Category Archives: Rape Culture

My Response to Claims About My FRS Writings

I have posted the following response to this entry about me.

“It is strange that you attempt to imply that I have made false rape accusations. My criticisms specific to the FRS are not accusations of rape and abuse. That is an attempt to sling some mud, and in poor, poor form. Despite what you attempt to imply, I have not made any accusations of rape or abuse. I have, however, pointed out that the ideology of Paul Elam and his MRA cohorts is one toward the distrust and disempowerment of female-bodied persons, in such a manner that the outcome fosters a tolerance for and erasure of rape culture and survivors of rape. Examining the writings of Elam on other non-FRS sites reveals his vicious animosity towards female power, and the outcome–not the alleged intent–of his so-called False Rape Society is what is important. (notice that it is not the False Rape Accusation Society, but that it is “False Rape,” as though rape itself doesn’t exist or is not a problem.) I believe that the goal of FRS and most of the salient manifestation of men’s advocacy functions not to make life better for men, but to make rape culture more impenetrable and rape easier to access. If that is not the intent of the FRS, that is irrelevant–because that is the outcome.

As to saying there are five of them, I was not referring to false rape accusation victims; I was referring to the administrators/owners of the FRS site: as it turns out, I was wrong. There is only 1 of them, and his name is Paul Elam. He has no staff, no non-profit status, no actual agency. That is because the network he works with consists of very few people making very big noise.”

A catalogue of lies, indeed.

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Female soldiers more likely to be raped by fellow soldiers than killed in battle

“Rape within the US military has become so widespread that it is estimated that a female soldier in Iraq is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.”

But remember what Paul Elam and his MRA friends tell you: Rape culture doesn’t exist and if it did it would have nothing to do with significant patterns of male sexual violence.

Also from the article, the main reason why I do not believe the False Rape Society and the MRA claim that they want to build a better life for men: “But military rape is not only a women’s issue. According to the Veterans Affairs Office, 37% of the sexual trauma cases reported last year were men. ‘Men are even more isolated than women following rape,’ Bhagwati says. ‘Because it has an even bigger social stigma.’” Here we see that if the FRS and MRAs wanted to make a better life for men, they would also come to the aid of male sexual assault victims. But that is not the point of the FRS. These groups exist because they are rooted in a fear and hatred for female power, they believe only women are capable of wrong, and the fact that rape is harder to get away with these days seems to make them really upset.

Hat-tip to Pharyngula for featuring the Guardian story this morning.

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Pledge to End Street Harassment featured on Hollaback! Mumbai

Hollaback! Mumbai has featured RtM post Pledge to Confront and Shame Street Harassers. For those who don’t know, Hollaback! is a global movement dedicated to ending street harassment. Says the Hollaback! Mumbai About page:

Street harassment, known in India as ‘eve teasing’ is one of the most pervasive forms of gender-based violence and one of the least legislated against. Leering, whistling, being referred to as food (mirchi, began, tamatar) to groping, flashing and assault are a daily reality for women in India and across the world. Harassment can occur on the train, in parks, maidans, cinema houses, on the street, on university campuses, buying vegetables, anywhere. But such incidents are rarely reported, and are culturally accepted as ‘the price you pay’ for being a woman and living in a city. At Hollaback!, we don’t buy it.”

I highly recommend checking out the Hollaback! project; it’s a great way to affect the street harassment culture in a positive way. Anyone can get involved, contribute to or even start a chapter of Hollaback! in their area.

If nothing else, take the pledge and/or tell someone you know about it. Thanks!

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Be a Real Man: Pledge to Confront and Shame Street Harassers

Mr T Says Fuck Rape Culture
Make the pledge in the comments section below. You’ll find the pledge at the bottom of this post, in italics. Aside from taking the pledge, you can help by passing this on to another person (or two. Or ten.)

Here are strategies to deal with and confront harassers.

Here is a list of street harassment stories.

Conversely, here is a list of street respect stories.

Over the last couple of years, street harassment by men toward female-bodied persons (whether cis– or trans-gendered people) has been gaining more attention, both because of the internet (aka the Pit of Misogyny and favorite dwelling of the mansplainers of the world) as well as community and internet projects, such as HOLLABACK! It’s a great thing that the surface has been scratched, and we are finally immersed in the long work of dismantling and transforming rape culture.

But, the most grinding thing that I’ve noticed about the culture which protects harassers is that the onus is commonly put on women to stop being raped and to stop being harassed. Even though it is men who should stop raping and men who should stop harassing, women are told that it is up to them to get the issue out and taken care of.

We are men who disagree.

The onus is on us, guys, to not only not rape and harass women, but to call out other men when you see them do it. If you’re in your car and your buddy hangs out the window and yells something at a woman on the street, I don’t give a merry fuck what he said: he just harassed someone.

He needs to think from the standpoint of the harassed, and understand that living in a culture of rape means that what he says to a woman on the street may not be perceived the way he intended it. So, it doesn’t matter if he intends to be rapey or not—what matters is the behavior itself. You need to ask him how he would react if you did that to his daughter, or mother, or sister. Make it personal. Make it real. Shame him. If you can’t change his mind, then perhaps this person is not who you thought they were. This issue is that serious, it’s that real.

This goes for strangers on the street. If you feel safe confronting a harasser, do it. Never put yourself in danger. But, if you don’t feel safe yourself, then likely the survivor herself is not safe. Each situation varies: use your judgment. There is nuance and complexity to each instance, but they can be apprehended. Courage, tenacity and sacrifice are key here.

I’m not certain that this will gain traction, especially because I am just now rebooting Resisting the Milieu. But in the spirit of my promise to provide a platform for more than just myself to talk, I’d like to provide men the opportunity to state definitively that we will confront men who harass women, no matter when or where, no matter how outnumbered we are (within reason, of course—do not put yourself in danger. Which makes you wonder, “Well, if I don’t feel safe intervening, how does this woman who is the target of verbal sexual violence on a daily basis feel?”) We must confront harassers with no regard to coddling or protecting them from feelings of shame. They should feel shame.

Please look into the subject of street harassment, if you haven’t already. This is an incredibly steep, but no less surmountable uphill battle, and women should not be the persons made to deal with male sexual predation.

Men talk a lot about facing challenges and overcoming the odds. Put your toughness where your mouth is.

Cut and paste this pledge into your comment below, entering your name where it says {name}. Or enter your own version of the pledge. You are welcome to identify yourself as you see fit, but I recommend you at least use your real first name and the initial of your last name. I strongly encourage the use of your full name.

I, {name}, pledge that I will confront street harassers when I see or otherwise know that a harassment has taken or is taking place. I understand that the responsibility for harassment belongs solely to the abuser, no matter what the survivor is doing or wearing, no matter where she is walking or when—street harassment is wrong.

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