Feminist Friday Round Three: Rape

This weekend we are discussing sexual assault against women.

First, let’s look at the global picture. Here’s an map from womanstats.org, via Shards of Silence. You can follow them both on Twitter@WomanStats and @shardsofsilence

SexAssault

I’m not sure exactly how this scale was constructed, but I did spend the better part of my evening on Wednesday looking at the womanstats codebook, and just in general, pulling their website apart. I am satisified that they are actually measuring rape here, and this map raises a lot of questions.

The scale runs from “Rare” to “Endemic.” There is not one country in the world in which rape is rare. It is unusual in Canada, France, Norway, Australia, and what appears to be part of Austria. It is not uncommon in the U.S., the U.K., most of Europe, and Argentina. In the rest of the world, it’s either prevalent or endemic. I could take this map and make you a list of questions, but I need to move on to specifics. Since I am a citizen of the U.S., here is some information about rape in the U.S. Feel free to share info about your own country on the thread.

Here’s a fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control. I’ll give you the highlights.

In a nationally representative survey of adults:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives.
  • In a nationally representative survey of adults, 37.4% of female rape victims were first raped between ages 18-24.
  •  42.2% of female rape victims were first raped before age 18. 29.9% of female rape victims were first raped between the ages of 11-17.
  • 12.3% female rape victims and 27.8% of male rape victims were first raped when they were age 10 or younger.

Numbers do not, in fact, speak for themselves. Numbers say nothing until someone interprets them. Interpret the CDC numbers as you will, but when you do, keep in mind that according to this scale only a handful of countries in the whole world are doing better. I need to move on to one more piece of this puzzle: Rape culture.

I understand rape culture to mean cultural practices which normalize sexual assault. And this aspect of the problem  goes well beyond physical rape. It includes things like Subreddits devoted to sharing pics of their friends’ clevage without knowledge or consent. It includes guys in Croatia snagging pictures of women without their knowledge and having sexist social media converstations about them (our friend Ivy shared this one on last week’s thread). Rape culture includes the friend zone and upskirting.

So we’ve got a set of behaviors that dehumanize women, and dehumanization is a thoroughly-documented psychological component of violence. Another way to say it is that rape culture treats women as things instead of people. Rape culture makes it socially acceptable for men to assert ownership over women. And of course, once you own something, you are allowed to dispose of it as you see fit.

So my questions for you are, what can we do about this?  How do we make it better? Certainly, I see improvements to be had from better laws and better education. What else can we do?

And what’s it like in your country? We don’t get much info about other countries in the U.S. unless we really dig for it.

(Thank you to everyone who’s kept this discussion going for three weeks. If I leave anyone out, it’s only by accident. Gretchen, Alva, Natacha, Jolene, Holly, Rose, Hannah, Ali, Crystalchandalyre, Northerngal)

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54 thoughts on “Feminist Friday Round Three: Rape

  1. I was sexually assaulted, by an unknown man (who was never caught) twenty-five years ago – and two things really stood out (in terms of other people’s attitudes): one was the, ‘Oh well, at least you weren’t raped…’ and the other was an unspoken reaction from several people that I had, in some way, asked for this to happen to me. Why? Because I dressed nicely – though not provocatively – that evening and I chose to walk home alone from the pub, a bit less than 100% sober.
    The, ‘Oh well, she asked for it!’ is terrifyingly common still – and I find that both alarming and depressing. I really feel that this attitude needs to be challenged whenever it comes up.
    As does this notion that an attack of a sexual nature which does not involve actual penetrative sex (in the conventional sense) does not, in some weird way, count – and you are seen as making a big fuss about very little if you go on to suffer, as I did, from PTSD.
    Thank you so much for flagging this up, Gene; I am sure a lot of women (and men) will have tales to tell.
    Ali xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Oh well, at least you were’t raped.” ?!?

      My god, I am so sorry. What a terrible response.

      Another unfortunate and common response is, “did you say no?”

      See, the thing is, you don’t HAVE to say no. That’s not how consent works. Bah, so sad.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you, JoleneFQTQ. The point you make about consent is brilliant. You don’t have to say no. Exactly. x

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        • Exactly. It is an act of violence even if the victim is silent the entire time. Even if the word ‘no’ is never uttered. Children who are victims often don’t resist or say no, yet they are not complying. To think so would be absurd. The attempt to sexually assault someone, the attempt or threat instills fear. That fear can be completely paralyzing to some, to many. For people to get hung up on the victim’s resistance, verbally or physically, once again puts the burden on the victim. It is a mentality that allows these things to continue to happen and go un-punished. Ali, I haven’t read your blog, as I just “met” you today, but you are incredibly brave for sharing your ordeal with us. Thank you for that.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you for this, Gretchen. Many people who have been emotionally abused are too frightened to say ‘no’ under any circumstances, and this can so easily be misinterpreted as consent by the predatory. I am attaching to link to my blog post on the attack. I was not able to write about it until eighteen months ago.
            http://alienorajt.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/the-attack/
            This is for everyone who has ever experienced rape or assault or any kind of unwanted sexual advance.
            xxx

            Liked by 1 person

            • My pleasure. I am happy for anyone to read it, if it helps in any way. I have written back to you on the blog. xxx

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    • Dearest Ali, no matter how many times I read about your story, it makes me tear up every time. You are one strong and courageous lady and an example for all to stand up for themselves.
      I agree with you that the stigma attached to rape ought to be moved from survivors towards perpetrators. Finger-pointing and attempting to find justifications for what happened (because that is what people who ask how a rape survivor was dressed or whether they’ve been drinking do) needs to stop and instead the first question ought to be “How are you?” and “Is there anything I can do to help?” or “Do you want to talk? I’m here for you.”
      I’ve heard so many stories from survivors who were asked why they were walking home alone/ drinking/ dressing in a particular way / out of the house and so on, and then told that they should have known better. These are not the reasons why they have been raped. The rapist is the reason why, and a society that focuses on telling women what not to do, how not to speak, how not to behave, where not to go, how not to dress… rather than focusing on the actual problem: those who objectify other human beings and then commit acts of violence against them.
      Sending you love. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, Vic, what a marvellous response. Thank you first of all for your lovely compassionate words to me. But, more than that, thank you for taking the wider view and looking at the vast canvas which is sexual abuse.It really is time we came out of the ghastly blight thrust upon us by a mindset determined to blame women for everything; a Patriarchal way of thinking which has denied the Goddess for too long. As long as women are seen as sinful, evil, inferior and worthy of punishment, this kind of thing will continue.
        The guy who attacked me was not remotely turned on physically. It was not about sex; it was about power, fuelled by rage and a need to subjugate. xxx

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        • Your warmth reaches out and I think that anyone who reads you feels the same way. I was going to add a note about rape being about power rather than sex. So true and this I think much be where we begin to fight back: by empowering survivors to tell their stories, to rid themselves of a guilt and shame that should not be theirs.

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    • People can be horrid.

      It’s sad that we still have the “asking for it” mentality come up so often. No one asks to be victimized and hurt. No one is responsible for being attacked.

      I’m sorry you received such a response to what happened. The idea that only certain things “count” as assault and rape is a huge problem. I was reading something just a little while ago that played into the notion that only very violent attacks are “real” rape. It drives me crazy, that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That is a huge part of the problem in this country Ali; the attitude that if you weren’t left physically slashed to bits or dead that you’re lucky and should be thankful for it. 😦 I can relate to your experience and I appreciate that more survivors are coming into these discussions to help educate people who don’t ‘get it’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I suppose I agree with your list of what could broadly be included in Rape Culture, except for Friend Zone.

    Just approaching a woman and being declined does not make for normalizing sexual assault in my mind.

    Here’s 2 funny videos.

    DJ Lubel took it for feminists for his characterization of women.

    Taryn Southern did not.

    By the way, Taryn is in both videos as is DJ Lubel. They work together quite often and are hilarious.

    Seems a bit of a double standard. Not all men want to fuck you, and not all women in LA won’t have sex on dates.

    LoL.

    Ah well. I’m much more put off by Ann Coulter’s rape comments that I liked in yesterdays blog.

    http://andykaufmanskavalkadekrew.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/ann-counter-the-howard-stern-of-the-right-wing-the-kadoh-institute/

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    • “Friend zone” does not mean that you are friends with someone, ask them out, and get rejected.

      “Friend zone” is a term that people use when they a friends with a girl and she does not want to have sex with them or date them. The implication is that the women is “friend zoning” the other person because she selfishly wants them to talk with her, listen to her, and hang out without getting any sex.

      The idea behind it is that, if a women expects to be friends with a male but it not willing to have sex with him, then she is selfish, thoughtless, etc.

      It’s certainly not normalizing sexual assault to ask someone out. However, it is if you ask someone out and then go on and on about how thoughtless said person is for not wanting to have sex with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I suppose there are various meanings of “Friend Zone”.

        “It’s certainly not normalizing sexual assault to ask someone out. However, it is if you ask someone out and then go on and on about how thoughtless said person is for not wanting to have sex with you.”

        I suppose I am looking for the sexual assault” in your definition.

        I tend to use legal definitions of “sexual assault” or “rape” by the way.

        Even though they are variable by jurisdiction, there is kind of a general consensus in a legal sense as to what rape is.

        Just talking is not sexual assault.

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        • No. Of course it is not sexual assault. Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by “normalizing sexual assault.” I mean that it normalizes sexual assault in that it contributes to a culture in which one believes that they have a “right” to sex, or that they are even correct in demanding it i.e., “I hung out with you. I listened to you. Now you owe me” because they are friends with someone.

          Asking someone out does not hurt anything. Getting annoyed and attacking someone for “selfishly” rejecting you because they don’t want to have sex with you cultivates a negative atmosphere and, I would argue, normalizes sexual assault.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well, I mean sexual assault in a criminal sense.

            And I don’t believe a persons abnormal response to rejection normalizes sexual assault.

            I realize it’s a negative atmosphere for the victim of course, but don’t see the larger connection.

            I believe the person who is rejected in not moving on politely is abnormal and can of course be criminal with harassment that arises to stalking or any other criminal act.

            Sex requires the informed consent of both parties.

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            • I don’t think that one person’s abnormal response to rejection normalizes sexual assault. But I think that an entire idea based around “I was nice to you, so why won’t you sleep with me” like the friend zone normalizes the idea that men are entitled to women’s bodies.

              The friend zone is essentially a way of saying that women are obligated to consider every man who is nice to them as a potential lay. And when guys then complain about how nice they were and didn’t get laid by that girl, it’s a way of saying 1) they were only nice because they wanted sex, which means they’re actually quite the opposite of nice and 2) something is wrong with the woman for not wanting the man.

              Rape culture isn’t just about rape itself. It’s about normalizing situations in which women, and their bodies, are not their own. The friend zone does that.

              Liked by 1 person

            • So naming it “Rape Culture” is to denigrate any concent or practice one doesn’t agree with in the most despicable way possible?

              So that telling a joke about the “Friend zone” as so often happens, on Twitter is to perpetuate the culture of rape?

              I don’t belive “the friend zone” is a way are saying women are obligated.

              Perhaps some individual males feel so, but it’s not true in all cases.

              Do you have any stats to show that “friend zone” commentary or jokes have led to a rape culture, or “normalizing”?

              Or is this entirely theoretical?

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            • Errr…No. Rape culture isn’t just some random name given to “denigrate any concent or practice one doesn’t agree with in the most despicable way possible.” It’s a name given to the way that cultural aspects reinforce ideas of women as rapable and rape as a normal response. It’s a cultural set of ideas that condone and normalize rape.

              The concept of the friend zone is only one portion of rape culture, and some would argue against its inclusion. Don’t make it all about the friend zone, as that confuses what rape culture is. Victim blaming in all its various forms—based on what someone was wearing, where they were, etc.—-is part of rape culture, as is sexual objectification (dehumanizing is a way of making violence easier, more palatable.) One of the biggest American examples is the V-J kiss photo, that iconic dipping pose, as the photographer himself has said that he was taking shots of a man just running around, grabbing women, kissing them forcibly, and then running off. We’ve lauded that photo, and it’s essentially a man who is running around assaulting women.

              Now, I see the friend zone as fitting into that. I see it that way because to say I’ve “friend zoned” someone is to suppose that I should’ve had some interest in them aside from pure friendship from the beginning. To say that I’m somehow obligated to sleep with them because they’re being nice to me. To say that my calling them a friend is somehow inherently wrong, when if they wanted to do more than be just a friend, they should’ve spoken up in the beginning. It is to the put the onus of the relationship on the woman, making her interpret what is wanted and responsible for its failure (and we’re talking about this in terms of a male talking about a female, but it can be reversed or even homosocial).

              There is no reason to talk about the friend zone unless you’re upset that you’re there, so I’m not understanding part of what you’re saying about it not being a way of saying women are obligated. That’s exactly what it is. As a concept it wouldn’t exist without disgruntled people who wanted sex they didn’t get or a different relationship than they were granted. And whether or not the person who uses the term realizes it, what they’re saying is that the other party should’ve interpreted their friendship as something more and been interested enough to take them up on it.

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            • Sure there is reason to joke about the Friend Zone. It’s a subject for humor.

              A woman isn’t obligated at all. I never contend that.

              But why name it “Rape Culture” if it’s not about rape? As you stated above?

              “Rape culture isn’t just about rape itself. It’s about normalizing situations in which women, and their bodies, are not their own. The friend zone does that.”

              The name, Rape Culture” is misleading at least, and I contend it’s to stigmatize anyone or any concept that one wishes to label as foully as possible.

              You just said no one has a reason to express their free speech, unless upset by being in the “friend zone.”

              I don’t believe you have sufficient cause to pronouce what I or others may speak about.

              I’m with Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz on Free Speech here.

              People joke about “friend zone” and their reason is humor.

              Your body is your own, but “friend zone” doesn’t seem to lead to rape, or rape culture I don’t believe.

              Do you have any studies that show it does?

              I realize “Free Speech” is not absolute, but I wonder why you say there’s no reason to talk about the friend zone at all?

              And do you have any studies showing Friend Zone has led to a “rape culture”? Or an actual rape? As long as we are going to name the culture, “Rape Culture”?

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            • Ok, so one thing is that it’d help if you were on the same page of this discussion and knew what rape culture is. I’ve tried to explain it, Gene’O has explained it, and it’s elsewhere in the comments. There are also plenty of links out there. It’s called rape culture because it adds to the perception that bodies are things, there for the taking—which is rape. I didn’t come up with the term, nor did anyone else here. It’s been in use since the 1970’s. You can contend what you wish about the term, but the fact is that it’s there, it exists, and we’re not going to stop using it to describe the way that society normalizes assault.

              Further, at NO point did I say that I can choose what you speak about. I don’t do that type of thing—but I do hold people accountable for their speech. You can say anything you want. Just so we’re clear about that. What I said is that the “friend zone” is not a thing for those not upset. I don’t complain, nor do my other friends complain, about being just a friend unless they/I want more. Never have. It wouldn’t make sense to. So yes, you or anyone else can complain about that. But i reserve the right to call “bullshit” when a guy is upset I won’t screw him because he was nice and is sad about having to “settle” for being a friend. That makes him not a nice guy. Saying this doesn’t mean there isn’t free speech—it is a logical conclusion that if you’re not upset about being a woman’s friend, you’re not going to complain about being friend zoned. That’s what the “there is no reason to talk about it unless your’e upset about it” means. It means that without a disgruntled party, the friend zone just becomes a pair of people who are friends—-which is how it always should’ve been.

              Now, as for studies, that’s again something you can research. I’m not sure what’s out there specifically on friend zone and rape. I doubt there’s much—but that no one has studied it much doesn’t mean there isn’t a relationship, and it is something I’ve acknowledged that I include in rape culture but many don’t.

              Studies on rape and rape stats are hard to find, and they’re not always reliable—partially because so many rapes are unreported. I was taken advantage of in college and never reported it. So I’m a statistic, but I’m not in those statistics. And there are a lot of others like me.

              What I can say is that overwhelmingly, the least empathetic and worst men I’ve met are those who claim to be “nice” and then complain further about how a woman just wants to be their friend. I can also say that that affects how many women are willing and do report their rapes and assaults, as does victim blaming. It was the 1970’s before we even decided that married women could be raped, FFS. That is rape culture—A culture that doesn’t believe, that excuses, violating women based on their relationships with men.

              Liked by 1 person

            • And I said I generally agree as a general concept, except for “Frend Zone” being included in my first comment.

              I do think that those committing rapes are outside the culture and that joking about the “friend zone” doesn’t place me in a “rape culture” as a supporter.

              You told me I had no reason to talk about “Friend Zone” unless Im disgruntled.

              And it’s a subject for humor, and I’m not in a “friend zone”. I have a healthy relationship.

              So I disagree with you, wholeheartedly.

              I wish wish wish you had reported your own assault.

              I am sorry that happened to you.

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            • What humor is there to be found in the friend zone aside from saying how annoyed you are that someone put you there? It’s certainly not something fro those in healthy relationships to be worried, tbh, as they should be there with everyone unless they’re in a healthy polyamorous relationship.

              There are a lot of things we joke about that I defend the right to joke about but find despicable nonetheless, just FYI. The friend zone is just one of those tics. But I think we all of the right to speak freely, which is why I was upset with how you interpreted my words. Saying that I don’t see the logical reason for doing so or that I don’t particularly like it is not to say that I don’t think someone can.

              And yes, I should’ve reported. That was a good 11 year ago now, and I was young and much less self- and culturally-aware. Unfortunately, it’s not all that uncommon a thing.

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            • Women joke about putting men in the friend zone all the time. It’s one of the most popular joke formats on twitter, for instance.

              Various hashtags:

              #friendzone
              #Friendzone level
              #Friendzoned
              #FriendzoneFriday

              I didn’t ask you to stop using the term. I said I basically agree except for the inclusion of the “Friend zone”.

              Not everyone that tells a joke is enabling rapists. And until you can show it, you have the burder of proof. I am not making the assertion.

              Including the term “friend zone” in the overall idea of “rape culture” is to tar and feather anyone who like to tell jokes.

              Not everyone in a “friend zone” is a rapist, potential rapist or enabler.

              And rape is not part of any culture that I’m aware of. It’s more a-cultural. Outside of common bounds.

              I don’t see the whole connection between “friend zone” and “rape culture” on a systemic cultural level.

              There may be some men who feel entitled, same as women.

              That’s something to deal with of course, and they should not feel entitled to sex just because someone was friendly or nice.

              We will have to agree to disagree on including “Friend zone” in the overall concept I suppose.

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            • Disagreeing with you doesn’t mean I don’t know what “rape culture” is by the way.

              if you go back to my top comment you will see I agreed except for that term, “Friend zone” being included.

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            • It’s the way your statement is worded, in that case, as you consistently ask me to define the term and whether it is a theory and what is included. you seem to say several times that all of this is made up.

              I noted that friend zone though we’ve been discissing it in m/f terms works both ways and homosocially, btw. Even in jest, I find it damaging, but I have also noted those as my own and said I don’t know if the evidence you ask for is there. That’s the only reason I said for you to look if you’re interested, not that I’m being a jerk and asking you to do the impossible in proving the negative, as that’s not logically possibele.

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            • I never said the whole is made up.

              I said I agreed except for “friend zone” being included from the very start.

              And I can find no evidence on “friend zone”. I have looked sparingly.

              I am doing a #ZootSuit webisode now instead. LoL.

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            • Like I said, I think I misunderstood based on some of your wording about rape culture as a concept.

              And I expected the friend zone thing…Which is why I noted that many people don’t include it in rape culture–though I do.

              Have fun with the webisode–I have enough keeping up with just the social media sorts I use right now. lol

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    • OK, just read your post on Ann Coulter. Brilliant. I will never understand why she gets air time. Comparing immigration to rape? I don’t know why I should be surprised by anything she says, and I wish I could say it’s a new low for her. But to determine that I’d have to wade through so much disgusting and vile filth. There’s not enough soap in the world to wash that off… sorry. Don’t get me started on Ann Coulter.

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      • Haha.

        I like to listen to all viewpoints and consider.

        Then mock if I so desire.

        She’s insane in the membrane I believe.

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  3. Oh by the way, the line about “You should try the Valley” is about Bakersfield! Not Fresno… LoL.

    Spelling errors…

    I “linked” Ann Coulter’s comment on rape.

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  4. Pingback: Living In America: Living In RapeCulture | Drifting Through My Open Mind

  5. These are such difficult questions and something we are constantly struggling with. I think the issue is so much bigger than rape and rape culture or what rape and rape culture mean maybe. There is domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking. And if you think sex trafficking is only an international problem you are sadly mistaken. I have not read the book yet, but a couple people I know have called Girls Like Us. A memoir from a woman who ended up being sex trafficked. I have heard it is the most depressing and hopeful book to read. I am hoping to read it soon with a box of tissue handy.

    I think education and teaching kids from a young age to respect each other. Call people out for comments that demean or degrade. Legally we need to go after the perpetrators with harsher terms. I also don’t know if there is a rehab type program that would help. It is such a big and complicated issue that does not have one easy solution. If someone has grown up being taught that a woman is there for their pleasure it will be hard to undo that thinking.

    Laws are woefully behind. It wasn’t until 1970’s that we criminalized marital rape and it took to 1993 for it to be criminalized in all 50 states. Too often we talk to girls about protecting yourself, boys can’t help themselves, you need to make sure to do x, y, and z to make sure nothing happens. Where is the talk with the men saying be respectful. If she ever says no stop. You have the right to be treated fairly if you don’t like what she is doing tell her. It is okay to not want to have sex.

    One last piece is that when I studied abroad in Denmark they had a talk with the women students letting them know that, as an American woman, there is a possibility that if they dance with a guy he will expect sex from you. The thought being that American women are easy. It was just such an odd concept that I had to fight studying abroad as an American woman. I don’t know if it comes from the spring break mentality or what but it was an interesting thought to have to confront.

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  6. Thanks for the link, Gene. My comment is getting really long/personal, and I’m going to have to come back to it when I figure out how much I’m comfortable sharing publicly and whether it makes sense without the context.

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  7. Wandered over from Gretchen’s site.
    I wonder, what will cause the sea change where media (and women) are no longer willing to objectify themselves?
    Is being a model in an ad where the man is dressed and the woman is naked empowering, or does it send a message of male power over women? And why isn’t respect for women taught from a very young age?

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    • I think this is where it gets tricky. And I see value and art in some portrayals of women naked or shown in a sensual way. I definitely don’t think that the human body is something that should be covered up or shameful. I wish our country would embrace topless beaches, women breastfeeding in public and not see these things as “sexual”. But when I see someone like R.Kelly who raped young girls, and videotaped it, still making music and being played on the radio, I am disgusted. I put the pictures of Beyonce’ and Jay Z on my post not because I think it’s awful that she was dressed scantily, but you rarely see men portrayed that way. Or putting themselves out there that way (well except maybe Prince!) I honestly don’t know what the answer is, but I think there is a definite line that gets crossed in the media where it goes from art to objectifying women. Unfortunately that is subjective, that line may be different for everyone.

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  8. I am surprised that rape is considered “rare” in France, given how misogynistic the country is and how we get countless examples of rape culture being part of our society here, including how a big political figure who is known for having assaulted/raped many women and girls, is still considered a one who could save the country politically and economically speaking.
    I know that I always was trying to be on the “safe” side to avoid trouble (which isn’t always enough) and risks of sexual assault / rape in certain conditions (showing again how rape culture is so ingrained in us). Some people just made fun of me being like I was uncool and all. I’m not happy having to think about how I wouldn’t go out alone in the night, or how I avoided certain subway stations or areas, but better safe than sorry, no matter how much it shows that I was raised to be the one to make sure I didn’t get raped or “asked for it”. The whole “at least you didn’t get raped” is a horrible saying, but one I heard before and can’t tolerate, just like people thinking that you asked for it to be assaulted/raped. No, nobody asks for this and victims should stop being blamed.
    I think that education and media/societal representations need to be changed, that boys are taught about how consent and what it is and that forcing anyone is plain wrong.

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    • I think you’re right about the way we portray this in the media–it has to change. Here in the U.S., over the past few years, there have been several cases of college co-eds being raped and their rapists described as “promising” young men or some such before the outlet goes into talking about the crime.

      It’s time we stop talking about the perpetrators as if they were just fine, totally nice people up until the moment they decided to rape and assault someone.

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  9. Thank you for another great article, Gene’O.
    On the subject of rape culture: I think creating a counter-culture is key. At present we seem to be too quick to judge women for their appearance and behaviour and to see those as a potential cause for what happens. Women wearing burkas get raped too. There is a lot more to be done when it comes to changing the status quo so that women would not be objectified and dehumanised to the extent that rape ends up being taken lightly. What I am struggling with at present is finding “how” this can be done.
    Will be back soon. Want to let my thoughts on the subject percolate for a little while. So many avenues to consider.

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    • The burka is supposedly to protect the female from the male. LoL. Their religion doesn’t appear to be working well.

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      • It just goes to show that veiling women cannot counter this epidemic. When they are regarded as property, as less than equal. The message needs to be changed.

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        • And I think the idea behind putting women in Burkas is to protect men from the “evil enchantress”, to protect them from their urges that they have no control over. That a woman exposing ANY part of her face or body is to tempt men. And when a woman is raped, she is the one who is stoned to death. Obviously we are not that extreme here but there are some eerie similarities in the mindset. Until our society as a whole realizes that, I fear not much will change.

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          • I think there are also other religious reasons to wear a burka and that we should be careful not to impose our own Western line of thought to this, assuming that there’s no way a woman in a burka can be liberated.

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            • Diana, You may be right, I’m sure there are religious reasons as well. And to be clear, I’m referring to the burka, not a hijab. I think there is a huge difference between the two. I do know I have read about the Taliban’s reasons for imposing the burka as required by law. I should probably specify next time I use this example as the Taliban burka or the Afghan Burka….

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        • The females in the region have to lead the fight.

          Unfortunately many support the message.

          When my friend @vicesadulation was attacked on Twitter and I defended her many Muslim women attacked me for pointing out @snowwykid as a troll.

          Not only did they block and report me for spam, for which I was suspended, they tweeted foul things to me, and suffered no penalty.

          LoL. It’s why I disregard @Twitter @support as any type of responsible moderation and do my own thing as far as documentation.

          You can’t count on them to make a reasonable decision at all.

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  10. I don’t really have a lot to say this week. I know people who have been raped and/or sexually assaulted, one very recently, and I’m still having a hard time coping. I guess I have to bring it back to education, especially OF MEN, about what consent actually is and what a woman’s experience is like. What it’s like to be taught “don’t get raped” your whole life and how it affects women when it does happen. Media representations might be a good way to help build that empathy… In the 1700s, people started reading novels. Some of the mega-popular novels were about the tribulations of poor young women, and readers of all genders were carried away by the effect of feeling another person’s pains and joys. Scholars credit this as a major development in the history of empathy and thus the development of human rights. (It’s my senior research area, unless I change my mind.) So, that’s what I’m thinking of. If it could work in the 1700s with perceptions of women even worse, it ought to work now. I can imagine how hard it would be to convey for a person who’s experienced it though, especially in a form that young men would readily consume.

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  11. Sorry this is coming in tardy, but I hope it might still be useful. What can we do about this? Well, what jumps out to me is the discrepancy between the “Western” and the “Eastern” nations. The “richer” and the “poorer” nations. Unfortunately, evil will always exist, and it will be a long way before we can eliminate rape entirely. But we can create conditions in which rape and assault aren’t seen as “valuable” options by the perpetrators. Creating conditions of prosperity creates conditions where people won’t look at each other as competitors for what they have. In nature, where food and water is plentiful, animals can coexist peacefully. Even the normally “jealous” ones. But take away the sustenance and they will fight to the death. When one has nothing, power and physical influence are still available to be obtained. And when there isn’t money for anything, somehow people can still find the resources for the “darker” treats in life.

    What we need is to move to a regime of personal property rights. When people have sustainable rights to their person and property, many good things can happen. People will be motivated to improve their lives. Prosperity can be created, as people can become economically mobile. And, most importantly, in a regime of respected private property rights, rules protect people and not exploit them. Personal property rights and contract law have done more to liberate women than likely anything else, by moving them from merely property of fathers and husbands to owners of property with rights of disposal over their own property and their person. I could explain further, but I would like to suggest this article in order to keep my comments short. https://mises.org/daily/5982/Marriage-Under-the-Influence-of-the-Idea-of-Contract

    What we don’t need is laws that restrict or “guide” us to good behavior. What we need is to create laws that allow good behavior to get the reward it deserves. And these rewards will encourage people to choose better behavior. When Prohibition was repealed, for example, the violence from alcohol and gang wars significantly subsided.

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