The Sexist

Sexist Comments of the Week: Real Rape, False Rape, and Sluts

When I wrote yesterday's post on the Hofstra University rape allegation, "False Rape Accusations and Rape Culture," I was hoping that we might all be able to find a common ground, and fight together against both rape and false rape accusations. Then I read the comments. Silly me! The comments of the week are after the jump (since y'all talk too much, most have been abridged).

recursiveparadox is oddly prescient:

I think what it largely comes down to is that a lot of these folks don’t care about stopping the rape culture at all, or even know about it consciously.

They hate false accusations of rape because it’s something that could happen to them (you’ll notice it’s mostly guys flipping out on this) not because it is caused by rape culture.

And for the ones that simply don’t realize that the rape culture trains women to follow the coercion/innocence paradigm of sex, they aren’t making the connection when they engage in “slut shaming” and criticism of personal sexual choice. So they’re really just shooting themselves in the foot, because their actions contribute to false accusations.

. . . This paradigm infects our culture very deeply and I imagine a lot of these folks have absolutely no clue what is going on when they pull this shit about these stories. They only make it all worse.

As if on cue, Anon credits me with coining the term "rape culture":

Rape culture? That sounds pretty vague, and pretty harsh. You honestly think we have a culture that promotes rape? I cannot take anything you say seriously after that. It sounds a lot like the all powerful, yet amorphous and incorporeal patriarchy. What if I went around talking about having to live in a “Princess Entitlement Culture” or a “Female Moral Superiority Culture”. Was your father, and his father, all part of this “Rape Culture”. Is the boogey man still in your closet secretly oppressing you through fear and intimidation?! Grow up.

Bob weighs in with some blogger-shaming:

How dare you Ms. Hess! In nearly the same breath you indict these innocent men of being mere pigs who bamboozled a young girl into having sex with all of them at the same time while saying that there is a “rape culture” out there that tells women that they are bad when they have sexual desires. HYPOCRITE!!!!

You assume that they were happy because they all gang banged a girl. How totaly calous and demeaning to these men! They were locked up in jail facing 20 years in jail and now that they are happy to be out they are a bunch of dogs for beeing happy about it? Seriously.

Now ask yourself what kind of culture we actually live in a “Rape Culture” or perhaps a “False Rape Culture.” An interesting and valid question given the events. But one that I am sure to be damned for asking.

Sarah TX counters:

I’ve never thought of false accusations in this light, but it makes a lot of sense. It also really reveals the deep hypocrisy of commentators who gleefully dig up every single case where a woman recants her testimony about being raped (even though the actual percentages of false rape claims are extremely low, especially compared to the number of legitimate rape cases that are never prosecuted).

Paul Elam writes:

I enjoyed the dreamlike quality of this piece.

I wonder if Ms. Hess notices that all the social and legal instruments in place, including rape shield laws, men in prison for the crime, special victim crime units, zealous prosecutors, a number of awareness campaigns and the like point to the reality that we live in an “anti-rape culture,” not the other way around.

Could it be any more obvious, or is there secret rape societies somewhere operated by the Illuminati?

Piece of Advice attempts to bring everyone back on topic:

When railing against “typical feminists” and “misandry” you should probably at least TRY to hide your hateful attitudes toward women. I mean, I know this is a some sort of pat-on-the-back-athon from Men’s Daily News but you could TRY to cut out the ad hominem attacks, baseless attributions of thought and motive and disguise of opinion as fact.

But it can't stop slwerner from informing sluts how slutty they are, and then telling those sluts to stop complaining about everyone calling them sluts:

Well the simple answer is that she didn’t want her boyfriend to find out that she IS A SLUT, and did cheat on him, and will likely cheat on him again.

. . . Of course she’s a slut. If we were to decide that all slut’s needed psychological counseling, we would need to increase the number of practicing psychologists ten-fold (at least).

I couldn’t stomach all of Amanda Hess’s steaming pile, but from what i did read, she attribute false rapes to the patriarchy “forcing” women to lie about their sexuality. Apparently women fear “slut-shaming”.

So, let me get this straight: women don’t need men (per se), but they do need men to “validate” their promiscuity?

Fat chance! There are perfectly valid reasons for men to reject promiscuous women as relationship partners. If women want to be sluts, they need to “own it”.

And, when they start to whine about how men don’t suffer from “slut-shaming”, they need to come to grips with the reality that it is WOMEN who do not reject promiscuous men (but, rather admire them as proven sex partners – women admire “studs” far, far more than do other men). In fact, the shaming men will more often get from women is for being (older) virgins.

Oh, well. Better luck next time?

Photo by robin.elaine

  • http://recursiveparadox.dreamwidth.org recursiveparadox

    I can see the future! *spooky fingers*

  • Jenna

    It is a shame that people are blind to what's right in front of them. And in such combative defiance!

    It's staggering to think of how many cases of rape go unreported in this country. With the amount of courage it takes for women to come forward with something that causes them so much unnecessary shame and embarrassment, what's the incentive to lie? No matter the outcome, the woman is still looked down upon, whether her accusation is "proven" or not.

    We have got to stop blaming women for the way they are treated by men. We have got to see what's right in front of us, what Ms. Hess is brave enough to point out.

  • Ted

    To Jenna,
    Obviously there must be some incentive to lie or women woudn't do it. When women claim rape, as shown in this story, they get sympathy.

    It sounds as if you are saying that even falsely claiming rape is embarrasing and therefore no one would do it. Well, there is video evidence proving that this woman wasn't raped.

    The "shame" from claiming rape must not be that bad or else women wouldn't falsely claim to have been raped.

    Actually you should blame women for the way men treat them. Women love to date "bad" men and then turn around and blame men for their predicament without any regard for the fact that they CHOSE to be around that man.

    So when you choose bad female friends who verbally abuse you and disrespect you, who are you going to blame then?

    YOU are responsible for the people that you surround yourself with. People can only hurt you if you let the wrong people get close enough to hurt you. By playing the vicim and not accepting the role that oneself plays in any friendship or relationship, he/she is setting him or herself up to repeat the cycle over and over again.

  • slwerner

    "But it can’t stop slwerner from informing sluts how slutty they are, and then telling those sluts to stop complaining about everyone calling them sluts"

    Amanda,

    Did you happen to catch that other bit you wrote, "Sexist Beatdown: Coping With Douches Edition"

    Badly behaving (or merely uncooperative) men are termed "Douches", yet calling a very bad-acting woman a "slut" is somehow a terrible thing to do? Really?

    Did you some how manage to forget that she was about to have five men sent to prison so that she could maintain the lie she told to her boyfriend to cover for her having cheated on him with five random men she just met in a restroom?

    I get that the women here don't like the word "slut", but what exactly would you call this women?

    Or do you, as it seems some of the other women here must, approve of her behaviors unreservedly?

    Where the many years that five men might have served in prison a reasonable trade-off for the rehabilitation of one women's tattered reputation?

    I'm getting the impression that you think that it was.

  • http://toysoldier.wordpress.com Toysoldier

    "I was hoping that we might all be able to find a common ground, and fight together against both rape and false rape accusations."

    You cannot really complain about the comments you received given that you intentionally introduced a tangential idea and made that the focus of your post. They are responding hostilely to an idea you did not explain and that has no apparent connection to false accusations other than the implication that women who make false accusations cannot help themselves because they have no other choice due to "rape culture," i.e. they are not responsible or culpable.

    People might be more inclined to believe you actually want to find common ground if you did not engage in such tactics.

  • John D.

    "Rape culture" is Amanda's way of saying that all male culture causes rape. It's like Hitler babbling about "Jewish cultural degeneration." The feminists do enjoy their delusions.

    But unfortunately, our liar-friendly legal system is all too real.

  • http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/ Pierce Harlan

    Amanda makes some good points about how women's sexuality is viewd in this society. All of it should be discussed, just as the rapist's motivation needs to be dealt with more (most were abused as children). I am familiar with all the major false rape studies, and there are a variety of reasons for false rape claims. Attention/sympathy getting (a sign of a troubled young woman) is a major motivation, as is revenge.

    But the Hofstra case isn't exactly a good case to talk about rape culture becaue it smacks of a young woman lying so her boyfriend wouldn't think he cheated on her. If men who cheat could plausibly cry "rape," don't you think a similar number of them would do so? Neither men nor women want to appear unfaithful, and will often to preserve the appearance that they weren't.

    In any event, I agree that women shouldn't be shamed about their sexuality. But I think this is a different discussion than the one about false rape claims. Both rape and false rape claims need to be deterred and treated as equally serious crimes, not excused due to motivation. As Prof. Alan Dershowitz once said: “Rape is such a serious crime that deliberately bringing a false accusation of rape should be an equally serious crime and women are not being punished for those crimes. I believe that being falsely accused of rape is as traumatic as being raped.”

  • Andi

    For the guy(s) who's saying that false accusations of rape should be treated as equal to rape, I have a question. If you had to choose between being falsely accused of rape (mind you, I said accused, not convicted) versus being violently and painfully raped by a man, say, 80 pounds heavier and a whole bunch stronger than you, putting himself inside you forcefully, possibly giving you a lifelong or fatal STD - which would you choose? Now add in getting pregnant by that guy. And let's say you're vehemently anti-abortion just to make it more fun and interesting.

    False accusations suck and should have consequences, but don't try to equate with violent rape - unless you would honestly choose a man violently raping you and putting part of his body and fluids inside of you over a false rape accusation. I can say hands down that I would personally far prefer the false accusation.

  • Victor

    Andi,
    Your argument is horribly flawed. You assume immediately that this false accusation of rape is somehow rectified. What about the possibility of a false accusation of rape turning into a false convition of rape, and a false incarceration for 5-10 years (in which the individual very well may be painfully raped by a man, say 80 pounds heavier and a whole bunch stronger... etc etc etc) followed by a lifelong label and tracking of "sexual offender".

    A false accusation of ANY felony is a very serious thing.

  • Another Emily

    slwerner: "Badly behaving (or merely uncooperative) men are termed “Douches”, yet calling a very bad-acting woman a “slut” is somehow a terrible thing to do? Really?"

    Please don't skip to the step where having sex makes a woman 'bad-acting'. Please show your work. Badly behaving men and women are called "douches" but women who enjoy having sex, who have a lot of it, or with many people haven't done anything wrong.

  • Andrea

    Ted, no matter who a woman chooses to surround herself with, she is never responsible for violence perpetrated against her. The same rule applies to men.

  • Victor

    I'd like to continue my comment a bit...as something else has occurred to me.

    No one EVER falsely accuses another person of a felony (rape, murder, whatever) with the intention of recanting later. If you are accusing a person of rape, you are making the decision that putting that person in jail for a number of years and having them labeled as a sex offender for the rest of their lives is woth whatever the alternative is.

    That is a truly vicious thing to do. Is it worse than rape? I don't think the two can be compared. They are two completely different pathos. However, to be willing to condemn an innocent (we will assume the person is innocent if this is a false rape accusation) person to prison and a lifetime of monitoring IS pathological.

  • Sweet

    Comparing Amanda to Hitler, FTW.

    Discussing rape culture is like Hitler is basically the best comment I've ever seen. I just....(slow clap)...he is The Perfect Troll; the One Troll to Rule Them All. I bow down to you, sir.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist Amanda Hess

    Woooo! I feel like Barack Obama!

  • Mrs. D

    CONGRATS! I've always wanted to feel up...I mean LIKE Barack Obama! DAMN...now I'm a "slut" aren't I? I hate it when I have those moments where I snap and become convinced there's nothing wrong with experiencing sexual desires, and sometimes even acting on them is okay. Ugh...back to knitting...idle hands the devil's work will do.

  • Judi

    The whole story is very very upsetting to me. When the story first came out, I thought something is NOT RIGHT!! Now that the "victim" has recanted her story, I still feel something is "NOT RIGHT". While I will NEVER condone lying about something as serious as rape, I will also NEVER condone 5 young men participating in(or video recording) sex with an 18 year old who OBVIOUSLY was not thinking or acting with her full capacities. You mean to tell me that not ONE of the young men involved thought that something was AMISS and that they should STOP or at least QUESTION the sexual activities????? Is this the type of young men I would want as my future leader?? I am the mother of two young men and would be completely horrified if the had engaged in anything near the Hofstra incident. This is so terribly sad and embarrassing ALL THE WAY AROUND!!!!!!!

  • Econ_Scott

    As you may have connected from your iconic image of ancient Greek or Roman violence The Rape of Polyxena,
    http://www.tortillabay.com/images/The%20Rape%20of%20Polyxena%20by%20Fedi.jpg

    Rape is a one sad Fact of the Human Condition, it happens more frequently to women without an intact family with a decent father and strong brothers, uncles cousins.

    We live in a safe bubble on the backside of the Berkeley CA Hills. Just thru that tunnel is a violent world after dark where ethnic groups hate each other just because they exist. Women are particularly vulnerable and do get raped. Violently.

    I taught all my daughters about men, and some rather dangerous subsets, predators, and what in an earlier age were called "cads". I also taught all of them how to shoot, and they are armed, yes here in California. After the second date, I also take all the prospective boyfriends to the range to shoot trap and let them see me hit 20 moving targets in a row, then I introduce them to the older brothers and cousins, then we clean the guns together and we have the "Respect the daughter" talk, and a story or two about rather on the edge uncles of mine that took revenge on a suitor that abused one of my cousins.

    If the guys are weak, they never come back. If they have character and respect the daughter, they seem to have a good dating relationship. One daughter married young and the two of them are in medical school. The other is still in college at party school, but a good student, dates rarely, and has never been raped or date raped or verbally denigrated.

    So far so good.

    And oddly, the process has helped the sons to treat women with utmost respect as well. Not all women are up to being treated with respect. They don't like it, it's foriegn to them and uncomfortable. So the boys lose interest in them pretty fast.

    As you might be able to tell by now, I'm from the Midwest, farming country. Not California tho we live here.

  • LeftSidePositive

    Econ_Scott, it scares me that so much of your daughters' existence is based on being defined as a potential victim of violence. I'm very glad your daughters are safe and doing well in their lives, but this whole system you've described structures interpersonal relationships around extreme distrust. NO ONE should have to live like that.

  • Econ_Scott

    LeftSider:

    On the contrary, they live their lives in confidence. "Real Trust" is a precious commodity, and dignity and integrity is a gift you give to yourself.

    Trust is something that must be earned. If you give it away blindly, you will one day be "just another victim", it's just laws of large numbers at work.

    The oldest daughter has volunteered to work in underground Christian orphanages, under the radar, in 93% muslim country Sh_tholes of West Africa. She did go work there and cherished her charges, they was danger all around every day, but she walked thru it confidently and lived well, tho she respected the danger.

    She has a female cousin who still serving there, it's dangerous country and thankless work mostly, she will return soon and start medical school as well. But she lives in confidence and careful of danger because she knows it when she sees it. In other cultures as well as our own.

    To live in denial of the darkside of human character in men and women, and be unable to clearly recognize it in people , it's cause and effect consequences, means one is living a life of an "accident looking for a place to happen"

    Here is a good interview about avoiding really bad violence, you might get some benefit from it.

    http://www.pjtv.com/v/2953

  • LeftSidePositive

    Well, I'm glad your daughters feel comfortable taking on risks that are tolerable to them and living adventurous lives. However, the point that I was trying to get at is that it seems that you construe safety in interpersonal relationships with a backdrop of violence. There is a very fine line between caution and paranoia, that's all I'm saying...

    Also, this seems to fall into several misconceptions about sexual violence--women who are conservative who don't go out and party can still be raped, and you can't always tell who's a rapist and who's a "good guy," being married doesn't guarantee a perfect relationship, etc.

    As a case in point:

    http://open.salon.com/blog/steve_klingaman/2009/10/14/the_message_and_murder_of_a_pistol-packing_soccer_mom

  • Econ_Scott

    Leftsider:

    I am so glad you're glad about us. Even tho it "really scares you".

    Thanks for the patronizing attitude about us.

    It's been highly instructive.

  • LeftSidePositive

    Would you care to address the content of my post?

  • D

    To Econ-Scott, #17. Bless you for being a good father. I can only wish that when I was sexually assualted, I had brothers or a father to protect me. Or any strong siblings, male or female for that matter.

  • Econ_Scott

    On Lunch Break so this is breifer than I'd like:

    Thanks D,

    Sorry for your experience. Truly sorry about what happened to you. I hope you were able to get some good professional caring help after, and are better.

    There's a difference between date rape, Sexual assault from a known acquaintance, and violent rape on strangers by a predator.

    The sons, Uncles and I, merely by our presence, and communicating our position that No means No the first time, in regards to daughters, sisters, nieces, and serious hospital stays if violated; is usually sufficient to deter bad behaviour by those who might be tempted beyond resonableness. The reason is they just don't know if we are all talk or truly serious ... so the element of FEAR is usually a sufficient deterrent. But not fulproof.

    Predators are a different beast altogether, many are merely bullys towards the weaker, some are sociopaths toward women. That's maybe 1% of the population. Danger from them can usually be averted with good sense, awareness of situational surroundings and avoidance.

    But some lie in wait for their victims. As a woman you are generally disadvantaged in size strength and weight. That's where a force multiplier like a handgun is useful for women. Laws being what they are, even previously raped women aren't legally able to get a concealed carry permit in about 15 states. That's too bad, I would move or take a profession part time that would allow you to get one, get trained, and carry it.
    Seat belts are a hassle and may only save you one time in 70 years. But you have to have it at that moment or you're gone and so is your future. But you must recognize that every bullet that goes downrange has a lawyer attached to it. Get trained and be extra careful.

    ---------------------------------

    Leftside nag:

    Free country. I don't need to justify anything we do to you or your patronizing attitude. Live the way you like. We're not acquaintances nor would ever likely be friends. I don't like your attitude. You seem to like to preach to other people how to live.

    Simply our experience and it has worked well for us so far. We're happy. We look out for each other.
    -------------------------------

    "How many friends can you have in a life, Four or Five ? The rest are just acquaintances you meet at a party" -- Sophia Loren

    "A few billion here, a few billion there, and suddenly you're talking about real money." -- Everett Dirksen, U.S. Senator

    Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

  • LeftSidePositive

    Why, exactly, is "I don't want to have to live in fear" such an offensive statement to you?

    Why are you angry at me for pointing out that these avoidance behaviors don't actually address the reality of sexual assault that many women face?

  • Econ_Scott

    " LeftSidePositive January 26th, 2010
    11:45 am
    #18

    Econ_Scott, it scares me that so much of your daughters’ existence is based on being defined as a potential victim of violence."

    You Project your insecurities in the Comments, Trollish, do you like to do this in your real life ? or do you have one.
    ---------------------------------

    "Why are you angry at me for pointing out that these avoidance behaviors don’t actually address the reality of sexual assault that many women face?"

    You are intellectually dishonest.

    You're intent was to preach at me/us from the beginning.
    --------------------------
    We don't even think about it 99.5% of the time. We're trained, equipped, aware. In the rare situation where there is real danger, we can recognize it for what it is and deal appropriately, at that moment one better be afraid, and act acordingly.

    Free Country. Live in fear, preach at others, and be bewildered why you are so offensive to others or pretend you're not. I could care less what happens to you. I don't know you. I don't want to know you. I'm done with you.

    We're happy. Our system works for us. We stick together and look out for one another.
    --------------------------
    Lunchbreak over, time to get back to work.

  • LeftSidePositive

    Econ, it's not my intent to give offense, and I can't help but notice you seem to have quite a short fuse...You've called me patronizing, preaching, a nag, a troll, and intellectually dishonest; you speculate that I don't have a life, and say you could care less what happens to me.

    Wow...

    I mean, for someone who talks about respecting women...wow...

    What, exactly, did you find to be intellectually dishonest? You have not addressed my point that it's hard to tell who the dangerous men are, and instead you've hurled a lot of epithets.

    I simply meant to point out a significant aspect of the messages that our culture sends to women--telling us that we have to go out of our way to an extreme degree to protect ourselves, and that by being perfect we can somehow escape these dangers, when in fact by its very nature violence against women is extremely hard to predict. Furthermore, I for one would find an atmosphere that treats dating like a war zone to be quite traumatic and emotionally unfulfilling.

...