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View Diary: NO! Pandering to the Rape Culture. (264 comments)

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  •  "We" do NOT live in a rape culture (8+ / 0-)

    Any more than we live in an Organized Crime culture, a Drug Culture, or even a Gun culture ... though obviously there are people who  own guns, admire "Sopranos", take (illegal) drugs, and make excuses for rapists.

    That said there are any number of subcultures in which rape is trivialized, excused, and even encouraged.  It's important to be clear which is which ... and why they are the way they are.

    Police and Prosecutors USED to be horrific enablers of rapists ... guilty of all the "asking for it", "provocatively dressed", "it was a miscommunication" excuses mentioned above.  But that was the '70s.  Since then, with more women becoming District Attorneys and supervisor-grade Police Officers -- we see a lot less less of that sort of thing.  (At least in  Blue states.) And, with time and greater gender equality in police hiring and judicial politics, there will be less and less excuse making.

    At the other end of the spectrum ... we've got the US Military.

     And THERE it's important to know that rape is not so much an act of drunken, entitled, hyper-testosterone adolescent sociopaths as it is a tactic of maintaining male privilege in a traditionally male occupation, in which women have been making significant inroads. It is the act of younger service men, but without the tacit approval of their superiors ... well, if "training" can convince a high dominance teenager to snap to attention for a man half his size and twice his age ... or  for that matter to rescue comrades from under heavy fire ... well then, training and discipline can convince him to behave appropriately under any and all circumstances,  when the comrade is of the Other Gender.

    That "Our Brave Boys" so often do not ... and do not value " decency" as they do "bravery" ... that's a failure of Command Responsibility -- demonstrated by the persistent refusal of Commanders to investigate, prosecute and adequately punish violators (sic.)

    Most often, it's sports: in the eyes of alumni and development offices,  a high school or college sports star "can do no wrong" ... (or conversely, if he DID do it, than it couldn't possibly be "wrong".  )  A lot of people identify and

    Professional sports seem to think they can demand and GET a better standard of behavior from their highly paid employees -- "hero" or not.

    OK ... I guess what I'm saying here is that rape is a crime.  And most men (and probably nearly-all women) consider it a loathsome, despicable , cowardly crime, at that.

    The remedy to crime is investigation, prosecutions, and punishment -- which hopefully adds up to "deterrence".

    I'm just not sure  that jumping to the "All (men) Are Guilty" position does anything so much as to make persuadable not-yet-allies into defensive deniers.

    •  Men aren't evile... (4+ / 0-)

      Really.  I have been married to a wonderful one for 26 years. My brothers (4 of them) are men of the highest integrity, as was my father, grandfather, my uncles, etc.

      I used the us v. them paradigm with special extra hyperbole to keep my point as clearly and in the most focused way that I could.

      I am a big believer in the gray areas of life...  and exceptions to every rule.  But there are meta-trends, connections, and generalities that I have a bad habit of seeing from time to time.

      •  Well, I'm sure the well- seasoned male feminists (0+ / 0-)

        understood from the git-go that you didn't mean THEM -- "exceptions to the rule", after all.  ( I know I didn't)

        And granted: the number of FEMALE rapists IS very very small ... at least outside the jails and prisons.

        The problem is: at the moment the term "Rape Culture" is a rather powerful meme Once   a respectable and useful  term in feminist thinking, it is gaining currency and popularity in mainstream writing. But it is one about whose boundaries and definitions there is a bit of room for discussion.    (If you ask Andrea Dworkin ... all Patriarchy and "penetrative sex" are Rape.  If you ask Dossie Easton ... maybe not so much.)

        But leaving the Outliers where they are:

        Some of our military allies:  India, Pakistan and Afghanistan HAVE oppressive patriarchal subcultures that DO explicitly use rape as a medium of social control --- as opposed to other patriarchal systems "in the region" that rely more on religious police and courts.

        Talking about this offers a problem to some commentators:   If one CALLS India's annual  record of 600-odd prosecutions and fewer than ten convictions in rape cases a "Rape Culture" -- isn't that a Eurocentric, colonialist attitude,  victimizing the victims of centuries of  Imperialist Rule?

        On the other hand "ain't they (a) Women ?"

        If one notices that the ANC has more or less sidelined the issue of violence against women until other, "more important"  issues are resolved -- isn't that racist?

        And what DO we say (if anything) about Sudan and Congo ?

        Do "false equivalencies" only matter when Right Wing apologists compare Democrats to Republicans ?

        So ... yeah, the Broad Brush may be entirely justified, in one sense ...  but it  DIDN"T focus or clarify your point -- at least not for those who most needed to see it.

        •  I wanted a more global focus... (0+ / 0-)

          But that was a little harder to zoom in on, so I used my personal trigger and only gave lip service to the poor woman in India... and had the brave Malala of Pakistan and most of the countries you mention in my mind.

          The rape culture is pretty much a worldwide phenomena.

    •  I'm afraid we do (8+ / 0-)

      Rape  is under-reported, under-prosecuted and excused.  

      Pointing to laws to say we don't live in a rape culture is akin to pointing to the Civil Rights Act to say we weren't racist in the 1970's.  

    •  Um... you do know what case we're discussing (7+ / 0-)
      Police and Prosecutors USED to be horrific enablers of rapists ... guilty of all the "asking for it", "provocatively dressed", "it was a miscommunication" excuses mentioned above.  But that was the '70s.  Since then, with more women becoming District Attorneys and supervisor-grade Police Officers -- we see a lot less less of that sort of thing.  (At least in  Blue states.) And, with time and greater gender equality in police hiring and judicial politics, there will be less and less excuse making.
      Police "accidentally" erased the tweets and photos and videos, (female) prosecutor ignores evidence of more people on the team participating... oh yeah, her son is on the team.  The entire fricking TOWN was enabling these low-lifes.  So you're going to ignore it because it doesn't happen in blue states?  Or it doesn't count in parts of blue states?  Or what the heck ARE you saying, because it most certainly happens.  It happens now.  It happens all over the place.
      •  And is it your contention that (0+ / 0-)

        "The entire town enabling these low lives"  is TYPICAL of life in these United States, today?

        Because, when it WAS ... and I remember a time when it was ... a story like this wasn't a three day wonder on all media.

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