The people who are claiming that the United States is a ‘rape culture’ say that it is for some of the following reasons: 1) women are taught not to get raped, instead of men being taught not to rape, 2) women are objectified and oppressed, and 3) rape victims are blamed for their rape, instead of the rapist being blamed. In response to those claims: I would be very interested in meeting your average American parent/teacher that encourages their male child/student to rape women. The average male does not rape, nor has a desire to. What this means is: the ‘average’ male does not need to be sat down one day and told that ‘raping is bad’ anymore than the average female. To assume that every male has to be taught that raping is bad assumes that the male’s natural state is a rapist. All of that aside, men and boys ARE taught that ‘raping is bad’ because it is completely illegal and advocated against on all sides. Anyone who has done basic research into who rapes and why would have learned that rape is not an issue sexual desire, it is about power and a desire to harm- there are very specific types of people who rape. This line of thinking also excludes the reality that men and boys are also raped by other men, it is not just women and to assume and preach otherwise is not only unjust, but hypocritical.
The members of our species have been raping, enslaving and killing each other since our dawn, we are not so evolved yet past our ‘need’ for violence. According to the US Department of Justice men are victims of violence MORE than women by 10% overall annually, and much more in certain areas of violence like being hit, or threatened with a weapon. Most men are instructed from day one that they need to not only protect themselves from violence, but also must protect women. Those committing violent crimes are by a vast majority male, but so are their victims (in most areas). Women are victims of rape (both completed and attempted) more than men, but as children both males and females are victims of sexual violence on a nearly even level. Sexual violence against males decreases with age from infant hood to puberty, and increases for females, peaking around age 14. Men are raped less than women, yes, but to disregard those that are is ignorant and unjust, and leaves room to use the idea of rape for one’s own purposes.
Why shouldn’t women be taught to defend themselves against the attacks of others? Why do most women feel that it is an injustice for them to be expected to defend themselves? Men are expected to be able to defend themselves and that social expectation makes it so when a man gets raped or physically attacked he is even less likely than a female victim to report the crime even if it occurred during his childhood.
The FBI did not change the definition of rape to include men until 2012. Let me say that again: men could not be legally raped until last year when the FBI updated its definition of rape for the first time in 83 years. Think on that.
Women are objectified as sexual objects in America, yes…but: who isn’t? This is not about ‘victim blaming’ or ‘excuses for men to rape women’, this is about the social repercussions of objectification, this is about reality. It does not matter what a woman is wearing when she gets raped, babies are raped, old people are raped, women in burkas are raped, men are raped etc., etc. There is nothing wrong with a woman wearing ‘whatever she wants’. However, what you must understand is that if a woman, girl, boy or man is wearing something specifically designed to make their breasts (falsies) appear larger, fuller, perkier, and it squeezes them together and pushes them up and out…that is participating and advocting for your own objectification. Wearing pants designed to accentuate the vulva and ass (dick and balls) IS objectifying yourself. That is what it means. If it became a trend that straight men wore a strappy device designed to make their balls appear larger, fuller, perkier, and it squeezed them together and pushed them up-wouldn’t that also be objectification (think codpiece)? Objectification effects all of us and it has nothing to do with rape.
Any person that claims that only women are ‘objectified’ by the media, society, and their peers need to 1) open their eyes, 2) stop being an idiot. Check out the new Captain America movie for an example: the character Steve (before he becomes Captain America) is CGed to look scrawny, and is taunted, ridiculed, beat up, laughed at, can’t get chicks, and used as the butt of constant jokes about his weakness and unattractive state…but once he is physically powerful–all oiled up, filled out, and throwing bad guys around-he gets the girl and he is the typical hero. This is seen in nearly every form of media; male models, superheroes, etc. You think that Barbie, or females in video games are designed to oppress women, but you do not even notice the male counterparts to those characters? Please.
Female genital mutilation is something that the entire country is horrified by and speaks out against. The very idea of slicing a poor females genitals for the purpose of aesthetic beauty is revolting, isn’t it? The idea of slicing bits off of male’s genitals, however, well: that is just common place and medically necessary, right? No. Educate yourself.
Another aspect of this is the oppression that women experience in this country and the reason for the push of feminism. However: women are not just oppressed by men, not in this country, not in this time period. Women have been historically oppressed by men, that should never be denied but neither should the reality of today be. There are women that speak out, vote, and advocate against abortion and birthcontrol right along side men, there are women who think that other women should just stay at home and make babies, etc. Women advocate for sexual segregation as much if not more than men: separate bathrooms, separate duties (aside from the physically obvious; men cannot birth nor nurse babies), separate sports teams and competitions, etc. What does equality look like? It most certainly does not look like the feminism being advocated for by many in this country today. This movement is not looking for equality it is looking for domination and special treatment. Women get paid less than male counterparts on specific fields because they are not doing the same work as the men. Women are not chomping at the bit for construction or plumbing jobs, why exactly do you think that they should be exempt from an expectation to be capable of physical labor (a standard demanded of men)? To feel that one should not have to defend themselves from violence, (which is a fact of our species and world) while others are expected to be able to, to feel that a man should perform certain favors to gain sexual ones from a woman, to say: “if a woman hits a man, he should never hit her back,” to claim that being raped is an exclusively female victimhood, or that only women are expected to look and act a certain way IS NOT EQUALITY.
Every male in the United States is required by law to register for the Selective Service. Every young man who is capable is expected to go out there and die for his country in the event of a draft. Is it equality that women are not subject to this requirement?
If we are going to get anywhere in regards to egalitarianism, we must embrace the facts of our species and these situations so that we can learn what is necessary to change the realities of them, not just point fingers.