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Jun 22 2012

DOJ releases new standards to combat prison rape. Right-wingers fight it, MRAs yawn

Via Think Progress:

This week, the Department of Justice published new standards addressing the epidemic of rape and sexual abuse in our nation’s prisons. The guidelines, which apply immediately to federal prisons and give financial incentives for states to comply, are a laudable, widely praised, and long overdue step in combating rape in the United States.


Of course, the right-wing American Action Forum thinks the rules and action against prison rape are too expensive:

Not only is success questionable at best, the DOJ’s own estimates illustrate the fiscal effects of such a heavy-handed approach. The Department predicts that average total costs for each year will equal nearly $470 million. Many of the annual estimates are slightly below that figure. However, DOJ estimated roughly $745 million in costs for the remaining months in 2012. This $300 million spike, compared to other years, demonstrates the steep learning curve for state correctional facilities.

DOJ also chose to ignore concerns about unfunded state costs. The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) requires federal agencies to explain the burden their rules impose on state and local governments. Currently, any rule imposing more than $162 million in annualized inter-governmental costs triggers UMRA’s threshold.

I dunno, sounds like a good reason to actually tax the rich fairly, especially those making money off the for-profit prison systems you have in place.

But the real shocker about this is — wait, it’s not a shocker at all. Let me try that again. *ahem*

But the real totally-expected thing about this is that so-called “Men’s Rights Activists” are completely oblivious, because fixing prison rape — which largely happens to men, but also happens to women — isn’t about stopping those damned uppity feminists. They’ll use the issue of prison rape as a club, but don’t actually care to fight against the issue at all, as Manboobz covers.

If the Men’s Rights movement were truly concerned with helping men, rather than playing “oppression Olympics” and complaining about feminists and women in general, they would be all over this issue. But I have seen nothing about this on any site in the manosphere, aside from one post on the Men’s Rights subreddit that drew all of six (mostly ignorant) comments. (Looking through one large thread on the subject of prison rape that was recently on r/mensrights’ front page, I found zero references to the Justice Department’s new initiative.)

What accounts for this obliviousness? It could be because MRAs tend to regard the Obama administration as a tool of our (imaginary) feminazi overlordsladies. Or because they would have to acknowledge that women are also raped in prison. But I think the real reason is that MRAs are so disconnected from real activists working in the real world to combat prison rape that they are completely unaware of any of this.

I mean, fixing prison rape wouldn’t directly hurt feminism, so why bother? Dave Futrelle of Manboobz recommends you support Just Detention International if you want to end the horrible practice of prison rape by providing frameworks for protecting prisoners from rape, and punishing the perpetrators. JDI has a video up with prison rape survivors’ stories, and their reactions to the PREA [obviously, trigger warnings]:

Voices for Justice from JustDetention on Vimeo.

People complaining about misogyny will bring MRAs out in droves. People complaining about prison rape, for some reason, doesn’t. Now why is that?

11 comments

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  1. 1
    Mike

    At this point it isn’t even thinly veiled mysogyny, it’s explicit. MRAs don’t care about men. They just don’t want to give up even the slightest bit of privilege.

  2. 2
    michaeld

    Yeah not exactly a great turnout guys…

  3. 3
    skeptifem

    There is so much racism in MRA groups that they may not care for that reason, seeing as how whites are under-represented in the prison system.

  4. 4
    Stacy

    Prison rape is mostly male-on-male violence. It doesn’t go with their “men are the victims of women!” meme.

    And so–*cricket chirps*

    Whiny jerks aside, this is great news.

  5. 5
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    It certainly doesn’t come as any surprise. And they probably see the victims of prison rape as deserving of whatever happened to them, because if they were real men they’d at least be pitching instead of catching.

  6. 6
    Jason Thibeault

    Wow. This long and still no MRA trolls.

    Got you guys thinkin’, huh?

  7. 7
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    They haven’t yet trolled the search engines for “MRA” or their other key phrases yet today.

  8. 8
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Ooh. Double “yet”. Nice one, F.

  9. 9
    Jason Thibeault

    I used “at the moment” twice in the same sentence in a work email today. To my boss.

  10. 10
    samoanbiscuit

    Truth! MRAs be crazy. It all seems to boil down to mother issues, ex-wife issues, or “involuntary celibacy” issues, when one tries to engage with an MRA. How many times should the word “MRA” show up in the comments before one appears like Bloody Mary? MRA! MRA! MRA!

  11. 11
    Garnetstar

    How about not incarcerating (black) people for small possession offenses? That oughta save some goddamn money.

  1. 12
    r/MensRights reminds me why I don’t Reddit » Lousy Canuck

    […] happening to a feminist, but it’s SUPER SERIOUS when it’s happening to a bro. Only you MRA-types actually don’t seem to give a shit about prison rape of men at all. Protip: the A in your name stands for “activist”, not […]

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