Memes of the real “Rape Culture”

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  1. Katherine
    Posted May 21, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Wow, you really have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t know what you’ve been reading but the rape culture framework doesn’t dismiss the things that you are so angry about at all. It seeks to address the myth that males cannot be sexually assaulted by females and fully rejects the idea that men are “sexually ravenous” as that would imply that their biology is to blame for rape, and their actions are not down to choice. Rape is also not defined in law as something that a man does to a woman. There are other factual errors, but they are the ones that immediately stood out.

  2. Wah
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Hi Katherine,
    A few things stood out immediately about your post that made me realise that you have “no idea what you are talking about”.

    Firstly, there are many countries around that world that do still define rape as something that only a man can do to a woman. Take western/first-world England for example, where section 1 of the Sexual Offenses Act 2003 states:

    The offence is created by section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003:

    “ 1-(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
    (a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
    (b) B does not consent to the penetration, and
    (c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
    (2) Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.
    (3) Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.
    (4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

    Please explain to me how a women can penetrate with her penis, so I can understand how rape isn’t defined in law as something only a male can be guilty of.

    Furthermore, you probably haven’t been paying attention to the amendments made to the Indian sexual assault laws that came into effect only last month, but now rape, stalking and voyeurism are defined in law as things only men can do to women, where they were previously gender-neutral crimes. The kicker? These amendments were made due to intense pressure from feminist activists, demanding the re-gendering of sexual offenses as well as harsher penalties for those found guilty. And since feminism is so oppressed and powerless, their demands were of course met. Tell me again how feminism is ‘seeking to address the myth that males cannot be sexually assaulted by females and fully rejects the idea that men are “sexually ravenous”‘?,_2013

    Finally, if you could be so kind as to explain how forcing all males college students to attend ‘how not to rape’ classes and holding signs that read ‘don’t tell me what to do, teach men not to rape’ is feminism’s way of recognising female rapists and ‘rejecting the idea that men are ‘sexually ravenous’, it would be much appreciated.

    Seriously, though, the bit you said about gender-neutral rape laws is at best a half truth. I’m lucky enough to live in a country with them, but you’d be surprised at which countries don’t have them. The rest of your argument needs some work….

  3. Katherine
    Posted May 24, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    You weren’t being specific about countries. You were talking about rape culture in general. You said rape is defined in law and culture as something that a man does to a woman. This isn’t true, as there isn’t one universal law, and the statement is misleading. Some jurisdictions might define rape as only those that involve penetration with a penis, but many other jurisdictions don’t. People apply the rape culture framework even to countries where a penis is not a requirement for rape, and there is no massive push to change existing laws to make it that way, so this definition cannot be an element of rape culture. I wasn’t saying that all laws everywhere regarding rape are gender neutral, I was saying that your point has nothing to do with rape culture because it’s so vague that it’s meaningless.

    Again, with your second point, you have chosen laws in one country as an example. I don’t really know how either of your examples support your arguments on what you believe rape culture means. If you want to criticise the actions of some feminists, then maybe these arguments would make sense, but you’re not. You’re attacking the concept of rape culture, but it doesn’t seem like you’ve done any reading on what it actually means. That’s understandable though, there are very few resources that go into any real depth on the matter and maybe you’ve only stumbled on a few tumblr posts here and there.

    I told you already that people who ascribe to the rape culture framework reject the idea of males being “sexually ravenous” as it suggests that men are naturally that way, limiting personal responsibility. The college measures you refer to are seeking to balance the messages men receive from society that normalise sexual violence – because research has shown that many people (not just men) believe in a very narrow definition of rape and sexual assault, and believe that only situations in which an explicit refusal is given constitutes rape or sexual assault, which simply is not true. As well, the targeting of university men with campaigns such as those is because overwhelmingly the perpetrators are male (I can provide you with a study consisting of male and female students, and these are self-reports not statistics).

    I never said that feminists were recognising female rapists, although I do know many feminists who outright reject attempts to silence male victims of rape. What I actually said was that the rape culture framework itself does recognise that males can be victims. Feminism is not monolith – it’s specious to use the terms “rape culture” and “feminism” interchangeably (same issue with your India example – just because some feminist activists lobbied for that change does not mean that all feminists would, and that all feminists think that males cannot be assaulted by women).

    I’ve addressed the sexually ravenous thing already, and I have never heard any proponents of rape culture paint men this way – that is one of the rape myths that is strongly criticised. Male victims are not silenced in any way within the rape culture framework and it is suggested within the framework that they are silenced by wider society because they don’t fit the model of an “ideal” victim and because “weakness” in men is scorned. That’s not feminism’s fault. Women’s experiences are prioritised though, but I don’t think that it’s necessarily wrong, not when they are disproportionately affected by sexual violence.