Day: March 1, 2015
On male violence
“For every one female killer, about nine men are murderers. For every one woman who kills another unrelated woman, about 30 men kill an unrelated man. The gender imbalance in the killing of same-sex acquaintances or strangers is one of the most extreme behavioral differences known between the sexes.”
— David Rowe, “Biology and Crime” via Via Bailey
The idea of the lurking monster is no doubt a useful myth, one we can use to defuse any fear of the women we love being hurt, without the need to examine ourselves or our male-dominated society. It is also an excuse to implement a set of rules for women on “how not to get raped”, which is a strange cocktail of naiveté and cynicism. It is naïve because it views rapists as a monolithic group of thigh-rubbing predators with a checklist rather than the bloke you just passed in the office, pub or gym, and cynical because these rules allow us to classify victims. If the victim was wearing x or drinking y well then of course the monster is going to attack – didn’t she read the rules? I have often come up against people on this point who claim that they’re just being “realistic”. While it may come from a place of concern, if we’re being realistic we need to look at how and where rape and violence actually occur, and how troubling it is that we use a nebulous term like “reality” to condone the imposition of dress codes, acceptable behaviours, and living spaces on women to avoid a mythical rape-monster.
— Tom Meagher, The Danger of the Monster Myth
On empathy, part 2
Because we live in a world where it is so easy to detach, to isolate ourselves from others, we have to work on empathy, that most fundamental of human qualities. We have to remind ourselves to exercise our ability to connect our humanity with another, to travel to that person’s world and try to feel along with another human being.
Robert Jensen, Getting Off
It takes work to undo the effects of violent masculine socialization. Many men don’t want to do this work. They would rather compartmentalize away any suffering they might perceive in a woman than admit that they had any hand in causing it.
On rape culture
I read some comment somewhere where a dude was saying that rape culture didn’t really exist just because women are raped in this culture. According to the dude, it’s like getting your car stolen and calling it a car-theft culture.
That analogy doesn’t work at all because one is a crime against property while the other is a crime against a person. If a man were walking down the street and got assaulted, and then said “We’re living in a violent culture,” he would be right. We do live in a culture that glamorizes violence, a culture where violence is built into the system. So is sexual violence, except that the majority of sexual violence is done to women (and children) and men just don’t want to care, much less contribute to a solution. So they’ll search for any straw they can grasp to avoid feeling empathy for women and go on enjoying rape culture guilt-free.
The fact that men equate rape with car theft says a lot about them. Specifically it says that to them, women are objects to be owned.