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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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438 Responses

  1. Thomas MacAulay Millar
    Thomas MacAulay Millar December 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm |

    I’m going to just say this, because it’s what I mean, and I’m not going to bullshit about it. What I most hope is that someone publishes the GMP rapist’s real name and home address. I’m not being facetious. I hope it happens.

    1. Philip Finn
      Philip Finn December 13, 2012 at 1:03 am |

      With apologies to Abraham Lincoln, “Just as I would not be violated, so too would I not be a violator…”

      If one’s physical autonomy has value, if it is a human right, and being secure in one’s person is a civil right, then nothing anyone can do – even a rapist – can be so bad as to forfeit those rights.
      Even failing or refusing to recognize and respect them in others.

      I understand what you’re saying, and I empathize and even appreciate it on the face of some possible merits. Please excuse me if I don’t share your hope.

      1. Cliff Pervocracy
        Cliff Pervocracy December 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

        Philip, you know that in the real world people are supposed to go to jail for this kind of thing, right?

        1. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 8:05 am |

          OK, perhaps I misunderstood…I assume the reason for publishing the rapist’s name and address would be to subject him to physical harm, to vigilante action.
          If we’re just talking about getting him arrested, well, yeah, by all means…whoever is covering for him is an accessory after the fact.

      2. Loro
        Loro December 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm |

        Bullsh*t. His name has to come out because he is a rapist and a danger to other people, therefore he has to be behind bars. You are gross and making excuses for rapists, inventing some sort of ‘neutral’ point between the rapist and the victim that doesn’t actually exist.

    2. Cliff Pervocracy
      Cliff Pervocracy December 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

      I emailed Noah Brand and asked him about it. He said the issue is being “addressed as best we can,” in a way that implies he does have the guy’s real identity.

      And that he’s probably not going to release it, because blah blah journalistic ethics, blah blah we wouldn’t have gotten this story if he didn’t feel safe, blah blah lawsuit fear, blah blah.

      All of which makes me think it translates to “this writer seems real to me and his victims don’t.”

  2. Chataya
    Chataya December 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

    My rapist used to sob about how much he loved me (once while actually raping me), I wonder what shapes the GMP would twist themselves in to in order to explain how hurt and confused he must have been. But I’m sure it was my fault for dating him in the first place.

    1. Joie
      Joie December 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

      My rapist was like that too. I think what GMP doesn’t get is when the politics of consent get confusing, the two or more people involved are supposed to stop and clarify what everyone’s feeling. And as a general rule, even if alcohol makes you horny, don’t have sex! People are ridiculous, and it makes me sick :(

    2. Claudia
      Claudia December 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm |

      My rapist would do that as well, as I cried and begged him to stop. A lot of people I know would tell me that I deserved it for dating him.

  3. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage December 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm |

    You would think people oh-so-concerned about mixed messages and gray areas and confusion and “accidental rape” would be able to cook up some simple guidelines to avoid such supposed ambiguities, such as “if you’re not sure the person can consent, the person can’t consent, don’t do it,” or “if the person is unconscious, the person can’t consent, do not proceed.” Trying to determine which corner cases and unclear situations allow a person to proceed with unwanted, nonconsensual sexual advances is gross, wrong, and a sign that you need to examine your motives.

    Consent is not confusing. The safe default position is “do not proceed”. If you’re not sure, ask. If you ask and you’re not sure the person is able to form consent, do not proceed. No one has any obligation to have sex with you – you have an obligation to seek consent before engaging in sexual activity. If you can’t figure out how to do this without resorting to tired old tropes about six-page forms and formal questions, the problem is you and your inability to figure out how to have fun while still respecting the basic rights of others.

    1. TomSims
      TomSims December 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm |

      ““if you’re not sure the person can consent, the person can’t consent, don’t do it,” or “if the person is unconscious, the person can’t consent, do not proceed.”

      I agree 110%

    2. Abigail
      Abigail December 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

      It is odd that so many rapists are so good at reading all those extremely subtle signals that you want to have sex with them (you know, like being in the same room or talking about how you had sex once) but find the signals that suggest you don’t want to have sex with them (like not wanting to have sex with them or pulling away because you don’t want their hands on you or saying, “leave me the fuck alone”) so confusing and hard to interpret. It is almost as if they are being willfully ignorant because that want to do whatever they want with no accountability.

      1. Lilly
        Lilly January 9, 2013 at 2:00 am |

        They do understand and are willingly continuing because they know they can get away with it per the rape culture that exists.

        See: http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/mythcommunication-its-not-that-they-dont-understand-they-just-dont-like-the-answer/

  4. matlun
    matlun December 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm |

    I find that much less offensive than the other article, actually. Am I missing something?

    The title and some of the language can certainly be triggering, but the actual body seems to me a pretty good discussion of the problematic space of drunken sex.

    I do not give much for Joanna Schroeder’s follow-up, though. Still trying to defend Alyssa’s original article. Still using rape-apologist memes.

    1. Alexandra
      Alexandra December 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

      The guy says at the end that he’s going to continue drinking heavily even though he knows he will likely rape women in the future. I know he’s an alcoholic and in denial, but goddamn, my alcoholic family members didn’t go around raping people. They didn’t drive drunk, either. He’s using his love of drinking as a shield/excuse for his desire to have wild, passionate sex without clearly negotiated consent. He’s part of the g-d problem.

      1. matlun
        matlun December 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm |

        Right. But he is not trying to hide behind any “it was not really rape” defense. And none of his examples were obviously utterly inexcusable (such as actually penetrating a sleeping woman, for example) but examples of situations that could realistically be cases of misunderstanding or mistakes by fairly reasonable people. Ie all are situations that are reasonable issues within the drunken party scene.

        It is not an unproblematic attitude, but at least the author seems to recognize the problems and have the common decency to try to avoid raping anyone. Even while drunk.

        1. Alexandra
          Alexandra December 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |

          These are the final two paragraphs of the article:

          Some might think it’s monstrous of me to keep drinking, keep partying. But I have had so many good, positive, happy experiences because I took a chance and altered my state and connected with someone else sexually, it seems crazy to throw all that away. Do people who’ve been in car accidents give up driving?

          When I sit down and think about it, it seems like I’ve accepted a certain amount of rape as the cost of doing business, and so have most of the people I know. And that seems like the most sick, fucked-up, broken solution to anything ever. And maybe finding it livable-with condemns us all to hell. I don’t know. I can’t even talk about it under my own name.

          He knows that his behavior of extremely heavy drinking, around other people who engage in extremely heavy drinking, is where he’s sexually assaulted women before. And he’s decided to keep on engaging in the behaviors that make him likely to rape, because he likes partying. He’s not showing any common decency whatsoever. Common decency is when you realize that what you’re doing makes you likely to hurt people, so you stop doing that.

          But he’s probably an alcoholic, and definitely a rapist asshole, so he doesn’t give a shit.

          Also, this:

          With what I’ve learned as an adult, I’m pretty sure I’m technically a rapist. Technically nothing. One woman told me herself. Our encounter was years before—I’d been in a drinking contest and she’d been drinking and flirting with me (yes, actually flirting) all evening. As blurry and fucked-up as I was, I read her kiss of congratulation to me as a stronger signal than it was, and with friends hooting and cheering us on, I pressed her up against a wall and… well. Call it rape or call it a particularly harsh third base, I walked away with the impression that it had been consensual, if not really sensible. (She had a boyfriend at the time, but their boundaries were fuzzy.)

          I’m interpreting this as him saying that during a drinking game, a woman kissed him, and in response he threw her up against a wall in front of her friends and digitally penetrated her hard enough to physically injure her. That’s not okay! That’s not even remotely okay!

        2. Kristen J.
          Kristen J. December 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm |

          @matlun,

          The dude is a rapists who intends to continue raping women. He demonstrates zero remorse and basically pitches the idea like its just this tiny inconvenience that’s dragging down his happy times. Let me say that again…sexually assaulting women is just a tiny inconvenience that is a drag on his otherwise happy experience. He is a vile person and giving him a forum to argue that his behavior is ever reasonable or okay is completely immoral.

        3. matlun
          matlun December 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

          @Alexandra: Hmm. You might be right. Depending on the situation and what “a particularly harsh third base” means here, that might be a pretty good counter to my argument above.

          The “vibe” of that article to me was still much better than Alyssa’s or Joanna’s follow-ups, but I am no authority and my reading might just be wrong here.

        4. Beatrice
          Beatrice December 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm |

          Right. But he is not trying to hide behind any “it was not really rape” defense.

          Yeah, he’s pretty open about being a rapist… And about not giving much of a fuck.

        5. zuzu
          zuzu December 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm |

          Realizing your actions have consequences is such a buzzkill.

        6. Clare
          Clare December 11, 2012 at 12:14 am |

          Wait, how is throwing a woman up against a wall and penetrating her without consent in any way a possible misunderstanding or not a completely inexcusable disregard for consent?

          The problem with these articles is they pretend they are problematizing our schemas about the bad guys who rape and good guys who don’t. You know, the bad guy who stalks a woman walking alone at night in an urban environment, who is probably black or maybe mentally ill or just kind of a low-life, versus the respectable middle-class white guy called to mind by the “nice guy” who is good, who would never ever rape.

          But they don’t actually do this; they don’t actually ask us to examine the fact that our ideas of safe and decent are really predicated on race and class and familiarity, that bad men exist in every millieu, even in nice, respectable ones.

          But in fact they do the opposite–the minute they find one of these respectable rapists, they start waving their hands about how nice he is, about how confusing it all is, how gray the lines are. They try to help us see through his eyes, to identify with him.

          Guys I know don’t rape, these articles say, and if they do, well, clearly it’s a very complicated and sad and special kind of rape that’s more the culture’s fault than his. In fact, we need to all to change our behavior in order to avoid “accidentally” becoming a victim of these sad, special, nice, rapists– and do something about it This is rape apology.

    2. Beatrice
      Beatrice December 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

      To me, he reads pretty blase about his past and probable future rapes.

    3. Donna
      Donna December 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

      His desire to continue drinking outweighs the safety of his potential future victims. And his piece is mostly about this impacts his widdle fee fees, not the bodies and emotions of his past and future victims, the selfish shit.

  5. Alexandra
    Alexandra December 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

    Jesus Christ. I can almost – almost – grok this guy saying that despite all the negative experiences he’s had, he’s willing to keep on drinking and partying, because, well, I know alcoholics. I’ve had an alcoholic family member tell me (9 months before going into rehab) that she knew she had a problem, but she didn’t want to stop, because after all – she was functional! So the addict’s excuse that sure they’re miserable and ruining their life, but they’re happier this way is no surprise to me.

    But the sheer inhuman callousness of this man saying that he’s willing to accept the probability – certainty – that he will drunkenly rape women in the future makes me want to scream.

    Alcohol is a tool that rapists use not just to get victims drunk, but so that they’re drunk enough to lower their own inhibitions. Alcohol is “liquid courage” – the courage to go out and rape!!! What an AWESOME LIFESTYLE.

    Look, I don’t like being around heavy drinking much, because of my family history of alcoholism. But I have a good, close group of friends who do drink every now and then at parties, and the shocking thing about this drinking is that – my god! – we don’t go out and rape one another!

    Last summer, I was at a party and had two drinks, which is a lot for me because I drink very occasionally (2-3 times a year) and am also on medications that amplify alcohol’s effects. I was half passed out on the couch, and a dear friend of mine, a man who I know has in the past been sexually attracted to me, came in and found me on the couch. What did he do? Did he stick his hand up his shirt? Did he get on top of me? He’d been drinking, after all! No, he fucking got me a glass of water and talked to me until I was awake enough to rejoin the goddamn party.

    If you have good boundaries without alcohol, you will maintain those boundaries even if you’re drinking, providing you’re not drinking to the point of being black-out drunk or passed out. And if you’re regularly getting black-out drunk, you’re a fucking alcoholic, get treatment.

    1. Philip Finn
      Philip Finn December 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm |

      I would venture that the “author”, or the men the “author” used as models for the main character of what I have already posited is a fiction, doesn’t simply derive gratification from the alcohol abuse, if any, but gratification from predation under the guise of merely “partying”, and that is what draws “him” back into it.

      1. Alexandra
        Alexandra December 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm |

        Right. It’s all about the “edge” – the feeling that you’re wild, out of control. He drinks to feel out of control, and that gives him permission, in his mind, to grab a female acquaintance, slam her up against the wall, and violently assault her in front of his friends, because he just won his drinking game. He feels powerful, more alive, more vibrant – and he doesn’t give a shit that he’s hurting women.

    2. LotusBecca
      LotusBecca December 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

      There’s been periods of my life where I partied a lot and drank very heavily. And I did some stupid things and also did some very wrong, unethical things. I drove very drunk several times, for example. Thank God I never injured myself or anyone else. One of the shittiest aspects of it was that my grandmother had actually been killed by a drunk driver before I had the chance to meet her. And I came to realize how horrible and dangerous what I was doing really was, and I cut it the fuck out because I didn’t want to responsible for hurting or killing someone.

      I also remember times when I was drunk and said rude things to people that were totally uncalled for, mixed heaving drinking with taking Xanax, and did other things that aren’t advisable. But I was still always the same person. Drinking may have lowered my inhibitions, but it didn’t make me do anything I was fundamentally opposed to in my sober life. I was able to drive drunk because I believed a lot of fucked up justifications for driving drunk in my sober life that were all too ready to activate once I became sloshed. A lot of the things people do that they blame on alcohol. . .like punching their hand through a wall, or raping someone, or going on a racist tirade. . .I never did. Because those weren’t things that are consistent with my values; they weren’t thing I WANTED to do. Drinking may allow someone to do something they’re normally too scared to do, but it doesn’t make someone choice something they don’t actually want to be doing.

      So drinking is no excuse for doing anything. You are still the same person, and you are still responsible for your actions. This guy clearly believes, even sober, that his rapes are justified as the price of living the good life. What a fucking scumbag.

      1. J
        J December 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm |

        +1

      2. RJ
        RJ December 15, 2012 at 2:53 am |

        I’m a recovering alcoholic, and I agree with this 100%. Alcohol and other substances enabled me to do dangerous, irresponsible, and stupid things that I was able to rationalize or believed weren’t that bad to begin with, but it didn’t put any ideas in my head. Nothing came out that wasn’t already there, which is why I never raped anyone. As for the things I did do, part of recovery is taking responsibility for them and recognizing that there is a difference between an explanation and an excuse. The explanation is that I am an addict, but there are no excuses.

        The fact that this man mentions his victim’s behavior (“actually flirting”) and that she later entered recovery screams victim-blaming and undermines any possible claim he could have on rationality. As if either of those facts have anything to do with what he did to her. Moreover, the fact that he still considers the question of whether he’s a rapist debatable despite the fact that she straight-up told him speaks to a complete disregard for his victim’s experience and humanity. The comparison to his friend’s experience? BS. Yeah, he made a different call: the wrong one.

        I know plenty of women who got sober after being assaulted or raped, sometimes as a result of the experiences. They realized they were putting themselves in danger by being vulnerable around guys like this one, but they are also clear on the fact that just because you’re vulnerable doesn’t mean anyone has to take advantage of you. Forgetting to lock your door doesn’t make anyone rob you, and the fact that you learn a lesson from it and never forget again doesn’t retroactively excuse the burglary.

  6. jemima101
    jemima101 December 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm |

    I had to stop reading the link, sorry, so this is mainky based on Jill’s description.

    What the holy fuck is wrong with the people at GMP?

    I partied in my youth, hell I was an original raver in the 80;s all 180bpm and glow sticks, never once did the men I was with think my intoxication meant they could have sex with me. Partially cos they were into sex, not rape, partially because they were not scumball rapists.

    I reiterate Jill’s request, the GMP need to stop writing about rape, right now. It is clear that they have discovered they get internet traffic from these articles. Which is the worst sort of above the line trolling going.

    1. RoryBorealis
      RoryBorealis December 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |

      What the holy fuck is wrong with the people at GMP?

      I know it’s a rhetorical question, but misogyny would be the main problem.

    2. Jacqueline S. Homan
      Jacqueline S. Homan December 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm |

      What the holy fuck is wrong with the people at GMP?

      My best guess: everything from the neck up. That and patriarchy.

  7. Anon21
    Anon21 December 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

    didn’t involve what they call good consent nowadays.

    Christ, what an asshole. “All these crazy new-wave feminist types with their zany notions about actually making sure the person you’re having sex with wants to have sex!”

  8. Philip Finn
    Philip Finn December 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

    Alcohol and drugs dissolve clear boundaries of consent. Mostly that works out okay. Sometimes it doesn’t.

    No they don’t. They dissolve an individual’s humanity past the point where one can no longer give consent, and the other no longer cares.
    Boy, can’t even get past the first sentence with this one…
    Now we see my point yesterday about the observable similarity between sexual criminals and war criminals, the faux regret, the puzzled, superficial introspection, the revisionist’s denial…and most significantly, the willingness to accept the consequences to someone else as the price that has to be paid to support their pathological worldview…

    I’ll even go out on a limb and propose that this was ghost-written by a woman on behalf of one or more “nice guys” she knows…perhaps Joanna Schroeder herself, seeing as she felt it necessary to write an explanation and defense almost the same length as “the author of the anonymous piece” (as she feels, apparently, the need to remind us) is the real source.

    1. zuzu
      zuzu December 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

      They dissolve an individual’s humanity past the point where one can no longer give consent, and the other no longer cares.

      Way to dehumanize people who use alcohol and drugs!

      It’s not one’s humanity that is dissolved, it’s one’s judgment that is impaired. Being drunk does not turn anyone into a non-human.

      1. Hrovitnir
        Hrovitnir December 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm |

        I actually assumed Philip meant to write “they DON’T dissolve an individual’s humanity-“. Makes more sense to me, but I could be wrong.

      2. Philip Finn
        Philip Finn December 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm |

        Actually, I DID mean it that way, but objective humanity, as observed externally, not subjective, as a person or individual.
        My point was the “boundaries” exist, no matter how much alcohol or drugs someone has consumed, just their ability to enforce them or refuse consent, and this represents – to the objective, external world – diminished humanity. They risk becoming a “thing”, and object.
        The predator, on the other hand, is never so under the influence that they cannot prey. They consent to their own behavior well before that, and diminish objectively.

        My point was to effectively gainsay the outrageous “Mostly that works out okay. Sometimes it doesn’t.” flippancy.

        1. zuzu
          zuzu December 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

          Nope, grad-school-wankery rationalization still dehumanizing.

      3. verucaamish
        verucaamish December 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

        Well if a person is justifying RAPING someone because they are under the influence of alcohol, the humanity train left the station a long time ago.

  9. jacy
    jacy December 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm |

    im a long time lurker but this article at the GMP disgusts me so much and its an area i know about i thought i’d comment….i don’t believe this guy for a second about saying he dosn’t understand consent in certain situations like when he’s high or drunk, im a teenage girl and ex-poly drug user and addict and have reguarly gone to parties like the ones he’s describing…some of my freinds have been raped at those kind of parties but its never been about ‘blurred consent’, its always been about a girl having her drink/baggy spiked or being raped when she’s unconsious or a boy cleary forcing himself on a girl or waiting untill she’s too drunk to consent, i can’t stand this kind of rape apology, just because your a drug user dosn’t mean you’ve lost the ability not to rape people, seriously i know loads of drug users who manage not to rape anyone, even if it means having sex while sober .

    1. freezepop
      freezepop December 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm |

      Yes, yes, and again, yes. Exactly.

    2. scrumby
      scrumby December 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm |

      A million times this. My brother hung out with a really wild crowd a few years back, and after partying with them one of the roommates told me I was welcome to go crash in the bed downstairs. What he didn’t tell me was that that bed had an owner who showed up a couple of hours later very, very drunk. I woke up to the guy saying “alright!” and crawling in next to me; he threw an arm around my waste, cuddled up to my back and promptly fell asleep. The next morning he brought up the idea of having sex over a glass of water. Turns out the creep who’d told me where I could sleep undisturbed told him he had a girl waiting in his room for him. He wanted to get laid, was informed that he had an invitation for sex, but because he wasn’t a rapist he put the matter on hold till I was fit to respond. He missed out getting his dick wet, but he was also spared the guilt and moral confusion that these accidental rapists claim to be so tortured by.

  10. Donna L
    Donna L December 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm |

    It seems like simple basic knowledge that a person cannot consent to sex while sleeping, but somehow the man in Alyssa’s story didn’t know that.

    Royse and her defenders continue to state this as fact. I continue to think it’s a lie, and that Royse was being willfully gullible in believing it.

    1. RoryBorealis
      RoryBorealis December 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |

      Royse and her defenders continue to state this as fact. I continue to think it’s a lie, and that Royse was being willfully gullible in believing it.

      Quoted for truth.

  11. tinyorc
    tinyorc December 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

    I wrote a few articles for the GMP last year (young naive blogger making her way in the world), but I stopped because I sensed it was going in this direction. It’s sad really, because its original mission statement – to be a space for men to talk about manhood and what it means in this day and age – was a good one. I found that talking about manhood was devolving more and more into bending over backwards to accommodate just like this – most rape is just a murky misunderstanding, men are just as oppressed as women, being afraid of men on the street after dark is misandry but if a girl gets raped it’s her fault she should have been more careful and there’s a 80% that it was a false accusation anyway – and on and on and on. When I was active there, that shit was largely confined to the comments (though respectfully listened to and considered and reasoned through as though it was a very important conversation that needed to be teased out). I got sick of trying to tackle blatant misogyny with gentle understanding and hand-stroking.

    a very intense dialogue has opened up about whether or not it’s right to discuss the factors that lead to a rape

    I think it’s very important to discuss the factors that lead to rape. I would like to discuss them now. The factors that lead to rape are when a rapist deciding to rape someone. More widely, the factors that lead to rape are the rest of the society watching this happen and saying things like “Oh, but he was drunk! Everyone was drunk! Mixed messages! Wrong place, wrong time! Confusion! Hurt! Feelings! What is rape?! It’s so hard to understand! And he’s just a normal guy! I mean, I know a lot of guys do rape and that’s never ok, but this was a confusing situation and we should all talk abut our feelings!” This leads the rapist to believe that it’s probably grand to rape again, because no one is ever going to hold him accountable for his actions!

    Hell, he might even write a despicable article called “I’d Rather Risk Rape Than Quit Partying” just to prove that people will still flock to make excuses for him even after he has categorically stated that he doesn’t give a shit if he rapes someone.

    1. Lori Day
      Lori Day December 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm |

      This is exactly why I also stopped blogging for GMP. I do occasionally still read pieces there I like and respect, and remain friends with some of the writers, but you describe the culture perfectly, and why I could no longer deal with the misogyny, especially the hatred and feminist bashing in the comment threads. WAY too many MRA’s there, and their voices are the loudest.

      1. PM
        PM December 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm |

        This was me. Now I’m not sure I can even keep reading there. I just can’t support it anymore.

    2. A4
      A4 December 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

      Thank you for writing this.

    3. Computer Soldier Porygon
      Computer Soldier Porygon December 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm |

      It’s really disappointing. I used to read the GMP and recommended it to a couple people (with a stern warning to not get into the comments, natch) and now I feel embarrassed for having done that. I decided to quit reading it a year or so ago and I see that that was an awesome decision, because seriously, fuck this shit. I couldn’t even get through what was quoted here.

  12. Donna L
    Donna L December 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    A friend of mine once told me about a girl who he knew for a fact had only had two drinks. He didn’t know she was on prescription medication that amplified those two drinks beyond all measure. He thought she was just very horny when she wouldn’t leave him alone or take “Are you okay?” for an answer. It wasn’t until she kept calling him by the wrong name and couldn’t remember the right one that he realized she was not able to consent, and called a halt to things before they went any further. He says he had to dissuade her from pursuing things further, because she was really into it, apart from not knowing who he was or where she was.

    “Can you imagine?” he tells me in horrified tones. “I was almost a rapist.”

    How do I tell him that I was in a similar position and made a different call? How do I tell him that I am what he’s terrified he almost was?

    So, he has a friend who’s a decent human being, and he’s admitting that he isn’t — that he would go ahead and take advantage of an “opportunity” with a woman whom he knew didn’t know who he was or where she was. Where’s the murkiness again?

    1. Beatrice
      Beatrice December 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm |

      What I found especially horrifying was that I didn’t read this as him feeling guilty. “my friend fears he’s a rapist, but I really am one. Ummm…. *awkward*”
      It was a bit uncomfortable for him at most, but he goes on to talk about how you can have really good sex while sober. Yeah, that’s kinda irrelevant to the issue of rape, not good or bad sex.

    2. Pseudonym
      Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 8:17 am |

      Jesus H. Fucking Christ. He was horrified that he was (perhaps almost) a rapist? That just highlights the problem here: he’s completely focused on himself. He’s worried about being labeled as a rapist, and not about this woman having to experience being raped.

  13. garconniere
    garconniere December 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

    wow. unbelievable. thanks for writing this great insightful takedown of a disgusting article.

  14. petpluto
    petpluto December 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    The thing that gets me about this piece is how this:

    She wanted to clarify that what had happened between us was without her consent, that it hurt her physically and emotionally, that it was, yes, rape.

    Is excusable because of this:

    Some might think it’s monstrous of me to keep drinking, keep partying. But I have had so many good, positive, happy experiences because I took a chance and altered my state and connected with someone else sexually, it seems crazy to throw all that away.

    He hurt someone, not just emotionally but also physically, but that’s alright because he gets something out of partying. He’s had so many good, positive & happy experiences, so the nights he makes someone else’s life a nightmarish situation is just the price of admission.

    This is a selfish person, straight through and through, who KNOWS there are other ways to handle the party scene because his friend is someone who is horrified he almost violated someone else. Right there, in the piece, we have the perspective that rape is not a trade off. It’s just one asshole who refuses to acknowledge his own destructive behavior. And GMP gives it an outlet as if this is a thoughtful critique. It’s not. It’s just some wankery by someone who’s world is working perfectly well for him, even if it is hurting people around him.

  15. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte December 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

    A lot of what the rapist wrote sounds untruthful, so I strongly suspect his claim to believe it was consensual at the time should be treated with skepticism.

    1. Beatrice
      Beatrice December 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm |

      Absolutely. He doesn’t sound particularly apologetic and I doubt that he, in his obvious arrogance, would have taken notice or care that some women he wanted to fuck wasn’t interested. It’s his experience that’s the most important, anyway, right?

  16. Ladeeda
    Ladeeda December 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

    I remember reading GMP in its original incarnation a few years ago, and while it was sometimes rocky, I thought I’d give it a chance. But the problematic pieces kept popping up and eventually I just stopped reading. I’d honestly forgotten about it until that Royse article popped up in other venues the other day. Now I’m glad it fell off my radar.

    It does make me wish there were a better place (that I knew about) where male feminist allies who actually are committed to making things better—not just faux-pologizing for shitty behavior—could write about their experiences. Anyone know of any?

    Then we can just mansplain to each other ;)

    1. MFenn
      MFenn December 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |

      Men Against Assholes & Misogyny has been good so far.

      1. Niall
        Niall December 11, 2012 at 9:11 am |

        Thanks!

        I’d never heard of that one until just now.

        1. MFenn
          MFenn December 11, 2012 at 9:32 am |

          You’re welcome. I only heard of it last week. I think it’s pretty new.

    2. matlun
      matlun December 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

      I kind of defended the site on the last thread, but I am starting to reevaluate. Perhaps my impression is just out of date? (Or even mistaken from the start?)

      Joanna Schroeder is supposed to be an editor, but both her pieces just reeks to me. And browsing the site now did not give me a good feeling either.

    3. Noadi
      Noadi December 11, 2012 at 2:31 am |

      More than Men is pretty good blog written by feminist men http://www.morethanmen.org/

      1. Niall
        Niall December 11, 2012 at 9:24 am |

        It’s good to see that more of these sites seem to be springing up like mushrooms.* I hope this trend continues, and more importantly I hope they don’t take the same direction as GMP.

        *Apologies for the fungus analogy, but I the only alternative metaphor I could think of was ‘weeds’.

        1. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 9:29 am |

          Hmm, do you mean that they grow in dark places that are full of shit? Maybe it’s best not to stretch the metaphor too far.

    4. Pseudonym
      Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 8:19 am |

      Well, I aspire to be a male feminist ally, although I seem to fall woefully short on many occasions. I post comments in places like this one. I enjoy reading manboobz on occasion but I’m not sure that would suit your fancy.

      1. Schmorgluck
        Schmorgluck December 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

        I recommend the reading of this post:
        Deconstruction: How To Be A (Male) Ally
        Useful advice.

  17. Stella
    Stella December 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

    I really, really despise this idea that alcohol leads to rape. The problem is culture, not alcohol. Anybody who does any research at all into this will find that the way people behave when they are drunk is culturally determined, not biological. For example,

    There is enormous cross-cultural variation in the way people behave when they drink. In some societies (such as the UK, Scandinavia, US and Australia), alcohol is associated with violent and anti-social behaviour, while in others (such as Mediterranean and some South American cultures) drinking behaviour is largely peaceful and harmonious.

    Using alcohol consumption as an excuse is just a way to avoid examining one’s (rape) culture.

    1. Alexandra
      Alexandra December 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm |

      Right. Alcohol lowers inhibitions. If we tell ourselves that “lowered inhibitions” means lots of hugging and dancing and smiling and laughing, great! And if we tell ourselves that “lowered inhibitions” means lighting cars on fire after Manchester United loses to Chelsea, or that it means throwing a female acquaintance up against the wall and violently groping her, THAT’S AWFUL.

      1. matlun
        matlun December 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

        I have always been a big believer in the phrase “in vino veritas”. Lowering the inhibitions just means that the true nature of the person is allowed to shine through.

        I have known alcoholics who are abusive and I have known alcoholics who were just sad but harmless people. There is no reason why alcohol would turn you into an ass unless you were one already.

        1. Alexandra
          Alexandra December 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

          Well, there’s also a feedback loop. My mother developed an alcohol problem when I was eleven/twelve years old, old enough to remember before and after. Before, she could be sharp-tongued, but she was not verbally abusive or cruel; she had boundaries and respected other people’s boundaries. As her drinking got worse, she became more and more willing to engage in abusive behavior she’d never engaged in before.

          People give themselves permission to do things, and after a while those permissions become habits. Someone says, I’ll just cheat on this one quiz, it’s no big deal… and before long they regularly lie and cheat to get ahead in school and work. Alcohol increases people’s willingness to give themselves permission to do things they otherwise would not do, and after a while, even in the absence of alcohol, these behaviors become habitual.

        2. matlun
          matlun December 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm |

          @Alexandra: Good point. There is probably a lot of truth in that as well. Once you start giving in to your demons it gets easier and easier.

          Also: I hope you got out of that situation reasonably well, and for what it is worth you have my sympathy. I was a few years older when my step father’s drinking became a real problem, and I probably had an easier time of it.

        3. miga
          miga December 11, 2012 at 12:45 am |

          True facts.

          My rapist forced alcohol into my hand and down my throat. He would drink a lot and become painfully aggressive with me. Alcohol was his tool, his weapon of choice, and I didn’t realize back then how much he’d gotten it down to a science (he pulled the same trick on another girl once- I still feel regret not doing more to stop him). A year later he asked me out and by then I was brave enough to tell him no because he had been “rude” to me and I was “pissed,” and he had the nerve to tell me: “I don’t remember being rude, but even if I was you know I’m not like that when I’m sober.”

          If you know you get rapey when you’re drunk? Get counseling and don’t get fucking drunk. If you know you’re gonna drive when you’re drunk? Get counseling and don’t get fucking drunk. It’s that fucking simple.

        4. konkonsn
          konkonsn December 11, 2012 at 4:30 am |

          Still feel regret not doing more to stop him.

          You probably already have people supporting you in this, and I don’t want to tell you how to feel.

          And I don’t know how much this helps coming from an anonymous person online, but…I don’t see any blame on you for what he did to that girl. So, I mean, you can still feel regret if you feel regret, but know that one person in this world thinks that you have no burden for his actions.

        5. miga
          miga December 11, 2012 at 9:39 am |

          Thank you. :)

  18. Thomas MacAulay Millar
    Thomas MacAulay Millar December 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm |

    We don’t need to have a dialogue with rapists. They make choices. As long as their choices don’t cost them much, they’ll keep making them. We don’t need a dialogue, we need a disincentive. At GMP, they seem very invested in coddling the rapists and understanding their feelings. But it’s not complicated. If raping people cost them something, they’d feel differently.

  19. PDA
    PDA December 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm |

    I see GMP’s “let’s make /r/mensrights mainstream” project is going full steam:

    He points out that he had sex without remembering it. That means he was raped… He is right to point out that it is exactly the same as what his female rape victims went through.

    That comment only to be surpassed, of course, by:

    I’m a girl and I’ve slept with less then savory characters but I do not feel raped just embarrassed. So how do we tell the difference b/w rape and an oopsie daisy?

    1. Computer Soldier Porygon
      Computer Soldier Porygon December 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm |

      “So how do we tell the difference b/w rape and an oopsie daisy?”

      Jesus. BELIEVE ME, YOU’LL KNOW.

      1. Andie
        Andie December 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

        Holy fuck, no kidding right?

        That comment right there reeks of that one jackass comment about the girls who rape so easy.

        There’s a huge difference between non-consensual sex and consensual sex that seemed like a good idea at the time, but later, not so much.

        That big difference is called YES.

      2. AK
        AK December 11, 2012 at 11:45 am |

        Seriously. I’ve had drunken sex I regretted later and I’ve been raped. There really is no way at all to get the two situations confused unless you’re lying to yourself.

        The fact that people insist on pretending that the situations can be honestly confused is sickening to me.

  20. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |

    I swear to God, it is only after the fact that you start figuring out that one of the tradeoffs you’ve accepted is a certain amount of rape. The way crooked businesses accept paying fines for their infractions as the cost of doing business, you gradually, an inch at a time, realize that some of the stories you’ve heard, some of the stories you’ve lived, didn’t involve what they call good consent nowadays.

    What the actual fuck? They published a rhetorical argument in favor of rape. I mean seriously…pull apart this para from a rhetorical perspespective.

    Rape is a “tradeoff. ts not a violent act against another human being, its a “tradeoff.” We all make tradeoffs amirite? Its like whether to drive a few extra miles out of your way to shop at local shops.

    Rape is a fine *he* has to pay. That’s right. Being a rapist makes him sad, you guys. Really, really sad. Like corporate america when they have to pay fines. Fines are sad.

    And of course his pain is central here. There is no mention of the women* he’s raped and what they’ve experienced. There is no consideration of their feelings or the harm they might have experienced. Their wellbeing doesn’t even enter into his calculus.

    And he doesn’t violate “consent” he only violates “what they call good consent nowadays” implying that there is another type of consent which he obtained. Perhaps the consent of being in his vicinity when he decides to rape?

    It is vile and disgusting that any group proporting to speak to what it is to be a good man would reprint this putrid, festering shitstain. They should be collectively ashamed of themselves.

    *I don’t believe for one second that he’s only raped one woman. This dude is a serial predator which makes what TGMP did even more contemptible.

    1. Donna L
      Donna L December 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

      I don’t believe for one second that he’s only raped one woman.

      No question. Especially since it’s clear to me that this is not a young guy. (“I’ve moved from one party scene to another my whole adult life”; the various references to things happening “years” before or later, etc.). He’s been doing this kind of thing for quite a while, I think.

      1. Alexandra
        Alexandra December 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |

        Yeah. He reads to me as someone who’s around thirty, and who has managed to arrange his post-college life so that work doesn’t interfere with his drinking/partying/raping habit.

        1. hellkell
          hellkell December 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm |

          He should probably think about growing up and getting clean. He’ll be “That Guy” at the club soon enough if he isn’t already.

  21. atheist
    atheist December 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

    As a man I gotta say, the excuses about booze are so reprehensible. I’ve been boozed & drugged up, looking to score with girls at parties, and somehow never ended up raping anyone. I dunno, I guess I just have that basic belief in women’s bodily self-ownership.

    1. TomSims
      TomSims December 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm |

      “As a man I gotta say, the excuses about booze are so reprehensible. I’ve been boozed & drugged up, looking to score with girls at parties, and somehow never ended up raping anyone. I dunno, I guess I just have that basic belief in women’s bodily self-ownership.”

      I agree. Way back in the day rape carried the death penalty and even though alcohol is a mood changing drug and reduces your inhibitions , the threat of the death penalty kept me and other guys I knew well on our best behavior.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L December 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm |

        Seriously? That’s all that kept you on the straight and narrow path of not being a rapist? So, what kept you there during the death penalty moratorium period, when there were no executions in the USA from 1967-1977? (Never mind that there are more rapes than murders in the USA, but that only about 6.7% of all executions over the last 400 years have been for rape, as opposed to 82% for murder. And I’d love to know how many of those executed rapists have been white. Not too many, I suspect.)

        1. TomSims
          TomSims December 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |

          “That’s all that kept you on the straight and narrow path of not being a rapist? ”

          No, I didn’t say that. I agreed with the previous poster and added more incentive NOT to rape. Whether or not there were or were not executions, it was the perception of the young men of my day, that they would indeed get the electric chair for rape. The fear of punishment is a deterrent not only to rape but to most other crimes as well.

      2. Beatrice
        Beatrice December 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |

        So, if you get drunk in a country with no death penalty, women beware?

        1. atheist
          atheist December 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm |

          the implication

      3. PDA
        PDA December 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

        I agree.

        I do not think that word means what you think it means.

        1. TomSims
          TomSims December 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm |

          “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

          What word?

        2. PDA
          PDA December 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm |

          I quoted two words. I’m guessing you can figure out which one I was referring to.

          Saying “I agree,” then going on to make a completely different point without a segue is confusing at best. At worst, it’s just gross trollery.

      4. matlun
        matlun December 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

        WTF? Basically eachoing what Donna and Beatrice said above, but seriously? Only the risk of punishment kept you in line?

        What about empathy and basic human decency?

        1. TomSims
          TomSims December 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm |

          Read my reply to the poster again. I added punishment as and another reason NOT to rape.

        2. matlun
          matlun December 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm |

          Yes, but if you are a reasonably decent person, the punishment would be irrelevant.

          (Also: From a factual standpoint, the deterrent effect of the death penalty as compared to a long prison sentence is very marginal)

        3. PDA
          PDA December 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm |

          Had you written, “I agree. And what’s more, way back in the day…” you’d be on a bit firmer ground to complain about people’s reading.

          But even if it’s rephrased that way, it’s a bit of a specious argument. People, in general, don’t refrain from murder, robbery and rape because they’re afraid of going to jail. They don’t do those things because they’re wrong.

      5. atheist
        atheist December 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm |

        Way back in the day rape carried the death penalty

        What the heck are you talking about? Rape has never carried a death penalty, and my statement wasn’t even about penalties. It was about basic respect.

        1. Anon21
          Anon21 December 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm |

          Rape has never carried a death penalty

          Yes, it has, in the not-so-distant past. In the U.S., the Supreme Court ruled capital punishment out-of-bounds for rape in 1977. That it was on the books doesn’t necessarily mean it was frequently imposed; DonnaL, upthread, suggests that it was a rare punishment (at least compared to the rate at which it was imposed for murder). Still, it was definitely the law in many states not so long ago.

        2. TomSims
          TomSims December 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm |

          I agreed with your post and only added that the threat of punishment deterred rape and other crimes. Rape did carry the death penalty for most of the 20th Century and before.

        3. atheist
          atheist December 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm |

          Still, it was definitely the law in many states not so long ago.

          OK, but TomSims is still trolling like a mofo.

        4. konkonsn
          konkonsn December 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

          That it was on the books doesn’t necessarily mean it was frequently imposed; DonnaL, upthread, suggests that it was a rare punishment (at least compared to the rate at which it was imposed for murder).

          It was probably just there for when men of color raped or were accused of raping a white woman. Possibly gay or poor men as well.

      6. atheist
        atheist December 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm |

        the threat of the death penalty kept me and other guys I knew well on our best behavior.

        Decent troll. You get 3 out of 10.

      7. Niall
        Niall December 11, 2012 at 9:31 am |

        Rape did carry the death penalty for most of the 20th Century and before.

        If the comments of posters to this statement are any indication, than your assertion is questionable. But even if you’re correct, I’m pretty sure that’s because raping a woman was considered tantamount to violation of a man’s property (wife or daughter) rather than than because of the harm and trauma it caused the victim.

        1. DouglasG
          DouglasG December 12, 2012 at 12:00 am |

          This is illustrated to the extreme of even consent being of less important than property in a very early episode of The Tudors, when the Duke of Buckingham catches Charles Brandon and his daughter engaging in some very consensual acts. Buckingham requests that Henry VIII punish Brandon for rape. When the King counters that there is no accusation from the lady, Buckingham rants that the offense is against him. He then goes and hits his daughter in the face, causing considerable and noticeable damage. Bleah.

      8. Pseudonym
        Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 9:35 am |

        Sure it did, TomSims. When was the last person executed in the US for rape? Do you want a cookie for refraining from rape in the face of the death penalty? Did you start indulging in rape as soon as the Supreme Court overruled those sentences? Does that mean we can take away your cookie?

        1. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 9:40 am |

          Also, there’s a thing about rape carrying the death penalty that I found revealing. I’ve heard friends rant about how rape deserves the death penalty because it’s worse than murder. I have to ask, really? You’d rather your wife or sister or mother be murdered than raped? You value a woman’s virginity or so-called “virtue” more than her life? That sort of attitude says a lot about a person, not all of it complimentary from a feminist perspective.

        2. TomSims
          TomSims December 12, 2012 at 7:17 am |

          The most famous was Caryl Chessman who was executed in 1960.

          And no, I’ve never raped anyone or even came close. Over my long lifetime, if a girl or woman just slightly pushed me away, I stopped immediately. I have never and would never force myself on any woman.

          I was only relating how things were when I was growing up. None of us has any control over the circumstances of our birth and how we were raised. I was taught by my parents to walk the straight and narrow. And I always have and always will.

        3. Colin Day
          Colin Day December 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

          Sorry for piggybacking, but I can’t reply to TomSims directly.

          According to Wikipedia, he was executed for kidnapping.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caryl_Chessman#Crime_and_conviction

      9. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve December 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm |

        I agree. Way back in the day rape carried the death penalty and even though alcohol is a mood changing drug and reduces your inhibitions , the threat of the death penalty kept me and other guys I knew well on our best behavior.

        Can you give me one example where a man was given the death penalty for rape on an intoxicated acquaintance?

        1. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm |

          Are you putting any limits on the races of both parties?

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve December 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm |

          Are you putting any limits on the races of both parties?

          Only if the race relationship wasn’t one that could get the man lynched for a consensual sexual act.

    1. Alexandra
      Alexandra December 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

      Oh man, so sorry about the broken link!

      1. A4
        A4 December 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

        I read it anyway, because it was intelligent. Thanks.

    2. trees
      trees December 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm |

      I’m disgusted and have nothing to add to the discussion. But I was wondering about something. (If this is a derail, please ignore) Would this dude be considered a “nice guy” and a “good man”? The Good Men Project seems some status quo than anyone else. People with more relative power (and their supporters) are pretty invested in maintaining positive perceptions of themselves. In a world where rape victims are the collateral damage of having a good time, social justice, beyond superficial platitudes, isn’t possible since marginalized people are never imagined to be fully human and just as valuable as the powerful.

    3. Philip Finn
      Philip Finn December 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm |

      That’s why I keep introducing the human rights and humanitarian law angle into the discussion; this needs to be seen by both stakeholders – women AND men – as a human rights issue, not “merely” a gender misunderstanding. Women cannot “oppress” or be sexist towards men the same way and for the same reason blacks cannot be racist – sexism, like racism, is a artificial construct invented by the oppressor to define and label the oppressed! It requires an existing institutionalized power structure supported by culture and even vocabulary that enforces the oppression but suppresses words and concepts to allow alternate discussion.
      In linguistic terms, we see it with – as I mentioned above – the existence of artificial constructs, and the use of “Legowords” like the hyphenated “post-racial” and “African-American”. Real words expressing real concepts cannot enter the language because the oppressor’s language (not unlike Imperial Roman in the Mediterranean or Russian in the former Soviet Bloc) dominates the conversation through sheer cultural force. Half the stakeholders in the racial conversation have had a century and a half to stop defining and labeling (and therefore, by extension, “own”) the other half, and still their word of choice is, “nigger”. Does anyone think that same system will change the use of “slut” or “whore” or stop minimizing the male behavior narrative any time soon, say, this century?

      1. Pseudonym
        Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 9:47 am |

        I think that women can be “sexist” towards men and people of color can be “racist” towards whites in the sense of holding prejudiced personal attitudes, but because of power differentials they can’t enforce those attitudes at a systemic level so it doesn’t really matter a whole lot. I don’t know if that agrees with what you’re saying or if I’m being naïve or bigoted, so I’d appreciate any feedback that anyone could give, but that’s the best that I can describe the way I see things right now.

        1. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm |

          No, I believe you’re correct, anyone can be prejudiced against anyone else for any number of reasons, but one can only be racist or sexist as part of an institutionalized power structure (regardless of fleeting, isolated exceptions that prove the rule) that operates the culture, not simply within or tangent to it. That’s why I fall back upon race as an aid to discussing gender, because they are both set upon by the same oppressive institutions but the race conversation is somewhat farther along, and a little better defined, so I believe it’s helpful to draw parallels and borrow terms for want of adequate vocabulary, etc. Just as none of us are free if one person isn’t, I believe that all of us can be violated (and perhaps are, arguably) if one of us is. I might go further and say that the root of oppression is to communicate the message that there are those who can do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whoever of us they want, and there isn’t anything we can do about it.

      2. matlun
        matlun December 11, 2012 at 11:17 am |

        @Philip Finn: I am sorry, but that post is just arrant nonsense.

        Some points that stand out even among the rest

        * “racism” and “sexism” does not label the oppressed.
        They are labels on the oppression itself using the sociological definition (which is what you seem to be using). Alternatively using the traditional dictionary definitions they are just labels on types of bigotry.

        * “African-American” is not a label created by the oppressor class either. Quite the opposite. It is a term created by the oppressed to escape the negative associations that had built up around earlier terms.

        * “… and still their word of choice is, “nigger””
        You will have a hard time finding any mainstream character for whom that is the word of choice. Even on Fox.

        I am sorry if that came out a bit harsh, but I do value truth and intellectual integrity, and that post just pushed my buttons too hard to ignore.

        1. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm |

          * “racism” and “sexism” does not label the oppressed.
          They are labels on the oppression itself using the sociological definition (which is what you seem to be using). Alternatively using the traditional dictionary definitions they are just labels on types of bigotry.

          OK, perhaps I wasn’t clear, I meant the labels used by those who practice racism and sexism are commonly applied by the oppressor to negatively label the oppressed as part of the institutionalized mechanism of oppression.

          * “African-American” is not a label created by the oppressor class either. Quite the opposite. It is a term created by the oppressed to escape the negative associations that had built up around earlier terms.

          If “African-American” was truly created to “escape the negative associations” then why is it race-specific (yes, note the hyphenated word for want of a non-racial (and another) word that isn’t in service of the institutionalized, false construct of race imposed with impunity upon a segment of society) and not, say, “citizen” or “person” or some new word or existing word used in a new way, all of which linguistics teaches are possible and happen virtually overnight? Why are we still waiting, after 150 years, unless one of the stakeholders is dominating and blocking the discussion?

          * “… and still their word of choice is, “nigger””
          You will have a hard time finding any mainstream character for whom that is the word of choice. Even on Fox.

          Not at all…they simply use the word “liberal” and/or “poor” depending upon the context, which is part of what I observed that led me to my current belief, and I submit that as proof of my assertions in the original post. Those participating in the oppression have forced their semantics, their terms upon what is still a narrative or monologue rather than a dialogue, conversation, or discussion. I use race as an example because (as we can see in this thread) the gender discussion is still in its comparative infancy, and the main points still apply because the oppression comes from a predominantly Euro-male (or whatever Legoword they’re using these days) institution, rather than exclusively “male”…or “Euro”…or whatever.

          I am sorry if that came out a bit harsh, but I do value truth and intellectual integrity, and that post just pushed my buttons too hard to ignore.

          So do I, and I seldom learn anything from someone who agrees with me, so I’d be genuinely interested which buttons it pushed and why. I don’t post intending to push them, but “the conversation” is too important to not have simply for fear of being misunderstood, or for that matter, understood only too well.

  22. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin December 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |

    As I read through this account, I recognize anew that I no longer want to go out and be around these sorts of men (or sorts of situations) anymore. At 26, I felt the inevitable voice of reality, which told me it was now time to grow up and stop hitting the clubs.

    Like most young men, I headed to bars and clubs trying to find an opportunity for sex. Sometimes I was successful. Sometimes I was not. The very thought of sexual assault never crossed my mind. It just wasn’t an option.

    Now in my thirties, I’m a homebody and rarely go out much anymore. But when I did, I always instinctively set myself apart from a particular type of man. Though I was not raised with a feminist consciousness, I was raised to believe that only trash abused women. And maybe you can’t make judgments that sweeping based on simple inferences, but doing so has kept me safe on numerous occasions.

    I was taught a kind of genteel chivalry. When I began to delve into feminist theory, I learned to deconstruct and then reject the parts that insisted men must protect women from themselves. But I can’t say I have much sympathy, nor much understanding for men who rape.

    1. rain
      rain December 11, 2012 at 8:16 am |

      Which parts of chivalry don’t have, at their core, the premise that women are weak and in need of protection?

  23. EG
    EG December 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

    I just cannot deal with this rape-excusing, rape-justifying, rape-rationalizing bullshit. A little raping is the price of admission to his lifestyle? Seems to me that this selfish, narcissistic piece of shit might change his mind if a little castration were the price of entry for raping.

    And it is bullshit. I drank myself blind when I was young. I drank until I had multi-day hangovers, and I was drinking in bars with other people who were–wait for it–also drinking. Some of these people, in retrospect, almost certainly had drinking problems. They were drunk, I was drunk, here’s what happened: we made stupid jokes, fell off barstools, flirted outrageously. On one occasion, I threw up and passed out in the bathroom (I know, I know: I’m very sophisticated). And yet–I know this is amazing, it’s going to blow your minds–not one of my drinking companions raped me. Not once. Not the bartender who found me in the ladies’ room and drove me home. Not the guy I had a crush on, whom I had to call once to find out how I’d gotten home from CBGB. Not the 6’2″ amateur boxer who was the bouncer. Not any of them.

    And I’m not saying that all of these guys were good guys. Some of them were real assholes. But you know what they weren’t, at least with respect to me? Rapists. It’s a pretty low bar to clear.

    Alcohol does not make anybody rape anybody else, and alcohol isn’t what rapes anybody. It’s rapists who do that.

    1. linoleumfloor
      linoleumfloor December 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm |

      Agreed. Sometimes I go out and get pretty drunk. Sometimes I flirt with guys when I’m pretty drunk, or even when I’m pretty sober. I have also been around a lot of men and women who were very drunk and/or passed out. Yet, I have never assaulted one of those men or women. I have never looked at a passed out person, and thought ‘oh, I’m pretty horny, I’m going to feel you up’.
      Despite my never having done that, others have done it to me. Twice to be exact.
      Alcohol doesn’t make a rapist. Intent does. And this guy intends to continue on with his behaviour; he intends to be a rapist.
      I do think we should have more conversations about the misogyny that is harboured by many young men that contributes to this kind of behaviour. The anti-rape campaigns (how to stop a rape? – just don’t rape someone) are a great start, but I don’t think we will be able to lower the incidence of this behaviour until parents have honest conversations with their kids and schools teach it in their curriculums. We need to get through to young men that these are not complicated scenarios, as this author has presented, but clear examples of rape and misogyny. Without these conversations (from an early age) young men will still cling to these excuses, and young women will still blame themselves or be in denial about their experiences (as I was/still am years later).

  24. gahanon
    gahanon December 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm |

    Wow… the GMP is so, so fucked up. I don’t even.

  25. Greg
    Greg December 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm |

    A friend of mine once told me about a girl who he knew for a fact had only had two drinks. He didn’t know she was on prescription medication that amplified those two drinks beyond all measure. He thought she was just very horny when she wouldn’t leave him alone or take “Are you okay?” for an answer. It wasn’t until she kept calling him by the wrong name and couldn’t remember the right one that he realized she was not able to consent, and called a halt to things before they went any further. He says he had to dissuade her from pursuing things further, because she was really into it, apart from not knowing who he was or where she was.

    “Can you imagine?” he tells me in horrified tones. “I was almost a rapist.”

    Here’s the thing. This guy was never almost a rapist. He decided it mattered to him whether she consented, so he paid attention to the signs that she wasn’t all the way there, and stopped because she wasn’t. Rapists are at best indifferent to consent, if not actively hostile to it.

    1. Dave W.
      Dave W. December 11, 2012 at 6:51 am |

      I read this as the friend considered himself lucky that the woman in question couldn’t remember his name, as otherwise he would have thought her both capable of consent and enthusiastically consenting.

      I’m not sure if you are asserting “One can’t be a rapist without being at least actively indifferent to consent, because intent is an essential element of rape,” or “one can’t be a rapist without being at least actively indifferent to consent, because anyone who is incapable of consent will be giving off unmistakable signs of that incapacity that no one who cares about consent could miss,” but I’m not comfortable with either of those as a universal statement, and the friend seems to be specifically denying the latter, even though there was such a sign in his case.

      1. Greg
        Greg December 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

        I’m pretty confident saying that someone who refuses to sleep with anyone who they’re not 100% sure is consenting will never accidentally rape someone.

  26. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla December 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

    Because of my social isolation, I had not actually heard of GMP before Jill wrote about Royse’s article. I’ve read enough GMP tripe during the last couple of days to last me for years, I think. They’re all sickening (the articles and the people writing them). I can’t see ever visiting GMP for any reason, ever.

  27. Siff
    Siff December 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm |

    I’m saddened to see GMP become more and more like this. I think that its idea–a space for men to discuss masculinity and manhood and male identity in the contexts of not misusing privilege, being an ally to marginalized groups, and promoting gender equality–is a good and necessary one. Men should be having those conversations with other men. But this is just sad.

    A week (?) ago they had a comment of the day that started to solidify this shit in my mind, with someone who was openly identifying what he’d done, obtaining “consent” through pestering, as rape and saying that it needed to be talked about more.

    And the comments were full of people telling him it wasn’t rape.

    I’m all for a place that provides a way for even men who have done harmful shit in the past to examine themselves and what they’ve done, to take responsibility and to ultimately try and move forward leaving whatever led them to do it behind–If and only if they want to do that and reform–because they aren’t monsters, they’re people.

    But when you have someone like that and try to coddle them and tell them they didn’t do anything wrong? Holy shit way to miss the point, guys.

    It’s disgusting :(

    1. A4
      A4 December 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

      They’re confused. They think it’s the ‘Men are Good’ Project

    2. L
      L December 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm |

      It was the semi-recent slew of “prude”-shaming articles that officially sealed the deal for me. I’d rarely gone there at all in the past year or so, but reading about how wives/girlfriends are bad partners if they don’t have fun at strip clubs with their men (or go and don’t have fun too/don’t buy the guy a lapdance) was, really, the last straw.

      Of course the only female authors left would be FeMRAs and strippers looking to militantly support male-focused heterosexuality. Or at least, it’s definitely headed that way.

  28. BalancingJane
    BalancingJane December 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm |

    This is so frustrating to me. I used to read the GMP sporadically, and I thought (and still do think) there’s a need and space for their stated mission. What happened? Was it a cover for misogynistic rape-apology to begin with? Did it spiral out of control that started out earnest? If so, was that because of the response it got from the readership or the control wrested by the authors? Chicken or egg?

    I ask not because I want to defend GMP but because I very much want the space they claim(ed) to be to exist.

    Not enough people outside of the femisphere are talking about rape culture as a culprit. Too many people are too quick to say “rapists are bad people who rape,” which is absolutely true, but doesn’t do enough to examine how we keep producing these bad people who rape to begin with. I think that tough questions about where consent lies when everyone involved is intoxicated need to be asked and discussed. I was hopeful that GMP would be a place to do that, but then we get articles where a man claims he’s just so confused by not being able to penetrate a sleeping woman (who he’s never slept with before, just to add to the insanity of that claim) and a man who admits that he’s raped because he can’t control his drinking but thinks that drinking is just too damn much fun to stop. That second author said this in his article:

    And in the trackless, unmappable gray swamps in between, we cough and change the subject.

    There may in fact be some “gray swamps” in these discussions, but neither of these articles have waded into them, and by attempting to broaden the definition of “gray” to include these deplorable forms of absolute, clear-cut rape, they (the authors, editors, and actors involved) are using the very language of activism to further entrench us in a rape culture.

    Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    1. linoleumfloor
      linoleumfloor December 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm |

      It’s extremely disappointing. I heard about this site a while ago and was hopeful, but cautious for this exact reason. I want men to be a part of the conversation and a website dedicated to this idea is a great way to reach out, but now they’re just succumbing to this MRA bullshit. I don’t think change can happen without men taking part, but it also can’t happen when the conversation is completely derailed by this self-indulgent navel-gazing by rape apologists. Sigh.

  29. the_leanover
    the_leanover December 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

    On top of everything that has already been said, that justification piece is such goddamn patronising bullshit, and willfully ignorant to the actual realities of the messages that ‘young people’ supposedly get… this:

    When will we truly start to discuss the role alcohol and drugs play in sexual assault? When will we explain—without shaming or victim-blaming—to young people the risk they are taking when they over-indulge?

    This is practically THE ONLY THING that ‘we’ actually do ‘discuss’ when it comes to discussing sexual assault with young people. I don’t know where or when this writer went to high school, but in my personal experience – and feel free to contradict me if this runs counter to yours – just about the main message I got as a recent teenager about personal safety and morality was ‘partying and drugs and alcohol are bad and dangerous and if you do any of them you are putting yourself at serious risk and anything that happens to you is to some degree your own fault’. In my education as ‘a young person’, the rare times that sexual assault would come up at all, it was in the context of THE EVIL DANGERS OF ALCOHOL AND DRUGS AND OVERINDULGENCE; the closest thing you’d get to acknowledging the existence of rapists as actual people with agency (as opposed to a nasty, inevitable side-effect of being naughty, like hangovers and cancer) was when they talked about drink-spiking, and even then it was in the context of ‘never let your drink out of your sight, girls’. The whole thing was always framed in retributional terms, where bad things will happen to you if you behave ‘badly'; never even the ghost of the idea that you ought to be perfectly free to behave ‘badly’ and even to ‘overindulge’ so long as you take the responsibility of assessing your own capability to enjoy ‘bad’ things without doing the BAD things, that maybe you should be free to fuck up your liver so long as you’re not going out and beating people up or raping them while you’re at it, and if you find that alcohol truly does take away your ability to not do those things then your liver will just have to stay pristine, and if you still keep drinking and doing them then that’s a choice you’ve made, not an inherent ‘risk’ of the ‘partying lifestyle’. The message that we need is not a moralising one about ‘risks’ and ‘overindulgence'; it’s one about self-awareness and empathy and choice.

  30. hellkell
    hellkell December 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm |

    Fuck them for rape apologia, fuck them for publishing not just one but a slew of shitastic things, and double fuck them for not getting it. Fuck.

  31. hellkell
    hellkell December 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm |

    OK, now that my rageasaurus has calmed down and wandered off for dinner…

    It’s really poor form for GMP to use an addict for page hits. Yes, he’s a rapist scumbag who if he OD’d tonight–OH, WELL– but this just feels tacky and wrong. Just as tacky and wrong as the other two articles.

  32. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune December 10, 2012 at 8:13 pm |

    “I’d Rather Risk Rape Than Quit Partying”?

    Oh, don’t you mean “I’d Rather Risk Raping People Than Quit Partying”?

    Because, you know…the first one’s a risk assessment. The second one’s a sociopath’s shoulder-shrug.

  33. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune December 10, 2012 at 9:01 pm |

    That said, I really don’t see the problem with Schroeder’s article? She has some pretty good points in there, and if that framing was immediately applied to the first article (as opposed to slapped on six days later to cover an exposed ass), I actually kind of get the point of publishing the first article as a sort of horror story, look the monster in the eye kind of thing. While the fault of rape always lies squarely with a rapist, the Rapist Support System is way, way bigger than just the courts; it’s in media and social programming and socialisation, and yeah, sometimes you have to discuss creepy shit in order to work out how to either uncreepify said shit or put it through a shredder for good.

    What, we can’t actually talk about things anymore? It’s not that fucking hard to discuss how rape culture works without hurting rape victims. And while I don’t really trust GMP to do it, I don’t see why this is a conversation we in this community are shying away from.

  34. PM
    PM December 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm |

    The GMP has been teetering on the “websites I kinda like overall but can’t bring myself to visit again because of a few bad articles” list for awhile now. I can’t go there anymore. I hope Ozy and Noah Brand take NSWATM to a different site because I can’t justifiably give pageviews to GMP. What a bunch of fucking shit. It could have been a decent space to talk about men’s issues but it degenerated into a hovel for purposeful misogynists and clueless misogyny-enablers. I believe that men can do better, and I hope that we will. Time to try again.

    1. Amphigorey
      Amphigorey December 11, 2012 at 1:52 am |

      I hope Ozy and Noah Brand take NSWATM to a different site because I can’t justifiably give pageviews to GMP.

      Noah is Editor-in-Chief for GMP, so I don’t think NSWATM is going anywhere.

      1. PM
        PM December 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm |

        Ah, I had forgotten. Fuck it.

        1. AndiF
          AndiF December 13, 2012 at 6:55 am |

          Ozy has left GMP and started a new blog. Her post about leaving is here.

        2. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 7:57 am |

          Good. I like zie and I’m glad I can read zis writing without having to give GMP any clicks.

    2. PennyB
      PennyB December 12, 2012 at 9:46 am |

      NSWATM is pretty damn terrible too.

  35. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable December 10, 2012 at 9:49 pm |

    I don’t even.

    Can we agree that Nice Guys (TM) should officially be renamed “Good Men”?

  36. olympia
    olympia December 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm |

    Man, does this guy have dependency issues. Good God! The fact that he can still speak in such glowing terms about partying -as has been noted, he does not sound young- after all that has happened, that he’s willing to run the risk of continuing to rape rather than give up drinking? Mind boggling.

    I do think there’s a discussion to be had about the issues surrounding drunken sex, but penetrating someone by force- or when she’s asleep, for chrissakes, is not drunken sex.

  37. DSJ
    DSJ December 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm |

    I don’t see how anyone could say the article was okay. The guy is basically saying, I know I’ve raped, I know I’ve committed rape, and I know it’s fucked up, but I’m still going to keep doing it because it makes me feel good. Him owning up to it doesn’t make it better. It makes it worse. Because he knows how bad it is, he just doesn’t care.

    I think it’s incredibly f’ed up for them to publish this as a standalone piece, and then publish a secondary article trying to explain why they did it. By publishing it as a standalone piece, they’re implying that it stands alone. That you can read it without necessarily reading a follow up. I read it as this guy bragging about how he got away with all these rapes and that he’s going to continue to do so, and on top of that, it got him published in GMP.

    It’s like publishing Mein Kampf as a standalone piece, and then publishing a rebuttal, which consists of, basically, “this exists, and we disagree with it.”

    Oh, and apparently they’re only approving ‘friendly’ comments.

  38. DSJ
    DSJ December 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm |

    Also, I’m not at all convinced that this guy’s behavior isn’t being unintentionally glorified. I mean, let’s break this down.
    1) He’s clearly having a lot of fun.
    2) The argument is that his experience is normal and shared by many, many other people, heck maybe it’s even universal.
    3) He’s still a good guy and a nice guy.

    What’s not to emulate?

    One of the realities here is that whenever stories like this are published that normalize a behavior it does make it seem more acceptable. If there was someone else just like this guy reading the article, I can easily see them thinking ‘huh, here’s another person who thinks just like me; here’s another trade off that I’m supposed to accept. I’m not so unusual after all.’ I mean, Liar’s Poker was originally published as a cautionary tale.

    1. FashionablyEvil
      FashionablyEvil December 10, 2012 at 11:55 pm |

      That’s what some of the research that Jill links to above shows: that rapists believe that their behavior is normal and they depend on a culture that is supportive of male entitlement more broadly to cover up and justify their behavior.

      1. Philip Finn
        Philip Finn December 11, 2012 at 2:29 am |

        Exactly…that’s what I was saying earlier, this comes from the same place as racism, that it’s institutional, and it’s being allowed by it’s enablers to survive for a reason…

  39. Li
    Li December 10, 2012 at 11:47 pm |

    Someone really needs to tell the people at the GMP to stop taking the accounts of rapists in good faith. Rape is a crime that often involves manipulation a grooming and last I checked it was a really bad idea to take the words of serial manipulators at face value.

    1. A4
      A4 December 11, 2012 at 5:42 am |

      Yo, right?!

      Don’t ask criminals why they commit crimes. They usually don’t even know, and they definitely have no motivation to tell you the truth if they did.

  40. Sarah
    Sarah December 11, 2012 at 1:52 am |

    Here’s the only possible defense I can imagine for this article.

    As a good Liberal (TM) I’m very used to trying to look at things from the “criminal’s” point of view. Yes, murder is bad, but what would lead a person to murder in the first place? Poor home life, no role models, drugs, money, etc. Reformed murderers write best-selling books for children from Death Row, and we hold them up as examples of transformation and hope.

    Painted with a similar brush are drug dealers and thieves of various stripes. We blame poor nutrition, poor education, lack of opportunity, and a host of other ills that contribute to people making bad decisions, such as the decision to sell crack or the decision to break into someone’s home. We acknowledge that these crimes do not happen in a vacuum. No one just wakes up in the morning and says, “Gee you know what sounds like fun? Gunning down a total stranger in cold blood!”

    Rape doesn’t happen in a vacuum either. And Rape Culture affects everyone – the people who get raped, the people who do the raping, and the people standing on the sidelines, trying to figure out the hows and whys and wherefores.

    1. theLaplaceDemon
      theLaplaceDemon December 11, 2012 at 8:42 am |

      Yes, and I think that is what GMP thinks they are doing.

      But as many others have pointed out, there is a large body of empirical evidence and a large body of theory on this topic, which GMP ignores. They also publish their justification/analysis separately from the rape piece, which makes it really easy to JUST read the rape piece.

      I also think the ethics of talking about rape and the ethics of talking about murder are different. There is less of a cultural acceptance of rape. As a culture, we do not look to excuse murderers the way we excuse rapists. We might say, yeah, drugs played a role in that, but we don’t treat the murder as less culpable because of it. We aren’t as likely to say “But he’s such a nice guy!”

      Second, what sort of insight did we get into rape from that piece? The reason the rapists said he rapes is because he has decided his goodtimes partying are more important than the pain he inflicts. That is not a nuanced, difficult thing to understand. He cares about partying more than he cares about not raping people. I don’t think sitting down and talking about his feelings brings us to any insight,

      Also, I really don’t buy the premise that “yes means yes” / “no means no” doesn’t work. Yes, there will always be people who just don’t give a shit about consent, and the way to deal with them is to disincentive rape in other ways.

  41. STyron
    STyron December 11, 2012 at 3:19 am |

    Ok, I understand situations where one party is intoxicated and the other is not, but what if both parties are equally (or indistinguishably) intoxicated, and both express consent? The man is automatically the rapist, and should have known better? This is just another fucked up form of victim blaming.

    It seems to me this guy is not so much worried about forcing himself on someone who expressly does not consent, but about putting himself in situations with other people who can’t consent. But why is he committing rape when he can’t consent either, if he’s intoxicated?

    1. theLaplaceDemon
      theLaplaceDemon December 11, 2012 at 8:32 am |

      As with the one example where he knows for sure he raped someone (because she told him so), I assume it’s less “two enthusiastic intoxicated people having sex” and more “one enthusiastic intoxicated person doesn’t realize the other intoxicated person isn’t consenting”.

      I don’t know if I think that two intoxicated people having enthusiastic sex means they are raping each other, but if an intoxicated person forces unwanted sexual activity on another intoxicated person…it doesn’t matter that they are both intoxicated.

      1. Pseudonym
        Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 8:37 am |

        Ugh… I’ve been intoxicated in party situations. It’s really not that difficult to NOT HAVE SEX. If the other party has to excuse herself to puke in the bathroom sink, for example, she is NOT ABLE TO CONSENT regardless of whether she says she wants to fuck you. Is there really something ultra-special about me that gives me the amazing ability to not be a rapist? I seriously doubt that. Nothing else about me is amazing. It’s just basic human decency.

  42. Michelle
    Michelle December 11, 2012 at 3:59 am |

    BEING DRUNK, STUPID, AND/OR CONFUSED DOESN’T EXCUSE ANY OTHER CRIME – WHY THE FUCK DOES IT EXCUSE RAPE?

    1. TomSims
      TomSims December 12, 2012 at 11:25 am |

      BEING DRUNK, STUPID, AND/OR CONFUSED DOESN’T EXCUSE ANY OTHER CRIME – WHY THE FUCK DOES IT EXCUSE RAPE?

      You’re spot on. There is no excuse.

  43. xZaebos
    xZaebos December 11, 2012 at 8:50 am |

    I’ve read GMP for a good while, but I was picky about what I read and what comments sections I would go into. I haven’t actually read these pieces. Though I did learn this about a lot of GMP. See, they are “feminist friendly”, meaning, be nice to everyone while completely stomping on things that feminism would stand for. For you see, saying “It’s not just spiteful republicans that derail, blame, gaslight, and mock you for being a (male) victim, it’s young men, women, feminists, MRA’s. Everyone can do it, and a lot of different people do. It happens all the time.” Is being “aggressive to feminists” but apologizing for rape? Nah!

  44. a lawyer
    a lawyer December 11, 2012 at 11:28 am |

    Saying “RAPE IS BAD AND RAPISTS SUCK!!!” is 100% true. But if that’s all you’re allowed to talk about without being accused of apologism or misogyny or whatever, then it’s pretty much impossible to talk about it at all.

    If you want to try to solve rape issues then you have to discuss them. And if you want to discuss rape issues then you’ll have to be able to say, and hear, some statements that are uncomfortable. Temporary discomfort is needed because it helps discussion.

    To use a Godwinized example on purpose: if you talk about WW II then you might want to be able to discuss the motivations and considerations of the Germans without needing to insert “…who were evil and horrible, of course” into every sentence. It’s sort of understood.

    In the END you obviously are going to concur that the Germans were horrific. In the END you obviously are going to concur that the rape needs to be stopped. But discussing “how do we set up thing so this doesn’t happen?” means you need to talk about why it happens, which you can’t do if you tiptoe around it.

    With that in mind (and bracing for the people who are going to call this apologism, which it ain’t:)

    1) Drugs / alcohol are known to impair judgment.
    2) Impaired judgment means that you sometimes may make decisions that you wouldn’t make in real life. because, you know, your judgment is impaired.
    3) This doesn’t happen to everyone, and it doesn’t happen all the time. But it happens sometimes, to some people.

    We all agree on this, right? Keep going:

    4) We know that if you are severely impaired, you may not have the ability to properly judge whether or not you want to consent. You may not even have the ability to properly judge what you are “consenting” TO (scare quote intended.)

    5) We consider those people “unable to consent.” When they do things which “look like consent,” we think it doesn’t count. After all, they can’t consent unless they can judge WTF is going on. So if they have sex, the lack of consent makes it rape.

    Now, in the old days this was simply not rape. The theory was that if you consented to TAKING a substance, then you consented to the effects of it–even if those effects were “lack of ability to meaningfully consent.”

    But we don’t want that, right? If Sally gets shitfaced at the Xmas party then we expect Mary to leave her alone; we don’t want Mary to say “well, Sally knew she was shitfaced, so her incomplete consent is her problem.”

    Good so far. But what this article is talking about is the obvious “other side” which nobody likes to say straight up. And I don’t think it’s good, or acceptable, or OK, or legal, or anything else. But it needs to be SAID, ya?

    6) Just like in #4 above: We know that if you are severely impaired, you may not have the ability to properly judge whether or not you want to consent…. But you also may not have the ability to properly judge whether or not someone else is fully consenting. In #4 we noted that you may not even have the ability to properly judge what you are “consenting” to… and similarly, you may not have the ability to properly judge what someone else is consenting to.

    So the problem is: We KNOW that it’s horrific to rape someone. But we make a lot of general statements about the effects of impairment. And we make a lot of general statements about impaired people not being able to make good decisions, and being relieved of some responsibility for their decisions. That’s why Drunk Sally is a victim and Mary is a rapist, even if Drunk Sally “consented” at the time, right?

    So we need to jigger a way to make that rule consistent with the fact that impairment goes both ways. Perhaps Drunk Sally is a target/victim, and Mary is sober. Or perhaps Drunk Sally is the aggressor, and decides to take the opportunity to grope Mary. How do we relieve Sally of responsibility in the first instance, and blame her in the second instance? By the time she’s shitfaced drunk it’s too late. And everyone here seems unanimous that blaming alcohol won’t work.

    What we REALLY need to do is to come up with a good cogent non-bumper-sticker answer beyond “don’t rape, idiot” which resolves that problem.

    Because otherwise it’s a difficult discussion. Almost an impossible one, actually, until you confront the issue.

    Imagine that we hear “Paul is so drunk and high that he can’t tell red from green and he can’t make any rational decisions:” Do you think Paul is responsible for his actions? How can we explain that to Paul without “victim blaming?”

    OK, now imagine a bit more: Paul complains of being raped by Mary, because he had no control over what he was doing and couldn’t consent to sex with her. Mary says he consented.

    Do you still think Paul is responsible for his actions? Is Mary a rapist? How can we explain that to Paul without “victim blaming?” How do we explain that to Mary?

    Now imagine a bit more: Just like Paul, MARY was so drunk and high that she can’t tell red from green and she can’t make any rational decisions. Paul had no real ability to consent, but Mary had no real ability to judge his consent (or his state of drunkenness.)

    Do you still think Paul is responsible for his actions? Is Mary still a rapist? Is Paul a rapist? Are both of them rapists?

    The article gets at the last bit. And while it’s an uncomfortable topic, the discussion needs to be had.

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable December 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

      The article gets at the last bit. And while it’s an uncomfortable topic, the discussion needs to be had.

      The article you’re responding to does NOT get at the last bit. It gets at the “Paul admitted to being a rapist and promising to rape again.” But whatever you want to tell yourself.

      1. a lawyer
        a lawyer December 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm |

        The author admits that he has done things which, absent a drug/alcohol-induced failure of judgment, he wouldn’t have done. In retrospect, he interprets those things as rape (as he should!) He admits that he will subject himself to drugs and alcohol again, so he’ll probably do those things again: that is horrific.

        But I read the article (and response) as being an intro to the question of how to treat interactions between people when more than one of them is judgment-impaired to some unknown degree.

        And it’s left unstated–intentionally, I assume–what we should conclude to the OTHER ones.

        After all, do you just want to ignore the many other encounters he had?

        If drunk people are unable to consent, didn’t he rape other people even if they said yes? Or was he raped? Or do two absolutely-fucked-up-people who have sex get an exception to the rule? Or does the exception only apply to the more sober one, whoever that was? Or does it only apply if (after sober reflection) both of them are 100% OK with what they remember doing and understanding?

        It is simple to say that rape is bad, because it is. It is simple to say rape should end; it should. But the question of generally how best to stop rapes in this type of situation is not simple at all. If you think it is simple and obvious, then you’re not really thinking about it enough.

        1. Thomas MacAulay Millar
          Thomas MacAulay Millar December 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm |

          There is little point in discussing his motivations in the abstract. The point of discussing his motivations, as far as I am concerned, is to make informed efforts to change his behavior, and the behavior of people like him. Do you have a proposal?

        2. Kristen J.
          Kristen J. December 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm |

          Your approach to the question assumes that person who is intoxicated should not be responsible for their actions while intoxicated. Not everyone shares that assumption. If you are voluntarily intoxicated and you harm another person you are ethically responsible for harm. Full stop. “I decided to stop thinking for a while because its fun!” Is not an excuse. You should bear all the costs of deciding to impair your own judgement. Placing the burden of your decision on others is immoral.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

      Sorry. If you choose to drink, and then rape somebody, you are in a state of as great or possibly greater guilt than if you’re dead sober.

      In much the same way as if you skid on ice and hit somebody in your car, you’re much less guilty than if you skidded because you’re drunk as fuck and can’t focus your eyes.

      I’m sorry, since when does making choices that make rape easier (alcohol disinhibits, alcohol often causes aggression, alcohol makes sexual cues hard to parse, as you yourself pointed out) condone rape? If anything, they make it more heinous. It’s like saying, if I know I’m homicidal on Sundays, and I go out to a Tea Party rally on Sunday and then kill sixteen people, “Oh, I’m homicidal on Sundays” is not an excuse; it’s a cause for greater guilt on my part, because I knew damn well and I went anyway.

      1. Anon21
        Anon21 December 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm |

        I’m sorry, since when does making choices that make rape easier (alcohol disinhibits, alcohol often causes aggression, alcohol makes sexual cues hard to parse, as you yourself pointed out) condone rape? If anything, they make it more heinous.

        This seems backwards to me. The sober rapist who uses alcohol or other intoxicants to place his victim in a helpless state and then assaults her is more culpable than the rapist who gets drunk and mistakes his victim’s passivity for consent.* They’re both rapists, and both should be criminally punished, but the former is a predator whereas the latter may just be an incredibly irresponsible asshole.

        *I don’t think this describes the drunken rapist of the OP or the allegedly drunken rapist of the Royce piece from a few days ago.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm |

          *I don’t think this describes the drunken rapist of the OP or the allegedly drunken rapist of the Royce piece from a few days ago.

          But…I am talking about this rapist. the one in the OP, the repeated predator. At this point he’s willfully raping because he’d rather rape than have a few drinks less. That, in my opinion, actually makes him worse than the monster that is the sober rapist preying on drunk victims – he’s a monster AND a cowardly disingenuous liar.

        2. Anon21
          Anon21 December 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |

          But…I am talking about this rapist. the one in the OP, the repeated predator. At this point he’s willfully raping because he’d rather rape than have a few drinks less. That, in my opinion, actually makes him worse than the monster that is the sober rapist preying on drunk victims – he’s a monster AND a cowardly disingenuous liar.

          Sorry, it seemed to me that you were making a more general statement. I agree that the rapist from the OP is a serial predator and a really awful person.

        3. piny
          piny December 11, 2012 at 11:28 pm |

          Yeah, but…okay, I agree that if you’re Jekyll, and you know that drinking will make you Hyde, then you have a moral responsibility to lay off the booze. That shouldn’t even need explaining. And I agree that this makes him arguably even worse, because he can’t even tell the truth about how little he respects his victims.

          But I think I this isn’t a good description of him, even though it’s what he says about himself.

          I guess there could be men like this–men who get blackout drunk and commit sexual assault who don’t hurt women otherwise–but I don’t think this guy is one of those people. I mean, if you can sober up and think, “Well, rape is bad, but I love to party….”

          I just don’t believe him.

          We have his word for it that he mistreats women when he’s drunk and only when he’s drunk. I don’t think that’s true. I’d bet lots of money on him being a creep all of the time, and I think it’s really unlikely that he’s never committed sexual assault sober.

          So I think he’s one of those people who uses alcohol as an excuse. I think that comes through in some of his descriptions of what he’s done, especially the one or two incidents where he says he was aware enough to figure out that his partner was shitfaced.

    3. AK
      AK December 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm |

      No one says “rapists are bad!” is as much as we’re allowed to talk about rape. In fact, in this and the other similar threads over the past few days, I’ve seen some very intelligent and sensitive comments discussing rape culture, drug/alcohol use, etc. and the role they play in acquaintance rapes.

      As I see it, the problem with these GMP articles is that they’re not really doing that in any constructive way. Instead, they’re normalizing rape and the takeaway at the end is still, “If you drink/flirt, you’re responsible for what happens to you,” rather than, “It doesn’t matter what she does, the rapist is solely responsible.” Oh sure, they play lip service to the latter, but when you’re talking about a guy who has sex with a passed-out woman being “confused” because she flirted with him before, what the hell is the actual message being sent to readers? Or this piece, where the author does nothing but minimize and excuse the rapes he committed, while shrugging off future rapes as the price he has to pay for his lifestyle (note the absence of concern for the victims there too). Where is the value in that? All it does is normalize rape.

      So absolutely, we can talk about why rapists rape. Lots of people do it, and do it well. But that’s not what these articles are doing, and if it is honestly what they’re trying to do, they’re missing the mark by about a mile and a half.

    4. DSJ
      DSJ December 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm |

      Actually, it is pretty simple. You’re responsible for what you do, whether you’re sober or not, and that includes rape.

      Every time you ask, is Paul responsible for his actions? Is Mary responsible for her actions? The answer is, Yes. Holding people responsible for their actions is not victim blaming, although that phrase is what victim-blamers trot out to justify their behavior. Victim-blaming is holding people responsible for other peoples’ actions.

      In the scenario between Drunk Sally and Mary, Drunk Sally is responsible if she assaults Mary, and Mary is responsible if she has sex with Drunk Sally, even if Mary genuinely is ignorant of Drunk Sally’s inability to consent. There’s nothing inconsistent with that at all– in fact it’s the natural position to take. For instance, suppose Paul is so drunk he offers me his wallet. It’s easy to see that it’s immoral for me to take the wallet, and if I take it and take it home with me then should be counted as theft just as any other theft. But suppose that Paul is so drunk that he pushes me against the wall and takes my wallet. It’s easy to see that Paul is, indeed responsible, even though he’s drunk.

      The simple solution for Anonymous is that he needs to stop doing what he’s doing. And what we’re objecting to is not that it’s being talked about, or that it’s uncomfortable, but that the facts are being distorted, and it’s happening in a way that reinforces rape culture. GMP presented a theory of rape which isn’t backed up by any actual figures our research, but which instead validates the excuses that rapists use, apologists and justifies the behavior of rapists, and repeats the things that they like to tell themselves by making this behavior seem more widespread than it actually is.

      1. PDA
        PDA December 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm |

        Actually, it is pretty simple. You’re responsible for what you do, whether you’re sober or not, and that includes rape.

        Yes, this.

        If drunk people are unable to consent, didn’t he rape other people even if they said yes? Or was he raped? Or do two absolutely-fucked-up-people who have sex get an exception to the rule? Or does the exception only apply to the more sober one, whoever that was? Or does it only apply if (after sober reflection) both of them are 100% OK with what they remember doing and understanding?

        I’m just not getting why this is still being presented as if it were an issue that requires three Talmudic scholars, a Supreme Court justice, and Socrates to figure out. Sexual contact that is unwanted is rape. Drunk sex is not always rape. Initiating sex with a drunk person is always a bad choice.

        What’s wrong with “Get consent!! Drunk consent is not consent!!” as a message? How is that oversimplifying?

        1. matlun
          matlun December 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm |

          @Jill: If the woman is passive (and possibly even close to passed out) and the man is the active (if drunk) party, then clearly their levels responsibility and moral culpability are not the same.

          The interesting situation is when both of them are approximately equally drunk and equally active. Would you still stand by your argument in that case?

        2. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

          @Jill: On the contrary, you bring up a very good point about the social context around sex and why for mixed-sex interactions the implications of consent aren’t symmetric. It’s too easy for people to argue that mutual drunkenness implies mutual consent or lack thereof when the activity involved is straightforward PIV. It’s rather hard (NPI) for a man who’s highly intoxicated to the point of passing out to be physically manipulated into nonconsensual sex, whereas the same is not true of a woman. What about fellatio, on the other hand? Someone can instigate that pretty easily without any conscious involvement on the part of the recipient. That also speaks to @matlun’s question.

        3. matlun
          matlun December 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm |

          @PDA: Personally, I find the categorical claim that “drunk consent is not consent” or even that drunk sex is always a bad idea to be very unrealistic. Consider the normal situation where two people have a glass of wine to dinner and then have sex – who would see that as an issue at all? So no one should honestly be able to claim that it is working as a categorical rule.

          And wherever you put the level of drunkenness where you think the rule should apply, it will be a judgment call. There will be borderline cases where reasonable people can have different opinions about whether a situation is “unproblematic” or “a bad idea”, and whether another is situation is “a bad idea” or “rape”.

          So yes, I do think it is oversimplifying.

        4. matlun
          matlun December 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |

          So yes, I do think it is oversimplifying

          When saying that, I would like to clarify that in practice I do not find the issue that complicated. To be able to tell whether the other party is actually consenting is very seldom difficult. If you just have a little respect for the other person and actually pay attention to them, it is virtually always very simple. And if in some case you are uncertain, actually not engaging in sex is not that difficult.

          Yes, there are some tricky borderline cases, but they are uncommon. There may be a risk to get so involved in discussing those tricky cases that you lose focus on the very clear cases of abuse that are indisputably out there.

        5. Lamech
          Lamech December 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

          I am sure I am going to catch hell for this, but: A drunk man having sex with a woman who is too wasted to consent doesn’t mean that they were both raped by each other.

          If they are both to drunk to consent, they both participate (as opposed to one lying there and doing nothing), they are both rapists. End of story*.

          But drunken, non-consensual sex does not happen in a vacuum, and I would argue that there is something particularly vulnerable about being penetrated (and indeed, the potential for physical harm is higher).

          Oh look patriarchal bullshit. If we were concerned about “potential for physical harm” we would bring into consideration what diseases the rapist had, and regardless it wouldn’t be strictly by gender.

          And if we’re talking about a drunk woman who is essentially just laying there and a man who is on top of her penetrating her repeatedly, no, I don’t think that both of them are equally responsible or equally violated.

          Yes because that is the only kind of sex that can happen. [/s] No. If she helped, or conspired with him she also bears responsibility. She does not get a pass for being drunk. If she was just lying there doing nothing she would get a pass REGARDLESS of it she was drunk or not. Drunkenness is not a defense to anything.

          *Okay, standard defenses apply, like duress, involuntary intoxication etc.

        6. tomek
          tomek December 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

          Oh look patriarchal bullshit.

          how is patriarcal bullshit. if i was to be raped i prefer woman have normal sex with me than put things up my opposite end. u cannot ignore physical reality lamch.

      2. a lawyer
        a lawyer December 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

        Mary is responsible if she has sex with Drunk Sally, even if Mary genuinely is ignorant of Drunk Sally’s inability to consent. There’s nothing inconsistent with that at all– in fact it’s the natural position to take.

        Actually, it’s NOT a natural position to take which is why it needs a lot more fleshing out.

        The idea that Mary could genuinely be ignorant usually suggests ( to most folks) that Mary isn’t especially responsible. Just like I’m not responsible if I eat a PB&J next to someone… unless I know they’re allergic and do it anyway, in which case it’s my fault if they croak.

        Or, if Mary is responsible, it’s more in an “oh, sorry, didn’t know” kind of way rather than a “OMG she’s a RAPIST” kind of way.

        In rape, we want that second response. We want to be able to condemn Mary like, well, a rapist. But that’s at least somewhat harder to do if we imagine that Mary made some sort of reasonable effort to obtain consent, and thought she got it. In many cases, it’s a heck of a lot harder to do. Usually we judge interpersonal stuff from some sort of “reasonableness” standard.

        Where does that leave us then? In any situation OTHER than rape, we’d blame Paul instead of Mary. After all, Paul’s the one who got shitfaced and Paul’s the one who decided to give “inadequate” consent.

        But in rape, we desperately want to avoid blaming Paul. Right? Because after all, he got raped.

        The choice then seems to be how to choose one of three options for a bunch of bad alternatives.
        1) We can blame or not blame Mary for something which is not really her fault (she genuinely thought there was consent, right?) but which resulted from her actions.

        2) We can conclude (or not) that sometimes rapes “just happen”, which we want to avoid.

        3) We can decide that it was really Paul’s problem to prevent, which we also want to avoid.

        The current M.O. is “blame Mary; release Paul from any liability; deny that the issue was caused by anyone other than Mary.”

        I don’t like any of the alternatives. But i can’t really explain why the current MO is better than the other options. neither can most people, at least not that I’ve read.

        1. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm |

          I don’t think putting random sentences in boldface and throwing in numbers is doing much good in making your argument more coherent. Maybe I just have a short attention span, but I can’t follow your stream of consciousness well enough to understand your point.

          Let’s say that there’s a party where Debbie the Drunk gets drunk and has sex with Pat the Potential Rapist. Since Debbie was drunk we can assume that she was not in a state where she’d be able to give consent, therefore the sex was non-consensual from her point of view. As far as I can understand, you’re asking whether this constitutes rape.

          I see several potential factors here that I think you were trying to point out:
          1) Is Debbie at fault for letting herself get drunk? Normally we hold people responsible for their actions regardless of their level of intoxication, e.g. Debbie would be held responsible for damages from a car accident that resulted from her drunken driving. This basically comes down to a question of whether there’s such a thing as being too drunk to consent to certain activities; obviously there’s no notion of being unable to give consent to drive and therefore being absolved of the consequences. The reason sex is different is because it involves another person.
          2) Is Pat responsible for not taking advantage of Debbie’s drunkenness, whether by having sex with her or taking her up on her offer to give away her wallet?
          3) Does it matter if Pat is also intoxicated? In that case neither party can give consent. Does that mean that they raped each other? This sets up a dilemma: Pat could use being drunk as an excuse to get away with actions that would otherwise constitute rape. It doesn’t make sense to call this not-rape, since that lets Pat off the hook, but it also doesn’t make sense to say Pat raped Debbie but not vice versa, since Pat and Debbie were both drunk and did the same things. And it doesn’t make sense to say they both raped each other because that’s just weird.
          4) Does it matter if Pat (sober in this case) was under the mistaken impression that Debbie had consented to sex?
          5) Does it matter whether Pat is male or female?
          6) Is this line of questioning just an exercise in mental masturbation that’s irrelevant to both the original article and the circumstances of 99.9% of (actual or potential) rapes in the real world? I think there are some interesting philosophical questions here, but I don’t want to be mistaken as a rape apologist because I think these questions are hypothetical and almost never apply in practice.

        2. DSJ
          DSJ December 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm |

          lawyer,

          The idea that Mary could genuinely be ignorant usually suggests ( to most folks) that Mary isn’t especially responsible.

          [extended post]
          ….
          1) We can blame or not blame Mary for something which is not really her fault (she genuinely thought there was consent, right?) but which resulted from her actions.

          You’re trying to make intent into a substitute for responsibility.

          Unintentionally breaking the law is still breaking the law. Unintentionally scoring an own-goal in soccer is still an own-goal. Unintentionally killing someone is still manslaughter. Unintentional rape is still rape. Intent can be used for judging someone’s character, yes. It can be used for determining what punishment they deserve and what danger they pose. But it can’t be used to shifting away responsibility or blame off yourself, and especially it can’t be used to shift fault to someone else.

          And just because something can happen unintentionally, it doesn’t mean that we conclude that it’s something that “just happens”. It just means that if you don’t want to rape someone, then you have to recognize beforehand when you’re at risk of doing someone else that will harm them. If you see a woman who has had drinks and you think is consenting but you know there’s a chance that she can’t, and you’re not entirely sure how drunk she is, then have sex some other night or go hit on some other person. Yes, it involves some self-control. If you have a tendency to sexually assault people when you’re drunk, or do other harm to others, then don’t get drunk in situations where you could be a danger. I realize how ‘hard’ that sounds depends on what culture you’re coming from, but it really isn’t that hard to do.

        3. Hamgravy
          Hamgravy December 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm |

          Are you sure you’re a lawyer?

      3. PDA
        PDA December 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm |

        matlun, I really think you’re working too hard to make this more complicated than it is. If my wife and I have a glass of wine together and decide to fuck, that’s different than if it’s someone I just met, or have been dating briefly. If you don’t know the person that well, and/or don’t have clear agreements about intoxication and sex, wait until you’re sober.

        Is this an ironclad rule that applies to every single possible situation any combination people might possibly find themselves in? No, and I never intended to say it was. But the fact that we can come up with a corner case where it’s ambiguous doesn’t mean we need to buy into the whole “it’s so complicated, the whole concept of consent is so complex, what if I rape myself?” nonsense.

        1. PDA
          PDA December 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm |

          I crossed with your 5:38 comment. I think we are saying the same thing; I agree entirely with what you said there.

        2. matlun
          matlun December 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm |

          Yes, I also think we largely agree, and fair enough on your post.

          I did that clarification because I realized that my postings were starting to kind of sound like the bullshit rape apologist argument that since it is so complicated we can not really blame the rapists. So we even agree on that.

        3. TomSims
          TomSims December 12, 2012 at 11:37 am |

          If my wife and I have a glass of wine together and decide to fuck, that’s different than if it’s someone I just met, or have been dating briefly. If you don’t know the person that well, and/or don’t have clear agreements about intoxication and sex, wait until you’re sober.”

          Excellent advice

  45. Au Contraire
    Au Contraire December 11, 2012 at 11:36 am |

    Maybe they should change their name to the Good Rapist’s Project. Because, you know, sometimes good men make mistakes and rape people when they’re drunk. But they’re still good people.

    /sarcasm

  46. AMM
    AMM December 11, 2012 at 11:41 am |

    I ran across the GMP site a few years ago, and my impression of it then was that it was about maintaining male privilege while pretending to be otherwise. In fact, that’s where I first read HS’s stuff. (I think I had to actually go to his website to learn from him that being a sexual predator is a good way to be a male feminist, and that his victims were better off for his predations.)

    So I can’t say I’m surprised that they post this crap.

    I’m only surprised that so many people here were taken in by GMP. (But then, a lot of people here were taken in by HS, and AFAIK, a number of them still do think he’s a feminist and a great guy.)

  47. AndrewJenny
    AndrewJenny December 11, 2012 at 11:46 am |

    I wonder if this guy would feel the same way if he was the one who “just sometimes got raped.”

    1. AK
      AK December 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm |

      I suspect he was trying to address that with his “well I’ve been too drunk to consent, was I raped?” bullshit.

  48. Miriam
    Miriam December 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

    In light of this I find the name of the Good Men Project very ironic. While there’s a lot of wiggle room in defining what a “good man” is or isn’t, I’m pretty sure it’s not even arguable that this one isn’t.

  49. Miss S
    Miss S December 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm |

    Ok, bear with me because I have a coherent thought somewhere in here.

    I was watching an episode of Sister Wives yesterday, and one girl had escaped the FLDS community ran by Warren Jeffs. She blamed polygamy for the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of women and girls. I think she’s wrong. I think religion is a tool for these men, but it’s not the root of the problem. Polygamy doesn’t create pedophiles. I don’t think it creates violent men who rape and abuse women either.

    I feel like when we discuss guns, rape culture, alcohol, drugs, and mixed signals, we’re removing culpability from those who deserve it- violent men. If you get drunk and rape someone, you’re a rapist. If you’re a drug addict and you rape someone, you’re a rapist. If you’re the religious leader of your community and you rape someone, you’re a rapist.

    The bottom line is, you’re a rapist. I feel like because men are a privileged group, they keep getting…. not the benefit of the doubt exactly, but reasons or excuses or explanations. We talk about rape culture instead of saying that some men are horrible and beyond redemption.

    I’m cynical about this now, but if a man has proven to be violent, then we need public policy change. We need laws to actually protect women. We need to replace all the men in jail for marijuana offenses with men who have raped and abused women. Forget trying to understand it- something is wrong with them. Something that makes them dangerous to all women. I don’t think that culture creates rapists; I think it gives rapists a pass. These men were going to rape anyway.

    1. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan December 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm |

      A lot of those rapists start out as little boys who aren’t rapists, however, and might not ever become rapists in a different culture that respected women and their bodily autonomy. The rapists who gets off on non-consent might be unsaveable but I don’t think that the children being raised right now are.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

        Yes. This. Exactly.

        We have time to shift the narratives around drinking and rape, around drugs and rape, around victims’ clothing and rape. It won’t save the people being victimised now, but that’s a terrible excuse to not save the people who’ll be victimised later.

      2. Miss S
        Miss S December 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm |

        and might not ever become rapists in a different culture that respected women and their bodily autonomy.

        Will that society ever exist? Is there any culture anywhere in the world where women aren’t raped? Even if we could create a society where women and their bodily autonomy existed, it would take a long time. What do we do with the rapists in the meantime?

        Fuck, I’m just angry. I just wish our justice system considered these men a threat nearly as much as they consider black men with joints a threat. It’s so backwards it’s infuriating.

        1. Valoniel
          Valoniel December 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm |

          Will that society ever exist? Is there any culture anywhere in the world where women aren’t raped?

          Short answer: No. Just like we won’t ever have a society where people aren’t assaulted in all kinds of other manners, and where there are no murderers. The best we can hope for is to minimize the societal narrative that encourages it, to the point where that narrative is essentially nonexistent. There are always, always going to be the aberrant and the violent among us, and while we can’t do a damn thing about that, we CAN move toward the (incredibly, hopelessly) hopeful destination of a world wherein rape is not a thing which is debated. One where the victim’s history, dress, behaviour, signals, et al are of no fucking consequence to the fact of rape, or mitigation to the condemnation of the perpetrators by the world at large. A world where the blame for rape is consistently placed on the shoulders of the rapist, because the rest of the world just doesn’t think or operate like rapists.

          Call me crazy, but since perfect doesn’t and won’t ever exist, I’ll just keep striving for the next half-distance toward that goal, until we’re so close it’s virtually indistinguishable.

          Yes, it’s going to take a long, long time. In the meantime, we just keep fighting, because the distance is irrelevant to the goal.

  50. PDA
    PDA December 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

    Wow. Now they’ve published a defense of the explanation, since apparently “colleagues and contributors were targeted personally.”

    I’m not going to link the article in line with Jill’s desire not to drive pageviews. Other than a trigger warning for a graphic depiction in the second graf, “Giving a Rapist a Public Platform” has nothing to recommend it. They are doubling down on the “we need to understand rapists!!1!” meme, now with extra sanctimony:

    If we are to have a civilized, enlightened conversation, his rationalization matters enormously. We ask: how could someone do this? Whom better to ask than the perpetrator himself?

    Bullroar.

    1. Li
      Li December 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm |

      If we are to have a civilized, enlightened conversation, his rationalization matters enormously. We ask: how could someone do this? Whom better to ask than the perpetrator himself?

      I dunno. Maybe, um, someone who doesn’t have a strong personal interest in rationalising and excusing rape? Someone who isn’t likely to misrepresent and lie about the situations in which they have raped in order to show themself in a more sympathetic light?

      Why, again, is the GMP assuming good faith on the part of rapists? What part, exactly, of manipulative predator is confusing them?

    2. igglanova
      igglanova December 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

      If we are to have a civilized, enlightened conversation, his rationalization matters enormously. We ask: how could someone do this? Whom better to ask than the perpetrator himself?

      As we all know, a single anonymous personal account on the internet provides a wealth of information that decades of published research never could.

  51. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm |

    Actually, you know what, fuck this, I’m going to say it. This is total fucking brainspew and I’m not even a little bit sorry. I’m working things out in my head right now and I honestly don’t know where else to put it.

    Yes, I think people rape who don’t think they’re raping. I think a hell of a lot of people rape who’re entitled and shitty enough people to think that consent is “gray” or that there’s “mitigating circumstances”, but they would never call themselves rapists – until you present it to them in a nice guilt-free phrasing, and then they’ll admit to it with a grin. Hasn’t study after study proven that?

    And yeah, I think the stats are distorted around party cultures, around college rape, simply because so many women don’t have a) the knowledge that they were raped, b) the resources/energy/emotional ability to pursue a case that’ll almost certainly go nowhere, c) too much causeless guilt that would silence them, d) are shamed into silence even before they can think of pressing charges because of their sexual history/drunkenness/dress/the price of beans in China/other irrelevant thing society insists is Totes Important To Know about rape victims. A majority of rapes and abuses go unreported, everyone keeps saying that, but they get right back to discussing “official statistics” the second anyone brings this up.

    So yeah. We need to fucking fix that. For the kids. For my daughter. I can’t shut up and toe the general line of “oh, everyone who’s raping is totally a predatory fuck who’s totally focused on getting his rape on from minute 1″. I can’t. Because there’s men who really aren’t. They’re under the impression that marriage is consent, or that a relationship is consent, or what the fuck else ever that the patriarchy’s pouring into their ears from infancy. And just because those rapes don’t get reported as much doesn’t mean they’re not happening; I see them happening, here and elsewhere, over and over.

    And those rapists who would recoil, because they’re not rapists, they’re Good Guys!!eleventy! …they’ve been brought up on a poisonous cocktail of entitlement, of rape culture and victim-blaming, of treating women as objects; rape is a natural extension of the status of women in society. They’ve been trained to violate women’s selves from the day they were swaddled in blue blankets, and fuck, I think the fact that the vast majority of them don’t rape despite that training – that the vast majority of them don’t extend that routine privilege into extreme dehumanisation – is something of a statement about innate human goodness.

    Doesn’t mean those rapists aren’t rapists, though.

    Fuck, I don’t know. Maybe I’m not first-world enough for this conversation. Maybe I just grew up somewhere where misogyny and assault and domestic violence and rape and sexual abuse were so, so common that I can see the patterns that people are so eager to pretend are a thing of the past. They’re not. They’re fucking not. They’re happening right now, in the media and the schoolyard and the classroom and the club. They’re happening to boys who are around my fucking daughter. And the fact that people are bloody ignoring that, all over this thread, and the previous one, is really grating on my last nerve.

    Please, can’t we talk about this? The fact that men at large are trained to violate and led to violate? The fact that popular narratives surrounding consent punish women brutally for being sexually assertive, and then claim it’s their fault when those brutalised women don’t assert their consent? The fact that women are practically bloody FORCED to give people “mixed signals” (can’t say an outright no because it’s not ladylike, can’t scream in public, can’t reject a man “cruelly”, have to be nice and polite to men, have to be sexy for men’s benefit)? “Mixed signals” that are then used to silence and humiliate and dismiss those very women?

    Oh, and by the way. Yes, I think women do give men mixed signals: I think we do it because giving someone, anyone male a clear “no” is physically bloody dangerous and we know it. It’s not a mixed signal, it’s a lifesaving skill. And this response, the knee-jerk response to say “Women don’t give mixed signals” is fucking bullshit. Women give mixed signals because women remain in a sort of existential hostage crisis and we’re told over and over that it’s the only fucking way we know we might be safe. (It isn’t. We are lied to. That it’s a lie doesn’t change the fact that it’s a lie we’re being told.)

    Ah, fuck. I don’t even know anymore.

    1. PDA
      PDA December 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm |

      Please, can’t we talk about this? The fact that men at large are trained to violate and led to violate?

      Not sure if that was directed at anyone in particular, or was just more sort of a primal scream at the universe… but yes.

      Yes.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm |

        Thank you.

        It really felt like my wife was the only person I could discuss this with, since there’s a lot of hostility to some of the things I said in this post in this community…fuck, that’s the only reason she didn’t want to post this herself even though most of these ideas were ones she put forward that I felt made way more sense than the current general stance, that she worried about pushback. (I, on the other hand, have no compunctions about spewing my ragefroth in public, lol.) But it’s nice to see people agreeing. I feel a bit better about all this now.

    2. Alara Rogers
      Alara Rogers December 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm |

      Word.

      If you look at the history of humanity, stuff we currently consider to be rape was at one point wholly normalized pretty much everywhere that we have historical records of. When “take a civilian captive of war to be your bride” is the way your society phrases “murder a woman’s family in front of her as part of an invading army and then drag her off with her and rape her repeatedly until Stockholm Syndrome sets in”, it’s obvious that your society is condoning rape, and it does so by not even considering what is going on to be rape.

      Did women in the ancient world even think of it as rape when they were forced into marriage? I’ll bet they didn’t, but I bet they did think of it as something horrible they wanted to avoid if they could. When “rape” is a property crime against men, forcing sex on a woman without her consent isn’t even a crime as long as she’s your property. And constructing rape in that way leaves the victim no real way to actually process what’s happened to her and how awful it is. “War bride” doesn’t sound nearly as awful as “raped captive”, does it? Hell, even “war prize” doesn’t sound as bad as “raped captive”. You’re a thing, but you’re a valuable thing, which is better than being a helpless torture victim.

      We treated rape as a fate worse than death because, as a property crime againsst men, rape ruined the value of a woman, and living after you’ve been deemed totally worthless by everyone you love is, in fact, worse than death in many circumstances. But the thing they thought of as rape was taking a woman against the consent of the man who owned her, not forcing sex on a woman they owned. That was just normal. Even the women accepted it as normal. Which meant, I suspect, millennia of damaged survivors trying to process what happened to them without any support whatsoever from family, friends or even their *language*, with no choice but to adopt the rapist’s language for what happened to them.

      And in those circumstances, I suspect that damn near every man raped at least once. Because in their mind it wasn’t rape. Rape was awful, rape ruined a woman, but if you made your wife have sex on your marriage night even though she was scared and reluctant, that wasn’t rape, that was you just getting her to do her duty.

      Men who understand that women are human beings, with feelings and thoughts just like them, who are not property… those men can refuse to rape, because they understand that the crime, the damage, is done by the ignoring of the victim’s will. But when your entire society says that you are entitled to have sex with this woman because you own her, why would you think that forcing her into sex was a terrible thing to do?

      So yes. Rape culture creates rapists. If we created a wholly non-misogynistic society where men and women are equals, maybe some men would still rape, because there is a biological connection that can be made between sex and violence the same way such a connection can be made between sex and pain, and it’s possible that a sociopath might still enjoy having sexualized power over other people. But there would be a fuck of a lot *fewer* rapists. And when women came forward to accuse those few rapists, they’d be believed, and the rapists would be caught.

      1. EG
        EG December 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

        Rape was awful, rape ruined a woman, but if you made your wife have sex on your marriage night even though she was scared and reluctant, that wasn’t rape, that was you just getting her to do her duty.

        See…I wonder about that. I really do. How many men did make their wives have sex on the wedding night even though she was scared and reluctant…and how many knew that obviously they could and that was a legitimate thing to do in the abstract, but personally, when faced with a scared and reluctant woman…well…they’d just spend some time together until she felt better? I really wonder.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L December 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

        When “rape” is a property crime against men, forcing sex on a woman without her consent isn’t even a crime as long as she’s your property.

        It’s totally amazing to me — maybe it shouldn’t be — how ignorantly Christian-centric so much of what people say is, especially when they make such confidently broad generalizations about human history. No matter where they are on the political spectrum. As in the idea that because Christianity didn’t recognize the concept of marital rape, it didn’t exist. It’s just not true. And, no, I don’t buy for a moment that almost no man in history had empathy for his wife or other women as human beings and that “damn near every man raped at least once. Because in their mind it wasn’t rape.” I’m with EG, here.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L December 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm |

          OK, here’s an example. As much as it’s appropriate to criticize Judaism as it was practiced historically (and, to some extent, as it’s practiced currently by the ultra-Orthodox) for its misogynistic aspects, condoning marital rape isn’t one of them (just as approving domestic violence isn’t one of them; I remember quoting once here the famous statement of Meir of Rothenburg, who, among many others, strongly condemned it). This is a summary of what the medieval rabbis interpreting Torah and Talmud had to say (footnotes omitted):

          http://www.jsafe.org/pdfs/pdf_032206_2.pdf

          It is forbidden for a man to force his wife to have intercourse. Even if she is not forced outright, as long as she is not amenable to intercourse, sexual relations are prohibited. Rambam [whose writings were less favorable to women than many other medieval rabbis] rules, “[Her husband] should not coerce her [to have relations] when she does not desire to do so. Rather, [they should engage in intercourse only] when there is mutual desire and pleasure.” Even if she is ambivalent about her desire, relations are forbidden.

          In Iggeret ha-Kodesh, chapter 6, ascribed to Ramban [not to be confused with Rambam, of course!], we find the following guidance:

          When a man has relations [with his wife] he should not do so against her will and he should not rape her; the Divine Presence does not abide in such unions in as much as his intentions [are] in opposition to hers, and she does not consent to his desire. He should not quarrel with her or strike her concerning marital relations. Behold, the Sages said (Pesahim 49b), “Just as a lion tears [his prey] and devours it and has no shame, so an ‘am ha-‘arez (ignorant boor) strikes and cohabits and has no shame.” Instead, he should entice her with kind and alluring words and other appropriate and reputable things. He should not have relations with her while she is sleeping [!] because their intentions are not united and they are not of the same mind. Rather, he should wake her and arouse her with conversation. The bottom line is this: when a man is sexually aroused he should make sure that his wife is aroused as well [before having intercourse].

          Reasonable words and acts of enticement that attempt to woo another person and seduce her into consensual relations are permitted and are not considered coercive. However, if these advances are rebuffed, they must be stopped.

        2. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 12, 2012 at 11:19 pm |

          Thank you for that perspective…in a way, it also reinforces my belief that human rights are not “evolutionary”, that they have always existed and in need of being recognized rather than granted. Rights “granted” as a function of privilege are an indulgence subject to the whim of the privileged, which is the dynamic in play in the example from “The Tudors”, or any “bird in a gilded cage” example.
          Afghanistan is a good example, where women’s rights were recognized decades ago, and the current situation there is the result of a planned and deliberate regression to what the oppressors believe to be the desirable status. What men and the male privilege institutions bestow today they can take away tomorrow, and that will continue until the sources of power in our institutions that define and enforce privilege are dismantled – a potentially painful process for everyone in society, but one that has to take place nonetheless. If not, any indulgence, and excess or privilege any of us enjoy as a group or individual will be paid for on someone else’s back, because that’s the way the institutions have developed whether we consented to it or not.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L December 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm |

          Similarly, from the same source, explaining why even though both husbands and wives had mutual conjugal rights, this was not an authorization for marital rape:

          Jewish law insists that it is forbidden for a man to force his wife to have intercourse; all sexual intimacy must be consensual. . . . Does a wife have the right to refuse to have relations with her husband? . . . . [Rambam and] R. Moshe b. Yosef of Trani, known as Mabit, [agree that] a woman cannot be compelled to submit to her husband . . . . [T]he Torah speaks of “her conjugal rights” (Ex. 21:10) and not simply of “conjugal rights;” those rights are hers and not her husband’s.

        4. Donna L
          Donna L December 13, 2012 at 12:24 am |

          On the one hand, I’m gratified to know that at least some men — men in positions of great authority in their religion — understood and expressly decreed almost 900 years ago, based on the Talmud, that it was forbidden for a man to force his wife to have intercourse, either directly or through coercion, that sex should be based only on mutual desire, and that it was specifically prohibited to have sex with a sleeping woman “because their intentions are not united and they are not of the same mind.”

          On the other hand, I find it infinitely discouraging that almost 900 years later, there are still people who don’t understand this, and others who defend them by suggesting that it somehow isn’t clear.

        5. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 13, 2012 at 12:42 am |

          That was my point, human rights exist to be recognized, they don’t evolve. Privilege “grants” on a whim and privilege takes away. Like I pointed out, the world is full of examples like Afghanistan where there are women who earned degrees and once had their own income and wore t-shirts and jeans but have been beaten regularly and experience the world through a blue tent that passes for clothing, comforting themselves with the idea that they haven’t been killed like some of the women they knew.
          We are going to have to work to criminalize many institutions, powerfully ingrained in our culture and others, and should resign ourselves to the reality that we will not see the end in our lifetime, indeed, some of us may lose our lives or suffer other violence, this is going to get worse before it gets better, be prepared to sacrifice.

        6. Donna L
          Donna L December 13, 2012 at 12:56 am |

          If you think this was “privilege granting on a whim” something that could be taken away on a whim you’re just plain wrong. I may have been quoting things written 900 years ago, but the concept that marital rape is prohibited already existed in the Talmud, almost 1000 years before that, and continues to exist today. Your ideas about religions with supposedly male-bodied Gods (not that God has a corporeal form at all in Judaism) and their supposedly universally pernicious effects seem to me to be incredibly simplistic and ahistorical, as well, it seems, Christian-centric.

        7. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 13, 2012 at 1:20 am |

          I’m sorry, I wasn’t clear…I was lauding the Talmudic scholar reference as proof that the human right existed and wiser men than us recognized it even a millennium ago…that it isn’t merely a modern aberration or current “phase” society is going through, which is exactly what I was taught growing up Catholic.
          If you listen to the rhetoric of those arguing for the restoration of privilege in its various guises, that’s exactly what’s being said, that the civil rights movement was a hustle, the women’s movement a perversion of Natural Law and the Order of Existence, and we are being given our final “turn out the lights and go to bed” warning by the oppressors before – as I have been warning for several years now – we reach the part of the cycle where they have to start killing to re-establish the institutional equilibrium and cultural legitimacy of the male god they have fashioned in their own image and likeness.
          I’m just sayin’…

        8. Donna L
          Donna L December 13, 2012 at 1:57 am |

          OK, I understand now what you meant. Never mind!

        9. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 13, 2012 at 2:36 am |

          And more to the point, I mean what I say when I state human rights exist and have existed and continue demand universal recognition, whether the Bible or the Talmud or the Koran said so or not. Just because somebody seeks to define themselves (or more to the point, seeks to impose definitions upon others) by creating a god in their own image or likeness, (and assigns gender to their incorporeal concept, not a male-body, again I apologize for not be clear on that) then initiates power-based institutions to legitimize and validate their behavior. all of which in whole or part qualifies them as criminally insane, does not in any way obligate, bind, or indenture a single one of the seven billion rest of us…human beings are the only reality, and universal human rights are the only truth, and all the exceptionalism. presentism, or whatever narcissistic, self-serving religious shape shift d’jour alters that not one iota…
          Religion has had five thousand years to resolve this. All have failed. Most have been accomplices. Time’s up. Every day religion tarries yet upon the Earth, it does so at the suffering and expense of innocent people everywhere, against their will and without their consent. There is no further reason to continue apologetics on behalf of religion any more than – as the consensus on these pages show – we need continue making excuses for rapists, beyond the support of privilege and the continuity of oppression.

        10. Donna L
          Donna L December 13, 2012 at 11:42 am |

          Every day religion tarries yet upon the Earth, it does so at the suffering and expense of innocent people everywhere, against their will and without their consent. There is no further reason to continue apologetics on behalf of religion

          I am not really a religious person myself, and am well aware of its pernicious effects throughout history, but I do understand that that history is a great deal more complex than you seem to grasp. And I will continue to point that out as long as I feel like it, whether you think there’s a good reason to or not.

          This kind of simplistic rhetoric has already driven away one very well-liked commenter (who hasn’t commented for months, ever since the last time someone was spouting almost exactly the same kind of agitprop), and I really would hate to see it have the same effect on anyone else.

        11. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 3:35 am |

          I am not really a religious person myself, and am well aware of its pernicious effects throughout history, but I do understand that that history is a great deal more complex than you seem to grasp.

          Or to re-write your tired apologetics in its more common, universally expressed form:
          “I’ve never been abused by Daddy myself, and although I am aware that my younger sister claims to have been abused when she was growing up, I think my father is not a bad man, and if you understood him, you’d know he’s really a loving father.”

          Again, religion has had 5,000 years to fix a problem mostly of it’s making, and has not only failed, but refused to change except enough to keep people like Donna L. indulging in whatever they get personally from the dysfunctional relationship…but that indulgence is bought and paid for by other people, against their will and without their consent, as is any privilege or indulgence.

        12. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 14, 2012 at 4:48 am |

          @Philip Finn
          Your premise seems to be that religion serves no use other than to enslave and oppress people, and that it’s continued existence is an indulgence propagating unequal social structures. I’m not sure if you understand that here, with this post, you are the oppressor. You have said that I, and others are contributing to oppression by religion. You have gone beyond what we do, into telling us what to think. You are simply another person trying to control us, trying to tell us what to think. You do not have the right to control what I think.

        13. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 5:14 am |

          If I wanted to do that, I would have founded a religion. And my premise is that religion’s primary purpose is to enslave and oppress some people by bestowing privilege on others. All other religious activities good or bad, are tangential, and fail to justify the cost to innocent people that the primary purpose extracts, against their will and without their consent.
          Religion only recognizes equality, to borrow from Orwell, insofar as it teaches that some people are more equal than others. Everything else is a public relations scam, or abused children enabling abusive parents for fear the alternative is being orphans.

        14. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 14, 2012 at 5:26 am |

          And as shitty as religions and the religious can be, I’m not sure that the situation in the nonreligious camp is much better, at least if the Western atheist community is at all representative. Personally I see the problem as lying with cultures, and I see religions as being mainly cultural phenomena that reflect the biases of their cultures and provide excuses and cover for lots of cultural practices but don’t necessarily guide the way cultures evolve, at least in the ways the practitioners of those religions might expect. How did we go from Jesus’s saying that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven, to Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism?

        15. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 6:06 am |

          How? Easily. Religion’s principle function is to develop and enforce privilege. It doesn’t matter what Jesus or anybody else said, or the existence of a god because religion operates independently of all that. Some days, to save itself, Catholicism throws, say, the Latin Mass under the bus, and gets keeps it’s hierarchy. Other days, to save itself, the British Empire – fundamentally a White Anglican Privilege institution – threw an oppressed ethnic minority under the bus, and got to keep it’s king.

          And the important point is the people in the religions, at the summits of privilege, at the top, not only know this, but it is manifest in every major decision. They decide based upon preserving their privilege. If it was really about feeding the hungry or even a rich man getting into the kingdom of heaven, they’d have done it already. But it isn’t. The rich man doesn’t care if there’s a heaven, and neither does the clergyman, but they both care about losing their privilege in society. And that is why religion continues to function independent of god or heaven or anything else.

        16. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 14, 2012 at 6:17 am |

          But are you attacking religion per se or just its manifestations in the Catholic and Anglican Churches? Those are two examples of very Western, hierarchical, institutional organizations which have clear leaders at the “top” making theological pronouncements, and as with pretty much all large, hierarchical, powerful institutions, they spend a great deal of effort on preserving and propagating their power. But does that apply to every Jesuit priest or Christian Brother or Dominican Sister who works as an educator? Does it apply to Desmond Tutu, a retired Anglican bishop?

        17. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 6:38 am |

          But does that apply to every Jesuit priest or Christian Brother or Dominican Sister who works as an educator?

          No, they’re hardly among the privileged, and I’ve seen examples in my lifetime of them getting thrown under the bus – killed, even – to preserve privilege. I only fault them for supporting the oppression in the long run. They can be considered, in some ways, to be part of the oppressed, and some of them might agree with me.

          Does it apply to Desmond Tutu, a retired Anglican bishop?

          No, because he was one with his fellow oppressed, and survived (unlike some of his colleagues) because of his high profile.
          On the other hand, Archbishop Romero identified the oppression, sided with the oppressed, and was killed.

          And I tend to choose familiar examples, esoteric or obscure references tend to cloud issues. I don’t doubt there are tiny groups and individuals who are operating in search of faith, but that has nothing to do with religion, and you’ll find that the only thing keeping them from annihilation is the public relation nightmare that would result – probably the only thing keeping religion on a short lease in the West, or we’d have seen more violence and murder along the lines of Central America, which is pretty much how the world would look, especially here in the United States, if the Catholics had won the Counter-Reformation…

        18. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 14, 2012 at 6:41 am |

          Ah, so it seems that you’re making a critical distinction between faith and religion, as it appears along the lines of faith as a personal quest for meaning in life (that may fall along the lines of some religion or may not) and religion as a social institution. Is that correct?

        19. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 7:01 am |

          Religion is the primary political institution. It is dependent upon privilege to function, and must oppress, either by itself or in conjunction with other political entities to survive and support more privilege. Being the oldest of the institutions, it tends to influence the rest, and draw culture away from serving the needs of members of society at large and instead adapting culture to reinforce privilege. This, of course, is unsustainable, without increasing the oppression and violence past the point of diminishing returns to the privileged.
          It functions as ersatz government, and its only check is secular government, the product of the Age of Enlightenment. In fact, I argue that if it wasn’t for secular government, religion would have gone so out-of-control people would have found ways to live without it, just as a matter of survival. Only in countries with a form of secular government are the religions kept from annihilating each other, and with the development of warfare being what it’s been the last century or so, I don’t have to tell you what that means.

        20. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 14, 2012 at 7:17 am |

          Eh, I don’t know that the past century provides the best evidence. Germany, Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States all had pretty secular governments back in the late 30s and early 40s, as did China; Japan is an arguable case. Same goes for the sides in the First World War. Secular governments don’t have a particularly great record either when it comes to not attempting to annihilate each other.

        21. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 14, 2012 at 5:19 am |

          Well, I guess I would support telling certain misogynist people how to think about the importance of consent or women’s rights because I think they are oppressing others. Does that automatically make me their oppressor? I feel uncomfortable actually telling people that because I’m coming from a privileged position myself, so I’m not sure if it’s proper for me to be the one arguing with a woman about reproductive rights or the persistent wage gap or any such issues. Would that make me the oppressor?

          Religion (or much of religion at least) might reinforce sexism and the patriarchy in many cases, but I’m not sure that religion is necessarily the proximate cause. I could imagine forms of religion that weren’t patriarchal. I might still argue against them because they weren’t true and they made factually inaccurate or evidentially unsupported claims, but that’s an entirely different matter. Abrahamic religion was specifically founded by the Patriarchs and features a male god who created Adam first and Eve from his flesh as a companion for him; I’m not familiar enough with the rest of the world’s religions to make any statements on their views of the sexes.

        22. R
          R December 14, 2012 at 5:51 am |

          I don’t think my beliefs constitute what you would call a religion. Their primary purpose is certainly NOT to confer privilege on a class of people, or rather my beliefs do not confer privilege on any class of people. My beliefs incorporate universal equality, yet include beliefs based in questioning that science and reasoning have no answers for. This is not a public relations scam, this is not a justification for oppression.

          You, however, are stating that the concept of religion is oppressive, and that those of us who have a belief, any belief, beyond what the physical universe provides should, as you have stated elsewhere, be treated as “criminally insane”. From where I am writing, it appears as though someone is trying to marginalize me based on my difference from them.

        23. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm |

          Well, here we go…
          First we had to explain to the MRA why we didn’t think they were oppressed, and now the supporters of religion are crying about oppression.
          Look, nothing is simple, but everything can be broken down into fundamentals…if you think someone “getting” their rights causes you to lose some of yours, your “rights” were nothing more than assumed privileges. Being human accords you rights…”having religion”, particularly one you have made up for yourself, DOES NOT ENTITLE YOU TO SQUAT, it is simply the mechanism by which you assume your privilege over other human beings.
          You have a civil right – defined by the need for secular government to keep the religions from killing each other and otherwise endanger public safety – to religious expression, but no one has a human right to religion. That’s why people have religion, to assume privilege they don’t have over other people…it is not possible for a humanist to oppress someone who resorts to committing religion, because humanism is based upon real conditions, and real human states of being, the conditions of equality, freedom, and other realities which exist whether religion recognizes them or not.

        24. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 14, 2012 at 5:55 am |

          (For some reason it changed my posting name resulting in a previous comment being moderated, Sorry if this double-posts)

          I don’t think my beliefs constitute what you would call a religion. Their primary purpose is certainly NOT to confer privilege on a class of people, or rather my beliefs do not confer privilege on any class of people. My beliefs incorporate universal equality, yet include beliefs based in questioning that science and reasoning have no answers for. This is not a public relations scam, this is not a justification for oppression.

          You, however, are stating that the concept of religion is oppressive, and that those of us who have a belief, any belief, beyond what the physical universe provides should, as you have stated elsewhere, be treated as “criminally insane”. From where I am writing, it appears as though someone is trying to marginalize me based on my difference from them.

        25. matlun
          matlun December 14, 2012 at 7:13 am |

          Religion (or much of religion at least) might reinforce sexism and the patriarchy in many cases, but I’m not sure that religion is necessarily the proximate cause

          I would say religion is naturally a conservative, reactionary force. It enjoins moral rules and strictures that were formulated in an earlier, more primitive time. Today we have a better understanding of ethics and human rights than for example the people of the Levant had 2000 years ago.

          Assuming you believe in general moral progress (which seems to have been largely the case so far in world history), then conserving morality of a fixed point in time will always be reactionary if you wait long enough.

          Abrahamic religion was specifically founded by the Patriarchs and features a male god who created Adam first and Eve from his flesh as a companion for him

          Is that true? To start with the Jewish tradition has grown over a long time and includes many old legends, tales, and traditions. There has never been a group of “Patriarchs” that “founded” the religion.

          The religions were not founded as some sort of “patriarchal plan”. They are no more patriarchal than the surrounding culture was at the time of their founding. It should also be noted that none of those religions are 100% static and that they are not the same today as they were originally.

        26. Donna L
          Donna L December 15, 2012 at 12:34 am |

          to keep people like Donna L. indulging in whatever they get personally from the dysfunctional relationship…but that indulgence is bought and paid for by other people, against their will and without their consent, as is any privilege or indulgence.

          “People like me”? Right, my relationship with being Jewish is so “dysfunctional” because I’ve spent my whole life struggling to deal with the knowledge that most of my family was murdered within living memory by non-Jews. Who the hell do you think you are, and what makes you think you’ve earned the right to speak to me like that? You’re a complete raging asshole and a fucking moron and I hope your ass gets banned. I happen to be both an atheist and a Jew, you stupid POS, but I know a hell of a lot more about the history of religion than you do. What are you, 12? Because your arguments are about simplistic as what people used to try to tell me in 8th grade.

          And you can just keep your grimy, bloodstained paws off me and my people.

        27. Donna L
          Donna L December 15, 2012 at 12:42 am |

          And speaking of privilege, only a privileged white cis guy like you would continually blather on about how “there’s only one race, it’s the human race!!!” and “I’m a humanist,” and let’s all be humanists instead of feminists because we don’t need to be so limiting anymore, and let’s outlaw all religion, too!! (Because the atheist movement has covered itself with such glory when it comes to issues relating to misogyny, racism, and homophobia and transphobia. Not.)

          So screw you for all of that, too.

        28. Donna L
          Donna L December 15, 2012 at 12:45 am |

          Being a Jewish trans woman can be such a barrel of laughs around here, I tell ya. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other.

        29. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 15, 2012 at 12:58 am |

          Because the atheist movement has covered itself with such glory when it comes to issues relating to misogyny, racism, and homophobia and transphobia. Not.

          The #1 problem with thinking religion is the root of all evil: how easy it is to move on to HOW COULD ANY ATHEIST BE ANYTHING BUT FUZZY PUPPIES.

          Donna, I’m sorry you’re being maligned. Again. -_-

          Philip, seriously, I get what your original point was, but you’ve a) drifted away from it, b) drifted towards something much grodier, c) shown a whole lot of privilege and lack of knowledge in the process, d) been extremely asshat and inconsiderate to a whole lot of people. Please stop.

        30. Donna L
          Donna L December 16, 2012 at 12:21 am |

          Donna, I’m sorry you’re being maligned. Again. -_-

          I just saw this, Mac — thank you. Perhaps I shouldn’t have flown off the handle like I did, but there was something so condescending about the insult that I just couldn’t respond calmly.

        31. igglanova
          igglanova December 16, 2012 at 12:38 am |

          Ok, this argument has gotten truly headache-inducing and I don’t want to give the impression of allying myself with Philip Finn, but…

          And as shitty as religions and the religious can be, I’m not sure that the situation in the nonreligious camp is much better, at least if the Western atheist community is at all representative.

          This is complete bullshit and I’m pretty sure everyone knows it. Do you really want to compare the worst of Western atheism – bloated mansplainers, casual racism, and abject rage over Rebecca Watson / elevatorgate – with the worst of Western religion, up to and including codified child abuse, Quiverfull, hate crimes, the approval of mass murder, sanctioned spousal abuse, and on and on? Atheists have some shit to clean up, but they don’t even begin to compare.

        32. Donna L
          Donna L December 16, 2012 at 1:05 am |

          Well, if somebody really wanted to play the “who’s worse” and “who killed more people” game, I’d be hard-pressed to choose. Stalin wasn’t exactly a member of what’s presently thought of as “the Western atheist community,” but the Soviet Union in his day was certainly right up there in the Worst Mass Murders Ever chart. So why go there?

        33. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 1:27 am |

          Pol Pot was a Roman Catholic, he got the Knights of Columbus “Man of the Year” Award just a few years before, well…and Stalin was another seminary drop-out, both learned their craft at the feet of masters, and Kim Jong-Il founded his own religion, and his government became a text-book study on personality cult, and securing privilege through violence. All the Stalinists created a personality cult through privilege secured by violence – Abdul Nasser and Ehud Mubarak of Egypt, Saddam Hussein of Iraq…as I explained elsewhere, religion operates independently of the existence of a god, and it’s a game atheists can play.

          Well, if somebody really wanted to play the “who’s worse” and “who killed more people” game, I’d be hard-pressed to choose.

          And the first thing one learns studying genocide is that they’re all guilty. Even the Jews, and yes, the Mormons…
          And it just proves my assertions that all religion, whatever form it takes, is simply a vehicle for asserting privilege on a planet with 7 billion other people.

        34. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 16, 2012 at 1:07 am |

          Atheists have some shit to clean up, but they don’t even begin to compare.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-il
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pol_Pot

          U mad?

        35. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 2:22 am |

          The #1 problem with thinking religion is the root of all evil: how easy it is to move on to HOW COULD ANY ATHEIST BE ANYTHING BUT FUZZY PUPPIES.

          If you’ve bought into the oppressor’s concept of “zero-sum”, and everything is either one or the other, then, yes, for an unenlightened, undisciplined mind it IS easy to move on to fuzzy puppies, I suppose.

          And it is precisely piece of the oppressor’s construct – if we lose religion something worse will happen, if we tell people what Father is doing something worse will happen, if I leave my boyfriend/husband I will get stuck with someone worse, if we vote for a union the company will leave, if we insist upon regulation it will kill jobs, if women are allowed to [add here] then a terrible [add here] will happen, If we go to an [ desegregated/ “all volunteer”/ non-discriminatory ] military it will become [empty/all black/weak]…

        36. Li
          Li December 16, 2012 at 2:44 am |

          All I want for Christmas is fewer derails by dudes intent on demonstrating how intellectually superior they are to everyone else. Seriously, can we just send Philip and Sam to a private corner with a tape measure and get this stuff over with?

        37. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 3:27 am |

          I’m sorry but if the global feminist backlash proved anything, it proved that nothing short of the deconstruction of Western Civilization will fix anything. Not blogs, not laws, not anything…there’s not a single gain made in the last 100 years that can’t be taken away, first order of business, Monday.
          Now, if all you wanted was to be free and autonomous and fulfilled in your own little corner apart from the roughly 3.5 billion women in the world, good luck with that, let us know how you make out without manipulating power or privilege though one or another oppressive institution…
          If not, read through my posts again, try to understand why time has run out for institutions like religion, why so much is about privilege and even more is about fear of Death unresolved, and they very fact that people are still arguing about rape and rapists and who rapes and what is rape, and a bunch of crap that was settled decades ago shows that maybe I’m not the one doing the derailing, this engine is jumping the tracks just fine without me.

          And who or what is “Sam”? One of the posts I’ve been skipping?

        38. igglanova
          igglanova December 16, 2012 at 3:26 am |

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-il
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pol_Pot

          U mad?

          Fuck you. Take a moment to actually read the sentiment I responded to.

          And as shitty as religions and the religious can be, I’m not sure that the situation in the nonreligious camp is much better, at least if the Western atheist community is at all representative.

          Western athiest community. Not ‘every person who ever lived who also happened to be atheist.’

          This is not some clever gotcha of yours, by the way. It is one of the oldest and most debunked talking points that atheists have to deal with whenever we so much as insinuate that religion is a powerful justification for atrocity.

        39. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 16, 2012 at 3:40 am |

          Philip Finn,
          If being here, as you say, accomplishes nothing, then why are you here?

        40. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 4:06 am |

          Philip Finn,
          If being here, as you say, accomplishes nothing, then why are you here?

          See what I mean? No trouble at all derailing by itself…
          I didn’t say that, but to answer your apparent “EASL” question, I honestly don’t remember. I’m guessing I was directed here by a link supplied by someone on facebook, maybe as part of a discussion concerning that distasteful case of the molestation in the ultra-orthodox community in New York, I believe, or the treatment of Palestinian women, or a resurgence in child sex-trafficking, I don’t know…but I’ve done little else since, not even facebook, here it is 3 am again.

        41. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 16, 2012 at 4:20 am |

          That’s not what I meant. What I meant was that if commenting on a blog serves no purpose, Then why are you, or indeed any of us, here? It must possess something of value to us for us to be posting here. I agree It won’t change the world, but I would like to think it changes us. My beliefs have been drastically altered since I’ve been reading feministe. I read, I process, I question, I change. You can argue that it is irrelevant, but, then I must ask, again “why are you here if your purpose is not to be changed by the incorporation of new ideas into self ?”

        42. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 5:16 am |

          I have, in fact, received some newer perspectives, and I’m finding out the meaning of a lot of abbreviations that are tossed around here quite a bit…but I’ve been disappointed for the most part, I usually learn a great deal from people who disagree with me, but unfortunately, I find most of the ideas here to be out-dated, self-serving, or trendy. It’s like too few here are concerned with anything beyond their own world, as if it were possible for all of us to be made whole as long as one or more were still oppressed. It’s not going to happen unless it happens for all of us, that’s the true nature of human rights. The only way you can get it by yourself is through traditional privilege and power.
          And that reminds me, I keep getting the impression that there are a lot of people here who need validation…the need for validation is the oppression’s mark of ownership, lose it.
          And all the crypto-wacky blog names…this isn’t a game; privilege, like Frederick Douglas said of power, concedes nothing without a struggle, and the death toll is rising. The shit’s getting real, and if you’re not your own person using your own name, who and what are you? If you are afraid of your husband reading this, time to divorce. If you are afraid of your parent’s finding out, move out, get someone else to watch the kids. If you are afraid to lose your job, quit. Only enablers cover-up for someone, and anonymity, like silence, will ultimately fail to protect you. Elsewhere in the world, women are dying in increasing numbers, not decreasing, and you’re worried what someone might read on the ‘net…

        43. Donna L
          Donna L December 16, 2012 at 4:21 am |

          You’re right, Li; I’m not sure whether Sam or Philip Finn is more self-righteously arrogant about his mythical intellectual capacity, although I think Philip’s ahead right now, given his characterization of what Radiant Sophia says as “EASL” and his eagerness to tell everyone here what’s really important. Not feminism, obviously!

          It’s so lovely to hear his pronouncement that we’re wasting time talking about issues concerning rape because it’s all “a bunch of crap that was settled decades ago” and nothing short of the destruction of Western Civilization will do.

          Speaking of privilege. My God, he’s even more soaked in it than I thought. And, of course, he has much more important things to worry about than the amelioration of people’s lives and their individual suffering right now. Because it’ll all be OK in a few thousand years when the revolution comes and Western Civilization is destroyed, right?

          News bulletin: if you think all issues concerning rape were settled decades ago (news that apparently hasn’t reached a great many people), and we’re wasting our time talking about them, then go away. Get lost. And don’t come back.

        44. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 5:29 am |

          Ah, speaking of needing validation…
          And there wasn’t a thing about rape discussed on these pages in the last several days that weren’t hashed out in the public discourse forty years ago, that’s how much ground feminism has given way, right under your noses…

        45. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 5:38 am |

          And speaking of drama queens and privilege, I really get a kick out of how much power you must have, and what a textbook example of emotional blackmail you are, the way you’ve got most everybody walking on eggshells around your posts, like an abusive rich aunt…
          Quite a mastery of the oppression technique in the micro. I guess medical science can cut a man’s dick off, but they can’t keep him from being one…

        46. Donna L
          Donna L December 16, 2012 at 4:26 am |

          Igglanova, if the present “Western atheist community” isn’t responsible for and can’t be connected with the mass murders by atheist regimes in the past (and I completely agree), then the present “Western religious community” (with the possible exception of the Vatican!) isn’t responsible for and can’t be connected with the Crusades and the Inquisition. After all, you’re the one who was trying to argue that the damage done by organized atheism can’t be compared to the damage done by organized religion. It’s a fruitless and boring argument, but if you’re going to pursue it, you can’t have it both ways.

        47. Donna L
          Donna L December 16, 2012 at 4:38 am |

          Well, given what you have at the top of your facebook page, Mr. Finn, I can see why you’d rather call yourself a humanist than a feminist:

          I like to mess with the “race or nationality” boxes on questionnaires…I used to think that “ethnicity” meant a city with lots of ethnic types… And when they asked “sex” I would scratch in the margin, “Yes, please!” and check “female”… I like to be shown something new…that’s why my favorite first date was a gal that had just gotten a breast enhancement.

        48. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 5:41 am |

          Ah! now we’re stalking…and I don’t have to tell the other reader’s you’re editing my writing, and you’ve left off the punch line…but I’m even beginning to doubt you’re really Jewish at this point, that’s not something you can get through surgery…

        49. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 5:58 am |

          Oh, and let me save you some trouble, Senora Psycho-Stalker:

          3740 N. Portage Place #13
          Decatur, Illinois 62526

          (217) 864-0908

          Drop by anytime, you ain’t gonna show me nothing I ain’t already seen…

        50. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 16, 2012 at 4:39 am |

          Please forgive my lack of education, but I have no idea what “EASL” means, and I am unable to find any deconstructable reference.

        51. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 5:42 am |

          “English As Second Language”
          I’m chalking up some of our misunderstanding to a language and possibly cultural diffference.

        52. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 16, 2012 at 5:00 am |

          Again, I was NOT asking Philip Finn to leave. I was (and am) simply questioning. If incorporating new ideas, and providing new ideas to be incorporated by others “will not fix anything” i.e. has no value, then what does he get by posting?

        53. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 5:59 am |

          Easy, Radiant Sophia, Donna L. gets emotional when contradicted, it’s part of the privilege game…

        54. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 16, 2012 at 5:39 am |

          “If you are afraid of your husband reading this, time to divorce. If you are afraid of your parent’s finding out, move out, get someone else to watch the kids. If you are afraid to lose your job, quit.”

          I’m not sure if you understand how VERY dangerous that advice is. You may be advocating human rights, but it’s obvious you care nothing for individual humans.

        55. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 16, 2012 at 5:54 am |

          Sophia, I’m trying to get people to understand that if they are that oppressed, they have their own lives, their own battles to fight, and no one else can fight them for them…if they are in danger, then they are only postponing the inevitable. they are already being abandoned by the state and the church, who, as oppressors, throw them under the bus to preserve church and state privilege. Their only hope is the deconstruction of privilege, and that means a lot of things we are used to, have adapted to, or even enjoy, must end, say, yesterday, or better yet, a century ago. As I said on a paper I wrote recently on Globalization, we’re almost too late, and everything that happens needs to change collectively, or the power and privilege will make the changes for us, which is to say, nothing will change, things will get worse, and it will be permanent.

        56. Li
          Li December 16, 2012 at 9:51 am |

          …but I’m even beginning to doubt you’re really Jewish at this point, that’s not something you can get through surgery…

          Banhammer. Now please.

        57. Li
          Li December 16, 2012 at 10:03 am |

          Donna, if you see this: I’d say how sorry I am that you’ve had to deal with this shit yet again, but I’m not actually sorry, I’m incandescently angry. What even.

        58. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 16, 2012 at 10:11 am |

          “Sophia, I’m trying to get people to understand that if they are that oppressed, they have their own lives, their own battles to fight, and no one else can fight them for them…if they are in danger, then they are only postponing the inevitable.”

          I just want to reiterate. THIS IS NOT TRUE. It is not too late. Services exist to help women in danger, and you do not have face this alone.

        59. Jadey
          Jadey December 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |

          Requesting a ban of Philip Finn for his inexcusable misogyny, transmisogyny, and anti-Jewish comments in this thread (and his general crappy behaviour all over).

          I’m assuming no mods are reading this thread currently or he’d be gone already with appalling comments like that.

          Donna, I’m so sorry that once again you are dealing with this.

        60. Jadey
          Jadey December 16, 2012 at 11:26 am |

          Thank you, Jill.

        61. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 16, 2012 at 11:35 am |

          “Again, I was NOT asking Philip Finn to leave.”

          When I wrote that Philip’s comments to Donna had not yet posted. Donna, I am very sorry for the things he said to you.

        62. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

          Fucking hell. Jill, thanks for the ban, wish it had been sooner.

          Donna, Donna, I’m so, so sorry.

        63. Donna L
          Donna L December 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm |

          Wow. I kind of had a feeling that it wouldn’t be long before he graduated from plain old misogyny and talking about how we don’t need feminism and don’t need to talk about rape anymore — because we should all be focusing instead on important things like the destruction of Western Civilization — to trans-misogyny. Not that I really expected that he would actually start saying things like “I guess medical science can cut a man’s dick off, but they can’t keep him from being one.” I’m sure he’s proud of his wit. I suppose I’ve been relatively fortunate, because I don’t think anyone’s actually spoken to me quite like that before, at least directly. I’m glad he’s been banned, so I don’t have to think of a clever response and pretend that it didn’t hurt to read that, and the other things he said about me.

          If anyone still needed proof that a self-identified progressive – radical – revolutionary man can be every bit as much of a condescending, self-important misogynist pig (and homophobic and transphobic as well) as any right-winger, Mr. Finn can serve as Exhibit A.

          Finally, I will respond to one of his accusations: when someone shows up here and comments under their real name, and their comments are as over the top (and down the lane and into the Mace) as his were, it’s not “stalking” to look at their Facebook page to try to figure out who the hell they are. Not even close.

        64. Hrovitnir
          Hrovitnir December 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm |

          Fucking hell. I actually thought Philip was alright for a while there. I certainly didn’t expect that absolutely revolting attack.

          I’m sorry you had to deal with that, again, Donna. :(

        65. Donna L
          Donna L December 16, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

          Thanks to all for the support and sympathy, although I can’t help feeling embarrassed that this kind of thing (although perhaps not in such openly hateful terms) keeps happening, and people keep having to say they’re sorry to me. None of the other regular commenters here seems to engender that kind of attack on a repeated basis, and it’s difficult not to wonder what I’m doing wrong, although I don’t think I’m noticeably more and belligerent (and “emotional,” as the loathsome Mr. Finn put it) than most people here! I guess I know the answer. It’s really true that no matter how many years go by, and no matter how many years it’s been since my transition, I will always know that if I say anything at all about my history, I will immediately be transformed in the eyes of many into nothing but a fraud, a man who cut off his dick. And will always be at risk of having that so-called “fact” brought up to me, intended as a supremely invalidating trump card. And there’s nothing I can do about it, other than being way more careful in real life than on the Internet about not disclosing my history to anyone I don’t trust. So I won’t be taking Mr. Finn up anytime soon on his invitation to go visit him in Deactur, presumably so he can show me who’s boss.

        66. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm |

          None of the other regular commenters here seems to engender that kind of attack on a repeated basis, and it’s difficult not to wonder what I’m doing wrong, although I don’t think I’m noticeably more and belligerent (and “emotional,” as the loathsome Mr. Finn put it) than most people here!

          Donna, if anything, you’re LESS belligerent/emotional than most people here! If anything, IMO, an aggravating cause (other than your assorted identities) is that you engage respectfully and considerately, which allows your conversational “partner” to sustain the impression of engaging in good faith for longer. People talking to me get angry faster, and show their ass more readily as a result.

          I’m reluctant to tell you to engage angrily, lol, but I think it’s an unfortunate side-effect of your being a decent human being on the Internet. There’s only like four of you at any given time, after all.

          And please don’t worry – I don’t feel obliged to apologise to you or anything! I just…it sucks. I think of you as a friend (also, you’re really kind of massively cool and one of the reasons I started participating here in the first place), and it’s awful to watch you get insulted and hurt over and over by assholes. It’s a sympathy thing.

        67. igglanova
          igglanova December 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm |

          Igglanova, if the present “Western atheist community” isn’t responsible for and can’t be connected with the mass murders by atheist regimes in the past (and I completely agree), then the present “Western religious community” (with the possible exception of the Vatican!) isn’t responsible for and can’t be connected with the Crusades and the Inquisition.

          It’s a good thing I didn’t mention a thing about the Crusades or the Inquisition, then. Everything I alluded to has happened in the broader ‘Western religious community’ in the past few years.

          But, it would be in bad taste for me to continue hammering away on this particular line of argument, considering all of Philip Finn’s horrid bullshit. It’s terrible that you have continuously been a target of such appalling personal and transphobic attacks.

    3. Pseudonym
      Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm |

      You’re free to talk about this, @macavitykitsune, and I appreciate it, but I don’t know how much I can contribute. I’m trying to formulate the takeaway in my mind, and it goes something like this: Rape is bad because it hurts people. Most rapists don’t like to think of themselves as rapists. Most rapists still know and admit to some extent that they are violating others’ bodies without consent. Some of those rapists may not necessarily be intending to rape or to cause harm, though, they just lack a decent understanding of consent and lack enough empathy to compensate. Those less-malicious rapists have just been trained and misled by rape culture. Does that sound accurate to you?

      The “mixed signals” excuse strikes me as absurd. Of course some people give mixed signals in certain circumstances, and I agree that for women it can be a matter of survival in some cases. Rape is still not an appropriate response to mixed signals. A woman who looks away, plays with her hair, and demurs in response to a question or a proposition or an attempt at flirting might be sending mixed signals, but that’s a far cry from a woman tearing her clothes off and jumping on you. Maybe that’s part of why I still have a little trouble with the concept of enthusiastic consent, even though it’s an illuminating improvement over mere “passive” consent. Sex (in my view) shouldn’t be something that one person does and the other person consents to have done. (Role playing aside I guess.) It should be a shared activity. I guess I also dislike the fact that our culture gives the man the role of pursuer and initiator when it comes to sex, and expects the woman to be more passive or even playfully rejecting. This isn’t groundbreaking news by any means. It just further solidifies the dubious nature of consent as the primary determinant in delineating sex and violation. God, these sentences sound awful, I can’t write worth shit at the moment. Sorry.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm |

        I think you got it perfectly, actually, and I don’t think your writing is for shit at all! ^__^

      2. Valoniel
        Valoniel December 11, 2012 at 11:35 pm |

        Rape is still not an appropriate response to mixed signals.

        See, and this seems to be where the conversation consistently breaks down. This is absolutely, 100% correct, and (bear with me, here) it extrapolates.

        I’ve seen a lot of people try to diminish the effects of alcohol on a perpetrator of rape (which seems incredibly inconsistent to me, with the insistence that much less alcohol utterly obliterates the ability to give consent) in an effort to keep this ‘excuse’ out of the hands of the enemy. And I get that, I really, really do, but it’s always baffled me why it’s a question of diminished capability, when the answer seems so fucking simple to me.

        IE: Everyone knows that getting drunk and/or stoned decreases the ability of the human animal, to make rational and well-reasoned decisions. (Seriously, I think we can all agree on that, right?) Therefore, anyone who CHOOSES to intoxicate themselves to the point where they find any reason to believe that violating another human being’s body is in any way okay is responsible for that decision.

        My perfect world sounds a lot like this: “I was too drunk not to rape!”, “Too fucking bad you made the decision, over and over again over the course of several hours, to get that drunk, huh? Guilty.”

        It’s all about framing, to my mind, and if being drunk takes away the ability to make those distinctions, fine. That doesn’t negate the decision to get drunk in the first place. Seriously, we hold DUIs to this standard all the fucking time. Why is it suddenly not a thing, when it’s muddying up your brain to the point of rape, instead of to the point of vehicular homicide?

        And to address the mixed signals thing directly: Sure, women give mixed signals. My question, of course, is SO WHAT? Mixed isn’t clear. Yes is clear. No is clear. “I couldn’t tell” is fuck right off, go directly to jail. It’s the easiest rule ever: When in doubt, do not fuck. I also don’t get why this is a debatable point to…well, anyone.

        (And yeah, you said it very nicely, as Mac said.)

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

          Yes is clear. No is clear. “I couldn’t tell” is fuck right off, go directly to jail.

          Possibly unrelated, but I cannot, literally cannot wait for the “Good Women Are Sexually Passive” bullshit to die gasping in a sewer. It would go so, so far towards completely destroying this “confused” bullshit.

          Of course, that may be why it’s constantly peddled to us, so that excuse can keep on trundling.

        2. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

          I’ll be the one to say it, since I already take the flack for it on the human rights and humanitarian law threads…what we REALLY need to see in our lifetime (although “in this century” is too much to ask) is the concept of a god with gender, and that gender happens to be MALE to die croaking in a sewer. Allowing people to fashion a god in their own image and likeness and then stick innocent people, without their consent and against their will, with the consequences, well, I hope some future generation finds a way to prohibit it equitably, lawfully, and peacefully because all it ever did was breed the notion of privilege, and privilege (or what some people call “their rights” when they complain that someone else “getting” rights is taking away theirs) is ultimately behind every wrong thing humans ever have or will do to each other.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm |

          what we REALLY need to see in our lifetime (although “in this century” is too much to ask) is the concept of a god with gender, and that gender happens to be MALE to die croaking in a sewer.

          I…don’t think that’s going to work, because there’s many religions out there that are polytheistic. Hinduism has gods and goddesses, and non-human gods, and there’s no lack of misogyny or rape culture in it. It’s a nice idea, but it simply doesn’t stand up outside North America.

        4. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

          Agreed, but we have to start somewhere, here at home, and lead by example through eradicating it among ourselves in our own backyard, in response to our own poisoned culture.
          And anyone who doubts that what the U.S. does sets the standard elsewhere in the world, I refer them to my recent previous post, adding that we were joined in our veto by our then-allies the Taliban-governed Afghans, the Vatican, and Saudi Arabia, and perhaps ask the women of the Sudan how our tacit approval of rape-as-a-weapon-of-war worked out for them…

        5. Valoniel
          Valoniel December 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm |

          I cannot, literally cannot wait for the “Good Women Are Sexually Passive” bullshit to die gasping in a sewer.

          No shit. Fuck, is it seriously that crooked a line between our massively slut-shamey culture and those ‘mixed signals’ that seem to be so damned difficult to deal with? Seriously, when women stop being shamed for having sexual agency, we might just manage to get a new foothold on this shit.

        6. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 14, 2012 at 6:31 am |

          Thanks for your response, Valoniel. It makes a lot of sense to me—plus it always feels great seeing someone read what I write! Are you the one who has macavitykitsune as her… spouse? Anyways, about your comments on alcohol and intoxication, I think the complication comes from the fact that intoxication can make one unable to give consent. If Pat has sex with, uh, Dakota, and didn’t get Dakota’s consent, you’re saying that Pat is a rapist whether or not Pat was intoxicated at the time, because drunkenness isn’t an excuse. If Pat has sex with Dakota, and both of them are too drunk to consent, what then? Did they rape each other? From the perspective of both parties as victims they might both feel violated and even raped, but should we see them primarily as rapists or rape survivors? Should there be legal consequences?

          (FYI, Pat was from my “Pat the Potential Rapist” comment, and Dakota is apparently the most gender-neutral name in 2011. The Moar You Know™)

    4. EG
      EG December 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm |

      I don’t know, mac. My position is not one I’ve come to out of optimism or happiness; it’s one that’s the result of disgust and cynicism and reading all those accounts of how many men would coerce/pressure women into sex if they knew they would get away with it, and all the accounts I’ve heard at speak-outs, and the friends I’ve known who’ve been raped or abused in some other way.

      I agree there are men who rape who don’t think they’re raping–not in those words. But I also think they know full well what it is they’re doing; they know that the woman wouldn’t consent if she were conscious, or conscious of what was going on, or if she’s their wife, they know she’s not consenting, and they don’t care. They think that what they’re doing is not that bad, or is fine. But they know what it is they’re doing. They’re fine with sticking their dicks in women who had the misfortune to marry them, or get falling-down shitfaced around them.

      And that’s OK with them. They don’t find the sight of their wife weeping or screaming as they penetrate her to be a turn-off, or at least not enough of one that they lose their erections, and they certainly don’t find a passive, frozen woman to be a turn-off.

      And I’m just not convinced that that’s culturally created. More and more, I think such traits, or perhaps better, even the potential to develop such traits, are/is inborn. I’m not sure that any culture can suppress sociopathic traits–have we seen a drop-off in the percentages of men who answer “yes” to those dressed-up questions on surveys as feminists have made changes in first-world culture? It’s an honest question. I don’t know; I haven’t heard that we have, but I haven’t been searching lately.). I do think a change in culture can make the cost for expressing those traits much higher, and that that could change actions, and can make those people easier to spot (yes, I think that women can have those traits too; I just think that women are more likely to take them out on the people they have power over–children–than on men).

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm |

        I agree there are men who rape who don’t think they’re raping–not in those words. But I also think they know full well what it is they’re doing

        See, that’s the thing; I really think they don’t know what they’re doing. I really think they think it’s okay. That it’s healthy, even. It’s certainly socially accepted!

        More and more, I think such traits, or perhaps better, even the potential to develop such traits, are/is inborn.

        Perhaps inborn in a minority (maybe that 6% figure that keeps getting cited), but not all of them. Cultural conditioning, particularly reinforcement, is victims’ worst enemy that way.

        I mean, seriously, what actual difference does it make to a man who consciously and carefully chooses not to rape in today’s society, aside from personal conscience? There’s no punishment for raping, not really, not consistently. On the other hand, behaving ethically often gets you in shit with other men if you’re in a rapey enough subculture, or other men accuse you of not being masculine, and there’s even really patriarchally-compliant women who feel personally offended if they’re asked for consent. (It physically sickens me that there are women like that, but fucking hell, the things you’ll see in religious communities, I cannot overstate how disgusting the brainwashing women undergo in fundie groups is. Whenever people get all “women couldn’t possibly want to avoid explicitly giving consent you’re just a lying liar!!eleventy!” I always wonder if they’ve ever experienced how taboo/severely punished explicitly giving consent is in some religious subcultures , or even spared a thought for women who might have escaped that subculture but not freed herself from all the conditioning yet. I speak from personal experience that it’s hellish to break out of all of that.)

        1. EG
          EG December 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm |

          I mean, seriously, what actual difference does it make to a man who consciously and carefully chooses not to rape in today’s society, aside from personal conscience?

          I think that’s the thing. I’ve met enough men like this, who consciously and carefully choose not to rape, despite there not being any material reward for it, and perhaps some penalties, depending on how vocal they are with other men, that I look at/think about those others, the ones whose consciences don’t bother them–I mean, look at the dude’s friend in this post, right? He’s friends with this guy, presumably they’ve got enough in common culturally to be friends. But he checked, and he was horrified at the thought that if he hadn’t, he might’ve raped that woman. Lacking that conscience…I lean more and more to it being inborn.

          Maybe we’re just talking in circles, or maybe this is one more of those conversations, like the one about education and home-schooling, that reveals that I have relatively little hope or faith in the potential for things to be unfucked.

          Honestly, I don’t think there’s a policy effect in this disagreement between us. I definitely support any and every attempt to undo rape culture. Just for different reasons, I guess.

        2. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 12, 2012 at 12:50 am |

          Wow… the idea of consciously and carefully choosing not to rape isn’t something I really think about day to day. Maybe I’m just antisocial and don’t interact much or well with women, but I’ve never felt like I’ve needed to watch myself and pay attention lest I accidentally rape someone. But I can almost visualize it in a way: you’re tipsy and horny and there’s this warm soft body next to you and it’s inebriated or just passive and you have control over it. Maybe it’s a choice only faced by men who are naturally charismatic and appealing and potentially manipulative.

          (Trigger warning)

          Ugh. Actually now that I think about it I feel sick. I’m thinking back to one night at a party where I was pretty drunk and this woman was pretty drunk and we started fooling around. It was late and we almost went back to her car to continue but wisely decided against that and found a room instead. She made a bathroom run that I later realized involved some throwing up. She kept saying she wanted to fuck me and had most of her clothing off, but I wasn’t really into sex and just wanted to fool around, mainly above the belt so to speak. She kept putting her hands down my pants but I didn’t really want to be touched and wasn’t aroused. I just wanted to feel the warmth of her body against my chest. We didn’t have sex or really go beyond “second base” because I didn’t have any interest in it at the time (and I was pretty naïve and inexperienced), besides not knowing her at all and not having any of the proper precautions. But it literally never crossed my mind that this situation had the potential to result in rape or that she wasn’t in a state where she could offer consent.

          Fuck.

          I guess I could have been a rapist. Even if I didn’t intend to, just out of stupidity and lack of perspective on my part. I was never much of a partier, maybe I’d attend two or three a year, but I thought that semi-drunken hookups were a potential part of the fun of parties. I can’t believe the party hosts (male and female) just let us use the bedroom but maybe they trusted me or maybe they were equally clueless about the threat of rape. Now I wonder if I “violated” her and/or took advantage of her. Or did she do something wrong herself by touching me without my consent? I guess it’s just a messed up experience all around.

          I think I see what macavitykitsune is arguing, and I have to agree with zir point or at least express sympathy for it based on my experience. Maybe I’m a sociopath, and I certainly make bad decisions and inappropriate gestures, but at a conscious level I try not to act like one. I think I have a somewhat diminished ability to empathize with people naturally and have to remind myself to think about that explicitly.

        3. EG
          EG December 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm |

          I think I have a somewhat diminished ability to empathize with people naturally and have to remind myself to think about that explicitly.

          I think that’s what I mean, though. You may or may not have a somewhat diminished ability to empathize with people naturally–not knowing you, I don’t feel like I can know. But you are concerned that you do, so you explicitly remind yourself to think about that. That’s what I mean about there being plenty of men who explicitly and consciously choose not to rape, men who regularly check in with their partners–even partners who are giving every indication of enthusiastically consenting and participating–to make sure everything is OK during sex, even when they (they men) are drunk and/or stoned. So what does that say about men who don’t?

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm |

          Pseudonym, I’m really sorry that happened in your life; it sounds like it was a pretty scary/potentially rapey situation for both of you, and I’m glad it ended up with neither of you being raped. And you know, the thing is, I bet a lot of us could easily visualise Anonymous’ thought processes in various areas; while my creepiness does not run sexual, I certainly have a horrible mean streak and could see myself being equally violent in other ways if I put my mind to it. I think that, since you’re making a conscious and concerted attempt to be careful about consent, and as long as you are, you should probably stop worrying about whether or not you’re a sociopath; sociopath is as sociopath does, as far as I’m concerned, and if you’re so worried and careful not to do, it doesn’t really matter if you are, hm? And I have a pretty low level of empathy too, so fuck, I feel your pain.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

          Maybe we’re just talking in circles, or maybe this is one more of those conversations, like the one about education and home-schooling, that reveals that I have relatively little hope or faith in the potential for things to be unfucked.

          Well…maybe this makes me a bad feminist, but I don’t think that ending the patriarchy would stop rape, because I agree with you – some people are just born violent, predatory assholes and there’s nothing you can do about it.

          An egalitarian society would decrease rape, though, definitely – there’d be fewer miscommunications, no “confusions”, no “mixed signals”, a healthy and participative general conception of sex that actually makes fearless consent (which I would much rather see than enthusiastic consent, for several reasons) a thing in the world. I mean, take Pseudonym up there. (Sorry for making you a case study, Pseudonym!) If there were better narratives around consent, fuck, that situation would have never gotten creepy to begin with; he’d have been taught to quickly and accurately recognise when someone was too drunk, she’d have been taught to ask before shoving her hands down someone’s pants, they’d both have been taught to clearly communicate what they expected from the encounter (sex vs cuddles) and neither of them would be feeling gross and sick at the end of it, as Pseudonym so clearly does. And the age thing plays in, I know; we’re so busy teaching kids so much irrelevant shit while they get raped and bullied and traumatised because we’ve got our collective oysterpoops in an iron grip over this.

        6. EG
          EG December 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm |

          You’re right, mac. I think I’ve been feeling so bitter and pissed off lately that I’ve veered to one extreme, rather than recognizing that, as with most things, what we’ve got here is a combination of culture and what we call nature. Of course, there are always going to be men who are predatory and violent. But as you say, rape culture encourages confusion instead of teaching clear recognition and communication. And respect. And I’m very set on teaching those things to my godson and any son I may have, so I guess in practice, I’m already accepting what you say.

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |

          I hear you, EG, and believe me when I say I know how protective that kind of bitterness can be, but… I don’t think it’s really helpful in the long run. And yeah, I’ve seen you get way angrier and more pained/hurt about this particular thing in the time I’ve been posting, even, but I didn’t feel it was my place to point it out, really, though I did wonder (and feel concerned). And I kind of figured you were already acting on that! ^_^

          It’s just…more and more (and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that my stepdaughter hit puberty with a vengeance) the whole “let’s not bother analysing why rapists, let’s just get angry because rapists” attitude just makes me resent the hell out of the people pushing it. It’s like… every other issue, every other area, feminists are pushing for a greater understanding and a deeper and more personal one. Except this one. And I really just don’t get why. Do we really think it’s impossible to discuss criminals without blaming victims?

        8. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |

          Do we really think it’s impossible to discuss criminals without blaming victims?

          No, but it’s difficult for the same reason we can’t discuss human rights without someone complaining that they’re losing theirs because of bilingual voter registration, gays getting married, or Ramadan celebrations. The institutionalization of oppression is so ingrained we barely have words to express what few concepts we’re allowed to promote without getting ourselves murdered. Today’s “criminal” was last-century’s privileged citizen, and last-century’s criminal was today’s minority, poor, or disenfranchised.
          It took five thousand years – the lifespan of a god fashioned in a male’s image and likeness – to concede the existence and suffering of victims! Even as late as 2001, the U.S. voted against declaring rape a war crime, with the late Senator Jesse Helms (speaking for the Bush Administration) saying, “Rape cannot be considered a war crime, as it does not do women permanent harm…”

        9. EG
          EG December 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm |

          And yeah, I’ve seen you get way angrier and more pained/hurt about this particular thing in the time I’ve been posting, even, but I didn’t feel it was my place to point it out, really, though I did wonder (and feel concerned).

          Wow, mac. I was really stunned when I read this, because I honestly hadn’t realized that was happening. I told my best friend what you said (I’m at her house), and she thought about it for a minute and said yeah, that sounded like an accurate observation to her. So I really appreciate you pointing it out, because I just hadn’t realized. That’s…something for me to think about and work out.

          It’s been a rough year, I’ll say that. But part of it, I think, is me coming face to face with something a friend of mine who’s several years older than me was telling me about a few years ago–she said she was realizing more and more that she was going to be a second-class citizen her entire life. At the time, it didn’t really make sense to me, because, duh. I knew–or I thought I knew–that I would never live to see the end of patriarchy. But somehow, this year, I’m feeling it more viscerally than I ever did before. Like, before I knew it intellectually, and this year, I’m really feeling it in my heart. I realize that it’s quite a privilege to go as long as I did without that, but I’ve still found it to be an embittering transition. Before, such realizations were always tinged with hope, for me, in feminist activism and organizing. Now…alas, I feel that less and less. Maybe I need to get out of the house and do a bit more concrete activism.

          I think your stepdaughter is fortunate to have you in her corner.

        10. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 12, 2012 at 11:57 pm |

          Let me share with you some insights I borrow from my human rights study, once again from the false construct of racism…
          Consider the history of the Abolition movement – rather than simply the few years around the Civil War, at its height it covered roughly two centuries. That means generation after generation was born lived and died without seeing the fruits of their considerable labor, even when they were being murdered (but usually “merely” ostracized, isolated and marginalized for their involvement)! Yet there was, during that time, no shortage of advocates for the end of slavery.
          Or an example from “A Brilliant Mind”, the life of a math researcher. Some work at solving centuries-old problems all their lives knowing full well they will not solve it, nor most likely will the person after them, all they can hope is to add to what doesn’t work or what almost works, and perhaps in a hundred years someone else will get the Nobel. And they’re OK with that.

          Almost every single worthwhile benefit to humankind over the centuries is the result of dedicated work of largely anonymous individuals who entertained no notion of being remembered, much less seeing the result of their efforts. And yet these ongoing efforts have defined and shaped us – to the point where some of the early accomplishments, movements, and innovations have left corresponding markers in our human genome!

          Well, what are we waiting for? Back to work!

        11. Donna L
          Donna L December 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm |

          as with most things, what we’ve got here is a combination of culture and what we call nature.

          I’m always reluctant to accept the idea that criminality is inborn, whether with respect to rape or anything else. Although I guess it might be true for some men, I can’t help thinking about all the little boys who are so sweet, adorable, gentle and loving when they’re babies and toddlers (I certainly got to know plenty of them when my son was the same age, because I worked part time back then), and wondering just what happens to turn so many of them into jerks when they grow up, never mind rapists. It’s so hard to believe that there are that many who are just born that way, as opposed to being made that way by the culture they grow up in and the sense of entitlement (among other things) they gradually acquire. Sure, there are some nasty specimens no matter how young they are, but it’s not like I’m willing to point to them and say, “there goes a future rapist.”

        12. Valoniel
          Valoniel December 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm |

          No, but it’s difficult for the same reason we can’t discuss human rights without someone complaining that they’re losing theirs because of bilingual voter registration, gays getting married, or Ramadan celebrations.

          Correct. You know, last night I had myself one hell of a Moment, when it finally occurred to me that what I really, really need to do, in order to preserve my sanity, is to stop allowing the victimisers to frame my arguments. Seriously, in a time and a place where we have a relatively safe place to have these discussions, I just fail to understand why we’re still letting what the rapists say shape what we get to say.

          Personally, I’m done with that, particularly when not having the discussions because someone might make some kind of half-assed defense out of it means that my daughter is still swimming in a stew of creepy misogynist default settings that will necessarily perpetuate this shit into eternity.

        13. EG
          EG December 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm |

          You and mac are both right, Donna. It reminds me of what Valoniel said on the previous thread about how hard our society makes it for good boys to become good men. I do believe that for some genuine sociopaths, there’s nothing that can be done, but surely, as you both point out, that’s not the majority of boys.

          I wonder if one way to do this is to study not rapists, but men who don’t rape (and how would we know, would be a good point; I don’t know–those surveys as screenings, maybe?), to learn from them why the idea is repulsive to them, how their capacity for empathy is nurtured, how we can help other boys develop into men like them.

        14. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm |

          EG, I’m glad you didn’t take it the wrong way. And like I said, I get the anger and bitterness…I just think it skews perception like crazy. And eventually just poisons everything and turns it all into hurt. And thanks for the compliment; it gave me the warm and fuzzies like anything ^__^

          what I really, really need to do, in order to preserve my sanity, is to stop allowing the victimisers to frame my arguments

          Remind me again why I leave pages-long comments on the internet when I can babble at you and get useful concise soundbites to post instead? :P

          I wonder if one way to do this is to study not rapists, but men who don’t rape (and how would we know, would be a good point; I don’t know–those surveys as screenings, maybe?), to learn from them why the idea is repulsive to them, how their capacity for empathy is nurtured, how we can help other boys develop into men like them.

          EG, that’s bloody brilliant. And honestly, something I don’t think the non-rapey men really think about. I mean, obviously I can’t 100% know, but I would bet pretty much anything that my father’s never done anything to anyone, and I know if I asked him this question he’d be baffled. Knowing him, not for long – his brain’s too quick to linger upon baff – but I imagine it’s actually never crossed his mind that this is a thing that needs conscious understanding, much less conscious teaching. Which is sad, and half the goddamn problem.

        15. Pseudonym
          Pseudonym December 13, 2012 at 11:03 am |

          @macavitykitsune: I should be clear, it wasn’t a bad experience at the time, just a little weird, and it didn’t feel bad after it happened. What’s scary for me is that this happened a number of years ago and I’m only realizing just now how fraught with danger that situation was, despite my being somewhat versed in feminism and the importance of consent.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm |

        And…female perps are a whole other lode of fuckery IMO, and a very differently socialised bunch. You’re absolutely right that they focus on kids more than adults, but their primary privilege afaict is in that nobody expects them to be abusers. My own grandmother got away with subjecting me repeatedly to incredibly sexualised abuse, blatantly, that went unremarked where a male doing the same thing would have been shocking.

    5. Jadey
      Jadey December 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm |

      I dropped out of this conversation on the last post because it was just getting too much for me and I felt like I wasn’t even sure what I was saying anymore, but I’m glad that I checked on this one because I just wanted to say that I’m with you. I may not know entirely where I am right now, but I’m with you.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm |

        Thank you, Jadey. It means a lot to me that you agree, since I respect your (and Lola’s) opinions a lot. I was really getting upset on the other post (while reading threads I wasn’t joining in), though I couldn’t put my finger on why, and my wife was getting downright ranty, lol. I thought about her rant, and…yeah. Spew resulted. And fuck, that feeling of not even knowing what I was saying anymore…god do I feel you on it.

    6. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl December 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm |

      I’m still formulating my thoughts to respond to this further in a intelligent manner, but yeah, I agree with pretty much everything you’re saying Mac. I think we really do need to shine a big spotlight on on all of the male entitlement bullshit that underpins rape culture, because that’s the only way that we can begin ending it. I said it before on the other thread in response to a similar comment you made there, but digging into all of this stuff and finding the reasons for them isn’t about excusing bad behavior, it’s simply about trying to understand it better.

      This doesn’t have to turn into a what about the poor misunderstood mens discussion to point out that our culture pours a lot of nasty, misogynistic bullshit into both boys and girls heads. Or that those messages are what continues to enable rape culture. I don’t know, as a mother of boys I just find it so horribly discouraging trying to figure out the best way to keep them from internalizing all the negative, sexist and misogynistic messages that are floating around our society in such a pervasive manner. I’m all over teaching them not to be sexist little jerks in their daily lives, but I also already spent a ton of time deprogramming a lot of stuff out of their heads, and they’re not even teenagers yet.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm |

        Yeah, most of this came out of a massive rant my wife went on last night on reading that Royse thread (she posts here as Valoniel, btw) and the way stuff was getting shut down there, that articulated a bunch of stuff I’d never put together, or really noticed consciously, but once she said it, it was all THER. I spent all night trying not to let it bubble out of me, but I’ve less control than she does that way, lol.

        It’s just…really frustrating. And I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you as a mother of boys; god, fuck, it’s hard enough to deprogram a girl and she’s got massive reasons to want to be deprogrammed… *sigh*

        1. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl December 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

          Really, Valoniel is your wife? I’ve noticed how she’s got lots of great insights and interesting opinions, how cool that she’s your wife, you two must be pretty great together!

          (Sorry for the squee moment there, I couldn’t help myself. It’s like finding out that two interesting people you meet separately at a cocktail party or something are a couple and thinking how great is that?)

          Anyway, I say we keep this convo going, it’s important and so desperately necessary.

        2. EG
          EG December 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

          I’m agreeing with Lolagirl, here! That was totally my reaction to reading that Valoniel was your wife, and I wrote out a really excited babbling comment, and then decided I was being stupid and I should play it cool. But the hell with that. Super cool!

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

          Awww, you guys ♥

        4. Donna L
          Donna L December 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm |

          I had the same excited reaction. It was really cool to find that out.

        5. Valoniel
          Valoniel December 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm |

          Aww…you guys, those comments just seriously made my fucking day.

    7. Alexandra
      Alexandra December 12, 2012 at 1:36 am |

      Thank you for this. Thank you.

    8. Kristen J.
      Kristen J. December 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

      @mac,

      I guess I just see things a bit differently. There are a few surveys out there that show that about 30 percent of men would commit rape if they thought they could get away with it. That number seems to fairly stable cross-culturally. So my view is that the vast majority of rapes do not occur because some person was confused, I think the vast majority of rapes occur because 30 percent of men are looking for an opportunity to get away with it.

      Plus, the reasons people rape – both the ones they describe and the ones we can determine statistically – are fairly well known as well. I don’t see how listening to a rapists spew manipulative bullshit is going to help us stop rape. I guess that means I assume a few things: (1) people rape because they want to dominate and they think they can get away with it; (2) ending rape culture will reduce the later, but not the former; and (3) everything a rapist says about zir experience is about increasing their ability to get away with committing this rape and the rapes they intend to commit in the future.

      I’m very interested in discussions about why rapists act the way they do and how we can raise successive generations to refrain from harming one another…I just don’t think we get there by listening to manipulative assholes talk about how it was so complicated.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm |

        So my view is that the vast majority of rapes do not occur because some person was confused

        Kristen, that’s a pretty weird distillation of my comment. I was arguing for the effects of long-term conditioning and indulged entitlement, not a momentary confusion. Men are constantly told (as are all humans) to be ethical, and demonstrated to that they can get away wtih being unethical. It seems like a bit of a head trip. Not one that justifies rape, but that explains why many of THEM think rape is justified.

        I don’t see how listening to a rapists spew manipulative bullshit is going to help us stop rape.

        I never said it was; I said it was a horror story. It’s meant to shock the unthinking into a moment of looking-outside-privilege; with us it’s preaching to the choir. I also specifically said that I didn’t think GMP or Anonymous was going to help us understand; I simply said that I could see why they posted it. They’re talking to privileged douchebags with the barest glimmering of understanding of gender. Fair enough. (At least, I used to think so; they’ve gotten really ugly lately.)

        I’m very interested in discussions about why rapists act the way they do and how we can raise successive generations to refrain from harming one another

        That’s really my point, basically. I don’t think we need to listen to GMP or whoever; I think we need to be having those conversations ourselves instead. Instead, we’re letting a literal body of Teh Menz make us shut up about these things because we’re so busy stomping down preemptively on victim-blaming we don’t have time – or so it looks to me – to look at the mechanics of victim-creation. And that’s a damn shame.

        1. Kristen J.
          Kristen J. December 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm |

          @Mac,

          Kristen, that’s a pretty weird distillation of my comment. </blockquote?

          I was drawing on this part in that first segment of my comment:

          For my daughter. I can’t shut up and toe the general line of “oh, everyone who’s raping is totally a predatory fuck who’s totally focused on getting his rape on from minute 1″. I can’t. Because there’s men who really aren’t. They’re under the impression that marriage is consent, or that a relationship is consent, or what the fuck else ever that the patriarchy’s pouring into their ears from infancy. And just because those rapes don’t get reported as much doesn’t mean they’re not happening; I see them happening, here and elsewhere, over and over.

          It sounds like (and I could be misinterpreting) that you believe that many rapists are simply misinformed or confused about consent. I disagree. I think the vast majority of the time they know that they don’t have consent, they know that what they want to do is “wrong”, but they simply don’t care. I think they use the idea that consent is hard as cover to continue abusing women.

          I never said it was; I said it was a horror story. It’s meant to shock the unthinking into a moment of looking-outside-privilege; with us it’s preaching to the choir.

          If that was its purpose, I think it failed miserably. Looking at the comments over there I get the impression that it just made people think that being inebriated is a good excuse for ignoring whether or not you have consent.

          Instead, we’re letting a literal body of Teh Menz make us shut up about these things because we’re so busy stomping down preemptively on victim-blaming we don’t have time – or so it looks to me – to look at the mechanics of victim-creation.

          See, I think shouting down this asshole and this line of reasoning is part of undermining rape culture. But I agree we should talk more about how to make it stop. I just reserve the right to be stomp down on victim blaming and research social change.

        2. Kristen J.
          Kristen J. December 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm |

          Ah, blockquoting…how I suck at it.

        3. DouglasG
          DouglasG December 13, 2012 at 12:02 am |

          I’ve known someone much better than would have been my choice who fits exactly into Ms Kristen’s pattern. He was a thoroughly nasty piece of work as a child and gave early indications that he was bound to commit some serious offense against another person before too long. If it hadn’t been rape, it would likely have been murder. And he was exactly the sort who would have been the first to grasp at any advantage of using the Consent is Confusing! theme. I don’t think any difference in socializing would have changed him.

          More sickening to me is the odd worry I’ve developed lately for someone I rarely see who’s just coming of age. He seems a possible fit into the sort of atmosphere Ms Kitsune sets out, being both easily frustrated when typically overly high expectations don’t pan out and the sort of impressionable person particularly vulnerable to a bad influence. I could see him buying into any of a number of toxic ideas about consent, and know that at least one of his parents had what would now be considered dicey opposite-sex alcohol-impaired incidents at his age. He’s the sort one would want to save in time if we could devise a way to do so, though for all I know he might have a thoroughly proper understanding of consent. However, given that I not only haven’t a clue as to his orientation or experience but also would likely have a house fall on my head if I made a serious effort to find out, this one may have to remain in the realm of Vague Worries.

    9. Cara
      Cara December 14, 2012 at 8:43 pm |

      Please, can’t we talk about this? The fact that men at large are trained to violate and led to violate? The fact that popular narratives surrounding consent punish women brutally for being sexually assertive, and then claim it’s their fault when those brutalised women don’t assert their consent? The fact that women are practically bloody FORCED to give people “mixed signals” (can’t say an outright no because it’s not ladylike, can’t scream in public, can’t reject a man “cruelly”, have to be nice and polite to men, have to be sexy for men’s benefit)? “Mixed signals” that are then used to silence and humiliate and dismiss those very women?

      This is pretty much what we HAVE been talking about, in perpetuity. I’m not sure why that’s not apparent.

  52. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm |

    Okay, I’m kind of massively fucking baffled here by the people leaping from these articles to discussing people in LTRs getting drunk and fucking. Speaking as someone who’s seen her wife drunk/tipsy (neither of us ever gets blackout drunk, it triggers anxiety issues for both of us) in unsexy situations like family gatherings and in potentially sexful situations, it’s not that hard for me to tell in seconds whether or not she’s too drunk to meaningfully consent, and hit on/avoid hitting on her accordingly. And I’m a person with massive difficulties reading facial cues even while sober. I really, truly, absolutely, positively fail to see how someone can fuck up a long-term partner’s sexual cues or state/clarity of mind (unless it’s, like, their partner’s first time getting drunk around them or something) unless they’re really invested in missing those cues so they can rape an unwilling partner. Can we please stop equating LTRs to party culture? It’s about as similar as apples and spaceships.

  53. Pseudonym
    Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm |

    (Trigger warning for bad actions.)
    (Is this how I’m supposed to do trigger warnings?)

    I’ve done things while drunk or inebriated. Some of those things have crossed boundaries. I’ve tried giving people backrubs or hugged them or even kissed them without their consent, and I’ve experienced their shuddering and jerking away and reacting in ways that made it very clear the contact was unwanted. At the time, in the moment, I felt like I was just flirting, but the reaction made clear that I wasn’t.

    I’ve never raped anyone. I’ve never groped anyone without their clear consent. I’ve never felt anyone up. (I’ve been accused of it a couple of times, but only because some other pervert did something for which I was mistakenly blamed. I don’t know why I bring this up, it just seemed important for some reason.)

    I think alcohol and other intoxicants do blur certain boundaries, or to be more precise blur my perception of certain boundaries. Looking back I can see now that there were clear boundaries that I violated. Maybe that is part of what makes articles and narratives like GMP’s troublesome: the author is trying to obscure the issue of drunken consent by conflating it with the issue of drunken perception of consent, when there really isn’t any ambiguity about consent in the situations he describes. I don’t know; my reading comprehension isn’t working too well at the moment.

    I think it’s clear that first-person narratives serve a different purpose from scientific studies. I just reread the links Jill posted about Lisak & Miller and McWhorter and I know I don’t identify with or fit the profile of the rapists portrayed therein. In contrast, I can identify with some of the thoughts and feelings of the anonymous GMP writer. I guess that’s why I feel like in theory a first-person narrative from the perspective of a rapist still has the potential to be valuable. Is the problem that the GMP writer is lying? Or at least presenting his experiences inaccurately? Or is the problem that he’s not representative of most rapists? (He seems to fit the scientific description of the repeat rapist pretty well.) Or is the problem that rapists shouldn’t have a soapbox, or be given one by a nominally feminist publication? (Someone earlier mentioned publishing Mein Kampf as an analogy, but I feel like an article describing the perspective of a white supremacist without endorsing it would still be useful.) Or is the problem that his article has the effect of normalizing or mainstreaming rape and the attitudes that lead to it? Or that it at least excuses those actions and attitudes?

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm |

      Maybe that is part of what makes articles and narratives like GMP’s troublesome: the author is trying to obscure the issue of drunken consent by conflating it with the issue of drunken perception of consent, when there really isn’t any ambiguity about consent in the situations he describes.

      I think you hit the nail on the head.

      Also, YES to what you said above about alcohol blurring perceptions. It really irritates me when people say that doesn’t happen, because it really fucking does. Of course, as you pointed out, it doesn’t cause rape, because you haven’t raped anyone or even groped them, but it definitely fucks with people’s perceptions. (I see this as a reason to drink less, not as a justification to grope more!)

      1. piny
        piny December 13, 2012 at 12:35 am |

        …This seems contradictory. You’ve said upthread that you believe that men are socialized to believe that rape is fine: that is, they define rape too narrowly to include anything they do. I agree with that.

        But if that’s true, then there’s no inhibition to lose. Maybe alcohol can make you do things you’d never do otherwise, especially if you’re blackout drunk, but we’re all in agreement that rape isn’t one of those things for too many men. They don’t see it as bad. They see it as awesome.

        So the effects of intoxication seem irrelevant to me. Rape isn’t like getting into a bar fight. It’s not even like writing a nasty letter to your boss. Under patriarchy, it’s on the continuum of totally acceptable behavior. It’s “grey.” A lot of sexual coercion is defined in our society as light grey. It’s not even embarrassing, let alone shameful. Maybe it was just my casual attempted rapist, but he didn’t even seem sheepish, let alone aware that he’d crossed some kind of line. He’d probably have been way more upset if I’d caught him taking a few dollars out of my wallet.

        The guy in the original story probably did not believe that there was anything wrong with penetrating an unconscious woman. I believe that he does stuff like that all the time–I think it’s naive to assume otherwise.

        And this guy is using alcohol as an excuse–not just as a way to impair his moral judgment, but as a way to pretend that his judgment is impaired. He obviously has no moral problem with rape, even when he’s sober. And everywhere in this horrible essay you see references to drunkenness that is not impairment–he admits that he was not too drunk to figure out that his partner was shitfaced and out of it. And I have trouble believing that he only abuses women–or commits sexual violence–when he’s “partying.”

        I do agree that alcohol abuse is important–and I think it’s important to think about violence and malice as affected by alcohol abuse. I also know that a lot of sexual violence is actively sadistic, that women are brutalized. I don’t want to ignore that. Although, it seems like these two posts have mostly been about guys committing rape that they can’t even perceive as assault, and even though Royse and a lot of GMP commenters are arguing a lack of violence to argue that it’s not really rape.

        But…I feel like rape is so normalized and so rationalized that it can’t be classed with outbursts of intoxicated violence.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 12:50 am |

          …This seems contradictory. You’ve said upthread that you believe that men are socialized to believe that rape is fine: that is, they define rape too narrowly to include anything they do. I agree with that.

          But if that’s true, then there’s no inhibition to lose.

          Yes, they define rape narrowly when sober. When they’re drunk, though, they might violate even that narrow definition of rape because when they’re sober, they don’t imagine they would do that. Because Teh Menz have Logic Superpower and so everything they think when they’re dead sober and sixty miles from their nearest Personal Bits Of Choice totes applies to their falling-down-drunk-ass selves.

          My arguments address different contributing causes. There’s no One True RapeThink that all rapists adhere to (other than that their victims aren’t really human). I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have different theories for differently rapey individuals. We don’t settle for one single theory on why women parent, or work, or fuck, or knit orange and pink scarves – so why be content to cling to just one idea of what men/rapists/assholes are like in the face of all evidence?

        2. Cara
          Cara December 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm |

          There’s no One True RapeThink that all rapists adhere to (other than that their victims aren’t really human).

          Um, yeah. So what’s the problem? Why all the angst over picayune little distinctions? We know what the root problem is, we know what causes it, and we know that the *solution* is a massive, massive change in the thought processes of the entire world (or, in the case of true sociopaths, eliminating cover for them to hide behind).

          All the discussions about technical fouls are an unnecessary distraction. Their purpose (or, if not the conscious purpose, the effect they have) is to make women feel guilty for not *caring* enough and to give men who rape cover–in other words, to maintain the status quo.

          Rape is wrong. Trying to *understand* is giving aid and comfort to the perps at the expense of the victims. It doesn’t prevent jack. It just gives those who don’t want to feel bad a way to justify their behavior. It’s a lot of navel-gazing that does precious little in terms of real world change.

          The proper course is to keep hammering away, to have the courage to say “this is wrong, and you are wrong if you do this, and you are wrong if you see this and keep quiet”.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

          The proper course is to keep hammering away, to have the courage to say “this is wrong, and you are wrong if you do this, and you are wrong if you see this and keep quiet”.

          Of course I don’t think that’s the proper course! After all, at no point in this thread did I ever suggest that rape was wrong. I want to help all the rapists! I want to cuddle them and pet them and call them George! Clearly I do, which is why you’re being hostile. My bad ♥

    2. theLaplaceDemon
      theLaplaceDemon December 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm |

      This is interesting to me because I’ve been really shitfaced in the presence of people I was really attracted to – both people that I already had some kind of sexual or romantic history with and people I had not – and never once did it occur to me to try to touch any of them inappropriately or kiss them. And while I’ve had some people inappropriately touch me while drunk, I’ve also been around a lot of people who have clearly respected consent and boundaries.

      If you [generic you, not the Pseudonym] know yourself to be a person who violates boundaries when drunk – because it alters your perception of the situation, or whatever reason – I really honestly think the only responsible solution is for you to not drink that much. If you know from past experience that drinking alters your perception in such a way that you see consent where it isn’t there…why do you keep drinking?

      Sure, maybe alcohol and partying make certain people more likely to sexually assault. Maybe there is this big untalked about (???) connection between rape and drinking, like the writers at GMP seem to think. Okay.

      This is not actually a situation where the analysis is all that complicated. It is irresponsible and negligent for those people to keep drinking. The same way it is irresponsible to drive drunk, even if you don’t actually get into an accident or hurt anyone.

      As far as the Mein Kampf analogy goes, it is possible that there is some value in listening to terrible people talk about why they did terrible things. Even taking into account the likelihood of lying, or at least softening the truth, there is still something about the narratives that those people tell that could, ultimately, help prevent terrible things from happening again.

      But you need to be really careful about the way you present those works. Royse thought that she solved this problem by putting “Rape is rape! My friend raped this woman!” In between paragraphs that are basically textbook rape-apologism. The editor who published the Anonymous piece here thought that posting a separate article saying “FYI, we think all the stuff in that other article is really really awful and horrible!” fixed that problem.

      And most of the internet roared: No, no you did not solve that problem. You did not morph these horrible things into a positive lesson for the world, a positive point for discussion. And they got really, really defensive about it.

      There might be something useful about Mein Kampf, but I’m not going to go leaving it on my living room table for my antisemitic uncle to find, y’know?

      I tend to favor data over narrative – it’s a personal bias. But narrative has its place. It helps us understand things.

      The problem is, the things GMP wants to understand do not match up with the narratives it presents. The Royse piece did not use a narrative that described ambiguous consent*. The Anonymous piece did not offer any insight into partying, alcohol, and rape, except to say that “some rapists care more about themselves than their victims” and “some subcultures support rapey behavior” – neither of which are exactly news. We don’t need to give a rapist a microphone to know those things.

      *had she used a fitting narrative, some parts of her piece still would have been rape apologism, but at least she wouldn’t have given a whole bunch of rapists and potential rapists an excuse to say flirting could reasonably be considered consent to sleep penetration, because the social signals for “penetrate me while I am unable to say no” are just SO murky and all.

      1. Pseudonym
        Pseudonym December 12, 2012 at 1:21 am |

        Thanks for your explanation, theLaplaceDemon. Awesome username by the way!

    3. DSJ
      DSJ December 11, 2012 at 10:44 pm |

      but I feel like an article describing the perspective of a white supremacist without endorsing it would still be useful.

      Ok, let me give another shot at this— Here’s the difference.

      Yes, it could be really useful to have an article describing the perspective of a white supremacist. But at the same it would it make it explicitly clear precisely where those views went wrong. It would also show clearly the hurt and damage when those views are put into action. At the end of the day, readers would come away with a full, complete picture, which means they’d understand where racist ideology comes from but also why it’s horrifying and destructive.

      This was position paper, arguing for rape culture, arguing specifically that the benefits outweigh the costs, and using an extremely skewed set of anecdotes to prove it. That’s why it doesn’t sit well with me when GMP says, “we’re just shining light on this, documentary-style.” This light doesn’t fall evenly. Saying you don’t endorse it is a cop out. The New York Times could put a disclaimer on Paul Krugman’s articles every week saying they disagree with him, but at the end of the day they’d still be publishing Paul Krugman.

      What was never presented here in between the self-serving anecdotes, a framing that made him look as sympathetic as possible, the (believable) claims that some of the best “most fulfilling” relationships in his life started with drunken sex, and the real, knowing temptation of “good, positive, happy experiences because I took a chance and altered my state and connected with someone else sexually”, is the perspective of the people who he presumably raped. It’s not written what the victim(s) thought of these encounters, how much they suffered from it, or what the impact on their lives was of being raped. The cost, the downside, and the impetus for the entire discussion is not given.

      Perhaps the editors of the GMP think they don’t need to show that because we all recognize the horrors of rape. But if that were really true, then rape culture wouldn’t exist, no? People like the author wouldn’t exist, no? And if the GMP is right about how many people like this author there really are out there, and if the GMP can be trusted when they say they don’t endorse this authors view and disagree with it. Then it would seem that the many people like Anonymous desperately need to hear why they should change their lifestyle. They desperately need to see, explicitly and repeatedly, whatever harm they cause or may to other people. It would seem that last thing they need is something that they can legitimately read not as a cautionary tale but a manifesto. Am I missing something?

      1. Philip Finn
        Philip Finn December 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm |

        I think “manifesto” describes it perfectly…

      2. Pseudonym
        Pseudonym December 12, 2012 at 1:16 am |

        Thanks, DSJ, your explanation makes a lot of sense.

      3. im
        im December 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm |

        While not quite agreeing with you, I think I semi-understand. On the other hand, it can be insanely hard to paraphrase the ideas of something that you disagree with. (IMO, feminists often fail this with the less-repugnant sectors of the manosphere and it ends in a strawmanny mess).

        Need some way to neuter the Dark Arts in that article without turning it into a self-parody…?

    4. TomSims
      TomSims December 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm |

      I think alcohol and other intoxicants do blur certain boundaries, or to be more precise blur my perception of certain boundaries. Looking back I can see now that there were clear boundaries that I violated. ”

      You are spot on. Alcohol is a mood changing drug. Ask any doctor or drug and alcohol counselor.

  54. Pseudonym
    Pseudonym December 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm |

    A friend of mine once told me about a girl who he knew for a fact had only had two drinks. He didn’t know she was on prescription medication that amplified those two drinks beyond all measure. He thought she was just very horny when she wouldn’t leave him alone or take “Are you okay?” for an answer. It wasn’t until she kept calling him by the wrong name and couldn’t remember the right one that he realized she was not able to consent, and called a halt to things before they went any further. He says he had to dissuade her from pursuing things further, because she was really into it, apart from not knowing who he was or where she was.

    Assuming, arguendo, that this account is accurate, would he be raping her if he hadn’t realized how intoxicated she was, but thought she was just horny, and let her take off his clothes and have sex with him? What amount of initiation and action on his part is necessary to constitute rape? At the limit, what if he were passed out asleep and she took off his pants and went down on him?

    Not that I believe most stories like this, or think that there’s any ambiguity over consent in most rapes.

    1. theLaplaceDemon
      theLaplaceDemon December 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm |

      Are there people who can be that intoxicated and not show it? I suppose it’s possible that someone could be impaired beyond the point of being able to consent and not show any outward signs, but I imagine that number is very small. The impairment in cognitive processes that affect judgement are highly interrelated, if not the same, as the impairment in cognitive processes that makes you “act drunk.”

      That said, in a hypothetical where outside observers really couldn’t tell someone was drunk, no, I don’t think you are culpable. But I also think that if anyone tells you “No really, it was impossible to tell [rape victim] was drunk!” they are probably lying to you.

      If he were passed out drunk and she took it pants off and started going down on him? Yeah, I’d consider that rape.

      1. Pseudonym
        Pseudonym December 12, 2012 at 1:29 am |

        There are definitely people who can react in certain ways to combinations of substances (e.g. alcohol and Ambien) so that they lose their ability to make good judgments or act appropriately but don’t display the typical physical symptoms of drunkenness like slurred speech, impaired balance, or ataxia. As the story mentioned, this can happen even with small amounts of alcohol, so that part actually sounds plausible to me.

      2. Dan_Brodribb
        Dan_Brodribb December 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

        People do vary in the way alcohol hits them and what symptoms they show depending on their tolerance, their own body chemistry, and various other quirks. It’s very possible someone could be intoxicated and not show any signs–in fact, people who become physically depedant on alcohol behave what we would call NORMALLY when drunk. It’s when the alcohol is taken away we start seeing symptoms.

        Alcohol can have a lot of effects on the human body but ‘May Cause Rape” isn’t one of them. That’s on the person doing the drinking.

        1. Dan_Brodribb
          Dan_Brodribb December 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm |

          That should be read as the rape being on the offender, not the survivor. Those last two sentences don’t read as clearly as I’d intended.

      3. im
        im December 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm |

        That also gets a bit complicated as some (many?) people may when drunk aggressively initiate sex despite being in no state to actually consent – and he claims that happened. This results in the puzzling condition where somebody could have caused nonconsensual sex (Not saying rape because they would have no mens rhea) simply by passively consenting?

        This is a mess, and if that person really cared he would decide that he who saves one sanity saves his own life and stop partying.

  55. datamwuf
    datamwuf December 12, 2012 at 2:08 am |

    If it is so hard to tell when u are raping someone then why is it that so few men are raped? Where are the articles about how so many women are confused and accidentally raped a drunk guy, I never see those articles.

    1. Alara Rogers
      Alara Rogers December 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

      To be fair, part of the reason for this is that men are heavily, heavily socialized not to call it rape.

      Every man I’ve dated has a story about being emotionally blackmailed into sex by a woman. When men do this to women, most women don’t call it rape, but feminists studying rape culture do. When women do this to men… well, feminists studying rape culture would in fact call it rape, but it’s rarely called out because men don’t talk about it.

      I once presented to a women’s studies class, which had men in it, a paper about how men who were violently raped by women suffer the same symptoms women who were violently raped by men do. The cases were horrifying — one man was gang-raped by several women who tied him up and held a knife to his penis, threatening to castrate him if he couldn’t perform. These cases, obviously, are extraordinarily rare, but they happened. And I’m not male, but the thought of being tied up and having a knife held to my genitals and being ordered to manifest a normally somehwat involuntarily sexual response or be violently mutilated is *horrifying*. The men, however (who were in a women’s studies class!), laughed and said things like, “Oh, how awful, he had to have sex with three women! Poor guy!”

      So when a woman rapes a man in as explicitly rapey a fashion as possible, in the most stereotypical stranger-danger way you can think of, in a way that involves violence and gang rape and threats of castration… there are *still* men who don’t want to acknowledge that it was rape. If one of those guys who was joking about how awful it was for a man to be tied up and gang-raped by women at knifepoint did, in fact, wake up while drunk to find a woman performing fellatio on him and then intercourse while he was too drunk to fight her off, what are the odds that he’d even admit to himself that he was raped, let alone admit it to anyone else?

      I actually do think that it’s quite possible that a number of men *are* raped by women in drunken “misunderstandings”, which might actually even be misunderstandings given that both men and women are socialized to believe that men will never want to say no. But they aren’t admitting it, because they are even more heavily socialized to believe that it’s not possible for a woman to rape them than women are to believe that they are culpable for being victims of acquaintance rape.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

        This is true. And disgusting. And depressing. And true.

        When I was volunteering in India, I once saw one of my colleagues be sexually bullied by a group of women who seemed to think it was A-Okay to pull down his pants or grope his chest and laugh when he got uncomfortable. I took him away from the situation, and later ripped them all a new asshole about it (which made me real popular I can tell you), but the look on his face still haunts me. Of course, when a creepy guy hit on me later that same day (it was a group excursion thing) they all intervened immediately and told him to fuck off, though it just hadn’t occurred to them that they were engaging in exactly the same behaviour.

        Because men can’t be raped or sexually harassed or subjected to sexually charged bullying, amirite gaiz?

      2. Dan_Brodribb
        Dan_Brodribb December 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm |

        The whole “is it rape if the victim doesn’t call it rape?” is where I find myself really lost in a lot of these discussions.

        I read a similar story (on Captain Awkward, perhaps?) about a woman who wouldn’t believe her daughter had been raped while on medications because “If that were rape, your father’s raped me lots of times.”

        I realize that was women and not men, but it feels like a similar sort of situation.

        The other thing I thought reading your comment Alara is something that probably sounds obvious but never really hit me before. I think one of the reasons we get defensive about those ‘drunken blurred consent’ situations is becase we don’t want to see ourselves as rapists.

        But for a lot of us, there’s a stigma attached with seeing ourselves as a rape victim too, so we’ll go to great lengths to convince ourselves it wasn’t rape even if it was.

      3. Philip Finn
        Philip Finn December 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm |

        I’ve been convinced for years that people are emotionally blackmailed into a LOT of situations that aren’t authentic true to themselves. Isn’t the majority of child abuse supposedly non-physical? Aren’t we really discussing institutionalized, cultural control? Isn’t it as if the only people in society who are getting their needs met and their sense of well being fulfilled are the control nuts? Can’t we say, with at least some degree of certainty, that the events of the last decade or so in the United States has pretty much proven that most of the people in the upper 1% of religious, political, and financial circles are for the most part criminally insane?

  56. Lamech
    Lamech December 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

    I have some questions about this article:

    How many bad things does a rape victim have to do before we don’t give her or him sympathy? Because this guy isn’t getting our sympathy and he’s a rape victim.

    Also how many bad things does a rape victim have to do before we bar them from speaking out about it? Or are they only barred from mentioning the bad things they did?

    Thanks in advance for anyone who answers these questions. You should probably send them to all those groups working to end prison rape as well. They’ll want to know who isn’t allowed to speak out, or get sympathy. :)

    1. im
      im December 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

      Wait, rape victim? Perpetrator? Literal clusterfuck in which he as perpetrated at least once and been the victim at least once?

    2. EG
      EG December 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm |

      I don’t give rapists sympathy regarding the rapes they have committed, whether or not they have also been raped–and I see nothing to indicate that this guy has been raped. I am perfectly capable of sympathizing with somebody regarding a horrible experience and still condemning them if they decide to inflict that experience on somebody else.

      As to being “barred” from speaking out, I really don’t know what you are talking about. Nobody’s barring anybody from saying anything. But nobody’s required to publish a rapist’s justification of his rapes, either, and choosing do so is the kind of thing that’s going to get you criticized and attacked by feminists.

      1. Lamech
        Lamech December 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm |

        and I see nothing to indicate that this guy has been raped.

        I thought that someone saying they were raped was an indication of being raped. I guess not. My mistake.

        1. SophiaBlue
          SophiaBlue December 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

          Where does he say he was raped?

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm |

          To be fair to Lamech (ugh) Anonymous did say he’d had sex he couldn’t remember with someone he didn’t want to fuck normally, and that fits the definition of rape for me.

          That said, rape victims are not given a Magical Rape Pass, so it’s completely irrelevant to this article.

      2. Lamech
        Lamech December 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

        choosing do so is the kind of thing that’s going to get you criticized and attacked by feminists.

        So we don’t bar rape victims from speaking out, we instead just attack anyone who gives them a platform to reach people, if they’ve done enough bad. Got it.

        Thanks for the answer! :)

        1. tomek
          tomek December 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm |

          dont be dumb. he speaking out about raping woman. not about being rape himself. although he may have been rape too. it complicated, but he not simple victim

        2. Esti
          Esti December 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm |

          “Rape victim” is not the sum total of someone’s identity. If a serial killer writes articles about how much they love killing people, those don’t automatically become immune to criticism because the serial killer was raped in prison.

          This guy was writing about the fact that he has raped people and how he plans to continue doing so. Shockingly, that didn’t go over well with everyone who read it. They “attacked” him by posting angry comments on the internet. He attacks women by raping them. One of those things is an example of free speech in action. The other is a crime. The fact that you are more concerned about the former says a lot.

        3. SophiaBlue
          SophiaBlue December 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

          What Esti said. To use your analogy, we should provide a space for victims of prison rape to speak about their experience. We should not provide a space for someone to talk about how great it is to rape people in prison, even if they themselves are a victim of prison rape.

    3. TL;DR
      TL;DR December 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

      Obvious troll is obvious

  57. im
    im December 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

    This is NOT going to end well. I also think that there is some kind of cultural difference between GMP and most of the feminist community that means both your *pathetic* little factions are going to just talk past each other without even realizing that the other side is not demonic.

    I do have to say that the editor’s introduction was in my opinion nowhere near stridently condemnatory enough.

    Although I have to say that OTHER than this piece, hearing GMP described as ‘mra’ or ‘misogynistic’ came out of the blue. It’s not even vaguely like a moderate version of what comes up on Manboobz and most of the MRAs that you really dislike would probably HATE GMP. My main criticism (other than this recent rape thing) is that it’s incredibly gender-essentialist (in a mostly nonmisogynistic way), and the parts that are not gender-essentialist increasingly assume that everybody should want to be a gender-role-transcending special snowflake.

    Personally, I suspect that there is some kind of greater purpose behind this. I mean, there are now criticism pieces up.

    I just hope that No Seriously What About Teh Menz can survive this cataclysm.

    1. catfood
      catfood December 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm |

      My enemy’s enemy doesn’t have to be my friend. Being hated by MRAs doesn’t make GMP feminist.

    2. Sheelzebub
      Sheelzebub December 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm |

      If feminists are so *pathetic* then why on Earth are you posting compulsively to this blog, cupcake?

      1. Jadey
        Jadey December 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm |

        How dare you defame cupcakes.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |

          Cupcakes suck.

          What do you plan on doing about it? :P

        2. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl December 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

          HDU defame cupcakes.!

          Cupcakes take me to my happy place. What with me having 70% less fun these days that’s a rare but necessary thing…

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

          No, Lola, you lost 70% with the first child. Now you’re at -180% of the fun, having had four. So I strongly suspect your cupcake transportation is to a land of bitter, bitter illusions.

        4. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl December 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm |

          If we had emoticons available here I would post the one with the woman running and screaming in circles.

          Good gried, Mac, my mommy brain was not even capable of doing such complicated math. How thoroughly depressing, now hand me the cupcakes and nobody gets hurt.

        5. tomek
          tomek December 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm |

          sorry but i must correct you of -180% of fun. if you lose 70% fun of child per child. and you have four, u lose 70% of fun from each percentage of fun, so calculation is

          (0.3 ^ 4) = you have 0.81% of fun

          this is why tomek must stay he is good in the mathematic

        6. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm |

          Okay, tomek, you win. That was both accurate and adorable. *giggling helplessly*

    3. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

      Hey, im, if we’re all that pathetic, how’s about you stop honouring us with your endless whining, navelball-gazing and general Life-Related Sad and go away?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 8:43 pm |

        Oh, on the off-chance that you’ve actually reversed your recto-cranial infinity loop today… the fucknuts covered on Manboobz are misogynists. This does not mean that people not covered on Manboobz are NOT, in the same way that you don’t have to own a KKK membership badge to be racist. The fact that the extremist MRAs would hate GMP has more to do with the fact that in between printing rapists’ inkwankings, they occasionally throw in a good article on masculinity just to fuck with feminist readers’ heads.

        I just hope that No Seriously What About Teh Menz can survive this cataclysm.

        Well, if Ozy (and a couple of decent others at GMP) were to split off and start writing their own stuff on masculism in a different site, I would love to follow it, but as it stands, I sincerely wish NSWATM doesn’t. It’s the only way we’re ever going to see any of the good writers there striking out and being, you know, not associated with massive testicleheads.

  58. PDA
    PDA December 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |

    Holy fuck, that place sucks.

    I made a really bad choice to go over there and try and draw people into dialogue. Showering now. Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

  59. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm |

    I think the vast majority of the time they know that they don’t have consent, they know that what they want to do is “wrong”, but they simply don’t care.

    Yes… because of entitlement, and conditioning, and all those things I talked about. You can’t teach men from infancy that women are objects and then miraculously expect them to give a shit because reasons. That’s the hideousness of the system. I still don’t see where we’re disagreeing on anything. You’re looking at the effects, I’m dealing with the causes. Saying BUT EFFECTS!!! doesn’t actually take away the causes.

    I think they use the idea that consent is hard as cover to continue abusing women.

    And I acknowledge that there are definitely born predators, as I did in my original comment and in my comments to EG. But this insistence that all men who engage in any sexual misconduct on any scale are 100% conscious and deliberate and malicious… is it really easier to believe in the total inhumanity of men than in the systematic conditioning of society? I find it incredible that this imaginary Only Possible Rapist(TM) is being repeatedly pitched to me by academics who in literally every other thing in the world understand the concept (and the meaning) of “nuance”.

    If that was its purpose, I think it failed miserably.

    The perceptions/reactions of the audience aren’t necessarily the fault of the speakers. (Exhibit A: Jesus. Exhibit B: Machiavelli.)

    See, I think shouting down this asshole and this line of reasoning is part of undermining rape culture.

    Yes, it is. Part isn’t whole, though, and the speed with which even sincere discussions of the fucked-up “signal” system get shut down is a disturbing and unhappy-making thing for me.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm |

      Well, that was a reply to Kristen that unexpectedly left Kansas.

    2. piny
      piny December 13, 2012 at 12:11 am |

      I agree that it’s not constructive to see men as inherently evil. I don’t think I agree with this, though:

      But this insistence that all men who engage in any sexual misconduct on any scale are 100% conscious and deliberate and malicious… is it really easier to believe in the total inhumanity of men than in the systematic conditioning of society?

      That is, you set this up as a deep and very frustrating disagreement between an emerging position and how you feel. I think that the new studies on acquaintance and date rape actually hew much closer to the position you’ve laid out. They accommodate this idea that men are socialized into impunity, that is, that they don’t believe that what they’re doing is rape and they secretly believe all men are like them.

      They definitely do shady things in an intentional, often serial way, but they don’t think of their behavior as rape, because rape is what happened to the Central Park jogger. They’re reflexively predatory because they don’t think they’re predators.

      I mean, I don’t think the implication is that these men sit there roofie-ing drinks and twirling their hipster moustaches. It seems like there’s broad agreement that rapists don’t see themselves as evil or criminal. The academics argue that this makes them malicious.

      And for what it’s worth, I don’t agree that rapists don’t differentiate between coerced and real consent, and I don’t agree that they actually don’t perceive signals of discomfort or unhappiness. I think they miss the moral distinction, not the interpersonal one.

      1. Li
        Li December 13, 2012 at 2:17 am |

        So, I’ve done a reasonable amount of work around consent in group settings, specifically queer ones. Obviously in doing that work I think that interventions can be effective and are important. But I’m also really aware that there have been seriously predatory rapists operating in the spaces I’ve been doing that work in. So I’m kind of coming at this from both sides. I think that culturally, we deal with consent and bodily autonomy very badly, even in queer communities where the patterns are a little different than straight communities in a number of ways. There are definitely a large number of casual violations of consent and even things that fall into the category of sexual assault (gay men feeling free to grab women’s breasts, the fact that someone will grab my crotch within five minutes of my entering a gay bar) that routinely occur without the perpetrators being malicious, and I think interventions can work to drastically change those behaviours. But the further you move towards the hardcore end of the assault scale, the more the perps tend to be actively hostile to concepts of bodily autonomy rather than just ignorant of them. They’re the people who leave the presentation and laugh in the corridors about how “ridiculous” and “unnatural” the idea of asking before you kiss someone is and who you later find pouring more beer into the mouth of an already trashed target.

        I did a presentation with a woman a few years ago who talked about how as predatory behaviour became more severe it required the person engaging in it to move further and further into a predatory role by not just naturalising their behaviour but rationalising it and overcoming empathy barriers. At that point, I’m not sure personal intervention is possible.

        I think we can reduce the number of rapists by preventing predatory habits from turning into ingrained and malicious predation. And that totally means change on a cultural level.

        But, and this is the big but, that kind of work won’t necessarily function well when the framework is “rape” rather than the much broader “consent and sexual negotiation” (in which discussions about how we signal our consent are totally vital), because once you’re dealing with rapists that ship has sailed. The point of intervention isn’t cultural messages and habits anymore, it’s stopping rapists rape. And that means ensuring that they don’t have cover.

        So Mac, I want to have the discussion you’re talking about, but I think the framework it happens in is all important.

        1. DouglasG
          DouglasG December 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm |

          [(gay men feeling free to grab women’s breasts…]

          As you have reminded me of a not-too-distant minor squabble, perhaps you can settle for me whether there’s significant difference in this conduct between gay and bi perpetrators.

          Having never grabbed any’s woman’s breast or known of any such incident among my acquaintance (not to say that it couldn’t have happened to – or by – anyone I know), I was absolutely astonished some months ago when, on another site, three women (two straight, one straightish) all posted about such experiences, all notable for the lack of consent given, sought or even implied. Within a day, they established that all their gay male friends found their breasts absolutely fascinating(?). Before another day was out, they were generalizing about how All Gay Men were Obsessed by Women’s Breasts, which made me wonder whether I’d somehow been transported to some other planet when I hadn’t been paying attention. They all took exception to my calling such conduct creepy; the youngest seemed to consider it her due tribute, though the straightish woman did concede that one of her (three in all) gay friends did go in for inappropriate conduct of various sorts in a general way. In what seemed a sort of exchange for their general concession that the habits of perhaps twelve people total did not constitute immutable characteristics of every gay male in existence, I didn’t follow up lines of inquiry about potential bi erasure in what they’d described. But I have nagging wonders.

          [I did a presentation with a woman a few years ago who talked about how as predatory behaviour became more severe it required the person engaging in it to move further and further into a predatory role by not just naturalising their behaviour but rationalising it and overcoming empathy barriers. At that point, I’m not sure personal intervention is possible.]

          From what little I’ve seen of this in action, personal intervention would have not been a response at all likely to prove productive of any desirable effect. Well put.

        2. Li
          Li December 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm |

          Well, bi perpetrators are unlikely to feel authorised by the “But I’m not sexually attracted to women!” trope. Which tends to be a fairly strong justificatory factor for casual groping of women in queer spaces.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm |

          Li, I have Thoughts about your post, but I’m still chewing over them! I haven’t forgotten; just letting you know that’s what’s going on.

          Douglas, I think people are emboldened by incompatible orientations. As I mentioned above, I was repeatedly emotionally abused in a very sexualised way by my grandmother, who justified it by saying she was straight, and nearly had a nervous breakdown when (fuck, nearly a decade after it started) I pointed out, half-hysterical, that a man doing the things she was would be in jail. I can very, VERY easily see gay men doing similar things to straight women and then justifying it with “well, I don’t want to FUCK you, dearie, it’s just HONEST INTEREST and for your OWN good!”

        4. Jadey
          Jadey December 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm |

          Seconding Li. I haven’t had it happen to me personally, but I’ve seen it discussed by a number of other (straight, gay, and bi) women universally in the context of a gay man who excused his behaviour on the basis of it not being “sexual” for him. Bi men would probably be more similar to straight men’s sexual transgression on women’s space, in that respect.

          So while I’d never generalize to all gay men based on these men’s actions (and I also know a lot of women, straight, gay, and otherwise, who engage in a lot of horizontal oppression of their own toward gay men), as far as I know it is not something completely out of character for some gay men. It’s sort of the flipside to a straight woman treating a gay man as her personal accessory/lap dog (feh).

        5. DouglasG
          DouglasG December 14, 2012 at 8:20 am |

          Thanks, all. That makes sense. I’d been vaguely formulating an idea about rounders, but that might just have been my No True Kinsey Six streak, my default assumption for many times when I feel like an alien.

        6. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

          I did a presentation with a woman a few years ago who talked about how as predatory behaviour became more severe it required the person engaging in it to move further and further into a predatory role by not just naturalising their behaviour but rationalising it and overcoming empathy barriers. At that point, I’m not sure personal intervention is possible.

          That’s really intriguing, and I hadn’t thought of it that way, as an internal escalation. Hmm.

          But the further you move towards the hardcore end of the assault scale, the more the perps tend to be actively hostile to concepts of bodily autonomy rather than just ignorant of them.

          THIS. I’ve been wondering how to express it, and here you are, saying it perfectly. The majority of rapists are hostile to bodily autonomy, I reckon, but there’s…tough situations. I’ve been having a conversation with RadiantSophia on my blog about this (I opened up comments on a post there because it’s really hard to track here anymore) and there’s… issues, particularly with very religious communities (which are usually not queer-heavy communities ime!) that fuck hard with the application of the usual feminist understanding of rape, rapists, rape victims, etc. Fuck, it’s complicated, and I still don’t feel like I have the words to express myself right even after taking all this time to respond to you.

    3. Kristen J.
      Kristen J. December 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

      @Mac,

      Sorry! I didn’t see this until now.

      I’m giving up on blockquoting for the moment….but I’ll try to respond to the underlying argument.

      I’m not demonizing all men. I’m acknowledging that 30 percent of men, seemingly regardless of the acceptability of rape in the underlying society, would commit rape. They don’t necessarily call it “rape” in societies where that word carries stigma, but they would engage in an action that we would define as rape. In contrast 70 percent of men would not.

      I don’t consider this to be a product of socialization any more than I consider the Stanford prison experiment to be the product of socialization. Human’s do evil shit to one another. Societies don’t create the evil, they create or refuse to create controls that prevent us from doing evil shit to one another.

      The difference in perspective is meaningful in only one context: asking people to explain why they acted “inhumanely” is pointless. People act inhumanely because they can. Everything else is post hoc justification.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm |

        No worries, Kristen! I suck at nesting, apparently.

        they would engage in an action that we would define as rape

        See, but that’s…that’s my POINT. Rape winds up being so narrowly defined in the popular imagination that men rape far more than they think they do, simply because it hasn’t occurred to them that some of the “sex” they’re having is in fact rape, because society hasn’t taught them that it is. Or they’ve received mixed signals about it – you know, those Dreaded Mixed Signals – from society, not victims.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm |

        People act inhumanely because they can.

        Or because they’re ordered to. Or because they don’t realise it’s inhumane because of the definition of humanity they’ve been fed. Or because it’s the price of admission to something they want to belong to. I see your Stanford and raise you a Milgram.

        1. Kristen J.
          Kristen J. December 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm |

          Of course in the Milgram study there was a hypothetical “inhumane person” doing the ordering. I suspect we could argue this philosphical point till the END OF TIME. (Okay, probably beyond the end of time….) My point in bringing it up was to point out that the reason some people are very skeptical of “confusion” or “mixed messages” is not because we are too dogmatic or reactionary, its because we have a different understanding of the role of those arguments in creating or maintaining rape culture.

      3. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl December 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

        I don’t consider this to be a product of socialization any more than I consider the Stanford prison experiment to be the product of socialization. Human’s do evil shit to one another. Societies don’t create the evil, they create or refuse to create controls that prevent us from doing evil shit to one another.

        I get what you’re saying Kristin, but I think it’s more complicated than this.

        Over the last 7 years of raising my oldest two kids I’ve been repeatedly surprised to see how the viewpoint that boys all have an instrinsic and uniquely inescapable tendency towards violent, aggressive, and controlling behavior is still shockingly commonplace. That point of view is largely what’s responsible for supporting rape culture, because it tells men that they will not be held responsible for their conduct if they undertake non-consensual sexual contact with someone else and if they engage in rape, because they were just giving into their male nature.

        It’s also is why women find themselves targeted by victim blaming and have every little thing they do and say and wear policed to death by our society. Because they should have known better, and because they were wrong for forgetting the basic human nature of your average man. They were supposed to understand how guys will take their dressing sexy or going on a date with them or flirting with them, or making out with them etc, as an invitation to sex, which is where the whole mixed messages nonsense finds it basis.

        Of course I vehemently disagree with those povs, but I see them and hear them all the freaking time from other parents I encounter while parenting my own. What (I think) Mac is talking about is digging into these misconceptions, and taking apart all the ev-psych bs, and deconstructing gendered expectations in order to get us to a point where we as a society and as individuals can give them the kick in the ass they deserve. Only then will we be able to stop raising our girls to be victims and raise our boys to be victimizers.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm |

          What (I think) Mac is talking about is digging into these misconceptions, and taking apart all the ev-psych bs, and deconstructing gendered expectations in order to get us to a point where we as a society and as individuals can give them the kick in the ass they deserve. Only then will we be able to stop raising our girls to be victims and raise our boys to be victimizers.

          LOLA I LOVE YOU. LOLA. I LOVE YOU.

          I love you so much I would shovel your driveway in the winter (and for me that’s saying a lot).

        2. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl December 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |

          Yay! I thought I heard you right.

          Btw, we recently moved into a corner house, which means we have a whole lot of sidewalk for shoveling. The only upshot is we don’t have a driveway (we’re still like city folk that way, you access the garage from the alley.)

          Feel free to come by and shovel whenever. And feel free to send any unwanted cupcakes my way too.

        3. Kristen J.
          Kristen J. December 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

          Crap. The threading is broken.

      4. Jadey
        Jadey December 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm |

        Okay, I’ve collected myself a little bit in order to try entering this conversation again, and I just want to throw in my 2p on this because I love you both and feel like I could actually have a sane conversation with you guys:

        1) A good chunk of rapists are doing it because they *want* to but *also* because they know they can get away with it because of rape culture. The best way to deal with these people (because catching and incarcerating them all is a terrible, expensive, and totally inefficient way of doing it, as we have already proven repeatedly in the field) is to make it incredibly difficult for them to get away with by removing the social narratives which they use to help cover their actions and by eliminating the social circumstances which provide them with vulnerable targets (i.e., systems which promote poverty, racism, ableism, sexism, and anything else that disempowers and isolates certain groups of people, because it is on isolation and disempowerment that these rapists thrive). This is also where having other people call out, challenge, and block abusive/predatory behaviour. These individuals may still want to rape but can be deterred, especially if you take away the dark crevices where they like to hide (i.e., fucked-up social narratives about sex).

        2) Another chunk of rapists are doing it not so much because they want to *rape* in and of itself, but because they want something and rape is an effective way for them to get it – a release of anger, an expression of power, a means of revenge, a sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy, etc., etc. They might be calculating or they might be impulsive – it depends on who they are/their exact situation. They might overlap with the first group too – maybe they started raping for one reason, got away with it, and then simply preferred it. They may have also constructed elaborate justifications for why what they are doing *isn’t* rape, because it doesn’t fit whatever narrative there is around what rape is in their minds, so again they are using the cover of fucked-up sex discourses. With these people, it is possible to A) get them to accept that what they did was rape and B) to get them to find other ways of dealing with/meeting whatever reason it was they had for raping someone (e.g., if they are feeling angry and disempowered and taking it out on their girlfriend whenever she doesn’t want to have sex). These guys aren’t in it for the rape, but they are motivated to ignore women’s consent and to ignore that this makes them rapists, which are both things that can be changed. (Without excusing or condoning or justifying their fucked-up ‘reasons’, obviously.)

        3) A small number (I don’t actually think this is a huge proportion of rapists, honestly, though I do think it’s very possible to occur) of rapists have so little understanding of anything beyond the mainstream rape-positive narratives and so little critical thinking ability/motivation (which describes pretty much 80% of the teens/undergrads I know, judging by the essays they hand in) that when they follow those rape-positive narratives to the letter (thinking all the while that these are scripts about sex) they rape someone. They do not think of what they did as rape, they do not want to be rapists, they are horrified when they realize/are told that they are (and may very well get defensive and deny it), and they are probably the most amenable to having their behaviour challenged and changed compared to the other groups. This is the group I could see myself as potentially joining when I was a teen and exploring my sexuality, because I didn’t know what consent was or how to get it and was way more wrapped up in, “How do I get my naked body next to his/her naked body??” to stop and think about “What else might be going on here?” (And, again, this wouldn’t have made me less of a rapist if it had happened.)

        There’s actually a chapter in Yes Means Yes which first helped me come to grips with this (I don’t have it on hand to double-check, but I’m pretty sure it was Brad Perry’s “Hooking Up With Healthy Sexuality: The Lessons Boys Learn (and Don’t Learn) About Sexuality, and Why a Sex-Positive Rape Prevention Program Can Benefit Everyone Involved”) which talked through the author’s adolescent memory of nearly raping a girl by following through the actions he had been told were necessary for sex by his older peers (brothers?) – take her out somewhere, give her lots to drink, and then “have sex” with her (i.e., rape her). This was a MUCH better exploration than Royse’s (which I agree described someone who *did* know better but chose not to think that way), but I don’t agree that this type of rape needs to be dismissed, because it can and does happen.

        4) A small number of rapists are doing it because they want to *and* they don’t care if they get away with it or not and no amount of social stigma/supervision will deter them. We’re actually pretty good at catching this very small group of individuals because they don’t care about hiding themselves and have pretty much given up on (or are in some way incapable of) being socialized, which makes them stand out in a crowd. Long-term up-close-and-personal supervision is pretty much the only way of dealing with this, but this is much more cost-appropriate on such a small scale.

        So basically, I see four general categories of rapist (which could be over-lapping for any given individual): A) empathy deficit (they want it and only care about themselves); B) motivational deficit (they *could* know and they *could* care, but they choose to put their own needs first); C) cognitive deficit (as in, they don’t understand what they are doing for their motivation and empathy to actually kick in. But, unless there is a literal cognitive developmental issue going on (which is an *enormously* small population of rapists, but it does happen), the applicability of this category loses all traction for me past a certain developmental stage/age, because there is no excuse for not knowing better. Also, this still doesn’t make them less culpable – it just suggests a different strategy for changing their behaviour); D) self-control/executive function deficit (which may include an empathy and cognitive deficit as well, and absolutely includes a motivational deficit by definition because motivated activities *require* some measure of self-direction and control).

        Depending on what the prevailing deficit(s) is/are, you would take a different approach to making sure that person doesn’t rape again. What doesn’t differ is the harm that’s been done to the victim and the reprehensibleness of the act.

        But if you don’t assume that all rapists have an empathy deficit (which is the hardest to change internally because you need some kind of empathy in the first place to want to change), it makes much more sense why there is also research showing that convicted rapists who go through rehabilitation programs (especially if those rehabilitation programs are based on sound, well-validated principles of rehabilitation) often show differences in rates of committing new sex offenses compared to rapists who did not receive any systematic intervention attempts.

        I’m not making this research up. Here’s two recent meta-analytic studies I found:

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11292-004-6466-7?LI=true

        The article reports a meta-analysis on controlled outcome evaluations of sexual offender treatment. From 2,039 documents published in five languages, 69 studies containing 80 independent comparisons between treated and untreated offenders fulfilled stepwise eligibility criteria (total N = 22,181). Despite a wide range of positive and negative effect sizes, the majority confirmed the benefits of treatment. Treated offenders showed 6 percentage points or 37% less sexual recidivism than controls. Effects for violent and general recidivism were in a similar range. Organic treatments (surgical castration and hormonal medication) showed larger effects than psychosocial interventions. However, this difference was partially confounded with methodological and offender variables. Among psychological programs, cognitive–behavioral approaches revealed the most robust effect. Nonbehavioral treatments did not demonstrate a significant impact. There was no outcome difference between randomized and other designs, however, group equivalence was associated with slightly larger effects. Various other moderators had a stronger impact on effect size (e.g., small sample size, quality of outcome reporting, program completion vs. dropout, age homogeneity, outpatient treatment, and authors’ affiliation with the program). More differentiated, high-quality evaluations are needed to clarify: What works for whom under which circumstances?/blockquote>

        http://cjb.sagepub.com/content/36/9/865.short

        The effectiveness of treatment for sexual offenders remains controversial, even though it is widely agreed that certain forms of human service interventions reduce the recidivism rates of general offenders. The current review examined whether the principles associated with effective treatments for general offenders (risk-need-responsivity; RNR) also apply to sexual offender treatment. Based on a meta-analysis of 23 recidivism outcome studies meeting basic criteria for study quality, the unweighted sexual and general recidivism rates for the treated sexual offenders were lower than the rates observed for the comparison groups (10.9%, n = 3,121 vs. 19.2%, n = 3,625 for sexual recidivism; 31.8%, n = 1,979 vs. 48.3%, n = 2,822 for any recidivism). Programs that adhered to the RNR principles showed the largest reductions in sexual and general recidivism. Given the consistency of the current findings with the general offender rehabilitation literature, the authors believe that the RNR principles should be a major consideration in the design and implementation of treatment programs for sexual offenders.

        And one on the different characteristics which predict more or less re-offending (because, seriously, not all rapists are the same):

        http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=search.displayRecord&uid=2005-16405-017

        A meta-analysis of 82 recidivism studies (1,620 findings from 29,450 sexual offenders) identified deviant sexual preferences and antisocial orientation as the major predictors of sexual recidivism for both adult and adolescent sexual offenders. Antisocial orientation was the major predictor of violent recidivism and general (any) recidivism. The review also identified some dynamic risk factors that have the potential of being useful treatment targets (e.g., sexual preoccupations, general self-regulation problems). Many of the variables commonly addressed in sex offender treatment programs (e.g., psychological distress, denial of sex crime, victim empathy, stated motivation for treatment) had little or no relationship with sexual or violent recidivism.

        (Meta-analysis means combining a lot of outcome studies together to see if there is a real, consistent effect, regardless of fluctuations in individual studies.)

        Obviously there is no perfect rehabilitation nor will every rapist be affected by such attempts, but if we’re going to talk about research, let’s talk about *all* the research. There’s at least justification in the literature for *trying*.

        So, as I’ve been saying, Lisak’s predator theory is a good theory. It definitely does a good job of describing the predators who are least likely to be caught and incarcerated, which is a limitation of some of the other research. But it doesn’t cover all rapists across the board and I just don’t see the value in erasing the experiences of victims whose rapists doesn’t fit that paradigm (because, *SERIOUSLY*, why do that?) and giving up on reducing rape. Even for those individuals who still don’t care enough to stop, we *can* still make it much harder for them to get away with it if we chip away at the pro-rape narratives. And I honestly think that the motivation-deficit group are a comparable problem to the empathy-deficit group, given that empathy deficit is a fairly low base-rate characteristic in most populations (it *is* much higher among sex offenders, which is why I would never suggest over-looking that group. But it’s not *all* of them.)

        Basically, I do not want to see any kind of dominant “This is who rapists are” narrative, even if we’re replacing a statistically less likely one (i.e., category D – the uncontrollable urge rapist) with a statistically more common one (category A – empathy-less douchebag predator), because all that leads to is giving rapists another way to hide themselves. Let’s focus on the act of rape when defining it, and the different reasons/motivations for rape when trying to change rapists. All rape is rape. One rapist doesn’t have to be all rapists in order for a rape to count.

        1. Jadey
          Jadey December 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |

          Hmm, I have a very long comment in mod, but in keeping with today’s theme, I also fucked up the block quotes!

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm |

          Jadey, that’s perfect.

          Like Kristen, I don’t see the distinction IRL between #1 and #2 but it makes sense to me to distinguish them that way for clarity’s sake.

          Basically, I do not want to see any kind of dominant “This is who rapists are” narrative, even if we’re replacing a statistically less likely one (i.e., category D – the uncontrollable urge rapist) with a statistically more common one (category A – empathy-less douchebag predator), because all that leads to is giving rapists another way to hide themselves. Let’s focus on the act of rape when defining it, and the different reasons/motivations for rape when trying to change rapists. All rape is rape. One rapist doesn’t have to be all rapists in order for a rape to count.

          THISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS THIS THIS THISTHISTHISTHISTHIS

          this

  60. If We Are All Online, How Do We Do The Work Online? | Julie Gillis

    […] all this, and a Feministe piece that took down both GMP pieces about the admitted rapist, there have been arguments, twitter stalking and slamming, accusations, […]

  61. Boycott the Good Men Project
    Boycott the Good Men Project December 13, 2012 at 11:03 am |

    […] Feministe, What In Holy Hell Is This? and And Just When You Think The Good Men Project Couldn’t Get Any Worse. […]

  62. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm |

    Yes, and I think mac and I agree on the idea that such a deconstruction is beneficial. We disagree about whether the idea that “Rapists don’t know what they are doing” is a valuable line of research or whether its a red herring. Or at least that’s where I think we disagree.

    1. Jadey
      Jadey December 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

      I think we’re capable of researching all of these things simultaneously. I linked above to some research on rehabilitation programming which specifically references the importance of doing more sophisticated studies so we can find out what works for whom, and a big part of that is figuring out the nuances of group differences.

      I’m not personally arguing that the “didn’t know” group is a *big* group, just that they shouldn’t be completely ignored.

      1. Kristen J.
        Kristen J. December 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm |

        That’s true and we could research simultaneously. And I agree not all rapists fit the description I provided above (hence the whole “vast majority” qualification). But let me ask you a question, if a study came out tomorrow saying that X caused that small percentage of misunderstanding rapists to commit rape what do you think would happen next? Would we see fewer rapes as people stopped doing X? Or would we see more rapists using X to avoid responsibility for rape?

        How does that match up with what happened when those studies about the incidence of alcohol usage by rapists?

        1. Jadey
          Jadey December 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm |

          Oh, I’m not denying that rapists will use categories of rape as a cover for explaining their own rapes. Hence my ending to my comment above (which really covers my whole view on all of this):

          Basically, I do not want to see any kind of dominant “This is who rapists are” narrative, even if we’re replacing a statistically less likely one (i.e., category D – the uncontrollable urge rapist) with a statistically more common one (category A – empathy-less douchebag predator), because all that leads to is giving rapists another way to hide themselves. Let’s focus on the act of rape when defining it, and the different reasons/motivations for rape when trying to change rapists. All rape is rape. One rapist doesn’t have to be all rapists in order for a rape to count.

          I want to make it impossible for rapists to use *any* explanation as a justification for their actions. The closest I would come is the extremely small minority of someone who has clearly detectable brain damage/dysfunction that makes it physically impossible to control themselves (and it should be noted that most people with such dysfunction are *still* not rapists, though it does happen, with the victims most often being fellow residents in a facility with inadequate supervision by the people responsible) and in that case it’s extremely difficult to both convincingly fake such severe brain dysfunction while simultaneously maintaining any kind of social autonomy.

          I’m not 100% certain on the vast majority comment, as well. I don’t think any data we have speaks to that. A very large proportion, I will grant you, but every single study I have ever seen on this topic only deals with population subsets. Mainly middle-class, college-attending rapists are not the ultimate sample any more than mainly socioeconomically-disadvantaged and incarcerated rapists are. Plus, I think Lisak’s research captures both the empathy-deficit *and* motivational-deficit rapists without a clear way of always distinguishing between them, because those are both two very hard things to measure which overlap with each other as well. (I will argue they aren’t synonymous though – which I think makes sense if you read my comment above.)

          But that is why I think we should define rape based on the actions themselves and not on whether these actions were committed by a rapist and whatever reason they have or claim to have. I think that’s fairly uncontroversial when you get down to it, but that it’s getting all mixed up in the desire to counter one rape narrative with another one. I think we need to get out of the rape narrative business altogether because it’s just a moving target at this point. (Or accept multiple rape narratives with a key defining feature of them involving rape.)

        2. Kristen J.
          Kristen J. December 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

          To be clear, the model of rapist I was attempting to describe is not just box 1, but boxes 1 & 2 from your list. I don’t distinguish between a person wanting to commit rape because they like it from people who commit rape to achieve some other emotional goal. I think both are an exercise in dominance, but I can see why the difference could be valuable in a clinical setting. But basically everything I was trying to communicate on this topic was said better by Thomas in the post that went up a little while ago.

    2. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl December 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

      Well, I think it’s more subtle than some rapists don’t know what they are doing. I think it’s more like, some rapists aren’t sure if this is a bright line rule or a fuzzy one and in testing that out end up violating others personal boundaries and potentially even raping them.

      Specifically, I’m talking about the combination of raising boys into grown men to believe that they are naturally inclined towards being violent and aggressive, and that they are not able to control their own sexuality, and then throwing in the expectations that women should understand that what they are doing/saying/wearing will be perceived as an invitation to sexual activity. When all of that stuff gets thrown in together (which is what Jadey is referring to in her scenarios 1 and 3 above) it enables rape culture and provides people with an opportunity to rape someone else.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 9:56 pm |

        Lola, seriously, stop reading my mind, you’re starting to creep me out. :P

  63. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm |

    Hey, guys, in general…since the thread’s deadish except for us, and it’s really hard to track if anyone’s said anything because of other threads being active, does anyone feel like moving the conversation over to my journal or something maybe? Anon comments are enabled and all and I could start a new thread easy.

    1. Jadey
      Jadey December 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm |

      I would follow another post on your blog, but I don’t know if I have much to contribute now that I’ve said my piece, which was really more of a pent-up “No, this is what I meant to say!!” after all that happened on the previous thread. But then again, I’m always surprising myself.

    2. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl December 14, 2012 at 8:03 am |

      I’m game.

      My internet service was down for a good part of yesterday, so I didn’t get to post much to finish my thoughts on this topic. Would I just follow the link through your name above, Mac?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |

        Hi Lola,

        The thread’s up now; if you click through to my blog, it’s the first public post you’ll see below the “sticky” one.

  64. Links 12/14/12 | Mike the Mad Biologist
    Links 12/14/12 | Mike the Mad Biologist December 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm |

    […] one of our own” The Actual Cost Of Washington’s Clever Debt Deal The Agricultural Cliff And just when you thought the Good Men Project couldn’t get any worse… Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponRedditDiggEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  65. The Bad Men Project « notiemblo
    The Bad Men Project « notiemblo December 15, 2012 at 9:42 am |

    […] And just when you thought the Good Men Project couldn’t get any worse…. […]

  66. “Legitimate Rape” and the Good Men Project

    […] are portraying rapists as victims while simultaneously turning blame on the actual victims. This is bad.What I want to do here is place what the Good Men Project is doing in a bit of historical context. […]

  67. Anne
    Anne December 16, 2012 at 11:55 am |

    I work in the field of sexual violence prevention and education. This topic of drug or alcohol-facilitated sexual assault comes up OFTEN. This discussion fueled by the GMP could have been laid to rest if the staff there had drawn on the knowledge and research of the field, like David Lisak who does a brilliant job clarifying the link between “hook-up culture”, drugs, alcohol, and sexual assault.

    When this comes up when I’m with high schoolers or college kids, I acknowledge that yes- it’s possible for people to have sex while drunk and for both people to walk away feeling like it was consensual. But I always shift the conversation to the idea that it’s this atmosphere and these beliefs that “things get indecipherable” that allows rapists to fly under the radar. I think as prevention educators, it’s our duty to question this culture and ask how well it’s serving us. Because if we don’t question this and encourage others to question it, we end up at the dangerous conclusion that a certain amount of rape is normal.

    I also wonder what that young man left out of his story. What did he ignore or pretend not to notice? It troubles me that he does not seem to understand nor care that he needs to have even the slightest bit of awareness of his potential partner’s body signals, level of intoxication, etc. This man did not seem to learn anything from his crimes. He still doesn’t seem to think consent is terribly important.

    By publishing his article, GMP perpetuates the stereotype that rape is the price of sexual freedom and partying. They are unraveling 20+ years of good research and framing.

  68. Occasional Link Roundup » Brute Reason
    Occasional Link Roundup » Brute Reason December 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm |

    […] Here are two great pieces explaining the controversy surrounding the Good Men Project and their rape apologism. […]

  69. Good Men, Rape Apology and Why Snooki is Not the Problem | So Pop Culture

    […] that “we want to make very clear that we do not agree with is conclusions”. After the feminist blogosphere blew a gasket about the already-deteriorating site’s rape apologism, Joanna Schroeder wrote […]

  70. Friday FREAK OUT! Nice-Guy-Gate « Fearless Sexuality Educator

    […] Feministe: And just when you thought the Good Men Project couldn’t get any worse, by Jill […]

  71. The Kerfuffle, Part II (NoH) | Feminist Critics

    […] I’ve been struggling a bit to put together this Part II of my response to the Jill/Feministe/The Good Men Project brouhaha over TGMP’s two recent articles on rape (here and here), which included a ‘rapist’s perspective’ on the issue of consent. Jill Filipovic (and Yes Means Yes contributor Thomas Macaulay Millar) posted several responses, here, here, here, and here. […]

  72. Masculinity, Identity and Controversy — The Good Men Project

    […] press this essay has received hasn’t been directed at the author, but at The Good Men Project. (Feministe calls TGMP “a men’s-rights misogynist hellhole.”) Joanna Schroeder, Senior Editor of The […]

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