ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Sigh. I've been deleted and blocked by yet another feminist page on Facebook....(288 Posts)
...for daring to disagree with them on something they've posted.
Are they really so bloody-minded that they can't handle debate on their philosophies? I realise they get a lot of nasty trolling spam, but there's a world of difference between MRA nastiness and another feminist wanting to debate feminism!!
Is it just me?
autumn - true, UK law is inadequate.
But, rape is about penises. What's in a person's head isn't what transfers STDs or gets women pregnant, is it? Mental humiliation and violation is no doubt horrible, but there is a bodily element to this and I think we mustn't deny it.
(In the context of this thread I should clarify 'rape is about penises' doesn't mean 'rape is only about penises' but 'rape is about penises amongst other things').
Hmmmmm, if I were to call anyone a potential rapist, I would say they are because of the gender and power assumptions that are in their head, not because they have a penis.
True, broomsticks and broken bottles do not generally transfer STDs or beget children, but . . .
But we are really getting into details that are not that relevant. To me the basic distinction is between the definition of a "potential rapist" as a physical capability and a psychological essence.
autumn - I would say that you're talking about why people rape, not whether or not they're a potential rapist, though?
I think they are separate questions. And I think if you're talking about broomsticks etc., you are still talking about the physical? Those are physical items. They are not in someone's head. That is why I object to the idea that rape is purely about what is going on in someone's head, not about their bodies.
You are right that we're possibly getting off-topic!
See, Drakonchik, you really got me thinking here. Sorry everyone else for monopolising the thread. I can definitely see how men as class can be potential rapists, but definitely not because they all have a penis. To me it's rather because of what patriarchy says about men's entitlement to women's bodies.
Yes, I guess I am talking about why people rape. And yes, rape is a physical act. And you can't really argue (or I cannot conceive of it in my present cultural circumstances) that one can somehow think about a violent non-consensual sexual act as somehow not rape. At least you definitely cannot do it outside patriarchy. And it is hard for me to imagine anything outside patriarchy because that's all I've ever lived in.
So yes, rape is not only about what's in people's heads. But heads are their as much as bodies. It is the intention to overpower, to humiliate, to destroy, to debase, to silence.
I am thinking a lot too. I'm being a bit incoherent because of it, but it is getting me thinking.
I agree about the patriarchy and entitlement to women's bodies being a huge issue.
I think my problem is, once we get into why some men rape, rather than what rape is (an invasion of someone's body against their consent), we are on dodgy ground. Of course it's crucial that we know more about why some men rape, just like it's crucial we try to understand why all violence is gendered. But IMO we mustn't start labelling further than that, because society can and will change, and we will find we've labelled the wrong attributes.
There is not something inherent in men that makes them rape, or cause any other violence. I truly believe that. I have to. The non-feminists would say, well, men are violent because of testosterone/evolution/whatever. This is effectively saying: men have to be this way and they will never change. Some men will always be born to be violent, or to be rapists'.
I find that appalling.
I still live in hope we'll be able to get to a society where no men rape. So, I have to believe that there is nothing inherent that makes some men into rapists while others aren't. That means I have to believe there's nothing inherent that distinguishes one person from another - it's all society.
YY, agree it is both bodily and mental, definitely. Though not always a conscious mental process, as I was trying to say before.
Some men are really shocked to think of what they do as rape. We can try to make it black and white all we like, and simply say 'oh, he should have known' or 'I'm sure he knew deep down', but what frightens me is I don't think that is true. I think the conditioning is so deep, some men really, honestly, did not think about their power to access women's bodies. They honestly didn't 'know' what they did was rape.
(I'm definitely not saying this about all rapists, btw. I do believe some (many?) set out to hurt people and know what they are doing is wrong, or deny it's rape but secretly know it is. But I think a number really don't know.)
I consider myself a feminist but all this online stuff seems to be focused on naval-gazing and pseudo-intellectual oneupmanship.
I prefer politics where men and woman are together trying to address the appalling inequalities being caused by this government.
The endless flippin' 'I'm a better feminist than yew' and 'whataboutthemenz' irrelevancy makes me want to scream.
Drakonchik, thank you very much for a fascinating discussion. I totally agree that many men do not at all understand what they are doing as rape, and that many do not even set out with evil intentions. They just take what they see as theirs.
I'd love to continue, but I am about to get fired if I don't get any work done.
Malenkey and Autumn As a guy reading around the subject I found your discourse stimulating. Cheers for that
The sweeping general statement of one "class" fits all is pointless and misleading simply becouse when exceptions are found in your general classification it reduces the general theory to a point where it losses credibility.
So the theory that having a penis is enough to include an individual in the class that rapes tells us what about that class? That they all have dicks. It does not explain why the vast majority of those penises are never used in rape.
Nore does it help that some penise endowed humans are never likel;y to rape, those born with congenital disabilities that prevent sexual function. Those that choose to live in all male communities, those that have had illness or treatment of illness that renders them impotent. Homosexuals, all these would be included in the general classification. Clearly they would howl with rage at being included, in much the same way as women would and do at the suggestion that because they have breasts they are not a good mother if they do not breast feed.
Is all class-based analysis bad then, or just feminism?
Is all class-based analysis bad then, or just feminism?
Class-based study doesn't make for good scientific analysis to be honest. The more variables and co-variances between these variables the more the class-based methodology is weakened. Simple analytical principles really.
Leithlurker wrote - "Nore does it help that some penise endowed humans are never likel;y to rape, those born with congenital disabilities that prevent sexual function. Those that choose to live in all male communities, those that have had illness or treatment of illness that renders them impotent. Homosexuals, all these would be included in the general classification. Clearly they would howl with rage at being included"
Living in all male communities or being homosexual or having disabilities or having penis erectile dysfunction does not exclude such men from being potential rapists, per se. Some men from all these groups have raped people.
All class based analysis needs to be examined, so if were talking about income class what are the things that define that? If we see examples of those with high incomes who act differently like sending children to the local comp instead of private school, how do we explain that? What are the barriers to other people becoming that class? If all penise owners are automatically enrolled in the class what about those who change gender do they become part of the class or conversely do they drop out of the class if they have the penis removed?
I see why a general class is useful as a political statement, it's nice and simple, allows easy (I do not mean dumb down, just conceptually) identification and discussion. In some ways it resembles the social model of disability, however the social model is also been crituqued and others suggested as a recognition that no one political classification will appeal or apply to everyone it intends to speak for
Also I apologise if the start of my first post was a little aggressive.
Would you like to explain how someone with erectille dysfunction can use their own penise to rape someone venus, or perhaps tell me how my neighbour a quadriplegic with no body control, verbal skills, ability to sit upright unaided could carry out rape?
My point is simple you can argue a blanket case but when an indisputable exception is found it makes the case look flawed and less likely to be accepted.
Scientific analysis isn't the only method of analysis that has value though...
Autumn and LRD, thanks for your discussion, really interesting. It made me wonder (and I don't have an opinion on this particularly, yet) whether the role of the penis in a rape is distinct from the role of the broom handle or bottle because in other contexts (and perhaps in the rape one as well) the use of a penis gives the man a great deal of physical pleasure.
So, we agree that rape isn't about sex it's about power, but the use of a penis brings physical pleasure into the equation, whereas other items brings only the pleasure of exerting power over another.
Not sure if I am making sense...?
Leithlurker wrote - "Would you like to explain how someone with erectille dysfunction can use their own penise to rape someone."
Dysfunction includes not being able to maintain an erection after penetration.
How good of you to let me know that vesuvia, now about my neighbour?
It is easy peasy to poke a hole in any class-based analysis by referring to individual exceptions. Does the fact that individual exceptions exist render the class-based analysis without any value?
But actually, rather than having a bun fight about the epistemology and axiology of critical perspectives (like feminism) I want to discuss my penis / pleasure / rape question.
It is not "picking holes" if it is an attempt to engage with a broad description of a problem that actually misses the target, my reference to the Social Model of disability is akin to this, as despite starting off appealing almost unversialy appealing as a class based explanation of how others (In this case normies as we like to say) oppress us. Then a few "holes" were picked and lo and behold a new critical investigation of what the social model was had to be undertaken as the "holes" were just to damn large to ignore.
However I would also like you to carry on with your pleasure/penise discussion PQ. As the received wisdom that rape is about power is pretty much established, if your suggesting something more complex is going on I would like to see what you have to say.
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