FROM: Mike Arst
TO: Robert Emond
SUBJECT: Rape Language
MA> And you have never heard a woman call a man "Baby," in that same
"Hey BABY great bod, how about you and me get together". In real
life, not TV not movies, I have never had the displeasure of hearing
a woman talk that way about a man. Fortunately, I've hardly ever
heard men talk that way about women, but I have heard it. The
point is not whether you or I have heard people talk this way, the
point is cultural norms. Thirty years ago it was not culturally
acceptable for women to talk this way, but it was culturally
acceptable for men to do so. Today it is still mostly culturally
acceptable for a man to talk this way, the fact that it is becoming
culturally acceptable for women as well does not change the fact
that it is damaging.
> To posses a commodity is to dominate it; to triumph, win a war,
> succeed in a hunt, win a game, or be serviced by a woman all
> express dominance".
MA> And once again this kind of thing seems to ignore that there
MA> have sure been a lot of women in our society who approach
MA> 'snaring' a man as some kind of achievement, some kind of
You're right, "I'm going to BAG me a husband, CATCH me a man",
makes men an award. However, the fact that culturally speaking
women may speak of men as objects does not change the fact that men
also speak of women as objects. Nor does it alter the fact that
the objectification of women is one of the factors that leads to
violence against women. Women may objectify men, but they do not
then go out and rape them. Do not forget that last year we in the
US saw the highest number of rapes, and 29 states set a new high for
the number of rapes.
> Try saying 'Fuck you!' aloud several times. What thoughts,
> feelings, or images arise?
MA> It has about the same meaning to me as 'go to hell,' and that is
MA> ALL it means to me, Beneke's "wisdom" about this
I see, so if I say, "I don't agree with you, so go to hell" that
will have the same emotional impact to you if I say, "I don't
agree with you, so fuck you"? When you are in an argument you use
those phrases interchangeably? I'm sorry but I find that hard to
believe. For most people in our culture "fuck you" has a greater
impact than "go to hell". The connotations are also quite
different. One says "I want to see you go to a mythical place of
torment". This requires no action on the part of the curser you
send yourself to hell. The other says "I want to force you to have
sex". This requires action of the person issuing the curse. It
also has a painful physical as well as emotional component. What
does it say about our culture that we use "have sex" as the ultimate
put down and expression of anger?
MA> The Anglo white adult male is the biggest visible stationary
MA> target for the slings and arrows of bullshit-quality political
MA> dogma and has been for some years.
I never mentioned Anglo adult males, neither did Beneke. Why do
you jump to the conclusion that it is aimed at white men? Perhaps
it is because you know many white men think this way. However, many
white boys think this way, as well as brown, yellow, and black boys
as well as men. Our language teaches males to think this way, some
hold these attitude closer to their hearts than others. Some out
grow these attitudes quickly and learn to think of all people as
people, many others don't.
Our language makes sex a weapon, it makes it a conquest, it makes
it a put down. You can bury your head in the sand and say there is
nothing wrong with our culture, even though there were over 100,000
reported rapes last year. Even though 1 in 4 women will be raped in
her life. Even though in a study (Koss et al.) of male university
students from 32 university around the US found that 7% **admitted**
to committing a rape. You can bury your head in the sand and call
attempts to discover why this happens "political dogma" or you can
stand up and help take back our culture from the barbarians that
MA> But it was high time to stop hating ourselves, and I am damned
MA> glad that people like Herb Goldberg have written books to
MA> counter the endless stream of "here's who you really are and why
MA> you should despise yourself" drivel written about men since 1965
MA> or so.
I don't see why you would hate yourself by admitting that you
know as well as I do that many men think and act on the metaphors
that Beneke mentions. You can sit back and say that attempts to
bring the problem to light are just attacks against men, or you can
admit that there is a problem and look towards a solution. You can
refuse to accept that kind of language and the underlying thinking
that goes with it. You can teach your children not to act that way.
You can challenge your friends not to act that way. You can demand
you government not act that way. In short you can be part of the
solution or part of the problem. Admitting that there is a problem
*does not* include self hate.
MA> If these issues concern you, do you post information such as has
MA> been written by this Beneke in other conferences where there
MA> _is_ a lot of 'rape' talk? Or do you prefer to post it only in
MA> places where there are a lot of people who'll simply agree with
MA> it enthusiastically?
I only read three echos, MENS_ISSUES, LAW, and FEMINISM. I
occasionally drop in on DEBATE. Currently your echo isn't talking
about rape, but if you want I'll cross post there as well. You are
also free to cross post to any other echos as you wish.