TIME Magazine is Wrong. Rape Culture Does Exist.

Photo by Anton Bielousov Photo by Anton Bielousov

Last week, over a million girls and women started trending the topic #RapeCultureIsWhen on Twitter in response to yet another article claiming that “rape culture” simply doesn’t exist.

For those who don’t know, rape culture is an environment in which rape is highly prevalent, normalized and excused by the society’s media, popular culture, and political figures. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification or women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, which creates a social culture that disregards women’s rights and their safety. Some examples include victim blaming (“She asked for it!”), tolerance of sexual harassment, rape jokes, inflating the statistics of false rape reports, trivializing sexual assaults, and teaching young girls “not to get raped” instead of teaching young men not to rape.

Sound familiar? That’s because we do, in fact, live in a rape culture but, for some reason, we just can’t seem to get some people to believe it.

In the controversial TIME Magazine piece on March 20, author Caroline Kitchens argues that “rape is certainly a serious problem, (but) there’s no evidence that it’s considered a cultural norm… Rape culture theory is doing little to help victims, but its power to poison the minds of young women and lead to hostile environments for innocent males is immense.”

Once again, we’re being told that the real victims of rape and rape culture are “innocent males” and that clearly, we’re all just making up this rape culture idea to get attention.

Hopefully, after you take a look at some of the millions of testimonials that were tweeted on in response, you’ll realize that rape culture is a real problem that does, in fact, exist, and that needs real attention.

Rape culture is real, folks—and we live in it. If you want to change that culture, you’ve got to stop laughing at rape jokes, stop wondering if a victim is telling the truth or not, stop glorifying rapists, and stop perpetuating popular culture that does. You have the power to end hundreds of nightmares, and all you have to do is say to the co-worker who makes rape jokes at the water cooler, “I don’t get it.  Can you explain?” and watch them drown.

Because rape culture isn’t funny, and we don’t have to live in it.

Have your own examples of Rape Culture?  Leave it in the comments, or tweet it and tag the @FeministCaucus Twitter page.

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  • robinottawa

    Blindingly obvious. Women have the right to go around naked if they choose. Like it or not (I wouldn’t like it), sex must be a negotiation. If we can’t do that, were just animals.

    • JoeBl

      I have news for you. Humans are animals.

      • privologist99

        But CIVILIZED animals (at least we are supposed to be, yes?)

        • JoeBl

          Thank you for one of the only civilized responses in this entire debacle!

          • privologist99

            Haha…well, I’m trying, anyway. It’s understandable that this matter is highly charged, politically and emotionally, and that people tend to become irrational, to personalize, etc. But we need to have this discussion in a meaningful way, if we hope to get anywhere on the matter. It can’t be just another “troll fest” online. There’s just too much of that already… :)

    • Pitchguest

      Yep. Walk around naked, dress however they like. Absolutely.

      But I’d advice not to walk around naked in a shady neighbourhood in the middle of the night.

      And if you feel like sticking hundred dollar bills to your forehead, which you can; same deal.

      • Isabella Mockery

        More male asshat comnents about blame the victim. Where the hell does justice and prison for rape start?

        Blaming women for what they wear instead of focusing on the male behavior of the actual rape is rape culture. It is thriving in the American military.

        Rape is being swept under the rug at almost all the major campuses in America as well. The fact that over 70% of women are abuse is a staggering statistic on what does happen to women. The opposite of that is that it is rare for any man to go to prison for rape

        • Pitchguest

          Not at all. Not victim blaming. Common sense.

          We give this advice because we don’t know the minds of other people. Should you be able to walk around naked in a shady neighbourhood in the middle of the night and not be assaulted? Yes. Could you? No. Probably not. Which is why I added the scenario about money stuck to your forehead. Should you? Absolutely. Could you? Not really.

          I mean, this is basically the same thing about taking precautions against robbery or theft. People don’t leave their wallets unattended in a crowded place. People lock their doors. Why? Precautions. Ideally, this shouldn’t be necessary, but we don’t live in an ideal world. And it’s not just advice for women. Men are twice as likely to be violently assaulted by strangers, so I would advice men, too, against going dark alleys or walking around places you don’t know at night – naked or otherwise, or with dollar bills attached to your face – as it’s just common sense.

          You might get hit. You might get robbed. You might get horribly murdered. Or raped. Whatever. It’s not victim blaming. It’s telling people the world isn’t perfect and how you need to be ready. And no, it doesn’t stop rape, or stabbings, or killings, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

        • edtastic

          You are trolling with that bogus 70% claim.

    • josluizsarmento

      The point is most of us can do that. An overwhelming majority of us.

      • Isabella Mockery

        When 70% of women have been sexually abuse in their life time. Your idea of the ‘overwhelming majority ‘ is false.

        • josluizsarmento

          What is almost certainly false is your statistic. Ludicrously so.

          • none of your beeswax

            It’s really not so ludicrous. Most rapes just don’t get reported. That does not mean they don’t happen.

          • JoeBl

            Do you realize you can justify any statistic with that kind of “reasoning?”

            I could equally say, “70% of people are accused falsely of rape. Most false rape allegations just don’t get reported. That does not mean they don’t happen.”

            There is no way to disprove this. Of course, I wouldn’t actually say it because there is no evidence for it.

  • Tracyindlps

    I was date-raped in high school and was told by the police to just go out with “nicer” guys.

    • Pitchguest

      Alright. Is this an indictment of society as a whole of accepting and encouraging rape as rape culture entails?

      • Isabella Mockery

        It is when that is the same thing that is told to women all over the country. When women are blamed for what they do and what they wear instead of the criminal. who did the rape to begin with.

        . Blaming women for what they wear instead of focusing on the male behavior of the actual rape is rape culture. It is thriving in the American military.

        Rape is being swept under the rug at almost all the major campuses in America as well. The fact that over 70% of women are abuse is a staggering statistic on what does happen to women. The opposite of that is that it is rare for any man to go to prison for rape

        • feral goldfish

          Evidence?

          • none of your beeswax

            The reason for the lack of evidence, would be the lack of rapes being reported. I know more women who have been raped, than women who haven’t. Date rape is rarely believed. We are told that we must have been giving mixed signals. I know someone who was told by the police that “rough sex” wasn’t rape, when she tried to report a date rape. My best friend didn’t believe me because I had a crush on the guy. So, I must have wanted it. Just because all of you men who are commenting, haven’t raped anyone, or know someone who has raped someone, does not mean it isn’t happening. And it’s happening more often than you would believe. Rape culture is real. You don’t realize it because you are not a woman who has to live with it.

          • feral goldfish

            Like someone pointed out up-thread, the plural of anecdote is not data. I know more people who have been sexually assaulted than haven’t also, and not one of them subscribes to the idea of “rape culture”. According to your methods, this becomes a successful refutation of your claims.

          • Mike

            What you’ve described is the very grey and difficult-to-navigate area of human sexuality – not a rape culture. You’ve also described the legally-tricky crime of rape, which is often hard to define and even harder to prosecute – not a rape culture. Your third hand anecdotes about police saying “rough sex” isn’t rape, etc, are far from proof of a rape culture. Even your first hand anecdotes, no matter how true and traumatic they are (and I think rape is one of the worst crimes there is and it’s terrible it happened to you), do not prove a rape culture. Your assertion that only women can see this mysterious rape culture logically fails as soon as you meet women who do not agree with you at all (and there are many – maybe most)

          • josluizsarmento

            Rape is rape. Not rape is not rape. Funny how often we hear the first statement and how rarely we hear its corollary. In whose political interest is it that the border between rape and not rape is so blurred? It isn’t mugging when somebody feels mugged, it isn’t robbery when somebody feels robbed – why should it be rape when somebody feels raped?

  • Twocontinents

    Of course rape culture exists. Look at South Africa, where shamefully our own President very publically got away with rape. The rape statistics there are unbelieably alarming – yet it is sadly an accepted fact. When society simply accepts that the rape of women, children, babies -yes, babies- and men is de rigeur because they have given up waiting for barbaric and patriarchal attitudes to change and have the police and government do anything about it – then, yes , rape culture exists.

    • Mike

      Can you show how our society “accepts the rape of women, children, babies and men”? Last I looked rape and pedophilia are horrific crimes. The point is that they are committed almost entirely by serial pedophiles and rapists who are immune to “rape culture” hysteria; they are serial criminals and an extremely small percentage of the population. Please provide some evidence that our society not only condones but encourages people to rape and molest their sisters, mothers, children, brothers, etc…

      • Leon O Morton

        Rape is a crime yet 90%+ perpetrators are still at liberty

        • Pitchguest

          Ev-i-dence.

          • Isabella Mockery

            The evidence is that 70% of all women are sexually assaulted in their life time. The vast majority of those rapes are ever reported because they are not taken seriously and the women is never taken seriously. Less than 10% of all rapes that are reported ever go to trial and about 2% of those are convicted.

            That is evidence, do your own research it is not a secret

          • feral goldfish

            No, it’s no secret that data can be massaged to say exactly what someone wants. As long as YOU continue to make assertions without evidence, I’LL continue to completely disregard whatever you say. Good day.

          • Pitchguest

            Err. 70%? I’ve heard statistics of 1 in 4 or 1 in 6, but over two thirds of all women? That is steep. I’m gonna have to see a citation for that.

        • Mike

          What source(s) is this statistic from. Rape is certainly underreported, but the organizations who track these things do not multiply the statistics by 900 to get the real number. Most rape trials end in conviction, so where are you getting this. If it’s simply that 90% are never reported, then how do you know this?

          • Isabella Mockery

            Most rape trials do NOT end in convictions at all. Less that 3% ever go to prison.

          • Mike

            Please cite your source for this

          • edtastic

            That 3% isn’t a conviction rate, it’ comes down to a guess about how many victims there might be out there which varies tremendously from one study to the next.

        • feral goldfish

          Is this “statistic” also operating under the widely accepted legal definition of rape? You know, the one that some feminist groups have actively lobbied to exclude cases wherein someone is “forced to penetrate” from the laws?

          • SunnyRainy22

            I think this sums up my response to your assertion that there are feminist groups lobbying against the inclusion of rape cases were someone is forced to penetrate…

            “As long as YOU continue to make assertions without evidence, I’LL continue to completely disregard whatever you say. Good day.”

          • feral goldfish

            “Although consideration of male victims is within the scope of the legal statutes, it is important to restrict the term rape to instances where male victims were penetrated by offenders. It is inappropriate to consider as a rape victim a man who engages in unwanted sexual intercourse with a woman. p. 206”

          • feral goldfish

            From: Detecting the Scope of Rape : A Review of Prevalence Research Methods by Mary P. Koss. Left a quote in case The Humanist doesn’t allow the pdf

          • SunnyRainy22

            Thanks for this. The first thing is she is not a “feminist group.” She’s one individual. You said there were groups “lobbying against the inclusion of rape cases were someone is forced to penetrate…” . Can you name a few? I would say that’s pretty reprehensible!

            Regarding the quote itself. The context it’s taken from show that the author isn’t discussing or pushing her own opinion of rape, but is in fact discussing how the studies the paper is based on define rape in different ways. This is quite a complex paper (hence being over 200 pages long), and the quote isn’t taken from the conclusions section, nor the abstract. It’s taken from the section where an explanation of methods is being given. As this paper is looking at data from around 20 previously done studies understanding how those studies defined rape and their methods is integral to the conclusions of the papering being worthwhile. There is no personal opinion of the definition of rape or what should be used by the author, instead she reports what the other bodies of work used as definitions. This quote is from one such study (and so not generated by the author), and it is commented that this definition is reflected in the law. The author doesn’t say it should be, she says it is at the time of writing (so lobbying for this would seem pretty redundant). In reading the rest of the context a number of other definitions are detailed from other studies examined too.

            I’m actually really disappointed that this quote is being used to support a topic which is not related at all to its context.

      • David Finnegan

        Making something a crime and not actively prosecuting it is certainly a form of acceptance. I ask you to consider how hard our criminal justice system is going after the thousands of incidents of rape by Catholic priests. I suggest you consider the message of a church that claims their god is the source of morality yet goes out of it’s way to interfere with justice, hiding the offending priests by moving them, refusing to cooperate with police and court officials and claiming to be handling the situation themselves. This corruption goes all the way up to the pope.

        • Pitchguest

          Err, what?

          So American society is really in favour of pot smoking?

          Many female murderers in the US get a reduced sentence or is set free on probation. The prison population is mostly men. A form of acceptance?

          • SunnyRainy22

            I’d say yes it is…

        • Mike

          Who says police don’t actively pursue rape as a crime? One of the biggest issues is that DA’s understand the requirement for evidence in a trial (innocent until proven guilty), but this is simply a limitation of prosecution of this type of crime, not proof of a “rape culture.” Neither are priests proof of anything – priests are the exception to the rule. Priests are generally above the culture and the law. Most people don’t believe it’s their priest that does those things. When you show me a congregation that is fully aware their priest is molesting their children and accepts it, then I’ll show you a rape culture. The fact that the church moves them around and tries to hide it proves that we as a society find rape and pedophilia abhorrent…

      • Vanessa

        Actually, most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. So you are the one who should be providing evidence to the contrary.

        • Mike

          Sorry Vanessa, but I never made the claim that most women who are raped are not raped by someone they know, so I don’t have to provide any evidence for a claim I never made. Please read my comment again and the original comment, as well, and try to add something relevant. I concede the fact that most women who are raped are raped by someone they know (this provides serial rapists the most opportunity), but how does that prove we condone and/or encourage that behavior? Rapists do everything they can to hide their behavior because they know SOCIETY/MAINSTREAM CULTURE REJECTS AND PUNISHES SUCH BEHAVIOR… because we don’t live in a rape culture

      • Isabella Mockery

        The fact that extremely few men are ever sent to prison for rape is a classic example of society condoning rape.

        No one is teaching the BOYS that abuse of women is barbaric and unacceptable. Why is that not the primary issue here?

        Blaming women for what they wear instead of focusing on the male behavior of the actual rape is rape culture. It is thriving in the American military.

        Rape is being swept under the rug at almost all the major campuses in America as well. The fact that over 70% of women are abuse is a staggering statistic on what does happen to women. The opposite of that is that it is rare for any man to go to prison for rape.

        When rape is not taken seriously it is the glorification of it.

        • josluizsarmento

          «The fact that extremely few men are ever sent to prison for rape is a classic example of society condoning rape.»

          No. It is evidence that very few men commit rape.

          • none of your beeswax

            Well then the one guy running around doing all the raping sure has been busy. Since “so few men rape”. Please. You are just being insulting to the women who have been raped, and were dismissed. He wouldn’t do that, he’s a good student, a good Christian, he’s in the military, oh but you went out with him, surely you were expecting it…These are the reasons so many rapes go unreported. If we were taken seriously when they occurred, you would have plenty of evidence. Sadly for us victims, we don’t get justice, we don’t get believed, and then people like you, try to convince us that it isn’t happening. I’m seriously glad that you aren’t a rapist, however, that does not mean that they aren’t out there. Just because you don’t know them, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

          • Mike

            What form would this “plenty of evidence” take? Please go back and read the comments: NOBODY is trying to convince you that rape doesn’t exist, or that you haven’t been raped. I’m sorry for what happened to you, truly, but you’re arguing a straw man. Rape exists – and it’s committed by real rapists (almost exclusively of the serial variety who are impervious to a culture that shames their behavior). But rape exists in every human culture and always has as far as we can tell. So if your definition of “rape culture” is a culture in which rape exists, then we will always and forever live in a rape culture. But “rape culture” means a culture that condones and encourages rape. We don’t live in that culture at all

          • DoubleSpeak

            you are full of it Joslllllllllsomethingento. and it’s not butterflies and honey :-)

        • edtastic

          “The fact that extremely few men are ever sent to prison for rape is a classic example of society condoning rape.”

          No that’s evidence of a crime that leaves very little evidence. It’s hard to prove and there is little we can do about it.

          “Blaming women for what they wear instead of focusing on the male behavior of the actual rape is rape culture. It is thriving in the American military.”

          Do you realize you chose a place where people usually wear uniforms?

      • SunnyRainy22

        Can you back up the people committing rape crimes are “almost entirely by serial pedophiles and rapists” with any data? You’ve tossed this idea around a few times on the board, and without any sources, then it’s meaningless…

  • Mike

    But how exactly have you shown that rape culture exists? What you’ve shown is that there are lots of anecdotes and feelings that it exists, but unfortunately you might need to do some real work and show that it exists instead of reposting some tweets. Nobody is denying rape exists or that it needs to be dealt with, but the point of the article was that the experts in the field reject your thoughtless and biased approach as counterproductive. I thought the Humanist encouraged skepticism and fact-based reporting…

    • Hannah Abbot

      Google Steubenville, OH or Daisy Coleman Maryville, MO and read about how those girls were constantly bullied and harassed about their rapes after reporting them, and then tell me that rape culture doesn’t exist in this country.

      • josluizsarmento

        The USA is an enormous country with 300M people. You would need a lot more than your anecdotal evidence to prove, or even plausibly suggest, that there is a rape culture in your country. What your examples suggest is that extremely rare events are amplified by the media so as to appear to be happening all the time all over the place. This is not a rape culture, it is a culture of fear.

        • Doro Reeves

          It is a rape culture, as the article aptly explains. Sorry if the truth hurts.

          • josluizsarmento

            It isn’t the truth that hurts. it is the lie.

        • Winsie Lee

          Sounds like gun culture, which actually seems to be more frequent but no one has coined the term.

      • Jack Strawb

        You’ve offered two examples across an entire country. I’ll raise you the entirety of the men’s prison system. I’ll also point out that in network tv no woman has been punched or kicked or slapped in anger by a man in fifty years, whereas the hugely popular sitcom Modern Family features a man so assaulted by his wife every half dozen episodes. That’s one show versus five decades.

        The heroic cops of Law and Order also threaten citizens with gang rape in holding cells and prisons just to get information. Guess who the gender is, of those citizens, EXCLUSIVELY?

        You’re correct. It’s only men. Only men.

    • DoubleSpeak

      Your version of “Anecdote”, People’s real lives, your way of calling their real lives fiction? Anecdote doesn’t mean what you meme. Eh?

      • Andreas Egeland

        It’s not calling their lives fiction, it is maintaining that the plural of anecdote is not data.

        No matter how many stories I could possibly share about homeopathy curing cancer in a person, this would not validate homeopathy as a medical treatment for cancer. Similarly, sharing individual examples of rape or idiotic reactions to rape (i.e. “she was asking for it” or “serves her right for wearing those clothes”) does not amount to solid evidence for the existence of rape culture.

  • feral goldfish

    People believe rape culture is real because that’s what they’ve been spoon-fed. By the logic you display here, 2.18 BILLION Christians prove the existence of God.

    • Isabella Mockery

      No one spoon feeds the statistics and what they stand for. Blaming women for what they wear instead of focusing on the male behavior of the actual rape is rape culture. It is thriving in the American military.

      Rape is being swept under the rug at almost all the major campuses in America as well. The fact that over 70% of women are abuse is a staggering statistic on what does happen to women. The opposite of that is that it is rare for any man to go to prison for rape.

      • feral goldfish

        Evidence? Or just anecdotes again?

      • josluizsarmento

        «The fact that over 70% of women are abuse[d] is a staggering statistic on what does happen to women.»

        Where did you get that «fact?» If you construe «abuse» to mean anything you want, you will no doubt get 100%. It will still be BS.

      • Allison Kirkpatrick

        That’s a ridiculous statistic – where did you get that from? Stephanie Zvan? Rebecca Watson?

    • Hannah Abbot

      Girls who are raped are told that they asked for it, or that they deserve it, and are bullied and harassed about it, in this country all the time. It does exist. And there is proof. Google Steubenville, OH rape case or Daisy Coleman Maryville, MO rape case, and then tell me that rape culture doesn’t exist. Both girls were constantly harassed and bullied by their peers after reporting their rapes. And even though there was substantial evidence against the rapists in both cases, it was still extremely difficult for both girls to even be able to press charges against their rapists. And in Daisy Coleman’s case, the harassment about her reporting her rape became so bad that she attempted suicide. Not only that, but her family’s house was also burned down by an arsonist, after she reported the rape, and it is believed to be connected. Her family had to move to a different town the harassment and bullying towards her became so bad. If that’s not rape culture, then I don’t know what is.

      • instantaphex

        That isn’t an example of rape culture. That is an example of sociopaths being sociopaths. You can’t just wish rape culture into existence even though you feminists want it to exist so badly. You guys just recycle tired talking points again and again in what seems to be simply an effort to play the victim. Stop it. It’s annoying.

        • DoubleSpeak

          Oh, so some rapists aren’t sociopaths aren’t rapists… argument is full of lead. “You feminists” Anyone who isn’t a feminist is by definition against equality between.. You maybe a “Man” , but a hater at that. defend sociopaths and rapist… great stance on why to keep things the way they are.

          • instantaphex

            I didn’t say “some rapists aren’t sociopaths aren’t rapists…”, you said that. Feminism isn’t about equality. It never has been and never will be.

  • Pitchguest

    #rapecultureiswhen teenage boys use rape as any other normal verb “dude I just RAPED you in CoD”

    Oh my god. You’re so right. And staring me in the face was the slaughter culture (or murder culture if you want to change it up) when people said, “You just got slaughtered.” Why didn’t I see this before? Must have been the blind culture.

    • josluizsarmento

      And slavery culture when someone says “You’ve totally been owned.”

      • DoubleSpeak

        Way to down play intent to do harm. Must seem funny to a sadist?

    • Allison Kirkpatrick

      Telling people to lock their doors is “burglary culture”. We should instead just tell burglars not to burgle. Funny how we never hear Rebecca Watson et al making that argument.

    • privologist99

      So, all crimes are simply crimes, neutral with regard to any oppressive, cultural structures? Is an anti-semitic slur spray painted on a synagogue just another form of material defacement? Is a race-based lynching simply just another physical assault? Is calling a gay person “fag” (deriving from the historical practice of burning homosexuals at the stake), with the implied threat of physical bashing, free of any historical, violence-laden baggage? The crime of rape is not “just another crime”–it holds a particular significance as an expression of deeply-rooted, collective misogyny and assertion of one person’s power over another by violating them in one of the most reprehensible ways imaginable. Does that mean one who perpetuates the structures that empower rapists need have a conscious agenda as a misogynist? No more than a one need even realize he or she is perpetuating racism or homoprejudice. It’s in the very nature of a culture-based structure to remain hidden, covert, insidious, and self-perpetuating. Much of the “evidence” sought by many on this thread is situated subtly in everyday interactions–microaggressions–very often embedded in language. That is, IMHO, the author’s point.

      • john

        How is rape a cultural structure? Rape has been around since before we were homo-sapiens.

        Your other examples just aren’t relevant. The “fag” example and the synagogue example have nothing to do with rape or murder because they are threats, as far as I understand, and that is why for instance a swastika on a synagogue would be more intense then some random spray paint.

        As for the lynching, well that’s not even a physical assault, it’s murder. And it is different from a regular murder (hate crime), because the attacker didn’t even do it out of revenge or personal gain, but for no personal reason at all.

        By the way, rape is awful

        • privlogist99

          Yes, I’m glad we agree on the awfulness of rape–I’m sure no one on this thread (or at least I hope) would feel otherwise. However, the point is that rape is an act, whereas that to which people are referring to as “rape culture” constitutes the cultural structure that empower the act of rape, and its looming threat, even when it doesn’t actually occur. The point of my analogies (which I understand you do not find relevant) is to illustrate how other oppressive structures likewise empower other various forms of privilege-based assault/murder, in a manner related to (though not “the same”) as the manner in which pervasive, culturally-embedded misogyny empowers the everyday experiences, references to, and actual occurrences surrounding rape. The homo-prejudice and anti-semitic examples are threats with potential for actual violence, much in the same way that misogynistic threats to women with potential for actual violence. A burning cross on someone’s lawn isn’t actual violence, but most assuredly carries with the looming possibility of real and horrible violence/murder. The possibility of rape, often subtly brandished by en, is very often accompanied by messages of threat to women, that holds them in place of oppressive fear and paralysis, often in ways that are very difficult to point our or articulate (as is the case for many examples of culture-based oppression). That, I believe, is the point of those referring to “rape culture”–it is something embedded in our everyday experience, language, subtle communications, etc., that even when not actually occurring, impacts power relationships in highly inequitable ways. Someone please correct me if I am misinterpreting.

          • privologist99

            (Sorry… typo .. not “en”… “men”)

          • DJ AA

            Wow…most awe inspiring comment I’ve ever seen on the internet! Just, wow.

            You my friend are something special!

        • Hannah Abbot

          so rape isn’t a threat?

          • john

            Rape as a joke, and misogyny is not a threat.

          • Dorothy Reeves

            And you, John, are no authority on either rape nor misogyny.

        • DoubleSpeak

          part of the structure of patriarchy. as in any dominant power structure there are methods to suppress opposition and competition. Really not that hard to deduce. Don’t you think?

      • josluizsarmento

        «So, all crimes are simply crimes, neutral with regard to any oppressive, cultural structures?»

        Well, yes. At least for all practical purposes such as legislation and law enforcement. At a much higher theoretical level it is, of course, the other way around: no crime is simply a crime, neutral with regard to oppressive cultural structures.

        Either way there is no reason for rape to be considered differently from murder. In so far as there is a culture, I am ready to concede the existence of a murder culture, a rape culture, an arson culture, and so on.

        But at a less abstract level it is as false to say American society as a whole actively cultivates rape as it is to say it actively cultivates murder (although the latter is easier to believe if you are, like myself, looking at America from Europe).

        There is, if anything, an anti-rape culture. Never before in human history has any society fought rape with as much determination as America, and some other countries like Sweden, are doing. Good for you, but beware of witch-hunting: the oppressive structures you mention care as little for women as they do for men.

  • josluizsarmento

    «If you want to change that culture, you’ve got to stop laughing at rape jokes…»

    Easy. I don’t think I’ve ever heard or told a rape joke, and I don’t think I would find it funny if I did. But I wonder how prevalent these jokes can be when I’ve never heard one.

    «…stop wondering if a victim is telling the truth or not…»

    Not on your life! That is exactly what you must always wonder! Otherwise you would be throwing ‘innocent till proven guilty’ out of the window.

    «…stop glorifying rapists…»

    The last time I saw a rapist being glorified was a few decades ago, when Ayn Rand – that monster – was still alive.

    «…and stop perpetuating popular culture…»

    Perceptions don’t perpetuate popular culture. Popular culture perpetuates perceptions. That is why it is popular culture and not high culture.

    • Isabella Mockery

      Sadly everyone seen to think that every man who said it was not rape, but consensual is more likely to be believes that women are. Police do not accept victim report, the community does not either. Rape is being swept under the rug at almost all the major campuses in America as well. The fact that over 70% of women are abuse is a staggering statistic on what does happen to women. The opposite of that is that it is rare for any man to go to prison for rape.

      • JoeBl

        “Rarely”, “70%”, “everyone” These sweeping generalizations are not the stuff that rational conversations are made of.

      • edtastic

        You are using false or misleading “staggering statistics” to advance your gender hate agenda so knock it off. I’d have no problem turning that right back around on you by showing all the studies showing abundant male victimization by women.

        • SunnyRainy22

          Can you give some examples of these “abundant” studies? Never heard of one before. Also “gender hate agenda” is pretty inflammatory. I don’t see how the previous post was anything like a gender hate agenda.

          Also I fear that this argument is kind of not the point.. you’re implying that because men are abused as well that the women’s abuse is some how diminished. I’d argue that both are bad, and an approach that combated both would be best.

        • Jared Noland

          Are you saying rape and sex Assault is over stated? I am a middle class average religious male in the heart land usa and over 85% of the woman am close to have all been raped. This society is really f!>,ked up. Don’t try and conceive me it is not. I have seen the affects in there lives for decades.

    • kcdad

      You don’t consume much popular culture, do you? Ever watch commercials?
      The media is full of women wanting to be taken against their wills, men tricking or forcing women into sexual scenes, it is what porn is all about. And it is mainstream prime time TV.

      • Mike

        Examples please? And also, you haven’t shown how media portayals of this sort (which I’m betting you can’t even find many modern ones that you’re not stretching with interpretation) actually influence behavior and make people act in a certain way

      • Erik Johansson

        “The media is full of women wanting to be taken against their wills”
        This sentence doesn’t even make sense.

        As for tricking/forcing women into sexual scenes, no, not really, looking at both mainstream porn and mainstream media, what men seem to find alluring is women who are hot and willing, 100% consensual, no trickery or forcing needed.

        If anything, it seems that the gender that prefer rape and power differences in their porn and smut are women, as seen in books like “50 shades of grey”, and several scientific studies on the subject.

        • Jarrett Lewis

          +100 to you sir

    • Hannah Abbot

      I think what the stop wondering if a victim is telling the truth or not refers to is when there is substantial evidence and proof that the person in question did actually rape the victim, but people are still refusing to believe the victim. I don’t think it’s supposed to mean throw innocent until proven guilty out the window. I think when most people say that they mean if the rapist has already been proven guilty, however, people are still questioning the victim’s truthfulness. Some good examples of that are the Steubenville, OH rape case and the Maryville, MO rape case, in which even though there was substantial evidence that the men in question did actually rape the girls, it took a lot of pushing on the girls part to actually achieve pressing charges against them. And not only were people skeptical as to whether the girls were actually raped or not, the girls were blamed for their rape, and bullied and harassed about it. The girl who was raped in the Maryville, MO case even attempted suicide a couple times over the bullying that happened to her because of her rape. That is rape culture. Having victims being blamed for their rape or told that they asked for it or deserved it somehow, and having them being harassed and bullied because of it, that is rape culture.

      • josluizsarmento

        «I think what the stop wondering if a victim is telling the truth or not refers to is when there is substantial evidence and proof that the person in question did actually rape the victim, but people are still refusing to believe the victim. I don’t think it’s supposed to mean throw innocent until proven guilty out the window.» Then why not say so in the first place? What I read in the article is an unqualified demand. And it does sometimes mean throw innocent until proven guilty out of the window. Otherwise why would «believe the woman» be standard procedure in so many police departments?

        • DoubleSpeak

          petty semantics. you honor rape in the face of your lack of coherent understanding of intention of a message. It’s called a red herring…. throw it out it’s rotten. Qualifying the victims story to rationalize the support of the offender is plain stubborn ignorance. If the conversation is missing a comma don’t go into a coma. Eh?

          • josluizsarmento

            Your comment is simply unintelligible and I have no possible answer for it. Maybe you intend for it to mean something, but to me it’s just white noise.

          • DoubleSpeak

            That’s because you are an opportunistic reader. Which is apparent in your lack of evident based debate , and baiting arguments. I don’t take your defects personally, I assure you!

          • LR

            That’s not a red herring. They criticized an actual claim made and even posted a quote. If someone can not communicate their message clearly that is not the audience’s fault, it is theirs for making poor word choices.

      • DBAP

        How can people consider investigating a crime victim blaming. Its not that they are not believed. Every case is different and has to be investigated as such; however, feminists and the media make it seem as though every rape happens the same way. In order for an investigator to stay objective he/she has to investigate the crime not the people. Rape/Sexual Assault is one of the hardest crimes to investigate and places the investigator in an almost impossible situation in every case.

    • DavidByron

      “I don’t think I’ve ever heard or told a rape joke”

      You’ve never heard anyone say “don’t drop the soap”? Joking about rape is very common — if the victim is male. Institutions encouraging rape or dismissing victims is common — if the victim is male. Feminism is the main source of this real rape culture.

      • josluizsarmento

        Yes, I’ve heard that one. I stand corrected.

  • JoeBl

    No offense but I don’t live in any rape culture. You gave a definition and all of it is either socially unacceptable or too vaguely undeterministic.

    This whole business of clothes and whatnot is an either-or fallacy. We teach people to avoid getting mugged, to avoid having cars broken into, and any number of crime prevention techniques. Any modern human living in an urban area with a crime watch knows this. Someone saying don’t leave your iPhone on your car seat is not promoting car break in culture. Likewise telling a 14 year old girl not to get drunk c because bad things can happen does not excuse those bad things. Nor does it imply that boys are not being told to avoid getting drunk and doing stupid things.

    • MichaelFarese

      Well said.

    • Isabella Mockery

      Yet another pathetic attempt to blame women for the behavior of men. That is rape culture.

      • JoeBl

        Yet another logical fallacy. That one is called straw man. Not to mention it is so vague there is no way to dispute it. Do you care to be more specific?

        • DoubleSpeak

          Strawman is your main defense JoeBl. Would think you would be better at recognizing it in action, rather than misrepresenting your favorite ammo? You have nothing but fallacy after holy fallacy to him-haw at not actually discussing anything besides, nope didn’t happen, doesn’t, I don’t do it so stop talking… your defense is pathetic ( at best)

    • Steff Zep

      Just look at your wording. “Telling a 14 year old girl not to get drunk because bad things can happen…” What bad things? That she will likely vomit and feel ill the next day? That she might fall down or have trouble walking? That she might make a fool of herself? That she might get alcohol poisoning? Those are consequences of her choices. That she will get raped?

      That’s not something that “happens” to someone because they got drunk. That is a crime committed against someone by someone else, and it isn’t always associated with drinking, it isn’t always associated with young women or underage girls, and it isn’t always committed against a sexy girl in revealing clothing. Old women get raped in nursing homes, getting into their cars, etc. Young women get raped in parking lots after work. Men get raped in bars, at parties, etc., usually by other men. Your view of what rape is, is very stunted and limited, and it is obviously shaped by what our culture has taught you to believe that rape is. After all, you say, “Nor does it imply that boys are not being told to avoid getting drunk and doing stupid things.”

      You imply that rapists are boys. The word choice of “boys” implies a lack of maturity, and an expectation that they will do “stupid things.” What stupid things? That they’ll drink and drive? That they’ll jump off a roof? That they’ll show off to their friends and injure themselves? That they’ll rape? Raping someone is not “doing stupid things.” It is an absolute violation of another person. It is a complete lack of respect for that person’s right to their own body, and their right to do with their body as they see fit, which includes having sex with whomever they want within legal boundaries, and also being able to refuse sex with whomever they choose.

      Your choice of words detaches the crime from the victim, and from the rapist, and diminishes the seriousness of the crime by calling it “stupid things.” Both men and women need to take responsibility for the choices they make, but they also need to understand the legal definitions of rape. If we’re going to go with the never overused example of a drunk girl at a party, then the male in question needs to understand that, legally, she is not able to consent to sex. The right thing to do, no matter how difficult it may seem in the moment, is to refuse having sex with the drunk girl. If she is truly interested in pursuing a sexual relationship, she will still be interested when she is sober, and waiting is not going to hurt anyone.

      However, this is not the only version of rape, and it’s not even the only version of drunk girl rape. A lot of these drunk girls are raped when they’re no longer conscious. That’s not something bad happening because she got drunk, and that’s not boys doing stupid things, that is absolutely, without a doubt, rape. It is a violent crime that violates the sanctity of her body. A violent, violating crime. Let’s call it what it is, shall we?

      I assume that, based on your previous comments and arguments, you are going to try to call this something like the “band wagon” fallacy, but no, this is not some logical fallacy. Language absolutely is important, especially in rape culture, which is in the definition you didn’t seem to understand, or chose not to. You claim that the definition of rape culture given in the article is vague or socially unacceptable, which is, frankly, vague in itself. The definition given is very clear, especially considering that she took a paragraph to explain it. You are also comparing theft crimes to rape, which is not the same kind of crime. Rape is an entirely unique crime, and it cannot be compared to someone stealing CD’s out of your car. You may want to look at your own argument and the logical fallacies you are employing.

      Perhaps you don’t pay attention to what our politicians say about rape. Perhaps you don’t pay attention to our media and how it treats rape victims v. rapists. Perhaps you have never seen a comedian make a rape joke, or seen a television show or cartoon make a rape joke (you may want to check out Fox’s Sunday animation block for that.) However, just because you haven’t seen it, or you don’t necessarily understand it, or even if you don’t agree with it because you think rape jokes are funny, and the misogynistic language and attitudes aren’t actually damaging, and that the objectification of women isn’t damaging or diminishing of their status as whole, real human beings – it doesn’t make rape culture disappear. It makes you either unintentionally ignorant, and purposefully ignorant; the latter of which being repugnant.

      • JoeBl

        Simply repeating the same things with long paragraphs doesn’t make it any more right. Actually reading what people right and trying to interpret it how they mean it is a helpful skill. You should try it some time.

        I am not going to write a 3000 word essay for you if English cannot suffice.

        Let’s talk about my wording: “Telling a 14 year old girl not to get drunk because bad things can happen…” All bad things you named and more. Clear enough? She can get raped. She can get robbed. She can get killed in an accident. and a whole host of others things I am not going to list. You know all this of course. Clear enough for you? So do you think because you tell her that then you are encouraging “robbery culture” or “accident culture?” It is ridiculous to suggest that self preservation and safety advice means that you are encouraging that which the advice is meant to avoid. It is logically ridiculous. Nobody is “blaming” anyone any more than saying “put on your seat belt” is blaming someone else for hitting your car.

        “You imply that rapists are boys.” I do no such thing you liar. I do not imply but suggest rather directly that boys are boys. i.e. they are children and not grown men and as such they need to be taught right from wrong.

        “diminishes the seriousness of the crime by calling it ‘stupid things.’” So you are suggesting that rape isn’t stupid?

        Yes I am comparing theft to rape. I am absolutely. They are both crimes. They both have victims. One is violent the other is not. Got a problem with that? Do you have a problem with abstract reasoning and analogy? You still haven’t directly answered the comparison. If it is fine to give advice on avoiding crime of one crime then why not another? Why does one magically become “blaming the victim” in one case and not in another when the glaring fact is that the point is that there be no victims.

        I did not claim “the definition of rape culture given in the article is vague or socially unacceptable.” What I said was this: “[the author] gave a definition and all of it is either socially unacceptable or too vaguely undeterministic.” Since English isn’t your first language and trying to actually figure out what a speaker means isn’t your first impulse let me clarify. The components of her definition fit into one of two categories: That which is socially unacceptable and that which is vague. That is to say if the components are socially unacceptable it is hard to argue those are part of an accepted cultural norm and if others are too vague to determine what precisely they mean or if they are satisfied in reality then it is hard to argue there is a “rape culture.” Reality does not meet the minimum conditions of her own stated definition.

        The stated definition is this: “highly prevalent, normalized and excused by the society’s media, popular culture, and political figures.” Highly prevalent is not defined but all violent crime is on a steady decline in the United States (where the author is based.) That includes rape. It is not in any way “normalized.” That claim would verge on delusion. It is not “excused” in media and popular culture. If anything it gets more negative attention as cases in Stubenville Ohio and others show. Politicians who bungle basic physical laws and anatomy are almost always ostracized even by their own parties and usually by voters as well. So how is there “rape culture” again if those are the conditions that define it?

        but of course you aren’t interested in rational dialogue. You are interested in simply cherry picking phrases and pretending they mean things other than what the person meant them to mean. You have already religiously decided what the holy truth is and no actual evidence and argumentation (let alone self examination of cognitive dissonance) will dissuade you from your holy views.

        • SunnyRainy22

          I have to say the aggressive nature of this response is pretty unpleasant. It rather sounds like if we were all sitting a room having a conversation you’d be in the other posters face so angry you’d be spitting. That doesn’t strike me as the “rational dialogue” you are talking about.

          Also I can’t see how what you’ve said disproves what the other poster said. If you truly thought they misunderstood you there were other ways of expressing that than personal attacks on them. You undermine any argument you have that way. You said the previous poster isn’t interested in rational dialogue, how could from the post your responded with, there be further rational discourse on the topic?

          Instead it seems like you actually don’t want to discuss the topic you want to “win.” That’s too bad.

          • JoeBl

            The other poster posited straw men almost exclusively. I have no rational obligation to respond to falset allegations. If she/he says I said X and I did not then I need not address out other that to point that out.

            I Do find it interesting that you think rational discourse is “aggressive” and yet lying and misrepresenting another person’s words is just A-OK.

          • SunnyRainy22

            I’m glad you find my post interesting. I don’t think you’ve really responded to it though. Can you explain why you believe your comments were rational and not aggressive? Also can you explain to me how you’ve concluded my opinions in the way you have? Finally you didn’t answer the question I posted to start with, can you?

            Thanks

          • JoeBl

            I am not interested in your concept of aggressiveness. Take that up with someone else.

          • SunnyRainy22

            I guess you can’t answer the questions I posted. Oh well :)

          • JoeBl

            Your response is the equivalent of asking “Have you stopped smoking crack yet?” The presumptions of the question are not in evidence and incriminate the person who answers. It is another informal fallacy. I am sorry but this is the stuff of a freshman rhetoric class.

          • SunnyRainy22

            It rather seems to me you are side stepping the issues I brought up and trying to divert the topic. My original post was an observation on the way you chose to behave in a public forum. You have not directly answered that point. I’ve given you an opportunity for a conversation that would communicate your thoughts, and you’ve chosen not to take it. That’s your right.

          • JoeBl

            There are no “issues brought up.” Just straw men and red herrings. Go look at up if you don’t understand what that means. I might suggest basic high school rhetoric class. There is little point in discussing this issue (or any for that matter) with someone who doesn’t care to have an honest discussion or who doesn’t even know what it looks like.

            My post back there was pretty clear. The author gave a definition with some fairly discreet and testable conditions about what “rape culture” is supposed to be. It failed those extant criteria so even on the author’s own terms she failed to make her case. At that point nothing else need be done. It is not my obligation to try to “prove the negative” when her own definition failed to make its case. All the rest of the common logical errors such as either-or, red herrings, and straw men are really beside the point. They just show the weakness of the case.

          • DoubleSpeak

            @ JoeBl : fingers in ears saying lalalala… doesn’t mean they didn’t say something worth responding to, even if you keep squirming at the notion. Now does it? kind of childish way to address a subject you chose to engage in. Covering your eyes and saying nope that doesn’t happen, never saw anything like it so it doesn’t exist….. your argument…. other’s citing historical incidents really doesn’t make your position stronger as long as you keep pretending the topic is a pinata and you are at your own party.

      • Allison Kirkpatrick

        Stefunny Zvan – is that you?

  • whatever

    Thanks for the article Ashley.

    Rape Culture still does not exist.

    • Isabella Mockery

      Says only the men, they are the rapists.

      • whatever

        Shows your ignorance in that:
        1) Studies by Lisak show (what we know) that rapes are committed by a very small percentage of people who are serial rapists
        2) women are 50% of the child abusers
        3) you have certainly erased female on female rape and female on male rape

        Are you sure you’re a humanist? You seem more like a feminist.

        • Hannah Abbot

          can’t someone be a humanist and a feminist at the same time? I don’t see how being a humanist should somehow exclude someone from being a feminist

          • josluizsarmento

            One can. And many feminists have no problem with being humanists. Others regard humanism as anathema because they recognize no legitimate politics beyond identity politics. ‘If you don’t belong to my tribe you are nothing’ is, after all, the oldest political idea in the world.

          • DoubleSpeak

            Something you are familiar with Josluizsarmento. Your lack of empathy for any type of rape culture that isn’t a part of a war culture.

      • Sean

        Wow a man-hating feminist, that’s a first

      • edtastic

        Clearly you haven’t read many studies on sexual violence that include both genders. Female perpetration is quite substantial. They sexually assaulted 40% of victims in the CDC NIVS 2010. The term ‘rape’ is gendered because it excludes any assault involving male gentials. The mouth and anus are not the only way a man can suffer a severe sexual assault. Women are also 25% (or more) of those who sexually abuse children.

        • SunnyRainy22

          @ the previous few posts calling this person a “man-hating feminist” etc. Yes, the original comment was inflammatory and perhaps not well thought out, but your responses are as bad if not worse.

          Firstly,it would greatly increase the chances of people taking on board or believing things you say if you weren’t erroneously insulting people. Please get a better understanding of the word feminist before you use it as an insult. It causes you to appear ignorant and like bullies.

          Secondly, the use of statistics to counter the original comment I think is a good way forward, but you would do your credibility a great deal to give some actual citations.

          As it stands you guys basically come across as big jerks because you can be, and that just makes your argument weak.

          • josluizsarmento

            «Says only the men, they are the rapists.»

            Don’t you realize how deeply offensive this is to men? Can’t you imagine how hateful, how spiteful this sounds to us? Do you really think Sean is over-reacting when he uses the expression «man-hating feminist” in response to it?

          • DoubleSpeak

            How many women are saying this isn’t so? You say it doesn’t exist, not prevalent enough to call it a cultural trend, so it must be so. all hail the all knowing Jo, he’s a man. Not all men are so obstinately stuck on all things being relative to identity. You do not excuse American culture for the atrocities of other cultures, which it lacks? It’s just not bad enough in the US, so it isn’t a legitimate claim… nice slippery slope there, hope you gain some traction in logic.. I can see you are able to rationalize and justify your stance to your liking, however fallible. Men are not the problem. Men who act as if there is no problem, try to down size it, compare it because it’s not super sized enough… dealing with a size of rape culture, < not a typical dumb man's defense? trying to be real and being real, not 2 in the same. How many guys pretend to not know how to change a diaper, so they don't have to? load the dishes wrong hoping to get out of sharing taking care of their house hold, but can manage to drive a 2 ton vehicle with no problem. ( and then there is the reverse, women who do the same, or micro manage, or men who micro manage or subjugate them selves).. rape goes beyond misogyny, but is certainly a bi-product of it.. haters gonna hate. or as Freud put it, uterus envy?

    • modalsurrealist

      Well, there are ‘real’ rape cultures. Saudi Arabia comes to mind.

      • josluizsarmento

        Yes, there are real rape cultures. You only have to look at one to realize the United States is NOT one of them.

        • Jeff Trechter

          There is a spectrum, one which has many axes, by which rape cultures exist. Suggesting that there is one in one place, and that our culture is different does not disprove the existence of rape culture in the US. Would you acknowledge that the most common narrative of sex and relationships in both popular culture and popular media is one of men pursuing women, and women trying to filter out all the guys who “just want sex” from the good guys, or else turn one of the guys who “just want sex” INTO a good guy (who presumably wants to marry her, have 2.2 children, and get a good career going?). This is the baseline, then you add in all the various sexualization and objectification directed primarily at women? Then the rape jokes which are laughed at, the suggestion that women who spurn advances are “playing hard to get” that sex for a man is almost always “success” and for a women, save for in the right circumstances, is generally a failure, a failure of morals, or judgement, of taste, of their parents, their religion, their future husband, everyone and everything. Then you have men who, after being accused of rape, are treated as victims of some feminist plot to undermine good fun loving guys, while women who speak up about rape are treated as probable liars, certain attention whores, and obviously just plain whores, to be demonized and questioned, to be asked to answer for every case of a woman who HAS lied, or even MIGHT have lied about being raped. It doesn’t have to be everyone, or every male, in a culture who directly contributes to rape culture for it to exist, indeed it will likely always exist in some form, the problem is that there is a denial of it, and of it’s importance in perpetuating rape, victim silence, victim blaming, and misogyny (since the threat and fear of rape is a major part of women’s oppression, which, yes, is also a thing, and yes, is worse in some other places.)

          • josluizsarmento

            «Suggesting that there is one in one place, and that our culture is different does not disprove the existence of rape culture in the US.»

            No, but it does provide a standard of reasonableness against which the American «rape culture» can be measured. And the huge – I mean huge – difference between American attitudes on rape and, say, socially accepted practices in Indian villages would suggest that the USA, not only doesn’t have a «rape culture», but may be near the opposite end of the spectrum – i.e., in the grip of one of its recurrent moral panics, this time with rape as a subject.

          • Jeff Trechter

            A “standard of reasonableness”? Really? Taking atrocities that you’ve heard about in other places and using them to judge America to have the opposite of a rape culture? Yes, rape could be, has been, and in places still is more socially accepted and culturally encouraged than in America at the moment. THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT ISN’T A PROBLEM WORTH ADDRESSING! Here and now there are all sorts of things which people do that make rape more common, that put the blame on rape victims, that keep them silent, keep them doubting themselves, hurt them in myriad ways. I have given you examples of this, and you’ve responded with nothing. What other of these “recurrent moral panics” would you say have happened in this country anyhow?

          • josluizsarmento

            Rape is, and always will be, a problem worth addressing. «Rape culture», as far as America is concerned, is not. Manufactured moral panics, on the other hand, are a specifically American and Anglo-Saxonic problem about which the rest of the world has every reason to worry.

          • Jeff Trechter

            Can you name any other than the “rape culture” one? Have you addressed any of the points I’m made about examples of rape culture? Simply saying that it’s not a problem isn’t much of an argument, neither is pointing out that other places have it worse. How do you respond to the MANY women who say that they feel rape is normalized, excused, implicitly encouraged, and used as a constant threat when they are in public. What evidence do you have that telling boys that getting laid is a conquest and women that it’s being defiled DOESN’T encourage men to use questionable or even illegal tactics to sleep with women? Which of my points relating to rape culture do you disagree with and why? Also, why is it so important to you to deny the existence of rape culture? You say that “rape is, and always will be, a problem worth addressing”, well is it so hard to imagine that aspects of our culture contribute to the high prevalence of rape and sexual assault in our country and in the world? Why would you fight to deny even the possibility of this if by acknowledging rape culture as a possible cause of rape, we could reduce the incidence of rape? I know why I care about this issue, because I truly believe that ignoring rape culture perpetuates it, and that rape culture exacerbates rape and sexual assault, both by increasing it’s prevalence, and by serving as a constant painful reminder to those who’ve been raped or sexually assaulted. I have friends who cannot visit parts of the internet because there is so much support of rape, and you can write off some of the more extreme forms of rape culture as being either “jokes” or “a small minority of the public” the the fact is that just as white supremacists are propped up and given power by institutional racism and subtle cultural racism, rapists and their supporters are propped up and given power by rape culture.

          • josluizsarmento

            I’ll mention the oldest and the latest moral panics I can personally remember. Elvis Presley’s hip gyrations is the oldest; «microagression» is the most recent – unless something even newer has appeared in the latest few weeks. When you live on this shore of the Atlantic it is a bit difficult to keep track.

          • Jeff Trechter

            Okay, thank you, I wanted to know what your context was for that statement, I think that the comparison is pretty absurd since the rape culture argument has a much less nebulous claim about how it causes harm to society. Could you address some of my examples and/or explain why you think it important to “disprove” rape culture? Are the things which people argue need to be changed in order to lessen/weaken the rape culture not things that would be well worth changing in their own right? Since casually using rape as a slang or a punchline absolutely causes emotional trauma to survivors, and since people directly affected by rape and sexual assault are so common, and so often unknown to people around them, is it not a worthy goal to stop people from using it so even if you DON’T think it contributes to the prevalence of rape? What of discouraging men from seeing sex as conquest, of changing their views of women to see them as fully realized individuals with whom they can interact honestly and openly with respect? Is that not a worthy goal regardless of whether or not men who see women as objects, prey, and not as equals are more likely to rape? You dance around the subject, but this is what rape culture is referring to, the many small aspects that can be seen in large parts of our culture that reinforce the pain and helplessness of victims, and the acceptance of perpetrators.

          • josluizsarmento

            «How do you respond to the MANY women who say that they feel rape is normalized, excused, implicitly encouraged, and used as a constant threat when they are in public.» I respond by observing the USA has 310 Million inhabitants: there is no imaginable feeling that can not be claimed by an enormous lot of people.

            I am opposed in principle to laws that recognize any form of subjective victimhood. Anybody can feel, or say they feel, anything. Rape, like any other crime, should be objectively defined. Murder victims don’t «feel» murdered: they either were murdered or they were not.

            I am also strongly opposed to the notion of collective guilt: look at the atrocities it causes all over the world. That is why it is important to me to deny the existence of a rape culture.

            A woman called Katharine McKinnon said the following words about 30 years ago: «Rape is the means by which men, all men, keep women, all women, in a state of political subjugation.» These words were uttered – and this makes them particularly odious – in the contest of an innocent man being freed after decades of doing time for rape.

            They have stuck in my mind ever since. Word for word. Never mind that you could say just as truthfully «False accusations of rape are the means by which women, all women, keep men, all men, in a state of political subjugation.» What impressed me was the sudden realization that Ms. McKinnon was a monster; that some feminists can be monsters; and that collective guilt is a truly monstrous principle on which to found ANY moral or political agenda.

            Finally: «De minimis non curat lex» is a very sound principle. While the beating of a butterfly’s wings in Amazonia can, in theory, cause a hurricane in Texas, you don’t defend yourself from hurricanes by controlling Brazilian butterflies.

          • Jeff Trechter

            Okay, fair enough, argue against false accusations, because they are horrendous, but they are the exception not the rule, especially when compared to the many women who stay silent. There are far more men who’ve never been charged for rapes they have committed than there are men who’ve been convicted for rapes they didn’t commit. Here’s the thing though, rape culture isn’t really about laws, it’s not about police or courtrooms, it’s about double standards and personal interactions. Murder and rape are very different crimes, and you know it, rape defies easy legal definition, it’s often not objectively knowable. You claim that your opposition to the notion of a rape culture existing in the US because of the threat posed by “collective guilt” and false accusations. I’m not sure what you mean by “collective guilt” if you mean an entire group of people collectively blaming another group of people for things they did not do, or for things only a small subset of them did, then I think you have little to fear from the argument about rape culture. While some more extreme feminists might go to the point where they blame all men, individually and collectively, for all the crimes committed against women by men, or at least may seem to when they are upset, most people, including those talking about rape culture are much more nuanced. For one thing it’s not about vilifying men, it’s about calling out certain aspects of our culture, or of subsets of our culture, often things which are common among male subcultures but also things that are common among everyone, and pointing out how those things exacerbate and undervalue rape. My other reply asked for some things which you answered here, and others that you didn’t. This is what I hope to get across to you though. Speaking out on rape culture isn’t really attacking men, even the men who perpetuate the aspects of rape culture, it’s attacking the culture itself, in an attempt to change it. It’s not a matter of controlling butterflies, it’s a matter of cutting out the many toxic aspects of our culture which hold us back from gender equality and which perpetuate rape. It IS possible to change culture, and it is possible for culture to impact people’s actions, so while I encourage your arguments against false accusations and blaming all men for the crimes of a few, I don’t think denying the existence of rape culture is required to do either.

          • Jeff Trechter

            So you oppose blaming all men for the actions of a few men, so do I, seeing as how I’m a man. Speaking out against rape culture isn’t really about blaming men, even though men are more likely to engage in the things associated with rape culture, just as speaking out against rape isn’t blaming men, even though rapes are more likely to be committed by men. What’s more, since it’s about a culture, it’s not even really condemning people who engage in that culture, it’s not a conscious decision, it’s a learned behavior, something deep. The point however is that to change the culture it has to be identified and challenged. Putting a name to it, “Rape Culture” helps to do this, and helps to undermine it’s claim of being normal and benign. Some hardcore feminists might sometime say things that seem like they’re blaming ALL men for these horrible things they do. Well, feminists spend a lot of time noticing all the ways in which women are systematically oppressed, and since the system was largely designed by men for men, and operated by men for men, it’s easy to see how they might start seeing men as the enemy. Rather than responding by calling them the enemy, and decrying any notion they put forward, how about you condemn the excesses but agree with the problems that DO need addressing. We can’t protect all people from rape by taking on rape culture, but we can limit both the scope and the severity of the damage caused by rape, and in the process we can bring all people of all genders into more equitable and honest interactions. So I ask you to respond to my many examples of rape culture and explain why you don’t think these constitute examples of rape culture, why you think they aren’t worth speaking out against, and why you think they do nothing to either encourage rapists or harm victims of rape?

  • John Forest

    I will preface by saying, I am a husband, a father of a grown daughter and the grandfather of two girls. It does not serve my interests to deny or minimize any situation that threatens my family members. With that said, I agree with some of the other posters, you didn’t prove your case. At most you showed that there are elements of some modern sub-cultures that are dubious, disgusting, etc. My retort is, there always have been such examples and there will likely always be. To say that such things spill over outside their sub-culture to permeate our broader culture and result in a “rape culture” is a big claim. And, as we are aware, bold sweeping claims especially require the requisite evidence to back them.

    • DoubleSpeak

      Your asumption that 60% of all women affected by makes it a subculture. makes you part of the main culture. glad you are aware that this doesn’t help protect those to whom you say I Love You to. just a little insight can go a really long way! It isn’t in your home. good for You! It is outside, go look.

  • joel

    what about male on male rape? why does everyone get so pissy about this shit them leave out that not only women get raped? 1 in 10 males get raped,the vast majority of these rapes go unreported because of the stigma on that 6 percent of this is women on man, yes it does happen its not just men raping people, and lesbian rape is around 37%, so all this feminist smear campaign against men is bs, yes alot of rape is done by males, but there are still plenty of instinces where thats not the case,, and dont go blame the media for all your problems, if you want to fix this problem educate people dont just smear and blame everyone else, it helps nobody and just exacerbates the problem

    • Isabella Mockery

      The vast majority of all rapes go unreported. Women are stigmatized equally as men are. I have never heard anyone say that a man deserved to be raped. They most certainly say that repeatedly about women.

      No one is teaching the BOYS that abuse of women is barbaric and unacceptable. Why is that not the primary issue here?

      Blaming women for what they wear instead of focusing on the male behavior of the actual rape is rape culture. It is thriving in the American military.

      Rape is being swept under the rug at almost all the major campuses in America as well. The fact that over 70% of women are abuse is a staggering statistic on what does happen to women. The opposite of that is that it is rare for any man to go to prison for rape.

      When rape is not taken seriously it is the glorification of it.

      • josluizsarmento

        «I have never heard anyone say that a man deserved to be raped.»

        Nor have I heard anyone say that a woman deserved to be raped. Not in the developed world, anyway.

        • http://cityzenjane.wordpress.com/ cityzenjane

          This is an argument from ignorance. Please. Just because you haven’t experienced it (as in ALL THE GODDAMN TIME) does not mean it’s not real.

          I challenge you to create a female avi on the net and spend a year posting as an opinionated woman.

          • josluizsarmento

            If my argument is from ignorance, so is the argument it answers. Strictly speaking, neither of them proves anything, but this does not mean they are meaningless. If the ‘she deserved to be raped’ attitude was as prevalent as claimed, I would surely have heard it quite often – I don’t live in a cave in the desert, after all.

            Of course you can construe anything anybody says about the victim’s behaviour as ‘she deserved to be raped.’ But that is your construction, and not neccessarily a sane one.

          • SunnyRainy22

            It saddens me that you’d stoop to implying that the previous poster isn’t sane. It appears to fall into a classic way of putting women down. You’ve undermined your own credibility…

          • josluizsarmento

            I did not imply that the previous poster wasn’t sane. I stated that a certain hypothetical construction on her part wouldn’t be necessarily sane.

            Even if I had implied she was not sane, I wouldn’t be putting women down. I would be putting down a specific, individual woman for a specific, clearly stated reason.

          • Mike

            And just because you experience something (or believe you experience something) doesn’t mean the problem is endemic or epidemic. You giving lectures on logic is utterly laughable given your previous comments

          • SunnyRainy22

            This response is just disappointing.. you’re comment is nothing more than a put down. For shame. To imply a person’s experience isn’t true? Not cool.

      • edtastic

        “Women are stigmatized equally as men are.”

        Men are far more stigmatized in that our culture has yet to accept the full reality of male victimization. The fact we only count men who were ‘raped’ or forcibly penetrated while ignoring any forced sex acts involving his penis is itself an tremendous moral failing on the part of anti ape activist and feminst.

    • edtastic

      What about female on male sexual assault? Rape is defined as penetration and men’s gentials are on the outside. No matter what a person does to a man’s gentials without his consent it’s not counted as rape under the law or in studies on sexual violence so we should abandon that term or insist the rape definition be changed to be male gentials inclusive.

  • MichaelFarese

    Yes, we try to teach young women how to reduce their risk of being raped… we also teach young children how to reduce their risk of being abducted (stranger danger!). We teach the public how to not become a victim of tobacco and alcohol.

    No one glorifies rape. Rape culture seems to exist in certain Middle East contries, but not here.

    • Isabella Mockery

      No one is teaching the BOYS that abuse of women is barbaric and unacceptable. Why is that not the primary issue here?

      Blaming women for what they wear instead of focusing on the male behavior of the actual rape is rape culture. It is thriving in the American military.

      Rape is being swept under the rug at almost all the major campuses in America as well. The fact that over 70% of women are abuse is a staggering statistic on what does happen to women. The opposite of that is that it is rare for any man to go to prison for rape.

      When rape is not taken seriously it is the glorification of it.

      • josluizsarmento

        «No one is teaching the BOYS that abuse of women is barbaric and unacceptable.»

        False. There is hardly any parent, school, church or public institution that is NOT teaching the boys that abuse of women is barbaric and unacceptable.

        The «fact» that over 70% of women are abused woud be a staggering statistic if it was a fact and not a paranoid fantasy.

        If it is rare for any man to go to prison for rape, that’s because most men are NOT rapists.

        You don’t have to send half the male population to prison to prove you are taking rape seriously. One case of rape is one case too many, and seeing it this way is all the seriousness you need.

      • edtastic

        “No one is teaching the BOYS that abuse of women is barbaric and unacceptable. Why is that not the primary issue here?”

        Why are you ignoring male victims and female perpetrators? You’re the one perpetuating rape culture through male victim erasure.

        It seems women are the only class of victim you care about and that’s whack. We don’t need to be lectured on caring for victims by people who intentionally ignore them.

      • Dustin L. Tabor

        Who is this no one? I for one was taught that not only hitting women, but hitting people is unacceptable period. I don’t personally know of any men that hit their wives and wouldn’t associate with them if they did. I actually do know more than a few men who just put up with being casually struck by women, because “it’s not that hard don’t be a baby” or they are are supposed to “man up and take it” or they were raised like most men and believe that hitting in return is just plain wrong because women shouldn’t be hit. If anything “no one” is teaching girls that they shouldn’t hit boys.

    • edtastic

      These lazy attacks on the Middle East sound like right wing B.S. It seems like anything goes when it comes to islamophobia.

  • Anthony Stanton Barondess

    A RAPE CULTURE exists in India, South Africa, and U.S. as normative.

    Who ape-rapes? WHITE JOCKS, colleges teach us. “WHITES slobs mostly, not BLACKS.” BLACK GANSTA’ RAPPERS (fat punks with gold chains with scantily clad white females gyrating behind them with degrading dignity and self-respect).

    Who among us will bring daughters into your FOUL EVIL CULTURE? tsk tsk tsk.

    MILLENNIAL FEMINISTS
    (10 photographs)

  • Sean

    The author of this “article” provided absolutely no evidence for anything she said. Everyone is well aware what “no” means, rapists simply do not care. People joke about the Holocaust, yet somehow it’s worse to do so about rape?

    • privologist99

      How is it ever ok to joke about the Holocaust? There is definitely an anti-semitic culture–in fact, there is an entire movement dedicated to denying the holocaust, even with all of its historical evidence. Not sure I understand your point here.

      On the matter of “no”…it is more about not caring…the defense has often been applied on interpretational grounds, that consent was given when in fact it was not. That is the point of attempting to clarify “no,” even when a verbal “no” is not (or cannot) be given, under certain circumstances of coercion, compromised mental state, etc.

      • instantaphex

        So you admit that there is an anti-semetic culture. What about a murder culture? What about a theft culture? Are all of these prevalent in our society? Are they silently taking over?

        Admitting to an anti-semetic culture creates a problem for feminism. Namely that doing so in effect “waters down” the definition of the term rape culture and makes it a moot point.

  • http://cityzenjane.wordpress.com/ cityzenjane

    Using prison rape as a punchline – is rape culture. Wishing rape on people in prison is rape culture. Making fun of male rape survivors is rape culture. Discussing rape without discussing rape of men and women serving in the US military is rape culture. Ignoring the fact that rape is a tactic of militaries across the globe is rape culture…

    • edtastic

      “Discussing rape without discussing rape of men and women serving in the US military is rape culture.”

      You mean like this article that assumes women are the only victims worth mentioning.

    • Nirst Fame

      Very nicely said.

    • Mike

      No, using rape as a punchline is a punchline. Using murder as a punchline doesn’t make it a “murder culture.” I’m not sure you thought out what you’re saying. Who makes fun of male rape victims and completely ignores military rape victims? First, you can’t just say that happens and because you said it, now it’s true. Second, even if it is true, that doesn’t make a “rape culture.” That just means we are insensitive, unthoughtful, poor reporters (as this “article” obviously show), and that’s all stuff we already knew about humans and Americans – but it does not mean we live in a culture that encourages or condones rape by any means. You should look at your last sentence and ask yourself this: Why is it that OUR country does NOT use the military tactic of raping our enemies and their families? Oh that’s right: BECAUSE WE DON’T LIVE IN A RAPE CULTURE!

      • privologist99

        So, anything the military doesn’t do proves that those problems don’t exist within our own society? There’s quite a difference between formally sanctioning a practice and that practice occurring in an everyday, embedded (often quite subtle, though no less real) way. That is the “culture” aspect: The everyday, subtle, embedded–not so much the formal policy level.

      • Hannah Abbot

        I know plenty of people who make fun of male rape victims and completely ignore military rape victims.

        • http://tech-zilla.com/ TechZilla

          Yea almost every time a male perp is facing prison time, we hear somebody saying something like “He deserves to be raped in prison”. I would throw dollars to donuts that these nutty feminists have said those same things. … “yea well, he raped me so…. yadda yadda yadda ..” Nobody deserves to raped, it’s never acceptable, and it amounts to torture. People must face time for crimes they commit, if they owe society they must pay their dues… but rape should never be one of those dues.

      • Jeff Trechter

        There are MANY differences between rape and murder, one being that there is no consensual version of murder, making cases of it generally much more cut and dry. Another other is prevalence. There is simply a much higher chance (if you’re a woman) of being raped or sexually assaulted than murdered. This means that while in most company while it is relatively unlikely someone in the audience even has a close friend or relative who was murdered, while it is very likely that someone in the audience HAS BEEN RAPED. This means that someone is trying to make comedy, often crude shock comedy, out of an event which in most cases has left them with serious emotional scars, something which they often have never spoken of save perhaps a few close friends, something they live with on a daily basis, and feel they need to hide, to pretend they are not, and never have been, a victim. So rape jokes, which make light of, often even implicitly or explicitly endorse rape (including things like “That girls so hot I gotta admit I’ve wondered if she’d be worth doing time for doing” which I assure you are not uncommon statements in large swaths of male culture in many places) are like someone twisting a knife in survivors, while they fight to keep the pain hidden, possibly even laughing along.
        Notice that in all this I’ve not mentioned if the person who was raped is male or female, because it doesn’t matter, most victims are female, most perpetrators (by far) are male, and rape culture runs strongest by far among men. Not every man contributes to it, but I have serious doubts about anyone who claims to have never seen men who routinely objectify women, refer to finding sexual partners as though it were a hunt, and women the prey, openly talked about lying to, manipulating, and drugging (yes, intentionally getting a girl drunk IS DRUGGING HER) women in order to sleep with them. Seen them, done nothing, and quite possibly laughed along as they are praised for their successes, however gained. That’s rape culture, and yeah, it really exists.

      • KC

        “Why is it that OUR country does NOT use the military tactic of raping our enemies and their families”

        Really? Are you going to say our military hasn’t done it before? Does anyone remember the Mai lei massacre??? Many people died and was raped as a way to strike fear in innocent villages and not to mention that out of the many soldiers who were a part of it didn’t even get arrested just the “commander” who just got house arrest. What did this show me? The killing of many people and rape of the innocent is okay. So don’t tell me this culture doesn’t exist, the media has a way of making it seem okay. The image of woman and the actions of a man are being tarnished by our so called media you just have to open your eyes and see.

      • steve

        you know what? your stupid little rape jokes contribute to making sure that rape is viewed as an acceptable action. and do you know what that leads to? more rapists. and then the finger is always gonna be pointing back at you, you, you. so next time, before you make a joke about how “you just raped that math test” think of the people youre putting in danger. thank you and goodnight.

    • josluizsarmento

      «Ignoring the fact that rape is a tactic of militaries across the globe is rape culture…»

      The fact is not being ignored, much less willfully ignored. Ignoring the fact is not rape culture. The fact itself is.

    • DavidByron

      So feminists are the main source of rape culture, and men the chief victims. And I would add:

      Mentioning rape in the military without saying 90% of it is the rape of men – is feminist rape culture.

      Mentioning rape in war without saying most victims are men — is feminist rape culture.

      Denying false rape accusation targeting men — is feminist rape culture.

      Calling all men “potential rapists” — is feminist rape culture.

      • Dorothy Reeves

        “Feminist” rape culture? Are you joking?!

        • Jack Strawb

          It’s actually a splendidly on target characterization.

          Instead of firing on the messenger, however, why not dispute something specific? Why not quote something s/he said, and tell us what is erroneous or false about it?

      • Jack Strawb

        I haven’t heard the phrase “feminist rape culture” before, but it’s interesting.

        I don’t know that it quite conveys, though, the idea that what you’re describing is rape culture fomented by feminists and that victimizes men (and victims of lesbian partner violence, for that matter, who don’t seem to be getting meaningful help during the rush to paint men as almost the sole perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence).

      • mynsplain

        As a male rape survivor I approve this message.

    • Jared Noland

      it makes me sick to think of us living in the promised land and having 40% of women being raped in the military. What kind of sick twisted culture society do we live in?

      • mynsplain

        It’s worse because more men are raped than women in the military because, well there are more men in the military. I was kind of appalled that that documentary about the cover of rape in the military only profiled women and NOT A SINGLE man. But men are, as they say, disposable so who gives a shit about them.

  • http://cityzenjane.wordpress.com/ cityzenjane

    Surprise – article talking about rape culture brings out all the trolls and defenders of rape culture…along with men who say …well I never experienced this! So it’s not real!

    • Mike

      Surprise – you’ve provided ZERO evidence of a rape culture, just anecdotes and ad hominem attacks against people who are making reasoned points backed by logic and evidence. What about all the women who disagree with you about the existence of a rape culture? How do you belittle them for not having the same experience as you? Rape, sexual harassment, misogyny – these all exist and they have their victims – but that still doesn’t mean we live in a culture that condones and encourages rape. In fact, it’s the exact opposite

      • privologist99

        As I read this, cityzenjane is pointing, quite logically in fact, to exactly what others mean by “rape culture,” as it is manifesting on this very thread. It is not ad hominem to critique the directly observable behavior of others–as that is not a personal attack, but an observation (i.e., evidence). One is, of course, free to disagree with that observation, and offer an argument for why it is not actually happening.

        • instantaphex

          Even if a “rape culture” does exist in the way that you say it does, simply giving a name to it does you no good. Without any data to show proving that this “rape culture” in any way increases number or severity of rapes, it’s pointless talking.

          I don’t believe that we live in a rape culture, but were I to concede that it does in fact exist, it still doesn’t speak to the efficacy of it’s abolition. Maybe rape culture actually decreases rapes. Maybe it decreases false reports of rape. Who knows. Certainly not you.

          But none of that matters because feminists have yet to convince ANYONE besides themselves that this exists. Hell I would even argue that feminists haven’t been able to convince themselves of this. I just keep seeing more and more blog posts where feminists desperately try to convince themselves that rape culture exists.

          The deck of the modern day feminist movement must be stacked with creationists and 911 truthers.

  • Dustin L. Tabor

    Growing up I was of course taught that no means no and nobody is asking for it based on how they are dressed. I was taught that being sexually aggressive and hitting on women is demeaning and unacceptable. I was taught to be almost paranoid of women like they are some kind of life ruining trap set to a hair trigger. I was taught that any form of mildly ribald joke could construed as creating a hostile work environment and it only takes one woman who thinks it isn’t funny to exercise her power to destroy your life, and even expressing interest or being flirty could get you fired from your job or charged with sexual harassment if it’s not reciprocated. It shaped my behavior when interacting with women to such a degree that it took me a long time to reach a point where I realized that’s not quite what the world is like and even longer before I was remotely comfortable letting a woman know that I was sexually or romantically interested in her. In a world where you can instantly lose your job for giggling about the word dongle, and girls have lied about being raped because they’re embarrassed to admit they were voluntarily having sex in public or even just as and excuse for not doing well in classes, I’m not so sure it’s not the minefield I was warned of. So, to me the idea that forcing women to have sex is somehow widely socially acceptable is more than a little alien. It’s only been recently when I’ve seen the way communities come to rally around athletes who are “just being boys” and are not only accused, but have confessed to sexual battery and rape complete with photographic evidence, the way some women who report rape are shunned by their community, or the sheer indifference to the number of rape accusations that’s come with a more gender integrated military that have opened my eyes a bit.

    • SunnyRainy22

      Thanks for so honestly sharing your story here.

  • MichaelYHC

    This article is an embarrassment to rational discourse. Ashely’s argument is that this concept of “rape culture” is proven because many activists Tweeted about it online.

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    • DoubleSpeak

      People’s voices are hushed across twitter for profound rebuttal.. Courtney, avert eyes, curtsy…. Dumb man references twitter as only forum in which to reference anything…. because that’s the only place he reads? never mind the library… he’s got twitter!

  • mofa

    I am sick and tired of feminists bringing their agenda into places aligned with skepticism and rational thinking and delivering misandric hate speech, distortions of the truth, propaganda, bigotry, unproven assertions and dogma.

    • privologist99

      What is their “agenda,” exactly? Emancipation from oppression via social critique? How dare they inconvenience us men that way.

      (By the way, with the substitution of “misogynistic” for “misandric,” your statement about that which you feel sick and tired would uncannily describe what many would argue the patriarchy does to women on an everyday basis)

      • privologist99

        (And not implying, by the way, that all feminists are women, or that they are only directing their critique toward men…just describing the most typical configuration)

      • mofa

        Their agenda? Their propagation of bigotry in the form of anti male constructs and theories that that are asserted as real and true yet are not backed up with evidence or proof. ‘The Patriarchy’ and ‘Rape Culture’ are contrived concepts that are arrived at through a flawed ideology, these concepts are not falsifiable and are not based on any serious peer reviewed studies. These concepts are only ‘opinion’ and the goal post can, and are continually moved. 99% of people in Western Societies abhor rape, it is one of the worst crimes…comes 2nd after murder, and criminal penalties are harsh. We live in a society that has rape…we do not live in a ‘rape culture’.

        • privologist99

          Please see above…

      • mofa

        Their agenda?…The propagation of bigotry through their anti-male constructs and theories that are arrived at through a flawed ideology. ‘The Patriarchy’ and ‘Rape Culture’ are contrived concepts and are asserted without evidence or the backing up of serious peer reviewed study…these assertions are not falsifiable and the goal posts are continually moving. We live in a society that has rape but we do not live in a ‘rape culture’. ‘The Patriarchy’ (this assertion) you refer to in your comments and expect me to take seriously…can you not see that white, educated middle to upper class women are the most privileged human beings who have ever walked this planet?

        • privologist99

          The construct of the Patriarchy is no more anti-male than the construct of racism is anti-white. Being critical of the system that does them harm is not the same as seeking to assert a “reverse” form of bigotry. And I have heard virtually the same argument (certainly an analogous one) against the reality of racism–just because its indicators exist on a sociopolitical level, not a concrete, material level that you can hold in your hand as “exhibit A”–it must be made up and un-falsifiable. I doubt we would contend that we may live in a society that has race-based violence, but that it is not a cultural phenomenon, embedded in everyday thoughts, speech, and action (however elusive those may be as “evidence”). It, like other sociocultural structures, has a collective life of its own, beyond the contents of individual minds. And who wouldn’t tell you that they abhor racism? Even members of supremacist organizations claim that they don’t practice racism. And yet, acts of racist violence continue, as does rape (supported by the everyday thought, speech, and actions of hegemonic systems), in spite of how much people may tell you they abhor it, when asked.

          Just because an oppressive system is difficult to perceive (which is, by the way, a huge part of the problem for those oppressed by such a system), does not mean it is not all-too-real for those it impacts. And, yes, the goal posts do move, because the system knows how to adapt, quite insidiously, and remains a moving target for those striving for liberation. And, yes, sociopolitical evidence can certainly hold legitimacy or lack thereof, based upon the rigor with which it is gathered and presented. I respectfully disagree that such rigor (including of the peer-reviewed variety) is absent, rendering any claims of Patriarchal structures invalid. There is a quite an extensive Feminist and related critical theory literature, based upon some deeply rigorous, prolonged engagement with data, analysis, and prevention for expert/community review.

          Finally, yes, within our the current structures of the culture in which we live, white, educated middle to upper class = privilege; woman = not (any more than being white or wealthy keep you safe if you are openly gay, in many parts of the country).

          • mofa

            Priv… said: “The construct of the Patriarchy is no more anti-male than the construct of racism is anti-white.”….this sentence does not make sense. You are implying with this statement that racism is one way…that it is only white people that can be racist….Racism is treating other humans differently based solely on their skin colour or ethnicity. Some black people can be and are racist towards white people, some white people can be and are racist towards black people. Japaneses people can be extremely racist as they have a history of xenophobia pre World War II and to this day have a hubris and a false belief that they are the superior Asian race. “In 2005, a United Nations special rapporteur on racism and xenophobia
            expressed concerns about deep and profound racism in Japan and
            insufficient government recognition of the problem.” Wikipedia ‘Ethnic Issues in Japan’. All races are populated by people who are racist. The construct of ‘The Patriarchy’ is not anti-male…it is just false, what is anti-male is the movement that contrived the concept and the term. Priv said: “There is a quite an extensive Feminist and related critical theory
            literature, based upon some deeply rigorous, prolonged engagement with
            data, analysis, and prevention for expert/community review.”….Feminism has history of contriving its theories before hand (based on cultural Marxism foundation) and then going out and selectively collecting data that supports the theory. Feminists will also ignore data that does not fit or support their agenda. What is this data that Feminists might ignore you may well ask? The statistics that show that mothers are more likely to harm or abuse their children than fathers. The statistics that show that women are more likely than me to initiate domestic violence etc. Feminists also spread false claims and statistics (knowingly or unknowingly) and then continue to propagate this false information even after it has been pointed out to them as false, examples of the myths being : The claim that Super Bowl Sunday is “the biggest day of the year for violence” – FALSE….The notion that increased sex trafficking accompanies the Super Bowl – FALSE….One in four women in college has been the victim of rape or attempted rape – FALSE…….The phrase “rule of thumb” originated in a man’s right to beat his wife provided the stick was no wider than his thumb – FALSE……Gender is a social construction – FALSE….
            Women earn 75 cents for every dollar a man earns – FALSE.

          • DoubleSpeak

            Well said privologist99 you got points. I like the way you make them. Use their blind foolish ignorance as your sounding board. I hear you.

  • Allison Kirkpatrick

    This is nonsense – there is no such thing as “rape culture”. Rapists are arrested, imprisoned, scorned, shunned, and ostracized in the U.S., as they well should be.

  • John D

    To my sensible Humanist friends:

    Please do not give up hope. Sometimes people latch on to a really silly model of how the world works. The latest incarnation of this is the idea that the US has a rape culture. Many of us, including me, believe this concept is intellectually bankrupt.

    But, many of the people who are pushing this concept are hurting and angry. I think we should politely disagree with them. They will come around in my opinion, once they calm down and have more time to think this through.

    This hysteria will pass. We need not assume that AHA has been taken over by radical feminists. There are still other voices here.

  • Nathair /|

    All rape perpetrated by males and/or against females or children is unacceptable. Everyone old enough to know what rape is knows that unless they have severe mental health problems. The way to deter those evil enough to act in spite of that knowledge is to make them afraid of the consequences. Women need to be supported and encouraged in preparing themselves and in using all necessary force to defend themselves and others.

    • SunnyRainy22

      Sadly this point of view isn’t supported by real world events. This is part of a much larger conversation about the justice system and law enforcement, but the bottom line is that fear of consequences may be part of the issue, but not by far the only part. Rehabilitation and social consequences are what prevents crime. I wish was as easy as you say.. but if it was wouldn’t somewhere be doing it already? :(

      • Nathair /|

        Unfortunately, a lot of politicians are more afraid of law abiding citizens being armed than they are of violent criminals.

  • BrainFromArous

    Two things about rape-as-crime. The first concerns accusations.

    Imagine the following…

    Tomorrow morning, local police show up at Bob Smith’s door with an arrest warrant for rape.

    The accuser is a woman he knows but whom, let’s be clear, he DID NOT RAPE. Yet the police find
    her statements credible and are there to bring Bob in.

    It will be just a matter of days – perhaps a week at most – before all Bob’s coworkers, friends
    and family members know him as an accused rapist.

    Exactly what do you imagine will happen to the quality of his life throughout this ordeal? What
    about the months and years that follow – even assuming he is properly acquitted? What will his family and friends think? How will acquaintances and coworkers act around him?

    What risks does Bob stand of having his social relationships poisoned, reputation ruined,
    livelihood threatened, or savings wiped out as he frantically fights to clear his name and avoid prison?

    If Bob has kids, what are the chances that the State will regard him unfit as a parent? If he is
    totally exonerated, what will he go through to get his parental rights and proper standing back?

    Good thing for Bob that our society is a “rape culture.” Otherwise he might have been in real trouble, eh?

    The second concerns convictions.

    1) It is not “Rape Culture” to insist that accusation does not and must not equal guilt.

    2) It is not “Rape Culture” when those accused of crimes are accorded the presumption of innocence as both a principle of jurisprudence (theory) and placing of the burden of proof upon the accuser and the State (practice).

    3) It is not “Rape Culture” that rape, like some other crimes, can be very hard to prove given that it often occurs in secluded or private settings, with no one present except the claimed victim and offender, and can leave NO physical evidence whatsoever. (Rape “tests,” administered promptly and properly, can return inconclusive and legally useless results.)

    I’d happily hang every actual, real rapist on telephone poles from Times Square to the Grand
    Canyon. But the cold facts are that it can be very difficult to prove the crime, for reasons having nothing to do with any institutionalized, socially-entrenched misogyny.

    • William Ho

      This is exactly what I’m most wary of. This whole ‘blame on the men first mentality’. Furthermore even if Bob in the example manages to get his innocence back he is ruined regardless. Suppose he changes jobs, or tries expanding his social circle, people will not think ‘he is innocent’, any more than ‘he was accused of rape’. Given the type of crime rape is, the benefit of doubt goes to the (in this case false) victim. Perhaps there will be a day when everyone has some sort of ‘contract of consent’ before going out, and make sure there is a team of lawyers ready if something goes wrong.

    • privologist99

      On which planet are men, when accused of rape, typically considered guilty until proven otherwise? You most certainly cannot mean Earth. It is FAR more often the woman in these scenarios whose life falls apart, whether or not she ultimately experiences justice. The US law is in place for ANY case of an unfounded accusation (or rape or otherwise), and is designed to protect the rights of the innocent first. Yes, it is an unfortunate reality that anyone accused of a crime, even if acquitted, may suffer societal marginalization as a result of that accusation, but such marginalization will impact a person who holds privilege FAR less severely than it will impact one who does not. Imagine, for example, if Bob DID commit the rape, but is acquitted, and (hmm…I notice the woman in this equation wasn’t even named (!), let’s say “Barbara”…) Barbara is left as the raped, “false accuser,” now severely rejected by her community, and who may have to remain in fear of Bob’s further retaliation. Institutionalized, socially-entrenched misogyny means that it isn’t easy to grasp on any tangible level, just like (as you have illustrated so well) the very crime in question. it’s a most unfortunate and insidious alignment in that regard.

      • josluizsarmento

        In our planet. Specifically, in some states of the USA and in some Scandinavian countries. Wherever police procedure mandates an “arrest the man” rule in all domestic violence cases, regardless of what the officers may witness at the scene. Wherever “believe the woman” is a rule in the book.

        • privologist99

          Ah, I see. Clearly, I wasn’t aware of such rules and such books. I’m sure examples of those are publicly available to cite/reference, yes?

        • privologist99

          On the other hand, the principle that a person is presumed not guilty until proven otherwise is implicit in the 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments of a rather well-known “book” known as the U.S. Constitution.

      • JustAnotherGuy

        But have you considered the other possibility? Namely that Bob will always be the potential rapist, the ‘could-have-been-guilty-but-for-now-innocent-as-according-to-the-law’ versus Barbara, the ‘woman-who-has-been-let-down-by the-courts’. Secondly, on what grounds are you assuming that Bob is more privileged than Barbara, never mind assuming that the stigmatisation that Bob may suffer is far less? Down-playing what Bob may suffer to an ‘unfortunate reality’ is just as misogynistic. Equality is a two-way street, eating the cake means you HAD a cake, not have.

  • BrainFromArous

    Also, let’s cut right to it, hm?

    The people inveighing against “Rape Culture” are less interested in stopping rape than in Stopping Rape, if you take my meaning.

    What they’re after is the construction and maintenance of Crisis Politics to justify their ideological extremism.

    “Don’t waste my time with talk of due process and skepticism! We’re in a Rape Culture, don’t you see? We’re under attack! Drastic steps must be taken!”

    When the religious do this, we use the apt term Moral Panic. Moral panics are not necessarily based on wholly phantasmal dangers – like rock music indoctrinating kids in Satanism, to pick a famous case – but can arise from genuine problems.

    Child abuse, for example, is all too real. But the hysteria that swept across many communities in the late 80s and early 90s about multitudes of kids being abused and molested by adults in vast conspiracies located in schools and youth programs? That was a Moral Panic. And so is Rape Culture.

  • iknklast

    Rape culture is when movies and plays are more likely to depict the woman crying rape as lying than treating it sympathetically and honestly.

    • Mike

      Please provide examples, because I see rape treated as a serious and horrid crime in the media I’ve been exposed to

      • iknklast

        A very big hit play, Oleanna, by David Mamet. Really Really, a recent hit by Paul Downs Colaizzo, in which the girl is depicted as having possibly been raped, possibly lying, but definitely a manipulative bitch. Those are just two. False rape as a woman trying to get even with a man who has wronged her has been present in TV and movies during my entire life.

  • Nirst Fame

    Rape culture exists within the community of psycho-sexually
    dominant and oppressive males and females, and is a means of capitalizing on
    less aggressive members. What is the big mystery? Success in our society
    perpetuates these evolved behaviors. Alpha-leadership by dominance as opposed
    to Beta-leadership that acquiesces power to the person best suited to serve the
    greater good. This is the real argument being represented here. I’ve seen it firsthand
    being the son of a feminist in the eighties, I have been attacked as a man for
    the views I was taught were equitable. Yes, it is a rape culture. It is your
    denial of it that continues it. Being a man, alone, does not make one part of
    it, telling someone their experiences are misinterpreted in an act of denial, does.
    If you are leaving the person no cognizant choice, free of duress, than you are
    capitalizing on dominance. The problems arise when you have blindly insensitive
    people mixed with overly concerned from being hurt, people. Both having a
    conversation with only the internal message they think or feel. The rape
    culture is a matter of where we are coming from, but what are we headed to? I
    do not want gay posters tagged on my locker because I asked my peers not to
    share their masturbation stories about last night’s conquests with women who
    were too drunk to say no. There are women who are my sisters, my friends, my
    teachers, my co-workers to whom this is disrespectful, but in whatever
    relationship that is mine to share with them, none of them are mine to own, possess,
    or rape. The litmus test is and will be when fantasies of rape are not seen as
    a turn-ons, they are turn-ons because it is a rape culture in either some
    nuance or some overt practices of welcomed aggression and power over a less
    aggressive person.

    • SunnyRainy22

      Well said!

  • rg57

    I am dismayed (to say the least) to see this propaganda and sexism continued on a humanist site.

    No, rape culture (at least in Canada and the US) does not exist. We know this because rape is a crime here, and is punished severely both in the legal system and in the public at large.

    But prison rape culture does exist here. The rape of men and boys within the prison system is not only tolerated, but is expected and cheered as if it should be part of the punishment. Only now is the US federal government getting around to doing something about it, and is actually facing resistance from states!

    By the way, the very same examples cited here have obvious equivalents to show that we live in a murder culture.

    • Mike

      I’m glad you brought up the fact that rape culture does in fact exist in prisons in Canada and the US. I think it would be enlightening for the proponents of the alleged “rape culture” to spend some time in prison and see what a real rape culture looks like

    • DoubleSpeak

      Labeling something as a crime, and making the punishment come with a scarlet letter… Is a cultural backlash to those using the law to defend their rights. a.k.a. rape culture , you are keeping it alive with your ignorance.

  • Darkbeach72

    “stop wondering if a victim is telling the truth or not”
    Have you lost your ever-lovin’ mind? Yeah, let’s just throw our entire legal system out with the bathwater. So we should go straight from accusation to sentencing? Shift the burden of proof to the accused to exonerate themselves? A false rape allegation can be devastating, and they DO happen. You missed the point of the article. We don’t accept these behaviors, culturally. I’ve never heard a water cooler rape joke, nor would I say such thing would be an acceptable part of the culture around any water cooler I’ve ever worked near. Yes, there are trolls, criminals and jerks, but there are always outlying data points. I wouldn’t make the statement that 21st century American culture endorses or enables rape. Steubenville happened, yeah. But we all threw up in our mouths reading those articles. Those perpetrators are not part of our culture. They’re exceptions.

  • Erik Johansson

    So much wrong in this article. Millions of people’s testimony of rape cultures existence on twitter? I guess I better become a Christian as well then, since so many millions of them give testimony of God’s existence.

    Reading the definition of “rape culture” that’s given in this article, it’s overwhelmingly clear that no western culture can be described as a rape culture. Rape culture as a term was first used to describe the disgusting US prison system, where rape was/is entirely ingrained in the whole prison culture among both staff and inmates.
    There, rape was normalized, highly prevalent, and excused or even encouraged by all those who held the power, ie. the staff who didn’t stop it and even joined in, the government who didn’t care, and normal society, who saw it as part of the punishment. In the rest of society, no, we don’t have anything remotely similar to the rape culture that existed in US prisons.

    Also, considering the origin of the term, it’s a disgrace to see a definition that is purposely gendered so that only women can be the subjects of rape culture. Way to go, ignoring the men who actually had to live in a (prison) rape culture.

    • JoeBl

      “Millions of people’s testimony of rape cultures existence on twitter?” because if it is on the internet it must be right.

      • DoubleSpeak

        Only do Your reading on the Twitter? JoeBl go find a book.

    • privologist99

      Systems of oppression hurt society as a whole, but do not directly impact everyone in equal measure. I do not generally hear anyone contradicting that principle here. Feminism is not out to privilege women over men, but rather to mitigate inequalities of privilege all together, for all. It is feminism, though, because as things stand, that privilege is loaded heavily in favor of one gender over another, and the problem is not “symmetrical.”

      • Erik Johansson

        In what way is your post even relevant to what I wrote? Did you even read what you were responding to, or did you just want to post some platitudes?

        Of course “systems of oppression” does not hurt everyone equally, if they did, you wouldn’t call it oppression, but before we even get to there, you have to provide some convincing proof that your “system of oppression” actually exists.

        As for feminism, sorry, but no one have elected you dictator over that movement yet, you don’t get to speak on it’s behalf, or decide what they are working towards. As a movement, feminism is quite similar to Christianity – fractured, diverse and full of all kinds of people, including a great deal of nutcases, including a pretty large group of feminist that actually do want women to be privileged over men, and also a good deal of pretty normal people who just want equality.

        • privologist99

          I believe what I wrote is highly relevant to your post, and I am indeed responding directly to it. I’m sorry if you do not see the connections. Specifically, I am responding to the “purposefully gendered” reference.

          “Proof” comes in many forms. When it exists in the everyday exchanges in language and other forms of subtle human communication, it is difficult to demonstrate in the same way as, say, material evidence in the natural sciences. I have actually been attempting to post a link that cites some important statistics, but this forum doesn’t seem to allow it–I’ll try again later.

          No, not interested in platitudes–more interested in impacting meaningful change. And no, no one has elected any of us dictators about any of the perspectives we hold here, or the interpretations we make about what we have read. I tend to assume that when anyone expresses a perspective, it is just that, but I can understand if it is not implicit to everyone, so I will amend by saying “As I read and understand the vast majority of feminisims, across their numerous varieties and expressions–and, in particular, the brand expressed in the piece, above”… Hopefully that qualifies my position a bit better.

          • Erik Johansson

            Actually, proof comes in two forms. Convincing, and unconvincing. So far, there’s been precious little of even the later form presented in this article and in the comments.
            The author of this piece delivers a straight logical fallacy, an ad populum, as her main argument. If that was supposed to refute the TIME article the author is complaining about, there’s really only one word for it: WEAK!

            Now, as for gendered, so far, the US prison system is the one place that we can really point to and say “This is how a rape culture looks like!”. The vast majority of the rape victims there was male. To then turn around and say “Rape culture is when people use misogynic language!” is utterly stupid.

            Especially in the light of how if rape culture against women exists in western societies, then there most certainly exists one against men as well. At least most countries acknowledge that raping a woman is a crime, whereas in many western countries a man cannot be raped by a woman, because being forced to penetrate is not recognized as rape. This despite ~30% of sexual abuse victims likely being men (Aizerman & Kelly (1988), Baier, Rosenzweig & Whipple, (1991), Burke, Stets & Pirog-Good (1988), etc). If you ever heard people say “The way she dressed she was asking for it!”, take a guess what people say when a male claims to have been raped…

          • privologist99

            Yes, a proof may be convincing or unconvincing, but I don’t see that polarity as the only defining continuum of a proof’s cogency. For example, various forms of communication in daily life, including in the linguistic realm, can be quite valid indicators of a culturally-embedded system of oppression. The word, “Bitch,” for example, while applied to men as well as to women, often indicates sexually objectified status, yet is decidedly a term referring to the feminine–i.e., to be sexually subjugated means to be in the role of female relative to the abuser/rapist. That is still what many feminists (at least the ones with whom I have been acquainted) would contend is an example of the “culture” dimension of sexual oppression. On a more “micro” level, the prison system embodies this as well. Even for inmates who are fortunate enough to escape the actual experience of being raped, they might well live under the daily threat of it happening, via language, social hierarchies, etc. Yet, there are many (more often women than men) who live under such threats, on a daily basis, outside of any physical prison system, as expressed through numerous patterns of everyday interaction–the way men might leer and cat-call at women in public in objectifying ways (with implied power-based threats), and so forth. Sure, it is very easy to dismiss such perceptions of threat as all manufactured in women’s heads–that they are being paranoid, overly-sensitive, etc. But therein, precisely, lies the problem, and therein, again, lies the cultural dimension to which I believe the author of the article refers.

            But your point is well taken that sexual abuse can be perpetrated by either sex against either, and thank you for the citations to a number of studies supporting this. RAINN acknowledges this as well, based upon numerous studies cited on their site (sorry, but whenever I attempt to include the link here, my comment does not post–I think the admins need to review anything with a link?). However, the larger statistical information clearly shows a predominance of rape perpetrated by men against women. Yet, as you indicate, the fact remains that it occurs in different configurations. But this, to me, is analogous to how systems of oppression hurt everyone–mostly those of lesser privilege–but sometimes, those with more, and this can lead to the conclusion that there is, in fact, no privilege at all…much like the conclusion that, because there is, on occasion, black-on-white, racially-motivated crime, that the entire idea of white privileged racism is just a myth. So, the fact that men are sexually threatened and assaulted negates a patriarchy that supports the greater peril of male-perpetrated rape of women. At least that is one way of understanding the matter (and I expect there to be disagreement on this which is fine).

            Personally, I am not as invested in defending the quality of this particular article as I am in the larger issue to which the article refers. In that regard, I laud the author for her work, and for her attempts at meaningful deconstruction of an embedded problem (however “well” we agree she has accomplished that objective in her writing and argumentation).

          • DoubleSpeak

            You can not convince those with closed hearts any more than you can convince the blind to see, the deaf to hear, or the mute to speak. You must be willing to drink the water horse, or you will dehydrate..and your substance in this matter will shrivel up like your impudence to rational debate. You can lead a horse to water, but it will die if it’s as stubborn as an………..

          • DoubleSpeak

            Do not apologize for other people’s apparent deliberate lack of comprehension. Their loss.

      • josluizsarmento

        Feminism? Which one? There are literally dozens of belief systems and political organizations that can be labelled “feminist”, including some that are mutually exclusive. They cover the whole gamut from the fair and reasonable to the downright monstrous. And yes, some of these varieties are actually out to privilege women over men. If you claim the ability to send someone to prison on your say so, regardless of the burden of proof, you may call yourself a feminist but what you really are is a power-hungry monster.

        • privologist99

          Yes, there are indeed multiple feminisms, and were there such a feminism that actually sought to privilege women over men (of which I am skeptical, although I am open to hearing examples), I would be equally critical of that. However, based upon the piece above, I am reading a feminism primary concerned with critiquing the structures that privilege inequitably, not an agenda to harm men, get them into prison, etc. But that is my perspective, anyway.

          • DoubleSpeak

            I am going to go mold some fem-bot idols, brew some love potions, and do a dance the halls of Aphrodite! Privlogist99 you have out witted the dumbing down of the topic again! This is a celebratory wiggle jig… didn’t see it? it was brief… so much opposition to accepting, No we are not talking directly about you, specific man all must be directly relative to so that it exists… Not all men are dumb (or specifically that dumb), just like not all women are bright… a matching pot for every lid, tea for every kettle. If it isn’t directly about them, HOW DO THEY RESPOND? ( didn’t see it, didn’t hear it, doesn’t’ exist? fight fight fight?) In this discussion; Bad logic of SOME men ( not all ;-)) < I know some of you need to HEAR that this song isn't about you.

          • DoubleSpeak

            The Amazonians are coming to take him away. Ho, ho, Hee, hee, Ha, ha! To …. Wonder Woman’s lair? reverse alarmist? is this backlash for being denied entrance, or wishful thinking?

          • Romantic Placebo

            So, uh, did it occur to you that a “Love Potion” is basically a magic roofie but with a rosier ending?

        • DoubleSpeak

          The Arizonians are coming to take him away. Ho, ho, Hee, hee, Ha, ha! To …. Wonder Woman’s lair? reverse alarmist? is this backlash for being denied entrance, or wishful thinking?

  • http://www.justinvacula.com Justin Vacula

    Jordan defines rape culture as “an environment in which rape is highly prevalent, normalized and excused by society’s media, popular culture and political figures [...] perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, which creates a social culture that disregards women’s rights and their safety.”

    Mere wondering whether people who allege to be raped, according to Jordan — as it seems from her piece — is evidence of and promotes ‘rape culture.’ Jordan’s wording, “wondering whether victims of rape are telling the truth,” is problematic because she assumes women [note that her definition of rape culture specifically mentions women and excludes men - intentionally or unintentionally 'erasing' male victims of rape] who make allegations of rape are victims of rape just because they say they are; the use of the word ‘victim’ betrays a bias within Jordan – that hearing testimony is enough for Jordan to believe someone actually is a victim – regardless of any evidence supporting allegations or demonstrating innocence of the accused and that, which must follow, that an alleged rapist really is a rapist – all on mere testimony.

    Jordan could instead write about — and rightfully criticize — people who hastily dismiss claims of rape without sufficient reason to do so, but does not. Wondering whether someone is a victim of rape is not hastily dismissing claims of rape or “disregarding women’s rights and their safety,” but rather is a reasonable response to a very serious allegation. One may wonder and later believe someone who claims to be raped [upon obtaining sufficient evidence], for instance; wondering and hastily denying are not equivalent.

    Skeptics — those who, at the very least, should withhold judgment about a claim if there are no salient reasons to believe a claim — should ‘wonder’ about allegations of sexual assault and even ‘trust, but verify‘ when this is deemed appropriate (and the burden of proof, by the way, is on a person making a claim – one need not ‘disprove’ something if there is no evidence to ‘prove’ it.

    A bearer of information, though, can be an unreliable source – especially people who claim to have been raped but have a history of false allegations and behavior which would diminish one’s credibility. A story about sexual assault may, for instance, lack credibility if the person claiming to be assaulted contacts the alleged perpetrator following the alleged rape claiming they enjoyed themselves, wanting to arrange future meetings, etc.

    Even when there is no reason to actively doubt or outright deny a claim, it is good practice to withhold a judgment until evidence — something much more than mere testimony — supporting a claim is offered, especially when the consequences of holding a belief are dire. Allegations of rape, for instance, can lead to extreme consequences…even if a person accused is later found to be not guilty and/or the person making an allegation retracts an allegation (people often remember allegations and fail to notice/not remember retractions and false claims).

  • http://www.justinvacula.com Justin Vacula

    Once again, as is usually the case, a feminist casts people who actively question their beliefs as horrid. Disagree with, question, or even wonder about the ‘approved mode of thinking’ and you are a ‘rape apologist’ misogynist who disregards women’s rights and their safety.

    Rather than having a productive conversation or discussing ideas, feminists often attack people – attempting to dismiss them from a discussion. Sadly, reasonable conversation with feminists like Ashley Jordan (although she may ‘prove me wrong’) is next-to-impossible because, as I mentioned, personal attacks are the order of the day and discussion is absolutely refused despite open and honest invitations to have discussion from those who dare to disagree [or wonder].

    • SunnyRainy22

      It’s sad you have generalised so many people. You are talking about invitations to open and honest discussion, but I from what I’ve seen on this board there actually aren’t any from the disagreeing side.. on that side are many personal attacks, put downs, and bullying tactics.

      I think an open conversation would be great. However, from the post you just made I don’t think many of the contributors, nor you yourself would be entering into one in any open minded or unbiased way. I think that because you have jumped to conclusions about those expounding a view that is different from your own so fully and readily with no evidence, and also you are directly and personally putting them down… which you just said was makes a conversation impossible :(

  • Dennis

    I live in India. There is a lt of rapes here. Most don’t get to the news. In Muslim countries the raped woman is punished.

    • JustAnotherGuy

      Point stands. It’s a one thing to say ‘there is a rape culture in India, and Muslim countries’ and another to say it’s everywhere

  • JustAnotherGuy

    Regarding the article, since when is twitter meant to be evidence of anything substantial? Secondly, as mentioned by many already, ‘stop wondering whether the victim is telling the truth or not’. Did the author stop and read what she just wrote, or was she too busy pushing the ‘rape culture’ mentality. Lastly, what is the reasoning behind making women to be the only authority on what rape consists of?

    One can argue for better sex education on the idea of consent, but since when does that equate to not using common sense? (especially in a time where it actually needs to be taught) Surely knowing one’s own drinking limits, being aware of one’s surrounding and so on does not in anyway promote rape culture, any more than it promotes self-preservation.

    The above article is merely a display of blatant intellectual laziness.

    • Jeff Trechter

      Do you deny the existence of a pervasive rape culture in our country? One which encourages men to use aggressive, questionable, and downright illegal tactics to sleep with women, and places the onus on women to avoid such men, condemns them if they fail to do so, and congratulates the men on their achievements if they succeed in sleeping with a woman regardless of how they managed it (barring an outright admission of physically forcing her). Do you deny the constant devaluing of rape as a crime through the widespread use of it as a slang term, a punchline, and a casual threat? Do you deny that minor sexual assaults (grabbing strange women’s breasts, butts, etc.) and verbal sexual assaults are extremely common, rarely prosecuted, and often laughed at while the victim is told to “get over it” because it’s just “boys being boys”? Do you deny that women who speak up about having been raped are routinely ostracized, publicly questioned, and even partially blamed in a way that victims of other crimes are not?

      • JustAnotherGuy

        I assume firstly by ‘our country’, you mean the States. Even granting that, you still missed the point. Do you deny that men once accused of rape have their reputation in complete tatters? Do you deny that the law does make deliberate effort to punish the rapist, once found guilty? Do you deny that men who speak up about having been raped are routinely ostracized, publicly questioned, and even partially blamed in a way that victims of other crimes are not? Do you deny that minor sexual assaults (grabbing strange men’s arms, butts, etc.) and verbal sexual assaults are extremely common, rarely prosecuted, and often laughed at while the victim is told to “get over it” because it’s just ‘woman’s way of showing admiration’?

        Re-read my quote: “Knowing one’s own drinking limits, being aware of one’s surrounding and so on does NOT in anyway promote rape culture, any more than it promotes self-preservation.”

        And lastly since when is one’s own personal safety become the responsibility of others?

        • Jeff Trechter

          With the exception of men accused of rape having their reputation in tatters, which is often not the case, unless they are convicted, no, I do not deny any of those things, in fact, I consider many of them to be part of rape culture, it’s not about men vs women, it’s about not normalizing rape and sexual assault, so when men are ostracized or mocked for speaking out it’s just as bad as when women are. This isn’t about a failure of punishment of convicted rapists, it’s about a culture which subtly encourages and protects rapists, not a legal system that does. Of course it’s MUCH less common that strange women approach strange men and verbally or physically assault them, but when it happens it’s inappropriate. Being careful doesn’t promote rape culture, telling rape victims that they should have been careful does. Focusing on what potential victims can do to avoid becoming victims rather than focusing on cultural norms which lead to perpetrators becoming perpetrators and which are caustic in their own right is rape culture. So I’ve answered all your questions, care to answer any of mine?

          • JustAnotherGuy

            ‘telling rape victims that they should have been careful does.’ -not what i said

            ‘Focusing on what potential victims can do to avoid becoming victims rather than focusing on cultural norms which lead to perpetrators becoming perpetrators and which are caustic in their own right is rape culture.’

            Since when are the two mutually exclusive? maybe in some distant future it is possible to eradicate the ‘rape culture’ (whatever that is meant to mean). For now, teaching people to be more alert about their personal safety means LESS future victims of crime, rape or otherwise.

            There is no denial in the claims that you listed do happen in reality, as shown also in mine. Your reaction is similar to those who claim that because there is a culture which subtly encourages violence, all forms of media containing violence should be banned. Individuals who play violent video games must be violent individuals.

            Again my question is firstly, when did one’s own personal safety become the responsibility of others? Secondly, one can argue for better sex education on the idea of consent, but since when does that equate to not using common sense?

            You never answered any of my questions aside from giving me a whole list of pseudo-questions which imply that accepting your claims equals accepting that rape culture exists.

          • Jeff Trechter

            There is a violence culture, and things which feed into it should be questioned, I’m not talking about bans, it’s hard to change a culture through legislation, the point is to simply challenge it with human interactions, and to do that it must be identified. And yes, I asked whether you acknowledged the existence and prevalence of various aspects of rape culture, and in doing so tried to bring you closer to acknowledging it’s existence. Personal safety in civil society is always partly the responsibility of others, this is codified in laws and visible in social norms and expectations. It is reasonable and fine to teach everyone ways to stay safe, statements like “why do we spend so much time teaching women not to get raped rather than men not to rape” are intentionally incendiary, they are trying to raise a point and get some people riled up to sign on to fight rape culture. They aren’t attacking people who think it’s fair to suggest defensive behaviors, they are attacking a culture in which it is women who have to spend so much time and energy worrying about and avoiding rape while men, so many men, do things which tacitly encourage rapists, who are overwhelmingly male. Any questions haven’t I answered? I agree that courts and police shouldn’t assume the guilt of accused rapists, any more than they should in any other case, I’m saying that the common public/private narrative which often focuses at least as much on the possibility of the accuser lying as the accused being a rapist, and which in cases where the accused is well liked, powerful, or seen as in some way “unlikely” to be a rapist then the conversation is often focused on the LIKELIHOOD of the accuser lying, or being at fault somehow. Victims of rape aren’t given anywhere near the same level of support as victims of other crimes. You seem to even acknowledge that rape culture exists, though you hesitate to name it that. Well, the name is just a means of unifying a bunch of different cultural traits which are increasingly being challenged as regressive, sexist, and likely to perpetuate rape. You say that “maybe in some distant future it is possible to eradicate the ‘rape culture” well I doubt it, there will always be rapists, and people who act in ways that encourage them and hurt victims. It’s not about eradicating it in the future, it’s about weakening it now.

          • JustAnotherGuy

            No disagreement there, but the people riled up tend to be the ones who would over-react, and in some sense more simple-minded, and the issue becomes an ‘us versus them’ scenario. Being in NZ, the effects can be felt. The issue is making the concept behind ‘rape culture’ more clear, rather than vilifying the majority of men who have done nothing wrong. BTW, reading the original article in the TIMES, it is not that different from what we’re saying here. There is a lot of changes to be made to society and ways to achieve that. Making it into a black and white, us-versus-them issue is not one of them.

            On a side-note, I know a friend who slept with a guy (who was completely sober) while being over-the-top intoxicated. She remembered virtually nothing, if her friends did not tell her. I suppose you would admit that there’ll be those more than willing to jump and say it was rape and if she disagrees, she is in denial/afraid etc. And to be honest, I would’ve wanted to do the same, barring the fact that doing so doesn’t do anyone any good. And no she wasn’t raped, she told me she would’ve consented either way.

            The point is to show that, as with most commenting here, that the whole ‘stop wondering if a victim is telling the truth or not’ is a huge leap. It’s like asking the police to arrest and detain the accused immediately without investigating (ie the ‘wondering).

            Fighting for a worthy cause is one thing, being intellectually lazy about it is another. My gripe as with many others is the latter.

          • Jeff Trechter

            Okay, well, I think I can wrap this up. Your original comment was blunt, you accused the article of intellectual laziness, called out a few problems, and then ended with saying that being safe doesn’t promote rape culture. If your goal is to decry generalizatons and simplifications then you did it badly, because you set up some straw men, ignored a great deal, and came off as someone who was denying the existence of rape culture. What’s needed is nuance; both in your comment and in the article. Your comment about being safe was misdirection, neither the article nor anyone talking about rape culture is claiming that women being safe, and avoiding dangerous situations are somehow promoting rape. The apparent focus on what women can do to avoid being raped while the behaviors and systems that faciliatate embolden and protect rape are ignored as being an unchangeable norm, just the landscape we live in, is what feminists object to. We tell men “don’t rape” but then turn around and joke that “if you do you’ll go to jail, and then you’ll be the one getting raped” which of course implicitly endorses prison rape, presumably as punishment. We tell women that they should always walk with a friend at night and the focus is avoiding rape, even though we know that stranger rape is far less common than accquaintance rape. The point is about cultural focus, not individual actions taken to protect oneself. You also seem to think that this about legislation, prosecution, and punishment. It’s a cultural war, not a criminal or legal one. When they ask people to “stop wondering if the victim is telling the truth” that’s not directed at lawyers and judges. It’s directed at people in the victims everyday life. Think about it like this, we know false accusations are very rare, so everytime a victim speaks out against their rapist, and the media (if it’s a big case) the internet, or in more local affairs just friends, neighbors, and people around town raise questions about the accused’s innocence, and seem to say that there’s just no way to know, they seem to be saying that it’s a total tossup. Now in most of those cases the victim is telling the truth, so they hear all these people, many of them supporting their rapists, saying he’s a great guy, a good friend, wouldn’t hurt a fly, kind to women, whatever, and saying that she’s lying, either outright out simply through implication. So they are claiming that she is not only NOT suffering from what he did to her, they’re also saying she would willingly lie about something so terrible, willingly chose to be treated like a broken woman, a cheapened woman, a sullied woman, all to try to hurt this man. That’s the issue you touched on when you challenged the point about not wondering if the victim is a liar. If you’re going to engage this issue (rape and sexual assault) it’s a good idea to recognize that you are probably entering this with a very different set of experiences and biases about the subject. As “JustAnotherGuy” you represent the gender which is by far most likely to be the rapist, and least likely to be raped. The same is true of sexual assault and other unwanted persistent sexual advances. If you have a lot of close female friends, then you may have some concept about the regularity of rape, but in all likelihood you don’t have that kind of friend group, and with that username it will be assumed that you a fairly typical (American?) guy. You probably haven’t had many, perhaps any, close friends tell you they’ve been raped, you probably don’t hear many complaints at all from them about sexual assaults, and rarely about unwanted sexual attention. Women, who are more likely to have female friends, even if they haven’t experienced rape or serious sexual assault, have almost certainly heard from close friends about their experiences with rape, sexual assault, and of course the constant unwanted sexual attention. Like it or not, when you enter into this conversation as a male, you have to be particularly careful, not only because your comment will be judged with those assumptions in place, but also because it’s probably formed with at least some of those biases and blindnesses. Women have thought about, feared, learned how to avoid, heard first hand accounts of, experienced, and recovered from rape and sexual assault much more than men have on average, and so they enter into this conversation much more experienced with the subject matter, and sometimes apparently extreme or over generalized comments from them are just shorthand for something which people who’ve been engaged with this subject know all about. Blunt comments from you can cause a great deal of pain to people who will, rightly or wrongly, see them as a denial of the entire concept of a rape culture, and in some ways a defense of the behaviors which contribute to rape culture.

          • JustAnotherGuy

            Actually, the straw-men were yours not mine, aside from your long list of ‘do-you’ questions you provided nothing in your first reply. I gave a similar list to show that by switching ‘women’ to ‘men’ in your questions. As to being safe, it is something that should be done regardless. If you actually read the ORIGINAL article. As to the ‘individual versus society’, all you really did was to make it seem that people should not be mindful of their own safety and hence no responsibility. You take me out of context, make assumptions about me, and then throw another tirade of personal attacks.

            “As “JustAnotherGuy” you represent the gender which is by far most likely to be the rapist, and least likely to be raped. The same is true of sexual assault and other unwanted persistent sexual advances. If you have a lot of close female friends, then you may have some concept about the regularity of rape, but in all likelihood you don’t have that kind of friend group, and with that username it will be assumed that you a fairly typical (American?) guy.”

            I never knew I was American

            ” If you have a lot of close female friends, then you may have some concept about the regularity of rape, but in all likelihood you don’t have that kind of friend group, and with that username it will be assumed that you a fairly typical (American?) guy. You probably haven’t had many, perhaps any, close friends tell you they’ve been raped, you probably don’t hear many complaints at all from them about sexual assaults, and rarely about unwanted sexual attention.”

            Another baseless assumption. Firstly, it’s one thing to ‘stop wondering’ as someone who knows the victim. It’s another thing to assume that law enforcement has to do the same. What this article really does is further push a mentality that is for initial stages of change, the start-up so to speak. Over-emphasis turns the sympathetic to apathetic.

            Throughout, it is you who is on tangent, brash, and presumptuous. I can say at the very least you’re a typical self-congratulating American. Opinionated but extremely shallow in their worldview, often dismissive of shades of gray, and everything must be black and white, in addition to jumping to conclusions by assuming their own ‘victory’. See, I can go with the stereotyping too.

            Last, my first comment refers to THIS article, mainly for those who are too keen to spout their opinions first, but never taking the time to READ and REFLECT.

  • stranger

    “consent is sexy, yes means yes”

    • privologist99

      Unless the “yes” is coerced or drug-induced. Then, it’s neither actually consent, nor is it, in any way, “sexy.”

      • dude

        So women can’t be in control when they drink, but men are? Double standard much?

  • privologist99

    Thank you, Ashley, for courageously working to uncover the all-to-easily deniable structures that perpetuate privilege for some, at the expense of others. Your emancipatory agenda is precisely that which, IMHO, constitutes a true humanist. This white male appreciates what you are and others are doing to rout out the pathologies embedded within our culture, even in the face of those who attack you for asking the tough, uncomfortable questions–and there is plenty of evidence of the systems and structures that you critique–though, naturally, it’s in the very nature of those systems and structures to tend to remain hidden, to be easily dismissed, and to defend against threats to their own continuity, which is precisely the reason they perpetuate. The risks, perseverance, and all facets of the hard work may be dismissed by many, but certainly not by all. Please continue, and never lose heart.

  • Tiia

    Oh this breaks my heart. As a female victim and the partner of a male victim. This isn’t male vs. female. This is about HUMAN RIGHTS.

    • Tiia

      Feminism is for everybody.

      • privologist99

        Indeed it is, Tila. That is as clear as the bright blue sky, even for someone like myself, endowed with white, male, hetero privilege. Hegemony benefits no one in any true sense, and can likely lead to the destruction of our civilization, if allowed to continue unchallenged. I see my role, therefore, to do whatever I may to support those engaged in the struggle against such embedded, institutionalized inequalities, or–at VERY least–to stay the hell OUT OF THE WAY and not make things worse in the course of that struggle.

  • http://www.landofnerds.com Mandy Oviatt

    I agree. Rape culture does exist. Proof is in our media.

  • Soopy

    Rape culture ? Completely irrelevant, because it’s a red herring.

    Looking at the bigger picture, you’ll quickly find that the US is first and foremost a culture which glorifies physical violence. You’ll have the hardest time finding even the smallest corner in this society, where violence is not promoted and glorified. Where would you even start looking for that “safe space”, being surrounded by TV programs, news casts, cinematic films, rap music, gang culture, sport and fighting events, gun shows, police brutality and the military-industrial complex ? The US is obsessed with violence. It’s an all-encompassing cultural fetish.

    Truth be told:
    Everything you observe in american everyday life is explained by that cultural fetish – from Rodney King to Trayvon Martin, from Columbine to Fort Hood, from the Iraq war to drone strikes in Pakistan, from tens of millions of unreported assault crimes each year, to rape and murder numbers going through the roof.

    You know, there’s a reason why the US has the largest prison population in the world – and that’s because the USA has the largest number of violent criminals in the world.

    The average liberal detractor will try to make you believe that prisons are full of peaceful hippies, whose only crime it was to be arrested with a marihuana joint – a quick look into these prisons obliterates that myth. And let’s not even mention that an unbelievable amount of violent criminals aren’t even in prison, although they should be there. The prison-industrial complex is surely happy about its ever growing amount of customers.

    So how can “rape culture” be put into that context ? If it exists at all, then it’s an arbitrary name given to a handpicked, minor subset of a general problem. And if you look closely, it targets men and women. For every secretly sent rape threat email a woman receives, you’ll find an enthusiastic public condonement of anal rape directed towards a man.

    So please… “rape culture” ? Boooring.

    • Karlheinz Groeger

      Perhaps we wouldn’t have the world’s largest prison population if it weren’t for corporations and groups like ALEC working overtime to privatize prisons, and make everything they can think of illegal, so they can make lots of money!

  • John D

    Beware of statistics. As an engineer I use statistics everyday in my work. As the old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. Rape statistics are known to be poorly gathered, deceptive in scope, and biased. I am not saying that rape is a trivial issue. I am saying that the concept of “rape culture” is flawed. This is the point made by the original Time Editorial. The concept that the US is a rape culture does more harm than good.

    The fact that you have different life experiences from me does not support or discredit the concept of rape culture. I fail to see how any of this is relevant.

  • DavidByron

    Rape culture – if it exists at all – is perpetuated by feminists, and it’s victims are men.

    • Barbara

      You’re part of the problem if you are really just dismissing this as being “perpetuated by feminists”. Time to grow up and take a cold, hard look at reality.

      • josluizsarmento

        Victimization is an industry worth many millions of dollars. Some feminists may perpetuate the mith of rape culture out of honest belief, but mostly it is part a cynical bid by professional feminists for political power over men and other women. You, Barbara, are part of the problem no matter how good your intentions may be.

        • Barbara

          Your argument would be more credible if you could actually spell the word, “myth”.

          • josluizsarmento

            I am sorry that English is not my mother tongue. Even so, I generally spell better than many native speakers. Actually, I do know how to spell “myth”, I just was led astray by the interference of my own language. What I fail to understand is how a spelling mistake makes my argument less credible. Perhaps you are clinging to straws, aren’t you?

  • john

    Dude you’re an absolute moron if you think cons and lying to women are the same. The reason its a CON is because you actually take their shit and never give them the life insurance. With sex, it doesn’t work like that. Sex has no monetary value. I can’t believe i’m even debating this point. Even 3rd wave feminists wouldn’t consider girls with low self esteem getting wooed into bed “rape”.

    • Jeff Trechter

      You stated that no one could manipulate you into giving them all your money, I was drawing the parallel to people who DO manipulate people into giving away significant portions of their money, to disprove your notion that “if rape is so horrible, how could you get manipulated into it?” I’m not saying they’re the same, and yet rape culture is visible in the way we treat men who lie, manipulate, and drug women to have sex with them, vs those who do the same to people in order to get money. You also ignored my point that since alcohol is a drug, intentionally getting a girl drunk in order to have sex with her IS drugging her, if it’s done deceitfully (by making drinks stronger for instance) then it’s not functionally different than a date-rape drug. Ultimately though it’s not about placing a line at which it should become illegal, it’s that in broad swaths of male culture in this country, men who are in the gray area aren’t sleazy bastards who are skirting the law to do horrible things, they’re players, cool guys who are slick with women. That is rape culture, that’s what you’re denying exists. Oh and sex certainly does have monetary value, escorts are proof of that.

      • john

        1. Stronger drinks do not equal date rape drugs

        2. Cons work under the presumption that you will make money by giving some away. Nigerian e-mail scams work because people believe they will make millions. Sex manipulation is different because it’s convincing someone to have sex with you for the sake of having sex. If a girl is convinced into giving it up for the promise of money, well, it’s pretty hard to feel sympathy for her when she gets no money.

        3. Just because prostitutes sell sex doesn’t mean that it has a base monetary value. That’s a pretty sick way of looking at it.

        • Jeff Trechter

          The fact that some rape cultures are worse (congo, prison) doesn’t invalidate the existence of one here. If men lie in order to get a girl to sleep with them, for instance telling her that he’s rich and wants to take her to Paris, or even just manipulates her into having pity sex, it is, morally if not legally very similar to a con, and also very similar to rape. In fact, rape by fraud is a legal term, though it tends to only be used in extreme cases (pretending to be a woman’s husband for instance). If a woman willingly engages in sex for money and is not paid she has been robbed, and I feel the same sympathy I would for any business woman who was robbed, the fact that you wouldn’t reflects poorly on you. Alcohol is a drug, enough of it incapacitates a person and makes them extremely suggestible, how is that different from a date rape drug?

    • The Truth

      Sex has no monetary value? That’s pretty ridiculous. Did you not ever hear the phrase, “Sex sells?” I guess commercial property has no value either, because it’s not direct money… People get money for sex every single day (i.e. porn, sex trafficking, attractive women advertising perfumes, etc., etc.)

  • fdf

    I suggest you actually take a look at the evidence for the Kobe case because it’s clear as day he didn’t rape her.

    Here is some tidbits:

    “The lawyers spoke at the end of the hearing in which investigator
    Winters admitted under cross examination that semen and pubic hair
    belonging to someone other than Bryant was found in the second pair of
    underpants.”

    “The police detective, responding to questions from Mackey, also conceded
    that nurses who examined Bryant after he was accused of rape did not
    find bruises or scratches on him that would be consistent with a woman
    trying to fight him off. ”

    Secondly, she never even tried to take it to a criminal court, she took it to a civil court because she was trying to get money.

  • Vik

    I guess “Don’t drop the soap” jokes are still acceptable, though.

  • instantaphex

    Have you ever noticed that feminists spend more time trying to convince each other that “rape culture” exists that just about anything else? Modern day feminism really looking more and more like creationism every day. Pathetic.

  • Folwart

    No, it doesn’t. A culture of stupidity exists, but rape culture isn’t a real thing. Rape is a real thing and it’s a real problem, but it’s no more a culture than people who pour sugar in gas tanks. There are rapists, there are bad people, but I won’t allow the enemies of decent folk to gain power through moronic concepts propagated by the naive.

    • Folwart

      “…propagated by the naive and the media/entertainment industries.” If you must choose some “crusade” to fight against, choose something closer to the source. This crap is a symptom of a greater problem, that of stupidity. Stupidity is a symptom closer to the source of the problem, lack of conviction and willingness to act to back up those convictions.

  • Jared Noland

    please folks remember that men are not the enemy rapists are the enemy. We need to work together to change the minds and hearts of the next generation our society depends on it

  • Keith Kimball

    To imply that we live in a “rape culture” is intellectually dishonest, self-perpetuating sexist mores and a slap in the face to rape victims. Boys are not taught to rape and girls are not taught to be raped. Rape and sexism is not a gender specific problem. Men and boys are raped nearly as often as women and girls and are 5x less likely to see justice for it. How does rape culture explain that? How does rape culture explain the experience of female-to-female sexual assault? How does rape culture explain that until recently most states didn’t even have legal descriptions for most male victims of sexual assault? Rape is a criminal phenomenon not a cultural one.

    • Barbara

      Pardon, but when you say “men and boys are raped nearly as often as women and girls”, where are you getting this data?

    • josluizsarmento

      «Boys are not taught to rape and girls are not taught to be raped.» Exactly. And that is the end of the matter.

  • Andreas Egeland

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    In this article the most powerful factual claim is the “millions of testimonials that were tweeted on in response”. This is dismissed so simply as by the statement I started with.

    There is also a potent emotional appeal, whereupon the article calls us to recognize rape culture in our own experiences. This amounts to essentially appealing to gather even more anecdotes for the purposes of claiming they are data. Additionally, this appeal suffers from the distressing fact that it is unappealing to those who have not experienced these things to the extent that they seem to perpetuate rape culture. I, for example, am not the kind of person to whom you would express clearly misogynist beliefs. So even if rape culture does exist, as the article attempts to defend, I would likely be one of the last people to know it.

    As such, I would like more evidence-based approaches to the question (where anecdotes are not evidence) as, even if you are right and I do live in a culture that explicitly or implicitly endorses or protects rape and rapists, I would not know it. I assure you, it is more productive to convince critics of the factual validity of your claims rather than emotionally appealing to your supporters.

  • kimberlyferguson1964@yahoo.com

    All of us as women like to be admired and want some attention, more or less. But it is definitely (in my opinion) a part of rape culture when attention becomes synonymous with rape. In other words, because a girl wants attention, she wants to be raped. How absurd!
    Miss K

  • AnonymityForTruth

    “If you want to change that culture, you’ve got to…”
    …watch basically any video by ‘Girl Writes What’ to gather additional perspective. You too have the power to end hundreds of nightmares, not by knee-jerk beliefs that jokes about the taboo cause taboo behavior, but by literally stopping spreading fear. And victimhood. And instead promote the real agency women have so that they can operate confidently in society.

  • impossible_girl

    Rape culture is when anyone excuses their behavior for ogling you by saying “she’s the one revealing too much skin!”

    • josluizsarmento

      A cat can look at a king. Thinking of “oggling” as a behaviour needing an excuse would be insufferable arrogance in an emperor towads a beetle.

  • Alex Reynard

    No, actually, I’m pretty sure that fictitious portrayals of rape, including jokes, do not prove rape culture. For the same reasons that violent media has not been proven to increase violent behavior in real life. Most people can compartmentalize reality and fantasy. Also, there’s the fact that sex crimes have been on a steady decrease for decades now. Fear of a crime does not equate to that crime’s prevalence. It doesn’t matter how many bits of anecdotal evidence we get from Twitter, it is never going to add up to actual evidence.

  • Alex Reynard

    So, you think jokes contribute to rape culture. Do you also believe that violent video games cause violent behavior in real life? Do you believe rock lyrics make kids commit suicide or worship Satan? What other ways do you believe that fiction causes reality, and not the other way around?

  • amusedbeauty

    Rape culture exists and men love it. They know that once women are seen as humans instead of objects they can no longer rule the government, the criminal courts and corporate America. The comments section in any article that highlights women being abused is proof of that…suddenly
    Men are the victims, abused and raped by feminists, and yet women are just milking their victim status if they mention abuse, rape or inequalities in the workplace. The best way to make sure a group does not achieve equality is to brainwash the masses, especially the women who are uneducated and a slave to being liked by men into beleiving they are already equal. Fortunately, there are many men who are educated and savvy so they see through the lies as well as are masculine enough and confident enough not to use Men’s Rights as a way to get revenge on girls who won’t sleep with them.

  • Wiggum Ralph

    Hmmm. what exactly is rape culture?
    Rape culture, simply put, is force-able acquiring/forcing/acting upon of one’s world view through a biased lens that colour the way we see the world, and then acting on it (preaching to others that their “coloured” world view is valid)
    It works both ways- you can say radical feminism that forces everyone to conform to it’s politically correct ideals is rape culture as well.
    Males that genuinely believe (if they exist) women exist solely to please them, and then act on it, is rape culture.
    So is does the sound of a million harpies violating/appropriating my legal rights to do whatever I please constitute rape culture as well because I feel my sense of self assaulted/used/appropriated too.
    End of the day, rape culture is just semantics- just like women upset that there is “man” in “wo-man”, and one that brings out the rage in all of us.
    What feminism (or humanism) should do instead is to work on tearing down social constructs that oppress both genders and not so much on creating and defending fancy terms to pinpoint/suggest which gender is the true oppressor.
    I’m a Choice feminist/mrm (or humanist, or genderist, whatever) Peace out.

  • DeuS_eX_DaRe

    Even by your definition there is no rape culture because rape is not “normalized” or “excused”. No one would take the phrase, “I raped someone today.” as a “normal” thing to say (given a context where rape is not meant as a metaphor or something else…). In fact, most of the ire comes from what is defined as rape, and this only shows how our culture moves away from, not toward, rape. But if your definition is true, then we live in a theft murder racism (and every other crime) culture too.

    If you’re going to define rape culture so loosely that, even while the society actively and openly condemns rape, it’s a “rape culture” because you dislike certain aspects of that culture (that are at least a few steps removed from rape, if not totally unrelated). So either we live in a culture that celebrates all crimes (after all, kids say I murdered you in CoD OMG so we all celebrate murder and don’t think it’s bad now OMG OMG!), or you have to admit we don’t live in a society that ACTUALLY VIEWS RAPE AS A GOOD THING.

  • Peter from Oz

    Of course this silly woman doesn’t define ‘rape.’
    It would seem to her that ‘rape’ means any sex which the woman laetr regretted.

    That is not rape.

    The so-called ‘rape culture’ is just a realisation by many women that they would far rather be living in old-fashioned times when the default position was ‘no’. Of course no leftist can admit that in reality social conservatism id far preferable and better for everyone than promiscuity and social liberalism. So they have to go through the rigours of inventing a non-existent ‘rape culture’ and make the whole problem political. They lie and scheme just because they’d rather abstain from sex, but aren’t brave enough to say so.

    Brendan O’Neill of Britain’s Spiked Magazine has just written a wonder article in which he shows how the current leftist cries of ‘rape culture’ are exactly the same as those used by the KKK in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so as to excuse the lynching of African Americans. The KKK claimed there was a ‘rape culture’ too. They used all sorts of lies and nefarious arguments to go about their work. Whilst modern left-wing feminiosts might not call for the actual death of a victim of their lynch mob, they still revel in the ruination of a man’s carreer.

    These femonazis are very sick and twisted individuals.

    Sinistra delenda est!