Why Are So Many Good Men Accepting of Rape Culture?

Nikki Brown calls for men to resist an easy acceptance of rape culture and to speak out in defense of their gender.

Don’t take offense. I know a lot of men stand up about rape. I know they speak up about sexual assault. They wear ribbons and high heels to show their support for anti-violence campaigns. I know many of you take issue with what rape culture tells me, your sister, your wife, your mother, your daughters, your friend what they should wear and how they should act. I know many of you support our right to sluthood (thank you very much).

I appreciate all of that. What I mean here is, why aren’t you speaking out against what this language, this rape culture, says about you? About men?

Men Can’t Help Themselves. Wear the wrong clothes or say the wrong thing, and Men believe they are Entitled to a woman’s sex.

Men Rape.

Rape culture says that we should expect men to be violent, misogynistic, and to not even notice, let alone care, what a woman wants, as long as she did something to make him think she wants to have sex. No, scratch that. As long as she did something to make him think about sex.

Why aren’t you angry? Why aren’t you upset? Why aren’t you telling your sister and your wife and your mother and your daughters and your friends that it doesn’t matter what they wear or how they act or if they flirted?

It doesn’t matter.

That there is nothing women can’t do or say or wear. That there’s no such thing as too much alcohol or took him home too soon. No excuse, no lie, no rationale that makes rape or attempted rape or assault or harassment OK. To make rape or attempted rape or assault or harassment Something Men Do.

When are you going to make clear, I mean really effing crystal, to us that THIS IS NOT HOW MEN BEHAVE.

This is not who you are, this is not how you think. This is not what we should prepare for. This is not what we should expect from you.

♦◊♦

Am I wrong here? Is this view and these expectations not a problem to you?

I don’t have that view. I don’t share those expectations. Instead, I expect: I expect men to appreciate me for who I am, from my cleavage to my wit. I expect men to never think they are entitled to my body, no matter what I wear or how I act or how soon I went home with them. To believe sex is a mutually-agreed upon act (enthusiastic consent is not a feminist statement, people!) that we participate in together, not something men take from me. I expect men to treat me as a member of an equal, not a lesser sex. I expect men to treat me as I treat them.

But here’s the thing: my expectations are in spite of the “that’s just how guys are” and the Facebook rape pages and the “can’t you women take a joke?” bullshit I hear every single day. They are in spite of every person who reads this post and thinks, “yeah, that’s nice and all Nikki, but in reality …” or “girl, you had better learn to play it safe.”

My expectations are in spite of rape culture.

These expectations are also of my own accord, my own faith in men—and because of the men in my life.

The sad thing? They are not because men speak up and tell me society and rape culture is wrong. They are not because, every time I hear “that’s how men are,” a good man speaks up and says, “no. It’s not.

They are the ones I make for you in your silence.

♦◊♦

I understand that maybe the things rape culture says about men are subtle. I get what being vocal about sexual violence does to women, but we don’t talk enough about what rape culture says about men. Even in recent posts here on the Good Men Project—discussions revolved around education, support, and defense of women. They never once focused, even for a moment, on what all of these terrible stories say about men. About who men are, and who they are not. There is this underlying assumption that men just rape. There is this underlying acceptance about it.

And, yes, I fully comprehend the cultural differences here. But still.

Rape is not just about women. It’s about men, too. And we will never end this Rape Culture, we will never make revolutionary change, unless we start talking about men’s agency in it.

And that, gentlemen, starts with you. Your voice. Not only in support of SlutWalk, but in explaining to us that This Is Not What Men Do. This is not the behavior to expect from men. We need to hear you tell us that. You need to tell each other that. This is as important a conversation as any other we have about rape and sexual assault.

♦◊♦

Maybe you aren’t paying attention, or you think you’re the only one who is, or that we won’t hear you. Maybe you’ve never thought about it this way.

But it’s not enough. None of that is enough to excuse your silence. Your ignorance. Your acceptance of the excuses we all use and the lies we all tell to ignore rape and assault Every. Single. Day.

The underlying acceptance that Men Rape.

Consider this the open door. Consider this my invitation to the table and my request to hear your voice. Consider this your wake up call that rape culture isn’t talking only about women.

This is what rape culture and the excuses and lies we all tell ourselves about rape and sexual assault say about men.

Wake up. Speak up. I can’t hear you.

Yet.

—Photo terminallychll/Flickr

About Nikki Brown

Nikki Brown blogs anonymously about sex, relationships, life, gender, sexuality, the environment, and anything else that piques her interest or raises her hackles. In her spare time, she practices yoga, sustainable living, drinking vodka, and the art of burlesque. Her blog can be found at http://womenarefrommars.wordpress.com/

Comments

  1. Something that has always troubled me about this idea of “rape culture” is the fact that if it exists then mothers are as much to blame for forgetting to teach their son’s to NOT rape. Im so glad my mom didnt miss THAT lesson.

    • Well, this really is my point. The idea that boys have to have their mothers tell them not to rape women – when I would assume boys, and the men they grow up to be, already know that. I assume they don’t need to be told – by anyone.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        By that argument children shouldn’t need to be told to hit or call names. Parents do socialise their children, if they didn’t they’d be bad parents. Part of this lesson is “no means no.”

        • OK – I’ll agree that understanding starts at home, and that parents can absolutely be critical in making sure their children, of both genders, understand rape and that “no means no.” I think there are plenty of influences in this world today that go against that – and that we are overly obsessed with sex. You are right, parents need to have these conversations with their children. I don’t, however, think that it’s the only thing keeping men from raping – men without that upbringing don’t rape all the time.

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    Actually, it’s femnists who say men have a propensity toward violence and misogyny.
    The existence of “rape culture” has been nagged into existence as a given, so that it can be used as moral authority to demand one thing or another, or…you’re enabling rape culture.
    Crap.
    Several years ago, a woman working in my office thanked me for helping her out in the parking lot. I had not a clue.
    After some discussion, we figured out what was happening. I was facing the other way, sixty feet away from her and the guy trying to give her a hard time. I was scraping ice from the windshield, a noisy process. She turned to ask me for help. The guy split. Here’s the deal. This guy had no idea who I was. Had I been the fems’ fav stereotype, I’d have grinned and said, “party on, brother”. Or perhaps I was a cripple. Or perhaps I was a pacifist who though Gandhi was entirely too macho. Or perhaps I’d pretend to see nothing.
    He had no idea. But his experience with the world of the next guy walking down the street is that the next guy walking down the street, hearing a request for help, would really, really fuck up his day.
    So, as to rape culture…I take the word of a potential rapist. His experience is never to mess with a woman when there’s a generic, just happened to be nearby, man around.
    IOW, no rape culture.

    • You obviously do not understand what rape culture is about.

      • Aside from being a collective guilt campaign promoting misandry, why should any Man give a rats ass about the multiple, MULTIPLE, subjectivist definitions “Rape Culture”?

        I don’t support rape, I refused to be placed on trail for my gender and I’m not walking on egg shells for any women’s neurotic disorder.

        • “The existence of “rape culture” has been nagged into existence as a given”

          Exactly. No coherent explanation of what the concept means has been given and the proponents of the idea themselves are inconsistent.

          The above article doesn’t even bother to explain what rape culture means.

  3. Nikki many are speaking out about rape culture and gender abuse!

    It’s just hard to be heard when you have to talk and run at the same time in full Battle Armour! P^)

    • Absolutely, and I genuinely, wholeheartedly, adore the men and women who do. My point here was beyond that – we speak out in defense of women, but we don’t speak out in defense of men, in terms of what that dialogue says about how men behave and what to expect from them. I don’t buy that. Does that make sense?

      • “we speak out in defense of women, but we don’t speak out in defense of men”

        The “we” is interesting! I am happy to speak out in defense of anyone who is being abused, misrepresented, disrespected and generally bullied by others.

        Better still – I encourage them to find their own voice and say it their own way.

        We can speak for others – or We can allow them to speak for themselves. It’s just harder to get men to do it after all the years of so many ladies insisting we stay quiet and be told P^)

        • Ha! You put me in my place, sir.

          I never mean to generalize, and yet I still do. I suppose I include myself in the “we”, as I don’t know how my views are taking by others and what it is I need to change – but I shouldn’t include you in my personal statements.

          Yes – agreed, we should encourage one another to speak out – although I’d argue there are times when people cannot, and we do actually need to speak for them. I also agree with you that men have been told for too long that they should be the strong, silent type.

          • “I also agree with you that men have been told for too long that they should be the strong, silent type.”

            It’s one of the advantages of the Net – men have been allowed to live a double life! P^)

            At work they can grab 10 minutes and blog their hearts out, be weak and vulnerable and even say off the wall things – but come the end of the working day they have to transform into the strong silent types and keep the Status Quo! P^)

            Revolutionary, ain’t it?

            … and don’t confuse whimsy for warfare! You do burlesque – you know how to tease and misdirect to get the point across! P^)

  4. You mean like they dont have to be told NOT to hit other kids or call them nasty names? If it was all just instinctual then there would never be any murder, assault, stealing OR rape by either sex. Maybe its not a culture of rape but one of disconnection between fellow human beings that more or less starts in the home.

  5. “There is this underlying assumption that men just rape.”
    – No, there isn’t. I’ve never seen that stated by a man on GMP, written by a man in any publication, or heard that spoken by any other man. I’ve never encountered a man that accepts that “Men Can’t Help Themselves. Wear the wrong clothes or say the wrong thing, and Men believe they are Entitled to a woman’s sex.” Not one man. Ever. The only place I have seen or heard those messages is from the extreme feminist left that keeps pushing the concept of “rape culture”. Are there websites that suport those messages? I’m sure there are. You can find websites that support every evil act the human mind can imagine against women, men, children, blacks, latinos, whites, arabs, asians, and animals of all kinds. That doesn’t make it a “culture” of society. American society/culture does not expect men to rape, nor does it accept individuals that do rape. So here in America, your “rape culture” is a “fake culture”.

    “Men Rape.”
    – No, “men” don’t rape. Rapists rape. Pedophiles molest. Thieves steal. Murderers kill. All those things are done by INDIVIDUALS of both genders. Your generalization against the male gender is bald face bigotry, and it won’t be tolerated, even if ment to combat the evils of rape.

    “They never once focused, even for a moment, on what all of these terrible stories say about men.”
    – Again, that’s because it says nothing about men. It say something about those INDIVIDUALS that chose to rape.

    Stop your bigotry, Nikki.

    • Luckey, excellent rebuttal of this author’s article.

      And what percentage of men in the West rape women?
      My understanding is that most rape of women by men, is committed by men under 30.
      I remember a feminist article a couple of years ago about a study that said out of 1882 male college students, 6% of them had raped a woman . With 4% of them(ie.63% of the 6%) being serial offenders. It would be interesting to know if the percentage of noncollege attending rapists under 30 is the same. [I think ive reported the figures accurately, i hate stats. ill leave the stats crunchers to work through it]

      Of the 120 rapists in the sample, 44 reported only one assault. The remaining 76 were repeat offenders. These 76 men, 63% of the rapists, committed 439 rapes or attempted rapes, an average of 5.8 each (median of 3, so there were some super-repeat offenders in this group). Just 4% of the men surveyed committed over 400 attempted or completed rapes.
      http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2009/11/12/rapists-who-dont-think-theyre-rapists/
      http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

      If these figures are accurate across demographic groups in the West. Why should all men be held be guilty because 6% of young men rape women.
      According to these figures, 94% of men DO NOT rape women. the 4% of men that are serial rapists, are hardcore offenders. I believe no matter how severe the punishment – if they found the opportunity, these serial offenders would commit the crime. They are indifferent to threat of punishment or social outrage, or social disgust.

      94% of men DO NOT rape women – There is No rape culture (in the West, And certainly not for working class and above Westerners.)

    • I actually agree wholeheartedly with you both, and I think we’re actually saying the same thing, just from different angles.

      (PS side note – FYI this post was written in advance of the ones currently up at GMP, and the posts I was referencing discussed rape in Afganistan, not assumed male guilt and the like.)

      This is exactly my point – men DO NOT rape. Rapist rape. BUT, I feel like we make this crazy-ass assumption that they do when we talk about rape – and I DON’T agree with THAT (consequently we’re in agreement). What I mean is, often when people/media (men AND women) talk about a specific rape, they often re-focus on what a woman was wearing, how she was acting, what she did. Then, of course, we talk about how it’s not her fault (e.g. SlutWalk). No one ever says “it doesn’t matter what she wore, men aren’t people who just need to see some cleavage and they go from normal dude to rapist. Whereas rapists will probably always want to rape, regardless of what you wear.” I think saying that in response to when we talk about rape would also move us from just lumping men into this group over here, but would make the break more clear between rapists and men. Because, to me, that distinction is SO CLEAR, yet we rarely make it.

      • Nikki

        How does the fact that some research shows that at least half women are rapists, or the fact that women are responsible for 70% of all child abuse fit into your bigoted ideology and world view?

        Here are the figures on female rapists.

        “Rates of sexually aggressive behaviors among women vary from one segment of the United States to another, but the evidence presented here shows that as many as 7% of women self-report the use of physical force to obtain sex, 40% self-report sexual coercion, and over 50% self-report initiating sexual contact with a man while his judgment was impaired by drugs or alcohol (Anderson, 1998). Given these numbers, it is appropriate to conclude that women’s sexual aggression now represents a usual or typical pattern (i.e., has become normal), within the limits of the data reviewed in this paper. ”

        h tt p://www.ejhs.org/volume5/deviancetonormal.htm

  6. I didn’t read the article, but I definitely agree that men need to stand up to the rape hysteria culture.

    The conflation of dysfunctional criminals who rape with regular everyday men who respect women definitely needs to be stopped.

  7. DavidByron says:

    In a related question which for some reason comes to mind after reading that filth —- why are so many good feminists accepting of bigoted man hating culture?

    • We aren’t.

      • Maybe there’s a problem, then, with the way feminists are talking to men. After reading your article, I would have assumed that you were one of the feminists that think that All Men Are Rapists. I understand you’re not from reading the comments, but it makes me wonder who that article is addressed to and what you’re actually trying to say.

        I think there’s a fundamental disconnect when feminists try to address men about rape: Rapists don’t read these articles. Men who are trying to be good people do. But when women address their audience as if there were the rapists, it adds fuel for those who say that all femisists believe that All Men Are Rapists.

        Does this make any sense?

        • You make absolute sense. And I agree wholeheartedly that a big part of the problem is how people talk to one another. I personally believe this is at least part of the reason there is so much animosity among some people, men and women, against feminists. It is part of the reason I wrote this piece, why I blog, and why the comments have been so stimulating to me: to get discussion going.

          One thing that’s clear is the disconnect just in this discussion – and I wish I had another avenue for dialogue other than post-comments, but a way to talk face-to-face, or at least with better back and forth. I am trying to say exactly what you are saying – that we do nothing by saying All Men Rape – and I personally hear that diatribe underneath discussions around rape. BUT my MAIN point was to ask men to speak up about it – I am actually trying to speak to men, not rapists. I’m trying to ask men who KNOW this (as clearly the readers here do) to tell people who actually don’t know – whether or not they realize that. To speak out and say “men don’t behave that way – don’t expect us to”. Of course, this is my experience and view, and many people don’t have that experience, don’t see that – but I’d say that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist for others (me) and that maybe, if we listened more, we *might* hear it (it’s so subtle sometimes) and say something. My hope is this piece raises awareness of subtle things, and encourages men to say “oh hell no” and speak up.

          Obviously, that wasn’t entirely clear to everyone reading this. It’s spurred interesting discussion, but one of the interesting things in that is HOW that disconnect happened. I want to understand that, and learn how I can communicate differently.

          • Let me reply like a feminist might: by recounting my own experience. One reason I am trying so hard to be a Good Man (and feeling, most days, like I’m failing, whether I really am or not) is because my Catholic upbringing made me ashamed of my sexuality, and my women’s studies courses in college confirmed my shame. That is, as a male, I am a sexual predator, and women are victims.

            I wonder what percentage of men are like me. Perhaps I’m just spectacularly fucked up. Regardless, articles like yours (pre-comments) confirm my suspicion that women at base hate men.

            • “articles like yours (pre-comments) confirm my suspicion that women at base hate men.”

              Absolutely untrue. The average woman, the majority of women, like us just as we like (even love!) them. Yeah, we have misunderstandings, but it’s not hatred. Or, for expedience, go visit any site that is representative of the general female population, where rape and gender are seldom (or only occasionally) discussed, and consequently where there are relatively few feminists. You won’t find the open hostility toward all things male that is part and parcel of the feminist movement.

            • Thanks. It’s good to get another male perspective.

      • Many of the arguments, views, and opinions in the articles contributed by feminist writers, as well as follow on comments provide clear and present evidence that they do.

  8. DavidByron says:

    Talking of ignoring rape…

    has ANY feminist yet admitted that men are raped as often as women are — even if you don’t count male on male rape — and god knows they don’t — according to this latest NISVS survey that was the first major survey to dare to actually ask men if they were raped — and found more saying yes than women?

    Or admitted these new figures say that there are a hell of a lot of women rapists?

    And is denying both these facts “accepting a culture of rape”?

    Kidding of course. I know rape never matters if the victim is male and that the idea of a female rapist is simply fantasy regardless of what the facts say. It’s only a culture of rape when the important people are the victims.

    Still if reality did ever have any impact on feminists can you imagine an article asking women why they are not out there all the time telling other women to stop raping men — as the new survey says happens to hundreds of thousands of men a year? I invite Nikki to rewrite her essay into one asking why women are so accepting of female rape of men. Strictly as a work of fiction, of course.

    • My response would actually be that we should never take sides along gender lines when we’re talking about actual rape. My point here was regarding the ways in which we discuss a rape that happened (please see comment above for explanation).

      But in terms of *actual* rape – agreed. Men are raped, trans people are raped – women rape, trans people rape, etc etc etc. So, seems to me the important thing really is Rape is Horrible, Rape Happens to People. We need to work together against sexual violence, AND to make the world a safer place for survivors to speak out about what happened to them, for Rapists to be brought to justice. Those conversations, and that movement, is not “men only” or “women only”.

      • OK, now do you have any idea why when you say, “we should never take sides along gender lines” I just laugh and right you off as a bigot? Hint: it has something to do with your article, the title of the article and the gender content of your article.

        Do you have any sense of why your response to me here would be deeply offensive to a man?

        • Yes, of course. Probably for the same reason saying “I don’t see race” is rather irritating to people who aren’t white.

          I meant that fighting sexual violence is not gender-specific. At least, I wouldn’t want to chose sides over who has it “worse” based on gender – I don’t find that helpful. That’s my point, not that gender is irrelevant.

  9. Want to speak against rape culture?

    Here is your chance to put your foot where your mouth is, 6,000 signatures are needed, let’s start rolling:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-for-encyclopedia-dramatica-to-take-down-rape-page

    It’s ridiculous we need a petition to take down this type of garbage.

    As long as there is rape culture, the presumption of male guilt will exist. They go hand in hand. Men can collectively change the course of this – it’s in your hands.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      As pointed out in the other thread where you posted this: Even if that petition reaches its target of 6,000 signatures its extremely unlikely that the admin of that site (a woman) will take down the page. Its a bit of a non starter I’m afraid.

    • People who like to offend and people who love to be offended living in harmony.

    • Just out of curiosity, do you have any planned petition against the Vagina monologues for the discussed rape of a 13y/o girl (changed to 16 in later adaptations) by a grown woman?

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        I don’t remember that particular monologue, but I’m guessing it takes it a little more seriously than the ED piece. Probably not the best comparison.

        • Actually Peter it’s the perfect comparison. Contrary to your assumption the detail of the rape in the vagina monologues is depicted as being a positive experience for the girl.

          In this scene the girl (or her v@gina or whatever) details how an older woman seduced her and plied her with alcohol and drugs. While it was not forcible rape, it was a grown woman exhibiting no ethical standards and predatory manipulation and innebriation to have sex with (in the original version) a 13y/o girl.

          The girl then goes on to say that “Some may say this was rape. If it was rape it was a good rape.”

          So my question still stands:
          Is MichelleG going to start a petition against the vagina monologues for the portrayal of rape being a POSITIVE EXPERIENCE for the victim?

          Or are we as a society going to assume that when female libido goes off the rails it can never be harmful the way male libido can?

          Let’s have some consistency.

  10. The only people I’ve ever heard say men are too weak to say no, or are weaker than women when it comes to sex, are women. I’ve never heard a man say that men just can’t help themselves when a woman is dressed a certain way or flirted or whatever. In my life, only once have I had someone say that it wasn’t rape if: a woman and a man were having sex, and she said she needed to stop, and he forcibly kept going. The person who said that was not rape was a woman. Only once in my life has someone told me, in sincerity, that when a girl told me she didn’t want to go any further and I stopped I was actually supposed to keep going and “make” the girl do what I wanted. This was from the girl’s (female) best friend. I told the girl in question about this conversation I had with her friend and she thought it was funny. I’m not saying men are universally blameless and Lord knows that I’ve failed to speak up at times when I should have, but come on — women do this rape-culture-promoting stuff, in my experience, at least as often as men. I know men who sort of look down on promiscuous women, but almost all of the active slut-shaming I’ve seen has come from women.

    And I know I can’t be the only man who’s heard women say they want to feel like the man they’re sleeping with just can’t control his desire around them — that their attractiveness overwhelms his self-control.

    • A fine post Rick

    • Two points:

      One – Rick, you are the dude I am talking about. The Good Man who knows any talk of what a woman wears or does as a reason why she was raped are bullshit. Because you would never force a woman to have sex with you. Full stop. So, yeah, that’s my point. You are the real men out there.

      Two – YES! Women do the slut-shaming and the “oh, but she should’ve known better” shiz ALL THE TIME. Couple months ago, I was arguing with two good friends, they had told me about a friend who was gang-raped in college. They kept saying “well, she should’ve worn X and shouldn’t have done Y” and I was arguing those things DO NOT excuse rape. One of my friend’s boyfriends (also a good man) happened to come over, and he said “yeah, clothing and behavior don’t ‘make’ men rape.” I never meant to insinuate that men perpetrate rape culture on their own. Absolutely not.

  11. Peter Houlihan says:

    I think rape culture can be a real thing, look at the superfree clubs in Japan, but mostly it isn’t. Or if it is its nowhere near as widespread as depicted by authors such as Nikki. For comparison, lets compare rape culture to other crimes influence by culture and see how it stands up:

    Drug Culture: Jenny B is with her new friends in college, three of them are smoking weed. One of them offers Jenny a joint. She accepts because all her friends are doing it.

    Gang Culture: David O is hanging out with his friends, two of them are in the same gang as his older brother. They encourage him to shoplift a bag of crisps from the shop across the road. He does so because he feels he has to in order to be accepted.

    Rape Culture: James C is hanging out with his friends. Two of them start making jokes about women. A woman wearing a miniskirt walks down the path. His friends begin raping her, he joins in because he looks up to them.

    Does that last example make any sense? The first two make perfect sense because they are communal activities, drug-taking and petty crime is often something suggested by friends and exacerbated by peer pressure. Gang rape exists, but as far as I’m aware its much much less common than rape involving a solo perpetrator. Given that fact, and the way men actually accused of rape are usually treated by other men its a little difficult to see where there’s room for this theory of all male culture being fundamentally rapacious.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2074339/Cry-rape-slap-wrist-Teenage-girl-lies-left-man-prison-savagely-beaten-gets-80-fixed-penalty-notice.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    • OK. First, I think the point keeps getting missed about what rape culture actually is. Rape culture is not the idea that “oh, my friends are doing some raping, so I’ll join in”. Rape culture is the idea that, if a woman is sexually assaulted, it’s her damn fault for X, Y, or Z reason. Rape culture is what makes woman I know blame themselves for being raped. Rape culture is also why NONE the women I know who have been sexually assaulted reported that assault. It would also be the reason men don’t speak out about their rapes, too – and why they are shamed for it instead. Rape culture exists in that forum.

      My point here is that I don’t think we come out and say “men rape” – but it’s in the things we don’t say, and the things we don’t talk about. It’s actually in the idea that all rape is committed by men on women. It’s in the idea that women wearing something or behaving some way actually caused a man to rape her – again, a rapist is always going to want to rape, but a man is never going to decide to rape due to something like that. It’s ludicrous, but IMHO it’s also a subtle, underlying thing we don’t say.

      As an aside, I fully agree with you that gang rape may be less common, but I do think there are plenty of instances where, when that occurs, some men join in because they feel they have to. I’d argue this is also rape culture – that men think this is what other men do, so they have to do it too. They don’t say no, either.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        Thats the problem though. Rape culture has no clear definition and is defined in variously more or less extreme ways by different feminists. Take this article for instance:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/04/facebook-hate-speech-women-rape
        “What Facebook and others who defend this pernicious hate speech don’t seem to get is that rapists don’t rape because they’re somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street: rapists rape because they can. Rapists rape because they know the odds are stacked in their favour, because they know the chances are they’ll get away with it.”

        Here the author defines rape culture as telling rape jokes and directly attributes all rape to this behviour. She then goes on to explain how all men are rapists and just need a few drinks and the rights circumstances. Thats me shes talking about, genderqueerness aside I was born with a penis, so I’m a rapist. Words like that are hard to ingore.

        I’m sure you don’t agree with that statement based on the comments you’ve made above, but its not hard to see why most men, and many women, find it a bit difficult to get behind rape culture as a theory. If you’re serious about tackling public perceptions of rape I’d strongly recommend dropping the term, its a bit like the swastika: it used to have various meanings, but its been so irrevocably tainted by extremist groups that its not really recoverable anymore (sorry about that, Godwin’s law is applicable but I couldn’t think of a better example).

        As for what you’re describing: a system of victim blaming and belittling that forces rape into the closet. I’m still skeptical. I’ve heard my friend’s make rape jokes (male and female) some of them are even rape victims, but I don’t challenge it because its always in context and expressed in such a way that makes it clear that its not to be taken seriously or interpreted as justifying assault. If and when I do hear such language I do indeed challenge it, as do most people i know, feminist or not. When you examine how society actually treats men who are accused of rape, rightfully or wrongfully, and the judgements that are leaped to, its a bit hard to see where this all-pervasive attitude happens. To answer your piece: Most men do challenge rape culture as you describe it, feminists just don’t write articles about them.

        As an aside, yep, I have no issue with gang rape being described as a criminal culture (see the superfree clubs), so long as normal men aren’t dragged into the mess. Doing so is a bit like blaming anyone who drinks for alcaholism. Most men out there stand up for women and don’t take liberties with other people’s consent.

      • “Rape culture is the idea that, if a woman is sexually assaulted, it’s her damn fault for X, Y, or Z reason.”

        According to this definition, there is a [fill in the blank] culture of every crime that is routinely committed. SOMEONE, albeit a minority will always argue that the victim should have done or not done this or that.

        So, why do you single out rape as the only one that has such a culture, since this happens with every crime? For instance, feminists very consistently blame male victims of violence by claiming that “most perpetrators are male.”

  12. HOW DARE YOU NIKKI! How dare you sit here and accuse me, celibate me, repressed male me, me who won’t approach a girl for fear of being labeled a rapist, even though THE FACT IS she does noticeably flaunt her want of a sexual encounter. Of not doing my part. You are a taint on the very fabric of our society. YOUR casual description of ALL men. Your incredibly sexist and mysoginistic descriptions. I am NOT at fault. YOU ARE.

    • I would never accuse you, personally, of anything – and definitely would not accuse you of not doing your part.

      I think, perhaps, the point again missed is that I am not saying, for a second, that I expect you to rape someone. Dear heavens, no. I’m talking about how we discuss rape – not that men rape. I believe the opposite. Further, I actually think you’re a victim here – the fear and anger you have at being repressed, being afraid, being unable to live your life fully – I think that is an example of how our culture hurts men. And it’s not ok. That is a separate, yet very critical, conversation.

      • It’s obvious this moron didn’t even read the article. And just knee jerk reacted to it. Trolling you.

        • I actually did read the article. I read it, cried for a little bit, and realized wackjobs like you are the reason women are afraid and victimized. Pointing fingers at every male on the planet is not the way to help women. Empowering them is. Empowering them about the men who do speak out, who do fight this, and who do protect women. Pretending they don’t exist only makes women feel more fear.

  13. Maria Pawlowska says:

    AWESOME article! Thanks!

  14. Just a quick note to say that the comments thus far are actually really, well, interesting, but also (maybe strangely?) heartening. Men do not rape, men are not ok with being told that they do.

    What I’d ask is this: When you hear someone saying “well, that person should not have worn X or done Y, if they hadn’t maybe they would not’ve been raped” we should all speak up with “why do what they wear or what they say matter? These are not things that cause rape – rapists cause rape. Clothing and behavior are not going to cause anyone to suddenly rape.” Maybe then we’d move the conversation away from rape as something men just might do – to something rapists do. That would, IMHO, actually make a big difference.

    • Nikki I hear ya!

      Blaming the victim is always wrong!

      I have never heard anyone ( other than an offender ) excusing sexually abusing a child by claiming the child invited that abuse – the child dressed provocatively – the child behaved provocatively – the child made it clear they sought the experience. So there is little evidence of rape culture there. Joe Public and Joanna Public do not like events and don’t display activity in support of Rape Culture.

      I also have to say that the only people I have come across who even think of discussing female rape by reference to the Victim’s clothing, behavior etc are usually rather middle aged – either by mindset or physical age. That is anecdotal evidence I know! But in general Joe and Joanna treat the whole matter with revulsion and don’t blame the victim.

      I also find it interesting in my experience that when it’s male on male rape the same discussion does not take place – he was dressed provocatively – he was inviting it! Of course you do get a few homophobic types who will say that the victim was inviting it because they are an eternal sinner and hell fire and damnation will follow – and it does not matter if the victim was straight! So evidence of rape culture falls down there.

      I have to agree in many ways that rape culture, as it is defined, exists – but it’s prevalence is in question.

      I also have to look at the definition being used, because if Joe and Joanna in general treat rape with revulsion and don’t blame victims, then there is a possibility that the definition being used is not in step with everyday culture. It may have been in the past, but now it is not.

      Where are the well designed and well executed studies that show it does exist – and what is the demographic of the people who believe in it and perpetuate it?

      I hear all the time of Sports and Jocks being linked to rape culture – just as I have heard time and time again of that group being linked to Homophobia. And yet – you then get cases such as Brian Sims – openly gay, Football Captain and backed up by his team – and that story is over ten years old!

      There are also a number of other cases of openly gay sports men and woman in Jock and Sports Culture – and the media are not in a feeding frenzy over it. Why? Is it that the myth of Jock Culture has changed as years have passed – and many have not noticed. They just accepted the myth?

      There has been a linking of Rape Culture to Victim Shame – as in people who have been sexually abused/assaulted not reporting it, speaking about it and keeping hidden.

      There is a valid question to ask Is Victim Shame Part of Rape Culture at all – or is it another factor that has been incorrectly linked to Rape Culture?

      I was abused as a child – and I know what it was like then – but I also deal with abuse survivors today, and I have seen a significant shift in attitudes by both survivors and society – I have had a sort of vested interested in monitoring it all.

      It’s just as possible that Victim Shame is the product of judgmental religious views in society linked to sex and even sexual repression – or other factors. Where is the actual research that shows the link Rape Culture is the Parent or Sibling Of Victim Shame?

      One of the biggest issues that I have encountered is Old Ideas and definitions being regurgitated long after they have stopped being a relevant and adequate explanation of people’s experience. I have even commented on it here on GMP.

      One comment was turned into a Post about PTSD – but if you want to get a real flavor of how old views get in the way – how about Buckminsterfullerene and chemistry? Loosing a Nobel Prize is a bit of an eye opener!

      http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/women-rape-boys-too/comment-page-1/#comment-69641

      It could be that using the term Rape Culture is out of sync and even counter productive. Maybe “Rape Tolerance” is a better term that reflects changes in society – and which would also motivate many people to not tolerate rape – or any factors feeding into rape?

      Culture changes over time, so insisting it has stood still works against a message and even prevents change.

      So many find Rape Culture a nonsense term – so maybe the conversation needs to change so that the message is not lost?

      • You raise some really interesting points! Wow, ok.

        I personally see rape culture as quite prevalent – from what I see in the media (e.g. that little girl gangraped in TX, http://thefreshxpress.com/2011/03/victim-blaming-in-cleveland-texas-gang-rape-of-11-year-old/) and from *my* experiences with women who have been assaulted (none of them reported, they overwhelmingly blame themselves). That is *my* experience – it is clearly not yours. However, I would also add the difference between when women and men are raped. Blaming a female victim = rape culture, but when we don’t even talk about male rape? Why, because in rape culture men perpetrate rape, they don’t get raped? AND because all our weirdness about gay men, and our rigid gender stereotypes about men, too? All of it? THAT is a really critical area for discussion in of itself. These things are not simple, but complicated, convoluted, and interconnected. That also touches on your point that Victim Shame is something with multiple facets, and never the same across the board anywhere.

        So – maybe rape culture exists for me in this way, and for you in that way, AND maybe our dialogue around that alone is of incredible use. Furthermore, picking apart the intersections of all these other narratives, including Victim Shame/Blame, is also significant to moving forward. That, to me, is where real conversations can happen – not trying to tell each other who has it right and whose got it wrong.

        You also raise a REALLY interesting (and hopeful!) point: there may be a disconnect between rape culture as it is perpetrated in the media and pop culture and how people actually feel about it. Maybe it’s far more ingrained there than in how we actually view rape. Which, to me, IS hopeful, and speaks to the change you also talk about. I agree with the term “rape tolerance” in some instances… and to begin looking at this in more subtle terms…

        Of course, we should also keep in mind we’re having a conversation predominately about specific groups of people in terms of where they live, their social/economic status, and their race.

        • If someone goes out in a thunderstorm and gets wet, and I say something like, “Next time wear a coat”, am I blaming the victim?

          • No – just being daft!

            Language is a very poor tool for communication – and short pithy comments are a recognized tool for deliberately misunderstanding and twisting.

            There is an art to getting the pithy comments right!

            If they go out in a thunder storm and get wet – the correct response is they should stay home in future and just stand in the shower! P^)

        • “… from *my* experiences with women who have been assaulted (none of them reported, they overwhelmingly blame themselves). That is *my* experience – it is clearly not yours. However, I would also add the difference between when women and men are raped. ”

          … and *I* see how *you* have been working to segregate *me* and *them*.! P^)

          Nikki — I have experience of dealing with all survivors across all genders and age groups – and all forms of Rape from childhood, to believe it or not, pensioner.

          I’m not coming at matters from the position of being a male – I’m looking at all types of survivors.

          I am a survivor myself – and it has been an interesting journey! Over time my label keeps getting changed. I have been a victim of abuse – a survivor of abuse – in the last ten years I was apparently re christened as a rape victim and then a survivor. I keep wondering what I should have as an epitaph? P^)

          I have never been confused about what happened – but a great many have been confused about how I should be viewed and treated because of the ever changing language and views of events. It’s a factor that is common to so many who have been subjected to what is now renamed sexual violence! I have to wonder what I will be next year? P^)

          For me the reason why men as survivors don’t feature in rape culture is simple. The term Rape Culture is a model of society created over 40 years ago. At that time the term rape was literally exclusively used to define male penetration of a woman.

          You can see the whole thing enshrined in law – woman gets raped – statutory rape is age – molestation is for children – and the guys get??? “Deviant Sexual Intercourse” – a hang over from GAY men being criminalized. The Guy taking was not the criminal – the guy giving was!

          Evan that hand over form the GAY old days is now changing since if the taker is seen to coerce the giver the taker is the criminal. What ever happened to the old days of buggery? Legal Eagles are fighting all the time with language – how it is written in statute – what it means – and then they get case law and supreme courts changing it all again.

          40 years on we have present day Culture – Society – the language has changed, the term rape has changed – the law as usual is still playing catch up (will it never change P^( ) – and that Model created through thought and words is over 40 years old and no longer synchronized with society.

          40 years ago – how I do remember them – people used terms like Fab and Groovey – fashions were different – media was different – people had to use public libraries because there was no public Internet (that arrived 20 years later) – ideas and language changed at a lesser rate than today. Fashion used to take three years to go Global back in the 70’s – now it takes 3 seconds or less! It’s called electronic publishing – and global supply chains.

          We even talk about Digital Culture and Digital Society – the way we are communicating now – and that didn’t come into anything like reality until just ten years ago. LOL is new language from a Virtual Culture and Society. Hell – I can remember the days when a mobile phone was the size of a house brick and it cost the GDP of a small African nation to call the office. I can remember the first ever PC and I even remember Windows version 1 – and faxes being new and even Telex, though I was not around when it was new. I have used telex and even used a telex machine myself.

          Rape Culture as a concept may still have validity – but the name is out of sync with the rest of the world – In English anyway. The two words “Rape” and “Culture” do not have the same meaning they did 40 years ago – that’s two generations.

          In 1970 the term culture was very narrow in meaning and dealt with Arts. The idea of culture being what we all lived in and through only started to be used because it was first used in the negative “Counter Culture” – an academic term coming out of Berkley. The Word Society was hardly used – we didn’t have a society we just got on with life.

          A great deal of language started in Academic Circles and then got adopted into common usage. Just look at how often Conflate turns up on the net now – ten years ago It didn’t feature. Now it’s become almost a metaphor for Troll. Oh Trolls used to live under bridges once then in the 1990’s they suddenly relocated to a computer screen near you.

          In many ways Rape Culture is a sociological construct and as such I am surprised that Sociologists who created it have missed a fundamental aspect of their own disciple – societies are not static – they change. One of the major features of that is how “Language” changes.

          I have to wonder – if feminism as a social model is effecting change why would terms from 40 years ago which no longer jibe with social changes be so remorselessly used? Is feminism just a static concept that can brook no change – even in language?

          I’m also concerned that the term Rape Culture is almost a prison. It traps all people in to mindsets and modern language usage that simply fails to communicate any more. When the term Rape Culture was created it was a way of releasing people to think in new ways and effect change. Is that still true today?

          Rape Culture from Wikipedia

          “According to the Encyclopedia of Rape, “The term rape culture originated in the 1970s during the 2nd wave feminist movement and is often used by feminists to describe contemporary American culture as a whole.””

          so it was defining a view of society 40 years ago. Is that view still valid now?

          “Slutwalk -Although it had been in academic usage since its inception, the term ‘rape culture’ was scarcely used in popular culture and the media until 2011. ”

          So in 2011 the media started to use a 40 year old term and linked it to a very modern term Slutwalk.

          Forgive me – but Media tends to be one lazy business – especially news media – when to comes to using language in it’s correct form.

          It even raises the question – is Rape Culture as it is being discussed a media mess or a reality?

          Slutwalk is a wonderful word – it reclaims the negative!

          Rape Culture? Does it reclaim the word Rape – or has it’s meaning so changed in the last 40 years that putting those two words together just causes confusion and a collapse of communication?

          For me it’s now Cultural Jargon that is out of date and causing problems not solving any!

      • Nikki I hear ya!

        Blaming the victim is always wrong!

        I have never heard anyone ( other than an offender ) excusing sexually abusing a child by claiming the child invited that abuse – the child dressed provocatively – the child behaved provocatively – the child made it clear they sought the experience. So there is little evidence of rape culture there. Joe Public and Joanna Public do not like events and don’t display activity in support of Rape Culture.

        I also have to say that the only people I have come across who even think of discussing female rape by reference to the Victim’s clothing, behavior etc are usually rather middle aged – either by mindset or physical age. That is anecdotal evidence I know! But in general Joe and Joanna treat the whole matter with revulsion and don’t blame the victim.

        I also find it interesting in my experience that when it’s male on male rape the same discussion does not take place – he was dressed provocatively – he was inviting it! Of course you do get a few homophobic types who will say that the victim was inviting it because they are an eternal sinner and hell fire and damnation will follow – and it does not matter if the victim was straight! So evidence of rape culture falls down there.

        I have to agree in many ways that rape culture, as it is defined, exists – but it’s prevalence is in question.

        I also have to look at the definition being used, because if Joe and Joanna in general treat rape with revulsion and don’t blame victims, then there is a possibility that the definition being used is not in step with everyday culture. It may have been in the past, but now it is not.

        Strikingly put Media. in your experience for female-on-male-adult rape, is the script similar to male-on-female-adult rape where the female victim is asked what she was wearing etc. Or is the script similar to male-on-male-adult rape where those questions are not asked?

        • When I’m dealing with cases there is no script for anyone!

          The Protagonists write it – no one authors scenes and ideas for them!

          • Ok then, in your experience for female-on-male-adult rape does the below happen to the male victim, or not?
            I also find it interesting in my experience that when it’s male on male rape the same discussion does not take place – he was dressed provocatively – he was inviting it! …

            • Not in those exact words. It’s also worth considering that such questions are not normal when violence is involved. Rape at Knife Point is not the same as say drug rape where a drug such a Rohypnol has been used. The issues arise when there is a query as to the ability to provide consent.

              I have had to deal with a perp who made it quite clear that she was motivated by what would be best described as Lust – and that the male victim fitted a particular image and body type that was for them sexually arousing.

              Premeditation was also present. Claims that the victim had invited matters were made, but the premeditation made that point moot.

              During Police Interview of the victim it was required to ask if they had invited events, made any indication that they wished to have sex etc. These have to be asked to deal with evidence and assessment of offense.

              On the other hand – Gossips can’t be controlled, and some will always seek to have comment to make about others due to personal motivation, antagonism and even too much to drink.

            • Very interesting reading, thanks

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      I’d go even further. I think those statements are a product of the nature of rape, not any culture surrounding it.

      Think about it, most rape cases involve two people and no witnesses. The only physical evidence can also be caused by perfectly legal consentual sex, so it ends up as one person’s word against another. This alone explains the low conviction and trial rate of rape cases. If a justice system produced a high rate of convictions for reported rape, it would suggest that only provable cases were being reported, or that kangaroo justice was in effect, more than that rape was being taken more seriously.

      Then theres the trial itself. Most countries worth living in have a system of innocence until guilt is proven. On this basis most rape cases are based on one person’s word against the other. This is where the “shes asking for it” stuff really comes in. *Both* parties are subject to character assassination in order to try the case. The council for the prosecution attempts to portray the accused as a violent misogenist and the defence tries to portray the accuser as a vindictive liar.

      It goes both ways and theres no avoiding it. To do anything less would be to fail to try the case properly or to throw innocent men in jail (false accusations of rape do happen and they destroy lives). Take the DSK vs Diallo case, none of us will ever know what happened, there were huge irregularities on both sides, and both of them came out of it looking like criminals.

      To make the opposite argument to yours: Why do we live in a culture where men can have their name and character dragged through the mud on the strength of an unproven accusation? The answer is that we live in an imperfect and unjust world and this is the best we can do. Rape victims will continue to be questioned for their actions and motivations and falsely accused men will continue to be victimised by society.

    • Hi Nikki

      Re the ongoing discussion around “Rape Culture” and my queries as to it’s origins, one kind soul provided me with an interesting reference that points to the actual origination in 1974/5.

      I’ve started to highlight some of the information as part of the Discussion “I Can’t Speak for Men, and I Shouldn’t Have to” where the “Rape Culture” issue again comes up.

      http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/i-cant-speak-for-men-and-i-shouldnt-have-to/comment-page-1/#comment-80341

      It seems that the term “Rape Culture” is actually the title for a film looking at rape and focusing on male on male rape in Lorton Prison in the Washington DC. It comes from work between a group “Men Against Rape” who were linked to DC Rape Crisis Center.

      The Film is listed on IMBd here – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0156938/?licb=0.39036162735717395

      Read the other thread for further document links.

      I am having to joke that some will insist I’m MRA – “Medaling Rational Archivist”! P^)

      It does seem that there is a confluence of thinking and media at the heart of the name and issues. Spooky!

      Cheers

  15. The term “rape culture” is feminist psychobabble. There is no such thing. They talk circles around it but never define it or provide evidence of it.

    As evidence, rape is considered by the law and by people in general to be a very serious crime, and is seldom done in the presence of anyone else. Rapists are considered the scum of the earth, just like child molestors. As evidence of our “culture’s view of rapists, only convicted child molestors and rapists, even after serving their time in prison, are forever labeled rapists and child molestors.

    Being known as a rapist is a scarlet letter. There is no rape culture among law abiding people.

    • Don’t forget “Law-abiding people” have FREEDOM OF SPEECH to cover their ass when they want to insult and discriminate against a whole group of people, on condition you show a sense of humour about it.

      Take Encyclopedia Dramatica rape definition for example. It promotes rape culture and gives instructions on how to rape: http://encyclopediadramatica.ch/Rape

      I just came across this: “Dec. 15th: A bill that would create America’s first Internet censorship system is going to a full committee for a vote, and is likely to pass.” So there is maybe a glimmer of hope, that this rape page can and will be censored eventually.

      • If there is a rape culture, there is also “armed robbery culture”, “car jacking” and “car theft”, “embezzlement culture”, and culture for every other criminal act that exists.

      • Yeah, censorship’s great as long as you’re the one deciding what gets censored.

        Be careful what you wish for.

  16. If you’re encountering confusion from men about this topic, I’m guessing it’s because every single guy I know is bewildered by the notion that any man 1) can’t control himself and 2) automatically rapes. No guys I personally know feel they are entitled to a woman’s body. So while some people in feminist circles talk a lot about “rape culture,” guys like me have never heard it adequately explained.

    If you’re talking about people saying to a rape victim “Why did you wear those clothes?” or “Why were you in that neighborhood at that time of night?” I can kind of see your point. Rape is never, EVER acceptable. It is a heinous crime and a blight on humanity. No one ever asks to be raped, and no one deserves it.

    So when you say “Rape culture says that we should expect men to be violent, misogynistic, and to not even notice, let alone care, what a woman wants, as long as she did something to make him think she wants to have sex. No, scratch that. As long as she did something to make him think about sex,” and ask why we’re not offended, I have a simple answer. I believe the majority of men DO NOT BELIEVE in rape culture and we don’t feel that speaks to us or for us. Essentially, it’s incorrect and moot. Most guys do not feel this way. At all.

    In essence, I think you’re preaching to the choir.

  17. Argh. Lost two paragraphs in that last response. Sorry.

    • Yes – I think I am preaching to the choir, and yes I am in agreement with you, and yes that is partially my point. The main point is, however, if we are all of the same mindset here (duh), then we should be speaking out more clearly. I don’t personally hear men speaking out against this kind of underlying notions that can be very subtle but are there. They speak out against rape and assault (absolutely) but I mean *specifically* saying “hey, that’s not how men behave, no matter what you wear. That’s how rapists behave.” That’s not always at the forefront of conversations around rape, and I think it should be.

  18. Thank you Nikki for this piece. You speak for all women.

    The rape culture phenomena, much like porn, have been created by men for men, but women are the ones targeted ending up suffering for their actions. It’s time for men for ALL men to speak against this vile practice.

  19. Good men do not accept rape culture – they denounce it. Your title for this piece is an oxymoron.

  20. Nikki

    I have a question for you

    How does the fact that some research shows that at least half women are rapists, or the fact that women are responsible for 70% of all child abuse fit into your bigoted ideology and world view?

    Here are the figures on female rapists.

    “Rates of sexually aggressive behaviors among women vary from one segment of the United States to another, but the evidence presented here shows that as many as 7% of women self-report the use of physical force to obtain sex, 40% self-report sexual coercion, and over 50% self-report initiating sexual contact with a man while his judgment was impaired by drugs or alcohol (Anderson, 1998). Given these numbers, it is appropriate to conclude that women’s sexual aggression now represents a usual or typical pattern (i.e., has become normal), within the limits of the data reviewed in this paper. ”

    h tt p://www.ejhs.org/volume5/deviancetonormal.htm

    And given that most men are prone to protecting women from any bad thing that that might happen to them including rape, and the feminist movement, the movement represents women, denies, minimizes and sweeps female perpetrated abuse under the carpet isn’t your article and position very hypocritical?

    • Julie Gillis says:

      Wouldn’t this position indicate that both sexes are capable of violence and abuse? Because women assault doesn’t mean there isn’t less of a rape culture, I’d say it would mean there is more actually. One in which both sexes are fond of justifying their behaviors to get what they want.
      Until both sides get out of this binary thinking, we won’t ever be able to fix much.

      • Julie

        If a political group is actively denying abuse and rape, and depicting rape as gendered as Nikkis political group and ideology does, they are an overt and deliberate child abuse and rape culture and in no position to play the damsel in distress and make mass false accusations relating to rape against the majority of men, as Nikki is.

  21. So if I walk past a mugger and I flash thousands of dollars in cash…. we’re supposed to pretend that won’t have any impact on whether the mugger decides I might be a good person to attack? Because that would be a “culture of mugging”? or something?

    Nikki seems to be saying all men are rapists, and then denying it, and then saying it, and then denying it….

    • I take back what I said about rapists not reading these articles. There’s always one clueless guy who makes everyone else look bad. They never understand that they don’t get it, either … or maybe they’re just trolling.

      Anyway, please go away, Dave … the adults are talking.

    • So women shouldn’t go out in public anymore? WTF ARE YOU SAYING?!?!?!

      What you just said is rape culture. You think that a woman wearing something is akin to flashing a wad of cash in front of a robber.

  22. “There is this underlying assumption that men just rape.”

    Do people really think this?

    I am a man and I have never held that assumption. I have been friends with all sorts of men, some of them who can be quite tasteless and coarse sometimes, and I have never heard anyone indicate that they believe anything like this. It is certainly NOT normal among men to think or express that rape is anything but atrocious, unforgivable behavior.

    This article disturbs me because it suggests that an increasing number of women really do think that rape is generally accepted among men. The reality is not even close and I can’t believe I even have to say that. Yes there are rapists, yes rape does occur, but NO, nowhere in the developed world is it socially acceptable to any degree.

    • David I completely agree with you. The only responses I have seen to rape in any male community I have been a part of is revulsion. Since a young age it was ingrained in me that rape is unjustifiable, unforgivable, and unpardonable. Even murder was explained to me with qualifiers (self-defense, etc.). None of the men I’ve interacted with have acted in a way that made me think they hold anything but the same values.

      When did rape become a culture?

      • Rape never became a culture.

        The modern feminist establishment, never really concerned with legitimate social science, believes they can simply define rape culture as something that “exists.”

        Fortunately, as Davis pointed out, it exists entirely within the minds of people like Amanda Marcotte, while the vast majority of us realize, correctly, that there was never such a thing.

      • DavidByron says:

        Rape of men in prisons is a sort of culture.

        It is a stock of late night jokes on American TV. It seems to be generally accepted and from what I can see Americans see it as a form of punishment as part of a prison sentence (for men only). From what I can see US prison guards also see it that way, albeit unofficially

    • The point is not that anyone is going around saying men rape, but no one speaks up when we do say things like “well, if she hadn’t worn X or done Y, she wouldn’t have been raped” with “wait. Clothing and behavior don’t make men rape. Men don’t need something to cause them to rape. Rapist rape.” In my experience, that kind of statement is not in the discussion, and it should be.

      Rape culture is when we shame the victim, when we assume men might always rape so women should always be careful not to do X or wear Y. It’s what keeps women AND men from reporting their rapes and assaults, and it’s what focuses our attention on the rape of women by men, and not other forms of rape and sexual assault.

      • “Rape culture is when we shame the victim, when we assume men might always rape so women should always be careful not to do X or wear Y.”

        Based on that definition, is there not also “car theft” culture, “burglery” culture, “pick pocket” culture, “identity theft” culture, and [fill in the blank] culture for every crime that can possibly be committed?

        If you tell someone to be sure to not leave valuables in plain sight and lock their car in a neighborhood that is known for car theft, is that creating ‘car theft” culture, shaming the potential victim, or is that trying to keep that person from being a potentail crime victim?

        Insurance companies, police departments and many other entities offer advice and counsel on crime prevention of all sorts. Are they part of these “cultures” which “shame” people?

        Please explain whether there is a culture for all crimes or just a rape culture? And, if just a rape culture, why, based on the fact that men and women are admonished just the same about other crimes.

        • Julie Gillis says:

          In my limited experience with crimes, I’ve never felt shamed or chastised for having anyone break into my car. No one ever said to me, “Well your car is sexy red attracting attention of course the robber couldn’t help himself.”

          I’ve never had a friend get punched on the street (which has happened) and have people say, dude, you were totally walking too near that guy.

          I HAVE had gay friends assaulted and the assaulter actively blamed the gay boy during the assault for provoking him. As if the man beating the gay boy couldn’t help himself. Which is f’d up thinking.

          Whereas I’ve had friends in years past struggle with date rapes and the peer group told them they had been “acting like a slut” and what did you expect him to do, stop?

          See the difference? I’m not asking if you agree with me, Eric, just if you see the difference there. I think it’s a subtle difference and I think it happens. I don’t need you to believe me or agree with me though.

          And for the record? I’m very much pro-women taking care of themselves in terms of safety, awareness etc…but don’t ask me not to leave my house to enjoy the world or not wear a pretty dress because some criminal will say he couldn’t help himself. It’s my world too and I get to hang out in it. Dudes get to wear tight jeans and fancy shirts, so do I. Well, I don’t like tight jeans as a matter of preference, but you get my drift.

          • PursuitAce says:

            I don’t have any friends or acquaintances who would blame a sexual assault victim. If anyone has “friends” like that dump them NOW. Then you can just blame yourself for lousy choices in friends.

          • “In my limited experience with crimes, I’ve never felt shamed or chastised for having anyone break into my car. No one ever said to me, “Well your car is sexy red attracting attention of course the robber couldn’t help himself.”

            Have they asked you if you if the car was locked? Whether you left valuables in plain sight? If you left the keys in the car? What if the answer to any of those was yes? Would a friend tell you that doing any of those things was a bad idea, and recommend that you change your practices?

            I am from the NYC, and can tell you that your behavior in certain places, around certain people can get you jumped, jacked up bad, or even killed. There is something called being streetwise. Trust me, it matters where you go, how you act, and what you do.
            Along with what you mentioned, these are crimes, things that bad people do – but criminals exist. They just do. It’s reality.

            “And for the record? I’m very much pro-women taking care of themselves in terms of safety, awareness etc…but don’t ask me not to leave my house to enjoy the world or not wear a pretty dress because some criminal will say he couldn’t help himself.”

            I’m pro-safety. I’m pro-pretty dresses. I’ve spend thousands on them. I’m anti-being out of touch with reality, and anti-dressing as if one wants to be used for sex, as prostitutes do. That’s not allowed in my house. Others are free to do whatever they want, however.
            Just about all women/girls have worn tight jeans forever. Hetero guys don’t wear them, at least not on the east coast.

    • No one thinks this.

      Rape culture only exists in feminist fever dreams.

      • Agreed. We’re not “defending” men because there’s nothing to defend. Feminist expectations and demands are simply irrelevant to us. We don’t NEED to satisfy you about our commitment to equality and ending violence, because

        1. We don’t need feminist approval, and
        2. Achieving feminist approval is impossible by definition anyway.

        Wring your hands elsewhere; good men are going to discuss men’s issues and do what’s right, with or without feminist input.

  23. The thing is rape culture also exists in porn; so the lack of support from these boys and men I believe stems from them feeling that women will want to take porn from them next.

    Rape culture gives these men fantasy regardless of how inhumane, vile, and corrupt it actually is for the female gender to be objectified assaulted in that manner. It’s escapism from men – much like violent video games. These men are in denial of the repercussions rape culture creates.

    For men who especially love violent video games, rape culture gives them the best of both worlds – sex and violence. For some men and boys, acting this out is a dream of theirs.

    RAPE IS REAL and doesn’t just exists in video games, in porn or in movies. Women are typically raped and MURDERED; how many men can we statistically report have been murdered after they’re raped? Zero? Only children are raped and murdered. I have never heard of grown men or male adolescents who are raped and murdered, whereas rape and murdering of women are incredibly high.

    Boys and men who accept rape culture, in fact are glorifying it – shame on you all.

    • What in the heck are you talking about..What video games!? Don’t you think your being a little mellow dramatic?

    • “RAPE IS REAL and doesn’t just exists in video games, in porn or in movies. Women are typically raped and MURDERED; how many men can we statistically report have been murdered after they’re raped? Zero? ”

      Point of order – Can you provide a link to the source for the claim that no male is raped and then subjected to murder?

      Could you also explain what you mean by typically murdered? It has the implication that it is the norm for a woman who has been raped to be murdered – in which case reported figures for rape are grossly overestimated as proved by the national figures for homicide.

      Stating a personal assertion as fact does not make it a fact – it is myth that then some will unfortunately propagate as fact. The propagation of mythology via the Internet is recognized as pernicious.

      I have the sources handy if you need them – but it’s only right and proper to allow you to address your own error. Try Google – It’s a revelation.

      You may also wish to consider that until recently major systems to capturing data in crime analysis only allowed for murdered women who have been raped to be recorded – the systems were Institutionally Biased. Lies, Damned Lies and Stats have many causes.

      When a system is programmed with Sex and Gender biases, stats do tend to suffer – so relying upon them is a danger that far too many fail to grasp.

      I do think that you may be allowing your emotional attachments to certain views to be causing you to fall into error and fallacy – a common issue across sexes and not gender dependent.

      The term “Rape Culture” is poorly defined and poorly understood – and it has led many to make spurious comments and assertions that really are quite damaging.

  24. Rape fantasy or any other fantasy is not wrong. REAL Rape is. Just because alot of guys/even girls watch porn it doesn’t mean we all share rape fantasies. Even if they do have rape fantasies I’m sure they would understand that it is not acceptable to actually rape people. People also share rape fantasies with partners so they can safely act them out. What I’m saying is that a fantasy is just a fantasy and there is nothing wrong in it.
    WE ALL UNDERSTAND Rape is real, it’s happening, that it hurts people. Violence too. Shame on you for verbally assaulting us video gamers and porn watchers. Maybe you just need to chillax with your rape fantasies because its hurting us.

  25. sorry I made an angry. That response was directed and MichelleG’s thoughts not you Nikki! I should end that with love. Thank you for creating this outlet for me to respond/react!

  26. My Problems with the Rape Culture…

    1) It places a negative value judgement on Men who respect women and Misogynist alike.

    2) It insinuates that Rape is the ideal Male Privilege.

    3) It exonerates Women from being supporters.

    4) It absolves the responsibility of fighting rapist away from the victim by placating her notions of learned helplessness at the hands of the “All Mighty Culture”

    5) It makes little to no differentiation between “Date Rape” & Violent Rape.

    6) It Tells Women that Being Street Smart is the exact same thing as slut shaming.

    7) It Fosters the notion that women shouldn’t be warned about the dangers of excessive alcohol and partying.

    8) Rape Culture critics demand that more Men practice Classic Chivalry but they don’t defend Chivalry from being equated as “Benevolent Sexism”

    9) It’s a veritable lightning rod for reactionary backlash.
    ..and finally

    10) It represents Rape Culture critics as “thought policing authoritarians” thereby making them prime targets of snarky comedy. (Facebook)

    Any how, I would much rather be shown what an ideal mutually beneficial culture looks like rather then harping on negatively stereotypical depictions of Men.

    Rape is bad nuff’ said.

    • MorgainePendragon says:

      “My Problems with the Rape Culture…”

      *It seems your primary problem with Rape Culture is that you don’t understand what it is. Here’s a primer:

      http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html

      1) It places a negative value judgement on Men who respect women and Misogynist alike.

      *No, it doesn’t. It identifies those who support Rape Culture (ie, mostly deniers of its existence) as being misogynist.

      2) It insinuates that Rape is the ideal Male Privilege.

      *No, it points out that IN RAPE CULTURE, “Rape is the ideal [or essential] Male Privilege”.

      3) It exonerates Women from being supporters.

      *No, it really, REALLY doesn’t do this. Many MANY women are castigated for supporting Rape Culture– recently, even “feminists” like Naomi Wolf who victim-blamed the women who accused Julian Assange.

      4) It absolves the responsibility of fighting rapist away from the victim by placating her notions of learned helplessness at the hands of the “All Mighty Culture”

      *”the responsibility of fighting rapist[s] away” is a prime example of SUPPORTING RAPE CULTURE. WHY is it women’s (or any victim of rape or attempted rape) RESPONSIBLE for “fighting rapists away”? Of course, it is to everyone’s benefit to learn self-defence– but it is NO ONE’S responsibility to avoid the crime of being raped (or victimised in any way).

      5) It makes little to no differentiation between “Date Rape” & Violent Rape.

      *To differentiate between rapes (“rape-rape”?!?) IS to support Rape Culture. Rape is rape.

      6) It Tells Women that Being Street Smart is the exact same thing as slut shaming.

      *To tell women that THEY are responsible for NOT getting attacked IS Rape Culture. To suggest that a sexual assault on anyone is in any way THEIR fault IS Rape Culture.

      7) It Fosters the notion that women shouldn’t be warned about the dangers of excessive alcohol and partying.

      *No, it really doesn’t. What it says is that no matter HOW much a person drinks or WHAT parties s/he goes to or HOW s/he behaves, dresses, etc, RAPE is the fault of RAPISTS, not victims.

      Really, you need to delve a bit more into it– because many of your comments are in fact supportive of Rape Culture.

      • Dear MorgainePendragon

        As a Pendragon – a name steeped in history and honor – could you please help us hapless males to get it right.

        What Is the Definition of “Rape Culture”?

        I know that may seem a silly question – but I do believe in equality and unless everyone has an equal understanding of the frames of reference people just end up Blogging, Blagging and Twittering away at cross purposes. It’s that Drive by shooting from the hip on the Information superhighway that can be so troublesome.

        “Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.”
        Albert Einstein

        So could you help with the small matter of providing the Definition of “Rape Culture” that is being used, so that Larger matters can be addressed?

        As Morgan le Fay – it’s easy to come up with a definition – and it can have magical consequences. P^)

        • MorgainePendragon says:

          Considering that the VERY POST to which YOU ARE RESPONDING has a LINK to the DEFINITION of RAPE CULTURE, Media[sic]Hound, I find your question idiotic at the least and disrespectful at the worst.

          This complete inability (or refusal?) to LISTEN to women, to actually READ what we write (except the bits that get your knickers in a twist, which you then mis-quote, mis-interpret, and mis-represent) is the kind of dependence on male privilege (that is on its way out, MRA tantrums notwithstanding) that makes feminists contemptuous and even women who don’t call themselves feminist roll their eyes and be perfectly willing to accept and laugh at the unflattering stereotypes you men so hate.

          • Sorry Morgaine if you mistook my intent and interest – I was not looking for someone’s opinion as to what they thought Rape Culture Is – I was looking for originating source materials.

            Thanks for your response – but others have been helpful – and even courteous.

            I have displayed no inability to listen to anyone – so I do not understand your highly personal attack upon me! P^/

            The only thing in your response that came anywhere near accurate was when you said “stereotypes you men so hate”. As A Man I do hate stereotypes – but as a man of honor I forgive those who use them and work to educate them away from such limited thinking and attitudes.

            You may find the originating evidence concerning the term “Rape Culture” of interest – I have highlighted some of it here – http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/i-cant-speak-for-men-and-i-shouldnt-have-to/comment-page-1/#comment-80341

            And in future kindly treat Good Faith with respect and check any gender based weapons at the door. It is most unhelpful to assume prejudice where none exist. I know that from 30 years work in the field of equality – across all streams.

            If you wish to see even whimsy as a weapon …. P^/

      • “A rape culture is a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm.

        In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable as death or taxes. This violence, however, is neither biologically nor divinely ordained. Much of what we accept as inevitable is in fact the expression of values and attitudes that can change.”

        Aside from the long laundry list of typical feminist/Marxist/Egalitarian prattle you’re still left with a subjectivist opinion of other people’s morality..(and you know what they say about opinions…right !?)

        We don’t live in this Utopian world where every human being is a rational, emotionally stable, socially concision,Vegan, Love child benevolent creature..

        The world is filled with broken people who do unspeakably cruel things. So violence “IS” an inevitable part of human existence like death and taxes. Sorry to bust your bubble but the universe will never run out of a_holes.

        • Yay, pointless pessimism!

          Just because there will always be a_holes and even a_holes who rape doesn’t mean we can’t alter the culture to diminish rape culture. There could be less rape, there could be less catcalling, sexual harrasment, etc and there could be fewer men who only view women as sex objects, and there could be fewer women feeling fear and anger towards every man who looks at them too long. Getting it down to zero might be impossible, but we can do fewer.

  27. … I’m sorry, but you cannot seriously blame men for the misconception that “someone who rapes is a man.” (You didn’t say that, but I think it is in line with what you said).

    Would most men love to be de-creepified? Surely. One night, I–a guy–whistled after a cat that ran under my car in a parking lot while I was with my boyfriend (I’m gay). A girl who happened to be walking in our direction froze stock-still and turned around to walk in totally the opposite direction, thinking I whistled at her. But am I going to tell her she’s being unfair? No. As upset as it makes me to be viewed as a potential rapist, it’s not my place to tell women that men are not rapists, and rapists are not men. Really it’s up to women to change their way of thinking if it suits them.

    • I’m not blaming anyone in this post, really. What I’m saying is that men can speak up about rape, and about how men actually behave. I think women need to hear from men more often that it actually doesn’t matter what they wear or do, men aren’t going to suddenly rape them because they’ve done the wrong thing. Men need to talk to other men about this too – not that “oh, hey, we don’t rape, right?” but more in response to how we normally discuss rape, and to refocus on men vs. rapists. Also talking more about rape being not just of women.

  28. Reading through the details of the CDC study published this week, and the comments on it by women in a number of venues, has brought me to a working hypothesis, on which I would appreciate thoughts and comments.

    1. Women are so constantly bombarded by looks, comments, gropes, attempts, and pressure from men of a sexual nature that many women are in a more-or-less permanent state of PTSD from that.

    2. Under those circumstances it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to expect that the suffering human being will not be hypervigilant and untrusting of the class of people who caused the traumatic stress. It’s like expecting a hiker who has been over an unusually ‘snaky’ bit of trail to be utterly calm about the ongoing rustles in the leaves along the path.

    3. The situation is so bad that many women have convinced themselves that virtually every man they come across sees her/them as just another object for his gratification.

    4. The fact that studies like that from the CDC don’t get into the subject of who the perpetrators are simply increases the stress level for the victimized population. The media echo-chamber in the US adds to the stress.

    5. The best data on perpetrators indicates that the large majority of rapes, attempted rapes, date rapes, acquaintance rapes, child molestation, etc. are perpetrated by a relatively small number of men (approximiately 8% of the male population) who are serial offenders, who use alcohol as a weapon of choice, who are highly manipulative and skilled at evasion, and who are not being caught. David Lisak, who has worked in the field for years, has catalogued the data.

    See http://www.sexualassault.army.mil/files/RAPE_FACT_SHEET.pdf

    6. This news has never really gotten out to the general population, let alone sunk in. Instead, the prevailing belief system continues that virtually all men are rapists, or likely rapists, or rapist wannabes or child molesters.

    7. This is a problem, and counterproductive, for a couple of important reasons. First, it supports a criminal justice system based on gender profiling. Most criminal justice experts will tell you that profiling is a very ineffective way to identify perpetrators. So the current focus that encourages women’s fear of most men actually makes it less likely that the criminal justice system will focus on the behaviors of the predatory, serial offenders who are causing most of the anguish. Second it informs the political system, which produces the budgets and priorities on which the criminal justice system depends. So we have a second-order problem from failing to be data-driven about who is causing most of the sexual violence in our society. Third, it prevents us from educating non-offending men about the behavioral differentiators between themselves and the predators, meaning we’re missing out on the vast majority of decent guys who could, if they were taught to read the signals, might well intervene (given the strong “protector” socialization with which most men are raised). Fourth, it actually helps the predators hide among the 92% of their non-offending brothers, because, just as targeting an entire black population or Muslim population doesn’t produce cooperation — but rather resistance — targeting the male population as a whole does the same.

    • I’ve heard variations on this argument before, and it doesn’t stand up to even the most cursory scrutiny.

      To argue that the average woman is somehow in a constant PTSD state is preposterous for several reasons.

      First, any sort of psychological condition inherently only exists in reference to the “normal” psychological state. There is already something problematic by suggesting that the *majority* of the population (i.e. all women) are in a constantly abnormal state.

      The second consideration is the total lack of reference with relation to men. I have male friends who have confided in me that they would happily trade being “viewed as sexual objects” for no longer be expected to “make the first move” in dating relationships. When I have brought this up before, I usually get a response along the lines of “It is easy for a privileged man to say that,” but the opposite, that a privileged woman does not appreciate the pressures relating to a society that expects men to move first, is just as true.

      So, if women are experiencing PTSD from being “viewed as objects” then men may likewise be experiencing PTSD from being forced to make the first move, and all the rejection that comes with that. Then we’re back all square one: if we all have PTSD, then no one actually has PTSD.

      You cannot examine the experience of women in a vacuum and then blame “stress.” Instead, you must look at the experiences of *humans* and identify all possible sources of stress before deciding that it can be a source of blame.

      • Um Mike… are you seriously suggesting that someone would rather swap the pressure to ‘make the first move’ in a relationship for a constant state of fear of sexual violence that stems from being viewed as a sex object. Seriously, EVERY woman I have ever talked to feels afraid when she walks the streets alone. Every woman is triggered by a sound, or a rustle of a bush to think ‘I might get raped’. To say that this is comparable to a pressure to make the first move (which don’t get me wrong, I think should definitely be equalised between genders) is frankly ridiculous and really offensive to women’s experiences of fear.

        • “Seriously, EVERY woman I have ever talked to feels afraid when she walks the streets alone. Every woman is triggered by a sound, or a rustle of a bush to think ‘I might get raped’. ”

          WOW – I know so many women who are the total opposite.

          Every Woman is a very large group. I have a friend who lives happily alone in a cabin surrounded by trees, bushes and at night she sits and listens as they rustle – and she states that she feels 100% safe. She has been asked about risks such as burglary and assault – she accepts these could happen, but is very clear she sees them as minor risks she has assessed.

          So – is that “Every Woman” – or just “Every Woman” you have an acquaintance with?

          It’s easy to find people who agree with you – it is far more difficult to find agreement with everyone else.

          Your claims speak loudly of why Rape Culture is an abusive term. It seems that just the idea of it – so often misrepresented and misused – ends up terrorizing women into believing that rape is imminent and they must live in fear 24/7.

          Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
          Albert Einstein

          • Ok MediaHound, maybe I over stated with EVERY woman. Obviously there would be women in the minority who don’t feel threatened, and lucky for them. God, do I wish that more women could feel safe walking the street at night. But honestly, i’m telling you that most women do not feel safe walking alone at night, do not feel comfortable sitting alone in a park. It’s not the idea of rape culture that terrorises women into believing that they could be raped 24/7 it is BECAUSE of rape culture. A culture that tells women it is their own fault if they are raped, that all men on the street are potential rapists. Not to walk alone, not to wear revealing clothes. Rape culture harms women and men. If we didn’t have rape culture, women wouldn’t feel scared walking alone at night, or think ‘i might get raped’ when walking past a group of men. I meant every woman in terms of every woman i have ever talked to about this. Sure, they might be friends and acquaintanceship, but they are friends and acquaintanceship from all walks of life, and a pattern emerges.

            • Catherine – if rape culture is the issue and not the cause, why is it indicated that Women’s fear of sexual violence and crime in general has increased over the last 4 decades?

              I agree that rape culture harms both sexes, but there is the issues of cause and effect – chicken and egg.

              You say “If we didn’t have rape culture, women wouldn’t feel scared walking alone at night,”

              Which came first – fear or rape culture?

              I have seen many patterns emerge – and seen them ascribed to any causes. Closer investigation has unearthed unexpected results. I have written about that here – have a look at the piece on PTSD.

              I would recommend strongly that you look at the CDC report figures.

              I have also been discussing Rape Culture, it’s origins and implications in detail – here – http://goodmenproject.com/gender-sexuality/why-are-so-many-good-men-accepting-of-rape-culture/comment-page-1/#comment-77318

            • Could I just pick up on this too:

              “Ok MediaHound, maybe I over stated with EVERY woman. Obviously there would be women in the minority who don’t feel threatened, and lucky for them”

              Why is it obvious that it’s only a “Minority” or women. From your experience it may be a minority – but if you look at the stats on fear of crime it is not supported.

              A Majority of people do not expect to be subject to any crime.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          Have you ever worried that a sexual partner might press charges? I have.

          Being raped isn’t the same as being forced to make the first move and more than being falsely accused of rape is equivalent to enjoying a privileged status as posessor of a sought-after quality.

          I suspect that if you were forced to trade places with Mike for a day you might both learn a thing or two about privilege and opression.

      • Mike first, the normal group in regard to JustAMan’s example is men.

        Second, a culture that expect emn to be the initiatros and aggressers who “win” at sex (“score” “conquest” etc) and expects women to be passive objects to be played and “won” (“give it up” “trophy” “easy” etc) is… um… rape culture. Do away with rape culture so that people are on equal footing, treating each other with honesty and respect, then men won’t have to worry about how to conquer women and women won’t have to worry about how to not be conquered.

        • spellcheck fail. sorry about that.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          You see thats all fine. I can get behind that. It recognises sexism against women and the damage it can do while still admitting men are victims of this aswell.

          The trouble creeps in when “rape culture theory” becomes about putting the blame on men and denying their victimhood. Take this sentence for instance:

          “[Rape] is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.” -Susan Brownmiller

          So not only is rape something that never happens to men, its something all men do (not women) its a concious act and the only motivation behind it is to put women down. I’m guessing you don’t agree with this from the post you wrote, but its not too hard to see why alot of people find it difficult to get behind the idea of rape culture when its being defined in terms like that.

        • Lela, your argument is literally a tautology. You want us to accept, ON YOUR WORD ALONE, which came first.

          I reject this. I do not know that contemporary dating culture is not the result of female choice-privilege. Our society grants women alone the ability to consent, or reject, sexual advances. This is obvious in both our criminal justice system (how often do you see “If HE’s drunk, HE can’t consent” on a PSA?), and in popular culture (the whole point of the movie “Disclosure” is that everyone would believe Demi Moore was harassed by Michael Douglas, but no one would accept the opposite had ever taken place).

          You cannot prove that our existing culture is not a result of females protecting this privilege to consent, rather than males acting out of a sense of entitlement. You have no statistics, no empirical evidence, no actual proof.

          I, for one, do not accept tautological arguments.

      • Justin Cascio says:

        Mike, women are treated to so much harassment every day that I have no trouble at all believing that many women may suffer from the chronic traumatic abuse. Getting rearended in traffic had me flinching at red lights for almost a year. If it happened even 5% of the time, I’d be a mess.

        That women are subjected to that kind of constant abuse should be abnormal. It’s certainly not ideal. Civilization is not exactly natural. We create certain abnormal conditions that we tolerate more or less well. Somehow, to my continual astonishment, whole cultures have managed to carry on for centuries, ritually mutilating their women. Of course the women are completely F**Ked up by this–why wouldn’t they be? But the whole society limps forward. Ours does the same. We cripple women with trauma and keep on going.

        I want a healthier society, where we don’t stunt and destroy our precious human potential. The quoted 8% of men (the rapists) don’t do all of this damage. So much of it comes from the unknown additional percentage of men who leer and threaten, and bank on the strength of the atrocities of the 8% to keep women afraid. That’s where the potential for change exists.

        • Sir

          “I want a healthier society, where we don’t stunt and destroy our precious human potential. The quoted 8% of men (the rapists) don’t do all of this damage. So much of it comes from the unknown additional percentage of men who leer and threaten, and bank on the strength of the atrocities of the 8% to keep women afraid. That’s where the potential for change exists.”

          I note that there has been care in not lumping what would appear to be 92% into a single amorphous group noun, but “the unknown additional percentage of men” serves just the same purpose. It simply empowers Stereotypes and Stereotypical Views and Reactions.

          Please state for the record in future that at least one person has opted out!

          You talk “Blithely” of Trauma and yet are happy to present ideas that can be used to recreate that Trauma in another group.

          As someone who deals with many issues around Trauma and Survivors, I do take exception to such conduct. From experience, I am familiar with a phrase which many use and yet don’t really grasp.

          “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy”.

          One thing I have noted over many years is how people who have been Traumatized and Diagnosed with such conditions as PTSD actively work to ensure that their personal experience of Trauma and Of dealing with PTSD is not allowed to cause the same in others. They all too often state they would not wish it upon anyone, let alone an enemy.

          I do not see those traits here with the Blyth use of language – and the invention of new and emergent Group Nouns that are not the characteristic of those who seek and even embrace change let alone make it happen.

          Anyone who has experience in change knows that It starts with language – and health change comes from a healthy use of language.

          As the adage says – “Start As You Men To Go On!”.

          • Justin Cascio says:

            Nothing I said suggests that I believe all men either rape or harass women. That’s your read, MediaHound.

            • Justine – you have nor addressed the points “Triggered” by your statement:

              “women are treated to so much harassment every day that I have no trouble at all believing that many women may suffer from the chronic traumatic abuse.”

              As I said:

              “You talk “Blithely” of Trauma and yet are happy to present ideas that can be used to recreate that Trauma in another group.”

              I await your response – and you seem to have mistaken my critique of your use of “amorphous group noun” to imply most improperly, neh Impertinently that I had implied you held views that were not actually referenced!

              Odd how how you imply “That’s your read”. Impertinence indeed.

        • You are making a generalization that is simply not accurate. It is a feminist dramatization. My wife has never suffered harrassement. I have four sisters, all in their 40s now. They’ve lived in NY, Chicago, DC, Seattle, Hawaii, and LA.

          None of them have had these experiences “every day” as you claim.

          • That was meant for Justin, by the way.

            • Justin Cascio says:

              Clarence, this site doesn’t permit ad hominem attacks. You’re free to present points and opinions, or to disagree with the OP or a comment. You’re not free to name-call. Please read our posting guidelines.

          • Justin Cascio says:

            Eric M., saying that something happens to women every day doesn’t mean the same thing as it happens to “all women” or to your relatives in particular. That’s great news that they’ve never experienced what I assure you is very common street harassment.

            • If you didn’t mean all women, you should have said, instead of “women”, “some women”, “most” women, “a few” women or something other than the “women” which implies ALL women.

            • Inaccurate generalization: “. . .women are treated to so much harassment every day . . ”

              Accurate statement: “Every day there are some women who are harrassed. . .”

        • MorgainePendragon says:

          Justin, my brother, YOU are the kind of man that gives me hope.

          Thank you for your compassionate (and succinct, which seems to be more of a challenge than one might expect) post.

          Please don’t stop speaking up. Women need to know that men like you are out there! <3

        • Justin, I never suggested that women were not harassed. I did suggest that women are blind to their own privilege. Thanks for putting words in my mouth and side-stepping my point. XOXO

    • Great post.

      My quibble is that the 8% figure you quote is not the total number of men who commit rape, it is the number who willingly admitted it on an anonymous survey. Chances are good that figure is higher and several other studies have suggested higher numbers.

      But for the ease of discussion maybe we should think of it as 1 out of 10 men admit they committed rape. That’s a nice round number and it is easy for people to wrap their heads around.

      • Sorry to be a spoil sport – but if figures are to be quoted it is best of they are not mythical and rounded up for convenience.

        So many have been attacked and criticized for what some perceive as misuse of figures – and yet you advocate misuse and even abuse so openly?

        If a male did that he would be spanked ever so publicly for supposed Privilege.

        Consider if you should be equally spanked – or would that be seen as Patriarchal Abuse because a male has called it out?

        I have more and more sympathy with Toms concerns the more I see posted by supposed evolved human beings using this site so freely – and advocating that which they are so critical of others for.

        • Wow.

          Telling people in a serious discussion that they should be “spanked” may not be Patriarchial Abuse but it is certainly patronizing, dismissive and completely unnecessary.

          My post was responding directly to JustAMan’s very good post above. If you read the source that JustAMan cited, a paper by David Lisak from 2002, you will see that it lists results from a number of studies in which men admitted in an anonymous survey that they had committed rape/sexual assault. The various percents from those studies ranged from 5% up to 14.9%. 10% is rounded up from the average of 9.95% and taking into consideration the statistical variance and considering that there are a number of more recent studies which suggest higher numbers it is not a huge jump in logic to say 10% rather than 9.95%. That hardly makes 10% mythical or misleading.

          However, using, as you have done, that 92% figure to mean “92% of men are not rapists” IS actually misleading. That stat is derived from “8% of men in an anonymous survey admitted to committing rape” so all that 92% actually means is “92% of men in an anonymous survey did not admit to committing rape”.

          If you insist on one exact figure from a well-respected source rather than an average of several sources, I suggest the figure from the study conducted by paper’s author, David Lisak. He is a leading expert in the field and quite well-respected. His study, “Motivational factors in nonincarcerated sexually aggressive men” published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found 14.9% of men in an anonymous survey admitted to committing rape, attempted rape, & sexual assault. Please, note, that does not mean 14.9% of men are rapists nor does it mean 85.1% of men are not rapists.

          “I have more and more sympathy with Toms concerns the more I see posted by supposed evolved human beings using this site so freely – and advocating that which they are so critical of others for.” Are you directing this at me? What basis do you have to call me a “supposed evolved human being” or to imply that I am a hypocrite? I did nothing to incite you to respond in this manner. I complimented another’s post and suggested using a different figure from a study he had cited. Why you responded to that with insults, irrelevant comments about my gender and a patronizing offer to spank me is quite beyond me.

          • Lela – as I pointed out, changing figures and therefore supposed facts is unacceptable conduct – especial when as you put it “a serious discussion” is involved.

            It seems that you did not like the word Spank – it was used very deliberately to communicate the experience of others who have been attacked and criticized for supposedly altering and misrepresenting figures as part of “a serious discussion”.

            “a serious discussion” is regarded as adult – making things simpler for convenience is rearguard as child like – hence the use of Spank was again quite appropriate.

            Would you rather I had used the term Physically Assault you? I did consider it, but I was aware that some would simply focus upon that and accuse me of violence, rather than grasp the Rhetorical device and consider YOUR Error and misuses of figures for personal convenience!

            I also considered that others would be reading – so I did write for their consideration and not just your own! It is a factor that one does have to consider in Social Media.

            I note that you have undertaken a critical analysis of my last paragraph with reference to yourself.

            I but displayed a general piece of cloth – if you wish to claim it is your dress, that is up to you.

            I specifically used ambiguity so that many readers would reflect – if you see a mirror and a reflection, that is your choice.

            I find it assuming that language which is used with irony is so readily turned into iron to forge weapons. I have great sympathy for Tom as an adult who apparently taking part in “a serious discussion” used it and was then pounced upon – and so many have sought to exploit that through social media.

            Personally I think a great many of them could do with a good spanking! P^)

            Oh and on the subject of Figures – where are the studies where women have been asked anonymously about sexual assault as perpetrator?

            I do find it interesting that The Rape Culture meme is linked to such polarity that research which is gender neutral has been seen as unnecessary – and recent work that has overturned the meme is just ignored!

            Since you have apparent detailed interests in studies and figures, what is your view of the CDC findings which show parity between men and women as victims of sexual violence?

            It does seem odd that the findings are getting such little coverage – and the wording of the report is odd – from total population women being raped is X% – but it then does not do the math and say men = (100-X)%.

            I would be interested to see your views of the report – It is 126 pages long, buts as always the devil is hidden in the detail.

            • MediaHound –

              I find your behavior towards me unacceptable and following this post I will not be engaging with you further on this matter.

              Rounding a number up from 9.95 to 10 is not “altering and misrepresenting a figure.”

              “making things simpler for convenience is rearguard as child like” No. It’s not. However, patronizing, talking down to and belittling someone in a debate is unproductive behavior. Threatening physical violence in a debate is simply unacceptable behavior.

              “Would you rather I had used the term Physically Assault you?” I would prefer you not threaten me at all. In fact, you should not threaten anyone on this forum with violence. Ever.

              “I but displayed a general piece of cloth…” if that was your intention, you did not make it clear. You made a post replying directly to my post, riddled through with a singular you. Now you claim the last sentence in that post was intended to be a general rather than a pointed condemnation and it is my fault for not being able to divine your intention. When you change your mode of address from singular and direct to general and indirect, you should make that clear.

              Again, I have no idea what prompted you to treat me with such disrespect and vitriol. My post directed to JustAMan was positive, on topic and constructive in nature. There is no just cause for your name-calling, threats and virulence. But you have successfully bullied me out of this discussion. If that was your intention, well done.

            • Oh I see

              You get called out on misusing figures – attribute views – and when they are corrected get Flounctastic and terminate!

              Ah well so much for dialogue!

              As I often say Paraphrasing Capt Jean-Luc Picard after he had been assimilated into Locutus of Borg

              “Projection is Futile”!

              I would welcome you clarifying explicitly your Gross Insinuation that I have Threatened with Violence? That is grossly abusive and unworthy of you!

              You have deliberately misquoted what was said and de-contextualized it for effect – a low debating tactic which most are taught to avoid whilst on the high school debating team.

              It’s a low and base practice on the net, and recognized as a pattern of bullying!

              You evidently you do grasp Irony – but as I recently saw on this site ” Those who would fashion a sword of irony come to the party armed to the teeth to begin with.

              So nice to see you can fashion a sword so quickly – and also misrepresent others in the way you have is recognized as Ad Hominum !

              On the other hand – I will continue dialogue – should you wish to respond that is a matter of your choice. I don’t do flouncetastic – and I don’t applaud it either!

            • Oh and a PS

              I note that you avoided addressing the CDC findings and the concerns as to gender bias that it displays.

              You may seek to shame but avoiding the subject is shameful!

            • lela, dftt.

    • I have been looking at this post since it was first posted. I have read it many times and I have to say I am appalled.

      In have worked through it’s logic and reasoning but it comes back to a basic fallacy that is at the start.

      It is stated:

      “1. Women are so constantly bombarded by looks, comments, gropes, attempts, and pressure from men of a sexual nature that many women are in a more-or-less permanent state of PTSD from that.”

      First the use of “So Constantly” is highly subjective. I do not and have not seen this Constant or near Constanta behavior. I know that – because if I had I would have screamed Blue Murder.

      I have also discussed it with many female associates and they do not report or know of this Constant issue.

      I have been aware of men and women for that matter who have been involved in attempted and actual gropes and sexualized pressure behavior – and again I have Screamed Blue Murder. I only scream after the person directly affected has been supported to so. I do believe in giving people a voice and supporting them in using it. If they feel or believe they can not speak out with support, I will offer to speak for them. Should they agree, I have a voice that breaks glass and gets noticed.

      However – the egregious fallacy, that makes all after it of no value, is the linking of matters to PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and implying that women in general are subject to a Low Level of PTSD.

      First it belittles so many women – and I’m actually shocked that no Woman has called it out.

      Do women believe that they have PTSD in general and that the prevalence of such a life altering Psychiatric Injury is part of their lives?

      I have worked with many people with PTSD – from military personnel to Abuse and Sexual Assault survivors. I have to say that not all men or women who have had to deal with sexual violence in all its forms have PTSD, just as not all Military Personnel have PTSD.

      PTSD is no minor matter. It is a Profound Psychiatric Injury caused by Trauma. Even a low levels it causes Significant Impairment and is not a light issue.

      If some wish to link PTSD to all matters then a child who has been physically punished, every man woman and child who has tripped over and fallen heavily, every car driver who has had to deal with other bad drivers and near accident – basically 99.9% of the Population has to be classified as “…in a more-or-less permanent state of PTSD from that.”.

      PTSD is no minor matter. It is not a matter to be Trivialized. And yet that is exactly what has occurred here.

      PTSD is defined very carefully – and the main defining characteristic is Trauma – defined as:

      Exposure to a traumatic event

      This must have involved both (a) loss of “physical integrity”, or risk of serious injury or death, to self or others, and (b) a response to the event that involved intense fear, horror or helplessness (or in children, the response must involve disorganized or agitated behavior). (The DSM-IV-TR criterion differs substantially from the previous DSM-III-R stressor criterion, which specified the traumatic event should be of a type that would cause “significant symptoms of distress in almost anyone,” and that the event was “outside the range of usual human experience.”)

      Another significant aspect if the effect upon the person:

      F: Significant impairment

      The symptoms reported must lead to “clinically significant distress or impairment” of major domains of life activity, such as social relations, occupational activities, or other “important areas of functioning”

      I note the changes in diagnostic criteria agreed upon by experts – but let me be clear, there is a significant difference between “a) loss of “physical integrity”, or risk of serious injury or death, to self or others” and being groped or spoken about in a sexualized manner.

      That question of significant impairment is highly significant. It is not just being worried, or concerned it is crippling. It adversely affects your life to the point or morbidity. So many people with PTSD withdraw and can’t do every day things like walk a street – shop – or visit a bar. They have significant issues with family and social situations. It can come and it can go but it is far from trivial.

      So I have to say, claiming that so many women are affected by PTSD due to matters they can control and manage as adult humans is Misandry.

      The disrespect that is shown to people with PTSD is egregious – but so many women accepting such a negative portrayal of women is simply beyond comprehension.

      I have to wonder quite clearly is the Header on this thread concerning Rape Culture has simply gulled some into accepting anything that is said, or is it that so much of my life and experience has been so Privileged – and I have been Privileged and insulated in working with abuse and sexual violence survivors – that my world and experience is that abnormal?

      I am concerned – in fact I would state frightened – that it seems that when it comes to the term “Rape Culture”, literally anything can be said, no matter how bizarre, fallacious and even egregious, and people just accept it, or they fear raising a hand and asking “Is That True?”.

      I keep asking if anyone can provide me with a Definition of the term “Rape Culture” and as yet not one person has been able to do so.

      I have to wonder – if so many women are represented as being in a permanent PTSD state, suffering from Psychiatric Injury of the most profound kind, as a result of “Rape Culture” how has that happened – and why is there not a national outcry?

      Could someone please provide us all with a definition of “Rape Culture” so that so many women in need can have that need recognized and met.

      If on the other hand the representation of women as being in a “more-or-less permanent state of PTSD” is not true and a fiction, could those peddling and supporting such myths please stop.

      It’s abusive to people with PTSD, and also abuses so many women who deserve far more respect.

      Again I have to wonder, are the claims that are made true, is it that the claims are egregious and misandry on a most amazing scale?

  29. Please forgive the second post in a row on this, but I neglected to make one other point.

    Referring to the current problem as one of “Rape Culture” is especially harmful because it both obfuscates the actual data and, in fact, entirely mischaracterizes the actual nature of the problem.

  30. this article explains what feminists often call ‘rape culture’, something that some of you have been disputing. It’s an interesting article and very much worth a read. http://oforganon.tumblr.com/post/11150747104/to-all-those-men-who-dont-think-the-rape-jokes-are-a

    • MorgainePendragon says:

      Thanks, Catherine. I was looking for that. Any “good man” who reads that will perhaps take another look at the concept of Rape Culture and how he may be (unwittingly and/or unwillingly) contributing to it.

      • Any Good Man? Oh that is quite a challenge – the gauntlet has been thrown down by a Pendragon! How Old School can you get? P^)

        Well – some of us have been looking quite closely at the term Rape Culture – it’s meanings and the Implications.

        Perhaps you missed the dialogue?

        http://goodmenproject.com/gender-sexuality/why-are-so-many-good-men-accepting-of-rape-culture/comment-page-1/#comment-77318

        I would welcome your views on the use of language, its meanings and how people apprehend it – and consideration of what Good Men and even Women are discussing! P^)

        You will have to forgive me if this is seen as unwittingly presumptuous on my part – but you may want to join in and consider if the use and even misuse of language is causing some to use the term Rape Culture incorrectly and how THEY may be (unwittingly and/or willingly) contributing to gross confusion.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      It explains what some feminists call rape culture. I have no problem with calling people out for making rape jokes in a public place, or misandric jokes, or racist jokes, or homophobic jokes or transphobic jokes or…

      But that isn’t the only way rape culture is defined, many feminists define it as something all men are a part of and that all women are not only exempt, but are all victims, regardless whether they’ve been raped or not. That and definitions of rape that mean that only women can be raped, and identical behaviour performed on a man isn’t rape, make it very hard to broadly say that rape culture makes sense.

      I doubt women who have been dragged kicking and screaming into bedrooms before being brutally assaulted feel comforted being told that their experience is the same as someone who had sex while they were drunk and regretted it.

      • I’m concerned that you are lumping rape into one big stereotype. Rape can be someone just saying no. It isn’t always brutal. Rape can be when someone is too intoxicated to consent. The fact that most rapes and sexual assaults are done by partners or people known to the survivors, suggests that the brutal images that classifies so much of our discussions about rape isn’t always the way it goes. The experiences may not be the same, but they are all rape.

        • “I’m concerned that you are lumping rape into one big stereotype.”

          Many agree with you. So many have the stereotype of Female Victim and Male Perpetrator.

          That stereotype also runs riot across the meme of “Rape Culture” – and yet because it seems No One can provide a Definition Of Rape Culture the stereotype can’t be addressed.

          I keep looking for the use of “Rape Culture” in Statutory Documents, Government Reports, Official Documents, but it seems to not be there.

          Why?

    • Catherine

      I have been reading the material you suggested. You stated “this article explains what feminists often call ‘rape culture’,”

      There is one large problem. It talks about the effects of “Rape Culture” but actual does not provide an explanation of what it is. It does not explain what it is, it reports how it is supposed to effect women and how men should be involved in it.

      There is nothing to judge the idea of “rape culture” against – only a narrative that says how it effects people and or how people should behave in relation to those effects.

      Just because something can be discussed does not mean it exists. That may seem odd and even counter intuitive but it is correct.

      I ma still unable to find a definition of “Rape Culture” that states what it is, allows it’s mechanisms to be critically evaluated and for it’s validity as a social construct to be checked.

      The term keeps on being used – and yet so many can’t even explain what they mean when they use it.

      It is treated as a Noun “The Rape Culture” and talked about as if it’s a physical reality – like “The Chair”.

      there is concern that the idea of “Rape Culture” and it’s use is wrong, not because saying it is wrong means that rape does not exist, but because it is a very poor example of how to explain and articulate a social issue that needs to be addressed.

      So many jump on racial analogies. But I will hazzard some wrath and use one. Historically, slavery of Africans was seen as normal due to social constructs that allowed them to be seen as less human, less valuable and less intelligent. It is not a mistake to state they were seen as equivalent to animals such as cattle. There was a “Slavery Culture”. It was not one sided. Slaves themselves accepted their slavery.

      Interestingly if you were to use the term Slave Culture to describe racial inequality you would get Lynched! P^)

      Why? Because the model used to describe the situation has moved on – the thinking has moved on – people no longer talk about a Slave Culture – it’s racial equality.

      The term Rape Culture was first coined in the 1960/70’s and interestingly it is proving very hard to track down it’s first usage. In the last 40 years there have been many changes in society, culture and language, but since it’s proving so hard to find out what it means, what it meant when first used, it’s context – the term has literally taken on a reality and mind of its own which can’t be checked and verified.

      A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
      Albert Einstein

      I keep asking What is The Definition Of Rape Culture? I keep being told what people think it is and even how it should be dealt with and how people should behave and even be judged.

      But there is still that rather simple and basic point that keeps being ignored and glossed over – what is it!

      So- What is the definition of “Rape Culture”?

  31. Has anyone ever wondered why non-feminists (the vast majority of women) aren’t obsessed with using the term “rape culture” as feminists are? Why would feminists be so focused on using this term religiously, but non-feminists NEVER use it?

    After reading the comments, I have cracked the “rape culture” code.
    Here is how it works:

    1) What is the worst thing (except a child molester) you can call a man? Correct – a rapist.
    2) If a woman has been raped, she is clearly a victim who should be sympathized with, and her attacker considered the scum of the earth. Which is why they talk a lot about rape.
    3) But, feminists’ problem is that most men aren’t rapists. So, they aren’t able to demonize us very effectively. Enter “rape culture.”
    4) Using “rape culture” they can demonize even the good guy dad by calling us ALL rapists by association, since we are responsible (according to feminists) for “rape culture.” Good guy dad, you should be ashamed of yourself! You are a man, are responsible for rape culture (and thereby rape) and are thus disgusting scum of the earth!
    5) I have never even dreamed of harming anyone but feminists tell me I should be ashamed because I am part of “rape culture.” Right here among these comments. What the he**??

    “Rape culture” is nothing more than male-hate feminist psychobabble, designed specifically and expressly to demonize men, who they could otherwise not have grounds to demonize because we don’t hurt anyone.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      In fairness, not all feminists define it in those terms, but I do maintain that the catchphrase is irrevocably ruined by those who do (and there appear to be alot of them).

      • That there is no consistent definition is part of the power of “rape culture.” Having no fixed definition makes it a Swiss Army Knife type of catchphrase/tool with which to slap men however it seems most effective at the moment, in order to make the average non-rapist man somehow responsible for all the rapes that occur.

        • Peter Houlhan says:

          It sure feels that way from our point of view, but I think individual feminists who support the concept are mostly true to their own (varied) definitions. I haven’t seen much to suggest that anyone twists it to suit the situation.

          That said, any theory that elastic begins to loose its value as a tool for social change, expecially when the extremists take over.

          • However, that allows a feminist to define rape culture however she chooses. Imagine being able to create your own definition for something as horrific as what causes rape.

  32. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    Much of the stuff here is whack. By the way, I love Naomi Wolfe and Katie Roiphe because they don’t reify female victimhood. Like Germane Greer, they’re not female eunuchs.

    I actually think we should have a culture where flirtation is acceptable. So all the crap about PTSD, “looks”, etc. is just that. People (both sexes) are going to flirt anyway, and it’s a good thing. I like what the guy said on another thread. Men should behave honorably. Some of our behavior is biological (thank God for that, too.) The creation of feminist men tends to create unnatural people who are passive-aggressive and judgemental. Enough.

    • Henry I do have to agree about those people, some feminists of different stripes, who don’t and won’t buy into the Reification fallacy.

      How that links to Jargon which has been concretised into absolute from abstraction is a matter that so many will not discuss or address.

      There seems to be a thriving on the fluidity of words and meanings which is so unhelpful.

  33. J P McMahon says:

    The legal definition of rape was created by men. Since men have been the vast number of legislators since the beginning of Western civilization, and there have been rape laws on the books forever, the idea that rape is a serious crime and should be severally punished is almost completely the doing of men. And who has been responsible for apprehending, adjudicating, and punishing rapists? There are more women involved now, but for most of history that responsibility has fallen on men. After the Soviet Army invaded Germany in 1945, there were literally millions of rapes committed against German women. How did the Soviet Army, which encouraged the practice by its soldiers, get away with it? Simple, the German men were all either buried, missing limbs, or locked up in POW cages, and the American men were all on the other side of the Elbe River. I guess that it could be argued that that a rape culture exists…for rapists, in the same way that indy rock culture exists for people that read pitchfork.com, or NASCAR culture exists for people that like NASCAR. Where do the rapists meet, besides a prison yard? Is there a convention somewhere? How do they dress? Do they have a particular band or variety of music that they like? What other cultural aspects are unique to them? Never having met an actual rapist, I wouldn’t know. If I did meet an actual rapist, I would treat them like the piece of shit that they are, as would all of my male friends. How is it that someone (the vast majority of men) could be considered a part of “rape culture” if they have never raped, seen a rape, or thought about raping anyone? Are all men guilty of some kind of thought crime? If your answer is “yes” to that, you are way wrong, because you don’t know what ANYONE thinks, and even if you did it is only behavior that matters. I have been in countless clubs with lots of drunk, scantily clad people dancing to music that was explicitly about sex, and how many rapes have I seen? Zero. That is because the vast number of men in there would start beating the bejesus out of any asshole that tried to rape a woman.

    • Exactly. To an objective and reasonable person this is common sense.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      In fairness, rape doesn’t tend to happen on the dance floor. Doesn’t mean its not happening.

    • Exactly. Men don’t rape. I’m not for a moment saying that they do.

      However, in my life, I’ve often noticed that we rarely touch on how discussions around rape treat men. For example: We tell women that they cannot wear that, or behave like this, or go there – or they might get raped. In that dialogue, what we don’t say is “because your behavior or your outfit may cause a dude to try and rape you.” People rarely speak up and say “now, wait a minute. Clothing or behavior aren’t going to cause a man to rape someone. Men don’t rape people – rapist rape people. And rapists are probably going to want to rape people no matter what.” Does that make sense?

      Further – just the fact that all we talk about is women being raped by men. What about men being raped? Or women as perpetrators? Not talked about.

      Does that make more sense?

      • Nikki – the role and rate of perpetrator by sex is being talked about – in fact It is covered in the recent CDC report “National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010”.

        I would advise having a look at the details on first how rape and sexual violence have been defined – page 17 – and then the estimates figures for rape/sexual violence in the last 12 months by sex of perpetrator – pages 18 and 19.

        The two do need to be considered side by side as the definitions are sex related and not equal.

        The report gives the following;

        Estimated number of US Women subjected to Various Forms of Penetrative rape ( completed or not ) 1,270,000

        Estimated number of US men subjected to being “Made to penetrate” 1,267,000

        NOTE – that is the number of Victims by sex NOT one number for female Victims and the Other for male Perps. That figure of 1,267,000 is for male victims.

        The ratio of female victims to male victims is what is known as “Parity” – they are statistically “Equal”. The actual mathematical figure is 1.002367798.

        So the CDC have found that males and females are equal in the rates of sexual assault with penetration or the body, or by being made to penetrate another. Most people count both as rape – even if for “political” reasons the CDC have been obliged to make distinctions between sexes.

        It is openly admitted in the study that both sets of figures should be regarded as having a potential plus/minis 30% error – however – which ever way you look at them, recalculate, massage or even dismiss – the findings indicate clearly that “Rape Culture” also empowers females to engage as sexual abusers and participate in that “Rape Culture” not as victims but as perpetrators.

        Unless of course some wish to claim that there has been a Rampant outbreak of rape on an industrial scale by men who oblige men to penetrate them and the USA is a modern Sodom and Gomorrah. It may have been noted in FBI and other agency crime stats – even just a little bit. The systems collating data on a national scale are programed to go “ping” when statistically aberrant patterns occur – and even crime Hot Spots are detected. There are no reported Pings from the machine.

        I have actually been critical of the CDC study due to the questions used to gain the raw data – the questions are available in Appendix C which starts on page 106. There is an issue of bias – where the questions are biased towards women and against men. The CDC have admitted in the report that the study was based on past studies – most of which have been sex specific to women only. It would appear that in adapting these past studies gender and sex bias has not been fully addressed and removed. Some of those error are egregious!

        I’m wondering two things.

        1) Why was the publication of this report delayed repeatedly – and did that in any way correlate with the recent hearings before congress on Sexual Violence and funding?

        2) Why has there been no comment in the mainstream media about the published figures?

        Maybe point 2 is answered by the fact that the CDC themselves failed to make comment, and maybe that is linked back to the politics related to point 1 above!

        If the CDC, Politicians and Mainstream Media lack the balls or interest to make comment – I’m glad that some others are allowing discussion – irrespective of sex, gender and even genitals.

        I note that similar findings concerning child prostitution from New York 2009 received little comment – but they have been dismissed by some who are seen to have vested interests is existing social perceptions that have been long standing – and even cultivated.

        A sister study to the NY study carried out in Atlanta is equally fascinating – as are it’s findings and it’s criticism of those who failed to allow it’s full potential to be achieved.

        Additional studies using the New York Methodology are under way and due to report next year.

        The performance of some in misdirection and titillation of figures is worthy of Dita Von Teese. P^)

        • I’ll just add that on page 24 in the CDC report it is stated that 79.2% of the men who had “been made to penetrate someone else” reported a female perpetrator. So the hypothesis that this is caused by a “Rampant outbreak of rape on an industrial scale by men who oblige men to penetrate them” is demonstrably false. It’s a rampant outbreak of women who rape men.

          This site has an article about that survey where the author either did not see this result or omitted them.

          Perhaps we need a new definition of rape culture, how about: It’s the culture which goes to great lengths to hide the fact that men are just as likely as women to get raped and that women perpetrate the majority of the rape of men.

          How about an article which focuses on women’s responsibilities to stop women from raping men? I am not kidding!

          • Tamen – I have been looking at the news feeds on google using “National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010″ to do the search.

            Literally All news reports feature rape of women in the headline. They even quote figures that are not from the CDC Report.

            Only one so far has mentioned men or children for that matter. The reports does address child sexual abuse and rape. One would expect that the media coverage at PSU may have promoted some attention on that subject – but it does not. It just shows the levels of laxness and laziness in so much media.

            Since the phrase “Rape Culture” went viral, so many think they know what they are talking about and can’t be bothered to even look at basic figures given on the easy read version of the report.

            It has to be viewed as proof that the term “Rape Culture” has developed a mind of it’s own and it is a meme – “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena.

            Meme’s don’t have to carry accurate information – they just need the conditions to spread across a culture. The Internet has allowed it to happen and it will take years to walk the horse back to the stable and bolt the door once it’s under control.

            • Mediahound, sexual violence towards children is often not reported largely in mass media to protect the identities of the children. When sexual violence towards children is in the media, it is often focused on the perpetrator’s crimes – so it should, and not the children involved. Women probably dominate the headlines because women are the main victims of violent sexual crime – if you don’t take into account prison data. 98% of rape and sexual assault is men against women, 1.5% is men against men, and .5% is women against men. You’re saying there is no cultural reason why this is the case?

            • Catherine – My comments are in the context of the recently released CDC report.

              I would advise that you look at the findings – some have been pointed out above. The CDC report finds that in a 12 month window the number of men and women subjected to Sexual Violence is basically equal.

              It is much harder to comment on a 12 months figure for children as the report could not be compiled from data obtained from children, due to ethics.

              Again I would advise most strongly reading the report itself – pages 17 to 18 are all that is required to see the issues.

            • Yes, it is like the CDC needn’t have bothered to classify a large category of male rape victims and not rape victims.

        • I think you’re forgetting the report title. It’s data concerns intimate partners e.g. girlfriend, husband. It is not data for ALL sexual assaults, rapes or violence. Correct?

          • Grey – The reports demographic of people interviewed is 18 plus for legal reasons. They could not interview minors over the phone.

            It also provides Data For Life Time Prevalence of experience from birth – and does deal with “Child Sexual Abuse” – which is why the findings state for example

            “More than one-quarter of male victims of completed rape (27.8%) were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger (data not shown).”

            I’m sure you will agree that at ten years of age or less The title of the study does nor agree with it’s own findings. Child Rape and Sexual Abuse is not about Intimacy or having a sexual partner – but ii is about Sexual Violence.

            Your post is a great example of how people Read What they want and not what is written.

            It’s is why the Term Rape Culture is actually Dangerous – it causes people to filter the subject of “National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010” and think “I Know That Subject – I don’t need to read the report”.

            That is the sort of thinking that allows people such as Sandusky to thrive! That mental Privilege of “I Know” and “I don’t Need To Think” is very dangerous.

            It allows people to state All Women Are in Fear Of Rape – a nice Stereotype – which is in fact false.

            You read a Title and dismiss 126 pages. Not very enlightened – in fact dangerous.

      • Peter Houlhan says:

        Rapists probably are going to rape people no matter what. Even in cultures where women only leave the house wearing a tent rape still occurs. But that doesn’t mean that you need to put yourself in the firing line. Giving people information about how to keep safe isn’t oppressive, its common sense.

        Drinking oneself into a stupor and wandering through a dangerous neighbourhood leaves one vulnerable to all kinds of crime. It doesn’t mean that the victims of such crime deserved it by behaving in that manner, but its still sensible to warn people to drink in moderation and not walk home through Ballymun (or whatever the local hotspot is where you live.)

    • No offence Justin, but the estimation is that one in 20 men has committed a rape or sexual assault. 1 in 6 college aged men will admit to rape, as long as it’s not called rape in anonymous surveys. Chances are, you have met a rapist.

      • Justin Cascio says:

        I haven’t said that I never met a rapist. To the contrary, I am absolutely sure that I have.

      • Catherine

        I have been reading about the report you alluded to and it is apparently misleading.

        A full spectrum age related report which investigates such matters from 18 to death, thereby looking at the whole male population, produces a far lower incidence than 1 in 6 which is reported by men in college.

        There are most serious questions about how studies are designed and if one that uses as small demographic such as male college students should be used to build a national figure representing all males in the population.

        It’s that old issue of Lies, Damed Lies and Statistics again! P^)

        Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
        Albert Einstein

  34. Asking 99.99% of the members of a group to stand in condemnation of what 0.001% of that group does is bigotry, pure and simple.

    What do we say when a consverative says “muslims need to apologize for 9/11” or “muslims need to be vigillant in standing up against terrorism

    Isn’t that islamophobia? It’s an exact analogy. Feminists are very good at being blinded at their hatred.

    • I would argue it’s not “Muslims need to apologize for 9/11” but that Muslims should be aware of the society they’re in (as Mr. Houlihan points out with what I am assuming is sarcasm) and they should raise awareness about their religion and culture so that other people change their minds.

      I am not asking men to apologize for rape – heavens to betsy why would I do that – but to stand in condemnation of it? To make clear that men do not behave that way, you know, ever – no matter what you wear or how you act? Yes, that is what I would ask them to do.

      • “I am not asking men to apologize for rape – heavens to betsy why would I do that – but to stand in condemnation of it? ”

        Do you believe that rapists rape because the think the general male public approves? Who exactly does NOT condemn rape? Shouldn’t all major crimes be condemned or just male on female rape?

        • Julie Gillis says:

          A quick anecdote Eric from my life. I was on the bus and there were two college aged boys behind me. Laughing, talking about school. The conversation moved into territory I found disturbing.

          1) Dude, one of the girls from X sorority said So-n-so raped her.
          2) What? Fuck that, He doesn’t have to rape anybody
          1) Yeah, bitch.

          So, there are number of problems inherent in that short conversation. It could have gone like this-

          1) Dude, one of the girls from X sorority said So-n-so raped her.
          2) What? Fuck that. Are they investigating?? Kappa Greek Letter doesn’t rape, Is she ok?
          3) Yeah, she apparently got roofied and was in the hospital. don’t know what went down but that is bullshit.

          So, they didn’t say that. They said the first thing. Now, I have no idea what happened. Obviously. She could have been lying, he could have been misunderstanding a rumor so forth and so on. And I have no idea what they truly felt inside themselves. Could be “bro talk” or whathaveyou but it gives the impression they don’t care much about condemning that kind of behavior. But what they said was a great example of what your much despised feminists would call the rape culture.

          I do have access to some very terrible information on rape cases on college campuses which I can’t share due to confidentiality, but I do know there is a lot of roofy-ing going on, some very sad cases. I don’t know if girls ever roofie boys, but it’s not reported if it happens. It should be reported so we can actually have accurate stats with which to have glorious arguments here at GMP. And well, to stop the frickin’ rapes.

          So Eric, while I’m sure there is a majority of men in the US who do NOT condone or approve rape, there are men who treat it with a very casual hand, or at least pretend to. Speaking up in a situation like that and actively saying, THAT IS WRONG, would probably be a good thing, just like saying robbery is wrong, or assault or child abuse or racism. Speaking up is the thing and not being afraid (man or woman) of being scoffed at. Anyway, feel free to disagree but I’m not gonna get into it with you today. Too tired. Ran 7 miles this morning and my ankle hurts.

          And if I heard two women having the same situation about a man being assaulted? I’d feel just as sick.

          • “But what they said was a great example of what your much despised feminists would call the rape culture.”

            Julie, you’re dead wrong. I despise no one. As I have written about, I despise the discrimination and prejudice, which is commonplace within the feminist movement.

            OK, now that that’s off my chest.

            Kid #2 did express his disapproval but didn’t carry it through. However, I believe that most men would react differently to someone telling them that such and such was raped by someone they knew. I have never been in that situation or known anyone that was, but I can tell you that I obviously wouldn’t react as that kid did, even when I was a college student. Certainly, having daughters, rape is not something I take lightly.

            Here is something that is not anecdotal: 80% of rape arresting and investigating officers of rape are male. So, it is not, as feminists would have us all believe, that men in general don’t care and are rooting on rapists by our apathy. In all of this and similar discussions has that ever been acknowledged by feminists (that most of the people who go after rapists are male). Why not? Would it perhaps shed positive light on males in general?

            Why are they so loathe to do that?

            Secondly, you made a very valid point. We should all speak up if we hear about or learn of about any crime that has been committed, certainly something like rape included. If a person hears of any crime and does nothing about it, are they not creating a [fill in the blank] culture? So, isn’t there, then, a culture for literally every crime?

            If so, why is there only talk (amongst feminist) of rape culture when there is literally a culture for every crime?

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Apologies for putting words in your mouth, Eric 😉 Thanks for responding.
              I think we should probably define a culture of violence and a bystander culture where people are apt to sit back, not get in the way, and allow small instances of things to go unheeded. Violence in all regards is offensive to me, Eric.
              I’m a fan of men, Eric. Really dig them.

            • Julie, you didn’t put words in my mouth. I just think you were wrong. No worries.

          • Peter Houlhan says:

            I can see how you’d take that from that conversation, and why you’d prefer the second one, but I suspect that their choice of words has more to do with the fact that an accusation had been made against one of their group than that they were denying the existence of rape, or condoning it. As Eric pointed out, if the rape accuser had been a friend or a relative and the accused had been an outsider, you probably would have heard something more like your second version.

            To put it the other way: What if it was a false accusation? Was the exchange justified under those circumstances?

            If not, and rushing to judgement is wrong in general, they they would have been equally wrong to assume the guilt of their friend, as you suggested they should.

            I have no problem with the idea of taking rape accusations seriously, and I think they’re taken more seriously than most crimes out there, but for some commentators it comes dangerously close to guilt until innocence is proven.

            Take “Believe the victim” for instance. What if the victim in this case was the victim of a false accusation of rape and the perpetrator was the girl from sorority X?

          • The thing in that conversation that struck me as the most troubling was “He doesn’t have to rape anybody” and what that implies.

      • Peter Houlhan says:

        Yep, that was sarcasm, comment seems to have disappeared though. Maybe I didn’t make that obvious enough :(

  35. Richard Aubrey says:

    Make up a nonsense culture and when somebody calls it nonsense, blame those who point out there’s nothiing to it. Handy, but nonsensical.
    We can commend prudence in most situations. Don’t swim where the “shark” sign is freshly painted. Don’t give that nice lady from Nigeria your bank account number. Don’t start your charcoal grill with a quart of gasoline. Don’t drive drunk. All okay. Don’t go into a dicey area unaccompanied. RAPE APOLOGIST!!!
    I can’t imagine how tied up in knots you have to be to be unaware of how absolutely stupid that looks like from the outside.
    The only place I hear about blaming the victim is when feminists lie about what men say and think.
    Now, I don’t expect to convince anybody that they’re wrong about this. What I do wonder about is how little they think about how stupid they look.

    • Most women are not raped ‘going into a dicey area’. Most are raped by people they know, are friends with, dating, or married to. So telling someone to avoid dicey areas doesn’t actually prevent rape… and it is blaming the victim.

      • Peter Houlhan says:

        I know at least one person who was raped by going into a dicey area, not going there would definitely have prevented what happened to her. It wasn’t her fault by any means (any more than it was my fault for getting my face mashed in while walking through a similar area), and it equally doesn’t mean that anyone giving advice on how to stay safe is blaming anyone. Rape (along with other crimes) can happen even if you do follow all the advice, its just less likely to.

  36. I want to point out an example from my life:

    I recently signed up for a dating service online. I started chatting with a man there and after a couple days we agreed to go on a date. I asked where and when, etc. He suggested that I come over to his house for a cooked dinner. I said, I’m sorry, but I’d rather meet in a public place, for quite a while until I am comfortable taking it to that level. He then replied that he didn’t understand why I would object to a home cooked meal. I told him, no, it’s not that, it’s that I don’t feel comfortable being in a man’s house who I haven’t known for long or am meeting for the first time.

    He then proceeded to tell me I was being paranoid, that he wasn’t a rapist or murderer and why am I holding him responsible for other bad men. Thing is…

    I know, if I was to go to his house AND if in fact I did get raped there… *I* would be hounded by family, friends, jurors, other third parties talking or thinking about how stupid *I* was for going to the house of a man I didn’t know well enough. *I* would be the one who unless I practically had it on videotape and had a bucket of his DNA available… would have the higher burden in court. Even if I did have DNA evidence that was timely analyzed and submitted as evidence (many do not) it might come down to his lawyer alleging it was consensual. So in that case DNA wouldn’t even MEAN anything.
    Most likely everyone in his corner would say, “No way, he couldn’t have. He would never. I know he is a nice guy.” [To them.]
    If he was particularly talented or well-liked… it would be even worse. I’d be called a ‘famewhore’ on the internet among other terrible things. I’d be vilified for trying to make a grab at money or revenge. I’d get death threats. I’d have to explain every sexual encounter I’ve ever had. Every cleavage baring dress I’ve ever worn. And if they didn’t match up with ‘virginal’ I would be implicit in the crime or nay, it wouldn’t even be a crime… just that I ‘regretted it.’
    I know this because this happens EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I see this literally every time I check news online. I see it in comment sections of forums like this one.
    So yes, I do have to live my everyday life with the possibility that each guy I am interacting with is part of the 8% of rapists. I have to start from a default position of mistrust. Until those other things that happen to victims are stopped… the default fear and actions to try to mitigate rape are not going to end.
    Also, another thing I noticed in these comments is a habit of only the most violent and obvious rapes being counted as rapes. There is a lot of rape that just does not fit this image of being ‘dragged kicking and screaming into a bedroom’ which I what I think a commenter above characterized as real rape.
    Rape is also…
    When you do want to have sex with someone, you are very into it… in fact… you are already having sex… then out of nowhere… you feel him violently insert himself into your anus. You did not consent to this act. You are powerless to stop it because he is behind you and on top of you already. You can scream, “No stop… get off” but it has already happened. Your mind reels, you are in shock that the person you thought you knew and liked and were attracted to is doing something to you that is heinous and deceptive and PAINFUL.
    ______________________________________
    Just the other day I was at a bar and heard the guys behind me joking about slipping it in the ‘wrong hole.’ LOL….
    LOL, amirite, guys?
    The guy telling the joke might’ve been a rapist… or not…
    But what about the guys who listened, laughed, and said NOTHING???

    • Julie Gillis says:

      Those are good points. If you trust and get attacked then you run the risk of not being believed or also being blamed.
      If you don’t trust, you are paranoid and promoting a” hating” ideal.
      If you are in bed with someone and the sex changes into something that you absolutely say No! to, and it doesn’t stop…what do you do then? You’ve consented and accusing your bedmate of rape at that point is going to make you very very unpopular. And it probably will not go to trial.

      I’d say that’s all true no matter the gender or gender combination. People can be terrible to each other. Trust takes time. I probably wouldn’t leave my child with a woman I’d just met any more than a man. I need to see them, know them and so forth.

    • Sara – you make some interesting and common sense points.

      You explain at length your attitudes and practices to personal security. May I point out that they are the exact same patterns of conduct I was trained in as a man some 30 years ago.

      There is the implication in you piece that Only Women have to be cautious – not go to a strangers home for a first meeting etc. It needs to be pointed out that they do apply equally to both sexes.

      You make comment about the risk of sexual activity and mention one in the ‘wrong hole.’ I do clearly grasp the risks and concerns you have and I agree with you completely.

      However, there is the question of Modus Operandi of a person committing a criminal offense, and there are gender issues as well as biological issues there. You make reference to a man having greater weight and strength. I would like you to consider the female gender privilege that men do not treat women violently. That has been used often to commit sexual assault and violence upon men.

      When considering a crime you need to consider Means, Motive and Opportunity. There are gender and sex differences that affect those three – and stereotypes and gender or sex biases have no place in equality law enforcement.

      A man may use Physical weight and even muscle strength – and a female can also use other advantages and privilege to achieve the same crime. Would you like me to give you worked examples from spiking drinks to bondage? P^)

      You also make reference to legal process and evidence. Why is it seen that only a woman would have an issue with proving rape when consent has been abused, and a man would not. Have you ever had to deal with a police officer who is saying ” What? She F##’ed You And You Want To Complain?”.

      You say “Your mind reels, you are in shock that the person you thought you knew and liked and were attracted to is doing something to you that is heinous and deceptive and PAINFUL.”.

      Can I assure you that the exact same emotional, physiological and psychological events and processes apply to a man. It would be wrong to assume otherwise.

      You mention overhearing comments in bars and sexualized banter between men. I have heard the same and far worse from women. I have even heard them not just making comment about a Guys Bum, the size of his appendage and even his pay packet – I have had to intervene when they were discussing who was going to approach him – make contact – make sure he was drunk – get him home – and then all three together were to use him sexually without consent.

      I have even had to intervene when I was aware a particular man was drugged and being removed from a venue by a woman. She was heard loudly stating her sexual intent.

      I hear often form women as to their concerns over sexual assault and the conduct and attitudes of men to them.

      I have to wonder if the experiences of men and their handling of risk and reality gets equal consideration.

      I have to say that there is a focus in dialogue which implies there are good girls and bad guys – and also bad girls and good guys – but those good and bad presumptions are irrelevant because a bad boy or girl can equally abuse and commit sexual violence against the other.

      I am concerned very much by the use of the term “Rape Culture” – it is some 40 years old and it is nuanced on understanding of society some 40 years ago. Society has changed and people’s understanding has changed so I have to wonder in light of those changes why the language has not changed?

      I am often heard saying that language is a very poor way to communicate – it relies upon words and Ideas that can be very hard to change once people are convinced they understand them. I love it when someone tells me they know their own mind or that their mind is made up. It’s so easy to disprove – and yet getting a person to change their mind still remains so very hard.

      Again – I found what you wrote most interesting and valid – but it was nuanced from only one perspective, and I hope you will recognize how nuance can be an obstacle that we all need to overcome.

      • Yeah.. I’m sorry but talking about someone’s bum size is not the same as joking about raping them in it. Not equal. Not at all.

        You’re trying to force a square peg in a round hole with this lame argument that men experience rape at the same level as women, in sheer numbers. It’s just not true. And by changing the topic at hand you dismiss what I was talking about… a huge, endemic problem of women being sexually assaulted in mass numbers. And you are extremely vague… you state women use ‘female privilege’ to sexually assault a man but don’t really explain how the hell that works.

        Also, most people I know who are into bondage… are as far from worrying about sexual assault as it gets. The bondage world is much better about talking through things, negotiating, and giving consent than vanilla sex.

        I do acknowledge that men can be sexually assaulted, by women. But to say it occurs as much is simply not true. The vast majority of men who are sexually assaulted, are assaulted by other men.

        If men were even approximately raped by women, as women by men… you wouldn’t hear the seriously over played joke of how many guys say they would ‘Love to be sexually attacked by a hot chick.’ They wouldn’t make rape jokes… they wouldn’t take it lightly because they knew other men had experienced it. So yeah… that boat ain’t floating.

        • Sara: You say it doesn’t happen as often. It has happened to me. CDC says it happen almost as often. Well, actually they say that 40% of the perpetrators of “rape” and of “making someone penetrate them” are women. So, why should I believe you? Can you explain to me what CDC got wrong? Or are you just arguing your belief and trying to pass that off as fact?

          • Julie Gillis says:

            Sometimes I think that rape and assault is a concept (and reality) that is so painful to think about (and accept that “one of us” could do it) that we just get into a place of denial. Women deny that it can happen to men? I don’t know. It’s just all so horribly painful, it’s a wonder any of us can talk about it at all.

        • Sara

          I wrote in good faith but I am not sure you read that way – or if it was my post you were reading.

          I did mention women talking about a male bum – did you miss the part when I said “I have had to intervene when they were discussing who was going to approach him – make contact – make sure he was drunk – get him home – and then all three together were to use him sexually without consent.”

          It was not a discussion of his Bum it was premeditated sexual assault.

          Maybe If I had used the term rape – which does not apply to the activity described under US law – you may have been more able to grasp what I had written?

          You say

          “You’re trying to force a square peg in a round hole with this lame argument that men experience rape at the same level as women, in sheer numbers.”

          I mentioned no numbers so I am concerned as to why you are implying that I have any thing to do with pegs and holes of any shape. If I had wished to discuss numbers with you I am more than capable of doing so.

          I did mention how Bondage – but I did not give details of it’s misuse to commit sexual assault. I don’t see how that connects with your acquaintances?

          Then you say

          “I do acknowledge that men can be sexually assaulted, by women. But to say it occurs as much is simply not true. The vast majority of men who are sexually assaulted, are assaulted by other men.”

          You are back on numbers which I have not mentioned. Perhaps you could explain which post you are responding to?

          The term vast majority would also benefit from clarification. Do you have any percentages you can quote?

          I fear that you will not respond as you do seem to be indicating that you have read another post and not actually read what was written.

    • Peter Houlhan says:

      Good call, insisting on meeting him in a public place was exactly the right thing to do. If he couldn’t understand that, his loss.

      @Mediahound: “I would like you to consider the female gender privilege that men do not treat women violently.”
      Should be more accurately stated as: “… that men are considerably less likely to treat women violently”
      I think any victim of male on female DV would disagree with the first one, but I take your meaning.

      • Peter – if you ask Joe Public he will say men Don’t Hit Women. He does not deal in statistics and he is not worried about nuances. I sees it straight and simple. It’s a cultural artifact in so many societies that men are inculcated in from birth.

        Words get used in different way at different times. Sara writes from the first person making it about her perceptions – It’s a powerful way to communicate, and it also “implies” everyone female feels the same. It’s rhetorical device that is so often used. Present ideas from the personal and allow readers to extrapolate them to the wider group.

        She starts by saying I want to use a personal example – but then it gets applied to all men, not just her experience with the people she has encountered.

        I have responded showing how her generalizations to all women about men do have an inverse. I have even respectfully pointed out how there are differences which need to be considered.

        I do find it interesting That The Rape Culture Meme causes so much polarity of who can do what and say what. The meme is anti-dialogue, which is how Memes survive and thrive.

    • van Rooinek says:

      Sara: I started chatting with a man….He suggested that I come over to his house….I said, I’m sorry, but I’d rather meet in a public place, for quite a while…he didn’t understand why I would object to a home cooked meal. I told him, no, it’s not that, it’s that I don’t feel comfortable being in a man’s house who I haven’t known for long or am meeting for the first time. He then proceeded to tell me I was being paranoid, that he wasn’t a rapist or murderer and why am I holding him responsible for other bad men.

      He’s probably a rapist. He’s trying to get you into a vulnerable position, and he’s doing so by trying to manipulate your ethics. Sociopath alert! A man with upright intentions has no qualms about proving it and would be perfectly willing to meet you in a safe public space, with your friends around if need be. And in truth, for his own good he should follow that policy too — men can be set up for robberies (or even, FRAs) under the pretense of dates. When I started online dating, I always respected the woman’s need to a safe space. The first few times I met my wife, it was at a church setting with dozens of her friends and hundreds of witnesses around.

      At best, he’s just immature. He’s emotionally hurt by the presumption of danger — which I understand, at 6’3″ and 250 lbs I’m often assumed to be dangerous, and it HURTS (it would probably hurt even more if I were black, a whole ‘nuther topic). But I don’t blame the women for fearing, I blame the real criminals for creating the fear. He is too immature and uninsightful to figure this out, so if he’s not a rapist, at best he’s a really bad relationship prospect.

      You did the RIGHT THING by not going. But if I advised you not to go, if I told you that you were risking rape by going, would that make me an advocate of “rape culture”???? Apparently, some people at this website think so.

  37. Richard Aubrey says:

    Sara.
    The women who are raped going into a dicey area are, by definition, in a dicey area. And it does not blame the victim. It does, however, concord with the nasty, patriarchal law of physics which says if you’re not someplace, what’s happening in that someplace isn’t going to happen to you.
    My point is that commending prudence is perfectly okay in any imaginable circumstance except one.
    Years ago, I had to use an intersection which I thought of as particularly dangerous. So I was particularly attentive when using it. Sure enough, I spotted a semi coming up behind me at freeway speeds and I did so by being particularly observant. I got out of his way. Now, it would have his fault if I’d been killed. But I wasn’t killed because I was paying attention. If I’d been fiddling with the radio, would it have been less his fault? Of course not. The “blaming the victim” thing presumes falsely, deliberatel falsely, that blame is apportioned on a zero-sum basis. It is not, of course.
    I don’t tell you this to inform you of something I think you don’t know. I know you know it. I tell you this to inform you that everybody knows better.

    • Ok, then it would be prudent for women to never have boyfriend or dates or husbands because women mostly get raped by boyfriends, dates, and husbands?

      You’re an idiot and not all things are analogous.

      • Sara – I have to say I agree!

      • Peter Houlhan says:

        How do you define rape for those purposes? I only ask since some people have the regrettable habit of stretching it far beyond “sex after I said no.”

        As for those situations? No, theres nothing anyone can reasonably do to avoid being attacked by someone you’re familiar with. But there are things we can all do to be safer in public places. Advising people how to do those things isn’t victim blaming, its common sense. I’m pretty sure at least a few women have been spared being raped because someone warned them not to go through neighbourhood X after dark.

  38. Richard Aubrey says:

    Sara. I haven’t said anything about the boyfriend/acquaintance rape for two reasons. One is that you don’t see any blaming the victim when there’s no reason to talk about where she was. IOW, not in a dicey area, no reason to talk about not being in a dicey area. So, blaming or not blaming is not relevant.
    The other reason is to make the point that commending prudence is okay in any circumstance but one. For some reason.
    The point about the intersection is to make the case that blame is not apportioned as a zero sum. If I’d been killed, it would have been the driver’s fault. But I wasn’t. It was his fault he blew the light at 70mph and my fault, so to speak, that I wasn’t there. Therefore, his complete fault, one way or the other, can have me killed or not, depending on my prudence. No relief for him.
    And, yeah, it would be prudent to be careful of “boyfriends”, which in some cases seems to mean somebody you’ve gone out with four times. When I was young, there was the institution in a middle-class high school of group dates. I think that was the name. You got to know somebody in a situation where, if he was a butthead, the woman was safe. One way or another, trying to judge a guy before getting vulnerable seems like a good idea. If he’s going to be a butthead, he can be a butthead to his blowup doll.
    While a guy who takes advantage of a girl who’s drunk out of her mind is a butthead and may be legally a rapist, he won’t have much luck with her if she stays sober. Now, you may feel you have every right to get blind drunk at a water polo team victory party. Go for it. Let us know how it works out. Apologies to water polo guys. I was just looking for a pretty physical bunch since the feminists think you guys are rapists anyway. See Duke. Lax.

    • Wow, you are so dismissive and blithe about acquaintance rape… and you have no clue how it even goes down. People who commit domestic violence or rape do not announce themselves with t-shirts. The guy who tried to assault me did not behave in any way that suggested his motives. He was in fact, more accommodating… more nice.. more charming and gracious to put me into a state of ease and get me right where he wanted me. In order to get into someone’s trust they act as though they are trust worthy.

      It’s not about ‘being a butthead’. A rapist knows EXACTLY what they are doing. And it’s not just a minor character flaw like someone who tells ribald jokes… ARE YOU SERIOUS? How can you even in good conscience make that comparison????

      You know what… I ‘m done. I can’t even respond to you… You are hell bent on justifying your MRA talking points. Whatever. Believe what you want, dude, it’s a free country. I see you are incapable of taking violence against women seriously without minimizing it or switching to the topic to men.

  39. QuantumInc says:

    The idea that there are multiple definitions of “rape culture” is suprising to me. Every definition of rape culture I’ve seen is a variation of “Culture that enables rape”. Of course what elments of our culture really enable rape are debatable. Though the idea that men can’t control themselves, sluts deserve rape, or that a man can be entitled to sex from a woman seem to obviously enable rape. Some people have run into these ideas, some haven’t, but I don’t know of any statistics measuring such “rape myths” off hand, though I’ve read that the rapists themselves believe them full stop.

    Even if you don’t call it “rape culture” out culture around sexuality has a lot of problems. People don’t like to talk about sex in a frank manner, let alone negotiate consent. Men feel the need to bed as many women as possible, and sometimes consider lies and trickery to be acceptable means. Women’s sexual agency isn’t always recognized. The idea that a woman might have sex because she’s horny is a lot rarer than a man having sex because he is horny, if you see it at all. Often people say it is up to the man to win her over. If a guy is an “Alpha Male” then supposedly he can bed any woman (regardless of her preference somehow). Even the ultra-popular Twilight series has a lot of things that are romantic in a book, but would be abusive or creepy in real life.

    A lot of women have had the expierience of having their rape denied. Not that the literal events never happened, but somehow they don’t count as rape. You can see instances in the media where things that fit the definition of rape are declared to be some other lesser thing. In some studies as many as 1 in 4 women admit to being raped, and 1 in 12 men admit to raping someone at some point in their lives. Few of those people really call it rape, but when presented with the definition of rape instead of the word “rape” they’ll say yes it happened. Maybe the reason is because of rape culture?

    Feminism 101 explains the basics of “Rape Culture”
    http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/rape-culture-101/

    Talking about a couple of studies on the rapists, 6% of men admit to the definition of rape, most of those 6% do it repeatedly
    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      When activists need numbers, they stretch the definition. After 9-11, American Muslim leaders encouraged their flock to report “dirty looks” as hate crimes against Muslims. For example. Even with this, their numbers were pretty thin. You do the best you can and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
      Stretching the definition of rape to include the thrashings of two drunken twenty-year-olds, neither of whom can remember what went on, will give you the numbers. But the point is to allow, as in “vigorously lead” people to visualize all of these encounters as brutal, violent attacks that leave women dead or crippled.
      With big numbers you get a bank account of moral authority with which to force society to do things they wouldn’t do if they knew better. Which, ultimately, they do. But by then it’s too late.
      I know I don’t have to tell anybody how to do this. I do want to encourage you to understand that a lot of people know better already.

  40. van Rooinek says:

    Why Are So Many Good Men Accepting of Rape Culture?

    Wrong question. The right question is, “Why do so many good men, men who are adamantly against rape, believe that the “rape culture” just doesn’t exist?” Ask a bunch of good men this question, and the likely consensus answer will be approximately this: Although rape is tragically real, there’s no such thing as “rape culture” outside certain criminal subcultures — social environments where good men have no influence whatsoever unless they go in shooting. Among normal guys, in normal social circles, rape is an abomination — there’s no cultural support for it at all. In fact, EVEN IN PRISONS, rapists are despised and bullied by all the “normal” criminals — robbers, drug dealers, etc.

    Why aren’t you telling your sister and your wife and your mother and your daughters and your friends that it doesn’t matter what they wear or how they act or if they flirted?

    Because, that’s wrong — factually wrong — absurdly wrong. Real danger exists in the real world, and good men are all too painfully aware that bad men exist, that bad men do certain bad things, that (and hear us loud and clear on this femininists), there is NOTHING ON EARTH that good men can do to prevent bad men from acting thus. Even if 99% of people are honest, you cannot ever escape the need to guard against the others. So you don’t leave your wallet on a park bench, you don’t leave the keys in your car, if you belong to a certain race there are some neighborhoods you avoid after dark… And yes, there are a few things that women can specifically do, to reduce their rape risk. They have the RIGHT to act otherwise if they wish, but it is UNWISE.

    • MorgainePendragon says:

      And THIS comment is just one more that perpetuates rape culture.

      After the whole article and ALL the comments, this commenter refuses to see that a culture where women have to be wary and cautious (and sometimes paranoid and suffer from PTSD) is NOT HEALTHY FOR WOMEN OR MEN.

      But no, how much easier to DENY it and go on their merry privileged way.

      If men really, REALLY want to be “good men” by women’s definition, they need to LISTEN TO WOMEN and to what men like Hugo and others who “get it” or at least TRY to “get it” have to say to them.

      FFS.

      • “If men really, REALLY want to be “good men” by women’s definition, they need to LISTEN TO WOMEN and to what men like Hugo and others who “get it” or at least TRY to “get it” have to say to them.”

        Not “women’s definition”, feminists’ definition. There is a vast difference. If it were “women’s” definition, you would hear the average woman using the term “rape culture”, but you don’t. You only hear feminists using it.

        This “rape culture” term was NOT defined by “women”, rather by the feminism, which the majority of women reject having any association with. The average woman (i.e. non-feminist)doesn’t even know the term “rape culture”, let alone uses it on a constant basis, to demonize men in general.

        Feminism tries its best to create and maintain a men vs. women war, but most women don’t want that, and therefore leaves the gender war, with its “rape culture”, “guy code”, “male privlege”, and all those other manufactured anti-male terms to the feminists. So, it’s feminism’s war on males, while we law-abiding non-feminists happily cozy up on the couch together.

      • “If men really, REALLY want to be “good men” by women’s (actually feminists’) definition”

        But why would we want that? Men define what makes a good man; feminists do not. Men decide how to tackle men’s issues, and what ‘doing good” means; if feminists disapprove, tough. It’s not our job to make you happy, and it’s not our problem if you’re outraged.

        Your comments, Morgaine, are enablers of “manslaughter culture,” a term I just made up that’s every bit as valid as “rape culture.” Our society was founded on the deaths of men; it was built through the sacrifice and destruction of men; and it survives through a persistent devaluing and dehumanization of men. Even if you aren’t a direct participant in the destruction and dehumanizing of men, you still BENEFIT from it; ergo, you are a supporter of manslaughter culture.

        Now, apologize and promise to fight against it in the way I require, or you’re a bad sexist person.

    • van Rooinek says:

      After the whole article and ALL the comments, this commenter refuses to see that a culture where women have to be wary and cautious (and sometimes paranoid and suffer from PTSD) is NOT HEALTHY FOR WOMEN OR MEN.

      Oh, I see perfectly. I simply think that your understanding of the situation is profoundly wrong. So let’s try this again….

      Real danger exists in the real world. Whether we like the fact or not.

      The utopianist fantasy, a world where women DON’T “…have to be wary and cautious and sometimes paranoid….”, simply is not possible. The vulnerability of women is an unfortunate fact of nature — it is NOT a cultural construct that we can reengineer if we only had the will, if only “good men” would step up to the plate and “do something”. Rape is already illegal, has been for centuries, and the bad boys don’t seem to care.

      The cold hard reality is that perfect safety — which we all crave — can NOT be had in this world. The best we can hope for, is significant risk mitigation — the danger will never be zero, but we can minimize it. Risk mitigation is uncontroversial in most other areas of life —

      When the government tells us, “Don’t smoke”, they are NOT promoting a “culture of lung cancer”, they are simply recognizing that lung cancer actually exists, whether we like the fact or not.

      When I tell my kids, when they’re older, “Lock your car and take your keys”, I am NOT promoting a “car theft culture”, I am simply recognizing that — despite the existence of laws against it — car theft actually exists, whether I like the fact or not.

      When I tell them, “Wear sturdy boots and watch the trail carefully”, I am NOT promoting a “snake bite culture”, I am just recognizing that poisonous snakes exist, whether I like the fact or not

      When I taught my kids not to get into a car with a stranger, I was NOT promoting a “pedophile culture”, I was recognizing that — despite the existence of laws against it — pedophilia exists, whether I like the fact or not.

      Men who tell their daughters not to wear certain things, go certain places, hang out with certain types of men, are NOT promoting “rape culture”, they are simply recognizing that — despite the existence of laws against it — rape actually exists, whether they like the fact or not. How hard is that to understand? How is it possible, that when someone tries to help you, that you mistake them for one of the oppressors? What’s wrong with you???????? Seriously… I really don’t get this line of thinking **at all***.

  41. natureartist says:

    Nikki, I understand your concern about the rape culture. I also understand your anger that it exists. But have you ever pondered the question as to why it exists in the first place? Where did it come from? I know that women have been victims of rape for as long as there have been men and women. However, i think a very important question to ask is why has it become more problematic over the last couple of decades or so? What is changing in our society? Unless we can figure how we are becoming this society you fear so much, we can’t do much about it, except react to the ongoing problem. I think it is a very important philosophical question to be asking. It is not enough to just figure out a better way to react to it.

    • van Rooinek says:

      <i.why has [rape] become more problematic over the last couple of decades or so? What is changing in our society? Unless we can figure how we are becoming this society you fear so much, we can’t do much about it, except react to the ongoing problem

      Two explanations have been offered by conservatives.

      One, is that rape is one of the rotten fruits of the sexual revolution; that de-sanctifying and cheapening sex has made it much easier, psychologically, for people to commit offenses that in a saner culture they’d hardly dare even think about.

      The other is, that the collapse of the Judeo-Christian moral consensus, has lead to a vast increase in all types of victimization (not just sexual) in our society.

      Of course, the de-sanctification of sexuality and the collapse of the Judeo-Christian consensus are quite closely linked, philosophically, so these “two” explanations are reall one.

    • The reporting and awareness of rape has increased. Rape itself has decreased.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ natureartist

      “i think a very important question to ask is why has it become more problematic over the last couple of decades or so?”

      I don’t think it has. A lot of things that weren’t classified as rape like spousal rape are now recognized. A lot of things that weren’t recognized such as women raping men have just started to be recognized though there is still resistance to calling it rape. People report it more and it is more widely communicated. Some studies suggest that rape of women has actually decreased due to the proliferation of porn.

  42. I don’t think any reasonable person couldn’t stand against rape or say that it isn’t part of an ongoing crime problem in society at large. However, if men are to identify and react appropriately to things that other men do to support rape culture, it would be best to define what rape culture is and how it manifests so that it can be identified. It could be the case that many men just don’t know what it is when they see it and clearing up what it is would help with that. Otherwise we could be just casting nets into and ideological ocean hoping that we caught the right fish.

    • There is no such thing as “rape culture.” It is feminist psychobabble. If there were to be a rape culture, there is a “culture” for every other criminal activity, such as “identity theft culture.”

      After reading many comments, it is very clear that feminists coined the term “rape culture” because it conveniently broad brush demonizes men by implying that they are all are somehow complicit in rape, and therefore responsible for rape even if we would no sooner rape someone than kill someone or harm a child.

      It’s a powerfully creative tactic because it enables them to at once paint us all as complicit rapists and them all as implicit rape victims, using one of the most charged terms and heinous crimes in our culture: rape.

    • I respectfully disagree. IMHO, “rape culture” is not easily dismissed – please read: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html. I also disagree that feminists “use” rape culture in an attempt to demonize men.

      All that said, Eric, you and I are actually on the same page. I think you’re right that the way in which rape is discussed by society at large is demonizing to men (but it’s in a greater sense, not just from “feminists”) – and that is actually my point here. I think the way rape is often talked about*does* say “well, men rape.” I DON’T agree AT ALL – and I think more men should stand up to that kind of thinking and say “no, this is not how we behave. We are not all rapists.” Further, it’s the fact that we overwhelmingly talk about rape as a crime perpetrated by men on women – and neglect to discuss men as rape victims or women as rapists. This inofitself perpetuates the myth that “men rape” AND that “men don’t get raped” – because we shame men for their rape, too. We say they must be gay, or invited it, or liked it. We just talk about it much less, because we’re more comfortable saying “men rape women” than anything else. I am not ok with this, and I don’t think you are either.

      Therefore – we actually have much more in common in our thoughts, I think. At least on this. Perhaps if we leave words and phrases behind, and focus on what’s beneath them, we’d get somewhere.

      • Why no “child neglect culture?” Or “child abuse culture”? Or, “identify theft culture?”, or any other type of crime culture? Why is there only a rape culture and nothing else? Why is it only feminists who use the term “rape culture?” Is it just a coincidence?

        Is it just a coincidence that the one crime that has the potential to cast men in the worst possible light just happens to be the one “culture” that feminists claim pervades our society? The one “culture” that makes otherwise innocent men somehow complicity in rapes they would normally would never even dream of?

        It seems to me that [some] feminists are absolutely bound and determined to paint as many men as possible as rapists, whether it we are part of a “rape culture” or, as the lead feminist writer claims, married men whose wives have sex with them as an act of love but weren’t in the mood were raped by their husbands.

        So, yes, Nikki, according to the lead feminist writer here, I am a repeat rapist of my dear, loved wife – despite the fact that, out of respect, we did not have sex until after marriage, and I treat her very well, and have never in any way harmed or abused her. But, still, according to him, I am a rapist. But, even if I can argue my way out of that, I am still a rapist in being complicit with “rape culture.” So, one way or another, they are going to paint me as a rapist.

        It’s way, way beyond ridiculous. And, they wonder why most women reject having any connection to feminism.

        • I would argue that we shouldn’t confuse feminists and rape culture – rape culture is something we fight *against* – not something condoned or used to demonize men. I think there is some confusion over “rape culture” and how it is used. Feminists don’t *want* rape culture. However, the reason we say rape culture and not the others is because there is far, far less shaming of the victim in those crimes, and we are far more likely to discuss them as perpetrated by men or women, and the victims as male or female, than we are when we talk about rape. To me, that is a significant difference and it’s not a coincidence.

          The underlying idea that “men rape” and that men are so angry about it is also what I would take to be a symptom of rape culture. And, again, a point I am trying to make: that we need to fight against anything in our society and culture that says “men rape”.

          I’ve wondered repeatedly how much more common ground we’d find if we set down specific language to have this conversation. I don’t want to argue semantics instead of deeper issues, and I consistently feel like I actually have more in common with commenters than they think we do, I’m just using terms that people can’t get past.

          • Nikki, I don’t think Eric will read your arguments clearly no matter what language you use. I’ll be honest, if you don’t read it closely, it’s tough to swallow: saying men rape, are complicit in rape, “it’s Something Men Do.” It’s aggressive, but it’s true and needs to be said.

            Unfortunately, some might miss or ignore the fact that you mention it perpetuates the myth that men are naturally inclined to rape or be violent (5th paragraph for readers who missed it) – and that’s something men should worry about. We need to wonder if we are admitting rape is a natural, masculine instinct, something it isn’t or shouldn’t be.

            That said, I think rape is this weird, oddly alien concept for men, whether it’s because of how we’re socialized or some weird mass denial. The fact that male on male rape is often used for comedy says something about rape culture, too, and I think the discussion goes beyond tasteless jokes or stereotypes made at the expense of women and to how we view rape itself.

            • “That said, I think rape is this weird, oddly alien concept for men, whether it’s because of how we’re socialized or some weird mass denial.”

              Men are not in denial about rape the thing is THEY ARE NOT RAPIST! Most men don’t rape people don’t relate to rape as a thing they do or have experienced and to be honest neither can women outside of their own imagination. The number of victims and perpetrators are a minority and we don’t have a culture that supports rape. Suggesting we do is a desperate attempt at sensational issue advocacy like “slut walk”. This is what dying movements do.

            • I guess a better way to say it is the idea of rape (or rape culture) as subjugating women is foreign to men, and as a young man who has heard many, many rape jokes I assure you many aren’t aware of the implications.

            • Alex,

              Agree with most of your points – and, yes, the rape jokes (when the victim is either male or female) are one way in which rape culture perpetuates.

              However – my point is that *rape culture* says men rape. The fact that we’re supposed to laugh at something that is abhorrent is indicative of a *culture* that says rape is ha ha not a big deal, and you know, just something that men do. Whoopsie, maybe she was drunk/dressed like a hooker so…

              My point is, that is Rape Culture talking – not women, not men, not any real person. We, both men and women, need to tell it to STFU.

            • Alex,

              “. . . as a young man who has heard many, many rape jokes. . .”

              What kind of people do you hang out with who tell “many,. many rape jokes?”

              My advice: choose a better circle of associates. I have hundred of friends and none of them tell no rape, stabbing, shooting, throat slitting, child molesting, hit and run, dismemberment, castration, or jokes about other forms of violent assault.

              Evidently some are not aware that rapists are not otherwise fine, upstanding citizens who do no other harm. They are the very same people who commit those other violent acts. The problem is not rape in isolation. It’s about the propensity to victimize others, by whatever means possible, rape being but one of many means.

          • “However, the reason we say rape culture and not the others is because there is far, far less shaming of the victim in those crimes, and we are far more likely to discuss them as perpetrated by men or women, and the victims as male or female, than we are when we talk about rape.”

            With regards to child abuse you are right I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say “he/she was asking for it” or the like. When it comes to car break-ins it isn’t all that uncommon to hear someone retort with “you should have locked your doors” or some other such thing. It is really dependent on the crime and the victim as to how much shaming, as you put it, goes on. We don’t blame children as much because they are seen as not having complete mental faculties by adult standards.

            “The underlying idea that “men rape” and that men are so angry about it is also what I would take to be a symptom of rape culture. And, again, a point I am trying to make: that we need to fight against anything in our society and culture that says “men rape”.”

            Agreed but so far I think all anyone has given is a list of symptoms of the problem and not a definitive answer as to what the problem is or at least I haven’t seen a definitive answer. The term “rape culture” I had never heard before till now even when I was studying criminology/psychology so it’s new to me.

            “I’ve wondered repeatedly how much more common ground we’d find if we set down specific language to have this conversation. I don’t want to argue semantics instead of deeper issues, and I consistently feel like I actually have more in common with commenters than they think we do, I’m just using terms that people can’t get past.”

            I would argue that since the term seems to be so divisive and not very well explained (to me) that it just be dropped in favor of getting at the meat of the argument itself. I think it would be even easier to just state the problem clearly so that people can focus on the issues and not just a word. Honestly, I didn’t find anything in this article which was offensive to me just rather some ambiguity in terms among the comments.

            • So “rape culture” is a term to define a culture where rape and sexual assault are accepted, sometimes prevalent. The key for me here is that “accepted” part – culture allows for rape with victim blaming, sexual objectification, and by trivializing these things (via rape jokes, etc). To men, that culture also sets us up to say “only this kind of rape happens, and we can then dismiss it because, well, women be slutty and men be all aggressive.”

              I clearly should have lead with that – my fault and naivete entirely.

              Going to your points, I agree that we often tell people “hey why’d you leave your car unlocked??” but even when we say that, how often do we tell them they deserved to have stuff stolen? Or maybe that they lied about it and actually wanted stuff stolen? Or, that, you know, maybe you invited the person in who stole? And, if you ever had stuff stolen because you left something unlocked, did you ever feel bad about pressing charges?

              If you did feel shamed enough not to press charges, would you ever say that was OK? Shouldn’t we STILL put the emphasis on the person who stole, not you?

              Second, sorry but having these stolen is nowhere near rape or sexual assault, anyway.

              SO the problem is not only that rape and sexual assault happen, but the way in which we discuss them. We trivialize them, we blame the victim, we say men are the ones who are raped and women are victims, we say false accusations of rape are *at least* as big a problem as the rape itself… all these things confuse and confound, and result in a crime hugely under-reported and very much about victim blame. It’s not ok. We should have a clearer, more cohesive way we talk about rape, and allow for victims to come forward and become survivors. Is that helpful?

          • ” the reason we say rape culture and not the others is because there is far, far less shaming of the victim in those crimes. . .”

            Nikki, there is no evidence to substantiate this claim. I have seen no evidence that all rape victims are “shamed” (however you define that) any more than victims of any other crime. Victims of any crime will and should be admonished as to how they can avoid becoming future victims, including what they should consider doing differently.

            • If you see no evidence, you’re not paying attention, plain and simple. Never heard “oh she shouldn’t have been there” or “oh, she shouldn’t have worn that”?

              Actually talk to a rape or sexual assault survivor or two. They may be better at explaining it. I can guarantee you know several.

            • The same can be and IS said of every crime. There cannot be a rape culture unless there is also a culture for every other crime.

          • “[A] point I am trying to make: that we need to fight against anything in our society and culture that says ‘men rape.'”

            Here’s the beginning and end of the fight: Most men don’t rape. Take that, rape culture.

            • Yes, that.

              And also, you know, when someone makes a rape joke or says “well, how drunk was she or what was she wearing?” you can speak up and say “how does that matter? would either of those things suddenly make you capable of rape?”

      • I am going to agree with Eric on the use of the term rape culture. Even thought I am clearly against rape and I agree that more men should take a stand against rape, I think the term rape culture is misleading. As Eric said there are many other crimes who have double or triple the incidence of rape: assault, robbery and burglary for example are committed four or five times more than rape. Why don’t we live in an assault culture? The official numbers from CIA for rape in the USA are 27.5 per 100,000 habitants. Compare that to a 2,003 per 100,000 when it comes to larceny. Why then we are not in a larceny culture instead of a rape culture? That is why I think that the term is used only to demonize men because in reality, if we are going to speak about crime (because rape refers specifically to the crime) culture, there are many other crimes committed in higher numbers. Now, what I do think exists is a culture of violence against women, to me that term is much accurate and encompasses many other crimes that women are victims in larger numbers than rape. I don’t think that using terms like rape culture which tends to exagerate and demonize men are going to help to bring more men to stand against violence against women.

        • I see your point, and, again, I agree that I used a term most readers don’t quite understand. However, again, the point isn’t that “wow we have SO MUCH RAPE” the point is how the culture is accepting of rape when it occurs, how we talk about it, etc. I think THAT can be demonizing to men (which is, of course, my point), but using the term isn’t.

          • Doug Spoonwood says:

            I don’t see evidence that our culture comes as accepting, which involves *approval*, of rape. Rape is against the law. Accusations of rapes have sometimes lead to lynchings. Men accused of rape get shunned.

            People sometimes differ about what a proper definition of rape is (for instance, I consider penile envelopment as a form of rape, for instance, but the F. B. I. doesn’t include penile envelopment as a form of rape), but I think you will find yourself extremely hard-pressed to find all that many substantial groups of people who think rape as something worthy to approve. Consequently, there is no “rape culture” in any sort of meaningful sense. Additionally, I suspect you will find it difficult to find all many rape sub-cultures.

  43. Tokyo Whale says:

    I firmly believe rape is about sex not power. So if your ultimate goal is the eradication of all rape IMO you need to decrease the male desire for sex. Obviously this is easier said than done but a few suggestions would be: legalizing prositution or eradicate slutshaming culture so women aren’t demonized for having many sexual partners. Both of those would decrease the pool of sexually frustrated men that would potentially use criminal means to have sex with a woman (rape obviously)

    Or if you want get real futuristic a pill that temporarily dampens the male libido would work too.

    • I don’t think that is correct. Rape IS a crime about power, where sex is used as a way to dominate and submit the victim. Rapist enjoy the fear they create in the victim. And one way you can see it is that usually when the woman reacts aggressively against the rapist most rapist will back up.

      • Fully agree, Kelly. Rape is fundamentally about control and violence, not about sex. Well, except for the point that when women act aggressively, the rapist backs off. Sometimes, sure, but not as a general rule.

        Tokyo Whale: despite that, I do think you have a point, yet I would very much like to make a distinction between sexual desire and the impulse to rape – two VERY different things. Yet, if we simply take your point and apply it to sexual desire ONLY, there’s much to be said for opening up discussion and sexual positivity to include both men and women, to be more open to dialogue, and encourage sex as a healthy part of life, should you choose to have it (not having it, by your own choice, is also a-ok). If we were more open and less shameful about the desire of both
        men and women, I think we’d be happier, healthier, and yes, it would *then* have an impact on rape culture: we might be more clear on the difference, there would be far less grey area around “coercive rape”, around consent, and we might be far more willing to talk openly about sexual violence.

  44. Wirblewind says:

    There is no such thing as rape culture.
    There is no such thing as rape culture.
    It exists only as a slogan and a blaming tool.
    Thanks to Toysoldier and his blog, I could read this great article.
    Have fun : http://theonlinecitizen.com/2011/12/slutwalk-manufacturing-myths-about-%E2%80%98myths%E2%80%99/

  45. I totally see what you’re saying. My husband is a ‘left-wing’ anarchist, gay-friendly, very against macho, etc.. But he was FURIOUS that I got sexually attacked. Not at the attacker, but at me. “Why did you go to a bar on your own?”, “Why did you get in a car with a guy you didn’t know?”,”You did this to get back at me”,”You want to be a victim” (It was midnight on a Chicago night in February – freezing, I thought I was being safer than walking home and my toes felt like they were going to fall off, yes it wasn’t really street smart, but…). The thing is a women can go out alone at night, she can maybe not do the most clever thing, she can probably expect a few socially-inept people to make a pass at her or even for these people to not give up making passes. But no means no and when a women says no she doesn’t expect to get driven down an alley and threatened with a gun. And if that DOES happen, well, its not really her fault that it did.. I mean, I got accused of ‘trying to get raped’ – how does one do that if we assume that rape is a crime that the majority of men are incapable of.. And how can you accuse a woman of that!!!?

    • Yes. This right here. Thank you for sharing your story, and this is what I mean. I am so sorry for what happened to you, and I hope that, in being able to talk about it, you’ve moved from victim to survivor. I know too many women in both categories.

      That said, I don’t believe your husband is a bad guy – but the things he said to you were not ok. I hope he’s seen the light.

  46. Jean Valjean says:

    So what you are saying is that society and particularly men promote a culture of rape and rape shield laws, predator watchlists, longer sentences, lowered burden of proof have done nothing to mitigate this so called rape culture?

    Now thanks to feminists, males on campus who are accused of rape will be more likely to be convicted even if they are completely innocent.

    Well Nikki I’ll try to spell this out in small words for you since you clearly lack understanding of basic principles of logic.

    1. Men don’t rape–rapists rape. To conclude that men rape and repeatedly utter the phrase that “men rape” is basically saying you think all men are rapists or rapists waiting to happen.

    2. The very small number of men who do rape are often social awkward men who lack compassion towards their fellow human beings. They will likely be unmoved by public protestations or the “rape culture” that you claim promotes rape.

    3. Less than 1% of men rape. Even you fail to admit this fact. Already 99% of men don’t rape which is an overwhelming majority. If the remaining >1% is unmoved by the actions of the other 99% then what makes you think changing so-called “rape culture” will accomplish?

    4. Rape culture is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If men reject your assertion of rape culture then they are confirming rape culture. If men adopt your assertion of rape culture they are affirming rape culture and adopting an ideology of hatred and blame against ALL men.

    I for one am not going to go around and tell men not to rape. For one it’s insulting. It presumes that this is something they might otherwise do if I didn’t say something to them. Rapists probably don’t listen to reason which is likely why they rape.

    But more importantly I don’t give a f!@#. Know why? Because we are all equal now. Males are no longer responsible for the health and safety of women. You’re on your own.

    Don’t want to be raped then learn how to defend yourself. Don’t get f’d up drunk at a frat party and try to follow half the members upstairs to their rooms. If you say no and a man keeps going you better fight. Better yet you should probably make better choices in the men you date. Stop dating thugs and bad boys and maybe that “80% of rapes are by acquaintances” will go down.

    Either way it’s not my problem. I will never prostrate myself to a group that thinks I’m a piece of shit rapist because I was born with a penis or without a vagina.

    In other words, “man up”.

    • Jean,

      You misread the article. Nikki’s point was EXACTLY the same as yours, that all men do NOT rape and that too many of us play into that false notion. She’s actually on YOUR side and was encouraging men to speak up and agree –which essentially is what you have done here. Although your last bit about frat parties and thugs is pretty scary and mean-spirited. I hope your anger was based out of your misinterpretation of Nikki’s point and that, in reality, you are kinder to the women in your life.

      • Thanks, Jess, and yes to your response.

        Jean, I never said men rape, I said the opposite. I also am not perpetuating rape culture, I want to stop it. It is the culture that says men rape and women are victims, it is how we talk *about* rape more than it is “men rape”. I am not asking men to go around telling other men not to rape, but I would ask you to not laugh at a rape joke, and to question when people blame the victim.

        Unfortunately, you’ve kind of made my point in the end. Simply because a woman gets drunk somewhere, that means it’s cool if she gets raped? Or if she dates the wrong guy, then its her fault?

  47. Nikki, I am sorry that your article was misunderstood by several readers which is likely, as you mentioned in the comments, due to the choice of terminology.

    I wish we could get past whether or not “rape culture” is an appropriate term. I really don’t care. What I do care about is the really important point you make about men not being encouraged to defend themselves on the notion that all men rape. WE know that not all men rape. We know that only a small percent of men commit rape. Just like only a small percent of people commit murder. The latter is so plainly obvious that it doesn’t need to be said.

    But I agree that men are MADE to feel shamed and complicit in an act committed by so few. And why? I don’t apologize for murderers because I am not one. If there is a culture that perpetuates a subtle accusation that all men commit rape, then men have every right to say, “like hell.” That is how I read your article, as a defense of men against this accusation and a CALL to invite them to join in on their own defense.

    I think men possibly feel that defending the male character (against the wrongful idea that it’s in the male character to rape) might be insensitive to those who have been victimized. But that’s not so! Men should feel welcome to defend themselves against these shallow portrayals of their gender and make it clear how fringe that behavior actually is (not unlike what Jean says above).

    It’s the same as I would do if someone implied that it was in my character to murder just because someone similar to me had committed that crime. Like hell it is.

    • Yes, exactly. I ask men to speak up when someone uses a rape victim’s clothing or behavior to excuse her rape – *because*, in my opinion anyway, none of things suddenly make Good Men capable of rape. We need to get rid of that dogma, and men need to help out in that – whether by telling the women in their lives or each other. Not because I am blaming them for rape and sexual assault, but because we live in a culture that says that.

    • “But I agree that men are MADE to feel shamed and complicit in an act committed by so few.”

      That is only true in the feminist blogosphere. Out here in the real world, where the majority of women are not feminists, most men are made to feel no such thing. Rape and rape culture is not a constant topic of conversation of most women.

      • I don’t know the first thing about a feminist blogosphere. Was that actually hat directed at me?

        Because seriously, I am pretty sure I have not been to a single site labeled as such. I assure you that I live in the real world with real women and men. If you read my comment, you’ll see I said I have no idea about rape culture. I’ve just observed how there can be that mindset of “boys will be boys” on this topic and I think it does men a disservice. Perhaps that is more the case in feminist media? I honestly wouldn’t know (though I’d be interested to see if you have links that you are familiar with). I’m basing this on my own experiences with mainstream media and lifestyle.

        I thought Nikki made an interesting point about how men are wrongly portrayed and I took this article to be in defense of men, so I am genuinely confused about all the negative comments.

        • Don’t let them dupe you. There is no such thing as rape culture. The feminist blogosphere is where misandristic concepts such as “rape culture” are argued for. Google it for yourself. You’ll only find that term argued for by feminists. Using this argument, they portray all men as being somehow complicit in rapes they have nothing to do with. This article does not defend men; it accuses us all of heinous crimes, including the majority of us who would never dream of such.

  48. Western culture is less accepting of rape than any other felony, with premeditated murder for money being the only possible exception. Even that carries less of a stigma. Thus, once again, there is no such thing as rape culture.

  49. I hope this thread can surface again. Nikki, you said a lot of good things but as you may not know, men are speaking up/out but if people aren’t listening …… The court system still see men as bad and women are victims. So much talk about MRA’s but if people to truly research them, they aren’t the so called “force” that some try to make them out to be. Men don’t have representation …. it’s about the votes and with women % voters, men don’t have a chance.

  50. John Anderson says:

    I remember drinking with six friends. We all knew each other from high school and probably hung out for at least 7 years by then. Four were guys and there were two women. One woman was passed out and the other was so drunk she couldn’t stand. She started saying I got to pee, I got to pee. We were looking at each other to see who would take her. Nobody felt comfortable taking her. We eventually made her ex-boyfriend take her. We figured that he’d seen it before and if he hadn’t here’s his chance. Their reactions were interesting.

    When I told the girl who need to go what happened, she got mad at me. She accused me of wanting her to pee herself. I admitted that it was a thought (big mistake). I told her that I heard women wipe and since I wasn’t about to do that, she’d just have to deal with the UTI later anyway. She didn’t take it well. We remained friends though.

    The other one thought all five of us should have taken her to make sure nothing happened. The only thing to come out of my mouth was so the five of us could violate her privacy. This was about 20 years ago. I never heard nor knew about rape culture, but thinking back I wonder how a woman could think that a man, who she’s known for a third of her life and believed, was a good friend would immediately suspect that a guy would take advantage. We were obviously uncomfortable with the whole situation. In fact she was passed out and wouldn’t have even known if anything happened to her. The other one had no problem with any of us seeing her or cleaning her up apparently (but she might have been just mad). She was mad that we hesitated in helping her.

    Different people could see the same situation in different ways. I thought we were being as respectful as we could.

  51. well arnt u very understanding

    i very much understand wat ur saying

    and believe me

    wat rape culture says about women is small minded and disgusting

    but wat they also say about men i find down right degrading defaming and insulting
    im making an animation to protect the reputation of good men from rape culture
    and the rites of woman from rape culture

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Good Men Project […]

  2. […] Speaking of the GMP, I posted over there today! Check it out here: Why Are So Many Good Men Accepting of Rape Culture? Yep, pretty serious shiz – and it’s generating some interesting discussion (why, yes, I […]

  3. […] Brown asks, in her stirringly passionate and stunningly offensive opinion piece, why men are not angry, why men are not upset that American rape culture “[expects] men to be […]

  4. […] Earlier this week I had a conversation with a friend of mine that raises some interesting questions about leadership.  We were talking about an article by Nikki Brown entitled, “Why Are So Many Good Men Accepting of Rape Culture?” […]

  5. […] I think there are two things here. The first is the response to Nikki’s piece, and the second is what our moral culpability is as members of […]

  6. […] I first posted at the GMP, I wrote about rape culture. I thought it was a very pro-man piece, but I was fairly quickly vilified in the comments. Did I […]

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