Are we missing an opportunity to merge the argument against rape?

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I don’t like to discuss rape and sexual assault on this blog, but I feel like MRAs and feminists are missing out on an opportunity to merge the conversation when it comes to rape. By only recognizing and remembering our own narratives, we miss out on where they may intersect. Hear me out here.  

When we acknowledge that men get raped, it becomes all the clearer that it has nothing to do with what they are wearing. When we acknowledge that women can be perpetrators, it becomes all the clearer that we are not accusing all men everywhere of being rapists. When we acknowledge a man can have an erection and not want to have sex, than it is becomes all the clearer that women’s physical responses  to sex also do not constitute consent.

When we remember the variety of circumstances that constitute female rape, we can remember that there is more than brute force at play. This mindset should eliminate the idea that men cannot be raped because women are less likely to be able to use brute force against them. This is also dependent on expanding the definition of rape to include that one can be forced to penetrate someone or something against their will. 

When we decide to treat victims and survivors, regardless of gender, we decide to acknowledge many narratives and possibilities. We remove the single story of what we believe about rape and instill a better awareness of what rape is and who rapists are. Rapists are people, of any gender, who ignore the autonomy of their sexual partner and make the choice to have sex for them. They are people who take what was not given to them freely. They are criminals.

We also must get away from the idea that false accusations are the male equivalent of rape. This idea negates the experiences of male victims and survivors and it is done primarily by other men. When men insist that false accusation are male rape, than they don’t make society face real male rape. It also takes our focus off of the reality that men can be raped and what should be done in regard to victims and survivors. Yes, false accusations are a problem when they are made, but should that really be allowed to detract from the actual rape of men? 

All of this benefits the feminist stance that rape has nothing to do with what a victim wears, and that she can be physically aroused and still decide that she does not want to have sex. 


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4 thoughts on “Are we missing an opportunity to merge the argument against rape?

  1. The underlying issue is that to do this feminists would need to abandon “Violence against women” and “The war on Women” talking points. These are the talking points that get support for feminism.

    • Actually, no. This idea does not negate or minimize that violence against women is still a major problem. That’s why they still get support for and from feminism, still a problem.

  2. Somehow I doubt that anyone is seriously making the argument that men do not face rape, at least no one who is actively trying to help survivors of any sex.

    If MRAs and other male supremacists actually cared about men who are violated, they would step up and challenge the hideous norms of masculine behavior that allow rape culture to exist, instead of threatening females who are threatened enough without their help. They do not care about male or female rape survivors. And therefore while it is kind to acknowledge them, I feel that it is unnecessary and belittles actual survivors. It would be kinder to ridicule these horrible people and focus on attacking rape culture where it happens. Men should stop joining insane causes like the MRAs and start focusing on expecting males to have a full range of human experience including empathy, and the ability to come out asking for help, or to not be ridiculed if they say they did not consent to sex.

    • No one actively makes the case that men can’t be raped, but I’ve seen infinitely more sites that call false accusations the “male equivalent of rape” which generally directs the argument away from instances of actual male rape, plus this sentiment is just wrong. There’s also many definitions of rape that don’t include that penetration can be done without the consent of the person doing the penetrating as opposed to only the person being penetrated which keeps many from calling this rape. They make the same kinds of assumptions about men that people make about women all the time, such as that men who don’t want to have sex can’t get an erection, so if he has one then he wanted it. It’s possible for our bodies and minds to disagree, but it is not always legally rape. An erection should never be considered consent, but it is and that’s a problem. It’s barbaric, but true.
      I generally agree on the MRAs but I have met some who do seem to genuinely care about men and who do talk about these things. Their blogs and websites may not be greatly known, but they exist. Many say the same about feminists, so I try not to judge based on the label alone. I find it hard to keep a conversation going when they do it to me, so I try not to do it to them and hope that friendly discourse may someday arise. I know it can be hard to trudge through the slime but if we want a solid middle to emerge, we must look for it and allow it to exist when we find it. These men have discussed the changing state of masculinity and rape culture at times. They also seem to be in the minority. Most sites just blame feminists for everything bad in existence rather than generate their own conversations about their own issues but the rare gem does exist. There are also men’s survivor groups and whatnot. Those do exist as well. I’ve seen them (not in person but online ones).
      Anyway, I just thought there would be some points that could be agreed upon, some points that looked obvious written next to each other.

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