Humor is no longer possible

Saturday, May 26th, 2007 · 14 Comments »

On good days, when I’m not feeling too depressed, I dash off the occasional post that attempts to deliver the Fuck-You-Patriarchy message (or Fuck-You-World message) in a quirky, even humorous kind of way. Then I read things like this and the possibility of humor or quirkiness or really anything besides a loaded shotgun seems unthinkable. Forever.

Whaddya say, gals? Shotguns? Shall we just load up and start blasting the motherfuckers? I mean really: let’s just kill them and then we can have the planet.

Filed under: Rape · Tags:

14 Responses to “Humor is no longer possible”

  1. Renali says:

    My best friend has always owned a gun. I’ve always been against it.

    between this story, the dungeon rapist, the “fraud” rapist , repeat ad nauseum – all free to rape again and again it’s clear that in America rape is not illegal.

    I’m rethinking that gun sitch. It seems to me, if the law does not protect you, there’s little other option.

  2. Violet says:

    Me too — been pro gun control all my life. Normally a peace-and-love kinda hippie. But a woman reaches the point where that Anne Rice thing where the vampire queen starts killing all the men to rid the planet of their plague — well, it starts to look good.

    Not only is rape effectively legal in America, but if it’s a gang-rape by a sports team, the victim has to apologize.

  3. Infidel says:

    We’ve had a “War on Drugs”, a “War on Poverty”, a “War on Terror”, that’s all right and proper, its about time for a “War on Rape”. How can it be accepted that the chances of a rapist being in a roomfull of American men require only 20 or so men being in that room? How can it be accepted, without a “War” being declared that in a roomfull of American women your chances of having a rape victim in that room requires around 5 women to be there? 4? I can’t believe we can actually consider the possibility that one in three women are victims of rape without “War” talk. So get your guns, and if you happen to shoot me by accident I fully understand, and if you shoot me on purpose rest assured you shot the right gender.

  4. Bruce says:

    Whaddya say, gals? Shotguns? Shall we just load up and start blasting the motherfuckers?

    I hope your willing to let men tag along as well because I’m just as fed up with this shit as you are.

  5. manxome says:

    Infidel, I’ve always wondered about the male ratio statistic. Where can I find that?

    I’ve looked at those rooms of people before and knew the ratio of women all too well, but what I really wanted to know was how many men. Not as an always-be-afraid thing but more as a this is what needs to be focused on and hammered home thing.

    To get back to Violet’s proposal: yeah. I certainly feel that if I ever came across this sort of thing in person in the future, even someone speaking like player apologist dude over there, years of pure anger and adrenaline would have me physically unleashing said anger, knowledge, and personal experiences all over his whimpering self.

    Unless I can’t get out of the car because spouse hit the gas pedal when he realized what I was determined to do. Hmm, I’ll have to work on a way to get around that.

  6. Infidel says:


    Shocked and Depressed

    Ampersand, the proprietor of Alas a Blog writes more knowledgeably and persuasively on feminist issues than almost any other blogger with whom we are familiar.

    In a recent post, Ampersand reports on a survey concerning the prevalence of rapists in our society:

    A much-discussed study of rape prevalence, conducted by Mary Koss, also surveyed thousands of college men, asking them about if they had ever forced a woman to have sex against her will. About 4.5% reported that they had.

    We were shocked and aghast at that statistic. Surely, we thought, that cannot be right. Almost one-in-twenty males has committed a rape? We would have thought that the number would be less than one percent.

    Ampersand goes on to put that shocking statistic into perspective:

    I mean, 4.5% of the men in the United States is an incredibly high number – that translates into over six million men.
    If you added up every US citizen who was officially unemployed or looking for work last year, that would be less than the total number of rapists.

    If you added up every US citizen who is Jewish, that would still be less than the total number of rapists.

    If you added up every teenage boy who had any sort of job – an after school job, a summer job, working full-time after dropping out, including all of those – you’d still have over a million fewer people then the total number of rapists.

    There are twice as many rapists in the USA as there are single mothers.

    For every drunk driver who is in a fatal accident this year, there are over 500 rapists.

    If you take every doctor and nurse in the United States; and you added them to every librarian, every cashier, every cop, every postal clerk, and every bank teller in the whole country; you still wouldn’t have as many people as the number of rapists in the United States.

    We were again shocked at the idea that Ampersand thought it necessary to argue that 4.5% is a large number of rapists. It is a very sad state of affairs if anyone needs convincing that having 1/20 of the male population commit a rape is a massive problem. That number speaks for itself, and, if accurate, bespeaks of a depraved and dysfunctional society.

    We were not yet convinced that the 4.5% figure was correct. The study from which it was taken is, apparently, not available on-line.

    In the comment section, Ampersand explained, in brief, the methodology of the study:

    The not-as-short-but-still-short answer is, 6,159 students were surveyed (2972 of those were male). Koss used government statistics to divide all US colleges into groups; “each small group consisted of schools with similar locations, minority percentage, type of control, level of study, and size.” Schools from each small group were selected proportionately to be nationally representative; within each catagory, which schools were asked to participate in the study was determined randomly. If a school refused participation, then another school was chosen randomly from the same small group.

    The authors then used the class schedules of each school to randomly select classes to survey. Within each class, every student was given a written survey. Participation was voluntary (students were asked to remain quietly at their desks doing other work if they didn’t want to take the survey), and the instructors of the classes were not present during the survey. The particpation rate was 98.5%.

    (That’s a simplified description of the selection process; there are a lot of details that I’ve skipped).

    The author discussed how her sample compared to the demographic norms for US college students. ” The region in which the institutions were located was the only variable on which significant discrepancy was noted. The present sample somewhat overrepresented… the Northeast and Southwest and underrepresented students enrolled in the West…. Weighting factors were developed, but comparison of weighted and unweighted data indicated that the effect of weighting was small.”

    The description of the methodology only deepened our outrage.

    First, the statistic includes only respondents who admitted to having engaged in sex against the will of another. It seems highly likely that some respondents would deny such conduct even if they had in fact committed a rape. Very few respondents are likely to report having committed a rape if they had not done so.

    Secondly, the population of males who committed their first rape when older than college age seems unlikely to be zero. The number of rapists is a cumulative statistic. To determine the total number of males who have committed a rape we would have to add the number who committed their first rape when older than college age to the reported number.

    One commentor to Ampersand’s post suggests that the number of self-reports may be high because the respondents may have reported that they “forced a woman to have sex against her will” by conduct that may not be considered “rape.” We have a hard time conceiving of what conduct would constitute “forcing a woman to have sex against her will” that would not be rape. We think that is the definition of rape.

    The analysis of the methodology of the study cited by Ampersand leads us to the depressing conclusion that the 4.5% of males being rapists is lower than the truth, not higher.

    Regardless of the exact number of males who have committed rapes, if the study is even remotely correct, there is a pervasive sickness in our culture and society that needs to be addressed.

    Thanks Barry for the great post, but it was the most depressing thing we have read in quite a while that did not concern either autism or Trent Lott.

  7. manxome says:

    Infidel, thank you so much for the reference post.

  8. cicely says:

    There’s the whole issue of gang rape – misogynist male bonding over shared sexual violence perpetrated on a woman – and as much further degradation and humiliation of the victim as possible as a means of ‘defence’ should the matter ever come to court (because they know the entire male-biased ‘justice’ system shares their point of view) and then there’s the issue of sexual violence perse. In most studies of woman on woman sexual violence conducted through the 1980′s and 90′s, over 30% of respondents said they had experienced attempted or completed sexual assault or rape at the hands of another woman.

    Woman to Woman Sexual Violence

    (Best to copy and paste into address bar. I have no idea why that has to be so long! Otherwise google lori girshick woman to woman sexual violence. Fixed — V.S.)

    Doesn’t this mean that in a roomfull of lesbians, if there’s 10 lesbians in the room, three of them may have experienced sexual assault by another woman? That would be 1500 women at a lesbian event with an attendance of 5000.
    I don’t know for a fact that women never gang rape. It may have happened on occasion – in a women’s prison, perhaps. But even if it ever occurs it is most definitely not as common as muck, as it is among men.

    If I imagine a case of a bunch of lesbian netballers or soccer players facing court on charges of gang-raping a woman who’d attended an after match drinking session – there were witnesses – there were injuries etc, I ask myself – who would come to their defence? On what grounds? Can you imagine the public discourse? Well, you know that big hole where the defence would be if they were men? It should be a big hole for men too. And it would be if more had the courage – that so called ‘manly’ quality – to be fully human instead of stunted apes vying with each for animal ‘status’. The shame of it should follow participants in gang rape forever, (fuck their poxy careers) and other men need to bestow it. It’s your conversation, boys, your responsibilty. (recognising those already taking it here, and hoping you do it everywhere. Particularly in rooms full of men!)

  9. Violet says:

    Here’s a more clickable version of Cicely’s link:

    Woman to Woman Sexual Violence

    Cicely, if you’re curious as to how I do that, it’s the <a href> tag. It works like this:

    Take the long URL, which in this case is

    What you do is enclose that with quotation marks, add the short snappy name that you want to show up as a clickable link, and wrap the whole thing with the tags (being careful to place all the < and > signs exactly where they’re supposed to go):

    <a href=””>Woman to Woman Sexual Violence</a>

    When you type the above into a post of comment box and press submit, it ends up looking like this:
    Woman to Woman Sexual Violence

  10. Violet says:

    Cicely, I’m amazed at that 30% figure. Does that seem right to you? I mean, does it jibe with your experience and with what you know of your friends?

  11. cicely says:

    Thanks for that tip for links, Violet.

    Cicely, I’m amazed at that 30% figure. Does that seem right to you? I mean, does it jibe with your experience and with what you know of your friends?

    Yes and no. I don’t recall, just off the top of my head, any lesbian telling me she’s been sexually assaulted or raped by another woman, in so many words. But I understand the reasons behind the silence too, as per the article, and I’ve no reason to doubt the self-reporting of the survey respondents. I think I could claim to have been sexually assaulted by a woman myself, or at least to have been co-erced into having sex when I wasn’t actually willing. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. So how would the woman concerned respond to the survey question Infidel was talking about if she was asked?

    Certainly in the case of general violence and battering, most lesbians in communities I’ve been part of have been aware of women, known who they were, who were violent, but not known how or been unwilling to make them accountable. Marginalisation/invisibilty does have these kinds of consequences. My own first partner was extremely violent. It’s not a big stretch to imagine that the violence of some of these women has extended to sexual violence, but even the victims would be hard-pressed to call it rape, given that rape is generally considered to be a male crime involving a penis.

    Oh, and just to add, in response to your actual post – I also sometimes think along the lines of ‘the things you see when you haven’t got your gun’. Mysogyny just seems so impossibly widespread and intractable, we’re just pissing in the wind.

  12. bonnykate says:

    can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say on the recent ledbetter supreme court decision, dr. socks!!

  13. Tasha says:

    I have a blog where I work out the rage I have–over mother-daughter abuse–and

    yes, the numbers of lesbians who’ve been either raped or beaten by lesbian partners is growing–in a support group I belong to, we get new members every two weeks.

    just today–another lesbian, who is terrified to leave, wants support–she wants to get out.

    it happens and its the ‘taboo’ subject no one wants to talk about and as a Rad Feminist/and Lefist, its one that has caused me a great deal of pain and absolute rage–not just as society but at feminists sometimes,

    both my brother and I were abused by our biomom–i refuse to say mom–anyway, I left home at 16 and lived with homelessness, rape by men, you name it,

    so while I’m extremely vocal against misogyny, I’m just AS vocal against the silence and tolerance of woman to woman abuse/mother to daughter/children and the US sadly–is very behind the times on this issue. Only Australia and Canada have really come to terms in addressing this reality–and sadly, it happens a lot more than we think. Often times when there is father-daughter abuse there is also mother-daughter abuse,

    this is another reason I detest any type of ‘forced’ gender constructs OR ‘forced degender conformity’, any type of ‘force/policing of womyn by womyn–like rape–is enough to yea, make me want to get a gun and start shooting.

    And I disagree that womyn abuse only because of patriarchy…womyn are free agents/human beings, sure that influence is strong and is there–but there is that matter of choice and I think its about power and the abuse of power.

    I also think classism and racism play a HUGE role as well as Patriarchy, but anyway, it IS true that in our misogynist world womyn are more ‘demonized’ by men for these crimes, than men are–with men its like a free license, that boys network–but I’m seeing this more and more among feminist and it does give me concern. So my stand is this: I don’t tolerate Any pedaphilia–don’t give a damn What gender…or rape or child abuse. And I think thats what we have to do, is draw the lines and find solutions to ‘prevent’ and not just ‘punish’. One way to do this is to teach children that they have rights–to HUMAN RIGHTS– they have rights to say NO to adults–ANY ADULT–they have rights to say NO to hugs, invasions of their personhood–and womyn, yea, damn right–collective self defense against men who rape–I have not a problem with it and I think–why didn’t we talk about this sooner, because power does not give way to pleading. Ghandi tactics work so far–Stalin would have let Ghandi starve in the gulags, and this belief has gotten shocked reactions–but my stand is this,

    they are killing and raping us anyway–so why not fight back? Take Iran, when the police [and mostly those brown chador wearing moral nazis] started beating the womyn’s rights activists, rather than run–I say, take those batons and bash them back. Sure, they gonna arrest you and rape you and torture you–

    guess what–they did arrest and rape and torture–so it doesn’t matter. We have womyn who will strap bombs on themselves for a regime/religion that deems them half the worth of a man and that condones rapes of slave womyn and forced child marriages—then why the hell don’t womyn, TAKE THAT SELF DEFENSE LOGIC TO FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES AND FOR WOMYNKIND?

    rather–than fight and rape each other?????

    What we need, is a W-Hour–like the Warsaw Ghetto womyn–who fought the Nazi’s, with little, what we need, is a womyn’s and children’s liberation front that says–Enough. men have used our bodies for their wars long enough–they’ve used their bodies as weapons against womyn…

    I say–its high time womyn start fighting back–those condoms in South Africa, with the teeth, every woman should own ten–and add poison to the teeth so that enraged rapist by the time he realizes his weapon is shredded won’t be able to kill–he’ll be dead by poison.

    Seriously–its never going to end, till womyn rise up, and end it. But instead, we see more womyn, rise up to oppress other womyn. and then, we have rad fems who don’t want it to come out or talk about it, because sure, the misogynists use it–but silence kills. and its not killing the misogynists–

    its killing womyn.


  14. Violet says:

    And I disagree that womyn abuse only because of patriarchy…womyn are free agents/human beings, sure that influence is strong and is there–but there is that matter of choice and I think its about power and the abuse of power.

    What I would say is that patriarchy, which is the air we breathe and the water in which we swim, deforms everyone psychologically, male and female. I don’t believe men are intrinically misogynistic, but the patriarchal social system instills it in them. Women are also instilled with that same kind of warped point of view, and some women obviously become just as abusive as anybody.

    In other words, I don’t know how we can say that behaviors are independent of the milieu in which we’ve been raised. Fish can’t taste the water and all that.

    Peggy Reeves Sanday (anthropologist) did ground-breaking work in discovering that there is enormously strong correlation between the level of male dominance in a society and the level of general violence. The lower the status of women, the more violent the society is in every respect (from domestic violence to warfare). Societies with the highest degree of gender equality are by our reckoning very peaceful. Among the Minangkabau, with whom Sanday lived, rape has been almost unknown.* When she lived with the Minangkabau they were still talking about a rape that had happened many years before, which was such a bizarre event that it was like Jeffrey Dahmer to them or something.

    (*Don’t know if that’s still true. There is ongoing cultural pressure on the Minangkabau from the surrounding male-dominated society.)