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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This just in: opponents of Slut Walks identify with rapists. Shocking.

"I see cleavage!  Must rape!"
Holy cats. If you have a need to troll for misogynists, apparently there's no better way than to have a Slut Walk. Articles on the subject appeared in the Guardian and the Daily Mail yesterday, and Dawn Foster found these in the Mail's comment thread:
If women were a little, just a little, more interesting then men wouldn’t treat them as mere sex objects. But tell me this – If women are NOT sex objects, what exactly is their purpose? To Women, men are nothing than an alternative source of income and to men, women are nothing more than a source of relief so I think women should just accept this fact and get on with it. Also, as a minor point, those so called women in the picture are those that should not worry about being viewed as sex objects, because they most certainly are not. They would turn most men into using their hand for relief, rather than a sex object. – Adam, Sutton Coldfield – UK, 10/5/2011 14:31  
…the way some women dress encourages men to have inappropriate thoughts and, for the less principled and disciplined males, inappropriate behaviour often follows those thoughts. If women can’t accept this or don’t/won’t understand it, then they don’t know much about the male species and have no one but themselves to blame when it goes wrong for them. - Reubenene, Somewhere In The World, 10/5/2011 13:13  
The one holding the banner sayins ” SEX is something people do together…” must have read it in a book. She can’t possibly be speaking from experience. - Peter, France, 10/5/2011 12:05  
Judging from the photos you are all quite safe “ladies”. - Mike Roberts, Stevenage, Herts, 10/5/2011 12:30 
Yes, yes, I know people call it the "Daily Fail" for a reason. It's sensationalistic, lurid, and often misleading. There was never a celebrity drug problem the Daily Fail didn't like. But these comments, especially the first one, verge on sociopathic. I'm starting to think it's axiomatic that in any online discussion about male/female sexual relations, there will inevitably be at least a few men who not only effectively declare themselves to be misogynistic, but also insist that the same is the case for the entirety of the male "species." I like how Reubenene, while acknowledging that not all men are inspired to rape at the sight of a woman who is dressed in a certain way, attributes the reason for that to "principle and discipline." As though looking at a woman appreciatively and raping her are on some kind of continuum, and the only difference between an admirer and a rapist is that the admirer stops a bit earlier-- rather than attraction and attack being, you know, two rather fundamentally different things.

In response to this, Dawn says:
So we’ve learnt that two stubborn false preconceptions about rape exist: 1) If women don’t modify their behaviour, rape is inevitable, and always their fault. 2) Rape is about physical attractiveness, not power. I’m so bored of hearing people with no concept of what rape is, and how it occurs, argue that rape occurs when one person finds another attractive and the object of desire doesn’t reciprocate. This is patent bullshit – rape is about power, not sex. Inches of column space were spent pondering why the “Night Stalker” in London had raped elderly people, querying why he found them attractive, rather than looking at the fact that he was targeting the vulnerable.
I don't like the "power, not sex" explanation. Never have. It seems to me that there is already a multiplicity of reasons why rapists rape, and narrowing it down from two to one motivations is working in precisely the wrong direction. I think rape is "about" power and sex, along with a lot of other things, but the insistence that it's about power only is useful because it makes it easier to assign responsibility for a rape-- on the rapist only. Unlike a fist fight outside of a bar that erupts because an argument got too heated, a rape is one-sided in terms of moral responsibility. I don't think it's invalid to ask why a rapist might be sexually interested in his/her victim, but to make it all about sexual attraction is missing the point completely. For the purposes of assigning responsibility, a rape is a kind of attack-- period.

I do agree with Dawn, however, on this point:
I’m always amazed men aren’t more furious at the way the rape problem is framed. If women dress “provocatively” and are likely to be raped as a result that means you men must, if you see an attractive enough woman, feel the urge to rape. You are so unable to control yourselves, that essentially you are purely animal, you are a baser human than women. Do you honestly feel like this? At any point in your life, have you been walking home, and thought “Gosh, I’d really like to rape her”. Because that is what these kind of stories and comments are claiming. 
Exactly. Comparing women to meat being dangled in front of the cages of predators is the road to putting all of us-- well, all of us women-- in burqas. It's a sexual heckler's veto. We might as well just cover ourselves completely and call it a day, because men can't be expected to control themselves within sight of a women who is sufficiently uncovered (all existing evidence which takes place nightly in clubs and bars across the world to the contrary). It couldn't be at all possible that the urge to brand women as "sluts" if they dress a certain way and tell them to cover up if they don't want to get raped stems from the very same thinking (that "slutty" dressed women deserve to be raped, or at least it doesn't matter much if it happens) that causes rape in the first place. Nope, not at all.

I wonder how many rapes take place in nudist colonies.

5 comments:

  1. I agree that covering up isn't a way to stop rape, rape happened in the middle ages and in the colonial times when women never showed their bare ankles. There is nothing that can be said to make rape acceptable or seem like a less heinous crime. It's just a bunch of anti-feminist bullshit. No women deserves to be raped regardless of how she dresses or the way she acts. Sadly there are women that idealize bad female role models. The women on TV that use there sexuality to get attention from men. It's a media thing really, everywhere in this country women are sexualized. How many commercials in a day do you see a women being sexualized? How many reality TV show are about women bimbo's being exploited? When a whole generation of girls and boys are exposed to this, you get women with no self respect and men that see women as sexual objects.
    I believe in feminism, I believe as women we have the right to do what we chose with our lives, but that also means respecting the choices other women make. I can only imagine a world where women didn't exploit themselves. Sexuality is a natural thing and we shouldn't be ashamed of it, but it doesn't need to dominating everything in this country. You wonder if rape happens within nudist colonies, we'll I wonder how often rape would happen if there were no stripers or porn stars,if women weren't sexually exploited and men weren't raised to have presumptions of women as submissive, sex crazed creatures.

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  2. Women are treated as sex objects; men are treated as status objects.

    People--men and women--are capable of negotiating contemporary culture. If you're feeling victimized by reality TV, then chuck your TV.

    A traditional way that we deal with sexual anxiety is to heap scorn upon sex workers--as the anonymouse commenter does, above.

    Scapegoating the non-puritanical is not the answer.

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  3. I agree with that last bit, Gavin. Being in the sex trade does not mean a woman is being exploited, and I won't believe that the existence of sex workers encourages rape without some real evidence.

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  4. I've never felt the urge for a prostitute, as I don't think I'd enjoy sex very much if the feeling were not mutual. Thus, I really cannot get into the mindset of a rapist. It would be like being forced to masturbate or sumpin'.

    I'd be more surprised by Mr. Day's obvious misogyny if 1) he hadn't already shown it multiple times previously, and b) if I hadn't seen a series of websites comprised of (mostly?) young men who admit they're not Alpha males, or that they're "the good guys who never get laid", and intend to take it out on the women they feel have rejected their obviously courteous advances. I was astounded by the overt pantywaist mentality.

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  5. trog69 the mindset of a rapist is mostly from the taboo of it. Not only that, but sadism/masochism goes into it's own sub-branches for fetishes of their own.

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