Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh

(hat tip to Groundedchuck)

Trigger warning for rape.

Before you read this story, you might want to take a deep breath and take a look at the tiny turtle eating a strawberry, for purposes of not attempting to kill the entire world.

A seventeen-year-old boy was raped by his eighteen-year-old girlfriend and is being forced to pay child support. The girlfriend in question admitted in front of him and his parents that she “made him” have sex, but currently seems to believe that it wasn’t rape.

Let me count the rape-culture fail in this story:

1) The lede. High school romance? HIGH SCHOOL ROMANCE? Getting raped is high school romance to you people?

2) The statement of Jessica, the rapist: “To destroy my entire family for the simple thing that he didn’t want to pay child support, that’s a very selfish thing to do.” Well, you know what else is selfish? Forcing people to have sex against their will. That’s very selfish.

3) The apparent belief that Kris, the rape survivor, continuing to date Jessica meant that he wasn’t “really” raped. Of course this whole “men can’t get raped” meme wouldn’t have the slightest effect in making it difficult for him to conceive of his experiences as rape. Never! And no one ever has trouble leaving relationships, especially ones that (reading between the lines of the news story, which described it as “tumultuous”) may have been emotionally abusive.

4) The deputy whom Kris reported his rape to who never followed up on the fucking rape survivor and seemed skeptical that a man could be raped. Seriously? Law enforcement, what the fuck? Crime is crime, regardless of whom the crime is perpetrated on. Do your fucking job and investigate it when people report felonies to you. That isn’t going above and beyond the call of duty; that is literally your job description.

5) The idea that age of consent laws somehow don’t apply to boys. Newsflash: “consensual sex” between a fifteen-year-old boy and a thirty-four-year-old woman is not consensual sex. It is rape. The same way that “consensual sex” between a fifteen-year-old girl and a thirty-four-year-old man is not consensual sex, but rape. The power dynamics in the relationship and the immaturity of teenagers make free, full and true consent between a teenager and an adult impossible.

6) The fact that a man who passed out drunk at a party and was raped by a woman, who got pregnant, has to pay child support.

7) AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH MEN CAN TOO BE RAPED HOW LOUD DO I HAVE TO SCREAM SO THAT PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE ME

Child support is a complex issue and a lot of people have different opinions on it. I find Clarissa’s take compelling:

The fact that a person was created during the commission of a crime in no way reduces that person’s need for food, clothing, medical care, and education. Imagine baby Anna and baby Jessica. Anna is a product of a passionate loving consensual sex act. Jessica is the product of rape (whether by a man or by a woman). Is Jessica going to eat less? Will she be less deserving of visiting a dentist? Should she have fewer toys than Anna? Can anybody reasonably argue that one of these kids should be punished because she has a criminal for a parent?

On the other hand, my heart rebels against the idea of making a person pay child support to their fucking rapist. Of course, the non-rapist should get default custody; however, in cases such as Kris’s, where the rape survivor doesn’t want the child, the situation is far more complicated. Ideally, in that sort of situation, the rapist would have been prosecuted and convicted and their child put up for adoption, but the fucking deputy’s fucking lack of response has prevented that one from coming to fruition.

So I don’t know what to suggest. Child support is already a search for the least bad option on a giant list of really shitty options; adding rape only makes all the options shittier.

About ozyfrantz

Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.

Comments

  1. I think all we can do to prevent such situations from happening is to repeat “AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH MEN CAN TOO BE RAPED HOW LOUD DO I HAVE TO SCREAM SO THAT PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE ME” as often and as loud as we can. Until the attitudes to rape change, until the very definition of rape changes, there is no avoiding situations where a child is left in the custody of a cynical criminal like the one you describe and the victim’s rights are trampled upon.

    In the article you linked to, I was especially stunned by the following, “Experts say it is physically possible for a man to be raped by a woman, or, put another way, to get an erection without wanting to have sex.” Since when is this news exactly? How come we need “experts” to arrive at such an obvious conclusion?

    This is rape culture in action.

  2. “Experts say it is physically possible for a man to be raped by a woman, or, put another way, to get an erection without wanting to have sex.” Since when is this news exactly?
    Yeah it took some experts to realize that there is a such thing as an involuntary erection. I, and anyone who has ever gone through puberty with a male body, have known that for a long time. However do to the fact that male sexuality is classified as predatory, aggressive, and all sorts of other negatives most people don’t want to admit that they are involuntary sometimes and I bet there are a lot of guys who know this but have been shamed into just going with “conventional” wisdom.

  3. aliarasthedaydreamer says:

    Driveby nitpicking (I realize this makes me a terrible person): I don’t think age-based consent applies to a 18/17 year old couple. Many states rightfully have exceptions to AOC laws for <3 year age differences (or some such), because those couples are more likely to be at a similar life stage/maturity level. Hell, that 18/17 year old couple could both be high school seniors or college freshmen, and if a relationship between them is de facto nonconsensual something is really fucked up.

    That said, the rest of the post is spot on.

  4. typhonblue says:

    @ alias

    I believe Ozy is referring to another case in which a boy raped by an adult woman had to pay child support to his rapist.

    Also, the rape in this situation is *alleged*, not proven. However… there are jurisdictions where a woman can allege rape and get the accused’s rights to visitation revoked.

    I believe I would support a legal practice in which a rape victim’s *responsibilities* to a child were revoked upon a charge of rape; but revoking the accused’s *rights* to a child would have to wait for a criminal trial and the accusation proved beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  5. This is one of the examples where men’s reproductive rights show themselves to be far less forgiving than women’s. A man cannot abort. Once conception has taken place he has no say in what happens next. Now I don’t think we can change that without infringing on women’s physical autonomy which I will never support but we could adopt the law to accommodate this imbalance.

    Ethically, having no choice in a matter means that you have no responsibility either. So demanding child support from a rape victim is highly oppressive and harmful.

    This case is more complicated since there is no evidence for rape – only witnesses who are unlikely to be neutral since they’re his parents. So the problem here is that we don’t know with certainty if he was raped. Why is that a problem? Because if we legislate that every time a man accuses the woman of raping him, he gets cleared of his child support obligations, then that will be open to massive abuse by anyone who wants to get out of child support payments.

    So, although there is definite need for improvement, in this particular case, I don’t see any solution that doesn’t result in somebody suffering.

  6. I’m ashamed to admit that I find myself fighting the urge to blame the victim. Fortunately, I’m WINNING the fight against that urge. That said, I would like to publish my thought process here, in hopes of either stimulating discussion or providing an object lesson to the community.

    Please understand that I am essentially laying myself open to criticism for the purpose of showing the community what NOT to do.

    *clears throat*

    I have long ago acknowledged that victim blaming has no place in a discussion of rape. For one thing, it places an enormous and IMPOSSIBLE burden of responsibility on the victim — for an immense variety of reasons, it is ultimately impossible to prevent or be “adequately prepared” for rape. For one thing, a rapist is likely to be someone you know — you’d have to be sociopathic to adequately prepare for rape by everyone you know. For another, the discourse of victim blaming is such that rape is often falsely construed as sexually motivated. Once again, I cannot cite my source for this, but I recall reading somewhere that 90%+ of rapes are motivated by the desire to cause pain, the desire to control the victim, or the desire to inflict vengeance. In many cases, male rapists cannot maintain an erection and must often stop to manually stimulate themselves. So anyone who says, “She was in the wrong place with the wrong people in the wrong clothes” is COMPLETELY MISSING THE POINT.

    Trying to blame rape victims is like blaming the victim of a mugging, or the victim of an assassination. It’s pointless and stupid.

    And yet I find myself thinking, “Why didn’t he just push her off?” if only because, if someone tried to force themselves on ME, I would shove them violently aside and shout “GET THE F*CK OFF ME!”

    But to ask that question is blaming the victim, and it’s wrong for the following reasons:
    1). I’m conflating my 28-year-old perspective with his 17-year-old perspective, and I know for certain that I was a f*cking IDIOT at his age. Why should I ask him NOT to be?
    2). He may have different feelings about when physical resistance is appropriate than I do. For example, he may have been brought up to believe that using physical force on a woman is wrong, even if she is attacking you. Granted, I find that opinion problematic (for reasons of egalitarianism), but I have no right to pretend his feelings on the subject are irrelevant, or to impose MY standards on HIM.
    3). I know what it’s like to be young and in love — I must have ended my first relationship three times before it was finally over. How can I expect him to violently shove someone away during a phase in his life that is potentially very confusing?
    4). How can I expect someone to be prepared to turn on a SIGNIFICANT OTHER at ANY TIME?
    5). Asking this question is based on the assumption that men are a homogenous group — that even if she outweighs him, and he is a skinny fellow, that he should naturally have the testosterone-induced muscle (and inclination) to shove her into a corner.
    6). Asking him to shove her off (or change his attitude towards her in any way) basically relieves HER of all responsibility to be a decent human being. It blames Kris for HER actions. And he doesn’t deserve that responsibility at all. After all, he’s already responsible for himself — now he has to predict and be responsible for the actions of EVERYONE AROUND HIM?

    It’s not fair to ask that of him. Worse, merely asking the question essentially absolves her of any wrongdoing.

    Last but not least, however, asking that question impugns Kris’ story. it calls him a liar. It questions the validity of his existence.

    F*ck that. I’m DONE with that. I don’t wish to participate in rape culture, particularly in that way.

    Say on, folks.

  7. @Adi

    See the Alas,a blog Choice for Men thread for my opinion on the matter.

  8. typhonblue says:

    @ Adi

    “This case is more complicated since there is no evidence for rape – only witnesses who are unlikely to be neutral since they’re his parents. So the problem here is that we don’t know with certainty if he was raped. Why is that a problem? Because if we legislate that every time a man accuses the woman of raping him, he gets cleared of his child support obligations, then that will be open to massive abuse by anyone who wants to get out of child support payments.”

    Really? Then what do you think of the legal jurisdictions in which a woman can get a man’s parental rights to custody terminated with an *allegation* of rape?

  9. “Because if we legislate that every time a man accuses the woman of raping him, he gets cleared of his child support obligations, then that will be open to massive abuse by anyone who wants to get out of child support payments.”

    Oh, so NOW we’re concerned about false rape accusations?

  10. I think anytime mere “allegations” can lead to irrevocable actions before a trial something is fucked up with that justice system. Serious allegations (such as rape ) should be treated seriously, but it should be made known that legal reliefs and remedies can only be temporary so long as a trial has not be conducted.

    I also co-sign that bringing any kind of statuatory rape (heck, I don’t care if the older partner is 30) into situations involving 17 and 18 year olds is rather iffy, and in this circumstance (where the age difference is less than 4 years, heck less than 2) totally inappropriate.

  11. GudEnuf:

    Hee, hee. Yep. Sad, isn’t it?

  12. Ozy:
    That’s a cute pic, and thank you for trying, but I guess you lost Cute Turtle With Grape. Oh well, any cute turtle is always good.

  13. Here are some ways we can make sure the children of rape get taken care of without oppressing rape victims:

    1. Rape victims should be allowed to put their children up for adoption-with or without their rapist’s consent.
    2. If the rape victim chooses to raise the child on their own, the rapist should have to pay twice the usual amount of child support (since they are 100% responsible for the child’s existence instead of 50%)
    3. If we absolutely must demand child support from rape victims, rapists should have to pay back the support later. In this story, the rapist is quite young, and will likely have a couple decades left in the workforce even after the baby is grown up.

  14. Levi Ramsey says:

    @Clarence: I think the statutory rape thing was only brought up in connection with this:

    Around the country there are plenty of cases of underage boys who got a woman pregnant and then tried to avoid paying child support. The 15-year-old in California who was seduced by the 34-year-old mom next door. The 13-year-old boy in Kansas who had sex with his 17-year-old babysitter. The 15-year-old boy in Florida who impregnated a 20-year-old.

    Under a strict interpretation of the law, these boys, by virtue of their age, were raped. But family courts have seen these incidents for what they were: consensual sexual encounters. And as a result, they have ordered the boys to pay child support.

    So it’s legally rape (mind that the legal definition of rape is, if anything, too narrow, even if it were non-gendered) but, no, it’s really consensual.

    1+1 equals 3, indeed.

  15. Typhonblue:

    I believe I would support a legal practice in which a rape victim’s *responsibilities* to a child were revoked upon a charge of rape;

    Now, that would be a hell of an incentive for filing a false rape accusation for some men. I am not sure it would be feasible for that reason and I can see as well how it easily would decrease the likelihood of the victim’s charges being believed and prosecuted.

  16. Tamen:
    I agree. You’d have to make it temporary relief, contingent on a trial or some such.
    Give people incentives for false accusations and some, not totally insignificant amount will abuse said incentives by making false accusations.

  17. Regarding child support and rape victims:
    It’s bad enough that the victim was raped. It’s even worse that he wasn’t believed by the police. It becomes even worse when you consider that his rapist is getting financially rewarded for the act.

    and “think about the children” – while a noble sentiment, is a really poor reason to re-victimize someone. If you want to see poor children getting taken care of, I’d suggest that you start sending checks to the rapist yourself. SOCIETY has an obligation to take care of children, not VICTIMS.

  18. typhonblue says:

    @ Tamen

    “Now, that would be a hell of an incentive for filing a false rape accusation for some men.”

    Well, I’m a believer in consensual parenthood. In other words, no one should be forced into being a parent against their express desires. I don’t even think it should require a charge of rape or anything really.

    Also, isn’t it a ‘hell of an incentive’ to file a false rape accusation for *women* when some jurisdictions allow an allegation to remove a man’s custody rights?

  19. Holy fuck, this!
    The idea that men want sex wherever and whenever they can get it and therefore can’t be raped pisses me off to no end.
    I dream of a day when women can be prosecuted for things like domestic violence and rape just like men.

  20. and also, I find Clarissa’s interpretation of this situation dead fucking wrong . Normally I respect her opinion on things, but again… Wow. I don’t know how you go from talking about a baby’s needs to bed fed and clothed and then from that determine that rape victims should pay for those needs.

    That’s the kind of injustice that would make me want to put a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger.

  21. typhonblue says:

    Just to get the ‘consensual parenthood’ argument out…

    Men shouldn’t have to be responsible for children they did not choose to take responsibility for. This would put men on the same footing as women in regards to assuming parental responsibilities.

    Abortion isn’t about avoiding *pregnancy* it’s about terminating *parental responsibilities* for the woman; it’s just a biological fact that a woman’s parental responsibilities to her offspring include pregnancy.

    After all if we lived in a society with artificial wombs, would the pro-choice position really be served by removing a fetus from a woman, gestating it to term and then expecting her to resume her parental responsibilities upon birth?

  22. Typhonblue:
    Yes, it is a hell of an incentive to file false rape accustion for women where an allegation are enough to remove a father’s custody rights. I don’t think that is a feasible solution either – although it unfortunately is implemented in some jurisdictions.

  23. I was raped by a woman who drugged me. She was already pregnant at the time. Had she gotten pregnant as a consequence of raping me are people really fucking demanding I be forced to pay her money at the point of a gun wielded by the government?

    What if I or any other rape survivor of a female rapist refused?

    Would you then support putting me and them in jail for refusing to pay a rapist who managed to produce a child?

    SInce when do the rapist’s ability to bear children via take magical priority over my right to not have to reward my rapist via slave labor? The argument that child support is about the child rings hollow. The check goes to the rapist, not the child and the rapist (not a mother) gets to spend it on whatever she wants. Get this straight and don’t use weasel words – this is not a child support check. It is a check that rewards a woman for committing rape. It is a check that punishes, re-victimizes and minimizes a male rape survivor over and over and over again. And it is being defended? Really? REALLY????

    So now we have people being raped by women and then being told that those rapists own them for 18 years and can have them thrown in jail for failing to fork over a significant portion of their lives via forced labor (unless they are independently wealthy already) to make it easier for the rapist to pay for the child they conceived via force and violence against another person?

    Is this ACTUALLY being defended here???????????????????????????

    Pardon me while I go throw up.

  24. I think anyone convicted of rape shouldn’t receive child support from the victim if a child were the result of that rape. Rather the state should supply that support to the child and perhaps even demand regress from the convicted rapist when the child is 18 years old.

  25. Yeah, and what’s with ordering boys who were statutorily raped to pay child support?

    “Yeah, we recognize that according to the law you were raped and all, but you also really wanted it, so yeah, we’re going to need our check.”

  26. typhonblue says:

    Let’s imagine a far-future scenario in which a male rapist can remove zygotes from the women he rapes and then gestate them to term in artificial wombs.

    Should the raped women have to pay child support? After all the money goes to support the *child* who shouldn’t be punished for his father’s actions.

    Let’s also imagine this far future society has just about the same attitude towards male-on-female rape as our society has towards female-on-male rape, ie. it’s funny, she consented, she benefited and if a child was conceived that’s her fault because… well… because she has strict liability over her ovum. Regardless if they’re acquired in the process of fraud, theft or rape.

  27. Jay Generally says:

    I always have to pinch the bridge of my nose when I think about statements like:

    Experts say it is physically possible for a man to be raped by a woman, or, put another way, to get an erection without wanting to have sex.

    It’s interesting how that one tries to herd the dialogue towards the ‘real rape’ scenario; that maybe the only real rape is the one with an assailant leaping from the shadows knife in hand demanding sex at the threat of physical harm, with the most sympathetic sort of victim putting up a physical struggle, but definitely loathing every aspect of the encounter from beginning to end. But hey, then again maybe someone does want to have sex but knows it’s a bad idea, so says no to it. Which I’ve done myself in my own life. It’s sad when a professional dialogue makes you want to call up old exes and say, “Hey, thanks for not raping me. That’s evidently a thing you could have gotten away with, so my only protection the whole time was your moral compass. Appreciate it.”

    “Many men, for example, recall getting erections when they felt scared, angry, or even nervous…

    Or again, aroused. The implication of those two statements combined is that if at some point in the course of an entire encounter one genuinely thought one’s assailant (or someone next to that assailant or someone they were talking to earlier or are think of visiting later or are on the phone with…) was attractive, it nullifies any rational decision that follows. At least the article goes further with the “And certainly seeing someone naked could lead them to get an erection.” statement to at least present the possibility of a date rape or that if you’re aroused in public it’s not an open invitation. Still, there’s this whole involuntary erection discussion… you’d think with so many people having experienced puberty with a penis and the rather prolific success of Viagra et al. that an erection isn’t as simple as clapping your hands and declaring “I’ll form the head!”

    I don’t know what to think of this situation with the child support and everything. Tamen’s suggestion felt like the one that held the most water: State support + regress from the convicted rapist. This whole story is just plain morose, even if the allegations are false. It wouldn’t change the abhorrent dialogue and would just fuel more of it later.

  28. I liked most of this post, but Clarissa’s argument is repulsive, especially coming as it does from someone who makes it secure in the knowledge that the privileges of her own sex provide an absolute protection from what she’s willing to inflict on others.This sort of thing is always a sobering reminder that there are a lot of women- and many men, too – who see men and boys as little more than cattle

    So the child deserves support. Why does one man who played no willing part in causing that child’s existence have any more obligation to provide for it than any other man- or woman- who played no willing part in causing that child’s existence? Unless the rape of a man doesn’t really “count,” for whatever reason, the victims in these cases have no more responsibility to these children than Clarissa herself- it would be just as fair, and considerably less cruel, to Clarissa pay child support for them. A child whose father is dead or absent still needs to eat and deserves to go to the dentist, too, but I’ve NEVER seen anyone suggest selecting another man at random and forcing him to send large sums of money to the mother for the next 18 years.

    Such an arrangement would be obviously unjust, but it would still be less reprehensible then what Clarissa is supporting- you’d “only” be robbing an innocent man of a large portion of his livelihood for 2 decades, not robbing an innocent rape victim of his livelihood for 2 decades so that his money can be given to his rapist with the threat of prison or other legal punishments for the rape victim if he doesn’t cough it up, and declaring that his rapist STILL has him under her dominion, and is still reducing him to a thing that exists for her use, every time he writes another check for her or can’t buy something he otherwise would have because he doesn’t have enough money left after he’s paid however much it is that Clarissa thinks rape victims should be forced to give to their rapists.

  29. There is a legal precedent: a raped woman does not have to pay child support to her rapist. (http://www.supportguidelines.com/articles/art199903.html)

    If you support men paying child support to their rapists, then at the very least you should support that for women too.

  30. Before we get too hard on Clarissa, we should note that she was the only feminist blogger to call out Hugo Schwyzer when he wrote his outrageous pro-paternity fraud essay.

    http://clarissasblog.com/2011/07/11/do-you-have-a-right-to-know-your-father/

    In fact, Clarissa is the only feminist blogger I’ve seen who has constantly pointed out how full of bile Mr Schwyzer is. If you look at her blog, you can see she is no misandrist. I appreciate her nuanced and academic understanding of feminism. I disagree with her sometimes, but she is a villain.

  31. True. I’ve talked this one out with Clarissa on this one and (if I recall) I think she actually does hold male and female rape victims to this standard. I don’t always agree with her but in her defense she is at least consistent and won’t hold men and women to different standards unlike other feminist bloggers who seem to have no problem doing just that.

  32. I agree, she isn’t a misandrist. But that doesn’t change the fact that she’s wrong on this one.

  33. “ow. I don’t know how you go from talking about a baby’s needs to bed fed and clothed and then from that determine that rape victims should pay for those needs.”

    -Children don’t have rape victims because they can’t rape anybody. They can only have parents.

    “I’ve talked this one out with Clarissa on this one and (if I recall) I think she actually does hold male and female rape victims to this standard. ”

    -Of course. As I said many times, this is not a gender issue. This is children’s rights issue. Adults have the remedy to argue their case before court, try to get relief through the legal system, sue for custody, etc. Children don’t have any options. At all.

    “In fact, Clarissa is the only feminist blogger I’ve seen who has constantly pointed out how full of bile Mr Schwyzer is. If you look at her blog, you can see she is no misandrist.”

    -Thank you, GudEnuf.

  34. ‘Let’s imagine a far-future scenario in which a male rapist can remove zygotes from the women he rapes and then gestate them to term in artificial wombs.

    Should the raped women have to pay child support? ”

    -Of course, they should. Because it’s their child. The circumstances of conception cannot possibly matter to a newborn who is not even capable to comprehend them.

  35. How about we just snatch the child away from the rapist, reform the adoption system, and milk the rapist for all he/she’s worth to support their child and the family taking care of them.

  36. “Children don’t have rape victims because… they can only have parents.”

    Yes, but the guilt or innocence of children has never been debated. They are innocent – but that doesn’t mean that the state should demand support money from a rape victim. Taking money from someone who was involuntarily involved in the creation of a child is a non sequitur.

    “Of course. As I said many times, this is not a gender issue. This is children’s rights issue. Adults have the remedy to argue their case before court, try to get relief through the legal system, sue for custody, etc. Children don’t have any options. At all.”

    How can they get relief with the current legal precedent that has been set? If you’re an underaged boy and you’re raped, you/your family is on the hook for child support. And it seems that you agree with that position. Again, the children are irrelevant, because what SHOULD happen is that the rapist or the state should be on the hook for the child’s welfare. Not the person who had no hand in creating that child.

    Unless you consider them responsible, simply because they had viable sperm/eggs. In which case, again, I am having a very difficult time fathoming how you came around to your position.

  37. And if we’re talking about “children’s rights”, wouldn’t it also be relevant to bring up that in a few of these cases, adult women had sex with underage boys, and later forced them to pay child support?

    Or do those underage boys not really count as “children”?

    Are you arguing for “infant’s” rights then?

  38. @Clarissa – genuine question – what is it that you feel gives a child a right to the financial support of their biological parents? Yes, it seems like an odd thing to be questioning, but for me at least that’s because in the vast majority of cases the parents were morally responsible for the act of conception, in that they voluntarily engaged in activity which had a known risk of resulting in conception, and that’s what establishes the right; the parents are morally responsible because they exercised their own agency in being causally responsible. Hence in the case of rape, where someone’s causal responsibility for conception occurred against their will, I don’t think any moral responsibility follows.

    Now that judgement of course has nothing to do with what the child “deserves” – it’s about who they can claim it from. Presumably you don’t dispute that they don’t have the right to claim it from some random wealthy stranger; so the question is why the mere biological mechanics (since in the absence of agency that’s all there is) mean a parent is more responsible than a stranger, or than society as a whole (I wouldn’t dispute that a child has some claim on the latter in the absence of other support, but that’s not really what we’re talking about).

    A thought experiment: persons A, B, and C are standing in a line waiting to cross a busy road. Suddenly, A gives B a hard shove. B, unable to keep their balance, collides with C, who gets knocked out into the road and badly injured, needing years of expensive care thereafter. I would argue that A certainly bears responsibility for C’s care. B, however, may have been the physical means by which A injured C, but having done nothing wrong themselves, bears no responsibility for the injury, and hence C has no claim on B. Would you disagree? If not, how is the rape situation different?

  39. Moreover, I would like to make it clear that I do not advocate just leaving the child supportless. Instead, I advocate that we force the rapist to pay for the child’s wellbeing.

    So it’s not a choice between children’s rights and victim’s rights. It’s a choice between victim’s rights and rapist’s rights.

  40. Also @Clarissa – “The circumstances of conception cannot possibly matter to a newborn who is not even capable to comprehend them.”

    Wouldn’t this implicitly argue for making sperm donors liable for child support? Do you think they should be?

  41. Sorry for all the posts – I realised mine @11:52pm has a potentially confusing shorthand:

    When I say that B, “having done nothing wrong” isn’t responsible for A’s care, I should probably have really said B, “having done nothing which they could have any reasonable expectation of leading to C’s injury”, isn’t responsible.

  42. Clarissa: The rapist isn’t seeking child support, the *state of Michigan* is seeking child support.

    “The fact that a person was created during the commission of a crime in no way reduces that person’s need for food, clothing, medical care, and education. Imagine baby Anna and baby Jessica. Anna is a product of a passionate loving consensual sex act. Jessica is the product of rape (whether by a man or by a woman). Is Jessica going to eat less? Will she be less deserving of visiting a dentist? Should she have fewer toys than Anna? Can anybody reasonably argue that one of these kids should be punished because she has a criminal for a parent?”

    Ok but let me ask you this: Should Kris be asked to pay money because someone raped him? The answer is a clear and resounding “no.”

    Especially since there’s no way to guarantee this child support is being spent on the child.

    ” “To destroy my entire family for the simple thing that he didn’t want to pay child support, that’s a very selfish thing to do.””

    I hope you rot in fucking prison and then burn in hell. Fuck, I’m going to believe in hell now just so there’s a place for selfish little specks of worthless dust like you to burn for eternity.

  43. Clarissa one more point that I think you missed:

    “In instant messages the day Kris was served with child support papers more than two years ago, he told her he was afraid he would go to jail because he couldn’t afford child support.”

    He can’t AFFORD to pay the child support and could be put in jail. So yeah, fuck that noise about how “think of the poor wittle children.” Justice cannot be so grossely miscarried, if this man is forced to pay child support he can’t afford then while Jessica’s child may get the toys he wants, Kris’ will not. If Kris can’t afford to pay it he may end up in jail because someone raped him. Is THAT the world you want to live in?

  44. typhonblue says:

    @ superglucose

    “If Kris can’t afford to pay it he may end up in jail because someone raped him. Is THAT the world you want to live in?”

    Now THAT’S a rape culture!

  45. We shouldn’t throw a child to the wolves because it was concieved through rape, but the obvious solution would be that the state provides for it instead of the raped parent (unless they want to).

  46. Tom Smekens says:

    Clarissa, you say it doesn’t matter to a newborn how he/she was conceived, and I say it doesn’t matter to a newborn where the money comes from. So I believe, on a secondary level, it’s affordable to defend victims’ rights against rapists’ rights.

  47. “The fact that a person was created during the commission of a crime in no way reduces that person’s need for food, clothing, medical care, and education. Imagine baby Anna and baby Jessica. Anna is a product of a passionate loving consensual sex act. Jessica is the product of rape (whether by a man or by a woman). Is Jessica going to eat less? Will she be less deserving of visiting a dentist? Should she have fewer toys than Anna? Can anybody reasonably argue that one of these kids should be punished because she has a criminal for a parent?”

    The answer to Clarissa’s logic is simple: if Anna’s mother committed a rape, she should obviously be sent to prison and lose custody of Anna. Custody transfers to the father, who can subsequently put the child up for a closed adoption, waiving all future responsibility for the child.

    But the adoption issue presents a flaw in Clarissa’s logic: does a biological parent cease to be a parent, and thus waive financial responsibilities, when an adoption occurs? We don’t ask for child support from the biological father of a child who has been adopted. In that sense we have a baseline social (and legal) standard that states that not all biological fathers must financially support their children. It’s hardly a leap to get from there to “rape victims ought be included in this category”.

  48. Under a strict interpretation of the law, these boys, by virtue of their age, were raped. But family courts have seen these incidents for what they were: consensual sexual encounters. And as a result, they have ordered the boys to pay child support.

    I am completely dazed by this set of sentences. It’s like they come from a bizarre parallel universe. What.The.Actual.Fuck???

  49. What about the possibility of a civil suit? If the rapist had to pay financial restitution to the victim, would that be just? What would be a reasonable amount? What if it were comparable to several years of child support, would that be just?

    I believe in general someone who is obliged to pay restitution for some wrong doesn’t get any special consideration for the financial hardship that would place on themselves and their dependents. Why would it any different here?

  50. @ typhonblue
    “Really? Then what do you think of the legal jurisdictions in which a woman can get a man’s parental rights to custody terminated with an *allegation* of rape?”

    It’s BS for the same reason.

  51. @ GudEnuf
    “Oh, so NOW we’re concerned about false rape accusations?”

    I was always concerned about false rape accusations. You must be mistaking me with someone else.

  52. Okay. So…

    Sweet. Merciful. COCONUTS! What in the ever-loving seven seas is going on with this? Tampa Bay, what in the gold-plated, thrice-blessed, rinsed-daily-in-holy-water FUCK?

    Mr random Tampa Bay got pressured into it by his girl, and she gets pregnated, and FORCES him to look after the kid? I don’t like to say it, but this kind of behaviour makes even a would-be English Gentleman such as myself reach for the hunting rifle…

    I should stay my hand, that the local constabulary had it covered. Evidently, however, this is not the case. In which case, take the resulting young’un out of the equation a moment, and bring justice to the perpetrated against. To whatever standard is absolutely necessary.

    Then again, many here would teach that violence is never the answer. And enslaving a man to the stolen seed of his loins is? As well as rape, I’d add Sperm theft to the list of Miss I-wanna-get-up-the-duff-and-damn-the-consequences’s crimes.

    I know. Issues, I has ’em. But this angers me. Things should not be as they are. No man should have his seed stolen, and be forced to support a child he didn’t want, or even consent to! And were I a lesser soul, I’d be on the first plane over, with an array of pointy things, fixin’ to fix up this situation. But Instead, I’ll have another cuppa, and think nice thoughts. After all, I’ve still got a show to do yet!

  53. The only point I disagree with in your post is point 5. THESE PEOPLE ARE ONE YEAR APART. I’d buy this if the girl were around 21, but she’s not. She is ONE YEAR OLDER than the boyfriend/rape victim.

    That said, there is so much fail in the whole story. Making someone else have sex with you is the DEFINITION of rape. How can someone not understand this? It’s a fucking simple concept.

  54. “Under a strict interpretation of the law, these boys, by virtue of their age, were raped. But family courts have seen these incidents for what they were: consensual sexual encounters. And as a result, they have ordered the boys to pay child support.”

    Yeah, I thought the whole purpose of the law was that the consent of a minor to a stranger thirty year old pedophile with a van and a “free candy” sign was in fact, meaningless. Apparently family court thinks otherwise.

    Wonderful.

  55. The problem with Clarissa’s take on this issue is that in her post she completely ignored the issue of the interests of the rape victim, and of whether being forced to pay for a child they did not want hurts their interests.

    I don’t mean that she denied that this was an issue, or that she concluded that the child’s interests were more important. She simply did not even mention the issue, or acknowledge it when others brought it up.

    So trying to argue with her over whether or not it is fair to make the rape victim pay child support is futile unless you can get her to address whether or not losing a portion of one’s income to child support for an unwanted child constitutes a hardship.

    And this isn’t just some oversight, either. Whenever someone in the comments thread tried to bring up this issue, she would avoid answering, either by get real nitpicky about the terms being used (“paying child support isn’t a punishment!” “monetary harm? Never heard that phrase?”), or by making personal attacks on the commenters’ intelligence (usually criticizing them for phrasing their comment awkwardly). One thing she flat-out refused to do was to address the issue of whether forcing the victim to pay child support causes any hardship to the victim.

    And if you won’t acknowledge that, then why should there be any problem with forcing them to pay? The idea that making society as a whole or some other group pay is a better solution is based on the idea that there is hardship involved for the victim forced to pay child support. Until you get her to admit that, there is no basis for an argument.

    Seriously, read the thread that ozy linked. It is hard to argue that Clarissa is being entirely intellectually honest here (at the very least, by totally, deliberately, actively refusing to address the existence of the issue of hardships for the rape victim, she is being half-truthful).

  56. It is important to recognize that men, such as this man can be raped by women, and that such rapes are just as horrible as rapes committed by men and boys upon others. It is ethically wrong for a rape survivor to have to pay child support.

    It is most important to recognize that there are Many Men – who are survivors of abuse, particularly of child abuse (including sexual abuse) and that they deserve our support and understanding.

    Certainly many males are seriously abused by their mothers as children. (Mothers commonly spend a lot more time with their children than fathers do, which increases the probability of such abuse).

    At the same time we should NOT equate the abuse that men face with other abuse and through this attempt to make it “equal” for the purposes of minimizing the effects of or otherwise discounting the Horrific Abuse issues that exist with us Men – as the abusers of: Men, Women, Boys and Girls.

    Far more men and boys kill, injure and psychologically damage others than women and girls! Probably the most common abuses (when considering bullying and other intimidation as abuse -as it should be considered) are of Males Abusing Other Males.

    The Abuse is wrong – no matter who is the Abuser and Who the Abused is.

    I’ve never feared that a Woman I passed on the street would be a potential threat to my physical safety. Most women that I know have had (understandable) similar fears of men. Most of us men (particularly those who have Not been abused) similarly have no fears (perhaps naively in some cases) that women that we meet and know will abuse us (so we don’t need to check in with a friend after a first date for example).

    We need to seriously address issues of Male Violence and how “being a Man” contributes to our violence. We need to take violence against males by females seriously. We need to Not equate the two in implying that the Quantity and potential likelihood of such violence is equal.

    We, as Men, need to begin to seriously work on the issues of:
    1. Male Violence – how it isn’t – “the bad guy” – but how we are socialized towards such violence though only a minority of us are violent,
    2. Supporting survivors of Abuse/Violence – both Male and Female
    3. Ending the Violence making it truly “deviant” and rare.

  57. “At the same time we should NOT equate the abuse that men face with other abuse and through this attempt to make it “equal” for the purposes of minimizing the effects of or otherwise discounting the Horrific Abuse issues that exist with us Men – as the abusers of: Men, Women, Boys and Girls.

    Far more men and boys kill, injure and psychologically damage others than women and girls! Probably the most common abuses (when considering bullying and other intimidation as abuse -as it should be considered) are of Males Abusing Other Males.”

    There is no need to play Oppression Olympics either way.

    So no need to say “but women have it worse!” and no need to say “but men have it the same!”. It doesn’t fucking matter. They should be helped, and have funding to do so. Not be ignored.

  58. typhonblue says:

    @ Geo

    Here’s what I heard when I read your post:

    Men’s agency; Men’s agency; Men’s agency; Minimize Women’s Agency; Men’s Agency; Men’s Agency; Brief mention of women’s agency but LOOK! THERE’S MEN’S AGENCY! IS SO MUCH BIGGER AND MORE IMPORTANT!

    And people wonder why women don’t achieve as much.

  59. “At the same time we should NOT equate the abuse that men face with other abuse and through this attempt to make it “equal” for the purposes of minimizing the effects of or otherwise discounting the Horrific Abuse issues that exist with us Men – as the abusers of: Men, Women, Boys and Girls.”

    I’d argue with you, but I think you’ve already had your fair share of the kool-aid.

    Come back when you think that men and women are equally responsible for ending violence. Come back when you stop thinking that all men were socialized to be violent.
    Come back when you think that men and women are equal, in all senses of that word.

  60. The bit about age of consent is NOT about Kris; it’s about the article’s opinion that people who are literally under the age of consent (i.e. the case of the fifteen-year-old and the thirty-four-year-old, which was cited in the article) and say they are raped are just trying to get out of child support.

    Everyone, let’s not jump on Geo, okay? Not. The. Enemy. Here. Although I do agree with what Schala said.

  61. Geo,

    Acknowledging the abuse of a man does not equate it to anyone or anything. Individuals are raped and abused by other individuals working in tandem or by themselves. While it may not be what you intended, your comments clearly endorse a hierarchy of survivorhood based on gender. I cannot support that.

    You said, “At the same time we should NOT equate the abuse that men face with other abuse and through this attempt to make it “equal” for the purposes of minimizing the effects of or otherwise discounting the Horrific Abuse issues that exist with us Men – as the abusers of: Men, Women, Boys and Girls.”

    What exactly does this have to do with the topic at hand? NOTHING. This is yet another case of “women have it worse” being thrown in the face of male rape survivors. Whenever a discussion of male rape survivors occur, we are ALWAYS told that women have it worse and we should not delude ourselves into thinking we have anything to complain about.

    I’m sorry, I just cannot get why it is necessary to acknowledge and minimize male survivors in the same breath.

    If is this truly not what you intended, then please revisit your comments with the idea in mind that male rape survivors are CONSTANTLY beat over the head with “women have it worse” arguments before responding. There is a reason why people are upset about this one.

  62. Would you then support putting me and them in jail for refusing to pay a rapist who managed to produce a child?

    This, so much. I am not willing to have a gun pointed at rape victims on my behalf because of the circumstances of their rape.

  63. Ozymandis42: “Everyone, let’s not jump on Geo, okay? Not. The. Enemy. Here. Although I do agree with what Schala said.”

    I know I’ve been avoiding commentating here the past month or so but sorry, I have to respond.

    I disagree Ozy. Disagree vehemently.

    Sure, Geo isn’t the enemy.

    But every single time. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. the discussion highlights male victims of abuse from females, somebody always has to make statements like this:

    “At the same time we should NOT equate the abuse that men face with other abuse and through this attempt to make it “equal” for the purposes of minimizing the effects of or otherwise discounting the Horrific Abuse issues that exist with us Men – as the abusers of: Men, Women, Boys and Girls.”

    Seriously, this is something that always happens when discussions like this occure. Especially out there in society. It is forced back to the focus on women as having it worse.

    It’s frustrating and should be called out. Anybody who would even think this mentality should be called out on it and even dog-piled.

    Why?

    Because men like me are sick and tired of hearing it and we’re going to stand up no matter what!

    To be told “I’m sorry about what happened and yes, nobody deserves the hurt but women have it worse and men still have a responsibility” invalidates the male victim’s experiences and renders them invisible in the discourse.

    Fuck that shit! Pardon my language, but fuck it!

    But that’s only my opinion. Take it for what you will.

  64. BlackHumor says:

    @OP: The obvious solution, if we want to both have someone pay for the child and not have to make rape victims pay child support, is to just DO THAT.

    Obviously this implies that someone else pays for the child, but luckily we have a big “someone else” with a lot of money called the government which is very skilled at giving money to people who need it.

  65. One last point @Geo:

    I’ve been plenty worried about being a victim of violence by Women, mate! It comes with living in the West Midlands! Then again, that was back in my teenage years, and teenagers is, by and large, crazy with puberty. Puberty kinda does that to people.

    But yeah, What Ozy said otherwise.

  66. Jay Generally says:

    @Sagredo

    That civil court vs. family law thing has played around in my head a lot. Can a father sue the legal guardian of the person he owes, say, $600 a mo. for 18 years (possibly longer w/ college), for half a million dollars? What a Caucus-race. Of course, the father can still be jailed for his failure to remit; I don’t know that the same applies to civil court ordered payments.

  67. Call me crazy, but I thought we got rid of debtors prison for a reason.

  68. @Geo:
    Your right! We do need to address the problems with “Men’s Violence”. A number of men got raped and the weren’t able to generate enough violence effectively enough to stop it. Big time problem. Now there could be several reasons for this, sexist socialization about never hitting a girl. A fear* of sexist police enforcement that always favor women. Or a number of other reasons why they were unwilling. Perhaps they lacked the means, such as a weapon, or training. That can be best dealt with by offering training and weapons to all. Any other ideas to fix this problem? Of course, I do think its in bad taste to bring up the fact that the victims didn’t defend themselves.
    *Note: this is a fear. A fear can exist regardless of if the thing feared exists or not.

    tl;dr: The only problem with “Men’s Violence” here is that there wasn’t enough of it.

    On the child support:
    The hell? If someone takes something from me and makes a child with only one or no parents I’m now responsible for that child? Would you apply that to someone who steals my car and runs a couple down? Really? Really? Or does that only apply if the victim is severely traumatized in the process, and when doing so would re traumatize the victim? The stance that you make a rape victim support a child they did nothing to create is absolutely sickening if you think about it.
    Look children have a right to medical care, food, shelter ect.
    But my legal responsibilities to those children are called “taxes”. When we believe that someone has a right to something they lack society gives it to them and assigns the burden via a tax system. Sometimes, if we can find a person responsible for the situation, we make the responsible person pay.

    More generally, child support (at least for children you haven’t agreed to pay for) is blatantly sexist. If a women has a child and wants to terminate all responsibilities, she can give it up for adoption via the joys of safe haven laws. Or any number of other legal tricks I’m sure one can find. A man should have the same ability to terminate responsibilities.

    Of course, in many of these cases I believe a much bigger problem has been obscured: WHY IN THE HELL DID WE PLACE CHILDREN WITH PEOPLE WHO RAPE CHILDREN?!?!?!?!?!?

  69. “WHY IN THE HELL DID WE PLACE CHILDREN WITH PEOPLE WHO RAPE CHILDREN?!?!?!?!?!?”

    Because when a woman rapes somebody, she’s just a woman who has raped somebody (once).

    When a man rapes somebody, he becomes a rapist.

  70. @Gud Enuf

    Feminist blogger (and a favorite of mine) Ren at Renegade Evolution also had a harsh critique of Schwyzer’s possible paternity fraud.

  71. Leo Salloum says:

    @blackhumor: I’m not sure whether the following was a joke:

    Obviously this implies that someone else pays for the child, but luckily we have a big “someone else” with a lot of money called the government which is very skilled at giving money to people who need it.

    I am not inclined to treat it as one, but some people think that governments giving money to ladies for getting pregnant is THE WORST THING EVER! I don’t see it as a big problem. I’m going to assume you think that it’s not a problem and are in favor of sending checks that would help single parents raise children.

    The reason that the government will always prefer chasing after biological fathers is that the government is in the marriage-promotion business. It can not be seen to do something that makes marriage a less-good option. The government wants everyone to be coupled up and will make sure to punish both women and men who have kids outside of wedlock.

    I guess the question raised by this event is — given that the government likes punishing unmarried people who reproduce, should the government punish the rape victim here (by forcing him to pay child support) or the rapist, her child, and her other children? It’s actually a pretty terrible choice, either way. I guess I’m on the side of the rape victim, but I feel for the rapists’ kids. Sure is a shame we can’t just get past the idea of punishing unmarried parents, huh?

  72. Y’all may disagree with me~! I am NOT trying to minimize the issues of rape, domestic violence and child abuse against – men and boys!

    I do – though – wish it acknowledged – though I Don’t hear any of you acknowledging most of what is below that:
    1.) The abuse of children – boy children in this case is a Huge Problem,
    2.) The abuse of children occurs commonly from Both Fathers and Mother,
    3.) The abuse of adult men – through rape and domestic violence is Wrong and a Serious Problem,
    4.) While we should acknowledge that the Rape of Men by Women and Domestic Violence where a Woman is the Perpetrator against a Male Partner is Wrong (and can cause terrible damage to the Man), we are Naive to Believe that in terms of Numbers (and in some cases the levels of abuse – related to domestic violence) that Equal (or close to equal) Numbers of Men are abused by Women as the opposite.
    5.) There is a HUGE area of Violence – Male Violence against Other Males – including: rape, child abuse (including sexual), bullying, intimidating – pushing Males to Fight Other Males and similar. (There is far, far, far, far, far less prevalence of violence of women/girls against others of the same gender, though there is lesbian domestic violence and similar – which should be taken seriously.)
    6.) As men – part of – “being a man” – includes various dysfunctional things – which in Many of Us – encourages us to fight others and to “be on top” (else we are “on bottom” – which is frequently stereotyped in Female or Gay Male terms [not so politely]
    * 7.) Violence – encourages other Violence – the Abused Child or Adult – Easily can become the Abusive Parent or Partner.

    Related to this – my 12 year old step-son receives far more serious challenges to fight and insults/putdowns – bullying perhaps – from his male peers, than from female, though he has issues with peer girls also. My 15 year old step-son – head of his school’s Gay-Straight Alliance – is trying to make his high school he just began attending less than a month ago – safe for Out Gay and Lesbian Students. He is very, very aware of the threats of Male Violence and has little fear of being assaulted by female students.

    Male Survivors of Assault – are Not taken seriously Too Frequently. Besides – being told that they don’t exist and that their issues are less serious than those of Females – which is total garbage – they face plenty of issues that Female Victims may Not Face – related to their/our Socialization as Males.

    The website which I have built – for men and boys primarily – has a specific, separate section entitled: “Male Survivors of Abuse” – http://amensproject.com/male-survivors-of-abuse – in addition to its general sections relating to different types of abuse (and other men’s issues) to try to reach out to male survivors and help make their issues more visible.

    I respond – and am Not Silent here – Not – because I am disagreeing with the seriousness of the Rape of Men and Boys (including by Women and Girls). I see far, far too many Men, most of whom are Not the Survivors of Abuse, Using Male Survivors as a crutch – for their anger at Women. Jackson Katz in his excellent book: “The Macho Paradox” talks at great length about the need for us to do more than help survivors of abuse. (The abuse will not stop by only helping abuse survivors any more than murder and robbery will end by focusing solely upon the victims.) He talks of the need to look at Abusers not as isolated individuals but the patterns that occur amongst those who abuse – how they become abusers and “why” they are abusers.

  73. Geo,

    One thing that you will need to learn as you spend more time here is that a lot of the men who comment ARE MALE SURVIVORS, so please don’t invalidate or minimize our opinions by insinuating that we are “Not the Survivors of Abuse” or “Using Male Survivors as a crutch – for their anger at Women”. Further, you may not have heard us acknowledge or discuss those specific points here as that is not what this thread covers. However, you will find that most of those issues have been discussed, many times ad nausem on other threads or websites where many of the same participants engage. Don’t assume because we don’t specifically mention all things at all times that we don’t discuss or acknowledge them at all or aren’t involved in fighting such topics anywhere. That would be a giant, offensive strawman.

    Again, the problem people had with your earlier comments is related to the “women have it worse” minimization you visited upon a discussion thread SPECIFICALLY RELATED TO MALE SURVIVORS.

    I understand your mission and as someone who was mercilessly bullied and beaten during school I also fight against bullying regardless of the gender of the bully. I still have some of the physical scars from grade school and high school – both physical and psychic. However, I think you are missing a giant issue here. Not every sexual violence discussion has to focus on women = victim and men = perps, especially given that the vast majority already do focus solely on women.

    Again, anytime a discussion on male survivors occurs, we are BEATEN SENSELESS with the “women have it worse and you should be more worried about not being a rapist than your little old problem with having been raped yourself.”

    Really. This happens ALL THE DAMNED TIME. This is why people got upset. If you are going to engage male survivors wholeheartedly then you will need to learn how to avoid this pervasive form of statistical minimization.

  74. pocketjacks says:

    Interesting, Leo Salloum. Along the same lines, I think that the appalling state of many foster care programs is at least partly intentional. Not intentional in that social busybodies are actively making things bad, but intentional in that the indifference to the problems is pointed. Social busybodies don’t want positive alternatives to the nuclear family. And I say that as someone who really wants a nuclear family one day.

    Geo, I think your site is awesome. I don’t doubt your sincerity, especially after you underlined the “specifically” and bracketed “only” when saying that that part of the site was for male victims exclusively. Regrettable and I wouldn’t like female victims to feel alienated, but it’s sadly necessary in a world where an ostensibly gender-neutral forum for victims of abuse become female victims only, with male victims subject to token inclusion and boilerplate addenda and “oh yeah, them too, I guess”, where the number of people who are outright hostile to idea that male victimization exists is more or less par with the number who focus on it positively.

    I generally agree with your take on female-on-male vs. male-on-male violence and bullying. There’s a specific poster here and at Feminist Critics where I lurk who was a truly unfortunate victim of female-on-male bullying and if what I say triggers him, I apologize, but in my experience the worst and most violent bullying that boys experience is usually from the hands of other boys. the bullying I personally received was more of a mixed bag because it was social and not physical (thank god), and it happened to occur at that age when girls’ development noticeably outstrips that of same-age boys – maybe their social aggression centers peaked earlier too, I don’t know. The cases of boys nursing bruises and daring not to tell teacher what’s up, that’s more of a male-on-male thing, I’ll grant you.

    Yet there are reasons why many will be hostile to this framing. Thing is, the types of men who are perpetrators and those who are victims are different types of men. Really. I could go to a middle school or high school campus and probably tell pretty damn accurately who’s a victim and who’s a bully just from seconds of observing them in a social setting. The very things that make some boys picked on are essentially decided at birth, much like gender itself is. It’s not a “lottery amongst men” to see who gets to be at the top of the heap and these guys “just happened to lose out”. Yes, I’ve seen it framed that way, and it’s vile and victim-blaming. It focuses on the traits that the victim has in common with his victimizer. Framing bullying as “female-on-male”, “male-on-female”, “male-on-male”, and “female-on-female”, may not be vile as the example above, but it can be clueless. Again, we’re taking boys were bullied and traumatized and calling attention to the one ancillary trait that they happen to share with those who did this to them – they may not share anything else in common. “Jocks vs. nerds” is woefully simplistic, distilling all social complexities down to episodes of Saved by the Bell, and I have a feeling it niggles many in the gendersphere to use it because of the latest kerfluff about “Nice Guys” leaves them unwilling to admit that nerds can often be social victims. Yet it still more accurately describes the real situation than “male on male”, and I have the feeling that the male victims themselves often prefer it. So the frame we use should be more along these lines.

    The exception is if the bullying, horrifically enough, is sexual in nature. That makes it gendered by default and I have no beef with the “gender on gender” labels in this case.

  75. Pocketjacks: “I generally agree with your take on female-on-male vs. male-on-male violence and bullying. There’s a specific poster here and at Feminist Critics where I lurk who was a truly unfortunate victim of female-on-male bullying and if what I say triggers him, I apologize, but in my experience the worst and most violent bullying that boys experience is usually from the hands of other boys.”

    That sounds too much like minimizing, Pocketjacks. You may have been bullied by other boys, but I was given the worst treatment by both genders.

    So where does that leave me then? Another freak? An anomoly?

    Do you have any idea how that makes me feel? To just have to take my medicine, pull myself up from the bootstraps and all because society just can’t seem to deal with girls who bully boys in addition to boys bullying boys?

    Nobody deserves that.

    I was hurt big time by both genders. Yet I should just put all my efforts into blaming the boys instead of the girls.

    Right. I won’t have that.

  76. I’m also literally at tears typing this next thing but:

    You try getting the silent treatment when talking about your experiences when hurt by girls!

    Then you’ll see what hurt and minimisation is like!

  77. typhonblue says:

    @ Geo

    “Naive to Believe that in terms of Numbers (and in some cases the levels of abuse – related to domestic violence) that Equal (or close to equal) Numbers of Men are abused by Women as the opposite.”

    Why is it Naive? There is a substantial body of scholarship that suggests DV *is* equal opportunity.

    And there are no sound statistics either way on rape. It’s entirely probable that there are as many female-on-male rapists as the reverse.

    “Not the Survivors of Abuse, Using Male Survivors as a crutch – for their anger at Women.”

    Where do you think the anger comes from? IMHE almost *all* of the guys who comment on these issues are male survivors in various stages of dealing with their pain. (Maybe some have an academic interest.)

    I read some reviews of ‘The Macho Paradox’. Seems like Katz may be ignoring a rather important point in the ‘culture of macho violence’… It’s always directed at other men. Unless the man in question is a Villain.

    If anything our endless parade of theatrical violence is desensitizing us… to men as victims. Of other men and particularly inescapably, of women.

    Also, does Katz have any interest in women other then as damsels to save? Ugh.

  78. I appreciate the thoughtful nature of the responses directly above! I did not and do not want to minimize the pain and hurt that Male Survivors have. I might also suggest the just starting work of Stacey Bellem’s – The Unifying Center – see: theunifyingcenter.org (the site is of necessity currently very limited, but what is said is I think helpful) – talking of the importance of men who have had either abuse or trauma – getting therapeutic help. Stacey – discovered the critical importance of helping men (and moved from earlier work that focused upon women, then women and men) and is focusing upon men because of her insights related to our needs.

  79. Geo: Just asking for a language clarification here. When you said:

    I did not and do not want to minimize the pain and hurt that Male Survivors have.

    This is ambiguous to me and I wonder if you could clarify:
    Did you mean; “I did not want to and do not want to minimize the pain and hurt that Male Survivors have.” or did you mean that you in your view didn’t minimize the hurt and pain that Male Survivors have – in other words saying that people who are upset at your earlier commment are overreacting?

  80. Geo,

    “I did not and do not want to minimize the pain and hurt that Male Survivors have.”

    And yet your response to encountering a rare example of a blog post and discusiion where female-on-male sexual violence is actually being taken seriously is to leap in and announce, appropos of nothing, that we shouold not “equate the abuse that men face with other abuse,” and then try to shift focus to violence committed by men and boys rather than against them- because the mere 99% of discussions about rape that already focus on men as perpetartors just isn’t enough for you, apparently. Then you conflate all men and boys, male victims and male victimziers alike, into an amorphous “us” that we’re to regard as the primary source of evil we ought to be focused on neutralizing for the sake of the Worthy Victims out there.

    Then you self-righeously upbraid people for using the comments section of a post about violence against men and boys to actually talk about violence against men and boys rather than “acknowledge” that violence against women is ever so much more important, which is an appalling demand even if one grants your assumptions about the rareness of men. You treat discussing the existence of female violence against males is some sort of sin that needs to be expiated or social offence that we are obliged to apologize for.

    I’ll add that trying to derail a discussion of sexual violence agaoinst men and boys and turn the subject to the awfulness of male violence against women is particularly objectionable when part of the problem here is precisely that our society already stigmatizes male-on-female violence so heavily that many men don’t feel entitled to actually protect themselves from violence if the aggressor is a woman, and many violent women have a host of silent but ever-present accomplices in the form of men- some of them with guns and legal authority- who will back her up if her victim dares to actually defend himself. Behavior like yours contributes to that culture.

    “I see far, far too many Men, most of whom are Not the Survivors of Abuse, Using Male Survivors as a crutch – for their anger at Women.”

    My earliest memories revolve around a woman beating the shit out of me because the shame of having an autistic toddler who was too shy to make cute little kid conversation with her girlfriends was just too much for her to endure. If I wanted to hate women, I wouldn’t need a fucking “crutch.”

  81. Geo the worst part about your posts is the way in which you capitalize. You speak nonsense and it’s impossible to take you seriously. As one example:

    “Related to this – my 12 year old step-son receives far more serious challenges to fight and insults/putdowns – bullying perhaps – from his male peers, than from female, though he has issues with peer girls also. My 15 year old step-son – head of his school’s Gay-Straight Alliance – is trying to make his high school he just began attending less than a month ago – safe for Out Gay and Lesbian Students. He is very, very aware of the threats of Male Violence and has little fear of being assaulted by female students.”

    Do you even have a QUARTER CLUE what kind of bullying takes place in high schools? Get your head out of your bum and realize that physical abuse is just the smallest tip of the iceberg. I don’t fucking CARE if this gets moderated because I’m throwing this out:

    I spent my life growing up in a household where women were constantly tearing me down. They ate at my self esteem and they ate at my father until he had to physically lash at me in order to have some semblance of control in my life. And when I was in fifth grade? It was a bunch of girls who spent the year making my life a living fucking hell.

    HOW DARE YOU. HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT THE ABUSE I TOOK AT THE HANDS OF MEN WAS WORSE THAN THE ABUSE I TOOK AT THE HANDS OF WOMEN. HOW DARE YOU IMPLY THAT I WOULD RATHER FACE A YEAR’S WORTH OF EMOTIONAL TORTURE THAN A FEW MINUTES OF BEING BEAT UP. WHEN I LOOK ON MY LIFE AND I THINK ABOUT THE WAYS IN WHICH I WAS ABUSED, MY DAD BEATING ME, THE KIDS THROWING ROCKS AT ME, THE KID CHASING ME? THEY PALE IN COMPARISON TO THE CONSTANT AND OPPRESSIVE DETERIORATION OF MY SELF ESTEEM BY THE FEMALES IN MY LIFE.

    HELL THE WORST THING ABOUT BEING BEATEN BY MY FATHER WAS WHEN MY GRANDMOTHER, MY *GRANDMOTHER* SAID THAT I WAS LYING. YOU KNOW WHAT? I HAVE FORGIVEN MY DAD. HE IS NOW ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS BECAUSE HE *GREW* FROM THE EXPERIENCE RATHER THAN SITTING AROUND LIKE A PRETENTIOUS SELF-RIGHTEOUS ASSHOLE. AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT MY GRANDMOTHER’S EXCUSE IS NOW? IT’S THAT I HURT HER BY LYING ABOUT DOING MY HOMEWORK. THAT IS RIGHT. MY MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER EXCUSE TWENTY ONE YEARS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE AND BELITTLING BECAUSE WHEN I WAS IN FIRST THROUGH FIFTH GRADE, I LIED TO THEM ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT I HAD DONE MY HOMEWORK.

    SO FUCK YOU. GET YOUR MISANDRIST BULLSHIT OUT OF THE ONE SAFE SPACE I HAVE LEFT.

  82. I’m sorry about that but this blog got me out of a really scary place where I was about to kill myself. I hated myself for who I was and this penis I bear. To have Geo come in here and spout the same bullshit and crap that brought me to that point? Yes. It pisses me the fuck off.

  83. Kenshiroit says:

    Geo: im sure you are a good person, and you have good intentions. And you are doing somethin good outhere, no doub. Kudos to you.

    My advice to you, take what the users at this blog tells you, trust me thise are valuable inputs. Some of the people here went through hell. So they have a first hand experience on society’s reaction on men’s suffering. Take this at hearth and learn from it. Make this as a mantra: Violence is not a gendered issue. Dv is not a women issue, rape is not a women issue. Its a human issue.

    When you get this, you have done most of the work!

  84. Superglucose, I could just hug you.

    Thanks so much for putting all my thoughts into words for me.

  85. @Geo:
    You’re bringing up an important issue. But this is not the place for it. There are lots of important issues that this isn’t the place to discuss. For example, we aren’t talking about the dangers of polio and the world’s failure to expend more effort to erradicate it. Clearly an important issue, just look at the damage done by Polio when it ran rampant. Yet that would be completely off topic here.

    What did come up here was an article where:
    1) A guy claimed to be raped, and other people claiming he’s lying. This is fairly standard when anyone claims to be a victim of a crime, and a mistake isn’t realistic.
    2) A view that when a boy gets raped it isn’t rape. Very specifically, that when we have proof, near absolute proof of said rape, it isn’t being called not rape. Not that the children aren’t being believed, but that the courts (and the linked article) effectivly said, “We know you had sex forced on you, but that wasn’t rape.”
    3) A discussion of what to do for supporting children who were a product of said rapes.

    The only gendered problems with violence we could possibly get from this is women raping men and men not offering enough violence in response. The problems you want to talk about are completely off topic, we might as well talk about Polio.

  86. “4.) While we should acknowledge that the Rape of Men by Women and Domestic Violence where a Woman is the Perpetrator against a Male Partner is Wrong (and can cause terrible damage to the Man), we are Naive to Believe that in terms of Numbers (and in some cases the levels of abuse – related to domestic violence) that Equal (or close to equal) Numbers of Men are abused by Women as the opposite”

    You need to stop with the rape culture shit right now, mister.

    “I did not and do not want to minimize the pain and hurt that Male Survivors have.”

    You are lying to yourself, Geo.

    Geo, what used to be and what you still think are progressive and caring attitudes are being shown to you to be backward, bigoted, hurtful and harmful to rape and bullying victims, and to potential victims.

    They keep telling you that – victims right here keep telling you that. Are you going to start listening to them or are you going to wallow in your own self-satisfied belief system?

  87. stillInverted says:

    I nominate superglucose for Patron Saint of NSWATM.

  88. And I will start the beatification process. St. Superglucose, what date do you want for your saint’s day?

  89. @stillInverted: Seconded! :)

  90. Kenshiroit says:

    @Jim: the third oktober 😀

  91. Tom Smekens says:

    While we’re being looney, I’d like to say that the title of this post makes me think of a circle of native americans scoffing in unison at something.

    ANYWAY, my heart goes out to all victims of abuse, and I hope I won’t make the mistakes that happened in this thread if I ever need to accomodate a survivor.

  92. I like it, Ken.

  93. @Jim, stillInverted, Simon, Kenshiroit and Eagle: *BLUSH*

    Well I um…

    My birthday is the 13th of October >.>

    I really…

    thanks. That made me feel really good even though I’m not entirely sure what I did to deserve such an honor.

  94. Well, good birthday wishes in advance.

  95. “thanks. That made me feel really good even though I’m not entirely sure what I did to deserve such an honor.”

    Oh that part comes latter. The White Knights will tear you apart in the arena to a howling crowd of 2nd Wavers.

    Happybirthday in advance, by the way. and a word of advice to a Libra who just wants everyone to get along – it just doesn’t work like that. If you can’t stand the confrontations yourself, get other people to do it for you. Being a good manipulator is the whole point of being a Libra anyway.

  96. White Knights are dull and can be called out on their obviously misogynistic paradigm (unless they happen to be me, who white knights for every friend and acquaintance he has: seriously, I stick up for my goddamn friends and if you don’t want me at your side for every battle I see then you better not have me as your friend), and 2nd wavers haven’t been right.

    Plus raging and screaming at obvious hypocrisies is sort of a hobby of mine if you couldn’t tell 😉

  97. superglucose, happybirthday in advance, hope u get lots of presents 😀

  98. Hahaha I suspect I will get no presents at all except a girl telling me she wants nothing to do with me and another girl introducing me to her boyfriend XD

    Advise your children: don’t be born on friday the 13th.

  99. Well then get a good horror movie, but something other than Friday the 13th, and make some popcorn!

  100. I love a good horror movie 😀

  101. Isn’t this great?

    I really love how a comment section can be so bleak one moment and then full of good old-fashioned cheer the next.

    Excellent!. :)

    Oh, happy birthday SuperGlucose.

  102. I just noticed this question on the IMDb forum, asking for examples of “Films with a man getting raped by a woman” http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000122/nest/188938880?p=1

    One of the comments: “LOL yeah. I haven’t seen the movie itself, but someone linked to the clip of the rape. It was actually pretty funny [[laugh]]”
    ughhhh.

  103. “I really love how a comment section can be so bleak one moment and then full of good old-fashioned cheer the next.”

    It’s like the weather. The old saying is don’t complain, just wait.

  104. @K:
    Sounds like the movie they were talking about was a comedy, so I decided to check out the scene to see if the producers of the movie were to blame for trying to make light of rape. IMO, they didn’t make like of rape at all. If I were triggered by such things, that scene would be a nightmare.

    The scene ends with an unexpected turn of events that is unrelated to the rape, and I can see how one would think that part is humorous. I’d go into more detail to explain but I don’t really like to be a spoiler.

    Anyway, I don’t think you can fault either the producers of the movie or the person commenting in this case.

  105. @Druk:
    Haha ok, my bad. Carry on.
    (Thanks. Research always helps. It usually results in less knee-jerk judgements 😀 )

  106. The problem is that the law is focused on the best interests of the child and not the best interests of society as a whole. Is it really in society’s interests to force Kris to pay for the child? What we are creating is a society where millions of men have no vested interest in the well-being of society, as a whole, and the primary cause of this is worrying about individual children. We have abortion, and, yes, it is possible to have one very late in the pregnancy. The easy solution to this is that, at birth, the state queries whether or not the child is going to be cared for by two responsible adults who are willing to voluntarily legally oblige themselves to care for the child through the age of eighteen.

    Newborns who do not meet these criteria are euthanized by the state. It’s morally no different than abortion – and, no, this isn’t an ironic argument against abortion. Killing for expediency is just what animals do, including the human animal.

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