The rape culture: it’s in people’s minds.

Above: Funfems v Radfems on rape culture.

Three particular studies on people’s beliefs about aggression against women form the basis of this entry, one from the British government about domestic violence and rape, one made by Amnesty International on a thousand random adults in Britain, another made on a pool of high school students about rape.

Starting with the poll of high school students, they were asked “Is it all right if a male holds a female down and physically forces her to have sex if…” The percentage of yes answers was as follows:

He spent a lot of money on her- male 39% female 12%
He is so turned on he thinks he can’t stop- male 36% female 21%
She has had sexual intercourse with other guys- male 39% female 18%
She is stoned or drunk- male 39% female 18%
She lets him touch her above the waist- male 39% female 28%
She is going to and then changes her mind- male 54% female 31%
She has led him on- male 54% female 26%
She gets him excited sexually- male 51% female 42%
They have dated for a long time- male 43% female 32%

Goodchilds, Jacqueline. “When Is Rape Okay?” Chart. Sexual Violence: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven, 2003. 68. Print.

So what we observe here is that teenagers are indoctrinated to support rape to a significant degree, and in some cases a majority of teen boys.

The Amnesty International study reports on the question of whether a woman is totally or partially responsible for her rape:

For instance, more than a quarter (26%) of those asked said that they thought a women was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was wearing sexy or revealing clothing, and more than one in five (22%) held the same view if a woman had had many sexual partners.

Around one in 12 people (8%) believed that a woman was totally responsible for being raped if she’d had many sexual partners. Similarly, more than a quarter of people (30%) said that a woman was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was drunk, and more than a third (37%) held the same view if the woman had failed to clearly say “no” to the man.

These results are perfectly in line with the study on high schoolers, which seems to show that attitudes do not change much with age.

Our final study, again done on about a thousand respondents in Britain, found that from 14 to 49 percent of people thought women were totally or partially responsible for getting raped, including situations such as drunkenness (36%) or not saying no (49%).

Other results on domestic abuse revealed that from 8 to 20 percent of people supported slapping or hitting a spouse for various reasons, including constant nagging (16%) and being dressed in revealing clothes (20%).

The superficial conclusion here is that the “equality feminists” should naturally conclude that there’s no “equality” here. We don’t support the rape or violence against men in the same way we support rape or violence against women. Of course, it’s unlikely they’d recognize the real cause, which is the indoctrination of children with patriarchal principles.

Which leads us to the rape culture. There is some confusion in that people think that because rape is illegal and generally badly regarded (within a very narrow definition of “rape”), we must therefore not live in a rape culture. It is only necessary for a small minority of men to rape (6.5% to 12%) for women to fear rape and curtail their behavior (on the profile of rapists, see this entry from Yes Means Yes). And it is only necessary for some significant percentage of other people (including handmaidens) to support the rapes in order to curtail real prevention and effective prosecution of rape. Consider that only 3% of rapes result in an actual conviction and sentence, and that numerous studies of college students shows a percentage of lifetime rape higher than one in four (many more women were sexually assaulted).

Definition is all part of it. We have defined “rape” so narrowly that many women who get raped don’t even make the connection. Not only that, but as I’ve mentioned before, there is a gradient between consensual sex and rape, including altruistic sex and compliant sex. Most importantly, other men don’t identify what the perpetrators did as rape, and therefore attack the victims for being hostile to the perpetrators, creating an environment hostile to rape victims and favorable to rapists. Beyond the rape itself, this creates a process by which the rape victim is further psychologically beaten, ostracized, and basically punished for refusing to submit.

This is all part of a gender hierarchy, the Patriarchy, which keeps women as a class inferior to men as a class. One thing it does is indoctrinate men and women about their status. Men do feel their entitlement to sex keenly and need little prodding to support rape, but a significant percentage of women also supports rape, as seen in the first study. Handmaidens of the Patriarchy provide ammunition for the woman-haters (look, even some women support rape, so it can’t be a gender issue!) and serve as templates for other women (why can’t you be less of a ball-busting feminist and more like this successful anti-feminist token woman?).

8 thoughts on “The rape culture: it’s in people’s minds.

  1. Miep February 11, 2014 at 20:31

    The wording is ambiguous and the intent was to promote the ending of a positive rape culture (original post). That said, I’m not comfortable with the phrase, and slutwalks don’t seem all that liberating either.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Francois Tremblay February 11, 2014 at 20:37

      Eh? By the original post, do you mean the Facebook post? That’s just an intro image. But the slutwalks representative says they want to “promote” positive rape culture, not “end.” That’s kindof the opposite.

      • molosky May 27, 2014 at 10:42

        What Miep is saying is that you are misreading the Facebook post. In it, “end” is meant to apply to “the promotion.” Any of this group’s other self descriptions, including on this facebook page, make clear they are not intending to “promote” rape culture.

        Also, in your post above, you are using an incorrect citation. The “2003” study is not from 2003. That date is when a book was published that cited the study, which was conducted in 1978. It was first presented at a conference in 1979:

        R Giarrusso ; P Johnson ; J Goodchilds and G Zellman. “Adolescents’ Cues and Signals – Sex and Assault” Paper presented as a contribution to the Western Psychological Association Meeting Symposium, ‘Acquaintance Rape and Adolescent Sexuality,’ in San Diego, California, April 1979.

        • Francois Tremblay May 27, 2014 at 12:52

          Okay, I can see how the grammar could be debated. Unfortunately I am unable to verify the rest of your claim, because I was banned from Facebook. Still, it wasn’t *me* who misinterpreted if that’s the case, it was Cathy Brennan.

          Also, I never said the study was from 2003. My citation was of a book where the study is explained.

          • molosky May 27, 2014 at 23:16

            In the same comment you make above, which I replied to, you endorse that interpretation. You do not have to be logged in to read their “about,” which reads: “It’s all about taking a stand against slut shaming, victim blaming, rape culture, and the general vilification of sexuality” (emphasis added). Here, the “against” is also meant to apply to the whole list. It says the same on their twitter account, if that matters.

            Anyway, regarding the study, in your post above you do indeed say: “the studies are respectively from 2009, 2005 and 2003.” You use this to explicitly claim they are not “old studies.” One can only interpret that to suggest the studies were conducted in during these years.

        • Francois Tremblay May 27, 2014 at 23:41

          You’re right, that was my mistake. I will erase it right away.

  2. travis February 11, 2014 at 22:40

    This cracked me up :)

  3. […] my entry on the subject of rape culture, I addressed the misconception that opposition to rape means there is no rape culture. In order to […]

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