Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Mundane Rape

Warning: this post could be a trigger for victims of sexual violence.

In the wake of Amelia's posts on rape and the disgusting spectacle of Johnny Vegas raping a woman onstage in a sorry display of dudely humor, I wanted to share how utterly mundane and common rape is.

A huge misconception is that only the psychologically deviant rape women. In that link, uncovered by Twisty over at I Blame the Patriarchy, the author claims that it is "staggeringly insensitive" to post fliers around a college campus that read "Man up, get consent". Why? Well, because the "ridiculous idea that rape is not caused by the sociopathic tendencies of individual men, but because men as a whole watch too many Michael Bay films".

The author clearly as never heard of the tabula rasa theory which states that our socialization and upbringing have much more to do with how we interact with the people and the world around us then genetics. Simply put, there is no "rape" gene. Scientists will never pin-point the exact sequence of DNA that makes some men rapists and others "nice guys" because it does not exist.

This fiction of the psychological illness of rapists, similar to the myth of pedophilia, causes the deadly culture of silence that aids and abets sexual assaults, rapes, and other forms of violence against women every day. The patriarchy and its underlying premise that men are not responsible for treating women like pieces of meat baptizes each and every one of us in Dude Culture as young as possible.

For as long as I can remember, I can say that I would rather be maimed and handicapped than ugly. My identity and success in life, because I am a woman, is directly correlated with my ability to titillate and treat myself like the plaything of men. My self worth is boosted every time a man looks me up and down. I wait behind good-looking men in the line of a local fast food joint and wish for them to notice me. My worth is directly tied to my sexuality. I am the Sex Class, I am a woman.

And I was sexually assaulted and raped repeatedly by my first serious boyfriend and the man I lost my virginity to.

Rape is not uncommon. By law, what that asshole did to me was not rape because I cannot prove it. However, I was repeatedly goaded into various sex acts while I feigned sickness or exhaustion to get out of seeing him. After he moved out of the suburbs, and into an adjacent dorm, I would make excuses to have study sessions with my very large and loud male English peer review partner. Seeing him was a nightmare. The sex was awful. I fooled myself by thinking that it was about time I got rid of my virginity anyway (I was 18) and that if I asked him later I would eventually get an orgasm out of the deal. However, if I did not want to kiss, I was groped and fingered through my clothes when he would visit my dorm after his classes. If all I wanted was a massage, I got my bare breasts pawed at for an hour while I pretended I was asleep so that he would go away. He would belittle my opinions, ignore my desires, and take advantage of me whenever he so wished. I was an accessory to his life, I was his masturbation aid. I was not a person.

When I finally broke up with him, he would invite himself along with my friends and hang all over me like I was his possession. I remained silent throughout it all because I thought it that was normal that I was taken advantage of and I did not wish to make a scene or make others uncomfortable. It was my fault that I did not enjoy the sex. I was frigid. I was wrong. I was a whore.

I have never shared this farce of love with anyone. Over two years later, I have not been in a serious relationship with a man due to serious trust issues. Until just recently, I thought that there was something wrong with me. Now I finally know that what he did to me, and what he took away, can never be replaced. It was sexual assault, and if the law was less sexist than it is, my entire relationship was months of rape. I will never see justice because there is no evidence other than my word and my pain.

My ex-boyfriend is not a sociopath. He is a normal college male who wanted some tits to paw at. When breaking up with him, he asked, "does that mean I do not get booby privileges anymore?" He probably has a girlfriend now, who lets him finger her after she feigns a headache to get him to go away. He is a rapist. I am a rape victim. He is a product of a sick society, and I am the victim. I am the loser, because I was born with a vagina and indoctrinated in the ideology that my worth as a person is indistinguishable from my ability to please men.

Women, because of socialization, are raped every day. Why? Because we as a society have placed women in the Sex Class, and by doing so, have furthered the disgusting agenda of rapists the world over. Rape only happens to women that fight it, that are raped by strangers, that have evidence and did not orgasm. I was raped. I never fought it, I knew my rapist and introduced him to my friends and family as my boyfriend. I have no proof other than my hole in my heart where my faith in humanity used to be. My body reminds me of the pain/pleasure that it suffered/enjoyed to this day.

Sociopaths do not rape women, men rape women. The only thing insulting about asking men to get consent, not the absence of resistance, is that we have to fucking ask in the first place. I know first hand how rape happens and what a rapist looks like.

I also know what a rape victim looks like. I see her in the mirror every day.

91 comments:

Kate said...

Jen, thank you so much for writing this post. It is so important, and you are so brave for posting it.

Anonymous said...

It would have been a much more effective post had you not immediately cited "Twisty Faster", a vile person who believes that if a penis enters a vagina, a rape has occurred, period.

Adding such a notation puts a cloud over the entire article. In order to be taken seriously, it'd be best to leave any reference to that disgusting misandrist from any future articles.

I wouldn't think this blog would wish to be associated with such a person.

Then again, reading the article, it's possible you share those views.

Jen said...

Hey Anon: please fuck off. This is my space, not yours. You don't have to read it. You don't have to comment. And you especially don't have to belittle the painful life experiences of victims of one of the vilest crimes out there because she linked to a blog you personally do not like.

In conclusion - fuck you.

Lindsay said...

To attack someone's personal story because of a link is low. Your comment would have been a much more effective comment if you hadn't written anything in the first place.

The only thing insulting about asking men to get consent, not the absence of resistance, is that we have to fucking ask in the first place.

So right and well put.

dirtyrottenfeminist said...

This is an amazing post. I don't think many people realize what rape actually is and how it happens. Your conclusions about women as the Sex Class are very true. If any woman thinks about her life, it is riddled with judgement based on her sexuality and how she uses it.

Thank you for this.
As a woman who was raped by an ex boyfriend, this really rings resonates with me.

Amelia said...

I am glad to have been able to give you a space to write things like this, Jen to a wider audience.

Your voice is important in this kind of discourse.

Sorry that Anon. decided to tune you out so quickly. Their loss.

OutcrazyOphelia said...

Your post struck a chord with me. As a woman, hell as a feminist blogger, I find a constant barrage of men--and other women, trying to define my experiences for me. Trying to tell me that they know better than I do what I feel, and what my experiences was and it's frustrating, demeaning, and saddening. Rape is one of the few crimes that people think it's okay to mitigate through the actions of the victim, all the advice centers on how not to get raped instead of how not to be a rapist and I think its a glaring sign of what's wrong with our culture and our understanding of rape.

Anonymous said...

"Hey Anon: please fuck off. This is my space, not yours. "

The internet is not "your space". It's everyone's space.

"And you especially don't have to belittle the painful life experiences of victims of one of the vilest crimes out there because she linked to a blog you personally do not like."

I didn't belittle anything. Just saying, if you want to avoid the "man hating" label, don't use a man hater as a reference, because Twisty Faster isn't credible in any way whatsoever.

"In conclusion - fuck you."

In conclusion, grow up. Learn to converse without resorting to swearing.

"Sorry that Anon. decided to tune you out so quickly. Their loss."

Not really, no. I quickly and easily tune out those who decide the best way to approach feminism is to despise all men, and/or claim we're all rapists.

Ryan Capuano said...

Jen, this post was absolutely harrowing and truthful and I give you all the credit in the world for posting it. Having been on a couple of sports teams when I was in high school, I found it incredible how so many of the male students would constantly gang up on and demean the female students, cheerleaders, etc., using the pretense of a basketball jersey as their excuse. And, of course, speaking to a lot of them four years later, they still hold those same beliefs. Some have even gone so far as to make jokes about rape, asking me if I wanted to go down to Harborside and rape some prostitutes. I honestly never know how to react to these comments, except for disgust. To think of how many of them might have actually committed sexual assault is really frightening.

Ryan Capuano said...

Hey Anon., did you ever think that maybe taking this article and making a vague generalization about it ("Then again, reading this article, it's possible you share those views.) might come off as insensitive and ignorant? Obviously you came to this blog to stir shit about feminism, because any way you look at it, your comments were belittling. At what point did she infer that all men are rapists?

Jen said...

Thank you all so much for your support. I really means more than the world to me to have the opportunity to share something that has weighed me down for years in a positive space.

Amelia said...

Yes, Jen, this is a positive space. You have many supporters, despite the numerous anonymous trolls.

JPR said...

You know, as much as it hurts me to say it, your rash generalization of all men as rapists ("dudely humor", "normal college male", "Sociopaths do not rape women, men rape women", etc) has made me lose all respect for this blog. While I understand that yes, you've been hurt, for which I'm deeply sorry, you have no right to put a label on all men as boorish pigs. One less understanding than I might conclude that all feminists hate all men, which I certainly hope isn't true. I just hope for your sake that you learn that there are in fact men of quality out there.

Anonymous said...

"Hey Anon., did you ever think that maybe taking this article and making a vague generalization about it ("Then again, reading this article, it's possible you share those views.) might come off as insensitive and ignorant?"

Did you ever think that filling an article with vague misandristic generalizations, and linking to a blog that is written by an extreme misandrist might come off as insensitive and ignorant?

"bviously you came to this blog to stir shit about feminism"

I suppose it's not stirring shit to go around and say all men are rapists? Or that rape is super common, happens all the time, and that the people committing it aren't crazy people, just regular guys?

Or you know, convincing people like you to fill themselves up with self-hate? Totally not stirring shit.

"At what point did she infer that all men are rapists?"

Well, for one, using "Twisty Faster" as a source pretty much says that. Twisty's ideology is that if you have a penis, you are a rapist, and if a penis enters a vagina, a rape has occurred. She's the one what believes the best thing to do is criminalize heterosexual sex, but only for men.

You can't exactly act like you aren't making such an inference when you use someone that disgusting as a source.

"Yes, Jen, this is a positive space. You have many supporters, despite the numerous anonymous trolls."

I don't find it too positive to wax bitter about something, be unable to move on from it, and come away from it not trusting anyone who is male based on the actions of one person. Women get very angry at men when we make generalizations about all women based on the actions of one or a few, so I don't figure it's healthy for a woman to do the same.

Kate said...

I'm sure Jen will address this more in depth, but I don't believe she is saying that all men ARE rapists, but that all men have the potential to commit rape. This isn't an outlandish statement. All women have the potential to rape. All people have the potential to murder. Jen is examining a culture that has deluded itself with a certain kind of rape, a stranger in a dark alley, that is just not true in most cases. Sex between two partners can be rape in cases without affirmative consent. Both parties have to say "yes."

Amelia said...

Wow, JPR. Good to know that one post by one blogger has made you lose all respect for this entire blog. Good to know...especially when the largest point of this particular post can be seen as a means of expressing a pain that you nor I know anything about. I am glad to have provided her with a space to do that, and I support her in it.

Your quips with the terms "dudely humor," "normal college male," and that "Sociopaths do not rape women, men rape women", I feel are trivial. Let me explain why (Jen, please correct me if I miss the mark):

"Dudely humor" in this context is a description of humor in which a woman was made to look ridiculous (and sexually assaulted!) in an attempt at comedy that was perpetrated by a man (AKA a dude). Perhaps it was not the best choice of words, but that is hardly a reason to lose respect for this entire blog (but that is your choice).

About "normal college male," it helps if you don't take quotes out of context. She said: "He is a normal college male who wanted some tits to paw at," with regard to the man who raped her. Her point here was to make it clear that her rape occurred not at the hands of a sociopath, but at the hands of a man who by every standard, was a normal person. She was trying, by telling her experience, to do away with the myth that women cannot be raped by "normal" men (AKA men they are friends with, they are married to, who seem "nice"), that only the deranged, crazy men rape women. It just isn't true, and she was trying to say that.

Your last quip ties into this. "Sociopaths do not rape women, men rape women." This is also true, Jonathan, because, as I stated above, women are raped every day by their husbands, their brothers, their friends. These people are not necessarily deranged. They are not necessarily sociopaths. They are, however, men. And men rape women.

I don't really know what your problem is. Hopefully you will realize the fallacy of your "losing respect for this blog" based on your own misunderstandings.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sure Jen will address this more in depth, but I don't believe she is saying that all men ARE rapists, but that all men have the potential to commit rape."

Both statements are disgusting and incorrect. Also huge generalizations. Don't get angry when people use generalizations if you're going to use and support ones such as this.

"This isn't an outlandish statement. All women have the potential to rape. All people have the potential to murder. "

Yes, it is an outlandish statement. Do you even understand what "potential" means? Also, I don't really hear too many feminists complaining about women that rape, or EVER saying "All women could be rapists", or ever going to college campuses and listing all the names of women and writing "Potential Rapists".

"Your quips with the terms "dudely humor," "normal college male," and that "Sociopaths do not rape women, men rape women", I feel are trivial."

When you call someone else's concerns "trivial", don't be shocked when they call yours "trivial".

Amelia said...

Anonymous, go ahead, nitpick over my use of one word. I never tried ripping anyone apart for one word.

I do not understand your motives for visiting this blog.

Lindsay said...

You know, as much as it hurts me to say it, your rash generalization of all men as rapists ("dudely humor", "normal college male", "Sociopaths do not rape women, men rape women", etc) has made me lose all respect for this blog.

I think Kate's right in acknowledging that the post's referring to attitudes prevalent in our culture as opposed to condemning all men in general.

I noticed the generalizations as well and thought specifically the line "men rape women" failed to acknowledge the instances of male rape.

Although the generalizations detract from the argument, Jen's experience as the source of the post and argument strengthens it and makes it compelling. I'd say I have problems with almost everything I read, but in large part, these are small qualms that don't negate the larger issue at hand, as is the case here.

OutcrazyOphelia said...

I'm sure the Feminism 101 blog has tackled this better than I could, but some of the responses here have really solidified my resolve to post about the problems of expressing thoughts that go against the grain of popular thought. I can't tell you the number of times that I've rehashed my experiences only to have someone come in and tell me that I was wrong. Jen, you're very brave to do this. As much as we try to create a safe environment for these discussions, the internet is public. One would think that those who didn't want to hear the message wouldn't read, but they do. And one would think that if responders felt the need to disagree, that they could do it respectfully, but they don't always. I've been mulling over it, and I haven't found a name for it yet.

JPR said...

Wow, I go to write a paper, come back, and all of a sudden people are taking my comments out of context and accusing me of doing the same.

Guess I'll have to go ahead and clear up some misunderstandings.

"Good to know that one post by one blogger has made you lose all respect for this entire blog"
No, not really. It's the generalization of men as rapists that indicates to me that at least one of you has lost the ability to reasonably distinguish between those who don't care whether they rape you or not, and those who do and avoid that situation. The fact that nobody before me called her out on this is even more disturbing.

"It helps if you don't take quotes out of context." I wasn't, really. Just abbreviating; I assumed (falsely, I guess) that people would know what I was referring to. And yes, the wording ("He is a normal college male who wanted some tits to paw at") still leads me to believe that she considers normal college males to "want some tits to paw at". Otherwise, he wouldn't be considered so normal.

"Your last quip ties into this. "Sociopaths do not rape women, men rape women." This is also true, Jonathan, because, as I stated above, women are raped every day by their husbands, their brothers, their friends. These people are not necessarily deranged. They are not necessarily sociopaths. They are, however, men. And men rape women."

No, they're not deranged or sociopaths, I agree. I never said they had to be. But it still looks like a pretty unfair generalization to say that men rape women. Women rape women, women rape men, men rape men. But the important caveat is that many men will never rape anyone, and many women will never rape anyone. I don't see that being made either in the original post or the apologies made afterward.

Some other clarifications:
In no way did I mean to disrespect Jen's experience. If it looked like I did, I'm really sorry. That was never my intention. And yes, I guess for purposes of discussion, I couldn't understand what happened.

Finally, fine, I won't stop reading. I admit it was a tad rash to go there right away. I remain disappointed, although after this consideration I can see where such generalizations would be made after you were hurt that much.

Ryan Capuano said...

Did you ever think that filling an article with vague misandristic generalizations, and linking to a blog that is written by an extreme misandrist might come off as insensitive and ignorant?

Did you dodge my question because you realize that you are wrong and are trying to turn it around on me?

To answer yours, I don't think she ever implied what you're saying she did.

All men DO have the potential to rape and anyone who says different is either in self-denial or has never been around a man for an extended period of time.

Since everyone else already argued the other points, I'll instead give an example:

Lollapalooza 2006. Red Hot Chili Peppers were playing. Female crowd surfers were readily prevalent. Most of them were wearing skirts. The amount of times I saw guys in the audience pulling up their skirts, sticking their hands up there, fingering them, groping their asses and breasts... this was happening every five minutes in many, many parts of the crowd.

How many cases of rape were reported at Woodstock '99? And Zach de la Rocha's famous, "I will be goddamned if a woman is going to be afraid at a Rage Against the Machine show," amidst witnessing of what I described above. Was every single guy who copped a feel and took advantage of those women and sexually assaulted them a sociopath? Or were the just overzealous men thinking with their dicks?

Jen said...

I have never said that all men are rapists. Thank you very much for putting words in my mouth and making a personal post about my pain and the pain of rape victims all about you.

If you do not like the fact that I do not trust college men, which I have every right to do considering my past, perhaps you should direct your anger at rapists, not their victims.

This series of comments absolutely confirms what I already knew about blaming the victims. You will take any opportunity to make everything about you, about your victimization (which does not exist) and question the experiences of victims.

You disgust me anonymous, jpr. Obviously I am right not only in hesitating to share my personal experiences, but also in trusting anyone.

Lindsay said...

And yes, the wording ("He is a normal college male who wanted some tits to paw at") still leads me to believe that she considers normal college males to "want some tits to paw at". Otherwise, he wouldn't be considered so normal.

I think the word "normal" is problematic in and of itself... I understand what you're saying and this is moreso a larger (rhetorical) question for everyone, but what are the characteristics of a normal college male? I personally try to avoid using it because of the implications, but I can see where both you and Jen are coming from.

JPR said...

Geez.

"Thank you very much for putting words in my mouth and making a personal post about my pain and the pain of rape victims all about you."

I didn't. That wasn't the goal. And if your apparent meaning wasn't the one that you were trying to put through, then I retract any allegations I made that suggest that the post indicted all men as rapists.

"This series of comments absolutely confirms what I already knew about blaming the victims. You will take any opportunity to make everything about you, about your victimization (which does not exist) and question the experiences of victims."

When did I blame you? I blame you for nothing other than the apparent blaming of all men as rapists; see my previous retraction of position. Now that you've clarified your position, I will surrender my previous one. It was merely a misunderstanding of your language on my part.

Lindsay-
"I think the word "normal" is problematic in and of itself..." I agree. What's normal, what's average, and what gets noticed and accounted for as the average are often three completely separate issues. Might be interesting blog or even survey fodder, if anyone here or elsewhere wants to put forth the time.

Amelia said...

I assumed (falsely, I guess) that people would know what I was referring to. And yes, the wording ("He is a normal college male who wanted some tits to paw at") still leads me to believe that she considers normal college males to "want some tits to paw at". Otherwise, he wouldn't be considered so normal.

Okay, because the definition of "normal" is so fluid and means so many things to different people, it is very possible that a man that "wanted some tits to paw at" could otherwise be considered "normal." Nowhere did she claim that all men want that. She was talking about a specific man who wanted that, a specific man who could otherwise be considered "normal."

I agree with Jen that the discussion about this post, despite its occasional miswording, has been dragged off track by people trying to turn her personal experience into their own victimization.

I am sorry if my first reaction was to support Jen. I have never met her. I never knew that part of her history until I read that post. And unlike victim-blamers and "but really, I'm the victim"-ers, I sympathize with her and wanted her to know that I was here for her.

If that bothers you so much, JPR, then you do not need to read this blog. I wouldn't hold you here against your will. I really, honestly, just feel like you are underplaying her victimization and replacing it with your own. Because you and I have not been victims of rape. But I have the feeling that if I had been raped, my wordings (and even my ideas about not being able to trust men, etc.) would be evident in my writings. But we should be glad that she has a forum on which to discuss this topic, and we should be able to help her try to re-examine her trust issues and other problems without putting her down, or disregarding her experience.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
OutcrazyOphelia said...

Ah, so she doesn't have the right to her own feelings. And, scene. You've come full circle, from turning a rape account into a harangue about how unfair it is that women suspect men of being rapists to "You don't have the right to feel this way." So, why are you here again? Furthermore, if you're so concerned over women having trust issues with men, might I suggest you speak to the men responsible for perpetuating that fear, and not the women who have it.

Jen said...

Oh Anonymous, you wax so poetically. Let the poor rape victim pay you the world's tiniest violin while you sob about how my mean post makes you feel like women are out to get you.

Does your hypocrisy hurt?

Ryan Capuano said...

Oh? Do you have the potential to rape? Think about raping women much? I really do hate the effect some forms of feminism have on men. Congratulations on learning to hate yourself, and feel the need to apologize for your gender, even though you've nothing to do with the actions of the members of it.

Once again, I've called you on your bullshit and you're trying to throw it back at me. Of course I have the potential to rape. So do you and every other male. Do I think about it? No. Of course not. Have I learned to hate myself? Absolutely not. I don't understand how feeling sorry for a rape victim and detesting the actions of certain members of my gender is me apologizing on their behalf. At what point did I say, "I'm sorry on behalf of all men for this one's actions?" So much for not making vague generalizations to bolster your argument, huh?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lindsay said...

Again, she doesn't have the right to feel that all men are rapists, or might be, anymore than a man cheated on would have the right to assume all women are unfaithful whores.

People have the right to feel however they want about whatever they want and for you to say otherwise, in an attempt to discredit their own experiences, is offensive.

The moment you say "you don't have the right to feel" or even "you don't have the right" is the moment I stop paying attention to what you're saying. It does nothing for your argument to deny individual experience.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Lol.

How sad of you. Are you that afraid of dissent? You have to delete anyone that calls you on your bullshit?

What a joke. I was right in having no respect for this blog.

Perhaps I'll read it again someday, when you stop being hypocritical, and stop making gross generalizations about men.

In other words, probably never.

Congratulations, though. You've succeeded in taking (yet another) man and showing him exactly how little feminists think of men, and ensuring that I won't give a damn about any of your issues.

Ah, well. When you go out of your way to alienate an entire gender and accuse it's members of being criminals, what can you really expect?

Disgusting.

Ryan Capuano said...

Anonymous, you must be seeing something I don't. Please provide even a shred of evidence to back up your assertion of her making generalizations. Nothing else. No posturing, no patronizing. Just a specific example.

Lyndsay said...

Wow. Good for you for getting this message out. I can only hope all the blogs addressing this issue and speaking out will make a difference, at least make people see they are not alone.

Lindsay said...

Are you that afraid of dissent? You have to delete anyone that calls you on your bullshit?


If that was the case, we'd have started deleting your comments from the beginning... but it's not. Dissent is fine, if not encouraged, as long as it's respectful. Dissent that leads to dialogue is productive... dissent that demeans people and the conversation isn't.

Amelia said...

There are only two people on this blog with admin. privileges, one of them being me. That means that only two people can delete other people's comments, and I did not delete Anonymous's comment.

I do, however keep e-mail records of every comment that is written on any post on this blog. If anyone is so "disgusted" by the fact that two comments were deleted, please let me know. Because your dissent is still being heard. It was even argued. But if it is demeaning (which a lot of it has been - turning Jen's victimization into the victimization of men) it will not be tolerated. I do not know exactly which comments were deleted or for what reason.

But the fact that one of those comments had been up for nearly a day proves to me that it seems that some people are actively working to undermine the feminists of this blog.

I say we stop this discussion until all parties agree to be civil, especially the Anons. whose only purpose seems to be to prove the falsity that every feminist on the face of the planet hates men...which is so unbelievably wrong.

So, take a step back, and if you can approach this discussion in a calm, rational manner, please continue. But there is no need to be rude. I am sick of it.

And anyone who claims to know so much about feminism (and tries to discredit the feminists of this blog) because of reading one blog post is not going to provide helpful discussion.

Kate said...

As the other blogger with admin privileges, I also wanted to say that I did not delete those comments. Maybe they got deleted by blogger on accident, or something. But, honestly, I did not delete those comments.

I agree with Amelia, however, and claim the right to delete comments. We are not afraid of dissent. Unfriendly anon comments post 20 plus times a day on this blog, and comments are only deleted when they are directly insulting to the posters.

Anonymous said...

I've decided I have one last thing to say before I abandon this place.

"whose only purpose seems to be to prove the falsity that every feminist on the face of the planet hates men...which is so unbelievably wrong."

Generalizing all men as potential/future criminals and rapists is incredibly sexist, and implies a strong lack of trust in men, if not an outright hate.

"But, honestly, I did not delete those comments."

Well, someone did. And it said "The blog administrator".

My point is, this place is rife with hypocrisy.

Again, if a man was cheated on, or wronged by a woman in some way, would you agree and say it was justified of him to no longer trust any women, and generalize them all as potential cheaters/etcetera? Would you say that it was the responsibilty of all women to talk to women that do that sort of thing in order to build his trust back?

Or would you say he was a misogynist, making sexist generalizations about women, and that it's wrong of him to make such generalizations?

Because what you're basically saying here is that my opinions can be called wrong, hers cannot, and that it's the responsibility of men who are blameless in this, to restore her trust in our gender.

That making sexist generalizations about men as a whole is justified based on the actions of one. To not trust 3.25 billion people, and classify us all as potential rapists is sexist, plain and simple.

You can't allow one form of sexism, while simultaneously saying sexism is wrong.

As for ryan, I can't take you seriously, I'm sorry. You've been emasculated to the point that you appear to be near the level of apologizing for the fact that you're male, which is why you're accepted here.

They have you shouldering the blame and responsibility for things you did not do, and apologizing for them.

It's not your responsibility or job to apologize for the actions of others, on their behalf.

Amelia said...

Actually, Anon, obviously something went wrong, because neither of the Admins deleted those comments.

How is saying that all people have the potential to rape/become criminals a sense of hate?

Or would you say he was a misogynist, making sexist generalizations about women, and that it's wrong of him to make such generalizations?

Because what you're basically saying here is that my opinions can be called wrong, hers cannot, and that it's the responsibility of men who are blameless in this, to restore her trust in our gender.


You're assuming that you know how all the feminists here would respond to that, and that is wrong, because you don't know us. How can you know what our response would be? Your argument fails because of that point.

As for ryan, I can't take you seriously, I'm sorry. You've been emasculated to the point that you appear to be near the level of apologizing for the fact that you're male, which is why you're accepted here.

For something who makes vague statements about sexism being wrong, you have a funny way of promoting it. Saying you can't take Ryan seriously because he has been "emasculated" promotes the sexist idea that to be a "true man" you must be macho and the very opposite of "feminine." Good for you in promoting that.

And good for you, telling Ryan why he's accepted here. You have no idea why he's accepted here. Good work putting words in the mouths of his friends/co-bloggers.

And Anon, I hope you read this. Because here is the biggest difference between the two of us: You see a problem (with my blog) and you walk away.

I see a problem, and I try to solve it. If you really have such an issue with this blog, wouldn't you be making a bigger statement by staying around and trying to be a decent commenter who tries to address the issue?

Giving up is never the solution. Why do you think we continue blogging, even when we get all these nasty comments from people who do not know us, and who do not seem to know much about feminism, who say we hate men and that we are sexist?

Anonymous said...

"How is saying that all people have the potential to rape/become criminals a sense of hate? "

"Men rape women". Specifically calling men out. All men do NOT have the potential to become rapists. I don't. Plenty of men I know do not. In fact, the majority of men do not.

"You're assuming that you know how all the feminists here would respond to that, and that is wrong, because you don't know us. How can you know what our response would be? Your argument fails because of that point."

I asked which would be done, no one has stood up and responded.

For the most part, especially from experiences I've had, I can tell feminists would largely tell said person they were being sexist.

"Saying you can't take Ryan seriously because he has been "emasculated" promotes the sexist idea that to be a "true man" you must be macho and the very opposite of "feminine." Good for you in promoting that. "

I don't recall saying anything about being "macho". I'm saying he's emasculated because he's basically apologetic for his own gender, and seems somewhat remorseful that he's male in the first place.

And yes, it sort of is the point of being masculine, to not be feminine. I don't see how it's sexist to expect a male to be male, and not female.

He simply seems to try to separate himself from everything that makes one male, as if he regrets being one. It's sad, and full of self-hate.

"And good for you, telling Ryan why he's accepted here. You have no idea why he's accepted here. Good work putting words in the mouths of his friends/co-bloggers."

Feminists most certainly wouldn't accept a man that was actually proud of being male. It tends to be that only women are allowed to be proud of being female, men are simply supposed to apologize for being male, and slink into the background and become less important than you or your concerns.

"And Anon, I hope you read this. Because here is the biggest difference between the two of us: You see a problem (with my blog) and you walk away."

I did. I decided to respond to it, I was somewhat curious as to what the nature of any replies would be.

The only reason I'm even still here is the enjoyment I get from what's left of this debate. Any future topics will not see anything from me, or any attention paid to them BY me.

"I see a problem, and I try to solve it. If you really have such an issue with this blog, wouldn't you be making a bigger statement by staying around and trying to be a decent commenter who tries to address the issue?"

I think we've already established that you're set in your ways and won't ever consider changing your views, and I'm certainly not going to kowtow and toe the line here, and apologize for being male, and slink into the shadows and only say what you want me to.

"who say we hate men and that we are sexist?"

Again, acting as though all of us are going to be rapists is sexist and bordering on outright hatred of males.

Again, what would the reaction be if I were to make such a gross generalization about women?

"Giving up is never the solution."

One has to pick one's battles. Pointless to fight a losing one.

Amelia said...

Hee. Anonymous, you just made me laugh. It's been a while since I've laughed about anything on this blog. So thanks?

I have nothing left to say to you, as you seem set in your ways, and you are constantly telling us (real life!) feminists what we think and feel. Which is wrong. Good bye.

Anonymous said...

"I have nothing left to say to you, as you seem set in your ways, and you are constantly telling us (real life!) feminists what we think and feel. Which is wrong. Good bye."

Again, dodged all questions, and resorted to hypocrisy.

It's okay for you to tell us what we feel, and talk about our experiences (as less important) as though you're male, but the second we do the same, oh no, that's wrong.

Also, saying 'set in your ways' is funny, coming from you. Really is.

Thanks for the chuckle.

I suppose I'll go back to potentially raping women, and being sexist now, or whatever it is you generalize men to be.

I didn't really expect any honest responses. When backed into a corner and made to appear wrong, feminists seem to resort to namecalling, or dodging. So I don't much mind that you didn't actually acknowledge anything. Par for the course. Demand acknowledgement of your issues and concerns, laugh off those of anyone else.

Enjoy your choir, and the preaching thereto.

Just remember in the future, you have no right to be frustrated with men for not placing your concerns higher than our own, let alone ignoring your concerns entirely. You've only yourselves to blame. (Based entirely on things you've said here, it's obviously not our fault we no longer trust you or your motives.)

Anonymous said...

Oops. Forgot to address this:

"Giving up is never the solution. Why do you think we continue blogging..."

Blogging won't change anything. As made obvious here, you blog in order to get a bunch of people that agree with you, to continue agreeing with you.

It's not going to sway anyone.

Jen said...

I deleted the posts, because they got particularly hateful and were so unbelievably off topic that they were stifling any attempt for reasonable and relevant debate.

I'm not here, Anon, to debate the masculinity of our male contributor. I'm also not here to repeatedly you over and over and over again that not once have I ever claimed to hate men. You continue to debate the factual statement that "men rape women". Yes they do. A man raped me. A man raped women identified as rape victims in the news. If I was to put all the rapists together, and all of their victims, I would find that the rapists are overwhelmingly men and the rape victims are overwhelmingly female. This is a factual statement. If you do not like reality, I suggest that you change it by telling men to stop raping women. I do, and apparently that makes me a hell of a lot more productive than the poor disenfranchised man sitting in the corner whining about how the mean mean feminists told him that it is the truth that men rape women. Not all men, which I never claimed. Not you, which I never claimed.

Your victim complex is suffocating a post that I spend a lot of time on in the hope that it would generate thoughtful commentary. I restrained myself from deleting all of your posts because I thought it was instrumentally important that the blogosphere see the hate and vitriol rape victims have to face from poor victimized men who are angry that the feminist movement doesn't rub their feet and fetch them a soda.

OutcrazyOphelia said...

"And yes, it sort of is the point of being masculine, to not be feminine. I don't see how it's sexist to expect a male to be male, and not female."

Because designations based on sexual organs is the same as gender construction. How exactly does one behave as a male? Are there actual rules or just the ones enforced through cultural hegemony?

Anonymous said...
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(The Korean) Andrew said...

Anon, I don't think you hate women.

I think you just hate.

You are not being productive, and you are not here to prove any point anymore, (if ever). All you are doing now is posting to get attention.

Anonymous said...
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Amelia said...

hehehe.

OutcrazyOphelia said...

What does genetics have to do with so called acceptable male behavior? Genetics aren't what defines gender norms--people do that.

dirtyrottenfeminist said...

Kate, Jen, and Amelia--

Thank you for this most and these comments. I right now am also locked in debate over at my blog with a troll who is saying much of the same (in fact, very well may be the same person) and I have been deleting his comments simply because I don't want give him any more power than he thinks he has.

Anyway, there is no arguing with such people anyway, because no matter what you say, they will twist it and just keep chanting the same war cry over and over: "I'm right, you're wrong, I'm right, you're wrong."

It really is a tactic to try and silence women speaking out against sexism.

I support you, ladies, and love what you are doing.

Dana Seilhan said...

Isn't it interesting that the fussy little baby boys posting here to protest this post aren't complaining about the fact women are raped, or about the fact they have to share a Y chromosome with the population which most often produces rapists, but instead are outraged that any woman has the temerity to point out the latter?

Hmmm.

Logically, I would think that if the tables were turned and women committed something like 90 percent of reported rapes, and if I were to run into a men's blog complaining of this fact? Instead of flaming the men's blog, I think I would keep their complaints in mind for the next time I ran into a women's site making fun of male rape survivors or of rape generally, and then flame THEM.

Somehow I sincerely doubt these infants with typing skills have NEVER, EVER encountered a pro-rape website, or NEVER, EVER encountered a man offline who told rape jokes or other sexist jokes. Do you suppose these so-called "men" commenting here have EVER spoken up in behalf of women when either scenario has occurred? Doubt it.

Why? Because feminists are being blamed, right here in this ol' blog, for the fact that men rape women.

I can't explain it any other way. It makes sense in no other context. What I mean to say is I have no bloody idea what these men are complaining about, if they aren't in their own roundabout way exercising a rather novel method of blaming female rape survivors for their own rapes.

Because otherwise, why is it more important that feminists complain about rape than about the fact that men rape? Why is it more important that a woman expresses so-called "hate" for men by writing in a blog (which is horseshit, I've read Twisty's blog and she expresses no such thing), but not so important that men express hatred for women by violating their bodies?

If you hate the fact that men rape, guys, the logical response is to go ferret out pro-rape attitudes and shoot them down wherever you find them. The ANSWER is to stand up against rape and pro-rape attitudes and to utterly destroy them wherever you can. Want us to trust you? Earn it.

Otherwise, I'll add my voice to the chorus of shut-the-fuck-ups. Because you have nothing useful, educational, or uplifting to add here. Actually, from where I'm sitting, you're just trying to get them damn bitches to pay the attention to you that you think you are owed from the female gender. The idea that you might instead, I dunno, start your own goddamn blog to express all those Very Important Thoughts that need expressing completely. escapes. you. Ain't that something.

Oh, and you'll notice I'm not anonymous. Also that I am probably the only person on Earth with this name. And you're reading it, guys, because unlike some of you I have nothing to be ashamed of in what I have expressed here. Guess there's something to having ovaries after all.

Anonymous said...
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la mestiza said...

thank you for posting this, it really stuck a chord with me. don't let the fact that a few dudes can't handle honesty get you down.

Amelia said...

Hee. Seems like Anon ^ conveniently missed the Name/URL option, that allows you to type in a name, without having an account.

Just had to mention that.

Ryan Capuano said...

And I find it funny that Anon is complaining that we're dodging his questions when he still hasn't even acknowledged mine. So again I ask, hoping for an actual answer with no dodging: "Please provide even a shred of evidence to back up your assertion of her making generalizations. Nothing else. No posturing, no patronizing. Just a specific example."

If you can't answer one little question when it seems you have the answer to everything, how are we going to be able to take you seriously?

Stephanie said...

Previous anon, please stop hurting the evolutionary biologist in me by turning to some vague notion of "other species" (which, you never say) to "prove" that your conception of human sexual roles are "natural." (We're just going to skip the whole is/should fallacy.)

1)There are species where males rear, and even carry the young (seahorsies!). Different species have evolved different responses to the difference in energy "investment" by males and females in their offspring, some physical, some behavioral.

2) Our nearest primate relatives demonstrate different sexual-social interactions (inter and intrasexual cooperation, methods of foraging and rearing of young all vary wildly between, say, common chimps and bonobos). There are also variations in "cultural learning" across, for example, orangutan groups in different areas (tool use!).

3) Basic ethnographic analysis of modern human behavior suggests that the conception of appropriate male and female dress, behavior, level of social involvement, and level of involvement in child rearing varies wildly cross culturally.

Genetics is only one part of the tune. There is probably a set of genetic predisposing factors (anthropocentric cause-effect reasoning, something to do with in group identification, hierarchalism maybe?, etcetera) that is responsible for the human penchant for spiritual and religious thinking. But the actual form that religiosity takes varies from group to group thanks to *mimetic* inheritance. Humans are genetically predisposed to sociability, which means that they are influenced by mimetic factors in their social environment.

In conclusion: please leave my discipline out of this mess.

Anonymous said...
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Ryan Capuano said...

You didn't really do a good job of explaining yourself. I'm still confused on your point.

Jen said...

Ryan - his point is that he is utterly distressed that our feminist movement doesn't make room for his poor abused man ego.

Excuse me while I grieve for every single man who was hurt by feminism.

...

Well, that did not take long.

Stephanieuu said...

Well, anon, you managed to read, or at least copy-paste, the first couple sentences and the last one. Want to try for the middle, or are you having too much fun playing dolly with your straw man?

Anonymous said...

Someone with a sociopathic personality can easily rape, and male sexuality is inherently sociopathic.So based on that assessment all men are capable of rape.
Below is a list of the major personality traits used by psychiatrists to diagnose sociopathy.You can see the strong correlation between male sexuality and the profile of a sociopath.

1.GLIB AND SUPERFICIAL CHARM
On a date the male is smooth,charming,engaging and slick he will tell the woman anything she wants to hear if it means he can get her pussy.

2.GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH AND SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT
He feels entitled for sex even if he’s only known her for an hour,after all he paid for her dinner and gave her that little 99 cent rose. He told her that she is sooooo HAWT! He showed her that picture of his cute little puppy and talked about how much he loves his mother,and how he coaches little league because he just loves kids! He’s thinking why won’t she put out for me? She isn’t buying my game!Come on bitch let me shove my cock up your cunt I didnt do all that shit for nothing!

3.NEED FOR STIMULATION or PRONENESS TO BOREDOM
He has intense cravings for sex,he thinks about it constantly and inappropriatly sexualizes every interaction in his life. A woman just walking down the street wearing a low cut skirt…. (ohhhh I want to fuck that!) A woman eating a banana…(ohh baby suck that cock!). He gets bored rapidly and needs increasingly more stimulation to satisfy him. First its plain vanilla sex and BJ’s then he wants to cum on her face,now he wants anal,then he wants her to suck his dick after its been in her asshole,then he wants a threesome,then he wants to make a porno movie with her,then he gets bored with her and needs new pussy he wants to fuck a blonde now then a redhead then an asian woman it just goes on and on and on……

4.PATHOLOGICAL LYING
All men have lied to get sex.You know all that lovey dovey bullshit….I love you! You are the one I want to spend the rest of my life with! They will lie about thier childhood,education,income,age,marital status,legal problems and history of drug and alcohol abuse, whatever it takes to get sex.

5.CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS
They con women emotionally with guilt trips,false promises,even with intimidation and threats of violence. They frequently use alcohol and drugs to inebriate and rape women.

6.LACK OF REMORSE,SHAME OR GUILT
The male sociopathic sexuality is completety devoid of any emotional empathy,its all a power trip to him. He will lie,coerce,take advantage of,humilate,force,intoxicate and prostitute women for his sexual needs.He can watch hours of vicious pornography showing drugged up teenage girls getting sodomized and ejaculated on by groups of men and gleefully masturbate to orgasm with out a second thought like the true sexual sociopath he is.

7.SHALLOW AFFECT -When a male views porn he just sees body parts tits,asses and cunts,due to his sociopathic sexuality he is unable to see the women as human beings. When a woman views porn she is repulsed at the sight of the emotionless,degrading and exploitative sex. Porn is made for people with sociopathic sexualities (MEN).

8.CALLOUSNESS and LACK OF EMPATHY –(a lack of feelings toward women in general)
Men will brag with other males about how many woman they have used sexually “played” “fucked and chucked” etc. and who was able to get women to do the most degrading sex acts.
“Dude! I got her to let me fuck her in the ass last night! That girl is such a stupid bitch!”
“Oh yeah I got you beat! I fucked my bitches ass last night and I made her suck her ass juice off my cock and busted a nut all over the filthy sluts face!”
“WHHHHOOOOOOAAAAAA DUDE! YOU THE MAN!!! HIGH FIVE!!

9.PARASITIC LIFESTYLE
Mens interest in woman is primarily sexual if it wasn’t for sex,men wouldn’t associate with women.Men hate that they need women sexually and they project that hate and sexual frustration onto women.Refering to them as sluts,whores,bitches,ho’s,cunts and other sexually demeaning terminology to scapegoat women for thier pathetic male sexual needs.When in reality it is the male not female sexuality that is cheap,vulgar,and promiscious.

10.Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Mens greatest weakness is thier lust for sex,men think with thier dicks and a hard penis has no conscious.Statistically 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out 6 boys are raped before the age of 18
due to the sociopathic nature of male sexuality.Millions of men are addicted to pornography. Porn is a multi billion dollar industry and its not the softcore playboy type of porn either, its mostly the brutal vicious hardcore porn that men are consuming.

ALL WOMEN SHOULD HAVE A HEALTHY FEAR AND DISTRUST OF MEN! IF MEN ARE OFFENDED BY THAT THEY CAN GO TO HELL!

WRITTEN BY SHAKES

Anonymous said...
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Amelia said...

Everyone: Stop giving Anon reason to comment here. He will merely twist everything you say. Do not respond to him. We will have to try to move this discussion elsewhere where it can be more productive.

But please, just ignore him. Arguing with someone like him will accomplish nothing.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Kate said...

Anon, personal attacks on the writers of this blog are not tolerated.

Anonymous said...
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Amelia said...

Kate, don't delete his comments. Just leave them here. Ignore him and let him go on hating feminism and what we do.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anon2 said...

Jen, this was clearly a traumatic experience that no one should have to go through. I am nauseated by the way he treated you, but calling the guy a rapist just alienates reasonable people who want behavior like this to end. Being goaded into having sex with someone is not rape. Bad, inconsiderate sex is not rape. Having your desires ignored is not rape. And the fact that you cannot "prove it" has nothing to do with whether it was rape.

Amelia said...

I did not read anywhere that her boyfriend asked her if she wanted to participate in these sexual acts. Without him asking and knowing for sure, I am inclined to believe that it was sexual assault/rape.

Period.

Anon2, I do not understand what you mean by "calling the guy a rapist just alienates reasonable people who want behavior like this to end."

I hate the idea that survivors speaking out somehow alienates other people. What? The person who assaulted her? She didn't even use his name.

Anonymous said...
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Amelia said...
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Amelia said...

Attitudes like yours, Anonymous, are the kinds that make American society problematic for rape survivors, and it makes me sad.

Please read my post, where I discuss my beliefs about consent.

Here.

Cara said...

Jen, thank you for this post. I would have turned off comments a long time ago, and have recently experienced something very similar myself. I'm trying to suppress my blinding rage so that I don't further provoke the troll. Stay strong.

Anonymous said...
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Amelia said...

Don't tell me what "we feminists" did. I think I would know better than you, as I identify as a feminist.

But your problem is (correct me if my perception is off) that you honestly believe that rape is so simple to understand. Do you honestly believe that the only people who are raped are the ones who say "No! NO!!!!" and are ignored?

It doesn't work like that. I mean, it would be easier that way, giving all the responsibility to the women /men who are being raped, to say, "Well, it's all your fault if you don't say 'no.'" But if you read my post you would know that that is not always possible.

And if the sexual initiator does not actively seek consent by asking, it is absolutely wrong to assume that it was granted...because that's what you'd be doing - assuming. You can't be positive you're not raping someone if you don't ask them if they want to have sex.

Consent cannot be assumed. It has to be granted.

Jen said...

To all anons:

Consent is not the absence of resistance. It is the presence of approval.

jmoody said...

Thanks Jen for posting this. You're very brave. I'm sorry that you have to deal with these rape-apologists.

JLP said...

Jen, The more I read stories like this, the more I realize how common my experience was. After 16 years I am unable to speak about what happened to me publicly. Bless you for having the courage to do what many of us can not.

abby said...

i just wanted to weigh in thanking jen for the post and for hanging in through the comments. sharing something like this is hard enough in a space totally insulated from anon-type comments, and i admire you greatly for keeping your cool through all of this. while reading anon, et al, made my blood boil, reading your post and level-headed responses made me inspired and supported. sincerely - thank you.

Lindsay said...

No means no for a reason. Anything except no means nothing at all.

How about this instead:

Yes means yes for a reason. Anything except yes means nothing happens at all.

Alexa said...

Yes means yes for a reason. Anything except yes means nothing happens at all.

Absolutely excellent retort.

And Jen, this was a powerful piece. I've never been in your shoes, but I know women and girls who have, and I know it took a great amount of courage to write it. But this kind of thing needs to be written about to bring it to the collective attention. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

Anonymous said...
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Lindsay said...

"No means no" doesn't seem to work for some people, so how about "yes means yes"? We're going to keep insisting on consent until everyone understands and consent is given in every single sexual act. No matter what.

Sally Turtle said...

I was going to try to contribute something meaningful to this discussion, but after reading all the comments I'm just too exhausted. All I'll say is thank you, Jen, for posting your experience. And thank you for defending it even in the face of such obvious ignorance and hatred.

Now I know why I was told I was brave for sharing my experiences. You're a lot braver than I am.

Anonymous said...
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