Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

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tomokun
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Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby tomokun » Wed Jan 4, 17:36 2017

So, my apologies for bringing this up, but I'm trying to process this topic/conundrum and honestly - this forum is the best bunch of feminists I've ever encountered.

Like, anywhere.

You've managed to build a great community where people can discuss and debate, and yet people can still feel like they are in a safe space. Which is fucking magical.

I've learned a lot, and while I don't identify as a Feminist, I DO identify as Feminist Friendly and a Feminist ally (depending on the specific wave of feminism a topic or person endorses).

I say all this to frame what is going to be very contentious here, I think.

Is it possible for someone like me to honestly criticize the idea of "rape culture" because I feel it is not useful for solving the very real problem of rape and sexual assault? I think the whole concept improperly frames the problem, putting a greater emphasis on things that require decades to engineer change rather than the short-term solutions that could be enacted today. I say it packages the problem poorly for mass consumption and does little to emphasize the nuances that concepts like Kyriarchy bring to the table.

This doesn't strike me as an "unfeminist" or "anti-feminist" stance. Maybe I'm uninformed or wrong, but maybe I'm not. It's not like I'm going to find that out by not talking about it. It's not like self-identified Feminists on occasion don't agree, they do. All of the available evidence and arguments I've encountered on this specific issue have done little to shift my perspective.

But... and this is the kicker... those conversations where disagreement doesn't turn into making me out to be a misogynist puppet for the patriarchy are few and far between. I think it's like 1 in 10 feminists acknowledge I'm making a reasonable argument, and the other 9/10 want to burn me in effigy.

The 1 out of 10, they ask lots of questions.

The 9 out of 10, they don't.

Thanks to my schooling here, and some very firm boundary setting by the mods, I should point out that I've never violated a safe space since. I bring up the topic ONLY when I feel I am in a conversation where it's ok to bring up controversy. But every time I bring that point out... I'm either reviled or give a kudos. No middle ground whatsoever.

Man, I was hoping I'd be able to process this before I had to hit the submit button... but I guess not. Would love the feedback.

For context, what brought this up was a conversation about whether rape jokes could be funny. It's controversial, sure, but it wasn't MY topic, and my response was about the subjectivity of humor and why it's important to let artists play in the murkier areas of morality. Then someone brought up rape culture and how could I belittle it... and yeah.

Also, for what its worth, I offered and asked multiple times if I needed to bring that conversation elsewhere... which no one took me up on. So yes. I did my best to respect a safe space if there was one... and even that effort was turned into me being "pedantic". *sigh*

Fuck it. Even if this thread gets deleted, thanks for the opportunity to talk about this. My fiancee HATES conversations like these, and it's good to know that even if/when this is taken the worst possible way, that at least I felt I had somewhere to go. Seriously, as ridiculous as it sounds right now I am tearing up at the fact that as contentious as I can be, I still feel safer here than anywhere else online.

It's really good to feel like you have somewhere to go when you can't make heads or tails of things. It's why I hesitated to even bring this up here... but it's also why I feel like I could. Because if I was wrong to, it'll be handled fairly.

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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby Pikachu » Wed Jan 4, 19:08 2017

I've yet to see any evidence to show that modern feminism reduces rape.

Sweden and Iceland are commonly agreed as the two most feminist countries in the world, yet:

http://grapevine.is/mag/articles/2009/0 ... n-iceland/

Sexual violence seems to be somewhat of an epidemic in Iceland. The fact of the matter is that, aside from Greenland, Iceland holds the record for sex crimes in the Nordic countries. Sad, kind of scary, but true nonetheless. Let’s take a look at some hard facts: an average of ten rapes get reported per 100,000 inhabitants in Denmark, Finland and Norway per year. In Iceland, this number reaches 24. Also, a notably higher percentage of Icelandic children experience sexual violence before the age of 16 compared to the other Nordic countries.


http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/top-5-countrie ... pe-1434355

Sweden has the highest rate of rape in Europe, with the UN reporting 69 rape cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011, according to author and advocate of power feminism Naomi Wolf on opinion website Project Syndicate.

In 2010, Swedish police recorded the highest number of offences - about 63 per 100,000 inhabitants - of any force in Europe. That was the second highest in the world after Lesotho.

"According to rape crisis advocates in Sweden, one-third of Swedish women have been sexually assaulted by the time they leave their teens. According to a study published in 2003, and other later studies through 2009, Sweden has the highest sexual assault rate in Europe, and among the lowest conviction rates," Wolf wrote.

A 2010 Amnesty report said: "In Sweden, according to official crime statistics, the number of reported rapes has quadrupled during the past 20 years. In 2008, there were just over 4,000 rapes of people over 15, the great majority of them girls and women."

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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby Taurwen » Thu Jan 5, 12:08 2017

I've never personally researched the Nordic rape epidemic. But when I've asked some Swedish people I know they all kinda shrug it off with the reasoning of "We consider a wider variety of things sexual assault, and women here are more comfortable reporting incidents." which kinda sounds like feminism is helping with rape culture since it makes it less acceptable.

As for the original post, I think you should be able to bring up those points, however it is a hard subject and it's easy to just push it away in disgust. Unfortunate but on a day to day basis I think it's understandable.

(And to what brought it on I think most rape jokes are just incredibly unfunny. Very unoriginal and often not jokes just something said for shock value and I reserve the right to criticize any comedians bad jokes.)

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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby Meperidine » Thu Jan 5, 12:52 2017

Our culture is our shared belief system, our mythology, our normal. "The rape culture conversation" starts with noticing elements of culture that normalize and accept rape, sympathize with rapists, and put victims on trial. It's easier not to notice those elements the less they affect you; when you do notice them, they start to jump out at you. After noticing they're everywhere, you start criticizing and opposing them, and when you meet someone who says "that's not really a thing though, is it?" you want to convince them otherwise, and the rape culture conversation continues.

If you are looking for information, I'd like to recommend a couple works that opened my eyes on this subject: Real Rape by Susan Estrich, and Jean Kilbourne's "Killing Us Softly" documentary series.
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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby Sonic# » Thu Jan 5, 16:20 2017


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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby tomokun » Thu Jan 5, 19:06 2017

Thank you everyone for your responses so far.

I half-considered just taking the whole post down last night, but figured if I was being an ass I'm better off owning it and apologizing. My own bad day notwithstanding, I considered how this post might hurt others... questioned if I was being overly emotional because of the holidays and.... stuff.... and here we are.

And yes, I agree there are far more unfunny rape jokes than funny rape jokes. Being shocking to be shocking gets you the artistic performances of "Jack Ass" and "Jerry Springer". But I think folks like Louis C.K. do an amazing job of navigating those arenas.

Mep, thank you for those works, I will look into them. :) *sigh* Just a note - when looking for the book by Susan Estrich, don't just Google the title. I found this out the hard way, and I'm just grateful no one was able to look over my shoulder when I did.

Also, thank you for your explanation as to why I get such push-back from Feminists when something that touches on Rape Culture comes up. Makes perfect sense.

But to be clear - my problem with the concept of Rape Culture isn't how it references these elements of culture, but rather the magnitude of the impact these elements have. That is one of the reasons I reference kyriarchy because I think that does a better job of framing the problems of Rape Culture than the actual concept of rape culture.

One of the analogies I use is murder - how much of an impact does the normalization of murder have on the murder rate in our society?

Enough to justify removing murder from our movies, video games, legal system, and the dozen or so different ways we reference legal and justifiable murder? Would framing the problem of murder in our society as a cultural issue help to substantively decrease the murder rate?

I just don't see clear answers arriving from that process.

Point being, it would be fair to call this a "nit-pick", but it would also be fair to say that it's a great point so long as there is something positive being offered up in its place, which I have also thought about.

Sonic, you never fail to provide excellent insights. I DO credit the concept as one which has been excellent for galvanizing conversation. That is a fair and excellent point that shouldn't be missed. My concern with the concept is one that you point out, "they accept it as an intractable problem". I believe that a large part of the reason they accept it as intractable is because the concept of Rape Culture itself makes shifting the culture the only real solution, which is something I couldn't possibly disagree with more.

I'd really like you to expand on this here, because I feel like you might be speaking a bit over my head: "At the same time I think efforts to collapse all of this into short-term efficacy denies the ground for further inquiry and understanding. If you don't like rape culture, but wish to shut down the spaces where that talk flourishes, then better theories of rape culture can't be made."

To be clear, I don't wish to shut down the spaces where that talk flourishes. Hell, at this point I think it would be impractical to "rebrand" the concept. I actually think maybe defining the limits of what that term refers to, corralling it by making it more nuanced might help? I honestly don't know how to deal with it, which is why I mostly try to focus my conversation around the positive action that I think should be talked about instead of Rape Culture... but when it does come up.... the conversation just implodes. And because it frames the wider conversation, it's hard to tip-toe around it. But maybe some of my confusion is because I didn't understand that part I quoted. :p

Oh, and Pika.... that is also something I think about. I wouldn't mind drilling into that a bit deeper, in different areas... but... that's a big field to be mining and the data isn't is as nice and neat as I'd like it to be. Part of me wonders if the numbers are far more skewed than we realize because we our ability to collect data has gotten more precise, which is changing attitudes and mindsets and perceptions, which is not being included as part of the "trend" we are tracking.

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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby Enigma » Thu Jan 5, 21:35 2017

Pikachu - rape numbers are often very dependent on how easy and effective reporting rape is in a country. My understanding is that in Sweden each rape is counted individually. So for example in a case of domestic violence someone could be charged 100 times when in another country that would be 1 charge. This skews the numbers. Also when was there a meeting to decide most feminist country? I missed that memo.

Tomokun - you say you have concerns about the concept but you don't expand on what they are. I find rape culture to be a useful term to describe certain truths about the way our society handles things so I disagree. But I would be interested in your reasoning. I personally hate (bad - read: most) rape jokes but I agree that some people like Louis ck do okay with them. Mind you I'm not into a lot of tasteless cruel comedy. Sounds like we agree there.
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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby kitkatkar » Fri Jan 6, 0:14 2017


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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby tomokun » Fri Jan 6, 15:25 2017


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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby Sonic# » Fri Jan 6, 16:55 2017


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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby kitkatkar » Fri Jan 6, 18:55 2017


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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby Enigma » Sat Jan 7, 12:44 2017

"Human beings are amazing... we might be horrible, horrible, but we're wonderful too. Otherwise, why go on?"

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Re: Dredging Up The Rape Culture Conversation Part 4Billion

Postby tomokun » Mon Jan 9, 11:42 2017



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