This is what rape culture and male privilege looks like

A woman made an IAmA/AMA1 about her experience with being raped, keeping the child and her current boyfriend staying with her and marrying her eventually. The story of how it happened was quite interesting to read since for a change it does not come from a “Western Nation” but rather from a “Developing Country” which has still quite backward social norms. And one of those that immediately jumped out at me was the crass rape culture that exists.

The 5th day, I finally called the police. I live in an asian country. You have to understand that the culture is different here and that when a woman accuses a man, the police always assume that the woman was lying. Except in my case, I wasn’t. They came, I told them what happened and the police was less than helpful.

This whole part of the story is in fact quite interesting in a horrifying sort of way in giving us a glimpse into the post-rape mindframe of a rape victim. How she was feeling so guilty and unsure that it took her 5 days just to report it and by then, much of the evidence is gone and the rapist has enough time to secure an alibi. And then, the police will immediately assume you’re lying. This isn’t just “too much” for the victim of a type of assault that completely destroys you emotionally, It is overwhelming. Is it any wonder why so many rapes go unreported? If it takes a week, or even a month to get emotionally stable enough to even speak about the event, who wants the first reaction to it to be an accusation of lying and victim blaming?

As a privileged person (male and have not been raped), I can’t even begin to feel what it must be like but even the thought of having to deal with such a traumatizing event and then have the whole world distrust me because of it, downright horrifies me.

This is what a rape culture looks like and the immediate distrust of rape survivors coupled with victim blaming is why rape is still so widespread. And this particular point, the fostering of distrust of the experiences of victims of rape is why I especially despise those who align themselves with the “Men’s Rights” movement which continuously agitates on the platform that false rape accusations are frequent and that being  falsely accused is just as bad as being the victim of rape (Yes, this was an actual position someone stood by).

The Men’s Rights crowd will of course claim that they only want the “guilty until proven innocent” doctrine be used, but in practice this boils down to treating anything the victim claims as lies until conclusive evidence is presented in court. When someone points out that treating rape survivors as liars at worst or dishonest at best is not exactly the best way to foster an attitude where rape victims can come forward, they strawman your argument as you are pushing for a “guilty until proven innocent” doctrine. A ridiculous strawman setup just to shut down any discussion by enraging their opponent and then derailing due to that.

That’s the first point, the second point I wanted to talk about can be seen by looking at the comments of the reddit post. Go look at them and tell me if you can see it. I’ll wait.

Done? Good. Did you see anything troubling?

Well, let me put it out clearly: Of the 15 best comments in the post2, 10 are praising the male. Of the best 3 comments, all 3 are about praising the husband. To put this into context:

In a post about the personal story of a rape victim who ended up getting pregnant because of it and her husband decided to stay with her, 2/3rds of the responses are all about praising the male.

Does it seem just a bit odd to you that in a story about the rape of a woman who opens her heart and allows for some Q&A, a male who is not even there would be getting praises in large amounts, just for being a decent human being?

This is what male privilege looks like. The fact that so little is required of you due to your gender, that even basic human decency is grounds enough for gushing adulation. It’s the sheer mentality of “I could act like a dick if I wanted to, but if I don’t, then goddamnit you’d better recognise it and give me the appropriate praise“. And this permeates everything. Woman doing the housework all week? No big deal. Man cleaning the toilet over the weekend without being asked to explicitly? OMGWTFBBQ Best. Husband. Ev4r!

In this case it just really really irked me the wrong way. Here we have a woman who had one of the most traumatic experiences a human can go through and ended up in a life changing situation (being pregnant). She nevertheless had the courage to report it, even though she knew she would be treated with distrust by those who were tasked with “protecting her”. She went through hell and came out alive and the boyfriend deserves all the praise for not dumping her on top of it?! I’m sorry, I just can’t wrap my head around this mentality. The sheer fucking absurdity of it…

It could be in part due to how much the woman herself is promoting her husband as deserving the lion’s share of the praise for sticking with her during these bad time, but for fuck’s sake people, this is the time to point out that most of the credit belongs to her. For being courageous enough to report it. For managing to overcome crippling psychological damage enough. For not taking her own life! She is the strong , wonderful person in the story here and she doesn’t seem to know it, given on how she attributes her whole recovery on her husband. You shouldn’t be reinforcing this. You should be pointing out that she is putting herself down far too much.

Argh!

  1. For those not in the know yet, IAmA/AMA stands for “I Am A [insert trait, description, experience here], Ask Me Anything []
  2. “best comments” being the default sorting algorithm that reddit uses []

20 thoughts on “This is what rape culture and male privilege looks like

  1. As you noticed in your comment the woman is living in an asian country. When you see the male dominated culture at the point of Wishing for male children and treating femal children will less praise you can imagine what kind of consequences this will have in the later life.
    Depending on gender roles as you also mentioned there is no equality between man and woman between the roles being played by them. Like the discussion if the householdwork has to be paid (on the ecconomic level of argumentation) you see here the gab between what is noticed by man (ecconomic work, paid labor and noticed as the feeder of the family) und how woman not being recognized as workers by working at home.
    On the juristic plain of argumentation man and women movements are useful just to accelerate the politic discussion in society. So you don´t have to give a fuck about their position and their Janus-headed argumentation but can find your own position within their argumentations.
    The praise of mothership and the role of woman has to be noticed and emphasis. Without strong woman there wouldn´t be strong man. Strength is defined for me through the possibility of discussion and self-critic. And who is not possible to do so is weak in my eyes.

  2. How is being falsely accused of rape not just as bad as being raped? In case you didn't know, men who go to jail GET RAPED!! Not only is the destruction of their reputation on par with being raped, but they ACTUALLY GET RAPED, TOO!!

    1. Not all males are raped in prison (in fact from what I have heard from people in max security prisons, being raped is not that big a concern for most) and being raped in prison is not an explicit part of the punishment for being falsely accused. It happens to everyone and it's especially a problem created by rape culture in which rape is trivialized and considered mild enough to be deserved as punishment.

      1. Leaving aside jail rape cases, the fact that some innocent men go to prison is still a real problem, and not an acceptable consequence of aggressive prosecution of rape cases. I don't think it's as common as some MRA's make it seem like, but it happens and can't simply be ignored. The problem, of course, is that the burden of proof in rape cases is exceptionally hard to fulfill especially in domestic conflicts (where the act itself may not be overtly violent), but spousal rapes obviously happen quite often so it's understandable for courts (at least in progressive Western states) to side with the woman, leaving an open window for vindictive false accusations as well.

        I'm not sure how to solve this problem. Obviously all rape is always unacceptable for anyone (no matter how forthcoming, drunk, scantily clad or "obviously into it" she was) and must be taken seriously, but it would seem intuitive and fair that the accuser still retain her/his burden of proof. Any thoughts on this?

        1. I do not think that in the current system the justice system can ever do a good job. Because of the rape culture and the systematic effects of the patriarchy, rape are both under-reported and under-punished, and on the other hand, the more the justice system reacts to these trends, the more easy it becomes to abuse by those trying to game it for personal reasons. So with the current system, it seems that a balance where there is no lack of justice for rape victims and no abuse of justice for innocents, seems unlikely unless rape is tackled outside of what the state can do. I.e. from all of us together dismantling rape culture and the patriarchy.

      2. whether they are raped in prison or not, to say that having your entire life stripped away, then being thrown in a jail cell with convicts, losing your chance of ever looking decent again to anyone, and being in jail sometimes more than a DECADE, is somehow not even AS BAD as being raped, is ridiculous. Rape is awful, but to be honest, if I had to choose being raped or spending the rest of my life as a falsely accused rape convict, I would choose being raped. If I was raped, I would hate it, I would feel like total shit, but I would go to therapy for a long time, gather some social support, and continue living my life.

        1. Being falsely convicted of rape can be just as bad as being falsely convicted of any other crime. But we're not comparing false convictions of serious crimes with rape. We're comparing false accusations of rape, with rape. Not to mention that the number of false convictions would be notoriously difficult to find, given that, well, they were convicted in court.

          1. You are being a weasel here db0. We are not comparing false accusations of rape with rape – you have gone overly simplistic and are over-generalizing here.

            We are talking about premeditated-and-with-malice-aforethought filing of a false arrest, for the specific purpose of putting someone and his family through a living hell – REGARDLESS of whether he can beat the charge or not. Filing a false charge, forcing someone to pay for legal representation they don't IN TRUTH need, subjecting him and his family to defamation of character by slander, making him have to work to prove innocence the accuser already knows to be extant … for someone's revenge, embarrassment or amusement … trumps rape anyday!

      3. Listen up db0, I worked in prison, and I can tell you are blowing smoke up everyone's butt here, including your own. There has never been a rape culture, nor a rape society, nor a rape Zeitgeist, nay not even so-much as a rape pen-pal club. A bunch of anti-social isolates do not a culture make. Could you regurgitate that back to your Women's Studies faculty advisor? Also remind her that her claims constitute the very sexism she claims to be combatting?

      4. So you are in touch with inmates and staff "in max security prisons"? And these sources advise you about rape being "not that big a concern for most?" Bluff called. You are trying to BS your way out of the fact that you have no vague idea what you are talking about. Sex offenders of any kind are targetted in prison and are second-class citizens among the pariahs – even if they are pre-trial detainees.

    2. do you even know what the rate is of false reporting for rape? lots of cases are dropped for not having enough evidence to convict, but there's a big difference between that and false reporting, given that due to many factors, women don't report right away and by then most of the DNA evidence is lost. Check out the FBI statistics- 2% of rapes in this country are falsely reported, the same as our other big profile crimes. Quit being outraged over 'false rape reporting' it's about as common as false murder reporting and all else here. false rape reporting is absolutely NO reason to be opposed to eradicating rape culture and helping rape victims.

      1. ellen: I call you on your bluff. You have no idea what you are talking about. You obviously did not check out any real crime statistics, much less that of the FBI. I'm personally very tired of feminist BS con artists like you.

  3. So I'm supposed to give up my right to a fair trial just because a woman on the other side of the planet was raped and treated the same way I would be if I was raped? lol feminism

    1. So I'm supposed to think you understood the above post before commenting? lol reading comprehension.

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