On this thing called "rape culture"

Gravey wrote:

This thread has been operating under one definition of rape culture for the last 30 pages. If you're not clear on that yet, well, it's never too late.

One of the constants in this thread is people asking whether or not something falls under rape culture, so I'm not sure the definition is entirely clear to everyone here, let alone me ;). And of course it seems more than one person here has argued that questioning the existence of rape culture is in itself part of rape culture.

CptDomano wrote:

Ah yes, but the "thrill of the chase" or coercing a woman who was previously uninterested to finally relent...That's where the real passion is, right? Because secretly all women want to be pursued. That's where it's really at.

I didn't say that's where it's really at. I just pointed out the ridiculousness of the love contract. But now that you bring it up, here is a study in which 62% of female undergraduates had a "rape" or "overpowered" fantasy. I take it that's part of rape culture? And before anyone compares me to a rapist, again (I can't believe people put up with that kind of arguing) I am not saying women want to be raped or overpowered. Fantasies are not real. As this guy points out, "Many men daydream about getting the girl by rescuing her from a dangerous situation--without the slightest wish to confront armed thugs, or be trapped in a fire on the 23rd floor."

cheeba wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:

How many times? How many times should you have to say no? Why is it appropriate to ask again if the answer is no and no and no?

Depends.

On what??

cheeba wrote:
Also, she didn't "invite a guy she like[d] into her bed".
When I was 21, I had a party at my parents’ house, and a man I fancied was there. He came back after everyone had gone, and I was in bed. I let him in. Both into the house, and into my bed. I didn’t want sex, but he did. I said no, he said “oh come on”, and I acquiesced. It wasn’t violent, but it was nonconsensual. Not a bad man. He just wanted sex – he even stayed the night.

"I let him in" =/= "I invited him". This is crucial. The latter is consent.

EDIT: The fact that some people interpret them as synonymous is the problem.

cheeba, I feel like you're getting dogpiled in here, quite personally in some cases. That's probably unfair. You're not a horrible person because of a dissenting viewpoint. One of the difficulties with combating rape culture is that it is insidious. It is presented as just the way things are, not something that can be changed; why would people think differently? Just like teenage girls with massive body image issues caused by relentless and pervasive media images of beauty, it's a difficult thing to recognize, and it's a difficult thing to make the mental shift about - even if you have any desire to do.

I'm pretty impressed by this community, its patience and its consistency in dealing with statements LarryC quite accurately said were "fighting on the side of the rapists," particularly when those statements are so frequently loaded with sad little insults while chiding others for being insulting. And in a very valuable thread to boot.

Sexual power plays certainly plays into rape culture. Where it becomes a mess is when people conflate fantasy and delusion. And also a serious lack of communication.

Rape fantasies are sort of on the same continuum with BDSM fantasies and other forms of extreme sex play in that it has to do with notions of power and dominance. Rape isn't about sex; it's about power. Rape fantasies aren't about sex; they're about power.

So, yes, rape fantasies are connected to rape culture in that they could reinforce horrible assumptions that are based on a gross misunderstanding of fantasy. The kind of misunderstanding that perpetuates ideas like "she actually secretly wants it" and that those "no's" are secretly some kind of "yes."

Another aspect of how rape culture plays into rape fantasies is that, in a fantasy, you, the victim, are not the one doing these dirty, naughty, sexual things! It's some brute of a man doing these things to you, the sweet, nice, innocent girl (i.e. society's feminine ideal). You are "powerless" to stop this thing you actually want, but are ashamed (or have been shamed) about wanting/liking it.

It's directly linked to heteronormative societal stereotypes and expectations that women are docile and passive and men are controlling and aggressive.

I could write more, or I could leave work and go home. I'm going to do the second thing. More on this later.

cheeba wrote:
Redwing wrote:

Why didn't your hypothetical guy ask if it was okay?

Do you guys (sorry, assuming you're a guy) always ask if it's ok?

If my sexual partner is acting like a vegetable as you described, you better believe I'd be asking some questions.

cheeba wrote:
Redwing wrote:

Why didn't your hypothetical guy ask if it was okay?

Do you guys (sorry, assuming you're a guy) always ask if it's ok? Seriously?

Why, yes, Rubb Ed and I do all the time during sex. He may be my husband, but he is still a human being deserving of consideration and respect.

Your little vignette of Bob and Angela is sterile beyond belief. Here is our personal vignette:

PR: Honey, you want to have some fun?
Rubb: Sure!
(Our two dashing protagonists head into the bedroom.)
PR: Would you mind if we did Mancrusher Maneuver?
Rubb: Oh, yeah, that could be fun.
(Moments later...)
PR: Are you okay with this, honeybunch?
Rubb: Of course! But if you don't mind, could we switch positions so I can get a better grasp on the snorkalater?
PR: Oh! Yeah, no problem.
(*fireworks* *mancrushing* *snorking*)
Rubb: Are you okay, sweetie?
PR: Absolutely!
Rubb: You want me to continue?
PR: Only if you want to.
Rubb: Prepare yourself then, knave! (<---- artistic license as we would never actually say that)
PR: Do you want me do that thing you love so much?
Rubb: Yeah, I do.
(*things are done* Our rugged, yet lovable protagonists collapse into a sea of 500-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets after engaging their portals of ecstasy.)
PR: Are you all right, my love?
Rubb: Oh, yeah, I am. Did you like that?
PR: I did.
Rubb: How was I?
PR: You were great. I was better.
Rubb: Of course.
PR: Can I hold you, honeybunch?
Rubb: I would like that!
(Our two crazy, madcapped sodomites hold each other closely and doze off...)

I have no expectation that Rubb will say yes to my sexual advances and our marriage license is not an auto-consent form. I never do anything without asking Rubb if it is okay (maybe something makes him feel uncomfortable or he isn't ready to try some new technique or whatever).

Body integrity is premier, and I ask my husband plenty of times if I can hold him, hug him, kiss him, grope him, or rip his clothes off.

I am not sure why that isn't de rigueur with anyone you encounter for intimacy.

I'm fairly certain that in my top five GWJ posts of all time, Phoenix Rev holds at least two positions, including that one right here. Bravo, sir!

Amoebic wrote:

Rape fantasies are sort of on the same continuum with BDSM fantasies and other forms of extreme sex play in that it has to do with notions of power and dominance. Rape isn't about sex; it's about power. Rape fantasies aren't about sex; they're about power.

I very much like your post, thank you. I would agree with you that rape fantasies could reinforce horrible assumptions. But I might disagree with this last sentence (still thinking about it). In the study, a large number of women found the fantasies to be erotic - they enjoyed themselves sexually. But a large number also had fantasies that were aversive - they weren't enjoying themselves. I would think for the erotic fantasies, those would be about sex. But I'm perfectly willing to admit I'm a guy and haven't a clue to the woman's mind, especially in this matter.

Phoenix Rev wrote:

PR: Would you mind if we did Mancrusher Maneuver?

LOVED the post! So good to see someone with a sense of humor :). Also, I did a google image search on Mancrusher Maneuver...
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/v4SEINl.jpg?1)
That's so wrong.

Suddenly a new publishing sector emerges: Rub Edd and Phoenix Rev fan fic.

cheeba wrote:
Phoenix Rev wrote:

PR: Would you mind if we did Mancrusher Maneuver?

LOVED the post! So good to see someone with a sense of humor :).

Well, the humor was to drive the point home. Even after five years of marriage and nearly 13 years of being a couple, I still ask Rubb Ed if what I want to do is okay by him. I just never assume because he has his body integrity and I have mine. Even when I want to hug someone that I know, including my closest of friends, I ask if I can hug them. That is just being respectful and not assuming.

I would wonder why you wouldn't want to be even more cautious when engaging in sexual intimacy. Seems like a simple and dignified course of action that doesn't have to be sterile, but can be a normal part of the conversation before, during and after sex.

cheeba wrote:

Ah love it. GWJ: if you dare to make an argument against our 40 different definitions of rape culture, we'll compare you to rapists.

I don't say it trivially. "She didn't say no." is EXACTLY what date rape perpetrators say. Really.

Valmorian wrote:
cheeba wrote:

Ah love it. GWJ: if you dare to make an argument against our 40 different definitions of rape culture, we'll compare you to rapists.

I don't say it trivially. "She didn't say no." is EXACTLY what date rape perpetrators say. Really.

Speaking of which, some research:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...
And a summary of said at
http://www.surrey.ac.uk/mediacentre/...

Tl;dr: young men are incapable of differentiating the source of statements about women where the source is either men's magazines or convicted rapists

Phoenix Rev wrote:

Well, the humor was to drive the point home.

The point is taken and it's a good one. There should be more communication about sex between partners in general, for sure. But that problem would be better attributed to a puritanical culture than a rape culture, because it's about sex being a taboo.

cheeba wrote:

I don't really make inferences or implications

Redwing wrote:

I'm fairly certain that in my top five GWJ posts of all time, Phoenix Rev holds at least two positions, including that one right here. Bravo, sir! :D

I see what you did there.

cheeba wrote:

But that problem would be better attributed to a puritanical culture than a rape culture, because it's about sex being a taboo.

Getting enthusiastic consent isn't about sex being a taboo in any way, it's about respecting a person's boundaries and ownership of their own bodies.

Edit:
The "rape culture" part is when someone assumes that it is up to the other participant to say "no", instead of the instigator ensuring that the answer is clearly "yes".

Valmorian wrote:
cheeba wrote:

But that problem would be better attributed to a puritanical culture than a rape culture, because it's about sex being a taboo.

Getting enthusiastic consent isn't about sex being a taboo in any way, it's about respecting a person's boundaries and ownership of their own bodies.

Agree...but in the microcosm of what I quoted above (pretend the last four pages didn't happen) - I *do* think that the West's puritanical values when it comes to sex have a strong and unyielding hand in the development and sustaining of rape culture. Teaching women that their value is tied to their purity - whatever the hell that means - makes sex a shameful topic, and predatory men operate with impunity in the dark and shameful pockets of reality.

Seth wrote:

predatory men operate with impunity in the dark and shameful pockets of reality.

This sounds like the gravely-voiced voiceover for some new Matt Damon thriller.

... too bad it's reality.

As discussed elsewhere on this forum what we're really talking about is a culture that encourages "male sexual entitlement", it's called "rape culture" because "male sexual entitlement culture" is neither as snappy or as inflammatory. But the line of reasoning is really that our culture encourages men to feel entitled to sex (moreso than women) and this in turn is enabling to those (few) men who would be rapists, that is it provides the rhetoric and/or justifications they use to rationalise their actions. What we appear to be arguing about at the moment is whether our culture turns men in to rapists and that's really not the line of the argument at all.

There have been studies posted that say rapists aren't as few as you'd think. When one out of 3 women are assaulted, you either need massively serial attackers or a whole lot of them. Sadly it looks to be the latter.

DanB wrote:

As discussed elsewhere on this forum what we're really talking about is a culture that encourages "male sexual entitlement", it's called "rape culture" because "male sexual entitlement culture" is neither as snappy or as inflammatory. But the line of reasoning is really that our culture encourages men to feel entitled to sex (moreso than women) and this in turn is enabling to those (few) men who would be rapists, that is it provides the rhetoric and/or justifications they use to rationalise their actions. What we appear to be arguing about at the moment is whether our culture turns men in to rapists and that's really not the line of the argument at all.

Yeah it's the fallacy that (oh look at this can marked 'worms', I wonder what's in it) Penny Arcade stumbled over in their comic response to the whole Dickwolf thing. Rape culture is an enabler for the most part, not a brainwashing camp to create rapists. But it's difficult to say that this sort of thinking doesn't show some men that it's okay and, by degrees, put them down a path that they might not have otherwise gone.

DanB wrote:

As discussed elsewhere on this forum what we're really talking about is a culture that encourages "male sexual entitlement", it's called "rape culture" because "male sexual entitlement culture" is neither as snappy or as inflammatory. But the line of reasoning is really that our culture encourages men to feel entitled to sex (moreso than women) and this in turn is enabling to those (few) men who would be rapists, that is it provides the rhetoric and/or justifications they use to rationalise their actions. What we appear to be arguing about at the moment is whether our culture turns men in to rapists and that's really not the line of the argument at all.

You left out the part about victim blaming, lack of justice for victims, a culture/society that actively defends rapists and a whole other host of things. "Male sexual entitlement culture" doesn't even begin to describe all the problems involved in rape culture.

Edwin wrote:
DanB wrote:

As discussed elsewhere on this forum what we're really talking about is a culture that encourages "male sexual entitlement", it's called "rape culture" because "male sexual entitlement culture" is neither as snappy or as inflammatory. But the line of reasoning is really that our culture encourages men to feel entitled to sex (moreso than women) and this in turn is enabling to those (few) men who would be rapists, that is it provides the rhetoric and/or justifications they use to rationalise their actions. What we appear to be arguing about at the moment is whether our culture turns men in to rapists and that's really not the line of the argument at all.

You left out the part about victim blaming, lack of justice for victims, a culture/society that actively defends rapists and a whole other host of things. "Male sexual entitlement culture" doesn't even begin to describe all the problems involved in rape culture.

It's all inter-related. You blame the victim because men are entitled to sex and therefore can't be blamed.

IMO, the central conceit that's at odds with how I conduct my sexytimes is that sex is assumed to be something someone does to someone else, something that's gotten or had, or something that's given one to another. It's weird (to me).

To me, sex is like coop Diablo or multiplayer tennis or Charades. I don't hear saying "I gamed her," or "I Diablo'd him." Instead we say, "We did X together." No one gives something to someone; no one takes something from anyone, and no one gets the short end. It's a mutually shared and executed activity and experience. If you're playing doubles tennis and your partner/s's just standing there, the appropriate response is to stop and ask what's going on.

I kind of get the feeling that this thread has devolved a bit from 'discuss rape culture' to 'is this imaginary out of context example rape'

Where you draw a line may be important but rape culture is a distinct issue of it's own.

realityhack wrote:

I kind of get the feeling that this thread has devolved a bit from 'discuss rape culture' to 'is this imaginary out of context example rape'

Where you draw a line may be important but rape culture is a distinct issue of it's own.

I think there's some intersection, if only to discuss the phenomenon of people trying to strawman the concept of rape culture into the ground. "Well, what if (insert vague and/or extreme example here" happened? Huh, huh?! Checkmate," is usually the first or last step in someone's attempt to "prove" the idea of rape culture is just victim culture or mountain-out-of-molehill culture.

cheeba wrote:
Redwing wrote:

Why didn't your hypothetical guy ask if it was okay?

Do you guys (sorry, assuming you're a guy) always ask if it's ok?

Yes. Yes, yes, and thrice yes.

Including with the woman I've been married to for 10 years. A simple "hey, honey, you wanna have sex?" is all it takes in that instance.

Because I'm not f*cking psychic, and because sometimes (for all of us) the answer is "not feeling like it right now".

Bloo
I agree but I have the impression the conversation is turning a bit in the checkmate direction vs. a discussion of the larger issue with occasional crossover.

Valmorian wrote:
cheeba wrote:

But that problem would be better attributed to a puritanical culture than a rape culture, because it's about sex being a taboo.

Getting enthusiastic consent isn't about sex being a taboo in any way, it's about respecting a person's boundaries and ownership of their own bodies.

Edit:
The "rape culture" part is when someone assumes that it is up to the other participant to say "no", instead of the instigator ensuring that the answer is clearly "yes".

Communication is a two way street, and while I agree that the instigator should be checking for consent, the 'recipient' should also feel empowered to speak up when a boundary is crossed.