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OK. Please can we talk about women raping men?

(338 Posts)
curlew Wed 04-Sep-13 10:53:38

It's a key part of the MRA agenda. Some MRA even say that men are as often victims of rape by women as women are of rape by men.

I absolutely agree that sex should always be consensual,and if a man has been forced, by either physical or psychological means into sex, then he has been raped and deserved of course to be taken seriously, and for the perpetrator to be charged and ,nif found guilty, convicted. And I know that an erection is a physiological response, and does not necessarily mean that a man actually wants to have sex.

But the MRA are full of stories of men waking up after falling asleep drunk at parties to find women on top of them. And vqriations on th them of being forced to penetrate against their will. And, it might just be my misandry showing, but really? Does this happen a lot? Is it a really serious problem that needs to be addressed, and have equivilant resources given to it?

AFishWithoutABicycle Wed 04-Sep-13 13:28:27

When I was 18 I was away on a gap year. A girl on the same programme started a romance with an 18 year old guy from a different country. He was religious and didnt believe in sex before marriage. He did however consent to doing lots of other naked stuff with her, but drew the line at penetration.
One night while they were missing around she jumped on him (if you know what I mean). He was really upset and immediately ran out. I never really talked to him about it but she fully admitted what she did and said 'he needed to get over it' and he 'clearly wanted to'.
He broke things off with her and she said he was completely over the top about it all. I often wonder what would have happend if it was the other way round. At the time it didnt even occur to me to report it. I hope it didnt, but I suspect it deeply affected him.
Woman raping men does happen, she absolutely knew she didn't have consent!

DuelingFanjo Wed 04-Sep-13 13:31:39

what I said Sinful1 is "I don't think most women have the physical strength to make a man penetrate them through force" which, yes, does mean that I don't think most women have the strength to do this. Though maybe I should have phrased it as 'most men have the strength to stop a woman forcing them to penetrate them'.

"So any woman who is raped who doesn't have a completely pulverised face from a severe beating wouldn't be classed as raped in your book?"

don't be so ridiculous.

I am not saying they should have fought harder. I am saying that it is rare, not that it doesn't happen.

AFishWithoutABicycle Wed 04-Sep-13 13:34:19

Oh and I also know a man who woke up at a party with a woman on top of him. Not actually penetrating her but if he hasn't woke up who knows....

DuelingFanjo Wed 04-Sep-13 13:39:14

and that was me responding to the question "Does this happen a lot?".

I think it happens less than the MRAs suggest and that their determination to make it sound like it does is purely because they want to derail and disrupt the obvious fact that women are treated appallingly before during and after sexual assault and rape and are raped far more often as well as having to live in a societly which encourages rape culture. I am not saying that male victims of assault shouldn't be given the help they need to seek justice and healing but that the lies and misinformation out there are actually damaging to those men who have been assaulted (by men and women).

mayorquimby Wed 04-Sep-13 14:26:06

"Well, much as I would love to point out that if they didn't want to be raped by a woman they shouldn't go getting drunk and flaunting their manliness in the face of all those women who simply can't help themselves in the face of a well turned testicle it might be worth pointing out to them that the legal definition of rape explicitly mentions men doing the act."

I do think that as the concept of consent has developed in jurisprudence that rape convictions might improve of there was either a reclassification of rape to make it gender neutral or perhaps a narrowing of the types of actions which would be classed as rape with others falling into the category of sexual assault.

This isn't to say that males being assaulted in this manner is anywhere near as common an occurrence or that it has the societal and historical weight that aggressive male on female rape has.

However I do think that many jurors will take issue with the notion that where the actions of Male A would be classed as rape the exact same actions of Female A would be sexual assault.
While obviously both are still very serious and can carry the exact same sentence I do believe it is a road block many can't get around.

As I said at the beginning I'm thinking in terms of actions which are to do with wider concepts of consent.
So it's clear that consent can be vitiated by deception. If person A climbs into bed with person B and impersonates their partner then consent will be seen to be vitiated.
Similarly if person A has sex with person B when they are intoxicated to the point that consent will not be valid.
I do think that in those situations having a gender specific crime should person A be male but not if they are female will lead many jurors to think "well if it was a woman nobody would be calling her a rapist etc"

Now MRAs saying that men are getting taped by women on anything like a similar level is patently moronic, but I do believe that either the offence of rape should be made gender neutral as it may help to cut out some of this fake polemic that many rape apologists trade in.

mayorquimby Wed 04-Sep-13 14:28:21

Apologies for typos
Posting from phone

OctopusPete8 Wed 04-Sep-13 14:29:14

There was that russian woman who drugged men and raped them with a dildo <shudders> That almost certainly is rape?

SinisterSal Wed 04-Sep-13 14:30:24

But sexual assault and rape aren't in a hierarchy, it's not that one is automatically worse than the other. In law I mean. 'Rape' means penetration by penis, not anything else.

i am trying to think of analogous crimes - say between burglary and robbery. they are both serious, but have their own definitions that have nothing to do with severity

mayorquimby Wed 04-Sep-13 14:38:21

I'm not saying its hierarchical in their legal definitions but I do think they are viewed as such in societal terms.

I also can't think of any analogous offences whereby the same actus reus and the exact same mens rea would result in different charges based purely on gender.

Now I know that argument will be that they don't have the same actus reus as rape specifies penetration by a penis so perhaps the answer would be to create new offence which was gender specific for women.

SinisterSal Wed 04-Sep-13 14:45:35

or educate people about the existing terms, rather than educate them about a new made up one.

mayorquimby Wed 04-Sep-13 14:48:04

It's just that the counter argument is often "if a woman did it then x,y & z" and no matter how moronic or insincere it may be for people to claim they can't get past this it remains a problem.

Like I say person A holds a knife to another's throat / obtains consent by deception/ takes advantage of a drunk person and are male they're charged with rape but if female then they're not rapists.

I agree they're not hierarchical but many will say then why the need for an offence of rape at all and not just sexual assault regardless of gender.

I think that we have such a society of rape apology that people have loaded the term rape with so much baggage that they feel labelling someone a rapist is so serious that they apply a higher burden of evidence to it than other offences and hesitate to convict even in the clearest of circumstances.
Perhaps a reclassification would greatly improve convictions where people think "oh well what he's done us clearly not right it's not 'rape rape'" etc

I'm not really sure, it's something I've often thought but not really bounced off people so its kind of hard to see the faults in your own arguments

fuzzpig Wed 04-Sep-13 14:51:12

Don't know about any other situation, but my DH, when married to his ex (who was emotionally and physically abusive) sometimes woke up to her on top having sex with him. He was on heavy medication and couldn't stop it.

It is very likely to be how his twin DDs were conceived (going by dates - they virtually never had consensual sex), he never confronted her about it or told anyone but me, it is so humiliating for him to remember.

I have no idea how common that would be in abusive relationships.

fuzzpig Wed 04-Sep-13 14:57:57

I am not sure that renaming that type of offence would make any difference to reporting/awareness. I think the rape apology/women should be submissive type culture is so ingrained that if it were to be a big news item, it would just end up as a big joke in the media, men who'd been through it would feel more ashamed not less. That's just a feeling/my lack of faith in media though.

SinisterSal Wed 04-Sep-13 15:06:30

That's horrible for your DH Fuzzpig

It is interesting that no one denies that a physical male response is not an indicator of their consent. Which is correct of course. But if there is no physical damage to a raped woman, people assume she must have responded physically and therefore consented.
Or am I even comparing like with like here, we're pretty aware of these things on the FWR board rather more than society in general.

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Wed 04-Sep-13 15:08:12

I imagine that some of the assaults (woman to man) happen out of spite or aggression.

But, I would imagine that many of the assaults are women not realising that they have gone too far because they falsely believe (due to culture and gender stereotypes) that men welcome any sexual attention at all times. I don't mean to minimise the impact of the assault on men or justify it at all, just looking at motivation.

The word 'frigid' is never used for men, men are often portrayed as sex obsessed (many need to gawp at tits in the newspaper everyday), the familiar issue of men complaining about not getting enough sex from their partners etc. It creates the trope we are all familiar with of men constantly lusting after any woman that's not in a burkha and women begrudgingly allowing sexual contact from time to time (or having it taken by force or coercion). So women groping/touching/assaulting men may seem to the woman as if she is 'treating' the man and it may not occur to her that he really means 'no' when he says or indicates it.

I reiterate, NOT a justification, just an idea of a reason.

Breaking down gender stereotypes so that being a man doesn't mean 'sex-obsessed' and both genders are taught to respect personal boundaries.

filee777 Wed 04-Sep-13 15:09:39

A number of my male friends have woken up with a woman on top of them or cajoled into sex despite making it clear they did not want it.

I think it's probably more common than you'd think.

Twibble Wed 04-Sep-13 15:10:55

I'm a six foot four fourteen stone man and I was raped by an ex-girlfriend. Or seriously sexually assaulted, if the pedantic would prefer me putting it like that. It was forced penetration anyway. And if happened to me I dare say it happens to others.

I suspect it is hugely under-reported. I've never told anyone in real life. They'd laugh.

I also suspect it was nowhere near as traumatic for me as it would have been for a women though. It was irritating and disgusted me I can't pretend it ruined my life or anything.

SinisterSal Wed 04-Sep-13 15:15:50

That's horrible for you Twibble.
And it's horrible that you think you'd be laughed at - sadly I think you might be right there. Probably for the reasons LaLa says above. I am glad you were not brought down by it.

fuzzpig Wed 04-Sep-13 15:17:52

I was thinking of similar LaLa, in that it is seen as normal for women not to want sex all the time in marriage (especially after children), but a man who doesn't is seen as faulty. There are lots of understanding threads on MN about sex drive differences but I don't think that reflects the view of the general public, it's not something that's talked about.

DH has often felt like a total freak among male friends for hating porn too.

Sorry that happened to you twibble.

Twibble Wed 04-Sep-13 15:18:31

Thank you sinister, I appreciate that.

Twibble Wed 04-Sep-13 15:19:14

...and fuzz, sorry

garlicbargain Wed 04-Sep-13 15:32:05

many will say then why the need for an offence of rape at all and not just sexual assault regardless of gender. I could be one of them. I like what Canada has done.

There is a massive issue here, imo, which is that the very same myth about male sexuality is used to blame rape victims and to ridicule the idea of women 'raping' men. That myth says men are always up for it. The other part of the lie, too, damages both sides: men are up for it; women withhold it.

In my much younger days, I've been guilty of 'jumping on' a partner who didn't want to have sex. OK, I got off again due to protest, but I didn't realise how wrong I'd been. (In my defence, all my relationships had rubbish boundaries.) When I did that, I was assuming "he'll love it once I've started" - which is as insulting as hell, not to mention the exact same thought attributed to rapists the world over.

I think it probably does happen quite a bit. What about older women, who abuse positions of trust to get sex with young males in their charge?

I'm not 100% convinced the experience would be as traumatic for most men as it is for most women, because penetration can be more injurious. Of course, women sometimes penetrates a man's rectum during sex and, if this was against his wishes, they are guilty of sexual assault. And men who are committed to virginity - or even fidelity, assuming levels of cheating are not the issue here - might well feel their lives had been ruined by unwanted intercourse.

garlicbargain Wed 04-Sep-13 15:36:49

Opps, crossposted with twibble. I'm sorry it happened to you, and grateful that you've posted.

NiceTabard Wed 04-Sep-13 19:11:18

There is also the possibility of pregnancy when a woman is raped vaginally, which I think it historically why it has been considered a separate crime.

SigmundFraude Wed 04-Sep-13 19:34:14 Plenty of info about this subject here.

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