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A Respectful Conversation about Rape Culture
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TIAB



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Kitty wrote:
I totally believe that porn's treatment of women and "bottoms" in general is a massive contributing factor to rape culture.


I'm not sure that I buy that argument. On the one hand, I understand the argument that porn objectifies women, but on the other I see a direct parallel to the argument that video games cause violence. In both cases, I think that there is something else in those situations that is the actual cause and not what's being blamed. They are both a form of escapism and I think the damage comes from someone unable to draw the distinction between fantasy and reality.
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Black Kitty. From a young age, kids already get to see violence on tv, games, etc. Even the most cartoony games will have gun where you shoot enemies. Combine that with the news and kids have the ability to discern the difference between real and fake violence. As a result, violent video games don't make someone violent.

But kids aren't confronted with sexual things at a young age (at least, most aren't - but with the importance of sexual education growing, this might change). For most their first sexual interaction is finding and watching porn. Combine that with parents who think talking about sex is the worst sin ever and you've got someone who thinks porn is a realistic image of sex.

Now to actually contradict myself, you could be right TIAB and that porn doesn't change the way people view sex, but perhaps it enforces their idea of how sex should be. An idea that they've gotten thanks to society's way of how men and women should act (the whole hunter and prey bullshit).
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilgore wrote:
Sam wrote:
Finnegan wrote:
prison rapes obviously have little to no sexual motivation.


I would contest that, actually. It's not like the desire for sexual pleasure is completely and conspicuously absent in the coercive prison sexuality that leads to endemic rape.


Not to pile on, but I'd go even further than this. The fact that male on male rape seems to be primarily committed by heterosexual men who find themselves in an environment where their access to women is eliminated or curtailed (in prison or, to a lesser extent, the military) implies to me that a desire to have sex is a pretty huge part of the motivation for the crime. p


You don't see how prisoners and military folks would want to yield power over others? Also, women serve in the military. Also, a lot of rape is committed against children. In these three situations, you have rigid power structures that participating members aren't able to leave. People who want to abuse others need only put themselves in the right position - one where they are alone with the victim and the victim can't tell anyone who is able and willing to do something about it.

kilgore wrote:
mouse wrote:
Kilgore wrote:
Over and over again I hear the mantra that "rape is not about sex," and I just can't bring myself to believe it.



it does seem nonsensical at times - and then you read about some elderly woman getting raped by someone breaking into her home, or a woman in a coma getting raped, or something like that, and it's pretty clear it's not because some guy was overstimulated by the way she dressed.

it may be a sexual act, but it's pretty perverted sex, because you are doing it with someone who is either terrified of you, or incapable of expressing an opinion. it strikes me that if it really all about sex, it would be better to just find a prostitute - she's at least got some level of willingness to participate.


I don't think you can rule out the desire to have sex as a significant motivation for even the most bizarre-seeming rape. You are, after all, talking about members of a sex that occasionally suffers severe penile injury while trying to masturbate with vacuum cleaners (NOTE: don't click on that link if you aren't prepared to deal with the pictures).

But I take what is, I think, your larger point, which is that for at least some rapists the fact that they are inflicting themselves on an unwilling victim is more important than the gratification they receive from any of the things we think of as components of normal, healthy sexual gratification (like being physically attracted to your partner). For those people, maybe it is accurate to say that rape is really about power.

The problem I have with extrapolating from that to the blanket statement "Rape is about power, not sex" is that it seems to me to be contrary to the project of convincing people that stranger rape is not the most prevalent type of rape.


Why is it contrary to stranger rape not being the most prevalent? Rape is a form of abuse, and people who know each other abuse each other all the time. Acknowledging that abuse is about power is not the same as saying a stranger is the only one who can commit it.
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Last edited by stripeypants on Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TIAB



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems to me that the larger problem is the lack of critical thinking. We don't teach critical thinking as part of a standard curriculum in grade school(at least, not here in the U.S.), which allows to to easily draw the line between media and reality. We are just supposed to intuit what forms of media are valid, or worse, we are flat out told to accept a specific medium as Gospel(sometimes literally). So we just stumble our way through accepting different sources as valid, probably because it meshes with our existing beliefs, and rejecting others as a process of trial and error. There isn't a guide that we are given that points out, "This ad paints an unreallistic ideal for girls", "This news story is based on conjecture", "These statements have been proven false". Without a foundation of critical thinking, kids and even adults accept things at face value and assume that what they hear on the news is factual (if they like what they hear), that looking like an underwear model is what they should aim for and value, that the situations depicted in porn are realistic depictions of human behavior.

Do I think the bullshit should be lessened? Definitely. But I see the lack of critical thinking and the inability to draw the line between fiction and reality to be a much larger issue.
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TIAB wrote:
It seems to me that the larger problem is the lack of critical thinking. We don't teach critical thinking as part of a standard curriculum in grade school(at least, not here in the U.S.), which allows to to easily draw the line between media and reality. We are just supposed to intuit what forms of media are valid, or worse, we are flat out told to accept a specific medium as Gospel(sometimes literally). So we just stumble our way through accepting different sources as valid, probably because it meshes with our existing beliefs, and rejecting others as a process of trial and error. There isn't a guide that we are given that points out, "This ad paints an unreallistic ideal for girls", "This news story is based on conjecture", "These statements have been proven false". Without a foundation of critical thinking, kids and even adults accept things at face value and assume that what they hear on the news is factual (if they like what they hear), that looking like an underwear model is what they should aim for and value, that the situations depicted in porn are realistic depictions of human behavior.

Do I think the bullshit should be lessened? Definitely. But I see the lack of critical thinking and the inability to draw the line between fiction and reality to be a much larger issue.


Look, I know this isnt how you intend it, but I find "pull yourselves up by your bootstraps/personal responsibility/common sense/critical thinking" arguments to be just a little more unrealistic than actually changing an industry.

People fucking suck, they do stupid shit. We know drunk driving kills people but people do it all the time, we know you shouldnt drive while texting, people do that shit all the time.

We know you should store your guns in a safe with ammunition stored seperately, so that if you're robbed your guns dont end up used in criminal enterprise. We don't do that shit anyway.

As a society americans are in that obnoxious toddler stage where we want to jam daddy's keys into the light socket. We can either baby proof the house or yell at a toddler to develop some goddamn critical thinking skills ffs. Which do you think keeps baby from being electrocuted?
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Sam



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Kitty wrote:
I totally believe that porn's treatment of women and "bottoms" in general is a massive contributing factor to rape culture.


Bottoms in which sense, like, bdsm?
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TIAB



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
Look, I know this isnt how you intend it, but I find "pull yourselves up by your bootstraps/personal responsibility/common sense/critical thinking" arguments to be just a little more unrealistic than actually changing an industry.

People fucking suck, they do stupid shit. We know drunk driving kills people but people do it all the time, we know you shouldnt drive while texting, people do that shit all the time.

We know you should store your guns in a safe with ammunition stored seperately, so that if you're robbed your guns dont end up used in criminal enterprise. We don't do that shit anyway.

As a society americans are in that obnoxious toddler stage where we want to jam daddy's keys into the light socket. We can either baby proof the house or yell at a toddler to develop some goddamn critical thinking skills ffs. Which do you think keeps baby from being electrocuted?


That's pretty much what I meant by "minimizing the bullshit", but I think it needs to be a multifaceted approach. If that's all the we do to "fix" it, we aren't fixing anything. "It's impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious."

I also have a problem with statements like "The media objectifies women" because it has an othering effect. "The media" is an intangible, non-human concept and shifts the focus away from the fact that everything we are discussing and discouraging is done by living, breathing people. Not only does it make it seem impossible to change, but it also excuses the people doing it. They probably even excuse themselves by thinking in terms of "my employer" or "the company I work for" rather than, "the group of individuals I work with". We're giving them an out, emotionally. If we want things to change, the focus needs to be on people.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilgore wrote:

The problem I have with extrapolating from that to the blanket statement "Rape is about power, not sex" is that it seems to me to be contrary to the project of convincing people that stranger rape is not the most prevalent type of rape.


you've got the main point but....well, let's consider a situation.

we have a man who want sexs and his date/girlfriend/wife who doesn't. but he is determined to have it, and he forces himself on her - and consciously or not, the message is that what matters is what _he_ wants, not what she wants, and that he can make her do what he wants. he may convince himself it wasn't about power because really, she wanted it too but couldn't say so/needed his "convincing"/didn't understand how important it was to him - whatever. the fact is, he disregarded her feelings to satisfy his own. initially it may have been about sexual gratification - but he could have gotten off on his own. in the end, it was about getting what he wanted, despite the fact that she objected. and that's power. he proved he has the power to make her do what he wants. what ultimately mattered was that his will prevailed.

does that help it make sense to you?
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Geareye



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On educating people vs changing the industry...well, while humans prove everyday that they are unable to understand even the most basic concepts, I don't know if it is more realistic to expect education to take effect, or to succeed in a fight against a multi-million industry...
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forcing anyone to do something they don't want is always a display of power.
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geareye wrote:
On educating people vs changing the industry...well, while humans prove everyday that they are unable to understand even the most basic concepts, I don't know if it is more realistic to expect education to take effect, or to succeed in a fight against a multi-million industry...


People have succeeded in fighting multi-million dollar industries before.

Yet they remain stupid as hell.
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Kilgore



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Kitty wrote:
I totally believe that porn's treatment of women and "bottoms" in general is a massive contributing factor to rape culture.


This claim is empirically questionable. Porn is more available now than it ever has been. And yet the rape rate is lower than it was in the 80's, when porn consumers were forced to rely on magazines under the bed and furtive trips to adult theaters.
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilgore wrote:
Black Kitty wrote:
I totally believe that porn's treatment of women and "bottoms" in general is a massive contributing factor to rape culture.


This claim is empirically questionable. Porn is more available now than it ever has been. And yet the rape rate is lower than it was in the 80's, when porn consumers were forced to rely on magazines under the bed and furtive trips to adult theaters.


Okay, I really need a source for this, seeing as many rapes go unreported.
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Kilgore



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yinello wrote:
Kilgore wrote:
Black Kitty wrote:
I totally believe that porn's treatment of women and "bottoms" in general is a massive contributing factor to rape culture.


This claim is empirically questionable. Porn is more available now than it ever has been. And yet the rape rate is lower than it was in the 80's, when porn consumers were forced to rely on magazines under the bed and furtive trips to adult theaters.


Okay, I really need a source for this, seeing as many rapes go unreported.


This site is the first google result with the FBI's crime statistics for the last few decades.

To believe that the reporting rate is a confounding variable, you'd have to believe not only that rapes are under reported, but that the rate of reporting had gone down over time. Frankly, my inclination is to believe the opposite. I think there is less stigma and more understanding now than there was in the past, and that, if anything, rapes are more likely to be reported.
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Black Kitty



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yinello wrote:
I agree with Black Kitty. From a young age, kids already get to see violence on tv, games, etc. Even the most cartoony games will have gun where you shoot enemies. Combine that with the news and kids have the ability to discern the difference between real and fake violence. As a result, violent video games don't make someone violent.

But kids aren't confronted with sexual things at a young age (at least, most aren't - but with the importance of sexual education growing, this might change). For most their first sexual interaction is finding and watching porn. Combine that with parents who think talking about sex is the worst sin ever and you've got someone who thinks porn is a realistic image of sex.

Now to actually contradict myself, you could be right TIAB and that porn doesn't change the way people view sex, but perhaps it enforces their idea of how sex should be. An idea that they've gotten thanks to society's way of how men and women should act (the whole hunter and prey bullshit).

This. Exactly.


Sam wrote:
Black Kitty wrote:
I totally believe that porn's treatment of women and "bottoms" in general is a massive contributing factor to rape culture.


Bottoms in which sense, like, bdsm?

Bottoms as in anyone that is depicted as submissive. BDSM is a hyperbolic example of a trend that exists in every porn genre I've encountered. Whether it's a man dominating a woman, a woman dominating a man, a man dominating a man, or a woman dominating a woman - someone is always submitted to another person's desires. And they are almost always depicted as enjoying their submission.

Yes, some people do enjoy submission. But for the overwhelming majority of public examples of sex to be between a top and a bottom, instead of between two equals - I think that's damaging.



Geareye wrote:
On educating people vs changing the industry...well, while humans prove everyday that they are unable to understand even the most basic concepts, I don't know if it is more realistic to expect education to take effect, or to succeed in a fight against a multi-million industry...

I think it will take a combination of both to see any kind of societal results. And I think TIAB's point about personal responsibility is also really important.



Kilgore wrote:
Yinello wrote:
Kilgore wrote:
Black Kitty wrote:
I totally believe that porn's treatment of women and "bottoms" in general is a massive contributing factor to rape culture.


This claim is empirically questionable. Porn is more available now than it ever has been. And yet the rape rate is lower than it was in the 80's, when porn consumers were forced to rely on magazines under the bed and furtive trips to adult theaters.


Okay, I really need a source for this, seeing as many rapes go unreported.


This site is the first google result with the FBI's crime statistics for the last few decades.

To believe that the reporting rate is a confounding variable, you'd have to believe not only that rapes are under reported, but that the rate of reporting had gone down over time. Frankly, my inclination is to believe the opposite. I think there is less stigma and more understanding now than there was in the past, and that, if anything, rapes are more likely to be reported.

Er, Kilgore... I kinda see your point - but I'd rather look at government information provided on a .gov site... If you have time, could you find one?
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