Sunday, October 14, 2018

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Against

Who would have thought it would be any sort of radical statement to write an anti-rape essay? Well, these are the times we live in I guess. So here is my diatribe against rape.

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I was watching the brilliant Hannah Gadsby and she was saying that the awful predators -- from Weinstein to Trump to Kavanaugh -- were not the exceptions but rather the rule.
I don't agree. And this is why.

Statistically they are the exceptions. Indeed, by knowing their names we are all but guaranteed to know they must be exceptions. (We don't tend to have lists of specific people in mind when we're talking about things which are typical.)
That doesn't mean there aren't a lot of them, many more than just the "top ten" of terrible men you can think of, but it does mean (and yes, I realize what this sounds like) it isn't most men. Not 51% of them.  Sure, there are way too many of them, but they don't even make up a majority of men. And that's very important. Because the bigger concern is: what do the non-rapey men do?

Clearly, not enough.

The sex creep, the rapist, the bully: they all want all of us to think what they're doing is "normal."
When a woman gets groped in midtown and screams and the creep tries to run away and two bystanders catch him, what does he do as he's sitting there waiting for the cops? He tries to talk his way out of it. The perp tries to talk to the men who caught him. He chuckles, saying "Hey man, everybody does it."
Now that gets him a kick in the head.
Because here's the thing, they know they're outnumbered. So they want to gaslight everyone -- women and men -- into thinking this is normal boys will be boys this is normal If someone did not commit sexual assault in high school, then he is not a member of the male sex this is normal. 
Jackson Katz

Kavanaugh knows he's sexually assaulted women. And he wants you to think it happens by everybody all the time. He wants to normalize assault on women.

But the problem he has there is that actually, most men are against it. Most men don't rape people. Some, like his weird friend, actually awkwardly stopped him from raping Ford by jumping on Kavanaugh.

To be sure, Mike Judge didn't directly address Kavanaugh and tell him what he was doing was wrong, so he took what he thought was the socially-acceptable path of drunk white boys and jumped on top of his friend to stop him from raping a 15-year-old girl. (And this is not to say Judge did not at other times partake in raping women and girls who had passed out from drugs slipped into their drinks, but he did at least stop one rapists once.)

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So no, Hannah Gadsby, I agree with pretty much everything you say, but this behavior of men? It's not the rule. These jerks are the exception. They just really really want us to all believe what they're doing is the "normal" thing. They want to live in a world where all women are walking targets, and the only way to do that is to convince most men that's what all the other men do.

But it's not what they do. The exception is the rapists.

The rule is how they get away with it. They make a fuss about how "manly" it is to rape girls. (And the sheer number of women who blame other women for getting raped is simply unsettling in an existential manner.) Between those two pro-rape forces (the men who rape and the women who defend the rapists), it becomes harder to get what we might call "good" men to stand up and say "No."

Harder. But not impossible. So you know what?

No.