Monday, January 25, 2010

Rape & Sexual Abuse Stats: WAY TOO LOW, and here's a couple of reasons why



[image is from here]

I write today about something I am outraged by often, but today I carry more rage than usual.

I found a male-man I have known well has, within the last couple of weeks, sexually assaulted someone--his female spouse. I'd call what happened "rape" and I'm not sure if the woman wishes to, can, will, or what. I know she did not get medically examined after the assault, and will not report him as a rapist to the police. So add that to the list of rapes that will never get counted in the national stats.

It is for her to name her own experience, and it is for me to name it for myself, not to her directly. I call what he did rape. If she asks me what I call it, I'll tell her.

He got drunk and did something she had been very clear with him to never do. And the same night he did it, he said he'd like to do more (of that sort of sexually violating activity). He inserted part of his body into her body without asking permission, with force, and caused her both internal physical injury and emotionally trauma, as well as triggering some very deep old trauma that remains actively "resurrected". There is also the breach of trust to deal with, from a man she absolutely trusted to respect her sexually and otherwise. This goes to show that even heeding Pearl Cleage's advice, women are still vulnerable to rape because men rape people they have intimate relationships with, that include the trust of the woman that he won't assault or violate her, willfully. He at least doesn't believe he wasn't responsible for what he did because he was drunk, although be blames what he did on the effects of the alcohol. I don't. Not for one second.

She said to me recently, in the context of feeling the rage of being assaulted by her husband, "Sometimes I hate men!" and I said "Me too". She is a lover of humanity, and deeply caring, soulful person, and generous of spirit and compassion. She is also very self-possessed, knows her boundaries, sets them, and expects them to be honored. He violated all of that by what he did.

So he blamed it on being drunk and I told her "Not all people when drunk are sexually aggressive" and "the alcohol didn't infuse him with the desire or will to do what he did. (She agreed.) Both the desire to do what he did, and the will, the power, and the sense of entitlement were all in place prior to taking any drink that evening. But he got behaviorally "sloppy" due to being drunk--which was his choice, btw--no one coerced him into getting drunk, or spiked his drinks with extra shots of liquor. He was at a social event, was uncomfortable, and drank too much in order to get through the evening in a way that ended up being traumatising to his spouse. How caring of him. NOT. And, of course, due to him drinking so much he put her in the position of "making sure he was ok throughout the night, even post-assault". How vile men can be. (She was the only person around him once they left the party.)

The list of men I know or have known who have not sexually assaulted a woman or girl is very small, and getting smaller. And I have little doubt that the other male-man who is in my life has committed sexual assault. His level of misogynist rage is high at times, and frightens most of us who are around him, not infrequently. And he's not a raging fool. He doesn't ever use misogynistic language, terms, etc. He never outwardly shows disrespect for his female partner or other women. And it is clear he has "rage issues" that he has not dealt with, that can and do express themselves to or around his female spouse.

So, to anyone who wants to make the case to me that "not all men are sexually abusive", you'd have to prove to me first that you are among the population of men who has never sexually violated and/or been oppressively physically aggressive against a female person.

Given the number of men who have committed date rape, marital rape, and other forms of rape, who would never think to name it that way, and given the number of women who have been date raped and otherwise sexually violated and assaulted who do not call it that because to do so would mean dealing with that man differently--and he is, after all, most likely to be a family member, or a spouse, or a boyfriend--I know for a fact that the stats on sexual assault against women by men is WAY TOO LOW.

Even one of the men who came to this blog to demonstrate that not all men are rapists demonstrated his lack of regard for his female spouse saying "no" to his sexual advances.

I have checked in with other het guys since, wondering about how many of them won't accept their girlfriend or wife's "first no" as HER FINAL ANSWER. Almost no men do.

I ask men, why don't you accept her first "no" as her final "no"? The males answer that they know if they keep asking or pressuring her, she'll eventually give in. They make arguments that they don't believe she really means "no" when she says "no". These men, are, in my view, rapists. And when I suggest that once you have recommended doing something sexually that she says "no" to, that she is perfectly capable of asking about it in the future should she change her mind and become interested in exploring this activity, the answer is something like "I wouldn't be respecting myself if I didn't keep asking her about it".

Rapist culture: alive and unwell.

To any man reading this: please don't ever use force against a woman; please don't ever ask a woman TWICE to do something she said no to the first time. Take her "NO" as meaning "NO" unless SHE brings it up later for discussion to re-evaluate her answer. And, in the mean time, evaluate where you even got the idea to do something she said "no" to, because clearly it wasn't from her. Did you get it from a scene constructed by pimps who are trafficking women and filming that activity? Did you get it by watching the rape of a woman online, that you pretend was consensual?

If you want women to not hate you, stop yourself and other men from committing sexual assault and violation against girls and women.

Another issue is men having pornography available for children to find, whether that is online pornography or material pornography in the form of magazines, books, or videos.

Please know this: children being exposed to your pornography constitutes sexual abuse of a child. Always. I know of NO ONE who was exposed to their father's pornography when young, if the child was female or male, who wasn't damaged from that experience. With girls, it often set up very distorted ideas about "sex" and the same with boys. But with boys, they later act out what they learned, against girls and later against women, whereas the females act it out against themselves, usually. And NO FATHER I know who has pornography accessible to his children considers him allowing that to be the case "child sexual abuse".

Men are debating "the logic of women" online. I won't direct you to where. These misogynists are claiming feminists are not logical. They apparently don't find it "logical" to tell men to stop rape. That argument, that statement, doesn't factor into their "logic system". How utterly self-serving and male supremacist.

If I try to point this out, they reject it based on my allegiance with feminism. How convenient for these illogical, misogynist fools.

I'm pissed at men right now, and also am amazed at the number of misogynist men who send comments here to be posted, without even realising misogynists' comments will never see the light of day here, or the depth of the dark either. They go to a spam box. So keep on sending them, fellas. That spam box is hungry for your illogical stupidity.

There is a comment policy that I will have to make clearer, I guess, although I don't think these misogynists are smart or logical enough to read and comprehend it.

If men stopped men from behaving in misogynistic and sexist and racist ways, rape and other sexist and racist violence against women would end. Why don't men do this? Why is this not a priority?

4 comments:

JENNIFER DREW said...

A common excuse male rapists make is 'alcohol made me commit sexual violence.' Only such men do not say 'sexual violence' what they say is 'I consumed alcohol and this is why I didn't know what I was doing to my wife/female partner/female work colleague etc.' Ahh that explains it then - alcohol is the rapist not the man.

Julian, I've lost count of the times I've stated not all men who consume alcohol engage in sexual or physical violence against women. Nor do all men who consume alcohol become violent towards other men. I wonder why? But then not all men who commit sexual violence against women consume alcohol prior to such violence.

True it is very, very difficult fo women to even admit to themselves the man they live with; the man who is their father, brother, work colleague, neighbour, relative did in fact commit sexual violence against them. Acknowledging that even to oneself means admitting the world is indeed not a safe place for any woman and there is nothing a woman can do to safeguard herself from sexually predatory males.

Women know and we need not look too far to see, how white supremacist society condones and promotes our rape culture. Innumerable excuses and justifications are made for men's sexual violence against known women.

Too few men accept and respect women's and girls' right of sexual and bodily autonomy. Ignoring a woman's sexual autonomy makes it so much easier for men to choose to ignore the woman's refusal and instead persuade themselves they know better than the woman what she wants. Always, but always it is precisely what the man wants - sexual contact as and when he demands/expects.

Such men are indeed rapists and just because they do not use violence or physical force does not mean they are not rapists. Men do not need to use violence because too many know that constant pressure and a refusal to accept that word 'no' ensures the woman will eventually submit. I say submit not 'consent' because there is no consent when one individual - overwhelmingly male, refuses to respect or even acknowlege a woman's right of sexual and bodily autonomy. Men did not suddenly decide one day 'I'm going to rape my female parner/wife/girlfriend.' But men certainly learn as boys it is their pseudo male sex right of unlimited sexual access to any woman or girl as and when they wish. Women and girls do not have the right of saying 'no' instead they individually have to trust and hope the man they think is 'trustworthy and respects their bodily autonomy' will not one day demand his white male pseudo sexual rights.

Julian Real said...

For me to consider this woman's husband a rapist... For me to do that means I have to hold him accountable to ways of being he accepts as normal and natural. The problem, here, is that me holding him fully accountable could be disempowering to her. She gets to determine how this unfolds. I don't.

She gets to decide how and in what ways he is held to account. I don't. But I can ask her "Do you mind if I talk to him about his abuse of you?" I can do that. And she knows me well enough to know that if she says "Yes, please do!" I will do so unrelentingly, until I get a strong sense that he "gets it" about him BEING A RAPIST.

Toysoldier said...

If men stopped men from behaving in misogynistic and sexist and racist ways, rape and other sexist and racist violence against women would end. Why don't men do this? Why is this not a priority?

Most likely because the vast majority of men are not violent and so they do not feel a need to make preventing someone else's behavior a priority, perhaps in the same way that you may not regard yourself as a child rapist and therefore do not make preventing sexual violence against boys a priority.

So, to anyone who wants to make the case to me that "not all men are sexually abusive", you'd have to prove to me first that you are among the population of men who has never sexually violated and/or been oppressively physically aggressive against a female person.

That is an impossible standard because you can never really know whether a person has or has not committed a particular act. It would boil down to whether you personally decided to take a man at his word. The problem with taking that kind of stance is that one always finds a way to confirm what one already believes. For example, the majority of the women I have encountered in person who either committed such acts or take no issue with them, especially if it is done to a boy, are feminists, so the list of feminists I personally know who have not physically or sexually abused a child is very small. I could just as easily demand that feminists prove they are among the population of women who have never sexually or physically violated any boy or man. However, it would not prove anything if I already assume they have nor would it help if I already posit that I will not take them at their word or if I claim that feminist ideology creates a framework that permits, excuses and in some instances supports sexual and physical violence against boys.

There would literally be no way for you or any feminist to prove me wrong.

Julian Real said...

Hi toysoldier,

Most likely because the vast majority of men are not violent and so they do not feel a need to make preventing someone else's behavior a priority, perhaps in the same way that you may not regard yourself as a child rapist and therefore do not make preventing sexual violence against boys a priority.

The vast majority of men are not abused factory farmed chickens and cows, but many men manage to figure out what is inhumane and what isn't and become activists to fight gross exploitation and violence, including about people and situations they don't experience directly.

[...]you can never really know whether a person has or has not committed a particular act. It would boil down to whether you personally [...]

Please reread the post with your heart, not your head. You're over-thinking this one. Really.