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.

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5 thoughts on “A Response to Rape Culture, part 3 of 5

  1. Very nicely done, Athena. I felt very strongly that you care deeply about actual rape victims, and you offer ideas for excellent positive supports for victims. You address the further traumatization by police that actually is responsible for a lot of victims not reporting, and point out that police sucking at their job and having inadequate training is not the culture at large. You pay as much attention or maybe more, to being supportive of actual victims, as you do to debunking 3rd wavers. 

    I think it could be stated even more strongly that 3rd waver narrative may create a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness in victims that may also prevent them from reporting and advocating for themselves, and create a sense of foreboding and fear and suspicion of most men, when it is a small percentage of men who perpetrate the majority of rapes, and they keep getting away with it, often because women are reluctant to report. Sorry, run on sentence.

    Anyway, it feels very different reading about this now. I feel strongly supported, not traumatized like the first time I read your blog on rape culture. I’m happy to have been a guinea pig, if this is the result.

    Best,

    Cheryl

    Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

    Like

  2. Pingback: A Response to Rape Culture, part 2 of 5 | 4th Wave Feminism

  3. Pingback: A Response to Rape Culture, part 4 of 5 | 4th Wave Feminism

  4. Pingback: A Response to Rape Culture, part 2 of 5 – Unfiltered Conservatism

  5. Pingback: A Response to Rape Culture, part 4 of 5 – Unfiltered Conservatism

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