Monday, October 19, 2009

Are ANY Men "Natural Born Rapists"? (And if not...)

[image of two rapists who, together, repeatedly raped a 65-year-old woman. Shockingly, they have been jailed for life. They were UK nineteen-year-olds David Humphrey, of Middlesbrough, and Lee Beazley, of Hemlington. They broke into the woman's home in September of 2005. Even the press doesn't blame biology: it blames drugs and alcohol. Nor does the press identify white male supremacist society as an influential factor. The rest of the horrifying story with that image is here]

This blogpost tackles two issues:

1. The misquoting of some white radical feminists about their views on sex and rape.

2. My own perspective on this matter, including what I think creates the rapist societies in which is functionally and effectively a form of both terrorism and subordination of women as a class relative to men as a class.

We can clear up the first matter rather quickly; this information applies as much to Andrea Dworkin's work and speech as it does to Catharine MacKinnon's:

From Snopes.com, in their "questionable quotes" section:

Rape Seeded
Claim: Feminist Catharine MacKinnon said "All sex is rape."
Status: False.


A portion of the explanation and history of this false statement is below:
MacKinnon never made the statement which has been attributed to her. (The quote she never gave has been variously rendered as "All sex is rape," "All men are rapists," and "All sex is sexual harassment.") Critics of MacKinnon's work argue she implies all men are rapists, but the quote given here was created by MacKinnon's opponents, not MacKinnon herself.

MacKinnon claims the first reference to her alleged belief that all sex is hostile surfaced in the October 1986 issue of Playboy. According to MacKinnon, the statement (which had previously been attached to feminist Andrea Dworkin) was made up by the pornography industry in an attempt to undermine her credibility. It became inextricably linked with MacKinnon's name after she began working with Dworkin in the early 1980s to write model anti-pornography laws.


(the above was written by Barbara "ms. attributed" Mikkelson)

On to part two of this post:

Are men*, due strictly to nature and general anatomical features, not due to social forces, "designed" to be rapists. Another way to ask this is: Is it inevitable that male human beings will be rapists, particularly endemically against women? (*I define "men" here as follows: socially defined adult male-bodied human beings with specific and abundant male privileges and entitlements assigned to them at birth, upon inspection of their crotches, at which point they were determined not to be females or infant girls and instead the only other sex imaginable, boys.)

Emphatically, I say NO, men are not born with the desire or understanding of rape as a practice, as an act of humiliation and violation, as a form of sex, and as something that will likely become desireable upon hitting puberty, or inevitable at all. But most men I've known disagree with me, saying they think rape is inevitable and will never stop. Meanwhile, most MRAssholes get upset at women who despair about men not stopping this practice, at women who dare to be angry at men for our insistence on keeping rape on the scene.

One of the people most accused of seeming to think this way--a woman who is accused of believing that men are inherently evil or monsters, is Andrea Dworkin. Oh, how the MRAssholes love to go on and on about her in ways that demonstrate they have never read one single book by this activist-author (or if they have, they have not comprehended the thoughts in it). Many men I have met and read are far more upset at women who claim men might not be able to stop rape than the men who do the same exact thing. Why is that?

I challenge anyone reading this blogpost to produce one sentence from any speech, essay, or nonfiction book of Andrea Dworkin's that says "Men are natural-born rapists", that "rape outside of patriarchy is inevitable", and that "all [heterosexual sex[ual intercourse] is rape". Just to save some of y'all the time searching, I'll let you know you won't find any passages that say any of those things. You won't find this in her books, in the parts written by her, because she never said or wrote it as a declaration of something she believed was true. If you want to know some of what she did say about men, sex, rape, and biology, you can read these two essays (actually written by her, not mistranslated through antifeminist, or woman-hating or over-intellectualising academic/anti-activist lenses:

From reading these two speeches, you will actually discover what Andrea Dworkin said:
Speech one on biological superiority.
Speech two on how men can stop rape.

For those scratching their heads wondering "Geez, how is it that I have believed this distortion about her and other radical feminists for so long?!?" I'll offer up one quick answer: men lie about what feminists have done and do, including what feminists have said and say. And Academics are not primarily interested in promoting radical activism, they are primarily interested in doing what they need to do to keep their academic careers going strong, which means discussing the ideas of people who do radical activism.

And, especially, men's lies to ourselves about how undangerous men are, to women and to each other. If honest, we will admit we don't have very great expectations that men will work to make the world a safer, more respectful place for women. If honest, most of us will admit we think rape is not likely to end any time soon, if ever. And we think it, in part, because we foolishly believe men are somehow naturally wired to be rapists. Or we illogically think "[some] animals rape, and men are animals, therefore men rape" or, more horrifically, we think "women like rape, so men will keep raping to satisfy women". (How incredibly selfless of us! NOT.)

Each of these beliefs are ours, men's, not women's, not feminists'. And it's about time men started owning our own psychological, political, social, and economic investment in this notion: that we, men, will continue to rape until such time humanity is no more. And it's about time we stopped projecting our CRAP onto women, and onto feminists in particular. This projection is but one of many ways men demean and degrade women and behave in an antifeminist manner. There are so many other ways, including the accessing images of raped women and reaching orgasm by looking at raped women. Including the physical act of rape that men unrelentingly commit against women. It is not because our penises (and objects we hold in our hands) are embedded with some code for misconduct. Penises and the human men who build their identities on having one, can be enveloped in sex by a female partner; they needn't aggressively penetrate a person. Dworkin notes this in her book, Intercourse. It's not one of the passages MRAssholes get pleasure from misquoting, however, because it reveals they are liars.

If you have read each of those two Dworkin's speeches carefully, you will hear her belief in and hope for men's humanity, and her wish for men to stop one another from raping women. We men suppose ourselves to be so very smart, so tactical and strategic, and so goddamned superior. Surely if we can send men to the moon, can (with women) create new methods of treating many cancers, we can figure out how to end rape without women's help, right?

But most men, almost without exception, do not share this wish--or if we do there's scant evidence of it in terms of how men really do respond to one another's actions that use and abuse women, that violate and degrade women. (How many men do you know--get out just the fingers on one hand, who let other men know that "using heterosexual pornography" is in fact making the decision to support an industry, financially or ethically, by consuming images of incested, molested, raped, and/or pimped women? I have heard exactly ZERO men ever say this to any heterosexual man I know in my presence. I've had heterosexual male friends all my life (don't worry about me for doing so: men's heterosexual misogyny is not medically contagious).

You'd think in decades, maybe, one heterosexual man might let one other heterosexual man know what using pornography REALLY is and does. You'd think maybe, just out of sheer odds, like with monkeys typing at computer keyboards, some heterosexual men might slip up, get the words wrong, and tell heterosexual men they know that their behaviors of predatory voyeurism, visual violation of women-- "eye fucking" as Divine Purpose puts it--are wrong, unethical, not acceptable, unnatural, harmful, and ENDable. Instead I hear men make excuses all the goddamned time for our violating and degrading behaviors towards women, as if we're all in agreement not to call one another out. In a society where men's rape of women is endemic, HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT? (This is not a rhetorical question, fellas. Those among you who take rape seriously as a crime against humanity, and those of you who do not, are welcome to offer your comments here at this blog. I'll only publish the ones that are not woman-hating and woman-blaming, though.)

But there's more. Yes, it get's worse. There's a book--not one I've EVER seen MRAssholes take the least bit of interest in. I've never seen them vehemently and self-righteously denounce this particular book with all the histerical passion and froth at the mouth which seems to be saved up for dissing and hissing at feminists. This book argues that rape is natural and inevitable. No boys, the authors are not Mary Daly, Robin Morgan, or Valerie Solanas. These are two people from YOUR group: privileged white heterosexual men.

This is the book: A Natural History of Rape, by Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer.

What's the matter boys, cat got you tongues? Where's the outrage, fellas? Or are you only upset when you project onto women that they, en masse, think the worst of you? Drop the histeria, deal with your "brothers" and get rape to be a thing of the past. I hope we can do at least that.

No men are natural-born rapists, because rape is a social-political act, not a biological one. It is an act motivated by a desire to humiliate another person, not by a desire made up of hormonal chemicals. It is an act of gynocide, not genetics. It is an act that can only happen if men are not accountable to women, and one another. When men stop men from raping before they do so, when men convince men that all the CRAP we espouse that supports men raping women is bullshit, when we men take responsibility for our actions and stop claiming rape wouldn't exist as a social problem if only feminists would just shut up about it, then rape will end.

END OF POST.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad these men are being sent to prison for life, and I hope they are put in cells with brutal men who beat them up badly every single day of their natural lives until they are dead. I said beat up. No human being deserved to be raped, male or female, but men who rape women should be subjected to the harshest possible punishing environment possible.

not ya mammy said...

Ya know, I'm beginning to think a lot about the christian version of the creation story(what with the bell hooks claim that god is a feminist.) I'm thinking that "god the father" decided to punish the first man, for being such a spineless follower/idiot, by placing a damn peanut in the space where his brain should be. :)

That's the only explanation for why men won't talk about why rape happens. I don't think men are born to be disgusting worthless animals who prey on women and girls at all. I think the problem is our society and the way it teaches boys to be men. When you commodify women and girls, constantly berate boys as being too "girly" (hence othering girls and making it clear that girls are weaker, dumber, less worthy of respect than boys) encourage the lil fuckers to refer to women in misogynist ways, teach them how to objectify women (encouraging lil boys to slap women/girls on their butts and grab their breasts) YOU TEACH THEM HOW TO PREY ON GIRLS AND WOMEN! MEN ARE TAUGHT TO BE ANIMALS, they aren't born such.

If we taught lil boys from the beginning that women/girls are PEOPLE, not play things, not wet holes to stick their dicks in when they come of age, not tits and ass, we would be able do destroy the rape culture men call "freedom of speech." I hate the concept of free speech and love it at the same time. Because of it I can say what I am here... but also because of it men can do/say disgusting, horrific, things to girls and women.

Men don't WANT to stop rape... it's been used as a tool to secure male dominance, why the HELL would they WILLINGLY give that up for "bitches, whores and sluts?" We're not people, we're not human, our humanity isn't real and doesn't matter to them. That's why so FEW, FEW MIND YOU, men get enraged about rape and will do ANYTHING AT ALL to stop the rape culture THEY created and perpetuate with each male birth.

Sometimes I think we should just get RID of all the men! Like seriously, ship their asses off somewhere, detain them in camps, evaluate them and kill off the rapists, abusers, arrogant fuckers who refuse to be human. The ones who make the cut are free to rejoin society (only after women have been healed from the abuse we all suffer at the hands of men though.)

JENNIFER DREW said...

The book Evolution Gender and Rape edited by Cheryl Brown Travis very succinctly debunked 'The Natural History of Rape.' Even more interesting is Evolution Gender etc. contained essays by feminist women and a few pro-feminist men - not ones written by mainstream traditional male academics.

But 'Natural History of Rape' has its uses since it reinforces so-called evolutionary theory wherein it is claimed men use force to gain access to women/girls because of men's supposedly innate desire to reproduce. But truth is men can't reproduce it is only women. Claims men 'rape' because of wishing to pass on their genes neatly avoids asking why so many men rape pre-pubertal girls and elderly women, both of whom clearly cannot reproduce.

Ah so drugs and alcohol caused these two male teenagers to commit rape. Not the fact two male teenagers made a free and informed choice to commit their crimes against an elderly woman.

What next I wonder? Perhaps a male rapist will claim 'it wasn't me because it so happens a part of my body had a mind of its own and I couldn't prevent myself.' Men who batter female partners use similar excuses wherein suddenly the man's fist/hand comes into contact with female partner but man doesn't recall how it happened.

Truth is as you say, Julian men are not biologically driven to commit rape because their sex drives etc are not uncontrollable. If this was true, then innumerable men would be sexually attacking any other human being who happens to walk past them. But men who commit sexual violence against women and children choose their targets and make a conscious decision to commit rape.

Our patriarchal society justifies and condones males who rape women and/or children unless the male rapist(s) have committed the most extreme form of sexual violence against a woman/girl/boy. Even then, immense effort is made to excuse or minimalise male accountability and always the focus is on what did the 'woman/girl do' to provoke the male's attack.

It is a no win situation unfortunately given it continues to be white powerful men who are the ones deciding what is and is not male sexual violence against women and children. Look no further than rapist Polanski who apparently is not a rapist but a 'poor innocent victim!'

Julian Real said...

Hi Anonymous of Tuesday, October 20, 2009 2:43:00 AM EDT,

I would like to see women 65 and older beat the shit out of them in the public square, and then have them drawn and quartered.

Yes, it is good they will never be around women again, assuming there are no female prison guards.

Let them just be with men from now on, until the day they die. And that's my wish for any man who sexually assaults a woman. [To male sexual assaulters:] Get the fuck away from women if you hate them so much, or even if you love them and how it THAT way. Just go be with men, forever.

Julian Real said...

WELCOME not ya mammy,

Thanks so much for posting comments here.

Re: bell hooks on God:
I was wondering if her assumption was that "God" was male. I assumed she meant female! (But that's 'cause I don't call men "feminist".) She's been Buddhist-identified for quite a while. I didn't realise she held to a belief in a Christian man-god.

I'm thinking that "god the father" decided to punish the first man, for being such a spineless follower/idiot, by placing a damn peanut in the space where his brain /should be. :)

The whole erasure of the story of Lilith really irritates the hell out of me. SHE was, according the Old Testament stories, the FIRST woman. She took one look at Adam and said, "Uh. Yeah. I'm SOOOO outta here!" And she left. Then we're made to believe that a man sky-god created "the first woman" (um, what was Lillith????) from his rib, as if men give life from their bodies! I'm so over that messed up story. If ya talk Adam, you gotta talk Lilith. Check this out!:

Adam and Lilith never found peace together; for when he wished to lie with her, she took offence at the recumbent posture he demanded. 'Why must I lie beneath you?' she asked. 'I also was made from dust, and am therefore your equal.' Because Adam tried to compel her obedience by force, Lilith, in a rage, uttered the magic name of God, rose into the air and left him.

Re:
I think the problem is our society and the way it teaches boys to be men. When you commodify women and girls, constantly berate boys as being too "girly" (hence othering girls and making it clear that girls are weaker, dumber, less worthy of respect than boys) encourage the lil fuckers to refer to women in misogynist ways, teach them how to objectify women (encouraging lil boys to slap women/girls on their butts and grab their breasts) YOU TEACH THEM HOW TO PREY ON GIRLS AND WOMEN! MEN ARE TAUGHT TO BE ANIMALS, they aren't born such.

I completely agree with you!!

If we taught lil boys from the beginning that women/girls are PEOPLE, not play things, not wet holes to stick their dicks in when they come of age, not tits and ass, we would be able do destroy the rape culture men call "freedom of speech."

Yes!

Julian Real said...

I hate the concept of free speech and love it at the same time. Because of it I can say what I am here... but also because of it men can do/say disgusting, horrific, things to girls and women.

I don't believe there ever was such a thing as "free speech". It has always had a price, and the price paid has usually been the enslavement of Africans, the genocide of American Indians, racism, classism, and heterosexism, and the on-going gynocide. Basically, privileged white hetero men obtain their right to free speech by being coercive and forcibly silencing everyone else, or grossly distorting what other people have say. I do not believe women as a class, and people of color worldwide have the "speech rights" white men do. And so, to me, this means that when women of color speak out against any or all the many forms of degradation, invisibilisation, exploitation, and atrocity with which they are intimately aware, they are disbelieved, and their speech never makes it into the major white male-dominated media.

Instead pornographers and other corporate pimps use women of color to express the pimp's view of women and what women are allegedly are for.

I completely agree with your paragraph on why men don't want rape to go away.

Sometimes I think we should just get RID of all the men! Like seriously, ship their asses off somewhere, detain them in camps, evaluate them and kill off the rapists, abusers, arrogant fuckers who refuse to be human. The ones who make the cut are free to rejoin society (only after women have been healed from the abuse we all suffer at the hands of men though.)

I hope you'll work that into the plot of the script of the movie that needs to be made, on men going to trial before women judges and juries, for their crimes against humanity (women).

And it needs to be reality, not just a film.

Julian Real said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for your comment. I completely agree with you. Thank you for bringing that book to my attention!! A feminist woman friend wrote a critique of that same pro-rape book, and I'm not sure if she knew of the existence of Evolution, Gender, and Rape.

And Roman Polanski, David Letterman, and all the other rich white powerful heterosexual fuckheads who abuse their power in woman-hating (and girl-hating) exploitative and abusive ways, ought to be in the same row of jail cells as those occupied by the two young British white fuckers. Or in prison in the U.S. We gotta put these white men AWAY! What else do white heterosexual men have to do before they are "profiled"!?

Anonymous said...

I always wondered where those movies were. The movie about how women overthrow men in an epic battle and take over the earth.

The movie where all the rapists are tried by women judges. The movie where men die and realize they have to face lesbian goddesses who then have women advisors who can tell the goddesses which men go to hell and which men go to heaven.
The men of course would have to plead their cases before these goddess judges, thinking in their arrogant way, that once again men can fool women into believing they are really "nice guys" (actually all men believe this about themselves no matter how rotten they really are). So the movie continues, and the men think they will go free. The last scene is where they are all thrown into hell, until a new group appears, and the process goes on until every women in herstory has been avenged. Where are these films?

Anonymous said...

P.S. Since when have women ever had free speech! What planet do these men live on? And of course the only speech they want free is their own. Freedom of the press belongs to those who own the presses was a feminist cry of the 70s, and that's when women literally created hundreds of small presses worldwide. I was a part of that, and it was a proud moment when we covered our own news, and wrote everything ourselves, and at last had our own free speech. I'm sure women have been doing this since writing was invented (by women in several cultures by the way), but men did everything in their power to destroy this writing. And they are still attempting to destroy the work of radical feminists today, only now, they get operations and "change" themselves into women so they can colonize every woman only space on earth and continue the male destruction. The evil cleverness never seems to end apparently.

Julian Real said...

Rock on with everything you said above except, for me, this last part:

And they are still attempting to destroy the work of radical feminists today, only now, they get operations and "change" themselves into women so they can colonize every woman only space on earth and continue the male destruction. The evil cleverness never seems to end apparently.

Your notion that men go in for gender reassignment surgery IN ORDER TO ("so they can") further invade [cis]women's spaces and continue male supremacist destruction is, well, not bolstered by any evidence I'm aware of.

Again, some MtF transgendered people carry and act out male privileges. But there's quite a distance between saying that and saying what you do above.

I won't allow transphobic comments here unless I write them! lol KIDDING. (I hope.)

I'm getting educated on this issue, and from my own experience, directly, with trans folks, no one I know "went through all that" just so they could "pose" as women to gain access to woman-only spaces. MtF trans folks who pass can gain access to woman-only spaces, but that's much more likely to be the public toilet/rest room than any women's organisation or festival. But if you have evidence to the contrary, that people have the surgery IN ORDER TO gain such access, I welcome you to send it on over.

And keep the comments coming, please! My taking issue with one portion of what you wrote doesn't mean we aren't largely in agreement!

Anonymous said...

Then why are trans activists targeting lesbian feminist spaces, and causing our art work and musicians to be banned? Something is up here. While not a conspiracy, I think it is like introducing a new kind of animal into a territory where the other animals aren't aware of a potential aggressor in their midst.
This means MtFs don't even know they are bring male entitlement into lesbian spaces, they don't even suspect their own aggressiveness and domineering natures. Heck non-trans men don't even know what they do to women conversationally, in the world place or as a dominant sex class, so why would men who were raised as men know this?

I think lesbians have every right to suspect MTFs and to be wary of male dominance in all its forms. I think we have every right to point out the dangers of this very invasive surgery. While many MTFs may have perfectly good reasons for transitions, and I will not tell them what to do, I do know that I as a woman have a right to defend and protect my hard won spaces, and I do question residual male privilege that is denied by a lot of trans activists.

There are many sincere MTFs that I have met, but I also know about the activists and what and who they target with male tactics. That is what I'm concerned about, the welfare of lesbian feminist nation. We aren't so easily fooled by anyone, and can spot male behavior at 100 paces. Don't try to con us with this "let every damn person" in our spaces. Men have their institutions, we have ours, and I believe we are entitled to these spaces and should not have to justify our desire to be free of men or people who were raised as men.

This is not transphobic, this is lesbian feminist ideology. We question every damn thing men do.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I just don't trust anyone who was ever a man, and I don't like seeing what young lesbians have to deal with when pre-op trans-women insist on coming to lesbian groups.
Men with penis' in our groups is just not acceptable, and what are you going to say when a woman is raped by one of these people?

I have every right to be on guard, and this is horrifying to behold.

Anonymous said...

I believe lesbian have a right to put lesbians first, not the needs of men or former men. This should be obvious to all by now.

I have personally listened to trans-women in lesbian groups talk about going to wet t-shirt contests at lesbian bars, bragging about being in a porno video, and all kinds of male mind pornographic trash. I kid you not.
It's why I am very suspicious of MTF pressence in lesbian defined spaces, and you'd think that if they were really women inside, they would know this.

Julian Real said...

Hi Anonymous,

I've copied and pasted this last batch of comments of yours over to a post that discusses trans issues specifically.

So please look for my responses to the latest comments by clicking here.

Joy said...

Hi Julian

Great article but although I uased your link to read the second Dworkin article you refer to, the link to the first of the Dworkin articles appears to be missing:

http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/WarZoneChaptIIID.html

I like what you say. Breath of fresh air.

Keep up the good work.
Joy

Julian Real said...

Hi and welcome, Joy!

Thanks SO MUCH for pointing out "the missing link"! It was a simple HTML coding error on my part, and should work just fine now!

You are most welcome here any time.

deborahannek said...

Men hate and fear women, Men are never made to be accountable because they run the world due to the fact the are physically stronger. Men love violence and rape . Women on the other hand, pimp and prostitute themselves in every kind of way they can having their breasts and lips pumped up, showing their parts in public, videos and mags and basically behaving like the utter sluts as they are because as a self respecting woman I could never do any of that stuff. So what can we expect. Pea brained women breed pea brained men. And the innocent pay the price. If any of them ever get on the receiving end of a violent and humiliating gang rape, things may change.