Preamble to the Survey
In the past, I designed and offered up a Super-Fun Quiz™ on feminism dilution, which remains open to this day (read the prelim post first and follow the link at the bottom after). It was casually designed, and not intended for serious data analysis. The tool itself was inadequate for design/measurement purposes, and besides, I didn’t vet or validate the quiz first. But it is certainly useful for introspection or further thinking on topics. At least it was for me. And it was from the results of this quiz, that I got to thinking about designing a second, more specific, survey. It became apparent to me that people have some really disturbing or unclear ideas about rape. The quiz wasn’t designed to look at that specifically, but there was one question that addressed one element of the most serious issue facing every single woman on the planet. I mean, really, rape is the single-most important and influential reason our planet is speeding towards death on several levels. Without rape, things would be unimaginably different. Rape affects not only the lives of women, but trickles down to affect every aspect of human life, animal life, and the environment. It is hard for most people to understand that, and see the connection between the primary mechanism of female subjugation and the destruction of the planet, but examination with open eyes and honesty shows that it is true. Anyhow, I wanted to explore ideas about rape.
So, out came my methodologist’s cap, and I’ve set to designing prodding questions on this single topic. It is a survey, rather than a quiz. You won’t be scoring yourself on ‘rape knowledge’. I’m collecting data for further thinking and further writing, that’s all. In the past, I did work professionally in research on serial rape and workplace violent crime, but this survey is not destined for publication other than on my blog.
If you intend to take the survey, the link is below. I’m going to discuss my own views in the next post as I’d prefer your views not to be coloured by my opinions. I’d appreciate your participation. I was thrilled to have had a great turn-out for the last quiz, and to be honest, I’m much more interested in this current survey, so your opinions are of value to me. Please be assured that the survey is anonymous. Polldaddy collates country respondent information, but that’s all that is provided to me.
It was Germaine Greer who said, and I paraphrase, that it is women who teach and men who ‘train’. I thought the statement interesting and did a little reflection on what it meant and whether it might be true. Teaching, at least from my perspective as one who has taught on and off for over 21 years, is a symbiotic relationship. The teacher is a guide, whose role and scope depends completely on the student or students under her responsibility. The students depend on the tools, information and guidance given by the teacher and use it to grow and learn. Despite the interdependence, it is also a power relationship. The teacher does indeed have more power than the student(s), and the level and shape of that power depends on the age and sex of the students and the sex of the teacher.
What does it mean that ‘men train’? Well, training is completely rooted in a power imbalance. The trainer shapes (even forces) the mind and behaviour of the trainee into the desired form. The trainer is not expected to learn from the trainee. When I think of male teachers that I’ve had, this sounds familiar, with the often added component that that male ‘teacher’ or trainer takes from the trainee and gives little in return. The training or controlling mentality is natural for men. For the most part, higher education is based on this model. But it is applied differently to male and female teachers.
And indeed, when you look at expectations that institutions and students have for male and female teachers, women are given harsher standards. Women are expected to give, nurture, understand, coddle, and be compassionate as well as be knowledgeable. Oh, and they are very much expected to be fuckable or beautiful to have any kind of legitimacy as a teacher. Age is a weird thing for women. If you are young, you are not taken seriously (especially at a university), but there is a magical, unknown point where you are deemed too old to be taken seriously too. Men are expected to be cold, distant, sometimes charismatic or humourous. Attractive? Not required. Because what does attractiveness have to do with imparting knowledge? None! Age? Ditto. Doesn’t matter. If a dude teacher walks in, lectures at students, doles out punishment, and then leaves, he is doing his duty as a ‘teacher’. Same behaviour from a female teacher, and she gets called a ‘bitch’ (the misogynist equivalent of ‘nigger’ or ‘kike’, except that the latter are verboten and taken seriously as slurs, and can get you into serious trouble if you say them). Personally, I like strict teachers who tailor their instruction to the student(s). I don’t want to be coddled. I don’t want a friend. But I want a flexible teacher who will change the game plan if she sees that something isn’t working and who doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all lessons. I certainly don’t want to have a sexual relationship with a teacher. But males, whether teachers or students, seem to have very blurred lines when it comes to what is acceptable.
And that brings us to the one added component that we often see in male ‘teachers’. There is frequent abuse and sexual abuse of female students. It happens in all countries at all levels of education. All men benefit from rape. Some men rape. All rapists are men. Some teachers are men. Therefore, some male teachers will be rapists, and all males – teachers, students and the general public – will benefit from female terror in the classroom. And the data show this. Many men see rape as a ‘training tool’ or a job perk, and indeed even in these modern times, women have been trained by rape and the fear of rape to fall in line and allow men to continue to wreak havoc on the world and gain unfair advantages in the classroom and workplace. I am against having men in the helping professions, because a) the helping professions (teaching, medicine, law enforcement, etc) are based on power imbalances by definition, and b) men seek out and abuse power relationships by definition. The only way you can minimize abuse in relationships where power abuse is possible is to disallow those who are most likely to abuse that power to have access to it. To do otherwise is to invite heaps of trouble, and we see that this is true every day, everywhere.
All of this is prompted by another real world example of stuff girls and women deal with every single day. Today, I was talking to a former student of mine from about 5 years ago. He asked me if I’d heard the news about our former college. I said I hadn’t. Honestly, I don’t like to think about my former employer. It was a horrible place where I was locked into my staff accommodation at night (photo in this post), and a lot of other horrible stuff happened that badly hurt me physically, psychologically, and financially. It was such a bad place to work that they have to fire all the foreign staff every couple of years in order to bring on a fresh, naive batch to abuse. They cleaned house the year I finished there and relocated for a better job. Anyhow, my student told me that the college made the news recently. Graduation just happened, and a female student returned to the college to receive her diploma. One of her male teachers refused to sign off on her graduation unless she let him rape her. LUCKILY, she complained or told the right person. Shockingly, they took her seriously, and fired that ‘teacher’ (trainer/rapist). Rape is not talked about very much in China, and I’m guessing it is even more poorly reported than it is in ‘free’ countries where women are more vocal, but are still very much unequal and enslaved. As it is, we female students around the world must put up with all sorts of weird male teacher abuse, sexual or otherwise. Myself, the best letter of reference I got as an undergraduate was from a male professor who enjoyed frequently squeezing and pinching my upper arms so hard it left bruises. Did I say anything? No. I needed that letter of reference. And he was my only ally against another male professor who tried to fail me on my senior thesis and who psychologically abused me for two years. Couldn’t say anything about him either – he was an untouchable full tenured professor. And I was dependent on him for my part-time job (I solely supported myself) and my final grade. I guess I should be thankful none of them tried to rape me. It was only physical and psychological abuse. And guess what? No male students had to go through that. I laugh when males try to tell me how hard their lives are… Try living as an object aspiring to be human and see how much fun you have…
So, I wonder about two things.
- How often do male teachers actually rape (forced rape, coerced rape, etc) female students? It is much harder for girls and women to report or rationalize reporting assault when it is committed by someone they know and/or someone with very clear and socially/legally accepted power over them. My guess is that it happens all the time, and it is often reframed by the teacher-rapist, the student-victim, and by society at large as a ‘relationship’, a ‘mistake’ made by the student, a misinterpretation, one of those ‘that’s life’ events that seem to always happen to girls and women, or it just didn’t happen.
- How sensationalized and overblown is female teacher abuse of male students? It is a rare thing indeed and gets more play than any male crime ever would. So rare, they make documentaries on the same few deranged female teachers. Keep in mind two things:
a) women who abuse power should be punished (and yes, women abuse power too – one of my current excellent female students in China is physically KICKED and yelled at by a female professor every time she is forced to meet with her), and
b) women cannot, by definition, be rapists; and males, by definition, cannot be raped. The language has been deliberately confused by liberals in order to downplay what men do constantly to women and to falsely play males as victims. New language should be created by women to accurately define crimes.
Suffice it to say though that virtually all sex crimes are perpetrated by men, and the vast majority of sex crimes are forced on female victims. Given these overwhelming data – you’d be stupid to argue anything else – it is in the best interest of the entire population to keep men out of the helping professions and any professions where abuse of power (male against female) is dangerously possible, and dog help me, oh so very tempting. We (not I) argue that men have brains so they can both control their behaviour and learn from their mistakes. But they don’t. They don’t because they aren’t forced to. And men won’t change unless they are forced to. There is no better nature to appeal to. We’ve been waiting thousands of years for this better nature to magically appear. Keep men away from tempting power abuse situations with females. Female health and safety are more important than hurt male feelings. Any day. One day, I’ll talk more about false positives and why they don’t matter when it comes to female health and safety. For now, for all of you out there saying “Not all men…” or “That’s not fair to men…”, how about the current sitch, where we already operate on these get out of jail free philosophies? We already operate on the “Not all men” principle. It doesn’t work. And what do you say to all of us who have been abused by men in the helping professions? You negate my (your mother’s, your sister’s, your daughter’s, your) right to safety and living free from threats and fear when you give men the benefit of the doubt. That’s not fair to women and girls. It’s not okay to take away from us in order to let men do as they wish.
[This post is part of the Wolves in Women’s Clothing series.]
After a week of constant misogynist student comments, constant tit-ogling by my friendly neighbourhood construction workers, daily wonderment at how my male students were able to gain entrance into university and college (they are so fucking lazy and stupid, I can’t believe it!), daily racism and misogyny shit sandwiches by all and sundry – especially my neighbours and co-workers of three years, and on top of it all, 35°C (that’s 95°F to you, Yanks) every single day in both my workspace and home (no A/C!!!), the last fucking thing I needed was dealing with a commonplace street assault.
In China, it is perfectly acceptable to abuse your wife or girlfriend on the street in broad daylight. It is not quite as bad as South Korea or Thailand, where you can physical beat the bitch down to the ground with no repercussions (I’ve witnessed this in Thailand and tried to intervene once – a Japanese man stopped me – and a friend of mine lived in Korea and saw it all the time), but the Chinese-style woman-beat-down is an every day occurrence. I have a history of intervening in male abuse of women – moreso in my youth when I was stronger and dumber. No women have ever helped me (quite the opposite, actually), but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to help dumb-ass heterosexual women. I’ve learned, mostly. I don’t bother helping heterosexual women with their problems anymore. I fought for my own fucking freedom, and I continue to pay for my decisions because het women refuse to get on board in solidarity in the name of change and making female life better. Nothing has EVER in the history of the world been gained through waiting patiently – especially when it is waiting for people (men) to overcome their abusive tendencies and dumbassery. If you want freedom, you need to fucking fight for it, sometimes violently, especially if you don’t have money, or power in other areas of your life, or the right connections. So if you’re not going to fight, then you suck it up, and don’t whine about it. You only get to whine if you follow it up with action. So, I generally refuse to be sucked down into another woman’s problems for a number of reasons. Her boyfriend will try to hurt me – that’s a guarantee. She herself will almost always hurt me in response, she will usually choose the cock she is sucking and getting raped by over a friendly sister, and return to him after she uses me, and will end up supporting a system that *sort of* helps her (the cocksucker) and badly hurts me (the rebel). It’s the same philosophy I use in other areas of life, such as with my students. If students are lazy, selfish, and don’t give a shit about anyone (sometimes including themselves), I don’t bother with them. Only the ones who are willing to do the hard work get my support beyond what I am paid to do. My time and energy are fucking precious, so I bet on the winning horses. Blaming the victim? Well, fuck. At what point will we actually ask women to take some fucking responsibility, take some fucking risks? Men are not going to change until we force them to change, impose serious consequences for their actions, control them, kill them, or separate from them. Or some combination. Victimhood is real, but telling women to just accept things, or not to take risks, or not to self-examine is bullshit. Nothing will ever change until women take charge of their lives in serious and aggressive ways. If you need proof, look at the lack of change over the last several thousand years due to pussyfooting around the issue. I’m not an activist, but I don’t sit on my ass and wait for other people to save me while my self-serving, anti-woman actions end up hurting other women. I have some serious burdens that a lot of women don’t have, but I still take responsibility for my impact. And other women are in a better position to make positive change. But they don’t. So what the fuck?
But I couldn’t help it today. I just can’t fucking stand violent men getting away with their privileged bullshit. I came across the standard domestic abuse scenario on my way to the subway station. Two university students outside the gates of my school. The boy, twice the size of his girlfriend and much larger than me as well and less than half my age, had pulled her to the side of the sidewalk and had the ‘spiral fracture grip’ on her forearm that you see with sooooo many domestic abuse situations. He was lambasting her for something – probably he was jealous that she was talking to a friend or she didn’t wear the right skirt or something serious like that. She had assumed the submissive, childlike, head down pose that is recognizable across all cultures as ‘beaten, broken, abused woman’. It must have been the androcidal impulse in me that increases as the weather gets hotter. Men rape more in hot temperatures. I feel the urge to kill rapists much more in the summer. Go figure. But anyhow, I stopped and yelled, “GET YOUR FUCKING HANDS OFF HER!” Didn’t even register to him. He was focused on his bitch. I moved more into his line of vision (I was walking on the road, not the sidewalk), and repeated my command. He turned to me in hatred and yelled, “FUCK YOU!” I yelled ‘fuck you’ back, but it was futile. He is the big man. And Chinese. So he has racism and sexism backing up his claim to power. I am just a white whore. Like an insect. My word means nothing. I have no power as a woman and especially as a white woman – a member of a powerless racial minority with a score of zero on the Oppressor Triangle™. He dismissed me with barely a look and returned to sexually abusing his girlfriend.
I walked on, androcide in my heart. There was nothing I could do. Not even the police would be interested in this kind of stuff. I know this well. I was dismissed before when I reported a black rapist racially profiling me, stalking me and demanding to come to my apartment to fuck (rape) me on our Chinese campus. My teaching liaison refused to contact the police. Rape and sexual assault are not matters for the police. I’ll be writing about China and its annoying mantra/euphemism on ‘harmony’ soon. Point is that women have no voice, no rights in China. But who are we kidding, women have no voice and no rights anywhere. In fact, it is getting worse for us in countries where women are supposedly ‘free’ (according to rapists, I mean men).
I managed to cool down some, gradually, but with racism and misogyny in full force over this past week, I’m having a very serious “I hate China” week and I am fantasizing non-stop of ramming chopsticks into male eye sockets. It brings me a little peace to think about it, but the fact that rapists aren’t dying in reality leaves me unsatisfied and frustrated.
I can’t believe I blocked this out, as I had intended to write about this social experiment earlier. It is directly connected to my previous post on fighting back against men using humiliation and shame as effective tools. Thanks to some email correspondence with another blogger (you know who you are 🙂 ), my memory was jogged, and here is an unplanned part two of that post.
My father was a clinical psychologist and sex therapist, and as I later became aware and able to articulate, a misogynist dickface. He knew little about child or female psychology despite having studied and treated both populations, but he sure as fuck knew something about male psychology. Perhaps not on an insightful level that might have been put to widespread good use for womankind, but it came in handy for me one day when I found myself in yet another physically abusive situation at the hands of a male. This time, I was in the 11th grade (for non-Canadians, this would be age 16).
The physical, sexual and psychological abuse of girls starts at birth and only gets worse as you get older and as boys grow comfortably into their socially-rewarded natural proclivity for the sado-sexual abuse of females.
No stranger to sucker punches to the gut and crotch, sexual assault, being surrounded and kicked and humiliated and chased and stalked by boys from the age of 5 – yanno, when formal schooling starts – I found myself in Grade 11 with a new admirer.
Let’s call him Shitlord. I can’t remember his real name, and this one is better suited to him anyhow.
A couple of times a week, I had Spanish class, following which, like all students, I would exit the classroom to move on to another room for another class. Nothing unusual about that. But at some point early in the semester, exiting that classroom became something to dread. You see, a boy – a classmate of my sister’s actually – had class in the same room right after I did. I didn’t know Shitlord, but for some reason, he knew me. And he took it upon himself to show up early, position himself just outside the door to the classroom out of view, and to trip me as I exited so that I fell flat on my face. He found it enjoyable. I didn’t.
Now, I wasn’t large and I wasn’t small. But I was strong for a girl. At the age of 16, my father took sick pleasure in pitting me against his 30-something-year-old male friends in arm wrestling matches. Most times, I nearly won. It was amusement for the men-folk. But despite this acknowledged strength, I wasn’t a naturally violent or aggressive person. And the indoctrination of females can render their physical strength useless, much of the time. I was horribly shy, depressed and anxious, and as a female from a hardcore emotionally abusive household, rather terrified of standing up for myself and rather confused about what normal behaviour towards girls was actually supposed to look like. I usually accepted emotional and psychological and sometimes sexual abuse, since that was ‘normal’ for me, but I was pretty sure what physical abuse was. And I didn’t fucking like it. And I hated being humiliated in public as well. Ending up sprawled on the floor with everyone laughing at you is humiliating.
So one day, my suppressed rage was unleashed. I leaped to my feat and took this boy by the front of his shirt and slammed him up against the bank of lockers with some choice language and cocked my fist. It was easy to do and I probably could have beat the shit out of him, to be honest. He wasn’t a huge boy. It was doable. But he laughed at me. It was in public, and I was just a girl. Boys aren’t physically afraid of girls usually. I desisted somehow realizing that while it might be satisfying to physically dominate Shitlord, it probably wouldn’t end well for me.
So uncharacteristically, I approached the father figure for some advice. I knew that I’d need another tactic, if there were indeed other tactics available. And at 16, I knew I might be able to get some help from a master manipulator. And oh boy, I knew what a mind-fucker a psychologist could be.
Dr. Dad listened to the problem and suggested the following. “You need to embarrass him. This guy is a bully. He is insecure. Beating him up won’t do anything. Find a way to embarrass him in front of his friends.”
So I thought about it. And an opportunity came up the following week. We had two lunch periods at my school, and I discovered that Shitlord had P.E. class during my lunch on one of the days. I had been eating my brown bag lunch outside with a friend and we were sitting on the bleachers of the football/soccer field. And out pranced Shitlord’s male gym class. They were learning to toss footballs. I saw my chance. I called out, “Shitlord!!! Hi!!! Hello honey!!! I love youuuuu!!! You are so sexy!!! I love watching you!!! Throw the football more!!!! So hot!!!” I made kissy faces and gestures. Over the top. All the guys started laughing at Shitlord. He looked pee-in-his-pants uncomfortable. And my girlfriend and I laughed and waved for the entire class period making sure Shitlord was self-conscious and uncomfortable the whole time.
And that stupid, violent piece of shit never bothered me again. In fact, I never again saw him waiting outside my classroom as I exited after that.
The moral of the story is that you have to know your enemy. You have to study them to find out what will work against them. It ain’t one-size-fits-all. Find their weaknesses. For most, avoidance is the best thing to try first, although we are frequently forced to interact with them. So to stop them, study them. For some, you do have to be violent in response to them. For others, you have to engage in serious mind-fuckery. Some will respond nicely to you using their own tactics against them. And for some, like simpleton bullies such as Shitlord, some basic public humiliation will do the trick nicely. There is always a weakness.
Keep in mind that all men have power over you as a woman. You are at an automatic disadvantage on many levels when your opponent is male, and you are at even more of a disadvantage if the male can rely upon some ‘oppression’ status (race, low SES, trannie/M2T, etc) to use an excuse for hurting you or blind authorities and the public to the most important thing: male abuse of female. Some male enemies are formidable due to other power advantages such as money or political clout, a history of violence which lends them confidence and cockiness, or mental health status (psychopaths are fucking dangerous). Always have back up if you engage in direct interaction. Document everything they do to you. Try to establish witnesses. Keep a paper and/or video and/or audio trail of everything they do to you and any interaction you have with them. Be careful about initiating anything that could be construed as an unprovoked attack even if you are setting up a trap to catch them in their abuse. For most average non-psychopathic/non-narcissistic dudes, shame and humiliation are the most effective defense strategies you have against them. My father would likely say the same thing if you asked him. You usually won’t stop a dude physically without a weapon, and you can make your own decision about whether that is an option for you… In violent situations, which is unfortunately what so many women are forced to deal with, always go to the police, even it if is only to document incidents. The police are generally not friends to women, and often dismiss what women have to say, but it may help in establishing a credible pattern of abuse. But I refuse to accept what all women are told: that’s life, life is unfair, you just have to accept it and be positive.
I have had a little bit of success with non-psychopathic men in situations that are not physically dangerous. In this case, it is about reprogramming the programmed female response to males (submission) and sometimes using male psychological and conversation tactics against men:
- Stopping misogynist conversation bullying by using male derail tactics
- How to avoid being sucked into an abusive online convo with a male ‘feminist’
- Ignoring narcissists: stopping abuse and energy-suckage before it starts
Margaret Atwood said with great insight that men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are also afraid of this, but humiliation and shame absolutely pale in comparison to all the other things we fear from them because of male inborn and socialized sadism. Men live free and clear, with no real threat from women. But, from a young age, girls learn from repeat experience that they need to fear men for rape, sexual assault, stalking, beatings, torture, disease, pregnancy, permanent injury, and loss of life.
Also note that as a female, it is not your job to ‘fix’ men and boys or to try to figure out why the dumb shits do what they do to women and girls. It is your job to take care of yourself the best way you can and by using whatever means necessary to fend off male abuse. If humiliating abusive males seems ‘unfair’ to you, ask yourself who started it it all in the first place (answer: men) and whether putting females into horrible situations is fair.
Male offense = crime, oppression.
Female defense = completely justified, necessary for health and survival.
Humiliation and shaming are important tools in the arsenal that men are handed at birth to be used mostly against girls and women. One of the fastest ways to get females to comply or to desist is to take a behaviour that has been forced on them and to make them feel dirty and evil for doing it. A super-nova mindfuck if there ever was one.
There are few countries more adept at passive-aggressive fuckery than China. It is an accepted practice in all environments to psychologically destroy people. Public shaming and humiliation – and the key part in a hive-mind culture is the PUBLIC part of this – is a well-loved tactic. When I lived in the Chinese countryside several years ago, I remember walking past one of the community bulletin boards. A communist leader had posted some photos that were part of the official government record and they told the story of several public humiliations. I wish I’d photographed the photos at the time – I wish I’d done that with a lot of the shit I saw in what I consider to be ‘real China’, the countryside, the China that most of the world never, ever sees – it seemed very medieval to me. In a nutshell, in each photo was depicted a person who was clearly some kind of criminal. A sign had been hung around their neck and they were stood in front of the community who all looked on. Public humiliation and shaming. Arrest wasn’t enough of a punishment. The people had to be made an example publicly. It is an extraordinarily effective form of punishment.
And it is commonly used on women.
In a recent post, Radical Witch pointed out astutely that in no country do cops take the harm and subjugation of women seriously. In fact, they often support it and participate in it. They are mostly men, working in an aggressive, power-driven field. They have everything to gain by destroying women. China is no different.
Some photos have come out demonstrating how the police treat prostitutes in China.
Prostitution is illegal in China. But like all males in the world, Chinese men love it, want it, use it, and publicly denigrate the fact that it exists, and more importantly, the women who become trapped in it. And prostitution is rampant. The government calls it illegal, but all officials use prostitutes during their meetings and official visits. And then, every once in a while, something like what is depicted in the photos above happens. Only men win here.
Several years ago, I was taking some Chinese classes, and I was talking to one British dude who worked as a chemist and a manager in a toxic chemical plant in Southern China. He was in charge of meeting with Chinese government officials in order to do health and safety checks. As he recalled one event, the officials showed up, completely hand-waved the inspections away, and waited for him to provide the food, drink and prostitutes. This is very, very standard for China. Revelry and debauchery on the public dime (rmb) and then signatures on crucial documents that are supposed to make sure workers have safe environments and that the environment is safe from human dealings.
So here is my question. Why the fuck don’t we start publicly humiliating men for the shit they do to women? And I mean serious public humiliation. As it is, public knowledge of a politician sending a dick pic or getting caught with prostitutes does nothing to stop him from further success – especially if he is religious. But let’s parade him naked in public. Let’s measure his dick on camera and make comments about its inadequacy. Let’s pose him in a degrading pose he forced upon the prostitutes he used and laugh at him. I mean seriously, if this stuff is acceptable and effective against women who have done nothing wrong other than try to survive in a world that hates them, I’m willing to try it on men – cops, politicians, CEOs, and hell, regular guys! – to stop their actual crimes. We’ll see how much longer they continue raping and murdering and torturing and threatening if there are actual, serious consequences for their actions.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Except in this case, it would be justified and reasonable. And fuck it, I love social experiments.
Language is important. I’m not going to do a history of language or do a deep analysis of how language, in the hands of men, has affected and continues to affect women. There are excellent blogs (one in my side bar) devoted to the study of patriarchy and language, and while I teach language and love to learn about meaning, evolution of meaning and word origins, I am in no way an expert nor can I do a better analysis than said experts.
But I want to talk about the word rape and how it is defined. I am not going to provide a deep history of the word or a legal history of the meaning. There are actually some excellent articles out there that do this very thing, which are highly findable through a Google search. I’ll give a brief background, and then plunge into my intended topic, which is current and relevant now, and I’ll tie it in to some unexpected results of my quickie quiz on feminism dilution, which you can still participate in if you wish.
The purpose of language is to communicate. Maybe you’re saying ‘duh’ to yourself, but given that I teach university ESL (speaking, writing, research communication) in China, I’ve noticed that after 10+ years of English study, most of my students can’t communicate to save their lives. (The Chinese government isn’t focused on communication, but obscure-grammar-test-taking.) So, I don’t consider my statement to be all that elementary or obvious. Language exists to allow us to communicate. To communicate problems, needs, wants, states of being, observations, discoveries. You name it.
It’s a tool. And like all tools that exist in our international patriarchy, it is controlled by men. What is the purpose of controlling language? Well, simply, the class that controls language, also controls who gets to express problems, needs, wants, states of being, observations, discoveries, etc. So, as men are in control of language, they are the ones who get to express themselves openly. They are the ones who have legitimate problems, needs, wants, states of being, observations, discoveries, etc. Women? Not so much.
Language forms the bedrock upon which the educational, political, legal, medical, and all other systems are built. So if you control language, you control these systems. And they work for you, the controllers.
The legal system uses male-defined language to protect men from each other and from women and their silly-willy accusations. Women are not protected by the law because the language does not allow them to define their problems/crimes against them.
So we get to rape. The word ‘rape’ has a long history, and men have been fucking around with its definition for centuries. Since the early 13th century, it has been used to mean all sorts of things from speed/hurry, a kind of food, plundering, theft, seduction of men, kidnapping women, and sexually violating women.
In more modern times, most of the various definitions have fallen away, and it has come to vaguely mean ‘sexually violating a woman’. But even that is problematic as it doesn’t address by whom, how, and under what circumstances. And that was the intention. By controlling the meaning of the word, men essentially controlled the crime and its prevalence. If a woman can’t fit the constantly shifting definition of the crime, then no crime has been committed against her. Sweet! For men.
Now there are many other issues and problems with how rape is seen and prosecuted, but I won’t be addressing those here as many, many other worthy people have devoted their expertise to its discussion and analysis. My concern is with language; specifically, defining rape, and by whom and to whom is it done.
At some point in the not too distant past, women started speaking up for male victims of sexual assault (male prisoners, Catholic school boys, DV abuse victims, etc), and the movement took on a life of its own. Once a problem experienced by males has been identified, it takes on immediate importance and seriousness on all levels of society, and almost always, if it is similar to a very widespread problem experienced by females, the latter is brushed under the carpet in order to devote time and resources to men and boys.
This has happened with rape. At some point, it was decided that men and boys could be raped. I suspect, like with backlash to all progress women make in having their oppression acknowledged, this male rape victim business followed women making headway in having rape taken seriously. All of a sudden, we heard: “Men can be raped, tooooo!!!” And everyone got on board. With that movement came the mantra that rape wasn’t a sex-motivated crime but one of violence, which I think is incorrect, despite what experts say. If rape were a crime solely of violence/domination, straight men would be ‘raping’ men right, left and centre. They don’t. And at the same time, straight men would just beat up or kill women like they do men and leave the vaginal penetration out of it. I believe rape is a sexual and violent/dominance/power-motivated crime. And the adamant nature of the ‘it’s not sexual’ argument smacks of a patriarchal system cleverly trying to weasel its way out of naming sex-based oppression and male-domination as real problems, which would then have to be dealt with. Men would be held responsible for once, in other words.
And so, ‘rape’ is no longer a sex-based crime committed by men and boys against women and girls as a deliberate act of terrorism designed to uphold a millennia-long system of male dominance. And when you subscribe to that, you erase the existence of misogyny and hate crimes against women. You give equal importance to the occasional ‘rape’ of one man here and there as you do to the international crisis of the rape of women and girls. They essentially become the same, and thus women no longer have a unique problem.
Now, let’s get to my little quiz. On the whole, the respondents were on board with radical feminist theory. There was a small contingent confused by which factors influenced economic outcome most (15% of respondents didn’t see sex as being the number one factor harming economic success, and instead erroneously chose race or sexual orientation).
But the most surprising outcome was that this mostly feminist group of respondents didn’t have a feminist working definition of rape. It surprised me because they well understood why allowing men to define sex, as we are seeing with the whole trans (MtT) movement, is a problem for women. Specifically, when men can magically become women, and when sex and gender are equated, it erases sex. It erases misogyny and sex-based oppression. Women suddenly become ‘oppressors’ of newly transformed/realized ‘women’, instead of the largest and longest-standing oppressed group in the history of the world. So respondents saw this and understood this issue with men controlling language, and specifically the language of oppression as it related to the trans movement.
But what most respondents didn’t get was how allowing men to define the specific term ‘rape’ to be a crime against men and women where perps could possibly be either men or women, erases the seriousness of a crime of sexual terrorism against women. Rape has lost its unique and important meaning, in other words, and even feminists have bought in. I’m worried about that.
One of the three options to the question was about a male-on-female act (which was the feminist answer). The other two options allowed for male AND female victims with variation in wording of details.
Specifically and sadly, only 26% of respondents correctly defined rape as ‘forced, coerced, or unwanted PIV (penis-in-vagina) sex that is done by males to females.
Now, this quiz is not nuanced enough, as I stated in the original post. As the designer, I’m the first one to admit inadequacy. There is more to explore here. I didn’t look at the sex of perps, specifically, but focused on victims. And you certainly can’t draw big conclusions based on an untested test with one inadequate, related question. So, I honestly don’t know what respondents are thinking. I mean something is going on. Possibly people were thinking that in the case of lesbians, women can rape women. Possibly some people believed that rape could involve the penetration of an anus or a mouth. But what was clear was that most respondents believed that men could be raped. And that is a big problem.
But regardless of what is going on, one thing can be said for sure. We need better, woman-defined language concerning different kinds of sexual assault. I would like to see rape better defined to return to a male-on-female crime (as it was for so long) that is both sex-based and sexual in nature as well as power or violence-motivated. I am not sure why ‘forced sodomy’ isn’t enough to describe the assault of men’s (or women’s) anuses. Prison ‘rape’, speaks to me of male guards and psychologists and doctors (and MtTs) sexually assaulting the vaginas of FEMALE prisoners – not of male prisoners/guards assaulting male prisoners. And I think we need to stop calling it that in order to ensure that assault of women and girls actually means something. We need language to address crime between lesbians. We need language to define the occasional assault of a man by a woman. We need clear language about specific acts. We really don’t have that. There is better definition of acts in porn…
As it is, rape is now a word that can apply to anyone and everyone for all sorts of different acts of sexual violence, which isn’t really sexual, but ‘violent’. Whatever.
Like all people, I’m constantly surrounded by male violence and the sensationalism and glorification of male violence. Today was no different.
I was forced to spend precious time dealing with Chinese racist bullshit today, and as I was standing in one of the businesses I had to deal with, my attention swivelled to the television they had turned on in a corner of the establishment. It was news hour, and lo and behold, the story was about some Chinese man who’d made a video (ransom demand? who the hell knows) of himself with a knife to the throat of some Chinese kid. All the customers, including a little kid hanging about, were riveted. I was disgusted. Same shit, different day, different country, different culture. Men being garbage and shitting on innocents.
And that sent my mind to wander. In the US, the same scenario has presented itself time and time again – the weapon of choice is more likely to be a gun, but the intent is the same. Psycho man threatens woman or child or a whole mess of them at once. And my mind turned to how women just don’t do this shit. You never see news stories about women taking hostages (unless they are under the thrall of a male psychopath), or shooting up places, or doing random violence. Very rarely you’ll see a mother who has killed her children; I’m actually surprised we don’t see more of this given how many women are forced into motherhood and marital slavery despite hating children and become mentally broken down as a result, but that is another post. I’m following a train of thought here.
So after contemplating how little violent crime is perpetrated by women, my mind turned to school shootings and the little turds who commit that kind of crime. They are ALWAYS male. Always. Always. It’s a very male thing to do despite most people’s knee-jerk scrambling wish to explain away the behaviour as a random act. Nope. Men are about violence. It is their solution to what they see as problems.
And then my mind turned to trannies, in particular men and boys who feel squishy inside and think that squishiness is an essential and defining female quality. With the desperate push all over the West now to convert boys to girls as early as possible, I really believe we are going to see a change in crime statistics. Suddenly, there will be (we’re seeing it already!) this inexplicable (haha) increase in women raping women. Magic! Sociologists are likely salivating over a new conundrum. Why are girls suddenly becoming so violent? We don’t understand despite all our insight and higher learning. What could be going on??? Is it all the education girls are getting these days? Is it that evil feminism corrupting them???
No, undeserving PhD holders. You see, putting a dress on a boy doesn’t change anything except his outward appearance. He is still a boy with all the violent tendencies that go along with XY status. When he commits violent acts, he is doing it as a boy and because he is a boy. I mean, I read some of the threatening, evil shit they write to and about women online, and all I see and hear is male. Women don’t talk filth like trannies do.
And I really think it is only a matter of time before one of these social-outcast, mentally deranged, confused, damaged, gun-home-residing boys comes to school in a dress and a mask and toting a
metal penis gun, and shoots the fucking place up. And he’ll shoot girls, primarily. Because girls – especially ones who don’t trust and embrace them without question – are the natural enemy of a trans, according to most of them. And the news headline will read “First female mass school shooting.” And a whole new cohort of sociologists will have their PhD dissertation material at the ready. And I guarantee you that under the bus, you’ll find a badly smushed radical feminism, an easy target for all that’s wrong with the world.
Although our goals may be similar, there are two significant differences between serious feminists and superheroines. First, feminists wear comfortable, woman-friendly clothes. And second, unlike superheroines, feminists don’t usually have a clear, specific origin story. Rather, we have moments of clarity or realization. Moments that accumulate. Moments that may not become significant or actionable until later, sometimes in combination with other moments. Sometimes, it is a seemingly small event or moment that puts a lifetime of horror into perspective. You meet someone, you read something, you see or experience something that just makes you say ‘I see what is going on, and I’ve had enough’. It is a matter of right time, right place, and readiness/openness. Although it may happen, I think it is a rare woman who, like Athena, is born clad in full warrior gear.
In this vein, if asked when I became a feminist, I don’t think I could tell you. There have been many significant events that have made me what I am. And I’m still developing. I still make typical mistakes. That is gender programming. It takes a lifetime to siphon the poison from one’s personal psychology and behaviour.
I still remember an early formative moment. It’s something I think about 30 years later, and it still guides me. It’s not the most important formative event, but rather, one of many.
I was 13. It was a winter evening at about 9:30 pm. It was freezing, dark, snow everywhere. I had attended my father’s university lecture in psychology. We were driving home. I was sitting in the passenger seat in the front of the car, looking out the window.
And I saw her.
A woman being dragged by her hair across the snow into a bush. She was fighting, but not winning. The man who had her was bigger and determined. And it was late on a weeknight in the winter. There was no one around.
I shouted to stop the car. Startled, my father pulled over. I pointed and insisted. We intervened. The man ran off. We hustled the woman into our car and drove her home. She was mostly silent, but we learned her attacker was her ex-husband. I was also silent, emotions confused. I was learning something important. I realized that had I not seen her and done something, something BAD would have happened. But my understanding wasn’t nuanced.
And afterwards, my father, the brilliant psychologist, never spoke a word about it. I was not debriefed. Not counselled. I was left to draw my own conclusions. Possibly, he remembered having to intervene when his father beat his mother. No excuse though. When I look back at that child from the perspective of an adult, I’m shocked, saddened, and I wish I could go back to do damage control. But would I be what I am and do what I do if I’d not worked through that business alone?
A girl is exposed to explicit, real life violence – a stranger’s near rape/beating/murder. She plays a significant role in ending that violence, shares a space with the stranger for a few minutes, the significant connection between them left unarticulated, the silence controlled by another man, and then, and the child is left to wonder, to analyze, to worry, to fear. To build a schema.
It was only years later after many, many object lessons on what men were, thought about and did to women, after intervening in other near-rapes and beatings, that I realized that the woman I had saved years before was only temporarily safe. Temporarily safe from this specific man in her life, and generally, from all men no matter where or when. There is no beginning and end to violence for women. There are episodes in a lifetime of fear. And there are many lifetimes. This woman was one of millions and millions and millions through time. We are all that woman at some point. And to not be a feminist – to not want female freedom from male violence and control – is just not an option. For me.