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

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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”?

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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