Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Male bonding leads to rape . . . Say what?

From The Daily Pennsylvanian:

Last night, fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu hosted Anthropology professor Peggy Sanday in a discussion about the prevalence of rape in the United States and specifically on college campuses.

Sanday spoke to a group of SAM brothers about her book, Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus. She described how her work on rape began in 1983, when one of her students reported being raped by six fraternity brothers on Penn’s campus.


According to Sanday, the general attitude towards rape at the time was that if the victim was incapacitated at a party, she “deserved what happened to her.” Sanday said this stereotype and the reactions of the University community to that incident spawned her search for justice for rape victims.


Her book focuses on the social distinctions between “rape-free” and “rape-prone” societies. Sanday’s definition of a “rape-prone” society is one in which there is male social and sexual dominance and a premium placed on male bonding — for example, in college fraternities. Sanday emphasized that she considers the United States among these “rape-prone” societies.

Read the rest here: http://thedp.com/article/peggy-sanday-event-addresses-rape-culture

Let us stop there and come up for air.

Did you catch the last part -- from a professor, no less? A society that, among other things, places a premium on male bonding, as college fraternities do, is prone to rape. Am I dreaming this? And I am presuming there were young men sitting there listening while this utter bullshit was served up, without protest?

First, a few words about the alleged male social and sexual dominance. How does she define "dominance"? Does "dominance" mean the gender that puts the needs of the members of the other gender above its own in return for sexual favors? If so, then I suppose males are "dominant" in this culture. Does she mean physically dominant? Or, dominant in terms of being risk takers? In terms of being the ones who drive the vast majority of innovation, invention, ingenuity? Guilty as charged. You see, professor, men woke up one day, called a meeting at the urinals, and decided we were going to be the dominant sex. Right. Biology plays no part in any of this so-called "dominance," does it? And if it does, I suppose we should deny what comes natural to us, right, professor?

But let's get back to this male bonding. In saner times, male bonding was viewed as a positive thing, positive because of the male tendency for stoicism and to not share their emotions and all that. Just as the female desire to get drunk and sleep around was viewed as a negative. The "rules" have changed, and now young women are encouraged to act like sluts and idiots and young men are shamed not just for their physical attraction to women but . . . for male bonding?

I suppose when you view the male gender as oppressors, it's best to divide men from one another and make sure they don't bond.

Just tell me, am I dreaming this?