6/4/07

men's issue

Rape happens, is happening and will continue to happen with all its horror and its murky pervasiveness.

This is as obvious as daylight. Yes?

Right.

So why isn’t it conspicuous for the droves of men who vociferously support the cause for anti-rape or at least the ones who can agree that rape = bad, that rape cannot be pooh-poohed away as a ‘women’s issue’? If it really were a ‘women’s issue’ don’t you think that women would have aggressively found a way to stop it or decrease its prevalence considerably?

Regrettably, most men do not even acknowledge the fact that rape is a men’s issue let alone take any responsibility for it. Any mention of ‘as a man you must feel obligated to contribute in stopping rape and sexual violence’ is met with defensive cries of ‘how dare you say I must be ‘obligated’, I don’t rape and I resent being bunched in with rapists’ and other variants of ‘I am not a rapist hence it is not my problem’.

But it is a men’s issue. The lives of men and women are, and always will be irrevocably connected and cultivating an inner disconnect and denying accountability for the violence meted out to women (and men) is just plain foolish and pathetically ignorant. You are connected to a planet where women are assailed indiscriminately. You are connected to those women who obligatorily alter their lifestyles and behavior out of fear for their wellbeing and their lives. All women suffer the repercussions of rape irrespective of the fact that they’ve been raped or not. Realize that your lives as men will also be affected by rape, whether you are the perpetrator or not.

So why should you as a man, really care about rape?

Here’s why,

1. Men rape. Understand that ‘men rape’ does not equate ‘every man is a rapist’. Break out of your miasma of denial and defensiveness. Do not skirt around, derail or evade this issue. Accept it.

2. Comprehend the fact that men get raped too, and an overwhelming majority of their assailants aren’t women, they are other men.

3. Women do not provoke rape by what they wear, the amount they drink or where they choose to be. This stems from an insidious and a dangerously flawed belief that rape is an impulsive act by a person who seeks instant sexual gratification. Nothing can be further from the truth. Rape is not an enjoyable sport; it is an act of violence, aggression and coercion. It is primarily a crime of power, of shaming, humiliating and rendering the victim powerless.

4. Women do not use rape as an excuse for ‘revenge’ or getting back at a ‘cheating partner’ or whatever. In the United States, less than 2 % of rapes are reported false. The media and rape apologists may glorify this miniscule percentage and make it seem like it is much larger than it actually is. Understand that it is not.

5. A large majority of all rapes are committed by acquaintances, friends and sometimes even the loved ones of those who are raped. This cultivates an intrinsic distrust and fear of all men, an unconscious classification of all men as ‘prospective rapists’.

So what can you as a man do, to work towards making this your issue?

a. Scrutinize your own behavior and question your attitudes. For starters, use the following questions as a paradigm for judging your attitudes towards women and sexual violence.

+ Do you think that jokes glorifying sexual violence are funny?

+ Consciously or unconsciously, do you contribute to the sexual objectification of women?

+ Do you think that it is acceptable to force a woman to have sex with you?

+ Do you think that when a woman says no, she actually means yes?

+ Do you and your friends push each other to ‘score as much pussy as possible’?

+ Do you constantly refer to women as bitches, whores, cunts, sluts, pussies, and so on?

b. Educate yourself about rape, sexual violence and assault. Knowledge is empowering.

c. Listen, really listen to women. Chances are, you might be directly or indirectly connected to at least one woman who is a survivor of sexual violence. Respond with compassion and understanding. Let her speak.

d. Confront your peers when they indulge in exploitative or brutal behavior. Non- interference in such situations is akin to participating. However uncomfortable you may feel, speak up and interfere.

e. Lastly, try to consciously devote your time and money to organizations which promote the prevention of violence and women or sexual violence.

Instead of being defensive or bitter, be thankful that as a man, you do have the power to help stop rape and other acts of sexual aggression or violence.

Really, you do.

Addendum:
This is just vile, unadultrated, filth. Because, you know rape is obviously funny, har har. And whats even worse are the fucked up comments like "its not like he really is going to rape a girl and if he does well that his business not yours". Go watch it if you can stomach it.

74 comments:

The Stig said...

"So why isn’t it conspicuous for the droves of men who vociferously support the cause for anti-rape or at least the ones who can agree that rape = bad, that rape cannot be pooh-poohed away as a ‘women’s issue’?"


Is it me or is anyone who does that becomes a hypocrite?

I'm grabbing me chair and some popcorn and I'm going to have me some fun with a bunch of commenters here who will be armed with a weapon known as denial.

Karthik said...

"Confront your peers when they indulge in exploitative or brutal behavior. Non- interference in such situations is akin to participating. However uncomfortable you may feel, speak up and interfere."

That's a nice point there. Nice post on the whole, keep up the good work.

Drunken Master said...

I know a girl who's being mentally abused by her husband, and recently also found out the fucker assaulted her.

Problem is she's in India for the summer and after she gets back will not stand up to him or even testify against him if others bring up charges.

Only option is to beat the shit out of the guy and some sense into him...

The Drunken Master - protector of women in his neighborhood when not hitting on them when in a drunken stupor himself!

Aravind said...

Megha,
I raised a similar point in one of the forums that I frequent to, you can read about it here - http://www.invisionplus.net/forums/index.php?mforum=freehyderabad&showtopic=722

Note that:
All the participants are well educated.
They do not want to speak about it.
They went to attack me but did not speak about the points being raised.

That is the kind of reaction you would get from well educated people, god help us when we are trying to tell the same things to a lesser kind.

rebel said...

You are right.

Also men should understand that just because a few filthy bastards commit a sin like rape, the beastial quality is attributed to all men.

People just generalise and say 'All men are bastards.'

At least to make others understand that there are a lot of decent and nice men in this world, they should come to terms with the fact that rape is just not a women's issue.

Anonymous said...

A very good post..

a point in btw:

contrary to popular opinion, it is the guys who drink who are more open-minded and harmless.. whereas the guys who dont, often feel that a girl who drinks, shows skin ought to be raped.. as it doesnt confirm to the standard middle class indian values (they dont drink for the same reason).. and it is mostly these guys who have indulged in the aforementioned eve-teasing activities...

no, got nothing against guys who dont drink, but their resistance to even try shows the extent to which they have been influenced by popular social media.. and you know how it is in indian movies.. only sluts drink/smoke, have pre-marital sex.. ans so on..

also note that these non-drinking-friends will never rape, but passively support the whole thing done by some loser

Aravind said...

Anonymous: Why so much generalisation? And where does teetotaling come into the picture?

WillOTheWisp said...

Hmmm.... Just one point.

This stems from an insidious and a dangerously flawed belief that rape is an impulsive act by a person who seeks instant sexual gratification. Nothing can be further from the truth. Rape is not an enjoyable sport; it is an act of violence, aggression and coercion. It is primarily a crime of power, of shaming, humiliating and rendering the victim powerless.

If rape not be pleasurable / gratifying ( for the man obviously ), why would he go to such extent, at risk to himself?

And maybe this kind of generalisation needs a review. Believing that rape is the consequence of a need for dominance etc etc ( instead of instantaneous sexual gratification ) does not really do much to change the statistics. Does it? If so, things ought to have been better / improved as women get more assertive, exhibitionistic etc. No? Have they?

As someone else brought out above, it probably has to do with the fact that the need for sexual gratification ( irrepressible as it may be at that juncture ) is entwined with a prospective male rapist's impressions of a woman who steps away from the norm. Violence, coercion etc are just means to achieving that end, an not ends in and of themselves.

And if the aim be shaming and rendering the woman powerless, who is to say that it does not provide for an overarching and rare sexual gratification? Might it be more prosaic to accept this and move on further herefrom?

What was the point? If you really feel as strongly as you do, it does not help to demand that men accept accountability for that which a lot of them do not do. It provokes the same kind of feelings as when I were to ask you to accept responsibility for the damages / emotional violence that some aggressive / assertive women dish out to men whose attitudes are not as strong. There are a lot of such instances and they all go unreported.

It is a sexual act that MUST have some sexual payoff ( however reprehensible ). I would not wish to deny that there are other aspects to it. But, being that this is the most tangible and least deniable, it might help to develop a perspective from this POV.

Regards

Anurag said...

Agree with everything you say. However you have raised one profound question, knowing the answer to which can change the course of my life.

Q. When women say "no" do they mean "yes"?

I don't know. For all I understand them, they could mean "no", "yes", "maybe", "but then, maybe not", "3.1415926", "vote for Raegan even though he does not medically exist and is not even a candidate anymore", "have you voted for Raegan yet?", and other such sundry connotations.

Please, I beseech other people reading this post to come to my rescue.

On a less light note, I agree with all you say. Sad, but true.

anonymouse said...

Anonymus at June 5, 2007 6:00 AM:

I doubt that your generalisation holds. Rape is a crime of power, not of passion. Please understand that "middle class morals" have nothing to do with it. Nor does showing skin, drinking, and/or smoking have anything to do with it.

Quite frankly, I feel insulted when Megha writes things like this. Not because it generalises/applies to me (or even because it applies to men in general), but because it shows the low moral behaviour of our "civilisation".

Note that I don't come here with a crusade to stop her from posting about these issues either. IMO, exposing such things to the light is the only way to destroy them.

I have no hope for most of my generation, but hopefully when this lot goes out of power (that's another three generations or so down the line, maybe) things will improve.

I don't know how much more I can personally do (I have my own crusades as well), but I do agree that all it takes for evil to win is for good people to do nothing. Keep up the good fight folks.

Anonymous said...

"Women do not provoke rape by what they wear" - I agree, but they provoke lot of other things by this process. In a not-so-mature society, like what we have in India, what you were actually counts a bit, and I personally know a few, actually many to say, who enjoy the attention this obscenity brings.
I do not come from land-of-whores... I am from a simple and respected part of this society.

Anonymous said...

hey... not directly related to the post. but definitely to the idea of feminism.
why are there "mother in law jokes" and no "father in law jokes". even women have their own m-i-l jokes.... just a thought.....


lovedale

Anonymous said...

well. ur post makes a lot of sense about what a man can do to help the rape issue. but. basically these issues might make sense only to ppl who care to do something about it. who care to feel what they can do about it.
well. how can u make a much larger percentage of men understand and follow the things u ve mentioned?

lovedale again! :)

M (tread softly upon) said...

Well GL with your effort to raise awareness. Even if it reaches one person I think you did the world a favor.

that girl in pink said...

this is such a complicated issue but i'm glad you've got at least started a debate.

one thing's for sure. this is not a female issue. women and men have to work together to make our society safer.

i'm gonna take part of the blame for the apathy shown by me towards really doing something to improve things.

great post!

that girl in pink said...

one caring man in bangalore tried to improve things for women by doing this: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1996773,prtpage-1.cms

thank god it didn't go through!

Sue said...

There was this collegemate who was hassling, virtually stalking my best friend. Her boyfriend of the time, a fairly crude person himself, responded by having this guy abducted, beating him up and repeating it when he didn't get the message the first time.

I don't condone such violence. But I was younger then and that was the only thing that got this creep off her back. (Although she was very angry at the method.) Funnily enough, I still haven't come up with a way that wd've been more effective under the circumstances.

baby221 said...

I know someone who desperately needs to read this.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll send it to him, because the last "discussion" we tried to have about rape was ended rather definitively with his statement that "being raped once is no reason to hate all men the rest of your life. victims should just get over it."

Dewey said...

I find this to be the most powerful post so far in this carnival. Beautiful writing, and your points SO need to be heard.

I've actually seen a man in one of these types of conversations say, "Women rape TEH MENZ too!" Yeah, that's really a common societal problem there, let's concentrate on that.

I especially liked that you call men to really listen to women, especially the women they know who have been raped. Even the kindest hearted men can get so riled up and angry on a woman's behalf that they just start to shout and rant about how they need to kick some ass. The last thing a woman wants to hear when she's speaking about what was probably the most horrific event in her life is more violence.

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ The Stig: Could you pass the popcorn please? And hold the butter, thanks.

@ Karthik: Thanks!

@ Drunken Master: *pokes the master out of his drunken stupor*

@ Aravind: I tried that link, it’s asking me for a login and password! :(

@ Rebel: Yes! Obviously I’m not saying that all men are bastards. But you know how the likes of ranvir-types are, don’t you? Bah.

@ Anon: While I can see that your intention seems to be sound, I think the examples with respect to teetotalers, middle class morals etc, are unnecessary generalizations. And how does not drinking translate into being more prejudiced? How does drinking and smoking absolve a person of narrow-mindedness? Huh?

the wannabe indian punkster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Willothewisp: If rape not be pleasurable / gratifying ( for the man obviously ), why would he go to such extent, at risk to himself?

And maybe this kind of generalisation needs a review. Believing that rape is the consequence of a need for dominance etc etc ( instead of instantaneous sexual gratification ) does not really do much to change the statistics. Does it? If so, things ought to have been better / improved as women get more assertive, exhibitionistic etc. No? Have they?

As someone else brought out above, it probably has to do with the fact that the need for sexual gratification ( irrepressible as it may be at that juncture ) is entwined with a prospective male rapist's impressions of a woman who steps away from the norm. Violence, coercion etc are just means to achieving that end, an not ends in and of themselves.

And if the aim be shaming and rendering the woman powerless, who is to say that it does not provide for an overarching and rare sexual gratification? Might it be more prosaic to accept this and move on further herefrom?


First, you have to comprehend that rape is fundamentally an act where the need for power and domination is achieved through sexual means. Secondly, I hope you realize that you have bunched together several types of rapists. Third, rapists for the most part take pleasure in the powerlessness of their victim; they get little or no sexual satisfaction from the rape. Do not confuse pleasure from the powerlessness of the victim to sexuall gratification. I hope you do understand that these are two very different things. Also, sexual gratification is never the aim in most cases; it is treated as a side effect, for the most part.

To drive my point a bit further, here are a few different types of rapists:

The power rapist: Usually plagued with feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem. To the power rapist the intent to rape is a driving need to dispel his feelings of abysmal self worth and prove his competency. To him sexuality is the tool to feed his need for asserting power.

The Anger rapist: This kind of rapist may feel anger or hostility towards his target for personal reasons or simply because they belong to a particular gender. Anger rapists use rape as a weapon against their target, sex is their weapon and rape is an expression of their rage.

The sadistic rapist (accounts for about 4% of all rapes): For such men, the whole act of rape is eroticized. They usually revel in physically tormenting their victims; brutality and sex are their instruments to achieving sexual gratification.

Incidentally, your ‘overarching and rare sexual gratification’ statement holds good only for the sadistic rapists. Even then, there exists an undercurrent of power assertion through their brutal actions.

What was the point? If you really feel as strongly as you do, it does not help to demand that men accept accountability for that which a lot of them do not do. It provokes the same kind of feelings as when I were to ask you to accept responsibility for the damages / emotional violence that some aggressive / assertive women dish out to men whose attitudes are not as strong. There are a lot of such instances and they all go unreported.

Right, and your point is? Stating the tired “but women hurt men too” just aims to derail the issue, and I’m not going to have any of that over here, I’m sorry. Rape is a behemothic societal problem transcending political and cultural barriers and it is overwhelmingly normalized by patriarchy through mediums like the media, film, porn, and so on. And yet were still stuck on how women can conceivably rape men, for god’s sake.
I hate to state the obvious over and over again, but can we please focus on the calamity that is male on female rape, please?

@ Anurag: When women say no, they usually mean no. Does that clear things up for you? Will you sleep soundly now? :D

@ Anonymouse: Understand that I find it as cringeworthy as you do to write ‘rape/feminism/etc for dummies’ type posts too. But sadly, the obvious needs to be stated over and over again, and I’m just trying to do my part. Sigh. :(

@ Anon 2: In a not-so-mature society, like what we have in India, what you were actually counts a bit, and I personally know a few, actually many to say, who enjoy the attention this obscenity brings.
I do not come from land-of-whores... I am from a simple and respected part of this society.


Enjoy the attention the obscenity brings? And pray what is wrong with that? Enjoying a bit of attention does not warrant an act such as rape! Surely you must know that! Nobody deserves to get raped for anything, period. As for the “I do not come from a land of whores”, WTF?

@ Lovedale: Simple answer: patriarchy.

Speak to men, try to get them to understand. Understanding and acceptance has to start out being small scale and then grow.

@ m: Thank you! I hope so. But I’m too much of a cynic to think that it made any difference. Sniff.

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ That girl in pink: Oh thank you! Either we have apathetic men who couldn't care less, or overzealous nuts like the one in your article. I'm glad it didn't go through. Phew.

@ Sue: Beating does seem like a 'quick-fix' method no? And I hate to agree but it does seem attractive, even though I know that it is wrong and frankly, useless in the long run, at least.

@ Baby221: Hello!

Such callousness just makes me seethe. "Get over it' it seems. Of all the bloody nerve....aaargh. You should send it to him, anyway.

@ Dewey: Thank you so much! And look no further, just scroll up and see the last para of willothewisp's comment.

And fantastic point. Really, the last thing a woman needs when she's talking about a horrific violent experience is shouts of more violence. All she needs is someone to listen.

WillOTheWisp said...

I wondered if you would respond as you did...

It may be a tired point that I made, but that does not take away from its validity. I do not mean to "justify" rape in any context. It was merely question related to what you were asking of men in general.

That notwithstanding, I wandered around the web a bit looking to see if anyone else was looking beyond the "tired" ( may I use this word now ? :) feminist POV that rape is all about power, domination etc. And I found this ....

http://iranscope.ghandchi.com/Anthology/Women/rape.htm

The reason being that it just does not help shifting the focus from the primarily sexual to the other aspects.

I also happened to dicuss this over a drink with a couple of friends and the point one of them made, albeit lightheartedly, was that women are not likely to understand rape from a male perspective since they are not equipped with the apparatus with which men think.
:)

Quite seriously, if it was all about pleasure over powerlessness etc, then it might just remain confined to doing to such women ( potential victims ) as men do to other men - torture the female, make her beg, grovel, lick the boots, slap her around / knock her up, make her beg, etc. Why the risk of disease and the complications associated with penetration?

I quite simply do not understand how nature provides for erection / arousal ( in a strictly mechanical sense here ) under such circumstances. Maybe you could shed more light upon this ...

shark said...

The society (meaning we, men AND women) have a part in this too.

Who gets to bear the brunt immeidately? the Rapist or the victim?
The VICTIM is isolated, does not get married, and if married gets thrown out of the house... humiliation, physical pain, every possible misery!

On the contrary the RAPIST moves around freely, ok even if a case is registered against him, it will anyway take years to get a judgement and so on bail he is out in the open enjoying himself :(

First, as a responsible society we should support rape victims! The moment we stop glorigying "loosing virginity", the sense of power the rapist gets is also lost.

Just imagine (I know it's not feasible)... but hypothetically if we don't give so much of importance to rape.. will the rapist get the same satisfaction? Nopes!

Anyway, I came to know of an extremely gruesome fact. A law in place in our neighbouring country Pakistan. It seems for a woman to get a man convicted for Rape, she has to produce 5 "men" as "witnesses"!!!! Can you imagine that!!!!!

silbil said...

when i read non sense like you i immidiately think of you...ha ha ha not because YOU write non sense but because you deal with it SO WELL...
of course i got this link from our victim of 498 a friend's blog (i go there for amusement and also on tips to be a more evil woman)
it has a section on 'why husbands cheat on you' but no 'why wives cheat on you' and also 'how to obtain cell phone records of your wife' but not same for husbands...

WillOTheWisp said...

Third, rapists for the most part take pleasure in the powerlessness of their victim; they get little or no sexual satisfaction from the rape.

Been speaking to any rapists recently?
:)

Quite seriously, the point that I have been making is not precisely what you seem to have chosen to pick on so as to dismiss the argument. For some reason, I get the feeling that you are, as yet, unable to distinguish between feminism and misandry - treading the invisible dividing line as you might be.

I've already left a link in my second comment which questions both the feminist / social scientist perspectives in vogue as well as the evolutionary behaviour of the male. I do not necessarily subscribe to it - but it seems to bear a bit more merit than the rather bland and unintelligible ( to the average joe ) "its all about power".

If it had to be just this, then I would suppose that an experience of rape would have been the norm in any / every female's life, be it as they have been repressed by the patriarchy throughout human history - as you say. It might even have acquired social sanction, but it has not. Has it?

You seem too eager to jump to conclusions apropos your response to Dewey's comment. I do not think I used something like " women rape men too ". To clarify, it was stated that asking men to accept collective responsibility for what a majority of them do not feel the need to do, is akin to asking you ( or any other woman ) to accept responsibility for what they / some other women do. The whole thing gets circular and meaningless and gets you nowhere actually.

I do hope you read the comments carefully and the words used.
Regards

WillOTheWisp said...

P.S. It is also curious that you start off by stating unequivocally that rape is all about power / domination and then you end with asking men to question themselves about their sexual attitudes to women / objectification.

Do you see an inconsistency here?

anonymouse said...

Hmmm, I would kinda agree with the "get over it" bit. It is hard, but some chapters need to be closed and life lived. Hating all men is just irritating. Don't trust them all, sure, but hate is just another negative emotion which pisses decent men off too.

Hurt and rage are fine for some time, not forever.

Drunken Master said...

What about date-rape where the guy seriously thinks he's going to get laid and can't take no for an answer? There have also been situations where couples have gotten so hammered that the guy cannot control his urge and the girl barely puts up a fight.

I don't think these cases point as much to a case of being power hungry as they do to that of satisfying the most primeval of instincts.

Either way, rape has occured since the woman did not consent, but I think it does bring about a question of motive. Almost like homicide and manslaughter.

I also think your topic comes around into the whole abortion debate.

Let it be known that I do not condone rape in any form or with any excuse including the ones listed above and that I never been in the above situations... thankfully.

Anonymous said...

I think my last comment on the narrow-mindedness of a never-try-drinking (not a teetotaler) totally digressed the issue. What I was pointing to was the societal conditions that lead to both rape and never-try-drinking attitude.

The connection between the two is not obvious. But let me explain:

Our current Indian society is very immature. There are just too many people, whose thought process is programmed by this immature society. Some examples include:

1. Anything done under the pretext of love/religion is good.
2. Anything done for sexual gratification is wrong (no pre-marital sex, sex-after-children)
3. Anything that is approved by the society is good (same society which approved untouchability etc.)
4. Women should be like Indian-women (sex-only-for-procreation etc.)

What is the end effect of all this?

You have:
1. A very sexually frustrated 15-30 yr. age group(unmarried) of boys/men who cannot totally fight their natural urges and conform to the society. Arguably, more women can fight their urges, due to greater societal pressure. The rest find the men they need quite easily. But, there is a significant group of men who cannot beat their urges, and also cannot find a woman. Hence, a significant % of men on the prowl.

2. Again, after about the age of 40, when men become fathers through really bad sex, and the woman no longer participates, he is frustrated. There you have another age group with significant men frustrated sexually.

3. Although you argue that rape is not about sexual gratification. (From the comments above, you seem to have a strong opinion on this. I have rarely seen people change their opinions. But, I will persist.) Tell me why rape is not present in the sexually-more-open societies in the west. Simply because, they are better human beings??? I am not saying that sexual-frustration is the only reason behind rape. It is when this is mixed with anger, hatred, sadism that it becomes a perfect recipe for rape.

4. Remove sexual-frustration from anger, hatred, and sadism etc, you will have murderers and serial killers, suicidal tendencies etc. (as seen in the west). Remove anger, hatred, and sadism etc. from sexual-frustration, you will have people like me desperately hoping that the Indian society will mature :D

-same drunkard anon

Aishwarya said...

Willothewisp - as it's hard to see how any purely physical satisfaction (as one gets with good sex) could be attained through rape, I can only conclude that the satisfaction is psychological -the result of wielding power over someone who doesn't actually want to have sex with you. You might argue that ultimately rapists are getting sexual pleasure through power, but that in no way undermines Megha's point - that rape is about power and not about the desire created by a particular woman (or, indeed, by teenage-ish hormones that crave sex NOW)
As for your question about why not every woman has been raped (since all men in a patriarchal system are in positions of power over women), perhaps this is because all men are not rapists? That you think that the statement "rape is about power" must necessarily mean that all men under patriarchy are rapists makes your contention that Megha is misandrist rather amusing.


Anonymouse - With the "get over it" thing, I think the problem is not so much one of whether rape should be gotten over or not (because obviously one wants rape victims to come to terms with the rape and deal with it in their own ways), but who gets to do the telling. It's one thing to offer support to help someone get over something traumatic, it's another thing altogether for an outsider with no firsthand experience of rape to demand that they "get over it", as if they were making a bigger fuss about it than warranted.

Drunkenmaster - Do you really believe that boys/men (drunk or sober) on dates have these "uncontrollable urges"? What a depressingly low opinion to have of men. Daterape is usually another expression of power - boys who believe that having taken a girl out they have a right to expect sex from her. That they feel justified in taking it without her consent shows you the power dynamics behind the whole thing - her consent is unimportant because she is seen as a lesser being and as someone who owes him sex. Power all the way through.

Anonymous - rape is very much present in the "sexually more open societies of the west". In places like the UK the rape-conviction rate is still less than 10%.

Sunbeamz said...

Good post Megha, and seeing that your blog is frequented by so many of the clueless type, this is a great palce to have these discussions. Of course, always hoping that they don't completely disintegrate into random trolling.

And way to go with the patient and logical reply, Aishwarya. I was going to go off into a long rant, but now I don't have to :)

tinkertoon said...

just off the top of my head. i read ur subject line.. not the full blog... nor the comments.

my impression: what the author wants to do is bring down "uncivilized rape". problem is: there is a systemic rape scheme... now don't tell me you're spared, are you?

WillOTheWisp said...

Aishwarya :

perhaps this is because all men are not rapists?

Just like all feminist women are not harridans / misandrists?

Thank you. That sums it up rather nicely.
:)

P.S. Did you go through the link? I am not too sure that book is going to be available here soon.

WillOTheWisp said...

That they feel justified in taking it without her consent shows you the power dynamics behind the whole thing - her consent is unimportant because she is seen as a lesser being and as someone who owes him sex. Power all the way through.

It happens to show more of what a date "contract" is about ( assuming it from the POV of the male ) and the obligations - I take you out, you put out for me. You do not put out - you reject me as well as do not fulfil the contractual obligation. I'll probably go get drunk and sleep it off ... or ... to hell with your consent, I'll make sure I get it anyway. Try not to put up a fight and be a good sport. I'm not interested in you anymore - just the nookie.

How's that? vs "power dynamics". Which is more plausible to both men and women?

Feminist Review said...

Rape is one of the most common violent crimes in the United States, and one of the least reported, and with one of the lowest conviction rates. This certainly speaks to the lack of humanity that women are afforded.

anonymouse said...

Aishwarya, I agree with that. If you keep whining about something to me for years on end, I might get tired and tell you get over it (or seek professional therapy. As a friend, I can only do so much). Not until then.

I parsed the original comment as being between two people discussing the issue, neither of whom was assaulted. If that was not the case, then my comment does NOT apply.

Drunken Master said...

Aishwarya,
When heavily under the influence, decision making gets completely distorted, I have tested that theory out time and again.

Date rape when the man knows what he's doing is a power trip all the way, I don't disagree there, even if he argues that he had 2-3 glasses of wine/liquor or whatever. It's when that 2-3 becomes 10-12 and the guy has blacked out that is the concern.

At that time it's the urge that comes through, because if the man was with a horse at the time, he'd attempt to do the horse (the beer-goggles phenomenon). The "uncontrollable urges" occur with women when they're totally lit too, but then that's consent so it doesn't factor in - see "Knocked Up" for more details.

There is no objective decision-making at that time. Everyone has the urge, it's when that urge is amplified coupled with a distorted mindset that I thought I'd bring up.

The Stig said...

"For some reason, I get the feeling that you are, as yet, unable to distinguish between feminism and misandry - treading the invisible dividing line as you might be."

Been around the paint thinner can a bit too long, my good fellow?

"It happens to show more of what a date "contract" is about ( assuming it from the POV of the male ) and the obligations - I take you out, you put out for me. You do not put out - you reject me as well as do not fulfil the contractual obligation."

On the other hand,it might be something else you might be smoking. Can I have some of that stuff too? Please?

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Aishwarya: I love you. There, Ive said it. :)

@ Sunbeamz: Thank you so much. I can only try to knock some sense into lame trolls. Heh.

@ Tinkertoon:problem is: there is a systemic rape scheme... now don't tell me you're spared, are you?


Say, what now?

@ Willothewisp: With reference to your reply to Aishwarya, isn't your example a perfect illustration of the entitlement and power dynamics behind date rape, that both me and Aishwarya were talking about?

@ Feminist review: Hello! And yes.

Rape is one of the least convicted crimes anywhere, let alone the United States. :(

The Stig said...

"For some reason, I get the feeling that you are, as yet, unable to distinguish between feminism and misandry - treading the invisible dividing line as you might be."

Been around the paint thinner can a bit too long, my good fellow?

"It happens to show more of what a date "contract" is about ( assuming it from the POV of the male ) and the obligations - I take you out, you put out for me. You do not put out - you reject me as well as do not fulfil the contractual obligation."

On the other hand,it might be something else you might be smoking. Can I have some of that stuff too? Please?

Anonymous said...

ever been raped?

WillOTheWisp said...

the stig : :D

Naah! Just tankards of iced water. ( But I am led to believe that it is intoxicating too :). ( Now you'll say that the heat is getting to me - which may be true :)

But seriously, I am yet to see you come up with a decent counterargument to the hypothetical perspective.

I've had the unlikely experience of an extended correspondence with an independent, single, attractive, well-settled, mother @ 44, ( in perfect shape etc ) drugged and date-raped four years back. She could never file a case since the medical tests got botched up. Anyway, the point is that it had more to do with what was denied to the rapist ( denial of availability after an impression to the contrary ) than any underlying power struggle.

Now don't argue that he over-"powered" her.

The Tamil Punkster :

The problem with the "power" hypothesis is that it cannot be disproved. "sexual" - yes. Either there was arousal and erection ( i.e. penetration ) or there was not.

I do not contest the sense of "entitlement". However, I feel that feminism is likely to lose its voice if it were to let go of the notions of power dynamics and domination - like if you did not have this to say, you are not likely to have anything more/else to say.

Now go label me a misogynist.
:D

WillOTheWisp said...

Went through this and your blog page came to mind ...
:)


http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/11907/

The Stig said...

"I've had the unlikely experience of an extended correspondence with an independent, single, attractive, well-settled, mother @ 44, ( in perfect shape etc ) drugged and date-raped four years back. She could never file a case since the medical tests got botched up. Anyway, the point is that it had more to do with what was denied to the rapist ( denial of availability after an impression to the contrary ) than any underlying power struggle.

Now don't argue that he over-"powered" her."

The what now??? Let me take two words. "drugged and date-raped" - So that isn't overpowered? Next thing we know, you'll be calling it a stealthy black-ops operation. Yes, justice was denied, but what part of the guy using drugs to render her powerless isn't "overpowering", you deluded twat? Stuffing your fingers in your ears and shouting at the top of your voice doesn't mean you have a valid point. Twat.

WillOTheWisp said...

the stig :

:D

the last bit @ over-"powered" was actually referring to the notion of said date-rapist having any motive of wielding any sort of influence over her. If you wish to extend the meaning of "overpowered her", in the context of feminist jargon, to the act of rendering the lady senseless, that is fine by me.

The point that was being made is that it was a sickening act and yet, it was not driven by any " power-hungry " urge - rather it was, as I argued earlier, the more primeval " I got it up and need to stick it somewhere and, I lack the courage / confidence ( and / or skill / charm ) to influence the lady to accede to my desire legitimately ( Which is why I roam around with a packet of date-rape powder cached in my pocket )".

However -

WHAT is interesting IS, your use of the word "twat" to abuse me. I am sure you must have sifted through quite a few words so as to make sure that the one that is the MOST demeaning ( in YOUR lexicon and understanding ) is chosen for whatever effect you wished to convey. ( I am also assured of the fact that if I were to have been physically present to witness your outrage, I may have been subject to attempts at violence too :).

Why do I mention this? Two points :-

Do you constantly refer to women as bitches, whores, cunts, sluts, pussies, and so on?

It may or may not be a woman in this case, but a feminist may wish to note the use of the female sexual organ to signify the worst insult possible. It is, ostensibly, supposed to make me feel "dirty".

The second, as discussed by some others earlier, is the need for a male to flex his muscles at the hint of "disrespect" ( leave alone "rape" ) to a female.

I hope you enjoyed your popcorn - the show is over.
:)

The Stig said...

The point that was being made is that it was a sickening act and yet, it was not driven by any " power-hungry " urge - rather it was, as I argued earlier, the more primeval " I got it up and need to stick it somewhere and, I lack the courage / confidence ( and / or skill / charm ) to influence the lady to accede to my desire legitimately ( Which is why I roam around with a packet of date-rape powder cached in my pocket )".

Going by your own logic, been speaking to rapists a lot? Or are you one?


I am sure you must have sifted through quite a few words so as to make sure that the one that is the MOST demeaning ( in YOUR lexicon and understanding ) is chosen for whatever effect you wished to convey. ( I am also assured of the fact that if I were to have been physically present to witness your outrage, I may have been subject to attempts at violence too :).

As usual, wrong on all counts. You do make a mong out of yourself pretty easily. My choice of swear words are a research topic for most. I use them equally. The author of the blog can testify on that accord. And as for physical violence, I'm actually rolling around laughing. So, did you get all red in the face, with steam out of your ears when you wrote the comment? The answer in most cases, would be a no, unless you are mentally unstable. And in the words of a wise one.. "Dude, its the fucking internet. So, pipe down."

Moving right along...

The second, as discussed by some others earlier, is the need for a male to flex his muscles at the hint of "disrespect" ( leave alone "rape" ) to a female.

The what now? Ladies and Gentlemen... we have amongst our midst a Sigmund Fraud. You know, the one who thinks he knows everything and tries to make a point out of his assumptions, while successfully making an arse out of himself.


I hope you enjoyed your popcorn - the show is over.


On the contrary my dear, it is just starting. And if you are leaving, don't let the door hit your arse on the way out.

WillOTheWisp said...

the stig :

Going by my logic, yes. Or potential rapists. Or men.

I do not feel the need to brandish my " Oh! I am so concerned about women " credentials; especially in this case, treating it as a debate.

I do not see you having provided even a single instance of anything that counts for an argument or even something that might substantiate what the Punkster had to say.

Two things are clear - you have, yet, a lot of growing up to do; and need to, acquire what is termed an "intelligent" sense of humour. ( Did my smilies terrify you ? )
:)

Never mind, its not your fault.

WillOTheWisp said...

Incidentally, punkster : It just struck me that the nature of date rape sort of flips the power equations around ( if they may be assumed to exist as you assert ). IF the male had the power and control over the female's sexuality, then there would be no need for rape ( as legally defined ). Would it?

The fact that control rests with the female and she opts to exercise it, actually seems to invite subversion of her power ( through surreptitious administration of drugs / alcohol etc ) by the potential date-rapist. He feels powerless as a male, and therefore must undertake either violent force to subdue her or render her powerless by getting her drugged.

The reason for getting back to you here is to revert back to the evolutionary / biological POV and it seems to be consistent with such theory. It seems to be a reproductive strategy / adaptation which need not be acceptable / civilised / desirable.

What do you think?

P.S. I "assume" The Stig has a fully-functioning brain. But then I also make an ass out of myself through my "assumptions".

WillOTheWisp said...

And ... expanding on the point made in the previous comment, I would strongly suspect any male who sexually abuses a female, as a person who is quite impotent ( in the head anyways ) and hasn't the least amount of control ( or power ) over his own urges.

The idea of the "male" that a lot of us actually grew up with, and that which is attractive to women ( though I would assume so guardedly ), is NOT one who dominates women / controls them. HE is, who can be in control over himself and what he does. Of course, this naturally translates into a "charisma" ( as opposed to the feminine "mystique" ) which gets him what he might desire.

I do know of a lot of men who find it difficult getting this point across to someone typically regarded as "feminist". There are but only a few men who do not aspire to such or who know that they are incapable of being so. And so we have these powerless fellows doing what they have done / do.

It might be interesting to see if the general lot of rapists falls into this category or not AND if they are, as is commonly percieved, "successful" in other spheres of life vis-a-vis non-raping / non-abusing males.

To clarify, I do not have a fixed POV as regards the gender relationships etc. It is just that your blogpost gave me an opportunity to raise a few doubts and clarify my own perspective. I have been through the phase of "blindly" believing in the "feminist" doctrine for a good part of my life - till I gained a bit more experience of people ( all kinds ). The point being that it is not as simple and cut and dried as - "All males desire power over females" or that "Patriarchy is the consequence of an ingrained and socially conditioned need of the male to dominate the female".

Do let me know if I am wrong ....
:)

Aala Santhosh Reddy said...

Thats some really different take on a serious issue. I would only like to say one thing, its immaterial whether its a man or a woman but yes unless they speak up everyone is the same.

the stig said...

I do not feel the need to brandish my " Oh! I am so concerned about women " credentials; especially in this case, treating it as a debate.

Really? And here I am thinking that you accused me of exactly the same thing. Somehow, I feel I am right. I wonder why?....

"The second, as discussed by some others earlier, is the need for a male to flex his muscles at the hint of "disrespect" ( leave alone "rape" ) to a female." Oooh. Looks like you did bring that up, to which I called you a twat.



Two things are clear - you have, yet, a lot of growing up to do;

Oooh. now THAT most definitely the kind of argument a "grown up" one would use in a debate. Well done. A 12 year old would be proud of such "debating" skills. Besides, I've already showed how your own example is blatantly wrong in assuming there isn't a power dynamic in date-rape. If you don't want to pull your head of of your arse, hey ho.

I have been through the phase of "blindly" believing in the "feminist" doctrine for a good part of my life - till I gained a bit more experience of people ( all kinds ). Fair enough. In other words, that translates to "I don't have an opinion and I'm incapable of having one, so I just pick something and stick to it. I am a sheep."

I'm tired of arguing with mongs like you. Oh and why do you so require someone's opinion on a "hypothetical scenario"? Get a grip. Your hypothetical scneario is invalid for reasons I pointed out, the ones you chose to ignore. Mong.

WillOTheWisp said...

The Punkster :

:)

The reason for the extended commentary can be summarised as follows :-

1) Your blog post states the reasons for rape as being solely that of the power-dynamics between the sexes : Oppression of the female since it gives men a sense of power. It gives the impression ( to which I responded ) of being the "inviolate" / "uncontestable" truth.

- I would not deny that it could be the truth. If so be the case, then there is no question of debate or argument. In fact, there is nothing to say other than what some others have - "Great Job. Well Done!"

- I am not sure that is what you desire. If that be the case, I withdraw all that I have said / posited and apologise.
And yes - Great Job! Well Done!

- However, if you do find yourself open to the possibility that there are other ways of looking at it ( and that there must be more to it than meets the eye ), regardless of the volumes of feminist writings on the subject, my comments remain.

2) Your blogpost ( regardless of whether you intended so or not ) speaks for all women to all men.

- I felt that such sweeping generalisation merited a review, which I brought out earlier.

3) There exists an evolutionary / sociobiological paradigm of looking at the issue of rape.

- It struck me instantaneously as I read your words that I referred to in my first comment and was subsequently gratified to find that some amount of work has indeed been done in that regard. I linked to what I found. Yes, I agree that feminists, by and large, have tendered negative reviews of the book. However, that is also because the authors have themselves tended to rub the feminists the wrong way with the implications of their work as inferred commonly. I am not sure that was their intention.

4) IF you do mean to make a difference, then what you say needs to percolate down to the mindset ( be it of denial ) of the average male who, perpetuates the misogyny / patriarchy that you rant and rail against. It has to reach such males and be accepted by them.

- And, that must necessarily entail argument, some of which may be typified by the points that I have made. I assume you are savvy enough to suss out that THAT would be part of your job.

- Placing myself as the typical male that you address, you have to make an argument that I cannot deny ( and that's the challenge ). Power-hunger is easily denied, with the same ease with which it cannot be disproved once alleged. A little reading of the masculist criticism of feminism might be in order esp. w.r.t. rape.

- If you write only for those who will agree with you, then there is no scope or possibility for the large-scale changes that you envisage. I am sure you are prosaic enough to appreciate that a potential rapist is not likely to undergo a change of heart after chancing upon your missive - is he?

That's about it. The reasons for not maintaining a rigid opinion is that people are complex and history is contingent upon interpretation.

It was nice talking to you.
Regards

P.S. I must admit to feeling more than a bit sheepish at not being able to summon up devastating arguments / opinions such as "Deluded Twat", "Under the Influence", "Mentally Unstable", "Arse", "Mong" amongst others. Blame it on my upbringing or my education.
:)

Blogger Bhaiyya said...

Where do u live???

Guess: Some patriarchial tribe in Africa.


Oh God!! What part of US do u live in??? As in where do u meet such men?

Seriously take a deep breath, and look around.

something is seriously wrong

Dewey said...

Have you seen this?

http://www.whiteribbon.ca/

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Willothewisp: I am sorry, but I have to be blunt here. Are you slightly delusional?

I wonder if a) you must either be under the influence of a hallucinogen or b) your understanding of date rape and its power and entitlement issues is severely flawed or c) you just want to troll, for the heck of it.
Whatever the reason may be, it is no excuse to promulgate vile untruths about date rape.

Basically what you’re stating is that in a date rape scenario, the woman has the control and the man being rendered powerless, controls her through drugs/alcohol etc. and rapes her, in a fit of anger. Excuse my French, but this line of reasoning of yours, is utter trash.

Cant you see that the man in a date rape situation feels ‘entitled’ to sex because he has spent for the date/ taken her to a fancy restaurant/ insert other reason here and if she refuses to have sex with him, he takes it as a blow to his understanding that he as a man deserves to have sex because of the above reasons I’ve stated? He then proceeds to act upon his feelings of entitlement and overpowers her or drugs her or manipulates her into a situation where she is rendered powerless and then he proceeds to assert his power by raping her. Are you honestly telling me that you cant see the obvious power dynamic in this situation? Or are you just feigning ignorance? Really?

I hate to state the obvious albeit a gazillion times, but if you refuse to understand and drone on about how the woman secretly wields the power and the poor mens could do nothing but cave into his innate biological need, then I take it that you are here just for derailing the discussion and trolling. Nobody can be that asinine or moronic, for god’s sake.

And lay off with your snide potshots and lame allusions to the fact that I write only for those who agree with me. Most people here agree with me if I make a valid point. I do not force anyone to agree with me and people who agree or disagree do so out of their own volition.

Speaking of challenges, this is a blog. You can disagree with what I write and that is up to you. But don’t throw out challenges about arguments that I have to make in order to convince you. That is spurious and a tad condescending. And I can only try to convince someone who has a reasonable argument, not an awfully flawed and dangerous understanding when it comes to rape and power dynamics.

You have trolled enough. If you are going to go on with your awful assumptions about rape, parading under socio-biological or evolutionary reasons, I suggest you stop right here. I have no place for obvious trollery on my blog.

@ Dewey: Yes, I have! And I love what they stand for too.

WillOTheWisp said...

Punkster : Thanks.

The point that I made in my summary is that you believe your point of view to be so obvious that anyone who does not see it must be blind. The challenge that I referred to is not for you to convince me, but to put up a reasoned argument for asserting that rape is about power-dynamics.

We agree that rape is horrific and sickening. However, I did feel like making it a point that there are other perspectives to the causes of rape since the notion of power-assertion is woefully subjective and cannot be substantiated other than by speaking for the ( as has been argued elsewhere as the "innocent injured" )"feelings" of "all" women.

Sigh! Lets look at what you say ...

Basically what you’re stating is that in a date rape scenario, the woman has the control and the man being rendered powerless, controls her through drugs/alcohol etc. and rapes her, in a fit of anger.

No. To put it bluntly, that is not what I said ( and I did not say anything about anger, though since you bring it up - it may be assumed ). I said that, IF it were to be assumed ( and not taken as the feminist goddess given ) that there is a dynamic of assertion of control, then it could just as well as be argued that it is the women who wields the control by "permission" / "denial" of sex. The male could be said to subvert it.

With no intended sense of offense to women, it sounds just as logical and reasonable as your assertion. And therefore, what must one make of it?

Secondly,
Cant you see that the man in a date rape situation feels ‘entitled’ to sex because he has spent for the date/ taken her to a fancy restaurant/ insert other reason here and if she refuses to have sex with him, he takes it as a blow to his understanding that he as a man deserves to have sex because of the above reasons I’ve stated? He then proceeds to act upon his feelings of entitlement and overpowers her or drugs her or manipulates her into a situation where she is rendered powerless and then he proceeds to assert his power by raping her.

You start off well in this paragraph by stating the notion of entitlement. I would not disagree with that. If you look at the comments above, I said so myself. The tricky part is "proceeds to act upon his sense of entitlement". I do not disagree with this either. What I do not see is how you manage to make the transition from a miffed sense of entitlement to "assertion of power". I would assume it being a bit more simpler than that - as in extracting my pound of flesh ( as dear Shylock may have said it ). If it had to be brute assertion of power, then why rape and biological provision of its mechanics? Like I said earlier, why not just thrash the female / knock her up and leave her at that? That's what males do to other males who have denied them what they feel they are entitled to ... Isn't it?

The word "power" is bandied about so loosely and so frequently without question that it almost begins to feel like indoctrination ( and trust me, I DO know something of that ).

To clarify, you need to expand on your understanding of the ( seeming ) gap between a sense of entitlement and the need to assert power ( for the benefit of a lot of people who do not see it as obviously as you do. And it is obvious that they do not since they go ahead and rape the female). What is this power that a putative male is assumed to be in constant need of? And what is the payoff for the male in this constant assertion of it? Does it make him feel more "male"? But then, as I argued before, there ARE a large number of males who have grown up conditioned to regard the need to "feel" charismatic ( and, implicitly, sexually attractive ) as opposed to the need to feel powerful. It could be said to be a common failing to confuse and conflate the two.

Being a male, and speaking for some other males ( as you do for females ), I do not know of too many people who are driven to needing to feel powerful.

Yes, it could be argued that a need to assert power could be viewed as a cheap substitute for charisma just as being a "tease" is a corrupted manifestation of the notion of "mystique". And if this be the case, then it is a problem of corruption of ethos and we enter the domain of, ummm, metaphysics (?) and the problems of the "human condition". I assume that so is not your intention.

Have I made myself a bit more clear? The point being that it is not so as easy as believing in and asserting that "it is all about power" is ALL there is to the "truth".

I did not state that it is the woman who "secretly" wields the power. Please look at the first part of this response. There is a big IF out there. I have been led to believe, so far, that it is in the nature of debate / discussion / dialogue to use such devices ... like IF so THEN so and IF NOT.

The "challenge" I mentioned is not for you to satisfy me. Who the hell am I ( in any case )? If you read the context in which I used the word, you shall see that I sought to imply that IF it be a typical male that you address then the challenge lies in making what is obvious to you axiomatic for him, by means of your writing / speaking / whatever. It ought not be susceptible to challenge. The fact that there exist critiques of the feminist POV on rape seems to indicate that there is such a possibility and THEREFORE your contention must be subject to review ( and for God's sake, when I say this - I do not mean that it deserves to be swept under the carpet ).

And yes, the point was, IF you mean to make a difference to the world then THAT difference can only be possible if typical abusive / assertive / dominant males accept what you have to say i.e. CANNOT DENY IT.

Lets take the example of the Internet - virgin territory, right?! Grand Human Experiment. Never Before In The History Of (Wo)Mankind. Right? Egalitarian medium. Right? And what do we have? Porn / misogynist and abuse sites seem to have taken over. What stopped women from taking over and making the difference that they have sought to for so long. It has been more than 13 years - right? Are you going to argue that it is the nature of male-designed technology that puts the average woman at a serious disadvantage? Or is it something that goes a bit deeper than that?

If you can only try and convince someone who has a reasonable argument, then why do you fail to see that you bind yourself to a NO-GO situation. HOW on earth can you hope to make a difference? The typical male / potential abuser and rapist of women CANNOT be assumed to be reasonable. Can he? And, IF not, then you cannot hope to reach out to him so as to make the difference that you envisage.

Once again, I am grateful to you for having moderated the comments in a way so as to permit mine to appear though harbouring the suspicions that they are "obvious" trolling. They are not.

Needless to say, I feel as deeply about these issues as you do ... and hence the persistence on this page.

I ASSUME that I have made myself a bit more clear than earlier. I would, however, love to be told that I am wrong and that I need to re-work the whole thing.

And, do be so kind as to not dismiss the evolutionary / sociobiological paradigms ( I do not mind being dismissed ) - they aim to be objective. They do NOT intend to state how things SHOULD be. I would like to believe that they are much-delayed and welcome efforts to look at issues that have plagued us since times immemorial and investigate the reasons for WHY they ARE, so as to be able to DO something about them, instead of merely ( "subjective", as I said earlier ) polemical feminist doctrines. I am sure you agree that if feminism were to be a potent ( and EFFECTIVE ) force, the statistics would reflect a significant reduction in crimes against / abuse of women. Sadly, that is not the case. AND THEREFORE, we must look at alternative means.

Once again, thanks.
Regards

WillOTheWisp said...

Please do delete this if this be a repost ( I did not see the confirmatory message appear )

Punkster : Thanks.

The point that I made in my summary is that you believe your point of view to be so obvious that anyone who does not see it must be blind. The challenge that I referred to is not for you to convince me, but to put up a reasoned argument for asserting that rape is about power-dynamics.

We agree that rape is horrific and sickening. However, I did feel like making it a point that there are other perspectives to the causes of rape since the notion of power-assertion is woefully subjective and cannot be substantiated other than by speaking for the ( as has been argued elsewhere as the "innocent injured" )"feelings" of "all" women.

Sigh! Lets look at what you say ...

Basically what you’re stating is that in a date rape scenario, the woman has the control and the man being rendered powerless, controls her through drugs/alcohol etc. and rapes her, in a fit of anger.

No. To put it bluntly, that is not what I said ( and I did not say anything about anger, though since you bring it up - it may be assumed ). I said that, IF it were to be assumed ( and not taken as the feminist goddess given ) that there is a dynamic of assertion of control, then it could just as well as be argued that it is the women who wields the control by "permission" / "denial" of sex. The male could be said to subvert it.

With no intended sense of offense to women, it sounds just as logical and reasonable as your assertion. And therefore, what must one make of it?

Secondly,
Cant you see that the man in a date rape situation feels ‘entitled’ to sex because he has spent for the date/ taken her to a fancy restaurant/ insert other reason here and if she refuses to have sex with him, he takes it as a blow to his understanding that he as a man deserves to have sex because of the above reasons I’ve stated? He then proceeds to act upon his feelings of entitlement and overpowers her or drugs her or manipulates her into a situation where she is rendered powerless and then he proceeds to assert his power by raping her.

You start off well in this paragraph by stating the notion of entitlement. I would not disagree with that. If you look at the comments above, I said so myself. The tricky part is "proceeds to act upon his sense of entitlement". I do not disagree with this either. What I do not see is how you manage to make the transition from a miffed sense of entitlement to "assertion of power". I would assume it being a bit more simpler than that - as in extracting my pound of flesh ( as dear Shylock may have said it ). If it had to be brute assertion of power, then why rape and biological provision of its mechanics? Like I said earlier, why not just thrash the female / knock her up and leave her at that? That's what males do to other males who have denied them what they feel they are entitled to ... Isn't it?

The word "power" is bandied about so loosely and so frequently without question that it almost begins to feel like indoctrination ( and trust me, I DO know something of that ).

To clarify, you need to expand on your understanding of the ( seeming ) gap between a sense of entitlement and the need to assert power ( for the benefit of a lot of people who do not see it as obviously as you do. And it is obvious that they do not since they go ahead and rape the female). What is this power that a putative male is assumed to be in constant need of? And what is the payoff for the male in this constant assertion of it? Does it make him feel more "male"? But then, as I argued before, there ARE a large number of males who have grown up conditioned to regard the need to "feel" charismatic ( and, implicitly, sexually attractive ) as opposed to the need to feel powerful. It could be said to be a common failing to confuse and conflate the two.

Being a male, and speaking for some other males ( as you do for females ), I do not know of too many people who are driven to needing to feel powerful.

Yes, it could be argued that a need to assert power could be viewed as a cheap substitute for charisma just as being a "tease" is a corrupted manifestation of the notion of "mystique". And if this be the case, then it is a problem of corruption of ethos and we enter the domain of, ummm, metaphysics (?) and the problems of the "human condition". I assume that so is not your intention.

Have I made myself a bit more clear? The point being that it is not so as easy as believing in and asserting that "it is all about power" is ALL there is to the "truth".

I did not state that it is the woman who "secretly" wields the power. Please look at the first part of this response. There is a big IF out there. I have been led to believe, so far, that it is in the nature of debate / discussion / dialogue to use such devices ... like IF so THEN so and IF NOT.

The "challenge" I mentioned is not for you to satisfy me. Who the hell am I ( in any case )? If you read the context in which I used the word, you shall see that I sought to imply that IF it be a typical male that you address then the challenge lies in making what is obvious to you axiomatic for him, by means of your writing / speaking / whatever. It ought not be susceptible to challenge. The fact that there exist critiques of the feminist POV on rape seems to indicate that there is such a possibility and THEREFORE your contention must be subject to review ( and for God's sake, when I say this - I do not mean that it deserves to be swept under the carpet ).

And yes, the point was, IF you mean to make a difference to the world then THAT difference can only be possible if typical abusive / assertive / dominant males accept what you have to say i.e. CANNOT DENY IT.

Lets take the example of the Internet - virgin territory, right?! Grand Human Experiment. Never Before In The History Of (Wo)Mankind. Right? Egalitarian medium. Right? And what do we have? Porn / misogynist and abuse sites seem to have taken over. What stopped women from taking over and making the difference that they have sought to for so long. It has been more than 13 years - right? Are you going to argue that it is the nature of male-designed technology that puts the average woman at a serious disadvantage? Or is it something that goes a bit deeper than that?

If you can only try and convince someone who has a reasonable argument, then why do you fail to see that you bind yourself to a NO-GO situation. HOW on earth can you hope to make a difference? The typical male / potential abuser and rapist of women CANNOT be assumed to be reasonable. Can he? And, IF not, then you cannot hope to reach out to him so as to make the difference that you envisage.

Once again, I am grateful to you for having moderated the comments in a way so as to permit mine to appear though harbouring the suspicions that they are "obvious" trolling. They are not.

Needless to say, I feel as deeply about these issues as you do ... and hence the persistence on this page.

I ASSUME that I have made myself a bit more clear than earlier. I would, however, love to be told that I am wrong and that I need to re-work the whole thing.

And, do be so kind as to not dismiss the evolutionary / sociobiological paradigms ( I do not mind being dismissed ) - they aim to be objective. They do NOT intend to state how things SHOULD be. I would like to believe that they are much-delayed and welcome efforts to look at issues that have plagued us since times immemorial and investigate the reasons for WHY they ARE, so as to be able to DO something about them, instead of merely ( "subjective", as I said earlier ) polemical feminist doctrines. I am sure you agree that if feminism were to be a potent ( and EFFECTIVE ) force, the statistics would reflect a significant reduction in crimes against / abuse of women. Sadly, that is not the case. AND THEREFORE, we must look at alternative means.

Once again, thanks.
Regards

WillOTheWisp said...

Lets re-draw our positions, shall we? If it may help?

My personal experience says that assertion of power ( and / or control ) over anyone / anything is stress-additive. And I ( also being a male ) would not wish to take on the added stress, be it for whatever form of temporary / long-standing gratification - sexual or otherwise.

But as per your hypothesis / belief / feeling, there must be a payoff that, for a large number of males, outweighs the additional stress i.e. they rape / abuse. What is this payoff?

Does it make one feel more "male" ( as conditioned through patriarchical heritage )? If so, what is this "maleness"? In objective scientific terms? Is it some kind of a perverse pleasure principle? If so, then what is its explanation in psychological / psychiatric terms?

Needless to say, I am NOT referring to other forms of abuse ( as yet ) of men / women / children here. Lets keep it to the purely sexual i.e. rape. And lets constrain it further to the mechanics of arousal and penetration.

How does one explain the biology on the basis of social / psychological conditioning?

I hope I seem a bit more clear in what I ask now ....

The point, as made in my previous comment(s), is that we do not as yet know what this is. And, in all wisdom, it might be better to accept that we do not know than to assert unqualifiedly that the TRUTH lies solely in ill-defined power-dynamics.

WillOTheWisp said...

Okay ... I must confess to being guided by an intuition that tends to hyperrationality in my immediate responses on this page. However, it is gratifying to find texts online that present the case in an altogether different light and with much better expression that I have been able to muster ...

To start off with ... this link might help you identify your stated position and your ostensible fears about the "dangerous" thoughts that I may have expressed.

http://www.geocities.com/i_sang_holy_holy/correspondence.html

Comment : I gather the impression that the writer is still too much under distress to be able to fully appreciate the implications of evolutionary theory in a more favourable light.

Two ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_rape

Comment : It offers no insight other than to glibly dismiss all three theories of rape on the basis of statistical extremities.

Three ...

http://socialissues.wiseto.com/Articles/FO3020640059/?print

Comment : An acknowledgement of the fact that we do not know much as yet as to the causes of rape.

Four :

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/t/thornhill-rape.html

Comment : The first chapter of the (in)famous book. I would strongly advise a reading of evolutionary theory and careful reading of the text on this page. Yes, I agree that it is difficult for a layperson to make sense of what is being said, in a rational manner, especially in light of what is obviously a volatile and highly emotive issue. Needless to say, the exchanges on this commentspace only serve to illustrate it too well.

Five ...

http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/04/02/reviews/000402.002waalt.html

Comment : A review of the book which summarises it as not being enough. However, it makes a very curious point that I seem to have also made and repeatedly buttressed ...

Rape is sexual violence. There is no doubt in my mind that people who try to reduce rape to either sex or violence miss its complexity. By adopting one biased position -- that rape is primarily sexual -- ''A Natural History of Rape'' could be seen as providing a necessary antidote to the other dogmatic position, that it's principally about power. Rape (defined as forced copulation) is mechanically impossible in the absence of male genital arousal. Hence the view of rape as a hate crime pure and simple is silly. A penis is no fist.

Six ...

http://researchmag.asu.edu/stories/rape.html

Comment : A wonderfully sane and insightful article on why and where people miss the implications of the book. Easy reading.

Seven :

http://www.aec.at/festival2000/texte/randy_thornhill_e.htm

Comment : Please do read carefully and with a mind devoid of ideological affiliations and political correctness ( even if it be temporarily ). A must read to help correct short-sightedness and dogma. Also an effective response to hasty criticism.

That's about it. What more can I say?

What do I want :

This stems from an insidious and a dangerously flawed belief that rape is an impulsive act by a person who seeks instant sexual gratification. Nothing can be further from the truth. Rape is not an enjoyable sport; it is an act of violence, aggression and coercion. It is primarily a crime of power, of shaming, humiliating and rendering the victim powerless.

This particular paragraph in your post to be accompanied by a rider that the current social scientific / feminist opinion is of the view espoused by you. However, there are alternative and, possibly, equally valid ( if not more ) points of view.

But then ... this is your blog and I have no right to ask it of you. I just felt that it might be a bit closer to the truth than otherwise.

Thanks!
And Regards,

WillOTheWisp said...

So as to assuage any misgivings about trolling ... allow me to quote the following paragraph from the last link ...

Why have we chosen to make such an argument knowing full well the criticisms that challenging such a widely held position would cause to be rained down upon us? The answer is that inaccurate knowledge about the causes of behavior hinder attempts to change behavior, and we want very badly to eradicate rape from human existence. Rape is a horrific act that violates a fundamental civil right of its victims. Sexual autonomy - the right to choose who will have sexual access to one, as well the timing of the access -should be a freedom that is given highest priority in modern society. This basic freedom depends upon knowledge of the causes of sexual coercion.

rishabh said...

Instead of being defensive or bitter, be thankful that as a man, you do have the power to help stop rape and other acts of sexual aggression or violence.

I think this sums it up.

And about the video,
it seems to me that the bloke got dumped by some girl and wanted to vent out his frustration and thought of youtube as the right medium.

frissko said...

you may want to read this - http://isurvivedintact.blogspot.com/2007/06/i-remember.html...

honest admittance - am this general self absorbed person who walks his path and doesnt do much to change the way society walks its path (except passing judgements of right and wrong, which is akin to doing nothing)...

anyways, this post made sense, so passing on a link that is relavant...and that is so fkin prevalant and disgusting...

Vincent said...

The video was funny in parts the first time... I just thought the ending was bad.
Now I'm watching it again, it's hard to see the comedy value in it.

ponderer said...

Basically, punk's idea is just to further her own "hate men" club by unrealistically demanding the all males to take responsibility when someone rapes a girl.

This is fundementally silly idea. The world is built on principle of individual aspirations, individual actions and individual responsibility.

Honestly this whole attempt is to try and guilt trip gulliable guys.

At the end of the day all I want to say is FO.. Karma works only on my actions and not on my neighbourhood alphamale's.

Sensible people understand this.

beyond which I dont care why people rape.. sociological, psychological and biological. Eithre which way, he would face the law and karma.

stop guilt tripping others.

Echo: Others ? who ? no one listens to her anyways.

yawn.

jb said...

Hmmm. can one post a part of this post on an official website..and link to your blog?
javascript:void(0)
Publish Your Comment
(PS- good writers really make me queasy about putting my writing out there, blog-ically. Very articulate, your writing has a nice bite. )

Confused & Baffled said...

you know. amidst all this rush of adulation and support, i dont want to appear the spoilsport or anything. but...

perhaps, over-sensitivity to an issue is causing extrapolated reactions? i agree with every word of your post completely. its very educated and most informative. but it doesnt much help the issue to talk about something as heinous as this only amongst like-minded people.

as for the video, i dont really find that video offensive. i find your reaction to be a little unnecessary. other than the fact that he's a horrible singer, and its a ridiculous song no one would care for.

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Rishabh: The video is ridiculously bad. I don’t think it is remotely funny. The comments actually infuriated me the most, but when I checked again, there were some sensible comments so I was slightly relieved.

@ Frissko: Thank you for the link. It was sad, horrific, disturbing and thought provoking at the same time.

@ Vince: Yeah, it was godawful, all right. And you’ve finally resurfaced! Pah!

@ Ponderer: Then why do you take the trouble to come here and wax eloquent about how nobody listens to me? Insuppressible concern for my welfare, perhaps?

Rofl.

@ Jb: Hello and sure! You do not have to ask.

As for the queasiness, here’s a fun fact: I am my own worst critic.

When I post and I go back and read it later, I feel slightly nauseous.

There.

Doesn’t that make you feel better!

:D

And gosh, thanks!

@ Confused and Baffled: Hello! Well I blog about what’s gnawing away at my brain at that particular point of time. This issue did, and I posted about it. That’s all. I personally think it is irrelevant as to the amount of adulation or criticism I get, be it this post or any other post.

And as for the video, I didn’t find it funny at all. It was lousy and frankly, it was in bad taste.

Again, that’s just my opinion. It is up to you if you want to agree with me or disagree. Deeming my reaction unnecessary however, was a tad superfluous.

This is a blog, after all.

:)

Krish Ashok said...

@ponderer,

This is fundementally silly idea. The world is built on principle of individual aspirations, individual actions and individual responsibility.

Uh? Really? So that's why you participate in a conversation in a social network such as this? That's why thousands of people contribute to wikipedia and post pictures and videos of their cats on youtube? Self expression, you say? But what is self-expression without an audience? and comments, and yeah, spam filters :)

(pseudo-gyaanified preach warning)....
Individual responsibility and actions are closely and irrevocably tied to social good. We derive our sense of individual responsibility from understanding what is good for mankind as a whole. Don't we stop 2 kids from fighting? Don't we try and stop people from killing each other? So why shouldn't we stop rape? Why is that somehow different?

Sunil said...

Tamil punkster interesting handle. Hmm, I think it was walter scott who wrote women are but the toys which amuse our lighter hours---ambition is the serious business of life." I generally have reservations about his school, but on some days it is impossible to disagree. I mean it only to this entry, well , made my day.I suppose its cool or hip to put up a drivel for the sake of it. If you are not spoilt by inheritance, you should get out of fantasy in say 3-4 years. But I must say I am given to overestimating. Anyway I reckon someday you will stop at your first sentence.
cheers

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Krish Ashok: Ahh, I see you have met our newest troll, the laughable "ponderer".

And I don’t think you gyanified preach warning was pseudo, by any means. It was chockfull of gyanisms, though. :)

Vidya said...

oh lol now what do we have here? Quotes from Ivanhoe. I am sure Schopenhauer and Nietzsche had more wonderful things to say on women..But then virginia woolf said, "Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others"..

I hardly call this issue a drivel. Accept it or not this is a fact.The media , the religion and the machinations of justice do seem to represent rape as a women's issue.. I find men against DV coalitions but hardly men against rape, same with support group volunteering in educational institutions. Again when it comes to rape/ trauma / support/care or even raising voices it is only women who seem to be involved.

Just in the last month there was a case where marines were accused of rape. But how many people (more so men) in the realm of positions of power acknowledge existence of such crimes or even raise a voice against it.

Confused & Baffled said...

point.