miss_s_b: (Politics: Post Feminism)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I just read a very interesting post on the fabulous Yes Means Yes blog (DW syndicated at [syndicated profile] yesmeansyes_feed). Rather than making assertions based on anecdote, as most people who talk about acquaintance rape are forced to do, they have actually delved into some studies. The conclusions they have come up with in their post "meet the predators", though, pretty much agree with what feminists have been saying for a long time:
I’m directing this to men who inhabit het-identified social spaces [...] We’re the ones who are not doing our jobs.

Here’s what we need to do. We need to spot the rapists, and we need to shut down the social structures that give them a license to operate. They are in the population, among us. They have an average of six victims, women that they know, and therefore likely some women you know. They use force sometimes, but mostly they use intoxicants. They don’t accidentally end up in a room with a woman too drunk or high to consent or resist; they plan on getting there and that’s where they end up.

Listen. The women you know will tell you when the men they thought they could trust assaulted them; if and only if they know you won’t stonewall, deny, blame or judge. Let them tell you that they got drunk, and woke up with your buddy on top of them. Listen. Don’t defend that guy. That guy is more likely than not a recidivist. He has probably done it before. He will probably do it again.

Change the culture. To rape again and again, these men need silence. They need to know that the right combination of factors — alcohol and sex shame, mostly — will keep their victims quiet. Otherwise, they would be identified earlier and have a harder time finding victims. The women in your life need to be able to talk frankly about sexual assault. They need to be able to tell you, and they need to know that they can tell you, and not be stonewalled, denied, blamed or judged.

Listen. The men in your lives will tell you what they do. As long as the R word doesn’t get attached, rapists do self-report. The guy who says he sees a woman too drunk to know where she is as an opportunity is not joking. He’s telling you how he sees it.
(emphases mine)

These recidivist rapists are also responsible for a lot of general interpersonal violence and abusive behaviour, according to the research. So if we root them out, and take away their license to operate, it won't just be women who are drunk and deserve what's coming to them who we'll be helping. It'll be EVERYONE.

I don't know if the guy who raped me was a recidivist, aside from that he raped me more than once. I am fairly sure I was his first victim. He was my boyfriend. There was a degree of violence, emotional abuse and control in the relationship. I know, even though he moved away and I haven't had contact with him since we broke up, that he has had other girlfriends since. I really hope that I was a blip, but the evidence says that is only a 30% chance. The evidence also says that he almost certainly does not see himself as a rapist.

I've done a lot of things I regret in my life, but mostly I have treated them as learning experiences. The one thing I would change, the ONE thing, if I could go back in time, is that I would report that bastard, tell all my friends, tell all his friends, tell my dad... I am, and have been, complicit in the rape culture of our society by not doing these things. And yet I still can't type his name here. I can't bring myself to publicly accuse him. Mostly because I know for a fact that if I did, SOMEONE would bring it to his attention and I'd be in court for defamation... I don't want to rake over those coals in a public courtroom. Not now. Not after this long.

I have to live with that decision, but hopefully someone reading this will learn from my mistake. Lets do something about this.

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Caution, this may be triggery

Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
moviegrrl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] moviegrrl
this is a fantastic post. Unkyrich over at LJ pointed me in the direction of http://www.mystrength.org/ which has a very similar credo as you've just posted.

Also, and blimey, this is hard to even *type* your experiences rang a bell with me. First boyfriend... bit of a shit. I was too young and insecure to say "no", so on more than one occasion he'd fuck me, while I'd lie there shaking.
To this day I'm wary of saying it was rape, because I didn't say no despite the fact I was clearly unhappy, uncomfortable, and non-consensual.
I hope that ant girlfriends he had after me, were stronger and more vocal than I was.

I never told anyone the details, not then, not since. When I saw him a few years after we broke up, at one of my father's gigs, I flatly told him to fuck off. Dad asked me "what was that all about? Or don't I want to know?" and I just said "you don't want to know" and left it at that.

We all, men and women, need to speak out against rape culture...

Re: Caution, this may be triggery

Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
moviegrrl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] moviegrrl
{squishes you really really tightly}
Love you honey

Re: Caution, this may be triggery

Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
Man, why are all first boyfriends shite?

((huge hugs for you both))

Re: Caution, this may be triggery

Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
It seems to be pretty common from talking amoungst friends. "All" was hyperbole, but it's not rare.

Re: Caution, this may be triggery

Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
I guess not. I just tend to listen to my friends.

The stats on that site are frightening though. Sigh. I knew there would be a concern troll in the comments too. At least he was gloriously banned.

Re: Caution, this may be triggery

Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
I know. I had trouble finishing reading that. It made me feel sick.

Re: Caution, this may be triggery

Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
At a guess at an answer, because rapists target inexperienced women because they are less likely to be good at saying no.

I like the credo of "(only) yes means yes". I'll remember that next time some guy is being an idiot about rape.

Re: Caution, this may be triggery

Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
stormsearch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stormsearch
The stats are frightning. I'd say that more than one third of the women I am close to have experienced the R-word. Everyone knew their attacker.
When I was at University, once we'd all got close enough to talk, there was a period where it seemed that everyone was saying, "Not you, too?". And that's only the ones who felt able to talk about it. I know there were some people who sat quietly, listened, but didn't join in.

Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
My ex husband used to be like that with me.

It's wonderful being with a bloke who does not treat me like that.

Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yuxonomei.livejournal.com
And that was from me.

Date: Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
You have NOTHING to feel guilty for. I sadly suspect from talking to many female friends that you're the norm rather than the exception when it comes to this.

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