Getting men on board

Sunday, 12th July 2009 at 10:11 UTC 1 comment

Owing to a mess up, there wasn’t a guest blog yesterday, so I thought I’d write down thoughts of my own today. A while ago a friend posted a link to a hard hitting blog post on the subject of rape, in the hopes some of their male friends would read it and do something about it.

I’d like to make a few quick jottings as time doesn’t allow for more.

First, I do suspect that the only men who bother clicking the link are those who are at least somewhat aware of the situation. Those from the “women enjoy sex, so why is rape such a bad thing?” camp (misquote from a BNP member) are unlikely to even bother. Of course, half the point of the post is actually to remind men who “wouldn’t do that” that in some circumstances, they might well. Or they might not stop someone else.

Second, its an interesting shift in mentality. When I was at university, one of the things that bugged me was the extent to which “women’s liberation” was something that only women were allowed to take initiative on. This has a certain logic to it, but here at least, it falls down. You see, in sex-attacks, 90% of the victims are women, and 95% of the perpetrators are men. Male perpetration is common thread, not female victimhood. (Figures are arbitrary, but last time I checked they were close enough to portray the reality).

Anyhow, due to lousy net connection arrangements, I can’t write any more, though I should very much like to. I know that there’s plenty more that I could write.

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Entry filed under: Culture, Gender, Human Rights, Women.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Daniel Renwick  |  Sunday, 12th July 2009 at 13:22 UTC

    I read your friends article and tried to read the discussion thread, yet due to time constraints cannot view the whole debate/discussion. I am one of ‘those guys’ who categorically would not rape and would prevent and harm anyone who thought otherwise. The male company I keep would not be my friends if they thought it acceptable to do anything close to rape.

    With this in mind, I do not feel that stories should be told of how my friends and I did not rape this girl when she was drunk. Chris Rock deals brilliantly with this, if I say ‘I am a good person because I look after my kids’, surely the reply should be ‘you’re supposed to’. Since when should we start to get praise for every good thing we do? If I start telling stories about escorting drunk girls home to prevent their assault am I really doing anything but self-aggrandisement?

    While the sentiment and anger of your friends piece I applaud, and I do think it is important, I have to say I disagree with the positive project of the piece. Rape is widespread, transcending cultural boundaries and in certain parts of the world it is disgustingly prevalent, being used as a tool of war. How do we fight this? I do not believe it is telling stories about how we are not like that, but acting positively to prevent any such abuses. What this entails I do not know.

    I do not think the way I fight the BNP is to talk about how I have black/Asian/Muslim friends, its inane and a non-sequitar. The effective way to fight the BNP is to systematically confront them on their disgusting views, this is the positive project we should adopt on the issue your friend addresses, if we start to see not-raping as a moral action, or at the very least, deserving discussion and attention, we implicitly open the door to a normative discussion on rape and whether one has the same moral standards as you, which quite frankly terrifies me.

    Reply

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