I'd like to get people's thoughts on this blog post: http://wrongquestions.blogspot.com/2012/10/your-daily-dose-of-rape-...

Please disregard the comments following the post--as is so often the case, the discussion there becomes a pissing match, and therefore irrelevant. I just want to know what people think about the initial subject. Does Western culture condone rape, in the mechanism of oblivious chauvinism? If criminal acts happen in a culture, does that define the culture?

Again, I honestly want any responses to be limited to the initial blog post. So tell me what ya think.

grey

Views: 267

Comment by Ward Cressin on November 16, 2012 at 3:18am

My take on the "rape culture" idea is that it is more of a subculture. We are transitioning from a society where women were de facto property of their husbands and that the weak must submit to the strong –  ideas often courtesy of their religion – and most people bought into those ideas. But we have opened our eyes and realized that we need to treat everyone decently.

However there are those who don't want to change so they teach their children the antiquated notions of men having dominion over women and children. So we end up with a subculture when "maybe" means "yes" and "no" means "maybe". And if you didn't like it, shut up because he did like it.

I wonder at times about the lack of compassion demonstrated by rapists but I still have not seen, read, or heard anything that makes me think they are helpless to control themselves. Just that they believe they don't need to control themselves or they allow themselves to get drunk or high so they can't control themselves.

(It's late enough that I can't think of what's missing but it seems like something might be so I might post a continuation.)

Comment by Arcus on November 16, 2012 at 3:40am

That Savile went from national treasure to being the most hated man in the immediate aftermath of the revelations should blow the hypothesis of a widespread "rape culture" clear out of the water. I haven't followed the Savile story close enough to know who knew what and when, but there must have been some at best a disinclination against believing those who accused him of misconduct, and I would assume some cover up. Implicit in the assumption of a cover up is that there has been unacceptable ongoings, which again would mean that society in general, and thus culture, does not condone or accept rape, but that individuals at times both rape and help cover for rapists. It is essentially like saying we have a "murder culture" because there are murderers and people willing to help them cover up murders. 

The blogger tries to chew over a lot of disparate information, but seem to instead just to pull threads. I find it a bit odd that in paragraph 4 there's a disagreement with the claim that the British culture condones rape, which later is the exact same conclusion the blog eventually meanders towards. I would also disagree with calling 14 year olds children, and those who have sex with them pedophiles; both terms belong to prepubescence. Not that it makes it right to have sex with young teens, but the only reason to misappropriate the terms is to elicit an emotional response. Finally, while I did not exist in the sixties or seventies, I am well aware that it was in the middle of the sexual revolution where all sexual moors were questioned. I find it a bit of a reach to use today's morality to judge it.

Comment by Dale Headley on November 16, 2012 at 4:26pm

I had something to say but since everyone is supposed to "disregard" it, I won't bother.

Comment by greyfoot on November 16, 2012 at 7:19pm

I'm welcoming and delighted at ALL the comments, of course, whether I agree or disagree, but Erin's comment is what I was hoping to attract. I want dissenting perspectives, especially from females. She does raise a poignant question: "...I think what defines our culture isn't what criminal activities happen, but how they are dealt with...And I guess if you can easily get away with rape, then that makes it a rape culture?"

Firstly, though, Erin, we have to ask ourselves if it is indeed easy to get away with rape. Consider that what we consume in the media isn't necessarily an accurate picture of the state of society. Yes, we read/hear/see stories about sexual assault pretty much every day, but we don't read about the people who DON'T sexually assault other people. Those outnumber the above offenders greatly. Just like with murder, or harassment, or cruelty to animals. People who behave properly (at least according to our particular society) aren't going to be in the news, because they aren't really news. This http://wrongquestions.blogspot.com/ is one of many treatments of the subject that should be considered. Now, certainly, you can come back with rivaling statistics of your own (and I won't mind if you do, we ARE trying to get at the truth here), but any of these stats aren't really the point, because when we're talking about rape, we're talking about violent crime. Again, the corollary here is murder. It is a fact that violent crime, period, gets treated less harshly than drug offenses and more-or-less "white collar" crimes (counterfeit, laundering, embezzlement, etc). Does this truly mean that our culture actually condones rape, assault, and murder?

The U.S. justice system--and Western justice as a whole--is a very complex entity. The initial blogger feels that that is irrelevant, but I vehemently disagree. While her real intent may have been to ask "What about the victims?" her actual words didn't remain with that rather obvious question--a question that the greater part of society--of our culture--has been asking for a very long time.

I beg you, and anyone else, come back at me. I think this is a very important issue, and needs to be hashed out. I'd like multiple modes of reasoning from those who disagree with me on this. For those of you who agree with me, I'll just high-five you. Heh.

Comment by Unseen on November 16, 2012 at 10:40pm

violent crime, period, gets treated less harshly than drug offenses and more-or-less "white collar" crimes (counterfeit, laundering, embezzlement, etc).

Look at the huge fines and prison time someone is potentially exposed to by torrenting music or movies and/or simply making a mix tape. And yet few get prosecuted, so I guess we have a "copyright infringement culture," too.

Comment by Unseen on November 16, 2012 at 10:52pm

@Dale Headley

I had something to say but since everyone is supposed to "disregard" it, I won't bother.

Thank you.

Comment by June on November 18, 2012 at 9:11am

" Most pedophiles, I believe, rape children because children are easier to rape than adults.  The tabloid hysteria over pedophiles, which turns them into boogeymen, does nothing to combat this second, more pernicious form of pedophilia--in fact, it may reinforce it, since tabloids also perpetuate the victim-blaming, slut-shaming mentality in which so many pedophiles are steeped.  But neither do articles like O'Hagan's, which pretend to offer an even-tempered, rational alternative to this hysteria while echoing the same perception of sex as something divorced from consent, do anything to bring about a solution.  Both are products of rape culture, and both are part of the problem."

She seems to paint a pretty dim picture of men and the world they apparently wish to create according to her reading of the facts. One cannot deny that when talking about rape men are usually cast as the rapists and women the victims. She added "children and low status men."

She is typecasting this as the strong against the weak, as though that is the main thing at work here. Wouldn't that conclusion also mean that "strong" woman would also be more likely to rape, or as she says using someone "as receptacles for your lust." I don't think that the distinction in physical strength should be the only distinction made. 

I know some people want to get very upset when distinctions between women and men are made, choosing to call men out as chauvinists. But one cannot seriously look at the make-up of men and women and say that they are equal. One is not below the other, but they are not equal. 

I get yelled at a lot for thinking that women should pay more for insurance. (That's a whole other conversation, but I know it costs a lot more to give a mammogram than to slap on a glove for a prostate exam.) There is a difference in how men and women view sex. I do not say this to accuse men, as though every one of them wants to rape and therefore do their damnedest to make sure we live in a society that will turn a blind eye the way the way Abigail seems to see it, but I say this only to recognize that difference. Men are able to have sex without it needing to be meaningful. That is not to say that they never have meaningful sex, just that I think this is more of a male thing. Women on the other hand tend to have sex to feel accepted, it isn't just another physical thing for them. 

But I don't think that makes men "inherently" bad. I just think that it's easy for a feminist agenda to peg it on the board as a male conspiracy against women. I mean, the facts are in their favor, with that ratio of male attackers to woman victims, to appear like it's just another way of keeping females down, but I don't see men giving each other high fives when a woman gets raped. Many times men are the most angry at rapists because the know how cowardly that action is. 

My point is, you just can't look at the number and decide that all men are "rapist pigs". They also can't say the sexualization of women rests solely on men. It might be true that women who dress in a sexual manner are not always "asking for it," but those same women want to blame men for following that lead. You don't want sexual attention? Don't dress that way. Not saying woman cause rape, but they also don't help the issue. I can't really even say that I have met more than one chauvinist, so I have a hard time believing that most men are and in addition to that perpetrated this extensive culture to keep women down.  

Comment by greyfoot on November 18, 2012 at 5:38pm

June,

Of course I agree completely about the complexity of the disparity between our genders. Would that more people looked at it in such an even-tempered way. I can only roll my eyes everytime I hear "men are sex-crazed pigs" and "women are money-sucking whores."

And, more importantly, I think you've touched on a problem with the initial blogger's approach. As I said before, her intent (I surmise) may have been to advocate victims, but her actual words take the thesis in a different direction, one that isn't that difficult to refute. Obviously she has some points, but her indictment is of our entire culture, not just one portion of it. Frankly, I find that offensive, as should anyone, male or female. The post, in my view, is more inspired by an ideological agenda than factual analysis or even honest observation.

Comment by Arcus on November 19, 2012 at 4:33am

What irks me is that men raping women is illegal and harshly penalized, both in terms of jail time and social ostracization. If someone I knew was a rapist I would never speak to that person again and cheer if some horrible fate befell him. I think every guy here would react in much the same way.

On the other hand, if a woman tricks a guy into getting him pregnant, which is analogous to rape, then it's not only perfectly legal - she would in fact have the law on her side, and if the guy shirks his responsibilities he's considered a deadbeat dad - it's also socially acceptable. There's even plenty of advice on the internet on how to do it and women who share their stories of how they've done it. Seriously, from Wiki Answers to the question "How do you trick a guy into getting you pregnant?", you will find the answer to be "Tell him that you are using some sort of contraception like the pill so he doesn't have to use a condom, let him squirt and voila you are a baby momma".

To put it sarcastically, feminists needs to clean their own house first.

Comment by June on November 19, 2012 at 2:25pm

"To put it sarcastically, feminists needs to clean their own house first."

Totally agree.

Maybe we could have more people listen to Lauren Hill's "that thing," it should clear some stuff up.

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