Thursday, January 10, 2013

Loyal to a fault: the crisis of male identity and rape


Western men are at an impasse, they must reconcile themselves with the fact that 98% of forcible rapes are committed by men, yet 95.5 percent of men are not rapists. Most men are decent, loving human beings who would never dream of doing such a vile thing to another person. As a result, men are faced with a contradiction. That contradiction placed them in a difficult position of defending their basic identity. They can revise their view of the world, or ignore the contradiction in favor of a treasured belief. That treasured belief in this case is that women are lying about rape, deserve to be raped or are responsible for rape because they choose to drink too much alcohol. This article will argue that the media reports of rape, cast the 95.5% of innocent men in an unfavorable light. Men are rightfully angry about this, and resort to some unsavory tactics defending the male gender, and their identity. This article speaks to the 95.5%of men who are not rapists. I will argue that rather than swimming in cognitive dissonance, or deception, it is better to be honest about the facts surrounding rape and deal with it on an individual level rather than let this become a gender war.

Think for a moment about all the things that make you, uniquely you. When you make that list, carefully consider how you use the pronoun "I".  English is the only language that capitalizes "I" regardless of where it lives in a sentence. The emphasis will always be on YOU. As long as you are communicating your ideas in the English language, you are the capital, you are the value, you are the center of whatever idea the sentence communicates. I will argue that we should encourage the 95.5% of men to defend their advanced identity, all the things that make them unique, rather than their basic identity, their gender. At the same time, women should remember that 95.5% of men are not rapists, and should remember that men have the right not to be labeled as a criminal when they have done nothing wrong. We attack the perpetrator  not the gender. Gender wars have been raging on the internet, women vs. men, men vs. women. Gender wars are harmful, and they demean us as individuals. 


Most of us start inductively organizing our descriptive adjectives from the general to the specific. For me, the first things I would write are, "I am a female, Caucasian, brunette." In that order, I am first a female, then I am white, then I am a brunette. Then I would start listing the more specific to idiosyncratic things that identify Naomi as an individual. "I am a mother, wife, entrepreneur  linguist  skeptic  artist, chef, and gardener." I would finish discussing things about my person that most people would not know unless they knew me very well. "My favorite artist is Klimt. I love bold colors. I dislike sunlight. I heat up my coffee-mate creamer in the microwave for thirty seconds before adding it to my morning coffee." There are many more things that define me beyond female, Caucasian and Brunette.


All of this might seem irrelevant to the topic of men and rape, but in fact it is very relevant because Western men are facing a much bigger identity crisis, as a gender, than ever before.  Many men adopted some harsh attitudes about rape, which strongly correlate to their need to protect their gender, and in turn, protect themselves. The only way the gender war will come to an end is when people stop dichotomous thinking, stop labeling all that is masculine as 'good or evil' and stop labeling all that is feminine as 'good or evil'




OHIO


Click to Enlarge
The Steubenville Ohio rape case has galvanized the nation when Anonymous, the dark knights of the internet, released video of a Michael Nodianos, joking about the horrific rape of a drunk sixteen year old girl. Nodianos's lawyer said his client was drunk when he made the video, and is ashamed of his behavior after some sober reflection. I saw the video and believe that the boy was drunk. He was caught up in the moment. Yet - how do we reconcile ourselves with the twitter comments? Was he drunk when he posted those as well?

Most people have vehemently attacked this disgusting, appalling behavior by these men. There are some men, who still believe that the victim bears responsibility for putting themselves in that situation. To me, that is as logical as saying that a man whose wallet is stolen while he is passed out drunk deserves to be robbed. 


 They say that this girl deserved to be raped, she drank too much, she passed out, she set herself up to be raped...she..she...she. The Canadian Taliban, Davis Aurini is perfect example of this primitive mentality. I wrote about this cave man in the past. He has stated women should be housewives, and their education is useful only to the extent that it prepares them for motherhood. In one video, he went on a rampage stating that only one out of ten females are decent human beings. His gyno-phobic rant can be watched in its entirety on my blog. Davis Aurini is one of those types who believes that life, universe, and everything can be placed into two categories: red pills and blue pills. Nobody ever told him that the Matrix is just a movie because he seems to think it is a documentary. 


One time I tried to count how many times the Canadian Taliban said 'bitch', 'slut', 'whore' and 'cunt'. If I had more time, I would download his videos, extract each time he used on of those words, and make a music video out of it. Maybe apply a little bit of audio tune. Aurini repeatedly stated that 'sluts' deserve to be raped because they set themselves up by dressing like 'sluts' and drinking. Apparently, only men are allowed to go out, party and have a good time. Women are apparently supposed to stay home and knit scarves. 


As I am a firm believer in fairness, I think that we should entertain Aurini's argument that the victim needs to start respecting themselves, and if they did the rape never would have happened in the first place. Lets suggest that if we have the audacity to say that the victim should have taken some responsibility and not behaved in such a degrading manner (i.e. dressing sexy, dancing sexy, drinking, passing out) then it would not have happened in the first place. I am going to apply Aurini's argument to the following rape case out of Alaska, and ask my viewers to tell me if his logic follows.



ALASKA


Anthony Resetarits, 20, and Joseph Resetarits, 18, were charged Thursday with one felony count each of second-degree assault. According to a criminal complaint filed in Homer Superior Court by Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Jeremy Stone, authorities were notified about the incident on Sept. 10. A nurse at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer had contacted police after a juvenile patient informed her he had been sexually assaulted at a drinking party on Sept. 8, the complaint stated. A teenage boy went to a party and drank heavily as teenagers do. According to witnesses, he passed out on the couch. 
"Multiple juveniles that were interviewed reported that he was unconscious and not responsive to attempts to wake him," Stone wrote in his report. According to police, the gathering continued uninterrupted and eventually several party-goers began taking turns writing and drawing on the passed out juvenile with a marker. At one point, Anthony Resetarits allegedly shaved an "M" into the victims' hair, a letter believed to symbolize "Mariners," which is the mascot for the Homer High School football team. Several witnesses at the party took photos and videos of the actions directed at the juvenile victim, police said.
"At some point after [the victim] had been written on and drawn on, the individuals surrounding him on the couch began to yell out ideas about what should happen next," Stone said. "While it's still unknown who made the suggestions, it was reported that someone suggested sticking a carrot in [the victim's] anus, and then someone suggested sticking a beer bottle inside of [the victim's] anus."
After someone removed the victims' pants and underwear, Anthony Resetarits allegedly took a 12 oz. Alaskan White beer bottle and inserted the full length of the neck of the bottle into the victim's anus. At least one juvenile male witnessed the assault, which was also captured on a camera.
"Several other juveniles stated they didn't see who initially had inserted the bottle but had seen ... Anthony Resetarits "tapping" and "pushing" on the bottle ... Another female juvenile stated she observed [Anthony] Resetarits "wind up" and hit the bottle, which caused it to go deeper into [the victims'] anus," Stone wrote in his report.
When the party ended, the victim, who was still unconscious, was loaded into a vehicle and taken to meet his mother.
As Aurini clearly pointed out, "simply pointing out that if she behaved with some respect for herself, the rape never would have happened," we must also acknowledge that this boy who drank like all of his friends drank should have had more respect for himself, if he had, the rape never would have happened. In applying Aurini's logic, the boy is just a slut who needs to take some responsibility for himself. 
The Alaskan boy was sexually assaulted. He was raped. The boy drank as teenagers often do. He passed out as teenagers often do. What would make that young man think that he was, as Aurini put it, not "respecting himself". Or that maybe if he "respected himself" a little more, the rape never would have happened in the first place. I fail to see how in one sense, female victims are responsible for partying and failing to "respect themselves" whilst male victims are not responsible when they did the exact same thing as the female. 
BRITISH PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY
In a study published by the British Psychological Society, men blame rape victims more than women do. Men have less sympathy for rape victims, they are more likely to blame rape victims for how they dress, how much they drank or even where they passed out after a night partying. A followup article was published by Psychology Central News Editor. Men and boys are often raped too. I am confident that this innocent sixteen year old boy is not the only teenage boy to be violated just in the state of Alaska. Imaging how many teenage boys are victimized across the United States of America every day, and never report the crime due to shame, humiliation, or fear they will be called gay.


The British research was conducted on 301 subjects (150 men and 151 women, average age 23) who were read a scenario in which victim gender, sexuality, and whether the victim was awake or asleep at the time of the assault were manipulated by the researchers.

The subjects were then asked to complete a questionnaire on blame.

The results showed that men had less sympathy for rape victims overall and tended to blame the victim more than women did. In particular men blamed the women for not fighting back.

The men questioned in the study classed assaults on gay men as the least serious, especially if the victim was conscious. 

The second, separate study was presented at the same conference by Sophia Shaw and colleagues from the University of Leicester.

In the second study, 101 men (aged between 18 and 70) completed questionnaires regarding their sexual history, personality and aggression. They were then asked to imagine themselves in different scenarios with one woman but varying her dress, how much alcohol she had consumed, how assertive she was and how many previous sexual partners she had.

Men who considered themselves sexually experienced were willing to coerce the woman to a later stage in the scenario than those with less sexual experience. These men also reported that they found resistance from a woman sexually arousing.

Alcohol, however, had the opposite effect than predicted, with participants more likely to coerce women who were sober rather than drunk.

“Previous research has suggested that women are more likely to be raped by someone they know, yet they fear rape by strangers more,” noted Shaw.

“This study was concerned with examining the factors that lead men to have a greater likelihood to commit rape in scenarios involving a woman who was an acquaintance.”


RAPE OF HOMOSEXUAL MEN

While at a volunteer orientation in Manhattan, we were in a circle talking about how to help and support clients living with HIV. Working as a volunteer for people living with HIV or full blown AIDS is an emotionally difficult process. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life, but I also knew at the same time, that it was something I had to do. 

In the group, we were discussing empathy, trauma and how to help our clients talk about their needs. One of the volunteers was an older gentleman. As we were discussing the concept of trauma, he spoke softly and said, "Since this is a safe place, I would like to share a trauma that I experienced about ten years ago." 


 As he was leaving a Chelsea gay bar, he was followed by a group of men, attacked and repeatedly raped. After the attack, he had to take large cocktails of HIV suppressant drugs in case he had been exposed to the virus. Fortunately, six months later the test came up negative. 


His story touched me. He did not deserve to be raped because he was gay. He did not deserve it because, as Aurini puts it, because the victim "dressed up like a whore, drank too much, and have no respect for them self." My friend had just as much right to go out, drink, dance and have a good time like any other person. He was not disrespecting himself because of how he dressed, or the fact that he was gay. 


Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for heterosexual men to rape gay men. It happens all over the United States, Africa, Europe, and Australia. What goes on with Asians is even creepier. There is an entire genre of Asian gay rape pornography which I am completely ill equipped to deal with. 


MEDIA AND MEN

Most men are not rapists. A much discussed rape study from 1987 surveyed thousands of college men, asking them if they have ever forced a woman to have sex or had sex with a woman who was too intoxicated to consent. In the anonymous study, approximately 4.5% of men said that they had.


I have not read the study, and do not know how accurate it is. If the study is accurate, this means that

95.5% of men do not rape. The problem arises that when rape does happen, according to the FBI 98% of the perpetrators are men. The rapists predominately attack women, but it is often that they will rape other men. The good news is that in the last ten years, the rate of male on female rape has been dropping an average of five percent (5%).


Rape dropping average 5% per year
 The problem arises that the 95.5% of men in the world, who do not rape, feel that their gender is under attack especially when media coverage is of epic proportion. Their identity is at stake. When a person feels their identity is under attack, they will fiercely defend it and ignore important evidence. In this case, the evidence is that most forcible rapes are committed by men, the victim (be it male or female) is not responsible. Yes, women do rape, but at such a small number that when it does happen, it will certainly be reported in the media. 

The problem is that while 95.5% of men do not rape, about 90,000 rapes are reported to the police every year, and the perpetrators in those rapes 98% of the time are men. It is natural that the remaining 95.5% will defend themselves, and their gender, and feel sick and tired of how their gender is portrayed in the media. They will do things like blame the victim, blame her clothing, her alcohol consumption, her sexual past and any other irrelevant thing that puts the spotlight on the victim rather than the man. I am not sure is this a cultural pattern, or just the pattern of the innocent 95.5% who do not want to be vilified for the behavior of the sick 4.5%.

Let me put a different spin on this. I am female. Studies show that women are not as good in math as men are. Studies show that Asians have a higher IQ than Caucasians. Studies also show, that I am more likely to have a personality disorder than men. Some studies even show that female flatulence stinks worse than males. Am I offended by any of this? No. Not at all. Why? Because we are individuals, not statistics.

There comes a point where one should define themselves, and stop worrying about defining themselves by predominate stereotypes. At the beginning of this blog, I discussed how the English language predisposes us to capitalize "I" in a sentence, no matter where that pronoun lives in the sentence. Maybe now is the time men should start doing it. I am suggesting that individual men look to themselves, what defines them as a person beyond their gender or race. It is not necessary to defend one's own gender because true statements about gender does not define the person. Men can respond to the world without defending whatever 'group' they feel so impelled to defend. This is the ultimate form of individualism and free thought.


 RAPE IS ABOUT THE PERPETRATOR'S IMMORALITY

Rape happens when one person thinks they have the right to penetrate another person without their consent. It is usually about sex, but sometimes it is about humiliation and control. It is always about a perpetrator being an immoral human being who thinks their desires are more important than other people.


As men defend the rapists, we see that they become loyal to their gender rather than to themselves or their principles. They are more likely to blame victims perhaps, because they have that one thing in common with the perpetrator - they are both male. When one is defending an aspect of their identity to the point they become loyal to a fault, they sacrifice clarity of thought. If a person is really confident, knows who they are, they will have no problem being honest about the statistics.

Honestly is the best policy. Women and men have the right to drink what ever they want to drink, wear what they want, pass out where ever they want without having to worry about someone shoving a beer bottle up their rectum or shoving their erect penis inside of them. Everyone has the right to live with freedom, dignity and decide what they will and will not do with their bodies. Women and men both have the right to wear the sluttiest outfit they want to wear. I am not one of those people who believe that rape is only about violence. Rather, I think that rape is about sex, violence, humiliation and a few other adjectives.   The problem is not the alcohol, the clothing, or the sexy dancing. The problem is that 4.5% of male rapists and .0009% of female rapists have a broken moral compass.

When men defend rapists and belittle the victim, they come across like they think men should be allowed to do whatever they want to women. It seems that these guys are angry that women prance about, being sexy, and holding the sex cards. Do these men really think they should be allowed to do whatever they want to women?

AskMen posted an article about whether or not it is okay to have sex with a woman too intoxicated to consent. What surprised me about the article was not the content, but rather, that 80% of the reactions to it made readers furious. 




RAPE AND THE LAW

Before I finish this blog, I must add that when it comes to something like rape, many people argue that the law is wrong. This is especially true when it comes to statutory rape. We discussed two rape cases: Ohio and Alaska. In closing, the image below shows the current rape statutes in both Alaska and Ohio. I think it is important for all people to know what the law reads, because there is not much difference between states. 


RESPONSE TO OHIO RAPE


THE END


RAPES WE DO NOT HEAR ABOUT


After reading the British study, I went online to find some recent news events related to drunk women being raped. I found a recent incident in Dubai, where a drunk British woman cunningly kidnapped from a taxi by three men. They told the driver that they knew her and were taking her home. They took her back to their flat and repeatedly raped her.

I have heard men on many occasions defend this behavior. I even know a young man who told me he would cruise bars looking for drunk women. This is utterly immoral behavior. Asim Javed, a Pakistani man residing in England was sentenced in 2010 to eight years by the Liverpool Crown Court. The report read that he preyed on young students staggering home drunk.

My search lead me to another story in Zimbabwe  where a man offered to drive a drunk woman home after she fell asleep at the bar. He repeatedly raped her in the back of a car. He was caught.


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1 comment:

  1. Interesting post, and I see that you don't have any comments for this one, so I'll post the first one. Something I'd like you to address: You state that 98% of rapists are men. It could be because 98% of rapists are actually men, or it could be because rape is defined in such a way that 98% of rapists turn out to be men. Going to the FBI link from that statistic, rape is defined by the old definition of "carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will", meaning that only women can be victims, and since most people are heterosexual, most women are going to be raped by men by this definition. Even with the definition expanded recently to include all penetration without consent (you freely admit that the definition of rape is penetration-centric: "Rape happens when one person thinks they have the right to penetrate another person without their consent"), the nature of the definition still entails that most people who rape are going to be men, since men are typically the ones who penetrate during sexual intercourse, forced or not. While you may have a post elsewhere concerning this matter, you have no link to it here, so I have to ask: How do you account for the inherently biased definition of rape presented by the FBI? For example, by the new definition, a woman forcing a man into her for sex against his will would not count as rape, since the man is not technically being penetrated. This sort of finding would even out the percentage of rapes being committed by men and women a bit more than 98% men. Thanks for your time.

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