Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rape Atrocity Denial: Men's not-so-secret Weapons in Protecting Male Supremacy

image is from here
• Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating. -- Andrea Dworkin
• Being a Jew, one learns to believe in the reality of cruelty and one learns to recognize indifference to human suffering as a fact. -- Andrea Dworkin
• Woman is not born: she is made. In the making, her humanity is destroyed. She becomes symbol of this, symbol of that: mother of the earth, slut of the universe; but she never becomes herself because it is forbidden for her to do so. -- Andrea Dworkin [source for all three quotes is *here*]
I'll add this:

Andrea Dworkin is hated because women are hated.  And because she spoke women's truths to men's violently protected power.

As a Jew with family roots that go to Europe, I comprehend with stunned silence the level of atrocity-denial it must take for people to pretend HaShoah never occurred. One might shake one's head at the racist, anti-Semitic fools who do so but as they are the group in charge shaking one's head isn't nearly enough.

I suppose in an era of Photoshopping and other digital methods of altering images, we might expect that some people aiming to keep white Christian supremacy alive would accuse those who lived through nightmares to deny Nazi genocidal atrocity ever happened. How convenient for one's effort to maintain destructive, sadistic power that one denies is power, eh?

One might be tempted to cut the HaShoah-deniers some slack, given that the horror happened seventy years ago. Except for one thing: it is happening now against Indigenous people globally, and in particular in North America, in a time and place that is regarded as being oh-so-civil. Which, of course Hitler believed Nazi-ruled Germany was also. Now Germany currently has a relatively strong economy--albeit with debt incurred in propping up the pitiful economies of other European nations. And it has managed this, this time, without wiping out hated ethnic groups, and is banning nuclear power plants. Humane action can replace inhumane action.

In North America, the story is entirely different. Indigenous women are the poorest of the poor, the most raped of the raped, and the most invisibilised of the invisible. It's not just that whites don't wish to discuss this egregious elephant in the room, but most truly do not know genocide is happening right now, in part, I suppose, because the term genocide has been equated with tremendous levels of mass murder occurring in a very short period of time. But when the mass murder and attempts at complete cultural obliteration happens slowly while deliberately--with the apparent unawareness of the white masses--in what sense is this not also genocide?

Whites will and do come up with excuses for why we don't know about this, and why we aren't engaged in revolt against the forces which maintain this inhumanity. It's because media--white-owned--doesn't report on it. It's because systematic activism and resistance movements against the status quo--which Indigenous people all over the world are waging and have been waging for several hundred years--is not registered as important and desperate. Fighting for one's life--one's individual life and one's cultural life--is only seen as notable to Christian white het male supremacist media when it is white het men doing it, with the mythological threats being women, gays, and people of color: Muslim Arab and Asian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Black Christian, Brown Christian, and Indigenous. If you're positioned below this dominant group in various ways--such as being a woman who is Jewish and Black, you'll be rendered completely invisible in status quo society's vision of itself  which it uses media to construct in the public imagination. If you're lesbian and of color, you'll not find yourself on television. If you're trans and not M2F or F2M, you'll not find yourself on television. If you're gay, poor, and Brown, you'll not find yourself on television. The Christian whites don't want to know about us. They'd just assume we all go away.

But as lesbian Indigenous poet Chrystos has written, oppressed people--her people in particular, are Not Vanishing.

image is from here

Men deny rape is as serious a human rights problem as the imbalance of wealth distribution. Men deny rape in so many ways and for so many reasons you'd think the rest of us would determine this to be proof there must be a whole lot of men-raping-women going on. You really only need ask all the women you know how many women they know are rape-survivors and domestic terrorism survivors to know that rape is endemic and isn't going away. It could go away, but that would require men to not be in denial about it, to defend it, to protect their entitlements to practice it without negative consequence--to the male rapists.

Thirty-five years ago, Andrea Dworkin produced a brilliant radical feminist book called Our Blood. How many men have read both Not Vanishing and Our Blood, that you know? One? None? If Christian white het men were being assaulted by people who were not Christian, not white, not het, and not men, and they wrote about it, and about how they are figuring out how to survive it, I believe those books would be required reading across the educational system. Everyone would be made to read them. They'd stay in print. They'd be passed around among white het men, with a look in the eyes that says, "this speaks to our pain and our endurance".

In Our Blood, there is a very important speech, delivered March 1, 1975, called "The Rape Atrocity and The Boy Next Door". From that speech and essay we have this quote, which every man on Earth ought to have memorised in his own language.
Men who want to support women in our struggle for freedom and justice should understand that it is not terrifically important to us that they learn to cry; it is important to us that they stop the crimes of violence against us. -- Andrea Dworkin
Indeed. Almost without exception, men will self-centeredly respond: "What about the men and boys who are raped?" To this inhumane response I reply: What about the millions of girls, daily?

What shall we conclude about the moral character of white het men who will not acknowledge the pain and endurance of other people, non-male people--people these white men structurally oppress? What is the level of humanity of these rape apologists and perpetrator-protectors? How ought they be regarded or reviled, statused or stigmatised, by society? This is how they are regarded and statused: as heroes, as geniuses, as brilliant creators. This is how they, as a group, are reviled and stigmatised: not at all, in any way.

If you combine the forces and practices of genocide with gynocide, you get a truly horrifying statistic, which is numbers placed over the violence men do to women. One women in three will be raped by a man--mostly by a white het man--if she's an Indigenous woman in North America. See *this study by Amnesty International* for much more on that. And for more understanding of gynocide and genocide, please see chapter one of Andrea Smith's brilliant book, Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide: "Sexual Violence As a Tool of Genocide".

image is from here
For Indigenous women's stories of survival of many forms of men's violence, please read Sharing Our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving Violence.

If you don't get what's incredibly fucked up about this gross protectionism of white het men and their abuses of other people, you're either in great denial yourself, or you're one of lying perpetrators of it.

theoreticalgrrrl, in a recent comment to this blog, noted how many women she knows well are survivors of the rape atrocity. I hope you read it, *here* in a recent post called Hearsay and Heresy.

I welcome all readers of this blog to post their own knowledge of the globalised rape atrocity, committed by men against women, with no relief for women, and no responsibility by men, in sight.

Here's part of what I know:

My mother was raped in a place that was supposed to keep her safe. She was also incested by her father, years prior to that.

My aunt and her daughters were incested by an uncle.

One of those daughters was, many decades later, anally raped by her husband when he was drunk.

A female relative's sister threw herself in front of a train to escape being domestically terrorised--which includes rape--by her husband.

A dear female friend was raped while a prostitute when she was a teenager. She was later street raped by a strange man. And another strange man tried to rape her. She escaped.

Another dear female friend was molested three times one summer by three different men.

Another dear female friend was incested by her father and years later was street raped.

Another friend has been raped in her marriage by her husband, too many times to count. He has been a domestic terrorist.

Another dear friend was raped, as an underage teenager, at knife-point by a young man she didn't know.

Another dear friend was drugged into semi-consciousness in a hotel room by an "accomplished" man who is a serial rapist: his name is Joseph Brooks. He raped many women over thirty years, usually using drugs to physically disable the women. I am relieved to report he is dead.

I could go on and on. Statistically, I'd say, easily, seven of ten women I know is a rape survivor; ninety-nine of one hundred women I know is a survivor of some form of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault with one male or several males being the perpretrator. And none of them reported the rapes to the police, to a lawyer, to the FBI, or to a mental or physical health care provider. Not one.

Please share your stories here, in ways that keep the survivors completely anonymous and safe.

To men: please organise to end men's sexual assault of girls, and rape of women. The reason why men must do this is because it is only men's responsibility to do so.



I personally know at least 10 women who have been subjected to this:

Have been raped by a male relative/male family friend when the woman was a child.

Have been raped by a teen boy when the woman was a teenager.

Have been raped by a group of males when she was a teenager because male peers thought she was 'a slut!' So that makes it non-rape then in males' view. Same female was subsequently raped by her husband when he learned about her experiences of being subjected to male sexual violence.

Have been raped by male school peers because male school peers thought they were entitled to use teen girl as a disposable sex toy.

Have been raped by a male friend who claimed he was 'not interested in her sexually' so he couldn't possibly have committed the crime!

Have been raped by biological father on numerous occasions, when she was a child.

Have been raped by a male shortly after engaging in casual conversation at a social event. Male clearly thought 'conversation' meant young woman was 'sexually available to him.'

In all of the above cases the women either did not report what happened to police, or if they did, they not the male rapists were subjected to minute cross-examination concerning their supposed non-creditability.

They, not the male rapists were told they were lying and they were told by police 'no further action will be taken because of insufficient evidence!'

I know other women who have been subjected to male sexual violence but I think the above is sufficient to show male sexual violence against women and girls is endemic never 'an isolated incident.'

Not all the women are white but all of them experienced males' casual callousness and contempt for them. Because women are not human and hence males can never rape something (sic) which isn't human and not male.

I've no doubt I know many more women who've been subjected to male sexual violence but for various reasons do not and will not disclose what happened to them. Why should they when they know they will be blamed and held accountable for the crimes men commit against them.

After all men are the real victims are they not? Men live in a world which hates men do they not? Men are daily subjected to misogynistic men-hating insults from women are they not? Feminism is about promotion of male-hatred is it not?

The above paragraph is not true - but all these lies are constantly claimed by innumerable men who wilfully refuse to cease talking over women and instead constantly bleat men are the real victims of women's systemic and ongoing violence being committed against them.

That's why here in the UK male sexual violence against women is constantly reported as 'an isolated incident' or else 'innumerable women are falsely charging innocent males with raping them!'

Julian Real said...

Thank you, Jennifer, as always, for keeping it real.

It occurs to me, and I'm sure I've heard women argue this point: but if you look at both our lists, and we add to them by including all the other women we know who were sexually assaulted and abused as adults or children, that rape statistics are necessary low, no matter how many women come forward. Because most women won't. And then there's this: according to sociological studies, a woman who is raped once is a rape survivor. A woman, like another friend of mine who I left out of the list above, was incested (meaning here: raped as a child) by her adoptive father from age three to thirteen. But her assaults--hundreds of them, will only count as "one victim and one perpetrator" even while hundreds of rapes happened. Rape occurred countless times, not once.

Add to that the wives and girlfriends who are battered, controlled, and raped systematically in their adult relationships, and the girls and women raped due to being enslaved, trafficked, or in systems of prostitution that don't involved travel. We need to also count the number of times a man rapes, not just conclude it was "once" because he's called "a rapist".

We know most molesters of children have molested a hundred or more times before being caught, if caught. It is overwhelmingly the case that most child molesters are not reported, are not caught, if caught are not arrested, if arrested are released.

I'm critical of the prison industrial complex for its inhumanity, classism, and racism, as well as its misogyny. So I think there needs to be other ways for men to be removed from society if they rape, molest, or incest anyone. For me the most significant matter is that the girls and women (or trans people, intersex people, boys, or men), feel safe and are safe from that particular predator, even while it is never "one predator only" that creates a hostile living environment for women globally. The systems themselves are victimising and violating.

It outrages me that for women to get the men who rape them prosecuted, they must have some money, have some education, not be a prostitute, not be married, and also must undergo truly violating and denigrating procedures that are often very triggering or additionally assaultive and dehumanising.

I believe, with ample evidence, that most women are preyed on by one man once, by one man many times, or by multiple men together or over a period of time.

If all the survivors of child sexual abuse, incest, molestation, and all the many forms of rape suddenly became publicly visible to one another, I think we'd be stunned--even though we know that the figure is higher than one in four.

It's "one in four women", if the women are in privileged circumstances. The least privileged women do not have anyone to report to, as the "authorities" consider her a criminal, a liar, or someone who cannot be raped--because, for example, it is her husband who rapes her. Clearly most girls do not prosecute their incesting fathers.

I wish het men in particular (but not only those men) would stop the rape atrocity denial and would work to hold one another accountable to the atrocities so many of them commit, normally and regularly.