13 December, 2006

Excellent Discussion about Patriarchy, Rape Culture, Etc.

Posted in Abbott and Costello, Abyss2hope, Aegis, Alas a Blog, Creative Destruction, False Accusations, Great Comments, Humor, Marcella Chester, NYMOM, Q Grrl, Rape Culture, Richard Jeffrey Newman, Tom Nolan, toysoldier at 5:27 pm by Daran

(I have renamed the post to reflect the discussion in the comments, which are far more interesting than the post itself. The following tags are for the post: Humor, False Accusations, Abbott and Costello, Alas a Blog, Abyss2hope, Creative Destruction, Marcella Chester. All other tags pertain to the Great Comments discusson. Follow the link for an explanation of what this means. The post slug remains the same, so that incoming links are not broken.)

* * *

Like the deranged scientist in a thousand horror movies, I have created a monster. It has broken free of the laboratory and now ravages the land, growing stronger each passing day, utterly impervious to my efforts to halt it. The story of its creation is summarised here. However I should perhaps have said that it was as much Marcella’s comment as it was curiousgyrl’s, that made me aware of what a monster it had become. Both comments were made in reply to a post entitled “Women do(n’t) lie about Rape”, which I have now deleted. Curiousgyrl alerted me to true facts of its birth, but it was Marcella, whose complete misunderstanding of my argument, and consequent total misrepresentation of it made me realise the true magnitude of the horror I had created.

I tried to kill it. I took down the posts. I emailed her, begging, disparately pleading with her to do the same. I have not heard back (I fear the beast may have devoured her), while the monster continues to plunder the blogosphere unabated. Then I saw Charles’ comment, suggesting that it’s creation was not as meaningless as I had thought. In this, the latest iteration of “Who’s on First” The answer is “Charles”:

I think your problem actually has more to do with an inability on your part to parse nuance and context. QGrrl’s comment was not some sort of incoherent scream that couldn’t be parsed for meaning (an extremely insulting description by the way- indeed, there is a strong undertone of “I am the paragon of reason, incapable of understanding your irrationality” throughout that comment),

It was not intended to be an insult. In any case I said that Q Grrl’s remark was not intended to be parsed for meaning, not that she was incapable of making meaningful sentences.

I don’t think I make a good paragon, do I?

it just couldn’t be parsed for meaning by you.

That is certainly possible.

Qgrrl’s comment was of the perfectly standard “Why don’t people I disagree with about X also say Z about Y, which would be consistent with what they say about X?” formulation. Such a statement is basically never intended to mean that people who the writer disagrees with about X should say Z about Y. It usually means that to be consistent, they should say Z about Y, which would also be wrong. It means that those people’s position is incoherent, wrong and probably dishonest.

Surely, you’ve encountered that rhetorical device before, but perhaps you are always baffled by it?

Well I’m truly baffled by it now. Can you perform the parsing for me, and tell me in straight-forward terms what you think she meant? (Update: Q grrl clarifies in the comments.)

****************************************

I’ve started with Charles’ post, so I might as well finish, even though the rest of it has nolittle connection with the monster. Think of it as a commercial break.

Reading back through this thread, I remain baffled by how you misread mx_xeno’s comment about jaketk in the manner you did, but it certainly wasn’t because of incoherence on her part. My only guess is that seeing a friend spoken ill of made you start misreading everything relating to him. ms_xeno brought him up as an example of how feminists don’t accuse even the most annoying and disruptive of their anti-feminist opponents of lying about having been raped. No one suggested that jaketk was a rape denialist, and no one suggested that jaketk was lying about being raped. ms_xeno brought him up as an example of someone against whom people here had sufficient ill will that, if they (we) were going to accuse any man of lying about having been raped (not because of anything about his story, but simply out of hostility and a desire to shut him up), jaketk would have been they guy. ms_xeon’s point was not that we should have done so, but that we didn’t, because we don’t do that.

It’s not clear to me how you think I misread ms_xeno’s comment. The way you’ve rendered it here is the way I understood it.

My post was not a response to the substance of her comment, (which I understood) but to its abuse of him. I commented that the “moblike abuse” continued even when he wasn’t there. To clarify, I meant that the abuse continued (with ms_xeno’s comment) and that the abuse had been moblike (in the past). I did not mean that the abuse continued to be moblike.

Later, in response to continued references to people “accusing” female posters here “of lying”, I asked if they meant jaketk. I wasn’t sure who they were talking about. I still don’t know.

I agree that “feminists don’t accuse even the most annoying and disruptive of their anti-feminist opponents of lying about having been raped”. At least, I don’t recall ever seeing feminists do this to jaketk or anyone else they regard as disruptive. What I don’t understand is what the relevance this has to anything that has been discussed in this thread? Why make this point?

****************************************

Back to the monster. Marcella is on Second:

As in this comment thread over at Alas, some people keep insisting that women lie about being raped while insisting that men don’t lie about rape. If challenged, they will explain that by denying that men lie about rape, they are referring only to a very specific scenario where the man is the alleged victim who filed a police report.

Ah the famous “Some People”. Can she identify anyone who has “insisted” on such a thing? I have done Google Web and Groups searches for relevant utterences. There were no results from Google Groups, and other than Marcella’s post on Alas, and the comments thread on Creative Destruction just two web results:

“Men don’t lie about rape” – 1 page returned.
“Men do not lie about rape” – None
“Men never lie about rape” – 1 page returned

“Women lie about rape but men don’t” – None
“Women lie about rape but men do not” – None
“Women lie about rape but men never do” – None

“Women lie about rape and men don’t” – None
“Women lie about rape and men do not” – None
“Women lie about rape and men never do” – None

Just two returns, both of them comments by feminists debunking an alleged “stereotype” that doesn’t exist!

Marcella, of course, links to a comment of hers, which in turn refers to the (now deleted) post of mine. By “some people” she means me. But the sentence in question never appeared in that post.

She’s not the only one to misunderstand what I meant. Curiousgyrl misunderstood it the same way. In my response I accepted her sentence as part of my summary, but only as an explanation, a map if you like, of the logic of my argument, to be read in conjunction with the post. The two halves of the sentence were never intended to be put together like that. Nor was I even arguing in favour of the sentence “men don’t lie about rape”, rather, I was arguing against the sentence “Men lie about rape”.

And the post itself was a convoluted logical argument rebutting what I misunderstood Q Grrl to have said. It’s a pure “Whose on First?” argument.

I do not believe that “women lie about rape, and men don’t”. It’s honestly not my opinion. Nor, as far as I can tell are antifeminists saying this.

Yet!

DON’T GIVE THEM IDEAS. KILL THE MONSTER NOW!!!

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148 Comments »

  1. toysoldier said,

    I am not shocked that something rather small has become a multi-blog fan-the-flame war, but it is amazing all of this has continued even after you ceded.

    Your explanations probably will not suffice, so it may be best to avoid the latter “men don’t lie about rape” issue.

  2. Daran said,

    It’s possible that she’s emailed me back – I keep getting errors when I try to collect my mail.

  3. Q Grrl said,

    If your reading comprehension were better, perhaps this would have blown over in, oh, 5 seconds.

    Easier Q Grrl: it appears that the men who believe that large proportions of women lie about rape also believe that 100% of lies about rape are told by women. The men who have a hard-on for women’s alleged falsifications do not entertain or critique men/boys who lie about being raped.

    I thought it was an interesting factoid/phenom.

    Me, personally, I feel we should automatically castrate all boys who lie about being sodomized. That would keep those little bastards quiet, doncha think? [/sarcasm]

  4. toysoldier said,

    It’s possible that she’s emailed me back – I keep getting errors when I try to collect my mail.

    What email service do you use?

  5. Tom Nolan said,

    it appears that the men who believe that large proportions of women lie about rape also believe that 100% of lies about rape are told by women. – Q-Grrl

    Who, precisely, are these men?

    I thought it was an interesting factoid/phenom. – Q-Grrl

    Which you observed where?

    Me, personally, I feel we should automatically castrate all boys who lie about being sodomized. That would keep those little bastards quiet, doncha think? [/sarcasm] – Q-grrl

    Does putting “[/sarcasm]” after a remark like that make it acceptable?

  6. Q Grrl said,

    “Who, precisely, are these men?”

    Uh, the men who think that large proportions of women lie about rape. That was pretty clear in my sentence.

  7. Tom Nolan said,

    “Uh” indeed.

    Let me rephrase the question: which men have you observed to claim that women lie about rape and that men never do? Their names or pseudonyms, perhaps even a cite, would be in order.

    And you might consider the other questions I asked, particularly the last one.

  8. Q Grrl said,

    Oh Tom, I don’t think it’s your place to tell me how to post and which of your questions to consider.

    All the men that I have seen post at Alas, at Hugo’s, and at SYG who are adamant that – large proportions – of women lie about rape never talk about the men and boys that lie about being raped. Therefore, the phenom that I noticed is that these men *seem* to believe that 100% of the lies about rape come from women.

    Tom, aren’t you concerned about those men who are levying false allegations of rape? And all those boys getting priests and childcare workers into trouble?

    [I’m still chuckling over the “would be in order”, heh. Nice try, bub]

  9. Daran said,

    Welcome to my blog, Q Grrl. Thanks for dropping by, I really do appreciate it.

    Site-owner and moderator hat on

    A quick reminder, the Rules which also apply on CD also apply here, and apply to everyone. Q Grrl, please be courteous to everyone else. Everyone else, be courteous to Q Grrl.

    hat off

    Q Grrl:

    If your reading comprehension were better, perhaps this would have blown over in, oh, 5 seconds.

    As an initial matter, may I apologise for saying your sentence was ungrammatical. I finally managed to parse it. It is grammatical after all, (“greengrocer’s apostrophe” aside), however it is a very difficult sentence to read. A few commas might have helped.

    Easier Q Grrl: it appears that the men who believe that large proportions of women lie about rape also believe that 100% of lies about rape are told by women. The men who have a hard-on for women’s alleged falsifications do not entertain or critique men/boys who lie about being raped.

    Thank you, although I think you also equated these men with “all… who complain about threads in which feminists talk solely of male on female rape”, which I object to, because I am one of those who “complain about threads, etc.,” but I don’t have a hard on for women’s alleged falsifications.

    I think you are mistaken in your interpretation of “women (do) lie about rape” as said by those who do have such a hard-on. It is, in my experience uttered in rebuttal of the statement “Women don’t lie about rape”, which is said by feminists, and should be interpretted as a negation of that statement.

    Me, personally, I feel we should automatically castrate all boys who lie about being sodomized. That would keep those little bastards quiet, doncha think? [/sarcasm]

    Your wit is unlikely to be appreciated here, but I think you already know that.

  10. Tom Nolan said,

    Q-grrl

    I didn’t tell you to do anything; rather, I cordially invited you to consider the other questions I asked. With equal cordiality, I repeat that invitation.

    “All the men that I have seen post at Alas, at Hugo’s, and at SYG who are adamant that – large proportions – of women lie about rape never talk about the men and boys that lie about being raped. Therefore, the phenom that I noticed is that these men *seem* to believe that 100% of the lies about rape come from women. ”

    And you haven’t heard me say that I think genocide is wrong. Would you therefore be justified in saying that I “seemed” to believe that it’s right? The above quotation, however, makes an analogous deduction. Can you cite any man, anywhere, who says that women and only women lie about rape? If you can’t, then you might consider – though it’s entirely up to you, of course – withdrawing the claim.

  11. Daran said,

    Q grrl:

    Oh Tom, I don’t think it’s your place to tell me how to post…

    Actually it is, though you were not to know that. See Rule 1:

    1. Keep it civil. Try to keep each other civil.

    To put it another way, you are to use “kind words” (See rule 10) to encourage civility in each other.

    and which of your questions to consider.

    He can’t force you to, of course, but it is fair argumentation to point out that an opponant has failed to address a point.

    All the men that I have seen post at Alas, at Hugo’s, and at SYG who are adamant that – large proportions – of women lie about rape never talk about the men and boys that lie about being raped. Therefore, the phenom that I noticed is that these men *seem* to believe that 100% of the lies about rape come from women.

    I am familiar with these people, the ones with the “hard on”. They are the ones I call “antifeminists”, and their ability to cause me to depart from civil discourse is unmatched even by feminists:

    After spending several years bashing the human excrescences infesting soc.men, talk.rape, and other groups, the meaning of the word “antifeminist” which I have internalised is some combination of “moron”, “arsehole” and “low-life pond-scum”.

    The Anonymous poster cited by Marcella is probably one such individual. Apros might be another (though I am not ready to call him one for certain.)

    However my experience is that even antifeminists mostly acknowledge that a fair proportion of rape allegations are true, and consequently, that many men who deny having raped are liars. Antifeminists are generally highly skeptical of rape allegations, and many of them trivialise rape, but only a very small number of antifeminists think most or all rape allegations are false. Tom asks for names and cites. I name “Bob”, (AKA “Blob” to his enemies, to distinguish him from other “Bobs”) from the usenet newsgroup soc.men. I’m sure there were others. If I do not cite a specific post, it is only because I do not care to inspect the sewerage so closely that I could fish out a specific turd.

    But most antifeminists do not think this way, and most of those on the ‘opposition’ side the the debate on Alas are not antifeminists, as I use the word.

    Tom, aren’t you concerned about those men who are levying false allegations of rape? And all those boys getting priests and childcare workers into trouble?

    I can’t speak for Tom, of course. I am certainly conserned about boys getting innocent childcare workers into trouble, although I understand that in many cases, the boys were coached. I am not aware of any cases in which it has been shown that an innocent priest has been falsely accused, or that adult men have been shown to have falsely accused another person of rape.

    Edited for wording and to quote myself for the comment I cited.

  12. Tom Nolan said,

    Tom, aren’t you concerned about those men who are levying false allegations of rape? And all those boys getting priests and childcare workers into trouble? – Q-Grrl

    Q-grrl, I think you must be getting me mixed up with somebody else: somebody who believes that women and girls who make allegations of rape are lying, somebody whose first instinct, on hearing news of a girl’s or woman’s rape allegation is to say, “Oh the poor accused man!” I am not that person. My reaction is, on the contrary, “I hope they nail the bastard for it!” and my first reaction on hearing a boy’s or man’s allegation of rape is exactly the same. I do not deny that false allegations from girls, women, boys and men do on rare occasions happen, but I almost never assume an allegation to be false.

    Though, of course, I am still open to persuasion by contrary evidence.

  13. toysoldier said,

    All the men that I have seen post at Alas, at Hugo’s, and at SYG who are adamant that – large proportions – of women lie about rape never talk about the men and boys that lie about being raped.

    The phrase “large proportions” is rather ambiguous. It could mean most, many, some or a significant amount. For clarity, could you specify what you mean by that phrase?

    Therefore, the phenom that I noticed is that these men *seem* to believe that 100% of the lies about rape come from women.

    We need to be clear about what we are discussing. Are we discussing whether males lie about rape at all or are we discussing whether males falsely report being raped to the authorities? Discussions about female false allegations tend to be about the latter, so I am inclined to assume that is what you mean about male false allegations as well.

    Tom, aren’t you concerned about those men who are levying false allegations of rape?

    Could you give an example of this?

    And all those boys getting priests and childcare workers into trouble?

    While this is a legitimate concern, are you aware of any statistics demonstrating a high rate of false allegations made against priests by men and boys? Any statistics on the rate of false allegations made by males in general?

  14. Daran said,

    Excellent argumentation, people, please keep it up.

    And you haven’t heard me say that I think genocide is wrong. Would you therefore be justified in saying that I “seemed” to believe that it’s right?

    Under certain circumstances one might be. For example Aegis argues that the Grieco’s apparent failure to stongly condemn the shirts is tantamount to condoning them. Depending upon the circumstances under which she spoke, that may be a valid criticism.

    I think Q Grrl is wrong, not because I don’t accept the principle, but because I don’t think those circumstances apply in this case. I think Q Grrl is missing the point of the “women (do) lie about rape” discourse, which is to rebut the “women don’t lie about rape” discourse.

    (Edited in line with my comment below.)

  15. Daran said,

    Tom:

    My reaction is, on the contrary, “I hope they nail the bastard for it!” and my first reaction on hearing a boy’s or man’s allegation of rape is exactly the same.

    That is my reaction too. Moreover, when I hear that someone has been arrested or charged, My reaction is to think “Good, they got the bastard”.

    I don’t know for certain how common these reactions are, but my fear is that they are widespread. I combat the prejudice within myself by consciously reminding myself that the charge hasn’t been proven, and that the accused is entitled to be presumed innocent by me as well as in court.

    If there is an identifiable accuser, then that person is also entitled to be presumed innocent of wrongdoing. Until there is a conviction (and forever, if there is no conviction) both parties should and can be presumed innocent.

  16. Ampersand said,

    Under certain circumstances one might be. For example Aegis argues that the Grieco’s failure to condemn the shirts is tantamount to condoning them. I think that’s a fair criticism, because the context is such that she might reasonably have been expected to condemn them, if that is what she truly thought.

    I think Q Grrl is wrong, not because I don’t accept the principle, but because I don’t think those circumstances apply in this case.

    So when the speaker is a feminist, then assuming the worse is correct, even if she actually said no such thing and explicitly (if not eloquently) disapproved of the shirts.

    But when it’s someone you have more sympathy for, such as a critic of feminism, then it’s wrong to assume the worse.

    Got it.

  17. Daran said,

    Well you’re certainly assuming the worse of me.

    I’m not sure which “critic of feminism”. you’re referring to here. If you mean the antifeminists whose corner I’ve been fighting on the very limited issue concerning “women (do) lie about rape”, then I think you should show your evidence that I “have more sympathy” for them than for feminists.

    For example, have I ever referred to feminists as ‘some combination of “moron”, “arsehole” and “low-life pond-scum”’? Have I ever referred to the posts of any particular feminist as “turds” in a “sewer”?

    With regard to Grieco, I withdraw, and I’ll edit the post in a moment. But I’m not guilty of showing bias against feminism. My attention lapsed because this wasn’t the substantive point anyway. My intention was to give an example of someone ‘praising with faint damns’. I chose that example, not because she was a feminist, but because I thought this was Tom’s post. If it had been, then he would have contradicted himself. When I realised it was Aegis’s, I went ahead and used it anyway without further thought.

    The problem with the passage Aegis quoted, is that they not the words, all the words, and nothing but the words of Grieco. Rather, it is some of her words selected and stitched together by a journalist. What the journalist wrote was trivialising. It doesn’t follow that what Grieco said was trivialising.

  18. curiousgyrl said,

    People lie sometimes. The (attempted) use of statistcs in this argument baffles me. Dont we (dangerous water here, I know) all agree that most of the lying about rape is on the part of perpetrators, and that the presumption of friends families uninvolved strangers and investigating officers should be that rape victims are telling the truth, becasue we believe they are telling the truth in a high proportion of cases?

    One thing there might actually be disagreement on is whether we thing such a world is a future worht working toward or one that already exists. If we do disagree about that, it would end a lot of my confusion about who, exactly, is a “feminist critic” (and what that means) and who is really just anti-feminist.

  19. Q Grrl said,

    “I think Q Grrl is missing the point of the “women (do) lie about rape” discourse, which is to rebut the “women don’t lie about rape” discourse.”

    I haven’t missed the point. Rather I think you all, yes that means Daran, Tom, and Toy, are being somewhat coy and disengenuous when you insist that all you are talking about is the specific women who specifically lie about rape. There is a track record amongst MRA’s, feminist critics, and antifeminists to derail discourses about male on female rape — it is predictable and it’s arguments boil down to either one of two categories: 1) what about men who get raped and 2) a significant number of women lie about being raped. By “significant”, I mean that men who tend to brandish the latter argument also tend to ignore crime statistics that suggest that only a relatively few number of rape allegations turn out to be false. Granted the statistics are difficult to determine solely because different agencies use different language: some say false, others say unsubstantiated. Legally, there is a large gap between false and unsubstantiated.

    To get to the point that I was originally making was that because MRA’s, feminist critics, and antifeminists so often use the derailing tactic mentioned above when feminists are trying to analyze the impact of male on female rape, it occurred to me that no where have I *ever* seen a topic or thread drift on men/boys who falsely report rapes. And because I have seen, for many years, the typical derailment and the lack of ANY discourse on men/boys who lie about rape, I believe that there is a correlation.

    Of course, the most obvious correlation *isn’t* that men/boys do indeed lie about rape; the obvious correlation is that there is a subset of men, who happen to roundly hate feminists, who, as a matter of course, wittingly or not, disrupt feminist discourse on rape. It is as predictable as a Timex, or the Everyready bunny.

    And strangely enough, MRA’s, feminist critics, or antifeminists tend to derail their own threads on rape, one’s in which they start to scratch at the surface of how rape affects the every-day guy, with a blame-the-feminist game. [see Stand Your Ground as a perfect breeding ground for this]

    So, Tom, to really answer your question, it isn’t a matter of man A or man B doing something occassionally. It is a matter of a certain political mindset that focuses narrowly on a subset of rape culture to the point of continually stalling progressive discourse vis-a-vis rape. My question is: if it’s so important to look at who lies about rape, so that men aren’t falsely accussed, why aren’t we also talking about men/boys that lie about rape.

    Why is it that there *seems* to be a belief that all lies about rape stem from women?

  20. curiousgyrl said,

    Qgrrl thanks for that it–it was very eloquent.

  21. Tom Nolan said,

    Dont we (dangerous water here, I know) all agree that most of the lying about rape is on the part of perpetrators, and that the presumption of friends families uninvolved strangers and investigating officers should be that rape victims are telling the truth, becasue we believe they are telling the truth in a high proportion of cases? – curiousgyrl

    I don’t know about “us all”, but I share the view that rape is a relatively common crime, and that it too often goes unpunished: and since I haven’t actually witnessed a rape, it’s clear that I have come to the above conclusion by believing rape allegations and disbelieving the corresponding denials. And the reason for that belief, I think, is that those who allege rape have, often, much to lose by it (public shame and an ordeal in court, for instance), while those who deny rape have everything to gain by it (evasion of a prison sentence, for instance). I know why rapists would deny their crime, it is far less clear to me what a false accuser has to gain.

    What is the “such a world” you refer to in you post, by the way?

  22. curiousgyrl said,

    A world where the general presumption is that someone who says they have been raped is telling the truth.

  23. Tom Nolan said,

    Q-grrl

    First off, let me second curiousgyrl’s commendation of your last post: eloquent, respectful and serious about getting to the heart of the matter. I shall try to aspire to the standard it sets in this reply.

    Rather I think you all, yes that means Daran, Tom, and Toy, are being somewhat coy and disengenuous when you insist that all you are talking about is the specific women who specifically lie about rape. – Q-grrl

    I have never done this. I have neither questioned the veracity of women who make rape allegations, nor have I insisted (naturally enough) that that was all I – or indeed anyone else – was talking about. Seriously, are you mixing me up with somebody else?

    it occurred to me that no where have I *ever* seen a topic or thread drift on men/boys who falsely report rapes – Q-grrl

    OK, but are the men who accuse women of falsely alleging rape likely to be participating in a thread dealing with male victims of rape at all? I suspect that the men who allege that women often lie about rape would be just as quick to claim that boys and men do too, but that the question hasn’t been put to them. So what *seems* to be the case may in fact be just that – an appearance. And that’s why I wondered if you knew of anyone who had actually accused women of generally lying about rape while at the same time defending boys and men from the same charge.

    Daran and Toysoldier, you two probably know a lot more about male-victim threads than either G-grrl or I do. Is the veracity of the accusers never brought into question by hostile posters?

    (I did you some blockquotes, because it was doing my head in without them 🙂 — Daran)

  24. Ampersand said,

    Daran —

    In hindsight, I no longer have any idea what I had in mind when I wrote that. Really, none at all. So I withdraw the comparison part of my post.

    I do think that Aegis’ critique of Grieco is unfair – even judging only from the quotes given in the article – for the reasons I’ve already stated. But yes, another factor is that we have no idea what her original statement was, just what bits the reporter chose to print.

  25. toysoldier said,

    Rather I think you all, yes that means Daran, Tom, and Toy, are being somewhat coy and disengenuous when you insist that all you are talking about is the specific women who specifically lie about rape.

    Again, this is why I asked if you were referring to general accusations or actually filing a report. I am referring to the latter and I always have.

    By “significant”, I mean that men who tend to brandish the latter argument also tend to ignore crime statistics that suggest that only a relatively few number of rape allegations turn out to be false. Granted the statistics are difficult to determine solely because different agencies use different language…

    Based on the second statement it is reasonable to question those crime statistics. If the language varies, then it is also possible that false instances could be categorized as unsubstantiated, thereby lowering the statistics for false allegations.

    My question is: if it’s so important to look at who lies about rape, so that men aren’t falsely accussed, why aren’t we also talking about men/boys that lie about rape.

    What is the frequency of men and boys making false accusations? In the afore mentioned crime statistics, how many of those allegations were made by males?

    Why is it that there *seems* to be a belief that all lies about rape stem from women?

    Again, are you speaking about general accusations or accusations made to the authorities?

  26. Q Grrl said,

    Ah, work is catching up to me, so to be brief:

    Tom, I think I am confusing you with someone else.

    ToySoldier: I’m talking only of accusations as reported to authorities. That’s always been my particular bottom line.

  27. toysoldier said,

    Daran and Toysoldier, you two probably know a lot more about male-victim threads than either G-grrl or I do. Is the veracity of the accusers never brought into question by hostile posters?

    On SYG this issue does come up, typically in context of allegations made by children. However, the topic does not come up often. I assume this stems more from the fact that males (appear to) make fewer false allegations, not because anyone assumes only women make false allegations.

  28. toysoldier said,

    ToySoldier: I’m talking only of accusations as reported to authorities. That’s always been my particular bottom line.

    Then the question is what is the frequency of males making false allegations to the authorities.Given that males make fewer allegations in general, it would appear unlikely that males would make many false allegations.

  29. NYMOM said,

    I think some teenage boys have lied about rape in schools recently for financial gain. In other words to try and sue the school district for a settlement. There have been some acquittals recently that lead me to this conclusion such as Gina Purvis and another teacher whose trial was shown on TV. I just feel that if that many ‘rapes’ were taking place by women against teen boys, it would be happening in more locations then just schools. The school pinpointed as the location however leads to the possibility of a deep pocket lawsuit/settlement.

    Also I believe most of the ‘victims’ are of a different ethnic/racial background then the perps…but you can’t prove it as they keep the identify of the teen’s secret…so there could even be some racial hatred involved against the teachers.

    Just my opinion.

    So the male false accusation appears to be money driven while the female false accusation appears to be driven by other motivations: spite driven, anger, trying to cover up inappropriate sexual conduct after the fact, etc.,

    Also men make MOST false accusations about child abuse. This has been shown in Canada anyway and since they are similar to the US I believe it would be the same here as well. Again, is the money motivation with the false accusation as many men do it to get custody of children, so they can get out of paying child support or get some financial benefit from having custody of child…

    So it’s the same sort of scenario as the false accusation of sex abuse by men/boys…driven by money…root of all evil.

    For myself, somehow I find the money motivation to be more evil then other reasons. I guess it’s because you are coldly calculating to destory someone’s life (including your own kids) for financial gain for yourself. You’re not sick, not desperate, not even angry, just greedy…the banality of evil really, it’s ordinary face so to speak.

    Just my opinion for what it’s worth.

  30. Quentin0352 said,

    One problem is the issue hasn’t been studied very much though those claiming studies show they are rare in regards to false accusations made to the police say there have been studies. The few studies that have been done show a very high rate of rape claims made to authorities being false though and that is a serious worry.

    Now for them to be classified as false, the accuser MUST admit they lied about it all and recant the claim to the police they made the claim to knowing they risk punishment for doing so. For it to be classified as “unfounded” they just have to find that there is not enough proof which can easily be the accuser not wanting to admit they lied and risk being punished for it.

    While all of this doesn’t mean real cases of rape don’t happen, it does drain the limited resources available to real victims of rape while also creating a stigma for the accused (usually men) even if they are innocent. As someone that has been through this false accusation process, even having proof they lied doesn’t do you much good. No you won’t be charged but unless she recants I am in the “unfounded” classification and she risks no punishment for it. Meanwhile my name has been smeared in public, it has cost me everything I had to hire investigators and lawyers to defend against the accusations and she has passed out my personal information on the internet to people with her claims. I do not find blocked calls in the middle of the night threatening to kill me and telling me where I live based on a lie to be just a minor problems.

    It doesn’t matter if they are male or female, unless we start to seriously prosecute and go after these false accusers the problem will just get worse while draining all the resources we need for REAL crimes meaning real victims will never see justice because the system was too busy helping a false accuser. I never could understand why women are not very upset about false accusers and how many will even defend them or just dismiss their actions as normal behavior of a “woman scorned” without looking at the full damage they cause.

  31. Daran said,

    Moderator hat on

    The topic is false rape reports made by men, specifically whether there is or is not evidence of a significant number of them. While I generally permit topic drift, I don’t want us to get onto false reports made by women, what should be done about it etc., because that way we’ll end up arguing about nothing else.

    So unless you’ve got something really, really new and interesting to tell us on that subject, something that hasn’t already been said a thousand times before, please don’t.

    Ampersand: I’m also ruling what Grieco said off-topic (yeah I know I started it), as we already have a thread on that topic. Any further comments/replies on that subject should go there.

    Recently arrived guests should also check that link for the commenting rules in force. Thank you.

    Hat off

  32. Daran said,

    NYMOM:

    Just my opinion.

    Well you know what they say about opinions.

    Do you have any facts to back them up?

  33. Daran said,

    First off, let me second curiousgyrl’s commendation of [Q Grrl’s] last post: eloquent, respectful and serious about getting to the heart of the matter. I shall try to aspire to the standard it sets in this reply.

    I entirely agree. That was a great comment which raised a lot of issues, many of them worth whole blog posts in themselves. Generally the standard of discussion in this thread has been excellent.

    I have neither questioned the veracity of women who make rape allegations, nor have I insisted (naturally enough) that that was all I – or indeed anyone else – was talking about. Seriously, are you mixing me up with somebody else?

    Me neither.

    OK, but are the men who accuse women of falsely alleging rape likely to be participating in a thread dealing with male victims of rape at all? I suspect that the men who allege that women often lie about rape would be just as quick to claim that boys and men do too, but that the question hasn’t been put to them.

    I don’t know. The question doesn’t have to be “put to them” with regard to women. They are apt to jump in on the thread unasked.

    Daran and Toysoldier, you two probably know a lot more about male-victim threads than either G-grrl or I do. Is the veracity of the accusers never brought into question by hostile posters?

    I can only talk about talk.rape when it was a functioning group.

    “Men falsely report having been raped”, i.e., asserting a generality isn’t a discourse I recall ever coming up.

    Nor can I recall the kind of direct “You’re a liar” challenge to a male survivors that we used to see being directed at female survivors, however there were always far fewer of them, and far fewer anti-male hostiles.

    In general M/F and F/M hostility played out very differently. Women were far less likely than men to come barrelling in all guns blazing. (Though it did happen.) But women could be hostile in other ways, for example by suggesting that male posters were abusers/rapists, etc. We see this kind of thing on Alas too.

    And what do you make of this: “Me, personally, I feel we should automatically castrate all boys who lie about being sodomized. That would keep those little bastards quiet, doncha think? [/sarcasm]”?

  34. Daran said,

    Q Grrl:

    Tom, I think I am confusing you with someone else.

    I think you may be confusing us all with someone else.

  35. Q Grrl said,

    To be honest, I can’t really imagine a boy lieing about being sodomized – although I can see how a boy might do so if lesser sexual assault had occurred but he didn’t think that adults/authorities would take the lesser assault seriously. In that case, I’m not even sure I would personally call it a lie.

    re: castration. I think we do just well limiting it to animal husbandry. Although I think it’s always a good fucked up wedge to throw into rhetorical debates b/c it’s about the only one that touches on male physical autonomy the way that rape, as a social phenomenon, does to women. I do not advocate for the castraton of anyone.

    Does anyone know any statistics for how many men report rape vs. how many men have been raped but don’t report?

  36. Daran said,

    I don’t know about “us all”, but I share the view that rape is a relatively common crime, and that it too often goes unpunished: and since I haven’t actually witnessed a rape, it’s clear that I have come to the above conclusion by believing rape allegations and disbelieving the corresponding denials.

    I come to the above view because I’m familiar with survey statistics, and nobody has given me a reason not to regard them as reliable.

    And the reason for that belief, I think, is that those who allege rape have, often, much to lose by it (public shame and an ordeal in court, for instance), while those who deny rape have everything to gain by it (evasion of a prison sentence, for instance). I know why rapists would deny their crime, it is far less clear to me what a false accuser has to gain.

    Yet you could say the same about a true victim – he or she has much to lose by making an accusation. Similarly innocent suspects have much to gain by truthfully denying it.

    So if both victims and non-victims have much to lose by making a report, I can’t see how this fact should lead me to think an report is more likely to be true. Similarly if both the actually guilty and the actually innocent have much to gain by denying the crime, I don’t see how this makes the denial more likely to be false.

    In any case we know that in a certain number of cases non-victims have falsely claimed to have been raped, and in other cases an innocent defendants have falsely confessed.

  37. Daran said,

    I think it’s always a good fucked up wedge…

    Bingo!

    ..to throw into rhetorical debates b/c it’s about the only one that touches on male physical autonomy the way that rape, as a social phenomenon, does to women.

    Well, I think being raped for a man “touches” on a males autonomy in much the same way as it does on females’. But the point of my question (and this is a serious question, not “have a go at Q Grrl day”) is why you threw a “good fucked up wedge” at us on your first post here?

  38. Daran said,

    Does anyone know any statistics for how many men report rape vs. how many men have been raped but don’t report?

    Don’t know. The UCR only counts female victims.

  39. Tom Nolan said,

    So if both victims and non-victims have much to lose by making a report – Daran

    But the real victim will have something to gain to counterbalance the shame and pain of legally pursuing an accusation: the chance to see the perpatrator punished and incapacitated. Someone posing as a victim can have no such motivation.* Thus my presumption (naturally susceptible to revision in the light of evidence) that accusers are telling the truth.

    Similarly if both the actually guilty and the actually innocent have much to gain by denying the crime, I don’t see how this makes the denial more likely to be false. – Daran

    But the fact that both categories are likely to deny the crime effectively annuls denial as a factor. It cannot counterbalance the presumption of the accuser’s veracity.

    *Though it’s perfectly possible that some other motivation might come to light. But it would be absurd to assume such a motivation.

  40. Tom Nolan said,

    As for Q-Grrl’s initial gambit

    Me, personally, I feel we should automatically castrate all boys who lie about being sodomized. That would keep those little bastards quiet, doncha think? [/sarcasm]

    I actually misread it. The intended meaning is offensive enough, but I interpreted “all boys who lie about being sodomized” to mean not “all boys who lie to the effect that they have been sodomized” but rather “all boys who lie around getting sodomized”.

    Q-Grrl must pray, “please Lord, don’t let me be misunderstood” before putting herself to bed each night.

  41. Q Grrl said,

    To be honest, I threw the wedge because I see you as part of a contingent of men who disallow open public discourse about how male on female rape socializes women. You help nurture a political view that wants to talk about almost every other aspect of rape other than on how rape is a social tool, not just a private concern. Above, you mention that men being raped is equivalent to the violation of women’s bodily autonomy that occurs through male on female rape. This, from a feminist perspective, is only true on an individual, case by case basis. Rape, however, especially as used by men as a political, economic, or religious act [war, pornography, and marriage, respectively], is a social tool meant to not merely affect the individual, but to affect the socialization of girls and women in toto. In our society, part of the definition of being a woman is “she who is capable of being raped”, not as an aside, not as a cursory part of some women’s lives. Rape, and more precisely the threat of rape, is used to shape women’s sexuality and women’s usefulness in society. And I could go on.

    I suspect that one of the reasons that men don’t lie about rape as much as women, and why men don’t report rape as much as women is that rape happens to men and women for very different reasons. So, in trying to tie up why I wrote my original comment at Alas and why I came over here with my ball-bustin’ wedge, is that I’m trying to break the cycle that is being perpetuated that insists on viewing the rape of females and the rapes of males on the same level — and that consequently views male and female sexuality as being socially equal.

    Castration is about the only symbolic action that is equally comparable to the rape of women – an act that strikes at the core of what it means to be a man in this society, much as rape strikes at the core of what it means to be a woman in this society. The actions are not equivalent – but the individual reaction to the acts within the larger social network is what is equivalent.

    Castration, or just the threat of castration, evokes a fear and emotional response in men in much the same way that rape does for women.

    So, I used it because I am deeply tired of the majority of men being ignorant of how rape, or the threat of rape, socializes all women.

  42. Q Grrl said,

    “I actually misread it. The intended meaning is offensive enough, but I interpreted “all boys who lie about being sodomized” to mean not “all boys who lie to the effect that they have been sodomized” but rather “all boys who lie around getting sodomized”. ” — Tom Nolan

    Wow, that’s a horrifying, yet strangely fascinating, interpretation of what I wrote. I think it’s fascinating in that it points to something that I suspect: that we as a society cannot adequately imagine men/boys lieing about being raped. It also points to the disutility of men/boys lieing about rape in our society.

  43. Tom Nolan said,

    To be honest, I threw the wedge because I see you as part of a contingent of men who disallow open public discourse about how male on female rape socializes women. – Q-grrl

    On what grounds do you believe that in my case? I think it’s pretty clear that the fear of rape has important consequences for the behaviour of women – far more so than it does for the behaviour of men, bearing in mind that most rape victims are women. I think twice before taking the path through the woods to reach home of an evening, a woman will likely be so wary that she will go to the considerable incovenience of going the long way round. Rape does not effect men and women equally, and nor do its social consequences.

    You help nurture a political view that wants to talk about almost every other aspect of rape other than on how rape is a social tool, not just a private concern. – Q-grrl

    Let me understand you. Are you saying that male-on-female rapists do not act from personal motives, but on behalf of a male dominated society which tacitly encourages them to rape and to sexually terrorize women in order to keep the latter in their place? (If not, I find it hard to see what you mean by “tool” in this context.) And are you saying that I (for instance) am conscious that this is the case, and that I am doing my best to keep the matter quiet, knowing that the rape-induced submission of women is to my advantage? Or are you saying something different? I really would appreciate you being specific in this matter, because, evidently, the charge is a very grave one indeed.

  44. Tom Nolan said,

    Why are spelling mistakes invisible until they get posted? “effected” should be “affected”, of course, and for “perpatrator” understand “perpetrator”.

  45. Q Grrl said,

    To answer your questions in a very brief nutshell, yes. Although I would not use the word “conscious”. I think it is unconcious the way that most socialization is.

    Now mind you, I use a class-based analysis, not an individual analysis. So I view you as an individual steeped in a particular class consciousness, which happens in this case to be masculinity/manhood.

    Which means that I also don’t hold the individual individually responsible for what he has been socialized to do. Although I’ll criticize it all the day long.

    FTR, my comments start to lose their meaning if it isn’t understood that I’m using a class based analysis.

  46. toysoldier said,

    You help nurture a political view that wants to talk about almost every other aspect of rape other than on how rape is a social tool, not just a private concern.

    What you are responding to is a criticism of the view that rape is “a social tool, not just a private concern.” That criticism, however, is not a separate political view.

    …I’m trying to break the cycle that is being perpetuated that insists on viewing the rape of females and the rapes of males on the same level.

    Why should male rape not be viewed on the same level, i.e. the same as, female rape? Would that not diminish or deny the affects rape has on males?

    Castration is about the only symbolic action that is equally comparable to the rape of women

    No it is not. The rape of males is comparable to the rape of females. Again, this comment denies and diminishes the affect and real threat of rape that males face.

    Castration, or just the threat of castration, evokes a fear and emotional response in men in much the same way that rape does for women.

    Many things evoke that response. Why limit it only to castration and rape? Why not include murder, assault, harm to one’s family or children, etc.?

  47. Tom Nolan said,

    Q-grrl

    I recently said this, on Creative Destruction:

    “I don’t believe in “rape culture” if the term means that sexual assaults on women are carried out on behalf of “the patriarchy” and with my tacit approval as a member of the oppressive gender”

    whereupon Bean chimed in to say that this was a complete red-herring, that not even the raddiest radfem would accept such a definition. So I now have proof that I don’t just make this stuff up.

    The problem with a class-based analysis is that I’m not a class, I’m Tom Nolan. I don’t, personally, enjoy privileges which accrue to me as a result of women’s rape-induced subjection (admitting, and not conceding, that the unjustifiably low participation of women in all sorts of activities where they might shine has something to do with the fear of rape): I’ve spent most of my life doing work that very few women would be interested in doing (washing up in hotel kitchens, that sort of thing), I cannot bear the company of submissive women, and the idea of making decisions for a woman so broken by the fear of rape that she could not take command of her own life, repels me. In fact, though, I think that girls and women are raped for the same reason that boys and men are raped: because some men have no respect for the autonomy of other human beings and regard sexual contact as theirs for the taking.

    If the matter were as you say (that male-on-female rape is due to a patriarchal imperative, while male-on-male rape is a matter of personal criminality) then I would expect to see other accordant phenomena: men would brag about their rape of women to other men in sign of having completed a public duty (whereas I have never heard a single man, and I’ve met some real brutes, do so); rapists of women would be hailed as heros in and out of prison (whereas they have to be segregated for their own protection in prison and do their best to evade identification out of it); the male relatives of female rape-victims might feel sorry for them, no doubt, but would have to concede that it was all in a good cause…

    It’s true to say that women are intimidated by the fear of rape. It *might* even be true that the fear of rape helps suppress women’s social and political aspirations. But it doesn’t follow from that rape is a tool – that it is intended to suppress women as a class. And still less does it follow that those who disagree with such an analysis of the problem are unconscious dupes of their own patriarchal imperatives.

  48. toysoldier said,

    I realize now that my comments were way off-topic. They had nothing to do with whether males make false allegations and how frequently they make them.

  49. Tom Nolan said,

    Er, mine too: on the other hand, I couldn’t let Q-grrl’s implied and explicit accusations go unanswered.

  50. Quentin0352 said,

    I find it interesting that they are trying to create two classes of rape and making women being victimized as worse than men being victimized. But mention any other area of life and I wonder if they would argue men are better suited for it than women or that men being victims is a worse crime than women being the victims.

    As to the money idea on why someone makes a false accusation, there really is no money behind it for men since even if true they are very unlikely to be taken seriously, much less getting a big pile of money for making a false accusation. Now of course there are some cases that it might be that way and the last accusation Michael Jackson faced would be an example. But if you looked, the boy was coached to do so by his MOTHER as a way of getting money and those cases are molesting cases not rape usually. They also tend to involve a male accused instead of a female just to help clear that end up.

    Finally on the benefits of a false accusation. To claim that there are no benefit’s ignores reality. While even a false accuser risks little in the way of punishment if caught, they also receive a lot of benefits in public assistance programs, private assistance programs, they don’t have to spend a dime in court or anything. Compare that to what those of us that have been through it get. Your name smeared in public, ostracized by friends and neighbors, if you have a high tech job requiring a security clearance or background checks, kiss it good-bye, you will go broke fast paying for any legal help, the tests for DNA, private investigators and more to try to prove your are innocent and more. See, in those cases you are not innocent until proven guilty but looked at as guilty until proven innocent.

    Of course even if you manage to prove this, you will receive no help, may be able to sue the accuser for damages in civil court but she will have no money so you just lose that way too and she has effectively destroyed your life and gotten revenge even if you manage to not go to jail.

    Now figure studies have shown between 24% to 50% of accusations are proved to be false, not just unsubstantiated but FALSE. We make a huge deal out of the claim 1 in 4 women will be raped or experience an attempted rape though it was with some pretty shoddy and slanted science to get that claim but an equal or even higher percentage of rape claims being false is not thought of as a major deal.

    Maybe if we actually did something interesting and novel and actually enforced the laws by PROSECUTING false accusers or any gender we wouldn’t see some much money wasted on false accusations and could actually concentrate on and punish REAL cases. I would think women would be outraged at how frequently other women abuse the system this way making the accusations in real cases more trivial for people and causing real criminals to go free because not enough resources could be dedicated to them instead of wasted on false accusers that later go free.

  51. Q Grrl said,

    Quentin: no where did I say one was worse than the other. I said that they were not socially equal acts.

    And there is no “they” – I am merely one, not a monolith.

    🙂

  52. Daran said,

    I realize now that my comments were way off-topic. They had nothing to do with whether males make false allegations and how frequently they make them.

    Rule 3: “Topic drift is not discouraged so long as each comment is reasonably responsive to the comment to which it replies. However I reserve the right to divert a digression into another thread.”

    Emphasis added.

    Of course I also reserve the right to just rule something off-topic. The only thing I’ve ruled off-topic is the Grieco affair and false rape accusation by women, and the latter only to the extent that we’ve heard it all before.

    I, for one, am very interested in the discussion between Q Grrl and Tom. So many interesting threads, so little time…

  53. Daran said,

    Quentin:

    Maybe if we actually did something interesting and novel and actually enforced the laws by PROSECUTING false accusers or any gender we wouldn’t see some much money wasted on false accusations and could actually concentrate on and punish REAL cases.

    Hat on.

    Maybe doing something about it would be interesting and Novel. Demanding that something be done about it isn’t, and I have ruled that subject off-topic. I’m setting the same “Interesting and Novel” condition to discussions about the veracity of studies about the prevalence of rape. If you can’t meet that standard, (and you haven’t so far) please refrain.

    This may seem very unfair, but it’s my blog, and my goal is to have discussions that interest me.

    Hat off

  54. NYMOM said,

    “Well you know what they say about opinions.

    Do you have any facts to back them up?”

    Neither does anyone else who commented here have any facts to back them up. Why should I be the only one signaled out to come up with so-called ‘facts’…

    Which by the way, depending upon who is putting the ‘facts’ out generally favors some particular group. A feminist leaning researcher will generally come up with facts favoring their side. An MRA one will come up with facts favoring men.

    So these so-called facts you asked for probably don’t exist.

    YET I did mention a case where a teenager did lie. The Gina Purvis one…so yes these cases do exist. So there is a fact. Why don’t you do some research about that case before you claim I have no facts.

  55. NYMOM said,

    “Are you saying that male-on-female rapists do not act from personal motives, but on behalf of a male dominated society which tacitly encourages them to rape and to sexually terrorize women in order to keep the latter in their place?”

    I think in some instances this could be true.

    Not in the cases of a total stranger jumping out of the bushes and attacking you on your way home from work, or breaking into your home, etc.,

    Cases such as these are rare however as most rapists and victim know each other…

    I think the social control part comes in when a woman steps over the line in such a manner that it guarantees that no one in society will come to her assistance. As in: she went out and drank a lot, dressed inappropriately particularly at night, or went to a strange man’s hotel room, or was out jogging in Central Park at 1:00 in the morning, that sort of thing.

    That’s where the social control comes in…

    So a man seeing a woman in these sorts of situations can assume he has a good chance of getting away with, if not a rape, other inappropriate behavior. As opposed to breaking into someone’s house in the middle of the night and attacking them when they are asleep. He might even assume he is justified in his conduct, as clearly women who do these things have signaled they are ‘available’ by their conduct and not deserving of any consideration.

    I read of these sorts of social punishments in books where people would be ‘banished’ from a city or a ruler would ‘turn his face from them’…

    It was generally a signal that whatever anyone did to that person was permissible, as they were no longer deserving of the protection of the city, tribe or people. Men could be punished in this manner too, not just women.

    So this is the social control mechanism…not that men meet once a month and decide who is going to go out and rape a few broads just to show them who’s still boss.

    It’s a little more subtle then that…and thus, harder to combat. But the social control mechanism still exists.

  56. NYMOM said,

    One example which still goes on today in colleges, for instance, is something called ‘pulling a train’…a girl will drink until unconscious and then any young man aware of it can line up and have sex with her…

    Generally girls who do this eventually wind up quietly transferring from the school and then go somewhere else. They don’t tell anyone, maybe not even their parents (probably come up with some lie about changing into a major that the school doesn’t offer or they deliberately fail every course in order to be put on probation and leave that way)…

    Rarely do they go to the police…

    So what function does this behavior serve?

    Well I’d say it serves as a social control mechanism for that girl, as well as every other girl who hears about it…they will be warned now as well.

    So that’s a good example of rape as a social control…it will stop young women from drinking too much especially if she is alone with a group of young men…her antenna is up now forever…

  57. Tom Nolan said,

    So that’s a good example of rape as a social control…it will stop young women from drinking too much especially if she is alone with a group of young men…her antenna is up now forever…NYM

    Yes, it’s true that a multiple rape of this kind will leave a woman wary of getting drunk in the future (and with God knows what for psychological problems besides): but in such a case rape is not a *tool* for the control of women – the idea of the boys who multiple-rape is not to make sure that she never does it again. They are simply taking advantage of a helpless woman. And the same goes for the other example you cited, that of so-called “loose women” who are sexually molested – the rapist is not trying to deter her from behaving in a particular fashion, nor working on behalf of the patriarchy. Such acts might well *actually* deter women from behaving in a certain way, but they are not *intended* to do so. My argument is that rape is not a tool of social repression, not that rapes do not, as a matter of fact, socially repress.

    If I get totally sozzled in a pub, wake up in the morning with a kicked-in head, somebody else’s urine all over my jacket and my wallet and credit cards gone, then I will be deterred from doing so again, and maybe my lamentations will make others think twice before getting drunk in the same way. But that wasn’t the intention of the people who did me over, and there’s no reason to think that they were working for the Temperance Association.

  58. Daran said,

    Neither does anyone else who commented here have any facts to back them up. Why should I be the only one signaled out to come up with so-called ‘facts’…

    I didn’t ask Quentin for facts because I am uninterested in anything he has said so far.

    (Uninterested = heard it all before, and can’t be bothered refuting it.)

    I’m very interested in what Q Grrl is saying, but I haven’t yet asked her for facts, because I need to understand what she is claiming first. Only then can I begin to consider what kind of fact might support/contradict her. I’m content, however, with allowing Tom to engage her for the time being. (Why do all the work myself?)

    Have I missed anyone?

    You, however, have made very simple claims that I already understand, and I’m interested in what you are saying. Also you’re speaking closer to the topic than anyone else, and the point of the topic was to elicit evidence.

    Which by the way, depending upon who is putting the ‘facts’ out generally favors some particular group. A feminist leaning researcher will generally come up with facts favoring their side. An MRA one will come up with facts favoring men.

    That’s true. So when I ask you for facts, you can favour your side.

    So these so-called facts you asked for probably don’t exist.

    Then it sucks for you if you want me to take your opinions seriously.

    YET I did mention a case where a teenager did lie. The Gina Purvis one…so yes these cases do exist. So there is a fact. Why don’t you do some research about that case before you claim I have no facts.

    Yeah, I noted that. I did briefly look it up, but I don’t have much time, so I didn’t go into the case deeply. Was he convicted for a false accusation related offence?

  59. Tom Nolan said,

    I’m content, however, with allowing Tom to engage her for the time being. – Daran

    So I’m a cat’s paw? And when the fur and skin have been burnt back to the bone, no doubt you will come along with a pair of asbestos gloves and some tongs and ever so gingerly engage with exhausted fire-demon (transmission ends here…metaphor breaking up…)

  60. Daran said,

    Do you have a better idea?

  61. Tom Nolan said,

    No, Boss.

  62. NYMOM said,

    “If I get totally sozzled in a pub, wake up in the morning with a kicked-in head, somebody else’s urine all over my jacket and my wallet and credit cards gone, then I will be deterred from doing so again, and maybe my lamentations will make others think twice before getting drunk in the same way. But that wasn’t the intention of the people who did me over, and there’s no reason to think that they were working for the Temperance Association.”

    No…they are working for a society that wishes to discourage men from doing this…and the way everyone ELSE will react to you is where my point comes across. In essense you will be treated badly if you show up at the police station complaining about your treatment…they MIGHT take a report but they also MIGHT decide to mock you or worse charge you with something as well.

    It’s the same scenario that happens when men get robbed by prostitutes. They can file a report with the police if they wish everyone in their family, maybe even their job to find out they were out with a prostitute.

    It’s the moral equivalent of the ‘king turning his face from you’ and anyone being allowed to do what they wish since you’ve lost society’s protection through objectionable behavior…

    Thus our society encourages people to conform to a certain code of conduct…many intuitively know this and watch for opportunities such as women/men being drunk to prey on them since they also know few will care or punish them for it…

    It’s why so many serial killers in our past functioned so long w/o being caught. As most of their victims were prostitutes, women outside of the boundaries and thus entitled to no protection…it’s when they cross over to kidnapping and raping ordinary women that the police generally start focusing on them…

    Women clearly have a lower threshold before the social controls come into play: such as inappropriate dresss, being out and about late, etc., but I never said there is NO pressure or social controls exerted on men…just not as many.

  63. NYMOM said,

    “Was he convicted for a false accusation related offence?”

    No. Because as many have noted it takes time and money for someone to have to pursue a false accusor…many local courts after an acquittal would rather just move on feeling they have wasted enough money on the initial trial.

    But my point remains which is why do so many of these accusations come from schools? Most cases of rape involving men don’t center around schools do they? Additionally the other acquittal also involved a teenager in school accusing his teacher.

    I believe we will see over a period of time that many of these cases, the ones involving schools and teachers anyway, are people looking for a settlement from a deep-pocket.

    So that goes to one of the questions on this post, which was why would someone make a false accusation of rape? AND my response was financial gain of some kind. You summarily dismissed it with “have any proof”…Why should I have to have proof of a theory???? It’s a theory….

    As I said earlier it appears women make false claims for other reasons and even that goes to what I said about social controls. Women internalize these and then start reacting even before the accusation comes out, as in: I was raped, not that I went out and got drunk and dragged a cab driver home to have casual sex with…

    Men, on the other hand, appear to use the false accusation for reasons of money…

  64. NYMOM said,

    “My argument is that rape is not a tool of social repression, not that rapes do not, as a matter of fact, socially repress.”

    To reiterate it is everyone else’s reaction to you: police, family, school, community, church, etc., not the rapist actions per se, that define rape as a behavior shaping mechanism…so in that sense it could be socially repressive. Just like racism. Do you really think people got together monthly and decided to treat others badly on a schedule?

    No.

    It was the reaction of the community AFTER the treatment that designated it as a form of social control…

    Men don’t meet up monthly like I said and decide well Joe’s going to go out and rape so and so this week…since we’ve had a lot of women prancing around there in short skirts, etc.,

    No…

    It’s not quite that simple.

    Nothing ever is…

  65. NYMOM said,

    BTW, when you post on the internet expect comments from people who disagree with you…it’s not like hanging around your home town with your best friends. Clearly in that situation most of what you say everyone will agree with.

    People shouldn’t start a blog and then expect to only feature opinions of people that agree with them…I think they should start erasing blogs that do that…

  66. Tom Nolan said,

    No…they are working for a society that wishes to discourage men from doing this…and the way everyone ELSE will react to you is where my point comes across. NYMOM

    It seems to me that you are confounding two different things, and trying to say that the one is true because the other is. Yes, society expresses its disapproval of certain behaviour by being less than sympathetic to the victims of crimes which, so society judges, are brought on by such behaviour. But that doesn’t mean that the actual criminals are either punishing or attempting to dissuade the victim from such behaviour. They are not tools for the suppression of such behaviour.

    It’s important to note that this is what Q-grrl believes with reference to male-on-femal rape: that the chief *motive* for such crimes is the oppression of women through rape. The position you hold on social control by disapproval (which can be expressed through unhelpfulness or scorn towards victims) is a strong one: but you’ll have to argue it against somebody else, because I agree with it.

  67. toysoldier said,

    But my point remains which is why do so many of these accusations come from schools? Most cases of rape involving men don’t center around schools do they?

    Do you know of any studies pertaining to the frequency of false allegations made against teachers and faculty and the gender of the accusers?

    You summarily dismissed it with “have any proof”…Why should I have to have proof of a theory????

    That is part of the scientific method. You have only submitted the hypothesis and given your prediction. You have not shown anything conclusive, just a handful of instances which do not demonstrate the overall frequency of false allegations made by males or their reasons for making the allegations. As it stands, what can be gathered is that males make false allegations, but far less frequently than females. The position that (on average) males do not lie about rape still holds.

    As I said earlier it appears women make false claims for other reasons and even that goes to what I said about social controls.

    You have not proven this though. It is still a theory and one that is unsubstantiated. You would have to compare the instances of males suing for rape (specifically the accuser) versus females suing for rape (specifically the accuser) in order for your theory to be proven. Do you have any evidence suggesting that male accusers are more litigious?

    To reiterate it is everyone else’s reaction to you: police, family, school, community, church, etc., not the rapist actions per se, that define rape as a behavior shaping mechanism…so in that sense it could be socially repressive.

    This is true, although it would also mean that the rape of males is a tool of social repression given their treatment by police, family, school, community, church, etc.

    I think they should start erasing blogs that do that…

    Most blogs would be erased if that happened.

  68. Daran said,

    NYMOM:

    BTW, when you post on the internet expect comments from people who disagree with you…it’s not like hanging around your home town with your best friends. Clearly in that situation most of what you say everyone will agree with.

    People shouldn’t start a blog and then expect to only feature opinions of people that agree with them…I think they should start erasing blogs that do that…

    What has this got to do with anything?

  69. Daran said,

    So that goes to one of the questions on this post, which was why would someone make a false accusation of rape? AND my response was financial gain of some kind. You summarily dismissed it with “have any proof”…Why should I have to have proof of a theory???? It’s a theory….

    I asked for evidence. If you have no evidence then it is not a theory. It is baseless speculation.

  70. NYMOM said,

    “What has this got to do with anything.”

    Because you and Tom Nolan were having a discussion about me acting like I was such a pest on this blog and all, to writ:

    “I’m content, however, with allowing Tom to engage her for the time being. – Daran

    Tom Nolan said:
    So I’m a cat’s paw? And when the fur and skin have been burnt back to the bone, no doubt you will come along with a pair of asbestos gloves and some tongs and ever so gingerly engage with exhausted fire-demon (transmission ends here…metaphor breaking up…)”

    Daran said,
    Do you have a better idea?

    Tom Nolan said,
    No, Boss.”

    So you had an attitude, like many others on the internet, that it was soooo annoying to you that anyone would have a different opinion then you do and post it on your blog…

    So my question is why bother having an internet blog then????

    Stay home and chat with your friends, family and neighbors.

    NYMOM said:
    “I think they should start erasing blogs that do that…

    Toysoldier said:
    Most blogs would be erased if that happened.”

    Then so be it. It’s almost deception in advertising of some sort to allow people to get away with this…as you do since we’ve discussed this before.

    The only comments that should be allowed to be erased should be abusive ones and even that should have to go through the entity host.

    Because what’s happens in these situations is that being allowed to discreetly erase comments challenging your position lets stand a perception that no one disagreed with your opinion. Thus it gives more validity to a post that many might have disagreed with or even one had very good arguments with, but you chose to secretly erase those comments so nobody would realize the opposing arguments even existed.

    Thus, it’s manipulation of a public media in my opinion…making it appear that you have more support then you actually do…

    It should not be allowed.

  71. Daran said,

    Because you and Tom Nolan were having a discussion about me acting like I was such a pest on this blog and all, to writ:

    “I’m content, however, with allowing Tom to engage her for the time being. – Daran

    Um, I was talking about Q Grrl, not you. I assume Tom was too.

    I don’t think of either you or her as pests. I took Tom’s “fire-demon” comment to be jokingly complimentary, viewing Q Grrl as a formidable opponent-in-debate, which I agree she is. I was content with “allowing Tom to engage her for the time being” because he has been handling my side of the argument admirably, (Edited to add: and because I don’t have time to take part in every discussion I would like to. In so far as you are also taking part in that discussion, I will leave it to him to continue to handle my side, if he is willing.)

    Have you read this post explaining the “Great Comments” tag? So far, this is the only thread which I have given the tag to, precisely because of the discussion between the two of them, (Edited to add: and now that you have joined it, between the three of you).

    The only person who I have come close to regarding as a “pest” was Quentin, who I basically told to go away and come back when he had something “novel and interesting” to say.

  72. NYMOM said,

    “It’s important to note that this is what Q-grrl believes with reference to male-on-femal rape: that the chief *motive* for such crimes is the oppression of women through rape. The position you hold on social control by disapproval (which can be expressed through unhelpfulness or scorn towards victims) is a strong one: but you’ll have to argue it against somebody else, because I agree with it.”

    But she has a strong point because in many cases of male on female rape, for instance, or your example of a drunk being robbed, the perpetrator carefully selects their victims knowing full well that they probably won’t be punished precisely because society frowns on the behavior of the victim…

    As in a woman out drinking on Friday night late and then passing out unconscious on her way home is going to be a victim of rape more likely then a victim in her home before dark everynight…Can you see the connection here and why rape can be thought of a tool of social control w/o the police department ever meeting up with a gang of potential rapists to give them their marching orders????

    The oppression comes in because the range of behaviors is so widespread for women where they can be judged ‘guilty’…whereas for men generally the behavior would have to be outright deviant before he would be…as in falling down drunk or picking up a prostitute; thus deserving, in the opinion of those in power, of whatever happened to him…a woman, on the other hand with too tight jeans, getting in after dark, being too friendly with the wrong sort of people can be deemed deserving of her fate as well…

    Wouldn’t you consider that oppressive to have to monitor your public behavior like this on a constant basis…Not that I think women shouldn’t do it, don’t get me wrong. It’s a fact of life that we must accept but it is one big pain in the butt to have to plan your life out like that…

    Actually I went up to visit my sister in a suburb outside of Albany last year. I woke up earlier then her and decided to go into ‘town’ to get some breakfast. It seemed like a short distance when she drove me in the night before. Of course, there wasn’t even a sidewalk there, so I’m walking along the side of the road feeling like a complete idiot as I’m from the city and didn’t realize this until it was too late. When I got back after breakfast, my sister was astonished that I had done this…I could have been raped, kidnapped, killed according to her, what was I thinking…next time wake her up and she’ll make breakfast…but this is an example of the sort of event where a young woman might have been castigated if something happened to her during it…

    That’s the oppressive part…

  73. NYMOM said,

    Then I apologize if you weren’t talking about me.

    However, I think my point is still a good one as the tone of the exchange didn’t appear to be to be ‘honoring’ a worthy opponent…but rather one of annoyance…even if unintentional…

    That was my main point, not who it was referring to, but the tone…

    AND no I didn’t read the Great Comments Tag post. I’ll do so now however. I just came here accidentally through a link on another site that I lurk on…

  74. NYMOM said,

    “This is true, although it would also mean that the rape of males is a tool of social repression given their treatment by police, family, school, community, church, etc.”

    Well then perhaps you’re right then…and the treatment of male victims of rape, since most of these are statutory rapes of male teenagers (meaning they are accessories in some sense to the crime) is directly related to society using the standard social control mechanisms available to punish the victims as well. Thus ensuring no repeat of the behavior in the future.

    After all there was a time in this country where a teenage girl could be charged with a crime for being promiscous…generally that meant having sex with an older man…and girls could be locked up in reform school and/or mental institutions for doing this…

    So society does have a history of punishing both sides in cases of statutory rape, not just teenage boys.

    Children under the age of 12 are generally treated differently as they are victims in a very real sense. Obviously, I don’t consider any teenager, boy or girl, voluntarily having sex with an adult as being in the same category…

  75. Daran said,

    However, I think my point is still a good one as the tone of the exchange didn’t appear to be to be ‘honoring’ a worthy opponent…but rather one of annoyance…even if unintentional…

    I got the impression that Tom’s feelings about Q Grrl were the same as mine, but you’ll have to ask him to be certain. I have said: here, here, here, and in the comment which you were replying to how interesting to me and “great” this thread has been in general, and Q Grrl’s part in it in particular. I am not usually so fulsome in my praise.

    But it came across as “annoyance” to you, and maybe to her, and I’m sorry about that. This illustrates some of the difficulties with online communication. I’m glad we were able to sort that out.

  76. Daran said,

    NYMOM:

    Then so be it. It’s almost deception in advertising of some sort to allow people to get away with this…as you do since we’ve discussed this before.

    The only comments that should be allowed to be erased should be abusive ones and even that should have to go through the entity host.

    Because what’s happens in these situations is that being allowed to discreetly erase comments challenging your position lets stand a perception that no one disagreed with your opinion. Thus it gives more validity to a post that many might have disagreed with or even one had very good arguments with, but you chose to secretly erase those comments so nobody would realize the opposing arguments even existed.

    Thus, it’s manipulation of a public media in my opinion…making it appear that you have more support then you actually do…

    It should not be allowed.

    Moderator hat on.

    I have created a new thread on the subject of “Commenting in the Blogosphere“, where I will shortly respond to NYMOM. Please direct replies on this subject to that thread, and not here. Thank you.

    Hat off.

    (Edited for clarity.)

  77. […] NYMOM (replying to toysoldier): Then so be it. It’s almost deception in advertising of some sort to allow people to get away with this…as you do since we’ve discussed this before. […]

  78. Tom Nolan said,

    Daran to NYMOM:I got the impression that Tom’s feelings about Q Grrl were the same as mine, but you’ll have to ask him to be certain.

    Well, I was well pissed off by the initial ploy, but once it became clear that Q Girl wanted to debate in earnest I expressed my admiration in these words

    First off, let me second curiousgyrl’s commendation of your last post: eloquent, respectful and serious about getting to the heart of the matter. I shall try to aspire to the standard it sets in this reply.

    which were, surely, unambiguous. I found it enlightening to talk to an ideological opponent under conditions of near privacy – in the wings, as it were, of the noisier debate – and to have a chance of reaching certain ideological foundations which rarely see the light of day.

  79. Tom Nolan said,

    NYMOM:But she has a strong point because in many cases of male on female rape, for instance, or your example of a drunk being robbed, the perpetrator carefully selects their victims knowing full well that they probably won’t be punished precisely because society frowns on the behavior of the victim…

    Yes, sort of, but the term “tool” implies control and intent. For example, I’ve no doubt many homophobes were pleased that the AIDS epidemic in the west disproportionately damaged the gay community, and were unsympathetic to the plight of gay victims. But as homophobes had no control over the epidemic, it could hardly be said to have been a tool in their hands. It might have served their turn, but it wasn’t a tool. But it is true that, to a certain, very limited, extent we might encourage rapists to go after the women we disapprove of insofar as we fail to investigate the allegations of rape such women make, in the same way that we encourage muggers to go after drunks by discounting the complaints of those whose drinking we disapprove of (though I suspect that what attracts both rapists and muggers is above all else apparent vulnerability). So there is an element of control to be considered. You have a point, I concede it.

    But it wasn’t the one Q Grrl was making. She thinks that rape is a tool applied not to keep women chaste and out of bars, but to terrorize them into submission, to prevent them from taking the part in society to which should be theirs right. She sees the rape of women on the one hand and the rape of men and boys on the other as fundamentally different phenomena. And she sees me, who disagree with her on this score, as being implicated in the continuation of male-on-female rape, because I know or half know that such rape is to my advantage, and thus evade discussion of its true nature.

  80. NYMOM said,

    Well then I don’t know Tom Nolan what to say.

    As when we apply to much agency to random characters in our everyday lives we sink into the trap of seeing a conspiracy everywhere and oftentimes can’t make sense out of anything.

    I find many things people do are just as easily attributed to incompetence or stupidity as often as malicious planning…

  81. NYMOM said,

    Sorry about even mentioning the comment about Q-girl…after reading the while blog I realized there was some history here amongst you all. To be honest I thought you were talking about me when you said it. Otherwise I would not have even mentioned it.

    When I came here I didn’t come to the first post of the blog I came through a link directly to this post…so I didn’t realize there had already been a misunderstanding going on with this person.

    Forget I even mentioned it.

  82. Tom Nolan said,

    Hey, don’t take that last post of mine as a criticism of Q Grrl: I just wanted to point out the difference between your position and hers. I’m not in the least resentful of her, and though I said that she thinks I am making excuses for rape culture, it’s fair to say that she thinks other people who think as I do (that’s most people, I guess) are making excuses for it too. I thought her admissions were remarkable and courageous. I personally have no history with Q Grrl outside of this thread.

  83. Daran said,

    This history was mine, and it’s not much of a history, just something that got blown out of all proportion mostly by other peopleby me and other people.

    “The Monster” is Q Grrl’s and my love child. It is a multiblog/multithread argument born out of a very trivial exchange between the two of us.

    Edited.

  84. Q Grrl said,

    Wow, a lot went on that I missed – I have no computer at home. Pure luddite that I am.

    Tom says:

    “But it wasn’t the one Q Grrl was making. She thinks that rape is a tool applied not to keep women chaste and out of bars, but to terrorize them into submission, to prevent them from taking the part in society to which should be theirs right. She sees the rape of women on the one hand and the rape of men and boys on the other as fundamentally different phenomena. And she sees me, who disagree with her on this score, as being implicated in the continuation of male-on-female rape, because I know or half know that such rape is to my advantage, and thus evade discussion of its true nature.”

    There’s a lot here for me to unpack and address, which I would like to. I’m extremely busy this week and today quite pissed at my bank for charges I didn’t make – so my posting might be sporadic and unfulfilling.

    I think I do have to drift this thread a little bit to eventually come around to my original points.

    Tom, you say “She thinks that rape is a tool applied not to keep women chaste and out of bars, but to terrorize them into submission, to prevent them from taking the part in society to which should be theirs right. ”

    And I say, “they are one in the same.” Now, Daran wants stats/proof/cites, and unfortunately what I’m going to talk about doesn’t have any that I’m aware of – so we’ll see where it goes. Anyway. My experience as a female in this society is that most girls either learn about rape before they learn about sex, or they learn about rape and sex at the same time. That message, twined with nascent sexuality, is a powerful social message. Combining that message with our other social meme – the Virgin/Whore dichotomy – sets up both girls and boys to view rape as a normative aspect of sexuality. Now, I’m not saying it’s the underlying emphasis of sexuality – it’s more like rape is folded into sexuality as a an acceptable loss. If boys are taught that “good” girls will put up a fight, will be hesitant and unwilling, and that it’s their responsibility to “seduce” the good girls, then we, from the very get-go, encourage boys to use a certain, acceptable, amount of force and coercion to get girls to be sexually active with them. But where does that line get drawn; how carefully are adults explaining that line to boys; what if girls don’t agree with that line at all? And if sex with boys entails a certain amount of physical and emotional struggle, then how does a girl understand rape?

    Well, usually a girl understands rape as something that happens to girls/women who aren’t carefull enough, who were out drinking, who walked alone at night, or got into the wrong cab, or forgot to lock their doors. Notice the difference? Or should I say the similarities? Good girls are mainly passive in the face of young male sexuality. But women who get raped aren’t so passive, are they? They didn’t do this, they did do that, they should have known better, etc.

    So, to try to get to my point, the message of rape, the lesson of rape, is one that encourages girls/women to take precautions, especially in regards to being active in the public sphere. Stay home. Don’t get drunk. Have an escort. Don’t give out your personal information to men. Rape in this context is meant to be coming from the big, scary, dark haired stranger in the alley. Strangely enough, this is probably one of the more rare forms of rape. But socially, as a social message so to speak, this form of rape is the one touted around for “women’s best interests.”

    Meanwhile, the sex that girls/women are having with their intimate partners may or may not be rape; but that line is blurred by the socially acceptable amount of force that we encourage boys/men to use in relation to seducation and sexual behavior with girls/women.

    Ah, but to get back to this: “She thinks that rape is a tool applied not to keep women chaste and out of bars, but to terrorize them into submission, to prevent them from taking the part in society to which should be theirs right.”

    A woman who doesn’t want to get raped – in the way that is socially taught to women (i.e, rape from strangers that possibly can be avoided if women did X,Y, and Z) – will choose such things as chastity and staying out of bars. Afterall, this is what she is encouraged to think will keep her safe from rape. The consequences of this are submission – submission to fear and a social message of fear – and a marked decrease, as compared to men, of women actively taking up space and time in the public sphere. If women are taught that public space is dangerous, fear will make sure they don’t partake in it.

    The ironic thing, and what tends to piss feminists off, is that this very type of rape that is hyped to women is the LEAST likely one to happen to her. So indeed, rape is much more than the act of any given individual man. He may or may not give a rat’s ass about the social aspects of rape. But his victim will have already anticipated him.

    And this is where I think rape becomes a tool. Because it is much easier on MEN to warn women about potential rape, tell them to stay home, stay sober, stay chaste, then it is for men to confront other men about their dicey sexuality cum rape. That way, men don’t have to change their sexuality or their sexual approach to women — all they have to do is warn women about those other men who will rape them if women don’t mind their X,Y, and Z’s.

    And because women really don’t like getting raped, they tend to listen.

    Ok, so that was rambling. I hope I came close to my point. Dunno.

  85. Q Grrl said,

    eh, it was near my point, but not quite there.

    I’m outta time right now, but maybe ya’ll will come up with some good questions/criticisms.

  86. A really good book, the introduction of which gets very powerfully at what I think was going to be Q Grrl’s point, but, even if I am wrong about that, is still very relevant to this discussion, is Timothy Beneke’s Men On Rape.

  87. Daran said,

    but maybe ya’ll will come up with some good questions/criticisms.

    I have one.

    You use the pronoun “we” quite a lot. Who’s “we”? We girls? We society-in-general?

  88. Tom Nolan said,

    Q Grrl

    I agree with you that it is a sin to teach girls that sex is something that they have to at least pretend to fear, and to teach boys that sexual resistance on the part of girls is probably no more than a facade which they (the boys) are expected to overcome. And this has no doubt played a part in many a rape case: “I told him I didn’t want to!” “Of course she told me she didn’t want to! That’s because she saw it as my role to overcome her scruples – it’s just courtship!” And, though I have problems with the word “tool”, which implies both intention and a power of application, I concede that it is possible that when someone refuses to help a female victim of rape whose life-style and decisions we disapprove of he or she may be consciously trying to facilitate the rape of such women in the future.

    After this point though, we part company. First off, a male victim of rape whose lifestyle society disapproves of could make exactly the same argument you have made for women. If I go to the police and say that I have been forcibly sodomized, and when they ask me for the details I say, “well I went to this Gay Bar and wanted to buy some cocaine, and the dealer said he couldn’t do it out in the open and suggested we arrange the transaction in a toilet cubicle, and that’s when he raped me”, what do you think their response would be? At least as negative, I bet, as it would be towards a female prostitute who claimed to have been raped. So I don’t think that you can justly claim that rape is a tool (in so far as it *is* a tool) for the suppression of women’s freedom, while being no more than an expression of personal vice in the case of male victims.

    More importantly, the women whose attempts to seek legal redress against rape are most hampered by societal disapproval are not, generally speaking, the women who pose the greatest threat to the dominance of men. A successful woman – a successful woman banker, lawyer or politician, for example is not only vastly less likely to be raped than those whom society regards as “loose women”; if she *is* raped she is vastly more likely to be taken seriously. If rape (or even the media-manipulated image of rape) were a tool of male dominated society, then I would expect it to target powerful, challenging women of this kind, in order to dissuade women from daring to compete with men. As things stand, the fact that in the popular imagination, at least, prostitutes and other male-dependent women seem to be the stereotypical victims of stranger and near-stranger rape, is a strong incentive for women to become as powerful and independent as possible. The whole “she deserved” stuff dissuades girls from being free-and-easy about sex, no doubt, but it does not dissuade them from achieving positions of societal power.

  89. Q Grrl said,

    We = society in general.

  90. Tom Nolan wrote:

    So I don’t think that you can justly claim that rape is a tool (in so far as it *is* a tool) for the suppression of women’s freedom, while being no more than an expression of personal vice in the case of male victims.

    Ask the women you know about the ways in which they shape their lives to account for the possibility that they might be sexually assaulted. Ask them about how they structure their time; about the kinds of clothes they wear, where and when; about how they choose the place they live, which floor(s) they prefer to live on; ask them about whether and to what degree they factor in the possibility of sexual assault when they think about how they will commute to work and at what hours; ask them if that fear ever influences the choices they make about where they can work and for whom; ask them if they are ever concerned about going out alone; ask them if they have been sexually assaulted, inappropriately touched/propositioned–I could go on, but I will stop the list there.

    Now, go ask the men you know the same questions. You will likely find that the fear of sexual assault figures very little into men’s answers, while the fear figures quite prominently in women’s answers, whether the individual women answering you have been sexually assaulted or not. The fact is that women, as a class, have to worry about being raped and sexually assaulted in a way, and to a degree, that men as a class do not, and it is men who promulgate that worry among women, or at least the fact that the overwhelming majority of rapists are men, and that is about social control.

    Now, whether the rape of men is merely “an expression of personal vice,” as you put it, seems to me to be another question, one that ought to be talked about and understood on its own terms, rather than in comparison to/the context of male on female rape, because male-on-male rape and female-on-male rape have very different social and cultural meanings for the victim than does male-on-female rape. One example: male-on-female rape both enacts and affirms women’s status as sexual objects, their scripted role as the objects of sexual pursuit. Male-on-male or female-on-male rape interrupts/invalidates–at least temporarily–men’s status as the sexual subjects, our socially scripted role as sexual pursuers.

    Ah, well, I had more to say, but I need to walk my dog. Sorry. I will try to come back and finish later.

  91. Daran said,

    A bit belatedly, because I already commented after your first post, but… Welcome to my blog, Richard, and thanks for joining us here.

    I’m not ignoring your new thread on Alas, but I’m involved in several other discussions, and Marcella’s been keeping me very busy just recently. :-/ Consequently, I haven’t had to time to give it the detailed response it requires, and I’d rather hold off for a while than make a half-assed reply.

    For the same reason, although I’m finding this discussion immensely interesting, I am leaving it in Tom’s capable hands to argue it from my side. So far I haven’t been able to discern any significant difference between his view on the subject and mine. I’ll be sure to pipe up when I do.

  92. NYMOM said,

    After hearing Q-girl’s response, I’m back to agreeing with her…

    Also where does this leave the girl who has sex with a guy who lies to her and pretends to care about her in order to get her into bed? Is this a form of socially acceptable rape: girl was easily fooled thus cast as ‘deserving’ of being taken advantage of????

    If she is fooled too many times, she then falls under the whore classification of madonna/whore division of all women…and every woman has to be careful not to fall into that category. Is that not a form of social control as well????

    I know, I know, that it’s confuses the definition of rape even more, but if you are going to cast rape as a tool to control the behavior of women, you need to include that type of behavior in the mix as well.

    It might not be a legal definition of rape but it’s a moral one.

  93. Aegis said,

    Richard Jeffrey Newman said:

    I could go on, but I will stop the list there.

    I don’t see how your list addresses Tom Nolan’s point. I don’t think he is disputing that rape, or the fear of rape, impacts women’s behavior. What he seems to dispute is that rape is a “tool” used in an intentional way towards this end.

    The fact is that women, as a class, have to worry about being raped and sexually assaulted in a way, and to a degree, that men as a class do not, and it is men who promulgate that worry among women, or at least the fact that the overwhelming majority of rapists are men, and that is about social control.

    But the overwhelming majority of men aren’t rapists, so while women as a class may worry about sexual assault, men as a class are not perpetrators of sexual assault. Consequently, I don’t think you can argue that rape is about the social control of women except by men who rape or by people who condone rape. This is not men in general controlling women in general through worry about rape. At most, it is a small minority of men controlling the majority of women.

    Even then, it’s not clear that men who rape do so with the intention of controlling women’s behavior in general. It’s plausible that this intent may exist in some rapists, but there is no reason to believe that all rapists have this intention.

    You and Q Grrl may agree that only a small minority of men commit rape, but you both use rhetoric that obscures this. Q Grrl says:

    Rape, however, especially as used by men as a political, economic, or religious act [war, pornography, and marriage, respectively], is a social tool meant to not merely affect the individual, but to affect the socialization of girls and women in toto. [emphasis mine]

    You say that “it is men who promulgate” women’s worries about rape. Which men? You are both either generalizing the behavior of a few men to all men, or you are both using ambiguous rhetoric that sounds this way even if that isn’t what you mean. It is exactly this type of rhetoric which leads to the incorrect (but obviously understandable) perception that feminists think that all men are rapists.

  94. Aegis said,

    Q Grrl said:

    And this is where I think rape becomes a tool. Because it is much easier on MEN to warn women about potential rape, tell them to stay home, stay sober, stay chaste, then it is for men to confront other men about their dicey sexuality cum rape. That way, men don’t have to change their sexuality or their sexual approach to women — all they have to do is warn women about those other men who will rape them if women don’t mind their X,Y, and Z’s.

    Ok, maybe you have convinced me that (a) rape has the effect of socializing women to restrict their behavior, and (b) many people unjustly place on women the burden of avoiding rape, rather than taking aggressive enough measures to stop men from raping. Yes, the existence of rape is being used as a justification for having women restrict their behavior. I don’t think comes close to supporting the notion that “rape is used as a tool.” “Tool” implies intent, or a goal. It’s possible that in some cases, people tell women to restrict their behavior with that goal in mind. Yet I think it’s also possible that those people tell women to behave that way not because they want to restrict women’s behavior, but because they have the (inaccurate and immoral) belief that focusing on women’s behavior and ignoring men’s is the best way to stop rape.

    Yet I don’t think that this means that rape is used as a “tool” to restrict women’s behavior; it sounds to me like women are encouraged to restrict their behavior as a side effect of an inadequate response to rape.

    When you say that rape is used as a “tool” by men, it sounds a lot like (a) men in general keep around a Rape Brigade to terrorize uppity women and keep them in fear, or (b) men who rape do so with the intent of controlling female behavior in general (which is pure conjecture). If you mean something more complex or nuanced than those things, it is not captured by such a slogan.

  95. Aegis said,

    Tom Nolan points out a thorn in the side of the idea that rape restricts women’s aspirations: achieving higher status may make women less likely to be raped, so fear of rape should motivate women to achieve higher status.

    Here is another problem for the “men use rape as a tool to control women” argument: sexual assault of women by men also results in restrictions on the behavior of men. This also goes against the school of thought that “men benefit from rape.” Are these restrictions as bad as the restrictions on women and fear of being raped? Maybe not, but I think there is at least considerable overlap. Because of rape, women are encouraged to be fearful and suspicious of men. While this fear and suspicion can be justified to some degree on a statistical basis, on an individual level, they can be harmful to men (just as fear and suspicion of African Americans is harmful to them, although they are statistically more likely to commit certain crimes).

    Some possible examples:

    1. Women are trained to fear strange men, especially when they are alone at night. As a man, it’s very alienating and hurtful to have women act fearful of you when you are simply going about your business. Many men feel they need to take steps to have women fear them less, like crossing to the other side of the street or whistling at night to appear less threatening. This is a restriction on their behavior.

    2. Rape causes women to be cynical and suspicious about male sexuality (see NYMOM’s confusion of nonconsensual sex with consensual but unethical male behavior). This cynicism is not only hurtful to men, but makes it more difficult for men to pursue romantic and sexual relationships with women.

    3. Many women fear rape. Many men fear being seen as rapists (or fear having coerced or harassed women). These fears are NOT equivalent: the first is probably worse for most women and men. The male fear, however, is not trivial and I don’t think it is discussed enough.

    Some types of anti-rape and anti-sexual harassment education and cultural discourse can be damaging to men. To some degree, this may be a necessary evil in order to fight rape and sexual harassment. Yet to a large degree, I think that these measures are not only damaging to men, but also unecessary and counterproductive in stopping rape. This makes them an unnecessary evil.

    During my sophomore year of high school, there was a date rape seminar during assembly. The speaker recounted her rape in harrowing detail, complete with tears. After coming out of that assembly, there was not only no danger of me raping any woman, there was no danger of me even looking at a woman for the rest of the day. The seminar contributed to me feeling that expressing any kind of sexual interest in a woman was tantamount to “sexual harassment,” and that touching a woman was tantamount to molesting her. She wasn’t the only victim of her rapist: in a different and lesser way, some of the men in that auditorium were also his victims, because of the damage he indirectly caused them.

    Badly handled anti-rape eduction can make sex feel like a minefield for men. The line between acceptable and unacceptable approaches to sex is not clear, especially because some definitions of rape are so expansive and ambiguous. For example, during the date rape seminar above, the speaker said that the only way you could know it wasn’t rape was if the woman gave explicit verbal consent. Yet this is obviously wrong. If it was true, it would mean that if a woman grabs a man’s penis and inserts it into her without saying anything, then he could be raping her. So words are not necessary to establish consent. Some feminists argue that verbal consent isn’t sufficient to establish consent either.

    Men who take these ideas seriously will constantly have to worry that they may be raping or coercing women, even if the woman is participating enthusiastically. Robert Jensen, for instance, came to believe that his heterosexual impulses towards women were contaminated by a desire to control women, and he became celibate. Celibacy is certainly a restriction on his behavior, although in his view, it is a morally necessary one.

    Many women report a double-bind between being perceived as the Madonna or as the Whore: they walk a fine line between being seen as too sexually receptive or as sexually frigid. Likewise, many men experience a double-bind between being perceived as a Creep/Jerk/Rapist or as a Wimp: they walk a fine line between being too sexually agressive or not sexually aggressive enough. On average, women are sexually submissive and prefer men to be the sexual initiator (yes, I have empirical data somewhat supporting this if anyone wants to see it). Hence, men who are not aggressive enough for women will often not make it into the bedroom in the first place, or they will get rejected once they get there.

    Boo hoo, many feminists will say. Poor men, having to treat women like human beings and establish consent with them before sex. I sympathize with this response because the difficulties heterosexual men face in having sex with women do not make it OK that many women are coerced or raped. I also think this response misses some things:

    Practically, the expectation on men to be the primary sexual initiator, an expectation that many women enforce, puts men in a position where taking steps to ensure female consent can often jeopardize their chances at having sex. Sadly, many men will choose getting laid over being sensitive to consent, especially because masculinity puts so much of a pressure on them to prove their sexual prowess. Morally, it may be justified to restrict male sexual behavior, even to the point of celibacy, if it was the only way to stop rape. But is it?

    What if we could eliminate or reduce the tradeoff between men doing the right thing and men being able to have sex (and therefore relationships containing sex) with women? What if we could fight rape in a way that didn’t involve making some men shameful and neurotic about their sexuality? Then, practically, more men would have an incentive to the right thing and confirm consent, and less men would have to impair their chances at relationships and sex with women in order to do the right thing.

    In short, rape should not be seen as a “tool” by which men control women’s behavior. Rather, the existence of male rapists of women doesn’t just result in restrictions of female behavior, but of both female and male behavior (though these restrictions are not necessarily equivalent or symmetrical).

  96. Tom Nolan said,

    Richard

    I said this up thread

    I think it’s pretty clear that the fear of rape has important consequences for the behaviour of women – far more so than it does for the behaviour of men, bearing in mind that most rape victims are women. I think twice before taking the path through the woods to reach home of an evening, a woman will likely be so wary that she will go to the considerable incovenience of going the long way round. Rape does not effect men and women equally, and nor do its social consequences.

    Now, I know this is a long thread and all, but we have to keep in mind what is being primarily disputed on it. Namely, that rape is a tool for the subordination of women by men in a way that it is not for the subordination of men by men. As you can see, I do not contest that the usual victims of rape are women, and I also do not contest that, as a consequence, the fear of rape looms larger in women’s minds. We are agreed on the matter – if you want to debate it, I’m sure that there are lots of genuine rape-apologists out there who will be only too happy to share their opinions on the matter with you!

    Here’s where Q Grrl and I differ.

    She thinks that male on female rape is a tool of the patriarchy to ensure the continuing subordination of a suppressed class. I think that male on female rape is brought about by exactly the same disregard for human autonomy that male on male rape is. Male on female rape *may* serve the turn of people who feel that women’s sexual behaviour should be severely controlled, but as such people have little power (pace NYMOM) to apply rape as a deterrence, it cannot be said to be their tool. But even if it were demonstrated that male on female rape was, indeed, the expression of society’s disapprobation of free-and-easy sexual behaviour on the part of women, it absolutely does not follow that it is a tool to impede the greater acquisition of power and independence by women. Q Grrl has said that these two things are one and the same, but she hasn’t yet explained *how* they are one and the same.

    Perhaps you, Richard, can see what she’s getting at? If so, I should be pleased to engage with your analysis.

  97. Daran said,

    Tom Nolan:

    I do not contest that the usual victims of rape are women, and I also do not contest that, as a consequence, the fear of rape looms larger in women’s minds.

    My italics.

    I do not disagree with this, but I should point out that they usual victims of street violence are men. Nevertheless, the fear of street violence looms larger in women’s minds than men.

    This is not a counterexample to the “as a consequence” part of your claim. Rather it demonstrates that there are societal factors governing the degree to which men and women fear particular dangers other than the objective degree of risk faced by each.

  98. Daran said,

    Aegis:

    Tom Nolan points out a thorn in the side of the idea that rape restricts women’s aspirations: achieving higher status may make women less likely to be raped, so fear of rape should motivate women to achieve higher status.

    Only if it is perceived by women that achieving higher status will reduce their chance of being raped.

    In any case, I understand Tom’s argument a little differently. Rather he is saying that if rape were the tool of control feminists claim it is, then rapists would target high achieving women for rape. Since they do not appear to do so, this would seem to contradict the feminist theory.

    On average, women are sexually submissive and prefer men to be the sexual initiator (yes, I have empirical data somewhat supporting this if anyone wants to see it).

    I would.

    Boo hoo, many feminists will say. Poor men, having to treat women like human beings and establish consent with them before sex.

    I think the feminists here can speak for themselves.

    Sadly, many men will choose getting laid over being sensitive to consent, especially because masculinity puts so much of a pressure on them to prove their sexual prowess.

    I doubt many feminists would disagree with this. (I know, I just contradicted what I just said about letting the feminists speak for themselves. So sue me.) But I also think that as a practical matter, women reward sexually agressive men with sex.

    Morally, it may be justified to restrict male sexual behavior, even to the point of celibacy, if it was the only way to stop rape. But is it?

    I don’t accept the conclusion. If every man was celibate, it would not just be the men whose sex lives were impoverished. Feminist (rightly) do not accept such limitations upon women’s freedoms as a reasonable price to pay to prevent rape.

    What if we could eliminate or reduce the tradeoff between men doing the right thing and men being able to have sex (and therefore relationships containing sex) with women? What if we could fight rape in a way that didn’t involve making some men shameful and neurotic about their sexuality? Then, practically, more men would have an incentive to the right thing and confirm consent, and less men would have to impair their chances at relationships and sex with women in order to do the right thing.

    In short, rape should not be seen as a “tool” by which men control women’s behavior. Rather, the existence of male rapists of women doesn’t just result in restrictions of female behavior, but of both female and male behavior (though these restrictions are not necessarily equivalent or symmetrical).

    This appears to be an argumentum ad consequentiam. That the “tool of the patriarchy” theory may lead to solutions to rape which are harmful to men has no bearing upon the truth of the theory. (Note that I am not saying that the theory is correct, merely pointing out the fallacy.)

  99. Daran said,

    Yet I don’t think that this means that rape is used as a “tool” to restrict women’s behavior; it sounds to me like women are encouraged to restrict their behavior as a side effect of an inadequate response to rape.

    I’m not even sure of that, because the stereotypical rapes which women are exhorted to act to avoid (a masked rapist jumping out of the bushes, or climbing in through the bedroom window) are the least likely in reality to happen. (though they are not unheard of.)

  100. Daran said,

    Richard Jeffrey Newman:

    Ask the women you know about the ways in which they shape their lives to account for the possibility that they might be sexually assaulted. Ask them about how they structure their time; about the kinds of clothes they wear, where and when; about how they choose the place they live, which floor(s) they prefer to live on; ask them about whether and to what degree they factor in the possibility of sexual assault when they think about how they will commute to work and at what hours; ask them if that fear ever influences the choices they make about where they can work and for whom; ask them if they are ever concerned about going out alone; ask them if they have been sexually assaulted, inappropriately touched/propositioned–I could go on, but I will stop the list there.

    Now, go ask the men you know the same questions. You will likely find that the fear of sexual assault figures very little into men’s answers, while the fear figures quite prominently in women’s answers, whether the individual women answering you have been sexually assaulted or not. The fact is that women, as a class, have to worry about being raped and sexually assaulted in a way, and to a degree, that men as a class do not, and it is men who promulgate that worry among women, or at least the fact that the overwhelming majority of rapists are men, and that is about social control.

    My bold.

    While I don’t doubt that many women do “shape their lives” in response to these fears, the reality is that women are less likely than men to suffer violence overall, overwhelmingly so if domestic violence is excluded. (And we should exclude DV, because the measures you describe above do not address this kind of violence.)

    So I would ask you why women (the least likely to be attacked) should “have to worry” about being attacked while men (the most likely to be attacked) do not. Because from here it looks to me as though you are the one promulgating the fear.

    (You said “raped and sexually assaulated”, but I do not agree that violent sexual crimes are necessarily worse than other forms of violence.)

    Even if women’s fear of stranger attack were well founded, it would not be the case that “it is men who promulgate that worry among women”. Although the overwhelming majority of attackers are men, the converse is not true. The overwhelming majority of men are not attackers. Why should the majority of benign men be held responsible for the behaviour of an uncontrolled minority?

    male-on-male rape and female-on-male rape have very different social and cultural meanings for the victim than does male-on-female rape.

    Says you.

    One example: male-on-female rape both enacts and affirms women’s status as sexual objects, their scripted role as the objects of sexual pursuit. Male-on-male or female-on-male rape interrupts/invalidates–at least temporarily–men’s status as the sexual subjects, our socially scripted role as sexual pursuers.

    Says you again. What you are doing here is imposing your ideological interpretation on other people’s experiences, something you have no business doing. And this, in a nutshell, is what is going wrong with your threads over at Alas, and why you have had to come here and to toysoldiers to talk to us[*], because none of us taking part in your threads on Alas.

    [*]Us = contra-feminist survivors in general. I am a survivor, but not of sexual abuse.

  101. Daran–

    (You said “raped and sexually assaulated”, but I do not agree that violent sexual crimes are necessarily worse than other forms of violence.)

    Yes, I said “raped and sexually assaulted” because rape and sexual assault is what we are talking about here, not because I assume it is necessarily worse than other forms of violence, to which men–as you correctly note–are subject in far greater numbers and degree than women.

    James Gilligan wrote a book called Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemicin which he takes on the question of male-on-male violence, and the remarkable thing for about the book was that the answers he ended up with were rooted, in large measure, in a feminist analysis of gender; it is a feminism far more liberal than you get in many of the commenters on Alas, but it is feminist nonetheless. And it is the force of his analysis that leads him there; feminism is not the ideological position he starts from.

    Male-on-male violence is, by far, the most pervasive kind of violence that exists in the world today, and it is a problem that desperately needs to be solved. For me, though, this violence is part and parcel of the way in which manhood and masculinity are constructed; it is the logical result of that structuring and it is part of how men “perform” masculinity, as it were; it also helps to establish and perpetuate that structure, keeping it internally consistent. A good book which looks at manhood cross-culturally and makes this point, though not quite as strongly as I have worded it here, and which does so without starting from a feminist position, but using feminist insights along the way, is Manhood In The Making, by David Gilmore.

    One of the things I learned from both these books is that male-on-male violence requires a different kind of analysis than does male-on-female violence, and so when you respond to my assertion that women as a class have to worry about rape and sexual assault in ways that men as a class do not with the assertion that men are, overwhelmingly, the group most often targeted for violence, your are, for me, asking me to compare apples and oranges. Though it’s not that one has nothing to do with the other; it’s that you need to start from different places to get to an analysis that includes both of them.

  102. Daran said,

    Yes, I said “raped and sexually assaulted” because rape and sexual assault is what we are talking about here, not because I assume it is necessarily worse than other forms of violence, to which men–as you correctly note–are subject in far greater numbers and degree than women.

    We’re talking about the kinds of violence which women “shape their lives to account for the possibility” in the way you describe – stranger violence. I point out that men are subject to stranger violence to a much greater degree, yet they do not “shape their lives” in the same way. On no less than four occasions during the past 15 years, I have been assaulted in the street, on two occasions with actual violence, on one requiring hospital treatment. Yet I do not “shape my life” out of fear of such events.

    This indicates to me that it is not so much the violence which does the shaping, but the fear of it, and I ask, why are women so fearful? Please address this point, instead of handwaving it away by saying “er… it’s different for men”.

  103. Well, no, Daran. Unless, I have misread the entire beginning of the thread, which seems pretty clearly to me to be about rape and sexual assault, you have shifted the target by labeling the violence under discussion as “stranger violence.” And rather than try to explain “why women [are] so fearful,”–a discussion which would likely get us nowhere, since you reject the fundamentals of the feminist analysis I would bring–I think, frankly, that it would be more interesting to talk about why, as you correctly point out, men are generally not–though, in my own experience of violence at the hands of men, I would say that I very much did shape my life out of fear of it and that the fear of it still haunts me even now, more than two decades later.

    I will venture an opening gambit: because we are trained from very early on to expect violence from other men, because we are trained to think of violence as a normative part of our lives, and because part of being a “real” man is, broadly speaking, to be able to face the likelihood of such violence without feeling, or at least without showing, fear. I think that what I am describing is especially evident in places where the military, or militarism of anhy sort, is glorified; I certainly remember feeling this when I was young and the draft was still on in the US, and I remember struggling with it when draft registration was reinstated here in 1980, the year I turned 18. I walked around my neighborhood after I sent my form in thinking about the fact that, should the president of the US decide we had to go to war, I could be called at any moment, at random, to go and kill other men and that I was supposed to accept this as a good thing, that I was supposed to see the violence I would be expected to do as good and necessary, and I clearly remember the realization I had that draft registration had made that violence a part of my life even if I never committed it; and it made me the object of that kind of violence, even it was never committed against me. And, here’s the point, I was supposed to go through my life as if this didn’t matter, as if it were normal. One of the points that David Gilmore makes in the book I referred you to above is that a central component of manhood, where manhood is a strongly held value, is the notion of male expendability and the requirement that the men of such a culture meet the reality of their own expendability with grace–and that means, among other things, showing no fear.

  104. Tom Nolan said,

    And rather than try to explain “why women [are] so fearful,”–a discussion which would likely get us nowhere, since you reject the fundamentals of the feminist analysis I would bring–I think, frankly, that it would be more interesting to talk about why, as you correctly point out, men are generally not

    Richard, I think it would be extremely interesting to see you answer Daran’s question through the application of feminist framing and theory, and if you will only allow such framing and theory to be rationally interrogated (as Q Grrl has done, to her great credit) I am sure we can all intellectually profit thereby. Your last post makes the (no doubt misleading) impression that you are, while professing complete conviction in the validity of feminist analysis, and only too happy to repeat feminist prescriptions before an indulgent audience, reluctant to expose either to serious scepticism.

    Wasn’t it your intention to lend support to Q Grrl in this debate? Courage then!

  105. Daran–

    I have been trying to post a longish comment, and it keeps not posting. Is it in moderation? Is there a cap on the length of comments on your blog?

  106. Tom & Daran–

    The Internet faeries keep eating my comments; and I am, unfortunately, under severe time constraints. So please do not interpret my silence as my “taking my cookies and going home.”

    Daran–

    Check out my blog here for a response to Toy Soldiers’ response, and to the concerns you voiced here, to my post on Alas.

  107. Daran & Tom–

    I have been trying to post comments in response to you both, but the Internet faeries seem to keep eating them. Or maybe they end up in moderation. In any event, time constraints prevent me from trying. In the event this goes through, though, two quick things:

    1. In very partial response to Daran’s question about why women are so fearful regarding rape, etc: I think that in this thread both of you have been focusing exclusively on the act of rape and (perhaps wilfully) not seeing that the act of rape is part of a complex set of cultural ideas, institutions, imperatives, images, texts, etc. that impinge on women and women’s consciousness and, therefore, behavior, and that serve male interests, even the interests of men who do not rape. I suspect that this is, in part, where Q Grrl was trying to go. To develop this argument so that it speaks directly to Daran’s question about women’s fear, however, would, as I said, take more time than I have.

    2. Daran, if you go to my blog, the entry Male Survivors of (Child) Sexual Abuse – Discussion (to which I am not linking since Toy Soldiers suggested that my comments might be getting eaten since I broke WordPress’ two link rule) begins a discussion of some of the issues you raised about my Alas post upthread here.

  108. Daran said,

    Well, no, Daran. Unless, I have misread the entire beginning of the thread, which seems pretty clearly to me to be about rape and sexual assault, you have shifted the target by labeling the violence under discussion as “stranger violence.”

    I thought it was you who did that. Specifically, I thought your list of the “ways in which [wome] shape their lives” pertained to stranger violence only. Upon rereading it, I see I was in error. Prominently near the start of your list was the following:

    Ask them … about how they choose the place they live, which floor(s) they prefer to live on; ask them about whether and to what degree they factor in the possibility of sexual assault when they think about how they will commute to work and at what hours

    These factors seem to relate to the danger of stranger violence only, and I (mistakenly) read the entire list in that light.

    On the subject of domestic violence, I question the degree to which the “fear figures quite prominently in women’s answers, whether the individual women answering you have been sexually assaulted [in a domestic context] or not”. My expectation is that women who have not been exposed to domestic violence would not “shape their lives to account for the possibility” in the ways you describe, or in others. I do not know enough women to go around asking them these kinds of questions, and in any case, a proper survey would be required to demonstrate this empirically. Do you have any evidence to support your position?

    A third category would be workplace harassment and abuse. In this case I would expect the fear of it would inhibit women from considering certain types of career which are perceived to be bastions of male sexism.

    I think the significant point about stranger violence (which I think you have conceded) is that it is heightened fear of it, rather than actual (low) risk of it, which controls the behaviour of non-domestically victimised women. And while the actual victimisers are mostly men, as you said, it is harder to attribute an inappropriate fear to men.

    And rather than try to explain “why women [are] so fearful,”–a discussion which would likely get us nowhere, since you reject the fundamentals of the feminist analysis I would bring–…

    I agree with Tom. You should be willing to subject your views to critical enquiry.

    …I think, frankly, that it would be more interesting to talk about why, as you correctly point out, men are generally not–though, in my own experience of violence at the hands of men, I would say that I very much did shape my life out of fear of it and that the fear of it still haunts me even now, more than two decades later.

    I am truly sorry to hear that.

    My immediate reaction to the most violent of the attacks I mentioned was acute post-traumatic stress when in a similar environment to the one in which the attack took place, (a crowded street). That faded within a few days to ‘mere’ hypervigilance while walking in the street, which I considered at the time (and still consider) to be an adaptive rather than a disordered condition. Over the years, that hypervigilance has faded, although I still startle quickly in response to an abrupt movement in my vicinity, and I become rapidly alert to anyone who appears to be moving toward me. I prefer the hypervigilance and regret that it faded. It did not distress or inhibit me, but I think I made me safer.

    I will venture an opening gambit: because we are trained from very early on to expect violence from other men, because we are trained to think of violence as a normative part of our lives, and because part of being a “real” man is, broadly speaking, to be able to face the likelihood of such violence without feeling, or at least without showing, fear. I think that what I am describing is especially evident in places where the military, or militarism of anhy sort, is glorified; I certainly remember feeling this when I was young and the draft was still on in the US, and I remember struggling with it when draft registration was reinstated here in 1980, the year I turned 18. I walked around my neighborhood after I sent my form in thinking about the fact that, should the president of the US decide we had to go to war, I could be called at any moment, at random, to go and kill other men and that I was supposed to accept this as a good thing, that I was supposed to see the violence I would be expected to do as good and necessary, and I clearly remember the realization I had that draft registration had made that violence a part of my life even if I never committed it; and it made me the object of that kind of violence, even it was never committed against me. And, here’s the point, I was supposed to go through my life as if this didn’t matter, as if it were normal. One of the points that David Gilmore makes in the book I referred you to above is that a central component of manhood, where manhood is a strongly held value, is the notion of male expendability and the requirement that the men of such a culture meet the reality of their own expendability with grace–and that means, among other things, showing no fear.

    You are preaching to the converted here. I blog about male expendability all the time.

    Here in the UK there has been no draft or registration in my adult lifetime. (I think National Service was abolished in the 50’s or 60’s. I don’t know whether a period of registration followed abolition.) My recollections of being insufficiently important to protect from violence date to childhood, when I was effectively left to fend for myself against schoolyard bullying. “Hit them back”, I was told. Well that’s all very well when they are not a foot taller than you. 😦

    Male expendability also manifests in public policy decisions which leave men unprotected. One example I always use is the 1993 UN evacuation of Srebrenica in the former Yugoslavia. Even though it was known that adult men and older boys were at immediate execution risk should the city be overrun, women were always prioritised at a policy level. This lead to this most vulnerable group being specifically excluded from the evacuation. Two years later, when the city finally fell, almost the entire male population was massacred. See Carpenter, R. Charli, “Women and Children First’: Gender, Norms, and Humanitarian Evacuation in the Balkans. (Google)

    Female feminists do not reject this gender norm. Rather when they insist on excluding male victims of sexual violence from services, and demand all the public resources to themselves, they are embracing it. They should check their privilege.

  109. Daran said,

    I have only just noticed all your posts in moderation, Richard. I have no idea why the spam fairy has taken such a dislike to you. I can only apologise for it.

    When I wrote the above response, I had only seen the post it was replying to. My apologies if you have already addressed any of the points it raised.

  110. Daran said,

    hat on

    No further male-survivor related responses to RJN on this thread please (and yes, I know it was me that started it again). Give me a moment to set up a dedicated thread (here).

    You may, of course, continue to discuss feminist theory with him here.

    Edited for clarity.

    hat off

  111. Aegis said,

    I said:

    Morally, it may be justified to restrict male sexual behavior, even to the point of celibacy, if it was the only way to stop rape. But is it?

    Daran replied:

    I don’t accept the conclusion. If every man was celibate, it would not just be the men whose sex lives were impoverished. Feminist (rightly) do not accept such limitations upon women’s freedoms as a reasonable price to pay to prevent rape.

    I don’t accept that conclusion either. But my main point is that stringently restricting male sexual behavior to stop rape is not necessary, even if one does accept it.

    (Also, I should point out that in the world of some feminists, male celibacy would not be seen as impoverishing women sexually. If one views “compulsory heterosexuality” as socially constructed in order to oppress women, and lesbianism as politically correct sexuality for women, then women’s sex lives would supposedly not be impoverished by separating from men. Women would either rediscover their innate bisexuality/lesbianism, or they would reconstruct their sexuality as lesbian. Of course, only a minority of feminists, like Sheila Jeffreys, hold views anything like this.)

    This appears to be an argumentum ad consequentiam. That the “tool of the patriarchy” theory may lead to solutions to rape which are harmful to men has no bearing upon the truth of the theory.

    Ok, I see I have failed to express my argument clearly. As you say, it’s not true that the “rape is a tool of men to oppress women” is false merely because it may have been results for men. It is false (or at best inadequate) for another reason: because it assumes that male-on-female rape doesn’t have negative consequences for men also (or at best fails to take these into account).

    I understand the “rape as tool of the patriarchy” theory to assert that rape is used by men in general to restrict the behavior of women in general. Q Grrl put it like this:

    Rape, however, especially as used by men as a political, economic, or religious act [war, pornography, and marriage, respectively], is a social tool meant to not merely affect the individual, but to affect the socialization of girls and women in toto.

    This theory seems to imply that the rape of women by men is not a tool to socialize men to restrict their behavior. If rape is a tool that men as a class use to oppress women, then it wouldn’t make much sense if they were using that tool to oppress themselves also, right?

    So if it was shown that some of the consequences of male-on-female rape are restrictions on male behavior, then the “rape as a tool to control women” theory would have trouble explaining this fact, yes? Clearly, then, it wouldn’t make sense to view male-on-female rape as resulting in restrictions on women in general created by men in general. Instead, male-on-female rape should be viewed as a small minority of men who make things harder for everyone else, of both sexes (though of course in different ways). However, this would mean dropping the implicit view that rape is a weapon in class struggle between men and women in general.

    What I was attempting to show in my previous post was that male-on-female rape is part of a causal chain that results in restrictions on male behavior. Specifically, it results in negative attitudes towards male sexuality. To the extent that these attitudes are institutionalized in anti-sexual harassment and anti-rape eduction and cultural discourse, they result in unecessary harm to and restriction of men.

    Does this make more sense now?

  112. Daran said,

    I propose to delete RJN’s comments, numbers 217, 218, 219, and 224, which appear to be duplicates of comment 216 in this thread, and moved comment 237, now in the other thread.

    Am I right?

  113. Daran–

    Sounds about right to me.

    Richard

  114. Tom Nolan said,

    Richard: I think that in this thread both of you have been focusing exclusively on the act of rape and (perhaps wilfully) not seeing that the act of rape is part of a complex set of cultural ideas, institutions, imperatives, images, texts, etc. that impinge on women and women’s consciousness and, therefore, behavior, and that serve male interests, even the interests of men who do not rape

    That you think that I am (perhaps wilfully) ignoring all these things is not something we can reasonably discuss – you have exclusive access to your own beliefs and I cannot test the truth of what you say in respect to them. What we *could* reasonably agree or disagree on is the evidence which led you to such a conclusion. It was Q Grrl who said that rape (and not a male dominated society’s representation of rape) was a tool for the suppression of women. Here’s the crucial exchange:

    Me: Are you saying that male-on-female rapists do not act from personal motives, but on behalf of a male dominated society which tacitly encourages them to rape and to sexually terrorize women in order to keep the latter in their place? (If not, I find it hard to see what you mean by “tool” in this context.) And are you saying that I (for instance) am conscious that this is the case, and that I am doing my best to keep the matter quiet, knowing that the rape-induced submission of women is to my advantage? Or are you saying something different?

    Q Grrl:To answer your questions in a very brief nutshell, yes. Although I would not use the word “conscious”.

    I did not evade the discussion of the “patriarchy’s” social and media manipulation of male on female rape because it was not at a issue, and I cannot reasonable be expected to debate matters which have not been raised. But I am not in the least bit afraid to deal with them, nor should you be justified in thinking that I would necessarily shy away from agreeing with a feminist analysis of them that seemed to me correct. I should be pleased to discuss the matter with *you*, for instance, but it seems that you don’t have time.

    If ever you do find you have a moment to spare, though, here’s something to consider. Given that women’s fear of rape, justified or not, is more important than the actual incidence of rape so far as their subordination is concerned, is Q Grrl, when she empatically asserts that one in four women will be raped in their lifetime (which is a very top-end estimate), actually serving the interests of women thereby or serving the interests of the patriarchy?

    Think propositionally! Think Aspie!

  115. Daran said,

    Q Grrl, … empatically asserts that one in four women will be raped in their lifetime

    Where did she assert this?

    It’s worth noting that most of the available figures relate to prevalence (the proportion of women who have suffered a rape (or “a rape or attempted rape”) at some point in their lives. Rape expectancy will necessarily be a higher proportion, because some of the women unraped at the time of the survey will go on to be raped later in their lives.

  116. Tom Nolan said,

    Here’s Q Grrl at The Margins (thread: the truth about men). Sorry, don’t know how to do links.

    Who benefits in having a population of docile, submissive, non-judgemental women who are raped in numbers approximating every one in four?

    This is not the only time she has made the claim (or, more precisely, made the assumption); I’ve seen her say it various times on Alas. I really started to take notice after Ampersand had said that the one-in-four claim was a strawfeminist erected by MRAs who had deliberately misunderstood the gist of Mary Kos’s analysis of the frequency of rape on American University campuses. Ampersand claimed that the correct figure would be something akin to one woman in eight having to endure rape in her lifetime. He quite rightly points out that that this frequency, too, is horribly high.

    Anyway, Q Grrl’s insistence on the one-in-four figure after Amp’s intervention seemed particularly pointed and noteworthy.

  117. Q Grrl said,

    “Ampersand claimed that the correct figure would be something akin to one woman in eight having to endure rape in her lifetime.”

    And *that* my friend is such a GREAT number!

    My opinion, of course, is that 1:100 would still be too many.

  118. Tom Nolan said,

    Q Grrl

    It was to avoid a response like the above that I (quite sincerely, believe me) wrote

    He quite rightly points out that that this frequency, too, is horribly high

    and I agree that 1:100 would still be too many.

    Let’s discuss what we *don’t* agree on.

  119. NYMOM said,

    “Rape causes women to be cynical and suspicious about male sexuality (see NYMOM’s confusion of nonconsensual sex with consensual but unethical male behavior). This cynicism is not only hurtful to men, but makes it more difficult for men to pursue romantic and sexual relationships with women.”

    Well since many rapes appear to occur in the context of drinking or using mind-altering drugs, we cannot overlook this aspect of it by claiming it’s just unethical behavior. Many people have called alcohol, ‘liquid panty remover’…and I personally think many high school and college age boys get initiated into their first sexual experience by using alcohol to get a girl drunk…

    So I’m not sure if you are correct here that it’s just unethical behavior…

  120. Tom Nolan said,

    And just to be clear about what I was getting at in the last few posts, because nobody has picked me up on it so far: if Richard is right that the deliberately disseminated fear of rape is the key factor in suppressing women’s sexual and (in ways yet to be explained) professional, political and social potential, rather than the experience and actual menace of rape, then does not an emphasis on the prevalence of rape, such as we find in the comments of many online feminists, help propagate the very fear which is keeping women down?

    I mentioned Q Grrl’s one-in-four estimate not in order to suggest that it was wrong – for all that I positively know in the matter, it might be right – but to point out how counter-productive and patriarchy-friendly it would be when seen in the light of Richard’s analysis.

    However, since he isn’t posting on this thread anymore, perhaps we can retrace our steps to where we were before he came in. I was saying

    More importantly, the women whose attempts to seek legal redress against rape are most hampered by societal disapproval are not, generally speaking, the women who pose the greatest threat to the dominance of men. A successful woman – a successful woman banker, lawyer or politician, for example is not only vastly less likely to be raped than those whom society regards as “loose women”; if she *is* raped she is vastly more likely to be taken seriously. If rape (or even the media-manipulated image of rape) were a tool of male dominated society, then I would expect it to target powerful, challenging women of this kind, in order to dissuade women from daring to compete with men. As things stand, the fact that in the popular imagination, at least, prostitutes and other male-dependent women seem to be the stereotypical victims of stranger and near-stranger rape, is a strong incentive for women to become as powerful and independent as possible. The whole “she deserved” stuff dissuades girls from being free-and-easy about sex, no doubt, but it does not dissuade them from achieving positions of societal power

    I should more than a little interested to read your critique of this, Q Grrl.

  121. Tom Nolan said,

    The whole “she deserved it” stuff…

    I should be more than a little…

    I swear it’s early onset Alzheimers. For every gap in my syntax there’s a tiny, but terrifying shadow on my brain-scan.

  122. NYMOM said,

    “A successful woman – a successful woman banker, lawyer or politician, for example is not only vastly less likely to be raped than those whom society regards as “loose women”; if she *is* raped she is vastly more likely to be taken seriously.”

    Well remember many times behaviors, that have long outlived their usefulness, still exist in many societies. Some good examples are the existence of a ‘dowry’ when women get married in modern-day India.

    Or even the bride’s family paying for the wedding in our own societies…this is a related dowry issue which has long overlived it’s usefulness…yet it exists.

    So the threat of women getting raped if they don’t adhere to community standard for proper sexual conduct could still be the predominant method of handing ‘uppity women’ as in ‘loose women’…

    Anyway how long have uppiity women been around as in women who are doctors or lawyers, etc. and needing to be punished to put them back in their place???? Whereas the rape as punishment for uppity women (the classical meaning I’m talking about, meaning women out and about from home too much) has been around since The Illiad.

  123. Daran said,

    However [Richard] isn’t posting on this thread anymore

    Is he not? That would disappoint me, although I realise that his time is very limited. I have split off the male-survivor focussed discussion to another thread, but his insights into the feminist-theory focussed discussion here are very welcome.

  124. Aegis said,

    Tom Nolan said:

    And just to be clear about what I was getting at in the last few posts, because nobody has picked me up on it so far: if Richard is right that the deliberately disseminated fear of rape is the key factor in suppressing women’s sexual and (in ways yet to be explained) professional, political and social potential, rather than the experience and actual menace of rape, then does not an emphasis on the prevalence of rape, such as we find in the comments of many online feminists, help propagate the very fear which is keeping women down?

    At my university, “rape whistles” are given out to incoming freshman girls, probably during orientation. Never mind that acquaintance rape is much more common than stranger rape. I doubt that these whistles actually improve female safety. All they do is promote fear of men, and probably make some people in the administration feel like they are doing something useful. If feminist- and media- propagated fear of rape actually improves women’s safety, then it could arguably be justified, but promoting massive fear of men that results in zero or trivial gains to women’s safety cannot be justified.

  125. Tom Nolan said,

    Daran:Is he not? That would disappoint me, although I realise that his time is very limited. I have split off the male-survivor focussed discussion to another thread, but his insights into the feminist-theory focussed discussion here are very welcome

    That’s what I took him to mean when he said he didn’t have time to deal with the questions re: rape culture that you and I have asked him. But I wouldn’t want to jump the gun…

  126. Daran said,

    Q Grrl:

    “Ampersand claimed that the correct figure would be something akin to one woman in eight having to endure rape in her lifetime.”

    And *that* my friend is such a GREAT number!

    My opinion, of course, is that 1:100 would still be too many.

    That is an evasion, Q Grrl. You have been promulgating a 1 in 4 figure, which does not appear to be supported. The suggestion is, that you have been doing the “patriarchy’s” work by exacerbating the fear experienced by women.

  127. Tom Nolan said,

    NYMOM: ‘uppity women’ as in ‘loose women’

    Do you really think that those are the same thing? Even in very remote times there have existed possibilities for well-placed women to achieve power and prestige in society (think of all those ruling queens and empresses who reached the throne by grace of their lineage, certainly, but also by means of cunning and ruthlessness). Once they achieved their place of eminence, how many rape attempts do you think were made on them? And what do you think would have happen to any actual or would-be rapists? Skinned alive? Boiled in oil?

  128. Daran said,

    Make links like this:

    <a href=”http://www.example.com”>link text</a>

    which gives:

    link text.

    Now if I could only figure out how to make < and > display as text instead of being interpretted as markup, then I would be really clever.

  129. Tom Nolan said,

    OK, let’s see…

    crap non-superhero

  130. Tom Nolan said,

    No, didn’t work

    Once more unto the breach.

    crap non-superhero

  131. Tom Nolan said,

    Yes, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

  132. Daran said,

    I had a look at your failed attempt, and there was no markup there at all. WordPress will delete sufficiently borked markup, so I can’t tell you what went wrong.

  133. NYMOM said,

    “Do you really think that those are the same thing?”

    Yes in some people’s minds it is the same thing. Women stepping outside of accepted boundaries whether by dressing too provocatively or being too important = same thing…

    Calls too much attention to themselves.

    “…(think of all those ruling queens and empresses who reached the throne by grace of their lineage, certainly, but also by means of cunning and ruthlessness). Once they achieved their place of eminence, how many rape attempts do you think were made on them?…”

    Again it depends upon your definition of rape attempt.

    No matter how high, a women in those positions were always subject to forced marriages. The only queen I believe that wasn’t subject to this was Queen Elizabeth I of England and that’s only because her father had died and there were no close male relatives living who could have forced her into a marriage.

    Her sister Mary however wasn’t as fortunately. Originally she was going to be forced into a marriage with a page or something in order to discredit her claim to the throne. When her rival, Anne Boleyn (Elizabeth’s I mother) was finally excuted she was saved from that; but then winded up being forced into marrying a Catholic King (Philip of Spain) in order to ensure her own safety once she was on the English throne…

    There are many instances of women at the highest levels being forced into these sorts of situations from, Helen of Troy to Cleopatria, which constitute a form of rape…it’s not true that these historic women were safe.

  134. NYMOM said,

    “At my university, “rape whistles” are given out to incoming freshman girls, probably during orientation. Never mind that acquaintance rape is much more common than stranger rape. I doubt that these whistles actually improve female safety. All they do is promote fear of men…”

    Well what would you like them to do…tell incoming freshmen girls the truth???? That they are going to have to watch their male classmates very closely, limit the alcohol consumption while socializing with them and/or not hang around in their dorms with them after hours…since the statistics show that one of their male classmates is more likely then a stranger to try and sexually assault them.

    They are trying to warn women diplomatically by playing up stranger rape…

  135. I will not be posting on this thread anymore, it is true, and probably not on the Excluded Survivors thread either, Daran. My time is very limited right now and I need to devote it to other writing projects that I have and to other blog posts that I want to write. Since this is a topic that comes up over and over and over again, I am sure we’ll have the chance to debate and discuss another time.

  136. Q Grrl said,

    Tom:

    posting on the fly here. I thought my use of “approximating” was good enough to keep me from “promulgating”. From my particular perspective, and others here too, 1:8 is still very close to 1:4.

    In response to this:

    A successful woman – a successful woman banker, lawyer or politician, for example is not only vastly less likely to be raped than those whom society regards as “loose women”; if she *is* raped she is vastly more likely to be taken seriously. If rape (or even the media-manipulated image of rape) were a tool of male dominated society, then I would expect it to target powerful, challenging women of this kind, in order to dissuade women from daring to compete with men.

    I think to be able to dissect this, and how rape effects the success of women, you would have to compare the number of rapes per capita to the number of successful women per capita. In my concept of rape as a tool, it isn’t used by individual men against individual women (and someone, Toysoldier?, upthread mentioned I need to work on my definition of tool – duly noted). More specifically, the threat of rape, and it’s subsidiary – sexual harrassment – keeps many women from pursuing successful career paths in the first place. The military is really the most glaring example in regards to it, with it’s defense of women in non-combat roles only being because of the *risk* of rape (from their own fellow soldiers, mind you) is too great for the social conscience (as manifested by the military). We don’t know if US female soldiers would or would not be raped by their fellow combat soldiers — but the risk, or perceived threat, is enough to establish *policy* that withholds these roles from female soldiers. And, yes, I am aware that there are more points in the argument against female soliders in combat roles, but I wanted to highlight an instance where rape (again, at the hands of other US soldiers) is used by some men (who wouldn’t be the rapists themselves) as an excuse for limiting women’s social, civic, and private roles.

  137. Tom Nolan said,

    NYMOM:Yes in some people’s minds it is the same thing. Women stepping outside of accepted boundaries whether by dressing too provocatively or being too important = same thing…

    Well I suppose so. In some people’s mind Turks and Arabs are the same thing. But there are very few people who think that becoming a female Prime Minister, a female Bundeskanzler or a female president of General Motors is anything close to acquiring a reputation as a “good time girl”. We all know that rapes do not generally occur in the corridors of power or in the boardrooms of big city banks, and that they often occur in rent-by-the hour hotel rooms. Most parents would be anxious if their daughters took to picking up strangers in bars for one-night stands , most parents would be very pleased if their daughters said they had ambitions to become successful lawyers or successful politicians. And it is obvious that society rewards the ambitious and capable career woman in a way that it does not the woman who expresses her desire for freedom exclusively in sexual activity. The rape culture argument as it has developed on this thread has suggested that society and women themselves believe in the *identity* of the experience of sexual freedom by women with the acquisition of power by women, so that rape, by dissuading them from the one dissuades them from the other.

    We can call “women of easy virtue” uppity if we want, and then apply the same adjective to powerful women, but very, very, very few people think that the two groups have much in common. And of course prostitutes are not regarded as “uppity” at all, but, generally speaking, as victims of circumstance.

  138. Tom Nolan said,

    From my particular perspective, and others here too, 1:8 is still very close to 1:4.

    Well it’s double the number of women raped, isn’t it? Let me repeat: I don’t actually *know* whether 1 in 8 or 1 in 4 comes nearer to the truth. I was merely saying, in response to Richard’s claim that the not rape itself, but the invoked fear of rape was the main factor in keeping women down, that choosing the higher estimate was probably not doing women any favours. However, I was responding to his argument, not yours, so, if it’s all the same to you, I suggest we drop the matter of rape-frequency estimates altogether, and get back to our discussion.

    I think to be able to dissect this, and how rape effects the success of women, you would have to compare the number of rapes per capita to the number of successful women per capita

    This would be an extremely difficult enterprise, and even if we could get reliable information on rape frequency (and we don’t seem to be able to – hence the disparity in estimates), I doubt it would prove anything one way or the other. I doubt that there has to be a heavy prevalence of rape in societies which keep women powerless: it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that there was little rape amongst the members of fundamentalist Christian or Moslem communities, for instance, in which the possibilities of women achieving political power or making a career for themselves was negligible.

    But if we regard rape not necessarily as a tool (I share your reservations about the word) for the oppression of women, but as something tolerated more than it ought to be because society looks with disfavour on the behaviour of certain women, then we should be able to detect, by considering just who and what those women are, what society is unconsciously working to achieve. The refusal to take a raped prostitute or a raped “woman of easy virtue” seriously when she says that she has been raped is, to coin a phrase, victim-blaming. Such women, so the unspoken reasoning goes, had it coming. And what have such women done to deserve rape? They have failed to take seriously the obligation of sexual continence which has for centuries been the burden of woman-kind.

    But in this the “patriarchy” and many radical feminists are of one mind. Just as traditional values proscribe women’s exchange of sex for money, so do many radical feminists (c.f. “woman of the night”, “sexbot” etc.). Just as traditional society frowns on women seeking freedom exclusively in sexual experience, so do many radical feminists see the interest in sex and pornography by so-called sex positive feminists as trivial and degrading.

    On the other hand, the fact that rape allegations by women in power

  139. Tom Nolan said,

    That comment wasn’t finished, or checked for errors. Jesus, I hate it when that happens. Let me continue…

    On the other hand, the fact that rape allegations by women in power (societal and econonomic and political) are usually taken very seriously indeed, would seem to suggest that the “patriarchy” and feminists of all stripes agree that a successful woman is a success for society and should be protected to the fullest extent from sexual assault, and, failing that, should be properly avenged so far as the law permits. It does not suggest that rape is tolerated as a means to keep women from positions of influence. And remember: a woman of power and influence is far less likely to be the victim of stranger or near-stranger rape than a prositute or “good time girl” in the first place.

    As for the specific case you mention: rape in the military as an excuse for keeping women out – it’s hard to tell to what degree the danger is real, to what degree (if any) such danger as there is is tolerated, and to what degree the danger is pure pretext. Do you, who are American and take a feminist interest in these matter, think the risk of man on women rape in the military to be neglible? And should it be overlooked or downplayed in the interests of a fuller engagement by women in an obviously important profession?

    Those are honest, not rhetorical questions.

  140. NYMOM said,

    Tom:

    I mentioned already that women in power on their own (not inherited from their father or married into) is a relatively new phenomenon…

    So the reactions to it are relatively new as well.

    Anyway, we can’t say that historically women in positions of power were not subject to rape as many were…The very reason Rome became a republic was because their last King raped some noble woman…so he was given the boot and Rome became a republic…

    But the historic record is full of ‘powerful’ women being subject to rape…even a forced marriage could be seen as a rape of sorts…

    Additionally this 1 in 4 figure of rape was ‘attempts at rape’ which could be anything from trying to get a girl drunk and trick her into bed to actual threats…It runs the gamet.

    On the one hand you’re agreeing that most rapes are not these stranger type attacks where someone you don’t know breaks into your bedroom or assaults you on the street. Then on the other, you keep appearing to not take seriously the more common attempts at ‘rape’ which is to ply a girl with alcohol and get her drunk…

    If some group of guys tried to get a girl in that situation and she, herself or a friend of hers realizes what is happening and gets her out of it, she could very well still feel this was an ‘attempted rape’ and list it as such if asked…

    Just because young women have finally wised up and this doesn’t happen so much as it used to doesn’t mean it’s not an attempted rape. There’s a reason that most colleges have ‘resident advisors’ room in the dorms now…precisely to avoid these sorts of situations, to head them off at the pass BEFORE they morph out of control…

    Many young men just don’t seem to understand that their fellow female students out and about on a Friday or Saturday night are not ‘fair game’ for them to sexually experiment on…

    Okay…

    The 1 in 4 number was ATTEMPTS that FAILED…

  141. NYMOM said,

    “We can call “women of easy virtue” uppity if we want, and then apply the same adjective to powerful women, but very, very, very few people think that the two groups have much in common.”

    What they have in common is that both groups of women are operating outside of the ordinary boundaries most societies have set up for women…Here in the west, we don’t notice it much but when you travel it becomes obvious…western women, especially Americans, have a very bad reputation in other societies and actually they are in a lot of danger when they travel.

    That’s one of the reasons that Natalie Halloway, that girl killed in Aruba, wasn’t taken that seriously originally…AND I think we can both agree she wasn’t a prostitute or even really a loose woman…She was a teenager who had a crush on someone she met while on vacation…and unfortunately it led to her death, probably horribly, we’ll never know the details…

    Actually when I traveled to the Dom. Republic for ten days I was very careful…it wasn’t until I got there that I realized how dangerous it was for western women to travel alone in many of these places. Fortunately I stayed with friends, not in a hotel, but with people I know from the states; but there were constant stories about women tourists coming there and getting beat up, raped, robbed, etc.,

    Many consider all Americans women to be ‘easy’ in more ways then one and we are target for that reason…

  142. Tom Nolan said,

    NYMOM

    Sorry, those last two comments were addressed to Q Grrl, not you, so please don’t take them as a response to anything that you have said: she isn’t named as the addressee because my twitchy, oversensitive laptop sent the message before I could properly edit the comment.

  143. Daran said,

    The 1 in 4 number was ATTEMPTS that FAILED…

    If we’re talking about Koss, that’s 1 in 4 which either succeeded or failed.

    There was a very dubious alcohol-related question. If the affirmative answers to that question are eliminated the rate goes to 1 in 5. (Note that a better worded alcohol question would probably have yielded some affirmative answers, so the correct ‘corrected’ rate should be somewhere between 4 and 5.)

    It was a survey of college students, who may not be representative of the comparably aged female population in general.

    It was done in the mid 80s. Rape rates in America have fallen by a third since then. This can be partially but not completely accounted for by demographics (the 60’s baby-boomers aging).

    The best recent survey is the National Violence Against Women Survey (2002? 2003?) which found 1 in 6 women had been subject to a rape or attempted rape. Given the fall in the rate of rape, the consistency between that figure and Koss’s is remarkable.

    Both these figures relate to prevalence. The lifetime risk would be higher.

  144. Ampersand said,

    Tom wrote:

    Ampersand had said that the one-in-four claim was a strawfeminist erected by MRAs who had deliberately misunderstood the gist of Mary Kos’s analysis of the frequency of rape on American University campuses.

    I think that deliberate distortion is by anti-feminists and MRAs is one source of the Koss-said-one-in-four claim, but not the only source or even the most important source. Rather than discussing this further here, I’ll link to my post discussing where the one-in-four distortion comes from.

    Daran wrote:

    There was a very dubious alcohol-related question. If the affirmative answers to that question are eliminated the rate goes to 1 in 5. (Note that a better worded alcohol question would probably have yielded some affirmative answers, so the correct ‘corrected’ rate should be somewhere between 4 and 5.

    I used to think that, but I’ve changed my mind, because the evidence seems to indicate otherwise. Neither Koss’ pre-testing, nor a later study which compared an alternative form of the question to the question as Koss worded it, indicated any “overestimate” problem. (I discuss this in more detail here).

    No major study since Koss’ has asked about alcohol-related rapes at all (I suspect as a way of sidestepping some of the critiques and dismissals that Koss’ study underwent). As a result, it seems likely that recent major studies (including NVAW) have underestimated rape prevalence.

    The best recent survey is the National Violence Against Women Survey (2002? 2003?) which found 1 in 6 women had been subject to a rape or attempted rape. Given the fall in the rate of rape, the consistency between that figure and Koss’s is remarkable.

    1998. And I wish NVAW hadn’t asked about attempted rape at all, rather than asking in the screwed-up way they did. It’s accepted practice to use a series of specifically-worded descriptive questions when designing a survey to measure rape, and NVAW did exactly that for their questions about rape.

    But they used just one omnibus question as their measure of attempted rape. That could easily lead to an enormous underestimate – which in turns means that the NVAW figure for attempted and completed rapes combined is also possibly an enormous underestimate.

    IIRC, Koss found that about 13% of her female respondents had experienced completed rape in their lifetimes. NVAW found that 14.8% of female respondents had experienced completed rape in their lifetimes. So there is indeed a great deal of consistency between Koss and NVAW – but no drop in the prevalence of completed rapes is indicated.

  145. NYMOM said,

    “It was a survey of college students, who may not be representative of the comparably aged female population in general.”

    That population is the ‘creme of the crop’…so it could mean that these ‘attempted’ rapes through manipulation of alcohol are actually higher in the general population.

    “Both these figures relate to prevalence. The lifetime risk would be higher.”

    Yes, it could be…

    Of course, the essential differences in socialization of men and women must be taken into account as well…since even though these differing approaches to life might not be hard wired into human beings, training over eons for women to be more reticient about sex has resulted in many strange behaviors and/or ‘tics’ being developed around the issue…

    For instance, I read that women are less likely to carry condoms on their person then men because women don’t wish to acknowledge planning for casual sex. So when they do have occasion to need them, they’ll inevitably not be properly prepared.

    Now, some of this could be playing out in the whole Koss study dynamic.

    Where college girls being young and inexperienced might not wish to engage in a first sexual experiment w/o use of alcohol involved. Again, goes to attempts to appear to be disinterested in sex and minimize the planning elements involved in the first sexual encounter.

    So this could have an impact on Koss’s numbers as well…with them being high since many young womens’ first sexual experiments go wrong when they drink too much…

    So there are essential differences between men and women, which even if not biologically based, have been imprinted upon us through generations of socialization…these things might take generations to change or maybe never change…

    Who can say.

    My main point is that we simply miss a lot of detail when we constantly try to observe things through the gender neutral framing. We cannot just look at raw numbers and truly understand what’s going on with people. Koss addressses the issue through one frame…others through a different one. When we pull all together and examine differing psych of men and women as well, then we might have a realistic picture to judge something on. As it is today depending upon which ‘side’ is putting out a study it will then be tailored to favor that side’s position…which is why I said in the beginning I rarely pay attention anymore to studies as most are biased in some way. I actually find it’s more useful to look at a group that has no ax to grind and then examine their numbers/facts.

    Often, quite incidentally, while looking at something else you can find an insight into another issue. For instance, looking at manufactures of condoms: how they advertise, to whom they advertise, why, can tell you things about the mindset of men vs. women towards sex (and then knowing that can show you other insights into the differing strategies each might use) which a million Koss’s studies cannot achieve…

  146. Daran said,

    As it is today depending upon which ’side’ is putting out a study it will then be tailored to favor that side’s position…

    A good study will not have been ‘put out’ by a ‘side’, rather will have been conducted according to sound scientific standards.

    What very often happens is that the ‘sides’ are not particularly discriminating about the standards of the sources they cite, and even when the sources are reputable, they cite selectively and misleadingly.

    which is why I said in the beginning I rarely pay attention anymore to studies as most are biased in some way. I actually find it’s more useful to look at a group that has no ax to grind and then examine their numbers/facts.

    Where would you find such a group, and how could you judge when you have found it?

    I prefer the adversorial approach – look very closely at both sides claims. Usually if one side makes a dubious claim, the other refutes it, or at least, gives an indication of how to refute it.

    Often, quite incidentally, while looking at something else you can find an insight into another issue. For instance, looking at manufactures of condoms: how they advertise, to whom they advertise, why, can tell you things about the mindset of men vs. women towards sex (and then knowing that can show you other insights into the differing strategies each might use) which a million Koss’s studies cannot achieve…

    This seems to be very dubious to me, in so far as it appears to elevate anecdotes over statistical evidence. Anecdotes are not worthless, but they are the lowest rung of the evidential ladder.

    However if you have some specific adverts you can show me (they would have to be on the net) I would be willing to look at them.

  147. NYMOM said,

    Not anecdotes (which are not as worthless as you paint them, as they are frequently the commonman’s wisdom and not always wrong) but marketing studies for manufacturer’s to use to target sales, drum up new customers, etc., tend to be much more reliable then some other sources.

    The census, for instance, is very valuable. Many businesses pay for their data in order to target their marketing so I believe it’s fairly reliable. That sort of source can show you quite a bit…

    I mean my issue is about mothers and children, your interests are different, so it might not be as useful to you but, for instance, reading census data showed me very clearly that far more men were gaining custody then MRA figures were showing. Now over the last year or so I’ve noticed Jeffrey Leving and some other fathers rights advocates starting to put out more realistic numbers now, then the over 25 year old statistics they were using previously to paint men as being discriminated against in family court.

    Also American Asso. for Retired People (AARA) has some good figures (again, useful for me) on grandparents gaining custody…

    So groups putting out figures like that is what I’m talking about…which don’t necessarily have an ax to grind generally, so their figures can be more reliable.

    So if you can think of other less traditional sources to get additionally info on whatever your issue is. Going to feminists or even mens’ rights groups or supporters and looking through their work is going to be problematic as each of these groups is trying to put out a study that fosters their viewpoint.

    Looking at marketing of condoms, for instance, or sales of alcohol, things like that, might show some previously overlooked aspect of claims of rape on college campus…

    Or what goes on with students who chose to live in frat houses vs. the dorms…they might be a different population then the average college student to begin with, more risk taking, aggressive, rebellious against authority. That’s probably why they chose not to live in a dorm (which is more strictly run then a frat house). Most college students want to live in the dorms as it’s their first being away from home experience, so it’s a more protective environment…Thus anyone including info from the frat house population might not be getting a representative sample of college students to begin with.

  148. […] is a repost of an article originally posted at DaRain Man. Comments older than Wednesday 10 January 2007 were originally posted there. See this post for […]


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