Archive for category Rape Culture
I had to break hiatus for this.
It came in the form of comments on a CNN article about underage sex trafficking online (bizarro world moment; CNN admitting that human trafficking exists?), though you can find the same comments in any discussion involving women and/or sex. My wife tipped me off to the article and comments, and both of us about lost our lunches before we even had a chance to eat them.
Some of the more disturbing examples from the most recent comments (as of 10:30 EST this morning) are reproduced below.
“Our children would be safer if prostitution were legal.
When I hear of a 30+ year old man living with his parents whose only income is driving a school bus, I get nervous. If I knew this man could get his ‘needs’ met at a legal facility staffed by trained professionals, I would be less nervous”
The declaration that “our children would be safer if prostitution were legal” hinges on the notion that men purchase women to fulfill a “need”, the same as going to the grocery store or stopping at a gas station, and that women gladly hand over their bodies for that “need”. The idea that men have to rape women to get their “needs” met is as old as agriculture, but it got a very successful spin when the liberal male crowd decided to take over feminism and use it as their personal meat market. Now those “needs” are happily met by women with their own “need” to be enslaved and abused, according to modern fun feminism. All women want any sex from any man at any time, and if they don’t, they’re frigid and possibly religious conservatives.
Which is nothing less than the entrenchment of rape, the systematic assault of every woman on the planet. You’re not free to choose to say “no” if saying “no” has more and greater immediate, negative consequences than capitulating.
And that’s not even getting into trafficking. No, the “free to choose” bit is what your middle school daughters have to deal with in between attempts by men to use and sell them for sex.
“Everybody pays for it…in some way or an other…whether you want to keep the transaction straightforward or you want to get married and give alimony, your house, you car, her lawyer fees and half your net worth is your choice.”
Yeah, I hope she took more than that, pal. You know you made her completely financially dependent on you if the court actually gave anything close to that much in the divorce. Funny, but that sort of split-down-the-middle thing doesn’t count the fact that her résumé probably doesn’t give her anything close to equitable earning power, or that all the credit history is almost certainly in your name, right?
I guess that’s the price you have to pay to get sex on demand, though. Boy, aren’t you glad you don’t have to deal with that crazy woman and her crazy idea that she’s more than just a push-button fuckhole at your service?
But we’re talking about child sex trafficking here, so the real issue is that you just equated having to pay alimony with purchasing a twelve-year-old for sex.
“well as long as women are rewarded for having children out of wedlock and for divorcing their husbands we will have this problem and it will get worse”
The assumption is that women should not have children without a man in control – wait, that women should not go without a man in control, period. And somehow, if men (the ones who are purchasing children for sex) are in control of women, “this problem” will be all fixed.
“What makes most older women sick is the fact that they didn’t cash in on their bodies when they were young. Trust me…women hate each other. They know that their idiot husbands will eventually leave them for a younger woman so they want to harp on the age difference.”
Yeah, ladies, why weren’t you looking for unattractive, self-absorbed rapists to give someone else fifty bucks in exchange for the chance to hurt you, fuck you, spit on you, beat you, make you wish you were dead? Why didn’t you cash in? You’re just jealous of all those other women who knew better.
Why are the husbands idiots? For not already being with a “younger woman”. In the context of a news article about child rape. “Younger woman”. Women only say that this is wrong because of “the age difference” reminding them of how old and floppy they are. Of course men want to fuck children! They’re not old!
And note also: “harp”, as in “harpy”, a mythological creature known for being ugly and eating people.
“If you don’t want to be a prostitute, take student loans, go to college, work hard and get a job. Who’s stopping you?”
Maybe her pimp? Maybe the fact that twelve-year-olds generally don’t take out student loans? Maybe you’re a victim-blaming shitbag?
“There are too many modern factors in the country that permit this sort of things, pointing the finger at a pimp and a website is nothing but lazily scape-goating the “usual suspects” while the bigger culprits (including her parents) walk free.”
The pimp is just a victim, and the parents are the true criminals! If only they weren’t poor / uneducated / non-white!
“Don’t let anyone fool you, if they sell themselves for money, they enjoy getting paid to getting laid. But they will never admit it in the open.”
He is saying this about middle school girls. He is saying that middle school girls are secretly waiting for the chance to be raped. And he seems to think that they’re the ones who get the money for it.
Even with adult prostitution, men who purchase women for sex will never have any guarantee of her consent. The chance that she’s a willing Happy Hooker™ is slim. Not that men ever try to determine whether it’s consensual or not. After all, the point is to use another person without regard for her personhood or agency, which is rape. If you’re raping someone, you don’t care about whether she “wants it”.
But we’re talking about the imprisonment, sale, and rape of children. And these men are saying the same shit that they say to defend the Happy Hooker™ myth.
Women, please, please consider pushing men out of your world. Please consider buying communal property and establishing women-only spaces everywhere you can. Please wire them up with fingerprint locks, cameras, perimeter alarms. Please establish women-only security forces and arm them. Please grow your own food and raise your own animals. Please get elected. Please only do business with other women.
SheilaG commented on the conclusion of the Men Without Women series here. Everything she said was spot on:
THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE: 1-888-3737-888
(Trigger warning, non-graphic, for subject matter involving the sale and rape of minors.)
Craigslist is profiting from human trafficking, and they are unapologetic.
This has been an issue for years, but it came to a media head last week. On Wednesday, August 4, CNN posted this story, followed by a report on AC360. On Friday, August 6, MC and AK, two girls who were sold by pimps hundreds of times on Craigslist to eager rapists in cities across the US, published an open letter as a half-page ad in the Washington Post. (The ad is archived here in PDF form by the Rebecca Project.)
So today I did my first real research into the topic of john schools.
John schools, for those who don’t know – like me, two days ago – are short rehabilitation courses assigned by courts to men who are charged with soliciting prostitution, generally only first offenders. They are analogous to traffic school for moving violations. You know, where your speeding ticket gets reduced to parking and you sit in a conference room at the local VFW for four hours and watch Craig T. Nelson tell you to pay better attention to the road on a video from 1987? It’s that, only for men who pay money to engage in rape and human trafficking.
From all the sources I’ve seen, it looks like the primary focus of john school is on reminding men that they can suffer bad consequences for paying money to rape women, like herpes or their girlfriends getting angry. They talk about how prostitution hurts communities and causes strain on the justice system. Sometimes they might even bother to remind men that not every woman is a Happy Hooker™ and may be trafficked.
The Village Voice ran a May 2005 article which examined “Project Respect”, the john school in Brooklyn. The article is an enlightening read. It recounts how men responded with indignant shouts in their defense when baited by a female officer who “coyly” asks if they believe they were entrapped. The most jarring portion of the class, at least for reporter Aina Hunter, appears to have been photos of diseased genitals. Hunter portrays the personal stories of trafficked women which are given during the course as sob stories which bookend the real material, rather than the center of attention. God knows whether the men even paid attention to them.
Then again, the article goes on to subtly lionize efforts to decriminalize prostitution, so I guess we’re lucky that they even mentioned trafficking at all.
This 1996 New York Times article describes the San Francisco school, the first of the john schools, in the year after its inception. The treatment is less john-flattering than the Village Voice’s, but they describe the lectures as “six hours of abuse” without a tweak of irony. The article closes with this gem:
After class, one man vowed to change his ways. His friends had once told him that it was cheaper to spend $50 on a prostitute than having to spend the time and money dating.
“It’s cheaper financially, but not emotionally,” he said. “I’m going to be working on finding a real girlfriend.”
Because, as we all know, the purpose of having a girlfriend is to use her for on-demand sexual (power) gratification. Boy, did he learn his lesson.
In the 2002 issue of the Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, Dr. Stephanie Wahab of the University of Utah wrote “‘For Their Own Good?’: sex work, social control, and social workers, a historical perspective”. The paper looks at a few of the efforts to approach prostitution (here called “sex work”, a flag for pro-prostitution attitudes, because it implies a consensual Happy Hooker™ who of course isn’t trafficked), ranging from the Evangelical social groups of the mid-1800s to john schools of today. Wahab finds that today’s silly focus on the demand side of the problem is rooted in a silly belief that “female sex workers need to be protected from the patriarchal exploitation of women” and that “all sex workers regard themselves as victims of exploitation, and that they are incapable of speaking on their own behalf”.
This is not a fluke of a paper. This attitude is the new feminism, the result of the second wave movement being kicked out by faux-fems. This is the sort of thing you can now read on Feministing and Feministe every day. There’s no such thing as trafficking; fourteen-year-old girls love being raped four or five times a day, ignorance is truth, what about the menz.
In the Village Voice article, perhaps the most telling quote of all is attributed to Juhu Thukral, then the director of the Sex Workers project at the Urban Justice Center: “John schools are part of an effort to address the demand side of the industry, but it’s really just a revolving door.”
Thukral says this in order to support her position that all the shame, guilt, and consequences (for men) should be excised from purchasing women’s bodies for rape. The sentiment is based in the idea that men will be men, that men will always seek to rape women, that if you deny them access to street prostitutes they will simply seek out brothels and escort services. That men are dogs who have no option but rape, and that women are less than dogs and must submit themselves to rape.
Ultimately, that’s what john school is: a cop-out, a little slap on the wrist, a wink and a nod. John school is the idea that men should be allowed to rape women, that they shouldn’t face real consequences. That raping a woman is roughly equivalent to going ten over the speed limit.
Soliciting a prostitute should be a felony equivalent to rape, with the same sentencing guidelines (which ought to be the as harsh as the others of the most violent crimes). As long as men are the ones making, enforcing, and interpreting the laws, this is not going to happen.
In the Times article, a woman rescued from prostitution tells the room about “how much she loathed her customers, wanting to kill one, any one, and even kept a butcher knife in her purse just in case she got the chance”. Sounds like self-defense to me.
Would men pay to rape women if they knew that they might face the death penalty, administered by her own hand?
THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE: 1-888-3737-888
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s story. Trigger warning, both for the link and for the content of this post.
The breakdown: a girl approaches a teacher, Ms. Esther von Waldow, to report that she and another girl were raped by a boy on campus. Ms. von Waldow goes to the principal, Dr. Michael Ghilani, with her first concern being the girls’ safe passage home from school property. Ghilani had other plans.
According to a court filing submitted by the school district, Dr. Ghilani didn’t believe that the students were in danger or that any safety concerns were present. Instead, he thought students were having consensual sex in school after hours.
He devised a plan to have school police officers follow the students in question to determine who they were and where they were going.
Security followed the girls, but they believed the girls had left for the day, presumably after losing track of the girls. (A night officer saw the boy and another girl on campus that evening, but he was unable to track them down.)
That afternoon, while school cops patted themselves on the back for doing their job, the boy raped Jane Doe again, as a direct result of being prevented from returning home. And all because the principal thought he was Kojak.
As usual, the school took the victim-blaming route in response to the lawsuit brought by the girl, saying that the victims – and these victims include previous victims of harassment and assault by this kid in incidents which were known by the school – were actually all in consensual relationships with the rapist, and that they were jealous of each other. Therefore, since the little tramps deserved it, the school didn’t bother reporting any of this shit to the police.
I want to know why Ghilani isn’t up on criminal charges. He looked at a young rape victim and literally saw jail bait.
The school wants the suit thrown out because “the plaintiffs cannot prove the district was deliberately indifferent to the possibility that the student would be assaulted”.
On the Upper St. Clair High website, Dr. Ghilani invites you to email him personally – email@example.com – to receive additional information about the school. I wonder if they have a brochure about their Student Rape Program?
THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE: 1-888-3737-888
A brief (I promise) recap of the series:
- Female spirituality is the core structure of a sustainable, equitable, harmonious social structure.
- Male entitlement and power-seeking behavior is the antithesis of a sustainable, equitable, harmonious social structure.
- If men wish to be allowed to be part of the solution (or to live through the revolution), we must turn to ourselves and begin the long and inevitably painful process of excising our entitlement and power-seeking behavior.
- As sexuality and sex roles have become the basis of modern society, we must begin by addressing how our entitlement and power-seeking are embedded in those arenas.
- We must be conscious of and honest about the road which led us here in order to affect true change and keep us vigilant in the future.
- Voluntary relationships are the expression of human compassion, selflessness, and affirmation. Obligate relationships will not suffice, and no social or legal structure based solely on obligation is sustainable.
We began with a set of related questions: What would men be like without women to put on the brakes? What would a more sustainable society involving men and women look like? What has to happen to move toward that goal?
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Andrea Dworkin’s Intercourse has been making the rounds among the feminist blogs, as those who’ve never read it tackle the contents and those who have read it discuss how it’s impacted their lives. I’ve been plugging through the book myself, though between my children and Dworkin’s thick writing, it’s slow going; I’ve gotten more out of the internet debate surrounding the book than from the book itself (so far).
One of the ideas to come out of the discussion of the book has been that heterosexuals especially should evaluate the role of penetrative sex in their lives. Why is there an idea of “foreplay” that isn’t itself “sex”, the ultimate goal of which is to lead to sex – penetrative sex, specifically penis-in-vagina (since penetrative oral sex is also part of “foreplay”)? What would sex be like without penetration?
Part of what it’s gelled for me is that male sexuality is nothing without penetration in modern society, because all other forms of sexual activity are dismissed as feminizing, except for masturbation – which itself is only okay within certain constraints: you must still be experiencing regular penetrative sex; you must be using porn or otherwise engaging in objectification; you may not have any emotional or spiritual investment in your sex life at all, and especially with masturbation, and your sex life likewise cannot enter your emotional and spiritual life.
One of our strongest definitions of a man is someone who has the power and position to be dismissive. If we’re going to redefine men, we’re going to have to stop being dismissive – of women, of “feminizing” qualities, of our own spirituality and sexual natures. We’re going to have to reclaim sex in the name of spirituality even as we reclaim spirituality itself.
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