Stonewalling Rape: Police Can Investigate, But Will They?

This is a thorough analysis of the “Cops or STFU” perspective that stands in opposition to addressing sexual assaults

One thing that comes up over and over in discussing rape and how to stop it is the role of the criminal justice system.  Advocates for survivors are adamant that survivors don’t have to report and don’t have to use the system.  Many other people, for various reasons, think that survivors have an obligation to go to the police and prosecute.  Some of these people are well-intentioned, and others really just want to say that any survivor who does not report should be ignored. I’ve written at the greatest length about this specifically with reference to kinky communities, where the “cops or STFU” brigade is not well-intentioned, but rather mostly composed of people who know full well that successful prosecution is almost impossible, that contact with the police will be affirmatively awful for the survivor, and just want a rallying cry to shout down all survivors.

I won’t repeat…

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The Scarlet D: The Accusation of Deviance

And interesting to think about how in the Italian media there was a similar identity applied to Knox, yet Berlusconi can run for and be re-elected. Sadly, the application of labels are more universal than just our flawed social systems.

There’s a lot to say about this.

Interviewer Chris Cuomo basically says he’s about to be a creep, and then does it anyway, knowing it’s creepy.  This isn’t just because he’s a nasty guy.  If it were, I probably wouldn’t write a post about it.  It’s a larger social phenomenon.  Actually, like so many things, it’s several, and they intersect.

The Scarlet A

If we’re looking for stories about women whose sexual behavior violated social strictures and who paid a terrible price for it, we could probably go back forever.  Certainly, there’s no shortage of cultural tentpoles.  Think about the “great books” of the 19th century — Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, The Scarlet Letter.  (Hawthorne particularly pushed back, making Prynne essentially a paragon, but that’s a longer conversation …)

Since these are fictional, the label is always at least factually accurate. In reality, people tend to have incomplete and misleading information about…

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Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers

Important commentary on rape culture and the recent news from the Air Force, Cleveland, etc.

[Content Note for rape and kidnapping, and general rape culture.]

They look just like everybody else.

It’s not an easy thing to keep in your head.  Disney movies have taught us that villains look like villains.* But in real life, they look like everybody else.

Once they get caught, and we see a mugshot and they look like they were up all night drinking and then groped a stranger in a parking lot and were driven off by force, it’s easy to see them for what they are.  But in the office, before Jeff Krusinski got arrested, he looked like a normal person.  Someone gave him the job of heading up sexual assault prevention for the Air Force.  In hindsight, it seems like a cruel joke, or a deliberate effort to put the fox in charge of the henhouse.  Rather like putting a pedophile in charge of…

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So, two high school football players are going to spend some time in a juvenile detention facility for messing around with a drunk girl.  Maybe you’ve seen the stories and think, “Holy shit!  Could that be me?”

The answer is, it is completely easy for that to never be you.  You can make sure you never end up in Trent Mays’ position in three easy steps.  But first, there are some things you should know.

High school is still a place where, if folks know not everyone is straight, the social world revolves around the assumption that folks are straight (when I’m writing for a different audience I use the term “heteronormative.”) It’s also, like almost everywhere, cisnormative: folks assume that everybody is and wants to stay the gender they were assigned at birth and that everyone’s okay with binary gender.  Some folks are not.  In most high schools there are…

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Everything about this post is spot on. I wish other men would take this message to heart and share it with the other men in their lives.

Caught in the Cogs

Trigger Warnings.

In every conversation about rape I’ve encountered in the past months, whether I participated in the conversation or just observed, there have been at least one or two men who claim to have been falsely accused of rape themselves, so their argument remains that survivors can’t just name names “willy nilly.”

I have a theory which I would very much like to explore further. Judging from my own experience and the experience of countless survivors I’ve spoken with in addition to the staggering rape statistics for this country, I’ve made the hypothesis that most, like 94-98%, rape allegations are true, not false. Studies have shown this as well.

Accused rapists often don’t consider what they did as rape because they can’t see themselves as a rapist. It has also been proven that men do self-report if The R Word isn’t used in the description, as shown in Lisak…

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It’s time for men to get over themselves and recognize we are the beneficiaries of rape culture, even if you’ve never sexually assaulted someone. Any rape that goes unreported means that meaningful efforts to educate our young people are delayed or never happen. Let’s try standing in solidarity with victims, who despite the best efforts of law enforcement and support services, are no doubt re-traumatized by any efforts at prosecution. As men, we don’t need to take a knee-jerk reaction assuming that any sexual partner we’ve had would falsely accuse us of rape (that’s really where this fear mongering about false accusations is coming from after all). Instead, let’s live has decent human beings and recognize that rape happens, and it is terrible, and we should take an active role in preventing it and supporting those who are the victims of sexual assaults.

Rethink the Rant


The following includes commentary that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence.
Please be advised. 

In the wake of my post yesterday on the pervasiveness of rape culture, several people attempted to argue in the comment section that the piece was not complete without acknowledging the important idea of false rape accusations.

I attempted to explain that their argument had been intentionally excluded, as it is 1) not supported by data as a significant problem, and 2) the kind of apologism that made women fear disbelief should they come forward. The second part, I argued, was a perpetuation of rape culture, and I would not give them a platform for it. They argued. I presented data. They presented none, and tried to comment again and again.

And I decided I would no longer publish any comments which attempted to caveat rape culture with the…

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