On facebook the other day I posted this picture, which comes from here:
It started getting comments like this:
women how to protect themselves works. Teaching predators not to be
predators doesn't. That's why they're called predators.
misogynists are timid little assholes who only have the courage to
express their repugnant opinions from the safety of the Internet.
They're not likely to assault anyone.
thinking presented in this sign . . . is sexist and dangerous. It is
sexists because it implies that women don't have the same rights and
responsibilities as men. That is, the right and responsibility to to
prepare an adequate defense. . . . The thinking on this sign is dangerous because she
plans to rely on the concept that "No one would dare!" to keep herself
safe. And that is why we must all learn to defend ourselves against
predators. Because they WOULD dare to cross that line and don't care
you, or I, or your dean has to say about it.
it's not my fault that the lady in the picture doesn't understand that
ultimately we are all responsible for our own wellbeing...
problem with activists is that they want to cram their chosen cause
down everyone else's throat, and fail to see that the harder they push,
the more their audience wants to regurgitate.
we try to stop the rain from falling? There will always be selfish,
wicked human beings and they will prey upon men and women alike. It is
not an insult, but in fact a great service to be told how to defend
opportunity to say something doesn't have to include your own special
viewpoint. School orientation isn't the bully pulpit for the feminists
This picture is what's wrong with the world today. Instead of taking
something good out of orientation, she has to find a reason to bitch
** While we're at it we should do away with locks on doors and cars and just educate people to not steal from each other.
this another 150 comment thread of guys mansplainin' what this girl
really needs instead of listening to what she's actually asking for?
Shortly thereafter, a terrifying article popped up covering a "banned" fraternity at American University in DC which had a massive leak of emails making their uber rapey culture an open fact.
So here's my take on this in kind of brain-dump format-- copying profusely from my own posts on the matter, as well as those by some friends including James Stilwell of Alabama, jiu jitsuka, husband, father, and articulate humanist... and David Wells, friend, classmate and lawyer...
but to say we shouldn't bother telling boys not to rape (as we wouldn't
tell the clouds not to rain) is the height of both sexism and rape
held, repugnant opinions loosely described as misogyny affect the general populace, and even if not a
direct assault, the social impact is still real. Forty years ago and maybe even today, racism made it possible to assault black people
with impunity. Widespread misogynistic feelings make it much easier
for people who are so disposed to commit sex crimes against women (among other things) and lead
to the idea that we should place the burden of preventing rape on the
people who are at risk.
actually completely fine with freshmen orientation including a female
specific segment about rape risk, awareness and self defense techniques, but why not also a part
that's male specific which talks about gender sensitivity, rape
awareness, social responsibility to gain enthusiastic consent, social
responsibility to not engage in misogynistic behaviors and the social
responsibility to call out misogyny when you witness it, to make campus
safe for the vulnerable whoever they are and under whatever conditions
they are found? Why not have it be the same class with the same message
I'd bet lots of college boys commit rapes that they have no
idea is rape. Educate them about what consent means and you can prevent
some, although not all. Plenty of rapes happen because idiots think things like "she
wanted it earlier, and she's not saying no now, who cares if she's
drunk?" Plenty of rapes are later excused by saying "well, I was drunk too! so why blame me?" Meanwhile fraternities put out how-to emails about rape-bait
encouraging guys to get girls drunk so they can get laid. And yeah, I
think they know roofies are not legit, but seems they all think getting her wasted is.
than addressing the frustration the commenters above attempted to debunk its cause.
The angst felt by this woman and people like her is well
founded and justifiable. They live in a culture that consistently
creates an environment where they have to be afraid and basically can
trust no one. If they trust the wrong person, the society tells them
that they should have chosen better.
problem is that rape does have a really negative stigma in most
people's minds. It's when you rephrase the question that the grey areas
start to pop up. When you ask things like, is it okay to have sex with a
sleeping girl if she's been into you all night but she passed out
before having sex? Most people might still say no, if given a yes/no
option but when given a scale of agreement these kinds of questions
begin to reveal a startling amount of ambiguity among the responders. A
common thread in the arguments against the idea of rape culture is the
narrow re-definition of "rape" as something that is done violently, done
by a stranger to the victim, and done in a situation the victim could
have avoided. This is obviously (I hope)
a very incomplete definition, but it serves to omit "date rape," "acquaintance rape,"
etc. It's a useful definition for people who want to dispute rape
culture's existence by demonstrating that they personally would never do
something like *that*.
One problem I'm seeing is the insistence on a binary, forced choice, zero
sum perspective. Why
can't we have education on what constitutes rape and consent AS WELL AS
self defense lessons... also, why equate that education of men with
ineffectual pleas of "please don't rape" to a snarling malevolent
predator... when instead it could very well be eye-opening lessons in
empathy for self centered but basically well meaning idjits?
The majority of sexual assaults aren't violent assaults by a stranger in a dark alley.
They're of groomed victims who have had boundaries encroached and
often are friends-ish with their assailants, often intoxicated. So all
the "how to beat a wrist grab" and "how to beat a bear hug" won't help
them as much as telling that asshole in Steubenville that he shouldn't
walk away from a passed out drunk girl being sodomized because yeah,
that counts as rape too.