ONTD Political

"I didn't know exactly what rape was."

8:53 pm - 03/18/2013
When asked to explain why he didn't stop the gang rape of an unconscious sixteen-year-old girl, Evan Westlake said: "Well, it wasn't violent. I didn't know exactly what rape was. I always pictured it as forcing yourself on someone."

A detailed story of how the two rapists, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, weren't forcing themselves on the girl they raped can be found here. The story is very graphic, so again, trigger warning.

I have no doubt in my mind that these young men did not know they were raping that girl. Note: I'm not excusing them from raping her. I'm sure, I'm 100% sure, that they knew they were doing something very, very wrong. Maybe in their heads they thought, "We're taking advantage of this drunk girl," or "She's not saying yes, but she's not saying no, either." But I have no doubt that they didn't realize what they were engaged in was rape.

Because we don't teach young men what rape is; we want to protect their right to rape.

In our culture we teach girls all about rape. We teach them about how to dress, how to carry self defense items, how to scream "fire!" instead of "rape!" because no one will respond otherwise and what the shit does that say about us?! We live in a culture where, until as recently as the 1990's, it was considered impossible for a husband to rape his wife, because as his wife, he owned her, and could do with her whatever he liked. After all, she'd consented at least once, right? Consider the fact that the ridiculously small number of rape cases that actually go to trial end up focusing not on whether or not the rapist raped the victim, but whether or not the victim has masturbated in the past, what sexual partners she's had, and if she orgasmed during the attack. And god help you if you're a lesbian or a trans woman, because that opens up all new avenues of humiliation for you in reporting and seeking justice for your rape. The prosecution can paint you as a deviant and a sex fiend to scare the jury into deciding that you were probably asking for it or, worse, deserved to be rape because you didn't conform to societal expectations. In rape cases, our justice system puts the victim, not the perpetrator, on trial.

Our media, and our rape apologists, try to narrow rape down to such specific details that there is probably no single case of actual rape that can fit the definitions they've come up with. Is it rape if she's too hammered to say no? No! Because she didn't say no! Is it rape if a woman's husband rapes her? No, because she married him! That's consent! Is it rape if she was on a date with him first? No, because she was alone with him, she should have expected to let him have sex with her!

Smarter people define rape as any act of nonconsensual sex or sexual touching. But there we hit another snag.

We don't teach people what "consent" means. We say, "No means no!" but think about that a second. It means that just not saying "no" is equivalent to a yes. So, by defining "consensual sex" as "sex where a woman has not said 'no,'" we're saying, "All women are open for business, every moment of every day, and you are allowed to stick your fingers in them, grope them on the dance floor, yell sexual comments at them, etc. unless she clearly and forcefully states otherwise after you have already begun doing this." Unless you're walking down the street shouting "No!" at every man you meet, you're consenting. That's what "No means no!" has hammered into our collective consciousness.


Let's say I'm a guy at a party, and I start having sex with a passed out girl. She doesn't wake up to say no, so I'm not raping her, by our cultural gold standard definition. If she wakes up and says no, I'll stop, and that will make me not a rapist. Does stopping somehow remove the three or so minutes I was penetrating her when she hadn't said "yes?" We seem to accept that yes, this makes the rapist not a rapist, just because he stopped when told "no." Somehow, I find this definition of "consent" dubious.

And we don't tell anyone what rape really is. When I was a teenager, I got told all the time not to go into the bad part of town, or I would get raped. I shouldn't walk alone at night by my favorite coffee shop, because there are lots of college guys over there and I would get raped. I actually started to try and list all the scenarios that have been described to me over the years, and I realized how long a list that would be. Too long for this blog post. Suffice it to say, every one of these scenarios involved a stranger coming up to me on the street and dragging me into an alley or a parked car.

I was also told not to get too drunk, or a man could "take advantage" of me. I shouldn't dress a certain way, because a man "might not be able to help himself." I shouldn't "tease" boys by making out with them if I wasn't prepared to go all the way, because I might find myself in a position where I "had to." Seriously, this is this shit women of my generation were told about rape. And I wish women of the next generation were being told differently, but it's just the same old shit in pseudo-empowered packaging. We're still telling young people "no means no," without ever discussing whether "yes" should be a part of the equation.

Veering into personal storyland a moment, let me tell you about the time I was almost raped. I was at a friend's sister's wedding out of town, and we were staying at a hotel for the whole weekend. At this wedding was a family friend, a man I'll call George. That is not his name, it's just what I'll call him. George was in his early thirties, I was fifteen. I thought it was so fucking cool that George would get drinks from the bar for me, and with his encouragement I got hammered super fast. Then George was like, "I have weed back in my room, do you want to go smoke?" I was fifteen. Of course I wanted to be high and drunk, and yeah, I kind of got the feeling that we were going to fool around. Leaving aside the fact that I was a minor and he should not have been down for that, I was kind of down for it, and I thought, well, why the hell not? I'll go back to this guy's hotel room.

Long story short, I ended up blacking out. Now, what a lot of people might not realize is, you can black out several times in what feels like rapid succession. Your vision goes all hazy, you start to feel like you're falling asleep, and suddenly it's a few minutes later or whatever and you're like, "WTF, did I get abducted by aliens? Because I just lost time." The first time I lost consciousness, George and I were sitting on different beds. When I regained consciousness, he was sitting by me, with his hand on my skirt. He was asking me questions, but I couldn't really answer. I didn't feel good. I think I might have thrown up. But I knew I was in big trouble, with no way of defending myself. I kept slipping out. At one point, when I came back from blackoutsville, he had his hand up my skirt. I tried to push him off me, but I didn't have the coordination required.

The next time I faded off and woke up, I knew things were serious, because he was unbuckling his belt. If I nodded off again, he was going to rape me. But what I wasn't thinking at that moment was, "I'm going to get raped." It was, "If I pass out, he's going to have sex with me." I am incredibly thankful that I was able to pull myself out of my intoxication enough to say, "I'm going to throw up," because that's what got him off of me. I got up, stumbled to the door, and left the room entirely. He tried to follow me a bit to get me to come back, saying I should come back in and sit down until I felt better, but when a hotel employee came off the elevator, he turned right around and left me in the hallway, too fucked up to knew where I was going.

When I told my friend's mom what had happened, she advised me to just stay away from George from now on, and to not get drunk. After all, I wasn't supposed to have been drinking, anyway. I was only fifteen. And I knew better than to go back to some guy's hotel room. But the one thing she didn't do was assign blame to George. In fact, she suggested I not "make a big deal," because it might affect George negatively. And I agreed, because in hindsight I realized I had never actually said "no." I thought I had consented.

For years I walked around thinking that what had happened to me was no big deal, I was just a slut and I messed up and got in a scary situation. Now that I'm older, I realize what bullshit that was that I blamed myself, that my friend and her mom blamed me. And I realize, after hearing that both the rapists, the bystanders, and the victim in Steubenville "didn't know exactly" what rape was, that they probably didn't know. Because no matter how many strides we might make with rape education or awareness, we still pull the same bullshit victim blaming every single time an incident like this happens. We rally around the rapist, we worry about how his actions are going to affect him negatively, and we worry about that first, before we bother to think, "Hey... what about the victim?" Since we've already made him the victim, and there can't be two, we decide that he's the victim of this horrible thing that was done to him by the slutty, nasty girl who got drunk when she shouldn't have, wore clothes that turned him on, and gosh, he just couldn't help himself.

It's not men, by the way, who I consider the worst perpetrators of this behavior. I hear it so often from women, it's not funny, and when women say it, it's almost worse. We're giving men permission to blame us for rape now? Last night on twitter I saw an erotic romance author say over and over that she wasn't victim blaming, but maybe wearing skimpy clothes is the problem. And she argued over and over, with multiple people, that she wasn't blaming the victim, but preaching personal responsibility. Personal responsibility? Over another person's actions? Explain to me how that works, world, because I don't get it. And I definitely had hoped that someone working in an industry that's supposed to be sex-positive would fucking know better than to spout off bullshit like that.

Another problem is the way we talk about rape. For years, we've been saying that rape isn't about sex, it's about violence and power. When those two guys raped the girl in Steubenville, most likely they didn't do it out of a conscious desire to inflict their will on her, or overpower her. That's not to say that they weren't fitting the "it's about power" definition. Let's get real, they were small town football players, they definitely reaped the benefits of male privilege in their community. But what little they've learned about rape has probably been the same thing women learn about rape: that's it's about power, that a man will be violent while raping you, and that if she doesn't actually say "no," then she's consenting.

Some rape is openly intended as an act of violence and power and hatred. There are hundreds of scenarios in which the perpetrator knows, completely, that what he's doing is a willful subjugation of the woman in an attempt to permanently disempower her, hundreds of scenarios that your average person on the street would call "rape." But if a woman isn't beaten within an inch of her life, when the rapist isn't hurling vicious slurs at her, everyone seems to get all confused about what rape really is.

In a reddit thread a few months ago, men shared stories of times they had raped women. Some of them had argued that because they weren't violent, and because they didn't think of it as a means to overpower the woman, it didn't count as rape. "I was just really horny and didn't feel like stopping," was one of the most cited excuses as to why it wasn't rape. Because they didn't hit the women or knock them out, because they didn't roofie them or slap them or intend to do anything other than get their rocks off, they weren't raping. Because rape isn't about sex, it's about power, right?

The Steubenville boys probably didn't think, "We're doing this to permanently disempower her." They probably thought, "We're horny, and she's not saying no." Is there a power component there? Oh, absolutely. That they believed they were entitled to a woman's body without her express permission is a symptom of the male privilege that is keeping women subjugated. But until we can get our culture as a whole to recognize that male privilege exists, then maybe we should be shifting the focus on how we approach rape education and the issue of consent.

From here on out, why not accept that teaching "no means no" and "rape is about power, not sex" are not working? Why not change up our attitudes a bit, and suggest to our young men and women that the absence of refusal isn't the same thing as consent, and that even if you're not violent or you don't intend to get off on the power component of the rape you're committing, it's still rape. That wearing someone down ("ninety-nine 'no's and one 'yes' is still yes!") is still rape. That even if you can't be prosecuted, you're still a rapist, and that's something that is horrible to be.

I'm at a real point of despair here, when I'm seeing women and men defend the male right to rape, and denying that male privilege leads to entitlement over women's bodies, while not realizing what they're doing. If we need to change the way we talk about rape, then let's do that. Let's tell our young women "it's rape if you didn't say yes," instead of, "it's not rape if you don't say no." Let's tell our young men the same thing, and tell them that yes, some rapes are driven by a desire for sexual pleasure. That if they put their penis in an unconscious person's orifices, it's rape whether they wanted to humiliate the person, dominate them, or just get off. It's rape, no matter what their motivation.

I know a lot of feminist disagree with me (and I'm open to disagreement, because disagreement breeds discussion and I've learned a lot from reader comments on this blog), because approaching rape as a sexual crime instead of a crime of power and domination is ultimately denying the male privilege component. But we're living in a culture where men will passionately argue that they're the victims of feminism out of control, rather than blowback from patriarchal oppression. By allowing ourselves to define rape as only a violent crime, only motivated by a sick desire to inflict the rapist's will over their victim, we're giving millions of rapists permission to continue raping, and we're breeding more rapists. Until we can force every man to understand that women are not responsible for the actions of their rapist, we might just have to change how we're teaching them not to rape.
Source
encircleme 19th-Mar-2013 11:53 am (UTC)
I agree with this 100%, and I've had to listen to someone brag about how they raped someone in college with absolutely no idea that it was rape.

Wait, I definitely don't agree with the bit calling women the worst perpetrators of this at all, but I agree with the rape isn't always about power thing and that a lot of men have the idea that rape is a violent crime every time. Hell, that's what I thought until it happened to me and it wasn't like what I had been told to look out for at all.

Edited at 2013-03-19 11:57 am (UTC)
the_physicist tw rape19th-Mar-2013 12:04 pm (UTC)
I'm sure I read a study somewhere that showed that rapists did know exactly what they were doing, they just didn't want to use the word 'rape'. They identified all of this stuff as 'non-consensual sex' or the like, they just shied away from the word itself when talking about their own actions. They also stated in the study that they know that rape is non-consensual sex I think.

So I dunno. Interesting article, but I think rapists do know. They just go into defensive denial mode which they have heard others use too, they don't come up with all the words they use to defend themselves out of thin air.

We often try to excuse our abusers' behaviour that they couldn't possibly have fully known what they were doing. I think that's something I have done too. But I don't believe that any more. I think that was just part of rape culture that made me think that way.

So I'm not too keen on this article for personal reason.

On teaching everyone more about rape and rape culture, making it visible, absolutely. Of course I agree with that.

Too much to talk about everything here, but on the last point. You are still dominating someone and forcing sex on them if no 'physical violence' was involved. And I struggle to even write that, because I don't like the idea that victims should not say that rape wasn't violent if it didn't involve a beating. I mean... yeah, do I need to explain?

I've been beaten up and raped and also been raped without being beaten up. What affected me more? The first one, yeah, but shit, like, the doesn't make the other rape not rape just because it was date-rape. It just means that being beaten up is fucking terrifying in and of itself. It's not the same as being raped. I just... it's too early in the day I think. -_-

I know the author isn't saying that that isn't rape, but the author seems to be saying that the way rape is defined now is wrong, rather than the problem being with the rapists who try to wriggle their way out of taking responsibility and claim to be as dense as a pile of bricks. I don't think rape needs to be redefined as not having anything to do with dominance due to some asshole guys who scream 'oppression'.

And I also disagree that what is currently happening in the way people who fight against rape culture do so is not working because we aren't pampering to the feelings of the rapists. A higher incident of shitty comments in the media on rape doesn't mean the message needs to be reworded. If anything it means that finally it's on people's radar and the issue is starting to be discussed rather than shoved under the table as so much in the past.

I dunno. Feels I guess.
maynardsong Re: tw rape19th-Mar-2013 03:11 pm (UTC)
+1. I'm not a fan of this article either.
frelling_tralk 19th-Mar-2013 12:06 pm (UTC)
I agree with most of what the article is saying and a lot of men are very ignorant on women being unable to give consent when they are drunk, but I find it hard to believe that the boys at the party didn't know that it was rape when the girl is unconscious and being carried around, there were jokes on twitter from the people at the party which explicitly did talk about it as rape and made rape jokes. I think there was even someone on camera laughing about how she was getting raped (his words) in one of the rooms at that very moment.

Maybe they thought it would be easier for them to get away with because she was drunk and they could then claim afterwards that they didn't really think of it as rape, but I'm sure that everyone at the party knew that what was being done to someone passed out on the floor was not consensual and someone should put a stop to it
the_physicist 19th-Mar-2013 12:13 pm (UTC)
+1
underlankers 19th-Mar-2013 12:28 pm (UTC)
Maybe I'm too cynical for my own good, but getting someone drunk and doing.....that....doesn't exactly smack of consent to me and I say that as someone who has only learned these definitions from reading Internet sources about it. Having sex with someone who's drunk is quite arguably a form of rape even if the person really does say that they want it (for reference, when I use a qualifier like this, I really mean that it's only rape, period), as intoxication messes with people's heads regardless. This ain't the search for the Higgs Boson, here. And as far as someone who's unconscious? I think 'Shinji Ikari' any time I hear that and I would not touch someone who's unconscious. I mean there's no way to define that as anything other than rape.


Edited at 2013-03-19 12:31 pm (UTC)
blackjedii 19th-Mar-2013 12:30 pm (UTC)
see we can't talk about rape at school because anything that involves sex might lead to SEX BEFORE A RING AND BABIES AND JUNK

And people won't necessarily talk about rape at home because their darling son/daughter would never ever in a million years do a thing like that

And you can't talk about rape at college because people are ~young and stupid~ and some junk

so hey, America

let's talk about rape

Edited at 2013-03-19 12:34 pm (UTC)
ntensity 19th-Mar-2013 12:40 pm (UTC)
Yea this whole trial has made me have several conversations with my younger, high school and college aged brothers about consent and while it's not exactly a comfortable topic for siblings, I need to know they're educated about this. Not that I doubt my parents for one second, my father absolutely is a good example for them and taught them well, but shit without an explicit conversation about this topic, how do you ever really know what a young boy knows (or thinks he knows) about rape?
gargoylekitty 19th-Mar-2013 12:50 pm (UTC)
It's not men, by the way, who I consider the worst perpetrators of this behavior. I hear it so often from women, it's not funny, and when women say it, it's almost worse. We're now?

Can we just stop this?

No, it's not "giving men permission to blame us for rape". It's a fucked up security blanket. It's "I've been told not to do this time and time again and if I don't, like that other woman/girl, then I'll be safe". Sometimes it's even "I did that thing and was harmed, so it was my fault and if I don't do it again then I'll be safe in the future". To call that worse than the actions and words of those actively encouraging and committing the crime through the power of "I didn't know any better" is bullshit.

And, really, with how many rape jokes I heard in those two years where all my "friends" were guys I have a really hard time believing that men don't realize what they're doing is rape. Sure, studies have said they'll admit to rape only if you don't call it that, implying they don't realize what rape is, but I think it's more a case of not wanting to admit directly to a crime. It's like stabbing someone and when questioned about it they won't say they stabbed someone. The knife slipped! They didn't see them there! They came at them first and it just happened! See how sorry they are! They didn't mean to hurt anyone!

We're so used to this image of the bumbling hormone-driven manchild who can't cook or clean for himself and needs women to care for him that, as a society, we're actually willing to let them off with an excuse of "But she never actually said no". Sure, we need to re-evaluate how rape is discussed and taught about, less victim blaming being at the top of that list, but I don't think ignorance of what is rape is as huge an epidemic as this suggests.

Edited at 2013-03-19 01:14 pm (UTC)
muizenstaartje 19th-Mar-2013 03:11 pm (UTC)
the bumbling hormone-driven manchild

I so tired of "But she put herself drunk and dressed slutty in front of horny teenagers. It’s her own fault!"
Quick! Lock up all the horny people, because they are not in control of their actions and may force themselves upon others.
Quick! Lock up all the greedy people, because they are not in control of their actions and may scam or swindle some out of their money.
Quick! Lock up all the angry people, because they are not in control of their actions and may hit someone.
Quick! Lock up everybody with an emotion!

The horny teenager excuse is just an entitlement excuse. "I want sex when I’m horny and it’s all those frigid sluts’ fault for denying me sex!" Repeat it long enough and internalised misogyny will make women parrot it too.
muizenstaartje 19th-Mar-2013 01:26 pm (UTC)
Considering the amount of times those involved used the word "rape" in videos, text messages, nick names and online posts, I call BS on "they didn't know what rape was." They knew and they thought it was funny, making them cool and they assumed they could get away with it. Why? They probably got away with it before and other young men got away with it before them.
Even now people are piling up the excuses for them.

Why would anyone want to have sex that does not involve an interacting and willing partner to share intimacy with? Why the need to bribe, force, cheat, threaten, blackmail, coerce, pressure or drug someone to use them as an object to masturbate with? Because they think they are entitled to "sex" (=gratification of their own desires, no need for empathy for the other person) and if they don't get it, they take it.
Do something about the entitlement, the excuses and the fact they get away with it again and again.
hinoema 19th-Mar-2013 02:40 pm (UTC)
Considering the amount of times those involved used the word "rape" in videos, text messages, nick names and online posts, I call BS on "they didn't know what rape was."

THIS. This article is an great example of "typing out your ass". Like hell they didn't know it was rape when they called it just that.
aviv_b 19th-Mar-2013 01:39 pm (UTC)
Hmmmmmm....I'm calling bullshit. Anyone putting their fingers inside a person's body without their consent knows that it's wrong. I don't believe for a second that they didn't know exactly what they were doing. And maybe they wouldn't call it rape, but thinking that doesn't make it so.

And I bet if you asked them how they'd feel if someone put a few fingers up them without permission they would easily identify this as sexual assault/rape.

Sorry, not buying this.
starsinshapes 19th-Mar-2013 01:57 pm (UTC)
I always pictured it as forcing yourself on someone

Um...isn't that what you did? Force yourself on an unconscious girl? I just...I mean...what?


I guess they mean using force, but still....


Edited at 2013-03-19 01:57 pm (UTC)
antique_faery 19th-Mar-2013 01:58 pm (UTC)
Oh my word, comment twins!
antique_faery 19th-Mar-2013 01:58 pm (UTC)
I always pictured it as forcing yourself on someone.

...And how exactly is doing what you did to someone who's unconscious not forcing yourself on someone???...
randomcheeses 19th-Mar-2013 04:02 pm (UTC)
I think the logic is: No dick = no sex, no sex = no rape. Because rape is really just about sex /sarcasm
endlos_schleife 19th-Mar-2013 02:53 pm (UTC)
I think the problem is not necessarily that a lot of people don't know what rape is, but rather that they have no idea what consent is!

romp 19th-Mar-2013 07:18 pm (UTC)
excellent point
maynardsong 19th-Mar-2013 03:00 pm (UTC)
I don't agree at all that they didn't think of what they were doing as rape. They knew full well that it was rape.
ljtaylor 19th-Mar-2013 03:18 pm (UTC)
It is certainly a big problem that people still think rape is exclusively that thing that happens to girls who wander down dark alleyways in the wee small hours and is committed by a man unknown to them.

And oh boy has the Ohio case dragged out every possible cliché when it comes to shifting blame off the perpetrators themselves.

But yeah, this girl was unconscious. Unconscious = unable to give consent. No questions.
pennylane101 19th-Mar-2013 05:54 pm (UTC)
i'm sure the "rape crew" didn't know it was rape...
kittenmommy 19th-Mar-2013 05:58 pm (UTC)

Smarter people define rape as any act of nonconsensual sex or sexual touching.

I don't really agree with this. If some asshole grabs my boob on the subway, that's sexual assault, but not rape. Calling it rape (IMO) would cheapen the experience of everyone who has survived actual rape.

YMMV, of course.
romp 19th-Mar-2013 07:26 pm (UTC)
I agreed with the post, mainly, when I read it. When I was a teen, I didn't know there was anything illegal about sexual interference other than rape as an attack in which a woman was screaming and fighting--wrong but not illegal. I think that was the norm then (25-30 years ago) and it still is in many places. I was coming out of a macho ag culture--when I got to college, a lot of the people already knew this sort of thing.

But the comments here have shown me that the people involved in this case DID know what they were doing was illegal (hence all the rape jokes). And I have to remember that most kids are better educated on this sort of thing now...and have access to the internet! So thanks again for the learnings, ONTD_P.
zinnia_rose 19th-Mar-2013 07:42 pm (UTC)
Even if they didn't know it was rape (and I think it's pretty clear that they DID), I don't buy for a second that they didn't know it was wrong. And anyway, who cares? Since when has ignorance of the law been an excuse for breaking it? That doesn't work on speeding tickets, let alone actually assaulting someone.
girly123 19th-Mar-2013 07:52 pm (UTC)
Since when has ignorance of the law been an excuse for breaking it?

This is the thing that I'm not understanding about this entire ordeal. If they had been caught smoking weed and sent to juvie, people wouldn't hesitate to say that their actions are the cause of their imprisonment. The moment they drag a drunk girl around to parties and piss on her in public, though, the poor dears suddenly ~don't know any better~ and deserve a second chance.

Like, what?
nikoel 19th-Mar-2013 08:45 pm (UTC)
It's been awhile since I first heard the details of this case, but didn't the boys in question actually target this girl? She broke up with one of their buddies in the "rape crew" so they targeted her to get back at her for dumping their friend, who actually stayed out of the actual assault which required some "good" forethought on his part. I swore that's what I read in the Anonymous report. That would certainly indicate they knew what they were doing was rape and wrong.
nikoel 19th-Mar-2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
And remembering more details, they actually went to one party to find her, talked her into leaving with them to go somewhere else and they gave her a drugged drink causing her incapacitation in the car.
alexvdl 19th-Mar-2013 08:55 pm (UTC)
TW: Horrible, horrible fucked up conversation on the subject of rape.

I don't know if anyone follows John Scalzi, but he recently got into a "feud" with a fellow author after Scalzi posted a satirical piece thanking the conservatives who made it easier for him to rape. Vox Day, responded with complete and utter lack of understanding or social awareness and was so noxious that it lead Scalzi to setting up a fundraiser to donate thousands of dollars to charities that would piss off Vox Day. Like Emily's List, RAINN, NAACP, etc...

I occasionally drop into see what dumb ass shit Vox Day posts about and found a post that pretty much exemplifies why middle aged white dudes need to shut the fuck up on the subject.

Again, I wouldn't recommend reading this if you are easily triggered. The stupidity will infuriate you.

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2013/03/men-have-gone-berserk.html
violetrose 19th-Mar-2013 10:03 pm (UTC)
Isn't Vox Day some MRA shitwaffle? Hardly surprised by this, but God bless Scalzi for being inspired to set-up that fundraiser.
anus 19th-Mar-2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
I have tried to explain to a guy friend that women are taught from a young age to avoid going out alone at night, not to dress a certain way, etc instead of telling men not to do shit. He told me I was just 'spewing my feminist bullshit'. Rape culture angers me so fucking much I can't even. I had to stop reading about Steubenville stuff because I was so infuriated with how idiotic people are. Maybe my idea of 'common sense' is a lot higher than the average person's. You have to know that having sex with someone barely conscious isn't good, right? I can't.
hinoema 20th-Mar-2013 04:35 am (UTC)
He told me I was just 'spewing my feminist bullshit'.

Just because he doesn't understand something and doesn't care to, that doesn't mean it isn't true. Still, you aren't responsible for educating him if he can't do it himself.
natyanayaki 19th-Mar-2013 11:23 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's applicable to the Steubenville case, but I do think that there are instances in which it isn't so clear cut to the perpetrator and/or the victim if a rape has occurred. Like, (these are questions that IME victims/survivors -both male and female- will ask) is cajoling someone who is unsure rape? Isn't making out consent to receive a hand-job, to give oral? Isn't receiving a hand-job, consent to receiving oral? Aren't the above consent to vaginal/anal sex? Isn't an erection consent to any/all of the above, despite the boundaries that might have been set?

There's a huge education problem in our culture, and that adds to the communication problem in our culture. I'm not saying that education and communication will prevent all sex-related crimes, but it might help reduce the number to some degree? We just really need a nuanced discussion on misogyny and masculinity, will it ever happen?? :-/

Edited at 2013-03-19 11:24 pm (UTC)
slrcosmos 20th-Mar-2013 12:06 am (UTC)
In my women & law class, there was discussion about enthusiastic consent. That there needs to be affirmative consent for a sexual act to not be rape. Lack of consent does not mean consent. And I'm still angry that rape avoidance is taught to girls and women but almost nothing is taught to boys/men. There is a real problem with understanding consent, particularly when it comes to incapacitated people. I definitely think it ties in to the entitlement men think they have to the female body.
moonshaz 21st-Mar-2013 06:03 am (UTC)
All of this.
surealistic_des 20th-Mar-2013 02:48 am (UTC)
Not sure what to think about this article...just because it wasn't 'violent' he didn't see it as rape...? Call me cynical...

Although Evan didn't think it was rape, he should have known that it morally and fundamentally wrong. In which way, what so ever was touching an unconscious girl seen as 'ok'? Even if it wasn't violent, having them touch her inappropriately should have sent alarm bells to everyone.

In situations, where the victim didn't realise it was rape... E.g. The case of the music teacher and student. She didn't realise it was rape, because she thought the act was to help her with her vocal cords. Where to the music teacher obviously knew what he was doing and he took advantage of it. That constituted rape.

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