Thursday, April 20, 2006

Women Get Raped Because They're Stupid, Not Because Men Rape Them

Oh dear lord: Ladies, You Should Know Better: How feminism wages war on common sense.

I've been meaning to write a post about rape for some time, because it's all over the feminist blogs. When preppy white boys are accused of crimes that far too many people think are only committed by "sociopaths" or blond girls go missing in Aruba, the media has a field day. There have been some pretty shitty rape cases in the media lately (why now as opposed to, say, every day as it happens, well, anyway) - Duke being one, the woman who was videotaped being gang raped and had obscenities scrawled on her being the other.

And now we have a great opinion peice of the usual "blame the victim" sort.

Apparently, feminists "rarely discuss what to do to reduce the likelihood of a rape. Short of re-educating men, that is."

Because re-educating men so they know that rape isn't OK would be a bad idea?

WTF? What planet is this woman from?

"But just as sociopaths exist on the Lower East Side, they exist on college campuses."

Rape - particularly gang rape and even more so gang rapes done by members of sports teams - are socially constructed events. They exist to "bond" team members together, to assert power and masculitity. It's not about overpowering erections that overwhelm a man into thinking that forcing himself into someone else's body is cool. That's why you see so many men substitute things other than penises to force into women's bodies, particularly during gang rapes - they can't get it up. They aren't terribly turned on by it, or they don't cum, and they risk looking like "pussies" in front of their "friends."

But teaching men that rape isn't OK surely isn't the answer. The answer is teaching women that - unlike men - they aren't allowed to get drunk at parties, or go out drinking alone. They aren't allowed to go out after dark and go jogging - if they do, they're asking for it! They're being stupid. Going to big college parties is part of the college experience, but women shouldn't go, and shouldn't drink. They shouldn't hang out with men at all.

Might as well slap on a veil and start enacting a curfew for women, cause all those women wandering around at night are just too much a temptation. The fact that you're born a woman means you deserve whatever power-hungry act is committed against you.

Fuck that. Fuck you.

The best way to change this fucking behavior isn't to hunker down under your sofa and hide. The best way to change it is to get the fuck out there and assert yourself. Fight back. Be bold. If you hide away, you've already accepted the fact that you're a born victim cause you've got a vagina.

Take precautions? Sure. Stop going to parties because all the men are going to rape you?

No fucking way.

Teach men not to rape women. Fight back if they do. Stand up and make the charges. Know where your boundaries are. Make sure the men know it, too.

Raise your sons not to be rapists.

Raise them to be decent human beings. Raise them to heroes.

And raise your daughters to fight back.

In a survey conducted two years ago by the Harvard School of Public Health, one in every 20 women reported having been raped in college during the previous seven months. Rape statistics are notoriously unreliable, but the kicker rings true: "Nearly three-quarters of those rapes happened when the victims were so intoxicated they were unable to consent or refuse." And those are just the ones who admitted it.

And the reaction of a man to an overly-intoxicated woman?

Rape her!!!!

Whatever.

Here's an idea: how about we teach young men not to rape women? And yes, that includes women who are passed out.

Gee, that's an idea.

I got drunker than shit in college - usually with groups composed almost exclusively of men.

I once stumbled back through the snow to my dorm at 2am while hopped up on enough tequila and orange juice that I don't remember key incidents of the night - like when I barged into my neighbor's room and apparently started undressing and fell into her roommate's empty bed. She managed to usher me to the RA, who helped me retreive the keys I'd locked in *someone else's* room, and got me into bed where I promptly passed out and spent my entire Thanksgiving hung over to all shit.

I developed a taste for 7&7. More of the alcoholic 7 than the other one. I learned to mix drinks that tasted like jet fuel. I once happened to end the night with a guy who suggested we have sex. I said no. He suggested we make out for awhile. A couple drinks later, that sounded OK, so we did. When he suggested we start taking off clothes, I left. He never pushed, and apologized the next day because he felt he'd pushed too much by asking if we could make out.

I went to a packed house party and downed vodka straight and some guy grabbed my ass. I hit him.

I went to a cabin in the woods with a bunch of guys, drank 8 beers and 5 vodka and cranberry juices and projectile vomited over the porch and made out with one of the guys. When he suggested sex, I laughed at him and said I only had sex with people I loved. We stayed up all night smoking and talking about lost loves.

I was very fortunate in my college days to hang out with good guys who - even when just as rip-roaring drunk as I was - backed off when I clearly said no. Yes! It's true! Men can have common sense and decency! Drinking and making out were fun, but I drew my lines very clearly, and they respected that.

It also helped that I was in one-on-one situations, and I'm very clear about my "no"s. Groups of guys - again, particularly those involved in sports - are going to be more likely to bully. As a member of the group who suggests you back off, who says "maybe this isn't right" might get you branded as some kind of "fag" (oh, for the day when that's not a *bad* thing!), but it will also mean standing up for human decency. Not enough boys and men speak up in those situations. Too many go along with the group, too terrified, too cowardly, to say no.

I had two guy buddies who - throughout high school - had a "rule" that no matter how drunk they or the women they were with got at parties, they wouldn't go past the making-out stage. No sex. This meant one of my guy buddies had made out with so many women by the time he was 22 that I felt terribly intimidated by his count, even if he was still a virgin (that ended soon after - non-drunkenly [so far as I know] for him), when the Love of His Life jumped on him.

There are good men in the world. There are men who know what the boundaries are. They know right from wrong.

So for somebody to tell me that the "problem" with rape is that women are just stupid is offensive to both women who enjoy going out and getting drunk and the men who strive to be good, decent human beings by respecting sexual boundaries.

There's lots of fun to be had between men and women (and etc), and it's the fuckers who aren't taught where the lines are or who are too cowardly to decide on their own who are the problem - you can't blame a woman for her brutal rape and/or death at the hands of a bunch of gang-rapists because she chose to go jogging at night. That would be insane. That's saying we live in a society where men aren't responsible for the crimes they commit because they can't "control" themselves. We're going back to the old "Crimes of passion" defense.

Give me a fucking break.

The radical-feminist message was of course wrongheaded--most men are harmless, even those who play lacrosse--but it could be useful as a worst-case scenario for young women today. There is an alternative, but to paraphrase Miss Manners: People who need to be told to use their common sense probably didn't have much to begin with.

To sum up: Woman, you were raped because you're stupid.

Not because the men who raped you are assholes.

Who writes this fucking drivel?

I want to see an article that tells men to "use common sense" when deciding whether or not to have sex with a woman. You know, common sense like:

1) if a woman is passed out, don't rape her
2) if a woman says no, don't rape her
3) if a woman only says yes after you hit her a bunch of times, you're still raping her.

Dumbass.

29 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Patrick said...

Word.

the bluest light said...

There was a list like that on feministing...
http://feministing.com/archives/004756.html
And by the way, great post.

Khandi said...

Thank you for that post. You are my hero.

Anonymous said...

it's irresponsible to unilaterally state that women should "fight back." You have many good suggestions, which are of course not new, but fighting back is a decision that needs to be made by a woman, or a man, for that matter, at the time. And, according to police statistics, and my own personal experience, it is rarely a wise choice. The violence, no matter what her skills, usually escalates dramatically. You can't second guess a woman's decision in that situation -- and telling her she must fight back only adds another guilt when it's all over, if she survives. It's all a lot more complicated than most of the rhetoric shows. I'm glad to read you were so lucky. But remember, you didn't know they were good guys until it was all over. It's more than a question of asserting boundaries. Raising sons to be good guys is tricky too. In this case, the personal should be political, not the other way around.

Kameron Hurley said...

Women's resistance to sexual assault is more likely to succeed when it is active, when multiple strategies are used, when the woman feels determined, angry or outraged, and when the woman's resistance includes a physical component. These findings are supported by seven independent studies, and contradicts decades of terrible advice given to women to "not resist-- it'll only make him angry."   

See the stats.

And I don't know about you, but if I was raped, I'd feel better knowing I at least tried to resist than if I passively just lay there and let somebody attack me.

Instilling a "victim mentality" in women just encourages more women to roll over and submit.

It's how you teach people to be slaves.


 

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Kameron Hurley said...

And, another one:

Forceful physical resistance was an extremely successful strategy. The completed rape rate dropped to between 45% and 14% when the rapist's attempt was met with violent physical force (Kleck and Sayles, 1990; Siegel et al., 1989; Ullman and Knight, 1992; Zoucha-Jensen and Coyne, 1993). Striking was more successful than pushing or wrestling (Quinsey and Upfold, 1985). Physical resistance also appears to be more effective when assault occurs outdoors (Quinsey and Upfold, 1985).

http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~tellner/sd/Review.html

and:

Women who used knives or guns in self-defense were raped less than 1% of the time. Defensive use of edged or projectile weapons reduced the rate of injury to statistical insignificance (Kleck and Sayles, 1990).


While many of these strategies were very successful by themselves, combinations such as yelling and fighting or yelling, fighting and fleeing further increased the chances of avoiding rape (Bart and O'Brien, 1985).


Dude, I'm so not just going to roll over and submit. That's exactly what power-hungry assholes want. It's a power game.

And I still think the best defense against rape is teaching men not to rape women.

But then, I guess I'm old fashioned that way.

Anonymous said...

1) I have been raped.
2) I was 13.
3)Pretty hard to fight back at that age, in anyway you have mentioned. Maybe you and could have squashed him?? LOL
4) I have spoken with older women who have been raped/otherwise physically abused.
5) pretty hard to fight back when you're 84.
6) Or in a wheel chair. Or bedridden. Or unconscious. Or...
7) My point was, don't make women feel MORE guilty because they don't fight back.
8) Good for you that you have the mouth to fight back.
9) Good for you that you have had the resources to learn how to fight back.
10) come back when you have raised a son. Trust me.
11)Must you always be so defensive?
This is after all a public forum in which you are offering opinion and soliciting comments!!
12)I guess you're old fashioned that way. Wanna knock the shit out of me?

Kameron Hurley said...

1) I have been raped. 

That's shitty.

2) I was 13.

That's even shittier.

3)Pretty hard to fight back at that age, in anyway you have mentioned. Maybe you and could have squashed him?? LOL

Ha ha yea, that's pretty funny, tell me another one.

4) I have spoken with older women who have been raped/otherwise physically abused.

So because we're young/old we shouldn't fight back? We should feel that it's just our lot in life because we're young/old?

5) pretty hard to fight back when you're 84.

So you shouldn't try? You shouldn't report them? You should stay silent?

6) Or in a wheel chair. Or bedridden. Or unconscious. Or...

So you shouldn't raise women to defend themselves because they might be incapacitated?

Huh?

7) My point was, don't make women feel MORE guilty because they don't fight back.

Why would you feel *more* guilty because you didn't fight back? That's the part I don't get at all. Teaching women to fight back means that those who can't fight back will feel guilty?

I'm not seeing that line of reasoning.

8) Good for you that you have the mouth to fight back.

And good for anybody else who does, too. We should teach more women to have that kind of confidence.

9) Good for you that you have had the resources to learn how to fight back.

Totally. And good for anybody else that does, too. We should reach out to more women and make sure they have those kinds of resources/that sort of knowledge.

10) come back when you have raised a son. Trust me.

So we shouldn't try to raise good men?

11)Must you always be so defensive?This is after all a public forum in which you are offering opinion and soliciting comments!!

Are you saying you're not defensive? I feel passionately about this issue, as you do. That's going to come across in the way I express myself. If you take that as me being defensive, well, yes, I'm defending my position!

Have I told you to stop commenting? :)

12)I guess you're old fashioned that way. Wanna knock the shit out of me?

Why, because you're arguing with me? Wouldn't that be silly? I'm not being attacked. So far as I can tell, we're having a conversation in a public forum where I've allowed comments. heh heh

I don't get that we disagree, I'm just seeing that my "fight back" comment rubbed you the wrong way.

Just because some women are unable to fight back doesn't mean we shouldn't teach women how to fight back. It's not a logical argument. The more aware we all are, the more knowledgable, the better.

Does that mean everyone, everywhere, has taken self defense classes and can put up a fight? No. Does it mean that even those who do will and won't freeze up? No.

But it's better than teaching women to just be really afraid and stay home under the bed at night.

But again, that's just me.

I don't believe any woman should ever feel guilty because she was raped/abused/beaten, whether she clawed out the guy's eyes or stayed very still in the hopes that he'd leave her alive.

We're human.

 

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Unsane said...

Hmm ... There do seem to be some spokespeople who believe that we live in a quintessentially rational world. They believe that rationality is built into the very essence of things, even though it might be hidden from the sight of the stupid. They believe that if we can only figure out how rational the world is, we can accommodate ourselves to it, and so become 'rational', too.

What these people don't understand it that they, themselves, are susceptible to delusional pipedreaming and wishful thinking.

VJ said...

I was going to add my recommendation that you (one) always carry a piece with you. Alas with airplane travel this is not always possible, but I still think it's good practice. Nothing says 'no' more definitively than cold steel. Hell there's even some very sharp plastics that will do in a pinch. Anything that says, 'If you do this you will be hurt in return, and better ID'd for the police', will help. And yeah, I think somehow all those blokes up in AL were a very special case too. Almost makes you kind of fond for the place. Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'

Kameron Hurley said...

VJ, much as I hate the idea of toting around weapons - knives or guns - (and I, myself, don't intend to ever do it), the stats do back up the fact that women who arm themselves are raped less than 1% of the time.

Bah. I hate that stat. I'd rather a woman take self defense classes, because I still worry that a woman who doesn't know how to properly use her weapon may have it used against her, to devestating effect.

http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~tellner/sd/Review.html 

Posted by Kameron Hurley

That Girl said...

I was going to just say absolutly correct! until I read the comments and then I wanted to say to anonymous that I was raped and tortured (with 6 other girls) for most of my childhood.
Although I have a heart that wants to fight, when someone is inappropriate I freeze up, I cannot move no matter what my heart desires or how mad I get at myself later.
The suggestion that you fight seems to have such an effect on you that you were probably told the same things I was.
People have actually told me that by not fighting back (at 4 years old even) that I must have "wanted it in some way".
This bullshit is another way for society to victimize you further.
I have to accept that I will always freeze up, that it doesnt make me a bad person, and it certainly doesnt mean at 4, 32, or 13 years old that ANYONE wants sex just because they dont fight.
If I had a daughter I would teach her how my heart feels - that it's better to fight and die than not fight.
Everyone likes to imagine what they would do in certain situations - learning that we are not who we think we are or wish to be and the world isnt either is all part of growning up.
But it's way past time to forgive yourself for being human.

Kameron Hurley said...

Hey That Girl -

Yea, I don't want anybody to think that me saying, "Women should fight" means that you should feel guilty for not fighting - we're human, we have human reactions, and as you said, it's the "you must have wanted it" bullshit that taints the whole idea of encouraging women to fight back. There's this brutal assumption that if you don't fight back you're "asking for it" in much the same way you were "asking for it" because you went out jogging by yourself.

It's bullshit.

But if I was raising daughters - yea, I'd teach them to fight, no matter how old or young. It's something I believe in.

I'm stunned to think that some women are made to feel guilty because they didn't "fight back." The only one who should feel guilty after a rape or assault is the asshole who perpetrated it.

Arg. I hate this stupid society and its attitude toward women who've been assaulted.

Angry Chad said...

I want to see an article that tells men to "use common sense" when deciding whether or not to have sex with a woman. You know, common sense like:

1) if a woman is passed out, don't rape her
2) if a woman says no, don't rape her
3) if a woman only says yes after you hit her a bunch of times, you're still raping her.

=====

What about

4) Don't have sex with a woman, even though she's saying yes, because she's drunk and may regret it later?

=====

I think you need to be a little more fair here. All men are not evil, and all women are not saints.  

Posted by Chad

Kameron Hurley said...

Uh, isn't that what I said in my post?

4) Don't have sex with a woman, even though she's saying yes, because she's drunk and may regret it later? 

Well, yea, if you're going to bed with somebody who you have no relationship with and don't "trust", you probably shouldn't be going to bed with them. Particularly when they're drunk.

Though the instances of "I said yes last night but today I call it rape" are so miniscule that they're hardly worth mention.

I'm surprised any decent guy would bother bringing that up. 

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Frank said...

Though the instances of "I said yes last night but today I call it rape" are so miniscule that they're hardly worth mention.

Let's clarify. Does this mean, "I changed my mind"? Or does this mean, "I was so drunk last night that any explicit consent I may have given was not meaningful, and should not have been accepted, even if you were drunk too"?

I can believe the former is a rarity. The latter, I suspect, is not.

Two people may engage in consensual sex while drunk, and one person may regret having done so upon sobering up. That doesn't mean the other person was guilty of rape.

Angry Chad said...

"Though the instances of "I said yes last night but today I call it rape" are so miniscule that they're hardly worth mention."

How could you possibly know that?

Maybe we should survey rape vicitims and ask them if they willingly lied. 

Posted by Chad

Vile Blasphemer said...

Very well done article...

As far as being a human weapon- your triceps (the back of your upper arm) are a structural hard point on your body, as are your upper thighs. Getting yourself into position to swing your triceps up into an attacker's jaw or nose is simple.

A hard enough strike under the jaw, though it might hurt your arm, will most likely knock an assailant out or leave him punch-drunk (and can even dislocate or break the jaw). A strike to the nose (under the nose, pressing upward) has the opportunity to break an assailant's nose, but more beneficial, will always leave an assailant blinded with watering eyes.

Your upper thigh, if swung to just above and outside the kneecap, can shut down the leg's nerves for a moment, causing an assailant to fall and not be able to stand for some time (enough to escape).

Under and behind the ear is also a good place to attack.

I don't agree with testicle attacks as they are a smaller target and don't always stop an assailant.

You can also condition your wrist and knuckles for punches by punching a stack of phone books (similar to punching a human).

Hope no one ever has to do any of this! 

Posted by Vile Blasphemer

Kameron Hurley said...

How could you possibly know that?

Do you read rape studies/stats? How many women have you spoken to who've been raped? What a gleeful thing to ask a battered woman the moment she's entered the shelter, "So, are you lying?" The justice system is skewed in a guy's favor: she's assumed to be lying up front. She's got to prove the truth. Every. Single. Time. And if she was wearing a short skirt, well, she'll have to drop the charges right then, cause she's obviously a lying whore, right?

Only 16% of rapes are even reported, let alone prosecuted (in this country. Even less in other countries).

Puleez. Trying to derail conversations about how to prevent rape by swinging out the old, "Oppressed White Male" BS is getting old, and downright silly. If you have doubts about whether or not you should have sex with a woman, don't.

It's that easy. The media loves to throw out the two or three cases where a woman "changed her mind" the next day or was just wacky and "made it up." What they hate admitting is just how many women are raped every day. Yea. Real forced sex. Perpetrated by... you guessed it! Men.

Of course there are good men in the world, and they're the sorts of men who don't derail these sorts of conversations with silly, "But what if she's lying" bullshit.

Of the 16% of rapes actually reported, how many men are actually prosecuted? How many go free? Shit, there's a frickin' *video* of a passed-out woman getting gang raped, and the there was a hung jury over it!

Good luck getting prosecuted even if you *do* rape a woman. What are you so worried about?

I always suspect men who raise this argument have a guilty conscience.

This isn't rocket science.

Angry Chad said...

You're right, it's not rocket science, it's justice.

"She's got to prove the truth. Every. Single. Time."

God forbid the truth comes out. Fortunately its "innocent until proven guilty", and not the other way around.

 

Posted by Chad

Angry Chad said...

I'd also like to suggest that you perhaps take an argumentation class, and maybe learn how to avoid the obvious logical fallacies you've made in both your original post and throughout the comments.

Just a few that I've noted:

Argument from Ignorance: Just because something is not known to be true, does not mean that it is false.

Attacking the Person: This one seems to be your favorite, especially in that last comment.

Appeal to Pity: The reader is persuaded to agree by sympathy.

Those are the big ones, but I'm sure there are at least a dozen more. I know it's difficult to be purely objective on such an emotionally charged subject, but I think you're doing your cause more harm than good by tossing around sloppy accusations and faulty arguments. 

Posted by Chad

Kameron Hurley said...

God forbid the truth comes out. Fortunately its "innocent until proven guilty", and not the other way around. 

Well, yea. Did I say that was a bad thing?

I know it's difficult to be purely objective on such an emotionally charged subject, but I think you're doing your cause more harm than good by tossing around sloppy accusations and faulty arguments.

You were making arguments? Seems you were just as sloppy, if not more so - you're making the assumption that all women lie about being raped.

I was questioning your motivation behind that assumption.

Yawn.  

Posted by Kameron Hurley

the bluest light said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark said...

You might appreciate my take on Patriarchy "Why the Patriarchy?" at my blog.

Here is a quote:
For centuries, men have done just this and women have suffered the most for it. Men have used physical strength, physical and psychological abuse, and god to force women into subservient rolls. I describe this form of leadership as “forced followership.” Physical Strength is not really a leadership skill.

Posted by arationalbeing

beepbeepitsme said...

It is the same old crap. Western version~"She deserved it because she was stoopid and in the wrong place at the wrong time." Middle eastern version ~ "She deserved it because she wasn't wearing a veil." I wanna do some serious damage to gonads when I see this this type of crap. Pass me my nutcrushers.

Lya Kahlo said...

“God forbid the truth comes out. Fortunately its "innocent until proven guilty", and not the other way around.”

Spoken exactly like a man who’s never been and never known someone who’s been raped. Show me any single rape case where the victim wasn’t dragged through the mud and humilated daily (see Kobe’s case) an I’ll show you what a liar you are.

Angry Chad said...

"Spoken exactly like a man who’s never been and never known someone who’s been raped. Show me any single rape case where the victim wasn’t dragged through the mud and humilated daily (see Kobe’s case) an I’ll show you what a liar you are."

Sorry for the late reply, but I just now got around to checking this post again.

And holy shit you're joking, right? It's against the law in the United States, via a Supreme Court ruling, to release the identity of the supposed victim, but not the accused, in rape cases. LMFAO @ your bizarro world.  

Posted by Chad

PerpetualBeginner said...

Not that leaving the actual name out of it has stopped the victim from having her history, job, psychology, and anything else dissected in public. Having to refer to "Mary Doe" hasn't slowed down the deluge of victim-blaming one whit.

I love that the accused perpetrators get an assumption of innocence, while the definite victim (whether of them or somebody else, but I doubt she beat herself up) gets trashed.

Also legal protection doesn't help you at all when you're trying to live your life in a community where everyone you know, knows about what happened.

Angry Chad said...

"Also legal protection doesn't help you at all when you're trying to live your life in a community where everyone you know, knows about what happened."

=====

I'm sure it's comparable to having everyone, everywhere, know your name and what you've been accused of...

And I really don't see how having a horrible crime perpetrated against you is even remotely as shameful as being accused of perpetrating a horrible crime.

I see no reason why all names shouldn't remain confidential. 

Posted by Chad