Results 201 to 220 of 227
06-06-2012, 06:57 AM #201
Another thing: western culture, especially American culture, promotes extroverts and outgoing people in general. If you're outgoing, you're a hero. If you're an introvert, you need to be fixed (something is wrong with you). So if you have a sleazy guy making first move, he thinks(perhaps subconsciously) he's behaving the way the society expects of him. At some point he is either too horny or too stupid to know what's happening around him. Which is still wrong, of course.
Last edited by b0rsuk; 06-06-2012 at 07:04 AM.pass
06-06-2012, 06:58 AM #202
I would agree with Althea and company, however, in that extricating power from the situation and focusing wholly on sex is a far worse misinterpretation of rape as experienced by victims and perpetrators alike. It is also more damaging socially, adding to popular misconceptions, reinforcing ideas that blame victims and sexual culture, and so forth. Rape is about both sex and power. It is about privilege with respect to sex. Cutting out one or the other is, to me, like saying gun deaths are either unrelated to weapons access or unrelated to violence.
06-06-2012, 07:00 AM #203Going by absolute numbers, men are by far the most raped group(in the US at least).
It's the same in the world outside prisons. People are raped by other people because those other people want to dominate and humiliate.
Regardless, rape in prisons is another societal problem that needs to be sorted out. Just like rape outside prisons. Just because rape happens inside prisons and is a huge deal, it doesn't mean that rape outside prisons is any less. It's also a huge deal. It also needs to be fixed.
Also first post. RPS: Come for the veejogame news, stay for the interesting discussion!
06-06-2012, 07:12 AM #204
The rape as sex vs. rape as power dichotomy obscures a more fundamental truth: that sex is about power. The concepts are inextricable from one another.
Last edited by Rii; 06-06-2012 at 07:21 AM.
06-06-2012, 07:24 AM #205
We discussed in another thread on color and eyesight how learning different words for color changes fundamentally the way we perceive and categorize color. Humans can have trouble differentiating colors on completely different sides of the visual spectrum simply because they are collected under the same color word--and the inverse holds as well. Saying "Well, men aren't as good at remembering to get consent first and ignoring provocatively dressed women," is really sort of meaningless. We have control over our behavior, and we have control over how we teach our children. When our children are taught that men are dominant and should be the sexual aggressors, when they are told that these sorts of behaviors are inherent to masculinity and perfectly acceptable ... they let themselves get away with sexual assault. We let them get away with it.
Men believing "no only means no if it really means no" is privilege at its worst. It isn't an otherwise innocent guy misunderstanding the situation and lacking good communication skills. It's someone who thinks they have a right to do whatever they want with someone else's body. It's someone who doesn't bother to use a little empathy. It's someone who sees women as a way to access something they want rather than a fellow human being.
I'm happy to blame their parents, role models, and education system. But I'm not going to hold back on calling them inhuman. You don't do that to another human being and not know what you're doing unless you have a mental illness or a wildly different ethical code from everyone else. Most men don't commit rape during the course of their lives, and most men are subject to the same cultural pressures and sexist, patriarchal ideas. Subtler male privilege I can accept some hedging on. But again, there are some things I can't put up with and our society can't afford to put up with. Not even to the extent of saying "Well, they WERE socially pressured into being in a situation that made them more likely to accidentally think themselves into a headspace where ..." No. We don't need to do that. Not on something this big. We can save that kind of nuance for sexist jokes at the water cooler.
Edit: And philosophical musings about the place of ethics and sanctity of human rights.
Last edited by gwathdring; 06-06-2012 at 07:36 AM.
06-06-2012, 07:30 AM #206
Welcome. :) Glad to have you here.
I'll chuck my "true enough, but don't forget that it isn't always about humiliation and can very often be sexual, too" ball into your court while I'm at it.
Last edited by gwathdring; 06-06-2012 at 07:33 AM.
06-06-2012, 08:36 AM #207
There are studies showing that. I'm not saying "all men are worse at reading non-verbal communication". I'm saying "fewer men are good at non-verbal communication than women". There are still those who get it very well (we keep hearing stories about con artists and "serial husbands" manipulating woman after woman after woman). And I am certainly a case of a guy bad at reading facial expressions.
On a related note, some things thought to be gender-related actually aren't, at least not directly. I read about a study testing sensitivity of palms(and fingers). The common wisdom is that "women have more sensitive palms". It doesn't work like that. Someone had the bright idea to compare "sensitivity score" to size of palms. Bingo ! People with small frame (and small palms) have a lot more sensitive palms. So size of fingers is the primary reason, not gender. Of course, women typically have smaller build, and that's where the perception comes from.
About rape (sex/power): my opinion it's that both things are involved in different degrees. Some do it just for the feel or power and humiliation, others are frustrated losers who can't get laid. I think for most men it's both, but it's an individual case each time. My avatar may be black&white, the world isn't.pass
06-06-2012, 08:39 AM #208
Anyway I kind of forget why I'm writing this. I'm pretty sure all that needs to be said about rape is that it's bad, whether it's sexual in origin or not.
06-06-2012, 08:46 AM #209
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I think throwing rape onto the spectrum of sexual behaviour is in fact a little insulting. I don't think it's like at the extreme end of sexual attraction there is 'I must have sex with this person against their consent'.
Think of the number of times you've heard of serial sexual predators attacking old people. They're easier to target and dominate.
How about countries where women are generally more hidden from male view, you would think that makes crimes like rape less common as there isn't temptation... not so, reports suggest it's VERY common (for instance, apparently in India 80% of women have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives) but there is tremendous fear about coming forward to the police about it.
06-06-2012, 09:04 AM #210
Why does it have to be one or the other? It is a violent crime that most often happens along societal power divides and frequently involves sexual behaviors. To truly say whether or not individual cases are about sex and power or purely power you'd have to get inside the perpetrator's head. In some cases an initially consensual and sexual interaction becomes a sexual assault when one party does something after being asked to stop or mistakes lack of an explicit no for consent despite every other possible sign to the contrary. This isn't because the attacked has a Need Sex bar that eventually reaches a critical threshold--that's ridiculous and has never been my point. Perhaps there's a point where the attacker decides that what they want out of the situation trumps the sovereignty of their victim. The exact psychological mechanism is probably quite varied from case to case. Why can't what the attacker wants out of the situation, and takes by force, be sexual? Are you that certain rapists always have a more abstracted desire for control that they decide to achieve through sexual behavior? That the use of sex rather than other methods of control is always quite so pre-meditated and decontextualized?
It just utterly baffles me that you want to remove sex from the equation, Untitled.
Last edited by gwathdring; 06-06-2012 at 09:39 AM.
06-06-2012, 09:14 AM #211
You can't treat everyone the same. There's different ways to approach people. If you're in a fetish club, you approach people differently (I assume!) to how you would in a standard nightclub, which is different again to how you'd approach people in different situations.
06-06-2012, 09:27 AM #212
That's exactly my point. You've said there's a difference between sexual harassment and complimenting and stuff. The difference can be very blurry. People are not mind readers and for example I don't know what the difference is for you. No, I don't need to know.
"Umm, excuse me, where does the line between sexual harassment and compliment pass for you ?" - best pickup line ever ;-).
Last edited by b0rsuk; 06-06-2012 at 09:35 AM.pass
06-06-2012, 09:32 AM #213
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I'm not removing sex from the equation at all. I think sex is the tool that is used by some few as a way of exerting dominance over others.
06-06-2012, 09:47 AM #214
06-06-2012, 09:56 AM #215
But we don't need to analyze it that deeply unless we want to rebuild a different society from the ground up. Quite simply, take the sexual significance out of rape, and you take away it's reasons for being important, violating and humiliating. Take the sexual significance out of rape and you fail to educate people to be particularly careful when sexual behaviors and communications are involved. We want to reduce sexual assault? We need to know where to start.
"Why can't what the attacker wants out of the situation, and takes by force, be sexual? Are you that certain rapists always have a more abstracted desire for control that they decide to achieve through sexual behavior?"
You really think it's that ... calculating? Because if it isn't that calculating, and rape can be driven by emotions like anger, hate, fear ... it could surely also call upon sexual drives. You're acting like a rapist would have a single motivation, a single emotional thread, a single plan. People are complicated. Even horrible, violent people. Why can't they use sex as a tool ... to get sex? Violently and without consent?
Pay attention, learn your cues, be excellent to each other, and be especially careful when sex is involved because humans take sex very personally. For men, being aware that you have most women at a disadvantage by social default is important--try to mitigate that. Making use of it intentionally is really hard to do without committing assault (in the US at least this is the proper criminal charge for making someone feel threatened and afraid of imminent violence) or sexual harassment and certainly never good.
Last edited by gwathdring; 06-06-2012 at 10:28 AM.
06-06-2012, 10:33 AM #216
The societal notion that woman dressing in a certain way are doing so because they are seeking a certain type of attention only makes sense within a patriarchal system, there is nothing elementary or rational within that approach otherwise.
In the first instance one has to examine the notion that there has to be anything expressly sexual about a woman wearing a particular type of clothing to celebrate or show off their body.
Even ignoring this, and even if one does see it as a form of sexual expression, it in no way follows that if woman are dressing in a way which promotes certain sexualised parts of their body, they must be wanting sex for them to do so, yet this is almost always the way it is seen in society.
This argument reduces a womanís sexual nature, capacity for sexual appreciation and sexual celebration to a state in which a man must be involved, and consequently allows a man to view it as an invitation or at the very least a circumstance in which some level of confusion regarding their participation is acceptable.
Men have no real equivalent to dressing in a slutty or promiscuous manner, because there is no taboo in them simply openly communicating their desire. Woman however are not permitted to do so because convention sees them as being whores or succubae for openly desiring sex whenever they want it, so that form of communication is closed to them. Meanwhile any other culture of expressing their body and or/sexuality is also colonised by misogynistic attitudes and likewise means that a man is entitled to perceive it as somehow still desirous of their being involved. Even the conventional portrayal of the virgin, the Madonna, the chaste woman, the sexless identity are often seen as somehow being inversely desperate for sexual encounters and deviance.
The sum of all this is that women have been disempowered and robbed of the ability to communicate in a manner which is equal regarding their sexuality, and the other tacit forms which remain available to them have been so thoroughly bastardised that they still encourage men to see womenís sexuality and themselves as being intrinsic.
I used to work for a children and families protection police unit in the UK a few years ago; in the majority of rape cases encountered the perpetrator knew and had often spent hours or even days or years with the victim and they knew each well, but the perpetrator had simply acted upon conventional ďreading of the signsĒ to initiate something instead of actual seeking consent openly.
As far as Iím concerned with expressing their consent in a manner through a form of communication which is equal then it is never appropriate to suggest anything about a womanís behaviour or demeanour is sexual for the above reasons. I appreicate that common sense and pragmatism play a part, of course, and that given that it is clearly established that these existing conventions exist why someone might think that someone is being naÔve for dressing in a certain manner and hoping that certain likely consequences donít follow.
However they are conventions which are so repugnant and evil that they are in no way ever acceptable under any circumstance. Just because they have become normalised within society does not make them ok. That sort of argument is roughly analogous to suggesting that a slave who ran away in America before emancipation should have expected and encouraged a beating for acting in such a contrary manner. Itís true, but I donít know anyone who would ever suggest it was a remotely acceptable notion or risk giving it any further legitimacy by offering that argument.
06-06-2012, 01:38 PM #217
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If you look at the evidence, there's no question that the motivator of the bulk of rapes is sex. If it had something to do with "power" or "control", rapists would be choosing powerful women as their victims, in other words, typically older women. What actually happens is that rapists overwhelmingly choose victims who are in their best child-bearing age and generally considered sexually attractive. Rapists also typically use minimal force to carry out their rapes, and prefer getting sex without use of force. The rape is an alternative strategy for when the rapist either does not believe consensual approach will work, or finds it to be too much hassle.
There are also parallels to draw. I don't think even the most postmodern (aka irrational) feminists want to argue that orangutans rape in order to reinforce "the patriarchy". If orangutans rape for sex, why wouldn't humans?
Check out "The Dark Side of Man" by M.P. Ghiglieri.
06-06-2012, 02:21 PM #218
As for the rest of what you said, okay, let's say rape is largely sexual. Why then does so much rape occur in prisons? Like I said earlier, I think you'd be drawing a long bow to say most of those rapes are perpetrated by homosexuals, which would be the only explanation if rape is a solely sexual matter.
Also "if rape = power, then rape victims = powerful women = older women"? What? You don't always have to be looking to control stronger people for it to be domination. Look at a schoolyard - is the bully harassing the bigger, older students, or the scrawnier, weaker, younger students? People who seek to dominate others look to people who are weaker than them, who they can certainly control and humiliate.
Anyway, claiming that rape is mostly sexual is, to me, a pretty risky proposition. What does that mean? So if some loser who can't get laid, as b0rsuk put it, goes out and rapes someone, is he excused because it's all natural? Because he had a physical urge that he just couldn't control? Some sort of "blue balls" defense? I think this thinking also leads pretty inevitably to the thinking that women who dress provocatively are tempting men sexually, and so are at fault if they get raped. Because they contributed to the man's sexual attraction and frustration. To me that is some severely diseased thinking.
To clarify, I don't think that sexual urges don't enter into it. I just think that to ignore the whole element of control is a mistake.
06-06-2012, 02:42 PM #219
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- Jan 2012
Boy. This stuff is really complicated.
Can we just stop having genitals so I don't have to think about it?
06-06-2012, 02:46 PM #220
I dislike "animals do it too, and we're animals" statements. We aspire to a higher consciousness. Illusory or no, we aspire to it and predicate our social organization upon it.
I also, as you've probably guessed, agree with at least part of your statement. Except the bit about power being nearly irrelevant. Especially the bit about power being irrelevant in the animal kingdom. "Sex" in the way we're discussing it here, if we're going to separate it from "power," has to refer to the physical act and associated pleasures with the possible inclusion of some other things. In other species, copulating can be done for reproduction without other cause, to establish ownership, to seal a mutual courtship, to replace another individuals children with one's own, and so forth. There are many reasons other animals engage in sexual activities, some of them related very much to social power and control. Without getting inside the heads of these creatures, I won't claim to know the relative importance of social and sexual urges in these situations ... but sex isn't necessarily simple for non-humans, either.
In your example, power-driven violence and rape would not necessarily be directed at powerful women and social status and power is not necessarily a simple divide between young and old. Privileged and powerful people do strike out against vulnerable targets. Bullies at school, in my experience, aren't known for their attacks on the football players.
Rapists tending to use minimal necessary force doesn't mean power is irrelevant to the rape; it just means physical dominance isn't the type of power the rapist is trying to exert. It is also probably related to the oft-mentioned idea that most rape victims are well acquainted with their attackers. Their attackers might want to inflict minimum physical harm because they are familiar and maybe even care (in however twisted a way) about the victim. Or the attacker might want to avoid leaving suspicious injuries.
Again, why do people keep arguing that it has to be one or the other, power or sex?
Last edited by gwathdring; 06-06-2012 at 02:49 PM.