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Facebook rape page campaign: pages can stay if they have ‘humorous’ tag

85 comments

Jane Osmond
WVoN co-editor

Despite the ‘alleyway’ page being taken down by Facebook last week, it has now stated that controversial postings may remain if administrators add a tag stating they are humorous or satirical.

As the founder of the WVoN UK campaign that has attempted to get Facebook to adhere to its own policies, I am speechless.

The point of the campaign was to illustrate to Facebook that RAPE JOKES ARE NOT FUNNY.

So by making this statement, the organisation has not moved one inch in the right direction, despite extensive press coverage and global protests.

What will it take to get Facebook, and by association, our culture, to accept that rape causes serious harm to one billion women around the world?

Eve Ensler, over at the Huffington Post, includes the Facebook rape page campaign as part of a piece entitled ‘Over it’:

I am over rape.

I am over rape culture, rape mentality, rape pages on Facebook.

I am over the thousands of people who signed those pages with their real names without shame.

I am over people demanding their right to rape pages, and calling it freedom of speech or justifying it as a joke.

I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don’t have a sense of humor, and women don’t have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny. We just don’t think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot.

I am over how long it seems to take anyone to ever respond to rape.

I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages.

Ensler goes on to cite the plight of thousands of women in Congo, Bosnia, Burma, Pakistan, South Africa, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Afghanistan, Libya, ‘still waiting for their rapists to be held accountable’; the torture of lesbians in Ecuador, the women in the US military getting raped by their colleagues and many other instances, and states:

We need to OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, UN office.

We need people to truly try and imagine — once and for all — what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered. We need to let our rage and our compassion connect us so we can change the paradigm of global rape.

Yes, we do Eve. And not just women, but every man out there who abhors the rape culture that we live in.  Can we?

Meanwhile – ‘hey Facebook – RAPE IS NOT FUNNY‘. Get it?

  1. Ultimately, I agree with your sentiment but not your demand which is contrary to freedom of speech. I addition, men also suffer from rape.

    • So we must curtail our own freedom of speech, to speak out at offensive things, in case we offend someone else? Nope, try again Henry.

      • They have a right to exist, just like you have a right to complain against it. But, you also have the right to not go on the page. One persons bad taste is another person’s sense of humor. And, sometimes, “low brow” humor is the only thing that keeps us from crying at something so tragic. Blacks use “nigger” to devalue the word. Take the power away from a word, and suddenly it doesn’t rule you anymore. By taking the power away from a word, you suddenly have power over it.

      • I agree I mean I never understand to what extent people understand *Freedom* to seek and demand freedom of speech!! To say something means to imbibe the core thought not like saying because millions say it!!

        • Freedom of speech isn’t for the people you agree with. It’s for the people you disagree with. Because one day you’re going to say something that somebody else doesn’t like. And you’re going to want to be afforded the same rights.

      • Raping men is Not funny either.

    • esmerelda says:

      I know men who have been raped, they are also offended by rape jokes, and it is because of rape culture that male survivors do not talk about their own experiences with sexual violence. Freedom of speech is a moot point when it comes to the trivialisation of rape- Freedom of Expression for all rape survivors!

    • Freedom of speech is protection from the government, not from private citizens in business settings. It’s legal for them to be sociopathic assholes and it’s legal for all people with a shred of human decency to work to convince businesses to decline to feature their content. The legal protections are exactly the same.

  2. @Henry (grrrrr) Stuff your freedom of speech claptrap and use your head! You have all the freedom of speech you want until you do harm to someone. You are a misogynist pr*ck, Henry. Get used to being called that or change your stripes. You don’t like it? Close your computer and piss off.

    Men very seldom endure rape. Inclusive of the estimates of unreported rapes of females at home and on campus, the number of male rapes is statistically insignificant, unless you are talking exclusively about prison inmate population and the rapes in prison/jail. Rapists don’t stand a chance in general population. How does that grab you, Henry? Rape is no joke. Anyway, our organization stands for all members of the human species. Our member ship is M/F. Our executive is 50/50 M/F. (But I run the show as far as you’re concerned, Henry!)

    As for Jane’s article. Wake up, babe! Smell the damn coffee Jane! The executive of RINJ told you and everyone from the start this was not going to be a walk in the park and the keep-it-pretty-please shit is just not going to change sweet f*ck all. We have been battling with Facebook for going on 7 years. This will not be a tea-in-the-afternoon following a Queen’s-Own-Rules Minuet with the dipshits who run Facebook, Youtube and the rest of it.

    We have a plan and we stick to it. I don’t expect this will be purdyful so get your work clothes on and join the team.

    We will be hitting the streets, blocking access to office towers, boycotting products, and leading thousands of women who are going to follow in sync when we scream, “We’re not going to take it any more!”

    The objectification of women and children is only going to get worse. You now have this fleeting glimpse of the blooming obvious: nobody gives a f*k. Women sat back and did nothing for too long. Now we need to find more than a few with the compunction necessary to earn the goals we wish to achieve. :-) Rape Is No Joke

    Make contact with RINJ.
    http://rinj.org/e-me.html

    All my Love, Jane. Sorry the world isn’t how you thought. Let’s band together and change it.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Have just put a donation in your account Katie – it is about time women stopped being so damned polite to rapists and the men that shield them behind freedom of speech. And as for Henry, if he feels so strongly about men being raped then do something about it Henry and speak out about men raping other men – its not women doing the raping Henry.

      • Actually, sometimes it is women doing the raping. The denial of such apparent in this comment effectively erases the experiences of those individuals (men, women, and non-binaries alike) who have been raped by women.

        • vicki wharton says:

          I’m sorry, I don’t deny that women are capable of rape and am sure some of them actually have so I don’t mean to erase the experience of people that have been raped by women. I guess I am making a generalisation as all the figures I have seen on men being raped have been on men raped by other men. What are the figures for female on male rape?

          • Well, in the U.S., it’s less than 3 percent of rapists that are women.

            Stats:

            http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims

            And, here’s some stats about pedophiles as well. Again, almost all (about 98 percent) straight male perpetrators.

            http://www.cpiu.us/statistics-2/

          • There is a 2011 case in Zimbabwe. Three women charged with assault. Allegedly they gave aphrodisiacs to some males who couldn’t control themselves and had to experience copulation with the women who then gathered up the used condoms to harvest the semen for some kind of ritual. It’s bizarre and rare.

            As I said, the statistical data regarding men being raped by women among the general population is insignificant. The same is true of men being raped by men within the general population: statistically insignificant. (In prison’s it’s a different story.) The only data we have comes from a 2000 survey by USA Justice and it doesn’t hit a single percentile which is less than the margin of error.

            My point is that women and children are the victims of rape. Any kind of deviation from preventing the rape of women and children is mindless.

            Men rape, women and children are victims. All rape must stop. In an absolute sense, that’s how it is.

            Somebody wrote to me saying I was awful for minimizing their experience as an alleged (unreported rape, victim of a woman) by quoting statistics that conclude men are rapists, women are not. Desu. I don’t mean to trivialize anyone’s negative experiences. It is what it is.

          • There are no real statistics for female to male rape because of how unreported it is. There’s a serious problem with how our culture views it. I know several of my own friends that were forced into sex against their consent. The women usually cornered them when they were inebriated and couldn’t really fight back. I would think that qualifies as rape. It’s not that uncommon, it’s just that men never report that because in our and many other cultures, it’s a “good for you man, you got lucky” and you laugh it off because it seems to ludicrous that a woman can force a man into something. Besides, even if a man called the police to report that he was raped by a woman, they would most likely ignore it or arrest him for raping the woman. That’s why there are no significant statistics on female to male rape, because it’s so unreported. There are way too many instances of extremely drunk men being coerced into bed by a women who are no where near as inebriated and wake up the next morning feeling dirty and ashamed. And we all laugh about them.

          • vicki wharton says:

            Kirsten, you are identifying in your comments on rape as a man. Ie ‘you’ laugh it off and ‘you got lucky man’ … why are you posting on here as a female?

    • a non e-moose says:

      This was unnecessarily aggressive. You don’t understand how the world works, how different people are and you’d like to think you have a more important place in the world than the position you already hold which is “insignificant moaner”. Most men I know treat women better than the women do back. Jokes can be about anything, that’s why they’re jokes.

      Henry made his view clear, and if you don’t like it you could ignore it or try to persuade him. Calling him a “misogynist pr*ck” helps the world…how?

      I agree with preventing rape from any gender to any species.

      • More unnecessarily aggressive than rape hey?

        • a non e-moose says:

          No of course it’s not. That, however, does not make an aggressive verbal assault, right.

          For example, to highlight my point, killing 1000 people does not make a single murder, better. Both are still wrong.

      • vicki wharton says:

        Well, just looking at men’s media and the way they portray women and abuse them, the levels of sexist violence in the family and the numbers of sexist murders in society I would suggest that the majority of men do not treat women better than women treat men. Maybe your male acquaintances are all saintly but I think not, I just don’t think you think of abuse of women as abuse and so are unable to recognise it. If you look at any crime figures, or look at the abuse men direct at women as ‘jokes’, you can clearly see the different attitudes men have to women than women have to men generally. If you can’t see that you really are the moose you try and deny!

        • I think you are unwarranted with your attack. To say that anon e moose doesn’t view abuse of woman as abuse is a major attack against their person. They are doing a good job of combating this idea that all men are evil and don’t consider woman as human, which is completely illogical. I happen to personally agree that men I know treat women better than women treat men. Of course, I am not going to generalize all men in the United States, but that’s from my personal experience. Maybe people in this movement need to refresh on their logical fallacies and avoid them, because the individuals using them certainly debase a lot of the good that this movement has to offer.

    • Yes. Men can be raped. It happens a lot more than what you make it out to be. The catholic church? Boy Scouts? And let’s not forget prisons (Or will you say they don’t count because they had it coming). And, a man was raped at my college by three girls that held him down and anally raped him with a dildo on the top floor of the library (Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 2004.)

      And I don’t think that anybody is saying rape is good. But as I said in my post above this, by letting the word “rape” be offensive to you, you are empowering it. By degrading it to a joke, suddenly you find power over it.

  3. Rape culture is not freedom of speech. How can promotion of violence be covered under freedom of speech? This so called freedom of speech is a major part of society’s problems. 12, 13, 14 year old boys are able to freely access these pages and learn from them that violence against women is ok… I think these pages are sick and we wonder where the breakdown of society comes from. Freedom of speech has a lot to answer for, and BTW Henry, only america has this freedom of speech, in other country’s there are laws against this kind of hate speech be it violence against women, racial or religious hate speech.

    These pages and any hate speech should not be freedom of speech.

    • Hear hear.

    • Freedom of speech should only go so far. Just like you cannot yell ‘fire’ in a crowded room because you can cause a panic, and just like you cannot use slander or libelous speech against someone because you cause false damage to their reputation, you should not be able to use hate speech, even mockingly and joking, because it promotes a hateful, insensitive culture.

      • No. Freedom of speech isn’t just for what you want to hear. As I said before, it’s for the views you disagree with. “Rape jokes” aren’t physically harming anybody as a stampede would. It’s not actually raping somebody. They’re words. And if you can find a way to protect speech that you vehemently disagree with, then you protect yourself when you say something somebody else disagrees with. Freedom of speech should never be limited. Just as they have a right to say bad taste jokes, you have the right to go to a different page or turn to a different channel.

        • vicki wharton says:

          We have limits to freedom of speech when the speech is false about a group of people. Its called propoganda. Hitler used it to good effect, Idi Amin, Mugabe,etc etc. Speech has to be limited to fair and honest, otherwise it can be used to incite murder and intimidation of one group of people over another. Words are more powerful than you seem to understand JP.

        • Making rape jokes is not about freedom of speech – it is about perpetuating rape culture – a culture that women suffer from every day. And for a huge online platform like FB – which encourages children as young as 13 to join – to host such hateful pages is not acceptable.

          • vicki wharton says:

            These pages are not just hateful, they incite violence against another person which is against the law.

  4. Katie, the number of male rapes may be “statistically insignificant” but that doesn’t make them insignificant. Why should we as a society care less when a man gets raped? Just because it doesn’t happen as often doesn’t mean it isn’t as horrible.
    Oh, and yes woman do rape men. And when men report it, some people think of it as a joke. Like a real man can’t be raped because a real man wouldn’t turn down sex from a woman.

    Also, you should look up the definition of statistically insignificant because it doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  5. Kelli – this thread is not about men getting raped, it is about the rape culture that women live within every day. If you want to address men getting raped then please do something about it yourself by starting your own campaign.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Ta!

    • rape is rape, be it male on female, female on female, man on man or woman on man. That is ALL rape culture, these campaigns are not just for woman. Rape is a power based crime whoever the perpetrator, It is not just a female campaign, it is a humanity campaign and I resent the fact that you say if you want to address men getting raped start your own campaign. Being against Rape in any context is where all campaigns should be, it is not a female only or a male only problem it is a societal problem of a rape culture. if we are to address most foul of problems we should be a united front not a segregated one… where we should be aiming our attack overall is at pages like facebook that allow these pages to fester and allow access to young persons to learn that this rape culture is funny and right somehow…

      segregation is not the way of this cause only a united front to rape in all it’s forms is needed to succeed and teach the next generation…

    • Yes, the generalisation in the comment has been dealt with and acknowledged, let’s get back to the matter under discussion instead of starting a victim competition.

    • The name of the article I read was “Rape: Never Funny” Apparently what you meant was “Rape: Never Funny…but if its happening to a man, I don’t care”

      • What an utter crock. Nobody here has said that.

        ‘Kelli’, I think you are a man, and I also think that you are derailing this thread.

        Take the What About Teh Menz elsewhere.

        http://www.derailingfordummies.com/#innocent

        • vicki wharton says:

          Thanks for the stats, it was what I was expecting from related reading on gay rape but it’s useful to know. I too wonder at times when I see women who are fiercely defensive about male on female rape as to whether they are indeed female or just brought up in such anti women environment that they identify themselves psychologically more as sub men than women as a defence mechanism to protect their own ego.

        • Not sure when being a man became an insult.

          We wonder why it is difficult to get true rape activism taken seriously by anybody when they can stumble on such a post and comment section as this, where anyone with an ounce of common sense is railroaded off. I despair.

          Btw..for any fake feminists reading this: feminism is not a fancy name for gender racism. A true feminist speaks up not only for the rights of women but for the rights of everyone in her community and that includes men.

          • vicki wharton says:

            No one’s using being a man as an insult – simply pointing out that certain people seem highly uncomfortable talking about male on female rape – not sure how pointing that out is in conflict with ‘true’ rape activism – since the overwhelming majority of rape is male on female I can’t see how being uncomfortable about acknowledging that and dealing with the male culture that promotes those abuses is ‘true’ rape activism. No one here is a fake feminist – and feminism is the promotion of women up to the position of equality with men. Men are quite able to campaign for their own rights not to be raped by men, women and anyone else and I will stand alongside them doing it, but I am not here to do their work for them, as is none of the other women here, and that doesn’t make them fake feminists either.

  6. HI all, whatI meant was that there has been too many times when threads about women and rape are highjacked by the fact of male rape – as if saying that men are raped too makes women being raped OK. Obviously the campaign is for everyone that gets raped, but I didn’t want the thread highjacked as I said.

    • Please stop separating male and female rape…. rape in all it’s forms is abhorrent, provide a untied front against rape in all it forms. Rape in any form is NOT “ok” and no one is hijacking this thread by bringing up male rape…. as I said Rape in all forms is abhorrent, society must make a stand against it in all forms….

      • vicki wharton says:

        I think Jane is not separating out male rape, just responding to the fact that both D and Kelli speak as if male rape is women’s fault. That is what is derailing this conversation. All victims of rape deserve to be treated with the utmost respect for their experience, and we also need to educate would be rapists, who are statistically nearly 100% male, that this behaviour of theirs is repulsive and demeaning of them, not the victim.

        • Again, the reason why the statistics for male rapists are so high is because there are NO accurate ways to measure female rapists. Why? Because of the culture of “Men don’t get raped, especially by women” that is perpetuated every time even by campaigns against rape. And there is no attempt to justify female rape by bringing up male rape. Female rape is abhorrent. However, there is not a limited amount of abhorrence available in the atmosphere that needs to be designated between female and male rape. If we are going to get rid of rape culture, why not get rid of ALL of it. And if rape culture is based in gender inequality, then why not get rid of ALL of that instead of making false generalizations about men. Oh btw, I am a woman because that supposedly makes my arguments more valid….

  7. Make a joke about a transgender mtT (male pretending to be female) and see how fast Facebook calls it “not funny” , hate speech and takes action. Because if it’s against men (no matter how they dress) it’s BAAAAAAD. Women? Pffft.

  8. Raping of women is a global epidemic! I still maintain that the incidence of men being raped is statistically insignificant under the conditions and measure I set out earlier. That doesn’t mean that the event itself is insignificant. Consider this: If the permissiveness within society for rape were eliminated; the rape culture vanished; there would be no rape of males. The really big (epidemic) problem to tackle right now is that 1/3 of women will be raped or will thwart an attack.

    If hiccups caused deaths the way cancer does, hiccups would get all the attention. Get it?

    Men should stop raping men for sure. They must stop raping women and children. Realize it or not, the social anthropology of mankind has an end game. It is being played out now. We need to return a value to women and children. We need to return a value of human life as well. Rape is no joke. It reduces the value of women and children and hence reduces the future of the human race.

    <3 Love to Jane!

  9. But Kelli, this campaign is not about the phenomenon of rape per se (which I agree is a power based crime that spans gender).

    This campaign is about the misogynistic facebook pages that were directed SOLEY towards women. The creator and supporters of these pages didn’t care about the wider issue of rape which includes male victims. They were interested in making light of and supporting hateful and sexually threatening language towards women. And this is what our campaign was responding to.

  10. Katie/Heather – thank you.

  11. Heather is right, this whole article and the discussion are/should be about the Facebook pages joking about female rape and the campaigning against them. There are pages joking about the guy who drops the soap in the shower as well, which should be targeted as well when it’s about rape in general, but that’s not the case and I accept that. I don’t actually want to engage in the whole “male rape vs female rape” thing, but now that so many people said something about it, I believe it’s necessary.

    I can just say that I don’t think Henry wanted to say that the existence of male rape makes female rape acceptable (or anything like that). But it is a fact that most people identify rape as a solely female problem and this article has presented it like that as well, which is wrong. There are (as always) many different statistics, but some of them state that 3% of all men in the UK reported a full or attempted rape at some point in their life. The number of reported male rapes might be as little as 10% of the number of actual cases, which would mean that almost one in three men in the UK have been affected by rape.
    Also, 8% of all rape victims are male. If that number is “statistically insignificant”, I wonder why people get so angry about the alleyway-page, because only 8% of all female rapes happen in such “dark alleyway”-situations.

    Anyway, I really want to say something about Vicki Wharton’s comment.
    “Male rape victims that I’ve heard the stories of have been gay men being raped by straight men” – Correct me if you didn’t mean it the way it sounds, but how can you say something like that? This is horrible and I would have expected that someone who seems to dedicate so much time and energy to this topic is a bit more informed.
    First of all it is not true. There are a lot more heterosexual male survivors of rape than homosexual survivors.
    Secondly, it is exactly this attitude that makes it so hard for male survivors of rape to report the attack, or in some cases even accept it as rape themselves (Yes, I know, the same applies to women. I don’t deny it and I don’t need a lecture on that). Rape can happen to any man and your attitude is shared by so many others that society thinks it’s a problem of only gay or physically weak men, which causes many men and their social environment to question their whole identity as a “real” man, who are supposed to be strong and able to protect themselves. That makes it very easy for me to believe that only one in ten male rape victims report the case.

    Again, I wouldn’t have engaged in the whole male-female rape thing, but I think Henry has been accused of trying to say something that he didn’t actually mean. In this article, only female rape victims were mentioned, even though they should be neutral and only men were mentioned as supporters of rape-culture, even though many women have the same attitudes. And Vicki’s comment just really shocked me, so I wanted to say something about that.

    • Do you realise you have equated gay men with physically weak men there, by the way? I kind of see what I *think* you’re saying, but it’s rather unfortunately phrased at the least.

      Also, you have overlooked the first part you quoted from Vicki, that these are the stories she has heard. I take your point about generalising but I don’t think this is what happened here.

      • vicki wharton says:

        Thanks Halla. The main reason I know more about straight men raping gay men is that I used to have a lodger who was gay and he pointed out a few articles on it. Also, as both of us were trainee therapists, we spoke quite a lot about rape so I would be much more informed by him about that experience rather than straight men being raped by either straight or gay men. Either way, I think we should spend a lot more time studying the perpetrators of rape rather than the victims.

        • Absolutely. And why, to pluck an example from the air, making jokey pages about having to chase a woman down an alley to ‘get lucky’ doesn’t help with preventing rapes.

      • Yes, you are right, that bit about the gay and weak men sounded a bit odd. What I mean is this: Someone who gets raped is obviously in a certain way not able to defend themselves and to prevent the attack. Many people think that men who are raped must be either physically very weak, or gay as they “allowed” the penetration to happen.
        I just wanted to point out that Vicki’s comment looks like she believes only gay men get raped and she therefor supports one of those stereotypes. It also sounded to me as if she equated gay men and weak men. You know, as if she was saying that only gay men can’t fight.
        I wasn’t 100% what she meant. That’s why I said “Correct me if I’m wrong”. She has now corrected me and I realise I was wrong, but it was my intention to clarify that.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Adam, you have made a presumption that what I’ve heard/read about male rape is my attitude rather than me reporting, as I stated I was, what I’ve heard. I didn’t say anything more than that, because I simply don’t know/haven’t read anything more on the subject. Please don’t make an assumption on what my attitude is without at least checking with me first before you start publicly dressing me down. I am a rape survivor who has lost their entire family and most of my friends by admitting that I was attacked. Please don’t lecture me on the discrimination that ALL victims of rape face – as it’s a subject that I live on a day to day basis. I don’t make any assumptions about rape and who perpetrates it – I read what I can to learn what I can, in order to speak out and try and protect others, including my daughter, your son, you, your friends, my friends. Rape shouldn’t happen to anyone, male or female and the only reason I tend to talk about male on female rape predominantly is that statistically it is the significantly prevalent bias (to my knowledge) and it is the genre that I have real lived experience of rather than have read about in a book. I think this may well be yet another incident of male victims are left out of women’s considerations, and female victims are left out of men’s considerations.

  12. I am not “fiercely defensive” about male on female rape. And I never implied that male rape is a woman’s fault.

    Henry merely stated his thoughts on whether or not these pages are protected under freedom of speech. He also said that he agreed with your sentiment-that these pages should be taken down. So it seems that he agrees that there is a moral obligation to take them down, just not a legal one. And then he pointed out that men also get raped. For this he got called a “misogynist pr*ck.”

    It upset me that Henry would be attacked simply because he believes that the facebook pages are protected under freedom of speech. He still thinks (and I’m putting words into his mouth here) that the pages are abhorrent.

    Then I read a comment that “its not women doing the raping Henry.”

    So I responded to that, because yes, sometimes it happens.
    This does not mean that I believe that male rape is a woman’s fault, it is the fault of the person doing the raping.

    After I posted my original post, Jane responded with “If you want to address men getting raped then please do something about it yourself by starting your own campaign.”

    It wasn’t men getting raped that I wanted to address. I wanted to address Henry being treated so poorly because he has a different view on the subject than the other people here do.

    And I truly don’t appreciate it being said that I think male rape is a woman’s fault, or that I was brought up in an anti-female environment, or that I can’t possibly really be a female simply because I dared defend a man.

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      Neither you nor Henry are real lawyers, that’s for sure. Facebook isn’t the government, not yet anyway, it is a private enterprise. It can jettison any loathsome crap it takes offense too, and keep any loathsome crap it thinks is hilarious. A Facebook page is a privilege not a right and Facebook thinks that the twisted freaks who put up these pages deserve that privilege. Actually, they just think it’ll be cheaper not to stop them, but it won’t be, they’ll find.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Kelli
      I think you are not taking ownership of what you’re saying and why you’re saying it. If you wanted to address Henry being treated poorly you could have just said that. But you picked up and ran with Henry’s comments and chucked in a whole load more of your own. Freedom of speech stops being speech when it becomes incitement to hurt another person – that’s the law, international and UK. You brought up male rape t counter my comment about it being men almost 100% that are doing the raping. I think you have been brought up to think that you are a better woman if you defend men rather than critisise them – it makes you loyal, dependable and kind etc. And I would agree with you, but only when their behaviour merits it. When they rape, or incite others or themselves to use violence against another, then that’s where my approval stops. And I think so should yours.

  13. Jane Da Vall says:

    I’m curious why you think you can speak to what Henry meant, Adam? And your outrage at the idea of straight men being thought gay is pure homophobia. And see how easily a thread is derailed.

    Katie, absolutely.

    • I never said that I think I know for sure what Henry meant, I just said what I think it might be. His comment was very short and left a lot of room for interpretation. I just presented my interpetation after lots of people presented theirs.
      It would be a bit odd if I was homphobic as I’m bisexual myself. The cause for my outrage is the fact that people just make assumptions about other people’s sexuality based on their appearance or on what they do outside the bedroom. I am rather feminine and frequently come across people who don’t believe that I fancy women as well. I was shocked because Vicki’s comment made the impression on me that she might think only gay men get raped. (I said in my comment “correct me if I’m wrong”) You should understand what I mean as you probably agree with me that it is outrageous how many people think a woman who wears short skirts is promiscuous etc.

  14. Hi all, can we now get back to the original point of the article – women and rape? As Jane says, this conversation has been derailed as they so often are.

    • Yes, people mentioned things that are not mentioned in the article, but what’s wrong with that? So far everyone has expressed their opinion about the article and what it lacks and other people made comments about those opinions in return. Isn’t that the purpose of a comment section? I don’t really see what it has to do with derailing. (But I admit, if lots of people now respond to this, that might actually derail the whole thing.)
      I don’t believe you can expect much more of a discussion. Personally I’d really like to go deeper into the subject matter, but I don’t completely agree with the author of the article and am not in the mood to get personally insulted and verbally abused. People like Katie Alsop, whose comment should have been delelted by an admin, made it pretty clear what kind of website this is. Proper discussions among people with different opinions aren’t welcome. I feel stupid about even getting involved and will just move on now.

      • The discussion is truly about rape, Adam. What are we all doing here? What are we talking about? Do you think we are women who are too lazy to take up our stations in the kitchen, Adam?

        What’s the agenda? We don’t want to be raped. We don’t want anyone to be raped.

        You say with faulty arrogance, “People like Katie Alsop, whose comment should have been delelted [sic] by an admin”

        There are no people like Katie Alsop! My DNA is exclusive, wise guy! Get an education.

        OMG Adam, you like your women wimpy, don’t you?

        Here’s the law and order deal about rape. You are either for it or against. If you have a cavalier attitude, you are in favour. Black and white, dude! How can I say that? Because the number of rapes done by unique individuals, police-reported or not, suggests that a third of the adult male population are rapists.

        As a person who devotes a large portion of her life to reducing rape crime, I am from the outset, suspicious of 1/3 of the male population with good cause.

        So what’s to discuss? Remember why we are all here? Go back and read. We don’t want rape!

        Men can be nice ordinary guys or they can be misogynistic pr*cks. I calls them the way I see them. I am tainted because I know how many of YOU men are real rapists.

        Maybe you are a nice guy who just doesn’t get it. Maybe you are a rapist to be, or a wife/GF/woman beater. The probability of me having cause to NOT like anonymous-you on those grounds, is now up around 55%. That’s why we women must all take the prescribed precautions like … * [see below]

        I will tell you what else I know. Rape is real. Ask a nurse or doctor who has done a few rape kits on fresh victims. Keep your distance when you ask, though.

        To prevent their rape, women should use right up to lethal force in many countries’ jurisdictions; but only whatever force is necessary to prevent the crime, in my opinion. Women need to start defending themselves. In the USA they are in most States able to carry guns. Many do and many use them. I do not favour that response but I don’t say it is wrong under the circumstances. I would rather there were no guns, anywhere.

        If you are in favour of rape, you are a threat to me. Be governed by the foregoing. Be it in words, or be it in action, my opposition to being raped is absolute. There is no joking about it. I don’t want to be raped. I don’t want you to be raped.

        97% Of rapes are done by men against women or kids. Most of the victims are very young. Rape is the number one growing crime. If we don’t stop humans from objectifying and diminishing the species’ women and children species existence is finite.

        You say, “Personally I’d really like to go deeper into the subject matter, but I don’t completely agree with the author of the article and am not in the mood to get personally insulted and verbally abused.”

        Get this trough your head, don’t rape anybody, or else people like me will be at your sentencing hearing as expert witnesses on what to do with rapists. It won’t go well for the rapist.

        Society is becoming fed up with the danger to its women and children. Play it safe and learn that Rape Is No Joke.

        24 Precautions women must take to avoid rape:
        -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
        1 Do not be distracted, especially by technology. Do not jog with your iPod because attackers are looking for easy, distracted individuals who look-like they are not paying attention to surroundings. The same can be said for talking on your cell phone. BUT — on the other hand, if you feel someone is following you, pull out your cell phone and pretend to be talking to someone because your “conversation partner” would be aware of an attack. If your potential attacker is going for “no witnesses,” they might back off and change their mind. You can even pretend you are meeting-up with someone and they are already here/heading this way VERY soon. Don’t say “5 minutes” or the attacker may only decide to take action quicker. If they think you are in safe hands or will be in less than a minute, they might back off.

        2 Learn to trust your gut instincts. It could save you from being raped or worse. If you feel uneasy or unsure in anyway, it is in your best interest to get away and get help. Use your instincts and be aware of your FREEZE instinct. Move quickly … fight, flight or freeze are our natural instincts, so be aware that all 3 exist.
        3 Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Parking lots and parking garages are two of the sites that are most often targeted by attempted rapists. These men are predators, so view your surroundings carefully. If you are in a parking lot and feel someone is following you, start making noise – talk to yourself loudly, talk to an imaginary person, or pretend to talk on your cell phone. The louder the potential victim, the more the predator is apt to freeze.

        4 Understand that your hairstyle could benefit an attacker. Ponytails and long hair are the number one styles rapists seek because long hair and ponytails are easy to grab.

        5 Use your loudest voice if you have any doubts. Remember, its better to be considered crazy, than to keep quiet to avoid weird looks.

        6 Carry defensive items only if you know how to use them. Remember, any “weapon” that could hurt a potential attacker can be used against you if you are not well trained and comfortable with it. If you are going to carry a handgun, make sure to take classes in its use, practice often at a firing range, and apply for a concealed weapons permit; if you carry a knife, take a course in the most effective way to use it. Remember that even an umbrella or purse can be used as a weapon against an attacker, and has less chance of being turned against you.

        7 Yell, shout and draw attention to yourself. Attackers usually have an idea of how the attack will happen. Disrupt that idea. Fight like a psychotic cat, and yell loudly and strongly;

        8 Yell “CALL 911 NOW.” There is a common belief it is better to call “fire” than help – however many believe this is misguided, if not plain wrong. The ‘fire idea” is based on the belief that people don’t want to get involved in assisting therefore you should trick them into believing there is a fire. This could be unwise. Numerous bystander studies (e.g. Latane and Darley) show the reason bystanders do not help is a simple one; confusion. Bystanders are unsure of what is going on; do the attacker and victim know each other? etc. This would suggest it is better to “tell it like it is” and yell “POLICE!” “CALL 911 NOW,” “GUN,” or “HELP!” Words such as “POLICE” are more likely to scare the attacker and alert bystanders to the truth of the situation – Yelling “Fire” will get people’s attention, but when there clearly isn’t one, the word “POLICE” might work faster. Studies have also suggested this effective strategy: pointing at an individual bystander and saying “you sir, in the white shirt, I need your help now! – This man is attacking me…” Tell it like it is, and point to an individual.

        9 Take a basic self defense course, such as Rape Aggression Defense (RAD). Contact your local police office for programs such as RAD.

        10 Stay careful at parties and bars. Treat your drink like a $100.00 bill. Don’t let anyone hold your drink. Do not leave your drink anywhere. Avoid anything that somebody gives you. It could be “counterfeited.” Always hold, keep and get your own drinks. Never leave a drink unattended for even a moment. Keep your hand over the top of your drink because it’s easy to drop something into it. Do not accept a drink from a date unless the bartender or waitstaff delivers it straight to you. Don’t want to be rude? Who cares, just state your preferences, AND if he doesn’t adhere to the waiter drink delivery, then take the drink to the restroom with you and dump it. GHB dissolves immediately, especially if its powdered. DO NOT leave your friends alone and drunk. DO NOT be left behind by your friends. Tell other people where you are going. Be aware of public bathrooms in clubs and bars. Women have been attacked in the ladies room if it is deserted.

        11 Think and practice being careful at dance clubs or other places with loud music. Sometimes it is so loud that nobody will be able to hear you cry for help.
        12Work on being assertive. If somebody is giving you unwanted attention, tell them to back off. There is no need to be polite when somebody is making unwanted sexual advances.

        13 Plan. If a rapist is in your car and is sitting in the passenger seat with a weapon to you, they will tell you to go somewhere where they are less likely to be witnessed. Whatever you do, don’t follow their directions. Put on your seat belt, then drive into something stationary, like a dumpster or lamp post. The airbag and seat belt will keep you alive, and the crash will draw attention. It is better to be in a car accident than get raped and possibly killed. Stay calm and try to surprise the rapist.

        14 Understand that Vans are the #1 vehicles used in rapes. Rapists will park next to the driver’s side and, as you are trying to get in, they will pull you into the van. If there is a van on the driver’s side of your car, go in through the passenger’s door. If there are vans on both sides, go back to where you were and get someone like a security guard to walk you to your car. Don’t park any place that feels unsafe.

        15 Practice being careful when going into your house or car because someone could easily push you in and lock the door behind you. Be aware of your surroundings; carry your keys ready in your hand and look around you before opening the door.

        16 Keep personal information private. Don’t advertise your info verbally or on the Internet. Also, be very wary of meeting up with anyone whom you meet on the Internet. There is never a good reason to meet up with a person whom you have never met in person, or who talks you into meeting-up when you are hesitant. If you think you must do so, bring someone else, preferably a friend who is older and meet the person in a public place.

        17 Understand vulnerability factors: According to the CDC, vulnerabilities include prior sexual abuse as a minor, being female (gender), being under the age of 18, alcohol or drug use, and predators who groom their victims into believing …

        18 Walk with confidence. Look up as you walk and stand up straight; pretending as though you have two big panthers on either side of you as you walk may sound silly, but it can help boost confidence. Attackers are more likely to go for those who they think cannot defend themselves.

        19 Notice and leave identifying marks. A large bite mark on their face, punctured eyeball, deeply scratched leg, ripped out piercing etc. is easily identifiable, as are memorable tattoos, etc. Think kill. Go for weak spots like eyes (poke hard), nose (hard upward motion with the lower part of your open hand) genitals (grab really tightly and squeeze or punch hard) etc. to make sure the person’s hands aren’t free to punch or hold on to you and you can run for it. If you are in a place where you can’t run, notice your surroundings and leave a mark on them if you can. Rapists have been caught because their victims left identifiable teeth marks, nail marks, or DNA in the cars or rooms where they were assaulted.

        20 Bring a dog, if going to the park, beach, etc. alone. If you have a dog with you, it’s like having another person with you. Large dogs are intimidating to predators, even if your pet isn’t exactly brave. If you don’t have a large dog, bring the small one anyway. Chances are when your little pup sees you in trouble, he’ll be more than happy to protest. Predators won’t usually attack a person with a dog, large or small, because dogs usually make such a racket you’re bound to draw attention, which is undesirable for predators. Who knows – your poodle may just surprise your attacker when he grabs you.

        21 Mentally Prepare if you are taken by a rapist. You must do everything in your power to escape even if it means hurting yourself. Sometimes, the rapist will kill his victims to prevent him from being caught or identified. If the rapist comes in your home, throw heavy items through windows and at the rapist. Make as much noise as you can. Do not get in the car or van with them if you can help it. Jump out of a moving car or crash the car if you are driving. Look for every opportunity to hurt them and escape. Take your extreme fear and turn it into fighting anger at your attacker. Do not be passive unless you feel you have to because a weapon is on you. Never give up without fighting a battle.

        22 Make eye contact if you are being followed by someone who you think is a potential threat. An attacker may be less likely to strike if they think you will be able to clearly identify them.

        23 Never get into a potential rapist’s car or allow them into yours if you can avoid it. Run, scream, fight or do whatever you can to keep from being forced into that car, because once you are mobile, this increases the likelihood that you will be taken to a remote location where the rapist can take their time. It is preferable to be injured and escape than to be taken to the middle of nowhere and killed.

        24 Learn to sing. This means Solar Plexus-Instep-Nose-Groin, the four attack points you should focus on if grabbed from behind. Elbow them in the solar plexus, stomp on the foot as hard as you can, and when they let go, turn around and jam the palm of your hand into their nose in an upward motion, then finish with a knee to the groin. This may disable your assailant long enough for you to get away. Don’t worry about hurting them, because they intend to do something much worse.

        • I would have thought someone who proclaims to be so well-informed on rape would know that the majority of their “advice” might well cause a rapist to take pause, but could ultimately turn him to murder instead of rape.

          I find it odd that someone who knows that fight, flight and freeze responses spends so much energy on pushing aggressive methods. How about doing something refreshing and talking about how it is okay if you don’t fight back, rather than adding to the hoards of stuff like this that insinuate (intentionally or otherwise) that if you don’t fight, yell or scream then you are somehow asking for it.

          Thank you, for also contributing towards another rape myth that can be used to blame a victim: “well, if you hadn’t have had long hair or it tied neatly for a rapist to pull on then you would have been able to get away..so in essence, it’s you’re own fault”

          • vicki wharton says:

            I think you have misunderstood Katie’s post T – and certainly I know when I was raped and my friend next to me in the same bed wasn’t, the only difference between us was that I froze, and she fought and fled. Freezing is exactly what the rapist wants which is why no one here is promoting it – why are you?

          • @vicki – the list includes listening to our gut instinct and that includes the natural urge to freeze. I’mnot promoting it but I won’t promote fighting back either. A rapist has little regard for human life to violate a person this way so I’m not going to advocate an action that could make the difference between a survivor being permitted to live because they complied or killed because they fought.

            I’m an advocate for healing. I think if you feel able to fight then do so but not doing so doesn’t make it your fault.. I hope you are able to let go of your own self blame in this area because it wasn’t your fault. You also do not know what made the rapist not rape your friend. Also bear in mind that his choice to rape points to his own cowardice-to endure a rape and cone out the other side makes you strong.

          • I wanted to point out that rapes happen because a rapist decides to rape; not because a victim somehow forced the rapist to behave how they did. I think we would be better as a whole in society if we had less lists on “how not to get raped” and many more on “how not to rape, what to do if you feel the urge to rape someone, why I blame my victim instead of accepting responsibility for my crimes..and finally, why we as society find it easier to blame an innocent party than accept the fact some people want to hurt others without any provocation from the victim”.

          • vicki wharton says:

            Thanks for the clarification T. I don’t blame myself for being raped, 4 against 1 isn’t a good set of odds, but I did notice that my friend’s actions, and her rage, was a very powerful deterrent to the boys that attacked us. I don’t blame victims for freezing, but do acknowledge that part of my freeze reaction came from a culture of being told that rape was a woman’s fault, so if I stayed totally still, I wasn’t doing anything to lead the guys on. Unfortunately I do think it then gives the rapist the feeling that they’re not actually raping someone, as there’s no obvious resistance. I wonder how many rapes are simply the result of a complete misunderstanding over checking consent, and male cultural norms where they don’t like asking for consent – in the same way they don’t like asking for directions – as it is a direct admission of their lack of superiority or their equalness?

  15. vicki wharton says:

    Just one further point Katie, 94% of rape victims know their assailant. Be aware of keeping yourself safe with strangers, but more so with friends and family members – these are the people that statistically are more likely to rape you. Coercion, guilt and psychological aggression are also very powerful weapons in a rapist’s arsonal.

  16. vicki wharton says:

    I took it as such. Certainly most of it appears on a list of do and don’t the police issue as guidance for women wishing not to be raped by a stranger. My problem is that it does nothing to address the majority of rapists who are men you know.

    • My apologies, I’ve been unclear. I have seen such lists, they’re hugely depressing. I had thought it was posted here as an illustration of how women are expected to police the behaviour of ourselves, each other and also rapists by splitting people who have been raped into ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ categories – the old ‘well look what she was wearing/where she was walking/what she was drinking, what do you expect?’ victim-blaming mentality.

      There’s a whole other bit on this that is sort of incoherent in my brain now, about categorisation, women and men, frustration and anger. I will leave it for the minute. Enough for me to say that if this list was posted in all seriousness as guidelines Katie Alsop expects us to follow I’m going to give a hearty ‘sod that’ in response and leave.

      • vicki wharton says:

        I’m not sure that Katie meant us to follow this advice, but certainly the police do as they issue the same ‘advice’. As I said, it largely misses nearly all the real rapists and I think would encourage a spirit of paranoia in women out socialising. Some of the points are worth bearing in mind, such as not worrying about hurting the feelings of the person trying to attack you, but the rest is largely almost impossible to achieve and be able to move freely around in any public space.

        • So true, Vicki. The list seems absurd. Moreover it is absurd that authorities would feel it necessary. It is necessary. Rape is real and the occurrence numbers are huge. Safety for women and children is at risk everywhere. Modern sophisticated society has malfunctioned for that to be true.

          Have a look at the recent news from Afghanistan. I am so dismayed. My male counterpart with RINJ wrote some interesting articles questioning the impact of overpopulation on the value placed on women and children. (i.e.: Propagation of the species is unwanted when overpopulation creates a monstrously large group of “have-nots”). He gets into these social anthropology moods and does a Desmond Morris on me. It scares me because it all fits. Women must really step out and fight for their safety. Afghanistan seems to be the tip of the iceberg.

          Warmest blessings, Vicki.

  17. Katie Otto says:

    Rape is one of the most demeaning, soul-stealing, and loneliest helplessness in a box with a big fat red abuse ribbon on top.

    I’ve experienced it with the neglect and disbelief as an unwelcome free gift.

    “Skies are crying, I am watching
    Catching tear drops in my hands
    Only silence, as it’s ending, like we never had a chance
    Do you have to make me feel like there’s nothing left of me?

    You can take everything I have
    You can break everything I am
    Like I’m made of glass
    Like I’m made of paper
    Go on and try to tear me down
    I will be rising from the ground
    Like a skyscraper”

  18. T, can’t reply underneath your comment (rape is because rapists decide to rape) but I wanted to add a ‘hear hear’ because I think that’s spot on.

  19. It seems to me that the issue is the cultural norm that presents women as subservient to men and as something to be dominated. Look at things like advertisements, for heaven sake! cast a critical eye at your average magazine or television advert and see the women that are treated as pieces (dehumanizing those who have breasts or shapely feminine legs or a curvy butt as nothing more than those individual parts and not a PERSON) or as furniture or less than animals (to be owned and used). I mean, we even still have as a freaking HOLIDAY SONG a tune that has a woman trying to get rid of a man at the end of the evening and he keeps telling her that it is cold and trying to convince her to let him stay when she obviously does not want him to stay, but he kees on going because no, does not really mean no if you can convince her that it is cold enough outside! Until we have these kinds of things seen for what they really are-programming our men that females are less and programming our women that we are less, we will not get anywhere. Eliminating the acceptance of rape as being something that it is possible to find humor, of any type, in is another step on that path. The whole argument about females raping men is a red herring to try to blunt the point of the issue and weaken its effectiveness. We are trying to make a cultural shift here, yes males are also victimized, but the prevailing attitude of our whole culture is not accepting of that, the acceptance of men being viewed as less or as fixtures that are there for nothing more than to go fetch a beer or make a sandwich for the person that really matters is not something that we really see (and if it is done it is as a twist that is understood to be ironic and an absurd joke). We need to address the problem that our culture is toxic to women being treated as valuable human beings that are no more, or less, than men.

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