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Researching "Rape Culture"

2010-08-23 15:25:03.815226+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Researching The "Rape Culture" of America.

Koss and Pollitt make a technical (and in fact dubious) legal point: women are ignorant about what counts as rape. Roiphe makes a straightforward human point: the women were there, and they know best how to judge what happened to them. Since when do feminists consider "law" to override women's experience?

I'm not sure where I stand on the thesis of the essay, but it's worth reading through, there's lots of good stuff in there.

[ related topics: Sociology Writing Law California Culture ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-08-26 14:56:08.555226+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

Some so called feminists in the '70s and '80s pushed the meme that "women and children don't lie."

I don't think this attitude is history. It is becoming rarer, but I don't think it is gone.

It is tied very closely to the idea that it is impossible for a man to be a victim of sexism, that those in the oppressed class are always innocent and members of the oppressive class are always guilty.

I think this goes back to our natural tendency towards guilt-by-association. "They" have wronged me so all of "them" are wrong.

It is very difficult to move beyond seeing the class markers of a person to seeing the person. I don't think it is a problem that is going to go away.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-08-25 14:34:41.279226+00 by: m

There is a wide spectrum of rape. Rapes that focus on torture, mutilation and murder. I saw one such cadaver. The horror of that body was impossible for me to understand. Rapes of those not competent to give consent. Had a peripheral involvement in a case where a 16 year old female babysitter infected a two year old boy with penile gonorrhea. Rapes through the non-consensual use of intoxicants. Rapes from positions of authority or power. Extortion and blackmail.

US laws do not deal well with any but the most obvious of these crimes for a number of reasons. Accuser and accused can both suffer additional miscarriages of justice via the legal system. Some laws are distinctly sexist, others are not enforced equitably. Obviously the less violent the crime, the less physical evidence, the greater the interpretation of claims and stories.

Some so called feminists in the '70s and '80s pushed the meme that "women and children don't lie." It was rather popular -- I even heard it a number of times around the conference table at work as a supposedly rational argument. Just as some people will commit just about any physical crime, it appears that others will commit just about any mental crime.

To say that "all or most men are rapists", or that "all men desire to rape" is as ridiculous as saying that a woman who wore a short skirt was "asking for it."

#Comment Re: made: 2010-08-24 20:36:40.483226+00 by: Dan Lyke

And though I linked to that article and also believe that a number of very loud people distort rape statistics in order to further their political ends, I also believe that there is a large amount of subtle coercion that, despite that some of what even the victims don't call it rape, is really rape.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-08-24 20:10:39.167226+00 by: m

Some men commit rape. I have an intellectual acceptance that this is so, but no emotional understanding of that. Without mutual desire, intercourse would be impossible. And even should it be physically possible, it would be anathema. But I do accept that some men (and the occasional woman) rape.

Some women claim to have been raped when they have not. The overwhelming majority of women that I have discussed this with do not have an emotional understanding of why a woman would do so. That is not the problem. The larger issue is that many women do not have an intellectual acceptance that some women will cry rape. Because they could not do such a thing, it is assumed no woman would do so. They can not imagine themselves going through the legal gamut for a lie, there is a belief that no other woman would either.

There are individuals who are willing to use and abuse the social and political facets of the crime of rape. To propagandize, to promote false beliefs for their own purposes. That they are willing to do so at tremendous cost to men, women and society solely for their own purposes.