rape culture: saying “hey, maybe don’t rape people” leads to a flood of rape threats

Feminist confuses Faux News host by suggesting that we teach men not to rape. Of course, that host was Sean Hannity, who probably gets confused when he tries to figure out how the cream gets inside of a Twinkie.

His solution to rape is that women should be armed at all times. If that’s the best defense against rape, why is rape an “accepted job hazard” in the US military? That means that if you’re a woman and you join up, you’re basically told “Oh, bee tee dubs, you’re probably gonna get raped at some point. No suing!” That aside, this is what feminists are talking about when we talk about “rape culture”: that instead of telling women to constantly pack heat, or never drink in bars, or never walk after sunset except in packs of a dozen, or wear a burqa, or basically NEVER LEAVE THEIR HOUSE, we should instead be telling men “It’s not cool to rape women, regardless of the context”. The onus of rape shouldn’t be on what the victim was doing, or wearing, or drinking. It should be on the rapist.

If you are a man and you already know this, then congrats, you are a wonderful and enlightened person and “teach men not to rape” doesn’t apply to you. But you are still part of the problem if you refuse to accept that hundreds of thousands of men in this country alone don’t know those things, because we live in a rape culture that is not invested in teaching them. You are still part of the problem when you scoff at the phrase “rape culture” and pretend it’s a paranoid invention of hairy-legged man-hating feminists, instead of a thing that exists. You are still part of the problem when you pretend “teach men not to rape” translates to “all men are violent animals who would jump out of bushes and assault random female passers-by unless women smacked them with a rolled-up newspaper when they tried to do it”.

What “teach men not to rape” actually means is that we need to repeat, over and over and over again, until EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS WORLD ACTUALLY GETS IT, that skirt length does not determine the level of a woman’s culpability in her own assault. That having sex with a woman too drunk consent is in fact rape. That terms like “date rape” and “grey rape” and “acquaintance rape vs. stranger rape” are meaningless prevarications. That just because you didn’t knock a woman down and hold a knife to her throat, you could still be guilty of rape. It means a hundred different things, and none of those things is “all men would rape if they could get away with it”.

And I think most of the men making this accusation know it, on some level. Believe me, I get privilege. I’ve identified as white my entire life (recent revelations about my ancestry aside), and I’m familiar with the gut lurch that comes with being told that you are benefiting at someone else’s expense. You need to get over it and accept that people who belong to other genders or racial groups probably know what it’s like to be a member of that gender or racial group more than you do. You need to listen to their experiences and not dismiss them because they make you uncomfortable.

And the people scoffing that something so simple could never work: rape in Canada dropped 10% soon after that country began its “Don’t be that guy” ad campaign. Teaching men not to rape–fighting back against rape culture–does work. It’s the ONLY thing that’s been proven to work.

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shorter* jesse bering: “gimme an R-A-P-E! what’s that spell? RAPE, YAY!”

Raping old people is gross and weird, but it’s okay if they have dementia because they won’t remember it.

If you don’t want to wade through several pages of crazysauce — and more sympathetic I could not be — here’s the relevant quote:

The authors describe the case of a 33-year-old nursing-home assistant who’d been quietly molesting and raping his female charges for several years. Some of this man’s victims were rounding the epochal century mark and were suffering from dementia, thus his defense was that they were “not aware of what was happening.”

The abuse might have continued in silence, had not the shrewd daughter of a 98-year-old woman deduced foul play by noticing that her mom became uncharacteristically frightened whenever the elder-molesting aide came into the room. Ball also reviews forensic data revealing that, in the U.K., somewhere between 2 and 7 percent of all rape victims are over the age of 60.

Elder sexual abuse is reprehensible, of course; but from a bloodless moral philosophical perspective, it does raise intriguing questions about issues related to consent, trauma, and the impact of sex crimes on victims with different psychological and physical stakes. Is the rape of a 98-year-old Alzheimer’s patient—who, whether we like it or not, has only a limited awareness of what is happening, just as the perpetrator says—comparable to, say, the rape of a lucid, vulnerable child who would have to deal with the emotional scars of such sexual violence for the rest of his or her long life, or a teenager who might be impregnated?

Wait wait, I know the answer to this! YES. You’re welcome.

Also, uh, if she wasn’t aware what was happening, why did she cringe whenever her rapist came into her presence?

By this “logic”, it’s also okay to rape babies, coma patients, people you’ve drugged into unconsciousness, and people with that short-term memory disease like the guy in Memento. Let’s get rapin’!

*”Shorter” format stolen from Sadly, No!. Link via Pandagon, image via Natalie Dee.