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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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281 Responses

  1. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin February 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm |

    This post covers a huge amount of territory.

    I’ll just comment on one section, because I would otherwise write a novella. There have been many theories proposed over time that seek to ask why American culture is so violent. Some have attributed it to our witchcraft persecuting Puritan ancestors. Others have claimed that it was a tradition of a sort, carried over because Native Americans were forcibly conquered with great brutality.

    And yes, violence against women does have a way of reinforcing traditional power dynamics. But I’d like to have a study or unambiguous finding that discusses the prevalence of violence in ordinary society, the risk factors, and other patterns.

    It is true that even in good neighborhoods, sexual assault goes on under everyone’s nose. I wonder what a truly honest survey would tell us. And I don’t mean we ought to point towards any stereotypical notion, group of people, or other unfair categorization.

    But I would like to know if there are observable patterns, those that exist before the tragedy of the immediate aftermath. In the best case scenario, it would best if we didn’t live in a world where other people raped or abused others. But until we are ready to confront all of the other societal factors we neglect, for reasons of class, race, money, education, and others, then we may have no other choice but to play defense.

  2. Henry
    Henry February 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm |

    The gov’t can play numbers games all it wants. “In 2008 the breakdown for adults under correctional control was as follows: one out of 18 men, one in 89 women” Wikipedia – so maybe there is “a greater at risk of assualt” pool of male people locked in cages with perpetrators, maybe not. At least they finally released a more real number, the first step on the way to realizing we have a problem, as opposed to the “935” incidents reported previously – a number so tiny it is not to be believed. Hell I might move into jail given those odds, sounds like a much better neighborhood!

  3. Victoria Gaile
    Victoria Gaile February 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |

    Is there any information about the gender breakdown of either the victims or the perps?

    The guard/inmate “voluntary” category would seem particularly to allow for cases in which female guards sexually coerce male inmates.

  4. hmm
    hmm February 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm |

    female prisoners are twice as likely to experience inmate-on-inmate sexual assault (male inmates are slightly more likely to experience assault at the hands of prison staff)

    Is that accurate? That’s the opposite of what I would have guessed.

  5. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig February 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm |

    I call bull. There’s no way these numbers are correct.

  6. Laurie A. Couture
    Laurie A. Couture February 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm |

    So as always, feminists are trying to minimize and downplay the seriousness of male victims and male issues. It is so disgusting how feminists want to monopolize victimhood and use “doublespeak” to claim they want equality on one hand while being sure men don’t have equality on the other.

  7. Liza Wolff-Francis
    Liza Wolff-Francis February 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm |

    Great post- super insightful- and so much covered, it’s hard to know where to begin. I worked at a Rape Crisis Center as a therapist for six years full time and part time for a while after that. Over the years, I had therapy clients who were men, but no where near the number of clients I had who were women. Obviously this could be due to a lot of factors including low reporting rates among men, high shame factor within the society around rape and sexual violence victimization, high shame factor around seeking help at all or outside one’s family, not wanting to tell anyone for fear of not being believed or not having been “man enough,” research inaccuracies,…

    I believe the more empowered women are and as the society begins to reflect that, the less at risk women will be, but I also think there is backlash for the gains women have made. Because of strict gender roles that have been forced upon us all, often women are hated for not conforming to the system that demands men be on top. In the prison system, obviously people who are incarcerated make their own power in the system they live under as much as they can, which also easily leads to some being perpetrators and others being victims. Overall, they are in a system that promotes powerlessness. We have incarcerated so many men, that maybe more men are sexually assaulted, but I have a hard time believing that outside the prison system that is the case.
    I liked what you said:

    “But with the understanding that rape is an inevitability and an avoidable threat and an individual crime, there’s also no reason to actually do something about sexual assault.”

    I think that’s true because of the patriarchal society in which we live where someone must always oppress someone else and women are not a priority. BUT, I also think people don’t do anything about it because there are more people than we realize who have been victims of sexual violence and are triggered and it is often easier to just ignore it as much as they can and keep it at bay. People also may not want to talk about it because it is a problem of such magnitude, it feels hopeless. When I worked there and I was asked outside of work what I did for a living, when I told people, most changed the subject or walked away and the others told me they had been abused as a child or raped.

    One more thought- it is interesting this has all recently come out right now when the vaginal ultrasounds before abortions are being called out as rape, of which all will be of women. Again, hard for me to believe there is more rape perpetrated on men than women. Thank you for your post!- Liza at Matrifocal Point

  8. Everyone « Tiny Cat Pants
    Everyone « Tiny Cat Pants February 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm |

    […] I read this post over at Feministe and I want to say that I agree with her that it’s not clear that more men are being raped in this country than women. I also agree that that number is a lot closer than anyone thought, though. […]

  9. Azalea
    Azalea February 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm |

    It doesnt take a genius to figure out that when you throw a bunch of rapists in a cell with people they can physically overpower that they’d uh…NO SHIT SHERLOCK, rape.

    This doesn’t surpise me, I actually thought the number was higher. But male on male prison rape is supposed to be this thing that only happens to a hand full of inmates and only the really bad ones (pedaphiles) because you know, the wrongfully convicted never ever get beat up and or raped in prison….yeah.

    I dont think conceding that there are tens of thousands if not one hundred thousand or more male rape victms n prison a year takes away from the fact that women in the general population are victimized at alarming rates.

  10. lorobird
    lorobird February 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm |

    Thanks for sharing this, it is really important to start dealing with male victims, and female perpetrators, and what that means for gender identity and gender dynamics and patterns of oppression.

    I know male survivors and it must be incredibly frustrating for them not to be in a world where their case simply is taken into consideration.

    Also, about rape in prison: anyone who watches Oz would have the idea that rape of men by men is really, really high. That show traumatized me, I actually had to stop watching it because it was really affecting me. Maybe because I am used to seeing women brutalized constantly in the media, so I felt it wouldn’t affect me…

    It’s interesting how representations of violence affect us. Anyway. I though Oz might be an exaggeration; it seems not.

    I recommend everyone to give it a (moderate) watch. If you can take the violence, the whole show is good and worth it.

  11. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm |

    I dont think conceding that there are tens of thousands if not one hundred thousand or more male rape victms n prison a year takes away from the fact that women in the general population are victimized at alarming rates.

    Yeah, that type of zero-sum-game thinking is absolutely idiotic and the bane of every forum in which it manifests (to be clear: not your thinking, the type of thinking you’re describing in your post).

  12. Anon21
    Anon21 February 21, 2012 at 1:00 am |

    Politicalguineapig:

    I call bull. There’s no way these numbers are correct.

    They probably are not exactly right, given the general reporting issues that bedevil sexual assault stats and given that correctional authorities may have fairly strong incentives to suppress their own numbers. But is there any reason to think they’re not in the right neighborhood? The U.S. incarcerates about 2.3 million people; a figure of 216,000 victims of sexual assault would imply that somewhat more than 9% of incarcerated persons are sexually victimized during their time in jail or prison. I don’t know what our baseline should be, but that doesn’t seem like an outlandish rate to me, even though it is unquestionably horrifying.

    Laurie A. Couture:

    So as always, feminists are trying to minimize and downplay the seriousness of male victims and male issues. It is so disgusting how feminists want to monopolize victimhood and use “doublespeak” to claim they want equality on one hand while being sure men don’t have equality on the other.

    That’s just a stupid misreading of Jill’s post. She’s problematizing the headline (“more men raped than women”) while acknowledging the enormous problem of prison rape, which predominantly (although, as she helpfully points out, not exclusively) affects men. And she spends a lot of the post pointing out the ways in which forms of rape in different settings have very similar causes and “functions.” She is obviously not attempting to “monopolize victimhood” for women; you could only draw that conclusion if you stopped reading about 4 paragraphs in.

  13. Sarah
    Sarah February 21, 2012 at 1:21 am |

    It’s interesting to me that here you point out that some of the assaults probably don’t meet the legal definition of “rape” whereas in your previous post, you seemed to state that having vaginal ultrasound be a requirement for abortion *is* rape.

    You seem to worry over the legal limits to the term rape when the victim is male, while being eager to use the term widely when the victim is female.

    Get me right: requiring any kind of un-needed medical procedure as a requirement for an abortion is horrible and a transparent attempt at making abortions less accessible. But just because it’s *wrong* does not imply it’s *rape*.

  14. Echo Zen
    Echo Zen February 21, 2012 at 3:08 am |

    So as always, feminists are trying to minimize and downplay the seriousness of male victims and male issues. It is so disgusting how feminists want to monopolize victimhood and use “doublespeak” to claim they want equality on one hand while being sure men don’t have equality on the other.

    Only a total incompetent with no reading comprehension would take an article about the horrors of male prison assault and the culture that condones it, and pass it off as an attack on men. You must be special, and/or a Republican.

  15. FrancesJ
    FrancesJ February 21, 2012 at 6:01 am |

    Not to, like, totally derail this thread but requiring a transvaginal ultrasound does meet the FBI’s new defintion of rape: “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object” without consent [emphasis added].

    This to say that no, Jill is not “worry[ing] over the legal limits to the term rape when the victim is male, while being eager to use the term widely when the victim is female.”

  16. FrancesJ
    FrancesJ February 21, 2012 at 6:01 am |

    Not to, like, totally derail this thread but requiring a transvaginal ultrasound does meet the FBI’s new defintion of rape: “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object” without consent [emphasis added].

    This to say that no, Jill is not “worry[ing] over the legal limits to the term rape when the victim is male, while being eager to use the term widely when the victim is female.”

  17. Crys T
    Crys T February 21, 2012 at 6:39 am |

    No Sarah, you are *wrong*: forcing someone to have their body penetrated against their wishes is rape. And fuck you very much.

  18. umami
    umami February 21, 2012 at 7:00 am |

    Hmm @4,
    That was my reaction too. In fact I even went to the DOJ report to check it because I was wondering if it might have been a typo on Jill’s part.

    It’s not. Female prisoners are more likely to be sexually assaulted in prison by other inmates than male prisoners.

    I guess all the “prison rape” jokes have an extra dimension of harmfulness I never saw before (in addition to all the other ways in which they’re harmful) in that they frame prison rape as a thing that only happens to men. But serious discussions of prison rape seem to elide it too. Even some comments on this thread seem to have missed it.

  19. Chiara
    Chiara February 21, 2012 at 7:16 am |

    Is there any information about the gender breakdown of either the victims or the perps?

    The guard/inmate “voluntary” category would seem particularly to allow for cases in which female guards sexually coerce male inmates.

    Female guards don’t guard male inmates. That’s absurd.

    Also I disagree that a guard/inmate sexual relationship is ever really OK or ‘voluntary’. I know people are going to yell at me ‘hey, don’t disrespect their agency’ or something, but you’re wrong. It’s not right.

  20. Chiara
    Chiara February 21, 2012 at 7:21 am |

    So as always, feminists are trying to minimize and downplay the seriousness of male victims and male issues. It is so disgusting how feminists want to monopolize victimhood and use “doublespeak” to claim they want equality on one hand while being sure men don’t have equality on the other.

    No. Some people seem to think that because men are raped too then it means women being raped doesn’t matter. Like it cancels it out or something. So a post like this needs to reiterate that two wrongs don’t make a right. You’d think that would be obvious, but some people have difficulty comprehending that because they’re stuck in a constant ‘war of sexes’ mentality.

  21. 2ndnin
    2ndnin February 21, 2012 at 7:33 am |

    Echo Zen, I understand your point and perspective however from the male perspective (which for once is relevant) the piece does come across as quite minimising. The piece does approach the issue broadly however it specifically brings up the issue of ‘not all inmates are male’ and focuses maybe 1/3rd to 1/2 of the total text on women and societies approach to them. Given the piece this seems largely out of place.

    Simply looking at the numbers – the US prison population ratio is about 10:1 for male:female prisoners the rate of offences indicated (taking the worst case of 1:2 so ignoring coercive staff basically, otherwise from the numbers 4:7) we are still looking at 80% of the victims being male which given the numbers from the RAINN survey would make the issue pretty balanced overall (55% of victims of sexual assault+ being female, 45% male). If you further look at something like the CDC survey this would swing from 55:45 to something like 35:65 making the overall victims of sexual assault male. While the exact issues aren’t comparable it does feel quite minimising to be talking about the prevalence of prison rape (a largely male issue) then being diverted into how society tells women to protect themselves from rapists rather than telling rapists to not rape.

  22. wriggles
    wriggles February 21, 2012 at 7:49 am |

    I wouldn’t be surprised if more men in prison certainly are raped than women. I’d be surprised if it was the same on the outside so to speak, but it could have increased in the last few decades as attitudes to sex and sexuality in general have changed.

    We know about the greater likelihood of men being attacked and beaten up in the streets for instance. Though that doesn’t necessarly compare like with like. Women’s conditioning is built around being submissive which is the way we avoid both physical and sexual assault.

    That I think this is at the bottom of why so many women seem to victim blame other women when they are raped.

    Those advancing the feminists try to monopolize victimhood-denying men “equality” or using this to claim feminists are oppressing men/overstating the oppression of women etc., are missing the larger point.

    Which is not that or TPHMT, it’s that as we know this, why are men overall seemingly so welded to what is apparently so destructive to them?

    Why do so many of them behave as if it’s ‘on their side’ and better than the prospect of liberating themselves from it’s dictates?

    I don’t think it’s so much that people don’t care about men being raped, it’s more a desire to avoid this kind of question.

    I also have a problem with this argument;

    Feminists have long argued that sexual assault is about power and not sex.

    I admit I’m not a scholar of academic feminism, I don’t have to be I have a brain. But as far as I can tell feminists don’t seem to argue this, they just repeat this form of words without explaining how power can be seperated from sex.

    It’s not so much that I’m aruging people assault others because they are overwhelmed by sexual arousal. Though that raises an interesting point about differing attitudes to what acting out sexual arousal means.

    It’s more that even when it’s about pleasure there are still themes that are hard to seperate from the desire or urge to control someone else in quite invasive and proprietory ways.

    In the days when people used to complain about the increase in “sex ‘n’ violence” and others responded with “Let’s have more sex, leave the violence” even as a kid I found the latter seperation unconvincing from the representations of sex.

    I’m not sure why that is a juxtaposition of power as opposed to “sex”, though I don’t claim to have it fully worked out in my mind.

    Thirdly, the idea that a culture of the rape of men is about mysogny also doesn’t scan for me. Rape centres around penetration-though I know some argue about that- casting the use of this as woman hating seems to suggest that being penetrated is essentially female and a man is penetrated by another in order to ‘reduce’ him to a woman or whatever.

    I’m no longer convinced that women underneath the programming feel any differently about being penetrated than anyone else. i.e Being penetrated is not the definitive statement of female heterosexuality.

    What is being called mysogyny seems to me to be more about the status assigned those being penetrated and vice versa, assigning people a certain status can create the urge to penetrate them.

    Again I don’t claim to fully worked through all of this I find it as hard as anyone else.

    Rather than the denial of male victimhood, it feels more like an instinct to swerve any discomfort about how the design of heterosex casts women .

  23. LotusBen
    LotusBen February 21, 2012 at 7:57 am |

    [H]owever from the male perspective (which for once is relevant) the piece does come across as quite minimising

    Male perspective? I didn’t know there was some unitary male perspective on Jill’s blog posts. In any event, I’m male, and I didn’t find this piece minimizing at all. It seems like Jill’s drawing attention to how widespread and horrific of a problem the prison rape of men is–a problem that most people in the wider culture either completely ignore or consider to be convenient fodder for tasteless jokes. And I thought her analysis of the parallels between the rape of women and the rape of men, the rape of prisoners and the rape of people outside the prison system, was insightful. I also appreciated how she discussed how all this intersects with other forms of oppressions like racism, classism, ableism, and transphobia.

    So yeah. Great post Jill.

  24. First Links — 2.21.12 » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

    […] More American Men than Women Raped Each Year? Jill Filipovic, Feministe […]

  25. Tony_
    Tony_ February 21, 2012 at 8:32 am |

    Is it too much to ask people to read (read: not look. actually read) before they comment? A few people are literally commenting as if the post had said the opposite of what it actually said, and/or going on to do the exact pointless derails the post aptly warned against.

  26. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 21, 2012 at 8:38 am |

    As someone who’s worked with some of these issues before, I thought this was a great post. It’s something that’s really hard to address, because (as Jill pointed out) there’s this deeply ingrained notion that prison rape is just part of what makes prison so good at deterring crime. Anyways, re: all the criticism from the anti-feminists: these are nuanced issues, and I don’t think questioning the methodology used to make a claim is the same thing as saying there’s no problem here at all (it’s the same kneejerk mindset that leads people to accuse anyone doing research on false reporting prevalence of rape apologism, if that analogy fits better with the MRA worldview).

    One point, though; the DOJ (and by extension RAINN) is pretty far off in its tally of rapes (you questioned their numbers, but I want to add some more specificity). They use extremely restrictive definitions, which exclude many if not most of the ways men (and a lot of the ways women) are typically raped; they are also based on reporting from police precincts across the country, which handle rape cases in vastly different ways. They also- for similar reasons of definition and data collection- tend to vastly underestimate the number of transgender survivors, female-on-female, and female-on-male assaults. From what I’ve seen, about 25% of non-prison rape survivors are men, and about 7% of perpetrators were female.

    Thanks for this, Jill.

  27. George
    George February 21, 2012 at 9:46 am |

    The 2010 NISVS Survey – see:
    http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/NISVS/index.html + http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf +
    http://amensproject.blogspot.com/2011/12/detailed-summary-2010-national-intimate.html
    contain a generally good summary of recent findings for Non-Prisoners. Prison findings certainly complement the NISVS data.

    From both studies:

    1.) Men are victims – Men need help. Men need to support efforts to help men and Not expect women to “do the work”, and
    2.) Women are victims – Men need to get away from denial about how common victimization occurs and How it affects us in dealing with women in our lives.

    Feminists don’t over-estimate the importance of these issues. Non-Feminists often ignore or minimize our needs to look at how we can bring about substantive change to help make rape and other sexual assault far, far less common.

    Rape and sexual assault need to be seriously dealt with as common major problems which hurt both women and men.

  28. Tamara
    Tamara February 21, 2012 at 9:54 am |

    @ Chiara

    Female guards DO guard male prisoners. I am acquainted with two women who worked at Texas prisons, as prison guards, and were guards for the male population.

  29. EG
    EG February 21, 2012 at 10:04 am |

    Get me right: requiring any kind of un-needed medical procedure as a requirement for an abortion is horrible and a transparent attempt at making abortions less accessible. But just because it’s *wrong* does not imply it’s *rape*.

    So, if a couple of guys on the street stick a dildo in my vagina whether or not I want them to, that’s rape. But if a bunch of legislators force my doctor to stick a dildo in my vagina whether or not I want him/her to, that’s not. Sure. You make perfect sense.

  30. Tina
    Tina February 21, 2012 at 10:58 am |

    It’s interesting to me that here you point out that some of the assaults probably don’t meet the legal definition of “rape” whereas in your previous post, you seemed to state that having vaginal ultrasound be a requirement for abortion *is* rape.

    You seem to worry over the legal limits to the term rape when the victim is male, while being eager to use the term widely when the victim is female.

    Get me right: requiring any kind of un-needed medical procedure as a requirement for an abortion is horrible and a transparent attempt at making abortions less accessible. But just because it’s *wrong* does not imply it’s *rape*.

    It’s interesting to me that you point out that the statistics of assaults in prison do *not* only fit the legal definition of rape but leave out that they are being compared the statistics of assaults out of prison that *do* only fit the legal definition of rape.

    You seem to claim the OP is arguing that the legal limits of rape should be counted only for males and not females, when in fact the OP is arguing that all assaults, including ones that do not fit the legal definition of rape, should be counted for both males and females.

    No one has ever said that requiring an unneccessary medical procedure in and of itself is rape. They have said it should be considered rape when it fits the definition of rape.

  31. sizzle
    sizzle February 21, 2012 at 11:13 am |

    Thank you Tamara. Women guard men, it is not absurd. Great post Jill.

  32. Rob in CT
    Rob in CT February 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |

    Fine post. Let’s all assume the numbers are fuzzy. So put big error bars around the numbers and… hey look at that, the issue doesn’t really change much does it? Well, sure, if you’re deeply invested in claiming that men or women are raped more, I guess it matters.

    What’s obvious is that we spend staggering amounts of money on imprisoning staggering numbers of people. And we apparently allow a significant percentage of them to be raped while under the control of the state. Pretty much makes a mockery of the ideas of justice and rehabilitation, doesn’t it?

  33. Nancy Reyes MD
    Nancy Reyes MD February 21, 2012 at 11:59 am |

    CDC report

    it’s not just prisoners. It is also our children. But this report assumes underage intercourse and violence and threats to force intercourse is just a “behavior” so didn’t get much press

  34. LotusBen
    LotusBen February 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

    Yep Rob, you’re right. These numbers provide yet another piece of evidence that the prison-industrial complex has absolutely nothing to do with justice or rehabilitation. One sentence that Jill quoted from the article in the New York Review of Books really jumped out at me: “Overall, most victims were abused not by other inmates but, like Jan, by corrections staff: agents of our government, paid with our taxes, whose job it is to keep inmates safe.” (emphasis added by me)

    I think it’s great they’re pointing out this vital overall point, but I also think it’s disturbingly absurd that even in an article standing up for prisoners’ rights I would see the idea that a prison guard’s “job is to keep inmates safe.” Um, no. That’s about the furthest thing from what their job is. Their job is to make sure the inmates don’t escape prison. And prison is extremely unsafe, and it’s designed to be extremely unsafe, as Jill points out. So the job of prison guards is actually to force inmates to remain in extremely unsafe conditions against their will, where they are at high risk of being raped and suffering other forms of abuse, all allegedly for the benefit of society. But our tax dollars aren’t being used to protect us from prisoners (who are actually statistically more likely to be dangerous once they’ve been released than before they went in) or to protect prisoners from each other. Our tax dollars are being used, rather, to protect white supremacy, a heteronormative gender binary, and the economic interests of the capitalist class. That’s why prisons exist. That’s the essential fuction they play in our society. And rampant rape in prison just helps that function along.

  35. skjaere
    skjaere February 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

    This is a gorgeous piece or writing that hits the reader like a punch in the gut, dragging a shameful aspect of American culture out of the dark corners and into the harsh light of day. Thank you for writing this, Jill. Believe me when I say I will be sharing the hell out of it. Keep up the good work.

  36. Tim
    Tim February 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm |

    Female guards don’t guard male inmates. That’s absurd.

    Yes, they do.

  37. Link post: 4 to read and 1 to do | ephemeradical

    […] good article on how prison rape in the US affects gender ratios of people who have survived […]

  38. Chiara
    Chiara February 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm |

    Apologies, everyone. I just assumed.

    Though they would have to be extremely strong? I imagined there are some very huge men in jail.

  39. Jim Beam
    Jim Beam February 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm |

    Worth pointing out, 216,000 is the number of victims, not instances, of rape in prison. And an imprisoned rape victim is more likely to be raped more than once than other rape victims. So it’s even worse than that number would indicate, assuming it’s accurate.

  40. Chiara
    Chiara February 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

    Guards tend to have very huge weapons.

    Ah. You mean guns yes? Then that makes sense. I’m not sure prison guards have guns where I come from, though I could be totally mistaken. I was thinking more about those sticks.

  41. ginmar
    ginmar February 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    So there’s approximately two point three million prisoners in US prisons, of which I’m not clear how many are women. There are approximately three hundred and fifty million people in the United States, of which more than half are women. Rape of women by men or anyone is incredibly under-reported. I find it impossible to believe on the face of it that men raping women on the outside could be eclipsed in attacks by an unknown population of prison rapists that is a fraction of one percentage point of that population of women.

    I suspect the MRAs are going to be pissing themselves over this study, but the size of the respective pools is what jumps out at me. This will not lead MRAs to realize that letting rape against women rage out of control as it has affects men; they’ll find a way to blame this on women, and they will do absolutely nothing.

  42. Amy K. Burt
    Amy K. Burt February 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm |

    Rape is often unreported by women and children as well. I don’t know how many times that I said no to my ex husband but was still forced to have sex with him during fourteen years of marriage. How many women are there like me?

    I agree with the others. The new transvaginal ultrasound laws are a rape.

  43. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers February 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm |

    I’ve heard it said before that the total number of *rapes* is close to equal, or may actually include more rapes of men, because male victims in prison are often raped multiple times, but that the number of *victims* definitely includes more women.

    I also think that if inmate-guard sex is counted automatically as rape (as it should be), but prostitutes having sex against their will with johns because their pimps are forcing them to do so is *not* counted, then there is a huge population of women who suffer multiple rapes, akin to what some male prison victims suffer, who are not being counted.

    That being said, prison rape is a really fucking horrible thing, and part of the horror is that unlike the rape of free people, it’s possible to almost eliminate it with minimal effort… if there was the political will to do so. Which means that unlike the rape of free people, which happens mostly because rapists choose to rape and would probably require a major cultural shift to prevent, the rape of prisoners *could* be stopped, but it hasn’t been. Like some posters have said, it’s a feature, not a bug, of our prison system.

    It’s also disproportionately committed against the *least* deserving of the prisoners. Not that anyone deserves rape. But when people fantasize about the idea that the guy who held up a convenience store with a gun and then shot someone is going to end up raped in prison, they are failing to realize that there are huge numbers of non-violent offenders in prison, being held with violent offenders, and a guy who shot someone is less likely to be raped than a guy who had too much marijuana on his person when he was pulled over for a broken headlight. And fantasies that a rapist will be raped in prison are not just immoral but stupid, because odds are better that the rapist will *commit* rape in prison, probably against guys who had too much marijuana on their person. The most harmless of the criminals are the ones who are preyed on the most. So even the kind of person who is cruel and vengeful enough to want to see rape used as a punishment should be capable of recognizing that “the wrong people are getting punished”. But nobody cares.

    Stopping prison rape is a feminist issue, and if we point out that probably the numbers are wrong because they just don’t make sense, that in no way means that we don’t *care* about prison rape because it happens to men. Ten guys getting raped in prison per year would be too many, just as ten free women getting raped per year would be too many. One, of either, would be too many. It doesn’t actually matter what the numbers are, it’s awful, and it can be *easily* stopped if anyone gives enough of a shit to do so.

  44. What We Missed
    What We Missed February 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

    […] An important piece from Jill on sexual assault statistics and rape in the U.S. prison system. […]

  45. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm |

    This will not lead MRAs to realize that letting rape against women rage out of control as it has affects men; they’ll find a way to blame this on women, and they will do absolutely nothing.

    I am so tired of people who feel the need to define crimes against men as just an atypical side effect of crimes against women. Men being raped is not a symptom of women being raped, and rape is not a crime against women which just happens to affect millions of men by way of collateral damage. Framing it this way erases the experiences of everyone who’s not a cisfemale or wasn’t assaulted by a cismale. Please stop.

    The fact that anti-feminists are going to say stupid things about this article is not a license to say stupid things from an ostensibly feminist perspective.

    1. ginmar
      ginmar February 22, 2012 at 2:45 am |

      Yes, Justamblingalong, let’s just ignore reality and that women get attacked repeatedly not just by rapists but by the whole culture.

      The simple fact is that there are far more women and children in the civilian population than there are men in prison—-or women in prison, who are brushed to the side—–and that the size of this victim pool is enough to make one skeptical of any claim such as made in this study. The primary victims of rape have always overwhelmingly been women, just as the primary rapists of men, women, and children have always been men, who feel that rape is an act of conquest in which they reinforce poisonously simple gender roles upon their victims. Rapists in prison often use very similar language to what sexist men—like MRAs—-and rapists use on women.

      You might want to view this with an extremely narrow focus, but it’s impossible not to see it without the context of how the MRA movement has treated the rape of women.

  46. Carol
    Carol February 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

    Very interesting article. Let’s say a person doesn’t care about prisoners, or the shame of this country in a predicted one-third of all black males born in 2001 ending up incarcerated at some point in their lives. That person still needs to care about this: traumatized and/or violent people will end up even more violent and traumatized when they get out of prison; non-violent criminals learn violent behavior in prison.
    How does this possibly help make anyone’s world safer?

  47. Jim Beam
    Jim Beam February 21, 2012 at 5:52 pm |

    I’ve heard it said before that the total number of *rapes* is close to equal, or may actually include more rapes of men, because male victims in prison are often raped multiple times, but that the number of *victims* definitely includes more women.

    That may be the case, but it’s not what the article quoted above says. The 216,000 number is instances and not victims, so it’s saying that there’s more male victims than female, not just instances.

  48. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery February 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm |

    That may be the case, but it’s not what the article quoted above says. The 216,000 number is instances and not victims,

    Pretty sure this is the opposite — the article quoted says:

    …the Justice Department came up with a new number: 216,000. That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year.

    That person still needs to care about this: traumatized and/or violent people will end up even more violent and traumatized when they get out of prison; non-violent criminals learn violent behavior in prison.

    I think that person would reply (if they were being very honest with themselves) that by design, the parole system does a fairly good job keeping criminals away from non-criminals until they go back to prison for parole violation. As an ex-con, it’s very unlikely you’ll get a job that brings you into contact with non-criminals, and the housing you’re likely to be put up in will be in a neighborhood that’s predominantly other ex-cons and, as far as the system is concerned, future cons.

  49. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery February 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm |

    That may be the case, but it’s not what the article quoted above says. The 216,000 number is instances and not victims,

    Pretty sure this is the opposite — the article quoted says:

    …the Justice Department came up with a new number: 216,000. That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year.

    That person still needs to care about this: traumatized and/or violent people will end up even more violent and traumatized when they get out of prison; non-violent criminals learn violent behavior in prison.

    I think that person would reply (if they were being very honest with themselves) that by design, the parole system does a fairly good job keeping criminals away from non-criminals until they go back to prison for parole violation. As an ex-con, it’s very unlikely you’ll get a job that brings you into contact with non-criminals, and the housing you’re likely to be put up in will be in a neighborhood that’s predominantly other ex-cons and, as far as the system is concerned, future cons.

  50. Dominique
    Dominique February 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm |

    I will never understand how anyone can read the prevalence of the rape of men as somehow erasing the prevalence of the rape of women. Both are horrific. The fact that both are clearly the result of patriarchy comes across through the use of terms and expressions to feminize male rape victims, such as “bitch”, etc. This doesn’t lessen anyone’s pain. What it does is point out where the pain is overwhelmingly coming from.

  51. George
    George February 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm |

    Data Taken in 2010 – over the preceding 12 months: (NISVS-CDC)
    (interview sample Not including current prisoners)
    1,270,000 – women raped
    6,646,000 – women victims of other sexual violence
    6,027,000 – men victims of other sexual violence including
    1,267,000 – men forced to penetrate another (which some would include as rape victims)
    http://1.usa.gov/rUaOUJ http://bit.ly/sBsaB2

    1.) Men need services and support – including many more men helping other men, and
    2.) Sexual assault and abuse is not taken seriously by many in the U.S.
    3.) Feminists aren’t the problem!!!

  52. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh February 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm |

    I will never understand how anyone can read the prevalence of the rape of men as somehow erasing the prevalence of the rape of women. Both are horrific.

    As a rape survivor, I would not personally read it that way, we need to care about all victims and survivors, but after having been a psychology major at a college where the main professor teaching psychology courses at one time was a self-professed “masculist” who kept suggesting that there was a higher rape rate among men while simultaneously almost wondering aloud what women were then bitching about, I know that some people do read it that way, or at least want to read it that way.

    I’ll admit that having had that experience, I sort of groaned reading Jill’s post title, but I know she’s coming from a much better place than he ever was, so I just have to set aside that disturbing memory for the sake of learning. Prison rape is outrageous, and it needs to be stopped just much as rapes and assaults of those not in prison.

  53. Victoria Gaile
    Victoria Gaile February 21, 2012 at 11:56 pm |

    Something that’s been hovering in the back of my mind while thinking about this story is the statistic that the prison population in the US is so large that it would be, what, the fourth largest city in the country? something like that?

    So, take the fourth largest city in the country; populate it with a majority of criminals (violent and nonviolent) and a minority of guards, and nobody else; take away almost all rights from the majority; and build a wall around it. Yeah, who’s surprised that bad shit happens in a city like that??

    Also, this:

    In the real world, we all know that almost every non-incarcerated female rape victim is put through the ringer, and we all get to weigh in on What She Did Wrong and What I Would Have Done to not bring rape upon myself like she stupidly did. But we can do that only because there’s an ideal out there of the “real,” truly innocent rape victim who really really did nothing wrong. We can conceive of an innocent non-imprisoned female rape victim — young, white, virginal, assaulted by a stranger.

    There are no innocent criminals.

    was terrifically powerful, and will stay with me for a long time. Thank you.

    @Chiara:

    Also I disagree that a guard/inmate sexual relationship is ever really OK or ‘voluntary’.

    Oh, I entirely agree with you. That’s why the scare quotes around “voluntary”. I was just trying to concisely refer to that category which was specifically called out in the article.

  54. Jim Beam
    Jim Beam February 22, 2012 at 12:09 am |

    That may be the case, but it’s not what the article quoted above says. The 216,000 number is instances and not victims,

    Pretty sure this is the opposite — the article quoted says:

    …the Justice Department came up with a new number: 216,000. That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year.

    Yeah that’s what I meant to say- the article says that there is more victims of male rape than female rape, and then if you do it by instances the disparity grows. If you read the comment I was replying to, it was saying that it was instances, and I was trying to say that it was victims but I mis-wrote, so yeah…

  55. Hard-Hitting Piece On Male Rape At Feministe | No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz?

    […] issue coverage at Feministe, though I also envy some of the excellent writing they’ve got. This piece by Jill, however, is an unequivocal condemnation of the rape of men in the U.S. prison system, and framed […]

  56. Lord Domly Pant's Bane
    Lord Domly Pant's Bane February 22, 2012 at 4:50 am |

    ” Our tax dollars are being used, rather, to protect white supremacy, a heteronormative gender binary, and the economic interests of the capitalist class. That’s why prisons exist. ”

    No, they exist as a way to try to protect people from criminals. We can’t just shoot them all, that would be barbaric. It may be a huge fail but no one can come up with a better idea. Just giving rapists carte blanche to attack whomever them choose would be way worse.

  57. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 22, 2012 at 10:51 am |

    Yes, Justamblingalong, let’s just ignore reality and that women get attacked repeatedly not just by rapists but by the whole culture.

    That’s actually nothing like what I said. What I said is that men being attacked and raped is not a side-effect of women being attacked and raped, and for you to frame it that way is deeply insulting.

    The primary victims of rape have always overwhelmingly been women

    I guess this depends on how you define ‘overwhelmingly,’ but even in the general population, about a quarter of survivors are men.

    just as the primary rapists of men, women, and children have always been men

    I’m not sure how this is relevant. Most rapists are men, so when a man gets raped, that’s more fair?

    who feel that rape is an act of conquest in which they reinforce poisonously simple gender roles upon their victims.

    Well, it would be nice if that was true- in that it’s rhetorically effective- but this is one of those times that academic theory is a bit disjointed from reality. There are about four major categories of rapists, and even within those there are a vast number of motivations and beliefs. Rape is sometimes motivated by power and control, and sometimes by revenge and anger, and sometimes by sex, and sometimes by simple sadism. Incidentally, the last category of rapists often aren’t even gender-preferential.

    And even ignoring that, the fact that so many men are raped by other men (and women!) suggests that no, it’s not all about trying to enforce gender. It can be about trying to enforce gender. You just seem to wish it always was, so that you could ignore the suffering of people who aren’t suffering in the way your academic theory prefers.

  58. Crys T
    Crys T February 22, 2012 at 11:09 am |

    I’m not sure how this is relevant. Most rapists are men, so when a man gets raped, that’s more fair?

    Oh come on, what bullshit! You know exactly what happens: a lot of people have been pushing the line that, just because there are some male rape survivors, rape is something that affects men & women equally. There is also a less-common, but by no means unusual, MRA line that, just because some rapists are women, women are just as likely to commit rape.

    That kind of thinking is full of shit.

  59. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 22, 2012 at 11:44 am |

    That kind of thinking is full of shit.

    Of course it is, but it’s also totally irrelevant to the content of my post, as well as Ginmar’s post, so it can’t possibly by the justification for what zhe wrote.

  60. 2ndnin
    2ndnin February 22, 2012 at 11:45 am |

    Crys T at least from the recent CDC survey done non-prison rapes with equivalent definitions for the last year indicate parity in numbers and about 40% female rapists overall. While its not parity it’s reasonably close and not dismissible unless you don’t include envelopnent as rape but then if you do that you are massaging the numbers to fit a predefined solution – it would be like claiming no men were raped in Scotland in 2000 because the victim has to be female for the offence to be rape. We can argue the definition and methodology but under at least one view the numbers are similar and prison rape makes it a majority male issue.

  61. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 22, 2012 at 11:46 am |

    Also, let’s be careful. ‘Some’ = somewhere in the range of 25-35%. That isn’t equal, but it isn’t negligible, either, and I get the sense a lot of people want to pretend it is. It isn’t MRA-ish to try to ground the discussion in actual facts, which, incidentally, is exactly what Jill was doing in her post.

  62. Valhallie
    Valhallie February 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

    You might want to view this with an extremely narrow focus, but it’s impossible not to see it without the context of how the MRA movement has treated the rape of women.

    Is it? Is it really? MRAs are assholes. Full stop. Who cares if they are going to horribly twist things around to serve their own stupid agenda? It doesn’t mean that prison rape is not a serious issue, or that it should not be addressed so as to avoid giving bait to the enemy. Yes, the idea that rape affects men and women (as groups) equally or in the same ways is ridiculous, and the framing of the original article as “men are raped more than women, maybe?!” is just headline grabbing bullshit, but it doesn’t mean that the rape of men isn’t a real problem. Rape of women by women is even less common, but that doesn’t mean it is not a huge problem, because rape is a huge problem.

    And in terms of numbers, while it is true that only about .7% of the population is in prison right now, 5% of people (11.3% of men, ~30% of black men) will be incarcerated at some point in their lifetime. While I agree that those numbers pale in comparison to the general population of women, they are not so small that you can just sweep them under the rung and pretend they won’t exist.

    1. ginmar
      ginmar February 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm |

      I hope to christ that wasn’t directed at me, valhallie, because it’s a ridiculous accusation. Nobody seems to want to point out that some comments are veering perilously close to “But equal or geater numbers of men are raped,” despite population figures making that impossible. Yeah, and justamblingalong, you might not like it, but the prison rapist is not some mysterious, poorly-understood figure. The fact that prison rape is so joked about—-especially as a well-deserved (!) extra-legal punishment for rape on the outside(!)—–indicates that some rapes are okay with the general public. If you’re concerned about rape victims, then you see the connections between their treatment by the men who are the majority of rapists.

      One thing that’s especially striking to me is that the study counts repeated rapes, while I cannot recall a study of women that did likewise.

  63. valentifan69
    valentifan69 February 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm |

    So there’s approximately two point three million prisoners in US prisons, of which I’m not clear how many are women…. I find it impossible to believe on the face of it that men raping women on the outside could be eclipsed in attacks by an unknown population of prison rapists

    The 2.3m isn’t wrong but is seriously misleading, it’s a year end figure. Obviously there’s lots of throughflow during a year of people with short sentences and on bail, so the actual number of people who walked through prison gates last year is much higher. And you might want to spell out your maths, otherwise you’re just saying it’s impossible because you don’t believe it, rather than because of the numbers.

  64. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery February 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

    We can’t just shoot them all, that would be barbaric. It may be a huge fail but no one can come up with a better idea.

    Sending people into a prison system where they are horribly abused is also barbaric. Not sure if you read the article, but there’s an anecdote about a 15-year-old prisoner who was repeatedly raped by fellow inmates, and his pleas for help to the authorities were met with scorn and ridicule. He killed himself 10 weeks after being imprisoned. Would it have been more barbaric to just shoot him when he was convicted of 2nd-degree arson for causing $500 in property damage? I think it’s debatable.

    And, in fact, LOTS of other countries have better prison systems than we do. The idea that “no one can come up with a better idea” is just ignorant. No one is even trying, because nearly everybody in the U.S. could give a shit about prisoners’ rights, as long as it means lower crime rates on the outside. That, apparently, includes a lot of progressive commenters on this blog.

  65. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm |

    Yeah, and justamblingalong, you might not like it, but the prison rapist is not some mysterious, poorly-understood figure.

    I have literally no idea what your point is here. But if it’s an attempt at defending your ludicrously ignorant statement that rape is always and only about enforcing gender norms, then actually no, there isn’t a widespread understanding of the psychology and motivations of rapists, because most people get their information from Criminal Minds et. al. Misogyny is one reason rape happens, just like it’s one reason women are murdered. It is not the only reason, and one of the many ways this is true is that a vast, vast number of non-ciswomen are raped.

    The fact that prison rape is so joked about—-especially as a well-deserved (!) extra-legal punishment for rape on the outside(!)—–indicates that some rapes are okay with the general public.

    I agree. This is a huge problem. Your point is?

    If you’re concerned about rape victims, then you see the connections between their treatment by the men who are the majority of rapists.

    The connection between their treatment and what? Connections require two things to be connected.

    And how is it relevant, exactly, that most rapists are men? The only reason I can imagine for you to keep bringing that up, over and over, is that in your mind it makes men being raped less problematic. It fits in quite well with your overall argument that men being raped is just a side effect of women being raped, which is the real problem. That said, I’m happy to entertain alternate explanations.

  66. FST
    FST February 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm |

    I disagree. It’s not as bad when men get raped as when it happens to women. With the victimization of the past several thousand years against women, why is everyone supposed to suddenly care when the rape victims are male? What can I say, pay back isn’t always pleasant.

  67. Anon21
    Anon21 February 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm |

    FST:

    I disagree. It’s not as bad when men get raped as when it happens to women. With the victimization of the past several thousand years against women, why is everyone supposed to suddenly care when the rape victims are male? What can I say, pay back isn’t always pleasant.

    Well aren’t you a repulsive little rape apologist. Go the fuck away, please.

  68. Chiara
    Chiara February 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

    I disagree. It’s not as bad when men get raped as when it happens to women. With the victimization of the past several thousand years against women, why is everyone supposed to suddenly care when the rape victims are male? What can I say, pay back isn’t always pleasant.

    This is one of the most horrible things I’ve read on here. How is it pay back? Sure a small number of the men being raped in prison probably are themselves rapists. But many of these men will have done something like fraud or burglary.

    Also you don’t get ‘pay back’ for the rape perpetrated by men by raping some men who haven’t raped. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

  69. FST
    FST February 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

    It’s collective pay back against the entire male gender. All of us are responsible for the rape of women, and we deserve any sexual “victimization” that happens to us. Rape is only bad when women are the victims.

  70. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

    I disagree. It’s not as bad when men get raped as when it happens to women. With the victimization of the past several thousand years against women, why is everyone supposed to suddenly care when the rape victims are male?

    Crawl back under your bridge, please.

    What can I say, pay back isn’t always pleasant.

    Ah yes, I forgot that you bear responsibility for things done by other people who happen to share your chromosomal configuration.

    Well aren’t you a repulsive little rape apologist.

    I’m really curious what gets moderated here, if not this. I mean, it’s not even rape apologism so much as pro-rape cheerleading.

  71. Anon21
    Anon21 February 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm |

    FST:

    It’s collective pay back against the entire male gender. All of us are responsible for the rape of women, and we deserve any sexual “victimization” that happens to us. Rape is only bad when women are the victims.

    Ok, so you’re a troll, probably affiliated with the “men’s movement” or some other group that portrays men as being victimized by feminism. Thanks for clearing that up.

  72. FST
    FST February 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm |

    I am no troll. Simply because my opinion is “controversial” in your eyes is no reason to consider it trolling. Is it not considered acceptable to despise one’s own gender?

  73. EG
    EG February 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

    I’m really curious what gets moderated here, if not this. I mean, it’s not even rape apologism so much as pro-rape cheerleading.

    I don’t think whatever software it is that sends comments into mod can actually, you know, read them.

  74. EG
    EG February 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm |

    Simply because my opinion is “controversial” in your eyes is no reason to consider it trolling. Is it not considered acceptable to despise one’s own gender?

    Your opinion is not controversial; it’s vile. It’s not considered acceptable here to wish rape on anybody, no matter how despicable they may be.

  75. Matt
    Matt February 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm |

    FST has trolled previous threads with this same schtick.

  76. FST
    FST February 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm |

    In the kind of society we live in, true sexual consent is not really possible. Would you not agree, therefore, that every heterosexual male who has ever had sex is a rapist?

  77. FST
    FST February 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm |

    Your definition of “trolling” is excessively liberal. I am quite serious about what I post. This isn’t the only place I write things.

  78. Chiara
    Chiara February 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm |

    In the kind of society we live in, true sexual consent is not really possible. Would you not agree, therefore, that every heterosexual male who has ever had sex is a rapist?

    This is totally whack. I think most or a lot of girls and women these days feel like they can say no to whatever. While some women may be pressured into doing stuff they don’t really want to do – this is not the majority of cases and it’s a huge leap from that to saying every heterosexual male who’s had sex is a rapist. I don’t think you’re very in touch with our current reality of 2012.

  79. Anon21
    Anon21 February 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm |

    FST:

    In the kind of society we live in, true sexual consent is not really possible. Would you not agree, therefore, that every heterosexual male who has ever had sex is a rapist?

    Little tip: if you had just quit after your first post, you could have derailed the thread much more effectively. Instead, you immediately exposed yourself as a dumbfuck troll, far too lazy to actually learn about feminism before attempting to viciously caricature it. In trolling, as with many other pursuits, less is more.

  80. EG
    EG February 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

    In the kind of society we live in, true sexual consent is not really possible.

    Simply not true. So yes, I disagree.

  81. FST
    FST February 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm |

    No, people are far more of a product of biology and culture than they’d like to think. Free will is mostly a philosophically empty proposition. As such, it’s hard to imagine female consent to sex being definable and possible in a society like ours. These cultural influences take effect whether you want them to or not.

  82. Donna L
    Donna L February 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm |

    FST, this isn’t the first thread you’ve trolled and ruined with your profound self-hatred, and your attempt to make us all involuntary participants in your skeeviness Can’t you please just go back to whatever dark corner of the Internet you come from? I have not consented, enthusiastically or otherwise, to your presence here.

  83. Carol
    Carol February 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm |

    OK back to the original topic. I love n + 1, and I think the Christopher Glazek article is really well written and makes a powerful argument. If I can harp about a small thing though–and I think this is the place for it–is I was really disappointed with this:
    “Interestingly, unlike rape, homicide has one of the lowest recidivism rates of any crime—you can only murder your wife once—suggesting that death row inmates may pose less of a security risk than other categories of offenders.”
    The way that is phrased about “you can only murder your wife once” seemed glib, and doesn’t address the fact that someone could (and has) murdered both a first and second wife. In addition, the highest recidivism rates are for robbery, larceny and theft. It’s naive to suggest that because only a few murderers murder again, we should be more concerned about the scads of car theives.

  84. Matt
    Matt February 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm |

    I do think that free will is an illusion, I am an incompatible irrelevantist. However that isn’t a productive model for talking about consent. All humans ever would be rapists because men can’t consent to sex either. A silly proposition as the word rape would be meaningless. Can two people even mutually rape each other? Do you think that all animals are rapists too? It in no way follows that no free will makes all men and only men rapists.

  85. FST
    FST February 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm |

    Good thing I never said that. What I did say is that the nature of our culture makes all heterosexual intercourse rape, and that the absence of free will means that one can’t get out of this so easily.

  86. EponymousAnonymous
    EponymousAnonymous February 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm |

    I don’t have any numbers in front of me right now, but I’d like to know whether man on woman rape is a majority or a plurality of cases. When you add up all the numbers I could easily see the broad category of rape-that-isn’t-man-on-woman outstripping man-on-woman rape. That’s an important detail when you’re arguing with people who think discussions about rape should focus exclusively on women being raped by men. It’s quite probable that those people are demanding silence from the majority of victims by doing so.

    As for the question about the size of the pool of potential victims of prison rape, the number of people in the US who have ever been imprisoned at some point in their lives is 1 in 15 or about 20 million, not quite nine times more than the 2.3 million currently imprisoned.

    I think the points made in this article are more interesting than the statistics though and I’m happy to see so many people here showing support for male victims and intersectionality in general. If we want to end the rape of women we need to understand rape, and if we want to understand rape we need to study *all* rape. Even if you only care about one kind of victim, limiting our analysis is just silly and counter-productive.

    @Politicalguineapig: 216,000 the number of victims raped in prison annually, I don’t know if not getting raped gets easier the longer you stay in prison but it seems like the lifetime rate or the rate would be higher. Actually comparing the two would tell us a lot about how the rapes are distributed. If it’s randomly distributed(your risk of getting raped in a given year is 9% no matter what happened last year) the probability of getting raped in a five year stay is about 38%. You could take the statistic that 1/2 to 2/3 of victims are raped more than once and say that if 1000 people walk through the door and 60 of them get raped at least once a year every year and 30 more people get raped each year and only get raped once you’d get the 2/3 repeated and 9% annual with 210 total victims for the whole stay and 21% chance of getting raped in five years.

    @Lord Domly Pant’s Bane: – You have a lot of reading to do about the legal system. The US has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world, including lots of countries with low crime rates that don’t even have death penalties, so yes people have better ideas. Thanks to LotusBen for the great post.

    @wrigglesI: – think you make a lot of good points and I’d like to address why so many men defend patriarchy even though it hurts them too. I’m not all that eloquent but I’ll try to lay out some issues that I think are critical here.

    You say that
    “We know about the greater likelihood of men being attacked and beaten up in the streets for instance. Though that doesn’t necessarily compare like with like. Women’s conditioning is built around being submissive which is the way we avoid both physical and sexual assault.”

    I think men are taught almost the opposite, they are expected to be aggressive and dominant both to succeed and to avoid victimization.
    That may not keep them out of fistfights but it keeps them from being dominated by other men. Men are expected not only not to get raped but to protect themselves and others from harm in general, and to compete and dominate in a dichotomized way that doesn’t leave room for dropping out. Men who don’t play the game or don’t win are simply seen as failures. That’s why male rape is such fodder for jokes, it’s a slapstick story of bumbling incompetence. These kinds of patriarchal expectations and judgments fall on us whether we reject patriarchy or not. So some men will take whatever power they can get, feeling that without it they risk becoming victims.

    When people dismiss the victimization of men it just makes them feel like they’d damn sure better defend themselves and the patriarchy provides a lot of tools for doing that. It can also prevent men from empathizing with women by recognizing a shared, if not congruent potential for victimization. Many men don’t have enough skills and leeway to come up with ways to protect themselves without patriarchy or through anti-patriarchal relations. The gender analysis developed by feminism can be really helpful there, but it’s often worded in ways that are really alienating to men, and triggering as all hell to some of them, which makes it harder to slog through and harder to talk about with men who are less committed to challenging patriarchy. On top of that as we can see above there are certain feminists who will attack anyone who attempts to analyze men’s issues with the intention of helping men. The word “ally” gets thrown around a lot but it’s often used to describe a relationship of patronage rather than a fellow combatant who’s also getting shot at. You also have a gender war where where blue pill swallowing patriarchal women will call men pussies, tell them to “man up”, and cackle on national tv if they get their dicks chopped off; gender feminists will rail about the evils of men; and patriarchal men will make lots of emotional arguments that women are the enemy and often be the most prominent voices speaking about male grievances. So we get lots of people telling us “here’s this thing, it has some benefits if you join and it’s open season on you if you don’t” and the only difference between the people buying into the patriarchy who tell us that and the crummy variety of feminist who tell us that is that crummy feminists will show us that it’s open season and do a better job explaining the benefits.

    I hope none of that is to bitter or snarky. It’s just that I see so many ridiculous internecine arguments that frustrate the heck out of me and remind me of conflicts where both sides assassinate the peacemakers so they can go on fighting for personal gain or grudges.

    I understand perfectly well why men would see patriarchy as a lesser evil. It’s something I dealt with after I(a man) was emotionally and sexually abused by a woman and I’ve heard first hand from patriarchal men about seeing their fathers abused and fearing “being someone’s bitch”.

    What I can’t wrap my head around is this ” desire to avoid this kind of question.”
    It seems like kind of an important question. Do you have any insight on that?

    This is important stuff being handled really well(above the troll line at least :( it took me a while to write this) in this post and most of these comments and that’s awesome.
    e-daps, high fives, thumbs up, hugs, respectful handshakes, Christian side hugs, etc. to all the good people upthread.

  87. Chiara
    Chiara February 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm |

    So… Are you going to expand on how the ‘nature of our culture’ makes all heterosex rape? Yes, I’m affected by culture and biology and whatever else. But our current culture is not so oppressive of women to make what you’re saying true. This isn’t the middle ages or whatever.

  88. FST
    FST February 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm |

    Men are encouraged to always be sexually available, to always desire sex at every instant of every day. Women are encouraged to be submissive and weak, to simply go along with the man’s desire for sex. At the same time, women are also told that they aren’t supposed to enjoy sex, so sex, for them, is supposed to be something that they let men do to them but that they don’t personally enjoy. Supposedly something like 67% of teenagers think that it’s acceptable to force sex on your girlfriend if she’s too “frigid.” Is there any doubt that “consent” in this culture is overwhelmingly suspect? Can you possibly take a woman’s “consent” seriously? How can you distinguish real consent from the kind of fake pseudo-consent encouraged by the culture?

  89. LotusBen
    LotusBen February 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm |

    FST, I’m assuming Jill will ban you after she sees what you wrote on this thread. All the same, Jill, when you read this: please ban FST. As others have noted, the really horrible thing is he has already expressed this reprehensible rape apologism on another thread about a month ago and somehow it slipped through the cracks, and he didn’t get banned.

    FST, no one here wants to hear your views, and it’s triggering for a lot of people, both men and women. If somehow you manage to not get banned again, please never come back here.

  90. FST
    FST February 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm |

    I don’t care if men are upset. Men are not worthy of moral consideration.

  91. Caperton
    Caperton February 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm | *

    Well, FST, I happen to disagree. With… pretty much everything you’ve said here. Or anywhere else. And everything you stand for. You’re gone.

  92. LotusBen
    LotusBen February 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm |

    Thanks Caperton.

  93. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm |

    EG- maybe I misunderstood how moderation here works. I assumed FST was new. Thanks for clarifying.

  94. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig February 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm |

    Wriggles: Women’s conditioning is built around being submissive which is the way we avoid both physical and sexual assault.

    That’s one of the reasons I gave up on being a girl. I’m not trans, but I absolutely refuse to submit to anyone or anything, and I’ve perfected the art of not showing emotions in public. Submission needs to be chucked. As I said in the Vagina Monologues thread, women need to learn to be as violent as men, and stop with the introspection and weird body fetish pieces. Men don’t do introspection, why should we?

    Eponymous Anonymous: Sorry, I don’t think feminism is a shared fight. I don’t see why women need to devote scarce resources to help male rape victims when we can barely keep up with the number of female victims- who after all, should be our main concern. It’s about a thousand years too late for men to pretend they get the whole ‘rape is wrong’ thing. To borrow an analogy: women are out there in the open, and the men who get shot at are in concealed locations. It’s hard to sympathize with a ‘fellow combatant’ who buys his own camouflage.

  95. Alexandra
    Alexandra February 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm |

    Justamblingalong —

    You commented somewhere upthread (sorry, I just read through this entire convo and don’t feel like unearthing it, apologies if I misquote you slightly) that not all rape can be boiled down to misogyny.

    I find that a strange point to emphasize. That not all rape is committed by men against women? Sure. That not all victims are women? Sure. But there’s a lot of history of serious feminist thought about the universal influence of patriarchy on sexual violence. I could write a very, very long post and assume you’re not familiar with this ongoing feminist conversation, or I could just ask you —

    Would you say that not all sexual assault is influenced by patriarchy (even if it isn’t all influenced by, say, misogyny?)

  96. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 23, 2012 at 1:44 am |

    You commented somewhere upthread (sorry, I just read through this entire convo and don’t feel like unearthing it, apologies if I misquote you slightly) that not all rape can be boiled down to misogyny.I find that a strange point to emphasize.

    I brought up that point in response to a poster who was arguing that the rape of men was just a side-effect of the broader phenomenon of the rape of women. It’s not. It’s an important issue in its own right, and I strenuously object to the assertion that we should only care about this issue insofar as it affects women. I also have no patience for the subsequent insinuation that because most rapists are men, men being raped is less problematic than women being raped.

    Would you say that not all sexual assault is influenced by patriarchy (even if it isn’t all influenced by, say, misogyny?)

    Of course I wouldn’t. ‘Influenced’ is an extraordinarily broad term, and the ways in which sexual assault takes place- and in particular, the way it is handled after it has happened- are absolutely impossible to understand without the framework of a patriarchal society.

    But I would say that not all sexual assault results from patriarchy. The feminist analysis you referenced above is useful, but also incomplete; rape can be based in misogyny (or just sexism), enforcement of gender norms, and be encouraged by cultural attitudes, but it also can be about revenge, sadism, or sex. Those who write ‘rape is about power and control, not sex’ are only sometimes right. There are actually a decent number of rapists out there who are motivated by sex, in particularly those who use alcohol or drugs as tools. Sadistic rapists, on the other hand, typically prefer their victims be conscious

    If we could educate every single person about consent, and convince them of all our criteria for gender equality, and get them to respect men and women equally, it might abate the problem of rape, but it wouldn’t end it. A good number of rapists know that they’re violating consent, but simply don’t care. Another good number have no particular hatred of or disrespect for women as a category; they are motivated by a desire for sex and will rape a passed-out woman at a party to get it. The same type of rapist, if attracted to men, are equally willing to rape a passed-out man at a party.

  97. Chiara
    Chiara February 23, 2012 at 7:55 am |

    That’s one of the reasons I gave up on being a girl. I’m not trans, but I absolutely refuse to submit to anyone or anything, and I’ve perfected the art of not showing emotions in public. Submission needs to be chucked. As I said in the Vagina Monologues thread, women need to learn to be as violent as men, and stop with the introspection and weird body fetish pieces. Men don’t do introspection, why should we?

    This is totally whack. All you’re asking is that we all conform to the male gender role instead. Which can be just as crappy. The reason men don’t show emotions in public or ‘do introspection’ is not because they’re empowered but because they’d be shamed for it if they did.

    You say you don’t ‘submit to anyone or anything’ but really you have. You’ve submitted to the idea emotions and chilledoutness is bad and violence and manly bullshit is good.

  98. Tomek Kulesza
    Tomek Kulesza February 23, 2012 at 8:28 am |

    @PGP

    Eponymous Anonymous: Sorry, I don’t think feminism is a shared fight. I don’t see why women need to devote scarce resources to help male rape victims when we can barely keep up with the number of female victims- who after all, should be our main concern. It’s about a thousand years too late for men to pretend they get the whole ‘rape is wrong’ thing. To borrow an analogy: women are out there in the open, and the men who get shot at are in concealed locations. It’s hard to sympathize with a ‘fellow combatant’ who buys his own camouflage.

    And unfortunately this essentialist attitude alienates not the trolls, but the non-heteronormative men, who, by the way, if welcomed into feminism, would probably bring more resources (and different viewpoint – feminist view on masculine gender intricaties is often shallow) that they will require.

  99. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery February 23, 2012 at 8:41 am |

    It’s about a thousand years too late for men to pretend they get the whole ‘rape is wrong’ thing.

    You clearly need to stop hanging out with thousand-year-old men. But thanks for joining this thread — after FST got banned, we really needed someone to keep things completely ridiculous.

  100. Marcie
    Marcie February 23, 2012 at 9:53 am |

    @Politicalguineapig: Thanks for sharing your view, nice to know where you’re coming from.

    The next time a man tells me how he could support free choice, I’ll tell him to “STFU and mind your own business” from you.

  101. DP
    DP February 23, 2012 at 9:57 am |

    Eponymous Anonymous: Sorry, I don’t think feminism is a shared fight. I don’t see why women need to devote scarce resources to help male rape victims when we can barely keep up with the number of female victims- who after all, should be our main concern. It’s about a thousand years too late for men to pretend they get the whole ‘rape is wrong’ thing. To borrow an analogy: women are out there in the open, and the men who get shot at are in concealed locations. It’s hard to sympathize with a ‘fellow combatant’ who buys his own camouflage.

    Holy shit, can you share your time machine with us? Or open your portal to the magical world where people die and never change?

    Because that’s about the coherence of the argument you’re putting forward. Go away.

  102. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 23, 2012 at 10:49 am |

    I don’t see why women need to devote scarce resources to help male rape victims when we can barely keep up with the number of female victims- who after all, should be our main concern.

    I think I just… became pro-life? This feels strange…

  103. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 23, 2012 at 11:22 am |

    The solution to this (regardless of the victims sex) is as it always has been-

    Ending rape culture and male entitlement to sex.

    The majority of rapists are men. No way around that one. So it really doesn’t matter if men or women are the victims when the victims aren’t the problem.

    The rapists are. And prison rape stats, if nothing else, show that male entitlement to sex can be found in any situation. If there are no women available to rape, men will rape other men. If there are no adult males or females around to rape, men will rape children.
    Men rape anyone, anywhere they know they can get away with it.

  104. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 23, 2012 at 11:54 am |

    (and different viewpoint – feminist view on masculine gender intricaties is often shallow)

    A different viewpoint? Seriously? Male viewpoints aren’t available every time I turn on the tv, crack open a book, flip open a magazine, watch a movie, play a video game or step outside my house? Since when? The male viewpoint is currently the viewpoint of the Dominant Group and I, a member of the Oppressed Group, have been schooled in the Dominants viewpoint from birth. The default human viewpoint (male) is about as hidden and mysterious as the White Persons viewpoint in this country. I’m pretty sure my shallow little lady brain grasps the intricacies of the masculine gender given that I’ve had to for my own basic survival. As a WoC, I’d be dead by now if I didn’t.

  105. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

    “I think I just… became pro-life? This feels strange…”

    It shouldn’t. Threatening an uppity bitch with removal of bodily autonomy is the most common threat for a woman to receive when she commits the cardinal sin of putting women first.

  106. Frog Doctress
    Frog Doctress February 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm |

    What the everloving F is this?! I am reminded as to why I no longer read Feministe. You continue to give voices to men and male rapists, while minimizing the fact that WOMEN are the primary victims of rape- you are not putting women first, thus you fail.

    This is truly disgusting.

  107. Frog Doctress
    Frog Doctress February 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm |

    Oh, yeah: WHO ARE THE PERPS OF RAPE? MEN. MEN RAPE.

    Just wanted to name the perpetrators. Buh bye.

  108. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

    “The next time a man tells me how he could support free choice, I’ll tell him to “STFU and mind your own business” from you.”

    Tell him from me, too. Because last I checked, his opinion on my choices were never any of his business to begin with, and continuing to express one (either for or against) shows a stupidity that I can’t even be bothered to deal with past ” shut the fuck up”.

  109. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

    “But it doesn’t do harm to women to acknowledge that men in prison are raped in enormous numbers, and that is a problem.”

    Except that women do, every time the subject of rape comes up, especially on a feminist site. Ha, thinking we can ever only discuss our issues without mentioning men. Silly.

    But What About The Men is about as Godwin as it gets.

  110. Chiara
    Chiara February 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm |

    “I think I just… became pro-life? This feels strange…”

    It shouldn’t. Threatening an uppity bitch with removal of bodily autonomy is the most common threat for a woman to receive when she commits the cardinal sin of putting women first.

    I agree with this. You should be pro-choice because you believe it’s a woman’s right, not because you’re graciously allowing her choice on the condition that she be nice to you.

    But other than that, motherfuck off, pheenowhatever… You don’t achieve equality by just elevating the status of one sex… You need to do it for both. That’s the definition of equality. The whole ‘sins of the father’ thing you’re pushing is just so BS and doesn’t have any place on a website for serious thought.

  111. nevermind
    nevermind February 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm |

    @pheenobarbidoll

    Oh how I hope you are a troll.
    I suppose the same goes for frog doctress.

    So Jill writes a nice article that discusses the prevalence of male rape victims and tries to put it into a larger context of rape victims that are not incarcerated. At face value the numbers show more men are the victim of sexual assault than women, but with more analysis that fact may or may not be true. There is much skepticism for this claim in the comments and trolls appear.

    However, the little tidbit about the higher rates for female inmate on inmate sexual assault have not been mentioned so far. Why is that? Is it because these horrible people in feminist clothing come and spout crap like “WHO ARE THE PERPS OF RAPE? MEN. MEN RAPE” and the idea of a female perpetrators or male victims runs counter to the script they are basing their sexism around?

    So yes, this post will seem to fall into that dismissive “what about the menz” category. Sometimes men have legitimate points that a movement that professes to be centered in equality might want to listen to. When men come to a feminist place, being told the movement is about equality, only to be told to shut up and sit down, men should not have a voice here, it is very discouraging. Finding that many “feminists” don’t want men involved, we look to the MRM sites. Unfortunately, we find that they are addressing most of our issues without the presumption that male and rapist are synonyms. But, this home we found turns out to be full of misogynist jerks who make everyone involved seem terrible. I imagine many feminists feel the similar.

  112. Marcie
    Marcie February 24, 2012 at 4:12 am |

    I just checked, pheeno and doctress are apparently trolls from a sexist and transphobic place that should not be named.
    Oh well..

  113. John
    John February 24, 2012 at 5:48 am |

    The next time a man tells me how he could support free choice, I’ll tell him to “STFU and mind your own business” from you.”

    All very well, but men make up the huge majority of law-makers the world over.
    So unless you think you can live somewhere populated solely by those with XX chromosomes, if you want to win this war you’ll have to involve and persuade people like me.
    Am I not entitled to be horrified that my daughter may be forced to endure a pregnancy against her will?

  114. Marcie
    Marcie February 24, 2012 at 6:14 am |

    John, that was exactly my point, in contrast to the one Politicalguineapig made upthread.

    I’m not the one here who objects to hearing the arguments or accepting support from someone based on their chromosomes or how much they are directly affected by something.

  115. Lord Domly Pants's Bane
    Lord Domly Pants's Bane February 24, 2012 at 6:25 am |

    @ EponymousAnonymous
    I think we *do*have a prison system to keep people safe it is just that the one we have is a disaster. If it were up to me I would not put anyone away for possession or prostitution,I’d legalize weed, get rid of the death penalty. I’d do a great deal more civil service and therapy for minor crime rather than locking people up with scarier people. I’d take prison rape and beating seriously like if they happened outside prison.
    I think the sex crime registry is insane, if the are still dangerous why are they out? I’d make a second violent offense mandatory life. That should work ok once we had all the victimless crimes and minor crimes dealt with in a better way. It isn’t that I am not familiar with the idea of prison abolition, I just don’t agree. A much smaller prison system sounds like a great thing to go for but I do think that some people need to be removed.

    The ones who don’t need to be locked up however should not have a hard time getting jobs! That is BS. How are people supposed to support themselves if being a con makes it hard to live in a nice place with decent friends and a good job? For that matter people shouldn’t get railroaded into crime in the first place by having no other way to eat. Very few people are in prison in the first place because they are vicious and won’t stop attacking people. Take it down to them and you can have some pretty small prisons.

  116. Chiara
    Chiara February 24, 2012 at 6:38 am |

    All very well, but men make up the huge majority of law-makers the world over.
    So unless you think you can live somewhere populated solely by those with XX chromosomes, if you want to win this war you’ll have to involve and persuade people like me.
    Am I not entitled to be horrified that my daughter may be forced to endure a pregnancy against her will?

    Support by men of abortion rights is extremely important yes.

    But I think where people get pissed off is that some ‘liberal’ guys are all ‘so, what do I get in return for supporting abortion?’. I mean with some guys they’re like ‘I’m pro-choice btw’ and it’s like they expect you to get down on your knees or something.

    Guys should support is because they actually care about women. And therefore want women to have good shit. Not because they just want some benefit for themselves.

  117. Lord Domly Pants's Bane
    Lord Domly Pants's Bane February 24, 2012 at 6:53 am |

    “I don’t see why women need to devote scarce resources to help male rape victims when we can barely keep up with the number of female victims- who after all, should be our main concern.”

    Men work alongside us as: paramedics, cops, ER docs, prosecutors, jurors, judges, friends, therapists, crisis counselors, bodyguards, self-defense instructors…

    Human beings get raped, human beings help victims, human beings catch rapists.

  118. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie February 24, 2012 at 8:24 am |

    See, John, right there, with the “men hold all the power, so you’d better curry our favor” threat? And making it about YOUR horror that your daughter doesn’t have bodily sovreignty?

    That’s just you making reproductive health all about you and all about men. Dear God, what about the men?

    And, Marcie – I Blame the Patriarchy is not a “sexist and transphobic place,” and nobody is actually, y’know, “from” there.

  119. Doublylinkedlists
    Doublylinkedlists February 24, 2012 at 10:02 am |

    Jill, i’m pretty sure FST is a man.

    And to Pheeno and Frog:

    You are totally trolling. You’re posting views in a place you know they’re not welcome, just like when men post on IBTP. You don’t want people like me posting there (if I did you would insult and ban me with great cheer and fanfare) so don’t be a hypocrite and do the same thing. Live up to your own high standards of respect for once.

  120. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 10:20 am |

    “Really, we do? On this feminist site, we mention “men are raped too” every time the subject of rape comes up? ”

    It’s a common distraction tactic from MRA’s who enjoy stomping into feminist spaces.

    Feminists discuss rape. MRA storms in and says But Men Are Raped Too. Feminists end up in discussion about male rape.

    It’s not SO uncommon you’re unaware of it.

  121. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 10:22 am |

    “I just checked, pheeno and doctress are apparently trolls from a sexist and transphobic place that should not be named.”

    Except pheeno came here via ginmar. And posts occasionally on several other feminist sites.

    ooops.

  122. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 10:27 am |

    “You are totally trolling. You’re posting views in a place you know they’re not welcome, just like when men post on IBTP.”

    So, attempting to threaten women with removal of their bodily autonomy is welcome here? (and yes, saying things like ” I just became pro life is a threat in order to force a woman into not being so selfish as to put women first)

    MY view is that men rape. Men rape men. Men rape children. Men rape other men. And the rape culture we live in supports that, as long as the rape victims are female or “deserving” victims which would cover male prisoners. The only solution is ending the rape culture and male entitlement. So feel free to consider that unwelcome, and I’ll feel free to decide that makes this not a feminist site.

    “You don’t want people like me posting there ”

    I, personally, don’t give a rats ass who posts where so you might want to check your magic crystal ball. It appears to be broken.

  123. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 10:40 am |

    “I’m not the one here who objects to hearing the arguments or accepting support from someone based on their chromosomes or how much they are directly affected by something.”

    The world reality I live in is one where a panel of men exclude women as they discuss birth control. The world reality I live in is one where men never ever shut the fuck up about women, their bodies and reproductive systems.

    Allies don’t threaten to join the anti rights team because they were told to shut the fuck up for once.

    Allies don’t tell people in an oppressed group that their views are shallow and that they just need a different viewpoint explained to them.

    Telling women that they need male support in regards to women’s rights is about as offensive as telling POC they require white people’s support for their rights. Men and white folks, contrary to popular belief, aren’t King God of everything. They aren’t the bestowers of human rights. They’re not the default human. And it’s telling when upon hearing this, the FIRST response is a threat.

  124. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 10:43 am |

    “What people are pushing back on are earlier comments about how we shouldn’t be talking about male rape victims in prison, ever.”

    Using threats to do it.

    THAT is MY problem with the conversation.

    A woman says she doesn’t want to discuss male rape until female rape is handled. The response to that was a threat to remove bodily autonomy and reproductive rights.

    That’s little more than a ” be nice and let me in or I’ll fix YOU b*tches”

  125. John
    John February 24, 2012 at 10:47 am |

    Chiara
    “Guys should support is because they actually care about women. And therefore want women to have good shit. Not because they just want some benefit for themselves.”

    Yes, agreed.

  126. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 10:52 am |

    ‘Sure, it is a common distraction tactic by MRAs. But I was responding to what you actually said.”

    By missing the point.

  127. John
    John February 24, 2012 at 10:57 am |

    tinfoil hattie 2.24.2012 at 8:24 am

    “See, John, right there, with the “men hold all the power, so you’d better curry our favor” threat? And making it about YOUR horror that your daughter doesn’t have bodily sovreignty?

    That’s just you making reproductive health all about you and all about men. Dear God, what about the men?”
    ———————————————————————–

    Dear Gods, where even to start in the face of such blind prejudice and hostility?
    First, as I said, men make up the majority of lawmakers. So if you want to change anything at all about abortion, or even to preserve the Roe v Wade rights you already have, or to stop States like Virginia passing repulsively anti-female abortion laws, you will need to convince teh menz that you so evidently despise that women’s rights matter. You may be content just to bitching online as a keyboard warrior, but to create change in the real world, you will have to deal with it as it is, not as you would like it to be.

    There is no threat there whatever – just an observation.

    Second, how the hell do you come away with an idea that my horror at the idea that my daughter may one day be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy is all about ME? Jesus wept. WTF, are you *really* saying I ought not to give a shit just because I’m her father?

  128. John
    John February 24, 2012 at 11:08 am |

    pheenobarbidoll

    On abortion / reproductive health etc … if you won’t ever talk to men then how will you ever change anything? Sounds like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  129. John
    John February 24, 2012 at 11:19 am |

    pheenobarbidoll

    “Telling women that they need male support in regards to women’s rights is about as offensive as telling POC they require white people’s support for their rights.”
    ———————————————-

    Yes, but how do you go about effectively securing those rights if you go out of your way to alienate supporters? It’s all very well to say “women should be regarded as equal…” or “POC are equal to whites” BUT there’s a huge differnece between merely saying that and ensuring these rights are respected by the law, the police, the judiciary, the medical profession, schools, gubmint, etc.

    Don’t spurn assistance when it’s offered is all I’m saying. Otherwise you’re just playing identity politics.

  130. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 11:34 am |

    “On abortion / reproductive health etc … if you won’t ever talk to men then how will you ever change anything?”

    Perhaps you’ve not noticed, but feminists have been talking to men since feminism came about.

    TALKING to men isn’t the problem. Men not shutting the fuck up and listening is. And you can’t listen while you’re too busy being defensive because your privileged ass thinks you have a right to be listened to and deferred to or sweetly talked to.

    If you don’t like the way *I* fight for *my* rights, that’s your problem.

  131. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 11:35 am |

    “Otherwise you’re just playing identity politics.”

    What a nice little privileged view you have.

    I’m a woc. This isn’t a fucking game.

  132. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 11:50 am |

    “First, as I said, men make up the majority of lawmakers. So if you want to change anything at all about abortion, or even to preserve the Roe v Wade rights you already have, or to stop States like Virginia passing repulsively anti-female abortion laws, you will need to convince teh menz that you so evidently despise that women’s rights matter. ”

    And don’t forget ladies, the only proper way to do this is via sweetness and politeness and not that unlady like unjustifiable anger that might hurt male fee fee’s and alienate them! And don’t show any hostility to the ” you need us to protect you from us” racket.

    Or else they’ll punish you for being an uppity angry emotional unfair meanie woman and join the other team, and you’ll be a slave with no rights anymore just like you deserve!

    Take what you can get, and just be grateful for it. Demanding your voice hold more importance in a fight for your rights is unreasonable. Expecting to be heard is downright stupid. Not catering to so called allies is ungrateful.

    You need a man to mansplain how female activism is most effective.

    And if you see a problem with that, you’re just an angry manhater!

    Jesus Christ John. You’ve pulled out some very trite little sexist shaming tactics and implied threats, but her ANGER at that is the real problem?

    How about this-

    Instead of telling feminists how to do feminism and alienating them, try listening and NOT using trite sexist bullshit to manipulate them into seeing you as an ally.

    Members of an Oppressor Group do not get to dictate how the oppressed fight their battles or feel about it.

    She’s angry and hostile with men? Why shouldn’t she be? Some might be alienated? What about her alienation from her own damn fight?

  133. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm |

    I’d like for you to read this John, and apply the general idea to this conversation.

    h ttp://theangryblackwoman.com/2011/08/07/of-activists-feminism-mammy-issues/

  134. LR
    LR February 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

    @ pheenobarbidoll

    “The solution to this (regardless of the victims sex) is as it always has been-

    Ending rape culture and male entitlement to sex.

    The majority of rapists are men. No way around that one. So it really doesn’t matter if men or women are the victims when the victims aren’t the problem.

    The rapists are. And prison rape stats, if nothing else, show that male entitlement to sex can be found in any situation. If there are no women available to rape, men will rape other men. If there are no adult males or females around to rape, men will rape children.
    Men rape anyone, anywhere they know they can get away with it.”

    That’s so ON, I wanted to repost. Thanks!

  135. Norma
    Norma February 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

    “I don’t see why women need to devote scarce resources to help male rape victims when we can barely keep up with the number of female victims- who after all, should be our main concern.”

    It is really fucking sad that people can read an article about nearly a quarter of a million prisoners being victims of at least one sexual assault a year, and go, “Meh, not a priority, wrong gender.” This theory that only one gender should be free from sexual violence is totally ineffective if your concern is ending cycles of violence. It’s also ethically nonsensical. How female does a person need to be before it’s ok to advocate on her behalf? Do GBT men not get protection because they identify as masculine?

  136. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

    I agree with this. You should be pro-choice because you believe it’s a woman’s right, not because you’re graciously allowing her choice on the condition that she be nice to you.

    That is exactly why I’m pro-choice. It was sarcasm.

    The only solution is ending the rape culture and male entitlement.

    Just because the majority of rapists are men doesn’t mean it’s OK to erase the experiences of survivors of rape by women, which is what happens when you claim that rape would go away entirely if men acted differently.

  137. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm |

    “doesn’t mean it’s OK to erase the experiences of survivors of rape by women, which is what happens when you claim that rape would go away entirely if men acted differently.”

    psssst- I covered that with the whole “rape culture” comment.

    Rape culture AND male entitlement.

    The rape culture eradication would address the 2%of rapists that are female. Male entitlement eradication would address the 98% of rapists that are male.

  138. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm |

    Otherwise you’re just playing identity politics.

    What a white man calls playing identity politics is, for many of us, just trying to live our lives. You’re being an asshole.

  139. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

    “It is really fucking sad that people can read an article about nearly a quarter of a million prisoners being victims of at least one sexual assault a year, and go, “Meh, not a priority, wrong gender.””

    It would be said if we didn’t live in a society that viewed women as terminally on the bottom few rungs of the priority ladder. Men in this country have an entire society of law makers, law enforcers , watch dogs and health officials focused on male as a priority.

    Women are still a special interest and you’re going to begrudge one for putting women first. In a culture that raises women from birth to NEVER prioritize herself or women’s issues.

    As a general rule, I put NDN women first on my priority list. White men are dead last on my priority list because my hands are full just dealing with the issues that do affect me (NDN woman).

    Like how NDN women can’t even report rape and when we DO, the chances of a GAME WARDEN showing up to take the report isn’t uncommon.

    A game warden.

    So if I prioritize that by gender AND race, that makes me wrong? Then fine. I’ll happily be wrong and continue to use the limited almost laughable resources we have to at least get a real cop to show up.

  140. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm |

    The rape culture eradication would address the 2%of rapists that are female. Male entitlement eradication would address the 98% of rapists that are male.

    Well, no. Because rapists commit rape for a ton of reasons, which don’t always neatly boil down to rape culture or entitlement. I realize why framing things that way is politically smart, and works well in terms of sweeping academic theories, but really in only covers power-reassurance rapists. Sadistic rapists who simply enjoy inflicting pain, or anger-excitation rapists who actually need to be violating someone in order to become physically aroused, are going to keep raping people regardless of whether they believe they are ‘entitled’ to sex.

  141. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

    Men in this country have an entire society of law makers, law enforcers, watch dogs and health officials focused on male as a priority.

    Bullshit. Male privilege only accrues to men who ‘do maleness’ in specific ways; one of those ways is not being raped. Maybe if you’re a white, straight cismale who’s assaulted in a way which fits well with other narratives what you said is true, but if you’re a transgender man who’s sexually assaulted, do you really think the police are looking out for you?

  142. Holly
    Holly February 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm |

    I just wanted to chime in to thank Jill for writing a piece that attempts to hold two things at the same time: the ongoing subjugation of and overwhelming violence against women through rape, AND the horror that is the prison-industrial complex, including how rape is used as an ever-present threat that’s bound up with incarceration. It’s still way too rare to find political writing that pays attention to complexity that way, and I always feel like it’s worth defending true complexity — the kind that honors multiple struggles against horrifically unjust violence and oppression — against claims that we HAVE to talk more simply in order to be effective.

    Other things:

    – I don’t care what MRAs think about rape any more than I would worry about whether a halibut can understand a joke I just told. Once their agenda is clear? Bye, dismissed, irrelevant. They just repeat themselves anyway.

    – this topic has been mentioned before and there’s wider agreement about how horrible it is, but it bears mentioning again in this context about gender and prison rape: if you look at the limited number of reports on trans women in prison (I recommend It’s War in Here and Cruel and Unusual ) it’s overwhelmingly likely that if you are a trans woman and you are incarcerated, you will be placed in a men’s prison and raped, either by the staff or other incarcerated people, sometimes both or even forced into prostitution with a guard as your pimp. Your 1 out of 10 chance of being raped in a men’s prison skyrockets if you are a woman in a men’s prison. This should point out that the problem is obviously not deciding who gets raped more, the problem is rape culture+prison system: a system in which most rape victims are men, but the smaller number of cis women are more likely to be raped, and the even smaller number of trans women are almost certain to be raped.

    – there’s been some discussion on this thread about how not all rape is motivated by gender, but it’s abundantly clear to me, personally, than an awful lot of rape in which the victims are not cis women is also motivated by gender. This is very obvious in that trans women are vastly more likely to be raped in and out of prison than men are, and that’s about gender. It’s less obvious, but still clear to me, that a lot of situations in which men rape other men are about gender. Statistics show that more “effeminate” men are more likely to be raped, which corresponds to popular conceptions awfully well. But let’s go beyond statistics into some intuitive understandings of what masculinity is: if you ask me, masculinity is culturally defined in part through a never-ending competition about who’s more masculine — who is the most masculine. If you fail to maintain your masculinity against challengers, you drop on the masculinity scale. (If you are so inclined, you may now insert an obvious anecdote about posturing and feinting punches on the street, or a stupid evolutionary-biology theory about alpha males.) Many men try to opt out of this, sometimes through class privilege (being “above” the base cock-fight just by having more money and winning THAT competition instead) or by creating a different territory where more intellectual competitions are substituted, like knowing more or arguing your opponents to death.

    If you even SORTA buy this portrait of masculinity, even as a cultural construct which you don’t believe has a more literal reality, ask yourself what is at the BOTTOM of the heap in this endless “king of the hill” masculinity battle? This has been said before by various feminist texts, so you could say I’m just regurgitating here, but even at some intuitive level, I’d say that being turned into an object of penetration is at the bottom. The linkage here explains the role of prison rape jokes, the threat that the prison-industrial complex uses to keep men in line, big differences in what’s considered sufficiently masculine in communities that are more or less subject to the threat of incarceration, and a fair chunk of why gay men (especially effeminate men who are presumed to be bottoms) and trans women are treated like trash, and little attention is paid when they are raped in or out of prison.

    There’s always recurring talk of how the problem of toxic masculinity has to be solved in order for rape culture to end, in order for sexism and misogyny to get better, in order for gender to one day stop being such a horrific system of oppression. My take is that “men being raped” is an incredibly central knot of evil, fear, horror, violence, threat that makes a lot of “toxic masculinity” function, so it’s worth talking about on a feminist blog.

  143. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm |

    “but if you’re a transgender man who’s sexually assaulted, do you really think the police are looking out for you?”

    I don’t think a transgender man is a man, she’s a woman. And because she’s a woman, she’s now “acceptable” to be raped. That’s what we’re FOR after all.

  144. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

    “Because rapists commit rape for a ton of reasons”

    Which all contain the common theme of ” I am entitled to”

    They may act upon the reasons because they believe they are entitled to act upon their reasons. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t act.

  145. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm |

    I don’t think a transgender man is a man, she’s a woman. And because she’s a woman, she’s now “acceptable” to be raped. That’s what we’re FOR after all.

    Yeah, I have no interest in arguing with transphobic radfems who value the consistency of their academic theories above the lived experiences of real people.

  146. EponymousAnonymous
    EponymousAnonymous February 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

    @Lord Domly Pants’s Bane get what you’re saying but you are talking about a possible U.S. prison system. In theory a prison system might be used to protect people and maybe that’s just what they’re used for in other countries but the penal system in the U.S. is a tool for social control, as prison systems have been historically, and as such it’s “problems” including all the one you want to eliminate are features not bugs. What you advocate is not reform but a radical restructuring and of a system that’s working just fine.

    @pheenobarbidoll you’ve helped derail a thread about prison rape in the same way that MRAs ruin threads about women being raped. Your legitimate concerns with comments that have been made here are shared by the majority of other poster. You seem to think we can understand and stop rape by focusing exclusively on a category that is at best a narrow majority. I don’t think one can effectively analyze anything with so large a blind spot.

    I also think rape and rape culture are contagions, so eliminating them anywhere will help stop the spread and prison rape seems like low hanging fruit. From what I’ve read 1: people who’ve been victimized are more likely than the general population to become perpetrators 2: most rapes are committed by serial rapists. So out of 216,000 easily preventable rapes in one year how many new rapists were created and how many people will they rape? How many of those people will be women? How does a prison rapist’s sense of entitlement to other peoples bodies effect rape culture on the outside? How much would the harm to women be reduced if we gave 1/4 of fuck and reduced those numbers by half? We’re not even allocating resources here, we’re looking at the data and figuring out how rape culture works and how to end it. The link you posted is a good one and I thank you for that.

    You shouldn’t be alienated by your own struggle, but your struggle is part of a much big war that’s happening on a lot of fronts and effecting a lot of people. Allowing space for legitimate concerns about men delegitimizes the MRAs you’re complaining about by undermining their argument that feminists want to hurt men and only use issues like rape for rhetorical leverage. If your own personal trauma prevents you from participating in a conversation like this without freaking out then look out for yourself and don’t participate. You’re not the only one calling people out for bullshit patriarchal comments. You seem to want men to listen to you but you don’t have a whole lot to say other than to generalizations. If there’s some insight you can give us other than that we’re the enemy then by all means let us know, but this conversation isn’t healthy.

  147. Norma
    Norma February 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

    I don’t think a transgender man is a man, she’s a woman.

    Are you serious with this? I’m hoping that you’re just totally ignorant about basic gender terminology, and not as transphobic as you appear here. Do some 101 reading.

    It would be said if we didn’t live in a society that viewed women as terminally on the bottom few rungs of the priority ladder.

    When it comes to sexual assault, most men of color, sexual minorities who identify as male, and people in detention have *far* fewer protections/resources than white cis women. For all you keep bringing up race, you simply don’t recognize the effects of intersectionality–race, sexuality, gender, class, detention status–on male rape survivors.

  148. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm |

    “Male privilege only accrues to men who ‘do maleness’ in specific ways; one of those ways is not being raped.”

    This falls flat when you look at reports of men who are

    1)believed when they do report rape

    2)not blamed for it

    3)their rape isn’t reported in graphic detail along with descriptions of how he looked, what he was wearing etc

    You don’t read reports of the burly blond haired Joe. You do read reports of the petite, blond haired Jane.

    You don’t read about Joe being out at 3 am (because time is irrelevant to his rape) leaving the bar (because his drinking or being in an unsavory place is irrelevant to his rape) in tight jeans. (because his clothing is irrelevant to his rape)

    You do read about the petite blond Jane (because her looks are relevant to her rape) out at 3 am (because the time is relevant to her rape-her fault) leaving the bar (because her drinking is relevant to her rape- her fault…at a bar-shoulda known better) in a tight skirt( just asking for it)

    If “doing maleness” was a requirement for all men and “being raped” kicked them out of the male privilege club, articles about male rape (prison articles notwithstanding, as convicts are seen as deserving of any mistreatment) would not be written in such a way to garner sympathy for them.

  149. Lara Emily Foley
    Lara Emily Foley February 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

    Oh goodie now we have trans identity erasing. I love when this happens. A trans man is not a woman, he is not a she.

  150. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    “Are you serious with this? I’m hoping that you’re just totally ignorant about basic gender terminology, and not as transphobic as you appear here. Do some 101 reading.”

    If a male to female transgender individual is who we are discussing, then I identify her as the gender she identifies with.

    “For all you keep bringing up race, you simply don’t recognize the effects of intersectionality–race, sexuality, gender, class, detention status–on male rape survivors.”

    What I recognize is that no matter what, a WoC is always on that bottom rung. Her sexuality, class, and detention status will not elevate her in any way. A “high class”, straight NDN with not even a speeding ticket to her name is still a fucking NDN. NDN women aren’t even human. Her race trumps all. And she’ll get a game warden taking her report, while a sheriff and a local Tribal Chief argue in her front yard about who has jurisdiction while her rapist HIDES IN HER CLOSET.

  151. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

    Oh goodie now we have trans identity erasing. I love when this happens. A trans man is not a woman, he is not a she.

    I keep thinking that this type of ugly, gender-essentialist radical feminism has died out and it’s safe to identify as a feminist again, and then I keep being proven wrong. At least the feministe commentariat seems to be pretty good about calling it out when it shows up.

  152. Donna L
    Donna L February 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

    I suspect the problem is that pheenobarbidoll can’t be bothered to learn the most basic terminology, and thinks “transgender man” means a transitioned trans person assigned male at birth, even though obviously it means a transitioned trans person assigned female at birth.

    If that’s the case, then I suspect that pheenobarbidol thought she was being trans-accepting and supportive.

    Regardless of any beneficent intent, though, it’s 2012, and there’s supposed to be a basic level of knowledge for people who post here. Please don’t say anything at all about trans people, if you can’t get something that simple right. Not to mention that even thinking that “transgender man” might mean a trans woman, even if your response is that she is a woman, may well reflect a certain amount of underlying misgendering in the first place.

  153. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm |

    “I suspect the problem is that pheenobarbidoll can’t be bothered to learn the most basic terminology, and thinks “transgender man” means a transitioned trans person assigned male at birth, even though obviously it means a transitioned trans person assigned female at birth.”

    The problem is that I’m accustomed to people not calling a transgendered person by the gender they identify with, and using the birth assignment as the “real” gender. I assumed that was happening here, and I assumed wrong.

  154. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

    What I recognize is that no matter what, a WoC is always on that bottom rung. Her sexuality, class, and detention status will not elevate her in any way. A “high class”, straight NDN with not even a speeding ticket to her name is still a fucking NDN. NDN women aren’t even human. Her race trumps all. And she’ll get a game warden taking her report, while a sheriff and a local Tribal Chief argue in her front yard about who has jurisdiction while her rapist HIDES IN HER CLOSET.

    And nobody here has disagreed with you on that point. You seem to be saying “how dare we talk about men being raped when this and this and this happens”. Of course it’s important that women should be centered in most discussions of rape because we do make up the majority of victims. But it’s important that stories about male rape victims are heard. Not because we need men to help us get our laws passed and to help us to break down rape culture. But because those male victims may be our brothers, our sons, our spouses, and our fathers. To me, that’s one of the best reasons to have this discussion.

  155. EponymousAnonymous
    EponymousAnonymous February 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

    @Pheenobarbidoll: The link I referred too was the first one. I haven’t read the second yet. I shouldn’t worry about what’s “healthy” for you or not either my bad. These comments are getting clearer and better too.

    @Holly: Fuck yeah, this.

  156. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm |

    “You seem to be saying “how dare we talk about men being raped when this and this and this happens”.”

    No, that’s not what I’m saying.

    What I’m saying is if a woman (now I forget who even said it) says ” I’m prioritizing women and not going to use already limited resources on men” she is not being sexist nor horrible. And it’s certainly not appropriate to shame her or threaten her (with backing the removal of reproductive rights) because she has prioritized female rape victims in her feminism.

    Then I used my own priorities as an example. And gave specific reasons as to why. I can’t fight your fight with my hands full. And I can’t spare the resources.

  157. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |

    @EponymousAnonymous-

    The second link is about internalized Mammy issues and how WoC are expected to avoid prioritizing their fight lest they make the activism of others more difficult.

    I see that being mirrored here, in that a woman who prioritizes women above all first is alienating male allies ( in other words, making activism harder for the men) and not accommodating enough.

  158. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

    What I’m saying is if a woman (now I forget who even said it) says ” I’m prioritizing women and not going to use already limited resources on men” she is not being sexist nor horrible. And it’s certainly not appropriate to shame her or threaten her (with backing the removal of reproductive rights) because she has prioritized female rape victims in her feminism.

    Thank you for the clarification. I apologize for misreading you.

    I still believe that male rape victims are an important to the discussion of rape culture. The same sexist institutions that villify female victims of rape and sexual assault also affect male victims.

  159. doublylinkedlists
    doublylinkedlists February 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

    @Pheeno

    If your advocacy time and energy are so very harshly limited that you have no time to address men at all whatsoever, then what in the world are you doing on this thread addressing men?

    If you don’t have the energy to educate others because you’re so busy focusing on your own issues, why are you spending all day posting on a blog you yourself have proclaimed to be “not feminist”?

    I can’t buy any of your arguments about limited time and energy because they run directly contrary to your actions of telling us all about your limited time and energy.

    This: “White men are dead last on my priority list because my hands are full just dealing with the issues that do affect me” is literally an unbelievable statement given your continued efforts to completely derail this thread.

  160. Tomek Kulesza
    Tomek Kulesza February 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm |

    @pheenobarbidoll

    (and different viewpoint – feminist view on masculine gender intricaties is often shallow)

    A different viewpoint? Seriously? Male viewpoints aren’t available every time I turn on the tv, crack open a book, flip open a magazine, watch a movie, play a video game or step outside my house? Since when? The male viewpoint is currently the viewpoint of the Dominant Group and I, a member of the Oppressed Group, have been schooled in the Dominants viewpoint from birth. The default human viewpoint (male) is about as hidden and mysterious as the White Persons viewpoint in this country. I’m pretty sure my shallow little lady brain grasps the intricacies of the masculine gender given that I’ve had to for my own basic survival. As a WoC, I’d be dead by now if I didn’t.

    Yes. Exactly that. Because what you just did here is what i spoke about – the mistake is that men are treated as a monolothic bloc.

    To bring an anecdote, lately a friend of mine wrote a review of book about Soviet women soldiers in WW II for a feminist website. And she contrasted the things women described in the book talked about to the “male viewpoint/narrative” on that war. The problem was that what she described as the male narrative was a specific view of men behind the frontline and the actual frontline soldiers had exactly the same things to say that the women in the book (which i happened to know having read Ivan’s War sometime ago).

    Of course their memories weren’t really spoken about.

    Now, that’s issue is actually rather easy to spot, because class is well-researched thing, but gender? Until very, very recently, all you could hear was heteronormative view of masculinity which had as much to do with experiences of men as a whole as, i don’t know, upper class white cis-woman experience had to do with the whole of womankind.

    So i stand by my point.

  161. Tomek Kulesza
    Tomek Kulesza February 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm |

    @Jill

    Has anyone disagreed with this view? I agree with it. What people are pushing back on are earlier comments about how we shouldn’t be talking about male rape victims in prison, ever.

    Well, speaking of it i sort of do. With the children bit, i think they get raped by both sexes. Which makes sense, since rape is very much about power and who can women have power over if not children (or, other inmates, as seen from this thread stats)

    Of course it’s a guess since child rape is likely to be more underreported that any other kind of rape.

  162. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

    “The same sexist institutions that villify female victims of rape and sexual assault also affect male victims.”

    I don’t think feminism has ever argued that the Patriarchy doesn’t harm men too, but the greater point is this-

    If women were no longer viewed as subhuman fuck toilets for men (which prioritizing womens issues attempts to accomplish) it would greatly impact rape culture and that includes male rape victims. Male rape victims are “turned into” default women in order to become rapeable. I honestly don’t see how a woman wishing to prioritize female rape can be villified, when by extension, male rape victims would benefit as well.
    If being a woman isn’t seen as bad, then identifying as a woman by extension would not be seen as bad.
    If being a woman isn’t seen as bad, then a identifying as male wouldn’t be seen as a fucktoilet trying to “act like a man”.

    Misogyny is the root of patriarchy. Kill the root and you can tear down the whole tree with a lot less effort. (the trunk and branches are racism, homophobia, transphobia etc etc etc)

  163. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |

    “If your advocacy time and energy are so very harshly limited that you have no time to address men at all whatsoever, then what in the world are you doing on this thread addressing men?”

    Defending a woman who was threatened with sexist manipulative tactics for having the sheer audacity to be a woman who prioritizes women.

  164. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm |

    “With the children bit, i think they get raped by both sexes. ”

    • Nearly all the offenders in sexual assaults reported to law enforcement were male (96%).
    -Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement,
    7/00, NCJ 182990, U.S. Department of Justice

    h ttp://www.yellodyno.com/html/rape_stats.html

  165. Tomek Kulesza
    Tomek Kulesza February 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

    As i said, i don’t think law enforcement statistics are worth anything when it comes to child rape.

  166. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm |

    “the mistake is that men are treated as a monolothic bloc.”

    ” oh dear Mr Male with a less often hammered down my throat viewpoint, please allow me to sit here in deferential silence as you get your turn at the microphone.” It’s not as if I’m next anyway, what’s one more male voice, right?

    No thanks.

  167. Tomek Kulesza
    Tomek Kulesza February 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

    To play along with you the oppression olympics, i think you’re actually more privileged than i am, and yes, i am white male and you’re WOC.

    But you’re American and i’m rather poor eastern European, so there :p

  168. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm |

    “But you’re American and i’m rather poor eastern European, so there :p”

    I grew up on a Reservation. Where’s my trophy?

    (and no, that’s not serious because once again, it’s not a game)

  169. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm |

    @ pheenobarbidoll

    I agree with everything except this:

    (the trunk and branches are racism, homophobia, transphobia etc etc etc)

    No. Just no.

  170. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

    To play along with you the oppression olympics, i think you’re actually more privileged than i am, and yes, i am white male and you’re WOC.

    But you’re American and i’m rather poor eastern European, so there :p

    Doesn’t work that way.

  171. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

    @ Angel- it’s pretty difficult to justify oppressing people when you eliminate the oppression of one half of the human population. If a person can justify oppressing another person of their same race, class and sexual preference based on gender alone, there’s no oppression they can’t justify.

  172. Jadey
    Jadey February 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

    @ Angel H

    Ditto. I think pheenobarbidol is making some good points and *isn’t* making some of the bad points that other commenters have assumed she was, although I don’t agree with everything she’s said.
    Re-reading this thread, it looks like there’s a lot of misunderstandings and subsequent assumptions of bad faith.

    Comments like those made by Tomek and the original one by Justamblingalong that pheenobarbidol was originally responding to *are* fucked up and missing the point. Responses like that bear responsibility for the thread getting off track too.

  173. Jadey
    Jadey February 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

    @ Angel- it’s pretty difficult to justify oppressing people when you eliminate the oppression of one half of the human population. If a person can justify oppressing another person of their same race, class and sexual preference based on gender alone, there’s no oppression they can’t justify.

    White people aren’t the majority of the world, either, just like men aren’t. Even if gendered oppression vanished, well over half the human population would still be oppressed.

    I think if someone can oppress someone else on the basis of *any* irrelevant characteristic, then there’s no oppression they can’t justify. They all feed into each other. Look at the way white women still oppress women of colour, even though we’re the same gender.

  174. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm |

    @ Angel- it’s pretty difficult to justify oppressing people when you eliminate the oppression of one half of the human population. If a person can justify oppressing another person of their same race, class and sexual preference based on gender alone, there’s no oppression they can’t justify.

    You’re making the assumption that misogyny is the first oppression. And even if it was, it doesn’t explain racism, ableism, homophobia, classism, and transphobia when victims of those oppressions sometimes benefit from misogyny.

  175. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm |

    “You’re making the assumption that misogyny is the first oppression.”

    It crosses just about every culture and when women and children on a global scale make up the most impoverished and oppressed group, misogyny is at the top of the list. It allows a Patriarchial society to decide who’s on top. Men always land at #1 under those rules. I do think intersectionality allows movement of certain isms under certain circumstances to change spots so to speak with the first oppression, but prior to any culture discovering other cultures exist, they had women to oppress.

  176. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

    “Look at the way white women still oppress women of colour, even though we’re the same gender.”

    What do white men and men of color have in common? Oppression of women.

    Before those white women ever encountered WoC. Men and women have always existed together, while differing races didn’t exist until the construct of race came about.

  177. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm |

    I do think intersectionality allows movement of certain isms under certain circumstances to change spots so to speak with the first oppression, but prior to any culture discovering other cultures exist, they had women to oppress.

    And the disabled…and the lower classes…and the homosexual….and transgender…

    1. ginmar
      ginmar February 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm |

      @188—Long before there were any of those groups there were women-

  178. ginmar
    ginmar February 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm |

    Typing on a fucking phone–And why is the title so inflammatory?

  179. Jadey
    Jadey February 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

    What do white men and men of color have in common? Oppression of women.

    Before those white women ever encountered WoC. Men and women have always existed together, while differing races didn’t exist until the construct of race came about.

    Right, but I’m not arguing that race oppression trumps gender oppression, only that the reverse isn’t true either, so turning the argument around doesn’t disprove my point at all.

    As for constructing different races, certainly our exact contemporary constructions are, well, contemporary, but constructing social out-groups on a variety of physical, behavioural, and geographical characteristics is as old as the hills! Just look at the partial list Angel H. posted.

    Look, gender is important, but we’ve seen time and time again how much of a dead-end it is to try to reduce it down to *one* oppression that is fundamental and all others being just an offshoot.

    As I said in another earlier comment that’s stuck in mod, I appreciate some of your contributions to this thread and wish people hadn’t jumped on everything you said so angrily, because I think there were misunderstandings about some of what you were actually saying. But on this I don’t think you’re going to find any agreement whatsoever.

    1. ginmar
      ginmar February 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

      Who do you think the original outgroup was? In every group, first there

  180. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm |

    @188—Long before there were any of those groups there were women-

    Citation needed.

  181. ginmar
    ginmar February 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm |

    Yeah do I need to explaim the birds and the bees again? Otherwise that kind of snit just illustrates why shitstorms occur so often om certain sites.

  182. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie February 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

    I dont care what you think, John. Your opinion has no value to me. You’re a mansplaining dude blinded by privilege. You cant even see what you’re doing, and you have no interest in learning from anyone.

    Also, nice way to try and turn pheeno into a transphobe. Tricky!

    Men being raped is, of course, horrible. I simply dont believe that they are raped more than women are. No matter how the “statistics” are manipulated.

  183. Donna L
    Donna L February 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm |

    prior to any culture discovering other cultures exist, they had women to oppress.

    Let’s say this is all true. So what? The assumed fact that misogyny was the “first oppression” in time (and my guess is that it arose no earlier than oppression of children, the sick and disabled, and anybody else who was “less than” even within an individual culture) does not in any way prove that it caused other oppressions of people outside the culture, such as racism/xenophobia. Obviously, correlation in time doesn’t imply causation. And war and oppression based on “otherness” obviously didn’t require the construction of race in order to exist.
    Nor would they — or racism itself* — magically cease to exist in the feminist utopia. Ginmar’s pointless snark notwithstanding, I doubt she has a shred of evidence (as opposed to dogma), that such a thing would occur.

    People obviously can and should focus on whatever they feel is most important. But don’t pretend that solving “the first oppression” is somehow objectively more important than working on all other oppressions, because it’s the linchpin underlying all others. It’s precisely that sort of nonsense that has led so many women of color to reject the feminist label and what they perceive as feminism itself.

    * Of course homophobia and transphobia are related to misogyny. But the idea that they would magically disappear absent misogyny is pretty dubious by itself.

  184. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

    Who do you think the original outgroup was?…Yeah do I need to explaim the birds and the bees again? Otherwise that kind of snit just illustrates why shitstorms occur so often om certain sites.

    No, the reason shitstorms occur is because some people can’t tell the difference between asking for proof and throwing a snit.

    Since you’re saying that women was “the original outgroup” you would have to prove that men came first. You would have to show that despite intersectioning oppressions, misogyny is not only the worse by far, but that it has a longer history. And “birds and the bees” doesn’t cut it when you’re talking to a Black, mentally-ill, fat, homeless woman who has to deal with racism, classim, ableism, fat hatred, and misogyny on the daily and at varying degrees.

    Prove to me that misogyny is the root of all oppression, including but not limited what has been litsted above. And don’t forget to show your work.

  185. Donna L
    Donna L February 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm |

    Angel, I guess great minds think alike.

  186. George
    George February 24, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

    While I can, I suppose, disagree with odd parts of comments from some of the women in this thread, I hear total silence about the responsibilities of us men – related to other men (and to women). It is obvious that there is both:

    1.) The vast majority of sexual violence perpetrated by men,
    2.) A significant majority of victims of sexual violence are female and
    3.) A substantive minority of males – particularly boys and men in prison are victims of sexual violence,

    What I don’t hear at all is:

    1.) The need for (us) White men reaching out and supporting male victims of prison assaults which disproportionately affect Men-Of-Color,
    2.) The need for (us) men (predominantly White men) to support and work and push for work to support Both Male and Female victims of sexual assault as well as domestic violence and stalking,
    and:
    3.) The recognition from men in general that we need to both work within ourselves (and with other men) and to reach outward and end the Reality that these issues have been both limited to being “women’s issues” and the fodder for MRA’s speaking on our behalf (falsely!) with predominantly silence on our parts.

    While it is perhaps helpful to hear Male “support” of women and ridicule of MRA’s and other Anti-Feminist words, we need to really end the reality that somewhere between 98 and 99.99% of the excellent work is done by women, and Both: support women and perhaps more importantly begin working with Men – who may be both allies and potential allies.

  187. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie February 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm |

    ” … even though obviously it means a transitioned trans person assigned female at birth.”

    Obvious to whom? I am familiar with the terms transwoman, transman, woman, man, transsexual, and intersexed. I wasn’t clear if the person asking the question about a “transgender man” meant MAAB or FAAB.

  188. Donna L
    Donna L February 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm |

    I am familiar with the terms transwoman, transman

    That would be trans woman, trans man, etc. Unless you’re in the habit of using words like Chinaman, Jewman, Gayman, and so on.

    I wasn’t clear if the person asking the question about a “transgender man”

    Generally speaking, it’s extremely safe to assume that any reference like that — especially when made by a trans person or ally — is to the trans person’s actual/target identity, not what they may have been assigned at birth.

  189. thinksnake
    thinksnake February 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm |

    tinfoil, there’s a big difference between calling someone a ‘transwoman’ and a ‘trans woman’. Just a heads up :)

  190. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm |

    “Right, but I’m not arguing that race oppression trumps gender oppression, only that the reverse isn’t true either, so turning the argument around doesn’t disprove my point at all.”

    I’m not arguing that gender oppression TRUMPS any other oppression, I’m stating that I believe gender oppression was the original sin so to speak.

    It’s not better, or worse. There are no winners and it’s not a game.

  191. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm |

    “Nor would they — or racism itself* — magically cease to exist in the feminist utopia.”

    I haven’t claimed they would cease to exist. I said once misogyny was eradicated, getting rid of the rest would be easier.

    Misogyny doesn’t cause racism, but it helps keep that door open.

  192. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm |

    “But don’t pretend that solving “the first oppression” is somehow objectively more important than working on all other oppressions”

    I HAVEN’T. I’ve said don’t use misogynistic threats against a woman who prioritizes women over men. And then I gave examples of who I personally prioritize and WHY.

  193. Jadey
    Jadey February 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm |

    @ pheenobarbidoll

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong at all with someone prioritizing their own fights.

    But, for the record, saying stuff like:

    Misogyny is the root of patriarchy. Kill the root and you can tear down the whole tree with a lot less effort. (the trunk and branches are racism, homophobia, transphobia etc etc etc)

    DOES sound like you are saying misogyny is the source of all oppression (defined as “patriarchy” specifically), which conveys a pretty strong message that it’s somehow worse than stuff that happens alongside patriarchy and more important to deal with. It sounds like you are telling us what OUR priorities should be, which is why you are getting pushback.

    If that’s not what you meant to say, you might want to rethink what that metaphor you used. “Root cause” is a pretty conventional concept, so it’s not ridiculous that we would think by calling misogyny the “root” of the tree that you meant to suggest it caused other kinds of oppression. (For the record, plenty of people making statements very similar to that do mean to give that impression. Hell, someone brought up the same tired argument in another thread recently that all oppression is caused by classism.)

    I still don’t agree with you on the temporal ordering of the appearance of forms of oppression for the reasons stated above, but as long as we aren’t arguing that one is worse than another or that one causes another (as opposed to being reciprocal) then I don’t really care about arguing something none of us can prove one way or another that doesn’t seem to have much practical consequence anyway at this point in time.

  194. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm |

    “DOES sound like you are saying misogyny is the source of all oppression (defined as “patriarchy” specifically), which conveys a pretty strong message that it’s somehow worse than stuff that happens alongside patriarchy and more important to deal with. It sounds like you are telling us what OUR priorities should be, which is why you are getting pushback.”

    Yes, I simplified far too much and should have used hatred as the roots of the tree, with all the other isms as the various branches. I wasn’t thinking roots as in “everything comes from this”, but as in “you kill this, the entire tree is weakened.”

    If I (just as an example) cut a huge chunk of misogyny out of the tree, I do believe others chopping at it will have less to cut down and a weaker tree. Also, though i hasn’t been brought up, I believe if someone cuts a huge chunk of racism out of the tree, I will have less to cut down and a weaker tree.

    MY personal focus is on getting NDN women some axes.

    “but as long as we aren’t arguing that one is worse ”

    No, we’re not. When something arose on a timeline doesn’t make it more important than something that may have arisen later.

    I think the chicken came first, but that doesn’t mean I like or hate chickens more than eggs.

    1. ginmar
      ginmar February 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm |

      Jesus Christ,
      God forbid anybody mention that men had access to women before anybody else.

  195. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

    Incidentally, what I look at that leads me to believe misogyny probably reared it’s head first is my own culture. We didn’t raid and fight other Tribes because of racism, it was for resources. (and glory, sick as it is) That another Tribe had different skin tone didn’t matter. Homosexuals weren’t viewed as abnormal or bad, they were left alone to do what made them happy. Women were respected. However, even that respect had a taint of sexism, because women were believed to have more powerful medicine because women created life, whereas mens medicine was taking life. While women warriors were rare, they were respected and not viewed as weird or unwomanly.

    BUT

    In battle, they were not allowed to fight along side the men because their medicine could weaken the men. So these powerful, respected warrior women had to fight on the outskirts of battles, all alone.

    Our woman-ness carried an inherent difference that could not be overlooked.

    Then there’s the estimates that around 70% or more of Tribes were pacifists. They didn’t go around fighting and waging war (though stealing was common) and generally got along peacefully with other Tribes that were as varied as one can imagine. But even the peaceful Tribes that weren’t Patriachial outright still held women to a different standard. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. It generally stemmed from our having menses and ability to bear children.

    To me, that leans towards the idea that men have a very, very long history of considering themselves the default and women the Other. Good or bad, it’s still the Other.

  196. Jadey
    Jadey February 24, 2012 at 10:27 pm |

    MY personal focus is on getting NDN women some axes.

    That I am 100% on board with.

  197. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

    @Donna L:

    Angel, I guess great minds think alike.

    *^_^*

    @ ginmar:

    Jesus Christ,
    God forbid anybody mention that men had access to women before anybody else.

    Still waiting for that evidence…

  198. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 10:34 pm |

    MY personal focus is on getting NDN women some axes.

    Not sure if you meant to say “access.” Either way, I’m totally on board! ;-)

  199. ginmar
    ginmar February 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm |

    Angel, I don’t care. Your demand is still ridiculous, no matter what status you argue. Women came first. It beggars belief that anybody could be demanding proof that men had access to women before they had access to people from other areas. Were men from incredibly isolated tribes in Northern Siberia fucking black men from Southern Africa before they discovered they could fuck women over from their own area? That’s what you’re arguing? That men oppressed other MEN BEFORE THEY OPPRESSED WOMEN?

    Donna L., that’s the position you’r endorsing. Please make that explicit.

    And Angel H., I don’t see any difference between sucking up and making excuses for men of one race and sucking up and making excuses for men of another race. Don’t care. If you make excuses for sexism based on the color of a man’s skin, you’re sexist and quite possibly a rapist apologist. The excuses don’t sound any different once you omit the adjectives.

  200. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm |

    Damn. My bad, pheenobarbidoll.

    That’s what happens when you type while sleepy. ‘Night folks!

  201. ginmar
    ginmar February 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm |

    209, you do realize you’re contradicting yourself here, right? Yeah.

  202. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 10:43 pm |

    Angel- No, I think it’s my bad because I’m clearly not explaining it very well.

    Coming off a 3 day migraine, shit sounds better in my head.

  203. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm |

    It beggars belief that anybody could be demanding proof that men had access to women before they had access to people from other areas.

    Let’s take a look at the replay. In response to pheenobarbidoll saying:

    I do think intersectionality allows movement of certain isms under certain circumstances to change spots so to speak with the first oppression, but prior to any culture discovering other cultures exist, they had women to oppress.

    I said that the other cultures also had:

    …the disabled…and the lower classes…and the homosexual….and transgender…

    Then you said:

    Long before there were any of those groups there were women

    And that’s what I wanted proof of – proof that there were no disabled, no lower classes, etc. before women. Even if you believe women came first it still makes no sense that – meaning they had power first – it still makes no sense that misogyny would be the first and dominate oppression.

    That’s what you’re arguing? That men oppressed other MEN BEFORE THEY OPPRESSED WOMEN?

    I’m arguing that no one knows and that it doesn’t matter. Like Donna L says, even if we were to wipe out all misogyny, other oppressions such as racism, ableism, and classism would still exist.

    And Angel H., I don’t see any difference between sucking up and making excuses for men of one race and sucking up and making excuses for men of another race. Don’t care. If you make excuses for sexism based on the color of a man’s skin, you’re sexist and quite possibly a rapist apologist. The excuses don’t sound any different once you omit the adjectives.

    Where the fuck did this come from? How am I a rapist apologist?

  204. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm |

    209, you do realize you’re contradicting yourself here, right? Yeah.

    How am I contradicting myself?

  205. DonnaL
    DonnaL February 24, 2012 at 11:00 pm |

    Donna L., that’s the position you’r endorsing. Please make that explicit.

    What?? I specifically said that even assuming that you and pheenobarbidoll were correct about the temporal relationship between misogyny and other oppressions — even though there’s no reason to believe it preceded the oppression of children, the sick and disabled, etc. — temporal precedence neither proves nor suggests causality, let alone that the removal of the so-called “first oppression” would make it easier to get rid of later oppressions (let alone cause their disappearance).

    How much clearer could I have possibly been? I was agreeing with Angel about her main point, not every subsidiary point. Perhaps you were too busy reading between the lines of what I said to pay attention to what I actually said.

    I can’t believe any of us are actually debating whether the first sick baby had its brains smashed out on a rock before the first woman was raped before the first neighboring group of people (or perhaps of fellow hominids belonging to a different species) was attacked and killed, and so on. What a completely ludicrous topic. The resolution of which is entirely impossible and makes no damn difference to anyone anyway, unless you buy the root vs. branches concept. Which I don’t. I think you really did just win the ultimate gold medal in the Oppression Olympics.

  206. DonnaL
    DonnaL February 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm |

    And please stop being so condescending.

  207. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 24, 2012 at 11:13 pm |

    I dunno….I can totally see the first man finding the first woman having her first period and then being the first man to freak the fuck out.

    (sorry, I really couldn’t help that one)

  208. makomk
    makomk February 25, 2012 at 5:19 am |

    @pheenobarbidoll: the interesting thing is that from what I’ve seen, the main time people make “but men get raped too” comments is when the original post is subtly reinforcing the idea that they don’t by – for example – treating “rape” as synonymous with “rape with a male perpetrator and female victim”. For example, there was a media campaign by I think Gloria Steinem about ending war rape recently which did that.

  209. Tamen
    Tamen February 25, 2012 at 8:11 am |

    According to US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) appr. 40% of perpetrators of sexual violence against male inmates are women (Prison staff. BJS misleadingly calls all sexual contact between inmates and prison staff for staff sexual misconduct). Appr. two thirds of the perpetrators of sexual violence against female inmates are women. (That is fellow inmates. Only 4 facilities of the 37 facilities with women were co-ed and the co-ed facilities weren’t outliers when it came to inmate-on-inmate sexual violence). In fact the facility with the highest rate of inmate-on-inmate sexual violence were Taycheedah Corr. Inst. (WI) (11.9%) which is a facility housing only female inmates (table 2 p.7 in the PDF).

    I get the impression that many have no qualms at all about throwing these victims under the bus due to the gender of their assailant not fitting with their world view.

    Source: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri0809.pdf

  210. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil February 25, 2012 at 10:46 am |

    BJS misleadingly calls all sexual contact between inmates and prison staff for staff sexual misconduct

    I don’t think this is misleading at all. Inmates cannot meaningfully consent to sexual relationships with prison staff.

  211. Tamen
    Tamen February 25, 2012 at 10:56 am |

    I of course meant misleading as in trivializing. For example a prison guard forcing an inmate to have sexual intercourse with them is misleadingly categorized as “staff sexual misconduct” when it in fact is rape.

  212. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 25, 2012 at 10:59 am |

    @makomk- I think people infer that because they want to. Focusing on the largest majority of rapists and the largest majority of the victims isn’t an issue until it’s women as the victims and men as the perps.

  213. LotusBen
    LotusBen February 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm |

    Generally speaking, it’s extremely safe to assume that any reference like that — especially when made by a trans person or ally — is to the trans person’s actual/target identity, not what they may have been assigned at birth.

    Hey Donna, this whole exchange between y’all confused me a little bit. I mean, I definitely agree that pheenobarbidoll got her terms mixed up in a pretty damn basic way. But I still read justamblingalong’s initial reference to a “transgender man” as ambiguous as to what that person’s sex assigned at birth might be.

    I hope this doesn’t come across as nitpicky, but it seems to me that “transgender” is sorta a broad umbrella term that could refer to a lot of different people who don’t conform to what society expects from people assigned a certain sex at birth. For example, obviously a FAAB transsexual man could be a “transgender man,” but couldn’t a MAAB male crossdresser also be a “transgender man.” I think many would identify as such. Anyway, I was just curious what your thoughts on that were.

  214. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm |

    Focusing on the largest majority of rapists and the largest majority of the victims isn’t an issue until it’s women as the victims and men as the perps.

    Surely you can understand the difference between focusing on something and denying anything else exists?

  215. Ismone
    Ismone February 26, 2012 at 1:55 am |

    This has been an interesting thread.

    A few things jump out at me. First, people are not talking about the fact that male prisoners are getting raped by guards. These guards are not incarcerated rapists continuing their raping ways. They are not men who have no access to women. So this seriously undermines some myths about prison rape.

    Also, with all this crap about the various “types” of rapists. First of all, those “types” are not really scientifically validated. Second of all, those types are not inconsistent with the idea of rape as power, not desire. Third of all, assuming that having sex with a passed-out or drugged-up person suggests a rapist has sexual desire is seriously warped.

  216. Write Up: Some Interesting Articles Worth Reading « Ruby Soup with Pearl Juice

    […] at “Feministe” wrote a article on sexual violence that occurs prisons. Really important subject that is too often over looked in America; more should be done to stop […]

  217. Chiara
    Chiara February 26, 2012 at 8:37 am |

    A few things jump out at me. First, people are not talking about the fact that male prisoners are getting raped by guards. These guards are not incarcerated rapists continuing their raping ways. They are not men who have no access to women. So this seriously undermines some myths about prison rape.

    Perhaps a kind of job like prison guard attracts a certain kind of wacko. I mean obviously some people do it because they need a job and they’re suited to that kind of stuff, but it might attract the kind of person who enjoys being one-up on other peeps. I mean, look at the Shawshank Redemption (even though it’s a pretty average film if you ask me, not anywhere near as good as people make it out to be).

  218. Jadey
    Jadey February 26, 2012 at 11:06 am |

    I mean, look at the Shawshank Redemption (even though it’s a pretty average film if you ask me, not anywhere near as good as people make it out to be).

    Chiara, I really can’t stress this enough, but TV and movies really aren’t a good reflection of reality, even when they try to be, which almost 100% of the time they are not. More often than not, in fact, they, intentionally or otherwise, reflect harmful and inaccurate assumptions (like about gay people, from the other thread). If it’s all you have to go on, okay, because a lot of people are in the same boat, but you really shouldn’t place almost any confidence in it without some kind of outside verification. I mention this because you seem to do this a lot.

    As for the question of the guards more generally, because I do have some personal experience here…

    Ismone makes a good point. Guards are not necessary more likely to come into that job as “wackos”, but they do work a job that is generally considered pretty shitty and that they don’t get a lot of respect for (absenteeism rates among correctional officers and jail guards are usually sky-high, as an indicator of job satisfaction there), nor is there a lot of motivation for them to do it very well. There is certainly a popular perception that some people who take that job are ones who have failed psych tests for other similar professions, like being a cop. I have no actual proof that this is often the case, though. But the problems are really structural, not individual. Guards are taught, the way that cops are taught, to take an us-versus-them mentality, that the prisoners are bad people who will lie and be dangerous and generally make everyone’s lives more difficult and aren’t particularly worthy of being treated like human beings. This is built into their ‘unofficial’ training – I have looked at research which found that even people who started training with a productive attitude were indoctrinated into this mentality by the end of it. Most of the time this results in them being simply unpleasant and kind of assholeish to anyone who isn’t a guard (including other employees who are there to work with the offenders therapuetically or provide volunteers services – I know this from personal experience). But does the system open the way for offenders to be vulnerable to all kinds of abuse? Yes, physical and sexual. Almost certainly by a minority of guards, just like physical and sexual assault in the ‘real world’ is committed by a minority of people (which doesn’t negate the harm of it). Because people don’t give a shit about offenders and are more concerned with locking them up and punishing them than protecting them. That’s why a lot of offenders are also at increased risk of suicide and self-injury, especially if they are vulnerable in other ways (e.g., mentally ill, mentally disabled, female, trans, gay, Aboriginal), because no one gives enough of a shit to help keep them safe, even from themselves. Even now, the real incentive for the administation to crack down on abuses isn’t the moral imperative, but rather the media shitstorms they don’t want to deal with.

    The problem with prisons *is prisons*. The guards are just another symptom.

  219. Links of Interes « Chicago Appleseed Blog

    […] drew attention this week to a Justice Department report released last year, on sexual assault in prison. The New […]

  220. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

    Also, with all this crap about the various “types” of rapists. First of all, those “types” are not really scientifically validated.

    Well, any attempt to fit people in a small number of categories is going to have problems, but generally it does seems that there are a few broad pathologies for rapists.

    Third of all, assuming that having sex with a passed-out or drugged-up person suggests a rapist has sexual desire is seriously warped.

    Thank goodness nobody did that. You need to read more carefully. The research which suggested that a certain class of rapist are essentially acting out of sexual desire is based on findings that unlike other types of rapist, these offenders typically were not violence-preferential; in other words, they didn’t rape when they could obtain consensual sex, and either preferred consensual sex or were neutral between the two. By way of contrast, many anger-excitation rapists literally cannot become aroused without an element of violence or coercion.

    If you want to object to this research on methodological or statistical grounds, I will be more than happy to hear your critique, but please don’t tell me to ignore the science because your ideological position would be easier to defend were it otherwise.

  221. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm |

    Ismone makes a good point. Guards are not necessary more likely to come into that job as “wackos”, but they do work a job that is generally considered pretty shitty and that they don’t get a lot of respect for (absenteeism rates among correctional officers and jail guards are usually sky-high, as an indicator of job satisfaction there), nor is there a lot of motivation for them to do it very well.

    This. I know some people who worked on the oversight agency for the New York city prisons (as a result of a consent decree), and they basically echoed your points, though perhaps slightly more sympathetically. The impression I’ve gotten is that the job wears guards down, not just for the reasons you mentioned, but also because (in state prisons at least- it’s worth noting that Federal prisons tend to be far safer and better run) it is a dangerous job, and the us-vs.-them mentality isn’t just an arbitrary, oppressive construct but also the result of having to be constantly wary.

    The impression I’ve gotten is that there are a very small number of guards who are actively abusive, and a very small number who are idealistic and want to make things better, and a vast majority who are doing a fairly crappy job for not much money, and alternate between the boredom of routine and the fear of assaults and riots. What this means is that, for example, people in that majority would probably report abuse by another guard if they happened to stumble across it, but aren’t particularly motivated to go out looking.

    None of this is meant to excuse violence or abuse, but I really don’t think it’s fair to simply write of the entire profession as being composed of psychopaths.

    The problem with prisons *is prisons*.

    Unfortunately, practical alternatives are hard to come by. I think realistically the right policy is to put fewer people in them; ending the war on drugs, decriminalizing or legalizing prostitution, loosening mandatory minimums, alternative sentencing for non-violent crimes, and making sure a good public education is available to everyone.

  222. Chiara
    Chiara February 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

    Thank goodness nobody did that. You need to read more carefully. The research which suggested that a certain class of rapist are essentially acting out of sexual desire is based on findings that unlike other types of rapist, these offenders typically were not violence-preferential; in other words, they didn’t rape when they could obtain consensual sex, and either preferred consensual sex or were neutral between the two. By way of contrast, many anger-excitation rapists literally cannot become aroused without an element of violence or coercion.

    But obviously they’re not just acting out of sexual desire. Lots of people have, or at least lots of men, have a lot of sexual desire, but they aren’t raping people. Men whose raping you seem to be attributing to sexual desire obviously have an additional screw loose in their heads that makes rape an acceptable thing to do for them.

  223. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

    But obviously they’re not just acting out of sexual desire. Lots of people have, or at least lots of men, have a lot of sexual desire, but they aren’t raping people. Men whose raping you seem to be attributing to sexual desire obviously have an additional screw loose in their heads that makes rape an acceptable thing to do for them.

    I’m really curious where you think we’re disagreeing, because from my perspective, we’re not. I mean, the motivation for a lot of, say, robberies is obtaining money; that doesn’t mean every person who wants money is going to commit a robbery. The motivation for rape is sometimes sexual desire; whether people act on that motivation, and how they do so, is an entirely different question.

    Lots of people have, or at least lots of men, have a lot of sexual desire,

    Uhhh… what?

  224. Tamen
    Tamen February 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm |

    Chiara: For some reason when I read your comment Frontier Psychiatrist by Avalanches began to play in my head.

    Are you saying that you believe rape-prevention programs among youths for instance are in fact without effect as people who rape obviously has an additional screw loose in their heads? I ask because in my experience the expression “a screw loose” signifies a mental problem not solvable by awareness rising and education, but rather by a pshyciatrist – if it’s solvable at all.

    I am pretty sure that the only motivations for my rapist’s actions were a sexual desire combined with a belief that I really wanted sex and that I would be pleased afterwards. I am also pretty sure that if my rapist were more educated and aware of the matter the chances of my rape happening would be greatly reduced.

  225. Chiara
    Chiara February 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

    Well yes, I did intend to imply that it signifies a mental problem. IMO the belief that it’s OK to forcibly penetrate a woman against her will is not just some lack of education or a cultural misunderstanding. It indicates a lack of the moral impulses that we should all naturally have.

  226. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    Well yes, I did intend to imply that it signifies a mental problem. IMO the belief that it’s OK to forcibly penetrate a woman against her will is not just some lack of education or a cultural misunderstanding. It indicates a lack of the moral impulses that we should all naturally have.

    This is a really superficial treatment of the problem. First of all, let’s be clear; many people who commit violent crimes, including rape, know that what they’re doing is wrong. They do it anyways. There’s a distinction between immorality and amorality which is important. By way of example, take pedophilia; there are a large number of people attracted sexually to young children who never act on those impulses (some studies claim this is actually a large majority of potential predators). The ones who do usually don’t somehow think what they’re doing is OK, they just give in.

    Second of all, empirically, you’re wrong in that we know that people’s actions are largely determined by their environment. Consider: everything you said about rape could be said about, say, slavery- “the belief that’s its OK to own slaves indicates a lack of moral impulses etc.” And yet, if you were a wealthy white person in 1830’s Virginia, you’d almost certainly think it was OK to own slaves. So would I, and so would anyone, and we know this how? Because the vast majority of wealthy white people in 1830’s Virginia either owned slaves or supported slavery. In fact, almost anything you think is morally wrong is something you would do if born into a different culture; if you were Korowai, you’d think cannibalism was absolutely normal.

    People don’t come in to the world with their moral intuitions fully formed. While some tiny percentage may be sociopaths right of the bat, and a larger number have mental illnesses which often lead to committing crimes, like pedophilia, the vast majority of us learn right and wrong by interacting with our society.

  227. Jadey
    Jadey February 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm |

    This. I know some people who worked on the oversight agency for the New York city prisons (as a result of a consent decree), and they basically echoed your points, though perhaps slightly more sympathetically. The impression I’ve gotten is that the job wears guards down, not just for the reasons you mentioned, but also because (in state prisons at least- it’s worth noting that Federal prisons tend to be far safer and better run) it is a dangerous job, and the us-vs.-them mentality isn’t just an arbitrary, oppressive construct but also the result of having to be constantly wary.

    Hmm. Honestly, I’m pretty ambivalent when it comes to correctional officers and jail guards – I’ve got COs and guards in my family, among my friends, and I’ve volunteered and worked in correctional and detention facilities, so I’ve got a bit more exposure than most people who only know what they’ve seen on “Oz”. And while I’m quite aware of the problems and dangers of the profession, it doesn’t quite explain all of the shitty attitudes that pervade the culture. For one, the “us vs. them” mentality isn’t limited to potentially dangerous offenders (and it should be pointed out that many prisoners are not incarcerated for violent crimes, although the conditions of incarceration can itself encourage dangerousness in some). Anyone who isn’t part of the “security” staff, including nurses, social workers, clinicians, volunteers, etc. are subject to flak from guards, who, as a group, generally endorse the idea that treatment and rehabilitation and even basic services are beyond what offenders need and deserve and that all that bullshit just makes their unpleasant job more difficult, having to let social workers and lawyers and other people in to ‘baby’ the prisoners (i.e., help them access basic necessary services). That’s not wariness – that’s being an asshole.

    But, like I said, that’s not so much a personality defect (anymore than most human beings have) as it is a response to the crap conditions of their job – and it is worse at worse-run facilities, for sure.

    The impression I’ve gotten is that there are a very small number of guards who are actively abusive, and a very small number who are idealistic and want to make things better, and a vast majority who are doing a fairly crappy job for not much money, and alternate between the boredom of routine and the fear of assaults and riots. What this means is that, for example, people in that majority would probably report abuse by another guard if they happened to stumble across it, but aren’t particularly motivated to go out looking.

    I wouldn’t count on this, actually. There’s no reason to suspect that COs and jail guards are any more prone to policing within their ranks than are doctors, lawyers, bankers, cops, business people, politicians, academics, etc. – people let things slide all the time because it’s easier to just go with it, redefine it in your head so it doesn’t seem like an abuse anymore, keep your head down and “do your own time”, rather than stir the pot by narcing on your work colleagues. Maybe especially in a case like this where “be abusive” is basically the job description, once you get down to it. I wouldn’t trust a random CEO not to cheat me for a profit if he thought he could get away with it because that’s how the system is set up – I wouldn’t expect any better or worse from a guard for the same reason, and I wouldn’t expect anyone he or she worked with to get much heated up over it, unless it was so egregious it was making the work more dangerous or difficult (i.e., costing the other guards, rather than just the prisoners). People just don’t get that riled up over what happens to people labelled as offenders until it gets to a point so awful and dehumanizing as it stands right now. Hell, even with the growing acknowlegement of how badly prisoners are treated in many institutions, there are still plenty of people out there thinking, “Just desserts.”

  228. Chiara
    Chiara February 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm |

    Yeah, sorry, I don’t think I quite explained what I meant clearly enough.

    I think in the case of rape and slavery it is somewhat different with regard to natural moral impulses. What I meant by natural moral impulses was basically I meant empathy. For a rich white slaveowner person they might be quite disconnected from the lives of the slaves and their pain and things but in the case of rape it’s like, the guy is right there and the girl is right there and it’s just would have to be so horribly obvious how she feels that the guy would just have to feel empathy and be totally repugnated by what he’s doing… I mean it’s just such a strong horrible feeling that I can’t believe it could be a social construction.

    And as far as I know, I think biology supports the idea of an innate empathy (though I’m not well versed in the subject). Although obviously they can’t do studies on that kind of thing because of ethics, I think we can all agree that very young infants would be distressed to see someone else in pain? I mean it makes evolutionary sense to have that reaction.

    Also you bring up cannibalism which I think is a good point. I’m not saying that all moral values are the result of some innate biological moral compass. Cannibalism weirds me out but it doesn’t make me feel horrible inside. It just makes me think in my mind ‘yeah, that shit’s wrong’.

  229. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. February 26, 2012 at 8:38 pm |

    Eh…you guys might want to check out the research done on men who commit rape and who admit to being willing to commit rape. Ethics and empathy by and large don’t stop them, fear of negative consequences does. See stats showing 1/3 of men would commit rape if they thought they could get away with it.

  230. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm |

    I think we can all agree that very young infants would be distressed to see someone else in pain?

    Actually, very young infants don’t even have a sense of self-identity yet, let alone the ability to recognize that other people have agency, thoughts and emotions. It’s only at about 18 months of age that infants can even systematize the connection between their own actions and the movements of their reflections in a mirror. Its not until much, much further than that, that they begin to understand that other people are inherently like them.

    I mean it makes evolutionary sense to have that reaction.

    Empathy is selected for in specific cases; it makes sense for parents to have strong feelings for their young, since humans are a K-strategy species. In other instances empathy may or may not be advantageous. Evolutionary biology is a powerful tool for explaining broad patterns in species-wide behavior, but is awfully difficult to apply effectively to individual decision making.

  231. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm |

    See stats showing 1/3 of men would commit rape if they thought they could get away with it.

    I’d definitely like to, if you have them available.

  232. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. February 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm |

    Neil M. Malamuth’s “Rape Proclivity Among Males” can be found without an academic license here. It has some good, if older citations.

  233. PM
    PM February 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm |

    “See stats showing 1/3 of men would commit rape if they thought they could get away with it.”

    I think that the vast majority of these men would back away if they ever found themself in that situation. That idea helps me sleep at night, anyway.

  234. EG
    EG February 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm |

    Actually, very young infants don’t even have a sense of self-identity yet, let alone the ability to recognize that other people have agency, thoughts and emotions. It’s only at about 18 months of age that infants can even systematize the connection between their own actions and the movements of their reflections in a mirror. Its not until much, much further than that, that they begin to understand that other people are inherently like them.

    As a side note, according to the most current research I am aware of, which is probably around 7 years old at this point, that’s just not true. Infants exhibit empathy at startlingly early ages, and have a sense of identity early on, and I personally have been present when a six-month-old girl figured out about mirrors.

  235. EG
    EG February 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm |

    As citations, by the way, I would start with Daniel Stern’s work, such as his influential book The Interpersonal World of the Infant.

  236. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm |

    As a side note, according to the most current research I am aware of, which is probably around 7 years old at this point, that’s just not true. Infants exhibit empathy at startlingly early ages, and have a sense of identity early on, and I personally have been present when a six-month-old girl figured out about mirrors.

    Is my devopsych knowledge that antiquated (though, yeesh, how we’ve strayed from the original topic)? Ugh, now I’m feeling old. Anyways, thanks for the reading assignment, I’ll check it out.

  237. DonnaL
    DonnaL February 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm |

    Babies are way more sophisticated before they learn to talk than people used to think. See this recent article: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Babies+joke+play+social+games+study/6179391/story.html

    Babies still too small to speak know how to make jokes and form friendships, say researchers at an Australian university who have spent two years filming the behaviour of young children.

    Academics at Charles Sturt University are studying how children interact with other infants while in child care using footage obtained from tiny cameras strapped to their heads.

    . . . .

    [C]hildren aged from six months to 18 months use sophisticated but subtle non-verbal means to make friends and make each other laugh.

    “We were very, very surprised to see just how sophisticated they were in terms of their social skills, their helping skills, in making sure they were inviting other children to be part of their group,” Sumsion said.

    Sumsion said the babies interacted with each other by making eye contact and with hand gestures and humour.

    They used “little social games that you wouldn’t necessarily see unless you were looking very closely”, she said.

    More at link. I’m not surprised, based on what I remember about my son and the other babies he played with.

  238. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm |

    “Surely you can understand the difference between focusing on something and denying anything else exists?”

    No one here (that I’ve read at any rate) has.

  239. Azalea
    Azalea February 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm |

    Chara:

    Guys should support is because they actually care about women. And therefore want women to have good shit. Not because they just want some benefit for themselves.

    Plenty of men benefit from abortion; just because they werent the ones to decide and endure the aborton doesn’t mean they aren’t happy or relieved that it happened.

  240. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 27, 2012 at 12:26 am |

    Plenty of men benefit from abortion; just because they werent the ones to decide and endure the aborton doesn’t mean they aren’t happy or relieved that it happened.

    Not sure if this was meant sarcastically or not, but I think that’s a point which often gets overlooked. Abortion rights, in addition to being, ya know, rights, have demonstrable, statistically proven social benefits in terms of lower crime, poverty, and unemployment. Fewer people forced to have babies they don’t want or can’t provide for means fewer crappy childhoods, starving kids, and desperate criminals- whodathunkit?

  241. Tamen
    Tamen February 27, 2012 at 1:02 am |

    Chiara: You didn’t answer my first question. Do you then think one can just shut-down all rape prevention and awareness programs for youths for example?

  242. South
    South February 27, 2012 at 5:00 am |

    @PM, You should read the study Kristen J has linked to, 1/3 men would rape if they thought they could get away with it is something of an overstatement.

    On page 141 the study states that an average of 35% of men scored a 2 or greater on a scale of 1-5 when asked the likelihood that they would rape were assured of not being punished (1 being not at all likely) while 20% scored a 3 or greater. The stated conclusion of the study is “On average, about 35% indicated some likelihood of raping.”

    Therefore it seems more like a case of a sizeable percentage of men possessing moral self doubt, than having a conscious desire to rape held back only by fear of punishment.

    So, you know, sleep well :)

  243. Chiara
    Chiara February 27, 2012 at 7:18 am |

    Plenty of men benefit from abortion; just because they werent the ones to decide and endure the aborton doesn’t mean they aren’t happy or relieved that it happened.

    Wow you totally missed my point. I wasn’t debating whether men benefit from abortion. I was saying that they should support reproductive rights for women because it’s right, regardless of whether it benefits them.

    Or are you perhaps one of these Ayn Rand type people for whom everything must be conceptualized in terms of a financial transaction?

  244. Chiara
    Chiara February 27, 2012 at 8:04 am |

    Chiara: You didn’t answer my first question. Do you then think one can just shut-down all rape prevention and awareness programs for youths for example?

    I don’t even know what ‘all rape prevention and awareness programs for youths’ consists in. How exactly to they go about achieving the rape prevention, what exactly are they raising awareness about (because I think everyone’s aware that rape happens)?

    If such a program centers around telling youths ‘rape: it’s wrong’ then I doubt it would help very much. Because 1) everyone already knows this 2) people who are genetically predisposed to do so won’t care about what’s right and wrong. However if the program is more about youths being able to identify pre-existing rapists and mash them or whatever then it may have some value.

    If such a program is more about telling female youths how to avoid rape then although this may be practically good, it reinforces a kind of social order where women are expected to be modest and not do the things they want to do for fear of reprisal or in this case rape. IMO the discussion should center more around stopping men raping rather than stopping women having a life.

    Although I guess people here will argue that the practical benefits of female-based rape prevention out weigh the cost of removing women’s autonomy.

  245. Tamen
    Tamen February 27, 2012 at 9:16 am |

    Chiara:

    If such a program centers around telling youths ‘rape: it’s wrong’ then I doubt it would help very much. Because 1) everyone already knows this 2) people who are genetically predisposed to do so won’t care about what’s right and wrong.

    and

    IMO the discussion should center more around stopping men raping rather than stopping women having a life.

    You don’t see the contradiction in those two statements? That the premiss of your first statement that people who are genetically predisposed to do so (rape) won’t care about what’s right and wrong pretty much exclude any positive results from any discussion around stopping people raping.

  246. Chiara
    Chiara February 27, 2012 at 9:25 am |

    You don’t see the contradiction in those two statements? That the premiss of your first statement that people who are genetically predisposed to do so (rape) won’t care about what’s right and wrong pretty much exclude any positive results from any discussion around stopping people raping.

    It would only be a contradiction if you believe the only way to prevent people from doing things is through education.

    I’m interested in exactly what good you think education would do? I’m generally interested whether you really think there’s youths out there who’re thinking “rape… hmm I don’t know if that’s right or wrong” and all they need is a pointer in the right direction… Seems a little ridiculous to me.

  247. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers February 27, 2012 at 9:54 am |

    1. Men are trained not to have empathy for women. The fact that so many of them manage to have empathy for women anyway is due to the fact that humans have a great deal of inherent goodness and it’s hard to completely train it away, but nonetheless, men are taught that women’s ideas and opinions are not very important, that women’s interests are trivial, and that any social issue that primarily impacts women is not nearly as important as an issue that primarily impacts men.

    Thus, it’s quite possible to teach men to have greater empathy for women, which would reduce male willingness to rape. Men are biologically predisposed to have empathy for women; the majority of men are heterosexual, and the nature of heterosexuality is that you feel love and romantic desire for the opposite sex, and you cannot truly feel love unless you empathize with the other person. It takes years of training in deadening their emotions and reducing sex to a commoditized transaction to make a dudebro. Simply provide counterprogramming, served up by adult men to boys, and you can reverse a lot of that.

    2. When people believe they are entitled to something, empathy does not stop them from demanding it. People love their kids, but spank them for disobedience because they believe they are entitled to obedience. The same parent might kiss an equivalent boo-boo caused by accident and unleash holy hell on a human being who caused a similar pain to their child.

    Men who believe they are entitled to sex from women they are in a romantic relationship with may commit rape regardless of their empathy for the woman in other contexts because they’ve been taught that sex is an entitlement. Teach them otherwise and you can reduce rape.

    3. Studies of rapists have shown that men who do commit rape believe that other men commit rape at much, much higher rates than they actually do. This is probably because men have been trained to try to deaden their empathy to *everyone*, and rape jokes are considered funny and edgy, and there are plenty of scenarios depicted in advertising or fiction that are actually rape but never presented as such, and women who accuse men of rape are frequently demonized and disbelieved. Rapists might feel inhibited from committing rape if they understood that in fact the majority of their male peers find the idea of rape appalling and are disgusted by rapists; they have no empathy for women, but they do care what men think. Thus, teaching men to have zero tolerance for artifacts of rape culture like victim-blaming or treating rape as funny will have the effect of inhibiting a number of would-be rapists from actually carrying out their crime. They don’t perceive doing a bad thing to a woman as wrong because they have no empathy for women, but if they understood that other *men* think it is wrong, they would feel more shame.

    4. Those rapists who would not be influenced by the opinion of other men are most likely hardcore, repeat offenders who will rape many women in their lifetime. Getting men, as a class, to understand how bad rape is, that many things they might not think of as rape actually are, and that women are not particularly likely to lie and should generally be believed in the absence of compelling evidence to disbelieve, would cause more rapists to be captured, tried and convicted, and would cause them to have longer sentences with less chance of parole. This reduces the number of rapes they would be able to commit in their lifetime. Thus, while the number of hardcore rapists wouldn’t decrease, the number of rapes they can commit would.

    5. Bringing this back around to the original topic, zero tolerance for rape culture means zero tolerance for prison rape. Rapists would not get to go to prison and rape more people, nor would they have the opportunity to train other men in how to rape, nor would they be able to inflict the psychic wounding that rape causes on men who would otherwise have had empathy but end up taking out their pain on their own victims.

    Thus, while education of men would not *end* rape, it might well decrease both the number of rapists and the number of rapes that are committed by the rapists who are left.

  248. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. February 27, 2012 at 10:24 am |

    @Chiara,

    Seriously, go look at the researched linked above. It does seem that there is a very high correlation between belief in rape myths and likelihood to commit rape. Also, from a personal life experience perspective, there are a lot of times that men don’t think they are committing rape or they distinguish between their behavior and what society calls (erroneously) “rape-rape”. Education is clearly an important component of rape prevention.

  249. Tamen
    Tamen February 27, 2012 at 10:51 am |

    One such rape myth is that men always want sex. That’s what got me raped. I’ve heard people who talks about consent at schools and colleges tell that not infrequently women have come up to them asked “Does that mean I raped my boyfriend?”. It is pretty clear that had they heard that talk before they did whatever it was they did to their boyfriend they would’ve been less likely to do whatever it was. That is evidenced by them actually approaching the speaker afterwards and ask this question. If they were genetically predisposed (or having a loose screw in the head as you earlier so crudely called it) for raping then they wouldn’t ask themselves this question and they would certainly not ask the speaker.

  250. Caperton
    Caperton February 27, 2012 at 11:41 am | *

    In terms of educational programs to deter rape, there’s also the issue of date rape–a man might legitimately believe that it’s okay to use alcohol to “help her relax a little,” or that if she isn’t actively saying no that means she’s consenting. He might believe that if he wheedles/nags/intimidates until she gives in, that counts as consent. It doesn’t mean he’s inherently evil or irreparably broken–just uneducated. In those cases, most of it goes back to what Alara said in her #1 and #2: re-teaching men to be more empathetic and less entitled so they a) recognize when a woman doesn’t want to have sex, and b) don’t keep pushing to satisfy their own needs.

    Sometimes, “You know that’s rape, right?” really will get the reaction, “No, it isn–Seriously? That’s rape?” It doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens enough to make it worth the effort. Get a few guys informed and thinking, and they can start influencing their social groups and chipping away at rape culture.

  251. Chiara
    Chiara February 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

    Yeah sorry I wasn’t really considering lack-of-proper-consent rape when I said that education wasn’t so useful. I was only thinking about brutal-assault rape, which I do not think is so amenable to educational.

    Seriously, go look at the researched linked above. It does seem that there is a very high correlation between belief in rape myths and likelihood to commit rape. Also, from a personal life experience perspective, there are a lot of times that men don’t think they are committing rape or they distinguish between their behavior and what society calls (erroneously) “rape-rape”. Education is clearly an important component of rape prevention.

    So the argument is that educate away the belief in rape myths and the likelihood to commit rape will go away? What if the likelihood to commit rape is more fixed (I’m not saying absolutely fixed) and the belief in rape myths is an artifact of that? As in a rationalization of their pre-existing desires, not as a cause of those desires.

    Also in college being a jerk for guys is seen as like the coolest thing ever. How many of the men in that study who chose the option that they would definitely rape a woman if they wouldn’t be caught are actually being serious? Perhaps some of them just thought that it sounded like a ‘totes wack answer, bro’ and just put it down so they could high five about it with their idiot bros later? There’s a difference between being a jerk and a rapist.

    Also, there is also a slight problem with these studies in that I would guess a lot of these students just want the £5 or whatever aren’t really interested in helping the science.

  252. Ismone
    Ismone February 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

    Justamblingalong,

    The arguments you make that I take issue with are:

    “rape can be based in misogyny (or just sexism), enforcement of gender norms, and be encouraged by cultural attitudes, but it also can be about revenge, sadism, or sex. Those who write ‘rape is about power and control, not sex’ are only sometimes right. There are actually a decent number of rapists out there who are motivated by sex, in particularly those who use alcohol or drugs as tools.”

    And:

    “There are about four major categories of rapists, and even within those there are a vast number of motivations and beliefs. Rape is sometimes motivated by power and control, and sometimes by revenge and anger, and sometimes by sex, and sometimes by simple sadism. Incidentally, the last category of rapists often aren’t even gender-preferential.”

    I fundamentally disagree with you that because a rapist chooses not to use/is not aroused (usually based on self-report) to use violence that they are “motivated by sexual desire.” That makes the error of believing what they are saying (plausible deniability anyone) about their own motives and also not carefully looking at what sexual desire is. If a rapist does not sexually desire a person as a person, with their own autonomy, but instead sexually desires to overcome that autonomy, even if it is with drugs so he/she don’t have to sully him-/herself with violence, that is completely consistent with rape as a tool of control. So if the desire to rape is different from the desire to have sex with, which I think it must always be, I think you are buying too much into the rapist’s explanation of his/her own internal states.

    Let me put it this way–if it weren’t about control, and instead about sexual desire for drugged-up sex, they would probably have non-rape sex with people who wanted to be drugged during sex.

    And you shouldn’t go around contradicting other people based on self-report studies. They are interesting, and enlightening, but they only go so far. Also, as explained above, raping someone kind of inherently is about control, because the other person does not wish to be having sex, and the rapist is overriding that. The rapist may say the he/she doesn’t know that he/she is raping, but for the most part, they either do know or don’t care. That is really different then the myth of being motivated “by sex” which is a common desire very many of us have.

  253. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm |

    I fundamentally disagree with you that because a rapist chooses not to use/is not aroused (usually based on self-report) to use violence that they are “motivated by sexual desire.” That makes the error of believing what they are saying (plausible deniability anyone) about their own motives and also not carefully looking at what sexual desire is.

    That’s a good point, and it’s why I tend to to take self-reporting surveys very seriously. That’s not the only way we get this information, though.

    If a rapist does not sexually desire a person as a person, with their own autonomy, but instead sexually desires to overcome that autonomy, even if it is with drugs so he/she don’t have to sully him-/herself with violence, that is completely consistent with rape as a tool of control. So if the desire to rape is different from the desire to have sex with, which I think it must always be.

    Right, but you’re ignoring a huge set of rapist pathologies, which are those that are not rape-preferential. In other words, they would be just as or more happy having consensual sex, but are also willing to rape when consensual sex isn’t available to them.

    Let me put it this way–if it weren’t about control, and instead about sexual desire for drugged-up sex, they would probably have non-rape sex with people who wanted to be drugged during sex.

    Some probably would, if they could find such people.

    And you shouldn’t go around contradicting other people based on self-report studies. They are interesting, and enlightening, but they only go so far

    Again- not self-reporting studies.

    Also, as explained above, raping someone kind of inherently is about control, because the other person does not wish to be having sex, and the rapist is overriding that.

    Let’s be careful here. Saying what rape ‘is about’ is really nebulous; its not clear whether that refers to motivation, impact, or something else. In terms of defining rape, yes, of course control is key. In terms of the motivations behind rape, no, control is sometimes part of it, and sometimes not.

    That is really different then the myth of being motivated “by sex” which is a common desire very many of us have.

    Unfortunately, it simply isn’t a myth. If rape was always about crazed psychopaths being evil, than it would be easier to stop, or at least address, but in reality, a lot of times its about people pursuing sex without either a) understanding consent or b) caring enough to restrain themselves.

    Also, yes, many of us have a desire for sex- so? Many of us have the desire for money, and many murders are committed out of the desire for money- that doesn’t mean most of us are murderers.

  254. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

    Sorry, that should be tend not to take self-reporting very seriously. And I have no idea what happened with those quotes.

  255. Chiara
    Chiara February 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |

    So are you arguing that in this case the men with the extreme sexual desire or whatever know that rape is wrong but are simply unable to control themselves because they’re such horndogs?

  256. Dudes and sexual violence, Part 2 « The Filing Cabinet

    […] amongst trans guys and women. Although perpetrators can be of all genders/ sexualities as Max says, with the exception of certain incarceration systems, survivors are far more likely to be female-bodied or trans people. So while feminism has a history […]

  257. Justamblingalong
    Justamblingalong February 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm |

    So are you arguing that in this case the men with the extreme sexual desire or whatever know that rape is wrong but are simply unable to control themselves because they’re such horndogs?

    Which case? I never said anything about being able to control themselves, I said that for whatever reason they chose not to.

    Chiara, I’m really confused by a lot of things you’ve written here; earlier you were saying really ignorant things about gay people, which you said you learned from TV, and then prisons, which you learned from movies, and now you seem to be misreading my argument here. I mean no offense, but you seem either very young or very sheltered, and I genuinely think it would help you to go do some feminism 101 reading. Let me know if some links would help.

  258. Azalea
    Azalea February 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm |

    Not sure if this was meant sarcastically or not, but I think that’s a point which often gets overlooked. Abortion rights, in addition to being, ya know, rights, have demonstrable, statistically proven social benefits in terms of lower crime, poverty, and unemployment. Fewer people forced to have babies they don’t want or can’t provide for means fewer crappy childhoods, starving kids, and desperate criminals- whodathunkit?

    No, I was dead serious. There are men who kill pregnant women because she didn’t get an abortion. Many many many many men would love to fuck without a condom and not have to worry about paying child support for a child they don’t want with a woman they didn’t want to have children with. Many men become fathers and get the hell out of dodge in this country. Have we not seen the celebrations on Maury and the like? Just because these kinds of men tend to be seriously irresponsible with regard to contraception use it doesn’t mean they intend to become fathers, it means they intend to have sex in a reproductively reckless way and expect someone else ( is the one who can become pregnant) to “take care” of things.

  259. Azalea
    Azalea February 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm |

    Wow you totally missed my point. I wasn’t debating whether men benefit from abortion. I was saying that they should support reproductive rights for women because it’s right, regardless of whether it benefits them.

    Or are you perhaps one of these Ayn Rand type people for whom everything must be conceptualized in terms of a financial transaction?

    No need to be adversial, when I am against you I make it pretty fucking clear.

    Moving along..

    I didn’t miss the point, I added a point. I made a statement that men DO benefit from abortions. When a fetus is aborted TWO people are affected, when a fetus is carried to term TWO people are affected. Quite often, men who are benefiting from abortions in a way that pleases them aren’t thinking about using contraception and they’re leaving it up to the person who can get pregnant. These men typically get upset, sometimes even VIOLENT when someone they’ve impregnanted doesn’t have an abortion. I think that fact shouldn’t be ignored.

  260. PM
    PM February 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm |

    Thanks to you, South, at #257. And thank you to Alara Rogers for the 5 points you posted. I know there a lot of sociopaths in the world (my cousin, ugh) who can truly never be taught empathy for sexual partners, but there a lot more people who are so blinded by the toxic sexuality that pervades our society that CAN be educated. Women don’t have to be “othered” by men. We can change this.

  261. GUIDEDBYCHOICES
    GUIDEDBYCHOICES February 27, 2012 at 9:30 pm |

    Justamblingalong, I was wondering if you could link me to some of articles on the diversity of rape pathologies.

  262. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. February 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm |

    Also, there is also a slight problem with these studies in that I would guess a lot of these students just want the £5 or whatever aren’t really interested in helping the science.

    There is research that shows that the 1/3 figure is stable both cross-population and cross-culturally. But I don’t have those studies handy. Feministe had a post on it some years back for what it’s worth.

    And yeah, the argument is that if men stop believing that women are asking to be raped then maybe men will be less likely to commit rape. I’m not sure why that is controversial.

  263. MISANDRY – Rape of Males (edited) | GendErratic

    […] posted the article at Feministe too, and the comment thread there is good, mostly.There is some man-hate on display, some […]

  264. Chiara
    Chiara February 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm |

    Chiara, I’m really confused by a lot of things you’ve written here; earlier you were saying really ignorant things about gay people, which you said you learned from TV, and then prisons, which you learned from movies, and now you seem to be misreading my argument here. I mean no offense, but you seem either very young or very sheltered, and I genuinely think it would help you to go do some feminism 101 reading. Let me know if some links would help.

    Sorry, Justamblingalong, I didn’t mean to misinterpret you, I was just trying to get to the bottom of what you were saying. Sometimes people will say things that sound harmless but it’s pretty hard to figure out what view point they’re coming from.

    No offense taken, but I am not that young though I do have a mild learning difficulty. I think I know my feminism 101 though, I have been following blogs like these for a little while, and my mum was very much into feminism when I was a kid. I just have a habit of writing whatever is the first thing that comes into my mind sometimes without thinking much about the wider implications…

  265. Ismone
    Ismone February 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm |

    Justamblingalong,

    A few questions:

    1) What other ways, beside self-report studies, do we get the information?
    2) When you say “Right, but you’re ignoring a huge set of rapist pathologies, which are those that are not rape-preferential. In other words, they would be just as or more happy having consensual sex, but are also willing to rape when consensual sex isn’t available to them.”
    -How do we determine these “rapist apthologies”
    -How do we know that someone would be “just as or more happy having consensual sex”? And even if they were, how does that undermine the control hypothesis? Just because someone wanted control doesn’t mean that they always need control in order to get off. Or that they understand/are comfortable acknowledging the centrality of control to their sexual orientation.

  266. Contag
    Contag March 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

    Abortion rights, in addition to being, ya know, rights, have demonstrable, statistically proven social benefits in terms of lower crime, poverty, and unemployment.

    To be fair, I would question the validity of those ‘statistically proven’ benefits. Abortion rights are non-negotiable, but not on pragmatic grounds that afford no transferable principles to women. Read more on the abortion-crime theory here

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