Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:22 pm UTC

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=68602&hilit=+causal#p2499383

Why does any discussion of rape require a discussion of how there is more then one way to have "caused" something to happen?
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Pseudonymoniae » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:30 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
A_pathetic_lizardmnan wrote:In my definition "if you didn't do action a, result b would not have happened" and "action a is to blame for result b" are synonymous.

By your twisted logic, if anything bad happens to me in Boston, I am to blame for it, because it wouldn't have happened had I chosen to move somewhere else instead. And that's fucking stupid.


aoeu wrote:What's so twisted about it? And why do you assume it would not have happened if you had moved elsewhere? If you knew that can't it be rightfully said you were to blame for what happened? Yes.



I'm sorry, but Lizardmnan's logic here is painfully wrong. It is incorrect to say that because result B can only occur if action A occurs that therefore, action A caused result B. This is what we mean by the word "blame": it implies that the victim's actions caused him/her to be raped. Anyone who doesn't see this is either failing to understand the rules of logic or the meaning of the words they are using.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Cheezwhiz Jenkins » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:44 pm UTC

aoeu wrote: But the fundamental disagreement here is on whether "blaming" should include people getting themselves hurt.


Being a victim of rape is not "getting yourself hurt." I repeat: being a victim of this kind of assault is not getting yourself hurt. It is someone hurting you.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby A_pathetic_lizardmnan » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:03 pm UTC

Okay, I think I see where the disconnect is. Rape victims do not deserve to be raped for any reason, whatsoever, full stop. Saying that they don't deserve to have it happen, though, is not the same thing as saying that it won't happen. I don't think I deserve to be killed by a drunk driver when I am driving late at night, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't keep extremely vigilant and take defensive driving courses.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby podbaydoor » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:09 pm UTC

And where is your concurrent focus on vigilantly educating the people around you on what drunk driving is and encouraging your friends not to drunk drive?
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:12 pm UTC

A_pathetic_lizardmnan wrote:that doesn't mean I shouldn't keep extremely vigilant and take defensive driving courses.
And no one is suggesting it does. But if this were about drunk driving, you and others would be the ones popping into *every* such thread pointing out that sober drivers ought to be more vigilant and pay attention to what other drivers around them are doing, as though that's not already happening. You would be the ones popping into a discussion of how we can reduce the propensity for people to drive drunk, with suggestions of what people can do to avoid getting in accidents with people who are driving drunk.

Do you people not see how that's a completely different issue? And how, if we lived in a culture that normalized drunk driving, that culture would remain hugely fucking problematic regardless of whether some of the victims of drunk drivers might possibly have done something different to avoid getting in some particular accident some particular time?
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby cephalopod9 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:37 pm UTC

aoeu wrote:The fact that you were in a car accident a lot more pertinent than the color of the car. There certainly are things you can't run away from. Death is the trivial example, but these also arise from things like poverty, running out of time, or not being able to be at multiple places at once. But the fundamental disagreement here is on whether "blaming" should include people getting themselves hurt. I have a feeling that if the terminology is not agreed upon any debate is going to be just an endless play on words.

You are correct, the analogy is inadequate. It implies there is a space for cars a pedestrian is entering into. A more apt parallel would be a person getting mowed down by a truck in their living room, and you want to talk about whether wearing a helmet would have reduced the severity of their injuries. Could the person in this scenario conceivably have done something differently that would have prevented their harm? Probably, but that's completely irrelevant in the face of There should not be a truck there.
There should not be rapists. It's not feasible to anticipate them or their actions, and not reasonable to attempt to do so at every turn.

Actions having a causal relationship with consequences is not the same thing as responsibility.
Why is it important to you and -lizardman to define "blame" that way?
A lot of people on this thread have given you reasons why using the word in that way is not ok, and I don't understand your need to continue arguing that point.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Azrael » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:51 pm UTC

A_pathetic_lizardmnan wrote:... and take defensive driving courses.

Here's the problem: Not everyone takes defensive driving courses and no one (but maybe you?) would blame the victim of a drunk driver for not having taken defensive driving courses.

You seem to have a fundamental logical disconnect in your attempt to (for lack of better words) blame the victims of rape, and you're not applying the same logic equally to other situations.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby A_pathetic_lizardmnan » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:05 am UTC

I would like to point out that I have stopped using the word blame by my old defintion (or any definition, for that matter).

Back on topic. How do you propose that I, personally, should go about working on preventing rape? I'm not a social engineer, so I don't have any practical idea how to work on bringing about the socital changes you suggest.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Kewangji » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:21 am UTC

A_pathetic_lizardmnan wrote:I would like to point out that I have stopped using the word blame by my old defintion (or any definition, for that matter).

Back on topic. How do you propose that I, personally, should go about working on preventing rape? I'm not a social engineer, so I don't have any practical idea how to work on bringing about the socital changes you suggest.

Notice rape culture when it happens, point it out to people. If someone does any slut-shaming, or victim-blaming, point it out. Tell them this is terrible.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:31 am UTC

Enuja makes an excellent point: why is it that we always talk to people as potential victims rather than potential perpetrators? On the whole "reducing risks" front, why is the advice always about reducing your risk of becoming a victim rather than reducing your risk of becoming a perpetrator?

Rapists (and potential rapists) are human beings who make choices just like the rest of us. If you think internet advice can persuade potential victims to reduce their risks, why can't internet advice influence potential rapists to reduce their risk of raping?

Edit: And to follow my own advice, I'd say this:

If there is ever any doubt about a potential partner's desire to have sex (desire, not just willingness), wait until you're sure (or move on). Even setting aside all notions of morality, it is worth holding out for someone who actively *wants* you - nothing compares to that.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Aaeriele » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:18 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:why is it that we always talk to people as potential victims rather than potential perpetrators? On the whole "reducing risks" front, why is the advice always about reducing your risk of becoming a victim rather than reducing your risk of becoming a perpetrator?


Because people don't want to admit to themselves that...

setzer777 wrote:Rapists (and potential rapists) are [everyday] human beings who make choices


(Note, I specifically omitted "just like the rest of us" because it adds the implicit assumption that everyone involved in this conversation is somehow guaranteed to never be a rapist by being assigned to 'the rest of us', which is by no means certain, as this very point implies!)
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby A_pathetic_lizardmnan » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:57 am UTC

Seltzer: very good point about making sure that the desire, and not just the willingness is there. I think that point is overlooked a lot, and not just by men. I think that is one of the problems of focusing so heavily on consent rather than desire. Perhaps instead of looking to answer the question "is it ok with her if I do act x", we should be asking our partners "do you want me to do act x".

This method still has limitations, such as situations involving alcohol? What do you propose in that situation? I don't personally believe that a limit on BAC to determine ability to consent is a good idea, because that opens the door for yet more regulations on private life. I haven't really heard any alternatives, and I haven't really seen the situation firsthand because I don't drink.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:27 am UTC

Aaeriele wrote:(Note, I specifically omitted "just like the rest of us" because it adds the implicit assumption that everyone involved in this conversation is somehow guaranteed to never be a rapist by being assigned to 'the rest of us', which is by no means certain, as this very point implies!)


Very good point! I hadn't even realized that I was implying that. It does feel very easy and natural to slip into the "rapists as *them*" attitude.

A_pathetic_lizardmnan wrote:This method still has limitations, such as situations involving alcohol? What do you propose in that situation? I don't personally believe that a limit on BAC to determine ability to consent is a good idea, because that opens the door for yet more regulations on private life. I haven't really heard any alternatives, and I haven't really seen the situation firsthand because I don't drink.


I'll admit that I'm on somewhat shaky ground here (the only drunken sex I've had was in a committed relationship where we both made it clear beforehand that it was okay). My general (very possibly flawed) impression is that for the most part impairment is more likely to create the illusion of willingness, rather than the illusion of active desire. My advice for someone determined to hook-up in drinking environments would be to first of all completely rule out anyone who seems black-out drunk or near it, and second of all to require even more active participation and active expression of specific desire ("Yes, I really want to have sex with you!") from a partner who is somewhat intoxicated.

Edit: Btw, I noticed that in the alcohol situation you started talking about policy (regulations, legal limits of consent). I'm not criticizing you for that (I can totally understand it), but it is kind of an example of what Enuja was saying above. It's very easy to think of "potential victims" as people you can advise on how to help themselves, while thinking of rapists as an external problem that "we" need to figure out how to deal with at a legal/social policy level.

I think there are ways to reduce the number of alcohol-related rapes, without getting into contentious issues of legal definition (after all, we want to stop all rape, not just the kinds that can be easily/safely legally defined and prosecuted).
Last edited by setzer777 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:39 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Randomizer » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:39 am UTC

Well, one thing would be, instead of nagging, "Can I put it in yet, can I put it in yet?" and the girl having to fight you off *while* she's trying to have sex with you, maybe you could just, ya' know, calm down a little? A woman isn't magically warmed up the instant your dick is hard. Put out some effort for god's sake.

Another thing, seduce with words first, -then- paws. I told you not to grope me without permission and you do it anyway. I get fucking sick of having to hit you or say mean nasty things to you until you give up because "no" isn't good enough.

Well, fortunately he's my ex so I don't have to deal with him anymore, but that fucking pissed me off.

So, how do we teach men to not be like that? I don't know, he never fucking listened to me.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby A_pathetic_lizardmnan » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:15 am UTC

I don't know how to alleviate that problem, but that one seems to be a problem of respect, or lack thereof. <nitpick>Also, not all men are like that, just as not all women respect mens' wishes.</nitpick> The only response I can think of is "some people aren't worth the effort", but that just makes the offender somebody else's problem.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby symple » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:30 am UTC

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Pseudonymoniae » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:54 am UTC

Randomizer wrote:
So, how do we teach men to not be like that? I don't know, he never fucking listened to me.



I think your method was pretty good:


Randomizer wrote:Well, fortunately he's my ex



The somewhat bright guys will take a hint. The ones with fewer mental tools in the shed will probably just get drunk and complain about women. I'm not sure there's much else to be done for the latter except more of the same. On a societal level though, for many men there's just not a lot of social pressure to act appropriately.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Vash » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:00 am UTC

Randomizer wrote:Well, one thing would be, instead of nagging, "Can I put it in yet, can I put it in yet?" and the girl having to fight you off *while* she's trying to have sex with you, maybe you could just, ya' know, calm down a little? A woman isn't magically warmed up the instant your dick is hard. Put out some effort for god's sake.

Another thing, seduce with words first, -then- paws. I told you not to grope me without permission and you do it anyway. I get fucking sick of having to hit you or say mean nasty things to you until you give up because "no" isn't good enough.

Well, fortunately he's my ex so I don't have to deal with him anymore, but that fucking pissed me off.

So, how do we teach men to not be like that? I don't know, he never fucking listened to me.


Guy did bad things. Good you got out.

I don't know what your specific situation was, but if you answer someone's questions or solve what they are stuck on that might help. If you are looking to engender understanding, at least. Self-defense is a good idea, anyway, but it's not teaching. Punishment gets people to avoid responses. It doesn't teach them what the right ones are (evidently, whatever he was thinking, it led him to grope you and be overly eager. He needed some kind of alternative). It was not your responsibility either way, but if you wanted to teach him, that's what you would have had to do.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Whimsical Eloquence » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:52 pm UTC

Look, people can do stupid things. It's probably not a good idea for me to run through a war zone, certainly not without any form of bodily protection just as it's probably not a good idea for me to drink something that I've just seen a suspicious looking guy/gal put some suspicious looking stuff into. But if I got shot/raped in either of these two situations, the full moral blame rests with that person. If I'm looking for a peaceful Urban life it's a very silly thing for me to move to Boston which (for the purposes of this hypotethtical) has a skyrocketting crime rate that makes it almost on par with Afghanistan instead of sunny, firendly San Fransisco.

Now, if we're facing the fun question of how to stop crime in a city or war in war zone we do not target as first priority those silly people who aren't being so dandy in not wearing armour, and oh yeah, not getting killed or the people who move to that city for letting themselves become victims we target the bastards who happen to be killing/raping and actually comitting the morally reprehensible act.

So yes, it probably wasn't the best idea of you to leave your door open, certaintly not in light of you being robbed as a result but I'm certainly not going to so mind bogglingly stupid as to suggest that mitigates, in any way, the moral culpability on the part of the of the eijit who robbed you.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Enuja » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:08 pm UTC

A_pathetic_lizardmnan wrote:Changing topic a bit (if there truly is nothing that potential victims can be reasonably expected to do, my idea that the world should not be that unfair has no bearing on whether it is and I will abandon the idea), what can we personally do to prevent rape? Because it's very easy to discuss what other people or "society" should be doing, but getting things done in the real world usually involves doing them yourself.
A_pathetic_lizardmnan wrote:Back on topic. How do you propose that I, personally, should go about working on preventing rape? I'm not a social engineer, so I don't have any practical idea how to work on bringing about the socital changes you suggest.
In this very sub-forum, there is a thread entitled How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists (which you've already posted in), so discussion of that subject should probably go there! In other words, talking about preventing rape isn't actually on topic in this thread.

I know a lot of people have been very frustrated with this thread, but think we're actually doing a really good job of discussing this subject. Yes, a lot of the posts encapsulate what "rape culture" is, and not everyone has been convinced that worrying about and trying to change "rape culture" makes sense, but I think this thread is actually making progress at educating people as to how their well-meaning approaches and attitudes can actually promote rape.
Last edited by Enuja on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Rainsborough » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:00 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:I know a lot of people have been very frustrated with this thread, but think we're actually doing a really good job of discussing this subject. Yes, a lot of the posts encapsulate what "rape culture" is, and not everyone has been convinced that worrying about and trying to change "rape culture" makes sense, but I think this thread is actually making progress at educating people as to how their well-meaning approaches and attitudes can actually promote rape.


Well to get back on topic, I was intending to say that I'm kinda with bell hooks in that examining 'rape culture' is unhelpful because it often gets treated in isolation, what is more helpful is to examine rape as part of an overarching Culture of Violence, especially toward women and other marginalised groups. I think it's also an easier term to discuss because it generally avoids the kind of mental shutdown that some people (on this thread in fact) have when they hear the term rape culture where they feel personally insulted by even the notion that such a culture might exist.

I think that rape is really simply an extreme example of the Culture of Violence that exists in our society. We can see this in our much of our film, in our video games, in our ridiculously casual attitude towards war and in the increase in hate crime. Surely treating the systemic issue is better than attempting to deal with one manifestation of it.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Azrael » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:18 pm UTC

Rainsborough wrote: Surely treating the systemic issue is better than attempting to deal with one manifestation of it.

Right, you're new here and you probably haven't heard this said a thousand times, so (maybe) here's the first:

We, as individuals, have every right to focus on fixing the problems that we want to fix, and doing so in the way we want to go about it. There are always bigger fish to fry, and there's always someone who will disagree with any tactic used to address any specific issue. The "haven't you got better things to worry about" line is so frequently used it's now very little more than a well-known derailing tactic.

So while your point may certainly stand that rape culture is a subset of a culture of violence, we don't really care for the purposes of this particular here and now. Much like how we could have a discussion about rising autism rates and improvements in diagnosis and treatment, but disregard the sum whole of all other developmental or neurological disorders.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Rainsborough » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:22 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
Rainsborough wrote: Surely treating the systemic issue is better than attempting to deal with one manifestation of it.

Right, you're new here and you probably haven't heard this said a thousand times, so (maybe) here's the first:

We, as individuals, have every right to focus on fixing the problems that we want to fix, and doing so in the way we want to go about it. There are always bigger fish to fry, and there's always someone who will disagree with any tactic used to address any specific issue. The "haven't you got better things to worry about" line is so frequently used it's now very little more than a well-known derailing tactic.

So while your point may certainly stand that rape culture is a subset of a culture of violence, we don't really care for the purposes of this particular here and now. Much like how we could have a discussion about rising autism rates and improvements in diagnosis and treatment, but disregard the sum whole of all other developmental or neurological disorders.


Whoa, whoa, whoa. You're completely straw manning my argument. First off the thread was conceived to discuss rape culture in general, whether it exists, how it manifests etc. it is not limited simply to discussion on how to solve the issue but also how and why it arises. Second I really hate it when people confuse expressing an opinion (See freedom of expression) with: holding a gun to my head and telling me what to do, so do not attempt quote your right to expressing an opinion in an attempt to subvert mine. Thirdly you have completely missed the point with your analogy, a better metaphor (in terms of my argument) would be merely treating a tuberculosis suffer's bronchial inflammation rather than starting them on a course rifampicin to cure the underlying condition. So I was not saying that there are bigger fish to fry but instead if you don't treat the confront the bigger cultural phenomena the problem will either persist or mutate.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:00 pm UTC

I saw some people trying to get money for breast cancer research today. Naturally, I asked them why they were wasting their energy on this one specific manifestation of cancer when they could be trying to cure every kind of cancer.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:08 pm UTC

Rainsborough wrote:I think that rape is really simply an extreme example of the Culture of Violence that exists in our society. We can see this in our much of our film, in our video games, in our ridiculously casual attitude towards war and in the increase in hate crime. Surely treating the systemic issue is better than attempting to deal with one manifestation of it.
I think it may share elements with our culture of violence (machismo, egoism, a cavalier attitude towards the bodily autonomy of others, entitlement, etc.), but I'm not sure it's simply a subset of it.

For example, our culture glorifies violence as a necessary evil that also happens to be awesome, so the whole "evil" part gets overshadowed. However, it's always portrayed as a very intentional thing. Movie heroes who commit violence intend to commit violence, and would never argue that their violent behavior was not violent, merely that it was necessary. Rape culture, on the other hand, persists largely through denying that most acts of rape actually constitute rape, and in denying the intention of the rapist. It persists through subversive elements that are not present in our cultural glorification of violence, one of the major ones being the pervasive denial that it is, in fact, violent. If rapists already deny that their behavior is violent, I'm not sure that changing our attitude towards violence would do anything other than strengthen that denial.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Shivahn » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:13 pm UTC

Futhermore, there are a lot of non-culture-of-violence things that make up rape culture. Even if the culture of violence were ended (which I am sure would also reduce the number of rapes), the other things mentioned by Rando would persist.

Rape culture is a systemic problem of its own, and while destroying the culture of violence would be good, it would hardly be sufficient to reduce rape culture to a historical artifact.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Azrael » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:57 pm UTC

Rainsborough wrote:Whoa, whoa, whoa. You're completely straw manning my argument.

No, I'm not. And to demonstrate what a strawman actually is...

Rainsborough wrote:Second I really hate it when people confuse expressing an opinion (See freedom of expression) with: holding a gun to my head and telling me what to do, so do not attempt quote your right to expressing an opinion in an attempt to subvert mine.

... there you go.

You may, of course, continue to believe and strive towards whatever it is you please. But, be rather careful when deriding the effectiveness of one conversation by suggesting it be supplanted with another. (And be aware that in the written and topic-segregated medium we are currently using, sometimes 'whatever it is that you please' really does belongs somewhere else.)

Regarding the appropriateness of calling one a subset of the other, the previous three posters have covered all the ground I would have. Your complaint with my analogy is merely one of scale and I'm not particularly interested in playing a game of 'Which Set vs. Sub-Set Analogy is Best'

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Rainsborough » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:54 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I saw some people trying to get money for breast cancer research today. Naturally, I asked them why they were wasting their energy on this one specific manifestation of cancer when they could be trying to cure every kind of cancer.


Are you being willfully ignorant? When you can present an argument that is in any way relevant to the point I made then we'll talk. Also: "Victrix causa deis placuit sed victa Catoni."

@Rando: I get what you're saying but at the same time I think Rape culture comes (at its basest) from the objectification of people, general misogyny and/or chauvinism and the acceptance of violence as a part of life. If people accept that violence is justified in some circumstances, the only point of contention is in what circumstances. To clarify I don't think that the majority of rape is carried out because the rapist consciously thinks it's ok to commit violence for the sake of sexual gratification, merely that once you introduce the concept of Bellum iustum into popular culture it is inevitably going to perpetuate violence of all kinds.

Shivahn wrote:Futhermore, there are a lot of non-culture-of-violence things that make up rape culture. Even if the culture of violence were ended (which I am sure would also reduce the number of rapes), the other things mentioned by Rando would persist.

Rape culture is a systemic problem of its own, and while destroying the culture of violence would be good, it would hardly be sufficient to reduce rape culture to a historical artifact.


Doesn't that depend on what you define the Culture of Violence as? I haven't really got time to go into it exhaustively but bell hooks has written extensively on the subject, far more eruditely than I ever could and I think it would bear examining before people start tearing at my jugular.

@Azrael: As far as I'm concerned you misrepresented my argument the provided a contra-argument based on that misrepresentation. That is a straw man.

Azrael wrote:
Rainsborough wrote:Second I really hate it when people confuse expressing an opinion (See freedom of expression) with: holding a gun to my head and telling me what to do, so do not attempt quote your right to expressing an opinion in an attempt to subvert mine.

... there you go.


No that is reductio ad absurdum. I was taking your argument to its logical conclusion. As far as "me being new here" please see: argumentum ad hominem.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Shivahn » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:10 pm UTC

Rainsborough wrote:
Shivahn wrote:Futhermore, there are a lot of non-culture-of-violence things that make up rape culture. Even if the culture of violence were ended (which I am sure would also reduce the number of rapes), the other things mentioned by Rando would persist.

Rape culture is a systemic problem of its own, and while destroying the culture of violence would be good, it would hardly be sufficient to reduce rape culture to a historical artifact.


Doesn't that depend on what you define the Culture of Violence as? I haven't really got time to go into it exhaustively but bell hooks has written extensively on the subject, far more eruditely than I ever could and I think it would bear examining before people start tearing at my jugular.


Well, yes it does, but including things such as "women don't always know if they don't want sex" under "culture of violence" and then saying we should be dismantling the culture of violence to solve rape is kind of like suggesting we dismantle American culture to help reduce the number of rap artists being blatant misogynists, or something similar. You can lump rap culture into American culture as a whole, but is makes a lot more sense to treat them separatelly, and in any case addressing some problem one has isn't necessarily going to solve problems the other does.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:44 pm UTC

I would love to read the essay you're referring to, but I can't seem to find it online.
Rainsborough wrote:If people accept that violence is justified in some circumstances, the only point of contention is in what circumstances.
I don't think there's much contention that violence is not justified as a means of obtaining sex. Neither do you, it seems, so I don't really see how this is relevant. Especially when we have more specific ideas about masculinity and femininity that may manifest themselves in violence, but don't seem based in violence at all.

To me, it seems the problem is the much more basic propensity for people to value personal gratification more than they value the rights of others. This is bigger than the cultures of either rape or violence, and I think it's a common element in both, rather than an element inherited by one from the other in some sort of hierarchy.

Please don't feel like I'm attacking you, I think this is a perfectly valid topic. However, before arguing that we should focus one the culture of violence since it encompasses the culture of rape, you need to establish that a hierarchy exists (and bell hooks may make a great argument for that, but I can't access it), establish that it is feasible to focus on, and establish that the results we get will be comparable. Fighting the symptoms isn't necessarily short-sighted if shifting all our attention to the cause will allow suffering to continue unimpeded.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:10 am UTC

Rainsborough wrote:Are you being willfully ignorant? When you can present an argument that is in any way relevant to the point I made then we'll talk. Also: "Victrix causa deis placuit sed victa Catoni."

In the disease analogy, violence culture isn't a specific disease; it's disease in general.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Aaeriele » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:11 am UTC

Rainsborough wrote:To clarify I don't think that the majority of rape is carried out because the rapist consciously thinks it's ok to commit violence for the sake of sexual gratification, merely that once you introduce the concept of Bellum iustum into popular culture it is inevitably going to perpetuate violence of all kinds.


That's great, but it doesn't really provide a direct means for addressing the serious issue of rape in the short term. Talking about the lowest-level shared aspects of things is fine for philosophers, but it kind of falls flat when it comes to activism.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby dedalus » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:19 am UTC

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When do we want it!'
'Now!!
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Torchship » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:43 am UTC

Azrael wrote:Right, you're new here and you probably haven't heard this said a thousand times, so (maybe) here's the first:

We, as individuals, have every right to focus on fixing the problems that we want to fix, and doing so in the way we want to go about it. There are always bigger fish to fry, and there's always someone who will disagree with any tactic used to address any specific issue. The "haven't you got better things to worry about" line is so frequently used it's now very little more than a well-known derailing tactic.


I have a question: how do you gel this view with the arguments that you (and others) were having with the "victim blamers" not a page or two ago? If someone honestly believes that instructing potential victims on how to avoid rape is the best way to solve rape-based problems, are you not forced by this very statement to accept that as a valid (and hence non-criticisable, as your post implies) approach? While you are probably correct that this method will be significant less effective than a perpetrator-focused education campaign, it is still a legitimate method of solving the problem. Honest question; I want to know if there is a contradiction here, or if there is some subtlety to either your argument for free allocation of effort or against the "victim blamers" that I'm missing.

Azrael wrote:So while your point may certainly stand that rape culture is a subset of a culture of violence, we don't really care for the purposes of this particular here and now. Much like how we could have a discussion about rising autism rates and improvements in diagnosis and treatment, but disregard the sum whole of all other developmental or neurological disorders.


Huh? Is this not the "Rape Culture" thread? Do we not discuss the many and varied aspects of rape culture in this thread? Is the potential overlap with "violence culture" not a significant and quite validly explorable aspect of rape culture?

I really don't get your objection here. There is clearly quite a significant overlap between modern rape culture and violence culture (and if you don't agree with this, then by all means say so), and this overlap has not been explored at all in this thread. Even if you don't want to explore violence culture itself, the overlap is integral to any complete discussion of rape culture, so why are you attempting to suppress it?

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby TheAmazingRando » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:52 am UTC

Torchship wrote:I have a question: how do you gel this view with the arguments that you (and others) were having with the "victim blamers" not a page or two ago? If someone honestly believes that instructing potential victims on how to avoid rape is the best way to solve rape-based problems, are you not forced by this very statement to accept that as a valid (and hence non-criticisable, as your post implies) approach?
I can't speak for Azrael, but I pretty much agree with the post you quoted. First of all, the topic of the thread is Rape Culture, not Rape Avoidance Strategies. How the victim should behave isn't really relevant to a discussion on those attitudes, ideas, and actions that motivate and perpetuate rape.

I've been here for over three years, and literally every single discussion about rape eventually gets derailed at one point or another by a discussion on how the victim bears some responsibility. It's almost never on topic and it's always brought up by people who obviously haven't bothered to read any of the other topics it has come up in.

It would be great if there were easy ways that women could drastically reduce their chance of being raped that were not also incredibly prohibitive, socially. But nobody ever presents any. It's always hypothetical, with maybe a few insultingly obvious (and, usually, mostly useless) tips off the top of their head, and that's when it isn't downright misogynistic. Surely you can understand how having every discussion derailed by what amounts to "hold on guys, lets brainstorm about what women are doing wrong here" wears on your patience?

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Rainsborough » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:01 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:
Rainsborough wrote:Doesn't that depend on what you define the Culture of Violence as? I haven't really got time to go into it exhaustively but bell hooks has written extensively on the subject, far more eruditely than I ever could and I think it would bear examining before people start tearing at my jugular.


Well, yes it does, but including things such as "women don't always know if they don't want sex" under "culture of violence" and then saying we should be dismantling the culture of violence to solve rape is kind of like suggesting we dismantle American culture to help reduce the number of rap artists being blatant misogynists, or something similar. You can lump rap culture into American culture as a whole, but is makes a lot more sense to treat them separatelly, and in any case addressing some problem one has isn't necessarily going to solve problems the other does.


What I'm saying is the Culture of Violence is directly causative of Rape culture. It's interesting that you should bring up rap, I hate to use an analogy again but:

bell hooks wrote:The sexist, misogynist, patriarchal ways of thinking and behaving that are glorified in gangsta rap are a reflection of the prevailing values in our society, values created and sustained by white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. As the crudest and most brutal expression of sexism, misogynistic attitudes tend to be portrayed by the dominant culture as an expression of male deviance. In reality they are part of a sexist continuum, necessary for the maintenance of patriarchal social order. While patriarchy and sexism continue to be the political and cultural norm in our society, feminist movement has created a climate where crude expressions of male domination are called into question, especially if they are made by men in power. It is useful to think of misogyny as a field that must be labored in and maintained both to sustain patriarchy but also to serve as an ideological anti-feminist backlash. And what better group to labor on this "plantation" than young black men.


Broadly speaking that is the argument that I'm making as regards to rape.

TheAmazingRando wrote:I would love to read the essay you're referring to, but I can't seem to find it online.
Rainsborough wrote:If people accept that violence is justified in some circumstances, the only point of contention is in what circumstances.
I don't think there's much contention that violence is not justified as a means of obtaining sex. Neither do you, it seems, so I don't really see how this is relevant. Especially when we have more specific ideas about masculinity and femininity that may manifest themselves in violence, but don't seem based in violence at all.

To me, it seems the problem is the much more basic propensity for people to value personal gratification more than they value the rights of others. This is bigger than the cultures of either rape or violence, and I think it's a common element in both, rather than an element inherited by one from the other in some sort of hierarchy.

Please don't feel like I'm attacking you, I think this is a perfectly valid topic. However, before arguing that we should focus one the culture of violence since it encompasses the culture of rape, you need to establish that a hierarchy exists (and bell hooks may make a great argument for that, but I can't access it), establish that it is feasible to focus on, and establish that the results we get will be comparable. Fighting the symptoms isn't necessarily short-sighted if shifting all our attention to the cause will allow suffering to continue unimpeded.


I wish I could find the damn thing for you. The best exploration of the issue is in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center I do own a copy but I lent it out last week. I'm not arguing that we should stop fighting the symptoms, I don't think we should shut down social care for victims and those at risk or that we should stop drumming No means No into as many people as possible. I'm simply saying that the problem needs to be addressed as part of a wider context and that if we don't all we are going to do is shift the focus of violence from heinous act to another.

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:
Rainsborough wrote:Are you being willfully ignorant? When you can present an argument that is in any way relevant to the point I made then we'll talk. Also: "Victrix causa deis placuit sed victa Catoni."

In the disease analogy, violence culture isn't a specific disease; it's disease in general.


Says who? It depends on your interpretation of the issues. It's a valid stand point to be sure, but just making the bald statement without any support doesn't really sway me.

Aaeriele wrote:
Rainsborough wrote:To clarify I don't think that the majority of rape is carried out because the rapist consciously thinks it's ok to commit violence for the sake of sexual gratification, merely that once you introduce the concept of Bellum iustum into popular culture it is inevitably going to perpetuate violence of all kinds.


That's great, but it doesn't really provide a direct means for addressing the serious issue of rape in the short term. Talking about the lowest-level shared aspects of things is fine for philosophers, but it kind of falls flat when it comes to activism.


Again I am not saying that everyone should stop attempting to help. Pretty much everything suggested in this thread can and will help to one degree or the other. What I am saying is that if we ever want to get to the point (unfortunately so very far away now) where rape is really not an issue in our society we need to take a root and branch approach to the issue. Root and branch the two are not mutually exclusive and I never said they were.
Sooner or later... one has to take sides – if one is to remain human.
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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby sigsfried » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:07 am UTC

It would be great if there were easy ways that women could drastically reduce their chance of being raped that were not also incredibly prohibitive, socially. But nobody ever presents any. It's always hypothetical, with maybe a few insultingly obvious (and, usually, mostly useless) tips off the top of their head, and that's when it isn't downright misogynistic. Surely you can understand how having every discussion derailed by what amounts to "hold on guys, lets brainstorm about what women are doing wrong here" wears on your patience?



Some extent of it is appropriate though. For example had I been alive in Leeds in the late 70s and knew that any female friends of mine were walking around Headingley, alone, late at night I would have be furious with them for doing something so stupid. That doesn't make the actions of Peter Suitcliffe any less vile though. Yes they should have been able to walk the streets alone without risk but that wasn't the reality and had I met any of them at night I would have walked them home and I would not have readily accepted no for an answer. Nor do I think anyone here would have or should have acted differently.

That level of common sense though applies to any crime, the only time I remember seeing my parents genuinely angry was when I had been mugged walking through an area of Bradford, that I knew wasn't safe for me because I am white. Again I shouldn't have to take a 45 minute detour but that wasn't, and to a lesser extent isn't, the world that I knew.

So provided it is out of a genuine concern for safety then I am unlikely to condemn it but on many occasions it is simply used to excuse the actions of rapists. That is something we shouldn't tolerate.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Boomase » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:22 am UTC

Aaeriele wrote:Can we please not get into yet another episode of "but is X with Y and Z and circumstances A, B, and C actually rape?"


Yep. Cause what i meant with my post was really "But if all these conditions apply then what i did last night* doesnt count as rape right? Right??"

You claim my post was irrelevant or off topic. I didnt post that as an aha i turned the dials a bit and now the situation isnt rape so i win. They werent arbitrary x y z a b c like you portray, the conditions and subtle differences carefully reflected my uncertainties on the issue of consent, a major component of rape culture (are we on topic yet?) By comparing my beliefs to those held b y others here as a standard i wanted to see how my common beliefs might be a part of rc and thus understand rc better. Thank you for disregarding my post with one sentence.

*a reference to the incredibly offensive post by podbaydoor in the other thread suggesting that my presenting of a hypothetical situation is actually an attempt to justify sonething i did in reality.

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Re: Rape Culture (Obvious Trigger Warning)

Postby Azrael » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:40 am UTC

Torchship wrote:I have a question: how do you gel this view with the arguments that you (and others) were having with the "victim blamers" not a page or two ago? If someone honestly believes that instructing potential victims on how to avoid rape is the best way to solve rape-based problems, are you not forced by this very statement to accept that as a valid (and hence non-criticisable, as your post implies) approach? While you are probably correct that this method will be significant less effective than a perpetrator-focused education campaign, it is still a legitimate method of solving the problem. Honest question; I want to know if there is a contradiction here, or if there is some subtlety to either your argument for free allocation of effort or against the "victim blamers" that I'm missing.

Well, I probably should have stated a "do no harm" clause in there somehow. Addressing the rape culture, even if you think it's merely a wholly-owned subsidiary of a culture of violence does no harm. Attempting to blame any individual for not being vigilant enough when faced with the inestimably determination of another individual to perpetrate an immoral act can (and this thread has repeated the modes several times) certainly cause harm.

Rainsborough wrote: As far as "me being new here" please see: argumentum ad hominem.

Yeah, still no.

I didn't say you were wrong because you were new. I said that since you were new, you might not have had a certain viewpoint repeatedly pointed out to you.

And while you're on your fallacy kick, no that isn't an argument toward authority either. So why don't we stop before you post another complaint about logical fallacies while committing your own?


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