When Stuyvesant says that women’s dress and bodies are distraction in a learning environment, for example, what they’re really saying is that they’re distracting to male students. The default student we are concerned about - the student whose learning we want to ensure is protected - is male. Never mind how “distracting” it is to be pulled from class, humiliated, and made to change outfits - publicly degrading young women is small price to pay to make sure that a boy doesn’t have to suffer through the momentary distraction of glancing at a girl’s legs. When this dentist in Iowa can fire his assistant for turning him on - even though she’s done absolutely nothing wrong - the message again is that it’s men’s ability to work that’s important.
And when rape victims are blamed for the crime committed against them, the message is the same: This is something that happened to the perpetrator, who was driven to assault by a skirt, or a date, or the oh-so-sexy invitation of being passed out drunk. Women have infringed on their right to exist without being turned on. (Ta-Nehisi Coates describes this centering of male sexual vulnerability quite well.) Our very presence is a disruption of the male status quo.
Literally like the only way
mostmen can think of a woman as a person who shouldn’t be raped and abused is by thinking of her as “someone’s daughter”, “someone’s wife”, “someone’s sister”, etc. They can’t just think of her as a woman unto herself who SHOULD NOT BE RAPED WHETHER OR NOT SHE IS A SINGLE ORPHANED ONLY CHILD, that would be weird. She must belong or be connected to someone in some way in order to be a person worthy of respect.
Female privilege is getting to claim a headache to avoid sex.
Female oppression is having to claim physical illness to avoid sex because men won’t take a simple fucking “no” for an answer.
Female oppression is men being so entitled that they think being denied sex is oppressive.
Being nice or not nice has nothing to do with your actions. You need consent before you engage in sexual activity with anyone—including people you are in a relationship with.
Not raping or taking the risk of raping the three women I mentioned here doesn’t make me “nice.” It just makes me a responsible person—toward myself and other people. But if you read the Good Men Project’s articles and others like them, you might think differently because they poorly attempt to present you with other “in-between” types of men, beyond the responsible and the criminal:
The “Accidental Rapist” who had sex with a sleeping woman because she looked like she wanted to have sex with him when she was awake. The “Occupational Hazard Rapist,” who has sex with drunk women, some of whom might call him to tell him he raped him, but whatevs. Beyond these, there are other types of rapists I’ve heard of and you probably have, too. The “No-Contest Rapist” is still a “nice guy” because the woman was too traumatized to stop him. The “She-Was-Asking-For-It Rapist” can’t seem to view women as human beings who have a purpose in life other than getting men to sleep with them. For the “We’re-in-a-Sexual-Relationship-So-I-Don’t-Need-Consent Rapist,” Google “spousal rape.” There are lots more. And guess what? Most of these guys are “nice guys,” not monsters, we’re told.
By using sympathetic narratives and then peppering them with how the woman dressed, how she bragged about her sex life—so unladylike, right?—and how she kissed him on the lips, looked at him a certain way, touched him on the thigh, the pieces published by the Good Men Project weave utterly confusing scenarios. Then, with their liberal use of clichés, dehumanizing characterizations of women, and misrepresenting criminality, they are playing mind games with their readers to make the facts murky and advocate that these men are “nice guys.”
Read all of this excellent piece here.
this is how rape culture feels
when it’s dark
and i’m walking alone
my body is
whirring in time with my frantic heartbeat
and in my mind
the news broadcaster is telling me that
one in three women will be a
of sexual assault in their lifetime -
well, i went out with two other girls tonight
so which one does that make me?
cross the street
keys between fingers
cell phone in hand
it’s so hard to move quickly
in such a goddamn tight dress.
numbers, figures, stories -
they roll off your tongue in conversation
and you sometimes forget that
a third of women
will have something fucked from inside them,
adam cracking eve’s chest to pluck an excess rib for himself
taken just because he could
just to store away and rub and polish
this feeling is the kind of unclean
that no amount of showers can fix.
the questions -
why were you walking alone?
why didn’t you catch a cab?
why were you dressed the way you were dressed?
why didn’t you scream?
why didn’t you run?
why didn’t you fight?
and as you feel your tongue recoil with the hot blast of shame, you think -
why don’t you ask
why they burnt a part of me to the ground
and spat on the ashes?
you don’t have to tell us
that not all men are
“like that” -
we have fathers, brothers, male lovers too
more of you are
than you care to admit
and sometimes, we do not know if we are stepping into
until we are well and truly through the door
if you can try and feel me up
in a crowded train at peak hour
i shudder to think what you would do
had you come across me walking home alone
if you claim that you are “neutral”
when it comes to rape culture -
that men shouldn’t rape
but women shouldn’t dress like sluts
and yes, rape is wrong, but what if it’s a misunderstanding -
then you are as far away from neutral
as i want to be from you
neutrality is something
that you can feel
when someone asks,
“do you like glee?”
“would you like some more cake?”
it is not, however
an appropriate response
- a humane response -
to the questions of
“do you think people ever ask to be raped?”
“if they didn’t say no, that means it’s ok, right?”
is as hurtful as the hands
that so many women have been
held down by
pushed up a fence, fingers in mouth, torn apart by
no, i’m not interested in giving you my number.
i hope you understand.