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Friday, 20 October 2017

#metoo and 'rape culture'


I have mixed feelings about the recent #metoo campaign. On the one hand I think it’s great to raise awareness about victims of harassment, rape and assault. On the other hand I think people need to be careful about their definitions and not ‘trivialise’ actual cases of rape by making false or incorrect accusations. Making allegations against someone is always very serious and false rape accusations can destroy lives. Moreover, I think that if you've been a victim of something it is stronger to move forward and grow from the experience rather than live with the mentality that you're forever a victim.

The campaign started in light of the Weinstein scandal, which admittedly I know little about. Its another case of a famous rich man being accused of assaulting various women. I don’t know if the allegations are true or not so won’t comment. We’ve seen cases like this with Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris and Bill Cosby. They sound like similar cases of wealthy men abusing their power and using it to mistreat and manipulate women, which is disgusting.

The sad and unfortunate thing about rape and assault is it is always your word against the others. We don’t know who is telling the truth. Is the victim falsely accusing the perpetrator? Is the perpetrator in denial? What actually happened? Was it rape because you were drunk or did you just regret something you consented to?

My definition of rape is non-consensual sex. If you have sex with someone who clearly doesn’t want to, and you keep going anyway and force them into it, that is rape. Very simple. I don't believe that drunk sex equates to rape because people can still consent when under the influence; they have reduced inhibitions but a part of them is still aware of what they are doing. Naturally it's one thing if a girl is wasted and puking everywhere and a guy grabs her and thrusts himself into her whilst she's lying there totally gone. It's another if two people have been flirting with each other all night and they go back together and have sex and then one person wakes up with regret but doesn't feel 'violated' and clearly wanted the sex whilst it was happening.

I don’t agree with the notion of ‘statutory rape’. If a teacher consensually sleeps with a student, that isn’t rape to me. Morally it's a grey area as the teacher could have coerced the student into it or the student could have been naive and infatuated with their teacher. But unless a person forces themselves against someone who is unwilling, they are not a rapist. That is how I personally view rape. I don't believe we live in a 'rape culture' that normalises rape as most people take rape very seriously and harshly condemn rapists. 
Credits to Ms Blaire White.

Assault, harassment; these are all much trickier. I have a post discussing a very traumatic sexual experience that happened to me a year and a half ago, shortly before I turned nineteen. The post is entitled ‘how do you define sexual assault’ because of the grey areas around it. Some would say it was; some would say it wasn’t. Those close to me who read and heard what happened were appalled. The counsellor I was seeing around the time of writing the post said it doesn’t matter if it was or wasn’t, it’s how I felt that mattered. The women I spoke to on the National Rape Crisis helplines said what happened was horrible and not my fault. I didn’t name the person involved, and would never wrongly accuse that person of anything that could potentially ruin his life. There would be nothing to be gained from making what happened into a bigger deal then what it already is. I’ve put it to bed now, I have forgiven the person involved and have no malice (or much of any emotion) towards him. I’ve put it behind me and continued my life.

This is why I get frustrated when I see claims of ‘assault’ and ‘harassment’ that don't need to have such a serious 'label' attached to them. If a guy gropes your arse in a club without your consent, he’s being a drunken twat and you can slap him and tell him to fuck off and then get on with your life. It’s no use saying ‘guys shouldn’t do that; rape culture’ because sadly, people behave like twats. We can’t ‘police’ human behaviour. There’s no point whining and moaning about a situation that you can very easily get over. That’s not going to scar you for life in the same way a nine year old being groped by their uncle is. We have to look at situations individually.
Cat-calling. Meow.
‘Cat-calling’ is viewed by some as harassment, but again I would just class that as people being immature. There are far worse things in life then being hollered at on the street unwantedly. And in the UK it’s not even that bad; you go to some countries and the men there behave like dogs. They have no respect for the women whatsoever and constantly whistle and holler at them. Decent respecting men don’t holler at women on the street like that and do view it as rude and disrespectful. And again, this is all situational-relevant. Hollering at a young girl dressed in school uniform is appalling and can be unnerving for the girl. (I don’t understand why a grown man would whistle at a thirteen year old girl. Pervert). But hollering at a woman who clearly looks over 18 and is dressed in tight clothes and has lipstick on and is giving you the eye is different.

This is also why I think girls need to be realistic. Of course blaming rape on what the victim was wearing is terrible and absurd. But what you wear can contribute. If a girl goes out dressed in a beautiful tight black dress and heels and looks lovely and sexy, complaining 'all these men keep hollering at me/checking me out!' is naive. You are going to get male attention if you dress in revealing clothing. Isn't that the point of 'revealing' clothing anyway? That does NOT give guys an excuse to rape girls in any way, but checking out or being attracted to a woman because of how she is dressed is human nature. Same as girls drooling at the mouth when they see Taylor Lautner or Channing Tatum without a shirt on.

Lastly, there was this ridiculous article I read about this singer Loyle Carner kicking a fan out of his show for being ‘sexist.’ (read article here: https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/59dexa/loyle-carner-kicked-a-fan-out-of-his-show-for-being-sexist)

All that happened is a man yelled at the supporting act ‘you have big tits!’ That is all. He didn’t go on a long rant about how women are unequal to men and belong in the kitchen and are only good for one thing only. All he did was make a stupid (and probably drunken) comment. For gods’ sake, musicians have been heckled at for centuries! It’s part of being an entertainer! Good God, if you think being told you have ‘big tits’ is bad, try being told you should kill yourself or can’t sing! The supporting act could easily have defended herself by telling the man he was a wanker or ignoring him or making some joke like ‘yeah I have big tits; bigger than your cock mate.’ But no, it took a MAN to come up and tell this man to leave the goddamn show. So much for female empowerment eh? Women are so fragile against the slightest of ‘inappropriate comments’ that they can’t even do a show without a man coming along to kick out a heckler.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/11/judge-criticised-over-warning-to-drunk-women
I agree with this Judge! She isn't saying that 'rape is your fault because you were drunk.' She is saying, very clearly, that putting yourself in a position of vulnerability - like being very drunk, alone and dressed in little, can INCREASE your chances of being a victim of rape or assault! All she is doing is urging women to look after themselves more; don't go back alone, have a coat or jacket to cover up on the way back JUST TO BE SAFE, make sure that if you're falling around on the pavement you have someone to take care of you, etc! It's just like locking your door at night or not travelling to strange places alone. Safety first.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39367339 And this rape victim agrees with her :)

15 comments:

  1. i agree false rape claims are terrible, and i've seen a lot of people using #metoo to push regressive bs

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    1. Literally, like I read an article about some girl claiming she'd been 'technically raped' when she'd had drunk sex with a guy friend of hers. I think she'd done it reluctantly but from how she described it it didn't look like he'd 'forced' her in any way, in fact she described him as comforting her. Link here: https://totalsororitymove.com/literally-why-cant-i-say-metoo/
      I mean some of it is awful like a grown man flashing his penis to a seven year old or her being in an (allegedly) abusive relationship. But if girls like this accused guys of 'technically raping' them when what happened wasn't rape, you just 'regretted' it, then all that's doing is putting innocent guys in prison.
      I also personally feel a bit offended when I see girls claim they've been 'assaulted' because a guy said hi to them on the street or some other insignificant shit and then think about the awful experience I had with my ex and cases of others I know who have been raped or assaulted. It just makes me feel like some feminists don't even care about actual rape victims, they just want to push forward the feminist agenda of 'rape culture' rather than actually helping women. (Needless to say and I will always be sure to mention this; I have no issue with feminists who actually do want to help actual victims and don't complain about every little thing and see it for what it is).

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  2. Of course cat calling is nothing like sexual assault or rape, however, it is still not acceptable behaviour. It is a sign of women being treated as sexual objects that only exist for the benefit of men therefore they have the right to treat them how they want. It is this norm followed by some in society that men can treat women how they like, that we are nothing but meat to them is what results in rape at the extreme end. Thats why it is rape culture. That's why you have stop behaviour like catcalling and groping and nip it in the bud before it develops into something more dangerous like abuse and rape. We are not men's playthings to be yelled at in the street, nor their playthings to be used in the bedroom.

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    1. What about the flip side of women 'objectifying' men or treating them like 'sexual objects'? Humans are naturally sexually attracted to each other and therefore 'objectify' each other because we admire the physical form of whomever we find attractive. I don't see the problem in that. I agree that cat-calling is rude but we can't 'police' human behaviour and make men stop being disrespectful to women on the street because it's not about men as a whole treating women badly, it's about some individuals treating other individuals badly. What about cases of women in bars yelling comments and stuff at men? What about women hitting on men who are clearly not interested and feel uncomfortable? As a woman I am guilty of this behaviour; men are generally receptive to my 'flirtatiousness' but I have been in a few cases where I've tried to hit on guys and they've been disinterested or uncomfortable. Naturally because I'm not a rapist and am aware that 'no means no' (for both genders), I don't aggressively or forcefully push guys into behaviour that they are uncomfortable with, but some women do it's just less talked about. (I believe the stats are 1 in 3 women are assault victims and 1 in 4 men). There are women out there that manipulate men for their money and emotionally and physically abuse them as well. I believe it's more empowering to tell a person that they can stand up for themselves against unwanted advances as opposed to tell them they're 'oppressed victims' leaving them powerless to do anything and just labelling it 'rape culture.' And technically we all 'use' each other in the bedroom. No of course women are not primarily here to please men and vice versa, but at the same time we are here to sexually please each other as the basics of any living mammal is pro-creation. When you're having sex with a man you are his 'plaything' in a way because you're 'playing' with each others bodies (not to get into the ins and outs - no pun intended). Sex is about pleasing and 'using' each other; obviously consensual healthy sex where both parties listen to each other's needs is very different from non-consensual or 'forced' sex where one person is just using the other and not listening to their needs.

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  3. If you're interested, I wrote a post on the Weinstein scandal and there are some links in there to some articles if you're interested in reading more about the case. My post isn't so much about the details of the case but the resulting questions surrounding this scandal: http://toughloveandcommonsense.blogspot.com/2017/10/questions-weinstein-scandal-raises.html

    I agree with the overall concept and most of the details in your post.

    Question: Do you consider it rape if a woman sees a guy who is wasted and puking everywhere and she grabs him and starts "turning him on" whilst he's lying there totally out of it - not giving consent?

    What if two people have been flirting with each other all night and they go back together and have sex and then one person wakes up with regret and does feel 'violated' yet clearly wanted the sex whilst it was happening?

    When a teacher rapes a student: The student is a minor and the teacher is an adult and authority figure. The adult is supposed to be responsible, even if the kid pushes it. I do think there should be two tiers; #1) for when it's proven that the kid was pushing it and #2) for when it's proven that the teacher forced it completely.

    I agree with your statements about groping. It's absolutely wrong, but it's not why we have jails.

    I completely agree with you about cat-calling. It's one thing to be 12 and cat-called by grown men; it's quite another to be 18+ and cat-called by other 18+ men.

    One thing about the clothing and relation to rape: That's usually to deal with "regret sex" claims; when a woman wears flirty clothes, gets drunk and sexually comes onto men and then gets mad the next morning when the guy says "thanks for the release last night. can you get out of here now?" And then she claims he raped her, and he tries to prove that she gave him *all* of the signs to have sex + consent. A lot of times when women wear sexual clothes like that *and* get drunk it *is* because they're looking for someone to hook up with, and that's the point of it. That she was looking for a hook up then regretted it; not that she deserved to be "raped".

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    1. I read the Weinstein post already a few days ago, thought it was really interesting but didn't have much to say in response cos I felt you'd explained everything well :)
      Of course it's exactly the same if a woman yanks down a guys trousers and starts sucking him or riding him and he's out of it. Actually I wrote a short story (entirely fictional) called 'when a woman rapes a man' that I'll post within the next few days.
      Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned the 'feeling violated' part. Just because you feel upset or violated about something, doesn't mean it equated to rape. Like I felt horribly upset about what happened to me with my ex but it wasn't anywhere near rape. As I mentioned, if you consented you consented. It makes me angry that some women have consensual sex with men whilst drunk and then get mad and cry rape the next morning. I would hope to never do such an immature and petty thing. It shows a total lack of responsibility for your actions. You got drunk and hooked up with a guy, maybe you wished you hadn't done it but it's done now, no point making it into a bigger deal than it needs to be.

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    2. Thank you for the compliment. :)
      I don't know if you're familiar with the Joyce McKinney story but aside from paying a man to knock her victim out and tie him up; the way she raped him was by forcing him to get turned on without his consent and then taking advantage of that as you said. I'll have to look for the article but that may have happened once at a party too with a guy who was semi-passed out but I'm fuzzy on the details.
      Thank you for clarifying about "feeling violated" vs. "giving consent in the moment". What if one partner says - whether truthfully or falsely - that they "don't remember" what happened and therefore "don't remember" giving consent but "don't think" they would've, as the other partner obviously claims they "did"?

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    3. Honestly I don't know. I mean that's the problem with drink or drugs and blacking out, you don't know what you did or what happened. Doesn't mean all drunk sex equates to rape, I just think people need to be careful.

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    4. If the first person chose to drink enough to black out in the first place, they willingly chose not to be sober enough to remember what happened though. So is it fair to ever punish the second person for something the first person can never prove?

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    5. I don't know I mean that's the thing it's one word against the others; like you could have been raped but if you don't remember then yeah it's just difficult.

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    6. But does the woman bear ANY responsibility whatsoever, for *choosing* to do drugs to the point of passing out and not being able to protect herself - especially if she chose to drink or do drugs in the first place and no one spiked her drink or anything?

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    7. It seems you're ignoring the power of drink and drugs - yeah people choose to do them but once the effect takes place you don't have much control and most people don't 'choose' to black out, it just happens as a result of drinking a lot because most people don't think when they're drinking they just drink. I mean I don't know because as I've mentioned many times it's hard for me to say this objectively because I don't know how normal people see drugs and alcohol so maybe that isn't true. There was a court case that I mentioned at the bottom of the article where a girl who was raped agreed with the judge that girls should protect themselves more in terms of how much they drink and how they dress when they go out. Doesn't mean it's their fault for being raped at all, no one ever says that, just means that taking precautions and safety first (as i mention at the bottom) is needed. So yeah to answer your question I do agree that people shouldn't put themselves in dangerous situations but we don't live in an ideal world and sometimes these things happen where people pass out and then sadly get taken advantage of.

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  4. I would love to know where you got the random idea that I am somehow "ignoring the power of drink and drugs" from as there is no evidence to suggest that whatsoever.

    It seems more to me like you're just ignoring personal responsibility and choice. If you choose to do a drug to the point of 'blacking out' then yes, you did choose to black out as you could've chosen to stop before it got that bad, or not do the drug to begin with.

    Actually, most people do think about how much they're drinking when they drink and they don't just keep drinking without any thought. Perhaps what you are describing is how alcoholics drink because they have a problem with that, but most people are actually aware of their body going through the changes of being sober, buzzed, drunk, etc.

    The "ideal world" argument has nothing to do with people making the choice not to get so inebriated that they black out. The "ideal world" argument is more accurately attributed to the fact that there will always be rapists.

    We can't change the fact that rapists will always exist and choose to rape but women CAN choose to not get so drunk or drugged up that they lose their sensibilities and control.

    So again I ask, do you believe the woman has ANY responsibility whatsoever, for *choosing* to do drugs to the point of passing out and not being able to protect herself - especially if she chose to drink or do drugs in the first place and no one spiked her drink or anything?

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    1. Well I already answered this, I said yes I do think the woman has a responsibility to not put herself in dangerous situations in the first place, referring to the little paragraph right at the bottom of the post where I was talking about what the judge said about women not putting themselves in dangerous situations in the first place, or making sure they have someone trustworthy to go back home with if they're completely wasted.

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    2. Linguistics can come off differently to different people. Agreeing that people *shouldn't put* themselves in dangerous situations, doesn't make it clear to me that you think the woman *bears responsibility* for putting herself in a dangerous situation.

      In the article the judge is talking about sex attacks. I wanted to ask where you stood on personal responsibility first in order to ask you my next question:

      Say a woman wakes up next to a stranger that she is not attracted to at all and can't believe she actually gave consent to this person.

      Do you think it is ever fair to prosecute that person if the woman accuses them of "rape", yet she doesn't actually remember anything that happened because she chose to get too drunk or drugged out to remember what happened? If he remembers and he says she gave consent, should his word hold more weight than hers since she admits she doesn't remember?

      My point is about what is considered a sex attack or not? If a woman is so drunk that she's literally throwing herself at the first guy who looks her way, is it his fault for saying "yes" to her advantages? Should he have to pay attention to whether or not she is more drunk than he is or not, in case she claims "rape" or "sex attack" the next morning when she regrets her decisions from the night before?

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