Yes some guys are assholes, but it's still your fault if you get raped

(First, kudos to Amanda Marcotte whose comment and link here in the Daily Kos Kerfuzzle thread served as the inspiration for this post)

How ingrained is our culture’s prominent “past-time” of ‘guilt tripping the sexual assault/rape victim for the attack’ in our psyches–especially the victims’? Whenever we begin to talk about the perpetrator (usually a guy) it seems as if we just throw up our hands in surrender and say, “yeah well, he’s a guy. Guys do that so watch out ladies.” Once again we slam the victims and women with all the responsibility for the attack, as if they raped or sexually assaulted themselves. When we list whose to blame for the attack and crime, we list everyone, including the victim, but rarely–if ever–the attacker. Or he’s at the bottom of the list and is portrayed as the least responsible for the attack. It’s the “we can’t help what guys do, but women should bear all the burden when it comes to prevention of sexual violence,” mentality of our culture. Rape Culture 101; guys are entitled to get sex on demand, to sexually harass, commit sexual assualt, and rape. And it’s all your fault if it happens to you. Guys can’t help themselves after all.

No one–I’m certainly not saying that women shouldn’t take precautions to protect themselves, but that’s a mere ‘band aid’ solution to the problem. The root of the problem here is that we barely or don’t at all take steps to educate young men about sexual violence prevention. While girls and young women are lectured on what not to do in certain scenarios in social settings, what do we do with the guys? Why are we so afraid to lecture them on “why they shouldn’t rape or sexually assault?” Why do we keep making up excuses for their behavior and crimes, but continue to scold the female victims for their attack? Boys will be boys; a tenet of the Rape Culture. Steve Gilliard’s post on the missing young woman in Aruba and his comment are prime examples of how we make up excuses for guys’ behavior towards women, and expect women to foresee their own attack. Never mind the guys’ responsibility in the attack at all–that doesn’t count.

I don’t think it’s not so much that “she got what she deserve”, but a media refusal to look at their conduct and say these girls were placed in a less than optimal situation. I would also bet no one had an honest discussion with them about acting like adults and making adult choices. Of course not. It was a “Christian” school. So they could get drunk, fuck any cute boy and no one would say things like:

“Be careful. Don’t just go off with any cute boy. He may not act that cute when you’re alone.”

“Carry condoms and lube”

“When you get drunk, you tend to make shitty decisions. So stick together and don’t let someone go off alone.”

Now, I’ve always been confused as to why a girl would go off with three guys. Was she going to pull a train? Or did she have two spare sex organs for them to use? Because otherwise, that sounds like a really bad decision. One which she should have been warned against. Boys in groups tend to do things they wouldn’t do alone. And the expectation of sex must have been high.

And we continue to gloss over the perpetrators and focus our blame squarely on the victim. Yes she didn’t make very good decisions but how does that warrant rape or sexual assault? How are rape and sexual assault “okay” decisions for guys? It’s okay to rape or sexually assault if the young woman made a poor decision? Is that what we tell guys? And his comment…

[...] Because you can’t tell someone to not brutalize women. Most men won’t do that, but if they do, you can’t say “hey, you know rape is wrong”. Most guys know that. The ones that don’t aren’t going to listen to a lecture.

The best we can do is say “look, some guys are assholes and you need to watch out for them.”

Now, you can tell boys that it isn’t OK to screw the drunk or hit women, but most guys aren’t going to do that anyway. But the problem for women is the guys that do and dealing with them.

[...]

I think women have a more idealistic view of men than men do. Chris Rock summed it up: “if a man comes up to you over the age of 13 and asks you if you want help, he’s saying ‘you want some dick with that?’

Women tend to resist the idea that most men size them up sexually. I can assure you that if there’s a boy in your daughter’s life and he’s a “friend”, he’s either not interested in her, or is just biding his time. But the idea of sex has crossed his mind.

The same applies to all your coworkers and opposite sex friends. If they’re straight, they have either thought about having sex with you or reasons why they shouldn’t.

But the issue is on the table.

Have you ever been out with a friend and then suddenly he got grabby or romantic and you didn’t expect it. Now, you might have written that off, but it happens because men rate women sexually, and that one time might be the time he actually acted on his feelings.

So when I say men will do anything for sex, I’m not just saying that. It’s observed behavior.

We continue to ignore the elephant in the room whenever we talk about sexual violence and prevention. We conveniently forget all about the perpetrator and focus on the [female] victim, and lecture them on why it’s all their fault. So much for those karate lessons and pepper spray–it’s still your fault. Gee, why don’t we just come out and say, “well if you didn’t have a vagina you wouldn’t have been attacked.” That’s the hint if you really think about.

And here are some questions about violence to ponder, that ties into our rape culture. Via V-Day: Until The Violence Stops…

What frightens you about giving up violence?
What are you afraid of losing?
What do you secretly like about violence?
How will sex change when there is no more violence?
What stories will you have to give up when you give up violence? what parts of your past will you have to release?
Why do you think ending violence is impossible?
Do you know anywhere in the world where there is no violence? describe.
Do you know anyone who truly lives non-violently? describe.
What is violence?
Where does it come from?
Do you believe violence is part of human nature?
Do you believe violence is taught?
What is the relationship of violence to patriarchy?
Do you think violence has to do with race, class, a particular place?
What would have to change in the world in order to end violence?
What would have to change in you in order to end violence?
What makes you violent?
What stops you from being violent?
Who has been violent towards you?
How did this change who you are?
Do you believe it is possible to end violence? why? why not?

This entry posted in Anti-feminists and their pals, Feminism, sexism, etc, Popular (and unpopular) culture, Rape, intimate violence, & related issues. Bookmark the permalink. 

528 Responses to Yes some guys are assholes, but it's still your fault if you get raped

  1. 501
    noodles says:

    Thanks to Brian’s link I just read Amanda’s post update on Pandagon. Great stuff there! I’m one of those people who thought the BSU was fictional ;) well, not really, but I hadn’t heard of their research in this topic (I’d heard of the same conclusions from other sources, not the FBI) so it’s even more interesting to learn about that. And finally, some advice that makes sense!

  2. 502
    Pseudo-Adrienne says:

    Frankly, I think it’s harmful to women, because it is so steeped in hate, without offering anything useful.

    Oh bullshit, Nephandus. More stereotypical bullshit about feminist women, that you think you know what they believe, think, and what their intentions are–but you don’t. There is nothing “hateful” about pointing out that men need to take on more responsibility for sexual violence committed against women by men. It’s “hateful” to you and losers like Aegis because it threatens you sense of male entitlement and privilege. You, Aegis, and guys like you two are just sexually insecure, and pissed off because you guys can’t get the results you want out of a woman after you approach her and denies you her time and attention. More excuses for guys who rape and sexually assault.

    I’m the moderator of this thread by the way. Thanks for wasting space with more of the “oh I’m not blaming the victim, I’m just trying to explain the p.o.v. of the rapist/sexual-assault attacker–the poor guy just can’t help himself because of women’s mixed messages–blah, blah, bullshit, bullshit….” Yeah whatever we’ve all heard that shit before from whiny guys like Aegis, who enjoys spamming “Rape Culture and Gender” threads with ignorant rhetoric which coddles and even sympathizes with guys who rape or sexually assault. All because a woman didn’t say “yes” or welcome his advances. Fucking deal with it fellas and go masturbate. Women are far more that mere receptacles for guys’ sexual gratification and sexual insecurity problems. Hard for guys like you to understand but whatever.

    That is why I was focusing on the guy’s side of the interaction to reduce situations where he was rebuffed.

    Oh wah! Cry us a fucking river because a woman won’t waste her time or bed-space with a guy she has no interest in.

    neo-Victorian

    So we’re making up pseudo-academic words to make ourselves sound more intellectual than we really are?

    I don’t want to turn back the clock, and I know most women don’t either, but my god, these people are carrying the movement right over the cliff, discrediting themselves and the work of the brave women and men who came before them. I think they are hurting women.

    The only people around here who are discrediting themselves are you and Aegis, and yes, you two are rape apologists. You two try to conjure up undeserved sympathy for the misogynist fucktards who rape and sexually assault, because it’s so hard to get women to do whatever guys want them to do. And feminists women, like the ones on this thread, really don’t give a shit living up to the standards of some guy who really doesn’t know shit about feminism, but instead enjoys spewing cliched stereotypes about it, and blaming it for all problems, even the rape culture. The ‘fault’ for the rape culture and it’s tenets (ie: “boys will be boys”) falls on guys like you and Aegis, and your sympathies for guys who rape and sexually assault, along with blaming feminists who are combating the rape culture (unlike you), blaming the female victims for the attack, and of course, part of the fault belongs to our society as well, that is still saturated with pro-male entitlement/privileges sentiments.

    I will probably make a “sequel” thread to this since, yeah, it takes a while for this page to download. Aegis and Nephandus, go spend time someplace else, please, until the next “Rape Culture and Gender” thread. Then you can comment on that future thread when I post it, and get cut up by other commenters again. Until that thread comes around, don’t comment here anymore. I’ll probably make the sequel to this thread some time next week.

  3. 503
    Amanda says:

    No one here thinks that there’s anything wrong with improving communication between men and women–in fact, that was what we were discussing before the thread got hijacked and turned into a forum on Why Don’t Bitches Give Up the Pussy. The problem is that you guys seem to think that the only acceptable communication improvement is the one that results in you having to chat up fewer women to get laid more and that’s just not gonna happen. Sorry.

    Nonetheless, the lesson for women is certainly clear. You can’t be half-assed about shooting guys down to be nice because there are far, far, far too many apologists for this sexist, entitled “wear her down” attitude that just so happens to devolve into rape apologias. It’s sort of a shame, really, because most guys can take no for an answer without resorting to rape apologias to make themselves feel better.

  4. 504
    Jake Squid says:

    Nephandus, what part of

    . Aegis and Nephandus, go spend time someplace else, please, until the next “Rape Culture and Gender”? thread. Then you can comment on that future thread when I post it, and get cut up by other commenters again. Until that thread comes around, don’t comment here anymore.

    don’t you understand?

    As to:

    Another part of what I’m talking about are women (usually young women) who use sexual enticement followed by denial…

    This is exactly what you have been accused of – blaming the victim. And, if you bother to read what you’ve written further along in that paragraph, you are making excuses for rapists.

    You know, P-A got to it before I could and so I thought there would be no need for me to say anything – especially because she said it much more nicely than I could.

    But, Nephandus, fuck off you thread hijacking, lying about reading the comments troll. You are to blame for the enduring culture of rape in which we live. Yes, you personally. Look at what you wrote. Fuckhead.

  5. 505
    ginmar says:

    Nephandus, the fact that you took feminist classes or whatever means exactly shit. You went to the class; you were present in the class. But you learned nothing. I stand in my garage now and then. It doesn’t make me a car.

    Secondly, you seem to think that if you don’t say something literally you’re off the hook, because no one is allowed to not accept your opinion.

    Finally, does anyone think it’s deeply significant that Nephandus did not obey PA’ s polite request that they go elsewhere? Essentially, she said ‘no.’ And here’s Nephandus ignoring her to do some more whining.

    You know, I take that back. It’s not that it’s not significant; it’s more than that.

    It’s chilling.

  6. 506
    Spicy says:

    Aegis and Nephandus, go spend time someplace else, please, until the next “Rape Culture and Gender”? thread.

    Which part do you think Nephandus didn’t understand?

  7. 507
    ginmar says:

    The part where he doesn’t get his way.

    And that’s the part that proves everything we said here was right. I can’t think of a more amazing demonstration.

  8. 508
    ginmar says:

    What’s chilling is that dipshit cannot see that a refusal to take no for an answer is a serious thing in and of itself, but especially on a thread where he and another fuckwit have been making excuses for rapists.

    I second Jake’s comment. Men or boys like these two are exactly the reason we have a rape cutlure.

    And dipshit?

    This is what I said. Like so many other assholes, you really have a problem, don’t you?

    Finally, does anyone think it’s deeply significant that Nephandus did not obey PA’ s polite request that they go elsewhere? Essentially, she said ‘no.’ And here’s Nephandus ignoring her to do some more whining.

    Not taking no for an answer, Nephandus IS significant and it IS chilling.

  9. 509
    Brian Vaughan says:

    Several of whom have been posting on this thread. Several of whom described their rape experiences in this thread. And yet, curiously, they don’t agree with you.

  10. 510
    Amanda Marcotte says:

    Part of what I’m talking about is the whole “No means no!”? murk, when, in fact many women (and men), say “No”? when they are indeed engaging in enthusiastic participation ““ putting the onus on their partner to stop the actual physical act, but enthusiastically participating as long as it continues, or even escalating it.

    Every single time I see this argument whipped out, I am awestruck–how dumb, seriously, do you have to be not to see the simple solution to this supposedly widespread problem of women saying no when they mean yes? You take her at her word, dipshits. She’ll learn fast enough not to say no when she means yes if she’s not getting laid. Every single man I’ve ever been with stopped doing what he was immediately upon even a sound from me that could conceivably indicate discomfort and asked if I was okay, and that was mid-coitus, so you can’t tell me that men are such slaves to sex that they can’t possibly be expected to stop even at mixed signals. Don’t like mixed signals? Then don’t date women who give them off. Simple as that.

    Another part of what I’m talking about are women (usually young women) who use sexual enticement followed by denial, or even forms of ridicule, to see how far they can push a partner who they can clearly see desires them ““ using sexual enticement to deliberately cause another person to appear foolish or submissive, with the stated or implied contract that if their partner does what they say, they will get some kind of sexual attention.

    Indeed, it is true that many rapists are out to punish women for making them feel lust, which they interpret at weakness. Funnily enough, they tend to interpret absolutely all of the victim’s behavior as mockery and teasing, mostly so they can feel that they were justified in their brutality. This is true of ordinary rapists and of child-rapists as well. Many criminal justice experts point out that you can get a confession from a child rapist by suggesting to him that his victim was teasing him and trying to seduce him–say out loud what he’s saying to himself and voila! You have someone who starts spilling the beans. But we all know that children aren’t generally in the business of teasing adults sexually, so we react to these justifications as the nonsense they are. But when the victim is a woman, all of a sudden our common sense flies out the window.

  11. 511
    Pseudo-Adrienne says:

    Since Nephandus has proven himself to be nothing but a disrespectful fucktard troll I will have to make a note on my future “Rape Culture and Gender” thread that he will not be permitted to comment on that thread, and of course no longer on this one. Aegis apparently can’t read either or has no respect for me. Shit, I put it in bold and at the end of the damn comment.

    I thought it was cute when he said that he was a Women’s Studies grad student and now an “ex-feminist” or whatever. So much for that and obviously he didn’t learn anything. His ‘blaming the sexually aggressive female victim’ arguments certainly shows that he didn’t learn a damn thing. Talk about pissing away money, years, and some professor’s time for nothing. Ha!-ha! Oh these idiots make me giggle—and not in a “happy” kind of giggle either.

  12. 512
    ginmar says:

    Hey, look at it this way, PA—he had that nice shiny college vocabulary with which to say lots of words so he didn’t seem ignorant and bigoted and hateful. Oh, wait….

    I can deal with people who’ve never read books. What do you do when they read t hem and get them all wrong? I don’t understand that concept.

  13. 513
    ms. b. says:

    Hey, apologies if anyone’s already picked up on this, but in the last 100 or so comments I’ve been reading with my mouth open in awe at this kinda of thing;

    Aegis to Nephandus:
    I am afraid that you will find that most of the posters here don’t understand concepts like reading with charity or intellectual honesty. They won’t be constrained by “male-defined”? notions of civility, dontcha know?

    I’m in the same boat as Aegis and Pseudo-Adrienne in that a lot of what interests me is new to me; I’m 18. I don’t often contribute here because I get far more out of it from reading and learning than adding my voice in the “yay I agree” category. What I don’t understand is how someone so young, so clearly still being educated, can be so arrogant when it comes to describing a bunch of feminists and pro-feminists who have consistently made intelligent critical points based on (legitimate) feminist readings of posts. That comment completely sums up the idea of “male civility” he mocks within it; open your mind Aegis. It is possible people aren’t agreeing not because there’s some feminist conspiracy to read into your postings uncharitably, but because they genuinely don’t agree.

  14. 514
    Brian Vaughan says:

    Noam Chomsky has remarked how “uneducated” people immediately grasp his arguments about US imperialism, but “educated” people perpetually bring up nonsensical objections — evidence of how much of higher education is really about ignoring reality and upholding the dominant ideology.

    There’s also a bit in Hal Draper’s The New Student Revolt (unfortunately, I’ve lost my copy, so I don’t have the exact wording) that most people learn to gain knowledge outside formal education, but the surprising thing for students at UC Berkeley in the 60s was that they had to gain knowledge despite formal education.

  15. 515
    BritGirlSF says:

    Thomas said
    “BritGirl, I have this funny image in my head of presenting a “Petition for Access to the Pussy Oversoul”? to the clerk’s office in Kings County Supreme Court in Brooklyn, which as NY area lawyers know, is the ancient “hell of papers rejected for no apparent reason.”? ”
    I once wrote up just such an “application” and posted it to craigslist in response to some guys whining about how “women in this city are so hard to approach and how do you expect us to crack your wierd code?”. You would not believe the amount of hate mail I got in response.
    All my friends thought it was funny though.

  16. 516
    Brian Vaughan says:

    BritGirl, I’m surprised how much sexism and racism I see expressed on Craigslist. It’s like the online refuge for Bay Area bigots.

    I would really like it if someone would start a thread on “dating,” since it’s really a separate topic, but it keeps coming up, and it’s a major concern for some folks around here.

  17. 517
    BritGirlSF says:

    Brian, I totally agree with you about craigslist. I have no idea what rock those people crawled out from, I just wish they would go back and stop bothering the rest of us.
    Did you notice on a previous thread that Aegis lives here too? I’m betting he’s at Stanford. I know lots of guys who went to Stanford and most of them talk the same way he does.
    Also, a dating thread would be good. I can’t do it myself since I don’t have a blog (though I’m thinking of starting one – does anyone have any suggestios about what blogging app would be best for someone with very limited HTML skills? Blogger, live journal, others?). If PA or Amp wants to start a dating thread I think that would be a very useful thing.

  18. 518
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    BritGirlSF;

    Write up the thread and email it to Amp. He likes interesting guest threads.

    :)

  19. 519
    Ampersand says:

    What Kim said. :-)

  20. 520
    BritGirlSF says:

    Kim and Amp
    Well, I would BUT I’m married and have not dated for some time (although I do have plenty of friends whose dating stories I end up listening to), so maybe I’m not the best person to start this particular thread?
    I do have another idea to suggest though. What about a thread that addresses the question of what men can do to change the rape culture? What I mean is how they can use their social influence on other men to change the sexist attitudes that surround rape, and to ensure that men who do rape or who seem to be condoning it face some social sanctions from other men for their actions? Also, it could address the fear and concerns they have that prevent them from doing so now, and how they and the feminist women who love them can help each other to get over those fears . I’m thinking that one of the guys here who does try to confront sexist behaviour might be a good person to start off that discussion.
    Also (and I’m reluctant to suggest this because I don’t want to be identified with people like Aegis who I strongly disagree with) maybe we could have a thread about what older feminists can do to talk to young women about their sexual experiences and attitudes and help to support and encourage their sense of sexual agency and reinforce in them the idea that they don’t have to follow the female passive script. Ie, a thread about what we can do to help counteract the effect of acculturation on young women’s views of their own sexuality and how we can help them to empower themselves to feel that they have the right to say either yes or know depending on what they actually want. It seems to be that young women’s sense of agency is under attack from multiple sources right now, and that it might be worthwhile to discuss what we as feminists could to try to counterbalance the messages that they’re getting from the religious right, pop culture etc.
    OK, I lied, that’s actually two thread ideas.

  21. 521
    natural says:

    I have been reading these threads on rape culture all day and have been thoroughly intrigued by people’s POVs on this subject. It seems to me that the two arguments – if it exists or not – have been circling each other. Although my simplistic perspective may seem utterly inane to most of the eloquent writers here, I would like to give my .02.
    I believe, as a survivor and as a former rape crisis counselor, a rape culture exists. To me it is not so much a question whether society “blames” the victim of a rape or not. There will always be the few in the crowd (both male and female) that may do so. I am speaking, however, of the general sensitivity of the culture to rape.
    Rather, society often questions whether or not a rape has occurred. It is a matter of semantics. Was it rape or was it just sex? Are we to believe the accuser or the accused?
    Of course, rape statutes exist. Of course, people are indeed prosecuted under these statutes. However, laws are black and white. A rape has occurred or it hasn’t. Since reality often has grey areas, we must look to societal mores to examine how the general public can assess each individual situation.
    I argue that sexual values and standards in this society as a whole still retain some outdated Victorian ideals. As others have posted, women are still perceived as passive givers of sex. This and other beliefs not only add to the tension between the sexes but also constrain ordinary people’s views when it comes to sexual encounters. When the accuser dressed provocatively, went out alone after dark without a male protector, or drank in excess, the accuser acted outside the bounds of those ideals. Therefore, the accuser must have given mixed messages to the accused how to behave accordingly.
    Most of the time, there are three sides to the story – the accuser, the accused, and the observer. Society is relegated to the role as the observer after the fact. Since those afore-mentioned ideals contribute to an individual’s assessment of the action, many times the resultant view is that of sex, not of rape. The accused must have thought that the accuser wanted it. Therefore, there is no conviction, and contempt is hurled at the accuser for the horrible lie.
    In this scenario, I am writing of the views of the community – the culture. The views held by the specific accuser and the accused are virtually meaningless when trying to understand whether the culture condones rape or not.
    I am not saying that Victorian ideals cause this rape culture to exist but that they are contributing factors. I do not even suggest that erasing these mindsets from our culture will prevent all rapes from occurring in the future. However, I do contend that doing so may help support the survivors and help conviction rates for this crime. This may also convince perpetrators in this society that what they did constitutes rape.

  22. 522
    Eric Carlton says:

    Katie Koestner’s story is just an act. She fakes the crying each time. I have seen her speeches many times as I used to work for her. She is in it for the money – that’s it.

  23. 523
    Eric Carlton says:

    Fact VS Fiction? – you should always seek the truth before believing

  24. 524
    Jesurgislac says:

    Eric Carlton Writes: Fact VS Fiction? – you should always seek the truth before believing

    Is this an apology for the fiction you produced in comment 520?

  25. 525
    leah says:

    i think that they statement “yes some men are assholes but its still your fault if you get raped” is one that is very misinformed, and, perhaps, idiotic. men (and women) who are rapists are not only “assholes” but are animalistic pigs. Also, the victim cannot be blamed for the rape, even if they are dressed “provocitively.” The only one the should be blamed is the rapist. All those that believe in the just world hypothesis is a coward that buries their head in the sand.

  26. 526
    Nathan says:

    Just for the record nudity is not allowed at the Oregon Country Fair. Not during the day at least, except for their sauna known as the Ritz.

    I should say full nudity is not allowed, no genitalia can be shown.

    But they do allow females to go topless just like males can do.

  27. 527
    Linda Falkner says:

    Rape is about power and control. It’s a crime, not a loving act. Don’t confuse the two. I have worked with many rape victims, including childhood rape victims, at CHEER! Counseling, and it’s a huge violation of the victim’s body. NOBODY asks to be raped anymore than they ask to be robbed or murdered.

  28. 528
    Susan says:

    Rapists are assholes, yes, but more importantly, rapists are criminals. As are, say, armed robbers.

    Is it your “fault” if you are robbed at gunpoint, because you dress well and have a wallet? The robber couldn’t help himself or something? That’s not the way the law views it, needless to say. Rape should be viewed no differently.