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Yes, Joseph Harker, white society really is implicated in sexual abuse

In the Guardian on Monday, Joseph Harker wrote a piece which was met with equal parts disdain and acclaim. It reflected on around 18 months of horrific news of sexual abuse in the UK, which began with a succession of convictions for members of child grooming and rape rings, mostly but not entirely involving  British-Asian Muslims. This was followed by the ongoing scandal of sexual crimes and child abuse by an ever-lengthening list of prominent celebrities and public figures, some alleged and under investigation, some admitted, many, of course, involving the TV presenter and DJ Jimmy Savile – now believed to be perhaps the most prolific sex offender ever to have been unmasked, albeit only after his death.

Harker employed thick satire to contrast the ways in which the media and public debate has covered the two different scandals. The first focussed heavily on the culture from which the rapists and abusers were drawn, their ethnicity, their religion in particular. The second focussed on evil individuals doing bad things and their personal criminality or pathology. A couple of typical quotes:

“But after the shock has subsided and we have time to reflect on these revolting crimes, the main question in most reasonable people’s minds must surely be: what is it about white people that makes them do this?

and

“First, though, we need to find out what’s causing the problem. Is it something to do with white people’s culture?

Harker is quite right to point out the double standards at play in reporting the two scandals, and the racist undertones to much of the reporting of the first. But beyond that, I actually agree with what Joseph Harker says. I don’t mean I agree with his satirically veiled message, I mean I literally agree with the actual words he says – or at least quite a lot of them. Is this problem something to do with white people’s culture? Yes, Joseph, it bloody well is.

Of course it is questionable whether such a thing as ‘white people’s culture’ actually exists. It would be rather more accurate to say ‘white British people’s cultures,’ and even then it would obscure some vast diversity. But exactly the same is true of, say, ‘African-Caribbean culture’ or ‘the British Muslim community,’ though both terms are commonly cited, not least by African-Caribbean people and Muslims. So, for ease of argument, let’s assume we are talking about the full range of the ethnically European, monolinguistically English-speaking, culturally-Christian population or,more simply, the ethnic majority. The phrase ‘white culture’ might be deliberately provocative and problematic, but I think it describes something real. Since Harker has thrust the phrase upon us, I shall continue to use it.

Sexual abuse does not occur in a social vacuum. Yes, the personal psychology, selfish motivations or pathology of the offender are always the primary cause, but the human environment plays a vital role too. Offenders can be encouraged in their behaviour by prevailing social norms which recount that victims are “asking for it” by behaving or dressing in particular ways. That is culture. A default attitude of disbelief towards victims who report assaults allows offenders to continue to attack with impunity – we know that several victims of both Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith attempted to report attacks and were rebuffed by police or other authorities. That is culture. The abusive behaviour of powerful people can be considered as entitlements, not only by offenders themselves but by their colleagues, subordinates and friends. That is culture. When such a prominent commentator as Richard Dawkins says that child sex abuse is less harmful than religious indoctrination, it does indeed trivialise abuse. That is culture. That is my culture. British culture. White culture. Yes, we should have a fucking hard look at ourselves and examine everything we, as a society, might have been doing over the decades to enable, encourage and cover up these types of horrendous acts and what we can do to prevent others.

This, of course, was not what Joseph Harker intended us to take from his article. His point, I’m sure, is that sexual abuse and exploitation happens in all societies, all communities, and of course he is correct. But this misses the point that the nature and circumstances of such crimes can change from one community to the next, as can the social roots which give rise to them. We live in a multicultural society and the attitudes which enable abuse in one culture may not be identical to those in another. The steps which might need to be taken to prevent future abuse in one culture may not be identical to those in another.

Bundling together all cases of child sex abuse as if they are all identical and require blanket solutions is a lazy, ineffective reaction. The problem of domestic incest is not the same problem as child rape tourism to the far East, which is not the same problem as abuse within the Catholic church, which is not the same problem as the exploitative debauchery of rich celebrities, which is not the same problem as child sex grooming rings in impoverished Northern towns.  There are similarities of course, but to pretend they are identical glosses over the specific details of each.

Yes, Joseph, white Britain needs to take a deep hard look at our own culture, far beyond condemning the vile acts of individual abusers. And yes, British Muslim communities need to take a deep hard look at their own cultures, far beyond condemning the vile acts of individual abusers. So too does the Catholic church, so too does the British entertainment industry. Further afield, so too does the US college sports culture that enabled the Steubenville scandal, so too does the Indian society that has been so shaken by a succession of horrific rapes and murders. So too does every culture, every community, every society, every nation. None of us should be given a free ride on this score.

I have no problem with the suggestion that white society needs to look at its own culture. I do have a problem with the implication that British Muslim communities do not.

Comments

  1. Cuttlefish says

    When we blame society, we are told we are letting individual criminals off the hook.

    What we often fail to realize is, when we blame individual criminals, we are letting society off the hook.

    “Blame” tends to be focused on one target at a time, when there is plenty of causal influence to be found in multiple actors.

  2. SteveF says

    Some crimes require a social framework in place to have continued success. It’s definitely important to figure out what those social frameworks are and how we can work to either remove those frameworks or counteract their negative implications.

    A common theme that runs through these cases is, of course, power. You have a person in power being enabled by those around him (or her) at least because those people’s power derives from the social forces that give rise to that person’s power.

    Beyond that, you have issues of social proof. Arguably that derives from the social framework. In the case of Steubenville for example, social proof only has power when we are uncertain of what the socially acceptable response is. How can people be confused about what the appropriate response when you see an unconscious girl being digitally penetrated? The social framework has to be doing something to create that confusion and uncertainty.

    As I think Ally is indicating, the problem isn’t simply (or even mostly) the people committing these crimes. You’re going to have some sickos no matter what you do. The real problem is the rest of us who are in a position to stop these things from happening and don’t.

  3. spacklick says

    I think one of the issues with delving into the culture of the BBC sex abuse scandals is that the culture has already changed significantly for myriad reasons so it’s very hard to find what the root causes were, what of those still exist and what can be done about them. Trying to then put that eloquently and succinctly in a newspaper article is so difficult most journalists will back off from it. Whereas the asian sex scandals are current and have readily identifiable cultural factors which may or may not be causative, and so the journalist can bang out a few hundred words without really having to think.

    We definitely used to have too much of an “untouchables” culture at the BBC, I don’t get the feeling we still do but I’m not close to that world any more so I may just be shielded to it.

    To SteveF Good point, well made.

  4. says

    The problem here is that our brains are wired to keep track of no more than about 150 people. We’re currently being bombarded with stories of rape and sexual abuse, and instinctively we think these are all happening now within that 150-person community, and are therefore terrifyingly rife and something’s gone desperately wrong with us as a society. But some of them happened in India, some in the States, and others in the UK several decades ago that are only being dug up now. If you look at all the bad things that are happening worldwide, across a community of 7 billion people, and think the world’s going to hell in a handcart, that’s only because your brain thinks the bad things are about 45 million times more common than they actually are.

    Your article doesn’t use the term “rape culture”, the current iteration of the old classic “all men are rapists”, but it is clearly hinting in that direction. The only rape culture is the one that sees rape as the default in interactions between the sexes – that all sex is “rape unless…” I don’t think I need to tell you what culture I’m thinking of here, but it’s born of the limits to the human brain’s ability to process information, plus a dollop of socially-acceptable prejudice. The vast majority of us, whatever community we want to categorise ourselves in, are good people. The abusers are aberrations, and do not say anything about us a whole. Be vigilant. Treat people where you can, punish them where necessary. But don’t panic.

  5. A. Noyd says

    Patrick Brown

    “rape culture”, the current iteration of the old classic “all men are rapists”

    Why do I get the feeling that trying to convince you this is wrong would go about as well as the time I tried to get a creationist to understand that biologists use a different definition of evolution than the horribly wrong one he had picked up from reading creationist sites? I mean, I wasn’t even telling him to accept evolution by that point; I just wanted him to acknowledge that his definition wasn’t the one used by the people he was criticizing. He couldn’t do that much. I challenge you to do better.

    The point of the following isn’t to convince you that rape culture is real, but that people who accept it as real do not define it the way you imagine they do. See here, where they explicitly deny that “all men are rapists.” (Emphasis added.)

    That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape.

  6. says

    It seems the Freethought Blogs equivalent of Godwin’s Law is that the likelihood of being compared to a creationist starts about one.

    You’re first quote is just a slightly sugar-coated paraphrase of Brownmiller’s “nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear”. Which is one of the previous iterations of “all men are rapists”. The ideas don’t change, only the presentation.

  7. Ally Fogg says

    Hi Paddy

    The vast majority of us, whatever community we want to categorise ourselves in, are good people. The abusers are aberrations, and do not say anything about us a whole.

    The first sentence here I agree with us. Most people don’t sexually abuse others, I agree.

    As for whether the aberrations “say anything about us as a whole” is a lot less clear. At the very least, they say we are a society which is capable of producing such aberrations.

    The statistics, of course, are complex and questionable, but for the sake of argument let’s arbitrarily assume that say 5% of our contemporary adults sexually abuse children.

    Why is it 5%? Why is it not 100%, 50% or 0.5%? Quite obviously, socialisation and culture must be part of the reason. What differentiates the 5% from the 95%? It is not a virus, it is not genetic differences, it is something in the way people are socialised, raised, their values and attitudes and psychology, and those things are changeable.

    It seems laughable to me to suggest that it is natural and inevitable that 5% of people will abuse children. There is a lot of evidence (primarily from the US) that rates of sexual abuse of adults and children has dropped significantly over the past 30 years or so, which is great of course. Why? Because awareness, tolerance has changed, because there are social services and police investigators who are prepared to intervene, and knowing that this might happen has almost certainly dissuaded some would-be abusers from abusing.

    All of this demonstrates that cultural changes affect levels of abuse. I’m not prepared to say “hooray, we’ve reduced the proportion of abusers to 5% – job done. I think we should keep working until it drops to 4%, 1%, 0.1% or however low we can get that statistic.

    Why one earth would anyone object to that effort?

  8. Ally Fogg says

    Oh, and meant to say, I choose not to use the phrase “rape culture” precisely because it is commonly (often wilfully) misunderstood as meaning “all men are rapists” or whatever, when it really means nothing of the sort.

    I didn’t use any kind of buzzword. I explained the processes I was talking about very clearly. Please do me the credit of answering the points I make, not some bizarre straw-feminist argument of your imagination.

  9. Cath says

    This is excellent thank you. The barriers to proper, honest and useful discussion of the causes, nature and impact of sexual violence are many and varied, but one of the most frustrating ones is the tendency to avoid exploration of culture, for fear of the debate being used to further other oppressions e.g. racism. It absolutely is possible to explore cultural specificities of violence, without drawing on oppressive tropes and indeed its utterly necessary. Women experiencing high levels of street sexual harassment in an area near me feel unable to discuss their experiences and seek community support, as the harassment in that area is coming from mainly Asian young men, but there are racial tensions in the area. Some groups have recently been trying to exploit local tensions. Many local women support anti racist and ant-fascist campaigning, and feel that speaking out on one issue might undermine work on the other. Clearly both are issues affecting our community. It is complex to work with, but not speaking out about who is doing what to whom, and feeling unable to discuss it openly helps nobody but abusers…

  10. Thil says

    “TV presenter and DJ Jimmy Savile – now believed to be perhaps the most prolific sex offender ever to have been unmasked”

    do you mean he sexually abused more people than anyone else in history? because that sounds really hard to believe and like something I would have heard before?

  11. says

    The police have collated hundreds of allegations, which, if they were all true, might make Savile the most prolific. The trouble is that these allegations have not been investigated, and, thus, at least some of them might be the products of fantasists and opportunists.

  12. johngreg says

    Ally said:

    “It is not a virus, it is not genetic differences, it is something in the way people are socialised, raised, their values and attitudes and psychology, and those things are changeable.”

    But surely, if Pinker is right in his overarching thesis in the Blank Slate, then there must be some percentage of individuals who abuse children because of genetic differences and/or some form of genetically induced (I’m not sure if induced is the word I want, but I cannot think otherwise at the moment) mental damage and/or due to that, as yet not very well understood stage at which, at a very early age and not apparently consciously, we seem to make our sexual lifestyle choices?

  13. Ally Fogg says

    The latest count is just short of 1,000 victims spanning nearly 50 years. Of course how many of those could have been proved beyond all reasonable doubt will never be known, because although there were a lot of rumours when he was alive, they will never go to court now.

    If you really haven’t heard about it, it may be more to do with the narrow parochialism of your own (US?) media than anything else. It’s been one of the biggest news stories in the UK for years.

  14. Ally Fogg says

    johngreg

    But surely, if Pinker is right in his overarching thesis in the Blank Slate, then there must be some percentage of individuals who abuse children because of genetic differences and/or some form of genetically induced (I’m not sure if induced is the word I want, but I cannot think otherwise at the moment) mental damage and/or due to that, as yet not very well understood stage at which, at a very early age and not apparently consciously, we seem to make our sexual lifestyle choices?

    A long time since I read the Blank Slate, so I’m guessing at what Pinker might have said rather than quoting him, but I would agree that experiences (combined with natural physiology) might affect neurology in such a way to give someone the capacity or even the urge to commit sexually abusive acts. But all socialisation affects neurology. Learning affects neurology. That’s what neuroplasticity is all about.

    However, this is where society intervenes. In a society where such urges are (to a certain extent) indulged or where the circumstances allow it to occur (by indifferent policing, for example) people who may have a desire to abuse will either curtail their behaviour altogether or find it much more difficult to do so prolifically.

  15. A. Noyd says

    @Patrick Brown
    Hey, if the shoe fits, dude. It may be an unflattering comparison, but it’s an apt one. I mean, you’re the one saying that “even though many men don’t rape” means the same thing as (or at least is compatible with) “all men are rapists.” Hell, most creationists would be baffled by that logic.

    At any rate, there’s no point talking to someone who is clutched so tightly in the grips of dogmatism that he can’t accept people don’t use words the way he thinks they do even when presented with evidence to the contrary. There’s zero common ground possible. Our host even tried to create some by avoiding that particular term and you still dragged your wrong-ass definition into it.

  16. markbrown says

    I had a friend link the article on facebook noting that it was an “interesting perspective”, so I replied with the following:

    I like the article and the point he is making but there is one thing I massively disagree with: his original premise is NOT ridiculous or spurious.

    Okay, it’s not just confined to the white community, but our culture IS massively screwed up when it comes to issues of sexual abuse/assault. Our culture normalizes sexual abuse by downplaying issues of consent, constantly portraying women as sexual objects instead of people in their own right, and actively blaming victims for their sexual abuse. Our children are taught that sex and their own bodies are shameful, and thus are encouraged to remain silent about abuse. Newspaper reports of sexual abuse/assault will frequently downplay the abuse, describing young children as being in “sexual relationships” instead of using words like rape and abuse; frequently portraying the victim as being complicit.

    Yes, the people who perpetrate these crimes are disgusting human beings. We should never forget though, how much our society is responsible for fostering the attitudes required to commit such abuse.

    Your response is much more eloquent of course.

    About an hour after making the point about the media downplaying reports of rape and sexual abuse, I read the following articles and was forced to facepalm…

    Andrew Mitchell defends rape accused MP Nigel Evans
    Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans ‘overwhelmed’ by support

  17. johngreg says

    This is really interesting stuff.

    So, Ally said:

    “… I’m guessing at what Pinker might have said rather than quoting him, but I would agree that experiences (combined with natural physiology) might affect neurology in such a way to give someone the capacity or even the urge to commit sexually abusive acts.”

    Yes. But, to provide a sort of chicken/egg thingy, which comes first; which provides the, erm, dominant or most affective provider/influencer of change? I mean, is the genetically brain damaged (so to speak) individual influenced more by s/h/its genetics/physiology et al, or by the culture environment? Surely the genetics have first call? No?

    Also, how can we determine which is the most applicable order, so to speak:

    1. “… experiences (combined with natural physiology) might affect neurology….”

    OR

    2. … natural physiology (combined with experiences) might affect neurology….

    “But all socialisation affects neurology. Learning affects neurology. That’s what neuroplasticity is all about.”

    Yes, of course. But is not the converse also true, meaning, all neurology affects socialisation. Neurology affects learning.

    Ally, I am not trying to play some kind of goofy devil’s advocate here. I am sincere in my feeling that there are more sides to the coin, and certainly more diversity, than we generally allow for. That is why I think much of Pinker’s Blank Slate is so valuable, because, in my interpretation, much of his overarching idea is that both nurture and nature play fundamentally important roles, yet with vastly different degrees and areas of influence from one individual to the next, most of which we do not, cannot, yet, have a strong handle on.

  18. says

    The accusation is, and always has been, that even if we don’t actually rape, we are all still complicit in rape. It is universal damsel-in-distress call designed to induce unatonable guilt in half the population. It does nothing to prevent rape, it only increases the fear of it. I reject it, because I don’t accept everything I’m told by self-appointed authorities. Your creationist jibe is an ad hom, nothing more.

  19. says

    Ally, I will only note that you accuse me of straw-manning (for noticing an undertone that you admit you agree with and were thinking of, but didn’t want to use the term) immediately after implying that I object to the reduction of sexual abuse.

  20. Rob says

    paddybrown, what exactly do you mean by The only rape culture is the one that sees rape as the default in interactions between the sexes – that all sex is “rape unless…”.
     
    Because it seems to me that there are at least two significant issues with your partial sentence. Firstly, the ending to your sentence that I would assume – that I suspect most on FTB would assume – would be “rape unless … there is consent”. Surely you don’t have any problem in defining sex without consent as rape? Secondly, you seem to be setting up some kind of implied strawman argument – that there is ‘good’ sex that is not preceded by consent, or that the process of getting consent must be long, difficult and mood-killing. If so, try running that argument past many of the sex-positive people who hangout here – perhaps Greta Christina would be a good start. I’m sure she would put you straight.
     
    If of course you meant something else entirely, feel free to make yourself clear.

  21. John Morales says

    johngreg:

    Yes. But, to provide a sort of chicken/egg thingy, which comes first; which provides the, erm, dominant or most affective provider/influencer of change?

    That depends; point is, neither can be ignored.

    I mean, is the genetically brain damaged (so to speak) individual influenced more by s/h/its genetics/physiology et al, or by the culture environment?

    I know what you meant; see above.

    Surely the genetics have first call? No?

    The distinction is between the material and its processing; your seeking temporal precedence is irrelevant to your purported claim of seeking the most influential aspect.

    Also, how can we determine which is the most applicable order, so to speak:

    1. “… experiences (combined with natural physiology) might affect neurology….”

    OR

    2. … natural physiology (combined with experiences) might affect neurology….

    See above regarding the material and its processing.

    Ally, I am not trying to play some kind of goofy devil’s advocate here. I am sincere in my feeling that there are more sides to the coin, and certainly more diversity, than we generally allow for.

    It’s worse than that; you are playing yourself.

    That is why I think much of Pinker’s Blank Slate is so valuable, because, in my interpretation, much of his overarching idea is that both nurture and nature play fundamentally important roles, yet with vastly different degrees and areas of influence from one individual to the next, most of which we do not, cannot, yet, have a strong handle on.

    What a stupid conclusion; you were just told (and you quoted it before this response) “that both nurture and nature play fundamentally important roles”!

    <snicker>

  22. says

    I can only reiterate what I said in the bit you quote – it’s about what you see as the default. To the person who believes in “rape culture”, lack of consent is the default. That is absurd. On an individual, one-to-one level, obviously I cannot presume that any given person wants to have sex with me at any given time, and must always seek consent. But that’s not the same as presuming lack of consent on a cultural level. There’s an awful lot of sex goes on, almost all of it consensual and unproblematic. On a cultural level, consent is the default and lack of consent the aberration.

  23. A. Noyd says

    @Patrick Brown
    This is still creationist levels of getting it wrong. In fact, I addressed this “half the population” BS already with my other two links.

  24. John Morales says

    Patrick Brown, you’re (at best) very confused.

    The accusation is, and always has been, that even if we don’t actually rape, we are all still complicit in rape.

    No, it’s that non-consensual sexual activity is rape and that rapists are the ones to blame for raping, not the victims.

    It is universal damsel-in-distress call designed to induce unatonable guilt in half the population. It does nothing to prevent rape, it only increases the fear of it.

    You’re probably alluding to “Schrodinger’s rapist”, where women in particular have to take reality into account.

    I reject it, because I don’t accept everything I’m told by self-appointed authorities.

    That you don’t accept everything doesn’t entail that you accept nothing; unless you are indulging in the genetic fallacy (itself premised on the denial that those who accept the findings of social science are referring to actual authorities) you should have a discriminant for your acceptance of claims.

    Your creationist jibe is an ad hom, nothing more.

    No, it wasn’t — there was no claim that feeling the same sense of futility about educating you as when seeking to educate a creationist invalidated your argument (for that, there would have had to be an argument to seek to invalidate).

  25. A. Noyd says

    Rob

    paddybrown, what exactly do you mean by The only rape culture is the one that sees rape as the default in interactions between the sexes – that all sex is “rape unless…”.

    I think he’s confusing (his misunderstanding of) points made about how rape culture affects mainstream views on consent with the MRA/anti-feminist talking point that says feminists believe penetrative sex is itself is violent and therefore that sort of sex is necessarily rape. Snopes gives some perspective. Even Andrea Dworkin, who appears on superficial examination to have said something very similar, was making a far more nuanced point.

  26. DennisKavanagh says

    Impressive rebuttal Ally, allthemore in view of the potentially incendiary race issues at play and the clarity with which they were discussed. Harker’s inversion of race in the original piece was to my mind needlessly provocative and a good deal more dangerous than I believe he set out to be. Placing the GCSE media studies conceit to one side, in essence he implied not just that there was some racially defined hierarchy or moral equivalence between offending but more offensively, that the manifestations of sexual violence against children were some naturally occurring phenomenon, as inevitable as cycles of nature or such like. As is plain, culture, social structure, sexual politics etc. provide the setting and in some examples causal backgrounds for abuse, ignoring them deprives offending of context, and without context our understanding of his form of offending is meaningless. In hat vein I would add only two points if I may, first, that a good deal of organised abuse has it’s roots in perfectly obvious social realities such as the fact that care homes are deeply underfunded, often I’ll equipped for their task and ripe for targeting, second, that Western societies drink from the poisoned cup themselves in the widespread sexualisation of children.

  27. Ariel says

    Offenders can be encouraged in their behaviour by prevailing social norms which recount that victims are “asking for it” by behaving or dressing in particular ways. That is culture. A default attitude of disbelief towards victims who report assaults allows offenders to continue to attack with impunity – we know that several victims of both Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith attempted to report attacks and were rebuffed by police or other authorities. That is culture.

    I agree with this, but I’m not sure if it is cases like that which tell us most about these cultural elements. Take e.g. a disbelief towards victims (or norms which recount that victims are “asking for it”). The reluctance to proceed with an investigation might be indeed motivated by such a factor, but if the offender in question is influential and powerful, such a disbelief may function rather as an excuse for not wanting to stir up a hornet’s nest – for not wanting to mess with powerful people who may cause you a lot of very real trouble. I guess you have such fears everywhere, in every culture: in general, people will think twice before publicly accusing a strong chieftain … and they will use various pretexts to explain their reluctance. It’s risky to mess with the powerful.

    All in all, the reluctance to prosecute individuals who are not that powerful (e.g. ordinary white, middle class guys, looking like ‘us’) would be imo more telling, at least in the context of reflections on culture.

  28. Adiabat says

    “condemning the vile acts of individual abusers” is culture. Condemning the attitudes of various Muslim men towards white girls is culture. Making something illegal and punishable with severe sentences is also culture. Fostering a prison environment which encourages harsher prisoner-to-prisoner treatment of rapists is also culture.

    I’m glad you’ve dropped the whole ‘rape culture’ label. Calling our culture a “rape culture” gives the impression that on balance the aspects of the culture that enable rape outweighs those parts that discourage rape. While we lack a metric to properly measure each aspect of ‘culture’ I’m reasonably confident to claim that that is not the case. By dropping the term you instantly come across as less irrational. Your ‘watered down’ claim, which is essentially “there are things that happen which may contribute in some way to the existence of rape”, is a bit easier to get onboard with (despite the fact that it can be said about anything and everything in existence, why the focus on rape?).

    These things invariably include the things you mentioned as well as our refusal to castrate rapists, our lack of a death penalty, the fact that not every dark alleyway in the country has lighting and armed patrols, the fact that we don’t pay for constant police patrols of all remote woodland areas through taxation (or perhaps by slashing Arts Council funding), the glee with which the ‘Guardian crowd’ call the police racist making them wary of investigating claims of systematic rape of white children by groups of 50+ Muslim men in a single community, the freedom of speech of the ‘Guardian crowd’, and so on. These are all culture.

    All these things are parts of our culture, and they are all things which likely make rape that slightly bit more likely. What do you propose we do about them?

  29. Ally Fogg says

    thanks Dennis, great point about portraying this as a natural phenomenon.

  30. Ally Fogg says

    These things invariably include the things you mentioned as well as our refusal to castrate rapists, our lack of a death penalty, the fact that not every dark alleyway in the country has lighting and armed patrols, the fact that we don’t pay for constant police patrols of all remote woodland areas through taxation (or perhaps by slashing Arts Council funding), the glee with which the ‘Guardian crowd’ call the police racist making them wary of investigating claims of systematic rape of white children by groups of 50+ Muslim men in a single community, the freedom of speech of the ‘Guardian crowd’, and so on. These are all culture.

    There are all sorts of things that we could prevent rape and sexual abuse. You don’t mention a curfew on men after 3pm, for example, which would almost certainly reduce the incidence of rape far more than those you mention. Or castrating all men after freezing a sperm sample at age 15, to be used for procreation at a later date. That would end it altogether. Or abolishing presumption of innocence, so that all rape accusations instantly lead to a life sentence unless it can be proved without doubt that the allegation is false.

    But when it gets into extreme solutions like those, or most of those you mention, it becomes a case of what is a reasonable imposition upon human rights, at what point the benefits in reducing abuse are morally outweighed by the oppressive measures required to produce them.

    Personally, I prefer the idea of working on prevailing, social attitudes, cultural factors, police investigation policies, all of which are measures that can be taken without any imposition upon human rights and civil liberties. Will they be 100% effective? No, probably not. But they might be 10% effective. Or 25% effective, and year on year they could result in significant improvements.

    Maybe we should start by trying out those, and if they don’t work then we can consider setting the radfems loose with the Stanley knives.

  31. Ally Fogg says

    Yep. Or you could add “blue feminist” Louise Mensch tweeting about what a lovely guy Evans is and how he couldn’t possibly have done those things.

  32. doublereed says

    On an individual, one-to-one level, obviously I cannot presume that any given person wants to have sex with me at any given time, and must always seek consent.

    I notice the term “obviously” here and it makes me think you don’t understand the issue at all. It may be obvious to you, but what makes you think this is obvious to others? I can find plenty of examples of people disagreeing with this assessment. I can find plenty of men and women who claim that Stuebenville wasn’t rape. They aren’t some slim minority or something. Would you like some examples?

    “Rape culture” refers to the culture that accepts and enables rapists. In fact, it’s been shown that rapists are an incredibly slim portion of the population, but they rape a lot of people (average of about six people). And they are only able to do this because society continually defends them and protects them.

    I recommend this article on the details.

  33. Ginkgo says

    “What we often fail to realize is, when we blame individual criminals, we are letting society off the hook.”

    This is the mechanism called “scapegoating” or “demonization” and its effect if not its purpose is to let socety pretend that all that evil is external to it, something the Other is doing. Letting society off the hook is the whole point.

  34. Ginkgo says

    “Or castrating all men after freezing a sperm sample at age 15, to be used for procreation at a later date. That would end it altogether.”

    That would do nothing to stop femlae rapists, would it?

    And speaking of culture conducing to rape, the cultural presumption that men make up the overwhelming preponderance of rapists erases female raists and gives them cover to contiune raping, and also serves to silence their accuser/victims. Culture agains – when a society defines rape so that rape by envelopment is explicitily excluded, that conduces to rape too.

  35. grahamjones says

    If society decides to adopt a castration policy, it would be logical to remove the whole business, leaving nothing for wicked women to envelop.

  36. Ginkgo says

    I sense a little rape apology hovering over Maureen wherever she goes. Women raping men is not something to laugh at or explain away or minimize or dismiss with cheap accusations of misogyny.

  37. A Hermit says

    I don”t see anyone dismissing or minimizing female rapists, Ginkgo. I will say that I think recognizing the fact that the overwhelming majority of rapists are men, and victims women, is necessary if we’ are going to get to the root of the problem.

    But the important point here is that imposing solutions like those suggested above is problematic and the better approach is, as Ally is suggesting, to change the culture; social attitudes, police procedures, etc. Presumably that would include changing attitudes toward male victims and female perpetrators as well.

    See Lousy Canuck’s recent post for example…http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/05/06/memo-to-blowjob-forcing-fan-its-a-rap-concert-not-a-rape-concert/

  38. Ginkgo says

    “I will say that I think recognizing the fact that the overwhelming majority of rapists are men, and victims women, is necessary if we’ are going to get to the root of the problem.”

    This is the rape apology I am talking about. Your claim is only true if youspecifically exclude envelopment rape from your tabulation of who rapes and who gets raped.

  39. Ally Fogg says

    @Gingko & (@Maureen)

    Hi Gingko, I’m pretty sure we’ve had this convo before, but just a note on my own vocabulary. I use the UK legal definition of rape, which is (simplistically) penetration with a penis.

    I recognise sexual abuse by women, and think it needs to be taken seriously and indeed punished as severely as sexual abuse by men.

    I accept that many people feel envelopment should simply be called rape. There are very convincing arguments for it too. But as it stands, rape means something specific in the UK, so if I say rape, that’s what I mean by it.

    But after all that, the comment that started this was a bit of a thoughtless and tasteless snap, with hindsight, and I wasn’t choosing my words very carefully. Apologies.

    I’ll also say that I found Maureen’s response pretty thoughtless and tasteless too, for the record.

  40. Paul B says

    I have no problem with the suggestion that white society needs to look at its own culture. I do have a problem with the implication that British Muslim communities do not.

    I admit to not being a big fan of Joseph Harker but he made some valid points in his article. And i agree there is this double standard in operation in this country where those of us from ethnic and religious minority communities are told we have some sort of collective responsibility to address what’s going wrong in our own backyards .But the White British majority are rarely if ever called to collective account in the same way and with the same regularity. Nevertheless i absolutely agree with your above quote.For implying that ethnic and religious communities in this country don’t need to look at their own culture whilst the White British majority do is nothing less than political correctness and cultural relativism gone mad.

  41. A Hermit says

    Even if you include it the vast majority of rapes still appear to be committed by men and against women.

    Again, this is not to dismiss the problem of assaults against men and boys, just putting it in perspective. We certainly shouldn’t ignore it, but if the solution is to change the culture we have to start with a clear picture of what the culture looks like.

  42. Adiabat says

    Ally: So what you’re saying is that merely saying “Such-and-such is culture” is a bit pointless really? That when people say that something is “rape culture” then they are effectively adding nothing to the discussion? That things which may contribute to the existence of rape should be discussed rationally and simply slapping an ideological label on it and telling people to sort it out, or “have a fucking hard look at ourselves”, doesn’t really help? Great, I knew I came to your blog for a reason; you’re not afraid to point out the foibles that feminists engage in, as well as other people.

    I’m disappointed that no-one challenged any of my suggestions. I was all ready to call people misogynists and rape apologists :(. Apparently that’s what we do when we identify something as “rape culture” and someone disagrees.

    Needless to say, I don’t agree with most of my suggestions, though I do think the eagerness of social justice types to call the police racist, often without good reason, did contribute to the rapes in Rochdale, Oxford, Rotherham and other areas by Muslim men. I think that holding social justice types to a higher evidential standard for their theories before giving them space in national newspapers will help reduce this aspect of rape culture.

  43. Adiabat says

    Ally: “But as it stands, rape means something specific in the UK, so if I say rape, that’s what I mean by it.”

    Then I think we should have a fucking hard look at ourselves and recognize that the UK definition of rape is culture!

  44. John Morales says

    Adiabat:

    I’m disappointed that no-one challenged any of my suggestions. I was all ready to call people misogynists and rape apologists :( . Apparently that’s what we do when we identify something as “rape culture” and someone disagrees.

    Your disappointment is a consequence of your admittedly mistaken expectation, and what should be apparent to you now is that what you thought was apparent did not in fact appear.

    Needless to say, I don’t agree with most of my suggestions, though I do think the eagerness of social justice types to call the police racist, often without good reason, did contribute to the rapes in Rochdale, Oxford, Rotherham and other areas by Muslim men.

    Needless to say, what you are doing here is indistinguishable from tepid trollery.

    I think that holding social justice types to a higher evidential standard for their theories before giving them space in national newspapers will help reduce this aspect of rape culture.

    Pray tell: what do you imagine the evidential standard for their theories to be, other than not high enough?

    (Can you be more specific?)

  45. Adiabat says

    John Morales: “your admittedly mistaken expectation”

    Where did I admit that? The expectation is sound: I don’t think it was a mistaken expectation just because it didn’t happen in this one case. For example there is a link in the OP to an article denying, through omission, the fact that the perpetrators race contributed to reluctance of police to investigate.

    “Needless to say, what you are doing here is indistinguishable from tepid trollery”

    To a moron it is. Anyone with a modicum of reading ability and intelligence would be able to recognize that the ‘suggestions’ were taking the logic of Ally’s OP to a conclusion that he probably wouldn’t agree with (“We don’t castrate rapists! We need to fucking look at ourselves!”). This demonstrates a flaw in the whole “rape culture” thing as practiced as all too often bloggers feel it sufficient to point at something and go “Rape Culture!” as though that is an argument in itself. While I don’t believe Ally is that shallow my post required him to demonstrate that merely saying something is “culture” means nothing; that what is required, and all too often lacking, is an analysis of what exactly causes what, how much and what, if anything, can we do about it, if we should do anything at all. This was necessary as I would’ve been accused of rape apology, or some other shaming tactic you lot love to use (‘social science denier’ seems to be your current favourite), if I just came out and said it; it looks a lot better coming from him. Plus people get defensive if you start accusing them of stuff (you surely know this, you seem to do it to other posters all the time).

    Even if a reader with a modicum of reading ability and intelligence disagrees with the aim of that paragraph in my earlier comment, they should at least be able to distinguish it from “tepid trollery” (do you write that way to sound more intelligent than you actually are? I think everyone’s been too polite to mention to you that it’s not working). Obviously that says a lot about you that you couldn’t do this.

    “Pray tell: what do you imagine the evidential standard for their theories to be, other than not high enough?”

    I believe that Steersman is kicking your arse sufficiently well on this topic in the Global Inc thread that I see no reason to do the same here. Perhaps you should to actually try to respond to one of his points rather than post snarky content-less comments.

    That thread is a disappointing show from you lot in general: I would expect that when one of you effectively goes “read these links and suck it, bitches” I am being provided with evidence by someone who has done the research and is providing the ‘cream of the crop’ in terms of evidence for your position. That’s why I gave you the benefit of the doubt and read them, as I’m new on FTB and like to give places at least one chance. Needless to say the “evidence” I was linked to was shit, and I’ve explained why. So my initial response to your question is “better than that”.

  46. Ginkgo says

    “Hi Gingko, I’m pretty sure we’ve had this convo before, but just a note on my own vocabulary. I use the UK legal definition of rape, which is (simplistically) penetration with a penis. ”

    Well even if we had, you are right and I agree that that is the situation there. it’s not much better here, either the statutes or case law.

    And it just supports you point, that the problem is cultural. and That culture informs systemic and institutional support for women who “rape”. (I wish there was a separate US spelling for clarity in this case.)

    “There are very convincing arguments for it too. But as it stands, rape means something specific in the UK, so if I say rape, that’s what I mean by it.”

    You have to be specific about terms to make any headway, so you go ahead and do what you have to do. I agree with it.

  47. pitchguest says

    That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape.

    Which is a powerful statement, but clearly wrong. And it should say “MOST men don’t rape” and “MOST women are never victims of rape”, if you count the amount of rapes occuring versus the amount of women in the population. Talking, of course, of Western nations, so-called “first world countries” and not of the excessively poor countries. Though if statistics are any indication, even in the highly Muslim countries, like Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, et al, the rape statistics are low compared to the overall female population of the country. Which doesn’t mean it’s not a problem, however the quote is “That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population …”

    Really. The WHOLE of the female population is held in a subordinate position.

    Bullshit.

    If this *is* a rape culture and what we’re seeing is the whole of the female population held in a subordinate position, then why aren’t there more rapes? Surely in such a situation, where men have all the power (and according to some, like Melissa McEwan, that in “rape culture” sexual aggression by men is considered “sexy”) there should be (and excuse my expression) an explosion of rape by men. In fact, the men appointed to police our country, with countless privileges at their behest, why don’t they rape? Why don’t they rape more often?

    Actually, if we are living in a patriarchy, a society run by men for men at the expense of women, and if we’re also living in a rape culture where rape by men is allegedly excused — and even accepted — by society as a whole, and once again “the female population [is] held in a subordinate position to the whole male population”, then why hasn’t it always been like that? It makes – no – sense. It’s a bit like saying that, even though you’re allowed to do whatever you want short of murder and stealing, you live in a totalitarian society, and even though you have freedom of the press you live in a culture of censorship because television censors words like “shit” and “fuck.”

  48. John Morales says

    pitchguest:

    That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape.

    Which is a powerful statement, but clearly wrong. And it should say “MOST men don’t rape” and “MOST women are never victims of rape”, if you count the amount of rapes occuring versus the amount of women in the population.

    Does every man in have to rape in order for the cultural effect of fear of rape to be significant?

    Really. The WHOLE of the female population is held in a subordinate position.

    Bullshit.

    Hard to believe, right?

    (Too hard!)

    If this *is* a rape culture and what we’re seeing is the whole of the female population held in a subordinate position, then why aren’t there more rapes? Surely in such a situation, where men have all the power (and according to some, like Melissa McEwan, that in “rape culture” sexual aggression by men is considered “sexy”) there should be (and excuse my expression) an explosion of rape by men. In fact, the men appointed to police our country, with countless privileges at their behest, why don’t they rape? Why don’t they rape more often?

    Perhaps because what you understand that compound term to refer and what it actually refers in feminist discourse aren’t the same thing.

    [1] Actually, if we are living in a patriarchy, a society run by men for men at the expense of women, and if we’re also living in a rape culture where rape by men is allegedly excused — and even accepted — by society as a whole, and once again “the female population [is] held in a subordinate position to the whole male population”, then why hasn’t it always been like that? [2] It makes – no – sense. [3] It’s a bit like saying that, even though you’re allowed to do whatever you want short of murder and stealing, you live in a totalitarian society, and even though you have freedom of the press you live in a culture of censorship because television censors words like “shit” and “fuck.”

    1. You’re unfamiliar with history, I see.

    2. Not to you, anyway.

    3. Just an opinion, and a perverse one at that, right?

  49. pitchguest says

    John Morales:

    Does every man in have to rape in order for the cultural effect of fear of rape to be significant?

    For the accusation that we’re living in a rape CULTURE (compounded with that we’re living [now, in modern times] in a society by men for men at the expense of women) where rape is supposedly excused and accepted by society as a whole, and that is in fact systemic, then I have to say it would have to be pretty damn saturated. For instance, to take one country, the US: in 2005, the overall rape statistics stated the amount of rapes in the country (of both female and male persuasion) came to a whopping 191,670. Now if we were to calculate the percentage of the entire population, which is around 315 million people, in 2005 I’d say slightly less so for the sake of argument let’s go with 314.

    A simple equation, 191,670 divided by 314,000,000 (I’m rounding it up), multiplied by 100 = 0,0610414012~0,06%.

    6%. Of the entire population of the US, rape was a measly six percent. Yet allegedly you’re living in a rape culture (and have been for some time), a culture that considers male sexual aggression to be “sexy”, a culture where the whole of the female population is in subordination to the whole of the male population BY RAPE. In, coincidentally, a society called the patriarchy run by men, for men, at the expense of women, where they seek to constantly cull, and opress and subjugate women. Nevermind that patriarchy also hurts men, and therefore instead of fighting one another, we should helping one another, but for some reason — through the whims of this invisible power structure — we can’t seem to mete it, and for some reason (even though it hurts men too) some women can’t seem to not blame men for all of their ills.

    Why in a culture that’s so endemic in rape is the number not higher than that?

    According to a chart by the Global Post[1], the highest reported incidents of rape in the US trumps that of India, Mexico and Sweden (my country of origin, which has previously been given the nickname “Rape capital of the world”)

    Really. The WHOLE of the female population is held in a subordinate position.

    Bullshit.

    Hard to believe, right?

    (Too hard!)

    In face of seeming evidence to the contrary, yes. Yes it is.

    If this *is* a rape culture and what we’re seeing is the whole of the female population held in a subordinate position, then why aren’t there more rapes? Surely in such a situation, where men have all the power (and according to some, like Melissa McEwan, that in “rape culture” sexual aggression by men is considered “sexy”) there should be (and excuse my expression) an explosion of rape by men. In fact, the men appointed to police our country, with countless privileges at their behest, why don’t they rape? Why don’t they rape more often?

    Perhaps because what you understand that compound term to refer and what it actually refers in feminist discourse aren’t the same thing.

    Which term? Rape culture?

    Well, to be honest, it’s really confusing sometimes to keep tabs on which definition of rape culture they’re using, because it seems to differ every so often. This time I’m going by the definition provided by A. Noyd and Melissa McEwan in her blog post, “Rape Culture 101.” But tell me, John, what *does* the term “rape culture” *actually* refer in feminist discourse? Oh, and while I’ve got you, why do you always preface your posts with [meta] all the time?

    [1] Actually, if we are living in a patriarchy, a society run by men for men at the expense of women, and if we’re also living in a rape culture where rape by men is allegedly excused — and even accepted — by society as a whole, and once again “the female population [is] held in a subordinate position to the whole male population”, then why hasn’t it always been like that? [2] It makes – no – sense. [3] It’s a bit like saying that, even though you’re allowed to do whatever you want short of murder and stealing, you live in a totalitarian society, and even though you have freedom of the press you live in a culture of censorship because television censors words like “shit” and “fuck.”

    1. You’re unfamiliar with history, I see.

    2. Not to you, anyway.

    3. Just an opinion, and a perverse one at that, right?

    1. Excuse me for not seeing the relevance of the struggles of women in history in the present. We are talking about the *now*, aren’t we? I’d be perfectly willing to accept that there were societies back in history that treated women badly, or worse, which is sad, but it is also irrelevant. But since we’re discussing history, don’t you find it odd that no one wrote of this so-called “rape culture” until the 1970′s? You would think since it was so pervasive in society, *someone* would have written about it and *someone* would have at least referred to it by name. None of the first-wave feminists wrote about “rape culture”, [2]nor did the very first feminists who (in the words of Simone de Beauvoir) “[took] up [their] pen in defense of [their] sex.” [3]The term doesn’t come into publication until the 1970′s. If the term “rape culture” is contemporary, and the culture is so systemic in our society, what was it called before that?

    2. Not to many people.
    3. I’m…not sure what you’re getting at, but it would be pretty absurd, yes.

    [1]: _http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/quick-click/which-country-has-the-highest-reported-incidents-rape-data
    [2]: _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-wave_feminism#Origins
    [3] _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture

  50. John Morales says

    pitchguest:

    A simple equation, 191,670 divided by 314,000,000 (I’m rounding it up), multiplied by 100 = 0,0610414012~0,06%.

    Interesting figures you have at your fingertips.

    6%. Of the entire population of the US, rape was a measly six percent.

    You’re two orders of magnitude out!

    Why in a culture that’s so endemic in rape is the number not higher than that?

    Perhaps because what you understand ‘rape culture’ to refer to and what it actually refers to in feminist discourse aren’t the same thing.

    Well, to be honest, it’s really confusing sometimes to keep tabs on which definition of rape culture they’re using, because it seems to differ every so often.

    Well, I guess it must be quite the chore for you to keep au fait with feminist literature.

    This time I’m going by the definition provided by A. Noyd and Melissa McEwan in her blog post, “Rape Culture 101.”

    Care to either link to it or to quote it?

    Oh, and while I’ve got you, why do you always preface your posts with [meta] all the time?

    I don’t.

    Excuse me for not seeing the relevance of the struggles of women in history in the present. We are talking about the *now*, aren’t we? I’d be perfectly willing to accept that there were societies back in history that treated women badly, or worse, which is sad, but it is also irrelevant.

    Whether women were historically treated badly is irrelevant to present times. Gotcha.

    But since we’re discussing history, don’t you find it odd that no one wrote of this so-called “rape culture” until the 1970′s?

    Didn’t you just claim that’s irrelevant to the *now*?

    You would think since it was so pervasive in society, *someone* would have written about it and *someone* would have at least referred to it by name. None of the first-wave feminists wrote about “rape culture”

    <clickety-click click>

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Cereta

    nor did the very first feminists who (in the words of Simone de Beauvoir) “[took] up [their] pen in defense of [their] sex.”

    Very scholarly of you.

    The term doesn’t come into publication until the 1970′s. If the term “rape culture” is contemporary, and the culture is so systemic in our society, what was it called before that?

    “culture”? :)

  51. Maureen Brian says

    I apologise for being thoughtless and tasteless, Ally.

    Not as an excuse but possibly as an explanation – I am old enough to remember the last time around (1970s) when part of the problem we faced in trying to address rape was that there were no good figures on how many rapes there actually were.

    Since then we have seen some good research which, at very least, confirms that there are far more rapes of all types than policy makers and senior police officers were ever going to admit. So, for me, part of rape culture was then and still is a refusal to acknowledge just how many rapes there are. Sometimes it shows up as the number of convictions given undue weight, sometimes as “but only bad women get raped” and very frequently as a need to redefine what happens as “not really rape” cf. George Galloway and the entire town of Steubenville.

    Sadly, a refusal to accept other people’s figures and a wish to discuss one aspect of a problem to the exclusion of the whole both dovetail beautifully with the cry of “what about the menz?” I thought I caught a whiff of that in the post I responded to. I may well have been mistaken.

  52. John Morales says

    Adiabat:

    Where did I admit that? The expectation is sound: I don’t think it was a mistaken expectation just because it didn’t happen in this one case.

    I quoted you.

    To a moron it is [indistinguishable from tepid trollery].

    And therefore I must be a moron, right?

    (Your logic is not quite impeccable)

    Anyone with a modicum of reading ability and intelligence would be able to recognize that the ‘suggestions’ were taking the logic of Ally’s OP to a conclusion that he probably wouldn’t agree with (“We don’t castrate rapists! We need to fucking look at ourselves!”).

    You should learn that reductio ad absurdum is a logical rather than a rhetorical technique.

    This demonstrates a flaw in the whole “rape culture” thing as practiced as all too often bloggers feel it sufficient to point at something and go “Rape Culture!” as though that is an argument in itself.

    “the whole “rape culture” thing as practiced”, eh?

    (You are very poor at expressing yourself)

    While I don’t believe Ally is that shallow my post required him to demonstrate that merely saying something is “culture” means nothing; that what is required, and all too often lacking, is an analysis of what exactly causes what, how much and what, if anything, can we do about it, if we should do anything at all.

    You really think that what is required is that any post using a sociological or feminist concept should include an analysis of that concept covering what exactly causes what, how much and what, if anything, can we do about it, if we should do anything at all before proceeding to the actual thesis of that post?

    This was necessary as I would’ve been accused of rape apology, or some other shaming tactic you lot love to use (‘social science denier’ seems to be your current favourite), if I just came out and said it; it looks a lot better coming from him.

    You earlier admitted you were disappointed that you were not so accused, yet now you claim you did that specifically so that you would not so be accused? Heh.

    Even if a reader with a modicum of reading ability and intelligence disagrees with the aim of that paragraph in my earlier comment, they should at least be able to distinguish it from “tepid trollery” (do you write that way to sound more intelligent than you actually are? I think everyone’s been too polite to mention to you that it’s not working). Obviously that says a lot about you that you couldn’t do this.

    Obviously!

    “Pray tell: what do you imagine the evidential standard for their theories to be, other than not high enough?”

    I believe that Steersman is kicking your arse sufficiently well on this topic in the Global Inc thread that I see no reason to do the same here. Perhaps you should to actually try to respond to one of his points rather than post snarky content-less comments.

    Well, since you’re no fan of snarky content-less comments, I guess I’m supposed to infer that whatever Steersman claims that evidential standard for their theories to be is what you imagine it to be.

    (Whatever that may be)

    That thread is a disappointing show from you lot in general: I would expect that when one of you effectively goes “read these links and suck it, bitches” I am being provided with evidence by someone who has done the research and is providing the ‘cream of the crop’ in terms of evidence for your position.

    There is only one of me.

    That’s why I gave you the benefit of the doubt and read them, as I’m new on FTB and like to give places at least one chance. Needless to say the “evidence” I was linked to was shit, and I’ve explained why.

    I’m not them, I’m me.

    <waves helpfully>

    So my initial response to your question is “better than that”.

    Actually, that’s your final response — your initial response was that you saw no reason to reiterate the vapidities of Steerman.

  53. Adiabat says

    John Morales: *Yawn*. I’d take your pedantry much more seriously if your reading difficulties and faux-intellectualism hadn’t already been established. As an example the quote mentioned in the first part of your post quite obviously doesn’t show what you seem to think it shows. I see no value in replying to anything else you said.

  54. John Morales says

    Adiabat, my pedantry stands on its own.

    As an example the quote mentioned in the first part of your post quite obviously doesn’t show what you seem to think it shows. I see no value in replying to anything else you said.

    <snicker>

    IOW: you have no rebuttal other than posturing, and you admit it.

  55. Adiabat says

    John: In order to get a rebuttal you first need to make an argument. I’m still waiting for you to do that.

    All I see is pedantry and snarky one-liners. In most cases the pedantry isn’t even valid, and the few cases where it is the meaning of my post can be interpreted correctly by any reasonable person arguing in good faith. I haven’t yet decided whether your failure to do this is intentional trolling or some mental issue. If it’s the first then my replying to you would be pointless and if it’s the second then, well, I can’t be arsed working round your issues; I’m not here to hold your hand.

  56. John Morales says

    Adiabat:

    In order to get a rebuttal you first need to make an argument. I’m still waiting for you to do that.

    So you weren’t disappointed that your expectation remained unmet, and it was therefore not mistaken?

    (What, do you repudiate your initial claim? ;) )

    All I see is pedantry and snarky one-liners.

    Were you not an ignoramus, you’d note that mistaken pedantry is an oxymoron.

    I haven’t yet decided whether your failure to do this is intentional trolling or some mental issue.

    It could be both or neither!

    (You do not exhaust the possibility-space)

    I’m not here to hold your hand.

    True; chew-toy, you are.

    (ooh — squeaky!)

  57. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    While I agree with you that these stories are not as widespread as people think and we are not under some sort of “rape epidemic”, your comment appears to trivialise the incidents by essentially giving the message that “they are not common, let’s not worry”. No, rape is a problem and it is enabled by our culture, and steps need to be taken to correct that. I know that’s probably not what you meant to do, but maybe think about your phrasing.

    You also appear to have misdefined rape culture. Rape culture is a term encompassing all aspects of a particular culture which enable, allow or trivialise rape. Ally talks about this when he talks of Victim blaming and defalt disbelief. It certainly does not mean or imply that all men are rapists.

  58. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    The accusation is, and always has been, that even if we don’t actually rape, we are all still complicit in rape.

    Wrong.

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