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View Diary: He Doesn't Believe There's a"Rape Culture" (208 comments)

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  •  Have you been in a situation where rape is (4+ / 0-)

    discussed in the actual rather than the theoretical? I think it's going to be very rare to find people who don't know the right things to say about rape. I'd wager a lot of people even think they believe it. But that doesn't mean they really do.

    A personal anecdote to illustrate (trigger warnings for explicit discussion of sexual assault and rape denialism):

    In college,  one of my teammates (track) was accused of rape by two women on his dorm room floor. My coach defended my teammate by stating that a man can never force oral sex because a woman is in the power position--all she has to do is bite down to resist and she's fine.

    Now that may seem like a logical statement; at the time I actually thought so. But as an older, more educated person, I know that's rape culture talking right there. It's claiming that there is one obvious way to react when being raped and that way is to violently resist. This ignores that many people freeze or disassociate rather than fight. Women in particular are socialized against violent resistance. It also ignores that violent resistance can factually escalate a situation and women are trained to think of ourselves as physically weaker then men--often ironically by anti-rape lectures (which is one of the many, many problems with the "teach women to keep themselves safe" approach to decreasing rape).

    I do not know whether my teammate was guilty or innocent. In his version of the story, there were two sexual encounters that proceeded from explicit, positive consent. But I do know that any person who heard my coach make the statement and all of us seem to agree to it would feel that much less empowered to report a sexual assault if coercion, intimidation, or other forms of non-physically violent actions were the means of assault and any potential rapist would feel that much more empowered that rape is only really rape if it involves physically overpowering the other person.

    Heck, if you feel like Googling, you can read the controversy over Alyssa Royse's article in The Good Men Project in which she defends her friend-the-admitted-rapist (so no questions about doubt) with very common victim blaming language. Royse is a rape victim's advocate! She certainly doesn't believe she supports rape culture. She thinks she writers and argues against it (and maybe in most points in her life, she does) But when push came to shove and someone she was friends with raped someone she wasn't close to, she sided with her friend. If you want to do that, I recommend starting with either Feministes' takedown of the piece or Yes Means Yes' simply because Royse and the other editors of GMP are very conversant with the language of consent culture and if you're not (i.e. if the phrase "consent culture" doesn't mean anything to you), it may be easy to miss how problematic what Royse is really writing is. She uses a lot of rhetorical sleight of hand to try to hide that her piece boils down to conventional victim blaming and rape excusing.

    •  Try this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madhaus

      "Okay, bitch, see these fists? You're going to do exactly as I say, or I'll smash your face to bits. You think you'll look good without any teeth? No? Then do as you're told.  Got that? Good!"

      We tell people confronted with muggers not to resist, to just hand over their wallet, because the mugger might hurt them.

      But women? If they don't fight, f they're not cut, bruised or battered, they must have "wanted it."  

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:34:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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