Not Rape – Not a Difficult Concept

Posted by Irresponsibility

When I see the headline: “Anti-rape resources for men” I assume it is an article (however superflous) teaching men to how avoid being raped. Alas, in making that assumption I fall afoul of the truism “assume makes an ass out of ‘u’ and ‘me'” because this piece in fact wishes to teach men how to not rape.

Naively, I always figured that not raping is a relatively straightforward concept. Like not killing, or not stealing cars, or not beating your kid. You know, normal, human-decency stuff. It seems I’m wrong. Apparently not raping is an elusive concept to the cock-sporting half of the world’s population, the socio-sexual equivalent of advanced calculus or inorganic chemistry. The concept of not raping is so inherently baffling that women are rallying to help their downtrodden, confused brethern. The author of the post, a female university student, writes:

I want to do some education awareness…. to make men aware that rape is not a women’s issue.

Her instincts are correct. Rape is not a women’s issue. It’s a men’s issue because they rape.

She fails, however, to appreciate the subject-object construction here, hypothesising:

[Rape] will continue until men step in and educate themselves.

No no no no no my friend. Rape will contine until men stop raping. Education, I’m afraid, has sweet fuck-all to do with it. Men rape to assert their dominance. Men rape because they feel entitled to. Men rape because they have power and women don’t. Men rape because they get away with it. Men rape because they hate/fear/dispise/disdain women and under the rules of our social order that’s okay. Men rape because they feed on women’s fear.

Men do not rape because they are confused about what rape is. It is not women’s responsibility to “educate” men. God above. Not raping doesn’t require explanations, slogans, inspirational posters or improv theatre. It only requires men not put their penises where they aren’t welcome.


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16 thoughts on “Not Rape – Not a Difficult Concept

  1. Last week, I would have agreed with you completely.

    But in the past few days I’ve talked with some women who don’t understand that a lack of consent is considered rape.

    This leads me to think that if women are having difficulty articulating the distinction — likely some men are too.

    It is important to reduce the confusion about the notion of “consent” and how consent is legitimately demonstrated.

    This might prevent some rapes from happening.

    But, as you point out, rapes motivated by enmity are not amenable to education.

  2. I know that what’s right and what *is* are generally two different things in this messed up world, but damn if it doesn’t stick in my craw that bright, sincere women are wasting their energy ‘educating’ men when really we just need to educate ourselves to resist. How about we forget about the men and focus on making sure that women understand and exercise autonomy? If women aren’t passively acquiesing to unwanted sex then there will be much less confusion about what is or isn’t rape. Right?

  3. you know what really fucks me off ?

    is the assumption that because i am male gender people can tar us all with the same brush….

    face it – there are arseholes of both genders – gender shouldnt be an issue – its whether you are an arsehole that is the point…

    work with that and life is much easier

  4. Your comment is neither coherent nor, as far as I can tell, relevant, mrlk. Who is tarring you with what brush?

    Yes, there are arseholes of both genders. This post is about men raping women, however. If you have something you’d like to add to the conversation please do, otherwise, I’ll delete any future comments.

  5. So you know, unless a post is actually titled “About mrlk” nothing in this blog is directed at you. Or any other individual, unless named.

    Keep that in mind before you start getting all defensive and “but what about the men…?”

  6. i wouldnt be so narcassitic (sp?) to assume anything you wrote was directed at me – what i do find somewhat tiring is your incessant “all men are bastards” thread that is the undercurrent to alot of threads – i agree with probably 99% of what you say – i just dont like the way you do it –

    you have a blog – you allow comments – deal with it 🙂

    and that was a smiley face at the end of the previous sentance

  7. what i do find somewhat tiring is your incessant “all men are bastards” thread

    Are you under the impression that my aspiration is to write a blog you don’t find ‘tiring’? If you don’t like what I have to say you are free to unsubscribe and fuck the fuck off.

  8. I think that self-assertiveness and the defense of personal boundaries is very much tied into women’s healthy self-esteem.

    How can women develop self-esteem without political, economic, and social equality?

    It’s very difficult.

    So, yes — I agree that the effort is misguided effort, distracting energy from the ultimate goal.

  9. “How about we forget about the men and focus on making sure that women understand and exercise autonomy? If women aren’t passively acquiesing to unwanted sex then there will be much less confusion about what is or isn’t rape.”

    It is not so easy. I understand autonomy, but it is difficult to exercise that autonomy in a situation such as that. When you know he is going to do it no matter what you do to stop him, what is the point? So yes, sometimes women passively submit, but it does NOT mean that they agree or consent. Silence is not consent. Here is a good post on that topic: http://sunfollower.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/speaking-out-against-victim-blaming/#more-1526.

    I agree with you. Rape will not stop until people stop raping. While the victims may strenghthen their recoveries by speaking out and educating, it is not their responsibility. It is each person’s responsibility not to force themselves upon an unwilling victim.

  10. Daisy,
    my comment up there was a little unclear. What I was trying to say – badly – is that women must be educated to stop being cajoled into sex they don’t really want, i.e. doing it to please their boyfriend, or because they feel social pressure, etc.
    I meant emotional acquiesance where women don’t identify rape as rape, not phsyical acquiesence as a survival tactic. Victim blaming was the furthest thing from my mind. Rape is always the rapist’s fault, just like murder is always the killer’s fault. No ifs, ands or buts.

    O

  11. I just posted on the use of rape language in business. I suspect the word is being misappropriated there because managers feel impotent sitting at a desk all day. I don’t think it takes seriously the nature of the crime (and I’m a guy!).

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