Well, it’s been an exciting couple of days here at The Attractive Arts.
So that blog post Rake wrote about rape culture? He cross posted it on another site, where it spontaneously sprouted a comment thread for the ages.
There was, of course, the obligatory defender-of-the-Masculine, calling himself “Naked_***,” who immediately started in with gems like this:
“We men should just declare National-Rape-Day where everyone fucks whoever he really wants. Get it out of our systems on that day, remind women what men are really like inside of their heads, and then the rest of the year, be the flaccid replicas of animals with excess testosterone that the women want us to be.”
Oh, and this little beauty:
“There are two types of animals on this world: predators and prey.
I am a predator, and hormones naturally coursing through my body make me that way. I will not apologize for this natural state any more than a lion would apologize for preying on a gazelle for dinner. My natural state is to mate with and impregnate as many women as possible. […]
Women who deny this fact about men are stupid / vastly misinformed.”
My favorite thing about that quote? The fact this His Nakedness is unaware that lions don’t actually hunt. Anyone who’s ever watched Nat Geo Wild can tell you that it’s the lionesses who bring home the bacon, or rather the gazelle meat. Chew on that, Naked Lion.
Anyway, suffice it to say that it was some of the most blatant rape-apologist bullshit imaginable. Unsurprisingly, a number of women immediately went on the counter-attack, myself among them. The debate raged on between Nakedthingy and various women, throughout the thread.
Meanwhile, man after man showed up to criticize Rake for various things, roughly falling into 2 categories:
1. Those who were offended by their perception that he was calling them morons, lumping them in with rapists, talking down to them, etc.
2. Those who missed the joke and believed Rake himself to be the kind of misogynist who thinks getting laid is the very most important reason to fight rape culture.
With the exception of Rake himself, and one other dude who briefly chastised The Naked Douche early on, NOT A SINGLE ONE of these men felt the need to turn that all that righteous indignation against the actual misogynist asshat in their midst.
It was enough to make me wish I had created Naked_###’s profile as a test of sorts, to see how they would react when actually confronted by the kind of scary shit we women deal with on a daily basis.
Finally, when some jerkoff had the nerve to say that Rake’s point was “obvious,” I had to speak up.
“Apparently it isn’t so obvious,” I wrote, “This entire comment thread is a case-in-point. Note how many men are spending a lot of energy attacking the OP for his tone (which is clearly intended to be funny/satirical), and how few of them are attacking the guy who is spewing a bunch of rape-justifying bullshit all over the thread (answer: 2).”
This in turn inspired a rather nasty backlash of angry men who felt that by pointing out what had just occurred (and no one could dispute that it had, the evidence was right there in front of them), I was personally calling out each and every man on the thread as being a rape apologist.
Some of their comments were reactive-but-rational, like the guy who pointed out that we women were doing a fine job of ripping Nakedface a new one on our own, and to butt in would have been patronizing “white-knighting.”
For the record: it wouldn’t have. There’s a big difference between fighting someone’s battles for them and giving a show of support so they know they’re not in it alone. Observe:
“Hey Naked Brute, you leave these poor women alone!” = patronizing.
“Hey Naked Guy, your argument is invalid” = not patronizing.
“Hey, [name of specific woman], you are spot-on in your critique of Big Naked Baby’s argument” = not patronizing. Supportive. And pretty damn sexy.
Then there was the guy who vehemently defended his choice to offer the author some constructive criticism (he was one of those who felt the article was itself misogynistic) rather than engage with a flame-thrower. Fair enough. Indeed, he was one of the most intelligent, well-spoken fellows on the thread, so I was deeply disturbed when he claimed that he felt Naked dude’s arguments were “self-refuting” and that to respond to his posts would be to give them undue credibility.
Ouch. Thanks for making all us women who felt compelled to argue against his offensive, dangerous, and frighteningly commonly-held notions feel like idiots. Oopsie! Silly women, lending undue credibility to the pop-biology crap we’ve been hearing ALL OUR LIVES as the reason we must constantly be on guard so as not to arouse a sleeping dragon, blah blah blah. Good thing we have such smart fellas around to point out the real problem here!
What was that again? Oh yeah, that the author is talking down to rape apologists, using a harsh tone, and making a meta-joke about bro-culture that some of you found un-funny.
Whew, thank GAWD you set us straight!
And finally, there was the guy who went straight to the personal attacks, none of which were fit for re-print, here or anywhere, but which basically boiled down to:
“Shut up, you ignorant slut.”
Yup, no misogyny here, folks! Guess there was no reason for Rake to have written that article after all.
Anyway, all that got me thinking about how often this same pattern plays out: guy goes out of his way to stand up for a person or group of people being persecuted, other guys descend on him like rabid wolves while completely ignoring, or even defending, the persecutor.
A personal anecdote from a recent social gathering at a friend’s home:
Guy who’d had one too many beers (henceforth OTMB) started giving a footrub to an attractive gal in a skirt (henceforth AGIAS). AGIAS had consented to the footrub, so all was good. At first. But then OTMB started moving his hands up her legs. She said, loudly enough for everyone nearby (myself included) to hear, “Woah, slow down there, Cowboy. That’s not my foot.” The interaction now had my attention, as well as the attention of a few other people, both male and female.
A couple of minutes later, I noticed his hands wandering up her leg again. I saw her attempt to physically move the hand, but OTMB persisted. Again, AGIAS chastised him in an increasingly impatient voice. I exchanged looks with some of the other women in the area. We could all tell that she was getting really uncomfortable, so even though I didn’t know her, I came over and said, “Hey, can I borrow her for a minute?”
He gave me the fuckoff look and said, “I’ve only done one side.”
“I think she’ll live,” I said. But he just kept going, and by this point AGIAS was starting to look frightened.
Just as I was trying to come up with a better exit strategy, a guy (also someone I didn’t know) intervened. He walked right up and said to OTMB,
“That’s it: hands off.”
He physically removed OTMB’s hands from AGIAS’s legs, giving me an opportunity to escort her to the back porch, where she thanked me profusely and asked if I knew who Mr. Awesome back there was.
I had no idea, so after she had regained her composure, we went back inside to find out.
Now, I didn’t necessarily expect that anyone would’ve handed him a medal in our absence or anything, but I figured he would at least get a few hearty pats on the back. Instead, we walked back into a shitstorm of epic proportions. He was surrounded by a group of angry men (including the host), telling him that his behavior was “uncalled for,” his manner too harsh, his intervention unnecessary. A few salient quotes I recall:
“You could’ve just told him to back off. You didn’t have to lay hands on the guy.”
“He’s a good guy, he’s just had a little too much to drink. He’s not some rapist.”
“It’s not like we didn’t see what was happening. We were watching to make sure things didn’t get out of control.”
All his detractors had different complaints/justifications, but all we could hear was:
“Dude, you are making us look bad! Cut it the fuck out!”
Meanwhile, OTMB was simply ignored. He was sitting on the couch, pouting, and drinking yet another beer.
At first, we were so shocked we didn’t know what to say. Finally, we (and a few other women), tried to intervene on his behalf. We were largely ignored as well, except by Mr. Awesome, who thanked us, checked in with AGIAS to make sure she was okay, and then continued to argue with the other dudes.
Sometimes, this is what rape culture looks like.
It doesn’t have to look like a bunch of dudes sitting around talking about the bitches they want to fuck and high-fiving one another, and it doesn’t have to look like villagers throwing stones at a married woman who was raped because technically she was “committing adultery.” Sometimes it just looks like a bunch of men so busy with the all-important task of defending their own egos that they stand around arguing with the good guy while the bad guy is violating women right under their noses.
No, I don’t think every guy in that thread who failed to intercede is a rape apologist. No, I don’t think every guy who defended their drunk friend at that party is in favor of rape. But I think their behavior warrants consideration, mostly their own.
As I said to one of my more rational detractors:
“I never made mention of motives, as I have no way of knowing what those could be. All I know is that it happened. As to why it happened, that’s a question for you to ask yourself.”
Note: all quotes slightly altered to protect the identities. I only changed articles like “the” and “a”
OK dude, have all the ladies left?
You are a fucking moron.
No shit, you are actually making things harder on yourself and every other guy out there who is trying to get laid.
Every time you are a misogynist, an angel closes her legs.
Every time you think to yourself that the careful etiquette that women (and men) are trying to create in order to combat the rape culture is just a bunch of feminist nonsense, women everywhere are that much less inclined to go out, and that much less likely to wear something sexy when they do.
Every time you fail to make eye contact with a woman you are sexing up, every time you fail to notice that a woman isn’t having such a great time, every time you fail to speak up when you see a woman looking uncomfortable with another dude, somewhere a woman decides that she just isn’t that into sex.
Every time you whistle at a woman walking down the street, or grab ass on someone without getting permission from her lips (or *at least* from her eyes), every time you speak to a woman like she owes you sex, or take the easy way and make a really bad rape joke at the expense of your audience member (Yes, Tosh, I’m looking at you), and every time you stand by and watch that shit happen, or even defend the douchebag who did it, somewhere else a woman says no to a man, gets an unexplained headache, or asks to be taken home early.
Eventually, that man will be you. And you will believe that her rejection of you is unjust, and you will probably think, or even say, unkind things about her to your friends, or even to her face.
But YOU, you fucking moron, YOU are doing this to yourself.
And I can already see you thinking to yourself all manner of absolute childish tripe and justification after sophomoric justification about how this is “just how women are”:
Even if any of the above is true, you can’t do something about other people can you? But we CAN do something about ourselves, and we are lucky enough to be the gender that everyone seems to look to to make the first move.
So, I am going to do you a favor right now.
Now this is only a favor if you can be man enough to shut the fuck up, sit down and read this as if you cared to understand what it is really like for a woman.
Men, you overpower women by sheer muscle mass, your general weight is 60 lbs heavier by average, and as a combat specialist for 10 years I can tell you the honest truth about fighting: weight is almost everything.
Women walk around scared. Every. Fucking. Day. Now I am aware that you all walk around a bit scared too because, whether you admit it or not, you are scared of being rejected or humiliated, since you are EXPECTED to be the one to put yourself out there and make yourself vulnerable. But women–the lucky bitches–women get approached all the time! Right?
Women get approached because they are viewed as targets!
As in: men like to hunt them. Usually the hunt ends in a conversation and a nice time, but sometimes it ends in blood. Lip blood, vaginal blood, sometimes dead cold drying blood.
Yes, that is what it’s like for a woman. Walking around terrified all the time that a man might just arbitrarily decide to hurt you, and there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it. Women LONG for a man, partially for protection, but EVERY man is a threat until proven otherwise, and all they have for weapons is their social intelligence, a rape whistle, and a hope.
Now, why the fuck should you care?
Man, even if you are the most shallow guy in the world who just wants a pussy, ass or mouth to wet your dick in, you should care. Because the rape culture is making women afraid of you, and of sex in general.
Imagine a world where the CULTURE dictates that men who see any sort of misogyny should put a stop to it right away.
Where any man who sees some sort of excessive force takes action with equal force to put an end to it. Where fucking cops don’t spend their efforts convincing women it’s not worth fighting for justice.
Where the reaction from friends and family is not accusation and disparagement (“Are you SURE that’s what happened? You’re not just overreacting/dramatizing/mis-remembering? This is a man’s life we’re talking about here!).
Where a woman’s character is not pilloried because she was unlucky enough to be victimized. (“She was wearing a MINI SKIRT.” “She had been DRINKING.” “She flirted with him in front of everyone!” “She slept with half the neighborhood, why should we believe that lying slut?”)
In that world? IN THAT FUCKING WORLD?!
In a world where those who have the most power actually exercise it by–at the VERY LEAST–refusing to stay silent when they hear some dude telling a woman she is a bitch for not sleeping with him. All it takes is four simple words:
“That’s not cool man.”
In THAT world, you would get laid all the time.
Because women LOVE SEX.
They actually love it more than you do. They want men (or women) to fuck them. A lot. And IN THAT WORLD, many of them would not even be all that picky about a quickie.
And even though most of you reading this are not rapists and most have not even accidentally misunderstood a signal and gone too far; it’s not your actions I am talking about here. It is your inactions that are REALLY fucking things up.
1) Do it for the children.
Some reports show as high as 70% of all rapes are by an immediate family member. By making rape not OK anywhere, you give more options to those who wish to report abuse by their own family.
2) Do it for your fellow men who are raped
Yeah, even men are raped and a culture where people look the other way allows that to happen to anyone.
3) Do it for your mom
If 25% of women have been sexually assaulted in some way, then there is a decent chance that your own mom has been raped, Dude. Your own mom. But let’s say you hate your mom. What about your little sister? Or your second-grade teacher? Or your best female friend from elementary school. Chances are, some woman who has made a positive impact on your life has been or will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Chew on that for a while.
4) Do it for your self-respect
You know what is right. Just because you’ve spent a lifetime kowtowing to whatever Alpha attitude happens to be running the table at the moment, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it. Want to sleep better than you ever have? Want more genuine self-confidence? Put a stop to an injustice and stand up for your convictions.
5) Do it for your penis
Have you been paying attention? Not only will changing the culture make women more likely to spread their thighs for you, changing your attitude will do the same. That’s right, being RESPECTED is a serious turn-on, and integrity is fucking hot.
So the next time I see even one of you assholes make another disparaging comment about women, or respond to “I was raped” with “What were you wearing/doing/drinking/WHATEVER?”, or fail to stop some creep from making a woman uncomfortable, expect me to step in and stop YOU.
Because honestly, Asshole: you’re fucking it up for me.
Be like these guys instead:
Yeah, that’s right, the fact is that plenty of men reading this are already doing their best. And we really need you in order to stop the real evil predators out there.
And some of you could do more. I find more that I can do all the time. Even just in writing this I’ve learned a few more things I can do. But I, alone, making a change will make no difference if you go out tonight and let your friend tell another dumb blonde joke, or brag that he hooked up with some chick who was so wasted she passed out halfway through.
The culture is shifting. Be ahead of the curve. Re-read the 5 points listed above, go out tonight and put a stop to it.
Like a man.
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