What I’ve been wanting to say about that godawful Duke lacrosse team rape case

Thursday, April 6th, 2006 · 198 Comments »

Have you noticed how often race is mentioned as an element in this case? Have you noticed how many of the protests in Durham have focused on the issue of racial prejudice? Have you noticed how the culture of white privilege at Duke is being indicted as a factor in the crime?

Have you noticed that almost no one is mentioning that gang rape is a crime against women that crosses all boundaries of race, class, ethnicity, and geography?

This Salon article is a perfect example of the myopia I’m talking about: the writer goes on for two pages analyzing the social factors surrounding the rape, without once mentioning sexism, misogyny, or the culture of violence against women. The story might as well be about three rich white men beating up one poor black man. There is zero acknowledgement of rape as a brutal sexual crime that males overwhelmingly commit against females. Zero.

Certainly there were racist and classist elements in the Duke incident. But men all over the world get together in packs to rape women, including women of their own social group. From Afghan tribesmen to Orange County high school students, gang rape is just something that men do.

Would the story be getting this same kind of attention if the victim were a white Duke student herself? Would she garner the sympathy and support of her classmates, of the Durham residents, of anybody beyond feminist bloggers? Or is it more likely that she would be ostracized by her peers the way the Orange County rape victim was? As it is, the sympathy for this woman is far from universal and there are plenty of pinheads calling her a “ho” and a liar. But think about it: if we didn’t have the spectre of a working-class black assaulted by wealthy whites, would there be anybody standing outside Duke with placards proclaiming the fundamental humanity of the victim?

My point is not that black women have some advantage or are less oppressed than white women. It is absolutely and unquestionably the other way around, since black women are doubly burdened by sexism and racism. Nor am I minimizing racism or suggesting that it is less harmful than sexism. My point is that even the dumbest American knows that racism is a Bad Thing, while sexism remains ubiquitous and unchallenged. The non-feminists who are rallying around this victim are responding to the ugly racist aspects of the case. They can see the racism; they’ve been taught to look for it and they know it’s evil. Forty years after Martin Luther King, everybody in America knows that racism is wrong. Does everybody know that sexism is wrong? Do they even know what it looks like? Does everybody understand that rape is a crime of violent hatred against women? Hardly.

So let’s keep talking about the racism and classism in this case, but let’s also talk about sexism and misogyny. Let’s talk about the global phenomenon of male violence against women. Let’s remember that gang rape isn’t just something that white, privileged, lacrosse-playing men do to black strippers because they’re racists. It’s something that men do to women because they despise them.

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198 Responses to “What I’ve been wanting to say about that godawful Duke lacrosse team rape case”

  1. Laurelin says:

    Well said, Dr Socks.

    We badly need rape to be recognised for what it is- a hate crime committed against women.

  2. Alon Levy says:

    How is it a hate crime? Lynching was committed by mobs of whites who believed it was their duty to keep blacks in their place. Rape is mostly committed by gangsters who couldn’t care less about people staying their place, and just get off on hurting and controlling people.

  3. will says:

    Good point.

    I suspect far too many men (and perhaps women) view rape as simply sex that the woman didn’t particularly want to have instead of a violent assault.

  4. foilwoman says:

    I think everyone would at some level say rape and sexism are “bad”, sort of in the same way that everything is against poverty, war, and injustice (TM Tom Lehrer). However, it’s the specifics of rape that throw lots of men (and women) into a tizzy. Human desire is so strong and overwhelming and there is jealousy against those who appear to transgress against the rules. I don’t know how to fix this or educate people. But I do know that in male-female relations, the minute you leave aside the platonic friend or maternal role and step into the role of potential sexual partner in the man’s mind, your chances of being treated honestly and respectfully diminish. Why is that? It’s like the men despise the desire they feel and the women who might fulfil it, which seems to be very self-defeating. Anyway, I’m always much more cautious the minute an aquaintanceship with a man appears to be heading toward any kind of sexual interaction, because things can go drastically wrong. I don’t think you’ll find too many women who have been the subject of violence (whether rape or just a nice old fashioned punch or beating) by a platonic male friend. It’s the guys who want to have sex with you or have had sex with you who are the danger to you. How do we fix that?

  5. Txfeminist says:

    Violet, thank you for making this point. So well said.

  6. gordo says:

    Alon–

    Hate crimes aren’t always political in nature. Obviously, you’re not trying to keep a woman in her place when you rape her after you’ve paid her to take her clothes off. Strippers are quite cognizant of their “place.”

    But if hate didn’t inspire this crime, what did? If it was about sex, why didn’t they just hire a hooker instead of a stripper? Why was one of the guys strangling her? Why did three big men have to beat her so badly in order to keep her restrained?

    If these guys don’t hate women, what do you make of the e-mail, written a couple of hours after the attack by a “bystander,” where the guy fantasizes about murdering women?

    While the guys did yell racial slurs, I’m sure that they were also yelling sexist slurs, though nobody thought this shocking or surprising enough to mention. The attack was planned (strippers ordered using an alias, players said they were baseball players, KY jelly found by police), but no evidence has come out that they asked for black strippers. And the e-mail doesn’t mention race. So how can you say that the rape doesn’t indicate a hatred of women?

  7. Jim Deeny says:

    I’m sorry, but if your going to be a stripper you’ve already put tourself in the line of fire. Just like if you want to be a cop, you’ll put yourself in a line of fire. I have different view I guess, I mean, if you want to demoralize yourself and get naked in front of a group of people your just as morally wrong as the people who raped you. I know that women have danced for thousands of years but the evolution in the humand mind has developed into something a whole lot different than it was thousands of years ago, I don’t know.

  8. CR says:

    Violet said some very good things. Somehow the female becomes less than human in the minds of the rapists. I know this is common and under reported.

    I was at party once in college where all the people there were the football team of this college- all males. They invited only two girls to come and party with them. I was one of those girls. After about an hour things were getting rowdy, and one of the football players pulled me aside and whispered in my ear to “get out of here- very bad things have been planned and you must get out of here now. You’ve got to believe me becuase I like you. Don’t hesitate. I don’t wnat anything bad to happen to you. These other guys aren’t like me.” He said this to me quietly because he didn’t want the rest of the football players to know he was warning me. I took the other girl by the hand and we left quickly.

    I agree with everything Violet was trying to say on this one.

  9. Jim Deeny says:

    CR, that just made the hair stand up!

    That’s wrong, but having a stripper come to a party of all-males is asking for it. Men don’t see it “just erotic” like women do.

  10. gordo says:

    Jim Deeny–

    Do yourself a huge favor and don’t say any of that “line of fire” crap at a cop’s funeral. They wouldn’t appreciate your attempt to blame the victim.

    And frankly, I think your attempt to blame strippers for being gang-raped is just obtuse. And saying that stripping is just as morally wrong as beating and raping a woman is obscene.

  11. CR says:

    Jim,
    I do not pretend to understand the mind of men.Especially when it comes to thier sexual thinking.From the outside it looks very dark in there sometimes. It is a complete mystery to me.I wish I could be a man for one week just to know and understand better. But then I’d be wanting to go back to being a female again taking my new knowledge with me.

    I agree, being a stripper is not such a good idea.

  12. CR says:

    And Gordo,
    Blaming the victem is also not a good idea. You are right.

    Maybe I have misunderstood what Jim is saying, but it is coming out like he is blaming the victem.and drawing moral equivalants where they do not exist. Maybe that is not your intent. I can’t tell.

  13. Violet says:

    Jim, you need to go sit in a corner and do some hard thinking. So, any woman who works as an exotic dancer deserves to be raped? Why? Rape is a violent crime against a woman. It’s not something that any woman “deserves.” That is exactly the kind of blame-the-victim mentality that has made rape the woman’s fault in sexist societies: it’s her fault if she wears a short skirt, it’s her fault if she’s out at night, it’s her fault if she’s walking down the goddamn street.

    I mean, if you want to demoralize yourself and get naked in front of a group of people your just as morally wrong as the people who raped you.

    Did you just say that being a stripper is the moral equivalent of rape? You are out of your mind.

  14. Violet says:

    Rape is mostly committed by gangsters

    By gangsters you mean “male humans”?

  15. Jim Deeny says:

    I’ve seen strippers and I like what they do, it’s entertaining, if a stripper wants to strip it should be in a controlled atmosphere, not some dorm party or football gig all alone, whatever. I would be scrared shitless if I was a woman going to a party of all males to strip, it’s not about being an entertainer at that point, she must have been hard up for some cold cash instead.

  16. gordo says:

    Jim–

    You like what strippers do? Do you imagine that rape victims like what rapists do? If not, can you see where their actions are not morally equivalent?

    And if you really do think that stripping is as bad as rape, why the hell do you pay women to do it? Do you also pay guys to commit rape? If a person paid someone to commit rape, would that be no worse than you paying a woman to strip?

    Maybe you should have taken Violent’s advice and sat in a corner to think for awhile before you commented again.

  17. Jim Deeny says:

    VS said “Did you just say that being a stripper is the moral equivalent of rape? You are out of your mind.”

    Sort of, in a roundabout way. Why on earth would a woman put herself in a position to be raped in the first place?
    It’s just the way it is, isn’t it? If it were in a controlled atmosphere then I think the victim’s assailants should get even a tougher sentence, if they were tried and convicted. These women that go out aren’t invinsible, I wouldn’t go to brooklyn’s roughest part of town and think it’ll be a walk in the park either. What boundaries would I try to push if I did that?

  18. Jim Deeny says:

    Okay, I made a big miscalculation about morals between the victim and the one’s who rape, my apologies.

    I just don’t get it where someone would put themselves in that position, I really don’t.

  19. Violet says:

    Why on earth would a woman put herself in a position to be raped in the first place?

    This is the crux of your problem: you think these guys raped her because she was a stripper. Did you read my post? You’re the kind of person I’m talking about, the kind of person who doesn’t understand rape.

    So if these guys gang-raped this woman because she was a stripper, why did the Orange County teenagers gang-rape their friend? Why did those Afghan tribesmen gang-rape that woman in their village whose brother had committed a crime? Why do young men in England gang-rape girls in their neighborhood? Why did the young Gerard Depardieu and his buddies gang-rape women they enountered on the street? Why do men in Italy gang-rape strange women in broad-daylight? Why did those guys in Connecticut gang-rape that girl who was playing pool? Why did those guys in Illinois gang-rape their schoolmate? And on and on and on and on.

    There is nothing that a woman does to invite rape, and there is NOTHING that a woman can do to make herself immune to rape. Men rape 8-month old babies and 80-year-old grandmothers. They rape strippers and they rape nuns. They rape strangers and they rape members of their own family. The problem isn’t the females who get raped; it’s the males who do the raping.

    Do you actually think that the job description for “exotic dancer” includes “being raped at will”? If it did no one would ever take that job. It’s supposed to be private entertainment for men; rape is not part of the package. All those women over all those years who have popped out of cakes at bachelor’s parties — do you think they were expecting to be raped?

    Like I said before, you need to do some hard thinking. You need to read some more about understanding rape. It’s a function of male power and violence, not a function of anything women do.

  20. Jim Deeny says:

    I hear you LOUD and CLEAR Violet. I’m not one of those men. Just because I see something a certain way doesn’t mean I have my blinders on.

    Take it easy on me, I’m still learning.

  21. Alon Levy says:

    Why on earth would a woman put herself in a position to be raped in the first place?

    Like many other high-profile rape cases, this isn’t the typical rape. The typical rape is committed by an individual known to the victim, rather than by a gang or even an individual stranger.

    Why did those Afghan tribesmen gang-rape that woman in their village whose brother had committed a crime?

    I don’t think Mukhtar Mai’s brother committed a crime. Wikipedia says it was a tribal war – the tribe that raped her had sodomized her brother earlier, and the brother complained about it; the perpetrating tribe then said it was infidelity rather than sodomy.

    But if hate didn’t inspire this crime, what did? If it was about sex, why didn’t they just hire a hooker instead of a stripper? Why was one of the guys strangling her? Why did three big men have to beat her so badly in order to keep her restrained?

    Power, it’s all about power… that’s why some guys commit assault, or battery, or rape, or murder, or destruction of property. I know a lot of people think of rape as an issue of sex rather than of violence, but I’m not one of them. My argument is different: it’s that the specific problem of rape is inseparable from the general problem of violent crime.

    Now, there are hate crimes committed against women, mostly of the form MRAs love – that is, abuse followed by legal tricks meant to gain custody of the children. The most high-profile case, consider Mukhtar Mai, who was basically sentenced to be gang-raped by a tribal council.

    However, the case in question doesn’t fit the profile of a hate crime well – for instance, hate crimes typically target a specific victim, e.g. a specific gay man, or a specific black man, or a specific transgendered woman. In this instance, the prepetrators just looked for someone to rape.

  22. Jim Deeny says:

    Alon, thanks for the explanation, it seemed like you were talking and explaining it to me rather than yellng. Just for the record, I’m not a male pig or a jerk, I yearn to learn from feminists because I believe that they are equals and when I post something in here and it may look like I’m some male jerk, I’m not. When I post, it’s what I feel and view and by all means it’s very swayable. Everyone’s input on my comment are never taken tongue in cheek. I value everyone’s views.

  23. CR says:

    Jim,
    For what its worth I thought what you had to say was from your heart as you understood things. so for that I think you may be speaking for thousands of males who see it the same way you do. I found it very educational and useful becuase it helps me to understand things better. Anything that helps me to understand anything is postive. I didn’t take it that you were a smart alick or anything like that. I appreciated your candor. While I don’t see things the same way as you do /did, it’s a very useful knowledge to have when trying understand about males better.

    As for the rest of this stuff about gang rape and rape and beatings by people known to one. All of it is truelly nasty. Sadly it’s common and I will never be able to understand why.

    Males can be the most wonderful people ever. They are capable of heroism, brilliant thinking, loyalty, chivalry, deep and child like love, ingenuity, kindness, selflessness, kind heartedness. The best things that humans can be. It is the saddest thing in the world when they do dark things.

  24. Violet says:

    Why did those Afghan tribesmen gang-rape that woman in their village whose brother had committed a crime?

    Correction: I should have said “gang-rape that woman in their village to punish her brother.” I couldn’t remember off-hand what her brother had done, just that the whole purpose of the rape was to punish HIM. It had nothing to do with anything the victim had done.

  25. will says:

    Allow me to take some body blows for Jim.

    A stripper is inviting men to treat her like a sexual object, not a person. She isn’t dancing around trying to get tips due to her extensive knowledge of Latin American Literature.

    “I know you like Borges, baby. Can you say Aura??!?! You know you like the cat!”

    That certainly does not mean that she should get raped. But once you say that you are an object, not a person, you are going to be treated like an object, not a person.

  26. Jim Deeny says:

    Thanks will, watch out though, Violet likes to go for the rib area.

    I’m glad you reiterated what I’ve been trying to say all along.

  27. will says:

    That is odd. I did not know that people had ribs so low.

  28. Violet says:

    Violet likes to go for the rib area.

    You come to my blog and say that a stripper deserves to be raped, and you want me to be nice to you? This “I’m learning” bullshit only goes so far. Why don’t you go visit the NAACP and tell them that blacks deserved to be lynched for living in white towns?

    A stripper is inviting men to treat her like a sexual object, not a person.

    Objectification is in the eye of the beholder. How exactly does a woman transform herself into something less than human? Men objectify women because they want to. It happens in their heads. It’s a function of how they look at women, not a function of what women are doing. Men objectify women wearing burkas, wearing stripper outfits, wearing miniskirts, wearing nothing at all.

    How exactly does a human being render herself less human by removing her clothes? The answer is she doesn’t. If men looking at her suddenly regard her as less than human, that’s in their heads. Jesus fucking christ, this is just basic feminist theory.

  29. Violet says:

    That is odd. I did not know that people had ribs so low.

    Since when is pointing out the basic facts of rape “hitting below the belt”? Since when is objecting to some asshole blaming a woman for being raped “hitting below the belt”?

  30. will says:

    Simmer down. You are getting so EMOTIONAL! Geez.

    First, I was just kidding about the ribs. I do not think that you’ve said anything objectionable.

    Second, are you saying that stripping does not objectify women? How about male strippers? That isnt objectifying?

    What is stripping about if not objectifying the stripper as a piece of meat?

  31. Jim Deeny says:

    “You come to my blog and say that a stripper deserves to be raped, and you want me to be nice to you?”

    I never said that. I said that she’s put herself in a position to be raped since she (the stripper) wants to wander out into the wild blue yonder to strip at some party in the middle of no where with absolutely no protection has literally set herself up to be raped. I was just being realistic rather than you being the social scientist.

  32. will says:

    “How exactly does a human being render herself less human by removing her clothes? The answer is she doesn’t. If men looking at her suddenly regard her as less than human, that’s in their heads.”

    What is the stripper selling?

  33. Jim Deeny says:

    Will said,

    “How exactly does a human being render herself less human by removing her clothes?”

    Lack of self respect?

  34. Violet says:

    Jim’s pearls of wisdom:

    “having a stripper come to a party of all-males is asking for it”

    “if you want to demoralize yourself and get naked in front of a group of people your just as morally wrong as the people who raped you”

    You’re right, no one reading those statements could possibly think you were saying the stripper “asked for it” or that she was as morally complicit in the crime as her rapists.

  35. Violet says:

    “How exactly does a human being render herself less human by removing her clothes?”

    Lack of self respect?

    Jesus Christ, Jim, you’re not even following the level of discourse here. You need to just be quiet.

  36. Violet says:

    So Will, you don’t distinguish between “object” as in “object of sexual desire,” and “object” as in “sub-human object to be raped tortured maimed murdered for fun”?

    You mention male strippers, and that’s a good example of sexual objectification without dehumanization. The women in the audience at Chippendales are undoubtedly enjoying looking at the bodies of the men and “objectifying” them as sexually desirable. They are not looking at the men as sub-human objects to be raped and tortured. I can pretty well guarantee that the female subconcious doesn’t go: “sexually desirable male = object = subhuman object = something for me to rape and torture without compunction.”

    Yet you appear to be arguing that this is exactly what goes through the male mind — any male mind? This is just a function of being male? Sexual desire automatically means the person desired is a sub-human object to be abused?

  37. will says:

    Dr. VS:

    No. I didnt make any of those distinctions. Obviously, this is a topic that could be discussed at much greater length and much greater detail.

    You didnt answer my question about whether you believe stripping objectifies women. I am guessing that you would agree that it does.

    An object is not going to be treated the same as a human. Go to the Stanford Prison Project. I believe that tested men and women. The result, as I understand it, was that people are capable of doing incredible cruel things to other people once they view the other person as an object or subhuman.

    A stripper is certainly not as morally responsible as the rapists. That was a ridiculous statement. However, the stripper is an active participant to making herself into an object. That is a very dangerous position to put yourself into.

    Change the facts. I am going to pretend to be a Muslim and get myself locked up. How will I be treated by the guards? As a human or subhuman?

  38. Violet says:

    Let’s say the guards beat the crap out of you. Is your argument that it’s your own fault for participating in your own objectification by pretending to be a Muslim? If so, then I think you’re smoking crack. The problem is obviously with the guards who see Muslims as sub-human objects.

    Yes, I think stripping sexually objectifies women, which seems to be the whole point of the exercise. Male stripping does the same thing: the stripper becomes a sexually enticing object of desire. But obviously this isn’t the same kind of objectification as “othering” someone into subhuman status, otherwise male strippers would be at great risk of being raped and tortured by female patrons.

    But this is all beside the point. You’re talking as if the only people who get raped are strippers. If this woman was raped because she was “an active participant in making herself into an object,” then why is it that most rape victims aren’t strippers? Women get raped no matter what they’re doing. That is simply a fact.

    Furthermore, if you insist that this woman was partially responsible for her own rape by being a stripper, that also means that any woman who wears pretty clothes, or makeup, or does anything that could make herself a desirable “sexual object” is complicit in her own rape. It’s the miniskirt defense: she was asking for it by wearing that short skirt. Which of course is bogus, since every type of female gets raped, including bag-wearing grandmothers.

    Stop locating responsibility for rape in the victim. It doesn’t belong there. You should know better than that.

  39. CR says:

    That depends on the guard. Some people are incorruptable and do not loose their hearts. There’s no Honor in such.

  40. RedDragon says:

    Hey Violet. Just thought I’d interject here- I believe you have at least one troll posting replies to you. Annoying, yes. Surprising, no. I find it fascinating that they obviously spend so much time reading feminist blogs…. I won’t go too much into my views on the patriarchy/treatment of crimes against women at this time except to say that I suspect things haven’t really changed that much in the minds of men in the past few hundred years. I always think back to when women got the vote (in my country less than 100 years ago, shockingly recent) If women hadn’t pressed/fought for change, would the men have just *given* them the vote? ‘Here you go, sorry we’ve been such misogynistic creeps for the past, er, forever, share our power’ No. I don’t believe it. Because thats what its about ultimately. Power. Men have it (still). Trying to get change back then must have seemed like an endless uphill struggle. AND ITS NOT OVER. I don’t think we’ve really begun. Not really. And recently…. I’ve begun to think there aren’t enough of us that still want change. Where has feminism gone? (Apart from these blogs of course :D ) Anyway, rant (and tangent)over.

  41. will says:

    I am trying to make a more subtle point.

    The responsibility for being raped/ violently assaulted never falls on the victim.

    Rape is about treating a woman as an object.

    Stripping is simply one component or one way in which women become objects. There is no one cause for why women are viewed as objects or subhuman.

    “If this woman was raped because she was “an active participant in making herself into an object,” then why is that most rape victims aren’t strippers? Women get raped no matter what they’re doing.”

    She was raped because she was an object or subhuman. There are many ways to be viewed as an object.

    Would you agree that she is a participant in making herself into a sexual object to be treated differently from a woman that they are talking with in a store?

  42. Paul Tergeist says:

    I think you have this all wrong. Boys will be boys and, according to an email from one of them, they had no intention of raping the girl at all. Their intent was merely to murder her by beating her to death with sticks and then steal her skin.

    One must give them the benefit of the doubt. Suppose they simply ran out of sticks and were forced to try and poke her to death?

    Let’s wait for the evidence before we start yelling rape.

  43. Violet says:

    Would you agree that she is a participant in making herself into a sexual object to be treated differently from a woman that they are talking with in a store?

    How is this different from arguing that a woman who wears a miniskirt is inviting men to treat her differently from a woman who’s not wearing a miniskirt?

  44. will says:

    “How is this different from arguing that a woman who wears a miniskirt is inviting men to treat her differently from a woman who’s not wearing a miniskirt?”

    Explicitedly asking men to pay you money if you will dance naked for them is the same as wearing a miniskirt?

  45. will says:

    Let’s go to the sex area. Is having sex with a guy the same thing as having sex with a guy for money? Is your message the same?

  46. Txfeminist says:

    the problem here is that you’re excusing men for not using their brains.

    The stanford prison experiment does not excuse people from USING THEIR HIGHER functioning. You might as well just toss in some evo-pysch, and say that men rape to better propagate their genetic material.

    The point of the Stanford prison experiment AND the point of evo-psych is to say yes, at our base level we are complete fucking animals, so thank God(dess) we have higher functioning, reason, and a margin of empathy to overcome our early history.

    It is not saying, well, just get a bunch of guys together with a naked girl, and it equals rape every time.

    Because you know what? It doesn’t. It doesn’t because in strip clubs, you have a room full of men looking at a lot of naked girls. and in general, they are not getting raped right there in the club.

    You know why? Because men are CHOOSING when, where, and whom to rape.

    Choosing it. Doing it because they want to. Because they know that if they choose to rape a black stripper in a bathroom at a party, chances are, they’ll get away with it.

    I just hope this time, they don’t.

  47. Violet says:

    Will, the argument you seem to be making is that anything a woman does to make herself into a sex object makes her complicit (to a greater or lesser degree) in men treating her as sub-human and rapable. From miniskirt to stripping is a difference in degree, not kind. Money is not the determining factor. If the stripper at Duke had been a volunteer — just a girl who decided to get up and dance for the guys and strip off her clothes — people like you would be saying the same thing: she objectified herself by stripping.

    It is the same logic that says that when a woman wears high heels and a miniskirt, she’s inviting men to think of her as a rapable object. If she wears makeup, she’s inviting men to think of her as a rapable object. If she wears a halter top, tight pants, anything, she’s inviting men to think of her as a rapable object. That is the core of the miniskirt defense, and it’s crap.

    You know, as a former circus performer, there were many occasions when my job involved looking sexy. That’s right: I was getting paid to look good. Was I inviting rape? Was I saying: by wearing this glamorous costume, I am inviting men to de-humanize me and then rape me? Bullshit.

  48. Jim Deeny says:

    Okay Violet, I will be quiet. Although, I do know that there are people that get a natural high by raping/skinning someone not only because it’s a “power thing”, but they do it because in their mind they consider women who strip a direct contribution to cultural decay in society.

  49. will says:

    I am not excusing them one single bit. You are absolutely correct that those men are placing themselves right smack dab in the middle of the Stanford Prison Project.

    Of course, that cuts both ways. A stripper is too.

    That is what is so insidious and dangerous about strip clubs.

  50. will says:

    Violet:

    Is the woman wearing a miniskirt walking to class objectifying herself?

    Is a stripper asking for money by getting naked objectifying herself?

  51. RedDragon says:

    Exactly tx. Not one of these posters has mentioned that in fact it is the man who CHOOSES to violate/sexually assault. I’m sorry (I can’t believe I have to write this) but the blame for a sexual attack goes on the attacker. Always. The higher functioning argument is the point essentially. If someone can’t control their violent urges, they clealy can’t function in a civilised society.

  52. will says:

    “If someone can’t control their violent urges, they clealy can’t function in a civilised society.”

    Do you think these lacrosse players were unusual or monsters in some way?

  53. Violet says:

    but they do it because in their mind they consider women who strip a direct contribution to cultural decay in society

    Jim, you’re alluding to a particularly vicious form of misogyny that fuels some serial killers. The core of the emotion is hatred for women; blaming them for social ills is just the pretext. Jack the Ripper seems to have blamed poverty-stricken prostitutes in Victorian England for the decay of society. There have been some modern serial killers who have blamed “tramps” for the decay of society. The common constant is the violent hatred of women; the blaming part is just a subconscious excuse that changes to suit the time period and culture of the killer.

  54. Violet says:

    I’m sorry (I can’t believe I have to write this) but the blame for a sexual attack goes on the attacker.

    It does seem astonishing that we should keep having to have this conversation, doesn’t it?

    For my part, I simply cannot understand how people can look at the global and historical phenomenon of rape and tie it to anything that women themselves do. It is so obviously a function of male behavior, independent of female actions.

  55. will says:

    So what causes rape? Let’s identify that. Some latent defect in men?

    Women cannot contribute to the objectification of women.

  56. Violet says:

    So what causes rape? Let’s identify that. Some latent defect in men?

    I don’t know, what do you think causes rape? I think the mind of the rapist for most women is almost unfathomable. (And bearing in mind that 99% of rapists are indeed men.)

  57. Jim Deeny says:

    will says:

    So what causes rape? Let’s identify that. Some latent defect in men?

    Does the attacker come fom any certain class in society? Rich, poor, only child etc..? Is it the way they were raised?

  58. Jim Deeny says:

    Maybe it could be that the attacker is so insecure about retaining a normal relationship with a woman it’s his last ditch effort (unfortunately at the victims exspense) to go to extreme measures by raping, regardless of the consequenses?

  59. will says:

    “I don’t know, what do you think causes rape? I think the mind of the rapist for most women is almost unfathomable. (And bearing in mind that 99% of rapists are indeed men.)”

    The objectification of women. Control. Power.

    Are you suggesting that men are inherently more cruel than women? Only men can do ghastly cruel actions?

    It seems to me that scientists have probably studied this and determined that men and women can be equally cruel when placed in the same situation.

    Is it male brains or the standard issue penis and muscle?

  60. will says:

    Violet:

    Are you going to quote:

    Girls are sugar and spice and everything nice
    snips and snails and puppy dog tails for boys?

  61. Jim Deeny says:

    Is it male brains or the standard issue penis and muscle?

    That’s an excellent thought!

    I think it would be brains Will, for at least 5 generations in my family the men would say to the young male at 18 years old, “Stop thinking with that head,(pointing to my crotch) and start thinking with that one, (pointing to my real head).

  62. Violet says:

    To Jim:

    Rapists come from every class of society, from every walk of life. They come from every culture in the world. They come from every race, creed, and ethnic group. The only thing rapists have in common is that 99% of them are male.

    Well, obviously they have something else in common, and that’s the propensity to rape women. My question — and it’s a genuine question — is whence that propensity? What causes men to rape?

    The Brownmiller theory is that men rape as a function of dominance over women. Ev-psych might say that men rape as a function of male testosterone-fueled aggression. These two things are not mutually exclusive.

    The most disturbing thing about rape for me (and perhaps for many people) is the way otherwise ordinary, non-criminal men can suddenly become rapists under certain circumstances. The male pack converts lacrosse players or schoolboys into gang-rapists. War transforms citizen soldiers into raping machines. What is that?

    So to men, I’m asking if you understand this. Can you imagine being in a situation where suddenly raping some woman seemed like a fine thing to do?

  63. will says:

    “The most disturbing thing about rape for me (and perhaps for many people) is the way otherwise ordinary, non-criminal men can suddenly become rapists under certain circumstances.”

    This is my point. If you place otherwise good people into an evil situation, trouble results. In this case, the evil situation is a drunk herd with an object in front of them.

  64. Jim Deeny says:

    Violet asks: “Can you imagine being in a situation where suddenly raping some woman seemed like a fine thing to do?”

    Yes, I could imagine it (strongly emphasizing “imagin”).

    Let me prepare myself for the brain picking!

  65. will says:

    I would ask this question to the women:

    Can you imagine torturing someone under your control? Can you think of a circumstance where that would seem like a fine thing to do?

  66. Violet says:

    This is my point. If you place otherwise good people into an evil situation, trouble results. In this case, the evil situation is a drunk herd with an object in front of them.

    And my point is that the “object” is an object because the men think she is. Men don’t need strippers to be incited to gang-rape. I doubt, for instance, if the women of Berlin were doing a strip-tease before the Russian soldiers raped them.

  67. Paul Tergeist says:

    to 54: Ummm….if a girl outcalls to the dorm (or whereever) of a bunch of drunk, testosterone-laden jocks and then strips/lapdances for them, according to you, she is exactly as culpable as a couple of 70 year-old nuns who drop in to read the bible. I’m afraid that is not a realistic premise. The girl is being paid by the men to excite them sexually. The nun isn’t.

    There is no excuse for rape and murder except that some people are born deficient. MANY serial murderers kill prostitutes to rid the world of evil and cannot understand what they did wrong. After all, the girls were ‘asking for it’ by being sex workers. Those guys need to be executed because they cannot be cured. On the other hand, the girl (who did NOT deserve it) was complicit by being their doing what she was doing. Maybe she was naive. Maybe she needed the money for school. I am not excusing the men, but she didn’t have to be there.

  68. evil_fizz says:

    What causes rape? I have no idea. What causes people to assault others, to commit murder?

    But I would guess that among other things, the idea that such conduct is in some way permissible, acceptable, or justifiable. The words rape culture spring to mind…

  69. Violet says:

    To Will in 65: no, I can’t.

    To Jim in 64: I’m afraid to ask.

  70. will says:

    Violet:

    Yet, studies would indicate that you might very well do that same thing if put in a bad situation where the person under your control is dehumanized.

  71. will says:

    So is it that inherently men are evil or is it situational?

  72. Older says:

    Not only “Think of all the women who are not exotic dancers who are raped,” but also think of all the exotic dancers who perform without being raped as a result. It’s my impression that exotic dancers have to put up with more incidents of sexual offense than people in other trades, but if rape were the inevitable result, there would probbly be a lot of people leaving the field.

  73. RedDragon says:

    to 70.: show me those studies.

  74. will says:

    It is my understanding that most strippers bring a male escort to prevent this very thing.

    If that is true, then isnt that a recognition of the horrible cauldron that they are going into?

  75. RedDragon says:

    Another point: do you hear of drunken hen parties raping male stripteasers/dancers? I think not.

  76. Jim Deeny says:

    I would be willing to bet that strippers mentality about men are way way different from a woman that never stripped in her life.

  77. Violet says:

    On the other hand, the girl (who did NOT deserve it) was complicit by being there doing what she was doing.

    I think you are confusing complicity with risk. Cops are in a risky line of work; does this mean they are complicit in their own deaths when a criminal kills them? Of course not. Anything that involves sexually excited males is a risky job, prostitution especially. I think Sam at genderberg has said that prostitutes are the most raped women in the world. This is not the same thing as being complicit. The whole responsibility for rape rests on the perpetrators, not the victims.

  78. will says:

    Redragon:

    How about the Stanford Prison Project? How about the prisoner abuse scandal? Do you think those guards were inherently bad people?

  79. will says:

    The hens do not have physical power over the male dancers.

    If they did have the physical, do you think it would be different?

    Are you suggesting that men are inherently evil and women are not?

  80. txfeminist says:

    nope, can’t imagine a single scenario where it would be ok to torture someone.

    fact is, batterers, rapists, serial killers all think they are justified in doing what they do. it’s called projection. it’s always because of someone else. it’s always someone else’s fault. they will die saying it was someone else’s fault, to the point where I think they really believe themselves after a while.

  81. Violet says:

    Are you suggesting that men are inherently evil and women are not?

    Will, no one is suggesting that. The fact is that men rape, and the question is why?

    I’m guessing that you believe it’s part of the human propensity for violence, and that it takes sexual form in men because of their physical power and equipment. Is that it?

  82. Jim Deeny says:

    will says:

    The hens do not have physical power over the male dancers.

    If they did have the physical, do you think it would be different?

    Hmmm. Funny you say that Will. Maybe I should give a bit more insight into my background. I was raised with 6 sisters and now I’m married to a wonderful wife who’s actually a lesbian.

  83. will says:

    VS:

    I am not really sure. But, I suspect that is the root of lots of rapes. I suspect that there are other reasons as well that dont readily come to mind as I try to juggle multiple things right now.

  84. Jim Deeny says:

    Now I know why she gets to drive the Chevy Avalanche and I get the Ford Pinto

  85. will says:

    Jim:

    I do not have any idea what your point is.

  86. Jim Deeny says:

    What my point is? It’s that my wife is a butch!
    I’m on the other side of the coin, a different world. Oh nevermind.

  87. Jim Deeny says:

    Gosh I suck at posting! Will, my wife used to be a stripper, and yes she was raped once. She is all feminist, all whopping 110 lbs. of her (soaking wet). See, I became submissive to females through my upbringing as a kid, there were six sisters and me and my mom (no dad). When the subject of male behavior comes into play I just don’t get it, I really don’t. I tend to (80%) side with feminism more than the males, only because I understand it.
    This whole post has me frazzled on rape. I can’t do it.

  88. Paul Tergeist says:

    from 77: I think you are confusing complicity with risk. Cops are in a risky line of work; does this mean they are complicit in their own deaths when a criminal kills them? Of course not.

    I don’t think I am confusing anything. This girl VOLUNTARILY went to a party full of drunk testoboys for the expressed purpose, given her job description, of sexually exciting them. Is she had not gone there for that very purpose, it could not have happened.

    Police officers respond to calls to situations they did not initiate in an effort to protect life and property. It’s a dangerous job, but they don’t pick and choose where they are required to go. Neither do firemen. And neither do servicemen and women.

    Do you see the difference, or has 6,000 years of male dominance oppressed your ability to be rational?

  89. CR says:

    I cannot show the studies becuase I don’t know what they called. However there does appear to be a marked tendency towards agressiveness more among males than females. This shows up in prisons- womans prisons vs male prisons and the behavoriours that go on there are rather different. Also the kinds of crimes that males vs females are incarcerated for are markedly different. I understand that 90% of all violent crime is done by males in society. While when it comes to what is seen as petty crimes such as shop lifting the statistics are more equal. Also in the auto insurance industry- the reason woman and men pay differing rates of auto insurance is because statisitcs show that men get in substantially more car accidents than females due to agressive or impatient driving. That’s why women generally pay less in auto insurance than guys. The old saying about “women drivers’ isn’t true at all.

    I understand that the Stanford Prison experiment was with males. Please straighten me out if that is wrong. And that was not a normal situation with “professional guards”. As for Abu Garab- a disgrace to see a female involved. It proves that woman can and do get caught up in things (almost always male initiated though).

    This is why I do not think that is is good for women to act or think just like men.

    I am speaking in generalities in the society rather than picking out one spectacular crime or event to make my point. Of course we can point to a female murderer. Or a female guard at Abu Garab. But generally speaking, it’s exeptional.

  90. will says:

    CR:

    I do not remember whether the Stanford Prison Project was just males.

  91. Violet says:

    Paul: Presumably police officers choose to become police officers; they aren’t conscripted. They know perfectly well that they will be sent into dangerous situations.

    And the job of stripper is just that: stripping. Not being raped. Stripping does not equal agreeing to be raped. Can you see the difference, or has 6000 years of male privilege impaired your ability to be rational?

  92. CR says:

    On the other hand, I have seen females doing some pretty destructive things. Beating the tar out of their children, selling their little girls so they could be raped and beaten for the pleasure of males, pimping their little girls to men. I spent 8 years in West Africa. During the civil war of Liberia a group of females did unspeakable and unwritable things to other females and thier little babies with machetes who were of a different klan.

    Interestingly, all this behaviour with the acception of the beating their kids, was instigated and geared towrds pleasing males in their world. I am not excusing the females. Contrary, I expect the females to do whats right no matter what. That’s what makes it all the worse. And I expect men to be like Galahad no matter what. It just doesn’t always work out like that. But it certainly could. Yes it could.

  93. CR says:

    Violet,
    We were writing at the same time.
    I think its the coolest thing ever that you were in the Circus!!!!!!
    You are a very articulate person.

  94. will says:

    “You are a very articulate person.”

    For an emotional circus performer….

  95. will says:

    Circus was code for “owns a strip club near Duke”

  96. CR says:

    So again on the other hand, i have seen males do the beautiful things- saving little girls from other men, staying up all night knee deep in blood to help strangers, throw a ball with their little boy- be a good pal to his buddy- cry from the loss of his Mother and Father. be decent and loving and loyal to his wife or girlfriend. Brave things, kind things- highly Honorable things. The finest of humanity. So that goes to show the other side. I would like to see that other side every time- no matter what.

  97. Paul Tergeist says:

    From 66: I doubt, for instance, if the women of Berlin were doing a strip-tease before the Russian soldiers raped them.

    It wasn’t just Berlin, it was everywhere the Soviets went. And it wasn’t just some “male” thing, it was a combination of things. In the main, it was retaliation for the German treatment of Russian territories they captured. It was tit for tat and that happens in war. And there is another phenomenon that happens in war and must be hard-wired from some distant primal past. It is known as blood lust. When one male succeeds as the Alpha male in a tribe, he gets the women of his choice and that sometimes means all of them. It happens in many species of animal and it is probably related to the occurrance of rape in the human animal.. We are, still animals, with only a few thousand years of recorded history after a few hundred thousand or even a few millions of years of years of clawing at life.

    You feminists seem to think that ‘civilization’ equates to faster evolution. It ain’t necessarily so. See, we didn’t choose the civilization we find ourselves in. We are just passengers who are overcrowding and rapidly-depleting the earth. But because we USUALLY live by society’s rules (if we have a full belly) doesn’t mean we have evolved to be any less animal.

  98. RedDragon says:

    I will agree on one point with you Paul- the human race is not evolving faster. *We* are not evolving fast, technology is.

  99. Paul Tergeist says:

    91: No, Violet. The job of the stripper is to sexually excite the males. Or, in the case of male strippers, to sexually excite the females The performance is choeographed in a manner designed to do exactly that.

    I see that you cannot tell the difference between a fireman foing to a fire or a police officer going to a robbery in progress and a stripper (male or female) performing in front of an audience for money, but it is not the same thing at all. Or maybe it is. The police officer knows he may be killed and a stripper knows she (or he) may be gang-raped. Both acts are in the line of duty, and both are illegal. But the difference, as I continue to point out, is that the stripper had a choice. SHE WAS THERE VOLUNTARILY. She could have been a police officer instead.

  100. Burrow says:

    t was retaliation for the German treatment of Russian territories they captured. It was tit for tat and that happens in war.

    Yeah, men using women’s bodies to get back at each other. Cute. They must not have gotten the memo that women are human, but then after reading this thread I doubt that many of you got it either.

    MEN RAPE. Deal with it. Women are most often raped when they are WEARING JEANS. All a woman in this society has to do to ‘objectify’ herself is simply exist as a woman. I am severly disappointed in some of you.

  101. txfeminist says:

    yeah….it’s frustrating.

    the thing is, if rape ONLY occurred in stripper/etc situations, I might give the reasoning some validity. but it doesn’t. it happens , as Violet said, to 80 year old women and 8 year old girls. happens when women are home in their own bed, minding their own business. it happens in jeans, naked and in skirts. the only way to account for all scenarios, if you are looking for root causality, is control. control by violence. control by violation.

    there is a difference between saying this is what “men” do in general and this is what “an individual man does”. there are trends, and there are individual behaviors.

    we are talking about trends. what men as a group tend to do. to figure out why. the best explanation I can find, is, control.

    let me tell you. my awareness of rape definitely keeps me from doing some stuff. like even going to someones’ house to look at something cool I saw on Craigslist, alone.

    the result? the awareness of rape controls my behavior.

  102. Violet says:

    All a woman in this society has to do to ‘objectify’ herself is simply exist as a woman.

    and

    it happens , as Violet said, to 80 year old women and 8 year old girls. happens when women are home in their own bed, minding their own business. it happens in jeans, naked and in skirts.

    I’ve made that point so many times in this thread I’m tired of repeating myself. Yet it doesn’t sink in. It’s like talking to a brick wall. They keep insisting it has something to do with what women are doing. Unbelievable.

  103. RedDragon says:

    Yes why does it feel like we’re having to defend the victims/or that rape even matters(case in point:soldiers raping enemy women shouldn’t just be a fact of war, something that ‘happens’) The whole culture of war is a construct of the patriarchy but I won’t go there right now. And why does it feel like some posters are saying ‘boys will be boys’? Its the oldest line in the world. There are no excuses. Not ever.

  104. Joida says:

    You have an unworldly amount of patience, Violet. But rationalizations of objectification and rape is like proofs for Intelligent Design.

  105. RedDragon says:

    I looked up the Stanford Prison Experiment. Obviously it was an isolated study, but the results are… interesting. All the guards and prisoners were male. It was a woman who shut down the experiment after she arrived a few days in. Its fascinating reading. If you go to the main SPE website and follow the link to the ‘still powerful after all these years’ site, you can read what happened.

  106. Violet says:

    It is ironic, is it not, that men have traditionally claimed the mantle of logic for themselves? Yet when confronted with the unassailable fact that the only thing rape victims have in common is being female, they nevertheless insist on locating the reason for the rape in something the woman was doing. So let’s see, the list of things that women do to encourage rape:

    1) Stripping
    2) Not stripping
    3) Going to parties
    4) Not going to parties
    5) Wearing sexy clothes
    6) Wearing unsexy clothes
    7) Flirting
    8) Not flirting
    9) Being caught in a war zone
    10) Not being caught in a war zone…

    And on and on the list would continue of things that women do to encourage rape…

    873) Sleeping
    874) Eating
    875) Breathing
    876) Existing…

    Behold the mighty logic of the male mind!

  107. Violet says:

    *they nevertheless insist

    *Not all men, obviously.

  108. Alon Levy says:

    The whole culture of war is a construct of the patriarchy but I won’t go there right now.

    The day I see evidence for statements like this…

    I cannot show the studies becuase I don’t know what they called. However there does appear to be a marked tendency towards agressiveness more among males than females.

    As far as I know, no real, culture-free behavioral difference has been shown. After decades of studying inborn differences, exactly one solid difference with any social effects has been discovered: language perception. Aggressiveness doesn’t really figure into this – after all, even within maledom, there are immense differences in the levels of violence across cultures.

    Also in the auto insurance industry- the reason woman and men pay differing rates of auto insurance is because statisitcs show that men get in substantially more car accidents than females due to agressive or impatient driving.

    Do they? NOW claims that the reason why women should pay less is that they tend to drive less; it officially said it wouldn’t mind gender-blind per-mile rates.

    The most disturbing thing about rape for me (and perhaps for many people) is the way otherwise ordinary, non-criminal men can suddenly become rapists under certain circumstances. The male pack converts lacrosse players or schoolboys into gang-rapists. War transforms citizen soldiers into raping machines. What is that?

    I presume it’s the herd mentality of the Stanford Prison Experiment that converts ordinary people into killers, maimers, torturers, and rapists. The Abu Gharib torturers were ordinary Americans who just followed orders, for example.

  109. will says:

    So the objectification of women does not contribute to rape because men will rape regardless?

    I must have missed it when anyone said boys will be boys.

    I do not see what is so shocking to say that stripping contributes to the objectification of women and that the objectification of women is a bad thing that contributes to rape.

  110. Janeen says:

    Jesus fucking christ on a pogo stick, people. So what if a stripper’s job is to excite men sexually? Is a man, once sexually aroused, then able to do whatever the hell he wants because his dick is hard? No, as a matter of fact he isn’t. That’s lame-ass blame-the-victim logic, and I’m so sick of it. Rape isn’t about sex (more feminism 101 for you), it’s about power and control. Yeah, disappointment doesn’t even come close.

  111. CR says:

    I think men would miss us very much if we were gone. My dear and beloved male freind says that females are his compass sometimes for issues that he doesn’t know what’s right on.

    Guys are wonderful but they are not always right about everything. And deep down they know it. They’ll argue till the cows come home for something they know isn’t quite the truth sometimes. But after they think about it, not right away, of course, but after they stew over it, they come to the truth.

    Violet and TX Femisnist and Red Dragon and Gordo and the rest have all said indesputably truthful and useful and logical things about all this. To dismiss it or argue with it would not be very useful. Poor Violet got herself all pooped out.

    To Paul, the Belly Full thing. It’s a true thing you’ve said. Pwople will do the most horrendous things for survival. But we aren’t talking about extreme situations. We are talking about the male tendancy toward violence unrelated to survival behaviour.

    and the other thing you said about the alpha male getting all the females. I was laughing because I thought to myself ‘Ah! WEll maybe THAT explains the origins of monogamy in marriage! The other males in the klan wanted a wife too- but they weren’t alpha males- so they got all democratic and decided amongst themselves that they would do a thing where it would be one male for one female. That way everyone gets to have babies and be loved and feel like a king in his castle. Instead of just one guy getting everything.” But that is from another thread.

  112. Janeen says:

    Oh, and Will we cross posted. Here’s where I think your logic is totally fucked up. It’s not the stripper who is objectifying herself–it’s the MEN who objectify her. Yes, the objectification of women probably does contribute to rape, but objectification happens all the damn time, and MEN do it to all sorts of women. Stripping has so very little to do with it. And it sounds like you’re blaming the strippers for the existence of stripping.

  113. Joida says:

    not to mention men are already objectifying women even before the strippers arrive if they think hiring strippers is a form of entertainment

  114. Ann Bartow says:

    Violet,

    I have nothing to add substantively, but I just wanted to let you know how much I admire your tenacity and panache.

    Duke is a presigious school that many parents around here want to send their sons to, but not necessarilytheir daughters. This isn’t usually because they don’t value their daughters, but because they do.

  115. will says:

    Stripping exists because men will pay for it. My discussion was with regard to those rapes that results from evil situations.

    For example, I do not believe that the lacrosse players were horrible monsters unlike any other people. They could be anyone.

    Labeling these guys as some monsters unlike anyone else is very dangerous.

    Moreover, I do not think I ever suggested that stripping is the cause of all rapes. Simply, it is a bad component contributing to a bad problem.

    It is the system, not the individual stripper.

    Perhaps it would have been more palatible to simply say that all rape is committed by evil monsters. But that isnt the case. Otherwise regular people do evil things when in bad situations. Not everyone falls in a bad situation, of course.

  116. RedDragon says:

    *The day I see evidence for statements like this*

    Alon, you will agree, I assume, that we are in a patriarchal society right now. And we have been, for..a very long time. Logically, the conclusion that must come from that is *the present culture of war is a by-product of patriarchal society* the evidence is right in front of your eyes. In any wartorn country you care to mention./tangent

  117. Alon Levy says:

    And it sounds like you’re blaming the strippers for the existence of stripping.

    “Sounds like” doesn’t quite cut it. A lot of the posts here “sound like” venting anger at previous rape apologists rather than trying to convince the current commenters; it doesn’t mean they are.

  118. Alon Levy says:

    Alon, you will agree, I assume, that we are in a patriarchal society right now. And we have been, for..a very long time.

    That’s a trivial observation, then. I’ve been looking for some time for a place to comment that in a patriarchal society, everything can be said to be patriarchal: monogamy and polygamy, war and peace, democracy and aristocracy, capitalism and socialism, promiscuity and celibacy can all be decried as patriarchal.

    That’s different from the nontrivial statement that war was only made possible by the formation of the patriarchy in prehistory; if you didn’t intend that then I apologize for the stereotyping, but there are people who do make this claim (e.g. Brownmiller, in one of the factless sections of Against Our Will).

  119. Violet says:

    My discussion was with regard to those rapes that results from evil situations.

    Will, every single gang-rape mentioned in this thread involved otherwise ordinary men in an evil situation. Every single one. Yet only one of those gang-rapes involved a stripper. What did the victims of the gang-rapes we’ve mentioned have in common? Nothing except being female. One was a stripper. One was a high school girl at a party with friends. One was an Afghan tribeswoman living quietly in a village. Some were just French women walking down the street. Some were English school girls. Some were citizens of Berlin frantically fleeing invading Russian troops. Nothing in common except being female.

    That’s what you need to think about. That’s why when you say that the woman was complicit in the rape by virtue of her behavior, I call bullshit. That’s why when you posit ANY theory of gang-rape that locates the cause of rape anywhere but in the gang, I call bullshit.

    Stop thinking about what women are doing and start thinking about what MEN are doing. They’re the ones committing the rapes.

  120. Janeen says:

    Rapes that result from evil situations? You mean gang rapes in particular? OK, now I think I see what you’re getting at, Will. No, those guys weren’t monsters. They are all too ordinary, and that is the scariest thing of all. Like Violet says, men despise women. It’s nothing out of the ordinary at all.

  121. Alon Levy says:

    You’re talking past him, Violet. If his argument is anything like the one I used to believe in, then it doesn’t matter to him that women can get raped in any situation; the question is whether being a stripper results in a significant increase in the risk of rape. Now I don’t know that it does and I’m sure that Will doesn’t either or else he’d have posted the evidence 50 comments ago, but that, I think, is his issue (Will, if I’m wrong here, then please correct me).

  122. Alon Levy says:

    Sorry, Janeen, we crossposted – when I said “you’re talking past him” I meant Violet, not you.

  123. Violet says:

    Ann, thank you.

  124. Alon Levy says:

    Duke is a presigious school that many parents around here want to send their sons to, but not necessarilytheir daughters. This isn’t usually because they don’t value their daughters, but because they do.

    What do you mean by this? What’s there about Duke that causes parents not to want to send their daughters there? Or is it that it’s not an observation about Duke, but about sexist parents?

  125. RedDragon says:

    Violet: you have my admiration for your patience.
    Sadly, I think some people will just keep missing the point.

    Alon: I didn’t make it clear what I meant before. What I meant was that war is a construct of the patriarchy *but not necessarily only of the patriarchy* How can we know if a non-patriarchal society would be the same? We can’t.

  126. RedDragon says:

    I think the Duke statement meant that parents were afraid about a certain macho, maybe ‘rape’ culture at Duke’s?

  127. Alon Levy says:

    Alon: I didn’t make it clear what I meant before. What I meant was that war is a construct of the patriarchy but not necessarily only of the patriarchy How can we know if a non-patriarchal society would be the same? We can’t.

    I see… no, we definitely can’t. My hunch is that in 50 or 100 years, when the patriarchy’s more or less gone, everything else will stay the same; but calling my reasoning behind this circumstantial would be a compliment, so I won’t push this further. For what it’s worth, I don’t think there’s a real disagreement between us here – only a few misunderstandings.

  128. Violet says:

    My hunch is that in 50 or 100 years, when the patriarchy’s more or less gone

    The optimism of youth!

    RedDragon, I read Ann’s comment on Duke the same way.

  129. Violet says:

    By the way, Alon, I mean that merely as an observation, not an insult. My sister-in-law and I were talking the other night about how back in the 70s we thought we’d live to see all this nonsense swept away. Thirty years later…

    I still hope for the patriarchy to disappear, but I’m far less confident about predicting its demise than I was in my youth.

  130. Alon Levy says:

    No insult taken… I know when people’s comments about my age are meant as insults, and this isn’t one of those cases.

    The main reason I’m optimistic is that the stumbling block of feminism seems to be religious fundamentalism, which is now preparing for its last stand, as people are becoming more and more secular. Maybe fundamentalism will win that last stand – hell, I’m writing a novel about a scenario in which it does – but I don’t think it’s the likelier outcome.

  131. Paul Tergeist says:

    I forgot what identity I am using in this blog and so I am at a loss to continue the premise I started earlier bacause I don’t remember if I am Paul or Violet. I DO remember that I am not Deeny or that Canuck dykester Burrow. Whoever I am, and whatever I said made perfect sense at the time and defines logical thought as we know it.

    Thank you and goodnight.

  132. cicely says:

    I’ve been away from the computer for a couple of days – and – wow. Much patience on the part of the women here trying to get some men to break through the gravity of their own male-centred point of view. The disconnect is disappointingly obvious – especially as one would think that – being men themselves – they might be better able to answer questions than to ask them. Men. You’re the ones privvy to conversations between men when women aren’t present. You’re the ones who’ve been socialised as boys and men in our culture. As a result of this, are you truly and utterly unable to absorb a woman’s point of view? I ask because with some of the posters here that’s what it looks like. I could be raped in my own bed tonight, flannel pajama’s notwithstanding. I qualify as a target tonight and every other day or night of my life because I’m female. End of story. There’s another side to this story.

    Let’s get to the heart of the matter – particularly with regard to gang rape by so called ‘ordinary men’. What do the ordinary men here imagine the conversation *between* the gang rapists to be before during and after this bonding excercise or experience? What thoughts might be going through their individual minds? Enlighten us with what you know from your side of the fence.

  133. Alon Levy says:

    Cicely, the boundaries between genders are much fuzzier than you think. Some people’s socializations weren’t as expected, or just didn’t work well. Do I have a Y chromosome? Yes. Is my point of view standard for someone who does? Not at all. In particular, do I have anything approaching an inside view of gang mentality? No way – I barely fit in in online echo chambers, much less violent gangs.

  134. Steve says:

    Vi

    Why did you feel you had to hang on through the whole discussion about how women cause their own rape? I mean, I sort of respect your patience and willingness to teach some of these jerk-offs, but do you really thik they deserve the courtesy of your persistence and patience?

    This is not such a complex issue: Penetration, indeed any sexual contact, occurs when a woman either says or crystal-clearly implies that it can. And I for one have no interest in engaging in dialogue or of even being in the same state with any fucktard who argues that ‘clearly implies” includes such acts as wearing a short skirt or baking cookies or stripping or dancing suggestively or washing a car.

    And yes, I even include bending over anmd scrubbing the floor, which I am sure some shitheads see as implying a permit to penetrate the moment they see the first hint of plumberette’s crack.

    Lemme tell you a god’s honest true story. And I don’t suggest that every dipshit who fondles and gropes will become a sex offender, but bear with me.

    In my early 20s, I met the person who to this day still qualifies as the most objectioable person I have ever known. He wasn’t just a boor with women, he was a subtle and nuanced harrasser. He would show gwnuine affection and seductiveness and, when he would get a response, would alwasy push harder and faster than the woman wanted to go. When she would smile and kiss him, he would go for the breasts even if she didnt want it. When she would allow him to touch her breats he assumed that full nookie was on the menu.

    And he was not gentle. And he forced himself. But he was just charming ewnough to some people that he was often given the most valued gift desired by any fucktard sex offender-in-training, the ultimate get out of jail free card — the “boys will be boys” reaction.

    Fast forward to 2006. I was reading reading Dr. Socks and it struck me: What ever happened to Mr. “Laugh at one of my jokes and it means I can fuck you?”

    On a complete lark, I go straight to Fucktard National Archives,i.e., the Federal Sex Offender registry. And while it once took me two years to find an old girlfriend, it took me just ten seconds to find this sleazeball.

    Only now, Mr. “Laugh at one of my jokes and it means I can fuck you” was Dr. “Laugh at one of my jokes and it means I can fuck you.” And he was imprisoned for drugging multiple female patients and having sex with them when they prresumably gave the go ahead for hot sex by reporting their yeast infection.

    Like I said: Not every putz who is inappropriate with women becomes a rapist. But a culture that in any way blames a victim or that tolerates the “boys wioll be boys attitude” for boys and men of any age reaps what it sows.

    So let’s make it clear: The women gets to say no at any time. Any time. Do I make myself clear, teeny weeny deeny?

    Here’s a test:

    A woman is dancing with you and, while rubbing against you, whispers in your ear: “Fuck me.”
    You retire to the bat cave and as you both undress, you pull out your shlong and for, god know’s what reason, she takes one look (maybe it’s that open sore, dipshit!) and says: “I think Id rather not.”

    That means NO. A full and complete NO. Yeah, even if you are standing there with a wee-wee ready to blast-ff and a gorgeous woman in bed, her no means no.

    And just because the patriarchal victim blaming legal systen would probably never convict you of rape if you forcibly penetrated at that point, it doesnt mean you are any less a piece of shit.

    So Vi, you can keep engaging the victim blamers. Id just ban their sorry asses.

  135. Ann Bartow says:

    With respect to Duke; it is regarded by many around here as the best school in the South, a place wealthy parents would rather send their gifted children than Harvard or Yale. However, there is also an acknowledgement that the culture there is hard on women. The social life is monocultural and women students are less successful there on almost any measure than they are at comparable schools. There is empirical research and “campus climate” studies on this – I do not have time to provide links, but anyone interested in this issue can do a little research themselves.

    I am always flabbergasted that people will send their sons to a school that they acknowledge is probably not the best bet for their daughters…

  136. Txfeminist says:

    my head hurts. :-\

  137. Violet says:

    Will isn’t here to explain himself, but the reason I engaged the discussion was because he was making what he probably thinks is a feminist argument, to wit:

    “I do not see what is so shocking to say that stripping contributes to the objectification of women and that the objectification of women is a bad thing that contributes to rape.”

    “A stripper is inviting men to treat her like a sexual object, not a person…That certainly does not mean that she should get raped. But once you say that you are an object, not a person, you are going to be treated like an object, not a person.”

    We spent 100+ comments trying to uncover the logical fallacies therein and show that this is just a fancy way of blaming the victim.

  138. cicely says:

    Alon wrote:

    Cicely, the boundaries between genders are much fuzzier than you think. Some people’s socializations weren’t as expected, or just didn’t work well. Do I have a Y chromosome? Yes. Is my point of view standard for someone who does? Not at all.

    Ok, you’ve covered exceptions or differences in socialisation and biology but what about the ‘norm’ – particularly with regard to socialisation? What is a masculine identity made up of in our culture and how is it constructed? How important in that identity is ‘separatness’ or ‘distance’ from women, and at the same time, how important is ‘control over one’s emotions’? These are the kinds of things that distort the relationship between the sexes and that need to be honestly discussed and understood. Something, or a number of things, must ‘click’ between a group of boys or men when they join together in sexually assaulting a girl or a woman. What do we think those things might be?

  139. Txfeminist says:

    Yeah, the main one I can see is,

    “you are going to be treated like an object, not a person” — meaning there is no longer a need for anyone to do any critical thinking. I mean, there’s objectification of strippers, which is vulgar and tacky etc, and then there’s rape, which is a crime.saying stripping leads directly to crime takes out the step where a man goes past the threshold of vulgar objectification and into the realm of criminal behavior. which is purely his choice.

    I can hang with statement one okay, with the understanding that (as I said before) we are talking about trends of behavior (stripping), rather than nailing an individual with the full weight of the trend. (one stripper)

    phew.

    so…. watched any good movies lately?

  140. Violet says:

    There’s the problem of locating the objectification in the stripper’s actions rather than in the men’s actions (fails the Chippendale test); there’s the problem with seeing rape as a logical consequence of sexual excitement (fails the Chippendale test); there’s the problem with ignoring that men objectify women no matter what the women are doing or wearing; there’s the problem with ignoring that men rape women no matter what the women are doing or wearing; there’s the problem with ignoring that even when women wear giant black bags and hide behind closed doors they still get raped; etc., etc., etc.

    It’s worth talking about because people are so used to excusing male behavior as a reaction to something women are doing that even people who think they’ve got their heads on straight get hopelessly confused.

  141. gordo says:

    cicely–

    I don’t know if I could give a good answer as to what the “norm” is, but the idea of maintaining control over one’s emotions definitely impacts the way a man’s relationships with women is seen by other men.

    This is especially evident in groups of unmarried men. In these groups, one is considered weak if he becomes too attached to a woman. In fact, the man who is able to have sex with several women without becoming attached to any is greatly admired. In the hive mind, he’s a guy who can get what he wants from a relationship while maintaining control over his emotions. It would seem that a closeted gay man would have a huge advantage in this arena.

    It all seems predicated on the idea that men want sex, but women want emotional attachment. If a man gets attached, she’s in control. If he gets sex without getting attached, he’s in control.

    Of course, different men buy into this to greater or lesser degrees. But if you’ve got a bunch of guys who went to single-sex schools and spend most of their free time in single-sex environments, like the Duke U. lacrosse team, there’s bound to be a lot more buy-in throughout the group.

  142. gordo says:

    Violent–

    I think that a lot of the talk about strippers has been fueled by a stereotype regarding what strippers actually do. I once shared an apartment with a woman who had worked as a DJ at a topless bar, and some of her stripper friends would come over and talk. Also, I’ve been in a couple of topless bars, so this isn’t all second-hand information.

    There are “clients” who completely objectify the women. They tend to go in only occasionally, and tend not to be big money-makers for the women. The majority of the clients are lonely men who spend as much time talking to the dancers as they do getting lap dances.

    These guys usually focus on just one woman, and no more than 3. What they seem to want primarily is a sexual relationship with a woman. They get that by talking to women in an environment in which there is a sexual subtext.

    There are other kinds of clients, of course, from the swinger couple who spice up their relationships to the closeted gay men who spend most of their time watching the baseball games on TV to the psychopaths. But for the most part, a stripper’s time is devoted to sad but non-objectifying relationships.

  143. CR says:

    I am not a man so I wouldn’t know, but I think that most men do not hate women. I think that most men love and wish to be loved by them. They are normal type guys. They get lonely, and desire that “special frinedhip and partnership that only females can provide to them” And they like it once they get married or get a steady girlfriend. Perhaps they loose some of their “mojo” but at the same time they gain things that they have been longing for dep n thieir hearts.

    In some cultures a man who has not married is not concidered a complete man. He is seen as ztill a boy with holes in his judgement. So not every culture is the same, where single men are concidered “the cool guys”.

    What Gordo was talking about with the ‘culture of single men” looks true. Where they try to pull or influence ‘attached” men away from their relationships or undermine them. As is the whole reason behind bachalor parties, for example. To undermine the marriage before it has started rather than support it.

    A man once explained to me that it is coming from that lonliness. They don’t want to loose their buddies. When a man marries or gets a girlfreind, he tends to want to spend more time with her and be comfortable. He doesn’t want to spend as much time with his single buddies anymore. The buddies feel a little jealous of him, a little abandoned by him and it makes them feel all that more lonely and left out. Because deep down that group of “buddies”, while friendly, cannot give them that comfort that ‘special female friend” can. At least that is what my male friend told me.

    and Gordo, I think it was you that said when a man wants to sleep with you, you get a little nervous. Maybe those men have fallen in love with you and want to make you theirs. Because while men can separate sex from love- they also can equate it. Sometimes more romantically and old fashiionedly than it seems on the outside. Some men, you sleep with them once and they follow you around like a puppy dog and want to take you home and never let you out of their sight. They do not wish to take another breath of life without you. I bet they think you’re wonderful.

    Oh well, what’cha gonna do? Che sera, sera.

    As for woman contributing to their own objectification, wittingly or unwittingly- I think that’s a whole good ‘nother discussion. There’s alot in there to sort out. How women are commadres to males in helping males to have certain demeanor towards them. Or how woman buy into and contribute to some unhealthy mindsets by males toward women. How women sometimes can perpetuate societial prejudices that males have toward them. How woman, not on purpose, help men to be buttheads instead of helping them to be their best selves. And vice versa. How that applies to why ladies are raped- that does not logically compute. It’s two discussions that are not related.

  144. CR says:

    God Gordo! i am so sorry! And ashamed of myself. From the bottom of my heart I swear never to be so presumpuous again. Please forgive an ass. I think you are a fellow now from reading other posts you made. I got all mixed up. And now I think Paul is Violet playing a trick from what he said. Or not. I’m all messed up!!! Oh no! I’ll shut up now and just listen. My apologies to Violet and the rest of you too. God! I’m such an ASS!!!

  145. cicely says:

    gordo wrote:

    cicely–

    I don’t know if I could give a good answer as to what the “norm” is, but the idea of maintaining control over one’s emotions definitely impacts the way a man’s relationships with women is seen by other men….

    It all seems predicated on the idea that men want sex, but women want emotional attachment. If a man gets attached, she’s in control. If he gets sex without getting attached, he’s in control.

    Gordo, I wrote a response to this this morning (about control mostly) and thought I’d posted it, but it’s lost in cyberspace….I’ll try to remember…anyway…

    I’m glad you mentioned the way a man’s relationship with a woman is viewed by other men. Men as a peer group is where we need to look for the answers about pack sexual assault and rape. I’m short of time yet again, but I wanted to say that in some ways I think mens’ relationships with other men are the most important to them. Something, or a number of things must ‘click’ between a group of men when they’re ‘together’ assaulting a woman. I’ll come back to this with a more thoughtful response…

  146. flawedplan says:

    Jesus Christ, Foilwoman, that’s the dilemma! You laid it out so logically, I think I should commit that to memory, b/c I don’t remember that when I need it, and I don’t want to! “How do we fix this?”

    Get drunk! That’s called adaptation, escape/ accomodation of unbearable circumstances. Why the cage bird sings, right? I have given THAT some thought.
    F/W, I cried when I read that. I’m in favor of pragmatism. I don’t undlerstand how you can both see what you describe while believing there is a way to fix it. You’re more starcrossed than I’ll ever be…

  147. RedDragon says:

    btw don’t know if you’ve mentioned this anywhere Violet, but lelyons at wordpress has a blog-to-raise-awareness-of-sexual-violence (April 18th). The link to the Unifem facts and figures on violence against women globally certainly bears some reading, as does the ‘redefining rape’ piece on the f-word site. Just thought it was sort-of related to this post.

  148. RedDragon says:

    Sorry, when I said lelyons, obviously I meant Femivist.

  149. Nancy says:

    Yes, sexism and misogyny are involved but so is racism! When a white man rapes a black women the two, racism and sexism, are usually linked. How can you think otherwise? The history of slavery in America tells a gruesome story of rape! Do you realize that 30 to 40% of African American men carry a European Y chromosome? Those numbers are not the result of loving, consensual relationships. They reflect the number of woman who raped and bore their rapists sons.

    The neighbor heard the women being called racist names. Were sexist terms used? Probably, but they haven’t been reported. What’s sad about your post is that you are, in effect, trying to diminish the racism in the alleged rape.

    Those lacrosse players did specifically hire black strippers. The players used phony names when they hired the strippers. It’s also fair to say that they expected not to be punished for their actions because their victims were white.
    Moreover, do you honestly believe that if a white woman had been gang raped by black men the alleged rapists wouldn’t have been arrested? News reports indicate that the woman picked her alleged rapists out of photo line up. The police found her broken finger nails in the bathroom. However, no one has been arrested.

    Black and Native American women have experienced historically incredibly vicious levels of treatment in American society by white men not only because of sexism but also, more importantly, because of their race. It’s easier to rape someone who is considered sub-human. Who cares about the word of a colored woman?

    Again, I’m disappointed that you would try to use this horrible crime for your own political motives. Sexism is a horrible reality. But to say that a white woman wouldn’t have received equal support is ridiculous. CNN and Fox News are the damned missing white women networks! Whether it’s the disappearance of Natalie, Chandra, or Jennifer, CNN is there to report 24/7 about their disappearance. However, if a woman of color disappears or is murdered, there is silence. A pretty, young white woman is great for ratings. A woman of color is just another dead x (fill in sexist, racist term) woman. You really must have your head in the sand or never watch TV or read a newspaper.

    For a long time, there has been a schism in the feminist movement between white women and women of color. Your posting reflects that horrible condescending attitude that causes said schism.

  150. Violet says:

    Nancy, I’m sorry you were unable to understand my post. I suggest you work on your reading comprehension skills before commenting here again.

  151. flawedplan says:

    Mercy I just read the whole thread. It’s great, and you are on fire.

  152. foilwoman says:

    Flawedplan: Well, I’m re-entering the world of negotiating male/female sexual relations after 12 years of marriage (which I thought was a feminist marriage, but which sadle veered offtrack). I don’t want to live without sexual relationships (and I don’t think that’s a sacrifice women should have to think about making), so I have to face the problems inherent in men’s often abusive and dangerous views of women’s sexuality as being solvable or at least redeemable. Of course, when I figure out the answer, I’ll post on it. That might take a few years, or decades, or longer. But thanks for the comment, FP.

  153. cicely says:

    Nancy,

    Violet really isn’t ignoring racism, she’s highlighting what’s missing in the media discussion around this case, and is actually missing in all cases of sexual assault of women. They are all treated as isolated cases involving this or that man or group of men and this or that woman. There is no recognition or acknowledgement of the fact that members of one class or group of people – males – regularly – and across the board – worldwide – commit these crimes on members of another class or group of people – females. That is, the glaringly obvious is never addressed and the questions, the answers to which must be understood in order to create change, are never asked. Do men ever ask of their own sex ‘why do we do it?’ Rarely. They’re much more likely to ask ‘what did this woman do to provoke it?’

    And yet – it’s been said over and over again in relation to the perpetrators of gang rapes – ‘these were apparently ordinary boys or men – the people who knew them well would never have expected them to have engaged in this type of behaviour.’

    In the case of Peter Sutcliffe, who was erroneously dubbed ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’ (because it was mistakenly assumed that he also only targetted prostitutes), the Yorkshire police called him in as a suspect, and let him go, no fewer than nine times. He killed 11 more women than he would have done if they had made the right connections after the first three attacks which the women survived – and the first murder. One of the detectives on the case had actually been heard to say that if they ever got the murderer into the police station they’d know him straight away. The police expected him to be somehow obviously different from themselves. And yet, in the numerous conversations they had with him, which no doubt involved discussions about his attitudes to women (they would have been extremely remiss if not), they were actually never able to distinguish him from themselves and their own attitudes towards women. You see why when you look at their own written assessments and statements about the morals of the victims, most of whom were not prostitutes, and ranged in age from the late teens to the forties. The one thing they had in common was that they were out in the street alone and at night. But if they’d been to a pub, had sexual relations with more than one man – whatever, whatever – most or none of which Peter Sutcliffe could have known anyway – these things were remarked upon as if they may have had some bearing on their murders. (This was in the late 1970′s.) In fact there was no reason to remark on these things at all.

    Seriously, men. Ask the bloody questions! Ask them of yourselves and each other. If you truly care to know, that’s where the answers are.

    p.s. Re the Peter Sutcliffe case I have paraphrased the work of Joan Smith from her book ‘Misogynies’.

  154. Burrow says:

    Which is a very good book.

  155. gordo says:

    CR–

    Now I’m in a big huff because you thought I was a woman. That’s what I get for cross-dressing.

    cicely–

    While you were having your comment eaten by the internet, I was losing about 4 hours of work on a post on my own site due to a browser crash. I managed to redo it, and you can bet that I saved every time I finished a sentence.

    Like you and Nancy, I think that there is a racial component to this particular crime, but I agree that the media tends to present rape as if the crime had no relationship to the larger culture.

    But it must. There were three men who raped this woman. I think that it’s likely that two of them would never have committed rape, had there not been an instigator.

    As for what I said about the attitude that men have toward relationships, I think that a lot of it is just an act that men put on for one another. It’s like they just say the things that they think are expected of them, and that reinforces the message among the group. During my first couple of years in college, I sometimes talked that way myself.

    It’s something that is constantly reinforced in the media, also. Not just on the Tom Lykes show, but also on TV, especially sitcoms. The single men who fall for women make themselves ridiculous with their antics. The sympathetic single men like Jerry Seinfeld jump in and out of relationships, and feel no emotional tug whatsoever when they recall their past girlfriends.

    And as for rapists, it’s a bit hard to ask why “we” do it, because most of us don’t. I have some ideas about the way a hard-core sexist feels, because they often express their feelings about women. But nobody says, “Yeah, I raped this one girl a couple of years ago…”

    I know from looking at statistics that I must have known rapists, but I wouldn’t know who they were.

  156. foilwoman says:

    When are the DNA test results due back?

  157. CR says:

    To Gordo,
    I think I meant the post for foilwaman. But got all mixed up after so many posts and trying to remember who wrote what. I think she’s just wonderful and very interesting and special person. But I was having the most dumb bell day. I’m sorry. Truth is, I think you’re very wonderful too. I have alot of respect for you. The things you say are amazing to me because I have never heard anyone say them like that before. And it clarifies things that I know by the heart but am not articulate or organized enough in my head to be able to say them properly. I just know them as sure as I know my name, but I can’t explain them to any one else. You have a gift for good to many people in your lifetime.

    and now after reading some of the other posts here today on some of the other topics- specifically the religous ones, I am not feeling quite so ashamed anymore. There’s an awful lot of silliness and dumb bellness without reason or purpose that I can ascertain.It looks like being profane just for the sake of it without a purpose or a point. I’m not the only one having a dumb bell day. At least i’m not feeling all by myself on that. In that sense it was positive.

    I meant the best when I wrote that post. It was very silly of me though. Again. I’m sorry.

    back to being quiet. Thank you for the acknowlegment and the joke, Gordo. You’re a good sport.

  158. cicely says:

    And as for rapists, it’s a bit hard to ask why “we” do it, because most of us don’t. I have some ideas about the way a hard-core sexist feels, because they often express their feelings about women.

    I know most men aren’t rapists themselves, gordo, but that doesn’t change the fact that rape(along with other forms of violence against women) is epidemic in most cultures in the world (since most are patriarchal) – and spreads through cultural ‘understandings’ between men about what women are ‘for’. It’s this ‘othering’ – making women less than fully human – that has to stop – and men have to stop it. While men aren’t actively objecting to other men’s sexism, but rather passively acquiescing to it in order to maintain their own masculine identity with their peers, nothing is going to change. So, ok, most men don’t rape, but neither do most men ask themselves – or each other – what it is about male socialisation and male identity in general that makes rape as common as it is. I know of a couple of organisations where men are actively involved in this – hence ‘white ribbon’ day. (November 25th) I saw about three ribbons that day last year. Two on men in the street, and one on a television presenter. (In Perth, Western Australia.) I’d like to see a whole lot more this year. Did you see any? Did you know about it? You do now! (Look up ‘white ribbon day’ on google.) I’m not picking on you, gordo, in fact I thank you for your dialogue and honest responses.

  159. Alon Levy says:

    Or they ask themselves and reach the conclusion that there’s nothing about male socialization that causes rape, since most rapes are committed by individuals rather than gangs. Looking at gang behavior is a red herring, since 80% of rapes are committed by individuals known to the victim (and in general the other 20% tend to be the ones that already get enough media attention).

    They might also ask themselves, “So, what are we going to do about it?”; but while feminist policies have caused battery and intimate murder to become much rarer than it used to be, they have failed to make as much as a dent in the rape rate, and in fact all rape-reduction ideas I’ve seen are useless, except possibly a sex-offender registry. Although in its nature rape is closest to battery, in terms of policy the rape problem is inseparable from the murder and assault problems.

  160. Violet says:

    Or they ask themselves and reach the conclusion that there’s nothing about male socialization that causes rape, since most rapes are committed by individuals rather than gangs.

    If they did reach that conclusion, they would be committing an unwarranted leap of logic.

  161. gordo says:

    Cicely–

    I hadn’t known about white ribbon day, so thanks for telling me.

    Alon–

    I don’t think that it’s completely accurate to say that rape is usually an individual crime. A friend of mine in college wrote a news story about rape on campus (never published–censored by the administration). He ran an ad in the school paper and asked the women on campus to anonymously contact him if they’d been assaulted.

    More than half of the women who contacted him had been assaulted by members of the baseball team. This wasn’t just a few cases. More than 50 women contacted him. None were gang rape situations. Almost a dozen different players were named. And if I recall correctly, fewer than 10 of the women had contacted authorities, and there had been no prosecutions.

    So how is it that the baseball team wound up with so many rapists? If socialization was irrelevant, having two rapists on the team would have been improbable, and having more than 3 would be virtually impossible. I have to think that the way men interact outside the presence of women has something to do with whether or not they’ll assault women.

  162. cicely says:

    So how is it that the baseball team wound up with so many rapists? If socialization was irrelevant, having two rapists on the team would have been improbable, and having more than 3 would be virtually impossible. I have to think that the way men interact outside the presence of women has something to do with whether or not they’ll assault women.

    Yes, and there are plenty of examples of this. The winter before last one of Australia’s elite male sporting teams (Rugby League) was said to have ‘brought the game into disrepute’ when a group of them sexually assaulted a young woman at the teams Queensland holiday resort getaway. My view is that what they actually did was highlight yet again what you said up there, gordo. In fact, I think it was last year, possibly in the beginnings of some recognition of this, that an elite Aussie Rules Football player addressed the Melbourne city open air gathering on white ribbon day.

    I didn’t know about white ribbon day myself until last year, gordo, (although it’s been going since about 1999) and I’m very happy to be able to spread the word via the net. That’s how I found out about it too.

  163. Alon Levy says:

    So how is it that the baseball team wound up with so many rapists?

    Are you talking about rape or sexual assault? Your point about 3 rapists on a baseball team is true for rape, but not for sexual assault.

    If they did reach that conclusion, they would be committing an unwarranted leap of logic.

    I’m not so sure. The evidence I’ve seen for the rape-socialization links comes mostly from instances of gang rape and talks mostly about non-acquaintance rape.

  164. CR says:

    They are saying that the DNA evidence taken in the case in question does not match at all with the lacrosse players idenitified as the assailants. Also, they are saying that the time/date on the photographs of the lady’s wounds are prior to the time she entered the party. In short, they are saying that the physical evidence says she is lieing or seriously mistaken about what happened that night.

  165. cicely says:

    The evidence I’ve seen for the rape-socialization links comes mostly from instances of gang rape and talks mostly about non-acquaintance rape.

    I think you’re missing the point about culture and socialisation, Alon. Individuals as well as groups act according to beliefs that arise from these forces. Rape is an extreme but not uncommon behaviour on a continuum that covers acquaintance as well as stranger and group rape.
    I’m thinking about group rape by apparently ‘ordinary guys’ (usually with one leader triggering the event) as a demonstration of the power of beliefs about ‘what women are for’ that individual men share and ‘uphold’ together.

    You seem to be concentrating (in your earlier post) on gang dynamics at the expense of the actual shared activity – which is the sexual abuse of a woman.

  166. Violet says:

    Or they ask themselves and reach the conclusion that there’s nothing about male socialization that causes rape, since most rapes are committed by individuals rather than gangs.

    Alon, the problem with your original statement (above) is the unstated underlying assumption: there is no link between group behavior and individual behavior. That’s a huge assumption that’s not borne out by social theory or anthropology.

  167. gordo says:

    Alon–

    Remember that I didn’t actually get to read the story or see the notes. While the guy used the word “rape” when he talked about his story, I assumed because of the high numbers involved and the low reporting rate that he was including sexual assault.

    This is a university that had about 1,500 undergrads, and not all of them would have known to contact him, or would have contacted him if they did know.

    But remember that the baseball team only had about 35 players, so we’re talking about 1/4-1/3 of the team. I certainly hope that doesn’t reflect the general population. If it did, then there would have been around 200 perpetrators, just at that university.

  168. Alon Levy says:

    Alon, the problem with your original statement (above) is the unstated underlying assumption: there is no link between group behavior and individual behavior. That’s a huge assumption that’s not borne out by social theory or anthropology.

    I don’t think I assumed that. Rather, what I assumed was that the sources where you read about the rape-socialization link were the same as mine (i.e. Against Our Will or its derivatives), so the evidence you saw was the same evidence I saw. On the other hand, the conformity experiments I know of demonstrate at least some disconnect between group and individual behavior, in the sense that individuals do not carry the groupthink into their individual life.

    Now I’m not saying it’s definitely wrong that rape and male socialization aren’t linked; I’m only saying that the only evidence I’ve seen for it revolves around gang rape and ignores individual rape, even though the vast majority of rapes are individual. There might be evidence that does show such a link – for example, that a large majority of individual rapists are gang members, or at least have background in violent, male-bonding activities, such as military service. On the other hand, the last case is somewhat problematic because there are at least two variables you’ll need to control (socioeconomic class, and the effect of male bonding on non-sexual violent crimes).

    But remember that the baseball team only had about 35 players, so we’re talking about 1/4-1/3 of the team. I certainly hope that doesn’t reflect the general population. If it did, then there would have been around 200 perpetrators, just at that university.

    I’m not sure about the baseball team, but I know that the university as a whole isn’t representative of the general population. There’s a very important intervening factor, namely age: university students are typically in the most criminal age group.

    The 200 figure seems about right, or at most a slight overstatement: if I’m not mistaken, in the crime culture that is the US, the lifetime probability of a woman to be sexually assaulted is about 1/6. The average number of offenders per rape is 1.2, so if we assume it holds true also for sexual assault, then we get that a fifth of all American males have sexually assaulted a woman. Now because of the age factor, it stands to reason that about one fifth of male university students commit sexual assault some time during their 4 years.

  169. gordo says:

    Alon–

    But in this case, the baseball team made up about half of all the attackers identified. That was what really jumped out in the data that my friend collected. And it’s probably the biggest single reason the administration wouldn’t allow the article to be printed.

  170. RedDragon says:

    Its like the chicken and the egg scenario. Does environment breed nature, or the other way around? Or both?

  171. belledame222 says:

    Just reading through the first third or so of these comments, and…well. Lots of rather strong feelings bubbling up. Dismay, anger, frustration, old shame. Anger, yes.

    I’ll just say this: the tone of many of the responses I’m reading here is *exactly* what “sex-positive feminism” developed in response to. Essentially: well, after all, she *was* a stripper. She was a sex worker. It’s DIFFERENT. Anything sexual is dangerous and mysterious and if you start messing with the traditional ways to contain it (monogamy chastity het blah blah), well, ANYTHING can happen. Regrettable, but.

    and of course lots of hand-washing as well. It’s everyone’s fault; it’s nobody’s fault. Sociopaths, like sex workers, are *other.* No relation to the rest of society or its teachings. Wrong again, I think, but that’s not my main point.

    She was doing a job. The job had very specific boundaries, same as any other job. She was violated and abused. Badly. End of story.

    And frankly, it’s very very clear to me that the whole notion that sex workers–hell, sex, women, period–are rather dirty and degraded of themselves, albeit exciting–is *exactly* (if not *only*) what leads to a rape mentality in the first place. First tag sex as something disgusting and degraded, then project all the “sin” onto the woman. It’s not a coincidence that our skinning friend went to an all-boys’ school where the “monastic” approach is valued and sublimation of sexuality into team sports (competition, male bonding, hardness).

    No, those boys weren’t all that different from a lot of us in many ways. That’s exactly the problem. It’s not “hating” women, exactly. It’s a deep terror of them and what they’ve been made to represent. Sex.

    But as long as you keep placing sex as something *other,* something faintly (or a lot) dirty and unpleasant and degrading, this shit’s gonna keep happening, to some degree at least. It’s a vital part of it to understand that yes, No means No, no matter who you are or what you do.

    But it’s not enough.

    The woman is, was, a subject in her own right. She is a *person.* Whatever her reasons for choosing to work as an exotic dancer, they were, ultimately, hers, and they need to be respected as such. And frankly, any sort of “oh, the poor thing…but I could never…how *could* she??” approach leads to objectification just as much as “the bitch deserved it.”

    Because, as Will pointed out somewhere up there, there are a lot of ways to objectify. A lot a lot a lot. Not all of them sexual by any means.

    But the fundamental aspect of objectification is when *you deny someone else her agency. Her *personhood.* When you start thinking you “know better.” She should’ve, could’ve, must’ve. No. This was a crime. Her rights were violated. Period. Stop.

    End.

  172. Paul Tergeist says:

    Is this what you feminists mean by being able to choose multiple partners?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12316047/

    Or this?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12289591/

  173. harpy’s cave » Freedom From Sexual Violence? says:

    [...] Violet Socks: Certainly there were racist and classist elements in the Duke incident. But men all over the world get together in packs to rape women, including women of their own social group. From Afghan tribesmen to Orange County high school students, gang rape is just something that men do. [...]

  174. cicely says:

    Homosocial! Thanks Alas, Bark/Bite and Hugo. Tracing it back. I don’t know how to do links, but if you go to Alas, A blog and then to link farm no.19, and then click on Bark/Bite – you’ll get to the rest of this:

    Now, homosociality is one of them 10-cent words that can take an awful long time to explain (I took something like 5 pages in my dissertation), and it’s roughly the idea that men’s relationships with women are secondary to men’s relationships with other men, and
    that women are used as currency of exchange in male relationships, that women are used by men in various ways in order to negotiate their relationships with other men, etc.

    But the other day, Amanda had a pithy take on it that beautifully described one of the more important aspects:

    ‘But so long as men are more worried about calling out other men than treating women right, things will stay the same.’

    That’s about the size of it. Given a choice between looking bad in front of other men by treating a woman like a human being vs. looking bad in front of a woman by going along with what sexist guys are doing, guys operating under homosociality will always choose
    the latter. Hugo used it that way in the post to which I refer above, discussing a boys-only session with the church youth group he leads, in which one of the boys made sexist, objectifying remarks about a girl in the group:

    The other boys all laughed and concurred, and then turned towards me with sheepish grins. Yes, their youth minister was with them — but he was also a man, and they were operating under the homosocial assumption that even in church, it’s okay to objectify
    women and girls as long as only other men are around.

    I have a shiney new word.

  175. Alon Levy says:

    And I have a shiny new example of people treating anecdotes as data (well, unless Ampersand and Hugo have real evidence that most men are homosocial that you don’t include in your quoted bits).

  176. Violet says:

    That’s not anecdote as data. That’s anecdote as illustration of a concept. And I don’t think Amp, Hugo, or cicely are arguing that all men do this, only that this is a phenomenon that occurs with some frequency among the male population. And it does. A lot of male group behavior is explicable only in terms of homosociality — for example, catcalling women on the street. A bunch of guys in a truck at a stoplight propositioning the woman in the car in the next lane. They’re acting out for the benefit of each other (obviously there’s no chance of actually scoring a date with the woman.)

    But while the phenomenon is common, that’s not the same as saying all males behave this way. Homosociality is well-known among most studied cultures, I believe, but no doubt every society has guys (like you, I’m sure) who don’t participate.

  177. Alon Levy says:

    Is catcalling really a group phenomenon? Obviously my experience with it is nil, since I a) am male, and b) live in a country where it doesn’t happen, but from what I’ve heard, men do it alone as well as in groups.

    Note that I’m not denying that there are men who are homosocial – in fact, I would really like to know how common it is, and what its effects are. I just don’t think it explains catcalling, or propositioning to women at stoplights, or sexual assault. After all, women don’t seem any less homosocial than men, and yet they generally don’t do all these things.

  178. cicely says:

    Note that I’m not denying that there are men who are homosocial – in fact, I would really like to know how common it is, and what its effects are. I just don’t think it explains catcalling, or propositioning to women at stoplights, or sexual assault. After all, women don’t seem any less homosocial than men, and yet they generally don’t do all these things.

    My apologies if this comment appears twice. I couldn’t remember whether I’d sent it or just previewed it – it could be in a queue – and now I have to remember it too!

    Hello again, Alon. Dr Socks is correct. I’m not saying all men are homosocial (or always operate homosocially). Neither am I saying there aren’t plenty of men who can be sleazebags all by themselves. (Probably group leaders in a homosocial setting..)

    I can tell you from my wealth of experience as a woman in the world that catcalling and wolf-whistling are very commonly group activities, even if one man’s participation only consists of supportive guffaws. (Silence might be noted…)

    I’m not sure women can be said to be homosocial as I’m understanding the word. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. I need to get this right if I’m going to be spreading it around!

  179. Alon Levy says:

    I’m basing my definition on what you quoted: there are plenty of women who are homosocial in the senses that their relationships with other women are more important to them than their relationships with men, and that they use men as a currency of exchange with other women.

    In the first sense, women are probably less homosocial than men, because the patriarchy throws a lot of them into their homes, so that they have relatively little opportunity to socialize (this is less true in the West than in other regions, since in the West there’s the Stepford Wives sort of socialization). In the second, they’re probably a lot more, because the patriarchy tends to judge women not by what they do but by how good a husband they can get.

  180. Violet says:

    Homosociality, strictly defined as non-sexual same-sex relationships or orientation, can of course apply to women as well. But it’s usually used to describe men, for the simple reason that as a phenomenon it is far more common and significant as a male behavior. In fact, the existence of male homosocial bonds and esteem, and the relative lack thereof among women, is very much an aspect of patriarchy.

    Men form guilds, unions, philosophical societies, and armies. Women, trapped in their homes, are pretty much limited to forming quilting bees.

    In a patriarchal society, males are overwhelmingly oriented towards each other as peers. Virtually the entire public sphere is male. Females are possessions, subordinates restricted to the private realm. The females are homosocial in their own restricted way — talking of sewing and what not — but they are powerless.

    Homosociality as a social dynamic is also useful for understanding why certain behaviors are so thoroughly socialized among males (or females). So the urge to aggressively proposition females may be a testosterone-driven impulse in a few men, but through homosocial peer pressure it can become an activity that most men in a given culture engage in.

    Female examples of homosocialization are fewer and far less sinister: gossip is one that jumps to mind. Exchanging recipes. You know, whatever ineffectual things women can do back there in the harem.

  181. cicely says:

    Thankyou Dr Socks. I realised after I’d posted that ‘homosocial’ must also apply to women as homosexual applies to both men and women. I guess I could preface the use of the word with ‘male’ just to be clear.

    I’d like to see the word, or phrase, really come to life in public discourse – even to the extent that it’s used in reportage of group rapes and other types of group sexual assaults. Any journalists out there?

    Alon, I think you really do need to read ‘Mysogynies’, by Joan Smith if you want some answers about the effects on women of male homosociality. I’m going to quote some of Joan’s closing remarks from this short but extremely powerful book.

    I do not pretend to have easy answers to the questions raised by this book; my intention is to open a discussion, not to close it. Nor do I claim superior knowledge of the channels through which mysogyny has invaded our culture, or the means of reversing its flow; I have simply tried to chart its course. But it seems to me undeniable that our search for the origin of the woman-hating which poisons our relationships must begin with the forced march of the sexes into two opposed camps. The process starts at birth, and it is one of the chief paradoxes of our culture that the welfare of its children, its *future*, is placed almost exclusively in the hands of people of low status, a class it holds in contempt. It would be foolish to claim that this is a complete explanation of how we come to find ourselves in a situation of such sheer awfulness, or that minor adjustments to our methods of child-rearing could wipe out mysogyny overnight. But it is a starting point. And the fact that some men have already recognised masculinity for what it is, a means of denying equal status to women, a construct whose purpose is the maintenance of a power structure based on men’s superior physical strength and which long ago became redundant. Misogyny is its inevitable by-product; we teach men that women are inferior from the cradle, and they spend their lives struggling, against the evidence, to convince themselves that this is the case. Men are the victims of lies, just as much as women. It is only when we dare to confront this reality together that we will have reason to hope for the future.’

    I have two siblings, both brothers. One is (or was – I haven’t seen him in many years) a shocking mysogynist. The kind who, when told of an ex-girlriends marriage to an abusive man, responded by saying he should call the man and tell him that his wife used to give him (my brother) the best ‘head’ he’s ever had. When I asked how this would constitute help for his ex-girlfriend, he just stared at me blankly. True story.

    Anyway, my point is – I often remind myself that I could have been born one of my brothers and one of them could have been born me. We’re in this whole thing together, and I agree with Joan that we can only get out of it together. We all have to unravel the lies or die trying. Hopefully we’ll get more than just a glimpse of the truth about our great potential before it’s too late.

  182. Alon Levy says:

    Okay, I’ll check it out, sometime… while we’re at it, I should go and see whether Borders finally has The Feminine Mystique back in stock.

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, Violet, but the significance aspect of male homosociality is more or less a natural consequence of separate spheres, right?

  183. cicely says:

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, Violet, but the significance aspect of male homosociality is more or less a natural consequence of separate spheres, right?

    First up, Alon, I’m glad you’re going to check out the book. That’s not triumphalism (?) either because I really think it is about linking arms, as someone who reviewed the book in the Guardian wrote.

    With the above quote I’m not sure I’ll be answering your question but what I want to say is that the separate spheres of men and women aren’t natural in the first place. Which you realise of course. What really are natural differences – that women give birth, are smaller in stature etc, have been magnified and perverted in significance, and leveraged against women through every possible man-made channel to keep women subordinate to men. The way I look at the abortion debate, for example, is that if only women were permitted a vote on the issue, everywhere in the world, there wouldn’t be an issue. Abortion would be legal, free and safe for all women who would choose it. I’ve used elsewhere – to demonstrate this – the recent case in Australia where women from all political parties co-sponsored a pro- abortion bill which was then passed in Parliament with the support of all but 3 of the women – again from all parties – who voted. Sure, conservative views in the US are being taught to women, and attempts are being made to shut off sex education and sexual freedom (i.e. alternative information) but conservative religion is also very much a man-made channel. This is a stark case of patriarchal power over women and womens interests.

    Male homosocialism shores up the beliefs and structures of male dominance that are based on lies in the first place. It does this by accentuating separateness from girls and women as the foundation of masculine identity.

  184. Alon Levy says:

    The way I look at the abortion debate, for example, is that if only women were permitted a vote on the issue, everywhere in the world, there wouldn’t be an issue. Abortion would be legal, free and safe for all women who would choose it.

    I’m not sure you’re right here – at least in the US, a significant portion of the anti-choice movement is female. In fact I heard that the majority of anti-choice foot soldiers – two-thirds is the figure I remember – are women.

    In polls taken of Americans, the percentage of respondents who believe women should be required to notify their husbands of any abortion they get holds steady about 70%. Now for some strange reason the pollsters provide a racial breakdown of the result but not a gender breakdown, but either way, it’s almost certain that a majority of American women support mandatory spousal notification laws.

  185. cicely says:

    I’m not sure you’re right here – at least in the US, a significant portion of the anti-choice movement is female. In fact I heard that the majority of anti-choice foot soldiers – two-thirds is the figure I remember – are women.

    Which is why I wrote a bit about the US situation and the level and power of conservative, or more particularly, patriarchal religious influence there. I believe it would be safe to say that the vast majority of anti-choice women in the US hold conservative christian views and values which have never served women well. Maybe you have to imagine a world in which patriarchy (and its religions) never took hold. Do you think women would then have ever denied ourselves the right to make decisions about whether or not to give birth, if we had the ability to prevent it?

    Anyway, as a general thing, I remain confident that overall, around the world, if abortion was regarded as a womens issue and only women were permitted to vote on it, there would hardly be an issue. We’re just not permitted that level of female homosociality. We’ve only had a vote on anything at all for around a century.

  186. Alon Levy says:

    Maybe you have to imagine a world in which patriarchy (and its religions) never took hold. Do you think women would then have ever denied ourselves the right to make decisions about whether or not to give birth, if we had the ability to prevent it?

    Probably – the religious idea that sex is dirty is only trivially connected to the patriarchy. In a non-patriarchal world, religions would have been just as controlling about sex and birth control.

  187. cicely says:

    the religious idea that sex is dirty is only trivially connected to the patriarchy.

    That’s a big, big statement. If you want to talk about that it probably needs its own thread. Anyway, I disagree.
    In a non-patriarchal world, religions would have been just as controlling about sex and birth control.

    If so, how though? If there were multiple gods, say, some male, some female, and women were making the decisions about their own bodies with reference to female gods? If women had always enjoyed the right to at least an equal say with men on all matters? Or any number of scenarios. Imagine harder!

  188. cicely says:

    Whoops and bugger. My reply is in blockquotes. Sorry for the confusion. Got called away from the computer – came back and posted without checking this.

  189. Alon Levy says:

    Italics off, hopefully.

    That’s a big, big statement. If you want to talk about that it probably needs its own thread. Anyway, I disagree.

    Well, if you want I can start a thread about it on my own blog.

    If so, how though? If there were multiple gods, say, some male, some female, and women were making the decisions about their own bodies with reference to female gods? If women had always enjoyed the right to at least an equal say with men on all matters? Or any number of scenarios. Imagine harder!

    If there were multiple gods, then sex wouldn’t be viewed as dirty. Case in point: Ancient Greece was a lot less prudish than Medieval Europe despite being equally patriarchal.

    The analysis of sex-negativity as a way for rulers to deprive the subjects of pleasure and instead direct their energies toward helping the state still applies, though. I’ve seen statements by radfems about how all oppression stems from the patriarchy, but never with evidence, so for now I’ll assume that absent a patriarchy, oppression would have proceeded in largely the same way.

  190. Alon Levy says:
  191. Alon Levy says:

    Italics off, hopefully, again…

  192. Alon Levy says:

    I give up. Violet, can you fix this?

  193. RedDragon says:

    *We’re just not permitted that level of female homosociality. We’ve only had a vote on anything at all for around a century.*
    Scary, isn’t it? We’re only at the beginning…

  194. cicely says:

    Scary, isn’t it? We’re only at the beginning…

    And going backwards in some ways. (Particularly thinking about abortion rights.) Very scary.

    The analysis of sex-negativity as a way for rulers to deprive the subjects of pleasure and instead direct their energies toward helping the state still applies, though.

    Oh, depriving all the subjects, male and female equally, of pleasure so they’ll direct their energies etc, etc, is what it’s all been about?!!

    Honestly, discussing stuff with you is sometimes like trying to follow a mexican jumping bean, Alon.

    I think I’ve said all I wanted to say in this thread, and while I appreciate your offer to start the broader subject on your blog, I just don’t think I want to argue with you at that level at this time. We’ll have to agree to disagree for now.

  195. Alon Levy says:

    Oh, depriving all the subjects, male and female equally, of pleasure so they’ll direct their energies etc, etc, is what it’s all been about?!!

    For dictators, including the people who invented religion, it is… obviously in a patriarchy it will acquire patriarchal characteristics, but that’s a given.

  196. Infidel says:

    To say a religion is invented with an hierachy and power structures in mind is to ignore the core of religion-theology which may or may not be all about an individuals introspection using a created or imagined external conscience.
    It may end up trying to con individuals, con science, and con power stuctures- but only after ambitious, smart, and evil men have taken over.

  197. Paul Tergeist says:

    I set WHO free?!?!?!?
    -A. Lincoln

    We need to revisit this business about women’s sufferage. If you won’t fight in the front lines, why should you get to vote?

    The only person who makes any sense at all (beside Ms. Violet…) is Alon Levy and she is just a kid!

  198. Violet says:

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, Violet, but the significance aspect of male homosociality is more or less a natural consequence of separate spheres, right?

    Alon, I’m sorry I forgot to come back to this thread and answer your question.

    Actually Cicely did a pretty good job. I’ll just add that the significance of male homosociality is both cause and effect of the patriarchy. Because of patriarchy, the male sphere is more important and more powerful. But these male bonds (and female exclusion from same) are also what perpetuate the patriarchy from generation to generation.