miss_s_b: (Politics: Post Feminism)
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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