Broken culture

Trigger Warning: I’ll be posting about what I see as examples of rape culture in action so this one is under the fold.

You don’t shame concern for rape accusations in this culture, and if we actually took this issue seriously as a society it wouldn’t be politically inconvenient. We’d just go through the process.

Now that’s certainly attention grabbing. I can understand feeling strongly about it. But becoming part of rape culture isn’t the answer. Let’s chop up some examples.

“Shut Up”

Format note. It’s effective to just erase identity, but visually confusing. People need distinguished better.

This is pretty simple and to the point. “STFU”. “Shut The Fuck Up”.
“Silence your concerns about rape.” My friend’s concerns are political inconvenience. It doesn’t matter if they’re true of not, my friend needs to stop being concerned.

Seriously? In this culture you’re going to tell someone concerned about rape to shut up? This kind of thing is why people like Trump get away with it too.

“Non-votes are votes! Non-support is support!”

I decided this would be bad for color blind readers.

I have problems with the “not voting for y is supporting/voting for x” political rhetoric. It has to describe reality opposite what it is in order to work. It’s a lie. It’s literally not happening.

A non-action is not an action. It’s insulting because it ignores the problem someone has with Biden and replaces it with an order. You want help with your political opponent and expect to force through shame someone instead of offering something in return.

When it comes to a concern about rape it’s insulting. It’s politically inconvenient to investigate and take seriously a sexual abuse claim? I think this is evidence our society is broken. Again I will point out that if we took sexual harassment and abuse seriously as a society an accusation wouldn’t be politically inconvenient.


This is my final format unless I find a need to add information. It’s simple. I separate individuals and exchanges can be tracked within images.

A: “Stop posting lies about Biden….”.
Where’s the lie?

One of these days I need to write about my process more clearly, but a big part of it is taking people’s claims seriously. That’s the simplest way for me to figure out if it’s true or not.

When someone says that something isn’t true it shouldn’t be hard to get them to show the false thing. I do this for “fake news” and many other things too.

The politically useful thing to do in this sexually defective country is have a discussion about what convinces someone of something, and help them with their social concern in return for their vote. Otherwise I point out how you are a part of rape culture here.

Mockery: miming mutual political opponents.

This one appeared more than once. This miming of the percieved outgroup member.
A: “Go Trump!!!!”
In a culture that has problems taking sexual harassment and assault seriously you don’t mock concerns about accusations. I don’t think it’s unfair to call these examples of rape culture.
Is this what passes for political advocacy in the Democratic party when it comes to your own? Or on the political left in the US? Or between Biden and Bernie supporters? I think it’s all fair when the whole culture fails here. This is another reason why I’m not a D.


I don’t know what to title this one. It’s trying some kind of collective something.

A:”If Biden is a rapist…we are all rapists”.
Where do I start? I feel my response was charitable and I included the second response just to make sure something more socially responsable was in there.
The best I can say is they’re acting like the idea of Biden being a rapist is rediculious and they don’t feel the need to explain how. Do you notice how the ellipses totally neglect the logic that connects the statements?

I’m going to call this another form of mockery that appeals to the crowd. I’m part of that crowd and think mocking concerns about rape in our culture is a bad thing. I’m not against mockery, far from it. I believe mockery is wrong here. Use persuasion. Find out why someone is concerned.

Overt misogyny and sexism.

This is the easy one to criticize so I posted it later.
A: “Your talking about yourself slut”
Slut: a misogynistic slur meant to control sexuality. How could my friend be talking about herself? Is it a simple “no you’re the rapist”? I’m wondering about connections to false accusations but maybe it’s a stretch to think A is accusing my friend of being a false accuser. It’s disgusting either way.
A: “Your mad Biden is the only one left”
My friend is literally concerned about rape and this person has to accuse them of lying and asserting that it’s about the election. Based on nothing. Trump and Bernie as lovers? This is another false portrayal of my friend as a supporter, but in rage and not mockery.”Honey…” is condescending sexism, “…nuts and delusional.” is insulting ableism appealing to mental illness language. This person has a lot of personal flaws.

The big one.

I asked my friend if they wanted me to use a particular example after I collected my screen shots and they directed me to another post. I had already gotten involved in this one.I should mention that there’s more than one issue in the meme. I’m doing the shaming of concern about rape.

Part 1

That’s about as attention getting as the first one. Each of those things worth being concerned about. Same as before it’s reasonable to be concerned about a rape accusation. I want the Democratic party to do a proper investigation. It’s as disgusting as the other thread and in new ways. It made my friend feel sick. There’s so much to say.

A pattern to note is how many avoid the concerns my friend has. These examples don’t ask why my friend is concerned, even to disagree. These treat my friend’s concerns as political threats and inconveniences.

I’m not doing everything, and people can feel free to spot things they see. In fact I bet there’s lots of things that that other perspectives would see that mine doesn’t.

After the Bernie adoration the first bit interesting to me is this.
The “that” is voting for Biden, the “man” is Bernie.
A: “People who don’t do that too must not really care anything for what the man says or does.”
They deliberately avoided my friend’s concerns about Biden, and replaced them with a reference to things Bernie says and does. They’re shaming my friend and my friend is concerned about a couple of things including rape, and that is turned into an accusation that they must not really “Bern” with love.

Concerns about rape and Biden become “… lip service and temper tantrums.” And then they order my friend to “Do better”. Person A is making orders instead of respecting concerns.

And then A keeps lying. They continually accuse my friend and person C of not “trusting Biden”. When asked by B towards the end of Part 1 why A totally ignored the sexual assault question, they told them to ask Bernie about the issue.

That’s not telling someone why you’re totally ignoring their concerns. To me that’s changing the subject like a political coward.

Part 2

Person A continues the “you must not really trust/support Bernie” dance, and in the fifth post in on the left on part 2 I notice this.
A: “It isn’t working B. No matter how many pearls you clutch. I support Bernie.”

It’s not about Bernie Sanders, it’s about concerns about Joe Biden. More lies. More twisting of what’s actually happening. Person A will probably go on to tell people my friend, and others too probably, don’t trust Bernie, instead of correctly saying they’re concerned about Biden.

I am sickened by such political lies. It’s of a kind with “you’re voting for Trump” or “you’re supporting Trump”. No, they’re fucking not you liar.

In the first post on the right I see other features. Polerized thinking by Person A with respect to the authority figure.
“Them” and “him” is Bernie.
A: “Why would you have ever supported them then? If you never really trusted him.”
They can’t or won’t accept that someone can support a candidate on some things but not another. It’s all or nothing, either my friend has to support everything or they never supported anything evidence unnecessary.

All my friend is to Person A is a political tool to be mocked and lied about when their concerns about Biden and become inconvenient.
Towards the end of Part 2 my friend asks what Person A’s argument for Biden is and, wow.

A: “Um, you seem to be having a problem with facts. Bernie has made a very public endorsement. I trust Bernie. I will follow his lead on this.”
This is a person who can’t deal with the fact of my friend’s concerns about Biden and rape. So there’s some projection.

If Bernie Sanders’s endorsement of Joe Biden is a fact Person A should be able to cite the details of this fact and work with them. Instead A is seems to be displaying blind trust as bad as anyone on the USA political right/conservative spectrum that I’ve critisized before. And it’s causing behavior that’s at least useful in seeing how the problem is widespread so we can more easily target it.

Part 3

On the top left.
A: “Fine, don’t vote. But don’t kid yourself that you are a Bernie supporter. You don’t trust him. Fine.”
Aparently it’s impossible to add “…with a Biden endorsement.” To “You don’t trust him.” That would get closer to reality since my friend was concerned about Biden. But anything but complete unthinking support is unacceptable.

Farther down on the left.
A: You are just flat lying now. I never had a “pussy hat” and I never went to that march.”
Person A doesn’t seem to get the pussy hat reference, and accused my friend of lying instead of seeing the implicit accusation of false support for issues of concern for people with vaginas.
Or they see the reference and simply ignore it and accuse them of lying about them and the march to deal with the political threat. I can’t say which, and there could be other explanations, and it’s most useful to keep both possibilities in mind in such situations so you can let them show you.

There’s another interesting poster here too, Person F on the right.
“He” is Trump.
Person F:”I agree. Also soooo selfish. People will literally lose healthcare and die if he gets his chance to dismantle Obamacare.”

Selfishness is posturing such that you utterly avoid and neglect someone’s political concerns and replace them with your own concerns and shaming the person into voting your way.

Health care loss is the responsability of Trump and his supporters. If Persons A and F want political help the non-selfish thing is persuasion and finding mutually beneficial solutions, not shaming of concern for rape.

Person F:”If you claimed to want universal healthcare and now allow it to be ripped away did you really have principal? Or was it about winning.”

My friend is the principled one here because they won’t vote for someone they consider a rapist. Someone can dislike the principal but lying about it’s existance and portraying the opposite (Person F wants to win and doesn’t mention principles related to rape) is sickening dishonesty that shows me more evidence that my country is a broken mess reguardless of political party.

Person F:”They can write a million words but in the end the outcome is either x or y.”
Utter bullshit. The country could collapse from its collective ignorance, dishonesty, and incompetence. Sexual harassment and abuse can become a social focus and Trump and Biden can die from heart attacks while trying to out posture one another on the issue. The nation’s electors could be inundated with protestors pushing them to act independently from either party. I’m sure other people could come up with things.

Part 4

That’s all I’m commenting on for the post itself. I’ve included that last part. I discovered that the atheist/skeptic community was shit when it came to these issues back in 2011-2012, and now it’s becoming easier to see how the political right/left, liberal/conservative are closer than the rhetoric portrayed. It’s unpleasant but there’s nothing to do but confront the problem in every group.


  1. John Morales says

    A non-action is not an action.

    Facile and inapplicable.

    The action at hand is the choice of whether to vote or not to vote.

    (The only inaction would be to not give it any thought)

  2. vucodlak says

    I had a very long, drawn-out argument with someone on Patheos last week because I happened to mention that I believe Biden is a rapist. This was one small part of a much longer comment about how, while I am disgusted with what democracy has become in the US (and always has been, to some extent), that I would still be voting for Biden.

    But it isn’t good enough that I’m still voting for Biden. Apparently I also have to believe that he is an innocent victim of a sinister Russian conspiracy. If I refuse to fall in line with that, then I’m the enemy.

    In a follow-up comment, I added that I’d seen people using the accusation against Biden as an excuse to shit on rape survivors. For this, I was called a liar, despite providing links to examples. I was told the examples didn’t say what they said, and that I was putting ugly words in people’s mouths.

    The conclusion I’ve come to is that it doesn’t matter Biden has done. He’s the One for Blue Team now, so he’s blameless and perfect. Any criticism of his behavior is forbidden. He could shoot someone in the middle Fifth Avenue, and Blue Team would shriek “Trump is worse!” every time someone brought it up. They’d be right- even if Biden personally murdered someone, Trump would still be worse. That still wouldn’t make it okay that he murdered someone.

    I believe the reason for this is simply that most people can’t stand the thought that they might not be good people. The cognitive dissonance between “I’m a good person” and “I am throwing the full weight of my support behind a rapist” is too great, so one of those statements must be false. Since most people like to believe they’re basically good, and are militantly unwilling to examine that belief, they cannot challenge the assumption of their goodness.

    Therefore, they have to believe that Biden can’t possibly be a rapist, and anyone who points out that the evidence suggests otherwise is attacking the rape apologists personally. You’re saying that Biden supporters who’d rather shout down Biden’s victim and minimize sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape are bad people.

    I don’t have any illusions that I’m a good person. I didn’t like the man before I knew he was a rapist, and I actively despise him now, but I’m still going to vote for him for my own craven, selfish reasons. However, I won’t condemn anyone who can’t lower themselves to do so- those who I condemn are the people who throw Tara Reade under the bus to salve their own consciences. As far as I’m concerned, the “I know Biden is innocent because I’ll feel bad if he’s a rapist!” crowd have shown themselves to be shitty allies and patently untrustworthy human beings.

    “Person A” in your examples has completely exempted themselves from any responsibility by shifting it all onto Bernie. They’re saying that, even if Biden is a rapist, they trusted Bernie so it’s really Bernie’s fault, not Person A’s. “Person F” refuses to deal with the topic at all, changing the subject to avoid confronting their support for a rapist. Person F then responds to anyone who forces them to confront it as though personally attacked.

    Person A and Person F believe themselves to be good people, and they will go to almost any lengths to maintain this illusion. There are, unfortunately, an awful lot of A’s and F’s in the world, and they are capable of supporting or committing atrocities to preserve their own self-image.

  3. says

    I should mention that Person A is different from image to image. One person might be in there twice. I can check if it matters.

    I’m also disgusted with my country, and voting for Biden. It shouldn’t be a problem to say they’re both awful and one is less awful. All the bad stuff should be pointed out and shamed.

    Shaming people for discussing something that society does badly isn’t how to convince them that you’re better than the supposedly bad ones. Is sexual harassment and assault/rape off the table this election season now?

    No. I’d rather peck at them from the outside. This culture has a lack of in-group criticism and that contributes to people being unable to deal with bad characteristics in themselves and authorities. It’s why abuse of authority of many kinds keep happening. I’m not cooperating.

    I keep thinking that we have an excess of “dichotomous thinking” and the “either good or bad” is part of it. I’ve been part of the problem too. I’m still a part of the problem somewhere and my society needs to be able to show me where as I’m trying to get it to for others.

  4. brucegee1962 says

    A ferry hit a rock and began sinking. While the captain desperately put the engines at full speed to try to make it to shore, the crew handed out buckets to all the passengers and told them to bail for all they were worth.
    As one passenger was rushing from the bilge to the rail to dump out her bucket filled with water, she passed another passenger who was sitting on his bucket and watching all the activity going on around him with a detached air.
    “What’s wrong with you?!” she screamed at him. “Do you want the boat to sink?”
    “Well you certainly aren’t going to get me to bail by screaming at me,” said the man disdainfully. “Look, I have problems with your ‘not bailing is being in favor of sinking’ rhetoric. It’s a lie — If I wanted the boat to sink, I’d be using this bucket to scoop up water from the sea and dumping it into the bilge. The truth is, I’m simply not in either the sinking or the non-sinking camps.”
    “But — those are the only two options!” cried the woman.
    “Don’t be silly,” said the man. “There are always other options. A hurricane might blow up and push us in to shore. A flock of seagulls might pick us all up and carry us across the waves. A giant turtle might surface beneath the boat and swim with us to a desert island covered with coconuts. Why, all sorts of things might happen!”
    “But…why won’t you do it?” she whispered as the water rose up around their ankles.
    “That should be obvious. The water in that bilge is disgusting. There’s no way I could bail and keep my hands clean.” He looked over at the woman and sniffed. “Your hands look pretty disgusting too, you know.”
    And soon there was nothing left but floating wreckage on the broad expanse of ocean.

  5. brucegee1962 says

    We got W thanks to Nader voters. We got Trump thanks to Stein voters. If we get Trump round 2 and a fascist Supreme Court for the remainder of our lifetimes, I guess we will know exactly whom to thank.

  6. A Lurker from Mexico says

    Seems like a stupid waste of time. Some of these people appear to be under the impression that becoming a rape apologist is fine as long as you do it “for the greater good”. But there is no greater good, there is no lesser evil, there is no pathway where denying or minimizing Biden’s glaring flaws results in him winning. The only reason opinion leaders and bot farms are going into overdrive trying to bury this is that the logical replacement to Biden is Bernie Sanders. If Warren or Buttgieg or anyone else had gotten 2nd, Biden’s ass would be on the street already.

    Trying to protect this imbecile is, in the best case scenario, too hasty. He’s not even over the delegate threshold in the primary. There is still the option of having somebody else win the primary, having a contested convention, requesting the party leadership to appoint someone who’s not a rapist (is that too strict of a purity test? just curious).

    A consistent point among Biden bros is the idea that priority 1,2 and 3 is defeating Trump. But this is inconsistent with those priorities. Yelling at victims of sexual assault and their advocates, making your finest impression of Kavanaugh’s cheerleaders, demanding to fire reporters who dare do their job. Even if the rape apologists in that Facebook thread manage to score a debate victory on the short term, they are all but ensuring that not only Biden loses goodwill with people, but every democratic politician who stands up for him, and every random voter who defends him like this.

    Biden being the democratic candidate is not a done deal. He can be replaced with little to no downside, nobody actually gives a fuck about him personally, they defend him based on the false premise that he’s all they’ve got. I know that the main counter argument would be that it’s unprecedented, undemocratic or really really hard to replace him at this stage. I think it would be even harder to get him elected when your biggest obstacle is the man himself.

    Sometimes pragmatism boils down to picking the lesser of two hail marys.

  7. says

    What part is the waste of time?

    I want to do what I’m doing here but can imagine that this might not be a good use of time for everyone. Not everyone wants to develop skills in political conflict.

    Otherwise I can imagine some people wanting it to go away because of complications from Bernie supporters. I’m not a Democrat so I might not be as sensitive to the in-group conflicts there. The closest I get to a “purity test” is I’m refusing to withhold criticism and I’m going to be complaining about having to vote for a potential rapist.

  8. A Lurker from Mexico says

    Defending Biden is the waste of time, covering all the greatest hits of the Kavanaugh defenders even more so. Sorry if it came across that I think you are wasting your time by bringing it up, that’s not what I meant.

    What I meant was that trying to hide Biden’s massive downsides (and becoming a rape apologist in the process) as A and F do is an absolute waste of time. It’s counterproductive in that it’s going to drive people away from their candidate (and makes all democrats look bad by association). It damages and might end up stopping most of the current movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up, since it just makes it look like a partisan “I’ll look the other way when it’s my friends” type of deal. And at the end of the day it’s a wasted effort, no amount of smearing rape victims and gaslighting and threatening reporters is going to make that husk of a man electable.

  9. says

    Thank you. It was difficult to place the object of the waste of time. I may have missed something too.

    I’m concerned about the political effects of the behavior myself. I watched that culture cover up torture and smile and nod about the future. I’ve chosen an overtly critical posture towards political parties in general.

    I will vote for Biden and critisize him. And everyone else. I’ll talk about how there should be a transparent investigation because that’s what you are supposed to do when you care about a group and it has a problem.

  10. sonofrojblake says

    There is observable damage being done to many defenceless people by Trump that will get worse if he wins a second term. That damage would be mitigated, possibly undone, by a Biden victory. I don’t believe even the most anti – Biden loony would dispute these facts.

    To place one’s principles above the interests of those who will be damaged by a second term of Trump is the epitome of privilege.

  11. says

    know Trump is doing damage and would do more in a second term. So? What’s that got to do with shaming rape culture?

    You haven’t mentioned how choosing my principles are related to people getting hurt. Or even the specific principles. There’s a lot going on in this post and if I’m to respond to your implications you’re going to have to get more explicit.

  12. says

    I sure am glad that I am not an American, so I do not have to decide who to vote for. I might vote for the lesser evil, I might abstain in disgust because even without the rape accusation, Biden is so middle-of-the-road that whilst he might abstain from further damaging the country as Trump does, I seriously have trouble believing he will do squat to make it actually better. But he might, maybe.

    I agree with most of what you write, except the “A non-action is not an action.” There is no possibility of “non-action” for anyone who knows the vote takes place and has the ability to participate. Voting for Biden is an action. Voting for Trump is an action. Abstaining from voting for either is an action too.

  13. says

    If I’m not voting the action is whatever else I’m doing. I can agree that abstaining from voting is a choice if one usually votes (I do bite and am voting for Biden), but I can’t agree that abstaining is an action.

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