trixtah: (boom)
[personal profile] trixtah
[A bit of 101 cross-posted from Fetlife]

I'm really sick of some individuals bitching about the term "rape culture". I realise it's confronting and in-your-face. It's intended to be.

It doesn't mean that women are labelling all or even most men as rapists. It certainly doesn't mean they are labelling YOU as a rapist - if that's the case, and they are speaking up, they won't be faffing around with that term - they would just say that "you're a rapist/abuser/creep". Simple.

But here is a nice concise definition to help explain the concept:

["Rape culture" is] referring to the culture that makes rape incredibly common, blames the victims for putting themselves in a position where they could be raped, and teaches women to avoid, at all costs, making a fuss over things that make them feel threatened, because they won’t be taken seriously anyway. It’s the culture that lets men get away with doing the things that make women feel threatened, because their feelings are so much more important than the women’s feelings.

To add to that, it's not just women (and trans* and gender-ambiguous people) who are subjected to the fallout of rape culture. It's the men who are supposed to believe they "can't help themselves". It's men being told that women have amazing skills at reading body language that men can't attain [1]. It's the decent guys who are supposed to yuk along with their mates making the shitty unwanted sexualised jokes and remarks [2]. It's being tarred with the same brush as that minority of men who go beyond the jokes and skeevy behaviour to actual sexual assault. As Kate Harding says:

...You and the guys you hang out with may not really mean anything by it when you talk about crazy bitches and dumb sluts and heh-heh-I’d-hit-that and you just can’t reason with them and you can’t live with ‘em can’t shoot ‘em and she’s obviously only dressed like that because she wants to get laid and if they can’t stand the heat they should get out of the kitchen and if they can’t play by the rules they don’t belong here and if they can’t take a little teasing they should quit and heh heh they’re only good for fucking and cleaning and they’re not fit to be leaders and they’re too emotional to run a business and they just want to get their hands on our money and if they’d just stop overreacting and telling themselves they’re victims they’d realize they actually have all the power in this society and white men aren’t even allowed to do anything anymore and and and…

I get that you don’t really mean that shit. I get that you’re just talking out your ass.

But please listen, and please trust me on this one: you have probably, at some point in your life, engaged in that kind of talk with a man who really, truly hates women–to the extent of having beaten and/or raped at least one. And you probably didn’t know which one he was.

And that guy? Thought you were on his side
.

And that is rape culture - the guys who do this shit thinking you and society in general [3] ARE on their side, implicitly. That "most guys" would do the same thing if they weren't too "pussywhipped" by "PC" or fear of the law.

Actually, most men don't rape, not because they are afraid of the law, but because they are decent. It's very simple. But given the constant harassment of women and other marginalised groups on the street, on public transport, at parties, at clubs, in the work place (if it's one of those work places), the low-level crap is part of the culture.

And that culture helps enable the men who do actually do the rapes and assaults because of the reluctance of us in society to follow up on the small shit and "have each other's backs". How many times have you laughed off some obviously-unwanted shitty remark or grab that a mate made? Every one of those occasions was when you had his back, not hers. It adds up.

And for the guys who get all up in arms and say "I'm not like that wah wah wah", well, if you're NOT like that, then any post on the internet discussing the problem is not about YOU. Really and truly. Does that help you focus on the actual problem now?
 


[1] Actually, men read body language with no problem pretty damn well constantly - you know when some dick at the pub is starting up the "are you looking at me?" routine, without him saying a word. You can walk into an office or a building site and spot who the bosses are. Etc etc.

[2] Sure, sometimes it's not unwanted, but there's a time and a place and the right jokes and right people.

[3] Yeah yeah, some few get prosecuted for rape - a minuscule proportion of the actual offenders.

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