Quote of the Day: Men's Rights "Activists"

man boobz exposes the truth about MRAs.

Quoth David Futrelle

At its heart, men’s rights activism doesn’t really seem to be about activism at all. What the movement has turned into is a strange parody of “victim feminism,” an endless search for proof that men (despite earning more than women, heading up the overwhelming majority of companies and governments in the world, getting all the best movie roles, never having to wear heels, and so on and so on and so on) are in fact second-class citizens.

A brilliant piece on a group of people who have recently become a significantly annoying experience online. It doesn’t help matters that their members all too often intersect with right libertarians and Randroids and White Rights Activists (you can imagine what the latter are about)

Unfortunately MRA, much like libertarians are far too numerous online and can easily focus their attention into succesful entryist attempts. MRA entryism is the primary reason why most feminists have abandoned /r/feminism in reddit and have instead migrated to /r/feminisms which has a far more strict moderation policy allowing for deeper feminist discussion without endlessly devolving into What About Teh Mens! arguments.

PS: man boobz has become an instant favourite of mine. If only he would move out of Blogger’s crappy platform…

Look at all the wonderful victim blaming (Also: MRAs disgust me)

Ah Reddit, how expectedly misogynistic of you…

So, a woman get raped and the judge gives us this brilliant quote

Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar called Rhodes a “clumsy Don Juan” who may have misunderstood what the victim wanted when he forced intercourse along a darkened highway outside Thompson in 2006.

I don’t think a simple “WTF” can even express my reaction at this. But anyway, I’m not here to talk about that. People who read this blog probably know already that “Blind Justice” is notoriously privileged.

However I do want to point out the Shit Reddit Said when this story was posted around.

From /r/women:

Am I the only one thinking that “Hey, Maybe if she would’ve taken responsbility for her actions, by saying ‘no’ and leaving this would have never happened” ?

Yes, because yes first “No” when he tried to kiss her didn’t count and anytime a woman is alone with a male, is an obvious consent to sex. What is this? Saudi Arabia?

First she says no, then she returns his kisses. She’s dressed like a whore and drunk. Flirts with him, leads him on, continues to go into the woods with him for some skinny dipping, then gives in. Maybe the next day she regrets her drunken actions, and doesn’t want to be associated with this dope, and cries rape to save face with her friends/family.

Poor guy, he was led on by her whory flirting. FALSE RAPE ACCUSATION!

Terrible ruling. However, what was this woman thinking? There is a big difference between blame and using responsibility- and while I’m not suggesting she is at fault (blame), I have to seriously question her sense of personal responsibility for getting drunk and driving into the woods with strangers. Unfortunately, she learned the hard way that a man’s hormones aren’t something to fuck with.

Men can’t control themselves you know? That’s why the best method to avoid rape is for women to wear burkas and stay next to a male eunuch at all times. What was that woman thinking? Everyone knows that single women are consenting to sex. I tried to educate this particular rape apologist but I just couldn’t take more than 2 replies.

I’m starting to think there is an automated response for some women in a rape situation, and it doesn’t involve a lot of struggling. After all, if the woman would be fighting tooth and nail and screaming bloody murder, most guys would actually stop.[…]

But in most of the world this is not the case anymore. So I ask you, an obvious Feminist, shouldn’t we educate women to do more in this kinds of situations? To yell, at least, if not fight?

Because if women don’t struggle, it’s an implicit consent. Nevermind that some might be too terrified, stressed or shocked or just shamed to react violently. No, we, as males should educate all those foolish women on the best way to prevent rape.

Unfortunately I also did the mistake of trying to argue with this fool, but something tells me I didn’t get through:

I’d rather prevent rape by any practical means, whether it fits a feminist agenda or not. Plus, if a woman would tell women to fight and scream in a rape attempt, would you still find it offensive?

Moving on to /r/2x, perhaps there will be less disgusting shit there:

I don’t know about this case since I wasn’t there, but guys are dumb and sometimes don’t catch signals that are sent. I have also known girls who cried rape when it really wasn’t.

You can’t honestly expect guys to control themselves ((Hey, isn’t it a common trope to call males as “logical” and females as “emotional”? I wonder what happened to this concept here. Hmmm….)) , plus don’t forget how common false rape accusations are!

There are other shitty sentiments expressed in there but they’re usually spread out within Walls of Text so I wouldn’t do them justice.

In /r/canada:

The judge here doesn’t seem to be saying “She was dressed slutty, so she was asking for it” but rather that given the circumstances (they had been partying, the guys were invited to go skinny dipping, he had kissed her and she reciprocated etc.) the man may have reasonably thought he had consent.

If she said no, resisted physically, was passed out etc., then by all means, send the guy to jail. But isn’t it possible that at the time things were a little more ambiguous?

Because what the man thinks is enough of course. Any time you reasonably think that the woman might have implicitly consented, go for it! If she doesn’t resist physically, you know she wants it.

I had a girlfriend break up with me, come back to my apartment to have sex with me and then proceeded to tell me that she would call the police and claim rape.

To this day, I didn’t understand why.

Crazy-ass bitch.

Wait wat?

And the best piece of blatant misogyny

I see nothing wrong with this. Let it be a lesson to the girl… The next time you dress like a slut, get drunk with a stranger, and then suggest that you go off alone, into the woods to go skinny dipping, odds are the guy is going to assume he is getting laid.

Fortunately the poster was downvoted to -10, but still. Still…

And finally, my favourite, the comment on the /r/mensrights repost:

Heavy make-up . . . no bra . . . high heels and tube tops??!! WTF? Did he pick up some drag queens?

What is this, I don’t even.

She kissed him back, she went in the woods with him, it sounds like she skinny dipped with him, it sounds like she accepted his advances and the judge wasn’t convinced that she said no.

In fact, it sounds like she never said no. It just sounds like he misunderstood her body language and was non-threatening. It sounds more like regret than anything.

This comment is of course not surprising coming from the Goddamn Batman of the MRAs, but it is archetypical of the lot.

Um, they wandered into the woods? Who the hell follows a stranger into the woods?!

Not sure if the alleged victim was actually raped, but she was pretty clearly an idiot.

And idiots clearly deserve to be raped…

The point is “Innocent until proven guilty.” What differentiates this particular allegation from another case, where the man was honest-to-god innocent, but due to extenuating circumstances the woman falsely accused him?

You can bet your ass that in a thread about women being raped, any present MRA will bring up the awful epidemic of False Rape Accusations. Like fucking clockwork!

This is yet another shining example of how the Men’s Rights movement attracts the worst kind of males (much like the White Rights movements attracts the worst kind of White skinned people).

That’s all folks. Your weekly dose of misanthropy has been delivered. Enjoy!

For fuck's sake, No! Being falsely accused of rape is not not NOT as bad as being actually raped!

And no, false rape accusations are not an epidemic either.

[Trigger warning for rape on all links]

What the fuck is wrong with these people? I keep seeing the same argument again and again and again and again , the idea that being accused of rape is not simply as bad as being raped but often worse. I honestly can’t believe how people can be so fucking dense so as to think this is true.

Note that I am not saying that being falsely accused of rape is not bad and can utterly damage your life, but it just does not even compare to the experience of being raped. Yes, both are subjective damages but the overwhelming anecdotes we have of rape survivors show psychological damage of such extent that it can never be repaired or avoided. Being falsely accused of rape on the other hand is only as bad as being falsely accused of many other very socially unacceptable crimes such as drug dealing and murder. The effect reach only as to the extent of people who know about your crimes and consider them bad enough.

A person falsely accused of rape (and convicted of course) may, at the worst case scenario lose friend and family and have their career ruined, but given time they can find new friends who will believe them and repair their social circle, even while hindered by the state. Many times they even clear their names eventually (otherwise we wouldn’t have such a nice influx of False Rape Accusation news stories for the Men’s Right crowd to cheer around). But apparently for some, even the short term damage of a false rape accusation that a male was eventually cleared from, compares to being actually raped.

Here’s the difference though, a rape victim most likely will never escape the damage of the event. Once the deed has been done, the scar will stay forever, no matter if the perpetrator is punished. You cannot undo the rape. You cannot restore the lost trust. You cannot wipe the memory triggers. Any story from rape victims that I’ve heard is magnitudes worse than most false rape accusation stories. And while a the occasional rape victim might take it better than others and survive with less emotional scars, on average the damage is far more severe.

It truly shames me as a male that I have to even point this out to others of my gender.

Many use the excuse that because the aftereffects are subjective, no comparison can be done. Well I disagree vehemently. Due to empathy we can easily grasp the relevant magnitude of each event, much like we can easily see the difference in suffering between having your face slapped, having your tooth pulled out and having acid thrown in your face. These are not all equally bad just because the suffering they cause is subjective. But somehow this comparison fails when it comes to rape doesn’t it?

Much of it I believe comes from lack of empathy. For males, especially those active in the “Men’s Rights” movement which repeats stories of false rape accusations and child custody gone wrong stories, find it far easier to empathize with the male who has been falsely accused. As a male, this is an actual fear they face, even if they wildly blow it out of proportion. In fact I’d go as far as to say that the fear of being falsely accused in the closest thing some males will come to understanding what kind of fear our rape culture creates for females. It’s easy to intuitively empathize with the kind of emotional pain that losing your friends and family can have.  It is not as easy to empathize with rape because most men do not fear it at all. There is no common experience, no horror stories told among friends and family, no victim blaming seen on mainstream media, to even give them an idea that comes even close to how damaging rape can be and on top of that, they have a wealth of rape jokes told by other males which will further trivialize any such empathy they may develop. Naturally then they feel that False Rape Accusations are far worse than actual rape. They just empathize more strongly with the former.

Doesn’t make it correct though.

The even more frustrating things is that the fear of false rape accusations is being used to perpetuate the rape culture. The idea is promoted that a false rape accusation is bad enough even if it falls through in a court of law, due to the psychological “lynching” by friends and family. The implicit idea then is that people should treat rape accusers with distrust because otherwise you unjustly harm the accused who might be innocent after all. This of course reinforces the culture of victim blaming where the search for justice for rape victims is itself so emotionally taxing and with such a high chance of failure, that most of them do not even bother to even try.

Then the Blackstone formulation will be conveniently trotted out to show that it’s better for 15 rapists to go free than for 1 innocent  to be convicted which is so frustrating because it looks at the issue in isolation. A more accurate formulation would be to ask: Is it better for 1 in 200 males to be falsely convicted of rape ((About 8% of rape accusations are dismissed. This does not mean that 1 in 15 males is falsely accused, but from all the males that are accused, 8% are cleared. Iirc, the number in the full male population comes down to around 0.5%)) or for 1 in 6 females to be raped? Of course this is also flawed since those two statistics don’t have to be in competition ((It’s a sad fact of the flawed justice system we use that they are but challenging the adversarial justice system itself is even more unthinkable for most)). Unfortunately those who bring up the false rape accusations and paint them as an epidemic of some sort, will simply push for more stricter investigations completely ignoring what effects this has on women trying to report rape and find justice.

Fact of the matter is that compared to the frequency of actual rape, the number of false rape accusations is a drop in a bucket. To put weight into tackling those few false rape accusations without first tackling the actual epidemic of rape is a travesty, which becomes even worse when one considers that the way some males want to tackle the false rape accusations would actually reinforce the rape culture.

That does not mean I am opposed to reducing the false rape accusations while we’re at it but for crying out loud, get your priorities straight first and only then, look for ways to address it that don’t make the raped women even more marginalized. Unfortunately I think that the current court system and laws are inherently flawed and it’s a sad fact that the heavy handed statist response to the rape epidemic can’t address it without causing some harm elsewhere. One would hope this would make people rethink their premises, but unfortunately this doesn’t happen.

Finally, let me suggest an idea to make males who dismiss the idea of the rape culture while simulataneously railing against false rape accusations. It might give them an idea of how it feels to be a woman in a rape culture. Ask them, if 0.5% of males being falsely accused is a horribly large amount, how they would feel if the percentage was 18%. Would this scare them of having relationships? Ask them how they would feel if they could be easily falsely convicted without any court proceedings. Would this terrify them? Ask them how they would feel if they could be instantly falsely convicted of rape without court proceedings by their wife, their friends, or their aunts, while walking their dog, while sleeping over at a friend’s party, while drinking at a bar. Would this isolate them in horror? Ask them how they would feel if they could be easily falsely convicted of rape by many females who acted in coordination and backed up each other’s story. Ask them how they would feel if the state, their family, their friends all told them that the only way to avoid being falsely convicted of rape without a trial was to constantly use a voice recorder or a camera to record everything that happens around them. Would they think this is a sensible solution? Ask them to imagine that all of these were true at the same time and imagine how it would feel to live their whole life in such an environment.

And then remind them that this is how all women feel currently, only with worse psychological damage to boot.

PS: Bonus link (big big big rape trigger warning). Show them this gut-wrenching story and then remind them that this counts as part of the false rape accusations statistic.

This is what rape culture and male privilege looks like

Should rape victims deserve to be accused of lying? Should males be praised for not dumping their girlfriends after they were raped? You tell me.

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