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Showing posts with label rape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rape. Show all posts

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Rape Story

False rape accusations: the New Misogynists are obsessively fearful about this. Even though the statistical probability of being raped themselves far outweighs the chances of being falsely accused of raping someone else.

A long time ago, in a rural community in western Colorado, I was assigned to be a personal advocate for a sixteen year old girl who had been raped. My role was never clearly delineated, but basically I was available to drive and accompany her to appointments, to help her navigate the criminal justice system, and to just be a friend in need.

I was awful at all of this. I had no idea how to do anything but try to sympathize with her, and even that was difficult because frankly, I found her to be -- at least initially -- a highly unsympathetic character. A high school dropout with bleached hair, shredded jeans, dirty bare feet encased in three inch patent leather "fuck me" pumps, raccoon eyes glaring at the world, she dared the world to pity her. She was sullen, defensive, resentful, and uncommunicative with both her estranged mother and me, the two harried, helpless matrons who doggedly flanked her throughout the process, deigning only to address me when she wanted me to run for coffee, candy, or cigarettes. Like most of the victims of domestic and sexual violence I met while volunteering at the project, she failed to meet my ideals of what a "good victim" should be.  

Yes, I am aware that all of this speaks much more harshly about me than her: my arrogant expectations, my insatiable appetite to be recognized, my clueless class privilege.

And I was initially as skeptical of her story as anyone else in the community:

She had gone over to her boyfriend's house, a cabin in the woods, even though she knew her boyfriend wasn't home at the time. She had agreed to play a drinking game with the boyfriend's roommate. Within a short time, she was drunk. When the roommate jumped on her, tore off most of her clothes, and attempted intercourse, she ran away. Now she wanted him to be tried for assault. Her primary concern was to be vindicated in the eyes of her boyfriend, who, in response to her accusations, had immediately distanced himself from her and allied himself with his buddy. In other words, it was easy to characterize her as just another girl who had made some foolish choices, and sought a rape conviction in order to avoid being "slut-shamed."

And then I heard her tell a detective a part of the story I hadn't heard before. And these details changed my whole perspective, and made it impossible for me not to believe her. In an attempt to escape her assailant, she had fled the cabin naked save for her socks, and dashed through subzero temperatures down the frozen moonlit rural road. As the accused took after her in his jeep, she dodged into the dark woods and stood waist deep in a snowbank for twenty minutes until she was sure that he had given up pursuing her. She then proceeded to stagger half a mile through the woods to a house with lights on, where she found refuge. The neighbors there drove her to the hospital where she was treated for hypothermia.

The jury believed her story, too, as it turned out. The young man was convicted; he wound up serving several months as I recall. This was no triumph for the girl, whose reputation in the town was now in tatters, and who finally, at the sentencing, gave in to a cascade of bitter tears because -- despite the conviction -- she had lost her boyfriend's "love."

I have personally known several women who reported being raped. (I don't know anyone who has been falsely accused of rape.) In all cases the accused rapist was arrested, tried, and convicted. And in all cases the women who endured not only the rape, and the trial, but also the aftermath of trial, suffered long past the conviction of their assailants. They suffered not only from PTSD, but also from the loss of dignity, privacy, employment, friends, and even family members. The attention female rape victims get is not something any sane person would seek, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that for male rape victims, it's even worse.

I'm not saying, of course, that false rape accusations are never made: I expect that occasionally they are. But my own experience suggests that they are rare. That rape isn't always proven (because one or both of the parties were too addled by alcohol to provide credible testimony) is not evidence that women are likely to falsely accuse men of rape. The JuicyJuice's story of fighting his own "false rape accusation" is a case in point. Instead of citing his expensive, stressful ordeal as proof that rape victims are liars, I wish the young men who read it would draw the following conclusion:

Having sex with someone who is too drunk to give consent is not only unethical, it is not likely to validate your ego or satisfy your quest for pleasure. If seduction is, after all, a "game," it is about as "sporting" as shooting a tranquilized lion tethered to a pole. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, it is putting you at risk of being accused of rape. You may or may not be convicted, but the outcome either way will cost you, and it will haunt your future. 

Silence is not consent. Chemically-induced immobility is not a green light (and what are you, a necrophiliac?). If a potential partner has not enthusiastically and unambiguously signaled his/her desire to proceed, stop. It's just that simple. Why is this hard to understand?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Trolling in the Manosphere

The other day I received an e-mail from a gentle reader who had just tumbled into the toxic waste dump that is the manosphere.  Specifically, she had found an article on Return of Kings by one "Raywolf" that purported to expose the cruel, bestial nature of womankind.  Although the article itself is horrible, it's pretty much run of the mill fodder for a website run by Roosh, and hardened veteran readers of the New Misogynists, like myself, will hardly raise an eyebrow.  This gentle reader, however, had then made the fatal error of reading the Comment Section.  (There is good reason that PZ Myers often implores his readers, "Don't read the comments!  Don't read the comments!")

But Gentle Reader had no way of knowing that she was proceeding into ever more dangerous terrain where no novice should venture without a seasoned guide (or at least a torch, a strong hand to hold, and a barf bag).  

She discovered comments by someone calling himself "Ruler" that disturbed even the other commentators since "Ruler" was clearly extolling the virtues of rape and was actually using that word, "rape."  (Because while the act of rape is fun, natural, and necessary, the word "rape" is generally verboten -- unless, of course, it is used to explain how rape is not "rape.")

I took a quick peek at the comments, and didn't know what the hell to think, so I turned the matter over to the webmistress of Bodycrimes, who is, like, five times smarter than I am, for her take on what "Ruler" was all about.  She graciously dashed off a brilliant assessment of the post, "Raywolf," and "Ruler" that I am re-posting here.  Please read it and please, please do not go over to the article on Return of Kings; rest assured the relevant passages have been summarized and extrapolated here:

Does misogyny cause reading problems?

I’ve been so busy lately I’ve mostly stopped reading Manosphere websites, much to the relief of Mr BC. But this morning I received an email about an article, so I went and took a look. The article in question confirmed my opinion, once again, that hard-core misogynists have something of a reading problem.

They want so badly to believe whatever it is that they’re reading is true, that they literally fail to comprehend what’s right in front of them.

The article in question is ‘Women Can’t Control Their Animal Instincts’ over at Return of Kings.com, written by one ‘raywolf’. Basically, the article is your common-or-garden women-hating tripe. Raywolf starts with an anecdote about how a pet lioness took a swipe at someone, to establish the fact that women can’t be trusted, and then he starts riffing on how women have had a negative impact on his own life.

None of his anecdotes make him look good. He details a broken marriage that was partly based on him marrying someone so he could get a diplomatic passport. (Thus proving he was much too young and dumb to marry, as he evidently didn’t realise – and perhaps still doesn’t – that the only non-spousal family members who can get an ‘A1′ passport are legal dependents a.k.a. children.) Then he talks about being taken advantage of by a flaky flatmate, and then about his relationship with a psycho woman who compelled him to make poor business decisions, which is why he missed out on being part of the global enterprise his former business partner then went on to build.

In other words, RayWolf is the last person any young man with prospects should be taking life advice from. Still, readers were quick to congratulate him on writing such an insightful and helpful article, as RoK readers are wont to do.

And then the weird thing happened.

A commenter called ‘Ruler’ came along and wrote this:

Men are gods and women are less than soulless beasts. But men are partly controlled by biology as well, in the matter of sex, as raywolf says. While rape where a male is the victim is a monstrous, unnatural act, men have a deep-seated, completely natural, biological need to rape girls and women, and should never be shamed or punished for this basic male right and need…

Now that’s some hard core misogyny right there! So hard core, that it even upset some RoK readers, who took ‘Ruler’ to task for advocating rape. This is RayWolf’s reply:

You have to be careful how you word statements like this….. the original point of a marriage contract was to show the women had offered herself up to the man, as and when he felt like it….. thus a man could basically force himself on his woman….. and women do actually like that kind of thing in the right context….. princesses were married off because it suited the politics of the day, and essentially their new husband ‘raped’ them on their wedding night…. (so much for the Disney princess fantasy…. ) but after a while the woman got experienced and grew to like it…. but none of this means you can go trolling the streets at night for pretty young things…… NO WAY!

In other words – way back when, aristocrats regularly raped one another, to their mutual satisfaction. But that doesn’t mean us plebs today could or should do it!

Nothing daunted, Ruler cheerfully responds by saying:

OK, good point. Don’t rape. But it is every man’s biological need to force sex on girls of his choosing, teaching her that she is less than nothing and is only here to serve men. And I am clearly not a troll, as I am only repeating what many on here have said, just mistakenly used the word “rape”.

See what Ruler did just then? Outed himself/herself as a troll. S/he gives it away right smack in the middle of a clearly sarcastic comment. At least one reader did understand it was a troll at work. And RayWolf was promptly called out at least once for suggesting that women grow to like forced sex, which is somewhat heartening to see.

RayWolf should have stopped at that point. The conversation was getting close to advocating violence and some readers were clearly uneasy. But RayWolf didn’t pick up on the tone. Which led him to write this:

Actually [forced sex] works brilliantly and i’ve tried it with girlfriends…. you obviously have to know them well, but forcing yourself on them, and forcing yourself inside her when she’s still tight, dry and trying to resist makes for great sex, and is very alpha…. the marriage contract was originally all about this act… AND… in my opinion the reason that most LTRs fail is because men don’t have the balls to do this more often… although admittedly it can be hard if she’s in a boner killing mood…..

Oh dear. Tricked into revealing his unsavoury sexual practices by someone who was obviously a troll.

Just why are young men taking advice from this man again?

This is something to bear in mind when reading the manosphere: it is riddled with trolls.  In other words, these guys are often hoaxing each other.  Who is "Ruler" and what is he/she playing at?  We can probably assume he/she is a "manosphere antagonizer" if not a "feminist sympathizer."  On the other hand, he may just be a bored lonely dude with a couple of hours to kill who, due to his own low esteem, finds it validating to "prove" he is smarter than a bunch of morons.  

And furthermore, as Ms. Bodycrimes points out, why are RoK's readers so eager to take advice from some random dude ("raywolf") who admits his own life, in every respect, is completely fucked up?  Why do they cluster at the odoriferous feet of Roosh, whose life by any rational measure and by his own admission is pretty damn miserable and unsatisfying, and whose central ambition at this point is to persuade Russia to take him in?

Once I had read Ms. Bodycrimes' post, I couldn't believe how I hadn't spotted the trollery myself!  Maybe because, no matter how hard I try, I cannot understand what motivates the New Misogynists, who have nothing to gain and everything to lose by adopting such bleak, amoral philosophies.

But paranoia is infectious.  As soon as I realized that "Ruler" was a troll, it made me wonder if my Gentle Reader was, too.  Was Gentle Reader one of Ruler's alters?  Because what could be more delightfully malicious than to get me to respond to a troll's comments by bewailing the new depths RoK had sunk to? Trolling x 2!

And guess what?  Gentle Reader really was a gentle reader, after all. The wolf in sheep's clothing was, after all, a lamb. Thank you, Gentle Reader, and I'm sorry I doubted you. 

By the way, if you are interested in following the New Misogynists, I advise you to start by reading "secondary sources" like David Futrelle's manboobz or any of the blogs listed to the right.  This helps "filter" the content and places it firmly in the mocking or critical light it deserves.  Direct exposure to the manosphere can be psychologically traumatizing for the uninitiated.  I'm serious!

Meanwhile, the sun is shining and my papers are calling, and bless us everyone.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Turning "No" Into "Yes"

So yesterday Facebook took away Roosh's "privileges" for a full 24 hours -- a kind of "time out" -- because of complaints about LMR (Last Minute Resistance), a "rape guide" by Return of Kings author Vincent Vinturi.  Then Amazon, alerted by Huff Po UK, decided to pull the book from its inventory.

Needless to say. the boys over at ROK are pretty steamed at this "attack" on their "freedom of speech", while the gals over at Jezebel are crowing.

Personally, it is a matter of complete indifference to me whether Amazon carries this book or not.  There are plenty of books available that I would probably find even more despicable and offensive. And it's not like this notion (that men can overcome women's initial objections through coercion) is a new or novel approach or isn't the stuff of a hundred years' worth of popular fantasy. 

What these boys don't understand is that media conveyers like Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon are corporations which have the right, nay, the obligation, to refuse custom that they believe will hurt their bottom line.  It probably took Amazon about five minutes flat to figure out that the paltry profits it would get from this execrable self-published tome weren't worth the shit-load of bad PR its existence was creating among its literate customer base, who actually buy real books (and lots of other stuff).  Du-uh!

I read some of the comments over at Huff Po UK.  One male commentator complained rather peevishly that women "always say no when they really mean yes."  In fact, neither women nor men always do anything, but I do understand why some men accuse some women of being disingenuous.  

As a former proud, card-carrying slut, I have had loads of sex (mostly meaningless and quite forgettable) with a lots of different men.  I have never said "no" when I meant "yes".  I have occasionally said "no" when I meant, "Maybe later -- I'm not sure yet."  And once I did back out at the very last minute because a prospective partner smelled really bad, which I didn't realize until he had taken off his shoes, and I'm sorry, but ew, no no no.  And occasionally I said "no" when I was pretty sure I was going to say "yes" on the third date because -- well, I didn't want the guy to dismiss me as a "slut."

This is a topic that I wish the manosphereans and the young ladies they lust after & resent could have a really honest conversation about.  

Gentlemen, I will concede this:  Young women need to take ownership of their desires.  A woman who, at the last minute, says "no" while secretly hoping the man will ram through her explicit refusal is being fundamentally dishonest with and unfair to both herself and her partner.  And, frankly, if I were a guy, and I suspected a woman was playing me like that, I wouldn't like her one little bit.  At the very least, I wouldn't trust her any farther than I could throw her.  She sounds like a bad bet for a lot of reasons, and the last thing a man should do, under those circumstances, is proceed to fuck her.  This is where I want to grab these boys by their short hairs, and say, I know you're horny, but don't be a moron!  

Trust me, fellas:  Women want sex too.  A woman who truly wants to have sex with you, and understands that you will not proceed without her unambiguous permission, will step up to the plate.  And if such a woman loses respect for you because your deference strikes her as somehow unmanly, well, this is a person with some issues you are better off staying well clear of. 

Nobody has ever died of blue balls.  In fact, back in the day before people expected instant gratification of every imaginable appetite, all that built up "frustrating" tension could result in some ultimately intense, explosive release.  Try to think of sex as a ride, not just a destination.

And so what if you "miss" a particular sexual opportunity and -- the horror! -- it never presents itself again?  What, are you still crying about the ice cream cone you dropped at the State Fair when you were in second grade?  Don't be such a fucking baby.

By the way, I do find the way Roosh exhorts his flying monkeys to push back against critics quite chilling.  He and Matt Forney seem to have taken a cue from Paul Elam of A Voice for Men by advocating the intimidation and harassment of young women he identifies as "hostile" to his "movement."  There's a weird sexual sadism vibe here too: he tends to target the younger, more attractive girls for these campaigns. 

Today:

  1. Retweeted by

    abused her position as Huffington Post blogger to cause financial harm to one of our contributors. She may come to regret it.
  2. Retweeted by
    We're currently collecting information on , who yesterday attacked a ROK contributor
Yesterday:
  1. started the attack against VinceNnt. Please send me any info you have about her to roosh@rooshv.com to aid our response.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Modern Day Chastity Belts

So this has been making the rounds, both in manosphere and feminist places:  rape-repellant sportswear.

It's been amply pointed out that whoever engineered this getup is absolutely clueless about rape prevention, since he/she thinks that it is merely a matter of preventing a penis from entering a vagina.  In the case of stranger rape, what are the chances of this saving your life at the point of a gun?  

Still, it made me chuckle a bit as I recalled how I devised my own "anti-rape" outfit while I was traveling solo from Kabul to Istanbul when I was 22 years old.  I basically wore a lot of tight layers:  underpants, layered with a pair of stout tights, and on top of that a rubber girdle.  Over this I wore a slip, a blouse, a sweater, a jumper dress, and a coat.  

Boy, it was hot in there.  Also, going to the toilet (overflowing squat toilets, mind you, on moving trains) took me about twenty minutes and gave me quite a workout.

However, I did encounter one incident in which my home-made rape prevention outfit was called into action.  Going through eastern Turkey, the conductor fetched me out of a "family" compartment where I was happily hanging out with a troupe of friendly Kurdish folks, and forced me into the back of the train, where an empty car had just been added.  He then proceeded to (attempt to) rape me.

He didn't have much luck.  He was a relatively slight man (probably about 150 pounds) and I was a stout woman (probably about 175 pounds), and I immediately employed a kind of passive-resistance technique, curling up into a ball on the seat, like a very large hedgehog might.  He couldn't even cop a good feel;  with all my layers of snug, thick clothing, groping my breasts and buttocks was probably as exciting as patting down a well-upholstered couch.  Frustrated, he began smacking me on the shoulders (fortunately not in the head, which was the only exposed part of my body), and then finally stomped out of the car, whereupon I immediately made a beeline back to the safety of my Kurdish family.

When I complained to one of the male members of the family, he asked me wearily what I had expected, traveling alone?  At least he couldn't blame me for the immodesty of my attire.  

There were a few such scary moments to come, however careful I was to avoid being isolated or surrounded exclusively by males.  The aggressors and would-be rapists were almost always men in positions of slight authority, i.e., hotel keepers, ticket agents, museum guards.  Women, if they were in the vicinity, were usually quick to come to my defense.

I considered trying to pass as a man, but my body type (in those days, distinctly pear-shaped) and childishly round face made that difficult to achieve in western dress.  And, as a Turkish friend later pointed out, would hardly have made less of a target of rape in those parts of the world. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Irreversible


Note bene:  Since posting this, Forney removed the image I refer to, and also wrote that "a bunch of feminists" (who, me?) had complained about it -- which just demonstrated how "weak" women were.  What impressed me was that it showed how Forney is constantly crawling the internet and twitter for any references to himself.  Yeah, he's that narcissistic and/or starved for attention!

Does anyone recognize the image below, of a woman entering a sottopassagio to cross a Parisian street?  It's from a 2002 French film, "Irreversible."  The movie concerns the brutal rape and beating of a young woman, and the aftermath of that trauma on her boyfriend. The prolonged (real time) rape scene which follows this image is so harrowing that it is scored into my brain.  The night I saw this film in a theatre, several members of the audience had to step out into the lobby.


Post image for Matt Forney’s Podcast Extravaganza, Episode Seven: The Game Within
I hadn't thought about that movie much until I stumbled upon this image on Matt Forney's blog (stolen, out of context, as a decorative graphic for promotion of his podcasts or some such nonsense).

To know what this image is meant to represent -- a woman unknowingly and literally walking into hell -- and to see it used so casually took me aback.   I wouldn't expect Forney's readers to recognize it; I doubt many of them are foreign film buffs.  But Forney somehow found it and planted it in his blog, and I doubt it was an accident.  How could Forney have purloined this image without knowing its origin?  Or had he, at some point, watched the movie and thought, "Wow, that chick is hawt!"?  WTF is WRONG WITH THESE GUYS?! 








Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Welcome Oh Warrior Princess!


Anyway...  That these issues are being raised for scrutiny and debate is a positive step, I suppose, even if it feels like kicking over a rock.  Exposing the depth and breadth of misogyny is the first step in eradicating it.  

Twenty years ago I accompanied my ex and his children to Disneyland, and I hated almost every single minute of it.  (To be fair to Walt and his "imagineers," my misery had less to do with the park and more to do with the relationship.)  At one point, sobbing bitterly on a bench under the entrance banner that read "The Happiest Place on Earth," I looked up to see a small throng of Japanese tourists taking my picture.  So at least the opportunity for an ironic picture was not lost.

Anxious to escape the heat and glare, I agreed to ride through "Pirates of the Caribbean" with eight year old Suzanne.  "This is my favorite ride," Suzanne confided.  "Except for this part..."  she added sotto voce, as we bobbed into a tableau of drunk, lusty brigands seizing a struggling young maid with lecherous intent (ignoring the fat, blowsy blonde who was clearly disappointed not to be raped herself).

Suzanne closed her eyes tightly until we had passed through this scene.  "I wish that part wasn't there," she reiterated.  "Otherwise, it would be the perfect ride."  I had to agree, but it took a child to remind me of what I had always known, yet had somehow learned not to see:  Sexual assault isn't funny and it isn't fun.   It's scary and degrading, and even a small girl knows that it could really happen to her if she is careless (or merely unlucky).

Rape culture means that there is no direction in which a little girl can gaze without being reminded of the vulnerability her sex imposes, not even on a kiddie ride.  

Clearly, a number of people besides Suzanne and me didn't like watching animatronic pirates violating animatronic wenches, and these people weren't just humorless feminists, either: plenty of disgruntled dads complained too.  Under considerable consumer pressure -- and much to the chagrin of certain guys-who-just-don't-get-it -- Disneyland and Disneyworld removed the "sexual slavery" element from the attraction a few years ago. So now Suzanne can take her own daughter on "the best ride ever," and neither will have to squeeze her eyes shut for any of it...

This week I've been following with dismay the abuse Twittered upon Lindy West following her televised debate with comedian Jim Norton.  To be fair, Norton is not egging his fans on.  He seems genuinely concerned about the issues that were raised -- even if he's not willing to concede (yet) that misogyny is bad for comedy.  What is clear in his twitters is that he doesn't want to be a Bad Guy, but he doesn't want to be seen as "backing down" either.  To which I would echo Ms. West in asking him, On which side of history to you wish to stand?

How anyone could deny the existence of "rape culture" in the wake of the comments left by scores of anonymous white doods... is beyond me.  I mean really fellas:  You deny "rape culture" exists by claiming some women are too ugly to rape?  You disagree with someone, so you describe in some detail how you'd like to impale her on a spit?  You don't want women to think you're rapists, so you conjure up images of the most grotesque and sadistic fantasy? 
Yet sometimes the anger and hate really overwhelm me.  After all, there are real men behind those threatening pseudonymous comments, and chances are that some of them are moving through the same public spaces as I am.  That's damn scary if you think about it.  (Which is, of course, exactly how they want women to feel.)   So when I read today that Kristin Beck, a former Navy Seal, has come out as a trans woman, I was, well, thrilled.  I for one welcome some real warrior princesses on "Team Femme!"   

 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Another Response to Matt Forney's Rape "Satires"

Dear Matt,

This post is in response to your recent attempts to write humorously about a topic we can all agree is loaded.  Yeah, I mean both of your rape "satires", not just the one you quickly took down and "apologized" for.

I can see you're struggling with the genre, so I thought I'd helpfully link you up to a writer you'll recognize, Lindy West, who wrote a brilliant piece about How To Tell A Rape Joke.

Oops, my bad!  I know how much you dislike feedback from women females on any subject whatsoever (especially if the subject is women females themselves), so let me link you instead to a male masculine comic you might relate too.  Like you, Louis CK is bald, pale, pudgy, and has built a stellar career on charting his trouble with girls.
   
Louis CK has done several bits concerning rape but this one is my personal favorite.  (In case you don't "get it," the "butt" of the joke here is the girl and / or rape culture itself -- yet women find it as funny as men do.)

Enjoy

La Strega

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Steubenville Rape Verdict

I went to college in the seventies, which makes me a kind of historical relic.  In 1973, Roe vs. Wade had just made abortion legal, the "sexual revolution" was well underway, and the second wave of feminism was reaching its zenith.

I had just turned eighteen.  I had lost 100 pounds, morphing from a very obese high school student beyond the social pale, into a very pretty, very buxom blonde.  I could hardly wait for my life to begin.  I was all juiced up on my own hormones and fantasies.

But I was also riddled with anxiety and crippled by lack of confidence.  I didn't have a clue... about practically anything.  So I made a lot of foolish, impulsive choices, as many young people do, especially regarding alcohol.

I attended a large public university in a dry state in the midwest, where the only alcohol legally available was 3.2 beer.  I had very little experience with hard drinking.  One night I went to an acquaintance's room in my dorm with several other people.  He was lavishing us with screwdrivers, and I got very drunk very fast.  One of the young men in the group, Simon, offered to help me back to my room.

(I call him a young man now, but in fact he was a grad student at least ten years my senior, with a receding hairline and a pot belly, so from my perspective seemed positively middle aged.)

I remember little of the rest of the evening, except coming to, face down on his bed.  He had removed my bra and pulled my jeans down to my ankles.  He was attempting to penetrate me anally; it was probably the pain of this that brought me back to consciousness.  Although I was now aware of what was happening, I was literally immobilized.  I said, "Please stop" before passing out again.  Perhaps an hour later, I stumbled out of his room and made my way back to my own, losing my bra (never to be retrieved) in the process.

In 1973, the concepts of "acquaintance rape" or even "sexual harassment" didn't exist; they weren't.even on the radar.  I knew whatever had happened to me did not fit the legal definition of "rape."  It's true Simon had acted caddishly, but I was the one who had been defiled. I was responsible because I had put myself in the position to be taken advantage of.  Therefore, I carried the burden of shame alone, and never questioned for decades that I should not.

So I never said anything to anyone about this incident, including Simon's "girlfriend," who happened to live on the same floor.  For the rest of the academic year, I passed Simon in the cafeteria or lobby.  He was usually sitting with his friends.  Every day I passed through this gauntlet, as they pointed, jeered, and muttered to each other.  I had become an object of their endless contempt and amusement.  One of them once made a clumsy pass at me at a dance; when I politely declined, the ridicule and gossip escalated.  It was as if  by "allowing" myself to be raped, I had lost the right to own my own body.  I pretended to ignore them, praying the scandal would not spread beyond his immediate coterie of pals.

The same year, two girls who lived in the same dorm, and whom  I vaguely knew, were picked up by some boys in a bar.  They were invited to a party.  They jumped into the boys' cars and were driven to an abandoned barn, where a dozen men were already queuing, and where they were gang raped repeatedly.  One of the girls was hospitalized for physical injuries that included abrasions in her throat and vagina.  I don't recall if there were any arrests.  I do recall the charges were ultimately dropped for "lack of evidence."  The girls were pitied, but also ostracized, and shortly thereafter, they dropped out of school.  The message was clear: report rape at your own peril.

You might have thought I would have learned my lesson about drinking with strangers, but in fact, this episode ushered in a period of hard partying, many hours of drink-fueled dancing and relentless carrying-on.  A year later, I was at a party chugging tequila out of the bottle, while the people around me cheered.  The next thing I remember was waking up in the front seat of an unfamiliar boy's glossy Trans Am..

I tell this story to demonstrate that not all young men are opportunistic rapists.  In fact, I suspect only a minority of them are though it's a theory that I cannot prove.

Anyway, the boy was very concerned about me.  He didn't want me to pass out.  He kept suggesting we stop and get some "bread" because the bread would "soak up" the alcohol in my system.  Every time he said the word "bread," I retched, jeopardizing the upholstery of his new sports car.  He finally drove me to a trusted female friend's house, put me to sleep it off in a back bedroom, and disappeared.  I didn't wake up until three the next afternoon and I never saw him again.  (Of course, in light of what I now know about alcohol poisoning, he should have dropped me off at an ER, but I expect he didn't want me to "get in trouble.")  My finger tips were numb for days and I couldn't look tequila in the eye for years, but I passed through the dreadful experience without the added trauma of having been sexually assaulted.

So what accounts for the difference in behavior between these two young men?  Why will one man view a woman's incapacity as an opportunity to have intercourse, knowing full well she would not consent if she were unimpaired, while another man is motivated in the same circumstances to protect her?  This is the question we need to be asking ourselves, and for which we need to elicit the input and support of men too. 

And another question I've been asking myself is, Where were the Steubenville victim's girlfriends while she was being assaulted?   Why do young women so often fail to look out for each other?  (Although I am somewhat reassured by Roosh that this sort of "cock blocking" is a standard part of the clubbing scene.)

It's hard for me to see the convicted football players as "victims," but it strikes me that they also have been badly let down:  let down by their parents, their team mates, their classmates, and just about everyone in their community who had a chance to support their character development and failed to do so.
  
There is a petition to make "consent" a mandatory part of sex education in school Because all men are born criminals

No, Roosh, not all men are "born criminals," except insofar as all humans are, by our imperfect natures, capable of doing appallingly evil shit to each other.  Education helps.  As civilization evolves, our mores change.  In fact, statistics indicate the rate of rape has fallen fairly dramatically in the past two decades, even as the definition of rape has broadened, and this does seem correlated with the inroads feminism has made in convincing people that women are autonomous beings worthy of respect and compassion.

I appreciate how fast standards seem to change, and that it is hard for some folks to "keep up,"  (As fond as they are of evolutionary psychology, MRAs don't seem to have read enough "Evolve or Die" bumper stickers.)  Although I am not very old, I have lived long enough to see social attitudes change in ways that I could never have anticipated.  Were I now the 18 year old I once was, I would have felt significantly less shame and significantly more anger at Simon and his friends.  Of course, it's likely it would never have happened at all because Simon was a smart, ambitious fellow who would have been loathe to put his academic career and social reputation in jeopardy.  And nowadays he would know what the consequences were, thanks to education about "consent."

By teaching adolescents the concept of consent, girls are also taught to be accountable for their own sexuality.  I look forward to the day when girls who want to be sexually expressive with a partner take responsibility for communicating that and owning it enthusiastically and unambiguously.

I note also this week the kerfuffle regarding Adria Richards and the vicious backlash she is experiencing.  I have nothing to add to this story except to agree with comments that, while I sympathize with her frustration, she seems to have over-reacted, that sex jokes are not necessarily sexist, that it is a shame the offending programmer was fired and an equal shame that Richards was fired.  The social media has evolved faster than our standards of professional etiquette and decorum can accommodate.

I enjoyed the hilarity of the tweets regarding Roosh's "Feminist Victim Fund."  Nice to see at least half of the ridicule coming from men.   I will also confess to a certain cruel satisfaction in seeing the widespread coverage of Roosh as an "admitted rapist" tied in to the mockery, and knowing that whatever he does, he will never escape that label.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Reckless Blogging

The prevalence of false rape accusations is one of the central obsessions of the MRM.  In response, fervent Roosh fan Matt Forney recently posted "tongue in cheek" advice to would-be rapists.  Yeah, it's obviously meant to be read as Swiftian "satire," a la American Psycho (which I didn't think was funny either).   He admits he has gotten his ideas from watching movies, and there is nothing very interesting here beyond a rehash of morbid cinematic fantasies.

For the record, I don't find jokes or ruminations about humiliating or castrating men amusing either. Neutering my dogs is more traumatic for me than for them!

Rape is the ultimate act of domination, whether male over female or male over other male. (I acknowledge women also occasionally rape men, particularly in cases of statutory rape, and these acts are just as reprehensible.)  Nobody is going to argue that rape is worse than murder or mutilation, but it violates an individual's sovereignty in a way that few crimes do.  And it strikes me as an act of terrorism, because the fear it engenders affects all women all the time.


Although the legal definition of rape has broadened, the rate of rape appears to have declined in the U.S.  This is good news, albeit a trend no one has been able to explain.  People do seem to be more sensitive and knowledgeable about what rape is / is not, possibly thanks to the fact that it has been a feminist concern for a generation.

We don't know why humans are sexually aroused by the imagery, suggestion or reality of violence.  There are almost certainly biochemical mechanisms at work here:  somehow, the wires for aggressive and sexual impulses get crossed in the limbic system.  Furthermore, we are awash in imagery that promotes violent sexual fantasy and horror.  The disappearance, violation and murder of attractive  white women is such a pervasive theme in entertainment and popular media that it is hardly shocking anymore.

What stuns me is that young men like Matt Forney are putting their fantasies out there on the Internet with their legal names attached.  What compels people to burn their social and professional bridges in this reckless way?  I don't buy that it's "ballsy" to commit social suicide.  It's tragic.  

Perhaps he is so young that he cannot envisage a day when he wishes more than anything that he hadn't done so.  Perhaps the ego stroke of Internet "celebrity" is as addictive and self-destructive as crack?  Or do these men feel so hopeless and despairing about their futures that they really have nothing to lose?

Update:  Forney has removed the piece from his blog and (sort of) apologized for it.  I've also ascertained Mr. Forney is forty years old, not as young as I had assumed.  (In other words, old enough to know better.)