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Author Topic: Rape and victimhood
Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
[QUOTE]
Please advise: in what way does calling a woman an "ugly slut" or any number of gendered epithets, increase the likelihood that men will rape women? That is the point of rape culture, isn't it? Or is now any comment deemed mysoginistic or just mean considered part of "rape culture"?

Assuming that you are asking honestly instead of rhetorically:

"Rape culture is a concept which links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society, and in which prevalent attitudes and practices normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone rape.
Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing rape."

That's from wiki, meaning its about as basic a description of the concept as you can get. Is it controversial to posit that victim blaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing rape create a culture in which rape is more likely? As opposed to a culture where perpetrators are blamed, women are viewed, portrayed and treated as individuals, and rape is regarded with gravity and concern?

Lets look at some of those tweets again with those basic criteria in mind:

"Someone as ugly and unattractive as Bertoli doesn't deserve to win."

"Bartoli is too ugly to win wimbleton"

"Bartoli you fat s**t. I don't want an ugly b**ch to win."

How can it be considered anything other than objectification if objections to Bertoli's participation and victory reference, exclusively, what she looks like; specifically, how sexually appealing she is? These statements would be non-sequitors if the competitors were male (which indicates the gendered aspect of this), but they are also clear, almost textbook examples of objectification. However, if you need something even more explicit, there are the tweets that manage to ogle her while condemning her appearance at the same time:

"Bertoli is fat and annoying. Perky nips though!"

"Bartoli has erect nipples the whole game man she's a vile filthy b***h."

Going even further, you can find tweets explicitly expressing the desire to do violence to her, usually because of her supposed unattractiveness (linking objectification to the justification of violence):

"Bartoli is a right drainer; I'd flick her perky nips and make them fall off."

"Really hate that Bertoli; would love to smash the wee fat cow"

"If that Bartoli fist pumps one more time I'm going to knock her out the slag."

And, finally, we have an explicit reference to the idea that rape is justified by sexual desirability (which trivializes rape at the same time, giving this tweet the trifecta):

"I want Lisicki to win because seh is really fit. Bertoli wouldn't even get raped let alone f**ked."

So, to answer your question, victim blaming, sexual objectification and trivializing rape "increase the likelihood that men will rape women." This barrage of tweets does all three.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
But what is universal is that, to the degree that rape culture is gendered (which is: very significantly), all women are victimized, and all men enjoy a relative position of power due to that victimization. Its a real dynamic, just as racism is a real dynamic. Denial of this facilitates the perpetuation of rape culture, which, as the tweets above show, is often horribly ugly on its face, and yet somehow manages to remain an aspect of our supposedly enlightened culture.

Did you misspeak, or did you actually intent to tell male victims of sexual abuse that UNLESS we agree with you that we are beneficiaries of rape culture and that we "enjoy a relative position of power," that by our "denial" that we are perpetuating rape culture?

Because that's the most repugnant Emperor's new clothes argument that I've ever heard. Unless you agree with my funky all inclusive definition of rape, you're a rapist too. I'd go so far as to call it mind rape. I feel far dirtier after reading that then I did when I was 7 years old and my nanny was done with me and left me sobbing on the bathroom floor.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Unless you agree with my funky all inclusive definition of rape, you're a rapist too.
Are you not capable of making a distinction between "rape culture" and "rape," Pete? It seems to me that your status as a victim of sexual abuse has no impact whatsoever on Adam's statement.
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Pete at Home
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Those statements about Bertoli are horribly repugnant and I agree that they are both evidence of real dangers in the world, and that the statements create an environment that make the world a more dangerous place. But if you think that all of those rape-trivializing tweets were made by males, you are painfully naive.
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TomDavidson
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What percentage of them do you think were made by males? And do you think that all feminists would agree that "rape culture" is a culture perpetuated only by men?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Unless you agree with my funky all inclusive definition of rape, you're a rapist too.
Are you not capable of making a distinction between "rape culture" and "rape," Pete? It seems to me that your status as a victim of sexual abuse has no impact whatsoever on Adam's statement.
To address Tom's typical pretense that he's addressed my point, I shall reword:

quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
But what is universal is that, to the degree that rape culture is gendered (which is: very significantly), all women are victimized, and all men enjoy a relative position of power due to that victimization. Its a real dynamic, just as racism is a real dynamic. Denial of this facilitates the perpetuation of rape culture, which, as the tweets above show, is often horribly ugly on its face, and yet somehow manages to remain an aspect of our supposedly enlightened culture.

Did you misspeak, or did you actually intent to tell male victims of sexual abuse that UNLESS we agree with you that we are beneficiaries of rape culture and that we "enjoy a relative position of power," that by our "denial" that we are perpetuating rape culture?

Because that's the most repugnant Emperor's new clothes argument that I've ever heard. "If you disagree with my statement that you're part of rape culture, then by your disagreement you prove that you're part of rape culture." I'd go so far as to call that coercive argument a form of mind rape. I feel far dirtier after reading that then I did when I was 7 years old and my nanny was done with me and left me sobbing on the bathroom floor.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
And do you think that all feminists would agree that "rape culture" is a culture perpetuated only by men?

Agree under what circumstances? Feminists say a lot of things under some circumstances and group dynamics that they individually disagree with. To cop a line from Mary Poppins' suffragettes, I adore feminists individually but tend to think that as a group they're rather stupid.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
If you disagree with my statement that you're part of rape culture, then by your disagreement you prove that you're part of rape culture.
This is an obvious -- and odious -- distortion of Adam's actual claim, Pete. Adam is not suggesting that disagreeing that a given individual is part of rape culture proves that the person disagreeing is part of rape culture; rather, he is claiming that disagreeing that "rape culture" -- defined as the existence of a male-dominated dynamic in which women are trivialized and victimized -- exists helps to perpetuate rape culture.

Do you see the distinction? (And why on Earth do you think your own history of victimization is at all relevant to a discussion of systematic victimization? That's like suggesting that racism doesn't exist because I once got called a "honky.")

[ July 09, 2013, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
And why on Earth do you think your own history of victimization is at all relevant to a discussion of systematic victimization? That's like suggesting that racism doesn't exist because I once got called a "honky."
So basically people trivializing rape contributes to rape culture, and at the same time you compared someone being raped with you being once called a "honky".

There's a photo of this post in the dictionary under the word "irony" or something.

EDIT: And as a sidenote, Pete didn't deny 'rape culture' exists, he simply denies that "all men enjoy a relative position of power" because of it. Given that claim by Adam, YES, a single example to the contrary does disprove it.

Adam is playing tribal politics, because American social justice warriors are not about eliminating the actual injustice but rather about which tribe is oppressing what tribe.

[ July 09, 2013, 12:08 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
And why on Earth do you think your own history of victimization is at all relevant to a discussion of systematic victimization? That's like suggesting that racism doesn't exist because I once got called a "honky."
So basically people trivializing rape contributes to rape culture, and at the same time you compared someone being raped with you being once called a "honky".

There's a photo of this post in the dictionary under the word "irony" or something.

EDIT: And as a sidenote, Pete didn't deny 'rape culture' exists, he simply denies that "all men enjoy a relative position of power" supposed to it. Given that claim by Adam, YES, a single example to the contrary does disprove it.

Adam is playing tribal politics, because American social justice warriors are not about eliminating the actual injustice but rather about which tribe is oppressing what tribe.

Aris is correct that I did not deny that rape culture exists. Indeed, in the 2nd post on this thread, I said specifically that rape culture did exist. I'll add now that a culture of misogynistic violence also exists, and often overlaps with rape culture.

And those that try to limit the problems of "rape culture" to male-aggressor/woman victim situations, are themselves enablers of both rape culture and the culture of misogynistic violence.

When Lawrence of Arabia first published "Seven Pillars," he was subject to public contempt not dissimilar to those tweets about Bartoli (although tweet technology in itself publishes and records a darker side of human expression).

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
Adam is playing tribal politics, because American social justice warriors are not about eliminating the actual injustice but rather about which tribe is oppressing what tribe.

Yup. Milosovic comes to mind. Milosovic's public focus on rape of Serbian women by Albanian Kosovars (which was a REAL, serious and systematic terrorist campaign by the KLA's predecessor during the late 80s and early 90s!), to the exclusion of paying any attention to other sexual violence, lead to Srebrenka and the Serbian rape camps.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
If you disagree with my statement that you're part of rape culture, then by your disagreement you prove that you're part of rape culture.
This is an obvious -- and odious -- distortion of Adam's actual claim, Pete. Adam is not suggesting that disagreeing that a given individual is part of rape culture proves that the person disagreeing is part of rape culture; rather, he is claiming that disagreeing that "rape culture" -- defined as the existence of a male-dominated dynamic in which women are trivialized and victimized -- exists helps to perpetuate rape culture.
Aris saw what Adam said as well as I do. The statement is odious, but I'm not distorting it:

quote:
But what is universal is that, to the degree that rape culture is gendered (which is: very significantly), all women are victimized, and all men enjoy a relative position of power due to that victimization. Its a real dynamic, just as racism is a real dynamic. Denial of this facilitates the perpetuation of rape culture
I deny that I "enjoy a relative position of power due to the victimization of women." Therefore according to what Adam wrote, I am "facilitating the perpetuation of the rape culture."

I started out by asking Adam directly if that's what he meant to say or if he misspoke. It's definitely what he said; but I did give him the credit of leaving him an opportunity to re-state.

If Adam has given you authority to be his spokesperson, please give the clerk your bar number, Tom.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
But what is universal is that, to the degree that rape culture is gendered (which is: very significantly), all women are victimized, and all men enjoy a relative position of power due to that victimization. Its a real dynamic, just as racism is a real dynamic. Denial of this facilitates the perpetuation of rape culture, which, as the tweets above show, is often horribly ugly on its face, and yet somehow manages to remain an aspect of our supposedly enlightened culture.

Did you misspeak, or did you actually intent to tell male victims of sexual abuse that UNLESS we agree with you that we are beneficiaries of rape culture and that we "enjoy a relative position of power," that by our "denial" that we are perpetuating rape culture?

Rather than trying to unravel the tangents that you and Aris travelled, let me just back up and answer this.

First of all, I posited that rape culture is overwhelmingly gendered, and that, therefore, men enjoy a relative position of power compared to women. Its universal, in that it applies to all men, but its relative, meaning that not *every* male has an identical experience, nor is he automatically in a better situation than every female. Some women live lives free of sexual violence; some men experience it severely and frequently. Indeed, some rape cultures aren't gendered (U.S. prison populations, for example). However, American society's rape culture is gendered to a striking degree.

The second point is that denying the existence or functioning of rape culture facilitates it. This is the observation that ignoring the mechanisms beyond actual acts of rape that contribute to it allows them to continue, and thus they continue to facilitate rapes. If we conclude that the sexual objectification of women, the trivialization of rape, and the blaming of rape victims is not a problem, then those things will continue to create an environment where rape is more prevalent, and where women are the overwhelming majority of rape victims (as is currently the case).

That was a clarification of what I wrote. To speak to your particular query, I would say that obviously any male victim of rape has experienced an acute trauma that far outweighs the broad, diffuse benefit conveyed by rape culture. I would also point out that the "benefits" of rape culture are repugnant and unjust; decent people are properly disgusted by the fact that others experience things like constant sexual objectification, from which they are spared. Words like "benefit" and "enjoy" are used in the neutral sense; their typical connotation is most certainly ironic to any humane individual.

quote:
Because that's the most repugnant Emperor's new clothes argument that I've ever heard. Unless you agree with my funky all inclusive definition of rape, you're a rapist too.
No one has said anything remotely like that.

quote:
I'd go so far as to call it mind rape. I feel far dirtier after reading that then I did when I was 7 years old and my nanny was done with me and left me sobbing on the bathroom floor.
Is this hyperbole? I certainly had no desire to cause you any distress, but I'm astounded that even an extreme misrepresentation of my words could have caused you more trauma than an actual sexual assault. If that's truly the case, I hope that my clarification will put you somewhat more at ease.
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D.W.
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quote:
That was a clarification of what I wrote. To speak to your particular query, I would say that obviously any male victim of rape has experienced an acute trauma that far outweighs the broad, diffuse benefit conveyed by rape culture. I would also point out that the "benefits" of rape culture are repugnant and unjust; decent people are properly disgusted by the fact that others experience things like constant sexual objectification, from which they are spared. Words like "benefit" and "enjoy" are used in the neutral sense; their typical connotation is most certainly ironic to any humane individual.
I don't understand this statement. Even in the most neutral sense. Is "benifit" and "enjoy" another way of stating, "are not afflicted by"?

Absense of a negative is not proof of a positive is it?

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
I don't understand this statement. Even in the most neutral sense. Is "benifit" and "enjoy" another way of stating, "are not afflicted by"?

Absense of a negative is not proof of a positive is it?

Well, you could say that you enjoy a relative freedom compared to a wrongfully imprisoned man; you can move about and make choices about your life path that he cannot. That is not to say that, knowing he is wrongfully imprisoned, you approve of the disparity.

If those particular words are troublesome, I'd be happy to substitute them. Advantage vs. disadvantage?

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Pete at Home
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"but I'm astounded that even an extreme misrepresentation of my words could have caused you more trauma than an actual sexual assault."

There's a distinction between trauma that one feels, vs. trauma actually inflicted. This is as true among male victims as female. Denial, diffusion, transferrence, are all persistent issues which make for treacherous ground for discussion. It's not hyperbole to say that I could not sleep last night because of my personal emotional response to what you said, and to previous occasions where (for example) self-described feminists blocked me from therapy groups that had been advertised for non-gender specific victims of sexual abuse, on the grounds that I was male and therefore presumably an abuser. It's deeply upsetting to me and yes, without hyperbole more traumatic than my memory of the incident itself. To be fair, my memory of the initial trauma is probably repressed. And I tried to make clear from the onset that I believed that you did not INTEND to say something so repugnant. And I've no doubt that you'll be more careful how you word things in the future.

Also, while you may have intended the words like "benefit" and "enjoy" neutrally, I think that at some point you must realize that if you'd used them to describe a female victim of sexual abuse, as "enjoying" the results of another's rape some how, that she would not receive those words neutrally, whatever your intent was.

"The second point is that denying the existence or functioning of rape culture facilitates it. "

If that's what you meant, then as a friend of the English language I recommend that you be more precise and specific in your usage of the word "this." In the context of your paragraph, "this" encompassed the "enjoyment and benefit" clauses which immediately proceeded it.

I don't have a problem with the statement that denying the phenomenon of a rape culture, enables the rape culture. Or that denying the phenomenon of a misogynistic violence culture enables misogynistic violence. What I found repugnant in the extreme was the phrasing which indicated that denying that I was a *beneficiary* in the rape culture turns me into a coparticipant.

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Aris Katsaris
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Adam, your talk is so much mired in double-speak: You talk about "power" except that it's not power, you talk about "benefit" except it's not really benefit, you talk about "enjoyment" except it's not enjoyment.

How the hell does a non-rapist benefit from "rape-culture"? The reason you can't explain that in simple terms is because a non-rapist doesn't.

You talk about "diffuse benefits" for all men, because you are still trapped in tribal oppressions politics, where you think that the weakness of *one* tribe (women), means the supposed "power and privilege" of the other tribe (men); where social justice is treated as a zero-sum game, where anything that hurts women supposedly favours men, and vice versa.

Get over it. It's a false and twisted model of the world. Justice is not a zero-sum game, and neither is prosperity.

quote:
The second point is that denying the existence or functioning of rape culture facilitates it.
Of course I've also heard the argument (in a blog post titled Social Psychology is a Flamethrower) that talking about rape culture may be also facilitating it. The argument goes that the best way to ensure the creation of rapists, is to talk about how so many rapists go unpunished and how society treats our rape as being okay.

No, I'm not sure at all that I buy *that* at all. I'm just offering it as an example of a need to support claims with evidence rather than use pure reasoning to reach seemingly "obvious" conclusions.

When you e.g. talk about things like "sexual objectifications" -- that's the sort of language that's used to indicate we should ban or at least discourage porn. Except that surprise, surprise, the presence of porn has been found to *reduce* the number of rapes, not increase it. And the evidence for *that* is strong.

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Adam Masterman
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Dustin Hoffman talks about an aspect of this dynamic in a touching way: video. I don't think you can live for too long in our society, as a man, without getting a glimpse of what he's talking about here. The concept of rape culture is not an attack on all men, certainly not an attack on decent men. Its a critical examination of the interplay of very real social dynamics, with an eye towards correcting injustices. And its comprised, in large part, of personal narratives that seek to inform and share (often painful) experiences to lend understanding to others. The unfortunate part is that people who take offense at the concept mistake it as an attack on them, and thus never truly encounter it at all.
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Adam Masterman
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Aris, I'm not the last 25-50 people whose arguments you found frustrating. If I ever come to believe in "tribal oppression politics" as you've described them, I'll come back and debate the issue with you.
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Pete at Home
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Talking about rape as if it's somehow emblematic of masculinity, somehow normal of what men do to women, creates an environment conducive to rape. Those men who rape women see themselves as carrying out their normal social and biological role, while women who molest children and abuse other women are under the radar, so to speak, their abuses placed under erasure, and therefore can act with impunity. And men raping men is a matter for prosecutors and prison wardens to chortle about. That's the rape culture as I see it.

[ July 09, 2013, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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D.W.
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Aris, thank you for the “zero-sum” comment. Far more clearly states my problem with the “benefit from” phrasing Adam was using than I was able to do so myself.

Adam, even the slightest hint that a non-victim must apologize for the actions of predators is repulsive. At worst it suggests that the person is a potential predator and at best is serving as camouflage for the predators by their action or inaction. You may whip up into action a tiny minority of people through this shame based motivation. I expect the far more natural reaction when it comes to rape and presumption of guilt or facilitation is to stay the hell away from the issue and those out to solve the problem.

When an enemy is threatening your land a soldier should not turn to a citizen and tell them they are no better than the enemy if they won’t lift a hand to fight for their land. They should explain why the enemy should be opposed and what failure against that enemy means. You can build and direct an angry righteous mob on shame but you can’t change society with it.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
That's the rape culture as I see it.
And as long as you recognize that that particular form isn't the "rape culture" that is usually meant by the term, and doesn't prevent the other sort from existing, I don't see a problem. Just remember that what you mean by "rape culture" isn't what most people mean, but that the "rape culture" they mean also exists.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Talking about rape as if it's somehow emblematic of masculinity, somehow normal of what men do to women, creates an environment conducive to rape.

True, but the factor that is far more significant is the sexual objectification of women. Indeed, part of the understanding gap is the failure to understand that the two are really *one* issue with different facets.

Rape is the ultimate act of objectification; it denies the victim sovereignty over themselves, reducing them to an object that is an accessory to the will of another. To rape is, by definition, to enact the concept that your victim is an object instead of a person. Considering the fact that rape follows the outward form of sex, it objectifies another in an explicitly sexual way.

This aspect of rape (any rape, regardless of gender roles), cannot be separated from the fact that our culture sexually objectifies women. Constantly, overwhelmingly, unceasingly and inescapably. I can't believe that anyone who even *knows* a woman could be ignorant of this fact. No parent of a young girl can navigate a single trip to Wal-Mart without depressingly frequent reminders of this (and we probably fail to even notice most examples).

What's more, anyone who honestly examines the issue will quickly find examples where they themselves have contributed to this. I recently stopped using the word "beautiful" to describe my three year old daughter when she presents herself decked out in costume jewelry. I try to use words like "fancy" or "decorated", since their opposite isn't derogatory, to avoid fostering the impression that her beauty needed enhancement, or, more fundamentally, is about what she *looks* like. Which, of course, is part of the message I *was* giving her by unthinkingly praising her "beauty" whenever she gets out make-up or jewelry.

Objectification is not only linked to rape; its the reason that rape is so strongly gendered in our society. Or, rather, the gendering of our objectification is reflected in the gendering of our incidents of rape.

quote:
What I found repugnant in the extreme was the phrasing which indicated that denying that I was a *beneficiary* in the rape culture turns me into a coparticipant.
You are a co-participant. I apologize if this causes you distress, but this dialogue cannot take place absent the willingness to confront uncomfortable truths. The whole point of studying rape culture is that rape does not happen in a vacuum. And the implication of the word culture is that the subtle and indirect influences on rape are things we first *receive*, and then transmit. You, I, and every man and woman in our culture was raised on the idea that, to some degree, women are sexual objects, which is incompatible with the concept that women are self-sovereign sentient beings. In turn, we transmit this concept to others, and this false idea is perpetuated.

There is absolutely no meaningful concept of guilt or blame in this scenario; its neither a "sin" nor a crime. No one is at fault, and just as no one is exempt, no one is condemned. The only utility of this observation is that, if we (collectively) wish to combat rape, we must choose to actively steer our culture in a different direction. We must actively choose to cease, as much as we can, being co-participants.

You are, of course, free to believe that the objectification of women is not related to rape, or that you personally never contribute to it. While I disagree, I don't have any particular animus for that position. I am slightly perturbed when people both deny the connection *and* use language in ways that blatantly objectifies women, to the extent that I will often object and/or avoid interactions with that person. That's about the limit of the condemnation that's coming from me on this topic, which I would consider both mild and reasonable.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
True, but the factor that is far more significant is the sexual objectification of women.
And homosexual male rape is caused by the sexual objectification of men, or does it have a different cause then?

quote:
To rape is, by definition, to enact the concept that your victim is an object instead of a person.
No. To rape is, by definition, to have sexual intercourse with someone without their consent.

Perhaps you have a different definition of the words "by definition", and for you it means something like "by my assumption" or "by my analysis".

quote:
Objectification is not only linked to rape; its the reason that rape is so strongly gendered in our society.
Excuse me, but in what society has rape NOT been strongly gendered? Doesn't it make more sense that this seemingly global common characteristic may be related to biological factors instead?

Starting from the obvious fact that men are simply on average physically much stronger than women, and thus more likely to be capable of physically coercing women than the opposite?

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:


quote:
To rape is, by definition, to enact the concept that your victim is an object instead of a person.
No. To rape is, by definition, to have sexual intercourse with someone without their consent.

Perhaps you have a different definition of the words "by definition", and for you it means something like "by my assumption" or "by my analysis".

"By definition" is an american-english idiom that means "because of the nature of someone or something"; it doesn't mean "the definition of this is". ( look it up )

Thus, by definition, having sex with someone without their consent is treating them as an object.

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Aris Katsaris
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I see. And what do Americans say when they actually want to mean "by definition"?
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
I see. And what do Americans say when they actually want to mean "by definition"?

The word "by" automatically changes the meaning of the phrase, even without knowing the particular idiom. Saying "*by* definition" is like saying "because of its definition..."

If you want to say "the definition of x is..." then I think you just say "the definition of x is..."

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D.W.
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I don’t think sexualizing is the same as objectifying. I think almost everyone is capable of, and/or frequently does, think of others in a sexual manner. This by itself I don’t think would ever lead to rape. Rape requires a lack of empathy or a motivation to inflict trauma on another person. (or I suppose a deeply flawed ability to perceive consent) Looking at some stranger and thinking that you would enjoy having sex with them is far different than looking at some stranger and thinking that you would enjoy raping them. I think (hope?) that a willing partner is far more arousing for a “normal” person. It takes a flawed individual to be aroused by the idea of forcing sex upon an unwilling victim. I expect it is as much, and likely more so, about power, dominance, disrespect or hate than it is about physical pleasure and sexual arousal.
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ken_in_sc
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The US does not have a 'rape culture'. If you want to talk about 'rape culture' talk about Egypt. I'm pretty sure some people have sex at political rallies and demonstrations, but we don't have gang-rapes in public in front of numerous witnesses that are ignored by police and other officials. Egypt does.

BTW, if a woman gets drunk and has sex with someone she regrets doing it is not rape. Chances are the man was just as drunk as she was, but he is supposed to be responsible and she is not. I don't buy it. It may be ungentlemanly conduct, but it is not rape.

In the US and Western Europe, men do not hold a place of relative power over women. That is long gone.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The US does not have a 'rape culture'. If you want to talk about 'rape culture' talk about Egypt.
That we have less of a "rape culture" than Egypt does is only a very small mark in our favor, and certainly not an argument against a "rape culture" here. If you choose to define "rape culture" exclusively as "the kind of culture which exists in Egypt," of course, that's your prerogative -- but that's not how most people use the term.

quote:
In the US and Western Europe, men do not hold a place of relative power over women.
Bull.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
In the US and Western Europe, men do not hold a place of relative power over women.
The top tiers of political, financial, judicial, religious power are still filled in their vast majority by men.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:

True, but the factor that is far more significant is the sexual objectification of women. Indeed, part of the understanding gap is the failure to understand that the two are really *one* issue with different facets.

That's an opinion not a fact. Can you cite to a culture that does not sexually objectify women? Most (if not all) objectify men as well. It's a function of degree and the base characteristics of the culture that determine the form, but our basic human nature as sexual beings means that we will always see other humans as more or less sexually attractive.

In a free culture, this can lead (absent public morality laws) to what you see in the US, and most of the west, with images of nude and partially clad women (and men we should note) that conform to the ideals of beauty in that society present all over the place. And to men and women doing their best to conform themselves to those ideals.

In repressive societies, it leads to objectification as well, and shows up in the form of strict clothing codes, restrictions on co-mingling, arranged marriages, etc.

Why do you think that something that is tied fundamentally into human biology is symptomatic of a "rape culture"?
quote:
Rape is the ultimate act of objectification; it denies the victim sovereignty over themselves, reducing them to an object that is an accessory to the will of another.
Which rapes are you talking about? Are you talking about statutory ones? Ones with both parties drunk? Are you talking about ones, involving deception, or ones where someone is convinced because they feel pressure?

It seems to me that a major tenant of the arguments you want to make are to be completely unspecific, so you can lump all events in with the most extreme events. If a solution to a "rape culture" is to reduce date rape, then it would look very different (ie would likely go towards reducing alcohol intake, or similar) than if it’s to stop stranger rape.
quote:
To rape is, by definition, to enact the concept that your victim is an object instead of a person. Considering the fact that rape follows the outward form of sex, it objectifies another in an explicitly sexual way.
I'm American, and I agree with Aris, this isn't definitional. That's a meme of a particular political movement that's designed to eliminate the possibility for debate. Though I do agree that many rapists are objectifying their partners, I think alot of non-rapists also objectify their partners, which kind of moots its value.
quote:
This aspect of rape (any rape, regardless of gender roles), cannot be separated from the fact that our culture sexually objectifies women.
Sure it can. Since women are objectified in all cultures, your argument isn't much of a distinguisher. Most of the modern American and Western "rape culture" problems arose as women gained additional freedoms, but what this hides is that there were different "rape culture" problems - like forced marriage, arranged marriage, child marriage, honor/anger killings, social ostracization - that reduced as daughters moved out of their parents' direct control.

Maybe it would help if you could explain in a cross cultural context where a better culture exists, or what you think on a cultural level it would look like - and I don't mean proposing steps to get us there - I mean what it would actually look like when we arrived.
quote:
Objectification is not only linked to rape; it’s the reason that rape is so strongly gendered in our society. Or, rather, the gendering of our objectification is reflected in the gendering of our incidents of rape.
Really? In what society is it less gendered? Rape is gendered because it’s a sexual crime, with most of the population preferring heterosexual activity and with one gender being dramatically larger than the other on average.
quote:
You are a co-participant. I apologize if this causes you distress, but this dialogue cannot take place absent the willingness to confront uncomfortable truths.
What benefit does he receive? If one rejects your premise that objectification = rape culture participation, then your argument doesn't carry.
quote:
The whole point of studying rape culture is that rape does not happen in a vacuum.
Why do you think this? I would suspect that in many cases it would happen in a vacuum. We're not going to run this experiment, but if you leave children on a desert island, I would posit they are at least as likely to rape as to not as they mature.
quote:
You, I, and every man and woman in our culture was raised on the idea that, to some degree, women are sexual objects, which is incompatible with the concept that women are self-sovereign sentient beings. In turn, we transmit this concept to others, and this false idea is perpetuated.
Except it's not incompatible. One can both fantasize and understand that reality is different. Though it can be difficult. You could look to the interactions the public has with celebrities, while there are crazy stalkers, and large groups of people that have difficulty separating actors from roles at milder levels, I think most people understand the difference. I mean walk around NYC long enough, and you'll see plenty of celebs and plenty of NY'ers completely ignoring them.
quote:
The only utility of this observation is that, if we (collectively) wish to combat rape, we must choose to actively steer our culture in a different direction. We must actively choose to cease, as much as we can, being co-participants.
Meaning what? Usually an incredible stream of social changes that are only tangentially linked to the result to be achieved. What are you proposing? A ban on objectification? What situation do you believe this will stop or reduce and why?
quote:
I am slightly perturbed when people both deny the connection *and* use language in ways that blatantly objectifies women, to the extent that I will often object and/or avoid interactions with that person.
I don't use that language, I think it’s bad for the self-image of young girls. But I also disagree with you that it contributes to a culture that is fundamentally generating rapes. I think rapes exist in all cultures, and the changes you propose are not likely to reduce that.

Ultimately, so long as you allow unsupervised interactions among young people you will have rapes.

Interestingly to me, somewhat to Pete's point about the disparate treatment of men, and somewhat against my own argument, I'm fascinated by the impact of popular culture on domestic violence. Particularly, if you look for it, you can find virtually every night on network TV an example of a wife or a girlfriend hitting or slapping her husband or boyfriend and there being a tacit approval. Whether it be the laughter that plays out, or the inherent assumption that he deserved it. You never see the reverse. This plays out in our everyday lives with women feeling entitled to hit men in ways that if the genders were reversed would lead to jail time. But at least in that situation there is a direct approval of the abhorrent behaviour that leads to the "culture," it's not just a theory of derivative liability for approval of other behaviours.

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