Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How to End Men's Rape in North America: a Fantasy Top Ten List

This is a work of creative fantasy writing protected by the U.S. First Amendment.

Written by Julian Real, 2008

Consider this a dream, a thought-bubble over my head. It has been in my mind in some form for a long time--ever since I learned that girls and women are raped systematically and systemically by men. And they are raped precisely because they are girls and women. And the rapist often experiences no public or private negative consequence sufficient to stop him from ever doing this again. He is usually neither caught nor sentenced, for example, not that being caught and sentenced to a series of therapy sessions or a few weeks or months or years in prison makes him ethically and politically incapable of repeating this human rights crime. I, alone, am responsible for creating this list. Feminists I know would have a variety of critical responses to this list being implemented in dominant North American society. I know of no single feminist who would fully support it.

1. After clearing the Criminal Justice system of its endemic racism, misogyny, and classism, change or create laws that make any sexual assault by a man of another person or non-human animal a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for the remainder of his life without the possibility of parole. (This will help cut down on repeat offending in society.)

2. Given that contemporary rape laws generally do little to nothing to deter or pause--let alone end--rape, decriminalize and endorse the creation of vigilante groups, who may responsibly patrol any public or private areas for the purpose of apprehending and detaining known serial rapists, incest perpetrators, child molesters, industry pornographers, corporate and non-corporate pimps, serial johns, and sexual traffickers and traders in girls, boys, intersex and trans folks, and women.

3. If documented rape and child molestation is found being visually distributed to or through a network of sighted men not involved in the work of identifying, apprehending, and arresting sex offenders (via home computers, any other internet-receiving devices, or video/digital/still image cameras or webcams), make the arrest and detainment of such men mandatory, with a penalty of having their retinas destroyed, by laser, or other means.

4. Teach boys that rape is not masculine, an entitlement, or a right. Have every social, religious, and legal institution in society reflect and reinforce that teaching. Eliminate from society all practices, customs, and social codes that endorse men possessing or subordinating women. Teach boys that their penises are not weapons for predatorially penetrating girls' and women's bodies. Make in mandatory for every literate man to read Pearl Cleage's book Deals With The Devil, And Other Reasons To Riot, Andrea Dworkin's book Letters From a War Zone, and Andrea Smith's book Conquest.

5. Abolish frat houses and frat boys.

6. Legally and socially support every woman, individually, carrying the means to effectively halt or apprehend any man who sexually harasses her or physically threatens her. (Such as by women arming themselves with stun guns and restraining devices for this purpose.)

7. Specifically to men: effectively interrupt, at every opportunity, the good ol' rapist boys' and men's "brotherhood" that condones the degradation and violation of women. Do this in your families, among your friends, on the streets, at home, and in schools and places of business. Use physical violence if necessary.

8. Decriminalize being a prostitute, and criminalize (make it a felony with a lifetime sentence without the chance of parole or release) for any man to pimp or procure a girl or woman for the purpose of using or abusing her as a prostitute. (See Sweden's law that does this for an example of how it works.)

9. Make it fully legal, and culturally and socially acceptable, for any white man not explicitly invited onto Indigenous/American Indian/First Nations land to be shot on sight by any Indigenous person on their land, if the white man approaches a girl or woman unknown to him, or not welcomed by her. See this, for some information on why this is necessary.

10. With the educational, social, and legal measures identified elsewhere in this list fully in place, make it a criminal offense punishable by life imprisonment without the chance of parole if a man is found to be engaging in, or is truthfully reported as having engaged in a form of sex with a girl or woman that is not meaningfully consensual, such as a man having sex with a very intoxicated woman, a date-rape drugged woman, or a woman who is severely mentally or physically disabled.


  1. I'm a feminist, and I loved this list. The only thing I wouldn't agree on is blinding people, since it would contribute to male rape in prison. I want ALL rape to stop. Just imprisoning people is enough for me. Keep up the great writing! You've gained a fan. :)

  2. Welcome, Mary, and thank you for your comment.

    I so agree that prison rape must also end, as must the molestation and other sexual assault of children, disproportionately female, especially when it is incest.

    Where I depart from most profeminist men is here: I am working to make conditions better for women (or, well, I can at least pretend I am!!), by keeping the focus on men's violence against women and girls. Too many profeminists, in my view, keep their attention rather self-servingly on what happens to men.

    From what I've learned from women, I didn't think that was the point: I thought the point was for men to find ways of knowing and challenging, radically if possible, the oppressive conditions and experiences of the gender group we collectively subordinate and harm, through actions both aggressive and passive.

    So we are in agreement: all rape must stop.

    I realised that if I was going to get so graphic, I'd better call this "a fantasy list". I have little to no reason to think that what I advocate (or dream about) here will manifest in society. I have lots of privileges, but not that kind of power! ; )

    Lots of male profeminists (too many to name here) have been focusing on how hard it is to be a man (relative to a woman of the same age, ethnicity, and class). Alarmingly and increasingly dominant society's media try to invisibilise exactly who is doing the violence and to whom it is being done. One example is coming up with terms like "domestic violence". (I know women who have been in the movement to end men's battery of women, and they have told me how that term came into existence, and how genderless that makes the violence sound.) I know there is also battery in the gay and lesbian population, and there are plenty of men who want to focus on that: actually just on the gay battery, not about the lesbian battery).

    I want to keep calling it "men repeatedly beating the shit out of women they allegedly love and live with." I'm going to name it clearly so anyone who comes here knows what I'm centrally focusing on, with regard to gender oppression. Men hurt women: subject verb object. (To blatantly borrow from the classic line by Catharine A. MacKinnon in which she placed the f word where I have placed the h word.)

    Yes, men hurt men too, in many awful ways, especially white men against men of color, and heterosexual men against gay men. But, again, I know of very few men who will keep the discussion and the activism on "what happens to women, that men do", and it's kind of infuriating: at some "antisexist" men's events, you'd think women didn't exist at all. And don't get me started on "Men's Studies"!! ;)

    Again, I appreciate you stopping by and sharing a comment here. Please come visit any time!