Feminists have a problem.
Rape is happening every day, everywhere, all over the country, and all they can think to do is dress up (or down, whatever) and march through the streets with signs telling people not to rape.
In lieu of SlutWalks, their other public strategy seems to consist of snarky Facebook memes, which will hopefully reach the rapists on their friends list and convince them to change their ways. Are moral indignation and a few catchy slogans seriously the only options we have here?
Let’s get real. ‘Teaching’ men not to rape, i.e. staged parades and Jezebel articles, ain’t cutting it. Rape is still happening, and this strategy is as ineffective as it is offensive. Allow me to explain.
An awareness campaign isn’t what’s necessary here.
Assuming we’re talking about the U.S., everyone already knows that rape is bad. You don’t need to let us know that “consent is sexy” or that “rape isn’t cool,” it’s already pretty obvious. Rape is illegal, you get prosecuted and thrown in jail for it (hopefully), and generally people understand that consent, by its very definition, is something that people demand. So unless you just crave the attention, what in Hell is the use of repeating what we already know?
Rapists aren’t regular guys. They’re trashy subhuman beings that due to some sort of impairment, moral dysfunction, or a congenital lack of conscience, think that they’re entitled to other people’s bodies. If you tell them you disapprove of their actions they won’t care; they’ll continue to do them in secret.
What we need is a way to directly combat rape by using means such as surveillance or force. We need a culture where self-defense isn’t just a man’s game. Where we keep an eye on our friends and family when they’re vulnerable. We need a culture where crimes like rape will not only be reported, but heard and acted upon. Where rapists won’t get let off after only a few years, and where news outlets won’t sympathize with the attacker rather than the victim. We need real change in our behavior and our attitude, not a political wedge issue.
Your Patronizing Campaign is Offensive
As a response to this obnoxious campaign there comes the equally heinous “Men’s Rights activists” who constantly bemoan the double standards which benefit women, and flat out deny, or even condone, the mistreatment that women receive. They’re all over the chan cultures and they thrive in response to the most outrageous of the feminists. I hope that they’ll grow up once they leave high school or college, but in the end I think they’re only reactionaries to situations like the following:
Someone might ask, why shouldn’t there be a sign telling people “Don’t rape!” up in public to tell men not to rape? I mean, do we not all agree with the statement “Don’t rape!” after all?
Of course we do, but imagine it if the situation were reversed. If instead of a “Don’t rape!” sign, we had a “Don’t falsely accuse men of rape” sign hanging up. I imagine a lot of women would be pretty pissed off, and I wouldn’t blame them one bit for it.
See, we should all agree that falsely accusing an innocent man of rape is a terrible thing to do, and that no one should do it. That’s exactly why there’s no need for a sign.
We only put up signs to gently remind people to obey a rule they may have forgotten or not heard of. Putting up a sign like “Don’t rape” or “Don’t falsely accuse men of rape” gives me the idea that you think I don’t already know that. It gives the assumption that I’m some sort of animal that must be chided by a social justice activist not to rape anyone.
If you actually respect someone you won’t talk down to them and insult their intelligence. You wouldn’t ever seriously dare to be insensitive enough to remind your Muslim friend “Don’t be a terrorist!” or your German exchange student “Don’t kill any minorities now,” or you’d very soon be friendless. So if you want your friends to help you make rape disappear, don’t talk to men as if they’re all potential rapists.
Author’s Response to the Grey Areas
So I’ve gotten some constructive criticism on this post, namely on the fact that I don’t really address some kinds of rape. Rape isn’t always so violent, there’s not always a guy with a weapon. All guys should know rape is wrong, but some guys may not know or care that sex with someone too impaired to properly consent is also a form of rape. Then some other sick guys may think date rape is somehow different from regular rape. To some guys these sorts of things are all grey areas and they wouldn’t be so sure what constitutes rape and what doesn’t.
That’s a really, really good point. That’s a huge problem, even today, and there isn’t a lot of education on it. We’re really failing to teach men and women about what constitutes consent, and we’re not really trying hard enough to find out how to prevent these other forms of rape. The point of this piece isn’t to discourage that, it’s to ask we go about it constructively. We have to combat this without alienation, and without patronizing attitudes, and so far mainstream feminists have utterly failed to do so.
You know who does a great job of addressing some of these questions? Spencer Smith addresses a lot of the issues I only touched on, and with a lot less snark!