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Sep 04 2013

The startling facts on female sexual aggression

For the past year or so, any time I’ve written about men’s sexual aggression towards women, I could almost guarantee that someone would comment beneath about women’s sexual aggression towards men, usually referencing the US Centre for Disease Control’s Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010.

This huge victim survey made a surprising finding. It suggested that the rates of men being forced to penetrate women over the past year was identical to the rates of women reporting being raped, each 1.1%. Lifetime prevalence of the crimes were 4.8% for men and 17.8% for women. Meanwhile men reporting sex through coercion was 1.5% over the past year (6% lifetime) compared to 2% (13% lifetime) for women.

I’ll be honest that I was, for a long time, extremely dubious about these data. They fly in the face of everything we presume to know about sexual violence. They had to be a rogue result, either the product of some sampling error, a result of differing interpretations of coercion and compulsion by male and female respondents, or some unexplained bug in the methodology.

So I began to do what I always try to do, and find out for myself. For a long time I drew blanks, it seemed there simply was no corroborating evidence. Most of my usual criminology bibles and texts on sexual assault came up bare. Then slowly I began to catch glints of light – a reference in a paper here, a link in a discussion there.  As is the way of research, suddenly the pieces began to tumble out in front of me. What I found astonished me. It turns out the CDC results are not unique or unprecedented. There is a raft of research going back to the 1980s making very similar claims.

I know many readers of this blog will be as sceptical as I was. So I will do something I don’t normally do, and post a whole bunch of academic references, with the relevant findings. You can check them to your heart’s content. Alternatively just skip to the discussion below.

—–

Aizeman & Kelley, 1988 – 14% of men (and 29% of women) reported they had been forced to have intercourse against their will

Anderson 1998 – Survey of 461 women (general population) 43% secured sexual acts by verbal coercion; 36.5% by getting a man intoxicated; threat of force – 27.8%, use of force – 20%;  By threatening a man with a weapon – 8.9%.

Anderson, 1999 – 43% of college women admitted to using verbal or physical pressure to obtain sex

Anderson and Aymami (1993) 28.5% of women reported the use of verbal coercion, 14.7% had coerced a man into sexual activity by getting him intoxicated and 7.1% had threatened or used physical force.

Fiebert & Tucci (1998) – 70% of male college students reported experiencing some type of harassment, pressuring, or coercion by a female

Hannon, Kunetz, Van Laar, & Williams (1996) – 10% of surveyed male college students reported experiencing a completed sexual assault perpetrated by a female intimate partner

Hogben, Byrne & Hamburger (1996) Lifetime prevalence of 24% for women having made a man engage in sexual activity against his will.

Krahe, Waizenhofer & Moller (2003) – 9.3% of women reported having used aggressive strategies to coerce a man into sexual activities.  Exploitation of the man’s incapacitated state: 5.6% Verbal pressure: 3.2%. Physical force: 2%. An additional 5.4% reported attempted acts of sexual aggression

Larimer, Lydum, Anderson and Turner (1999) 20.7% of male respondents had been the recipients of unwanted sexual contact in the year prior to the survey. Verbal pressure was experienced by 7.9%, physical force by 0.6% and intoxication through alcohol or drugs by 3.6%.

Muehlenhard and Cook (1988) 23.8% of male respondents had engaged in unwanted sexual activity as a result of threat or physical force, and 26.8% reported unwanted sexual contact as a result of verbal pressure. For unwanted intercourse, the prevalence rates were 6.5% for physical force and 13.4% for verbal pressure.

O’Sullivan, Byers and Finkelman (1998) Overall incidence of 8% of women reporting sexual aggression for the academic year preceding the survey. Intercourse due to use of threat or physical force 0.5%, by use of alcohol or drugs 0.5% and attempted intercourse due to threat or use of physical force also 0.5%. Of male respondents, 18.5% reported having experienced sexual aggression. Specifically, 3.8% reported experiencing unwanted sexual intercourse due to use of alcohol or drugs, and 2.3% reported attempted intercourse due to threat or use of physical force.

Poppen and Segal (1988) 14% of women reported lifetime incident(s) of perpetration (including both verbal coercion and physical assault)

Russell and Oswald (2001) – 18% of women in a college sample reported engaging in sexually coercive behaviors, ranging from verbal threats and pressure to use of physically aggressive tactics.

Russell and Oswald (2002) 44% of college men in their sample reported being subjected to a sexually coercive tactic.

Shea (1988) Women’s reported lifetime prevalence – 19% for verbal coercion; 1.2% reported having physically assaulted a man.

Sisco, Becker, Figueredo, & Sales (2005) – A third of women reported that they had verbally harassed a person or pressured the person into performing a sexual act that the person felt uncomfortable with while roughly one in ten performed a coercive sexual act that would be considered illegal (e.g., sexual acts that involved a person who was unable or unwilling to consent)

Sorensen, Stein, Siegel, Golding and Burnam (1987) Lifetime prevalence rate of 9.4% and an adult prevalence rate of 7.2% for men’s sexual victimization (male self-reports).

Struckman-Johnson (1988) – 2% of 355 female college students reported they had forced sex on a dating partner at least once in their lifetime.

Struckman-Johnson and Struckman-Johnson (1998) – 43% of college men reported experiencing a coercive incident, of which 36% reported unwanted touch and 27% reported being coerced into sexual intercourse.

[As I was almost done completing this list, almost inevitably, I discovered that someone else – Martin Fiebert to be precise – had already compiled a similar one.  The bastard. Anyway, it’s here, and contains many of the same papers plus many more]

—–

Where does this research lead us? Most obviously, to the conclusion that female sexual aggression in relationships is far more common than I, and I suspect most people, usually presume. It is a huge, and almost entirely invisible phenomenon with many, many unacknowledged male victims.. There are also enormous heffalump-traps here. Firstly, the research does not show that women are as likely to sexually aggress as men. Where there is a direct comparison (eg the very first reference) they tend to show that men are at least twice as likely to sexually aggress as women. Nor does it imply that a man’s experience of being sexually coerced or assaulted by a women is in some way parallel to a woman’s experience of being sexually coerced or assaulted by a man.

Let me bring in an anecdote. When I was at a student party once, around 25 years ago, a very drunk (and physically rather large) woman came on to me, very strongly indeed.  I tried to escape with a tactical toilet break. She followed me into the loo, forced me up against the basin, pushed her tongue into my mouth and her hand into my jeans. I had to summon up quite a lot of physical strength to escape. This may sound strange, but my understanding of the incident, then and now, was not that I had narrowly escaped being raped by her, but that she had narrowly escaped being raped by me. She was in no state to be making such a choice. When her hand grasped my cock it reacted and for a moment I considered letting her have her wish. I refrained, partly because I knew I would regret it afterwards, but more importantly because I knew it was highly likely that she would regret it, if not immediately, then certainly the next day. (I was also pretty sure she was going to throw up any minute, and if I didn’t fancy her much to begin with, that certainly wouldn’t have helped.)

It was all a bit icky at the time, but minutes later she’d wandered off and passed out on an armchair, I sighed with relief, shrugged off the suggestive leers from my mates, grabbed a beer, rolled a spliff and all but forgot about it within minutes.

Had the details of the incident been the same, but the genders been reversed – had I been the obnoxiously drunken man who forced my way into a bathroom with a woman, thrust my hand into her pants and pinned her against a wall, it would have (very probably) been a far, far more terrifying, traumatizing experience for the victim. Nobody would have questioned that it was an attempted rape.  Is this a double standard? Probably, but it is one born of thousands of years of cultural, sexual and gender conditioning, not to mention the political context, in which the ever present threat of rape has been used as a primary tool of male domination over women. We can question that, strive to move on from it, but we cannot simply wish it away.

That said, if I lacked either the strength or sobriety to extricate myself from the situation, I might well have had a very different recall of the event.  In one of the many studies into this subject, Struckman-Johnson and Struckman-Johnson (1994), found that most men who experienced unwanted female contact had ‘mild negative reactions’ (a fair description of my feelings, I’d say), However about one fifth of the men had strong negative reactions – some were traumatised, damaged, psychologically harmed by the experience.  That is of course far lower than the proportion of women who are seriously traumatised by sexual assaults by men but there is also research going back as far as 1982 (by Sarrel and Masters) demonstrating severely negative psychological and psychosexual consequences to male victimization. We are taking a long time to wake up to this problem.

It seems apparent (and I choose those words with care) that whatever the incidence of female sexual assault of adult males, our society is not teeming with men who have been seriously psychologically and emotionally damaged by experience of female abuse and assault. I recently asked a friend, a clinical psychologist, whether it was something that came up often, and he replied that in a 20 year career, he could only recall two clients who disclosed such issues, both of which had occurred as part of a broader pattern of partner abuse and domestic violence. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean serious casualties do not exist, nor does it invalidate the experience of men who were less lucky than me, more vulnerable than me, or more traumatised than me. Nor does it preclude the possibility that many damaged men simply never confess their nightmares to anyone, even their professional therapists.

What should we take from awareness of the extent of female sexual aggression? First, just that  – awareness. Men need to be aware that there are women out there who will exploit them, not feel isolated or shamed if it happens to them, and be prepared to seek and accept help and support if they need it.

Society needs to be aware that it is a serious issue, not a joke, not always a trivial matter or something that belongs in the News of the Weird section. Abigail Rine at The Atlantic has written a couple of excellent pieces [here and here] about our cultural hypocrisy on the issue recently. We need many more writers like her.

Our mental health and social care systems need to be more alive to the extent of the issue, be open to the possibility that emotionally and sexually troubled men might be troubled for this very reason. And this might sound bizarre, but perhaps women need to be aware that they can and do assault and abuse men. I strongly suspect many women genuinely believe that any man will be (literally) up for it at any time, and will always be glad of a sexual thrill. This is as much of a rape myth as any other.

Above all, this knowledge should yet again give us pause to consider our collective understanding of the nature of sexual consent. I don’t think we can entirely untangle female sexual abuse of men from male sexual abuse of women. Both stem from a willingness to exert selfish power or sadistic cruelty, placing sex in a framework where we take what we want and get what we can, rather than give what is wanted.  Perhaps greater enlightenment on this topic could help to further break down all abusive sexual behaviours, to the benefit of male and female victims alike.

UPDATE: SURVIVOR SUPPORT
Was just prompted by a chat on Twitter to realise that it might be useful for some to include links to support organisations.

If you are a male survivor of any form of sexual abuse and would like support or advice.

In the UK: www.survivorsuk.org
I
n the US: http://malesurvivor.org

(if you can suggest any other organisations I should link to, please let me know below)

 

 

 

400 comments

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  1. 1
    Gjenganger

    No. That really is a double standard. A big, drunk woman tries to force herself on you and you say she is not a rapist – indeed *you* would be a rapist if you let her. You cannot then say that a big, drunk man doiing the same thing to a woman is a rapist and the woman a blameless victim. As long as we stay at the level of moral advice you may have a point, but when we get to criminal offenses like rape, there has to be some kind of equality.

    Or if you really think that women (only) are free and blamelles whatever their sexual behaviour, and men (only) are criminally responsible for all possible outcomes, we need to give men some special rivileges too, to counteract this blatant favouring of women.

  2. 2
    mildlymagnificent

    I strongly suspect many women genuinely believe that any man will be (literally) up for it at any time, and will always be glad of a sexual thrill. This is as much of a rape myth as any other.

    And a lot of men have an equally toxic view of male sexuality that real men are up for it any time with virtually anyone. If they’re not then they’re not virile or some such nonsense. Which is part of the assemblage of rape myths that makes it difficult for many men to admit to themselves, let alone say it out loud to someone else, that a woman has sexually assaulted them.

  3. 3
    Ally Fogg

    Gjenganger

    As long as we stay at the level of moral advice you may have a point, but when we get to criminal offenses like rape, there has to be some kind of equality.

    This raises an interesting point. In all honesty, I wasn’t even contemplating the criminal justice angle, I was talking (to an extent) morally, but more importantly I was talking emotionally.

    In law, the woman committed quite a serious criminal sexual assault against me. Notwithstanding the difficulties of ever convicting such crimes, I have no problem with the law being as it is. After all, she couldn’t know how psychologically vulnerable I might be, how I would react, what the consequences might be for my mental heatlh, and she was not for one moment considering those things (because I very much doubt it had entered her head that she was committing a serious offence.)

    What I would be wary of is any assumption that attacks on men by women are necessarily qualitatively identical to attacks on women by men. In most (but not all) cases, the impacts and consequences are likely to be rather different.

  4. 4
    Ally Fogg

    mildlymagnificent (2)

    I agree entirely.

  5. 5
    Gjenganger

    @Ally Fogg 3

    You used the word ‘rape’. That brings in the criminal law, as well as a *very* heavy moral condemnation. One might even argue that you had a moral obligation to turn her in, to protect future rape victims. You clearly do not see it in such dim light, but maybe you then should use another word, to avoid confusion.

    What I would be wary of is any assumption that attacks on men by women are necessarily qualitatively identical to attacks on women by men. In most (but not all) cases, the impacts and consequences are likely to be rather different.

    That is fair enough. To the extent that the sexes are different (for whatever reason) it is right to treat them differently. But once we accept tht the sexes are so different, we should consider that across the board. We cannot have the sexes different whenever we want to give women preferential treatment, but eequal and identical when we want to ensure that women always get at least 50%

  6. 6
    Gjenganger

    This discussion brings back the old conundrum: If two strangers meet and have sex, both blind drunk, how do you know that it is the man who is the rapist and the woman who is the victim? The logical answer was always that women forcing themselves on unwilling men was such a rare and weird event that you could disregard it for practical purposes. But if we now see that women do do this kind of thing with some frequency, should we not rewrite the consent rules so that the presumption was that both drunks were equally likely to be responsible?

  7. 7
    ludicrous

    Thanks, you have opened a door. I have not read the references but I notice you do not mention age.. We may get some comments from men who as children experienced ‘games’ with older girls and women. I have no direct memory of experience of that kind but for various reasons I suspect I do not remember everything. Also I have heard a couple of ‘confessions’ from women.

    And thanks for emphasizing that there is a world of difference between the sexes. My own opinion is that sexual aggression of male on female is not even in the same category of seriousness. I have never been a female but the more I read and hear the more I am convinced that we need to be careful to not conflate the two experiences.

  8. 8
    Jonathan

    Let me bring in an anecdote. When I was at a student party once, around 25 years ago, a very drunk (and physically rather large) woman came on to me, very strongly indeed.

    Well, yes. I’ve been hassled (very occasionally) by drunken women in the past. My reaction was pretty much the same as yours: it’s unpleasant, you try to get away as quickly as possible, and a short time later you’ve put it behind you. Drunks are annoying anyway.

    Incidentally, I’ve also been hit more often by women than by men. I’ve rather put that down to cultural gender expectations: (some) women sometimes think they can raise their hands with impunity (i.e. you’re not going to hit a woman), whereas men are more aware of the possible consequences (a serious fight). Maybe that’s true, maybe not.

    Otherwise, I don’t know what I’m really saying with these recollections. Nothing much probably.

  9. 9
    pneumo

    Gjenganger: should we not rewrite the consent rules so that the presumption was that both drunks were equally likely to be responsible

    Following your reasoning (and the prevalence provided in the article), we should rewrite the rules so that the two drunks were responsible in thirds. 1/3 woman, 2/3 man.

    Gjenganger: We cannot have the sexes different whenever we want to give women preferential treatment, but eequal and identical when we want to ensure that women always get at least 50%

    Sure we can.

  10. 10
    ludicrous

    I wonder if sexual harassment of men by women doesn’t share a dynamic with bullying. A kid is bullied at home and goes out and bullies others. In a way all women have been bullied sexually more or less. Maybe a little bit of pay back time, tit for tat. As I said, I have never been a woman but they must accrue a lot of resentment, what do they do with it? How do they get to discharge it or put it away?

    I think the mra types could use a lesson on how to deal with their resentments of women. They are not handling it well.

  11. 11
    Tamen

    As is the way of research, suddenly the pieces began to tumble out in front of me. What I found astonished me. It turns out the CDC results are not unique or unprecedented. There is a raft of research going back to the 1980s making very similar claims.

    I can’t help but feeling a bit miffed that this astonished you now considering that at least a few of the Anderson’s papers and also one or more of the Struckman-Johnson paper have been cited by me and others in comments on your blog :)

    Nevertheless, congratulation for actually doing the work of honestly checking to see if your beliefs hold water and for not dismissing this out of hand.

    Although I’ve seen most of the paper’s you list I wasn’t aware of the Martin Fiebert page and there was a few papers I haven’t seen there. If I can get a hold of them I’ll have some reading material the next weeks. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

    Had the details of the incident been the same, but the genders been reversed – had I been the obnoxiously drunken man who forced my way into a bathroom with a woman, thrust my hand into her pants and pinned her against a wall, it would have (very probably) been a far, far more terrifying, traumatizing experience for the victim. Nobody would have questioned that it was an attempted rape. Is this a double standard? Probably, but it is one born of thousands of years of cultural, sexual and gender conditioning, not to mention the political context, in which the ever present threat of rape has been used as a primary tool of male domination over women. We can question that, strive to move on from it, but we cannot simply wish it away.

    This, however, left me a bit cold. Based on this the conclusion of succeeding in striving to move on from cultural, sexual and gender condition and political context where rape has been used as a primary tool of male domination over women would lead to rape being less traumatizing for women as well. I don’t buy that.

    I think it’s more likely that male rape is more traumatizing for men than men let on. I’ve cited in a comment on another post a paper finding that there is a disconnect between male victims of sexual abuse self report of harm and the actual clinical outcome. Men are taught, nay, indoctrinated to not admit their harm to neither themselves nor others. That plays a major part in the difference you quote and just pinning it on men using rape as a tool to subjugate women is missing the mark.

    And this might sound bizarre, but perhaps women need to be aware that they can and do assault and abuse men. I strongly suspect many women genuinely believe that any man will be (literally) up for it at any time, and will always be glad of a sexual thrill. This is as much of a rape myth as any other.

    That this could be considered bizarre is just fucked up. And please strike the perhaps – I see no reason for it.

    It seems apparent (and I choose those words with care) that whatever the incidence of female sexual assault of adult males, our society is not teeming with men who have been seriously psychologically and emotionally damaged by experience of female abuse and assault.

    Are you implying that our society it is apparent that our society is teeming with women who have been seriously psychologically and emotionally damaged by experiences of male abuse and assault? Teeming is a pretty strong world and I would also posit that most people cannot tell whether a person have been sexually abused or assaulted in their past unless the person disclose it.

    Again we come down to: Do men disclose their victimization by women? What outcome can a man who does that expect? Are violated men able to recognize the harm inflicted upon them by the women who sexually abuse them? How can one recognize something that one has learned doesn’t exist?

    Boys and men need to be aware of this in order to have any hope of recognizing and really addressing the harm inflicted upon them when they have been sexually abused. All the people who had you initial reaction, but who didn’t try to find out for themselves – who just dismissed it simply because it flies against their current beliefs – are obstacles blocking this awareness.

  12. 12
    Gjenganger

    @Pneumo 9

    Following your reasoning (and the prevalence provided in the article), we should rewrite the rules so that the two drunks were responsible in thirds. 1/3 woman, 2/3 man.

    Whatever the exact numbers we would have to conclude that we could put neither party in prison without additional evidence – since both of them were too drunk to give valid consent, and we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt who took advantage of whom.

  13. 13
    Raging Bee

    I’m a bit suspicious of some of the above-cited studies, because they use some rather vague terminology: “verbal coercion,” “some type of harassment, pressuring, or coercion by a female,” “verbal or physical pressure,” “aggressive strategies,” “Verbal pressure,” “verbal threats and pressure”…What is “verbal coercion?” If it’s a direct threat, why not say “threat” instead? What, exactly, was threatened? Based on my own experience, the “threat” could have been violence, or it could have just been “it’s now or never, clock’s ticking…” And what sort of “pressure” or “pressuring” are we talking about here?

    I went to college, and I saw some of the “aggressive” or “pressuring” tactics used by women looking to get laid; and believe me, it’s nothing compared to male aggression against women.

  14. 14
    =8)-DX

    I’ve had drunk women push up against me. I think the setting and context is very important – if you’re dancing with a load of variously drunk people in a bar, certain types of unwanted touching are to be expected, and obviously drunk people should be restrained and pacified by the people around them.

    That said – none of these incidents have ever been even marginally as unpleasant as when coming from males. Having a strange man lean on my should at the information desk of the supermarket totally freaked me out – I was pissed as hell and shaking at the thought of it the whole day. Something similar happened when dancing at a club once – a group of men thought I was gay (they were fine with that) and the largest one thought I would be fine with him bear hugging me during dancing without letting go. I told him to let go, then had to push him off me physically and shout at him – he got the message then.

    Both times (as well as other instances and non-violent circumstance with men) the most terrible feeling was the overbearing dominance of a stronger man – made me feel like prey – instantly aware of my own vulnerability.

    So I think there are several things that have to be taken into account here – the oft-touted male upper-body-strength, cultural training (men are tought to aggressively defend themselves) as well as stereotypes of gender power dynamics (men dominate, women submit) and lastly the stronger pervasiveness and frequency of certain types of harassment for women rather than men will probably strongly colour experiences of sexual harassment, assault and rape as well as violence in general. At least that’s been my experience in life.

  15. 15
    Tamen

    For a pretty comprehensive resource on research done on female sexual offenders regardless of victims one can check this ideologically neutral site out: http://www.female-offenders.com/bibliography.html

  16. 16
    spacklick

    I think a discussion needs to be had in academic circles about WHY there’s such a difference in how men and women react to being raped?

    Best case scenario, it’s entirely socialised. Women are told rape is the worst thing that can happen to them, men are told they are lucky to get sex and should want all sex so they process rape differently and that’s why men are less psychologically affected by rape. If that were the case then a process of changing social attitudes to rape could significantly reduce the harm of rape. But it’s probably not the case.

    Worst case scenario is that it’s entirely innate and there is nothing that can be done to make carrying on easier for rape victims. But it’s probably not entirely that either.

    Understanding the difference could help with rape victims support no end and yet I can never find any papers looking at the why of it.

    I was forced to penetrate one of my ex partners. She wanted sex, I was too tired, I went to sleep, she climbed on board and I woke up to find myself in flagrante delicto.

    It broke my trust of her, it made me feel a little icky. But no other effects. I’m not an overly psychologically strong person so I was surprised at how little it affected me. If there was something about how I viewed that incident immediately following it that meant it didn’t have any long lasting effects (except as I said a lack of trust for that one person) I would want to know about it and see if it could be implemented with other victims.

  17. 17
    Raging Bee

    Yo, Gjenganger, read this article and then come back and tell us about the “blatant favouring of women.”

    This discussion brings back the old conundrum: If two strangers meet and have sex, both blind drunk, how do you know that it is the man who is the rapist and the woman who is the victim?

    No, “this discussion” didn’t bring that “old conundrum” back; YOU brought it back as a lame, lazy diversion.

    It’s fucking amazing that a blogger as intelligent as Ally could attract such moronic commenters.

  18. 18
    Raging Bee

    Women are told rape is the worst thing that can happen to them…

    Yeah, they all think it’s perfectly hunky-dory until some feminazi told them it was bad. So it’s the feminazis who gave tham all that PTSD, right?

  19. 19
    John C. Welch

    It’s funny…

    The current meme is “enthusiastic consent”. That is, if the woman does not *enthusiastically* consent to sex and every act within that specific session, then it is wrong wrong wrong, and you, as a man, should never, ever, ever try to wheedle, convince, cajole or otherwise talk a woman into sex, no matter what. We could take from this that “Verbal Coercion” is wrong.

    That is always, always wrong. Enthusiastic consent or nothing is how it works for some folks.

    I then see the same folks, when the person being verbally coerced is male, then it’s “what KIND of verbal coercion? Was it ACTUALLY a threat?” and so on.

    Funny how suddenly it’s not so bad, depending on the gender of the target/victim.

  20. 20
    Gjenganger

    It’s fucking amazing that a blogger as intelligent as Ally could attract such moronic commenters.

    I have often thought the same myself.

  21. 21
    Ally Fogg

    Raging Bee (13)

    I’m a bit suspicious of some of the above-cited studies, because they use some rather vague terminology:

    You’re perfectly correct to raise that query. Those studies use various different scales, instruments and methodologies to achieve the results, which is one reason why there are large disparities between some ofthe results. A lot of them (eg the Anderson studies which had the most spectacular findings) use a simple checklist questionnaire that asks women

    “Have you ever forced a man into a sexual act by use of the following tactics:
    Making threats,
    getting him drunk or stoned;
    physical force;
    using a weapon”
    etc etc etc

    …whereupon it is down to the respondents interpretation of what those things mean, rather than some objective truth.

    Other studies have used structured interviews or other more subtle methods. That’s the main reason I wanted to provide such an extensive list, to show that there is no simple answer to the question: “what is the exact prevalence of female sexual aggression?”

    However what the range of studies show is that the prevalence may not be exactly quantifiable, but it is not insignificant. Even the lower estimates are quite eye-opening.

    The other point to make is that these exact same doubts can be raised over the validity of all the research into the spectrum of male sexual violence and coercion. They are similarly woolly and subjective. However the interesting thing about the CDC study that sparked this off is that it was the first large-scale survey to ask pretty much identical questions to both men and women.What I wanted to do was find out whether the findings were broadly credible. I think they are.

    I went to college, and I saw some of the “aggressive” or “pressuring” tactics used by women looking to get laid; and believe me, it’s nothing compared to male aggression against women.

    But how much of that is an interpretation imposed precisely because of the genders? For example, most men probably have a story or two a bit like the one I tell in the post, but as I say above, if I was a woman telling that exact same story about a male aggressor, it would be read by just about everyone as a much more horrific incident, I think.

    In general, my deepest instincts are to broadly agree with you. I really don’t think women’s sexual aggression and men’s sexual aggression are directly comparable. But what I want to do with this discussion is unpick how much of that is because the actual reality is different, and how much because we are looking at it through a whole kaleidescope of assumptions and cognitive biases?

  22. 22
    Ally Fogg

    Tamen (11)

    I can’t help but feeling a bit miffed that this astonished you now considering that at least a few of the Anderson’s papers and also one or more of the Struckman-Johnson paper have been cited by me and others in comments on your blog :)

    And you’re perfectly entitled to be. In my defence, you do post an awful lot of links ;)

    No, in all seriousness, I did follow up some of the links you’ve posted in the past, and while I can’t remember quite what came from where, some of them were very useful in opening the doors, so sincere thanks.

    I think it’s more likely that male rape is more traumatizing for men than men let on. I’ve cited in a comment on another post a paper finding that there is a disconnect between male victims of sexual abuse self report of harm and the actual clinical outcome. Men are taught, nay, indoctrinated to not admit their harm to neither themselves nor others. That plays a major part in the difference you quote and just pinning it on men using rape as a tool to subjugate women is missing the mark.

    This is a really important point and I’ll confess it is something I’ve wrestled with a lot in thinking about this and writing the blog. I wouldn’t say you’re wrong, but I do think it is an immensely difficult issue to unpick. I tried to make that clear in the post, and I hope it came across that I don’t for a moment think this is a non-issue or something insignificant.

    I guess my position is that we should consider sexual abuse of men as a serious issue in its own right, and not get tangled up in compare and contrast to abuse of women and arguments about equivalence and symmetry.

  23. 23
    Ally Fogg

    Raging Bee (17)

    Keep it civil please, eh?

    Gjenganger (20)

    Kudos for your reaction. As usual I will delete the offending remark if requested.

  24. 24
    spacklick

    @ RagingBee (18)

    Yeah, they all think it’s perfectly hunky-dory until some feminazi told them it was bad. So it’s the feminazis who gave tham all that PTSD, right?

    Yeah, as I said, it’s certainly not entirely that. However, if you build something up as terrible you have a worse reaction to it happening. It’s not an unreasonable question to ask does some of the social discussion of rape make the effect worse for the victim after the fact and is there, therefore, something we could do to make the lives of victims easier.

  25. 25
    Ally Fogg

    =8)-DX

    Interesting post, thanks.

  26. 26
    Woopwoop

    @ragingbee They’re not blaming feminists, but the general social system in which feminists happen to operate (called by some the patriarchy, the kyriarchy, whatever). Both the patriarchy and the feminists say that being raped is traumatizing, though to different extents and in different ways (they both also say different things as well, shit is complicated).

    The patriarchy and feminists both also say that a man being raped isn’t that big a deal, or is even categorically impossible (hence the conventional wisdom that women are not sexually aggressive and don’t coerce people into sex, which we can now treat as abjectly false), depending on the patriarchal agent or the feminist agent.

    You may in fact note that Ally is playing into the narrative, so sure is he that man being harassed isn’t such a big deal that he even suspected being harassed made him a rapist.

    Is it any wonder, then, that many women who are raped have a more externalized trauma response (I’m skeptical of whether or not men actually have less of a trauma response. The ill-state of men’s mental health care is well known, as is their several times higher than women suicide prevalance). Its socialized, I suspect.

  27. 27
    ludicrous

    John at 19

    You said its funny, twice. It is not funny.

    “Funny how suddenly it’s not so bad, depending on the gender of the target/victim.”

    It is only funny if you pretend the playing field is level.

    The gender of the target makes a huge difference, you refuse to recognize that difference.

    And your “enthusiastic consent” is a total straw man.

  28. 28
    spacklick

    @Ludicrous (27)

    No, forced intercourse is forced intercourse. It’s a bad thing to do to someone. What harm will be done, whether the victim shrugs it off or is traumatised for life, you can’t predict before the act so forcing intercourse is being willing to ruin someone’s life and is equally bad whether its m2m, m2f, f2m, f2f even though the probabilities of the effects differ.

  29. 29
    Ally Fogg

    Woopwoop

    he even suspected being harassed made him a rapist.

    Whack whack oops.

    Not what I said at all.

    had I voluntarily chosen to go along with her advances when she was so drunk that she clearly had little idea where she was or what she was doing, then I would have been exploiting her state of drunkenness in such a way that it would have been morally (though probably not legally) tantamount to rape. Of course, had I attempted to resist and been physically unable to, it would have been a very different scenario and the offender would have been her and her alone.

    In that sense the situation is not that different to the recent cases of child rape victims being accused of being “predatory” etc. The point is that their ‘predatory’ behaviour is irrelevant because it is the responsibility of the person in the position of relative power (or sobriety) to make the decision.

  30. 30
    Woopwoop

    That is a fair explanation, I am sorry for misreading you. I suspect I was failing to apply the principle of charity, for which I apologize.

  31. 31
    Gjenganger

    @ludicrous 27

    “Funny how suddenly it’s not so bad, depending on the gender of the target/victim.”
    It is only funny if you pretend the playing field is level.
    The gender of the target makes a huge difference, you refuse to recognize that difference.

    Well, I never heard anybody say that ‘enthusisastic consent’ was only for men, and that women were free to employ all the verbal coercion they wanted. So, why are we belittling ‘verbal coercion’ now, instead of condemning it?

    But OK, as Ally pointed out, treatment does not have to be equal if the situations are different. If you think there are behaviours that are OK for women but off limits for men, and vice versa, could you come up with a list, maybe with the reasons why? That would be a good starting point for debate.

  32. 32
    Woopwoop

    Also, Ludicrous, your statement is, well, ludicrous. Not just on the whole not treating women as full people with agency and power in themselves front (I’ve noticed that a lot of feminists aren’t too keen on attributing agency to women, aweful patriarchal of them), but also on the front that most of the cases I’ve seen the same arguement put forward, its because the arguer thinks the unevenness comes from the “constant threat of rape” women are under. Which is of course, only very slightly more constant than men, given the numbers of women self reporting the use of coercion, force, etc.

  33. 33
    Ally Fogg

    Woopwoop (30)

    That was gracious, cheers Now I feel guilty for snippiness ;-)

  34. 34
    Pen

    I don’t really know how to separate the wrongness of an act from the reaction of the victim but it’s certainly true that sexual assault does more harm in some cases than others. I have fortunately never been raped, but sexually assaulted yes, and my feelings about it all have to do with what an idiot the assaulter is. I feel completely untouched by the events for myself. My husband has been groped once or twice and he feels about the same way. But lots of women in particular obviously feel deeply violated and afraid. I think the knowledge for many women that they can be physically overpowered by many men is a factor.

  35. 35
    Samuel Palin

    @ludicrous
    “John at 19

    You said its funny, twice. It is not funny.

    “Funny how suddenly it’s not so bad, depending on the gender of the target/victim.”

    It is only funny if you pretend the playing field is level.

    The gender of the target makes a huge difference, you refuse to recognize that difference.

    And your “enthusiastic consent” is a total straw man.”

    Funny how you deride the use of straw men but are happy to pull that old ‘linguistic ambiguity’ trick to pretend someone said something they didn’t. (And I say that as someone broadly on your end of this particular bone of contention.)

    There’s nothing funny here. There’s quite a lot here that’s funny.

  36. 36
    nodnol

    Thanks for this Ally, it is interesting to see the research into this area. I find it odd that male victims of abuse, be it sexual or otherwise are often dismissed, and I find myself wondering if the people who are so dismissive would feel the same way if someone they knew was the victim.

    I have also had such an experience with an aggressive woman which was pretty upsetting, I remember telling someone about it and their reaction was basically “oh now you know how women feel”, as though the only way a man’s experience is valid is through how it makes them see women’s experience. I never tried to compare it to anything anyone else had experienced and wouldn’t, but I still got the it isn’t as bad trope.

    I find it rather saddening that we can never discuss this topic without always having the disclaimer that of course these things are worse for women, in fact I found it quite hard to not lead with saying such a thing myself. Surely those who find sexual abuse against men disgusting feel the same when it concerns women and the reverse should, but unfortunately sometimes isn’t, be true. The notion that because it happens more frequently to women than men means it should be ignored is abhorrent.

  37. 37
    Norman Hadley

    Hi Ally

    Welcome back – this is a superb piece. I confess to being as surprised as you by these findings. Ever since you started this blog, I’ve been resisting the temptation to call bullshit on those posters who regularly make whataboutery points about envelopment and such but I’m now glad that I stayed my hand.

    One of the hardest tricks in public debate is to steer a course between polarised extremes (in this case, the Scylla of all-sexual-aggression-is-male and the Charybdis of women-do-it-too-so-moral-equivalence-ner-ner) and you manage that admirably here.

    If we’re trying to pick apart how much of the men-won’t-be-that-traumatised idea is culturally entrained, I suppose the non-risk of pregnancy is a factor that no-one’s yet mentioned. That makes M/F sexual aggression qualitatively different from its inverse.

  38. 38
    ludicrous

    Gjenganger @ 31,

    I don’t have a list just for you, I wouldn’t know where to start. But as you want a starting point here would be a worthwhle place:

    “A Brief History of Misogyny” by Jack Holland

    It’s only 44 cents plus shipping at Amazon.

    Got to go, I know, cheating, but life calls.

  39. 39
    Gjenganger

    @38 Ludicrous
    Sorry, but am not in the market for a general introduction to gender politics – certainly not with a title like ‘A Brief History of Misogyny’. If you did think that there are things women but not men should be allowed to do, or vice versa, some comment on that specific topic would have been interesting, though. Ah well.

  40. 40
    Ally Fogg

    Hi Norman (37)

    Very kind comment thanks.

    If we’re trying to pick apart how much of the men-won’t-be-that-traumatised idea is culturally entrained, I suppose the non-risk of pregnancy is a factor that no-one’s yet mentioned. That makes M/F sexual aggression qualitatively different from its inverse.

    That’s a really interesting point that I hadn’t really considered.

    My hunch is that it is probably not really a factor in the immediate, conscious minds of women, but it is certainly a factor in the broader cultural conditioning and genderised socialisation etc, going back through millennia.

  41. 41
    Raging Bee

    The other point to make is that these exact same doubts can be raised over the validity of all the research into the spectrum of male sexual violence and coercion. They are similarly woolly and subjective.

    Maybe — but we’ve also heard a LOT of specific anecdotes about male violence and coercion (anecdotes that have little or no mirror-image in female-coercion incidents), which, taken together, really make the picture a lot less “woolly and subjective.”

    But how much of that is an interpretation imposed precisely because of the genders? For example, most men probably have a story or two a bit like the one I tell in the post, but as I say above, if I was a woman telling that exact same story about a male aggressor, it would be read by just about everyone as a much more horrific incident, I think.

    It certainly would be if the man had completed the assault. Otherwise, it would most likely be read as “some guy got really wasted and tried to grope me, but then he passed out before he could get anywhere. What a disgusting creep!” Which is pretty much how your story of a creepy drunk woman trying to grope you is read.

    But what I want to do with this discussion is unpick how much of that is because the actual reality is different, and how much because we are looking at it through a whole kaleidescope of assumptions and cognitive biases?

    That’s kinda hard to do, because a) the “whole kaleidescope of assumptions and cognitive biases” is PART of the actual reality, and cannot be separated from it unless, and until, human nature changes beyond recognition; and b) a lot of those assumptions and biases are a direct result of experience: no matter how much we say it SHOULD be the same between male and female victims of sexual violence, it undeniably ISN’T, and probably never will be.

    Sometimes, admitting there’s a reason for certain cognitive biases is the rational, unbiased thing to do.

    I think it’s more likely that male rape is more traumatizing for men than men let on.

    I tend to doubt that, given the obvious and well-documented dominance of male voices in just about every public debate, including on isues more specific to women. If sexual coercion of men, of the types described in these studies, were consistently traumatizing to men, you can bet they’d be speaking out about it, and we’d be hearing it a lot clearer than we currently are. Men get away with saying all kinds of stupid shit about female anatomy, so I really have a hard time believing that men’s voices are being silenced on issues of much more direct importance to male well-being.

    However, if you build something up as terrible you have a worse reaction to it happening.

    Excuse me, but the bad reactions a woman has to being raped start when she’s raped, not when people tell her it was bad. This is an observable fact. Also, when people deny the reality of what happened, that makes the trauma WORSE for the victims, not better. This, too, is an observable fact.

    It’s not an unreasonable question to ask does some of the social discussion of rape make the effect worse for the victim after the fact…

    Yes, it IS an unreasonable question to ask when it’s already been answered, over and fucking over again.

    …is there, therefore, something we could do to make the lives of victims easier.

    Like what? Stop telling women rape is bad? That doesn’t seem to help so far.

  42. 42
    BenSix

    Really interesting post.

    I don’t think we can entirely untangle female sexual abuse of men from male sexual abuse of women.

    Ultimately, one can draw no clear distinction between the different experiences. I and many other men are unlikely to be as troubled by sexual assault from a woman as women are from sexual assaults by men because we are far more likely to be able to force them off and avoid not only the rape but the fear of the injuries or death that might accompany it*. For smaller, more introverted or intoxicated men, though, that need not be the case.

    [*] Though, of course, any man could be as traumatised by assaults from other men. Prison rape remains so common, it appears, that there are likely to be tens of thousands of people walking around bearing the scars of it.

  43. 43
    leftwingfox

    Another little question, I notice a lot of the results focussing on men receiving harassment doesn’t mention the gender of the perpetrator. Do you know if those are results by women, or in general?

  44. 44
    spacklick

    @ Raging BEE (41)

    Excuse me, but the bad reactions a woman has to being raped start when she’s raped, not when people tell her it was bad. This is an observable fact. Also, when people deny the reality of what happened, that makes the trauma WORSE for the victims, not better. This, too, is an observable fact.

    And when someone is told that something happening is very bad and then it happens their reaction is worse than if they hadn’t been told. This is also an observable fact.

    Yes, it IS an unreasonable question to ask when it’s already been answered, over and fucking over again.

    If you could point me to one place it’s been answered I’d be appreciative, because as I said above. I can’t find anything touching on the subject in the literature.

    Like what? Stop telling women rape is bad? That doesn’t seem to help so far.

    So far? When have women ever been told it’s not bad to have been raped? First it was the whole “loss of honour and therefore value” thing and then it was the “it will ruin your life” thing. When have they been told “It’s a nasty physical assault and doesn’t have to be anything more”? That just not the message society sends.

    Note I’m not saying a change in social attitudes could make rape ZERO BAD, I’m saying it’s possible that social attitudes to rape could affect how bad the psychological effect on the victim is. In fact almost certainly do affect it the question is how and to what extent and can this be changed to make victims lives easier?

  45. 45
    Raging Bee

    Another important objective difference between men raping women and women raping men, is the obvious anatomical disparity: a woman being raped by a man has something shoved forcibly INTO her body, while a man being forced to penetrate a woman endures no such bodily violation. This difference alone means that these two incidents cannot be considered equally traumatic, and it is sheer insulting folly to pretend they’re in any way equal, or can be made or seen so.

    If you want examples of truly equal trauma, you’d have to consider men being raped by MEN alngside women being raped by men.

  46. 46
    Marek I

    Police forces and judicial systems have a strong bias towards male representation (colloquially, they’re both a sausage-fest). And it is a fairly widely-held view that rape reporting, prosecution, and conviction have poor success in Western society, certainly compared to numbers of rape victims in numerous studies.

    This blog post and its references make me wonder — is the difference in how “men” and “women” process rape-the-act a contributing factor to how rape-the-crime is investigated and prosecuted? That is to say, the male-dominated police/justice systems trivialise the crime because, on some level, their attitude is, “sigh with relief, [...] grab a beer, roll a spliff and all but forget about it within minutes.”

    That would suggest the problem of poor sex crime reporting and prosecution is not institutional (i.e. is not just part of crime and justice) but a wider, societal problem; and therefore is a problem that isn’t easily remedied through measures like awareness and training within police forces.

  47. 47
    spacklick

    @ Ally (40)

    My hunch is that [pregnancy] is probably not really a factor in the immediate, conscious minds of women, but it is certainly a factor in the broader cultural conditioning and genderised socialisation etc, going back through millennia.

    I would imagine pregnancy to be a concern in the near aftermath of the incident, because it’s a possible long lasting effect and hard decision. That effect, heightening the stresses of the incident immediately following the incident, can make the whole incident more psychologically traumatic and that effect isn’t reversed by finding out you’re not pregnant.

  48. 48
    robertbaden

    Norman Hadley @ 37

    What makes you think a female rapist can’t get pregnant.?

  49. 49
    Raging Bee

    If you could point me to one place it’s been answered I’d be appreciative…

    How about the accounts of actual female rape victims? Is that god enough “literature” for you?

  50. 50
    SensitiveThug

    Dear Ally,

    Thanks for an interesting blog entry on a very important topic. There are a few points I’d like to address, however.

    Firstly, the research does not show that women are as likely to sexually aggress as men. Where there is a direct comparison (eg the very first reference) they tend to show that men are at least twice as likely to sexually aggress as women.

    I think this is inaccurate, though I do understand your skepticism here. If you look at the most recent studies, you’ll find that they indicate roughly equal rates of sexual aggression between the genders. In particular the CDC study [1], a paper by Sisko and Figueredo (2008) [2] and a paper by Hines (2007) [3] all find roughly equal prevalence rates. There are several other papers too, and I can try to dig them out if anyone’s interested.

    There are many reasons why some studies found different results. Some simply only asked one gender and so can’t be used to reliably compare the genders. Others are very old and sexual attitudes have changed a lot. Etc. A particularly interesting suggestion for some studies finding lower rates of male victimisation can be found in the aforementioned Sisko and Figueredo:

    Increasing detection

    Sexual aggression has been viewed by the feminist Power-Assertion model as the male
    subjugation of women, and thus this theoretical framework has shaped the nature of the acts
    that are typically assessed. For instance, in the SES-LFP, the only way that a woman could
    rape a man is if she penetrated his anus against his will. This narrow conceptualization limited
    the full exploration of the spectrum of acts that the average woman may enact with her
    partner. During the debriefing from Study 1, male subjects felt that women used pressure and
    manipulation to attain unwanted sex often and they discussed several factors that made sex
    unappealing, including being in a relationship with someone other than the sexual initiator,
    being pursued intensely by an infatuated person, being uncomfortable interacting sexually
    during a partner’s menstruation or unhygienic state, not wanting to impregnate a woman who
    was seeking that commitment, not having prophylactic protection on hand, feeling too angry
    or stressed to desire sex, being pursued by someone who was in a relationship with a good
    friend or being pressured to extend into uncharted sexual territory, such as giving oral sex or
    taking part in sexual games. These situations extend beyond the Power-Assertion model and
    they do occur relatively frequently (see Figure 1). Thus, the sex differences in rate of
    perpetration reported in previous studies may be an artifact of biased assessment.

    Moving on to the second issue I’d like to address, I’m really concerned and frustrated by the following passage of the OP:

    Nor does it imply that a man’s experience of being sexually coerced or assaulted by a women is in some way parallel to a woman’s experience of being sexually coerced or assaulted by a man.

    I worry that there are multiple double standards at play here. Why draw a distinction between men’s and women’s experience of rape? Why lump all men and all women into homogeneous groups? And why even speculate that men might not mind being raped as much? I find it really offensive to even discuss such a thing – although of course I’ll defend anyone’s right to say it.

    A huge can of worms will open once people start saying “the average man doesn’t mind being raped as much as the average woman”. You and others couch it in eloquent language but that’s really what’s being suggested here. And let me give just a few examples of the kind of objections we’ll start to hear.

    If the average man doesn’t mind it so much, perhaps some women don’t either? How bad does it have to be before we take action? Should we also try to rank the suffering that rape can cause women? Maybe being raped on a Tuesday by your husband isn’t as bad as on a Friday by your ex? Do we need to wait until we have actual evidence to speculate like this, or are our gut feelings good enough?

    Or, perhaps the problem isn’t so much rape itself but women’s reactions to rape? Perhaps if men don’t get so upset about it, we just need to help women take it like a man? Rape campaigners will no doubt be overjoyed at a new treatment strategy to help female rape victims… Or maybe not?

    Clearly some of what I’m saying here is offensive. I say it to show what seem to me to be inconsistencies and double standards in society’s treatment of men, rather than because I like these arguments or want to go around doing the offensive things (eg rating how bad a particular incident of rape was) I mentioned. I just don’t want those horrible things to be done when we talk about male victims of rape either.

    Best wishes, All!

    [1] CDC’s NISVS survey mentioned by Ally in the OP
    [2] Similarities between men and women in non-traditional aggressive sexuality: Prevalence, novel approaches to assessment and treatment applications by Melissa M. Sisco & Aurelio Jose Figueredo, Journal of Sexual Aggression (November 2008), Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 253-266
    [3] Predictors of Sexual Coercion Against Women and Men: A Multilevel, Multinational Study of University Students by Denise A. Hines, Arch Sex Behav. (2007) 36:403–422

  51. 51
    Raging Bee

    And when someone is told that something happening is very bad and then it happens their reaction is worse than if they hadn’t been told.

    So yes, you do seem to be suggesting that we should stop telling women that rape is bad. That way they won’t be as horribly traumatized if they actually get raped, right?

  52. 52
    BenSix

    Raging Bee -

    I tend to doubt that, given the obvious and well-documented dominance of male voices in just about every public debate, including on isues more specific to women. If sexual coercion of men, of the types described in these studies, were consistently traumatizing to men, you can bet they’d be speaking out about it, and we’d be hearing it a lot clearer than we currently are.

    This is based on two extremely dubious assumptions. The first is that men who contribute to public debates would be comfortable with speaking about their experiences. The second is that the fact that more men than women contribute to public debates somehow means the thoughts and feelings of all men need be represented. They are not. The amount of men – indeed, people – with platforms from which to speak is minimal. Most of the men who have been traumatised by sexual abuse from women will be students, sales assistants and software programmers and it strains credulity to say that those guys would find it easy to tell their friends about experiences of abuse. Reticence in the face of their trauma is, I think, commonly recognised as a factor behind the unwillingness of men to open up about depression, eating disorders et cetera and I have no doubt that it could be true in this case.

    Not that the problem of traumatised men should be overstated (indeed, I find it hard to believe that there are vast numbers of them). It would seem counterproductive to convince men who have not been especially troubled that they should be suffering.

  53. 53
    pneumo

    nodnol: I find it odd that male victims of abuse, be it sexual or otherwise are often dismissed, and I find myself wondering if the people who are so dismissive would feel the same way if someone they knew was the victim.

    Most likely the already know several victims, they just may not know it.

    Anyway; I suspect one of the reasons, if not the main reason, that you get the reaction is due to the “what about the menz” tactic. The constant bringing up of men when women are being discussed is something that can wear quite thin, considering the state of society we live in.

    It might not be that they think men as victims is less horrible, it’s just that so very often men as victims is used as a way of making women as victims less horrible.

    Ally Fogg: I really don’t think women’s sexual aggression and men’s sexual aggression are directly comparable. But what I want to do with this discussion is unpick how much of that is because the actual reality is different, and how much because we are looking at it through a whole kaleidescope of assumptions and cognitive biases?

    Most of it, I’d guess. But some of it may have a basis in an ingrained and natural way of thinking in categories.

    When someone says “it was as big as a dog”, we normally don’t think of a grand danois or a chihuahua, we go with a typical case, maybe a collie. The same here: when we think about a man and a woman, we don’t normally think of DJ Qualls matching up with Gina Carano.

    So, (going with the figures presented here), men are at least twice as likely to be aggressors. But also, they are at least twice as likely to be physically/societally/economically/and so on to be in a situation of power.

    So in the actual and singular case it may be comparable, but as an aggregate and category, the likelihood is both that it is not comparable, and also that even if it isn’t we think it is.

    TL;DR – The typical case actually is, and it’s our scumbag brains’ fault that we can’t get away from thinking in typical cases.

  54. 54
    freja

    Since people (probably including me) are going to spend the next 300+ posts arguing, how about something we can all agree on?

    1: Sexual assault and abuse of boys and men is wrong regardless of the gender of the perpetrator.

    2: The rate of sexual assault and abuse of men by women is higher than most people think.

    3: It’s way too high.

    4: While the exact nature of it varies, male victims of sexual assault and abuse often have problems with getting people to believe them, take them seriously, and not shame/ostracise/ridicule them.

    5: This is wrong.

    6: Changing people’s attitude towards gender roles could help.

    7: Support for male victims is good thing.

    Anybody disagree here?

  55. 55
    Ally Fogg

    leftwingfox (43)

    I notice a lot of the results focussing on men receiving harassment doesn’t mention the gender of the perpetrator. Do you know if those are results by women, or in general?

    A very good question, and one which I started addressing in the OP but abandoned for sake of brevity.

    First thing is that most of the studies above asked women about their perpetration, rather than asking men about their victimization. So it is actually only a minority of these studies where this is an issue.

    Of the others, most of the victimisation studies did not specify whether it was a male or female perpetrator, so it is possible that one of the reasons why the male victimisation results tend to be higher than the female perpetration results is that they include male perpetrators. (although vicitmisation studies always reap higher prevelance rates than perpetration surveys, for obvious reasons.)

    However the CDC did ask the question, and about 80% of assaults were by female perpetrators.

    So it is a reasonable point of doubt, but probably less of an issue than you might imagine.

  56. 56
    pneumo

    I think I should shut up now. Raging Bee is saying some of the things I’m thinking, and much better.

  57. 57
    Soarer

    @ 34 Pen September 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm (UTC 1)

    I have fortunately never been raped, but sexually assaulted yes, and my feelings about it all have to do with what an idiot the assaulter is.

    That’s a really interesting comment in a (mostly) interesting debate.

    I think it would be useful research to understand why some women feel that way, and others clearly don’t. It may be that the experience of men is too different to illuminate that, but maybe not.
    If the main difference between reactions is due to the size & strength differential, fear of violence or pregnancy etc. – then the experiences are too different.
    If, as I suspect, one of the reasons different people process these events differently is to do with their existing level of self-esteem, and the expectation of how they should feel, then maybe any findings could be useful to help victims overcome their trauma.
    I have often thought – most notably during the public grief over Princess Diana’s death – that people react how they are told to react by others around them. In a new situation they haven’t previously encountered, they have no references to fall back on, so they ‘go with the flow’. This lead, IMHO, to a form of mass hysteria at that event.
    I am afraid I shocked many people by not falling in with the general wailing, though I felt every sympathy for the friends and family of the deceased. It is hard, in that situation, to resist the impulse to conform, so most people follow everyone else.
    It is a personal prejudice I am sure, but I have often thought that soap operas provide a template for many people who watch them of how to react to major events which they have previously only experienced vicariously. I am not at all sure that their portrayal of what I often feel (when I can’t avoid watching) is over-reaction, is a very healthy one.

  58. 58
    Gjenganger

    @sensitive Thing 50

    A huge can of worms will open once people start saying “the average man doesn’t mind being raped as much as the average woman”. You and others couch it in eloquent language but that’s really what’s being suggested here. And let me give just a few examples of the kind of objections we’ll start to hear.

    If the average man doesn’t mind it so much, perhaps some women don’t either? How bad does it have to be before we take action? Should we also try to rank the suffering that rape can cause women? Maybe being raped on a Tuesday by your husband isn’t as bad as on a Friday by your ex? Do we need to wait until we have actual evidence to speculate like this, or are our gut feelings good enough?

    Or, perhaps the problem isn’t so much rape itself but women’s reactions to rape? Perhaps if men don’t get so upset about it, we just need to help women take it like a man? Rape campaigners will no doubt be overjoyed at a new treatment strategy to help female rape victims… Or maybe not?

    Very well put. As the resident reactionary (now that Sid has deserted us), can I agree that these are indeed some of issues that people will start to raise if we consider that women can rape as well, and that possibly men on the average may not react as badly as women do.

    But, whether we like this or not, should we not investigate how much of it might be true? In the interest of reality-based policy, is it not better to consider and maybe refute these various questions on their merits, rather than close our eyes and reject the whole idea, because we find the political consequences unpalatable?

  59. 59
    Lucy

    On a nighclub dancefloor, a guy walked past behind me and somehow found his hand up my skirt (horrible pokey feeling like having a meaty malevolent pink spider in your pants). I turned around, grabbed his crotch, eyeballed him and asked “how do *you* like it?”, he beamed at me and said “it’s great!”. Just doesn’t pack the same punch.

  60. 60
    Lucy

    Several of those papers cited don’t specify whether the sexual coercion or aggression were perpetrated by females or by other males, Even in the case of forced penetration, we may be talking about gang coercion of both the male and the female.

  61. 61
    Raging Bee

    Lucy: you didn’t squeeze hard enough.

  62. 62
    Raging Bee

    If the average man doesn’t mind it so much, perhaps some women don’t either?

    Got any evidence to support that supposition? Because the overwhelming concensus I’ve heard is that yes, women do indeed “mind” it.

  63. 63
    Ally Fogg

    Sensitive Thug

    really interesting post thanks.

    On the gender symmetry thing, I was slightly tentative in how I worded “what they tend to show is…” There are some studies that show close to exact symmetry, but I’ve seen many more that don’t. Even the CDC showed symmetry on the 12 month stats, but not on the lifetime prevalence, which is generally considered a more accurate measure.

    This bit is really important

    A huge can of worms will open once people start saying “the average man doesn’t mind being raped as much as the average woman”. You and others couch it in eloquent language but that’s really what’s being suggested here. And let me give just a few examples of the kind of objections we’ll start to hear.

    If the average man doesn’t mind it so much, perhaps some women don’t either? How bad does it have to be before we take action? Should we also try to rank the suffering that rape can cause women? Maybe being raped on a Tuesday by your husband isn’t as bad as on a Friday by your ex? Do we need to wait until we have actual evidence to speculate like this, or are our gut feelings good enough?

    Or, perhaps the problem isn’t so much rape itself but women’s reactions to rape? Perhaps if men don’t get so upset about it, we just need to help women take it like a man? Rape campaigners will no doubt be overjoyed at a new treatment strategy to help female rape victims… Or maybe not?

    I’m well aware that several cans are already open and there are worms wriggling their way all over this blog! This topic does bring up some really difficult questions, including some implications which could be seen as offensive by many. However one of the key principles of free thinking is that just because an idea is offensive, doesn’t necessarily mean it is wrong.

    I think the debate already underway between Raging Bee and others on the phenomenology of rape is really important, and really difficult. Whether or not people realise it, we are already in territory that has been well covered in the past by feminists such as Germaine Greer and Camille Paglia. I know some of the ideas thrown up by this debate do not make for comfortable contemplation, but I think they are important debates to have occasionally.

    For starters, I think it is a simple matter of fact that no two rapes, no two sexual assaults will have the same impacts, and no two victims would react the same way to the same attacks. That’s true across genders and within genders.

    In policy terms, I’m not sure it matters much, because as I suggest in the OP, we should always start with the assumption that a harmful attack will have damaging consequences, and work from there, because that’s the only way to protect those who will be harmed. .

  64. 64
    Ally Fogg

    freja

    A beautifully clear and constructive post, thanks!

  65. 65
    Raging Bee

    I have often thought – most notably during the public grief over Princess Diana’s death – that people react how they are told to react by others around them…

    Are you actually comparing the public reaction to someone else’s death, to a person reacting to his/her own rape? That comparison is so ridiculously invalid I’m almost embarrassed to see it here.

  66. 66
    Norman Hadley

    Ally(40)
    Yes, you’re probably right that fear of pregnancy is more of a historical artefact but there’s another possible reason to think that traumatision may be qualitatively different for women and that is to do with having interior genitals. Perhaps there’s something fundamentally more traumatic about being invaded.
    Just as a man might feel more squeamish about having a rectal exam than the same doctor prodding his genitals, it might be different between the sexes.

    Apologies for brevity as typing on phone.

  67. 67
    Lucy

    @spacklick

    “I think a discussion needs to be had in academic circles about WHY there’s such a difference in how men and women react to being raped?

    Best case scenario, it’s entirely socialised. Women are told rape is the worst thing that can happen to them, men are told they are lucky to get sex and should want all sex so they process rape differently and that’s why men are less psychologically affected by rape. If that were the case then a process of changing social attitudes to rape could significantly reduce the harm of rape. But it’s probably not the case.”

    Women don’t react differently to men over being raped, men are just as traumatised by homosexual rape as women are by the heterosexual kind. Except women usually have the extra trauma of being seriously in fear of harm or death being less able or incapable of defending themselves and being the target of sadistic misogynies.

    Penetrated people react differently to people who penetrate.

    Take a person, prep them for years with worst case scenarios, put them in the hands of a malevolent stronger person who has complete control over them and where they genuinely fear for their life, allow him to take sadistic pleasure in their distress or pain and you have yourself a traumatised person.

  68. 68
    Jacob Schmidt

    If the average man doesn’t mind it so much, perhaps some women don’t either?[1] How bad does it have to be before we take action?[2] Should we also try to rank the suffering that rape can cause women?[3] Maybe being raped on a Tuesday by your husband isn’t as bad as on a Friday by your ex?[4] Do we need to wait until we have actual evidence to speculate like this, or are our gut feelings good enough?

    1) If by “minding less” you mean “not hurt as much” then this is true. Each victim reacts as he or she will. Some don’t feel so bad. Usually it’s those that get support and validation.

    Anecdote: a friend of mine was sexually assaulted. She feels quite comfortable around her assaulter after I convinced him to apologize and take responsibility. It took a few months, but there you go.

    2) That’s it’s bad is reason enough.

    3) We do, as well as the factors that make that suffering worse.

    4) Depends on the women, though implying this has anything to do with irrelevant details like the name of the day is poor form, to say the least. Some women say that the times their husband raped them were the worst, while the times a stranger raped them weren’t so bad, relatively speaking. Some say the opposite. Some say there was no difference.

    It’s not a stretch in any sense to say that, in a society where men are socialized differently than women, men react to being victimized differently. The problem comes when we say “it’s not so bad for men; we don’t need to support them”. Even if its not so bad for men on average, that doesn’t mean those men don’t deserve support, and it certainly doesn’t mean that there aren’t men who’ve been severely harmed.

    I’m very, very leery of accepting this idea that men are harmed less at this moment. I suspect it;s true, but I’ve seen no study that corrects for the cultural push men feel to keep their pain to themselves.

  69. 69
    Gjenganger

    @Ally Fogg 63

    For starters, I think it is a simple matter of fact that no two rapes, no two sexual assaults will have the same impacts, and no two victims would react the same way to the same attacks. That’s true across genders and within genders.

    Very True

    In policy terms, I’m not sure it matters much, because as I suggest in the OP, we should always start with the assumption that a harmful attack will have damaging consequences, and work from there, because that’s the only way to protect those who will be harmed. .

    Not sure I agree there. You set policy on common effects, not worst-case ones. Essentially all policies involve trade-offs, and how common and how damaging adverse effects are does influence how far you will reasonably go to prevent them. When deciding how to police sex with drunks, or verbal coercion (for instance) it does make a difference in policy terms how much damage generally flow from these things.

    Just as an example: The age of consent. We could protect a number of vulnerable teenagers by increasing the age of consent to 18 or 20. We choose not to, because we judge that the disruption to consensual interactions between relatively mature people is too important relative to the small number of people we could protect.

  70. 70
    Raging Bee

    I think I should shut up now. Raging Bee is saying some of the things I’m thinking, and much better.

    Oh, now I gotta hold up this end of the debate on my own?!

    Seriously, thanks for the compliment, pneumo and Ally, but I’ve pretty much said all I have to say here; and I’m not likely to spend the rest of the day repeating the obvious in response to some of the most ill-informed and deliberately obtuse or lazy comments this post is likely to attract. (Though I will opine that Sid’s alleged departure represents a HUGE improvement for this blog’s commentariat.)

  71. 71
    freja

    OK, some things people probably can’t agree on, but I guess I might as well join the debate.

    Ally, I don’t think your situation would necessarily be read as a rape attempt if the genders had been reversed. As Raging Bee said, lots of women have a experiences with drunk guys groping them and trying to corner them, and very often, it’s brushed aside as an everyday (or every party) occurrence. Anecdotal evidence (and MRA complaints) tell me that bars and clubs in countries where sexual harassment and assault of women is more accepted go to even greater lengths to cater to female customers than those in more egalitarian countries. That makes a lot of sense if women’s reluctance to party and get drunk is caused at least in part because they frequently run into the male equivalent of your example.

    Elevatorgate is an excellent example of what happens when women experience inappropriate behaviour. Rebecca Watson never claimed the incidence was the equivalent of rape or sexual assault, merely that it was somewhat creepy. But look at the flood of people telling her she was overreacting and calling all men rapists for merely finding it unpleasant and advising guys to not do it. Women are expected to accept a certain level of inappropriateness from men.

    I know that plenty of my romantic encounters with men have not been initiated (or even responded to) by me, and have had me frantically trying to wiggle away without angering the bloke, but I didn’t make any connection to sexual assault before it was pointed out to me. In retrospect, it becomes very clear that the expectation that men act predatory (trying to corner you, isolate you, manipulate you, push your boundaries, make you afraid of resisting, etc.) plays a huge role in rape culture, but in the actual situations, I was mostly concerned with getting away with as few negative repercussions as possible.

    It seems like often when a bloke experiences a turnaround, he reacts aggressively and/or makes it into a big deal. I’ve often have guys complain to me about all the shocking ways they’ve been discriminated, and only realised years later that I’d experienced similar discrimination but never thought to be shocked or outraged by it because it was so normal it practically blended into the background. A big reason for why feminists face so much backslash and are accused of looking for things to get offended over is probably precisely they point out perfectly normal occurrences and call them wrong.

  72. 72
    Erik Beo

    @Lucy
    Because he wanted to have sex.

  73. 73
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Ally,
    Thanks for drawing attention to this.

    I want to warn some of the commenters away from a popular trope. That trope is the “Women aren’t villains until a man makes her one” trope. While it does stand to reason that some perpetrators of sexual violence have themselves been the victims of sexual violence and that may have skewed their understanding of sexual ethics, I don’t think that’s the main problem. Just like men, women can be bad all by themselves. The larger problem is that some people think they can just help themselves to someone else’s body because either they believe that men are always up for it, women are just playing hard to get (and she’s owes it to me anyway ) or they know that enough other people believe those things that they can get away with forgoing consent. This is a broad cultural problem. I think we need to be careful not to make victims feel as though they are viewed as dangerous potential perpetrators. Let’s not treat rape like lycanthropy. Also, let’s not give adult perpetrators of any gender too much cover. We can talk about how patriarchal ideas about men and women that may lead to misunderstandings about how consent works, and even why it is necessary. But, let’s be honest about the fact that rape is about power, not sex. Rape isn’t just a faux pas or the result of bad manners.

    Trigger warning/ rape

    The woman who used alcohol to rape my male friend knew what she was doing. We had all been too young and dumb to see her for what she was soon enough to save my friend. We’d surprised her once that night by walking in on her pushing him down on a bed. He had laughed about how he thought she was trying to take advantage of him. He laughed, she excused herself and the party continued. She didn’t try anything again until those of us who were sober had left. The next day, we could see what she had been doing. She wasn’t just drunk and coming on too hard. She was actively trying to isolate and rape an intoxicated man. A couple of us gals tried to get her to go out with us after that. We played dumb but we planned to clean her clock. (Like I said, we were young and dumb.) I think she knew that too because she left town without saying goodbye and never came back. He didn’t call it rape when he told us what happened. He had blamed himself for being such a “slut”. Even though the last I had seen him, he couldn’t walk without stumbling. Even though he’d clearly told her “No” previously in front of witnesses. He’d let her drive him back to his dorm because his dd had gotten wasted and was in a heap on the couch. She was sober and he was not. It had been the victim’s birthday party.

    Another friend of mine woke up to a female “friend” of his on top of him. She was a heavy woman and even though he was strong, it was a wrestling match to get her off. He had also turned her advances down earlier that night. He got her out of his bed and the next day got her out of his life. I don’t think she was confused at all. I think she was an unrepentant attempted rapist.

    I don’t think the vast majority of adult rapists, no matter their gender, don’t now what they are doing. I don’t think they are confused. I think they hide in muddied waters for the same reason other predators do.

  74. 74
    Gjenganger

    @71 Freja

    A big reason for why feminists face so much backslash and are accused of looking for things to get offended over is probably precisely they point out perfectly normal occurrences and call them wrong.

    And thereby force everybody to change their ideas and behaviour. Nice point.

  75. 75
    Ally Fogg

    Freja

    Ally, I don’t think your situation would necessarily be read as a rape attempt if the genders had been reversed. As Raging Bee said, lots of women have a experiences with drunk guys groping them and trying to corner them, and very often, it’s brushed aside as an everyday (or every party) occurrence.

    No, I perhaps erred on the side of caution, not wanting this blog to read like something out of Razzle’s readers letters, but I assure you it wasn’t just a quick grope. It was a concerted attempt to get my pants down, my tackle out and put to the use nature intended, while she attempted to wrap one leg behind mine, forcing us together. It was actually quite forceful, verging on the violent, and with a definite end in mind.

    Put it this way, I’m pretty sure if the genders were reversed, an outside observer witnessing what happened would have had little doubt that what they were witnessing was attempted rape.

    I’ve also got more than a few stories of inappropriate advances, clumsy passes and cheeky gropes and crotch-grabs that have happened to me, by women and a few men, and believe me, this was very different.

  76. 76
    Ally Fogg

    Jackie Papercuts

    great post, thanks so much.

  77. 77
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    I also want to second Freja’s point. Unwanted groping is a common occurrence for women. Finding a way to get out of unwanted sexual attention without getting hurt is something we’ve nearly all had to do more than once.

  78. 78
    Gjenganger

    @Jackie 73

    But, let’s be honest about the fact that rape is about power, not sex.

    I do not think that is alway true, any more than domestic violence is always about patriarcal control.

    Confusing factor 1: There are people who want sex, and are not resigned to just hang around and wait till it is offered. The question is how far they go. Boyfriends and husbands may well go for very persistent nagging (OK, not violence) while still wanting the relationship to continue. Is that really a power move?

    Confusing factor 2: anecdote, hapened to a mate of mine. Girl comes to his birthday party in college with a bottle of booze as a birthday gift. Next morning he has a headache and is rather surprised to find girl in his bed. They were together for a couple of years after that, then were married for another 12. Power move?

  79. 79
    picklefactory

    @Gjenganger / 74

    And thereby force everybody to change their ideas and behaviour. Nice point.

    Except that they obviously haven’t. What?

  80. 80
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    We cross posted,

    Yes Ally, that sounds exactly like an attempted rape. It was at the least battery and sexual assault. I’m sorry that you had to go through that. I’m glad you can discuss it here. I hope you know that you can close these comments and walk away whenever you feel you should.

    …and thanks for the compliment on the comment.

  81. 81
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Gjenganger,
    I find the way you worded your comment so creepy that I really don’t want to continue this discussion with you at all. Let someone else explain the squick factor to you. I’m out.

  82. 82
    freja

    I regards to trauma, I think it’s generally accepted that marginalised groups are at bigger risk. The more social power you have the greater your sense of agency, and the greater your sense of agency the better you’ll be to cope with trauma.

    A study among of white and black survivors of Hurricane Andrew in Florida and Mexican survivors of Hurricane Paulina found that PTSD rates correlated with the social status of the survivor. Among white people, the rates of PTSD were 6% for men and 19% for women, reflecting the common consensus that white people are the dominant racial demographic but are still pretty patriarchal. Among black people, the numbers were 20% for men and 23% for women, again lining up with the observation that black people are lower in the social hierarchy in general, but that black women have more equality (or are perhaps discriminated less against compared to black men). Among Mexicans, the rates were 14% for men and 44% for women, reflecting a highly patriarchal culture (Norris et al., 2001).

    Pregnancy is probably a factor too. Trauma is often more heavily linked to the aftermath of the traumatising event than the event itself, so while it might not be on a victim’s mind during the act, it’s almost certainly a cause for worry afterwards. I also think slut-shaming adds to the shame and the shame adds to the trauma. Whether or not penetration is inherently more traumatising than other types of assault is hard to say, but it does have a greater chance of inflicting severe physical pain and trauma, and I’d also be hard pressed to discount the social implications of submission and humiliation tied to penetration as a factor.

  83. 83
    Gjenganger

    @Jackie 81
    Sorry to have upset you. I wish you would explain, though. I would rather learn to make my points in such a way that people will actually answer them.

  84. 84
    sheaf

    Ally,

    I’ve also got more than a few stories of inappropriate advances, clumsy passes and cheeky gropes and crotch-grabs that have happened to me, by women and a few men, and believe me, this was very different.

    Which was worse for you? I also experienced both and I found male attention in this regard to be worse – dont know why.

  85. 85
    Ally Fogg

    sheal (84)

    Hmm. Most of these things happened a long, long time ago now, so it is a little hard to answer that, but my reaction was much more about my state of mind, circumstances and context than the person. Most of the incidents weren’t really disturbing, just a bit annoying or in a few cases quite amusing. I’m straight, but have never been what you might call devoutly heterosexual, so the gay panic thing was never really an issue. If anything I’ve found gay men easier to rebuff in a playful way.

    But come to think of it, the only one I remember now as being positively unpleasant was when a male friend kissed me quite forcefully, with a lot of tongue, and it is probably not coincidental that he was about 6’3″ and very well built – which I suspect is not coincidental. He was straight too, as it happens (although it seems his sexuality was soluble in MDMA), so it wasn’t really a sexual threat . It was that physical power and strength thing again.

  86. 86
    s.

    I have a much longer comment in the works (great post, Mr. Fogg, as always), but I have to note:

    a woman being raped by a man has something shoved forcibly INTO her body, while a man being forced to penetrate a woman endures no such bodily violation. This difference alone means that these two incidents cannot be considered equally traumatic, and it is sheer insulting folly to pretend they’re in any way equal, or can be made or seen so.

    Are you serious? I mean, would you maybe like to think this over for a second?

  87. 87
    Aneres

    @ #40 (apologies for butting in so late in the convo) While I can’t speak for every woman, I am a woman and in a hypothetical about-to-be-raped scenario my biggest fear and probably first worry would in fact be fear of becoming pregnant. Certainly the rape would have its effect, even if I knew it were impossible to become pregnant however the number one thing that would destroy me would be becoming pregnant from it. It would quite literally be a death sentence. I’d have far more chance of ‘getting over’ the rape than I would the pregnancy. Again, this perspective doesn’t diminish the trauma of the rape itself, I just wanted to mention that for me, it would be in the forefront of my mind as soon as I knew I was about to be raped.

  88. 88
    Birric Forcella

    If you look at the trend in the recent feminist blogs, you will find a lot of women who are redefining their earlier experiences. They thought earlier that that gave implied or even open consent to a man. Now they realize that that man actually raped them. That is called “raising the consciousness.” These women are now, after experiencing feminist influence, conscious of what happened in quite a different way.

    I think it is time for men to start doing likewise. Too many men still feel they were “lucky” when they actually were raped. Once they reexamine their experience they will find the damage and victimization they denied earlier. This will probably also increase the rape statistics. Most men won’t report rape or sexual assault because they are not aware they were victims. Men have a lot to learn from feminists.

    Even in the comments here, many commenters feel that assaults by women should be treated differently or more lightly. A feminist should realize that this “double standard” comes directly out of the rape culture. Minimization of rape enables rape. If you want to abolish patriarchy and rape culture you must treat all assaults and rapes equally.

    Concerning men underreporting assaults and rapes: You should read the recent post by the Lousy Canuck about how women are discouraged to report their rapes. If you substitute men for women in these posts, you have pretty much also the reality facing men – only for men it’s at least twice as hard. If police are scoffing at assaults against women, they will roll on the floor laughing at a man reporting being assaulted by a woman.

    Add to that the attitudes of family and society it’s easy to see why most men can’t even admit to themselves that they have been raped, nor admit the damage they suffered.

    Men really have a lot to learn from feminists.

    @ Raging Bee: I find it insulting that you think you are entitled to tell men how to experience what happens to them. If a man experiences a sexual assault by a woman as traumatizing as a woman experiences it from a man – well, that is his valid experience. What does anatomy have to do with it? Stop erasing men!

    And also, Raging Bee, you’re really pulling a “Muslima” here . . .

  89. 89
    Norman Hadley

    Hi robertbaden (48)

    You ask

    What makes you think a female rapist can’t get pregnant.?

    Of course she could. It’s just that she’s likely to feel very different about pregnancy in that scenario compared with her being raped.

  90. 90
    Norman Hadley

    Ally writes (63)

    Whether or not people realise it, we are already in territory that has been well covered in the past by feminists such as Germaine Greer and Camille Paglia.

    Holy shit, I just felt old, because I can still remember that article that got Greer into such deep trouble with rape campaigners, where she said

    To insist that outrage by penis is worse than outrage by any other means is to glorify and magnify that tag of flesh beyond reason

    That was back in 1995. I can’t find the original source but there’s context here.

  91. 91
    pneumo
    Raging Bee

    Oh, now I gotta hold up this end of the debate on my own?!

    Hahaha, I was just thinking that seconds after posting “oh, wait, that would be dumb, there needs to be multiple voices”. I may not be as smart or as articulate, but at least I can agree so it’s noticeable.

  92. 92
    carnation

    A very interesting post, Ally.

    As with many of these commentaries based on meta-analysis, there are methodological flaws and people, depending on their ideological background, will use anecdotes to interpret. That’s normal and to be expected. My initial thoughts are that to truly get the participants to understand what was being asked of them (I, indeed, it was a research aim) a direct, concise question, using the word “victim” would have to be used. This, of course, brings its own qualitative baggage. But as it stands, I somehow suspect that more than a few respondents will be thinking of “nagging” instead of coercion as well as other forms of harassment that are on the less severe end of the scale. That said, there’s a clear pattern, and one that doesn’t particularly surprise me.

    What I think further studies would show is that in very few cases would the men in question consider themselves to have been victims of crime, even when they might have been. Patriarchal misandry? I think so. I think something that should be borne in mind as well is that there are (as far as I know) no known cases of female spree or serial killers who first sexually abuse of rape their victims. Even in (the majority of) cases when the aggressor is known to the victim, this is reasonably enough a fear of a woman attacked. That’s one reason why men might not feel the same about an aggressive act, but there are many, many more.

    Working in bars for a few years allowed me to first hand see various types of behaviour that was indeed questionable. Male customers moving to a certain part of the bar so that female staff had to rub past them, money being taken with as much finger contact as possible and, in one vile incident, a guy saying he wasn’t going to pay for his drink for five minutes so he could “stare at [her] a bit longer”. None of this was, IMHO, criminal, though some of it did result in stern words from other members of staff and ejection. On another occasion, your humble narrator felt a hand go into his back pocket and turned round to see a woman about 15 years his senior (approx. 33 to his 18) and hear her say words to the effect “you’re gorgeous and have a great arse, I’m going to follow you about for a while”, to the evident delight of her (female) friends. I was a bit embarrassed, but really, I didn’t mind. Flip the reverses and the guy would have been out in a second.

    Another incident, a few years before, about a dozen boys and girls on LSD, the girls started chasing the boys about for “cuddles”, an opportunity for one particular girl to go after a boy she was obsessed with, lots of chasing into woods etc. An opportunistic girl and a really kinda odd situation. Flip the genders? The police and ambulance services would have had to resolve the situation, probably.

    And finally, not long after the first incident described, a young barman and friend are in an expensive bar being bought lots of Champagne by a bearded man, the barman has no idea why the guy is being so generous… the penny drops. The barman says to the bearded man that he’s not gay, and just wanted to be clear about that. The bearded man says that’s fine and not to worry. Few hours later, bearded man tries to get his hand into the barman’s trousers and get a drink over him and thrown across a table.

    Of the above, I think that the only criminal behaviour was the attack on the bearded man. But there’s a whole host of aggressive behaviours, usually fuelled by alcohol and/or drugs.

    I list those incident, basically because control seems a crucial element. With the possible exception of the teenagers tripping out of their undeveloped brains, there wasn’t really fear…

    Of course, that doesn’t make any of the behaviours less unacceptable, but certainly not criminal. And I suspect that most respondents would think of such instances when taking part in the studies.

  93. 93
    Norman Hadley

    Hi Aneres (87)

    Thanks for your very sincere testimony on the risk-of-pregnancy (I initially raised it). That’s certainly something a man (OK, this man) will find difficult to empathise with – the idea that someone could forcibly entwine their DNA with yours and leave the result in your belly for you to….deal with.

  94. 94
    leftwingfox

    Thanks for the reply, Ally. I agree with your analysis there.

  95. 95
    Raging Bee

    @ Raging Bee: I find it insulting that you think you are entitled to tell men how to experience what happens to them.

    I did no such thing, so any insult you feel is based on something you imagined.

    Are you serious? I mean, would you maybe like to think this over for a second?

    Why should I? Was I wrong on the anatomy?

  96. 96
    Raging Bee

    But come to think of it, the only one I remember now as being positively unpleasant was when a male friend kissed me quite forcefully, with a lot of tongue, and it is probably not coincidental that he was about 6’3″ and very well built – which I suspect is not coincidental. He was straight too, as it happens (although it seems his sexuality was soluble in MDMA), so it wasn’t really a sexual threat . It was that physical power and strength thing again.

    I can’t speak for you, of course, but that story made me a LOT queasier than the one about the woman following you into the loo. As you say, it’s probably “that physical power and strength thing again,” along with the inference that the male assailant could have a) hurt you a lot worse than the female, and b) posed a greater LONG-TERM threat than the woman. (Did that woman bother you again after she’d slept off her drunk?)

  97. 97
    wscott

    But, let’s be honest about the fact that rape is about power, not sex.

    @ Jackie 73: I agree with the rest of your post, but I think this line requires a caveat. If rape is truly never about sex (from the rapist’s perspective), then it seems odd that sex is the only thing in the world that some assholes won’t sometimes use violence to get what they want. This in no way is meant to defend or minimize rape! And I agree that often it’s also about power, as much or even more than the sex. (I have no idea what the “percentages” are, don’t know if there’s any research on that, and I’m not sure how relevant that even is.) But saying rape has nothing to do with sex is I think misleading.
    .
    That said, I wonder if that perception is a part of how men and women perceive rape differently? Are men more likely to perceive sexual assaults as being “just” about sex, and therefore less of a big deal, whereas women perceive it as more about dominance, and that makes it more traumatic? I’m totally speculating here.

    PTSD rates correlated with the social status of the survivor.

    @ Freja 82: Great point: this has been observed after countless disasters, even after correcting for wealth, etc. So yeah, it shouldn’t be a surprise that acts of violence by members of disenfranchised groups against members of privileged groups is not perceived the same – by either side – as the reverse. To use an (imperfect) analogy: growing up as a white boy in a largely Hispanic area, I often had carloads of Hispanic kids shout racial epithets at me as they drove past; more than once, I thought maybe I was about to get my ass kicked. But that does not mean I know what it feels like for a racial minority to be called a [insert slur here]. Maybe it should be the same in theory, but in practice the non-level playing field makes a difference.
    .

    Trauma is often more heavily linked to the aftermath of the traumatising event than the event itself,

    @ freja again: I believe there’s research to support this idea as well. Specifically, I remember reading something (years ago, can’t find it, so take with a grain of salt) questioning how we handle children who are victims of sexual assaults. The assertion was that in some cases (important qualifier) the child was initially less traumatized by the event itself, but became more traumatized as more and more adults treated it like A Very Big Deal. (And yes, of course it is A Very Big Deal – I’m not saying otherwise.)
    .
    Sorry I don’t have a link, so file under “some guy on the Internet said…” And even if I could, that still wouldn’t translate to “We should stop telling women rape is bad; that way they won’t be so traumatized.” But I thought it was worth pointing out.

  98. 98
    Ally Fogg

    Birric Foncella

    If you look at the trend in the recent feminist blogs, you will find a lot of women who are redefining their earlier experiences. They thought earlier that that gave implied or even open consent to a man. Now they realize that that man actually raped them.

    I’d like some citations for that claim, because I read a lot of feminist blogs and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen.

  99. 99
    Ally Fogg

    Aneres [87]

    Really appreciate that input, thanks, and now rather regret having thrown in my tuppence worth on an issue where I am manifestly unqualified to comment.

  100. 100
    carnation

    @ Ally Fogg

    That’s the least offensive of Birric Foncella’s writings this past week or so…

  101. 101
    Ally Fogg

    RagingBee (96)

    They were very, very different experiences for me. The big guy snogging me was (from my POV) entirely asexual. I knew him well enough to know that there was absolutely zero sexual threat or threat of violence.

    The experience with the woman, although probably less ewwww-inducing at the time, was actually more violent, more forceful. I had to be a lot more frantic and determined to get myself out of the bathroom without a full-sclae serious sexual assault happening. I was actually much closer to being seriously sexually assaulted on that occasion.

    As I said to freja above, I possibly didn’t fully convey just how sexually aggressive she was in the OP. And no, from memory I don’t think I ever saw her again (she wasn’t a complete stranger, but we didn’t move in the same circles).

    But perhaps your reaction is quite telling in making the point of how differently we react to a male and female aggressor.

  102. 102
    Raging Bee

    Confusing factor 1: There are people who want sex, and are not resigned to just hang around and wait till it is offered.

    That’s not a “confusing factor,” it’s a long-discredited victim-blaming bullshit talking-point. Rape is RARELY, if ever, about pent-up sexual desire; it’s mostly about anger, resentment, and, yes, power. Remember, not all women were dressing or acting provocatively prior to being raped, and not all rapes are by guys whom the victim had teased or blown off before. (And, in fact, a lot of rape victims weren’t even in the “sexy” or “sexually available” categories at all — they were old women, prepubescent girls, invalids, nuns, middle-aged housewives attacked unprovoked by strangers in their homes, etc.)

    So please cut this crap about guys just not wanting to wait for sex — it’s a deliberate diversion.

  103. 103
    robertbaden

    @Norman Hadley

    I wasn’t thinking about the effect of pregnancy on the rapist, but on the victim.
    I wouldn’t want to have a child of mine to have a mother like that.

  104. 104
    Raging Bee

    Ally: correction noted. Part of my mistake was, as you say, an indicator of different reactions depending on gender; but another part of it was your wording of the second story. Sorry if I misread your choice of words.

    As for different reactions, yes, that’s a bias on my part — but it’s a bias based on things I’ve read and heard about male violence against women, which, as I said before, don’t have much of an exact mirror-image in female violence against men. As you say, they’re both problems that demand honest and compassionate responses — without pretending any sort of “equality” or “symmetry.”

  105. 105
    Ally Fogg

    carnation (92)

    All interesting stuff, and mostly makes sense.

    As I said in an earlier comment, I wasn’t really thinking about criminality and legality when I was writing this post. In simple matter of fact, British law is pretty much gender neutral. Discounting the controversy about whether or not sexual assault by forced penetration should be classified and described as rape – it is classified as the most serious sexual assault and has the same penal tariff. So actually pretty much everything we’ve been talking about here (with the possible exception of verbal coercion) could be classified as a crime.

    The interesting point is whether we, the public, are likely to think of these actions as crimes, and if so, whether we would ever be inclined to report them to police. It certainly never occurred to me.

    As for the research, criminology generally has moved away from asking people if they have been victims of crimes, to the extent that a lot of rape-related research now doesn’t use the phrase “rape” because it carries so much baggage and there is so much doubt in people’s minds as to what does or does not constitute rape. So most research asks questions like “have you ever been forced to have sex when you didn’t want to” – which is pretty much the same methodology being used here.

    FWIW, in this context I’m not especially bothered by legal classifications, where the bar is set for criminal prosecution etc. I’m talking about harm to individuals, which is not the same thing.

    Such a small proportion of sexual offences (of any type) end up in the judicial system that I think that’s a bit of a distraction. I’d much rather we found ways to stop people behaving abusively and aggressively without involving discussion of prosecution, punishment etc.

  106. 106
    hjhornbeck

    Uh, I don’t see any of the OP as “startling.”

    Consider benevolent sexism and chivalry. Hidden behind the mask of doing good is a nasty set of assumptions: women are incapable of independent action, or inferior at it, and need outside assistance to make up for that; women are inherently pure and chaste, and need protection to preserve that purity. This drives the Madonna/whore dichotomy that’s frequently mentioned in feminist circles, with an associated set of punishments and rewards.

    If you think of women as pure and chaste, though, you don’t think they’re capable of bad behavior. Sexual assault? Not possible! If you don’t think they’re independent actors, you think they simply go along with the flow. Aggressively pursuing men is not gonna happen.

    If women are not inherently pure, however, then they will do bad things like sexually assault someone. If women are independent actors, then aggressive pursuit can happen. And that is exactly what these studies show.

    These studies are only startling if you buy into sexist notions in the first place. To a third-wave feminist such as myself, this actually bolsters the argument that women are human beings too.

  107. 107
    Ally Fogg

    One other thought that only just popped into my head.

    Going back to the incident in the bathroom… if it had been a man assaulting me like that and I was unable to free myself by other means, I would not have hesitated to punch him in the face.

    It took me literally 25 years (and about 100 comments on this blog) before it even occurred to me that this was even a possibility with a female assailant. I honestly don’t think I could do that to a woman. I would probably have just relented and let her have sex with me against my will rather than hitting her.

  108. 108
    spacklick

    Raging BEE

    @49

    How about the accounts of actual female rape victims? Is that god enough “literature” for you?

    Well given that it doesn’t and nor could it possibly answer the question of whether “some of the social discussion of rape make the effect worse for the victim after the fact” no, that isn’t sufficient literature.
    @51

    So yes, you do seem to be suggesting that we should stop telling women that rape is bad. That way they won’t be as horribly traumatized if they actually get raped, right?

    I’m suggesting it’s very possible that if we stopped telling women that rape was the worst possible thing that could happen to her she may be less traumatised by it. I’m suggesting that looking at the differences in response between rape victims to their assaults might allow better support for victims and reduce the pain and psychological trauma for some of the worst affected.
    @65

    Are you actually comparing the public reaction to someone else’s death, to a person reacting to his/her own rape? That comparison is so ridiculously invalid I’m almost embarrassed to see it here.

    People are conditioned to respond to things in certain ways. The way society treats an event directly affects how people respond to that event. This comparison is PERFECTLY VALID.
    @70

    Oh, now I gotta hold up this end of the debate on my own?!

    In which case it’ll probably fall down. You’ve made it clear you’re not open to discussion, barely read the “opposing” view.

    @ Freja

    @54 I agree wholeheartedly

    @82

    I regards to trauma, I think it’s generally accepted that marginalised groups are at bigger risk. The more social power you have the greater your sense of agency, and the greater your sense of agency the better you’ll be to cope with trauma.

    Very True, and worth mentioning, this lack of sense of agency is probably why female victims of rape suffer greater psychological trauma. So probably one of the first steps to helping potential victims of rape is to empower women.

  109. 109
    M

    @Raging Bee

    If sexual coercion of men, of the types described in these studies, were consistently traumatizing to men, you can bet they’d be speaking out about it, and we’d be hearing it a lot clearer than we currently are. Men get away with saying all kinds of stupid shit about female anatomy, so I really have a hard time believing that men’s voices are being silenced on issues of much more direct importance to male well-being.

    No, no, no. Male voices aren’t privileged in our society. Hegemonic male voices are privileged. I would expect men traumatized by sexual violence to be systematically silenced, under patriarchy.

    Another important objective difference between men raping women and women raping men, is the obvious anatomical disparity: a woman being raped by a man has something shoved forcibly INTO her body, while a man being forced to penetrate a woman endures no such bodily violation. This difference alone means that these two incidents cannot be considered equally traumatic

    You are just arguing by analogy. You present absolutely no evidence for your claim that sexual violence is emotionally different for different genders.

  110. 110
    Gjenganger

    @Raging Bee 102
    Please, could you stop knocking me for things I do not say, and stick to the things that I actually say? Surely I am giving you enough material to work with?

    “Confusing factor 1: There are people who want sex, and are not resigned to just hang around and wait till it is offered.
    That’s not a “confusing factor,” it’s a long-discredited victim-blaming bullshit talking-point. Rape is RARELY, if ever, about pent-up sexual desire; it’s mostly about anger, resentment, and, yes, power.

    This stuff about ‘pent-up desire’ is indeed nonsense. Which is why I would never say it. Men are prefectly capable of keeping it in their pants if they so choose. The thing is, sex is nice all by itself, and many men would like more of it. Steven Pinker (not that I am a great fan of his) put it very well “Many men discover that sex does not happen as often as they would like, and then try to get more of it, using the same techniques they would use in other cases to get what they want” Some might use persuasion, some try to pay or barter their way, some try guilt trips, persistent nagging, emotional blackmail, manipulation, assaulting the unconsciuos, threatened or actual violence … The morality of it (AFAIAC) does not hang on the idea of actively trying to get more sex, but on the methods used and damage done in each case. Be that as it may, rape is (also) about sex: sex is part of the reason in most cases of rape, and most of the reason in some cases of rape. Which is what the argument was all about.

  111. 111
    SensitiveThug

    Ally

    Thanks for your very quick and interesting reply.

    On the gender symmetry thing, I was slightly tentative in how I worded “what they tend to show is…” There are some studies that show close to exact symmetry, but I’ve seen many more that don’t. Even the CDC showed symmetry on the 12 month stats, but not on the lifetime prevalence, which is generally considered a more accurate measure.

    I think perhaps both of us ought to have been a bit more tentative! It’s true that some studies have found a gender difference in risk of sexual assault. However, I still don’t think that the quoted part of the OP accurately reflects the true balance of evidence on gender parity (or otherwise) in risk of sexual assault.

    We can’t simply count the number of studies that say one thing or the other and pick the side with the most studies. It’s obviously much better to look at each study in detail and try to understand why they sometimes get conflicting results.

    Imho the best studies tend to (not always, I agree) show near parity between men and women. For example, of the studies on your list, how many used the male version of the SES which was called into question (or rather, shown to likely be seriously biased) by reference [2] of my previous post? I also suspect most of the other older studies used quite poor questionnaires too, given that a lot of effort has gone into developing better ones over time.

    Personally, I would also say that recent incidence, rather than lifetime prevalence, is the more reliable measure on this issue. Typhonblue addressed this point in her famous article [4] on male rape, which I assume you’ve read already.

    On the second point, tbh I’m pleasantly surprised that you’re all willing to discuss things that are offensive. I’m so used to seeing people (often feminists) saying that certain things shouldn’t be said because they’re offensive, or because they’re victim-blaming, or because they reinforce negative stereotypes etc. As long as you all apply these principles fairly for everyone, I don’t see it as a problem. I assumed that certain topics would be off-limits here as almost everywhere else. (And for the record, I do have problems myself with saying some things, especially ones that reinforce stereotypes.)

    For starters, I think it is a simple matter of fact that no two rapes, no two sexual assaults will have the same impacts, and no two victims would react the same way to the same attacks. That’s true across genders and within genders.

    That’s true, although notice that it isn’t usually pointed out in discussions of female rape victims. Imho few articles discussing rape of women pause to make sure the reader understands that of those women who are raped, not all are traumatised to the same extent, and some even report that they weren’t victimised at all. Indeed, usually many people will condemn anyone who suggests that some rapes are worse than others in any way, or that rape isn’t always traumatic.

    Except the opposite occurs with male rape. There, it’s almost mandatory to say that women are still more likely to be victimised, and hurt more when it does happen. And when questioned, the author will always say it doesn’t really matter, it’s oppression olympics etc. But funnily enough they still are careful to put it in the article!

    Perhaps more importantly, the above quote imho doesn’t really justify the general tone of the OP either: in my view, it’s a much weaker claim. Is “society teeming with [women] seriously psychologically and emotionally damaged by experience of [male] abuse and assault”, and not with men? The majority of rape statistics we have don’t measure psychological damage separately from incidence of rape. And the anecdote from your psychologist friend is surely more plausibly explained by men not coming forward with their problems than saying that no men are traumatised by sexual abuse from women. You sound almost apologetic that women would have to consider that they can rape too, and you say that male rape is “not always a trivial matter”, as if most of the time it is. The second quote from your OP in my first post is another example of a much stronger statement than simply saying everyone reacts differently.

    I know I’m being argumentative but if I understand correctly, that’s welcome here.

    And briefly, Jacob, I think we more or less agree, despite how both our posts sound!

    In response to Freja’s comments on marginalised groups being less able to cope with trauma, I think this doesn’t account for likely gender differences in opening up about emotional problems. I think it’s unlikely that white women are really as marginalised as black men (or women). And I’m curious if similar statistics are available on other issues: for example, do black men report the same level of trauma when raped as white (or black) women?

    Best wishes, All.

    [4] http://www.genderratic.com/p/836/manufacturing-female-victimhood-and-marginalizing-vulnerable-men/

  112. 112
    Soarer

    @108 spacklick

    So probably one of the first steps to helping potential victims of rape is to empower women.

    I think this is so important. I know many women who have intelligence, beauty and wisdom, but who lack confidence and self-esteem. I know others who are just as talented, but have confidence in their own abilities, and who achieve great things, run organisations, sit as judges, and start businesses. The difference in outcomes is striking to me.

    I don’t doubt that there are men of both types too.

    What do we do to some our children that prevents them from fulfilling their potential? My impression is that whatever it is, at least for my generation, it falls more heavily on women.

    What annoys me is the kind of faux feminism which confirms victim status. Much better is the kind, as hjhornbeck (106) puts it so eloquently, that

    actually bolsters the argument that women are human beings too

    and can also do bad things on occasion, like human beings do.

  113. 113
    Norman Hadley

    Hi Robert (103). That scenario sounds grim, I agree. Just nowhere near as grim as the other way round, as I hinted in my comment 93.

  114. 114
    Tamen

    Pneumo @53:

    Anyway; I suspect one of the reasons, if not the main reason, that you get the reaction is due to the “what about the menz” tactic. The constant bringing up of men when women are being discussed is something that can wear quite thin, considering the state of society we live in.

    It might not be that they think men as victims is less horrible, it’s just that so very often men as victims is used as a way of making women as victims less horrible.

    So, given how the discourse on rape and sexual abuse have been pretty much exclusively centered on female-on-male rape (despite even research back from the 80′s indicating that sexual abuse is far from as one sided as the discourse let on), how would you suggest male victims should go about to be included in the discourse on rape and what to do about it?

  115. 115
    Tamen

    Ally @several comments:

    @75

    I’ve also got more than a few stories of inappropriate advances, clumsy passes and cheeky gropes and crotch-grabs that have happened to me, by women and a few men, and believe me, this was very different.

    And yet you previously thought that female sexual aggression was far-far less common than male sexual aggression? That you and her were an outlier and not something many men experience and a not-insignificant number of women do? I think that’s related to how little this has been talked about (men don’t talk about these incidents or they re-frame them as “bragging”-stories for their mates.

    @22

    I guess my position is that we should consider sexual abuse of men as a serious issue in its own right, and not get tangled up in compare and contrast to abuse of women and arguments about equivalence and symmetry.

    Yet you did open that gate wide open in your OP.

    @29

    In that sense the situation is not that different to the recent cases of child rape victims being accused of being “predatory” etc. The point is that their ‘predatory’ behaviour is irrelevant because it is the responsibility of the person in the position of relative power (or sobriety) to make the decision.

    This comes off as saying that your wanna-be rapist’s predatory behaviour is irrelevant. That it was your responsibility as the person with more (physical )power and less drunk to stop the rape attempt. That doesn’t seem to me to jive well with your other statements on this thread Ally, perhaps you can explain what I am missing.

    @98

    Birric Foncella: If you look at the trend in the recent feminist blogs, you will find a lot of women who are redefining their earlier experiences. They thought earlier that that gave implied or even open consent to a man. Now they realize that that man actually raped them.

    Ally: I’d like some citations for that claim, because I read a lot of feminist blogs and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen.

    There has been several blog-post discussing the fact that many women who are victims of actions which per definition qualify as rape don’t call what happened to them for rape. Mary P Kossfound in a study from the mid-eighties (I am pretty sure it’s the 1 in 4 study) for instance that about three-fourths of the women who had been raped, did not identify their experience as “definitely” rape. I strongly suspect that a similar survey today would yield a lower result. I suspect for the simple reason that what qualifies as (male-on-female) rape is much more openly discussed and talked about that it was in the early eighties. Now that male victimization of rape and sexual abuse is slowly being recognized and talked about more I suspect many men will find themselves looking at current and past experiences with new eyes.

    @105

    As for the research, criminology generally has moved away from asking people if they have been victims of crimes, to the extent that a lot of rape-related research now doesn’t use the phrase “rape” because it carries so much baggage and there is so much doubt in people’s minds as to what does or does not constitute rape. So most research asks questions like “have you ever been forced to have sex when you didn’t want to” – which is pretty much the same methodology being used here.

    It is interesting that the same group of people who can be trusted to vehemently defend the methodology used by Mary P Koss to arrive at the much discussed 1 in 4 women have been raped result are now critical of using the same methodology when surveying men about sexual abuse victimization and women about female perpetration. Suddenly it’s too vague.

    @107

    Going back to the incident in the bathroom… if it had been a man assaulting me like that and I was unable to free myself by other means, I would not have hesitated to punch him in the face.

    It took me literally 25 years (and about 100 comments on this blog) before it even occurred to me that this was even a possibility with a female assailant. I honestly don’t think I could do that to a woman. I would probably have just relented and let her have sex with me against my will rather than hitting her.

    I am sure you’ve read/heard James Landrith’s story. The harm from his rape only surfaced after 18 years. He found himself unable to physically throw her off out of fear of harming her or her unborn child. She also threatened to yell rape if he didn’t comply. I had more of a reaction like yours, the idea of hitting her or forcing my rapist off just did not occur to me. I know that is pretty hard to grasp, but it never even entered my brain as a possibility. After I don’t know how long I tried to make her stop by faking an orgasm. That worked and she climbed off me. Afterwards I realized that I probably (she was my about my height and weight) could’ve made her stop earlier by fighting her physically. I spent a long time beating myself up over that, but in the end I figured that we being at her place and she coming out of the bedroom naked with physical marks on her would have left me in an even worse predicament unless she were to be very honest to the others about what happened – which isn’t likely in someone who doesn’t bother to obtain consent before fucking a sleeping person.

    It is kind of interesting Ally that I recognize many things from your evolving story here. You’ve started to view what happened to you in a new light (perhaps you haven’t thought about it for many years). You’re experiencing how quick people are downplaying it, how people contrast it with similar experiences for women to show that it’s worse for women. You’ve just realized that the physical power you have to prevent itweren’t as readily available to use as most people – including you assumed. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found more scales falling from your eyes.

    On a more general note I find the number of comments about male-on-female rape in response to this post about female sexual aggression to be ironic as I have been told by some people that that would never happen – women would never bring up female rape in a thread about male rape. Now, I don’t mind them, I’m perfectly ok with people shining further light on rape and sexual abuse.

    I also do note that when the belief that the overwhelming majority of rapists are men and the overwhelming majority of rape victim are women are not longer tenable the opinion that the act of forcing a man to have PIV, PIA or PIM intercourse with a woman(or a man) should be called rape is the new fallback. Perhaps it will cause some discomfort to know that they are in agreement with these women and this particular anti-feminist

    The “trauma-policing” out in force here is jarring. Does anyone really think it helps female victims to downplay male traumatization? Perceived (by victim as well as others) trauma and actual trauma may differ and individual variations in traumatization vary greatly – often depending on a wide host of circumstances – so it it’s basically meaningless to state that a male victim of rape is less traumatized than a female victim of rape. Any individual male victim can be just as traumatized as any individual female victim.

  116. 116
    Tamen

    Here’s what I’d like to see as the outcome of the realization Ally has come to and pointed out in his post:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnSuR3bFWcQ

    Instead we got this thread.

  117. 117
    freja

    @88, Birric Forcella

    Concerning men underreporting assaults and rapes: You should read the recent post by the Lousy Canuck about how women are discouraged to report their rapes. If you substitute men for women in these posts, you have pretty much also the reality facing men – only for men it’s at least twice as hard.

    @ Raging Bee: I find it insulting that you think you are entitled to tell men how to experience what happens to them.

    That’s rich. No one has the right to tell men about their experiences, but you can easily tell that women subjected to rape have it at least twice as easy as men. Who’s telling others how to experience what happens to them here?

    I’d say that if anything, it’s the other way around. Women experience slut-shaming and are perceived and treated like they’re damaged goods (even among people who don’t slut-shame, female rape victims are often considered mentally damaged and weak). They get told it’s their fault just as much, only, they’re rarely given ther option to frame it as consensual in order to cope. And when they do get told they wanted it as much as the rapist, it usually hits harder, because sexual desire is shameful for women. The attacks are riskier because of penetration and pregnancy, the risks of PTSD higher, the feeling of helplessness and fear of future victimisation escalated because of the size difference, etc., etc..

    But you know what, that’s not relevant. My personal opinion about who gets treated the worst are almost as irrelevant as yours, because we’re supposed to support each other and try to prevent as much victimisation as possible, which imo is best served by letting women know that men aren’t always up for it, even when certain parts of their bodies are. In fact, I think this is more important to than telling the same to men, because they’ve always known it and the ones who still rape simply don’t care. That’s why I’ve tried my best to be polite about this until now. But if you want people to not insult you, it’d be a good idea to refrain from unsupported blanket statements like “for men it’s at least twice as hard”.

  118. 118
    sezit

    A HUGE missing discussion item here – the physical threat and actuality of damage or death. Many rapes include injury. Ally, you state that if it had been a man, you would have punched him. Well, women know that if we hit a man, we probably wont hurt him much, but he will hit back and probably hurt us badly – broken bones, etc. I would like to see these studies controlled for:
    1. female on female rape – Number of incidences and degree of physical injury
    2. female on male rape ”
    3. male on female rape ”
    4. male on male rape ”
    I think we all highly suspect where the highest and lowest incidences of rape and most and least degree of physical injury occurs.

    Also, there is no discussion of
    1. Gang rape. I suspect that the incidence of female perpetrator gang rape is vanishingly infinitesimal. It’s a major factor for male perpetrated rape.
    2. Stalking with violent threats. I suspect similar gender skew.
    3. Street harassment. Same conclusion.
    4. Verbal/on-line harassment/threats. Same same.
    5. Sexual killings/serial killers. Same again.
    5. Domestic violence. And again. The amount of skew may vary, but it sure as shit ain’t equal.

    Women and men swim in a soup of pervasive male to female violence and threat of violence and continual denial of that soup. I will say that we need to work to prevent sexual aggression/rape by either men or women, and work to treat all rape victims with respect. But the greater damage, by far, is perpetrated by men.

    “Deep down, what men fear from women is being laughed at. Deep down, what women fear from men is being killed.”

  119. 119
    freja

    @114, Tamen

    So, given how the discourse on rape and sexual abuse have been pretty much exclusively centered on female-on-male rape (despite even research back from the 80′s indicating that sexual abuse is far from as one sided as the discourse let on), how would you suggest male victims should go about to be included in the discourse on rape and what to do about it?

    Look to what feminists did and do the same, don’t sit around complaining that feminists aren’t fighting enough of your battles. Cooperate with feminists on the areas were you agree, make it your goal to help men more than picking on feminism. Try to copy feminism instead of co-opting it.

    The reason “the discourse on rape and sexual abuse have been pretty much exclusively centered on female-on-male rape” is because women were the ones bringing it up. Women speaking is not the same as men being silenced. Men didn’t talk about it before women brought it up either, so when they pretend women are oppressing them by speaking of male-on-female rape instead of female-on-male rape, the most generous interpretation is that they’re too lazy to do any activism on their own behalf but not too lazy to harass actual activists into doing it for them. The less generous interpretation (and more likely) explanation is that they’re just trying to shut women up.

    Concrete examples: Start independent discussions about the topic. I’ve never seen an article about circumcision being criticised by feminists for arguing against it, but such articles are few and far between compared to the amount of articles about FGC being overrun with comments saying “Why aren’t you arguing against circumcision instead? You should talk about our issues, talking about your own is misandry”. The same for sexual assault. Unless the article in question tries to blame it on feminism, feminists usually leave it alone or show support, whereas trying to co-opt existing discussions is likely to be met with hostility.

    Form support groups, online or in meatspace, to talk about it among other men who’ve had similar experiences, and share ideas and tactics for how to most effectively get your message across, preferably without being anti-women. See if any among you have a platform (a newspaper column, a popular blog, etc.) from which to speak and use it. If none of you have, create one and/or try to find people (a journalist, a sex educator, a sympathetic feminist sex blogger etc.) who have one and encourage them to publish some of your stories. Write books, make documentaries, create and sign petitions, donate to men’s shelters and support lines. Check the news and raise a fuss every time an alleged male rape victim is dismissed by the police. Give people some organisations to consult about the issue of male sexual victimisation or draw attention to existing ones.

    Remember the MRA response to the “Don’t be that guy” campaign? Lots of aggressive attempts at drawing attention to the previously (allegedly but demonstrably not) ignored male victimisation… of being falsely accused of rape. Change that focus. We all know now that bitchez be lying, people have been saying variations of it since biblical times. But people haven’t talked a whole lot about sexual assault of men, let alone at the hands of women, and every time an opportunity to address it arises, alleged men’s activists waste it in order focus on men’s role as potential rapists rather than potential victims, further strengthening the existing narrative which you claim to oppose.

    Do something radical instead: Write to the people behind that campaign and congratulate them on a job well done, praise their inclusion of male-on-male rape, make it clear that you’re not trying to dismiss the severity of rape against women, and ask them about the possibility of expanding the campaign to include female-on-male rape too. If you’re unsure about how to best address them without letting your vehement hatred of feminism shine through and alienate them, ask some friendly feminists for suggestions on how they’d phrase it. Most of us are happy to help as long as you don’t call us lying sluts who’re asking for it. Include some documentation, and maybe signatures too. Again, I’m sure you can get a good deal of them from various feminist spaces.

    You can be even more thorough and offer to have volunteers put up the posters in their local area. Men already have websites dedicated to exposing lying bitches and volunteers to put up posters warning them to stop lying, so is it really that hard to make websites dedicated to male victims of sexual assaults and get volunteers put up posters saying “Just because he’s male doesn’t mean he’s up for it”?

    If they say the campaign is over, petition for a new and more gender inclusive one. And if they say female-on-male sexual assault is a non-issue, raise hell. Don’t come into threads for female victims and complain it’s all their fault for not talking about it, create your own threads on every message board which allows for these kinds of discussions. Write to every journalist and blogger you know to get them to raise awareness of the issue. Contact every organisation for male sexual assault victims you can find and try to get them involved.

    Contact feminists you think would be sympathetic (again, as long as you aren’t overly hostile, I think you’ll find a lot of support), and ask them to link to your sites and petitions. Most feminist sites have occasional round-up pages which often include links to articles about non-feminist social justice issues, and asking to get a link into one of them is a lot less intrusive than the usual “Why aren’t you talking about meeeeeeee?!?!”.

    And try to get your narrative straight. Feminists disagree on a lot of things, but they’re still a hell of a lot more consistent (both individually and as a movement) than the groups claiming to fight on behalf of men. This makes it next to impossible to know what exactly you’re supporting when men complain that their rights are trampled on.

    For instance: How much should we trust the alleged victim and how much should we trust the alleged perpetrator? Are men strong and superior, able to easily overpower any women they want and put her in her place, and only refraining from doing so because they’re chivalrous/indifferent, or are they regular people as vulnerable to exploitation as women are? And speaking of which, how big a part of our gender roles is logically ingrained and how much is learned? Should we work to further diminish the presence of gender roles or try to reinstate them? Are men becoming too feminised, or are they unjustly forced into the man-box? Is masculinity demonised and men no longer allowed to be men, or is femininity devalued to such a degree that men are afraid to display it? Is the difficulties faced by male victims a result of rape culture and toxic masculinity or female privilege? Is involuntary celibacy a form of victimisation? How and when is it OK to withdraw from others and/or ask them to leave you alone?

    And practise what you preach about cleaning up your own backyard. Right now, several anti-feminists are simultaneously insisting that a false rape accusation is the worst thing that can happen to a man, and making false rape accusations left and right merely to prove a point. If you want to take over a discourse, take over that one. Fill every thread about false rape accusations with accounts of sexual victimisation, get the people there to understand that “he said, she said” scenarios aren’t automatically about men being accused of rape and that narratives about the victims asking for it and lying are harmful to men too. Don’t ask “Why aren’t you talking about rape of men?” in spaces where rape of women is discussed, ask it threads where people claim to speak for men.

  120. 120
    Tamen

    sezit:
    Today I learned that apparenty only physical injury counts as trauma for male and female rape victims considering that you didn’t see fit to include psychological and emotional trauma to your laid out plan (which included foregone conclusions that the number of female perpetrators of gang rape, stalking with violent threats, street harassment, verbal/on-line harassment/threats and domestic violence are vanishingly infinitesimal) to prove that male victims are far better off than female victims and that female perpetrators in reality are insignificant and only capable of harm in a vanishingly infinitesimal number of cases.

    Nice touch with the quote at the end in the context of male rape victims of female perpetrators. Real empathetic implying that the only thing a man being raped by a women needs to fear is that she’ll laugh at him as well. To bad it kind of belies you assurance that we need to “work to treat all rape victims with respect”.

    As for the vanishingly infinitesimal number of female gang rapists and how unlikely it is that they cause physical injury – I guess it should then be next to impossible to find some newspaper reports of any such, but alas:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-478781/Sick-happy-slap-girl-gang-sexually-abused-teenage-boy-jailed.html

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/04/11/girls-accused-of-sexual-attack-on-boy-17/

    http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2012/07/21/348761_news.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2122709/Schoolgirl-12-encouraged-boy-rape-11-year-old-girl-DARE-told-finished-wanted-stop.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2232818/Sisters-sexually-assault-man-learning-difficulties-gunpoint-make-strip.html

    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/national_world&id=5849729

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2012/02/sisters-torture-teen-with-pliers-and-force-him-to-drink-urine-after-he-refuses-to-have-sex/

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/58495/Girls-caged-for-boy-torture.html

    http://news.msn.co.nz/article/7924628/teen-girls-torture-man-with-vacuum-cleaner

  121. 121
    mildlymagnificent

    One thing that hasn’t been raised about both men’s and women’s perceptions of whether a particular sexual “experience” was or wasn’t rape/ attempted rape is the smelly stranger leaping from behind the bushes version of what real rape-rape is. That’s one of the reasons why so many women initially didn’t regard a rape as rape because he was a friend or a husband or a “nice person”. And for men, I suppose their perception would be that the only real rape-rape was a similar stranger perpetrating male on male rape. It’s only in more recent times, and not even now in many police stations, that rape is about violating someone’s body sexually – without consent – regardless of who did it and how it was done.

    The other thing about how people respond. Some people really don’t have much problem dealing with it as something horrible that happened, but that was then, this is now, and I’m OK. Just look at how differently some people react to being burgled. Some people just deal with the cops, put in the insurance claim, replace their losses as best they can and get on with life. Others are still mourning the loss or destruction of their family photos years later and/or are so traumatised they have to move house.

    When it comes to sexual assault, the one thing that doesn’t come across very clearly in statistical surveys, though it’s often mentioned in personal accounts, is how often any given person has been assaulted / stalked/ groped/ grabbed/ harassed previously. If the victim has been assaulted before, especially if they were abused as a child, they’re likely to be badly affected even if they’ve not been overtly badly affected before. So when we look at men and women, the likelihood of childhood abuse is far too common for both, the likelihood of harassment, stalking, groping and grabbing is much, much higher and much, much more frequent for women than for men, and repeated sexual assault? – I have no idea. (And I’m eating my very late breakfast so I’m not doing any marvellous searching just now.)

    So it’s not just that women are told to be afraid of male sexual aggression, it’s the undeniable fact that most women who are raped have already been subjected to unwanted male sexual attention frequently, and aggression a bit less often. Whereas men who are raped are much less likely to have had people rubbing erections up against them while on the bus or the train on their travel to and from work. They’ve not been constantly reminded of the possibility and the power that a possible rapist has to assault them.

  122. 122
    s.

    Why should I? Was I wrong on the anatomy?

    Well, first of all, you don’t actually get to dictate the level of trauma involved in different “kinds” of rape. I believe ex-Senator Akin made a similar mistake.

    Secondly, I would question the assumptions being made here. You could just as easily say that forced “envelopment” evokes feelings of being trapped or dominated in ways that penetration does not. In fact, I daresay that’s exactly what you would be saying if we were living in a world in which rape has historically been committed against men, instead of women. In other words, I think you’re confusing nature for nurture.

    (As Ally said, it may be true that women and men react differently to objectively similar instances of sexual aggression. But that is, again as he said, a result of political and social context, not “the anatomy”.)

    Christ. And you’re taking potshots at other commenters.

  123. 123
    Danny Gibbs

    I think one of the biggest barriers (as others have mentioned) is that as it stands the conversation on sexual assault is often starting off with the presumption that sexual assault means “men sexually assaulting women”. And from that starting people introduction of any other forms of assault are taken as an attempt at silencing women who are assaulted by men (and yes I’ve had this told to me point blank in online conversation).

    When you bring up sexual assault of males there is a knee jerk reaction to use the sexual assault of females
    as a measuring stick to dictate how severely affected said males are. When when that measure is taken the knee jerkers are adding in something that many of them say they are against, gender stereotypes. That would explain why last year when I was sexually harassed by a drunk woman and retold the story to three women the first one (who has been date raped herself) asked me why didn’t I “do it”, the second one (who has been sexually assaulted) laughed, and finally the third one actually heard me out.

    You can’t in one breath say that all sex crime victims should be taken seriously but in the next say that because of usually being bigger and stronger, because they are male, because they “want it all the time, guys are not as affected.

    I think there needs to be some separation on this where people stop doing a gender check to decide how seriously someone might be affected by such an event.

    Tamen:
    It is interesting that the same group of people who can be trusted to vehemently defend the methodology used by Mary P Koss to arrive at the much discussed 1 in 4 women have been raped result are now critical of using the same methodology when surveying men about sexual abuse victimization and women about female perpetration. Suddenly it’s too vague.
    And this is why I have a hard time putting a lot of faith in stats that are used in such debates. Too many poeple will defend/question the outcomes of studies based on what the outcome was rather than how the outcome was reached.

    M:
    No, no, no. Male voices aren’t privileged in our society. Hegemonic male voices are privileged. I would expect men traumatized by sexual violence to be systematically silenced, under patriarchy.
    I’m glad you point this out M. For some reason the privileged few among men suddenly become the sole representation of us all when suits folks. Simply being male does not make one’s voice privileged.

    Raging Bee:
    Another important objective difference between men raping women and women raping men, is the obvious anatomical disparity: a woman being raped by a man has something shoved forcibly INTO her body, while a man being forced to penetrate a woman endures no such bodily violation. This difference alone means that these two incidents cannot be considered equally traumatic, and it is sheer insulting folly to pretend they’re in any way equal, or can be made or seen so.
    That’s only physical trauma.

    Like S and Ally say while the experiences may not be the same I think there’s a problem where the anatomy of the rape is being held onto like a grasped straw in an attempt to continue arguing that women “have it worse” when it comes to rape.

  124. 124
    mildlymagnificent

    That would explain why last year when I was sexually harassed by a drunk woman and retold the story to three women the first one (who has been date raped herself) asked me why didn’t I “do it”, the second one (who has been sexually assaulted) laughed, and finally the third one actually heard me out.

    Did you do the same by relating the details of the incident to 3 (or more) men? Were their reactions significantly different from how the women responded?

  125. 125
    Tamen

    mildlymagnificent:

    I am willing to bet that it would be pretty similar. Just as there is no shortage of women victim-blaming female victims.

    I could for instance point out that there are at least on commenter identifying as not-female on this thread who have boldly asserted that male victims are less traumatized than female victims and that it “is not even in the same category of seriousness.” as well as hinting that male victims deserve it:
    “In a way all women have been bullied sexually more or less. Maybe a little bit of pay back time, tit for tat.”

  126. 126
    Topos

    There are no male rape victims. Rape is something the powerful do to the marginalized. Men cannot be raped, by definition. Men can experience sexual “assault,” but not rape. Being forced to have sex against your will by a woman isn’t rape. It’s payback.

  127. 127
    s.

    Trolololololol

  128. 128
    Danny Gibbs

    mildlymagnificent:
    Did you do the same by relating the details of the incident to 3 (or more) men? Were their reactions significantly different from how the women responded?
    Actually a little different most of guys I talked to just about it with just got quiet. There was very little of the “why didn’t you hit it?” attitude that is associated with guys when responded to such things.

    And I see that Trolling Topos is being Trolling?

  129. 129
    mildlymagnificent

    Danny

    Ignore Trolly McTrollerson for now.

    Have to say I’m not surprised by the “just got quiet” response. Some just wouldn’t have known what to say so stayed quiet for fear of saying the wrong thing, but I’d also not be surprised if a few were having a “that was just like when someone else had a go at me” moment. Those people also wouldn’t speak up because they hadn’t processed it yet or they didn’t want to get into one of those “victim Olympics” contests.

  130. 130
    Pete

    Ally:
    I’ve been a long time lurker but this is the first time I’ve been compelled to comment.

    I find it disturbing how much male victims of rape and sexual assault are being downplayed here. A good portion of the discussion is about how it’s worse for women and why this may be. In this discussion we are told, without evidence, that rape/SA is worse for women than men because being penetrated is obviously worse than being made to penetrate, because men are stronger than women, because women are more likely to suffer violence along with the rape, because women are more disenfranchised in society (a debatable statement to say the least) and from yourself, because of “thousands of years of cultural, sexual and gender conditioning, not to mention the political context, in which the ever present threat of rape has been used as a primary tool of male domination over women.”

    There’s are a few points here. Firstly, have there been any real studies to show whether the psychological affects are worse for women? We know enough about how psychology works to realise that we often don’t link our current hangups and problems to the actual root causes. It’s entirely possible that you were more damaged by your experience than you realise and you’d have no way of knowing. Perhaps not but it’s possible. Looking at 2 pieces of fiction, both Christian Grey and Don Draper (from link above) were sexually assaulted as children and both grow up to have very unhealthy relationships with women. Christian Grey certainly didn’t see his abuse as a problem, I don’t watch Mad Men so I can’t speak for Draper. I think this is often true in real life as well. Abuse can do irreparable damage and often the abused won’t realise it.

    Secondly, it ignores the effect of the sexual assault of children by adult females (I only discuss females because that’s what’s under discussion here). That completely changes the assumed power dynamic and is also a problem often ignored.

    Thirdly, so what if it is less bad? It’s still very bad, as made clear in the OP. Feminists are (rightly) outraged when people talk about “real” rape. You’d have to be pretty heartless to tell a woman who was raped by someone taking advantage of her trust but without any violence or threat of violence (maybe she’s bigger and stronger than the man too) that, yeah, her rape is bad I suppose, but at least you weren’t violently assaulted as well. (For all we know, it has a worse effect psychologically knowing it is in your power to stop it and you didn’t). And yes, I know this happens all the time in discussions of rape, and it’s wrong.

    Ally has shown that the problem of male victims and female perpetrators is worse than commonly thought. The reaction should be, ok now we know this what can we do to try and help. It should categorically not be, “well women still have it worse.” You don’t tell someone bloody and beaten on the street that you’d love to help but really it’s not so bad because Assad is using chemical weapons. I know feminism understands this because they rightly fight for women’s rights in the west despite women having it much worse elsewhere in the world.

    Disclaimer: I realise I’m making an assumption that the people making the “it’s worse for women” argument are self identified feminists. I apologise if this isn’t the case. I also realise that there are feminists on here who aren’t doing this. I have nothing against feminism, please don’t accuse me of strawmanning feminists.

    Apologies for the excessive use of parentheses (I like them). And as a completely off-topic aside, Ally, I’d be interested in an article from you about the gap in educational attainment growing this year between girls and boys at GCSE and A-level this year.

  131. 131
    Sans sanity

    “Apologies for the excessive use of parentheses (I like them).”
    Lol. :)

    Also consigning the rest. Damn near everything that needed saying on this topic got said in Freja’s ‘list of things everyone can agree with.’(54)

  132. 132
    mildlymagnificent

    Firstly, have there been any real studies to show whether the psychological affects are worse for women? We know enough about how psychology works to realise that we often don’t link our current hangups and problems to the actual root causes.

    There are a couple of things buried in this. One thing that’s now being raised in various places is that a substantial portion of the research into the emotional and mental health impact of rape was done back in the days when the only “real” rapes, or at least the only ones acknowledged as crimes, were violent attacks by a stranger. Unsurprisingly, people who’ve been violently assaulted as well as raped are more likely to suffer more injuries and more damage to their mental health than people in other situations. There’s some discussion that one reason some women don’t think they’ve really been raped is that they don’t feel utterly destroyed by it. And that should never be the criteria whether it’s women or men.

    If someone has sexually assaulted you then that’s what has happened. The fact that some sexual assaults also involve abduction or physical injuries or death threats or mutilation or the actual / threatened use of a weapon means that some people suffer several crimes all at once. It doesn’t mean that people haven’t been assaulted at all if they’ve not suffered those additional criminal acts. It also doesn’t mean that people who’ve “only” been raped without other physical injuries are lucky or should be grateful it wasn’t worse or … all the other shitty things that people often say to dismiss or denigrate or avoid acknowledging the real problems of people who’ve been sexually assaulted.

    When a man or a woman reports a sexual assault to the police or medical personnel and seems apparently calm, that should tell those people nothing, absolutely nothing, about whether the person is or isn’t telling the truth. The apparent calmness might be that the person is matter of factly accepting that something horrible has happened, or it might be their response to shock. Either way they should be taken seriously and not instantly dismissed. If the person is obviously distressed or confused or upset, even angry, then they should be treated calmly and seriously until the victim is better able to deal with them.

    And my own view (I know, I’m nagging a bit) is that some, but only some, of the more severe reactions of both men and women is that they’re all too likely to have some kind of abuse in their earlier life. But it really doesn’t matter. Suffering of victims is real whether it’s a bolt out of the blue to have been assaulted in a completely unexpected way or whether this assault is the straw that breaks the camel’s back as the latest in a history of sexual victimisation.

  133. 133
    Gjenganger

    @Raging Bee 62

    “If the average man doesn’t mind it so much, perhaps some women don’t either?”
    Got any evidence to support that supposition? Because the overwhelming concensus I’ve heard is that yes, women do indeed “mind” it.

    I would say, with Ally, that how damaging things are is different for each person, dependig on exactly what happens and how vulnerable you are. I would also assume that some scenarios were on the average more damaging to the victim than others (violence v. moral pressure, stranger v. boyfriend, … whatever). And I think one might discuss whether some cases of ‘having sex with someone who does not want to’ should be seen as terrible crimes, some as mere illegal acts, and some are nasty but legal (though those can be devastating to thte victim too). Yet in the debate any such considerations are shouted down – these acts are all rape, and they are uniformly and equally terrible. The most recent example is the Assange case – the answer “So do you think that it is OK to have sex with a sleeping woman ?!?!!” does seem to be ignoring several relevant details.

    Now I can see why people want to avoid this kind of considerations. They are often used to deny people the reality of their own experience, and allowing them lets in a lot of talk that even I would describe as highly offensive nonsense. Also it is a good political argument that rape is both extremely common and uniformly, equally, terrible. But ultimately we cannot misrepresent important aspects of reality just to make a debating point. And we certainly cannot claim that ‘it is all rape and all equally terrible’ if we decide that this only applies when the victim is female.

  134. 134
    mildlymagnificent

    And we certainly cannot claim that ‘it is all rape and all equally terrible’

    Leaving aside the notion that it’s only bad if women are raped because it’s just not true …

    a better version of this would be that ‘it is all rape and all equally illegal‘.

    We have to get away from the idea that rape must involve visible injuries or any other elements of non-sexual assault to be considered ‘real’ rape. It’s already an uphill struggle to get particular forms of sexual assault included in the law if they don’t involve penetration or particular situations, like marital rape – which even now is not always and everywhere illegal.

    Rape is all about, and only about, consent. Other aspects of any particular sexual assault serve only as exacerbating (aggravating in legal parlance) that offence or as possible charges of further, different offences.

  135. 135
    thetalkingstove

    I’m suggesting it’s very possible that if we stopped telling women that rape was the worst possible thing that could happen to her she may be less traumatised by it.

    This places the responsibility for dealing with rape with the feelings of the victim rather than actually getting people to stop raping. Rape culture.

    And how would this even work without a) seriously upsetting and/or pissing off existing rape victims and b) making rapists and potential rapists feel more comfortable?

  136. 136
    Tamen

    I’ll just want to point out Pete @129, mildlymagnificent (@131,133), Jacob Schmidt(@68), SensitiveThug(@50, @111) for what I thought were great comments.

    I haven’t forgotten your comment Freja, there were some actual sound examples there, but you hid them well in snark, assumptions about what constitutes my backyard, insinuations and contradictions. Which really makes me not want to engage with you any further.

    In the OP Ally linked to two excellent articles by Abigail Rine (who identifies as a feminist) and I have reached out and thanked her for her articles. Her telling me that a comment of mine on an online forum made her really look closer into the CDC numbers was much appreciated by me.

    I’ll just re-post this link to this SLAM POETRY performance called “One Color”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnSuR3bFWcQ

    I encourage everyone to watch it, it’s only just above 3 minutes.

  137. 137
    Ally Fogg

    Tamen (115)

    And yet you previously thought that female sexual aggression was far-far less common than male sexual aggression?

    Still do. I’m 46 years old. I partied pretty hard and hung out on some fairly heavily sexually charged scenes for a good decade of those. If I were to total them up, the number of seriously inappropriate approaches and passes I’ve received, the numbers of times I’ve been physically groped or made to feel somehow uncomfortable in that way by women would probably reach half a dozen. Maybe 8 or 10, tops. .

    Many of the women I knew in the same places at the same time could recount half a dozen incidents in any given month. Sometimes that many in a bad week. So yes, I’m holding firm on my impression that female sexual aggression (of what we might call the minor, everyday kind) is far less common than male sexual aggression. Yes it happens, but not nearly as much. .

    This comes off as saying that your wanna-be rapist’s predatory behaviour is irrelevant. That it was your responsibility as the person with more (physical )power and less drunk to stop the rape attempt.

    It’s not irrelevant. It is reprehensible, potentially harmful and should be condemned. However if one party has the agency to prevent an inappropriate sexual encounter from happening and fails to do so, then they hold responsibility. That does not make the initial ‘predatory’ behaviour acceptable or excusable, it does mean the predatory behaviour is not the beginning and end of the story.

    Mary P Kossfound in a study from the mid-eighties (I am pretty sure it’s the 1 in 4 study) for instance that about three-fourths of the women who had been raped, did not identify their experience as “definitely” rape.

    Indeed, and Lisak and many other criminologists find the same effect. But that is very different to the claim made by Birric F. There’s nothing in the work of Koss to recount women suddenly changing their mind after discovering feminism and deciding that what happened to them years ago really was rape.

    It is kind of interesting Ally that I recognize many things from your evolving story here.

    My story has expanded in detail as people have asked me about it, and it is true that I have talked about it and thought about it in more detail over the past 24 hours than over the past 25 years, but I have to stress that the way I feel about it hasn’t changed in the slightest. It was, from my point of view, a curious incident. It really doesn’t even rank in the Top 50 Bad Things that have happened to me in my life.

    That’s not for a moment to say that other men who have had similar (or worse) experiences do or should feel the same. I fully respect that there are man who have been seriously traumatised and hurt by female sexual aggression. But nothing in this discussion has inclined me to feel that way myself.

    I agree that the discussion of why I should feel that way is pretty much key to this debate and is, I think, unresolved.

  138. 138
    lochaber

    Holy shit this thread exploded…

    granted, I didn’t quite read all the comments – I read a bunch initially when I ran across the posting, and considered commenting (but didn’t), and then happened back later, and there were just way too many for me to (thouroughly) read through at the time…

    Anyways, I think it was Raging Bee who initially brought it up, but I also have to take issue with the wording of several of those surveys – the way they are worded, a woman demanding receiving oral sex from her partner before performing oral sex for her partner (or whatever) could be considered as using ‘coercive’ or ‘demanding’ verbal actions, which is a far cry from sexual assault or rape. And there have been a few situations where I was initially reluctant to engage in certain activities with a female partner, but after some persuasion (or a few more drinks…), I willingly engaged in, and wouldn’t consider any of those instances harassement/assault/rape/etc., although they would meet the criteria for some of the cited studies.

    Aside from that, I can’t help but think that at least some aspect of the horrors of sexual harassment, assault, and rape, has to do with one individual overpowering another, and forcing them to do something against their will. I generally think harassment is wrong regardless, but I’ve had my share of situations where someone I wasn’t interested in was rather aggressive in their advances, but I’ve never felt threatened in such a situation – I imagine a lot of that is able-bodied male privilege – I’m far from big, and I’m not terribly athletic or anything, but even drunk and tired, I can shove quite a bit of mass off of me if I decide I don’t want it on me. (Not to say that men, able-bodied men, or anyone, regardless of whatever, can’t be assaulted, raped, taken advantage of,etc.)

    Plus, it really bothers me how quickly so many of these types of conversations get real ugly :(

  139. 139
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    First I’d really like people to stop going “it’s worse for men/women/hamsters”. Seriously. Rape and sexual assault are serious violations, not poker-tokens. As mildlymagnificent has said, different people react differently.
    You cannot simply meassure the pain and the effect by the act.
    For example, the guy who randomly grabbed my ass while driving by on a bike actually assaulted me, yet my reaction was just anger. He was an asshole and he was gone too quickly for me to hit my purse into his back.
    The guy who moaned on the house intercom while I was holding the door to my kids had a much severe effect, because he threatened me in what should be my safe space. I live in the same house as this guy and I have no clue who he is.
    +++

    And I really resent the “being penetrated is worse than being made to penetrate”. It’s bullshit, because each one of these things comes with its own package of consequences. We’ve talked a lot about the effects of the violation of bodily autonomy, but little about the effects of your own body being complicit in your own rape. The was our society treats “erection” = “consent” is rape culture, pure and simple.
    +++

    As for the prevalence: I once had this chat with my husband. In his 43 years he can reacall one female colleague who slapped him on the butt when he was in his early 20s. I had more stories than the evening was long and I didn’t even tell him the worst. Not after all these years. And no, he didn’t feel violated, he thought it was a friendly banter and laughed about it. That doesn’t make it any less wrong, of course, and had he reported it as sexual harassment he’d have been fully within his rights. But I have a nagging feeling that he would have been told to stop behaving like a girl or something like that. Men are supposed to like female sexual attention. Just as women are told to expect male sexual attention and put up with it.
    Our societies simply deal with sexual harassment as it it were a pink unicorn. This works differently for men than for women.

  140. 140
    spacklick

    @ The Talking Stove (135)

    This places the responsibility for dealing with rape with the feelings of the victim rather than actually getting people to stop raping. Rape culture.

    No it doesn’t, it suggests that society is also doing additional harm to victims of rape. Reducing the number of rapes is a good thing and a primary goal. Reducing the harm caused by each individual rape is also a good thing.

    By analogy. If Society branded people who had been raped, literally, with a mark on their skin indicating they were a rape victim. That would be bad and do harm. Even though it would be stopped by stopping all rapes it would still be a good idea to try and stop society burning a mark into rape victims making their experience worse. It’s not either or it is, and should be, both.

    And how would this even work without a) seriously upsetting and/or pissing off existing rape victims and b) making rapists and potential rapists feel more comfortable?

    It would depend on exactly what the data showed but essentially, the narrative at the moment is that if you are raped you will be destroyed emotionally. Stop perpetuating that as a necessity. Just like being assaulted or mugged, some peope are psychologically traumatised for life and others shake it off as one bad experience. By stopping the focus of the narrative being on those worst affected you reduce the proportion of victims in that category. But again, it’s speculation at this point because nowhere is the research done to show the size of the effect of the impression of the negativity of rape on victims response to the act.

    The primary point is that we have very limited understanding of WHY some rape victims are severely traumatised by the experience and others are not even slightly traumatised by very similar experiences.

  141. 141
    Tamen

    Ally @137:

    But that is very different to the claim made by Birric F. There’s nothing in the work of Koss to recount women suddenly changing their mind after discovering feminism and deciding that what happened to them years ago really was rape.

    Freja seem to allude to such a process twice in her comment @71

    I know that plenty of my romantic encounters with men have not been initiated (or even responded to) by me, and have had me frantically trying to wiggle away without angering the bloke, but I didn’t make any connection to sexual assault before it was pointed out to me. In retrospect, it becomes very clear that the expectation that men act predatory (trying to corner you, isolate you, manipulate you, push your boundaries, make you afraid of resisting, etc.) plays a huge role in rape culture, but in the actual situations, I was mostly concerned with getting away with as few negative repercussions as possible.

    I’ve often have guys complain to me about all the shocking ways they’ve been discriminated, and only realised years later that I’d experienced similar discrimination but never thought to be shocked or outraged by it because it was so normal it practically blended into the background.

    Now, she doesn’t state that outright that it was feminism which made her realize the nature of the interaction (sexual assault or the discrimination) at a later point in time, but it doesn’t seem so far-fetched to consider that feminism played a role in these realizations considering she utilized the term rape culture to further describe her realization that what she had experienced constituted sexual assault.

    You, Ally, stated:

    However if one party has the agency to prevent an inappropriate sexual encounter from happening and fails to do so, then they hold responsibility.

    This I must take umbrage to. Many rape victim doesn’t physically resist their rape for various reasons, some don’t even resist their rape verbally and implying that they hold responsibility for not exercising their agency to get their rapist to stop isn’t something that sit well with me. More bluntly, that idea made me quite angry.

    It’s pretty commonly held that saying “why didn’t you fight the rapist off” to a victim is pretty reprehensible. Are you telling James Landrith that him choosing not to exercise force to stop his rapists and me freezing and not even considering using force to throw my rapists off me when I discovered what she was doing to me leaves us with responsibility for the rape we both were subjected to? That if your considerable physical force weren’t enough to escape your assailant then you would be responsible for her raping you because you would by your own admission find yourself unable to cross a certain level of violence (hitting) in order to prevent the inappropriate sexual encounter from happening? Does the agency of not drinking oneself into a stupor count (the victim-blaming the Steubenville victim suffered comes to mind here)? Does the agency of being in the wrong side of town at the wrong time translate into holding responsibility? Where does agency start and end?

    Those questions are after all the logical extension of your assertion.

  142. 142
    thetalkingstove

    @ spacklick

    By analogy. If Society branded people who had been raped, literally, with a mark on their skin indicating they were a rape victim. That would be bad and do harm. Even though it would be stopped by stopping all rapes it would still be a good idea to try and stop society burning a mark into rape victims making their experience worse. It’s not either or it is, and should be, both.

    For me this works better as an analogy to the way society treats rape victims, with the brand representing the stigma a victim can experience.
    I absolutely agree with working against societal messages that portray rape victims in a negative light.

    The primary point is that we have very limited understanding of WHY some rape victims are severely traumatised by the experience and others are not even slightly traumatised by very similar experiences.

    Well…people are different. And apparently similar experiences may in fact be informed by radically different histories. Isn’t that the most parsimonious explanation, rather than assuming that everyone has the underlying possibility of not being traumatised?

  143. 143
    spacklick

    @ The Talking Stove (142)

    Well…people are different. And apparently similar experiences may in fact be informed by radically different histories. Isn’t that the most parsimonious explanation, rather than assuming that everyone has the underlying possibility of not being traumatised?

    I agree personal histories are varied and so are personalities and so therefore will be reactions to and effects of events. However, if there is something, as a society, we can do to reduce the harm then we should be looking to do it. Research into why people react the way they do could be used to inform not only the societal narrative around rape and the conditioned effects that produces in rape victims but also the process of investigating rape and the processes for providing support for rape victims to reduce the harm if someone does become a victim.

    None of this need lessen our anger at the perpetrators of rape. Denying someone bodily autonomy and risking them harm both mental and physical is still a despicable act. It would remain such even if we could get to the point where every rape victim was entirely unaffected a year after their attack (a situation I am not suggesting it is possible to reach)

  144. 144
    Danny Gibbs

    @129:
    Have to say I’m not surprised by the “just got quiet” response. Some just wouldn’t have known what to say so stayed quiet for fear of saying the wrong thing, but I’d also not be surprised if a few were having a “that was just like when someone else had a go at me” moment. Those people also wouldn’t speak up because they hadn’t processed it yet or they didn’t want to get into one of those “victim Olympics” contests.
    True.

    And that’s a bad thing. Why should a guy be expected to stay quiet about his experiences because of “victim Olympics”?

  145. 145
    Ally Fogg

    Tamen

    This I must take umbrage to. Many rape victim doesn’t physically resist their rape for various reasons, some don’t even resist their rape verbally and implying that they hold responsibility for not exercising their agency to get their rapist to stop isn’t something that sit well with me. More bluntly, that idea made me quite angry

    There’s a lot more to agency than ability to physically resist. It could be circumstantial, it could be about positions of authority, it could be about psychological vulnerability. I think you’re completely misunderstanding my point!

  146. 146
    mildlymagnificent

    Why should a guy be expected to stay quiet about his experiences because of “victim Olympics”?

    Well I think it’s a possibly instinctive move on many people’s part. Better to say nothing than the exactly wrong thing. The one thing that people suffering from any kind of traumatic or distressing experience hate to hear is the trite recitation of “I know how you feel.”

    Even if you have been a victim of rape or domestic violence or you’ve also been widowed or lost a child – you are not in the shoes of the person in front of you. People who overlook this tend to get into “victim Olympics”, some of them are even guilty of the “you’re lucky because [whatever happened to me/my friend] was worse than what happened to you”. But the this thing is worse/better/not as bad as than some other horrid things should be avoided. It’s a good reason to use experienced rape and grief counsellors/advocates rather than talk to tactless or oblivious friends or relatives or workmates, no matter how well meaning they may be.

  147. 147
    BeomingJulie

    Never underestimate the power of social conditioning in childhood to create messed-up adults. If you haven’t read “Delusions of Gender” by Cordelia Fine, what are you waiting for? This book makes the case very elegantly, that most of the differences formerly believed to be biologically hardwired are actually learned. (Not that there’s actually room on the Y-chromosome to account for all the differences anyway.) And then we spend the rest of our lives exaggerating the differences we learned in early childhood, to take our minds off the fact that we are more similar than many of us are comfortable with.

    I can easily see socialisation alone accounting for the differences in levels of sexual aggression and responses thereto. The experiment to prove it wouldn’t be that difficult — getting it past the ethics boards is the only problem.

  148. 148
    Raging Bee

    No, no, no. Male voices aren’t privileged in our society. Hegemonic male voices are privileged.

    And are the privileged hegemonic male voices sympathetic to women, to the point of being willing to silence male victims of female sexual violence? That’s certainly not true of the hegemonic male voices of the Taliban, the Wahabbis, or the Republican Party of Todd Aiken. Do you really think those hegemonic voices would miss an opportunity to bash on sexually violent or aggressive women?

    What annoys me is the kind of faux feminism which confirms victim status.

    What annoys ME is this tired old blather-point about how feminists, and not actual victimizers, create “victim status” by talking about victimization. It’s nothing but an obvious attempt to shift blame away from where it clearly belongs. What part of Misogynists, and not feminism, are to blame for the harm done to women by misogyny! do you not understand? I can’t see why this simple point is so hard to grasp, but then again, I was lucky and went to decent schools, so maybe it’s just me, what do I know?

    That’s only physical trauma.

    And our minds and bodies are kinda connected, remember? You can’t pretend there’s any sort of barrier or dividing line between “physical” and “mental” trauma — they’re inseparable. (Oh, and I’m sure that if you were forcibly raped by a man, you would NOT appreciate being told your experience was “only” physical trauma. I know damn well I wouldn’t.)

    I could for instance point out that there are at least on commenter identifying as not-female on this thread who have boldly asserted that male victims are less traumatized than female victims and that it “is not even in the same category of seriousness.” as well as hinting that male victims deserve it…

    Yeah, and you could also cite a specific example…if you had one.

    No it doesn’t, it suggests that society is also doing additional harm to victims of rape.

    Cut the fucking stupid denials, Spaklick, your talking-point was indeed an attempt to blame victims for THINKING they were more traumatized than you think they should have felt, and blaming “society” or “feminism” for making women feel worse by telling them certain things that you think they should not have been told. You blamed both victims, and people who talk to potential victims, for a significant chunk of the trauma caused by the actions of rapists. That’s shifting blame and belittling the victims’ perspective, no matter how many times you try to say it isn’t. Grow up already — your talking-point is crap, and we all know it.

  149. 149
    B-Lar

    When a man wants to use coercion, he typically is more advantaged by his build and cultural propensity for violence, and I think when most people think about rape, they probably are thinking about the violent aspect of it. Women who wish to be coercive, having this disadvantage all their lives, are likely to have developed other methods of getting what they want against the will of others. Both men and women are capable of verbal/emotional manipulation, but my experience is that women are generally much better at it..

    I found it interesting that the woman in Ally’s story is big, and therefore more of a convincing “threat” in the eyes of the reader. I was dating a (relatively petite) woman awhile back, and I noticed that on some nights, even if I wasn’t up for sex, somehow by the end of the night, there we were. It took me months to cotton on to little cues that were designed (I believe subconsciously) to guilt me into sex.

    My point is, that while it may seem that violent coercion is worse than emotional coercion, both are methods used to selfishly subvert the will and autonomy of another and are therefore badwrong. However, because the type of coercion that men are more likely to experience does not tend to put them into fight-or-flight-mode, the perception of the experience would be less traumatic (unless of course, it triggered a pre-existing emotional condition) but its also worth noting all the excellent points about cultural attitudes that have already been raised.

    The thing that will be most interesting about this is whether the adage of “rape is the absence of enthusiastic consent” (which I think is precise and strong) will survive as more men start talking about their experiences with coercive women. I wouldn’t have said that the girl I was dating was raping me, but that’s mainly because I didn’t want to trivialise the experiences of (in the absence of a better word) real victims. I have been aware of that logical disconnect for some time, and so Ally, thank you for posting this. You have helped me begin to untie this knot in my mind.

  150. 150
    Paul

    I must admit i was surprised to read that this survey concluded that over the last year men and women had suffered similar/same rates of sexual aggression at the hands of someone of the opposite sex. And i’m wondering what proportion of those men forced to penetrate women did so for fear of what would happen to their reputations if they didn’t rather than out of fear for their physical safety. I’d also be interested to to know what proprtion of both men and women had suffered sexual aggression at the hands of someone of the same sex.

    However i think it’s safe to say that women consciously fear the possibility of sexual aggression from men far more than vice versa.And the physical consequences for female victims are also probably worse although psychological outcomes for male and female victims may be more similar than most people suspect. Additonally the likelihood of a female being the victim of male sexual aggression at some point in her lifetime is still significantly higher than vice versa .Although saying that i still think it’s absolutely right we should acknowledge that men can be the victims of female sexual aggression as well. And male victims shouldn’t be made to feel -by either sex- that they’re somehow compromising their masculinity if they complain.

  151. 151
    spacklick

    @ Raging Bee (148)

    Cut the fucking stupid denials, Spaklick

    No, as long as you keep misrepresenting my points and reality I’ll deny your accuracy Raging Bee maybe you should stop raging and start reading the accounts of victims?

    your talking-point was indeed an attempt to blame victims for THINKING they were more traumatized than you think they should have felt

    Not even slightly. I don’t blame anybody for feeling how they feel. If however something society is doing is making people feel worse than they otherwise would have felt I do blame society for causing that additional pain. Infact if you actually read what I wrote that’s pretty much precisely what I said.

    and blaming “society” or “feminism” for making women feel worse by telling them certain things that you think they should not have been told.
    Ah, so you DID get my point. I’m not blaming feminism, I haven’t mentioned feminism. I also haven’t blamed society I’ve said that I think there is worthwhile research to be done which could result in several outcomes some of which would indicate certain social changes. get it? The way society behaves affects the effects of acts on the members of society. How large an effect? Don’t know, not enough data. How could the effect be lessened? Don’t know, not enough data.

    You blamed both victims, and people who talk to potential victims, for a significant chunk of the trauma caused by the actions of rapists.

    I haven’t blamed victims for anything, nobody can help or control how they are affected by being the victim of a rape and I haven’t suggested that they could or should. I have said that how people talk about rape could have a significant effect on how people are affected by rape and I stand by that. Would I say it’s responsible for most of the psychological trauma? No (it’s possible but I have no reason to suspect it’s probable), but it is responsible for some of the trauma.

    That’s shifting blame and belittling the victims’ perspective, no matter how many times you try to say it isn’t. Grow up already — your talking-point is crap, and we all know it.
    No blame is being shifted. I’m simply pointing out that there is an effect, with multiple causes and it would be worth knowing how each of those causes contribute. I haven’t belittled any victims perspective just your closed minded bile.

    Societies attitudes to various things affects how we react to those things. In the case of rape I suspect that attitude makes the reaction of many victims worse for the victims than it otherwise would have been. Because of that suspicion (and several others) I would like to see more research done on root causes of peoples reactions to being the victim of rape.

  152. 152
    D506

    @RagingBee 45

    Another important objective difference between men raping women and women raping men, is the obvious anatomical disparity: a woman being raped by a man has something shoved forcibly INTO her body, while a man being forced to penetrate a woman endures no such bodily violation. This difference alone means that these two incidents cannot be considered equally traumatic, and it is sheer insulting folly to pretend they’re in any way equal, or can be made or seen so.

    [Trigger Warning]
    So if a woman were held down by a man who got himself off using her breasts, her experience is not equally traumatic to “rape rape”. And for her to “pretend” otherwise would be “sheer insulting folly”? I’m sure the rapists of the world will be glad to have your support.

    With less snark: when you’ve found yourself defending rape culture so that you can maintain that men cannot be victims or that their victimization means less then it is time to re-examine your biases.

  153. 153
    Raging Bee

    I have said that how people talk about rape could have a significant effect on how people are affected by rape and I stand by that.

    That’s shifting blame, away from the rapists and toward the people who say (unspecified) things that (allegedly) make victims feel worse than they otherwise would (in a way you fail to specify). So yes, you ARE shifting blame, and your denials of this are flat-out lies.

    In the case of rape I suspect that attitude makes the reaction of many victims worse for the victims than it otherwise would have been.

    Do you have ANYTHING even close to a specific cause-and-effect link here? All I’ve seen so far is vague prejudice, repeated over and over with absolutely no specific examples or meaningful elaboration — and, most damningly, no examples. You’re shifting blame, and that’s ALL you’re doing — you have no actual case.

  154. 154
    Soarer

    @153 Raging Bee

    All spacklick is saying is that it would be good to have more and better tools to use to help victims of any trauma come to terms with that trauma and go on with their lives.

    How is that ‘victim-blaming’?

    spacklick and I both bemoan the fact that little research seems to have been done on what is useful and effective in assisting trauma victims and understanding why some people are more affected than others.

    Why would you not want to help someone who has lost a child, for example, learn to accept that loss and move on with their life?

    Would you prefer that all rape victims have their lives ruined completely by the experience so that they can never function again? Would that make you feel better, somehow, because it doesn’t sit well with me.

  155. 155
    spacklick

    That’s shifting blame…So yes, you ARE shifting blame, and your denials of this are flat-out lies.</blockquote
    Only if you believe the blame lay with the rapist in the first place, which if this pain is caused by society it didn't.

    Do you have ANYTHING even close to a specific cause-and-effect link here?

    I’m trying to find the paper I’m most thinking of, all I can remember is that the author was dutch and it involved a group of stooges and a soft thing in a box. When the group talked about getting the soft thing (can’t remember what it was) as if it was a really bad thing the participant’s experiences were markedly more negative. I know it’s vague I really wish I still had access to my universities shared biblio.

    There’re lots of studies based on children’s reactions from parental conditioning. Cambridge Journal of Psychological Medicine has a few. There was one about cultural heritability of phobias. There was one on people from a culture that believed being photographed was an unspecified evil, not that it stole part of your sole just that it was very bad but without justifying why it was bad. Yet their reactions to being photographed were not ameliorated by understanding photography nor by exposure to it and the harm done by photographing these people was very real and in some cases very traumatic.

    But essentially Yes. If you create something in your head as a serious negative and then that thing moves from hypothetical to reality, a lot of the negative comes with it, whether that negative is justified or not.

    All I’ve seen so far is vague prejudice,

    Yes, I’m being prejudiced to say that principles which apply in one area of psychology may apply in another. I’m prejudiced to be suggesting tentatively that this link may well exist and is probably worth looking for. Yep prejudiced all over.

    ” You’re shifting blame, and that’s ALL you’re doing — you have no actual case.”
    Again, shifting blame only applies if you’re taking it from the responsible party and putting it on another party, what I’m suggesting is that it’s tenable that another party, here society, bears causal responsibility for the harm and that relevantly qualified psychologists would do well to look at that link. Your knee jerk reaction doesn’t apply Raging Bee.

  156. 156
    Raging Bee

    D506: That comment of mine began with the words “Another important objective difference between men raping women and women raping men…” And that was all I was talking about: one (of many) plausible reasons why male victims of female rape apparently do not react the same as female victims of male rape.

  157. 157
    Soarer

    156 Raging Bee

    Two quotes from your good self:

    D506: That comment of mine began with the words “Another important objective difference between men raping women and women raping men…” And that was all I was talking about: one (of many) plausible reasons why male victims of female rape apparently do not react the same as female victims of male rape.

    Do you have ANYTHING even close to a specific cause-and-effect link here?

    Well, do you?

  158. 158
    Raging Bee

    I’m trying to find the paper I’m most thinking of, all I can remember is that the author was dutch and it involved a group of stooges and a soft thing in a box.

    Oh, well, ya got me then, I guess I underestimated the usefulness of stooges and soft things in boxes for explaining the trauma of rape… (eyeroll)

    All spacklick is saying is that it would be good to have more and better tools to use to help victims of any trauma come to terms with that trauma and go on with their lives.

    No, that is most certainly NOT all he was saying. (And did he actually come up with any actual examples of “better tools?” If not, then he hasn’t contributed shit.)

  159. 159
    Raging Bee

    …what I’m suggesting is that it’s tenable that another party, here society, bears causal responsibility for the harm…

    So yes, you’re shifting blame, and you just admitted it.

  160. 160
    GuyThroway

    As a man who has been sexually assaulted by a woman while drunk I find the rape apologism engaged in by Raging Bee in this thread to be disgusting.

    Men are not some alien species who don’t mind as much when they are assaulted. Sexual assault is something men are not encouraged to believe could happen to them and there are not as many culturally acceptable narratives for people to fit their experiences into, but that does not mean what happens to them is unimportant.

    “verbal or physical pressure,” “aggressive strategies,” “Verbal pressure,” “verbal threats and pressure”

    These are not laughable when they are inflicted on you, and not a reason to dismiss studies.

    “We’ve also heard a LOT of specific anecdotes about male violence and coercion (anecdotes that have little or no mirror-image in female-coercion incidents)”

    YOU haven’t heard any specific anecdotes maybe, but that just speaks to how uninformed and ignorant of male victimisation that YOU are. It does not mean that it does not happen and it doesn’t give you license to engage in rape denialism.

    “no matter how much we say it SHOULD be the same between male and female victims of sexual violence, it undeniably ISN’T, and probably never will be.”

    That’s just a flat out lie and a disgusting demonstration of blatant victim blaming, trauma-minimising and talking over the voices of genuine victims of sexual violence. You should be ashamed. Why do you think people are hesitant to talk about what happened to them when mainstream society reacts with a “Hurr hurr lucky you” and feminists and progressives who *ought* to have a more mature and empathetic reaction instead respond “Ah well, would’a been worse if you were a woman eh?”. You are the problem that is causing the silence that you then turn around and use as evidence we don’t exist.

    Other commenter >”I think it’s more likely that male rape is more traumatizing for men than men let on.

    Raging Bee: “I tend to doubt that, given the obvious and well-documented dominance of male voices in just about every public debate, including on isues more specific to women. If sexual coercion of men, of the types described in these studies, were consistently traumatizing to men, you can bet they’d be speaking out about it, and we’d be hearing it a lot clearer than we currently are.”

    WOW.

    WOW.

    SERIOUSLY? So because Male victims are unwilling to talk about their experiences, and because other Men also tend to but into feminist conversations, you feel confident to decide that male rape victims probably enjoyed it – otherwise why aren’t they complaining louder?

    Seriously? For fucking real?

    No. Don’t do that. Don’t fucking minimise and deny the legitimate and real pain of rape victims just because YOU don’t think they’re talking loudly enough in the right places. What the ever loving fuck? Why defend rapists? Why deny the impact of their crimes? Because it’s never happened to you? Because you don’t care about rape victims if they’re men?

    No.

    I give up. I was going to continue highlighting the problematic things you were saying but I’m honestly just out of patience. If I have to read another disgusting rape-supporting, trauma-denying, rape apologist word out of your callous mouth I’m just going to go ballistic and blow up all over this comment and get myself censored for unbelievable amounts of swearing.

    edited for blockquote, please delete the former.

  161. 161
    spacklick

    (And did he actually come up with any actual examples of “better tools?” If not, then he hasn’t contributed shit.)

    No, because my entire point is there isn’t enough information to create better tools or better attitudes. That’s been, pretty much, my entire point. The causes of the different reactions to traumatic events, especially rape has been little studied making what appropriate changes to make before the event and what tools to use after the event unknowable.

    D506: That comment of mine began with the words “Another important objective difference between men raping women and women raping men…” And that was all I was talking about:

    it may have begun that way but it went on to say

    This difference alone means that these two incidents cannot be considered equally traumatic, and it is sheer insulting folly to pretend they’re in any way equal, or can be made or seen so.

    so D506′s point stands.

    So yes, you’re shifting blame, and you just admitted it.

    I’d love to know what you mean by shifting blame? If someone cuts you and the doctor slips while stitching you causing you nerve damage does the doctor bear no blame for the incident? I’d say that he bears some, which doesn’t take away from the responsibility of the first party.

  162. 162
    freja

    @141, Tamen

    Freja seem to allude to such a process twice in her comment @71

    Now, she doesn’t state that outright that it was feminism which made her realize the nature of the interaction (sexual assault or the discrimination) at a later point in time, but it doesn’t seem so far-fetched to consider that feminism played a role in these realizations considering she utilized the term rape culture to further describe her realization that what she had experienced constituted sexual assault.

    So you don’t want to engage with me even though I’m the only one addressing what you proclaim to be your concern, because my tone isn’t pleasant enough for you, but you have no problem co-opting a post of mine to support your argument without checking to see if it says what you think it says. And you wonder why most of your previous attempts to discuss sexual assault of men didn’t work out for you? For the record, I used “rape-culture” because it’s a handy way of saying “various attitudes which ultimately work to make sexual assault easier to commit and make it harder for victims to identify, avoid, and get help against” which people on this thread are likely to understand. I didn’t know the term when I first figured it out, but like many women, my first reaction to seeing the phrase was pretty much “There’s a word for that? Why didn’t I know?”.

    And it wasn’t sexual assault, except perhaps a couple of times (though hearing what men say, I might have categorised them all that way if I hadn’t been female). It’s just that many of my normal and relatively peaceful romantic interactions with men have been very similar to sexual assault: I didn’t want them, I didn’t feel I had a choice, I was often making risk assessments even when the interactions were relatively pleasant, sometimes pain was involved (again, involuntarily), and I frequently looked for ways to get out. It’s no wonder I couldn’t recognise sexual assaults when they did happen, because the difference between them and many normal interactions was way smaller than it ought to be.

    It’s the reason I mentioned Elevatorgate, which was basically a bunch of (primarily) men telling women what they were allowed to feel uncomfortable about. I’ve been in similar situations where I was uncomfortable with what a man was doing, but didn’t know whether I was allowed to feel that way. Sometimes, I was keenly aware that no matter what I did, I’d either be a prude, a tease, or a slut, and probably a bitch too. Oh, and overly sensitive. And insensitive to the poor guy who was probably just socially awkward. Dramaqueen. Uptight. Shallow. Having issues. Not giving a nice guy a chance. Paranoid for thinking the guy wanted more than just talk. Naive and stupid for not realising the guy wanted more than just talk. And when talking about it on the internet, feminazi.

    My argument, if any, is actually the opposite of what you make it out to be. I think men are more likely than women to already have an awareness of most instances of discrimination against them, as well as many boundary violations. I didn’t learn about discrimination of women from feminism, I learned about it from men. I saw and heard about instances of men freaking out over getting the wrong kind of sexual attention from other men, and I asked myself “Why are they allowed to feel uncomfortable about it and wanting it to stop if I’m not?”. I heard men (and the media) point out every time a book or show focused on women as if men were being marginalised by it, and asked “Why do they get to complain while I’m expected to put up with and show interest in stories about men?”.

    I saw men ignore several women (sometimes including me) and even make fun of the ugliness of certain women behind their back, and asked “Why do they get to stick to showing interest in women they find attractive while I’m expected to give every guy I’m not attracted to chance to win me over?”. I heard men complain about being expected to pay more for some services and couldn’t help wondering “Why are their examples always discrimination while mine are just free market economy?”. And now, after having talked about domestic and sexual violence with several men, the question foremost on my mind is “Why are their examples of “unrecognised” violations of men so often things that I and others have never categorised as violence when men did them to me? And why, at the same time, are we all so convinced men are the ones who downplay the significance of violence against them?”.

  163. 163
    B-Lar

    Guy, I’m sorry for what happened to you.

    The truth is that no-one should feel ashamed into silence or feel like they have no course of action but to accept what has been done to them. Fuck that shit.

    If anyone else tries to pull that whole “well, if it REALLY happened then you would have gone to the police/therapy or spoke/complained to someone and so it probably didn’t actually happen” shtick, then rest assured you aren’t the only one who is disgusted. I don’t have enough spoons to do the back and forth, but your comment did it for me. Cheers.

  164. 164
    mudpuddles

    @ M, #109,

    (I’m recounting a story here I have not discussed with anyone for 25 years. Maybe I shouldn’t do it here, but this discussion has triggered something long buried in me and I’m a seething mixture of emotions here. So, big trigger warning)

    I have been raped more than once, and been sexually assaulted several more times. In all but two instances, the aggressor was female.

    On one occasion I went to the police. I walked into a police station. I said I wanted to report a rape. I was quickly shown into a private room, where after a short time I was introduced to two senior officers, both female, and a male superintendent. Pens and paper at the ready.

    The first question I was asked was “Can you give me the victim’s name, please?”. I answered “It was me”. They replied, “You raped her?”. I replied, “No. I am the one who was raped.” “By who?” I gave the person’s name. “That’s a girl’s name.” I said it was, because the rapist was a girl. There was a long silence before one of the women said, “Are you fucking kidding me?” I said I was not. She stood up and walked out, spitting out the comment “Fucking faggot” as she opened the door.

    After that it got worse. The superintendent asked “Was she good looking? She must have been, otherwise you couldn’t have gotten a boner! Which means you must have liked her. So how is it fucking rape?” The remaining female officer said “Men can’t be raped by women, for fuck’s sake. You know we could have you arrested for wasting our time?” Her colleague then said “Oh wait, I get it… you gave it to a massive ugly pig of a girl and now you regret it. Is she up the pole?” (meaning pregnant)

    After about 10 minutes of this embarrassment, trying feebly to explain what had happened, I got up to leave, saying it was a mistake. They would not let me leave, instead I was made to sit there to be humiliated for another 30 minutes, during which time one other female and three other male officers came in to have a go and a laugh. They were most “concerned” with how gay I probably was, how ugly the girl involved must have been, how many months she might have been pregnant….

    In that particular case, my attacker was incidentally very beautiful. When I tried to tell a friend what happened, his response was “Oh, wow, lucky you!! She’s fucking gorgeous!” and before I knew it the story of this boy here getting it on with a girl who many guys lusted after spread rapidly. Not only did I have sex with her, but she pursued me! How awesome for me!! Such a lucky guy…. For months I was getting congratulated by “the lads”. And I kick myself every day, even now, 25 years later, because even the slightest bit of forethought should have prepared me for those reactions. What the fuck was I thinking, reporting it to anyone???
    So yes, I reckon just about any guy who has been brought up in a society where men are typically seen as / expected to be the sexual aggressors, where men are expected to always be ready for sex, where its believed that its not possible to have an erection if you don’t want to have intercourse, where women simply don’t rape because if they did they would actually be men etc…. would appreciate the fear of being silenced if his attacker was a female.

    and @ RagingBee, #45

    a woman being raped by a man has something shoved forcibly INTO her body, while a man being forced to penetrate a woman endures no such bodily violation

    Really??
    On one of the occasions I was raped, I was forcibly penetrated, in more ways than one. The tears in one region have never properly healed. I was absolutely violated. Asides from that, every incidence of rape – regardless of the primary driver – involves the unwanted appropriation of the victim’s sexuality and their sexual organs for the attacker’s own purpose. You think in the case of a man being attacked by a woman, it does not count as being bodily violated? You are very, very wrong.

  165. 165
    Raging Bee

    As a man who has been sexually assaulted by a woman while drunk I find the rape apologism engaged in by Raging Bee in this thread to be disgusting…

    Nothing I’ve said is “rape apologism,” and you know it. Your entire comment fails from the first sentence.

  166. 166
    Ally Fogg

    mudpuddles (164)

    That was an astonishing, heartbreaking post. Thank you so very much for sharing it. If this thread has triggered any kind of anxiety, stress or upset for you I am so sorry, I hope you’re OK.

    Can I ask if the email address with which you registered your comment is active? If you don’t mind, I’d like to drop you a quick message in private. No worries if you’d prefer me not to.

    Thanks again.

  167. 167
    mudpuddles

    Thank you Ally,

    Your post is excellent and important, and I thank you for putting it up here. What triggered me was actually some of the comments suggesting the impact of rape is less traumatic for a man attacked by a woman than in a reverse situation, which might charitably be called ignorant.

    That email account is active, you are welcome to contact me.

  168. 168
    Christopher Anderson

    “It seems apparent (and I choose those words with care) that whatever the incidence of female sexual assault of adult males, our society is not teeming with men who have been seriously psychologically and emotionally damaged by experience of female abuse and assault. I recently asked a friend, a clinical psychologist, whether it was something that came up often, and he replied that in a 20 year career, he could only recall two clients who disclosed such issues, both of which had occurred as part of a broader pattern of partner abuse and domestic violence. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean serious casualties do not exist, nor does it invalidate the experience of men who were less lucky than me, more vulnerable than me, or more traumatised than me. Nor does it preclude the possibility that many damaged men simply never confess their nightmares to anyone, even their professional therapists.”

    Ally,

    First, thank you so much for linking to MaleSurvivor. It’s vitally important for survivors to know there are resources out there.

    I appreciate the effort that you have made in choosing your words carefully in the above quote, however I fear that the overall sentiment is still missing the mark slightly.

    Rather than presume that the low number of men who come forward speak about the violence they experienced is indicative that few men are seriously harmed, I would strongly urge you to question what it is that keeps men silent. The fact is that there are many men who are in the dark about the harmful nature of some of the sexual encounters they have experienced precisely because it is a topic that has received little to no attention, and those few men who do come forward are often dismissed, stigmatized and shamed. While male teachers who rape female students are quite rightfully seen as perpetrating acts of harmful violence (when op ed writers aren’t busy trying to argue for decriminalization of teacher/student sex of course…), males who are raped by female teachers are told they are “lucky” by our culture.

    I promise you, the numbers of men who have been sexually abused are staggering. What’s even more frightening however, is how many men simply have no realization of the harm they have experienced because we don’t allow men to be open about vulnerability.

    Chris Anderson
    Executive Director, MaleSurvivor

  169. 169
    summerblues

    ” After all, she couldn’t know how psychologically vulnerable I might be, how I would react, what the consequences might be for my mental heatlh, and she was not for one moment considering those things (because I very much doubt it had entered her head that she was committing a serious offence.)

    Ally, she had no right to touch you like that!

  170. 170
    Jacob Taylor

    It seems apparent (and I choose those words with care) that whatever the incidence of female sexual assault of adult males, our society is not teeming with men who have been seriously psychologically and emotionally damaged by experience of female abuse and assault.

    That is not entirely true. The men’s reported reaction does not mean that they were not actually traumatized by the assaults. Our society teaches men that they should always want sex from women and welcome it whenever it is offered. A man who feels traumatized by an unwanted sexual encounter with a woman may convince himself that he wanted it, he may rationalize it, or he may do as you did and consider himself the aggressor regardless of the actual situation.

    Dr. Richard Gartner wrote about this in his book Betrayed as Boys. One of his clients reluctantly entered therapy at his sister’s suggestion. She was concerned about her brother’s well-being given his behavior, and felt that prior sexual experiences with an older woman when her brother was a child may be the cause. Over time, the man realized how much the experiences affected him, even though he initially claimed they were positive and harmless. Gartner recounted a similar situation involving a gay client. The client rationalized the abuse as an extension of his sexuality.

    To my knowledge, few studies factor in the social norms men face, so the results can be somewhat misleading. We assume that because men say they are less bothered that they are less bothered, while ignoring that as a culture we tell me not to share their feelings or look in any way weak. Conversely, as a culture we tell women that they must constantly fear sexual violence, ignoring how that heighten fear may cause women to feel more traumatized.

    In my experience as a male survivor and a victim advocate, I have met many men said they were not as affected by abuse as others only to find their personal lives are a total wreck. Many of them experience severe trust issues, sexual problems, anxiety, stress, drug abuse, and so on.

    As a result, I cannot conclude that men are less traumatized by sexual violence than women, only that they are more likely to claim they are less traumatized by it. The evidence, in terms of how men behave following the experience, suggests that they are as deeply affected by it as women. Men are simply more inclined to pretend that they are not.

  171. 171
    Lucy

    @D506

    “So if a woman were held down by a man who got himself off using her breasts, her experience is not equally traumatic to “rape rape”. ”

    I’d say, no. Traumatic very probably, but all other things being equal, not equally traumatic.

  172. 172
    BecomingJulie

    @ B-Lar, # 149:

    When a man wants to use coercion, he typically is more advantaged by his build and cultural propensity for violence, and I think when most people think about rape, they probably are thinking about the violent aspect of it. Women who wish to be coercive, having this disadvantage all their lives, are likely to have developed other methods of getting what they want against the will of others. Both men and women are capable of verbal/emotional manipulation, but my experience is that women are generally much better at it..

    Now that actually points towards something that may well be worth studying. Because when a man is physically the smallest and weakest in an all-male group, and therefore cannot rely on intimidation by his strength or size, he is going to have to learn a bit of cunning and manipulation in order to survive. And likewise in a group of all women, there is bound to be one who is physically more imposing than the others.

    Humans are gregarious predators, and tend to settle into pack hierarchies. So off the top of my head, I would expect that if you had a long-term stable, single-sex group (e.g. prison, the military or a boarding school), there would be some members who could attain status through intellectual techniques and others who would have to resort to physical intimidation.

    Has anyone any links to any studies undertaken in this area?

  173. 173
    summerblues

    This is really good, but I can’t finish it. Too much trigger.

    The idea that men always want sex is still out there, still widely believed and still supported by at least the few men that I’ve spoken to.

    Ally, you were sexually assaulted with the intent to rape. Don’t sugar-coat.

    I don’t see any difference of guilt between the genders using manipulation, drugs, nagging or physical size/cornering someone in the bathroom. Why any woman would think it’s perfectly acceptable to grab a man’s crotch without his permission or envelope him, again without permission, is beyond me.

    Baffled: I thought we women and/or feminists didn’t like the sexual aggression of men toward women, so why are we women doing it to men. Please, anybody, I just don’t get it.

  174. 174
    D506

    @Lucy

    As a personal reaction, that is absolutely fine. You’re free to feel that you would not find such an experience equally traumatic.

    What you do not get to do is tell a woman who was raped in such a way that their experience was “laughably less traumatic”. Rape does not require intercourse or penetration. To suggest otherwise is to mimic the rape apologists who say “well it wasn’t ‘rape rape’…”. I do not understand how self identified feminists and allies can possibly not understand that when it applies to men.

  175. 175
    Raging Bee

    I promise you, the numbers of men who have been sexually abused are staggering.

    Well, I tend to believe the actual numbers in the studies Ally cited, more than Chris Anderson’s “promise” of numbers.

    What’s even more frightening however, is how many men simply have no realization of the harm they have experienced because we don’t allow men to be open about vulnerability.

    This I find kinda fishy. It sounds like when someone like Ally says his experience probably wasn’t as horrid as that of a woman being raped, his statement can be brushed off on the grounds that he wasn’t properly educated about how bad he should feel about the incident. It’s sort of a mirror-image of the assertion, already refuted above, that “feminists” or “society” or something make rape more traumatic for women by telling them it’s traumatic.

    I can accept that men don’t TALK about how traumatic something is because of social conditioning; but I have a hard time accepting Anderson’s assertion, which is about men’s actual feelings, not about how we talk about them.

  176. 176
    Raging Bee

    No, because my entire point is there isn’t enough information to create better tools or better attitudes.

    And, by the same token, there isn’t enough information to back up your assertion that “feminists” or “society” make rape more traumatic for women than it would otherwise be.

  177. 177
    Shawn Ferrie

    @RagingBee
    A probable reason that you “have a hard time accepting Anderson’s assertion, which is about men’s actual feelings, not about how we talk about them” because you are not a man and as such, cannot understand the dynamics of male trauma.
    As for studies….. in Canada we have one National Study which is almost 39 years old now on male victimization. It showed that 30 % of all sex crimes against children were committed by female sex predators but you will not see this study cited and you will not see the information on female sex offenders published because our sexual assault response community is run by females who promote the male as offender only and female as victim only model.
    As a male Survivor, I have the right to see a psychiatrist but I do not have the right to access the vast majority of provincially funded sexual assault centres because I am a male and they are female presence only.
    There is a reason why men do not disclose and that reason is because we are not permitted to disclose or we are silenced by comments like yours which tell us that it is not safe to disclose for fear of attack by persons like yourself.

  178. 178
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Had the details of the incident been the same, but the genders been reversed – had I been the obnoxiously drunken man who forced my way into a bathroom with a woman, thrust my hand into her pants and pinned her against a wall, it would have (very probably) been a far, far more terrifying, traumatizing experience for the victim. Nobody would have questioned that it was an attempted rape.

    Actually, a lot of people would, which is a huge part of the problem.

  179. 179
    SocraticGadfly

    Add this to the mix.

    Men assume, after starting to get drunk, that their chances of getting random sex will increase.

    Women assume it will decrease.

    http://www.psmag.com/culture/studying-drunken-promiscuity-at-mardi-gras-8991/

    None of this is “blame the victim,” but it is a call for critical thinking in advance.

  180. 180
    Raging Bee

    A probable reason that you “have a hard time accepting Anderson’s assertion, which is about men’s actual feelings, not about how we talk about them” because you are not a man and as such, cannot understand the dynamics of male trauma.

    I can’t really complain when people mistake my gender, since I’ve chosen a handle that isn’t gender-specific. But when such mistaken assumptions are used as an argument tactic, that’s when your credibility goes down the toilet.

  181. 181
    SocraticGadfly

    @Shawn 177: Yes, the professional services thing is problematic. For example, if you are seeking group counseling therapy, if you are a man, you can’t get into female-specific counseling groups, and they generally will not agree to make them gender-neutral.

    ===

    Without totally agreeing with everything on the comments of others, I do think that male self-stereotypes lead to men not thinking this could affect them so much, or “shrugging it off” if it does.

  182. 182
    Learning Understanding

    Hello,
    This article has obviously been very thought provoking for many and I have found all the comments interesting in the sense that it shows where our consciousness sits concerning the matters of rape, forced or coerced sexual acts.
    I would like to talk about about a few points made in the comment line. 
    My theory is that forced intercourse and oral and anal sex is mostly about, for the rapist, power. Feeling powerful in the moment, taking back power they felt they have lost during the course of their existence, and that getting that feeling back in the moment is a powerful turn on for them. I wouldn’t never call someone who rapes or molests someone else self aware, so I don’t think that the quest for feeling powerful via an unwelcome sexual attack is a conscious act. Both women and men are capable of power trips and of being both victims and victimizers….and are in general of unconsciousness of the things driving them to such behaviors. 
    Rapists do often rape people who are not outwardly sexual or who most would not consider to be sexually appetizing as one commenter already pointed out. Theses kinds of intense power seekers that are looking for victims are the least aware of why they have these drives. I have direct experience of this type of power seeker and situation. I spent a great deal of time paralyzed in a hospital bed unable to speak, move or breath without help of a ventilator. I weighed 80 pounds and looked 10 yrs although I was 18 . I was catastrophically ill and not sexy. I was raped while in this state by a man who was obviously had felt emasculated by society and thought he could take back his power by victimizing me. People who feel like victims often turn around and become victimizers, one way or another while trying to regain a sense of power in the world. This is why really good therapy for all victims of disempowering acts like rape is so important. To help find real ways to empower victims so they don’t try to empower themselves in ways that repeat the cycle.
    Concerning the line of thoughts about men and women handling the emotional trauma of rape differently, I definitely think that the difference between being forcefully penetrated or being forced to penetrate someone is a large one for several reasons. Forced penetration is often painful and rips apart delicate flesh leaving physical trauma for weeks. In cases of forced penetration in all areas of the body there is often zero physical choice or chance of getting away from the trauma. In that sense there is zero control in the situation. I think it is the amount or percentage of a ‘sense’ of control or choice that can make a real difference in how much trauma is experienced by the victim. Ally ‘s revelation that he would have allowed the women in the bathroom have sex with him rather than get out of the situation by punching or physically hurting her indicates a choice by the victim during what could have become a sexual assault /rape. It would have been a horrible situation and a set of shitty choices, but there would have been a choice none the less if the situation happened. I do think the ‘feeling’ of choice makes a difference. Basic survival fear probably wouldn’t have come into that particular circumstance either if it had happened. If things had escalated to that point (thank grace it didn’t), i wonder if he would have felt differently than someone who knew they had zero choice but to take the attack and hope they survived it? 
    There is also the humiliation factor to consider in all rape. Comparing being held down and forced to submit to penetration, while in fear for your life is a different kind of beast than being forced or coerced to be inside of someone else. Both kinds of situations would feel humiliating or shameful, however i do think the one being penetrated would get a bigger dose of fear and humiliation in most occasions. Also, violent, forced penetration leads to easier transmission of diseases like HIV. Sexual fluids being poured into a ripped and torn cavity increases that risk even more. Scary stuff for the person it happens to.
    I have read some research, and heard from a couple of male friends to correlate this, that men who are coerced into sexual acts by women are more often are allowed to protect themselves from stds with condoms than women in similar situations. One male friend of mine had the experience of a female friend in his and his wife’s circle of friends verbally coerce him into having sex with her even though he really didn’t want to at all. He made a mistake earlier in his marriage and slept with his wife’s best friend. This women found out about it and told him if he didn’t give her what she wanted she would tell everyone, including his wife and his affair’s husband who was also in their circle of friends. He slept with her, he had been drinking, but was able to put a condom on first. He was seriously upset at the situation but was mainly afraid of the upheaval to his life if his wife and friends found out about both incidents. Not so much about the act of forced intercourse itself. There was choice for him in the situation and some control. He could have walked away and told his wife everything as he readily admits and rather wishes he did as she found out anyway. The women who did this was a regular power tripper and liked to see people suffer so she told his wife at another point when she wanted to cause trouble….another way for her to feel powerful. 
    A man who was raped while being forcefully penetrated orally or anally who was also in fear of his life wouldn’t just shake of the trauma of the rape if he survived it. He might not talk about it and the humiliation of it as a women might do and is often encouraged to do so in a safe environment as our culture has put those resources out there and advertised them for women and not so much for men, but the considerable rape trauma for that man would still be there.
    I also think the fear of pregnancy can be as much traumatizing in the moments of rape as after. I have had a difficult time not being afraid of getting pregnant due to possible birth control failure during consensual intercourse thanks to a couple of failures with BC that should not have failed. 
    A man who gets a women pregnant who rapes or coerces him inside her, without a condom, would be traumatized as well and possibly not be able to protect himself from court actions against him for child support because possibly he was unable to talk about what happened or if he tried was unable to convince the court that he was raped. This would end up being a life long trauma as a result of sexual coercion/rape. Conceiving and giving birth to a child of rape or getting a serious std, the effects of which would remain a life long reminder of the trauma would all be the kinds of things that would effect the level of trauma someone experiences from rape.The trauma of rape and sexual attacks and coercion will be experienced differently by the victims for multitudes of reasons. If the trauma is more extensive physically and has longer term consciences then I think it okay to assume that the victims, either male or female, will have a lot to deal with and will need support,compassion and counseling to heal from it as they can.
    Thanks to you all for the interesting discussion on not usually spoken about topics.

  183. 183
    Ginkgo

    “A man who gets a women pregnant who rapes or coerces him inside her, without a condom, would be traumatized as well and possibly not be able to protect himself from court actions against him for child support because possibly he was unable to talk about what happened or if he tried was unable to convince the court that he was raped. This would end up being a life long trauma as a result of sexual coercion/rape”

    The courts do this to victims of child rape.
    http://livewirereview.com/pay-child-support/

  184. 184
    Ginkgo

    And to a man who was raped while he was alseep. http://al.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19961122_0042048.AL.htm/qx

  185. 185
    Ginkgo

    And to a man who was raped while he was alseep. http://al.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19961122_0042048.AL.htm/qx

    James Landrith explains in detail how he was raped and the effects of that rape on him. The way he was treated when he went public was abominable. http://www.avoiceformen.com/misandry/the-rape-victims-they-refuse-to-see/

  186. 186
    earl

    Raging Bee. You need to come to terms with the fact that you are a rape apologist, a number of people have pointed this out to you, and any reasonable person reading these comments would likely have the same feeling.

    I suggest you reflect on your biases for a while and hopefully adopt a better worldview.

  187. 187
    Learning Understanding

    What the courts are doing in cases like these are horribly unelightened. I feel very badly for what has happened and is happening to this young man, as well as to this young woman.

    http://mobile.alternet.org/alternet/#!/entry/raped-and-impregnated-at-14-girl-must-now-share-parental,5214e338da27f5d9d00effd7

  188. 188
    John C. Welch

    Raging Bee @45

    Another important objective difference between men raping women and women raping men, is the obvious anatomical disparity: a woman being raped by a man has something shoved forcibly INTO her body, while a man being forced to penetrate a woman endures no such bodily violation. This difference alone means that these two incidents cannot be considered equally traumatic, and it is sheer insulting folly to pretend they’re in any way equal, or can be made or seen so.

    If you want examples of truly equal trauma, you’d have to consider men being raped by MEN alngside women being raped by men.

    Ah, so it’s only forced penetration that’s “real” rape. Evidently, your body being used in ways you don’t want it to be used is only bad when you’re being penetrated.

    And people wonder why men will *not* even talk about such things. “you weren’t penetrated, doesn’t count”. Awesome. Way to go.

  189. 189
    John C. Welch

    Lucy @59

    On a nighclub dancefloor, a guy walked past behind me and somehow found his hand up my skirt (horrible pokey feeling like having a meaty malevolent pink spider in your pants). I turned around, grabbed his crotch, eyeballed him and asked “how do *you* like it?”, he beamed at me and said “it’s great!”. Just doesn’t pack the same punch.

    so therefore all men are fine with being assaulted?

  190. 190
    carnation

    This thread has attracted a good standard of debate and, mostly, everyone has behaved. I’d like to posit a question, in good faith, that is related to the OP. I has asked this before and been ignored.

    MRA theory holds that false allegations are rife, that there is a “sexual grievance industry” and that victims of sexual violence should be “held accountable” for their intoxication and/or “provocative” behaviour.

    I’d like to ask those who are sympathetic to the MRA cause this:

    In what way do these commonly held MRA theories help male victims of the types of abuse discussed in this thread?

  191. 191
    Ginkgo

    carnation @120 “In what way do these commonly held MRA theories help male victims of the types of abuse discussed in this thread?”

    Probably not at all, well maybe except that female rape victims blame the prevalence of false rape accusations for *some* of the scepticism they face. They say so in comments when the issue comes up. So maybe that advocacy does help rape victims, if only indirectly.

    But those are the victims that advocacy is intended to help. The victims it intends to help are the targets of false rpae accusations. The US in particular has a hideous history of the conscious use of false rape accusations as a terrorist tactic of racial oppression.

  192. 192
    carnation

    @ Gingko

    I’d suggest it’s entirely reasonable to assume that MRA theory, if taken seriously by victims or legislators, would penalise the male victims of the type of abuse detailed in the OP.

    Given that MRAs, also, frequently claim that men are sexually abused by women, isn’t there a rather obvious conflict?

  193. 193
    Tamen

    Ally @145:

    There’s a lot more to agency than ability to physically resist. It could be circumstantial, it could be about positions of authority, it could be about psychological vulnerability. I think you’re completely misunderstanding my point!

    I am glad if I was misunderstanding your point. However, agency to prevent does include the ability to physically resist, to not drink oneself into incapacitation and so on so perhaps you should’ve delineated what you meant by agency to prevent rather than making this broad statement:

    However if one party has the agency to prevent an inappropriate sexual encounter from happening and fails to do so, then they hold responsibility.

  194. 194
    freja

    @177, Shawn Ferrie

    A probable reason that you “have a hard time accepting Anderson’s assertion, which is about men’s actual feelings, not about how we talk about them” because you are not a man and as such, cannot understand the dynamics of male trauma.

    Gender essentialism much? And unfounded assumptions.

    30 % of all sex crimes against children were committed by female sex predators but you will not see this study cited and you will not see the information on female sex offenders published because our sexual assault response community is run by females who promote the male as offender only and female as victim only model.

    Yeah, that’s why the media is so overrun with sensationalist articles about female teachers having sex with students, to such an extent that an MRA site suggested it was a plot by feminists to convince the public that women were as sexually aggressive and promiscuous as men (the same site also suggested it was a way of drawing attention away from the much larger problem of school boys who wanted to have sex with the hot teacher and didn’t get their wish).

    In contrast, a judge recently suspended the sentence of 49-year-old male teacher to a month in jail because the 14-year-old female student he’d raped (and who later committed suicide) was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as the rapist, and another judge let a 41-year-old male rapist escape prison completely because the 13-year-old girl he’d raped was “predatory” and “egging him on”. Women have fought for decades to get their rapes taken seriously and we still see girls barely into their teens being held responsible for the actions of grown men.

    But the “females” who run the sexual assault response community are of course complete in control of how sexual abuse of children is handled and perceived by both the public and the authorities. Naturally, it’s all those nasty “females” who’re responsible for the reactions and actions of all people, including men. I’m sure the esteemed judges in my above examples would agree with you on that.

    As a male Survivor, I have the right to see a psychiatrist but I do not have the right to access the vast majority of provincially funded sexual assault centres because I am a male and they are female presence only.
    There is a reason why men do not disclose and that reason is because we are not permitted to disclose or we are silenced by comments like yours which tell us that it is not safe to disclose for fear of attack by persons like yourself.

    You have the right to see psychiatrist and you have access to sexual assault centres, but there aren’t as many of them as there are for female victims, and that’s somehow relevant for whether or not you are permitted to disclose? Also, it has been my experience that you and other men disclose all the freaking time and never shut up about it except when you can’t find any way to use it to attack feminism.

    Anyway, Ally claims that women wouldn’t be doubted when a drunken man corners them, pushes himself against them, and tried to get their pants down. He offers no evidence of this, but just assumes women have that easy compared to men. Birric Forcella points to women telling about being raped and claims (again with no evidence) that it would be at least twice as bad for men. This is probably the cruelest comment in all of this thread because it doesn’t just state that in general, rapes against one gender might be statistically different from rapes against the other and therefore be likely to have statistically different effects, it instead points to specific individual incidences of rape and outright state that they weren’t as bad as they would have been had the victims been male, and not one of the commenters who’re busy dogpiling on Raging Bee have bothered to disagree. You make claims about a focus on male perpetrators and female victims and blames women, sorry, females for it, without offering any evidence or examples, and despite having just make claims about concerning the situation of female victims of sexual assault yourself, claims that a man (whom you assume to be a woman for rhetorical purposes) cannot understand the dynamics of male trauma.

    All in all, I’m close to getting less sympathetic towards advocates for male victims of sexual assault, because it seems all you can do is make condescending claims about how “It’s all much worse for men. We have unique Big and Important Man Issues that you mere females can’t begin to comprehend, while we’re easily able to see how your problems simply aren’t in the same league as our Big and Important Man Problems”. Perhaps you should consider that being a victim of sexual assault does not absolve you from being an asshole.

  195. 195
    Danny Gibbs

    @146:
    But the this thing is worse/better/not as bad as than some other horrid things should be avoided.
    Agreed. Trying to use one group’s experiences with an event as a measuring stick to compare another group’s experiences with that event is bad for everyone. Like rape for example. I find it pretty hypocritical for people to say that rape is bad all around but when in a conversation about the rape of men they find some way to plug in that men don’t experience it as badly as women. Well now they won’t directly say “as badly” but they’ll beat around the bush under the guise of “it doesn’t compare” or something like that. I wonder why they are comparing it in the first place.

    Seriously how exactly does it harm female victims of rape to actually acknowledge male rape victims and take their experiences seriously?

    Raging Bee:
    And are the privileged hegemonic male voices sympathetic to women, to the point of being willing to silence male victims of female sexual violence? That’s certainly not true of the hegemonic male voices of the Taliban, the Wahabbis, or the Republican Party of Todd Aiken. Do you really think those hegemonic voices would miss an opportunity to bash on sexually violent or aggressive women?
    How many of those hegemonic male voices are actually helping those male victims of female violence? Those hegemonic male voices have no problem cutting out general male voices. And that’s a mistake that’s often made. The presumption that those hegemonic voices are actually looking out for men. They aren’t.

    And our minds and bodies are kinda connected, remember? You can’t pretend there’s any sort of barrier or dividing line between “physical” and “mental” trauma — they’re inseparable. (Oh, and I’m sure that if you were forcibly raped by a man, you would NOT appreciate being told your experience was “only” physical trauma. I know damn well I wouldn’t.)
    Yes I remember. And I also remember that you in your example you quite literally only mentioned physical trauma. (And that is what I meant by “That’s only physical trauma. You only mentioned physical trauma in that comment so please don’t try to tell me what I meant.) And no one is pretending that there is a dividing line between the physical and mental. But what I am saying is that just because the physical trauma is somehow measured to be greater to one than the other you can’t flatly declare that trauma overall is greater to one than the other.

    For someone trying to remind me that the physical and mental are linked you seem to forget that every mind is different. That mental aspect is a wild card because not everyone is going to mentally respond to trauma in the same way, even if the physical trauma is exactly the same.

    That’s what I mean.

    @188:
    Ah, so it’s only forced penetration that’s “real” rape. Evidently, your body being used in ways you don’t want it to be used is only bad when you’re being penetrated.

    And people wonder why men will *not* even talk about such things. “you weren’t penetrated, doesn’t count”. Awesome. Way to go.
    Funny thing is at comment 148 Raging Bee then turns around and name drops Akin (who made the infamous “legitimate rape” comment). I guess its only bad when white republican males minimize the experiences of others?

    @190:
    MRA theory holds that false allegations are rife, that there is a “sexual grievance industry” and that victims of sexual violence should be “held accountable” for their intoxication and/or “provocative” behaviour.

    I’d like to ask those who are sympathetic to the MRA cause this:

    In what way do these commonly held MRA theories help male victims of the types of abuse discussed in this thread?
    I’m glad you asked. Let me tell you that while I do believe that false rape accusations are a serious issue that need to be addressed (because anyone that can have their lives damaged over a crime that didn’t happen or deserves help/empathy/sympathy) I’m not sure about the “rife”.

    Also I don’t believe that victims should be held accountable for their intoxication and behavior.

    And the reason I don’t is because male victims of sex crimes are already penalized enough by their very gender and the last thing they need is more road blocks to justice and help.

    So I guess you could say that there are parts of MRA theory that hold to those things.

  196. 196
    freja

    Ally, I’m sorry if this is off topic, but I’m a little too pissed to try to find common ground right now, so I’d like to instead focus on your claim that your situation would be read as a rape attempt if you’d been a woman. Here’s how I think any potential trial (official or not) would likely have played out if you’d been treated as a woman.

    We know or can reasonably conclude that:

    1: You have had sexual intercourse before. In fact, given that you’re male, you’re likely to have hit on people and tried to encourage them to have sex with you more than the average woman. This makes you a slut and a whore.

    2: You have (probably) flashed your nipples in public on several occasions, which makes you an attention-whore with no sense of decency, and a slut.

    3: You have put on a gay sex-show (kissed a tall muscular guy) in front of an audience. This makes you a pervert and further proves that you’re an attention-whore, which means you’re likely to accuse innocent girls of rape just to create drama around you. And you’re a slut.

    4: You’re openly sex-positive. Slut.

    5: You have, on multiple occasions, accepted that members of the opposite sex groped you, which proves that you like it and that it would be impossibly complex for the good decent woman whose life you’re trying to ruin with your accusation to know that you (allegedly) suddenly didn’t like it this time, probably because you’ve been lying all the time about not liking it because you’re such a slut.

    6: On the evening in question, you had knowingly gone to a party, a student party even, where you knew that flirting and sex was a distinct possibility. This means you’d willingly put yourself at risk, making you an irresponsible slut who’s most likely refusing to face up to the consequences of his own actions.

    7: On the evening in question, you had been consuming alcohol, which makes you even more of an irresponsible slut.

    8: At no point did you tell this woman off, seek safety among your friends, or leave the party. Instead you claim to have “escaped” to the bathroom – a kind of room people have been known to have sex in before and where you’d conveniently be alone with your alleged “rapist”.

    9: After having allegedly “escaped” with this alleged “rapist”, you didn’t scream for help a single time while she was trying to do with you what you’d undoubtedly done with an indecent number of women before her, nor did you leave any marks on her body showing that you’d resisted.

    10: Even if it was rape, you’re still a slut, which is bad (maybe even worse). And you’ve been extremely careless to put yourself in this situation, which is also bad. So it wouldn’t be fair to paint you as a completely innocent victim and put all the blame on her. You need to take more responsibility for your own actions.

    Based on the above (even if a couple of them aren’t completely correct), if you’d gone public with this story as a woman, chances are you’d never get the attacker convicted, the police could/would have harassed you, a good deal of your acquaintances would likely think you’re a lying dramaqueen, well-meaning jerks would have tried to smooth things over by telling you “let’s be reasonable here, you’re both equally at fault so how about we all move on” and then turned on you for not complying, a lot of the people who did believe you would think of you as damaged goods, and you’d be called naive and asked if you’d “learned your lesson” about not getting drunk and party alone in the future. Oh, and you’d be on Register Her.

    Women and girls are accused of lying about or causing their own rape even in crystal clear cases (which yours certainly wasn’t), such as when the victim is a child or unconscious. I’ve been googling some cases of male-on-female gang-rape where the victim sustained severe injuries and yet was still accused of lying and taken to task for things like consenting to meet with the rapists, getting drunk, or being a slut, but I’ve already grown tired because there’s just so damn many of them. If you really need proof that these things happen, by all means ask and I’ll spend some time picking some of the clearer cases out, but I really don’t feel up to it right now.

    If you or other advocates for male victims of sexual assault want to claim that you’re being marginalised, rather than marginalising other victims yourself, please don’t make unfounded off-handed comments in the vein of “Of course it was completely different because I’m a Man. A woman would naturally have gotten instant sympathy because that’s just how rape works for women” like you and others in this thread have done.

  197. 197
    Danny Gibbs

    Since you’re adding links (and frankly all this talk about who is marginalizing how is getting aggravating) let me throw in one.

    Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women: http://www.dahmw.org/

    Mind you its based in the USA (but I wanted to throw it in because I know you get American readers here) and is more on DV but we all know that DC can include rape.

  198. 198
    freja

    @195 Danny Gibbs

    Trying to use one group’s experiences with an event as a measuring stick to compare another group’s experiences with that event is bad for everyone.
    [...]
    I find it pretty hypocritical for people to say that rape is bad all around but when in a conversation about the rape of men they find some way to plug in that men don’t experience it as badly as women.

    I comment 88, Birric Forcella makes the claim that in identical cases of rape, it’s at least twice as hard for men. And yet, you only mention people saying that rape is worse for women in your example. Why is that?

    I’m glad you asked. Let me tell you that while I do believe that false rape accusations are a serious issue that need to be addressed (because anyone that can have their lives damaged over a crime that didn’t happen or deserves help/empathy/sympathy) I’m not sure about the “rife”.

    Also I don’t believe that victims should be held accountable for their intoxication and behavior.

    And the reason I don’t is because male victims of sex crimes are already penalized enough by their very gender and the last thing they need is more road blocks to justice and help.

    So the reason you don’t support a gender-reversed version of AVfM’s campaign against alleged female rape victims is because male rape victims have already been through enough? How does your claim that we shouldn’t try to compare suffering fit with your recent claim that men (and by implication, not women) are penalised for their gender?

    Speaking AVfM, some of their contributors have engaged in some pretty serious victim blaming, such as calling the Steubenville rape victim a whore who deserved it (and who ruined the life of two innocent boys). What do you think of that, and do you intend to do anything about it?

  199. 199
    M

    @ Raging Bee 148

    And are the privileged hegemonic male voices sympathetic to women, to the point of being willing to silence male victims of female sexual violence?

    It’s not about whether they are sympathetic to women, it’s about them not being sympathetic to men who “fail” at manhood.

    @ mudpuddles 164

    I’m so sorry to hear that. May I offer you a virtual hug?

  200. 200
    Danny Gibbs

    freja:
    I comment 88, Birric Forcella makes the claim that in identical cases of rape, it’s at least twice as hard for men. And yet, you only mention people saying that rape is worse for women in your example. Why is that?
    Because those are my experiences and Raging Bee touched on it again in this thread. Its not like I said no one claims that men have it worse. Of course there is “No my side has it worse!!!” bickering on most (if not all) sides.

    So the reason you don’t support a gender-reversed version of AVfM’s campaign against alleged female rape victims is because male rape victims have already been through enough? How does your claim that we shouldn’t try to compare suffering fit with your recent claim that men (and by implication, not women) are penalised for their gender?
    I’m not sure what implications you read in what I said but I don’t think I was trying to say that women are not penalized for their gender (they very much are in fact even if they aren’t the same). Saying that men are doesn’t mean the same as saying women are not anymore than someone that would say that women are means the same that saying men are not.

    Bringing up the suffering of certain groups and does not necessitate minimizing or silencing the suffering of others. From what I can tell a lot of feminists are perfectly able to talk about and address the experiences of women without downplaying the experiences of women. So can’t I (and others) do the same when it comes to men’s experiences?

    Speaking AVfM, some of their contributors have engaged in some pretty serious victim blaming, such as calling the Steubenville rape victim a whore who deserved it (and who ruined the life of two innocent boys). What do you think of that, and do you intend to do anything about it?
    Well I think it’s terrible and what I’ve been doing about it is actually talking to people on why I think such treatment is terrible. When I see such stuff I say something. I know I’m not the rabid hateful MRA that would be easy to dismiss but hey I do and say what I can. By chance what do you think and what are your intentions on this subject?

    But anyway it seems you read MRA and thought AVfM. Even though there are some things over there that are legit and valid please don’t presume that we are all Paul Elam (or at the very least I don’t think all feminists are Amanda Marcotte).

  201. 201
    triamacleod

    As someone who came of age during the 80′s we never heard of female on male rape. We knew the male stranger in the bushes attacking lone woman at night. And date rape, no-means-no, was just starting to be pushed as another type of rape. There were the rare whispers of male on male rape but those tended to revolve around prisons or seedy discos rife with illicit, hardcore drugs. We were led to believe that ‘you can’t rape the willing, and if he’s up he is obviously willing’. I think a lot of people still have that idea. It went hand in hand with the, ‘if she orgasms it wasn’t rape’ that was the standard for quite a while.

    We now (at least some of us, nowhere near enough of us) understand that a body’s physiological response is the body’s physiological response and very few things, even horrible, frightening things, will stop them. We had segregated sex ed and the females were warned in the strongest possible terms that it was up to us to take every precaution to prevent ourselves from being raped. We were told to ask a man to walk us to our cars/homes/destinations at night but never warned that the ‘safe man’ may well be a predator himself. My twin brother’s class didn’t even discuss rape pass ‘no-means-no’. His sex ed was focused on preventing STDs and how to use condoms.

    People of my age group are coming into power politically now, I know what and how I was taught, what my brother was taught. We need to do some serious comprehensive sex education in schools, to impress upon them that anyone can be raped and that rape is more than sticking a penis where it hasn’t been invited. That the act of rape is only shameful on the rapist, not the victim. And Sweet Mother of Mercy, we need to do something about the state of our Mental Healthcare and Child Protection Agencies. I honestly feel that if more abuse was caught earlier and dealt with via therapy for the victims, we would see a huge decrease in violent crimes across the board.

  202. 202
    triamacleod

    I definitely think that the difference between being forcefully penetrated or being forced to penetrate someone is a large one for several reasons. Forced penetration is often painful and rips apart delicate flesh leaving physical trauma for weeks. In cases of forced penetration in all areas of the body there is often zero physical choice or chance of getting away from the trauma.

    I’ve heard this called ‘the eyeball test’. If you are forced to poke your finger into another person’s eyeball, it is horrible, it feels awful and makes you sick. However it is always going to be worse for the person possessing that eyeball. Physically (not speaking for mental or emotional as that varies far too much from person to person) having an orifice be forcefully penetrated, (vaginal, anal, oral) will leave physical trauma, from mild to severe, depending on the attack.

    But our minds, our pasts, our experiences will all be different and while an anal rape may barely phase one person, a forced enveloping may give a different person pronounced PTSD. How it occurred shouldn’t be the issue, the only issues should be preventing as many rapes as possible and adequately treating the victims of rape in order to help them heal. Nit picking the ‘rape A is more damaging than rape B’ is just ridiculous and horrible in general.

  203. 203
    Danny Gibbs

    Agreed. Its one thing to talk about the different ways in which a victim can be traumatized but I do think it goes too far to try to declare that one side has it worse than the other when it comes to rape.

    It’s one thing to point out that the person being penetrated can stand to suffer certain traumas but when you go from there into “that means its worse for those who are penetrated than it is for those that are forced to penetrate” that’s crossing a line. A line that shouldn’t be crossed.

  204. 204
    carnation

    @ Danny Gibbs

    With all due respect. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume MRA thinking is analogous with avfm, it’s essentially a “mainstream” MRA blog and, whilst some MRAs disagree with his style of “leadership”, few MRAs object to Elam’s blatant misogyny.

    Vis a vis vale victims of sexual a abuse, MRA theory discredits and invalidates *all* victims of abuse. This is just one more reason why MRA theory, such as it is, deserves to,be condemned unreservedly, and usually is.

    Someone linked to an avfm article earlier: when I see that, I ignore the link and the commenter. Some things are just too far beyond the pale.

  205. 205
    Lucy

    @D506

    “As a personal reaction, that is absolutely fine. You’re free to feel that you would not find such an experience equally traumatic.
    What you do not get to do is tell a woman who was raped in such a way that their experience was “laughably less traumatic”. Rape does not require intercourse or penetration. To suggest otherwise is to mimic the rape apologists who say “well it wasn’t ‘rape rape’…”. I do not understand how self identified feminists and allies can possibly not understand that when it applies to men.”

    Well you’re not quoting me above, but presumably somebody else.

    Rape does specifically require intercourse though, anything else, including penetration with an object or forced penetration of somebody else, is sexual assault, not rape. And I don’t share the general lack of faith in that definition, I think it’s been arrived at after careful consideration by people who understand the legal and ethical implications.

    That is not to say that sexual assault isn’t awful, and in certain circumstances may well be worse than rape leaving a person with serious mental or physical injury. Also, in many circumstances a non-sexual attack may be more traumatising than rape too, a victim of state torture for instance may be tormented for a lifetime by their experience. But it’s not a competition.

    There is something unique about penetration of your body with a part of somebody else’s. I don’t really think this is a personal belief or response, it is a generally accepted experience that has been consistently reported across culture and time. I really don’t think it does anyone any favours to dilute this fact or indeed to go down the road of laws tailored to people’s individual responses.

  206. 206
    spacklick

    And, by the same token, there isn’t enough information to back up your assertion that “feminists” or “society” make rape more traumatic for women than it would otherwise be.

    1) I’ve never mentioned feminists in my claims
    2) I’m not asserting this as fact, look again, I’m saying that in some areas the expectation can increase the trauma and it MAY be true here. It’s an hypothesis that I’m saying is worth investigating. How dogmatic do you have to be to blindly miss that in order to dismiss male victims of rape?

  207. 207
    Learing Understanding

    triamacleod 202
    Perhaps i didn’t make myself clear enough. Sorry, i am unused to writing in forums such as this. I was commenting on other previous comments to my own which were speaking about how men seem to shake off rape faster than women. Perhaps you didn’t see those comments as there are so many comments on this article. I was speaking more to the reasons some people might feel more traumatized than others by rape experiences. The entirety of my statements were more about trying to understand the different kinds of trauma and experiences and why people would experience them as they do. Not judging rape a or rape b or nitpicking rapes, but trying to understand and have empathy for the vast differences of experiences of people who have been victimized in these ways. Humiliation, emotional trauma and physical pain alone or in combination will be experienced and remembered in different ways by different people. In my work I help people move out of traumatized places within themselves, often from situations like rape. It helps me in this work to understand the traumas, the particulars of them. The things i spoke about in my previous statements come from that place. The clients i have had who have been raped with violent physical trauma combined with massive humiliation and who were in fear of their life had a seriously difficult time healing from the experience. The clients i had who walked away from the rape experience physically okay and didn’t believe their actual life was in danger were able to heal emotionally at a quicker rate. I don’t think it is horrible and ridiculous to note such differences in experiences especially in my line of work.
    There have been some very thoughtful comments in thread, but i have noticed that people sometimes reply to others comments with out taking the entire context of what they said in consideration. Effectively nitpicking, sometimes not very nicely at all, one paragraph or sentence that out of context sounds bad or that maybe could have been worded better. I think everyone here means well and wishes for more empathy and love and help for victims of rape and sexual abuse. Maybe it important to remember that and not try to knock each other down for being human and not perfect with unfortunate phrases in replies that could be hurtful. Love to you all and thanks.

  208. 208
    spacklick

    @carnation (190)

    MRA theory holds that false allegations are rife, that there is a “sexual grievance industry” and that victims of sexual violence should be “held accountable” for their intoxication and/or “provocative” behaviour.

    I’d like to ask those who are sympathetic to the MRA cause this:

    In what way do these commonly held MRA theories help male victims of the types of abuse discussed in this thread?

    I’ll answer this because while I don’t hold with most MRA theory the first part of this is a fact ignored in the discussion a lot. False allegations of rape are not “rife” but they are higher than most people (online world) in a discussion of what to do about rape in the criminal justice system would admit (and a lot lower than others (including the police) would admit). Studies show the false reporting rate to be anywhere from 2% to 41% depending on the study and their method of determining fabrication. Averages point to around 8%. Although that varies from community to community, usually higher where older more conservative seual values are held (a lie to protect the virtue) and lower where people are more liberal.

    However none of the above helps victims of rape, female or male. It’s another aspect to the discussion of what to do int eh criminal justice system, necessary in finding the balance between “assume every accusation is true and lock up anyone accused” to “assume every accusation is false and lock up nobody”. It’s very difficult in rape because the vast majority of non-violent rapes will be in the grey area of not enough evidence to proceed, because consent doesn’t leave evidence, nor does lack of it. It leaves the criminal justice system nibbling at the margins of one of the worst crimes in our society.

    The other reason it comes up is because the criminal justice system is very reluctant to pursue people who make blatant false allegations. When the person accused has an airtight alibi that they were nowhere near the victim and the victim confesses that they were falsely accusing in order to reduce wrath from parents, that person should be prosecuted. If we did this more there would be fewer false reports and it may help victims to be believed.

  209. 209
    Tamen

    The people dismissing male genital trauma resulting from being forced to penetrate seem to assume that the perpetrator are kind enough to be careful with their teeth during oral intercourse or that a violent vaginal or anaø intercourse doesn’t increase the risk of penile fracture ..

  210. 210
    Trophy

    I definitely agree with Giliell (#139) that comparisons do not help. We should have enough resources to fight sexual assaults by men or women on men, women, and childen. Whether or not one group assaults another group more than some other group does not change the fact that they are all injustices and they all should be stopped and comparisons do not help; they distract. At least to me, they force us to treat this as a zero-sum game where allocating time and resources to male victims is seen to come at the expense of taking away resources from female victims. It doesn’t need to be and it shouldn’t be that way. In fact, I think both men and women are going to benefit from us also tackling the issue of male victims, specially since there are a lot of common elements between the two forms of assault (e.g., use of alcohol).

  211. 211
    Ally Fogg

    freja 196

    This whole rant is based on a grotesque (and pretty fucking insulting) misrepresentation of what I wrote and meant in the OP, and what’s worse I’m pretty sure you know that.

    Just in case you still need it spelled out when you sober up, my point in the OP was that had any objective observer witnessed what happened, or any good faith arbiter known all the facts, they would have considered it to be attempted rape.

    What I was not saying is that everyone in the world would automatically believe my claim if I made it as an allegation, to the police or anyone else. I don’t doubt for a moment that had I done so, the consequences for me would be very similar to those described by mudpuddles (164) – I would have been disbelieved, mocked, humililated, because our society treats male rape and abuse victims just as appallingly as it treats female abuse victims.

    But more important than that freja, your post to Shawn Ferrie at 194 is a disgrace.

    All in all, I’m close to getting less sympathetic towards advocates for male victims of sexual assault, because it seems all you can do is make condescending claims about how “It’s all much worse for men. We have unique Big and Important Man Issues that you mere females can’t begin to comprehend, while we’re easily able to see how your problems simply aren’t in the same league as our Big and Important Man Problems”. Perhaps you should consider that being a victim of sexual assault does not absolve you from being an asshole.

    This is an now a grotesque misrepresentation of what Shawn Ferrie wrote. At no point did he say anything like this. It is an almost exact mirror of the worst kind of MRA tone policing that gets used against female rape advocates and feminists, the kind that says “well I want to be sympathetic, but the fact that you are so whiny and angry about it just loses my support.”

    Your whole post comes across as if you are saying “well I don’t mind male victims being acknowledged and recognised occasionally, so long as they don’t start claiming that what happens to them is as bad or as important a problem as what happens to women.” Indeed you seem to be displaying the very attitudes you project onto others. Fuck that shit, seriously.

    Truth is, Shawn Ferrie had every right to be angry with Raging Bee, because Raging Bee has said some pretty ugly and offensive things on this thread that do indeed skate pretty close to rape apologism. Shawn, as a victim of the crime we are talking about, is perfectly entitled to be angry with RB, but is also perfectly entitled to take umbrage with what I wrote in the OP and disagree about the qualitative differences for male and female victims. That’s an entirely legitimate use of this thread.

    This has, for the most part, been an incredibly intelligent and important discussion about extremely difficult and sensitive issues. One thing we’ve been trying to discuss is whether we can or should attempt to compare and contrast male and female experiences as victims of assault by the opposite gender. The overwhelming majority of commenters have managed to make their case, one way or the other, without dismissing, diminishing or denigrating the experiences of abuse victims of either gender. I’m sorry to say the only two regular commenters who have failed badly on that score are you and Raging Bee who between you have revealed some pretty repellent attitudes. It’s particularly sad considering what you posted yourself back at 34. Shame you couldn’t live up to it.

    It’s getting to the point where I’m considering switching off the comments on this thread altogether, which is something I’ve never done before. It’s a huge shame that an amazingly instructive and important discussion has descended into an ignominious oppression olympics squabble about who has it worse.

    For now, I’ll just say to everyone that any further posts which in any way denigrate, diminish or deny the impacts of sexual abuse on one or other gender will be deleted ASAP.

    And frankly I don’t give a shit if I come across as a dictator, this will be the final word on this particular exchange. No comebacks. Any comments of agreement, disagreement or commentary will also be zapped in a flash. If you think I’m being unfair, please take it to the pinned thread on the sidebar, Musings on Moderation.

    Thanks all.

  212. 212
    Ally Fogg

    Lucy (205)

    And I don’t share the general lack of faith in that definition, I think it’s been arrived at after careful consideration by people who understand the legal and ethical implications.

    I’m actually really pleased that this thread hasn’t got sidetracked into the debate about whether or not we should call forced penetration “rape” because, for me, it is the least important aspect to all this.

    But would like to point out that I don’t think what you say above is true. The word has always been assumed to mean forced penetration, both in dictionary and in law. There’s this strange idea floating around MRA circles that there has been a feminist conspiracy to change the definition so that only men can rape women, not vice versa. That definition predates feminism by hundreds if not thousands of years.

    I don’t thin the definition has been arrived at after careful consideration by anyone. I think it is just there because it has always been there and no one has got around to changing it. .

  213. 213
    mildlymagnificent

    I don’t think the definition has been arrived at after careful consideration by anyone. I think it is just there because it has always been there and no one has got around to changing it. .

    I think it’s going the other way in most places. More recent legislation completely skips the problem of “rape” being only insertion of penis by using the more general term ‘sexual assault’. The laws are then defining or describing several actions and circumstances that are proscribed – only one of them being “traditional” rape. So rape as it has historically been understood is almost disappearing into the more generally worded category.

  214. 214
    Dave Pickering

    The time when I was forced to receive (and to a lesser extent to perform) sexual acts that I did not consent to by a women who was physically intimidating happened when I was a 19 year old student. We were both drunk and the context was that I had just told her I was not interested in persuing any involvement with her.

    I had (consensually) fooled around with her a few days before. And she had just decided to split up with her boyfriend of 2 years at least partly if not wholly because she believed that I would want to persue a relationship with her. She was 18 but we would have been in the same school year.

    I could have probably forced her to stop when she forcibly tried (and part succeeded) to make me to have an erection and then forced me to receive a blowjob for quite some. I did consider pushed her away. But she was too strong for me to restrain gently. It would have been a struggle. It might have been a fight. And I do not hit women apart from in play fights. I didn’t feel I could stop her without hurting her. I didn’t want to hurt her so I endured it. I also felt incredibly guilty about the context of the situation. I literally felt that I had led her on. I was unsure about the mixed signals. And she was very sad as well as very forceful. She was desperate. To her this seemed like the way to change my mind. There was a violence involved in her actions but it was not the only element to what she did.

    At a certain point I semi consented to go down on her in the hope that this would persuade her to stop. It did and so I did that.

    I can’t remember how the incident ended. I certainly didn’t hang around.

    We rarely spoke to each other again. A few months later when she knew I was involved with someone else she wrote a hatefully worded insult and stuck it on my door.

    She clearly considered herself the wronged person as did I. It was only years later I would realise that this was sexual assault.

    I think I definitely experienced this differently to the way most women would experience a similar act. For a start ultimately I had a choice. I could have fought her off. And the guilt I felt and still feel is mostly about my bad behaviour towards her and wrapped up with feeling sad and sorry for her loneliness and frustration. But maybe I only feel that because I have not escaped social conditioning and I am romanticising her motivation and aggrandising my own ego. Whether that is the case is almost irrelevant. It hasn’t really impacted much into my life which means I am incredibly lucky.

    The power dynamics were complex and its hard for me to put this in the same category as make on female sexual assault but I’d imagine a different man or even me at a different time might have been very traumatised by the experience.

  215. 215
    PatrickG

    @ mildlymagnificent:

    So rape as it has historically been understood is almost disappearing into the more generally worded category.

    I think that’s an important point. The word ‘rape’ is beginning — in a legal sense — to be devalued. However, this is a distinctly local phenomenon. Some jurisdictions are redefining sexual assault/rape laws, but many others are not. It’s also worth noting that legal redefinitions don’t translate well into popular culture; that is, interpretation of terms tends to lag legal redefinition (i.e. rape, as a term, will not disappear in public discourse. Just look at the history of ‘assault’).

    This thread is a pretty great example. Some well-meaning people (and others not-so-much*) are struggling with definitions. Perhaps we should have more words for snow sexual misconduct.

    To actually make a point: as a cis male myself, I’m going to weigh in on the penetration conversation. Yeah, being penetrated against your will is more traumatic than being forced to penetrate. Both are bad. One is worse. I speak from experience of both.

    * Personally, I find it hard to believe some are arguing these issues in good faith. I rather proudly identify with the group that says “You link AVFM, I ignore/mock you”. There are issues to be discussed, but talk about a poisoned well!

  216. 216
    hoary puccoon

    I’ve only skimmed through this, so, Ally, feel free to say I’m off topic. But…

    It’s pretty clear to me that research into male victims of sexual aggression can’t be reduced to percentages until there is more research done with open-ended interviews. It’s not like strep throat, where you can stick the bug under a microscope and say, “Yep, that’s it.”

    What, for instance does “verbal pressure” for sex mean? That could be–
    a long-suffering wife trying to interest her emotionally-distant husband, or–
    a sex worker working on a potential client, or–
    a female supervisor extorting sex from her employee on threat of firing.

    Obviously, those are three very different situations. The first is pretty definitely not a crime, the third definitely is a crime, and the second varies according to local laws. But with these surveys on closed-ended questions, they all get lumped together.

    Until somebody sits down with men and finds out exactly what happened and exactly how traumatized by it the men were, about all the percentages can tell us is that sexual assault doesn’t only happen to women.

  217. 217
    karmakin

    Well, that’s the problem with this entire subject, is that we’re actually talking about what are really two separate issues, but both those issues often get conflated into one. (And often the switch between one and the other is on a best serves me purpose)

    You have “stranger in the bushes” rape, although it would be more easier to call it violent rape, this is where there’s physical violence, obvious resistance, either physically or verbally, or the person is obviously unable to consent. (Passed out drunk)

    And the other thing is non-consent rape. This is where the person either thinks that the other person HAS consented or if they try hard enough the person will eventually consent. What happened to Ally goes into this category.

    The first is about power, is done by mostly males, and is deeply traumatic on a base level. The second is about sex, is much more gender neutral, and a lot of the trauma is IMO a social construct, which is why men and women have drastically different reactions.

  218. 218
    Ally Fogg

    DavePickering

    Another brave and insightful post. Thanks so much.

    hoarypuckoon

    Yes. I know it’s an academic cliche, but I don’t think there are many topics where it is more true to say “More research needed”

  219. 219
    Tamen

    Ally Fogg @212

    There’s this strange idea floating around MRA circles that there has been a feminist conspiracy to change the definition so that only men can rape women, not vice versa. That definition predates feminism by hundreds if not thousands of years.

    As one who has been critical about the current definition of rape used by UK law, FBI and some (but not all) US states) and several governmental surveys on crime/IPV I can only speak of my own criticism of feminists like Mary P Koss – my criticism is of those who do not want to expand the definition to include “being made to penetrate” – Mary P Koss called it inappropriate to call a man being made to penetreate a rape victim. That criticism is different from claiming that “they” changed the definition to exclude male victims which implies that the term at some historical point included victims of being made to penetrate – as far as I know it hasn’t. I just wanted to clear that up less there be any misunderstanding about where my criticism comes from.

    You know my stance on why I think it’s important how the term rape is defined. It’s not like the term haven’t been re-defined from it’s common-law roots before. The 2011 revision of the FBI-definition comes to mind as well as the commendable and successful effort by Lydia Cuomo to get New York State to include anal and oral contact as rape. I’ll quote Lydia Cuomo:

    He raped me at the end of the day, and he’s not being called a rapist. He is a rapist, and you need to call rape, rape…. Sexual assault sounds so vague and I don’t think the word ‘sexual’ should be involved in it at all. There’s nothing sexual about it.”

    That’s on the individual level and then there’s how having “being made to penetrate” as part of the larger category sexual assault (especially if that isn’t broken further down at all – as in the CSEW – makes it very hard to find the prevalence. Which I believe is vital information to have for those working with either prevention of sexual violence or for providing services to victims. As well for victims to realize that they are not alone – that realization might make it easier to reach for help when needed.

    I know I am skirting close to the edge here (since you stated that you were glad there hasn’t been a discussion about whether “forced to penetrate” should be classified as rape) so I’ll be satisfied by letting my viewpoints be known and I’ll refrain from entering any further back and forth debate on this.

  220. 220
    Tamen

    karmakin @217:

    You have “stranger in the bushes” rape, although it would be more easier to call it violent rape, this is where there’s physical violence, obvious resistance, either physically or verbally, or the person is obviously unable to consent. (Passed out drunk)

    And the other thing is non-consent rape. This is where the person either thinks that the other person HAS consented or if they try hard enough the person will eventually consent. What happened to Ally goes into this category.

    The first is about power, is done by mostly males, and is deeply traumatic on a base level.

    In Ally’s words:

    She followed me into the loo, forced me up against the basin, pushed her tongue into my mouth and her hand into my jeans. I had to summon up quite a lot of physical strength to escape.

    The experience with the woman, although probably less ewwww-inducing at the time, was actually more violent, more forceful. I had to be a lot more frantic and determined to get myself out of the bathroom without a full-sclae serious sexual assault happening.

    my point in the OP was that had any objective observer witnessed what happened, or any good faith arbiter known all the facts, they would have considered it to be attempted rape.

    Could you elaborate why you categorized Ally’s anecdote as the second category (non-consent rape)?

  221. 221
    Tamen

    hoary puccoon @216

    Until somebody sits down with men and finds out exactly what happened and exactly how traumatized by it the men were, about all the percentages can tell us is that sexual assault doesn’t only happen to women.

    Would you find it disturbing if I said that until we sit down with women and finds out exactly what happened and exactly how traumatized by it the women were, about all the percentages can tell us is that sexual assault happen to women. Because I found that pretty hard to type.

  222. 222
    rahel

    In my experience, a major factor is the fact that as a woman, I’m physically weaker than most men. If I knew I was able to defend myself against an assailant, I wouldn’t be that scared when walking along a dark street at night or when being alone with a man I don’t know. If a man decides to force himself on me, I have virtually no possibility to defend myself. Chances of him using brutal violence, torturing me and probably killing me, are quite high. As far as I know (and I might be wrong), female rapists don’t kill their victims and don’t use nearly as much violence as men rapists do. It is well known in psychology, that the extent of traumatization correlates with the level of violence one experiences during the trauma. This may be one contributing factor to the finding that some men feel less traumatized following a sexual assault than women. I’m not saying that sexual abuse on men is not a serious problem, but there seem to be differences.

  223. 223
    Norman Hadley

    Hi rahel(222)

    You write

    It is well known in psychology, that the extent of traumatization correlates with the level of violence one experiences during the trauma.

    I’d be much more circumspect with that assertion. One of the most heart-rending accounts I’ve ever read of a M-F rape involved the woman having to stay silent so her small child in the next room would not wake and walk in on the scene. So, although she emerged from her experience physically unbruised, the level of psychological trauma must have been absolutely horrendous. It’s making my skin crawl just recollecting it.

    Sticks and stones aren’t the only things that can break you…

  224. 224
    hoary puccoon

    Tamen @ 221–

    I have not a clue what point you’re trying to make.

    In fact, we have many more detailed reports of sexual assaults by men on women than by women on men. That’s part of why sexual assaults have been assumed to be men-on-women pretty much exclusively. If, as it now appears likely, woman-on-man sexual assault is a problem, arguing about percentages is not going to solve it. The point of research on sexual assault should be to protect everyone from unwanted invasions, not to have fun listening to smutty stories. Unless we have a clear idea what men are talking about when they say “verbal pressure” there can’t be any kind of campaign of, “girls don’t do that.”

    Ally Fogg @ 218–

    Yeah. As many times as “more research needed” gets recited, it often ought to be said even more before somebody rushes into print.

  225. 225
    nodnol

    “In my experience, a major factor is the fact that as a woman, I’m physically weaker than most men. If I knew I was able to defend myself against an assailant, I wouldn’t be that scared when walking along a dark street at night or when being alone with a man I don’t know. If a man decides to force himself on me, I have virtually no possibility to defend myself. Chances of him using brutal violence, torturing me and probably killing me, are quite high. As far as I know (and I might be wrong), female rapists don’t kill their victims and don’t use nearly as much violence as men rapists do. It is well known in psychology, that the extent of traumatization correlates with the level of violence one experiences during the trauma. This may be one contributing factor to the finding that some men feel less traumatized following a sexual assault than women. I’m not saying that sexual abuse on men is not a serious problem, but there seem to be differences”

    Rahel (222) would you mind providing some citations for your claim about trauma and violence being well known please? I don’t recall such a simplistic point in any paper I have read and psychologists rarely agree about anything; to find that this is “well known” would be very interesting and I would quite like to read the papers. I have just done a quick search on psychinfo and didn’t find any papers with the conclusion you mention (of course I just read the abstracts, which can be misleading). Granted it is isn’t specifically my area but I have spent quite some time researching in the area of forensic and criminal psychology, I used to know a researcher who specialised in PTSD and even he couldn’t make his mind up about it all.

    Aside from that you also make a great deal of assumptions about how men feel towards women with respect to violence, as a woman I don’t see how you can understand how a man would feel. Ally said himself earlier that he wouldn’t have hit the woman back, a lot of men feel the same so may feel just as helpless as you argue you would feel.

  226. 226
    Tamen

    rahel @222:

    Consider men who discovered after or during their rape or sexually assault perpetrated by a woman discovered that they were unable to use the level of violence needed to prevent the violation from occuring.

    Ally for instance have stated that it didn’t occur to him to use such a high level of force (punching) against his assailants and that if that had been the level of violence required to prevent the rape he probably would’ve ended up enduring the rape. I didn’t have the option of physically preventing my rapists from raping me since I was unconscious when she started the act.

    I also found myself unable to use physical force to make her stop as that option never even occurred to me.

    Dave Pickering in comment @214 endured it because using physical force would most likely have required to hurt the women who forced him to have sex.

    James Landrith says he could easily have thrown his rapist off him and ended it right then, but he found himself not willing to risk harming her child or her to protect himself. His rapist also threatened to accuse him of rape if he tried to stop it – he took that threat seriously.

    Mike D’Amora was victim of a violent rape attempt by a woman. He didn’t make her stop by using physical violence when she scratched his face with her nails and pressed her thumbs into his eyes, it was not until she took a hard mouthfull bite of his face(!) before he finally resorted to use physical violence to make her stop and yet he feels bad about disrespecting a woman and not being a gentleman! He hate her for making forcing him to hurt her.

    Perhaps one should consider that this statistically greater physical strength isn’t such a universal “get out of jail, free” card as most seem to believe?

  227. 227
    rahel

    Norman (223), you are certainly right. I’m not saying that (physical) violence is the only thing that matters, but it’s one factor among others that correlates with the level of traumatization. Another important aspect is how much control a victim has or thinks having during the trauma. If I’m in an uncomfortable situation but I know I could get out of it if I really wanted to, the trauma is less severe than if I’m completely impotent and the assailant can do whatever he wants. That’s why unequal physical (or psychological) power play such a big role in these things.

  228. 228
    rahel

    @nodnol (225): You seem to be a psychologist, so I don’t understand how the role of the locus of control and the level of experienced violence in predicting the extent of traumatization could escape your attention. See for example

    Brewin, C. R., Andrews, B., & Valentine J. D. (2000). Meta-Analysis of Risk Factor for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Trauma Exposed-Adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(5), 748-766.

    As a psychologist working in this field, you are also familiar with scales to measure the extent of traumatization, such as the Impact of Events Scale. And, therefore, you know that experienced violence is a major factor when it comes to evaluating the level of traumatization.

    @tamen (226): If you chose not to harm someone this means you still have options and can chose between them. If you are physically or otherwise unable to defend yourself, there is no choice to be made. Situations where a person has to endure something because he or she has no other option are completely different from situations where a person choses the one option among different options, which seems less adverse. That’s true for men and women equally and I’m not in the least saying that men always have a choice and their trauma is per default less severe. I’m just trying to analyze which factors explain the level of traumatization one suffers after an assault. And I completely agree with you about the fact that what counts is what options the person perceives having and not the ones he or she objectively has.

  229. 229
    B-Lar

    Rahel:

    Another important aspect is how much control a victim has or thinks having during the trauma.

    Bingo.

    If you are put into a flight or flight mode, but cannot do either, I would say that dramatically increases trauma. The violence itself is a factor that can stimulate that state of mind if present, but if you, as a man, cannot fly for whatever reason (restraint, emotional investment), and cannot fight because you are conditioned not to fight women, then BAM: Traumatic experience with no need for violence to be involved at all.

    Women are conditioned not to fight-back generally (as it is “unladylike”, and you might well make him madder), but in the event that you did fight back against your attacker (disable his balls!), that actually fits quite nicely into the societal commentary alongside mace and rape alarms with the whole “what you should do if you are rape-attacked” bullshit that we hear from the ignorant and wilfully obtuse. Compare and contrast, A man who fights back against a woman is a cowardly worm, and possibly insane or “gay” if it was to avoid sex.

    Both sexes lose when it comes to reporting sexual assault and rape. It doesn’t matter what you do, its never the “right thing”, and strangely, the “right thing” doesn’t seem to work either.

  230. 230
    Sister Eu

    I don’t get what is so hard about not having double standards. I don’t suspect I’m evolved or something. If I saw a woman forcing herself on anyone I’d think “assault” not “she’s getting assaulted if they happen to go along with her sudden force.”

    Honestly it shouldn’t be startling that there is female sexual aggression. Some of the more forcible rapes, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that more men do that than women – because of physical strength. But as for other situations, us women aren’t ‘morally superior’, so yes, plenty of women are doing things as well, especially if they think they can get away with it (double standards).

    I read someone saying that we are conditioned not to fight back against assaults. Unladylike? I beg to differ. Not with the thing itself but that we are conditioned not to. I’ve never seen such a thing. Generally, women are judged less for using physical force to fight back or even using physical force in response to a verbal argument, while men are more likely to be judged if they used force to get an aggressive woman off of them. Imagine a woman slapping a man for touching her butt…it’s not likely it would be judged.

  231. 231
    Sister Eu

    Anyway Ally yes, it’s not surprising, and I’d hope no one would have an issue with someone asserting that women are also sexually aggressive and that men can be victims.. pretty sad position for people to have and it’s why some men don’t bother reporting either.

  232. 232
    Paul

    @226 Tamen

    Perhaps one should consider that this statistically greater physical strength isn’t such a universal “get out of jail, free” card as most seem to believe?

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

  233. 233
    nodnol

    Rahel: “You seem to be a psychologist, so I don’t understand how the role of the locus of control and the level of experienced violence in predicting the extent of traumatization could escape your attention. See for example

    Brewin, C. R., Andrews, B., & Valentine J. D. (2000). Meta-Analysis of Risk Factor for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Trauma Exposed-Adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(5), 748-766.

    As a psychologist working in this field, you are also familiar with scales to measure the extent of traumatization, such as the Impact of Events Scale. And, therefore, you know that experienced violence is a major factor when it comes to evaluating the level of traumatization”

    Thanks for the link but I don’t work in the field, hence why I said “Granted it is isn’t specifically my area”. As I said, I have done research into the areas of forensic and criminal psychology but I certainly don’t work in that area, otherwise I would have said so!

    I didn’t even mention the locus of control, you discussed that after my comment but locus on control isn’t only related to physical aspects, for example if a person is worried about how their actions are going to be perceived they may choose not to act even if they can physically do so. Physical and mental strength are equally important.

    You earlier said that ” the extent of traumatization correlates with the level of violence one experiences during the trauma”, which means the correlation is more violence=more trauma and lower violence=lower trauma.
    If you meant that levels of violence are a factor in in predicting the extent of traumatisation then that is something different. Later you say it isn’t the only factor but rather one of them, which again is something different to the quote I mention above.

    I had a quick look at the paper you cited; the weighted effect size of the correlation between trauma severity and PTSD is lower than social support. So social support has a higher correlation than the severity of the experience, which is rather pertinent considering the current discussion. Effect sizes don’t really mean much, but for trauma severity is .23 and social support .40. If I was performing sample size power calculations I would use .4-6 as a predicted moderate effect size, which is fairly standard

    Furthermore the way the papers they discuss define trauma severity is no-where near as clear cut as more violence=more severe, and the correlation is higher for combat populations than civilian populations.

    The above is actually quite important as it shows the incidence is apparently not as significant a factor as social support is, so we need to work on getting victims of trauma the appropriate support not trying to say that because some people are stronger and experience less violence they will experience less trauma.

  234. 234
    Ginkgo

    rahel @ 222 – “In my experience, a major factor is the fact that as a woman, I’m physically weaker than most men.”

    You are ignoring the immense physical power of the state, which you can wiield against him and he cannot use against you. If you want sex from a non-consenting man:

    1. you can threaten him with accusing him of rape,
    2.and he knows it,
    3.and he knows that your accusations is at least as likely to be believed as his denial,
    4. and he knows that however insensitively a rape victim is treated making her accusation, rapae suspects are treated at least as harshly,
    5.and he slao knows that even if he is eventually acquitted, the process of getting acquitted is already damaging enough that just threat of it is overwhelming.

    You have the physical power of the state behind you and that dwarfs his.

  235. 235
    Ally Fogg

    Gingko (234)

    Sorry, but that is just bizarre nonsense.

    Of course it is theoretically true, a woman could threaten a man like that. But of all the innumerable forms of coercion, threat, blackmail etc that could be used by women *or* men, why should she pick that one? More to the point, why do you pick that one?

  236. 236
    summerblues

    Physical power of the state”?

    Yes, women can use this…or a knife or a gun. What you are talking about, however, is protection for the victims. I’m not going to agree to remove this “power” just because a few women abuse it. Not all rape victims are able-bodied enough to fight back and need this “power” behind them.

    I see this as verbal threats, similar to those used by men using threats of beating or killing to get what they want. Can you envision a woman who has been threatened with death actually going to the police to report the rape when he may not be arrested, put in jail and kept there?

  237. 237
    Ginkgo

    Ally @ 235 – “Sorry, but that is just bizarre nonsense.

    Of course it is theoretically true, a woman could threaten a man like that. ”

    Sorry but you are wrong on the facts. James Landrith’s rapist used that on him.

    “After the alcohol and/or possible sedatives had worn off in the morning, I awoke again to find her on top of me – angry and hostile. I immediately remembered waking up at least once prior during the night to find her on me and felt my body freeze up at the realization I was being raped. This wasn’t a dream. This wasn’t a fantasy. This wasn’t consensual.

    She sternly warned me to “be quiet” and “not be forceful” and made it clear that she would accuse me of raping her if I tried to stop it.”

    (“Again” – she raped him twice in that one session.)

    http://jameslandrith.com/content/view/3148/
    http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/ive-got-the-t-shirt-and-the-trauma-response-to-go-with-it/

    And Landrith reports his rapist used the power of the state on him in another, time-honored way – gay-shaming:

    “I was raped at the start of the 1990′s witch hunts for homosexuals in uniform and the persecution of anyone targeted, regardless of their actual orientation. These “investigations” were happening aggressively and in the open, creating a scary and oppressive environment. To state that I didn’t want to have sex with a particular woman – any woman – would have allowed those bigots to invoke the myth that all men want sex from all women all the time and then focus their hate and small minds in my direction. Forget the fact that I was in love with another woman. I must have wanted it or else I was in the closet and then fair game for the boot-licking fascists conducting the witch-hunts.”
    http://jameslandrith.com/content/view/3918/1/

    Remember that he was an active duty Marine at the time, so she was threatening his livelihood and future employability.

    Toy Soldier had a post about a woman who raped a boy by threatening to accuse him of raping her her if he did not submit. I cna’t find it and have asked him to look for it.

    This is not about false rape accusations, this is about their use as a mechanism to subdue a victim.

    And in answer to that question about why men don’t come forward, here’s another post from James Landrith. Follow the links; that’s where the details are.
    http://jameslandrith.com/content/view/3934/1/

    And more on his experience with (non rape victim) women controlling the discussion on rap:
    http://jameslandrith.com/content/view/3919/1/

    From Toy Soldiers on what male victims face if they come forward:
    http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/this-is-what-it-looks-like/

  238. 238
    Lee Grandmaison

    As a male survivor of rape, I want to say thank you for writing this Mr.Fogg.

    I am happy that people are starting to tackle this issue, so that myself and others don’t have to hide our experience with this.

  239. 239
    sheaf

    Ally(235)

    The same retort could be made about use of physical force, not just threat of false accustion. Availability has a lot to do with the question.

  240. 240
    karmakin

    @Tamen 220: Sorry, just found the time to reply. The reason why I say it is that, is that I’m looking at it from the PoV of the attacker. What’s their motive? What are they getting out of it? What are they doing? How are they acting? In this case, the attacker IMO probably thought that she would be able to gain consent, and as such while there was physical force used, I wouldn’t say it was overtly violent (from the description).

    Not that I’m defending what happened of course. It’s a despicable act. And reactions vary wildly.

    But A and B are, IMO, while not entirely different, are different enough to treat them separately.. Different causes, different effects…different ways of fixing it (as much as we can).

    And I agree with the notion that the conflation of the two does victims a great deal of harm.

  241. 241
    Ginkgo

    summerblues 2 236 – “What you are talking about, however, is protection for the victims. I’m not going to agree to remove this “power” just because a few women abuse it. ”

    Me neither. That recourse to the power of the state is the basis of civil society. I was simply pointing out that you can have immense exosomatic physical power at your disposal, and that historically (white) women have had plenty of recourse to this around specific situations, or perhaps more accurately, providing this kind of protection to white women has been a pretext for men dominating other men.

  242. 242
    carnation

    @ 237 Gingko

    You’re rehearsing MRA cliches, statistically insignificant anecdotes that serve only to reinforce the misogyny of existing fools, and possibly rending other persons nervous. And it’s being done for bonkers ideological reasons.

    She could threaten to kill his children. Threaten to stab him. Threaten to do any number of things.

    The thing is, Gingko, the “threat” of false allegations impacting someone is virtually nil.

    So I’m curious, why do you spend so much time mentioning them?

  243. 243
    mel

    @ 241

    “Me neither. That recourse to the power of the state is the basis of civil society. I was simply pointing out that you can have immense exosomatic physical power at your disposal, and that historically (white) women have had plenty of recourse to this around specific situations, or perhaps more accurately, providing this kind of protection to white women has been a pretext for men dominating other men.”

    And for white men dominating white women, as well. White men had all sorts of “burdens” that required them to dominate certain groups (for their own good, naturally). In the 19th-early 20th century, neither the colonized “noble savage” nor the naive, nurturing white woman were considered responsible or enlightened enough to self-govern, and required significant protection and guidance from white men for civilization to progress. In the end, it was entirely up to these white men to decide what kinds of carrots or sticks were appropriate, and to interpret and enforce their own code of honor as patriarchs.

  244. 244
    J. J. Ramsey

    There’s this strange idea floating around MRA circles that there has been a feminist conspiracy to change the definition so that only men can rape women, not vice versa. That definition predates feminism by hundreds if not thousands of years.

    Indeed. And I have seen at least one feminist object to a portrayal of female-on-male rape in fiction that was both misandrist and misogynist. In the blog post to which I linked, she describes a case where a villainess has had sex with a hero who was in a delirium and falsely believing that he was having sex with his significant other, only for this event to be later described as an infidelity on the hero’s part. It’s pretty clear that she does not think this is okay.

  245. 245
    Paul

    One of the issues this thread has raised for me is the dilemma that men face when facing women who’re either physically or sexually aggressive. For we live in a society where there is a strong taboo regarding men hitting women. And contrary to what some radfems think most men aren’t violent towards women whatever the provocation..And some of the men who are violent towards women are reacting to women who are violent themselves.

    When i completed my degree the only job i could find was as a kitchen porter. And i remember an incident where a woman working in the kitchen grabbed this man by the balls for no reason and he responded by slapping her around the face.Yet he was made to feel by people of both sexes that he had crossed a line for simply laying hands on her. The fact she’d provoked him by grabbing him by the balls was somehow seen as being secondary to the fact that he’d slapped her around the face-and he didn’t slap her hard and there was no bruising or bleeding.. And for me that didn’t seem right given there was clearly a double-standard in operation .

    I’ve never been forced to penetrate a woman and when women have come on to me i’ve dealt with it. without any big problems. Although i remember one occasion when a woman i worked with slapped me on the arse and when i slapped her back on her arse she complained. But thankfully i had a female boss who told her in no uncertain terms that .her complaint was ridiculous given her provocation.But thinking about it it never occurred to me to complain when this woman slapped my arse.And at no stage did my boss suggest that’s what i should have done. Yet if i had complained i doubt my boss would have taken it seriously. But i’m pretty sure i would have faced disciplinary action if a woman had complained if i’d slapped her arse first.

    The fact women are smaller than men doesn’t mean we should either ignore or play down just how abusive they’re capable of being and not just to men. Yet to often that;s what we do. So men who’re the victims of any form of abuse at the hands of women aren’t taken seriously. But i would argue that women and children who’re also the victims of any form of abuse at the hands of women aren’t taken as seriously as those who’re victimised by abusive men. And this has got to change .

  246. 246
    Dani Wells

    I think it’s important that we realize that the effects of sexual assault/rape could be different for men. Freja talks about having more power irl and that being a factor in why men might not think penetrating someone against their will is the same as a woman being penetrated. Also, it’s the fear of violence that women have. I suspect coercion and sex talk or drinking is the most common way women get men to penetrate. On the other hand, men use FORCE. Just look at the lifetime figures for males raping females in the CDC study.

    There is the fear of pregnancy, the sheer violence of BEING penetrated (you bleed and bruise). It is definitely more traumatic that way for women than men.

    And for the person who is saying this isn’t about power… ugh. If it wasn’t then nobody would use it to get what they want and that’s what rape is. DERP.

  247. 247
    summerblues

    Ginko@241,

    From what little I’ve read I don’t doubt that people of color face different and more serious issues when it comes to rape. If this is your point, then please state that clearly and bring over references for all.

    Rape does not recognize color.

    White people in general have been given and still enjoy privileges above people of color that whites shouldn’t specifically have.

    I’m no longer naive enough to believe that if the gender roles were reversed in regards to “using the state’s power against men” that male rapists wouldn’t be using this threat. These are rapists; they lack some scruples. In short observation, it appears that both men and women use the same methods to acheive their goal: physical size, cornering, drugging, threats of bodily harm, verbal and emotional manipulation. The relationship of the victim and agressor also doesn’t appear to matter: from just having met to long term relationships.

    To me, there is no question that women have the capacity to be and are rapists. This is true of men as well.

  248. 248
    Danny Gibbs

    @204 carnation:
    With all due respect. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume MRA thinking is analogous with avfm, it’s essentially a “mainstream” MRA blog and, whilst some MRAs disagree with his style of “leadership”, few MRAs object to Elam’s blatant misogyny.
    Then I take pleasure in being one of those few.

    Someone linked to an avfm article earlier: when I see that, I ignore the link and the commenter. Some things are just too far beyond the pale.
    I don’t recall linking to avfm while in this thread.

    But you did start off your comment about it being okay to assume.

    The question is, did you make room for the possibility that your assumption is wrong?

    If you did that would be great but if not then there’s no reason to continue this exchange because you’ve already decided that I’m a Paul Elam fanboy.

    @208 spacklick:

    The other reason it comes up is because the criminal justice system is very reluctant to pursue people who make blatant false allegations. When the person accused has an airtight alibi that they were nowhere near the victim and the victim confesses that they were falsely accusing in order to reduce wrath from parents, that person should be prosecuted. If we did this more there would be fewer false reports and it may help victims to be believed.
    Basically. Thing is prosecuting people over false accusations is still so new that when it happens its still newsworthy. You’d think it would be easier to get justice for a person falsely accused of a crime that did not happen.

    @212 Ally:
    There’s this strange idea floating around MRA circles that there has been a feminist conspiracy to change the definition so that only men can rape women, not vice versa. That definition predates feminism by hundreds if not thousands of years.
    Nah feminism didn’t start that. It just doesn’t have as much of a problem as you would think they’d have with it. But after seeing feminists try to explain away why what a woman did to a man was not rape in a way they wouldn’t if reversed I’m not shocked at all.

    @215 PatrickG:
    To actually make a point: as a cis male myself, I’m going to weigh in on the penetration conversation. Yeah, being penetrated against your will is more traumatic than being forced to penetrate. Both are bad. One is worse. I speak from experience of both.
    Okay, but would you call them both rape or not? I consider them both to be rape no matter which side of it you’re on because they are both sex acts that you are being forced to commit against your will. The reason why I have a problem with the “which one is worse” argument is because it can easily turn into “this one is worse so the other one shouldn’t count as rape”.

    @226 Tamen:
    Perhaps one should consider that this statistically greater physical strength isn’t such a universal “get out of jail, free” card as most seem to believe?
    In my experience there are two types of people who think greater physical strength is a “get out of jail free” card. Those who don’t have that greater physical strength (and thus think that having it will solve nearly everything) and those who have it but have not considered the possibility of a situation where having it won’t solve everything.

    (And If finding it interesting that after answering that question someone asked about to folks sympathetic to MRA causes I was instantly associated with AVfM even though I’ve made no such claims or associations.)

  249. 249
    mildlymagnificent

    Thing is prosecuting people over false accusations is still so new that when it happens its still newsworthy. You’d think it would be easier to get justice for a person falsely accused of a crime that did not happen.

    The thing to get straight first is how many “false accusations” are in fact false accusations. You have to look at how rape reports are (not) actioned or classified in the first place. afaik, all the men who’ve been found by DNA evidence to have been wrongly identified were not accused/ convicted of a rape “that did not happen”. The investigation of that actual rape finished up with the wrong person accused and convicted.

    I’ve not bookmarked the report in question (I hope someone else has it handy), but there’s one analysis showing that reports of rape that turn out not to have happened at all were largely made by people suffering from mental illness – who are most unlikely to be prosecuted for this anyway – and by people other than the person in question, very often the parents of a younger woman. A portion of such reports would likely end up as being charged on the basis of age of consent laws as statutory rape or whatever it’s called in the relevant jurisdiction.

    As for the rest, I’d expect that most are solved by the investigating officers pointing out that a false charge is itself a prosecutable offence and the charges then being withdrawn. These cases are pretty hard to identify from the records available because many police departments record all charges withdrawn as false reports when that is plainly not true. (See EEB’s report – but there’s a huge Trigger Warning involved – some very nasty stuff here so don’t read it if you’re susceptible. http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/08/23/i-am-a-false-rape-allegation-statistic/ And check out the comments for other people reporting similar problems with reporting rape and pressing charges.)

    Better statistics all round from better procedures all round would be a good place to start.

  250. 250
    Ally Fogg

    mildlymagnificent

    I’ve not bookmarked the report in question (I hope someone else has it handy), but there’s one analysis showing that reports of rape that turn out not to have happened at all were largely made by people suffering from mental illness – who are most unlikely to be prosecuted for this anyway – and by people other than the person in question, very often the parents of a younger woman.

    It sounds like you’re thinking of the report I discussed here

    http://www.newstatesman.com/voices/2013/03/keir-starmers-report-rape-allegations-tells-us-more-about-their-nature-their-number

  251. 251
    PatrickG

    @ Danny Gibbs:

    Okay, but would you call them both rape or not?[1] I consider them both to be rape no matter which side of it you’re on because they are both sex acts that you are being forced to commit against your will[2]. The reason why I have a problem with the “which one is worse” argument is because it can easily turn into “this one is worse so the other one shouldn’t count as rape”[3].

    1) Legally, that depends on where I am at the time. Rape is a specific legal term, and varies based on jurisdiction. Personally (i.e. using cultural/connotative definitions), yes, I do consider them both to be rape.

    2) I agree with you almost completely, with only the caveat of legal definitions, as I noted in 1.

    3) I can see why you have that problem. I’ll clarify here: my goal wasn’t trying to dismiss either scenario. It was simply to note my personal experience and my evaluation of harm done. I guess I found it somewhat irksome to be effectively told what my experience was or should be.

    Hope that clears it up.

  252. 252
    carnation

    @ Danny Gibbs 248

    I noted that *someone* had posted a link to AVfM, not that you had.

    OK, please explain to me how an MRA can be opposed to the theories espoused by Paul Elam?

  253. 253
    AndrewV69, Visiting MRA, Purveyor of Piffle & Woo

    @ Carnation, #252

    OK, please explain to me how an MRA can be opposed to the theories espoused by Paul Elam?

    In my case I strongly disagree with jury nullification for all rape cases where the accused is male.

    YMMV

  254. 254
    mel

    @ 253

    Did Elam make a caveat for cases in which the victim was male? If not, it makes no sense to me why any MRA would support it.

  255. 255
    AndrewV69, Visiting MRA, Purveyor of Piffle & Woo

    @Mel, #254

    Did Elam make a caveat for cases in which the victim was male? If not, it makes no sense to me why any MRA would support it.

    Well, he does not explicitly say so. This is a link to the article and the last thing he says. I would suggest you read the whole thing though and make your own conclusion(s).
    http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/government-tyranny/on-jury-nullification-and-rape/

    Jury nullification may not be the appropriate route to take in a rape trial, but until society learns to approach this problem without pitchforks and torches, it must be an option that is on the table.

  256. 256
    mel

    @255

    Thanks for the link. I disagree with Elam on just about everything, including the desirability of (properly applied, unlike in People v. Jovanovic, which was rightly corrected on appeal) rape shield laws. But I appreciate the further info about his stance and did read the entire article.

  257. 257
    SallyStrange

    Just in case you still need it spelled out when you sober up, my point in the OP was that had any objective observer witnessed what happened, or any good faith arbiter known all the facts, they would have considered it to be attempted rape.

    In that case, let us just say that Freja was correctly pointing out that you are severely overestimating the probability of a woman who described a man at a party pushing her up against a wall and shoving his hand down her pants as an attempted rapist encountering “objective observers” or “good faith arbiters.” Those are hard to come by in such a misogynist society.

    Did I miss it when Freja said something about being drunk?

  258. 258
    Ally Fogg

    Sally

    Did I miss it when Freja said something about being drunk?

    That might have been a US > UK translation error from 196, where she said ” I’m a little too pissed to try to find common ground right now”

    It doesn’t change much. Drunk or angry, she was still out of order .

    you are severely overestimating the probability of a woman who described a man at a party pushing her up against a wall and shoving his hand down her pants as an attempted rapist encountering “objective observers” or “good faith arbiters.”

    No I’m not. I’m making a completely different and unrelated point. my observers and arbiters were and are completely hypothetical.

    You and freja are attempting to pick a fight against a position I do not hold and opinions I do not have.

  259. 259
    Ally Fogg

    And apologies for failing to stick to my promise on discussing that exchange on this thread. I have been discussing it with freja on the Musings on Moderation thread. Any further comments, please take them there.

  260. 260
    Sigil

    Ally Fogg

    “There’s this strange idea floating around MRA circles that there has been a feminist conspiracy to change the definition so that only men can rape women, not vice versa”.

    You’re a yellow journalist in the same vein as David Futrelle.

    The truth is that members of the mrm have published evidence of feminist objections the changing t definitions and what looks like deliberate avoidance of collecting and publishing data on female sexual aggression.

  261. 261
    hoary puccoon

    Does that man this thread is closed?

    I was about to make a different point about false “reports” of rape. People seem to be conflating “reported to the police” i.e., formally charged an innocent person with a crime; and “reported to her friends” i.e., spread some untrue and unpleasant gossip.

    Neither of these is good. The first, however, is much more serious. As far as I can tell from stories circulating around, it is also far, far less common. Conflating these two can make false rape reports seem like a much more dangerous problem than they really are.

    As far as men submitting to having intercourse under the threat of a false report to the police– Really, guys, a woman who would do that is almost certainly emotionally unstable. There’s nothing to stop her from going to the police anyhow. So, whatever you do, don’t voluntarily provide her with DNA evidence!

  262. 262
    prodegtion

    “I’ll be honest that I was, for a long time, extremely dubious about these data. They fly in the face of everything we presume to know about sexual violence. They had to be a rogue result, either the product of some sampling error, a result of differing interpretations of coercion and compulsion by male and female respondents, or some unexplained bug in the methodology.”

    Feminism 101. The evidence doesn’t agree with my emotional preconceptions? The must be a problem with the evidence.

  263. 263
    dogberry

    I can’t really complain when people mistake my gender, since I’ve chosen a handle that isn’t gender-specific. But when such mistaken assumptions are used as an argument tactic, that’s when your credibility goes down the toilet.

    May we refer to you as ‘Raging Drone’ now? PGW would approve of the concept.

  264. 264
    John C. Welch

    Hoary @261:

    There’s also the rather huge difference between false in the “I am deliberately accusing someone of a crime who I know did not in fact commit that crime” sense and the more sincere kind of false where the person truly thinks they have named the correct person.

    The latter then forks into “found not guilty” for various reasons and the “actually innocent, proven that way via DNA testing.”

    Then you have the problem of even the best eyewitness testimony being well, wrong:

    http://nersp.osg.ufl.edu/~malavet/evidence/notes/thompson_cotton.htm

    More detail on how lineups and such go wrong: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/dna/etc/police.html

    The entire frontline show: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/dna/

    It’s fascinating stuff, and I honestly feel horrible for Jennifer Thompson, who was so very sure she had the right guy, to find out “nope, you never did”.

  265. 265
    carnation

    @ Sigil 260

    Welcome back, Sid!

    How did your sharedealing go?

  266. 266
    hoary puccoon

    John C. Welsh @ 264–

    You would not believe how difficult it is to pick somebody out of a lineup if the only other time you saw him he was committing a crime against you. In my case, (relatively) fortunately, it was a simple mugging. But I was face to face with the guy during the crime. I heard him speak, telling me to get my wallet from my purse. And I couldn’t be sure enough to say “that’s the guy” at the station, even when they had him speak. (At the police station his voice was shaking with fright, which it was not during the mugging.) I think it probably was the guy who mugged me. But I thought it was better to let him go than to convict an innocent person. So that was probably another miscarriage of justice, although in the other direction.

    But cases of misidentification like that will always be a tiny minority of outcomes from crimes. And they will probably never go away, not matter how the laws and the courts and public opinionb change.

  267. 267
    Jacob Taylor

    There’s this strange idea floating around MRA circles that there has been a feminist conspiracy to change the definition so that only men can rape women, not vice versa.

    It is not a strange idea. It happened in India. Feminist groups there opposed a gender neutral definition for rape. They fought against including females as potential rapists (claiming that men accused of rape would accuse the women of rape) and males as potential victims. Feminists opposed a similar change in Indian child abuse laws, and the current law technically does not recognize women as potential child rapists, although some women have been charged under it since its passing.

  268. 268
    Sasori

    This is interesting. I think everything I wanted to say has been said already so I’m going to go with a footnote. I think that there are overall gender differences in reaction to sexual coercion and violence, but iirc they aren’t all that large, there are also gendered differences in reactions to violence and other things. These seem to reflect the gendered societal positions on violence etc. I think if it was treated differently to how it is now it would probably be thought of differently. There might be a double edged sword in terms of how female on male sexual violence is treated. I remember reading something in this article, writing about an experience in the 60′s Jenny Diski says that
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n21/jenny-diski/diary

    “My overall reaction solidified into contempt rather than shame. I didn’t think that it was the most terrible thing that had ever happened to me. It was a very unpleasant experience, it hurt and I was trapped. But I had no sense that I was especially violated by the rape itself, not more than I would have been by any attack on my person and freedom. In 1961 it didn’t go without saying that to be penetrated against one’s will was a kind of spiritual murder.”

    I don’t know, but it’s interesting to think what the consequences of more awareness, treatment, criminal-justice attention will be. They will clearly have an effect on reporting, might lead to more convictions and would obviously help people traumatised, but it may also have an effect on people who wouldn’t otherwise have felt traumatised or stigmatized.

  269. 269
    Danny Gibbs

    @252 carnation:
    OK, please explain to me how an MRA can be opposed to the theories espoused by Paul Elam?
    Simple you see what he is about and if you don’t agree with it you say something about it. Did I miss something about Paul Elam being the sole representation of all of us or something?

    Look I’m sure you can see differences among other types of affiliations like feminists, replublicans, and democrats. So I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be that hard to see that not all MRAs are on the exact same page.

    PatrickG:
    Hope that clears it up.
    I dig. And my apologies if I sounded like I was accusing you of getting into say that one scenario is rape but the other is not. I don’t think you weren.

    @249 midlymagnificent:
    The thing to get straight first is how many “false accusations” are in fact false accusations. You have to look at how rape reports are (not) actioned or classified in the first place. afaik, all the men who’ve been found by DNA evidence to have been wrongly identified were not accused/ convicted of a rape “that did not happen”. The investigation of that actual rape finished up with the wrong person accused and convicted.
    I’m not talking about cases where a rape happened and the wrong man was put away for it. Those are miscarriages of justice and I’m glad to see folks like the Innocence Project working on freeing those innocent men. What I’m talking about are cases where no crime happened. As in the even didn’t even take place much less the wrong person was punished for it.

    For example this:
    http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/2010/02/i-am-so-glad-biurny-peguero-didnt-get.html

    This is the case of a woman that quite literally made up a crime to create an alibi for her own actions. There was no evidence except for her own word apparently and the man was sentenced to 20 years. After serving about 4 of them the woman came forward to admit she made it all up…….but wanted immunity from prosecution in exchange to helping to the get that innocent man out of prison. Or perhaps Brian Banks where again no crime happened.

    Wrongly accused and falsely accused are not the same thing.

  270. 270
    Tamen

    Sasori @268:

    I don’t know, but it’s interesting to think what the consequences of more awareness, treatment, criminal-justice attention will be. They will clearly have an effect on reporting, might lead to more convictions and would obviously help people traumatised, but it may also have an effect on people who wouldn’t otherwise have felt traumatised or stigmatized.

    Let’s not forget those who in fact do experience negative effects of the abuse, but who haven’t been able to connect their hurt to them being sexually abused since society have taught them too well that men don’t get sexually abused (and certainly not by women).

    Learning why you are feeling hurt, lash out, mistrust/fear women, are self-destructive, are depressed and/or any other of the host of manifestations of trauma is, I think, very often the first stepping stone on the path towards healing.

  271. 271
    Sasori

    /Tamen.
    Yes, of course, apologies for not including that.
    I think that there are obviously lots of men who have this trauma and don’t report it or don’t know what to do and so don’t seek help, maybe because there isn’t the ‘cultural scaffolding’ around this for people to contextualise it and that greater awareness/attentiveness would obviously be good for people who’ve experienced this and society generally. I know there are lots of men who have PTSD from battlefield experiences and don’t seek help and lots of men who have various life threatening illnesses and don’t seek help or do it only when it’s absolutely necessary.

    I wonder if this is perpetrated by a small percentage of people who are repeat offenders. I’ve had a couple of run-ins with ‘habitual line steppers’ and with one I remember thinking that she was definitely ‘non neurotypical’ and probably needed some help in some way. I remember hearing ages ago that a ‘boundary breaking’ early heterosexual experiences may be common in the histories of convicted rapists. Maybe all of this feeds into itself.

    Also as someone who’s been trying to get people to acknowledge/talk about this kind of stuff, how do you feel now that it is getting a little coverage. I think that your efforts in trying to raise awareness about this kind of thing are starting to pay off.

  272. 272
    Tamen

    Sasori @271:
    A 19 year old man recently published a letter in a national newspaper telling about two women raping him and how that have left him with a destroyed sexuality – without any interest in sex at all. He received a lot of support, although the comment fields were not free of the usual apologists.

    Some of the local feminists have done pretty good qualitative research on male rape victims (of both male and female perpetrators) so the awareness is rising.

    But still male victims never seem to be included in public discourse on rape, nor on political/law-making discussion on rape, nor on Amnesty lobbying effort to change the law to not require the use of physical force from the rapist (if the victim verbally communicate non-consent yet doesn’t try to fight the rapist off to the extent that the rapist must use force to complete the rape then it currently isn’t rape by the law). And male victims (and also female perpetrators) are not only rarely included, but wen they are not included it is done in such a manner as if they don’t exist – ie. “only men can stop rape” (what about female perpetrators?), “men need to stop raping” (while female perpetrators can continue?), “rape is a crime that affect women” (male victims either doesn’t exist or should just not let it affect them?) and so on.

    A politician in the national parliament who himself was raped by a older man when he was a adolescent have stated that he is tired of always having to remind his colleagues that men are also victims and that rape isn’t exclusively a M->F crime. He said he would advocate for a governmental white paper on male rape. Unfortunately the party he is a member of are going to election promising to remove (as in not making them reserved for the father) the 14 weeks paternity leave which currently is reserved for the father.

    I recently read a governmental white paper from the early 2000 when the rape laws was changed last and there is was noted that the new wording of the law also would mean that women could perpetrate rape against men, but that that wasn’t a problem since that wouldn’t have any practical consequences.
    A few years later a woman was sentenced to 9 months for raping a man (she performed oral sex on him while he was asleep, she first denied that any sexual contact had happened, but when they found her DNA in saliva found on his genitals she admitted the contact, but claimed it was consensual, the court didn’t believe her backtracking). Her sentenced was later reduced on appeal, due to the negative impact on her by the large media attention the case got (also from international media which mostly treated it as as “man bit dog” story in the weird news sections). Little was mentioned of the impact the large media attention (and the ensuing victim blaming in the comment fields) had on the victim.

    I hope the rise in awareness keeps it’s momentum. And I think it will because we won’t be dismissed, silenced nor minimized anymore.

  273. 273
    Ally Fogg

    Tamen

    A 19 year old man recently published a letter in a national newspaper telling about two women raping him and how that have left him with a destroyed sexuality – without any interest in sex at all. He received a lot of support, although the comment fields were not free of the usual apologists.

    Can I ask if you have any more info about this, or a link? Not because I doubt you, it’s just I’m keeping track of these things and might want to follow it up.

    A politician in the national parliament who himself was raped by a older man when he was a adolescent have stated that he is tired of always having to remind his colleagues that men are also victims and that rape isn’t exclusively a M->F crime. He said he would advocate for a governmental white paper on male rape. Unfortunately the party he is a member of are going to election promising to remove (as in not making them reserved for the father) the 14 weeks paternity leave which currently is reserved for the father.

    Ditto!

  274. 274
    Lucy

    “If you are put into a flight or flight mode, but cannot do either, I would say that dramatically increases trauma.”

    I was once threatened with glassing by a group of girls, that put me in fight of flight mode.
    I’ve been threatened or intimidated by men a number of times, that put me in a state of nihilistic terror.
    Fight or flight deserted me. If you could rationalise it, which you can’t when you’re in that situation as your bain simply cleases to function, you would know that flight will be foreplay, and fight will make what you expect to be your inevitable death more painful.

    And people shouldn’t imagine this fear is only a feature of strangers in deserted places, plenty of women have had nasty ends at the hands of “normal” dates, neighbours, friends and relatives who panic or want to cover their tracks. Once a guy shows himself willing to transgress the rape boundary, then all bets are off on what he’s capable of.

    When a woman is attacked by another woman there are several things that reduce the impact: firstly you stand a fighting chance, secondly you can predict another woman’s behaviour better and can reason with her using a language you both speak, thirdly you aren’t going to run into misogynistic brutality, fourthly she isn’t going to rape you. I often wonder what the male response to violence from other men is, whether it’s similar to this, whether they ever experience the panic women feel when they know they’re in a dangerous situation.

  275. 275
    Tamen

    Ally Fogg @273:

    The translation is pretty bad, but here is a google translation of the letter from the 19 yar old man.
    I’ll point out a couple (there were quite a few more than a couple!) of places the auto-translate really misses the mark:

    “When I woke up, there was one that was almost over me, while the other fiddled with during my life.” – should be: “When I woke up, one of them was practically laying on top of me while the other one tampered with my genitals.”

    “My body had gone into place.” — “My body had frozen.”

    “I am not able even thought.” — “I can’t even bear the thought of it”

    ” All boys dream well about being forced to have sex?” — “All boys dream about being forced to have sex, right?”

    ” Fear of being “avmaskulinisert.” And so the question is: If I had gone to a reception, they made me seriously?” —- “Fear of being emasculated. And the question is: If I had gone to a rape crisis center would they have taken me seriously?”

    “And then there once so important to get the defendant to good.” — “And it remains so that the defendant should get the benefit of doubt.”

    “And clearly there is almost always in such cases.” —— “And clearly there is almost always doubt in such cases”

    “Man ought been around – not opponents.” — “One ought to be on the same team – not opponents.”

    “Recently I witnessed a group of girls who hånflirte of my story, it certainly was for me to pass as a man to be raped.” —– “Recently a group of girls reacted with grins and mockery to my story – that I as a man probably had deserved being raped.”

    “Too bad I am woman, then I could just ripped me granny panties and turned away.” — “Too bad I am not a woman, then I could’ve just pulled up my granny panties and turned my back to them”.

    Here is the link to the article interviewing the Conservative Party politician calling for not only a white paper as I initially stated, but for an action plan for raped men.

    Sorry about the translations, but I don’t have the time and energy to translate both articles in full now. I hope you can make some tails and ends of it (was that the right idiom?).

  276. 276
    Tamen

    When a woman is attacked by another woman there are several things that reduce the impact: firstly you stand a fighting chance, secondly you can predict another woman’s behaviour better and can reason with her using a language you both speak, thirdly you aren’t going to run into misogynistic brutality, fourthly she isn’t going to rape you.

    Isn’t this a pretty pretty simplistic and essentialistic list of absolutes? I am pretty sure you wouldn’t stand a fighting chance against boxer Cesilie Brækhus for instance. I am also sure that irrational aggressive behaviour is pretty unpredictable whatever the gender of the aggressor. The idea that women can’t be misogynists and brutal are also new to me. And the idea that a woman cannot rape another women makes me think you could gain from checking out this book for instance: http://books.google.com/books/about/Woman_To_Woman_Sexual_Violence.html?id=nHg40DDZWjAC&redir_esc=y

  277. 277
    John C. Welch

    Lucy @274

    I’d much rather be attacked by a man. Not out of any machismo, but because I know that an effective defense in an attack, other than running away, (which really is the best defense. Hard to get hit when you’re running like hell) is going to leave the other person somewhat battered and bruised as well as me.

    If my attacker is a man, I have a decent chance of being treated fairly, and my attacker will have a very hard time of feigning innocence.

    If my attacker is a woman, I’m going to curl up in a ball if i can’t outrun them and hope that I don’t get killed, because if I fight back, all she has to do is say “he hit me” or “he hit me first” and I’m wrong. it may eventually get sorted out, but I’ll do some jail time, and run a high risk that I’ll be labeled a domestic abuser for life. Because that’s what the press will run with and even if they apologize and retract, that retraction will never have the SEO results of the original accusation.

  278. 278
    carnation

    @. John Welch 270

    That’s one of the silliest things that i have ever read.

    If your attacker is a man you have a decent chance of being “treated fairly”. Unless The Marquis of Queensbury rules are applied, protagonists in a fight rarely treat each other fairly. You’re also assuming that the fight will be between two people, very often this isn’t the case. I’ve witnessed groups of men attack a single man on a number of occasions.

    Your second paragraph is an embarrassing mishmash of half baked infantile myths. Do you understand how police and justice systems work? Do you honestly believe that all a woman has to do is say “he hit me” to have someone jailed and labelled a domestic abuser for life? Do you honestly believe that the press will follow the story in the way that you describe? If you do, I strongly urge you to study jurisprudence and police procedures and to avoid MRA blogs. They are full of similar juvenile, lurid gibberish.

  279. 279
    kacyray

    This subject is going to make gender feminist’s true colors shine through. We live in a society that regards women as more deserving of protection than men – this is indisputable. Any mention of the neglect of male sexual exploitation, violence, or rape is inconsequential to them – especially if such exploitation comes at the hands of a woman. Any mention of this inequity will be written off as “men’s rights activism”.

    A guy I know told me a story just yesterday about an incident he got into with his wife. They were both drunk. Physical violence took place. Cops were called. An arrest was made.

    Now… did you automatically assume it was he who hit her and got arrested? I’d be willing to bet a plug nickel most folks would make that assumption.

    What actually happened is that they got in each others faces… and since he’s bigger, he had her backed her into a corner… but he did not lay a hand on her. But she up and clocked him in the jaw.

    He immediately saw this as a game changer. He stepped away from the situation and called 911 and requested police assistance. The showed up and immediately began arresting him. He protested that it was he who called them, and that he was the victim. They were completely confused as to why they had been called out and kept asking him what he expected them to do (he’s a pretty big guy).

    He told them he wanted them to do their job – arrest the person who assaulted him! Arrest the person committing domestic violence.

    He wound up getting extremely angry because they didn’t want to. do that They kept pointing out that he was bigger and why couldn’t he control the situation? After getting their badge numbers and writing a very long statement regarding their lack of professionalism, they finally arrested her a couple hours later, but not before they confiscated every gun he owns (assuming that he was somehow a danger, although it was he who was completely in the right, and going about everything the right way.)

    (He felt bad after it all went down – took the blame for it when it went to court – didn’t press charges. They both recognize that there was plenty of blame to go around, and that the whole thing could’ve been handled better. All is well now.)

    Still, it’s an example of how women are shown legal and social favoritism.

    Did you see on TV the other day when those two race car drivers got tangled up? After the race, one racers girlfriend walked straight up to the other driver and smacked him without warning or provocation. He said she hit him so hard he felt like his jaw was dislocated and he saw stars.

    “This crazy lady comes shouting at me, and I had no idea, didn’t even understand her, she just started shouting,” Papis told ESPN.com some four hours after the altercation at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. “And all the sudden, she took a full hand — and she slapped me so hard. I’m not kidding. My jaw got dislocated and my left ear is still ringing, big time.” Papis did not retaliate.

    “What do you do? You don’t hit a lady,” Papis said.

    He’s right. In our culture, hitting a man is acceptable. Hitting a woman is not. The woman suffered no legal consequences for smacking him in broad daylight. Had it been him that smacked her, three things that *didn’t* happen to her would have happened to him: 1) Everyone in the surrounding area would’ve immediately come to her defense and 2) He’d have been charged with assault, 3) He’d have gained a permanent reputation as a violent, abusive, dangerous person.

    This is why I reject the feminist boogeyman known as the “patriarchy” and the privilege trope.

    I realize the OP involved rape and my anecdotes involve violence – sorry for that. But my point is that not only rape but *aggression in general* from women against men is considered acceptable.

    (Apologies in advance if this has already been brought up in comments – I haven’t read through all ~300 of them, but I felt compelled to contribute.)

  280. 280
    kacyray

    @Lucy – 274

    I was once threatened with glassing by a group of girls, that put me in fight of flight mode.

    What’s glassing?

    When a woman is attacked by another woman there are several things that reduce the impact: firstly you stand a fighting chance, secondly you can predict another woman’s behaviour better and can reason with her using a language you both speak,

    This is a fascinating thing you just said. Do you realize what would happen if you went into any of the feminist-dominated blogs on this network and suggested that women and men speak two different languages?

    (Well… let me rephrase that. Being that your name is Lucy, not much would probably happen. But do you realize what would happen to *me* if *I* went into one of those blogs and suggested such a thing?)

    thirdly you aren’t going to run into misogynistic brutality,

    Because men are presumably misogynistic and women never are? Did I read that correctly?

    fourthly she isn’t going to rape you. I often wonder what the male response to violence from other men is, whether it’s similar to this, whether they ever experience the panic women feel when they know they’re in a dangerous situation.

    1. Women have an immeasurably better chance of having someone come to their defense than men do. I personally would let two men duke it out for a while before intervening, but if it were man/woman, I would immediately intervene (call it what you want – that’s my ethic). Men do not enjoy that privilege.

    2. Women are free to scream and plead for help with social impunity. Men have to concern themselves not only with what is happening to them at that moment, but also with they way they handle that situation because they know that it could very well have second and third order effects. If you scream like a little girl while fighting someone and a video of that winds up on YouTube, you’re pretty much going to live the rest of your life celibate. Women enjoy the privilege of not having to worry about the outcome of that altercation affecting their future social perception. In fact, they know they will gain the sympathy of everyone around them if they take a beating. Men often do not enjoy that privilege.

    3. Most men recognize that their social value is measured not by their ability to physically dominate women, but rather by their ability to dominate other men. This means that a man who finds himself on the losing end of a physical altercation has a LOT more to worry about than a woman who does. The guy who is on the winning side of said altercation is a lot less likely to go easy on a man than he is on a woman. Men know this, so the stakes are much higher.

    So there’s three points that should help you understand. I am not saying that men have it worse. I’m saying that men have it different. And yes, there is often panic involved. Being physically accosted, assaulted, or dominated is bad no matter who you are. But it’s bad for different reasons, depending on a lot of different things.

  281. 281
    PatrickG

    @ kacyray:

    There are so many unbelievable things in your comments that deserve response. Sucks that I’m about to go to bed, or I’d do a thorough fisking. But a few things stick out:

    (1) On multiple occasions you refer to what you would have done and/or what you would prefer to have happened. Boys and girls, let’s all say ‘irrelevant’ together! Your experiences don’t necessarily transfer. That’s pretty straightforward.

    (2) On multiple occasions you refer to women responding ‘badly’, because (tied into point 1) they’re acting irrationally. If you’re backed into a corner by someone much larger than you, are you just supposed to crouch there and hope? Let me quote you:

    What actually happened is that they got in each others faces… and since he’s bigger, he had her backed her into a corner… but he did not lay a hand on her. But she up and clocked him in the jaw.

    Gee, you think she might have been responding to a perceived threat? I mean, all he did was back her into a corner! For fuck’s sake man, THINK.

    In our culture, hitting a man is acceptable. Hitting a woman is not.

    Are you even living on this planet? Do you not understand the prevalence of domestic violence? Do you not understand the myriad factors that go into whether or not charges are pressed, whether police are interested, whether family influence dominates? In other words, do you have any clue what you’re talking about?

    I’ll close with this:

    Women are free to scream and plead for help with social impunity.

    How generous of you to allow them this option. I mean, it’d be awful if they got punished for crying out for help, right?

    Really, did you even read the original post, for fuck’s sake? You’ve managed to turn the very real pressures against men reporting into some sort of ludicrous charade in which the bitches rule everything!!!!!! .

    Get a grip, man.

    Violence against men is a real issue. It deserves attention. But you’ve wandered in here and spewed idiocy all over the place. Have you thought about using that thing called your brain?

  282. 282
    kacyray

    @PatrickG 281

    My intent was to demonstrate an inequity in the way violence and abusive behavior is handled depending on who it is directed toward. Nothing you’ve said to me in your comment serves to counter that point.

    I alluded to this once, but I’ll make it clearer now: I am NOT arguing that violence against men is somehow a more grievous breach of ethics than violence against women. I am NOT arguing that it’s worse to be smacked down as a man than it is as a woman. I am not even arguing that the danger factor is equal between men and women.

    What I speaking to is the *response* of society to issues of violence. There is an inequity there. Do you dispute this? Do you dispute the proposition that society as a general rule takes violence towards men less seriously

    In addition, I also attempted to answer Lucy’s question on how things play out in the psychology of men who are taking a beating and how it might be different from the way it plays out in the psychology of a woman. I tried to make it clear that there are different dynamics at work – but I am not contending that men are somehow in worse danger.

    The question of who is in more danger at the hands of an assailant cannot be answered with a general statement. It depends on a million variables. But the normal dynamics can be generalized.

    If a man attacks a woman, it’s usually considered assault.
    If a man attacks a man, it’s usually considered a fight.

    Again – I’m just stating that it’s usually different dynamic. Whether assaulted or in a fight, ones life and well-being is at stake. Now… on to your microaggressions.

    On multiple occasions you refer to what you would have done and/or what you would prefer to have happened. Boys and girls, let’s all say ‘irrelevant’ together!

    What I would have done and what I prefer is relevant insofar as knowing what position I’m arguing from is relevant.

    On multiple occasions you refer to women responding ‘badly’, because (tied into point 1) they’re acting irrationally.

    That’s because that’s the topic of this thread. Aggression toward men from women.

    Gee, you think she might have been responding to a perceived threat? I mean, all he did was back her into a corner! For fuck’s sake man, THINK.

    First off, she’s married to him. She knows he’s not a threat. He never has been. He never will be. Secondly, you’re speculating on her motive for throwing that punch. Since neither you nor I have ever spoken to her, speculation isn’t useful for this discussion. She socked him. He did not lay a hand on her. That’s the relevant information here. The fact that, after she “gollywhomped” him (his word), he did not physically retaliate (even though he was reportedly smashed) should be enough to demonstrate that he is not a threat to her. I’m not sure what more evidence one would need.

    And I presume, then, that if had been she who was bulldogging him into a corner, you’d be engaged in the same violence-apologetics you’re currently engaged in now if he had socked her, right?

    No, of course not. Because you’ll only engage in violence-apologetics when it’s female-on-male.

    Your victim-blaming and violence-apologetics are noted.

    How generous of you to allow them this option. I mean, it’d be awful if they got punished for crying out for help, right?

    But not so bad when men are punished for it, right? Of course not.

    Welcome to sexism 101, courtesy of PatrickG.

  283. 283
    Tamen

    Since some people seem to have trouble seeing sexually aggressive women who sexually assault someone as frightening: Trigger Warning (I am not kidding): http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshh7MxarEAXVO0Wji16

  284. 284
    inappropriate

    @carnation

    MRA theory holds that false allegations are rife, that there is a “sexual grievance industry” and that victims of sexual violence should be “held accountable” for their intoxication and/or “provocative” behaviour.

    I’d like to ask those who are sympathetic to the MRA cause this:

    In what way do these commonly held MRA theories help male victims of the types of abuse discussed in this thread?

    They don’t, directly – but they help remove the taboo around discussion of toxic femininity.

    Women who sexually assault men and women who lie about being sexually assaulted themselves are likely to share some personality traits – specifically an overblown sense of entitlement / victimhood and a perception that men only exist to serve their needs.

    Men should be able to recognize this type of woman and the danger she represents without being called a misogynist, and this simply isn’t possible under the feminist world view.

  285. 285
    John C. Welch

    Carnation @278

    I wasn’t talking about the other person in the fight. I was talking about the legal system treating you fairly

    The last part isn’t something I came up with on my own, but something told to me by cops in multiple jurisdictions over the years, I’m going to not assume they were talking out of their asses. Male and female cops alike have said the same thing: if there’s an altercation involving a man and a woman, the woman’s claims of assault are going to get a higher weight, at least initially.

    But, it is nice to see that once again, someone expressing an opinion or coming from a background with different situations than yours is treated with some room for “maybe their experience is different, and so they have different views. I don’t have to *agree* with them, but maybe I shouldn’t assume they’re being dishonest or deceitful right off the bat”

    Oh don’t be silly, like that’s ever going to happen.

    THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE.

  286. 286
    Adiabat

    Hi Ally, hope you had a good holiday.

    Nice post btw, I disagree with a few minor points (your use of the subjective stat “twice as much” instead of the objective stat “1 in 3″ is generally frowned upon by us stats geeks. Also your assertion that “the ever present threat of rape has been used as a primary tool of male domination over women” for thousands of years without evidence; I’d think a reassessment of that claim would be more apt considering that you’ve just potentially demolished one of the assumptions that it is based on) but I agree generally.

    I was dismayed at seeing some of the apologism in the comments from people who should know better (but tbh I’ve come to expect no more from some of the usual suspects on here so it was no surprise). Glad to see you handled it well.

  287. 287
    Drager

    Have been reading this on and off since the post went up and have been hesitating about posting. This has been a really interesting discussion, although at times a little difficult to read. I wanted to contribute a little bit about how men feel as the victims of violence, or at least how I feel/felt.

    One of the reasons I was hesitating is that I don’t want my comments to be used to say “see men aren’t privileged” because that’s not my point, we are privileged. Further I was worried that my comment would either be used to push concepts I disagree with or be trivialised into nothing as they are really the only responses I have gotten to mentioning this in the past (aside from one very supportive friend).

    I am a big guy(6’6″) physically strong, trained in Ju shin jitsu, academically accomplished and generally considered quite imposing, so people don’t take me seriously why I mention I was physically abused by my ex girlfriend (5’1″) average strength, untrained. Oddly when pointing out my academic/intellectual credentials to help discredit my story no one ever points out hers (she’s got multiple degrees and is a teacher).

    Essentially what happened was that when I did something to upset her (which could include not wanting sex, or in one case not wanting to force myself on her… that’s hard to explain) she would become angry and then sometimes violent hitting me with things, sometimes pillows, sometimes pans. I would simply curl up in a corner, cover my head and cry.

    Apparently because I could easily have fought back its my fault and,frankly I still think that, but I don’t know to this day if I could fight back.

    And I feel bad about that as it is pretty clearly misogynystic to be willing to fight back against a man (which I have done when attacked) and be completely unable to against a woman.

    So yeah, thanks for the discussion and I’ll go back to reading now, just kind of needed to share that as I don’t really have anywhere I can mention it and here it is kinda relevant.

  288. 288
    Lucy

    @kacyray

    “What’s glassing?”

    When somebody smashes their drinks glass and grinds it in your face.

    “This is a fascinating thing you just said. Do you realize what would happen if you went into any of the feminist-dominated blogs on this network and suggested that women and men speak two different languages?

    (Well… let me rephrase that. Being that your name is Lucy, not much would probably happen. But do you realize what would happen to *me* if *I* went into one of those blogs and suggested such a thing?)”

    Not many feminists believe that men and women are the same, think the same, communicate the same, want the same. Why do you think they want female representation in our institutions? Why do you think women gravitate towards one another? Why do you think feminists promote female-only meetings and forums?

    “Because men are presumably misogynistic and women never are? Did I read that correctly?”

    Of course women are misogynistic, but it reveals itself as the circle of shame in Heat Magazine, rather than say making films like “hostel”, the porn industry, being battered to death with a steering lock and “bitch” on your bedroom wall in your blood.

    “1. Women have an immeasurably better chance of having someone come to their defense than men do. I personally would let two men duke it out for a while before intervening, but if it were man/woman, I would immediately intervene (call it what you want – that’s my ethic). Men do not enjoy that privilege.”

    Not if there is nobody around they don’t. You ever find yourself in a deserted city underpass at night with a man sidling up to you, or a minicab driver following you along the path next to a common famed for being the siteof a recent serial killing and you don’t expect intervention.

  289. 289
    Ginkgo

    patrick G @ 281 – “In our culture, hitting a man is acceptable. Hitting a woman is not.

    Are you even living on this planet? Do you not understand the prevalence of domestic violence? Do you not understand the myriad factors that go into whether or not charges are pressed, whether police are…”

    And a major factor is the Duluth Model and “predominant aggressor laws” in some states and Neanderthal attitudes on the part of the police in others. So you get cases like David Woods in California, confined to a wheelchair, knocked out of it by his wife (who had previously injured him badly enough to hospitalize him) being arrested for DV when he called police to save his life.
    http://huiselijkgeweld.wordpress.com/tag/david-woods/

    “Do you not understand the prevalence of domestic violence?”

    Most of which is imnitiated by women according to the CDC. You make it sound like DV is some patriarchl tacitc to subdue women, or that women are the primary or even predominant victims, or some such shit. You could stand to educate yourself on the issue of DV, quite obviously.

  290. 290
    Ginkgo

    Here’s one that in the news at the moment that shows what a man can expect when he comnes forward about sexual abuse form a woman, even when it happened when he was a child:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10652961&pnum=0

  291. 291
    Adiabat

    Drager (287): It’s so bad that you are disbelieved when you tell your story. It’s exactly that attitude which needs to be tackled, as well as myths about violence “not being as bad” when it happens to a bigger person.

    P.S Obviously there are going to be some who disagree with you on theory, but I’d like to think that people here have enough empathy not to be such an asshole when you’ve just opened up and shared your story. Obviously there have been a couple of people behaving this way upthread to men who have told their story, but hopefully they’ve learnt some manners after Ally intervened.

  292. 292
    kacyray

    Lucy @288

    When somebody smashes their drinks glass and grinds it in your face.

    Someone did that to you? Good god… that is horrible. I can’t believe that it happens enough that there’s a name for it. I’ve never heard that one.

    Not many feminists believe that men and women are the same, think the same, communicate the same, want the same. Why do you think they want female representation in our institutions? Why do you think women gravitate towards one another? Why do you think feminists promote female-only meetings and forums?

    This statement is true or false depending on which brand of feminist you’re speaking to. Feminists come in all varieties, much like any general ideology. There are feminists (such as some very close friends of mine) who honestly do regard themselves as simply favoring political and legal equality for both sexes. I identify and fully support this ideology. I’ll go to bat for it every time.

    But then there are the feminists who *claim* that’s their goal, but will deride anyone who attempts to point out obvious difference between the sexes. I’ve been flamed for invoking the “Gender essence trope” on more than one occasion over at some of these other FTB blogs.

    It is refreshing to hear you speak the plain truth – we DO speak different languages. I just wondered if you realized that the truth you speak runs diametrically opposed to the standard FTB party-line.

    Of course women are misogynistic, but it reveals itself as the circle of shame in Heat Magazine, rather than say making films like “hostel”, the porn industry, being battered to death with a steering lock and “bitch” on your bedroom wall in your blood.

    I am with you so far.

    Not if there is nobody around they don’t. You ever find yourself in a deserted city underpass at night with a man sidling up to you, or a minicab driver following you along the path next to a common famed for being the siteof a recent serial killing and you don’t expect intervention.

    While what you’re saying is correct and true, this situation represents the least likely scenario. You’re naming some very low-probability scenarios here (how often do you find yourself under a deserted city underpass at night??). Most of the times when these assaults occur they happen with people either in sight or within yelling distance.

    So, when i answered your question about what its like for a man, I did so without the qualification of it being an assault taking place in an isolated situation. You hadn’t specified that yet. That does change the equation, and that would change my answer.

    It would suck to come out on the losing end of such a fight, I can tell you that. No matter who you are.

  293. 293
    kacyray

    Lucy: I re-read your other comment and I see that you were threatened with glassing… not actually a victim of it.

    Still, that’s one hell of a threat. I think my fight-or-flight meter would tilt to the “flight” side.

  294. 294
    CerberusCheerleader

    @Drager

    Further I was worried that my comment would either be used to push concepts I disagree with or be trivialised into nothing as they are really the only responses I have gotten to mentioning this in the past

    You know, I have not much sympathy for (what I perceive to be) masculine traits, nor do I have any patience for this whole internet anti-feminist propaganda nonsense. I have also NO problems to relate to your story. I feel for you. I guess my empathy must be working or something. Unlike with these people who give you these shady reactions. They must have no brains and no hearts.

    Apparently because I could easily have fought back its my fault and, frankly I still think that, but I don’t know to this day if I could fight back.

    If you could have (easily) fought back, you would have. Mental abuse is real abuse. Psychological pressure is real pressure. It’s as real as a physical constraint. I’m absolutely convinced that a lot of these abusive people are not just randomly aggressive. They KNOW bloody well how they have to behave in order to control a partner in a relationship.

  295. 295
    Ginkgo

    ” Psychological pressure is real pressure. It’s as real as a physical constraint. I’m absolutely convinced that a lot of these abusive people are not just randomly aggressive. They KNOW bloody well how they have to behave in order to control a partner in a relationship.”

    Yes they do and they work it. Did you see where George Zimmerman was charged with domestic violence and his wife won’t pres charges?
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-george-zimmerman-police-custody-20130909,0,3625334.story

    That’s the Stockholm Syndrome he’s working on her.

  296. 296
    carnation

    @ John C Welch 285

    Yeah, um, I hope you take this in the spirit it’s meant to. I’m not saying that you’re necessarily lying, but I am saying that you’re at least the fourth MRA online that’s repeated a variant of that story, complete with multiple jurisdictions and victimised men. It could be a coincidence that multiple adherents to a statistically insignificant “movement” have had the same experience, but I’m sceptical by nature. It also flies in the face of my own experiences and studies. But you never know, and like I said, I’m not saying you’re necessarily lying.

    It’s safe to say that, for virtually everyone, when they’re attacked, their first thoughts are on to get themselves safe ASAP.

    @ Inappropraite 284

    You realise that the concept of a toxic interpretation of gender, and the accompanying sense of entitlement, are mainstays of feminisms that veer towards the radical? MRAs co opted the discourse, with their own wacky stereotypes and myths to create a bank of pseudo academic concepts.

    There are several glaring and obvious problems with your comments. Firstly, if you accept that a/ there are more male victims of sexual abuse than generally accepted and that b/ they are more hesitant than females in reporting their abuse and c/ that this is a wrong that needs corrected (I agree with all three points), then it is impossible to simultaneously support theories and praxis that would increase the scepticism with which these victims would be received with by the appropriate agencies.

    To all and sundry, “glassing” is a very nasty business, I have a scar on my left cheek that can attest to its nastiness, thankfully now faded.

  297. 297
    Drager

    Thanks for the supportive comment CerberusCheerleader. I will think on it.

    Re:Glassing

    Where I’m from we have 2 related terms, glassing as described above and bottling, similar but the bottle is broken over the victims head before being used as a sharp weapon…. Crap like this is common enough to need names in some places.

  298. 298
    Ally Fogg

    Hi folks, thanks for all the comments.

    Particularly Drager, glad you felt you could post that, glad you did. It is important to hear.

    And Tamen, thanks for that translation. As for that video link…. jesus fucking christ that is horrible. Really, really shocking.

  299. 299
    PatrickG

    @ kacyray:
    I’m quite willing to admit that I may have misread you, and if so, I’ll apologize. In any case, I did express myself more vehemently than I would have preferred to, so definite apologies for that. With that in mind, let’s get to your response.

    What I speaking to is the *response* of society to issues of violence. There is an inequity there. Do you dispute this? Do you dispute the proposition that society as a general rule takes violence towards men less seriously

    I don’t necessarily agree with this, but then I think we’re coming from different places. Unlike you, I would (and have) intervene in physical altercations between men (instead of just letting them “duke it out”). Unlike you, I’m not granting that YouTube-imposed celibacy is a natural consequence of seeking help (even if one “screams like a little girl). Unlike you, I’ve seen people respond quite positively — and with great sympathy — to men who are victims of physical assault.
    The hell do you live?
    Now, certainly there’s varying cultural expectations by gender. But as a man myself, I’m pushing back against this bizarre world you postulate. Certainly anecdotal on my end, I’ll grant that, but my lived experience is contrary to yours, I guess.

    Because you’ll only engage in violence-apologetics when it’s female-on-male.
    Your victim-blaming and violence-apologetics are noted.

    I think it’s worth going back to this part of my response:

    What actually happened is that they got in each others faces… and since he’s bigger, he had her backed her into a corner… but he did not lay a hand on her. But she up and clocked him in the jaw.

    Gee, you think she might have been responding to a perceived threat? I mean, all he did was back her into a corner! For fuck’s sake man, THINK.

    Is this really such a difficult concept? Altercation in progress, he’s bigger, she’s backed into a corner. I, for one, find it quite plausible that she perceived a threat. Particularly since both parties were, by your account, intoxicated.
    What happened with the police afterwards was untenable, but that’s a separate issue from perception of threat, which you appear to dismiss. By your statement, you imply that fear is only valid when physical contact (laying a hand on, if you will) is present.

    First off, she’s married to him. She knows he’s not a threat. He never has been. He never will be. Secondly, you’re speculating on her motive for throwing that punch. Since neither you nor I have ever spoken to her, speculation isn’t useful for this discussion.

    I’ll agree that speculation isn’t useful. I’ll agree that I engaged in it myself. I’ll point out that you’re doing the same. How can you possibly know that she knows he’s not a threat, never has been, and never will be? Is this really just because they’re married? Hard to read you otherwise, and I hope it’s self-evident that the proposition of “marriage -> no threat” is ridiculous.
    Are you really privy to all the details of their life? All I have to go on is your anecdote of what this guy told you. I find your conclusions based on his reporting to be unsubstantiated.

    How generous of you to allow them this option. I mean, it’d be awful if they got punished for crying out for help, right?

    But not so bad when men are punished for it, right? Of course not.

    Should men have the same ability to seek help? Of course. If I implied anything else, that’s the failure of my communication.
    I’ll freely admit I probably misread you — I took your statement to be more along the lines of women shouldn’t have the right to cry out for help, since men — in your world — don’t either. I’m fairly confident that isn’t what you intended, so my apologies.

    We live in a society that regards women as more deserving of protection than men – this is indisputable.

    I would posit that the changing attitudes towards DV against women is because of a great deal of very recent effort by feminist activists around intimate partner violence. It’s why I reacted so strongly to your claim that hitting a a woman is not acceptable in our culture. It still is. We still have people ardently trying to make it more acceptable (hello Republicans against the VAWA!). And given events like Steubenville, It’s trivial to show that raping a woman is still quite culturally acceptable to large segments of our society.
    Violence against men also needs to become unacceptable. No argument there. I don’t, however, think that focusing on how women have it “better” is the way to go about it.
    @ Ginkgo:

    Most of which [domestic violence] is imnitiated by women according to the CDC.

    Um, did you read the same CDC report I did? Here, let’s go read it together.

    More than one-third of women in the United States (35.6% or approximately 42.4 million) have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime (Table 4.1). One in 3 women (32.9%) has experienced physical violence by an intimate partner and nearly 1 in 10 (9.4%) has been raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime.

    More than 1 in 4 men in the United States (28.5%) has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. Most of the violence reported by men was physical violence; only 2.1% reported experiencing stalking by an intimate partner (Table 4.2) …
    About 1 in 10 men in the United States (9.9% or an estimated 11.2 million) has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner and reported at least one measured impact related to these or other forms of violent behavior in that relationship

    Even granting under-reporting by men, how many of those 42.4 million women initiated domestic violence? How do you possibly conclude that women are the primary instigators of domestic violence?

    You make it sound like DV is some patriarchl tacitc to subdue women, or that women are the primary or even predominant victims, or some such shit. You could stand to educate yourself on the issue of DV, quite obviously.

    It’s why I’m here, commenting on this thread and hoping to learn. You might also note that — on this thread — I’ve said I’ve been a victim of female sexual coercion and assault. Not that that gives me any special exemption from being wrong, but I do think it’s worth pointing out that I’m quite aware that sexual violence against men is real and needs to address.
    I think these issues are hugely important, and I’d like to apologize for my rather incendiary post. I could — and will — make more of an effort to tone down my responses when discussing these issues.
    However, I find it objectionable when broad generalizations are made on the basis of anecdotal evidence (kacyray), or when people misrepresent the data that’s under discussion (Gingko).

  300. 300
    Eivind Berge

    Here is the letter from the 19-year-old Norwegian man who was supposedly “raped” by two women and thus destroyed sexually, translated to English and exposed as a hoax of feminist propaganda:

    http://emmatheemo.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/man-says-two-women-raped-him-hoax-or-not-either-way-hes-a-feminist-promoting-a-ridiculous-definition-of-rape/

    Other than that, I see James Landrith is still playing the professional victim on the second decade now, and even he has been exposed as a fraud by Angry Harry, who caught him changing his story based on “recovered memories.”

    It should tell you everything you need to know about the significance of women “raping” men that you need to rely on hoaxes to find men traumatized by it.

  301. 301
    Sans sanity

    “It should tell you everything you need to know about the significance of women “raping” men”

    Mmmmmm, nope, not everything, and not much at all really. I mean, in the context of the gigantic amount of research in the OP ( which at this point I’m guessing you didn’t read), the only thing your post tells me is how far up your arse your head is….. So unless it was a woman who inserted it their, and without your consent, it doesn’t really tell me a thing about women raping men.

  302. 302
    Ani J. Sharmin

    Thanks for writing. First, I’m very sorry to hear about what happened to you.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve been trying to learn about sexual assault and domestic violence, but I don’t find it startling that there is female sexual aggression. In most of the educational/PSA type material I’ve read, there’s an acknowledgement that rape affects everyone, even though there is a gender disparity (as well as other disparities) and many people don’t report. (I think this is why, when people accuse feminists of not caring about female-on-male rape, or not knowing it exists, I get upset—because, in my experience, the people I’ve read know it exists).

    Regarding the disparity in percentages, there are many other things (e.g. certain diseases, poverty) that also affect one group more often than another group, for a variety of reasons. I think it’s important to acknowledge both that (a) the disparity exists and (b) that it’s wrong no matter who is hurt.

    This discussion reminds me of something I read recently that was, oddly enough, about fiction. It was a discussion about fantasy novels that are set in a pseudo-medieval setting and the depiction of rape in these novels. There are people who argue that depictions of male-on-female rape is realistic, and should therefore be included. Some female readers are, understandably, bothered by this content in books they want to enjoy. Regarding this topic, Sophia McDougall wrote a post called “The Rape of James Bond” pointing out, among other things, that rape of men is also realistic, and yet fans don’t advocate for there being rape scenes with male victims in novels in order to make it more realistic. In an odd way, I think that discussion, though about fiction, is telling about the different ways in which rape is treated based on gender; male-on-female rape is acknowledged to exist, but is considered realistic and excused, while female-on-male rape is wrongly considered non-existent.

  303. 303
    Learing Understanding

    First off, she’s married to him. She knows he’s not a threat. He never has been. He never will be.

    Wow…this is a naive statement to put it mildly. Married people have been known to kill each other.

    I have been backed out into a corner a couple of times in my life by partners who were scaring the shit out of me with their anger. Anger that had less to do with anything I did and more to do with the sum of their issues and conditioning. These people were on one occasion male and one occasion female, both were interested in getting me so freaked out as to fight back so they could look like a martyr and I would look like bad. When this kind of complicated bullshit starts happening in a relationship it can escalate into really scary stuff. It’s just better to get out of the relationship and get help doing so if necessary.

  304. 304
    Eivind Berge

    “I mean, in the context of the gigantic amount of research in the OP (which at this point I’m guessing you didn’t read), the only thing your post tells me is how far up your arse your head is…..”

    I said it should tell you everything you need to know about how few men are traumatized by female sexual coercion. By the OP’s own admission, all that research says most men react mildly to it. The reseach indicates that female sexual coercion happens, but so what? The fact that only extreme outliers of men react like women do to sexual coercion by the opposite sex should tell you that we are dealing with qualitatively separate phenomena that do not belong in the same category. Female sexual coercion most certainly does not deserve to be called “rape.” In my view, it is absurd for female sexual coercion to be criminalized at all, and grossly unfait to punish women for it as if it were rape.

  305. 305
    Tamen

    One really ought to read the complete NISVS 2010 Report rather than quoting from it’s executive summary as there are certain omissions there. The finding that there is a parity between the number of women reporting rape and attempted rape and men reporting being made to penetrate or an attempt at such in the last 12 months are one such omission – due to space constraints according to CDC themselves.

    Another one is regarding DV, or more specifically psychological aggression which includes expressive aggression and coercive control, as stated on page 10 in the report:

    Psychological aggression, including expressive aggression and coercive
    control, is an important component of intimate partner violence. Although research suggests that psychological aggression may be even more harmful than physical violence by an intimate partner (Follingstad, Rutledge, Berg, Hause, & Polek, 1990), there is little agreement about how to determine when psychologically aggressive behavior becomes abusive and can be classified as intimate partner violence. Because of the lack of consensus in the field at the time of this report, the prevalence of psychologically aggressive behaviors is reported, but is not included in the overall prevalence estimates of intimate partner violence.

    Anyone willing to bet on the distribution of victims gender-wise of psychological aggression including expressive aggression and coercive control?

    Let’s see for ourselves on table 4.9 and 4.10 page 46:

    Lifetime numbers:
    Any psychological aggression
    Men: 48.8%
    Women: 48.4%

    Any expressive aggression:
    Men: 31.9%
    Women: 40.3%

    Coercive control:
    Men: 42.5 %
    Women: 41.1 %

    Last 12 months
    Any psychological aggression
    Men: 18.1 %
    Women: 13.9 %

    Any expressive aggression:
    Men: 9.3 %
    Women: 10.4 %

    Coercive control:
    Men: 15.2 %
    Women: 10.7 %

    On a discussion on BBC’s radio show “The Women’s Hour” where the issue brought up was male victims of DV in light of the fact that The Crime Survey for England and Wales 2011-12 indicating that more married men than married women reported experiencing partner abuse in the past year guests Dr Catherine Donovan of Sunderland University and Jane Keeper, Director of Operations at Refuge pointed out that coercive control was to be included as DV (of course their belief was that this was predominately something men did to their intimate partners) and stressed it’s importance.

    If we look at physical violence by a partner we see that the lifetime numbers show
    32.9% of women reporting that and 28.2% of men reporting that. When we look at the “12 months” figures the picture changes a bit: 4.0% of women and 4.7% of men report that. Numbers are from table 4.1. and 4.2 page 38.

  306. 306
    Tamen

    Oh, I forgot, PatrickG citing from NISVS 2010:

    More than one-third of women in the United States (35.6% or approximately 42.4 million) have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime (Table 4.1).

    And here we see one consequence of not classifying “being made to penetrate” as rape. Women forcing their intimate partners to have sex without their partner’s consent aren’t included in this table (4.1) in the NISVS 2010.

  307. 307
    Lucy

    “Married people have been known to kill each other.”

    Two women are killed every week by a partner or former partner. What’s less often reported is that a fair proportion of them will have been raped or sexually assaulted first.

  308. 308
    Lucy

    @Ally

    “I’m actually really pleased that this thread hasn’t got sidetracked into the debate about whether or not we should call forced penetration “rape” because, for me, it is the least important aspect to all this.”

    I don’t agree that language and definitions are the least important aspect of anything. I don’t believe you do either.

    “But would like to point out that I don’t think what you say above is true. The word has always been assumed to mean forced penetration, both in dictionary and in law.”

    It may be assumed to mean that in general parlance, but not in the legal parlance where people are trained to deal in precision. Rape has never been defined as forced penetration with an object, to do so could lead us to calling stabbing or shooting or unconsenting surgery, rape, given that we can’t define sexual excitement as confined to the genitals. It’s never been defined as forcing somebody to penetrate you or somebody else either, one of the reasons for this has already been mentioned: it would allow a man accused of rape to turn the accusation around on his alleged victim, another consideration is that in order to achieve a prosecution the perpetrator must be proven to have been aware that the victim is not consenting.

    “”There’s this strange idea floating around MRA circles that there has been a feminist conspiracy to change the definition so that only men can rape women, not vice versa. That definition predates feminism by hundreds if not thousands of years.”"

    Well they are right to the extent that rape used to mean “seize” and had no sexual connotations. It referred to the crime of kidnapping a woman by force from the man who had legal authority over her. In the middle ages, it included the crime of consensual elopement. And since that time it has undergone a number of changes of definition, with it applying to different categories or victim, perpetrator or activity.

    “I don’t thin the definition has been arrived at after careful consideration by anyone. I think it is just there because it has always been there and no one has got around to changing it. ”

    I’m sure parliamentarians, lawyers, legal theorists and legal philosophers would regard that as unduly cynical. I’m not opposed to changing its definition to include attacks made by women against men, but as with the recent redefinition of marriage, I would hope that the implications will be fully though through first so that there aren’t unintended consequences.

  309. 309
    kacyray

    @PatrickG

    Apologies accepted (though not necessary) and olive branch accepted. I always appreciate an opportunity at a civil exchange of ideas.

    Unlike you, I would (and have) intervene in physical altercations between men (instead of just letting them “duke it out”).

    The only reason I adhere to this policy is because I personally appreciate people giving me a chance to succeed before intervening, so that’s a courtesy I’d extend to others as well. I could’ve been more accurate by stating that I would intervene the moment I felt someone’s safety was at risk (no matter when that happened).

    “Unlike you, I’m not granting that YouTube-imposed celibacy is a natural consequence of seeking help (even if one “screams like a little girl).”

    I was being a bit dramatic. But the cold reality is that men are often measured not only by how well they win fights, but also by how well they lose them.

    “Unlike you, I’ve seen people respond quite positively — and with great sympathy — to men who are victims of physical assault.”

    Victims of assault, yes. As well they should. But like I said before, typically when a man is attacked by another man, it’s considered a fight (unless there is a clear mismatch, or unless the assault is part and parcel to some other crime such as robbery). I think any reasonable person can tell the difference between a typical assault and a typical fight.

    No one should feel the slightest degree of apprehension about calling for help when one is being assaulted. Let me just clear that up. But I can tell you that if I get sucker-punched by a guy who is roughly my size (which has happened), I would definitely be aware that I will be judged – whether justified or not – by my response.

    The hell do you live?

    Grew up in Miami.

    Is this really such a difficult concept? Altercation in progress, he’s bigger, she’s backed into a corner. I, for one, find it quite plausible that she perceived a threat. Particularly since both parties were, by your account, intoxicated.

    Okay, I’m going to say something here that may or may not get the flies buzzing… but there’s a bit of a “trade secret” that men who have been subject to domestic abuse know. Chris Rock did a comedy bit that alluded to this reality. I learned it when I was 17, and it was re-enforced to me later in life when I once again became subject to physical violence by my first wife. Ready for this?

    Women don’t hit men they are afraid of.

    If you want, I’ll provide the personal anecdotes to illustrate how I came to understand this myself. But as for scientific “evidence”, I’ve none to offer. This is simply wisdom learned in the school of hard knocks (no pun intended). Unless you specifically want to hear it – I’ll spare you the details.

    Understanding ahead of time that there are exceptions to every rule, smart money will bet *every single time* that if a woman hauls off and punches a man in the jaw, it’s because she feels *very very* confident that he will not hit her back.

    I’ll agree that speculation isn’t useful. I’ll agree that I engaged in it myself. I’ll point out that you’re doing the same. How can you possibly know that she knows he’s not a threat, never has been, and never will be?

    It is supported by the fact that 1) She socked him in the jaw when they were both drunk and she knew that he could’ve squashed her 2) She knew he had a house full of guns, and yet she felt no fear 3) Even after getting punched, he demonstrated his civility by doing the very worst thing he could imagine doing to her – he called the cops.

    Only a person who has never been completely at someone else’s mercy would make the foolish mistake of believing that someone in that situation would *punch* the person whose mercy they are at. That is not how people with a sense of self-preservation act. That is pure fantasy.

    Are you really privy to all the details of their life? All I have to go on is your anecdote of what this guy told you. I find your conclusions based on his reporting to be unsubstantiated.

    Not all of them, but circumstances being what they are, the probability of this particular individual lying to me is very low.

    Should men have the same ability to seek help? Of course. If I implied anything else, that’s the failure of my communication.

    No, you communicated effectively.

    I’ll freely admit I probably misread you — I took your statement to be more along the lines of women shouldn’t have the right to cry out for help, since men — in your world — don’t either. I’m fairly confident that isn’t what you intended, so my apologies.

    Again, appreciated but not necessary. My response was not a result of misunderstanding you, rather it was specifically crafted at demonstrating that your automatic response was to view it through a primacy-of-female lens.

    Of course men have the *right* to cry out for help, but they often do not have the *privilege* of doing so with social impunity. Once again I stress, my intent here is not to demonstrate that one sex has it better (or worse) than the other, but rather different (per Lucy’s question).

    I would posit that the changing attitudes towards DV against women is because of a great deal of very recent effort by feminist activists around intimate partner violence.

    Nah. “Women and Children first” has been around much longer than we have, and that phrase (mantra, policy, whatever you want to call it) was borne from a longstanding protocol that the *most vulnerable among us require primary consideration during emergency situations*.

    Now, this might be a distasteful reality to feminists, but women were lumped in with children in this universally accepted protocol due to what has generally been (until recently) an unquestioned assessment – they are more vulnerable and more likely to require assistance (don’t shoot the messenger!) I

    You’ll hear a lot of protestation to such an idea, but you won’t hear any complaints once the ship starts sinking, so-to-speak.

    And remember, this protocol doesn’t just apply to the proverbial “sinking ship” – it is a protocol that is accepted almost universally in first-world or otherwise civilized societies. Bottom line – women are almost universally recognized as being more vulnerable and more deserving of protection.

    It’s why I reacted so strongly to your claim that hitting a a woman is not acceptable in our culture. It still is.

    Serious question: What is the right way to measure what is, and what is not, acceptable in our culture? What is the standard by which acceptability is measured?

    Here’s one idea – perhaps it might be measured by what politicians are able to get publicly admit to and still get elected? Just a thought… I’m certainly open to other ideas on this.

    I don’t, however, think that focusing on how women have it “better” is the way to go about it.

    My response to Lucy on how being subject to violence is *different* for men was not intended to imply that they somehow have it better (or worse). I think I’ve beaten that drum sufficiently at this point.

  310. 310
    Lucy

    @Kacyray

    “Someone did that to you? Good god… that is horrible. I can’t believe that it happens enough that there’s a name for it. I’ve never heard that one.”

    No, they didn’t do it, they just threatened to. I talked my way out of it.

    What I meant to convey was that the imminent threat of significant injury from three or four women was less frightening to me than an intimidating approach by a man in an isolated spot making no overt threat to me but intimating rape. In the latter case, fight or flight doesn’t cover it, it’s pant-wettingy, frozen to the spot, rabbit in the headlights, blood runs cold, terrifying. Given that I still, many years later, have a physical memory of those latter events, it doesn’t surprise me at all that rape victims suffer from significant trauma.

  311. 311
    inappropriate

    You realise that the concept of a toxic interpretation of gender, and the accompanying sense of entitlement, are mainstays of feminisms that veer towards the radical?

    So what? I never said that feminist theory is 100% incorrect. You’re right that feminists came up with the idea of toxic masculinity, and I think it’s a potentially useful concept. It was also (non-gynocentric) feminists such as Paglia who initially took the next obvious step and started looking at the female equivalent. This caused a shitstorm because, as I already pointed out, there is a taboo against talking about such things. I don’t care which “side” the people fighting this ugly hypocrisy identify as.

    There are several glaring and obvious problems with your comments. Firstly, if you accept that a/ there are more male victims of sexual abuse than generally accepted and that b/ they are more hesitant than females in reporting their abuse and c/ that this is a wrong that needs corrected (I agree with all three points), then it is impossible to simultaneously support theories and praxis that would increase the scepticism with which these victims would be received with by the appropriate agencies.

    This response is deeply confused. Theory needs to reflect reality first and foremost. It’s intellectually dishonest to manipulate it to promote the changes that you personally want to see in society. Besides, I wasn’t talking about victim support, I was talking about preventing the abuse from happening in the first place.

  312. 312
    kacyray

    @Lucy:

    What I meant to convey was that the imminent threat of significant injury from three or four women was less frightening to me than an intimidating approach by a man in an isolated spot making no overt threat to me but intimating rape. In the latter case, fight or flight doesn’t cover it, it’s pant-wettingy, frozen to the spot, rabbit in the headlights, blood runs cold, terrifying. Given that I still, many years later, have a physical memory of those latter events, it doesn’t surprise me at all that rape victims suffer from significant trauma.

    Understood. Doesn’t surprise me either.

  313. 313
    Adiabat

    CerberusCheerleader (294):

    I guess my empathy must be working or something. Unlike with these people who give you these shady reactions. They must have no brains and no hearts.

    I assume from the reference to empathy you are referring to my post. I agree it was worded awkwardly. This is partly because, due to Ally’s request, I was trying to avoid getting into the issue that, despite Drager’s concerns, the only people in this thread who have decided to shit all over men who have shared their story are self-identified feminists and so shouldn’t worry. Not one non-feminist or those hated anti-feminists, people who genuinely care about male victims rather than playing ‘moral positioning’ games, has done this. Don’t worry, I know that there’s this “big tent” which apparently is big enough to allow some feminists to do this while being small enough not to allow feminists such as yourself criticise them at all. Obviously, from the evidence in this thread, only non-feminists and anti-feminists have the ability to criticise this behaviour, while at the same time having people like you tell us how bad we all are.

    I also find it weird that you apparently have no patience “for this whole internet anti-feminist propaganda nonsense” yet seem to have all the patience in the world for the rape-apologism being done by feminists in this thread, and seems to be still going on with the latest influx of feminists. I assume it’s that empathy you claim is working just fine.

    P.S Sorry if you consider this a derail Ally, I tried to avoid the subject. Tbh I’m getting a bit sick of feminists adopting this morally superior attitude when it is they who are the ones acting reprehensively and seem unwilling to do anything about it. But I guess I should just accept that that’s just the way feminists are and not get worked up by it. I should note that I have noticed the few feminists (though I don’t think carnation identifies as one so can excuse him/her) who have adopted a sympathetic attitude to male victims, though I find it hard to believe that it is genuine when they remain silent to their compatriots’ rape-apologism.

  314. 314
    Sans sanity

    @Adiabait, I read Cerbarus as referring to the people that Drager referred to in his post as treating him badly in the past, not here or you specifically. May be wrong, hope I’m not :)

  315. 315
    Adiabat

    Because Ally will probably want to prevent another thread being about DV the latest discussion we had on the subject, where several claims made here have already been debunked, was http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/07/27/the-hetpat-first-directive/

  316. 316
    Adiabat

    Sans sanity (314): In that case I’ll apologise to Cerberus for misreading his/her post. The post does reference “these people who give you these shady reactions” implying that people have done that already. And since I’m the only person who did respond, along with the reference to ‘empathy’ I don’t think my interpretation is unreasonable and outside the realms of possibility. And I admit my original post isn’t written in the most eloquant way – I’m not the best at ‘comforting over the internet’ tbh :) *hugs for everyone*

  317. 317
    Ani J. Sharmin

    @ PatrickG (#299) and @kacyray (#309):

    Patrick G: “I would posit that the changing attitudes towards DV against women is because of a great deal of very recent effort by feminist activists around intimate partner violence.”

    kacyray: “Nah. “Women and Children first” has been around much longer than we have, and that phrase (mantra, policy, whatever you want to call it) was borne from a longstanding protocol that the *most vulnerable among us require primary consideration during emergency situations*.

    Now, this might be a distasteful reality to feminists, but women were lumped in with children in this universally accepted protocol due to what has generally been (until recently) an unquestioned assessment – they are more vulnerable and more likely to require assistance (don’t shoot the messenger!) I

    You’ll hear a lot of protestation to such an idea, but you won’t hear any complaints once the ship starts sinking, so-to-speak.

    And remember, this protocol doesn’t just apply to the proverbial “sinking ship” – it is a protocol that is accepted almost universally in first-world or otherwise civilized societies. Bottom line – women are almost universally recognized as being more vulnerable and more deserving of protection.

    I’ve really, really gotten tired of this trope which says that that “protecting” women is actually to benefit women, when it’s really a way to control women. In the same way that men being assumed to be stronger, and therefore unable to be harmed, is a narrative that’s used to excuse/ignore violence against men, the narrative about protecting women is used to assume that women and girls’ male relatives are looking out for girls women and protecting them, even when women are being restricted in what we’re allowed to do, and even when violence is being used against girls and women.

    Domestic violence against women has been accepted as normal for a long time, and still is. Even in so-called “first-world” countries, there are still people who think it’s okay. None of this is to say that there isn’t domestic violence against men; as I said in my earlier comment, it happens to everyone. But the idea that feminists didn’t have to work to change attitudes about domestic violence against women, the idea that people were already against it due to wanting to protect women, is false. The idea of “protecting” women is part of this romanticized narrative, in which women were supposedly respected. But in reality, abuse was and is accepted as commonplace, and women were and are told that this is what they should expect in a relationship.

    Re: The sinking ship: Libby Anne (over at Patheos) wrote a blog a while back called “‘Women and Children First’: An age-old anti-feminist myth”. She links to an article about studies that were done showing that, while people often say it’s “women and children first”, that isn’t always the case in practice. She also discusses how the narrative of women and children first has been used to limit rights for women, based on the assumptions (like I said above) that their male relatives know what’s best for them, and how feminists argued against “women and children first” to get the right to vote. Likewise, Sierra (also at Patheos) wrote a post “Ann Romney’s Gendered Martyrdom: “Women and Children First”?”, in which she discusses how, in her evangelical Christian upbringing, the narrative of protecting women was used as a way to control women, to claim that women had more power due to having lots of domestic responsibilities, while getting them to give control of the bigger decisions to their husbands. Again, it was also used to claim that women don’t need equal rights, since men are protecting them.

    This is one of the frustrations I have with discussions like this. I do not deny that rape, domestic violence, etc. affects everyone, and that everyone deserves to have access to services to help them. I’m just tired of the fact that, all too often, people seek to correct misconceptions and myths about men by reinforcing misconceptions and myths about women.

  318. 318
    kacyray

    I would really like it if you would name the criteria by which a behavior is judge to be “accepted as normal”. Because I’m here to tell you that I have personally suffered domestic violence at the hands of women *because the idea of hitting back was absolutely unthinkable to me*.

    So when you start talking about violence against women being “accepted as normal”, I really think that the burden is on you to demonstrate exactly how it qualifies as such. Because there is nothing “normal” about it in my world.

    I’ve really, really gotten tired of this trope which says that that “protecting” women is actually to benefit women, when it’s really a way to control women.

    And I’m getting really, really tired of the term “trope”. It’s a word people have started using relentlessly to delegitimize positions they don’t want to have to dig too deeply into.

    You regard an attitude that the most vulnerable among us merit primary consideration during emergency situations as a means of control? That’s interesting.

    In the same way that men being assumed to be stronger, and therefore unable to be harmed,

    I’m going to take a stab and guess that English is not your first language? Not intended as an insult… I’m trying to interpret this charitably because I don’t think anyone ever insinuated that men are impervious to harm.

    is a narrative that’s used to excuse/ignore violence against men, the narrative about protecting women is used to assume that women and girls’ male relatives are looking out for girls women and protecting them, even when women are being restricted in what we’re allowed to do, and even when violence is being used against girls and women.

    Apples and oranges here. When I brought up the WACF tradition, I was using it as an example of how the recognition that women (and children) merit primary consideration in emergency situations was around *long* before we were… and long before modern feminism existed. And why do they merit primary consideration? Because as a general rule, they are more vulnerable.

    You can dispute whether women are more vulnerable than men, but you cannot dispute that women *have been perceived as* more vulnerable and therefore have been given primary consideration in emergency or dangerous situations. My intent was to demonstrate that a particular perception exists – not to debate whether or not its accurate.

    Domestic violence against women has been accepted as normal for a long time, and still is.

    By whom, exactly? Not by me. Not by anyone here, I expect. Are we grand exceptions? Are we not representative of the human race? Again, by what criteria do you measure DV against women as acceptable as normal?

    It’s difficult for me to take this proposition seriously when you make these seemingly arbitrary, sweeping assertions that are unverifiable, immeasurable, and unfalsifyable.

    Again, it was also used to claim that women don’t need equal rights, since men are protecting them.

    That doesn’t mean it’s not a legitimate attitude when used appropriately. Would you feel better if the phrase had always been “In case of emergency, take care of the most vulnerable among us before taking care of yourself”?

    Because that’s essentially what they were saying. But that phrase predates feminism and political correctness, so it may not have been crafted exactly according to your taste. They were saying it the best way they knew how.

  319. 319
    CerberusCheerleader

    @Adiabat
    What Sans sanity said. What I was trying to convey is that, even so I have a bias towards being more sympathetic towards feminism and woman (as a group), I am nonetheless sympathetic towards this guy, Drager. No less actually than if he were a woman being abused by a man. Apparently, I see him as an individual rather than a representative of some group. And I can’t quite fathom how this is an exceptional reaction that he gets when he tells his story. (And even if people don’t sympathize they should still have enough common sense and treat someone like him fairly and gently.)

  320. 320
    carnation

    @ 311 Inappropriate.

    I suggest you re-read my comments, your second riposte made no sense.

  321. 321
    mildlymagnificent

    So when you start talking about violence against women being “accepted as normal”, I really think that the burden is on you to demonstrate exactly how it qualifies as such. Because there is nothing “normal” about it in my world.

    Obviously you’re a lot younger than I am, because back in the late 60s to mid 70s – the time of my first marriage – it was not very far under the surface and was commonly and openly joked about. Even though people were astonished to find people in my professional circles were involved in DV, the common presumption was that this was a poor and uneducated family problem. Even though the very professionals they worked with expressed some pretty horrible stuff.

    I was surprised, and a bit disappointed, to realise that there are still jokes circulating in my daughters’ social circles. (“What do you say to a woman with two black eyes? Nothing. You’ve already told her twice.” being the latest in this never ending misery.) But I’m pretty sure that none of their male friends would suggest that a partner should beat a woman because she decided not to change her name on marriage as one workmate bloke (a respected, qualified professional) suggested my second husband should do to me.

    Thirty years on, things are a bit better, but note some of the details here …

    And one in five think domestic violence is excusable if the attacker regrets what they have done.

    So sending flowers the next day makes it all OK in the view of 20% of the surveyed population?
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/violence-against-women-still-a-problem-20100407-rrg3.html

  322. 322
    mildlymagnificent

    Aaaaand, just in time to make the point that it’s still commonly treated as a joke

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2013/09/you-may-find-it-a-little-crowded/

    An online nursery based in Raleigh, didn’t like the original name of one of the plants they were selling, so they changed the name to Domestic Violence. You know — because they thought the new name was funny.
    What is worse, the reason Plant Delights chose that name is because the plant colors are black and blue.

  323. 323
    CerberusCheerleader

    @kacyray

    Why exactly do you feel the need to talk about emergency situations?
    This should be obvious, but in the case of an emergency, what you need is a simple heuristic. WACF is better than random, but it’s still a very bad heuristic and shouldn’t be used in any non-emergency situation (read: 99.99% of the time). Your insistence on talking about emergencies seems quite silly to me, to say the least.

  324. 324
    kacyray

    @323

    What are you talking about? I’m not talking about emergency situations, I’m talking about perceptions of vulnerability.

    Did you just pluck a word out of my comments and decide that *that word* was the subject of my comments?

    Did you just blindfold yourself and point at the screen? Any ol’ word will do? That sort of thing?

    Try reading what I’m saying. That will tell you what I’m talking about.

    And while you’re at it, maybe contribute something useful, eh? Like… speaking to the question of what qualifies a behavior as “normal”. It’s a question I’ve asked a few times but has remained unacknowledged.

  325. 325
    kacyray

    @321 midllymagnificent

    Obviously you’re a lot younger than I am, because back in the late 60s to mid 70s – the time of my first marriage – it was not very far under the surface and was commonly and openly joked about.

    I’m 41, and your point is noted but I think you’re missing my point. To say that a behavior is “normal and accepted” is a proposition. It’s a truth-statement about reality. In order for it to have any truth value, it must be verifiable and falsifiable. There must be measurable criteria. There must be a standard against which to measure it.

    If the lack of male-to-female DV exposure in *my* life is not a sufficient litmus test for normalcy, then the presence of it in *your* life is not sufficient either. What, then, is the standard? How do we test the truth-value of that proposition?

    Thirty years on, things are a bit better, but note some of the details here …

    And one in five think domestic violence is excusable if the attacker regrets what they have done.

    So sending flowers the next day makes it all OK in the view of 20% of the surveyed population?
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/violence-against-women-still-a-problem-20100407-rrg3.html

    The data in this article is unsettling, but nothing this article says indicates that DV is “normal and accepted”. Again, to call it that requires some sort of criteria.

    Quite the contrary – this article indicates that 4 out 5 Australians realize that DV is not excusable under any circumstance.

    Doesn’t it strike you as strange that you are considering an attitude held by 1 out of 5 people as “normal and accepted” while ignoring the 4 out of 5 who do NOT hold that attitude?

    While it’s horrible that 1 out of 5 Aussies regard DV as “excusable”… that hardly qualifies it as “normal and accepted”. Quite the opposite, actually.

    And this is not an idle question. Many of the arguments being made in this thread and by feminists at FTB in general hinge on that very proposition – that DV (and rape, and misogyny, and all that) is “accepted and normal” in our culture. Yet no one is challenging that proposition or asking for an objectively measurable standard yet. At least, none that I’ve seen.

    So what is that standard? How can we test whether that proposition is true?

    I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m not even arguing whether the proposition is true of false. Rather, I’m asking how you’ve determined it to be true (outside of your own personal experience).

    After all, we’re all supposed to be skeptics here, right? We don’t just accept arbitrary propositions when they invoke strong emotion, do we?

    I’m sure I can find plenty of examples of jokes about murder. I’m also pretty sure I can find examples of people claiming that murder is alright under certain conditions. But yet no one would argue that murder is “normal and accepted”. There has to be a criteria in place. Our collective disgust at DV doesn’t remove the need for such a criteria.

  326. 326
    mildlymagnificent

    It’s normal in the same sense that left-handedness or swimming/ surfing is normal. Doesn’t affect everyone, or even a majority, but everyone knows someone who is either a perpetrator or a victim in the same way as everyone knows someone, or several people, who are left-handed or go to the beach.

  327. 327
    sheaf

    mildlymagnificient,

    By this rather idiotic criterion, creationism is normal in central europe.

  328. 328
    mildlymagnificent

    I’d say it’s realistic to acknowledge that significant groups of people can and will hold counterfactual or unrealistic or unpleasant beliefs.

    Creationism of various kinds, anti-vaccination, anti germ theory are examples of counterfactual unscientific beliefs. Views holding that certain activities and roles can be carried out only by one gender or that it’s right and proper to hit children are common, if not majority, unpleasant beliefs.

    It’s very human to hold onto beliefs that are damaging to others, to yourself, to society at large if they are important to you in some way. It’s unwise of the rest of us to dismiss or ignore such people as out of date or stupid or ignorant or deluded. Civilisation, and ordinary consideration of public health, relies on us constantly to inform, educate and to counteract such beliefs and their negative consequences. The job is never done. It has to be done anew for each and every generation.

  329. 329
    sheaf

    It is also realistic to acknowledge that a significant number of people are sociopaths. This does not mean APD is normal.

  330. 330
    mildlymagnificent

    a significant number of people are sociopaths.

    But not a significant proportion of the population. Come to think of it, if they were a significant group, we’d do well as a society to face up to that and deal with it appropriately. We’re far better off acknowledging reality, even if we resist calling it “normal”, no matter how uncomfortable or distasteful it is. (Though I have strong reservations about saying or pretending that a particular bad behaviour is a sign of individual aberration or abnormality when it is really an instance of quite common bad behaviour. That’s the way we used to talk about non-stranger rape and about domestic violence in non-poverty, non-alcoholic families – when it was no longer possible to pretend it was only “those” people but anyone you might know, things changed.)

    We’re now dealing more openly, if not very effectively, with rape and abuse of both children and adults and our societies are becoming better for it. Rape and abuse are, in fact, occurring less frequently now than they were 20 or 30 years ago and that is due mostly to people becoming more aware of it and responding better as a result.

  331. 331
    sheaf

    I dont know what you mean by significant proportion. Afaik more than 1% percent of the Us population are sociopaths. I tihnk that is pretty significant.

  332. 332
    mildlymagnificent

    I tihnk that is pretty significant.

    I’m afraid I agree with you. It’s the same proportion as schizophrenia but schizophrenics tend to be a problem mainly to themselves and their immediate families, sociopaths are a different problem entirely. A big, big problem when they get themselves into leadership roles in workplaces, schools and community groups. Even when they’re not in a formal leadership role, they can be extremely damaging in families and in smaller work groups. When others take their cue from them as “role models” it’s not only their direct effect that has an impact, they can poison the atmosphere in very large groups.

  333. 333
    kacyray

    mildlymagnificent @326

    It’s normal in the same sense that left-handedness or swimming/ surfing is normal. Doesn’t affect everyone, or even a majority, but everyone knows someone who is either a perpetrator or a victim in the same way as everyone knows someone, or several people, who are left-handed or go to the beach.

    I think we’re dropping context just a bit here. When PatrickG said it was “culturally acceptable” (@299) and Ani J. Sharmin said it “has been accepted as normal for a long time, and still is” (@317), they meant something very different than just knowing someone who does it. They clearly meant that such behavior is, in some way, a behavior that we accept as normal (i.e. not in need of correction or changing – things are as things ought to be).

    Again, I’m not disputing this contention, but I am seeking to validate it. How do we validate this contention. Dropping context isn’t going to make the question go away.

    Question for you, mildlymagnificent: How interested are you in validating this proposition? You don’t seen very interested at all…. almost as though you are content to accept it as an article of faith.

    We’re far better off acknowledging reality, even if we resist calling it “normal”, no matter how uncomfortable or distasteful it is.

    I wonder if you can describe a criteria of “normal” that fits DV but does NOT fit other things that wouldn’t be considered “normal” by any stretch. Is cancer normal? Is atheism normal? Is feminism normal? Is agoraphobia normal?

    In order for this “DV is normal” proposition to mean anything, the word must be defined in the correct context and the proposition must be validated. So far, I don’t see anyone even trying. You would think that would be a serious concern for those who use it as a basis for their entire worldview.

  334. 334
    Drager

    @cerberuscheerleader

    I have a few ideas why people might not react well to my story, some of them I have heard expressed so am confident are the reasons others inferred from behaviour/comments.

    1) They think I’m lying as the situation seems impossible to them

    2) They think I’m exaggerating as a “little girl” couldn’t do that much damage (is it weird that this makes me bristle at the diminution and infantilisation of my ex as well as at the dismissal?)

    3) They think that it can’t be true because if it could happen to me it could happen to them, they know I am more powerful, physically, than they and so don’t want to believe it.

    4) Talking about this s would be uncomfortable as it departs from the assumed narrative…. So let’s not.

  335. 335
    mildlymagnificent

    I think we’re dropping context just a bit here. When PatrickG said it was “culturally acceptable” (@299) and Ani J. Sharmin said it “has been accepted as normal for a long time, and still is” (@317), they meant something very different than just knowing someone who does it. They clearly meant that such behavior is, in some way, a behavior that we accept as normal

    Well, “in some way” normal, or at least common, is certainly how I saw it for a very long time – but I was younger then working in a very large organisation so I knew a lot of people and was, for better or worse, familiar with their attitudes. In one smallish work group there were a few women who’d divorced from their violent husbands several years earlier. Most of them hadn’t remarried. Normally this wasn’t an issue, until a replacement manager came in for a couple of weeks. Somehow he got involved in a conversation about this and told the group at large that these women probably “deserved it” in front of the women themselves. “Deserving it” is one of those rationalisations that I judge as treating it as acceptable or normal. Thinking it’s OK to say this directly to the women concerned is also pretty indicative.

    For nearly 20 years I’ve been out of that environment – though working with families of school age children for a decade made sure I saw plenty of people, including children, with violence in their recent family histories. There’s nothing like hearing of a 3 year old child trying to pull his father off strangling his mother in their bathroom – and when it comes to acceptable or normal? The woman‘s family reported her to the cops when she was thinking of taking herself and the kids away from the city – because she “had no good reason” to take the kids away from their father. “Having no good reason” I’d also regard as putting that extreme violence in the acceptable or normal category – although by that time I had fewer dealings with men with those attitudes and behaviours.

    I’d say that for most of the people who express these attitudes, unacceptable would involve the woman being hospitalised or obviously injured in a way that no one could ignore or dismiss.

  336. 336
    kacyray

    mm @335

    I understand that you have your personal experiences. And I have quite a different set of experiences. But I’m asking you what *objective criteria* you use when you (or PatrickG or Ari Sherman) claim that DV against women is “normal and accepted”.

    Again, I suffered abuse at the hands of my first girlfriend (when I was 14-17) *and* my first wife (about 15 years later) because I accepted the heuristic (thanks for the new vocab word, CC) that it is never, under any circumstance, acceptable to hit a female.

    Since then, I’ve learned a few hard realities.

    1) Women don’t typically hit men that they believe are capable of hurting them (whether physically or psychologically).

    Note: This is a subset of the larger principle that *people don’t typically antagonize those whom they fear*.

    2) The heuristic that hitting a woman is never acceptable under any circumstance is bad, bad advice.

    3) If you’re a man getting hit by a woman, don’t expect any sympathy from anyone. For better or worse, you’re expected to be able to handle it.

    So in my paradigm, I was getting the shit kicked out of me on a routine basis because I refused to strike back. That’s the world that, to me, is NORMAL. Had I returned fire when my first wife started swinging, I’d have been quickly scorned and ostracized by my inner circle of friends. At least at the time (I think we’ve all learned some things since then.)

    So since your experiences are exactly the opposite of mine, it is clear that sharing our experiences gets us nowhere. We need objective criteria.

    I’ve offered my idea on a possible objective measure @309:

    Serious question: What is the right way to measure what is, and what is not, acceptable in our culture? What is the standard by which acceptability is measured?

    Here’s one idea – perhaps it might be measured by what politicians are able to get publicly admit to and still get elected? Just a thought… I’m certainly open to other ideas on this.

    Does anyone else have any?

  337. 337
    kacyray

    @334 Drager,

    I know that for me, one of the reasons I allowed abusive behavior from my first wife to continue on for so long was because I knew,, although I was stronger and more powerful than her, she was not only strong enough but also determined enough to ensure that the only way I would be able to stop would be to hurt her.

    She knew that I wasn’t incapable, but i was unwilling. That meant it was open season on me.

    I’ve never lived anyone else’s life, but I’d be willing to bet that the reason so many big guys get beat up by smaller women is for exactly that reason. First, the men are raised to believe that striking a girl for any reason (even self-defense) is verboten. Secondly, they realize that the only way to stop the abuser would be to create serious pain (due to the tenacity of the abuser).

    That second point triggers a couple other nasty realities. First, if you love your wife, you don’t want to cause her pain or risk injuring her. But worse – if you were to do so, you realize that you’d now be the villain, no questions asked, no matter how much abuse you’d endured before defending yourself.

    You’d also be the one who gets arrested. So much for male privilege.

    I’m interested to know whether our resident feminists believe that a man has a right to defend himself against an abusive women proportionately, no different than he would against a man.

  338. 338
    twincats

    Whew! It’s taken me a while to get to the end of the comments…

    And this might sound bizarre, but perhaps women need to be aware that they can and do assault and abuse men. I strongly suspect many women genuinely believe that any man will be (literally) up for it at any time, and will always be glad of a sexual thrill. This is as much of a rape myth as any other.

    This was a big issue in both of the assaults I committed; in the early 80′s, the joke always went “you can’t rape the willing” meaning if there’s a physical response (read: erection) it’s all good. The extensive reading I’ve done here at FtB has caused my memory to dredge up two instances where I (a young woman at the time) raped* two different men. One involved alcohol, the other did not. I was aware of significant reticence both times and ignored it, betting that the mere possibility of my spreading any stories about them ‘not wanting it’ was enough to induce them to complete the act. And I was right, much to my present shame and regret.

    Jackie Papercuts @73: But, let’s be honest about the fact that rape is about power, not sex. Rape isn’t just a faux pas or the result of bad manners.

    This is only anecdata, so take it for what it’s worth: I have to admit to some thrill of the power trip both times. It was perverse and I have never allowed myself to admit to it until very recently. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t about the sex; it was, and the biggest reason I ceased that reprehensible behavior was that both times the sex was quite unsatisfying.

    Ally Fogg @98:

    Birric Foncella

    If you look at the trend in the recent feminist blogs, you will find a lot of women who are redefining their earlier experiences. They thought earlier that that gave implied or even open consent to a man. Now they realize that that man actually raped them.

    I’d like some citations for that claim, because I read a lot of feminist blogs and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen.

    Hey, a bit more anectdata here (if you can stand it): Also as a result of reading here at FtB as well as some feminist blogs, I have had to admit to myself that I have been raped. Three times. All three times, I was already naked and in bed with the men, so I had a hard time realizing that the incidents of (once) changing my mind and (twice) being awakened in the middle of a sex act were, in fact, not consented to by me. Two of those were traumatizing in that the men held me down once I started to object in order to complete the act and resulted in physical injury. The other was (and still is) no biggie because the man immediately stopped having sex with me and as we both pretty freaked out about it, talked each other down, and went back to sleep.

    *I am subscribing to the “enthusiastic consent” model here, not legal definitions.

  339. 339
    twincats

    kacyray @337

    I’m interested to know whether our resident feminists believe that a man has a right to defend himself against an abusive women proportionately, no different than he would against a man.

    Don’t know if I qualify as a ‘resident feminist’ but I’d like to say yes, if she won’t take no for an answer. No one should have to submit to unwanted sexual advances. And *yikes* that video of the woman assaulting the boy on the bus was just awful!

    In both my assaults, never was there any sort of verbal communication. If either of those men had actually said anything about not being up for sex, I probably would have left them alone and left it at that; it’s something that I had done before. But, yeah; if either man had grabbed me and pushed me away, I would have definitely gotten the message then. I kinda wish they had but I really wish I hadn’t been such a jerk to begin with.

  340. 340
    kacyray

    @339

    I was thinking more of violence, although your answer is noted and appreciated.

    I’m coming from the point of view of someone who was smacked around relentlessly by a couple different women because they knew they didn’t have to worry about me hitting back.

    One of them was right.

  341. 341
    kacyray

    Can someone describe the video? I can’t watch streaming video where I am.

  342. 342
    mildlymagnificent

    I’m interested to know whether our resident feminists believe that a man has a right to defend himself against an abusive women proportionately, no different than he would against a man.

    Well, for starters it’s within an intimate relationship, so the considerations are not exactly the same as a punchup behind the pub.

    Personally, I’d say people regardless of gender do have the right to defend themselves – whether that’s by getting hold of someone’s hands or feet to prevent punching and kicking all the way to deadly force if you fear for your life. But I’d never advise someone to actually do this. The best thing to do is to get away, out of the house. I realise this is sometimes a bad idea if you’re also afraid that the attacker will then attack children in the house, but with that exception it’s really the best strategy – for everyone.

    One of the reasons violence between intimate partners has managed to stay so “private” for so long is that people are afraid of being embarrassed, of admitting that their partner is out of control. It’s a lot easier to maintain that you’ve done the best you can if you call a friend or ring the police/ emergency services from outside the house or flat before you’ve committed any violence yourself. Though I also understand that if someone is afraid that their partner is capable of serious, deadly assault, they don’t want to involve anyone else until they have established a safe, permanent escape. Calling in someone else, especially the cops, is sometimes the “provocation” for a more serious assault once they’ve left.

    So my advice would usually be to leave the house, sleep in the car or somewhere else entirely if even that’s not safe. If you don’t call anyone else, don’t go back until you’re reasonably certain they’ve calmed down enough for you to be safe there.

  343. 343
    Gjenganger

    @Elwin Berge 304

    In my view, it is absurd for female sexual coercion to be criminalized at all,
    and grossly unfait to punish women for it as if it were rape.

    That is certainly a defendable view. But not all women are equally traumatized either, and not all scenarios are equally likely to do damage. Surely it would follow that some? a lot? of male sexual coercion of females should not be criminalized either, and that it would be grossly unfair to punish it as if it were rape?

  344. 344
    Gjenganger

    @Ani Shamon 317

    I’ve really, really gotten tired of this trope which says that that protecting women is actually to benefit women, when its really a way to control women.

    Let’s not go overboard. The protection and the (percieved) inferiority go together. OK, it is ridiculous to claim (as some do) that a patriarchal system is really to the women’s benefit – since they get protected. But there is no point in denying that the protection itself is a benefit, whatever the attendant costs may be. Children are both protected and controlled by their parents, but surely no one would say that the protection is just a trick to allow us to control them.

  345. 345
    Eivind Berge

    Indeed, rape as currently defined after all the feminist rape law reforms is often not very traumatizing to women either, and many male “rapists” are punished unfairly. The solution is not to start punishing female sexual coercion more and have equal injustice for all, but of course to revert to a reasonable definition of rape. Rape is human copulation resisted by the victim to the best of her ability unless she is credibly threatened with death or serious injury, or someone she commonly protects is thus threatened. Men raping men should also be included. By this traditional definition, the act is sufficiently likely to be very traumatizing that a harsh punishment is warranted. And this definition would exclude most female sexual coercion due to the physical reality of men being much stronger than women, so there would hardly be room left to debate whether the law should recognize women raping men. I still think the concept of women raping men is absurd due to the biologic fact of sex being a female resource (and hence women raping men would be the equivalent to a reverse robbery, like someone pulls a gun on you and forces you to accept money — what crime would that be? Certainly not robbery), but at least the remaining cases would be based on a sensible definition of rape. In my view though, if a man wants to press charges against a woman for sexual coercion, the sexual aspect is irrelevant, and while it might well qualify as a pretty serious crime depending on how much violence is used, only laws regarding nonsexual assault and battery and so on should be applicable.

  346. 346
    Gjenganger

    @Eivind Berge 345

    Rape is human copulation resisted by the victim to the best of her ability unless she is credibly threatened with death or serious injury, or someone she commonly protects is thus threatened

    That is a really unresonable requirement. You cannot claim that it is not rape if the victim is afraid to start a fight she is sure to lose, or is too confused to get it together in a hurry, or is only threatened with moderate injury (a broken nose, say). If somebody does not consent, and you know it , having sex with her is rape. What else?

    women raping men would be the equivalent to a reverse robbery, like someone pulls a gun on you and forces you to accept money

    Again, really unreasonable. Surely I have the right to decide that I do not want to have sex with some particular person? If I am forced to have sex anyway against my will, do you want to say that this is OK, because it leaves me better off and I ought to have liked it? Come on!

    I really disagree with your attitude, and I think you are about to be savaged, not undeservedly.

    Now there is an interesting discussion to had about where the limits of consent should go. Various kinds of moral pressure and manipulation are a normal and inseparable part of human relationships. For normal domestic arguments we have no problem with that. But for some reason we get extremely intolerant of any kind of pressure the moment we are talking about sex. If you want your girlfriend to stop leaving her dirty knickers on the breakfast table, nobody finds it morally objectionable if you keep pestering her or threaten to dump her and find another girlfriend, or even to put her out the door and have her walk home. Why, then is this kind of pressure (tantamount to) a serious crime if instead you goal is to have sex with her?

    Unfortunately I am afraid that we will miss the interesting discussion in a flurry of condemnation of your post.

  347. 347
    summerblues

    kacy@341

    One minute twenty eight seconds of WTH. Public transport/bus, night, boy of maybe 10 or 12 years old sitting alone.

    Lots of loud screeching laughter and one curvy woman “flirting” and then straddling this boy. He and the person behind him were smiling, laughing a bit, just going along with it…until the woman started kissing him, holding his arms above his head. He started protesting but he couldn’t breathe with her on top of him like that…she could have smothered him with her breasts. Then she removed his shirt and pants!?! Only then did a woman behind the boy step in. It wasn’t “funny” anymore. If no one had interfered, the assaulter would not have stopped. (face in hands)

  348. 348
    Eivind Berge

    If somebody does not consent, and you know it, having sex with her is rape. What else?”

    No, rape is not merely sex without consent. That is a radical feminist definition which is still only law in a minority of jurisdictions worldwide. Real rape requires force/threat on the level of serious violence, or else the customary punishment is out of proportion to the crime. You can’t both expand the definition to include all sorts of trivialities and still claim the crime is equally heinous. As to what else it can be, it is possible to have laws against other forms of sexual abuse without calling it rape. For example, sex with unconscious people (I mean truly unconscious in a situation where they have a reasonable expectation to be left alone) can be and was a lesser crime of sexual exploitation, but not rape. Here in Norway, before rape law was profoundly reformed by feminists in 2000, there was even a separate lesser offence of “sex obtained by threats,” while “rape” was reserved for sex obtained by actual force or serious threats regard life or limb. Claiming rape IS sex without consent is highly disingenuous since this is not even legally true in many countries, and it is certainly not obvious that this definition is appropriate. Even in feminist Norway, feminist corruption of rape law has not yet quite progressed to the point of simple sex without consent qualifying, though they keep trying and we will probably get there soon (but I realize the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 does go that far in the UK, as do some other European jurisdictions). Some element, however light, of either coercion or unconsciousness is still required by Norwegian rape law, for now. In a few years, the standard will probably be enthusiastic consent, but we are not there yet. I became an MRA in order to fight this hateful trend, which is think is the most important issue for men.

    Surely I have the right to decide that I do not want to have sex with some particular person?”

    Sure. I never denied that. No one has the right to infringe on your body. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily rape either, or even should be classified as a sex crime at all. If you are a man and a woman coerces you into sex, then I don’t agree the sexual aspect is relevant, because there is nothing sexual taken away from you in any meaningful sense, biology being what it is. Everything we know about biology and human nature tells us it is absurd to call it rape. But you could always press charges at least for simple assault by whatever law would be applicable if we ignore the sexual aspect. All theory and evidence tell us that men are rarely ever traumatized by the sexual aspect of female sexual coercion per se, so it is absurd to treat it like a sex crime. But this does by no means mean women are free to do whatever they want to you, of course.

  349. 349
    mildlymagnificent

    I still think the concept of women raping men is absurd due to the biologic fact of sex being a female resource

    A resource? A resource!!??!!!

    Sex is not a resource that men obtain from women who offer or withhold it.

    Unless we’re talking about a commercial transaction between prostitute and client, I suppose, but that’s hardly relevant to ordinary daily life for couples, or “friends with benefits”, or even for casual acquaintances who fancy each other for just this one time. Sex is an activity that people share for mutual enjoyment when they both want to. Sex is an act of mutual giving, not of one giving and the other taking.

    I don’t know whether I’m up to the full-blooded savaging you thoroughly deserve. Right now I find your attitude disappointing and depressing rather than enraging.

  350. 350
    Gjenganger

    Real rape requires force/threat on the level of serious violence, or else the customary punishment is out of proportion to the crime.

    I disagree. If you look at the practicalities of how hard it is to resist, or at how much damage is often done to people, this standard is way too narrow.

    You can’t both expand the definition to include all sorts of trivialities and still claim the crime is equally heinous. As to what else it can be, it is possible to have laws against other forms of sexual abuse without calling it rape.

    OK, put in these specific words, I can agree. There is a tendency in the debate to define ‘rape’ to include many more (and less violent) things than it used to, but to insist that it is an equally heinous crime in each case. The question is where to draw the line – and I doubt we will agree here. To me the big difference is between illegal, and legal but socially disapproved. Having a minor crime somewhere between rape and legality (like ‘sexually careless conduct’) would make it harder to explain behaviour limits, and I do not think it would be understood or accepted by people. It would be better to vary the punishment by sentencing guidelines, aggravating factors etc. – as I am sure judges do.

  351. 351
    Gjenganger

    I very definitely do not agree with Eivind, But

    Sex is an activity that people share for mutual enjoyment when they both want to. Sex is an act of mutual giving, not of one giving and the other taking

    That does leave it open what you call it if one person really wants sex, and the other is rather uninterested but willing to oblige. Which is not irrelevant to ‘enthusiastic consent’, ‘sexual coercion’, and all that stuff.

  352. 352
    mildlymagnificent

    No one has the right to infringe on your body. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily rape either, or even should be classified as a sex crime at all. If you are a man and a woman coerces you into sex, then I don’t agree the sexual aspect is relevant, because there is nothing sexual taken away from you in any meaningful sense, biology being what it is.

    What on earth does this mean?

    Someone finds a person undesirable, maybe distasteful or repulsive, or they might have strong moral commitments to abstain from sex with that person, maybe anyone except one particular person, or they’re suffering from mental or emotional distress or disturbance … and the unwanted person coerces sex some way or another – you want to argue that they’ve not been sexually assaulted?

    You are right about one thing – no one has the right to infringe on your body. But there’s another way to express that – you have the right to control what you do with your own body – and anyone who violates that right has assaulted you, sexual assault if that’s what’s involved. Surely you think that someone who grabs your crotch in your workplace or on public transport should be treated as having committed sexual harassment at least, maybe worse depending on the circumstances. Someone who’s actually violated your body, and/or your morals, and/or your emotional or mental well-being by forcing you to engage in unwanted sexual activity is guilty of more than sexual “harassment”.

    There are no words to describe how wrong you are.

  353. 353
    Eivind Berge

    I am afraid you can’t deny that sex is a female resource in heterosexual interactions. Sex is everywhere seen as something women have and men want. Roy Baumeister wrote a famous paper explaining this titled “Sexual economics: sex as female resource for social exchange in heterosexual interactions” — and he didn’t even base his analysis on strictly evolutionary psychology. Sex being a female resource is overwhelmingly true no matter how you look at it. It is painfully evident that the sexual power belongs to women in almost any interaction outside of committed relationships, and even there this reality is never far away (say they break up and see how many people of the opposite sex they can sleep with — the woman always wins).

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15582858

    Full text of that is also not hard to find. Baumeister also mentions female sexual coercion and makes it clear that while he doesn’t necessarily dismiss the concept as absurd, at the very least it’s much less serious when women do it.

    @Gjenganger

    It’s hard to get fair sentencing when there are draconian minimum sentencing laws. In Norway the minimum is 3 years for rape if there is intercourse, and the usual sentence is 4 years even for the lowest levels of coercion or just plain drunk sex. Feminists really go all or nothing on this. The government even makes it explicit in the whitepaper they just published on the ongoing reform they are working on to expand rape law further that they don’t want a separate offence for sex without consent, lest some “rapists” could get away less time in prison because the court could pick the lesser offence instead. If a woman regrets sex for any reason, it must be always be treated as rape and punished accordingly. Which would tend to decrease the conviction rate, but they are not willing to compromise.

  354. 354
    mildlymagnificent

    That does leave it open what you call it if one person really wants sex, and the other is rather uninterested but willing to oblige.

    Hah! I didn’t refresh before that last comment so I hadn’t seen this, but I had thought of it.

    In long-term relationships particularly, people will often have sex that they didn’t initiate themselves because it’s acceptable and agreeable as an expression of love if not of irresistible desire. Even when it’s a bit of a chore for both parties if they’re trying to get pregnant – having sex by the calendar or the clock – the sexual activity is simply a part of the loving relationship and longer term intentions for the family even though neither party might have initiated that sexual encounter at that specific day/time without that intention.

    The question is not that sex is sometimes more one partner’s idea than both. The big issue is what happens when the uninspired partner is actually unwilling, even for love. Doesn’t matter whether it’s from illness or pregnancy/ menstruation/ breastfeeding or fatigue or just a meh! kind of day, if the willing partner won’t take no for an answer, that’s real trouble.

    And in a casual or other non-committed relationship, there’s no loving, long-term relationship to be considered, so enthusiastic or some other form of unmistakable, obvious consent is the only standard worth anything.

  355. 355
    Ally Fogg

    As ever, I’m reluctant to delete or edit comments unless specifically requested to by others (especially this far on in a debate), but have to say that in my view Eivind Berge’s comments are grotesquely ignorant on the nature of rape and sexual assault, should be considered enormously offensive by anyone who cares about the victims of sexual crimes, and risk giving succour and moral support to rapists and sexual abusers.

    All of the above is true whether we are talking about male victims of female abusers, vice versa, or any combination.

    I utterly reject pretty much everything he says, and I hope all other readers will join me in that.

    If anyone requests that I remove the relevant comments from this thread I will be happy to do so.

  356. 356
    Gjenganger

    @Eivind 353
    I do not know much about Norvegian law, but it sounds like I would also disagree with some of the proposals. Though

    If a woman regrets sex for any reason, it must be always be treated as rape and punished accordingly

    that has to be your own biased version, that cannot be what the proponents are saying.

    We should remember, though, that rape is quite hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in most cases. A lot of the borderline cases that we argue about will never reach conviction no matter how we judge them, simply because nothing can be proved. So a lot of men will go free for lack of evidence, both those we think should not have fallen under the law in the first place, and those we (well, I) agree are lawbreakers.

  357. 357
    Gjenganger

    @mildlymagnificient 354
    Sounds fair enough. I am a more tolerant of ‘reluctant consent’ than you are, but the differences are not big enoughn to argue about.

    Cheers.

  358. 358
    Eivind Berge

    We should remember, though, that rape is quite hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in most cases.

    Well, firstly it’s hardly an argument for bad laws that they are hard to enforce. And more importantly you underestimate how feminists deal with the pesky problem of a low conviction rate: They simply lower the standards for how much guilt needs to be proven. In 2000 mens rea was abolished for rape and so we now have what is called negligent rape. There is no requirement that the man knows that he is “raping.” He is judged on what he “ought to” have known in the opinion of the feminist courts. This will be even worse when the definition of rape is changed to include lack of consent by itself. Then we will surpass UK law too which at least requires that the man knows the woman is not consenting. But even then, as long as you have a right to a jury, it will still be pretty hard to convict. So the final solution is to abolish the jury and replace it with professional feminist judges. Feminists are busy lobbying for this as well and I expect it to happen before long.

  359. 359
    mildlymagnificent

    Sex is everywhere seen as something women have and men want. …
    Sex being a female resource is overwhelmingly true no matter how you look at it. …
    say they break up and see how many people of the opposite sex they can sleep with — the woman always wins

    Good grief! Take that last notion first. The woman always wins. What on earth does this mean? Are couples in some kind of competition to get notches on their separate bedposts once they’re apart – or what. And in the relationships I’ve seen break up, most of the women were left with most of the kids most of the time. And most of the men remarried or moved in with permanent partners pretty quickly. For the women, not so quickly and many not at all. But that’s just the people I know, the Australian statistics include this comment.

    For divorced men, the average time that could be expected to be spent divorced increased from 11 years for those divorcing in 1985–1987 to 17 years for those divorcing in 2000–2002, while for women divorcing in each period, the average time spent divorced increased from 18 years to 24 years.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/26D94B4C9A4769E6CA25732C00207644

    “no matter how you look at it”. Sorry, but I look at it and I don’t see it. To me it sounds like regarding all women in the same way as clients view prostitutes.

    I’ve just asked my husband … when he stopped laughing, he looked a bit nonplussed. So I asked him how many men he knew who’d state, or at least agree with, that sentiment. He can’t think of any friends who would, though he suspects that some people he used to work with might have done – he was never very friendly with the blokes he has in mind.

  360. 360
    D506

    @Ally Fogg 355

    Thank you. I couldn’t agree more. I wanted to respond to Eivind but honestly had no idea how to respond to someone so completely off the rails. So instead I’ll just voice my support for your comment.

  361. 361
    summerblues

    Women control the sex and her sex is a commodity…I’m in therapy trying to undo the damage for this kind of shit. No.

  362. 362
    carnation

    Mr Berge, you spent time in jail, on remand, I believe.

    Some commenters will be unaware of the reason.

    Let us know?

  363. 363
    Gjenganger

    @Eivind Berge 358

    No offense, Eivind, but I do not think this is the place for you.

    You saw Ally (355). He is the owner, and he is tolerant to a fault. And you are still only one complaint away from being deleted.

    Now I am about as reactionary as you will get, on this forum. I am just about close enough that I can see some of where you are coming from, and argue or agree as the case may be. You are clearly presenting your opinions in good faith, and not deliberately trying to offend any individual. And I still think you are way out of line, and I still think the ‘feminist-conspiracy’ stuff you are saying is really useless for a debate. You are just too far away from everybody else here to make a discussion worth while.

    If we meet on some other forum I shall be happy to argue the toss. But I will no longer react to your posts here.

  364. 364
    Eivind Berge

    Very well, obviously this is a feminist site, I know I don’t belong here and I shall comment no further. The only reason I said anything was because I was exasperated to see the feminist rape hoax from Aftenposten went viral, and so I left a link to debunk it. Didn’t really mean to get into a long argument. And yes, I have been imprisoned (on remand) for my views (incitement charge) until the Supreme Court conceded that I had only used my freedom of speech, and so all charges were dropped and now I am suing for compensation for wrongful imprisonment. Nothing on my blog has been deleted either, so the cops didn’t get anywhere with their groundless charges except giving me and the MRA movement lots of free publicity.

  365. 365
    lelapaletute

    WOW. Took me a WHILE to plough through this comment thread, and it really has been a rollercoaster – insightful comments, gormless comments, tragic comments, hateful comments – truly the sublime and the ridiculous. But I feel that when this Eivind character popped up, the debate took a severe nose-dive. Someone who thinks the sexual element of a sexual assault is ‘irrelevant’ if the victim is male (unless, of course, their assailant is also male – only men can be sexual assailants, how enlightened); that sex is a ‘resource’; that women have ‘control’ of that ‘resource’ (allow me to take a moment here to consider the global epidemic of raped women and girls and laugh in hollow disbelief that anyone could ever say this ever); that rape isn’t rape unless the victim physically fought back; that raping someone UNCONSCIOUS isn’t rape if they are not ‘in a situation they could reasonably expect to be left alone’ (what does this even MEAN?)

    Sheesh. And now Gjenganger is doing his usual bit about ‘what about when women have sex with their partners when they’d rather not?” We’ve done this one. No, this is not rape. Because there is consent. It’s not rape; just bad, sad sex. However, there is a sliding scale of ‘persuasion’, and I would say the tipping point is a fairly short distance down that road, and that it’s a risky road to go down because – not being in your partner’s head – you can’t be sure when your ‘persistence’ stops being annoying and starts being harrassment/abusive/intimidating TO THEM. Safer to just take them at their word, I’d say.

    Also, Your ‘pants on the table’ analogy was weird, not least because I don’t understand why if either pants on the table OR no sex was such a massive deal for both partners (with neither willing to compromise without a fight), someone wouldn’t just end the relationship or accept things as they are rather than engage in a protracted bullying campaign. Doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship to me.

    I have to say, I think the key issues here are:

    We have to accord everyone, male or female, the same right to bodily autonomy and integrity, and the same responsibilty to respect that right in others.

    It doesn’t, practically speaking, matter if men are more or less traumatized than women by sexual assault on average, or if more men are being sexually assaulted by women or vice versa. What really matters is that people who are traumatized are taken seriously and given support – emotional, medical, psychological, practical and legal – to come to terms with what has happened to them and move forward with their life.

    I think in this day and age it is safe to say most men would be uncomfortable representing themselves as the victim of a sexual assault of any kind, much less one perpetrated by a woman. This is because of restrictive definitions of masculinity propogated by a patriarchal culture. To have been harmed is to be percieved as weak, and weakness is not tolerated in men. This adds a different dimension to their experience of sexual assault, and this dimension should not be discounted with ‘yeah well, raped women have it tough too.’ Yes they do have it tough. But they have it different tough.

    Both men and women would do well to acknowledge the limitations of their perspective both between genders and within their gender, and to LISTEN to others’ experiences more, rather than to try and foist their perceptions onto their entire gender a la Eivind – who apparently feels he could never be sexually assaulted by a woman because it would be like them giving him money, therefore that’s how it must be for ALL MEN.

    Lastly, Ally, sorry to hear about what happened to you. As you state above that the incident has not scarred you, I won’t go the full therapist on you, but it was a shitty thing. As you astutely point out, just because that incident didn’t traumatise you that time, it does not follow that trauma would have been an invalid reaction. Sometimes the exact same act of assault (slap on the arse, say) can be anything from mildly annoying to full-on terrifying – depends on the person, the context and the specific moment in time. Which is, as you say, why the only responsible and respectful thing to do is to not do anything which contravenes someone’s bodily integrity unless you have full and frank permission to do so.

  366. 366
    carnation

    Mr Berge,

    Like most MRAs you consider any publicity to be go publicity. Unfortunately for you and your ilk, you provide examples of what constitutes the lunatic fringe. To use a phrase I read on the GMP, from David Futrelle (I think), you, Mr Berge, are the looniest and fringiest of this particular lunatic fringe.

  367. 367
    Gjenganger

    @lelapaletute 365
    Yeah, I find you fascinating and insightful too.

    Also, Your ‘pants on the table’ analogy was weird, not least because I don’t understand why if either pants on the table OR no sex was such a massive deal for both partners (with neither willing to compromise without a fight), someone wouldn’t just end the relationship or accept things as they are rather than engage in a protracted bullying campaign. Doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship to me.

    Convincing your partner to do certain things your way is a normal part negotiating a relationship. A less exotic example would be to get him to do his share of the cleaning. In that case would you also suggest to “ just end the relationship or accept things as they are”, or would you think that some moral persuasion might be acceptable?

  368. 368
    Gjenganger

    @lelapaletute 365
    Quite apart from the fact that ‘Do what I want or I will dump you’ could also be seen as undue pressure, e.g. when aplied to sex.

  369. 369
    Ally Fogg

    Lelapaletute

    Great comment thanks, always a pleasure when you pop up around here!

  370. 370
    lelapaletute

    And negotiating is all very well. But what you said was “keep pestering her or threaten to dump her and find another girlfriend, or even to put her out the [car?] door and have her walk home.” All these come under the heading of bullying if you ask me, whether it be for better household salubriousness or more frequent sex.

    In my conception of a healthy adult relationship, you tell your partner what you want them to do/not do for you, explain why it is important to you and how important (i.e. is it a dealbreaker or merely a preference etc), and request that they make this concession out of love and respect for you. They can then accept your request, counter it with an explanation of why they feel unable or unwilling to meet your requests, suggest a compromise you can either accept or reject, or flat-out refuse. Obviously there will be a certain amount of back and forth in this process, and the process will be emotional, but their is a very clear difference between this (grown-up negotiation) and the kind of manipulative, punishing behaviours you describe in your post.

    As for your point at 368, repeatedly threatening to leave someone unless they comply with your wishes is very different from asserting your position and sticking to it (i.e. actually leaving if you’ve said you’re going to leave). One is manipulative and borderline abusive, the other is taking responsibility for your own happiness.

  371. 371
    lelapaletute

    Nnnaw, thanks Ally :)

  372. 372
    Gjenganger

    @lelapaletute 370

    All these come under the heading of bullying if you ask me, whether it be for better household salubriousness or more frequent sex.

    Fair enough, that is consistent. I would consider it unhealthy but legal in both cases, so that fits. I do think that there is a notable difference in the rhetoric – we talk about ‘rape’ in one case, while we do not talk about ‘reduction into slavery’ in the other – and I think the difference between the adult and the childish version of ‘if you do not clean up I shall leave you’ is a bit lost on the man being dumped. But at this point it is not worth arguing over.

  373. 373
    Gjenganger

    @lelapaletute 370
    You do get a certain amount of game theory though, even in the most adult relationship. For cleaning, the advantage in the argument lies with the person best able to tolerate a dirty house. For sex the advantage lies with the person least interested in having sex (maybe that was different back when they talked about ‘wifely duty’). But it is still true that, legal or not, certain tactics are reprehensible.

  374. 374
    lelapaletute

    Actually, in any relationship, if one is forced to view it through the prism of game theory (not, in my view, a given), the advantage lies with the person most willing/able to leave the relationship.

    All the smaller issues are subordinate to that, which is why I place such emphasis on being clear as to what you will and won’t put up with. You can be the partner who most desires sex, and feel disempowered by that; but if you are also the partner to whom sex is more important than the relationship, you have the power to leave, which might turn the megotiations in your favour if your partner is more invested in keeping the relationship than they are in not having sex.

    The big flaw in my argument is that my ‘healthy relationship’ model demands that both parties have equal capcacity (if not willingness) to leave the relationship – essentially, financial independence. A working woman telling her house-husband “more sex or I leave” could be seen to be leveraging unfair advantage, as he is in a vulnerable position if she does so. This is why I consider it healthier to retain financial indpendence (not equality necessarily, but independence) withn a relationship, although this is not always practical, especially when children are involved.

  375. 375
    lelapaletute

    Also, this is OT. We should both stoppit :P

  376. 376
    Gjenganger

    @lelapaletute 374
    There is more to it than that. but I basically agree.

    I also agree with your 375. That is two in a row. Such a rare occurrence deserved one more post. I shall now stoppit.

  377. 377
    Sir Nemesis

    That is of course far lower than the proportion of women who are seriously traumatised by sexual assaults by men but there is also research going back as far as 1982 (by Sarrel and Masters) demonstrating severely negative psychological and psychosexual consequences to male victimization. We are taking a long time to wake up to this problem.
    It seems apparent (and I choose those words with care) that whatever the incidence of female sexual assault of adult males, our society is not teeming with men who have been seriously psychologically and emotionally damaged by experience of female abuse and assault. I recently asked a friend, a clinical psychologist, whether it was something that came up often, and he replied that in a 20 year career, he could only recall two clients who disclosed such issues, both of which had occurred as part of a broader pattern of partner abuse and domestic violence.

    All this means is that men are a hell of a lot less likley to open up about it to a psychologist. There is a reason that depression is diagnosed much more often in women and yet men are several times as likely to commit suicide.

  378. 378
    Sir Nemesis

    Also, it’s amusing to read stuff like this:

    If we’re trying to pick apart how much of the men-won’t-be-that-traumatised idea is culturally entrained, I suppose the non-risk of pregnancy is a factor that no-one’s yet mentioned. That makes M/F sexual aggression qualitatively different from its inverse.

    Historically, supporters of traditional patriarchy have been using the “there are major biological differences that justify sexism” argument, and feminists have pushed back with “these differences are due to culture not biology” argument. Now all of a sudden when they need to defend their differing reaction to male-on-female vs female-on-male rape, feminists are going back to the whole “there are innate differences” argument

    Nature vs. nurture, whichever you pick you’ve got to be consistent. You can’t just pick and choose nature when it allows for benevolent sexism towards women and pick nurture when it promotes equality for women.

  379. 379
    Tamen

    Another large surver/paper not mentioned by Ally nor Martin Fiebert:
    Adolescent sexual aggression: risk and protective factors. (Borowsky, Hogan, & Ireland, 1997):
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9382908

    based on a survey of 71.594 students they found:

    A history of sexual violence perpetration was reported by 4.8% of male and 1.3% of female adolescents.

    Sexual violence perpetration was defined as “forcing someone into a sexual act”.

  380. 380
    lelapaletute

    @Sir Nemesis:

    Nature vs. nurture, whichever you pick you’ve got to be consistent. You can’t just pick and choose nature when it allows for benevolent sexism towards women and pick nurture when it promotes equality for women.

    I think you’ll find most people tend to have a rather more nuanced approach than that, acknowledging the relative impacts of both factors. Because it is actually quite complex. People who argue for all the one or all the other tend to come unstuck pretty quickly, because that’s like trying to use a hammer to make an origami swan.

  381. 381
    BenSix

    Desierto described the facts of the case as “somewhat unusual” before ordering Ross, of Olympia Fields, held in lieu of $75,000 bail for aggravated criminal sexual abuse and armed robbery.

  382. 382
    Archy

    The “society teaches women rape is the worst thing” angle could have a lot of merit. Society seems to heavily teach women that virginity is special, and their sexuality is special, to only “give” sex to those who are worthy and not to do it too much, whilst men are taught to throw it away as soon as possible. Could that lead to women feeling worse after a rape than a man, maybe their violation gets an added component of feeling like a slut, feeling like they’ve had something taken…like a limited amount of sexual partners before one is seen as too dirty and the rapist has stolen one? It is worth investigating if no one has already, maybe men are trained to not see rape as bad as women. If women are taught rape is so damn scary, so evil, so vile, could that actually add even more pain n fear to the experience? I guess similar to how psychologically the fear of needles can make it hurt more than it physically did, reverse-placebo or something. BTW I am not saying rape isn’t bad, it clearly is but it may have additional elements of socialization and psychology which worsen the effects.

    I have heard that men are more likely to change the rape in their mind over time and see it just as sex as a way to rationalize it? So there could be more rapes than are reported even in studies.

  383. 383
    noelplum99

    Read a few of your blog entries tonight Ally and what a breath of fresh air, the comments section especially with some of the most reasoned and reasonable back and forth i have seen on FTB.

    I don’t think i have much to add to what has been said here already. I think the only point i would like to make on the ‘mens experiences’ vs ‘women’s experiences’ is simply that we don’t experience any crime as a man or as a woman, we experience it as an individual.
    I think you are likely right that the average chap would experience the kind of encounter you describe in a way which is qualitatively different to the average woman but that we do need to be mindful of then using those typical responses to judge individual events or the seriousness of behaviours which always impact on individuals, not group averages.

    Looking forward to following this blog, I really am.
    Jim.

  384. 384
    Mr Supertypo

    My take on this.

    Rape is brutal and it is damaging to both women and men. I dont see categories or gender. Rape is NOT a womens (or men) issue, but a human issue, where a human being is forced into sex by another human. There is no way around, its equally damaging to both genders.

    Yes there is to little information around sexual abuse or rape on men, either done by other men or women. And this has to change NOW. The people who doesent agree, im sorry but you have to much internalized patriarchy, and that means you have to work much harder. Yes women can be as violent as men, YES women can be just destruptive as men. YES women also rape.

    Have a nice day.

  385. 385
    Tamen

    Michele L. Ybarra, MPH; Kimberly J. Mitchell, PhD Prevalence Rates of Male and Female Sexual Violence Perpetrators in a National Sample of Adolescents JAMA Pediatr. Published online October 07, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2629 available here: http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1748355

    This study found that Females and males have carried out sexual violence at nearly equal levels by the age of 18 — 48 percent on the female side, 52 percent on the male side. 4% (10 females and 39 males) reported attempted or completed rape.

    Other interesting findings:

    females also appear to be more likely than males to engage in perpetration as part of a team or group: 2 of the 10 female perpetrators in this study engaged in group sexual assault compared with 1 of the 39 male perpetrators.

    The term “sexual assault” means rape and attempted rape in this context (see the finding that 10 women and 39 men reported attempted or completed rape).

    On victim blaming:

    Fifty percent of perpetrators said that the victim was completely responsible; one-third (35%) said that they, the perpetrator, were completely responsible for the incident. Again, differences by perpetrators’ sex or age at first perpetration were not noted.

    And the authors has this to say on challenging bias:

    It is not uncommon to believe that a man cannot be raped by a woman. Gender stereotypes can make it difficult to imagine a dominant woman coercing or forcing an unwilling man to have sex. Accordingly, male victims of female perpetrators are judged more harshly than male victims of male perpetrators. Moreover, the same behaviors perceived to be sexually aggressive when committed by a male can be perceived as romantic or promiscuous when committed by a female. Nonetheless, physiological data suggest that men can be raped; an erection does not necessarily mean sexual arousal and can be reflexogenic. Adolescent health care professionals need to assess the potential for their own gender biases in this area so that they can be more effective in identifying and treating female perpetrators and male victims when they present.

    .

    In this article about this paper Sharmil Majmudar of Chicago-based Rape Victim Advocates said that the paper also found that completed rape is predominantly a male crime—a finding that is in line with general attitudes about rape, according to Sharmili Majmudar of Chicago-based Rape Victim Advocates, which was not associated with the study.

    What I immediately ask myself then is how does the study define rape. They don’t state it outright in the paper, but thay say this:

    Sexual violence perpetration was queried using 4 items. Three items were modified from the Sexual Experiences Survey and are consistent with the Bureau of Justice Statistics definition of rape, which can include “psychological coercion as well as physical force.”28

    The reference (28) includes a link to a page on the BJS website.

    Due to the the shutdown in the US the BJS website is currently unavailable, but the Wayback Machine has a cached version from May 2013 (http://web.archive.org/web/20130216185755/http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=317) which states:

    Rape – Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means penetration by the offender(s). Includes attempted rapes, male as well as female victims, and both heterosexual and homosexual rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

    By this definition a woman forcing a man to vaginal intercourse is NOT a forced sexual intercourse and hence NOT rape.

    If that really is the definition the paper used it is no wonder that they found that men are the predominant perpetrators of rape.

  386. 386
    Suz

    Anyone can challenge others’ assumptions; genuine skepticism requires the ability to challenge one’s own assumptions. But it might get you kicked out of the FTB community.

    In addressing how women are affected by sexual aggression, you might consider looking into how women have been trained to feel about sexual aggression, and how “sexual aggression” has been redefined in recent decades. Have you looked at Mary Koss’ methodology in her 1 in 4 “study?”

  387. 387
    Jonny Vincent

    Wikipedia: Rape by Deception

    Rape by deception is a crime in which the perpetrator has the victim’s sexual consent and compliance, but gains it through deception or fraudulent statements or actions. The act is known in Tennessee and California as rape by fraud.

    One example

    Another example

    To women who wear makeup, how can you be certain that you have ever had consensual sex with a man? How could you make that argument if you were wearing cosmetics? If you need deception to gain consent that would not have been granted otherwise, that is rape.

    “But the men we want to sleep with won’t sleep with us if we’re honest..!”

    The answer is not to rape them…!? No means No.

  388. 388
    Dan

    I was forced to have sex with a fairly attractive woman. In the first instance I wanted to have sex with her, however, when it started I realized that the way this was happening was not exactly what I had in mind. We were at her house and her two teenage children (boy and girl) were within a few steps of us in their rooms. They could easily hear everything that was happening. Actually, for reasons unknown to me, she (woman I was with) wanted to leave her bedroom and go down into the living room which was very near the two children. Like a fool, hoping to get what I did get, I went along with it. I did not realize what was going to happen. She had her clothes off but was wearing a bathrobe. Somehow she got me to take all of my clothes off. I was totally naked and had no blanket to cover myself with in the event any of her children suddenly decided to come down from not more than 15 feet away. You could see the light coming out from under their room doors. She pinned me on my back on top of the sofa and a large footrest with my legs over the edge. With her on top of me I was pinned and unable to move. It was not pleasant. Then she got a little nasty and literally put my penis into her. No asking, no foreplay, nothing, she just forced me into her. Yes, I was a little hard because I wanted to fuck her but I did want to do it completely naked in the living room with her kids awake not more than 15 feet away. They could easily hear every sound. The sound was her telling me exactly what to do. It was awful. It was not long until I felt like I was being forced to have sex and that she was physically trying to hurt me and was abusing me badly. I had no way out. As I started to try and stop she got violent and would not let me take my dick out of her. She hit me and put my dick back into her vagina and told me to keep at it. I told her I was nervous about her kids being so close and able to just walk out and see what was going on. What they would see is me totally naked on my back and her with a robe on on top of me forcing me to have sex with her. She was saying mean things to me, spitting on her hand and rubbing it on me near my dick and rear end. She would not let me get up and kept me pinned on my back. I was very nervous that one of the kids would come into the room. She kept forcing me to straighten up and keep my dick in her and fuck her. If I stopped she would hit me and make sure my now sore penis was inside of her whether or not I wanted it there. It was awful. I felt like she was going to eventually hurt me pretty badly. She got rougher and rougher with my penis. I could tell she was getting off by physically abusing me and by forcing me to stay inside of her. She hit me harder and harder the more I tried to quit fucking her. Finally I just gave in and let her do whatever she wanted to me. She started to hump me unmercifully. She was literally bouncing on me and did not care if she missed and smashed my erect penis. When she missed the pain was very intense. I stayed fairly hard and could not figure out why. I just wanted to get out of there immediately. Somehow I was able to get out from under her. I got up and dressed very quickly and literally ran out of the front door and told her I would see her another day. I never, ever came back. My penis was sore for several days after that and I had a few bruises where she had hit me with her fist.

  389. 389
    fabrizzo

    raging bee,u fucking bastard,how dare u belittle the trauma faced by men by saying that,since its a part of men penetrating into women,it MUST be less traumatising for men either way the rape goes?Ever fucking considered the fact that its defiling to have to insert a part of urself into someone whom u despise?does it not parallel having a part of u ‘devoured’ by the other?thats why i always believe that,in the act of rape,the rapists arfe also defiling themselves,and the notion of perp-victim is entirely based on who initiates n who is forced into it.u bloody stereotyping asshole,u are the LAST person i’d seek opinions on anybody’s rights.u are the very kind of people thats the reason why theres so much INEQUALITY stioll in the society these days

  390. 390
    fabrizzo

    Ragingbee,u are nothing but a misandrist,a bigot,a chauvinist and a troll,of the very worst kind.Everybody,just IGNORE whatever fucking bullshit she spews out of her crappot.worthless spawn of existence,were u being sexually raped by your own dad,to espouse such hatred against malekind,n to magnify and exaggerate the victim status of women?How dsad that now,its not the righteous and upright,but those who can act more pathetic and kick up a bigger fuss who gets societal pity and hence,all the benefits that follow.Feminists would do just about anythjing to win right,including sending a wastrel like u?

  391. 391
    summerblues

    fabrizzo:

    I believe Raging Bee is a man.

    Raging has crossed my personal boundries of taking his pain and trauma out on the rest of us (we didn’t do it so quit taking it out on the rest of us.) This does not excuse the word vomit that you just spewed on a dead thread.

  392. 392
    fabrizzo

    It’s hard for me to believe any man would be such an IDIOT to curse his own kind in such a way.Are u sure u arent getting it all wrong?By the way,this blog is just at most 2 months old,so i see no reason calling it dead.I’m expressing my true opinions and contempt for someone who deserves it n more,so u better jollywell bugger off if u know whats good for u.if u came here just to diss me off with your own version of a word vomit(which i aint guilty of btw),u better 5think again.And arent u an idiot as well,in my whole message posting i was targeting her(i really DONT believe u saying she’s a man),where in my posts did i even scold anyone else?Open ur bloody eyes and stop taking offense when none is meant,else offense would be coming ur way,n i mean it.douche.I have the freedom to post what i want,so u cant stop me(or do u tyhink likewise u’ve the freedom to bug,pester and harass me on that eh?).Just whose side are u on i wonder?

  393. 393
    fabrizzo

    summer,if u believe this thread is dead,then SCRAM OFF.By posting yourself u’ve made it un-dead,n intend on it being so.u have also given me a reason to continue posting,through your provocation.of course,its entirely up to me whether i take such a bait of provocation,so dont think u can become a troll n do the very thing u are pretending to be discouraging.

  394. 394
    fabrizzo

    To be perfectly clear,most blog postings I find are at least a month old,if not longer.unless ive been following a certain forum or blog,its IMPOSSIBLE for me to get a first dibs on an entry when it appears.So quit being so difficult claiming its dead when less than 2 months have passed since its beginning.who are u to govern who posts what when,summer?If i followed ur way of determining when a thread is ‘dead’,i’d have nothing to post my thoughts on,since they’d all be outdated,the the searches would never throw me one that’s ‘current’.
    Creative us of the words word and vomit,too bad its been misused by people like u.I was standing up for male rigfhts,if u hadnt noticed;unless u are really actually siding with her instead of supporting the cause of this thread.Him or her it doesnt matter,what he’s wrote(if indeed a him) has proven him unworthy to be deemed a man,even the leqast bit,so idc

  395. 395
    Bronze

    By your description of what happened to you at a party – being accosted by a drunk female – tongue/hand in pants as an almost rape – then I’ve almost been raped dozens and dozens of times if I count the number of drunk men who have tried to kiss me or accost me – if you asked females this – those numbers for females who at this moment just write those incidents off would cause statistics to sky rocket. I have been LICKED in public by TOTAL strangers!! I hate to shatter your illusion – but there are a LOT of arsehole men out there who think nothing of saying, doing, or attempting to do sexual things to females – even right out in the open. Think of wolf whistling men or comments such as ‘I’d tap that’. I have actually been fully raped(ridiculous I even have to bring this up) and he was not reported. Verbal coercion – means what? – almost every time my husband wants to have sex with me he uses words I could consider verbal coercion and EVERY single teenage experience I EVER had were boys doing their darndest to let them do sexual things- using their octopus hands and verbal coercion to help me decide I wanted to have sex with them . My ability to get away from these even very drunk men is a LOT less then when it is some drunk loser female doing it to a man. I have yet to feel a ‘stirring of recognition in my pants’ or ‘contemplated letting him continue’ as you did during any of these drunk stranger accosting me episodes. My response was revulsion and fear.
    I believe this wishy washy language you use is rather convenient. ‘You wanna do it baby’/ ‘I know you want it’ ‘ MILF’ – happens all the time – is it attempted rape when a female does it? What is it when a man does it? I can assure you if we started counting incidents against females by the same level you have – all numbers across the board would skyrocket. Most women I know just take it as a gimme that men (drunk and sober) say and do these things and IGNORE it their whole lives – maybe we should start counting it? Boy – that would curtail a lot of mens speech and actions out there in their world.

  396. 396
    Tamen

    Bronze:

    What is it when a man does it? I can assure you if we started counting incidents against females by the same level you have – all numbers across the board would skyrocket.

    There are plenty of research that do count those incidents. For example the NISVS 2010 Report which counts “Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences”, “Unwanted sexual contact”, “Sexual coercion”, “Being made to penetrate someone else” and “Rape” (full definition on page 17 of the report.

    And they generally show a larger discrepancy between men and women for the less serious events and a smaller one for the more serious ones (I am equating “rape” and “being made to penetrate someone else”).

    My ability to get away from these even very drunk men is a LOT less then when it is some drunk loser female doing it to a man.

    You should be careful dabbling in absolutes or perhaps you could tell me how I was much more able to prevent a woman from having sex with me while I was unconscious/asleep than a woman would be in the same situation?

    I have been LICKED in public by TOTAL strangers!!

    Not cool. Having a women I didn’t know personally and hadn’t spoken too jamming her tongue into my ear while I was standing at the bar talking to my mates wasn’t cool either.

    I have yet to feel a ‘stirring of recognition in my pants’ or ‘contemplated letting him continue’ as you did during any of these drunk stranger accosting me episodes.

    You are aware that physical responses by the body aren’t that unusual for female rape victims as well. The term often used is “body betrayal” when the victim experience getting lubricated or perhaps even getting an orgasm while they are being raped. The victim’s who experience this often have a hard time coming to grips with it and often say that their body betrayed them. A male victim getting an erection is not any different.

    It is also not uncommon for rape victims of all kinds to contemplate letting the perpetrator continue just to get it over with and/ or because one fears for the consequence if one fight against the perpetrator. Several even do so.

    In short, be careful about universalizing your own experience.

  397. 397
    Pete

    There is some dangerous, and worrying, talk here.

    Sexual assault it sexual assault. Regardless of how the victim reacts, the aggressor should be treated the same, irrespective of gender.

    A man rapes a woman and she isn’t seriously psychologically damaged by it? He’s still rapist scum.

    A woman rapes a man and he isn’t seriously psychologically damaged by it? SHE’S STILL RAPIST SCUM.

    Even after reporting a wealth of evidence, you still make men the big, bad monsters. This kind of thinking and demonisation of 50% of the planet simply has to stop.

  398. 398
    Jonny Vincent

    Every weekend in Thailand, thousands of men are being raped by ladyboys (men imprinted with a woman’s mind, as far as I understand the phenomenon; the misandry here is so rampant, one imagines that might explain why 1 in 5 boys are identifying as girls? I don’t really know much about it, until recently, I didn’t realise it was entirely psychological).

    What’s fascinating is that ladyboys aren’t being killed or beaten. The degree of their sexual predatory behaviour is confronting enough to have infuriated me on a couple of occasions (snatching at crotch, or blocking passage), and these are men so they’re not frail or short, necessarily. They would be furious to be labelled as “men”, of course; in their minds, they are women trapped in the body of a man.

    They are utterly fearless. It would appear that men have been conditioned not to retaliate against women and apparently this protection bubble extends to ladyboys. One ladyboy I asked said he’s never “felt danger” and, to be frank, this fellow’s behaviour is out and out rape. (Drunk) men believe he’s a girl as surgeons are so brilliant these days, but he still has male genitalia which the men might not see prior to sex. Incredulous, I asked him how men respond and he shrugged dismissively. “Some leave if they’re prudes, but most just ignore it or tell me to keep it out of their sight.”

    Out of sight, out of mind. Thousands of rapes every weekend, hapless men seemingly incapable or unwilling to respond.

  399. 399
    Timber

    “When a woman is attacked by another woman there are several things that reduce the impact: firstly you stand a fighting chance, secondly you can predict another woman’s behaviour better and can reason with her using a language you both speak, thirdly you aren’t going to run into misogynistic brutality, fourthly she isn’t going to rape you.”

    I recently read about a study that found when female teenagers fight each other humiliating the other as much as possible is much more important than for men which tend more to see the fight about just winning. Of course there is a clear aspect of humiliating the opponent for men to but the researchers described the women as putting in much more effort at additional verbal humiliation after winning and that they did more stuff like put the loosing woman’s head in a garbage can, make her say humiliating things about her etc. So, getting in trouble with women might even be worse.

  400. 400
    Mr Supertypo

    Timber, I agree. People who claims women are more respectful or egalitarians obviously haven’t seen a girl vs girls fight. My suggestion is go to youtube and have a look. Even if YT hardly is a indicator but its enough to makes you reconsider the non-misogynistic meme. They are even worse than we are. Ripping clothes, breast bites, name calling, heavy bulling sometimes even permanent damage. IMO people should let aside what they know. Teenagers to day are different from teen agers just for 10y ago. All the fvf fights I have witnessed they all encompassed strong sexual insults followed by psychical torment. So no. Women as more respectful is a urban legend.

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