Posts Tagged ‘rape’

On seeing this promo poster for a rape survivors campaign, my initial reaction was: [redacted].

But that seems to be my reaction to everything to do with masculinity these days. So I thought I’d put this one to you, dear QRG readers, and ask you what you think of the ‘real men get raped’ campaign?

This article in Salon, focusing on rape in the ‘BDSM community’ really got on my nerves. I am going to write a proper post on it but first I thought I’d put it here. If any of you have any observations or thoughts then leave a comment and I can incorporate your ideas into the piece.

On first glance my main issues with the article are:

a) It assumes ‘rape’ is by men of women which demonises men as potential rapists

b) it is heteronormative

c) There are no men’s voices, no quotes from men

d) It is white and middle class – the ‘BDSM community’ does not include everyone who does S and M sex

e) It is all about articulate women lecturing people (men) not having a dialogue.

I return as usual to Mark Simpson and his concept of the feminist as ‘Ms Whiplash’:

‘Masochism’ is one of the inventions of late nineteenth century sexology in the Gothic shape of Baron Dr Richard Von Kraft-Ebing. It was only ever intended to apply to men; women were ‘naturally’ masochistic, so pleasure in pain on their part was not ‘perverse’ and therefore not a problem to be explained or pathologised. This was part of a shift in gender roles in the West in the Nineteenth Century which was concerned with, we are told, institutionalising women’s subjugation. As Phillips points out, ‘Dante’s ordeal in the Inferno to be reunited with Beatrice, to John Donne’s love poetry, sacrificial masculine love has been a crucial theme, only in this century has what for many centuries seemed the natural, desirable form of male love been redefined as effeminate perversity, masochism.’

Phillips believes that this reformulation of male identity that excluded masochism made masculinity ‘blatantly misogynisitc, emotionally inept and homophobic’. She also believes that it was this new masculinity which led in part to the ‘corrective’ of feminism. Ironically, the exclusion of masochism from the male psyche has produced a public scenario of their punishment and chastisement by women which continues today. The feminist is Ms Whiplash.’

For a slightly critical but fascinating take on the feminist as ‘ms whiplash’ check out Jay Generally’s series (6 posts) on The Dominatrix:

I found myself agreeing with almost the entirity of this article by Brendan O’Neill in the Telegraph, about the ‘female bloggers’ and their campaign to ‘stamp out misogyny’ online. Especially this paragraph:

‘According to the Guardian, these campaigners want to stamp out “hateful trolling” by men – that is, they want an end to the misogynistic bile and spite that allegedly clogs up their email inboxes and internet discussion boards. Leaving aside the question of who exactly is supposed to do all this “stamping out” of heated speech – The state? Well, who else could do it? – the most striking thing about these fragile feminists’ campaign is the way it elides very different forms of speech. So the Guardian report lumps together “threats of rape”, which are of course serious, with “crude insults” and “unstinting ridicule”, which are not that serious. If I had a penny for every time I was crudely insulted on the internet, labelled a prick, a toad, a shit, a moron, a wide-eyed member of a crazy communist cult, I’d be relatively well-off. For better or worse, crudeness is part of the internet experience, and if you don’t like it you can always read The Lady instead.’

I would add to Brendan’s article that feminist women, though, are also capable of ‘coarse language’ and ‘hate speech’, some examples of which I gave in my last post on this issue.

Indeed, a relatively high-profile feminist blogger, stavvers, has called O’Neill himself some nasty things, most memorably: ‘a dangerous weeping syphillitic chode’

This ‘hate speech’ on the part of feminist women does not negate O’neill’s points. Rather it shows the contradictory nature of their position, and even the hypocrisy of their claim that they want to ‘stamp out’ misogyny and hate speech. I think, really, they want to stamp out criticism of feminism and debate. This is borne out by the cries for tougher moderation on blogs and newspaper fora, and for the end to anonymous commenting online that have followed the articles by ‘female bloggers’ about their plight.

There is something else I have noted about this distressing discourse. One of the key arguments from the feminist female bloggers, is that men don’t receive rape threats but women do.

But the whole point of contemporary feminism, we might be forgiven for thinking, has been to show how men, and only men, are capable of and guilty of rape. And women, and only women are able to be victims of rape. In UK law, ‘rape’ only occurs when a penis is inserted into an orifice without consent. So it is rather clever and manipulative to take the fact that women don’t threaten men with ‘rape’ as an example of the specific misogynist abuse women receive from men, when this is done in a context where men cannot even be acknowledged as victims of rape at the hands of women.

Well done feminists!

Another slight of hand is where they say that they can predict the criticisms of their campaign and their twitter hashtag #mencallmethings – ‘whatabouttehmenz’? ‘womencanbenastytoo’ etc . But just because a criticism is predictable it does not mean it is not valid. And I say, once again, no, seriously, what about the men?

You know what. Even if this was a case of men being misogynist across the internet, if men are the ‘perpetrators’ of sexist online abuse against women, wouldn’t it be worth talking to them and trying to understand where they are coming from, in order to try and stop their behaviour?

As Mark Simpson has pointed out on a number of occasions, even when men are the subject of a discussion, whether it be positive or negative, they often are denied a voice. Who is silencing whom?

As far as I am concerned these feminist female bloggers and journalists do not want an end to misogyny in the form of online abuse. Because without it they would lose their special victim status. And this latest cacophony of wimmin shouting at men, is all about maintaining that status.

Your cries are falling on deaf ears here, ladies. I have heard it all before.

I had some adventures in Stalinism, I mean feminism yesterday and today. I may well write about them in more detail at a later date. It is no coincidence that all my interactions, which involved me getting blocked from ANOTHER feminist blog, and being called an ‘asshole’, and a ‘contrarian’ and a ‘troll’, were to do with discussions about rape and rape law and reporting of rape in the media.  RAPE- IT KEEPS FEMINISM ALIVE

But here is a conversation I have just had on twitter. I would be interested to hear your observations about how it progresses and what that may say about feminist discourse…

I read that in the guardian the other day. The bit about how sometimes you might not want it at first, but then you do…it is so much like all those bloody film scenes where the woman fights the hero off, and then goes limp and moony eyed. It is this whole romanticism of she didn’t think she wanted it, but then his sheer manliness overpowered her. It’s bullshit. but that is what Robertson seems to think about women, and rape. That we all want it really, even when we say we don’t. It makes me feel a bit sick in my mouth to be honest’

This comment was left on a discussion about the Assange case. Another discussion with feminists about something I think is very important that I got hounded off. But fuck it I will bring these discussions here.

The commenter raises a very interesting point, about how she thinks Assange’s lawyer in the extradition case has presented ‘rape’, as if it was a kind of Mills and Boon type story of a dark, manly hero taking the wench and overpowering her. As she secretly wanted all along.

My question is this: if those stories are so common and so much a part of our consciousness, not just in Mills and Boon, but also in classical literature-the picture above is a representation of Wuthering Heights, for example. And also, as the commenter says, in film and popular culture. If this narrative of the strong masculine, dominant man and the weak, submissive woman is so prevalent in our discourse is there some truth in it? Or rather is it embedded deep in our psyches?

I don’t know what to think about the Assange case anymore or even Robertson QC’s remarks, that feminists have found so offensive. But I do know it is a very interesting example of how we portray heterosexual sex /relationships in our culture.

The feminist narrative is not actually any different from the romantic one, except that it always involves the man ‘overpowering’ the woman against her will. Which, if you think about it, makes him out to be even stronger, even more dominant, even more powerful than the versions of the story which say she eventually is overcome by feminine desire for him.