Social Question

nikipedia's avatar

Have you ever raped someone, worried you were too forceful, or been accused of raping someone?

Asked by nikipedia (27327 points ) May 19th, 2011

The number of people who are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes is staggeringly high, and reportedly 99% of rapes are committed by men.

I think men and women tend to experience sex very differently. I have trouble conceiving of any situation that would cause me to force someone into having sex, and the statistics suggest nearly all women feel the same way.

So I’m wondering if we can get any perspectives from men who actually raped someone, who regretted the forcefulness with which they pursued sex, or were accused of rape, falsely or with some accuracy. I think at the very least, some men out there should be able to identify with a feeling that maybe they were too pushy, or didn’t pay attention to subtle cues and signals that the woman didn’t want to have sex, and I’m hoping some of you will be willing to share.

What caused you to do this, and how did you feel about it after? Do you think you were justified, and the woman overreacted? Do you feel like social pressures created a situation where you felt you had no choice? What were you thinking about while it happened?

I would like to ask that this not degenerate into a discussion about the accuracy of the statistics, about the fact that other types of rape (beyond male-female) exist, etc. Let’s just acknowledge that those are valid concerns and stick to the question at hand.

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88 Answers

YoBob's avatar

No. However I am rather astonished at what is being considered “date rape” these days.

Listen ladies, you can’t wait until a teenage boy is half way in before objecting and then try to call it rape. At that age chances are he will “go off” sometime between the ‘N’ and the ‘O’ anyway.

nikipedia's avatar

Let’s add to my last paragraph not dissecting the severity of different rape experiences. There is already a thread for that. Also, @YoBob, that shit is offensive.

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nikipedia's avatar

Guys please answer the question so I don’t have to move this to general.

YoBob's avatar

Two things here:

1) I have never had a non-consensual sexual encounter.

2) You asked for a guys perspective. I provided one.

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nikipedia's avatar

Seriously dudes if you want to have this argument start your own thread.

Response moderated (Spam)
erichw1504's avatar

No, I could never do that. Watching rape scenes in movies is bad enough for me.

iamthemob's avatar

I don’t think that this is about a difference in the experience of sex, but rather what sex means socially or how one should approach sex.

I have never had an experience where I felt too forceful, and have not been accused of rape. I do believe that on many levels, however, we support a culture of rape in how we raise our boys and girls.

The SlutWalk movement that started in Toronto is I think a brilliant step forward in recognizing and attempting to rectify this. As a response to an official’s statement about a rape victim dressing like a slut, and how she should have known better, people took to the street expressing “Slut Pride.”

The point as I see it is that we have to raise young women to be empowered to be sexually aggressive to any and all point of interaction, and still feel as if they have a right to say no – to not feel like they “owe something” for acting out in a sexual manner. Without giving women this sexual agency, and teaching them that their sexuality is not something to be ashamed of or something that they need to protect from men, we have the situations that @nikipedia references in the OP – women who feel uncomfortable giving an aggressive no.

At the same point, we need to stop teaching our men that sex is a competition – that somehow “getting it” is an achievement. That they’re the ones that should be making the first move. That they have to convince women to have sex. That’s the attitude that leads men to push because they believe that women will not clearly give consent, but rather only refrain from not expressing dissent.

If we can get women to understand that they are sexual subjects, and men to understand that they can be sexual objects – be pursued sexually and that being pursued and yielding does not make them somehow less masculine – we might actually be able to more clearly show what is actually rape, and when rape is intended.

Seelix's avatar

@iamthemob – Thank you for linking the Slutwalk. Makes me proud to be a Torontonian woman.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seelix – SlutWalk is my new favorite thing. Did you do it? If you did, I want to Canadian gay-marry the hell out of you…

Seelix's avatar

@iamthemob – Unfortunately, I didn’t. I had too much school stuff going on at the time. But I’m totally there next time!

iamthemob's avatar

@Seelix – if you don’t go next time, I’m totally hardcore Canadian gay-divorcing you. I want photographic evidence. ;-)

tedd's avatar

I have never raped no. I have laid on the “Full-court-press” a few times in the persuasion category, but I won’t touch a girl who is under the influence of something and I don’t already know I have prior permission (long term relationships type thing). No means no, and when told to stop I do (though if other things continue to progress its not crazy that I’ll have to be told to stop again, lol).

I think the numbers on rapes are somewhat skewed by girls who had sex with someone and didn’t really want to, but didn’t really try to stop him. I have never in my life heard a forceful NO from a girl, or even a forceful stop. If you don’t want to have sex, SAY IT, MEAN IT, AND FOLLOW THROUGH WITH IT.

(now all that said I fully recognize that what I just described does not encompass all “date-rapes” or things in that category, as there are many that are legitimate rapes)

Blackberry's avatar

Sorry, I just had to laugh…..So let me me tell you about the time I raped a family of four lol! Just kidding. I had a girlfriend in high school that frequently wanted me to pretend to force her pants off. I know this will sound cliche, but she totally wanted me to do it lol. We were essentially role playing rape. I didn’t feel bad because we were both laughing and having fun as we did it, but if she was playing the serious, scared woman role, I couldn’t have gotten into it.

I have ‘begged’ for sex as well, but I also gave up when I knew I wasn’t getting any at the particular moment. Apparently women don’t like having sex when they have already showered, gotten dressed, and put their makeup on already lol. I never had problems getting laid, so I never had the desire to force women, because I didn’t have to. Giggity.

tedd's avatar

@Blackberry I’ve been with a few girls that were into that type of thing too.

TexasDude's avatar

No, I’ve never raped someone, and a disproportionate number of girls I care deeply about have been raped, which has left me with a deep-seated hatred of rapists. I’d have no qualms about shooting a rapist in the gut and letting him watch himself bleed out.

We can go on and on about the abuse of crying “rape” which has happened, but that’s not the point of this question, and personally, I’d rather give the woman the benefit of the doubt 9 times out of 10 anyway.

Additionally, I’m always certain that any of my partners in any kind of activity are consenting. The last time I had an alcohol-induced sexual encounter, I was damn sure to continually make sure she had the cognizance to not be doing anything she wouldn’t otherwise do. She was fine in the morning.

Furthermore, rape ain’t about being horny and desperate to get some. It’s about domination and control. This is directed at you folks who are suggesting that rape is a result of guys just being a bit too horny.

iamthemob's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard

The last time I had an alcohol-induced sexual encounter, I was damn sure to continually make sure she had the cognizance to not be doing anything she wouldn’t otherwise do. She was fine in the morning.

But don’t you think there’s something profoundly problematic in that? You never really know – it’s good to consider the other person to that degree, but it also should in no way be considered a responsibility when you’re dealing with two adults. We are all, or at least should be, accountable for our own actions and decisions in those situations.

tedd's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Furthermore, rape ain’t about being horny and desperate to get some. It’s about domination and control. This is directed at you folks who are suggesting that rape is a result of guys just being a bit too horny.

I agree, that’s kind of why I feel like a lot of girls cry rape when it isn’t necessarily rape. I think sometimes guys are just horny, and they “lay the full court press” on a girl and she gives in, then later cries rape because she didn’t want to, and may have even said no. But then a few minutes later after hot and heavy making out and “rubbing” she didn’t stop the guy when he tried again. Those guys aren’t trying to be dominating or controlling, they’re just trying their best to get laid. (again this obviously doesn’t encompass all those cases, but I think that happens a lot and skews the “rape” numbers)

bob_'s avatar

I have not.

<—gentle

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Did she also make sure you had the cognizance to not be doing anything you wouldn’t otherwise do?

Hibernate's avatar

No and I do not plan to start it anytime soon.

[ not even roleplaying rape ]

TexasDude's avatar

@iamthemob and @bob_ I should have probably mentioned that we both had previously agreed beforehand to be accountable for anything that ever happened between us in regards to this sort of thing. This was not a random encounter where I just happened to ask the girl continually if she was ok with it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I seriously doubt any man here is going to admit that he raped someone…

bob_'s avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Fair enough. I wonder, though, should the guy always be responsible if both parties are drunk?

@WillWorkForChocolate Well, are you part of that 1% of rapist women?

TexasDude's avatar

@bob_, I think both parties should be responsible. Guys tend to have more responsibility, though, because of the whole power imbalance thing.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@bob_ Just that one time with YOU, honey. Don’t tell me you forgot already…

FutureMemory's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I seriously doubt any man here is going to admit that he raped someone…

No shit, right?

iamthemob's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard – the fact that guys tend to have more responsibility though and the reason for that is a power imbalance, though, is a bullshit argument for me (not saying you’re giving me some bullshit – I don’t think you’re not saying anything that isn’t true in terms of the common opinion). The argument in fact is one of the things that I think perpetuates the very power imbalance it’s meant to address.

In order to believe that there’s a power imbalance, both sides need to think of the parties as generally one aggressor, male, and one passive partner, female. The male asks permission, and the female grants it. The male succeeds, the female yields.

By thinking that the man has more of a responsibility here we’re reinforcing the idea that a woman doesn’t really have her own sexual agency.

TexasDude's avatar

@iamthemob, you know, that’s actually a pretty good point, when you put it that way. And it’s kind of ironic considering I learned about the power-imbalance theory from feminist blogs and from feminist friends of mine.

fundevogel's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard “Furthermore, rape ain’t about being horny and desperate to get some. It’s about domination and control. This is directed at you folks who are suggesting that rape is a result of guys just being a bit too horny.”

I’m not sure if this is exactly what you meant, but I hartily disbelieve the oft repeated consensus that rape is about power, not sex. For one, there’s no reason it can’t be about both. People are turned on by all sorts of wacky stuff and I’m pretty sure that if someone is a serial rapist they’re probably getting sexual gratification victimizing someone sexually.

That said rape is not limited violent sexual assault. It is non consensual sex, period. As such it’s naive to think that no one ever went too far when they were really jones’n for a tumble. It isn’t necessarily the same as violent sexual assault, but it is still rape. Don’t get me wrong, in this day and age the number of men that would make this mistake is probably the lowest it’s ever been. Men just respect women more than they ever have historically and when men respect women the idea of getting so carried away that they remove the woman’s choice is too repugnant to consider, let alone allow.

But you get some sexist pigs in the mix and sure, they might not care enough about a woman to let her rebukes get in the way of their jollies.

obvek's avatar

I was coercive with a handful of neighborhood girls/playmates when I was a kid (like 8–10 maybe). It definitely crossed “consent” boundaries but was limited to looking and touching.

The first girl I had sex sex with (i.e. my first time) didn’t ask first or anything. She was on top of me and had me inside her before I realized what was happening. So there’s sort of a shade of gray case in the male consent dept.

iamthemob's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard – I think that part of the problem is that the argument I laid out is a pro-woman reinterpretation of arguments that generally come from a fairly misogynistic position. It’s the whole “she never said no so I did what I wanted” argument reframed. The problem I find with many counters that claim to be from a feminist perspective is that there’s an assertion that there must be a “yes” rather than simply a lack of a “no” for consent to clearly exist.

For me, the misogynist stylization casts woman-as-object, whereas the “feminist” response requires that a man be delicate with the woman – in essence, it infantilizes the woman.

No. The response in this area should be about empowering women sexually – it should not take into account the man’s perspective because in every situation we’ll talk about where there is a question of consent in determining whether rape has occurred the man has always-already consented. So we don’t care about whether his approach drew a certain clear response that he had to understand from the woman – we tell the woman “Why is it ever a question that you should only go as far as you want? You are in control of your situation – and if you let him have control you’re not being a good woman.”

That last sentence is a bit harsh, true – but it’s meant to address women prior to the sexual context. In no case should a victim of rape be held accountable for what happened – they should, however, be held accountable to learn from it.

Ajulutsikael's avatar

What about the women who rape? Just saying.

I’ve had moments where I’m sure I was too demanding when it came to sex and I do feel like there were times I forced it on my partner. :( Yes, I’m a woman.

nikipedia's avatar

@iamthemob, I like your thinking. It really makes me question why this situation exists, that women feel so incapable of setting boundaries with men.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

As far as I know, I have not raped anyone. I say ‘as far as I know’ because there can be situations when a person feels they were violated and I’d never know about it. This happened to a friend of mine who thought everything was consensual but the other person felt they were raped. Issues of concent are complex. I know most reported cases of rape are by men but that’s just because men don’t report being raped and people don’t feel they can be raped which is wrong.

iamthemob's avatar

@nikipedia – I feel like the factors contributing to this are so obvious – but it’s that type of obvious that is so in-your-face that you just don’t see it anymore. You just fall into it – it’s part of the cultural/social script that we just assume is natural because that’s the way it’s always been.

I think the clearest problem, or manifestation of the problem, is the slut/stud double standard. It’s so ingrained in girls that they “give it up” rather than have sexual agency from the earliest parts of their lives. They’re good, they’re pure, they’re innocent. Sugar and spice.

But sex isn’t (or at least it’s not thought of) a “good thing.” It gets you in trouble (euphamistically and literally). Girls aren’t allowed to screw up with sex – they need to make the right decision. Boys, on the other hand, are expected to screw up. So for girls, there ends up being all this confusion around sex because of the social pressures – and it’s often compounded when you meet the inevitable boy with the “this would really show me that you loved me” argument. So when they get themselves into situations that seem to be rocketing towards sexual intimacy, sex can become both a confirmation that you’re making the right choice (because he said the nicest things and because if you’re at this point already you must have made the decision earlier). And if you don’t go through with it, you risk losing the relationship and risk being called a prude and ruining your chances at future relationships (and in high school, the fear is that you’d never ever recover – thanks to that healthy dose of teenage drama).

If you get caught up in this script, those early interactions set the tone for the ones that follow…so that it never seems like it’s your decision, but what’s expected of you.

So we have these social expectations for boys as “doers” that just encourage them to think about the moment, and ones for girls that put in their head all the implications and meanings that have nothing to do with the moment. The way we teach girls to be still sets the stage for sexual encounters to bring in all the considerations of “how did I get to hear? Is this right?” – all of the things leading up to that point…and then all of the “what ifs?” style considerations of everything that might happen after.

With all of those issues running around in their heads…is it any wonder why so often there is a difficulty in setting the boundaries?

obvek's avatar

@nikipedia, to address your secondary q’s, I think the experience of being rapey is part sexual trigger and part denial or perhaps compartmentalization of the experience. It’s maybe a projection of the rapist’s overwhelming urge onto the victim, such that the rapist believes the victim understands the urgency. This would be more for a coercive type than your more hardened criminal, but perhaps that experience is similar. Who knows?

cockswain's avatar

following this just to see if someone will admit he has committed rape

Mikewlf337's avatar

Who would ever admit to rape???? No, I never raped anyone and if I did do you really think I would admit it to the entire world? I doubt very much that a rapist would admit something so serious on fluther.

cockswain's avatar

Surprisingly though, I once asked a question about pedophilia and a guy admitted he was a pedophile and explained his point of view. It was disgusting.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@cockswain That’s surprising. That guy was an exception. He obviously has no shame.

cockswain's avatar

No, but by that logic a rapist shouldn’t either. Maybe some noob will chime in on this one. Or a regular user under a different name.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@cockswain Most rapists have shame. That is why they won’t admit it.

cockswain's avatar

I’ll have to take your word for it, I don’t know any rapists. But I guess that makes sense that I wouldn’t know it if I did necessarily.

stardust's avatar

I’m curious as to why anyone would think laying on “the full court press” is acceptable, not to mention why a no/stop would not have the same impact as a forceful NO/STOP. Seriously makes me wonder about some people’s thought process.
To answer the question, No, I’ve never raped anyone, nor have I ever put pressure on anyone to have sex, regardless of how much I wanted it.

Blackberry's avatar

@stardust I think one possible reason for the full court press is some women who say they want their men a little aggressive with the chase.

nikipedia's avatar

@cockswain, I was thinking of the pedophile thread and the have you ever killed someone thread when I asked this.

Also, I wonder of the guys saying “no” or “no, but…” if all the women they’ve slept with agree.

rooeytoo's avatar

@stardust – I thought the same thing, having someone on top of you smothering you, you may not be able to get out a forceful no. That act in itself is intimidating, aggressive and controlling.

cockswain's avatar

@nikipedia Just read that ‘killed someone” thread. Holy crap. Cruiser is like honey badger : he don’t care. He don’t give a shit.

Blackberry's avatar

@cockswain Hahahaha! Cruiser is savage.

tinyfaery's avatar

Kudos to @nikipedia for asking this question, BUT, there is no way someone will admit to rape here. Though, I’ve learned more about certain jellies, so, thanks for that.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I recently had two male classmates tell me after class how they had both been accused of rape. They both claimed that they’d never even touched the woman. But here’s the problem: I have no reason to believe them, because they don’t really show respect for the phrase “no” or other people’s wishes in other, non-sexual situations I’ve seen them in. I did, however, get the full “Rape is bad. But you know what’s really bad? Bitches and hoes who falsely accuse men of rape!!” spiel. So that was fun. But the point is: I think a lot of men wouldn’t recognize what they did as rape, because they don’t really comprehend how disrespectful they are in general.

@tedd I have known exactly one woman who really cried rape after the fact. One. And women (and men) don’t seem to have a hard time confiding in me that they were raped – more of my female friends over the years have been than not. Here’s the thing about the one woman who cried rape: She. was. crazy. Like, in and out of hospitalization, borderline personality disorder, accused lots of other people of things that didn’t happen or weren’t true, crazy. A woman who has her shit even remotely together really isn’t going to accuse a guy of rape that she knows is false.
I’ve also looked at the rape statistics that are so often cited. The 1 in 6 one? From the 1990s, from the U.S. Department of Justice. They’re only counting rapes that are reported to police – not women who say they were raped but never file a report, not women who tell their boyfriend that they were raped so he doesn’t think they were cheating, but women who decide it’s so bad, so horrible, that they have to call the cops, even though most of them know that the cops and the legal proceedings are usually worse than the rape itself. Those cases you hear where a woman made a false report, and then the DA found out, and she gets in big trouble? They’re big news because they aren’t particularly common. Yes, false accusations happen – but not hardly enough to have any kind of impact on the statistics, especially when you consider that 1 in 6 is a low number, if over half of all rapes aren’t reported (which means that 1 in 3 is a more accurate number, although I’d kinda like to see a more recent report than well over a decade ago).

FutureMemory's avatar

I would like to point out to any potential confessors: be aware that making a new Fluther username does not mean you have anonymity from the mods. They KNOW who we are, no matter what names we use.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@FutureMemory Only if mods go searching, though, so true, but also a bit misleading.

FutureMemory's avatar

The searching must be very easy. Multiple times mods have let on that they knew a new username was me, despite there being no “reason” for them to search out who the new name belonged to.

cockswain's avatar

Why are you warning rapists to be careful? I’d love it if we outed some asshole rapist on this site.

FutureMemory's avatar

More a general warning to anyone that thinks they have anonymity on this site simply by making a new name.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@cockswain I think, if you know how to read between the lines, we already have…

FutureMemory's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Are you suggesting that I have raped someone?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@FutureMemory No, I was not. Have you??;)

FutureMemory's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs No. As a matter of fact, I had to say “stop” three times (the third time extremely forcefully) to get a woman off of me. She burst into tears…wasn’t a fun experience.

DominicX's avatar

I really don’t think rapists have any excuse. I know there are some iffy cases where girls claim to have been raped after the fact, (a friend of mine once claimed that “college rape” is two drunk people having sex and then the girl regretting it afterwards), but regretting sex is not the same as rape. Nonetheless, if someone tells you to stop and you don’t because you think you “deserve” sex, that’s rape.

That said, of course I have never raped anyone. There is no part of me that finds it appealing, sexually arousing, etc. it’s totally the opposite of anything I would find myself doing.

josie's avatar

Of course not.

Symbeline's avatar

While both are horrible, rape and sexual aggression aren’t quite the same, although in the end the same muddled, fucked up psychological factors at work can probbaly be pretty closely related. Before anyone jumps the gun with me, I see sexual aggression as being frighteningly insistent, forceful and violent, but no actual ’‘sex’’ comes of it, as this is the kind of thing we can witness in the work place, a bar or some public place. (not to be confused with sexual harassment which doesn’t often go beyond verbalization and such, but it still sucks) It may lead to rape in different circumstances, but I think rape as we know it has a class of its own.
Rape is like murder, it usually happens between people who know each other, instead of a bunch of dudes gang raping one girl. Although that has certainly happened too, not saying otherwise.
But I believe that things like rape and sexual aggression or harassment usually go a bit further into what they are than just people not being able to restrain themselves when they get excited, despite the differences that may separate them.
I hate that whole thing about girls asking for it. That’s crap. @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard mentioned something in another thread last year, why shouldn’t a girl dress how she wants, without worrying about getting raped? If rape itself was solely based on dudes being too horny, chicks would be raped constantly. And the other way around too, I’m positive.
I’ve never raped anyone, nor have I ever sexually harassed or got aggressive with a person. If I did, I’d truly hope they’d let me know.
Wherever the lines blend in, and no matter what colours are in between black and white and however we define stuff, this is all serious shit, and I would not want to do this kind of thing to anyone, nor would I want it done to me. It can fuck people up real bad.

Bellatrix's avatar

You know I actually wonder if some rapists would actually recognise that their behaviour was rape. I suspect some men who are prepared to push the point to that extent would probably also find ways to justify their behaviour or perhaps they wouldn’t care.

iamthemob's avatar

@Bellatrix – I think that’s a profound part of the problem. Socially, girls are very often taught to resist sex, whereas “boys will be boys.” Boys know this, and therefore often expect that they’re supposed to be the ones that initiate and press the point. This may not mean a distinct “no means yes” mentality – but it can come close, and even a small dose of that is problematic.

So it really may be in many circumstances (not at all the majority, mind you – but probably a whole lot of the unreported cases) that the boys just thought the girl was doing what they were supposed to, and he did what he was supposed to.

Symbeline's avatar

I would certainly hope not, but I guess it’s possible, and if so that’s scary then. Reminds me of that movie, I spit on your Grave; I only did what any man would do! O_o

incendiary_dan's avatar

I offer to train women for free in how to use an anti-rape kit. No, I abhor rapists. I consider violence an appropriate response to rape and advocate it.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@iamthemob That’s some of what I think @Bellatrix is talking about. But how many times do we find that others insist that lasagna is our favorite meal when it’s not, or ignore us when we say we aren’t really in the mood for Indian takeout today, or believe that we really do want to take out the trash for fun because they’re just generally disrespectful people? Rape isn’t some isolated, independent instance that otherwise respectful people commit, it is a really horrible action that people who are otherwise selfish, narcissistic, and disrespectful take against others. While I think the points you bring up are good ones, I just have to think that there are so many times when people don’t see their behavior as abusive or disrespectful, so why would they see raping someone as rape?

Bellatrix's avatar

@incendiary_dan I think it is great that you are teaching women these skills but that may not help in situations where women lack self-esteem or confidence or are on a date with someone they thought was okay and they end up in a situation where without violence, they are being raped. What you are doing is important and I am not saying it isn’t worthwhile but I think it is a part of the way we should help women to defend themselves. I also think we have to start training our little girls (and boys!) from an early age to have the confidence to say “NO! This is not what I want and you can’t do that to me”. Unfortunately, and I think @iamthemob touched on this, we (and I think this is changing) tend to teach (or perhaps condition is a better word) our daughters to be polite and not be offensive and when they get into a situation with someone they know or even don’t know at times, they have to break through all that conditioning to say “fuck off!!!”. However, then they can come across the male conditioning of… she said no, but she means yes.

I would say I am a very assertive, strong, intelligent and capable person, but I haven’t always demonstrated these traits. I am not going to go into details but I was raped twice when I was younger and both times it was someone I knew. One was in a power position and he had no remorse and in fact was almost gloating for weeks after the event. He behaved as if he owned me and he did it publicly. My response when the rape happened (and during his behaviour later) was I would say almost paralysis. I did not know how to react and how to stop what was happening. I had clearly said I didn’t want to go to have sex with him but I couldn’t stop it from happening. Had I had the training you offer Dan, I don’t know that I would have been able to use it. I hope the women you teach will have that ability. I really do. Worse still was the response of others. A couple of people must have known something had happened but did nothing. I was 18 at the time. I was a kid. And an older woman I considered a friend, when I told her what happened and was clearly upset said “oh that happens to all women”. Sadly, she is right in that it happens to too many women but I do think as a society in 2011 it is time it did not happen to any women or men!

There is another thread here that talks about degrees of rape and while I accept rape with violence is horrific, rape without violence can be just as damaging. I still feel sick when my mind goes back to those two situations. It still has an impact on me.

So, it is a complex issue and we really do need to look at the way we teach our children to interact. I don’t think fathers or mothers consciously set their children up, but there is an element in the way society expects boys/men and girls/women to behave that sets up these problems and judges that say things like “well she was drugged so she wasn’t harmed” do nothing to dispel these problems either. As I said, it is a complex issue.

Anyway… enough from me on the subject. I am not an expert in this subject. I just have my own experiences and theories on why and how we might hopefully reduce the incidence of particularly date rape and that type of violation. Thank you @nikipedia for asking this question. I do believe it is only by people coming together to respectfully discuss issues like this that we will ever find solutions.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Bellatrix No argument here. And thanks for your perspective.

I just happen to be good at some skills, but not others. Though I guess my professional teaching DOES include helping young women grow more confidence and such, so now I feel even better about what I do. Yay!

Bellatrix's avatar

And thank you for doing it Dan. If you help one person to not go through what many women have, you have done a wonderful thing. :-)

tranquilsea's avatar

The statistic I’ve read recently is 1 in 4 women get raped. That’s a lot of women. A few years back I read a short article about a survey that was done at a a college or university. They anonymously surveyed the men and asked them if they had complete immunity, no chance of being caught…would they rape someone? A stunningly high percentage (over 50%) indicated they would. I wish had clipped the article but I was so upset I threw the paper away.

The hard thing, as a woman who’s been raped, is that you assume that attacks like that come from strangers. You are much, much more likely to be raped by someone you know. But who walks around suspecting all their male friends? If you suspected they may be capable of something like that you wouldn’t be friends with them.

The first time I was raped I was passed out. It was the very first time I had ever consumed alcohol and when I realized I had imbibed too much I asked my designated driver to drive me home. She didn’t want to leave the party so she found some guy to drive me home. I gave him my address and promptly passed out in his car. I woke up to him carrying me into a house…what I thought was my house but wasn’t my house. I have some pretty awful memories of what happened next. WTF seriously.

But that wasn’t as bad as when I was on a date 15 months later and my date fucking jumped me out of the blue. He knocked me backwards, pinned me and eventually choked me and told me to shut the fuck up because my protestations were getting loud (I was actually getting ready to scream). There is no way he couldn’t have known what he was doing.

Who do you trust? You trust until you can’t anymore. Unfortunately, sometimes that is too late.

There are really good men out there. I married one. I just wish the assholes came with warning labels.

iamthemob's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs – I feel like my only problem with what you’re saying is that you’re speaking in absolutes. First, in order to stop rape, we absolutely need to involve men in the process of understanding how they are victimized by the rape culture as well. The social pressures on men and the expectation to perform prevent them from having fuller relationships – and that sucks. Beyond that, if we expect that men are insensitive or claim that they are they will be. The general insensitivity with the social pressures to “get it” all help foster the rape culture. And knowing that helps us recognize and work against producing men who are, as you say, otherwise selfish, abusive and disrespectful. Second, you insist on the fact that rape can only be committed by this certain type of individual. That people, in the heat of the moment, can’t do terrible things without realizing it, or just not realize what’s happening generally. Or that women may contribute to the situation (AND NOTE – I am not saying that women are to blame in any sense because I’m talking about how society fails women by creating expectations that lead them to act a certain way) by not being clear, not being assertive, not taking control of their sexuality.

My concern is only with those situations where the lines start getting fuzzy…where there’s a question about consent. There are probably far more cases than we know about where if consent seems to be given, it’s really coerced – and that, I think, is rape. And there are cases where men don’t know that the woman isn’t consenting because of a rape culture. That is rape. And there are cases where people get drunk and don’t really remember what happened but feel like they’ve been victimized. And that, in the end is rape.

But all of this is because we don’t teach our kids to think of themselves as equal partners when it comes to sex. We know what is clearly rape – but I would say that there is so much barely prosecutable and even more non-prosecutable (as it’s about consent that’s coerced by social forces generally) rape because we don’t really think about the fact that we might actually be raising our boys to rape, and our girls to be raped.

Rape isn’t the really scary part of this. The people who don’t care about anyone but themselves are not the really scary part. What’s really scary is the fact that we might actually be training our subsequent generations to blame each other for what happens sexually in a rape culture instead of owning their own sexuality.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@iamthemob I’m not saying it’s only this type of individual. But I think the other type you’re talking about – this miscommunication bit – is really a very low percentage, hardly enough to really focus on it like it’s The Big Problem With Rape. To me, focusing on the cases where there were communication problems – especially if talking about rape as a legal thing, when miscommunication rapes don’t tend to be reported – seems, well, like focusing on Obama’s birth certificate when Osama’s just been killed (pardon the metaphor, I’m not suggesting anything, just catching up on my Jon Stewart). And even with miscommunication rapes, most of them are going to be done by people who aren’t really good listeners, who aren’t open to hearing what their partner (sex partner, eating out partner, book club partner, whatever partner) is saying. Guys whom I trusted to never, ever rape me knew how to communicate with me, to understand when I was pulling away or pushing them back and take that as a “hold up just a sec, babe” instead of keeping going, because they had a fundamentally different respect for other people.

iamthemob's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs – Really? Because for me the entire question of whether there was consent or not is generally made fuzzy because of so many of the social scripts that people are raised with, and that’s what the major problem is in rape prosecution today.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@iamthemob Can’t tell – are you saying you think the major problem in rape prosecution is miscommunication as a lawyer who persecutes rapists (I have no idea what type of lawyer you are)?

iamthemob's avatar

No – what I’m saying is that all of the accusations of unclear consent, the he-said/she-said issue, “buyers remorse” will be mostly undermined where we start countering raising our boys to seek sex, and our women to approach sex as something they “allow.”

That’s a really simplistic version of it, but that’s the gist.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

No, never. And with two little daughters and a wife whom I deeply love, I am extremely protective of them and I’m always concerned for their welfare. Just the mere thought of it happening to any one of them, and the assasin in me comes out.

Fathers need to pull up their bootstraps and teach their young sons propriety and how to act like gentlemen when they grow up. But we also need to shield and protect our young sons from the violence and aggression we see on t.v., movies, YouTube, etc. There are so many stupid young guys out there who think that being a man is to be aggressive and hurtful.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

OK, lets get jiggy with it. Oh, but first let me don my flame retardant cloak. I have read through most of the contend, I think. I have not had need to coerce a female into sex. I have met with people in the past who admitted, even if tacitly, to taking it from a woman or being forceful or aggressive in getting it, short of an attack.

In many of those cases the woman who you could call victimized, were women on the fringe; homeless, users, bag whores, etc. The conditions that led to it was anywhere from the woman needing a sofa to sleep on for the night, wanting another rock, having had too much chemicals at a party, etc. Most of the men who did it rarely felt bad for the woman. Most of the women was someone they knew personally or knew of in passing. Some were complete strangers that crossed once for certain reasons.

It is hard to tell exactly how many were embellishing their exploits, and who was more truthful, but some boasted to doing it more than once. That made me think of the statistic given, that 60% of the attacks go unreported. Or reminded me of this story I read and the question, of which many seem to dismiss as a bunch of hooey because they could not get off their funk to fathom any part of it could logically be true. The statistic says 15 of 16 rapists will never see a day in jail. If that were people who molested children people would be marching the streets to the Capitol with pitch forks and burning oil. It can’t be because rapist are way smarter criminals than carjacker, robbers, pushers, and the likes. From the question I posed, what I got was what was said in that story, the cops were not told out embarrassment. I don’t know if that story was inspired by true events, part true, totally made up, but the thought line of the author is at least interesting to explore. The story narrator thought the attack was sexual arousing, even in the midst of being humiliating. The bio says, the story was written by a middle-aged bisexual woman, and it was from an actual experience; as she say all her writings are. Giving that to be true, it send some messages out there to anyone reading that a rape cannot be all bad, and can produce favorable sexual experiences. It also seems to say some people cause it themselves, and that seeing the perpetrator hauled before the court is less important than having one know what happened. Imagine if that thought was said to children sexed up by strangers, acquaintances or family members, that they shut up about it less their school friends know.

Back to these acquaintances, why would they stop at one if they beat the sex out of her when the chances of being told on are low? If they knew the fury was that as if they raped a child they might not do it, if they did do it, the need to stop them quick would be tantamount. If you do something risky, especially a crime, and you don’t end up paying for it, be it a burglary, murder, car theft, rape, etc, you get embolden. As with most information I ever came pass on serial rapist, the first couple of times they were usually scared, nervous, thinking surely someone will come after them. After nothing happens they get more comfortable and at ease, thinking they are Teflon, nothing will stick or even be said. So long as nothing is said, they will keep going like the guy at a frat party with a very drunken coed, if she didn’t say ”no”, it had to be a de facto ”yes”. Until the person ends up in handcuffs, 60% of the attacks will never see the light of day. Question is, how many rapist = 60% unreported attacks?

tranquilsea's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I get what you’re saying and I get that you are trying to figure out how we, as a society, improve on the unreported rapes.

The thing is, though, that you can think that you will handle an attack (any attack) in a reasonable way. It is a different can of worms if you are ever actually attacked. At that point you are traumatized. You may handle the situation the way you thought you would but, then again, you may not. At that point you are not rational nor reasonable.

In an ideal world every woman would have a supportive family that she could fall back on and, in turn, have a supportive society and police force behind her. But in the real world many of us didn’t/don’t have that. Your ideas about familial support are formed as you grow up…so you’re probably right in knowing just how much support you can expect from your family. And I think that this is where the support breaks down. Travelling through the criminal justice system is scary and you need people you trust around you. If you don’t even have the support of your family, the people you know and trust, then how can you hope to navigate the justice system?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Travelling through the criminal justice system is scary and you need people you trust around you. If you don’t even have the support of your family, the people you know and trust, then how can you hope to navigate the justice system? I can follow the theory, but is it really that much harder than for li’l Annie Fanny, who has to get up in open court and tell how uncle Ed invited her to sleep in his big comfy bed. Then tell her it was real hot and they should get out of their jammies, then the touching because of his ”special” love for her, but a secret love only meant for them. It is less traumatizing for her to have to kick her uncle to the curb because of his actions which see suspected was not right but he was so much fun and showered her with gifts? She was not even attacked, didn’t wake up to find some man parked on her chest with a knife to her throat, or waking at a party groggy to find a fellow student humping her with her underwear removed. If we expect a child to ”man up”, take the stand and bring the perp to task, and not taking “no” for an answer, a woman even if beaten and raped should be equal to the task, especially if it stops future attacks and traumatizing of other women.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central you’re making the gross assumption that all of the those cases go to court. Au contraire mon frere. I would hazard to guess that less of those go to court than rapes perpetrated on teenage or adult women.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@tranquilsea Statistics say 60% of all rapes are never reported, that means only 40% are reported. Logically that means a portion of those never meet muster to go to trial and of those that go to trial, some of those will get kicked. Many people, who have taken advantage of women, or men, can feel free of getting away with it.

How many molestation cases go to trial over rape cases I would have to check, I don’t know that answer. From what I see in the news molestation cases are more apt to not be ignored, even when family is involved, or the person was a pillar of the community.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central the sad truth is that the vast majority of perpetrators are people known to the victim and the victim’s family, which I’m sure you know. This makes being believed by your family impossible for some people.

I know of a case where the step father sexually abused his step daughter and when she finally got the courage to tell her mother the mother sided with the step father. She ran away at 14 and left the country and only went back to visit her mother after the step father died some forty years later.

This happens far too often. That is why I said that support needs to happen within the family first.

I don’t know if you intend to come across as lacking empathy for victims of sexual abuse but to me, you do. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@tranquilsea I don’t know if you intend to come across as lacking empathy for victims of sexual abuse but to me, you do. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I have all empathy for the victims. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to wake up finding some guy in your room and him telling you what you will do for him or die, etc. Going to a party with acquaintances and discovering that one has boinked you when you were 9 sheets to the wind not knowing if you are pregnant, got AIDs, herpes, etc, and wondering if he will try to come back for “seconds” if not caught. Usually around here when it is reported that a rapist is about most all the women are tense because they feel at any given night or moment they could be next. I think there are cases, as there will always be, of women not being believed or being believed it is about some settlement or money, and sometimes it is. In most of the conversations and facts I know from the papers, articles etc, the kid is believed to be truthful if a molestation is said to have happened 5 time out of 7. In many cases even when a woman wasn’t raped but said she was, the woman is believed.

http://forums.canadiancontent.net/news/52971-woman-jailed-false-rape-claim.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/12/10/national/main5962973.shtml
http://gothamist.com/2009/12/08/woman_said_she_was_raped_to_get_sym.php

Sometimes the error is caught, other times not, or until the victim herself clears it up. I think that is just as bad as not saying anything because that muddies the water for those who really should get help and or justice. Women use rape as the nuclear option because they know it works, be it false as a $55 dollar bill. That makes it harder for those who should be really getting help. I am sorry for those who get violated and nothing gets done for it and the person who violated them feels they have a Teflon dick now, and can do it to another or others because nothing will happen to them.

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