Can I present you with a scenario?
Let say for instance that racism exists. (I say this because many people don’t really believe it exists) Could I make any progress towards addressing racism if I thought every White person was evil and secretly wanted to put me in prison, force me to work for free, take away what little wealth I have amassed, rape my sister, raise German Shepherds to stick on my other family members when we didn’t fall in line? A less extreme example, could I really do anything to address racism if I felt every white person was a closeted biggot? If every Caucasian person felt that every black person was an illiterate thug that lives to abuse the system and plunge the nation into violence and bombastic beats suffused with ironical behaviors like wearing gold on one’s teeth while being morally spiritually and emotionally impoverished, would there be any room for change or progress?
Teaching Men not to Rape
I am a man. I have never raped anyone. All the men I know have not raped anyone. I have never taken a class that was men only and told about the positives of rape. I am exposed to the same movies and TV shows, news paper articles as most other men and women and I have never had the urge to rape someone. I often get a little ticked off when I hear that “we should be teaching men not to rape”.
When I think hear that phrase, I think:
- If Raping is a learned behaviour, there must be teachers, a teaching and a method of applying and indoctrinating that ideology. There must be specific criteria for a pupil to find such a school, pass the curricula and graduate into their status as a rapist.
- Females cannot be rapist. Either the same school that serves to indoctrinate boys and men that rape is ok and good doesn’t service women or that women are incorruptible and the thought of rape let alone the act would never happen.
According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, a nationally representative study on sexual victimization developed by the CDC, 4.8 percent of men in the United States have been “made to penetrate” someone against their will at some point in their lifetimes. That’s nearly 5.5 million men. And for about 80 percent of those men, their abusers were female.
I feel that if you think rape is wrong for the sake of the 5.5 million men, or for the sake of the 4.4 million men forced against their will by women, I think we should not say that we should teach men not to rape. (That’s just me though) Do you know that for men in this situation, there is an ensuing ensuing psychological aftermath very similar to female rape victims: reckless behaviour, promiscuity, long-term difficulty trusting women or even sharing confined spaces with them.
This doesn’t Mean…
This doesn’t mean that I am turning a blind eye to the rape crisis not just in the US but around the world. I find that language in many ways confers meaning. If you say it enough “we should teach men not to rape” people will think that men unilaterally are empty vessels programmed to rape by society. Then the only difference between me and a rapist is that I guess bad PR on the part of that seemingly ubiquitous Rape School I never enrolled in.
I think language like this sets a precedent that I unfortunately have seen a few people subscribe to; namely that every man is a potential rapist. English isnt my first language so certain phraseology sticks out and unfortunately this one in particular strikes a chord with me. I find that statement just as blinkered as saying all black people are thieves/violent/uneducated, or that all women are tricks and gold diggers. Imagine if you saw the following statements everyday on blogs you check into every day? How would you feel ?
- We need to teach White People How Not to Destroy Other Peoples who have things they want like oil… Rubber trees … children … water … minerals
- We need to teach Black People how to not be so violent
- We need to teach Women how to not be so Manipulative/Bad at driving
- We need to teach Men how not to Rape
Would you be able to talk to the people saying that in a constructive way ? (I don’t believe any of these btw, I think that’s obvious but I had to say it) I personally would feel a bit reluctant to talk with anyone who said any of these things. It’s like being guilty before committing any crime. It’s a horrible feeling trust me on this one.
What I loved so much about Martin Luther King was that he walked with both White and Blacks and with everyone who believed in freedom and that Human beings should not be oppressed. If he had believed that all whites were racist there would be no civil rights movements. Well that is what I think.
I think part of our cultural legacy is to take the lessons learned from various successful social movements and apply it to our current situations. In order to address rape both in our culture and around the world it will require participation from everyone. It will be hard for both parties enter a serious discussion when the language used, I feel as a man who has never raped anyone and never intends to, automatically forces one party to bear the guilt and shame of activities which they did not physically commit. It kills the general urge to engage with others in such a way as to help the situation. Also it creates a psychological environment that can affect negatively the growth and development of the next generation of boys/men.
Rape is wrong. No one deserves it man or woman no matter how you dress or look. I am not saying that men don’t rape, they do. I am not saying that females don’t rape they do. People who rape need to held accountable. If we are to talk about it in such a way to effectuate change, we have to look past our hurt, and not project the acts of a few onto the many. Many of the perpetrators of rape are someone the victims knows and trust and this is awful and sickens me really but does that mean that the best way to address rape is to again treat all men at potential rapist ? I feel everyone should be made aware of rape and its ramifications and the frequency at which it happens, where it happens. But raising awareness to me teaching men not to rape.
What are your thoughts ? Please share some comments
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
For me I am not a feminist or men’s rights activist. I am David a single human being who believes that people shouldn’t be raped, discriminated against. I do not align myself with any movement because movements in time will fragment into many smaller groups each with a slightly different agenda. Feminism for example doesn’t speak for all women, and there are so many types of feminist, radical, liberal, cultural eco feminist to name a few. A movement cannot really appreciate different in language, cultural thought, religion, ethnicity. Movements do not work to integrate people. They raise awareness and consciousness of something but they don’t make us sit together and find a way to come together for the future. I feel like Krishnamurthi that for me there is kind of divisiveness that comes with separating yourself from the rest. If I say I am a Republican it focuses on a difference in vision. I woudl rather start from a point of shared humanity rather than a difference if that makes sense:
I am a human being like you, believe in freedom and that no one should be coerced into sexual situations. I think rape is wrong and I want to do something about it what do you propose..here is what I think … how can we work from here….
its quixotic but just my two cents…