This post consists of some background to my most recent survey on rape, which is still open to participants (click the button below):
The survey was designed to explore people’s understanding of and beliefs about rape. The content of the survey was drawn from collected data and research, a wide range of reported personal experiences, news stories, and myths and propaganda propagated through various entertainment outlets. If you plan to take the survey – and it would be immensely appreciated if you did – please click through before reading further. My personal views are not important to the survey, and I don’t wish them to colour participant responses.
After years of thinking and examination of the number one influence on and limitation to my existence as a girl first, and later, a woman, I have to conclude that any discussion or consideration of rape must begin with a discussion of language. Indeed, any thinking on hierarchy, power dynamics or control mechanisms (which is where rape finds its roots) must take into account the role of language.
Humans vs. All Other Creatures
In considering the differences between humans and other mammals or any creature for that matter, there are some significant differences that set us apart. And note that this is in no way a comment that humans are superior to animals, as I don’t believe that for a second. Each species has its strengths and weaknesses, which makes hierarchy-development a rather stupid and pointless endeavour. In considering humans, language and the capacity for deep and complex self-awareness set them apart from all other living things on earth. Other creatures may have systems of communication and a limited ability to reflect on simple behaviours, but none rivals human capacity. That is not a judgment, just a fact. Dolphins don’t conjugate verbs and chimpanzees don’t chronically and masochistically self-sabotage or even commit suicide over lack of purpose or meaning in life. Non-humans also don’t develop systems of ethics or morality – even misguided, faulty ones. These are uniquely human ‘achievements’ and are only three of many, many examples of the complexities of human language and self-awareness.
Humans are also the only species capable of malice. Now, note that I am not talking about survival instincts. Men and silly women who defend men often argue that male violence is just a reflection of the instinct to survive and is comparable to the killing that any other species does. This is classic male logic designed specifically to try to justify violent male behaviour. Some of my Chinese male university students will state without blinking that we ‘live in a jungle’. Now, I do believe that males are naturally violent. They are wired for it. But as I’ve written before, as humans, we also have self-awareness, and it is this unique and incredible ability that allows humans to override violent impulses. But, as humans are also uniquely malicious creatures, instinct and deliberate cruelty frequently play off each other. No creature other than the human (male) kills for pleasure. And no creature other than the human (male) tortures other living things. There is no evolutionary or ‘survival’ purpose for killing for pleasure or for torturing. I’ve met a lot of men who try to argue with seriously twisted logic that there is a need for these things. This is when I back away, and wish I had a weapon at the ready in order to do like all other creatures do out of instinct – remove a dangerous threat to one’s survival. But, alas, human females are the only creatures on earth who are NOT allowed to defend themselves.
And this is where language enters the scene.
The Role of Language in Power, Control and Hierarchy
The pen is mightier than the sword.
Language is one of human’s oldest tools. Like all tools, it can be a beautiful mechanism or system used to do wonderful things and inspire the best in all of us. But like all tools, it can also be used to destroy everything in its path. In the hands of men, language is frequently used to express male ‘love’ and ‘creativity’, which as most women eventually come to find out, are dangerous things and not at all what female love and creativity are.
As human males have come to realize, weapons alone will not get you sustainable power. Sure, you can overwhelm a perceived enemy, but it is really difficult to maintain that victory for any period of time without a much more powerful weapon. That weapon is language. Language is, in fact, a much more powerful weapon than any ‘sword’. But they work together. Just as it is hard to sustain control with only swords, it is also difficult to gain and keep power with only words. We’ve all heard that common description of successful evil dynamic duos: ‘You have the brawn and I have the brains’ (cue the Pet Shop Boys here…). Well, that is an apt description of the sword and the pen. Employ the brute force, overwhelm the enemy, enact the mindfuckery of the brutalized population that only language can achieve (e.g., “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.”), and then all future brutality just becomes an accepted part of the system. Those few who see beyond the language mechanisms and refuse to believe have no leg to stand on, and find themselves very much alone and often questioning their own sanity.
Whoever Controls Language Controls the World
As a tool and building block of control and power, it is safe to say that if you aspire to megalomaniac status, you need to master language. I don’t mean that you should learn to speak several languages. I mean you need to learn how to use language to manipulate people and situations, and to obscure facts. You need to weaponize language. You need to see where language has its greatest influence. My Oppressor Triangle discusses a few major centres of influence, but there are other arenas. Language has had its greatest influence in the areas of politics, law, economics, academia, and the health care system (industry). These areas don’t function separately. There is much overlap. The language enacted in the political sphere can and does affect all other spheres of power, for example.
The question becomes: who controls language? And the answer is: men. Men have always controlled language. And they control it as much today as they have in the past. It’s not a race thing, as much as some people might wish it to be so. It is a MALE thing. If you are a big picture thinker, if you think internationally across time and place – and really, you have to be if you are ever to hope of ending oppression – you have to accept the truth that males control language, and as a result, they control everything. If you get bogged down on other group affiliations, you’ll change nothing. Only the truth can set you (and everyone else) free.
How do we know that males control language, and as a result, the world? It’s pretty easy. You have to take an overarching look at lifestyle and living conditions and determine who overwhelmingly benefits and who overwhelmingly is denied choices and freedoms. Look at any country. It is the same no matter which country you look at and no matter which race is being considered. Who is the poorest group? Females. Look at any field of research: who is studied meticulously and who benefits from the research? Males. Look at entertainment in any country. Who makes the most money, and who is hired based on talent rather than physical attributes? Males. Who is human trafficked most often? Females? Whose social justice complaints actually make progress? Males of all races and orientations. Who receives the poorest health care, and the most needless and harmful surgeries? Females. Who has been hurt most by the field of psychiatry? Females. Whose bodies and decisions about bodies are controlled by the state and institutions like religion and marriage? Females. Who is barred from politics, employment, education, and safety on a regular basis? Females.
And more. So much more.
There are data to back up each of these. Easy to find. Google, government web sites, academic journals. I’m not doing that here. This is not an academic journal article. And it is tedious to state and restate everything that has been said by women a million times before. What I find important here is the theory that it is language and the control of language that facilitates control on every other level.
Language and Rape
Men have been raping, torturing and killing women since they realized they could. It has nothing to do with evolution or survival. Any man who tells you that it does is dangerous and you should get away from him before he hurts you.
Male control of language has had its greatest impact on the one thing that has allowed them to maintain control over women. Rape. Without rape, men don’t have a hold over women. Control the language surrounding rape, and you control the crime itself – or whether it is even considered a crime, or who can commit it, or who is responsible, or who can be raped. We know that women have no power, and certainly have no control over language, because rape is so rampant and that they are on the receiving end with little ability to avoid it or seek justice for it.
It is only relatively recently that rape was even considered a crime, and only extremely recently that rape was considered to be a form of torture. In Western cultures, the rape of a women was considered to be a crime against the man who owned her. And it could only be committed by a male who did not own her. She herself, as a rape victim, was deemed dirtied, rendered an embarrassment, and often tossed out like so much garbage from family and community. Even today, rape victims often end up in prostitution or suffering from mental health problems that leave them unable to self-actualize, let alone take care of themselves properly. The propaganda and brainwashing campaign that all societies provide to women to get them to accept rape as reality, as normal, often succeeds in neutralizing female protest to unlivable conditions. Rape is a crucial part of Western entertainment – drama as well as comedy. Many women will suppress their experiences or deny that rape even happened. Rape victims who don’t follow the rules are often punished by society, and frequently by other women who prefer to lash out at other women than to name the real problem.
In non-Western countries, rape has gone through equally horrible control by men. In some countries, raping girl children isn’t considered rape. Elsewhere, rape cannot occur within a marriage or family. In others, rape has only occurred if a woman can get a handful of male witnesses to support her claim. No, women aren’t in control of language at all. Anywhere in the world. I mean, no woman would ever set up the linguistic, social and legal hoops/barriers to proving rape that are currently in place in every corner of the earth. We aren’t that masochistic or stupid of our own free will.
Men Can Be Raped, Toooooooo!
Likely, in response to women calling more attention to rape and violence against women, men retaliated. Men always retaliate. They are allowed. There are always repercussions to women gaining even an ounce of freedom or power. And language is always at the centre of any retaliation. And there is always violence.
So recently, men decided to change the language surrounding rape. They decided that rape no longer meant ‘male forcibly entering a female through her vagina using his dick’. Suddenly, males could be raped! And further, women could be rapists!
These revelations served a very, very important purpose. You see, if you can show that a crime or negative circumstance ALSO affects men, it is no longer a sex-based inequality. Men no longer are forced to be held responsible. Men are no longer predators. They are no longer deficient in some way. If you can show that they suffer tooooo or that women are doing the same evil deeds tooooo, then men no longer will be examined as the sole source of a major problem or epidemic. Once males can name themselves as victims, all focus can be ‘justifiably’ removed from women and recentred on men and boys. All we need is one male victim to negate the suffering of millions of women. And all we need is one female predator to negate the predation of millions of males. That is the male control of language at work. Change one word or one definition, and you can change the lives of millions. Control is regained.
Predictably, women got on board with the rebranding of rape, as they usually do when males find new ways to name themselves as victims, to detract from female victims, and to blame women for something. Women are usually the first ones on board with helping men hurt women. And men are experts at painting themselves as victims and martyrs.
Rape, in the minds of many, now also means a woman ‘forces’ a male to pop a boner and stick it to her. And strangely, rape now also means a dick forcibly entering an anus. But the thing is this, even if the former is forced, it is not rape. It may be a sexual assault, and if so, it needs to have its own label. The latter is NOT RAPE. It actually already has its own label. It is called forcible sodomy. Women are also frequently forcibly sodomized by men, sometimes in addition to being raped. But ignoring and/or broadening existing definitions has achieved its goal. We’ve taken the focus off what men do to women. And sex crimes are no longer seen primarily as the domain of male perps. Congratulations men and the dangerous women who support them.
Letting Victims Define Crimes
I wrote a short piece in the past on the problem of letting perpetrators define their crimes. Interestingly, it is only with male violence against women that this is allowed. As in my example in that previous post demonstrates, it sounds ridiculous say, to allow a thief to define his crime. But we don’t bat an eye when men get to define crimes against female bodies.
Women need to be allowed to define the crimes against them. As it is, so many victims fall through the cracks because currently, men define what happens to women. Men control women’s and girls’ bodies, and that is a serious issue.
There are several problems with how we deal with rape and sexual assault – besides our unwillingness to name men as the primary perpetrators of sex crimes. One is that we don’t have enough clearly defined categories of crimes. We also have too many barriers to victims coming forward. And finally, our punishment system is inadequate and doesn’t take into account that a) crimes against women are hate crimes, and b) men who commit sex crimes are more likely to commit again than any other type of criminal, even after being ‘punished’ (i.e., no man ever, ever, ever rapes once). Personally, I want all rape, sexual assault, torture and murder of women/girls by men punished by death. This has nothing to do with deterrence (which we know doesn’t work), but everything to do with protecting future victims. It does not make sense that victims and potential victims have fewer rights and considerations and access to safety than hate-crime, sex criminals. In other words, only a dead rapist can’t rape again.
Other things to consider:
- Many women don’t report rape if their attacker is seen as ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’. This includes non-white men, immigrant men, homeless men, disabled men, unemployed men, etc. It is a mixture of fear and compassion that drives women to negate their victimhood and protect their attacker.
- The burden of proof should be on the perpetrators, not the victims. Men should have to prove that they did not rape. In no other crime is the burden of proof on the victim. This exists ONLY because rape is a sex-specific hate crime by MEN against WOMEN, where males, who are in control of language, get to define the crimes they commit. Rape is the only crime where all the perps are male and all the victims are female. And men don’t want to take responsibility or stop raping. This needs to change.
- Consent has always been a problematic issue. It is rooted in property disputes. Bodies should not be seen as property. Further, in no place on earth do women come to the table on equal footing with men, and as such, they cannot give free and equal consent in any agreement with a male.
- Orgasms are erroneously seen as evidence of consent thanks to 2-dimensional male thinking on sex. Females are trained from birth into seeing servitude as a duty and a pleasurable activity. Orgasm has nothing to do with acceptance or lack of coercion.
- Many people believe that rape must involve weapons or threat of bodily harm in order to be considered rape. I’d argue that most rape is of the coercive or manipulative variety. I’d bet all of Donald Trump’s money that almost all women have ‘sex’ with the men in their lives (including husbands) because they fear abandonment, rejection, cheating, etc. All women know on some level that male love can turn on a dime if they don’t live up to the constantly changing expectations.
- Male children are born with a weapon – their penises. They learn about how to weaponize their dicks early in life thanks to parents, television/film, porn, and school. I’d argue that if they are using their dicks as weapons, then they need to be treated as dangerous. Sex predators never stop. I don’t have a problem with killing sex predators who are children – innocent child, my ass. And I also have no problem with holding mothers and fathers responsible for the crimes of their boy children. Rape destroys girls’ lives. No girl ever ‘gets over it’. I know I’m nearly alone in wanting boy sex predators eliminated from existence, but you’re deluded if you think predators are ‘born’ in adulthood out of nothing.
- I think statutory rape needs to be rethought. It’s not that I believe that girls are capable of free and equal consent with a boy the same age. No female of any age is ever on equal footing with a male of any age. This one is a hard one for me though. It saddens me that children are fucking. I truly wish girls were kept separate from boys for the duration of their childhoods so as not to have opportunities, educations and futures destroyed by the straight mandate and public school crash course in fuckholery and blowjobery. One final note: Adult males who fuck girl children and teenagers need to be shot. Period.
- ‘Sex workers’ / porn actresses – paid sex is rape as far as I’m concerned. There is a lot of disagreement on this. And people get mighty pissed when a feminist suggests that sex work is abuse, not work. Abused people often lash out and get defensive when they feel attacked (even if they are not being attacked, but rather someone is trying to help them). All I can say is that women would not sell their bodies if men didn’t exist. It is almost always done out of desperation and/or resulting from childhood sex abuse. These are the conditions that make rape easy peasy to dress up as legit in a capitalist, male-serving society.
- Drugs and alcohol are convenient get-out-of-jail cards for men, and eternal damners of women. It is no coincidence that males joke about helping women relax with a drink. ‘No inhibitions’ is just man-speak for ‘no credible defense’ in a rape trial.
This really is a huge issue. So much more could be written. But it is some background to my survey. Again, if you wish to participate and let your thoughts be known, it would be very much appreciated. The link to the survey is below.
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.]
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.
I’m baaack. Not that it matters to online readers, since we all transcend time and place here, but I’m back in China after 3 incredibly long weeks in the US.
Get set. I’m about to drag another one screaming from the vault. While I have much to talk about that is more current or more recently on my mind or related to events during my travels, I think it was my trip back to Asia the other day via a Taiwanese airline, sitting beside a few Taiwanese folk on the long first leg of the trip, and then spending an exhausting 9-hour layover in the Taipei airport in the middle of the night, that stirred up some memories.
I lived in Taiwan for a couple of years in the early part of this century, and it was rough. As rough as living in mainland China? Jeez, that’s hard to say. China is probably worse in many ways. But Taiwan is no picnic either. I was younger, fresher, less apocalyptic than I am now. I still had so much to learn then. And learn I did. Taiwan was full of hard lessons that have helped shape me, helped turn me into the tough, middle-aged, jaded, hard-to-disappoint-further, been-there-done-that woman that I am today.
Before I get into the story, I want to talk a little about this thing called ‘white privilege’. First, I’ll just say that ‘white privilege’ is a thing, but I want to talk specifically about what it means and where it applies. You see, even though it is a real thing – for men – it is also a buzzword used by Western people to shut other people (mostly women, mostly white women) up. Westerners forget that they usually cannot apply Western socio-political models to non-Western countries. We are taught that in all cases and in all places, whites rule. But on the ground, in individual countries, it is easy to see that that isn’t actually true. Racism isn’t a black and white issue like misogyny is. The ‘white privilege’ trope is Western liberal-speak / non-think, and typically it is people who have never lived – and I mean, really lived – in a non-white-ruled country who scream the loudest about this non-existent, international white privilege, and also who point the finger at white women to shoulder all of the blame for what white men have done throughout history.
So, I’ll tell you how this works based on my experience living and working for about 8 years among the ‘real people’ (not staying in 5-star hotels working for international corporations and making 6, 7, or 8 figures a year) in countries with non-white rule. There is no such thing as ‘white privilege’ in a country where there are no white nationals and no whites in political office or policy shops. There are countries where white men came in and wreaked havoc on local populations (especially the women), ruled for a while, and then left. While there, they would have had white privilege, and now that they don’t rule, they don’t. The race that rules has to have political, legal, and economic power in that country. They don’t have to have to be the demographic majority, they just have to have the political, legal, and economic power. And extremely important, racial privilege is predominantly a male thing. Nowhere do women have political, legal or economic power to rival men. The only time a woman can have any claim to racial privilege is among women, and even then, the power isn’t that great. Women just don’t have much power. Period. And race does not win over sex. A woman of the ruling race does not have power or advantage over a man of the non-ruling race. That is true everywhere in the world. We see that with the recent horrors in Germany. Muslim men have relentlessly attacked white women in a country where there is ‘white privilege’, but the crimes are being hushed up. It’s as if they didn’t happen. The women have been blamed and controlled and continue to suffer and are terrified. The non-white men have been coddled and are allowed to stay and continue what they’re doing. People feel sorry for them. Penis trumps vagina, regardless of race. Always. Always. Always.
In Taiwan, there is Asian privilege, and it applies to the Taiwanese males of the country (except in groups of women, where Taiwanese women will have Asian privilege over non-Asian, non-Taiwanese women). White men may be given some respect or consideration because they are men and because their success and riches are envied by the world. White women are not respected, however. They will get attention, but it is not the enviable kind. The attention a white woman is given is based solely on what women everywhere in the world get attention for: their physical attributes – specifically, their fuckability– which is decidedly not power. ‘Sexual power’ – a term invented by men and lib-fems to mean attention from and ability to distract men due to being highly fuckable – is not power.
Rewind to 2004: I had spent my first 14 months in Taiwan as a workaholic living in the small, over-crowded, and very polluted city of Taipei. I had worked 6-7 days a week. I had a primary job that secured me my work visa, and a whole bunch of little jobs on the side in publishing, editing, writing and teaching. Part-way through 2004, I decided to cut back on the work and started studying Mandarin formally and regularly. There were aspects of this life that I liked, but there was a lot that was unacceptable and that I wouldn’t put up with nowadays. Even with the work-focus change, and with the increase in free time that went with it, life didn’t improve that much, and that was 100% due to the racism-misogyny, white whore special that I was experiencing, but not quite seeing for what it was.
I had been living near Liberty Square (not the name when I lived there), which is a fabulous little park with winding paths surrounding three major monuments/buildings, including the National Theatre and the National Concert Hall. It’s a great place at any time of day for exercise, meeting up with friends, or quiet contemplation.
Or at least I thought it was until one day at noon.
With my greater free time in my second year there, I sometimes went to this park to find a quiet bench on which to eat my lunch and read. I was in the middle of doing just that when a man came up to me. He approached slowly with his wallet out. Without any attempt at verbal communication, he began indicating through body language that he wanted me to suck his dick, and that he would pay me for it. I noticed a male friend of his waiting in the distance to see what would happen. Was he offering me money for the both of them? Just him? I had no idea. I told him to get lost and used a hand motion to indicate I was sweeping him away from me. He persisted. Insisted. Took the (pitifully low amount of) money out of his wallet and started shaking it in my face. Pointed at his groin. Pointed aggressively at my mouth. Friend in the distance, laughing and looking eager, nervous, antsy. I couldn’t get rid of him. For some reason, he had decided that I, with short hair and no make-up, in my trousers and short-sleeved, men’s buttoned shirt and sensible shoes, sitting on a bench eating my lunch, with a book in one hand, was obviously on prostitution duty. I will tell you this. There could have been no mistaking me for a prostitute. It was simply this:
I was a white woman.
He was male and the dominant race.
I existed as a whore to service his cock, just like all white women in the world.
I knew I was in danger. Even though I was not yet clued into the idea that I was experiencing misogyny and racism on a daily basis, instead of just ‘bad luck’, I did know that I was in serious danger. I quickly left the bench, lunch and book in hand and ran. I ran like hell. Despite it being broad daylight with lots of people around, I wasn’t safe. And strangely, almost all of the ‘Asian man assaults’ I have experienced have been in broad daylight with people around and not giving a shit. Sometimes watching me be assaulted. Apathetically. White whore. Look at what they do in our country. They make trouble.
Needless to say, the park was ruined for me. Lunch never happened there again.
I’ve been talking to folks recently about the Burning Times and the whole thing about dicks in a box. And as I was writing this post, I thought wryly, when a woman orders a boxed lunch*, she definitely doesn’t want dick on the menu… Not related, but the mind does what it does.
*aka ‘packed lunch’ or ‘brown bag lunch’
I’ve never been to therapy.
I think I badly need it, but I know I won’t ever go. And I’ve come to realize why this will never happen.
I was raised and abused by a father who was a male therapist. I won’t (in this post) even touch on my even more abusive mother (who was not a therapist). Between the two of them, I grew up to be an emotionally paralyzed, very confused, silent, angry, socially anxious and awkward, depressed individual, and then was further abused by these parents for being emotionally paralyzed, very confused, silent, angry, socially anxious and awkward, and depressed. Exactly the kind of person who could use a little therapy to untwist the emotional twine binding her.
But as I said, I’ll never go. Even though I went on to formally study psychology for years, I kept to the hard sciencey specializations (statistics, neuroscience, psychometry) and kept all my clinical dealings as a sideline through clinical and forensic research projects, coursework and collaboration/friendship with the more interesting of the clinical (female) crowd.
Even in the thick of things, I still declined therapy while feeling I desperately needed it at the same time. Instead, I self-examined. I know exactly what’s going on with me thanks to years of this relentless questioning and probing. Unfortunately, therapists are useful creatures – you can self-examine all you want and still not make much progress towards balance or health. Therapists are guides, and they are supposed to support you when you are at your most exposed and vulnerable.
As I am an expert in mind-fuckery, I often think about therapy professions. That was what I wanted to be as a kid, and I discarded it in college. At the time, I thought my classmates were too wishy-washy, and hey, I was really good at math and experimental design, but looking back, I know that I left because it was too threatening. Part of me didn’t want to have to address the nasty truths in my life and thus become vulnerable. I knew what vulnerable was and the therapist I grew up with both made me vulnerable and exploited it relentlessly. Who wants more of that?
And as I’ve explored the therapy professions (social work, clinical psychology, clinical psychiatry, etc), I keep coming back to the same question or set of questions.
What draws men to this line of work? And more specifically, what draws men to therapy for female victims of sex crimes (rape, sexual assault, incest)?
Let’s come back to this and talk about female therapists first.
First off, not all female therapists are good and/or appropriate for your needs. The therapist’s professional orientation may not line up with yours. The therapist has been educated by the patriarchy and likely holds patriarchal views of women and their illnesses. Speaking from experience with clinical psych undergrad and postgrad students and professors, many therapists (male and female) are not the most stable themselves. People with problems tend to gravitate towards this profession and the field is sooo competitive that often, only the most obsessive and neurotic are given admittance to programs. I can’t speak for social work programs, but most of the practitioners I’ve met have been really weird people with weird agendas. But I DO believe that it is people with problems who are exactly the people who should be working in these fields because they understand first-hand what the patient is going through. It is important, however, that the therapist have worked out her issues to minimize the intrusion of said issues into her patient/client’s situation.
All said, there are tons of well-meaning women who gravitate towards the helping professions. Well-meaning doesn’t mean effective or correct, but it is a starting place. Men don’t often have even the correct starting place.
To speak more specifically about work with female victims of sex-based crimes (aka hate crimes against women), it is easy to understand why women get into it. Women want to help women. Therapists are often victims themselves. Oh who am I kidding, all women are victims of at least one sex-based offense and are exposed to male filth on a daily basis. Female therapists want to get in there and do some good. Are they going about it the right way? I don’t know. I don’t think most of women’s energy expenditure actually makes any progress towards ending male violence. But someone has to put on the band-aids, I suppose.
I’ve also known female therapists who’ve worked with rapists and men who sexually assault women and children. I can even understand why women gravitate towards this. The work is, of course, pointless. You can’t fix men, and you absolutely can’t fix a rapist. But again, women pour endless energy into trying to fix male problems that can’t be fixed. It’s a misplaced, erroneous belief in male ‘goodness’ (whatever) and a desire to keep women safe. *Sigh*
So we come back to men. I’ve written about men and the helping professions and volunteer work before. What could possibly bring men specifically into wanting to ‘help’ female victims of sex-based crimes? It boggles the mind. Men have little capacity for empathy, and I have never met a man who can wrap his head around the fear women live with daily as a result of forced proximity to men. So to deliberately be around and ‘help’ female victims isn’t a problem in their minds. The last thing women need after victimization by a man, however, is to be made even more exposed and vulnerable with a man controlling her aftermath. Male therapists must be looking for control or a vicarious experience or something. Perhaps they are invested in putting forth a male agenda in ‘managing’ female victims. Does he want to show that ‘not all men are bad’? How completely selfish and self-centred, if that is the case.
We have a new problem with aggressive MtT’s targeting battered women’s shelters and demanding to work there and be put into direct contact with female victims. They are becoming so self-centred and disrespectful that they are bringing law suits to fight for their right to access female victims. Why are they doing this? Is it an attempt to use women’s real experiences to build up their own sense of victimhood? Whatever they are doing, it is assault. It is disgusting. And it needs to be stopped.
Men also love to gravitate towards helping male sex offenders. I have personal experience with one of these creatures. I was taking a course in a form of counselling and was paired up by phone with a black, American, Christian man who headed up his own church and specifically helped rapists get on their feet after (unfortunately) being released from prison. He and I were to do ‘counselling’ sessions on the phone. He was controlling of me from the very beginning, and took advantage of my commitment to the course. He cancelled our sessions, let me do all the work, and would take other phone calls while we were in the middle of a counselling session. But he was smarmy, saying all the right things to smooth things over. If I were 20, I would have accepted the abuse and chided myself that as a WHITE woman, I supposedly was the privileged one. But I was older and well-versed in how all men have privilege over all women regardless of other group membership. Penis trumps vagina, regardless of race, every single time. One day, I called him on his repeated disrespect of me, and the truth came out. He attacked me mercilessly, and threw all the information I’d given him in my vulnerable state as counsellee in my face. And then he played the god card – he knew I was an atheist, and let me know I was shit because of it. Pure abuse. I suspect he was a ‘recovered’ rapist himself. I put my foot down, complained to the school, and only after my fellow student attacked the teacher was he thrown out of the program.
So, I suspect that sex offenders help sex offenders, and any man who gravitates towards therapy for female victims or male offenders is just there to perpetuate the system of abuse, keep the male agenda alive and well, ‘help’ women to put their experience in a compartment and not paint all men or the patriarchy as bad, and experience personal control and vicarious excitement over female victimization. I advocate for keeping men out of all professions where they have access to vulnerable women and girls.
Part one: That’s Some Toolbox You’ve Got There, Ladies.
In the previous post linked to above, I talked about several of the tools and techniques women have at the ready in order to survive as slaves in a patriarchal system. These are the mechanisms that lead women to:
- accept abuse, rape, heaps of discrimination without complaint;
- seek out and stay in romantic relationships with men where anything can and does happen (keep in mind that no relationship between men and women is equal);
- comply and perpetuate Patriarchy by attacking potential allies (non-compliant women/feminists) and indoctrinating children in the ways of gender; and
- fail to notice the millions and millions of daily messages, large and small, direct and indirect, aimed at women to let them know that they are members of the sex class, meant to serve men, and undeserving of freedom or respect.
That post was about defense. This one is about offense. I want to talk about the tools and mechanisms – or weapons – men have in their arsenals to reinforce their supremacy by keeping women in line. Note that ALL men are given starter arsenals as boys, and most grow up to add more vicious and effective weapons as they get older – even the liberal, so-called ‘Nice Guys’.
I’m not going to talk about physical weapons like guns or knives or physical violence like rape or beatings or BDSM torture. These are obvious. Instead, like in the previous post, I’m going to talk about psychological warfare and what men do to mindfuck ‘loved’ ones, acquaintances, and strangers.
In case, you’re prepared to jump in with a standard, knee-jerk “But women do it tooooooo!” whinge-fest, please note that a) this post is not about individual women attacking individual men as DOES happen, but is not a systematic problem, and b) this post is about class warfare – by men as a class against women as a class. There has never been a war waged by women against men. If so, there’d be millions of dead and maimed men out there. As it stands, the only ones killing men in any number are MEN. So zip it and read on!
Note that some of the defense mechanisms talked about the the previous post can be used by men as attack mechanisms. Projection, for instance, can work the following way in the hands of a man on the attack. As a rule, men have a socialized, underlying hatred of women. Many men will project their hatred of women onto the women themselves claiming that women actually are the ones who hate men. This is the current chant of the MRAs (morons’ rights activists), and is why terms like ‘feminazi’ and ‘man-hating, lesbo feminist’ exist without evidence for them. Men’s hatred is turned into women’s hatred to make men feel justified in issuing rape threats, actual rape, beatings, and psychological warfare.
This is a form of denial, but it is denial used to attack or manipulate. By refusing to admit that something is true, often repeatedly, the attacker causes their victim to begin to question their perceptions and lose confidence. The more off-balance a victim is, the more likely she is to remain in thrall to an abuser. The victim is increasingly likely to overlook often outrageously bad behavior, especially if they are in a relationship.
Example: On an individual level, imagine a newbie to the BDSM scene. She feels like what she is experiencing is abuse, but her dominant repeatedly says it didn’t happen or reframes her experience as something entirely different – submitting isn’t abuse, it is freedom, it is love. It is actually she who has the power. He invalidates her perceptions and she comes to doubt herself. She becomes primed for a deep commitment to submissive status.
We also see this in the low incidence of rape reporting – we can apply gaslighting to women as a group. Women are almost never believed when they dare to speak out about being raped. As a result, women as a class, often doubt their own experiences of rape and don’t bother to speak out. Women are not believed, so most women believe their experiences aren’t real.
It is common for those who don’t conform to mainstream expectations to be pathologized. If someone doesn’t meet expectations, there must be something wrong with her. She needs to be fixed, medicated, given therapy, subjected to surgery, controlled and brought to heel.
Example: The current craze in pathologizing is, of course, centred on sexuality. These days, women need to be ready for sex and thrilled about it 24/7. Of course, sexuality and sex are still defined by men for men, so the perfectly reasonable avoidance or lack of desire on the part of women to engage in something that will not benefit them in any way (and is actually dangerous in many ways) becomes ‘a problem’. Instead of seeing and accepting it for what it actually is – a normal response to sexual slavery and erasure – women are labelled ‘frigid’ or ‘depressed’ or something that indicates that they aren’t fulfilling the expected role. Out come the drugs, sex therapy, psychological abuse, demands for polyamory, and porn.
Shaming and Guilting
Very simply, the act of inspiring feelings of guilt or shame in someone to get them to do something they don’t want to do or to back down on requests for fair treatment.
Example: Men love to push women to the edge and over it in relationships, and inspiring shame or guilt – some of the first powerful feelings young girls experience in all cultures – is a very effective way for men to get what they want. Men often play the victim. Their lives are so hard, and according to them, women make their lives even harder with their nagging and unreasonable demands for respect or consideration. It is these techniques of shaming and guilting that inspire the following: “If you loved me, you would…” and the demands almost always entail some demeaning, degrading, brutalizing, unfair sexual performance or concessions on the part of the woman.
Shaming and guilting (in addition to spreading lies and misinformation) are the key tools in the Pro-Choice movement’s assault against women who need abortions.
A tool used to silence another person by claiming greater victimhood status.
Example: This has recently become a very effective tool in our modern age of oppression status. Everybody is being oppressed. It is a common tool used by men of colour against white women who rebuke their rape or harassment attempts. These men will scream ‘racism!’ or society will do it for them if the rape attempt becomes public knowledge. It is one reason I didn’t report being violently raped by my Arab Muslim boyfriend 8 years ago. ‘Islamophobia’ is a buzzword right now, and current Liberals can get enthusiastically on board with the idea that a white woman is using her poorly suppressed Islamophobia/racism to make a false rape claim but have an incredibly hard time believing that a man has raped a woman.
Some of these men know exactly that is what will happen when they scream racism – it is a joke and a get out of jail free card since racism is taken seriously, but misogyny and violence against women are not. For others, they truly believe they are being oppressed when a woman refuses or fights against their violence. Men of all colours (and SES, religions, etc.) are taught from birth that they are entitled to pussy any time they want it.
Others argue that this is also what is happening with some of the male-to-female trans community trying to silence women by one-upping them on the oppression scale. By using male tactics of aggression and claiming status as ‘women’, actual women are forced into silence. Again, some of these folks know exactly what they are doing, while others may wear oppression as clothing and truly believe everyone is hurting them personally.
The most egregious examples of one-upping occur when a white dude with no true difficulties in life claims victimhood status that is more important than a woman – any woman. This happens CONSTANTLY (see MRAs, for example).
I truly can’t count the number of men – white and non-white – who have silenced me by shouting me down with examples of how they perceive themselves to be the most unfortunate victims on the planet. It has been especially effective when coupled with guilting.
Hope / Manipulated Forgiveness
Hope, is probably one of the most powerful forces out there. Giving someone the impression that things will get better can erase the effects and memories of an incredible amount of abuse.
Example: The most common scenario is that of the battered spouse/girlfriend. Despite the well-known mantra of psychologists and statisticians that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour, the battering male will erase this idea by promising that he will change. And he seems to… until the next time he beats and rapes his wife/girlfriend. It helps that women are programmed from childhood to forgive.
There are many more psychological attack devices that men use against women to keep their system of dominance firmly in place. This is just a taste.
I’ve travelled a bit in my life. Admittedly, although I’ve been living in China for a number of years now, I seldom travel anymore except to go to a specific, known destination to visit a specific, known person. I couldn’t figure out why until recently. Previously, I just thought that my priorities were changing. I mean, I’ve been exploring the advantages and disadvantages in my life, comparing what people tell me I am with what I know I am, and as I become more and more anti-capitalist and more and more minimalist, I find the idea of travel in this day and age repulsive. But that is only part of the story. What I finally realized is that all of the sexual assault in my life, especially that experienced while travelling, has finally caught up with me psychologically, and I have a form of PTSD that is common, but not widely recognized or accepted, in many women who have suffered continually at the hands and dicks of men.
Anyhow, if you have the chance to sit down with people who are willing to be honest about their travel experiences, you’ll notice a major difference between the stories men tell you and those that women tell you.
Unfortunately, I still have a male in my life who travels extensively without any grasp of his straight, white, able-bodied, British, male privilege, and I’m stuck listening to his stories. He is much, much less interested in my stories – never mind my less pleasant stories. Men seldom want to have the reality of their privilege laid out before them. I only keep this dude around because it’s hard to find an atheist to talk to and it’s hard to find an anti-capitalist anywhere. It’s China – a pseudo-religious/uber-traditional, money-hungry, consumerist culture. It’s a hard place to be as a foreign woman with my philosophy of life.
So I’ve taken any atheist I can get. If you listen to the travel exploits of any dude like my acquaintance, you’ll hear about drunken revelry, getting into heaps of ‘trouble’ (all a good laugh really, they say), not a single fear of anything in the mix, and if they’re really honest with you (which my friend has not been, but I’m sure the stories are there), about all the women (most likely enslaved girls) they’ve r̶a̶p̶e̶d̶ paid to fuck. Some dudes have told me about their prostitution adventures in very poor countries. And myself, I’ve personally witnessed foreign men picking up 14-year-olds in impoverished places. Ten cent blow jobs or anal rape, anyone? They’re just poor trash. They’re just whores. Just there to service wealthy, foreign penises. And hey, the dudes are contributing to the economy by employing them!!! Men love their prostitution/rape vacations, they do, they do. Oh, male privilege. The depths of depravity and sociopathy and narcissism can’t be calculated.
If you listen to the travel experiences of women who’ve journeyed alone, and they trust you enough to be honest with you, after you hear about the interesting things they’ve seen and done, you’ll hear about tales of being intimidated, followed, flashed, harassed, solicited, groped, attacked, beaten and/or raped by men. It is not a rare thing. I can’t think of a trip I’ve taken – regardless of whether it is the Third World or a developed nation – where some horrible and frightening sex-based incident hasn’t happened to me, including a gang rape while I was unconscious in the bed in the hostel where I was staying, and for which I got in trouble and kicked out because the men made too much noise. The men got to stay, of course. Of course!!! And the assaults over the years have come from white men, black men, Arabs, Asians, Latinos, Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists. Their race and religion varied, but they had four things in common – they were men, they had privilege over me, they hated women, and they got away with everything and are free to do it all again to someone else. I was targeted because I was a woman, and sometimes, specifically because I was a white woman. [See the growing collection of posts on white female ‘privilege’ here.]
Keep in mind that women usually don’t tell men what has happened to them in their lives, because men will usually brush it off, derail them, blame them, and/or make jokes. That has been my experience. I remember trying to tell someone I was close to about being raped while travelling, and he cut me off angrily to tell me about these never-heard-of-before roving gangs of men in Europe who roam the countryside and alleyways raping male travellers. WTF??? Had he seen or experienced these purported gangs? No. Could he point to some source so I could find out more? No. But he accomplished his goal. He derailed me, and I shut down. He still to this day doesn’t know what happened to me. And I, ten years later, still have never heard of roving gangs of European men who rape and terrorize male travellers willy nilly… Yet, the real stories of my fellow female travellers pour in.
I feel honoured when women trust me enough to tell me about their fear and assault experiences while travelling. They’re brave souls in a way that men never have been and never will have to be, and they don’t deserve what is heaped upon them simply because they have breasts and vaginas and have the audacity simply to exist in public. Women’s stories have never been told, barely exist in the historical record, and are still trampled on today. We need to listen, learn, and put the responsibility for violence where it needs to be. This post isn’t evidence for why women should not travel, especially alone. That is, disgustingly, the position that most of the world takes. Rather, it is evidence for the fact that men in all countries need to take responsibility for their privileged, sociopathic behaviour.