On this thing called "rape culture"

clover wrote:

Courtney Stanton's troll data analysis

She analyzed the five months of hate comments she got, and then gave an Ignite talk about it.

I thought of putting this in the PA thread, but it's more pertinent to rape culture in general.

She needs more analytics, but let it be said that I am a huge fan of this type of data mining on particular cultures.

Kraint wrote:

Wearing sneakers, avoiding drinks from strangers, etc. is more akin to locking your doors at night to keep thieves out than helping make sexual assault an accepted part of society, as far as I can tell.

But it's never enough. It's never enough to just wear sneakers and avoid strangers. A woman goes out with her new bf and he rapes her, suddenly we gotta hear about how we shouldn't go on dates anymore and so on. The "How To Not Get Raped" checklist is very long and encompasses every scenario out there. It's not just "oh well don't go out at night alone", it's pretty much "don't do sh*t or you'll be raped and if you are raped we will cross check what you have done with this list to somehow place the blame on you." It's never enough to just look the doors at night or just have an alarm in the car. I have to be a mind reader with Spidey sense but I shouldn't have to be.

Gravey wrote:

The rape I assume Mimble is talking about was photographed and posted on Facebook. The upshot to that is that in addition to one of the alleged seven assaulters being charged, two others are being charged with distributing child porn too, since the victim is 16 years old. The dates for their trials will be set soon.

A similar crime happened in Richmond, CA during a prom night.

RICHMOND, Calif. -- Police believe as many as a dozen people watched a 15-year-old girl get beaten and gang-raped outside her high school homecoming dance without reporting it.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that onlookers laughed, took pictures and even joined in the crime.

Two suspects were in custody Monday, but police said as many as five other men attacked the girl over a two-hour period Friday night outside Richmond High School.

Oh and I just found this follow up article:

A central legal dispute in the case against several men accused of gang-raping a 16-year-old Richmond girl is whether she was forced into sex or whether, as defense attorneys contend, she drank so much alcohol that no force was required.

We just need to figure out if a girl who was beaten half to death was forced into sex because, hey, she was drunk. Let's review that checklist, shall we?

Let me explain a little bit more from where I'm coming from. In the military I was stationed in some countries that have far greater problems with male power and domination than America.

I'm not denying that rape is a very serious issue. But you can't proclaim that America is a "rape culture" when the number of sexual assaults continued to fall nationwide in 2010:

http://jurist.org/paperchase/2010/12...

Specifically, the number of murders dropped by 7.1 percent, robberies dropped by 10.7 percent, aggravated assaults dropped by 3.9 percent and forcible rapes dropped 6.2 percent. Additionally, property crime has continued to decrease for the eighth year in a row by 2.8 percent, specifically with 9.7 percent fewer motor vehicle thefts, 2.3 percent fewer larceny thefts, and 1.4 percent fewer burglaries. The FBI compiled the data from crime statistics from more than 12,000 city, county, university and college, state, tribal, and federal agencies nationwide.

If we're going to discuss rape culture, how about look at Japan's massive problem with women being randomly sexually assaulted in public? (It's so bad that many women opt to take the female-only train during rush hour) Or how rape in Middle Eastern cultures is seen as a family dishonor that often ends in the victim being killed? Or how in African culures women cannot say no to their husband's advances, even if he's HIV positive?

Just trying to put things in perspective.

I mentioned on page 1 that all of my comments would be biased toward a Westernized culture:

I wrote:

I think it may be a good move to clarify (or not, I don't know where the discussion will go) whether we are discussing Westernized cultural ideas, here, and Generally Accepted Western Principles so we don't get bogged down in the worldwide cultural differences. Opening the discussion to areas of the world that treat women differently (Asia, Africa, the Middle East) may just bog down the conversation into yet another "who's to say what culture is right" masturbatory affair.

So, without passing judgment on the cultures of non Westerners, it will suffice to say my comments don't include them.

But perspective aside, I think you're doing a disservice to rape victims in Western cultures. You're saying because women have it worse in Darfur that a rape victim should suck it up and soldier on in Utah? That's the definition of rape culture, imo.

boogle wrote:
clover wrote:

Courtney Stanton's troll data analysis

She analyzed the five months of hate comments she got, and then gave an Ignite talk about it.

I thought of putting this in the PA thread, but it's more pertinent to rape culture in general.

She needs more analytics, but let it be said that I am a huge fan of this type of data mining on particular cultures.

To be fair, she had to fit the talk into five minutes. But it's a start.

jdzappa wrote:

I'm not denying that rape is a very serious issue. But you can't proclaim that America is a "rape culture" when the number of sexual assaults continued to fall nationwide in 2010...

We're not just talking about reported rapes, though. And I didn't catch where anyone proclaimed that America is a rape culture.

I'm not cutting out situations in other places; I can only speak from experience about North America so my knowledge of other places will be colored by available media. I think we touched on the worldwide scope upthread, but we need more people with deep cultural knowledge of other places to weigh in if we're going to be fair about it.

IMAGE(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i281/MidnightLouise/bingo3.jpg)

clover wrote:

And I didn't catch where anyone proclaimed that America is a rape culture.

To be fair to jdzappa, I did, and do proclaim, that America perpetuates rape culture. So he read me correctly and his disagreement is based on an accurate interpretation -- and I appreciate his disagreement.

jdzappa: I realized, in the last 30 seconds, that I may be using text that is accusatory, or you may feel like I am singling you out or attacking you personally, and that is not my intent. I'm trying to point out that this is so pervasive, a lot of people (including me) are a part of it without intending to be.

clover wrote:

Rape culture bingo.

I would be very interested in Ulairi's take on this.

I know from my own experience that I probably heard all of those things said during my college dorm years.

Of course most saying things like that would claim that they were only joking, but that is kind of the point, that and the number of rape on college campuses making a lie out of the, "its only a joke" crowd.

Since my sense of humor is wasted on this thread, I will reserve comments on the world's saddest bingo game.

I am curious about the LAN party in N2 however. Not the least of which being, I think the only possible pool of rape victims there would be the mothers dropping their sons off, in my experience.

I also wonder how rape prevention talks, classes factor in to the "rape culture." I have never gotten a satisfying answer as to how when a defense attorney asks "what did you think would happen dressed like that?" differs from a women's defense class warning about suggestive dress. The former is blaming the victim.

And you also have, never go to the bar or club alone. Don't go into a bedroom(let's call it the coat pile) or bathroom without company.

Pragmatically, no man worth having is going to be gunning for a girl with a neck line under her knees. Yet the meatheads will be all over that.

KingGorilla wrote:
clover wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

So, do I have enough cred to start busting out some sweet rape gallows humor I have uttered or heard over the years?

Maybe, but you have to watch the Wanda Sykes clip first.

Police in Nappa found a woman who was sexually assaulted, beheaded, with hands and feet amputated.

To this day we do not know what she did to her husband to deserve this.

I don't get it. I read it, I understand the words, but I don't understand the punch line.

(and I'm not saying this to be sarcastic, I genuinely don't get it - maybe someone can pm me?)

Kraint wrote:

I have to ask (out of admitted ignorance/inexperience on this overall topic), because this has been brought up by several people: How is being afraid of/aware of the possibility of rape and trying to reduce the risk thereof perpetuating rape culture? If you acknowledge that the risk of random attack comes from a relatively small number of abnormal people, it seems pretty clear that society as a whole isn't apathetic/uncaring about rape (I'm skipping the known attackers, since we haven't discussed looking for warning signs or getting away from bad situations thus far). Wearing sneakers, avoiding drinks from strangers, etc. is more akin to locking your doors at night to keep thieves out than helping make sexual assault an accepted part of society, as far as I can tell.

I think needing locks on the front door to safeguard your things from thieves is kind of sucky - people should just not steal stuff. How hard is it to stop yourself from stealing things that don't belong to you? Hard enough that we need locks and security systems apparently - hurrah for a culture of theft.

I don't accept drinks from strangers and run around downtown in the wee hours of the morning in a tube top and miniskirt because even though I think everyone should be able to keep their hands to themselves, and that I should be able to walk where I please without being attacked, that's not the reality. There are people who would think it was an invitation for sex - so I don't do that stuff because I know that it's possible I will get hurt because of it.

I'm not saying society is completely uncaring about rape and assault, but there are still too many who would think that my hypothetical miniskirt and tubetop were partially at fault - not that I deserved it, of course, but just that I ought to have been more careful - didn't I know there were rapists out there? Well yes, I know - we live in a rape culture where we have to modify our behaviour to lower the risk of being raped (and even then, it's no guarantee).

Even if the risk of random attacks are lower - why risk it at all? Why take the chance? Assault may not be acceptable (except to the people who commit assaults) but it is, imo, an accepted part of society - again, it's why we modify our behaviour, our clothes and when we go out and where we go out.

How can you say rape is an accepted part of society when we as a society put rapist in jail?

Baron Of Hell wrote:

How can you say rape is an accepted part of society when we as a society put rapist in jail?

But the point is we as a society permit rape as well, so by the same notion rape is part of our society. Certainly there is conflict between those two statements, but accepting the concept of rape as bad and allowing it in practice is still wrong.

Mimble wrote:

I don't get it. I read it, I understand the words, but I don't understand the punch line.

The joke isn't really funny, except in that awkward space where you flip a presupposition.
It's like the old dishwasher joke. What do you do when the dishwasher stops working? Slap her.
Woman found dead and brutally mutilated by her husband. I wonder what she did to the poor guy...

Baron Of Hell wrote:

How can you say rape is an accepted part of society when we as a society put rapist in jail?

I think you may be confusing 'accepted' and 'condoned.' If we didn't accept that rape was a part of society why would we have laws against it?
EDIT: I was trying to educate myself with some stats on the subject re: punishment and prosecution and then I realized that I was googling rape and got really sad.

Rezzy wrote:
Mimble wrote:

I don't get it. I read it, I understand the words, but I don't understand the punch line.

The joke isn't really funny, except in that awkward space where you flip a presupposition.
It's like the old dishwasher joke. What do you do when the dishwasher stops working? Slap her.
Woman found dead and brutally mutilated by her husband. I wonder what she did to the poor guy...

And similarly you can apply this to things clearly not socially acceptable or condoned in any way. The point of jokes like this is to be awkward. These jokes more than anything else in my mind remind us of social norms.

E.g.
A family member died in the holocaust. He fell from a guard tower.

There is always the risk of normalizing these psychopathic behaviors mentioned in the jokes, but thats the joke, pretending to be a psychopath.

Ah, OK - now I get it.

I've heard the dishwasher one, but didn't get that this one was the same sort of joke.

Thanks for making that clearer!

boogle wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:

How can you say rape is an accepted part of society when we as a society put rapist in jail?

But the point is we as a society permit rape as well, so by the same notion rape is part of our society. Certainly there is conflict between those two statements, but accepting the concept of rape as bad and allowing it in practice is still wrong.

Boogle's got the right of it there - we don't "accept" rape - not in the sense that we think it's a good thing or that people should be allowed to do it. And, when it's possible, we put the rapist behind bars. But we normalize for rape when we tell young women, "Don't wear anything revealing." or "Don't walk alone at night." or any of the other warnings already mentioned in this thread. We teach them this because they need to be wary of possible rapists, thus rape becomes a part of our society. Even as we condemn it, we prepare people for the possibility of it, teach them to minimize the chances of it happening to them because no matter how many rapists are in jail, there are far more that are free because they are not reported or punished.

We can't punish deviant or criminal behaviour like sexual assault unless it's reported. Witnessed assaults like the one here in BC, or the one in CA are not the norm - and even then, no one steps forward to say anything and the victim continues to be harassed and insulted - that seems like very accepting behaviour to me.

It's got to suck to define yourself as a "rape survivor". When I see people use that to describe them self, it really kind of hits how much that one act can effect someone, to the point where they form their identity around that.

Yeah. That's why I won't do it. Damned skippy not going to use the word "victim" either, though.

In a way, KingGorilla's joke is actually an indictment of rape culture. It's funny because it's using the shock value of something horrifying (and actually, that's one of the ways we humans deal with things that are awful) and showing us the ridiculous about it: It makes *no sense at all* to ask "what did she do to deserve that?", with the assumption that of course she must have done *something* wrong, and it's a horrible thing to say... but it's also not that far removed from the horrible things people *do* say.

That's a hard thing about humor in this sort of context. Is it bad because it's making light of something dreadfully important? Or is it good because it's shoving our noses in our societal hypocrisy? It's so hard to tell.

--

I was thinking about the whole "people who throw the word 'rape' around without thinking about what it means" thing earlier today, because I used to do that. Something I had once said, quoted out of context, was on a webpage (created back before the web was something your ordinary person on the street had ever heard of, let alone used.) A female cousin of mine was trying to find me, stumbled across that quote, which was "What if we could freeze dry anal rape?", if I recall correctly, and was horrified. We haven't talked since. She never replied to my distraught attempt to explain. (For reference: *I* no longer have any context on it either, having completely forgotten whatever was being discussed at the time. It's certainly not very amusing or interesting out of context. But it is more than a little embarrassing.)

Anyway, the interesting thing about the context is this: We were a bunch of geeky folks at a world-class university, mostly studying computer science. Men and women. And, yeah, "rape", and particularly "anal rape" were our curse words of choice. The interesting thing is why. We fixed on those terms for curse words in our own group idiolect really because it was the most shocking thing we could throw around. When you're with a group of people who curse like sailors, and the surrounding social group also curses like sailors, where do you go for "taboo words" to break out? Our answer was "rape". I learned to curse at my mother's knee, and so here was something I could say that would shock even her, in much the same way "f*ck" shocked her mother. And in much the same way, it was because it didn't mean the same thing to us as it did to others--it had turned simply into *profanity*, an idiom, and we thought nothing of its literal meaning.

That's a hard thing to look at now. On the one hand, I regret the possibility that I might have used it in any context that actually hurt someone (although we never really used it that way outside our group, and I don't think anyone who "got it" was ever offended by it, I'm sure it occasionally came out in public.) I definitely regret the eventual rift between myself and my cousin.

But at the same time, as an amateur linguist, I know that defining and breaking taboos and making normal words profane and profane words normal is part of the ebb and flow of language. (Our word "bear" comes from the same root as "brown" because the actual name of the beast was taboo in Europe: don't speak of it, or it might eat you. And then eventually the "brown one" turned into a word on its own. Search for taboo on this wikipedia page.) See also "moronic", "retarded", "gimpy", "stupid", "dumb", "gay", and so on.

With all of those (although the oldest are the least offensive, usually) you can see how they're hurtful--but you can also see how they fade with time into the language, bearing a meaning other than what they began with. So that's tough.

I think that on that basis, I have a hard time really looking down on people who talk about "our team got raped" in a video game (which I would have said, once upon a time), or "that was so gay" (which I never would have said, that not being my generation), and I can't help myself from saying that things are "retarded". I have to give a certain pass to this on "rape culture" terms. I'm not sure that it's effective to try to control the use of words in this way: language change is more powerful than we are.

But I definitely do see the attitudes around victim-accusation as horrifying, and I see their roots in history. That's a thread of our society that I abhor. (And one that is contrary to language: In the 1800s, rape is not a word you would use in polite society, ever. But if someone was raped, they would pretty much always be assumed to have been asking for it. In today's world, you hear the word bandied about much more, but the assumption of guilt of the victim has improved. It hasn't gone away, but it's gotten enough better that nobody would imagine asking a family member who was raped "what did you do to deserve it?"

That victim-accusation part, in my mind, is the core of the "rape culture". It's the black heart, and it has no place in our world. Without it, we would roll our eyes at the rest. With it, any of the rest should remind us that we have more work to do to fix the central problem.

The off-hand use of "rape" in language is only loosely connected, particularly when you consider the lack of correlation between that and victim-accusation--but it's worth curbing to avoid upsetting someone who has been raped. As profanity, it's more or less a word empty of semantics. It means "" I'm not going to go back to using it that way, and I'll suggest to other people that it's better not to use it that way, but I don't see its use as profanity going away. If anything, its use as profanity will probably eventually cause it to become nearly disused *except* as profanity. (Which may not be a bad thing in the end.)

The idea of "I hope that criminal gets raped" is more disturbing, and more connected. Because it ties into the idea that "people get raped because they deserve to get raped". And that's not true, whether they're a criminal or a rape victim. So that's an attitude that it's really worth fighting and arguing against.

That's how I feel, anyway. It is, as with anything that is so emotionally charged, difficult to really come to the heart of the issue.

MaverickDago wrote:

It's got to suck to define yourself as a "rape survivor". When I see people use that to describe them self, it really kind of hits how much that one act can effect someone, to the point where they form their identity around that.

Most people who have been raped identify themselves by something significantly more substantial than a random unwanted encounter with penis. Like the entire rest of their lives outside of that situation. To assume that someone forms their identity around being a "rape survivor" because they chose to use that term within the context of a discussion pertaining to rape is rather judgmental and dismissive.

Amoebic wrote:
MaverickDago wrote:

It's got to suck to define yourself as a "rape survivor". When I see people use that to describe them self, it really kind of hits how much that one act can effect someone, to the point where they form their identity around that.

Most people who have been raped identify themselves by something significantly more substantial than a random unwanted encounter with penis. Like the entire rest of their lives outside of that situation. To assume that someone forms their identity around being a "rape survivor" because they chose to use that term within the context of a discussion pertaining to rape is rather judgmental and dismissive.

Yes, very much agreed. The logic of the first quote is akin to the logic behind "It's fine to ban gay-oriented gametags because no one should identify strictly with their sexuality." That is, it's moron logic, more so in this context.

Amoebic wrote:
MaverickDago wrote:

It's got to suck to define yourself as a "rape survivor". When I see people use that to describe them self, it really kind of hits how much that one act can effect someone, to the point where they form their identity around that.

Most people who have been raped identify themselves by something significantly more substantial than a random unwanted encounter with penis. Like the entire rest of their lives outside of that situation. To assume that someone forms their identity around being a "rape survivor" because they chose to use that term within the context of a discussion pertaining to rape is rather judgmental and dismissive.

Most of us don't form an identity around it, like Amoebic said. There's also a certain level of identity in "survivor" vs. "victim"... some people find one or the other, or some other descriptor, more appropriate for themselves in the context of discussions like this. Or none at all, which is what I usually prefer. This thread isn't my life by any stretch- I haven't had a discussion of similar depth on this in quite a long time.

Seth wrote:
clover wrote:

And I didn't catch where anyone proclaimed that America is a rape culture.

To be fair to jdzappa, I did, and do proclaim, that America perpetuates rape culture. So he read me correctly and his disagreement is based on an accurate interpretation -- and I appreciate his disagreement.

jdzappa: I realized, in the last 30 seconds, that I may be using text that is accusatory, or you may feel like I am singling you out or attacking you personally, and that is not my intent. I'm trying to point out that this is so pervasive, a lot of people (including me) are a part of it without intending to be.

No worries Seth. The only offense I took was the comment about Utah women should be glad they weren't raped in Darfur. A close family member was sexually assaulted in her teens, so this is not a subject I'm trying to make light of. I just don't like when America gets singled out for being an evil patriarchial racist cesspool, when for the most part American society does a lot right.

I found the following graph showing that America actually has fewer incidents of rape than most European countries, including countries like Sweden and the Netherlands that are supposed to be far more socially enlightened than the US. In a perfect world of course the number of rapes would be zero. But I'm not sure that you can argue that America fosters more hate and sexual violence towards women than any other First World nation.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cr...

Hypatian wrote:

That's a hard thing about humor in this sort of context. Is it bad because it's making light of something dreadfully important? Or is it good because it's shoving our noses in our societal hypocrisy? It's so hard to tell.

I think the latter. The fact that there is a joke that can be made is a sad reflection of the social context in which the joke is made.

I haven't had very much to say on this topic. I had never heard of the term 'rape culture' before the dickwolf issue. When I first heard it I thought it was absurd because it was suggestive of a culture of going out and raping, like a culture of going out for a coffee. I see now it's intended differently though.

I also haven't had much to say because I live in a very different society to most of you guys. Rape and sexual assault are very common here. Rape is generally considered a violent crime, but my (Black)* girlfriend can't wear a knee length skirt without a pair of tights underneath and take public transport because then she would be 'asking for it.' Our now President was charged with rape, and acquitted because his accuser was a serial false accuser. One of his defenses was, 'She was wearing a short skirt, so that meant she wanted to have sex.' **

A woman was stripped naked and assaulted in a taxi rank because she was wearing a short skirt, and that's one of the rare cases that anyone heard about it. It's far more common for events like that to go unreported.

A burglary that finds any female home will almost inevitably result in her rape, whether she is six years old or eighty.

I almost get the impulse to pull a Crocodile Dundee and say, 'You call that a rape culture?' But that would be to ignore the fact that even one rape or sexual assault is one too many.

* I mention her race because White women are still safer because of uneven policing.
** Fact is, most evidence suggested the sex was consensual and she decided to go to the police afterward, he is a boorish pig with many failings, but not a rapist. False accusations are also pretty common here and this makes life difficult for real victims.

Yes, very much agreed. The logic of the first quote is akin to the logic behind "It's fine to ban gay-oriented gametags because no one should identify strictly with their sexuality." That is, it's moron logic, more so in this context.

You're confusing identity, with identify, when someone creates a blog that opens with "rape survivor" and forms a huge part of their life around that, their identity is very much wrapped up in being a "rape survivor".

To assume that someone forms their identity around being a "rape survivor" because they chose to use that term within the context of a discussion pertaining to rape is rather judgmental and dismissive.

Again, when we talk about rape, it makes sense when someone says "I've survived it", but when someone says "Hi, I'm Jane Smith, rape survivor", you're talking about something very different.

Nm. Misunderstood something.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

How can you say rape is an accepted part of society when we as a society put rapist in jail?

I personally know of six girls who were either raped and/or sexually assaulted during my time in college. They all reported these assaults through the recommended campus channels, and all six of their cases were swept under the carpet. One of them ended up transferring schools. I told her that this problem was endemic to America's colleges and universities, and that her friends (me included) wished she would stay as we would miss her terribly, but we all supported her, but now that the curtain was pulled back she no longer wanted to be at this college.

This was at a small, "safe", midwestern private school that disallowed frat houses. Not one of these crimes showed up on their annual "safety report" (every year I was there, the annual safety report listed no rapes, no sexual assaults, and no assaults; only minor theft and vandalizing incidents were reported).

The year after I graduated, a girl was raped who then called the police (a big no-no on campus; during orientation they make it clear that if you are raped/assaulted, your best approach is to contact campus security and the residential life director and they will address the matter immediately and with the highest gravity; yeah, right). This made the local news, and it was a BIG deal with the college. I have no doubts that she was bullied by the school administration, the professors, and her fellow students, for putting a public "black mark" on the college. But I applaud her, she did the right thing.

I have one regret about this: I should have spoken up while I was there too, knowing what I knew. But I didn't, and looking back I'm not entirely sure why I didn't. But my inaction supported the rape culture on that campus, and I very much wish I could turn back time and change that.

Kraint wrote:
Gravey wrote:
Farscry wrote:
Mimble wrote:

And don't even get me started on the people who film assaults and post them to YouTube - talk about glorifying rape!

Wait, what the f*ck? Seriously? As anti-censorship as I am, that just crosses the line of any form of human decency and reasonableness.

The rape I assume Mimble is talking about was photographed and posted on Facebook. The upshot to that is that in addition to one of the alleged seven assaulters being charged, two others are being charged with distributing child porn too, since the victim is 16 years old. The dates for their trials will be set soon.

Here's the worst part though. While Facebook also saw a lot of support for the victim, someone saw fit to start another Facebook group defending the perpetrators and questioning the integrity of the victim. And the girl has also had to leave school because of bullying since the rape.

How f*cking sick is that.

Well then. In case anyone is curious why I don't find human life to be especially valuable on the whole, see above.

I would happily beat the sh*t out of the people who do this stuff. That's completely f*cking sick. I honestly can't understand what prompts people to do this.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I almost get the impulse to pull a Crocodile Dundee and say, 'You call that a rape culture?' But that would be to ignore the fact that even one rape or sexual assault is one too many.

Many people see North America sliding toward that kind of morass and are turning up the volume. We could end up with a similar culture more easily than people are willing to admit.

Ounce of prevention, etc. Because then the question becomes, how do you turn that ship around, once things are to the point you describe?

It's interesting to get your outside perspective. I guess I don't see it so much as "look how good you have it" as "you don't want to become this".

A burglary that finds any female home will almost inevitably result in her rape, whether she is six years old or eighty.

Once upon a time I managed a business that was broken into and robbed at gunpoint (while I had a useless security guard, but that's another story). While one of the creeps was alternately jamming a gun into my ribs and pointing it at my head, he decided he may as well feel me up as well. Even I could tell it was halfhearted- like "this is the kind of thing a guy is supposed to do when he's got a gun at a girl's temple" line of thought. It was pathetic in a way, but anecdotally I think it's on the horizon here.

What I don't get is the "it's worse elsewhere" as a defense or justification of how it is here.

Of course it's worse elsewhere. Delaware is not Darfur, and Nevada is not Niger. But the urge to fix problems don't negate each other: you can want societies to change worldwide and also care about issues closer to home. After all, just because AIDS and starvation are astronomically larger problems in Africa doesn't mean we should ignore those problems here. Just because racism is worse in Russia doesn't mean we can tag domestic issues "Jobs Well Done" here.

Compassion is not finite. Concern for the status of women in Western countries in no way negates or takes away from concern for other places.

clover wrote:
Amoebic wrote:
MaverickDago wrote:

It's got to suck to define yourself as a "rape survivor". When I see people use that to describe them self, it really kind of hits how much that one act can effect someone, to the point where they form their identity around that.

Most people who have been raped identify themselves by something significantly more substantial than a random unwanted encounter with penis. Like the entire rest of their lives outside of that situation. To assume that someone forms their identity around being a "rape survivor" because they chose to use that term within the context of a discussion pertaining to rape is rather judgmental and dismissive.

Most of us don't form an identity around it, like Amoebic said. There's also a certain level of identity in "survivor" vs. "victim"... some people find one or the other, or some other descriptor, more appropriate for themselves in the context of discussions like this. Or none at all, which is what I usually prefer. This thread isn't my life by any stretch- I haven't had a discussion of similar depth on this in quite a long time.

Same here. These incidents are not the sum of who I am nor did I shape my personality and life around them. I don't much like the word victim or survivor so I generally just don't refer to it at all unless it comes up in a discussion like this thread (and, like Clover, I haven't discussed this topic or my own experiences with it in this much depth in a very long time).