Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rape Culture 101

By Connie Chastain*

There is no epidemic of rape, no rape culture, just as hatred of women is not pervasive in the USA. That's what I believe, based on observable evidence. Rape is a crime, well-defined in most statutes, as are the penalties for it. It is an awful crime and to mythologize it for socio-political purposes is to show little or no sympathy for the actual victims of rape.

Judging by what we can learn from the cases documented on this blog, people who falsely accuse someone of rape (usually a woman accusing a man) do so for extremely selfish reasons, and without regard for (a) truth and (b) the consequences of their lie on the falsely accused, and others.

But "rape culture" is something else entirely. While there's a certain element of selfishness in the victim mentality, rape culture is a construct fabricated for one primary purpose: the stereotyping of both sexes to the advantage of one. Women are victims, men are victimizers. The brutal rapist serving thirty years in a penitentiary is everyman. He differs from the fellow who passes you on the street only because the latter either hasn't had the opportunity yet, or hasn't been caught.

The reason I don't buy into the rape culture is because it engages in the blanket evilization of men, just as its overarching philosophy, feminism, does. That's why there is such resistance in feminist circles to acknowledging anything good about men.

Look at a typical feminist website. The ones that acknowledge this fact--that the vast majority of men are not rapists--are few and far between. Do these feminists not know that most rape laws designed to protect women were written by men, enforced by men, and the crime of rape is largely prosecuted by men? That throughout history, when women were protected from rape, men were doing the protecting?

In the United States, the number of men who rape is probably vanishingly small. I say probably because an actual figure is difficult to pin down with on-line searches. Oh, you can find all kinds of statistics, particularly those expressed as percentages (such-and-such percent of rapists are repeaters, thus-and-so percent knew their victims, etc., etc., etc.).

But if you want to know how many of the 144 million men in the USA are rapists, good luck trying to pin it down. The search for the figure has been so maddening for me, I've thrown in the towel and I'm issuing a challenge to the readers of The False Rape Society. If you know of, or can find, a reasonably reliable web source with this figure, please post it in the comments.

I'm not hopeful you'll have any more luck than I did because true believers in the rape culture aren't interested in realities like data and statistics. My guess is that the number of male rapists is a small fraction of the number of men in the United States and the fraction is not threatening enough to besmirch the vast number of American men who do not rape. Therefore, others ways must be found to besmirch them. One of them -- voila!-- is rape culture, which can encompass whatever a feminists decide to build into it, up to and including, the kitchen sink.

Photo by C. Ward

Well, okay, I'm being a smartaleck. I haven't found a feminist site that includes kitchen sinks as an element of rape culture. But what is included is quite breathtaking. And what it all boils down and adds up to is the slander of men.

Regardless of the talk about empowerment, choice, rights, opportunity for women and other window dressing, ad nauseum, misandry is the heart and soul of feminism, and the motivation behind the rape culture construct.

*Connie is a regular contributor to FRS. Her principal blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com/