Rape Culture – Cover Your Eyes

Girl crying - WordPress Cover your eyes

Rape culture is when I was six, and my brother punched my two front teeth out. Instead of reprimanding him, my mother said “Stefanie, what did you do to provoke him?” When my only defense was my mother whispering in my ear, “Honey, ignore him. Don’t rile him up. He just wants a reaction.” As if it was my sole purpose, the reason six-year-old me existed, was to not rile up my brother. It’s starts when we’re six, and ends when we grow up assuming the natural state of a man is a predator, and I must walk on eggshells, as to not “rile him up.” Right, mom?

Rape culture is when through casual dinner conversation, my father says that women who get raped are asking for it. He says, “I see them on the streets of New York City, with their short skirts and heavy makeup. Asking for it.” When I used to be my father’s hero but will he think I was asking for it? (will he think) Will he think I deserved it? Will he hold me accountable or will he hold me, even though the touch of a man – especially my father’s – burns as if I were holding the sun in the palm of my hand.

Rape culture is you were so ashamed, you thought it would be easier for your parents to find you dead, than to say, “Hey mom and dad,” It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t ask for it. I never asked for this attention, I never asked to be a target, to be weak because I was born with two X chromosomes, to walk in fear, to always look behind me, in front of me, next to me, I never asked to be the prey. I never wanted to spend my life being something someone feasts upon, a meal for the eternally starved. I do not want to hear about the way I taste anymore. I will not let you eat me alive.

Rape culture is I shouldn’t defend my friend when an overaggressive frat boy has his hand on her ass, because standing up for her body “makes me a target.” Women are afraid to speak up, because they fear their own lives – but I’d rather take the hit than live in a culture of silence. I am told that I will always be the victim, pre-determined by the DNA in my weaker, softer body. I have birthing hips, not a fighter’s stance. I am genetically pre-dispositioned to lose every time.

Rape culture is he was probably abused as a child. When he even has some form of a justification and all I have are the things that provoked him, and the scars from his touch are woven of the darkest and toughest strings, underneath the layer of my skin. Rape culture leaves me finding pieces of him left inside of me. A bone of his elbow. The cap of his knee. There is something so daunting in the way that I know it will take me years to methodically extract him from my body. And that twinge I will get sometimes in my arm fifteen years later? Proof of the past. Like a tattoo I didn’t ask for. Somehow I am permanently inked.

Rape culture is you can’t wear that outfit anymore without feeling dirty, without feeling like you somehow earned it. You will feel like you are walking on knives, every time you wear the shoes you smashed his nose in with. Imaginary blood on the bottom of your heels, thinking, maybe this will heal me. Those shoes are your freedom, But the remains of a life long fight. You will always carry your heart, your passion, your absolute will to live, but also the shame and the guilt and the pain. I saved myself but I still feel like I’m walking on knives.

Rape culture is “Stefanie, you weren’t really raped, you were one of the lucky ones.” Because my body wasn’t penetrated by a penis, but fingers instead, that I should feel lucky. I should get on my hands and knees and say, thank you. Thank you for being so kind. Rape culture is “things could have been worse.” “It’s been a month, Stefanie. Get out of bed.” “You’ll have to get over this eventually.” “Don’t let it ruin your life.” Rape culture is he told you that after he touched you, no one would ever want you again. And you believed him.

Rape culture is telling your daughters not to get raped, instead of teaching your sons how to treat all women. That sex is not a right. You are not entitled to this. The worst possible thing you can call a woman is a slut, a whore, a bitch. The worst possible thing you can call a man is a bitch, a pussy, a girl. The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate rejection, the ultimate dismissal of strength and power, the absolute insult. When I have a daughter, I will tell her that she is not an insult.

When I have a daughter, she will know how to fight. I will look at her like the sun when she comes home with anger in her fists. Because we are human beings and we do not always have to take what we are given. They all tell her not to fight fire with fire, but that is only because they are afraid of her flames. I will teach her the value of the word “no” so that when she hears it, she will not question it.

My daughter, Don’t you dare apologize for the fierce love you have for yourself and the lengths you go to preserve it.

My daughter, I am alive because of the fierce love I have for myself, and because my father taught me to protect that. He taught me that sometimes, I have to do my own bit of saving, pick myself off the ground and wipe the dirt off my face, because at the end of the day, there is only me. I am alive because my mother taught me to love myself. She taught me that I am an enigma – a mystery, a paradox, an unfinished masterpiece and I must love myself enough to see how I turn out. I am alive because even beaten, voiceless, and back against the wall, I knew there was an ounce of me worth fighting for. And for that, I thank my parents.

Instead of teaching my daughter to cover herself up, I will show her how to be exposed. Because no is not “convince me”. No is not “I want it”. You call me, “Little lady, pretty girl, beautiful woman.” But I am not any of these things for you.

I am exploding light, my daughter will be exploding light, and you, better cover your eyes”.

 

These powerful words were written by Stefanie Lyn Kaufman (stefanie_kaufman@brown.edu)

Reblogged from: My Bones are Breaking from the Weight of the World http://aseriesofnouns.tumblr.com/post/71941707987/rape-culture-is-when-i-was-six-and-my-brother

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425 comments on “Rape Culture – Cover Your Eyes

  1. I’m so sorry about what happened to you. I read the first thing about your brother punching your teeth out when you were six, and that was enough. I’ve heard a good many stories of families that enable the most atrocious abuse. I don’t understand it at all. Well, maybe I understand it a little bit. I think parents of abusers become emotionally ambivalent, because as bad as the abused is, he/she is still their child, and many parents cannot turn off their penchant for protecting that child even when that child is hurting another one of their children. That doesn’t make it right, not by a long shot, but sometimes understanding the mechanism helps acceptance. Also, I don’t care if a woman is walking around naked, she does not deserve to be raped, and equally it does not give any man license.

    I struggled with violent ideations against one woman, in particular but that had nothing to do with the way she was dressed. She had emotionally abused me and I was traumatised by her. I never acted on my violent ideations. I got therapy instead. And I am greatful to God, that I was able to resist those violent impulses.

      • It is also important to teach your daughter that not all men are like that. Teach them to look for good traits in both men and women, and to associate with those people who encourage and respect them. This will not protect you from every dangerous situation, however, it will go along way toward making them less of a target.

      • I teach my son that women are to be treated like porcelain. And my daughter is taught never put your hands on a man unless you are ready to fight like one. I force manners on them. I force morals, values, and compassion. They will be raised to be great adults. And even better parents. I have along ways to go before they are raised. But I know I can only do my best. For your mother to allow your brother to hit you means she failed you. She herself should be ashamed. It really tears me apart to think someone would let something like this go on. The excuses rapiest have are irrelevant. There is no excuse for this action. Being provoked isn’t a good one at all. If the woman says no that means walk away. It makes me feel better that you have raised your daughter the complete opposite as you we’re raised. 🙂

    • Wow, very powerful words. I dont know any of this from experience. Thank God. When I was a young girl & defended my younger sister against a male bully, his father came to our house to complain that I (a girl) had hurt his son. My dad’s words to the other father were “teach your son how to fight” & then he closed the door. Thank you Dad. I was never a victim.

      • The problem is Michael with the argument ‘not all men’ is that enough men, do this to prove the rule true every…single…time. How many times has it been ‘the good man’s whose come out as the murderer or the rapist, how many times is the shock over ‘ve just doesn’t seem like the type’ the fact is. Men rarely are the exception they want to be, more so they prove the rule, because even ‘good men’ will make the mistake or not prevent the mistake from occurring.

      • I have a similar story, this one kid who was younger than me, always harassed me…..finally at some point, he and I get in a fight started by him, we’re rolling around on the ground and his arm is in front of me, so I bit him….and held on. I never broke the skin.

        Later his mother came to talk to my dad about ‘my behavior’ toward her son. MY father told her that her son had been systematically harassing me, and he absolutely supports my right of retaliation (I learned that word that day) and he would like to talk to her about her son’s behavior and harassment of me. She was definitely not expecting that.

        By the way, that kid’s name was David Miller, sister Cindy, and he had red hair. He’d be in his early 40s. If he’s out there, you were a little punk ass twit and you deserved everything you got.

      • Powerful message. Thanks Micheal for pointing out that not all men are Macho-men. Some of us are quite that respectful of Women.

      • Shelby. So are we never supposed to trust any man? That is a sad existence considering how many of them there are. Yes, most sexual violence is carried out by men against women, but this does not mean we can never trust men ever. Most men I know would never even consider doing such an act. Michael is right. We should surround ourselves with good people who love and support us. Some of those people can and should be men.

    • BUT those same parents often have NO PROBLEM dismissing their DAUGHTERS!!!! Sorry…I don’t buy it!

    • Rape sucks but if you live in america you only have a .5 percent chance of getting raped, but if you smoke a joint in america which doesnt hurt anyone you get put in a cage where you have a 10 percent chance of getting raped and if you try and run away from your rapist someone will shoot you in the fucking head or beat the shit out you so you cant walk. Not saying what this post is doing isnt important but lets use some of the passion and energy that went into this post to help out the people stuck in a rape cage. Lets end prison culture

      • “An American woman has a 25 to 26 percent chance of being raped in her lifetime (1 in 4). (Greenberg, Bruess and Haffner, 573; Horowitz, 413; Lips, 233). ” Definitely not .5 percent anonymous.

      • It’s not even about living in America and having a 5% chance of being raped. IT’S ABOUT THE ENDLESS FEAR OF WOMEN. Fear of men. Fear of merely walking down a familiar street. Fear of being seen and being talked to by strangers. Fear of wearing something that makes them feel good about themselves. Fear of speaking up for themselves. Fear of living. Fear of living in this goddamn world. Now you’re talking about being raped in prison? Whereas the whole world for women IS a prison. (in context with the rape culture). I hope we all consider this. And i hope that you would not ever blur out the cold hard truth that women are treated as objects by some men, but not all. Some of these men I mentioned scarred every women, whether you agree or not. Good day.

      • I’m sorry but just because there is another problem in a specific place doesn’t denature and entire argument. Just because you feel strongly on the point of smoking doens’t mean that rape culture is any less validated.

      • The people stuck in what you call a “rape cage” got there by their own volition. Not to say that rape in that scenario is acceptable, because rape is NEVER acceptable. But don’t diminish and dismiss this important message because you want to get high and apparently break the law without fear of going to prison. If you feel that strongly about your cause muster up your own passion and energy and see if you can get people on board with helping people who more often than not will not help themselves.

      • .5%? You are out of your mind. If you live in America, you have a 1 in 4 chance of getting raped. Smoking a joint gets you fined, by the way. You need more than a joint’s worth of pot to get put in prison. Reforming prison culture is a fine aim, but there is no reason to fall into the false dichotomy that only one thing can be reformed at a time. Caring about rape victims does not take ANYTHING away from other causes.

      • You are wicked selfish to hijack someone’s article that took a lot of courage to write for your own agenda.

        Use your words and write something yourself. Don’t try to take away from her story by saying its “not as bad as this other situation “. Shane on you.

      • @Katie: The 25-26% is vastly exaggerated. The .5% is accurate for reported rapes but one could still make the case that many rapes go unreported. You can read more about the .5% here: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2014-09-26/news/bs-ed-rape-statistics-20140928_1_22-percent-13-percent-30-percent

        @Gago KA: The whole “I have it worse than you so your problems don’t matter is a pretty bad way to argue your point. Both men and women have problems with being the victims of rape but they are totally different. Stop trying to brush the problems of others under the rug by saying “We have it worse!”

      • 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will be sexually aussalted or raped by the time they are 18. You have a 1 in 4 chance of being raped at all times. That is 25%. Not.5%. Prison Culture is a struggle BUT the fact that even while walking free there is a 25% of being raped and killed needs to be addressed as well.

      • Lol. Y’all realize that .5 means 50% not 5. If you don’t know this you probably shouldn’t be commenting on this anyways.

      • Nicole- Um no, .5% is .5%, not 50%.

        Bill Dan- are you really trying to say that the term “victim” is an insult to be ashamed of? A victim is a person against whom a crime has been committed. Saying that someone should be ashamed of being the victim of a crime is exactly the problem this author speaks to.

      • Don’t commit a crime if you don’t want to be put in jail it’s as simple as that. Sure weed is natural if grown that way and isn’t harmful to the body, but it’s still illegal. Whether you think it should be or not, it is. So if you choose to smoke it and you get caught you’re accepting the consequences. Just like everyone who is in prison accepted the consequences to their actions. Letting them out isn’t the answer. Rehabilitating them and having better facilities and officers would be a better option.

      • “rape sucks but…” I can’t believe you actually started your comment with those words. you completely missed the point of this story. this is her story, this is her voice. and many women can probably relate. you can’t dismiss it because you think something else is more important or more worthy. write your own piece with your own words if that is a subject you feel strongly about.

      • This is bullshit!
        Whether you believe in legalization or not, marijuana is illegal. Therefore, if you possess it, you have willfully violated the law. That’s where prison comes in.
        Being born female shouldn’t be considered a punishable offense, and that’s exactly what rape culture promotes, the idea that we are deserving of abuse and punishment, for being “the weaker sex”. Fuck that!

      • Women in America have a one in three chance of some type of sexual assault in their lifetime when you add in incest, etc. That is shocking when you add in another fact every cop I have ever known has told me, and my dad was a chief of police so I was around a lot of cops. Only between 3 and 5 percent of reported crimes make it to the news, and half or less of sexual assaults are ever reported. There are a lot of experts out there that say it would be one in two or worse if every single sexual assault was reported. People have no idea how bad this really is.

    • what victim state of mind shae and all of you have. I only read the first story of her brother and I realized how she saw things from the eyes of a victim. first off, thats what all parents so, not because its a male and female cultural thing but an older sibling thing. my sister use to smash me with shovels, throw bricks at me, chased me with a knife, force me to eat dirt and more. my parents response? stop being a brat and shellleave you alone. THATS WHAT PARENTS DO, YOU VICTIM.

      • What happened to you does not apply to every person in this world. Same with the author. So you cannot disregard what the author discussed, and we cannot disregard what you just said. But whatever you do or say, you cannot deny the fact that rape culture is prominent in this world. So instead of disproving the author’s words, why don’t you think of something that would help stop this? That would be great

      • Really Bill Dan you are dismissing what she said and telling her she is using a victim state of mind. And that she was seeing things thru the eyes of a victim. Well I have to say that is what is wrong. You are trying to make out it is the victims fault. Parents are not supposed to let a sibling regardless of the sex hurt their other sibling. Maybe you are speaking out of your victims eyes. You can’t possibly see a woman being in danger because you got beat up by your sister. Just so you know PARENTS ARE NOT GOOD PARENTS IF THEY DO THAT.

      • Victim: person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
        You are shaming people for having emotions about these situations that have hurt them. How ironic!! Why do you think like that, I wonder…

      • Bill Dan… it looks like you have no respect for yourself let alone anyone else.. let me tell you something….having been raped myself you would NEVER call me Victim…sir I am a surivior… I surivied horrific abuse, I surivied hate, degrading of who I was, my body being used for someone to abuse… but you know what, it does not define who I am… I am a surivior coz I can love and have compassion and I care for other people…what your sister did to you was wrong and you were blamed for it which was just as wrong….your parents were not there for you and I hope you got the help you needed… and it is NOT what parents do…. a true parent will protect each child accordingly and yours failed just like mine….but we don’t have to be like them… we can stop the cycle of abuse with ourselves being better parents and love our kids!!!

    • Rape culture is when I was six, and my older sister would have me go down on her. Instead of reprimanding her, my family decided that it was just a mistake. Children sometimes play doctor and that is normal, but what isn’t normal is having sex until you are married. That is something that will send you to hell, but it is okay because women cannot sexually harass, assault, or rape men.

      Rape culture is waking up with a woman on top of you in the middle of the night. You tell her “please, no,” and they continue to use you because they have power over you. You cannot fight back, and you cannot tell anyone because if you do then you will be imprisoned for years for rape, battery, and assault against someone who cannot possibly rape you.

      Rape culture is waking up the next day and talking to the police. They say, “Seems like a good time,” and “that’s not rape” because you have an X and a Y chromosome. It does not matter if you feel like a woman, if you wish deep down that you had two X chromosomes. It only matters that you were assigned the chromosomes you were gifted at birth.

      Rape culture is when your teacher, your trusted professional, and your mentor decides to have sex with you. Men online will say, “I wish I had a teacher like that when I went to school,” “Lucky guy,” and “Nice.” Women cannot truly rape men, so she only receives 30 days in prison, and she can still find gainful employment because who wouldn’t hire a fox like her who made one guy “lucky” enough to take post-traumatic stress disorder medication for the rest of his life.

      Rape culture is when a woman lies about being raped by innocent men. She should not have cheated on her boyfriend by partaking in group sex with these innocent men, but she did. And when the video evidence comes back that she did it out of her own accord, then the story disappears never to be seen again. The experience haunts these men for the rest of their lives, and the shocked boyfriend, who trusted her so dearly discovers the truth about her lies.

      Rape culture is when innocent teenagers in New York are put on trial for rape. They are ridiculed and their faces are posted all over the internet. The lady who was raped did not see the actual (one) rapist, but that does not stop the legal community from harming them for life. It takes an honest rapist to step forward to admit he raped the woman in order for them to go free, but their lives will never be the same again.

      These are examples of Rape Culture, and how it affects men and transgender persons in the modern world. But they will never be labeled as rape culture, and they will rarely be labeled as rape, sexual assault, or even sexual harassment. Despite the fact that these stories in some way will always match the requirements of at least one of these definitions.

      • These are all indeed examples of rape culture. And as more brave people speak out against it, it will be seen for what it is. It takes time to change public views – but it will happen. Just as it is happening in the Military – the biggest ‘boys club’ there is…have courage. And keep telling your story.

      • Just because this stuff happens doesn’t mean that women aren’t raped too and that it isn’t a problem. The author never said things like how men can’t be raped. It doesn’t have to be one way or the other

      • Such strong and heartfelt words. Rape happens to both men and women. It is a tragedy that should never be taken lightly by anyone. The author (Stefanie) has got it right. We need to teach our children to respect others bodies and that when it comes to sex the other person shouldn’t just be saying “no” but saying yes.

      • This is beautifully written and I myself, couldn’t agree more. It is the worst thing on Earth for people to say that men or Transgender individuals simply cannot be raped because “this” or “that”. It disgusts me that cases like this go dismissed and generally unnoticed by most people. Anyone who believes that a men or Transgender people can’t be raped or “Well it’s not the same” are despicable people that are so blinded by their own stereotyping that they can’t see past their own self-righteousness. How dare people say “You can’t be raped because your are this” Rape is Rape no matter who or what your gender is and everyone needs to be equally protected.

      • @Kezia- at no point, in any way, shape, or form did Vianney say, imply, or suggest that women aren’t raped too. How narrow minded of you to say “just because this stuff happens…” Vianney was just sharing their story, and their perspective on Rape Culture, which in face is the subject matter in this article. You need to learn how to look at things from more than your one point of view and have some compassion for everyone not just who you deem as “more worthy of our concern”

    • “I see them on the streets of New York City, with their short skirts and heavy makeup. Asking for it.”

      I’m pretty sure prostitutes are in fact asking for it.

  2. Not just as a product of the rape culture, but as a woman, I thank you for making me feel better about me…..

      • This is an incredibly inspiring post and I totally agree that the quality of men and their self-control has diminished severely, but at the same time, I wonder: would you say that women are equal to men in everything? Or that they should be treated with respect for being physically (usually) weaker than men? Just wondering, of course. Again, I totally agree with what you’ve said in this post.

      • We are talking about equality of rights, not of body strength…some things are not equal even within the same gender, but equal rights under the law is something that should be equal for everyone.

      • No they are not. Rape goes a long way further than sexual objectification. By that same logic every person (and yes I mean women and men) is a rapist, because every one objectifies every once and a while. Gender bias and sexism may be a part of a patriarchical bias in history, but not rape culture. Not every man rapes, not even by a long shot. Looking at someone with a hint of lust is not rape.

    • Anything that reduces women to purely the object of man’s desire, and discards their true worth, is or leads to rape culture.

  3. It is a dangerous world because of sin. The devils is using the weakness of many men and women to do harm to others. Women who want to dress like the world only make the chance of being a target ever so great. I am a Christian and I have to fight my flesh every minute. Every where you look are the devils temptation. When I was a kid TV and magazines never showed the body of a woman. Now they are parading a round totally naked. Young girls and women wear shorts and dresses so short that they leave nothing to the imagination and causes lust and I myself have to fight the thoughts of having sex with her even though I am not a bad person I am human and have weaknesses. If I wasn’t a Christian and have Gods power to help me to do right,who knows what might happen. I think women have a right to be safe like everyone else but they need to understand the world is not a safe place. Even God’s word says for a women to let her clothing to be loosely and not to show her figure. I have rescued 2 women in my life from being almost raped. I pray for all of the women in the world for safety. All I can say is trust in Jesus Christ as Your savior and pray for your safety.

    • Women cannot be held responsible for the weaknesses of men. Nothing gives anyone the right to violate another human being…nothing. We learn to control our emotions as we mature.

      • Then men cannot be held responsible for the weaknesses of women. As in the court system when women receive the benefit of an extreme bias. Family,civil, and criminal courts all have a female bias. Maybe acknowledge that those problems even exist and that men are victimized through them everyday and I’ll give a shit about your feminist propaganda.

      • Your misogyny is evident, Travis. Go play your “victim” card someplace else – you have no place here.

    • a man finding a woman attractive is normal and not a sin. a man doing anything else to that woman without her permission is HIM making a choice. Nobody gets the blame but HIM. I’m Christian as well but I’m sick of hearing how men are so weak and they can’t help themselves if women “cause them to lust after them”. Sorry, but it’s BS. Are we really to believe that men just can’t control themselves? That’s pretty insulting to men actually.

      • To Travis, we do not condemn the fact that there are some terms that might be biased against men. However, statistically speaking, the world is so far, very patriarchal. The laws, education, and even religion are defined for the benefit of the oppressors [male]. Which means in most cases, they are made to maintain the oppression against the second sex. Rape culture is undeniably one of those tools. There are males being raped, of course. But there are so much MORE women that are being raped every day. I hope you realize that before stating your arguments.

      • I agree! Are we to assume that every male’s default is raping predator and it is only through the fact that women wear loose clothes and tiptoe around males that they can avoid being raped? That doesn’t speak very highly on one’s views of men OR women. Surely, a man can see a woman in a short skirt or a low-cut top and somehow manage to avoid raping her…

      • In regards to @Travis’ post. He is actually quite right in his statement (his opinion) many of you say that you want gender equality but your comments show that you actually seek female domination over men. I have heard many stories where an emotionally abusive wife and mother cheats on her husband multiple times causing him emotional distress and he decided to divorce her. Despite her being an abusive mother and wife, the court granted her full custody of the children (we was merely granted supervised visits somehow) in addition to getting to keep the house he paid for and alimony! This is absolutely unacceptable that a man who was a good husband and father lost his children (who meant everything to him) and lost his home and owes his cheating wife part of his income. This, in my opinion would seem to encourage men to stay in unhealthy abusive marriages in fear of losing his children and home. This is sexism at its core and it is a very very big issue in this country. But if men speak up about these injustice, they are being “male dominant?” Take off your blinders people, gender equality, means fighting for women and men alike. I’m not saying that, no where does sexism not happen more to females than males but I am saying that it happens to BOTH.

      • I know men who have been in the
        Exact situation you describe, and you are right… There is a huge double standard when it comes to custody. People wavy dads to stand up and do their jpb, but the mothers usually get better treatment in court.

    • I am not your temption. Your own perspective in your own mind is. That what you see when you look at me is something awful, that what you do when you are with women like me is to make something lovely ugly is *YOU* not me.

      Your sin is YOUR’s. Not mine. Your projection is YOUR problems not mine. That I might end up dealing with your problems because you will not is a the ultimate betrayal of your own development and you lacking personal control.

      *YOU* not me. When you have this persepective you can turn the most lovely of things into something disgusting. I cannot fix that for you with any amount of cloth.

    • Fred you my have missed the point. A rape culture blames the woman for what she wears that caused the rape. In an equal society a woman should be able to walk down the street naked and not be raped. Blaming the victim for their actions no matter what they are is part of the problem. We need to stop teaching woman how to prevent rape. If a person wants to rape another person no matter what they are wearing will change this.We need to shift the focus to those who do rape to protect the victims.

    • Wow, if only the neighbor didn’t have that fancy car, or his wife didn’t walk around with those beautiful expensive pieces of jewelry, then it would make it so much easier to resist the temptation of carjacking him or mugging her for her jewelry.

      See how ridiculous that sounded? If the only thing keeping your from raping women is because of some deity and his book, then what you need is psychological help. Also, I don’t know how old you are, but there have always been scantly clad women on TV and in magazines. This isn’t some new thing of 2015.

    • Just like I have to fight the urge to beat the crap out of stupid people. Thing is, if I cross that line, I have nobody to blame but me! That being said, I do believe all folks, both men & women should try to protect themseves as much as possible. This would be to be aware of one’s surroundings when out alone. Don’t walk down the sreet with a cart full of cash… I live a few blocks from a university that has a frat house called th rape house. Now, I don’t care if a woman goes in the front door naked, she doesn’t deserve to be raped, but she owes it to herself to stay away. We wouldn’t walk into a room full of people with a contagious disease. I also must say one of the things that bothers me most about most school’s dress code is that girls shouldn’t wear distracting clothes.

      • If it’s known as ‘the rape house’ why hasn’t it been shut down? These are men who are known to rape women – yet women warn each other not to go there, whereas the logical response to me would be a police call.

    • “The world is a dangerous place” and what’s the danger you’re referring to? MEN. You cannot hold us responsible for your lack of respect and self control. You could legally walk around in nothing but you’re underwear – and I assume you would not expect another man to casually assume you’d like to be penetrated. If I want to take my shirt off and wear my bra in 90 degree weather, suddenly I’ve given a signal that any and every man I see is welcome to treat my lack of a shirt as a signal for consent? Absolute bullshit.

      • Im a man. Ive been raped. And this comment sickens me. “And what is the danger your reffering to? MEN.”
        Sexism: is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender.

        If a man were to walk around the streets of newyork at night in a manthong yes. He would get takin advantage of or ticketed by police. You are not for stopping rape. Or even for equallity. You are just brashly making incredibly sexist comments grouping all “MEN” together in the same form you clame your trying to stop on the other end. Stop.

    • Be a good man, not a hero by actually realizing that the opposite sex of your’s is equal, then instill this in others. Do you not have sisters, daughters, wife, etc? Imagine YOU almost being raped and why (like those 2 females you saved- and thank you for that!). Why are men allowed to treat women so disposably and disparagingly? Please reconsider your mentality that women deserve abuse because of how they dress. Is there ANY accountability on a man’s part?

    • So nice of you to show that you’re willing to throw the blame on everyone but the men who supposedly, according to your neolithic religion, have “free will” and yet to you that also means freedom from responsibility. You horrify and sicken me, Fred.

    • I typically don’t leave comments but I wanted to respond as a fellow Christian but also as a woman who was sexually abused. While I understand where you as a man are coming from at the same time I disagree a bit. See according to scripture and what Jesus said He held men accountable for lust and likened it to adultery. So you are responsible for your thoughts and lust just like any man or woman (with the issue of lust). Now I personally wear clothes modestly according to the faith I have in Jesus and in accordance to what I am accountable for as a believer. But that does not mean that women who dress differently than me deserve to be raped or treated as less than nor does that make you any less accountable for the thoughts that you have. Also, I would like to point out that I was fully clothed and modest as could be and still victimized. My clothes didn’t stop the men or women who sexually abused me. On the day when we meet Jesus face to face excuses of but Jesus she was naked will not hold water. Jesus himself saw a naked woman (the one caught in adultery) and did not lust and did not seize the opportunity to rape her or victimize her. While He is perfect, we are to be like Christ. So to you my brother in Christ, be like Christ. I will pray for you though that you will be strengthened and be pure. I do hope the best for you as I know you recognize rape and the like is wrong and even saved two women but it’s often thoughts like, “I can’t control my desires or the like when a woman is half naked,” that are behind rape culture. I have to control my thoughts as a Christian woman because it’s totally acceptable in our culture for a man to go shirtless or be around in his underwear and it’s okay cause he is a man. I can’t tell you how many times I go to a store and see half naked men up on the walls or on underwear packages or whatever. I take my own thoughts accountable and captive and make them obedient to Christ. So if I can do it (with Jesus’ help) so can you.

      • Amber, thank you for this well-written response. I agree with Kate: exactly what I was hoping to see written on here!

    • I am a man. My weaknesses are not the devil, they are my weakness. It is up to me to overcome. I cannot blame anyone or anything for the things that are wrong with me.
      Do not depend on God to give you strength to resist your base nature. Use your own will. Be a man and do what is right because you are a man, not because God wills it, or the devil wasn’t strong enough that day.

    • If you find that you have thoughts about having sex with any woman you see, simply because she has on a short dress or short shorts, that you’re having to “fight” your flesh, I suggest that you seek some counseling. This is not normal and should not be dependent on your belief in Christ and the power you place in that belief. Women DO understand very well that the world is not a safe place. But it is because men have the thoughts you have but do not resist the urge to act upon them. Your solution – to pray for our safety and to dress in clothes that you personally don’t think are revealing – places all blame for rape on women. Rape is not about sex or sexual availability, perceived or real. It is about power. Women who wear the burqa in Muslim countries are still raped though they are covered from head to toe, so your hypothesis that women are raped because of their clothing and your solution to wear different clothing are both false. I’m glad that you have saved 2 women from rape. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t still victim-blaming, based on your comment.

    • The idea that the sight of the female body makes a man instantly lustful is just a cop out. There are tribes of people who walk around mostly naked. Are the men having a free for all? Perhaps some are, but I’d say more than likely not. Ever see the show Naked and Afraid? The men don’t walk around with an erection because they are in the presence of a naked woman and they even have to sleep next to each other. It’s ridiculous to think that men can’t resist a naked woman and that immodest dress is a trigger for rape.

    • ” I myself have to fight the thoughts of having sex with her even though I am not a bad person I am human and have weaknesses. If I wasn’t a Christian and have Gods power to help me to do right,who knows what might happen.” — This, right here, is the problem. Seeing an attractive woman and feeling attracted to her is normal. But saying that that attraction makes it incredibly hard for you to resist RAPING her, and that without “God’s power to help me to do right, who knows what might happen” is NOT normal. You are totally allowed to have emotions and to see another person as desirable, but it absolutely should not require some HUGE amount of self-control and help from God to keep those ideas solely in your head and not MOLEST the person!

    • Your entire comment is placing the blame on women for your own shortcomings. (And finding someone attractive is not a shortcoming nor, I believe, a sin.) Bear in mind you were brought up to see sex everywhere, to think of a woman’s body as an object of lust – it is our culture that conditions people to think this way.

      Women are NEVER responsible for men choosing to objectify, harass, assault, or rape us. We choose what to wear based on how we want to present ourselves, and if it’s a sin, it’s between us and God – if you like what you see, that is not in and of itself a sin; it’s how you choose to respond.

      I don’t think it’s just God holding you back from acting like an animal. I do not find non-Christian men more sexually threatening than Christian ones. I do find that Christian men frequently have more excuses when it comes to sexually predatory behavior. “She was asking for it, she was underdressed, it’s not my fault women are such temptresses and whores!” No. You take responsibility for you.

    • First off I would like to say thank you for helping those other woman. That said would also like to that most of what you said was rubbish. You are making excuses. Blaming it on weakness. Everyone is weak one way or another. Everyone lusts. But to say that it is tv, magazines, clothing, ect is to blame is ridiculous! It’s called choice! God gave us free will. Men that rape choose too! And saying that we as woman should be more careful of our clothing choices is also rubbish. Do you think there are only two types of rape? Date or ally? So when a man broke into my home while I slept and attacked me in MY house, in MY bed. Its not his fault. He was weak because of tv, and magazines and he must of say me in my maxi dress (you being a man I doubt you know what that is. Its a long to my feet dress.) That day and it just screamed “come and get it”? I’m a Christian and i think your type of Christians are disgusting hiding behind the bible and purposely misinterpretating its words to excuse yourself, your actions, and your “weakness”. I find men attractive, but does that give me the right to beat them up with a baseball bat and force something inside of them? Heck no it doesn’t. Yet its ok for men as you say because they are weak. Pfft you’re ridiculous, get out of here with that snake oil.

    • There is a big difference between admiring a woman’s body, thinking/dreaming about having sex with her, or even lusting after her and raping her. Rape is a demonstration of power; a way to show someone that the rapist is stronger and more powerful than the victim or to make the rapist feel powerful. Even with a make out session that gets out of hand… an individual should be willing and prepared to stop if the other party says No… otherwise they are just demonstrating that they are in control and the other person WILL do what they want.

    • Sorry Fred, but we are not living in the dark ages. Women should be able to wear whatever they want without fear of attack. Men need to stop hiding behind religion and excuses and take responsibility for their own actions. No female EVER asks for it, Men just go and take it! I am a Christian and I am sick to death of men using the bible as a justification for violence towards women.

  4. What about the men and boys who get raped? Or do they just get over it. What about the women who rape their naive school students or is it okay because the boy was coerced to say yes? This is sexism. You are sexist.

    • Rape Culture affects men as well as women. Men do get raped and women sometimes are the aggressors. We must all understand and acknowledge that without full, informed, sober, willing CONSENT, it is sexual abuse.

      • Dianne, I didn’t take the OP to be just about men raping women. The perspective was about HER experiences. Obviously a man being raped by a woman would write from a different perspective. Both valid perspectives, both situations would be terrible and shouldn’t happen. However a commenter near the beginning put this as a comment

        “Shelby says:
        June 15, 2015 at 4:55 pm
        The problem is Michael with the argument ‘not all men’ is that enough men, do this to prove the rule true every…single…time. “… “Men rarely are the exception they want to be, more so they prove the rule, because even ‘good men’ will make the mistake or not prevent the mistake from occurring”

        That comment wasn’t about empowering women. That comment was saying that as a man, I will likely rape somebody, or allow a rape to happen. Every single time does end up shaming men. That is a sexist comment that brings it to all men. That comment blamed me, even if I never did anything, simply because I am a man.

        Not saying that rape culture is appropriate or acceptable. Just saying don’t blame me because I am a man… That is not going to help, because it pushes away the good men.

      • I think we recognize that there are good men out there, men who respect women, men who don’t condone ‘rape culture’. This is not a personal attack on any one man, but a commentary about the culture that allows this kind of thinking: That it is ‘natural’ for men to behave in such a way that puts the onus of preventing rape on the woman. It is ‘ON US’ to change this mind set.

    • In the written piece she specifically says her daughter will understand the value of the word no and will be taught to never question it.

      Rape is trauamatizing for anyone regardless of gender and not once in this piece did she say or hint that it was fine if it’s a man. She’s simply writing from her point of view as a woman. I’ve read many pieces from men talking about rape from their perspective and never assumed they thought it was easier for women, they were simply speaking from their own experiences.

    • Rape culture probably affects men and boys even harder than women in some cases, because there’s this stigma that men either “can’t” be raped, or that they’re somehow inferior, weak, “gay”, etc for being raped. Or, worse, that they’re supposed to “want it”, are “lucky”, so what are they complaining about. So, we hear about it much less. it’s a shame, really.

    • This piece was about rape from a woman’s point of view, and her personal experience specifically. Wouldn’t it be presumptuous if a woman assumed that what she experiences as a result of rape and rape culture was exactly the same for men? I submit to you that Dianne is not going to make that mistake. Only a man can tell what it’s like for a man to be raped and what he might say would be his own personal experiences, not necessarily the experience of other men. It is sexist to assume that Dianne is saying that her experiences are universal. If you read other comments here you will see other women relating their own experiences. Some mirror the experiences in the piece, some differ. Does that make any of them less legitimate than the author’s own? No. And none of the women who offer their stories are making the assumption that she thinks her experience is universal. Just because someone writes about her/his own experiences doesn’t negate the power of others’ experiences.

  5. One day, people will realize it’s not about how we, as women look, but an inherent internal flaw in some men. Whether it be how they were raised, what happened to them, or something that makes them feel powerful, women are never to blame. Ever. I say this as a victim myself. At 15, I was a young punk with the sides of my head shaved. I was wearing combat boots with black mens pants and a blue and black 3/4 sleeve shirt. I didn’t look inviting. I probably just looked like a challenge, or something to break. No woman, no one, deserves to be raped. No one deserves to feel that being violated is their fault. And I will never be a victim, because even then, no one acted like I’d been victimized.

    • Thanks for saying that as a man, I am inherently flawed. Yes, more men rape others than women. Yes, more women are raped than men, However, as power starts to become more equal in our society, more women are becoming the aggressors and raping others.

      What happened to you was wrong. Both the rape and the lack of support you got.

      How about changing this comment though to the rapist, and the victim. More and more women are raping men, especially in power positions. More women teachers are starting to abuse their power and rape their students.

      The numbers aren’t the same as men raping women, but it is increasing, and I think it is because women are experiencing more positions of power. Not a bad thing at all.. But rather than make this all men are flawed, how about all rapists are flawed, never blame the victim.

      Men that get raped get blamed as well, and there are comments to the effect that they wanted it, can’t rape a man, etc etc.

      Rapists are bad… Blaming the victim is bad. Not helping the victim is bad.

      • She said “some men”, not “all men” as you paraphrased her. I understand the twinge of defensiveness you feel when you think something might be directed at you, but in this conversation you should really learn to control that twinge and understand that it’s not about you. Stefanie’s rape is not about you. Malamoragain’s rape is not about you. Your opinion on how they analyze it and how that effects you is unnecessary.

  6. “Rape culture is he told you that after he touched you, no one would ever want you again. And you believed him.”

    i heard the exact words when i was 12…this line brought back all the pain and the hurt and the anger i have felt for the past many years and will continue to feel till my last breath! I re-lived the entire trauma again and then realized am stronger for what I’ve been through and I’m a better mom for my daughter because I know exactly how not to make her believe she has to tolerate any nonsense!

    I feel your pain and I wish I could be tehre to give you a hug! Bless you love!

  7. I agree with the sentiment but i always disagree’d with the “rape culture” title.
    As my girls are growing up i make them strong in all aspects, make them feel there worth in all ways. I love to tell them if anyone says you cant do it because your a girl you tell them “not only will i do it, ill do it better than you”.
    “Male dominated culture” would be better to call it. the other name is too limited it to a sexual mindset. All aspects must be addressed.. To bring down the one in a vile way to bring up the other wont work. Yes, we need to tell our girls they are more than a sum of there body parts and yes they can do ANYthing they set there minds to. But to tell a generation of boys they are rapeist inside will only hurt and continue the dumb cycle of old style thinking. Should we replace the thinking that girls are less with boys are monsters? I think not.

    • I hear you @Brian m, I have three young sons and one young daughter. I refuse to teach my daughter to fear men OR to teach her she’s better than her brothers. I teach her brothers (and her) they are worthy, they have value, they are loved- and that they ALL are equal. Rape is %100 about power and control. The dialogue needs to be about respect and equality. We need to change the way the feminine is considered weaker than the masculine. Dianne really addressed that well in this article. While it’s nice to imagine what we will tell our someday daughters, what will we tell our someday sons? Those are equally important words.

  8. I was sexually assaulted by my boyfriend at the time, in the basement of his family’s home. I was visiting for the weekend. He told me he was a man and he had needs. He made me feel guilty for saying no to him and forced himself on me because of “his needs”. He justified it by saying that I had an orgasm so I must have enjoyed it. He made me feel like less of a person. He is the head of a internet security company. One day, he will get what is coming to him.

    • I think many women experienced a similar situation. I did. Men, or rather boy in my case, will tell you they will suffer because you ‘worked them up’ then gave no relief…what a croc.

      • Or in my case, we lived in different towns and hadn’t seen each other in a week and I “owed” him. I was 25 and he was 29. That should have been my first clue that he still lived in his dad’s basement!!!! Hindsight..

      • Its based on my experience that I do not doubt any of the allegations against Jian Ghomeshi or Bill Cosby. What right is it of ours to judge, we were not there. And my ex had all the right words and moves in public or with family and friends. No-one knows what someone is really like until you are with them behind closed doors.

    • You wrote, “He justified it by saying that I had an orgasm so I must have enjoyed it.”

      I have always *hated* that “justification.” An orgasm is a physical response to a physical stimulus. If someone tickles me, I laugh. That does not mean I enjoy it, find it funny, want it to happen, or want that person’s hands on me. It only means that I am ticklish. The ability to force a physical response means *nothing*. It especially does not mean consent.

      • Uhm, you ever considered bringing your boyfriend to court? Because if you do nothing, it’s actually the same as accepting the action.

  9. Rape culture is when I’m called a bitch, flipped off and hit in the head for asking a stranger (who happened to be a man) for a cigarette, then brought home and “punished” for not putting out enough. Rape culture is when my husband tells me I must be a lesbian if I’m not sleeping with him as much as he’d like. Rape culture is when I hear him make fun of his sons in front of my daughter for being “girls” if they screamed. Rape culture is when he tells me girls should have a more strict dress code at school because they distract the boys and “if we don’t they’ll all be dressed up like little sluts!” Rape culture is when I finally told him how it all made me feel, and he called me an ass hole for saying it and never spoke to me again. Rape culture is his family not talking to me. Rape culture is my best friend ignoring me, because I must have done something wrong if he left me.

  10. I happen to not have the almost but the whole deal. He was a friend and boyfriend to another of my friends at the time. Everyone but about three of mutual friends believed his side of me being the one to “destroy his relationship with his girlfriend”. And even to have been told by some mutual friends that “you are lying!” ” Relationship wrecker!” “It takes two to tango.” Or my *sarcastic* favorite ” stop thinking about yourself, think about what (his now ex girlfriend)must be going through!” When mutual friends are guys and you are one of four in the group who are girls… Lets just say i lost friends (some found back again others never will). I hate it.
    Thank you for posting this. That’s all i can say. Thank you.

    • I am so happy that I shared this blog as it seems to have touched so many. What you were experiencing was the blame game – where, once again, women are blamed for men’s lack of self control. If he wanted you, it must have been your evil temptress ways. Too often women take the side of the man out of jealousy or fear. Those friends you lost? They weren’t really friends…

      • I feel your pain. Much love to you. Just some backstory our school was in a town of 5,000 people I lived in the country so we had very small amounts of people on the bus but had long bus rides as they took kids to their doorstep out in the countryside. When I was 16 I had a female and her friend(yes I’m male) on my school bus who kept putting her hand on my leg and kept putting her hand down my pants and groping me every time I tried to move she squezzed hard and her friend would push me back down and tell me that both of them were sick and tired of getting mixed signals(apperantly being very nice friendly and very kindhearted is mixed signals) they were going to get what both of us wanted they both preceded to touch and suck on me witch I didn’t want at all. I had a committed girlfriend at the time they said if I yelled for help they’d bite my dick off the one girl was 6’0″ and was a lot bigger than me she could’ve easily over powered me. I tried telling my dad and mom they laughed and said how could you not like two girls touching you. I told their parents and they called me a rapist they said only guys can rape and I almost went to jail over this. I am sick of seeing people male and female go through what you and many others did including me. But sometimes this culture and today’s society paints only males as aggressors and only make it look like males are animal now yes there are by far more mall aggressors and female victims but so many people ignore the fact that men go through the same things that women do just not as frequent or they aren’t as broadly seen.

  11. This has seriously touched me. It’s been about 2 months since mine happened, but I’m somewhat grateful I know exactly who it was.
    The greatest fear is not being believed, people saying “you must have done something to provoke him” or “why didn’t you fight back?” But without being in my situation, no one can truly understand what I went through and why I made the decisions I did. I was looking out for my own safety as much as I could, and yet I’m still taking the blame for it.

    I will share this as many times as it takes for the message to get through that it is NOT the victim’s fault.

    • Matt, I agree. Men can’t be raped. Men can’t be victims of domestic abuse. BS! My son was taught not to hit women (my 3 children were taught it’s not right either way & u only put your hands on someone with their consent or in self defense). A little witch at school found out & started hiting & kicking him. I told him that he should warn her once, but after that, he had my permission to flatten her. He was a 6’3″ 285lb of muscle linebacker. He said, “Mom, she’s 5″2″ & skinny. I would really hurt her.” My daughter went to school & told her, “My brother doesn’t hit girls, but I do. Knock it off or I will.” It took one time of my daughter showing her she wasn’t kidding. I am proud of you not only for honoring your relationship with your girlfriend & not cheating (bcaue you did NOT), but also for being brave enough to peak up here!

      • In the end my girlfriend didn’t believe me she said that what man doesn’t like two girls at the same time she ended up leaving me. I just felt really dirty afterwards I started crying and all the other kids on my bus called me a whiney bi*ch for crying at 16. I just felt like I wasn’t worth a damn after. So that is why my heart goes out to any and every woman that has experienced what I did. I never truly understood to the fullest what you women go through and my heart aches for you all. I don’t have to worry about harassment everyday but when I see men treating women like dogs, I light there ass up and defend the woman. Just remember one thing ladies you are beautiful and are your not dirty or unwanted anymore. Your gorgeous women and powerful ones! Stay strong.

  12. I’m sure this comment will be quickly erased but figured I’d say my peace nonetheless…

    What a load of ridiculous whiney drivel. Like jesus christ, arm yourself with just a smidgen of agency and stop living your life as a victim. (And please, please, teach your children the same) You live in the safest, more prosperous time, in the history of mankind by a freaking long shot and you whine as if you lived during the feudal middle ages…

    To begin with, her mother did the right thing in terms of your brother. I wish more mothers were as open minded. There is almost always two sides to the story and throughout my entire child hood no one ever seemed to question that when it was a little boy vs a little girl. The little girl almost always was given the benefit of the doubt while the little boy was assumed to be guilty. Hell I remember one time when my cousin, at about the age 6, was just sitting playing with his lego and his older sister walked up behind him with a plastic golf club and full on baseball swung it into his head. Understandably he was mad so he turned around and pushed her. He got in so much trouble for that you wouldn’t believe it, after an hour of yelling from his dad about how you should NEVER push or hit a girl he faced corporal punishment and grounding. The standard of behaviour in any school, team, daycare I ever was in was that little girls could do anything they wanted to the boys without getting in trouble but if the boys so much as hinted a retaliation thunder reigned down upon them.

    Maybe I lived in some sort of weird alter-universe of something but growing up the little girls always enjoyed a very privileged position while the little boys were barely tolerated. It was always “why can’t you be like her?”, “why can’t you be calm like her?”, “why can’t you be neat and tidy like her?”, Little girls were constantly held as the golden standard for behaviour while the little boys were treated as if there was something inherently wrong with them. That hardly seems like the ultimate insult to me. But then again I’ve lived in multiple major cities across the continent so maybe my experiences are outliers…

    So no, I don’t buy your passive aggressive bullshit that little girls are somehow living this life of horror, rejection, and soul crushing rape culture.

    Moving forward with this rant… because of the above and for an endless number of other reasons I’ve never ever encountered any circumstance where a girl being called a girl in an insult, let alone the worst insult. The girls I grew around mostly loved to be girls and took pride in being little princesses.

    However, you completely fail to understand the reason why calling a boy a girl is such a bad insult… It has NOTHING to do with girls being inherently bad. Like fuck… I thought this was obvious… Calling a boy a girl is insulting because he is NOT a girl, he is a boy. By calling him a girl you are telling him his IDENTITY IS FALSE. That is where the insult lies. If I went and called a race car: “Slow as a truck” thats an insult to the race car, it isn’t an insult to trucks. Trucks ARE SLOW, but they are also strong, and reliable. Within the context of evolution (you know that thing that created gender) boys who display feminine attributes make very poor protectors and providers so tend to die out, along with their families. Thus boys who act like girls were bad for the species for about 99% of humanity’s history. On the flip side girls who had male attributes tended to make spectacularly poor caregivers which was also very bad for that same 99% of human history. I hate to burst you bubble but you can’t undo several BILLION years of mammal evolution and a couple MILLION years of human evolution in a century or two now that we don’t need such rigid gender roles anymore. Things are changing, take steps to help our society evolve in a positive way rather than only seeing a miasma of evil despite widespread goodness.

    Calling for people to take personal agency and responsibility for their own safety is not victim shaming or rape culture, its common sense. If I tell you to wear a seatbelt you aren’t going to respond to me by saying: “Thats victim shaming, we need to teach other drivers not to get into accidents!”

    As a whole WE DO TEACH BOYS NOT TO RAPE. That why the vast vast majority of boys DONT RAPE. (Unlike during primitive times) But guess what, no matter how much you teach there are always going to be psychos who break conformity. We also teach people not to murder, but it still happens! Accept that society is doing a damn good job of teaching kids not to commit crimes (if you don’t believe me go check out some stats showing how violent crime has fallen by as much as 50% depending on the type of crime since the mid 90s). VIOLENCE AND RAPE IS PLUMMETING AND HAS BEEN PLUMMETING FOR THE LAST CENTURY. But you still need to protect yourself. If I’m out hiking I don’t go hug a bear saying that it is victim shaming if you call me foolish when he bites me. I accept that there is danger in this world and take responsibility for my safety, you should to.

    THE SINGLE WORST THING YOU CAN TEACH YOUR DAUGHTER IS SHE SHOULD JUST EXPECT THE WORLD TO NOT HURT HER. There are a fucking shit ton fewer dangers now than in any other period of history but there will be NEVER a time with no danger. Teach your daughter to protect herself because, guess what, there won’t always be a man around to dive in front of the bullet for her. Teach her agency and teach her the strength to take control of her own life rather living life feeling like a helpless victim.

    Billions of years of intellectual evolution to create the smartest, most advanced, and peaceful species in known history and all you can do is whine about how a system, which highly privileges women, is oppressing you with some fictional idea of a non existent rape culture.

    cheers!

    • While we absolutely hold the individuals who commit rape accountable, we must not forget those who blame victims and make excuses for men’s violence in a society that glorifies violence and routinely presents objectified female bodies to men for sexual pleasure. This is systematically entrenched in our culture and society, reinforced and powered by patriarchy.

      Bottom line, rape is about POWER more than it is about sex. We should not focus on a relatively small number of men who engage in behavior we describe as rape. Those men, of course, pose a serious problem and should be prosecuted, but that prosecution should include recognizing the larger context in which men are trained to seek control and pursue conquest in order to feel like a man, and how that control is routinely sexualized.

      I am sorry you see the pain shared by these wonderful women as whining. Yes, we have advanced, but we still have a long way to go…

      • Rape culture is listening to your male friend recant stories about 2 different women getting him drunk and raping him, and about another woman sexually assaulting him, but no one gives a shit. Rape culture is your own girlfriend not taking “no” for an answer when she is drunk or horny. Rape culture is listening to a friend find out from his neighbor that he’s apparently in an “open marriage” and didn’t even know about it, oh, and that his wife was really good in bed. Rape culture is being told that you never hit a girl no matter what, never, not even if she hit you first. Rape culture is Sharon Ozbourne laughing at a news article about a man’s penis being cut off because the man wanted a divorce. Rape culture is watching the news and seeing more and more female teachers raping students and only getting off with probation.

        Parents, teach your daughters not to rape, teach them not to be violent.

      • Uhm I think you missed his point completely. Rape is crime, and women (and everybody else) shouldn’t expect that they can’t be victims. Point is defend yourselves physically and legally or stay victims!

    • 1) Yeah, because punching someone until their teeth fall out can totally be justifiable.
      2) Maybe because the girls in the class didn’t act up? That’s why they were held as a “golden star pupils?” (Which I don’t think is a good idea to compare students in general, however, you make it sound like they did something wrong when they were just being well-behaved).
      3) Explain the connotation behind “you hit like a girl.”
      4) Thanks for comparing women’s bodies to a car, asshat. They’re not the same fucking thing.
      5) I would like evidence for your statistics. Keep in mind not all survivors are willing to report.
      6) You whine about women and their “privilege” yet here you are whining about the “rights of men.” Misogyny, rape culture, and male privilege damages all genders.

      Cheers.

      • 1) No that cannot be justified, however, ofterntimes, it is automatically implied that the boy is the aggressor and the girl is the victim. This is not at all always the case, because can be vile/mean creatures as well.

        2) Boys have been raised in a society wherein they have to be strong, to protect themselves/their women etc. This rubs off on children as well. If you then also hear that you are not good enough because you are not like her, then of course you are going to act up.

        3) Women did not have to be hunters/gatherers or strong in a physical sense, men did. Therefore, you hit like a girl is an insult to the boy. It is not, however, an insult to girls because evolutionarily they do not have to hit anyone.

        4) Of course they are not the same thing, that is the idea of an ‘analogy.’ “She is like a ray of sunshine.” I dare say I hope she is not, but in an analogy it works (notice also how I implicitly wrote: SHE is a ray of sunshine? Boys never hear that.

        5) Survivors? Not all rapists are murderers, therefore not all victims are survivors. Then for the statistics, it is plummeting. Victims not reporting has nothing to do with that, because even though it is sad they do not think they can trust anyone it is not as if we have become less accepting of victims. It is not like they have less incentive now to report than 50 years ago, if anything they have more. Also, even if half of the victims do not report, the rate in the United States would not be 27.3 cases per 100,000 population, but 54.6. Which, while too much, is still not every women. Also, dont forget male rape victims in prisons are a gigantic group.

        6) He might be ‘whining’ (in your words) about men’s rights, but there is a good reason for that. Which is that many self-proclaimed feminists tend to forget that not every man is a misogynystic, women-hating(/overly loving) rapist. Men have a say in all of this as well, as you say this affects all genders, but we hardly get it.

      • I am sorry Julie, I want to reply to GBlack (not to you), but I can’t find the button and this is the closer I can get. GBlack: A rape victim IS as survivor, “surviving” is not only applied to death. You OBVIOUSLY don’t know what someone feels and what someone have to go through to try to overcome this. So yes, rape victims can be survivors, unfortunately not everyone can overcome the pain, trauma, and what it does to your life and mental health. I agree with some points you have made, we can’t neglect men who go through this as well. Truth is we all need to be reeducated, but don’t try to minimize the damage and impact this has. Thank you.

      • GBlack, re: the mom’s reaction to the son hitting her daughter – you’re off on so many levels. I have 2 girls and 2 boys and while I will ask what happened, the solution is not to immediately ask “What did you do to provoke him?”, as though anyone ever deserves to get hit. I don’t give a crap what my 6 year-old son does to provoke my almost 14-year-old daughter, she doesn’t get to hit him or shove him or inflict bodily harm on him. Period. The same goes for any of my other kids. Hitting someone hard enough to knock out what could be permanent teeth isn’t a little thing and it teaches that hitting is okay, whether the aggressor is male or female. In the case of children, at a certain point it can become a legal matter. The other day we went out for a meal as a family. My oldest was being pokey on her way to the car and everyone else had gotten in, so my son closed the door near him – the one his sister needed to use to enter the vehicle. I’m not sure if he did it on purpose to irritate her, or whether he simply wasn’t paying attention and closed the door out of habit. Either way, when she couldn’t get in she was angry and when the door was opened, she punched him in the head. He’s a big 6 year-old but she’s bigger and she’s more than twice his age. Am I supposed to let her punch him because she cannot control herself at a basic level? No. I threatened her with calling the police next time because I’m tired of her not bothering to control herself. I don’t care what little picky thing someone does to you, two wrongs don’t make a right and it certainly didn’t rise to the level of violence that she took it. She’s old enough for what she did to be considered assault – he was strapped into a car seat and couldn’t avoid her, making him the perfect target. She couldn’t have missed him if she’d tried and there was no way to misconstrue what happened.

        If we take your exhortations about women always getting the benefit of the doubt to an adult situation, I can assure you that women don’t. Many, many times I’ve seen abused women call the cops on their boyfriend/husband and seen that if both cops are men, they are far less likely to believe the woman’s story if she’s crying and upset and man is calm or if she won’t leave him right then. Saw it multiple times when the neighbor below me was abusing his wife and the police were called by several tenants in our building. In Florida there is a woman who was sentenced to something like 20 years in jail for ‘attempted murder’ because her estranged husband, against whom she had an order of protection for his previous abusive behavior, came to her house about a week after she’d had their second child and threatened to kill her. He got physical with her and she got her gun from her glove compartment in the garage and warned him to leave. When he came at her again, she fired a warning shot in the air. The cops were called and he told them that she tried to kill him and their kids. The judge said that the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law didn’t apply because, since she didn’t leave, she obviously didn’t fear for her life. I find that very interesting when another now-famous person was following someone after being told not to, confronted that person after being told not to and, when he used his weapon during the ensuing altercation, he was not convicted of murder specifically because he didn’t run away but instead used a weapon because he was in fear for his life. Which is right? Women don’t automatically get a pass, though some people may give certain situations more leeway than others. The same is true for men getting a pass, as demonstrated by my above example. I know of a particular situation in which a woman was given far more credence than she deserved or warranted – a friend’s ex sued for full custody of their son (previously he’d had full custody) because she had taken temporary custody of the boy when my friend was deployed to Afghanistan. When he came back, he had to go to court and prove that he didn’t abandon his child. The female judge sided with his ex-wife, even though the social worker, the boy’s older sisters and the ex-wife’s own mother all testified that the boy would be far better off with his father and new step-mother. It cost my friend tens of thousands of dollars in court and lawyer fees and over a year and a half of appeals before he finally got custody of his son. So no, I don’t think that men are always the aggressor and I don’t think that women can’t be bitches. At the same time, it’s never okay to apply laws deferentially to one gender over another, and it’s never okay to allow physical violence, regardless of the provocation.

    • GBlack – another thought. Your so-called reason for men being stronger than women and the emphasis on that is PRECISELY WHY rape culture continues. Because men are, for the most part, stronger and/or bigger than women (though not always), those we do not know can appear menacing. Often those men who seem menacing are, in fact, not but we cannot know that. We all hear about the women who are raped by the friendly guy – look at Ariel Castro, he seemed friendly enough and drove a school bus for heaven’s sake! And yet he abducted 3 women and held them hostage, beat them, raped them and even got one pregnant. Statistics show that most women know their rapists – particularly in the military. So, these same men who are supposed to protect us and care for us end up being the ones who assault us. More to the point, you keep on talking about how women are inherently not as strong and don’t need to be but then you say that we should not expect others to not hurt us, that we shouldn’t be victims. Well, which is it? Are we victims or are we strong? Women don’t need to change. We’re not asking people for anything – we’re asking them not to do something. It costs others nothing to not rape. It costs men (and women) nothing to not rape. It costs the victims of rape more than you can imagine. Your solution is, for all intents and purposes, blaming the victims. “Just be strong”, you say. We are, so very, very often. And yet men are still walking around raping. The fact that you think that it’s only psychos that rape speaks volumes. So many men who rape don’t think they’ve done anything wrong and the victim gets the blame. How about those football players in Ohio who filmed themselves sexually assaulting that girl who was passed out drunk? She got called all kinds of names and Fox news expressed the opinion that it was a sad thing that happened to the boys, young athletes with so much promise. Victim blaming at its finest. And you want to claim that women have to stand up for themselves? Are you standing up for them? Because it’s hard to stand up for yourself when no one has your back.

      • Jen R, give this a whirl, instead of making hitting someone something your kids fear because you’ll “call the police”, (that’s just instilling fear for their actions, it’s not helping them realize the trauma they cause to others) try sitting them down and saying something like “your brother shutting the door on you made you mad.”
        Give a name to her emotion. Understand she is upset.
        Then say
        “But it’s not okay to hit people, unless defending yourself. It hurts and it makes them mad too. Your brother might have just shut the door out of habit. He might not have meant to upset you. But you hurt him anyways, and now he’s sad too. He probably looks up to you. You wouldn’t be setting much of a good example if you hit, huh? I know you’re upset and he annoys you sometimes, but it’s not okay to hit.” Give her a hug. She may be more willing to comply and try to impress you and hell, she might even go apologize to her brother. You never want to force an apology. It isn’t sincere then. You want them to voluntarily give it because they genuinely feel guilty for hurting them (and that’s why you make them understand not only their emotions but other’s emotions)
        My parents never set a good example for us or helped us to deal with our emotions, rather than pop us for what we did wrong (it’s a bit hypocritical to hit you kids and ask them not to hit others) or brush us off because they didn’t have the time to deal with it or put us in a corner or time-out (which simulates abandonment and honestly just makes kids act out more)
        It just sounds like she has trouble dealing with her reactions.
        Anyways I’m not sure if you’ve given it a go but kids are more willing to comply when they feel understood. I often get someone telling me that it isn’t my place to tell people how to parent but honestly I see that as an excuse to be lazy and not try what I’ve suggested. So don’t block the idea off because it seems the opposite of what you believe is the right way to parent. We all could use a little info and blocking someone off because you think you know better is why the human race isn’t as advanced as it should be. “It doesn’t work for every kid” is also an excuse I hear, which loudly screams “I don’t want to do what you say because I think I know better and I’m too lazy to control my emotions and work just a smidge harder to raise decent children”. It should work, human emotions are all the same unless someone has some severe chemical imbalance or they’re missing something in their brain.
        And I’m not saying to be passive either. Not being cruel to your kids isn’t being passive. Being passive is when you just completely ignore the situation or let them do what they want.
        Anyways, don’t block it off and by no means am I saying you aren’t trying your best, I’m just giving you a bit of info you can work with. If this is a new concept to you, I’ll gladly give you something you can read further into if you’re interested. I wish you the best of luck, bringing up little individuals correctly is tough, and no one really has a quick and easy way to do it. But there is a better way. And it’s through being calm and compassionate, and setting limits and sympathizing with your child.
        I have… furry children. Big, furry, barking children. And I can confirm that with that, aggression breeds more aggression, and an animal only behaves the way it does because it hasn’t been reinforced for a different behavior. But there’s a way to do it without using cruel tools or fear or intimidation (which only inhibit the behavior for a time, but doesn’t change the emotional response).
        Dogs and children aren’t quite the same but let’s just remember one thing about the both of them…
        Cruel tools, intimidation, fear, hitting inhibits the behavior (usually only when you’re around though) but DOESNT CHANGE THE EMOTIONAL RESPONSE.

    • Wow, R. I would never call this whining. I would call it freeing, educational, helpful, courageous, and sadly, necessary. I’m sorry you seem to understand the world we live in.

  13. Thank you for sharing your experience. I have 4 sons. From birth I have taught them to respect women. No means no – 100% of the time. No one – male or female asks to be raped. No one- male or female deserves to be physically or emotionally abused. Every human being deserves to be treated with respect and kindness unless they provide evidence to the contrary by their behavior. I am very sorry that you were not given the respect you deserved early in life. I sincerely hope you are now.

    • @The Unicorn:
      Thanks for your words- I’m sure they’re well meant. However, I’m afraid that with my oldest that’s not a technique that works – she’s almost 15 and I’ve been there and done that. And all the other kinds of techniques that her psychologist has suggested. I’ve read countless parenting books (I subscribe to attachment-style parenting, more or less) but I have found very little that impacts her behavior, whether positive or negative reinforcement. We’ve talked repeatedly about appropriate responses and appropriate expression of anger; these talks do not make an impact on her. Oh, and don’t try to hug a pissed off teenager who knows perfectly well that her reaction was out of line and that she’s in trouble – her standard response is “Get off of me!!!!!” in a high-pitched scream. My daughter has to live with me until she’s at least 18. My youngest child is not quite 2. So my younger 3 will have to live with her for at least 3 more years. At that point she’ll be an adult. I don’t want her to go to jail because she couldn’t control her temper. And I don’t want her to hit her siblings. If she’d hit someone else’s child, they’d be well within their rights to call law enforcement, at which point she’d end up in juvenile detention. So in that regard, the lesson is far from cruel – it’s preventative for something more extreme later on. So while this is probably an extreme way of dealing with the actions of a small child, it is not for a teenager, I assure you.

      Also, I notice that you are defensive about your advice even before you finish giving it and say that you know people will tell you it’s not your place to parent. You also say that this attitude is laziness. Well, I’m sorry to tell you, but it’s not laziness. All children do not behave the same. I’m 43 years old. I’ve been doing this for a while now and I suspect that I’ve read far more parenting articles, books and whatnot that you have, mostly because you don’t have kids. I have 4 children. This is not my first rodeo. Parenting is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing – that much I have learned over the past almost 15 years. What works for my younger daughter (8 1/2 years old) doesn’t usually work for the older one. What works for my older son (he’s 6) doesn’t always work for either of my daughters or isn’t necessary because they are not like him.

      All kids are different, respond differently to things and perceive things in their own unique way. And many kids have individual challenges that they face. The mom in the store that you’re rolling your eyes at because you think her kids are poorly behaved and she doesn’t care- she may be dealing with kids with all kinds of issues that are impacting their behaviors. Things like ADD/ADHD, Asperger’s, other autism spectrum disorders, Tourettes syndrome, etc. Maybe it’s a military family and the other parent is deployed. Maybe the parents are going through a divorce. Maybe the other parent is abusive. Maybe there are mental health issues. Maybe they’ve just suffered the loss of a close loved one. That mom may be crying herself to sleep every night because she can’t get any one task completed because she’s constantly dealing with a hyper child. Or she may be cheering that they made it through the store with only a minor meltdown, despite her . You have NO IDEA what’s going on in any given person’s life unless they offer that information to you. So yes, it’s not your place to parent when not asked – mostly because you have no children of your own (and I assure you they are often VERY different from your furry ones) – but also because any insight you have generally doesn’t apply to their specific situation. My littlest one, for example, is non-verbal. He communicates mostly through sign, although he can hear and understand me. But when he’s tired, hungry, can’t express his needs or just plain doesn’t understand why he can’t do X, he cries – loudly. Does this make him badly behaved? No. But if you saw him in a store when he’s upset, you might think he had behavioral problems. He does not.

      Asserting that you know just as well as someone with children how to parent is complete bunko – that’s why people give you attitude about it. You know theory without practical experience and that’s not the same thing. Even if you’ve babysat for family members or friends, you don’t know what it’s like to parent. Children behave very differently with their primary care givers than they do with others. I see this often in people who have no children – for them the answer always seems very simple when, in fact, it’s not. Even people with children don’t usually give parenting advice with the same kind of bravado that you have, simply because they know that what works for their kids may not work for others.

  14. Rape culture is when your friends tell you, you weren’t raped you wanted it. (Even though they weren’t there.) Rape culture is when your friends say it’s just God’s way of saying your beautiful, because they kill to look like you. Rape culture is your friends not only telling everyone what happened but calling you slut and cum dumbster. Rape culter is your friends believing your going to sleep with every boy you are friends with. Rape culture is after you are so tired of hearing all this from your friends, you get so depressed you want to die. Then your friends call you crazy and try to get you to lose your daughter.

  15. Thank you for this blogg…I was raped at the age of 17 it was not violent he did not hurt me but he did force me.Despite me crying no!!! For months i wanted to die i couldn’t get clean enough,i couldn’t tell anyone.# months after the attack i discovered i was pregnant from it.Because no one knew what happened people assumed i was just a slut.I wasn’t i had only been sexual with one guy before this.I kept the baby and people thought because i kept the baby i was not raped because how could i raise a child of rape??.The answer was simple and complicated.The child was MY child he was MY blood as well and that is all that mattered.He also Saved my life finding out i was pregnant stopped me from killing myself. He is now a handsom 14 year old and i do not regret my decision.Sometimes though the rape still haunts me I’m still afraid of most men (although i have had relationships and moved on to have 2 more kids)I am engaged now to a wonderful man.But most men in the world frighten me being near them frighten me being alone frightens me.I lost a part of my soul when that happened and that is something i will never get back.For the record i was wearing a long skirt and a tank top with a half sweater over it not that what i wore matters but i most definatly was not “teasing him,Asking for it etc’ as people would say.

  16. Rape culture is the worship of the male child as the heir and savior of the family/clan. It is the rejection of the female child as a “burden” on the family. The patriarchal culture tells us that men are to be revered above all, and women are property/chattel to be used as they see fit. We find it acceptible for men to walk around shirtless, but it is an abomination for women to breastfeed (a perfectly natural and healthy phenomenon) in public, because BREASTS = SEX!! Strong women = bitter men-hating lesbian feminists nazis while strong men = gods who can do no wrong. When a strong man hurts a woman, we immediately question *what the woman did to provoke the man*, not what the man did to the woman. The patriarchal culture tells our sons that women are seen as the tempters and deceivers of men, and men are too weak-willed to resist their hormones and animalistic urges. The patriarchal culture tells our daughters not to tempt or provoke men, to cover ourselves and not draw attention to ourselves so that men will not assault us. Women are taught that we should not follow our dreams and become the best we can be in fear of provoking men (because we might hurt their incredibly sensitive egos, which will make them made and want to hurt us). Maybe, just maybe, if we teach our sons that they are not gods, not saviors, and that girls/women are just as strong and capable as them, and they – as men – should respect women, we might see the beginning of the end of rape culture. But I won’t hold my breath…

  17. Things like this are so hard. My first official relationship was with a shady kind of guy. My family and friends didn’t approve and I knew he had a past but I always believed in the good in people. In the end I was forbidden to see him but all that meant to my 19 year old self was that I would have to see him secretly. That meant more secluded locations. I always told him I was saving myself for marriage and that I wouldn’t sleep with him. One day he forced me into the back of my car and I fought him but he was stronger. My last words as a virgin were “Please, you can still stop.” He did it anyways and then laughed at me after. I figured after that I had to be with him because I had meant to save myself. He did this regularly for a few months, threatening to kill himself if I left him and I continued to hide it from my family and friends When he would hurt me I would tell them the bruises were from hiking. Eventually they found out. They were mad at him but they were mad at me too. I always heard from my family that rape was rape and no meant no and there was no justification for it but once they found out about me their responses were that I should have known better. It was my fault. I knew he had a bad past so it was my fault. I was young and naive and believed in goodness in people so it was my fault. I wish I could make them understand that I didn’t want it and I fought. I didn’t go to the police out of shame and fear they would find out. By the time I did go to police it was months later and there was no proof but my words. Now I have to live in fear that he will do it to someone else because I wasn’t strong enough to go to the police sooner and he got away with it. It isn’t something you can really truly understand until you experience it. Now we just don’t talk about it and I will always be haunted by it. I did end up finding an amazing man who respects and loves me and we are married with a two year old boy and another boy due in 3 weeks. I am gonna make damn sure they are like their daddy and understand what “no” means. I am gonna raise good men. That is my vow.

    • Jenna, my husband said something to me that I think was the single most helpful thing. I felt bad he didn’t get a virgin but didn’t get experience either.In fact I was pretty screwed up re: sex. He said, “The way I see it, I am your 1st. He took, I’m the 1st prson you’re giving yourslf to & that’s the gift that I still get!” I burst into tears! Happy ones. He’s that kind of guy. I was only technically carrying our kids. WE were pregnant. I got pretty lucky with him!!

      • I am so glad you found a great man! I, too, found a loving and forgiving man who lives like Christ Jesus, who takes care of me and thinks of me before himself. What a blessing.

  18. Thank you. Thank you for being another survivor and for screaming it out, thank you. And I would say I’m sorry this happened to you, but like you, I imagine we have the same opinion of “Don’t sympathise, just make sure it never happens again” Thank you for writing this, and thank you for being.

  19. Reblogged this on The Poetic Life of: D. Thompson and commented:
    “While you were sleeping” a strong hard truth about rape culture and the sad stance behind every waking moment. I dream of a day where men are not provoked to do us wrong by our body but rather provoked to do right by us because we are the ones who will continue our future. Without us the human race will deteriorate. Don’t scar an inocent because of your own insecurities.

    Does it mAke you feel big and strong to make someone else feel weak and vulnerable?

    This is not just about men. I truly believe that anyone be it man or woman who can rape someone is not worth the skin they live in. Shame… Pure shame.

  20. Thank you for your blog…I am 55 years old now and heres my story, it started when i was 8 my father molested me several times until I got the nerve at 15 to speak out i told a judge what was happening and (I had ran away) I was sent back to the house, the next time I ran away i was locked up till I turned 16…I left the state at age 16 got married to an abusive husband when my son was 6 months old I left. I met what I thought was Mr. right we had 4 children, 3 boys and a girl, I had confided in my husband about my past and everytime we got into an argument he would tell me I asked for it. I finally left with my children and started a new life and tried to put it all behind me, I had the chance at age 30 to confront my father, he died the next day,I felt bad for the words I had said to him but I dont think I regret saying them…several years down the road my daughter turns 17 , I came home from work 1 morning to find a note from my daughter stating that her uncle (the brother I trusted) had molested her, I let this man stay in my house while I worked nights, when I confronted him he stated “I.m sick”
    I work in the criminal justice system, and as unprofessional as it sounds I had a gun in my hand and the phone I called the sheriffs dept and told them what I was about to do, luckily they got there in time…but he only got 4 years with time served and now lives next door to me. he is now a listed sex offender…My mother never stood up for me, I will always stand up for my children and I hope I have taught my boys the right way to act.Thanks again.as far as me I have swore off men and have been alone for 26 years now….

    • Thank you for sharing your story kat. It is shocking to see how common these stories are and how women have suffered in silence for so long… until they don’t and find themselves in trouble! We often find the courage to stand up for our children when we cannot stand up for ourselves.

    • Thank You Kat for defending your daughter!! I’ve had a similar story as you growing up except I didn’t run away and never spoke out until I was 32. My then husband said he believed me, but when we talked about what happened he would always say “your father allegedly….” which told me that he didn’t’ believe me. When I told my mother that time she initially was shocked and didn’t know what to say or believe. She ended up believing me, but only until he talked to her and then I was accused of lying. Yeah – at the age of 32 I would make up such a story. Whatever. My father also abused one of my sisters and he admitted to her what he did and she forgave him. My other sister to this day ( she is 70 now) says he did nothing to her. However – my father never admitted that he did anything wrong to me. When he got cancer and was dying people told me I needed to see him and forgive otherwise I would never forgive myself for letting him die with this unresolved issue. Well 0I had gone through years of therapy by then, battled depression and suicidal ideas and for me he had died many years before then. I never did see him nor spoke to him for many years prior to his death and I’ve never felt guilty over it. However – I never found peace until I was finally able to forgive him quite a few years after his death. Until then I wasn’t really able to release it and was harboring all that anger. I’ve been married twice and my second husband was emotionally abusive. I finally filed for divorce. Kat – I understand why you have been alone. I too ( am 56 now) have been alone for 15 years because I don’t trust my own judgement in men. Sometimes I get lonely, but when I think about the possible ramifications….. I’d rather stay alone and at peace and put up with the occasional loneliness.
      Thank you All for sharing your stories!

  21. Thank you for this. It describes so powerfully what I often find hard to explain clearly to people – because many of these comments and experiences are so everyday they become normalized and acceptable. We all have that fire somewhere inside and we must learn not to be afraid of it.

  22. Rape culture is when your mother says, “I wonder what the neighbors wife would have said if she knew”.
    Again, rape culture is when your mother says “What did you get yourself into”.
    Rape culture is when your mother says “don’t you dare let anyone find out. It will ruin the family’s reputation”
    Rape culture is when your mother says “No decent man will ever want you now. You are used.”

  23. reposted on my blog.. Very powerful.. Rape culture is when your husband rapes you while you are crying no. Turns what was supposed to be a beautiful thing and makes it vile and hated.

  24. life after the rape of a child is the hardest in this world. Her world is broken beyond repair. Something so giving as that of a child’s trust is gone forever, Her world that was once so innocent is know a world of fear. She know something is wrong she just doesn’t know what it is. She want to talk to you but the act of rape is so foreign to her that their are no words to describe how she feels. She hides how she feels because of shame that she does not understand but she does know that their is something terribly wrong with her..
    This will never go away, this act will scar her forever. She will need more love more understanding and strength from everyone around her.
    Be her hero

  25. I am 50 years old. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 32 years. He is my greatest love and best friend. I tell him everything. But I have never told anyone this:

    When I was about 5 years old, a neighborhood boy (a year older than me) and his sister (about 4-5 years older than me) used to make me “play dirty stuff”. That’s what they called it. His sister would make us get naked and lay together and push our hips against each other like we were having sex. I don’t remember the first time it happened but it happened repeatedly. I remember telling them I didn’t want to do it and she would say if I didn’t she would tell my mother what I had done and I would get in trouble. I felt so dirty and somehow I knew it was wrong. I don’t know how long it went on, but I finally told them I wasn’t going to do it any more. The girl said she’d tell my mama, so I ran home, slammed the door and leaned against it crying. When mama asked me what was wrong, I kept telling her I didn’t want to tell her. They came in my yard but, of course, never came to the door. They were the only other kids in my neighborhood, so I tried to avoid them. I played at home and by myself. We moved about a year later but sometimes I still saw them. I always felt sick and tried to avoid them. Later, when I was about 9, I had another friend (a girl) who was about 12 who sometimes had me spend the night with her. One night, she “taught” me how to masturbate. She kept touching me and telling me it was normal. Again, while it felt good, I still felt like I was dirty and doing something wrong. (Now I wonder what was going on in their lives that at this young age they knew so much.) I also had a family member who liked to slap and pinch me on the behind and comment that I wouldn’t have any problems having children because I had big hips. I was 10-12 years old and it made me feel disgusting. To this day, I have never told anyone (until now) what happened to me. I have always been too ashamed. I have never even told my husband whom I have had a very healthy sex life with and can discuss any fantasy or desire I have. But these events left me feeling ashamed, perverted, dirty, and just wrong. I resent that I had so much innocence taken away from me, that I was not allowed to learn about and experience sex in a normal way and that sometimes, when someone touches me I still get that “dirty” feeling. I wasn’t raped. I’ve never felt that I should whine and complain. There are children out there who were really abused and lived through horrible atrocities. I wasn’t actually sexually abused but psychologically, it still changed me and the rest of my life. And I can’t believe I am actually telling anyone about it now, even anonymously.

    • Thank you for sharing. I had a very similar experience and I also wish that I could have learned with a trusted partner later in life rather than from a “child friend”. She was a bit older than me and obviously abused at some point. She knew so much and to both of us it was fun at the time. But even though I enjoyed it at the very young age of 8. I still don’t feel like it was disgraceful or makes me a bad person because at that age both her and I lacked the reasoning that I have acquired as I’ve matured.
      Don’t be ashamed. I hope you are able to tell your husband some day. He will probably be much more comforting and understanding than you could imagine.

    • Sounds like sexual abuse to me.

      I had a similar thing happen, being molested by a cousin a couple of years older than me who would make me play those kinds of games with her. We didn’t visit very often and I eventually had to physically fight and harm her and tell her I was never going to play with her again. That didn’t stop her from following me around trying to do stuff. It made me very uneasy and I always dreaded going to visit the gropey cousin. However, since it was by another female, I didn’t realize until very recently that it probably “counted” as molestation…until a boyfriend of mine engaged in similar actions. He would pretend to back off, then do the stuff I had told him no about, then pretend not to understand, and test and push my boundaries and overall make me very uncomfortable, forcing kisses and touches that I did not want and admitting later he knew I hadn’t wanted the contact but did it anyway…granted, he was actually NOT as bad about it as she was, but the similarity was there and I wonder if it would have escalated had I stayed with him.

      Rape culture is people believing females can’t be abusers because “women” is synonymous with “victim.”

    • You are strong and you are amazing. To keep stuff like that inside for that long and still have a healthy sex life is admirable. Kids do play nasty games! I agree with you, what was going on in their lives to act that way? The girl who was touching you may have found something she enjoyed and wanted to share it with you, BUT she should not have touched you. You did nothing wrong. Please try to let it go and accept that you were not dirty or bad. What was wrong; was people making a trusting little girl feel that way.

    • Can’t Say Says ~ There’s a fabulous Ted talk about how there are no ‘harder’ or ‘hardest’ conversations, there are just hard conversations. You were abused. You don’t need to have shed blood for it to be classified as abuse. I’m glad you found the courage to share, even anonymously. It helps us all see we’re not alone.

  26. Hi, you should credit where you got that photo from! It’s Michelle DuPont’s photo of her daughter. I hope you are using/editing the photo with permission, given the subject matter of the post. Really powerful stuff on here.

    Lynne

    • I am in conversation with Michelle DuPont about the photo. It is beautiful and compelling. It was found with no credits offered so I had no way to contact prior to use. Thank you for your comments and concern.

    • Apparently many are not as they continue to blame the woman for being victimized. Her dress was too short, she was drinking too much, laughing too loud, wearing too much make-up, out too late – ASKING FOR IT in other words. Why should women have to dress, act, live so as not be be raped? I am sorry you cannot see that we do live in a rape culture. Read up on Steubenville and how the community was more outraged at losing their ‘star’ football players than they were about a young girl being raped multiple times and then face having it all on social media to shame her even more.

      • I understand & agree with EXACTLY what she said! My point is that not all men are like this & if I was one of those good men, I would be insulted by the broad brushstroke that other men have caused. I would be insulted that other men have caused the world to think all men are led around by thir penis & aren’t capable of using their brain! I agree with her as I know 1st hand.

      • Sometimes it IS the woman who is to blame. I won’t argue that many women are raped against their will, but there are likely just as many who willingly participate in an encounter, whether as a result of drinking or some other influence, who later regret their actions and accuse a man of raping them. Many women actually are sluts who will do things like this just to get a man in to trouble. Many women do wear short skirts and revealing tops and too much makeup just to get men to drool and grope them. Its not always so black and white or as one-sided as its made out to be. There are women who are just as bad if not worse than men.

      • Consent is a voluntary, sober, imaginative, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement
        An active agreement that cannot be coerced. It is process, which must be asked for every step of the way; if you want to move to the next level of sexual intimacy, you should ask! It is never implied and cannot be assumed, even in the context of a relationship, the manner of dress, whether or not drinking or flirting is involved. And just because you are in a relationship does not mean that you have permission to have sex with your partner. Most women are raped by someone they know, often intimate partners. The best way to avoid being accused of rape is to ensure you have CONSENT. Then there will be no misunderstanding.

  27. Rape culture is grouping up a bunch of different dynamics and treating them like they’re all one simple generic issue. You know why I don’t care about the complaints of rape culture? Because I can see the naivity and stupidity of the people raving about such ideas.

    I’m sure it feels nice to pretend the world is black and white, and that you have it all figured out with your silly little models of morality, but it’s all grey and has been since the dawn of time.

    The universe doesn’t give a shit about your complaints, and frankly neither do I – other than to express disdain for having to hear such drivel so often. Most of you cunts are closeted and pampered, with nothing but first world problems. If anything you should be *grateful* for your position in life. Go out and experience some real rough shit, witness the worst life has to offer, and see how insignificant your ideas of rape culture actually are.

    But if you’re not willing to do that, to actually get some wisdom, experience and perspective under your belt… why bother talking so much? Your opinions are worth less than a puddle of mud if you have no substance behind them, and you’ll always have to deal with antagonistic reactions like mine because of your conceitedness in taking yourself and your ideas more seriously than they deserve. The onus is on you much more than you think, to take some damned responsibility for what you believe and say.

    • Daniel, one day, when you grow up you’ll understand. Your lack of understanding (and probably education) is thinking this is one simple ‘generic issue’. The very word ‘culture’ means a combination of beliefs, values, habits, attitudes, goals, social norms, etc. of a certain set of people, religions, races, or social groups. There are no easy answers except teaching our boys to respect women and not to rape. Trying to lessen the pain by pointing out there are greater pains in the world is not an effective argument. And rape will never be ‘insignificant’ to those who experience it. And I count you among countless males who choose to blame women for your own weakness. YOU are the problem.

      • Actually I was pointing out that it’s you folk who believe it’s one generic issue – hence the umbrella term “rape culture”, which is an attempt to fit all these things into some neat little ideological box. They don’t fit into a neat little box, period. It’s incredibly intellectually lazy.

        As a man, I’ve been taught my whole life to not be racist, to respect women, to this, to that, etc etc. But you know what I learned? I didn’t need to be taught those things, my own conscience already had a sense of “right” and “wrong”. Most of all I didn’t need to be taught about it by people more naive than me, with very narrow world views. I reject all indoctrination and propaganda, no matter what “good cause” it’s in the name of. Ignorance and blind faith always cause harm, and they are one of the biggest blights on the human race and its history. You people are seeking to create a sociological religion of sorts, whether you realise it or not, and I reject all dogmatic thinking on principle.

        There has to be a point at which people take some responsibility for their own emotional equilibrium. Life spares nobody… you either dust up and make the most of your plight, or you sit there feeling sorry for yourself. Or even worse, you try to force people around you to feel sorry for you, and change their lives for the sake of *your* self-pity and over sensitivity.

        What could be more arrogant and narcissistic than that! That you people want to change the world to revolve so much around you and your issues! That you want to shove these half baked ideas down the throats of others, ideas you haven’t fully analysed with rigour, you haven’t even taken the responsibility for being absolutely certain of their integrity!

        Because I know what it takes to get through the hardships of life and come out the other side… I am a very resilient person. It takes strength, it takes acceptance, it takes determination, and most of all it takes being honest with yourself. I don’t see that much of those qualities in most people going on about ideas like “rape culture”, which makes it very hard to care for your appeals. I’ve taken responsibility for my own sense of well being and balance, and I expect others to do the same if I’m going to show them sympathy.

        Say some big burly man raped me up the ass and tortured me, mutilated the shit out of me or something, whatever the worst you can think of is (I’d wager I can think of worse). You wanna know something? It’d make me angry, maybe I’d find that prick later and fuck him up good in a way he never saw coming, but I wouldn’t be emotionally TRAUMATISED. So what, someone stuck their dick in me against my will, someone chopped up my body – what does that really CHANGE?

        Does it or should it have any impact on my sense of self and emotional well-being? ONLY if I am dependent on external stimuli and circumstances to provide those. And mostly I’m not, I chose to take the path in life of relying first and foremost on myself.

        That’s the trouble with you people, and many humans in general… you have very needy personalities, very little resilience. You live and have lived in a modern first world country, where you’re bubbled from real hardship and pain. You never experienced what real suffering was like, you never learned to live through complete and utter loss, complete and utter torture. And instead of trying to gain those qualities, you want to instead complain and try to change the world to suit you. But that’s a losing prospect… you will constantly meet resistance, and your aims of some utopian ideal will always fall flat on your face.

        I can be a very compassionate person, but I have no patience for ideas that include: ignorance, blind faith, dogmatism, prejudice (because a lot of you people are *very* prejudiced and judgemental), and settling for being weak victims. It’s OK to be weak and vulnerable sometimes, we all are, but to SETTLE for it is downright pathetic, and to try to demand that others be partners to that is just ridiculous and arrogant.

        Anyway, I don’t blame women, I blame ignorance and stupidity, and I blame how closeted and sheltered modern human beings are.

        For you I’m a problem :). But I’m pretty in harmony with the laws of life, and am a very honest and just person, even if I may not seem that way in how blunt I’m being. To you I probably seem like an incredible bigot and villain, because of the preconceptions you would view and see me through. Which is your problem, but to a point I like to have a go at it, to try to also express how someone else feels about these things, so that you might stop, think, and get some perspective.

        And if you don’t, oh well. The human race is pretty retarded anyway, so I don’t feel that invested in the outcome. We’re probably going to destroy ourselves anyway, and I don’t see any of you folk understanding and being able to change that :).

        Anyway as a final word… I know I can be quite blunt and scathing here, very venomous… but I also want to point out that I don’t have anything against you. I’m actually deeply a humanist, I used to love people, and in some ways I still do. But I detest naive arrogant ignorant human thinking… The human race is sick in the head, and incredibly hypocritical… my venom is for that, but not for YOU personally, who you are in your heart. That part I respect in all and everyone, if you get what I’m saying.

      • Anyway that’s gonna be my last word here. I know most people here will just misconstrue and try to debate what I’ve said, but I’m not interested. I know what I know and understand, I don’t need to prove it, I only testify to it, it’s up to others if they want to see the way things are for themselves.

      • Oh, one other thing actually, caus you might assume I haven’t considered the idea of rape culture.

        I’ll say this – rape isn’t caused by “rape culture”. There isn’t a rape culture – the things listed in this blog are not “rape”, half of them aren’t even sexual in nature – a brother bullying his sister isn’t “rape culture”, it has nothing to do with rape at all, in terms of how the word is actually defined in the dictionary. In fact for the most part our culture frowns on rape – it’s seen in a very negative light, people who do it are *shunned*, and there are serious laws and consequences against it.

        Rather there are individuals, who within their *own* context and upbringing might be prone to rape, but that’s a niche – it’s not representative of the culture at large. So to paint the society at large with such broad brushstrokes is just stupid.

        But guess what – teaching those men in school that “rape is bad mmkay”, probably won’t do jack shit. Because we *already* get taught all those things, and guess what, rape is still happening, and probably it always will happen. So it’s not very realistic at all.

    • Defensive & angry. Lots of anger! Talk about issues… If you don’t want to hear/see it, why go on th web & read about it? Takes a big, tough guy to hide behind a computer (mom’s basement?) & spew venom.

      • Daniel – didn’t it occur to you that the people who are most aware of rape culture are so because they have had some pretty shitty experiences? I would return the compliment of calling you a cunt but unfortunately you have neither the depth nor the warmth. Go and educate yourself.

      • Actually I put my full name there, and it’s not a common name, so it’s not that hard to find out who I am if you really try.

      • Daniel, if you want to make a coherent argument about rape culture at all and want anyone to give any validity to your thoughts, you might start by not calling women ‘cunts’ and maybe try to use language that’s less subjective and pejorative. Also, fewer instances of the word fuck might make you sound more intelligent and worth listening to prior to judgment of your position. By using the language you’ve chosen you plant yourself firmly in the middle of rape culture, simply by calling women a name that’s equivalent to a female body part.

    • Daniel, I’m not going to get into everything you said, but your use of the “R” word says plenty about you. Second, there are at least 4 Daniel Walleys on Facebook, so it is not so easy to find you. I would have sent you a private message, but you are not so original as you think. Finally, I’m not sure why you felt compelled to repeatedly comment here in such a nasty fashion, but we are not buy what you are selling. All you have done is to demean yourself. Makes me wonder what choices you have made toward women and men in your life. Makes me wonder if you are an abuser.

      • The bald one with a beard who lives in Australia. Not that it really matters, I just wanted to show up the girl up there acting like I’m hiding behind a keyboard, but I’m not afraid to expose myself lol, but mainly I wanted to illustrate that not to “show off” but to challenge her herself, who says such things, caus I bet she would be more scared of revealing herself than I am, at the end of the day, so it’s hypocritical for her to make such an accusation.

        Anyway what makes you think I care about being original, at least in the eyes of others? I’m not here writing this stuff to try and put up a front and impress anyone.

        It’s true that I’m pretty aggro with my comments sometimes, and maybe it’s over the top at times, but I have to admit I get very sick of the ignorance of people and their dogmas that they want to spread. I personally take a big responsibility these days for not preaching or spreading ideas unless I am very certain of them, and have tested and questioned them thoroughly, and if I haven’t done that I’ll be very tentative in what I say… I actually consider that a very important responsibility, to actually know what we are on about if we’re going to try to make a change or a stand, caus it’s one thing to choose how you yourself want to think or act, but it’s a whole other level when you want to start dictating how others should think and act, and not something to take lightly. I’m not perfect with that responsibility, it’s very difficult for anyone to be, but I at least try and take it pretty seriously… which is a lot more than most I think.

        Part of my aggression towards ideas like rape culture etc is I see where they are going, and I see what they are really about, on a psychological level. They are about people who don’t want to get up and be strong, who don’t want to take responsibility for themselves before expecting responsibility from others, and who don’t want to accept life the way it is… they want to complain and whine and be pitied and comforted… they want to change the world and deny it, and to deny the freedom of others…

        Most basically, they want to push a certain ideology and moral framework onto the world around them, and believe me, many of the people talking these ideas… eventually they may be willing to use force and violence to achieve it. Most of them are not so different to what they are fighting against as they think – they might hide their hypocrisy under the surface, even from themselves, but it’s quite obvious to anyone with a little perspective. I’ve had way too many dealings with people with such ideas, and with people in general, to see what many of them are really like and what they’re really about. Which is part of why I can be so scathing and inconsiderate in what I write, especially on the Internet – because I just don’t have much patience for people and their crap anymore.

        Anyway, ultimately I see how some of these ways of thinking are a threat to freedom, including a threat to my own freedom down the road, as someone who likes to be very blunt and critical about things, and who values the truth over all else, even if it’s ugly and not necessarily what we wish it to be. I know a lot of this may seem like a leap of logic, caus I am prone to go into a lot of depth that can *seem* offtopic, but it’s because I’m connecting it to all the underlying themes I can pick out, both in this individual blog, and also with the ideology at large.

  28. Over twenty years ago, I did some things that I am deeply ashamed of, things I am sincerely, profoundly apologetic about, things I wish I had never done, things I can’t take back. Between the ages of 17 and 20, I had a real struggle internally with women. I was popular, I was friends with everyone in school. Looking back, there were many young women that I could have asked out, not all would have agreed but some would have. I was a very nice young man, athletic, not ugly, possibly on the attractive side.
    I was extremely clueless. I learned about sex from pornography. I drank, it seemed like a lot of people did, but I drank too much and it affected me strongly. I lost all inhibitions and all of my morals. I hurt people. I wouldn’t say I was a rapist in the sense that I knew it at the time, but in a couple of cases I forced myself onto women, friends of mine who I knew and had been drinking and talking with. Not penetration but fondling I guess, and they had said no. This happened with 4 different girls.
    I apologized to 2 of them directly afterward, a few days later. The other 2 lived in different cities at the time and I haven’t seen them again, so I deeply regret not telling them that I know how wrong I was, that it was nothing they had done.
    At the time I didn’t even know that I had done anything wrong, it was only after mutual friends told me that they were really upset and saying that I had assaulted them. I really didn’t know that I had at the time, such was my delusion.
    I don’t know if it was a lack of education or something wrong with me. I just don’t know.
    I had a great many friends but my self esteem was very low, and my opinion of myself was that I must be very ugly, because I never had a girlfriend in high school, never had one until I was in my mid twenties.
    In those days, I thought porn was real, that women wanted sex at the drop of a hat, even with people they barely knew. I know this is wrong now. I vowed after the last incident to never make any type of first move because I couldn’t trust myself.
    I feel a huge amount of guilt to this day. I left my hometown for many years and lived a very secluded life for about 10 years. I have a large extended family, and I left them all behind. I didn’t go to university, I punished myself for many many years. Far longer than a judge would have. I lived in constant fear that this would come up.
    Finally I met a woman and got married. We ended up moving back to my hometown. She doesn’t know about this stuff. We have a somewhat healthy sex life, but I am still reluctant to make any type of “first move”.
    I recently ran into one of these women, one who I had a chance to apologize to. I was scared to death, but she came up to me and gave a huge hug, and seemed genuinely happy to see me. We had been good friends in high school, and this was at our 20 year reunion.
    I want to explain myself to people. Explain that education of young men is of the utmost importance. Our boys need to be taught, and they will learn if they are taught properly. It is more important to teach every young boy, because if we don’t, they will learn the wrong things, and they will hurt young women, and we as a society will have failed on both fronts.
    I want to help with this. This is a step in my plan to help the next generation to avoid these mistakes.
    I so sorry this has happened to so many young people.
    Noah

    • Wow, Noah, I know it must have been extremely hard to share this and I want to thank you. Every single young man you talk to about this will be impacted and you will create powerful ripples that will begin to disrupt the murky puddle that is our rape culture.

    • Noah, thank you for your vulnerability. Your story is an example of how this thing we call “rape culture” is so insidious and dangerous. Even otherwise decent young men get the message that “it’s not that big of a deal” or “they probably enjoyed it” or that no one is responsible because alcohol was involved or her flirting is an encoded message that means she desires sexual contact. It is scary and will not get better unless we are proactive in teaching new lessons to replace the old.

      My husband and I teach our young children about body boundaries, to respect other’s “no”, and that “it is not funny if everyone isn’t having fun”. It’s a start.

      I do believe it is highly dangerous that many of our boys and young men are learning about sex soley through pornogrpahy. It is one (often overlooked) piece of the rape culture puzzle in my opinion.

      The influence of porn concerns me greatly regarding my own children as well. We have very open communication in our home and talk about a lot of the right things, but those images are powerful and I can only do so much to protect them.

    • Thank you Noah,
      I suspect many men feel this way, after they have made mistakes and there is no going back.
      Your society and education failed you. As a young man who was learning about these things, you were taught the wrong things, from a porno mag.. like so many others.
      All that is needed is for men to be educated.. and it’s never too late to learn the right things about consent and equality.
      You have overcome your heritage of rape culture and shame by speaking out, admitting it, apologizing, and changing.

    • Thank you Noah for allowing yourself to be vulnerable here and telling your story. It is difficult to deal with past issues and it is very painful. Sometimes a good counselor can help us through facing our past, whatever it might have been. You deserve to work through this and forgive yourself! So you can make peace with yourself and the world. and possibly the 2 women you weren’t able to apologize to at the time…..

    • Noah that was very brave of you! I taught my boys not to be like the boys who did things to me. I was very open with my boys about sex and women and how to handle it. I did the very best I could. Thank you for accepting your responsibility, for apologizing, for changing, and for educating yourself and for breaking the cycle!!

  29. I’ve never been raped, but I am submerged into the rape culture every time I leave my room. I go to Walmart with my hand on my purse where my knife and pepper spray are ready at a moments notice. I keep my eyes down but stay aware of the people around me. If there is an open isle and a man turns to walk down it, I turn the other way or move clear over to give him room. What is wrong with this is the fact that I feel like my life full of little moments of fear. No, this is just my daily routine. Walking on egg shells hoping I don’t awaken the wild beast they refuse to tame. No, what is wrong is the fact that it is normal and EXPECTED for us women to stand there and let men and society tell us that we are already the victim. Like we have never had a choice. I have never had a choice. I have been victimized by men and society my entire life. Men give me this look. You know that look. The one that strips away your clothes and leaves you feeling dirty and embarrassed. The look that changes you in one instant from human to object. From woman to victim. From equal to servant. One look that makes you feel like prey. I don’t like to be made to feel something that I am not. I am not a slut. I am not asking for it. God gave me these parts and God made me a woman. I do cover my junk up because in this world, it would not be wise to leave things hanging. And I want to make it easier on men who struggle with temptations. HOWEVER………….clothing is not an excuse to dismiss the elephant in the room. Background is not an excuse to dismiss this issue. Gender is not an excuse…. I long for the day I can walk anywhere and leave my pepper spray at home. The day I can see a man and not feel the panic in my throat and the hesitation in my step. The day when I can look into a man’s eyes and see respect. I just pray my children will stand up for what is right, even when society dismisses the broken and victims. Thank you for sharing. I did not realize how normal these moments of fear seep into my life.

    • Anomaly, if you want that day to come, please seek help. Those feelings of panic and externally focused paranoia aren’t normal. They’re indicative of some kind of disorder and an immediate need for counseling or therapy. I promise, if you seek help and persist with treatment these feelings of fear and distress will become manageable. You won’t have to mind that pepper spray or knife, you won’t have to keep your eyes down, and you won’t have to walk on eggshells. These problems will slowly recede as the anxiety dissipates. Don’t live in fear, just please seek help.

      • Anomaly116 ~ What you’re feeling isn’t normal. Talk to someone at a counseling centre.

        There is an old adage that if we walk like a victim we have a higher percentage of becoming one. I have been a victim of molestation and rape more times than I can count. And since I’ve survived all that, I walk like I own the aisle, the sidewalk, and the town. I can only hope that I never let it conquer me and take away my freedom.

  30. stop complaining, im a male and when i was little and my older brother hit me, my parents said the same things “don’t piss him off” etc. I didn’t start a blog about how my parents are encouraging my older brother to rape me. People make excuses all the time about how society is being mean and unfair to them, the world is unfair so stop being a whining bitch and just work for what you want.

    • You have totally missed the point of the post – or you’re one of those people who just wants to keep blinders on. And she is working for what she wants, a world that acknowledges how skewed society is when it comes to respecting each other and a world where we are willing to change. The only way to start change is to bring a problem to light. There is rape culture and denying it won’t make it go away. It is a problem that affects both genders because it teaches that a person can be blamed for being raped, male or female. It teaches that to talk about being assaulted will make people view you negatively. It teaches us that we don’t have to be responsible for our actions if someone was “asking for it”. And this isn’t just about rape – it’s about inflicting any sort of abuse or assault on another human being. “He was black and wearing gangsta clothing so he deserved a beat down”, “She was wearing a low cut top so she wanted me to touch her breasts”, “Why were you walking down a dark alley? That was stupid and you got what you deserved”, etc. Sure, the world may not always be fair but that doesn’t mean we can’t work towards making it a better place for that which we can control. Your parents should have told your brother that hitting someone isn’t how you deal with anger or frustration. That would have helped the world be a better place and helped your brother understand how to control his emotions better.

    • So, what you are saying is that you were a victim of rape culture. Blaming the victim, and not the aggressor, is a huge part of the problem.

  31. I thank you for this article as I have been always thought that what happened to me were my fault and brought me shame. I happened to find an incredible man who is now my husband and is the only person I have ever shared my story with. Unfortunately, I am still uncomfortable sharing my story with anyone else, as I still feel embarrassed and ashamed of what happened. I think this post is so important, I even added it to my Pintrest (I hope that is okay). Thank you so much for sharing this.

  32. I was fooling around with a guy and always satisfied, but I was unwilling to have sex. One night I was drunk and couldn’t fight and he decided he wanted more than I was willing to give, so he raped me. All I hear is, “You were asking for it” and “Why didn’t you scream” and “At least he didn’t it you, you’ll be fine”. I have panic attacks and nightmares. I can’t sleep. I eat too much or not at all.

    But I’m one of the ‘Lucky Ones’.

  33. I loved this. ❤

    " ..Instead of teaching my daughter how to cover up, I will show her how to be exposed.

    because 'No' does not mean "convince me"… ".'

  34. I loved this.. ❤

    " ..Instead of teaching my daughter to cover herself up, I will show her how to be exposed.

    Because 'No' is not “convince me”.
    'No' is not “I want it”.

    – LJ

  35. This article makes a lot of convincing points and is spoken from the heart which I appreciate. I thinking it has moved entirely to one side of the spectrum that it neglects the pragmatic wisdom of the other. For example, yes I will teach my sons not to rape, but my daughters will also know that this exists and there are situations you should avoid. (I.e. drunken Fratt parties you allude to in which a female had her ass grabbed). This is not telling my daughter these women “asked for it,” but I will tell her going to a party with drunken idiots is stupid, especially if you aren’t prepared to be authoritative if something wrong does happen, because it most likely will when you combine alchohol and disrespectful fratt boys. I’ll teach my sons to respect women, and my daughters to respect themselves and their own authority, and also to realize that not all men have been raised well.

    An issue that seems present a lot in the comments is that of boyfriend’s raping you constituting a “rape culture.” I encourage my daughters get to know their boyfriends for a while as friends before they date, and to withhold excessive physical affection until you are closer to feeling like you will marry this person. I’m not saying trusted boyfriends don’t rape also. What I’m saying is that by closely vetting a partners character before entering into vulnerable situations with them is extremely important. Rape is a sign of extreme disrespect. I always tell my daughters this is the first thing to look for in a man. Does he respect you in the small things? If not, I’m sure he will eventually demand sex because you “owe him.” When I was dating my future husband I noticed that he respected me and my opinions and wishes for small things, and it translated into our sex lives as well.

    Just want to enunciate the important of living with a clear and pragmatic head on your shoulders. So yes, teach your sons respect, caring, and of course not to rape. But also teach your daughter to be smart.

    • I think that one of the biggest examples of you not getting the point of this at all is that the disrespectful fratboy stereotype should not exist. Should have never existed. Its another way of saying and allowing the same old “boys will be boys.”

      • It shouldn’t, but it does… and it’s going to take awhile to try to get rid of. Even if we manage to get some regular sort of education into work, there will likely always be selfish, borish people. I’m not trying to make excuses, just stating that the mentality of Powerful Male can TAKE what he wants is ancient, and isn’t going away overnight… Arming girls against it is one of those steps to helping eliminate it.

  36. I learned the wrong way from an early age after being molested by an uncle who was known for molesting his own children, and others knew. I thought that was how it was, that you got attention and love that way. I never told anyone till years later. I thought they all knew.
    I was raped by a friend of an ex, we got so drunk , cause we were “friends”. I spent years thinking it wasn’t rape, that I asked for it. I was almost raped again by another friend, we got high together, so he thought that was the signal. I still had enough left to say to him, friends don’t do that to friends. He said, you’re right and left. I was lucky.
    I changed a lot of my actions, because I believed for so long it was me that caused unwanted advances. I trusted when they said, we are friends, just friends. I don’t equate sex with friends unless it’s my choice. Needless to say, I have few friends.
    I went back and forth on it, flaunting, teasing, because it’s what you do, then went to the opposite. I used to believe, the way you dress signaled, the way you talked, was a signal. I hope more women of my generation come to a better understanding, rape is rape, unwanted advances, words, verbal, mental, physical abuse is still a part of that type culture, rape culture. thank you for your courage

  37. wow. Thank you so much for these inspiring words. You have started a healing process for me and I can’t thank you enough for this post.

  38. Thank you for writing this. As a Youth Minister, I see some things within Christian culture as well that contribute to rape culture – governing women’s bathing suits, while saying “boys will be boys”, esteeming men higher than women, and how Christians rally in support of Josh Duggar because he is a Christian… I really want to help change some of this stuff…

    I linked to your post on my blog post here: http://lambtheology.com/2015/05/29/on-josh-duggar-and-sexual-abuse-the-church-needs-to-do-more/

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and outlook, it really helped me understand the issue further. I am so sorry that you had to go through this horrible experience.

  39. From the age of 5 to the age of 10. I was sexually abused by my brother. Though out those five years I would tell my mother that he was kissing me and it was not right. She would tell me that it was just a kiss and it was okay. I would tell her he touched me and nothing was said. I had no idea at the time what sex was…2 Years ago while reading a college text book.. I learned that I was sexually abused by him…6 months later I told my family and confronted him… He denied it… My parents now think I am the monster… I am the daughter that no longer belongs in the family…I am the outcast the person that did wrong. As I reflected on my childhood my mother did nothing but protect him and cover all the abuse. I am not his only victim but, I pray for the others girls for the long walk this has become that you will love yourself and take a stand even if you become an outcast. Taking a stand for myself is the best thing I have done and the best therapy. My daughter will have a voice and I will listen. Thank you so much for this article.

    • So when I was in diapers and I was playing and these boys decided they wanted to take off with me out of my mothers view and touch me, what exactly part of that was my fault, my responsibility and where in that was I supposed to be able to defend myself as a 2 year old?? Please tell me??

    • A mans needs, desires, and wants are his own. Just because you see it, doesn’t mean you can have it. Seriously…

    • So a man walks up to you on a sidewalk and holds a gun to you, and takes you in an ally. It’s your fault you couldn’t fight off a person with s weapon? You’re exactly the type of person that this article is talking about. Awful. I feel sorry for you, for Your messed up points of view.

  40. Rape culture is men raping other men to humiliate them, because somehow being raped is more despicable than being a rapist. What men fear most in jail/prison is what “free” women fear ALL THE TIME.

  41. I honestly feel such a strong sense of disappointment when I read things like this. What happened to you was beyond criminal and I can’t begin to express my sadness that men did this too you. Women as well as men do not ever deserve or should feel worthless by the reaction of others in cases like this.
    But the story isn’t the only thing that disappointed me, it was how it was written.
    I understand the pain behind this story. I understand the anger. But so much of this writing is directed at the- “phsycology of Males” let’s say- it leaves an unintended taste of misandry. I’m very happy that victims are finally speaking out. That woman are speaking up for their rights as human beings. As a man who has also experienced rape culture at the hands of a woman and have been judged by these rape culture stereotypes, it’s hard to see writing so directed at men instead of the equality all gender roles deserve.

    • I would be happy to read an article on your viewpoints concerning rape culture.. We don’t get to see the male side of this matter that often…

  42. Reblogged this on transplained and commented:
    Very powerful. In so many ways, we must make fundamental changes to our culture if we are to solve problems like gender inequality. This blog is an excellent illustration of how those needed cultural changes are invisible to most people.

  43. i am sorry for those of you have suffered and let vicimization ruin your lives. i pity you. yes we live in a male dominated world. instead of asking them to be gentler, why not get harder and kick em where it hurts. that was the answer to my hurt. not to be held down but to get on top and hold them down. to dominate through having the dominant will. this has now subsided mostly and now i throw my energy in trying to make the world a better place for all human beings in what ever way presents itself. even when helping hurts (over extending myself into the volunteer projects i work on leaving me over tired and stressed)

  44. I had a stepsister (2 years older) that was every bit the psycho your brother was, she would keep coming and I would keep knocking her down (then getting in trouble for it)….like she was possessed….a dirty feeling, having to viciously assault a female to avoid being injured (and I was the most pacified person you’d ever meet-my mother was shocked to see how I’d changed after being with them for 2 years, it broke her heart): I really hated her for that and her bitch of a mother, same thing, but I’d have to run from that whore (she was too big)…well one time I punched her lights out because she cornered and attacked me in the car….yep, got in trouble for it…we never forget these things as adults.

  45. Also shared on Facebook

    Rape Culture is, when a person is raped, asking:
    What were you wearing?
    Are you sure he heard you say no?
    Why were you alone?
    How were you acting?
    Where were your friends?
    Why did you leave your drink alone?
    Did you lead her on?
    But they are your husband/wife…
    How can you rape a man?
    And the list goes on.

    Rape Culture, victim shaming, perpetrator justification and disbelief need to stop.
    Rape can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time.
    What you wear isn’t important.
    Saying anything other than a clear YES is NOT consent.
    Being alone is not a red flag for rape.
    It doesn’t matter how you act, it is not an invitation for rape.
    His/Her friends are NOT responsible for YOUR decision to rape.
    It doesn’t matter how far you are in the process, No means STOP NOW.
    Intimate Partner Rape is one of the most hidden rapes and a warning sign for further abuse.
    Men can rape and be raped.
    Women can rape and be raped.

    Open your eyes planet Earth. We wouldn’t have a rape culture if we were RESPECTED and our bodies were OUR OWN.

  46. Rape in ANY country, done to ANY person, for WHATEVER reason is and always WILL be evil. Gods and Devils do NOT make people do this, it is and ALWAYS has been PEOPLE.
    If a parent TRULY believes that a rape victim was “asking for it” that person NEEDS to be shot!

    I’m a guy, I don’t care who this is meant to burn, all I care about is that the people that agree with rape & cause rape be punished! And Faith doesn’t make a rapist a better person, once they cross that line, they are forever damned in my book!
    If I ever have daughters, I will ensure that rapists stay the hell away from them & hopefully even fear being around them. Pain is only a word, but once a rapist steps within my presence, a reality will be much much worse for them.

    Strengthen your daughters, empower your wives and girlfriends, protect your nieces, and if possible, teach them the art of rapist repellent by bone-dislocation.

  47. Thank you for writing this. Even as a grown adult with a child of my own, it’s still hard to accept that I’m not to blame and that I’m not worthless. You forgot to add that It’s being told by the one person you finally trust to tell, the one who was supposed to protect and defend you that it’s not a big deal because all boys do that, and constantly hearing “boys will be boys” as an automatic excuse for male indiscretions, and from your offender that you’re going to grow up to be a slut, anyway.

  48. I have huge respect for a boy I was with at the age of 17 after we had had too much to drink. He told me later that even though I was dead keen and uninhibited, he knew I would have regrets when I sobered up. Thanks to him I was a virgin when I met my husband.

  49. Thank you. I can’t explain what I am feeling now. All I want to say is thank you… for understanding,for saying it… Thank you so much! I am sharing this…

  50. Thank you for sharing your story.
    I was talking a few nights ago to the mother of two teenage children. 1 boy- 1 girl. Both well educated. This mom told me that the girls were beating on her teenage boy. He did not fight back. She said these days it’s confusing for some young boys. We teach them to treat girls respectfully, but here is this more lad getting bullied by girls.
    Kids these days are very confused by what’s what.

    Men to me are treated with more respect than women. I have NO idea why this should be.I see mothers treating their sons wayyyyy better than their daughters. That’s just horrible.
    To me as a women brought up in Ireland now living in Tennessee, I see absolutely NO REASON in the world why they should be treated any different.

    Your story is very sad, but from the way you expressed yourself in this piece you are strong and smart and beautiful.

    Women rock!!!

    God bless you

    Bernadette

  51. I don’t understand rape culture. What, is rape just something to do now? Is it really being called into question who is at fault? I’ve seen shirts turning rape into a joke and people laughing at the victims. Men can be raped just as well as females but no one is blaming the man or saying that he was asking for it because he wasn’t wearing a shirt or was wearing swimming shorts or whatever so how is a woman asking to be raped if she’s wearing shorts or a bathing suit? Its not! The person who rapes a woman is just as sick and twisted in the head as the person who rapes a man and should be the one being punished. Not the victim.

    • Rape ‘culture” refers to the common social reactions to an individual being raped, which are often dismissive and typically blame the victim… regardless of gender. It’s called that because it’s a sign of cultural conditioning, given how wide spread these common reactions are. “S/he asked for it, what were they wearing” etc are often employed, and take the blame off the abuser to put it on the abused… because there’s this social… bug… that wants to place control of a persons sexual drive on someone elses shoulders.

  52. My apologies, in advance, for taking up so much space in the discourse with a lengthy comment…

    I rarely read through an entire comment thread. I found this one both particularly disturbing and heartbreaking to hear so many individual expressions of suffering–but primarily inspiring, in the guts it takes (even if anonymously, online) to convey those stories, and make what may have been silent and internal, external and shared/heard. I just want to share that, as a male, I FULLY acknowledge the reality of rape culture, and FULLY reject that its acknowledgment, or the acknowledgment of any hegemony is a way out of responsibility for playing a part in making the world a better place. The courage, displayed by many on this thread (primarily women) in the face of such an institutionalized system of oppression (including its defensive posturing, rationalizations, denials, and all other manner of status quo self-preservation) is clear evidence to me that great personal responsibility is, indeed being taken–not for the individual, violent acts of rape or related hostile acts, of course–but for the condition of our world, including a commitment to making it a better place, beginning with the challenges of individual survivorship in the wake of sexual trauma (in any form it happens to take).

    I know that as one male entrenched in these insidious dynamics, I must check my own privilege, my unconscious internalizations of misogyny, and commit to being the best possible ally I can be in supporting the systematic dismantling of rape culture. I am grateful to Dianne and others on this thread who have taken the risk, and taken the time, to affirm your genuine love for humanity via your wise and brave words, here. Thank you, and please, please keep going, and know that however many disparage you for rocking the boat and shaking the Earth, there are many others rooting for you and standing by to support as needed. In standing up to the system that oppresses you, you are NOT “whining”…you are roaring, with great power and great strength–as well you should, and as well you must. Please, for yourselves, and for our world, ROAR on.

    • Thank you for your empowering and thoughtful comments Brian. Women are finding their voice and roaring from the rooftops and the support and understanding of men like yourself is welcome, encouraged, and appreciated. Thank you.

    • My take on it is that we should not accept that women MUST be weaker and victims. That the culture that they are talking about has made men dominant and women victims. The article wants us to teach our sons that women are not objects to be “resisted” because of the clothing they wear or the way they look. That it is ok to see a woman as a person, not just a potential sex partner or someone who must be protected or ruled. It wants us to teach our daughters to respect themselves enough to be confident in their ability to take care of themselves. That they do not have to be victims. There is so much more, but I keep losing my train of thought.

  53. Some of what is listed is a problem in culture. Some of what is listed isn’t a problem with culture, it’s something bad that was done to her.

    In the circles I run and have been connected to, only wildly dysfunctional, messed up people blame a woman for being hit by a man. Now, they might blame a woman for staying with a man who hits her, but they see the man as the bad guy. On the other hand, when they see a woman getting abusive toward a man, even healthy, otherwise egalitarian individuals will wonder aloud what he did to get her so riled.

    Some of this is important to distinguish because you cannot solve a problem if you do not define the problem correctly.

    For instance, on the “not teaching boys to not rape” thing. Tonight I locked my doors. Do I live in “burglary culture”? Am I surrendering to and submitting to “burglary culture” by locking my door? My car in the parking lot. It’s locked to. Have I submitted to “Grand Theft Auto” culture? These cultures have gotten so widespread that every car comes equipped with locks, every house has locks on every door, and one of the first questions that gets asked if my home is broken in to or if my car is stolen is whether it was locked. Am I asking for it if I don’t lock it up? Why do I have to answer that question? Why can’t I just leave my door open? Why can’t I leave my keys in the ignition? Why doesn’t someone get out there and tell people not to break into houses, not to steal things, and not to take my car?

    So if that’s how we define the problem, what is likely to happen is that my car will very likely be stolen. My house may or may not get broken in to given my neighborhood and how far it is to really get away, but certainly my odds would be much higher if the wrong person out there found out I never locked my home while I was gone. No sane person would try to rob it with me home.

    For me, I hate the thought of bad things happening to people. Because of that, among many other things, I am afraid that when we define the problem poorly, we tend to solve it poorly, or not at all. This is among the problems upon which I put one of the highest priorities on solving on an immediate, individual basis, so, therefore, I also put a high priority on how we define the problem.

  54. I am not a victim,, i am a survivor and my daughter is a very strong headed young lady and also a survivor…i wore the bruises for years from 2 abusive husbands who thought they owned me and could have me anytime they wish, my mother use to tell me “you made that bed now you must lie in it”
    i chose not to lie in it…i chose to surround myself with my children and now grandchildren.i know the men who hurt me were sick and there was nothing i could do to fix them so i saved myself i got out.
    now yes i am alone with the grown children but i have a few choice friends who some have been through what i went through and we help each other.i would love to have someone to grow old with but its not in the cards for me right now.i love my life full of screaming grandkids.i also know not all men are like this but i seam to attract the bad ones.i dont go to bars so theres no chance of meeting them there.my first husband i met at church my second i met at my job.
    i work in a prison so i see the abusers and the abused and it can happen to both men and women,but a child abuser is the 1 i would like to string up

  55. To Dr. Conway, Esq.:

    I appreciate your well-considered perspective on how to “define the problem,” and of course, that you place a very high priority on its solution, as many of us do.

    But I also hope that you are understanding your position as your opinion and/or perspective (which is fine, of course!), and not necessarily “the” way of seeing things. Neither you nor I get to set the parameters or criteria on that which constitutes a “well defined” problem, according to our own world views. For me, simply because “Rape” and “Theft” are labels for crimes does not necessarily mean that there is a logical equivalence when they are applied to labels for cultural phenomena. The crime of rape embodies something very, very different from the crime of theft, even though, from a legal standpoint, they are simply two different felonies.

    Perhaps, if we were to designate a cultural equivalent underpinning the crime of “theft,” it would be something more along the lines of a “culture of poverty” that prompts the needs for theft of others’ personal property–or even the hostility and resentment that leads to violence associated with theft (I am not making any final truth claims here–only providing examples here, to underscore my point). The economic desperation that (perhaps, at least in large part) drives theft is quite different from the misogyny the prompts rape, and for those who experience the latter form of oppression, the fact that the terminology is likewise non-analogous is important.

    While you may not agree upon the reasoning behind that difference in the formulation of the problem, hopefully, you (and I, and others) can respect the significance of formulating it that way, for many, many others.

    Thank you.

  56. When I was a little girl and my mother and I would be in a store she would always tell me if I seen something pretty just look but don’t touch! Especially something fragile that could be broken. It is human nature to find others attractive. If a man sees a beautiful woman it’s ok if he admires her beauty but he can not touch her and if he does against her will she will be broken.

  57. There are many good points being made here. In reading them, I am reminded of a few important caveats (and just to clarify: I am not saying that those raising the points have missed them in any way–only that they come to mind, for me, as I read).

    On the relative magnitude of physical strength in average females vs. average males: While this may be the case, I am reminded that it is often the cultural climate and social structure that empowers men to act upon women physically against women’s will, independently of sheer, physical strength. Just because something is not physical and concrete doesn’t mean it cannot represent a very real force of coercion).

    On points about beauty: Admiring/appreciating the aesthetic form of another human being in a non-objectifying way is fine, but I am also reminded that there are many objectifying ways of doing so that exist along the continuum of sexual violation, and which perpetuate rape culture. It is also important to acknowledge that rape rarely (if ever) has to do with the gratification of sexual need based upon arousal via another’s beauty; rather it is the hostile expression of a violent impulse to co-opt another’s will and power/agency via sexual violation.

    Thank you.

  58. In America we have 1/2 a percent to get raped or 1 out of two hundred people will get raped in their life time and only 26% of those people are getting raped by strangers. So if you dress provocativly you basically have a 1 in a thousand chance of getting raped in america. But if you smoke a joint and go to jail you have a 10 percent chance of getting raped. We are all complacent in the goverment kidnapping people and throwing them in a rape cage and if those people try and escape from their rapist we shoot them in the head or beat the shit out of them. Rape is going to be hard to stop but not throwing people in a rape cage is easy just dont do it, this post is great but lets take that same passion and energy and help those people that never hurt anyone get out of the rape cage, end prison culture

  59. This almost made me tear up, like literally, this was an amazing text
    I also find it shocking when some (and I mean some, not every) think that women should feel privaledged if someone wants to touch them.
    For example, I was having this fun evening with friends and when I was on my way home this random guy thought that I was ‘good enough for him’ to touch, and was completely shocked when after few times telling him to stop I puched him. And I mean completely in a matter of ‘unable to move from shock’ type of completely. Then he got angry at me, how dare I refuse him, I should be happy that I was beautiful enough for old man like him to get interested in me. Then he tried to attack me by force.
    I don’t really like violence, but these type of people are the ones that get my blood boiling. And I do understand that I prolly should have just run, but you know, I dot so much staisfaction from kicking him on the balls that it was scary (and yes, I kick hard, having thai boxing as a hobby and all)
    When I told this to one close friend of mine he just said that I had no right to kick him, being a thai boxer and all, but I think differently. If someone tries to force himself on me, thinking that that is his right and duty, and ignoring a fair amount of ‘no’s and a few threats I think I have all the right to kick him on the balls. You know, there is a thing called self defence, and I think that was exactly what I was doing.
    What I’m trying to say is, that I find it idiotic and disgusting how people think I have no right to use a needed level of self defence if someone is trying to force themself on me. What should people do in that situation then? Just go along with it and then bear the scars? That is a disgusting thought in general.
    On top if that, when this happened I was 13 y/o. 13! Still, clearly, a child. And then people basically tell me that I just should have gone along with it.
    I’d really want to know how this society turned out this way…

  60. Rape is a horrific crime, and rapists are despised. We have strict laws that Americans want to see enforced. Though rape is certainly a serious problem, there’s no evidence that it’s considered a cultural norm. Twenty-first century America does not have a rape culture; what we have is an out-of-control lobby leading the public and our educational and political leaders down the wrong path. Rape-culture theory is doing little to help victims, but its power to poison the minds of young women and lead to hostile environments for innocent males is immense.

    The idea that we need to focus on teaching men not to rape — the hallmark of rape-culture activism. Since rape exists because our culture condones and normalizes it, activists say, we can end the epidemic of sexual violence only by teaching boys not to rape.

    No one would deny that we should teach boys to respect women. But by and large, this is already happening. By the time men reach college, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is America’s largest and most influential anti-sexual-violence organization. explains, “most students have been exposed to 18 years of prevention messages, in one form or another.” The vast majority of men absorb these messages and view rape as the horrific crime that it is. So efforts to address rape need to focus on the very small portion of the population that “has proven itself immune to years of prevention messages.” They should not vilify the average guy.

    By blaming so-called rape culture, we implicate all men in a social atrocity, trivialize the experiences of survivors, and deflect blame from the rapists truly responsible for sexual violence. RAINN explains that the trend of focusing on rape culture “has the paradoxical effect of making it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions.”

    Moral panic over “rape culture” helps no one — least of all, survivors of sexual assault.

  61. Thank god only women can be raped! Otherwise this whole article would be super biased, which is what you seem so convinced you’re helping to fight.

    Oh, wait..

  62. Rape, in itself, is awful. No, a monstrosity in the face of mankind is an understatement and there are no words to describe how terrible rape is.
    This article, however, upsets me. Not because rape is horrendous, but because a gender bias is spewed across this entire article. If, in fact, you want to portray “rape culture,” you cannot underrepresent the entire culture. Men, in you article, are portrayed as savages who only lust for forced sex and women as the victims. I know in most cases the woman is the victim, but to a male reading this article who has been raped, they would be disgusted by how you represent the “culture.”
    I am not trying create a gender deboggle or anything to that extent. I simply feel this article is very misleading based on the title, and should focus on the issue: rape.
    So please, if you’re going to harp on the “rape culture” focus on the rape, and the horrific scar it leaves on mankind rather then making genders (and gender portrayal) a key point in your article. Or, at least, don’t portray your article as “rape culture.”

  63. Applause!

    Women and men are both harmed in our thinking about gender roles and behaviors, and I think your article shares that fact beautifully.

    I’m all about teaching women self-respect. There are many little girls in my life and I want them to grow up strong and empowered. I’m also all about teaching men self-control. No man should be ruled by the tyranny of entitlement. I would love to see men and women come together and seek mutual understanding. I would love for us to battle the silence and shame by sharing our stories, as you have.

    I, like so many, was abused by a couple of boyfriends. I don’t know what it is to be raped but I do know what it is to be cajoled, manipulated and have your “no” ignored. Because of this I battle feeling fearful around men I don’t know because I’m not sure how they will behave toward me, and that’s sad because not all men are out-of-contol abusers.

    Rape culture hurts us all.

  64. There are some very powerful words here but the constant punctual and grammatical errors really took away from the article. Although this is a very serious topic you need to proof read and capitalize or the message can be hard to take seriously.

    • I am sorry that you chose to make this the most important thing you got from the story. Feelings don’t always come out with proper punctuation and grammar…feel it, don’t critique it.

  65. Great article with some great points. I would like to make a note though regarding teaching your daughter because my daughter is not here and I taught her all the things you noted. She was raped, shamed, ridiculed and eventually took her life. She fought back and attempted to stand up for herself. I taught her “her” value in the world and she was too young to withstand all the disgusting backlash. People are not safe as long as the world continues to justify the actions of rapists.

  66. I agree with most of your points, but you should not put all the blame on men. Nor should people put the blame on women for “attracting” men. The point is we have to teach our children, men or women, how to be human. This involves mutual respect between each other. With this, people would be taught that rape is never okay.

    What I’m trying to say is that you should not put the blame entirely on men on the fact that men are “lustful” in nature but on people who cannot control themselves since lust is part of human nature.

    • If blame was cast it was on Society as a whole (hence the title, Rape CULTURE), and not entirely on any one demographic or the fact that men are ‘lustful’ – after all, women experience lust too.

  67. Your family was clearly dysfunctional in your childhood, and you parents got parenthood absolutely wrong in the first place. It was very sad to read what your older brother did to you when you were just 6 y.o. and how your mom handled it. I’m very sorry for that, also because I have two sisters that are younger than me, and I was always taught to love and protect them as an older brother.
    However, don’t extend what happened in your household to the rest of society. Just like my family does not represent a whole culture, so doesn’t yours.
    You should seek for psychological help through analysis, and not mold the World into your reality. That’s delusional and immature. be brave and face your demons, instead of sharing them with everybody indiscriminately. That is why there are professionals.

  68. It may be because of my being as a white male growing up in more rural and more sheltered, low-key communities, but I have grown a sort of inability to configure any sort of moral differences between races and genders; it might also be my subscription to the idea that, based on a biological status, all human beings remain, from the minute they gain the status of being human, beings of full moral status. Full moral status can be most easily explained as deserving of that which is most ethically and morally correct at every instance. One may blame those acts of forceful desecration of the sanctity of the self on whatever they like, whether it be otherworldy forces or simply human lust, but we, as such aforementioned beings, must take into the account the power of human will; if a person wants to commit crime, whether it be rape or whatever else, they justify it by whatever means necessary. We cannot simply attribute the problem of rape, and all crime for that matter, to a cultural bias or cultural norm without first taking into account the individual. Yes, rape culture exists, and I weep for those who have to experience the brunt end of that stick, and yes, collectively we should contribute to the elimination of such, but the means by which we do so should be altered, not toward men or women, nor should it be aimed toward those otherwise who could possibly commit to rape culture, but toward the elimination of those means of justification that criminals use. I understand that that may range far beyond my teenage comprehension, but maybe the collective minds of all of those alongside me and those who also aim to eliminate crime, which is a group that I hope is the majority of humanity, can possibly find a solution. Ultimately, I am disappointed by the argument seen here as it borders upon only the problem rather than the solution. Please, let us not focus on that which is wrong but on that which we can do to save those daughters of today and tomorrow so stories like this can be seen as folly of the past, not mistakes of the present.

      • Your “solution” comes with the implication that all men are, deep down, rapists. By extension, this would make rapists normal people. This is categorically incorrect. They are not normal, though, like serial killers and other psychologically warped offenders, they can often pass for it. We all went to the same preschools, we all learned the same golden rule – it’s not that they don’t know rape is wrong, it’s that they don’t care. These are people without empathy, usually for anyone of any sex. Saying “teach boys not to rape” is meaningless; boys are already being taught to respect others – impressing upon them that they are the same as the few monsters will never be helpful, only hurtful.

      • When a male ‘plays the field’ and lists his ‘conquests’ – he is viewed as viril, a man’s man, a ‘big man on campus’. By the same token, if a female wears certain clothing, likes to party, flirts, engages in sexual activity, or has sex at all in some cases, she is seen as ‘loose’, ‘easy’, a ‘slut’, and other young girls are warned NOT to be ‘like her’. When a boy does wrong it’s ‘boys will be boys’ – if a girl does the same thing, she is shamed and shunned. See, that’s the thing – it’s not that most young men don’t know rape is wrong – it’s that most don’t know what rape IS. Having sex with a drunk girl, even if she doesn’t not protest, IS RAPE. Coercion and bullying a girl into sex is RAPE, even if she relents beforehand. Continuing the act of sex when a girl changes her mind – is RAPE.

        Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. Only an informed, sober, freely given, ongoing, enthusiastic YES is consent. Without consent, it is in the least ‘sexual assault’ and the most – RAPE.

      • And it is “the few”. A 2002 study examining rape on college campuses found that of the roughly 120 self-professed rapists interviewed, they each admitted to an average of nearly six rapes. While this part will trend toward speculation, it’s rarely been the case for sexual predators to fully confess their crimes, and so that number could easily reach into much higher dark figures. All this is to say that one obvious truth: rapists are deviants, not the norm.
        To address it as such cannot be effective.
        On a more personal note, I’d like to thank you for leaving many comments open which seem to disagree, rather than draconianly censor them as many bloggers are wont to do; it speaks volume about the strength of your convictions.

      • You seem to be painting with an incredibly broad brush here, and I don’t think I see your point. Are you saying that endorsed promiscuity of males (and the double standard for females) refers specifically to deliberately encouraging rape? Because I don’t believe that to be the case in any way. Regressive attitudes about sexual purity simply aren’t rape. Incredibly sexist, personally damaging, yes; rape, no.

        In a similar vein, I don’t believe that college age adults [young though they may be] are completely ignorant of the concept of consent. While I don’t have any statistics to back this, anecdotally I can tell you that has been my experience, and further that anyone who committed a violation of another knew full well their transgression, went to lengths to hide it, and later lied to cover themselves. I simply don’t see how, in today’s topic-driven climate, virtually anyone can be ignorant of consent requirement – if in deed they ever could.

        Finally, the deepest, most intrinsic flaw of “teach boys not to rape” is that it’s sexist. It’s based on the same stereotypical thinking and regressive attitudes discussed earlier – here of the male as the uneducated, base aggressor, and woman the default victim without-and-incapable-of agency. It simply makes its assumptions and lays all responsibility at the feet of the males in addition to perpetuating the stereotypes that men are rapists and women objects. *This is especially troubling since, as of 2010, surveys by the Center for Disease Control have begun to turn up evidence that men are raped [largely by women, and in the ways you’ve described] in numbers similar to the reverse.* Knowing that, how can we justifiably stand behind such a perverse slogan?

      • Wow, that last one came out way longer than intended; sorry.

        I would also like to amend that first paragraph by saying I also want to do away with those double standards and judgmental attitudes. I really am asking for clarification on the point and not begging hyperbole.

  69. I’m sorry, but telling a rape survivor not to let this ruin your life isn’t fostering rape culture. It’s fostering empowerment. Rapists feed off of power; it’s why they do what they do. And not many women can successfully fend off their rapist. They can’t fight that. But a rapist’s power doesn’t end with the physical assault. The rapist’s power lies in how he changes your life. When you’re afraid to go out after dark; when you don’t want to be touched; when you drop out of school; when you turn to booze or pills. That is all the rapist exerting power over your life. And that you CAN do something about. Not at first, but eventually. Trauma can be transformative, or it can continue to be a handicap. Telling someone not to let the rape ruin your life is encouraging you to transform. The rape changed your life; there is nothing you can do about that. But whether it “ruins” your life or not, that’s up to you.

    Almost 18 years ago, when I was 18, I was raped. The child conceived that night just celebrated her 17th birthday. Getting pregnant from a rape is certainly something that could qualify as ruining one’s life. However, it didn’t. It transformed my life. It taught me more about loving than my rape taught me about hating. My daughter turned out to be the only opportunity I would have to be a mom. If I had LET my rapist continue to ruin my life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Maybe who I am today isn’t who I would have been if I’d never been raped. But I’m proud of who I am today. I had no control over the hand I was dealt. But I absolutely have control over HOW I play that hand. That’s the difference.

    Also, while being digitally raped is as damaging psychologically, there simply are some concerns that are only relevant if you are raped in a way that meets the typical definition. Manual rape does not bring with it the worries of pregnancy or STDs. That is generally what people mean when they (ill-advisedly) say that it “could have been worse” or that you were “lucky.”

  70. I’ve got three boys.
    I teach them to respect themselves, to respect those around them.
    I teach them that people, ALL people regardless of gender or race are people first, never objects to be used.
    I teach them to look for an equal when considering a romantic interest, someone who will be part of their lives, not just in their lives.
    This is how I’m part of the solution.
    I hope it helps.

    • If only there were more like you – but you are grooming your boys to teach their boys, and so on and so forth. This is how change is affected. Nothing changes overnight. Thank you on behalf of all the young women who will interact with your enlightened sons. 🙂

  71. Rape culture is that I was too scared to go to the police while I was still drunk. That I wanted to get pulled over that night so I could tell someone how he defiled my body. That when I went to the police, they didn’t even perform a rape kit and told me that without witnesses or physical evidence they couldn’t ruin a young man’s life on just the word of a 19 year old girl.

    • You were a victim of ‘rape culture’. Thank you for sharing – far too many will identify with your experience. 😦 Remember how the media felt sorry for the ‘lost potential’ of the Steubenville rapists?

  72. This is so true, but we also need to change the mindset that it is okay to get a woman drunk and then have sex with her. Why is it that some men think that it as long as the woman is willing drinking the alcohol that she is giving up her right to be able to give consent. That being drunk willing drunk is giving consent. If the man really wanted to be right about it then he needs to get consent before he gets the woman drunk. But that is not how they work. they know that when drinking it affect inhibiation. We need to stop with the mindset that it is not rape if a woman is drunk or that she deserves to get what ever happens to her simply because she drank. So tell me would it be okay, if a man got raped by another man simply because he was drunk?

  73. I will not teach my sons to cover their eyes. I will teach them to keep their eyes wide open, because we have spent to long as a culture covering our eyes. Men should not hide their eyes any more than women should.

    Witness it, because it is glorious to behold, and should NEVER be hidden.

  74. I want to tell you what happened in my family. I don’t know if I handled it right but I did the best I could. First a little background, my son (9 at the time) was a lovely sweet boy who had learning problems. Nothing drastic but it just took him a little longer to learn things. On the other hand, my daughter (7 then) had been talking in sentences since she was 2, She absorbed information like a sponge. My god, could she talk! She could talk rings around her brother. When she wanted something, she would go on and on and on. She never learnt when to shut up and accept defeat. So, of course, it happened eventually. She wanted something from my son and he wasn’t willing (don’t even remember what it was) Eventually he became so frustrated, he hit her. Here was my problem. Obviously, he had to realize that that was wrong. You don’t hit females. Hitting out in anger is definitely wrong. You can’t go thru life hitting everyone who makes you angry. You have to work out another way to deal with it.
    Now to the crux of the matter… as far as I was concerned, she had to take part responsibility. She HAD to learn that sometimes the answer is no, whether you like it or not. You just have to accept that and go on.
    But I didn’t want her to feel that, if it happened again in the future, she deserved it. I didn’t want her to think like a victim.
    I know she was only 7 but this had been an ongoing problem. It was the first time he had hit her though. How well I succeeded? I don’t know. I did my best.
    I wanted to be fair to both of them.
    I know my son is now a fine man with a lovely wife.
    I know my daughter is still working thru the male population, trying to find… what? I don’t know. I know sometimes I fear for her.
    Was my thinking correct? I really feel that she had to take some responsibility. Some.. not half… not all but some.
    That was 20-odd years ago and I still wonder.
    thanks.

    • I think the reason your son hit your daughter had nothing to do with rape culture. If you talked to both children the error of their ways, that’s the best you can do as a mom. 🙂

  75. Thank you for this…sexual abuse is & will always be sexual abuse no matter how one is abused…being touched or penetration…one will always remember…it will always be a part of me though I have overcome…

  76. Most of this is stupid. Especially the first bit, cause of sibling rivalry then its considered rape culture? No matter if its a brother hitting his sister, a sister hitting her brother, a brother hitting his brother or a sister hitting her sister. Its young sibling rivalry, brothers and sisters fight all the time, sometimes physical. And your mother saying to ignore your brother is probably just due to your mother having a fear of confrontation with anyone. Has nothing to do with rape culture

  77. What a stupid article. It’s not rape culture because you have shitty parents. I’m a male and when my brother beat me up, and she asked the same question, “did I provoke?”. But please, go ahead and victimize yourself at every chance you have.

    Also, thank you for stereotyping “frat boys” to legitimize your shit post. Hand on ass is a sign of intimacy and the girl herself can tell him to fuck off and no one is going to blame her. “Powerful words” are you kidding me? And don’t you dare respond with “You just don’t get it”. BULLSHIT. Explain why I don’t get it.

    Thanks for making young growing men feel like rapists for initiated contact with a women. You live in a fairy tail world.

    This is coming from a male who heard her mom be raped by his father at night why I sat in my bed crying begging for him to stop. And there was nothing I could do.

    Shit post, classic feminist victimization

    • This one phrase “This is coming from a male who heard her mom be raped by his father at night why I sat in my bed crying begging for him to stop. And there was nothing I could do: validates the article. You are a victim and don’t even know it. I feel for you.

  78. Not knocking the story but. First its not a “culture”
    Second why stereotype men as a whole because of the actions of a few? Example there are women who sleep around. Does that mean all women are “sluts”? Is there a slut culture? People are individuals with many ways of thinking and were raised differently. The world however isnt perfect and things can happen because some problems will never be solved. But you cant assume everyone is after you. Thats P.T.S.D which is personal but shouldn’t be blamed on the world. There are good people out there and this post makes men sound as if we all rape or agree with it.

  79. It makes me sad to hear this the brother part was most relatable to me but since being little I’ve fought fire with fire when need be but as a gay youth and being a male that is on the feminine side and who wants to be a drag queen it makes me afraid of going into a world with this I know I may never get raped but I still fear getting mistaken for a girl when I’m walking alone to my car after a show or going to a club to work a guy or a group of guys will be in the street cat calling and start walking towards me and it’s scary to think. I’m very short and not the least intimidating so being in heels and being about 5’9 and most guys being 5’7-6’0 it’s scary for me because I’m not the strongest physically and if they found out I was a guy and they weren’t into that I could be beat up or get killed, but if I ever see some unwanted attention be it a male or a female from either gender I will be the one to intervene if need be. I’d rather be an ally than let it happen. No matter who they are if they’re being harassed I will be there even if they’re a stranger because nobody desires to be raped and to anyone reading this I promise if you ever go to one of my shows locally at my hometown or if I’m at a club or venue near you and you ask me to walk with you to your car I will not hesitate for a second I will walk with you possibly with other performers/security because I want you all to be safe.

  80. Rape culture is you were so ashamed, you thought it would be easier for your parents to find you dead, than to say, “Hey mom and dad,” It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t ask for it. I never asked for this attention, I never asked to be a target, to be weak because I was born with two X chromosomes, to walk in fear, to always look behind me, in front of me, next to me, I never asked to be the prey. I never wanted to spend my life being something someone feasts upon, a meal for the eternally starved. I do not want to hear about the way I taste anymore. I will not let you eat me alive. <– This has me in tears as it was just how I felt for so many years.

  81. Thank you for posting this. I think much of what this boils down to is, the lack of respect people have for one another. If you are taught respect of your siblings, how could you abuse them? If you respect someone, how could you rape them? I was raped,about 26 years ago, even after I said “No”. He told me afterwards, “If you had said no, I would have stopped”- selective hearing maybe? And as for the scantily clad woman “asking for it”, I hear of 80-90 year old women being raped, & I would be willing to bet they weren’t wearing anything provocative. It’s a power situation, is what I’ve understood. I’m learning a lot by reading this, thank you.

    • I wish I could share my story, almost 10 years later and I still hide it as if it never happened. It eats at me every day. My best friend at the time laid there beside me as it happened and pretended to be asleep. I reached out for help to others and everyone told me it wasn’t a big deal and I was over reacting. I called abortion clinics when I thought the worst little because I didn’t understand the after effects of my “first time”. So after many failed attempts at understanding, I gave up. The stigma around rape is too powerful for some and that truly needs to change. Thank you for this article.

      • I hope that sharing this article helped you in some way but you need to tell your story – it can be anonymous and it can be freeing. (((HUGS))) to you.

  82. This post really got to me because the same thing happened to me while I was younger,
    I was never raped but I was molested just the same, by a boyfriend of my moms. We thought we could trust him but apparently he was more attracted to her 9 year old daughter then his actual girlfriend
    This post has really gotten to me and I am glad that you had the sstrengh to share something like that!
    I don’t even think I would have the strength to do that and I’m almost 18 now. I did take him to court for it and he did go to jail and die a couple years later but something inside mefeels like that wasn’t enough to help
    Some people did say the same things to me as well “you must have been asking for it” “watch your wardrobe” “don’t provoke him” etc… None were said by my mom because she never even knew it had happened until about 2\3 years later but honestly, you are so inspiring and you may just be a new role model to me! I hoped to one day have the courage to write something like this about my experience and for people to finally hear and understand me ❤❤❤❤

  83. On Sept 3, 2011 I was sleeping in my bed @ 2:50 a.m. the front door of my rental home was kicked in & 2 men entered my room, produced a weapon, forcibly confined me & 1 of them raped me. I wasn’t alone at the time & the man who was with me ran out of the room when the perpetrators threatened him w/the weapon… I was terrified… The man in the room who ran got the police… Both perps were arrested at the scene & the daunting process of prosecuting them began…. As though what busted occurred to me wasn’t tragic enough I had no idea just how the rape would affect my life & those closest to me being of course my immediate family members… You see,,, I initially spoke to my sister Marika Palmer Housewives Of Vancouver fame (if you wanna call it that) & i shared the personal details w/her, I was sickened to hear her immediately respond with ‘Guess what Ginger I’m going to be on Housewives…… You see my sister is married to advertising mogul Frank Palmer of DDB Canada. At any rate Marika concluded that the attack was the work of the mexican cartel & proceeded to ask me if I was involved with a cartel!!! Then as if that wasn’t bad enough for me my brother read the story in the newspaper & questioned me ‘ The newspaper said that you knew your perpatrators’What did you do to those 2 guys that they’d come after you? Then if that wasn’t enough my very own father asked me ‘ Just what in the fuck are you doing with your life’?…. Needless to say I was devastated that my own family would react this way upon hearing the trauma I was feeling… They immediately cut off all contact upped their security detail, changed all their phone numbers, emails addresses to permit me from contact. They never told me the contact info had changed I went to call my dad & got a msg of the number no longer in service… I managed to get a hold of my sister & she told me ‘We are afraid the cartel are going to try to kidnap 1 of us’!!!! Needless to say I realized my very own family had disowned me in my most darkest time but not only that they blamed me. I soon had to accept that I had given them far too much consideration by hoping they could comfort me & that doesn’t cost money… Details of my tragedy were public & I soon started to connect with others both male & female, people I didn’t even know reached out & it restored my faith so what. I felt sisterhood & brotherhood which kept me strong during the long years of the judicial process… About 18 months into the trial process I rec’d an email from a friend of my dad’s informing me that my dad had apparently claimed to have lost $300,000 to a ‘Rogue Investor’. Not that I cared but I found the timing strange as did others as it appeared as though he was in the process of hiding assets??? True that some ppl reading this may ? what the relevance of losing $300,000 has to do with my situation?? My dad was so serious about disowning me & creating distance from me to dissuade the supposed ‘Cartel’ from coming after him for money… Not a single complaint was lodged by my dad to have the investor investigated & possibly charged or have the supposed missing $300,000 returned??? My family missed the point clearly in that I had hoped to receive support & compassion which no amt of money can buy… At any rate 4 yrs in the judicial process & yes both men were convicted as charged… Many women held my hand & many still do which reaffirmed my sense of sisterhood & I continue to move forward w/the ‘true sisters & brothers’ I have hope everyday, I am alive & am so very, very Thankful…. I also did forget to mention that I did not know the perpetrators, I did discover that 1 of them was the younger brother of the lady who rented me the room. I was 2 weeks shy of my 50th birthday & the peeps were 22&23… 1 Caucasian & 1 Guatemalan…. Thank you for this opportunity to share & please never forget you are not alone, I felt that I was when my family got rid of me but many gentle, caring, real folks stepped in & I w/forever be Thankful… Sincerely Ginger Bujdoso aka Survivor…

    • I can only say how happy I am that you came through this darkness into the light of love from those who offered you support and comfort. What a story! Thank you for sharing…

  84. I totally agree with you, rape isn’t right and we should teach that to everyone, male, female, lesbian, gay, without exception. But allow me to disagree with you and tell you why I think you won’t solve the problem of rape by say ‘making rape culture obsolete:’

    Last I checked, rape is a CRIME. One that should be prosecuted to the maximum, heck at some point some countries (like mine, actually) had rape listed on the crimes you could get the death penalty for. But see it’s a crime, no one does it without criminal intent. What I’m trying to say here is that instead of women (and everybody else, but I stress women in particular) crying about how vulnerable they are, uhm, I think they should be learning how to protect themselves, from rape, and while we’re at it, robbery and assault.

    You know what’s rape culture? Painting yourselves as victims.

    You know what’s rape culture? Not learning to protect yourselves.

    Let’s get real on a few points. “Asking for it” is legit. It’s real. It happens not only in rape, but also when you flash expensive jewelry and cash while walking down a street where you could be robbed.

    You think rape is the only thing that happens when somebody drugs your drink? Murders, assassinations, robberies also happen when somebody slips something in a dude’s drink. Point is nowhere is really safe for anyone, be smart or pay the price.

    What I hate is that this entire ‘rape culture’ thing is making women look weak, like victims. You know, like rape is your frigging destiny unless we ‘change the pervading culture’ of it. Well ladies, the jackasses who will rape you don’t give a shit. They’re criminals, don’t expect them to be ‘against rape culture’ because simply they don’t give a shit, not about you, not about other people. Let’s all be mature and realize that fuckers exist, like everywhere.

    Nope, it isn’t your destiny. But only if you take your destiny into your own hands. Women aren’t weak. The next time somebody tries to have a good time a your expense, pull a frigging knife out, take martial arts classes, learn to run really fast. Remember that CRIME, be it RAPE, MURDER, ROBBERY or whatever exists. Do what you can to avoid it, put on layers of clothes and look really unattractive if you have to. Look and seem poorer than you actually are if you have to. If you’re in an abusive relationship then damn run for help or leave the MoFo. He comes at you to beat you up, stab `im in the liver. Damn no one disrespects you with impunity.

    • You say women should not ‘act like victims’ but your suggestions to dress down, make yourself unattractive, learn to run really fast, are all indicative of rape culture mentality. It is more victim blaming – she shouldn’t have dressed that way, he shouldn’t have worn that expensive watch, shouldn’t have been out so late drinking…etc. Should we all huddle in our houses afraid to experience life because someone may take advantage? Yes, we should all be cautious. Not asking criminals to denounce ‘rape culture’ – but rather society to stop promoting it… I don’t think you fully understand the problem, but thank you for your comments.

      • You missed my point entirely. Okay let me ask you this, if society comes as a collective and “denounces rape mentality” will the deviants/criminals stop? No. Same as now, well all condemn murder, but it still happens. I condemn rape and violence against women and children. But let me tell you this: No amount of social movement will stop rape. Ever. If you want to stop rape it’s law enforcement and women empowerment. And term “victim blaming” will never ever ever empower women.

        Do victims have power over their destiny? No. That’s why they are victims. If women are made to believe that they are victims, that rape has power over them, then the fight is lost from the start.

        And you cut off some of my other suggestions: Like learning how to fight, owning a gun, and cutting off destructive relationships.

        You know what rapists will think twice about raping? A woman/man with a knowledge of martial arts, a smart man/woman, a woman/man who knows how to use a gun.

        And yes you’d better “huddle in your house” if your government can’t provide strong enough law enforcement to stop criminals in your area.

      • Here, I am actually responding to SomeDude’s response to your comment (I can’t find a way to do that directly, in this thread…)

        Public denouncement of rape is not the only necessary component. Law enforcement is not enough, either. The Law depends upon a society that supports its efficacy, and the content of those laws are informed by prevailing public attitudes about what we consider to be just. Laws are not always just, and are not always enforced with equal vigor.

        Being a victim does not automatically mean that one is powerless. It means one is the recipient of harm inflicted by others. One can very much retain one’s agency as a human being while still being subjugated to dominant powers. Sometimes, it take a community to stand up to such subjugation (just it like might take a few kids to stand up to a single bully on the playground–they are victims who are exercising their collective power, because they remain subjugated as individuals). In any event, these two constructs have been presumed fused, when they should, in fact, be differentiated.

        Martial arts are fine. However, I don’t know about you, but a society that prevents violence by arming its citizens and preparing them to beat one another up in order to stave off what would otherwise be a violation of one’s body doesn’t cohere with my vision of an evolved community. It actually sounds fairly brutal, primitive, and uncivilized, but that’s just my view.

        It’s interesting that you mention “huddling in your house” with reference to the government and law enforcement, yet at the same time, assert that the law is supposed to take care of the problem. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “the pen is mightier than the sword,” referring to the power of human civilization to transcend the power of physical force. Feminism(s) is/are the opposite of huddling in fear, and expecting others to take care of the problem. It is/the are an expression of taking collective responsibility to make a change where a change is needed, by raising consciousness, calling out, and subverting wherever necessary. Sure, women should feel physically empowered as individuals while walking down a street–and, at this point in time, that might well require training in martial arts and carrying some sort of deterrent (although I would not advocate that such a deterrent be a gun), but feminism is a transformational force far, far greater than any individual canister of pepper spray (IMHO).

    • And that’s exactly why after I posted the tragedy I lived through I appropriately signed off as Ginger Bujdoso AKA SURVIVOR …. I am alive today bcuz I survived…..

  85. So, let me get this right. You are saying that it is okay for girls to dress like prostitutes, and you are not going to tell your daughter to cover up? I’m sorry, but this person is not in reality. While I am sorry for what happened to her, she is just wrong as are all feminists.

    While NO woman deserves to be raped, you honestly cannot tell me that dressing like a prostitute is not going to get some pervert’s attention.

    Let’s get real here. The problem is not with just men, but both men and women. Many boys today are not taught how to be gentlemen, and as a result, it has created a generation of perverted, immoral reprobates. Many girls today are not taught how to be ladies. An overwhelming amount of girls in high school dress like some who works a street corner. This is wrong, and it does attract attention from perverts.

    The problem is that morals in America have gone down hill; gender is irrelevant. The solution is to teach boys how to be gentlemen, care for women, and not look at them as play toys.

    We need to teach girls how to be ladies, cover up and dress humbly. When you dress to show off your breasts, butt etc… you are doing it to attract sexual attention. If you deny that, you are naive and need to wake up.

    So, in conclusion, dressing like a prostitute attracts perverts.

    But to clarify this for the feminists: not all women who have been raped were dressed like prostitutes; however, not dressing like a prostitute lowers your risk of getting raped.

    • Why don’t we just require all women to dress in Burqas and Hijabs? And forget bathing suits! Why should women be allowed to express their first amendment rights – freedom of expression if it makes some guy horney? Save the perverts from themselves. We all know men have no self control and it’s all women’s fault. Damn, those feminists for wanting the same rights as men. How dare they? Yes, let’s get real.

  86. It saddens me how, on a thread like this (in response to a well-written piece on a cultural phenomenon that is harmful to women–and, by extension, to all of us), just how many forms of defensive maneuvering, bizarre twisting of words, and other various forms of backlashing we see. For example: The assertion that identification as a “victim” automatically means that one is taking a voluntary position weak, weepy, complainer, instead of critically situating oneself within a very real and oppressive social hierarchy. “Don’t be a victim” is like saying “don’t be colonized,” when there are overwhelmingly inequitable power dynamics both deliberately and unconsciously organized specifically to marginalize you. Recognizing that fact is not “giving in” to anything. It is simply recognizing that there IS a power inequity–in this case, that there IS misogyny, and a concomitant system of oppression of women’s bodies that is called Rape Culture. To dichotomize victim and activist-for-change is simply false. The critique–including pieces such as this one–is part of raising awareness about, and standing up to, that hierarchy–and it’s all about the work to de-victimize women. That cannot be achieved through one individual’s personal decision, regardless of how strong their resolve may be. The system is institutional, collective, and has far-reaching, deeply-entrenched ramifications calling for systematic disruption, subversion, and dismantling. Therefore, when I read a piece like Dianne’s, the only legitimate response I can envision, at least as I see it, is: Thank you for illuminating the problem as you have–now, what I can do to be of support, and to contribute to making things better?

      • Yes, thank you for that correction. I very much appreciate Kaufman’s work, here, and equally how you are utilizing your voice and blog space in order to convey her ideas, along with your own.

    • By the way your argument goes, you make rape sound like it’s normal, like it’s CULTURE. See the problem is you’re blaming society for the actions of criminals who are deviants of what is lawfully correct. Society already condemns rape. The law condemns it as a heinous crime. And here you describe it as CULTURE.

      Let me make this very clear: The term “rape culture” is saying that rape is an integral part of society. In short, thinking like this ENCOURAGES IT.

      By asserting that there is a power inequity, you are saying that RAPISTS HAVE POWER. They don’t, They shouldn’t because they are acting against the law.

      RAPE IS NOT CULTURE. RAPE CULTURE IS NOT CULTURE.

    • And as for misogyny well you see that’s where freedom comes in. Look some people don’t treat or see women as equals and they are FREE to do that, don’t you just love democracy? It’s the same with RACISM and RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE. You are free to look down/dislike anyone. Heck you might even dislike me or even think I am a douche for having my opinions. (By the way, I don’t hold anything against you, or anything against feminists. But I do like discussions and hearing what other people have to say). Misogyny will never stop existing. (I’m not in favor of misogyny by any means). But regardless of what anyone thinks, rights and fundamental human dignity are INALIENABLE

      What I think is the problem with feminism is that it is divisive. Anything outside of the woman, her rights (god forbid her convenience) is the enemy. And in my opinion it is also self defeating: by creating opposition, the feminist movement creates isolation and actually hurts men and women by creating that divide.

      Where then can the woman find true equality? In a system or society wherein GENDER DOES NOT MATTER. What do we call that system? A nation. Yes, I am a nationalist.

      I agree that certain features or “ramifications” of the system do need “disruption, subversion and dismantling.” For example a worker is worker REGARDLESS of gender(race/religious creed, etc.) and well wages are to be paid equal for equal work. And so forth and so on.

      And Bryan, don’t be so saddened by the “backlashing and twisting of the truth.” These are signs of a very healthy society, one where one is free to express what one thinks. No one has monopoly of the truth that’s why it’s good to try to see where everyone comes from.

      And as for my reaction, I react this way because I think the concept of “rape culture” will hurt many women in the long run. I dream of a society where I stand alongside nationalistic men, women, gays, lesbians who genuinely care for their communities, whose concern for others are not blunted by their own personal resolves. In such a society, I doubt that rape would be existent.

      • This is not my own argument, nor my own terminology (I am honoring the terminology of those whom are most directly impacted by it), but I am in alignment with it–yes–that rape is far too normalized, and that it is embedded in culture (everyday thought, speech, and action).
        There’s a difference between blaming society and calling out embedded, institutionalized structures that elevate the status of some, at the expense of others, with direct consequences that can, among other things, embolden and empower acts of inhumanity, including rape.

        Let me make this very clear: There is no basis for the assertion that giving language to harmful, embedded structures encourages that harm. Racism is not increasing because people are now having more conversations about it. Misogyny is not increasing because people are now having more conversations about it. Identifying and labeling “rape culture” is not why that phenomenon exists. We certainly don’t make things better by avoiding calling out and giving language to such phenomena.

        Rape culture does not only refer to rapists having power. It refers to a context of power inequity that empowers rape. Rapists absolutely do have power–if they did not, they would not be able to rape. And they did so long before people started calling out the power inequities surrounding the act, so one cannot attribute the cause to the conversation.

        Repeating “Rape is not culture” sounds, to me, to be a mantra of denial.

        You are 100% right about the freedom to hold opinions. However, when ones opinions impact another’s freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–including, as you say, fundamental human dignity–one is likewise free to exercise said freedom to speak out against such opinion. I am free to shout down a KKK rally, or Westboro Baptist Church, when they espouse their doctrines of hatred that do real harm to others’ lives (no, it’s not “just” speech–speech does, in fact, wield actual power, and just because it is a right does not mean that should not be exercised conscientiously and with discretion). Does that mean I am anti-democratic? Not at all. I am wielding my democracy in the interest of upholding human rights. The acknowledgment of the construct of rape culture is not the equivalent of a proposal to alienate anyone else’s rights.

        But again: Rape culture is not simply an overt opinion. It is an insidious system that hides in the light of everyday thought, speech, and action (hence, culture). It is not a group, with an official uniform, and a doctrine that preaches “pro-rape.” It is parasitical in basic human discourse, and thus needs to be critiqued, called out, subverted, and systematically dismantled. And, in the process of doing so, it’s quite natural and expected that folks who don’t want to admit to this sickness being a part of who they are to react with defensiveness and denial (particularly if they are the ones who are benefitting from the privilege said structures afford them). It’s a most inconvenient and unpleasant truth, to be sure. I am frequently shocked and ashamed of how, in spite of my outward commitment to social justice, structures of misogyny have crept into my own consciousness. It’s horrible to admit it, but more horrible still to defend and maintain them. I welcome the opportunity to un-do them within myself, because I know that they ultimately do harm to all, including myself.

        I believe you are mischaracterizing feminism(s). It has never been about dividing or making men the enemy. The embedded structures of misogyny are the enemy, and men often confound the structures with themselves, and fall into a reactive/defensive stance as a result (as I’ve described above). Raising consciousness is not the same as creating a divide. However, if some divisions need be part of the process that ultimate takes us to a better place (for the reasons I have articulated here), then so be it. It’s not incumbent upon women to make this process pleasant for men, just as it’s not incumbent upon black Americans to make the process of race-based social justice comfortable for white Americans (the old “respectability politics” argument, which no longer washes, as we are now seeing in the form the new #BlackLivesMatter movement is taking). If you need to interpret an attack on unjust structures personally, then so be it, but understand that you are missing the point in doing so.

        A system in which gender does not matter would be fine. But we’re not there. Again, blaming the conversation for the problem has no basis. Claiming we live in a post-racial society, and blaming continued racial violence on the conversation, is dangerously misguided. It is the same with misogyny and rape culture. When the inequity ends, we can have different conversations. Until then, the conversation remains necessary. By the way, be careful about the term “nationalist”…it is the very same root of the term, “Nazionale,” or “Nazi,” for short. Just putting that out there as a caveat, and making the point that, just because a nation is a nation does not guarantee that its citizens are being treated justly or equitably, and it should be fully their right to continue, within that nation, to fight for such justice and equality.

        I’m glad we agree upon the importance of public policy that guarantees equal pay for equal work. That is certainly one important part of this equation.

        Thank you for your words of consolation, but I will remain saddened (and angered, as well) by the way truths (yes, they are pluralistic) are distorted in the interest of preserving power hierarchies that benefit some and harm others. Again, I will exercise my democratic freedom to call out and challenge that, whenever I perceive it.

        I likewise dream of a society in which we have moved past these inequalities as well, and in which women need not live in fear of having their bodies violated because of self-preserving power structures that continue to allow it to happen. I wouldn’t call that “nationalistic,” and I wouldn’t say that conversations and languaging of these power structures will be the obstacles to this society, but on a certain, basic human level, I clearly share aspects of your dream. We just seem to disagree in our analysis about the obstacles to that dream, and the means by which we can overcome them. But, as you would agree, I’m sure, so goes the plurality of democracy!

  87. To add one last point: Rape culture, as I understand it, is not simply about the act of rape itself, but about living under the oppressive shadow that its looming threat–and all of its insidious ramifications embodied in everyday interaction–establishes in the lives of many, primarily of women. A woman can go an entire lifetime and (hopefully) never be physically raped; yet, tragically, both the overt and subtle impacts of rape culture can still significantly diminish her humanity, dignity, and general quality of life. These conditions therefore call for anti-structural measures.

  88. Thank you for posting this. I was raped twice before the age of 16. This post was very relatable and gave me strength and assurance in how I want to teach my daughter about this some day. Too many women are scared to speak up on this subject.

  89. Love (not) how any article specifically addressing something important to women is hijacked in chirping “but not all men!” and “but but men can’t be responsible!” and “a women did x to me!” comments such that most of the page is now no longer about women, but about men. That is rape culture in action if everything for or about women must be changed into something about men.

  90. Yes!! As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape, this hits home so hard 😭 Thank you for shedding much needed light to this important subject 💙🙏🏼

  91. After reading this, I saw how many victims of abuse are commenting. The most profound book I ever read on healing from sexual assault/abuse is called “Rid of my disGrace.” I highly recommend it for men or women.

  92. I was molested at 13. My boyfriend watched his friend do it – but just kind of kicked his leg and told him to “cut it out”. I was blacked out, drunk on my best friends bed. I later was dumped for “cheating” on my boyfriend. Then my friends told me how lucky I was because the guy was “sooo hot”. Seriously.

    Now, I was young, stupid, beyond drunk and stoned, dressed probably like a “slut”. But I didn’t deserve that. No one does. I do advocate modesty and making wise decisions, like…don’t be like me and go to wild, drunken parties…but no matter how skanky you may be dressed, how heavy your make up, how drunk you are…and even if that drunkenness has you being a total idiot and flirting your butt off – NO ONE deserves to be assaulted in any way, shape or form.

    I teach my daughter to be modest and careful – but not to shame her of her very curvy, 13 year old body. I teach my son to be gentle with girls. I discourage my kids from playing rough with the opposite gender (in youth group games, etc). It may be old school – I know girls like to show they are just as strong as men (sometimes…I do anyway!), but I decided in this world it is better safe than sorry. I’m doing everything in my power to protect both of my kids. Men can be molested and raped, too. Let’s not forget them. Little boys aren’t future rapists, and they need to be taught to be careful as well as gentle.

    I’m sickened when I see women pedophiles and sex offenders. Breaks my heart knowing, as a mom, I really can’t trust anyone.

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