Men. Boys. Teenage boys. Do not rape. Don’t sexually assault. Do not sexually harass. Do not touch anyone’s genitals without their permission or consent. If they are unconscious or out of it — drunk, high, otherwise disoriented — that means no. She could be your girlfriend or wife. If she can’t say yes, then that’s a no.
If you see other guys crossing the line, stand up. Say something. If you’re around your friends and they’re making jokes that make you think, “This would be funny if Quagmire said it but in real life — not cool.” Say something to steer the conversation off that track.
Do no harm. Do no rape. Protect others from harm. Protect others from rape.
The good news is that this type of behavior is being called out. Victims of alleged rape being called whores, sluts and snitches. By other girls!
It’s real “Lord of the Flies” out there.
I don’t use terms of victim blaming and victim shaming. To be honest, in some circles my views would be considered victim blaming.
I do believe that we have to do our best to avoid shady situations, but no one can keep their guard up all the time. But it’s those times when you let your guard down that predators are counting on. No one deserves to be raped. No matter how drunk, high (or drugged) they are. No matter what they’re wearing. Even if they’re knowingly hanging out with registered sex offenders, no one deserves to be raped.
But be safe. Look out for each other. Do what you have to do to enjoy life and minimize the chances of being assaulted, sexually assaulted, robbed, murdered, carjacked whatever.
Because telling people to not commit crimes doesn’t step them from committing crimes. If we are living in a rape culture, then plan accordingly. Assuming that can be changed, it will take generations. There has always been rape. There will always be rape as long as it’s physically possible and whenever the social situation deteriorates. Because there will always be sociopaths and dysfunction and cruelty. Not everywhere all the time, of course. But too close and too often.
The Pick Up Artists
A while ago I posted on my Facebook wall because I was annoyed by all the guys who were posting sexual innuendo on my female Facebook friends walls. I was basically saying let’s treat the women in our lives and on Facebook with some respect. Flirting is cool. Got no problem with flirting. But responding to every post with some roundabout reference to your crotch is harassment. And these are adults!
Obviously, I don’t know the dynamics of all the relationships of these people so it’s not my place to intervene. I just wanted to say it. And if it annoys my female friends to have everything they say sexualized, then they could “Like” my post or share it or whatever and these guys can take that as a hint. It would give my female friends an “in” to say, “Okay, that’s enough. You’re funny but cool it.”
I also noticed that there’s a lot of “pick up artist” type behavior going on. Do you know about this? These “Pick Up” communities? There are online books you can by and online groups for men to discuss and work on “pick up” techniques. There’a a few different ones now.
- One thing is to insult the woman you’re interested in. The point is to challenge her, put her off guard and create tension. Lightheartedly point out a physical flaw or make fun of something she’s wearing.
- If you’re interested in a woman, approach another woman in the group first.
- Separate a woman from the “herd” with your body language and physical placement.
- Drop subtle sexually ambiguous language in your conversation to make subconsciously think about sex.
And so on. In theory, it’s “how to be confident, charismatic and cocky in an appealing way”.
I hear that it’s actually kind of effective. It helps to think of it as sport. You go out just for the purpose of practicing. Maybe see how many phone numbers you can get in a night.
Technically, no harm no foul. I can’t get into it, though, because it’s kind of creepy. Well … one I’m not much of a people person. But also I’m not into manipulating people. The whole point of these techniques is to become some kind of svengali where women react to your mannerisms and social techniques to the point where they find themselves responding to you romantically/sexually in spite of what their logical brain is telling them.
As I read somewhere, even if they know the techniques and know what you’re doing, they still won’t be able to help themselves because this works on such a fundamental level. Theoretically.
I am NOT equating all this with sexual assault. But I’m pointing out that the attitude of women as sport …
And then you’ve got a generation of kids being raised on or groomed by hardcore gonzo online porn. If their worldview is being shaped by what’s online? Holy crap.
By the time a kid reaches their tween years they could already have advanced fetishes that they’re looking to eventually act out.
Then you add in social hierarchy, elevated social status (due to sports or wealth or connections or whatever), difference in age, social pressure, peer pressure, and my god. It stresses me out sometimes to think of what young people are often coping with and navigating.
And too many kids are having to find their own code of ethics and morals as they go along because we adults sure as hell aren’t doing them any favors. It’s no wonder middle and high school have a “Lord of the Flies” vibe going on.
By the way, this is not to say that previous generations didn’t have issues, but we/they didn’t have the freedom, money, independence, internet, and cell phone with private communications with whoever and whenever. All of that ups and the ante.
I hope that these young women who have been violated and had the fortitude to make an accusation are seeing beyond the online attacks. Or the rejection and ostracization they must experience around school. I hope they never see the venal, petty attacks. But if they do, I hope they see the support they have. That people stand behind them to tell the truth.
I hope they understand that no matter who they were with or how they were dressed or what they drank or where they were or if they passed out, that they did not deserve to be violated. Even if they’re sexually active that doesn’t make them a whore or slut. (The guys who are sexually active aren’t insulted and verbally abused because they have sex. How the heck does that double standard work??)
I hope they can see through all of the bullcrap.
I hope they have unconditional support on their side.
Anyway, I’ve been reading feminist blogs again (I said I would quit) and inside that bubble they’ve been making a point of shifting the focus to the behavior of the men. Not the alleged victims. It’s a fair point.
We accept the fact that some men are going to rape like I did a few paragraphs ago. But we accept it to the point of not questioning if it’s possible to change this behavior in men. I don’t think that people think it’s okay to rape. But when it happens we try to find ways to rationalize it or deny it or compartmentalize it, and we do so at the cost of the victim/survivor.
Teach them well. Raise them with purpose. A little Golden Rule would go a long way.