What if the Wage Gap Myth Were True?

I’ve only been living as a woman now for a year and a half now, and I noticed my current job actually pays more than any of the jobs I had as a man.  It’s really strange that I didn’t see my paycheck fall to 77 cents of the dollar it used to be.  Of course none of my trans girlfriends experienced this either.  Do we get grandfathered (or grandmothered) in?  If you were a guy at one time, do you get to keep your guy-level pay?

That started me to thinking.  What if the Wage Gap Myth were true?  Now, remember, the “Myth” part of the Wage Gap Myth isn’t about how much women get paid!  As a demographic, women really do get paid less than men at the end of a fiscal year – the myth is that it’s because penis.  The reality is that it’s due to women’s choices, as nearly every single study into the matter has so far confirmed, or failed to refute.

If the wage gap really happened for the reasons Third Wavers tell us it happens – because women are less valued than men in society – it would mean that tens of thousands of companies all across the US are blatantly breaking Federal Law on a weekly basis, month after month, and they somehow all get away with it.

We never once hear about an IRS tax audit which found a company breaking federal law by paying women less than men.  Of course, that’s because the IRS is run by rich white men.  Don’t forget that patriarchy!

Fatalities in the work you're seeing right now is 60 TIMES HIGHER than the national average.  And we really can't think of a reason why they're paid more?  Except that they hate women?

Fatalities in the work you’re seeing right now is 60 TIMES HIGHER than the national average. And we really can’t think of a reason why they’re paid more? Except that they hate women?

And what about all the other groups that could easily sue a company for that sort of thing?  I mean, why doesn’t a feminist group ever go to the ACLU and sue a company for paying a woman 77 cents for every dollar a man makes?  Oh – that’s right.  The ACLU is part of the goddam patriarchy too.  Dammit!

Okay what about class action lawsuits?  Why don’t *those* ever happen?  I mean why do I never hear about a company facing serious charges for paying women less if this really happens because women are just seen as less valuable, and not because women work part time twice as often as men, and call in sick 3 times as often as men, work fewer hours than men, and the dozens of other reasons every study has consistently found?

Then we have to ask why companies don’t just start hiring women all over the place.  I mean if you only have to pay them 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, imagine the savings!!  An entire department of women would save a large company a FORTUNE every year!  To make this work, Third Wavers will tell you it’s because society loves men so much, and thinks men oh so over-the-top goddam awesome, that men get hired *anyway*, despite that they cost more, and of course qualifications don’t matter.  Penis is all that counts.

Unless you’re trans!  Then you’re just unaffected for some reason.

The next thing we have to ask is why companies have such stringent sexual harassment laws, and why a man accused of harassment can be shown the door with just the point of a finger and a word from a woman, if men are valued, and women aren’t, and rape culture is supposed to make that kind of thing okay.

Here, the conspiracy theory starts getting pretty tangled.

Lets see… maybe it’s a cover?  Maybe all the men everywhere are secretly working together to make these harassment laws – along with rape shield laws, and created an entire Office on Violence Against Women, a part of the Justice Department, as a smoke screen?  That way they can pretend to care when they don’t?  Seems like an awful lot of work to pay women less just because you secretly hate them, and all companies everywhere are doing this as a collective passive-aggressive way of expressing their hate for someone having a vagina.

But you know what’s really proof of misogyny?

The fact that spell check sees “grandfathered” as a word, but “grandmothered” has a red squiggly line under it.

… … I think I might have just gave everydayfeminism.com an idea for their next post (which also has a red squiggly – dammit, spell check is part of the patriarchy!!!)

The New York Times and The Wage Gap Myth

How disingenuous would it be if I made a claim that women were paid less than men because penis, then presented research that proved that wasn’t true, as proof that it was true?

The New York Times doesn’t come right out and say it, but take a look for yourself.  Here’s the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/upshot/the-pay-gap-is-because-of-gender-not-jobs.html?_r=4&abt=0002&abg=0

The title of the article is unmistakably clear: “The Wage Gap is Because of Gender, Not Jobs”.  Pretty definitive statement!  Definitely makes it sound as though there’s sexism involved – like you’re making less because you’re a woman, and not because of what the job pays for certain hours. But then they then link to a study in regards to this, which you can find here: http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/goldin/files/goldin_aeapress_2014_1.pdf

And this study proves the exact opposite.

From the very opening of the study:

—– —–
The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours.
—– —–

^^^ First, this is what capitalism is all about. Work harder, work longer, and achieve more. Incentivizing through hard work, smart work, or innovation, is a cornerstone for modern economic theory. Also, there’s nothing to stop women from doing this (we’ll get to the exceptions regarding child care in a bit).

The wage gap probably would go away if we didn’t pay people more for working longer and harder. They actually tried that in Russia for a while. In 1993, they decided to quit doing it because it wasn’t working.

From early-on in the paper:

—– —–
Professional and graduate program enrollment increased for women so that about half of all law and medical enrollments today are women, and women lead men in fields such as the biological sciences, pharmacy, optometry, and veterinary medicine.
—– —–

^^^ While somewhat unrelated, this directly conflicts with other 3rd Waver claims that women have difficulty getting hired, simply because they’re women.

The paper goes on for a while to build the case that women are, in fact, paid less than men – and continues to claim that it’s for some other reason than simply number of hours worked or specific shifts that are chosen.

However, also see:

—– —–
The alternative reasons for the residual gender pay gap do not help illuminate why earnings differences by sex expand so greatly with age. They also do not explain why women without children generally have higher earnings than women with children and why the former’s earnings are almost equal to those of comparable men.
—– —–

^^^ Actually, that’s precisely what those alternative reasons explain. Women who choose to have children and start a family will not focus on work as much as women who choose not to have children (again, we’ll get more into this in just a bit). This confirms what we find in other studies – that women who are career oriented, and driven to succeed, do in fact make as much, if not more, than men.

More in regards to free-market competition:

—– —–
Jobs for which bargaining and competing matter the most, I will demonstrate, are also positions that have the greatest nonlinearities (meaning convexity) of pay with respect to time worked. Field and laboratory experiments often show that women shy away from competition [[Correct, which explains a lot]]. But these experiments do not consider the types of jobs that reward competition the most [[It’s perfectly reasonable to consider if someone is competition adverse, then more competition would make them more adverse]]. Often those are winner-take-all positions, such as partner in a firm, tenured professor at a university, or top manager. These are also positions for which considerable work hours leads to a higher chance of obtaining the reward, and it is often the case that hours alone get rewarded [[Bingo – in these cases, it’s the hours worked, not because penis]]. Persistence in these positions and continuous time on the job probably matters far more to one’s success than a desire and ability to compete.
—– —–

Later we also see:

—– —–
If the individual’s past employment history was included, as it will be for specific occupations presented later, the coefficients [[the “wage gap”]] would be considerably smaller.
—– —–

^^^ Correct, because many positions pay “based on experience”.

The paper continues on about different factors that are not even slightly related to gender. Starting on page 13 of PDF reader, under the section titled “A Personnel Economics Theory of Occupational Pay Differences” – I won’t bother to continue responding to it point by point. From here on, the author lists out all the reasons for the pay gap – none of which have anything to do with sexist discrimination, and all of which are due to personal choice.

The crown jewel of this section:

—– —–
Differences in pay arise because of productivity differences in the workplace, not because of inherent differences in human capital across workers. Some workers want the amenity of flexibility or of lower hours and some firms may find it cheaper to provide.
—– —–

If men can do it, women can do it. Every single thing listed here is the result of a personal choice, and is not because some evil misogynist woman-hating man is working in payroll and clicking away at his spreadsheet to make sure that anyone with a womanly sounding name earns less than someone with a manly sounding name.

It has nothing to do with patriarchy. It has nothing to do with sexism. It has nothing to do with gender discrimination. Yet look again at the title of the original article: “the wage gap is because of gender, not jobs“! The Third Wave Narrative is so strong, that research which debunks the narrative, can be used as a means of proving the narrative. I’ve seen something similar to this done when creationist point to a “Croco-duck” and claim the absence of such a thing disproves evolution, when in fact the existence of such a thing is what would disprove evolution.

However, the study does address what actually is the only point in regards to the wage gap: at home child care.

For whatever reason a woman may choose to bring another life into the world, if they are financially able, and want to have children, then of course they have a right to do so. The question then becomes – who takes care of the child at home? Who has to make career sacrifices? This is the only factor that does, as a matter of fact, impact women more so than men. It’s why the study makes mention of positions that reward “long hours” and “continuous work” – things that are not possible for a woman who has a kid waiting for her at home.

Because of the societal norms in place, men are expected to work longer hours and “tough it out”, then use part of their money to support their family (which can hardly be called an advantage). Women are encouraged to take care of the kids (though this is also not always an advantage). The actual choices made at home are still personal choices, and there is absolutely no reason a man and woman cohabitating can’t work out an arrangement they can both agree on (especially since the law allows her to divorce him, split half the assets between them, then force him to pay child support and alimony until the rest of forever).

However, the work hours for certain jobs are designed with career-focused people in mind!

Because men are more willing to fill these roles easier, this is where the wage gap happens. Again this isn’t because of sexism, patriarchy, or anything else, and women who don’t have children routinely make more at the end of a fiscal period than do men.

The paper proposes making small businesses more accepting of job flexibility for employees who have children. As a 4th Wave Feminist, I would agree that jobs should consider being more flexible for parents, but not just for women. If a man has children, and he wants to spend more time at home taking care of them, then his job should allow the same flexibility granted to women who have children. Society ought to congratulate people who actually want to spend time with their children this way.

Unfortunately, I don’t see there ever being a time when this will happen. This is being proposed in an economy where almost no one can survive. I’m sure at this point we’re all quite familiar with the 99% movement, and wealth income disparity in America. I have worked 3 jobs at once, and still was not able to get stable, so it seems unfathomable that anyone could ask parents to work less and spend more time at home raising his family. The bottom 80% of the American population are now struggling just to eat. So how would someone “choose” to come home early from work to spend time with the kids when the fridge is empty and they’re 1 paycheck away from losing the house? This is pretty much the story of America right now. It’s an economic issue, not a sexist or gender issue.

A Response to Rape Culture, part 5 of 5

Click here for part 4.

There’s a key psychological concept that is relevant to rape culture, known as “inductive generalization”. You can see a walkthrough on this here: http://goose.ycp.edu/~dweiss/phl222_critical_thinking/inductive_generalizations.htm .

In short: every experience I’ve had with X has been bad. Therefore, X is bad! Because my experiences with X have been very consistent, and because they’re *my* experiences, they’re important, and can’t be dismissed as inconclusive by someone else without running the risk of invalidating my experience entirely – and if you do THAT, well you’re just wrong.

A short example:

Person A: “I took my child in for vaccination, and a year later, she developed symptoms of autism. Several other people in my neighborhood had the exact same thing happen to them (also known as the Sharpshooter Fallacy). It’s clear that getting your kids vaccinated is definitely a mistake!”

Person B: “But there’s no conclusive proof that vaccines cause autism. Just because your kid got autism doesn’t prove there’s a connection.”

Person A: “Oh so you’re saying that my kid doesn’t matter??? Just wait till YOU have kids and…”

This is ultimately how nearly every discussion ends up (with all Third Waver discussions, but even more so when rape culture comes up), and I’ve found great difficulty navigating my way through this problem. Inductive generalization is often tied closely with a person’s experience. If that experience was tragic, or included a crisis event (such as rape), then it’s damn near impossible to make the person understand that a failure to produce a scientifically peer-reviewed conclusion does not invalidate their very real, very tragic experience. Their negative feelings can be completely legitimate and valid, and isn’t proof that the whole entire world is against them. There probably is a technique to help someone understand this, but I’ve yet to fully master it.

In the field of mental health, studies have shown time and time again that a person’s environment is the absolute best predictor of whether or not a person recovers from mental illness – to the exclusion of all other factors. This means that expensive drugs and thousands of dollars-worth of therapy are not nearly as impactful (nowhere close, in fact) as what kind of environment the person lives in. Having a healthy community that provides a sense of belonging and identity is perhaps the single most important factor in a person’s mental and emotional well-being, and makes it possible to recover from mental illness; something that in decades passed, was considered only “treatable” with medication, and certainly not curable otherwise.

Did you know that current mental health theory postulates that a strong community can even overcome drug addiction?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html .

The crux of the article:

—– —–
The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.
—– —–

sense of communityThis isn’t just a matter of finding a group of friends that think and feel the way you do, and providing an echo-chamber for your thoughts and ideas. It’s more than that. It’s feeling safe when you walk out the door in the morning. It’s being able to say hello to the people you pass on your way to the bus. It’s being able to sit down to lunch in a cafeteria without needing your back to the wall “just in case”. It’s a sense that you don’t have to constantly keep your guard up, and the absence of any worrying suspicion that the people around you might hurt you the moment they get a chance.

Rape Culture prevents a person from having any sense of sanity in an otherwise sane world.  It does not hold up to scrutiny on any level, does not promote any beneficial social cause, and believing in this nonsense only denies a person any sense of community. It’s inherently harmful, and like most other Third Wave holy scripture, wrongly creates feelings of general suspicion and scorn of others based on their gender.

My hope is that starting the 4th Wave will begin reversing the effects of this narrative, and replace it with reason and rational thinking. There are real issues that really do affect women, and these issues can and should be addressed.

So far, I’ve addressed every major point that rape culture theorist currently have to offer.  And I’m not just saying “there’s no evidence for rape culture”, I’m going a step further, and saying there is no rape culture. So in order for my position to have any credibility, I must still be able to articulate clear and transparent parameters that would reassert the existence of rape culture, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

And here they are.  Rape culture, as defined, might still exist if you could:

— Explain why rape should not be seen in degrees of concern, the same way all other crimes are, and also how the suggestion that it be viewed in such degrees is indicative of trivializing the subject, rather than an informed understanding of the legal process.

— Explain why the underlying philosophy of our justice system is incorrect; why a person should not be innocent until proven guilty where rape is concerned, why a case should go to court even if there’s no evidence, and why court proceedings should not question evidence in a rape case. This is important, since doubting the guilt of the accused is a key component of rape culture.

— Show actual rape-victim blaming happening often enough in the medical or legal systems to constitute what could be construed as a culture, and show this same thing happening in the mainstream media often enough that it would imply a degree of consensus from the general public. Refer back to what “victim blaming” means.

— Show evidence that seeing images of rape becomes part of a person’s subconscious, and from there, somehow becomes part of a person’s consciousness, and causes the person to be more accepting of rape.

— Show evidence that a man on top of a woman, or any other suggestive pic, is universally viewed as an image of rape.  This is important because this is what’s often used as evidence of rape culture.

— Explain how a culture can demand the death penalty in a rape case, where less than 0.5% of the population experiences rape, and still be considered a culture that trivializes and endorses rape.

If you can fill 3 of these, I will concede the point, and admit that rape culture does exist, at least to a degree. If you can fill all 6, then rape culture definitely does exist.

A Response to Rape Culture, part 4 of 5

Click here for part 3.

In this part of the series, I’ll be making a point-by-point break down of rape culture as it’s explained on the Rational Wiki website. Because of the reputation of this site, we may assume it has less bias, and because it can be edited by multiple people based on an open forum discussion of the facts, we can assume that it reflects a consensus view of the subject. It also presents practical examples, and not just abstract postulations with an appeal to rhetoric.

It’s also the most credible and academic source on the subject I could find, since, as it’s probably clear by now, rape culture is not an actual thing, and therefore isn’t treated seriously by most accredited academic sources.

Because the site has been edited in recent months, I’ll be presenting both current statements and previous statements, for the reason that I believe some of the previous statements actually present a better case, and I want to include both to provide a fuller discussion on the matter. I’ll be marking them as old or new accordingly (though keep in mind that as more and more refutations of rape culture become available, the site will of course keep changing in apologetic fashion, as the editors are almost certainly devotees of the Third Wave religion).

To begin with, “rape culture” is being defined as:

A culture [that includes] the ways in which a society trivializes, rationalizes, or even condones rape and other acts of sexual violence. Rape culture includes a variety of issues from the way raped individuals are treated by police to the way rape is portrayed in fiction and by the media.

This is the definition that we will reference for this discussion.

An older post:

—– —–
Forms of rape that don’t conform to a (in itself deeply offensive and sexist) specific set of standards aren’t as important as those that do. That is, if the raped doesn’t involve a male stranger(s) on younger female victim penile-vaginal penetration with a large degree of force, then it’s not “real rape” and can be downplayed or apologized for as necessary.
—– —–

^^^ We have first, second, and third degree murder. There’s even “conspiracy to commit” murder, where someone didn’t actually commit murder but was planning to. Pre-meditated murder is different than murder that happens as a result of a scuffle.

All murder is bad, but not all murder is equal.

Same goes with theft. If I steal a bicycle, it’s not the same as if I steal a Mercedes.

This is why we have levels of severity in concern with rape. There may be two teens in the back of a car making out, having penetrative sex, then half way through one of them changes their mind. Compare that to someone who smashes a car window, drags a person into a back alley, and rapes at knife point.

It isn’t true that the former is considered “not real rape”. This sounds like a misrepresentation of the issue. If anyone ever said this, it would be a matter of the individual not being educated. No one thinks rape is ever okay, but we do acknowledge levels and severity in most any crime.

A newer post:

—– —–
Victims are defined and unofficially classified based on how well they conform to a (deeply offensive and sexist) specific set of standards. Standards which are almost always based on assumptions about women’s value in general. A white virgin who has been beaten is a more proper victim than a Hispanic co-ed who has a boyfriend. Being raped by a stranger, vaginally, is taken more seriously than being a male victim. The more “real” a rape is, largely informs how the investigators and litigators will deal with a case.
—– —–

^^^ First, I want to point out the citation to this statement is taken from an article on Jezebel. The article is essentially a blog rant on something Whoopi Goldburg said on The View, and is not written by a legal analyst or judicial expert, but by a blogger.

That blogger’s profile can be seen here: http://jezebel.com/5323683/lindsayrobertsonisthenicestbloggerinallofnewyork – her credentials include “what some would call a pop culture junkie, and, as my headline alleges, she is also literally one of the nicest, most down to earth people I know.”

Honestly, if this is what you have to resort to for a reference, it’s better if you use no reference at all.

Second, “Victims are defined” – by who?

“A specific set of standards” – whose standards?

“Standards which are based on assumptions about a woman’s value” – in court, the victims claims are weighed against the evidence. Miscarriages of justice do happen, but they happen with all sorts of crimes, and do not constitute a culture. If your claim is that it is specifically Hispanic women and black women that aren’t treated as fairly as white women, this is racial behavior / racial profiling, and would apply to any case, whether it was about rape or something else.

Also refer back to the need to ascertain “degrees” of rape. This doesn’t mean rape “isn’t taken seriously”.

An older post:

—– —–
Related to the above, very naked and hateful blaming of the victim if the victim was shown to be “out of line” at any point. Once the well is poisoned, rape can be pushed into the gray area before denied entirely. Even if rape victim actually does meet the maximum standards for sympathy, the implication is that the rapist’s transgressions against traditional values and polite society was more important than the actual violence done to the victim.
—– —–

The problem with “blaming of the victim” is that this is often defined as any statement or behavior that does not assume the unquestioned guilt of the accused. Actual blaming involves not only what is said, but how it’s said, and the situation in which it’s said. Here’s a helpful chart.

Examples of What Is and Isn’t Victim Blaming

Event Not Blaming (Usually happens before) Blaming (Usually happens after)
Drunk Driving Do not drink and drive. It’s dangerous, and you shouldn’t do it. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. You got behind the wheel while you were drunk???   Why did you do that??!! You’re lucky all you broke was your face!!!
Deleting An Important File You should always back up your work on a disk drive. See! You wouldn’t have lost your work if you had just backed it up!!!
Losing your wallet in the park Don’t leave your wallet where other people can take it, then walk away. God you’re dumb… you wouldn’t lose your things if you didn’t leave them laying around!
Unknowingly Helping Lex Luthor You shouldn’t trust Lex Luthor. He did steal 40 pies. Seriously why on earth would you trust him? How many times have I told you??? He stole 40 pies!!!
Getting yo ass whooped by the police If you’re black, do not drive through Ferguson Missouri. It’s generally a bad idea. Now you’re paraplegic, and I know why! Cuz you’re a black guy, cuz you’re a black guy, cuzyou’re a black guy… la da da da da da…
Taking Drugs Drugs can seriously be dangerous if you’re not watching out for the proper dose. Also… can I have some? See, you wouldn’t be in the hospital right now if you had only watched out for how much you were taking. Also… is there any left?
Rape

I just made jokes about race, police brutality, and drug overdosing while refuting rape culture.  Somewhere in the world, a Third Waver’s head has just exploded.

Levity aside, I left the one about rape blank.  Give it some thought.  It’s definitely wrong to come down on someone after the fact, and make it sound like they’re the ones at fault. That’s of course extremely wrong. But if I told a man not to go out in the middle of the night in Harlem, at 2 in the morning, because there has been recent gang activity in that part of town, and that he shouldn’t walk down a dark alley because he might get shot, stabbed, and have his shoes, coat, and his hat taken, is that blaming him?… or is that trying to warn him?

If he goes out anyway, and later I’m in the back of an ambulance with him and we’re rushing to the hospital, should I… I don’t know… use this as a time to keep my goddam mouth shut and not say I told you so? But of course what we’re talking about here is more than just “I told you so”. Victim blaming is really making the whole thing sound like it’s totally his fault.

The thing is – and I’m speaking as a mental health professional – it’s very easy for a person who’s been the victim of a serious assault to interpret things the wrong way. So on a personal level, when engaging with someone who has just recently been assaulted, it’s important to hear them out, listen to them, and validate their expressions of pain. Provide gentle encouragement, let them know they are safe and supported, and give them time to heal.

A typical person may not know to do all this. They may think it’s a teachable moment, and want to review what happened so they can suggest solutions. They’re seriously not trying to blame, they are only trying to help. Blaming is the furthest thing from their minds. But the victim is almost certainly not in a state to interpret it that way immediately after the assault.

Now there’s another side to this.

In the criminal justice system, a rape accusation must proceed through due process just like any and all other accusations. There must be evidence, there must be a claim, and the D.A.s office must issue a summons to all related parties. Each person at a trial is allowed to speak, and all evidence is held up to scrutiny. I will agree that we may be able to improve the experience for the victim at this point. What can we do? Maybe they can be absent during certain parts of the testimony, or when certain things are discussed? Maybe the victim can be cross examined in private and video recorded, so the defense can witness this part without actually having to be in the same room. Certainly we’re not going to suggest that court proceedings totally not happen at all, and the accused just automatically goes to jail.

The proceedings do need to happen, and the victim does need to be cross-examined. This is part of how the criminal justice system works, and how it works in all developed countries all across the world, with every crime brought before a judge or jury. But it’s very possible that the experience for the victim may somehow be improved.

Finally, as for a possible 3rd side to this, I am not aware of any media outlet, in any first world country, over the last 50 years, that has explicitly blamed victims of rape for being raped. It may be possible to hear unkind remarks from extremely uneducated idiots, but this not a “culture”. As discussed earlier, this is an example of anecdotal evidence being generalized to apply to greater statistic than can be known. If a person says they’ve been raped, that statement almost universally elicits sympathy from anyone within ear-range.

A newer post:

—– —–
Because of the overall sexism in rape culture, men do not get raped. That is, of course they get raped, but because of the way rape victims are seen by society, men who are raped are either ignored or labeled as sissy, or gay, or simply weak, in order to maintain the illusion that “men do not get raped”. And in the same vein, women cannot rape men. Men, society teaches, are always horny, always seeking the next conquest and always ready for sex. So how could they be raped? Because of these very attitudes, society is extremely slow to address, much less change, the way male rape victims are treated. The FBI did not even classify male rape as rape until 2012.[4] Women are also perceived as being incapable of raping other women, often because sex between two women is portrayed as ‘not real sex’. Woman on woman rape is also often not illegal, most notably in places where the definition of rape necessitates penetration by a penis. This is still true throughout most of the world, and until recently the US as well.
—– —–

^^^ I’ll concede this point. Rape against men, and sexual assault against men, are usually dismissed, downplayed, and not taken seriously. On top of that, false accusations are often more towards men as well.

However, men bear the burden on multiple issues due to the societal pressures given to their gender, so this is not limited to only rape. We will also need much more than this to prove there’s a “culture”.

An older post:

—– —–
White-washing the perpetrator. They can be direct excuses such as “He’s a man, she was leading him on, he couldn’t help it”, or more indirect ones, such as “if you don’t want to be prison raped, don’t go to prison”.
—– —–

^^^ This would be in the same vein as questions like “what was she wearing”, and statements like “she was asking for it!”

Regarding those two statements – “what was she wearing” and “she was asking for it”, I’ve lived in different countries, 7 states, and traveled through and lived in perhaps two dozen different cities. I’ve never heard anyone say either of these, and no one I know has heard anyone ever say either of these.

But I won’t use my own personal experience as proof. I stated this earlier, and I’ll state it again, since this is a frequent go-to point for 3rd Wavers and is worth repeating. This is a challenge that anyone is invited to participate in.

I ask if anyone can find one single instance, in any mainstream media broadcast (print, radio, television, or internet), over the last 50 years, in any first world country, where rape was the topic, and the broadcaster endorsed the perspective expressed in either of those statements. I believe that would settle the question of whether or not such a view is acceptable by a public consensus.

To be extra clear, I’ve had this challenge answered a number of times by people showing me news stories were a single individual person was quoted as saying something to that affect. That’s not what I’m asking for. I’m asking for a portrayal of rape where the victim was blamed, or held responsible, in the ways previously described, and where the audience is expected to (and does) take it as acceptable.

Because the only time I have ever seen either statement broadcast in media, ironically… has been from 3rd wave feminist.

A newer post:

—– —–
Rape culture fosters the misconception that incidents of false or politically motivated rape accusations are common place, in order to create a cloud of doubt on all potential rapes. While there will always be some scumbags who make intentionally false accusations of any kind of crime, one gets the impression that false rape accusations get so much attention in order to preemptively shame into silence, victims who do not have ironclad cases. This can create a chilling effect on rape victims who don’t want to be accused of lying and/or be subject to the media circus afterwards.
—– —–

^^^ First, a “cloud of doubt” shouldn’t exist.

Everyone ever accused of any crime is always innocent until proven guilty.

Second, the reason false accusations from this particular crime is being talked about so much is because this particular crime is being talked about so much. The possibility of a false accusation goes along with all crimes. If everyone was talking about theft, then the topic of being wrongly accused of theft would reasonable see a congruent increase in popularity.

As far as “ironclad cases” go, that’s precisely what a felony charge requires; “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”. A misdemeanor charge is less serious, but requires only a “preponderance of the evidence”. All crimes in the criminal justice system follow this criteria. [Update: January 12th, 2016 – it seems I misspoke on this point.  As Jeffrey Deutsch points out, a misdemeanor also requires “proof beyond doubt”, and it’s civil cases that only require a preponderance.  Thanks for the correction!]

An older post:

—– —–
The downplay and ignoring of warning signs that often precede rape such as sexual harassment, sexual humiliation, non-coital sexual assault, such as unwanted breast or ass-grabbing, and the objectification and othering of victims by rape apologist.
—– —–

^^^ We’ve already covered objectification.

I clearly remember how in the 90s, a woman could claim harassment on any man, and he was out the door. Harassment wasn’t just taken seriously, it was taken over-the-goddam-top seriously. It usually required no proof – point the finger, give the H word, and the man you accused was fired.

Downplaying grabbing a woman’s breasts?

Do you. Have. Any idea. What an utter shitstorm would be unleashed. If you grabbed a woman’s breast in Wal-Mart, or TPI, or the building where I live? Or… well, anywhere else for that matter?

I remember after I had just started transitioning, and someone from the shelter saw me sitting at Powell’s Books. He came up behind me, put his hands around my shoulders, and whispered real loud in my ear “I WANT YOU!”

He was kicked out of the shelter after that. They put him on the streets where he was sleeping under a bridge in the rain.

Recently there was an incident in a restaurant near where I live, where I went in to use the restroom, and a few moments later, a male employee opened the door while I was inside, and shouted “ARE YOU A WOMAN?”

He never physically touched me. Just opening the door and saying that, would have made national headline news if I had pursued the offer for interviews at news agencies. Not one, but TWO civil rights organizations jumped all over this company. I had people from agencies all across town calling their corporate office and threatening lawsuits. I had attorneys wanting to contact me and offered to launch a case. It went on google plus and got some 30,000 hits. I actually started feeling bad for this company!!! This one incident was going to ruin them!!!

I remember a story that happened in Texas sometime back where a young man was a little “fresh” with a woman he was dating. A few hours later, 4 of her brothers show up at that young man’s door… and let’s just say he rearranged some of his values before the night was over… along with a few other things.

The idea that anything in regards to sexual assault against women is ever “downplayed” is just preposterous.

I will agree that if a woman grabs a man’s ass, then it would probably be downplayed, as sexual assault and violence against men very often is. But again, this is just another of the long list of disadvantages set against men, and isn’t only relegated to the idea of rape culture.

A newer post:

—– —–
In rape culture society, rapists are still seen as men with potential parental rights to children they conceived through raping a woman. 31 states still allow a convicted rapist to sue for custody of any children. In an environment like in the USA, where rape is being questioned as a legitimate reason for abortion, this issue becomes even more chilling.
—– —–

First, there is no law stating “rapist can have custody”. The law states men and women are both eligible for custody, and judges are allowed to determine who gets that custody based on the evidence at hand. The law does not lay down an exhaustive list of conditions under which a parent *cannot* sue for custody. It is, indeed, ambiguous in this sense, and arguably does rely too much on judicial ruling.

But this only means there are oversights. It is not indicative of any culture. The law also doesn’t say a parent addicted to heroin *cannot* have custody of children.

I do fully agree that there should be a federal law, extending over all states, that prevents convicted rapist from having custody of children.

I was not able to track down the source of this meme, but it's interesting to note that the only places I could find it are on 3rd Wave sites.  I wouldn't be surprised if a 3rd Waver created this only to help generate the image of rape culture.

I was not able to track down the source of this meme, but it’s interesting to note that the only places I could find it are on 3rd Wave sites. I wouldn’t be surprised if a 3rd Waver created this only to help generate the image of rape culture.

—– —–
Eroticization and romanticization of rape in popular culture, without showing the negative side effects or at least imploring a heavy degree of due diligence from the audience.
—– —–

Earlier, I asked for 1 single example of victim blaming in concern to rape.

Here, I’m sure we could find at least 1 example, perhaps in underground literature or in some obscure novel. But “popular culture”? As in, this is a reoccurring theme popularly encountered throughout mainstream books, TV shows, and movies?

Steven Segal can slaughter a team of highly trained ninjas with his bare hands. Chuck Norris can machine gun an entire village of bad guys. Al Pacino can snort a line of coke off a hooker’s ass. But you know what they can’t do?

Rape.

In movies, if you really, *really* want the audience to hate a bad guy – I mean hate him beyond all hope of redemption – all you have to do is imply he’s committed rape. Even implying that is enough. You *cannot* rape, and be anything but the most horrible villain ever. I also can’t offhand even recall a movie or TV series that dared to touch this topic without portraying the victim with the absolute most heavy-handed “due diligence” possible.

A newer post:

—– —–
Rape culture often uses rape as a subject of jokes, in ways not seen with similar crimes like murder. For example, memes such as ‘surprise sex!’ attempt to minimize rape, while at other times, rape apologia such as ‘If they orgasmed, it wasn’t rape’ are thrown around as ‘jokes’, where the fact that the speaker ‘obviously didn’t mean it’ (which the reader must simply assume) are the only reason not to take the statement at face value. However, actual rapists are liable to see these statements as signs that others agree with them, or even encouragement.
—– —–

First, I’ve already talked about jokes in a psychological context.

Second, murder and killing are joked about rather frequently, so it’s difficult to understand this comparison.

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPfwoCUQz7k – “50 ways to kill bin ladin”.

Would “50 ways to rape bin ladin” ever make it to youtube?

Third, rapists are rapists. Nearly every study made on this subject agrees. A typical person is bombarded with a slew of anti-rape messages (which wouldn’t happen if we lived in a society of rape culture), and is unlikely to rape. Rapist tend to make up a very small portion of the population, and are willing to rape regardless of what messages they hear. So not only do we have a lack of evidence suggesting that rapist will be more likely to rape from seeing / hearing jokes, all the evidence we do have says just the opposite.

An older post:

—– —–
The urban legend that women don’t want sex, and must be encouraged to have sex, played out in the old joke “No, don’t, stop!”… “no, don’t stop!”
—– —–

I don’t see where consent is ignored in this proposition.

As a woman, I don’t walk around wanting sex all the time either. I like it when a girl knows how to approach me, knows how to be interesting, then leave. If she does it right, I’ll be thinking of her, because she was awesome. If she *keeps* doing this right, then I’ll be thinking about sleeping with her, just like I would with a guy if I were straight.

Because men have testosterone, and an objective-oriented mindset, and their amygdala controls both sexual arousal and aggressive behavior, they’ve traditionally been the initiators of relationships, and are the ones that escalate. It’s the guy who comes to talk to me – and I can turn him away or reject him right on the spot (which I couldn’t do at a whim if women didn’t have the power of agency – its him who offers, and I who approve or don’t approve, not the other way around).

The guy has to watch carefully to see if I’m receptive, and has to continually prove his worth. If worthy, and if I give the signals that I accept, he can tentatively escalate by touching my hand, or finding a way to put his hand on my shoulder. If I pull away or react, then I’ve rejected him (which again I couldn’t do if it wasn’t me who’s calling the shots).

After he’s found that he can put his arm around me and I’m okay with it, he might try getting my number, or kissing me or, whatever else. At any time along the way I can still reject him.

This is basically how you encourage someone to have sex. You can’t encourage them by raping them, that’s ridiculous. These days, absolutely positively any assertion of interest by a white heterosexual male is called harassment right from the start. It’s hard to understand how men’s behavior is so tightly policed on such a routine basis, where you can’t look at a woman without it being male gaze; you can’t talk to a woman without it being harassment; you can’t ask for her number without it being a catcall; you can’t show kindness without it being sexism; yet still claim that, in the midst of all this, men are somehow encouraged to violate women.

A newer Post:

—– —–
Rape culture often uses threats of rape (real or just voiced) as a way to intimidate women into submission. This is especially prevalent on the internet.
—– —–

“Citations Needed”. What gets me is that Rational Wiki is not citing any source material or examples, something wikipedia does and gets criticized for anyway. Because you can’t just say something like this and have it considered under the authority of “just take my word for it”.

Also while we’re at it, who actually gets more harassing comments over the interwebs?

Who gets harassedOn average, men get more harassment than do women. Now comes the interesting question…

Who gets more upset by it?

Who's upset by harassmentThe social conditioning men experience tell them to just “deal with it”. And so they do.

It’s well established that you cannot threaten to rape a woman in Wal-Mart, Target, Burgerking, or anywhere else. If you try, your ass will be kicked across 10 different time zones. There’s no way in hell you could do that, while everyone standing around is just not taking notice because they’re all totally okay with it.

That might not be what the author means, but then the author is not providing any examples of what they mean. The statement is left intentionally vague so it’s malleable enough to fit into the suggested narrative.

“Especially prevalent on the internet” – my dear lad… shit dick nipples are prevalent on the internet. You know why?

Because the internet is a place that allows us to escape any and all societal norms. It’s has been called the new “wild frontier” – it’s a place where I can do absolutely anything, say things I could never say in real life, act completely immature, and explore behavior I could never get away with otherwise. I remember way long time ago on mIRC when I’d go into chatrooms and act like a total maniac. It was fun! I could act out any fantasy I pleased. I once pretended to be a terrorist, and had a friend go into a chatroom with me and talk about “setting up us a bomb”. It’s interesting – especially for young people – to try doing that.

Since the days of mIRC, the internet has become more civilized. We now create established online identities to use things like facebook, but mIRC is still around. People still go there for the anonymity to talk about outrageous things, or share stories they could only share on /b/. They don’t do this because they belong to some sort of culture. They do this on the internet because they *can’t* do it anywhere else, because it’s not acceptable anywhere else, because there is no such culture that allows it, or makes it permissible.

VSauce actually made a video on why we’re as curious as we are about such morbid things. You can see that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbdMMI6ty0o

Once people get a chance to explore what lays beyond the boundaries, they tend to get bored, and go back to reality. Have you been on mIRC lately? Or /b/? Me neither.

A newer post

—– —–
Rape culture flourishes in societies where teens are not taught how to talk about sex and about what they each want. Paired with the above, this leads to instances where neither party is quite sure what the other wants and can lead directly to rape. Contrast this with an ideal situation where women are taught as young girls that it is ok to say no or yes, but be clear, and where boys are taught to only accept a strong yes as a yes.
—– —–

I like how this is stated. “I’m not quite sure what you want”… which can lead to me suddenly raping you.

I completely agree that more education is needed. For example, the author of this perhaps needs education to understand that social interactions are filled with nuances, and that human language does not operate on a robotic binary. It would be utterly silly if I had to say:

“Yes you can approach me”.

“Yes, you may now touch my hand.”

“Yes, you may now put your arm around me.”

“Yes, you may now put your hand on my leg.”

“No, you may not have my number. Not until you have proceeded to 404 FILE NOT FOUND.”

The “Yes means Yes” laws state that I literally have to do this. According to the law, I must continue to give my consent during sex every few minutes. I have to literally say “YES” out loud, to indicate “keep going”. My silence doesn’t work as implied consent. My girlfriend and I routinely break this law, which works out fine; because I’m a woman now, I’m almost virtually exempt from this accusation, and neither of us reconfirm consent “ongoing and throughout”.

It keeps coming back to me that this unbelievably over-the-top law got passed to protect women in a country where 0.1 to 0.4% experience rape at some point in their lives… where an oppressive patriarchy decided even that was too much, and passed this law, among others, specifically for women.

I firmly support the notion that our education system needs reform, as previously discussed. Kids should be taught virtues, ethics, and how to be a good person. Boys should learn how to be more socially confident and graceful. Girls should learn how to assert themselves and communicate clearly. Doing this would go a long way to resolving some of the ambiguity of dating, for sure.

A newer post

—– —–
Rape culture both informs and is informed by a society’s mixed messages about sex in the media and on tv. Women and girls should be pure and somehow above sex, and yet everything is sold to them through sex.
—– —–

Rape culture is defined as:

“. . . the ways in which a society trivializes, rationalizes, or even condones rape and other acts of sexual violence.”

How do these messages of sex “inform rape culture”? Sex =/= rape. One does not equal the other. I’m an adult. I like sex.

I’m being told that I’m giving myself “mixed messages” when I want to be pure and lady-like SOMETIMES, and dirty-sexual OTHER TIMES. If my personality is not one dimensional, then I’m mixed up.

Take a look at this:

Rape cultureIf I want to be held down by a guy with other people watching, it means I support rape culture and / or I’m a rape apologist.

Bullshit.

I can have these fantasies if I want. Pictures like this do not condone rape. There is nothing here saying “rape is okay”. The guy is on top of the girl – this is the way people generally have sex. The guy “has power” – yea, so what? If I were straight, I’d like that!! I do, occasionally, have fantasies where I’m with a very strong, dominate, masculine woman, who can hold me down and “make me hers”. I’d probably want that from a man, if I liked men. There is nothing in this picture which hints or indicates that consent is not being given.

Also, isn’t this how normal people normally have normal sex? With the guy on top of a girl?

Here’s another frequently cited example:

rape culture 2

The first impression I get from looking at this, is that it’s rather silly. I’m not sure why a guy is dressed

like that on the beach, or why he’s straddling a woman that way. Plus it looks awkwardly photoshopped. But regardless – once again, how is this rape? Rape is when you shove your dick into a woman’s vagina without her consent. Where’s the lack of consent in this pic? She’s calmly laying there. She has her glasses up, looking at him, clearly not panicked, which indicates that she probably knows him. Maybe he’s goofy like that and does this anytime he goes to get her drinks – which is another key point – HE’S getting HER drinks. He’s serving her while she relaxes. You have to start getting super theoretical and suggesting things like the man standing over her somehow symbolizes some sort of patriarchal “mandate” of dominance (even though he’s still the one serving her, and dressed extremely uncomfortable while doing it) – but then there’s nothing wrong with dominance either. I love being dominated SOMETIMES.

Here’s one more:

rape culture 3

I feel that these are extremely poor examples. They are NOT depicting rape, or anything even remotely rape-like. But I couldn’t find any better examples than these. These are supposedly “rape culture” in advertising, according to the sources I could find.

This is supposed to be part of an ad for something by Radio Shack. You know, if I had the body for it, I might like wearing something skimpy like that too on occasion. And yes, I’m a grown up. I know what sex is, and I’m able to find things sexually attractive. Of course the human brain is capable of compartmentalization, meaning I’m able to hold multiple ideas in my head simultaneously; I can see a woman as a potential intimate partner, and also as a lot of other things.

But all that aside for a moment – where’s the rape? Where’s the absence of consent?

By conflating absolutely everything related to, or involving, any form sexual innuendos as equal to “rape”, we’re doing a massive disservice to victims actually affected by rape. We’re diluting the seriousness of the crime. Rape is now a woman wearing silver panties. It’s now a man standing over a woman at the beach. It’s now a man on top of a woman (because something like that never ever happens unless it’s rape). This is part of what makes feminism one of the top 10 most annoying words in the English language today.

Nobody looks at pictures like these and thinks “Hmmm… well alright then! Time to go rape!” At no level, conscious or subconscious, does this happen, and we have no evidence that tells us

otherwise. The shy neck-bearded geek who was scared to approach girls before will be *just* as scared to approach girls after seeing pictures like this. His heart will race just the same when he tries to talk to a girl. He will risk feeling just as hurt if he’s rejected. He will be just as hopeful if she gives him the time of day, and will celebrate just the same if he somehow happens to get her number. He will still have fantasies of one day coming home from work and scooping her up into his arms, sharing dinner together, living the same life everyone wants to live.

We know how basic psychology works. It doesn’t work the way rape culture theory says it works.

A newer post

—– —–
Instances of sexual harassment are often seen as a personal issue between a victim and her aggressor, even in a work environment. Sexual harassment is often portrayed as a hassle a company must deal with, to protect itself legally, rather than a real moral or ethical transgression.
—– —–

I’ve already addressed this for the most part, including what sexual harassment actually is, objectively speaking. We live in a culture where “God bless you” is sexual harassment. It has gotten so out of hand, that there is no possible way to consider this from a moral standpoint. Of course companies have a headache dealing with this.

Most mid-sized and large-sized companies now have a “sexual harassment” policy they refer to. They accommodate 3rd Waver philosophy by as much as possible by preventing any display that might ever even be possibly or imaginably construed as sexual in nature. Try bringing a mug to work that says “Life’s a Beach”. Most corporations don’t even allow THAT.

Also, sexual harassment usually does involve an element of personability between two people. What if I’m dating a guy, break up with him, and he wants to get back together with me? What if I reject him, but then I’m not sure because he seems kind of sweet? I’m allowed to change my mind. These are real life things that happen between adults. Not rape culture.

A newer post

—– —–
Rape culture, like all other aspects of culture, impacts people on a subconscious level long before it becomes part of their conscious choices.
—– —–

There is no evidence of this. There are no studies of where “aspects of rape culture” got itself attached to a person’s subconscious and later made him act, like some kind of ticking time bomb, where he reacts as soon as he hears a CIA implanted code word.

A newer post

—– —–
Rape culture is the result of thousands of years of human history which has defined women and their place in society. And it should be understood that way. Unfortunately, discussions about rape culture can make men feel cornered, attacked or defensive.
—– —–

The way an argument is presented can definitely make someone feel attacked; there’s no way I could have been oppressed for thousands of years, when I’m only 34 years old.

Most historians do not agree with the 3rd Waver narrative on women’s history, and I’ve already touched on this a number of times. Men’s place in history was just as defined, and by all accounts just as oppressive if not more so, than women’s. None of this contributes to “rape culture”, as we have not seen any evidence thus far that it even exists.

A newer post

—– —–
Discussing or admitting that rape culture exists does not mean anyone believes men think rape is somehow a good or valued thing. Nor does it mean that someone is accusing you of being a rapist. Discussing the fact that in America, 27.2% of women have been sexually harassed and 18.3% have been raped, and 11.7% of men have been sexually harassed and 1.4% raped at least once in their lives does not mean anyone thinks that specifically men are more to blame.
—– —–

^^^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJsozCS4hlE – this is from Hollaback. The young man at 1:02 says harassment includes things like going “Pssst”. If someone makes sounds with their mouth, it’s harassment.

We’ve already completely debunked the statistics presented here, but since we’re on the subject of deliberately inflated statistics and the workplace, here’s something else to consider.

See “sex and race discrimination”, found here: http://www.iwpr.org/publications/resources/consentdecree/consentdecrees .

How is sex discrimination in the workplace being measured? According to the website:

IWPR, in collaboration with The WAGE Project, Inc., examined consent decree remedies for sex and race discrimination in the workplace.”

And what is a “consent decree”, you ask?

Consent decrees are court approved settlements of law suits where the defendant does not admit guilt but agrees to the implementation of a set of measures to remedy and prevent future occurrence of potentially unlawful practices.”

So a woman doesn’t like the bikini calendar in someone’s cubical.

The company drops everything, throws their hands up, and agrees to go ahead and change something. Because that’s what oppressive patriarchies do.

And each time that happens… it’s still counted as an instance of sex discrimination.

A newer post:

—– —–
Debates in the US House attempting to articulate what a “legitimate” rape is, vs… well, we aren’t sure vs. what.
—– —–

The fact that this was so widely and universally lambasted as being completely outrageous and utterly ridiculous by almost absolutely everyone everywhere, for me, is perhaps the best indication that there is no rape culture anywhere, because nobody agrees with those ideas. No one supports this idea other than the religiously indoctrinated and completely out-of-touch politicians that were home-schooled all their life and make such incredibly ludicrous claims.

My position is that rape culture does not exist. The only points I would concede are that violence against men is trivialized, and men are treated unfairly in regards to rape, but this is a gender issue, as men are treated as disposable and shortchanged across the board, and not just where this subject is concerned.

Click here for part 5, where we’ll discuss why the myth of “rape culture” is so damaging, why it’s so hard to address, and what you would need if you still wanted to prove it exists somehow.

A Response to Rape Culture, part 3 of 5

Click here for part 2.

When we last left off, we were discussing two types of rape statistics;

Those that come from this place called “reality”…

… and those that come from Third Wavers.

You’ll even find pages like this one: http://www2.webster.edu/~woolflm/rape.html – which use *BOTH* of the studies we talked about last time to make the subject look ridiculous.

Back to the original link for a moment – this one so we’re not confused:

http://www.uic.edu/depts/owa/sa_rape_support.html

More claims this page makes is:

—– —–

  • 51% of the boys and 41% of the girls said forced sex was acceptable if the boy, “spent a lot of money” on the girl;
  • 31% of the boys and 32% of the girls said it was acceptable for a man to rape a woman with past sexual experience;
  • 87% of boys and 79% of girls said sexual assault was acceptable if the man and the woman were married;

—– —–

The source of this is listed below.

—– —–
White, Jacqueline W. and John A. Humphrey. “Young People’s Attitudes Toward Acquaintance Rape.” Acquaintance Rape: The Hidden crime.” John Wiley and Sons, 1991.
—– —–

I have scoured the internet. I have searched high and low. I have posted this link on multiple forums. I have messaged friends, coworkers, colleagues… I have done everything short of climb a goddam mountain and ask the all-knowing Grand Whatchama-Dude where I can find this study. But I Just. Cannot. Find it. Anywhere. Online.

However, given what we’ve seen so far, I find it …

… how should I put this …

If you read the claims, it looks like they’re saying someone walked up to a group of little boys, and asked them, “Is it okay to RAPE SOMEONE???” And all the little boys (half of them anyway) jumped up and down and said “Yea! Yea! Rape is great! :D”

These are 11 to 14 year olds. What the actual f*ck.

As Judge Judy would say, don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. I do not believe for a second that any person anywhere just flat out says “oh sure it’s totally cool to rape someone if you spent money on them”. Especially not 11 year olds. Nowhere on planet earth do 79% of little girls say “It’s okay of daddy rapes mommy”. I mean when I was that age, I was more concerned with what toy I got in my happy meal. Everyone everywhere knows that rape is wrong – hell even most rapists know it’s wrong! They just do it anyway. This claim is beyond absurd.

Rape is treated as one of the most outrageous and heinous crimes our society has ever seen. Statistics from damn near everywhere – even from hardline feminist sources – show that rape is only committed by a very select few, and the rest of society consists of normal, ordinary people, who know that rape is wrong.

Just as with the previous studies, I would love to see what the kids were *actually* asked.

“Do you think daddy has sex with mommy (or vice versa), even when one of them doesn’t really want to?” – I’d expect the first response from someone that age to be “Mister… I’m 12 years old. Why the f*ck are you asking me that???

1 in 5 women raped?  Seriously??

There’s the CDC study that President Obama cited earlier, which shows 1 in 5 women have been raped at some point in their lives. You can find the study here: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf – page 1, right hand column, under “Key Findings”. This same study shows that only 1 in 71 men have been raped, so it plays well into the other 3rd Wave narratives (patriarchy, objectification, male privilege, and so on).

You wanna take a wild stab in the dark at how we got the 1 in 5 number? If you’ve been paying attention so far, you can probably guess.

First subjects were told “Please remember that even if someone uses alcohol or drugs, what happens to them is not their fault”. Let’s be clear for a moment: victim blaming is definitely and indefensibly wrong. Victims should never be blamed. However, stating this at the beginning of a survey is intentionally leading, and will make respondents answer a questions from then on in a particular way.

Later, the survey asked “When you were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent, how many people ever had vaginal sex with you?” And any answer other than 0 was counted as rape.  (If you’d like, you can see the original study here: http://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/24726 – just hit the download button ).

So getting drunk, then deciding to have sex with a man, means you were raped. I’ll say that again – according to the CDC study, if a man gets drunk, and decides to have sex with a woman, he raped her. If alcohol is involved, sex = rape. What’s particularly glaring is how “when you were drunk or high” is placed on the same exact level as “drugged or passed out”. “Drunk”, by legal definitions, means your blood alcohol level is above 0.05 percent (in some states, 0.08 percent). So if you’ve drank enough to put you at that limit, then have sex, then it counts at rape.

And here I thought rape meant intercourse without consent.

This is also where the whole “victim blaming” thing gets confused. If a man gets drunk, he still has responsibility. If he gets in his car, tries to drive home, and crashes, then he’s considered responsible for drunk driving. Nobody looks at that and calls it “victim blaming”. Same with a woman driving drunk. Same with a man getting drunk then having sex – he’s the one who decided to drink then get in bed with someone. But for some reason, if a woman drinks, then sleeps with someone, we take away her responsibility. She’s lost her power of agency because she’s a poor innocent little girl all of a sudden and didn’t know what she was doing – which is actually close to the definition of “objectifying” her.

How much she drinks shouldn’t be a factor. We never fault the man for getting stupid-drunk and sleeping with someone. If his blood alcohol content is 0.DamnSonHowMuchDidYouDrink???, he doesn’t get off the hook if he’s caught driving.

Now if someone slips drugs into a girl’s drink – yea, totally different story. No one’s disputing that. But conflating the two is deliberately disingenuous, and publishing that in a “study” is partly where the idea of rape culture comes from.

Given the number of college girls who drink or take some “E” on spring break, and the amount of completely consensual sex they have, it’s not surprising that at least 1 in 5 were drunk when sex happened. Hell I’d actually expect that number to be a lot higher.

It’s also interesting to note that the CDC does not define a woman coercing sex from a man as rape – though when a man does it to a woman, that’s rape. While I can’t say for sure what the motivation for that is, it is very notable that by defining rape using this double standard, it means a woman cannot rape a man when he’s drunk, but a man can still rape a woman when she’s drunk.

And while I don’t mean to stray too far off topic, I found these next two studies interesting, because they’re blazingly divergent from typical 3rd Wave narratives. The first one is from the Bureau of Justice Statistics: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svjfry09.pdf . According to the study, 95% of male child sexual abuse in juvenile facilities was perpetrated by female staff. Only 4% of those reporting abuse indicated male staff.

What’s more, a report from Health Canada, and the Minister of Public Works and Government Services of Canada, found here: http://www.canadiancrc.com/PDFs/The_Invisible_Boy_Report.pdf – shows that between 60 and 80% of male sexual offenders were abused by a woman at some point early in life. Of course an adult is responsible for their own actions, unless they suffer from a mental disorder. But still, this paints a different picture than the one we’re usually given about rape and sexual assault, and suggests that a possible measure to prevent future rapist is to protect them from women like this in positions of power, who have unrestricted access to children.

Meanwhile, there’s another side of the spectrum; actual cases of rape that never get prosecuted.

The Issues Actual Victims Face

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf

From the link:

—– —–
The reasons for not reporting a rape or sexual assault victimization to police varied somewhat between students and nonstudents. A greater percentage of nonstudent (19%) than student (9%) victims stated that they did not report to police because the police would not or could not do anything to help. Nonstudent victims were also more likely to state that they had reported to a different official.

Student victims (12%) were more likely to state that the victimization was not important enough to report, compared to nonstudent victims (5%). About a quarter of student (26%) and nonstudent (23%) victims who did not report to police believed the incident was a personal matter, and 1 in 5 (20% each) stated a fear of reprisal.
—– —–

^^^ This is simply unacceptable. If even one single person who has been assaulted believes they cannot seek proper justice, then something must be done to make justice easier for that person to access.

Inability to access proper channels to report an assault appears to be a legitimate problem and should definitely be addressed as soon as possible. But creating the idea that everyone goes around thinking that rape is okay is what actually dismisses the issue; it shuts down dialog and makes everyone hate what you’re saying. I don’t think rape is okay, no one I know thinks it’s okay, no one I know who knows anyone who knows anyone thinks rape is okay. Studies indicate again and again that it’s only a small population of individuals who actually commit this crime, while everyone else knows it’s reprehensible. That’s why we live in a culture that hates rape so much that people lose their minds over it. When those same people are being told the matter is being trivialized, when that simply is not even close to being true, it’s more likely to create frustration and make people either try to act more outraged to show that it’s not trivialized (which makes the problem worse for those accused without trial), or give up and become less involved (which makes the problem worse for actual victims). Either way, it’s not helping.

Instead, an intelligent public discussion that acknowledges the reality, and suggests real, practical solutions, and is backed with verifiable information, is a much more productive avenue to ensuring victims have access to justice. This is what a 4th Wave Feminist would do. And I’m saying this as someone who has experienced extreme and severe injustice on both sides of this problem: as a victim of rape, and a victim of false accusations of rape. Cool headed solutions are better than rampant emotional tirades. Looking at actual facts and figures is better than submitting to a narrative with fabricated statistics and exaggerations meant only to validate my outrage.
What’s more, from the above study:

—– —–
Fewer than 1 in 5 female student (16%) and nonstudent (18%) victims of rape and sexual assault received assistance from a victim services agency for the period 1995–2013. Victim service agencies include public or privately funded organizations that provide victims with support and services to aid their recovery, offer protection, guide them through the criminal justice system process, and assist with obtaining restitution. There was no significant difference in the proportion of victims who received assistance based on enrollment status.
—– —–

^^^ So then, what are some things we can do to help victims seek the aid they need?
Can we make services more accessible? How about a victim’s assistance program on every campus that offers immediate help? The actual number of victims may only be 4 out of every 1,000 – but that doesn’t matter. If even 1 person needs help, they can access the program, and get an immediate response. We do this for other populations, so we can do this for sexual assault victims as well.

How about constant reassurance to protect a victim’s privacy? In the field of mental health, we need “ROI” (release of information) forms that clients must fill out nearly every single step of the way. ROI is a very serious topic in the field of mental health. We should be able to provide this to victims of sexual assault as well; let them know that their reports will not be known by anyone, and tell them exactly who will have access to their information (police, department of justice, etc).
How about free legal services for victims of sexual assault? After contacting the program, victims can be put in touch with an attorney who specializes in rape cases immediately.

We could also educate the officers who handle sex-related crimes. We’re doing this in Portland right now in regards to mentally ill suspects. Police are now being trained in how to recognize a mentally ill suspect and how to properly take them into custody. In that same vein, we could give police a crash course on what not to say during initial contact with a sex assault victim, and ensure they leave the cross-examination to the attorneys. For example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWJHVDUCuc4 – the way the consultation is conducted in the first 4 minutes of the video is simply ridiculous, and should not ever happen. The person who posted this video completely debunks his own case in a breath-taking show of self-pwnage to which he seems oblivious. The job of the crime investigators should be to simply gather together information and evidence, take statements, and determine if a case can be prosecuted – this does not include trying to convince alleged victims that they’re not really victims. On a side note, during the consultation the female officer even says “I’ve done a very thorough investigation here” and “I’ve put in a lot of work on this and I’m very confident in my conclusion”. It seems like she’s imagining herself as being the next Perry Mason, because honestly, the victim does not give a fiddler’s f*ck about how great you are in your own mind. You should seek that sort of approval from your superiors, not the victims. This isn’t rape culture; it’s just someone who sucks at their job.

These are all practical solutions to real problems not offered by the overblown melodrama of 3rd Wavers. Instead of addressing the individual needs of actual rape victims, campuses will address the stigma of rape culture. Because when the image is more threatening than – and separate from – the problem, the image is what gets addressed. Not the problem.

“Teach men not to rape” is not a solution: http://www.ebony.com/news-views/5-ways-wecan-teach-men-not-to-rape-456#axzz38LTWOIcG . This is a malicious catchphrase and parody of a solution with a deliberate aim to vilify the innocent as part of a baseless narrative from a religiously indoctrinated movement that has done utterly no research on this topic, have no concerned with facts nor evidence, and don’t care who they hurt in the process.

Click here for part 4, where we’ll address the definitions of rape culture directly.

A Response to Rape Culture, part 2 of 5

Click Here for part 1.

If you’re wanting to just get straight into the facts and figures, this is the best place to start.

To begin with, RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network) refutes “rape culture”, and says promoting such a belief actually makes it harder for us to track down and catch real rapist. They use statistics and information freely available from the Justice Department to make their case, and show for a fact that in a college campus of 1,000 men, 990 of them know and understand that rape is totally reprehensible. They point out well established and well understood psychology, such as that found in DBT, to show that men understand this even when acknowledging disputed claims. They make a conclusive case that the few men who rape must be apprehended and put in prison. Intentionally blurring the goddam lines with nonsensical and unfounded “theories” that have no scientific backing are just getting in the way.

You can read RAIN’s report here:

https://rainn.org/images/032014/WHTaskForceRAINNRecommendations.pdf

This is their report issued to the White House concerning recommendations for addressing rape on college campuses.

Then there’s this notion that rape is absolutely everywhere you look, and the reason for that is due to a culture that trivializes and condones it.

Take a look at President Obama’s speech, from the White House:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/thepressoffice/2014/01/22/remarkspresidentandvicepresidenteventcouncilwomenandgirls

From the link:

—– —–
Today, we’re taking another important step with a focus on our college campuses. It is estimated that 1 lin 5 women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted during their time there — 1 in 5. These young women worked so hard just to get into college, often their parents are doing everything they can to help them pay for it. So when they finally make it there only to be assaulted, that is not just a nightmare for them and their families, it’s an affront to everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve. It’s totally unacceptable.
—– —–

^^^ 1 in 5 women on college campuses assaulted. That’s incredible! That means right here at PSU, which is right next door to me, at least a thousand women have been assaulted. It’s of course very possible that this is true, despite the fact that I’ve never once heard anything at all coming from that campus, ever… which is literally right across the street from me. The same campus that I see when I look up from the monitor. But I can’t judge reality entirely based on personal experience. Maybe rapes are just happening all over the damn place, literally right across from me, at least once a day (1 rape per day x 365 days = 365 girls raped, which is around 1 in 5 in a school of a few thousand), and yet somehow, some way, nobody ever mentions it. I never hear about it. That’s simply astonishing. (Update November 3rd, 2015: While the 1 in 5 claim deals specifically with rape, it’s been pointed out to me that Obama specifically said here “sexual assault”, not rape.  Thanks to Jerry Barrington for pointing that out.)

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf – A special report from the United States Department of Justice, conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey.

From the link:

—– —–
“In 2013, college-age females had a similar rate of rape and sexual assault regardless of enrollment status (about 4.3 victimizations per 1,000), while the victimization rate for not college-age (ages 12 to 17 and 25 or older) females was 1.4 victimizations per 1,000. For both students and nonstudents ages 18 to 24, the 2013 rates of rape and sexual assault were not significantly different from their respective rates in 1997.”
—– —–

^^^ 4.3 victimizations out of 1,000 is 0.43%. This percentage is approximately the same as it was in 1997. This sounds far more realistic. So where did this 1 in 5 statistic come from? Hang on, we’re getting there.

This report also confirms the findings by RAINN; that it is a very small number of students who commit rape, and most are uninvolved because they understand that rape is wrong:

—– —–
For the period 1995–2013, more than 90% of rape and sexual victimizations of female students (95%) and nonstudents (92%) were committed by a single offender, rather than a group of offenders.
—– —–

Rapist constitute a very, very small portion of the population, as do most serious criminals. Research suggests that rapists may be accurately described as a type of sociopath.

Rapist constitute a very, very small portion of the population, as do most serious criminals. Some research suggests that rapists may be accurately described as having a form of psychopathy.

^^^ Remember: if even one rape happens, that’s one too many. The point here is not to belittle or dismiss the problem. The point here is to investigate the claim of an all-powerful organization of white rich men (or a subconscious attitude of men being more valuable than women, whichever definition of “patriarchy” is being used) that is making it permissible to commit rape by creating a culture that encourages it.

Meanwhile, it is extremely difficult to find accurate numbers on the percentage of those rapists are female, partly because virtually no legal definitions of rape that were used that include forcefully coercing a male partner to provide sex. You can find a point-by-point breakdown which suggests upwards of 40% of rapists are women here:

http://poisonedwell.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/40ofrapistsarewomen/ – however, in all fairness, this number lacks certainty because of the factors I just mentioned, so more research is needed.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/4tabledatadecoverviewpdf/table_4_crime_in_the_united_states_by_region_g eographic_division_and_state_2012-2013.xls – this is from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

The table shows that between 2012 and 2013, rape in the United States, under the revised definition of rape, was around 34.4 per 100,000. That’s 0.034% of the population.

And yet take a look at http://www.thenation.com/blog/172024/americasrapeproblemwerefuseadmitthereone – “Rape is as American as apple pie” – yes… 34 in 100,000. To put that in perspective, your chances of being struck by lightning are 1 in 83,000. This appeal to narrative, and the energy spent on finding and conflating a crime rate of 0.034% to be “as American as apple pie” so that it fits that narrative, is part of what really sets 3rd Wavers apart from their predecessors.

As I mentioned in another post, did you know that until 1977, rape was punishable by the death penalty by the federal government? http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/433/584 Did you know that capital sexual battery is *still* punishable by death in Florida and Montana?

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/crimespunishabledeathpenalty

I’m uncertain why a patriarchy that trivializes rape, because it doesn’t value women, would strap someone convicted of raping a woman down to a chair and fry him for 30 seconds with 2000 volts of electricity, then wait a few minutes and check his pulse to make sure the f*er’s dead, and do it again if he isn’t. The woman who forced me to either have sex with her or to be thrown out on the streets does not deserve that. This is why the Supreme Court declared such sentencing unconstitutional, but again, that didn’t happen until just recently. In a patriarchy. Where this is supposedly trivialized.

But the horrendous nature of the crime itself, and the potential severity of punishment that comes with the conviction of rape is not the only reason I’m so adamant that proper judicial procedure be used when a suspect is being tried for rape, despite what 3rd Wavers might otherwise suggest. Here are some other reasons.

The Truth About False Rape Accusations

http://sfcriminaldefense.com/wpcontent/uploads/2013/03/KaninFalseRapeAllegations.pdf

From the link:

—– —–
False rape allegations are not the consequence of a gender-linked aberration, as frequently claimed, but reflect impulsive and desperate efforts to cope with personal and social stress situations.
—– —–

^^^ The study shows that over a 9 year period, 41% of all rape accusations investigated turned out to be false.

http://www.falserape.net/falserapeafa.htm – 27% of accusations were later admitted to be false.

A follow up analysis revealed up to 60% of rape accusations to be false:

http://www.mediaradar.org/mcdowell_kanin_credible.php

It is extremely difficult to determine how accurate these studies are; while the qualifiers used for determining a false accusation were fair, the methodology used was not stringently controlled.

However, in 1985, Charles P. McDowell conducted a study of 1,218 rape reports filed in the US Air Force.

Of these, 460 were found to be proven by legal standards, but 212 turned out to be false allegations. And this time, the accusers actually gave their reasons! 20% claimed they did it out of spite or revenge, another 20% claimed it was to compensate for feelings of guilt or shame, 13% said they thought they might be pregnant, 12% said it was to conceal a love affair, and the remaining had various other reasons. That’s a considerable amount of ruining someone’s life forever, and some pretty f*cked up reasons for doing it.

According to the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing, which you can find here:

http://www.innocenceproject.org/ , there have been 156 cases of post-conviction exonerations based on DNA testing, many of which were sex crimes.

The point again is to show how important jurisprudence and due process are in regards to an investigation, not to belittle or a person’s claim. Every claim must be investigated, but while that’s happening, the underlying principle of “innocent until proven guilty” must be observed, as well as a right of the accused to speak to the charges set against them in a court of law.

Even a study funded from the Office on Violence Against Women shows a number of false allegations: http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/Publications_NSVRC_Overview_FalseReporting.pdf – shown here, it runs around 5%.

Still, there are hundreds of examples and case studies of false reports, and even one is one too many. Lady Justice holds a double edged sword.

Here's an example of what *actual* rape culture looks like.

Here’s an example of what *actual* rape culture looks like.

http://www.uticaod.com/x1089264182/PoliceTeenliedaboutrapetogetrevenge

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article414332/Womanaccusedcryingrapejailed.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article2242480/Womanjailedfalselycryingrapeexboyfriend.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article1289428/Lyingmotherjailedcryingrapewantedridhusband.html

http://archive.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=108705

http://www.bustedinacadiana.com/2012/10/womanchargedwithcryingrapeafterbeingcaughtintheshowerwithawomanslover/

http://metro.co.uk/2014/06/26/jailedlawstudentwhofalselycriedrapesoshehadanexcuseforexamfailure4777434/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/conoroberstsrapeaccuseradmitstofabricatingclaimsimadeupthoseliesabouthimtogetattention9607313.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/03/meglankersimonshoaxuniversitywisconsin_n_3210326.html (this one’s pretty out-there)

http://www.newsday.com/longisland/nassau/hofstrafalsegangrapeaccuserdanmellndonyewontbecharged1.1475704

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9044473/Womancriedrapeinrevengeformanforgettinghername.html (yes, you read that right – for forgetting her name!)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7223002/Womantiedherselfuptofakerapescenes.html

http://articles.dailypilot.com/20090709/news/dptcoetzee071009_1_extortionnewportbeachwomanjailandfiveyears

This might be a slightly better indication of rape culture than what we find in the US.

This might be a slightly better indication of rape culture than what we find in the US.

From the link (yea this one’s too good to pass up):

—– —–
Within moments of starting to have sex, prosecutors said Coetzee stopped and demanded money. When the man refused, she accused him of trying to rape her and ran out of the room, screaming she’d been attacked.

. . . Over the next two weeks, Coetzee sent the man dozens of text messages trying to extort $15,000 in exchange for her not moving forward with her rape allegation.
—– —–

http://www.nydailynews.com/newyork/manfalselyaccusedraperobberysuescityarticle1.1948927

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgxwPU0WWg#t=54 – Not one, but two cases of women lying about rape. The first one even explains, on video, why she made it up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bTyQoDZtec – This woman in Maine lied about being gang raped.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ctec4wwMD6c – Woman even bruises her own neck to make it look like the accused raped her.

False accusations destroy lives.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/yesfalseaccusationsdestroylives/article/2557145

Here’s an example:

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/americatonight/americatonightblog/2013/10/31/forthefalselyaccusedmovingonfromrapistbrandingachallenge.html

—– —–
“Immediately after the university found him guilty, Warner, already branded a rapist on campus, began to worry about even more serious consequences with the Grand Forks Police Department. But there was hope. As it turned out, the woman had filed a complaint with the police department, but a detective concluded that she had lied. In May 2010, local police discovered that she had given different accounts to witnesses and had “sent Caleb a text message days after the party that indicated that she wanted to have intercourse with him.”

When police issued an arrest warrant for the woman, she left the school and the state of North Dakota, and never returned. America Tonight tried to find her, but did not.”
—– —–

^^^ All of these are pretty damn reprehensible. The president of Lincoln University was dead on the mark; these things must be investigated. Someone’s life could change. And according to some folks, my stance on this makes me an “apologist”.

Stories like this go on and on and on. There’s no end in sight to the number of false accusations made, and the number of lives ruined. I found all those in less than 10 minutes of searching.

In fact, did you know that if you type “falsely accused” into google right now, the first auto-result that comes up is “falsely accused of rape”? Go ahead and try it right now.

Rape search resultsIncredible, ain’t it?

But it gets even worse; according to Bruce Gross, PhD, JD, MBA, and director of the University of South California’s Institute of Pyschiatry, Law, and Behavioral Science:

Essentially, there are no formal negative consequences for the person who files a false report of rape. Not only did the false allegation serve a purpose for the accusers, they actually never have to fully admit to themselves, their family, or their friends that the report was a lie. Although there are grounds for bringing legal action against the accuser, it is virtually never done. Even should a charge be filed, in most jurisdictions filing a false report is only a misdemeanor.”

Okay, so what about that whole “1 in 4 women are assaulted” statistic? Were all those women just lying, or making it up?

Not at all.

Where Do Third Wavers Get Their Statistics?

http://www.iwf.org/news/2432517/OneinFourRapemythsdoinjusticetoo – this information comes from a study done in 1982, and asked subjects 3 questions, one of which was dubious:

“Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?”

This means any person suffering from addiction may have agreed to have sex in exchange for drugs. It also allows for the possibility that a woman got drunk, had sex, then regretted it when she woke up. Most people regret shit they did the night before when they wake up. This is clearly not the same as a woman purposely being drugged without her knowing and being raped while unconscious.

According to RAIN, alcohol is “not an excuse, or an alibi”: https://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/was-it-rape – you can be drunk, and still have consensual sex. No one would consider that a man with a blood alcohol of .05% can’t see a topless woman and still “want to have sex” (which is consent).

The article says it best:

—– —–
In the past, victims of rape were made to feel that the crime was their fault. Many women around the world still suffer this bias. Today in the United States, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. A man accused of rape often is convicted in the court of public opinion without evidence.
—– —–

In essence, what we have actually created is a kind of “reverse-rape culture”, where rape isn’t trivialized, it’s the exact opposite; it’s made into an abomination that’s more horrible than any other crime imaginable.

We are not fixing the problem by doing this. We are making it worse.

Then there’s this study:

http://www.uic.edu/depts/owa/sa_rape_support.html – this one makes some pretty serious claims, like over 50% of women have been victims of abuse! Fortunately however, you can find the actual study here: http://www.soci270.carvajal.ca/documents/KossTheScopeofRape.pdf

If you read the actual study (take plenty of caffeine before you do), you’ll see that one of the questions used to determine sexual abuse was the very same question used in the study covered earlier. What’s more, other questions, such as “have you ever had sex with a man when you didn’t want to because you were overwhelmed by his arguments and pressure” are just as ambiguous. I’ve had sex with a girlfriend before, even when I didn’t want to at first, because she kept bugging me for it. This question is mixed in with other questions that are definitely what we would call rape – such as “have you ever had sex when you didn’t want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force (like twisting your arm) to make you”.

There are a total of over 300 questions on the survey, but only 10 are shown, and the percentages for absolutely all incidents are added up together to make the 54% number.   That’s why it deviates so incredibly far from peer reviewed reports like those presented by the Department of Justice and FBI. It would otherwise be surreal and unworldly to consider that over half of all women just walk around being raped everywhere they go; it would be like the movie The Purge almost every single day.

I’ve actually met women who honestly believe that all men everywhere are just waiting for the right opportunity to assault them. They find pages like this, and it reinforces that view. This is what makes “rape culture” so utterly toxic and poisonous; as a mental health professional, I work with people who are suffering from PTSD brought on by sexual assault and rape. It is exceptionally difficult for these people to recover when they find nonsense studies telling them that women everywhere are raped all the time, and imply that all men everywhere are rapist, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Click here for part 3, where we’ll examine more statistics – including the 1 in 5 statistic, and where they actually come from.

A Response to Rape Culture, Part 1 of 5

In my post where I covered the “Religion of Feminism”, I mentioned rape culture, and that seems to have brought up some serious concerns. Even though this site is dedicated to feminism, and I am a 4th Wave Feminist, people read that post and actually told me this was an MRA website.

Which ironically, kind of proves my point on the whole religion thing; you either agree with the Third Wave, or you’re an MRA sinner.

So to clear up some of the confusion, I want to fully address rape culture in this 5 part series. We’ll be looking at rape culture from every angle, and I’d like to start with my own experiences.

I’ve Been There

A while back, when I was in California, I met someone who let me stay with them because I had no place to go. She gave me a place to sleep, where I could set my things and be temporarily housed while I looked for work and constantly networked with every last conceivable agency I could possibly find that would help change my position. Namely, that change was to leave her place, and be housed somewhere else.

I spent most of each day either going to appointments, applying for jobs, and even tried some outside-the-box type things, like being a game-tester for independent gaming agencies. I worked furiously hard to find some sort of solution, because the person I was staying with wasn’t letting me stay there for free.

She was wanting sex. And pressured me for it.

I would have to quietly put up with lewd suggestions interjected into the middle of conversations. These were brazen and graphic remarks that I had to be careful not to repulse too strongly – or we would have another conversation about my living arrangements. At night, when she signaled, I knew what I had to do. And I went through the motions. Becoming more and more disgusted with myself and what I was doing each time. The next morning, I’d wake up, and redouble my efforts to find a way out. At one point, I was running through so many options and avenues, that I had to keep a database to keep track of them all.

I had been working with a job agency for almost 7 months at that point, assigned to me by the government, which refused to do anything. I had sent them multiple emails, begging and pleading for them to do at least something – anything – anything at all – I will take any job – seriously any job at all. Towards the end, I was virtually screaming at them through emails.

At one point, I decided for a few weeks that it would simply be better to sleep outside under a bridge, and just use my friend’s place as somewhere I could keep my things for a while. That’s how much I wanted to get away from this situation. But after a week and a half of living outside, I became terribly sick, and had to go back into her place to recover.

There was one shelter that offered people a bed to sleep in if they put in 3 full working days as a volunteer. I decided to ask if I could work there. I would be working completely for free, with the same hours as a full time job, just for a place to set my things down and a space to sleep after some time. But when I applied, I was turned away. They didn’t want me. No positions were open, even for someone who was willing to work completely for free.

I cried the entire way back to her place, and continued crying for most of the day. When she came back after work, I would have to give her what she wanted. I had no choice. It was that, or be homeless.

Finally there came the day when I really just … couldn’t. I was just too disgusted by having to do it again.

Two weeks later, my things were packed, and I was told to get out.

Because I couldn’t carry all of my things with me, I had to leave most of them on the sidewalk, with nowhere to put them. Several very precious things were lost, and I would never see them again.

This experience was traumatizing. And I don’t just mean it hurt me, I mean it changed me. Even recounting it here has made me want to cry. It was an extremely, exceptionally hard time, but I somehow got through it. I had to endure that relationship, where I was forced to have sex, and I lost my most precious belongings when I finally couldn’t anymore. But I survived.

Shortly thereafter, I had a discussion with a friend who was blaming things on “rape culture”. I wanted to understand what this was, so I began researching and learning all I could.   And I learned a lot.

I learned that in surviving and recovery, every person’s journey is their own, and no one has to follow a particular path, but there are a few principles that always remain true in every case.

Consider the philosophy and narratives people create over this, because here is a point where they really prove to be useful. Here, I have a choice; I get to choose how this story gets told, and I get to choose who I become as a result. Healing doesn’t happen overnight, but healing does happen. I can still become the person I want to be. I refuse to let tragedy define me. One day at a time, I put one foot in front of the other, and steadily move forward.

I don’t spend my time hating the person who forced me to do those things. I don’t go through my day crediting her or anyone else for the misfortunes I encounter under the banner of “It wouldn’t have happened, if not for that”. I decide who I am, who I will be, virtues I follow, and what beliefs I have. This requires a fantastic amount of personal dedication, and it may not be possible or even necessary for someone to let go of hate or resentment all at once. It can also seem more attractive to begin following a narrative that can be built upon these feelings of resentment, and help validate them. That can be exceptionally hard to depart from.

But in regards to the views that I steadfastly disallow to be changed by adversity, primary among them, and in particular relevance to this subject, is my view of justice. This is perhaps the closest I will come to unwavering conviction, and I will explain that now. The following is adapted from AronRa’s “Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism” series (search for it on youtube).

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Lets say I saw a dinosaur.

(Well that’s certainly a change of gears.) That’s right. A dinosaur. Walking down the streets of downtown Portland.

I walk up to him. I can see him with my own eyes. I can hear the low rumble of his growl. He’s HUGE. I touch him. I feel with my fingertips the skin on his hind leg, and am overwhelmed. I wonder why he doesn’t turn around and eat me!

I run in to get my camera – but when I come out – he’s gone. Disappeared. Vanished.

Over the next several weeks, I talk to everyone I can find, and ask them if they saw anything. Nobody did. There’s no footprints either. No evidence that the dinosaur was ever there.

Thankfully we live in a country where I have a constitutional right to believe whatever I want to believe, no matter how weird, strange, or bizarre it might be. But what if I wasn’t satisfied with what *I* believe? What if I insisted that YOU believe it too??? Would that be fair? I’m clearly passionate about my claim. I saw what I saw! I KNOW the dinosaur was there! I touched it – hell I even SMELLED it!!! I can’t explain how it disappeared, but it was here I tell you!!! IT WAS!!!

You might placate me. “Okay honey, I believe you.” (although you really don’t, because I’m clearly out of my mind to believe a dinosaur could be in downtown Portland and nobody else saw it).

But what if I took it even further than that? What if I said I know I saw a dinosaur. I also know what he wants. What he likes. What he doesn’t like. And where he wants you to go on Sunday afternoon! If I say it’s religion, for some reason I get a free pass, and maybe all this is still somehow harmless. But what if I then said the dinosaur wants someone punished? Then what?

Let’s back up for a moment. Maybe my claim isn’t entirely without merit.

A week later, we meet the animatronics expert, who just happened to be in town, and testing out a multimillion dollar project that involves a mechanized walking T-Rex, which at the push of a button, can deconstruct itself into something as small as a box that can be placed behind a tree.

But does that mean every claim everywhere all the time has merit? Did you really have any reason to believe my claim before you knew all the facts?

John Locke and David Hume were pioneers in the modern philosophy of thought that is embodied in our constitution, and among the things they touched on was that you cannot prove a negative. That is, you can’t prove that the dinosaur DOESN’T exist. So what do you do when you encounter a claim that something does exist? You can’t prove that it doesn’t! So then what? Accept every single thing you ever get told as a “might be”?

The default assumption to every claim is a negative until the assertion comes with evidence – and the burden of proof is always on the person who makes the claim.

This is the reason why a person is “innocent until proven guilty”. That isn’t a cute line someone thought would be pleasant to add to our justice system. It is the base philosophy underlying all human experience.

How can you know you exist? How do you know you’re not a brain in a vat, experiencing a computer simulated world? Let’s tone it down a notch and use something tangible and readily testable; a glass of water.

You hold up a glass of water, and show it to a friend. She confirms it’s a glass of water. You show it to me – yup, looks, tastes, and acts like water. Every person you show it to confirms the same conclusion. This means the idea that the glass of water exists is independently verifiable. It might still not be water! But that’s okay, because absolute proof exists only in mathematics. An “overwhelming preponderance of the evidence that suggests only one possible conclusion” is the legal definition of “proof”.

If someone is accused of committing a murder – how do I know that?

“Well there was a knife in this person’s back” – Okay, but could someone else have stabbed him?

“We have eye witnesses” – Okay, but could they be wrong? Maybe another person looks just like the accused?

“We have finger prints” – Okay, but is it possible the knife was stolen from the home of the accused and used by someone else?

“The accused hated the victim” – Okay, but hating someone doesn’t mean you killed them.

You might recognize this. It looks exactly like the Socratic Method. In the court of law, absolutely positively every last single strain of evidence is brought before everyone, and examined from every angle. Every witness is called to the stand. Everyone is cross-examined. Everyone gets a chance to speak. Do you see why? Because we have to make absolutely certain we have the right person, and that the crime happened the way the prosecution claims! Thankfully, forensics technology has increased to the point where we can do some very astonishing things in catching real criminals who really commit murder.

And thankfully – because we cannot know for certain if the accused actually committed the murder, the accused is “innocent until proven guilty”.

That same thing is true if he’s accused of stealing something. We can’t know he stole it, he must remain innocent until we can try him for the crime and look at the evidence.

Same thing is true if he’s committed grand larceny, arson, money laundering, or a terrorist act. It’s wrong, and it’s racist, to assume that just because someone is Muslims, that he must have committed a terror attack. That’s bullshit, and I feel a great deal of motivation to defend such people. He might still have committed the attack! I could be defending a terrorist! But justice does not work that way. We can’t know one way or the other at the start, and so the default is a negative until the assertion comes with evidence, and for that reason, he is innocent until proven guilty.

Unless……………..

………… UNLESS…………….

…………………………. he’s accused of rape.

Then, and only then, for whatever reason, the same due process that exists for every other crime known to man is set aside.

The reason why we burned witches at the Salem Witch Trials is because this due process did not exist. The accusation that you were a witch was enough for you to be guilty. Especially when you had someone claiming you were magically biting them from across the room. It doesn’t matter that this person, making up this claim, knows that you will be burned alive, because that apparently doesn’t bother them. They’re still accusing you, and they’re still standing there, across the room, going “Ouw ouw ouw!!! She’s biting me! Make her stop!!!”

The reason we don’t have this bullshit anymore is because of due process. We put people on trial. They remain innocent until proven guilty.

The way the media and the public treats accused rapist show that the accusation of rape actually supersedes the entire foundational principle that our entire justice system is founded upon. The accusation is taken so seriously that the word and a point of a finger is all it takes to utterly destroy a person’s character.

How Is This “Trivializing” and “Condoning”?

Recently, Bill Cosby has been accused of rape. The man’s reputation, 40 years in the making, is now tarnished in a way that can never, ever be repaired. Even if he’s taking to court, tried, and found innocent – he will still be a rapist in the minds of many, and no one can ever look at him or his legacy in the same way again. If he were accused of absolutely anything else, his status in the public eye would be put on probation until a trial was held, and then change according to the findings of an investigation and subsequent sentencing. But because it’s rape, he’s now a rapist. The crime is so serious, that the accusation is all it takes.

On top of that, with every other felony on the books, there are “degrees” in which the crime can be committed. These are levels of severity. For murder, we have 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd – degree – and if murder happened by total accident, it’s “manslaughter”. For theft, we have larceny, grand larceny, money laundering, and so on. We judge each of these crimes individually, based on their individual merits, and take into account all extraneous information as well, such as the history of the accused, what their life is like, whether they committed the crime while under extreme duress, and so on. But for some reason this doesn’t hold true in the public eye with rape. It is perhaps the only crime – again, taken so seriously – that degrees don’t matter. We don’t say things like “murder is murder – degrees don’t matter”, but we do say that about rape. This again is the exact and precise opposite of “a culture that trivializes and condones rape”.

There was very recently an article concerning rape accusations at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. You can see the article here: http://www.thenation.com/blog/190897/whyaresomecollegesstillblamingvictimssexualassaultcases?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=headline_nation&utm_campaign=Headline%20Nation%2020141121&newsletter=headline_nation

Check out the title of the article: “Why Are Some Colleges Still Blaming the Victims of Sexual Assault Cases”. In the article is the following quote from the president of the university, Robert Jennings, which is presented as follows:

We have, we had, on this campus last semester three cases of young women who after having done whatever they did with young men and then it didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to turn out, guess what they did? They then went to Public Safety and said, ‘He raped me.’

First, we don’t know anything about those cases, or the current case at hand. There is not enough information presented from this comment alone to draw any conclusions. I did a google search, and found that at the time this story was published, none of the cases had gone to trial.

Still, the president’s comments do seem rather callus, do they not? Even if nothing has been proven one way or the other, it’s still very abrasive, and he comes off as an uncaring jerk, considering what the victims might have been through. The accused is always innocent until proven guilty, but then it’s also unfair to call the accused a bunch of lying opportunist until the case has been resolved.

Except, here’s what the president actually said, without being quote-mined:

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/10/college_president_women_lie_about_rape_when_sex_do esnt_turn_out_the_way_they_wanted/

From the link:

—– —–

[We] had on this campus last semester three cases of young women, who after having done whatever they did with the young men, and then it didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to turn out, guess what they did? They then went to Public Safety and said, “He raped me.” So then we have to do an investigation. We have to start pulling back the layers and asking all kinds of questions. And when we start trying to collect the data and ask the questions — and why do we do that? Because we know that possibly somebody’s life is getting ready to change for the rest of their life. Because there’s no more serious accusation.

—– —–

Strange how this wasn’t included in the first article. It’s almost like they were deliberately leaving out certain parts of the story to help cater to a particular social viewpoint and make the whole thing seem even more outrageous.

The president of the university was forced to resign after making this comment. Because if you do not show absolutely 100% enthusiasm towards condemning the accused, and dare mention due process at any point, then you’re a monster. A person is not ever automatically guilty just because he’s been accused. It just does not work like that – but even mentioning that foundational principle of justice is unacceptable in the presence of this one and only accusation. Our culture treats rape with such an ultra-nationalist religious-extremist hair-trigger reactionary flag waving fury, that once accused, even daring to mention the possibility of innocence can end your entire career. To say there’s a “rape culture” while this is happening reminds me of the dystopian novel 1984, where War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength. Big Sister is watching.

Here’s another example:

http://espn.go.com/menscollegebasketball/story/_/id/11125819/exoregonducksbasketballplayersaccusedrapesuspendedstudents

This happened right here in Oregon. Three young men had their entire lives ruined, over an accusation of rape. There wasn’t evidence enough to even go to trial, much less convict them. Eye witness accounts of the incident by third parties even confirmed that there didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary.

No evidence, no proof, no trial. Accused by a girl who met them at a crowded party… and now they’re treated like criminals.

This happens way too many times. It happened to me. I feel serious motivation to actually do something when this happens. I’ve also been forced / coerced into having sex, so I know how both sides feel.

Is rape horrible? – yes

Does it happen? – yes

Should we stop it? – yes

Should we spend all our efforts ensuring the public is educated as a preventative measure? – yes

Should rapist be put on trial? – yes

If convicted, should rapist be locked in prison and punished severely? – yes

Should people accused of rape be treated as though they are guilty? – NO!

But it happens.

Should the simple act of being accused of rape cause you to lose your scholarships, your tuition, your career, your future, and ruin your good name, when NO OTHER CRIME causes this to happen? – NO!

But it happens.

Should the idea of “rape culture” be used to help justify circumventing the entire justice system, ignoring all due process, and just assuming men accused of rape are rapist? – NO!

And this is what drives me up the wall.

By saying there is no rape culture, I am not saying there is no rape. I am not saying rape is not horrible and shouldn’t be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Nowhere in any of my writings do I even slightly HINT at such a thing. This goes back to my problem with the anti-vaccine proponents, and how any effort on my part to present evidence against their position automatically – every time – means I don’t care about their children.

Click here for Part 2, where we’ll cover some other statistics and information, and I’ll cite sources and state where each one can be verified.