotry. I’ve tried for a while to understand why someone would say that but to me it really feels like she isn’t accepting female responsibility. It actually hurts to hear only men can end abuse when I know for a fact it’s not only men perpetrating it, it’s quite unfair to dump ALL responsibility on men to end it. Even if only 1% of rapes were by women, that still means women have responsibility to not rape along with men, every human has a responsibility to ensure safety in this world where they can.

    • I think part of the issue with the “patriarchy” example is we’re living in a time where those issues are changing fast and have already changed quite heavily. Also the power men have over women is under question, with women having the majority vote in America now by 8million if other comments are correct and much of consumer spending controlled by women (as in power of supporting media by purchases) many are left wondering how much extra power men have.

      Where does violence fit in, if women and men both suffer terribly from violence. From what I see males suffer 4x to 6x the deaths in violence, women tend to be sexually abused more (although the bias in stats leaves me feeling it’s not something to compare until we study all forms of what people believe is rape). Does this increased level of violence cause a different but equally powerful level of oppression against men even if by other men? There are men raped in war as well as women, these things make me question just how much rape is about oppressing and controlling women, or if it’s oppressing and controlling humans.

      Not sure if my comment on huffypost showed up but basically pages 18, 19, and 24 of the CDC report have the statistics we’re using, the 1.1% in last 12 months stats. Page 24 has the 79.2% of male “forced to penetrate” victims stating female attackers and other info related to female abuse of males. I’ve heard the CDC stats regarded as the first report to truly address the bias (although not fully), and I truly hope further studies remove all bias and simply count all rape, envelopment and penetration, studying both males and females of all ages and races, countries if possible, even age and gender of attacker/s would be useful in building a good dataset of rape.

      Could you post the pages in question and which exact stat you were using from the department of justice? I will look at it tomorrow morning if possible, I’ve only seen some of the CDC report which is what I’m calling into dispute. If you do admit to the limitations and bias in statistics due to their definition, why do you compare the genders?

      Thank-you though for replying, there are other questions I hope to see a reply for but is it great to see you discussing it with us. The discussion is quite important for all of us to try understand each other of course. I do think most of us actually want the same thing, rape to end, but there’s possibly an element on each “side” that don’t fully grasp the severity of the other. What’s clear to me that rape is very high for both, but I don’t want the rape debate to be portrayed as mostly female victims IF there are a large proportion of male victims too. I do hope you read those CDC stats and comment or even write about it in your next article of the last 12 months stats, would be nice to get your thoughts on why 40% of rapists in the last 12 months were female for that stat? Need sleep, thanks for the reply.

      • Archy, I spoke with Dr. Black at the Department of Justice to verify numbers and review methodology. Please refer to two specific tables: Table 44 and Table 38. I just tried to insert them here but it failed. I am comparing genders because I think it is valid to look at rape in the context that I bring up which is one of persistent oppression ranging from infant gendercide, bride burning, acid baths, genital mutilation, rape as a tactic of war, etc. I think your point about war and violence is well-taken, which is why 16Days of Awareness campaign this year focused on reducing militarism. If you have a problem with finding these tables, I can send them to Lisa. I really do empathize with the plight of male victims and believe that what we will now see, as a result of some of these changes in definition, is that they too will become subject to the same level of mythologizing and dismissal that traditionally have plagued female victims (hence the HuffPost piece, which BTW was written after this one even though it posted first). As for the 12 month status, I will look into it, but having spoken to Dr. Black who was pretty definite about the 99% stat for single offender rapes (as defined by the CDC) I am not sure how these differ but will find out.

        • Thank-you. Might want to ask Dr Black to clarify on whether envelopment/forced to penetrate is included in rape. The 12 month stat for male victims is under “Other Sexual Assault”, and is called “Forced to penetrate” so it isn’t included at all under the rape stats. This is why many of us are annoyed and feel it’s biased, as it leaves out a large chunk of male victimization and I personally don’t like comparing the stats either until rape is defined much better. As it stands, the mechanics of sex and men being the vast majority of penetrators, it means they will be the majority of people who forcibly penetrate someone which they consider rape. If you could also ask Dr Black why envelopment/forced to penetrate isn’t included as rape in the definitions by the FBI and themselves, that would be great.

          Can you send the tables to Lisa and the exact report name, I have the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey – 2010 Summary Report, 124 pages long available here ht tp://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/index.html – Full Report, 4.2MB PDF file.

          BTW I don’t want anyone to use what I am saying as a means to minimize the harm on women or men, even with my definition of rape there are still more male rapists and female rape victims, in the last 12 months it becomes a much closer to parity, 40% female, 60% male rapists from what I gather and equal levels of victims. I think the entire world needs to start hearing this, it should make people far more aware and get people talking about consent and get people to question their beliefs of rape to end the mythology. Either way the stats are highly alarming and everyone needs to be aware of the full depth of them.

    • 5. Arguing about rape culture. Yes, I did cite Wikipedia because, quite frankly it is a good summary. However, here are some books I have read and sources that might be useful for anyone interested in where this viewpoint comes from.

      I see – so you provide citation to stats – and citation to books – and a link to Wikipedia?

      Have you NOTED the long and very Extensive dispute over the source you linked to?

      Do you have an original Citation for “Rape Culture™”? A source – academic paper – book – even a single person who is claiming that they coined the “Compound Noun” and they know what it means?

      Wikipedia now have have this to say -

      ” The exact date and context of the first use of the term ‘rape culture’ are uncertain; however, it is thought that it originated around 1975. Several different theories exist as to its origin:

      A 1975 documentary film, Rape Culture, produced and directed by Margaret Lazarus and Renner Wunderlich for Cambridge Documentary Films, discussed prison rape in the context of a larger cultural normalization of rape.[2] In 2000, Lazarus stated that she believed the movie was the first use of the term.[3] Although the film discussed mainly male-on-male rape in prisons, modern feminist theory uses a broader definition of rape culture that includes non-prison society as well.”

      I do have to wonder why men of color in prison just got brushed out of the way for son long – what’s 36 years amongst friends – “Prisoners Against Rape Inc” founded 1974, supported by the DC Rape Crisis Centre and the Protagonists of “Rape Culture™” The Movie – the first known usage of the very Term.

      I do hope that some people’s essentialist privilege has not been motivated to brush aside some men because they were from a racially minority – or many just prisoners – or maybe just men – or maybe it’s because they were being raped and some just didn’t care!

      In future Check Your References before asking a Rhetorical Question – “Do you really doubt the idea of rape culture?”.

      Doubt What? The Validity of a spurious inaccurate Wiki page – or the reality of how people have been abused by the misuse of the term since 1975 and so many supposed intelligent bloggers can’t be bothered to check the facts?

      Your response – is Insulting. If you actually engaged in dialogue you may have more credibility!

      Nice Try – No Cigar!

    • David Byron says:

      Well that was better. I didn’t have to quit reading on line one due to offensive sexist language. You did repeat the offensive phrase “rape culture” however, even after I informed you that it was offensive. Perhaps that sort of sensitivity is part of why you feel there’s a “lack of a common language”? You also used the word “patriarchy”, another offensive and sexist word, but I guess that was fine because in your sole opinion it’s not offensive at all. Guess men don’t have a right to an opinion about what offends them because they have feminists to tell them.

      Well at least you came back to defend your article against a largely hostile audience. That shows integrity and some care about your words so I applaud that.

      Rape of women around the world is a tool of widespread gender oppression.</bllockquote.
      But your thesis is just ridiculous. When women are getting raped their male counterparts are getting raped and then murdered. That is if you mean treatment during genocidal war. Well war is hell they say, even without the genocide. In peace time men get raped as policy in US jails, albeit done with deniability, using other prisoners, unlike US jails in Iraq where rape of men was carried out by the custodians directly. The fact is if you said everything you're saying about male victims you might have a leg to stand on, but as it is, you're just being extremely silly.

  19. Rape Culture
    Joyce Williams

    Extract

    Rape culture is a concept of unknown origin and of uncertain definition; yet it has made its way into everyday vocabulary and is assumed to be commonly understood.

    The award-winning documentary film Rape Culture made by Margaret Lazarus in 1975 takes credit for first defining the concept. The film’s narration relies heavily on jargon such as “rapism” and “phallocentric society” and is more illustrative than definitive in dealing with rape as depicted in movies, music, and other forms of entertainment.

    Authors of the popular Transforming a Rape Culture define the phenomenon as “a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women … a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent” ( Buchwald et al. 1993 : v). An earlier definition was offered by Herman (1984) , who characterized the US as a rape culture because the image of heterosexual sex is based on a model of aggressive male and passive female.

    At the other end of the continuum of definitions are efforts to define a rape culture empirically, such as are found in the work of Baron and Straus (1989) and Ellis (1989) . Some empirical works on rape theorize its emanation from a subculture of violence, for example societies with high homicide rates also tend to have high rape rates ( Amir 1971 ; Baron & Straus 1989 ). Other researchers have …

    http://www.blackwellreference.com/public/tocnode?query=rape+culture&widen=1&result_number=1&from=search&id=g9781405124331_yr2011_chunk_g978140512433124_ss1-19&type=std&fuzzy=0&slop=1

    Did this reference get missed?

    • I have two questions for Ms Soraya Chemaly to answer.

      You linked to Wikipedia – a known site that has accuracy and impartiality issues. Subsequently you refer readers to Blackwell Reference Online – a source of credible reputation in the field of Social Sciences. The post above is from there and is recognised as quite authoritative and accurate.

      Blackwell say of their own work:

      “Clear, concise, expert definitions and explanations of the key concepts written by leading scholars in the field.

      An essential reference for expert and newcomer alike, with entries ranging from short definitions of key terms to extended explorations of major topics.

      Materials that have historically defined the discipline, but also more recent developments, significantly updating the store of sociological knowledge.

      Introductions to sociological theories and research that have developed outside of the United States and Western Europe.”

      One therefore has to wonder, why you used a lesser source in support of your arguments?

      My second question is do you understand the definitions below?

      Pious fraud (Latin: pia fraus) is used to describe fraud in religion or medicine. A pious fraud can be counterfeiting a miracle or falsely attributing a sacred text to a biblical figure due to the belief that the “end justifies the means”, in this case the end of increasing faith by whatever means available. Thomas Jefferson once referred to a doctor who used placebos as a fraud, even if a pious one.

      Bad faith (Latin: mala fides) is double mindedness or double heartedness in duplicity, fraud, or deception. It may involve intentional deceit of others, or self deception.

  20. this discussion reminded me of this http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2008/01/10/deconstructing-rape-culture/

    “But how can a term “facilitate” discussion when it is so ambiguous? If one merely wishes to emphasize that rape is, amongst other things, an expression of beliefs and attitudes which are not unique to the rapist, why use a term, “rape culture,” which can be legitimately used to mean: a culture of male dominance which is shored up by rape?

    I believe that what the term “rape culture” — like “patriarchy” — really does is foster an apparent solidarity between feminists of quite different persuasions. To believe (1) that men as a class are bound to defend their collective interests by promoting male-on-female rape is a universe away from merely believing (2) that rape has a cultural dimension which we mustn’t neglect if we wish to prevent its occurrence. The former notion, in my view, is implausible and belied by the facts. The latter view is, in my view, correct. But the term’s equivocation means that when meaning (1) is attacked, liberal feminists can leap to the defence of their radfem sisters with a (wholly redundant) defence of (2), and demonstrate, through a show of hostility towards a common enemy, that all feminists are, at bottom, on the same side.”

  21. In all the media attention to breast cancer, I hear very little mention at all that men can have it, too. I don’t see why it shouldn’t me mentioned more. Richard Rountree, the original Shaft, is a survivor of breast cancer and had much of his pecs removed because of it. Surely this could be a men’s health issue, too.

    Very irony about men and breast cancer: the local fundraising 5K race to raise money to fight breast cancer is for women only, even though a few men do get breast cancer. I can donate, but I can’t walk/run/roll in the 5K race.

    Meanwhile, the ovarian cancer 5K race accepts men and women, even though men definitely don’t get ovarian cancer. Go figure.

    • “Very small irony”

    • Julie Gillis says:

      That’s just silly.

    • Had the same issue here in The UK!

      The charity has to change it’s mind as they received Government Funding for research.

      Gender based discrimination caused Human Rights Abuse – Article 14 – so they had the choice, be sexists or loose all funding and face very bad media which would hit donations.

      It seems that Money and Media count! They even encouraged men to wear bras as they ran, to up the media value!

  22. The Entry for “Rape Culture” at Wikipedia, as referenced by the OP has been updated and tagged to warn users that the Neutrality of the entry and its Validity are questionable and in the process of being addressed with editors.

    In particular the page conflicts with other wiki pages on such matters as “Causes of sexual violence”
    – which states “Examples of behaviors said to typify rape culture include victim blaming, trivializing prison rape, and sexual objectification.”

    The “Rape Culture” page omits many recognised manifestations of Trivialisation and in particular “trivializing prison rape” – which is seen an gendered and primarily against men.

    I will be working with the editors and using all suitable references to have the Disputes over the content of this Wikipedia page, it’s neutrality and misleading content addressed fully and as promptly as possible.

    It should be noted that Wikipedia has the following to say about it’s own content

    “The Wikipedia project suffers systemic bias that naturally grows from its contributors’ demographic groups, manifesting an imbalanced coverage of a subject, thereby discriminating against the less represented demographic groups.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Countering_systemic_bias

    The Rape Culture Wikipedia page is a clear case in hand! It is to be hoped that “imbalanced coverage of a subject” will be addressed and resolved so that future references to the page will have some validity and not be used to mislead and even abuse.

    • Update: It seems that some at Wikipedia are listening.

      The Definitions being applied are being made “Gender Neutral” – as they should have been throughout.

      Matters are progressing and it is to be hoped that in the near future it may be a source worth referencing and which provides valid and accurate information for all who use it or refer to it.

  23. “Do you really doubt the idea of rape culture?”

    Yes. What I take issue with in the expression ‘rape culture’ is the juxtaposition of the words, the conflation (to borrow a word from so many activist articles) of ‘rape’ and ‘culture.’

    Expressions such as ‘sports culture’ or ‘martial culture’ or ‘hedonistic culture’ imply value. The idea in front of the word ‘culture’ is important and valued in the society it is describing. Persons who excel at the particular culture are awarded higher status.

    I don’t think it is an accident that the poorly defined and ill used concept of ‘rape culture’ parallels those other phrases. It gives a tacit weight to the construct and awards legitimacy based on the parallels with the commonly used idea of a ‘(value) culture, and in that fashion is a completely deceptive premise for advancing an argument.

  24. HidingFromtheDinosaurs says:

    1. Your statistics are inaccurate. I presume this was written when the NCVS was the only resource available, but no credible academic would have ever used that data without doing the research on it, and the research would have told you that the study used a definition of rape designed to exclude rape committed by women against men by counting only penetrative rape. You are guilty of poor research, something which is not even tolerated among students and is a dereliction of your academic duty. Please read this article for an interpretation of more recent results: http://www.genderratic.com/?p=836. I of course encourage you to check those figures for yourself.

    2. Don’t mention Rapelay unless you actually know what you’re talking about. Every time someone mentions it in the Western media, they just embarrass themselves. It “went viral” years after everyone had stopped caring about it because some idiot in the mainstream media saw one used copy on Amazon that was removed (unsold) hours later. The game was never even released in English. It belongs to a media and culture entirely removed from the one your are discussing. By the time you wrote this, the people who made it had already made several more (including one about women raping men) and the Western media outrage had become a topic of satire. Hell, it’s not even unique. There’s an entire genre of games like that (some of them aimed at and/or made by women) and you can’t talk about it with any degree of credibility unless you talk about the entire Japanese porn industry too.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] group cannot experience the same thing. Yet that is the argument that Soraya Chemaly makes in her article about “rape culture.” She defines “rape culture” as, “sexual [...]

  2. [...] This comment was by Lisa Hickey in reply to Tamen on Rape Culture: Men, Women and Power [...]

  3. [...] was asked to write this article after I wrote an, unfortunately angry, point-by-point response to this piece by Soraya Chemaly. When I wrote my response I felt somewhat hurt by what I perceived as her, [...]

  4. […] I was raped by a woman. Who can address this? Soraya Chemaly: Feminism can. Although individual stories without context about male victims of female […]

  5. […] like Soraya Chemaly citing some statistics (but not that one) from the NISVS 2010 Report in the same article where she states that “only men can stop rape,” I find I can’t afford to put any stock in the […]

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