Personal Experiences with Rape Culture

I started this blog because I know I have many personal experiences with rape culture and I know many other people do too. I think those experiences should be shared. If you have an experience I would love for you to share it, the submission button is always open. We have 3 mods here. I'm Rage, there is also Spider and Isis. Our "abouts" are on the home page
You know what else it costs to write about and talk about consent? I’m going to be super real with y’all. It has cost me the vast majority of my relationships with men. Not all at once, but eventually, over time, one by one. It was one sexist joke too many, it was one boundary-crossing-creep-defender over the line. It was the constant microaggressions or the combination of being privileged and defensive about it and unable or unwilling to do any better. Most grew weary of arguing about feminist issues, or about the fact that I wouldn’t let them just win those arguments, even though they usually had no idea what they were talking about. They couldn’t deal with the fact that I won’t allow anyone to say disparaging shit to and about me and mine. Or they won’t or can’t do better after I explain how to do better many many times and finally I have to peace out on them for my own safety. I have at present a tiny handful of guy friends. One I get into arguments with nearly every time we talk. I fear that relationship may go the way of most of my past relationships with subtly sexist men—away, that is to say. Which is really too fucking bad. Because the truth is, I don’t hate men—I hate male privilege. I really like men, shit, I love them actually, some of them. I miss having men friends, but not enough to let the mild misogyny slide. I have got to take care of me and mine. That’s where we clash, because I refuse to just smooth things over, to just let things go. They’re accustomed to deference and I’ve taught myself to drop that habit as best I can.

yayfeminism:

Cycle of abuse

(via fucknosexistcostumes)

Richard Dawkins has been keeping himself very busy indeed during his stay as an involuntary organ donor in the Palace Abattoir. In response to a widely-read piece by Mark Oppenheimer about misogyny in the atheoskeptisphere, he has bravely taken to Twitter to defend his BFF Michael Shermer, the notorious subject of multiple accusations of predatory sexual behavior toward women. Shermer’s MO, as described in the Oppenheimer piece by TAM staffer Alison Smith, shares most of the typical hallmarks of an overwhelming number of rapists-at-large: boundary testing; planning assaults using sophisticated strategies to isolate victims; deploying psychological manipulation, e.g., power, control; and last but certainly not least, using alcohol deliberately in order to render targets more vulnerable if not outright unconscious. They calculate, quite correctly it turns out, that this particular modus operandi puts them at miniscule risk of ever being accused—let alone reported, investigated, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and jailed. Regardless of whether you believe Smith’s or other women’s accounts regarding Shermer, these are just facts, and this is how rape culture works in the real world.

Janay has become the site of a moral boundary war upon which the moral tenor of Women Who Stay is at stake. The trouble with this boundary war, as fought through Twitter, is that each side, the moral crusaders and moral defenders, cast Janay—as an agentic and empowered subject—aside. That is, they turn Janay into an object through which they exemplify a moral claim. In both cases, it—the moral claim—becomes synonymous with and then subsumes she—the moral subject. Either it/she is complicit in abusive dynamics or it/she is helpless and therefore not culpable. If moral wars are fought on the scaffold, Janay’s is the body displayed prominently in the public square.

Photo Credit: Katie Monroe

Researchers say that violence at home is an overlooked issue that deserves more international attention.

Domestic violence is more costly than warfare, in terms of both lives lost and dollars spent, according to a new report that says the issue is largely overlooked.

The study authors conclude that domestic abuse, perpetrated mostly against women and children, costs about $9.5 trillion dollars each year in lost economic output. That far surpasses the price tag for recent civil wars, estimated at an annual $170 billion, as well as for homicides unrelated to intimate partner violence, estimated at an annual $650 billion. Researchers arrived at those ballpark figures by attempting to estimate both tangible and intangible costs resulting from violence, like lost earnings, reduced economic activity, and health consequences.

The human cost is also greater. According to the researchers, roughly nine people are killed in domestic disputes for every one person who dies in a civil war. About 769 million women are the victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives, and 290 million children are subject to violence in their homes.

"Here’s a sure-fire way to know that you hate women: when an incident of intimate partner violence in which a man knocks a woman unconscious gains national attention and every question or comment you think to make has to do with her behavior, you really hate women. Like, despise.

There is no other explanation. There is no “I need all the facts.” There is no excuse. You hate women. Own it.

Now, you probably don’t believe you hate women. You probably honestly think you’re being an objective observer whose only interest is the truth. You are delusional.

We have this problem in our discourse around the most important challenges we face where we feel we have to be “fair to both sides.” But sometimes, one of those sides is subjugation and oppression. If you’re OK with legitimizing that side in the interest of “fairness,” you’re essentially saying you’re OK with oppression as a part of the human condition. That’s some hateful shit.”

I just want to say to the people who submitted about their boyfriends not taking no for an answer. I understand why you would stay, I’ve been there more times than I would ever care to count. I’m 24, and this is the first time since I was 17 I am with someone that hears and respects my words. unfortunately I think more often than not men manipulate others go sex. BUT I promise it doesn’t have to be like that. And there are guys who will listen, respect and not dwell on the 2 letter word no.

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My partner cheated on me and then the next day pressured me into sex. I was terrified of losing her, and so despite saying “no” about twenty times eventually gave in when she told me “do it or you don’t love me”. I don’t know why I didn’t just walk away. I have never been able to define what happened to me even though it was over a year ago but I still get panic attacks. Your post on consent and coercion was amazing and it lifted that weight off me, now I know it was rape. Thank you so much xxx

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Here's a rape culture reality: My boyfriend insists that if I don't say "no" or "stop" strongly enough, I can't /really/ mean it. Bonus: I stay with him because I'm convinced nobody else will ever love me the way he does.
rapeculturerealities rapeculturerealities Said:
I was just reading that article you posted, "the times i wasn't raped" and she said around 6% of american men were rapists or attempted rape, but then, the majority of women have been sexually assaulted as women or children. how would this be possible?
rapeculturerealities rapeculturerealities Said:

Good catch!  She links to this study which says:

“A majority of the undetected rapists in this sample were repeat offenders. Almost two thirds of them raped more than once, and a majority also committed other acts of interpersonal violence, such as battery, child physical abuse, and child sexual abuse. These repeat rapists each committed an average of six rapes and/or attempted rapes and an average of 14 interpersonally violent acts. Within the universe of 3,698 violent acts that the 1,882 men in this sample were responsible for, the 76 repeat rapists by themselves accounted for 1,045 of that total. That is, representing only 4% of the sample, the repeat rapists accounted for 28% of the violence. Their level of violence was nearly ten times that of non-rapists, and nearly three and a half times that of single-act rapists.”

It looks like the statistic she quoted was taken out of context there.  I am not sure if there are good figures on how many men attempt or complete a rape, but given the number of men that do not correctly identify when they have raped someone, I would imagine even if they willingly admitted to rape or attempted rape, the percentage would be low unless the questions did not specify “rape” but instead listed the actions without a label.

-Spider-

Asker Anonymous Asks:
At what point is a woman's choice realized to not invalidate the harm it does to her? I chose to drink alcohol to cope, would you sit idly by as I drank away my health? At what point do you say, that's actually hurting women, even if they chose it?
rapeculturerealities rapeculturerealities Said:

The key there is harm.  I would hope that no one would sit and watch you hurt yourself with alcohol or anything else.  There is nothing wrong with questioning the choices that a person makes, but wholesale condemnation denies that person their autonomy.  Alcohol is perhaps a bad example in this regard because of the physical aspects of addiction.  

The point I was trying to make was more along the lines of this:

Perhaps we see a woman who has chosen to get plastic surgery.  We understand that plastic surgery is part of a larger system which holds women to unattainable beauty standards.  But we cannot decide for the woman in question whether to get the surgery or what that surgery means to her personally.  

If nothing else, we can open a respectful dialogue and perhaps see another point of view.

-Spider-

Asker Anonymous Asks:
My boyfriend always pressures me for sex. I'll say no, but he will continually ask and beg until I finally give in. In the end, I say yes, even though I don't want to. That's not rape, right?
rapeculturerealities rapeculturerealities Said:

Sex without consent is no longer sex.  It’s rape.  

Coerced consent is when physical, psychological or emotional manipulation is used to obtain a “yes” from someone who actually does not consent.  If you say “no” 100 times and he still keeps asking, it’s pretty clear he’s not respecting your refusal.  He’s demonstrated that no matter how many times you say it, he will not acknowledge or allow you to turn him down.

Pressuring you until you give him the answer he wants, is absolutely rape.  You were not able to give or deny consent freely.  

I would get far away from him as quickly and safely as you can.  He is using manipulation to get what he wants from you with clear disregard for what you want. 

Coerced consent doesn’t get discussed very often, but it’s an important topic. The most basic form that comes to mind is when someone says “yes” to sex, but their body language makes it clear that they do not want sex to happen or continue.

Coerced consent can also happen in marriage or in relationships where consensual sex has already happened, when one consensual encounter is believed to mean that all subsequent interactions are OK.

Using power or position as a means of leveraging a “yes” from someone who does not actually consent is another instance of coercion.  An example of this would be if a boss pressured an employee for sex and that employee believed their job was at stake. It could even be someone who believes that you “owe” them sex because they bought you an expensive dinner.

You have the right to say “no” to any sex or sexual contact that you want.  There is no time limit, price bracket or point of no return from which you cannot stop what is happening.  You don’t even need to give a reason.  If you are ever uncomfortable a situation, your partner needs to respect that decision and stop immediately.  If your partner fails to respect your refusal or withdrawal of consent, it’s rape.

-Spider-

Asker Anonymous Asks:
I want to put a warning out there for reddit users. r/againstmensrights(community devoted to mocking the Men's Rights movement)is NOT a safe space for survivors of molestation or rape. It is filled with pedophiles/pedo-apologists. Recently there was a thread where nearly everyone agreed child porn was okay as long as it was animated an "no real children were harmed" ignoring the fact that promoting the sexualization of children promotes child rape. PLEASE SPREAD THIS WARNING. Protect survivors!
rapeculturerealities rapeculturerealities Said:

Please see also some responses to this:

here

here and here

Asker Anonymous Asks:
What are your views on Domestic Discipline? Is it against feminism?
rapeculturerealities rapeculturerealities Said:

Feminism is not hive mind.  Some concepts might not fall into a particular person’s parameters for what is feminist while the same concepts might fit snugly under another person’s definition.  The beauty of it as that while we all bring something unique and relevant to the table through our experiences and beliefs, the firm foundation we all share revolves around the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.  Additionally, let’s assume the caveat that we ought to respect the choices that women make for themselves, even if it isn’t one that we would necessarily make.  

There are a couple “flavors” of domestic discipline:

Christian domestic discipline:  This holds that women must submit to their husbands and will face punishment (i.e. spanking with various implements) as a consequence of their infractions.  This mostly centers around biblical dictations of gender roles and while there is an erotic element that many followers acknowledge, this does not seem to be the main focus.  This brand of DD is problematic in that it does not extend the same rules to both men and women.  The root of the practice seems to be the assertion that women are inherently in need of being taught how to behave by their husbands, who do not have to adhere to such strict codes of conduct.  It’s also driven by a mostly male definition of what Christianity is.

* Domestic discipline as a sexual practice:  This focuses more on the sexual aspect of spanking.  This form of role play is more about the perception of dominance.  One partner spanking the other (regardless of gender or roles outside of the bedroom), can be an enjoyable experience provided certain things are understood by all involved.  Generally, participants agree that either of them can end the scene at any time they want, giving them both equal power. DD play of this type should always be safe, sane and consensual. Enjoying this type of interaction with respect and empathy is key.

When considering both of these items seen through a feminist lens, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

1. Domestic abuse is a very real issue and can often appear to be well-intentioned “discipline”.  Knowing the signs of an abusive relationship can help us distinguish what is harmful and what is not.

2. Assuming that we’re talking mainly about women being spanked by men, what thought patterns are at work behind the decisions being made?  If a wife engages in a Christian DD arrangement with her husband, is it because she believes that is what is required of her?  If this is true, is she really making a decision on her own?

3. Understanding the way that culture and society inform our choices helps us develop a better sense of what is going on in both of the above scenarios.  

In reality, it’s an individual decision that each feminist has to make on their own.  But only for themselves.  Condemning the way that others choose to express their feminism is what is inherently anti-feminist.

-Spider-