TW for graphic language and rape
Men are the best perpetrators of making themselves look bad. In derailing discussions about male violence (including sexual assault) they like to say “Not all men are like that.” They advocate choice/identity politics and then use those same politics to blame women when they get harassed or raped – “Well, she chose to be there, didn’t she?” (revealing the “a woman is allowed to change her mind” line as a shaming tactic). And if a woman points out how so many sexual offenders use porn, why, it must be pure coincidence!
(from Jacqueline Homan’s book Without Apology)
Does it sound better when a man says something women have been saying for years?
Here’s the short version: Ted Bundy said,”I’ve lived in prison for a long time now, and I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence. Without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography – deeply consumed by the addiction.” This guy was about to be executed; he had nothing to lose. He was a psychopath, but he was being honest.
In fact, men who send violent threats to the women in porn are the same ones jerking off to them. And yes, pornography is “educational” about women. It teaches men that women are cumbuckets and their only use is to be violated by penises (i.e. “destroy that pussy” “tear that pussy up”) It is so mainstream that the larger culture pressures women to look like porn stars, and then men turn around and deride them for it. Men jerk off to the fantasy of dominating women with their penises (which they see as weapons) and then act on those fantasies so they can feel a sense of power and control over their victims.
The “not all men” tactic is either used by men who 1.) secretly feel guilty, a sense of cognitive dissonance, and deep down know what they are doing is incredibly suspect, or 2.) are actually otherwise decent guys who have somehow been blissfully unaware until that point. Granted, I believe the latter is extremely rare, especially if they are the type to give up porn right after that since porn use is encouraged as a ‘sign” of manhood. Few men can even distinguish between sex and rape, as evidenced both by porn (in which women’s boundaries are pushed until they say “yes” and consent is obtained; behind the scenes, an enforced contract and more bribing for increasingly harmful acts) as well as the countless stories of men talking about how they “had sex with” (read: were raped by) an older babysitter, teacher, or other woman when they were still minors. If men continue to watch porn after being shown what goes on behind the scenes, even if they think their kind of porn isn’t degrading, they are still compartmentalizing women, and their relationships suffer because of that. More importantly, women as a class are still not recognized as fully human – especially the women in the sex industry.
I’m increasingly under the impression that Western sex-liberalized societies encourage sociopathic and narcissistic behaviors – such as lack of empathy, using people as a means to an end, or the creation of a “willing” victim. I am not saying that all men are sociopaths and narcissists per se as the actual number of either is really small and sociopaths probably can’t be reformed. Our rape culture makes it so that men can act with impunity and not face legal consequences, much less the social ostracism that would aid in deterring this behavior in the first place (as opposed to rape, sexual harassment, and sex as conquest being male bonding behaviors).
By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever written about so-called “rape fantasies” had by women. To sum up from what I’ve learned: Women desire sex but feel guilty about it, so they fantasize about men penetrating them in spite of their acting indifferent anyway; or conversely, they could feel disgusted by PIV (straight) sex by the intrusive thoughts due to gender conditioning persist. This is not in any way comparable to men fantasizing about actually raping women. Of course women don’t actually want to be raped, but men keep implying if not explicitly stating that women “want it” or otherwise deserve it, as if they know women (especially rape victims) better than they know themselves. There’s no such thing as “non-consensual sex” because any intercourse without enthusiastic consent is rape.
Men also act like rape is inevitable or like a natural disaster that “just happens” to women. Rape then becomes a punishment for “bad” women who don’t know their place or step out of line. And such a belief is part of how male privilege works. It affords them anonymity and hence, a lack of accountability. To them, rape is some evil force. Now if that – and the fact that men see women as ‘evil temptresses’ doesn’t make secular men superstitious in their own right, then I don’t know what does. And it perpetuates the idea that rapists are easily identifiable or that they are “stranger rapists” hiding in dark alleys.
This idea is patently false, and only serves to keep women at home in fear. The thing is, rapists are often men that women know and think they can trust. They can be married men. They can be neighbors, or relatives, or even boyfriends and husbands. They do not “look” like what most people would consider a rapist because 1.) Most rapists tend to be straight, white men (see also here) and 2.) Straight white men do not ever want to examine their privileges or analyze their behaviors and hobbies that would show them as “bad guys,” especially to listen to what women have to say on the subject, such as: even male victims are overwhelmingly raped by other males, or that porn is degrading to women and hence all porn is revenge porn. And it doesn’t take “confidence” to be degraded – just having a vagina is enough.
Most of all, it’s because a rapist could very likely be any of them. The norm in society, they are the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Think about it: Serial killers on tv are straight, white men. This part is accurate enough. But they are portrayed in such a way that will make many viewers want to feel sorry for them. In a criminal defense case, the argument is,”Society made him do it,” it was an abusive mother or some other relative (the belief that abusers were themselves abused is a lie, btw) or some plea of insanity. It’s everyone else’s fault but theirs, especially if they are wealthy; white men associated with wealth and hence power and social class. White men have immunity so they can act with impunity; with no legal consequences or even social ostracism. And they do so simply because they can.