Teaching Men Not to Rape

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!

5 thoughts on “Teaching Men Not to Rape

  1. I am glad that you added this response. I commented on an earlier post on Liberty Without Apologies which also spoke about rape. I think that sexual assault, which is a term that is being used more frequently, is actually better in these discussions. People have this idea that rape is only penetration and never by a significant other and this simply isn’t the case. I think that should be talked about, and perhaps an awareness campaign on the definition of rape would be helpful. I agree that the standard feminist anti-rape, pro-consent thing is ridiculous and in fact I think it only perpetuates the idea that someone you care about couldn’t possibly do such a thing.

  2. Steve,

    I think that your analysis of many feminist’s approach to rape is absolutely accurate: telling people (and men tend to be the focus of their tirades) not to rape does not prevent rape. I think some more positive campaigns include a better definition of rape. “Gray rape,” or rape where “sex falls somewhere between consent and denial and is even more confusing than date rape because often both parties are unsure of who wanted what,” is the larger concern, in my opinion. The purpose of slut walks is to try to address a gray area, where a woman is sexually provocative, may even be coming on to a man, but not want sex. It is well-known that these actions can lead to confusing signals that can lead to rape.

    I think, perhaps, your article is of a greater sentiment to the men who have a very clear definition in their minds of what rape is, and know not to do it. They are sick of being belittled—MRA activists certainly feel this way. The fact is, most of slut walk’s audience aren’t rapists or to-be rapists. The problem is, it is obviously difficult to target such a demographic. Thus, this sweeping approach seems to be the best bet. The truth is, rapists can be regular guys. They can have made one very bad decision.

    What kind of surveillance are you calling for? As a libertarian, this idea me feel a little icky.

    As for force, I personally believe that every woman should own and know how to use pepper spray at minimum. Especially for evil serial rapists, this modest weapon can save someone’s life and body from trauma.

    I would love to hear your suggestions how to be more targeted and less patronizing.

    All the best,

    • I’m glad you appreciated it, Rachel. It’s always good to see us agree on something 🙂

      I’m no expert on the subject, so I can’t really offer many solutions to the issue. Like surveillance, I suggested it as an option. I’m not sure it’s a good option though. I personally hate public cameras, but who knows, if we want to fight a public problem we might need to consider some solutions we might not find appealing.

      I’d say some of the best advice was put forward by Spencer in his article. Much like you and I mentioned, self-defense needs to be something taught to women. I don’t know if firearms are the solution, but they should certainly be considered more often than they are now. Mace and simple self-defense tactics should be taught as well. Prevention itself is also a good thing that Spencer pointed out, I’ve been in a lot of places where my female friends would put themselves in honestly dangerous positions. I think particularly girls from the suburbs have a habit of assuming everywhere is as safe as their neighborhood back home, and that an assault simply couldn’t happen to them.

      Overall, I think the important thing is that people think about how to combat the issue in a more sophisticated and constructive way than is currently being done.

  3. I enjoyed your article Steve. I’m very active in the anti-feminist community, and I have been looking through a lot of blogs to find out why people think a certain way. Why do radical feminists believe certain circumstances are rape? Why do they believe that you can be raped without being touched? I just don’t understand.

    My response to many women and men on facebook is everything Spencer mentioned in his article. Why do these women have the “right” to call rape after making poor decisions? There is true rape, and there are cases where the woman is playing victim. Playing victim sadly happens more than actual rape, and both are issues of morality that needs a non-violent solution. Violence only creates more violence. I’ve witnessed this first hand living in a household with friends and in my family.

    How do you find women labeling the act of rape a cause of “rape culture?” How can rape have a culture? How can rape build a culture? I can see how rape can be PART of a culture, but I strongly believe that it isn’t part of America’s culture.

    Also, I have failed to find research that states by telling a joke, the contents of the joke is what you truly believe. That joking about it makes it okay for the people around you or you yourself to be that way. I find this extremely false, but cannot find research that proves nor disproves me. You can sit in a group of friends and joke about dead babies, but that doesn’t mean we’re all are going to go out and kill babies because we felt it is okay to do so simply because we told jokes. If you let a joke offend you, you’re giving the person who made the joke more initiative to provoke you and get a reaction. Reacting positively to a joke is all that it becomes.. A joke. A joke about rape is merely a joke, and the same goes for racism, sexism, antisemitism, bestiality, so on and so forth.

    I would really enjoy hearing your opinion on this subject.

  4. Pingback: The Highway of Tears | In Search of America

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