Search Results For: "rape double-standard"

The Rape Double-Standard, Ctd

Nov 7 2013 @ 2:40pm

The thread takes another turn:

I think one of your readers, when talking about all kinds of distinctions between different kinds of “rape” – inadvertently mentioned something that is a huge distinction between when a female is the aggressor and when the male is the aggressor. He wrote:

There is a double standard, or a multiple standard, and one of the key factors is penetration. I think I would have felt differently had there been a digit or object inside me than I felt waking up inside her.

Exactly. I think rather than trying to draw an analogy between female-on-male rape and male-on-female rape – perhaps a closer analogy is male-on-male rape to male-on female rape. I don’t know if it makes sense or not, but having somebody insert a body part into your body it certainly seems different that someone using your body part to insert it into them. (Even more so when something gets ejaculated into your body).

Ask a man how he feels about getting raped by a woman? No: ask a man how he feels about getting raped (orally or anally) by a man. That might be a better analogy.

Another reader:

Your thread on rape is fascinating, but let me add a gay perspective. We often define rape in rather surreal and erotic ways. As an older guy, I have taken on the “daddy role” (I’m now 50), and I can’t tell you how many men – younger and older – have told me about their “rape fantasy” involving a guy (or guys) forcing them into sex.

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The Rape Double-Standard, Ctd

Nov 6 2013 @ 4:45pm

Readers continue one of our most popular threads of late:

While I agree that rape prevention is never the responsibility of those who might have been victimized, the same is true of those who might be victims of false accusations. And that is the all-important flip side of this question. It is difficult to subject the claims of rape and sexual harassment victims to close scrutiny, because if they have indeed been victimized, it only adds to their trauma. At the same time, plenty of people are falsely accused of rape, sexual harassment, etc, and their lives have been ruined thereby. This goes especially for people in positions of responsibility over young people, like public school teachers. An accusation of rape can end a carefully cultivated career for years, sometimes forever.

While we are teaching people, especially young men, not to rape, and to act as allies when women are threatened with rape (a role I’ve played, BTW, preventing what certainly would have been a rape if I hadn’t acted), we should also teach young people how lives are ruined by careless and misleading accusations.

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The Rape Double-Standard, Ctd

Oct 24 2013 @ 5:09pm

A reader keeps the thread going:

All of your reader stories are very sad, especially so the men describing life inside abusive relationships. Our culture definitely has difficulty understanding male victims, not just of sexual assault. It’s one of the causes of damaging silence about child abuse, which helps make prevention and justice close to impossible in far too many lives.

But I really can’t let pass the notion that if the genders were reversed, the perpetrators would go to jail for a long time – which more than one reader mentioned. This just isn’t true, and people who say it is make me doubt their motives. Women have a difficult enough time reporting rapes that fall very far outside the gray areas of abusive relationships and bad sex – ones that fall very squarely in the black and white world of being raped while unconscious or physically assaulted by acquaintances. And if they do report, prosecutions are difficult and often end up being trials about victims instead of rapists – with few of them ending in convictions. What would happen if a woman who was raped in the more gray areas mentioned in your reader stories reported her experiences to law enforcement? I think we know: she would be dismissed, just as these men would be. There is no prosecutorial double-standard.

On that note, if you haven’t yet caught wind of the rape story out of Maryville, Michael Shaffer sketches out the main details:

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The Rape Double-Standard, Ctd

Oct 23 2013 @ 7:31am

A reader writes:

I think one of the things that is being missed by most of the contributors to this thread is that male-on-female rape is rarely about sex. Typically, it’s an assertion of power on the part of the male, not a desire to get off sexually without seeking the consent of the other. But in most of the stories sent in by your male readers about non-consensual sex, the dynamic seems different. In none of those stories does it seem like the female is trying to exert power over the male; it seems like the females just want to get off. Maybe that’s why the guys respond so differently to being “violated.”

Another reader:

Interesting conversation you’ve been having about the many forms of rape and how we as a society perceive them. I actually think language is posing an obstacle here. Look at “killing”. All killings end with the same result: death. But look at how many legal names we have for it. There’s murder (and even murder one and murder two), manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. There’s also justifiable homocide, killing in self-defense, suicide, euthanasia, assassination, killing during war – all these distinctions and definitions to describe a variety of traumatic acts that end in the same exact result: death.

And yet we use the word rape to describe a widening range of actions with a vast range of outcomes.

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The Rape Double-Standard, Ctd

Oct 22 2013 @ 10:24am

A few male readers add the factor of unconsciousness to the thread:

I’m reminded of an incident that occurred while I was backpacking in South America in 1995. I was staying at a hostel in Chile with a friend, and went out for the night with a couple of local girls, one of whom lived/stayed at the hostel. We got real drunk. We danced and flirted. We went back to the hostel. I woke up with this girl on top of me, basically having sex with me. And to this day can’t remember what exactly happened – I just know it wasn’t consensual (on my part). I just shrugged it off, but it definitely wasn’t OK. If this was a guy (me?!) doing this to a girl, I think that it would be judged much more harshly. I don’t know what this says other than what you other contributors have said – there are a lot of shades of grey.

Another:

Well, here’s another similar story for the thread. First of all, this was years ago, when I was in college. And I was absolutely not traumatized by it at all. In fact, it was pretty awesome. But it could have been different …

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The Rape Double-Standard, Ctd

Oct 16 2013 @ 10:23am

Several readers take issue with the reader in this post update:

While it seems clearly wrong to state that you’re an “unbelievable pussy” and it’s not technically “rape” if a woman forces you as a man to have sex without putting a gun to your head, there is a middle ground here. It’s that while it may have been “against his will” in a technical sense for the story writer to say he was forced to have sex, he ultimately could have avoided it and chose not to. So was he “forced” to have sex? Clearly he thought he had to, but again he could have pushed her off and walked away and he ultimately chose not to. It was not the perpetrator who controlled whether or not the victim was going to have sex. This seems critically important. So while the technical non-consent of “forced” rape is there, the complete helplessness and the extreme violation seems likely not. Which is probably why he stated/questioned that he was “technically raped”? But not traumatized. It seems to me that whatever the technical legal definition, it’s the helplessness and trauma that are the horrendous and lasting parts of it.

Another is much more critical:

OMG! Is this person in your update serious? Or is your reader Todd Akin? He (assuming this is a man writing) never had an erection when looking at an attractive woman even when he didn’t want to? Sometimes women have physiological responses to rape that are associated with sexual arousal (wetness, orgasm). This does not mean she hasn’t been raped. Ditto a man. Your reader needs to do some research. Here’s an easy-to-read start.

That linked-to article triggered a short thread this summer called “When Rape Triggers An Orgasm”. Another reader on this thread:

If your “update” reader knew anything about rape of any kind – including the most conventional male-against-female rape – he’d know that conflicted feelings about what’s going on are at the heart of any rape. Talking to my female friends who’ve been raped (I’m male, for what it’s worth), one of the worst things about rape is that because of the basics of physiology, there is some pleasure involved. If your girlfriend is stroking you in the middle of the night when you’re half-asleep, you’re going to get hard. That doesn’t mean you want to have sex with her.

Which leads us to the next point.

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The Rape Double-Standard, Ctd

Oct 15 2013 @ 10:24am

A reader writes:

Your efforts to explore this topic are part of what makes your blog so special. I mean, really, is there anything you won’t discuss?

I really must agree that there is a double standard with male rape. By all accounts, I have been a male victim of heterosexual rape within the context of a relationship. Many years ago, I was living with a woman who had a pretty strong sexual appetite, at least in terms of frequency. She wanted sex generally at least twice a day, and for at least one or two hours. And as a young twenty-something, I was happy to accommodate her most of the time (wasn’t it glorious to be 20!). But every now and then I would have to beg off – either I was busy, studying, or just worn out sexually.

One night after a few days of avoiding sex, she woke me up in the middle of the night by stroking me.

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The Rape Double-Standard, Ctd

Oct 12 2013 @ 11:37am

A reader writes:

Your post about the rape of Chris Brown brought to mind the recent Dr. Phil brouhaha. He tweeted the question of whether it was ok to have sex with an intoxicated girl. The outrage was predictably immediate. But in all the ado, I never heard anyone ask whether, if a man was guilty of rape for having sex with a drunk woman, a woman is guilty of rape if she has sex with a drunk man. My guess is the question was never raised because the answer of “no” was so unquestionable to most people. There can be no doubt that there is a ridiculously sexist double standard based not only on the perceived weakness of the male rape victim, but also the assumed sexual aggression of men.

The Rape Double-Standard

Oct 11 2013 @ 5:44pm

Akiba Solomon is disturbed by a recent profile of Chris Brown, which notes in passing that the performer “lost his virginity” at age 8 to a teenaged girl:

The fact that Brown doesn’t seem to know that he was assaulted doesn’t come as a surprise. It took the FBI 85 years to change the exclusionary definition of forcible rape from “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will” to a male-inclusive one. (“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”) … This culture whispers in our ears that men and boys can’t really be raped by women or girls. To admit to such a violation would suggest femaleness or weakness, which is the worst thing you can be in this sick ecosystem. The bottom line here is that Chris Brown was sexually assaulted as a child – legally and practically speaking. We wish that wasn’t the case. If Chris Brown had been a girl, it’s unlikely that the Guardian or we would publish this information without more comment about the admission.


AR Wear, or Anti-Rape Wear, is a crowdfunded line of undergarments designed to “frustrate an assault effectively.” Amanda Hess snarks, “The ‘AR’ stands for ‘ARe you kidding?’—no, sorry”. Jia Tolentino feels that “to some women, this product could feel tremendously welcome,” but she has reservations:

Many parts of the video for AR Wear really grind my gears … and it’s very upsetting to think of $50,000 going to a product that plays on fear, a wildly inaccurate and persistent definition of “real” rape (“This isn’t for domestic rape, or rape by people you know,” stated one of the creators. “This is for those situations when you’re on a blind date, or in unfamiliar places”), and of course the why-won’t-it-die idea that rape prevention falls on anyone except the rapist. And there are so many offensive fear-mongering ways in which I can imagine this product being deployed: an overprotective mom buying a whole set of these for her daughter who’s about to travel Amongst Foreigners, a girls’ cross-country team forced to wear these when they’re running through the “urban” part of town.

Audra Schroeder sees a dead end:

[T]hese ideas for anti-rape clothing never go anywhere, and that’s because preventing rape has nothing to do with what a woman is wearing, or not wearing, and everything to do with the rapist and a culture of victim-blaming. Are panties with thigh locks really making us safer, or is every woman’s fear simply being exploited for profit?

On that note, a reader adds to a recent thread, “The Pitfalls Of Rape Prevention”:

So it seems that Emily Yoffe has set off a firestorm of debate. There are also several points of view in a recent NYTimes “Room For Debate“. I really don’t understand the problem here.

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