4 January, 2007

Tools of the Patriarchy

Posted in Q Grrl, Rape Culture, Richard Jeffrey Newman, Survivors and Survival at 2:40 pm by Daran

I said:

Here’s where I think feminists have a point: Women are constantly being told “watch out, you’re at risk”. Men don’t get that message, despite the fact that we’re the ones at most risk. Consequently, women fear violence more than men, and it curtails their behaviour in a way that men’s aren’t.

Of course, it’s the feminists doing most of the fearmongering…


That has not been my experience at all. All the wacky “advice” about how to prevent stranger rape and abduction has come from my very conservative family.

“Most” was a baseless, and hence Odious Comparison, and I withdraw it. I should have said “some”. As Robert said, it comes in variable formats. Here are some feminist birds in your garden:

Maia worries that a newborn girl might be victimised some day. She worries that a newborn boy might become a victimiser, but it never occurs to her to worry that he might be victimised, even though the risk to him is higher than for a girl. Not content with scaring her own readers, she posts the same on Alas. Q Grrl posts rape stats higher even than found by Koss, twenty years ago. The incidence of female rape has fallen in America by a third since then. Richard Jeffrey Newman says 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”. Not merely that they worry more, (which is true), but that they have to.

Your very conservative family may have given you wacky advice, but at least they don’t blame other people for their own fearmongery.

So what’s the real situation for men and women? The National Violence Against Women Survey, a study which didn’t survey prisons, nor the homeless, nor others living in institutions where these attacks are most common, still found one male rape victim for every three females raped during the survey year. (Thanks to David for reminding me of this) When you take this undercounting into consideration the ratio is probably closer to 1:2 or even 1:1. Then consider that men are much more likely to face non-sexual violance and about 20 times more likely to be murdered.

But Richard is still right about men. They don’t have to worry, and neither do women. Rape is a truly crap thing to happen to anyone, but it only one of many crap things that happen to everybody at some point in their lives our lives. But you can recover from it. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s not even close.

So don’t listen to the wacky advice; take sensible precautions instead. Then go out and enjoy yourself. Enjoy your female privilege which is your relative immunity to violence. (I don’t begrudge you that. I object to feminist denial of it, but I woudn’t want women to face more violence, just to make it eeequal.) Then, if your taste runs to men, go out and find some nice ones, and have yourself a good time with them.

Do all of this in the certain knowledge that at some point in your life, and probably more than once, something really, really crappy is going to happen. It probably won’t be rape, but it will be something. Be prepared for that, but don’t worry about it, because whether it’s rape or something else, you will be able to deal with it when it happens.



  1. NYMOM said,

    Yes, your post is factually correct.

    Actually life in general is far better in the west for most people then for any people, anywhere in history.

    Yet the better things have gotten, the more paranoid people have become…

    I think it has to do with expectations. People’s expectations have gotten higher so now any minor setback they perceive as a huge, overblown tragedy.

    Not to mention that a small, but rapidly growing group, has been able to fandangle themselves into cushy jobs and high salaried positions by playing advocate for various victim groups There is now a lot of jobs and money at stake now in continuing to keep the victims marathon going; thus it will be very difficult to stop.

    We see this with the black community, women, senior citizens and now illegal immigrants, the disabled, gays, I mean I can’t think of anyone else off hand but I’m sure there are dozens of groups of perceived victims out there I’ve missed…I myself, recently became diabetic and have been slowly being sucked into the vortex of the diabetic as society’s victim…It’s hard not to be drawn into it as you’re angry that you’re sick anyway, so this is one way to retaliate…

    I guess it’s natural…

    So I guess it’s just an endless process of education and media coverage to let everyone know how really good things are here, while exposing those who use victimhood as a cover to promote themselves.

  2. NYMOM said,

    BTW, I’ve made a change in my blog starting this year.

    I used to pluck stories out of the media and use them to illustrate various unjust things that happened to mothers. Now this year I’ve decided I will be making posts on laws and public policies changes I would like to see put into effect instead…

    So it’s the positive vs. the negative…I think anyway. As this business of using stats and stories to paint any particular group as the ‘biggest loser/victim’ was getting very stale…

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