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Jessica Valenti writes eloquently about women in The Nation.  After her latest article, someone named Ice Cream Cone left a comment that said in part:

“Needless to say I am very much against rape. If a man has to resort to rape to have sex with any woman he is not much of a man anyway.  .  .  I don't believe we live in a "rape culture.” I would ask Ms. Valenti or anyone else what her solutions to this "rape culture" she believes we live in are.  My question is not asked in any sarcasm or rudeness.   I would also ask how she thinks that men should behave in order to prevent this ‘rape culture.’”

It was the “or anyone else” that freed me.  I would like to respond to Ice Cream Cone:

Behavior is preceded by thoughts. One thing that needs to happen is that more men need to develop out of the prevailing social paradigm sufficiently to know that men don’t resort to rape in order to have sex.  Men rape because it makes them feel powerful.

Let me address the “rape culture” phrase which seems to stick in Ice Cream Cone’s throat. I would invite him to imagine an alley in a high crime part of town where he doesn’t feel safe.  Now imagine it is night and for whatever reason, he’s there.  The fear or uneasiness he feels?  This fear and uneasiness is woven into the unconscious and in many cases, the conscious substance of every woman in the world in the daytime, at night, in any part of town, and in her own home.

Now imagine—and I have to cross metaphors here because I think there’s a relation—someone grabs him from behind and rams an AK 47 up his rectum.  How do you think that would feel, Ice Cream Cone?  Now imagine that someone, probably from the gun lobby, came out and said that you shouldn’t have been where you were and you shouldn’t have been wearing such tight pants, otherwise this wouldn’t have happened.  Now imagine a police station, a jury and a Congress full of women jeering at you because either you made this up or you asked for it.  You know what men do with guns.  You can’t take that away from them.

Let’s go further: Imagine as a small boy you were told to keep your penis taped down against your leg because no one should ever see a bulge there.  You should always keep that part of your body covered.  Or as a teen being told: don’t ever take your shirt off.  I don’t care if it’s 90 degrees in the shade, if women see your nipples, they get ideas.

You know what: WOMEN THINK ABOUT SEX ALL THE TIME, TOO because they are HUMAN BEINGS, just like men are.  It’s just that many women see sex as something more complex than a penis in an orifice.

Let’s keep going: suppose bills were being introduced and passed all over the US that mandated you keep track of every erection and every single sperm that comes out of you.  You know those sperm are alive?  Those are potential human beings.  You are responsible for every seed you spill upon the ground as well as every egg one of those guys fertilizes.  Every time you have sex, you must submit to tests to determine how many eggs you have fertilized and how many human beings were lost as a result of the ones that aborted.  We’ll need to have you into a female doctor’s office and then into the court of a female judge and jury to determine whether or not your sperm was the reason some of those eggs didn’t fertilize.  Women will determine which of the women you had sex with you will have to support because of the embryos that ensued plus change diapers, do night-time feedings and take time off work when any child of yours that came to term is ill.  Because this is going to impact your productivity, we will make up for that by paying you 25% less per hour than people not in your situation.  In addition you must pay restitution for any aborted embryo because you are probably culpable.  And by the way, insurance is not going to cover Viagra.  We’re not paying for you to have sex.

If this sounds ludicrous then you haven’t been paying attention to the current political obsession with women’s bodies and reproductive systems.   Because when women are not seen as having full autonomy over their own bodies, the rape is already happening. In your paradigm, the only alternative for men obsessively controlling and demeaning women is for women to control and demean men. There are other worlds than this.

To develop out of the prevailing social paradigm, a person, say Ice Cream Cone for example, needs to figure out what’s in it for him.  He needs to figure out that the way women are controlled, demeaned and infantilized in our culture also demeans and infantilizes men.  When anything feminine, anything having to do with women is smirked at, condescended to, mocked, or disenfranchised, it makes it harder for men to admit they have all those qualities and attributes within themselves, waiting to be developed.  Until a person --male or female--realizes that the complete panoply of what we call masculine and feminine is available in some degree to everyone and that  it’s the work of a lifetime to be open to one’s capacity for human-ness, that person is going to wonder what is all the fuss about this "rape culture."

Originally posted to FrenchUltramarine on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 11:28 AM PST.

Also republished by Sluts, Sexism and Patriarchy, and Community Spotlight.

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  •  Tip Jar (185+ / 0-)
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    tardis10, Horace Boothroyd III, gustynpip, prettygirlxoxoxo, Richard Lyon, AnnieR, lgmcp, Philpm, JayRaye, madhaus, leeleedee, TiaRachel, mamamorgaine, rbird, Batya the Toon, SilentBrook, Cassandra Waites, boadicea, slothlax, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Liberal Granny, home solar, janetsal, Chi, celdd, enufisenuf, belinda ridgewood, Vienna Blue, Joy of Fishes, Orinoco, thomask, rexymeteorite, ladybug4you, Purple Priestess, Aaa T Tudeattack, Naniboujou, exiledfromTN, carolyn urban, shaharazade, begone, mali muso, Gardener in PA, Matt Z, karmsy, congenitalefty, kevin k, bronte17, FloridaSNMOM, tofumagoo, Penny Century, Themistoclea, nomandates, Chaddiwicker, liz, alpaca farmer, Yellow Canary, howabout, Pandoras Box, ChocolateChris, Leftcandid, revsue, petulans, 2thanks, ruleoflaw, lostinamerica, tonyahky, METAL TREK, smrichmond, weaponsofmassdeception, luckydog, wader, liz dexic, Alice Venturi, Leftleaner, duhban, fallina7, Shippo1776, zukesgirl64, FogCityJohn, Ckntfld, splashy, mungley, LSophia, Black Max, Siri, Lonely Texan, bunnygirl60, suesue, radarlady, nuclear winter solstice, SaraBeth, Emerson, evelette, Radical Faith, marleycat, filkertom, oortdust, GreenMother, Mrs M, Nadnerb in NC, FindingMyVoice, papercut, Noddy, zerelda, gloriana, Tracker, anodnhajo, kerflooey, SingerInTheChoir, DRo, DianeNYS, spooks51, colleen, arizonablue, arlene, CalLawyer817, Boston Boomer, Its a New Day, JDWolverton, Smoh, Raven in Philly, GAladybug, dannyboy1, roses, Mistral Wind, fiddlingnero, stormicats, Renee, martydd, SuWho, lexalou, onepartyleftstanding, surfbird007, countwebb, mapman, Loquatrix, Haf2Read, Snuffleupagus, Robynhood too, Carol in San Antonio, pixxer, CA coastsider, Arahahex, slowbutsure, pioneer111, serendipityisabitch, Brooke In Seattle, Jakkalbessie, Calfacon, yoduuuh do or do not, Silvia Nightshade, pat bunny, SheilaKinBrooklyn, dsb, Jake Williams, artisan, La Gitane, PSzymeczek, Karen Hedwig Backman, LilithGardener, kathny, elginblt, saluda, JenS, nokkonwud, sb, Diana in NoVa, millwood, Avilyn, cindiloohoo, DvCM, SmartAleq, newpioneer, chicagoblueohio, YsosadisticGOP, Daulphin, Captain C, 207wickedgood, TriciaK, hwy70scientist, Oh Mary Oh, No one gets out alive, SadieSue, PBen, Dr Swig Mcjigger
  •  There is a good possibility that this is (62+ / 0-)

    a white man who would tell you that there is no racism in America because he doesn't experience it. Unfortunately there is no quick medical treatment for empathy deficit disorder. When women try to talk to men like this about the ever present sense of menace that they deal with, they are likely to be labeled hysterical.

    •  It's ubiquitous in our culture, too. (12+ / 0-)
      Unfortunately there is no quick medical treatment for empathy deficit disorder.
      Keeps the gears turning, and the status quo securely in place.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:35:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How does society react to these scenarios? (69+ / 0-)

        A man goes into a bar in a "tough" part of town. While there, he has a few too many drinks and flashes a big roll of cash. When he decides to go home, he decides to walk instead of taking a taxi and takes a short cut through an alley.

        Inside the alley is a mugger waiting for him, who demands that he give up the money,  and flashes a knife. The man hands over the money, and also his wrist watch and smart phone.

        In this case, the police will be called, they will take a report, they will tell the man that he did exactly the right thing in handing over the money snce the man has a knife. If the mugger is caught, the man will testify that he's the one who stole the money, and if the wrist watch and smart phone are found in the mugger's possession, that will be seen as proof that the mugger stole them and he will quite likely go to jail.

        Now....a woman goes into a bar in a "tough" part of town While there, she has a few too many drinks and does a little flirting with some of the patrons.  When she decides to go home, she decides to walk instead of hailing a taxi and takes a short cut through an alley.

        Inside the alley is a rapist who confronts her, demands that she submit to rape and flashes a knife. The woman does not resist and is raped. Afterward, she calls the police. Semen is found on her clothing and inside her.  

        In this case, in court, the woman will be asked why she came to this particular bar in this particular section of town. She will be asked why she drank too much, why she flirted with some of the men, why she didn't hail a cab. Didn't she know this was a dangerous area?  Hadn't she displayed sexual willingness in the bar? Why did she go down that dark alley? Wasn't that a foolsh thing to do? Surely she knew that! So....had she set up a meeting with this man?

        The woman points out that the man had a knife. But she has no marks on her. No cuts. No bruises. No proof that she resisted.  

        The rapist claims that sex was consensual. The case is thrown out of court. The woman is publicly labled a tease, a slut, a stupid whore who was "asking for it."

        This type of double standard is common. And we wonder why so many women don't report rapes.


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

        by Sirenus on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:15:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  For people who don't understand the rape culture.. (26+ / 0-)

          they just have to look at science.  A lot of them simply refuse to believe the statistics that show that 1 in 4 women will be raped at least once in their lifetime - or if they do accept it, they only want to believe that there's this tiny number of men out there doing these huge numbers of rapes.

          Here's the reality.  Koss (1988) found a 8% rate of rapists in the college male population.  Lisak & Miller found a 6% in college males.  McWhorter found a 13% rate in Navy inductees.  These are DAMNED DISTURBING numbers.  These are just the people who have committed a rape,. let alone the 25% who think rape is acceptable if the woman asks the guy out, if the guy pays for a date, or if the woman goes back to his room (Muehlenhard, Friedman & Thomas, 1985), or the 33% who said they'd commit rape if they could get away with it (Malamuth, 1985).  This doesn't even cover the percent who may not approve but readily turns a blind eye to it and plays it down.  

          Your average rape-culture denier's first instinct will be to ask, how could you possibly study how common rape is in the general population - who would admit to a rape?  Well, it turns out it's surprisingly easy to find out if you simply don't use the word rape and just describe various sexual situations that are rape. Most rapists are quite proud of what they see as their "sexual conquests" and don't see anything wrong with their "sex by whatever means" approaches.

          To reiterate: about 10% of young men have raped someone.  That's just young men (the percentage can only rise with age), but let's just pretend it's all men.  Stop and think about that.  Go onto Facebook.  Take all the men on your list.  Count them and divide by ten.  At a minimum, approximately that many of your male facebook friends have raped someone.  You can go into conniptions for a while trying to guess at who, but it's what the data says.

          The rate of rape and acceptance of rape in society is simply outright disturbing.  And until people learn to admit the scale of the problem, it will never be effectively combatted.

          And concerning "effectively combatted", stop and think about this.  Studies show that about one in four women will be raped at least once, and about 10% of the young male population has raped.  Compare that with what percentage of people actually end up in jail for rape.  Really drives home the "most victims don't report, and only a single-digit percentage of those reported end up with a conviction" aspect, doesn't it?  The basic fact is that vast numbers of people are raping and getting away with it scott-free.

          And that's known as rape culture.


          One minor correction to the diary.  It's a common statement that "people don't rape for sex, they rape for power".  But actually, that's not what the science says.  There've been nearly a dozen studies that show that most rapists have no preference between consensual and nonconsensual sex.  They simply find nonconsensual sex the easiest to acquire.

          •  That's interesting (8+ / 0-)
            But actually, that's not what the science says.  There've been nearly a dozen studies that show that most rapists have no preference between consensual and non-consensual sex.  They simply find non-consensual sex the easiest to acquire.
            but, without reading the studies, we have no way of knowing if the 'power' motivation is incorrect or even if the  studies you cite were examining motivation. 'No preference' between consensual and non-consensual sex is, to my mind, not a motivation, it's just an expression of contempt. Why not simply masturbate?
          •  I agree that rape is a major problem (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            and needs to be addressed, but I simply haven't encountered any acceptance of it in the general culture. Granted, that's probably partly a consequence of the company I keep, since I've never been in a frat or on a sports team and, in fact, have few male friends. However, going by the messages I get from the media (i.e. "culture"), the attitude that "she was asking for it because she was acting like a slut" is something that's always held up to ridicule and disapproval. Of course, it's possible for a "rape culture" to exist alongside an "anti-rape culture" in a society. I just personally have never heard anyone in public express those ideas that are accepting of (certain kinds of) rape without getting immediately blasted for it from all sides. And going on to lose elections. Again, I'm going by my own experience, which is limited.

            To summarize, everything you've posted is correct, a large number of men commit rapes and too many of them get away with it, but you have not shown that there is a pro-rape bias in culture. Probably a good way to find out would be to do a study of jurors at rape trials where the defendant was acquitted and see how many give "she was asking for it" as a reason for voting to acquit.

            •  Meanings (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              La Gitane, TiaRachel, qofdisks, DvCM

              I think many of us haven't defined our terms.  The best thing to come out of a conversation like this is the way we bring about some understanding of each other.

              I don't believe I, myself, used the term "pro-rape."  I suppose anyone who believes that a woman ever "has it coming to her" could be said to be pro-rape.

              By now after reading all these comments, I am thinking of three terms: Rape, rape, and culture.  There's a culture, it's an atmosphere, a substance of our minds, attitudes and activities in this country.  That culture lends itself to the growth of certain behaviors.  Rape with an upper case R doesn't occur in a vacuum.  It grows out of a culture.  Clamping down on Rape is only the beginning.  Many of us (men and women) would like to get the (lower case r) rape out of the culture.

              •  Well, let's start with what we can agree on. (4+ / 0-)

                1) Rape is an acute problem that needs to be addressed. It includes not only violent rape by a stranger, but any situation where consent is not given, or is withdrawn.
                2) There are still people around who will make excuses for rape in certain cases, i.e. when the woman was dressed provocatively.

                If you want to define culture as any point of view that exists within a society, then you can say there is a rape culture, but then I would suggest that we are already combating these attitudes. Yes, rape can be difficult to prosecute, and I can readily imagine that some rapists get off because of sexist jurors, as I said in my post above. I am just not ready to assume that the attitude is prevalent at this point in time (as it definitely used to be). I guess, as someone who has been exposed to the "no means no" message repeatedly, I have a hard time believing that there is still a significant number of people who haven't been. I am willing to be proven wrong, but would like to see some polls or something as evidence. I think the culture has been changing in the right direction on this and is continuing to do so.

                •  I think calling it (8+ / 0-)

                  a "rape culture" may be a little too hyperbolic, but I understand where the diarist wants to go.

                  Because when women are not seen as having full autonomy over their own bodies, the rape is already happening.
                  This is a huge symptom of the problem.  Women are still seen as objects, vassals, baby incubators, "trophies", or property.  Whether it's politics or popular culture, we are inundated with portrayals of women as vulnerable victims, either not pretty and young enough or too pretty for their own good, constantly being judged.

                  Until women have full equality with men, I'm afraid the "rape culture" (for lack of a better term) will continue.  We need to teach our sons that women are equals deserving of just as much respect as their fellow male buds.  And hell, teach young women to fight for that respect as well instead of cultivating these self-loathing "feminists" like Palin and Bachmann that do us no favors at all.

                  "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                  by La Gitane on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:02:42 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  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:

                    "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 ]

              •  Both a rapist and his victim were in my class (5+ / 0-)

                I was a prof for an intro undergrad science course at my university ca. 2000.  A frat party (with prohibited alcohol served) had been reported in the campus newspaper as the site of an "alleged" rape a couple of weeks back.  One of my female students approached me for help with her next exam.  The presence of the rapist in my class -- a man whose name she did not reveal -- was proving very difficult for her.  The campus police had (no surprise!) decided not to pursue her complaint -- or the infractions associated with the party itself, only 1/2 block from the police HQ.  On top of that, her parents were both accusing her of "asking for it" by being near the frat in the first place.  Her having been sober didn't seem to matter to the campus cops, the rapist, her parents, or the several who had witnessed the assault.

                Imagine having to attend class twice each week for the remaining two months of the semester with the very man who'd assaulted her; yet she attended every class.  Imagine how much strength it took for her to tell anyone -- in this case, a female stranger -- about it and then ask for help.  Imagine the possibility that I could have responded just as her parents had, leaving her even more traumatized than before.  To this day, I cannot fathom the inner steel that allowed her to take that risk.  I simply wouldn't have been able to do it.  

                Her average had been a mid-B to that point, so we made alternate arrangements that allowed her to finish my course, and she maintained her grade.  After that semester ended, I never saw her again.

                In my decades as a prof, I intervened with two young men having intense suicidal ideation; I drove all my night students back to their individual parked cars; and I held her secret.

                One in four women is sexually assaulted in her life?  Statistically that's relatively impersonal unless you are that one, or unless you know that one.

                So many of us are part of that 25%, or could easily have been.

                Yeah, there's a vibrant rape culture, and we're living in it.

                (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

                by argomd on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 04:54:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Rape Conviction very Low Everywhere (6+ / 0-)

              There have been numerous studies done showing that it is very difficult to get a rape conviction. Currently a study about the UK's very low conviction rate is making headlines.

              The problem is not that rape is considered acceptable behavior. Of course most people think it is horrible and rapist should be punished. The problem is that when people hear a specific account about rape,especially in a Courtroom,  in general they find it very hard to believe that what is being described constitutes rape.

              And even when they are convicted it gets overturned.



              •  Well, they say they're against rape (9+ / 0-)

                and of course it's so horrible and nobody should ever go through it and rapists should have their balls cut off and get thrown in prison with the proverbial "Bubba" as a cellmate -- or hey, death penalty, even! -- and yadda yadda yadda.  All of that is very easy to say.

                But then you scratch the surface and -- as you say -- when it comes to any given woman, any individual case, people come out of the woodwork with umpty-million reasons why it may not have been rape.  Maybe it wasn't that bad.  Maybe he was set up.  And why did she do this and why didn't she do that, and oh my god I just want to scream.

                So what do women hear?  Oh yeah, rape is horrible.  Terrible.  Worst crime in the world even.  But if I am raped?  There will be a whole chorus of voices out to say it ain't so.  I will not be believed.  It's just going to make it worse to even say anything about it.

                That's what women hear, and we have all the evidence in the world to back us up.  So when some guy comes along and says "of course rape is horrible, BUT ..."  Well forgive us if we are just a tad bit dubious about it.

                •  "Reasonable doubt" (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HiBob, DarthMeow504, Dr Swig Mcjigger

                  Everyone is entitled to a trial in front of a jury of their peers. The adversarial nature of the process is unfortunate but necessary. You are talking about ruining someone's life and throwing them in prison. In order for that to be done under color of law, the offense has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Many such cases are he said / she said with a lot of alcohol present and only the participants as witnesses (often there are even more confounding factors like a prior sexual relationship between the two people, or no or equivocal physical evidence).

                  I don't know about you, but if I am going to ruin someone's life under color of law, I want to be damn sure I understand what happened in the incident. I'm not sure if one person's unsupported testimony would be enough in some cases.

                  So we can assume that the low conviction rate is a cultural bias against women, or we can acknowledge that prosecution of these cases is hindered by the above factors. Maybe it's a little of both.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 12:55:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why do you doubt a woman (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TiaRachel, crose, Janet 707, Donkey Hotey

                    when she tells you she was sexually assaulted.  When you do not doubt a man who tells you he was physically assaulted.

                    I am not talking about the law here, don't give me reasonable doubt or presumption of innocence or any of that other derailing BS.  I'm talking about how people treat people.  How people talk about people.

                    •  I am primarily concerned with the law (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Dr Swig Mcjigger

                      Whether or not I personally believe any particular side of cases like these is (must be!) very focused on the particulars of the case in question.

                      It seems silly to generalize to all or most cases. In some cases I find the accuser more credible, in some cases the accused.

                      In some (many?) cases I reserve judgment because I know too little of the facts at hand to make a call.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:35:58 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  If you're a juror, you're supposed to doubt (3+ / 0-)


                      Presume everything to be false, unless, and only unless, the evidence forces you to conclude otherwise.

                      Regardless of the charges you're tasked with evaluating.

                      Justice demands no less.


                      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                      by Leftie Gunner on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 06:42:05 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So you think the legal standard for doubt... (0+ / 0-)

                        ... for capital crimes is the same as the one for petty theft?  There are many possible legal standards for doubt one can use - reasonable suspicion, reason to believe, probable cause, credible evidence, substantial evidence, preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, and beyond a shadow of a doubt.

                        Of course people always deserve the premise of "innocent until proven guilty".  Of course it falls to the state to prove someone's guilt instead of them having to prove their innocence*.  But there's a good debate to be had about what the standard of "doubt" to be used by the jury for different kinds of crimes can be, and all the evidence in the world that due to cultural biases, it's way too high concerning rape.

                        * There are a couple exceptions in British law at least that I think are fair, in that the state still has to prove specific circumstances, but once those circumstances are proven, the burden can shift to the defendant.  For example, in rape cases, if the state can prove that the situations were one of several categories where the concept of consent being present are exceedingly unlikely, the burden then shifts to the defendent to prove that consent was given.

                        •  These standards you cite (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          are for different stages of a criminal proceeding. There is logically, a lesser standard to make an arrest, get an indictment, obtain a search warrant etc. then there is to convict a person, possibly depriving them of their liberty and permanently stigmatizing them with a criminal conviction record.

                          •  Not true. (0+ / 0-)

                            Different courts use different standards.  For example, civil trials in the US have the standard, "preponderance of the evidence" to get a conviction.  It varies country to country as well.  There is no one single standard that must always be used in every country, in every court, for every accusation, as ruled by God from on high.  The selection of a standard of doubt is a process of balancing the rights of the accused and the likelihood of their wrongful conviction with the public interest in preventing harm to the community.

                            And I think that it's pretty damned obvious that in the case of rape, this balance is all out of whack.

                          •  Nope (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            You don't get convictions in civil trials.  You get liability, which is why you get a lower standard. In civil cases, you are dealing primarily with monetary damages or perhaps determination as to ownership of property. No one will go to jail or sentenced to death in civil cases, which is why we can have that lower, easier to establish burden of proof. In civil cases, it is always beyond a reasonable doubt with very good reason.  

                          •  Who cares what it's called? (0+ / 0-)

                            It's a different standard of doubt for a different type of trial where the balance of interests is different, which is thus proof that all kinds of trials need not have the same burden of proof.  In fact, in some types of US civil trials, the burden shifts from "preponderance of the evidence" to "clear and convincing evidence".  And there's been a push for the standard in capital criminal cases to be "beyond a shadow of a doubt".

                            And in case you didn't notice, the US isn't the only country on the Earth with the only judicial system on Earth.  I already gave the example of the shifting burden of proof in the English judicial system.   Do I need to go into more countries?

                            To reiterate: There is no inherent reason that rape trials must use the same legal doubt standard as, say, a murder trial.  Bring it back to first principles here: what is the purpose of a trial?  Why do we choose the rules and standards that we do?  When take from a basic perspective, one can clearly see that the current standard is failing the basic principles of a functioning judicial system on the side of protecting the public interest.  This warrants reform.

                          •  The legal system for one (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk, burlydee

                            More to the point, if you are going to pontificate on our legal system and how it should be changed, you ought to at least understand how it works.
                             As for this:

                            And in case you didn't notice, the US isn't the only country on the Earth with the only judicial system on Earth.  I already gave the example of the shifting burden of proof in the English judicial system.   Do I need to go into more countries?
                            I've noticed. We've been through this before. I don't care about other legal systems. We have ours. It isn't perfect, but it does work and is better than most that exist or ever have existed. Going into more countries is irrelevant,since we are dealing with our system. There are other countries were men can legally marry ten year old girls, where the right to divorce is not reciprocal and where woman can be executed for adultery.
                            To reiterate: There is no inherent reason that rape trials must use the same legal doubt standard as, say, a murder t
                            Yes there is. It is called due process of law, part of which is to ensure that the accused have a right to a fair trial and the overall theory of limited government whereby it ought to be difficult for the government to put an individual in prison, possibly for life, for conviction of a crime. If we use beyond a reasonable doubt for the ultimate crime, murder, we certainly should use it for rape.
                          •  Reasonable doubt about rape (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Men and women differ about what constitutes reasonable doubt in rape cases.  In rape cases, I am guessing that proof and legality is skewed toward a male's understanding of what goes on between men and women, and possibly without any understanding or sympathy for the idea that a woman is having a completely different experience than the man.

                          •  I don't know that this is true (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Males on juries have voted to convict men of rape and women have voted to acquit. I've never seen any evidence that what you suggest is true
                            Of course, men and women, blacks, whites, young and old might have different opinions about what constitutes reasonable doubt on any number of matters. That's part of the system and we can't change this by tinkering with a bedrock principle of justice in our country. I am still not seeing any reason why a particular type of defendant should be stripped of one of the most fundamental protections in our criminal judicial system.

                          •  Of course (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Dr Swig Mcjigger, madhaus
                            Of course, men and women, blacks, whites, young and old might have different opinions about what constitutes reasonable doubt on any number of matters.
                            I agree.

                            But you are overlooking my premise that our society (and our justice system) is skewed toward a male experience of the world.  How much of Women's experience of the world do you suppose has informed the history of jurisprudence?

                          •  That is a fair point (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            FrenchUltramarine, Sparhawk

                            a lot, probably almost exclusively at the beginning. But its also true that this has changed a great deal as well and will continue to do so, it is to be hoped. Society is changing and you are in fact getting prosecutions and convictions in cases that you would not have gotten not all that long ago. I expect that this trend will continue as society evolves. Men's understanding of the issues is part of it as is getting more female judges, prosecutors, and leglislators.

                          •  Got it. (0+ / 0-)
                            We've been through this before. I don't care about other legal systems. We have ours. It isn't perfect, but it does work and is better than most that exist or ever have existed. Going into more countries is irrelevant,since we are dealing with our system.
                            Got it.  America is the bestest and greatest land that ever existed, and no need to see what all of those idiot foreigners are doing, and no need to change anything because hey it's worked fine for me and my kind in ages past.!

                            Hint: that philosophy you're espousing is known as "conservatism".

                            If we use beyond a reasonable doubt for the ultimate crime, murder, we certainly should use it for rape.
                            If the "reasonable doubt" standard is convicting 70% of murderers and 5% of rapists, clearly they should NOT be using the same standard.
                          •  Or to put it another way, if we treated murder (0+ / 0-)

                            cases the way we treated rape cases, the prosecution would have to face the burden of proof to prove that the murder victim did not in fact want to be killed, and the jury would be highly disbelieving of this fact and readily convinced that the victim "asked to die".

                          •  No (0+ / 0-)

                            Because you can't consent to being murdered. You can consent to having sex. They are two very different crimes, but the burden of proof the prosecution has to meet is the same for good reason.

                          •  You can't *legally* consent to be murdered. (0+ / 0-)

                            But that just means that you're using the existing law to argue that the law must be the way it is.  It's a circular argument.  My whole point was that the default assumptions for whether someone was murdered are so much lower than for rape.

                  •  But a rape culture (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Donkey Hotey, madhaus

                    attacks the victim in order to destroy her credibility, recognizing that credibility is essential to the charge.  It's why sex shaming is vital for a rape culture to exist.

                    It's a circle.  Being a slut makes you a bad person, which makes you untrustworthy, which means you could be lying about rape, which means you probably wanted to have sex, which makes you a slut . . .

              •  Every rape is unique like a snowflake. (0+ / 0-)
          •  Yep (9+ / 0-)

            I've always had a problem with this.  While I shudder when idiots liken rape to sex, I do think that there is definitely a sexual component.  To say that it is a crime motivated solely by power and control is simply not accurate, in my experience or others that I know of.

            Another unfortunate result of repeating this common meme is that it lets many men off the hook who see themselves as maybe having "taken advantage" of a woman or two, but they're not sociopaths or control freaks....

            IMO, this view only feeds into the "legitimate" vs "illegitimate" rape myth.  "Legitimate" would be the violent, criminal aggressor who wants to control the woman, while "illegitimate" is the guy who just wanted to get laid and, well, she happened to be a little drunk....

            Since we of course want to address the latter as rape, then we have to accept that there is plenty of sexual aggression that arises out of sexual desire and opportunity.  It's important to address this because we obviously STILL have a huge problem in our society with men understanding that nothing but explicit, conscious verbal consent counts as consent.

            We still have a long way to go, and getting these cavemen out of prominent public leadership positions is a number one priority.

            "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

            by La Gitane on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:51:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Are their other traits that go with rapist? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            My sense is that being a rapist is not an isolated trait. We are probably not talking about guys who are otherwise awesome individuals but just have this one tiny flaw which leads them to view rape as acceptable behavior. For the most part, these are unpleasant people with a whole host of behaviors that make them someone to be avoided. The problem is that rape is something that is fairly easy to get away with, unlike say, beating up strangers in a bar, so is it the outlet of choice for certain personality types.

            It doesn't surprise me that 10% or more of men are rapist, because there are at least that many men wandering around that are just in general amoral and have no concern for anything or anyone. So unless we are talking about addressing the early life environments that increase the odds of shaping the kind of personality that perceives rape as acceptable, I don't think there is much to be done about the number of potential rapist.

            What we can do is work to make rape the kind of crime that would-be-rapist actually feel concerned about going to jail over. Right now it is way too casual a crime for many men, something akin to going over the speed limit, then something that they really think about the consequences to them if caught.

            •  It's a nice thought, but (5+ / 0-)

              everything from anecdote to studies shows that many men who rape -- not just the ones who'll admit to 'rape', but who do (& often admit to doing) things like "taking advantage of" a drunk women, pushing things a bit too far, etc. Engaging in non-consensual sex, basically -- these men are often 'just guys.' Even, y'know, nice guys -- except for the using a woman for their own sexual pleasure regardless of her opinion on the topic, rather than sharing pleasure with her. (Some of the studies/articles linked above discuss this stuff.)

              These men look like nice guys. They might be popular, might be genial, might be pleasant to talk to. What they are not, is social outcasts. (Though it's not unusual for women to feel uncomfortable about a guy when other men see nothing wrong with him. But, unless you've got a critical mass of women who are comfortable asserting their perceptions even when challenged by male opinions/'general knowledge', those feelings often stay internalized.)

              That's the problem with rape culture -- it's so endemic, so much a part of the way the social world is made up, that it isn't limited to just the sociopaths. It's not just that one person's impulse that's happening, it's an entire culture that supports (& builds) that desire.

              •  Yep--you nailed it. No one wants to believe that (6+ / 0-)

                their best buddy they watch the game with, would do such a thing.
                And the nice genial guy that hurts women? He isn't going to display his tendencies for other men usually. I mean that would just be weird.

                So what it is, you are getting two faces of one person. One is Mr Cool Popular Dude with his buddies hanging out and being generous,

                And the other is the thing that lies beneath when he is alone with a woman whom he perceives as available or vulnerable. And he knows he has it made. In the regular world he is Mr Cool Genial Guy--no one is going to believe this slut over him. And sometimes he is absolutely right, no one is going to be able to marry these two perceptions of one person together.

                Those two worlds rarely meet. So you can have men and women having completely different discussions and perceptions of the same person.

                •  yes. this. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DvCM, GreenMother

                  Thanks GreenMother.  You put words to something I have always felt and not been able to articulate.

                  •  This is an unfortunate lesson I had to learn, and (0+ / 0-)

                    so I will teach it to as many other women as possible. It's not that we don't know this--it's just that sometimes the shock and the horror and all the other emotions make it difficult sometimes to verbalize what we go through.

                    I have had decades to reflect on this.

                •  People are lousy judges of character (0+ / 0-)

                  But that doesn't change the fact that the guys who rape women are terrible human beings in general. The kind of guy who can do something so terrible to another human being has something really broken inside. The problem is that there are far more terrible people out there then people want to acknowledge and many of them may present as otherwise perfectly Ok guys. Teaching someone not to rape is not like teaching someone not to pirate DVDs. It is not simply a matter of learning that the behavior is wrong. A rapiest is someone who doesn't give a shit about hurting someone else is they think they can get away with it. It is insult to all of the decent and kind men out there to suggest it is just a guy thing that an otherwise nice make will engage in because it is acceptable.

              •  It's entirely possible for a person to be popular (0+ / 0-)

                and still be someone who really cares for nothing but what he wants.

                The world if full of charming, personable people that everyone likes....except those who know them very, very well. I have two relatives like this. "Fun" to be with, life of the party, huggers, just delightful....until you get between them and what they want. Then the ugliness shows up. I don't even bother to tell people about how these two really are....they simply don't believe me. (My stepmother was a big fan of one of them--thought she was wonderful--until a situation arose that showed the manipulator's true personality. Shocked the hell out of my stepmother.)

                The truly great manipulators in this world are almost always charming and charismatic, enough to make people believe what they say, and help them get what they want.

                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 07:44:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you, Rei, (0+ / 0-)

            for addressing the still prevalent idea that rape is not a crime of sex but a crime of control. Actually rape is all about sex and access to sex. When you consider that the biological imperative for males is to have sex and spread genetic material and that they can do this anytime, it is not a far step to understand why rape occurs. If 33% in the Malamuth survey said they would rape if they could get away with it, it looks very much like a crime of access.

            BTW, Rei, you have convinced me of Julian Assange's culpability in the Swedish rape situation and I commend you for your fact-finding.

            •  It's pretty basic folks. It's about both. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The rapist wants something. Because it will give him a kick, a thrill, it will feel good.

              And what he wants, he should have. No matter what.

              Sex....and power.

              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 07:48:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  "No Racism" vs "Jim Crow Law" (4+ / 0-)

      As a Whiteman, and a member of both CORE and SNCC "back in the day" ...  I'm not going to tell anyone "there's no racism in America today" -- there is.  Just YOU don't try to tell ME that Amerika is still the same Jim Crow Nation that it was in 1972 -- because it isn't.

      No one is going to stand in a doorway and say "Segregation now, Segregation tomorrow, Segregation forever"  ... not the degenerate town drunk, much less the Governor of a State.  What was both customary and legal  has become something shameful and criminal.  (And yes ... Laws sometimes get broken.)

      Likewise "Rape Culture.":   There ARE rape cultures in the world.  Of course only a Racist/Colonialist bigot would name them by name ... and an argument might even be made that as of 1950-something the US still WAS one.

      What we have now however, is the survival of  some SUB cultures, that might well be described as either Racist or Rapist ...  In regard to "Rapist" our problem seems localized to Prisons, (high school and college) Sports, and the Military. The failure of those "in charge" to bring it under control IS nothing less than shameful.

      However, equating the failure of OUR country to achieve economic gender parity in all trades and professions with the way certain of our military allies use rape as a cultural norm to prevent, among other things, gender parity in employment -- all that "Andrea Dworkinism" does is makes "moderate" men defensive and uncooperative.  

      And if those men happen to be the men who sit in legislatures,  run the athletic departments, and oversee gender integration policy in the Army -- well you see where there might be a problem when they turn sulky and defiant in the face of what they feel is unjust criticism of them, personally.

  •  I would recommend this article (48+ / 0-)

    as a beginning to get this guy's attention.  It's just there to help men like that even admit there is a problem in the first place.  If he responds positively, then hit him with the hard stuff.

    (These are both links to articles by John Scalzi, a guy who definitely gets it.)

  •  If he's really asking without sarcasm or rudeness (24+ / 0-)

    (and he might be, or rather, think he is: for some reason, white guys often approach these 'something in the world I'm not aware of" with a declaration that "I don't believe in...")

    First step, I think, would be for him to get himself out of his 'I am the world" box, and truly admit that what other people say about life/culture/etc.  is generally absolutely true, even when it contradicts or has nothing whatsoever to do with his own understanding of/experience in the world.

    In general, for men who want to be told what to do to prevent/oppose something like rape culture (or, y'know, just about anything), a useful answer is: 1) go read everything you can find about {topic under discussion}, google is your friend; 2) don't rape (joke about rape, etc.); 3) tell other men not to rape.

    I suppose there's more, but I think that covers the basics.

    •  Sarcasm or Rudeness (15+ / 0-)

      I thought there was an Eddie Haskell edge to his assertion that he wasn't trying to be sarcastic or rude.  He was definitely in an "I am the world" box.  (I love that image.  I love your first step.)
      He came across as someone who goes up to an expert in a complicated field --like any field he isn't in-- with the attitude of "how hard can this be?"  It's hard to tell if it's ignorance or arrogance on his part.  I am probably being way too generous.  People who want to understand something don't go about it putting it in quotes.  Like you suggest, they get busy with google.

      In any case, it sure got under my skin!

      •  Ignorant arrogance. (10+ / 0-)

        Or arrogant ignorance, whichever ;~) Mansplaining, basically.

        I've seen a lot of this kind of thing (the old Pandagon threads used to sometimes be wonderful exhibits of what Privilege looks like & how to deal with it). Sometimes these guys get over themselves, sometimes getting into it with them simply helps you (well, me) hone your arguments & maybe reach some lurkers. But I think the "I'm asking/talking to you, what more 'research' do you want from me?' attitude is a genuine cultural (not personal) flaw as well as a (sometimes deliberate, sometimes unconscious) way to avoid thinking about something uncomfortable. Sometimes people are genuinely clueless even about how to stop being clueless, after all (not that that makes them less irritating :).

        Or maybe it just makes me feel better about humanity in general if I assume that many of those jackasses out there just don't know how to stop being a jackass, or even that non-jackassery is their own actual personal option...

        •  There are reasons for arrogant ignorance which (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radarlady, DvCM

          doesn't make it right or less frustrating, but valid nonetheless.

          The cause may be autistic spectrum disorders and a lot of males are affected.
          They are not naturally able to see another person's perspective or point of view & it appears that they don't care.

          Sometimes they don't; often they don't know how unless they are carefully taught.

          Lots of these guys in my family. They take a lot of work to educate, but it's worth it.

          Just my 2 cents from lots of experience. Frustrating experience.

          Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

          by CA wildwoman on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:59:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, yes, but (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks, DvCM, CA wildwoman

            I'm ASD myself, and IME, the concept/awareness that other people have other things which concern them -- & related, that there are things I'm good at which others aren't, & that others are good at things I have no clue about -- goes way, way back. Other people live in different worlds, and it's clear that they're as clueless about mine as I am about theirs.

            (But that is why, in this sort of discussion, I always try to point out that 'cluelessness' isn't a voluntary state adopted to annoy other people.)

            I think there's a strong gender component to these attitudes. Partly maybe in early brain development, but it's also true that the culture develops/rewards center-of-the-worldism in boys/men, and crushes it in women. These attitudes are just too common in men (3D-world & online) for it to be predominantly an ASD issue.

            •  You're very correct. 'Normal' for males is skewed (0+ / 0-)

              WAY too far to arrogant ignorance / ignorant arrogance for my tastes & the safety of most people.

              I do have to say I taught my husband & kids that a lack of social skills is not a character flaw, but acting unkindly is a serious character flaw.

              That tends to make them try to stop & think about their role in situations before they act, & since they're not purposely mean people they usually act kindly.

              They also teach that to their friends & classmates when necessary, which helps them quickly distinguish who the kind people are around them & who they need to avoid because they're bullies.

              My other view is that testosterone is a problem when it comes to living with others safely. That's observed throughout biology. So human males need more help & teaching not to think with their 'balls' but use their brains instead. They like to think they do, but too often they don't. We raise livestock, so my kids got to see the behaviors first hand.

              Life is a great teacher if you're paying attention.

              Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

              by CA wildwoman on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 02:56:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Darn it, this is a hard one for many people: (11+ / 0-)
      First step, I think, would be for him to get himself out of his 'I am the world" box
      What, I can't be an expert on YOUR experience??

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:45:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Re: comment (14+ / 0-)
    I would also ask how she thinks that men should behave in order to prevent this ‘rape culture.’”
    Gee whiz, you can't think of a single thing?

    And, BTW, men rape women out of hatred and domination, not to get sex.

  •  Never a more eloquent argument for why we must (17+ / 0-)

    have diversity in our legislatures, our courts, throughout our culture.

    Nobody knows an experience like someone who has lived it.

    I remember when Anita Hill's testimony was dismissed by persons (male) who had never been sexually harassed in their lives. And some (maybe many) of those men--bless 'em--would never have harassed a woman themselves. Therefore, they were sure it never happened.

    Fiscal conservative: a Republican ready to spend $5 to save a dime--especially if that dime is helping a non-donor.

    by Mayfly on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:58:37 PM PST

  •  Rape isn't just about power. (8+ / 0-)

    This is an ideological reaction, IMO, to the notion that rape victims provoke their attackers by being attractive. This sort of victim blaming is of course awful and people respond by stating in absolute terms that rape is all about power and not at all about sex. This, however, misunderstands the complexity of the issue of sexual deviance.

    It is true that many rapists are indeed looking simply to degrade their victims and dominate them. I would classify these types of offenders as sadists. But there are also sociopaths who actually are using rape as a way of gaining sexual gratification. For most men, there's nothing sexy about forcing himself on a women as she screams in horror. The shame of what he was doing would kill any positive sexual stimuli. But for a sociopath, who views people as nothing more than objects, this isn't a problem. He will just go ahead anyway.

    So while I agree that many rapists are in fact simply looking for a sadistic power trip, you can't just assume that's the case. I have no idea what percentage of sexual assaults would fall into these categories. Indeed, you could no doubt break it down into much more precise divisions. It is, as i said, a very complex issue. There are a lot of screwed up people in the world and they are not all screwed up in exactly the same way.

    You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

    by Eric Stratton on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:11:50 PM PST

    •  I'm not sure how: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Indeed, you could no doubt break it down into much more precise divisions.
      Your comment sheds no particular light.

      I have problems with this, too:

      It is, as i said, a very complex issue.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:42:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would guess that a lot of date rapes (4+ / 0-)

        are at least as much about sex -- from the rapist's point of view -- as they are about power. I think there are far too many guys out there who simply don't get the fact that no means no.

        (I am not in any way suggesting that date rape is a less-serious form of rape. However, rape by a stranger and rape by one's date obviously stem from different situations; it's not unreasonable to suppose that they also result from different mindsets.)

        Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

        by Nowhere Man on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:05:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't even want to get into that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          All I will say is that it a very bad idea to have sex when you're intoxicated, especially if you haven't already established a sexual relationship with that person. I've personally never had sex with anyone where drugs were a factor and I don't think I'm missing out on anything.

          I was talking about cases where someone, known or unknown to the victim, attacks someone else and forces intercourse. Clear cut, no doubt about it rape. Even in those cases, the motivations for the act can vary.

          You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

          by Eric Stratton on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:12:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Many studies show that for the overwhelming (7+ / 0-)

          majority of rapists, it is about sex.  The "people rape for power" thing may be an attempt to reassure victims, but it's not backed up by science.

          In the overwhelming majority of rapes, the attacker is known to the victim.  Over two thirds involve impairment with substances, either willingly or unwittingly consumed by victim (why use a weapon and be fully remembered by the victim when you can target or create an impaired victim?).  Force is used either alone or together with impairment.  Weapons are used in some cases but not commonly.  

          Most people's image of a rape is a stranger leaping out of the bushes with a knife, raping a screaming, resisting girl, the attacker exuding sadism, then running off into the night, and then she runs crying and bleeding straight to the police station.  The reality is just the opposite.  In your average case the attacker a known person, often on a date, unarmed, assaulting someone who is too impaired, afraid, or in shock to fight back, the attacker usually not being any more "mean" than necessary to get what he wants, leaves the impaired or in shock victim at a leisurely pace and goes on with his evening perfectly happy with himself and seeing nothing wrong with what he did, that it was just a "date" - and odds are extremely high that the victim never reports it.

          •  You are not supporting your thesis (6+ / 0-)

            Just because it's a date rape, or acquaintance rape, does not suddenly mean it's not about power.  

            The point is that rape is not about irresistable sexual desire.  Rapists who are interviewed after the fact don't remember what their victim was wearing in the vast vast majority of cases.  

            In date rape the rapist could desire to have sex with him victim, perhaps at first out of desire.  But, upon being refused it is about power.  About contempt for the idea that the other person has the choice to consent or not, and his ability to take what he wants.  

            You seem to be arguing that some people are turned on by power, that they are sexually aroused by the lack of consent, like a fetish.  And I would say, how is this not about power?  You're just saying that there are some rapists who get sexual gratification from the exertion of power.... so rape is about power again.

            The point is that rapists don't rape because they get turned on in a traditional sexual sense.  The diarist might argue that they rape to demonstrate or feel powerful.  You seem to be arguing that they rape because raping, in and of itself, turns them on.  

            But neither of these suggest that the rape begins with 'turning on' the rapist.

            •  Who said 'irresistable'? (0+ / 0-)

              To most rapists, the event was no big deal.  So of course they're not going to be remembering what the victim wore.  Most rapists think they didn't do anything wrong.

               But, upon being refused it is about power.
              Given that the "weapon" in most cases is drugs or alcohol, rendering the person unable to refuse (unconscious or too confused), clearly that's not the case.
              You seem to be arguing that some people are turned on by power, that they are sexually aroused by the lack of consent, like a fetish.
              I'm arguing precisely the opposite of that concerning the majority of cases.  And my arguments are backed up by pretty much every study out there.  Most rapists have no preference for consensual or nonconsensual sex.  They simply find nonconsensual sex easier to acquire.  
              You seem to be arguing that they rape because raping, in and of itself, turns them on.
              I thought I was pretty explicit that it's simply sex and nothing more that turns most of them on.  The problem isn't some power or refusal fetish.  The problem is that they have a normal sex drive, but see nothing wrong with proceeding on it when their chosen "partner" is unwilling or unable to consent.
      •  You have a problem with what? (4+ / 0-)

        Have you ever studied sexual deviance? Are you saying human sexuality, or psychology in general, is simple? It isn't, however much that may trouble you. Ideologues want everything to be black and white, neat and tidy. The real world doesn't work that way.

        I'm not interested in getting bogged down in a debate over what degree the dominant culture in the US contributes to the problem of sexual assault. Maybe it does a little, maybe it does a lot. I'm not even sure how you could definitively prove that. But rape happens everywhere, in every culture, for a variety of reasons.

        The only light my comment is intended to shed is that rape is solely about power is as inaccurate as claiming that rape is only ever about sexual attraction/desire. Neither of those statements are accurate.

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:05:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Both scenarios you've described are about power. (8+ / 0-)

          You're creating a meaningless division, and it's a red herring. Rape culture exists because men benefit from the control of women that rape enables, even if they would never themselves rape a woman. When you focus on how women are "ideologues" rather than victims, you are engaging in just another form of victim blaming. You are just another rape enabler. You can split hairs over the nature of sexual deviance all you want; rape culture is about societal deviance.

          And, seriously, how dare you call me an ideologue for wanting to live in safety? Your pot is looking awfully black given your trying to assert an abstract theory here rather than focus on real women and their real concerns. Also, as a rape victim, I don't need your mansplaining to tell me what rape is about. It's utterly ridiculous to focus on the minute details of a rapist's motivations rather than the impacts on women's lives. That's rape culture right there.

          •  Re (4+ / 0-)
            Rape culture exists because men benefit from the control of women that rape enables, even if they would never themselves rape a woman
            Statements like this one lose you allies you might otherwise have had. You essentially accuse the entire male gender of condoning rape.

            Not OK.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 04:27:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Snuffleupagus, TiaRachel

              It's questionable how strong your allies are if you lose them with true statements.

              •  Anyone who believes... (4+ / 0-)

                ...that all males are complicit in rape isn't my ally.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:51:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You can benefit (4+ / 0-)

                  Without being complicit.  It doesn't make it your fault.  But it's important to be aware that things beyond your control, that you oppose, that cause great harm to others, may end up benefiting you rather than hurting you.

                  I certainly benefit from things that are abhorrent - wars in central Africa are fought to keep my iPhone cheap.  It's what you do with that knowledge that matters.

                  •  How do you, I and Sparhawk benefit from rape (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    nextstep, Dr Swig Mcjigger

                    culture?  Serious question.

                    •  Read the comment (7+ / 0-)

                      "men benefit from the control of women that rape enables"

                      We benefit from the control of women by being the dominate gender in our culture.  Rape culture is a significant piece of this control.  

                      At a minimum there is an opportunity cost to women for existing in the culture.  So, at the very least, women have to pay certain prices that I do not have to pay, which is a benefit to me, as a man (even if it's primarily a cost to women).  

                      A couple examples of this indirect benefit:

                      - my medical issues are taken more seriously (how many men are diagnosed with 'hysteria' in history?)
                      - I am safer
                      - I have never been called a slut as a pejorative
                      - I am not judged at work by what I wear, as long as it does not have stains on it.

                      I mean, there are piles of examples.  And I suspect that you and Sparhawk would argue that these are about sexism and not 'rape.'  But I think the diarist, and many great articles on this subject are trying to point out that 'rape culture' is an essential piece of a sexist culture.  

                      •  Your examples assume a zero-sum game (4+ / 0-)

                        Each of the examples that you cite are valid examples of how male dominance in society hurts women. But I don't see how any of them actually benefit men -- at least, not men who view women as equal partners.

                        Your examples seem to assume that men receive an equal benefit every time women pay a cost --  that is, that these are all zero-sum transactions. In reality, these are often negative-sum transactions: What hurts the women in our lives hurts us too.

                        Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                        by Nowhere Man on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:26:41 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It does (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Nowhere Man, TiaRachel, burlydee, qofdisks

                          and we start to enter into a separate but interesting conversation.  I guess, philisophically, I might agree with you.  Sexist culture hurts us all, by making our world worse.  But I'd say the same thing about racism, and yet, yeah, racism did and does benefit white people in certain measures.  

                          It's a tricky rabbit hole, but you make a good big picture point.  But in the small picture, I still get paid more.  Now, does that benefit me if the real solution is that women get paid the same as me (so my salary doesn't go down in the ideal world, so am I really currently getting a benefit?)?  That depends on a larger philisophical attitude, I guess.  

                          •  I don't have the statistics handy... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Dr Swig Mcjigger, qofdisks

                            ... but I think it's a good bet that most men of working age today either had a mother who was employed outside of the home, or is married to a woman who is (or who plans to be) employed outside of the home. So on that basis alone, wage discrimination against women does hurt men too!

                            Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                            by Nowhere Man on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:44:31 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But if we cared more about that wage issue (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TiaRachel, qofdisks

                            perhaps we could have fixed it way way back in the 1970s.
                            Domestic violence hurts male children too, and yet...

                            Believe me, if I could dress you up and make you pass as a female, I would love to send you to a doctor, just so you could experience this first hand. It will knock your socks off.

                            Same things with police. Any call I make, if I don't have a male there to back me up with a corroborating story, I have learned that I most likely will not be taken that seriously, unless something is visibly on fire or something like that.

                            Not being aware of the wrongness directly isn't the same as, "there is nothing wrong."

                          •  I wonder if you misunderstood my point (3+ / 0-)

                            I'm a proud third-generation feminist, raising fourth-generation feminists. I did not in any way mean to suggest that there is no problem with inequality. What I'm saying is that in many cases men as well as women would benefit by eliminating inequalities. (This in direct response to a claim upthread that men benefit by such inequalities.)

                            (In fact, I believe that this is true in all cases, but I was focusing on the ones where it's easiest for me to demonstrate the point.)

                            And just to bring this full circle, my support for equality does not in any way hinge on whether it benefits or harms men. On the other hand, perhaps if all men believed that they would benefit by women having fully equal status to men, it would happen in a heartbeat.

                            Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                            by Nowhere Man on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:32:33 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, thank you, but it seemed to be that you were (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            minimizing the emotional and social and professional impact of these practices on women directly.

                            Yes yes, it hurts men too. Racism also hurts everyone, but I guarantee you that the direct impact is felt more keenly by the target than it is by the other people indirectly affected beyond immediate dependents.

                            Imagine how angry that would make you, if people constantly undermined you professionally, while  they simultaneously attempt to use your gender and your real or imagined sexual caste against you, every day of your life.

                            And then said, "--uh uh uh---mustn't get angry little lady...", because angry women are monstrous harridans that shall be ridiculed and ostracized, even more so than her unattractive, brainy, professional counterparts.

                            It's not even a catch 22, it's so far beyond that.

                            We will tell you not to wait for a man, that you have to be self sufficient, but then we do everything in our power to lessen the effectiveness of the tools and talents you have at your disposal to achieve that self sufficiency.

                            We tell you to be sexy, and then rape you for being sexy, or judge you for being sexy, and then give you the shit end of the stick, when you decide to swear off sex or sexy. Hey you know you would probably get that promo, if you lost a little weight and I dunno, wore some makeup. Which is it? Frigid bitch or slutty slattern ?--these are your choices.

                            It's difficult for everyone, but here on this forum right now, we are mostly discussing very specific difficulties that women face in this society.

                            And just because it could be worse, doesn't qualify this as a golden age by any stretch of the imagination.

                            Sure we have come a long way, but like many other civil rights issues, we have a long long way to go.

                            I know--I get tired of it too. I want it to be better like magic and not have to worry about this bullshit any more--just like a lot of people feel that way about their specific isms they face. But the world apparently just doesn't work that way.

                            So I thank you for being conscientious and caring, but it's okay if women discuss or even rant about stuff that pisses them off, that frustrates them. If you don't do that, then great, but that doesn't mean that this isn't happening, or that it isn't being perpetrated by others.

                          •  Getting towards one of the things (0+ / 0-)

                            that often comes up in discussions of 'privilege' -- what everyone else sees as privileges afforded to the special few, they themselves see as rights that everyone should have.

                      •  You shouldn't presume I would argue anything (6+ / 0-)

                        (its funny how just asking a question can lump you in with the "enemy" (no offense Sparhawk)).

                        I just see the term "rape culture" thrown around here a lot. Its an emotionally charged term that garners a lot of attention but I never see it specifically defined.  On DKos, a term like rape culture isn't debated, its just accepted.  But if its not clearly defined we don't even know what we are talking about or agreeing too.    And we don't know how to address it.  I was just hoping to get a more academic perspective on the term.  

                        It seems that people who use the term also have different meanings for it. Sometimes it can used as you define it; society's subjugation of women.  Just by being man I am privileged in certain ways; therefore I am a beneficiary of rape culture.  In that sense every culture is a rape culture because every society places men ahead of women to some degree.  

                        But other times people define it or apply to a specific group -the Steubenville football team, out of control fraternities, gangs.  In that sense the term is meant to imply that these specific groups have created conditions that will lead to more sexual assaults victims and perpetrators than society typically would produce.  Thus implying that if you can change the actions, attitudes, or thoughts within that particular sub-culture the number of sexual assaults would go down within that specific sub-culture.  In that sense these "rape cultures" are abnormal when viewed against the larger society in which there are still sexual assaults, but in a much lower number.  Thereby measures can be used (like killing Penn St. football program) that will help root out rape culture, almost like a bad infection.  Going back to my original question, its hard for me to see how I benefit from a Steubenville, OH situation or from women's fear of sexual assault.  So if rape culture is narrowly defined in that sense, than I don't see how I benefit.  

                        From my perspective, terms and ideas that could be easily applied to any group, any where at any time don't have much use to me.   We live in a rape culture? Okay.  What country does not?

                        But if I say rape culture is a set of societal attitudes that encourage boys and men to violate the personal space of women, to judge women by their bodies, to degrade women verbally, that tells men they achieve status only through sexual conquest - than I can design an answer to address it.  Maybe I'm arguing for too great a distinction between the two definitions, I don't know.

                        I guess what I'm getting it at is I don't know how useful it is rhetorically or academically to define the entire culture that we live in as a "rape culture."  I don't know if it is good messaging and I don't know if it is narrow enough to define the specific problem we are attempting to address or suggest possible solutions to the problems of sexual assault.  Working in activism has made me a bit of pragmatist.  Its good to get your side riled up, but how do you advance the topic when you meet people who are less sympathetic.  Defining all of society as "rape culture" seems to me to both obfuscate the problem of rape while putting people on the defensive.  

                        •  Not presuming (5+ / 0-)

                          speculating (as I said) in an attempt to advance conversation.  No desire to pigeon hole, or suggest I view you as the enemy.  

                          I think you're right that something like 'rape culture' is really difficult to define.  But, I don't know that I agree that a clearly deliniated definition is essential, where one may not be possible.  

                          The point is that these issues exist on a spectrum.  Pick-up artists teach men to 'trick' women into having sex with them via various 'techniques.'  They do not advocate rape.  However, they teach people that sex is something that a man takes from a woman.  That she does not want to give it willingly, must be tricked out of it, and that taking sex from a woman is THE goal, and an achievement.  They de-humanize women, and glorifty conquest through sex.  I strongly believe that they are part of a "rape culture," although they are far from the members of the Stuebenville football team who committed terrible rape, they exist within the same cultural paradigm.  

                          Of course, everything is on a spectrum.  Is the fact that the black guy seems to always die in horror movies part of 'racist culture'?  I guess that depends on how you define racist culture, and what that means.  

                          There are always microcosisms and break downs within cultural definitions.  (Are we a 'racist' culture?  I mean, we elected a black President twice, but a huge portion of our population insists he was born in Kenya . . .)

                          I am far from qualified to really explore this kind of question, it is part of a raging debate.  I tried to google something that did a good job discussing it, but it seems the Wikipedia definition is considered solid:

                          Your original question is tricky, becuase I view rape culture and generaly misogyny as reinforcing eachother.  Part of the reason we have a rape culture is because woman can still so easily be derided as 'worthless sluts' - and that's part of the reason why my sexist boss treated me with more respect than my (slightly) more senior co-workers at my first job out of law school.  

                          Strictly speaking, we don't benefit from rape culture because we are decent human beings.  Our utility is lowered, just as many white people are not happier under racist policies.  But that's not really what we mean by 'benefit' here.  A rape culture affords us, as men, additional access to places an activites that might deter women.  We are more essential in social situations, and often in professional ones.  

                          I get invited to a poker game every week, it consists of professionals, and it is a great networking opportunity.  Women are not 'banned,' but I know of none who are invited.  The guys there will make very crude and offensive jokes.  These jokes exist on the spectrum of a rape culture, if we didn't have one (in my opinion) they would not be so comfortable making them (all the players are white, but I have shut down racist jokes with support, my attempts to shut down sexist jokes are met with derision, or more jokes).

                          So, one, small example, is that the rape culture empowers these guys (not rapists - I hope) to joke about 'sluts' 'whores' etc.  It's about power and objectification and is built on the same building blocks as the rape culture defined above.  They then exclude women from this poker game (and probably enjoy the game more when I'm not there to put a damper on it, but some of them and me go way back - so I'm hard to cut out) - and I get a benefit that no woman could have.  

                          My wife enjoys a crafting night with some female friends.  But I am fequently invited, and I doubt they make any jokes or comment that would offend me.  

                          Man, if you read this far, good for you! I really do think rape culture is a tough issue.  For me, I have learned a lot by bookmarking and reading "Pandagon" almost everyday.  I disagree with Amanda frequently, and she can be very . . . blunt, in her opinions, so maybe you'll find her alienating.  But I enjoy smart people I don't agree with, and I have found the blog very educational over the years.  

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
                            Pick-up artists teach men to 'trick' women into having sex with them via various 'techniques.'
                            This idea is bizarre and ridiculous and requires you to hold the sexist belief that women are too stupid to understand what is going on and can somehow be 'tricked' into sex.

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 03:45:57 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There's a lot in that comment you replied to (0+ / 0-)

                            It's a pity you threw out 90% of it and derided just one sentence without even explaining why you disagree.  But then again, that seems to be your schtick here.  If someone's tearing down women's direct experience  of disdain and dismissal here, I can be sure you'll be mansplaining why he's right and we're wrong.

                •  That's a ridiculous misreading of the statement (4+ / 0-)

                  I'm white.  I benefit from racism.  I'm not complicit in racism.  

                  Those are not contradictory statements.

      •  Each rape is different. Each rape is unique. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The rapes are as unique as the people involved.  That is why it is a complex behavior.

  •  Complete nonsense on soo many point (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hmi, Sparhawk, The Hindsight Times

    "This fear and uneasiness is woven into the unconscious and in many cases, the conscious substance of every woman in the world in the daytime, at night, in any part of town, and in her own home."

    Are you fucking kidding me? If you think anything even close to this is true you are way off the deep end.

    If you yourself "feel this" seek help now. This is no way near what a normal woman feels.  Feeling that is being seriously disturbed.

    "Now imagine—and I have to cross metaphors here because I think there’s a relation—someone grabs him from behind and rams an AK 47 up his rectum.  How do you think that would feel, Ice Cream Cone?  Now imagine that someone, probably from the gun lobby, came out and said that you shouldn’t have been where you were and you shouldn’t have been wearing such tight pants, otherwise this wouldn’t have happened.  Now imagine a police station, a jury and a Congress full of women jeering at you because either you made this up or you asked for it.  You know what men do with guns.  You can’t take that away from them."

    An American citizen goes to North Korea. Gets imprisoned   for 2 years for no reason. Id be glad to pressure our government to do anything and everything to help rescue the poor soul. But on the other hand I would call said person a fricking idiot for putting themselves in that situation.

    But ya a certain segment of our population does blame the victim. This is unfortunate and should not be accepted. Teaching people proper ways for self protection should not be admonished.  

    Your tirade just does about abortion is just umm off? Id refuse to support just about any politician who was anti-abortion. But I see few parallels to what you describe.

    " When anything feminine, anything having to do with women is smirked at, condescended to, mocked, or disenfranchised, it makes it harder for men to admit they have all those qualities and attributes within themselves, waiting to be developed."

    This is a problem for certain macho cultures. But I would not exactly call it a overall social problem. Modern society is becoming very feminized in many respects. My personal opinion is that society is too extreme.. Too "manly" in some properties and too "feminine" in others.

    •  I am trying to figure out (20+ / 0-)

      if you could possibly be female.  Because this:

      This fear and uneasiness is woven into the unconscious and in many cases, the conscious substance of every woman in the world in the daytime, at night, in any part of town, and in her own home."
      is absolutely true.  We always know, at some level, that we are vulnerable to attack, at home alone, at work, at the mall, on the street, in our cars.  Women who work in grocery stores are accosted by customers because they smile.  We get whistled at for walking with shorts on. We get cornered at work.  Our daughters are harassed on the bus to and from school.   We are nervous walking through a group of men.  We think twice about going out at night alone.  We do it, but we are more aware.  If you are male, and you don't think this is true, think about your female relatives, SO or whatever going running in a safe neighborhood just after sunset--not late, just a little after dinner.  All ok?  Or just an edge of concern?  Of course, because really, women are never really safe from attack,

      We should not be fighting about equal pay for equal work and access to birth control in 2012. Elizabeth Warren

      by Leftleaner on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:28:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am thinking of my family friends etc (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hmi, Sparhawk, The Hindsight Times

        My GF does go running in the morning and at night. She waits until its a bit brighter out. As she should, she does have a little more risk than guys running at night. But its not safe for them either .

        Are my sisters etc scared at work? Hell no. At home? Sure as shit not.  My mom? No. She has had a breakin in the past and is she scared? Not even close. I had a hard time even after that convincing her to lock the doors.

        Everyone should think twice about walking out at night around here. Yes woman have a higher risk due to being smaller and being woman in general. But all encompassing fear wherever you go? No fucking way, that is not normal and that is not healthy.  

        I can only imagine what would be required for someone to think that way and its very unfortunate.

        Just polled my GF for the hell of it. Her response "What the hell are you talking about" (aimed at me) showed her the bit. Her response " Ummm no. "

        •  not an all-encompassing fear (19+ / 0-)

          An edge.  Always a little more aware, an unconscious awareness perhaps.  

          Maybe you're right, maybe it is only women who have been accosted that get that way.  Let me think:  2 assaults when I was a child, one minor, one not-so-much, a grabber from the trees when I was a teen, attempted rape when I was in college, my daughter harassed on the bus at age 11, my daughter accosted and stalked by a guy at work when she was in her twenties.  Two friends who have been raped that I know of,  several friends molested by stepfathers and other family members.  So yeah, maybe I am more paranoid than some.  But I would guess that my experience is not at all unusual.  I am not alone, not by any means.  

          We should not be fighting about equal pay for equal work and access to birth control in 2012. Elizabeth Warren

          by Leftleaner on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:01:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not alone and not unusual (20+ / 0-)

            Leftleaner, you are not alone and your experience is not unusual.

            And then some number who can't even come up with a user name to make him seem human, says "are you fucking kidding?" and spews his creepy ignorance all over your comments and my diary.  

            I was going to engage with him but thought better of it.  So I say again: your experience is not unusual, and you are not alone.  I don't know what else to say.

            •  And I have never felt particularly (15+ / 0-)

              as if I was a victim. But I have also never put all of these experiences  in one frame before, and I find it a little shocking. I think most women have these experiences one way or another, certainly my daughter, my friends, etc. We do indeed live in a culture where women are preyed upon on a regular basis.

              We should not be fighting about equal pay for equal work and access to birth control in 2012. Elizabeth Warren

              by Leftleaner on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:25:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  All in one frame (13+ / 0-)

                When you add up all the ways, large and small, that women are demeaned and dismissed as having little or no value, it is shocking.  I find the way you express yourself to be so poignant:

                "I think most women have these experiences one way or another."

                Yeah, we do.  It's like part of the landscape.  

              •  I know what you mean (6+ / 0-)

                I did it myself, prompted by another recent diary, then didn't post.  But my tally:

                -- middle-school boy creepiness, running sticks down all the girls backs at recess to see if they were wearing bras, then judging them on the results, yes or no
                -- roommate in college harassed for at least a year by an ex-boyfriend, phone calls every night that she spent explaining she didn't want to talk to him anymore, showing up outside her window at night when she was at home, and so on.  I don't know how it ended or how bad it got, since we lost touch
                -- age 21, guy a might actually have had sex with if we'd had any birth control completely fails to care that I had stopped responding to him, doesn't force intercourse on me after I'd said no, but doesn't stop either, until he ejaculates.  I needed a shower after that, felt horrible.  Lest it be guessed that the fault was something in my behavior and not him being an entirely empathy-lacking asshole, I could also add that he found me at a bus-stop a few days later on my way to school, distracted me so much with persisting in trying to talk to me that I missed my bus, and then followed me the entire mile or two I had to walk to campus despite my saying I no longer wanted anything to do with him.  I could also add the creepy three-page "I love you" letter I got a few days after that.  I barely knew the guy.  Thankfully it ended there, but I wasn't right around men for months.
                -- age 24 or so, somebody -- presumably one of the undergrads in my lab sections -- wrote a multipage, unsigned letter that started with how good my breasts looked when I wasn't wearing a bra, and stuck it in my mail slot.  I didn't read the rest.  Gave it to admin, but nothing came of it.  I was uncomfortable for a long time about it, not knowing who or why or what else they might do.
                -- age 29, was raped by an intruder in my apartment in the middle of the night.  Long term effects from that one, I don't feel like going into it.  I don't consider it the worst thing that could possibly happen to me, but the next year or so of my life was pretty difficult to navigate.  13 years later I still have an overactive startle reflex.

                I didn't date all through high school.  Tally might be worse if I had.  As regards friends and acquaintances I'm sure there's plenty I don't know about.

                It all goes back to men thinking it is OK -- just fine and dandy even -- to force sexual attention on women in situations where the woman is in no position to refuse it, or to prevent her from walking away.  As if we simply do not rate any sort of human consideration, and completely uncaring of the effect on the woman who is supposedly admired.  The proverbial rapist in the dark alley is only the extreme version of this same thing.  That's why we call it "rape culture".  It's all horrible.  It all puts a burden on women that we shouldn't have to bear, it all treats us as something less than fully human.

          •  Not unusual (4+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            hmi, Sparhawk, The Hindsight Times, Liberal Granny
            Hidden by:

            I do not know the details of the events you describe so all I can comment is that it is very sad that said events happened.

            In my perception there are three categories of people who who feel this all surrounding fear. Classic disclaimer obvious oversimplification, will leave something out etc etc.

            1) People who have had a traumatic event in the past.
            2) People who live in particularly unsafe areas.
            3) People who are paranoid for no fricking reason.


            From these statistics the absolute highest percentage of rape in any part of the nation is .1%. Obviously way too high but not something you really need to live your life constantly worrying about.

            This data is also from cities, where the numbers are elevated.

            Yes there are dangers but you cant live your life like Sirenus' post without any reason. Its not healthy, its no way to live and its unnecessary.

            If you are afraid of everything with a .1% rate of occurrence you will never be able to do anything.  No going for a drive. No skiing. No painting the side of your house. No swimming No going to crowded places. No eating food you could choke on....

              Be safe, be reasonable but do not be afraid.

            •  Wow. (4+ / 0-)


              This infographic is inaccurate in many ways (discussed at the link), but not in its basic message.

              "Crime rates" don't even come close to being accurate measures of actual rapes/harrassment/stalking/etc.

            •  Wow, that number is so wrong (7+ / 0-)

              I have heard 1 in 3 women have been raped.  I think that is much closer to accurate.  Did you read my story?  And I don't run in a big crowd.   Most rapes and attempted rapes don't get reported, so police stats are pretty useless.  

              You don't need to know the details of the incidents I listed.  They aren't important to the debate.  I had a pretty typical childhood and was assaulted twice.  Not because I was at particular risk, but because I was female.  In college, same thing, my risk factor was my sex.  My friends were at risk because there were males in their households who were older and not their fathers. This is not an unusual situation.

              You don't seem to get my comments about fear.  I don't let this stop me from doing things.  But I am aware always, and most women are.  It isn't overwhelming, it is accepting reality and living with it, going about our business, but locking doors, being aware of males in the vicinity, etc., at a level that white men don't worry about. It is probably similar to the wariness that minority men feel in our society.

              We should not be fighting about equal pay for equal work and access to birth control in 2012. Elizabeth Warren

              by Leftleaner on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:26:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I need to hide-rate that (0+ / 0-)

              It is so damn wrong as to numbers that it rises to the level of something that shouldn't even be promoted on this site, I believe.

            •  You mentioned a GF. While not always the case, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TiaRachel, madhaus

              I assume you are male. I wanted to thank you so very, very much, sir, for your analysis of this problem.

              You have opened up my aged eyes to the truth.  I am so grateful to you.  Of course, I do know that it takes a clear-headed man to analyze a problem properly, something I tend to forget far too often.

              I am particularly grateful to you for your opinion and judgement that these feelings of concern are indeed "Complete nonsense on so many point."  Now when I go out at night alone I will remember your analysis and bravely go without needless fear.

              Of course I will try very hard to forget that the youngest girl raped was 9 months old, and the oldest was 97; that's on record from the old days of the '60s and '70s so they're probably not relevant.  As I am almost 69 my views were so solid that I convinced myself that I was still at risk.

              I do so appreciate your expertise and wisdom. I sincerely hope that you continue to give us women the wisdom of your guidance on how we feel.

          •  Sadly, you are not alone nor unusual (0+ / 0-)
          •  Lets see--I am going to add to your list (10+ / 0-)


            I am not even going to share all my experiences:

            I was chased down an alley in daylight as a 10 yr old by two men in a truck. I got away, police didn't believe me.

            Was flashed in broad daylight by creepy guy in neighborhood, after he pulled up and asked for directions. I was a young teen, about 13.

            I was stalked in the military.
            I was sexually harassed  several times.
            I was propositioned by someone in my Chain of Command.

            I have escorted inebriated females back to their dorms, when I notice that too many males were looking rather interested and wolfish--waiting for her to fall over.

            Was accosted in a parking lot waiting for a bus in town in daylight, when someone "propositioned" me after pulling his vehicle in close to the bus stop in a manner that made escape difficult.

            I have been groped in various places--bars, crowded thoroughfares by random people.

            I once had a college age girl run into my house unannounced, right through the front door stating she was trying to get away from a violent assailant, a boyfriend. I drove her to her apartment, after she informed me she didn't want to call the cops.

            I had to collect my kids and leave a park, because a boy about the age of 12, tried to stick his head under my 9 yr old's skort. His trashy parents thought that was funny.  A major WTF moment? Can we say, Teaching Moment? Not exactly what I had in mind though I must say.

            Every women I know, has either been raped, and/or molested, and some have also been the victims of domestic violence, and their children too have been molested.

            We have a major problem here and globally. A large percentage of Males feel that they are entitled to women, that all women and children should be available for whatever, whenever, however.

            Regular guys don't want to believe it. They cannot accept that some of their friends are no good assholes, who would rape a person if they can get away with it. They would rather blame the victim, it's easier that way, and there's a precedent for it.

            •  Your list is similar to mine (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TiaRachel, GreenMother

              and brings to mind two other events that I didn't think of last night--being grabbed when I was in my teens by the older brother of a child I was babysitting, and being followed in a car at 3 miles an hour when I was jogging.  
              These things are so common that we don't report them, don't think them unusual.  But they are events that color the life of all women and affect the way we live in subtle ways.

              We should not be fighting about equal pay for equal work and access to birth control in 2012. Elizabeth Warren

              by Leftleaner on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:14:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well you learn not to say anything. (0+ / 0-)

                Our laws and our society acts as if, unless someone actually touches you, or assaults you, then you have nothing to complain about.

                But if the people in that car following you, had assaulted you, it would have been your fault for not notifying the police of a behavior that they likely would have downplayed to begin with.

                You know--perverts will be perverts.

        •  WOW! You talked to ONE person! (3+ / 0-)

          What a statistically significant poll! Based on that and everything else you've posted here

          A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

          by METAL TREK on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:23:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where in any other post (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hmi, Sparhawk, The Hindsight Times

            do you see any use of statistic?

            You think the statement that "EVERY woman lives in fear wherever she goes" is just fine and does not need any supporting evidence? Yet the statement that I found at least one who does not somehow needs statistical support?  



            To disprove an "every" statment you only need to find one example.


            •  You're leaving out some important words: (6+ / 0-)

              From the original:

              This fear and uneasiness is woven into the unconscious and in many cases, the conscious substance of every woman in the world in the daytime, at night, in any part of town, and in her own home."

              It's not the sort of immediate shot of adrenaline you feel when, say, that car looks like it's driving straight at you, not usually.  It's not even as immediate, as close to awareness as when you're waiting for someone's test results to come back benign or malignant, though that comes closer.

              Please go and read this. And maybe also this. And consider what you see there.

              Until then, I don't see much point in continuing this discussion.

              •  I will give them a read in the AM (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hmi, Sparhawk, The Hindsight Times

                and maybe an update in the late PM.  But my response now

                I doubt you would even say that Sirenus's apparent reaction to the fear of sexual violence is reasonable reaction for the average American woman.

                Even if so. are you afraid of those other things I listed? Like climbing a ladder and falling? Would you not paint your house because of it. Would you say that  household accidents have woven fear and uneasiness into the unconscious of everyone?


                The statistics are compatible to numerous tragedies. Each regrettable and deserving of a campaign to reduce them.  But that statement is outlandish and unreasonable when applied to any of them. Ubiquitous fear is not reasonable and from my own life is not common.

                •  People tend to fear things out of their control (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TiaRachel, Leftleaner

                  I should be more scared of slipping in the bathtub than I am of spiders in my shoes, but I'm not.  Why? because when I'm in my bathtub I am standing on my own two feet, and if there's a spider in my shoe, well, it really has nothing to do with me.  (ok, this is an absurd example, but I didn't want to use flying and driving, because those are boring).

                  The point is that if a man decides to physically take something from a woman, he can.  (let's ignore the statistical outliers regarding size/strength, they exist, they are rare).  Physical force is the ultimate commone denominator, it's an equalizer that isn't equal.  

                •  If you are not afraid of men in general, you are (0+ / 0-)

                  Men are strong and many are not loving or benign.

              •  i gave them a read (0+ / 0-)

                and cant really call them enlightening. More condescending but not really on point.

                 This was a public rant about how ALL woman are so afraid of men that they are ALL scared even in their own homes. This is not even close to a reasonable claim.

                The premises of this abject fear seems to be that the risk these events is so very massive.

                But the fact that the chances of these crimes is roughly equivalent  to a myriad of other severely traumatic and life altering experiences  makes this claim ridiculous.

                The same rates roughly applied to car accident deaths. The same rates apply to generic murder.  The same rates apply to simple accidents that lead to death and sever disability.

                Fears of these do not permeate the lives of average woman nor men.

                The author picks their own fear and applies it to everyone. People have their phobias however it is not reasonable to assume everyone shares your own personal one.

            •  The fail is strong in this one (5+ / 0-)

              just like every other student who tries to use Wikipedia in the college courses I teach.

              Better yet, have daughters, like I do, and then tell them you talked to your girlfriend, so whatever they experience can't be true, so they should just lace up their petticoats and be good wimmin folk!

              Or try Red State. Critical thinking & nuance isn't in high demand over there.  

              A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

              by METAL TREK on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:27:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  This is completely ridiculous. A sexual assault (10+ / 0-)

          is committed every two minutes in this country. One in six women have been sexually assaulted. That's not paranoia. That's reality.

          And where the hell do you get off thinking you know every thought that passes through your girlfriend or mom's head. You certainly don't sound like someone I'd want to talk to about my fears. Just because you don't know about women's fears doesn't mean they don't exist. I don't know anything about ring tailed lemurs, either. That doesn't mean that ring tailed lemurs are a figment of someone's imagination.

          •  not to wish evil on anyone, but how will he react (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            if a stranger rapes his girlfriend? What if someone attacks him by surprise...?

            •  Most men feel helpless. (5+ / 0-)

              Even if they didn't know you when the assault happened. You can really traumatize a man that way, because I guess when they are in a committed relationship, the woman makes the assault too intimate, too close.

              I think that some good guys just don't understand how these experiences haunt us, or how our fear of the stigma and the possibility of more rapes and harassment due to the stigma, affect survivors, how it pervades every aspect of our lives, public and private.

              So that when we share, I think that most men shut down. They do it because they love us or care for us, but just feel overwhelmed by all the realizations that happen, when such experiences strike so close to home and affect them directly, now, on a daily basis.

        •  When you are a woman, you grow eyes in the back (8+ / 0-)

          of your head. You learn early on that you have to. Most rapes are committed by people who know the victim.

          you learn that you cannot let your guard completely down anywhere.

          Because like other sexual predators, some rapists like to put themselves in situations where they can be alone with the victim. That way if the matter is reported and goes to court, he can say, "Well your honor, she went off with me alone--she wanted it, it was consensual."

          So yea that feeling is pervasive, and there are social constructs that women have to contend with as well. Many people think that if you go up to a man's room, that sex is a foregone conclusion. And if you get raped, well what did you expect, going up to his room? Etc., and so on. And then when that happens, it's because you are a slut that went up to a mans room and put out, and so you get suiters that magically appear, waiting for their turn!

          It's a party in your pants, and you don't even have to send out the invitations!

          What you fail to understand, beyond the brutality and violation is that this is like a cancerous tumor that has fingers that reach out and affect and are intertwined with other related topics. So to say this is pervasive, this feeling of having to be aware and to avoid, it almost doesn't do it justice, because we are trying to explain to you how women play a dimensional chess game, while you keep comparing it to Chinese Checkers or something.

          This is way more complex than you are able to comprehend in this moment. You have only just skated on the surface of this, unaware of what lurks beneath, nor the depths that one can sink into this topic alone.

    •  Are YOU fucking kidding? (21+ / 0-)

      "This fear and uneasiness is woven into the unconscious and in many cases, the conscious substance of every woman in the world in the daytime, at night, in any part of town, and in her own home."

      Are you fucking kidding me? If you think anything even close to this is true you are way off the deep end."

      Really? Really?

      I'm sitting in my own house now.  In my bed, under the pillow next to mine, is a 9mm Luger.

      I don't have it there because I like guns.

      My windows are closed and latched. I automatically lock either door if I come inside the house. Automatically.  

      If I get into my truck and go someplace at night, I make sure the truck is locked when I leave it. I park it someplace that will be brightly lighted. If it's dark when I return to the car, as I walk up to it, I visually check the area.  Could there be someone on the other side of the car?  Under the car?  My head is turning constantly to make sure no one can approach me without my being aware of it. (Many of my female friends simply will not go places alone at night, unless there is a very, very good reason.)

      If I am driving and my car breaks down, I will get back in the car and lock the doors if a man stops to "help." (In my area, a number of women were abducted, raped and murdered some years ago when their cars broke down by the side of the road.)

      At night, I double check the deadbolts on both doors before I go to bed.  During the day, if I'm away from home,  I check around me constantly, to make sure no one gets within a few feet of me without my knowing it. If a man approaches me and there are no other people around, I automatically keep him under observation until he's some way past me.

      Am I paranoid? Am I timid?  No. No more paranoid than any prey animal in a world full of predators. I and just about any women I know who lives alone or must move in the world alone simply do these things as a matter of fact and habit. Because although the chances of any specific one of us being attacked is not high, it is there.  Almost all of us will, at some time in our lives, either be raped or know a woman who was raped.  It happens. form habits. You take precautions. It's no more paranoid than making sure your brakes and headlights work on your car or watching out for drunk drivers.

      The caution is there. Every moment of every day. Because the danger is there. Be glad you don't have to live with it. Be glad that for the vast majority of the predators, you are not prey.  

      I once talked to a Vietnam War vet who went with his wife to a self-defense course for women, where he listened as women were told, in detail, what they needed to do to stay as safe as possible.  He was stunned. "It's like when I was in Vietnam. In a combat zone. Never knowing who was the enemy, who might try to hurt me, when they might strike. And women live like this all the time?"

      Yes. We do.  

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

      by Sirenus on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:56:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ratios (10+ / 0-)

        Average female weight in the US: 74.7kg
        Average male weight in the US: 88.3kg (
        Average NFL linebacker weight: 114.3kg

        Average female height in the US: 164.1
        Average male height in the US: 178.2
        Average NFL linebacker height: 190.5cm

        Average-weight female bench intermediate-trained press: 115lbs
        Average-weight male  intermediate-trained bench press: 200lbs
        Average NFL linebacker bench press: ballpark of 350lbs

        To put your average guy in your average woman's shoes, he should imagine that half the people he's surrounded with are 230 pounds (a little leaner than a linebacker), over 6'4" (a bit taller than a linebacker), and can bench 350lbs (about the same the same as an NFL linebacker) - to reiterate, half the people around you are tall, lean NFL linebackers - who a large portion of which would like to have sex with you and are statistically much more likely to commit violence than you.

        Clear image?

        •  I once had a friend who couldn't understand how (7+ / 0-)

          someone could not enjoy going out and getting drunk.  And he got incredulous whenever I listed one of the reasons as being fear.  And at one point he told me, stop saying that, it sounds ridiculous when you say you're afraid of getting drunk, like you're a little kid or something.  I contested the point, and then he said, but why?  I led off with, "well, for starters, I could get raped..." and then his response sas something along the lines of, "this conversation just became too serious, change of topic" (something like that).  He never really did get it.

          Same guy who had trouble understanding why, when I had just met him, I had been too scared to ride alone in his car with him.

          And then you try to tell yourself, you're undercutting yourself by being this "paranoid", and so then you start to let down your guard... and the same sort of stuff that led you to be paranoid in the first place happens again.

          I don't think the word "paranoia" is appropriate when it's justified.

          •  More like reasonable instinctual response (4+ / 0-)

            That is how predators work. They like to undermine your trust in your own instincts.

            They like to  make us feel bad for picking up on the weird vibe leaking out of their physical presence.

            This where the nice--issue comes in. Girls are taught early on to be nice no matter what. Because if you are not nice, then it's because you are a bitch.

            Bitches get ostracized, nice girls get led down the garden path.

            •  We have to try not to be that girl with a target (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              on her back.

              •  That comes into a whole other dimension of (0+ / 0-)

                expected female comportment. Women are not very popular when angry or combative. It freaks society out--hence the intense opposition to figures like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, etc.,

                Yes, you are entirely correct!

            •  Nice girls don't fight back. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Obviously, if the guy is a 200 lb monster who's threatened to smash your face to bits, you don't fight back.

              But we're been so conditioned to be "nice" that sometimes,  we act with a timidity that lets the potential rapist know that he's got an easy mark.

              "Oh, are you afraid of me?"  With a smirk.

              And the answer should not be "No. I'm sure you're a nice guy, but I really need to get to class. Please let me by."

              And should instead be, with a snarl that shows every tooth in your mouth. "Yes, I'm afraid of you. And like any animal, when I get afraid, I get vicious.  Now get out of my way before I decide to go for your throat!"

              Oooh, nice girls don't do things like that. We're supposed to be sweet and gentle and timid.

              Screw that.

              Assess the situation. Like any other animal being threatened. Not like a "nice" girl.  

              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 08:12:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I've used that comparison too. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TiaRachel, GreenMother, Leftleaner

          And sometimes asked men who've said, "Well, why didn't a woman just shove a rapist away?"

          "Suppose you were to lie down on the floor. Now let me put six 50lb bags of horse feed on your torso, the equivalent of a 200 lb man putting  his whole weight down on a 120 lb woman. You think you'd have a little trouble breathing? Now, imagine that this 300 lb man has a fist the size of a sledge hammer and he's whispering "Shut up and let me do what I want or I'll smash your face in."

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

          by Sirenus on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:21:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Even a thin, small man is stronger than a healthy (0+ / 0-)


            •  Sometimes. But not always. (0+ / 0-)

              But women are taught that men are stronger, that they can hurt you, that they will hurt you, that in any physical contest, the woman will lose. Which doesn't exactly empower us.  

              The other day, a Welsh pony colt I own reared up on me.

              I was standing in front of him. He just wanted to play, but his knee hit me right in the mouth.

              Now, you never, ever let a stud get the idea that it's okay to rear up at a human. This "little" guy weighed 600 lbs. A full grown stallion can weight 1000-1200 and can kill you with one blow of his hoof.  

              I have mentally conditioned myself to the idea that I must be herd leader, that I am the equivalent of a tough old alpha mare and I must demand respect, if only for my own safety.

              Bamm! For one second, I staggered back,dazed,  spitting blood and wondering if he loosened any of my teeth. Then I went for him. Roaring. Kicked him right in the belly.  He almost fell over backwards trying to get away from me.

              Had I not preconditioned myself to react that way, I'd probably stood there crying and dripping blood from my mouth for the few seconds that I had to condition him to never try that again. (You must react instantly or the animal will not make the connection.)

              Women are conditioned to never fight. :Even little men are too big and too strong."  I'm not sure this is a good idea,especially since rape is often the precursor to assault.

              I've tried to condition myself to go for the bastard's throat. And I do mean with my teeth. Punching him won't work. Tearing a big chunk of meat off him just might.  Let him scream and bleed.

              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 08:02:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  THIS! (8+ / 0-)
        "It's like when I was in Vietnam. In a combat zone. Never knowing who was the enemy, who might try to hurt me, when they might strike. And women live like this all the time?"
        Yes, a lot of us live like that all the time.

        Thank you for sharing Sirenus.

        •  Yes. It can be like that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But, it is more low key most of the time.  We put up some sort of mind filter to cope with it most of the time.  Then, when something happens, a noise, a feeling, a circumstance, hyper-vigilance over takes.  Then there are the habits that we carry out without giving it a second thought.  Never park next to a van.  Walk with your keys and whistle or pepper spray in hand.  Never be the last woman to leave a party, don't just open the door, etc.
          It helps that I no longer live in the city but, I have yard dogs.  If I didn't have a child, I would have a gun.

      •  I have big dogs in my yard. I circuit the windows (0+ / 0-)

        looking out over the property throughout the night.  I listen to the sounds and circuit the windows.
        When I was young, I found that I could not live alone in the city.  I tried a nice little apartment to myself but, I could not live with the terror.  I sacrificed my privacy to live with room-mates.

    •  You don't get it, and I didn't either (4+ / 0-)

      Let me share an enlightening moment with you, that does help me understand what diarist is talking about when she mentions the "fear and uneasiness."

      SceneI was out at a bar with my girlfriend and some law school friends.  

      This bar had one of those punching arcade games, where you hit hit a punching bag and the machine tells you how hard you hit it.  

      A buddy convinced a few of us to play the game.  So four of us took turns punching the machine and giving eachother a hard time about our relative punching power.  It was good fun.  Although none of us were strong or athletic guys.  We were all law students, and we didn't spend time at the gym, and if we did we were more likely to hit the eliptical than the barbells.  

      My girlfriend watched us playing the game and made a comment that really stuck with me:

      Wow, Any of those punches would knock me out.
      It was just a noted realization on her part.  Now, she wasn't a small or frail girl.  She's about 5'9" and fairly fit.  But, she made the simple point that any of us, even the weakest guy among us, could physically dominate her if he so chose.  She would have no real chance to resist.  Her only hope if one of us decided to physically assault us, is that some other man would decide to intervene and protect her.

      Was she afraid? of course not.  We stayed out and drank and had fun.  She wasn't living in fear, the statement wasn't made because she needed to go home and lock the doors.  The statement was made because it was true.  

      It is always true. That's the point the diarist is making.  It is always ... just there.  How much it changes your life and your behavior is up to the individual and the individual's experiences.  But it's still there.  

      Now, this might also be technically true of men.  But it would be an entirely separate rant to point out how our culture reinforces this power dynamic by constantly reminding women, as a whole, that men have the physical power.  It echoes throughout our culture, from the extremely perverse like men's rights groups railing against a movie anytime a woman does something she shouldn't be able to physically do, to the complete other end of the spectrum of me carrying something heavy, or something in between, like an arcade game in a bar which is designed to measure how hard you can punch things.  

    •  THIS GUY RIGHT HERE, (0+ / 0-)

      doesn't fucking get it.

      Teaching people proper ways for self protection should not be admonished.

      Rape culture 101, son.  Keep on blaming the victim, you're doing a stellar job at it.

      "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

      by Silvia Nightshade on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:26:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  overall I agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and as such I tipped and recced. I want to say that I don't agree for one second with any law that denies any woman the right to to make decesions about her own body and we're long overdue for a serious discussion about certain aspects of our society.

    But I'm not sure I would compare that to rape. Maybe that's because I'm uncomfortable with the analogy, maybe it's because I've known people that have been raped and thus dislike how people can so casually throw the word around.

    Either way I'm not sure it matters as in the end we want to end up in the same place. A society where woman are equal

    •  It's not so much an =, (3+ / 0-)

      not about being identical, as it is an extension -- both situations depend on the idea that women's bodies are public property.

      Certainly the experience of rape isn't identical to the experience of being refused health care, though some of the realities of that are just as violent. Rape is an immediate, violent assault, while the other situations here are more subtle, long-term violence.

      I may have to apologize for this metaphor, but I've got a cooking show on:

      When you're cooking a steak, you throw it on a hot fire (or grill) for a little while. For stew, you put the meat in at a low temp. & leave it for a much longer time. It's not as dramatic an experience, but it causes (at least) the same damage.

      •  well the type of analogy to me is second (0+ / 0-)

        to how effective it is and I certainly understand your point and in that we both agree.

        But to continue your metaphor I wouldn't call a 'stew' a 'steak' either

        As I said it's largely semantics I suppose but to me it's semi important.

    •  I understand about the word usage (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, TiaRachel, qofdisks

      I had panic disorder for a number of years and I can sometimes be overly sensitive to a comment like "The door bell rang while I was fixing my hair and I panicked."

      That's not panic.

      But panic--for me--was an explosion that came out of a certain level of anxiety that was always there even when I wasn't actually having an episode.

      The violent violation of physical Rape occurs in a climate that is already bubbling over with everyday misogyny.  That's the rape culture.

      We could probably use some new words. I wish we didn't have the reality.

      •  I believe yours is a perfectly reasonable response (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, qofdisks

        to a totally unacceptable experience[s] and reality.

        When people hurt a person that way, it changes the survivor forever.

        Some people think that it makes survivors "paranoid", but paranoia is an unreasonable fear of an improbable outcome.

        Surviving sexual violence means that we are fearful of an outcome that could happen again. Our fear is of something that has already happened. And for some of us, something that has happened more than once.

        That precludes the idea of an unreasonable fear, a phobia or paranoia.

        But that also seems to be the line in the reality, between those who have been through this and those who have not.

    •  Making you get exams against your will, coercing (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martydd, TiaRachel, Leftleaner, qofdisks

      you with the threat of jail or fines, so that you have to hold still for an ultrasound wand to be shoved into your vagina is Rape by Instrumentation.

      threatening to put your personal information up on websites to stigmatize you as a slut who had an abortion, is basically putting the welcome mat out for any other citizen to verbally or physically abuse you--to punish you for your wanton carnality.

      Stigmatizing women who use birth control, or who have sex before marriage, calling them sluts and whores, and accusing them of pulling trains [ala Flush Limpburger] facilitates "Righteous" anger against women in general that also do these things or are otherwise alleged to have done them, also opening their lives up to all sorts of retaliation, including but not limited to, social stigma, verbal abuse, physical abuse, even the loss of a job.

      You don't have to actually "penetrate" a woman to traumatize her. You only have to threaten to do it, while the rest of the audience stands idly by, making sure she knows that the normal legal and social protections offered to "good girls" will not be in play for her.

  •  Now imagine... (4+ / 0-)
    Now imagine—and I have to cross metaphors here because I think there’s a relation—someone grabs him from behind and rams an AK 47 up his rectum.

    And then imagine some idiot Congressman saying that your rectum will develop superhuman skills to protect you from the bullet if this is a legitimate attack.

    It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Mark Twain

    by lynneinfla on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:06:38 AM PST

    •  Yes, if the rectum allowed the gun muzzle into it, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silvia Nightshade, lynneinfla

      then it wasn't legitimate rape. Sphincters have a way of shutting that stuff down when the person is under duress.

      •  As easy as it was to go here with words, I would (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        like to make it abundantly clear that rape is wrong and I absolutely do not wish it on any living being, men included.

        It is a horrible thing to happen to anyone, so I hope no one confuses my gallows-snark, that is the product of anger towards certain politicians and political parties as anything other than that.

        I am mirroring their attitudes as an example, but this is not something I would ever advocate under any circumstance.

  •  WOW! WELL SAID! N/T (0+ / 0-)

    Screw us and we multiply!

    by GAladybug on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 07:48:28 AM PST

  •  A moment of enlightenment for me. Thanks. (8+ / 0-)

    All the women who have posted here, and the original diarist, gave me a small bit of understanding, and humility.

    Many years ago, when I was around 30 years old, I was driving and saw a car with a flat beside the road, with a lone woman in a dress beside the car. I stopped and cheerfully offered my help, changed the tire for her.

    She kept her distance, never smiled, and, in my recollection, didn't even offer much of a thanks. I didn't really get it. Now, maybe I do.

    I'm 6'3, weigh about 185, and have always been a little on the scruffy side. I would never have offered her, or any woman, any disrespect. But, how could she know that? Many an assault has started with a stranded woman and a "good Samaritan" who was anything but.

    My awareness has evolved across the years, this is just another small step, but I hadn't re-visited that memory for a long time, and I'm glad I did. And to that unknown woman, I'm glad it was me who helped you, and you're very welcome.

  •  Nicely done, FrenchUM (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, GreenMother, Leftleaner

    It is something we men need reminding of from time to time, even those of us who profess to a more enlightened views.
    I would only add a note that I sounds frequently: With the truth of what you are saying, why are there not more women pounding the issue as you are doing? We find them here at DK, other places not so much. I mean, wouldn't it be an interesting (and I think more pleasant) country if Women's rights were accorded the same absolutism that 'gun rights' owners feel for their waepons? Just a thought. . .

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:21:03 AM PST

    •  I love you MichiganChet! (6+ / 0-)

      I'll muse about why more women aren't pounding the issue. There are a lot of issues embedded in my diary, I realize that.
      Here are some ideas about the kind of ground that grows a rape culture and produces Rapists.

      1)It's that whole paradigm thing.  A lot of women are stuck in an idea that someone has to be on top and someone has to be underneath, that that's the way the world is.  Men and women can't be side by side some of the time, on top or on bottom other times.

      2)Women(everyone in my generation) who are raised to believe their job is to take care of men don't have adequate experiences of themselves being taken care of.  Many women who say they adore their fathers also report their fathers never listened to them or seemed to value them.  So the idea of growing up, learning the finances, learning to to do house repairs, learning to do what (again in my generation) was considered the "man's job" doesn't look all that attractive to a lot of women.  They want to be taken care of, too.

      Couple that with a man who doesn't want to have to learn to cook because his mother always did that for him and we've got two people who don't want to grow up, don't want autonomy, and seem happy to settle into a social construct and bitch about it once in a while but never seriously challenge it.

      3)Certain religious types believe there is a "female nature" designed by God, the FATHER, who knows all about women.  Their world would collapse and they would go to hell if they challenged it.

      4) Women are afraid A Man won't love them if they are too bright, too brave, too autonomous.  Again, possibly, hopefully more my generation's mindset.

      5)Since women have had second class status since history began and since it's only been in the last few centuries that significant inroads have been made into the patriarchal mindset, there is a lot of anxiety involved in pushing the kind of changes a lot of us want to see.  And we're pushing against huge blocks of power.  That takes a lot of guts.

      I love it that more and more men have figured out that women's rights are about everyone's rights. Everyone wins but everyone has to give up something, too.  Change is hard and slow.

      Thanks for your contribution

      •  The feeling is mutual. . .and here is why (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Because not only am I interested in having an equal, not a vassal, as a partner/friend/colleague/lover. .  .but I was raised by a single mom, and guess what? I have recently become a single parent dad to my daughter. Whom I love deeply and don't ever want to be a second class citizen. So you know what? Thanks for the points about listening to and valuing her, which I try to do.
            It's that thing about 'half the sky'. Or let me be more explicit: Half the Sky

        An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

        by MichiganChet on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 04:48:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Comment that's been going around twitter: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, MichiganChet
      “There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard” - Arundhati Roy
      Actually, I do see this topic discussed in several places online, many more than just a few years ago. And I actually saw a commercial the other day in which getting the punchline depended on understanding (& making fun of) mansplaining.

      But there's lots of pushback on the topic, especially for women.

  •  Tipped and recced, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, saluda, FrenchUltramarine

    because when you make rape culture apologists come out of the woodwork with one diary, you know you're doing something right.

    Thank you for an awesome diary.

    "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

    by Silvia Nightshade on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:29:21 AM PST

  •  I and 5 13 year old boys about worked around a (4+ / 0-)

    fire in the snow last Saturday burning weeds.  They comprised a good spectrum of racial, religious composition and ranged from very poor to fairly privileged.
    I asked about abortion.  To a man, they were adamantly against it even my own son.  (I am pro-choice and consider reproductive control by any means as moral.)  Specifically, they were against it as a personal choice for their own girlfriends should an unplanned pregnancy occur.
    I think that just saying that it is the choice of the woman is different than considering it in your own personal case.  Asking about their personal morality regarding abortion,  I found that everyone of the boys truly think that the fetus embodies "person hood".
    I lost hope that abortion will be accessible to most American women by the time these boys become adults.

    As for the rape, delving a bit deeper about their personal actions faced with a pack of dogs (men), we had to talk some more.  Right off the bat, one boy exclaimed that he would rape.
    Under pressure from his peers, he thought about it again.
    Their first reaction was to engage in violence to save the girl.  After, that all died down, we began to talk about a proper reaction in earnest.
    The consensus was for a boy to simply walk/drive away out of sight of the dog pack and make an anonymous call to the police to come save the girl.
    We always call a group of boys or gang mis-behavior a pack of dogs or dog pack.  That is because if you have one or more dogs roaming into a chicken yard, if one starts killing, they all start killing.  Dog packs follow the alpha dog and is characterized as acting without thought.  We talk about following the pack in context of aspects of biblical wisdom from the book of proverbs.

    Upon further discussion of gang rape, it took some correction and persuasion on my part to make them realize that no woman no matter her status "deserves" rape.  They were less morally clear with regards to a "bad" girl and were a bit more ambiguous about even partaking in the rape.

    Upon discussion of military rape, they were incredulous about the dreadful statistics.  They were somber and silent about the fact that not one man has testified on behalf of a rape victim in the military.  I asked about the prospect of testimony in a court of law on behalf of a victim of gang rape.  What if their friend were involved? What about being a "good" soldier? We were at a quandary.

    These boys are already encountering peers "hitting" their girlfriends.  Some of the boys have witnessed domestic violence in their own homes.  They were all against it and were even planing an assault on another boy known to physically abuse one of their female classmates.  I reminded them that assault is illegal.  I got them to back off their notions of violence as a solution to this problem.  I came away from this part of the discussion knowing that they would apply peer pressure and social humiliation and general disapproval of violence against women.

    I hope that the boys will think about these issues going forward.

  •  Facebook friends = Non-representative sample (0+ / 0-)

    I agree with nearly all your points, however, this particular point is not accurate:

    To reiterate: about 10% of young men have raped someone.  That's just young men (the percentage can only rise with age), but let's just pretend it's all men.  Stop and think about that.  Go onto Facebook.  Take all the men on your list.  Count them and divide by ten.  At a minimum, approximately that many of your male facebook friends have raped someone.  You can go into conniptions for a while trying to guess at who, but it's what the data says.
    A small sample of Facebook friends is not necessarily representative of our culture as a whole (unless you are using statistical sampling techniques to choose your Facebook friends.) You can't assume statistically that 1 in 10 of your male Facebook friends are rapists simply because that's true of society as a whole. Some could be, none could be, 80% could be, even all could be rapists.

    This isn't meant to negate you other points it's just that this line of reasoning incorrectly turns 1 in 10 of people's male friends into rapists (and this may or may not be the case.)

  •  From The Gift of Fear (6+ / 0-)

    At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.”
    ― Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

  •  "Rape culture" is a bad name for the concept... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burlydee, Sparhawk, Dr Swig Mcjigger

    ... in the same way that "man-hating" is a bad name for feminism.

    It's an ideological cudgel used against people who don't sufficiently support your ideas. It's a dishonest and unfair debating tactic - I want people to agree with me because I am right, not because disagreeing is 'pro-rape'.

    •  Cudgel (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, qofdisks

      I think the feeling is that after all this time in women's history what is needed is a cudgel.  It's not about supporting anyone's ideas and it's not about being "right--" that's that binary paradigm again.

      It's about being noticed in the first place.

      •  It's a really shortsighted move (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, Dr Swig Mcjigger

        I've noticed that the same rhetorical ideas that get used to attack those who oppose progress on social issues also gets used to attack the less aggressive wing of the movement.

        It's a short step from "non-feminists are supporting rape culture" to "feminists that oppose this particular policy measure are supporting rape culture". Sure, the concept of 'rape culture' might be intended for fighting rape - but once it's given out, there's nothing stopping it from getting used to keep moderates in line.

    •  Rape culture defined (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks, TiaRachel


      Within feminism, rape culture is a concept used to describe a culture in which rape and sexual violence are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape.
      People use the name because they feel it is accurate.  Sexual violence is far far more common than we admit, and prevalent (not universal) attitudes certainly excuse rape.  

      It sure seems to me that a world where those Stuebenville rapists only failed to get away with a brazen and public sexual assualt because of a group of hackers on the internet and social media counts as a "rape culture."  

      •  I'm not looking for a definition (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, Dr Swig Mcjigger

        I'm saying that 'rape culture' is too intellectually dishonest for me to be comfortable using to describe social attitudes towards rape.

        •  The intellectual dishonesty... (0+ / 0-)

 unfortunately part of the deal and why the term is used at all.

          It's very easy to bludgeon someone with a broad term like that because the person doesn't support all of your agenda. It's especially easy because it's an emotionally charged topic.

          I have no doubt that rape is a serious issue in this nation. I also place little faith in attempts to 'show' that all males are complicit in it, or that large numbers of males are guilty of the crime, or that anything that certain people don't like is 'rape culture'. Let's get a grip, people, and analyze this issue as dispassionately as possible.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 08:53:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  really? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            take a minute to look at what you're saying.  "all males are complicit in it?" no one said that (that I can see) despite your refuted claims that people did.  

             I literally offered THE definition of rape culture above.  How could you follow up the definition with the claim that 'anything that people don't like is rape culture,' when I offered the definition.  That's why I offered the definition, to refute this claim.  

            Rape culture, is a decently specific thing.  We can debate its boundaries I suppose, but that's really true for any political, social, cultural, or philosophical term.  

            •  some stray observations and a question (0+ / 0-)

              Patriarchal attitudes are something that both men and women are drenched with.  Sometimes out of fear, sometimes out of a lack of awareness that any other way exists.

              Re the latter, I do think that many people --men and WOMEN--think that the only possible alternative to men running the world is for women to run the world.  IT'S NOT.

              Snuffleupagus, I am really liking you and your contributions to this discussion. I see why "everyone cares what you think about stuff!" Thank you.

              I have a question maybe someone will answer: A lot of us have been talking about our experiences and our interpretations of those experiences and our feelings. Then someone belligerently erupts into the conversation with Wikipedia pages and statistics.  I don't get this. Does he think that because he found this web site and these statistics no one has a right to have any other opinion or experience?  Does he think this is an argument that someone is going to win and he plans to be that someone by assaulting us (me) with his personality?  Help me out here.  What does he think he is doing because I see this kind of energy as part of the problem we are all talking about.

              I'd ask him but he doesn't know how to have a conversation.

              •  The search for statistics (0+ / 0-)

                is particularly difficult in this arena.  Personalized experiences are highly emotional, people on both sides are bound to feel insulted or worse.  So we really want to find something concrete to try to ground ourselves, I think that makes sense.  

                I have come to realize that debating rape and domestic violence (and I'm sure other issues, but these are the ones I have read the most about) is just different from other topics.  

                My theory one an important reason it's so different is because we can't identify with rapists or abusers, because their entire process is quite different from our own.  

                I might be able to identify with an armed robber, or even a murderer.  I can try to put myself in their shoes, and think 'what would I do?' - 'why would I do that?' - and I can certainly do this with other benign issues like taxes, workplace regulations etc.  

                So I think it's natural to try to do this with rape and abuse.  It's why people will claim rape is about sex, or that it can be brought on by short skirts.  Or that abuse can result from a "temper."  We are trying to view rapists or abusers as people who are on an extreme end of a spectrum we are on (spectrums of sexual desire, or anger).  But, in reality, they are entirely different wavelengths, they are in completely different modes of thinking.  

                That's what is so important about realizing that rape is about power and control.  It's becasue the rapist mind is just working differently from yours and mine.  

                So, to get back to your question, a conversation on rape seems guaranteed to break down.  Because it's a topic that is virtually impossible to understand (And I certainly don't), and people will come into it with perspectives that are so different they may as well be speaking two different languages.  I think the attempt to grab statistics is natural when this happens.  We want to find a number we can point to, and say "this is truth."  Because our perspective on truth is so far apart.  

                However, this is still missing the entire point.  I don't think the diarist would claim that the point of the diary is that _% of people are raped.  That number is largely irrelevant to whether or not 'rape culture' exists and what it looks like.  It's about whether or not a culture tolerates and even facilitates rape.  And the idea that we are culturally complicit in such a terrible crime is abhorent, it's only natural to reject it.  I do it too, I think we have to admit that we all do it (a great example for me is my unwillingness to give up my love for Beauty and the Beast, despite it basically being about Stockholm syndrome...)

                •  Thanks, that helps a lot (0+ / 0-)

                  I am relatively new to the Daily Kos commentariat.   It's lively, to say the least.   This whole conversation helped me to think about what I had written in different ways than when I first fired it off.  I had envisioned a conversation and when the statistics started showing up I realized some people thought they were going to win some kind of fight.

                  It's about whether or not a culture tolerates and even facilitates rape.  And the idea that we are culturally complicit in such a terrible crime is abhorent, it's only natural to reject it.
                  I like the way you put this. I think we are all complicit in whatever we've got going on in society because we are all here, contributing to it and taking from it.  That seems so self evident that there has to be a huge dose of shame involved for people to get all clogged up with denying it.  We tolerate a lot of shameful, ugly stuff, men and women alike.  It's hard to bring it up, talk about, and then let it lie there and be exposed for what it is.  We attack or we jump to any conclusion that feels safe and stable.
  •  What a thought-provoking and powerful diary! (4+ / 0-)

    Thank you for writing this.  I wish all men could read it.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:38:52 PM PST

  •  Rape culture is taught from Day One. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Snuffleupagus, arlene

    Why else would we teach kids to laugh at Pepe Le Pew and Bluto forcing unwanted sexual attentions on unwilling women?

    Why else would "Coward of the County" by Kenny Rogers, or "Run For Your Life" by the Beatles be hits?

    Why is it okay to air the entire SVU genre on network TV, but absolutely not okay to depict consensual sex by a woman?

    In horror movies, why do the sexually-active girls get terrorized and killed (often with phallic weapons), but the "good girls" (the virgin, the sexless Mom) survive?

    Why are Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast considered romantic stories? (One's about a stalker who lives in a sewer; the other's about a kidnapper trying to coerce his captive into marrying him.)  

    And these are just off the top of my head.

  •  True (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Male need for power over the female is deeply rooted in societ. Institutionalized religion is to blame for underwriting the false superiority males feel over females. God is male? How much more messaging of a superior gender does it get?

  •  i still call bull on 'Rape culture' (0+ / 0-)

    There's a difference between the anxiety that a woman might feel with constant messages about rape being blared at your on the news, day and night, and the way the world really is. I still promise you that this is a culture that in no way supports rape, and in fact every man here would probably rather be accused of murder than rape any day of the week because the consequences of just a mere accusation ruins relations with friends, intimate partners, and even your own blood family.

    •  The world is what it is, not what you wish it was (0+ / 0-)

      And you don't get to call bull on so many women's experiences because it embarrasses you personally.

      •  actually yes i do call bull on it (0+ / 0-)

        how sexist is it when you say that basically all men are either rapists or complicit in a culture that supports it?

        would we stand for it if someone wrote a diary saying that we were a violent society and proceeded to point fingers at black people and their culture(rap, etc)  for making white people afraid to leave their houses at night for fear of being mugged or beaten for your sneakers.

        I do call bullshit on the whole thing and I won't be bullied by you.

        •  You need to read what was actually written (0+ / 0-)

          There is a difference between supporting rape culture and benefitting from it.

          •  oh? and how do men benefit from 'rape culture'? (0+ / 0-)
            •  If you had read many of the comments you (0+ / 0-)

              would have had your answer.

              The short version: by having an institutional set of rules and rule makers who devalue women's experiences and testimony, the net result is rape is endemic and few rapists are punished. I trust you saw the Washington Post graphic illustrating this.

              The result is women do not feel as safe to go places because of the threat of rape or violence.  Men benefit from this by having access to certain jobs women are reluctant to take because of this threat.  Men benefit because a woman who is afraid will choose a man as a mate just to have one around to keep other men away.  In a society where rape is prosecuted in the same way as other violent assault and putting the victim on trial is not permitted, not only would prosecutions go up and incidents go down, but women would be freer to choose a man for his good qualities rather than to deter worse men.

              And at the base of tape culture is keeping women relatively powerless.  So while most men would never rape or even threaten to rape, they benefit by having most women fear the possibility.

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