"Teaching men not to rape"

(195 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Opshinz Wed 26-Mar-14 12:15:49

I been noticing more and more people spitting rhetoric like this. I love freedom of speech and surely they should be allowed to say this, but.. rather then describe my feelings perhaps I can give an example.

Imagine I was giving a lecture and said "We really need to teach women to stop killing children", or "We really need to teach black people not to eat so much fried chicken".

Anyone have any thoughts?

Cluffyflump Wed 26-Mar-14 12:19:23

Do lots of women kill children?
Eating fried chicken is not akin to rape or murder confused

scallopsrgreat Wed 26-Mar-14 12:20:16

Imagine I was giving a lecture and said "We really need to teach women to stop killing children" Wouldn't have a problem with that. Although I would suggest that it would explore more the reasons around why women kill their children, in the same way that I would expect teaching men not to rape would explore the reasons they do.

"We really need to teach black people not to eat so much fried chicken" As far as I am aware eating fried chicken isn't illegal and any harm caused is to the person themselves. Oh and it is racist.

scallopsrgreat Wed 26-Mar-14 12:21:15

"Do lots of women kill children?" Well 85,000 children a year in the UK are not murdered by women, no.

NeoFaust Wed 26-Mar-14 12:24:30

It's the assumption that being a rapist is the natural state of men, but then, through the application of more evolved feminine programming, we can somehow not be.

I'm not a rapist, never have been, never will be, which is why I feel that promoting the idea that all men naturally are is evil. No more, no less.

Cluffyflump Wed 26-Mar-14 12:27:26

I've never felt the urge myself. Just checking that I'm not the only one.

Male attitudes to rape/consent do need addressing.
I can't see how working towards that can be a negative.

scallopsrgreat Wed 26-Mar-14 12:32:46

No it is not assumed that the natural state of men is as a rapist. Men who rape do so because they feel entitled too. It is that sense of entitlement that needs tackling. And that sense of entitlement is brought about by the culture in which they live.

NeoFaust Wed 26-Mar-14 12:39:30

Male attitudes to rape and consent certainly need clarifying, not least because the discourse on the subject has been exclusively from a feminist (and, lets face it, grossly misandric) viewpoint.

Whether or not there are issues to address will need to wait until data is available from non-biased sources.

For the moment, the promotion of a 'rape-culture' by certain feminist strands leads to a society where all consent is suspect; As a result, even if you have had consensual sex with a woman you are a rapist.

With this sort of attitude prevalent, it's impossible to resolve the issue.

Rape is the worst of crimes, not least for the divide it drives between men and women.

NeoFaust Wed 26-Mar-14 12:42:40

Men who rape do so because they feel entitled too.

I dispute this. Men who rape do so because they have the opportunity to take something they feel they are not otherwise entitled to. This opportunity could be offered by social expectation or a dark alley - the rapist knows they are a transgressor against the social laws of both men and women, so requires an environment that offers privacy for their crime.

The attempt to conflate the attitudes of rapists with the attitudes of normal men is misandric bigotry, nothing more.

I'm not a rapist, never have been, never will be, which is why I feel that promoting the idea that all men naturally are is evil. No more, no less.

Good smile

But actually, I would interpret the situation a bit differently. I think that well-meant education that teaches women how not to get raped (as well as begin victim blaming) have as one of their core constructs the notion that any man might be a danger to you. Schrödinger’s Rapist.

Right from the largely discredited (among anyone with an ounce of sense and social conscience) 'don't display your goods in a short skirt' to the more subtle advice about watching your drink and making sure you look out for your friends, what are we being advised to protect ourselves against? That's right, men. Well in fact, men are the absent referent in this material, because it isn't specific that the advice is actually about women protecting themselves against men. Perhaps that's why people prefer it? Because it doesn't actually contain the words 'men' and 'rape' in the same articles? Enabling men to disassociate themselves from rape?

scallopsrgreat Wed 26-Mar-14 13:01:41

"The attempt to conflate the attitudes of rapists with the attitudes of normal men is misandric bigotry, nothing more." And who is doing that? Unless of course you think that all men feel entitled to have sex with women?

Most rapes happen in the woman's home by someone they know. Most rapes are planned in advance. Opportunity isn't normally a problem. Rapists will create the opportunities.

And feminists aren't promoting a rape culture. Society, rapists, abusers and their attitudes are doing that quite nicely.

begin = being [eyeroll]

scallopsrgreat Wed 26-Mar-14 13:03:18

It is funny how naming a problem is so threatening isn't it Buffy?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 26-Mar-14 13:04:49

This is another re-regging troll, folks. Ban-hammer's been busy this morning...

Do you want to keep the thread?

It's weird, this sensitivity.

I mean I get that men don't like phrases like "all men are rapists" but those I've never seen used by any feminist in the literal meaning, leading me to conclude that a) if a feminist says it and means it, their views are extremist, or b) it is used in a theoretical sense, which can be different.

I don't like "all men a rapists" partly because they aren't and partly because I don't like any "all men are…" " all women are…" statements. Unless they are so anodyne as to have no significance. All men have XY blah de blah.

But when I see education programmes about things usually related to women's behaviour, such as, I don't know, support services for PND or for domestic abuse, I don't automatically think "they are saying that ALL women experience those things, but I don't, so the WHOLE THING is wrong?"

So I don't quite understand why some men get so very offended by campaigns aimed at men that link the concepts of men and rape. They really aren't saying that all men rape, even if they don't contain disclaimers to that effect.

Do you really not see that?

Or if there is another way to educate men about rape, what is it? What is better?

Sillylass79 Wed 26-Mar-14 13:11:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sillylass79 Wed 26-Mar-14 13:12:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flowers Silly

I agree that if a man is determined to cross boundaries because that's what he wants to do, then educating him about boundaries and why he shouldn't cross them is meaningless.

The campaigns I've seen have been aimed at young men who (the campaign assumes) do not have a clear idea of boundaries and what it means to cross them. It's the sort of Sandy/Danny American Pie notion that all young men are desperate for sex and it's the job of young women to prevent them from getting it. You know, the sort of wandering hand, negotiation on where can and can't be touched idea.

The campaigns I thought were good were either tackling this stereotype among older teenagers (such as the one with the lad watching from behind glass trying to tell himself to stop) or were parodying the "women, don't get raped" stuff to highlight the problems with that, rather than to 'educate men not to rape'.

TheBookofRuth Wed 26-Mar-14 13:22:40

But no one says this because they believe all men are rapists. It's pithy rhetoric which evolved in response to a number of police campaigns which centred on educating women on how not to get raped - don't drink too much, don't walk home alone, don't dress provocatively, etc. The phrase is simply intended to put the responsibility for the act back where it belongs - on the perpetrator, not the victim.

NeoFaust Wed 26-Mar-14 13:26:30


I agree that the lessons that teach women 'how not to be raped' are putting the onus in the wrong place. However, it is my solid belief (derived from extensive conversation on the subject and being male) that the attempt to disassociate men from rape isn't some sort of shirking of responsibility for collective guilt - it's attempt to make clear to the world (and above all rapists) that they are NOT US.

Scallops believes that men and society create an acceptance of rapists - that rapists believe that they are tacitly supported by a silent majority of men. In truth (traditionally socialised)men have a violent, virulent hatred towards rapists - they get short shrift in jail, for example - because they have transgressed both the old, patriarchal rules for the acquisition of a mate and the modern values of equality.

So essentially, men are urgently striving, as a class, to ensure that being a rapist is seen as anathema to any acceptable concept of male-ness. They are trying to establish that rape is the responsibility of the rapist, not the victim and not anyone who happens to share the rapists gender. In this the well-meaning rape prevention education is a horrible error, but the feminist pressure to reintegrate 'rapist' into the collective 'male' is still a horrible evil.

TheFabulousIdiot Wed 26-Mar-14 13:29:02

'teaching men not to rape' usually is something that is said as a direct opposition to 'teaching women not to get raped'.

So essentially, men are urgently striving, as a class, to ensure that being a rapist is seen as anathema to any acceptable concept of male-ness.

How are they doing this?

This is a genuine, not rhetorical or trappy question. How?

Because (to draw upon your own criteria) through extensive conversations and living as a women, I don't see it. I see:

- jokes and banter that would make any actual rapist feel right at home and abuse if anyone expresses offence
- newspaper articles that bemoan how that nice lad's life has been ruined with little or no mention of that nice girl's life
- comments sections on most newspapers that make my toes curl (from men and women)
- Lad's mags and PUA sites
- Well meaning nice guys who believe that women are unsafe alone in a public place.

So please, give me back my belief in men-as-a-class and tell me what you are all doing to combat this?

scallopsrgreat Wed 26-Mar-14 13:54:42

Teaching men not to rape is not about saying 'men don't rape'. It is about identifying rape, why men rape, how that is supported by society, looking at the influences on men, the impact on victims etc etc

Rape culture exists NeoFaust. It isn't a matter of whether I believe it or not. Rapists aren't just supported by other men. They are supported by society in general. Men hate rapists when it suits them. Stranger rape, for example. However, they don't seem to want to do much about it do they?

The old patriarchal values for getting a mate included rape. Why do you think marriage was brought into existence? Why do you think it was only 1991 when rape was illegal in marriage?

Here are just a few examples of rape culture:





scallopsrgreat Wed 26-Mar-14 13:55:37

And with linkable links:





NeoFaust Wed 26-Mar-14 14:07:17

They do it where you will be very unlikely to see - amongst themselves. The male-class is a very weird thing to feminist eyes because it is very, very individualistic and private. There isn't a class conscious, nor a political voice. There aren't any movements, or slut-walks or waves - there's just the whispers, the quiet words and the turning of backs.

For every transgressive joke you've heard laughed at, there's the quiet moment where one guy round the pub table mutters 'rapists should get their throats cut' and you can hear the low animal growl of assent and feel the animalistic surge of rage. The reason for newspapers bemoaning the damage to a young mans life from an erroneous/false accusation is that he is now an object of intense hatred and distrust from all of society, but in particular other men - whose hands twitch when they see him pass, who will speak but never communicate. Nobody has sympathy for one they honestly consider a rapist.

As for comments on websites, anonymity breeds cruelty. Some of the things I see said about men on this website (which I'd never characterise as sexist) make my heart pound and my soul ache.

The change is slow - glacially slow - but that's the inevitable nature of social change. It's silent and private, secretive and subtle - as society has trained men to be about their inner world. It's a change in climate, not a revolution, but it is happening inexorably.

I don't think you'll actually believe me, but it's true.

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