Guess What: Rape’s Not Funny When the Victim is a Man, Either

Miriam takes issue with the sexual assault joke in Jezebel’s ‘Sexytime Dilemmas’ column, and asserts that jokes about raping men simply aren’t funny.

Originally appeared at Brute Reason

I know Jezebel is low-hanging fruit, but I can’t resist picking apart their new “Sexytime Dilemmas” column and its endorsement of sexual assault, which apparently is okay when the target is a man.

One of the letter-writers wants to know how to get a guy to try anal play. Jezebel’s “sexpert” responds (TW for sexual assault):

If you want this to work you’re going to have to be very delicate, and take things slowly. No one wants a dry finger shoved up their butt at random. In my experience, guys are generally more open to new concepts, and trying out new things, when you have their dick in your mouth. (This is because fellatio slows their brain down to a point of temporary retardation, which means their guard is down.)

…So, while you’re sucking, start playing with his balls and then slowly move moving your fingers back in the desired direction. Be conscious of how he’s responding to your touch. If he flinches as soon as you start poking around in that area, that’s not a good sign, but don’t give up hope just yet. Wait a minute or so, then do something fancy with your tongue to distract him and try again, rubbing lightly around the outside of the hole, as not to scare it….Basically, never give up and remember that with a little perseverance you can do anything you put your mind to, Susie!

I’ll say it several times since apparently people still don’t get it:

This is sexual assault.

This is sexual assault.

This is sexual assault.

I’ll let the much-more-talented Rebecca Watson explain this further, along with the many other ways in which that Jezebel post is horrible. For now, I want to address the assertion–which I’ve seen a few self-identified feminists make–that this piece is somehow “funny” because “humor” and “satire” and “lol rape against men.”

First of all, blindly regurgitating problematic crap is not satire, and it’s not any other kind of humor, either. Just as it wasn’t funny when Daniel Tosh said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, five guys right now?”, it’s not funny to be like, “LOLOL JUST STICK A FINGER UP HIS ASS WITHOUT CONSENT LOL.” And that’s basically what this piece is saying.

Now, if sexual assault of men were extremely rare, to the point of being unheard of, I can see how this might be funny. Sometimes, creating a satirical world–in which something that seems ludicrous in real life is commonplace–is humorous. That sort of role reversal inspired a play I saw recently, Venus Envywhich depicted a world in which men, not women, were the “weaker sex.” This type of satire points out problems in our society that are so entrenched that we take them for granted.

But this is not the case for sexual assault of men. Men are less likely than women to be raped, yes, but it’s not that rare. Men also face unique barriers in admitting and prosecuting sexual assault–from the perception that they “can’t” be raped to the victim-blamey belief that they ought to be able to defend themselves. Knowing that the hypothetical man in the article would receive very little support from others if he accused his female partner of violating him–knowing, in fact, that he may have internalized the “men can’t get raped” myth to the point that he wouldn’t even have the words to talk about what had happened–it’s just not funny to me.

As another (much better) Jezebel article once pointed out, it’s quite possible to joke about rape. Since the article was in response to the Tosh incident, it’s mostly talking about standup comedy, but it’s still relevant:

So, comics. This doesn’t mean that everyone is obligated to be the savior of mankind. You can be edgy and creepy and offensive and trivial and, yes, you can talk about rape. Doing comedy in front of a silent room is scary, and shocking people is a really easy way to get a reaction. But if you want people to not hate you (and wanting to not be hated is not the same thing as wanting to be liked), you should probably try and do it in a responsible, thoughtful way. Easy shortcut: DO NOT MAKE RAPE VICTIMS THE BUTT OF THE JOKE.

Do not make rape victims the butt of the joke.

It’s not funny when they’re female, and it’s equally not-funny when they’re male.

After I read the Sexytime Dilemmas article, I participated in a few online discussions about it and I found numerous (female) feminists who found it funny–and who openly admitted that they wouldn’t find it funny if the genders were flipped. And I felt sickened.

Yes, women are more likely than men to be sexually assaulted. But how on earth does that statistical fact make it any less tragic when a man is assaulted? Is the fact that it’s less likely supposed to make it more palatable somehow?

I don’t think so.

I am reminded of this wonderful post in which the author screams, “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit!”

My feminism will concern itself with all rape victims or it will be bullshit.

My feminism will care about the ways in which men are harmed by patriarchy or it will be bullshit.

My feminism may not devote equal time to men’s issues as it does to women’s issues, but it will show compassion for all genders, or it will be bullshit.

Oh, and for heaven’s sake: if you want to try something sexual with someone, communicate and get consent.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/ell brown

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About Miriam

Miriam is college senior who will soon graduate with a degree in psychology and pursue a career that involves asking people about their feelings. She enjoys reading and writing about social justice, politics, culture, sexuality, and mental health. For this purpose, she has a blog, a <a href="http://brute-reason.tumblr.com"Tumblr, and a Twitter.

Comments

  1. Miriam – you is preaching to the converted!

    The Big Question is, how to convert those folks who think some raping is fine and dandy …. and something to snigger over. The editorial team over at Jeeeeeezebel may need some conversion and re-education on the fast track!

  2. Not buying it says:

    Double standard , radical demands , ridiculous names & claims in most of the protest walks & many other things is what makes the average Jane & John look negatively on that whole ideology.

  3. I am shocked ,SHOCKED, I tell you, that Jezebel would take this stand (not really). File it with their peice about how it’s quite OK to ‘smack your man around’. Or with those wonderful women of ‘The Talk’ who think it’s hysterical when a man is actually castrated! I’m NOT saying you share these views, I’m just saying that to me, and other men I talk to, this is to us the ‘Face’ of modern Feminism. When my 30 year old Daughter wonders why her friends her age can’t find husbands or even steady boyfriends, I just wonder how much this feeling many men have has to do with it?

    • When did Jezebel say it was okay to “smack your man around?”

    • Understand Jezebel’s target audience–women who feel that abuse of men is ‘justice,’ ‘payback,’ and a thousand other empowering excuses that are widely embraced and endorsed in our society. Jezebel is a shining example of why the reputation of feminism, formerly a worthy movement for equality, is now in so much trouble.

      • I always felt it a common misconception when people say feminism is about equal rights, it’s about WOMENS rights. Which in itself is a noble cause. I mean, I feel my daughters have benefitted from their progress and for that I’m grateful. Now, however, there seems to be an undercurrent within the feminist movement to attack (somtimes physically) and humiliate men, many time just strangers who happen to be in ‘the wrong place at the wrong time’ as some sort of ‘payback’ for past misdeeds by men, both actual and alledged.

  4. Michael Rowe says:

    Really? A woman putting her finger, or her tongue, it her lover’s ass, while she’s blowing him and playing with his balls, is “raping” him? I assume this article isn’t intended as satire, but wanted to be sure.

    • Doing something without another person’s consent is sexual assault, yes. I’m not sure why this is news. Is it only news when it happens to a woman? If there is one thing I know feminists support happening, it is surprise buttsex!

    • Yes, doing something sexual to someone else without their consent is sexual assault. And since the man in this scenario is clearly not consenting–the article gives tips on how to “get” him to ignore his discomfort and says “never give up”–it’s sexual assault.

      • Miriam – you are in many ways correct that what is being advocated via Jeeeeeezebel and their latests pundit – Karley Sciortino, is sexual assault.

        But I’d hate to see the Jeeeeeezebel readers having to explain to the Judge that they were only pushing it in a little bit – and they had blown the guy anyway so he should have been happy and not complaining… It was not rape because he is not a woman.

        Of course both Jeeeeeezebel and Karley Sciortino will be running to hide behind that First Amendment and the right to say what the hell you like when you like. But that still don’t reduce the issue – and if as Jeeeeeezebel have been happy to claim “Rape Is Rape” and there are no excuses, well they will have to take responsibility for what they say and how it is advocating rape – making rape exceptions – dismissing rape and adding to the general issue of “Rape Culture”.

        For heavens sake, they have a whole feed at http://jezebel.com/Rape-culture/ – so I do have to wonder at the editorial ignorance (or is that wilful ignorance or arrogance) on the subject?

      • Miriam,
        “And since the man in this scenario is clearly not consenting”
        This is not clear, at all. In my experience people sometimes like to have their boundaries pushed in a sexual context. The question if the man knows how he could to stop the whole thing (without using violence). “never give up” seems indeed problematic, but this is unlikely to be understood literally. All in all I see little danger, that a person who cares about consent would see this advice as a permission to violate their partner.

        • QuantumInc says:

          You’re right that it isn’t a clear case of rape, and that if this happened the man would probably express his non-consent loudly and clearly. However some men might not speak up, just as some women don’t speak up mid-rape, (there can be a deer-in-the-headlights effect). The Jezebel article seems to be a guide on how to manipulate someone into doing what you want. Manipulating someone to do what you want is not okay. A man manipulating a woman into anal sex would be offensive to most, and this is ethically the same.

          Sex positive feminists want to create a society where people can explore sexual possibilities without fear of sexual assault, where doing something new is simply a matter of asking. Unfortunately that can mean losing the sexyness of boundary pushing, but more likely it just means that before you can engage in that particular kind of sexyness you have to say the magic words “Hey wanna try ___________?” and respect the answer you get. Because really, if there are things that you think would be sexy to actually attempt, but unsexy to talk about, that by itself seems like a very bad thing to me.

          • “However some men might not speak up…”
            If they can’t speak up, when they don’t want something, they are not ready to have any sex. To be able to reach meaningful consent both parties must be able and in a position to say a clear no, when they don’t want something to happen. The able part is also important.
            In general the criticism assumes that the woman in this example is fine with harming her partner, but if this is the case there will be abuse, whether she reads this advice column or not.
            “Sex positive feminists want to create a society where people can explore sexual possibilities without fear of sexual assault, where doing something new is simply a matter of asking.”
            Well, you can pressure somebody into sex by merely asking or talking about it. The problems are the same like in the situation described in this post, the partner might be afraid or unable to say no. By the way I don’t trust sex positive feminists when it comes to matters of consent to sex, I have seen too many toxic attitudes voiced by sex positive feminists, which faced littlte criticism from within the movement.
            An example:
            “And there were some emotional boundaries he simply wouldn’t respect. …
            Want some examples? Here’s a blatant one: he never went down on me, though I regularly went down on him; he never even offered to try and figure out something else I might enjoy equally. “

            from Clarisse Thorn, and she seems to be one of the nicer and more compasionate ones.
            Asking for explicit consent, doesn’t mean you are not manipulating your partner into doing something they don’t want to do.

    • Michael – you may need to go back to basics on the legal front. There was quite a “brou·ha·ha” this time last year on the subject of Rape and then just 10 months ago the FBI finally updated the definition of rape from 1929 to 2011 – so it reads:

      “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

      When you reads the law it’s quite simple – Jezebel is advocating rape, advising readers how to do some raping and frankly acting as a poor frat house advice shop that needs to be love bombed into obliteration.

      Maybe the Jeeeeeezebel editors need to look at the lexicon and join in some debate -…. and if they object so strongly to a geriatric, idiot, politico pundit from Missouri deciding that there is legitimate and illegitimate rape, they really do need to have some solid ground to stand upon when telling all and sundry what rape is – and especially when proffering advise that is to commit rape and treat the person being raped as a Subnormal Human – treat them as mentally retarded – and use them for personal gain and gratification.

    • Depends on the definition but yeah it’s rape by penetration.

  5. I just want to be clear, so the Tosh.0 thread on GMP doesn’t seem out of place:

    There should be no limits on comedy.

    A rape joke is always okay, regardless of the implied victim’s gender, because jokes are always okay. The whole point of humor is to deal with uncomfortable subjects, and there should be no limits on this.

    The solution to “OMG rape jokes about women aren’t funny!” is NOT to try and label rape jokes about men as also “unfunny.” The solution is to recognize that limits should not be put on humor in the first place.

  6. Adam McPhee says:

    The thing that stands out as worst to me, is that her article makes it sound like it all comes out of one incident. For example, when she says if he flinches do a trick with your tongue (ta-da! Re-retardation?) to distract him. The problem with this is it implies shutting his brain off, enjoying something else, not actually getting him into the act she wishes to perform. Hey, why not cut the foreplay and just slip him a roofie?

    However, had the authour changed some of the dialogue for this to be an ongoing series of attempts, that maybe he’s just not into it on that night, the article would be less problematic. Like she said, maybe he has diarreah, hemmroids, hasn’t shaved, whatever. Maybe it’s just that that time that he’s not into it. In that case, I’m ok with advising a woman to try again on another occassion, but to try and try and never give up during the duration of one sexual encounter, then yes, that definitely leans towards sexual assault/rape in my books.

    • In that case, I’m ok with advising a woman to try again on another occassion, but to try and try and never give up during the duration of one sexual encounter, then yes, that definitely leans towards sexual assault/rape in my books.
      Especially when if swapping genders (a man trying trying and trying to do an act she isn’t into) it would certainly be called something to the effect of pressure/assault/rape.

      If this were about a guy trying to get a woman to do a facial under similar circumstances would there even be a question about it?

  7. wellokaythen says:

    A double standard about rape will always result in an absurdity, and it should collapse under its own contradictions. It won’t really stand critical examination, and it will at some point lead to an embarrassing moment.

    If it’s not funny against women but is funny against men, then Jezebel is vulnerable to being pranked. Tell Jezebel someone with a feminine-sounding name was raped, see the site’s outrage, and then point out that the person raped was actually a man. Oops. Would they retract their earlier statement and make a joke about it instead? Would they really say, “oh well, since it was a man’s anus and not a woman’s anus, that’s a different matter”?

  8. Jeff Coulter says:

    It frightens me that anyone who can type, and possibly use spell-check, can call themselves a sex expert and give advice. It’s not about the act of penetration of any orfice on either gender. Rape is about doing something to someone without their consent because it will bring you pleasure to do it. I am apalled that Jezebel’s sex “expert” thinks she knows enough about healthy sex to put her name on a blog. Healthy and hot sex occurs between consenting adults who talk about what they want, or don’t want, and feel safe exploring with a person they trust. It’s NEVER about taking what pleases you.

  9. wellokaythen says:

    If there’s a different standard for men and women, then I wonder how Jezebel would handle a trans victim. Is anal rape only funny for cis-men, or is it also funny for trans-men and/or trans-women? Is it funny for everyone who’s born male, or just those who identify as male? Can a male ever transition out of being a “funny” victim, or am I just stuck with it because of my birth certificate? Maybe if Tosh made a joke about gangraping someone who had transitioned to being woman, that would be half funny and half not, but maybe it’s like a “one drop” rule and anyone who is/was remotely male can be the laughingstock.

  10. Adam McPhee says:

    Well that’s twice now that I’ve typed out something long and thoughtful that I posted and then it never showed up…. Maybe I’ll feel I can be bothered to type it out again later.

  11. Just curious…since there seems to be consensus that this is not funny, why do so many men defend rape jokes about women, which are wildly popular these days in comedy clubs, on tv, on “controversial humor” Facebook pages, etc., etc., etc.? Why do they argue for women to have a sense of humor? Not take it personally?

    • Jeff Coulter says:

      Lori – I think the consensus is that rape jokes, regardless of gender are not funny. Though there is some valuable debate about the limits of humor and free speech. I think the focus of the article, which Miriam captured well, is that there is some belief out there that male rape jokes are funny, because a segment of the population doesn’t believe it exists. Any act without consent is rape, and there is nothing funny about it. I think rape jokes are in poor taste and not funny. But I know that others feel differently about the limits of humor.

      • Jeff,

        I just want to point out that I disagree. I believe that Freedom of Speech is sacred and that ANY rape joke should be allowed simply because prior restraints on speech are a generally bad idea.

        On this site, in the Tosh.0 thread, there were several comments of like mind. Those commenters have simply not spoken here yet, but I’ll assume that their opinions have probably not changed substantially. The Tosh.0 thread is here:
        http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/daniel-tosh-apologizes-for-rape-jokes/

        The issue here is that Lori is asking a different group of individuals why there is a “double standard.”

        In reality there is no double standard: there are simply those who think ALL rape jokes should be allowed and those who think ALL rape jokes are terrible.

        • I was directing my questions at the commenters on this site who are very quick to label women who complain about rape jokes as taking things too personally, being politically correct, not respecting free speech. and being “feminists with no sense of humor.” Not all commenters do this. But many do, and I’m talking to them, asking why is it suddenly not funny when the jokes are about men, but funny when they are about women? Yes, I notice a double standard on this site. The next time I see men on here making the above types of comments, I will post a link to this article to point out the double standard. I’m sure I won’t have to wait that long. :-)

          • *jokes…and also references to rape culture, and articles like this saying this behavior of women towards men is wrong. When it goes the other way around, the post tends to devolve into all kinds of “Oh, there is no rape culture!” baloney mighty fast. Anything to derail an article about female rape. So let’s just be fair, shall we? Let’s ALL be respectful and stay on topic when the victim is female OR male. That is all.

            • Rape culture affects prisoners disproportionately, A lot of men n women make jokes about prison rape. I think that’s partly the vengeful human attribute, they want prison to make those suffer because they’re seeing prisoners as murderers, child molesters, rapists so they should get “justice” inside. The number 1 joke about rape in all forms of media is prison rape, male-male usually.

              Though I’m not sure I’d call it rape culture, or if it’s simply part of violence culture? Our cultures are pretty fucking violent.

            • I still think you are conflating issues. I do not believe “rape culture” is real (for many reasons which I do not wish to go into because it will be derailing). I also believe that freedom of speech is a sacred right, and so rape jokes should be allowed regardless of the gender they reference.

              There is no contradiction between these viewpoints, yet you seem to suggest that there would be.

          • John Anderson says:

            You’ve obviously never heard of don’t drop the soap jokes. Here is an example from the 80s/90s.

            TRIGGER WARNING

            What do you give your friend who just got sentenced to jail? Soap on a rope.

          • “But many do, and I’m talking to them, asking why is it suddenly not funny when the jokes are about men, but funny when they are about women?”
            This was real advice though, not a joke. I don’t see men laughing about serious suggestions of raping a woman, so no there is no double standard. If it’s a woman making a joke about raping a guy then yeah it could be a double standard.

            Question, have you ever laughed at a guy being kicked in the nuts? It’s very common in movies, even kids movies. Is violence ever funny to you? Is rape a special category?

            • Violence is never funny to me unless it’s stupid slapstick stuff like the Three Stooges, and even then it’s just stupid! I do not go to R-rated movies for the most part, unless it’s R for language or nonviolent sex. I am one of those really sensitive people who can’t handle seeing violence.

              Rape does seem different than other violence in some ways that have to do with power and humiliation and the unique violation of being penetrated inside your body, inside the female part of your body that tears easily and can be severely and permanently damaged. It’s hard to explain. I’ve seen other women do it better than I can–or men who have been anally raped. I can see how I’m conflating the Jezebel article with rape joke articles and concede the point. What I really wanted to do was explain the trend I see, which I do in numbers 1-3 above. That is what I am most interested in getting a response to.

            • #1-3 BELOW, not above.

            • What about men who are forced to penetrate? Is their rape not as bad as men or women forcibly penetrated?

              “Violence is never funny to me unless it’s stupid slapstick stuff like the Three Stooges, and even then it’s just stupid! I do not go to R-rated movies for the most part, unless it’s R for language or nonviolent sex. I am one of those really sensitive people who can’t handle seeing violence.”
              That’s perfectly fine. I am someone who is pretty much desensitized completely to most forms of violence that are fake, I play violent games (The game “Dishonored” as of 10 minutes ago, great game) and watch violent movies. Although I can’t handle seeing a rape scene, but seeing crazy violence like in war movies is ok. Rape scenes are extremely rare compared to other forms of violence so that’s probably why they make me cringe. Could also be that rape has a higher chance of happening to me or others than something from a war movie or crime movie which seem like it happens more to other people. It’s only sometimes funny though, funny because it’s so out there n silly, funny because you don’t expect it (recently saw a movie where a young girl was the one being saved and she ends up killing the bad guy), and funny sometimes because I have nooo idea.

          • Joey Joe Joe says:

            The difference I would point out is that in comedy clubs, it’s an attempt at humour. In sex advice columns like the one this thread is about, it’s supposed to be “advice.”

            In comedy clubs and TV shows, it is at least an attempt at a joke. I am on the side that rape jokes can be funny (not always funny, not always not funny).

    • There is also the fact that this is not a joke in so much as it is advice. This is a serious suggestion in a sex column; it isn’t part of some standup bit.

    • I personally do not find rape jokes funny, and I will defend to the death anyone’s right to make them. Unending, ceaseless streams of them, over and over, hundreds of times.

      I see no contradiction there, and I’m curious why anyone would.

      • Copy – you may attempt an “Evelyn Beatrice Hall” (or is that S.G. Tallentyre), but you do fall short. P^)

        None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.Goethe

        I too have no issue with people having freedom of speech.The issue I have is with the IQ’s of those who keep hiding behind it and using it to justify abuse under the guise of freedom and quality of speech! Free speech does not mean freedom. It’s not what you say – it’s what your words do that counts! There is a free market to consider – and some could do with improving their goods for sale.

        It also does get rather racist and arrogant, given that this Freedom Of Speech only applies to the USA and not the whole planet! Some are so immersed in their own limited minds that they transgress over borders and boundaries – and just fail to get it.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Lori Day

      I don’t think the Jezebel article was intended as a joke like I don’t think Daniel Tosh’s response to the audience member was intended to be a joke either. I suspect Daniel Tosh was trying to regain control of his show, which other people also paid to see, and so I’m less critical. He could have handled it better, but his intent was better than Jezebel’s. What do you think this article was trying to accomplish? I just don’t see how this was intended as a joke. It seems it was intended as advice.

    • I think because men are often toughened up, burying their empathy to some degree. It’s also seen as black humor. I laugh at jokes about murder, is that really any different to jokes about rape? But I don’t find real stuff that funny, silly shit in GTA games or movies like Crank, etc make me laugh. That humor helped me get through very tough times in my life and I think laughing about it is a way to deal with some very horrible shit.

      The difference is I don’t think jokes about real situations are good, Tosh crossed the line aiming the joke at the audience member. Joking about the genital mutilation that happened for real is a badddd thing too. Joking about the batman murders is horrible too. But joking about a random fictional event is a bit different, similar to fantasy violence in movies and games. Many of us watch and play violent movies n games but not many seem to think they’re horrible, but make a rape joke and a lot more people get annoyed.

      I think quite a lot of the humor is in the shock of it, I’ve laughed before at pretty gory jokes not because I find the act funny, but because I’m laughing at just how outthere the joke is. It’s like when playing GTA I’ve gone airborn in a car and landed on a pedestrian, laughed my ass off but turn on the news n see a car crash and I feel terrible for the people involved and NOTHING is funny about it.

      Earlier this year I got cancer, had it removed, my friend made jokes about getting cancer and I laughed. Why is that? It’s a horrible thing, but I still found it funny, but I don’t find cancer itself funny. Is it just part of my coping mechanism? What I laugh at and what I truly believe are 2 very different things, I’ve had some awfully dark humor but mostly about fiction. There is an element also of laughing at something whilst simultaneously thinking it’s fucking horrible, nervous laughter?. It’s confusing as hell. Hell nurses on the wards where people die can have some pretty messed up humor.

      So I am torn whether to say rape jokes are bad or not. I’ve joked about abuse I’ve suffered. I think everyones humor differs to some degree so what is funny to me could be wildly offensive to others, and vice versa. What I don’t like is when it’s too public, like the facebook pages shouldn’t exist, if people wanna have dark humor then they should be in their own home or watching TV with the appropriate ratings, warnings so those that don’t like it can avoid it. I also hate people joking about others real experiences rape or violence. I have a fairly thick skin these days and can laugh about my own shit, and don’t mind my friend making jokes but that is because we’re tight-knit and understand each others humor, we’ve both been through bad shit and to be honest the humor helps to make it easier to deal with. Who wants to be super serious all the time?

      I wouldn’t be telling others not to take it seriously or grow a sense of humor though, that’s fucked up. If I offended someone I’d apologize and take those jokes somewhere else and keep quiet around them. I believe more men than women are into the shock type humor and like to push the boundaries, could be why you get more men telling women to get a sense of humor? Question is how much humor do you want to stop? I’m all for stopping the shit that goes on with the facebook R.I.P pages, etc, but I’m not too sure I’d want comedians to slow down their humor if they aren’t laughing about a real person like tosh did.

    • Not buying it says:

      Who says we don’t make jokes about men being raped???

      The simple fact that you are a woman hides that reality from you Lori, men do make jokes about men being raped more so then making jokes about women being raped, unscientific but in all of my years of existence & in many countries that was the case as a matter of fact we are so cruel & prone to joke about it that I know for a fact it was sadistic the way some guys got teased as part of hazing on occasion, Lori.

  12. I am trying, perhaps not very articulately, to point out a trend I have observed on this site for months/years. That trend is as follows:

    1) When an article is about men raping women (the actual crime or rape jokes or whatever) many commenters derail it, and bring up men, in the what about teh menz way. They also deny rape culture, deny women’s understandable fear, and they express acceptance of rape jokes about women, often saying “feminists need to have a sense of humor.”

    2) When an article is about women raping men, everyone stays focused, no one thinks jokes about it are funny or acceptable (and if they do, they tend to keep it to themselves), and no one tells men to have a sense of humor about those jokes. They label them with trigger warnings.

    3) When an article is about men raping men, unless it’s about a high profile case like Jerry Sandusky or the boy scouts, men are mostly silent. The article gets almost no attention. That GMP writer who is a survivor of male-on-male rape might get a handful of short comments, or none at all. It is not the narrative men seem to want here. It goes against their woman-as-perp lens. And in those cases I feel bad for the man who told his painful story, because had it been about being raped by a woman, the men on this site would have fallen all over themselves to comfort him.

    I always wonder if anyone but me has noticed this…or cares. And it often sticks with me..wondering how the writer feels to have told his story and gotten so little compassion from the readers of this site compared to the compassion they see men get when the abuser is female. To them, they have been abused. I doubt they feel any less worthy of support in their circumstance.

    • Lori,
      could you please give concrete examples (meaning citations, links) of what you are talking about? Otherwise, I fear, the discussion will not be productive.
      I personally don’t find rape jokes funny in general, but I believe people are to quick to call things “rape” or “rape culture”. (I guess this makes me a rape apologist of some kind; well, I still hope for productive discussions.)

      • Sigh. Could I give examples? Sure. I could if I had time. I don’t. You can look backwards at posts if you want to, or watch going forwards, or dismiss me. But I have to get back to work. I think that going forward you might see what I’m talking about now that it’s in your mind. I wish I had more time for comment threads than I do. Maybe it’s not worth posting, because when I have to get back to work, it looks like I’m backing down or hiding. I should probably not comment if I don’t have time for research and links and all that. I just thought that what I wrote would sound familiar and not require research. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

        • It does sound familiar. Sometimes I think the more personal stories don’t get a lot of comments for other reasons though. Like, people read them and then just think, “yeah.” and don’t comment. The posts with comments have more of a polemic feel to them, generally.

          • I don’t even know how to comment on a personal life story, it feels wrong even to comment, like if I can’t say something really involved and worth it then I shouldn’t say anything. I dunno, I can be like the stereotypical male…tell me something horrible, I will get angry, you will see me feel empathy and wanna tear the abuser apart, but I’ll have no clue what I am meant to say to make someone feel better. I could say “That sucks, sorry to hear that” but it feels I dunno…useless? It’s actually an issue that bothers me, not knowing what to say, and I notice it’s pretty common in men. Guess it may relate to that whole tough macho male shit, makes it hard to show empathy n care?

            When my friends n I talk about our horrible pasts, we’re using doing something like fixing a car, we’ll say some shit but there’s no “sorry to hear that”, just jokes like “I hope that c*** get’s cancer” (I say this sometimes when referring to my abusers, though jokes on me as I copped it instead :S), we’ll talk all angry n stuff then go back to fixing the car, installing the stereo, laughing about other shit. If we are sitting down not doign anything and we talk about that shit….whoooooaa mumma that can feel so awkward, NO eye contact, usually the 1000yard stare.

            If this is common for men then that could be why it’s rare for them to leave any comments on the personal stories, but believe me I feel bad for the authors but it’s just so hard to say it in a way I feel is helpful?

        • Lori,

          What you are trying to get at is particularly problematic because you seem to be accusing an entire community of being hypocritical, and you are attempting to do so without evidence.

          Normally no one would hold you to a standard of doing “required research” in order to post a comment, but then most comments don’t seem to be direct attacks on the entire community.

          It’s very hard to hear “Why do you guys have a double standard?” as something that isn’t an attack, and without any kind of evidence, it seems like a very unjustified attack.

    • Lori, I can see where you are coming from, but I can’t agree with your analysis.

      I do think this is particularly harsh:

      That GMP writer who is a survivor of male-on-male rape might get a handful of short comments, or none at all. It is not the narrative men seem to want here. It goes against their woman-as-perp lens.

      Some write to create discussion – others write to tell their story. Those garner different responses and levels of response.

    • Lori I have to disagree with you third point a bit if for no other reason JacobTK and Eagle3x have both had articles hat have been basically buried on this site. Both have done material here on being bullied and or assaulted by women and how they have been treated as a result and they did not get this focused attention you speak of.

      That’s not to say you third point is entirely wrong mind you but based on your logic these two would be the most popular contributors here.

      I think Julie’s point about personal story vs polemics may be a better explanation.

      • I have an article myself that didn’t get a huge amount of attention and I believe it talked about abuse from both genders. I also saw the lack of attention Eagle got on his which shocked me. I don’t think every article shows up in the RSS feed either? I’ve missed some as I rely nearly solely on an RSS bookmark for new articles in firefox.

    • You do realize you just “whataboutthewomenz’d” this comment thread right? I find it kinda funny
      “1) When an article is about men raping women (the actual crime or rape jokes or whatever) many commenters derail it, and bring up men, in the what about teh menz way. They also deny rape culture, deny women’s understandable fear, and they express acceptance of rape jokes about women, often saying “feminists need to have a sense of humor.””

      The whataboutthemenzing comes often because those articles about female rape often minimize n quite frankly dismiss the severity of male rape. They do the classic “butwomengetitworse” and in the process insult male victims. The ones I’ve seen here also tend to underestimate or post old stats on rape, usually you’ll see “the vast majority of rape is against women” and language that makes it sound like 99% of sexual abuse is against women. This became even more insulting when the CDC released very controversial statistics which basically proved in a 1 year period men n women were raped at the same rate, a huge increase of female perpetration, etc.
      The best thing for a female-only article of rape to do is to not mention male rape and especially avoid trying to suggest women suffer nearly all rape, especially on a site for men. Some authors are very good at stirring up the derailing comments, such as Hugo Schyzer who has an article about male rape that derails itself by mentioning women get it worse, articles like that cop a heavy backlash because they’re absolutely fucking insulting. It’s as stupid as writing an article about women being beaten up and saying that men cop it worse and are the majority of violence victims, in the most insulting n dismissive way possible. Most of those denying rape culture that I’ve seen suggest it’s really a part of a greater violence culture, basically suggesting rape isn’t the only form of violence that is celebrated n pushed forward. As for my own belief about rape culture? Not quite sure if it’s a totally unique thing, or just part of violence culture itself.

      “2) When an article is about women raping men, everyone stays focused, no one thinks jokes about it are funny or acceptable (and if they do, they tend to keep it to themselves), and no one tells men to have a sense of humor about those jokes. They label them with trigger warnings.”
      Haven’t seen any of these threads, can you point me to any? (not saying they don’t exist, just don’t remember them)

      “3) When an article is about men raping men, unless it’s about a high profile case like Jerry Sandusky or the boy scouts, men are mostly silent. The article gets almost no attention. That GMP writer who is a survivor of male-on-male rape might get a handful of short comments, or none at all. It is not the narrative men seem to want here. It goes against their woman-as-perp lens. And in those cases I feel bad for the man who told his painful story, because had it been about being raped by a woman, the men on this site would have fallen all over themselves to comfort him.”
      There aren’t that many comforting comments, I think men find it much harder to speak up. I find it extremely hard to know what to say. I’ve read many articles like that which I haven’t commented on because what can I say? “That sucks?” “Sorry to hear?” It tears me up but I don’t want them to feel like it’s bullshit support. I’m probably weird like that but I find it very hard to show support online n offline, meanwhile inside I feel so sad and angry for them. Please let me know of what an appropriate response is as I feel like I can’t really add anything important at times.

      The female-on-male articles get a huge amount of comments because it’s the least talked about form of sexual abuse. Yes, even feminists have blame here. I saw sweet fuck all discussion on the CDC stats, I’d love someone to show me all the feminist discussions saying “Holy fuck, women are raping men at huge levels, we need to tell women to stop this shit now”. As a man probably 90% of topics I hear about on rape are about a woman being raped by a man, the majority of anti-rape campaigns frame it in a gendered way and they only seem to mention males as perpetrators and sometimes victims, and females ONLY as victims. So the male-on-male rape articles probably get less attention because we hear soooo many of them, but the female-on-male ones get huge attention because of shock value, it’s bloody rare to hear about it.

      Did you know the majority of sexual abuse men face is perpetrated by women? The only sexual abuse that men perpetrate more against males is against boys under 18, but for adults it’s adult women doing the majority of abuse to males. And studies have only recently shown this from what I’ve seen of stats, maybe last 3-5 years? It’s a huge news story, I’d easily say one of the biggest news stories that should even be at the top 5 of feminist news stories, but still I see barely any mention of it. Why is that? Why are the statistics showing women are the majority perpetrators not reported in the media? I never saw this on tv, or in the newspapers, I don’t recall even seeing any major news website post it.

      Understanding how little support it gets might clue you into part of why people on this site talk about it so much. Coverage for sexual abuse of males by females is far far lower than it should be, that’s part of the reason I myself try to raise awareness for that.

      There is also an element that maybe the commenters are abused themselves mostly by females. Thinking back though most of the articles I’ve seen of female perpetrated sexual abuse were more generalized awareness type articles, and the male perpetrated sexual abuse stories were more life accounts (which get less comments from what I see). The female-perpetrated abuse articles also stir up a lot of controversy and get a huge amount of comments, many of them are people who are clueless on the stats coming into to do the womengetitworse and whataboutthewomen speeches, throw the 99% of rapists are men line and try to act out like males abused by females are rare as hell. Then you get a bunch of people reporting the new statistics so that can really inflate the comment numbers up. The comments will be what, 50-100 that basically say I’m sorry you went through that on a life-story piece, and 500+ with content rangin from debates about stats, the commenters own personal stories, the anger at the lack of support from anti-rape groups, etc.

      Those that tell others to get a sense of humor need to really think a bit more about their words. The thing about dark humor is that you’re guaranteed to offend people, so keep it in the backwaters in your own home or non-public/thrown in your face places.

      “I always wonder if anyone but me has noticed this…or cares. And it often sticks with me..wondering how the writer feels to have told his story and gotten so little compassion from the readers of this site compared to the compassion they see men get when the abuser is female. To them, they have been abused. I doubt they feel any less worthy of support in their circumstance.”
      I can see what you’re getting at but I disagree, the general awareness articles on male-male abuse I’ve seen have gathered a heap of comments, I think it’s more to do with controversy. If there were 2 news articles, 1 was a woman raped a man, the other was a man raped a man, do you think most people would click the man rapes a man one first? Or would that shock n rareness ( as in rareness of reporting) of the female rapes man would get more clicks? On the articles I’ve seen between the 2, the majority of comments for the woman rapes man type articles aren’t even the “I’m sorry that happened to you” supportive type. Are the articles you are referring to the life-story type and NOT the awareness type?

    • Prision rape, Boy Scouts of America, Jerry Sandusky, Certain preists in the Catholic Church. They all have one thing in common. They were facilitated by the slience of those who didn’t necessarally participate, but none the less knew about it. This ,is unfortunatlly the way the world confronts the rape of men and even young boys. Bury it and move on. This is why , Lori, these articles get little response. Men feel uncomfortable discussing it (I think because they know that if they were the victim, they too would be abandoned by soceity). and women, especially feminist women, I think feel it’s not their fight , they have their own battles to concentrate on.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Lori Day

      “They label them with trigger warnings.”

      I admit that I’ve labeled jokes about male rape with trigger warnings. I remember one other person doing the same. What I don’t remember is any commenter telling a joke of female rape. I guess it comes to that same argument. Are women really disadvantaged because people base their sexual availability on what they wear or are men disadvantaged because they are always expected to be sexually available regardless of what they wear? Are men advantaged because rape jokes about them have trigger warnings or are women advantaged because rape jokes about them are not told?

    • Is my big reply to this stuck in moderation or did I forget to post it?

    • Not buying it says:

      @Lori

      I think you’re discounting an obvious fact from yourself & the discussion, Lori! !!

      If you don’t think your ideology (feminism), at least in part is making you have that perception or at least clouding reality then you are so immersed in it that any honest critical look at one’s own opinions is unlikely.

      • Not buying it says:

        @Lori

        For the most part we see what we want to see in issues we are passionate about , in part due to human psychology (defensiveness & wanting to be right in our beliefs).

        All of us, yours truly included.

        • Not buying it says:

          @Lori

          At the same time certain cultures men in general do approach rape happening to them slightly different? ??
          It’s a matter of death in a lot of cultures??
          Meaning nothing can make up for it except killing whomever was responsible & I mean at any price literally & without hesitation, since a man being raped is worse then a man being killed period.

  13. John Anderson says:

    @ Lori Day

    1. To some extent I think you’re right. To some extent I think you’re wrong. There are some articles written on this site that are borderline misandric. They accuse men of perpetrating violence / abusing women and portray women as solely victims. One article actually suggested that women give empathy to men while men treat women with disrespect on a daily basis. In cases like these it is more common. How many articles would you see on feminist, progressive or women centered web sites were women are portrayed only as abusers and men only as victims and more so being kind to their abusers? In the case of infant circumcision in the United States only males can be victims and women can only be abusers. Do you think an article accusing women of abusing their sons in this manner even make it on a feminist web site. I doubt it.

    Men on one article were challenged by a female visitor, who suggested that men did not have any life experiences comparable to the fear women have and when men responded, they were met with a dismissive attitude. She was angry that men were able to respond. Also, if you’ve examined this site as extensively as you suggest that you do, you’ll notice that many conversations get derailed or run along tangents. This is probably an example, but I remember one instance where we discussed Fire Fly and Law and Order SVU. I can’t even remember what the topic of the thread was. It’s just the nature of this site and is in my opinion what makes this so endearing.

    2. I wish I could comment on the when men are raped by women people stay on point because I haven’t read any articles like that on this site. I understand that some men have posted their personal stories concerning this. I also found that the female commentators who have written about their experience of being raped have only met with sympathy. In fact the only dismissive comment I remember seeing was from a female visitor, who said she was raped, dismissing the experience of male victims. I remember responding that no male survivor would ever be dismissive of female victims. I think when people talk about their personal stories, the commenters stay on point especially when it comes to rape. I think that’s what you’re seeing.

    3. As for your last point, I think it’s being respectful and compassionate. Aside from some words of sympathy, what do you expect people to say? That the perpetrator should go to jail. I think everyone believes that, which is not the case concerning false accusers. We’ve had some women argue that they shouldn’t be punished. Would any crime committed primarily by a men against women get such sympathy on any site?

  14. Adam McPhee says:

    @Lori Day

    I think the issue lies somewhere in the male/male piece. Men have something in common with both parties. You can’t blame all men as perpetrators, there was a male victim. You can’t paint all men as victims, it was a male perpetrator. Men, already an oftentimes silent sex, are struck even further silent by the dichotomy placed upon males by such an incident. I would presume the same happens in cases of female/female rape cases, which you hear even less about but also certainly happens (to say nothing of the over-sexualization of woman-on-woman sex).

    One study I read recently on IPV in gay relationships discussed the tendency of men to be more likely to defend themselves from an attacker physically. This lead them to also perceive themselves as batterer’s, no better than their own assaulter, for they were men committing the same act as their male partners (not identifying the fact that they were defending themselves). I only bring this up because it highlights how even adult men, suffering the violence themselves, can be struck silent and even have trouble identifying abusive characteristics of others, let alone witnessing it from the outside.

    • Adam, this makes sense. Reminds me of the situation in the Congo where there is so much rape by men (military and nonmilitary) because society has completely collapsed. The females, as young as a 3-month-old baby I heard about, to as old as women in their 80′s, have pretty much ALL been raped, many multiple times, and very violently. They formed The City of Joy as a refuge. Many are so internally damaged they have holes between their vaginas and rectums with very complex and serious medical problems for life. But men have raped other men too with bayonets to humiliate and damage them, and those men are ripped apart internally as well, and they are much more silent, have trouble seeking help, and men don’t talk about the plight of the raped men that much. It’s so shameful to the victims, though it is not their fault, and they stay silent. But this is male-on-male rape, and like you say, a lot of men don’t know what to say about that. There are tons of doctors and nurses (male and female) helping all of the victims, but I’ve read about how much harder it is to get to the male victims. Just awful.

      On another note, I appreciate all of the comments and views my comment sparked, but I regret posting it. I have re-learned something I knew before, which is that it’s risky to post observations without setting aside the time needed to do research and provide links. I have a very busy job, and sometimes get distracted and flit to one site or another and something catches my eye and I jot out a comment, but then I need to go back to work, and don’t have time to respond to all of the comments that come in that challenge what I wrote. I apologize if my lack of responding bugged anyone. Hit-and-run comments probably bother other people, but I don’t do it out of malice.

      • I realize you’re busy so it won’t bother me, I just wish I saw the comments you refer to. I think it’s mostly because personal stories don’t get many comments at all, but contraversial ones do (female on male rape is rarely talked about so it’s controversial) and also the general articles of awareness (stuff on stats, etc).

        “But this is male-on-male rape, and like you say, a lot of men don’t know what to say about that”
        Women have been far more open about ALL major topics, even mental health women are far more likely to talk about it, seek help from a doctor, etc. Society has seen rape as mostly against women and we’ve had generations of women who have talked about it, I think this helps women open up about it more and they know what to say. Males however it doesn’t get talked about all that much so many of us haven’t got a clue what to say that could help the individual male. You’ll notice most of my comments talk about statistics, raising awareness, where to find help, trying to get men and women to talk more about male issues instead of letting them be swept under the carpet (a major cause of the silence I think).

        I think men are more likely to show their support by wanting to beat the shit out of the abuser which is based off anger, anger being one of the few socially acceptable emotions to show publicly for males. When my friends tell me of their hurt, for males friends I don’t hug them, it feels awkward and I have no idea how to handle it so I usually go back to anger and say how I hope they get beaten up, etc. With women I let them hug me, otherwise again I’m pretty stuck on what to do, I’ll show anger yet again. “I’m sorry that happened to you” are some of the hardest words for me to say, but “They’re lucky I wasn’t around cuz they’d be in a hospital bed or the morgue” comes easily and naturally to me. And seeing as this is online I try to avoid saying angry things, so I become dumbfounded as to what to say.

      • Not buying it says:

        @Lori

        I will share this because I believe it’s relevant & it’s how I feel deep down within my soul to be true, I personally believe that death is more merciful then then being raped as a man.

        • Amen brother, amen.

        • Death may end the suffering, but it’s far worse than rape. It denies you the chance to a life. Many rape victims go on to have somewhat decent lives, they at least have a chance to HAVE a life however being killed gives you no choice in the matter. Rape is terrible but murder is worse.

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