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More Framing Rape. Also, Zomg I H8 Tumblr So Much I Can’t Even, I’m Completely Unable To Even, I Have Lost The Ability To Even. November 20, 2012

Posted by FCM in feminisms, logic, rape.
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i have been watching with interest an ongoing discussion (on tumblr!!) about rape, and what it is and isnt.  tumblr isnt my natural habitat, and im not interested in even trying to figure it out at this juncture, although if someone can show me how tumblr *isnt* primarily a huge gynergy-sucking waste of time (and not coincidentally, another way for privileged males to look busy at work while not actually doing anything) im all ears.  srsly, i h8 tumblr!  h8 it!

anyhoo, im trying to get my head around all the issues being raised here — despite this conversation essentially being a thought-terminating mindfuck (thanks tumblr!  thanks men and trans and MRAs and pomos and hopeless reformists and baby feminists talking primarily out of their asses in short-form dialog in a nonradical mixed space). jeebus i hate tumblr so much.  srsly, is it just me?

earlier, i proposed my own definition — or reframing — of rape, which is: the violent enforcement by men of womens sex role as fuckholes and breeders.  this is, i believe, the correct historical and political context (intent and effect) of men raping women, across time and place.  i think this includes all the relevant elements of rape, so that even if you called rape “bananas” it would still mean the same thing.  note that i generally do NOT endorse calling stuff *other stuff* for purposes of obfuscating truths and diluting meaning, including the historical truths and political meaning of womens lives and what men do to us.  i do however support paring things down to their elements, in order to achieve understanding, which is the opposite of what pomos do with their obfuscating nothing means anything, “everything equals everything” rhetoric.

so call it “bananas” if you like, what do i care?  so long as you understand that rape is not a fruit with a yellow peel, and a banana is not a whiffle ball.  and that we are talking about the elements of rape.  thats the important thing, afterall.  the meaning of the word, not the word itself.  this is a particularly important point, isnt it, considering that its always mens meaning and mens interpretation of all words that are going to carry the day in all male-centric discourse and all female-only space too, unless and until we get our heads around what we mean when we say it.  and in the case of rape, what it means to and for *us* when men rape women across time and place.

so looking at the convo over on tumblr, where the OP states that rape is “when a male uses his penis as a weapon against a female” whereupon the shit hits the fan…i have only my own definition to look to, dont i?  because the definition men use for rape — that its forced sex — is both woefully inadequate and a reversal:  since sex is allegedly “consensual” sex (isnt it?), the male-centric definition of rape implicates a logical, factual and indeed a linguistic impossibility — forced-consensual-sex.  the way men define it also uses the word to define the word, which you also arent allowed to do.  yay!  thats what we are working with, definition-wise, illustrating how and why patriarchal practices and policies surrounding rape (or sex!) will never, ever benefit women, or indeed make any kind of rational sense at all when you *really* think about it.  and as far as i know, even we dont have a better definition yet.  if we do, im sure someone will tell me.

in fact, i think mens framing of rape as forced-sex — and the problems that causes, including what happens when you use the word to define the word, and what men appear to think of our “consent” too — can be illustrated like this (this is assuming that “sex” means consensual sex, and “rape” means forced sex):

this is about the size of it, no? if so, ima use my definition.

if i got this wrong, im sure someone will tell me.  but srsly, i think its right.  and until someone can come up with a definition of “rape” that makes any kind of rational sense for women and centers womens experience of being raped by men across time and place — and a definition of rape that *doesnt* literally repeat the word “consensual” literally forever, as in infinitely, this is a feedback loop, even as it unambiguously values womens consent at “zero” — ima use my own definition of it.

and i think that the OP on teh evol tumblrs definition is consistent with my definition, or at least that its not inconsistent with it.  i also think this topic — when done properly, centering the experience of female-bodied persons — implicates the uncannily-similar (okay identical) female-specific harms to women of both “consensual” PIV and rape.  i think *that* needs to be discussed pretty much endlessly, although endlessly repeating ourselves and covering ground thats already been covered is gynergy-sucking too…how bout all’yall who are already wasting your time and energy on tumblr donate some time and energy to that one ay?  its just a suggestion…

alternatively, if my definition isnt the one we want to use, lets make a better one.  so long as we identify actual reasons why any new definition benefits women and centers womens experience with men raping us across time and place, and furthers understanding by isolating and contextualizing the elements of rape, and includes the historical truths and political meaning of rape in womens lives and the historical truths and political meaning of what men do to us.  i think this task is huge, and that it requires nothing less.

i also dont think its likely to happen in a tumblr format.  did i mention how much i h8 tumblr?  h8 h8 h8 it!  that is all.

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Comments

1. FCM - November 20, 2012

now with a more organized graphic! :P

2. mhairi - November 20, 2012

I think the framing of rape within sex is problematic. I have a wider defintion of rape than just PIV – to me its unconsensual penetration. Not just perpetrated by men on women. Although that is its most common form.

If you look at where rape is really used as a systematic weapon – in wars and in torture situations, its meaning as a form of power and subjucation become more clear – these are very far removed from “sex” as anyone would commonly understand it.

Limit it to PIV and you remove the harm done to wo/men through forced anal and oral penetration – the motivation is the same – humiliation and dominence – acknowledging male rape is important because its a form of patriarchy, where men seek to put other men in a feminised position, to turn them into women.

Also if you put it in the realm of “sex”, it brings up the argument that caused a great deal of controversy that by insisting on penetration it is heteronormative, that sex for lesbians is generally non-penetrative, which suggests that sexual violence performed one woman on another is less serious.

Where we do completely agree tho is that tumblr is shit.

FCM - November 20, 2012

ha! h8 tumblr!!!!! hi mhairi. im not sure how or whether it benefits women and centers womens experience of being raped to assume that the “motivation” of rapists — when men rape women — is “humiliation and dominance.” we know that its mens intent to humiliate and dominate EACH OTHER by raping each others women, and that its mens intent to humiliate and dominate EACH OTHER when they stick their dicks in each other too. but whats the intent and effect of (on) women of being raped? if anything its that AND MORE. to enforce womens sex role as fuckholes and breeders, and in the case of using rape as a tool of genocide, deliberately using womens capacity as breeders in order to hijack and destroy an entire generation by impregnating the females with the fetuses of the “enemy” often an enemy of another race or ethnicity.

i think focusing on the humiliation and dominance aspect centers mens experience with being raped and having their women raped by enemy men. and that therefore, we should probably stop doing that, if our intent is to center and even to understand WOMENS experience with rape.

FCM - November 20, 2012

we also see men using rape in wartime as violently enforcing womens sex role as fuckholes. in brownmillers “against our will” (chapter 3 (“war) p. 91-92 in footnotes) she quotes dan rather on his understanding and experience of wartime rape as a journalist assigned to vietnam during the vietnam war: “my own limited experience led me to conclude that everybody who passed through a village did it — steal a chicken and grab a quick piece of ass, that sort of thing.” we also see male soldiers raping women and then disposing of the evidence/victim in one of two ways: give her money, or kill her. this evinces extreme sexual objectification of women, rather than mere domination and humiliation doesnt it? which is essentially what i mean when i say womens sex role as a fuckhole — extreme objectification of women as an object for men to penetrate, catch friction on, ejaculate into, then discard.

and then understanding that fuckhole is a ROLE women are forced to play in society which is based on our sex not our gender. this larger context (the FEMALE sex role as fuckhole) does not apply to men, no matter what is done to them.

3. sargassosea1 - November 20, 2012

WordPress maybe needs a *I read the OP and very much appreciate that it was here for me to have done so.* button because, you know, I read the OP and very much appreciate that it was here for me to have done so.

Also: h8t’n on the tumblr. Meshugana.

4. thebewilderness - November 21, 2012

Where you go astray is in the definition of sex. Men define sex as sticking their dick in someone or something. Rape is defined as sticking their dick in someone when that someone does not want a dick stuck in them. This is why they define rape as forced sex. Consent is assumed right up to the hot second the perp is beaten off or bitten off.

5. bugbrennan - November 21, 2012

The west has these conversations about equality meaning women rape women. Meanwhile in the rest of the world: http://bug-brennan.tumblr.com/post/36150194308/rape-as-a-war-crime

Mhairi, aren’t you the person from the Feminism Facebook group who said you thought rape=piv? Because I am pretty sure you did, but now I think you were trolling.

FCM, thanks for this post.

6. bugbrennan - November 21, 2012

oh and also, when men “rape” men, you don’t have the added “bonus” that you can impregnate your victim. and men raping women leading to pregnancy is sometimes (always) the point, right? it’s that extra “fuck you/i hate you/look how i can make you never forget this.”

FCM - November 21, 2012

true that men define sex as “sticking their dicks into someone or something.” in fact, you are quoting me TBW.

http://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/framing-rape/
http://radicalhubarchives.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/mainstream-news-outlet-confuses-sex-and-stuck-his-dick-into/

but when asked the difference between sex and rape, we get the “new improved” definition which appears to be “sex is consensual sex and rape is forced sex.” the consent issue comes to light ONLY when we are asked to DIFFERENTIATE sex from rape. it does NOT enter the discussion before then does it? which reeks doesnt it? there is clearly something hidden there worth exploring. but now that we have this “forced sex” concept — and we are letting men frame the issue yet again (or we have no choice in the matter) — we have men claiming this can happen to them too!!!!1!!!! which of course it can — anyone can theoretically “force sex” on anyone cant they? voila — rape is stripped of its SEXED history and meaning — what it means for women when men rape us. and most of us are buying this male-defined concept uncritically. we do not have to do this in female-only radical space — but if we dont know better, thats exactly what we are going to do bc thats the accepted meaning of the word and the thrust of the entire male-centric concept in fact. men invented it.

7. SheilaG - November 21, 2012

Rape is not sex. Rape is something else entirely. Men think it is forced sex, because sex to men is about sticking a penis into a vagina– that is how sex is defined for the most part by men. Sticking a penis into something is sex to men. What women think of as sex is very different, just as what women define as love is very different.

What men say about sex or even about love for that matter, has almost no connection to what women mean by both of those words. Women have been conditioned by men to accept male terms, and women have had to fight back for a long time to claim language and the power of naming.
The law is framed around the male definition of rape, for example.

And in the war in Bosnia, men would rape women and do it “for Serbia.” The intent was to rape the enemy’s women, so that Serbian babies would be born, and genocide would be complete. The purpose of rape is to wipe out the race or ethnic group of the enemy males. Rape in wartime is the “military benefit” men actually sign up for when they join the army.
Men know that rape and other goodies await them in wartime.

Men get to own wives because women are afraid of having open season on them. Rape is a tool of the conquest and control and terrorizing of women. Pregnancy is just another benefit that rapist uses against women.

A penis in a vagina or a penis stuck in anything is not sex to me. Sex to me has nothing to do with men or their lives or their physical needs.
Even trying to define sexual pleasure purely on women’s terms has been a big effort of feminists for decades. And men confuse the sexual revolution with the feminist revolution; the two are not analogous. Dworkin explains this well in “Right Wing Women.”

FCM - November 21, 2012

BTW i got rid of the “like” button bc i no longer care if anyone LIKES my work or what they might privately THINK about it at all. :) if anyone wants to create/participate in a radical feminist discussion on a publically-accessible forum, however, thats another story. so post em if you got em. as always, comments will remain open for 3 days.

8. DavinaSquirrel - November 21, 2012

The word ‘consent’ could be replaced by the word ‘red herring’ really. PIV for recreation would still be included within rape, given that females from birth are brainwashed into the concept of ‘wifely duties’ and ‘PIV for recreation’. So, if we follow that, then PIV is not sex, PIV is for making babies. And PIV that does not have the intention (of the female) to be impregnated, would still be a form of cultural rape, because she was groomed from birth to engage in PIV for recreation.

I’m completely down with the “I H8 tumblr” thing. Stupid shit.

FCM - November 21, 2012

to explain the graphic a bit (if its not working for anyone) i had to use color as a kind of third-dimension to this concept because its complicated, and i found it easier to see in color. anytime you see a “black” (sex) understand that black actually means black plus red (sex + consent). black is the shorthand for black plus red, and when you spell it out you end up with another black. which equals black plus red. giving you another black. this goes on forever, and this is what happens when the word is used to define the word. its circular reasoning, which means its infinite and goes on literally forever. i also think this means that “sex” has not been pared down to its elements, although we are meant to believe that it has been.

also, is mhairi a troll? LOL sheesh.

i have also seen that there are lesbian women (or dubious “allies”) who believe that women being “held accountable” for raping (raping!) other women gives legitimacy to lesbian sex, yes? that is some seriously fucked up shit right there. because this means that EVEN LESBIAN WOMEN cannot imagine being in a relationship where rape is impossible. like physically impossible. i would think that would be a huge bonus of being a lesbian, but NO, we have to model everything after male sexuality dont we, which means its not “sex” unless you COULD rape your partner but you CHOOSE not to, because of the love? or something? otherwise known as chivalry innit? that is so twisted, male-centric and sad i cant even.

9. DavinaSquirrel - November 21, 2012

Yes, I would agree that ‘sex’ is misdefined, generally, and within the context of the ‘rape vs sex’ arena.

It is also why broadening the term ‘rape’ becomes problematic to include various other sexual assaults (this then negates the impact of female-specific harm, which is the biggie that keeps getting obliterated). It must be kept sex-specific (as in perp male, at minimum, penetration by a penis, but if anal and oral are also included, again the female-specific harm of pregnancy is obliterated). There was a group of young ‘feminists’ recently wanting to include ‘penetration by objects’ and ‘gender neutral language’ (mhairi may well have been in that crowd, by the direction of the language she used).

So, getting back to the initial problem, it is the misdefinition of what ‘sex’ is, because of men framing the language to mean PIV. It (PIV) did used to be called ‘sexual intercourse’, and now PIV/sex are used interchangeably. So I guess the problem is really in the first instance to define PIV separately (which RFs do anyway, by calling it PIV and not ‘sex’), in definitions we have to keep sex-specific because of the power class issue, which also upgrades penetration by penis of mouth or anus as part of that power continuum without taking away from the sex-specific harm done to females by PIV.

Word definitions are not my strong suit. I can see the problems, and the problems are lack of language and cross-definitions. So I will ponder it more, but I do only have less than three days to ponder it!

10. DavinaSquirrel - November 21, 2012

And of course, the other main problem, which is not a word one, is that females are assumed to be in a state of perma-consent, unless proven beyond ANY doubt – and the bar is set so damn high that it is impossible to prove ‘lack of consent’, which is the way the law approaches it.

FCM - November 21, 2012

well, women are placed in harms way (in danger of unwanted pregnancy) by mens ejaculate, if it is deposited anywhere near the vagina. at the very least, besides PIV, this would seem to include anal, when done by a man to a woman (or at least wouldnt exclude it). and violent enforcement of womens sex role as fuckholes for men might include more than PIV too. my purpose was not to create a legal definition of rape, but a female-centered one. and to contextualize it, and what it means for women when men rape us. men putting each other in jail, and justifying amongst themselves why some men deserve to be in jail while others dont is boring and thought-terminating in comparison. although i think any legal definition does need to take all of this into consideration. and that it never will, by definition.

not tangentially, while i define rape as the violent enforcement by men as womens sex role as fuckholes and breeders, i would define/describe heterosex as the mere enforcement of it, or perhaps “relatively nonviolent” enforcement of it? what say you? the only real difference is the amount of force used. rape and PIV are essentially the same thing, if you acknowledge the context of womens sex role as fuckholes and breeders.

11. Hecuba - November 21, 2012

It’s male pseudo sex right to female bodies but of course that must never be stated. Males rape females of all ages from aged 0 to 99 and the reason is because males believe females exist as vehicles to service male sexual pleasure. Men have always narrowly defined rape from the mens’ perspective because otherwise men’s nasty little secret which is enactment of their male pseudo sex right to female bodies would be made public rather than kept hidden.

Why else does pornography exist – because it gratifies male sexual pleasure and also eroticises male sexual violence against women.

Those Bosnian men who raped women of reproductive age in order to produce so-called ‘Serbian babies’ were enacting the male supremacist claim that a woman is merely a vessel carrying a male’s child because it is always the man who defines ethnicity/race of child. This totally ignores fact men do not create a child – rather the woman is the one who creates the child not the man. He merely provides the sperm but majority of genetic make-up is from the woman.

Consent does not exist in our Male Supremacist system because men believe women exist in a constant state of ‘submission/consent’ to male sexual demands/expectations. That is why women have to try and prove they did not ‘consent/submit’ whenever a male rapes them. Back once again to pseudo male right of sexual access to female bodies.

12. weirdward - November 21, 2012

I think perhaps the biggest practical danger with expanding a (legal) definition of rape to be gender-neutral and non-specific is that such a law would easily be used by men against women. If the law was something like, ‘any unwanted, forced sexual contact between individuals'; then, when a woman made a claim of rape against a man, he would be able to make a counter-claim against her, which would prejudice the court since everyone is always willing to believe the worst of women, and to believe men over women.

We are already seeing situations where laws set up specifically to protect women are starting to be used against them – e.g. abusive men filing claims of domestic violence against female partners who were trying to protect themselves from male-perp violence, men using equality rhetoric to claim they were equally invested in child-rearing, and therefore should retain custody of children even when children and mother don’t want this, and so on.

So knowing this, it is ill-informed at best to suggest further opening up the legal definition of rape so that it could more easily be misused by men. This is especially the case since males on average have more economic and social power than women, and a female rape victim who had to defend herself against a counter-claim of rape made by (e.g.) her boyfriend would most likely have a hard time funding decent legal representation, and if there are kids involved, she’d have an awful lot to lose if she got convicted of rape and sent to prison. The over-focus on male rape victims, and women’s and even some feminists’ desire to support male rape victims over female rape victims already tells us that in the event of a scenario like that described above, the boyfriend would be the one who would be believed, get sympathy and support; even if this was a complete reversal of what happened and he (and only he) was guilty of rape.

Sorry fcm – I know that you’re not discussing the topic of legal definitions of rape, but from what I gather it seems that part of the original disagreement began because of personal identification as a rape victim (which is perfectly valid) vs the legal distinctions between the definitions of rape and sexual assault.

The thing is though (at least where I am) even though rape and sexual assault are defined as encompassing different types of sexual acts under the law, they are not treated differently in terms of response. So, for example, a woman who was sexually assaulted by another woman would still be legally entitled to get emergency help from a rape-crisis line, would be entitled to counselling and other services, would qualify to stay in a women’s shelter if she had nowhere safe to go due to partner violence, would be entitled to file a report with the police and have the police investigate the crime, would be entitled to have that crime tried in a court of law.

If there are types of sex crimes that are happening that are not already covered in current definitions, then I think the answer is to add more categories and become more specific and more exact – to name what is happening, and what is being done to whom and by who – rather than making our current definitions less exact and more open to misinterpretation and abuse.

FCM - November 21, 2012

you are correct that part of the original disagreement was over a legal definition of rape. the OP thinks it should be narrowed, or rather that the original legal meaning of rape should be reinstated where it used to be restricted to men raping women with their dicks. while others seem to think that its been a FEMINIST development in the law that the definition has been expanded. sorry if i think thats funny. its gallows humor. a feminist development in the law? really? that should raise dozens of red flags on its face; then upon examining the INTENT AND EFFECT ON WOMEN, we should conclude (again, as the OP does in the gynergy-sucking comments — i think?) that this “development” is actually anti feminist backlash, or “equality” rhetoric being deliberately used against women to fuck us, and fuck us over.

FCM - November 21, 2012

see cherrys “greer” post for a discussion on equality rhetoric and a quote from greer on the issue:

“The solution, say the proponents of equality, is to bring the numbers of women to parity, in which case the institutions on question will be unrecognizable. The cult of equality means that this cannot be done, because women will not be recruited in large numbers unless some policy of reverse discrimination is adopted and reverse discrimination is illegal under the law of equality in both Britain and Europe. In 1995 more men than women made complaints of discrimination to the Equal Opportunities Commission. If it is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of sex it is illegal for all purposes, even for the sake of equality itself.”

http://cherryblossomlife.com/2012/10/01/one-off-radfem-book-discussion/#comment-2289

13. Ann Tagonist - November 21, 2012

Hi FCM. This is a great post. Thanks!

Mhairi is not a troll, but she’s not a radical feminist so it’s unsurprising she has no radical feminist analysis.

Anyway, I agree with what you wrote here. I hate defining rape as “forced sex” because to me, all (het) sex is forced (compulsory PIV). It’s hard to separate rape from compulsory PIV and I completely agree that this is a topic that needs to be discussed forever and ever. I might be willing to define rape as simply, “The weaponization of the penis” and then accept that men can be raped, but I just don’t think the harms of male on male rape are comparable to “traditional” rape. And I also don’t really care about what men do to other men. It doesn’t come in to my own analysis. That’s their problem, not mine.

FCM - November 21, 2012

hi AT. sorry about tumblr. haha. i think if you want to include what men do to other men, you may as well include “weaponization of the cucumber” bc thats all the penis is for men. at least, there is no such thing as male-specific harm of being penetrated by either a penis or a cucumber. the harm to women of being raped by penises is not symbolic, and its not a problem with the phallus, or even of being penetrated by SOMETHING. its a problem of exposing womens cervices to mens semen (as greer describes it) and what that means for women.

i also do not care what men do to other men. i wish people would stop centering men in their feminist analysis. it worse than a waste of time, its actually setting us back!

14. weirdward - November 21, 2012

In terms of conceptualising rape, I think another thing to think about is that girls and women have a reasonable fear of being raped by men, and this informs and impacts our lives in all kinds of ways. Men, as a general rule, do not walk around in fear of being raped by other men, or by women. There are specific circumstances in which men are more likely to experience violence from other men, e.g. in prison, but it has no constant and sustained impact on their world-view in the way it does for women. Similarly, even though I guess it’s possible I could one day be sexually assaulted by another woman, I don’t walk around fearing assault from women. Women are not socialised and socially sanctioned to commit sexual violence against other women in the same way that men are socially sanctioned to commit sexual violence against women. And that is the difference. Men have deemed that it is acceptable for all men to prey on all women, if and when they want to. Everything is set up to safeguard and perpetuate this system of male sexual dominance, and women can’t help but know this, because we have to take day-to-day safety measures to try and mitigate the harms of this, even though they are often wildly inadequate, and are still not a guarantee of being able to successfully avoid rape.

The fact that virtually all men are completely clueless about this topic, and get angry when women try to explain it, just confirms that they do not move through the world in the same way that women do, and do not have comparable experience with women with regards to rape, and what it means to us.

As for violence in the lesbian community, there seems to be a vein of thought out there that is saying that because feminists are pointing out that rape is (overwhelmingly) an act of domination that men commit against women, then we are denying that violence happens in lesbian relationships. However, if you have a community – like the queer community, say – that eroticises things like pushing boundaries, bdsm, porn, violent sexual imagery, insists that sexual relationships are sexier when there is domination and submission involved, insists that fear and sexual desire are intrinsically linked, insists that pain must be part of sexual arousal and so on…Well, guess what, that is exactly the sort of environment that is going to foster the development of sexually abusive relationships!

And feminists have been pointing this out since forever. And sex-positivists are the ones who are denying till they are blue in the face. The eroticisation of domination and submission is the problem here, and that is based on the model of unequal male/female sexual relations. It is also extremely unimaginative and, quite frankly, boring. Also links in with what fcm said above about lesbians feeling their sexuality is somehow validated when there is violence, or the danger of violence – because violence is what men define as ‘real’ sex.

15. karmarad - November 21, 2012

I really appreciate the discussion – it’s an eye-opener for me. Here’s another topic of great concern to women which is under furious attack. The meaning of “rape” seems to have been broadened and dissipated so rapidly that “rape” is becoming meaningless as a term, which is exactly how the system wants it. This tactic of “re-definition” seems to be used more and more, and it seems to me to go in tandem with “equality rhetoric”, where the intent of a law is buried under disingenuous legal rhetoric (as is pointed out in the Greer quote above).

It’s really too bad that the smart women academics who have adopted post-modernism’s emphasis on deconstructing language similarly deconstruct concepts like “rape”, rather than using their analytical skills in clarifying and focusing on the concept’s political uses, embedded as it is in a global woman-subjugating social system.

In the past rape was underreported partly because it was defined by official reporters solely as something called “violent rape”. In practice, then, the patriarchal system was supported in that rape statistics were kept looking artificially low, allowing it to be tolerated as a control method against women.

Feminists began getting rape statistics accurately reported, but it took decades. I believe it’s only last year or so that the “violent rape” stat was changed in USDOJ reporting? Feminists also ripped off the veil over the use of rape as a weapon of war and genocide, as others are saying above. Feminists also have forced discussion of other special patriarchal uses of rape such as forced pregnancy and marital terrorism.

But the system is absorbing these blows, as it does so well, and oozing out new manipulations to maintain rape as a weapon against women. Some of the ways society is being manipulated into continued tolerance of female rape are being listed in the comments and article here and on tumblr. The attacks are coming in a bewildering array of conceptual fronts. A few of the ones I see pretty clearly are: define women out of conceptual existence so the special damage of rape as terrorism against women is obscured; emphasize male-on-male rape and prioritize it; broaden the definition of rape to cover all kinds of sexual assault; cook up statistics to make it look as though women rape as much as men; continue to underreport marital rape; use equality rhetoric to forbid discussion of the different and more dangerous impacts of rape on women; ignore the special uses the crime of rape is put to by the system, such as genocide against an enemy; and prohibit discussion of biologically-based differences between men and women as “essentialism”.

Like you, fcm, I’m struggling to wrap my head around all of it. And that’s not good, because the overall purpose is to sow so much confusion and disorientation that we lose track of the plain truth. But there does seem to be some good news: the fury and scope of the attacks indicate that the system has in fact been hit and is struggling.

16. DavinaSquirrel - November 21, 2012

FCM: not tangentially, while i define rape as the violent enforcement by men as womens sex role as fuckholes and breeders, i would define/describe heterosex as the mere enforcement of it, or perhaps “relatively nonviolent” enforcement of it? what say you? the only real difference is the amount of force used. rape and PIV are essentially the same thing, if you acknowledge the context of womens sex role as fuckholes and breeders.

Yes indeed, I agree with that. I think if ‘we’ redefine the thinking as a rape-continuum, rather than a ‘sex’ continuum, then it reframes the whole thing. Where any PIV that is not in the service of making babies is regarded as ‘rape lite’ – because engaging in PIV ‘recreationally’ causes problems for the woman (and it is usually the woman responsible for the birthcontrol) so there are the side effects from that. Being conditioned to participate in a harming practise is not true consent. And we really have not even touched on the degree of coercion in the average het relationship, everything from the pouty sulks to temper tantrums… doesn’t really equal consent either.

So, also along with what Ann T was saying too (‘weaponisation of the penis’ and ‘I really don’t give a damn about teh menz’).

Many good points weirdward. Correct, men do not walk in the world like we have to. One of the benefits of being raised as predator, not prey.

17. SheilaG - November 21, 2012

“One of the benefits of being raised as predator, not prey.” Good one DavinaSquirrel.

All public places where men mix with women are rape dangers. I just don’t experience any fear in all women’s groups, and certainly have never ever experienced anything like lesbian violence against me–sexually or otherwise.

However, being friends with straight married women has been a danger on occasion, because their husbands were violent and homophobic, and I don’t pass as straight. So men are a clear and present danger, and hetero environments are dangerous because women bring their men into the mix.

It’s what made many lesbian bars unsafe.

18. weirdward - November 21, 2012

I like the rape-continuum idea – it does begin to address to scope of the problem in that it encompasses socialised sexual submissiveness and heterosexuality, normalising of harmful practices like PIV, women who marry and trade their bodies for economic/cultural survival, women in pornography and prostitution, as well as what we might see as traditional or conventional rape and extreme forms like mass rape as weapon of war and weapon of genocide. Weapon of genocide rape would also cover Indigenous women who have been raped in the process of colonisation, but importantly, rather than always seeing it within a specific male constructed racial and historical context, we can begin to draw parallels between different historical and contemporary contexts in which men have raped Indigenous women and continue to do so, and what they gain by doing that. By which I mean we could see links between (to give just 3 random examples out of a countless number) English men raping Scottish women in the middle ages and British colonisers in the US raping Native American Women in the 18th & 19th C. and contemporary Australian ‘peacekeepers’ raping women in East Timor and view it as all part of the same thing that furthers men’s interests across time and space, and has consistent impacts for women across time and space. Impacts would include, but would not be limited to, forced pregnancy, sexual subjugation, killing women through STDs, infections, multiple pregnancies, rape-related injuries, brutalisation through violence, herding women into prostitution, destruction of culture, creation of famine (women are usually responsible for feeding communities), severing intergenerational links between women and female communities, e.g. by removing girl-children from mothers, murdering old women who are not deemed fuckable etc.

karmarad – I think that’s a great analysis of the issues at stake here.

19. SheilaG - November 22, 2012

Rape continuum and what this consists of –good illustration idea.
Colonialism, rape as the strategy of conquistators, colonizers, and invaders – to drugs women’s drinks in clubs… the rape agenda of all men across time and space worldwide. The forced impregnation of women for food, clothing and shelter… the PIV enforced servitude that women today “voluntarily” sign up for.

Viagra as a rape enhancing drug, spreading PIV to women in the 60s-70s–no escape from the PIV penis. The rape enforcing creepy ads for Cialis and viagra— again defining sex as PIV, and saying that rape is forced sex, when it is just terrorism and male domination of women’s bodies, and therefore should be considered a crime against humanity. Imagine all men tried as war criminals of the home?

20. karmarad - November 22, 2012

I like your detailed points a lot, weirdword…across time and space is right…how can anyone dare say women’s identity is not universal…

21. karmarad - November 22, 2012

Excuse me, should be “weirdward”.

22. Ann Tagonist - November 22, 2012

Tumblr is dreadful, I agree. Sometimes it’s fascinating but I don’t think I’ll even ever convince myself it isn’t a gynergy sucking waste of time so I definitely won’t convince you.

It’s not that I want to include men, just that men do weaponize their penises against women in ways that don’t include PIV and that clearly needs to be acknowledged, and if we decide that is rape, that then means men can be raped. Ultimately, I don’t think it matters – what they do to each other is their own problem.

And of course, men don’t only use rape to enforce our sex role status, they also use regular piv. Every single time a man sticks his dick in a woman, he is reminding her of her sex role. And they know it’s bad for us. They know about the physical damage, they know about the trauma bonding except they’ve got science dudes to tell everyone to call it oxytocin and pretend it’s a nice thing. It’s an assault. No one can consent to being assaulted.

I guess a male using his penis as a weapon against a female IS consensual piv. Women know this and that’s why that definition provoked such a reaction.

23. luckynkl - November 22, 2012

The origins of the word rape has been obscured over time but it originally meant “to carry away.” It was referring to men’s raiding of villages when their supply of women ran short and carrying off the females. His “Best Man” helped him capture and kidnap his “bride.” He then held her for ransom and demanded payment from her family for her return. This became known as a “dowry.” During this period, he also had himself a “honeymoon,” where he raped and impregnated his “bride.” Which then forced her to marry him so she could be raped, impregnated, and bear her rapist’s children over and over again for the rest of her life and live happily ever after. The End. For her anyhow. The wedding ring symbolized the tether he tied around her waist and bolted to the floor to prevent her escape (I learned that on the history channel!).

Now we can begin to see what the real intent of rape was and the insidiousness behind it. It was meant to impregnate women, force them into marriage, and force them to bear children against their will – and it wasn’t a one time only thing. What’s more, it still goes on today, when they’re not busy excommunicating raped women from their families and communities or stoning her to death for it.

Rape isn’t about sex, ffs. Whether it’s consensual or not is irrelevant. It’s plain and simple, violence against women and the specific way men target women to exploit women’s biological vulnerability. That vulnerability being the biological reality that women can be impregnated. There is little to no difference between rape and vanilla PIV. Which is why men can’t tell the difference. Because they were both meant to do the same thing. To wrestle reproduction out of women’s hands and put it in men’s. I’m sorry, but there is no valid reason under the sun for a man to stick his dick in a woman. Sperm impregnates, not penises. Which can be easily be applied by a woman herself if she should want a child. PIV strips her of that decision and choice. Men know damn well that sooner or later, sticking his dick in her will impregnate her, whether she wants a child or not. It’s about what it’s always been about. Reproduction. And who gets to control it. So both rape and PIV is about putting the power and control of reproduction in men’s hands.

Needless to say, the notion that men can be raped is laughable. It has never happened in the history of humankind. “Rape is rape,” they tell me. That’s right it is. And sodomy is sodomy and fellatio is fellatio. They are not all the same thing. Else what wyould you call a woman who’s been raped and sodomized? The same thing? All of these words have meaning and are specific acts. So why the sudden loss for words in men? Every other day they’re making up nonsensical words like misandry and cis. But when it comes to violence against males, they all of sudden can’t use the specific words assigned to these acts or think of any new ones? They have to co-opt a word which is a specific male on female crime? I smell a rat. And I think Karma is right on the money what they’re up to.

As for all this nonsense about equality, what happens to a lopsided scale when you apply equal weight to both sides? LOL, the scale remains lopsided! And when it’s applied to the human
condition and power – those who have it vs those who have been disfranchised of it – it means the power gaps will become even greater. Because those on the lower end of that lopsided scale now have no redress or chance to ever zero out and balance those scales. Because equal weight will be forever added or taken away in equal amounts. Leaving that scale forever lopsided. Which is why men are so gung-ho for equality. It’s like running a 10 mile rce and giving men a 9 mile head start, but claim it’s fair because they both start running at the sound of the gun. Not! In order for the race to be fair and for those scales to be zeroed out and balanced, thing must first start off on equal footing BEFORE adding equal weight. Which means men would have to be subordinated and oppressed by women for at least 6,000 years.

FCM - November 22, 2012

thanks for that history lucky. it was a show on the history of marriage, yes? i think i saw it. i wonder if its on youtube anywhere….

and this “men can be raped too” is the problem we run into if we define rape in sex-neutral terms, and arent specific about what kind of harm we are talking about. including “weaponization of the penis.” OR i suppose we could just refuse to include men at all in any of our definitions of anything…which i think is what AT is getting at? fine by me. of course, this means never dialoging with anyone who would ever make the mistake of thinking otherwise, including fiddling with legal-anything since including men is always assumed (required).

i still havent seen any problems or even any objections from anyone on this thread to my definitions of either rape or PIV. rape is the violent enforcement of, PIV is the relatively-less-violent-enforcement of. i suppose you could also say that PIV for recreation — as a cultural practice or allegedly benign cultural practice — is the normalization of, yes?

note that neither one of my definitions are susceptible to wrongly being applied to men, as far as i can tell.

FCM - November 22, 2012

also, i should add that, as long as we are acknowledging that women do not equal men, and “equality” rhetoric is a scam/sham….while we are saying here that “rape is not sex” it would be more correct to say that rape is not sex FOR WOMEN. the same cannot be said for men because men do not equal women. it is in fact a separate analysis whether or not rape is sex for men, from a male-perspective. and i think the evidence shows us that it is.

there is plenty of evidence that rape is sex FOR MEN, in brownmillers “against our will”. i am re-reading it now, and just finished the chapter on “war.” there are plenty of interviews/statements made BY MEN IN THEIR OWN WORDS, evincing that men do in fact consider rape to be sex and sex to be rape. they call raping women in wartime — a clear-cut case of rape if anyone ever saw one, its every bit as clear as rape that occurs under conditions amounting to slavery, aka. sex-trafficking and sex-slavery (oh sorry did i say SEX???????????) — balling, fucking, screwing, grabbing a piece of ass, and yes even MAKING LOVE if you can believe that. exactly the same words they use to describe “sex” from their perspective. one soldier actually called it MAKING LOVE, and he actually said about a gang rape where the woman was murdered afterwards that “THE LAST GUY TO MAKE LOVE TO HER KILLED HER.”

24. luckynkl - November 22, 2012

I’ve been hearing for a few years now that women are no longer allowed to say they were raped in a courtroom. They have to say they had sex. WTF?

25. karmarad - November 22, 2012

That last line in the comment above has to be the most chilling sentence I have ever read.

FCM - November 22, 2012

true karma. its haunting. i highly recommend reading brownmillers book, or re-reading it in light of current discussions. its completely relevant. and i know there are those who are going to knee-jerkedly assume or even insist that the guy who called it “making love” was some kind of abberation, or that it was “just him.” i think that would be a horrible mistake. dont assume. instead, read the chapter on “war” where almost every man interviewed/deposed said that the way soldiers rape in war — including what they thought about it and what it meant to them obvs — was “SOP” or standard operating procedure.

FCM - November 23, 2012

also, i foresee and would caution against anyone assuming that the way men use rape in wartime is oh-so different than the way they use it all the time generally. for one thing, theres the history of the draft — regular “joes” were drafted into service in vietnam for example, which is the war dan rather reported on, where “everyone did it” meaning they stole a chicken and “grabbed a quick piece of ass” while moving through a village. so you cant assume that the men that were in vietnam were outliers, or a kind of “militaristic” group or qualitatively different from regular doods before they got there. but then theres the volunteer servicemen too, including career military men. are those men so different from “regular joes” either? if so, how? and if they are different in a BAD way, why are they rewarded with honor and tangible benefits including a salary and medical, educational and retirement benefits? and we also have to consider that if men didnt like the conditions of war they would stop making war. this includes the “goodies” sheila mentions which always always always include raping women, gang raping women, raping then murdering women, gang-raping then murdering women, and keeping women as “sexual” slaves for periods of time, doing that and then killing them (and stealing chickens!)

its really, really scary to think about the way men think about and use rape. it gives a terrifying insight into men as a sexual class. and we cant forget that men create the conditions of war, and they keep doing it, on purpose. the conditions of war do not give mens behavior including their use of rape a free pass, or make their behavior weird or abberant at all. its entirely possible that they make war (or join the military) SO THAT they can rape, or rape with even more impunity than normal. we need to consider this.

26. DavinaSquirrel - November 23, 2012

My gawd, that is a thoroughly chilling sentence.
Thanks for the marriage round-up Lucky.

I forget who made what points, but I think I made the one that ‘recreational PIV’ is just ‘rape-lite’, because of the status of women as the sex class, and the damage that AT outlined.

Having read more of the thread, I think we may have identifed the problem, in that men have defined rape on a ‘sex continuum’, but the reality is that it is PIV on a ‘rape continuum’. So that is our starting point. And the rape trials in the court room should not be asking “did you consent?” but “were you intending to get pregnant?”, and if the answer is no, then it is really a matter of degree as to whether rape-lite or rape.

And absolutely, sex-neutral terms are a big no-no, and will not improve the conviction rate or anything else. What will happen is that it will work against women, as just about everything backfires on females in this society.


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