Quantcast

«

»

Oct 04 2011

Someday, maybe social media will apply their rules consistently

Remember when Facebook started censoring the pages of breastfeeding women? They were removing photos that showed…nipple. It was a violation of the TOS! If they didn’t hold the line on nudity, they were on a slippery slope to open pornography. Think of the children! And most importantly, they were enforcing a consistent policy that simply banned all nudity without judgment about its purpose or context.

The situation has a apparently changed in 2011. Now there are crass Facebook pages filled with crude jokes about rape, and that’s all right despite the fact that they do plainly violate the TOS, that states “You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” Is rape not hateful? Is it not threatening? Is it not violent?

Have no fear, Facebook has a rationalization. Rape is a joke.

Facebook’s initial response to the public outcry was to suggest that promoting violence against women was equivalent to telling a rude joke down the pub: “It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining” went the bizarre rape apologia. “Just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.”

Does breastfeeding a baby get you thrown out of a pub? Shouldn’t joking about rape be more likely to get you thrown out? (I know,it isn’t).

Personally, I don’t think Facebook should censor the rape pages: they’re awful and shameful, but it’s good to see that the hateful morons are out there so you can guard against them. I’d rather that social media were open and that they allowed all — they simply shouldn’t be in the business of monitoring user-created content.

But Facebook has gone the other way. They are regulating what people are allowed to say, and they are creating a culture in which a bare breast is obscene and disgusting, while violent sexual assault is considered amusing. It isn’t that they allow rape jokes, it’s that they’ve exposed themselves as two-faced and untrustworthy, and are actively promoting an environment in which men have carte blanche and women are targets, and had better like it.

(Also on Sb)

391 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    jamessweet

    There are also Facebook pages for NOM and for Stormfront.

    FWIW, I agree with you that Facebook would be better off staying away from deciding which ideas are acceptable and which aren’t. Didn’t know about the breastfeeding thing, that’s fucked up. Assholes…

  2. 2
    SQB

    There is a petition over on change.org for us to sign.

  3. 3
    Tyro

    they are creating a culture in which a bare breast is obscene and disgusting, while violent sexual assault is considered amusing

    I think that the FCC and dozens of other decency laws beat them to the punch. It’s perfectly acceptable to show violence to children (if there’s no blood). If there’s blood, it’s suitable for young adults. Apparently kids aren’t influenced by what they watch (or we just don’t care if kids are violent). At the same time, any sort of nudity is forbidden because we all know the very worst thing that can happen to a child is to understand their bodies because it might encourage them to have sex!

    The whole thing is a mess but FB is just following the demented American path that has been set down decades ago.

  4. 4
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Jesus Christ. I think it may be time for me to drop all of this “social networking” bullshit.

  5. 5
    LykeX

    So, if I claim that my sex life is a joke, will I be allowed to post naked pictures of myself? What if someone posts a breastfeeding joke with accompanying illustration?

    Actually, I always found it strange that people get so worked up about breastfeeding. It’s the most natural thing in the world, it doesn’t hurt anybody and, let’s face it, most of the breast is covered by the baby anyway.

    Could someone please explain to me what the problem is?

  6. 6
    Glodson

    I think this is more indicative of our society than Facebook itself. I mean, for some reason ANY kind of sex is taken much more seriously than graphic violence. I don’t know why images of nipples, dicks, and other assorted body parts are almost consider profane, but eviscerated organs and blood are just par for the course.

    But I agree that the hate-speak and rape jokes should be allowed. It is good to put a face to a moron.

  7. 7
    Tapetum

    Violence, including sexualized violence, is always more acceptable in American media than straight up sex. Apparently the worst thing you can do is show people enjoying a healthy, happy sex life without horrific consequences.

    No wonder we’re so terribly screwed up.

  8. 8
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    This – together with Facebook’s utter failing on privacy issues – is one reason why I’m (slowly, but surely) switching my social networking over to G+
    Now, I don’t trust Google. But I trust Facebook even less.

  9. 9
    IndyM, pikčiurna

    @Lyke: I hear you. I could never understand it either: a woman breastfeeding her baby is a natural, lovely sight. I could never figure out why Americans get so utterly squicked out by it. (And I’ve seen people pearl-clutch many a time if they happen to encounter a woman breastfeeding in public.)

    Another thing I’ll never understand is the humor of rape jokes. I’ve never found human suffering funny.

  10. 10
    Ashley Moore

    What if they say they were breastfeeding ‘ironically’? Would it then be allowed?

  11. 11
    PlayMp1

    @3 Tyro

    Apparently kids aren’t influenced by what they watch (or we just don’t care if kids are violent).

    Considering I watched fairly violent and graphic stuff from a young age and I don’t have any history of violence nor ever suffer from violent urges, I tend to actually believe that.

  12. 12
    Bernard Bumner

    Female nipples are obscene because women are sex objects.

    Rude er, Rape jokes are funny because women are sex objects.

    Facebook likes male nipples. They are not offensive. The female nipple is the mark of the succubus. Obviously.

  13. 13
    carovee

    @PlayMP1, I’m pretty sure that research shows a reduction in empathy towards victims of violent crime after viewing violent media. Of course this kind of research is usually done on college students in a highly contrived setting, but still … there does seem to be a rise in the people who don’t give a rats ass about anybody else.

  14. 14
    Sour Tomato Sand

    Just another example of American cultural belief that anything is less offensive than consensual sex. My favorite though remains what the RIAA did to the movie Sucker Punch. Quoth Emily Browning, the lead female in the flick:

    “I had a very tame and mild love scene with Jon Hamm. It was like heavy breathing and making out. It was hardly a sex scene… I think that it’s great for this young girl to actually take control of her own sexuality. Well, the MPAA doesn’t like that. They don’t think a girl should ever be in control of her own sexuality because they’re from the Stone Age. I don’t know what the fuck is going on and I will openly criticize it, happily. So essentially, they got Zack to edit the scene and make it look less like she’s into it. And Zack said he edited it down to the point where it looked like he was taking advantage of her. That’s the only way he could get a PG-13 (rating) and he said, ‘I don’t want to send that message.’ So they cut the scene!”

    I didn’t even like the movie, but that serves as a perfect example to me of what’s wrong with our views on sex in this country: consensual sex gets an R rating, but rape is just fine for the kiddies.

  15. 15
    Sour Tomato Sand

    scratch RIAA, add MPAA up there. I always confuse the two; I hate ‘em both so much.

    Also, I wonder if anyone is starting a breast-feeding posting campaign on Facebook yet.

  16. 16
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Sour Tomato, have you seen This Film is Not Yet Rated? It has its failings, but it tackles that very issue.
    It’s not just women having consensual sex, it’s also LGBT scenes. A moviemaker did a frame-for-frame recreation of a (opposite-)sex scene from a PG-13 movie with two male actors, got slapped with an R rating.
    Because of teh ghey.
    When Boys Don’t Cry got submitted for rating, the rating board complained about the scene where he gives his GF an orgasm – it went on too long. Said nothing about the much longer scene where he’s gang raped.

  17. 17
    SQB

    I’m pretty sure that research shows a reduction in empathy towards victims of violent crime after viewing violent media.

    <anecdotal>
    When I see real people suffering on TV, I always have to remind myself that it is real instead of just some actor or actress.
    </anecdotal>

  18. 18
    Peptron

    I remember walking back home traumatized after watching Braveheart with a friend, but not because of the movie itself.

    It was an extremely violent movie, and his mother was all right with it. Well, as you may know, eventually he falls for a woman, and well, they do what they have to do. At this point his mother thought that it was a horrible sight. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around something that is OK with killing people violently but is NOT OK with simply getting close to one in.

    Where I live (Québec), there doesn’t really seem to be this “sex is worse than violence” view, so his mother’s behavior was new to me. This is a thing I never understood about the US.

  19. 19
    IndyM, pikčiurna

    @ PlayMp1:

    I don’t think that watching violence necessarily makes people violent; however, I believe that it can desensitize them. For example, torture/horror movies have become so mainstream, and teens think nothing of watching that stuff–it’s all ‘make-believe.’ And yet people are being tortured all the time all over the world; I don’t think they realize that many people have actually suffered the horror of torture.

    I also think that watching graphic violence or reading about it can adversely affect some who may be especially sensitive to such stuff. In my case, I read Kosinki’s “The Painted Bird” at a very young age, and it caused an endless amount of nightmares for me (and I was a very happy and stable child in general). To this day, I can’t even look at the cover of the book without shuddering. (Note: I’m not saying the book is bad and/or should be avoided–I was just way too young for it. And yet that book was available for me to pluck up for myself in the library, but dog forbid I should be exposed to any books with sex in them!)

  20. 20
    Assassin Actual

    Ditch your FB account, I recently did and my daily levels of pointless drama declined by 66%

  21. 21
    Tyro

    PlayMp1

    Considering I watched fairly violent and graphic stuff from a young age and I don’t have any history of violence nor ever suffer from violent urges, I tend to actually believe that.

    Well, some people think that hitting pillows or punching heavy bags relieves aggression whereas studies show that it actually increases it. Young kids that watch others act violently do tend to act more violently themselves. But yes, I agree that with all of our violent video games we actually have less overall violence so whatever the impact might be, it can’t be all that large.

    My point was really that our culture guardians believe that violence has a negligible impact on children while simultaneously believing that any glimpse of a naked human body would be irreparably damaging. Setting aside the bizarre standards (wouldn’t we want to raise children who are comfortable with their bodies and who avoid violence?), it requires that tv doesn’t influence us and simultaneously can emotionally scar us.

    I personally think that kids should grow up with non-sexual nudity and violence (especially sexualized violence) should be curtailed.

  22. 22
    b00ger

    Violence is illegal (in most cases), yet showing images of violence is perfectly legal.

    Fucking is legal (in most cases), yet showing pictures of fucking is illegal.

    It just don’t make any sense.

    In the word’s of George Carlin (concerning prostitution), “Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn’t selling fucking legal?”

  23. 23
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    When something like this comes up I’m always reminded of my friend who has always loved Terminator, since watching it for the first time when she was probably less than 7. Up until her late teenage years, she never knew that there was a sex scene in the movie. Her parents would always send her out before it came, but apparently had no problem with the violence in the whole rest of the movie.

  24. 24
    ambulocetacean

    Jack Nicholson explained all this years ago: “If you suck on a tit the movie gets an R rating. If you hack the tit off with an axe it will be PG.”

  25. 25
    julian

    So glad facebook no longer believes I’m actually me. It has helped limit the number of pointless conversations I have to endure.

    “Oh my god! I haven’t seen you since junior year at Stuy!”

    “Hey…whoever the fuck you are…”

    “Friend me! Here’s a bumper sticker!”

    “What’s a bumper sticker?”

    “That *lol*”

    “Right…”

    “You play farmville, right? Oh my god, you don’t! We have to fix that.”

    “…”

  26. 26
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I have to confess; I used to have a Facebook account. Or I guess I might still have it since bastards don’t want to erase closed accounts (unless something changed since I stopped giving a fuck). Anyway, I opened it when it barely started becoming sort of almost popular and having like 10 friends sending me useless messages, and quizzes, and gifts, and invitations got on my nerves immediately. Yay for ditching Facebook. And I’m not going anywhere near Google+. I learn from experience.

  27. 27
    remyporter

    How about FaceBook just gives its users the tools they need to moderate the content they interact with and not try and do the job for them. We can have our boobs and our breastfeeding and our rape jokes, and everybody can be happy.

  28. 28
    Lucas

    Posted a link to the Guardian editorial, added my comment which is copy-pasta’d (may His Noodly Appendage Touch Us All):

    I feel this is the case because Mark Zuckerberg is a nerd who has long fostered a misogyny that is endemic to the nerd community, and now that he is in significant power, he’s doing what he can to “stick it to those stuck up [BLARG]s who dated those jerk jocks in high school instead of Superior, Nice Guy Me”.

    But I could be wrong.

  29. 29
    Rey Fox

    So they cut the scene!

    Well I sure hope they included it on the DVD then. (never saw the movie)

  30. 30
    ambulocetacean

    BTW, if you don’t get Facebook on your package you can still see the highlights at http://www.lamebook.com

  31. 31
    Rayketh

    “Violence is illegal (in most cases), yet showing images of violence is perfectly legal.

    Fucking is legal (in most cases), yet showing pictures of fucking is illegal.”

    You know, I always knew that, but just never thought of it so concisely. Wow. We’re kind of fucked up.

  32. 32
    scarina

    Actually, I always found it strange that people get so worked up about breastfeeding. It’s the most natural thing in the world, it doesn’t hurt anybody and, let’s face it, most of the breast is covered by the baby anyway.
    Could someone please explain to me what the problem is?

    I think that some people get upset because, in their minds, breasts are men’s playthings. So it hurts their heads when they see breasts being exposed but nonsexual. Breasts on Playboy=good, breasts being used for their natural function=bad.

  33. 33
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    What’s this Facethingy everyone keeps talking about?

  34. 34
    Olav

    Facebook is of the devil. You shouldn’t care about what they do or do not allow on their pages.

  35. 35
    Stevarious

    I’d like to point out this paragraph from the linked article.

    What Facebook and others who defend this pernicious hate speech don’t seem to get is that rapists don’t rape because they’re somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street: rapists rape because they can. Rapists rape because they know the odds are stacked in their favour, because they know the chances are they’ll get away with it.

    Fuck you, Cath Elliot. You absolutely had me on your side until you called me, and every other man, a wannabe rapist, just waiting for an opportunity.

    I still dislike the rape pages on Facebook, I think they are absolutely vile. But I agree with PZ in that they can actually serve a useful purpose – if a woman, about to go on a date with a man, finds such pages in his Facebook ‘likes’, she will know to steer clear of him. No ‘regular’ (read: non-rapist) man would like such pages – I definitely think that it takes a distorted sort of mindset (a ‘rape is sometimes okay’ sort of mindset) to even find those jokes funny, let alone publicly announce that you find such jokes funny.

  36. 36
    julian

    Fuck you, Cath Elliot. You absolutely had me on your side until you called me, and every other man, a wannabe rapist, just waiting for an opportunity.

    I don’t think that’s what was said. My reading is something like ‘A rapist isn’t some demonic creature. He’s your average joe schmoe and does what he does because he can and can expect to get away with it.’ There’s no implication in there that all men are rapists or waiting for an opportunity to rape. It’s just acknowledging that the stereotype we have really doesn’t match up with reality. (Hence ‘in any way particularly different.’)

  37. 37
    Dhorvath, OM

    Ah,sex and violence. Why is one acceptable and the other not? It has always seemed to me that there is an element rooted in adults who hate children and the economic drain they represent. When children that an adult is considered responsible for reproduce that adult has an increase in output with no real say in that change. When children who an adult is responsible for have a fight, most of the time the fallout is limited to bruises and scrapes, even when violence jumps up to knives and guns, most injuries are a one time cost and death is actually a net decrease.

  38. 38
    pHred

    I live in the US and have never understood this. I have a terrible time taking my kids out to the movies because I am exactly backwards – I don’t want them watching the violence and I don’t mind the human body.

    One of my kids favorite movies is My Neighbor Totoro. My brother-in-law’s only comment on that movie is “isn’t that the one where they are all in the bathtub – that’s sick.” While letting his young kids play the blood and gore shoot them up on-line games too.

    $$*@$!&@#$(&@#& what an idiot! Love of family, adventure, it is a wonderful movie, but that seems to be the standard American reaction. Sigh.

  39. 39
    Dhorvath, OM

    Stevarious,
    Rape culture doesn’t mean that every man is a rapist, it means that culture gives cover to rapists and those who do so can with relative impunity. One needn’t act radically different from an ordinary, average man in order to rape people and get away with it. No one is calling every average man a wannabe rapist.

  40. 40
    Alverant

    Every time I think about joining facebook, I read something like this and decide that I don’t want to be part of it.

  41. 41
    Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy

    I’m not sure moving to G+ is a solution, rather than the lesser of two evils, though I do log in there now and again, and am basically ignoring Facebook without having deleted that. The TOS explicitly says “no nudity” and given how Google generally is at answering user questions, I have no idea whether that would mean they blocked breastfeeding photos. (Never having nursed an infant, I have no such photos of myself.)

    One advantage of Livejournal and Dreamwidth is that their rules do allow nudity (with precautions so teenagers won’t see those images by accident–I figure that’s to satisfy US law).

  42. 42
    AJ Milne

    It’s almost like the US is on its way to becoming the world’s largest barracks.

    I say this half seriously, as this really does seem reminiscent of an old formula for militarization. Like there’s a project underway to teach the whole of the population–and men especially–that violence is fine, and sex is something you generally practice only coercively, and only upon the enemy, to shame them. It’s not something you directly take pleasure from, or actually want for its own sake, as this might become a vulnerability. Rather, you’re to take it by force, and to take pleasure not directly from the sex, but from the violence, and from the dominance. Sex may be used only as an instrument or vehicle for expressing such power.

    Otherwise, well, you’re doing it wrong. And mutual pleasure and enthusiasm, sex as an intimate expression of mutual desire, especially, well, we just can’t have those. Someone has to be dominating someone else. And not even because the sub requested as much, and supplied the safeword.

    (/Shorter: it’s not sex that squicks the censors or their presumed audience. It’s equitable relationships. Keep that freaky shit off the screens. People might start getting some cracked notion about such rank perversity being actually acceptable or somethin’.)

  43. 43
    SallyStrange

    Well, at least Stevarious has HIS priorities right.

    Making sure no man feels the slightest bit uncomfortable, or worse, culpable, about this whole rape culture thing clearly takes precedence over anything else.

    We dare not point out how fucking ordinary rapists are, for fear some innocent, ordinary man might feel attacked.

    You’re not helping, Stevarious. Stop reacting and go back and read for comprehension. Also, try considering why you let your emotional reaction get the best of you, so much that you were unable to comprehend the content.

  44. 44
    SallyStrange

    No one is calling every average man a wannabe rapist.

    You forgot about the Straw Feminists, Dhorvath. I’m sure some MRA will be along to remind us not to sleep on their nefarious plans of total world domination and 100% male castration.

  45. 45
    slignot

    @Stevarious, you are angered by the implication that someone who seems to be an average, nice-enough guy may very well be a rapist because you don’t want to be associated with rapists and that’s understandable.

    Fuck you, Cath Elliot. You absolutely had me on your side until you called me, and every other man, a wannabe rapist, just waiting for an opportunity.

    But the fact is that Elliot is not wrong in her characterization of rapists as opportunists enabled by overwhelming social attitudes here. Studies of self reporting rapists yield some distressing patterns that mesh well into the way that people react to both the concept of rape and its victims.

    Learned attitudes about women’s sexual autonomy can lead otherwise decent people to do terrible things. We recently had a regular here confess that he came frighteningly close to raping his spouse, and is since tormented by his lack of respect and empathy at the time. He was not a monster and neither are most rapists; we have to recognize what allows rapists to rationalize their actions and work to correct those social cues.

  46. 46
    slignot

    I meant to mention that I am incredibly proud that the regular in question was brave enough to be open about his sexual assault. I can’t imagine how hard it was to confess such a thing now that he has learned from survivors how much damage rape and sexual assault causes. That he was willing to risk exposure and derision in order to counter the idea of the evil-other rapist can’t be undervalued. I have great respect for him.

  47. 47
    Matt

    “they were on a slippery slope to open pornography.”

    -Weeeee!!!! Slippery Slope!!!!

  48. 48
    SallyStrange

    Misogyny is much like religion in that it enables decent people to do horrible things to each other. One need not be a sociopath to be a rapist.

  49. 49
    rob

    a breast feeding woman, a rapist and mark zuckerberg walk into a bar..

  50. 50
    Jadehawk

    Fuck you, Cath Elliot. You absolutely had me on your side until you called me, and every other man, a wannabe rapist, just waiting for an opportunity.

    she didn’t.

    No ‘regular’ (read: non-rapist) man would like such pages

    this is factually incorrect, both in the sense that rapists are somehow non-regular men, and in the sense that non-rapists wouldn’t like such pages.

  51. 51
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Well, that didn’t take long. 35 posts to get someone who blames women for rape culture.

  52. 52
    Marcus Ranum

    Has anyone ever offered an argument about how nudity harms children?

    I’ve been fascinated in that question for a long time. I know one young artist who posts her work on deviantart who can’t see it after she posts it, because she’s 16 and has to mark the images 18+. Apparently the sight of a nude 16-year-old female body in the mirror can be damaging…

    “Think of the children” is such a common refrain, it doesn’t get questioned very much. :( I know I’m twisted because, as a child, i was exposed to tremendous amounts of medieval and renaissance art in museums all over Europe. Some of those church illustrations of hell are pretty darned out there…

  53. 53
    Sour Tomato Sand

    Fuck you, Cath Elliot. You absolutely had me on your side until you called me, and every other man, a wannabe rapist, just waiting for an opportunity.

    I will agree with you if you are trying to say it was especially poor phrasing. I imagine the author was trying to get at the banality of evil, or perhaps the power of the situation. It seems to be a particularly American and Western conceit that evil is all in the individual, while psychology (especially social psychology) shows us pretty well that it isn’t (cf. esp. Milgram and Zimbardo).

    Anyway, this is what people are talking about when they talk about rape culture. It’s the normalization and trivialization of something that should be absolutely abhorred by everyone. Most people seem to think they are unaffected by it, but everyone is in some way. Some are just more aware of it than others. The least aware of this seem to be white American males (a group of which I am a member). I personally wasn’t able to see it, and denied there was any problem, and was offended by the mere mention of rape culture until I started studying the psychology of violence at university and reading feminists skeptic blogs.

  54. 54
    Marcus Ranum

    BTW: “graphic or gratuitous violence” – does that include references to or representations of crucifixions?

    I used to get bored and periodically go around flagging such imagery as “inappropriate for children” I know, I need a real hobby.

  55. 55
    Zaphod

    I removed by FB account a couple of years ago, shortly after I opened it, because of a change to their policy on who owns the rights to content. This is yet another reason I will never go back to FB.

  56. 56
    Rey Fox

    It’s not a slippery slope, it’s a Super Fun Happy Slide!

  57. 57
    David Marjanović, OM

    Actually, I always found it strange that people Americans get so worked up about breastfeeding.

    FIFY.

    I recently saw a woman from some Islamic part of southern Russia breastfeed in public (with plenty of men around). All that was visible of her was her face (not a single hair), her hands, and maybe a cm² or three of breast.

    Apparently the worst thing you can do is show people enjoying a healthy, happy sex life without horrific consequences.

    Puritanism: the nagging suspicion that someone, somewhere, might have some fun.

    So essentially, they got Zack to edit the scene and make it look less like she’s into it. And Zack said he edited it down to the point where it looked like he was taking advantage of her. That’s the only way he could get a PG-13

    Sickening.

    Twists my stomach!

    <anecdotal>
    When I see real people suffering on TV, I always have to remind myself that it is real instead of just some actor or actress.
    </anecdotal>

    Me too. On 9/11 I had to consciously remind myself. I’m used to not believing what I see on TV.

    Facebook is of the devil. You shouldn’t care about what they do or do not allow on their pages.

    Non sequitur.

    Facebook is simply too big to ignore. How many hundred million people use it daily?

    (/Shorter: it’s not sex that squicks the censors or their presumed audience. It’s equitable relationships. Keep that freaky shit off the screens. People might start getting some cracked notion about such rank perversity being actually acceptable or somethin’.)

    Sounds like a conspiracy theory – and then comes the sickening story from comment 14 I quoted above.

    *headdesk*

    Well, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not coming after you.

  58. 58
    Carlie

    Uh-oh, julian, you don’t happen to know a guy named John Kw*k, do you? ;)

    Stevarious, as was already pointed out, that’s not what she said (or meant). Saying that rapists look like everyone else doesn’t mean that everyone is a rapist, it means that rapists are able to blend in and don’t have “rapist” tattooed on their foreheads. Saying that rapists take advantage of opportunities doesn’t mean that every man is looking for those opportunities. It’s actually dangerous to paint rapists as being people totally unlike the rest of us, both because then we have our guards down (how many rape stories start with “and I thought he was such a nice guy”? – a lot of them) and also because they then refuse to recognize their behavior as bad becuase they aren’t total monsters, so all of their actions must be ok, right?

    As for facebook, I finally deleted my account last week, and it has been a fantastic week. It was always there, scolding me if I didn’t pay attention to it, begging me to perform for it. And doing it all through the lens of what one or two guys in charge think is the way we ought to frame all of our interactions. Bah humbug.

  59. 59
    unbound

    Dang it. The article was pretty good on the Guardian until the author put this in:

    rapists rape because they can. Rapists rape because they know the odds are stacked in their favour, because they know the chances are they’ll get away with it.

    I hate it when a perfectly good article is destroyed by something like that. The author could have omitted that paragraph, and the article would have been good material to point to going forward. Now 1/2 the commenters on the Guardian site (and probably more than 1/2 the readers) are focused on that one dumb paragraph instead of the overall message. Most people are going to point out how that part of the article is clearly wrong, so how good can the rest of the article be?

  60. 60
    Stevarious

    Wow, did I say the wrong thing? I can’t believe I’m being mistaken for some filthy MRA. Please don’t mistake me for an MRA – I am objecting to the classification of every man as being a rapist, just waiting to get a woman alone. I’m at work so this is the only response I’ll be able to post today.

    Julian: I don’t think that’s what was said. My reading is something like ‘A rapist isn’t some demonic creature. He’s your average joe schmoe and does what he does because he can and can expect to get away with it.’ There’s no implication in there that all men are rapists or waiting for an opportunity to rape. It’s just acknowledging that the stereotype we have really doesn’t match up with reality. (Hence ‘in any way particularly different.’)

    But that’s not what she said. She said, specifically, that “men who are rapists are not perverted or evil”. Those were her words. I say that men who are rapists ARE perverted. Rape is not normal behavior! Anyone who says that rape IS normal behavior is wrong.

    Dhorath: Rape culture doesn’t mean that every man is a rapist, it means that culture gives cover to rapists and those who do so can with relative impunity. One needn’t act radically different from an ordinary, average man in order to rape people and get away with it. No one is calling every average man a wannabe rapist.

    I understand that this is not what rape culture is. My complaint was specifically with the writer of the article characterizing rape as normal behavior for men.

    Sally Strange: Well, at least Stevarious has HIS priorities right.
    Making sure no man feels the slightest bit uncomfortable, or worse, culpable, about this whole rape culture thing clearly takes precedence over anything else.
    We dare not point out how fucking ordinary rapists are, for fear some innocent, ordinary man might feel attacked.

    Rape is not ordinary behavior for men. Rape is perverted and wrong. By characterizing rape as ‘normal male behavior’ she is promoting rape culture, not fighting it. Yes, rapists do in fact look exactly like ordinary people. That does not make their behavior normal.

    @Slignot: @Stevarious, you are angered by the implication that someone who seems to be an average, nice-enough guy may very well be a rapist because you don’t want to be associated with rapists and that’s understandable.

    That’s not quite right, but close. I was angered by the implication that rape is normal behavior for men. Promoting rape as normal, non-perverted, non-evil behavior is promoting rape culture.

    But the fact is that Elliot is not wrong in her characterization of rapists as opportunists enabled by overwhelming social attitudes here.

    That’s not what I got from her paragraph. If I misunderstood, fine. I see the overwhelming opinion here is that I DID misunderstand, and if that’s what she meant by her article, then that’s that. But it seemed pretty clear to me that she was describing rape as normal male behavior, not evil and perverted behavior, and that set me off.

    @Esteleth: Well, that didn’t take long. 35 posts to get someone who blames women for rape culture.

    I’m not blaming women for rape culture – that would be pretty stupid. I am saying that the statement I quoted seems to promote rape culture by characterizing rape as normal male behavior. The fact that a woman said it is immaterial.

    No ‘regular’ (read: non-rapist) man would like such pages

    @Jadehawk: this is factually incorrect, both in the sense that rapists are somehow non-regular men, and in the sense that non-rapists wouldn’t like such pages.

    I exaggerated and admit my mistake. I agree completely that you don’t actually have to BE a rapist to contribute to and reinforce rape culture.

    @Sour Tomato Sand: I will agree with you if you are trying to say it was especially poor phrasing.

    As this seems to be the consensus, that her statement was merely poorly phrased and I misunderstood, then that’s pretty much that, I think.

    @Carlie: Saying that rapists look like everyone else doesn’t mean that everyone is a rapist, it means that rapists are able to blend in and don’t have “rapist” tattooed on their foreheads. Saying that rapists take advantage of opportunities doesn’t mean that every man is looking for those opportunities. It’s actually dangerous to paint rapists as being people totally unlike the rest of us, both because then we have our guards down (how many rape stories start with “and I thought he was such a nice guy”? – a lot of them) and also because they then refuse to recognize their behavior as bad becuase they aren’t total monsters, so all of their actions must be ok, right?

    I agree completely. I was upset by the manner in which she seemed to be characterizing rape as normal, non-deviant, non-evil behavior. She did not say ‘rapists don’t look like evil, perverted people’, she said ‘rapists don’t rape because they’re somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street’ – which seems to me to be saying, ‘rapists aren’t evil or perverted, rapists are just average men on the street presented with an opportunity that they, naturally, took advantage of.’ I’m told by a number of people on here that this is not what she meant – which is frustrating to me because, no matter how many times I read that sentence I can’t get it to say anything else. Rape is evil if anything in this world can be described as evil. Rape is perverted. And I cannot bring myself to agree with someone who claims that rape is normal male behavior and not evil or perverted. I agree that many men who don’t think of themselves as rapists are, in fact, rapists. I agree that this is the product of rape culture that pushes the meme that taking it by force is sometimes okay. I agree that rape culture is extremely pervasive throughout our culture. But I will never accept rape as ‘normal behavior’ for anybody. This seems, to me, to be another meme stemming from rape culture.

  61. 61
    Timothy (TRiG)

    In the recent #YesGayYA thingy (and no, I don’t do Twitter, but people were calling it that in blogs too), one author said she had a story in which a boy had two girlfriends. Her publisher (or her agent, I can’t remember), said that it would be fine if he had one girlfriend he was cheating on, but he couldn’t have two girlfriends consensually.

    Mixed up morals.

    TRiG.

  62. 62
    Aquaria

    I can’t believe I’m being mistaken for some filthy MRA. Please don’t mistake me for an MRA

    When you speak like an MRA, you come across as an MRA.

    MRAs have been in here screaming the exact thing you did, just about word for word, and you think you can get a pass for it?

    Fuck you.

    Get over yourself long enough to get a clue about the disgusting privilege you vomited up, or shut the fuck up.

    MORON.

  63. 63
    Tapetum

    I would love to delete my Facebook account. Unfortunately, it’s the only reasonable way I’ve found to keep track of larger goings on in my family. With more than 20 first cousins, most with spouses and kids, keeping track by phone is untenable. Most of us, though, are on FB, and it lets us keep loose track, and be aware of any crises, without having to spend ages tracking the family gossip chain.

    Otherwise I’d have to talk at length and regularly with the God Squad, instead of just reading the occasional “Praise Jesus” in their updates.

  64. 64
    Rey Fox

    Most people are going to point out how that part of the article is clearly wrong

    But it’s not clearly wrong. Rapists can, and very often do, get away with it, and they act on various entitled behaviors and mindsets because there is not enough cultural conditioning that those behaviors and mindsets are wrong. Would you like to support your contention?

  65. 65
    Duth Olec

    Still don’t have a Facebook.
    I WILL HOLD OUT AS LONG AS I CAAAAAN
    *says nothing of any value to anything going on in the comments*

  66. 66
    Dhorvath, OM

    Stevarious,

    She said, specifically, that “men who are rapists are not perverted or evil”.

    Where did she say that? What she said was

    rapists don’t rape because they’re somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street

    These are not the the same sentence, please don’t make things up.

  67. 67
    Dhorvath, OM

    Stevarious,

    My complaint was specifically with the writer of the article characterizing rape as normal behavior for men.

    Behaving normally as a man is not an impediment to being a rapist. So long as the only thing that separates an agressive lover from a rapist is how his actions are received we have a problem. So long as the only thing that separates creepy from endearing is how a person reacts to an action we have a problem. Men need a new paradigm for how to interact with the world: hitting on strangers, assuming permission based on context, sex as a trophy to be pursued, etc have to go. All of these actions are normal. Regular men do these things and are never called on it, rapists use that cover to take the comfort from the lives of people. Normal behaviour is the problem, we need to change it.

  68. 68
    Sour Tomato Sand

    Stevarious, #61:

    But you’re still saying that normal men don’t rape, and I think that’s wherein the disagreement lies. I would say that socially “normal” men do rape in a culture that permits it, in a situation where it is permitted (this was almost surely the case in Rwanda, where during the genocide rape was used as a weapon, and was considered socially normal and permitted, even encouraged, by the Hutu majority). It has everything to do with what society deems normal, and society in the US seems to deem treating rape and violence as less offensive than consensual sex as “normal.”

  69. 69
    SG

    Oh come on…

    …rapists don’t rape because they’re somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street: rapists rape because they can.

    Why is everyone but Stevarious defending this bullshit statement? Admit the error instead of getting angry and defending it.

    At best the statement is sloppy and misrepresents the author’s point. Aside from offending reasonable men who don’t like being lumped together with rapists, it distracts from the real discussion that should be happening, and gives real MRA types a valid criticism of the article.

    In real life:

    – Rapists ARE evil.
    – Rapists ARE perverted.
    – Rapists ARE different than average men.

  70. 70
    Nepenthe

    Rape is not ordinary behavior for men. Rape is perverted and wrong.

    And here’s where you’ve gotten tangled. Rape is both ordinary and evil.

    How common does an act have to be before it’s ordinary? Between 5 and 15 percent of men will admit to raping at least once. I would say that’s pretty ordinary.

    To put it in perspective, there are probably more men who are rapists then men who are gay. And I assume you’d agree that being gay is quite ordinary.

  71. 71
    Amphigorey

    I deleted my Facebook account a couple of years ago because of icky privacy issues, and I was tired of being obviously a product.

    I do have a G+ account, but if they continue with their bone-stupid Real Name policy, I’ll delete that, too. It’s still in beta, and my hope is that they’ll figure out how dumb it is, but it’s not looking too likely at this point.

    For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the ‘nymwars on G+: Google’s policy is that you must use your real name, or the name most people call you. The second clause sounds good, but it’s been weirdly enforced, and lots of people have had their accounts suspended for using names that don’t sound like John Smith.

    In effect, though not intention, it’s a racist policy. People can be – and have been – suspended for having “weird” names, which means names that don’t sound white.

    Google doesn’t want you to use a nickname or handle. They think it’ll magically cut down on spammers (it won’t; the spammers will just use names that sound “normal”). They also made a weird statement a while back about wanting to be an “identity service,” whatever that means. It doesn’t sound like something I want, that’s for sure, and yes, I do worry about being a product.

    I’m not currently using my real, legal name, but I haven’t been suspended and don’t expect to be, because the name I’m using looks white and Western. People I know have been suspended for using real names that don’t look white. Seriously, Google, what the fuck.

  72. 72
    Ichthyic

    huzzah to those who suggest that Facebook is inane drama incarnate.

    I wrote a half-page rant about facebook here just a couple days back.

    I’m one of those old guys that remembers the net before it was the internet, like ARPAnet

    In all those year, IMO, facebook was the worst thing to possibly happen to the net.

    I really really wish many of my friends would go back to using FREE email and FREE websites, or even FREE standard fucking blog sites rather than facebook.

    there IS NO GOOD REASON FOR FACEBOOK, all it does is let one company fuck with your life, endlessly.

    end it.

  73. 73
    Dhorvath, OM

    SG,
    In real life many people who rape do so knowingly and with intent to cause rape, that would likely fit your idea of them being evil. These people will hide behind ‘normal behaviour’ to get away with their repeated offences. Do you want to provide cover for them?

    In real life many people who don’t rape also don’t establish consent before having sex. That many of them turn out to have been correct in assessing the situations in which they proceeded to have sex provides cover for those who don’t care if they have consent and for those who would prefer that they don’t. That this behaviour is not considered a perversion, but normal behaviour, is a problem. If we change it there will be less cover for rapists.

    In real life, people who do care and who would never knowingly or intentionally sexually assualt someone, still rape. They don’t know any better, push themselves into situations where they are unwelcome and through ignorance hurt others. Are these people evil? Can we provide them with tools and cultural norms that will make it easier not to rape? How does telling such people that rapists are different help?

  74. 74
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    *making popcorn*

  75. 75
    Dhorvath, OM

    Lemme get you some salt. Do you like the half potassium chloride stuff?

  76. 76
    onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork

    I’m fed up with work and need to sharpen my teeth. Will be home early to help out. And I’ll bring chocolate.

  77. 77
    Ichthyic

    rapists rape because they can.

    no, there’s obviously more to it than this.

    there is also intent.

    strangely, I don’t rape everyone I meet whenever there is opportunity to do so.

    why?

    because I don’t have any intent to do so.

    none.

    so, just to be clear, the least of what makes a rapist is opportunity; instead, it’s about intent, first and above all.

  78. 78
    Stevarious

    @Aquaria: When you speak like an MRA, you come across as an MRA.
    MRAs have been in here screaming the exact thing you did, just about word for word, and you think you can get a pass for it?
    Fuck you.
    Get over yourself long enough to get a clue about the disgusting privilege you vomited up, or shut the fuck up.
    MORON.

    So, what, you are saying that rape IS normal behavior for men? That there’s nothing wrong or perverted about it, and that people should just accept it as normal male behavior? That sure sounds like something a particularly vile MRA would say. Since I’m saying exactly the opposite, what am I doing wrong? I’m honestly asking here – if I’m speaking from privilege, I want to know.

    @Dhorvath:
    Where did she say that? What she said was
    rapists don’t rape because they’re somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street

    You are right, there is a slight difference between saying ‘Rapists don’t rape because they are evil and perverted or in any way particularly different from the average man on the street’ and ‘Rapists aren’t evil and perverted or in any way particularly different from the average man on the street.’ I misspoke, because while the sentences are not worded exactly the same way, they seem to me to mean the exact same thing – which is my problem with the article.
    I would have to say that rapists ARE particularly different from the average man on the street. They rape people! Rape is evil and perverted! Rapists are evil and perverted! The rapists are the problem! The culture that makes rape seem okay is the problem! The people being raped – NOT the problem.

    @Nepenthe: And here’s where you’ve gotten tangled. Rape is both ordinary and evil

    I don’t mean ordinary as in ‘commonplace’, I mean ordinary as in ‘acceptable to rational people’. I will agree that it is accepted in places where people are not rational. I will also agree that, in many places, rational behavior in general is not the norm. That doesn’t change my point (once I, you know, make my point clear).

    @Sour Tomato Sand: But you’re still saying that normal men don’t rape, and I think that’s wherein the disagreement lies.

    See my above response to Nepenthe.

    I realize that this discussion has the potential to devolve into that stupid argument that people have where one (stupid) side goes ‘not all men are rapists and you are treating all men like rapists and that’s not faaaaaaaaair!!1!’ and the other side goes (very reasonably) ‘Women have to act as if all men are rapists (to a certain degree) because they have no way of knowing which ones are the rapists and which are not.’ Well let me head that one off – I’m not arguing the former, because I already get the latter point, and people who argue the former are stupid.

    My objection was simply this. By characterizing rape as a normal, non-perverted, non-evil act performed by normal, non-perverted, non-evil people, she is exacerbating the problem. As unbound and SG already pointed out, it poisons the whole article. If that’s NOT what she meant, then she should have phrased it differently, because that’s exactly what it sounds like.

    (Also, I’m not interested in indulging mindless multi-culturalism. If a society accepts such behavior as normal, then they are a perverted, evil society that treats some of it’s members as less than human.)

    @SG: At best the statement is sloppy and misrepresents the author’s point.

    Thanks! I think that’s what’s going on here. Either people are misunderstanding her statement because it was poorly worded, or she actually believes something that is completely wrong. I’d prefer to believe the former, but the wording strongly suggests the latter.
    I flipped through the comments on the article and many comments point it out, but as far as I can tell, the author has made no response. We may never know what she actually meant. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt since others say that the passage can be interpreted differently.

    If I’m being unreasonable, or if my privilege is showing, or if I’m mansplaining, or whatever, please tell me where. I’m trying my very hardest to avoid any such thing.

  79. 79
    Ichthyic

    Between 5 and 15 percent of men will admit to raping at least once. I would say that’s pretty ordinary.

    then you have a very odd definition of “ordinary”.

  80. 80
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Dhorvath, OM

    Nah, thanks.
    I’m just going to enjoy the evisceration and probably learn something again.
    Oh, and there’s enough popcorn to share. (I might steal a square of onion girl’s chocolate while she’s not looking.)

  81. 81
    Ichthyic

    here, before simple words start getting redefined in ridiculous ways:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ordinary

    which definition of the word “ordinary” is the one people here wish to change?

    I’ve always used the synonyms “commonplace”, “average”, and “normal”.

    seems to me it’s being used as an antonym of those words here?

  82. 82
    Ichthyic

    I mean ordinary as in ‘acceptable to rational people’.

    that isn’t one of the definitions of ordinary.

    why not just use the word “acceptable” instead?

  83. 83
    Ichthyic

    We dare not point out how fucking ordinary rapists are, for fear some innocent, ordinary man might feel attacked.

    strangely enough, I consider myself an ordinary guy, and for it to be implied that I then have the impulse to rape, since I am an ordinary guy, does indeed make me feel defensive.

    sorry, but this analogy here has gone too fucking far.

    use the words you mean to use.

    ORDINARY, is a very fucking poor word to use when talking “rape”.

  84. 84
    Waffler, of the Waffler Institute

    SG, rapists are evil because they are rapists. Rapists aren’t rapists because they are evil. ‘Evil’ is not a ‘thing in the head’ that causes rape. Rape is caused by a bunch of things, a lot of them being what the (would-be) rapist learns from culture.

  85. 85
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    I flounced FB 2 or more months ago. Tagged everybody I care about, used fucking in a sentence(which I am sure scandalized my quasi-fundi family) and closed it 24 hours later.

    I’m just pissed it can’t be deleted permanently. They don’t delete your email/password combo from their servers, use photos of your friends and family to guilt trip you into staying, and leave the account open on their severs to be reactivated at any time.

    Fuck em.

  86. 86
    pensnest

    To SG and Stevarious

    But rapists are the average man in the street. Not every man, of course not, but nobody is saying that every man is a rapist.

    By the nature of the rape statistics, you almost certainly know *at least one man* who has raped somebody. In amongst your perfectly normal friends, colleagues, family members, acquaintances, there are men who have raped someone. 5% – 15%, Nepenthe said (I was going to go for 8% – 12% since that’s what I recall from the most recent article I read about this, but either way). Say it’s 5%. Approximately one man in twenty. How many men do you know? And… how can you tell which of them raped someone?

    Most men who rape certainly don’t see themselves as evil, perverted, or different from anyone else. They’d say, no, I’m not evil, I’m not a pervert, I’m a normal guy, therefore I can’t possibly be a rapist, because rapists are evil and perverted and OTHER. If everyone—decent people such as you and me—differentiates rapists as being evil, perverted etc, that sets up “The Rapist” as some evil-smelling monster lurking in a dark alley, not the average bloke who goes to the pub for a pint with his mates, puts in an honest day’s work, and watches the football. If the average bloke rapes someone, he probably doesn’t think of it as rape. (Rapists are evil, perverted and OTHER, you see.) He may not even notice he’s done it.

    But most women who are raped are not raped by the monster in the alley.

    Can we perhaps think of rape as an evil *act*, that can be committed by ordinary people?

  87. 87
    Inaji

    Beatrice:

    Anyway, I opened it when it barely started becoming sort of almost popular and having like 10 friends sending me useless messages, and quizzes, and gifts, and invitations got on my nerves immediately. Yay for ditching Facebook. And I’m not going anywhere near Google+. I learn from experience.

    I was there at the beginning too, and was talked into it by friends. After it sat unused for ages, I tried getting rid of it. That took half of forever, but it’s now gone and I refuse to get involved in anything like it again.

    Ichthyic:

    strangely enough, I consider myself an ordinary guy, and for it to be implied that I then have the impulse to rape, since I am an ordinary guy, does indeed make me feel defensive.

    This is way too much like trying to explain Shroedinger’s Rapist to defensive men. It’s not that every single man on the planet has the impulse to rape.

    First of all, anyone could possibly be a rapist, you can’t tell by looking. The most ordinary and harmless looking person could be someone who will rape you. The majority of rapes are committed by someone a victim knows, often by someone a victim is dating. Those people obviously came off as ordinary people. Acquaintance a/o date rapists do rape because they know they can get away with it (and obviously, they enjoy it).

    I don’t want you thinking I’m defending unnecessarily inflammatory rhetoric, I’m not. However, it can be so damn difficult when you’re a woman and navigating the shoals of sexism and potential danger every day of your life.

    It really, really helps when things like Shroedinger’s Rapist are understood instead of being fought by someone who is defensively yelling “you think all men are rapists!” I know all men aren’t rapists, but for me, the situation is a bit more complex. I can’t afford to be less than cautious and a surrounding atmosphere where rape culture is protected and defended, like on FB, doesn’t help matters at all.

    If I’m not making sense here, I’ll beg pardon, I’m barely awake.

  88. 88
    Ichthyic

    By characterizing rape as a normal, non-perverted, non-evil act performed by normal, non-perverted, non-evil people, she is exacerbating the problem. As unbound and SG already pointed out, it poisons the whole article. If that’s NOT what she meant, then she should have phrased it differently, because that’s exactly what it sounds like.

    I’m not sure I would use exacerbating the problem, or even poisoning the article, so much as just confusing the issue.

  89. 89
    Inaji

    Rawnaeris:

    I’m just pissed it can’t be deleted permanently.

    It can be, I finally managed it. It’s a pain in the ass, but it can be done. I’ve forgotten the details now, but try this:

    http://www.techbuzz.in/how-can-i-permanently-delete-my-facebook-account.php

  90. 90
    Ichthyic

    But rapists are the average man in the street. Not every man, of course not, but nobody is saying that every man is a rapist.

    there is a big difference between saying:

    A rapist is just the “average man on the street”

    and saying:

    Rape is average for men.

    see?

  91. 91
    cyberCMDR

    This gets into a lot of what is going on in the world these days. We’re fighting wars in countries where the insurgents look just like the people we are trying to protect. Problem.
    Some radical Muslims commit acts of terrorism against the US, and many people therefore believe that all Muslims are terrorists. Problem.
    Women get abused by some men, sexually, physically and/or emotionally, and are either leery of men now or paint them all with the same brush as assholes. Problem.

    The inherent issue is that there is no way to peer into another’s mind and see their intentions. Because of that, we raise our shields automatically if someone falls into that threat category.

    @Stevarious: I imagine that Cath has been hurt by some man or men, as have many others. It is hard to trust when your trust has been violently abused. For many, they are living in a combat zone where the locals look just like the few bastards that want to kill you.

  92. 92
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Rapists ARE different than average men.

    Care to explain the differences that can be quickly identified by strangers in the street? Or shut the fuck up like the rest of us who do recognize the truth of the statement, even if we are slightly miffed by the truth.

  93. 93
  94. 94
    Stevarious

    @cyberCMDR: I imagine that Cath has been hurt by some man or men, as have many others.

    Oh, hell, no, there is no way I’m going down the path of “Person X said something I find objectionable about Subject Y, therefore Person X has been emotionally traumatized in the past and therefore is not capable of being honest or rational about Subject Y.” We have NO reason to assume it and I will always assume that someone is honestly espousing their position until clearly demonstrated otherwise.

  95. 95
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Er, if I haven’t logged into my Facebook account for years, it was permanently deleted, right? Because I don’t remember my password.

  96. 96
    Ichthyic

    if I haven’t logged into my Facebook account for years, it was permanently deleted, right?

    nope.

    in fact, it’s likely someone has probably hacked into it and is using it as a distribution node for some sort of stupid ad service at this point.

    that’s what happened to mine after 2 years of not logging on to it.

    It was being used by some hacker located in the middle east.

    *shrug*

    I have it back now, but it took me hours to fix all the security issues.

    have I mentioned how much I hate facebook, and how lazy my friends are that insist I use it, or lose all communication with them?

  97. 97
    Ganner

    I don’t think many of us have that big of a philosophical difference here. I think the original article WAS phrased in an unclear manner, because it does textually seem to present being able to get away with rape as not only a necessary but sufficient condition, and does textually seem to say not that rapists look and act like everyone else but that they fundamentally ARE like everyone else. I don’t think anyone’s being an MRA or supporting rape culture just because they took offense at the way something was stated. I think we all agree that rapists aren’t monsters who we can tell from everyone else, that rape and rape jokes are neevr acceptable, and that it isn’t and shouldn’t be the responsibility of women to avoid rape or avoid somehow “provoking” rape or any other such bs.

  98. 98
    Inaji

    cyberCMDR:

    I imagine that Cath has been hurt by some man or men

    Do you think you’re helping by reducing women to brainless pots of emotion?

    I’m a survivor of a vicious, violent rape and murder attempt. Then I got to survive all the assholes who were supposedly there to ‘help’ the 3 of us who survived during the course of the investigation and trial.

    I do not lash out at men because of that experience. Lashing out at assholes is another matter, however, even when dealing with assholes, I’m using my brain, thank you, not mindlessly operating on a past hurt.

    Many of us here have found ourselves having to explain basic risk assessment to men who are needlessly defensive over and over and over and over. Please don’t mistake annoyance a/o frustration for hurt and don’t do us the disservice of acting as though we don’t have brains and are incapable of thinking rationally.

  99. 99
    Ichthyic

    there is a big difference between saying:

    A rapist is just the “average man on the street”

    and saying:

    Rape is average for men.

    see?

    I would add that I do think that what the original post was TRYING to say was the former, and not the latter, but the wording needs to be much clearer.

  100. 100
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh fuck, just requested a new password and went to check the account, it still exists. I can’t believe it wasn’t automatically deleted. It will be now. Thanks for the link!

  101. 101
    Louis

    I have to be honest I was initially a little perturbed by the…infelicitous…phrasing of the paragraph Stevarious is mentioning. Look at it again:

    What Facebook and others who defend this pernicious hate speech don’t seem to get is that rapists don’t rape because they’re somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street: rapists rape because they can. Rapists rape because they know the odds are stacked in their favour, because they know the chances are they’ll get away with it.

    The first thought I had when reading that paragraph was that the contentious word used is not “normal” nor is it “ordinary” (as others are using). The word is “average”. I’d have had less/no problem with “normal” or “ordinary” because, well, there are several aspects of this that are (horrendously) “normal” and “ordinary”. Rape culture is pervasive, normal, ordinary. Rape apologia are pervasive, normal, ordinary. They give cover to rapists. Absolutely bang on, that’s EXACTLY what happens. The author is totally correct. BTW to acknowledge that something is normal as in commonplace is not to condone it. Is=/=ought.

    My quibble, and it is only a minor quibble because I think I see where the author is coming from (banality of evil, rapists typically don’t wander the planet with big horns and flashing eyes, rapes are committed by otherwise unexceptional men), was that to my pedantic/geeky/mathematical biased mind “average” implies a degree of commonality or frequency that isn’t true. I saw it as a reference to the arithmetical mean! Or perhaps a more general “average”, i.e. mean, median or mode? GAH! See what I mean? I just got the wrong end of the stick! If (as mentioned above) between 5% and 15% of men rape, then that ain’t arithmetically average! Like I said, I had to read it twice because I know what she meant, or at least I think I do now, and on the first reading I didn’t find that immediately clear.

    I know that “average” has other meanings and my privileged, pedantic, rambling nit pick is not massively meaningful, but that’s kind of my point. I’m trying to relay my first impressions, why they’re wrong, and how I got there.

    I see (at least) two possible readings:

    1) “…rapists don’t rape because they’re somehow evil or perverted or in any [OTHER NON-RAPE RELATED] way particularly different from than the average man in the street…”

    2) “…rapists don’t rape because they’re somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street [BECAUSE THE AVERAGE MAN IN THE STREET IS NOT PARTICULARLY DIFFERENT FROM A RAPIST]…”

    [INSERTIONS MINE]

    I think the author meant 1). This is standard, unexceptional Schroedinger’s Rapist type stuff, and obviously I agree with it. It’s the same as saying the average rapist doesn’t deviate wildly in (for example) appearance from the average man in the street. Observably, horribly, trivially, unfortunately true. The fact that the poor phrasing allows for a reading of 2) is the problem I think people are hung up on. Reading 2) is pretty simply accessed from what the author wrote, after all if A is not much different from the average B, then the average B is not much different from A, it commutates. I think it’s the wrong reading, but I can see how people got there because I bloody nearly did too!

    In other words, I don’t think the author of this piece, or the paragraph under question, is wrong (far from it) if what I think she means is what she actually means. I do think she perhaps wrote something easy to misunderstand on first read.* Whether that misreading is only influenced by the author’s phraseology is…difficult to determine! ;-)

    That doesn’t excuse anything or defend any MRA rants or rape culture or any such happy horseshit. If I have any motivation it’s to stop the derail of what was an interesting discussion from others about how (for example) female sexual agency is under represented in film at the expense of violence/compliance and how vile Facebook is for defending pages dedicated to this sort of [dripping scorn]“humour”[/dripping scorn]. A particularly insidious aspect of rape culture in my view and one worth more discussion that what amounts to a semantic quibble.

    Louis

    *Mind you, my wife read the article, paying special attention to that paragraph, and thinks I’m wrong due to over thinking it and being pedantic…

    …wait, does that make me right? After all, the MRAs come in and say “My wife agrees with me” and are wrong, I’m coming in and saying my wife doesn’t agree…Oh I’m SO confused! ;-)

  102. 102
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I have it back now, but it took me hours to fix all the security issues.

    Oh, sorry to hear that. I didn’t check what was up with mine. Just saw it was still there (with possibly every person I have ever known listed as “has x mutual friends” on the front page) and deleted it immediately.

  103. 103
    Ing

    I imagine that Cath has been hurt by some man or men

    Most likely true. Most likely you have as well. What’s your point?

  104. 104
    Inaji

    Ichthyic:

    the wording needs to be much clearer.

    I agree, especially as I think women will parse it differently from men, as pointed out by Louis. Clarity counts.

  105. 105
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    cyberCMDR:

    The inherent issue is that there is no way to peer into another’s mind and see their intentions. Because of that, we raise our shields automatically if someone falls into that threat category.

    No. The inherent issue is that we have a culture that claims to demonize rape and then turns around and tells the victim that if they were raped, they must not have been protecting themselves well enough, and where it is considered acceptable to joke about someone being deserving of sexual assault.

    A culture where people won’t admit to raping someone until you describe the situation rather than simply use the words ‘rape’ or ‘sexual assault’.

  106. 106
    Gregory Greenwood

    @ Stevarious;

    Unfortunately, rape can be viewed as sicially acceptable, and performed by psychologically normal men, if the cultural context is such as to normalise the behaviour.

    As an example, until relatively recently it was a principle of UK law that marital rape was a contradiction in terms. This stemmed from the commonly held idea that the act of marriage was an enduring consent, that women had ‘conjugal obligations’ that they were obligated to discharge. As such, a woman could not deny her husband sexual congress, and so no claim of rape within marriage could be taken seriously.

    I wonder, how many men used this principle to compel their wives to deliver on their marital ‘obligations’? Were these men all monsters in human flesh, or simply ordinary guys living in a culture that did not see this activity as morally wrong at all, still less rape? I do not doubt that the men in question would have hotly contested any claim that they were rapists, and the law at the time would have backed them up.

    Rape is as much a crime of social context as it is of individual ‘evil’. That is why rape culture is so dangerous.

  107. 107
    Ichthyic

    as pointed out by Louis. Clarity counts.

    and if this is the same Louis I’m thinking of, perennial poster here and on other sciblogs over the years, then he speaks from much personal experience on the issue of the importance of clarity.

    :)

    if not, nobody will get what the hell I’m talking about.

  108. 108
    cyberCMDR

    Sorry if my assumption appeared to invalidate any person’s ability to be angry at injustice. One of my daughters has had to deal with a major asshole ex. Thankfully (and contradicting my above assumption), she never turned into a “all men are assholes” person.

    As a male however, it bothers me that I could be perceived as a threat to anyone who hasn’t been burned and is now twice shy. I understand the Schrodinger’s Rapist meme, and that any rational girl has to be careful for that 5-15% of men that can rationalize forced sex out there. I just can’t imagine myself imposing my sexual desires on another human being. Perhaps the many years of having my wife’s happy help makes the concept too alien for me.

  109. 109
    Stevarious

    Ichthyic: I’m not sure I would use exacerbating the problem, or even poisoning the article, so much as just confusing the issue.

    I would say that assuming that rape is normal behavior for men is at the very heart of rape culture. So an article that supports that idea, or that just seems to support that idea, is most definitely exacerbating the problem, even if it’s unintentional.

    @Nerd of Redhead: Care to explain the differences that can be quickly identified by strangers in the street? Or shut the fuck up like the rest of us who do recognize the truth of the statement, even if we are slightly miffed by the truth.

    We have already established that this discussion is not about Shroedinger’s Rapist.
    This discussion is about whether or not there IS a difference between rapists and ordinary men, and whether the only difference between rapists and ordinary men is that rapists have had an opportunity to rape.
    The article seems to state that there is no difference between ordinary men and rapists, except opportunity. I say there is a huge difference – I am claiming that there is a very large difference in the mind of a normal human male, and the mindset of a human male who is capable of (or even interested in) raping a woman or coercing her into a sex act she does not want to commit. As evidence, I can only show that not only have most men (85% is it?) do not seem to have raped anybody ever, and I have had several opportunities in my life to rape women, or to take advantage of them sexually while they were unconscious, and never done so. Not only have I never done so, the idea did not even cross my mind. One woman, a very close friend of mine from college, even told me that she was surprised that I did not take advantage of her and wouldn’t have blamed me if I had, despite the fact that she was so whacked on painkillers that she was barely coherent and only had very vague memories of the entire day in question. It took me a long time to understand how she could say that. She certainly did not seem to blame her then-boyfriend for having sex with her that night or even be upset with him, despite the fact that she was too drugged to give consent or even remember. (Which brings up the unrelated, heavy potential-to-derail-thread question, “Is it still rape if she gives permission retroactively?”)

    So, maybe you will dismiss me as a worthless anecdote, or a liar. I don’t know. All I do know is that, from my perspective, there has to be some difference between the mind of a rapist and the mind of a non-rapist, because despite plenty of opportunity, I have never been the least bit inclined to rape. Maybe I’m completely wrong – maybe the vast majority of men really ARE secret rapist wannabe’s, but are too cowardly or lack the opportunity. Maybe I’m the exception. I don’t think it’s possible that we’ll ever know for certain, and since we can’t read minds we can only go by what people say. But if it’s possible for someone like me to not be even the tiniest bit inclined to rape, it’s certainly at least within the realm of possibility that we can develop a society where no man is even inclined to rape, by getting rid of the memes propagated by rape culture. Maybe I’m just too optimistic? It would certainly be the first time I was accused of that.

  110. 110
    Louis

    Icthyic,

    It is I {Raises glasses} Louis.

    Cheeky fucker! ;-)

    Louis

  111. 111
    Inaji

    For Stevarious, to help out with understanding what many of us are saying, please read this post. It’s one (among many) example of someone who would never consider themselves a rapist or capable of rape. Someone who wasn’t even clear on what constituted rape. I’m afraid too many men are in that category.

  112. 112
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Nerd:

    Rapists ARE different than average men.

    Care to explain the differences that can be quickly identified by strangers in the street?

    Must all differences be quickly and readily identifiable to be differences? Can you tell me how to quickly tell a North Korean from a South Korean in the street? If not, does that mean they are not different?

    But rapists are the average man in the street.

    Approximately one man in twenty.

    That’s a different definition of average than I’m used to.

  113. 113
    Inaji

    cyberCMDR:

    I just can’t imagine myself imposing my sexual desires on another human being.

    Neither can my husband. Neither can a lot of men. That doesn’t mean I can tell by looking, or even from a social conversation. I can’t. Body language and social cues help, buuuuuut, that’s no guarantee. There’s never a guarantee and that makes things difficult on all of us.

    I’ll remind everyone here that the patriarchy/kyriarchy, entrenched sexism, privilege and toxic masculinity hurts everyone, yep, men too. That’s one reason men (and lots of them do!) should be fighting the rape culture every bit as hard as women do. If you hear someone (doesn’t matter if it’s a man, a woman, or a group) spouting sexism, call them on it. If you hear rape jokes, call ‘em out and shame them. If you hear slut jokes/talk, call ‘em out and shame them. If you hear faggot/gay jokes, call ‘em out and shame them. If you hear someone using bitch/cunt/dick etc., call ‘em out and shame them. If more people would do this, we would reach the “that shit is unacceptable” stage much faster.

  114. 114
    Dhorvath, OM

    I would say that assuming that rape is normal behavior for men is at the very heart of rape culture. So an article that supports that idea, or that just seems to support that idea, is most definitely exacerbating the problem, even if it’s unintentional.

    There is a difference between saying that normal behaviour on the part of men can result in rape and it is normal behaviour for men to rape.

  115. 115
    petrander

    Google plus, here I come…

  116. 116
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Isn’t it lovely that any discussion about how rape is treated in the larger culture can always be trusted to bring in herds of whining, howling MRAs and those simply too stupid to think beyond themselves complaining that women totally hate men and how awful and irrational it is to want to protect oneself and any attempts to fight rape culture are making Good Men ™ look bad? Like fucking clockwork.

    Stevarious and Icthyic: I think the problem here is that you’re not bright enough to tell the difference between “ordinary” and “good”. And Stevarious, stop fucking asking for cookies for not raping a womn. Though I must say, you’re certainly disproving your own point about the ubiquity of rape and rapists nicely.

    CyberCDMR: I feel incredibly sorry for your daughter.

  117. 117
    Godless Heathen

    @CyberCMDR (#109):

    As a male however, it bothers me that I could be perceived as a threat to anyone who hasn’t been burned and is now twice shy.

    Good! It should bother you! But you need to take it up with your fellow men and fight back against rape culture as much as possible and not blame it on women.

  118. 118
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Damnit …I had a longish post all done and then I did something stupid.

    Rapists are different than average men, Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls, and that difference is that they’re rapists. On average, men don’t rape. And I’ll chime in to say that the quoted part of the article is terribly written and is full of problematic statements. That there is a rape culture does not preclude rape from being a harmful and deviant behaviour that is committed by a too large minority of *people, who are not average or ordinary.

    *This was actually the main part of the post that I had written and it concerns the language that we’re all using here when talking about rape and rapists.

    I’ve mentioned on another thread that I have a problem with the presumptions made in the conversations we’re having here and while I understand the need for linguistic expedience, I still have the problem.

    I’m developing something of a loathing for the use of ‘men’ to describe rapists. Rapists are not merely men, not all rapists are men and further to that neither are all men straight. I get that in these discussions we’re largely talking about rape perpetrated by straight men against women, but the pronouns and nouns that we’re all using make that far from clear. Men is a rather large category of people, for instance.

    This probably feeds into the defensive responses that are seen here. My problem with the language is from the perspective of a gay man who finds that the conversation is rather hetero-focused (as it’s bound to be, I suppose), but is using nouns claimed by, well, everyone. This doesn’t seem to be helpful and it’s really starting to bother me. I know rape is a particular problem for women. It’s also a problem for other people (gay men, for instance) and the need to be precise about who we’re talking about in terms of rapists and victims is rather important. Not being precise is simultaneously alienating, exclusive and inclusive, depending on anyone’s given perspective. It seems to me that there must be a more precise way to talk about rapists who, for instance, are straight men …and I think we all know exactly how we can do that.

    I think it’s important that we do. These conversations get messy and have a tendency to get slightly bogged down with calming down the defensive reactions of people who are not rapists who think they’ve been categorized with them. People who probably rightly don’t understand why we’re using such general terms to describe a category of straight men who make up an abhorrently, relatively large portion of the male population.

    If there isn’t actually a problem with the language being used or I’m rather more inane and inarticulate than I believe I am, do what must be done.

  119. 119
    Carlie

    She did not say ‘rapists don’t look like evil, perverted people’, she said ‘rapists don’t rape because they’re somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street’ – which seems to me to be saying, ‘rapists aren’t evil or perverted, rapists are just average men on the street presented with an opportunity that they, naturally, took advantage of.’

    I see where you’re coming from now, and how it could have been read that way.

    I do like this explanation, though:

    In real life, people who do care and who would never knowingly or intentionally sexually assualt someone, still rape. They don’t know any better, push themselves into situations where they are unwelcome and through ignorance hurt others. Are these people evil? Can we provide them with tools and cultural norms that will make it easier not to rape? How does telling such people that rapists are different help?

    Unfortunately, we’ve created a culture that teaches people that “no means yes”, and that women have to refuse first and be overpowered, and even more unfortunately taught women that even if they want it they have to say “no” first or they’re a slut, which makes it all even more murky. Which means that this:

    I would have to say that rapists ARE particularly different from the average man on the street. They rape people! Rape is evil and perverted! Rapists are evil and perverted! The rapists are the problem!

    isn’t always that clear-cut. What if the guy’s previous girlfriend was a fundamentalist who wanted sex but couldn’t bring herself to admit it, and their sex had always been “no no no no no…yes yes yes”, and he hadn’t ever been exposed to the idea of clear enthusiastic consent, and his next girlfriend didn’t want to have sex but was too scared to really fight back much? Then you have a rape, which is just as bad as any rape from her perspective, but was a terrible misunderstanding on his part. He’s still just as responsible, and still needs to know that what he did was wrong and how to never, ever do it in the future, but I wouldn’t put him in the same category of “evil and perverted” as a hard-core rapist who gets off on the power of forcing women to hurt.

  120. 120
    Inaji

    I would say that assuming that rape is normal behavior for men is at the very heart of rape culture.

    Well, you’d be wrong. Perhaps if you listened a bit, you’d learn a bit.

    Helpful stuff:

    Excellent explanation of privilege

    Nice Guy™ 101.

    Things Happen to Men Too

    Predator Redux

    The Male Privilege Checklist

    XYOnline

  121. 121
    Godless Heathen

    There is a difference between saying that normal behaviour on the part of men can result in rape and it is normal behaviour for men to rape.

    .

    THIS.

  122. 122
    Stevarious

    @happiestsadist: Stevarious and Icthyic: I think the problem here is that you’re not bright enough to tell the difference between “ordinary” and “good”. And Stevarious, stop fucking asking for cookies for not raping a womn. Though I must say, you’re certainly disproving your own point about the ubiquity of rape and rapists nicely.

    Seriously?

    But I’ll assume, for a moment, that you aren’t just a lousy troll and actually ask the question: how does what I said disprove my own point about the ubiquity of rape? I’m genuinely curious.

  123. 123
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Isn’t it lovely that any discussion about how rape is treated in the larger culture can always be trusted to bring in herds of whining, howling MRAs and those simply too stupid to think beyond themselves complaining that women totally hate men and how awful and irrational it is to want to protect oneself and any attempts to fight rape culture are making Good Men ™ look bad?

    Well that’s one hell of a strawman. Unless I missed something. Could you please cite an example of somebody “complaining that women totally hate men” or “how awful and irrational it is to want to protect oneself” or “any attempts to fight rape culture are making Good Men™ look bad?”

  124. 124
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Oh Cupcake, I’m pretty fucking sure I’ve been here a hell of a lot longer than you are. If you’re so fucking shocked at that situation, and that she was surprised that you didn’t rape her, and internalized that shit so much that she felt she deserved it (yes yes, here’s your cookie), how does this suggest anything but the fact that rape is deeply normalized in our society? Not good, but normalized, that is, an occurrence deemed ordinary. Or were you just showing off how much of a Good Man and so hurt at the very notion that plenty of men who are not frothing at the mouth commit rape?

    Seriously, as a survivor of, among other things, multiple, prolonged, vicious rapes, the last fucking thing I need is some MRA-parroting douchewaffle complaining about reality being mean to him.

  125. 125
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Erulóra Maikalambe @ #124: You mean CyberCMDR talking about how his daughter is being a good little survivor and not hating men or becoming angry at men?

    And every asshole who’s decided that pointing out that rapists look like everyone else and that the normal script for sex and romance normalizes a lack of consent is making excuses.

  126. 126
    Inaji

    Stevarious, did you read the post I linked, the one addressed specifically to you? I’d like to think you’re interested in discussion and education here.

  127. 127
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Dhorvath, OM,

    There is a difference between saying that normal behaviour on the part of men can result in rape and it is normal behaviour for men to rape.
    Normal behaviour on the part of people who rape doesn’t result in rape. Rape is all too common, but the behaviour is deviant and it is perpetrated by a minority of people (mostly straight men, which should go without saying). Normal behaviour cannot result in rape by definition.

    Normal behaviour on the part of men can result in rape.

    and

    It is normal behaviour for men to rape.

    These amount to virtually the same statement. If normal behaviour can result in rape, then rape is normal behaviour. Rape is not normal behaviour nor is it resultant from normal behaviour. Normal people get consent, several levels of consent in explicit and nuanced ways, before engaging in sexual activity with other people. Rapists forcibly dominate and render powerless their victims in physically and psychologically abusive ways in order to use their bodies, perhaps even their powerless state, to derive pleasure that sometimes isn’t even sexual. There is nothing normal about rape or rape behaviour. People who rape may not be identifiable as rapists, but they certainly aren’t average, ordinary or normal. People really do need to stop insisting that they are.

    Yes, we may not know who is a rapist and who is not. Schroedinger’s Rapist makes this point rather well. That it is true that a rapist could be anybody does not make those who are rapists average, ordinary or normal. It means they can’t be distinguished (easily) from average, ordinary or normal people. Is this not obvious?

  128. 128
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Bloody blockquote failure.

  129. 129
    Ichthyic

    I would say that assuming that rape is normal behavior for men is at the very heart of rape culture. So an article that supports that idea, or that just seems to support that idea, is most definitely exacerbating the problem, even if it’s unintentional.

    we must be thinking of two different problems, then.

    one is how a rape culture has developed from historical misogyny in most societies.

    the other is defending oneself from the idea that, being a member of the misogynist side of the equation, one does not actually deserve the label “rapist”.

    so, one, I don’t really think that the original article IS saying that rape is normative behavior for men, nor do I think anyone else here is.

    what they are saying is that BECAUSE there is no obvious way to tell the “average guy” is or is not a rapist, then one has to react to protect onesself as if they all could be.

    I can’t blame people for reacting this way; it seems a good defense mechanism to me. Like locking your car to prevent someone from stealing it.

    it doesn’t mean you think EVERYONE is a thief, it’s that you know they are out there, and so the best defense is to always lock your car.

    I get it.

    I also get that what wording is used to describe such things is the real issue here.

  130. 130
    slignot

    Stevarious, I’m not sure if you checked out the “Meet the predators” link above (it’s been linked twice), but it’s trying to explain that there’s no evidentiary support that you can otherize rapists as evil. Many men will self-report rape through emotional coercion, intimidation or threat of force and deliberate inebriation but only if you don’t call it rape.

    Making rapists monsters mean that most rapes at the hands of friends, lovers and spouses (i.e. most of them) are doubted as real rapes.

    We’re attempting to explain that making rapists out to be fundamentally different than most men is dangerous because it risks making rape this monstrous thing culturally and the people who commit these attacks fundamentally different than other human beings. Human beings who commonly lie, hurt others because it’s helpful/beneficial and commit acts of violence. Humans are far from angels, and when you add cultural normalization of a crime like rape, it’s easier for those men who rape to rationalize their attacks.

    There was a rape joke at the pilot of the new sitcom Whitney. The husband isn’t a monster, but it was with a laugh that we should accept it’s okay for him to have sex with an unconscious spouse.

    We absolutely agree that rape should not be seen as a normal behavior, but that doesn’t mean that rapists are not otherwise normal men.

    As I tried to explain when I mentioned the recent confession of a regular to attempted spousal rape, the attitudes that women’s bodies are not their own affects men and women on a near unconscious level. And that means that men who otherwise wouldn’t think of raping someone they just met feel entitled to sex in a way that’s difficult to quantify.

    Those men aren’t necessarily unusual or evil. They can be taught, reasoned with and educated. Otherizing them isn’t the way to achieve sexual parity between men and women.

  131. 131
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    And every asshole who’s decided that pointing out that rapists look like everyone else and that the normal script for sex and romance normalizes a lack of consent is making excuses.

    Note the word I bolded. Then go back and read some more and see that looks are not what’s being discussed. She didn’t say rapists look like normal men, she said they are normal men. That’s what the conversation is about. Please get on the same page.

    As for you citation, I’ve reread the post and I still don’t see it as 1) “complaining that women totally hate men” or 2) “how awful and irrational it is to want to protect oneself” or 3) “any attempts to fight rape culture are making Good Men™ look bad?” Perhaps I’m just parsing it differently than you are. I’ll grant that it is vaguely similar to 1) though.

  132. 132
    Ichthyic

    I think the problem here is that you’re not bright enough to tell the difference between “ordinary” and “good”

    LOL

    you’re not doing yourself any favors, there.

  133. 133
    SG

    Dhorvath, OM says:

    SG,
    In real life many people who rape do so knowingly and with intent to cause rape, that would likely fit your idea of them being evil. These people will hide behind ‘normal behaviour’ to get away with their repeated offences. Do you want to provide cover for them?

    We aren’t discussing whether evil perverts can pass themselves off as normal (yes they can), or whether I or anybody else wants to provide cover for them (we shouldn’t).

    people who do care and who would never knowingly or intentionally sexually assualt someone, still rape.

    I’m sorry, I can’t think of the scenario where someone who cares about not sexually assaulting others might still end up unintentionally raping people.

    Maybe this is the crux of the problem. If I thought this was a likely scenario then I would probably have to agree that “rapists… are not in any way particularly different than the average man”.

    So can you give an example?

  134. 134
    Rinus

    Eh, the author herself clarifies those statements:

    YorkshireCat

    “The average man in the street would rape women if they could get away with it?”

    No of course they wouldn’t. But as crookedrib says: “rapists don’t rape because they’re monsters who are out of control. they rape because they can.”

    What sets rapists apart from the average man in the street is precisely the fact they’re rapists. The point is they don’t have two heads or horns or wear dirty macs or fit into any other kind of stereotype we might have of sex offenders.

    So.. move on? Her wording was somewhat clumsy perhaps, but she didn’t intend to make it out as though all men are rapists, rape is normal male behaviour or anything like that..

    Though I guess Siamese twins can get all butt-hurt now, since it’s somewhat offensive towards the two-headed. That bitch.

  135. 135
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The article seems to state that there is no difference between ordinary men and rapists, except opportunity. I say there is a huge difference

    There isn’t as big a difference as you think. On one of the women’s/rape threads a while back, somebody presented a study that showed if men knew they could get away with it, a lot more men acknowledged they would rape, a large increase in percentages. All about opportunity and the ability to get away with it. So, I don’t get upset when women imply men rape, or that more would rape if they could get away with it. The data is there. And those men who wouldn’t rape under almost any circumstances are tarnished with dirt from the rest. Whether you like it or not is irrelevant. Acknowledging it is there is relevant.

  136. 136
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    isn’t always that clear-cut. What if the guy’s previous girlfriend was a fundamentalist who wanted sex but couldn’t bring herself to admit it, and their sex had always been “no no no no no…yes yes yes”, and he hadn’t ever been exposed to the idea of clear enthusiastic consent, and his next girlfriend didn’t want to have sex but was too scared to really fight back much? Then you have a rape, which is just as bad as any rape from her perspective, but was a terrible misunderstanding on his part. He’s still just as responsible, and still needs to know that what he did was wrong and how to never, ever do it in the future, but I wouldn’t put him in the same category of “evil and perverted” as a hard-core rapist who gets off on the power of forcing women to hurt.

    There seems to be something problematic about this. If rape is rather as complex as this hypothetical (which I can imagine as being all too real), then there’s a categorical difference between the (pathological?) rapist and the patriarchal culture from which the man in the example is coming at sex from and the fundamental miscommunication that leads to the rape experience by the woman in the example.

    I expect to be told that rape is rape, but that really will leave quite a few questions lingering and clearly fails to address the rather substantial difference between the rapist who disables his victims and uses them purely for personal pleasure (not necessarily sexual gratification) and the couple that has incredibly poor sexual communication within a patriarchal culture. I mean, there is a substantive difference in both cases, right? And if it’s that complex, then isn’t there language that can be used to address that complexity? I feel very strongly that there is probably a significant lack of nuance to the language being used in these discussions of rape and sexual violation, of anything sexually related at all, really.

    I have a feeling my remarks are going to be poorly received, but I really hope not considering the persona I’m known for here …

  137. 137
    Inaji

    Erulora, please read Slignot’s post @ 132 and please hit the Meet the Predators link above. Please. A lot of ordinary men, who would be considered perfectly normal do rape. They don’t call it rape or consider it rape because that would make them bad, it would make them a rapist. It’s a deep and complex problem.

  138. 138
    onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork

    There are a lot of meaning/intent/semantic arguments floating about, but when we’re talking about normal and abnormal, I think context is important.

    When rapists exist in a culture where rape is deemed, variously, covertly or overtly acceptable (which doesn’t mean YAY RAPE Superbowl commercials, but does mean ambiguous consent jokes on Superbowl commercials), that does make their behavior normal — WITHIN THE CONTEXT of that culture. So when individuals existing within rape culture rape, they are not acting out of bounds of the stated culture. Rape culture, not human culture.

    The problem there is not–or, more precisely, is not solely–the behavior, it is the culture that allows the behavior.

    Remember: if the behavior is deemed acceptable–the definition of acceptable being things like limited prosecution, jokes, victim-blaming, etc–it is NOT abnormal. Let’s go back a few decades–insulting, injuring, discriminating and even lynching anyone black was deemed part of the acceptable culture. Individuals engaging in those behaviors–at that time–were not engaging in abnormal behaviors, they were behaving within the norm. And then the culture changed (not enough, but that’s another rant), and those behaviors were not deemed acceptable. The culture changed OVER TIME, from acceptable to not really polite to inappropriate to criminal (again, not enough, and not globally, but…yeah, ‘nother rant). You can still see the change in generational approaches to racism–like my grandmother, who would never dream of uttering the n-word or speaking uncivilly to anyone, but who firmly believed blacks were less…well, just less than whites.

    Gregory brought up marital rape earlier, and that’s an excellent barometer–marital rape used to be legal and absolutely acceptable–a man’s inalienable right to his wife’s services. It has gradually changed to being illegal (mostly) and less acceptable. Stranger rape is still deemed unacceptable, in most circumstances (notable exceptions being prisons), but acquaintance rape is still hovering in that ‘not really nice, but…’ zone. As seen in multiple cases, but most recently the 11 year old gang raped who was just dressed ‘too slutty’ or the cheerleader expelled for refusing to cheer for her rapist. When society minimizes or even lauds rape in tv, movies, music, radio, newspapers, books–in every measurable part of our (particularly American) culture, it gives tacit acceptance to rape.

    Is rape an inherently normal human behavior? I sure as hell don’t think so, but I think that’s actually an entirely different conversation.

    Is rape normal behavior within a rape culture? YES. That doesn’t make it right, but it doesn’t make it abnormal.

  139. 139
    slignot

    @Carlie, I have a bit of a problem with the way you’re constructed the following as well:

    isn’t always that clear-cut. What if the guy’s previous girlfriend was a fundamentalist who wanted sex but couldn’t bring herself to admit it, and their sex had always been “no no no no no…yes yes yes”, and he hadn’t ever been exposed to the idea of clear enthusiastic consent, and his next girlfriend didn’t want to have sex but was too scared to really fight back much? Then you have a rape, which is just as bad as any rape from her perspective, but was a terrible misunderstanding on his part.

    Because generally speaking, I don’t think we’re dealing with misunderstanding in rapes. As someone far more qualified has said, “It’s not that they don’t understand, it’s that they don’t like the answer.”
    It really is about a feeling of entitlement on some level, even for those attacks against loved partners. I’m going to quote from the previous haters thread.

    I told him, once, after I had told him no, I didn’t want to, and begged him to stop while he did it anyway, and finally just lay quietly crying until he finished. It actually seemed to get through to him, for a second. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but he paused, then said “that was… that was rape?”

    Fuck. I came *this* close to that, it ain’t funny.

    [TMI]

    With my own wife! ‘Cos I felt entitled.
    ‘Cos I was a horny bastard.

    I stopped my assault, but assault it was.

    Yeah, I am ashamed of it. I will always be ashamed.

    Really. My gut churns as I write this, but I’m not gonna delete it before posting.

    I was a bloke, I was young and full of myself, back then.

    (Feeble excuse that it is.

    I think, I hope she’s forgiven me, but I haven’t)

  140. 140
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Actually, Icthyic, that was my more charitable explanation.

  141. 141
    Ichthyic

    Actually, Icthyic, that was my more charitable explanation.

    ditto.

  142. 142
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Caine, Fleur du Mal, but that doesn’t make them ordinary. The belief that they are doesn’t change the fact that they’re rapists. This is probably the fundamental semantic problem with the use of the term. You’re not going to convince people who think that rapists are abhorrent deviants that they are in fact ordinary. They’re blatantly not. That’s not to say that they won’t appear to be or won’t present themselves so, or won’t be considered to be within rape culture, but it doesn’t actually make them ordinary.

  143. 143
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Caine,

    Erulora, please read Slignot’s post @ 132 and please hit the Meet the Predators link above. Please. A lot of ordinary men, who would be considered perfectly normal do rape.

    I don’t disagree with that. Never have. I’m just annoyed that you’re almost the only person engaging Stevarious’ actual point instead of a strawman of it. It’s not about whether rapists look different than other men, it’s about whether they are different, and I think that’s a damned good discussion to have. I don’t know if this is the right place to have it, but I still think it’s worthwhile and could be very enlightening.

  144. 144
    SG

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says:

    Rapists ARE different than average men.

    Care to explain the differences that can be quickly identified by strangers in the street? Or shut the fuck up like the rest of us who do recognize the truth of the statement, even if we are slightly miffed by the truth.

    No. I never said you could easily identify a rapist in the street. And you may not be able to reliably identify a murderous sociopath when you meet one on the street.

    But they’re both still different than the average man. Luckily most men are not going to become either rapists or murderers.

    I’m not sure when “shutting the fuck up” became a virtue, or why you so quickly discarded your own values and spoke out anyway.

  145. 145
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Shorter Stevarious: BUT WAHT ABOUT TEH POOR MEENNNNZZZ??!@??! WHY AREN’T MENZ’ FEE-FEES THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE??!!

    Fuck you, Stevarious. Men commit 99% of rapes. If you’re taking offense at Cath Elliott saying “the average man in the street” instead of “the average person in the street,” then you’re part of the fucking problem.

    Rape is COMMON. Anywhere from one out of four to one out of six women experience some kind of sexual assault. Their rapists aren’t all seedy guys with five o’clock shadow hiding in the shrubs. They’re teachers, professors, clergy, bosses, co-workers, relatives, significant others, and “friends.”

    In other words, they’re “regular guys” — not monsters. Other “regular guys” CLAIM to be against rape… until their buddy gets accused of it. And then… “Oh, he’s such a nice guy, he couldn’t have done that! She’s a slut, she’s a liar, she’s crazy!”

    As for “acceptable to rational people,” perhaps you’d want to take that up with the countless mansplainers who infest rape discussions, ignoring what victims have to say, insisting that women could prevent rape if only we did XYZ, and calling us “emotional” and “irrational” when we, surprisingly, get angry at them.

    Making rapists into monsters doesn’t solve the problem of rape. It just makes you feel like One Of The Good Guys without doing anything to earn it. And, no, Cath Elliott is not “exacerbating” the problem, she is describing it. Christ, you sound like one of those asswipes who equate discussing racism with perpetuating it.

    She certainly did not seem to blame her then-boyfriend for having sex with her that night or even be upset with him, despite the fact that she was too drugged to give consent or even remember.

    Yeah, one woman who doesn’t insist on enthusiastic, conscious consent invalidates the idea that sex with a drugged woman is rape. And you can’t believe you’re being “mistaken for some filthy MRA.”

    And, no, Happiestsadist isn’t a troll. They’re right on the money, you whiny-ass derailer.

  146. 146
    Dhorvath, OM

    Thomathy,

    I’m developing something of a loathing for the use of ‘men’ to describe rapists. Rapists are not merely men, not all rapists are men and further to that neither are all men straight. I get that in these discussions we’re largely talking about rape perpetrated by straight men against women, but the pronouns and nouns that we’re all using make that far from clear. Men is a rather large category of people, for instance.

    This is a fair point and one I struggle with myself. I will take greater care in the future.

    There is a difference between saying that normal behaviour on the part of men can result in rape and it is normal behaviour for men to rape.

    Normal behaviour on the part of people who rape doesn’t result in rape. Rape is all too common, but the behaviour is deviant and it is perpetrated by a minority of people (mostly straight men, which should go without saying). Normal behaviour cannot result in rape by definition.

    This is the very heart of the problem. Yes, normal behaviour on the part of normal people can result in rape. Rape can be a result of behaviour that wasn’t rape the last time a person did the same thing with another person, hell, it can be a result of behaviour that wasn’t rape the last time a person did the same thing with the same person.

    Rape is not normal behaviour nor is it resultant from normal behaviour. Normal people get consent, several levels of consent in explicit and nuanced ways, before engaging in sexual activity with other people.

    No they most certainly do not. That is the problem. If people actually made sure to get consent, rape wouldn’t happen as much.

    Rapists forcibly dominate and render powerless their victims in physically and psychologically abusive ways in order to use their bodies, perhaps even their powerless state, to derive pleasure that sometimes isn’t even sexual.

    Or they chemically incapacitate them, or they seek out meek people to dominate, or they end up in a room with someone who they don’t know enough about and misinterprate because we do a piss poor job of defining adequate consent.

  147. 147
    Inaji

    SG, please read this post and John Morales’ and Julian’s responses to it.

    And one more time:

    Meet the Predators

    Predator Redux

  148. 148
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Unbound, that portion of the Elliott piece you quote is correct. The odds are stacked in rapists’ favor. Victim-blaming and slut-shaming are extremely prevalent. The internet lets victim-blamers harass victims ad infinitum. Most rapes are never reported, most reported rapes don’t go to trial, and conviction rapes are exceedingly low. Anyone who doubts this is, like Stevarious, part of the problem and not the solution.

    CyberCMDR: Right, all feminists who speak bluntly about rape must be irrational, emotional, hysterical abuse victims. Also, nobody here who matters gives a fuck if some patronizing git who thinks nothing of using the word “girl” in contrast to the word “men,” and who (as Happiestsadist pointed out) praises his daughter for not “letting” her ex make her into a “man-hater,” has his ickle biddy feewings hurt at the fact that, yes, strange women are perfectly justified in parsing him as a threat.

    Louis: Your wife is right. This isn’t a thread for pedantry. Also, Ichthyic, shove your dictionary lawyering up your ass.

    Thomathy: What Onion Girl said at #140.

  149. 149
    Dhorvath, OM

    SG,

    people who do care and who would never knowingly or intentionally sexually assualt someone, still rape.

    I’m sorry, I can’t think of the scenario where someone who cares about not sexually assaulting others might still end up unintentionally raping people.

    Perhaps if you perused the comments so far you would note that a very specific example of exactly what I am talking about was given just above.

  150. 150
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Caine, I suspect you are trying to communicate with a brick wall.

  151. 151
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    SG,

    And you may not be able to reliably identify a murderous sociopath when you meet one on the street.

    A better example than mine. Thank you.

  152. 152
    Pteryxx

    I’m slow and slignot @141 scooped me, but I still wanted to add my 2c:

    Most men who rape certainly don’t see themselves as evil, perverted, or different from anyone else. They’d say, no, I’m not evil, I’m not a pervert, I’m a normal guy, therefore I can’t possibly be a rapist, because rapists are evil and perverted and OTHER. (…) If the average bloke rapes someone, he probably doesn’t think of it as rape. (Rapists are evil, perverted and OTHER, you see.) He may not even notice he’s done it. (emphasis mine)

    and

    All I do know is that, from my perspective, there has to be some difference between the mind of a rapist and the mind of a non-rapist, because despite plenty of opportunity, I have never been the least bit inclined to rape. Maybe I’m completely wrong – maybe the vast majority of men really ARE secret rapist wannabe’s, but are too cowardly or lack the opportunity. (emphasis mine)

    Recently two regular commentors were brave enough to reveal that they had sexually assaulted their wives, simply through feeling entitled to ignore their partner’s wishes; and they admit what they did and are ashamed.

    The research cited in “Meet the Predators” shows the vast majority of rapes are committed by repeat predators; predators given cover by the cultural assumption that pressuring women into sex is normal and acceptable and understandable. And, that many men will self-report rapes, even repeated ones, as long as the word “rape” is not used.

    Two-thirds of the men in Lisak’s study were repeat offenders, so one-third had raped only once. I’d extrapolate that most of them would go on to rape other victims in future; they didn’t care what they’d done, enjoyed it, and would be willing to rape again. But men also exist in this very community who have raped and would never do such a thing again.

    I don’t have a good suggestion for framing the discussion of rape culture and sexism to include these men while our culture still won’t admit the existence of predators. Especially because the predators trivialize all their rapes as reasonable misunderstandings. I just wanted to point out: with what’s known about stereotype threat, priming, reinforcement of implicit associations and such, I think it likely that a few of Lisak’s survey responders read “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with someone, even though they did not want to, because…” and felt doubt or regret about something they had once done, before ever setting their hand to “Yes” or “No”.

  153. 153
    Ichthyic

    BUT WAHT ABOUT TEH POOR MEENNNNZZZ??!@??! WHY AREN’T MENZ’ FEE-FEES THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE??!!

    daisy cutter, your nym fits.

    Also, Ichthyic, shove your dictionary lawyering up your ass.

    yes, because words are meaningless when there is screaming involved.

    fuck off.

  154. 154
    Inaji

    Slignot @141I have linked to that exchange twice, however, I do not think it was alright for you to have copypasted it here without the permission of the posters in question. Please use a link in the future.

  155. 155
    Inaji

    Pteryxx:

    Recently two regular commentors were brave enough to reveal that they had sexually assaulted their wives

    No, they did not. They said they came close, but stopped. Watch yourself when you’re talking about what other people said.

  156. 156
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Murder is not as common as rape. Nor do murderous sociopaths get anywhere near the leeway that rapists do in our society. There is not a subculture of Murderers’ Rights Advocates who believe that murder rates are overreported and/or that murder victims “ask for it.” There is not a general strain of bigotry in our culture the premise of which is that murder victims “ask for it.”

  157. 157
    Ichthyic

    No, they did not. They said they came close, but stopped. Watch yourself when you’re talking about what other people said.

    five bucks says that this:

    Recently two regular commentors were brave enough to reveal that they had sexually assaulted their wives

    will end up eventually being represented as what they said.

    there’s a point in there, somewhere.

  158. 158
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ichthyic, your tone trolling has been noted.

  159. 159
    Ing

    @Erulora

    Rapists differ from non-rapists in that non-rapists do not rape.

    The point you are making is tautological and not relevant.

    The bigger point is that people who don’t think they are rapists, as a matter-o-fact, so.

    The way to combat this IS to point out that people can do horrible things while cognizant of the extent of the harm and to point out what such situations are.

    Basically what you’re saying is akin to “Fascists differ from non-fascists”. Where the research into both mind sets shows that both ARE normal people. If the common ill prepared mind can be manipulated via authority to kill or torture, why is it so hard to believe the same person could be mislead to take advantage of people due to the drum beat they hear from their culture?

    In the case of Rwanda and other genocides do you think the murderers considered themselves murderers? Their actions were enabled because they were convinced that “this doesn’t count”. This is a tough lesson for many to learn, because chances are they know someone who either has crossed that line or has teetered close to it. And they are otherwise nice people.

  160. 160
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    If you’re taking offense at Cath Elliott saying “the average man in the street” instead of “the average person in the street,” then you’re part of the fucking problem.

    I thought the problem was the word “average”. But then, that could be because I made my mind up after read what Stevarious said, instead of before.

  161. 161
    SG

    To anyone who thinks rapists are just normal men who had the opportunity to get away with it:

    Why don’t you also argue with PZ when makes fun of Christians for thinking everyone would be out raping and murdering if there were no God?

    Do you really believe there is no hope for humanity to avoid widespread barbarism, except under the threat of punishment by a more powerful authority?

    If you really do think the AVERAGE MAN will go around raping (and maybe killing?) if he thinks he can get away with it — then maybe the masses do need religion, regardless of the truth value.

    (I’m assuming this is largely an atheist crowd.)

  162. 162
    slignot

    Caine, happy to comply with that protocol in the future. I perceived it to be better to use the example without appending the name of the poster in the absence of his permission. It seemed better to not continually associate his ‘nym in each thread, but if it’s better to simply link to the source, I’ll do that instead.

  163. 163
    Inaji

    Ms Daisy Cutter:

    Caine, I suspect you are trying to communicate with a brick wall.

    No I’m not. I am trying to have a useful, informative and educational discussion, however, as Erulora pointed out. It’s difficult right now, because I’m traveling and on my little Ebook and I’ll soon be at a gallery show and away from this discussion.

    At this point, given recent discussions, I think it’s better to try and get across the problems of discussing rape while steeping in a rape culture.

    Everyone who doesn’t get it, please read Onion Girl’s post. 10 times if necessary. Ta.

  164. 164
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Ing,

    The point you are making is tautological and not relevant.

    My point was that people should engage the argument Stevarious actually made instead of a strawman. That’s a tautology?

  165. 165
    Dhorvath, OM

    SG,

    If you really do think the AVERAGE MAN will go around raping (and maybe killing?) if he thinks he can get away with it — then maybe the masses do need religion, regardless of the truth value.

    That’s a huge stretch, but if it’s what you think is being said try this on for size: Normal behaviour makes rape happen more, so lets change what normal behaviour is.

  166. 166
    Eurasian magpie

    @Pteryxx

    But men also exist in this very community who have raped

    Unless you have more information than the most recent threads then that is a miscaracterisation. Two regulars confessed attempting not fulfilling a rape (and I respect you guys for your bravery and honesty).

  167. 167
    Ichthyic

    Ichthyic, your tone trolling has been noted.

    tone trolling…

    ROFLMAO

    ok, now I KNOW I don’t need to take you seriously.

    thanks.

  168. 168
    cyberCMDR

    One of the things I love about Pharyngula is that it makes you look in the mirror with no excuses. Emotional issues get dissected and no pity given to those with reality filters that hide their assumptions.

    Keep it up. I’m sure I still have lots of blinders on of one sort or another that could use removing. Even if I can’t fully empathize with being a woman, a minority, etc. in our society (not due to lack of intent, but of experience), being aware of my blind spots will help. Even if I disagree with some positions, I will have at least defined my position based on the discussions here.

  169. 169
    Ing

    To anyone who thinks rapists are just normal men who had the opportunity to get away with it:

    Why don’t you also argue with PZ when makes fun of Christians for thinking everyone would be out raping and murdering if there were no God?

    Do you really believe there is no hope for humanity to avoid widespread barbarism, except under the threat of punishment by a more powerful authority?

    If you really do think the AVERAGE MAN will go around raping (and maybe killing?) if he thinks he can get away with it — then maybe the masses do need religion, regardless of the truth value.

    Strawman: we’re not saying everyone would do it if they could get away it. We’re saying that some portion of the population doesn’t realize it’s rape BECAUSE they can get away with it.

    The average HUMAN will go around raping and killing if they are convinced that what they are doing isn’t raping and killing.

  170. 170
    Inaji

    Ichthyic:

    five bucks says

    No bet, I’d lose my money. Pteryxx, correct yourself and fucking apologize.

    We’re almost to the gallery, so I’ll be out for a while. Keep fighting the good fight.

  171. 171
    Stevarious

    @Caine: Stevarious, did you read the post I linked, the one addressed specifically to you? I’d like to think you’re interested in discussion and education here.

    Yes I did. (I’m posting from work here so I’m about 30 posts behind.) I think I’ve been explaining myself poorly. (or my understanding of this issue has changed subtly without me noticing in the last few hours – can’t rule that one out, can we?)
    I’m not trying to say that all rapists are evil subhuman monsters (though it’s clear that some are). And you don’t have to call it rape for it to be rape, I get that. What I’m trying to say is that to have the ability to rape, you have to have a fundamental flaw in your ability to empathize with other humans, and to be able to put your desire to have sex (or dominate another, or both) above your respect for another person’s desires.

    @Ichthyic: we must be thinking of two different problems, then.
    one is how a rape culture has developed from historical misogyny in most societies.
    the other is defending oneself from the idea that, being a member of the misogynist side of the equation, one does not actually deserve the label “rapist”.
    so, one, I don’t really think that the original article IS saying that rape is normative behavior for men, nor do I think anyone else here is.

    I think the clear consensus has been that, while the article did not seem to intend to say that rape is normative behavior, it phrased a statement in a very unclear manner that made it easy to be understood to be saying that. And that’s fine. Being human, of course, I’m just a prone to misunderstanding as the next human.

  172. 172
    John Morales

    [Penance is harsh]

  173. 173
    Ichthyic

    Normal behaviour makes rape happen more, so lets change what normal behaviour is.

    now THAT works, though I might just eliminate the more part.

    Accepted behavior results in rape, so lets change what is accepted behavior.

    I like that better.

  174. 174
    Ing

    She certainly did not seem to blame her then-boyfriend for having sex with her that night or even be upset with him, despite the fact that she was too drugged to give consent or even remember.

    Exhibit A for my case.

    You’re defensive about the idea because you know someone who crossed the line.

    When people have a dissonance between behavior and belief they more often change their belief rather than their behavior. It’s easier to say “that’s not rape” than “my friend raped”

  175. 175
    slignot

    @SG

    To anyone who thinks rapists are just normal men who had the opportunity to get away with it:

    Why don’t you also argue with PZ when makes fun of Christians for thinking everyone would be out raping and murdering if there were no God?

    Do you really believe there is no hope for humanity to avoid widespread barbarism, except under the threat of punishment by a more powerful authority?

    If you really do think the AVERAGE MAN will go around raping (and maybe killing?) if he thinks he can get away with it — then maybe the masses do need religion, regardless of the truth value.

    (I’m assuming this is largely an atheist crowd.)

    Does not follow. I’m really struggling to understand how you make this leap.

    We are saying that some men who choose to rape (especially if they don’t think of it as real rape) are not significantly different than many other people in our society. Because the social norms of ethical behavior apologize for and rationalize rape. (hint: we also want to change that)

    You are saying that we can’t criticize others for misunderstanding ethical social dynamics as linked to religion. There is no reasonable connection.

  176. 176
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    I’m getting really sick of the facebook bashing. It’s just like the hipster who has no television.

    Sure, it’s a corporation selling an audience to its customers, the advertisers. Just like commercial TV. Just like newspapers and magazines. Just like any number of other major websites. We live in a capitalist economy so duh. Sure, the management are sexist shits and not to be trusted with your private info. This sets them aside from other big companies how?

    This is a nasty issue for FB users. Getting all smug about how this isn’t an issue for you won’t fix the issue for the tens of millions of people who do use FB. Help us make it better, or at least shut up about your superiority.

  177. 177
    John Morales

    SG:

    If you really do think the AVERAGE MAN will go around raping (and maybe killing?) if he thinks he can get away with it — then maybe the masses do need religion, regardless of the truth value.

    Datum (my emphasis):
    “The first time, soldiers had entered and grabbed an 18-year-old girl, asking her if she were a virgin. She said she was. Licking his knife, one of the soldiers said that if they found she was not, he would butcher her. The witness pleaded with them not [to] take the girl but to take her instead. “We’ll take you too,” they said. While the witness was being raped, her rapist told her, “You should have already left this town. We’ll make you have Serbian babies who will be Christians.” Two soldiers raped her at that time; five soldiers raped the 18-year-old girl in full view of the witness.”

    (Source: Seventh Report on War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia: Part II)

  178. 178
    Ing

    @JM

    Sooooooo…what you’re saying is that Serbs are monsters?

  179. 179
    Stevarious

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter: Fuck you, Stevarious. Men commit 99% of rapes. If you’re taking offense at Cath Elliott saying “the average man in the street” instead of “the average person in the street,” then you’re part of the fucking problem.

    Um, no, that’s not what I’m saying at all and if you’d bothered to read what I actually wrote you wouldn’t be sitting there screaming at me like Happiestsadist is, completely misinterpreting my comments because you want me to be an MRA you can yell at.

    My problem with the article was not that ‘Oh no poor mens are called rapists!!1!’ My problem with the article was that it seemed like she was saying that ALL men wanted to be rapists, and that the only reason that they weren’t was because of lack of opportunity. Is this your position? Do YOU believe that ALL men would rape, given the chance? Because it has already been discussed and determined that I (and other people – again, please actually read the comments) were misunderstanding the article due to it’s poor wording.

    Rape is COMMON. Anywhere from one out of four to one out of six women experience some kind of sexual assault. Their rapists aren’t all seedy guys with five o’clock shadow hiding in the shrubs. They’re teachers, professors, clergy, bosses, co-workers, relatives, significant others, and “friends.”
    In other words, they’re “regular guys” — not monsters. Other “regular guys” CLAIM to be against rape… until their buddy gets accused of it. And then… “Oh, he’s such a nice guy, he couldn’t have done that! She’s a slut, she’s a liar, she’s crazy!”

    Yes, and if you can point to some situation where I have defended a rapist like this then your rage would certainly be justified.

    As for “acceptable to rational people,” perhaps you’d want to take that up with the countless mansplainers who infest rape discussions, ignoring what victims have to say, insisting that women could prevent rape if only we did XYZ, and calling us “emotional” and “irrational” when we, surprisingly, get angry at them.

    I was kind of hoping that demonstrating obvious contempt for MRA’s would be sufficient to demonstrate that I have contempt for MRA’s. If I AM one, and don’t know it, please point to the comment that demonstrates this so I can direct suitable levels of contempt at myself.

    Making rapists into monsters doesn’t solve the problem of rape. It just makes you feel like One Of The Good Guys without doing anything to earn it. And, no, Cath Elliott is not “exacerbating” the problem, she is describing it. Christ, you sound like one of those asswipes who equate discussing racism with perpetuating it.

    So you DO believe that ALL men would rape a woman, given the opportunity? Because that is the position I was protesting, and it has already been established that my protest was in error because this is almost certainly not what the article meant to say.

    Yeah, one woman who doesn’t insist on enthusiastic, conscious consent invalidates the idea that sex with a drugged woman is rape. And you can’t believe you’re being “mistaken for some filthy MRA.”

    I do believe that I was saying she WAS raped. I’m sorry if I was unclear on that point.

    And, no, Happiestsadist isn’t a troll. They’re right on the money, you whiny-ass derailer.

    Sure, if you assume that I didn’t say the things I said and instead assume that I said completely different things, and you ALSO assume that I didn’t already accept that I had misunderstood a poorly worded article. But since none of these things seem to be true, I guess that makes you BOTH trolls.

  180. 180
    Ing

    So you DO believe that ALL men would rape a woman, given the opportunity? Because that is the position I was protesting, and it has already been established that my protest was in error because this is almost certainly not what the article meant to say.

    Your obtuseness is indefensible.

  181. 181
    Inaji

    Stevarious:

    What I’m trying to say is that to have the ability to rape, you have to have a fundamental flaw in your ability to empathize with other humans, and to be able to put your desire to have sex (or dominate another, or both) above your respect for another person’s desires.

    We’re mostly in agreement here (and thanks for getting back to me, I appreciate it), however, I’d like for you (and others) to keep in mind that privilege and being entitlement-minded can lead to cases of rape, and privilege and entitlement-mindedness can be examined, learned about and changed. I don’t think it is always a case of a fundamental flaw, which is where things get so damn complicated. The rape culture we live in encourages privilege and an entitlement mindset, which in turn leads to rapes, assaults and other crimes.

  182. 182
    Hank_Says

    I wouldn’t say FB is creating this puritanical arse-backwards “sex = evil, violence = fine” culture; it’s more a product of what already exists. The USA is still in the grips of its Puritanical past; as such, sex is a necessary evil (necessary to make more Christians within matrimony, but no more than that) and anything else related to sex or nudity isn’t fit for public consumption, display or even honest discussion. We have plenty of US TV shows down under and we’re constantly amused that your FCC prudes blur butt-cracks but are quite happy to permit just about any sort of graphic violence. The few sex scenes on tv always seem to take place under a sheet and often with partially-clothed participants but if, say, Dexter needs to execute someone or if CSI needs to present a detailed reconstruction of a bullet wound, it’s all there in HD with no holds barred.

    Back in the real world you have state governors and other intellectual rodeo clowns claiming the HPV vaccine is a license for little girls to fuck indiscriminately, you have fathers and daughters in the Bible Belt attending “Purity Balls” (the creepiest events – well, ever), you had peoples heads exploding in righteous rage over Janet Jackson’s breast, you have your past president pushing “just say no” as sex education (and failing dismally), but you’re still happy to have the state poison or electrocute convicted criminals to death as revenge for their crimes. Still happy to support the troops as they’re ordered to attack nations that haven’t attacked you. Still happy to support Islamist dictatorships that treat women worse than slaves. And, funnily enough, still happy to be the world’s largest producer of pornography ever since VHS was invented.

    It’s really no wonder that FB is behaving exactly same way: censoring breasts (which are being used for their actual purpose, too, no less) while not caring a jot about some entitled douchebags making rape jokes. It’s not just FB culture, it’s American culture imposed on the online world with a little blue & white [f] logo.

    Obviously parts of the above are a broad generalisation, but as someone with a non-US perspective, that’s what we see. News grabs of idiots like Bachmann & Perry, endless war coverage & war speeches & a parade of TV shows featuring endless shootings, stabbings, hackings, rape and torture (Law & Order: SVU anyone?) but pretty much no sex that’s realistic or explored in a plausible or honest manner.

    Don’t get me wrong though, there’s lots about America (and Americans) that I love, but I often feel like the good things are being obscured and held hostage by a small but noisy group of Ned Flanderses, out to impose their Puritanism on everyone else and dress it up as a public service. There are some in Australia who want the same things and it’s disturbing.

  183. 183
    slignot

    Stevarious,

    Sure, if you assume that I didn’t say the things I said and instead assume that I said completely different things, and you ALSO assume that I didn’t already accept that I had misunderstood a poorly worded article.

    Since you say that you have accepted a misreading of the article, I suggest you take a step back and listen for a bit.

    Because if you acknowledge the misunderstanding, you should presumably acknowledge that:
    1. Elliot does not mean to say that all men would rape given an opportunity.
    2. None of us here are saying that all men would rape given an opportunity.

    I welcome you to jump back in to discuss the social climate that allows people to rationalize behavior as not-rape and bad-sex and buyers-remorse (etc, etc) but it does no good to keep arguing that anyone thinks all men will rape given the opportunity.

  184. 184
    Carlie

    Caine, Fleur du Mal, but that doesn’t make them ordinary. The belief that they are doesn’t change the fact that they’re rapists.

    My concern is for the converse of that. If rapist = monster, then it’s very easy for a guy to say “Well, what I just did must not have been rape, because rapists are monsters and I’m not a monster, I’m a good guy”. If all rapists are evil terrible twisted monsters, then that guy who’s always kind and nice and just happened to push his girlfriend too far after he’d had a few drinks and she cried a little but then forgave him for it because she loves him gets to tell himself he’s not a rapist and that wasn’t rape because he doesn’t fit the profile.

  185. 185
    Jadehawk

    first up: I understand that”average” might have been a clumily chosen word, since it was meant to convey “ordinary” but is being perceived as the mathematical/statistical mean.

    However:

    In real life:

    – Rapists ARE evil.
    – Rapists ARE perverted.
    – Rapists ARE different than average men.

    incorrect. FFS, we have studies that show just how “normal” rapists are, and how much our society treats rape as part of the sex-continuum. A rapist is simply a man who “persuaded” a bit too much, since no women want sex and all need to be made to have it anyway.

    I would say that assuming that rape is normal behavior for men is at the very heart of rape culture. So an article that supports that idea, or that just seems to support that idea, is most definitely exacerbating the problem, even if it’s unintentional.

    you’re thoroughly confused. the above statement seems to be implying an essentialist statement, i.e. that rape is somehow natural for men or inherent to maleness; in reality, it was simply an acknowledgment of what rape culture does to a significant percentage of psychologically entirely normal men.

    This discussion is about whether or not there IS a difference between rapists and ordinary men, and whether the only difference between rapists and ordinary men is that rapists have had an opportunity to rape.

    that’s a false dichotomy which assumes that men are a hivemind, except for the deviant ones.

    I am claiming that there is a very large difference in the mind of a normal human male, and the mindset of a human male who is capable of (or even interested in) raping a woman or coercing her into a sex act she does not want to commit.

    and you’d be wrong about this. men who’d be horrified at the idea of raping someone have committed rapes, because of the ubiquitous and culturally deeply embedded “women must be tricked/persuaded into sex” meme.

    Rape is not normal behaviour nor is it resultant from normal behaviour.

    that you do not wish this to be the case, or that you yourself do not feel that way, doesn’t actually make it true.

    I’m sorry, I can’t think of the scenario where someone who cares about not sexually assaulting others might still end up unintentionally raping people.

    very simple: as long as it’s considered consent for a women to give up and stop saying “no” or be too drunk to say “no”, and as long as the cultural meme that women need to be tricked and persuaded into sex persists, men who don’t think they’ve ever raped anyone will in fact have raped someone. A friend of mine got pregnant that way, waking up one day with her ex on top of her. He doesn’t think he raped her, he thought they were having sex.

    Accepted behavior results in rape, so lets change what is accepted behavior.

    quoted and bolded for truth

  186. 186
    Gregory Greenwood

    onion girl, OM (Social Worker, tips appreciated) @ 140;

    QFT.

    Your post covered all the areas I wanted to discuss, and did it better than I did.

    To everyone who is having difficulty with the concept of the social normalization of rape, the following extract of onion girl’s post sums it up neatly:-

    Is rape an inherently normal human behavior? I sure as hell don’t think so, but I think that’s actually an entirely different conversation.

    Is rape normal behavior within a rape culture? YES. That doesn’t make it right, but it doesn’t make it abnormal.

    Nobody here is happy about the fact, but we do live in a society with a deeply entrenched rape culture that plays into unexamined male privilege. So long as that privilege remains unexamined by a given otherwise law-abiding individual, then they may be convinced by the prevailing rape culture that, in certain circumstances, they are entitled to sex, and they would not construct the exercise of this perceived entitlement as rape, because rape is what skeezy, possibly mentally abnormal guys in rain coats who hide in bushes do, and they would never self-identify as such, so this simply can’t be rape in their eyes.

    To the best of my knowledge, no diagnoseable mental affliction has ever been identified as a pre-requisite for rape. Part of rape culture is constructing rapists as grotesque, gargoylish ‘others’, and then defining rape ludicrously narrowly as a screaming, struggling woman being dragged off into the shadows by a sinister stranger. This is why so many ‘acquaintance’ rapes are often dismissed as ‘not really rape’, and why it is likely that a great many rapes go unreported, and it is known that a great many that are reported fail to result in convictions. The popular image of rape is, in many cases (though I admit not all), such a ludicrous caricature that it bears little resemblance to the banal, every day reality.

    Until the simplistic caricatures and stereotypes surrounding rape are broken down – along with associated tropes such as victim blaming and ‘slut shaming’ – then rape culture will endure, and certain behaviours (that can be practiced by ‘normal’ men) that can result in rape will remain normalized.

  187. 187
    Inaji

    Carlie @ 186:

    Yes and thank you for that. Kamaka & Mister are taking a break and munching, but then we have to get back to the show.

  188. 188
    Ichthyic

    so, cycling back, I think we are then agreed that the idea of facebook marking as acceptable, jokes regarding rape, is not acceptable.

    if Facebook is going to censor anything as “unacceptable”, then it’s the people who USE Facebook that should get to pick and choose what that is, for THEMSELVES, not Facebook.

    if they can make that work, great, otherwise:

    fuck the censorship attempts entirely, because it’s not helping to accomplish anything productive, but it WILL stifle debate on relevant issues, which is not how a social networking concept is supposed to work, IMO.

  189. 189
    Stevarious

    Since you say that you have accepted a misreading of the article, I suggest you take a step back and listen for a bit.
    Because if you acknowledge the misunderstanding, you should presumably acknowledge that:
    1. Elliot does not mean to say that all men would rape given an opportunity.
    2. None of us here are saying that all men would rape given an opportunity.

    Oh, certainly. I freely acknowledge both these points.

    I welcome you to jump back in to discuss the social climate that allows people to rationalize behavior as not-rape and bad-sex and buyers-remorse (etc, etc) but it does no good to keep arguing that anyone thinks all men will rape given the opportunity.

    I was not seriously arguing that Ms. DC actually held that opinion – I thought that the obvious absurdity would make it apparent that I was being sarcastic.

  190. 190
    Pteryxx

    This is to apologize for my #154 above.

    Ichthyic, Caine and pj are correct. As pj said above, two regulars admitted attempting to sexually assault their partners, and I’m entirely at fault for not making that distinction absolutely clear. I was careless with the label of “rapist” right in my own discussion of it. I can only say that wasn’t my intention.

    To both of you, I’m terribly sorry. You entrusted me and the rest of us with your personal story, and I should have handled it with the respect that such acts of bravery and integrity deserve.

  191. 191
    Stevarious

    We’re mostly in agreement here (and thanks for getting back to me, I appreciate it), however, I’d like for you (and others) to keep in mind that privilege and being entitlement-minded can lead to cases of rape, and privilege and entitlement-mindedness can be examined, learned about and changed. I don’t think it is always a case of a fundamental flaw, which is where things get so damn complicated. The rape culture we live in encourages privilege and an entitlement mindset, which in turn leads to rapes, assaults and other crimes.

    Yeah, I think we’re pretty much in agreement. In fact, I would suggest that (with the rare exception of the sociopath in the bushes with the knife, who likely is the cause of a much smaller percentage of rapes than statistics would suggest) it’s precisely the privilege and the entitlement that leads to nearly all rape – whether it be the boyfriend who honestly doesn’t know that no means no and the girlfriend who said no once but is too terrified to fight back further, or the husband who thinks he deserves it after a long day at work, or the blind date slipping something into her drink… There are too many examples but I can’t think of a single one that doesn’t trace directly back to some form of entitlement or privilege.
    I wonder if entitlement or privilege could be described as a form of sociopathy? Like, a low grade, learned sociopathy?

  192. 192
    Magpie

    Interesting that the first words used to criticise the author of a piece on rape were “fuck you”.

  193. 193
    SG

    @187

    FFS, we have studies that show just how “normal” rapists are

    The paper “Understanding The Predatory Nature Of Sexual Violence” quoted at Predator Redux says there are MEASURABLE DIFFERENCES in psychological characteristics between rapists and other men. If you only meant that rapists can “seem” normal, fine.

    and how much our society treats rape as part of the sex-continuum.

    In the same way that bad and good are on the same continuum, rape and consensual sex are on the same continuum. And, like with any other ethical topic, there is a grey area somewhere between them where it can be hard to tell one from the other. Consider these facts and you may be able to locate some of the grey area.

    – A person may first decline and then consent to sex.
    – People sometimes consent to sex even when not in the mood.
    – Consent can sometimes be communicated non-verbally.

    Given these facts, and without the ability to read minds, there can be scenarios where it would be difficult for others to tell if the sex was consensual or not.

    None of this is meant to give rapists justification for their actions.

    The rule about ethical sex is pretty easy: it needs to be consensual.

  194. 194
    Stevarious
    She certainly did not seem to blame her then-boyfriend for having sex with her that night or even be upset with him, despite the fact that she was too drugged to give consent or even remember.

    Exhibit A for my case.
    You’re defensive about the idea because you know someone who crossed the line.
    When people have a dissonance between behavior and belief they more often change their belief rather than their behavior. It’s easier to say “that’s not rape” than “my friend raped”

    No. That guy was a scumbag and I’m sorry to have known him, and he was never my friend. (And no, I’m not post-hoc disowning his friendship because he did something nasty. We never got along, mainly because he wasn’t comfortable with her still being close friends with a guy she knew in college, which he always assumed meant that I had slept with her at some point, which I hadn’t.)
    I brought the incident up as an example of a mindset that I just didn’t fully understand. I still don’t. I don’t understand how he could do it and I really don’t understand how she could be okay with it.

    I don’t think you’re actually reading my comments. Just reading into them.

  195. 195
    nemothederv

    Facebook does not care about a healthy or safe forum.
    They care about complaints.
    Particularly, a large number of complaints.
    There is an ocean full of wingnuts that complain about seeing breasts.
    There also seems, by facebooks lack of reaction, to be an ocean full of people who make and laugh at rape jokes. At least enough to outweigh the complaints.
    It’s all about pleasing the largest cross section of subscribers, right or wrong.
    As much as it might suck, it is not reasonable to expect Facebook to care unless it affects their bottom line. They’re just like any other corporation.

  196. 196
    Ing

    Appolgies for misreading then

    It’s still an example of how rape is allowed because people are basically ignorant. IE. That women should just shut up and take it.

  197. 197
    Stevarious

    Magpie:
    Interesting that the first words used to criticise the author of a piece on rape were “fuck you”.

    At the time it seemed appropriate. I rather wish it hadn’t, as it turns out, I was misunderstanding the part of the article that had me upset.

  198. 198
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Ms. Daisy Cutter #160:

    Ichthyic, your tone trolling has been noted.

    five bucks says that this:

    Recently two regular commentors were brave enough to reveal that they had sexually assaulted their wives

    will end up eventually being represented as what they said.

    That has nothing to do with tone, unless there’s some words there displaying in a light spectrum you can perceive that I can’t.

  199. 199
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Stevarious #193:

    I wonder if entitlement or privilege could be described as a form of sociopathy? Like, a low grade, learned sociopathy?

    You’re displaying mental ‘health’ privilege bordering on ableism with this comment — you’re trying to stigmatize privilege by painting it as a form of mental illness (‘sociopathy’, aka anti-social personality disorder). Please stop.

  200. 200
    Jadehawk

    The paper “Understanding The Predatory Nature Of Sexual Violence” quoted at Predator Redux says there are MEASURABLE DIFFERENCES in psychological characteristics between rapists and other men. If you only meant that rapists can “seem” normal, fine.

    oh FFS. did you read that paper? rapists are “more” a lot of things that men are taught to be, anyway. that’s to be expected from men who go one step further than other men. there isn’t a fundamental difference here as some people have claimed there is.

    In the same way that bad and good are on the same continuum, rape and consensual sex are on the same continuum. And, like with any other ethical topic, there is a grey area somewhere between them where it can be hard to tell one from the other.

    thank you for demonstrating my point.

  201. 201
    Stevarious

    Appolgies for misreading then

    By all means. After all, I did the exact same thing about, hmm, 160 or so comments ago.

    It’s still an example of how rape is allowed because people are basically ignorant. IE. That women should just shut up and take it.

    Exactly. Clearly, more education is the key. More blog posts about privilege, and more stupid arguments about misunderstood articles, even. That’s how this sort of thing gets learned. I wouldn’t know a thing about rape culture or male privilege if it hadn’t been for a link in the comments on Pharyngula like 2 years ago – and I certainly feel that I’ve gotten something out of this conversation. I hope (and expect) I’m not the only one.

  202. 202
    Carlie

    This is a nasty issue for FB users. Getting all smug about how this isn’t an issue for you won’t fix the issue for the tens of millions of people who do use FB. Help us make it better, or at least shut up about your superiority.

    How so?

    Person to FB: Hey, this stinks. I’m complaining.
    FB: And then what?
    Person: Well, I’ll keep using FB, but I’m complaining about it.
    FB: Yeah, have fun with that.

    I’m not being smug, I’m saying that FB no longer meets my needs, so I’m not using it any more, and making that non-use visible to FB by deleting my account. I don’t see why they’d care at all how people feel about the service if it doesn’t stop those people from using it.

  203. 203
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Jadehawk:

    In the same way that bad and good are on the same continuum, rape and consensual sex are on the same continuum. And, like with any other ethical topic, there is a grey area somewhere between them where it can be hard to tell one from the other.

    thank you for demonstrating my point.

    What is it…the danger comes not from evil, but from those who quietly and ignorantly support it?

  204. 204
    SG

    @Jadehawk (187) says:

    I can’t think of the scenario where someone who cares about not sexually assaulting others might still end up unintentionally raping people.

    very simple: as long as it’s considered consent for a women to give up and stop saying “no” or be too drunk to say “no”, and as long as the cultural meme that women need to be tricked and persuaded into sex persists, men who don’t think they’ve ever raped anyone will in fact have raped someone.

    OK, I’ll agree that the drunk example is rape. But a guy raping sloppy drunks who can’t say no is not someone who I think “cares about not sexually assaulting others”.

    On the “giving up” example, I will also mostly agree with you, with the caveat that you have to admit that it is actually possible for a woman to change her mind.

    I also do agree that the idea that women NEED TO BE persuaded and tricked into sex is a dangerous one, and is probably contributing to the so-called “rape culture”.

    As long as we don’t simply say that any type of persuasion (flowers, candy, dinner, sonnets) resulting in sex is rape. Even trickery (hair implants, breast implants, acting like you are a big spender) resulting in sex can’t always be called rape.

    Certainly sex with coerced consent or no consent is rape, but it is not always going to be clear cut.

  205. 205
    Stevarious

    You’re displaying mental ‘health’ privilege bordering on ableism with this comment — you’re trying to stigmatize privilege by painting it as a form of mental illness (‘sociopathy’, aka anti-social personality disorder). Please stop.

    Well, I wasn’t actively trying to do that… but yeah. Thanks for the correction.

  206. 206
    Jadehawk

    to clarify: my point is that rapists are not “evil” or “monsters” as per the desired narrative; they’re entirely neurotypical, and simply are the best at performing the toxic masculinity all men are trained by our culture to perform. That makes them ordinary, if not average in the mathematical sense. And it means that the more toxic the culture, the more men are likely to reach that level of toxicity required to actually commit a rape, because there isn’t a magical barrier between the rapist mind and the non-rapist mind that’s somehow uncrossable.

  207. 207
    Carlie

    I can’t believe I’m quoting myself, but I realized I should have entioned both sides.

    If rapist = monster, then it’s very easy for a guy to say “Well, what I just did must not have been rape, because rapists are monsters and I’m not a monster, I’m a good guy”. If all rapists are evil terrible twisted monsters, then that guy who’s always kind and nice and just happened to push his girlfriend too far after he’d had a few drinks and she cried a little but then forgave him for it because she loves him gets to tell himself he’s not a rapist and that wasn’t rape because he doesn’t fit the profile.

    And that’s not the worst of it. The girlfriend then says to herself well, he’s a great guy, and I love him. I couldn’t possibly love an evil monstrous person. He’s so nice to me. So that couldn’t have been rape, because only terrible evil people rape, and that’s not the kind of person he is. And therefore, because it couldn’t have been rape, I have no right to feel bad about it.

  208. 208
    Inaji

    Stevarious, thanks for your response and taking the time to have a good discussion with me.

  209. 209
    SG

    @Jadehawk (202):

    oh FFS. did you read that paper? rapists are “more” a lot of things that men are taught to be, anyway. that’s to be expected from men who go one step further than other men. there isn’t a fundamental difference here as some people have claimed there is.

    Then you have no point. There isn’t any *fundamental* difference between sanity and insanity, planets and suns, hot and cold, peace and war, slavery and freedom, poisonous and healthful, black and white, rapists and average men, or anything else. All we have are MEASURABLE DIFFERENCES along a continuum.

    thank you for demonstrating my point.

    Fine, I demonstrated your point by placing rape and consensual sex at opposite ends of the same continuum. But if this is not a valid assessment, and just a symptom of the rape culture, why don’t you explain?

  210. 210
    Carlie

    Interesting – I don’t remember ever registering to comment on the Colorado Springs Gazette web site, but I must have wanted to make a comment on something at some point. Just got this in an email:

    You are receiving this e-mail because you have registered to comment on news articles, start a blog, or participate in a forum at gazette.com.

    The week of Oct. 10, gazette.com will debut a fresh, new look. All the same news and information will be there, in a display that makes it easier to find just what you’re looking for.

    At that time, we’ll discontinue our current commenting system and facilitate all comments through Facebook.

    By requiring all commenters to have an account through Facebook (facebook.com), we believe it will be more difficult for anonymous commenters to drag down the level of community discourse on our websites.

    Also, it will be easier for our reporters and editors to quickly and transparently engage with users and encourage respectful conversation around news and information that matters to local readers.

    Interesting. I wonder if they know about the rape joke groups on facebook, and if they think those don’t “drag down the level of community discourse”.

  211. 211
    Inaji

    Jadehawk:

    to clarify: my point is that rapists are not “evil” or “monsters” as per the desired narrative; they’re entirely neurotypical, and simply are the best at performing the toxic masculinity all men are trained by our culture to perform. That makes them ordinary, if not average in the mathematical sense. And it means that the more toxic the culture, the more men are likely to reach that level of toxicity required to actually commit a rape, because there isn’t a magical barrier between the rapist mind and the non-rapist mind that’s somehow uncrossable.

    QFT

  212. 212
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Carlie @209: And that can keep you really really fucked up for YEARS. Or with him for longer. Or both, the first after the second.

    Good fucking times.

  213. 213
    Ichthyic

    Stevarious, thanks for your response and taking the time to have a good discussion with me.

    woot!

    back and forth discussion ftw!

    yeah, sounds trite, but really, this is quite an emotional issue for everyone.

    MEASURABLE DIFFERENCES along a continuum.

    so, you’re trying to say that everything is binary instead?

    (and that is only partially meant as humorous irony).

  214. 214
    Ing

    Then you have no point. There isn’t any *fundamental* difference between sanity and insanity, planets and suns, hot and cold, peace and war, slavery and freedom, poisonous and healthful, black and white, rapists and average men, or anything else. All we have are MEASURABLE DIFFERENCES along a continuum.

    This isn’t even wrong. It’s pure bullshit.

  215. 215
    Jadehawk

    SG, are you stupid or something? all over this fucking thread there are dudes insisting that there’s something fundamentally different about rapists that doesn’t warrant calling them ordinary men. did you miss that?

  216. 216
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Jadehawk,

    and simply are the best at performing the toxic masculinity all men are trained by our culture to perform.

    This isn’t true. I really wish people would stop pushing forward this notion. Not all men in ‘our’ culture (you must mean the culture of the US -you are American?-, which isn’t my culture or the culture of many posters here) are trained to perform ‘toxic masculinity’ (even in the US). That broad brush you are painting with with that statement needs to be thrown out. Your statement is patently untrue.

    This sort of imprecise language is part of the problem I was attempting to articulate that I had before. I’m glad that one poster acknowledged it (thanks, Dhorvath, OM), but it seems to have gone largely unnoticed. I’m not sure if that’s indicative of anything, but I really, really must insist that people take care with the language they’re using because if this issue isn’t complex enough already, the outright making of obviously incorrect generalities won’t help to make it any less and frankly muddies the discussion.

  217. 217
    Ing

    Stevarious is perhaps the first person I’ve talked to on these sort of posts that doesn’t leave me depressed.

  218. 218
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    SG #211:

    Fine, I demonstrated your point by placing rape and consensual sex at opposite ends of the same continuum.

    No, you demonstrated her point by agreeing on everything yet continuing to present empty, meaningless apologia, which you revealed as meaningless by your own previous agreements.

    Unless you’re willing to try and concretely define this ‘grey area’ without resorting to highly unrealistic situations. An unrealistic situation, mind, means that the ‘grey area’ is actually an extreme outlier.

  219. 219
    Inaji

    Ing:

    This isn’t even wrong. It’s pure bullshit.

    Yep. Biological weapon grade bullshit.

  220. 220
    Stevarious

    @Caine: Stevarious, thanks for your response and taking the time to have a good discussion with me.

    You are more than welcome. I certainly got a lot out of it – well worth now being about 6 hours behind in my work.

    @Ichthyic:
    woot!

    back and forth discussion ftw!

    I know, right? It’s amazing what you can get out of these things when you treat it like an actual discussion, instead of a… a word fight.

  221. 221
    SG

    @Jadehawk (208):

    clarify: my point is that rapists are not “evil” or “monsters” as per the desired narrative; they’re entirely neurotypical, and simply are the best at performing the toxic masculinity all men are trained by our culture to perform. That makes them ordinary, if not average in the mathematical sense. And it means that the more toxic the culture, the more men are likely to reach that level of toxicity required to actually commit a rape, because there isn’t a magical barrier between the rapist mind and the non-rapist mind that’s somehow uncrossable.

    OK, I guess I agree with you. It’s just that you’ve taken a statement that is true about everyone in every ethical situation — that there is no magical barrier preventing good people from doing bad — and pointing out only the specific case that average men can become rapists. This is needlessly sensational and inflates the gravity of this facet of the problem, distracting from other parts of the problem (eg: “rape culture”).

  222. 222
    Inaji

    Thomathy, anyone who has been reading here for even a short while knows Jadehawk is not American. You seem to have shifted to wrong since the Haters thread. You might want to try reading a bit more carefully.

  223. 223
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Thomathy #218:

    This isn’t true. I really wish people would stop pushing forward this notion. Not all men in ‘our’ culture (you must mean the culture of the US -you are American?-, which isn’t my culture or the culture of many posters here) are trained to perform ‘toxic masculinity’ (even in the US). That broad brush you are painting with with that statement needs to be thrown out. Your statement is patently untrue.

    Are you really claiming that patriarchy is exclusive to the United States?

  224. 224
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, noted. I read that post. I reread that post after reading your post. It does not address what I was talking about. There are great points made about the context of the discussion within rape culture and how rape culture /= culture at large, but it doesn’t address issues with language use at all. It doesn’t address points about nuanced discussion. Frankly, I perceive your response as dismissive and wonder why you even bothered typing it.

    Oh, Dhorvath, OM, I have realised the complexity of rape, subsequent to your response, but thanks for it.

  225. 225
    Jadehawk

    (you must mean the culture of the US -you are American?-, which isn’t my culture or the culture of many posters here)

    no, I’m not American, but nice try to pretend a basic flaw in Western culture can be all reduced to “oh, those stupid Americans” and ignored. European men are trained to perform exactly the same masculinity to a large degree. It varies, and the further north you go the less toxic the masculinity men are inculturated into, but it’s not yet gone from anywhere, as the attack on the boy with the pink nail-polish in Sweden demonstrated.

    That broad brush you are painting with with that statement needs to be thrown out. Your statement is patently untrue.

    you wish. everyone is inculturated with the same toxic gender roles. they stick to various degrees, but that’s a separate topic. None of us are free of patriarchal inculturation, regardless of gender. And I highly doubt Dhorwath would disagree with me on this.

  226. 226
    Ichthyic

    treat it like an actual discussion, instead of a… a word fight.

    well, to be sure, many fights start over what words actually mean to different people.

    getting to agreement, even on simple definitions, is progress IMO.

    some mislabel that as pedantry.

  227. 227
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Caine, Fleur du Mal, I actually had no idea. I don’t think I’ve shifted to wrong. And I retract that part of my comment and admit my oversight on Jadehawk’s nationality. Still, not every man is trained in toxic masculinity. That was the point of my post. It’s still true. Jadehawk used an incredibly wide brush and is wrong.

    Setár, self-appointed Elf-lord of social justice, no, no I obviously didn’t claim that.

  228. 228
    Louis

    getting to agreement, even on simple definitions, is progress IMO.

    some mislabel that as pedantry.

    Double plus QFT with fucking bells on.

    Louis

  229. 229
    Jadehawk

    It’s just that you’ve taken a statement that is true about everyone in every ethical situation — that there is no magical barrier preventing good people from doing bad — and pointing out only the specific case that average men can become rapists.

    might that be because the only “bad” people were mentioning in this conversation was rape!?

    Jesus fucking hell, you’re being annoying.

  230. 230
    SG

    @Ing: Od Wet Rust (216) says:

    This isn’t even wrong. It’s pure bullshit.

    Really, which one of those aren’t just points on a continuum?

  231. 231
    Ichthyic

    This isn’t true. I really wish people would stop pushing forward this notion. Not all men in ‘our’ culture (you must mean the culture of the US -you are American?-, which isn’t my culture or the culture of many posters here) are trained to perform ‘toxic masculinity’ (even in the US). That broad brush you are painting with with that statement needs to be thrown out. Your statement is patently untrue.

    technically, you’re probably correct.

    I’m sure you can find some misandrist society somewhere, sometime, in history.

    none come to mind though.

    does your country exhibit misandry, or misogyny, historically?

    I’m betting the latter.

    and it matters what how society has developed historically, just as much as you THINK it matter how you perceive your own culture NOW.

  232. 232
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Thomathy #229: No, you didn’t.

    Though, you did strongly imply, by rushing to culture and furthermore attempting to play it off as Jadehawk observing American culture which you are not a part of, that the toxic masculinity that promotes rape culture is by and large an American phenomenon.

    Are you willing to back that one up, or are you going to withdraw the comment entirely?

  233. 233
    Ichthyic

    Double plus QFT with fucking bells on.

    heh.

  234. 234
    Jadehawk

    how rape culture /= culture at large

    wut.

  235. 235
    SallyStrange

    SG, that IS rape culture. Why is this so hard for some of you GUYS to accept? The experience of being raped is ordinary. Rapists are slightly less so. There are many women who do not identify their experiences as sexual assault for years afterward, if ever. Why is it so surprising that there would be a corresponding percentage of men who never realized that what they did was rape/sexual assault.

    Seriously. What PRECISELY makes you think that rape and rapists are abnormal? That’s the whole idea behind rape CULTURE: rape is NORMALIZED. It’s condoned by victim-blaming and encouraged by traditional dating scripts and archaic models of human sexuality. You know all this, most of you. So on what factual grounds do you assert that it is abnormal?

  236. 236
    Jadehawk

    Still, not every man is trained in toxic masculinity.

    please show me an example of a man not trained in toxic masculinity (as opposed to one who has rejected such, mind you)

  237. 237
    Squigit

    Given these facts, and without the ability to read minds, there can be scenarios where it would be difficult for others to tell if the sex was consensual or not.

    Whether or not “the sex was consensual” is for the victim, not “others”, to decide.

  238. 238
    Inaji

    Thomathy:

    Still, not every man is trained in toxic masculinity

    You’re getting hung up on the notion of being trained. Patriarchal values, sexism and toxic masculinity are so embedded and ingrained into societies world-wide, that training isn’t necessary, at least not in the sense you’re wanting to use.

    Most people aren’t raised in a vacuum. Influences are everywhere and there is all manner of societal pressures and peer pressures. We once had this exhausting discussion with a frat boy by the name of MaxH who demonstrated this to an intense degree (sorry, can’t link right now, I don’t have my laptop and it’s hard enough to type while traveling). MaxH not only rabidly defended the sexism on the part of his ‘brothers’, he happily defended their aiming faggot and gay jokes at him.

    This sort of crap is endemic and systemic.

  239. 239
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Jadehawk, you wrote:

    and simply are the best at performing the toxic masculinity all men are trained by our culture to perform.

    That’s not true.

    European men are trained to perform exactly the same masculinity to a large degree. It varies, and the further north you go the less toxic the masculinity men are inculturated into, but it’s not yet gone from anywhere, as the attack on the boy with the pink nail-polish in Sweden demonstrated.

    See, the boy with the pink nail-polish kind of shows a degree of difference in ‘trained to perform toxic masculinity’. I’m one of those bloody boys who’s worn pink nail polish. I’m gay. I’m not disagreeing with you that we are all inculturated in the bloody culture in which we’re raised. I’m disagreeing with you statement that all men are trained to perform toxic masculinity. Some men are. Some are to a higher degree than others. Some are not at all.

    no, I’m not American, but nice try to pretend a basic flaw in Western culture can be all reduced to “oh, those stupid Americans” and ignored.

    That’s not what I was doing, obvious as it may or may not be. I was, working under the assumption that you were American, trying to highlight that this is an international forum because I thought your comment was coming from an American-centric view. I was very mistaken. I have never realised what your nationality is. I expect I should have, having been around for so long, but perhaps I have forgotten or it never registered. I’m sorry. I was not trying to ‘pretend a basic flaw in Western culture can be all reduced to “oh, those stupid Americans” and ignored’.

  240. 240
    Ichthyic

    Really, which one of those aren’t just points on a continuum?

    I thought the entire point of “not even wrong” was to remove the thing that was being labeled as such from even being in the continuum of logical responses to begin with.

    so, in answer to your rhetorical question, I will go with whatever is considered as “not even wrong” to not be a point on a continuum.

    next?

  241. 241
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Caine, Fleur du Mal, understood. I suppose I was hung-up on ‘trained’. I know that it’s pervasive and endemic to culture and that people don’t grow up in vacuums. My problem was with the apparent lack of degree noted in Jadehawk’s comment. Which has since been rectified. There’s probably no problem there anymore. Though, the thread will take a moment to realise that. I can admit to being a bit pedantic about this. I’m probably far too concerned with my other problem to disengage from aspects of language use and precision right now. I hope that’s forgivable.

  242. 242
    slignot

    @Thomathy

    best at performing the toxic masculinity all men are trained by our culture to perform.

    This isn’t true. I really wish people would stop pushing forward this notion. Not all men in ‘our’ culture (you must mean the culture of the US -you are American?-, which isn’t my culture or the culture of many posters here) are trained to perform ‘toxic masculinity’ (even in the US). That broad brush you are painting with with that statement needs to be thrown out. Your statement is patently untrue.

    I presume that Jadehawk and others are generally talking about the United States here, but there are equivalents in other countries that share some of the same characteristics.

    Jadehawk is talking about how the patriarchy hurts men too. What is meant by toxic masculinity here is not only damaging ideals of masculinity that are unattainable but also painfully enforced hyper-heteronormativity. While I have not personally had the daily experience of the microaggressive ways that social norms are enforced against men, I have observed their effects on the men and boys in my life.

    I will freely acknowledge that I lack personal experience and can’t speak about the social push for men to conform, but we can look at their reflections in popular culture, news and general public discourse. Since I can’t talk about what it actually feels like, I am happy to shut up and listen to the men here if they want to talk about their experiences. I’m open to the idea that male attitudes about sex and women don’t stem from enforced ideals of masculinity, but that has been my understanding thus far.

  243. 243
    Ichthyic

    That’s not true.

    yes, it really is.

    I think what you are trying to get at is that YOUR personal peers you don’t feel trained you that way.

    that is not the same thing as an entire culture though, and all cultures I’m aware of currently existing on this planet still could be considered fairly misogynistic overall.

    kudos for whoever raised you to think in more egalitarian ways though.

  244. 244
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    And you’re rather quick, Caine, Fleur du Mal, for being on the move and with a mobile device to use for posting. My iPhone has never made posting here as easy as you seem to be making it. High praises.

  245. 245
    Stevarious

    Ing: Od Wet Rust says:
    Stevarious is perhaps the first person I’ve talked to on these sort of posts that doesn’t leave me depressed.

    That is easily the nicest thing anyone has said about me in weeks. Genuinely, thank you!

  246. 246
    Ichthyic

    fairly misogynistic

    or even VERY, in some cases of course.

  247. 247
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Still, not every man is trained in toxic masculinity.

    I am from the US. I grew up in the US in a very progressive family. Equality and de-emphasizing sexual stereotypes were part of my family ‘training’. However, I, like virtually every male in this country, and in many others, was acculturated in toxic masculinity or, as I call it, unconscious and endemic sexism. I am now 45 years old. And I am still finding more and more areas where my unconscious sexism rears its ugly head. I was not trained in toxic masculinity, but I sure as hell was acculturated into it.

  248. 248
    Inaji

    Thomathy:

    I hope that’s forgivable.

    Yep, no problem.

  249. 249
    Ichthyic

    I am now 45 years old. And I am still finding more and more areas where my unconscious sexism rears its ugly head. I was not trained in toxic masculinity, but I sure as hell was acculturated into it.

    ayup.

    ditto.

    though I’m exactly one year older.

    :)

  250. 250
    Inaji

    Thanks, Thomathy. We’re now on the Almont road, which is extremely bumpy and I can’t see my keyboard, so I’m giving up for a while. :)

  251. 251
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Slignot, as has been noted, Jadehawk is not American and isn’t talking about America. As Icthyic correctly assumes, I was raised without the experience of the pervasive misogyny or heteronormativity (as you point out) of the larger culture and was raised to be egalitarian. I’ve clashed with that culture my whole life to an extent and certainly I haven’t been immune to it. However, even now, I live somewhat outside of it. I live within the largest gay community in Canada. I’m a bit culturally isolated that way.

    Ichtyic, it’s because of that that I probably seem to be slightly out of touch with culture at large, while appreciating its existence and the implications of it. It’s difficult for me at times to grasp the wider culture of my own province even, so I obviously struggle to accept what Jadehawk, for instance, seems to take for granted. Well, there’s that and my recent descent into pedantry.

  252. 252
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Caine, Fleur du Mal, thanks! ‘Safe trip!

  253. 253
    SG

    Setár, self-appointed Elf-lord of social justice says (220):

    Fine, I demonstrated your point by placing rape and consensual sex at opposite ends of the same continuum.

    No, you demonstrated her point by agreeing on everything yet continuing to present empty, meaningless apologia, which you revealed as meaningless by your own previous agreements.

    What are you talking about?

    My point in 211 is that when you say rapists are not different from average men, this is only true in the same way that planets are no different than suns — sure they are the basically same thing, but one is just A BIT MORE SO in certain areas. But to present them as equal this way without explanation is misleading.

    Unless you’re willing to try and concretely define this ‘grey area’ without resorting to highly unrealistic situations. An unrealistic situation, mind, means that the ‘grey area’ is actually an extreme outlier.

    You didn’t think my posts # 195 and 206 gave clear examples of a few of the grey areas? Which did you think were unrealistic or outliers?

    I bring up the grey area, because unless we are discussing something that is at least partially in the grey area, there is no debate. Because everyone already agrees that *RAPE* is bad and consensual sex is good.

    This entire discussion is about a grey area where some men don’t realize they’ve gone into RAPE territory. Conversely there are acts that might seem to be crossing the line but are consensual, and acts that would be very difficult to judge without reading the minds of the participants.

  254. 254
    Ichthyic

    hugs all around?

    oh wait, I have a bad cold.

    *fake hug*

  255. 255
    SG

    @Ichthyic says:

    I thought the entire point of “not even wrong” was to remove the thing that was being labeled as such from even being in the continuum of logical responses to begin with.

    so, in answer to your rhetorical question, I will go with whatever is considered as “not even wrong” to not be a point on a continuum.

    Fine, you’re not even wrong.

  256. 256
    slignot

    @Thomathy, once the page loaded, I noticed others had responded far more adequately before I had a chance to hit submit. I have some conception of what it’s like to be raised comparatively isolated from greater social norms, and I’ve found that I’ve had a number of moments where I feel out of touch with greater social pressures and attitudes.

    Most notably was the very first time I encountered the idea that being gay was something horrifying and unthinkable. I found the hate filled speech I encountered totally unthinkable on its own. It is still almost as beyond my conception that people can deny the realities of sexuality as naturally variable any more than I can conceive of how they can deny evidence of evolution.

    I try to see such good and progressive communities and parents as evidence of our progress.

  257. 257
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Caine wrote:

    We once had this exhausting discussion with a frat boy by the name of MaxH who demonstrated this to an intense degree (sorry, can’t link right now, I don’t have my laptop and it’s hard enough to type while traveling). MaxH not only rabidly defended the sexism on the part of his ‘brothers’, he happily defended their aiming faggot and gay jokes at him.

    I am at my desktop, and so have no such impediment.

    This is the thread in to which Caine refers:
    Boys will be…revolting misogynists

  258. 258
    Ichthyic

    Fine, you’re not even wrong.

    by that logic, you shouldn’t have posed the question.

    in fact, you’re not even part of the discussion.

  259. 259
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    SG @ #255, You do realize that it sounds an awful lot like you’re trying to figure out just how much rape you can get away with, right? If that’s not your intent, perhaps you should consider why you’re so very interested in these “grey areas”, which really, really aren’t so grey.

  260. 260
    Stevarious

    Since I can’t talk about what it actually feels like, I am happy to shut up and listen to the men here if they want to talk about their experiences. I’m open to the idea that male attitudes about sex and women don’t stem from enforced ideals of masculinity, but that has been my understanding thus far.

    Well, the thing about THOSE is that you aren’t allowed to talk about them!

    Think of male culture as being the extended metaphor Fight Club was for. Really, that’s it.

    Also, we don’t really compare penis sizes in the gym bathroom. It’s as silly an idea as women comparing boob sizes in the gym bathroom (which is what we were assuming you were doing the whole time we were standing around in the shower pretending we couldn’t see each others’ penises and definitely not comparing them to anything).

  261. 261
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    However, I, like virtually every male in this country, and in many others, was acculturated in toxic masculinity or, as I call it, unconscious and endemic sexism. I am now 45 years old. And I am still finding more and more areas where my unconscious sexism rears its ugly head. I was not trained in toxic masculinity, but I sure as hell was acculturated into it.

    QFT, and I’ve got 15 years on you.

  262. 262
    Inaji

    John:

    I am at my desktop, and so have no such impediment.

    Thank you, John. Home now, getting settled.

    Ichthyic, fake hugs to you.

    happiestsadist, just FYI, SG is gay and a ferocious human rights activist. I do think he’s completely off the rails this time, however, don’t make misguided assumptions, they don’t help.

  263. 263
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    John Morales, yes, I remembered that instantly when I clicked on the link. I didn’t participate in that thread because I was too disgusted. I have a higher tolerance now. That makes me sad, somehow.

    Icthyic, hugs. Even if you are sick. I just got over a bout of intestinal parasites …I fear no cold. No, I wasn’t anywhere exotic, just Toronto. Apparently food handling isn’t the best at some eateries (there’s only one way to contaminate something with intestinal parasites -yes, that way).

  264. 264
    John Morales

    SG:

    My point in 211 is that when you say rapists are not different from average men, this is only true in the same way that planets are no different than suns — sure they are the basically same thing, but one is just A BIT MORE SO in certain areas. But to present them as equal this way without explanation is misleading.
    [...]
    This entire discussion is about a grey area where some men don’t realize they’ve gone into RAPE territory.

    Your perception about this discussion is your perception.

    (Throughout much of history, did or did not Christian husbands in Christendom feel entitled to conjugal rights and wifely submission, and was this right not enforced by both law and custom? Were they extraordinary or unusual men?)

  265. 265
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Welcome home, Caine, Fleur du Mal.

    (Oh, I didn’t really get over the parasites as the medication killed them …if I’m going to be accurate.)

  266. 266
    Pteryxx

    I bring up the grey area, because unless we are discussing something that is at least partially in the grey area, there is no debate. Because everyone already agrees that *RAPE* is bad and consensual sex is good.

    I concur with this.

    This entire discussion is about a grey area where some men don’t realize they’ve gone into RAPE territory.

    I’ll accept this for now, with reservations.

    Conversely there are acts that might seem to be crossing the line but are consensual, and acts that would be very difficult to judge without reading the minds of the participants.

    Here I need to ask: “seem” to whom? To us when talking about hypotheticals, or about real situations in which we were not involved? Or to the participants involved in having sex with one another?

    While it’s certainly possible for someone to go too far without realizing (or admitting) it was RAPE, I think it’s much less likely for someone to go too far without realizing that their partner was not okay with what was happening. And they could always ask.

    The myth that “Consent is Hard”

    Consent is not a true-false test on which you ever need to guess the answer. Sex, aside from masturbation in private, is something that happens between two or more people. If those people are present for sex, they are present for you to communicate with them. They are there for you to talk to and listen to. They are there for you to reassure that any answer they give is acceptable. They can tell you what they want and what they don’t. There is no reason to ever have to turn consent into a guessing game, unless you have a partner who refuses to communicate or whom you don’t fully trust.

    If this hypothetical person doesn’t realize that they’re sexing a person who doesn’t want to have sex with them, why don’t they know? Because when they know, but don’t care… there is no longer a grey area.

  267. 267
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    However, I, like virtually every male in this country, and in many others, was acculturated in toxic masculinity or, as I call it, unconscious and endemic sexism.

    I’m going to take the opportunity to point out that it’s not just males who are acculturated. Females are too. You see a lot of young women enthusiastically buying into sexism and repeating sexist thoughts/attitudes. We saw this not long ago with needfulcarp and we certainly saw it with Abbie/erv. There was a very good discussion of this on this thread, it’s good reading for those who missed it.

    Alethea (then Cath) put it best, when it came to why young women buy into sexism so easily here.

  268. 268
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Caine, I’m don’t think SG is SGBM.

    (The cogency is too poor, by far)

  269. 269
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Fair enough that he’s gay and a wonderful ally at other points, Caine, but really, bringing up “grey areas” in rape is pretty much only used to excuse oneself or friends. It’s really fucked up to do, in my opinion.

    Thomathy: Ew, my sympathies. (I’m now kinda curious as to where, because I’m in TO and like eating out.)

  270. 270
    Inaji

    John:

    Caine, I’m don’t think SG is SGBM.

    Shit, and here I was talking about not making assumptions. Thanks, John. I’ll be more careful from now on.

    happiestsadist:

    Fair enough that he’s gay and a wonderful ally at other points,

    Looks like I made a stupid assumption myself and this SG is not the one I thought. My apologies.

  271. 271
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I’m going to take the opportunity to point out that it’s not just males who are acculturated. Females are too.

    I agree completely. And, damnit!, I should have included that in my little sermon. Sorry.

  272. 272
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I was wondering, it didn’t sound like SGBM to me. Mixups happen, especially with ‘nyms.

  273. 273
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    SG’s so-called ‘grey areas’

    #195:

    – A person may first decline and then consent to sex.

    Apologetic for coercion.

    – People sometimes consent to sex even when not in the mood.

    This is a direct contradiction. If someone is not ‘in the mood’, they do not want to do something. ‘I’m not in the mood’ is simply a polite way of saying ‘no’. The statement makes no sense.

    – Consent can sometimes be communicated non-verbally.

    Bullshit. You can always ask to clarify.

    #206:

    As long as we don’t simply say that any type of persuasion (flowers, candy, dinner, sonnets) resulting in sex is rape. Even trickery (hair implants, breast implants, acting like you are a big spender) resulting in sex can’t always be called rape.

    And now you are simply burning straw men. No one here has attempted to argue either of these things.

  274. 274
    Walton

    SG is absolutely not strange gods before me. Both the writing-style and the substance of his opinions are completely different.

    (Trust me on this. I’ve known strange gods for a fairly long time.)

  275. 275
    llewelly

    SG | 4 October 2011 at 11:52 pm :

    As long as we don’t simply say that any type of persuasion (flowers, candy, dinner, sonnets) resulting in sex is rape.

    Oh, how clever of you to imply that someone argued that flowers are rape. Really, did you think that character of dishonesty would fly here?

  276. 276
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    I agree completely. And, damnit!, I should have included that in my little sermon. Sorry.

    It’s a good example of the things we’ve been discussing though, isn’t it? That acculturation runs deep, deep enough that when discussing it, women tend to be left out of the equation, even though they shouldn’t be. It’s a fine example of how women haven’t been considered to be full human beings and how that extends to this day and that the ongoing sexism continues to imbue that attitude.

  277. 277
    Inaji

    Walton, my sorries again. I was traveling through much of this, and hadn’t had time to catch up and read in depth until now.

  278. 278
    Dhorvath, OM

    Thomathy,

    Ichtyic, it’s because of that that I probably seem to be slightly out of touch with culture at large, while appreciating its existence and the implications of it. It’s difficult for me at times to grasp the wider culture of my own province even, so I obviously struggle to accept what Jadehawk, for instance, seems to take for granted. Well, there’s that and my recent descent into pedantry.

    I have made good friends here who insist I come from another planet because of the number of things I just had no idea about. We who don’t have to deal with this shit constantly can only depend on those who do to inform us of what it is like. I suspect there are things in your life which I would not recognize, sadly I have little to offer in reverse.
    ___

    Stevarious,

    Also, we don’t really compare penis sizes in the gym bathroom.

    Well, except for this gem. Maybe not for you, but this does happen. I swam competitively from an early age, we were mostly over overt comments by twelve or so, but I find it hard to believe that the idea just vanished along with talking about it.
    ___

    Pteryxx,
    Consent isn’t hard, it’s actually easy. Why anyone would want to risk being wrong about it is beyond me.
    ___

    John M,
    I’ll second your meta: It would stretch my credulity to breaking point were SG to be SGBM. I couldn’t credit that.
    ___

    And just to finish off, I am very much male and yes, despite having grown up in a cohort, with parents, and in a fashion that sheltered me from many of the toxic assumptions that drive male behaviour, still I find myself slipping into roles I find abominable. Spaces like this keep me sane.

  279. 279
    Jadehawk

    This is a direct contradiction. If someone is not ‘in the mood’, they do not want to do something. ‘I’m not in the mood’ is simply a polite way of saying ‘no’. The statement makes no sense.

    SG is under the mistaken impression that the only reason someone would want to have sex, and thus consent to it, if they were horny. So apparently, not-horny people who consent to sex are, in SG’s mind, some sort of gray area.

  280. 280
    John Morales

    Setár:

    People sometimes consent to sex even when not in the mood.

    This is a direct contradiction.

    No, it isn’t a contradiction, either direct or indirect.

    ‘I’m not in the mood’ is simply a polite way of saying ‘no’.

    Sometimes (maybe even often) — but you’re making an universal claim.

  281. 281
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Dhorvath @280, I suspect that, if you re-read Stevarious’s full paragraph from which your quote was excerpted, you might reconsider your snark. :)

  282. 282
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Caine:

    Thank you. Really.

  283. 283
    Walton

    Walton, my sorries again. I was traveling through much of this, and hadn’t had time to catch up and read in depth until now.

    Don’t worry; I wasn’t criticizing you. I just think it’s important to make this point clear, in case anyone who knows him less well made the same mistake.

    (It puts me in mind of the time – long ago, when I was a staunch libertarian and wasn’t particularly popular – that someone* impersonated me on a thread. Thankfully, some of the regulars were able to spot the difference.)

    (*Possibly Pete Rooke, though I’ll never know.)

  284. 284
    Dhorvath, OM

    John M,
    The snarky starting sentence was meant to reference to my lack of ability to add much to the conversation, not to Stevarious. On second reading, I can see how Stevarious’ paragraph made the rest of mine superfluous. Sigh, some day I will learn to read.

  285. 285
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    @Carlie: what I personally do is join the “sexual assault is not a punchline” group and use their alerts to report pages as inappropriate. And other than that deliberate choice, I don’t need to see it because my friends don’t post that shit. Much like on the internet I don’t go reading MRA sites, or in real life I don’t have friends who make rape jokes.

    I don’t care if you don’t want to use Facebook. But its ills are not because it’s Facebook, but because it’s full of people raised in a rape-promoting culture. As is the rest of the internet. As are all major corporations. And the rest of the world.

  286. 286
    Inaji

    Alethea:

    But its ills are not because it’s Facebook

    The ills aren’t the fault of facebook, however, the people who own it do have something to answer for – if they’re going to make a policy about breastfeeding or nudity, then they need to make policy for other issues which people have strong feelings about, such as rape jokes or rape joke-based accounts. If they don’t want to set policy, then they should allow everything, no holds barred.

    The current stance is uneven, to say the least, it’s sending a very bad message and is in no way consistent. It’s not wrong to hold a social network site to certain standards, nor is it wrong to expect them to be consistent on policy.

  287. 287
    Alchemist

    Has anyone thought to contact the world health organization? I mean if they can bully hospitals into stupid behavior in refusing to teach mothers how to safely prepare baby formula so as to yet again deny women the right to determain for themselves what use their bodies shall be put to, surely they can put the wind up Face Book! They manage to bully governments, why not companies? I’m quite sure they’d be itching for that fight.

  288. 288
    Nepenthe

    I should clarify that the stats I quoted above are from memory of reading the original papers and are thus rounded to the nearest multiple of 5. Also, the studies picked up only rapists with two specific modi operandi: raping an intoxicated victim, or using overt force/threat of force. Use of emotional coercion was not detected, nor was raping a sleeping victim, so the numbers are low.

    The statistics on self-reported sexual assault are, of course, even more horrifying, with rates of between 22 and 57 percent of men. (That I just looked up.) So perhaps sexual assault is an average, normal behavior, for some reasonable definitions of average and normal.

  289. 289
    Crissa

    I might point out that where I live, kicking a woman out of a pub for breastfeeding is illegal, whereas kicking someone out making offensive remarks is not.

  290. 290
    H-Bomb

    Carlie @212:

    Interesting. I wonder if they know about the rape joke groups on facebook, and if they think those don’t “drag down the level of community discourse”.

    The Gazette is not known for its stance on equality. It is a failing rag that’s only redeeming value is that it came out for marijuana legalization before anyone else in town. But it did it because of its libertarian stance, not because marijuana use is a generally victimless crime and a waste of time and money.

    -A minority resident of CS, CO

  291. 291
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    Caine:

    Thank you. Really.

    Thanks aren’t needed, really. I appreciate them though. :) Every little bit helps people to grok the situation, and I think what you said was very helpful and it happily turned out to be helpful on more than one level.

  292. 292
    Ichthyic

    It is a failing rag that’s only redeeming value is that it came out for marijuana legalization before anyone else in town. But it did it because of its libertarian stance,

    yup, even the CATO institute favors legalizing pot.

    they probably just crib whatever op-ed pieces they write from the CATO website.

  293. 293
    Ichthyic

    I might point out that where I live, kicking a woman out of a pub for breastfeeding is illegal,

    that reminds me; wasn’t there a case a couple years back of a mom being punted from a Denny’s for breast-feeding?

  294. 294
    Pteryxx

    @Nepenthe, if you have those self-reporting links to hand, would you post them? The closest I know is the 60% that self-report willingness to rape, and that’s probably out of date.

    And yes, the “Meet the Predators” studies were asking about male-on-female rape of a specific modality, so their numbers will be an undercount.

    6% and 13% from the two studies here: Meet the Predators

  295. 295
    Ichthyic

    …oh and as far as things that should be banned from facebook?

    let’s not forget THIS obscenity:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/08/obscenity.php

    I personally do not want to see PZ’s nipple ever again!

    :P

  296. 296
  297. 297
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Caine, quite true, and we can and should hold their feet to the fire. As with any other company that has stupid sexist policies.

  298. 298
    Crissa

    Oh for F* sake. There was nothing wrong with saying that rapist are perfectly average.

    There’s something inherently wrong with you if you need to ‘defend’ men against this statement. not her, not us, You. Whoever you are.

    You know who else is the average joe on the street? Drunken drivers. But we changed society, it’s no longer just so, and people don’t let that happen near as often as it used to happen.

    It’s no different.

  299. 299
    Ichthyic

    Oh for F* sake. There was nothing wrong with saying that rapist are perfectly average.

    but there is something wrong in entirely ignoring the discussion that has already occurred on this subject in this thread.

    don’t ask everyone to re-explain themselves, just for your benefit.

  300. 300
    Inaji

    crissakentavr:

    There’s something inherently wrong with you if you need to ‘defend’ men against this statement.

    No there isn’t. In this case, there were poor word choices, leading to miscommunication. A good discussion took place and understanding was reached, for the most part.

  301. 301
    Inaji

    Ichthyic:

    don’t ask everyone to re-explain themselves, just for your benefit.

    Word, QFT, all that. It’s beyond tiring when someone shows up late to the party and starts up before bothering to read the thread.

  302. 302
    Crissa

    I meant that rather literally. My county and city has pretty strict laws on what you can and can’t do to women; for instance it is legal to be bare aside from your genitals (as long as you’re clean) – but individual businesses can chose to have dress codes. Police won’t enforce them. Breastfeeding is specifically legal, and it is illegal to interrupt a woman doing such, to ask her to move or cover up, as long as she isn’t otherwise violating any other rule.

    It even came up in our toy store, the assistant manager had to ask a woman to move – she was sitting in a walkway and for fire reasons we weren’t allowed to let them remain blocked or sitting – and we had to get the owner to calm her down because she was irate. It took some doing, but the owner was a genius in dealing with people – tho he’s losing a bit of the memory now – but he managed to get through to her we had nothing against the breastfeeding, we just didn’t have seating in this section of the store and would let her use any of our facilities to help. He was awesome.

  303. 303
    Inaji

    Also, sticking an asterisk into a cuss word is fucking silly. Off topic, I know, but that’s been bugging me a lot since the Haters thread. /derail

  304. 304
    Crissa

    No, there is something wrong with fucking people needing to be defensive about something like that. There is no reason to ever think someone is talking about you.

    You don’t have to explain. I read it. I don’t care that you ‘made up’ with the other poster. That’s some serious paranoid behavior, and shouldn’t be left alone. They ‘misunderstood’ – but they were wrong. And being paranoid for your gender is stupid.

  305. 305
    Crissa

    I already spent the day fucking cursing, I didn’t feel like typing it out again.

  306. 306
    Nepenthe

    @Icthyic

    Naturally. The range came from this paper, but I’ll have to check the references to find the specific study that got the 57% number. It’s quite likely either a statistical aberration or a reflection of the group studied.

  307. 307
    Ichthyic

    @Nepenthe

    ?

    were you maybe directing that at another person?

    I don’t recall being a part of the discussion on numbers, but I’ve got a cold so I might have missed something.

    They ‘misunderstood’ – but they were wrong. And being paranoid for your gender is stupid.

    fuck off then, you understood nothing.

  308. 308
    Nepenthe

    Ah, the 57% number comes from this study from 1987 that surveyed students at Texas A&M. Make of that what you will. The rest of the studies cited got around a quarter to a third of respondents reporting they’d sexually assaulted or coerced someone.

  309. 309
    Nepenthe

    Ichthyic, my apologies. Not only did I misspell your ‘nym, but I confused you with Pteryxx. (Both “y”s in the the antipenultimate postion probably did it. But I also blame my lack of sleep and tea.)

  310. 310
    SallyStrange

    Oh yeah. I can’t believe I didn’t mention this before.

    73% of South African men self-report raping or trying to rape someone.

  311. 311
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    “creating a culture in which a bare breast is obscene and disgusting, while violent sexual assault is considered amusing. …it’s that [they're] actively promoting an environment in which men have carte blanche and women are targets, and had better like it.”

    Sounds an awful lot like meatspace. *sigh* Television, for example: Show a graphic scene of a man exploding, A-OK. Flash a bare breast for half a second, OMG TEH CHILDRUNZ!

    Maybe I’m just one of those people who’s, like, permanently cynical. (Heh, I really am, teachers from first grade on made comment on it.) Maybe I’m not giving Facebook the benefit of the doubt — it’s entirely possible (though rather improbable) that the objections haven’t made their way to the top. I can easily imagine the person responsible for handling feedback taking these complaints and shuffling them off elsewhere.

    And maybe Facebook really is pro-rape.

    Either way, I can’t quit FB — it’s a good way to keep in touch with family (both biological and adoptive).

  312. 312
    Inaji

    They ‘misunderstood’ – but they were wrong. And being paranoid for your gender is stupid.

    There were genuine misunderstandings and through good discussion, they did understand. We were not dealing with douchebags or MRAs. You’d know that if you bothered to read the damn thread, rather than being an asshole and sticking to your certainty. Being insistent on screeching that everyone is wrong, paranoid and stupid is incredibly wrong and stupid.

    It’s little wonder that you rarely have anything pertinent to contribute to discussions.

    BTW, it’s common to see people speak generally about their gender in discussions such as these. If there’s a miscommunication, it is not remotely paranoid, wrong or stupid to adress such things – frinst., if someone says all women are prostitutes, you’ll find a helluva lot of people speaking up over that mischaracterisation. Just because a man sees a mischaracterisation (or perceives one) about men in general does not make him paranoid, wrong or stupid.

    The discussions which took place in this thread went a long way in clarifying initial poor communication, along with being informative and educational.

  313. 313
    Louis

    I’ve been reading the linked articles, thanks Nepenthe, Pteryxx and all others who linked to the “Meet the Predators” site waaaay back when, and also this review here. I had no idea how prevalent this all was. I’m not sure I accept all of the things reported at first glance and face value, and no that scepticism is not because I am male, it’s because I’m always sceptical of things claimed based on surveys/self reports, I like to see the data, methods etc. I should stress however that my scepticism is mild and likely not significant and based only on my own ignorance of the field of study. For example I am more sceptical that the numbers are too low than I am that they might be (likely are not) too high. I will mention that I am genuinely amazed at, well, how “average” (mathematically) a lot of this is. This is news to me. Here’s just one paragraph:

    Malamuth (1989) asked college men how likely it
    was that they would rape a woman if they were certain that
    there would be no negative consequences. On average, onethird
    of college men indicated that they would be at least
    somewhat likely to rape a woman if they could be certain
    they would not be caught. The data from these two lines of
    research are disturbing because they demonstrate how commonly
    held beliefs set the stage for date rape and why it is
    so seldom perceived as a crime. As is described in more
    detail below, these beliefs are more likely to be acted on
    when men have been drinking alcohol.

    From the above linked review, page 4.

    Eurgh. A third. Any objection I had to “average” on a mathematical basis it utterly withdrawn. No matter how mild the original objection.

    Louis

  314. 314
    Nepenthe

    @Louis

    Honestly, I had the same reaction when I found out, even though I knew the prevalence from the other side statistically and anecdotally (half of my close female friends have been raped, not “just” sexually assaulted, as have I). But I guess I unconsciously assumed that that all was the result of a few extremely busy guys rushing around like fucked up Santa Clauses.

    One thing that I really like about the Lisak studies was that he didn’t take the survey responses for granted; he actually interviewed many of the respondents and they told him the stories of what they did (or didn’t do). Infinitely glad I wasn’t a fly on the wall of that room.

  315. 315
    Louis

    Nepenthe,

    Yeah I liked that aspect of the Lisak work too.

    Louis

  316. 316
    Carlie

    Althea – my beef wasn’t with people who are doing things like that, it was with the assertion further upthread that people who state that they refuse to use facebook aren’t doing anything about the problems facebook has. I was trying to say that yes, stating that I will take my business elsewhere is a way of expressing disapproval and trying to make them change their business practices, in the same way that losing business has always been a motivator for companies to change how they work. For example, Spotify recently announced that they were going to require a facebook login for all accounts, but backed off on it after mass threats to quit the service.

    H-bomb and others – thanks for the info on the Gazette. I guess they won’t pay any attention to the strongly-worded letter I sent, then. Hopefully as this facebook login business spreads, companies will find that it’s not all that great to be tied up with them.

  317. 317
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    This turned out to be a pretty good thread. I still haven’t read it all entirely in-depth. I’ll reread it and follow the links when I have more time. There will be much self-reflection and I’m not going to like everything I see, but maybe this will help me deal with a few of my self-loathing issues.

    My sincere thanks to all of you who engaged in open and honest discussion.

  318. 318
    Pteryxx

    @Nepenthe and Louis, my thanks as well for the links. The Abbey literature review’s particularly useful and doesn’t require university access.

    And, it’s frightening.

    Other authors have asked college students
    to evaluate vignettes that depict forced sex between dating
    partners. Even when force is clearly used, the mere presence
    of alcohol leads many students to assume the woman
    wanted sex.

    …what. WHAT.

    I’m starting to think we should target bars and the big beer companies for a serious date-rape consciousness raising campaign. I hate to think my beloved local sports bar is a venue for this crap (the rape-normalizing, not the alcohol, although TV beer is mostly crap too.)

  319. 319
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    I’m starting to think we should target bars and the big beer companies for a serious date-rape consciousness raising campaign.

    I really like this idea and I’d love to see them back something like that.

  320. 320
    Louis

    Pteryxx,

    Yeah that review is…is…yeah. I have no words. The same particularly “joyous” section you quote had men listening to date rape scenarios in a different study:

    Finally, Bernat et al. (1998) asked college men to listen to a depiction of a date rape and evaluate at what point the
    man was clearly forcing sex. Men who had previously committed
    sexual assault and who thought the couple had been
    drinking alcohol required the highest degree of female resistance
    and male force to decide the man should stop.

    I should point out that the review is heavily skewed towards the effects of alcohol.

    I’m not going to comment on the review further because it’s making me fucking angry. I have no idea what reading it does to a woman…well I can guess and I don’t like what I’m guessing.

    Louis

  321. 321
    mouthyb, who should have been twins

    This was a nice conversation to follow, for a variety of reasons. I cannot count how many times, in person, the nice person I was talking to will say, without any sort of cognitive dissonance, some sort of rape culture narrative, and expect me to play along as they talk about people like me.

    They don’t know I have been repeatedly assaulted, which they think they can tell by looking at me and my reactions. If I don’t have hysterics, I must be one of the ‘normal’ ones, who haven’t been assaulted; the ‘good women’ who aren’t hysterical and don’t assume that all men are bad.

    As they repeat these narratives, I make the mental note not to be alone with them, not to tell them who I am and what’s happened to me, and I start trying to marshal a sufficiently ‘neutral’ argument, because at the first sign I am bothered by discussing this thing which happened to me, this thing which I was blamed and judged for, this thing that even people close to me assumed I was just stupid or perhaps slutty (though they love me anyway) for having occur, I can no longer mount any sort of critique.

    Rape culture: it teaches women terrible emotional reserve, because any sign of humanity (emotion, mistakes, trust) as a woman is punishable deviance or retroactive justification for punishment.

    I have no doubt men are also taught emotional resolve, but I am not qualified to speak personally on theirs. I can observe what I’ve seen, but I’ll qualify it that way. Or try to.

    I like these conversations because in them I can see the potential for spaces where I don’t have to be Spock and get to relax my calculations of danger for a minute. I get to be more myself in those spaces.

  322. 322
    Gregory Greenwood

    mouthyb, who should have been twins @ 323;

    I am so sorry that you went through that, and I am glad that places like Pharyngula help.

    For whatever it is worth, you have my support, and though I cannot speak for others, I would imagine the support of most of the regulars here at least.

    I hope it helps that there are some men out there who are at least trying to ‘get it’, even if we don’t always succeed.

    And above all else; what happened to you is absolutely not your fault. Blame lies with your attacker, the rape culture that made him into what he became by normalising male privilege, and the pervasive, toxic cultural meme of blaming the victim.

  323. 323
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    mouthyb – I hear you. I do the exact same thing. Its exhausting having to put up walls against so.many.people, but experience has taught me its necessary. And, like you said, I avoid being alone with those people and definitely do not divulge anything personal. It’s a rare thing to be able to be one’s complete natural self, when the well is *so* poisoned.

    on the other hand, it makes finding those people and places around which you *can* be your complete, natural self that much more amazing.

    Anonymity helps too. People here know shit about my past my family doesn’t know, which I never would have talked about had I been using my real name.

  324. 324
    opposablethumbs

    What mouthyb and illuminata said just shows yet again that it’s PZ’s attitude and above all the attitude of the regulars here that make this infinitely more of a safe space than many sites where things such as language are moderated.

  325. 325
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    men who’d be horrified at the idea of raping someone have committed rapes

    This would be the man who raped me. For pete’s sake the dude couldn’t even go through with completely consensual bedroom roleplay that mildly evoked your stereotypical rape scenario. He just couldn’t do it. And yet he raped me, for real, in a nonstereotypical way, not once but several times.

    The girlfriend then says to herself well, he’s a great guy, and I love him. I couldn’t possibly love an evil monstrous person. He’s so nice to me. So that couldn’t have been rape

    And this was me. It took me years to identify my experience as rape. And once I did and began being more vocal and outspoken about rape in general, the man who raped me put two and two together, the penny dropped, he realized that what he had done was rape and he was horrified. Horrified. He’s now also outspoken about rape. To make a rape joke around him is to very nearly put one’s personal safety on the line.

  326. 326
    Ing

    Anonymity helps too. People here know shit about my past my family doesn’t know, which I never would have talked about had I been using my real name.

    People keep saying that the net anonymity brings out the worst in people, but I’m not convinced it doesn’t also bring out the best.

  327. 327
    suyamariyathai

    I would have to say that rapists ARE particularly different from the average man on the street.

    well, i think very few men are going to follow a woman on teh street, push her into a building and threaten to kill her if she doesn’t acquiesce, so in that sense, the rapist is particularly different from the man in teh street.

    but rape is also a husband refusing to stop when his wife tells him to or a man overpowering his drunken date who doesn’t scream or an adult pressuring a 15 y old girl or the nth member of a crew getting on the same mentally disabled girl or any number of other scenarios that are common among men in the street, even men in the street who do not consider themselves rapists.

    i was raped about ten years ago (stranger, gun, witnesses, physical evidence etc etc) and i have to say that the experience itself didn’t make me cynical because it was so extreme, but male reactions to me saying i’m a rape survivor… they have made me extremely cynical.

  328. 328
    subliminal videos

    Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. Nevertheless imagine if you added some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this blog could undeniably be one of the best in its field. Awesome blog!

  329. 329
    Tomaz79

    I don’t see what the fuss is about. The violation of FB terms?

    I remember an episode of 30 Rock where Pete the producer is explaining how he makes love to his wife while she sleeps. They even showed the clip of his snoring wife rocking back and forth while he pounds her. Hilarious.

    Is Tina Fey a mysoginist who endorses violence against women? Or is it mysoginy just when some teenager makes a FB group? Is it like the N word in that it’s only offensive when non-blacks use it? I found the group name “Riding your girlfriend…” just as funny as the 30 Rock clip. Is there a difference? Are both offensive?

  330. 330
    Inaji

    Tomaz79:

    I don’t see what the fuss is about. The violation of FB terms?

    You don’t see what the fuss is about. Did you read the post? Did you read all the comments, follow the links and discussion? No? How about trying that, because we’re pretty damn tired of explaining the basics over and over and over and over to the clueless and the ignorant.

    I remember an episode of 30 Rock where Pete the producer is explaining how he makes love to his wife while she sleeps. They even showed the clip of his snoring wife rocking back and forth while he pounds her. Hilarious.

    You might find that hilarious. I don’t. Pounding someone while they are asleep is not what most people would consider making love. For most people, consideration extends to both partners at least being conscious. You’d think things like this wouldn’t require explanation, but…

    You know who else wouldn’t find that scenario hilarious? People that has happened to, because it’s actually assault. That happened to my mother-in-law. Trust me, she wasn’t laughing.

    Is Tina Fey a mysoginist who endorses violence against women? Or is it mysoginy just when some teenager makes a FB group?

    Women are perfectly capable of being misogynists and many women often parrot and promote sexism as they are entrenched in it from day one. It’s not unusual at all.

    Is it like the N word in that it’s only offensive when non-blacks use it? I found the group name “Riding your girlfriend…” just as funny as the 30 Rock clip. Is there a difference? Are both offensive?

    No, it’s not like that and yes, both are offensive. The fact that you think sexual assault is hilarious makes you someone who is perpetuating rape culture and yes, it makes you misogynistic. That may not be your intent, however, intent is not magic.

  331. 331
    John Morales

    Tomaz79:

    I don’t see what the fuss is about. The violation of FB terms?

    The fuss is the naked hypocrisy.

    From the OP: The situation has a apparently changed in 2011. Now there are crass Facebook pages filled with crude jokes about rape, and that’s all right despite the fact that they do plainly violate the TOS, that states “You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”

  332. 332
    Gen the Tealest Deer Around!

    I don’t see what the fuss is about. The violation of FB terms?

    That must be because you are either an idiot or a lazy fuckwad who didn’t read either the post or the thread. PROTIP: If you don’t understand something, either ask or try to find out through other means.

    In this specific case, though, “what the fuss is about” was extensively discussed through the course of this thread and the original post itself, so you have no excuse for this fuckwaddery.

    I remember an episode of 30 Rock where Pete the producer is explaining how he makes love to his wife while she sleeps. They even showed the clip of his snoring wife rocking back and forth while he pounds her. Hilarious.

    It worries me that you find this scenario hilarious, though you are by no means alone in finding it hilarious. Still, pretty scary, to me and indicative of a serious deficiency in empathy.

    Is Tina Fey a mysoginist who endorses violence against women?

    I don’t know who Tina Fey is. Is she? Does she endorse violence against women? Women can be misogynists too, you know.

    Or is it mysoginy just when some teenager makes a FB group?

    No, it’s not JUST then, but it’s certainly then AS WELL.

    Is it like the N word in that it’s only offensive when non-blacks use it?

    What specific word are we talking about? Also, you obviously need to learn about things like context and connotations, as well. When a black person says “God, that n* makes us look bad”, regardless of whether it’s about a white or a black person, I’d consider that racist against black people because of the connotation of the word and the context in which it was used. In my opinion, too, there is almost no context in which using the word if you are white would be appropriate.

    I found the group name “Riding your girlfriend…” just as funny as the 30 Rock clip. Is there a difference?

    I don’t know if there’s a difference because I don’t know that group, but it sounds pretty damn rapey to me.

    Are both offensive?

    Yes.

  333. 333
    Tomaz79

    Caine, Fleur du mal:

    No, I did not read all the 300+ comments. I searched for “Tina Fey” and “30 Rock” to see if someone already made a connection.

    I don’t find sexualt assault hilarious at all. I find some JOKES about sexual assault funny. There’s a big difference.

    How many skeptics / atheists have made jokes about pedo-priests? How many blog posts are there attacking pedo-priests jokes? You know, pedo-priests are real and they made life a living hell for a huge number of children around the world? So – no jokes about anything that can / did / could do harm to anyone?

    One of my favourite sitcoms as a child was “Allo, Allo” about the french resistance during WW2. They are making fun of the Nazi occupation all the time (Goodwin’s?). I don’t think a Nazi occupation is fun for anyone. But the jokes were funny. Laughing at jokes is not the same as laughing at real-life scenarios or endorsing real-life activites that harm people.

    If you’ll sleep better characterizing me as a mysoginist, so be it. You don’t know anything about me, except that I find a joke funny. What I do in real life, like advocate for gay rights against the stupid, bigoted movements in our country that try to prevent gay marriage and gay-couple adoptions, doesn’t matter. Because I find some gay jokes funny. And that makes me a homophobe. And that’s all you guys need to know, right?

    Gen the Tealest Deer Around!:

    ..and I see that I’m also an idiot or a lazy fucktard.

    Again, I did not read the 300+ comments. I was specifically interested in the 30 Rock comparison, which I searched for and didn’t find it.

    I agree, context is key. And the context here is that it’s a joke. But apparently laughing at a joke = endorsing real-life rape.

    P.S.: The FB group name was something like “Riding your girlfirend gently so you don’t wake her up.”

  334. 334
    John Morales

    Tomaz79:

    How many skeptics / atheists have made jokes about pedo-priests?

    They ain’t jokes, but sardonic quips.

    (Google it for yourself)

    I agree, context is key. And the context here is that it’s a joke. But apparently laughing at a joke = endorsing real-life rape.

    You know it’s a joke because you’re told it’s a joke?

    (You are amused by rape jokes?)

  335. 335
    Inaji

    I agree, context is key. And the context here is that it’s a joke. But apparently laughing at a joke = endorsing real-life rape.

    No, the context is not that it’s a joke. It’s how people perpetuate misogyny, sexism and rape culture by finding rape funny. Rape jokes do endorse rape by making it seem frivolous, no big deal, really. We deal with people who really don’t see the big deal all the time nor do they care to learn.

    I’ve been raped, Tomaz79. I have a good sense of humour which happens to be on the happily warped side. I do not find rape jokes to be in any way, shape or form funny.

    There have been studies on the effects of rape jokes. They desensitize and make it easier for people to rape. Try educating yourself a bit.

    The Enjoyment of Sexist Humor, Rape Attitudes, and Relationship Aggression in College Students

    Exposure to Sexist Humor and Rape Proclivity: The Moderator Effect of Aversiveness Ratings

    What’s rape culture?

    You can even Meet the Predators for yourself. You’ll be surprised.

    Then you can go a bit further: Predators Redux.

    A couple of these were linked, supra, in the thread. Try reading. It will not only help you, but it will seriously cut down on my desire to call you a fuckwit due to your resistance to do something so damn simple.

  336. 336
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Ahhh, yes, the “it’s just a joke” defense, also known as the “excuse assholes have made since the beginning of time.”

    Next time on this channel:

    “Why I find “lynch Bubba the N..” jokes funny”
    and
    “Jews in gaschambers are the best comedy material ever”

    Thomaz probably also thinks that “hey, you’re quite intelligent for being blonde” is an actual compliment

  337. 337
    Inaji

    Giliell:

    Ahhh, yes, the “it’s just a joke” defense, also known as the “excuse assholes have made since the beginning of time.”

    Every single time someone uses the “it’s a joke! It’s funny!” crap, I hear that inexcusable moron MaxH defending the “No means yes, yes means anal” as a very funny joke. Christ, I’m tired of hearing such shit.

  338. 338
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    The problem with humor (whether sardonic or not) is that in anything other than very small groups, it can be very difficult to decipher the context. I’ve told and/or heard very funny stories about rape, child abuse, pograms, Jim Crow, addiction, and a variety of other extraordinarily painful subjects. The very funniest stories come from people who have experienced such horrors and who are out about their histories. The humor is sardonic – it’s part of the pain and the effort to handle it.

    In a larger group, or if the humorist is not open about the pain of her own experiences, it’s easy to confuse the purpose of the humor and thus interpret it as in the more usual way: “[abuse/trauma] is funny and not worth consideration.” The people who tell the “riding your girlfriend” jokes are not rape victims trying to communicate the pain of their experiences, they’re not girlfriends conveying the irritation, whether traumatic or not, of being woken up with a dick, they’re not Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy or George Carlin expressing anger and pain. They’re abusive assholes bonding about their own abusive behavior by erasing the real pain of other people.

    Thanks to John for making me look up the wikipedia article on sardonic humor – well worth reading. I particularly liked the connection to baring the teeth at evil – reminds me of the illustrations in Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.

  339. 339
    Louis

    Tomaz,

    Hi. I’m male. I’m a (now ex) rugby player. I have told, laughed at, read, sniggered at, and hell even defended those jokes in the past.

    I WAS WRONG TO DO SO!

    Let that sink it a second.

    I have been in the most naughty of naughty male environments and done things that would turn most people’s hair blue.* Shrinking violet I am not. Just so you know that what you are about to read is not coming from someone {ahem} unversed in this particular cultural “joy”.

    See the links Caine has posted. In those links are further links to a welter of studies about precisely this issue. Read them. Really, it makes terrifying reading. These jokes, whilst they are “just” jokes, and some people (my past self included) find them sunny they are part of a larger cultural phenomenon. There are demonstrated links between frequent engaging in this sort of humour and holding very unpleasant ideas about women, or counterfactual ideas about rape victims for example. Worse these sorts of jokes are part of a series of attitudes that actually contribute to the likelihood of a specific individual being a rapist.

    Let that sink in too.

    Someone who likes these sorts of jokes is demonstrably more likely to be an actual rapist.

    It’s pretty obvious really, you’d actually probably expect that sort of a result from the studies available from Caine’s links (read them, did I mention that already?). What these jokes, and sundry other sexist attitudes do is contribute to a dehumanising of women and rape victims, the more dehumanised someone is the easier it is to do very nasty things to them. The more “other” someone is, the easier it is to discount or harm them. Study after study has shown this (think: Stanford Prisoner Experiment), as indeed has the tale of history. Don’t believe me? Great! Scepticism is healthy, get ye hence to the library my good man! Start with those links of Caine’s (I mentioned that right?), then the links in them, then come back and ask people like Caine for me (I freely admit this is not my subject area of expertise. I do synthetic chemistry, I’m a noob at this social science lark). Do me that favour.

    More than that, these jokes contribute to a “chilling culture”. Let’s play imagine. Imagine YOU had been raped. Close your eyes and imagine a much more violent and physically powerful chap than you smacking you around, pinning you down and….well you get the drift. Or perhaps imagine going to a party and waking up the next day with torn clothes, little memory of what happened but the definite physical sensations of having been violated. Rohypnol ftw! Nasty right? Imagine your friend, your brother, your classmate, linking to that facebook site, making those jokes, passing off your concerns about them as trivial or not worth bothering with. Would that make it more or less likely for you to report your rape to them? Woudl that make you feel isolated? Unvalued? Shit, I know it would make me feel that way!

    Happily, we don’t have to play imagine any further! Yet more studies have shown that rape is under-reported by women. We know it’s precisely because of the chilling culture that exists, they are unlikely to be taken seriously for a welter of reasons and these rape jokes are one thread in a whole carpet of nasty little psychological tweaks and touches that make that chilling culture so well woven. Get this, rape is EVEN MORE under-reported by men. [sarcasm] So, you know, it’s not just those silly women who were probably asking for it anyway, amirite? Huh? Huh? High five! [/sarcasm]

    Oh wait…you don’t think that? You don’t think women rape victims are silly and probably asking for it? Great! Neither do I! Well done old man, welcome to the club of grown ups! Then why contribute to a demonstrable part of the problem?

    Seriously. Ask yourself that question. I asked it of myself and the answer was not pretty. You can go two ways from this point. Several people have tried to politely-ish tell you why this is a problem. You can follow the links, educate yourself and learn. We all have to do it, it’s really not a big deal once you’re over the first hurdle. And the first hurdle is this “I might be wrong here, I might have to learn something”. If you get over that hurdle, you’re golden. However, there is the other way to go. Denial. Denial is fucking ugly. If you choose to go down that path, well you are in for a verbal shellacking here at Pharyngula Towers. Not so serious a consequence I realise. But you also get to continue being a terribly sexist person. That is unpleasant for you. It’s you, and the people around you, that will have to live with the consequences of that. Enjoy! If you go down the path of possibly being wrong and trying to learn you’ll still be sexist. I’m still sexist. Everyone is still sexist. You’ll just, hopefully, become less sexist and more aware. Which is a good thing. It improves your life and allows you to be less part of the problem and more part of the solution.

    So, and I mean this most seriously, if you are genuinely anti-rape. Genuinely against people raping other people, and I assume you are, then give this matter some serious thought. Become part of the solution.

    Louis

    * I don’t mean rape, or sexual assault or anything like it, I’m not That Guy and have never been. I’ve never believed I have the right to someone else’s body, not now, not ever. But I have made the jokes, said the words, laughed at the comments and generally acted the sexist muppet. I invite everyone to look up rugby songs to see classic examples of what I mean.

  340. 340
    Inaji

    Mattir:

    The humor is sardonic – it’s part of the pain and the effort to handle it.

    Yes. That’s on a very different level from the FB rape jokes, the frat house rape jokes, the rape jokes on T-shirts, etc. (Which I think you explained well.)

    I can’t speak for your experience, but in mine, as the teller of those sardonic jokes/stories, it’s always been in a very small circle and generally told for a purpose. I have one about my first orgasm happening during the course of being raped when I was 9, but it’s not exactly something I expect most people to laugh about, let alone tell for the purpose of getting a laugh.

    It’s differences like this which never even occur to those who think rape/assault jokes are funny – they also don’t seem to ever think about the impact of such “jokes”.

  341. 341
    Tomaz79

    John Morales:

    When I saw the FB group name, I perceived it as a joke, because I didn’t think that there is a group of people out there who are actually riding their girlfriends in their sleep and feel the need to openly share their activity with like-minded individuals on FB.

    I did not conclude that it was a joke from the fact that it seemed funny, if that’s what you imply. It was exactly the opposite. If I thought for one second that the group is serious and that it contains people who actually ride their girlfriends in their sleep, I would be disgusted.

    Caine, Fleur du mal:

    I’m sorry about what happened to you. If these kind of jokes perpetuate a triviality of sexualt assault, as your links probably suggest (didn’t read them yet – I’m at work and shouldn’t even be writing this), it’s a sad situation indeed. I was commenting from my personal views, of course. My perception of issues like rape, women’s rights, gay rights, holocaust, racism etc., is not trivialized by jokes (I hope I’m not fooling myself). The context is indeed important – a gay friend of mine can take a gay joke from me, because he knows me and my position on gay issues and my activity regarding these issues.

    I can understand why you don’t find these jokes funny, but are you saying that you never (with your warped sense of humor) found something funny, something that in its real-life context may not be funny at all and can have harmful consequences for people?

    Even for the example of the sitcom that I mention, some people were offended back in the 80s, because they lost loved ones to the Germans. On the other hand, some war veterans found it hilarious, what can you do.

    I’m not trying to squirm out of it. When I think of the image of Pete’s snoring wife, I can’t help but giggle. If that was real-life footage, however, it would send shivers down my spine. I’m capable of separating the two. Again, I haven’t read the studies yet, but the problem reminds me of the issue of violent video games. Do they increase violence in real life? I used to play a lot of violent shooters and never even hit a person in my life (I know, I know.. personal anecdotes, sample of 1, etc. etc.).

    Anyway, I did not intend to offend anyone. I was genuinly wondering about the difference between “offensive” FB groups and the 30 Rock scene, because I always percieved Tina Fey to be sort of on the feminist side. I’m sorry to have wasted everyone’s time repeating themselves for me.

  342. 342
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Caine, orgasm during rape is actually not unusual and makes the rape particularly traumatic. Official Peer Reviewed Citation.

  343. 343
    Inaji

    Mattir, I know. Thanks for the link though, I look forward to reading it. I can testify as to just how much it fucks with your head. I was a long time dealing with that one.

  344. 344
    John Morales

    Tomaz79:

    I did not conclude that it was a joke from the fact that it seemed funny, if that’s what you imply. It was exactly the opposite. If I thought for one second that the group is serious and that it contains people who actually ride their girlfriends in their sleep, I would be disgusted.

    Read this again, but slowly.

    (Please, consider the implications)

  345. 345
    Inaji

    Tomaz:

    I’m sorry about what happened to you. If these kind of jokes perpetuate a triviality of sexualt assault, as your links probably suggest (didn’t read them yet – I’m at work and shouldn’t even be writing this), it’s a sad situation indeed. I was commenting from my personal views, of course. My perception of issues like rape, women’s rights, gay rights, holocaust, racism etc., is not trivialized by jokes (I hope I’m not fooling myself). The context is indeed important – a gay friend of mine can take a gay joke from me, because he knows me and my position on gay issues and my activity regarding these issues.

    Tomaz, please keep reading, this thread and the links. I think you’ll find them enlightening. The situation is sad and it’s widespread. It can be fought and changed though, and you can be one of those people who helps to change things. Thanks for having an open mind and being willing to learn more about this. It’s appreciated.

  346. 346
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    Tomaz, go back and read the links in post 338. They will definitely change your mind about when and where it’s appropriate to laugh about rape. (Hint: television shows and public FB pages are probably not a good venue for such humor.)

    I’d like to thank Pharyngula for providing actual citations about the effects of rape jokes. DaughterSpawn spent the summer confronting teen-boy staff at the Boy Scout camp where she worked about why rape jokes weren’t funny (she had a great summer despite the bozos). When she got home, she collected some of the references about how rape jokes increase victim blaming and make it more likely that people will minimize the seriousness of rape and posted them on her Facebook. At which point one of the kids who told the most jokes to irritate her sent her a really apologetic little note saying that he had no idea that guys really thought that rape was the victim’s fault. (I know the guy and actually believe him, although I wouldn’t believe some other guys if they said that.)

  347. 347
    Gen the Tealest Deer Around!

    No, I did not read all the 300+ comments. I searched for “Tina Fey” and “30 Rock” to see if someone already made a connection.

    Well there you go then. Lazy fuckwad it is. It’s not hard to extrapolate from what’s been said on this thread and others of the kind, including the links Caine so generously provided to something specific like 30 Rock, even if 30 Rock itself wasn’t specifically mentioned.

    Are you new at this “thinking” thing?

    I don’t find sexualt assault hilarious at all. I find some JOKES about sexual assault funny. There’s a big difference.

    Why? Please explain to me the difference.

    How many skeptics / atheists have made jokes about pedo-priests?

    Many. I don’t find these even vaguely amusing either.

    How many blog posts are there attacking pedo-priests jokes?You know, pedo-priests are real and they made life a living hell for a huge number of children around the world?

    Not enough. Are you going to write us one, or are you just following Derailing for Dummies now?

    So – no jokes about anything that can / did / could do harm to anyone?

    You’re trying to oversimplify things. See the other comments before mine for the distinction.

    Also, I’ll say again – jokes about rape and sexual assault, regardless of who commits it or who the victims are, are inappropriate and not funny. So no, I do definitely not endorse pedo-priest “jokes” that rest upon the punchline eliciting laughing at the victim and would raise my concerns if I saw someone doing it. Of course, I’m not everywhere and everywhen, and I’m not really influential, but still.

    One of my favourite sitcoms as a child was “Allo, Allo” about the french resistance during WW2. They are making fun of the Nazi occupation all the time (Goodwin’s?). I don’t think a Nazi occupation is fun for anyone. But the jokes were funny. Laughing at jokes is not the same as laughing at real-life scenarios or endorsing real-life activites that harm people.

    I’ve never seen the show, but from what I’ve read the “funny” wasn’t HAHA TAKE THAT GERMANY OCCUPIES YA COZ YOU DESERVE IT ASSWIPE FRENCH FUCKS, it was more about the characters and their interactions. As is most comedy. Also, the show was created as a parody of another show, just FYI.

    So yes, huge difference. Just like there’s a HUGE difference between laughing with someone and laughing at someone. Can you not see how most rape jokes are laughing AT victims (as opposed to oppressors like Nazis)? And can you spot the distinction?

    ..and I see that I’m also an idiot or a lazy fucktard.

    Yes you are, by own admission:

    Again, I did not read the 300+ comments. I was specifically interested in the 30 Rock comparison, which I searched for and didn’t find it.

    and I stand by that.

    I agree, context is key. And the context here is that it’s a joke. But apparently laughing at a joke = endorsing real-life rape.

    It’s clear that the concept of “context” is way above your levels of comprehension if “but the context is it are a joke so it must be okay because context!” is your argument. Seriously, that word, context, does not mean what you seem to think it means.

    P.S.: The FB group name was something like “Riding your girlfirend gently so you don’t wake her up.”

    Ugh, that’s beyond vaguely creepy and right into damn sick territory. I mean EW. Would you want someone to do that to you? Or your sister? Or your mother? Just fucking EW.

  348. 348
    Gen the Tealest Deer Around!

    Also, Tomaz, I have another link for you. You think that shit like guys “riding” their girlfriends while the girlfriend is asleep, trying not to wake her, doesn’t really happen (ever heard of roofies)?

    That there aren’t really people that sick, or people who went through something like that? I’m sorry to tell you that it does and there are, and chances are that there’s at least one of those guys in that facebook group that shows acceptance to his deviant behaviour who uses that acceptance to rationalize and justify what he did, and you don’t know which one he is.

    And just because it’s not “live footage” (WTF?) doesn’t make the idea behind it and the broader cultural acceptance of said idea any less horrible and disgusting.

    But please, look at this. This is one of my favourite blog posts EVER and I strongly, strongly encourage you to read it if you are serious about learning and not just being a facetious asshat (of which we’ve seen too many, lately).

    http://kateharding.net/2008/09/24/from-the-archives-on-being-a-no-name-blogger-using-her-real-name/

    The paragraph that I want to highlight (though you should still read the whole thing, it’s fantastic) is this:

    Cause the thing is, you and the guys you hang out with may not really mean anything by it when you talk about crazy bitches and dumb sluts and heh-heh-I’d-hit-that and you just can’t reason with them and you can’t live with ‘em can’t shoot ‘em and she’s obviously only dressed like that because she wants to get laid and if they can’t stand the heat they should get out of the kitchen and if they can’t play by the rules they don’t belong here and if they can’t take a little teasing they should quit and heh heh they’re only good for fucking and cleaning and they’re not fit to be leaders and they’re too emotional to run a business and they just want to get their hands on our money and if they’d just stop overreacting and telling themselves they’re victims they’d realize they actually have all the power in this society and white men aren’t even allowed to do anything anymore and and and…

    I get that you don’t really mean that shit. I get that you’re just talking out your ass.

    But please listen, and please trust me on this one: you have probably, at some point in your life, engaged in that kind of talk with a man who really, truly hates women–to the extent of having beaten and/or raped at least one. And you probably didn’t know which one he was.

    And that guy? Thought you were on his side.

  349. 349
    Inaji

    How many blog posts are there attacking pedo-priests jokes?

    Oh, lots and lots, although more comments than blog posts, I admit. Here at Pharyngula, we don’t take that sort of shit lightly or well. Most examples of that are back at Pharyngula sciblogs. There was one particularly loathsome asspimple, a.human.ape, who was shredded and stomped into dust over such “jokes”.

    We also don’t tolerate he’ll get raped in prison “jokes”, either. Want to know why? Because rape is not funny.

  350. 350
    Louis

    Tomaz,

    Two things:

    1)

    Even for the example of the sitcom that I mention, some people were offended back in the 80s, because they lost loved ones to the Germans. On the other hand, some war veterans found it hilarious, what can you do.

    Offence is not the issue. In all of these things offence is a massive red herring. One I shall fight to my dying breath. I doubt Caine is offended. But I’ll tell you something for free: I like Caine, more, I *respect* Caine (and that ain’t earned easily) but I could not give less of a shit about whether or not she (or anyone) is offended. No one, not one single person has the right to swan through life unoffended. I don’t, you don’t, no one does. Being deliberately offensive to people might make one an unpleasant person, but again that is not the issue. The offensiveness of these jokes is irrelevant, matters of taste are not the problem. The fact that I like puns and you like rape jokes is irrelevant and a complete and total distraction. Offence is not the issue. As the song says: Life is hard, and so am I.

    The issue is one of demonstrable harm. When you read those studies you will find many of them rigorous and clear. Unlike the video game example. Video games do not cause violence, we are, in fact, almost globally in vastly less violent societies than we used to be. Obvious exceptions are obvious! They don’t even desensitise people to violence (as far as I am aware, happy to be corrected). As you say below, people can tell the difference.

    2)

    When I think of the image of Pete’s snoring wife, I can’t help but giggle. If that was real-life footage, however, it would send shivers down my spine. I’m capable of separating the two.

    So am I. So is Caine. So what? Again, the issue is not that people cannot separate reality from fantasy, it’s that these fantastic portrayals in comedic scenes CAN (not do, CAN) contribute to a profoundly sexist/rape apologetic/chilling culture. There was a fantastic discussion on one of these threads somewhere about how movies/TV etc display female sexual agency (or rather don’t). The reason I mention this is because, yes, in isolation that scene, that joke, that thing *might* be seen to be funny. But it doesn’t exist in isolation, it exists as part of, and contributory to a larger set of cultural tropes.

    Take racism as an example, here in the UK we just don’t see the same racist jokes being told on TV that we did when I was a kid only a couple of decades ago. Growing up in the 70s and 80s we got a lot of racist jokes (only jokes right?) on mainstream TV and in films, the playground, everywhere. All in good fun, right? All hunky dory, just joshing? Erm, no. That changed, the Overton Window (look it up) shifted, because gradually people started to fight back when these jokes were told, to say “no, actually that’s not funny, it’s discriminatory”. Context MATTERS. This all lead to the changes in UK society we now see. We are not racism free, far from it, but we are less racist than we were. That’s the goal. If people want to live in a racism free society, good luck, I’ll see you on the other side of not going to happen, but I’ll fight tooth and nail to minimise racism as far as is possible.

    The same applies to rape jokes. We have a culture of silencing, othering, chilling rape victims. Those jokes contribute to that in however small (but demonstrable) a way, thus those jokes have to be challenged. We can’t, and I never would want to, ban them, to silence people, but I’ll be buggered twice from Sunday if I’m going to let them pass uncommented upon.

    Louis

    P.S. By the way, if the evidence showed no effect, no correlation between chilling/rape apologetics culture etc and rape jokes, I’d have vastly less of an issue. If we lived in a fictional land where thought and deed were uncoupled and any joke was magically separate from its context then, I’d argue the opposite to what I have. We don’t live in such a land.

  351. 351
    Inaji

    Louis:

    I doubt Caine is offended.

    You’d be right. I’m not offended. It takes a hell of a lot more for me to be offended, and as you say, that’s seriously beside the point.

    Thank you for bringing this up and explaining it so well. It’s late (for me), I haven’t slept in…oh, can’t even count and my brain is going all mooshy.

  352. 352
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Louis,

    The issue is one of demonstrable harm.
    [...]
    They [video games] don’t even desensitise people to violence (as far as I am aware, happy to be corrected)

    Indeed, and IIRC there was quite a discussion about that on the old site, and after the toing-and-froing and the adducing of evidence, I now judge that claim [that video games desensitise people to violence] as less than adequately supported empirically.

  353. 353
    Inaji

    Also, Tomaz, I know you’re being inundated with mass information here, but please take the time, when you have it, to give this a read: http://tigerbeatdown.com/2011/10/11/on-blogging-threats-and-silence/

    Why? Because it ties into what so many of us have been trying to get across. Those jokes? The people who make those jokes don’t really make them because they think they’re funny or because they’re trying to make people laugh. Those jokes not only do real harm, foster those who would harm, encourage those thinking about doing harm, they silence.

    Those guys who make those jokes and a lot of those guys that laugh at those jokes, they’re the ones who threaten women. It’s not uncommon at all for women to receive rape threats simply for speaking up. When some of those men are called on said threats, they pass it off as a joke. It’s not.

  354. 354
    Louis

    Cheers John. Personally I am ignorant about the subject. I’ve read a few conclusions, and obviously I can see how it could be the case that video games desensitise one to violence, but I have yet to see anything solid that shows they do. Or even correlatory to be honest. Now, I admit, that’s my lack of self-education on the topic, so like I said, anyone with more info is welcome to correct me, but I’ll take the initial hypothesis (based on my little reading) that they are harmless as read until I get the chance to do some work on it or someone hits me with a big data stick.

    Louis

  355. 355
    Pteryxx

    Ah, all these links, and nobody’s yet called on Time-Machine.

    Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.

    If one in twenty guys (or more) is a real and true rapist, and you have any amount of social activity with other guys like yourself, then it is almost a statistical certainty that one time hanging out with friends and their friends, playing Halo with a bunch of guys online, in a WoW guild, in a pick-up game of basketball, at a bar, or elsewhere, you were talking to a rapist. Not your fault. You can’t tell a rapist apart any better than anyone else can. It’s not like they announce themselves.

    But, here’s the thing. It’s very likely that in some of these interactions with these guys, at some point or another, someone told a rape joke. You, decent guy that you are, understood that they didn’t mean it, and it was just a joke. And so you laughed.

    Or maybe you didn’t laugh. Maybe it just wasn’t a very funny joke. So maybe you just didn’t say anything at all.

    And, decent guy who would never condone rape, who would step in and stop rape if he saw it, who understands that rape is awful and wrong and bad, when you laughed? When you were silent?

    That rapist who was in the group with you, that rapist thought that you were on his side. That rapist knew that you were a rapist like him. And he felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades.

    You. The rapist’s comrade.

    By Time-Machine, source: link

  356. 356
    Pteryxx

    @Louis:

    There was a fantastic discussion on one of these threads somewhere about how movies/TV etc display female sexual agency (or rather don’t).

    you mean this?

    Sour Tomato Sand says:
    4 October 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Just another example of American cultural belief that anything is less offensive than consensual sex. My favorite though remains what the [MPAA] did to the movie Sucker Punch. Quoth Emily Browning, the lead female in the flick:

    “I had a very tame and mild love scene with Jon Hamm. It was like heavy breathing and making out. It was hardly a sex scene… I think that it’s great for this young girl to actually take control of her own sexuality. Well, the MPAA doesn’t like that. They don’t think a girl should ever be in control of her own sexuality because they’re from the Stone Age. I don’t know what the fuck is going on and I will openly criticize it, happily. So essentially, they got Zack to edit the scene and make it look less like she’s into it. And Zack said he edited it down to the point where it looked like he was taking advantage of her. That’s the only way he could get a PG-13 (rating) and he said, ‘I don’t want to send that message.’ So they cut the scene!”

    I didn’t even like the movie, but that serves as a perfect example to me of what’s wrong with our views on sex in this country: consensual sex gets an R rating, but rape is just fine for the kiddies.

    That was earlier in this very thread, BTW. Good call.

  357. 357
    Louis

    Cheers Pteryxx, I am a thoroughly lazy bastard when it comes to searching through threads, unless my dander is up! I am long passed doing people’s google homework for them. Annnd now you’ve embarrassed me by being all efficient and knowledgeable.

    Yooouuuuuuuu!!!!!! {shakes fist} ;-)

    Dammit, exposed as a slacker again!

    [Warning]Post contains references to sexist humour[/Warning]

    But seriously, I thought that was the kernel of something excellent. I heard a sexist joke once (which I’ll tell because I think a) it can be co-opted and b) it’s quite revealing): “I’m all for the Women’s Movement. I hate it when they just lie there.”. Now I realise that this can be unpacked a myriad of ways, but I genuinely think it also illustrates a useful, positive desire: the sexual liberation of women. Obviously the context of the joke changes everything, but I hope you all see where I’m coming from by using that joke as an example.

    This plays into what confuses me about the movie/TV industry’s desire to squelch portrayals of women being actively and consciously sexual. How on earth can this be a bad thing? How can intelligent women who know what they want than what they want is sex be BAD? It blows my mind! Take another comedic example, the alleged 72 virgins (raisins?) promised to Muslim martyrs. 72 virgins? My Auntie Ethel was a virgin, they are welcome to her! Actually, they’re not, I’m relatively sure she’d disagree. As the old joke goes: 72 virgins? No thanks, I’ll have 3 sluts or 1 woman from {insert neighbouring town here}. I think these jokes can be parsed in a way that celebrates women’s sexuality…well, if we look past the fact that apparently women are being doled out as rewards which is pretty obnoxious.

    My point with these comedy references is this: however poorly articulated, however frightened some people seem to be, I think there is a genuine desire by a huge number of men for sexually assertive women. Hell, if I’m referencing comedy, even that noted feminist scholar Eddie Murphy knew in the 80s that sexually assertive women existed and were desirable! {Tongue firmly in cheek here}

    Why many cultural tropes seem to fight what appears to me to be a common desire is stunning. Yes of course I understand fear, performance anxiety, the truly unpleasant desire to “be the first” (eurgh, vomit) and many other curdling psychological issues, but I think it’s another instance of “the patriarchy hurts men too”. We are told so much that we must DO things TO women to be a MAN, we are told less that we should SHARE things WITH women.

    It all feeds back into the slut shaming, the undermining of women’s sexual agency and is, in the immortal words of the Prophet Mohammed, a giant cluster fuck of monumental proportions (he actually said that. Honest). To alleviate the fear, to assuage male insecurities this tendency to appreciate sexually assertive women is sublimated, fought against and derided. Which of course is achieved by, you guessed it, blaming women. Fun eh? Couldn’t be our own insecurities could it lads? Never! Must be those women to blame.

    It makes me want to pull my hair out in frustration, I can’t imagine what it does for the women.

    I suppose what we need to do is make a film where we make three cuts, one where the woman has an obvious degree of sexual agency, one where the man is aggressively removing all sexual agency from the woman and she is submitting/being attacked/shown to enjoy lack of agency (simple re-shoots of sex scenes could do this), an one with the sex scenes merely implied. Then we submit the film to the various national ratings agencies and see what we get. Submit the assertive woman cut first, the aggressive man cut second and the sex implied cut last.

    Mind you I’ll bet that data exists….

    Louis

  358. 358
    SallyStrange

    Yeah Louis. Someone made a film about it, called This Film Is Not Yet Rated.

  359. 359
    Louis

    Thanks Sally, I’m off to Amazon.

    Louis

  360. 360
    Inaji

    Louis:

    It all feeds back into the slut shaming, the undermining of women’s sexual agency and is, in the immortal words of the Prophet Mohammed, a giant cluster fuck of monumental proportions (he actually said that. Honest). To alleviate the fear, to assuage male insecurities this tendency to appreciate sexually assertive women is sublimated, fought against and derided. Which of course is achieved by, you guessed it, blaming women. Fun eh? Couldn’t be our own insecurities could it lads? Never! Must be those women to blame.

    This reminds me…over in the Red Pill thread, Tethys brought up Women’s Liberation, which was going on when she was growing up. Same with me.

    Women’s Lib was born out of the sexual revolution and was, to a large extent, about women’s sexual liberation. This later morphed into feminism.

    Now that I’m thinking on it and given much of what I’ve been reading this year (ya know, little gems like this), I’m starting to think we let go of Women’s Lib too soon. In a way, it’s back, via Slut Walks and the like; however, so much of rape culture and bitches ain’t shit still comes down to the notion that a woman has no right to an autonomous sex life.

    Or something. Still haven’t slept. Brain still mooshy.

  361. 361
    Tomaz79

    I appreciate everyone taking their time to provide me with useful info. I won’t engage in the debate again until I familiarize myself with the facts a little better. I hate being on the wrong side of evidence.

    On a different note, I did learn something today. If you want someone to think about what you’re saying, it might be a good idea not to begin with “idiot” or “fucktard”. You may have a valid point but hurtling insults will make the person you’re talking to less likely to consider your points, however valid they may be. Insults are meant to ellicit an emotional reaction and even if they don’t, not many people would bother cutting through them in hope of finding valid points underneath.

    I may sound like an offended religion apologist who disregards the arguments and hides behind the “I’m offended” wall, but being on the receiving end for once, I can say I’ll consider this experience in my future encounters with the religious, climate deniers, anti-vaxxers and such. Insults don’t work.

  362. 362
    Louis

    Caine,

    GO TO SLEEP!

    [Professional Hat]

    Lack of sleep is not conducive to good mental or physical health.*

    [/Professional Hat]

    Sexual autonomy can wait until morning.

    Louis

    * You know this, but I am wearing my paternalistic professional hat, which makes it proper and authoritative and everything. Why? Because testicles, that’s why.

  363. 363
    Inaji

    Tomaz:

    Insults don’t work.

    Yes they do. More to the point, it doesn’t matter. This is Pharyngula. We call a fuckwit a fuckwit.

    You wouldn’t know this, but the regulars here have been involved in an ongoing argument/discussion/what the fuck ever about a certain sexist event which boiled furiously out of control and ate the internet and is still ongoing for the last four months.

    We are tired. We are annoyed. We are fucking cranky. We are so godsdamned tired of being expected to educate every single clueless git who wanders in and says something like “oh hey, what’s the fuss?”

    We also don’t care for Tone Trolls™ here. There are a million reasons why. So do us all a favour, don’t be tone trolling. You’ll be invited to pick up a decaying porcupine and do rude things to yourself with it.

  364. 364
    Pteryxx

    Louis:
    My point with these comedy references is this: however poorly articulated, however frightened some people seem to be, I think there is a genuine desire by a huge number of men for sexually assertive women.

    While that’s true, without clarifying the concept of consent, references to sexually assertive women can be interpreted either way: as “she’s a great partner and lover” or as “she’s fair game to be raped”. And I’m not convinced that interpretation happens on the performer’s end, instead of just in the minds of the audience. I would guess the pressure is on media producers, as seen in the Sucker Punch example, to prevent any framing that favors the consent-centered interpretation.

    This is from Almost Diamonds, (trigger warning for rape): link

    Glodson:

    I just cannot believe someone would say the girl “consented” to be gang raped. And I know that stuff like this happens in our country. And it actually makes me even more enraged at the thought of rape apologists even fucking existing.

    Pteryxx:

    I gather that when rape apologists say “consented” they really mean “deserved”.

    …I just realized something. I think rape culture is actually reappropriating the term “consent”.

  365. 365
    Inaji

    Caine,

    GO TO SLEEP!

    In spite of your testicles, Brother-Husband, I am heading off for a nap. Especially as Tomaz almost made me scream (and even worse, be very, very rude *gasp*) with his Seagull™ moment.

    Definitely nap time.

  366. 366
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    , the truly unpleasant desire to “be the first” “be the only one”

    FIFY
    ;)

    Thomaz
    It’s good that you’re willing to learn.
    Notice we’re passionate. Because it’s important. It’s vitally important, literally.

  367. 367
    Louis

    Tomaz,

    Plus 20 points for being willing to learn and read. Minus one bazillion points for tone trolling.

    Seriously, you got one person telling you you are either an idiot or a lazy fucktard (not a fan of that word, but, well, endless discussion about ablist discrimination against mentally handicapped people is endless) a couple of times. One. ONE! This is the fucking internet! Typically you get a hundred people tell you you are an arse gobbling child molesting bright green fuck monkey if you say you prefer Apple to Microsoft (or something equally earth shattering).

    More than that it’s Pharyngula, and we don’t take kindly to rape apologists round these parts (not saying you are one, just that hair triggers exist). One person telling you you are a fucktard (yuck) or an idiot is practically welcoming you with open arms, giving you a rub down and a blow job and offering you a beer. Especially considering you got a lot of pretty cogent replies that were generally polite as well.

    Granted it’s not in-line with the three strikes then out ideal, but hey, we all have off days. I agree, it’s not nice, but (and this is not to excuse Gen’s hair trigger, merely to explain it. She doesn’t need me to excuse her, I’m no one) the regular folks here very, very frequently encounter unpleasant dismissal by men (typically) when it comes to serious feminist topics. There is a very vocal minority that pop up every time and belittle rape statistics, make apologetics for rape culture and so on. Your initial post didn’t seem that different from many of those, in an environment like this it’s pretty unsurprising that someone responded as Gen did. No one can look through the internet into your heart and see that you, glorious you, are a serious thoughtful zebra just from the hoof beats you leave in your post. Especially when those hoof beats are easily mistaken for the vastly more common rape apologist horse.

    Now fly! Read the links and sundry articles. I’d say “enjoy” but enjoyable reading they ain’t. Good luck. I hope you come out the other side much less monumentally angry than I did.

    Louis

  368. 368
    Emrysmyrddin

    This is from Almost Diamonds

    0.0

    …Jesus Fucking Fuck.

  369. 369
    Louis

    Pteryxx,

    …I just realized something. I think rape culture is actually reappropriating the term “consent”.

    Eurgh, I hadn’t though of that. Crap.

    Well, like I said I realise the jokes I mentioned could be parsed a number of ways, I was taking I suppose the most charitable, or at least the one most in line with my own thoughts. I hope it’s obvious I meant “consent” is in “proper, genuine, conscious, willing, open, articulated, real consent”! Not “consent” as in “ehhhhh, she said she liked sex in general, that’s consent, right?”.

    I do take your point though. What’s worrying me now is how the hell do we combat THAT trope? If even genuine sexual agency is to be used against women then that’s a cause for despair.

    Sod it, we need scenes in movies where women sign contracts prior to coitus, then look into the camera, break the fourth wall and say “Look, I mean it, right? This is what consent looks like.”. Can representatives from feminist groups come into the movie audiences and individually slap people too?

    Perhaps one way to counter is to point out that rape isn’t sex that’s “a bit rough”. Rape is violation, it’s violence, it’s control, it’s “teaching them a lesson”. The very antithesis of the feelings in sex (I would hope). And no, I am not dissing the BDSM lovers out there, playing with violation is vastly different from actually violation. Rapists don’t have safewords.

    Hmmm, more thought needed.

    Louis

  370. 370
    Louis

    Sleep well Sister-Wife.

    You were almost rude? I…I…I have no words. I am shocked to the core. Please provide me with a fainting couch and some clutching pearls upon your return!

    Louis

  371. 371
    Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom

    Louis, when you wrote this:

    Seriously, you got one person telling you you are either an idiot or a lazy fucktard (not a fan of that word, but, well, endless discussion about ablist discrimination against mentally handicapped people is endless)

    I almost gave myself a heart attack, shouting at myself (in my head, not out loud, but still) “SELF, DID YOU WRITE THAT OH GOOD MAUDE WHAT AM I GONNA DO WITH YOU!”

    Then I saw that no, that’s not what I wrote.
    Gen:

    That must be because you are either an idiot or a lazy fuckwad who didn’t read either the post or the thread.

    Tomaz:

    Gen the Tealest Deer Around!:

    ..and I see that I’m also an idiot or a lazy fucktard.

    I, too, hate the word and would like to think I’d never use it, although I didn’t even *notice* its usage in the first place. Which just shows that my privilege is showing. I apologize.

  372. 372
    Tomaz79

    Caine, Fleur du Mal:

    I’m familiar with Elevatorgate, but I did not follow it in detail. And I can relate to being tired of explaining things over and over. Considering that my original comment ellicited quite a few lengthy replies which sincerely tried to present relevant points to me, I was not under the impression that what all of you actually meant to say was that I should go fuck myself.

    If that was the goal of the replies, you would have saved a lot of time, mine and yours, by just saying so.

    If, on the other hand, you did try to make me think about the issue (which you succeeded, btw), I can tell you that the probability of me reading your posts is inversely proportional to the rate of you calling me a fucktard. And if it doesn’t matter, why bother typing replies?

    I don’t mind being called names, I did not get an internet connection yesterday. I don’t need the patronizing, really. I can understand the frustration, but I just don’t see the point in following up insults with valid points. One or the other. Would any of you carefully consider the arguments of someone that opens with “Listen here, you motherf****ng piece of horses**t”?

    Anyway, if we’re clear that I’m not a rape apologist and that I’ll read your links and think about them, I’m done for now (already spent way more time on this than I planned)

  373. 373
    Tomaz79

    I apologize for the misquote of “fuckwit”, as a non-native speaker, these seem very similar.

  374. 374
    Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom

    Oh, I wanted to add that I personally, speaking only for myself, also feel that the “first 3 posts” rule is a bit more sketchy and rather unrealistic standard to hold people to when someone reaches the end of a 370+ reply discussion thread, without even bothering to read the OP and go

    HAI GUISE SO WHASSUP IN THIS THRED IDGI?

    That’s pretty piss poor netiquette in the first place. But I will admit that I may have jumped the gun, since it looks like Tomaz is turning out to be educate-able.

  375. 375
    Louis

    Right, Gen, please take me aside for verbal castration as this is entirely my fault. I screwed up, apologise unreservedly and will now repeatedly be ashamed until it hurts. You have nothing to apologise for.

    My apologies.

    Louis

    P.S. I’m a fan of the three comment rule simple in all circumstances, YMMV. It’s mainly because I am so wrong so often! However it is the thin veil of generosity generally expected here. Perhaps it’s acknowledged more in being broken than in being observed though! ;-)

  376. 376
    SallyStrange

    I like the 3 post rule because it ensures that assholes who come in going “BUT YOUZE GUYS ARE SO MEEN!” really have nothing to complain about, since everyone was unfailingly “polite” for three posts, before unleashing the hounds of hell on some troll’s poor unsuspecting ass.

  377. 377
    Pteryxx

    I hope it’s obvious I meant “consent” is in “proper, genuine, conscious, willing, open, articulated, real consent”! Not “consent” as in “ehhhhh, she said she liked sex in general, that’s consent, right?”

    Yah Louis, I wasn’t saying YOU interpreted it that way. I read your comment about sexually assertive women, and hybridized it with a bunch of other concerns in my own mind: how “consent” got mis-used in that horrible gang-rape article, and how rape-jokes mean “LOL an edgy joke” to most people while, simultaneously, they mean “LOL you’re all rapists like me!” to the rapists.

    I don’t have a good answer to this; I’m not even clear on how reappropriation WORKS. I desperately hope that the term, the very CONCEPT of “consent” is just another case of “They understand, they just don’t like the answer”, but if it isn’t…

    The myth that “Consent is Hard”

  378. 378
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Tomaz79,

    If, on the other hand, you did try to make me think about the issue (which you succeeded, btw), I can tell you that the probability of me reading your posts is inversely proportional to the rate of you calling me a fucktard. And if it doesn’t matter, why bother typing replies?

    Consider it to be a filtering tool. Somebody worth having around, worth trying to teach, can roll with the punches and keep reading and get themselves educated. Worthless fuckwits, on the other hand, will just take their ball and go home crying about how mean we are. So the question is, which are you?

  379. 379
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Louis said

    If you go down the path of possibly being wrong and trying to learn you’ll still be sexist. I’m still sexist. Everyone is still sexist. You’ll just, hopefully, become less sexist and more aware.

    I have a confession. Just yesterday I said “bitching” when I meant “whining”. I realized it a few seconds later. I didn’t get called out on it, but did internally chide myself. I try not to do that. In fact, later that day I called out a twit in the Chopra thread for saying “balls” instead of “courage”, so yeah I know better. But decades of cultural programming doesn’t get undone overnight, or even in a year. If ever. But at least I’m aware of it now and I try to be better. Even if I fail sometimes.

  380. 380
    Pteryxx

    @ Erulóra Maikalambe:

    “So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

  381. 381
    Inaji

    Tomaz, you missed my point. I was downright fucking sweet to you, and there was no call for me to be so. If you, like so many others, doesn’t care for the tone here, fine, hang out elsewhere.

    Pharyngula is a great place, as long as you focus on substance, not tone.

    Everyone is free to be as polite or impolite as they wish. What they are not free to do is to tell others how to behave. Around here, the best defense against being called an idiot or a fuckwit is to simply not be an idiot or a fuckwit. Keeps us on our toes.

    Normally, I stalk Pharyngula with a snarl, fangs dripping blood and dragging a coil of entrails, however, I can manage to say cogent things and speak on topic with a minimum of idiot! and fuckwit! now and then.

    If my intent had been to merely tell you to fuck off, that is what I would have done, rather than spend considerable time attempting to raise your awareness. I hope that time was well spent.

    Erulora @ 381 makes an excellent point – consider the cussing and/or insults to be a filter. It does work around here. Some people find this helpful: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/06/advice_to_new_commenters.php

    I do take your point about being nice, at least initially, however, that’s not everyone’s style and I’m not going to tell everyone what to do. Sexism is a very hot button issue and we get a very high ratio of idiots, fuckwits and assorted douchecakes here, so often, people jump first. Others don’t.

    You’ve kept an open mind and shown a willingness to learn, which I appreciate with all of my evil, black heart, Tomaz.

  382. 382
    Louis

    Erulóra Maikalambe,

    Oh how I wish I was as good as you. Seriously! If my linguistic crimes were that small I’d be a happy bunny.

    Louis

  383. 383
    Therrin

    Tomaz79

    Would any of you carefully consider the arguments of someone that opens with “Listen here, you motherf****ng piece of horses**t”?

    Yes. Speaking for myself (and only for myself), if I said something that elicited that sort of reaction, I would be looking very closely at what I just said. That goes double for a place like this. There have been discussions about accommodationist techniques, but set that aside for now; read about the more important topics first.

    Caine

    I was downright fucking sweet to you, and there was no call for me to be so.

    I did wonder if something was wrong..

  384. 384
    Louis

    Therrin,

    I’m going to vehemently, passionately agree with you about hostile openings. At the very least they make me think “Wait! Have I done something daft?” before anything else.

    Louis

  385. 385
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    If my linguistic crimes were that small I’d be a happy bunny.

    I’m not sure exactly what you mean by that. It’s not as if I don’t swear. I’m just trying to get gendered insults (and racist insults as I learn about them (“gypped” is an example, I never even thought about the etymology of it until I saw it spelled out), etc) out of my lexicon. It’s not so bad for me as I’ve never been a fan of most of them. There are some terms for which I’m still struggling to find succinct replacements.

    As far as other linguistic crimes go, yes I tend to be pedantic. And I tend to oppose shifts in meaning. I think it was John Morales who posted a while back about several wonderful, meaningful words that have all drifted away from their original meanings and all mean exactly the same thing now. That kind of stuff bugs me.

  386. 386
    Louis

    Erulóra Maikalambe,

    What I meant was that I am impressed you have managed to eliminate sexist (or other -ist) language from your vocabulary so successfully. One instance in one day….I am much less successful! It was a compliment! I’ve done twenty twats before breakfast!

    As for the evolution of language, it’s actually something I celebrate. I’m happy that language and word meanings evolve. At the same time it means I have to be more vigilant about what I am saying (sometimes I even manage it!) and to try to be clear about what others are saying.

    Louis

  387. 387
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    What I meant was that I am impressed you have managed to eliminate sexist (or other -ist) language from your vocabulary so successfully.

    It probably has more to do with where we started from, upbringings, etc. I wasn’t using a lot of slurs in my language (that I’m aware of) to begin with. I know I still use them, though. Especially the ablist ones. Those are really hard to shake. Sometimes I say something and then wonder if it was indeed a slight, but coming from my position of privilege, I’m not qualified to determine. Still learning.

  388. 388
    Tomaz79

    Damn, I still can’t get the word right. I’m just not sensitive enough to the differences between all the words with the root ‘fuck-’, it seems.

    I’m not crying about how mean you are (and am not leaving because of some bad words), I’m saying that it’s difficult for me to eat a sandwich that has goat poop in the bread, however good the salami in the middle may be. And why would you serve me the salami that took you time and effort to prepare and that you want me to eat, in shit-bread?

    Fire away all you want, it’s just that it would be a shame for all that deliciousness between the poo to go to waste. I just don’t respond well to that (I do realize now that it was quite the hornets nest that I kicked while strolling casually through the forest). Maybe I need to work on that.

    I’m really not trying to tell anyone how to behave. If that’s the way things go around here, it’s fine, guys, really, enjoy yourselves (I’ve been reading Pharyngula for about two years now. The comments? Not so much. I’m having trouble trying to keep up with the happenings in the atheist / skeptic comunity as it is.)

    I read PZ’s recommendations and this one seems to be kind of in line with my point

    Commenters who begin their interaction on this blog with insults (you’re a bunch of jerks), threats (you’re all going to hell) or other poltroonery (atheists have no morals) will be responded to in kind by persons who generally have far more experience and education, and certainly a greater vocabulary in both insult and invective.

    If insults are being hurled at you, you are not expected to calmly see past them and politely address any arguments that may be included, right? Or does this apply just to newcomers? Anyway, my intentions are not to troll, I prefer constructive conversation. Peace.

  389. 389
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    If insults are being hurled at you, you are not expected to calmly see past them and politely address any arguments that may be included, right? Or does this apply just to newcomers?

    Nobody says you have to respond with kind platitudes. Throw in all the ‘fuckwits’ and ‘dipshits’ you want. But if that’s all you do and you fail to include some actual content in your response, you’ll get eaten alive. In other words, we can take what we dish out, it’s just that so many tone trolls fail to actually do that “address any arguments” part and instead focus entirely on the tone of the comments and not on the content.

    So say you come in here and say X.
    I reply “No, fuckwit. X is obviously a bunch of shit because of Y.”
    You say “What are you some kind of shrivel-brained fuckstick? Here’s a study that shows Z disproved Y over 10 years ago. Moron.”
    I’d have no choice but to say “Holy shit, you’re right. My bad.” (Assuming your source checks out)

    So no, seeing past insults is not expected of only the newcomers.

  390. 390
    Inaji

    Tomaz:

    (I do realize now that it was quite the hornets nest that I kicked while strolling casually through the forest). Maybe I need to work on that.

    Maybe just a little. :) For what it’s worth, I think you did just fine here. As to the three comment rule, well, we try, but it doesn’t always stick.

    Reading the comments here on various subjects can help you keep up with what’s going on in the atheism and skepticism communities and reading here would also help in understanding how Pharyngula works as opposed to other places.

    We aren’t always jumping on people and attempting to correct social injustices. There’s TET (The Endless Thread), which is our lounge and where there is no set topic. You (and anyone else) can get to know a bunch of us better, so we aren’t just nyms and pixels on a page.

    We’re a rather tight knit bunch and tend to know each other well (we often get together in meatspace) and so on. So, there’s often what seems to be a blitz attack.

    You’ve made good points and I’ll keep them in mind. Whether they show up in practice, um, we’ll see.

  391. 391
    Anchor4

    Usually I don’t read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.

Comments have been disabled.