Dead Men Don’t Rape- Arguing With Feminism About ‘Rape Culture’

Posted: October 1, 2011 in Feminism, Gender Violence
Tags: , ,

‘Rape Culture and Other Feminist Myths’ is the title of my latest post arguing with feminist dogma, which you can read here at the  Good Men Project.

In the piece I write:

‘Have you ever heard a feminist say that we live in ‘transphobic assault’ culture? Or ‘murder of young black men’ culture? Or ‘homophobia’ culture? Or even ‘domestic violence’ culture?  I haven’t. Incidentally domestic violence is far more common than rape, and can also include rape. But it just doesn’t seem to impress the feminists who believe in rape culture. They are welcome to their victim top trumps, but I am not playing anymore.

When I say rape is ‘privileged’ in feminist discourse, I don’t mean that it benefits anybody. I believe that by focusing on the centrality of rape in our culture, feminists are actually making it more difficult for all of us to campaign against all forms of gendered violence in society.’

The discussion and comments are quite interesting, with a few feminist attack dogs trying to see me off their patch, but I held my ground! Thanks to Elissa, a regular QRG commenter for wading into the fray.

Comments
  1. Jim says:

    Nice try over there QRG, but that thread was just sad. What a bunch of self-satisfied, self-serving True Believers. Pathetic. I fianlly let Mcduff have it over some of her man-hating shaming language.

  2. Titfortat says:

    One thing that has always troubled me is how many feminists will present sex in a matter of fact kind of way. In other words it is not really that special its just adult play. Yet when violence is incorporated in a sexual way it all of a sudden takes on a more special or distinct essence. Because of that it then gets treated as a much more damaging event than any other kind of violence. Beat a man to an inch of his life or rape a woman and you will clearly see who gets more sympathy. Pretty distorted actually.

  3. kitty says:

    Hi there. I took a peek at your full piece at Good Men Project and saw that you didn’t reply to McDuff’s September 27, 2011 at 10:47 am (way up at the top of the comments). I would really love to hear what you have to say about that, perhaps here as it is much less cluttered than GMP. Thanks!

    • Hi Kitty McDuff has been pretty rude to me in the past so I am not always keen to engage with him.

      But I read his comment and I disagree with his opinion that ‘rape culture’ covers all forms of gendered violence including violence against men. I think rape culture really does emphasise the ‘specialness’ of sexual violence by men against women, and women’s special victim status, as I said in the article.

      I agree with him that men feel ‘ashamed’ to admit they are victims of violence by women, but not necessarily because they are supposed to be ‘the agressor’. more they are supposed to be physically strong and ‘in control’ in relationships with women. ‘Only fags would be hit by a woman’. it is ‘unmanly’.

  4. kitty says:

    Well I would frame the problem of gendered violence as a wider problem in Western society: femininity is not valued and masculinity is. Femininity is submissive while masculinity is dominant. And people who can embody masculinity the best have the most power. So the term “rape culture,” rather than making rape “special” or “privileged,” uses a sort of bottom-up processing to represent this power imbalance and its consequences by using man-as-perpetrator-woman-as-survivor rape as a jumping off point.The typical and fucked up responses and ideas surrounding this particular kind of violence highlight these consequences (“she was dressed like a slut, so she was practically asking for it” “why would such a handsome and rich guy have to rape anyone?” etc.). We can see this in your example too; men who are survivors of domestic violence are feminized by society. So “rape culture” is not misandrist, merely anti-privileging-of-masculinity. And many feminists are working to destroy all forms of gendered privilege, which would benefit men too. So that a man who survives rape doesn’t have to be too ashamed of being seen as feminine to get help.

    That’s my understanding as a feminist. It is unfortunate that you have had bad experiences that taint your entire view of feminists and feminism. But not all feminists think or even want the same things. However, I assure you that if you are committed to equality and mutual respect among all types of people, a huge number of–or even most–feminists would be on your side.

    I get it though. I draw parallels between your arguments against “rape culture” and the dominance of “gay marriage” in discourse among queer activists. I think what we need to do is just as you did with your article: talk about the things you need addressed. So in that regard, I commend you on stimulating thought and discussion. But I think you should reevaluate feminism and your heuristic of feminists. The majority of us aren’t man-hating, self-obsessed crazies. Promise!

  5. Simon says:

    I’ve been reading QRG and GW for about 6 months, but never commented. I have spent today (not much happening at work) reading GMP as I have never heard of it until this thread made me aware of it.
    Is GMP a place you should be QRG? From what I have read it’s the same old women good men baaaaaad rubbish that has annoyed me for the last 30 years.
    This is just my opinion, so tell me to get lost, I won’t be offended.

    • Hi Simon
      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      I agree that GMP is all about ‘women good men bad’ or ‘men bad but men can ‘redeem’ themselves if they try’.

      But I figured there is no point always preaching to the converted, and it is worth going to places where there are e.g. a lot of men, to offer another perspective. Sometimes the discussions there are annoying but I think it’s better that people like me have some articles on sites like that than not.

      • Simon says:

        “I think it’s better that people like me have some articles on sites like that than not.”

        A fair point that I’d overlooked.

  6. Titfortat says:

    But not all feminists think or even want the same things.(Kitty)

    You sound like a “Christian”, or at least the right kind of Christian.😉

  7. Chris Marshall says:

    You might be interested to know that your article was removed from the good men project.

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