"TW for rape
over a 20-year period, asking some 2,000 men in college questions like this: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with someone, even though they did not want to, because they were too intoxicated [on alcohol or drugs] to resist your sexual advances?”, or “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with an adult when they didn’t want to because you used physical force [twisting their arm, holding them down, etc.] if they didn’t cooperate?”
About 1 in 16 men answered “yes” to these or similar questions."
1 in sixteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen are you kidding me
if we got 1 in 16 motherfuckers admitting to raping women on college campuses and are “very forthcoming. In fact, they are eager to talk about their experience”, you better fucking believe tossing out your short skirt and staying in at night isn’t going to keep you safe.
In a survey of 11-14 year-old boys…
- 51% believed that “forced sex” is acceptable if a boy spends a lot of money on a girl
- 31% believed that it would be okay to rape someone with past sexual experience
- 65% believed that sexual assault is okay if dating for more than 6 months
- 87% believed that sexual assault is okay if the perpetrator and victim are married
…aaand in a survey of college males…
- 1 in 12 admitted to committing rape (under the legal definition)
- 35% admitted that they would commit rape under circumstances if they could get away with it
…and in another…
- 43% of college-aged men admitted to using “coercive behavior” such as ignoring a woman’s nonconsent and using physical aggression
really? how does this not make me even more scared? fuck
reblogging for commentary
my tummy got a knot in it. gross
(via forumgamer)Truly horrible.
Despite feminists’ reputation, and contra my own individual reputation cultivated over five years of public opinion-making, I am not a man-hater.
If I played by misogynists’ rules, specifically the one that dictates it only takes one woman doing one Mean or Duplicitous or Disrespectful or Unlawful or otherwise Bad Thing to justify hatred of all women, I would have plenty of justification for hating men, if I were inclined to do that sort of thing.
Most of my threatening hate mail comes from men. The most unrelentingly trouble-making trolls have always been men. I’ve been cat-called and cow-called from moving vehicles countless times, and subjected to other forms of street harassment, and sexually harassed at work, always by men. I have been sexually assaulted—if one includes rape, attempted rape, unsolicited touching of breasts, buttocks, and/or genitals, nonconsensual frottage on public transportation, and flashing—by dozens of people during my lifetime, some known to me, some strangers, all men.
But I don’t hate men, because I play by different rules. In fact, there are men in this world whom I love quite a lot.
There are also individual men in this world I would say I probably hate, or something close, men who I hold in unfathomable contempt, but it is not because they are men.
No, I don’t hate men.
It would, however, be fair to say that I don’t easily trust them.
My mistrust is not, as one might expect, primarily a result of the violent acts done on my body, nor the vicious humiliations done to my dignity. It is, instead, born of the multitude of mundane betrayals that mark my every relationship with a man—the casual rape joke, the use of a female slur, the careless demonization of the feminine in everyday conversation, the accusations of overreaction, the eyerolling and exasperated sighs in response to polite requests to please not use misogynist epithets in my presence or to please use non-gendered language (“humankind”).
There are the insidious assumptions guiding our interactions—the supposition that I will regard being exceptionalized as a compliment (“you’re not like those other women”), and the presumption that I am an ally against certain kinds of women. Surely, we’re all in agreement that Britney Spears is a dirty slut who deserves nothing but a steady stream of misogynist vitriol whenever her name is mentioned, right? Always the subtle pressure to abandon my principles to trash this woman or that woman, as if I’ll never twig to the reality that there’s always a justification for unleashing the misogyny, for hating a woman in ways reserved only for women. I am exhorted to join in the cruel revelry, and when I refuse, suddenly the target is on my back. And so it goes.
There are the jokes about women, about wives, about mothers, about raising daughters, about female bosses. They are told in my presence by men who are meant to care about me, just to get a rise out of me, as though I am meant to find funny a reminder of my second-class status. I am meant to ignore that this is a bullying tactic, that the men telling these jokes derive their amusement specifically from knowing they upset me, piss me off, hurt me. They tell them and I can laugh, and they can thus feel superior, or I can not laugh, and they can thus feel superior. Heads they win, tails I lose. I am used as a prop in an ongoing game of patriarchal posturing, and then I am meant to believe it is true when some of the men who enjoy this sport, in which I am their pawn, tell me, “I love you.” I love you, my daughter. I love you, my niece. I love you, my friend. I am meant to trust these words.
There are the occasions that men—intellectual men, clever men, engaged men—insist on playing devil’s advocate, desirous of a debate on some aspect of feminist theory or reproductive rights or some other subject generally filed under the heading: Women’s Issues. These intellectual, clever, engaged men want to endlessly probe my argument for weaknesses, want to wrestle over details, want to argue just for fun—and they wonder, these intellectual, clever, engaged men, why my voice keeps raising and why my face is flushed and why, after an hour of fighting my corner, hot tears burn the corners of my eyes. Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that’s so much fun for them is the stuff of my life.
There is the perplexity at my fury that my life experience is not considered more relevant than the opinionated pronouncements of men who make a pastime of informal observation, like womanhood is an exotic locale which provides magnificent fodder for the amateur ethnographer. And there is the haughty dismissal of my assertion that being on the outside looking in doesn’t make one moreobjective; it merely provides a different perspective.
There are the persistent, tiresome pronouncements of similitude between men’s and women’s experiences, the belligerent insistence that handsome men are objectified by women, too! that women pinch men’s butts sometimes, too! that men are expected to look a certain way at work, too! that women rape, too! and other equivalencies that conveniently and stupidly ignore institutional inequities that mean X rarely equals Y. And there are the long-suffering groans that meet any attempt to contextualize sexism and refute the idea that such indignities, though grim they all may be, are not necessarily equally oppressive.
There are the stereotypes—oh, the abundant stereotypes!—about women, not me, of course, but otherwomen, those women with their bad driving and their relentless shopping habits and their PMS and their disgusting vanity and their inability to stop talking and their disinterest in Important Things and their trying to trap men and their getting pregnant on purpose and their false rape accusations and their being bitches sluts whores cunts… And I am expected to nod in agreement, and I am nudged and admonished to agree. I am expected to say these things are not true of me, but are true of women (am I seceding from the union?); I am expected to put my stamp of token approval on the stereotypes. Yes, it’s true. Between you and me, it’s all true. That’s what is wanted from me. Abdication of my principles and pride, in service to a patriarchal system that will only use my collusion to further subjugate me. This is a thing that is asked of me by men who purport to care for me.
There is the unwillingness to listen, a ferociously stubborn not getting it on so many things, so many important things. And the obdurate refusal to believe, to internalize, that my outrage is not manufactured and my injure not make-believe—an inflexible rejection of the possibility that my pain is authentic, in favor of the consolatory belief that I am angry because I’m a feminist (rather than the truth: that I’m a feminist because I’m angry).
And there is the denial about engaging in misogyny, even when it’s evident, even when it’s pointed out gently, softly, indulgently, carefully, with goodwill and the presumption that it was not intentional. There is the firm, fixed, unyielding denial—because it is better and easier to imply that I’m stupid or crazy, that I have imagined being insulted by someone about whom I care (just for the fun of it!), than it is to just admit a bloody mistake. Rather I am implied to be a hysteric than to say, simply, I’m sorry.
Not every man does all of these things, or even most of them, and certainly not all the time. But it only takes one, randomly and occasionally, exploding in a shower of cartoon stars like an unexpected punch in the nose, to send me staggering sideways, wondering what just happened.
Well. I certainly didn’t see that coming…
These things, they are not the habits of deliberately, connivingly cruel men. They are, in fact, the habits of the men in this world I love quite a lot.
All of whom have given me reason to mistrust them, to use my distrust as a self-protection mechanism, as an essential tool to get through every day, because I never know when I might next get knocked off-kilter with something that puts me in the position, once again, of choosing between my dignity and the serenity of our relationship.
Swallow shit, or ruin the entire afternoon?
It can come out of nowhere, and usually does. Which leaves me mistrustful by both necessity and design. Not fearful; just resigned—and on my guard. More vulnerability than that allows for the possibility of wounds that do not heal. Wounds to our relationship, the sort of irreparable damage that leaves one unable to look in the eye someone that you loved once upon a time.
This, then, is the terrible bargain we have regretfully struck: Men are allowed the easy comfort of their unexamined privilege, but my regard will always be shot through with a steely, anxious bolt of caution.
A shitty bargain all around, really. But there it is.
There are men who will read this post and think, huffily, dismissively, that a person of color could write a post very much like this one about white people, about me. That’s absolutely right. So could a lesbian, a gay man, a bisexual, an asexual. So could a trans or intersex person (which hardly makes a comprehensive list). I’m okay with that. I don’t feel hated. I feel mistrusted—and I understand it; I respect it. It means, for me, I must be vigilant, must make myself trustworthy. Every day.
I hope those men will hear me when I say, again, I do not hate you. I mistrust you. You can tell yourselves that’s a problem with me, some inherent flaw, some evidence that I am fucked up and broken and weird; you can choose to believe that the women in your lives are nothing like me.
Or you can be vigilant, can make yourselves trustworthy. Every day.
Just in case they’re more like me than you think.
A recent story on the Discovery Channel show Hour Asia featured an unusual indigenous tribe of the Yunnan province of China, the Mosuo people. Two things make this tribe particularly interesting: First, in this tribe women do all the work - including physical labor. Men do little or nothing all day. Second, there are no marriages in this tribe. Consequently, they have no concept of “husband” or “father.”
The Lugu Lake is home to the Mosuo people, one of China’s 56 ethnic groups. Hidden from the rest of China behind the Xiaoliang mountains, the Mosuo culture has evolved with little influence from its neighbors. Unlike the rest of China, where the one-child policy created nuclear families and a clear preference for male children, the Mosuo people live in extended families and prefer female children.
The most publicized aspect of the Mosuo culture however, is their sexual freedom - men and women can have as many lovers as they wish without legal restraints. Recently, Lugu Lake has become a popular tourist spot, particularly for men enticed by the fantasy of “free love.”
The institution of marriage as we know it does not exist in the Mosuo culture. Instead, they practice “walking marriages,” where the man would visit the woman at night, and go home to his mother’s house in the morning. They can begin or end their relationship at any time, and are allowed as many lovers as they wish. There is no formality in these relationships and lovers never share common property, as all property is inherited by women. Children borne from such unions are raised by the mother’s family, and live their entire lives in their mother’s home. There are no social or economic responsibilities expected from the father.
The Mosuo people find little reason to mix matters of survival and matters of the heart. For them, control over matters of property and the raising of children should remain in the hands of blood relatives, whose loyalty to the family is unquestionable. Thus, relationships are pursued out of love, without issues of money or property to complicate it. Contented couples stay together, and unhappy couples can go their separate ways. The absence of paternal relations has done away with domestic conflicts with in-laws, a common source of conflict in our society.
Mosuo families are organized in maternal clans, with several generations living under one roof. The extended family is led by the matriarch, and leadership of the household is passed on to the most intelligent daughter.
The matriarch makes all the economic decisions, dividing the work and the income of the household among its members. The curious thing about the division of labor, however, is that women do almost all the work, both productive (farming/fishing) and domestic work. Men work only twice a year, during extreme labor shortages.
What is the quality of life of the Mosuo men? For many men in our society, a “walking marriage” is perhaps a dream come true. One anonymous male posted a message in the internet saying that all his friends want to join the Mosuo tribe when they found out that men can have multiple lovers with no social or economic responsibilities. But are Mosuo men really better off?
Following standard consumption theory, the Mosuo men must have very high levels of satisfaction or utility considering the amount of leisure they enjoy. On the other hand, if we define well-being in terms of human functioning, as in Amartya Sen’s definition of the ability “to do” and “to be,” one might conclude that Mosuo men are clearly at a disadvantage, since they have little control over their lives.
Feminist economists have argued that the gender bias we observe in our societies today reflects the power structure between men and women. Perhaps the arguments put forward by feminist economists are better appreciated when the tables are turned. In the Mosuo tribe, it is obvious that because women have control over resources, they can decide who gets what and enjoy a much higher social status than men.
In fact, because there is little conflict and therefore little bargaining in Mosuo households, it exemplifies Gary Becker’s “altruistic” family model. In Becker’s model, an altruistic dictator (the matriarch), who “cares” for the welfare of all the members of her family, optimally allocates household resources among its members.
However, we must clarify that the matriarch does not dictate because she is the most altruistic or caring member of the family. She dictates because she has the power to do so.
The Mosuo tribe is a clear example of how gender roles are in fact “socially ascribed.” Women’s biological function of childbearing has been traditionally used as an argument for the “natural” assignment of household responsibilities to women. Feminist economists argue, however, that only childbearing is biologically restricted to women, while childrearing and household work is
In the Mosuo society, men participate in childrearing as uncles and brothers, but do little else. Surely, the assignment of productive work to women, including physical labor, has less to do with biological functions, and more to do with social structure.
One wonders how it is that the dominated gender, in this case the men, are not exploited or overworked. It is almost as if the men are being “compensated” for their disempowerment, and this benevolent treatment of men is probably what keeps them from overthrowing the matriarch.
In addition, this structure conditions men to depend completely on women in all aspects of survival. There is simply no incentive for the men to challenge their existing way of life.
This bears some similarities in the male-dominated households many of us are more familiar with. When women are less educated, and have less opportunities to financially support themselves and their children, they are entirely dependent on their husbands for survival. Unlike the benevolent treatment of men in the Mosuo tribe, however, these women work long hours and take on great responsibilities - often without recognition that what they do is “real work.”
Although this breeds discontent, the lack of alternatives for these women and the threat of violence, allow this power structure to thrive.
More than just a feminist fantasy, the survival of a culture with a seemingly impossible setup teaches us an important lesson: that an alternative social structure can exist. A world where no man rules, no man makes important decisions, no man inherits property, and no man works, is not just a myth.
Contrary to fears raised by those who hesitate to empower women, society need not fall apart when women have control. In fact, the female-dominated society of Mosuo exists in love and harmony - a stark contrast to male-dominated societies that exist in violence and hate. The Mosuo people have successfully averted many social problems. As a result, their language has no words for war, murder or rape.
Although the Mosuo experience is certainly far from the ideal of gender equality, it shows that there is nothing natural or inevitable about gender biases. A bias for one or the other is influenced by power relations and social roles, not biology. If we truly believe that every individual - regardless of race, ethnicity or gender - is entitled to the same privileges and benefits development has to offer, we must seek to transform the very structures that perpetuate and reinforce inequalities.
The good news is that gender relations have been changing with the times. Gone were the days when educating girls was believed to be a waste, since they will only marry and become housewives.
Gone were the days when it was unthinkable for a woman to vote. By recognizing that social roles can change, given the proper incentives, we have overcome the first hurdle in the struggle for gender equality.
"Most of us, in our daily lives, do not think about rape at all. Women, however, do. When I ask women what they do in their daily lives because of the threat of sexual violence, they offer a long list of actions and thought processes – everything from paying attention to where they park their cars to having a man’s voice on their answering machine to holding their keys as a weapon when walking across a parking lot. Every action of women within a rape culture is tainted by that culture. Going to get their mail, driving to work, going out with friends – none of these actions is “free.” One way of thinking about this is to realize that regardless of the statistics about how many women experience a rape or attempted rape within their lifetime, 100% of women experience the threat of rape within a rape culture. This means that all women’s lives are impacted."
Pornography, Lad Mags, Video Games and Boys:
Reviving the Canary in the Cultural Coalmine
Matthew B. Ezzell (via iwillnotshavemyvagina)
I always walk with my keys out after dark. I will gouge your eyes out.
See, my mom taught me to gauge out an attacker’s eyes with my thumbs. The keys (or optional metal nail file, if you carry those) are out because they can be jabbed violently and directly into either the stomach or interior thigh and then pulled up as hard as possible.
I was maybe 12 years old when she thought it was necessary to teach me these defense tactics. THIS is rape culture.
My dad taught me how to break a nose in both a fatal and nonfatal fashion, how to blind an attacker, how to hit the kidneys forcefully enough to momentarily debilitate, at what angle to knee or elbow the groin from several different positions to best debilitate, and told me to scream “fire” instead of “rape.” He taught me these things when I was eleven years old, and he taught me because my mother couldn’t talk about sexual assault due to post-traumatic stress. This is rape culture.
Reblogged for the incredible quote, and the equally incredible commentary. Thanks brad-t for submitting the link to me.
Ah, the “shout ‘fire’ instead of ‘rape’, because no one will pay attention otherwise” suggestion is one I’m very familiar with.
When we’re placing responsibility on women to not get raped/to defend themselves from an attacker, it’s obvious to me that sexism is still rampant.
"Violence against women is not only a violation of their human rights but it undermines development when girls fear the journey to school, men won’t let their wives work and women are afraid for their safety if they stand for election. It really is not good enough for Britain to be sending a men-only team around the world talking about the empowerment of women in developing countries. The government must walk the talk. Patriarchal politics has no place in 21st Century Britain."
100% foolproof tips to prevent rape and sexual assault
The Problem With Being “Sexy But Not Sexual”
“Not every young girl experiences herself as an object of desire. But virtually every young girl is aware that young women are “supposed” to be desired.”
This is such an insightful piece on today’s woman and the development of her sexuality. I wish all my friends could read this.
this was an amazing read.
This is why it bewilders and frustrates me that women’s breasts can be exposed and sold in various sexy and provocative manners, yet it is out of the question to air something as informative as a health commercial where a model/actress performs a breast self-examination. It is a-okay for women to be seen as sexy products, but inappropriate for young women to be informed about their own self-possessed sexuality.
Loving the comments. Some really quotable bits in there:
This ties into something that has always bothered me - the idea that “every woman is beautiful” probably best expressed by that Dove campaign a few years ago. Every woman is NOT beautiful, nor does every woman need to be. Some woman are amazing strong smart and straight up homely, and that’s great. Men don’t sit around worrying about whether they’re handsome because they have the privilege of knowing that they can be judged on their other merits. I want that for myself, and for all women. I don’t want you to believe I’m beautiful, I want you to not care whether I am or not.
If men can’t learn to accept sex as something two people do together but continue to act as though it is something that is done to women, we’re never going to get anywhere anyway.
(Obviously that’s a generalisation and doesn’t apply to everyone, but it’s a fair point about the majority of men and they way sex is viewed.)
This article really struck a chord with me. I think I’d have been a lot better off if I wasn’t subject to that idea of myself as a sexual object first and a person who enjoys sex second. This sort of sums it up:
It’s about giving [young people] the time and space and privacy to reflect on their sexuality as something that belongs to them. With young women, it’s about teaching the difference between the desire to be desired and desire itself … It only takes a girl a few seconds to realize what someone else may want from her sexually. It often takes her much longer to figure out what she really wants, to discern the pleasure she gets from bringing pleasure to another from the pleasure she wants for herself.
I think the commenters, along with myself, all seem to be still reeling from the effect described and are still attempting to recover from it. I feel pretty angry that I’ve had to go through it (although I am obviously in no way alone). It makes me really want to help girls at the moment who are going through the same thing I (we) did and who will probably end up the same way.