A Rape Culture Explanation That Doesn’t Shove Anything Down Your Throat [a blog] #whatiwrite #rapeculture #feminism

Those were the days, clearly.

Those were the days, clearly.

Q: Okay then, I am a man. Explain Rape Culture to me!

A: Certainly. How much do you know already?

Q: Erm, not much. It just seems to be some phrase women shout at me on the internet.

A: Well, that’s a start. ‘Rape Culture’ is a term coined by second-wave feminists in the nineteen sev-

Q: Ugh.

A: What?

Q: Feminists! I hate them. They’re such fascists. Always telling me I’m wrong, or a pig, or a rapist.

A: Well, I’m sure that’s only some of them. One person doesn’t speak for the whole movement. Unless they’re like, the Leader of Feminism or something.

Q: Who is their leader?

A: Dunno. Naomi Wolf? Germaine Greer? I’m not sure they have one. It’s difficult for them agree on one woman to lead, I suppose.

Q: Because all women secretly hate each other?

A: Well, I didn’t say that. Anyway, Rape Culture is a sort of idea. It’s the idea that we live in a society that lazily condones rape, if not encourages it.

Q: That’s ridiculous though! No one thinks rape is a good idea.

A: What about when a child killer is sentenced to prison? What’s the first thing people on the Facebook and the Twitter say?

Q: Erm, ‘OMG REST IN PEICE LITTLE GIRL UR WIT DA ANGLES NOW’?

A: After that.

Q: ‘I HOPE U GET RAPED IN THEY’RE’?

A: Precisely.

Q: Yeah, but that’s all right. That’s different. That’s acceptable.

A: There’s no such thing as acceptable rape, you see. That’s the crux. Once we think it’s okay to rape paedos and murderers, some of us think it’s okay to use rape as a weapon of war.

Q: Well, that does happen, I guess. But only in crazy African countries, isn’t it?

A: Is Abu Ghraib in Africa now?

Q: Point taken. Anyway, what else is bad?

A: Pornography?

Q: Erm, I think you’ll find pornography is awesome.

A: Oh, it can be, I agree.

Q: And it’s not just men who watch it; I know plenty of dirty girls who watch a bit of porn.

A: Dirty? What makes them dirty? Are you dirty too, or is it just them?

Q: I, am, what? Huh? I didn’t mean to… I mean, I…

A: It’s okay, I’m not trying to trip you up. It’s just a good example of how we as a society punish women for giving into their natural desires. Dirty slut, filthy bitch, etc. And those are often meant to be compliments…

Q: Yeah, yeah. But women call men ‘bad boys’ and ‘bastards’ all the time.

A: What, when they’re being bad boys? Or bastards?

Q: I see what you did there. So, pornography is evil?

A: No, nothing is evil, really. Pornography is a problem because it’s presented as ‘sex’, but apart from the whole genitals going in holes thing, it’s very far from what real sex is. Women are mostly degraded in it, are they not? Tell me I’m lying.

Q: They are, yeah. In the extreme stuff, I guess.

A: All of it is extreme to someone. It’s a matter of taste. Anyway, children have the internet now, and the sheer amount of pornography they see before they’ve ever had a sex ed lesson has got to be damaging, right?

Q: I dunno, I’m pretty liberal. I don’t think children should be taught that sex is dirty…

A: Me neither! And pornography is not sex. It’s a medium that tells you you can drive around in a dirty van, pick up women who look like supermodels, and then you and two of your friends can go ass to mouth for an hour, before finishing on her face. If you saw a video like that when you were nine years old, would it make you think more of girls, or less of them?

Q: Okay. I’ll give you that. What about just like… soft things. Glamour models, things like that? Are you going to tell me that that’s OBJECTIFICATION now? Because the girls on my Facebook are always ogling Ryan Gosling and the blokes out of True Blood. Isn’t that double standards?

A: The objectification thing is an issue, but it’s not as black and white as that. The point the Rape Culture people are making is that a woman is more than her figure or her weight, and she is not sexually available by default. She’s not obliged to bang you, just because you find her hot.

Q: Even if I’m really nice to her?

A: Even if you buy her a car.

Q: That is not a good deal.

A: I know, right? But that’s because you can’t buy the right to have sex with someone. Under any circumstances.

Q: Well, unless she’s a prostitute.

A: Yes. And prostitutes have these crafty clever ways of letting you know that they’re prostitutes. Like the fact that you found their number in the Massage Section of the newspaper.

Q: Okay, okay. This is political correctness gone mad. Can I tell rape jokes?

A: What’s a rape joke?

Q: I dunno. A joke about rape?

A: Is it a funny joke?

Q: Depends on who is listening, I suppose.

A: Do you think rape itself is funny?

Q: Of course not. I just don’t believe in censorship, you know? Language should be free.

A: Would you say ‘nigger’ in front of a black person?

Q: OF COURSE NOT!

A: Well, if you don’t think rape is funny, and your rape joke is funny, feel free to tell it. Just remember that if someone listening is a survivor of rape, you’ll have to explain yourself. They’re not like black people. They’re harder to spot.

Q: But easier to catch, amirite?

A: See? That one was inappropriate.

Q: Noted. Okay, so pornography is kind of damaging; I feel you. And objectifying women is sort of wrong, even if some of them like to be objectified. Calling people sluts is bad…

A: Well, unless you’re calling every guy you know who is successful with the ladies a ‘skank’ or a ‘whore’ and I know you are not.

Q: I am not, no. Is that it, then? Rape Culture?

A: Well, no. I haven’t done the most important part yet. Say for example a woman is walking through a dark park at 3am, wearing a mini skirt, stockings and suspenders, a wonderbra,  and a tight fitting, low cut top. What is your first thought on that?

Q: She’s gonna get raped.

A: Right. Now picture the same woman walking through the park, at 3pm, wearing baggy jeans and a sweater.

Q: Right….

A: Okay, the second lady just got raped! What the fuck?

Q: Jesus! Why? I mean she wasn’t even-

A: She wasn’t even what? Asking for it? If the first lady also got raped, which of them would you feel more sorry for?

Q: The second one, obviously. But I’m not some sort of pig. That’s just…

A: Right, so even though there was a rapist in both parks at both times, and both women got raped, the first girl was what? Stupid?

Q: Well, yeah. I mean, no. I mean, I don’t know.

A: It’s fine. Be calm. You’re not alone. That’s the way we’ve been conditioned to think, and that’s what Rape Culture is about. That there’s some sort of curve when it comes to responsibility in these situations. In reality though, who is the only person responsible for rape?

Q: Erm, society?

A: Stop trying to be clever.

Q: The rapist?

A: The rapist. The rapist, every time. For the rape of Homely Sweater Girl as much as Victoria’s Secret Mannequin Girl. There is no curve.

Q: I guess I’ve sort of learned something here, haven’t I?

A: Think we all have, Mike.

Q: My name’s Kevin.

A: Fair enough. Say goodbye to the people at home, Mike.

Q: Kevin!

A: Evs

[A note from the author:

Firstly, do a guy a solid and follow on Facebook or Twitter. It would mean a lot!

I wrote this thing eight months ago, and like anything on this blog, it wasn’t meant to be anything other than a facetious brain fart. I’m not an authority on the subject, and you probably know more about it than I do. It’s not a dissertation, it’s a silly little blog, originally meant for an audience of about seventy people. I have no axe to grind here, or in any of the other blogs. Don’t take them to be presented as fact or expert opinion; I’m just as much of an idiot as the next guy. Your comments are appreciated, especially if they can add some layers to what I said. But don’t be angry, patronising or sexist while educating people; and if you end your comment with ‘just sayin’, I am not going to approve it.

This is really a blog where I explain Rape Culture to a version of myself who existed about a fortnight before. If it happens to make someone else think about the whole thing in a new way, cool. But it was never intended as some sort of Think Piece or a lesson. And it certainly isn’t ‘mansplaining’ (a term which was clearly invented by someone who ha no interest in harmony between the sexes, and just likes arguments, imo). I still know bugger all about the whole thing, but I am trying to learn.  I hope that I’m addressing any concerns of yours via the comments section down there, which, for once on the internet, are actually worth reading.]

108 thoughts on “A Rape Culture Explanation That Doesn’t Shove Anything Down Your Throat [a blog] #whatiwrite #rapeculture #feminism

  1. Love you.
    Yours, Agatha
    Everyone Needs an Algonquin
    PS The votes for Leader of the Feminism are still being counted. Between postal entries, voter fraud and hanging chads, it’s taken longer than we aniticipated but we’re hoping to call it sometime early next year.

  2. I have been trying, for months, to figure out a way to explain rape culture to my husband. Thank you for not only giving me a way, but adding humor to an incredibly difficult topic. With your help, I think I can manage it now.

  3. Well yeah. . . about porn, it seems to me that it is influenced by rape culture just like many other segments of our society and its media. There are a million ways to contextualize a porn scene in a way that is more socially believable and less sexually polarized! Degrading porn scenes are not the cause of rape culture but rather its consequence.

      • My thing, as much as I have a thing, is that the porn to sex ed relationship should be a reason to have great age appropriate sex ed available to everyone, rather than a reason why adults can’t have fun, dirty, sexy, pleasurable things. I am a huge feminist, and I believe that the anger at porn is damaging to all of our sexualities. Porn can be unrealistic, or realistic. The medium is not the problem, it’s the underlying issues present for the creators and the consumers. I don’t think we should stop advertising because sometimes people use it to objectify women, nor do I think we should get rid of newspapers just because of page 6 (or is it 3 now?). I think we need to find a way to tell kids that they are all agents and can be sexual, but require consent. Fighting porn, or trying to get it out of 12 year olds’ lives isn’t going to do that. We have to do something positive to make that happen.

  4. I love this, and it’s a well-balanced view too. The reason so many people don’t listen to this sort of information is because it’s usually presented in an in-your-face “you’re an evil, misogynistic pig” way, which really isn’t helpful. Education is so much better than rage-filled blame.

    • Thanks, Aileen. It’s the same with any passionate political viewpoint. People shut you down before you begin to speak, if they just think you’re being angry at them. There are a billion blogs out there- I think it’s entitled and presumptuous of me to try and shove my opinions down your throat if I don’t at least try to entertain you in the process. Life’s too short and all that jazz.

    • Not sure if sarcastic. Weirdly, though, the only reason people are looking at this blog today is because I started a conversation on Being Feminist’s Facebook page implying that, as a man, I appreciated the fancy infographic explaining the realities of Victim Blaming. So we’ve come full circle, Chris.

      We’re bookends on a hypothetical Shelf of Rape.

      • I do get irked that I as a man supposedly need this explained to me on these terms. Non consensual sex doesn’t interest me, as I am sure is the case for the vast majority of human beings. We have heard many times that the majority of rapes happen in supposedly safe environments, by parents, lovers or maybe friends of the victim. In a lot of these cases you are going to possibly have some serious difficulties proving if sex was consensual. Victim blaming is a horrible thing, but so is the sweeping generalisation of all men as potential rapists. I have been in a situation during a one night stand where the other person suddenly said half way through full sex ‘ This is wrong.. I don’t even know you’ I stopped immediately because as I said before non-consensual sex doesn’t interest me. If I hadn’t of stopped, then I would have had only my own conscience to answer to, because I think it would have been absolutely impossible to prove that it became non-consensual at any point. I believe most people know when a sexual act as been or become non-consensual. Education will not make them any more aware, you can educate until you’re blue in the face, but some people will continue to use their own power or physical strength to get what they want, when they want it.

        By all the means lets do all we can to dispel the ‘she was asking for it’ narrative, but if you continue to talk to mean like their idiots, all you’re going to do is keep potential supportive voices at arms length

      • Thank you, Chris.

        Some good points there; I would put it that this is not really about talking to men like they are idiots, as really, the person being ‘educated’ in the pretend convo is basically me, and the other person is maybe someone who hypothetically understands things a little better than I at the time. So, if I’m talking to a man like he’s an idiot, it’s me who is the idiot, and it’s basically an attempt at self-effacement.

        I understand that it doesn’t always come off as such, and that some people will see it differently. That’s unfortunately beyond my control, and the piece was just a throwaway blog that no one really saw at the time. I wasn’t expecting much scrutiny, so it’s difficult now to try and justify it. So, I probably won’t, because it just becomes an exercise in chasing my own tail, which is futile as I am never going to please everyone.

        I’m just please that it’s got people talking, but in no way am I some sort of expert on it. I was making a funny. It sort of snowballed, for some reason.

        Have a nice one.

        CW

      • Not a reaction to you per se, if anything the fact that you have been attacked for ‘mansplaining’ amongst other things, highlights that some people don’t want any allies on this issue, instead they want to wave around a big stick ( possible replacement phallus) and wack everyone with it. I don’t know why this is coming out on this particular blog, but the polarised nature of the argument makes me just not give a fuck. I have no time for either the macho conquest narrative or the ‘all men are bastards’ narrative. Too many people have too much desire to be heard, while lacking any real conviction behind what they say

      • I do get irked that I as a man supposedly need this explained to me on these terms. Non consensual sex doesn’t interest me, as I am sure is the case for the vast majority of human beings. We have heard many times that the majority of rapes happen in supposedly safe environments, by parents, lovers or maybe friends of the victim. In a lot of these cases you are going to possibly have some serious difficulties proving if sex was consensual. Victim blaming is a horrible thing, but so is the sweeping generalisation of all men as potential rapists. I have been in a situation during a one night stand where the other person suddenly said half way through full sex ‘ This is wrong.. I don’t even know you’ I stopped immediately because as I said before non-consensual sex doesn’t interest me. If I hadn’t of stopped, then I would have had only my own conscience to answer to, because I think it would have been absolutely impossible to prove that it became non-consensual at any point. I believe most people know when a sexual act has been or become non-consensual. Education will not make them any more aware, you can educate until you’re blue in the face, but some people will continue to use their own power or physical strength to get what they want, when they want it.

        By all the means lets do all we can to dispel the ‘she was asking for it’ narrative, but if you continue to talk to men like they’re idiots, all you’re going to do is keep potential supportive voices at arms length

  5. So if rape accompanies warfare in other places in the world (e.g. Africa), then despite the fact that this abhorrent practice has accompanied warfare throughout recorded history, the reason it is happening elsewhere right now is because “they learned it from watching us?” Any basis for that conclusion? It seems a bit ridiculous on its face.

    • I think the point was that the post-colonial countries learned about war and war crimes from the atrocities we committed while we were their masters. And it was also a joke. Happy to be of service, Rob.

      • Ah. Well, my joke detector has been on the blink. I’m still not certain I agree, but it’s a minor point in relation to the article as a whole, which is well done.

      • I think rape as a weapon of war predates Western Civilization by many eons. I believe it might even be used by Chimps, but would need to check with an Anthropologist on that.

      • Yet another reason for me to hate chimps.

        On a serious note, when you think about it, when did rape actually begin? Was it the first time some raped someone? Or the first time society agreed that it was A Bad Thing?

        If that sounds silly, think about how life was for some unfortunate women before the legislation to outlaw rape within marriage.

        It’s amazing what we used to find normal. Like there being a wall in the middle of Germany which you got shot at for trying to climb over. That only stopped in 1989. Madness.

    • Rape became a problem in many parts of West Africa around the same time as slavery. Many European slave masters raped the female slaves as a punishment, or just because they fancied getting laid. The powerful local chiefs would see these practises and take them back to their villages and perform them there. Obviously I wasn’t around then so I don’t know for sure but that’s what the evidence strongly suggests.

      • Thank you, Jake. Yeah, it seems like it’s been around since time began. Actually, if you read a lot of dinosaur porn, it even predates clocks. And yet still, we don’t seem to have a fucking handle on it. People!

        Hashtag, people.

        Hashtag, people suck

        Hashtag, hashtag.

      • And, if you read any realistic accounts of Columbus’ conquest of the Americas, not only was rape a legitimate form of commerce, the rape of nine year olds was totally kosher.

        Hashtag, rape

        Hashtag, Columpedo

        Hashtag, thingsweredifferentintheolddays

  6. I am male and while I acknowledge the existence of rape culture and recongise the need for education and change, I find it a little irresponsible when the “woman in a mini-skirt, walking alone through a dark park at 3am” it used as an example.

    I am not for a minute trying to suggest that this hypothetical woman in any way deserves or is responsible for provoking an attack, but the woman in this scenario seems like the kind of person who would jam a fork into a plugged-in toaster in order to fish out a piece of bread. There needs to be a realisation that, unfortuantely, rape culture does exist and there are rapists out there. The woman should not put herself in this situation any more than a cyclist should wear black and take his bike out for a spin at 3am on dark country roads.

    • With any type of crime, there’s nothing wrong with recognizing or implementing common-sense measures to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crime. In the rape context, however, you’re more likely to see the argument shift from that to blaming the victim for not taking such measures. I think it is reasonable to learn about ways to reduce the likelihood of being a victim, and I certainly talked to my daughter about how she can do that, but whether those steps are taken or not there is never any blame that falls to the victim for the conscious criminal action of another person.

      • I’m all for trying to avoid potentially dangerous situations (using a headlight on my bike at night, buddy system, double knotting shoelaces, etc) but the truth is, this is not a scenario where people are typically raped. Rape occurs in what may be considered a safe space because, like many have already pointed out, rape is most often committed by people you know.

        My perception of the situation is that rapists feel they deserve to have control over another person’s body.

        I have not been raped (harassed or coerced, maybe), but I have been in situations where men clearly feel like I owe them some sort of sexual gratification because they bought me dinner, because I exhibited some kindness which was grossly misinterpreted, whatever. For others, the idea of a woman being stupid enough to jam a fork in a toaster or wear a skirt or get drunk renders the woman undeserving of control over her body — I don’t think this general feeling is specific to rapists and I definitely believe that this feeling is expressed though other crimes as well, but it is certainly a problem that this type of aggression toward women specifically could be justified by using the logic that because a woman is wearing something or doing something (being a tease, a slut, a bitch, a woman) she is deserving of some kind of punishment. While this isn’t the way all men think, it is not discouraged by our culture which routinely objectifies and oppresses women, even in ways that may seem benign when isolated. The larger narrative still points to the idea that the female body is a commodity and exerting control over female sexuality is valued.

      • I disagree, Rob; I would also blame the black-clad cyclist if there was an accident – but unless the driver of a car uses the cyclist’s attire as a reason for targeting the cyclist, I think this is where the cyclist analogy breaks down. The problem is the driver’s excuse of “It’s not my fault; I couldn’t see them in the dark.” versus a rapist’s excuse of “It’s not my fault; they were dressed provocatively.”: in both cases the offender is displacing guilt to the victim.

    • I feel you, and it’s not as if I have never thought that way. How else would I have been able to construct this dialogue, if I had not been one of both parties at one time in my life?

      The way I look at it, the woman who sticks a fork in the toaster may be to you and I an idiot, but the toaster/electricity is not a sentient being who has a choice whether or not to electrocute said woman, and we as a society are not in a position to judge both the woman and the toaster on equal terms.

      It shouldn’t be considered ‘stupid’ or ‘unwise’ for any woman or man to be in any geographical place, at any time of night, wearing whatever they want to wear. Bruce Willis in Die Hard Three is in Harlem, wearing a sandwich board which says ‘I HATE NIGGERS’.

      The woman is not wearing a sign which says ‘I ENJOY BEING RAPED BY STRANGERS’, so I don’t think her punishment fits the hypothetical crime which befalls her.

      Just my opinion, not trying to force it on you :-)

      • That was to Keiran, btw. WordPress is refusing to let me reply to Rob’s reply on his original comment.

        Rob, I will say that I wrote this thing as a flippant post about 8 months ago, never thinking that it would have as much exposure as it has had today and yesterday, and I would say that brown people have been around far longer than white people or colonial times, and there’s a big chance that the West learned horrific war practices from Africa and Asia, long before we had the luxury of being able to give some back, as it were :-)

      • I think you’re assuming I’m arguing this from the point of view of someone who doesn’t agree with your overall point. Let me be clear – I’m not.

        I absolutely agree that it shouldn’t be considered ‘unwise’ for anyone to be in any place at any time, nor are they to blame for anything that happens while there (as I had previously stated). However, we do not live in an ideal world. The cold, hard truth is that as long as there are rapists out there it most certainly is unwise. I take that back, it is unwise so long as there are rapists, muggers, murderers and the ghost of Jeffrey Dahmer.

        As you’ve touched on, this isn’t even a rape issue. Until the day comes when we live in some Demolition Man style zero-crime future without even the need of Sylvester Stallone and his crochet needles to save us, it will always be unwise for certain people to be in certain places at certain times. This is reality, and to pretend it isn’t is irresponsible (this isn’t directed at you specifically given the obviously tongue-in-cheek nature of the article, just an overall observation of the way the argument is usually presented.)

        I’m not accusing you of this, but there seems to be the view taken by some that to do anything other than completely absolve the woman in this scenario of any responsibility is to side with the jowls-in-a-suit Fox news correspondent. Taking responsibility for your own safety and actively deserving something horrible happening to you are two entirely different things. With that in mind, take a step back and forget what she’s wearing. Forget that she’s even a woman. Anyone walking through a dark park, alone at 3am is taking a risk with their own safety. No one deserves to be attacked, mugged or raped, but by burying your head in the sand as to potential dangers you are actively leaving yourself open to those possibilities.

        If I’m ever on the phone to my girlfriend and she tells me she’s on her way home through a dark park at night I certainly don’t say to her “Hey don’t worry, it shouldn’t be unwise for you to do that.” I get up off my ass, put on some baggy clothes (don’t want to make myself a target!) and go get her. Maybe I have a cynical worldview, but I’m not going to bet her safety on “shouldn’t”.

        Sadly, a woman walking alone at night (regardless of how she is dressed) is wearing a sign that says “I ENJOY BEING RAPED BY STRANGERS.” Maybe not to you and me, but since we’re littering this thing with pop-culture references, the movie is They Live, the woman is a billboard and rapists are Roddy Piper wearing magic sunglasses. To simply write it off as “ideally this shouldn’t happen” discourages any discussion as to how to stay safe in a world where it does.

    • That would make sense if it weren’t complete and utter bollocks. The fact of the matter is people don’t get raped because they are wearing short skirts or in dark places at 3am. Rapes are largely carried out by victims partners or family or friends. If you really wanted to put some realistic blame on female stupidity for rape then your “fork in a toaster” idiots would be women who get married, or co-habit with men, who allow men in to their physical and emotional space. But no one ever blames those women, because those women are behaving how you want women to behave. Unfortunately rape culture does exist because people like you propagate myths that if women just wear the social burkha you’ve created then maybe people won’t rape them, contrary to all evidence and reason.

      • The point of the comparison wasn’t ” where and by whom is one more likely to be
        raped” the point was about Victim blaming. And if a man were to be mugged, walking alone, late at night, in a park,with $20. bills hanging out of his pockets, no one would say the mugger should be found not guilty because the guy was ” obviously asking for it”. That is the point.

      • Social Burhka – the best way I’ve ever heard to describe what (consciously or unconsciously) determines the difference between a “good girl” who became the poor victim and a “bad girl” who was asking for it, when in reality, it’s always the rapist who was wrong.

        I think it needs to catch on – and if it does – you should get the credit. :)

    • No I’m sorry but this just doesn’t jive with the statistics. Statistically a woman is more likely to be raped by someone she knows in a location that is considered ‘safe’ than by a stranger in a park. So what should we women do? Hole ourselves up in our bedrooms? Rape happens there. Stop talking to our men-folk? Rape happens there too. If your hypothesis were true then what about all those women who go out wearing what they like who never get raped. The only way to stop rape is to educate society to stop raping and to stop condoning rape. That’s rape culture right there – when the conversation inevitably turns to what the woman ought to do to protect herself rather than focussing on what the rapist ought not to have done.

      The comparison with the toaster is a bad one. A rapist isn’t a toaster. Women wearing clothes they like (even if you find them sexy) is not the same as sticking a knife in that toaster. To suggest this, means you on some level (conscious or not) believe that: a) men can’t control themselves and shouldn’t be expected to; b) it’s women’s responsibility to let men know through their clothes and appearance if they are ‘open for business’ because to do otherwise would be to tacitly approve of being raped, even if they are repeatedly saying ‘no’.

      If this is what most men honestly believe about themselves and women, then they need to evolve, grow up, learn about self-responsibility and the difference between right and wrong and get with the program. It is not my job as a woman to stop someone being a rapist.

      Let me ask you a question – a lot of men end up getting into booze-fueled violence at pubs and nightclubs. Have we ever had a public conversation about how young men really ought not to put themselves out there in pubs and nightclubs or to drink because they’re asking for it? No – and the reason is because it’s not culturally accepted that someone has the right to beat you up (in the right circumstances)

      It is culturally accepted – even if noone wants to admit it – that someone has the right to rape you if you’re a woman (in the right circumstances). That’s rape culture.

      The answer isn’t to limit the things women can do or wear. The answer is to dismantle rape culture and make rape not okay under any circumstances (and NO excuses). When good men like you say ‘Rape is not okay but…’, rapists hear ‘Rape is okay’. We have to stop saying ‘Mary was raped’ and start saying ‘Joe raped Mary’ and ‘Joe is a rapist’.

      If a child gets abducted and murdered on the way home from school, do we get angry at the child for putting their ‘childhoodness’ out there in front of a pedophiliac and murderer? No. We immediately recognise that the crime is entirely the murderer’s fault. The child has a right to walk home from school.

      The truth is you could educate your daughter on all the places she shouldn’t be, all the clothes she shouldn’t wear, all the men she shouldn’t talk to and she might still end up being one of the 1 in 4 women that get raped in their lifetime – most of them by partners, family and friends. That’s the actual truth of the world. So lets stop talking about what women ought not to wear and do because honestly, it doesn’t make one little bit of real difference in the real world.

      By the way, this article wasn’t perfect, but it was a good attempt to talk about rape culture. Kudos.

      • You make a lot of great points – it’s nice to see such clarity about a subject that’s often explained inadequately. And I agree re: the article. It’s certainly prompted some incisive conversation!

      • Quite, no is no. Any woman should be able to wear what she likes when she likes how she likes. This is not illegal is it? Somehow some people think this basic freedom is an invitation to aggression … Yet we are supposed to live in a “civilized” society.
        Unfortunately it is inherent in our society to make the victim guilty.

        Absolutely spot on. Couldn’t have said it better. I was followed home, beaten, raped, he wasn’t family or someone I knew, I escaped finally and the police caught him. I had to prove I was innocent – it was a grisly time. He admitted so that made things easier, but what if he doesn’t and he’s your dad’s best friend?

      • here is a thought how about along with telling women on college campuses how not to get raped we also tell the men on campus how not to rape, meaning you don’t get the freshmen girls so drunk they are comatose then take them up to your room and have sex with them, that is rape

      • Vicky, by the points you made, you’ve seen the “One in Four” presentation, right?

        But one thing I don’t agree with is
        “It is culturally accepted – even if noone wants to admit it – that someone has the right to rape you if you’re a woman (in the right circumstances). That’s rape culture.”

        Based on the questions I’ve heard from men after educating them on the issue, it’s not the fact that rape is ok, but rather what constitutes rape.
        Not all men rape with the intention of raping, but some are rather just completely ignorant. They might actually think they’re having consensual sex.
        Those who defend rape will find almost any excuse to say “yeah, but she was wearing, but she was asking for it, etc etc” but they are still only a part of rape culture. If we clearly define the issue, you will see a lot more condemnation of stupid claims by everybody else, because everything will be a lot more clear.

    • Okay, so men have different rules about what makes them “sexy” than women do. For men, walking tall is sexy. Smiling is sexy. Saying witty or smart things is sexy. Dressing like you have some sense is sexy. Looking powerful is sexy. So what if when you left your house at night–say you wanted to go to the bar, and yeah–you were hoping you might meet an interesting woman and that she would find you sexy–but when you left your house, because you were walking at home alone at night, you had to wear ill fitting clothes, and you had to walk with your shoulders stooped, and you had to be a blathering idiot, and you had to make yourself small in everyway–because if you don’t, some people might just forcibly remove your pants and rape your ass because you’re begging to get fucked–don’t tell me you don’t like it, what are you strutting around for then if your body isn’t on the table for me to molest in whatever way I see fit–not whatever way you see fit? Now, is that your fault or their fault? We cannot dress for our potential imaginary rapists because 1) It’s just simply not fair. I know life isn’t fair, but for fuck’s sake, we can’t let the IDEA of rapists control our every move, 2) Even if we wanted to please our imaginary rapists so they’d take pity on us, we don’t know what would please them. Maybe the girl in the frumpy sweater sends a signal to some guy, “She needs to loosen up–she needs my dick real bad. 3) I’m not someone who says that across the board rape never about lust. Because of rape culture, sometimes it is–sometimes men feel that when they’re horny they’re entitled to sex. But it’s definitely not ALWAYS about lust. Sometimes it’s just about hate. And they’ll hate you no matter what you’re wearing. 4) And what kind of egomania makes a man think that if she’s dressed a certain way it’s for THEM specifically? Maybe it’s for her boyfriend, or for a theme party, or just because. Every time a woman puts on a short skirt, it’s not about turning men on. And even when it is–and sometimes, it is–that doesn’t mean that you or anyone gets to control how, when, from whom she gets to have sex. She gets to decide that. No matter what.

    • How about the woman in sweatpants, in the middle of the afternoon, though? Because although the myth of the sexy lady in the park in the middle of the night is a common one– easy for everyone to agree that she deserved it for being so stupid– trust me and every woman you know who tells you we *all* already know that .

      The rape in the afternoon is actually the thing you want to address.

    • What I don’t agree with in this comment is the idea that a woman is being “irresponsible” if she wears revealing clothes at night. As a member of the female gender, it is not my job to act as prey. I should not have to be cautious about what time it is, what I am wearing, etc. We have to make rapists completely responsible for their actions, and the first step is to not add any extras to the end at all. There is no “well, what she did was pretty dumb” because that doesn’t matter. Men are “dumb” all the time. They go out, wear what the want, stay out alone late, etc. While I understand the logic in your statement, all I can say is that I will not play the scared victim every time I leave the house, and people shouldn’t expect me to.

  7. Pingback: Explaining Rape Culture To Men, Hilariously [a blog] #whatiwrite | megandthewaves

  8. This was an amazing article. If the author is reading this, I wish all of this world could read this article.

    This is for Kieran:

    I guess the point of the article was the the fault is entirely the rapist’s. Even though it is unwise to be alone in a dark lane at night for any person, no one has a right to say that if the girl got raped, it was her fault or that she was asking for it.

    Yes, her friends and family members might have something to say about personal safety, but we have no right to assume anything and thus should not comment upon her. As this leads only to the blame shifting from the rapist.

    • Yes, I understand that. No one (at least, no one here) is saying otherwise. You appear to be under the assumption that I am arguing the corner for a viewpoint I don’t actually hold and at this stage you’re basically restating points I have already addressed.

      Since we appear to be covering the same ground again though I might as well play devil’s advocate for a second:

      Don’t think about the rapist as a person who is at fault. Think about him/her as an unstoppable force of nature who was always be there. Even if we manage to completely abolish the lines of thought that go with rape culture; all the subconscious opinions that skew to one side, all the distasteful jokes, all the stereotypes that go along with slut-shaming and the “deserving” of rape – there will always be rapists. No amount of campaigning and education is going to change the mind of a monstrous psychopath.

      The point I am trying to make (which you understood as you addressed it in your last paragraph, which makes me wonder why you bothered with the first) is that walking home alone through a dark park at night is a bad idea and it’s irresponsible to pretend it isn’t. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man, woman, black, white, if you’re wearing a mini-skirt or a niqab – there are always bad people lurking somewhere.

      This doesn’t mean that the victim is to blame, nor does it mean the rapist should be shown leniency because the woman shouldn’t have been walking there in the first place. Again, I am not saying that and I honestly don’t know what I did say to be misconstrued as that.

      • Keiran, I think the point isn’t that people think that’s your actual view point, it’s that the point you are making is irrelevant to this particular example. The scenario isn’t the issue, it was simply used to illustrate the ‘she was wearing provocative clothes so she deserved it’ vs the ‘she was dressed to hide her body so she didn’t’ argument often sued to victim blame. The park at 3am could be a club exit at 11pm, or the entrance to her student apartment at 7am, or even her bedroom with her husband at any time she’s there for a reason other than sex, or anywhere else considered socially safe, but the outfit would cause some people to say she was or wasn’t ‘asking for it’ regardless of the danger or lack thereof. Yes, we all know that a dark park at 3am is somewhere to be avoided, of course we do. And yes it’s probably not the best example since it would be unsafe, and unappealing, for most people regardless of any distinguishing factor you could choose. But it IS the scenario that is best know for discussing the point the author is actually on about, and we all know that the easiest way to explain something is to use familiar examples.

        This is an excellent piece by the way, would be very good to use with teenagers in sex ed too.

      • The problem is though that rapists are not ‘forces of nature’ or even evil people out there who are not ‘you and me’. They are ordinary people. They are generally not psychopaths. You can’t tell a rapist out from the crowd. A lot of ordinary men and boys have raped women. You may even know some even if you don’t know they’ve raped someone. And when you say stuff like the stuff you say above, they hear that rape is okay. Even if that’s not what you mean. That’s why its important for us to make rape NOT okay under ANY circumstances at all times. It’s also why rape jokes are a bad idea, because most rapists think every guy rapes. And if you’re not vocally and consistently making it clear you don’t and what’s more that you think its never okay, they’ll think that secretly, ‘we guys know what its like… amiright…. look he’s made a joke about it or talking about what people ought not to do… yeh… he’s on my side’.

        Don’t believe me? Here is what an actual rapist has said: “There’s a certain way you can tell that a girl wants to have sex . . . The way they dress, they flaunt themselves.” Isn’t that kind of what your above point implies?

        Also have a look at this, where I got this quote from. See if you can distinguish what a rapist said and what was written in a men’s magazine: http://jezebel.com/5866602/can-you-tell-the-difference-between-a-mens-magazine-and-a-rapist. THAT’S rape culture.

      • If we keep blaming the victim, then you’re right–men will always rape at a rate that warrants our constant vigilance. But I think you’re wrong that no amount of education can combat it. It might take a while, but this is fixable. All you have to do is not blame the victim–and don’t say you’re not, you are putting a little bit of the blame on the victim, because she should know better. All you have to do is when you see a tragedy happen, say, “THAT man is an immoral monster” when you’re discussing it and not, “What was SHE thinking?” And then maybe people will be more dissuaded to be immoral monsters than they will to live in constant fear of them. Don’t let rapists off the hook by saying, “What can you do? They’re unstoppable! Some men just rape!” and you’ll help end rape culture.

  9. I really like this, it is rare to find an entertaining piece about this issue. I myself find it difficult to discuss the topic without becoming angry if a person is not getting the (my) point. While a tad simplistic, I think reducing things to an accessible level is a great starting point. I hope all the angry women accusing you of mansplaining on the Facebook page aren’t putting you off. How were you to know that you cannot have an opinion on feminist issues, being male and all? Nonsense.

  10. Who is this ‘Q’ supposed to be? The average man?

    I think ‘Explaining Rape Culture to an Invented Character Intended to Make Men Look Bad Rather Than Actually Educate Anyone About Rape Culture [not that hilariously]’ would be a more apt name.

  11. I have just finished reading everything in this blog article including all comments *some people are always going to miss the point* I think this was a very well put together piece and I appreciate the effort you took to write it, post it, and continue the dialogue, which doesn’t occur many other places often enough. THANK YOU for sharing.

  12. I appreciate the piece you’ve got here, but perhaps a more appropriate picture could be used… one that contrasts “rape culture”. That is, assuming you were not wanting to be apart of the perpetuation of the issue. The last thing I find this photo communicating is that she is “not sexually available by default”. It seems to suggest quite the contrary…

    • The picture is of an attractive woman in sexy lingerie, apparently beckoning someone into her bedroom, with a caption that reads ‘Still not an invitation!’

      It’s making the point that no matter how ‘hot’ you find someone, and no matter what they are wearing, they are not obliged to have sex with you. Be it in the bar when you chat them up, when you’re giving them a ride home, or even in the middle of foreplay.

      Which I think is an important point. Like any of the rest of the piece, it works for some people, and not for others.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Anne.

  13. Just to say that I think this is a very good way to start a conversation with someone unaware of rape culture and all that it entails. I don’t think it’s perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. So thank you for writing this. It will be a great way to introduce people to the subject.

  14. Fab read.
    Fantastic. Totally Agreee! with everything you have written.
    I think it is more to do with how children are raised, just citing a small example here:
    I was born in a small family in a small town (of just a litle less than a million ppl) in third world country in asia full of patriarchal and misogynistic culture. Cut to the house where i was born – we were a family of 6 – my parents, my sister, and I living in the same roof with my grand-parents. My grandpa had this crazy hobby of buying books, and my grandma, said, your grandpa always bought these expensive books (which were kept in almirahs in separate room) and since he would be busy working, she said the only way to justify his expense was to read ‘em!
    My parents were journalists so newspapers, magazines and journals were common. It was common to see all these 4 adult members reading something, newspapers, magazines, readers digest etc.
    And for all our doubts that we used to have from our literature classes in school – we were directed to either of our grandparents.
    And it was also common to see my parents’s friends coming over during weekends – and all four adult members discuss politics or culture or something. never saw both the women – my mom or my very vocal grandmom to be quiet or meek instead saw them as vocal participants.
    Once, i think i was 8 or 9, my mom jokingly, just to keep my sis and i busy, said both of us will have to broom a portion of the house, to which i made an innocent remark – isnt this work meant to be done by girls? To which she only said two things – there is no difference between boys and girls and all kind of work, is never dirty, work is worship. This is something i never forgot.
    I saw my class mates behave differently, you would not believe, i didnt ogle at any girl during my teenage, and when an opportunity came – i did date a quite a few girls – and my criteria of choosing my date was simple – do i like her the way she talks, and if she is intelligent. I never had any sleepless nights over not dating a ‘hot’ girl. the person i am dating (whosoever they were at different times) were super hot in my mind. I am proud of my parents to have raised their child so well.

  15. Also regarding the arguments here on what a person was wearing at 3 AM – here is my two cents (from my own experience again)
    A month ago i call from an old friend (who i happened to dig at that time) Met her at a bar at 6 PM, we both had loads of beers and general catch up. We called a cab at midnight and by that time she was super drunk. and all evening i kept thinking how has this girl matured and it is so nice and she is so intelligent and so attractive and how the guy she is currently dating is so damn lucky.
    Cut to the cab, the girl is super drunk lifts up her dress a bit, gets comfortable and simply slumps into the seat leaving barely any space for me. when i enter the seat from the other door, she lifts her head and comfortably puts them on my lap. and here she has to be dropped the other side of the town. I literally had to wake her up so and guide her to her place holding her arms. Not once did the thought cross my mind that she could be touched/molested or anything. Mind you she was super drunk and i could have done anything i wanted and i was also quite drunk. but no, these thoughts dont crop up if the orientation of your thoughts are not oriented in a certain way. i would not like a girl touching me without my permission and same applies to my conduct.

  16. This format is a breath of fresh air. As a single dad to a 10yo daughter, I am constantly thinking of what will happen, to her, as she grows into womanhood. I do my best to educate her about what men and mainstream ideas are. Now . . . . . my girl is a very outspoken person, and is strong willed, I hope that this continues.
    It so nice to see other women both young and old openly talking about how screwed our culture (or lack of) is.
    I am all for equality and have never wanted to rape anyone, and this is why I am here providing feedback. But I find that because of this, I have found that personally, I have become more passive when I first meet a woman. Because of this, I find that I am rejected more than accepted “because I am not a man”. So I ask, “HOW” can you be respectful and have a good sex life . . . . . . .

    • Hi, Jeff. I’m a father to an 11 yr old girl, so I feel you.

      I just tell her that some day soon she’s going to have feelings, and that she should never be ashamed of them, and never feel wrong for acting on them, either with herself or a partner. And, more importantly than anything, she should never do something just because someone else wants it/her friends are all doing it, etc. She should do what makes her happy, and that’s that.

      Simplifying, yes; but when was the last time overthinking something genuinely helped?

  17. Very good. But please don’t insult yourself (or anyone) by referring to yourself as a female body part (rude name notwithstanding). Calling boys/men a sissy, p****, t***, girl, or boob implies there’s something wrong with being a woman, being compared to a woman, or having less than masculine characteristics.

    • So, calling someone a dick, a prick, a cock, or a bollocks is what? Okay or not okay? I can’t keep up.

      Calling someone a twat (or indeed a cunt) has no gender relevance whatsoever in the UK.

      It’s certainly not anything like using insults like ‘sissy’ or ‘pussy’ to emasculate someone. That’s a whole different thing.

      Trust me, when a man over here calls another man the C word, the discussion is usually not about gender identity. It’s probably about soccer.

  18. Reblogged this on @ziarabo and commented:

    I was recently thinking about rape today as I was getting ready to take a shower. Such an awkward time to think about rape I know, but so many emotions overcame me and I wrote this —— If she’s fucking naked and walking down the street in the middle of the night, does it mean she’s fucking “asking for it”? Fuck no! She’s not “asking for it”! Rape is rape. It doesn’t matter what choice of clothes she decides on (if she decides on any). It doesn’t matter if she’s a prostitute. If you have sex with someone and they don’t consent to it, then that my man (or woman) is RAPE. ——

    It wasn’t later on, after I had finished with my shower and started scrolling through my Facebook feed, that I came across this glorious article that basically read my mind! It doesn’t go much into the details of what defines rape, but it certainly is a start. It’s definitely worth reading. So if you’re that kind of person who thinks it’s the girl’s fault (or boy’s, boys also get raped) for getting raped, then it’s definitely worth your time.

    My favorite part was when the author discussed pornography. This is the part that I liked ——

    A: Pornography?

    Q: Erm, I think you’ll find pornography is awesome.

    A: Oh, it can be, I agree.

    Q: And it’s not just men who watch it; I know plenty of dirty girls who watch a bit of porn.

    A: Dirty? What makes them dirty? Are you dirty too, or is it just them?

    Q: I, am, what? Huh? I didn’t mean to… I mean, I…

    A: It’s okay, I’m not trying to trip you up. It’s just a good example of how we as a society punish women for giving into their natural desires. Dirty slut, filthy bitch, etc. And those are often meant to be compliments…

  19. Pingback: Explaining Rape Culture To Men, Hilariously [a blog] #whatiwrite | @ziarabo

  20. Pingback: Rape is Rape. No excuses. | @ziarabo

  21. I have to say that i do agree with many of these points . I just have issue with two really that I can think of so bear with me. First one is on domination porn, yes I do agree that porn can depict an unrealistic notion of sex and it’s availability but it should also have been noted that there is a large market for “femdom”. However thats only really nit picking so I apologise. The point i ainly object to is the one about “crazy countries in africa” leanring rape from us. Rape has occured throughout history and there are written records of it happening in ancient civilisations across the world so labeling as a modern western creation is absurd. Bar that it was a good article though i do agree with many other posts here that the “man” in the interview is not a good representation of the average male

    • All good points, of course, hence why this comments section is as important as the article itself, I guess.

      The man (as stated before somewhere) isn’t the average man; no one could hope to realistically portray such a man. It just represents an earlier version of me, albeit a slightly more ignorant one.

      I touched on the rape/Africa thing below somewhere too, and I take your point also. The person saying this in the pretend convo is sort of ignorant, and the reply is a bit too facetious, yes. That said, it’s fair to say that our colonisation of other countries in the past did involve a lot of rape, and we also did leave some terrible legacies which remain today; so, although not factually accurate, there’s something in it. Possibly.

      I mean, this is the internet after all. Factual accuracy will always play second fiddle to 46 Buzzfeed gifs about why I want Jennifer Lawrence to be my BFF.

  22. I think this is a great way to present rape culture in an approachable way. And I really liked the piece but I have two additions that I would make. One is that for many prostitutes it isn’t a choice. Whether they are victims of human trafficking or they have no other choice, so paying them for sex doesn’t necessarily make it ok (it is their pimps who put those ads in the papers or Craigslist to promote them). The second point is that the analogy about the 2 women walking in the park reinforces the myth that most rape happens in dark parks by strangers. Although it is probably not very safe for anyone to walk through a dark park at 3 am, as we know, the majority of sexual assault happens between acquaintances. Part of rape culture objectifying women is that certain men feel like if a woman is hanging out with you, that means she is available for sex. Anyway, I did think this was good and funny but I thought I would add my two cents.

    • Thanks, Erin. Like I said earlier, it was just a start- to get people talking, I suppose. I think I went for the sweatpants/wonderbra comparison because it’s easier to digest than the real fact that most people are raped by someone they know.

      Guys on the outside of the Rape Culture argument’s biggest problem with it is that they think it’s painting them as potential rapists, so making any statement about how it’s usually the boyfriend/friend/whichever risks making those guys get defensive and dismissive, because they ‘aren’t rapists and would never rape anyone’. This is how I used to think, so I know.

      It’s like how the papers are always trying to frighten you with Paedophile Stranger Danger and Lurking Monsters- because people just don’t want to hear that it’s way more likely to be a parent or a family friend who rapes a child.

      I think what I’m saying, right or wrong, I was trying to use baby steps to lessen the chance of someone not reading the whole piece. I didn’t purposely try to propagate anything negative, trust me.

      Thank you for your thoughts, they’re much appreciated.

      • Thanks for your thoughtful reply. The more people learn about it, the more things can get better. I appreciate you beginning the dialogue. This was my first time reading your blog (a virgin!) and I look forward to reading more. Take care.

  23. You only forgot one thing – rape isn’t about sex at all, it’s about power over someone else. And that usually doesn’t make it into the discussion. But this piece was awesome all the same.

  24. Honestly, I find this narrative interesting, but it lacks in the same ways most narratives with the intent of offering an alternative are found lacking.

    Namely that it implies that the current narrative is the ‘correct’ one. It creates a setting of “This is right and advanced” versus “This is not right and thus stupid.”

    That resonates well with those whom already feel that this narrative is correct, but will only polarize readers. In short : Those already feeling that this narrative is correct will chime in and agree, those disagreeing will take a stronger stance away from the narrative.

    In short, the effect can be likened to “Hey group with the same mindset, look what I wrote?” Que the applause, validation and facebook likes. Meanwhile, those you really wanted to reach are standing over there, wondering why your group kept pointing at his, giving it angry looks and calling it dumb.

    Please figure out if you want to improve the world and invite others into another worldview or if you only want to preach to the chorus.

    • Hi, Joost. While I agree that it’s not a 100% foolproof method of getting people on the other side to pay attention, I’d hardly think it’s the worst offender in that respect.

      Almost everything on the internet which has a political bent is preaching to the choir, and shared on the FB pages of people who have likeminded friends. That’s sort of the way it is, though. We’re mostly friends with people who think like us :-)

      I’m a centrist, rather than leaning any particular way in the extreme, and I wrote this as a a sort of remedy to the normally super-exclusive feminist blogs on the subject which basically either scare men off or make them angry.

      The retweets and reblogs have been from both sexes, but like you say, probably the majority are people who already thought that way.

      But I didn’t always think this way (about a lot of things, in fact) and there have been plenty of times where I changed my worldview because I read an article by (or watch a stand-up routine by) someone who was balancing educating me with entertaining me.

      The thing isn’t perfect, but even if one person reads it and goes ‘Oh, I never thought about it like that!’ then it was worth it. It’s not like I put any effort in to it lately, I wrote it eight months ago and forgot about it.

      tl;dr – I get what you’re saying, but there are a million blogs out there not even making the effort to reach across the divide.

  25. I think this is really great, touches on a variety of aspects of our culture and does it in one of the most non-confrontational ways possible.

    As someone who’s had this conversation before I think it’s always best to ask the other person questions and lead them to the truth rather than simply ranting it at them. They are much less likely to get defensive.

    I have always critiqued feminism for this; the way you send a message is just as important as the message itself. For instance:

    Q: And it’s not just men who watch it; I know plenty of dirty girls who watch a bit of porn.

    A: Dirty? What makes them dirty? Are you dirty too, or is it just them?

    Q: I, am, what? Huh? I didn’t mean to… I mean, I…

    A: Your sexist remarks only further engender the rape culture we are trying to prevent. Wow, don’t you realize that calling girls dirty is a way of punishing and degrading women who express their sexuality? You wouldn’t call a guy dirty would you! Fuck the patriarchy.

    Q: Ugh! I knew you were one of those fascist feminists. -walks away-

    It makes sense why we’d want to answer this way, because to someone who understands rape culture his remark is part of a disturbing trend of demonizing sexual expression in women and we want it to stop immediately. It’s also likely to make us angry.

    But any communications professor can tell you that accusing one person of single handedly perpetuating rape culture is not going to convince them they should change, they are more likely to become defensive and hostile.

    In addition, I am really glad you brought up the prison-rape issue. It is not one that gets brought up enough. If we allow ourselves to believe that rape is acceptable because they are convicted criminals, then we maintain this idea that some people who get raped “deserve” it or brought it on themselves.

    tl;dr This post is fantastic.

  26. I think men should all be castrated and removed from society as they can’t be trusted in this safe, wear anything, never look over your shoulder, never think anyone can harm you, utopia of idiocracy. I mean Lions never attack Antelope, Gators never attack Wildebeasts, House Cats never attack Mice, Birds never attack Worms, Spiders never attack Flies, so why would a Rapist ever Attack a Woman dressed in an attractive outfit, workout clothes or a miniskirt? Get Real…Men go out dressed however they want because they plan out, if attacked what they might do in their heads before leaving. Any man who doesn’t, hasn’t ever been in a fight or attacked by someone. At all times I have keys, a knife, a pen or possibly a handgun depending on where I go…because in 2002, I was jumped by about 10 boys at a party and since then, thank God, that my life was spared because of the knife I had on me. I stabbed one guy in the shin, as he and his friends kicked my face, ribs and back of my head for 10 minutes, only got away because spectators finally realized it was life threatening and unfair then intervened. Women should plan around this world as well, it is not pleasantville, it is the world and like all the blaming that is going on in these posts, it is a vicious one still and will be for a long time. Other than locking up all Men and never allowing another man to be born, this is the reality in which the world has existed for 6000 years or more. It is sinful in nature and will only continue until sin is removed from the world. Rape is a sin, it is not condoned by any man, other than the ones committing it. It also isn’t a thing I should be afraid of being slapped with every time I say hi to a woman on the street. If you are emotional over this subject, you should seek counseling and stop being illogical by generalizing groups of men or women into bad or good or the reverse. My skin is comforted knowing I do everything I can to protect me first then everyone else, while also keeping an eye on the people around me who might not have my best interest at heart. Sorry in advance for all who I have enraged, because your own emotions can’t be controlled by you.

  27. So where does “all sex is Rape; even consensual sex”, come into play? I have been told that before, and not only that when I had asked about rape culture I was also told, since you have a penis you’d never understand, because you simply just take pleasure from the sex that you have (What was that suppose to mean?).

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  29. Excellent post! I recently joined WordPress and you are the first person I chose to follow.

    I just thought I’d share my experience of the scantily-clad-woman-at-night-vs-the-not-so-scantily-clad-woman. While visiting family in Houston, Texas, I went out to the local goth night. My outfit for the evening consisted of a corset, short petticoat and platform boots. My uncle let me borrow his truck, and as it had some problems, I brought a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers just in case I had any vehicle trouble. Lo and behold, the truck did break down in an industrial part of town (unfortunately, not in the goth/industrial way). After a quick change in the cab of the truck, I set off to find a pay phone (this was a while ago, when we still had those). The one I found was on a sidewalk in front of an auto parts store facing away from the street. While I was waiting for an answer, two guys walked by and stopped on either side of me (we were like points on a triangle). Neither of them said anything and the menace was palpable. I turned around and faced them and stared at each of them in turn while still holding the receiver. Luckily, this small signal that I would not be an easy victim caused them to change their minds and keep on walking, but I just as easily could have been assaulted, raped and/or murdered that night even though I took the precaution of changing out of my provocative outfit.

  30. This really wasn’t good. It’s flimsy and straw man. I couldn’t make it half way through. The only part that had any real life was the rape joke. The rest was an annoying teacher tone.

  31. Well I did not read all the replies so I hope I am not duplicating anything but rape as such is hardly ever about sex and mostly about power. It is, for humans as animals, a way to demonstrate and establish dominance. The absolutely ironic thing in this is that in India, where this is such a sport, it takes 5 men to show their dominance over one woman. I love this blog though, and for the young men who it actually is about sex, this is certainly an eye opener. Yes, when she dresses as a dallas cheer leader she has a certain power over your brain and your sensitive body parts. No, you cannot take that power back by proving you are stronger than she is.

  32. Can I just bitch and complain about your use of “Look up prostitutes under massage”? As a massage therapist, it’s attitudes like this that result in me getting sexually harassed several times a month. You know there’s like… the “escort” section in the phone book, right?

  33. I don’t think this country cares about rape. Just my experience and my observation of the laws written. I don’t think this country cares at all. That being said I have served and been to war for my country… I don’t want to live elsewhere. They don’t care about women either. I’m not jaded I’m just being realistic. However, I applaud your efforts in awakening the ostriches with their head in the sand. Peace to you.

  34. This is something that has been engrained into our culture on a grand scale. It is not just men that perpetuate our “rape culture”- women have been doing it too, for years. The modeling and fashion industry has given women and young girls a standard to live up to that is impossible, and television and movies still cast “damsels in distress” and these meek, weakened women. There needs to be a resurgence of strong female role models to show other ladies that we can protect ourselves. Education of EVERYONE is necessary to stop the problem.

  35. This is lovely. I have used some of the situations to explain rape culture to my social justice class when some of the guys are like, “but that’s not true!” and argue with me about feminism because I’m a girl. Thank you for the humour and addressing it in an amusing way.

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