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View Diary: Army chief of staff on sexual assault: 'Maybe we have a bigger problem than I imagined.' You think? (120 comments)

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  •  I doubt that "most men" have (3+ / 0-)

    sexually assaulted a woman- it's definitely way too prevalent but I think most men are not abusers.

    •  it's hard to say (6+ / 0-)

      from a very famous study:

      ''When men are asked if there is any likelihood they would force a woman to have sex against her will if they could get away with it, about half say they would,'' said Dr. Neil Malamuth, a psychologist at the University of California at Los Angeles. ''But if you ask them if they would rape a woman if they knew they could get away with it, only about 15 percent say they would.''

      Those who change their answers do not seem to realize that there is no difference between rape and forcing a woman to have sex against her will, Dr. Malamuth said.

      and that question only covers rape, not counting other forms of sexual battery such as unwanted touching, and other forms of sexual harassment such as lewd remarks directed at a specific woman, open display of pornography, and sympathetic discussions of sexual violence.

      the military attracts men who have a certain attitude about power.  power over other men, and power over women.  it's hard to say whether the military is any better or worse than other (formerly) all-male gatherings when it comes to the number of men who have forced their sexual advances on a woman in some form or other.  most men?  ok, maybe not.  but the number is probably high.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 07:11:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Show me the study that says (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ksuwildkat

        that "most men have coerced or forced themselves on one of more women". There is a difference between actions and hypothetical musings or fantasy.
        Even women have rape fantasies- which I personally find hard to imagine but studies support that too.

        •  i don't have such a study (3+ / 0-)

          i'm just saying that if half the men will admit to a stranger that they have thought about it, the actual number is probably higher.

          unless my experience (and the experience of almost all the women I know) is a complete aberration, too many men have a fuzzy line in their heads between "seduction" and "force" and too many men have a fuzzy voice in their head that says "i think she looked at me that means she really wants to have sex with me".

          your mileage may vary.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 07:55:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My mileage doesn't vary (3+ / 0-)

            in terms of men getting the message wrong, of course that happens. There are always lines and testing and what have you.
            But of all the guys I dated, and all the attempts to move the goalposts, only one guy ever ignored a clear and emphatic no from me. He came very close to raping me, so he was a bad guy (also very drunk and entitled). The guys who pulled him out of the car and stopped the whole thing were good guys (although they went way too far by beating him up). So my mileage tells me that the bad guys are in the minority and I'm always bothered by blanket indictments of men.

            •  that's fair (3+ / 0-)

              it's not so much that bad guys are in the minority.  I do agree with you there.

              the problem is that good guys are in the minority too.

              the ones who will pull the bad guy out of the car (and I do not think they went too far by beating him up) are in the minority.  the ones who will actually take action to protect the women around them are in the minority.  the ones woh even notice that women spend their lives dealing with this crap are in the minority.

              the vast majority are content to look the other way, pretend it isn't happening, keep themselves above the fray, and, until they get hit with a very personal sledgehammer of some kind, remain willfully ignorant of how pervasive the problem is for the women they know.

              kind of like General Odierno.

              Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
              Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 08:22:13 AM PDT

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              •  I have no idea how the numbers break down (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TrueBlueMajority

                in terms of men who will take action, but when I think of the men I know and have known personally, I absolutely believe that most of them would.
                As far as going too far by beating him up- it was a pretty awful thing to witness, especially knowing that they thought they were doing it in my honor or something. Talk about testosterone run amok- it wasn't pretty.

        •  Whoa... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DSPS owl

          How does saying, "Yeah, sure, I'd likely rape a woman if I could get away with it" in response to an interviewer's question equate with women fantasizing about being raped?  (This phenomenon has already been debunked, FYI. When women fantasize about being "ravished", they are controlling the who/what/where/when/why.  This is not the same thing as rape; misappropriating the "rape" label diminishes the severity of the crime.)  

          "I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy..." -Albert Einstein

          -7.88, -7.64

          by socindemsclothing on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 02:51:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree that it's complicated- (0+ / 0-)

            and I agree that what women label rape fantasies are likely to be different from rape. But the same phenomenon seems true in the answers men gave to those questions- where it seems "against her will" seems to mean (in their minds) something different from rape.

            They're wrong, of course, but when the question is asked as "would you rape", the numbers who say they might plummet to 15%- which is still too high, any number would be, but it's not "most men".

            Look, I don't get any of it, I don't see how any rape-like fantasy is sexy to anyone. But then I don't get the whole BDSM scene either, but it exists. I'm still trying to figure out the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey.

            •  I'm one of those rare birds that understands the (0+ / 0-)

              BDSM culture, I used to be into it, however, I've moved on for various reasons and harbor a lot of ambivalent feelings surrounding it.  The one thing I know for sure is that subs have agency, rape victims do not.  Women indulging in romance novel-esque ravishment fantasies are exercising agency in the same way a sub sometimes constructs a sexually violent scenario and determines what exactly is going to happen, how it's going to happen, and when.  Not to mention: safe words.  If you call the shots and can stop the action at any time, you're not being victimized.  

              If a guy answers "yes" to the query, "Would you force a woman to have sex if you thought you could get away with it", he's confessing to the desire to rape.  Forcing a person to submit, sexually, obliterates the victim's agency.  To admit that it's an attractive prospect, denying a human being's agency and bodily autonomy, is pretty damn evil.

              I don't think anyone's saying this one study is conclusive evidence that half of all men are potential rapists, but there is plenty of compelling evidence that a disturbingly large segment of the male population has a sex, dominance, and violence problem.  If you still have doubts, you haven't seen what passes for "mainstream" pornography these days.  Violence, dehumanization, humiliation, and revenge are common themes in porn that targets a male audience.  Unfortunately, it's so prevalent, so socially acceptable, that I've encountered very few men who willingly admit that it's a problem.  Most men are socially programmed to find it, if not desirable, at the very least, not that big of a deal.

              And when you consider that 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted, officially, every year, yet most rapes go unreported...  Factor in sexual harassment and we are looking at a number frighteningly close to half of the male population as sexual aggressors.  Unfortunately, the Not My Son/Husband/Brother/Friend attitude prevents us from addressing the issue as a cultural epidemic.  

              No one thinks men are hard-wired to be rapists, but there is a problem with the way boys and young men are socialized that has created and perpetuates rape culture.  Until we can all acknowledge that we're consciously or inadvertently complicit, girls, young women and women of all ages will continue having to live in a world that's hostile to their existence.  

              "I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy..." -Albert Einstein

              -7.88, -7.64

              by socindemsclothing on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 06:46:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well I still think there's a similarity (0+ / 0-)

                in the way women label (or mis-label) rape fantasies and the way men don't quite make the connection with rape until the actual word is used, but we can agree to disagree on that.

                I do agree with much of the rest of it. The closest thing to porn I've seen is the stuff on cinemax late at night, which I'm sure pales in comparison to online porn. But I've read enough about it to be pretty horrified, and I absolutely worry about how it affects sexual development. I have a 14 year old grandson, and I really don't want his idea of sex to be colored by images of men treating women like shit.  

                One of the things that sticks in my mind from psych courses is the study of how fetishes develop, and how the earliest experiences and details of arousal can trigger future arousal mechanisms. So I have to wonder how all of the widely available porn featuring violence against women is gonna play out in the generation growing up on it. We've had plenty of conversations with him about rape culture, and I think he gets it- but yeah, the culture is a big problem.

              •  The dynamics of BDSM (0+ / 0-)

                may be beyond most readers.

                Succinctly it is the submissive partner that is in control of the action. If your BDSM does not reflect this, it isn't BDSM.

      •  By this logic (0+ / 0-)

        every woman who bought a copy of "50 Shades of Grey" or one of the thousands of "bodice rippers" secretly wants to be raped.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 08:38:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ??? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Old Sailor, socindemsclothing

          by what logic?

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 09:06:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

            you take a study that presented a hypothetical and turned it into "most men have raped women or would given the chance."  

            Thoughts dont equal action for men any more than women reading books about sexual domination mean they want that to happen to them.

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 09:32:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the purpose of the study (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Old Sailor, socindemsclothing

              is to show that men do not always make the connection that forcing a woman to have sex against her will is the same as rape.

              Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
              Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 11:09:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If I was asked if I would likely kill a kitten... (0+ / 0-)

              If I thought I could get away with it and I said "yes", WTF kind of person would you take me for?  

              "I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy..." -Albert Einstein

              -7.88, -7.64

              by socindemsclothing on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 02:54:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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