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Old 04-10-2008, 12:52 PM   #41
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Why is there any more shame than there is for a person that was stabbed 5 times with a knife and lives.

A knife penetrating is not as bad?
No.
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:28 PM   #42
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Originally posted by Irvine511

does it trivialize rape to suggest that there are worse things?
I think to suggest that six months of beatings should be an easier choice trivializes it. I don't assume that was the intention, not at all. But there are worse things for practically any scenario that exists, so why even compare or ask that question? And I agree with meegannie about lumping in in with the drunken sex/regret scenario.

Personally I find it impossible to place myself in any sort of judgment regarding how someone who is raped should feel about it and how they should deal with it or anything about their lives or what could be/is worse than rape. I feel I don't have that right at all. Not saying people here are judging, I assume most are just giving thoughts and opinions.

Of course men can be raped but it's not the same for them, they don't live with that fear on a constant/consistent basis. So perhaps it's easier for them to think about it on a different level. But I do think I'm pretty certain that most women who are raped don't sit around thinking that six months of beatings (or anything else) would have been worse. I would think they are thinking about how to put themselves back together again and if they'll ever be able to, how to deal with depression/suicidal thoughts, etc. That's what my limited experience with someone who was has shown me.
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:29 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511


does it trivialize rape to suggest that there are worse things?
It depends on the context. I'm still unclear as to why deep introduced the comparison here:


Quote:
Originally posted by deep

Which example would I rather survive?

A. being locked up in a basement for 6 months and beat daily, for 6 months, but never sexually assaulted

or

B. being sexually assaulted (Raped) for 2 minutes
with no permanent physical damage
It seems completely irrelevant and rubs me the wrong way. I'd rather have arthritis than breast cancer but how is that relevant to a discussion of the pain of arthritis?

I'm personally uncomfortable with, almost offended by, the very use of the term "date rape." I do feel it trivializes the violent act that is rape. I know many women who were victims of the so-called "date rape," and what it meant was that they thought they were going on a date with someone they knew and liked, but ended up being sexually assaulted, with no drugs or alcohol involved. "Acquaintance rape" also hints it was perhaps a gray area, maybe the woman brought it on, maybe she flirted with him a few times, when it's really a violent act committed by someone who is not a complete stranger to the woman. I don't like these polite expressions around rape. It's all just RAPE.

A drunken night of he said/she said...well, I'm not saying gray areas don't occur. But the fact that a rape occurred on a date is still a rape, not the somehow less significant, "date rape."
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:15 PM   #44
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[B]
I think to suggest that six months of beatings should be an easier choice trivializes it. I don't assume that was the intention, not at all. But there are worse things for practically any scenario that exists, so why even compare or ask that question?

i suppose we all make comparisons. i'd rather die in a car accident than survive with horrible burns over most of my body and suffer through skin grafts and be disfigured for the rest of my life. of course i'd rather not have either happen, but i don't think the intention behind drawing out a comparison is to trivialize anything. but deep brought up the comparison, which i understood, but i suppose it's up to him to expound if he feels the need to. but i don't think he was saying, "cheer up, lass, it could have been worse."

what i think i'm getting from this is that there are some gender differences at play. i date(d) men, and in that sense, the likelihood of my being a rape victim is probably on par with many of the women in FYM, yet i really don't feel this issue to the same depth that many of the women in here seem to. it remains fairly unthinkable to me. i just can't imagine being overpowered by someone in that kind of context, unless there were a weapon involved, and it seems to me that would change the context altogether.

so maybe my being a man trumps my sexual orientation when it comes to this issue, and this is what i'm trying to understand here, how this crime functions psychologically, because it seems to me that that's what makes it separate from a straightforward assault.

there are absolutely no judgments here, no one is advocating that there's a right way and a wrong way to respond to anything. i also wonder if there aren't some age issues here. i was in college 10 years ago, and we've had the issue of date rape (i use the term because it is used) as a part of our lives. during freshman orientation, we had a guest speaker, Katie Koestner:



it was extremely powerful, and looking at the Time article, what strikes me is the title of the story: "No Visible Bruises."

and i think that's what's getting to the heart of what might be some misunderstanding. when you think of, say, someone being "beaten, raped, and murdered," it's a violent, bloody imagine that comes to mind. but when you think about a situation like this -- the far more common situation, the situation that often involves alcohol and drugs -- it just feels like a different sort of crime. and yet, not so different at all. the definition of what is and isn't rape -- forced sexual activity with an unwilling partner -- stays the same whether it's in a dorm room or at gunpoint in a park.



[q]Of course men can be raped but it's not the same for them, they don't live with that fear on a constant/consistent basis. So perhaps it's easier for them to think about it on a different level.[/q]


and maybe that gets to the heart of it all. the only time my guard is up in a physical sense is when i'm walking through an area of DC (or any other city) where my outward appearance indicates that, yes, if you mug me, you'll get cash, an iPod, maybe my laptop.

so perhaps it's this sense of fear, of being guarded, that i only feel in very specific situations, is something that women live with in a way that men -- straight or gay -- really don't have to, and really have a tough time totally relating to. and maybe that touches upon why some, if presented the "would you rather ..." situation, would choose torture over rape, or are insulted by the suggestion.

i've tried to go swimming since my accident, and i've found it thoroughly unpleasant. i simply don't go into swimming pools any more. it's a bummer, since i loved swimming, but i am fully able to avoid that constant sense of dread and unease that i get when i tried to get back in the water. but the sense i'm getting is that the dread stays with you.

but now i'm wondering if i should even post this at all. if the response is going to be the same -- "you don't understand/how could you suggest such a thing -- and that i'll feel like an idiot for trying to explore this.

i just think, as evidenced by the responses in this thread and the gender of those who've responded, that there is something here, and that we'd do better to unpack it the best way we can.
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:20 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
I'm personally uncomfortable with, almost offended by, the very use of the term "date rape." I do feel it trivializes the violent act that is rape. I know many women who were victims of the so-called "date rape," and what it meant was that they thought they were going on a date with someone they knew and liked, but ended up being sexually assaulted, with no drugs or alcohol involved. "Acquaintance rape" also hints it was perhaps a gray area, maybe the woman brought it on, maybe she flirted with him a few times, when it's really a violent act committed by someone who is not a complete stranger to the woman. I don't like these polite expressions around rape. It's all just RAPE.

A drunken night of he said/she said...well, I'm not saying gray areas don't occur. But the fact that a rape occurred on a date is still a rape, not the somehow less significant, "date rape."
I don't like the term either, which is why I put it in quotes. But what I was describing does happen and it does sometimes lead to rape accusations. This happened with a female friend of mine in college who, under pressure from her roommates to tell them what had happened with her boyfriend yesterday that left her so depressed, burst into tears and managed to get out that he'd "made me have sex with him," at which they talked her into reporting it, which she was very reluctant to do. But by the evening of the same day, she was in tears again and telling them she needed to go back to the police, that she should never have reported it, that that wasn't really what had happened, it was just that the two of them had been arguing a lot the day before and when they went out at night, "I wanted to have sex, but then I didn't" but made a decision to go along with it anyway. She had never, *by her own admission*--at least by that point--in any way indicated to him that she was unwilling, though perfectly capable of having done so at the time.

So, what do you call something like that? I don't see it as a "false accusation", to me that suggests a conscious fabrication. I think she was under a lot of stress and felt used and angry (at herself as well as the boyfriend) that he'd been insensitive enough to think getting a little buzzed and having sex would be an OK way to follow up a day filled with some pretty intense arguments, then when her roommates started well-intentionedly pressuring her it was kind of like a dam bursting and for a brief time she literally believed what they were able to get out of what little she said. Unfortunately she hadn't fully thought through and confronted her own confused feelings about the whole situation yet. This kind of thing happens. Her case was not unique.

But I completely agree that whether or not a rape happens on a "date" has nothing intrinsic to do with how traumatic it is, and I would consider forcing yourself on someone to be by definition violent, whether it causes physical harm or not, whether you know them and have had sex with them before or not. Forcing is forcing.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:38 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl


It depends on the context. I'm still unclear as to why deep introduced the comparison here:




It seems completely irrelevant and rubs me the wrong way. I'd rather have arthritis than breast cancer but how is that relevant to a discussion of the pain of arthritis?

Is there any shame or stigma attached to breast cancer?


do you think there are people that would rather have brain cancer

than a curable STD?
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:58 PM   #47
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Originally posted by deep


Is there any shame or stigma attached to breast cancer?


do you think there are people that would rather have brain cancer

than a curable STD?
Is there any way you can address something without asking a question as your response?

I could have just as easily said I'd rather have a broken arm than seasonal allergies. There is in fact shame in breast cancer but that was not in any way my point. I would rather deal with the medical treatment associated with arthritis than with the medical treatment of any kind of cancer--breast, brain, colon, pancreatic, throat, ovarian--but that does not have anything to do with the reality of a person's suffering of arthritis.

So I'm not clear why your first comment in this thread was that you'd rather be raped for 2 minutes than tortured for 6 months.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:06 PM   #48
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Please understand

I am not trying to minimize rape

any rape

date rape

to brutal, aggravated assault rape

all rapists should be severely punished.

I have survived many things

if I had HIV
I hope I would reject any stigma or guilt society or institutions would want to pile on me.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:06 PM   #49
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Originally posted by yolland

I don't like the term either, which is why I put it in quotes. But what I was describing does happen and it does sometimes lead to rape accusations. This happened with a female friend of mine in college who, under pressure from her roommates to tell them what had happened with her boyfriend yesterday that left her so depressed, burst into tears and managed to get out that he'd "made me have sex with him," at which they talked her into reporting it, which she was very reluctant to do. But by the evening of the same day, she was in tears again and telling them she needed to go back to the police, that she should never have reported it, that that wasn't really what had happened, it was just that the two of them had been arguing a lot the day before and when they went out at night, "I wanted to have sex, but then I didn't" but made a decision to go along with it anyway. She had never, *by her own admission*--at least by that point--in any way indicated to him that she was unwilling, though perfectly capable of having done so at the time.

So, what do you call something like that? I don't see it as a "false accusation", to me that suggests a conscious fabrication. I think she was under a lot of stress and felt used and angry (at herself as well as the boyfriend) that he'd been insensitive enough to think getting a little buzzed and having sex would be an OK way to follow up a day filled with some pretty intense arguments, then when her roommates started well-intentionedly pressuring her it was kind of like a dam bursting and for a brief time she literally believed what they were able to get out of what little she said. Unfortunately she hadn't fully thought through and confronted her own confused feelings about the whole situation yet. This kind of thing happens. Her case was not unique.
I don't know what you call this either except fucked up. These complicated scenarios aren't uncommon, I agree, and I have no answer for you. I just feel like when a lot of people hear the term "date rape," there is something that makes it sound not legitimate.
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:28 AM   #50
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wouldn't you guys, too, be less likely to tell friends, family and coworkers--perhaps even the police--if you'd been raped? as opposed to, say, sharing with them that you got that black eye and busted lip when some asshole punched you to the ground then took your wallet last night? The act just conveys something different, and both victim and perpetrator know it.
Yes, I wouldn't want to tell people if I'd been raped.

I think Irvine is right. I don't think men ever worry/think about being raped so it's often hard for us to relate.

BUT. . .I think if we thought about how we would feel if we were, then it would be easier to relate.
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Old 04-13-2008, 12:09 AM   #51
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I think that these shirts, though maybe not the best way, are one of the ways to go about increasing awareness of sexual assault against women in our society. Anything that does that has my support. As a college aged male, here are my thoughts: We tend to think of rape victims as someone else, we dont consider them the girl next door, or in my case, the beautiful blonde down the hallway in the next college suite. We dont consider a rape victim a mother going to pick up her kid or that nice looking brunette that we work with. Things like this show how widespread and unfortunately, how normal it is for women we know to be sexually assaulted. I have never bought for a second some of the claims of my peers that 'she owed it to me' or she was asking for it wearing that tank top and dress, etc, etc. I go to an upper middle class Catholic college with its share of great looking, intelligent and flirtatious girls who like to have a good time. Plenty have dressed scantily, talked to me, talked to my friends, been alone with me walking back to places at night, etc all while impaired to various degrees by alcohol. None of them, unfortunately have ever made any kind of advances toward me, so I would NEVER even consider touching, grabbing much less sexually assaulting a girl no matter how she dressed, how good looking she was or how much alcohol she had consumed. I am not the strongest person in the world, but I do lift weights quite a bit and I am like most guys, significantly stronger than most of the girls I go to school with- I and most other guys would be absolute cowards for overpowering a girl and having sex against her will. I agree, Irvine, it is hard for men to relate and I though I am no raging feminist or guilty male type, etc, I could not imagine having to live in fear of being sexually assaulted every time I am out somewhere alone.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:11 AM   #52
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I am not the strongest person in the world, but I do lift weights quite a bit and I am like most guys, significantly stronger than most of the girls I go to school with
I think that line right there hits at the heart of why rape -- or at least the threat/fear of it is so different for men than women, even though both can be raped.

Never having been a man I'm just guessing, but I bet most men feel if they were attacked they would have a pretty good chance of being able to fend off the attack -- even with no special training. The vast majority of women on the other hand -- no matter how physically fit or strong -- are going to be at a distinct disadvantage against just about any male attacker, and we know it. I think knowing you are always vulnerable makes a huge difference in the way women perceive rape. I also think that is part of where the shame in being raped comes from too -- not being able to defend yourself in a lot of the situations.

And now there seems to be a greater push for women to fight if attacked, so there is also that unspoken (and sometimes it is spoken) comment "you should have fought/fought harder" which intensifies that feeling of shame. So now not only do women have to deal with the "what did you do to bring this on?" comments but also the "you could have gotten away if you'd just tried harder."

A lot of guilt and shame comes with rape that doesn't come with being stabbed. It shouldn't be that way, but it is.
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:29 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

if the response is going to be the same -- "you don't understand/how could you suggest such a thing -- and that i'll feel like an idiot for trying to explore this.
I'm a little confused, that's not what I meant and you shouldn't feel like an "idiot". That is my response though, and I can't change it I do think that the gender trumps orientation and whatever other issues there are, but that certainly doesn't mean at all that men can't/don't understand and that we can't have a dialogue about it. But they do have to try to see it from a woman's point of view as far as living with that fear goes-that's a great starting point. It is exactly what you talked about, about the pool and the dread being there all the time and the response to that dread. That's a very good context to place it in.

We do need to have a dialogue about it to bring it out into the open, because there is still shame and misunderstanding.
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