Saturday, 21 May 2011

Am I a Rape Supporter?

So I finally decided to watch one of The Amazing Atheist's (TJ from now on) "Hate Week" videos. Mainly because the title "A Feminist" intrigued me for being so specific instead of the blanket terms like "Idealism" or "Individualists".

So I watched it. And being naturally skeptical of the source material he was referring to, since I couldn't find a link for it on the Youtube video, googled one of the phrases to find the source.

What sounded like a rather exaggerated form of "sex-negative" feminism was real. And I'm going to link to it because googling "A Man Is a Rape-Supporter If..." really should be the first Google result instead of wherever it is (I gave up after 4 pages).

So basically "Eve's Daughter" (ED for brevity) of "Eve Bit First" has decided to make a list that women, and men like myself for the purposes of discussion, can use to determine whether a man is a rape-supporter.

So according to this list I am a rape supporter, regardless of my actual beliefs because I've answered yes to a few of the statements. In reality, where the positions people take are not dependent on a list designed to support a presupposed position I don't condone any rape at all, but in this case my actual positions aren't important because that isn't the topic at hand.

Although this list is supposed to determine which men are "rape supporters" the correct answer is 100% of them. This is a view that ED has made in other posts such as this one entitled "Women's Lives Need a Trigger Warning where she wrote:
Dear men:


No, seriously. This is a rant, and it’s about you, personally. You, personally, are a shit, because statistics indicate there is an almost 100% certainty that you have either committed a rape, or wanted to commit a rape, or knowingly assisted or defended someone who committed a rape, or mocked a woman who was raped. And no, I’m not dropping links to tell you what you should damn well already know.

The comments thread of the post that I am responding to supports this claim where she wrote:

Nor did I state or imply that all men commit rape. I said in a separate post that nearly 100% of men either are rapists, would be, would assist a rapist, or are rape supporters, and most commenters who have critiqued this post have agreed that, yes, nearly all (or “all”) men support rape according to this list.

This is someone who already has a hatred of men. I don't think that anything will change her mind short of probably all men dying from some disease that's caused by a human variant of Wolbachia. But this is the internet, so I can say whatever the hell I want, just like she can say whatever the hell she wants.

With knowledge of this in mind let us move on.

So let us see these points that make a man a rape-supporter.

First we have:

He has ever sexually engaged with any woman while she was underage, drunk, high, physically restrained, unconscious, or subjected to psychological, physical, economic, or emotional coercion.

Overall it is a little broad, but many of these points are valid. Some, like being physically restrained, are dependent on other factors. Misa Akane, the author of the blog, The Last Lemurisian has mentioned that she likes restraints as a kink. I suspect that this opinion wouldn't matter to ED because restraining a woman, even if it's consensual, would still represent the oppression of women which is pretty much what she writes here on an post about BDSM where she suggests that BDSM and rape fantasies are a coping mechanism.

The next point is:

He defends the current legal definition of rape and/or opposes making consent a defense.
Which doesn't make any sense to me. The current legal definition of "rape" for my state may be found here. What part am I supposed to disagree with? It would have been nice to know what ED defines rape as. I've tried to find a definition on her blog, but I haven't come up with anything. Am I supposed to argue for a broader definition or a narrower definition or what? Is ED's definition of rape similar to that of Dworkin who said that all heterosexual sex was rape? ED has stated that she didn't define rape, which really makes this point meaningless.

And then we get the part about consent. Does she mean consent can't be used as a defence ever? Or that I shouldn't prevent people from using consent as a defence?

The next two points are:

He has accused a rape victim of having “buyer’s remorse” or wanting to get money from the man.

He has blamed a woman for “putting herself in a situation” where she “could be” attacked.

Both of these points are ones that fall under the "blame the victim" label. The first point you have to ask does ED believe that all rapes are true? That no woman lies about rape? Here is a story from India where a group of people used rape in order to blackmail a man. Here is a story from the US where the woman blackmailed a man she slept with. As to the latter Girlwriteswhat at Owning Your Shit probably explains this better then I could as does Misa Akane. Ironically I don't really want to actually discuss the second point because the point in question is like a razor-thin wire that is covered in grease. The most I will say is that I don't believe that rape victims should be blamed for what happened to them.

The next points all fall within the sex industry:

He has procured a prostitute.

He characterizes prostitution as a “legitimate” “job” “choice” or defends men who purchase prostitutes.

He has ever revealed he conceives of sex as fundamentally transactional.

He has gone to a strip club.

Of course, as ED clarifies in the comments, this means nothing about the poor exploited sex workers, it's all about the consumers. See as long as we men are evil and dirty we will exploit women regardless of whether they actually want to do that job or not. Yes there are people who are forced into sex work, and the people who do are the scum of the earth, but ED is tarring all prostitutes with the same brush.

In the comments ED also said that this list does not cover sex workers. That's probably because there are sex workers out there who do it because they like sex or they like stripping and they've found ways to get paid to do what they like to do. Ironically she would like SA laws on prostitution because they punish the consumer. You see SA law says that you are allowed to be a prostitute, but the Johns aren't legally allowed to pay you.

And conceiving of sex as fundamentally transactional? Technically that can apply even to fundamentalist Christians who consider sex only for procreation.

He is anti-abortion.

He is pro-”choice” because he believes abortion access will make women more sexually available.

Here is where I will defend ED's words here. This is not a contradictory set of statements. A man can be pro-choice but wouldn't be considered a rape supporter if it wasn't for selfish reasons. However, and this hasn't been clarified, it might also boil down to ED believes that all men believe this, as if men are say, lions, and that this is the real reason we men can be pro-choice.

He frames discussions of pornography in terms of “freedom of speech.”

He watches pornography in which women are depicted.

He watches any pornography in which sexual acts are depicted as a struggle for power or domination, regardless of whether women are present.

The last point means that even gay men can be rape-supporters. But it's not just men who discuss pornography in terms of "freedom of speech". The Australian Sex Party also discusses porn in terms of "freedom of speech".

In an interview with Beat Magazine, porn star and candidate in the 2010 Victorian elections, Angela White said regarding the censorship of one of her movies:

“It was really upsetting because it was actually with one of my best, best girlfriends and we made a video where we did candle wax play,” says White. “We’re talking about two girlfriends - two consenting adults - expressing their sexuality and wanting to play with candle wax but it was censored and not allowed.”

But in the context of this list the banning of one of her movies is probably a good thing because it breaks a few of the items on the list.

Incidentally does "watch[ing] pornography in which women are depicted" mean that I support rape if I watch porn with actual women in it, or with men who are pretending to be women? If it's the former then it's a rather misogynistic statement to make since it's dehumanising women who work in porn. I guess if you are of the opinion that they are dehumanised anyway then why bother humanising them. If it's the latter then it's just weird.

He characterizes the self-sexualizing behavior of some women, such as wearing make-up or high heels, as evidence of women’s desire to “get” a man.

Because women don't want to get a man. In fact they don't seem to have any desires at all. Women apparently don't want sex, instead, as her statements in the comments section clarify, it's that women undergo societal pressure to desire sex. It's as if women are some kind of asexual being.

He tells or laughs at jokes involving women being attacked, sexually “hoodwinked,” or sexually harassed.

Don't laugh at the wrong jokes.

He expresses enjoyment of movies/musicals/TV shows/plays in which women are sexually demeaned or presented as sexual objects

Oh Fuck. I watched Italian television when I was last in Italy and all they do is present women as sex objects. Even in their version of Wheel of Fortune.

And what about watching a movie like I Spit on Your Grave, a movie that's about a women who is gang raped and gets her revenge by killing the perpetrators?

Good thing I don't like plays like The Vagina Monologues what with all the rape in it.

He mocks women who complain about sexual attacks, sexual harassment, street cat-calls, media depictions of women, or other forms of sexual objectification.

♫ One of these things is actually relevant. Everything else is just doesn't belong. Can you tell me which thing is actually relevant by the time I finish my song? ♫

The answer is "sexual attacks". Arguing against that would make you a rape supporter. In some cases for everything else the mocking may be relevant, like a woman complaining that men only pay attention to her looks when she dresses in a way that emphasises her looks more then anything else. But of course three points earlier it was said that women don't actually do that.

He supports sexual “liberation” and claims women would have more sex with (more) men if society did not “inhibit” them.
The reason "liberation" is in commas only makes sense when you read this post. The argument of that post in a nutshell is actually that point in the list.
He states or implies that women who do not want to have sex with men are “inhibited,” “prudes,” “stuck-up,” “man-haters,” or psychologically ill.
But I don't really see how this means he supports rape. I could understand it if it was in a checklist titled say "A man is a douchebag if..."
He argues that certain male behaviors towards women are “cultural” and therefore not legitimate subjects of feminist attention.
Finally, after all the stupid something that is valid. But only when it comes to rape. But I guess when one works on a fucktarded definition of rape that only you know then this statement applies everywhere.
He ever subordinates the interests of women in a given population to the interests of the men in that population, or proceeds in discussions as if the interests of the women are the same as the interests of the men.
So in the first part it's that men should believe that women's issues are more important. So fuck men's health issues like prostate cancer because it only has about the same death rate as breast cancer (same statistical probability in Australia too, 1 in 9). Because such a discussion on its own subordinates the interests of women.

There are times when issues are important enough that discussing them over other issues is in the best interest of society. Prostate cancer is a pretty good example since men are less likely to go to the doctor then women and people know less about it considering that it affects men at the same rate as women.

The latter part is pretty judgemental by assuming that the interests of women is automatically the opposite to that of men.
He promotes religious or philosophical views in which a woman’s physical/psychological/emotional/sexual well-being is subordinated to a man’s.
And how exactly does misogynism = rape? Does it follow that misandrism = rape? What about misanthropy?
He describes female anatomy in terms of penetration, or uses terms referencing the supposed “emptiness” of female anatomy when describing women.
What the fuck is this supposed to mean?
He defends the physical abuse of women on the grounds of “consent.”
Isn't that a contradiction in terms? But then again this list means that there are no possible ways sexual practises that count as not being abusive.
He defends the sexualization or sexual abuse of minor females on the grounds of “consent” or “willingness.”
Right, a contextless statement. I'm really going to be able to discuss this. Is this about consent laws in general? Or "close-of-age" laws? What exactly does this mean?
He promotes the idea that women as a class are happier or more fulfilled if they have children, or that they “should” have children.

He argues that people (or just “men”) have sexual “needs.”
We do? I know some men who don't like children, I know women who don't want to have children. I don't understand where exactly this is coming from. Now I would have thought that such ideas exist simply because as a species we have a desire to breed, unless you are ED who says in the comments:
For your first point, is there any evidence of a “drive” to reproduce in women outside of social pressure? No, obviously not. We can’t separate people from their social conditioning. In the meantime, though, telling women (and men) that they experience innate biological pressures like a “need” to sexually engage with others or an “urge” to reproduce is used to justify (and encourage) sexual objectification and exploitation, as I previously discussed.
ED believes that women don't have any sexual desires, instead it's a product of social conditioning. Just like how people (or men) don't have any sexual needs.
He discusses the “types” of women he finds sexually appealing and/or attempts to demean women by telling them he does not find them sexually appealing.
So it's damned if you do, damned if you don't. This is another one of those statements that mean that even gay men are rape-supporters because they don't find women sexually appealing. Unless you read the comments where you find:
If you’re not “attempting to demean women” by saying you’re not sexually attracted to us, then no, obviously this does not apply.
Apparently this statement only exists because some men make stupid comments on news stories about rape.

But I'm not gay, so I support rape if I find a woman sexually appealing or unappealing for whatever reason. It doesn't matter if it's her body shape or her intellect I support rape because I dare to have preferences in my choice of women.
He sexually objectifies lesbians or lesbian sexual activity.
And your point is? How does this mean that a man supports rape? There is a pretty big disconnect here between this statement and what the premise of the topic is.

And now the last bloody point:
He defends these actions by saying that some women also engage in them.
Because women are just blameless perfect beings that should not be held to the same standards as men.

The hypocrisy is just astounding.

But what conclusions can I draw from this? On it's own this is quite possibly one of the greatest troll pages of all time, but I looked around on this blog to try and understand some of the points that she made, should I consider this to be a Poe? It would be a very elaborate one, but it might be one nonetheless. However I'm inclined to believe that this is genuine. That ED really hates men and also by extension women.

The comments on women not having sexual desires of their own makes me think that she considers women to be immature, child-like even. And that men making these women think that they want sex is akin to a child molester grooming their victim. And in that sense it makes me think that ED considers women to be mentally inferior, that they are easily controlled and conditioned, that they are puppets and that we men are puppetmasters.

But would I call ED a misandrist? No, neither would I call her a misogynist. I would say that she is a misanthrope. She hates men because they perpetuate what she considers the oppression of women, but hates women because they are oppressed, or at least because they act in ways that she does not like. Naturally she apologises for them, but her manner in doing so appears to betray an underlying hatred of her own sex.

But am I a "rape-supporter"? As I said at the start, no. I'm not. But to ED that doesn't matter because I have a penis and therefore I automatically do.


MisaMacabre said...

Thank you for the link, your article is very well written, and better researched than mine, hehe. Doesn't that list just angry you at the pure stupidity? And some of the comments about it on her original posting, grrr. She actually specifies that all men are rapists and are terrible etc in some comments. Can anyone else sense a Darwin Award coming?

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Grouting said...

One of the more impressive blogs Ive seen. Thanks so much for keeping the internet classy for a change. Youve got style, class, bravado. I mean it. Please keep it up because without the internet is definitely lacking in intelligence