Something tells me I could be in for a lot of hate mail over today’s post, but oh well, what the hell, let’s dive in anyways! Unlike other Morons Among Us ™, I am not all that terrified of loudmouth internet vigilantes.
I am having a rather fascinating Twitter conversation with a man named Eivind Berge about whether or not it is possible for a woman to rape a man under any circumstances.
From his blog:
When a boy gets lucky with an older woman such as a teacher, quit insisting he was “raped” or “abused,” because sexual abuse is not what is going on here. Forcing these relationships into a framework of “rape” or “sexual abuse” designed for women only serves to showcase your lack of intelligence and ignorance of human sexuality. It is also not needed in order to proscribe such behavior if you really believe it needs to be a criminal matter. You can punish the woman (or both) for fornication and/or adultery if you insist on being so sex-hostile. No victimology is needed! No denying the boy got lucky and ludicrously attempting to define him as a “victim.” No sucking up to the feminists and no display of extreme imbecility on your part.
Feminist sex abuse is so arbitrarily defined that if you are blindfolded and transported to a random jurisdiction where you meet a nubile young woman, you would have to consult the wise feminists in the local legislature before knowing if you can feel attracted to her without being an abuser (or even a “pedophile” if you are utterly brainwashed). And if you see a romantic couple, you similarly cannot know if the younger one is being “raped” without consulting the feminists you admire so much.
In our Twitter conversation, Eivind makes some interesting observations. First, laws have never been designed or enacted to protect men from female rapists. Is that because the law has been blind for thousands of years, or because female rapists are not really a thing that men need to be protected from? Laws have been pretty shit when it comes to protecting people from slavery, but that doesn’t mean slavery doesn’t happen and isn’t devastating.
Men are absolutely protected from MALE rapists by various laws and prohibitions and sanctions against sodomy. In fact, part of that makes instant sense to me. Sodomy laws are not designed to stigmatize or punish homosexual men engaging in consensual sex. They are designed to give men a tool to punish other men for NON-consensual sex. They may have EVOLVED into weapons to wield against gay men, but I doubt they started that way.
Historians know of less than ten executions for sodomy throughout the seventeenth century. Of those few, almost all involved assault or sex with animals. These laws were not directed in any particular way toward homosexuality. Indeed, they couldn’t be — the idea that there was a type of person who was a homosexual didn’t even emerge until the late nineteenth century, a result of urbanization, industrialization and the development of medical/sexological discourse. But while these laws weren’t about discouraging homosexuality per se, their architects sought to regulate sexual behavior more generally by steering sexuality toward procreative marriage; protecting women, children and weaker men from assault; and maintaining public order and decency.
Secondly, even the very wealthy never identified female rapists as any particular danger to their very valuable sons. And of course, I don’t mean inherently, intrinsically valuable. The sons of the wealthy are the custodians and guardians of the family’s wealth – that is what gives them value. And obviously, family’s went to great lengths to protect both the sons and the family legacy.
Female rapists were no threat to either.
And how times change. Current laws about what constitutes family and legacy have shifted the power to women, and they most certainly can and DO threaten family legacies by the act of bearing offspring and claiming a portion of the family wealth for themselves and the resulting children.
Professional athletes can find their wealth quickly depleted by entrepreneurial ladies with aching ovaries and empty bank accounts.
Although there have been no studies on athletes and their out-of-wedlock kids, those who are familiar with the issue say the numbers are staggering. “I’d say that there might be more kids out of wedlock than there are players in the NBA,” estimates one of the league’s top agents, who says he spends more time dealing with paternity claims than he does negotiating contracts.
And it’s not just rich men who can have their wealth depleted. ALL men are subject to the laws of redistribution, supposedly in the “child’s best interests”. No man can escape his paternal responsibilities without becoming a criminal himself.
Women, of course, can disavow their own parental obligations either by aborting the child before it is born, surrendering it to an adoptive couple who assume all responsibilities and obligations, or surrendering the child to the state, who will then arrange for adoptive parents to assume legal custody.
All of sudden, women now have an incentive to rape men that is BACKED UP BY LAW. I would love to talk right now about all the OTHER incentives women have to coerce potentially unwilling men into sex, but I have yet to crack the spine on this fascinating book, so my understanding of how an average woman’s desire works is rudimentary at best, and largely based on my own experience.
I will redress the oversight soon enough.
For now, let’s just focus on the legal, financial incentives women have to coerce men into sex. I’m using the word “coerce” deliberately, because that seems to be the direction the rape conversation is going, and I can see quite clearly that the sword is sharp on both sides, as swords tend to be.
Following is a woman arguing that infidelity is a form of sexual assault!
Of course, she means MEN cheating on women. If a man forces a woman to have sex against her will, that’s rape. If a man has 100% consensual sex with a woman but fails to inform her he also had sex with another woman, that’s also rape. Rape is staggering towards a definition in which any sex a woman deems as rape IS rape as long as she thinks it is. And if you didn’t tell her about your little piece of ass on the side, you COERCED her by omission and that, sir, is rape!
If someone were to ask William, even now, if I would have consented to sex with him had I known the truth [he was cheating], his answer would be an unequivocal, “No.” He knew it then, just as he knows it now: He was having sex with me against my will.
People lie all the time. There is no law against it. But lying becomes criminal when it is used to coerce others into sexual acts.
On the one hand, you probably want to smack your head against a wall with the frustration of it all. On the other hand…. if COERCING someone to have sex is rape, then what happens to all the baby mamas collecting child support from rich men they fucked once?
I wonder what Liam Gallagher would make of that?
Or Simon Cowell?
Or Francois Henri-Pinault?
In the past, which is what Eivind is talking about, the ladies in these cases would have had no incentive to get knocked up with the rich man’s baby. All the incentive was directed towards MARRYING the rich man. That was the ONLY way to secure the man’s wealth.
In actual fact, marriage continues to be the very best way to build and transmit wealth, and the very rich damn well know that. It seems as if the aristocracy is an immutable fact of the human condition, and all the laws in the world can’t prevent parents from wanting the best for their children.
You know what CAN fuck up these families and their wealth? When their sons knock up some chick and she takes a chunk for child support. Repeat one or two times and good bye wealth.
Now the rich DO need to protect their sons from predatory women.
So let’s get back to the idea of rape. I have never been raped. Well, under the legal definition, I most certainly have been raped, many, many times. I don’t drive, but I’m pretty sure that three glasses of wine would put me over the legal limit.
And I have definitely had sex after three glasses of wine. Meaning I cannot consent. Meaning I was raped. I usually call that “Friday”. And to be fair, I have also been a rapist many, many times. I have aggressively and consciously had sex with a man who has had way too many beers after his Ducks Unlimited planning meetings, which take place every week. I’m pretty sure they could accomplish all the planning in two meeting a year, but they meet weekly to test the local beer supply.
Just in case.
Gotta protect ALL the wetlands!
I’m making a joke here very deliberately. We can all guffaw at the idea that me having sex with my husband while either of us meets the legal criteria for “drunk” is rape. What nonsense. What Eivind is asking us to do is consider whether the sex can EVER be truly traumatic?
I’ll paraphrase here, and I might even have this wrong, but I think Eivind says sex for women CAN be traumatic, but sex for men simply CAN’T be. I can’t tell who wrote this, but Eivind appears to agree that trauma is largely a social construction, for both men and women.
“The notion about women being traumatized is a construction. Granted there are genuine sex-crimes, and in that respect one has every right to feel traumatized. But a lot of it is pure bullshit. I feel no empathy with a woman claiming to be traumatized because a man touched her or looked at her intensely. In that regard, a woman should be punished just as hard for doing the same thing against a man. Or the laws themselves should be revoked. ”
Eivind Berge said…
Yes, much of what feminists call “abuse” is a construction. Age of consent, for instance, is a legal fiction, and of course evolution did not make females either who are traumatized by sex up to some arbitrary age. Only a gullible fool can buy into such nonsense.
I can easily see how rape-rape, real rape, could be 100% traumatizing for women. I can also how it could be 100% traumatizing for men, but there is one key difference, perhaps owing simply to my lack of imagination.
It is not hard to imagine how, when and under what circumstances a woman could find herself in a “dragged under a bush by her hair and raped” scenario. In fact, it terrifies most sensible women to the point that they don’t deliberately put themselves in that position!
Other women, not so much. Deserted part of a park surrounded by bushes at 5AM after a night at the bar? Hmm. What could go wrong?
I have a hard time imagining a “dragged into the bushes and raped” scenario for men, though. If the other rapist is a MAN, or a group of men, well, yes. I can see that.
But by a woman?
Am I the only one who finds this hard to imagine? I can’t find a case of it reported anywhere. Nor can I find men for whom this scenario lives in their imaginations with the capacity to TERRIFY them.
Most of the accounts of male rape do not involve anything like brute force. It’s mostly a combination of the man being incapacitated by alcohol or coercion that the man doesn’t resist for any number of reasons.
Are the men traumatized by these experiences? Some say yes. I simply cannot bring myself to claim that men ARE NOT and CANNOT be traumatized by unwanted sex. Nothing about that makes sense.
Here is what DOES make sense: most cases where “rape” is a matter of coercion or being incapacitated by too much tequila, NEITHER men nor woman are particularly traumatized. When I read reports of women who ended up suicidal and depressed and weeping and slobbering and totally destroyed by what sounds like nothing more than bad sex to me, it reminds me of a toddler working herself up into an epic, screaming tantrum.
True story: I have three children, all with very different personalities, and the number of screaming, face down, flailing on the floor wailing and sobbing and pounding tantrums my children have EVER thrown is ZERO.
Not once. Not one of them. Not ever.
Why not? It’s not allowed. Parents act like “that’s just how kids are” and it is complete and utter bullshit. I intervene long before anyone gets so worked up and upset they start screaming, and I do NOT step back and simply let an emotional tsunami build up and then crash across our whole family.
I remember giving my three year old son a speech at Walmart once, when he started to cry and was growing increasingly upset because he dropped his gumball and it rolled under a cashier’s desk and we couldn’t get it. I would totally have let him eat the gumball off the floor in Walmart. Might have rubbed it off on my shirt first, but yes, I would have let him eat it.
I’m paraphrasing here, but my kids have heard this speech many times, on all different occasions and always for the purpose of shutting down a tantrum. And it always works.
“Honey, I am sorry you dropped your gumball. I know you are angry and sad and mad and it’s absolutely fine for you to feel those things. It is NOT okay for you to force everyone else to listen to your problems. You are not allowed to scream and cry and bother other people. If you need to cry, go ahead, but do it quietly. Or save your cry for later. You can’t control how you FEEL, but you can control how you ACT, and you will do so. Self-control. There is nothing wrong with it, and you will learn it. Starting right now.”
I remember this day in particular, because all the other moms gave me death looks of hate and loathing, and two older men sitting on the bench across, waiting for their wives, started to applaud.
And then they gave LittleDude a new quarter and took him down to get a new gumball.
Yes, we live in awesome town, and I did not give one second’s thought to two old gentlemen walking off with my son. They were getting a gumball. And teaching my son that men help each other and they don’t act like spoiled assholes when bad things happen.
So, the moral of that story is that if you let someone who is a little bit upset carry on, they will eventually work themselves up into hysterics over something that really isn’t that big of a deal to begin with.
Maybe I’m a heartless fucking bitch, but that is exactly what I think happens with women who claim date-rape (not rape-rape) RUINED THEIR LIVES.
I spent most of my spring semester an emotional wreck. I saw his face everywhere I went. I heard his voice mocking me in my own head. I imagined new rapists hiding behind every shower curtain and potted plant. I bandaged the situation by throwing myself into more work and by resolutely refusing to acknowledge that I was anything but well adjusted.
How are you supposed to forget the worst night of your life?
I didn’t know what to do any more. For four months I continued wandering around campus, distancing from my friends, and going to counseling center.
Three hours after sitting curled up and terrified on a hospital bed I was admitted into the Psychiatric Ward for depression and suicidal thoughts.
OH MY GOD! What happened to this woman? It must have been terrifying! Horrifying! The worst thing imaginable!
She had sex with a guy in his dorm room with people audible on the other side of the door.
Some nights I can still hear the sounds of his roommates on the other side of the door, unknowingly talking and joking as I was held down; it is far from a pleasant wakeup call.
Oh fuck off. Seriously. That is all I can think of when I read shit like this. Fuck off, you stupid little shrieky snot-faced toddler. Have some self-control. A little inner strength. Stop working yourself up into hysterics. Keep calm and carry on. And stop going into dorm rooms with men you don’t plan on fucking.
No one is really traumatized by this, unless they choose to be. Are men LESS likely than women to be “traumatized” by this variation on “rape”? My guess is yes. I don’t question that women coerce men into sex men don’t really want all the time. Women have incentive and the law to make that in their own bests interests, given the right circumstances. Are men suicidal and utterly devastated afterwards?
Maybe, if “rape” results in 18+ years of child support with a woman you would rather not see ever again in your life. Maybe, if “rape” means you just lost a huge chunk of your family’s wealth. Maybe, if the thought of not being a meaningful, present figure in your child’s life enters your calculus.
But devastated just by the sex itself? Imagining other rapists everywhere?
Correct me if I’m wrong here, guys. I really want to know your thoughts. I really don’t know what I think yet.
I proposed the following thought experiment to my husband, and his response surprised me at first. But now that I think about it, I guess it’s not that surprising at all.
Something bad is going to happen to me. You can’t choose “none of the above”. Which one will you choose?
A. A man attacks me and cuts my face open with a knife
B. A man attacks me and breaks my arm
C. A man attacks me and rapes me but does not otherwise hurt me
He picked B.
I picked C.
Obviously, I would prefer NONE. But something that doesn’t really hurt me, and only falls under the category of physically repellant is far better in my mind than having a broken bone or my flesh cut open with a blade. I know what being beaten feels like. I know how long the pain lingers. I have had bones broken before. And I know how pain can terrify.
My choice would be to avoid pain.
Maybe I’m underestimating how much being raped would hurt, but I don’t think so. Being raped is not the worst thing I can imagine. Not by a long shot.
And all those women “afraid to speak out in case he gets violent”?
They are making the exact same choice.
Unwanted sex is way better than a beating.
I would want to punish the man who did it to me. Oh, absolutely. I doubt very much I would use the law to do that. I don’t think a police report would be my husband’s first choice, either.
But if the laws against rape can be used against women, to punish them for consequences women can avoid, but men cannot, why shouldn’t men jump on the rape bandwagon? Why not start pressing charges against women? Why not claim all the same trauma? Even if it isn’t true.
Can lies ever be used to justify lies?
Do they? I’m not so sure.
Lots of love,